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!


Throwback Thursday: CHRISTMAS!

Dear sisters,

Every time the holiday season comes around Kevin and I are hit hard with a big dose of nostalgia and sentimentality. Decorations, Christmas music, eggnog, cookies and treats; they’re all very welcome guests in our house! If you added up all of my childhood memories I think at least 50% of them would be from Christmastime. It’s such a vivid time of year with excitement and anticipation galore, a perfect recipe for lasting memories.

My first Christmas!
Calvin’s first Christmas! I see a bit of family resemblance :-).

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Throwback Thursday: Life before kids?

Dear family and friends,

The title might seem a bit dramatic. Never fear, this post isn’t about how worried I am about losing my way of life after kids or anything like that. Rather, I was musing on how long it took me as a kid to realize my parents had a life before me or my sisters were born. It makes me laugh to think about our kids realizing the same thing. My life is the long, mostly beautiful, complicated story of Jewel. Here’s some of my favorite evidence of my “pre-kids” life:


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Throwback Thursday: Stories from Childhood

Dear sisters,

I’m trying something new for Throwback Thursday. As I get ready to have a baby in 6-8 weeks (WHAT?!?!) Kevin and I find ourselves thinking about random aspects of parenting: for example, the other day Kevin couldn’t fathom what we’re going to do when our kid has to go to birthday parties/have birthday parties, and I keep thinking about the moments when our kid will want to hear stories from my childhood. I’m not particularly good at coming up with engaging stories off the top of my head. Combine that with my inability to remember more than little flashes of memories from childhood and I knew I would answer him, “Oh, I can’t really remember.” But the stories we heard about Dad and Mom growing up (mostly from their siblings/Grandma Buckwalter) are some of my favorites: Dad falling off the tractor/hay baler and getting run over was an entrancing story (that I frequently embellished in my imagination), Mom exploring the city of Belmont all by herself and playing in the waterfalls (I generally imagined Mom as Ramona from Beverly Cleary’s book Ramona and Beezus, spunky and mischievous). It’s an important thing to be able to create a history for your parents, to hear what they were like as kids and what their families were like, even if, through the telling, it becomes a mixture of fact and fiction. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Stories from Childhood”