1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

Top
July 29, 2020

Why I Can’t Get it Together

I’m still out of my pre-pandemic routine. Some days, the struggle feels way too big. And that soothing bowl of ice cream is SHOUTING my name. For yo

July 23, 2020

Vegetables for Lazy Days

There are days, many of them lately, when I’m happy to prepare a meal, yet I am not in the mood to peel and chop a batch of vegetables to sauté, ro

July 16, 2020

Creating Art in Your Kitchen

Years ago, I did not believe that I had a single creative bone in my body. This was due to the fact that I got poor marks on my drawings in art class.

July 9, 2020

Cheers for Rainiers

What is this Saturday, July 11, you ask? Why, it’s National Rainier Cherry Day! In 1952, Harry Fogle of Washington State University developed the Ra

July 2, 2020

It’s Summer, so Bring on the Ribs

In our family, summer means grilling. One of our favorites: baby back ribs cooked to perfection. There’s a rib joint in Porter by the name of Wagner

June 25, 2020

Sniff. What’s That Smell?

How does summer smell to you? What aromas make you happy? Maybe you haven’t thought about it much, unless you have seasonal allergies or a cold. Tod

June 18, 2020

A Time to Celebrate

Big weekend ahead. I wish all you fathers and like-fathers a very special Father’s Day this Sunday. May you enjoy a day filled with love, happiness,

June 17, 2020

Salmon Dill Nicoise Salad

Although a classic Nicoise salad is made with tuna, it’s nice with perfectly cooked salmon. Nicoise salad has all the light and vibrant flavors of a

June 11, 2020

Relax into Summer

The amazing season known as summer is nearly upon us. When I think of it, my mind sees beaches, hammocks, pitchers of iced tea, grills in action, all

June 4, 2020

I’m a Honey Fan

I am often asked about honey—if it’s healthier than sugar. Honey does contain sugar. Per tablespoon, honey has 64 calories and 17g of sugar. That

Mr. Non-Compliant Goes to Costco and a Summer Recipe

My husband (aka Mr. Non-Compliant) and I typically do not grocery shop together. I know that many couples do and I can only imagine what that must be like. For us, it is a near nightmare experience.

Recently, we were in Costco and needed less than ten items. We had fifteen minutes for shopping in order to make it to an event without being tardy.

We agreed; only pick up the items on the list and no reading labels. Deal.

We were off, him driving the buggy and me guiding the way and grabbing the items. I resisted temptation and read not even one label. Ten minutes into it, things were going great, in spite of the sample snack booths, crowds and detours.

Suddenly, as I turned to toss the last item into the cart, he had vanished. UH OH! The “look,” folded arms, and toe tapping got me nowhere. I began the search.

You guessed it. He had found the sample booth with beef jerky (we had missed lunch—bad idea) that was located across the aisle from the pantry size jar of plain M&M’s. As he tossed the nearly four-pound container of candy-coated chocolates into the buggy, I simply found the shortest checkout line.

This is what happens when I turn my back for 15 seconds. At this stage in the game, I choose my battles. The one-pound container of mixed spring greens will hopefully offset all that sugar.

Had it been me a few years ago, I would have chosen the peanut variety. I’ve managed to break that habit and when I need chocolate, it’s a square or two of the 85% cocoa variety. He asks why I do that to myself. We blissfully agree to disagree.

In celebration of today’s Summer Solstice, here is my favorite summer potato recipe in case you missed my Facebook Live on Tuesday. Enjoy today to it’s fullest and have some of your favorite summer foods!

Summertime Grilled Potatoes

 Scrub your favorite variety of potatoes, or combine Sweet, Idaho, Yukon Gold, whatever you have on hand. Cut in thin slices and place about two layers on a piece of foil you have coated with olive oil. This will make it easier to spoon them out once they’re cooked. (If you have a crowd, it’s better to make a couple smaller packets so they cook evenly.)  

Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. For variety, try Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, garlic powder, paprika (adds a nice color), and/or rosemary. You can’t mess this up, so have fun experimenting. You could also add sliced onions, zucchini, or peppers. Secure the foil and wrap again for good measure. Grill for about 45 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is, turning halfway through cooking time.

These potatoes are my summer go-to side dish with any grilled meats, poultry or fish.

Summertime Grilled Potatoes

Scrub your favorite variety of potatoes, or combine Sweet, Idaho, Yukon Gold, whatever you have on hand. Cut in thin slices and place about two layers on a piece of foil you have coated with olive oil. This will make it easier to spoon them out once they’re cooked. (If you have a crowd, it’s better to make a couple smaller packets so they cook evenly.)  

Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. For variety, try Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, garlic powder, paprika (adds a nice color), and/or rosemary. You can’t mess this up, so have fun experimenting. You could also add sliced onions, zucchini, or peppers. Secure the foil and wrap again for good measure. Grill for about 45 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is, turning halfway through cooking time.

These potatoes are my summer go-to side dish with any grilled meats, poultry or fish.

Celebrating the Summer Solstice

It’s right about now that I always wish I could slow the hands of time. We are one week out from the Summer Solstice, the day of the year that gifts us with the most daylight—about 17 hours. Well, here in the northern hemisphere anyway.

June 21, 2018 at 5:07am central time, it happens. Many consider it to be the first day of summer. Families with young children usually consider the last day of school as such, however I’m going with next Thursday. (Isn’t it okay to wear white as well? Crazy fashion rules.)

I decided to let you know about this now so you can plan a celebration that includes some fun summery foods! YUM!     

As I think about summer and June and long lit evenings, I also think about the various types of fresh produce that show up in delicious abundance. Now is the time when it is easiest to enjoy fresh food at its best and know that you are caring for your body in a very good way.

Summer Solstice Celebration Ideas

  • Go strawberry picking, or at least find some local berries at a farm stand. No offense to California and Florida–nothing beats an Indiana berry in June. Make some strawberry shortcake (yes, from scratch) and top with some CoCoWhip, a frozen coconut milk topping that is dairy-free and delicious.
  • Have dinner outside on the patio or go on a picnic. Instead of fried chicken, pick up a rotisserie chicken from your favorite grocery store. If you like to grill, the options are numerous depending on how adventurous you feel: burgers made from ground beef, turkey or pork; fresh fish (Ask the fish expert at the store for grilling tips. I saw that Whole Foods even has whole fish available, bones removed, ready to cook.); pork tenderloin with a bit of orange marmalade slathered on toward the end of cooking time.
  • Get a whole watermelon, chill it for a day so it’s icy cold, and have fun eating it—outdoors of course. Share it with your neighbors.
  • Enjoy a fruit, cheese and nut tray, adapted to your way of eating. Since my sons are allergic to dairy, my tray would have a variety of goat or sheep cheese, which is much easier to find these days. Grapes, dates, berries, and pear slices with some raw or lightly salted almonds are a nice accompaniment.
  • If an entire meal is too much, a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with a bit of dark chocolate while enjoying your backyard space may be just right. For those of you who live alone, make a plan to have a friend or two over to celebrate with you.

However you choose to celebrate the beginning of summer, do so with gusto. I still need to make my plans. I may include a dollop or two of ice cream, along with those fresh strawberries.

 “The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”—Henry Ward Beecher

What I Learned In Knife Class 101

Since I have finally become a responsible adult, I decided I ought to know how to properly use kitchen knives. This being the case, I took a Basic Knife Skills class this week.

I visited Mrs. Dornberg’s Culinary Experience in Highland for this specialty class. After two hours of slicing, dicing, and chopping, I realized I have been doing some things the hard way for my entire cooking life.

THE LESSON: we aren’t born knowing how to do most things, so at some point we need to learn. My knife skills were the ones I learned from my mom, who probably learned from her mom.

The same principles go for cooking, baking, homemaking, parenting, and so on. YouTube, and television don’t allow for hands-on experience and correction.

A few knife tips, just in case you’re curious:

  • The chef’s knife, typically with an 8-inch blade, is used for 90% of our cutting needs. (I rarely used this knife. Oops.)
  • A paring knife is used 10% of the time.
  • The serrated knife is used to slice bread.

These are really the only three knives you need. (Better not tell the Cutco people.)

Sharp knives are a must. Oh, and if you cut yourself, the wound heals quicker than if you had used a dull knife.

As we practiced the proper way to use sharp knives, bad habits emerged. Do you typically scrape your chopped food off the cutting board with the knife? Time to retrain and use a plastic scraper instead.

I have several habits that I need to break in order to be more efficient and make prep time easier. Practice, practice, practice.

Oh, and did you know there are goggles you can get so the onions won’t make you cry? True! 

If you find cooking a challenge, I suggest you check out Mrs. Dornberg’s Culinary Experience. The skills you learn from her make the process much easier—and fun.

If you have some food and fitness habits that could use some work, I’m your girl. Together, we’ll practice better habits so this will be much easier—and fun.

“A sharp knife cuts the quickest and hurts the least.”—Katharine Hepburn