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Filtering by Tag: cooking

deliciously slow (with leah kent)

liz lamoreux

Note from Liz: I'm delighted to welcome Leah Kent as a guest today. She's sharing about one way she waters her soul: slowing down and making simple, delicious meals. Enjoy her post today!

I have always believed in the power of a simple but delicious home-cooked meal to feed a person from the inside out. When we eat well, it sets the foundation for living well. Connection and celebration and magic can happen around the dinner table, night after night. This is why the kitchen has always been my sanctuary and chopping vegetables is often my daily act of meditation.

Once our sweet little boy was born, it seemed like these treasured routines unraveled a bit. I wasn’t sure how to cook with his warm little body tied to mine in his soft, stretchy wrap pretzeled around my chest. Even in the glowy haze of falling in love with my newborn, I certainly missed parts of the life I had before.  

Never have I been more appreciative of every free moment I can find in any given day since becoming a mama. No one can prepare you for how time will shift and change when your world expands to embrace your new and precious little person. 

In these early days of mamahood the words “deliciously slow” came together for me one day. Rather than focus on the exhaustion, messy house, and unfinished projects, I chose to find at least one moment of joy and beauty each day and embrace it.  

Maybe I couldn’t do all the laundry that day, but I could walk with the baby to the end of the block and see the sun shining through the woods. I would take a photo of that moment and share it online like a journal entry of my newborn mama life. 

Deliciously Slow started as a daily photo meditation and grew into something else for me. I felt very challenged to keep making home-cooked meals once I was a mama. But I was committed to eating well and at home, so I started to use my slow cooker almost every night. 

I made soups, stews, steel-cut oats for breakfast, dried beans, roasts, and more. Being able to add the dinner ingredients to a pot and then walk away? It was life changing. I was able to relax more, enjoy my time with my babe, work on my business, and still eat things that made me feel good.

Preparing meals in the slow cooker has had such a positive impact in my life because it frees up time in the kitchen so I can tend to my creative pursuits. I want that for all women and mamas who want more space in their lives to do what they love while still nourishing themselves with beautiful food. 

That is how Deliciously Slow grew into a pay-what-you-can online course to help you prepare healthy slow cooker meals. It’s a seven day class with a beautiful printable cookbook where I share everything I’ve learned about how to use the slow cooker to make truly delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with whole food ingredients. Our fall session starts on November 2nd and I invite all who are interested to join at a price that feels just right for you. 

I’m so happy to be sharing a recipe with you for one of my favorite slow cooker discoveries…breakfast. The first time I made overnight oats and woke up to breakfast I did a happy dance. A hot meal waiting for me with no thinking or cooking required? The morning felt so luxurious! 

That is my wish for you, too. To feel the luxury of spaciousness. To stay present and cultivate gratitude for the small miracles and pleasures daily life offers to us. To eat well, nourish yourself, and savor the deliciously slow moments. 

Deliciously Slow Spiced Fruit Steel-Cut Oats


1 cup steel-cut oats

4 cups water

1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, or cranberries

1 tsp cinnamon mixed with a pinch of cloves, nutmeg, and allspice

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 T maple syrup


Combine all ingredients in the crock. Cover and cook overnight on Low for 7 to 9 hours

Stir oatmeal well before serving in the morning. Serve with desired toppings such as almond or coconut milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted or shredded coconut, and fresh cut fruit.  

Leah Kent founded Skill It to celebrate the everyday pleasures of living a {mostly} handmade and home-cooked life. A mama and artist, she loves sharing her passion for food, family, and creativity with others through her writing and teaching.

In addition to creating beautiful e-courses like deliciously slow, she is a certified holistic life coach. She makes her home in Rhode Island and relishes every opportunity to connect with the natural rhythms of daily life.

Deliciously Slow begins November 2. Learn more right here.

pinned it. did it. {with liz}

liz lamoreux

Ellie and I made banana bread this weekend, and I loved it so much I knew I had to come and tell you all about it and add my own "Pinned It. Did It." column this week. (Meg will be back with another one next week. Read past columns here.)

Ellie is a bit obsessed with making banana bread. At some point last spring, we made some from a mix and now she tells me about every three weeks, "I think it's time to make more banana bread." And we do. But often from a mix while changing things up (like using peanut oil or adding our own bananas etc).

But in my quest to do things a wee bit healthier around here and cook from scratch more, I went to Pinterest to find a recipe.

my "sweet things" pinboard 
(thinking I might want this from Pottery Barn as I do more Pinterest-inspired cooking)

But first I got very distracted by this. (Because wouldn't you?)

And then refocused on bread and found this recipe: Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

This one was also a contender: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

But the idea of swirling cinnamon won out, so I went with that first one. We followed the recipe but I also added 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Here's a glimpse into our adventure. One thing I love about baking is that, overall, it is often "toddler helper" friendly.

Clearly sampling the chocolate chips is a very good idea.

We used the Kitchenaid Mixer with paddle attachment for this recipe, being careful not to overmix the flour and baking soda. I like the way it mashed the bananas so well. And Ellie liked turning it off and on. But the batter photos were not appetizing, so I skipped those for this cute blue bowl filled with cinnamon sugar photo below.

Ellie wanted to try little tiny tastes of everything. She wasn't too fond of the flour (as predicted) but the cinnamon and sugar was a hit. After we mixed everything together, we stirred in the chocolate chips, and then it was time for the cinnamon + sugar mixture. Ellie was able to easily stir them together and then add 1/2 of it on top of 1/2 the batter, which became the middle of the loaf, and then the other half on the top of all the batter.

