Hello, and I hope you will welcome me back! It's been almost four years since I last posted. In those four years, I've had a second baby, gone on a food journey, discovered how to eat for me (and am still discovering), home schooled my first born, and decided to pack up our lives and move to Spain for the upcoming school year. Nothing new, right? I hope you'll join me as I update you on my life, the food I eat, and the process of moving to Spain. I will continue to revise the recipes on A Kuk's Kitchen to mirror how my food philosophy has slowly changed from low fat, high grain to high fat, low grain. I will share how I conquered various food addictions and what that has meant for my life and my body. I will look into spiritual growth in my life and give you a peek into my food journal (the two, surprisingly, are more related than you would guess). I will share with you original recipes, link you to some favorite recipes on the web, and highlight beautiful restaurant eats along the way.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
I recently overheard someone say that traveling without kids is a vacation, but traveling with kids is a trip. How true it is. We left Baltimore last Wednesday at 1 pm, an hour later than planned, and our first stop was at 1:20 pm at an elementary school still within city limits. Baby Lydia was screaming for milk, so we pulled over and I fed her while Justin took Evelyn to the playground. That early stop set the tone for our trip. Many stops, feedings, and potty breaks later, we decided to stay at a hotel shortly after midnight. The next morning we enjoyed a hot breakfast and a swim in the pool, then continued on to reach our Michigan destination around 3:30 pm. A ten hour drive took us 27 hours, but we were not upset. The best plan when traveling with kids is to have no plan. We played at the rest stops, ate good food and snacks, and marveled at a random zucchini plant at one of the rest stop gardens. We enjoyed each others company, although Evelyn was rather up and down about being in the car for so long.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
As I leaned against the counter slipping dark skins off of silky blood red beets, it suddenly hit me that not everyone loves to cook four course dinners for three strangers. Sure, it benefited the farm, but there are certainly less time consuming ways to support a neighborhood farm.
About a month ago, I had the privilege of planning a four course dinner, sourcing all of the vegetables from Whitelock Community Farm, and cooking the meal, which Justin served to three diners at the farm. They earned this dinner by donating the highest amount for a fundraising campaign we ran last year, and their prize was this dinner.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
This was my third mother's day (excluding the one when Evelyn was in the womb) and it just may have been the best. My in laws were in town, and they bought us a night at a bed and breakfast downtown. It was strange to just drive a few exits down the highway to have a little getaway, but at the same time it was fun to be a tourist in our own city. This was my first night away from Evelyn EVER, and it was wonderful.
at May 13, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
I am a distracted person these days. I've had this recipe, photographed and all, sitting for over a month. Between my two-year-old, my pregnancy, my house, and my two part time jobs (nanny two days a week and write note cards for a real estate agency), there is little time to pursue my hobbies.
One of my favorite things to do is be alone. In moderation, of course. I cherish the mornings when I can get up before Evelyn and sit in quiet solitude with my breakfast, coffee/tea, and Bible. These are the mornings when I feel like I can take on anything. Sometimes, though, I am just so tired that I sleep until Evelyn wakes up.
Friday, January 30, 2015
Do you ever think about the grocery stores you shop at and what they say about you? I wonder if you, like me, have multiple stores that you frequent at different times throughout the month. Or maybe you're a loyal customer to just one store. Let me tell you, I go to four stores throughout the month, and two stores about every other month. And each store has its own personality.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Evelyn turned two on October 20th. It's hard to believe she used to be a tiny, helpless baby when now she runs, jumps, speaks in sentences, and has a true personality. For her birthday party, I decided to go with the toddler trifecta: bubbles, balloons, and birthday cake. You really can't go wrong with that.
Except instead of a traditional birthday cake, I wanted to make something that everyone would want to eat. So I decided on pumpkin cheesecake (recipe below). I knew one would not be enough, so I planned to make two. Then I wondered, maybe I need more? I decided ahead of time to pull the double chocolate cookies I had made previously out of the freezer to serve with the cheesecake. Then the night before, I thought we might need more dessert. I whipped up some chocolate lavender cupcakes. Needless to say, I was maybe looking for excuses to bake new things I hadn't tried before.
Monday, October 20, 2014
I recently had the delightful opportunity to cook a four course dinner for my friends and neighbors. Last year at the Whitelock Community Farm Annual FUNdraiser (which you can attend this year, coming up on November 8th!), they bid on and won a dinner for two at the farm.
I enjoyed planning the menu around produce available from the farm as well as making it fall inspired. And since I know Courtney and Jonathan, I knew which ingredients to avoid and which to embrace, for example, nuts are out, and cardamom is a sure thing.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Summer is winding down. I'm about to pull up the remaining tomato plants, pickle the green ones, and plant some cool weather kale and radishes. The nights are cool and the days are warm and breezy. I always say that my favorite season is when they change. I love the excitement of cooler temperatures and turning leaves. When fall gives way to winter, I love the smell of snow and pulling out warm scarves and boots. Spring brings life and joy, and summer means swimming. At the start of fall, I will savor warm comfort food, go apple picking (and making apple butter), and eat out on the picnic table for as long as we can stand it. And host fire pit parties.
I owe you a second short list. I posted the previous one here, one that highlighted brunch and dessert. This list is all about lunch and dinner. The idea behind it is highlighting my go to recipes if I don't want to do much thinking or if unexpected guests are coming. These are all recipes that I do well, and it surprised me to look over them and see that most of them are soups or stews. Add some homemade bread or rolls, and you're all set. Here is the list.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
What do these three things have in common? They usually end up as food waste. Me, being the thrifty gal I am, I like to try and use everything. Even fennel fronds
I used to pour off my bacon fat and discard it. Then the low-fat craze ended (for most) and I realized that I cook with olive oil. And butter. They are fat. Bacon fat is fat. Why am I throwing it away? Silly me. Save it in a jar in the fridge. I use it to fry eggs, saute veggies, and grease the pan for cornbread. I save my olive oil for salad dressing and my butter for baking.
But wait, you say. Even with fats being allowed in a normal diet, isn't bacon fat too high in saturated fat? I recently read an interesting article about our body's very real need for saturated fats. The link between heart disease and saturated fats has been debunked. The real killer is refined carbohydrates (sugar, white flour) and unhealthy oils, such as canola oil and and soy oil. I'm not sure how well I do avoiding sugar, but...
Monday, July 21, 2014
About two years and four months ago, I sat on a slightly reclined bed while an ultra sound tech put jelly on my belly, slid a wand over it, and looked at the screen. "I think I had a miscarriage," I said, "But I still have pregnancy symptoms." Pause. "You're still pregnant," she said. "Listen, you can hear the heartbeat." Wop-wop-wop-wop. On the screen was a little wriggly mass.
How could this be? A week and a half earlier, I had a miscarriage. I knew it. All sorts of emotions of sadness, failure, yearning, and weirdness swirled around in my head. But there was nothing to be done. I started drinking wine and coffee again. I went to NYC with Justin to visit my brother. On the way there, I barfed. I felt gross, exhausted, and everything I had been feeling while pregnant. What was going on? (Come to find out later, I probably miscarried a twin. But I'll never know for sure.)
I could not believe I was still pregnant. It was an unseasonably warm day in March. I biked over to Milk and Honey Market, feeling free as a bird, and sat outside with an iced mocha. I called Justin. Called my mom. Called my sister. Texted the two friends I had already told. That feeling of sitting outside with my iced mocha and sharing the good news (again) with family and friends will never leave me. It's one of those memories that is burned in my mind.
Hello, and I hope you will welcome me back! It's been almost four years since I last posted. In those four years, I've had a seco...