I am a Registered Dietitian, and I love food. I love that it has amazing, health-imparting and health supporting properties and also has the ability to draw us together, make us feel good, activate all of our senses, comfort and stimulate us. But, I don't have a lot of time; I have 2 kids and work full time, and do nearly all of the cooking and cleaning in my house. So, quick and easy is the name of the game; I use my crockpot, breadmachine and stove-top most often. Sometimes, it doesn't seem like I cook--only assemble ingredients, like spaghetti sauce out of a can with pasta and some nuked broccoli on the side. Healthy, but quick and no frills. I refuse to spend more time cooking than it takes me to clean up afterwards, so if its not ready in half an hour--or in the oven or crockpot without my supervision--it doesn't happen at my house. That doesn't stop me from baking my own biscuits, or making sure there is homemade dessert after dinner, though!
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake. Cookies and quick breads are probably my favorites--instant gratification, and rarely any complaints from the kids!! Probably my all time favorite recipe is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies--they are soft, chewing and delicious, and they are always a big hit. I also love making pumpkin bread; one of my favorite tricks with quick breads is to replace much of the fat, and using extra pumpkin in place of much of the fat is a fabulous way to add nutrition and reduce calories. I also love using my crockpot; I work full time, and do most of the cooking at my house, so my crockpot and my breadmachine are my friends. I also like quick meals, like skillet meals and spaghetti--usually simple stuff. When I do try a new recipe, it has to have some familiar ingredients or it won't stand up to the critics in my house.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I love baking with my kids. It is something we can do together, something everyone feels like they can help with and contribute in, and for goodness sake it keeps them away from the TV for a few minutes! We make soft, rich sugar cookies every winter and give them away with our Christmas cards to our neighbors; they are too decadent and time consuming to make any other time of year!