. . . And We’re Back!

Remember me?  The Smart Green Gourmet?  I used to have a lot of free time.  I used to scout the farmer’s markets of Cuba for the juciest Guavas for my salads and traipse through the ancient bazaars of Aleppo (back when they existed) for the most exquisite hues of saffron.  I used to blog about it all here, along with other musings on food, nutrition, and local restaurants.  And then I had a baby.

5+ years, 1 more baby, 1 Ph.D., 1 professorship, and 3 homes in 3 states later, I had to get real.  Blogging fell by the wayside.  I thought I’d taken the blog down.  But then I called a friend for a recipe, and she told me she still looked it up on my blog whenever she needed it.   I did too, and momentarily entered my pre-child life, virtually inhaling the rose vinaigrette as it pirouetted across my salad.

I barely have time to cook, much less blog.  So other then nostalgia, why blog?  Why now?

I still cook nearly every night.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Cooking is my escape and my creative outlet, and now one I share with two eager little lemon-zesters, garlic-pressers, and batter-tasters.  Family dinner is nourishment for our bodies and souls.  We cast our devices aside and laugh with each other in an hour of collective mindfulness.  We rejoice with each new food our little ones learn to love.  Each meal together marks a treasured moment in days that might be otherwise lost in a blur of work, commute, and household chores.  In a sense, then, this blog becomes a diary of the tastes, textures, and aromas of the great joys of daily life.

Also, I’m constantly on the hunt for healthy, mostly vegetarian, lactose-free, kosher recipes I can make ahead or make quickly while being distracted by two adorable children. Finding recipes each time in cookbooks or searching for them on my phone just takes too long.  Meanwhile, people keep asking for my recipes.   So I’m putting them here for friends and family, just like I used to.  And admittedly, I’m logging them here for myself.

And finally, I’m disturbed by the trend in delivered, pre-assembled meals that confronts me every day in my building’s elevator.  I just don’t get it.  Every time I try these meals with friends, they’re far more complicated and take longer than anything I make myself.  Meanwhile, my friends with dietary restrictions lament that they can’t find services to meet their needs.  Why?

Then a friend explained it.  The appeal of these services is that they cut the stress of decision-making.  Deciding what to buy at the store, and then again what to cook and eat, strains our already-taxed executive functions.

So let me make the decisions for you.  I’ll post my weeknight recipes.  My goal is to put together the functionality for you to be able to print out individual recipe cards and make shopping lists.  But I’m new to WordPress and my old photos didn’t even migrate properly from my prior Blogpost (yes, Blogpost) site, so getting this up and running will take time.

I will promise real food, eaten by my real family, that can be made real(ly) fast.  That’s it.  I can’t promise how often I’ll post.  I won’t promise excellent photography, either.  Buying food props would be laughable when it’s already a project to keep my kids’ toys in order.  I still don’t have a fancy camera.  I don’t have time to chop everything up so the beautiful colors are evenly distributed like specks of jewels throughout my grain salads, a la the incredible Heidi Swanson.  Also, dishes last night’s Balsamic Wild Rice Salad with Beet, Avocado, Sheeps-Milk Feta would only look good in a photo if I arrange them “just so,” which is impossible when I want the kids to make bedtime.  My son actually laughed at me when I tried to take a photo of the salad anyway, since the whole thing looked pretty brown after the balsamic vinaigrette was tossed everywhere.  It was delicious nonetheless.

I do promise that my minimalist blog will translate into delicious meals.  Hopefully they will provide daily joys for you to celebrate.