BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Keeping it slow

Life is about to become all together too exciting.

And I have spent the past few weeks wondering if perhaps we're a bit crazy to consider backpacking around Europe with kids?

First there's the fact that Uliana hasn't done much traveling... and she is still the sort of kid who would prefer it if everything was always the same. Her usual response to changes in our schedule, is 1 hour of crying at bedtime...

Then there's the fact that Nikolai and Uliana have spent the last two weeks trading seasonal illnesses back and forth.  They've had it all... fevers, sore throats, stomach flu, and endless runny noses. Naturally they aren't in isolation... nearly EVERYONE we know has been sick multiple times in the month of February. Regardless, after all the "cleaning up" I've had to do this weekend, I'm left hoping that washing with soap and water will keep the flu away.

Then again, perhaps a little excitement is just what the doctor ordered? I'm one exhausted Mom who sincerely hopes that to be the case.

In the meantime, I think we'll fight off this unseasonably cold weather with some warming slow cooker recipes.

Hearty Miso Soup
Saute 1 tbsp of freshly minced ginger and 4 cloves of mince garlic. If using a slow cooker put all the following ingredients into the slow cooker: 7 cups of water/broth, 4 cups of chopped firm vegetables (I used carrots, white mushrooms and shitake mushrooms), 1 tbsp of diced seaweed (wakame is traditional).

Cook on low for 4 hours, or high for 2 hours.  Then add 1/2 lbs of noodles (we used sweet potato noodles for something grain free, but rice or buckwheat soba would both work too) and 2 cups of soft vegetables (I used cabbage).  Cook on high for 1 more hour.

Then remove 1 cup of broth and stir in 1/4-1/2 cup of miso paste (yellow is mildest) return to the pot.  Then season to taste (it will depend on the saltiness of your miso).  It is best to buy refrigerated miso because it will be probiotic.

**Note, you could also make this on a stove top.  Simply simmer it all in a pot for 20 minutes, then add the noodles and cabbage and simmer for 7 minutes more.

Pumpkin Pie Custards
This is basically a dairy-free and crustless pumpkin pie.  Combine 2 cups of cooked pumpkin (could also use squash or sweet potatoes), 2 tbsp butter, 4 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves and 3 eggs.  Blend until smooth.

Pour it into an 8 cup glass dish that will fit in your slow cooker (you could also fill smaller individual dishes). Cover with tinfoil and secure in place with a rubberband (or string).

Place into slow cooker and pour 1" (5 cm) of boiling water into the bottom of the stoneware.  Cook on high for 3 hours, until set.

This would be nice topped with toasted nuts and whipping cream, but we enjoyed ours plain.

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