May 2012

Strawberry Season

May 31, 2012

by Margaret Cabaniss

I love strawberries. I think I hate picking strawberries. This might be a problem.

Every year when spring rolls around, I start counting down the days until strawberry season opens. I picture myself leisurely picking plump, gorgeous berries in the beautiful spring weather, loading crate after crate of perfectly ripe beauties that I can bring home for mere pennies (compared with those flavorless approximations of “strawberries” you pay exorbitant prices for at the grocery store).

The reality is more like what happened last Saturday: I get to the patch and immediately start melting because it’s already blazing hot at 9 in the morning; I crouch and shuffle through the tiny rows, my knees and back screaming at me because apparently I’m an old lady already; I pick for what feels like hours but in reality is more like 20 minutes, and I haven’t even covered the bottom of one bucket — and then my four-year-old nephew has the audacity to eat them as fast as I can pick them.

I may not be cut out for strawberry picking after all. (Maybe I just need to stick to blueberries?) I will say this: The experience makes me never want to complain about the price of fresh produce again. I really should be thankful that I can stroll down to the farmers’ market anytime and hand over a few bucks for the privilege of eating the same beautiful berries, minus the whining that would happen if I had picked them myself.

Instead, I’m turning my attention to all the lovely things I can do with those berries right now. Top on the list might be these strawberry and moonshine fried pies, spotlighted in the latest issue of Garden & Gun. I mean, I can’t even:

Strawberry shortcake is always a classic, of course. I like Mark Bittman’s recipe for these traditional shortcakes — slightly sweet and crumbly, they’re more like a biscuit than sponge cake, and all the better for it:

Strawberry jam is also topping the list. Ann, my sister, and I had huge success canning strawberry jam last year, and we’re hoping for a repeat performance when we get together next week. I’ll be sure to share a progress report:

This is only scratching the surface, of course, but it should be enough to get me started. Have any favorite strawberry recipes of your own? Share, please!

Image 3 by Johnny Autry for Garden & Gun; all others by Margaret Cabaniss

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How To Be Cool

May 30, 2012

Po Cooling Off

This is my view at the moment, when I look up from my computer screen: our little friend Napoleon trying to cool himself down on our old wood floors. I feel his pain — it’s too hot here in Maryland already! I’m usually prepared to wilt during July and August, but here we are at the end of May and it’s already barely tolerable outside. It looks like I’ll need to pull out my cool-down tricks a little sooner than I thought. Here are some of the things I’ll be turning to over the next few months when temps are raging:

Cold showers

Really, is there any substitute when you need a fast cool-down? When my toes won’t curl because the humidity has blown them up beyond recognition, the only solution is to throw myself into a cold shower. Funny thing is, half the time it doesn’t end up being super cold, because the ground water is so warm. But it’s enough to return me to some degree of normalcy.

Homemade lemonade

Just last night, I grabbed a lemon, squeezed it, and added some ice, water, and honey — voila, a quick lemonade! For an extra yummy version, however, I’m definitely turning to Ann’s lemonade with a twist as soon as I can get my hands on a big bunch of basil. Have you tried it? You must.

Iced coffee

Do you remember Mags’ post last summer about the perfect iced coffee? I’m not even a coffee drinker, but it’s the best treat in the summer. For the dummy version, I stick a cup of brewed coffee (Counter Culture roasts my favorite beans) in the fridge to cool down. Then I simple pour it over ice, add cream and agave nectar, and I’m all set. Not as special as Mags’ version, but in a pinch, it definitely works.

White garments

I love white clothes, but they don’t like me — mainly because I stain every white thing that I wear, no matter how hard I try not to. But in hot weather, I break out the white anyway — white tanks, tees, blouses, and flowy linen skirts. Actually, I don’t own a flowy white skirt; that sounds way too dangerous. But I might have to make an exception if things get crazy hot around here.

Spicy foods

Counter-intuitive, right? It’s basically the homeopathic principle that like cures like. In many warm-weather countries, spicy foods are served because they make you perspire — and perspiration, when it evaporates, causes the body to cool. Although hot weather makes me crave simple, fresh meals, I do sometimes like  to order (or make) some spicy Thai, Mexican, Indian, or Ethiopian and see if I can sweat out some of the heat.

