Everyone I know (okay, online anyway) is in love with their Instapot, and while I have not yet succumbed, we do have a few time-saving kitchen devices. There’s an older pressure cooker that I pull out only rarely – just one bad experience with a chicken soup spill/semi-explosion (entirely operator error, btw) stays with you for a while, and a newish Crock-Pot which I use at least once a week because I do like an easy dinner prep.
Our favorite, and possibly over-served but maybe not because I never get push back, dish is Smitten Kitchen’s Black Bean Ragout. Served over garlick-y toast, rice or pasta or sweet potatoes (we do love our starches), with avocado and quick pickled red onions. The leftovers (if there are any) go into another favorite – and super easy – dish also from Smitten Kitchen – Spaghetti Squash tacos (shhh, I even microwave the spaghetti squash – it’s so fast and easy).
These lovely Parmesan crackers are another favorite. Serve them alone, or with almost anything – hummus, chutney, more cheese, and it will look as if you know more than you do about baking.
We’ve been eating more plant-based foods around here, it’s healthier, more eco-friendly and kinder, too. And the Minimalist Baker is wonderful go-to resource. I made the One Pot Red Lentil Chili for that freezing cold Marathon Monday and it was delicious! Start it on the stove and move to the slow-cooker.
We also love the wonderfully flavorful and hearty Abundance Kale Salad. Prep this on Sunday and you have meals for a few days. I also prep grain bowls for lunches. Make your favorite grains in advance and put them in the fridge, do the same with roasted veggies. In the morning, pack a bowl with whatever strikes your fancy. Fast dressing? A chef friend told me to slightly water down hummus for a quick tahini dressing. Yummy and easy.
or How to get Farm Fresh Food even in the middle of Winter in New England.
I love everything about our local Farmers Market, from the farm fresh produce to seeing friends, getting to know the farmers, and bringing my recyclable bags, which for some reason I don’t remember to bring anywhere else but the farmers market – go figure. And right about now, in the midst of all the holiday cooking and baking, I miss it the most. As luck would have it, I was introduced to Farmers To You and invited to try it out by ordering so I could write about it – perfect timing – just before Thanksgiving.
This is a terrific find – it links New England farmers and producers to Boston-area families bringing the best local, sustainable and artisanal foods to your family year-round. Farm to Table – yes! Farmers To You delivers to several cities and towns – and now in Newton! You can check your zip code here to see where the closest delivery spot is to you.
Oh, and cheese – gorgeous Moses Sleeper cheese from Jasper Hill Farm, organic tofu from Vermont Soy, Vegan eggrolls from Rhapsody Natural Foods – the non-vegans loved these, too. And salmon from Starbird Fish Company, which came in super handy with the vegan egg rolls when someone was too sick to go to Thanksgiving dinner and we had all the gorgeous vegetables and salad but no turkey (don’t worry – we had a do-over the next day).
My next order will include this yummy ice cream…I tried it at a friend’s house and it definitely needs to be parked in our freezer…for a few days anyway. Check out their Facebook Page here.
Along with this pizza crust from Red Hen Baking CompanySo excited to be able to get farm fresh produce and artisanal products year round! I can’t wait for my next order – Newton pick up is super easy – just off Lincoln Street in Newton Highlands.
Disclaimer – I did not receive any compensation for this post just a credit so I could sample the service to aid in the review.
The mathematical value of π, or pi, begins “3.14…” so March 14 (3/14) is considered to be International Pi Day.
Pi is the English spelling of the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. It means “the symbol π denoting the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter,” and also means “the ratio itself : a transcendental number having a value rounded to eight decimal places of 3.14159265.” This means that the outside measurement of a circle is a little more than three times its width. This ratio is one of the most important constants in mathematics.
Pi is probably used to stand for this number because it is the first letter of the Greek word that is the origin of periphery. And don’t miss the weird and wonderful things they’re doing over on Twitter. Funny, creative and inventive. You’re welcome.
So, I really want to give a shout out to math on Pi Day. We use math every day, even when we don’t realize it. Now head over to Live Science to see some really cool math. And really, much as I respect math, I respect that wonderful, versatile food choice, pie. Sweet or savory, I am all about the pie. So when my intrepid blogger friends invited me to a pie photo morning/tasting (because who would go to just the photo shoot anyway?) – I ran right out and grabbed some pies. Because more is more.
We fanned out across the city and suburbs in search of our favorite types of pie. Undaunted by the amount of research this would take, we were committed to our quest, and you reap the results of our labors. Why, yes, I did try most, but not all, of these delicious pies. It was an early release day or I would have, though. Pacing. Here’s the rundown. Honestly, the things I do for this blog.
Hi-Rise Bakery – This is one of my favorite places for everything – sandwiches, baked goods, bread and jams, and I every so often make the Vanilla Bean Loaf – we call it Vanilla Bread. We sampled the lemon meringue – next time it might not make it home.
Leah brought some of her favorite pies from Petsi Pies and they were all inhaled. I had heard of Petsi Pies but this was my first time and the Bourbon Chocolate Pecan may have been one of my tops favorite pies ever.
More Cambridge? Pemberton Farms Marketplace is a sweet grocery/bakery/garden center that has everything you could need plus pies from The Pie Guy’s – the key lime pie is off the hook. So when I head back for that particular confection, I’ll be picking up a few hostess gifts, some wine and a plant or two next time I go.
Craving a savory pie with a flaky out of this world crust? Look no further than KO Catering & Pies in South Boston. Mostly meat pies here but some veggies find their way in, and a lovely veggie pie or the Classic Beef Pie will warm you right up. We were hosted to try these yummy hand pies and sample we did. Then we ordered a bunch to go – great for the freezer for an easy dinner you almost made.
And from Shoofly Pie Baking Company, an unbelievably delicious and pretty – no one wanted me to cut it but I did anyway – cherry pie. She delivers – yes, delivers pie to Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and Hyde Park. with a trial run in Brookline going on now. Hopefully Newton is next! I’m not going to lie, when Kelli handed me still warm from the oven cherry pie, I doubted that it would make it to our pie morning. Yet it did, and it was whole. I know. All the will power.
Making dinners that my whole family will eat has always been challenging – so many preferences! So, yes, I have always had picky eaters and, yes, I have often made more than one meal. Don’t judge. Now, with a newly minted vegetarian in the family, I have been hard-pressed to come up with creative, not-so-very-time consuming meals that pack the necessary nutritional punch.
For lunches, I make grain bowls with quinoa and brown rice as a base and add pretty much anything – roasted chickpeas, roasted peppers, hummus, tabouli and baked tofu. Add crunchy chickpeas or sesame seeds on top for a bit of crunch. Drizzle with tahini dressing. Still in search of the perfect recipe so chime in if you have one!
Inspiration provided by Whole Heart Provisions (our new favorite vegetarian/vegan go to place) and recipes from The Boston Globe’s Kara Baskin here.