Today I would like to enlist your help as I am working on a few projects. One involves food- planning healthy tasty meals for my boys. I am doing a bit of an overhaul around here as we have removed wheat from one diet, excess wheat from the rest of us, and lowering our dairy intake. Thus there are days when I feel as if I am in a bit of a meal-planning rut. To that end, I would love for you to answer any or all of the following questions. I think that many of you may also be interested and inspired by the answers (as it is no secret that I have amazing, creative, generous and inspiring readers!).
1. What 12 items would you keep on hand at all times to help prepare your favorite meals? Some of my current staples are rice, good canned tomatoes, grated cheese, eggs, onions, potatoes and homemade stock (chicken and vegetable).
2. What are your favorite bean or grain recipes? (I have far too much quinoa , farro, and a gorgeous variety of beans in my pantry with absolutely no idea what to best do with them…)
3. Do you pack your children’s lunch- or yours? If so, what do you like to put in it so that it is interesting and appetizing? Right now we do a lot of fruit leathers, cheese sticks, nacho chips, apple slices, mandarines, and dried fruit.
4. If you live in France and continually post amazing photos of creative stews, soups and meals- would you please share your recipes? Okay fine- that was specifically meant for a dear friend whom I bug daily to send inspiration. However, if you enjoy hearty stews or slow-cook meals, what are your favorites?
5. I am in the process of planning our gardens for the coming season. Currently we are adding blueberry bushes (which will bring our count up to 7) and moving raspberries to a sunnier spot. I plan to do a large teepee to grow beans up where #4 can play. We have expanded our rhubarb as it is something I use a lot of. We have espalier asian pears as well as some really old apple trees. One of these days we will plant a proper orchard. We always grow a lot of peas – shelling and sweet. How do you trellis yours? We also grow a number of rows of carrots- do you have a favorite? Tomatoes can be tough because while I always get a lot, they often don’t ripen in time to beat the cold of autumn. Any suggestions on types that ripen early that you like? I am adding asparagus this year, and plan to grow them in a box with jerusalem artichokes. Thoughts?
6. We are also adding some baby chicks in about a month. We have had such an awful run with the coyote as of late so I am planning ahead and getting a few more chicks than I normally will so that come Autumn I won’t have to go buy pullets for a ridiculous price. We really love eggs around here and #s 2 & 3 have gotten pretty proficient at making themselves some pretty tasty egg dishes. Do you have a recipe that you love- frittata? baked eggs? fabulous scrambles?
If you have any thoughts, answers to my questions or input, please leave it in the comment section for all to share. I love the idea of sharing knowledge and feel a bit more like we are sitting around over coffee talking about our plans together~
I also want to share a new project my friend Courtney has recently released. Courtney is an incredible watercolor artist whose paintings are now available on cards! Now this isn’t a new thing- Courtney has had cards for some time- but they used to be hand-painted. The problem was people wouldn’t send them! Seriously- they would hoard them as pieces of art. So she decided it was time to make them less precious, in hopes that people would then send them out. However, Courtney being Courtney, she had to make even having printing her cards difficult! Because she wanted them to have a rich high-quality feel she found a process where the watercolors would be vibrant and the ink would be bold and raised. Thus, each card is printed TWICE. Trust me, these cards are wonderful. If you are looking for some really special cards to send to those you love, these would be perfect. You can read more about them from Courtney herself here. But visit her shop – you will see for yourself~