I Think I Just Found Myself A Hobby

Incessant self-improvement projects has just kind of become a way of life for me. I’m constantly trying to work on something. This summer it is: learning to like salads (which means, preparing healthy salads in hopes of finding some I like), meal and menu planning, and cooking healthy and tasty meals (I can cook tasty no prob, or healthy when I’m in the mood, but the two often don’t go together).

I’ve had a lot of opportunities to do all of these since I’ve been up visiting my parents in Pleasanton for the past week! I was anticipating this so I brought with me some of the latest cookbooks I’ve been wanting to try — Cook Yourself Thin, Simple But Perfect Salads, and the latest copy of Real Simple. I arrived on Sunday and Monday afternoon my cousin Jen, along with her husband Chris and five kids, came to stay with us. Monday morning I busted out my cookbooks and planned the menu for the week. It was an awesome experience to get to plan, shop for, and prepare so many meals for such a large group of people.

It also helped having 14 extra hands around to help do everything. Those kids are seriously so helpful. Chris & Jen have done a really wonderful job raising their kids. I only wish I had a picture of Emma standing on her little stool next to me helping me cook everything on the stove!

Here is precious little Emma and her sister Katie (also precious) proudly wearing their strawberry shortcake. I've been so sad not to get to wake up next to these two little girls since they've been gone!

Here is precious little Emma and Katie (also precious) proudly wearing their strawberry shortcake after they helped me dish it all out and serve it up.

This is the Greathouse Fam after our final breakfast by the outdoor fireplace (Emma insisted on eating our meals out there).

This is the Greathouse Fam after our final breakfast by the outdoor fireplace (Emma insisted on eating our meals out there).

The day they left my sister’s mother-in-law (affectionately referred to as “Mil”– M-I-L) came into town so we’ve been busy cooking since I got here. Last night was particularly fun, all of us in the kitchen getting everything ready together. I’ve missed being part of this.

Anyways, last night I threw together something I concocted in my mind (which is exciting, I think being able to “throw” something together is the sign of a truly great cook) — Whole wheat cous cous, spinach, and grilled fruit (covered in balsamic vinegar which caramelizes during the grilling….DEE-licious). We had it with tri-tip kabobs, sweet potato spears, and watermelon. Here’s the final product:

Cous Cous & Fresh Fruit Salad

This is quickly turning into a hobby — something I actually enjoy doing besides shopping! Can’t wait for Father’s Day dinner tomorrow night!

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