Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I didn't set out to be a Foodie...

Okay well, I don't necessarily consider this a food blog but...
Yet again tonight I've made another amazing recipe (yes, from the Moosewood Classics book...if I had enough readers, I'd do a giveaway and share the love!)

I made Cucumber Peanut Salad and Brian, it'd be the PERFECT side dish for your Gluten Free Apple Stuffed Chicken! This would be good with sliced apples's definitely a must try!

3 cucumbers peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 c roasted peanuts

Stir together salt and cucumber and drain in colander for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse cucumber well and drain again.

Stir together brown sugar, lemon juice, and vinegar until sugar dissolves

Heat oil in a small sauce pan, once hot add the fennel seeds. Remove from heat and swirl the pan for 30 seconds. Return to heat (low) and cook for another minute, stirring continuously.

Place drained cucumbers (make sure they are well drained, next time I may let them sit for 30 minutes) in shallow bowl and pour hot seasoned oil over cucumbers, toss. Add sugar/lemon juice/vinegar mixture, toss.
Let set at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Top with crushed peanuts just before serving.

Yes...very yumm!
very very yumm!


I stumbled across a new Gluten Free Friendly site this week and it's inspired me to try even MORE ideas in the kitchen that include ME and the Family...rather than making separate food for me...which to be honest, sucks!
The recipes aren't always winners...and we have a "thumbs up/thumbs down" voting system that I honor to the the kids aren't afraid to try stuff, NOR are they afraid to share their opinions (heh heh).

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been picking recipes out of my Moosewood Classics cook book each week...and for the most part, recipes have been a HIT. Last night I made the Spicy Potato Salad as a side dish. This one was a 'not so much' with the kids, but the hub and I liked it...but will tweak it a bit to suit our tastes.

BUT...I think I'm going to cook the rest up in the cast-iron skillet because I think they would make AWESOME home fries for breakfast.

6 potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 can tomatillos, drained
1 or 2 chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tsp adobo sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt (we think it needed more, but can salt individual portions to taste)
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in covered pot
Add cubed potato, once water returns to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

While potato is cooking, place tomatillo, chipotle, adobo sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar and salt into blender and puree.

When potatoes are tender, drain and immediately rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. (This is important or they get mushy!)

Pour sauce over potatoes and toss
Add cilantro and celery.

Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator for future use we'll do for breakfast
fry up in cast iron skillet and serve with egg as you like it, maybe a perfectly poached egg?

If you try it, or tweak it, let me know!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Week 2 Day 1

Today was Week 2 Day 1 training for the 5K and for all of those wondering, yes...I DO have a tiara for race day.

If you haven't downloaded Mia's podcast yet, you have to...for nothing else than the Tiger Woods song...hilarious! But seriously, it's a good podcast for us Couch to 5Kers and she makes me chuckle...which keeps my mind off puking...

So yeah, made it through the Week 2 routine, it was hard but I made it all the way through so that means it'll only get easier the rest of the week!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mmmmmmm Mushrooms

Tonight I made Italian Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms for dinner and they were FANTASTIC.

It's another recipe from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics. So vegetarian meal number two this week that was accepted by the family with rave reviews. Okay, this one had eggs but I don't know that I could ever give up eggs...but meatless, I can definitely do.

I made the recipe gluten free by substituting crushed rice chex in place of the breadcrumbs. I think I'll use this with baby bellas next time we're invited to a party, it would make the perfect appetizer. I paired the mondo mushrooms with a fresh salad and voila...dinner was served! (yup, see I really AM working on my French!)

Oh! Speaking of great gluten free recipes...head over HERE for your chance to win a FANTASTIC cook book...all gluten free and ALL in the crockpot! A mom's dream!!!

so...I ate well
AND I ran again today
had a great day at work
and am now in the comfy chair...

Woo Hoo! Good day!

photo credit

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ca va tres bien, merci!

