Measure & Whisk: Real food cooking with a dash of minimalist living

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Minimalist Baby Packing List: 5-Day Trip

A few days ago, when we were flying to Utah, a flight attendant came over and kindly told me how good Fox had been on the flight (he really was terrific!), then asked me if it was his first flight.  I thanked her and told her that it was actually his fourth flight this week.  He is becoming a pro-flier (with sufficient snacks, toys and a decent nap, anyway).  

I have tried really hard not to shy away from the difficulties of travel, and specifically the challenges of traveling with a baby.  I am typically a homebody.  I like being at home and having a routine with regular nap times and mealtimes,  But, I do recognize the benefits (and fun) of getting out and seeing the world, learning about new places and people, whether that means in your own town, or halfway across the world.

So we travel! And I love it!

If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen a few photos from our trip to Las Vegas this last week, SLC over Christmas Break, and my many photos from our trip to France last year.  All of these trips were with Fox, and although I am not a professional packer by any means, I did think it would be useful to show what I brought along on our latest travel excursion.  I feel like I have learned a lot about what you should bring when you have a baby!

I am also planning a follow-up post about tips for traveling with kids, so stay tuned for that as well!  Happy Packing!

In the Suitcase:

4 T- Shirts
1 Romper
3 Pairs of Pants
1 Baby Suit (optional)
1 Button Down Dress Shirt (optional)
2 Pairs of PJ's
1 Pair Socks
1 Pair of Dress Shoes (optional)
1 Pair of Mocs
Swimsuit + Swim Diaper + Rash Guard (summer only)

Striped Tee: Gap via ThredUp || Striped Onesie: JC Penney || Grey Tee:  American Apparel via ThredUp || Lion Shirt:  Badger + Rue
Suit: Target (similar) || Floral Shirt: Old Navy || Shoes: Gerber
Jeans:  Second Hand || Red Pants: H&M (similar) || Navy Shorts: Old Navy || Romper: Carter's via Sam's Club
Track Jacket: Adidas (Couldn't find anything similar)
Mocs:  Freshly Picked
White PJ Shirt: Second Hand || Blue PJ Shirt: Second Hand || Plaid PJ Pants: Made by me
Swimsuit: Target || Rash Guard: Amazon || Swim Diaper: Second Hand (is that TMI? We washed it first)

For the Plane:

A few small toys
Baby Carrier
Extra Outfit
Burp Cloth/Bib
Wipes (not pictured)
Snacks (not pictured) - I like apple slices, granola bars, fruit snacks, & pretzels.  I like food that is not too messy, and that takes a long time to eat.

Bib: Aiden + Anias || Quiet Book: Deseret Book or Amazon || Burp Cloth: Amazon || First 100 Animals: Amazon || Baby Carrier: Lillebaby (I actually use the Essentials Carrier on vacation, but it was out in the car, so I didn't go get it).
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How to Dry Fresh Dill (without a dehydrator)

We have loved having a CSA share.  I was sad to say goodbye to ours, at least for a few months.  The farm that we did it through (Johnson's Backyard Garden) was fantastic, and they had a well-organized system that guaranteed a diverse share.  They usually give a few bunches of greens (especially in the winter months), some root vegetables, miscellaneous other vegetables, and one bunch of herbs.  

These herbs could be extremely easy to use, and sometime not so easy to use.  We have gotten big bunches of basil in the summer that were turned into pesto, bunches of cilantro that went into salad dressing, but the head-scratcher that I got a few times was dill weed.  Like a gigantic bunch of dill weed.  More than you could ever possibly use in a week, before the bunch goes bad.

I actually really like dill, but having that much fresh dill was a little overwhelming, and I often ended up throwing some of it away (which I really don't like doing!).  Then I discovered that you can dry your dill weed!  And you don't need a dehydrator!  Hooray!  Here's how you do it: 

1.  Carefully wash and dry your dill weed.   

2.  Clip the thick stems off, and evenly scatter the small bunches over a rimmed cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat.  

3.  Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature setting (mine went to 270°F). Do not choose the 'keep warm' setting.   

4.  Put your cookie sheet in the oven for 40 minutes.  Once you get to 40 minutes, check on the dill every 5 minutes or so until the dill is dry and crispy. 

5.  Remove it from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.  

6.  Remove from the pan and crumble the dill into a jar. 

7.  Make this ranch dressing. YUM!

Pin it for later!  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Roasted Carrot and Parmesan Quiche

As a food blogger, I try a lot of new ideas for dinner.  Some of them work, and some of them don't.  It is always depressing when we have to spend the next 3 days eating something semi-lousy that I made as an experiment.  Thankfully, I am getting better at making my experimentations turn into something delicious.  This quiche, for example, was an absolute winner.  If I owned a restaurant, this would be on the menu.  

I had been googling carrot quiche, because I needed to use up some carrots and had almost nothing else in the fridge.  Thankfully, I had some eggs, milk, and ingredients for a crust, so I whipped this baby together, and it has become a regular on the dinner table.  It is light, fluffy and absolutely delicious! 

