Sorry for the sudden absence. We just moved into our first home here in the UK and things didn’t work out very smoothly for us to get Internet. Plus it was also very difficult to get all that I needed to get done with a small baby. Funny how life has so quickly changed, things take so much longer to get done now. For example I put together an Ikea dresser, pre-baby this would have taken tops an hour, today it took three and a half hours. But no matter how crazy it is with a baby life presses on and it is up to us to find a way to keep going. I will be the first to admit that it has been a lot harder to get back into cooking then I had hoped it would be. So I have had to come up with little tricks to make things easier. One of those tricks is using times during the day that she is napping to do any prep work. For this Tofu Stir-fry I went ahead and prepped my tofu, veggies and even my sauce during the two short nap breaks I got one after lunch and the other one later on in the afternoon. Then when it was time for dinner I was able to just saute it all together. Now if I could just master the trick of getting my daughter to not be fussy at dinner time so I can eat it when it is hot, oh well re-heated dinner is also apart of a mum’s life.
So have you ever gotten a craving for a particular flavor, not just a food but a particular flavoring that could be satisfied in many different ways? I had that the other day when I started craving the taste of buttery cinnamon. At first my thought was to do a nice cinnamon roll but after finding a recipe for cinnamon roll pancakes, from the blog RecipeGirl, I decided to satisfy the craving with this unique breakfast item.
I grew up eating blackcurrants, so when I moved back to the states as a kid I was devastated to find that you can’t buy blackcurrants and that no one seemed to make anything flavored with it either. So it was been absolutely wonderful to be living in a country where they are so readily available and are used in so many things. But one thing I was surprised to find was that my family had never thought to make them in a muffin. Now that shouldn’t be too shocked as I have found that sweet muffins are a rather American tradition so it is not a common baked item to prepare but everyone was very keen on trying it. So I went ahead and used a basic blueberry muffin recipe and just substituted blackcurrants, making sure to add just a little bit more sugar then I would normally use to account for the tartness in the black currents. And no surprise here that the result was amazing.
The last part of my pregnancy was really hard, I just really wanted my baby to get here but she was stubborn and was late. One of the things that we decided to do to distract me from my overly pregnant state was go out to the pick-your-own farm and get some fresh berries. Twelve hours later interestingly enough after this very pregnant lady spent a few hours bending down picking strawberries and walking along bushes gathering other berries I went into labor. Maybe she smelled the delicious berries we were gathering and just had to come out to try some I am not really sure but I am glad she did decide to finally make her appearance. So now we have tons of large bags of a wide variety of berries in the freezer it is fun to come up with ways to use them. Strangely enough when I was pregnant I really didn’t want sweet things, but ever since this little one popped out my sweet tooth has been alive and kicking so this has made our berry reserve even more tantalising. One of the berries that we picked was one that I had never tried before, a tayberry, which looks a lot like a very large blackberry but has more similar characteristics to a raspberry. So I decided to play around with these berries for the first time and create an apple and tayberry crumble. Again focusing on ease because of the baby, a crumble is a fantastic way to enjoy the deliciousness of a desert without having to go through a lot of effort.
So I just had a baby, well two weeks ago I did. And I am amazed at how quickly my life changed when my little girl arrived. It doesn’t take long after you have had a baby to realize that everything is going to be different from now on. And one of the differences that was very evident early on was how little time I have to prepare meals let alone eat them. So my love for easy to prepare meals has increased significantly. But not just easy, the meals need to be weather appropriate. It is all well and good to have a bunch of crock pot recipes but when it is hot outside you just want something refreshing yet filling. This recipe for Taco Salad not only satisfies all of the requirements it is also a wonderful childhood memory as it was a dish my mom often prepared for us. The coolness of a salad is perfect for a hot day and yet it is filling enough to serve for a dinner. And because it only takes 10 minutes to prepare and is easy enough to eat quickly, or slowly in between feedings, it is perfect even for a busy new mom.