Nourishment Lately 2.9.16

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{We always get pretty sunsets, this night especially so. 2.3.16}

Hi everyone, I hope that your weekend was wonderful!

Before I get into today’s Nourishment Lately post, I wanted to mention something that my mom brought up to me about this new series. She asked me how she would find a recipe that I linked to in one of these posts that she didn’t save otherwise. She asked, for example, how she would find the baked steel cut oatmeal recipe that I linked to last Monday, if she wanted that recipe in a few weeks, and forgot which post it was in. Great point and great question, mom!

So, I have done a couple of things to make that an easier process. So that in a few weeks, when you are looking for that great oatmeal recipe, you can find it easily, without aimlessly scrolling through post after post!

First, I made a ‘Nourishment Lately’ tab on the top menu. When you look up at the top of this page, you will see NOURISHMENT LATELY listed right after HOME and ABOUT (as seen in the image below).

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If you click on that, you will see a running list of each post that I do in this series, with a brief summary of the recipes that were linked to in each (as seen in the image below). That way it is not a complete guessing game as to which post you are looking for.

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Second, you can go to my Pinterest page, where I have created a Nourishment Lately board, to which I will pin all of the recipes that I link to in these posts. That way, you can easily scroll through that board, find the photo of the recipe that you are looking for, click on it and there you go!

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I hope that this makes things easier for all!

And now, onto this week’s nourishment. This week, I’m focusing on some of my favorite wintertime dinners. The recipes below are ones that are, for me, tried and true and ones that are a really good representation of what we eat for dinner in the winter.

Spiced lentil soup with coconut milk. I just love, love this soup. This recipe has been a winter dinner staple for years, and I have to say that it is one of my all time favorite meals. This soup makes me feel good in so many ways. The ingredients, the flavors, it’s all just so perfect. I make it almost exactly as written, but I don’t use the lemongrass, I usually use kale as the green and I don’t top it with coconut or cilantro. This is in our regular, weekly rotation right now.

This orecchiette with red onions, almonds and green olives. This is a new-found dinner love of mine. We started making this a few months ago and I now look forward to every single time it’s on the weekly menu. It’s so easy to make, so it’s a great weeknight dinner and the flavors are just brilliant! The combo of red onion, green olive and almond is not one that I would have thought of but is now one that I am obsessed with! I just use whatever noodle I have on hand – usually a whole wheat penne or other small noodle. I have made this cheese-less too, for those who are interested. To do that, I leave out the Parmesan and ricotta and instead, top it with a mixture of finely chopped almonds and nutritional yeast. Good both ways!

This broccoli, lemon and parmesan soup. This is another one that I have been making for a long time and love oh so much. Very few ingredients are needed to make this yummy soup, again, making it a great weeknight meal.

This beet gnocchi. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know how much I love this recipe. I did a special post about it here. But truly, this meal is fantastic. And great for wintertime. There is some work + time involved in this recipe so not so great as a weeknight meal, but when I do make this, I make it on the weekend and freeze half of the recipe. It can then be cooked straight from frozen, making that a great weeknight meal. Greg says that this is his favorite meal ever. 

This white beans and cabbage. I love this meal. When I first made this recipe years ago, I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it, but had a lot of cabbage to use so I thought I’d give it a try. Greg and I both love this recipe, just as is. And recently, I made a slightly different version – but one that a lot of people may be familiar with – cabbage and noodles. I used whole wheat penne, a head of cabbage, an onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and dried thyme. Either way you do it, I love those simple cabbage meals!

Nourishment Lately 2.1.16

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{Brunch with Greg, mom, dad 1.30.16}

Happy Monday, everyone!

How was your weekend? Mine was excellent, spent with Greg, my mom and dad. We ate some great food – tried a new restaurant that we will definitely be returning to, and made an excellent brunch Saturday morning, featuring a couple of the recipes I am sharing below. We visited Gettysburg National Military Park Museum – a great stop for a cold, winter day, played some Disney apples to apples (fun!), hung with Ivy and just relaxed and had a good time. 

Now, here is what has been nourishing us lately!

These homemade whole wheat crackers. Greg and I made these crackers several weeks ago. They were fantastic and so fun to make together! Again, with the homemade bread products, crackers like these, when store bought, have so many ingredients. These were not hard to make, so I could see us doing this any time we need crackers. We followed the recipe exactly and stored them in a sealed plastic container in the fridge and they kept fresh for over a week. 

This lentil, mushroom and sweet potato shepard’s pie. I have never made a vegetarian shepard’s pie until now, but this recipe is definitely being added to our regular dinner rotation. This was the absolute perfect winter meal for me, I would eat it every day if I could! It had all the right flavors and textures and was loaded with so much good stuff. 

