Someday, I am going to live in a house that is within walking distance to a grocer, a park, and a little cafe.
In the mornings, my kids and I will wonder down to the park to swing and slide and sit in the shade of the enormous trees. Or we might meet a friend at the charming little cafe to sip fresh-squeezed orange juice and to enjoy homemade whole wheat cinnamon bread. In the afternoons, we will head to the market to pick up a few fresh, locally-grown dinner ingredients - an onion, an avocado, some tomatoes, a few sweet potatoes for dessert, perhaps a bunch of flowers to put on the kitchen table.
Anybody know a place like that?
Unfortunately, that is a "someday" and not "today." Today, I am faced with the reality of the grocery store being 10 minutes away (by car). The produce isn't the best and there is a limited selection of locally-grown items. Still, I do my best to buy organic, healthful, whole foods as often as possible. I also do my best to have a nutritious meal on the table every night of the week.
But it isn't always easy with:
Oh, and on top of that, I'm always trying to think up ways to change the world.
This weekend, I'll share ideas, tips, and products that make meal prepping and planning easier. I'm no Bakerella or Pioneer Woman (are their projects amazing or what?), but I CAN find my way around the kitchen. Most importantly, I'm hoping that we can learn from each other. Won't you join me for food-related gabbing and giveaways? Here - I'll pass the virtual cookie dish and a cool glass of lemonade your way...there, now...let's get started.
* Image of farmer's market via Natalie Maynor
Like Sara, I live within walking distance of the things and places you described. (Sara and I used to be roommates before we both up and married!). I live just two blocks from the beach where you can stroll along in the morning and see dolphins, seals, whales (in the summer) and lots of birds and end up at a little cafe for coffee. We have an amazing Farmer's Market just a few blocks away on Saturday as well. Perhaps you should move up here to Santa Cruz!?
I try my best to plan out what meals we will be eating throughout the week (not necessarily what day we will eat it, but at least WHAT we will be eating) and then I go grocery shopping once per week. That helps me save heaps of money. We buy most of our stuff at Trader Joe's which has amazing prices, especially on dairy items! We then hit up Nob Hill (Raley's in SoCal) for the remaining items like coffee, etc.
I wish we had a good farmers market too.
I absolutely adore Pioneer Woman! Have you tried her lasagna? Its not for meat conscious eaters (you can reduce the amount of meat however) and it is simply the best lasagna I've ever had. Its a great big group gathering dish because its so filling. I have a family of 5 who love it and we always have a ton of leftovers. I once made it for a dinner with friends - my 5 plus their 8 and we still had leftovers!
When you find your place of "someday" will you let me know. I would love to live within walking distance of everything and have so much freshness so close. But for me too it is a someday plan...full of lots of sustainability. And I hope to one day get there before my son is too grown up.
We're blessed that the Glebe in Ottawa, Canada (where we lived) is such a place. Interesting though that until we had Elizabeth I only peripherally realized it. Now my priorities have changed and I'm realizing what a wonderful city we live in. Of course, we are having a summer of torrential rain this year, but we've still managed to do an awful lot of outdoors wandering and have discovered some indoors meandering too.
thanks for the reminder. i have heard we have a farmer's market here in town....just have to yet to pass by on a day that its open.
We are super blessed to have all those things within walking distance of our home (that we rent, and when we hopefully buy within the next year or two, we'll be WAY far away, so I better remember to enjoy it all now!). I've been reading some fun money-saving/coupon blogs and I am totally on the quest to save more money on our grocery/household budget. Quicken is nice to see how I've SPENT money, but I'm going to try out the envelope system to help me be more wise as I SPEND money. One to thing to cut down on grocery costs, cutting down/out the cereal for breakfast (they could actually eat it all day long if I let them!). It will be more work, but cheaper in the long run, lots more oatmeal with pancakes thrown in there to break it up. Although my 5 year old likes his oatmeal with only honey and milk (although I do secretly add in flax), the rest of us like it with fruits (fresh or dried), cinnamon, and nuts.
seattle also has all those things... :)
Ooooooh, I LOVE this topic! I love to cook and bake and be inspired to try new things.
P.S. I've never checked out Pioneer Woman's blog before and boy was I missing out. Definitely bookmarking that bad boy.
Well - I could sure be happy to have a place like that to call home! Right now we're enjoying fresh vegetables from the garden - it is easy to eat plenty of veggies when you can get them fresh!
I want to live in that place too.
I love cooking but my hubby has done 99% of it since Lily was born. I would love some tips for when I get back in front of the stove.
Food is definitely on my top five favorites list. This should be fun! If it makes you feel better the nearest grocery store with decent produce is 25 minutes away, and I actually choose to drive 45 minutes instead to the farmer's market (which has even better produce). I sort of love my fruits and veggies. Hope you find your dream spot some day. :)
i would love to live somewhere like the place you've described... maybe someday : ) i'm sure my kiddos would enjoy it, too. they love going to the farmers' market and to a local bakery cafe near our house, even if we have to drive there.
looking forward to your food tips and tricks... i love cooking, baking, and things food-related. in fact, one of my favorite things to do online is look for new recipes to try.
Yaaaayyyyy!!! I love food!! :D I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend's posts!
Oh, Stephanie, I hate to break it to you, but we are getting ready to walk to our neighborhood farmer's market in 70 degree weather...there will be flower/berry/veggie/fresh bread vendors, a folk music performer, and a presentation on sustainable living. Lovely Portland, Oregon!
Where we used to live in Philly had all those things... but I didn't realize it until it was too late. There was the most incredible little coffe shop at the train station... it was the old depot turned into a cafe. If we ever move back there, you'll have to come visit. We can grab some coffee, wander up and down the cobblestone streets, and then head to the local cooperative grocery store! And hit a couple parks along the way...