cranberry-mint smoothie

Earlier, it was slightly cool yet completely sunny and inviting outside. A quintessential (almost) fall day. One sustained by smoothies and buttered toast. Tea and coffee (yes, I caved in today). I couldn’t wait to step outside, away from the computer and from this cold/flu thing I’ve battled for a week now.

frozen cranberries

In other words, I didn’t spend the kind of sick days to be enjoy: a pile of blankets, pot of honey mint tea, and a six inch stack of classic films, like Marilyn Monroe’s Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, and Misfits (which I need to see). Although it just as easily turn into a John Huston, Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman, or Federico Fellini marathon.

So I walked around the block and breathed in the fresh air and thought about what to cook whenever I feel like cooking again. Scrambled eggs. Zucchini pizza. Hot sauce. Bread. Plum tarts. Ingredients that need to be made into something other than spoiled food.

Most likely a pot of beans will come next. A mix of whatever is left in the pantry cooked with a bay leaf and kombu square with garlic, onions, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper.


Which made me realize that my cooking has changed recently, not better or worse. Rather, simpler. The way I first learned to cook by learning a technique and using whatever was stored in the kitchen that seemed to fit together.

I want to return to this philosophy more. Here and in the kitchen. To continue to strive for nourishing food that tastes good but doesn’t take hours to turn out. What about you? What is your cooking philosophy? Has it changed with time?

cranberry-mint smoothie

Cranberry-Mint Smoothie
makes 3 (or so) cups

1 cup cranberry juice
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
3 frozen bananas, sliced
2 large or 3 medium kale leaves, stems removed and torn into large pieces
1/2 teaspoon organic spirulina powder
4 fresh mint sprigs, stems removed
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar (more or less to taste)

Place all the ingredients in the order listed into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until very smooth. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and a few frozen cranberries and serve immediately.


  1. says

    I definitely have migrated back to a more simpler way of cooking. As much as I love my time in the kitchen, I value time with my family and friends more and I would rather spend the time with them and less time standing over my oven creating some complicated masterpiece. And the more I eat, the more I realise that what really appeals to me is simple combinations of ingredients and techniques that really make the flavours shine through.

    Hope you’re feeling better now; love the combination of cranberry and mint.

    • ArtandLemons says

      Hi Kathryn, I’m feeling the same lately and while I enjoy long hours spent in the kitchen, I always gravitate back to simple techniques and ingredients. This time of year, it’s roasted or simmered everything. On the mend and feeling lively today, thanks!

  2. says

    I’m glad you’re feeling better. I am very much about the simple meals made with stellar ingredients. Last night our supper was an omelet stuffed with local mushrooms and thyme alongside greens and the last of the summer tomatoes. Years ago, when I first started cooking, I was very focused on technique and cooked more from chef cookbooks. Now I hardly ever buy a cookbook from a chef. They just feel sort of empty. Maybe that shows my skill has reached a certain level that I’m looking for a good story and a bit of inspiration rather than formal technique.

  3. says

    My cooking philosophy is pretty simple: I want to make delicious food from actual ingredients. It’s definitely different than my philosophy as a fresh college grad in my first apartment–let’s just say there was some Tuna Helper around. :)

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