This has become one of my favorite ways of simplifying my life. Unfortunately it is also one of my biggest challenges, as I'm also responsible for feeding an almost-2 year-old who's pretty picky. My husband and I like food that is prepared simply with fresh ingredients and lots of herbs and spices. Our meals are often vegan, and always vegetarian. Because the recipes are never of the traditional American "meat-and-potatoes" variety, people have suggested to me that our cooking is gourmet and exotic. Far from it. Our meals our very ethnic, that's true, but most of the meals we cook would be considered peasant food back in their countries of origin--beans, vegetables and grains with herbs and spices. We try to eat healthy and naturally, and given our busy lives, if it can't be done in under 30 minutes, it isn't done, except on a rare weekend. Our weakness? Eating out way too often. Simple on the surface, but in the end, financially unsustainable and a lot less healthy. Then there's my little daughter who seems to refuse to eat anything I cook (except eggs). So except for fresh fruit, which she loves, much of what she eats is packaged. I at least make sure the packaged food is as healthy as possible, with as many all-natural organic ingredients as possible. And one day, I bet she becomes easier to feed! This year, we've planted a container garden on our patio for the first time, and we can't wait to reap the rewards of that. We also do our best to eat together as a family as much as possible, and to include our friends at our table as much as we can. And given the outrageous price of food these days, I've decided to return to baking my own bread, at least some of the time. Our bread-maker died some years ago and we never replaced it, so we're talking kneading by hand and everything. Ironically, it sometimes takes some work to enjoy the simplest pleasures of life! How about you guys?
LOL, Eileen, I've been making my own bread for a long time. I have never used a machine and don't want to. As you knead the dough your hands become used to the feel of it so you know by the texture what it needs and how it will turn out. I have had to buy a loaf at the store a few times but to me it looks like garbage and tastes like garbage. It's full of chemicals and does a wonderful job of cleaning wallpaper of smudges LOL.
Good luck with your bread making, go for it you will be glad you did.
I love making my own bread too - and when I don't have time, I'm thankful to live in a town with a grocery that actually makes it's own bread!
I do love my slow cooker. I made carrot, brocolli, potato, onion and mixed bean soup today. Everything went in the pot this morning and my house smelled so nice when I got home.
Soup, like bread making seems to be a lost art. I've been especially worried about canned soup since they started releasing information about BPA linings in soup cans. There is a news article on at the 11 o'clock news, but I don't think that I can stay up that late. Another thing to simplify and make at home. Oh and I'll live off the soup for the week, cause I'm working a lot and at home by myself.
i love making bread - and have a really easy yeast free one I make to go with home made soups and salads. Its just flour, olive oil, milk and seasoning mixed and kneaded to a dough. i may add chunks of cheese, whole or chopped olives, sultanas, a teaspoon of curry paste, mixed herbs - or chopped dried fruit. It really depends what you want. Then its into the oven on a tray for about 20 minutes. Its absolutely delicious with melted butter on it. Best eaten warm though, you can freeze it and warm it up.
I also make soups - loads of vegetables, seasoning - maybe some milk or soya milk to make it a cream of.... I add beans pulses and so on for extra protein. Im not a veggie though I used to be so may do a chicken soup or add left over roast. sometimes I will blend it down to a thick soup or i might leave it with chunks in depends really on my mood. I might really thicken it up - add some curry paste and sultanas and turn it into a curry.mmmm this is making my very hungry! lol
by the way eileen - i have a 4 year old who is pretty picky though she wasnt at first. she used to eat anything i gave her. now i find that i have to add her veg to potatoes and make veggie mash. i might add grated cheese too, though if most of your meals are vegan you might have to add vegan cheese. and i find that letting her eat fruit for her snack times gives her the main 5 a day! i also started making her toast and sandwiches and cut them into little shapes with cookie cutters. she loves the novelty of this and eats things she previously refused.
Many thanks, Magpie!