Spring Guidebook

Free Spring guidebook to help you get the most from this beautiful season. Whether it is during actual Springtime, or just when you have a season of growth. Click image below to access the digital PDF. Also available to print and use as a hard copy! I love to print off the foods to nourish pages and post in my kitchen for easy access while I menu plan.

Happy Spring!

Sourdough Cinnamon Nut Rolls with Salted Caramel Drizzle

My only story with this is that I make cinnamon rolls about once every three years, and then wonder why I don’t do it more often.

This time I adapted some basic recipes and made my own creation, which turned out well (but maybe that’s because I only eat these once every three years so they taste extra good…).

Here’s what ya do:

Sourdough Cinnamon Nut Rolls with Salted Caramel Drizzle

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 8 tablespoons cold butter
  • 300-350 grams all-purpose flour (about 2.5 cups)
  • 100 grams active sourdough starter (about 1/2 cup)
  • 240 grams buttermilk (about 1 cup. Note- you can always add a TBS of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk to make “buttermilk”)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (the good kind please)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Filling:

  • 150 grams brown sugar (about 2/3 cup)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4-1 cup walnuts, chopped

Salted Caramel Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2.5 tablespoons half and half, or cream
  • Large flaked salt

Instructions:

Plan ahead! Start about 8-12 hours before you want hot, sweet rolls.

  • Grate the cold butter into large bowl. Add the flour and mix in with butter. Add sourdough started, maple syrup, and buttermilk to the flour and butter. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let rest at room temp for 8-12 hours.
  • Heat over to 375 Fahrenheit. Butter a 12 inch cast-iron, or a casserole dish.
  • Mix salt, baking power and soda together well in a small cup. Sprinkle this on top of dough, and mix well.
  • Flour a clean counter and turn dough out of bowl. Give the top of the dough another good puff of flour. Roll dough into a big rectangle. Mine ended up being about 20″ by 12″.
  • Mix cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeat, and chopped walnuts in a bowl. Coat dough with your melted butter, and sprinkle with filling ingredients.
  • Roll the dough longwise, and then cut into 8-10 even rolls. Place in baking dish (I love cast-iron), leaving a smidge of room in between to allow for baking up.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and crispy on top.
  • Drizzle caramel on top while still warm.
  • Take photos to commemorate.

Glaze:

Melt butter in small pan on stove, add brown sugar and cream. Over medium low heat, stir until sugar dissolves and allow to bubble for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle a generous pinch of salt, stir to combine, and drizzle over hot cinnamon rolls.

Vegan Menu Plan

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Going from paleo last week right in to vegan is an adjustment. But we think it’s important to try different food lifestyles, to get a good idea of what you like and don’t like; what works and doesn’t work for you.

Most people are familiar with the vegan rules of eating-no animal products. No dairy, meat, or eggs, and some vegans avoid honey, silk, products with beeswax, etc.

So there is the list of “no”, but a great list of “yes” too- yes vegetables, yes fruits, yes grains and legumes, beans and herbs, nuts and seeds. So many yummy “yes” foods 🙂

If you want to try it out, check out our week of Vegan Menu plans and shopping list here.

Our Pinterest page has a board with all the recipes we use, divided by week.

We are excited to delve into vegan eating, and hope we can learn some new principles that we adapt into our eating lifestyles. Dive in and join us! Try it out for a week and see what you feel and think.

{Past food weeks include Mediterranean and Paleo.}

Simple Paleo

Of all the different lifestyle “diets” that I have tried Paleo has been one of my favorite. Paleo is short for Paleolithic and is, simply put, the idea of eating in a similar manner to the diet of cavemen based on what would have been available to them.

Do’s of the Paleo Diet:

I think it is best to focus on what you CAN eat first. 🙂

  • Big focus on protein  (beef, chicken, fish, etc.)
  • Fruits and veggies (lean towards 75% veg 25% fruit)
  • Nuts, seeds, good fat (i.e. avocado, coconut)

Don’ts of the Paleo Diet:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes, beans
  • Coffee, alcohol, refined sugars

Now if any of the don’ts seem like deal breakers to you, don’t give up! If you have to have a cup of coffee in the morning to function make a small adjustment and allow yourself the exception. The main idea behind Paleo is finding balance and you can’t do that if you are thinking about the things you CAN’T have all the time.