The best hummus. Yes, this really was the best hummus we have ever had. Greg said so after his first bite! We ate it with the homemade whole wheat pita bread and that combo was just so right. This recipe does take a bit of work (soaking and cooking dried chickpeas), but it is very much worth it. 

This healthy banana bread. I don’t usually make sweet breads just to have around, but a banana bread with no white sugar and whole wheat flour only is something that I am into. I made this for mom and dad’s visit and then again for a brunch with Greg’s family on Sunday. Every ingredient in this recipe is one that I feel good about and it tastes so good, too. This was approved by all!

This baked steel cut oatmeal. This is another brunch-approved recipe from this weekend. The flavor is classic, it’s timeless. It’s something that I would never get sick of. Just yummy, cinnamon-y oatmeal, but a little more special because it’s steel cut and it’s baked. We made it with no blueberries, but I bet it would be great with, too!

Nourishment Lately 1.25.16

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{Our snow day view. Saturday, Jan. 23.} 

Hi! Happy (one month into) 2016. It almost feels foreign to be sharing with you today because the last I posted was, uh, two and half months ago! I’m just going to jump right in.

Today I am sharing some recipes from around the web that I have been making and loving lately. Our nourishment lately. A sort of “friday favorites” post, but all about food, and on a Monday. This is something I am going to start doing on the blog regularly..but more on that later. First, a couple of thoughts.

This is a recent thought but I’m really feeling it and that is that I’m going to take a more lighthearted approach with my blog this year. My lack of sharing over the past couple of years is due to what I think is being overly conscientious and particular with myself. From what I’ve read lately, there is a shared feeling that blogging has evolved to a place where as a blogger, you feel your content must be perfect. That’s what I’m feeling, and have been feeling. I haven’t wanted to post anything unless my recipe was flawless, my writing was just right, my photos were magazine worthy. Proof: I posted eight times in 2015 – only three of those were food posts!

But, The Dreaming Foodie has always been just a hobby, and I am certain (and happy) that it will stay that way. So bearing that in mind, I want to take a much more gentle approach. I want to share more often and I want to stop being so gosh darn hard on myself. I don’t want my unrealistic goal of perfectionism to be in the way of sharing anything at all. This isn’t a paying job, I am my own boss when it comes to this space and I am not anything near a professional chef, writer or photographer. If I were any of those things, I’m sure this space would look a lot different, and I might want to treat it differently. But I’m just a 25 year old who loves to be in the kitchen and loves sharing and talking about the food that comes out of it. I want The Dreaming Foodie to reflect more of that this year.

That being said, I won’t start posting just to post. I will continue to share only things that I’m completely in love with and things that I think will bring goodness + happiness to the world. But what I am going to do – I intend to share more everyday-type food recipes. The stuff that Greg and I eat regularly, during the week, during busy times. Something like this pasta dish is great, but it’s not a reflection of the yummy, yet simpler stuff that we eat on a daily basis. The more of the simpler stuff that I decide to share, the more that I will have to share in general because really, that’s mostly what I make.

I also intend to do more posts like the one I am getting to today. Fun posts! I’ve been wanting to do something like this ever since I started my blog three years ago (speaking of, check out my first ever post, ha!). I had Week in Photos going for awhile but I’m now looking to do something a little more focused on the sharing of food and what I’m cooking and loving. I’m not going to say that I’ll do this every single week, but I’ll strive to. 

So, here is to 2016. Here is to lightheartedness. Here is to a FUN year of blogging, to sharing more of what I love and what nourishes me so that it might nourish you, too.

For now, my first ever Nourishment Lately.

This homemade peasant bread. At the beginning of 2015, I had a goal of learning to make my own bread. I started right away and learned and kept with it. For all but a few months in the busy summer, I have been making homemade bread just about weekly and am pretty excited about it. This recipe that I discovered a few weeks ago is a game changer. Hardly any work is required and the bread is so gosh darn good! Changes I made – I use 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups all purpose and instead of the sugar I use 1 tablespoon of honey. 

These homemade whole wheat pitas. We are definitely all about the homemade bread products lately – the ingredient list on something like this store bought is a mile long. We have been loving these pitas (I’m making a batch today!). We have used them for homemade falafel, veggie burgers and egg and cheese wraps. It’s so nice to have a bag of these ready in the fridge – sometimes a nice alternative to bread.

These simple peanut butter granola bars. I love trying out new homemade granola bar recipes and so many just have so many ingredients. Which can be great! But sometimes I crave something simple, just back to the basics. These are so good and even the non-peanut-butter-lover, Greg, loves them! They hold up well after not being refrigerated which is a must for us. Changes I made – for one recipe, I only use 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. I also add a spoonful of coconut oil to the honey. 

