And She’s Back!

Yes, it’s been a while, and quite a lot has happened since my homage to Pat and Martha. A few triathlons, a half marathon, and going back to work full time to name a few. But I’ve missed this little blog, and have often thought about picking it back up. It seems that there are just too many other time-sucks out there… Facebook (littered with my foodie pictures), Twitter (I tried gamely to participate, but just couldn’t love it), and Pinterest (God love the genius who invented that!). Despite all the change around here, one thing has definitely stayed the same and should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me: I still LOVE food. I love to think about it, I love to cook it, and I definitely love to eat it! As the name of my blog implies, I still try and keep the food as local (and organic) as possible.

As it’s winter, there’s not a ton of locally available produce (that my kids – all 3 of them – willingly eat) at the moment, but I still source all my eggs, poultry, pork, and beef through local farms. It’s easier than you think to get the majority of your food locally, and not only is good for you, it’s great for your local economy. Now that’s change we can ALL believe in! I believe checking out of the industrial food chain is the healthiest choice you can make for you and your family. In the past few years, we’ve had very little sickness around here – and haven’t made a single sick visit to the pediatrician in over a year. (knock wood…).

Ok, stepping off my soapbox… back to the food.I want my kids to love and appreciate good food as much as I do. I cook virtually every night and we’ll sit down to a family meal most nights, depending on the kids activities. My son, as evidenced by previous posts in this blog, is a pretty adventurous eater. My daughter, not so much. In an effort to try and get them both (but mostly Erin) more excited about food, I’ve taken to global travel on a nightly basis. If I’m a bit forward thinking, I’ll ask early in the day what country the kids want to visit. If I’m a bit behind the eight-ball, I just tell them what country we’re in, or let them guess once the plate hits the table. So, over the course of many, many meals we’ve visited quite a few interesting places: China, India, Jamaica, France, Mexico, and the good old USA. I’ve pulled in a few photos to document our dinner table travels.

Stir-fried noodles from China – this is one of Erin’s favorites! Loaded with bean sprouts, carrots, and cucumbers and just a hint of ground pork. Other visits to China include Fried Rice, and Stir Fried chicken with celery (WAY better than it sounds), and the always popular, if slightly more labor-intensive, Hainan Chicken (pictured 2nd). You can find the recipes I use here: Stir Fried noodlesStir fried chicken with celery,  Hainan Chicken

We took a visit to Greece through this Grilled Halibut with Fennel Tsatsiki (ok, it’s only the Tsatsiki that makes it Greek…) I served with some white rice and grilled vegetables. Grilled Halibut with Fennel Tsatsiki

India is a favorite of Josh’s. Our most recent visit had us eating Butter Chicken. I’m more fond of the Chicken Tikka Masala that I’ve made, but I can’t find the picture! However, this is one of the quickest, easiest, and tastiest ways to eat Indian! Indian Butter Chicken

Normally when we visit Mexico, it’s on Taco Friday, Josh’s favorite day of the week! But on occasion I’ll branch out from Tacos (no, I don’t use the McCormick seasoning packet), and try something else, like these Enchiladas. I think I used a recipe from Cooks Illustrated, but can’t recall. Besides, you have to pay to get most recipes off of their website. Boo. Hiss.

One of my favorite dishes from France, and a perfect winter meal… Daube de Boeuf aux Carottes.

That’s beef stew with carrots. And a whole lot of red wine! Your best bet when making this dish is to get a whole chuck roast, about 3-4lbs and cut it down yourself rather than using pre-cut stew meat. I like to serve it over mashed potatoes with a side of roasted broccoli. Beef stew with carrots and red wine

And finally, every once and again I keep it ‘local’ and cook something fundamentally American. One of the kids’ favorites is Chicken and Dumplings. Recently, and for the very first time, I fried chicken. I took a whole (locally raised) chicken and cut it into it’s various parts and fried it up. My house smelled like Kentucky Fried Chicken, but it was darn good. I also kept a fire extinguisher handy…
I don’t think I need to post a recipe. Take chicken parts, soak in buttermilk, coat with flour, fry.
One of my goals for 2012 is to try and keep this blog going. Not because I think so many people are just dying to hear about what I’m cooking and eating, but more so as an outlet for pretty much the only creative pursuits I can credit myself with: Cooking and writing. And perhaps I’ll manage to think about something other than food and write about some other topics on this blog. But in the meantime, if anyone has some suggestions for other countries I can visit with my family at the dinner table, please suggest away!
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