Friday, March 9, 2012

Simple food

It's Friday again and here I am, posting. I tried so hard this week to post earlier, but life just has too much to hand me right now, so Friday it is.

And I haven't gotten rid of anything yet today, but it's only 9am, so there is plenty of time for that. For those of you on the edge of your seats wondering what might go today - I'm thinking some of the hallway pile for sure... but I think today I might dig into the secret corners of my fridge and freezer and free up some space in there. See, I have this awesome kitchen aid ice cream maker that I've been dying to use - but I got it just in time for the fresh local raw cream to stop flowing. Well, I heard a rumor that a calf has been born and I might just yet see some more of that cream, so I need to be ready. I've never used this ice cream maker, but I do know that it needs to chill in the freezer for 24 hours before use, and that requires some work if you've got a freezer like mine.

Anyway, I wanted to touch on food today. I've been trying to actively clean up my diet a bit. I spent the week not drinking coffee or alcohol and having freshly squeezed citrus juice every morning. Another thing is that I have at least one, but often two salads every day. I am also trying out beans again. Beans aren't my favorite, but I feel like I would crave less meat and cheese (my real downfall) if I ate more beans. So, this week I started with a batch of adzuki beans.
I used to cook beans from scratch all of the time, but I got burnt out on them. It's been too many years to count since I've cooked them, long enough that my kids aren't used to eating them very often at all. Adzuki beans are good to start with because you don't have to soak them... however, I don't mind a little overnight soaking. Just because I didn't trust myself to remember, I referenced this recipe, mostly because it was the first one that I came across that seemed simple enough.

Next week I think I am taking on garbanzo beans (aka chick peas).

And speaking of salad, I was so pleased when my good friend Jen from Woven Roots Farm handed me some fresh picked greens from her greenhouse the other day.
It's nice to serve food to your kids and tell them that a friend had just picked them that morning, when there is still snow outside on the ground. They were thrilled and I think ate extra in appreciation. It's good to have connections.

Lastly, the other thing that I have done already twice this week is bake macaroons. They are such a good simple sweet snack.
It's really pretty easy and I already have it down - my favorite kind of recipe because it's easy to whip up impulsively.
Let me share it with you.

Yummy Macaroons:
2 1/2 cups of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of honey
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat the honey up on low heat. Once it is easy to stir, add egg whites and coconut. Keep on low heat and stir for about 2-3 minutes until it is well mixed. Then remove from heat and add both extracts. Stir well.
Grease a baking sheet. With damp hands, take the coconut mixture and make small balls. Squeeze with your hand a few times to help hold the mixture together. Place each ball on the cookie sheet - they can be somewhat close together because they won't expand. Bake for 20 minutes.

And if you want to, you can dip them in melted chocolate once they are cooled. My daughter really wants me to do this for the next batch... we'll see.


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