Holiday Preperations and Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Happy Thanksgiving week! How is your 30 Days of Giving Thanks going? I have found it to be such a powerful practice, and one that has helped me be more mindful of a daily moment of gratitude.

I’m putting the finishing touches on our holiday menu and gearing up for the family to fly in from Connecticut. After having hosted Thanksgiving for so many years now, SoulDaddy and I are a well-oiled machine, but I’m still thrilled to be off work for the remainder of the week – and utilizing daycare for two of those days I might add!

Yes, SoulMomma gets to enjoy a few days for herself. I’m sure that half of that time will be spent cooking and cleaning, but I’m still thankful for the change of pace and time with family. Continue reading

Applelooza!

I’m not sure what it is about this summer – the hot dry temps maybe? – but the two apple trees in my neighbor’s yard are absolutely brimming with fruit!

Traci is already one of the best neighbors ever, accompanying me on walks and to yoga class, watching out for our dogs, offering energy work, and even digging through my recycling bin one morning this week when I had a panic attack on my way to work thinking my missing keys accidentally found their way there. Seriously. I’m that nuts and she’s that awesome. 🙂

And Traci happens to be the owner of said apple trees which she says have produced more fruit this year than in the eight previous years she’s lived there. Lucky for me, she graciously opened them up for picking. I can’t ever turn down an opportunity for free, beautiful, organic fruit! Continue reading

Asian Peanut Noodle Salad

What’s not to love about long weekends? Mine was made especially happy by this cold noodle salad bursting with the flavor of peanuts, garlic and ginger.

I’m such a sucker for a good peanut sauce. The one on this dish is similar to a dipping sauce I make for my Tofu Spring Rolls, but brighter thanks to the addition of rice vinegar, lime, and cilantro. It’s easy to put together and will make a welcomed addition to any summer meal. Consider adding cubed tofu – well-sauteed in olive oil – to created an even heartier one-dish meal! As always, use organic ingredients whenever possible. Continue reading

Cranberry, Cranberry, How I Love Thee!

It’s a busy week. As I mentioned before, our contractor is finishing up construction this week, and the family starts rolling in tonight. Me, I’ve got some cooking to do!

With all the delicious dishes to get ready for the holiday tomorrow, I try to cook as many ahead of time as I can. Cranberry is always one of the first on my list as it will keep for days in the fridge. Every few years, I experiment with a new variation. This year, I tried a recipe from Brown Eyed Baker that I have to pass along.

The addition of apples, lemon, and orange give it a fabulous flavor and it was a breeze to make. Get the recipe here

Now, with cranberry out of the way, it’s pumpkin cheesecake on my mind. Let’s just hope my contractor makes as good a progress as I am!

Slow Cooker Savvy: Marvelous Marinara

Marinara 2I knew that I had officially hit womanhood when I had my own sauce. You see, my grandmother is a Rossini, and she had her sauce. My husband’s grandmother is a Ricupero, and she has her sauce. And you can bet that both of our mom’s have their own sauce. Ditto for our sisters. See a trend here? Yup, it’s an Italian thing.

Everyone’s sauce is a little different, and generally we all follow the “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” method, but for your sake, I broke tradition and measured. Also, I prefer a chunky end product, and always choose organic when possible.

It’s so easy and freezeable, you might never buy jarred sauce again! Each batch makes enough for at least 2lbs of pasta. I generally use half that week and freeze the other half. It’s also handy to freeze a seperate 1-cup container or two for your homemade pizzas. Continue reading