Next time I make this bread, here is what I will do differently: I would put about three-fourths of the cinnamon + sugar mixture into the middle of the bread. We put in about 1/2 (as Ellie is doing above), but this meant that we put a lot on the top. And all of it didn't absorb (as you can see in the top photo of this post). So we had that "too much cinnamon sugar on your cinnamon toast effect," and when I flipped it out of the pan, it went everywhere. BUT it did make a crust that was so darn yummy. I would also add only 2/3 (or even 1/2) cup of chocolate chips next time.

And, I learned that the melted chocolate chips plus all that cinnamon goodness on the top and inside made it harder to tell when the bread was done using the toothpick method. So I used the impromptu "might as well put a whole knife tip in there and see if it comes out clean" method, which was surprisingly effective.

It was so good. Like the best. Like you should take it to every party where you need to bring something because oh my goodness it is easy and people are going to love it.

This bread will be heavy in rotation now whenever bananas are starting to "go bad." I'd like to explore adding some new kinds of flours (like oat flour), but that is a whole new adventure and I'm still finding my map for that one.

One thing I know for sure: Pinterest is helping me get excited about cooking more. And now that it is cooling off in the afternoons, I'm starting to actually cook instead of just pin ideas. So stay tuned for more stories from the kitchen.


A quick note about Pinterest: Over here in my corner, I'm one of the top 50 pinners in the world (seriously) and I'm trying to "use Pinterest for good." I really see it as a community of people trying to see the beauty and possibility in their lives. I'm adding a few new features here on my blog inspired by or directly about Pinterest as a way to invite others to look for this beauty within a social media community. I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds. Connect with me on Pinterest here. Read other "Pinned it. Did it." columns here.

nourish . leaning into whole(ness)

liz lamoreux

words gathered in the studio 

As I hammer words into metal, I can't help but think about the meaning behind each one and wonder a bit about why each person was drawn to the word and what it means to them. Some of the words stick with me and become part of my own practice.

Yesterday, I spent some time journaling about my word of the year (whole) and how I want to live from wholeness this month. One theme that keeps coming up is wanting to feel like I am nourishing my body and my family by cooking. I love to cook and I love to eat what I cook, but I haven't cooked much during the last few years. But during the week of Thanksgiving, I was moved to look through a few cookbooks and print out some of Tracy's fall recipes. And I cooked. (hello beef stew. hello roasted butternut squash + apples + potatoes + cranberries.) And it was awesome. And I can't stop thinking about how much I enjoyed cooking while Jon and Ellie and Millie played and talked to me.

As I look to this year, I want to continue to spend time making things from scratch (or from kinda scratch with the help of Trader Joe's) and sit at the table with my little family (or by myself while Ellie naps) and take the time to practice this important piece of self-care (and family care).

But I know that I am going to need to really push myself to do this. So I am writing about it here in the hopes of checking in and maybe getting some support from you about how you do it.

Here are a few of the things I am doing to get started:

1) I reorganized my studio so that my packaging and shipping station is now in the studio and not on the kitchen table.

2) I am choosing one cookbook to really sink into for a bit, and I'm starting with The Barefoot Contessa at Home. I have enjoyed cooking her recipes in the past, and now that I have a Cuisinart (Christmas gift), I feel ready to tackle some of I have looked at with longing in the past.

3) I am asking for help. My mom is visiting later this month and we are going to spend some time talking about what she cooks (she and Steve cook together every night) and put together some "go to" recipes for me. (Does this mean I get to buy a new binder? I hope so.) We are also going to work on making the kitchen a bit more user friendly. Today, we had a long talk about the shifts I want to make with cooking and living in the house I've always dreamed of (meaning a lot less clutter), and I am feeling deeply supported by her and really look forward to her visit. And then my friend Jen is planning to visit next week, and I asked her if we could cook while she is here. (She is a great cook who always uses yummy fresh ingredients and I know I can learn a lot from her.)

4) For Christmas, I gave my dad Molly Wizenberg's book A Homemade Life. I love this book so much, and while reading it a few years ago, I kept thinking about how parts of it were such a beautiful love letter to her dad. I asked my dad if he wanted to read it together and cook recipes from the book with me...kind of like a year-long book/cooking club. This is the first time I have asked him to do anything like this, and I think it will be a really neat way for us to connect across the miles. I am hoping there might even be a meal or two shared via Skype but that might be a little too modern for him (insert big smile here).

5) My mom gave Ellie a little toddler play kitchen for Christmas. It is really fantastic and the perfect size for her. I love that she will be able to begin to imitate me (and Jon) cooking or just enjoy stacking her blocks in the play oven while I cook. I am also thinking about investing in something like this toddler stool with sides. I know it is oh my goodness expensive, but I can't help but think that it would be so awesome for Ellie to be safe while at the kitchen counter playing or coloring or helping me as she gets a bit older. (Hey moms, do you/did you have something like it?)

6) I created a "the year of cooking" pinboard over on Pinterest where I am pinning photos connected to links to recipes I find at sites like Shutterbean and Orangette and Smitten Kitchen and my tried and true favorite Betty Crocker. And I am finding that so many other people have recipe pinboards too so I am checking those out. This feels really motivating because it is such fun to have the visuals of all the possibility that awaits. 

As I think about this year of leaning into whole(ness), I am trying to stay really open to the truth that I choose...each day...I choose. And I do hope to check in about this often...maybe there will even be some recipe posts coming up as I learn and eat and nourish.