Tag Archives: cookbook

mid-week round-up

Hello Delight-Seekers! And welcome to the first mid-week round-up of 2019… How is your January faring? After all the holiday travel in December, I’m happy to be returning to a slower pace. The past few days have been filled with work and good amount of CHILL-TIME…and I’m just fine with that. The weather is beautiful and sunny today (I had an hour long work call this morning that I was all too happy to take outside) and we’re hoping it holds to accommodate some outdoor projects we need to tackle this weekend. Hope your new year is off to a magnificent start, and here are a few fun things you might want to check out before you go…

A charming neighborhood library made from a rotting tree.

What podcasts do you think people should listen to in 2019?

How cities make money by fining the poor.

Gotta try this oatless oatmeal. (Yes, I’m on a Whole 30.)

Moving to New Orleans from New York City.

9 things that we haven’t updated since they were invented.

22 musicals in 12 minutes.

A freelancer and a full-timer debate whether the grass is actually greener.

An oral history of the greatest ‘Office’ episode ever.

A cookbook to consider when my Whole 30 is over but I still want to stay off the sugar.

Physical flip-flops made from Trump’s contradictory tweets.

Why can’t we tip Amazon warehouse workers?

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Ballin’ on a Budget Mini Tips and Making a Beach Kit.

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For the love of DOWNTON!

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I recently plowed through 5 seasons of Downton Abbey and am still feeling the after-effects of the obsession. I’d seen the first few seasons before but once Chet agreed to watching it, I was all in for the long haul. Now I’m just trying to decide if I should go ahead and spring for the DVD set of season 6 or save it for a rainy day! Anyways, if you’re feeling similarly Downton-Obsessed with nowhere to turn, I’ve rounded up a few items you may want to add to your To Do list (especially if you’ve just watched the series finale and don’t want to say goodbye so soon!)…

Start talking like the Dowager Countess by studying these 39 Best Quotes.

Throw a Downton Abbey themed party complete with tea party printables  and Lady Mary Cocktails.

There are plenty of books out there to fill the Downton Abbey-size hole in your heart. Check out 14 Books to Read If You Love Downton Abbey and Ten Books To Survive Downton Abbey Withdrawal if you need a few ideas.

Finally, bring some upstairs and downstairs fare to your kitchen table by cooking up a few recipes from The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook.

Ok, now you have some ideas to help you follow this great advice…

stop whining and find something to do

As for me…the final season awaits! And whenever I decide to watch it, you best believe I’m gonna display one of these on the door.

Eat well on $4 a day.

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Good and Cheap, the Kickstarter funded PDF which showcases how to eat well on ANY budget, is now available in book form! Leanne Brown created this collection of go-to recipes while pursuing a master’s in food studies and food policy from New York University. Brown believes, “everyone should eat great food every day. Eating well means learning to cook. It means banishing the mindset that preparing daily meals is a huge chore or takes tremendous skill.” Good and Cheap was created with many budget savvy folks in mind, but particularly those living on the U.S. food stamp budget of $4 a day. The book teaches you how to prepare dishes ranging from tomato soup to deconstructed cabbage rolls, gives handy tips for creative leftovers, and features gorgeous photography.

Kudos to Leanne for this amazing idea and for her  continued efforts to get a copy in the hands of those who may need it the most. I’m thrilled to have this reference handy! It’s become a favorite guide in my kitchen and a lovely book just to flip through for inspiration.

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Need even MORE of a reason to purchase?  For every copy bought, a free copy will be given to a person or family in need. Books are distributed through food charities and non-profits so that someone else can have a resource for making healthy and delicious food. Buy one. Give one. Pretty cool, right?

P.S. A meal plan I created using recipes from Good and Cheap and my thoughts on food culture.

“Good and Cheap”–How to eat on a shoestring budget.

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Working with and around food, farmers and vendors, I have an ever-growing interest in food security, food access and the general public’s ability to make healthy and sustainable meals to nourish themselves. I’m also a gal who works full-time, is on a budget myself and wants to eat smart. Which is why, when I found out about a new (free!) cookbook marketed towards those trying to cook healthy, delicious meals on a shoestring budget I knew I had to check it out. Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day aims to help the 40 million families enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP) but it’s a wealth of information for any individual trying to do more with less. Families enrolled in SNAP receive, on average, $133 per person, per month for food. Which, according to a recent article in National Geographic, “To eat well on that tiny amount, you have to be canny and creative. Most of all, though, you have to know how to cook—not showily, Food Network style, but thriftily, from dried beans and root vegetables and the bony bits of meat. It’s the sort of thing that our grandmothers and great-grandmothers knew, but that most of us never had to learn.”

Creator of this new cookbook masterpiece, Leanne Brown, moved from Canada to New York City to study food policy. She volunteered with food access programs to understand the very real struggles of food insecurity and devise a solution–a collection of recipes, ideas and methods that would help mold $4 a day into a nourishing, sustainable way of eating.

