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creative handmade family cooking


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Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Recipes

LeahKent_SweetPotatoPrepHow is it April already!? This first year with August is already going so fast, I can’t believe he will be four months old next week. He’s teething and practicing his skills of sitting up on his own. Babies are so impressive and very hard workers!

As my baby gets more and more active, I have less and less time to make dinner and work on my passion projects. This just means that Deliciously Slow, my new slow cooker class, is coming at the perfect time for our family.

I’ve been making dinner in the crock at least two or three nights a week. Usually I make something big enough that we can eat the leftovers a few days later. So I am only cooking two or three times a week for five or six meals. Woo hoo!

One of the things I’ve discovered about the slow cooker in the past few years is that you can make so much more than just soup, chili or stew.

You can also cook dried beans, whole grains, and even root vegetables and squash. I either eat them as is or use them in other recipes. Sweet potatoes are a favorite food in our house because they’re so nutritious. And they’re especially good for breastfeeding mamas, by the way! Sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamins A and C plus Beta-Carotene and a ton of fiber. Good stuff!

You can cook sweet potatoes in your slow cooker so easily and the results are delicious! You can also make a tasty sweet potato and apple mash, which makes a perfect side dish now that grilling season is here again. I just made this and paired it with green beans and pork chops and it was amazing. As in lick-the-plate clean amazing.

Here are the recipes to make these deliciously slow and simple dishes:

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Wash and scrub 4-5 sweet potatoes, leaving skins on. Pierce several times with a knife or fork and arrange in the bottom of your slow cooker. It’s ideal if they don’t overlap one another too much. Cover and cook on Low for 6-7 hours. You can test that they’re done by piercing them with a fork.

These can go savory, topped with salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil or butter alongside grilled meats. You can also dress them up sweet with a drizzle of coconut oil and a sprinkling of brown sugar, maple syrup, or cinnamon. If you have leftovers, they keep nicely in the fridge and can then be chopped and used in a hearty grain bowl or salad in a day or two.

IMG_1932Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Apple Mash

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced or chopped
3 apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 TB brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Toss potatoes and apples into the bottom of your slow cooker. Mix the maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together and sprinkle over the top of the potatoes and apples. Cover and cook on Low for 4-5 hours. Serve as a dinner side dish. This is so easy and yummy, you could eat it for breakfast, too!

These are the types of healthy, whole food recipes I’ll be sharing in Deliciously Slow, my seven-day class that starts on April 13th. If you’re not already signed up, this is a pay-what-you-can offering and I’d love for you to join me! You can click right here to learn more about Deliciously Slow.

If you make these slow cooker sweet potatoes, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


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Dreaming and Feathering Giveaway

IMG_6485I can already feel in my bones that 2015 is an amazing year for having some of my long-held dreams blossom and thrive. I make it a practice to check in with myself often, frequently reviewing my life road map and fine-tuning my soul compass.

I also love having a community sounding board for all these dreams and ideas that swirl around in my head. I thrive on the support and encouragement of others.

There is something so powerful about declaring our dreams out loud. It breathes life into them. It makes them real.

We get awesome ideas from our friends and community that help imagine things that go far beyond what we think is possible. That’s why I love Amy Bower’s Dream Lab, a three-week online lab to help integrate your dreams into your “real” life. As Amy puts it, “We are going to dig into the past a bit, share real life tools, methods, and resources for getting stuff done, investigate  various types of dreams, learn how to “own” your work and embrace failure and so much more.”

Feathering the Nest is about creating space that supports the life you are dreaming of, Dream Lab helps you clarify what that is. That’s why these courses are such perfect companions to one another. They don’t compete or overwhelm each other, and past participants who have taken both at the same time found them to be a powerful combination.

Stephanie and I are delighted to be giving away a spot in BOTH Dream Lab and Feathering the Nest to one lucky winner.

Dreamlab 2015 Banner

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below telling us what you are dreaming about right now.

You have until Tuesday, March 3rd to leave your comment and the winner will be contacted on Wednesday the 4th. Please make sure I am able to contact you to get you registered in both courses! Happy Friday and good luck!!

 

 


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Five easy dinners

IMG_4495Do you have those weeks where it’s all you can do to just throw some food on the table in a hurry? Maybe a week where you serve pasta with red sauce five nights in a row?