Crisp cotton sheets

High-quality, crisp, cotton sheets can really make you feel cool at night. For some reason, they also have to be light-colored; dark sheets make me feel warm. That may be psychological, but we know that color — or at least our perception of it — affects our emotional state. When I see white or light-colored sheets, I feel cooler. Now, if I could just pay someone to regularly iron our sheets, that would make them extra awesome.

Cooling herbs

There are various herbs that have a reputation for being cooling — mint, lemon verbena, cilantro, and parsley, to name a few. They are great additions to salads, drinks, and side dishes in hot-weather months. One of my favorite things to make is salsa with all the gorgeous tomatoes that come into season and plenty of fresh cilantro. I’ve also been adding a lot of mint and parsley to my green shakes lately.

Gin & tonic

I love a good cocktail on a steamy summer night, but a gin and tonic made with Hendrick’s (or a small-batch artisanal gin) is the quintessential hot weather drink. I’ve been using Q tonic water, which is not cheap, but if you only treat yourself every now and then, it’s worth it. A little bit of fresh lime juice with a lime wedge on the glass is the necessary touch.

And last but not least:

Spend the next three months in Nova Scotia

This is my dream — to spend summers in Nova Scotia at our cottage, where typical summer temps are mid-high 70s and I can swim at our own private beach in the warm Northumberland Strait and eat fresh veggies from my mum’s garden. Sadly, I’m not sure I’ll get there this year, but I’ll be living vicariously through all of my siblings and their kids — and dreaming about my next visit.

You know, I think I just got a bit cooler writing all of this down. What are your favorite ways to beat the heat?

Images: Zoe Saint-Paul. For the record, no brands listed above paid me to mention them here — I just like these products and wanted to share them with you.

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Green Faux Pas

May 29, 2012

Paper Towels

I have a long way to go before I can ever say my lifestyle is totally energy-efficient and green. There are no solar panels on our roof, and I’ve not yet been able to figure out how to compost, given the limitations of our space both inside and outside. But I do try do build little things into our daily routine whenever I can: Almost all of our cleaning supplies, shower and bath products, and detergents are environmentally friendly. We recycle (though I’m never sure how green that actually ends up being). We try to limit waste, pay attention to our water use, and turn off lights. We’ve switched to energy-efficient appliances whenever an old one has broken down. We bring our own bags to the grocery store, and I reuse and re-purpose whenever I can.

The one thing I can’t seem to change, however, is my use of paper towels; it’s my big green faux pas. I find them terribly useful for pretty much everything. I know that many people have switched to cloth as a substitute — and I have some, in the form of rags and old dish towels, but whenever I try using them in place of paper towels, I end up with mounds of laundry. That’s a problem for us, since we currently have to keep our laundry to a minimum until we can have a new washer and dryer installed. Besides, even if we did completely switch over to cloth, is using all that water and electricity actually more green than throwing away paper towels? I’m not sure. (If you know, I’d love to hear it.)

I always feel a bit guilty about my paper-towel use, but I still haven’t figured out a solution that works for us right now. What about you: Is there a green-unfriendly habit you can’t seem to kick?

Image: Zoe Saint-Paul

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Memorial Day

May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

I was looking for an appropriate quote about sacrifice to post today in memory of the lives we honor, and I stumbled on this great one by Charles Dickens:

The important thing is this: to be ready at any moment to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.

I love that. Hope you’re enjoying a happy Memorial Day wherever you are!

Image: Zoe Saint-Paul

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Zoe's Granola

Not long ago, Mags posted her favorite granola recipe. I’d been wanting to try it, but I also had a hankering to make my sister Sarah’s recipe, which I love but couldn’t find. So I came up with a solution: combine what I remembered from both of them. It’s granola, how could it go wrong? I thought. And it turned out superbly. I didn’t even burn it this time! Now, if I’d just kept track of precisely what I did, I’d have my own signature granola recipe to share with you today. I’ll try to do better next time, friends.

On an entirely different subject, there was some recent discussion among my contributors about the latest parenting trend: the gender reveal party. This is where mom and dad find out their unborn child’s gender and plan a big event to let everyone know. Here’s one where they really went all out. I suppose it’s good to use any excuse to gather friends and celebrate life. What do you think — are gender reveal parties a sweet trend or a bit much? Or does it all depend on how its done?