I made a fabulous gluten free feast tonight...okay, maybe not a FEAST but I liked the alliteration.
Potato and Asparagus hash with steamed spinach and poached eggs.
Yes, I POACHED EGGS...perfectly I might add...but I'm getting ahead of myself.
This afternoon I prepped all the ingredients for the hash,

potatoes, fresh asparagus, onions, garlic and fresh dill

I also juiced the rest of our navels. I added some cantaloupe this time, and a couple of tangerines for a little sweetness. It turned out a beautiful color and texture! Can't wait for the fam to try it at breakfast.

All of this while practicing my French! I downloaded "Coffee Break French" from iTunes and recited along as I peeled and juiced oranges. Lesson 1 c'est trop facile! I'm looking forward to the future episodes.

I also downloaded the latest version of The Chubby Jones Podcast for my Couch 2 5k training. I listened to Mia when I first tried training for a 5k, her newest version is GREAT and much more polished.
I went to the gym with the hub tonight and completed Week 1 Day 1 and it felt great!

Then...I made dinner and made PERFECT poached eggs!
Yes, I said perfect...I'll add this to my list of  "perfect eggs" recipes. (the hub perfected hard boiled eggs earlier this year).

My picture doesn't do it justice (just a shot with my phone, shoulda pulled out the deucey and tried a new setting). My egg looks more like a dollop of sour cream, but it was tasty...and it was perfect :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Camping Lessons: Cool place to camp!

In '08, we went to Suwanee river state park for our annual camping trip, we still talk about balanced rock and the old guy with the baritone voice fishing across the river singing gospel hymns.

This year we visited the Florida Caverns.
The main tour cave was discovered during the late 1930s when Civilian Conservation Corps workers were building the park. A worker happened to look beneath the roots of an overturned tree and found a hole leading down into the caves. Closer inspection revealed a massive networks of caverns with pristine formations and miles of passages. Tbe CCC then cleared out pathways for tours using pick-axes. 

The underground world was felt more like a sci-fi movie than something right in our own back yard!



rim pools

soda straws (baby stalactites)

close-up of a soda straw

the 'waterfall'

cave life - the bat my hub thinks is fake

Yes, It's a dinner plate!
I think this is one of my favorite facts from the cavern tour. The CCC guys lodged their plates into the rock behind their lights. The reflection gave them more light to work by.

photo credits....ME!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Camping Lessons: making tinctures

I think one of my personal favorite parts of our trip to the Florida Caverns is the abundance of this...

And where there is Lecanorales...there is an abundance of Usnea.
If you have coughed, or sneezed or complained of a sore throat around me in the past year my response has been a resounding 'Usnea, Usnea Usnea!'

Thanks to one of my soul sistahs, I learned the wonders of this remedy last year when our son had strep...and the next day, he didn't!

Well the ground was covered! No need to harvest from the trees, because they still need it, but the wind knocked enough off the trees that we filled an entire gallon size bag on one of our hikes and in 6 weeks we'll have enough tincture to share!

Of course, that doesn't help me right now...when I could REALLY use some!

photo credit: ME!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Camping Lessons: Acorn Whistling

Can you whistle an acorn cap?
It's one of the many things the hub shared with the mini's on our camping trip...more pics of the cool caverns later coz those deserve their own story!

finding the right acorn cap is important

display proper's all in the cheeks

okay, the way you hold the acorn cap is important too


Be sure you make the 'y' with your thumbs...

Much to the dismay of his older brother...middleson's favorite activity was acorn whistling!

He even taught his sister!

Camera settings

So these are with my "no flash" setting. Jitters are definitely not allowed here...or a tripod is suggested but I was just playing.
Things I've learned

  • clean the eye boogies out of the dogs eyes before getting close up shots
  • Snoopy is a more interested model than Budgie
  • I like the depth of color on this setting

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Search is Over

Okay, I admit it.
I made one last ditch effort to find my Secret Santa.
I had the seller's information from the original e-bay ad and asked if they'd share the info with me so I could extend my gratitude.

