Caramelized Onion Relish

January 16, 2011

I love my pantry.  This may be an unusual favorite room of the house, but for me it is a place of comfort and a source of pride.  Come visit my home and I’ll be sure to show you my special place.  Though it is not often in perfect order, my pantry is my sanctuary.  In our small home, this is the place where I can escape (briefly, until someone finds me) the commotion and demands of the other members of the family. Inside its walls I store my stacks of cookbooks, the baskets of garlic, squash, and potatoes harvested from last summer’s garden, and of course my canned goods.  My pantry shelves are full of all the grains, beans, seeds, and more required to make almost anything I can dream of.

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Lentil Soup with Yams

January 13, 2011

Good food is very important to me.  It’s not that I’m a picky eater, it is more that there are just soooo many foods I love to eat!  I have to admit though, sometimes I find it a challenge to fit in creative, inspired dishes especially during the busy week.  Did I mention I have two young kids?  That I work full-time?  So, I depend on a weekly meal plan.

At the end of each week, I dedicate a bit of time to write out dinner ideas for the following week.  There is a general formula I follow: 1 soup meal, 1 stir-fry meal, 1 salad meal, and pizza on Fridays.  The other meals are up to my whim.  Once I have the meals planned out, it is easy to construct my shopping list and take care of all the food shopping for the week in one trip out.  It is a relief to return home after a long day at work and know that I have a plan for dinner and all the ingredients required.

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As the winter wears on, it is easy to think fondly of the bounty of summer…  sweet juicy tomatoes, crisp peppers, non-stop zucchini.  You have to work hard not to  eat “seasonally” in the summertime.  But what about in January?  I try feed my family on as many home-grown veggies as possible.  This lofty goal is fairly easy to attain in the warm months and significantly more challenging in the winter.  I am very grateful that our life does not depend upon nourishment from our backyard.  This month, we would be subsisting on satsumas, garlic, the last stray raspberry, and an occasional egg.  Well not quite, there is always the kale.

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