I LOVE her cookbook for several reasons. Most notably, her focus on produce. With a couple of bucks in hand to spend on food, it’s easy to look at your choices in the supermarket and settle on a few packaged boxes. Those seem to be the cheapest options. This just isn’t the case. Fruits and vegetables, in season, actually give you far more bang for your buck. Combine this produce with eggs, whole grains, beans and an assortment of spices and you’re well on your way to a multitude of meals. Many of Brown’s recipes are vegetarian which I also think is refreshing. Too often, resources geared towards individuals on food stamps or a strict budget offer plans that try to squeeze meat into most meals. Purchasing that much meat just isn’t feasible for many and trying to work it in can drain your funds quickly, forcing you to make sacrifices with other ingredients–canned instead of fresh, processed instead of whole-grain. The recipes in Good and Cheap are adaptable. Add in the meat when you can spend more, when you can’t–they’ll still be delicious and contain plenty of protein. And it’s this idea, that Brown is teaching you the tricks to cooking from scratch (literally and figuratively), which is another great thing about this resource. Instead of giving individuals who are financially struggling a sermon about how they should be using their limited resources, she writes whole sections of “ideas” and “methods” not hard and fast RULES. Her tone is gentle and encouraging not condescending and preachy.

Not to mention, Brown addresses several of my own go-to tricks I’ve learned during summers spent scrappily trying to squeak by on a 9 month contract or weeks when unexpected expenses left the piggy bank a little bare– 1) Oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast–they’re basically just vehicles for other odds and ends you have in your kitchen, ie. they’ll taste like anything you put in them. Plus, super cheap to buy a whole bunch of ‘em. 2) Need protein? Add an egg. 3) PUT SHIT ON TOAST–BAM! Now it’s a meal. 4) Just drink water. 5) Seasonal produce can be your best friend. Even better? Grow your own. 6) Spend a few bucks each time you shop to build up your pantry. Think spices, olive oil, bulk dry goods.

If you haven’t yet, go check out this fantastic resource. Brown is doing amazing work and her cookbook is a far cry from the government issued pamphlets usually doled out to those receiving food assistance. Her produce-driven plan for eating sustainably makes shopping local seem affordable and attainable for those on a budget. Offering the added benefit of a supported local economy and more farmers staying on the farm. All in all, Brown’s book gets a HUGE thumbs up from this girl!

Oh, and check back tomorrow! I’ll be sharing my own experiences with some of the recipes from Good and Cheap along with… a SURPRISE!

Gwyneth’s food is good.

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Strangely, the star everyone loves to hate, I just love to love. Now I recognize that most of what comes out of her mouth is ridiculous and sure that’s annoying and would be a little obnoxious if the food she was talking about wasn’t so damn good. Gwyneth is a big believer of the Elimination Diet which is basically just a clean, no processed foods, whole-food approach. Her website Goop (dumb name) and her cookbooks focus a lot on finding ways to make food restrictions more tasty. And guess what? She succeeds…because she’s bougie enough to not give a crap about pumping a bunch of money into making brownies without sugar taste legit or the precise spice chemistry to make stir-fry with basically nothing appetizing in it at alllll taste like take-out. Gwyneth is passionate about food in the same way all of y’all are who post your meals on Instagram, the only difference is she is rich and famous so instead of throwing a filter on lunch she hires people to help create, blog about and write a cookbook for it. Cut a bitch some slack.

Now these assertions do not come without experience. I have done the cleanse she writes about on Goop twice (I feel obnoxious just typing that but I was curious!) and renewed It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great three times before returning it to the library. Honestly, I think the absurdity of Gwyneth’s recipe-prose and the absolute un-relatability of her recommendations increased the appeal for me. Give me a dash of celebrity humor with a bangin’ smoothie recipe any day. Entice me to try cooking something so insane that I have to text someone about it when it turns out delicious–and I’m yours for life. Obviously I’m not going to take daily saunas or catch wild game hens but I do love fresh, whole, clean ingredients. I’m not really worried about cleansing my internal organs of toxins but it WAS kind of cool to feel miserable for a couple of days and then start feeling more energetic followed by amazing, followed by I could eat like this forever!!!, followed by haha jk no I can’t but I might do that again someday. “It’s All Good” has vegan and paleo recipes and even a whole section of recipes geared towards children (aka me). While there are also quite a few recipes that just didn’t look cost effective or seemed too time intensive for my purposes; all the easier, cheaper recipes I made were awesome.

Basically, I just think everything Gwyneth says is hilarious and I hope she’s not being serious when she says things but I also know she is. You shouldn’t write off her recipes just because she’s unnecessarily verbose about mundane ingredients–you should think of this as her version of pulling out her iPhone to snap an insta. If you’re eating clean, vegan or paleo give her cookbook a go. It’s not gonna hurt anything to check that shit out from the library. It’s not like you’re paying for a ticket to one of her movies. Because that…I couldn’t endorse.

“We have great dinner parties at which everyone sits around talking about politics, history, art and literature—all this peppered with really funny jokes. But back in America, I was at a party and a girl looked at me and said, ‘Oh, my God! Are those Juicy jeans that you’re wearing?’ and I thought, I can’t stay here. I have to get back to Europe.” <—lol whuuuut? Me too, girl, me too.

(photo from the cookbook mentioned above and via here. 3 recipes from the book are also available via this link. : )