The seller replied:
I have asked the buyer if I could tell you their name. Here was their response...
Please no. And thanks for asking first!
If you wouldn't mind just telling her the following
" The giver wishes to remain anonymous. You've been inspirational to them and they wanted you to have something they knew would make you very happy. Keep on doing what you are doing (even the really hard stuff) and sharing your story. Let the secret be a reminder that people are watching and gaining courage from your journey"

The whole fam got a bit misty eyed.
Thanks Secret Santa, you have encouraged me to keep sharing.

And now...
For anyone wondering if Holly Hobbie is going to live on a shelf...
ABSOLUTELY NOT...this is most definitely my next purse
I even ordered some little goodies today to make the ensemble complete

Thanks Santa!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I swear I've been here before

photo credit awesome site! order the cards, get some stamps and make your friends smile!

Deja Vu
See, I'm practicing my French already!

But seriously...what do YOU think of Deja Vu? There are lots of interesting theories about it but nothing concrete ... so I'll just postulate through my fingers here on the keyboard

I've had more than a few instances of "I've been here before" over the past few weeks.
I mean EXACTLY...the same words, same gestures, same people, same reactions.
LOTS of more than a dozen in the past few weeks...

So one might consider that we live in different time continuum at the same time
I consider that often, that time really isn't time it's just a nice way our human minds compartmentalize memories but our Spiritual beings exist on all planes... (tee hee the image of ghosts on a plane just came to my mind)
Anyway...considering this perspective, maybe I missed something important the first time through and a wiser version of my Spirit is tapping me to make sure I'm paying attention... so I'm paying attention, which is a good thing to do anyways.

One theory I recently read about Deja vu states that it is a 'hiccup' in the processing of memory. Images are taken in and recorded in our short term memory and then once deemed significant  move into our long term memory for storage. (who is the almighty image deemer anyway??)
Typically, images, instances, events travel between STM and LTM seamlessly, we're not aware unless we just can't create those memories in the first which case I guess we're not aware either... but in the case of Deja Vu, there is a glitch, like a skip in the tape as memories convert.
This is sort of a cool thought...I mean it IS an explanation that is scientific...(disclaimer: not truly scientific because since Deja Vu has not been successfully recreated in a laboratory setting there is no empirical data)...but NOT cool because WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?!?
Especially since it's happening to me frequently...
Is my memory maker breaking?
Will I wind up like the dude from Memento?

Or maybe like Sweet Johnny from "My Name Is Earl" he couldn't make new memories at all...he was stuck in the day before the best day of his life...and life was still good a la 50 First Dates.

Funny...I really loved each of these stories/movies/episodes... A LOT, actually
Memento is on my "top 5 movies of all time" list and 50 First Dates is a fun re-watcher for a light hearted movie...just happened to catch the My Name Is Earl episode yesterday so that's why it's fresh in my brain...

So I guess that means, for now I'm successfully capable of creating new memories, long and short term...
But WHY the Deja Vu????


I'm happy being an Apple

I get daily emails "from the universe"
I especially liked the one I recieved this morning
It made me smile so I thought I'd share with you too...

I love watching when you walk into a room, (insert YOUR name here).

How faces light up.

People "inexplicably" feeling better about themselves.

Angels singing Hallelujah.

The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, huh?

I'm the tree,

The Universe

photo credit these are my favorite apples btw...Pink ladies! yum

Monday, January 4, 2010

Santa IS real!

Okay first...a shameless plug for a friend I went to High School with
Okay a friend? Not sure...we knew each other and were in choir together for a year or so
but he DOES make an awesome Santa, and the Santa Is Real project is awesome!

But for me...this year Santa IS real!

I have a Secret Santa...
Santa sent me this
New with tags...still had that new thermos smell
I GASPED when I open the box and literally quivered a bit as I held it in my hands for the first time.