As before Rachael and I have created a Pinterest board with all the recipes for this week and you can access the shopping list from the same google doc.

I am really excited to dive deeper into this week and be a little more mindful in my eating -let’s see if those cavemen had it figured out. 🙂

P.S. if you are an app person “nomnompaleo” is a great place to get some inspiration!

Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan

Ready to try out the Mediterranean Diet, but don’t know where to start? Here’s where. Right here.

We have made a week of very simple menu plans, to help you get a feel for this kind of eating and diet, to see if it would work for you.

All of the recipes we are using are on our Pinterest Page. Make sure to follow us there, and see the “Menu Plans” board. Take note–any substitutions we make to recipes (for ease, or diet related), are in the captions, so make sure to read there.

We also have a really handy menu plan for each day, and a shopping list. Feel free to save a copy and adjust servings as needed for your family. The week of food is meant for 2 people, with some recipes for 4, so you can have leftovers for lunches. Make sure to toggle over to Sheet 2 of the excel sheet, to see the shopping list.

For some good information on what to look for on this diet, here are some guidelines:

Basics of Mediterranean diet

  • Lots of plant based foods-vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes
  • Focusing on fats from olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts, etc. Less animal source fats like butter (less saturated and trans fats).
  • Increase spices and herbs, to decrease salt
  • Red meat no more than a few times per month
  • Fish and poultry several times a week
  • Low fat dairy
  • Limit processed sugar
  • Plenty of exercise
  • Optional: Red Wine. If you don’t drink alcohol, you can get the same effects from an unsweetened fruit juice like grape juice, pomegranate juice, or cranberry juice.

Med Diet

Backyard Kind of Fancy

I have the very good fortune of having a sister who is in a culinary arts program. Any time she needs us to try something for her I am first in line! She also likes to throw dinner parties a few times a year. This year’s Spring dinner was epic!

 

 

Nothing brings people together more than good food and my family and I really take advantage of this time. I remember when I was little, dinner time was sacred; no books (the equivalent to iphones now) allowed at the table-everyone needed to be present and engaged. I am so grateful that my parents instilled this in us so that now when we have the chance to get together and enjoy a good meal we take it.

The art of sitting down to a meal together and really taking the time to visit is still alive and well in many cultures, countries, and families. If this is not something that is a familiar look in your house take some time to figure out how to make it work-it is worth it!

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Food Feels

Me and food have had an interesting relationship over the years. I would not have called my five year old palet refined, I distinctly remember melting cheese in the microwave for a snack. My teen self would eat very little in front of others, because teen boys don’t like girls who eat right? College Kristin would bounce between eating way to much junk and then next to nothing diets to counter act the pounds that accompanied the junk food.

We come now to present day. I have done some soul searching over the years and I determined that what I want more than anything is for my life to be lived for me and my family. A big part of that is finding ways to balance my life (hence the “Balance Project”) and food is a big part of that. With the fun theme this month of “live like a French woman” I have been doing a lot of research into the lifestyles of past and current French woman. One common thread that I have noticed is that French women seem to have a very healthy relationship with food. There is a thoughtfulness in the way they prepare and eat food.  I am by no means the expert but here are five things that I have done to improve the way I view food and myself:

  1. I remember that the longest relationship that I have had is with my own body, I need to respect that.
  2. I eat my meals (whenever I can) at my kitchen table.
  3. I have learned to enjoy cooking.
  4. I have learned to respect where my food comes from.
  5. I don’t let one bad day (or carton of ice cream) get me down.

I am not perfect, and I never will be. But I have come a long way from the girl who did not want other people to know that she eats food (I literally now have a Pinterest board titled “I love food”). Above all we need to be kind to ourselves and a bit of chocolate every now and then to tell our bodies thank you does not hurt.

 

P.S. I went to an adorable local store called Honey Bee Produce Company and let me tell you I was in local cheese, fruit and honey HEAVEN!