Yay for the long weekend ahead! It’s my first in a long time to get some down time, and I already have too many projects planned. It’s going to be hot here in Baltimore, so running around in the sprinkler out back might be on the agenda. This is when I wish I had children — they’d give me an excuse to do things like that and not incur the judgement of neighbors. Hope your weekend is a safe and happy one!

Have a slow weekend, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Image: Zoe Saint-Paul

 

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by Margaret Cabaniss

Last week I showed you guys the invitations I put together for my sister’s book-themed baby shower, and you could not have said nicer things about them. In fact, everyone was so complimentary that I started worrying the actual party wouldn’t live up to the hype. (I always forget: Gotta keep those expectations low…)

The preparations got a little hairy here and there last week, but I’m happy to say that, with plenty of help from my mom and sisters (and a last-minute assist from SlowMama extraordinaire Ann), everything came together beautifully. I was so busy playing hostess and caterer and decorator that I wasn’t able to get very many pictures of everything all pulled together, but I was able to snap a few shots of some of the details in between clearing plates and icing cupcakes.

Obviously, the decorations started with the books. I put a pile of old classics on a console by the front door (pictured above), and we scattered others on shelves throughout the dining and living rooms, along with some wooden alphabet blocks. It was fun watching people rediscover books they hadn’t thought about since childhood:

My book wreath had to make an appearance, of course, and I found an excuse to include some buntings, too:

I picked up a book at Goodwill on Shakespeare and the Globe Theater, which was full of lovely watercolor illustrations that were perfect for the bunting. My nephew actually got a hold of the book before I started cutting it up, and he immediately became engrossed; I felt so guilty about pulling it apart that I ordered a second copy on eBay for him to read. (Apparently destroying books is a good way to discover them.)

One of the touches I was most proud of was this little station we set up with a manual typewriter and library-card book plates. For the book plates, I simply scaled down the original invitation template and printed them on sticker paper. We typed up a little message inviting guests to write a note for mother and baby on a book plate, which they could then put inside one of the many books she received as gifts at the shower. That way, Jen will remember all those lovely people at her party every time she pulls a book off the shelf:

In case you’re wondering, that pen holder is an empty aluminum can that I covered with — you guessed it — old book pages (the same ones we used for the invitations). I just washed it out (being careful to check the lip for sharp edges), removed the old label, and painted a layer of Mod Podge on the can and then on top of the paper. We used a couple more on the food table as utensil holders:

Speaking of the food: This was probably the biggest hit of the party. I wanted the menu to correspond to the book theme, but I didn’t want to do anything too obvious or corny — and above all I wanted it to be a cohesive meal that people would actually enjoy eating.

In the end, I decided to go with items that related to certain children’s books without getting too literal about it. We had spinach quiche and ham biscuits (for Green Eggs and Ham), an arugula salad with lemon-shallot vinaigrette (The Tale of Peter Rabbit), a mango honeydew fruit salad (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), blueberry scones (Blueberries for Sal), pains au chocolat (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and some lemon-curd cupcakes for dessert (which I decided related to “Little Miss Muffet” if I stretched it a little).

Rather than label all the items that way, though, we decided to turn it into a game: Each dish on the table had a card next to it with a quote from its corresponding children’s book (printed out in the same typewriter font we used on the invitations), and guests had to write down the name of the book and its author. Green Eggs and Ham was a snap, of course, but things got a little trickier with some of the more obscure books.

It ended up being my ideal shower game: something low-key and quick-moving that didn’t involve baby-food taste tests. We had a great crowd for it, too, with lots of book fans and plenty of young moms who could probably recite The Very Hungry Caterpillar in their sleep. The winner got a copy of A Book-Lover’s Diary, which I was sorely tempted to keep for myself.

The cupcakes were gone before I was able to snap a picture, sadly. I did a variation on this lemon layer cake from Smitten Kitchen — a “variation” because I made cupcakes instead of a layer cake (just to keep everything easy to serve), and also because in the end I had to switch out the homemade cake for (gulp) a box mix when my first batch utterly failed for some mysterious reason. I used a small melon baller to remove a little scoop of the baked cupcake when they were cooled, filled the space with lemon curd, and covered them all with a lemon buttercream frosting. They were absurdly delicious.

