Food is Love

12 Mar

While working away on the elliptical machines the other day, Mscooksalot and I discussed the new study showing how food shows love in our culture.  No big surprise, right?    Since way before we had little ones, I have cooked and baked as a way of showing my love, appreciation, support.  What makes someone feel more loved than fresh baked cookies, piping hot with melting morsels inside?  The olfactory experience alone makes one feel warm and cared for.  I always make lunches for my family (yes, to the mortification of my friends, even my husband) every day.  I feel this is a loving way to send them out into the world each morning.  They hopefully feel a little love when they see what I’ve made and I have the benefit of knowing they have a nutritious meal while they are gone.  But the study also points out that this idea of showing affection through food can lead to obesity.  I’m not sure on this one.

First of all, my family is not the slightest bit overweight.  Secondly, I kind of think the study has gotten it all wrong.  Food created and cooked in a kitchen at home is almost always more healthful than snacks or meals purchased pre-made or from restaurants.  There is not much love shown by going through the drive through anyway.  When we cook at home, we generally use fresh ingredients and much less sugar and salt than packaged food or food from a restaurant. When cooking at home, we also don’t use preservatives.   In fact, I think if more of us took the time to prepare fresh meals as a way of showing love, we may have less obesity.  A dozen donuts does not make my family feel loved, but some homemade, hot granola muffins sure do.  Maybe it is our definition of “love” that has become skewed along with our hurried culture.  Treating your family to ice cream is nice and fun, but it does not show love in the same way as preparing a family member’s favorite dinner recipe.

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Here are some of my family’s favorites.  I cook them as a way to show them love.

Sirskatesalot’s PB Choco Chip Cookies

1 c. margarine or butter

1 c. peanut butter

1 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

3 c. flour

1 c. milk choco chips

1 c. semi sweet chips

1/2 c. sugar for garnish

Mix butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and eggs.  Stir in flour and soda.  Mix in chips.  Drop by heaping scoops onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Wet the bottom of a water glass with water and dip in garnishing sugar.  Gently press down on cookie dough to flatten slightly.  Bake 350 for 12-14 min.

Princessenpointe’s Favorite Cauliflower Cheese Soup (From Williams-Sonoma Vegetarian)

2 small heads cauliflower

(I add 4 peeled potatoes

2 tbsp. butter

1 large onion chopped

1 clove garlic, minced (I use two)

4 cups vegie stock

1 tsp. dry mustard

pinch of fresh nutmeg

1 1/2 c. milk (I use fat free half n half)

2 c. shredded sharp cheddar

fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

Cut  1 cauliflower into 1/2 inch florets.  Fill saucepan 3/4 full with water, salt lightly and bring to boil.  Add florets and simmer 10-12 min. until tender. Drain well.  Set aside.  Cut second cauliflower into two inch pieces and set aside.  In soup pot, melt butter, add onion and garlic and sauté.

Add stock, reserved raw cauliflower pieces (and chopped, peeled potatoes if you choose), mustard and nutmeg and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until cauliflower is soft, about 30 min.  Remove from heat.

Working with 2 c. at a time, blend in blender until smooth and light.  I use my immersion blender in the pan.  Once all soup is pureed, stir in milk, bring to simmer.  Add cooked cauliflower florets and cheese.  Stir for 3-5 min. until cheese melts.  Season with your favorite spices and salt and pepper.

Serve topped with extra cheese and garnish with green onions.

Princelightningbolt’s Granola (loosely based on Dahlia Bakery’s granola)

2 c. oats

1 c. steel cut oats

1 c. shredded coconut

1 c. chopped pecans

1 c. chopped almonds (if you have time toast first)

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. sunflower seeds

1/4 c. sesame seeds

3 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 c. olive oil

1/4 c. canola oil

1/4 c. orange juice

1/2 c. pure maple syrup

1/4 c. honey

2tsp. vanilla

Dried fruit of your choice

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl.  Stir together wet ingredients.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir to coat.  Spread on two, large, greased baking pans.  Bake 300 for 50-60 min. stirring every 10-15 minutes.  Cool in pans on wire cooling rack.  Store in airtight container.  Serve alone, on yogurt, with milk, etc.

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One Response to “Food is Love”

  1. NTP March 13, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    Love to cook, cook to love. How nice of you to leave your treasured recipes. People out there, these are golden! Treasure them, share the love and give Ms. Bossy some credit when your family proclaims their undying love for your amazing treats. All of these recipes are 5 out of 5 stars! Thanks for sharing. Bake, cook and spread the love!

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