Roasted Carrot and Parmesan Quiche:
serves 4-6

2 large carrots, tops and bottoms chopped off, and quartered lengthwise
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
a pinch of pepper
1/4 tsp thyme

1 cup whole milk
3 medium eggs
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan
1/16 tsp pepper

Spread your carrots out on a silicone lined, rimmed cookie sheet.  Pour olive oil over the top, and toss the carrots a bit, until they are covered with oil.  Sprinkle the carrots evenly with salt, pepper and thyme, and mix with your hands to coat them evenly in spices.  Cook the carrots in an oven preheated to 400°F for 20 minutes, until they are soft.  

Meanwhile, make your crust (or roll it out and put it in a pie pan). Line it with foil, and pour raw rice into it, to keep the center from puffing up while you cook it (you will cook it first, without the filling, then bake it again, with the filling, to ensure the bottom and sides get cooked all the way.  When your carrots come out of the oven, bake the rice-filled crust for 25 minutes at 400°F.  

While either the carrots or crust are in the oven, prepare your filling.  In a medium-sized bowl, combine, milk, eggs, thyme, salt, paremsan and pepper.  

Once the crust comes out of the oven, very carefully remove the rice-filled foil, and save for next time.  If there are any stray pieces of rice left in the crust, make sure you use your fingers, or a small set of tongs to remove the pieces, don't try tapping the rice out over the sink (I dumped an entire crust into the sink that way, once...).  

Fill the now-empty crust with the milk/egg filling, then gently set the cooked carrots on the top in a star shape, with one end in the center, and the other ends of the carrots fanning out into a wheel.  

Cook in the the oven, preheated to 400 °F for 45 minutes.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.  Then eat immediately.  


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Living with a CSA

Well, this is the last CSA post I will be posting for a while.  We are traveling to Vegas later this week, to see my brother (he just got home from a Mormon mission in Pennsylvania), then like 3 days later, we move to Utah for a few months.

I mentioned previously that we were planning on staying until December or so, but have since decided to come back to Austin for the fall.  This has been a remarkably difficult decision to make, and it is nice to know our fall plans, at least for now.

Anyway, this will be my last CSA post for a while, partially because we probably won't have a CSA share for the shortish time we are in Utah, and partially because I won't be cooking quite as much over the next few weeks, while we are staying with family.

We will be renting a house for part of the summer, and at that point, I will start posting meal plans again, because I will be cooking regularly at that point.  So if you love these posts, never fear!  They will return!  Just not for a few weeks.

Until then, I have a few other posts about food (but not recipes) that I have planned for you!  I am actually pretty excited about those, and hopefully you will like them, too!

This week was all about doing easy and well-loved recipes.  Old favorites that I could count on to deliver a tasty meal, and that wouldn't take tons of time, because our house is in chaos as we are packing up.  Hope you are having a good week!

To Use Up: 
Sun-Dried Tomato (First used in this)
Sweet Potato

Walnut, Onion and Feta Pizza - I used fennel (with the onion) and basil (instead of thyme) this time, and it was delicious.  I love a crumbled flat-bread pizza, and this one does not disappoint.
Sun-dried Tomato Soup - There are a few recipes out there that I wish I had come up with, because they are so good.  This recipe is one of them.
Tahini Cabbage Salad - The dressing was really strong on this salad.  The salad itself was gorgeous.  Overall, it was not a favorite, but not bad either, and a great way to use up cabbage.
Black Bean Soup - An old favorite.  Best served with tortilla chips.
Sweet Potato Curry - I made this one a few months ago on a whim, and it has fast become a staple.  It is easy, delicious and vegan.
Sweet Potato, Black Bean Tacos with Ranch Dressing - I make a variation on this often.  This time I added zucchini and sour cream.  It was very tasty.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

3 Ways to Up your Granola Game

You may know already that I eat granola just about every morning for breakfast.  It has long been a favorite, and I consistently enjoy eating it!  But, just like most meals, I do like to switch things up a little bit.  Lately I have done 3 variations on plain old granola to make it a lot more fun.

1.  Add a large spoonful of natural smooth peanut butter.  This is a delicious addition, and super easy.

2.  Add chocolate chips.  It is no secret that adding chocolate to breakfast is always a welcome addition in our home (We have also added nutella with great success).  Dark chocolate chips are my favorite.  I particularly like Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips.  I typically despise Hershey chocolate (it is too waxy tasting for me), but their dark chocolate chips are surprisingly good, and taste great in granola.  Plus, they cost $1.97 at my grocery store, so they can fit into my budget quite nicely!

3.  Add lemon zest and turbinado sugar.  I have been going through lemon zest kick.  I have been adding it to practically all of our meals lately, and my granola gotten swept up in that.  Zest a little lemon peel over the top and sprinkle 1/4-1/2 tsp of turbinado sugar (also known as sugar in the raw).  The sugar gives it a nice crunch, and the lemon zest adds a delightful light, summery flavor.

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