Summer in the Kitchen

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Blueberry Muffins

Thank you all so much for your comments on my last post. I have not been well and Jay has also been ill with a nasty flu bug and it is so nice to read your words. They really do cheer me up when I’m not feeling so great.

After writing that post about finding rhythm in routine, all of that got thrown out of the window this past week. Is it just me, or do you find that the minute you write about something, events arrive in your life to prove it all wrong?

Still, one place I always come back to is the kitchen. Preparing food is such an integral part of our lives, one I’ve not always accepted whole-heartedly. I do enjoy eating good food of course, who doesn’t? But I do sometimes resent having to spend so much time cooking. This then brings on the guilt. That little voice in my head that tells me how I ought to be grateful for having the means to buy and cook healthy delicious meals for me and my children.

Taking the time to pre-plan meals and to use fresh healthy ingredients goes some way to making the job of cooking every day more enjoyable. We are lucky to have a greengrocer’s in our nearby town and I am able to get lots of fresh fruit and vegetables at often very low prices.

I tend to buy what’s available from season to season, but to be honest our diet doesn’t change much from summer to winter. We like what we like. And I lean towards meals that are quick and inexpensive. Apart from the inclusion of more salads and uncooked meals in the summer, our diet is mostly fish/chicken and vegetables, frittatas, pasta, homemade pizza, wraps, risottos and casseroles/stews. My children love spicy mexican dishes and roast dinners so I cook them occasionally, and prepare something lighter for myself. I’ve been eating less meat, bread and pasta lately and feel much better for it.

In the pictures here are some blackcurrants and redcurrants picked from the garden and pepper and goat’s cheese frittata. My mum gave us a couple of bunches of magic purple runner beans from her garden which turn green when you cook them and taste just the same as ordinary ones. I found a recipe for Creamy Chicken and Green Bean Pesto Pasta, which everyone in the house loved. I think it may be the first time I’ve got Jay to eat green beans! There was pesto and vegetable pizza, juicy watermelon  (one of the very best things about this time of year) as well as Blueberry Muffins and Apple and Cinnamon loaf cake.

My neighbour generously gave me a large bag of rhubarb. I’ve never been that keen on rhubarb so have been searching for years for a recipe that I actually liked. I think I have found it in these Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble Muffins – a recipe I stumbled upon on the Quince Tree blog. Sue has some incredible recipes on her blog, which is where I found the above pictured Pineapple-Chilli Salsa – an easy and healthy addition to so many meals, and only takes a minute to make!

As I was writing this a baby thrush flew in my living room window and gave me such a fright. It flew around the room then straight back at the window. I flung it wide open and it flew straight out again! I am thinking it might be a sign that I need to spend more time out of doors 🙂

So, I’m glad to be feeling better and hope to catch up with all your blogs soon. Emily has gone away to Soul Survivor Camp today and I have secret plans to redecorate her bedroom as a surprise. Though I may have overestimated my ability to get it all done in 6 days! I’d better get to work 🙂

Apple and Cinnamon Cake

 

14 thoughts on “Summer in the Kitchen

  1. Sorry to hear that you have been feeling unwell and pleased that you are getting back on track again! All your food looks and sounds delicious. What is the food in the bottom photo? I like the look of it very much! I am sure I would be startled if a bird flew in and around my living room too and I am happy that it flew safely out again. Maybe it WAS a message to get outdoors whilst we are still in the summer season. Maybe you will find inspiration when you are out and about. x

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  2. What a lovely idea for a post, I love peeping into other people’s kitchens, and those green/purple beans are amazing! Hope you are feeling better, and good luck with the decorating, what a fabulous surprise that will be. Following your experience I might go and write a post about the baby not arriving yet, see if that will spur anything along! xx

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  3. Hi Kim, I really enjoyed reading about your cooking this summer. I would really enjoy trying more rhubarb. I’ve only had it a couple of times and liked it, but don’t feel very familiar with it at all. I hope you and Jay are feeling all better very soon!

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  4. I am sorry to hear that you have not been well, I do hope you feel better soon. I know that not wanting to cook feeling, it comes every now and then doesn’t it, you are right we should be reminding ourselves that we can afford to eat good healthy food. I love rhubarb, I make a rhubarb and ginger crumble, I grate ginger root and add to the rhubarb and a rhubarb fool which is basically stewed rhubarb slightly sweetened if needed and whipped cream! We also love rhubarb smoothies which we make with coconut, banana and cinnamon.

    I have some friends who go to a Soul Survivor camp I wonder if it is the same one!

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    1. Thanks so much for the rhubarb ideas 🙂 I am going to try the fool with the next batch from the freezer.
      The Soul Survivor camp was at the Bath and West showground at Shepton Mallet. Emily’s best friend has been a few times and invited her along. I’m not 100% sure about it to be honest, but she seems to have enjoyed her time there.

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  5. Always the way Kim! Sometimes cooking yet another meal can be the last straw. And then other times I think the least I can do each day is put a decent dinner out. Hey ho. So long as we’re trying xx

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  6. All these foods look so good! The frittata looks super good! You are actually doing a lot of fancy stuff in the kitchen especially for being sick. I’d probably be cooking plop and eating out. I’m glad you feel better!

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    1. I made them before and after we were sick. Couldn’t manage much during! It looks good when I put all the photos together, but really there was plenty of ordinary, easy meals in between these too 🙂

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