Wednesday, July 31, 2013

HRH Prince George

I am partial to first born boys with the name George. And unlike some of the internet chatter, I think it is a perfect name for a baby, including the darling nickname, Georgie.

Here is Christy with some of her youngest cousins, including our George in the baseball cap.

My adorable mom, Hallie, had her first baby at age 17 (my oldest brother Tom), and her last when she was 38 (my youngest brother Tim). I was a senior in high school when Tim was born. That is a lot of years of faithfully raising kids. 

I loved having a young brother and we all love having young nieces and nephews. Tim and Holly, George, Henry, Harvey and Violet were just in Chicago twice ... as part of their 3 week road trip. Lucky us! 

So just like we were thrilled when our George was born, we welcome HRH Prince George into the world. I think all babies are a bit royal. (Psalm 127:3)

And, if you have welcomed a George into your family this year, contact Tetley Tea for a free year of ... our families favorite tea.

image credit: royal family, tetley tea

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Five Things That Inspire Me To Cook ... When I Do Not Feel Like It (part three)

It can happen to all of us ... a season where cooking just feels like too much, too boring, too anything. 

Today, I want to look at the third thing that inspires me to actually get in my pretty kitchen and start preparing something delicious to eat.

Tip #3: Find a few food blogs that match your style of cooking, or even ones that might be a little different and try a few new recipes. Food blogs are amazing. So creative and fun. Here are a few of my favorites.

One Perfect Bite is the first food blog that I ever read. Mary is a delight. She is an amazing cook, but also a food historian. You can impress your family with some great food, and entertain them with some fun facts. Mary also brings home wonderful recipes from her international travels. 

Do you remember these cookies that I have raved about several times on my blog? This delicious recipe and many more came from Pam's Midwest Kitchen Corner. I began reading Pam's blog when we still lived in Seattle and now we both have midwest kitchens. (Pam is on a summer blogging break and I look forward to her return in the Fall.)



I love From A Writer's Kitchen. Bonnie's blog combines two elements I enjoy ... she is a great cook and she is a great wordsmith.

I also love Bonnie. We are blogging friends that got out of our virtual worlds to get together several times. This summer I took the train to Indiana to spend the day with her.

A delicious Thai meal, a tour of the most beautiful library I have ever seen, (as chairman of the library board, Bonnie was instrumental in this project), enjoying pictures of our kid's weddings, and the wonderful  feeling that we could talk all day ... made it a perfect summer day for me.

This summer we cannot stop eating Chris' amazing Fresh Corn Salad. You will enjoy all the delicious recipes on The Cafe Sucre Farine, all beautifully photographed by her husband.

I was able to meet Chris when she came to Chicago for a wedding. We had so much in common. (we are both followers of Jesus, had daughters living in England, enjoy our husbands, share many favorite books, etc.) 

Well, there you have it ... a few of my favorite food blogs. What are your favorites?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Five Things That Inspire Me To Cook ... When I Do Not Feel Like It (part two)

Okay, so I am not the only one that has not been inspired to cook lately. I have been hearing from lots of you. 

My first tip for inspiration, was to watch some foodie movies. Did you watch any of my favorites?

My second tip, before you start shopping and chopping ... read some foodie books. Here are two that I recently finished and just loved.

Christy  introduced me to graphic novels and this is the first one I read. (think cartoons) Relish is a food-themed memoir ... that makes you want to fix some great food for your family.

Lucy grew up in a home that loved food. Her mom was a chef and a caterer. So she wraps the stories of her life around what she was eating. Fun. 

There is also a page of her favorite foodie spots in Chicago ... a few are right in my neighborhood.

This is another book that Christy shared with me, after she attended the book launch. I loved this book, both the stories and the recipes.

Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist, inspired me to make my own salad dressings. I have several cute jars on my counter for this purpose. Homemade dressings are so fresh and delicious and not full of sugar. Perfect.

Reading Bread and Wine makes me want to cook and to invite friends to share a meal around our table. 

I made Shauna's lasagna recipe and can't wait to try the bacon wrapped dates. 

Do you have any favorite foodie books?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Five Things That Inspire Me to Cook ... When I Do Not Feel Like Cooking (part one)

It has been awhile since I have written a blogging series and it has been awhile since I have really felt like cooking. 

I have made some delicious meals for company and
baked up a storm  for Daniel and Jenny's wedding, but it is the every day stuff that caused my husband to lament ... "why don't you make menus anymore?"

Thus, this series. And today is part one.

One thing that I do that inspires me to cook is ... watch great foodie movies.

I have a few favorites.

1. Julie & Julia

This Nora Ephron movie is taken from the autobiography of Julie Powell. Julie decides to cook through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Yes, every single recipe and she blogs about it. 

Not only does Julie learn how to cook but she discovers a lot about herself, too. 

The release of this movie with a brilliant performance by Meryl Streep as Julia Child, sparked a resurgence of wonderful cooking in kitchens across America.

2. No Reservations 

This sweet story revolves around the kitchen. It makes you want to buy your own really great knives, shop the farmers market for fresh food and start chopping. Amidst the great pasta are some good relationships, too.

3. Mostly Martha 

No Reservations is a remake of this beautiful movie. It takes a lovely Italian sous-chef to solve the problems between a headstrong chef and her stubborn niece. If you have never watched a film with subtitles, now is the time.

4. Ratatouille 

Okay, this is a kids animated film and it is adorable.
Cookbooks, a French restaurant, the Eiffel Tower, suspense, drama and a rat with a refined palate and a sensitive nose ... what else could you ask for? This movie will inspire you in your kitchen, even if you do not live in Paris.

So there you have it. Before you pull out your cookbooks ... watch a great foodie movie.

Do you have a favorite?

image credit: Julie & JuliaNo Reservations, Mostly MarthaRatatouille

Monday, July 8, 2013

Five Things That Inspire Me to Cook ... When I Do Not Feel Like Cooking (an introduction)

Do you ever ...

               *get in a cooking rut?

               *wait until 5:00 to see if there is
                 anything in your pantry or 
                 refrigerator that you could 
                 possibly call dinner?

               *have a pile of favorite cookbooks
                 that look pretty on the shelf in
                 your kitchen, but are just 
                 collecting dust?

                *stop by Chipotle, again?

This must be me lately, because Dave has asked me (more than once)... "Why don't you plan menus anymore?

Hmm ... this could be a problem. You know we have had a few things going on at our house lately, but I think it is time for me to start enjoying a fun season of preparing meals in my kitchen, ie. plan menus.

What is a girl to do? 

Well, I am going to start by writing a blog series "Five Things That Inspire Me to Cook ... When I Do Not Feel Like Cooking." 

See you Wednesday for part one.          

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