This simple vegan pesto. This has become my favorite pesto! I use a mix of whatever fresh herbs I have on hand and usually use walnuts as the nut, but the rest of the recipe as is. We have been putting this on pasta and in soup. 

This butternut squash gnocchi. I had a surplus of butternut squash from fall markets and while I love soup, I wanted to use a bunch of it on something different that would be great for freezing. Greg’s idea – gnocchi! I am so glad I used Iowa Girl Eats’ recipe because it was just so good! I made a triple batch – we had one batch for dinner right away and the other two batches are food saver’d in the freezer. Can’t wait till it’s time to eat them!

This peanut butter + berry smoothie. Still going at it, every single day, for almost two years now. How I’ve been making it lately – 1 banana, scoop of frozen blueberries, scoop of frozen raspberries, spoonful of peanut butter and almond milk is my liquid of choice lately!

A simple winter fruit salad of chopped apple, orange and grapefruit. I have been making a big batch of this combination to keep in the fridge throughout the week for quick snacking. The combo is just so perfect for me. Great bonus: the citrus juice keeps the apple from browning after being cut!

Have a great week!

Autumn 2015

Happy autumn, everyone!

Whew, it’s good to be back posting in this space. I do intend to keep this primarily a food blog, despite what the last 6+ months have shown. My last food post seems like ages ago. But I will say, I have liked sharing these little life posts with you, one in spring, one in summer and now, autumn. These surroundings are just too beautiful not to share. 

I’ll keep the words brief today – but just a little life update for you. Greg and I have been busy {busy!} but enjoying life oh so much. We are doing THIS, getting cozy in our new home (!), still making and enjoying food that we love, hanging with Ivy, getting outside as much as possible and looking toward a slower winter season – when I plan to have more time to share food stuff with you here.

For now, some fall photos from around the farm! I feel like this has been a particularly gorgeous fall (thank you mother nature!) and I feel lucky to have witnessed it. Enjoy autumn, friends!

{One last note – while in the autumn spirit, consider checking this article from NPR, Inside The Life Of An Apple Picker. Each and every apple you see and eat – it’s picked by hand. Try to imagine that incredible amount of work and let’s appreciate and be grateful for what others do so that we can enjoy apples!} 


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Cherry Harvest

It’s been over two months since my last post. I was at the point a few times in the last month where I stressed because I didn’t know what I’d say for my return post. It’s been too long, too much has happened, and I didn’t think I’d know where to begin when I posted again. But I’m just jumping in today and here is what I’ll say: I’ve been busy. And this blog has definitely fallen to the bottom of the priority list. I have lots of content for you, either in my head or carried out, but unedited. None of it has made it to this site, but I promise that I am slowly, slowly, but surely trying to get some stuff out to you. 

I’ve been making a lot of food, but honestly, not for you, not for this site. The food I have been making has been out of necessity, not out of the desire and ability to share it here. I will get back to that point, because I want to. I’m not sure when, but hold tight.

So today, a farm post! A lot has happened around the farm since my last post, and I am fully enjoying getting to witness it all. The blossoms have turned to fruit. Right now, and for the past week, cherry harvest has been happening. Greg is fully immersed in the harvest, and with that has brought even longer hours for him and a decrease in sleep for both of us. Even so, I love it. I love what is happening and that I get to experience it in the way that I do.

Most of my photos today are of cherries on trees. I think they are beautiful and this is the first time in my life seeing something like it. For those interested in the actual harvesting, it was difficult to photograph the process because the equipment used is so massive. So I took a video! This is the first time I’ve put a video on my blog so I am pretty excited, even though it is not the greatest. Expect more in the future, especially with farm related things.

A few tidbits on harvesting cherries:

These are sour cherries. These are the cherries that are used to make canned pie filling and generally, other cherry desserts.

These cherries are being mechanically harvested. Some cherries on the farm are still handpicked, but these ones, that go to the factory to be processed, are done with this machine.

Here is my non-farmer, non-professional description of the process. The first time I saw the harvest equipment, before I knew what it was, I thought it was solar panels (ha!). There are two tractors, each with a massive solar panel looking attachment. When harvesting, each tractor takes a side of the tree and the two “panels” come together,  forming a V. One panel grabs the tree and shakes it. The cherries fall off the tree and into the V formed by the panels. The other tractor has a conveyor belt attached to it which takes the cherries up and over into a connecting bin (that contains ice water) which will get filled, taken to the factory and replaced.

Each bin holds approximately 1,000 pounds of cherries, which can take about 3-15 trees, depending on the tree size and crop. For the trees pictured below, it took about 3-5 trees to fill a bin, due to the fact that they are large, full production trees.

One of the coolest parts of the process to me was watching how quickly a tree turns from red to green while being shaken. In the video, it’s hard to tell how fast the tree is shaking, but pay attention to how quickly the tree changes color.

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