Because we went with lemon curd in the cupcakes, I decided to make some extra so I could give it away as favors. I’ve already mentioned how I prefer favors you can eat or use up right away; these little four-ounce jelly jars were the perfect size to give everyone a little lemon curd for the road. My sister traced the lids on the same paper we’d been using in the other decorations and cut out the circles to place on top of the jars:

Finally, if you happen to have one lying around, I recommend bringing an adorable baby or two to round out the decorations and really drive home the cuteness factor:

So I think that’s everything. This was far and away the most theme-y party I’ve ever thrown, and I actually enjoyed that part of it much more than I thought I would. Something about babies and baby showers seems like it can support a little extra preciousness (in the way of matching your invitations to your book plates to your favors to seriously what was I thinking) without getting too saccharine. I imagine that the stacks of ancient books everywhere probably helped keep it from tipping too far into cutesy territory as well…

At any rate, the guest of honor declared it the best baby shower she had ever attended, which is really all that matters. If I have spoiled all other baby showers for her forever, then my work here is done!

Images: Margaret Cabaniss

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John French with Daphne Abrams (1957)

Whenever I want to feel confident — like in a job interview or giving a talk — I usually reach for a tailored jacket (or suit) and shoes with a heel. For some reason, when I wear these things I feel more in control and sure of myself.

It’s long been known that clothing affects how other people perceive us, but a new study — posted on The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology’s website — concludes that what we wear affects our own cognitive processes, too. Researchers at Northwestern University studied “embodied cognition” — the effects of clothing on thinking. They discovered that if you put on a white coat you believe belongs to a doctor, your ability to pay attention sharply increases. But if you put on the same white coat and believe it belongs to a painter, you won’t show the same improvement. (Sorry, painters. Unfair, I know.)

“We think not just with our brains but with our bodies,” [said Dr. Galinsky, one of the researchers], “and our thought processes are based on physical experiences that set off associated abstract concepts. Now it appears that those experiences include the clothes we wear.”

Fascinating, don’t you think? Generally, it just seems true that if you wear something that makes you feel a certain way, you’re more prone to think and act that way.

You can read the entire article here. Have you noticed this phenomenon in your own life?

Image of John French with Daphne Abrams, TV Times (1957), found here 

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by Ann Waterman

Lost in all the brouhaha over the now-famous (or infamous, depending on your take) TIME magazine cover about attachment parenting and extended breastfeeding is the struggle many women face simply trying to breastfeed at all. Nursing can be a disappointing, painful experience if you don’t get the support or help you need to foster a healthy breastfeeding relationship with your baby. Discerning how long you should breastfeed — 6,12, 18 months or more — is irrelevant when you can’t even get your baby to latch on correctly.

I was always comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding. My mom spoke positively about her own experience nursing, and when I was pregnant with my first child, there was no question about whether I’d breastfeed or bottle-feed: That child was going to be 100% nourished by me.

In my head, I had it all worked out: Baby would be born, baby would be put on breast, baby would stuff himself silly with breast milk. But the reality of breastfeeding for me turned out quite differently. Something that seemed so natural didn’t come naturally to me at all. No amount of reading could prepare me to get an unwieldy, often half-asleep newborn latched on to my breast — and when I did, I could never tell if he was latched on properly. I mean, he seemed to be, but my nipples were sore and bleeding; meanwhile, all the books said nursing shouldn’t hurt, and if it did, to check the latch.

I went to the lactation class at the hospital and asked for the consultants to stop by, but it would take them hours to check in — and by the time they did, my baby was sleeping or had just finished a torturous (for me, at least) nursing session. The nurses tried to help me, but neither had nursed babies themselves and they weren’t trained to troubleshoot nursing problems. I left the hospital figuring I just needed to tough it out. Even when I brought it up with my son’s pediatrician, she said it was simply my nipples adjusting to nursing — and to check that latch.

After three weeks of tears and toe-curling pain — a term I never fully appreciated until then — whenever my husband brought my son to me to feed, I finally decided I needed help. I was bound and determined not to give my baby formula — after my unexpected C-section, I desperately wanted something to go the way I planned — but something had to change. I was miserable and wasn’t enjoying the mother-infant feeding relationship that was supposed to be so fulfilling.

