I’m holding consistent with my last post – it’s soup season! This makes a large batch, so it’s perfect for dinner now and freezing half for later. Or, if you’re cooking Thirty-Two Project style, ideal for feeding your family, and another family! Sometimes, I wish the current pace of my life lent to more leisurely cooking, instead of bordering on my near frenetic speed in the kitchen. I know this is a season. Audrey already plays more independently than she did a year ago, and soccer practice for Aidan means a wave good-bye, not parking myself in a lawn chair for an hour and a half to watch. But there’s not as much margin in my schedule as I’d personally like, and moving slowly throughout the kitchen is a luxury I’m not often afforded. This Quinoa Chili is not only a hearty, healthy meal, but ideal for those times when concentrated focus at the stove is minimal.
Living in a place like Michigan, with all four seasons, really suits me. I could certainly handle some seasons being longer (oh, sweet, fleeting autumn) and perhaps shorten winter to three months instead of approaching six. But the variety is harmonious with my personality. I love when seasons collide, like now. Summer not quite ready to say good-bye; autumn chilling the air and lake in a way that makes jeans and sweatshirts deliciously appropriate. At the market this past weekend, I saw big Honeycrisp apples for the first time, but the peaches were still there, too. Before they’re gone, spend less than five minutes making yourself this breakfast. You can grab and go in the morning, and get something that fills you up instead of sacrificing because mornings often seem too short.
I have a 10 year old. This still surprises me, even though I barely remember my life before I came a mother. While it seems he grew from five, to six, to seven with changes in reading level and physical capabilities, nothing has quite prepared me for the stage and growth curve we’re entering now. He’s really growing up. It’s like I’ve realized, almost for the first time, that he really will go to middle school and high school and move out of the house. I have this new awareness that he won’t be my baby forever and MAN I had better soak it up.
I secretly don’t mind the occasional rainy day as spring turns to summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love sunny, breezy days as much has the next person who puts up with six months of Michigan winter. Azure skies and hot temperatures beg for activities I love – we must go to the beach, spend afternoons at the pool, hike, bike and dine out on the deck while we can! But there’s something about a rainy day that makes me feel like the appropriate thing to do is spend the entire day in the kitchen, with a pot simmering while I work on other food prep. I love the warming flavors of ginger, turmeric and cayenne in this soup, and most of the veggies can be purchased at early summer market.
This won’t be the last granola recipe I post here, but it’s the perfect one to start. This is, hands down, my best basic granola. No fruit, no seeds, just oats, nuts and natural sweeteners. If your oats are gluten-free, the granola will be too. If you’re not already convinced, consider this: your house will smell AMAZING. Plus, every single person I have ever gifted this granola loved it. Okay. Let’s head to the kitchen.