I cook primarily because I like to eat, but I also cook to keep myself entertained and feeling competent. Long before I had a family to cook for I cooked dinner regularly so that I would have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Now that my house is a tornado of two small children and a husband, our meals are the grounding force in our home and for me personally.
Below I’ll take you through three days of my life of cooking and eating to show some meals, and all the food in between, that are typical for me and my family (husband, a 3 year old daughter and an almost-a-year-old daughter).
7am Breakfast. Oatmeal (or Oitmeal as my three year old likes to call it) with almond butter and maple syrup. Sometimes if I’m feeling healthy I use mashed banana instead of syrup. After breakfast I’m off to work on Thursday.
11:30am Lunch. I am usually starving by this time of day. I sometimes grab soup from the local healthfood store, but today I brought my lunch and it’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Tortilla chips. Baby carrots.
6pm Dinner of chicken sausage stir-fry with CSA vegetables. About a year and a half ago I wrote a blogpost on eating only local meats, but this year I’ve caved and have been buying the Hannafords brand chicken sausage because it’s easy to make a meal from it. For this meal I saute up some eggplant, red peppers and kale and serve it up on some brown rice.
8:30pm Snack. Alexis has toast with melted chocolate chips and peanut butter
7am Breakfast. Leftover rice and eggs. Seriously, this is so good for breakfast. Heat up butter in a pan, add the rice and stir til it gets warm, then crack the eggs (about two eggs to one cup rice) and immediately scramble them in to the rice. Serve with maple syrup.
11am Snack. After my kids and I are out for a few hours in the morning we usually make it back home in time to satisfy an intense hunger. This is often peanut butter sandwiches, but today it’s a grilled cheese sandwich made in the panini press my father-in-law gave us for Christmas a couple years ago.
1pm Lunch. After such a late snack, lunch is usually something simple or light. Today it’s a smoothie made with yogurt, orange juice and banana. This finishes off the yogurt we have in the refrigerator, so I clean out the jar and start making some more.
3pm Snack. Tortilla chips microwaved to melt monterey jack cheese grated on top. A.K.A. Nachos.
6pm Dinner. BBQ chicken at PJ’s BBQSA with sides of sweet potato casserole, hush puppies and other assorted greasy treats
8:30pm Snack. Alexis wants to eat a peanut butter chocolate sandwich, but she eats a bowl of fresh yogurt with some maple syrup instead.
8am Breakfast. Ricotta Pancakes. Recipe below. My newest breakfast obsession!!!
11:30am Lunch. Peanut butter sandwiches (noticing a pattern here yet?) and “lime flavored” tortilla chips, consumed by all of us on location at the Stone Bridges and Caves we visited.
2pm Snack at home. Cantalope from our CSA share.
6pm Dinner. Although it’s a bit of a repeat from the food we ate out at the restaurant the night before, we enjoy our CSA chicken which my husband cuts up and grills outside. He also grills slices of sweet potato that I have tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh thyme and whole corn on the cob (he peels it after it’s cooked on the grill). To cool it all down, we eat a fresh tomato, sliced with basil pieces and olive oil.
8:30pm Snack. Yup, it’s back to toast with melted chocolate chips and peanut butter. I believe I have an addiction. While the sandwich is cooking in the toaster oven I slice leftover corn off the cobs and bag it to be frozen for a time when we will be longing for the taste of fresh summer corn.
I have been making ricotta pancakes about once a week since I first discovered them and I am still obsessed with their fluffy, moist texture. I have made them with whole wheat flour, but of course they taste better with white flour. My favorite recipe is from The Kitchn (their ingredients, my method)
RECIPE: RICOTTA PANCAKES
Adapted from the Kitchn (ingredients exactly the same, but I changed the methods)
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
I tend to mix together all the dry ingredients and then dump in the wet ingredients right on top, separating the egg whites in to a separate bowl. Mix the batter til smooth and then fold in the egg whites that have been beaten to form soft peaks. Spoon the batter in to a pan heated with canola oil or butter and flip the pancakes when they start looking dry around the edges. These pancakes will be more moist than most you’ve probably eaten in the past. We have enjoyed them with chunks of peach and banana, as well as chocolate chips and coconut. We haven’t tried peanut butter and jelly yet, but we’ll probably get to that point soon enough.