This is going to be a pretty interesting winter for me as this will be the first year I have ever lived somewhere that actually has proper winters. I am both excited and nervous about the prospect of the experience. So in preparation for the cold weather I have been trying my hand at both new and old recipes that are perfect for cold days.
This particular one was a recipe I created years ago after trying something similar at a restaurant. It is so creamy and warm and the best part is as long as you have sweet onions the rest of the ingredients are pretty much stock items that you will probably have on hand any way. So it is a perfect soup to make up quickly when you have no idea what to do for dinner or even lunch.
Today is Thanksgiving and it is an extra special one for me, because not only is it the first year with my baby girl but it is also a first time for my fabulous in-laws to celebrate it with us (actually their first time ever) and my brother and my NEW sister-in-law to be. My brother proposed to her yesterday so today is a day filled with excitement and so many things to be grateful for. Now my sister-in-law is gluten-intolerant and I wanted to make sure that this year we had a meal for her that she could feel safe to have anything from the table. So the first thing I set out to create was gluten-free stuffing. I had never made cornbread without flour before but I figured that it would be to hard to find someone that had, so after an hour of research I found what seemed to be a fantastic recipe on the blog, Veronicas Cornucopia. Now not only did this turn out fantastic for my stuffing recipe but I also discovered a new blog that I love.
Once I had the cornbread it wasn’t too hard to throw together an amazing stuffing recipe that had everyone happy. So this year for Thanksgiving I am very thankful for wonderful family and for a wonderful feast that everyone can enjoy.
Last week I met up with a friend of mine who 5 weeks ago gave birth to two beautiful twin boys. She has struggled to breastfeed the boys and the doctor informed her that one of the reasons she has struggled is because she doesn’t have enough protein in her diet. You see she is a vegetarian and that is something that she has always struggled with, in fact during her pregnancy it got so bad that she had to start eating meat just to be able to keep up with providing her body with enough protein to help grow those little boys.
Now I remember what it was like when Morgan was 5 weeks old, so I can only begin to imagine how hard it must be for her with two, plus as her husband was way things were very stressful. So Chris and I decided that we would go over and give her a hand with the boys and provide a dinner that would help give her the protein she needed without having to compromise her diet.
Thankfully it didn’t take long to decide how to do that because it was a dish that was already on my menu for the week, Southwest Quinoa Salad a double dosage of protein goodness.
Southwest Quinoa Salad
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chili peppers, chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
My mom’s grandfather is originally from Scotland. While there aren’t many traditions from the MacLeod family still in our family today one has continued to be a tradition and the making of shortbread. I have so many wonderful memories of my mom baking these when I was growing up and now I am excited about eventually making these for my daughter.
Having family traditions is wonderful way to create a sense of identity. As our society becomes more and more multicultural it is important for us to not loose that sense of individuality. Whether it comes from old family traditions that can be traced back generations or just a simple family tradition that you started two years ago, having that helps us feel more secure in who we are. Helping to create a strong sense of comfort and nostalgia that we often lean to when we are adults. It’s something that your children will treasure when they are older, so if you have old family traditions or if you don’t, find something and make it your own special family tradition.
Four months ago my life changed in ways that even now I can’t quite grasp, I gave birth to the most precious, baby girl. She is the absolute apple of her mommy’s eye and occupies my every waking, and sleeping moments. And I have to say that it isn’t always easy to keep up with things like laundry, dishes, cooking and especially blog postings. Some how they all seem to fall along the wayside. I am not sure what I expected to happen with my time after having a baby, but I have to confess that I didn’t expect it to effect me this much. A baby takes so much time and attention away from the little things that you need to do during the day, that often times the whole day can go by without something productive happening. It is quite a change to have to get use to.
The other day I found myself looking through another persons food blog and I found myself feeling slightly intimidated by how amazing everything was. The writing was flawless, the photos put mine to absolute shame and their following was strong as it deserved to be so. I found myself thinking I could never complete with that and felt myself wanting to give up. Now sure maybe those thoughts were fueled by the higher amounts of hormones that seem to be pumping through my body these days but none the less it was something I had to work through. So I did have a long think about things, trying to figure out if I was giving my all to my work and if there was anything else I could do to improve. But you know what then the baby cried and I had to take care of her and then I realized something, sometimes as mums for some reason we think that we need to be perfect in all that we do. We need to have the perfect children, a clean house and just be all around amazing, super mums. But the truth of the matter is all we can do is give it our best and don’t expect any more then that. My blog might not be the best blog out there with the most stunning photography, but it is real and comes from my heart and that is all I can ask of myself.
So I want to challenge you, no matter where you are in your life, don’t expect more from yourself then you can give. All you can do is give it your best and let the rest fall away. Right now the most important job I have is taking care of my daughter everything else is gravy.