Thursday, February 11, 2016


~ capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~


I love this time of the year when we start to see fresh berries in the market again! We whipped up some Blackberry Honey Butter this weekend that made our waffles taste delicious and look beautiful.   


He wanted to go outside in the snow with the rest of the boys so badly! And I wanted to squeeze those stubby chubby legs of his so badly! 


When you live in a house of all boys, a cement truck is as close as you can get to a tea pot when mom decides she wants to have a tea party.


I seriously cannot get my head around the fact that Lent is here. To be honest, I feel a little guilty making my mom's Lentil & Swiss Chard Soup for dinner during Lent because it is just so delicious. 


Linking up with Like Mother Like Daughter today:


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Meatless Meals for Lent

Now that Ash Wednesday is here and Lent upon us, one of the things that has been on this little homemaker's mind is meatless meals. For me, the difficulty lies, not so much in finding recipes for meatless meals but rather in remembering them when I am trying to plan my menu. It actually sometimes amazes me how many of the dinners I serve in rotation have no meat but, again, when I actually sit down and try to think of them, my mind draws a blank! So, for my own personal use and for anyone else who may benefit, here are my five favorite meatless meals, specifically for Fridays during Lent:

1. Lentil & Swiss Chard Soup:

Growing up, my two least favorite dinners were Pea Soup and Lentil Soup. Then one day when I was in high school my mom found a new Lentil Soup recipe and it's been one of my favorites ever since.  This Italian Lentil Soup is very similar to my mom's tomato-based version, pictured above. I always serve it topped with parmesan cheese and with this Crusty Bread on the side for dipping.

Somehow serving eggs with polenta and vegetables makes them seem a lot less like breakfast and more like dinner. I was a bit skeptical the first time I tried this combination but believe me, the warm, cheesy polenta and fried eggs go together perfectly!

3. Quiche:

I love this quiche recipe because there are so many ways to change it up by simply varying the cheese and/or vegetable. Of course it's great for breakfast or lunch but served with a nice green salad it makes a great Lenten Friday dinner too.

4. Chef Salad:

Basically, to make a meatless salad that is filling enough to serve as dinner I toss every and any protein-rich ingredient I can think of {cooked quinoa, hard boiled eggs, feta, chick peas, pecans, sunflower seeds, whole wheat rotini, etc.} over a bed of greens, bake some sweet potatoes, biscuits, or bread to serve on the side and call it a meal. And somehow, everyone in my family loves this dinner! This Vegetarian Kale Salad looks similar to mine, just minus a few add-ins.

I make a lot of different soups but most of them contain either chicken or beef broth. Luckily this one, along with the Lentil & Swiss Chard Soup above, call for water, not broth so they are a perfect meatless options for Lent.


Linking up with Ashley today: 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Creamy Corn & Cauliflower Chowder

I actually feel a little twinge of guilt every time I serve this chowder because I'm the only one at the dinner table who knows that it contains cauliflower. 

It's not that I have anything against white potatoes but after stumbling upon this recipe from Cooking Classy {probably my favorite food blog} I decided to substitute it with cauliflower in order to create a chowder that is just as creamy but not as heavy. 

Well, it worked! The resulting chowder was thick, creamy, sweet and comforting - especially perfect for the snowy day we were enjoying.

I served this chowder with two different kinds of biscuits: Sweet Potato Biscuits and Corn & Cheddar Biscuits. Topped with homemade whipped butter and a drizzle of honey, they completed the meal perfectly making for a sweet and satisfying meal.

{Creamy Corn & Cauliflower Chowder}
*inspired by this recipe

10 oz. corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
1 c. fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
3 T. coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
3 T. whole wheat flour
4 c. water
1/2 c. whole milk
3 T. heavy cream
1/2 c. honey
salt & pepper
cheddar cheese, shredded {optional, for topping}

In a medium pot, bring cauliflower, 1 c. corn and 2 c. water to a boil. Cook until fork tender, 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat and cook onion until translucent, 3 - 5 minutes. Lower heat and whisk in flour, 1 1/2 minutes. Continue to whisk while slowly adding 2 c. of water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then add 6 c. of corn. Season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Transfer cooked cauliflower and corn to a blender and puree until smooth. Stir pureed cauliflower, spinach, milk, cream and honey into soup.  Return to light boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 10 minutes. 

Serve warm, topped with cheddar cheese and drizzled with honey.