I adore cooking and spending time in the kitchen but you don’t get to do that as much with a two month attached to you at all hours of the day! I know he won’t always be this little and cuddly so I am focused on enjoying this time and surrendering to my new schedule.

While that’s my reason for needing quick and easy dinners, we all have something we’d like to have more time for. That could be reading a book, working on a passion project, or just getting a few extra minutes of much-needed sleep!

Even when life is busy and feels hectic, I’m committed to cooking dinner for myself and my family as much as possible. We do it because we greatly value home-cooked meals made from whole ingredients. I know the food we prepare ourselves is more nourishing for us than take-out. And it’s certainly much more economical than buying ready-made meals night after night.

Yes, of course we eat out or buy a prepared meal sometimes! But over years of cooking and trying different recipes, I can honestly say that often it’s quicker and easier just to make something at home. I am talking three-ingredient dinners, nothing fancy, and releasing any expectations about how things are supposed to look!

I truly believe that even the simplest dinner, when prepared with a little bit of love, is the most nourishing thing to put on your plate.

IMG_1274

I thought I would share five of my favorite meals that I make when I have limited time or energy for cooking. These are dinners that go together in a snap and you really don’t need a recipe. Instead, you can take these basics and make all the substitutions you need with the ingredients you have on hand.

Best of all, they’re made from healthy, whole foods to keep you nourished so you can take on your life, projects, and appointments with confidence and grace.

I hope these recipe ideas help you, whether you’re in the midst of a major life change (hello new mamas!) or just looking to carve out a little extra time for yourself. Click right here to download the pretty printable PDF I made for you! You can hang this inside a pantry door or post it right on the front of your refrigerator as a happy reminder that a simple dinner could be on the table quicker than it takes to order a pizza to be delivered.

Feed yourself and your family with care and compassion, a smile and a laugh, because that is really all that matters in the end.

I hope you savor and lean into the lovely things you find in each day, and feel free to leave a comment below with your own super easy dinner ideas!


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Cultivating a heartfelt home and embracing imperfection

Last week in my newsletter, I felt inspired to write about my decision to slow down, surrender, and allow things to unfold this year. The particular phase of mamahood that I am in, caring for an itty bitty newborn, requires great heaping doses of surrender.

So I started capturing the pretty moments in between the everything else (dirty dishes, diapers, endless loads of laundry, etc) and sharing them on Instagram. Looking over the photos, I realized that someone could possibly get the wrong idea of what life is like in my home.

You might think it’s all sunshine, baking, and flowers around here. Fortunately, these things are part of my life, but so are big messes and unkempt piles of books and magazines. Those are the things that lie just outside the frame of my camera lens.

My home and my life are not perfect, but they do reflect my heart and my soul. I have cultivated my surroundings over time, with love, purpose and creativity.

IMG_6072I have hemmed the curtains myself, incorporated the hand-me-down furniture, and refinished the scavenged dresser and bookcase. I’ve painted the walls with colors I love and that make me breathe with peace when I look at them.

The found treasures and family heirlooms are sprinkled throughout the house and arranged this way and that, in combinations that shift with the seasons. Many things have been released over the years to make room for things that are a better fit.

The art of making a home is an ongoing one. I change, my family life evolves, and our home must grow to best nurture and support us where we are.

I take joy and pride in this cozy nest of ours. I think we all want to feel that sense of pride and comfort about wherever we recharge and refresh ourselves. A beautiful home is not about aesthetic perfection, it’s about creating a nurturing space that allows you to thrive and bloom.

As I continue to work on my home to make room for baby August, I also love to help others cultivate a heartfelt space of their own. That’s why I’m so delighted that Stephanie and I will be leading a session of Feathering the Nest this Spring. We both love this class because we are delighted by the transformations our community members experience.

IMG_3118Women from all around the globe have joined us for this course to create space within their homes that support their dreams and desires. And most of the time it’s just by rearranging what they already own.

Together, we help one another clarify what we want to create in our lives. And then we create the physical spaces in our homes that help us attract and manifest those visions for how we want to feel in our daily life.

It’s good, juicy stuff.

So how about you, love? What one thing are you dreaming about creating for yourself this year? And how could you make space for that in your home? I hope you’ll let us know in the comments below…

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