Fall cooking is around the corner…..

Fall cooking is around the corner…..

Aug 29th 2022


Even though it is suppose to be 90 degrees here today I can feel fall in the air.  There are moments of cool air where you know that those cooler temps are starting to push through the heat.  One of the questions we ask every night is….do we need the AC tonight...we prefer th?  Most nights lately are in the 60’s and have even gone as low as 50….perfect sleeping weather.  I tell you all this because with those cooler temps come thoughts of pumpkins, apples, stews, soups and pot roasts.  My mind also drifts to root veggies and thick gravies.  This is a situation for me as hubby and I are trying to watch our calories.  Ugh…..why is everything so good so bad for you?  I know, I know there are shortcuts to take that make low fat or low carb recipes.  I have been…..’big boned” (that’s what us northern girls like to call it) my whole life and have tried every diet there is.  WW, Atkins, master cleanse, the 14 day diet, you name it and I’ve tried it.  In 2009 when my husband was deployed I lost 70 lbs, but in order to do this I had to workout for 2 hours a day…..I just don’t have that time anymore and frankly, I hate exercise….so, my conundrum…..fall cooking, good eating, my age of 54 and feelings of stubbornness and wanting to live life to the fullest.  Plus, I have a mother/partner who is a little thing and loves her fast food and m&m's.  I didn't get her genes, I got my father's side of the family genes......thanks Dad!  It is a struggle.  I normally don’t get this personal, but I find that as I get older the big things become smaller and I’ve finally reached the point where I can recognize that “I am good enough”.  After 54 years I’ve realized I’m never going to be a size 8…..10 or even 12 again.  It’s ok!  My husband and I are both at the point of wanting to eat better for health instead of vanity and fitting in a certain pair of pants.  We have been using an app called “Lose it” where you simply track what you eat.  We try to stay at or under that number but there have been days where we have gone over.  Younger Julie would have said “my diet is blown, I’m done” but 54 year old Julie says, “tomorrow is another day”, it's ok. When we were at Sauder a couple weeks ago it was almost impossible to stay on track, plus, at the end of a long day it was OK to have a tall beer or fruity cocktail.  We got back on track when we were back home and you know….we both feel better.  Neither of us are weighing ourselves daily but going more on how we feel and how our clothes feel.  It’s all good and maybe we’ll get to our “goals”.  It might take awhile as we will slip every now and then but that’s ok!  
So, with all that said, those good things like pumpkins, apples, stews and gravies creep into my mind on Sundays.  I LOVE to cook on Sunday.  We’ve gotten into a nice routine of having both Mothers at the table and my son joins us for Sunday dinner (we never had that in the military as we always lived so far from family), so I feel compelled to make a big dinner.  Yesterday we celebrated my mother in laws 80th birthday so I made a big pot of her favorite spaghetti, a big salad with our garden tomatoes, cucumbers and chopped eggs from our girls.  We had a delicious crispy loaf of hearty garlic bread and I made Garlic and tomato confit for the bread.  Fancy….but it’s the simplest thing to make and the benefits of garlic outweigh a slab of butter, thats what I'm telling myself!  It was a great way to use up some of the cherry tomatoes too!  

“Garlic and cherry tomato confit”

2 heads of garlic,  peeled

1 cup cheery tomatoes

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of basil, oregano and 3 sprigs of rosemary

Salt and pepper

Stir together, making sure everything is covered with the olive oil then bake at 325 for 60-80 minutes until the garlic is soft.  

I strained the oil off and kept it to cook with as it is now nice and flavorful.  We spread the garlic and tomatoes on the crusty bread. You can omit the tomatoes if desired and use the soft garlic confit in your pastas, dressings….just about anywhere.   This meal was not friendly to our calorie counting app, but, it was a celebration, Sunday cooking day and as I said above “tomorrow is another day”.

Until next time…….