keep on cooking.

 

Everyone needs a good support system.  Someone who cheers you on through life.  A friend.  A coworker.  A spouse. 

Parents who see you through the good.  The bad.  The downright ugly.

 

 

My parents have seen me through a lot.

They’ve seen me through my choice to become a vegetarian (although now that I think of it, dad did seem to grill a lot of my favorite salmon dishes during this time…hrmmm…)

They’ve seen me inhale a plate of baby back ribs, a bowl of caramelized onions and a (literal) half of a chicken, all in one meal.  No comments.

 

 

My parents have seen me through heartaches and tears, hugging me through the toughest of college friend breakups. 

They’ve cheered me on in my proudest of moments.  Watching my service dog puppy graduate.  Watching ME graduate.

And, really, they have put up with a lot.  Especially in the kitchen.

(in case you were wondering, they did *not* like the kombucha, but I honestly think it’s an aquired taste!)

 

 

They’ve tasted and sampled their way through countless flops and failures.

Breads that didn’t rise.

Cakes that didn’t release their death grips from the pans (I still haven’t quite gotten over this one!)

Cookies that turned into complete, unfixable, inedible wafers (dad said he still thought they tasted good, but in a fit of frustration, I just had to dump them!!)

 

 

And yet, they still urge me on.  They always ask me, “what’s for dinner?” with a spirit of unwaning enthusiasm.  And they continue to offer me the luxurious freedom of being able to cook up whatever catches my fancy.

 

 

And so, I’ve decided, that as long as they keep on tasting—as long as they keep on cheering—I’ll keep on cooking.

Through life’s major disasters.  Life’s ups and downs.  Through broken dishes, serious imperfections, and flying mushrooms. 

Keep on cooking.

 

Roasted Vegetables Over Rice

Serves 3-4

Thankfully, there’s not much to mess up about this one bowl meal (unless, of course, you drop the bowl…oops!)  You could also double the veggies and save the leftovers for another meal.  They will go lovely with omelettes, over quinoa, or as a filling in your favorite wrap.

The vegetables in this meal are as versatile as the grain on which you serve them.  Use quinoa, brown rice, couscous, et cetera.  For the veggies, use red bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, turnips…Just have fun with it.  Enjoy it.  And keep on cooking.

  • 1 lb. of brussel sprouts, cut in half
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced thick
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup dry brown rice, cooked
  • 1 15oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • garlic powder
  • chopped avocado, garbanzo bean salad, and/or feta cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place veggies on sheet and top with olive oil and pepper.  Place in oven for 10 minutes.  Stir, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until browned and cooked to desired doneness.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the cooked rice with the can of drained diced tomatoes.  Liberally sprinkle garlic powder into mixture.  Stir. 
  4. In individual bowls, place rice on the bottom, top with roasted vegetables, and finish with your favorite toppings (chopped avocado, garbanzo bean salad, feta cheese, et cetera.)  ENJOY! 😀

Question: Who do you most love to cook/bake for?  I absolutely love cooking for family and friends, but I also enjoy cooking just for me. 😀

Weekend Highlights

SATURDAY

Some weekends are made for relaxing and doing absolutely nothing at all.

Some weekends are made for going out with friends and family and just having fun. 

Some weekends happen to include the best of both worlds. 😀

Matthew and Kelsey came down for the weekend, so we (Nicole, Nate and I) went to meet up for drinks and appetizers on Saturday night.  

Nicole and I split the Mediterranean Hummus Plate.  It was filled with feta cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh veggies.  The grilled pita chips were so perfect; flaky on the surface but warm and doughy on first bite.  Perfect.

We ended up talking most of the night away.  I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed so late, but it actually felt really good.  Especially since I’ll have available catch-up time on Monday morning (not that our bodies can truly, honestly, ever “catch up” according to the sleep experts, but I gave a big *harumph* to that idea for this weekend! 😉 ) 

SUNDAY

I’m pretty sure God knew what He was doing when He decided to give us Sunday as a day of rest.  We all deserve the break, really, and it felt wonderful to have nothing on the ol’ to-do list.  

Nothing.

Nothing but a nice long walk with the family.  

Have I ever mentioned how in love I am with the fall?  I wish it would never end. 😀

We ran across a big black cow on our walk, and he (she?) was the sweetest thing ever.  I was hoping it would follow us home, but to no avail.  I guess he must have decided that the grass was much greener on his own side of the fence. 😉

Dad treated us to dinner from our family favorite pizza shop, and we all crowded around the table to indulge in a veggie pizza.  The perfect ending for the weekend, if I do say so myself. 😀

I love busy, fun-filled Saturdays.

I love, love, love lazy Sundays.

Love. 😀

Question: What made you *smile* this weekend? 

Happy 28th Anniversary!! :)

HAPPY 28th ANNIVERSARY
…to the parents! 😀

Thank you for teaching me to appreciate the simple things in life.

Thank you for always loving each other and for always loving your family.

Thank you for always supporting each other through everything.

Thank you for holding hands and laughing with each other.

Thank you for going on dates, just to enjoy each other’s company.

Thank you for never putting each other down.

Thank you for being each other’s best friend.

Thank you for continuously showing me the true meaning of love. 

 Thank you for all of these things.  It means more then you know.

I love you guys!!  Happy 28th Anniversary! 😀