hello there spring…
The forecast might be calling for 40 days of rain – but those little breaks and the rays of sunshine that come with it sure are pretty fantastic! Yay spring. Thanks for arriving. It is amazing the optimism and freedom that Spring brings with it. I’m crafting up a storm. Cam is now smiling while raking pine cones and cleaning our garage out. Matt can’t wait to not have to wear a jacket outside. Kate and Charlie are already running around, rain or shine, with chalk and strider bikes and scooters. It’s good.
To celebrate I ran out at nap time and filled our trunk, then our planters, with the classic bright colours of primula and ranunculus and fragrant favorites like hyacinths. Just looking at those colours, even in the rain, makes me smile.
We have made an effort since the new year to try something new each week. For those of you that know us well – that’s a bit out of character… but we’re making the effort – and it’s actually been really fun. Our kiddos are not like some children with diverse palates and open minds – they eat lots of fruit and veggies, but variation is always a struggle (as is meat) so we are trying to *gulp* lead by example. For me, that’s meant enjoying new twists on old favorites and a few fun surprises – I found out I’m a huge goat cheese fan and I actually do like olives. For our kids it’s meant things as simple as new cereal, different kinds of crackers, fruit smoothies with new flavours and trying a bite or two of a new meal once a week. Sometimes we win. Sometimes we loose. We are not above bribery with DQ dessert runs and oreo cookies waiting in the wings for those who brave the gauntlet of new flavours…. ahh parenting. Sometimes dinner is a disaster – but at least now we have beautiful spring flowers to look out at, and with any luck a few inside to brighten up the table as well. The photo below shows another of our new dinner tricks – we’ll put out cheap craft paper and crayons to make those new dinner evenings more fun and festive…yup – I’ll try anything.
We had a huge success last week with thai lettuce wraps. I’d never made them before, and was surprised how easy they were. I looked up a bunch of recipes, and mixed a few of them together to accommodate our tastes (not pork fans so we used ground turkey/chicken and no fish sauce) … the recipe I used is below. It was awesome, easy and fast which was great for a work nights – Matty Cam and I loved it, and the girls happily ate lettuce with chow mien noodles and cheese wrapped up so it was a relative success.
What is your favorite – (slightly) off the beaten path dinner? I could use the new ideas!
You’ll need iceberg lettuce, ground turkey or ground chicken, 1/4 C stir-fry sauce, soy sauce, 1 clove of garlic, minced, 1 tsp of ginger minced, one shallot or 2 TBSP onion finely chopped, 1/4C cilantro finely chopped (or green onion if you prefer – flavour dependent), 1 TSP sesame oil (optional), chow mien noodles (optional)
Fry up garlic and shallot/onion in a tsp of oil, add ground turkey and cook until cooked through. Add stir-fry sauce and a TBSP of soy sauce along with ginger and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat, break up lettuce into the “wraps”, add cilantro to the pan and sesame oil if you have it
Serve with cold lettuce, white sticky rice on the side, and chow mien noodles add some crunch and fun for the kids if you’re inclined.