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slow-cooker split pea and potato soup :: 1 lb dried split peas, 6 cups water or veggie stock, sautéed onions/carrots/garlic, diced potato, dried thyme, salt :: add extra liquid if making on stove top :: blend some finished soup for extra creaminess 

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found these on the kitchen table after we started season two 

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1 beet, 1 bell pepper (yellow, orange, or red), a few limes, some multi-colored carrots

Try to make around 12 oz, fill two 4 oz jars for the fridge, and drink the rest.

I’m not the most sophisticated juicer. I only have one other recipe (green) and my refrigerated juice probably makes purists cringe, but just this little bit puts a spring in my step each day.

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Last week I had to bribe her with a donut to try Han Mu Do. This week she’s rockin’ it.

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Tonight our family played Prairie Life™, a game created by my daughter and her friend. It’s kind of like Monopoly, but instead of jail, you get sent to enemy territory. It’s ok if you have a “hide in a log” card; your animal won’t lose a health chip. Life on the prairie is tough.

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My daughter went to her first Husker basketball game last night. At first she didn’t want to go. We don’t watch basketball in our house, so she doesn’t really know the game. “Just think of it as a fun night out with your BFF,” I told her.

“I hope it’s women’s basketball,” she said. It was, and she loved it. Now she wants to watch all the college games. The sneaker squeaks are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Maybe if we turn the volume down?

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Santa brought an Easy Bake Oven this year. It seems kind of silly considering how much we do together in the kitchen. She had Yummy Nummies on her Christmas list and I was all What Is This Crap? I convinced her that something that could be used again with store-bought ingredients might be a better choice. Today she made the frosted cookies that came in the box, and I realized how this is different than cooking with me: she can do everything herself. Normally she helps, but I still do the hot stuff with the oven. That tiny bit of additional independence was a big deal. The only thing that makes me a little sad is that there’s no lightbulb anymore. I always thought cooking with a lightbulb was super cool. 

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There used to be a little store in Baltimore’s Fells Point called Adrian’s Bookstore Café. It had the best vegetarian chili in the world. The closest I’ve ever come to replicating it at home was this recipe. I’m not sure how I ended up with a paper version because I can’t ever remember buying a copy of Women’s Day magazine. I was surprised to find it online, so of course I had to share it.

A few notes:

  • I have a feeling that the café used TVP instead of meat. I could be wrong. It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve had it. It would be fun to experiment with other non-meats.
  • I cooked up wheat berries instead of bulgur wheat by mistake tonight with no discernible difference in taste.
  • This filled seven pint-sized jars. That means seven lunches. Three are headed for the freezer, even though I could probably finish all of them this week.
  • I’m not sure how you could fit any more super foods into one meal. The pumpkin may seem like a strange ingredient, but just go with it. Trust me.

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Tonight I made the laziest of all lazy soups: Tri-bean Soup by Leanne Ely. You basically sauté some onion and garlic and then open a bunch of cans. I doubled the broth (veggie instead of chicken) and added a big handful of chopped frozen spinach. It made six lunches! My friend gave me some wide mouth jars so I can freeze without worrying about them breaking. Thanks Dawn!

Recipe from Saving Dinner. You can find it here.

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There’s no way to get a good photo of eggplant, but this dip is awesome: roast one with a shallot and olive oil, cool, process with lemon juice, tahini and salt, serve with crackers or on toast = YUM!

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