Relief finally came by way of a lactation consultant I hired to come to my home to help resolve my breastfeeding issues. I was hesitant to spend the money at first, but I figured that, in the end, the cost would be a drop in the bucket compared with the expense of formula. From the moment I spoke to the lactation consultant on the phone — blubbering through half the conversation — I instantly began to feel better and hopeful that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I had an hour and a half of uninterrupted, one-on-one time with someone who believed in my ability to breastfeed and was able to show me the correct breastfeeding mechanics to achieve that elusive latch.  After another follow-up visit, I was on my way to a wonderful nursing relationship with my son that created some of my most cherished memories of him as a baby.

My own nursing woes have made me much more sympathetic to women who struggle to breastfeed and sometimes throw in the towel because they just can’t make it work. It breaks my heart that they don’t always get the support they need or know where to turn. While some women are physically unable to nurse (or may choose not to nurse for whatever reason), most nursing problems can be effectively resolved with guidance from an experienced person who is patient and supportive. If you’re hoping to breastfeed or know someone who’s struggling, these are some of the best breastfeeding resources I’ve found:

La Leche League — If I hadn’t been been recovering from a C-section (and therefore in no shape to leave the house), I probably would have headed over to a La Leche League (LLL) meeting for help. LLL is an international support network for breastfeeding mothers. When I was having some engorgement issues with my second child, I contacted their telephone hotline for help. Withing minutes, I received a call from an LLL team member — an experienced, nursing mother herself — who helped answer some of my questions. Just speaking to another woman who’s been what you’ve been through can be a huge help. LLL provides in-person support at meetings, online support with information and interactive forums, and over-the-phone help, too.

KellyMom — If I have a question about any nursing-related issue, no matter how obscure, this is the first place I turn. Whether it’s milk blebs (that word always makes me giggle) or an explanation for why your cholesterol numbers are off the charts when you’re nursing (and consequently shouldn’t have it checked — as I made the mistake in doing — until you’re done nursing), KellyMom has answers.

International Lactation Consultant Association — As I learned, in-hospital breastfeeding support isn’t always enough; sometimes, one-on-one attention in your home with a certified lactation consultant can make the difference between giving up out of frustration and having a successful nursing experience. If you’ve had a C-section or a particularly difficult labor or recovery, at-home assistance is a godsend. A pre-paid session with a lactation consultant is a great gift for a first-time mom who wants to try breastfeeding her baby.

What was your first breastfeeding experience like? Did you get the hang of it right away, or did you struggle? If you struggled, where did you turn for help, and what are your favorite nursing resources?

Images: Ann Waterman

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Baltimore Spring

A lot of people have asked why our adoption referral is taking so long. It’s a good question, and rather than give my usual pat answer of “it’s complicated,” I thought I’d give a fuller explanation. (You might want to grab your favorite beverage and settle in for a bit.)

Adoption is rarely a straightforward process, and international adoption in particular is prone to many glitches and complications. Is this unfortunate? Yes. The adoption process needs mega reform. But that’s another topic for another day.

Most countries with children available for adoption are ravaged by poverty, disease, war, famine, and unstable governments. All of these factors greatly affect how children come to be relinquished for adoption, as well as the effectiveness and consistency of a country’s adoption system.

In our case, we chose Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s adoptions exploded about 5-6 years ago; popular countries like Guatemala and Vietnam had closed due to ethical problems, China had significantly slowed down, and South Korea was gradually fading out their international adoption program. Ethiopia was an ideal alternative for wannabe parents: It has relatively relaxed requirements (for example, it accepts singles and doesn’t have age maximums or BMI and net worth requirements), costs are lower, and the children generally receive good care in small, nurturing orphanages (compared to the institutional care in countries like Russia and China).

So western adoption agencies rushed into Ethiopia, which didn’t have the infrastructure in place to handle such rapid growth. This is a country where birth certificates aren’t commonly issued, records aren’t shared, communication with outlying villages (where most children come from) is spotty, bribes and deals aren’t easily detected, and paperwork takes a lot of time to process. Add to this the fact that electricity is either non-existent (in the countryside) or intermittent (in the city), as well as the various cultural issues that affect adoption, and it can get very complicated.

We started this process almost four years ago and were officially placed on the waiting list two and a half years ago. We were told by our agency to expect a 12-18 month wait from start to finish. At the time, that was considered a long wait.  Here are the reasons it’s gone longer than that, with no end in sight:

Ethiopia’s adoptions have drastically slowed down. 

