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Giving Thanks

I do realize that November is the official month to give thanks (according to most calendars), but I have tried to teach my family to be thankFULL all year round. So, while I am somewhat late in posting about our “Thanksgiving” Dinner, really, every meal deserves that name, wouldn’t you agree?

Our little family has been through many changes in the past year, with our oldest heading off to college and our youngest so busy with all of his extra curricular activities, the husband and I have already experienced something of that “Empty Nest” that we’ve heard others talk about…but we had a full nest at my brother and sister-in-law’s home on Thanksgiving (their turn to host!), and we appreciated every moment we were able to spend together.

A healthy bird gives me a healthy appetite!

Our local, farm fresh turkey was absolutely stunning, even before it went into the oven. Sure, we may have had to pick out a few extra feathers (which we all agreed was reminiscent of squeezing blackheads-oddly satisfying!) but there is absolutely nothing that can beat a meal that obviously led such a healthy life.

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Who could resist a plate full of deliciousness?

Before we knew it, dinner was ready! With so many happy hands contributing to the work, it took no time at all to fix a delicious, healthy meal for our extended family.

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You can't have Thanksgiving without Aunty Ann's Creamed Onions!

We had Aunt Ann’s famous creamed onions,

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Green Bean Casserole-classic for a reason!

Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole,

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All natural=All eaten up!

And, of course, my son’s favorite-organic Cranberry Sauce.

Nothing says you care like a meal-and all of it’s components!-made from scratch.

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Ding, ding, Ding! Round Two!

Before we knew it, seconds (and thirds!) were being dished out and the lively dinner conversation was becoming a bit quieter. Soon we just basked in the pleasantness of full bellies, good company, and, of course, a beautiful meal.

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It tasted even better than it looked!

I do sincerely hope that your family’s Thanksgiving was as beautiful as ours was!

~Alice

It’s been awhile since any of us have posted, and it hasn’t been time spent twiddling our thumbs. The summer was a busy one for each of our families, as it always is, but now that fall is knocking on our door we’re once again finding comfort in our food.

The garden was good to us this summer-our organic heirloom tomato plants produced enough for sauce, salsa, and more, our squash vines spread out their arms and took over, and, of course, our herbs flavored every meal to perfection. I like to look at every bite of a homemade meal as a reminder to my family of how much I love them and care for them.

Waxing poetic on the joys of a healthy and flavorful meal aside, this meal is sure to be one of your new favorites (and your family’s as well)! Tired of the unhealthy aspects of lasagna, I whipped up this version with some fresh organic veggies from my garden and it was a hit:

Cottage cheese? Yes, please!

Obviously one of the most unhealthy ingredients in the classic lasagna recipe is the cheese. Ricotta, Parmasan, and, if you’re my husband’s Noni, even Feta can be fattening and artery clogging. Instead of all that fat, I substituted a healthy and delicious cottage cheese mixture. Bland, you say?

Herb it up!

Not when you “herb it up!”, as my son likes to say! Mixed with some dried basil and oregano (from the garden again, of course, or, in a pinch, from your local co-op!), this soon becomes a fabulously cheesy base for your dish.

Zucchini-not just for zucchini any more!

While you’re at it, go out to the garden and get some of those amazing zucchini that have been hanging out on the vine for awhile. Shredded and seasoned with garlic powder (I know-while I much prefer fresh as well, I’ve found the powder is a much more cohesive, balanced seasoning than minced. Try it for yourself, though, and make your own decision!) this provides some “meat” to a hearty vegetarian dish!

This is when the magic happens.

Mix your zucchini and garlic mixture with a jar of your homemade, chunky vegetable pasta sauce. You’ll see how the zucchini really bulks up even the thinnest sauce, making it appropriate for even the hungriest family member!

Layers are in this season!

While obviously fresh pasta would be ideal, it’s also important to be realistic: sometimes it’s just too time consuming to make your own pasta and one must resort to the organic, dried pasta from the co-op. It’s sad, but we have to allow ourselves to be imperfect. I like this recipe because it also allows me to skip one time consuming step=boiling the pasta. Because the zucchini mixture is so moist you simply put a layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of your dish and begin layering (uncooked) noodles on top!

Red, white, and YUM!

Now the real fun begins. Try to keep your tummy from growling as you layer the herbed cottage cheese on top of your sauce and noodles…

Almost there...almost to an amazing dinner!

and, of course, finishing with a final layer of cheese and sauce before topping it with Mozzarella!

Ready for the oven, and then ready for the plate.

Topped with delicious, shredded Mozzarella (I don’t feel too badly being generous with this, considering how many calories I’ve saved by omitting the other cheeses), your family will never know how healthy this dinner is…but they will certainly know how much you love them (and their taste buds)!

Enjoy!
~Alice

Homemade Lunch

School is officially out for my little one.  The summer days are upon us and I can honestly say that although she will miss school, I am looking forward to having her home.  Yes it is nice to have a break and now and then, but really, when she is home I enjoy all of the things we do together.  Especially since I hit up the book sale at the local book store, we have ALOT of reading to do this summer!  But another thing I enjoy is being able to make her lunch for her and KNOWING what is going into her body.  I mean, I make her lunches and snacks for school, but you never know what they might trade with a friend and then there are the crazy birthday parties at school.  For her party I sent in vegan cupcakes with a dollop of marshmallow frosting and she got to put one Sour Pals on top of each one.  I definately recommend Sour Pals, the are very much like Sour Patch Kids but made with pure cane sugar and fruit juice instead of High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Yum.  So  it’s nice to have her home and make lunch for her.

Summer Lunch

There really are no words to describe a nice summery lunch shared with friends.  So instead of rambling on, I will let my pictures do the talking to fill you in on the delicious BLT’s Alice was so generous to cook up for us.

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Amazing.

Essie, the Master Baker

Essie has been experimenting a lot with her baking lately, and she treated us to an absolutely amazing chocolate cake that she had been dying to try! The best part? It was VEGAN, which, while that is not any our lifestyles, was very interesting (and so very good). We all agreed the cream cheese frosting and chocolate combination was perfect, and we look forward to the next recipe that Essie comes across and wants to try-Maisy and I are always willing taste testers!

an extradorinary evening

The other night the 3 Broads were treated to quite the extraordinary evening. Sometimes words cannot express just how wonderful, necessary, and fun an evening with amazing friends, fantastic food, and loud laughter can be. They slip by quickly, and when they are gone I treasure the memory of them, so I tried to capture some of these extraordinary moments with my camera.

Glazed Salmon

We like to eat salmon at my house and i’m always on the hunt for new ways to liven it up.  I found this recipe for a nice honey/soy glaze.  It suggested serving it with some vegetables, but I preferred making the mashed sweet potato recipe if found.

I had to alter the recipe a bit because I bought more salmon than suggested and because they had incorporated the glaze into the suggested vegetables, so I figured out the ratios that i would actual need of the honey and soy and applied it accordingly.  You basically just broil the fish and then apply the glaze.  It makes a smoky mess, but it was worth it.  The potatoes were ok if you like sweet potatoes.  It was from a heart healthy section, which suggested using some of the water that you boil them in when you mash, but that just didn’t sound great to me, so I added a little milk and butter.  They were kinda soupy on the bottom, but they tasted fine.

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