happy weekending

Not having pulled it together to bake before Christmas eve, and being laid up afterwards, I’ve had heaps of dough stashed in the freezer. Today I busted it out and got to the making part. Life as usual has resumed! Number Four was rejoicing this morning. (Perhaps more for the cookies …). If you’re curious, these are my favourite recipes for cut-outs: sugar cookies and gingerbread. Both got a lot of mileage last Christmas. In addition to vanilla, I now add 1/2 teaspoon of pure lemon extract to my sugar cookie dough. It gives it that certain Mmmmm that Italian cookies (especially the animals ones!) have. We now have a regular parade of cookies round here. Many of which seem to be disappearing along with Number Four into his room.

For the past year, I’ve been fixated on oatmeal for breakfast. I couldn’t bear it as a kid. The texture horrified me and I’d plead not to have to eat it. After a disastrous episode of stomach-heaving at age four, I was never made to eat it again. Several years ago, I decided to take some of the granola I’d made, put it in a pot with just enough water to cover it, and cook it until just soft. It was incredible, and brought me down the path to oatmeal again. I still can’t bear it overly-soft and creamy, and will often lightly toast the oats before cooking. I load it with fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds (pecans, walnuts, pumpkin, hemp, chia) and sweeten with maple syrup. I’m a convert—and still surprised. This is the oatmeal that my kids know and love.

Poached eggs (and pancakes!) are another weekend ritual, and unlike oatmeal, well-loved from childhood. I’ll put them on gluten-free toast or a bed of roasted potato rounds, either yellow-flesh (with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and rosemary) or sweet potatoes (olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon). I had Tex-Mex on the brain this morning, so in addition to roasted sweet potato, I pan-fried onion, red bell pepper, tomatoes, black beans and corn seasoned with chili powder, cumin, lime juice, s & p, and cilantro. And with one ripened avocado left in the kitchen, I mashed half with a bit of lime juice, olive oil, salt, a teaspoon of water and and a tiny touch of wasabi paste (decidely not Tex Mex) and drizzled some on top.

Number Four and I have a weakness for chai with steamed soy milk, loaded with froth, which I make at home. I’ve never been a big coffee drinker. When I worked in kitchens, I’d pour a cup when I could, and generally only ever manage to drink half of it. Rare was the day I’d drink two cups. I go through periods where I won’t drink coffee for months, years even, enjoying it when I do and not missing it when I don’t. But I’ve noticed over the past few years that it frequently makes me feel nauseous and out of sorts, so I’ve been more off than on. The last cup I had was the morning of my accident. And since then, I’ve had no inclination whatsoever to drink it. Tea, on the other hand … that’s my baby. And I hold it closely!

Happy weekending, friends. I hope yours is a great one.