Throwback Thursday: Cooking inspirations

Dear sisters,

I feel like I’ve finally hit that comfort zone with cooking where I can “create” and execute a recipe all by myself, without relying too much on a recipe from the internet. I think I’ve read SO MANY COOKING BLOGS that I’ve absorbed some of the trends and flavor profiles that appeal to me and am now confident enough to go forth and create good meals.

I’m the best at coming up with good tacos. It’s hard to go wrong with tacos. Recently I’ve loved sweet potatoes in tacos, which was inspired by those amazing sweet potato tostadas that Rachel and Krestia made for us a long time ago on our family vacation in Maine.

This isn’t the actual meal, but a reminder of that little table we crowded around to eat at!

I loved the texture and flavor of those grated sweet potatoes. They were amazing on deep fried tortillas with salsas and cheese. At the time it was a new and amazing way to have tacos! Nowadays I grate sweet potatoes and toss them in some olive oil in a pan, add a sprinkling of cumin, chili powder, oregano and a dash of cinnamon, let them cook for awhile and add salt, pepper and lime juice at the end. When I’m feeling lazy I just dice the sweet potatoes and toss them in olive oil and the spices and in the oven they go!


The other part of my favorite tacos is a rice/quinoa pilaf with beans, peppers and onions (corn too if you feel like it). Sometimes I add tomatoes, sometimes lots of lime juice, zest and garlic. It depends on my mood.


The toppings make the taco: homemade guacamole (this time I added corn), queso fresco and spinach. You don’t need much when the fillings are so good! These were so delicious.

Thanks for the recipe inspiration all the way back in 2011 Rach :-). I like that we share our meals virtually every once in awhile. Recently we also had this oven roasted chicken shawarma that Rachel mentioned and it was OH SO GOOD in pitas with cucumbers, spinach, feta and hummus. YUM. Martha recently mentioned a mango curry that I’m dying to try. Sisters and friends, tell me your favorite dinners recently so I can get more inspiration!


the state of our household

Hi sisters.

Life continues at its hectic pace around here. So much happens at home with my little family and I miss taking the time to sit down and write to you all about it. So, I thought I’d try and summarize a bit.

Miriam always requests icing cookies when we bake together
Miriam always requests icing cookies when we bake together

Continue reading “the state of our household”

My chocolate chip secret

Dear sisters,

Somehow I’ve perfected making chocolate chip cookies. That is, if you want crispy on the bottom, chewy in the center chocolate chip cookies. This is one of the recipes I have memorized, maybe because I’ve been making it at least once a month for the last 3 years. I always feel a bit sad if I don’t have chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer.

Continue reading “My chocolate chip secret”

Less screen time led to paletas de sandia

Hi, sisters,

Since I came home from Ireland, I’ve been working on not taking my phone to bed with me. It was a big step, which my Mennonite upbringing is embarrassed to admit, and one I might not have taken without the eccentricities of outlet placements in a very old Irish farmhouse. Since I’ve had a smart phone, (well, probably since I’ve had a cell phone) I’ve slept with it on my bedside stand and my smart phone was the last thing I looked at before I went to sleep and the first thing I’d reach for when I woke up, either in the morning or in those middle-of-the-night awake spells I sometimes have. While I was in Ireland, there wasn’t an outlet near enough to my bed to keep my phone near me while being plugged in. My phone needed to charge at night since it was my main camera and its battery was on its way out. That was the first time in at least a couple of years that I went to sleep without reading or internet-ing with my phone some beforehand and I was surprised (and not proud–see Mennonite note above) at how much I felt the lack of it initially.

Since I got used to falling asleep without phone-ing, and since more and more sleep hygiene studies say that screens at bedtime are bad for sleep, I’ve decided to try no screens in bed for now. Most days I’m just fine with it. I’m not sure how long it will last once the semester is running full force and I rely on my phone more to keep my life organized. One day at a time.

I’ve been reading in bed for for forever, though. Continue reading “Less screen time led to paletas de sandia”

Marble Roller Extraordinaire

Hi, sisters,

I thought I’d give you an itty bitty glimpse into my Ireland visit, since one of the great joys is time with the kids. They’re fun, smart, adventurous, and (often) sweet. Besides giving you a glimpse of the kids’ personalities, you’ll also get to see some of some of Bradley’s handiwork. Bradley and Archer made a marble roller in the stump house that Bradley designed and made for the kids. In case you haven’t seen it, Martha took this picture of the stump house a couple months ago, before the marble roller was installed.

stump house

Here’s a more recent picture, post roller installment, from Bradley’s flickr page. Bonus baby bump from the morning that Thaddeus was born! Continue reading “Marble Roller Extraordinaire”