A few weeks ago I gave a cooking demonstration for a local parents group. The theme was using farmers market bounty to make quick, inexpensive and tasty dishes for a family. The group was there because they needed help making good choices for healthy foods, following simple recipes and feeding their family on a dime. Now, I am not the most frugal person in the world, but I do find a way to feed my family without breaking the bank.
Our conversation during the demo ranged from streamlining weekly meal prep to how I am able to do all of the things I loved and still be around to see my family. See, I have a day job. I think the perception is that THIS is my day job. It isn’t.
I am, and always will be, looking for ways to balance it all. It’s hard and darn near impossible. I shared something with the group that I have been using for the last several months to record pictures, recipes, notes, internet clips of this and that and my biggest blogging time saving tool: My XYBoard by Motorola.
I got this a few months ago to use and chronicle how it has helped me stay organized both in the kitchen and in my day to day life. I was skeptical as I am a paper and pencil kind of girl. But what really sold me was the fact that I could do a blog post from anywhere. I use the stylus that came with it to use the handwriting recognition feature. I use the pictures I have taken along the course of the post production and insert it in the draft. I can work while waiting in the car in the pick up line at school using the 4G LTE that I have come to depend on.
I, Mrs. Old School herself, has become hopelessly devoted to my tablet.
That is how I can balance it all. Maximizing my downtime to get work done. I make lists, email them to my husband, set reminders, all of the things I thought I didn’t need to use a tablet for.
So my advice to these busy parents, parents just like me, was that the tablet was a great investment for their family. My kids use it to access their online textbooks, and my husband uses it as a remote control (among other things) it’s a win-win!
Since I was there to teach the art of multi-tasking in the kitchen I also shared a favorite summer recipe of mine that incorporates the best of the farmers market in a simple, no-cook soup that is versatile and you can use it to build upon depending on what is fresh and what you have on hand and like.
This recipe is my go-to Gazpacho recipe. Use what you like here but make sure you use a high quality tomato juice like Red Gold. It makes all the difference
This soup is a great way to get a little extra nutrition into a meal. You can float a few homemade croutons on top, add some zucchini and yellow squash sticks for dipping or a scoop of diced chicken to make it a heartier meal.
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1 medium cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 small red, green and yellow pepper
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 packed cup of cilantro
- 2 TB of sherry vinegar
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 2 C Red Gold tomato juice
- salt/pepper to taste
- dash of hot sauce, optional
- In a large bowl, add all of the chopped ingredients through the cilantro.
- Using a blender, blend all of the veggies a little at a time ,pouring it all into 1 large bowl,until you get to the last batch.
- To this one add the liquids.
- Pour this last bit into the bowl and whisk to incorporate.
- I like my Gazpacho smooth, if you want a bit more 'chunk' then blend for less time.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.