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Posts Tagged ‘Food’

After a vacation week spent celebrating, visiting family and getting much-needed sleep, our troupe wanted a gentle return to a regular routine. We made this wish a reality by creating a simple meal plan for the week. MP and DP have learned that a ready-made breakfast, lunch or dinner can make the whole day go more smoothly. Really! The kids get up later, but still make the bus. Everyone goes to work or school with a packed lunch. And in the evening, dinner is ready to go, which is a gift after a long day.

With this idea in mind, MP made baked oatmeal—our go-to, healthy(-ish) breakfast—on the last day of vacation. This dish is so simple to make. All you need is a few baking staples and your favorite fresh or frozen fruit on hand.

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Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and the busy weeks leading up to the holidays are just beginning, we focus on straightforward and satisfying weekly meals — crockpot chili, simple soups, hearty pasta dishes and quick stir fry-recipes.

Our friend Chef Watcharee Limanon adds to our easy, weeknight repertoire with her collection of delicious thai sauces. There’s a crowd-pleasing peanut sauce that is a great for chicken skewers and sticky brown rice. The flavorful Pad Thai sauce, which is new to Watcharee’s collection, is a favorite paired with rice noodles and veggies. And the Massaman and green curry sauces add a hint of spice that elevates any stir fry to restaurant quality.

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Ever since reading this cookbook, our family has worked hard to eat whole foods as often as possible. We’ve also given up weeknight desserts, and sip homemade smoothies or enjoy big bowls of fruit with fresh cream instead. Our new favorite treat is this easy frozen yogurt that you can make in a food processor. And all you need is four simple ingredients: the frozen fruit of your choice, whole milk yogurt, honey and lemon juice. That’s it!

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CP#1’s Girl Scout troop is working towards their commerce badge. To make it fun, the troop leaders organized a trip to Wilbur’s Chocolates in Freeport, where the girls would spend the afternoon learning about chocolate and how it’s made. MP, who is never one to turn down an opportunity for chocolate samples, decided to tag along.

Wilbur’s, which is located in an orange farmhouse on Route 1 called “The Pumpkin House,” has been in business since 1983. According to our tour guide, Tom and Catherine Wilbur started out with a retail store. Soon after, Tom began experimenting with chocolate making. The pair eventually made the decision to make and sell their own confections. The first chocolate Tom Wilbur developed is the iconic Wilbur’s moose, which is still sold at their shops today.

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Our patient tour guide for the afternoon.

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“The more ingredients in a packaged food, the more highly processed it probably is.” —Michael Pollan

In January, MP was browsing the new books at our library and came across a cookbook called 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake. The book caught MP’s interest for a few reasons. Like MP, Lisa is a blogger and mother of two, who enjoys cooking and baking. Lisa began her blog after watching a television interview with In Defense of Food author Michael Pollan. Pollan’s common sense thoughts on highly processed foods inspired Lisa to change her family’s eating habits for the better.

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Lisa Leake and her family. Photo courtesy of http://www.jsonline.com.

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Recently, our family had the opportunity to check out Moe’s Original Bar B Que in South Portland. Orono-native Dewey Hasbrouck first opened the popular franchise in Bangor in 2012, after he and his wife moved back to Maine from Alabama. Two years later, Bangor Metro Magazine named Moe’s the best barbecue in the region. We were intrigued by the promise of authentic, Alabama-style barbecue, which according to Dewey, features a signature, mayonnaise-based barbecue sauce. And unlike other franchises, everything on Moe’s menu is made from scratch every day. (more…)

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Our team had a quiet New Years Eve (DP was sick with a cold), so to make up for it, we planned a decadent New Years Day Celebration. MP made a creamy quiche au fromage, bacon, and our favorite marbled chocolate banana bread. We had a giant bag of oranges in the fridge, so the kids made fresh-squeezed orange juice and poured it into champagne glasses. When the food was nearly ready, CP#1 and MP rifled through an old dress-up box for crazy hats, leis, and noisemakers to add to the festivities. The result? A fun New Years Day brunch for the four of us.

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