Until about six to eight months ago, close to 80% of adoptions came from the southern part of the country — the Sidama region. Adoptions from that region have essentially come to a standstill due to changes at the local government level and numerous orphanage closures. This has created a systematic slowdown in referrals. In addition, the Ethiopian courts are requiring more paperwork to ensure children are being properly relinquished. This is a good thing, and we applaud every effort to reform the adoption process, but it means fewer adoptions.

There are now higher levels of scrutiny by the U.S. State Department.

This additional factor is ultimately good as well, because it’s essential that the children being adopted are truly available and in need of adoption. Again, however, it means adoptions slow down because higher levels of scrutiny put more demands on agencies, orphanages, and local government officials.

We’re adopting a young sibling group.

We decided four years ago to adopt a sibling group. There were a number of reasons for this: We didn’t want to raise an only child. We didn’t think it was fair for a child to have no one else in the family who looked like him or her. And we didn’t want to go through this arduous and expensive process twice. As time has gone on, we’ve only grown more sure of this latter decision, and the others still remain true.

It just so happens, however, that young sibling groups are less predictable. An orphanage may have a number of young sibling groups come into their care at once and then not see any for a year or more.

We also requested children under the age of four. As first-time parents, we strongly desire to experience as many developmental stages as possible, and we wanted to avoid dealing with schooling issues right away. We also know that the older the child is, the more difficult their transition can be. However, most children available for adoption are over the age of six — and often older than that. (A big part of me was actually hoping we’d find it in us to eventually go back a second time and adopt an older child, but this first time it seemed right to go younger.)

Our agency is trying to do things right (as far as we can tell).

Our agency is doing more investigation up front on each child to make sure all the paperwork is accurate, and this takes time. They are also unwilling to enter into a fee-per-child arrangement with orphanages — a practice that can discourage orphanage staff from doing everything possible to keep children with birth families, which can lead to unethical situations. Other agencies are willing to do this, however, which means it’s harder for our agency to find like-minded orphanage directors to work with. It’s so important to us that our adoption is ethical — that our children really need us to be their parents — so we prefer to stay with our agency than to switch to one we don’t trust as much.

So those are some of the main reasons our adoption is taking so long. It’s hard to know what will happen. We could get a referral tomorrow, or we may need to revisit our decisions this year and take another path.

All of this will be on my mind a lot this week, since my friend Kelly and her husband Craig are in Ethiopia today. They live here in Baltimore, and Kelly and I have gone through this journey together, supporting each other and commiserating along the way. She was one month ahead in the wait and finally got a referral a few weeks ago. Kelly and Craig are wonderful people and have waited forever to be parents; I couldn’t be more thrilled that they’re finally in Ethiopia meeting their baby daughter!

If you’ve got any questions about this crazy adoption ride, please free to ask them in the combox.

Image: Zoe Saint-Paul

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Kale Salad

Alissa shared a fantastic-looking recipe for kale pesto on Tuesday, and while we’re on the topic, I thought I’d tell you how much I’ve been digging another kale recipe — this one by Heidi Swanson in her newest cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. (Heidi, by the way, just won a prestigious James Beard Award for that beautifully shot book.) Here’s the recipe:

Kale Salad

by Heidi Swanson, Super Natural Every Day

  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
  • 3 1/2 c lightly packed kale leaves, large ribs removed, torn into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 c unsweetened large flakes coconut (I used finely shredded)
  • 2 c cooked farro, or another grain

Preheat the oven to 375. Place the olive oil, sesame oil, and shoyu sauce in a small jar with a lid and shake together. Add shredded coconut to the torn kale leaves and toss with the oil mixture. Spread it out on a cookie sheet and roast it in the oven for approximately 12 minutes. Then mix it with the cooked farro (have you ever had farro? It’s one of my favorite grains)with a bit more olive oil and you’re good to go. Super healthy and yummy! The kale by itself was delicious; it can be eaten like chips. I bet kids would dig it.

Got anything good cooking in the kitchen this weekend? Or any exciting plans? I don’t know about you but my weeks feel like they’re flying by too quickly these days. Sometimes I wish I could grab the hands of the clock and stop them from moving, just for a while.

Here are some items that caught my eye this week:

Have a slow weekend and see you back here on Monday!

Image: Zoe Saint-Paul 

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