Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ever had one of THOSE days?

it's been over 100 degrees for days.  our A/C is working full blast to keep us at 88.  what is wrong?  how can i sit on the couch and be sweating?  wait, where's my phone, i need to call the repair company.  no, not in my purse.  WHERE IS.....oh shoot.  open washing machine lid.  yup.  nice and clean.  and completely ruined.  no landline.  sonny's at work.  brakes and serpentine belt being replaced tomorrow on his car.   

the beauty of it?  our boys don't notice a thing.  all they know is they are loved.  they are safe.  they lack for nothing.  Lord, may i say, may i live as if that's all i need.

Friday, June 19, 2009

blueberries for sal

last night was grand opening for berry picking at a farm in stroud, ok.  our friends (tonya and her kiddos) invited us to come along for some blueberry harvesting.  ari took the job very seriously and was sure to just pick the plump, blue ones; not the small, green, sour ones.  he didn't eat a single berry.
he ended up with a bucket like this after his efforts.  yum!!  
noah, on the other hand, (actually on a different planet) picked just as many as ari, but with no thought as to their color, size, or ripeness. and not one....not ONE blueberry made it into little noah's bucket.  they all made it into his belly.  (yes, he had a few tums today:)
the most important part of the evening was learning how we get the food we eat and having fun with friends.  mission accomplished!

Monday, June 15, 2009

meatless mondays


pot of beans

we all know beans are so very good for us, so inexpensive, and much better for our environment then their alternatives.  they are the backbone to many tasty (and meatless) meals.  they can be intimidating though.  all that soaking and draining and cooking.  who has time?  now you may be a canned bean user, and that's ok.  it's still better than the alternative.  but you certainly aren't saving money and the amount of sodium in those puppies is astonishing.  the way to make beans a part of your everyday life (as recommended by many nutritionists) is to make them convenient.  

in the most recent book i've read, food matters, has transformed my view of food and eating.  now, i haven't transformed HOW i eat completely, but i am working toward it and my understanding has been greatly expanded.  i would highly recommend this book to anyone who eats.  seriously.  it's that good.  now on to today's post.  mark bittman says it is his mission to make sure every fridge or freezer in america is stocked with a container of home-cooked beans and the following recipe is his ammunition.  it is simple and requires very little attention.

1 pound dried beans (any kind but lentils, split peas, or peeled and split beans) washed
salt and freshly ground pepper

1.  put the beans in a large pot with a tightly fitting lid and cover with cold water by a couple of inches.  bring the pot to a boil and let it boil, uncovered, for about 2 minutes.  cover the pot and turn the heat off.  let the beans soak for at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours.
2. taste a bean.  if it's at all tender (it won't be ready), add a large pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.  make sure the beans are covered with about an inch of water; add a little more if necessary.  if the beans are still hard, don't add salt yet, and cover with about 2 inches of water.
3. bring the pot to a boil, then adjust the heat so that the beans bubble gently.  partially cover and cook, stirring every now and then, checking the beans for doneness every 10-15 minutes, and adding more water if necessary, a little at a time.  small beans will take as 30 minutes more; older, large beans can take up to an hour or more.  if you haven't added salt and pepper yet, add them when the beans are just turning tender.  stop cooking when the beans are done the way you like them and taste and adjust the seasoning.
4. here you have a few options.  drain the beans to use them as an ingredient in salads or other dishes where they need to be dry.  or store the beans as is and use with or without liquid as needed to serve over rice.  they'll keep in the fridge for days, and in the freezer for months.

what do you like to use beans for?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

star wars!

as if i needed another reason to be in love with the library...
they host a big screen showing of star wars, encourage costumes, and even invite the okc jedi to make an appearance...
needless to say, we were all a little starstruck (noah wouldn't turn around for a picture if it meant taking his eyes off of darth vader:)  the library provided free candy, pop, and chips and the opportunity to meet star wars legends in person.  we could have left at that point and had the night of our lives, but we still got to watch episode VI with a bunch of star wars fans!  it was a night to remember.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

meatless mondays....er....on tuesday

oops!  monday flew right by and i didn't post a recipe!!  so sorry, but this one was worth waiting for.  my friend nicolette gave me the BEST salsa recipe ever!!  sonny devours it.  of course it's fab with chips, but if you're trying to be carb conscious it makes eggs into a colorful, flavor filled, MEAL!  of course, if you're me you'll slather the eggs with cheese, salsa and then wrap it in a big flour tortilla:)  still.  it's meatless and full of veggies and the best part....so easy!  without further ado, i present...
Blender Salsa

one bunch of cilantro without the stems

1 small onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 fresh jalapeno

juice of 2 limes

1 large can of tomatoes (whole, chopped, doesn't matter) like 28oz

couple shakes of cumin powder

shake of chili powder if you want

salt and pepper to taste

Put it all in the blender until pureed - voila - salsa

It will fill the blender.  easier to put the cilantro in first with a little of the tomato liquid and blend the cilantro a little to make room for all the rest.  order doesn't matter -  it's magic

Sunday, June 7, 2009

checkmate

ari completed his week of chess camp on friday.  i never thought i'd be dropping my child off in a room with dozens of chess boards on tables and "geeky" (yet very nice) college age chess masters.  they used games, chess logs, story, and lots and lots of practice games to teach kids the art of chess.  ari loved it.  what he loved even more was the cheap, eh-hem, i mean invaluable trophy he was given at the end.  every student received one, but you'd think ari won a gold medal.  he carried it around all day.  showed countless people at the grocery store and dollar tree (bless the ladies who made a big deal about it:)  he even asked to sleep with it.  i found him passed out in bed clutching that piece of plastic and found he had gotten out the label maker and stuck these words on his trophy...

Aris
1st trofe
rmembring chess

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

let the summer fun...

begin!!!

*thank you nicolette for the provision of pool, water guns, AND photos...you're awesome!

Monday, June 1, 2009

meatless mondays

this week i needed to use lentils again (sonny has been begging for their rich protein content and hey-you don't have to soak them:) so i looked to my favorite recipe blog...a year of crockpotting.  if you haven't been there-you must be the only one.  it is AMAZING!  go.  now.
  
ok, now on to our recipe of today.  stephanie has a lot of great vegetarian recipes on her blog and this is one of them.  this moroccan lentil soup crock pot recipe is yummy.  super healthy and not too difficult.  you do need to cook it for 8-10  hours so you may want to chop up your veggies the night before.
--1 cup dried lentils
--1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
--1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
--1 onion, chopped
--2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
--1/2 cup chopped celery
--1/2 cup chopped carrots
--28 oz can of diced tomatoes (and juice)
--4 cups vegetable broth
--1 1/2 tsp garam masala
--1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
--1/2 tsp cumin
--1/4 tsp nutmeg
--1/4 tsp cinnamon
--1 inch ginger, peeled and grated

The Directions.

Use at least a 5 quart crockpot for this. It makes a lot.

Chop up all of your vegetables and add them to the crockpot. If you are rushed in the morning, consider chopping the vegetables at night---it took me longer than I wanted it to. Drain and rinse off the beans, add to the pot. Add the dried lentils. Grate your ginger, and add it along with the dried spices. Stir in the vegetable broth and tomatoes.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Soup tastes best the longer you cook it, and it is even better the next day.

Before serving, use an immersible blender and pulse to blend some of the vegetables and beans together. This isn't necessary, but it really improves the texture of the soup and melds the flavors nicely.