>Welcome to my life, in recipes

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As you may have noticed by that widget over there on the right-hand side of the page, I have entered myself in a little competition called Project Food Blog.  It’s me and about 1800 of my closest food-blog friends, all competing to be the “next food blog star.”
It’s weird – I’ve never had much of a competitive bent.  However, when Foodbuzz announced this competition, I felt compelled to enter.  For some reason, the idea of taking on a series of challenges related to food and blogging seemed like it would be fun.  I have to admit, I’ve really enjoyed visiting the other contestants’ blogs and seeing what their individual points of view might be.  I think that’s what I like so much about food blogs – the diversity in tastes and experiences is remarkable.
That being said, I entered this competition to win – to convince the judges, and you the reader, that I deserve to be the NEXT FOOD BLOG STAR.  I encourage everyone to go and register (for free) at foodbuzz.com – you don’t have to be a food blogger to do so, and they have some great resources: family bites, healthbuzz, winebuzz – there’s something for everyone.  You have to be registered with them to vote, so click right on over and sign up. Voting opens on September 20, so make sure you mark your calendars (and don’t worry – I’ll be sure to send a gentle reminder).  And if you feel like it, which I’m sure you do, VOTE FOR ME!  The grand prize is $10,000 (and who couldn’t use that) and a feature section on the foodbuzz.com website for one year.
So, here’s the deal – I’m not classically trained, I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not a health-food junkie, and I’m certainly not a professional cook, chef or baker.  What I am is passionate about my family and about good food.  The fact that I get to write about those two things on a regular basis is simply a bonus.
The title of this blog came about as a result of my own experiences with food growing up.  All of my fond childhood memories revolve around food.  I have a tendency to associate particular events in my life with certain foods – happy summers in the country with my grandparents = barbecue pork and lemon meringue pie;  the first thing I learned to cook when I was in college = my grandmother’s spaghetti sauce; the first meal I cooked for my husband = corned beef and cabbage.  My life, to some extent, is framed by a series of recipes.  And now, I look to provide that same sense of comfort and nourishment for my own family.
What you’ll find here are recipes, adaptations and things I’ve thrown together in an effort to feed my children, my husband, and sometimes our friends and extended family.  Alongside the food, you might catch a glimpse of our life: my children’s birthdays, an anniversary, a simple family dinner all become fodder for your consumption. 
I try to be honest about what my kids like and don’t like.  For instance, my 5-year-old truly does love broccoli, but has issues with lentils and other legumes.  He’s a pretty adventurous eater, but like most children has a tendency to change his tastes as often as he changes his favorite super-hero (which is quite often).  The deal in our house is that you have to at least try everything that’s put in front of you.  Generally, we have a four-bite rule (you have to take at least that many bites of something before you can be excused).  We also don’t believe in making something else for him to eat if he doesn’t like what we put in front of him.  If he’s truly hungry, he’ll eat it.  And, he’s not going to starve if he doesn’t get full on one meal.  I can’t say that meal-time is always pleasant, but at least it’s consistent.

 I also do my best to avoid processed foods.  I do admit to occasionally falling back on that blue box of macaroni and cheese when I’m at a loss for anything else, but those times are becoming fewer and further between.  I believe that going back to eating the way our ancestors did, even as recently as 40 or 50 years ago, is the key to getting our society back on a healthful track.

Somehow, through the magic and genius of marketing, we’ve all been convinced that we need those pre-packaged and processed “convenience” foods to survive.  I’m here as living proof that this is not true.  I work full time, and I still manage to get dinner on the table for my family most nights before 6:30 p.m.  I rely a lot on quick-cooking grains like quinoa and  cous-cous that can be easily mixed with fresh vegetables and served with a protein on the side (we eat a lot of chicken breasts and fish filets).

More recently, I’ve become attuned to the importance of buying local and organic/natural when possible.  I’m still a pretty frugal (read: cheap) person, so I have a hard time justifying the expense of it; but I also believe strongly in supporting our local economy, which includes local growers and farmers, so I’m trying to make it more of a priority. 

All of this to say I am a real mother with real children who is doing her best to raise them with an appreciation for where their food comes from, why healthy choices are important, and how those choices can positively affect their lives and their well-being.  I’m certainly not perfect, and there are plenty of times when I succumb to shortcuts, but that’s what makes this even more real.  What’s important is that I keep trying to improve, and I hope I can encourage others to do the same.  As parents we have an obligation to provide the best possible future for our children, and I believe that starts in the home, in the kitchen, and in the heart.

Welcome to my life, in recipes.

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12 thoughts on “>Welcome to my life, in recipes

  1. >Congrats on getting dinner on the table by 6:30! I am horrible with timing, no matter how simple or quick the meal. You have a great philosophy on feeding young kids. I struggle with mine daily. Good luck with Project Food Blog.

  2. >Great entry, I believe pretty much in the same food philosophy as you and I enjoyed reading about a like minded person. Best of luck in the challenge!

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