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Friday, October 5, 2012

Mama in the Night Kitchen

Shhh... do you hear that?

That's right. Not a peep!

Calvin is in bed, James is still slaving away in the lab, and all the dishes are done. For now. What to do? During Calvin's nap times, I am usually running around trying to get as many chores done as possible or squeeze in a treadmill run before he wakes up - and he is the King of Tiny Naps so I always know the clock is ticking! But, bless his little heart he can sleep a decent stretch at night (Thank God!) so once he goes to bed around 8:00 I have some time on my hands before I'm ready to hit the hay myself (or before Calvin's tiny tummy realizes it is hungry again).

I do miss "grown-up time" with James  on nights when he works late, but I have to admit that I enjoy the time to myself! So I have taken to using nights like this to work on some new culinary skills while catching up on my TV shows. I am actually surprised at myself for how relaxed I feel as I'm whipping up something yummy and watching last week's sitcoms online. I have never been one to cook for fun before, I always just thought of cooking as necessary for survival. I was even afraid of our food processor until my recent venture into Larabar Land. But recently I've been motivated to make more things from scratch in order to avoid packaged and processed foods. I figure I've got to clean up my own eating habits if I want my son to grow up eating real, healthy food. And I've actually been having fun with it! - especially when I'm not also putting on a musical cooking show to entertain my little audience of one!

So what's cookin'? Lately I have been waiting to cook dinner for James until after Calvin has gone to bed since James isn't home at a normal dinner time anyway. So some nights I'm just baking pork chops and sweet potatoes or stir frying veggies for some Coconut Curry. Other nights, I get to make things just for fun and just for me. Rignt now I'm on a breakfast bar kick. I started out by trying my hand at these Fruit and Nut bars with Nutella. Then I made these Peanut Butter and Banana Squares. Yum Yum! And lately, of course, I've been making lots of these homemade "Larabars". Tonight I'm going to do a test run of this cashew hummus recipe that I want to make for a party next weekend. I got the idea from my midwife who served something similar at her mom & baby group a couple of weeks ago. And I have a new idea for the "Larabar" recipe... could be genius!

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