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Can we take food experiences and make them smarter?

champagne-glass-to toast a 2017 with carrots and peace

Can we take food experiences and make them smarter?

I spent some time over the holidays thinking about this blog and where I want to take it for the year. Remembering that it’s been a stream of consciousness outlet for the stuff in my head for a while now. I realize that I’ve been searching for the answer to the question: ‘Why should I read your blog?’

And I think I finally have it.

But first, let me tell you a story.

I’ve often looked enviously at people who have one overarching talent. Hard work and honing that craft with blood, sweat, and tears notwithstanding, can I just say, you lucky shits! I know you’ll never agree with me if you’re one of those, but stay with me anyway? When you do one thing exceedingly well, your choices become easier.

Not so for the rest of us. Jacks of all trades. Masters of a few of those, if you’re lucky.

Let passion be your guide, they say. Ha!

Who remembers that ad for kicks from a decade or so ago? (Nike I think. Which I spent an hour trying to find! You’d think Google and YouTube together would’ve facilitated that wouldn’t you? But, I digress.) I’m talking about the one that follows kids, asking them what they want to be when they grow up. One of the lines in it, I loosely paraphrase: ‘I want to be a veterinarian. I want to be the President. I want to be the President’s dog’s veterinarian.’ Yup, that’s me right there.

Some call it distraction. I call it dreaming.

I’d be nowhere without my dreams.

I have to believe that.

I have to believe that the ability to do more than one thing (somewhat well) means something too. I have to believe that changing-but-always-fervent passions are a good thing.

I have to believe that varying what I do is the stuff reinvention is made of for me.

And today, that reinventing takes the form of my blog. Which for the foreseeable future will bring together my two overarching passions: my love of food and my love of words.

But how will my food blog be different? What will I offer in this blog that isn’t available from every other blogger and her eccentric aunt?

Answer: It’s what people, before me perhaps, have called smart food.

What does smart food mean at Carrots and Peace?

Food that’s good for you. Real, responsibly sourced, local, in season. (Or circumvent the seasons and use good quality canned or frozen – never bad words in my home).

Food that that’s luxurious. Rich, wholesome and entirely satisfying (the kind of stuff that #FoodPorn was made for). But just a little lighter. Because why not? I like to think of it as food with accountability. I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve got no time for empty. Not on the regular at any rate. If I can get that Spaghetti Aglio Olio to taste just as divine with half the olive oil and more herbs and garlic, you can bet your ass I’m going to do it. And I’ll throw in some pecans for good measure. If my chocolate chip pancakes can get more delicious and good for my baby girl by replacing some of the flour with oats and hemp hearts… duh!!! If I can sneak an extra egg in there with no one tasting it (particularly me), it’s like Christmas on crack!

And speaking of baby girl…

Food that works for the entire family. Even the fussiest of them. This year I’ve worked super hard to feed my family (which consists of one omnivore, one herbivore and one who turns-up-her-nose-at-everything and has food allergies) in a way that didn’t involve multiple meals cooked and compromises. And I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that not being able to use dairy in baking is far from a deal breaker. I’ve learned that even fussy-pants Murphyskid will eat kale chips. I’ve learned that just because we’re eating vegetarian take out, I don’t need to settle for carbs topped with fried carbs. I’ve learned that store bought pasta sauce with hummus stirred through is totally a thing (a pretty delicious thing too). That I’m never putting butter on toast if there’s an avocado around! Not just because it’s healthy or I have it in for butter, or am afraid that my dairy-allergic AF child will ask for some… but because I adore avocado toast.

Food that’s easy. We talk so much about a smarter process in everything that we do. Ways by which integrating technology into our lives can make it miles and miles better. In my blog, I hope to show you that can extend to food as well. Whether it’s smarter ordering of ingredients, quicker and easier cooking methods, ways to double up and store for a snowy day, ways to cut your prep time in half. ‘From scratch’ doesn’t need to equal ‘kill self from exhaustion’. If 50 cents more buys you a wiped and sliced pack of mushrooms, I say more power to you! If that food processor gathering dust under your counter makes light work of slicing 6 onions for French onion soup, what are you waiting for? It’s dishwasher safe you know! Blade and all.

Food nourishes. It heals. It creates conversations and laughter. And it brings out the best in us all. And that’s what I’m hoping Carrots and Peace can be to you over 2017. So pull up a chair and sit at my table. To talk food. With a side of humorous storytelling around raising #Murphyskid – the person that’s inspired this new version of foodie me. And a couple of other things that are deeply meaningful to me, shaping the way I think.

Let’s get started.

Here’s to a smarter 2017 that involves loads of good food. Mangia!



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Carrots and Peace

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