This is a big deal because...
this is the EXACT same lunch box I had when I was 7 and I've loved Holly Hobbie ever since...
If you've been a faithful bloglurker (or just decide to go through my history), you'll see I've been carrying metal lunch boxes as my purse for a couple of years this is truly the Pièce de résistance!

I need to figure out some tin accessories for my wallet and check book, etc *coz I'm a bit of a snob and my stuff has to match* but this is TOTES my new favorite purse and it doesn't really matter anymore that I don't know where it came from...
It's cool to know that I've made enough of an impression out there on someone that they think highly enough of me to make me smile.

Today...I came into work knowing there was a little "surprise" for me from one of my colleagues. She mentioned she saw it and thought of me and left a gift bag on the cubbies in the office
and in the bag was THIS!

Now mind you...I just saw this in CVS about a month ago with my daughter...quick tie in to the lunch box purse second ever lunch box purse was a Wizard of Oz metal lunch box complete with all the accessories...
Bm REALLY wanted me to have it...because I also have all of these...

and I've been thinking of ways to conform my mud room to display them...

So again, this morning, I GASPED
I mean...there's NO way she could've known
and I'm SO grateful

and truth be told...
feel a bit like a schmuck that she cared enough to get me such a cool gift

How do you define 'Friend'
I mean...Santa up there...he's my friend
Secret Santa is obviously a friend
and Pez lady...well she's a friend too
although before today I don't know that I would've used that word for any of them
is it because i reserve the word 'Friend'
I hold it in such high regard that NO ONE...or VERY FEW are worthy of the word?
Maybe that's why I think I have so few of them
Maybe I need to loosen up a bit and realize that my friends are everywhere

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nice little weekend...

We finally ALL made it home from our camping trip by 9pm on New Year's Eve.
It was a long, strange, blessed trip...I'm sure it will be a post later but for now I'm simply basking in the simplicity of this nice little weekend.

The hub and I hit the 'chores' early on Saturday morning stopping at a 'side of the road' orange orchard.

Fill a bag for $3...honor system
They weren't pretty, shiny or clean
but BOY are they tasty

I juiced a dozen of them today and put the juice in an old fashioned glass milk jar

Then a jar of pear/apple juice...a fridge door oozing with fresh yumminess :)

I scrubbed our bathroom with Baking Soda, Lemon Juice and vinegar...and elbow grease and an old toothbrush...
felt a bit like Cinderelly

...but it's clean, and toxin free

We bought the fix'ns for black eyed peas, corn bread and fried chicken...yes we're a few days late but whatev. We'll be trying these recipes gluten-free for dinner tonight.

Ah yes, and while I was juicing the falafel was setting
I haven't had it since our trip to Sedona and before that, geesh it was eons
but today...very yummy
I have a container of extra patties that I'll enjoy with soup for lunch this week
Yes...a nice little weekend

We watched movies (I highly recommend Julie and Julia...very fun), snuggled with puppies, had good church this morning...all in all I think a perfect little segue from vacation to work.

Hope you had a nice little weekend too.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Quels rêves mai venu

So I've decided I would like to learn more about my regularly comes out for our annual camping trip, and for the kids' sporting/special events...but otherwise it lives in its case.

There's a local shop that does classes, and once finances allow, I'll take one of those a month...that shouldn't be long because classes start at Twenty Bucks!

But for now...I'm perusing the book...yes the book that came with the camera.

I think I'll shoot for at least one new picture from one new thing I've learned each month.
I can DO that
I might be more adventurous some months, weeks, or heck even days
but if I get 12 pics up this year from 12 different settings, well then I'm ahead of last year.

I think too, I'll be listening to more things in French again
I did this before
on a regular basis actually
and loved it
I stopped because new people were in the car besides myself and Bm and they didn't get it and then never picked it back up again
so now it's 'again' and I'm picking it up :)