Spring Is Here & Hello Again

Spring Is Here & Hello Again

The transition into the Spring season is all around and it is powerful. I wrote a transitional post about a year ago and it is uncanny how I feel that the most natural thing for me now is to reemerge, just a short (ha!) 8 months after baby E arrived. During this time I’ve been immersed in the long season of new motherhood. I’ve slowly arrived to a place where my business can exist in balance with this new reality.

I wrote about Our Edible Garden last year and experiencing how it has evolved since then, through both the effort my husband has put into it and with the changing of the seasons, has encouraged reflection. Last weekend we planted all new seeds, along with starting a few seeds in our mini greenhouse of which some are sprouting. Baby E and I go out every day to check out what is different and we always find something new. What we have been particularly drawn to this month is the budding and blossoming fruit trees. She will lunge for the flowers and leaves and rub them between her fingers. I love witnessing how she experiences the seasons. In sync with this explosion of change, I am ready to return to my work and the blogosphere.

I’m excited to share that:

  1. In home cooking classes are being developed. The topic will change monthly, giving you the opportunity to delve into a particular culinary topic in the comfort of your cooking space. Invite your friends, these will be structured with the small group in mind (up to 5). Stay tuned for updates and send a message to let me know you are interested. Since my passion is to increase the ranks of home cooks and support them in this very valuable thing called cooking-at-home, the first class topic is Knife Skills: Tools and Techniques, where we will cover what every seasoned or brand new cook needs to know – the necessary tools, how to care for them and what to do with them. We will apply the new (or refreshed) skills to preparing and cooking a tasty meal together. And there will be surprises. I can’t wait! And if there is a topic you have been dying to cover, please let me know.  
  2. I am available to take on at least one more Personal Chef client, where I cook for you (& family) in your home. Learn more about this at Why a PC? & How it Works

On a more personal note, a friend told me that a mom’s brain shrinks! And since so much of my brain now focuses on my child, I guess there is less to use on other things.

Not fair.

So these days when I work a shift at Savory Kitchen or cook at a clients home, I write a post it note or two of things to bring and to do before leaving. Then I start gathering my things the night before. Yes, my good friend, advanced planning is my best friend. But more than organizing my to do list has been on my mind. With “Mom” as my newly minted job title, it is even more obvious that what I do is SO RELEVANT. No matter the details of your life, it is full, many times to the brim, but the need to feed ourselves never goes away. My planning consists of using a weekly chart to map out what we will be eating at each meal, an app that allows me to share items with relevant people, and Instacart. is. amazing. Because shopping with a baby… not always for the faint of heart. So how do you manage it all? Would love to hear your story.

 

Nectarine Tree in Full Bloom

Personal Chef for Baby (?!)

Does a newborn baby need a Personal Chef? Probably not – that is what mom is for! But babies parents might appreciate it. C & I were sitting in a birth prep class and the teacher asked us: “Do you have a plan for eating (good food) post labor?” Everybody in class paused and looked around at each other. She continued, saying, “You will have just finished the most intense workout of your life and you will need something nourishing and enjoyable – and you will need it immediately!” Well “ok”, I thought to myself, “this is right up my alley.” I offered up “Hire a personal chef!” Mrs Birth Professor quickly followed with “One that will be available – not in impending labor or post baby?” This made me pause as I had to agree that baking a human has been draining enough up to now and so, was this Personal Chef going to hire her own Personal Chef? NOPE I thought, I got this.

So here is part 1 of my plan, along with some of my considerations. Baby is due in the midst of a hot summer and I absolutely love fresh produce this time of year (stone fruit, berries, melons, etc.), so we are keeping our bimonthly fruit and veg Farm Fresh to You delivery, which comes straight to our door. Maybe my mastery of making quick meals out of random ingredients will come in handy at one, two and three weeks as a new momma (but I’m not really counting on it), so instead of cooking things like zucchini, I’ll most likely be slicing them thin and eating them raw.

To start, a variety of quick meal replacements and snacks are essentials. These are items that can easily be put on the plate, in a cup or in my hand.

Smoothie bags of various flavors filled with frozen fruit & veg, yogurt, milk, a variety of supplements (like psyllium husk, flax seed or one you are already use) which can be blended together with water, milk, yogurt, almond milk, juice, etc. I share my current favorite recipe below – with tropical flavors, but jam packed with good-for-baby & mommy greens.

Bone broth frozen in individual serving sizes. If you don’t already know about the magic of bone broth, please read Top 5 Reasons Why Bone Broth is the Bomb. from Underground Wellness.

Granola stocked in the freezer, as a snack or quick breakfast. I don’t have a favorite recipe, but I like to use this article How to Make Great Granola Every Time becauses the recipe is presented in a formulaic way ie I can modify it based on what I’ve got or what I’m in the mood for. My one preference is to use coconut oil in place of olive oil – a nicer flavor, great health benefits and a higher smoke point.

Energy bars, made from a blend of oats, nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, etc), dates, cacao powder, Brewers yeast (known to help aid in breast milk production), coconut oil and various spices. The beauty of these is that there is no baking involved, they can be made in large batches and they keep for seemingly ever.
Whether it be for post pregnancy or day-to-day meal planning, do you think these are good snacks or meal replacements ? I would love some more ideas and your thoughts!

Greens & Mango Smoothie

Ingredients

  • ½ banana
  • ½ mango
  • ¼ cup arugula, packed
  • ¾ cup coconut water
  • ¾ cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp fiber mix - I use a combo of flax and psyllium husk
  • 2 dates

Instructions

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy as a hearty snack or a light meal replacement.
  2. If planning for future use, pack all ingredients except coconut water in a sandwich size ziplock and store in the freezer. Will last up to 6 months.
http://girasolecreation.com/2016/07/21/personal-chef-baby/

Hello Friends!

I’ve been away from the blogging world for over a year now and even though I only had a handful of regular visitors, I feel compelled to explain myself.

The end of 2014 and all of 2015 was a rollercoaster ride in terms of stability across all aspects of my life. Though I’ve skirted around the issue for a while, recently I’ve come to accept that feeling stable and rooted somewhere is a huge requirement for me if I am going to do anything but follow someone else’s lead or just veg out.

So to give you some background, C & I had just tied the knot, and since he had accepted a new fancy job in Silicon Valley, we were committed to moving to a completely new and foreign part of California where I had no professional ties and very little social community. We had also decided to take the plunge and buy a house so within a 12 month stretch we had moved 3 times to polar opposite neighborhoods across the Bay Area. All while I attempted to establish my freelance business and hold down a tumultuous, yet very satisfying, part time turned full time turned no time job. And then I got pregnant. Feeling dizzy yet? That was me all of January, part of February and sometimes even now.

So I’ve recommitted to the blog and to you, my favorite reader. I want to talk about a lot of different things: what I’m cooking from my bimonthly CSA box, what I’m growing in my soon to be backyard garden, food experiences, whether that be local or in far flung locals and my insight into work as a Personal Chef. Occasionally you will find a recipe, and there will be updates on my life and some first-to-know details on any in-the-works business projects. 

I welcome your comments or requests to discuss specific topics. I look forward to sharing with you soon!