Monthly Archives: February 2013

Have you ever met someone and knew right away that she or he is the real deal? I’m not talking about the loudest person in the group or even the one with the most to say. I’m talking about the gal (or guy) you instinctively know you should be listening to when she does eventually have something to say. She’s the kind of person that encourages others to speak and every conversation that you have with her leaves you feeling inspired. I’ve noticed that these real deal’s tend to ignite a flame within others by simply sharing their own genuine fire from within themselves. My friend Lisa over at Paper Cup Poet is just such a person. She is the real deal and I have a hunch that more folks are going to get see that very soon!

This bacon, spinach, and cheddar cheese dip is also the real deal. There is nothing diet, soy, or fakon about it! It’s simple to whip up and I bet you already have most of the ingredients for it in your fridge right now! Want to leave out the bacon for your vegetarian friends? No prob! But don’t even think about trying to re-dish this dip onto a fancy platter. I promise, any real deal cheese lover will not mind a pipping hot skillet full of cheesy goodness placed before them!

Timing is everything, right?

But we don’t just want any ol’ timing; what we’re after is perfect timing. I know that I am personally constantly striving to get things started or finished at just the right time. Sometimes it happens, but more often than not I miss the boat completely, or something that seems incredibly ill timed turns out to beautifully on time. Our third son is my favorite example of just that. My dad, husband, and I had just started a business together (a hair salon) and not even a month after we opened our doors I found out that I was pregnant with our third baby. My reaction? Panic and tears of course, but looking back we couldn’t have timed Ewen any better. With a lot of help and hard work everything worked out just fine. Five years later we decided to close the salon so I could stay home with our brood of boys. Looking back I am so thankful that my plan to become a successful salon owner didn’t trump what was really meant to be for myself and our family. Since then I keep rediscovering that most seemingly ill-timed things somehow turn out to be perfectly timed within the bigger picture of life. Trying to let go of my idea of perfecting timing can be super frustrating and scary. But every time things magically fall into place I am reminded again that the best timing usually requires a little bit of patience and always a ton of faith!

As far as cooking goes I have found that timing can be one of the hardest things to learn. Especially when a dish has several components to it (steamed rice, roasted potatoes, and sautéed veggies), it can be tough to figure out how to get everything out of the oven or off the stove at around the same time. My advice to anyone desiring to master this skill? Just keep cooking! Pretty soon you’ll find the rhythm in your kitchen and you’ll remember that brown rice takes about an hour to cook so it might be a good idea to get that going first or that spinach only takes about a minute to sauté so don’t worry about that until the end! Before you know it you’ll be baking a cake, roasting a chicken and caramelizing onions without breaking a sweat or without postponing your dinner!

If you’re anything like me you probably love to read food blogs.

If you’re not like me and this is the only food blog that you visit (I am so incredibly flattered!) then I would like to apologize for the lack of pink sprinkles and red velvet cupcakes that will traditionally overwhelm food blogs around this time of year. For those of us that do immerse ourselves in all things food, I figured that this farro salad might be a nice change of pace. I’m a big fan of zigging when they zag so instead of cutout heart cookies or chocolate dipped strawberries (both of which I adore) for Valentine’s day, I would like to bring you kale. Not the best intro for such a yummy salad, but it’ll have to do.

While roses and candy conversation hearts are in season, it is also the time of year that kale is in full bloom! It’s hard to miss the huge leafy stacks of red, curly or my personal favorite lacinato kale at the grocery store or farmers market. See, kale and Valentines day really do go hand in hand! And I think this pretty, healthy salad would be a lovely compliment to all of those cupcakes and cookies we’ll be enjoying for the better part of Valentines day!