The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

A jack-o-lantern, a cat, I don't know what Jac was supposed to be and a witch. Because what else would I choose to be? Who ever heard of a happy looking witch?

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I was supposed to have a party today. I planned this awesome meal and bought some stuff I'd never tried before. Which is never a good idea...just sayin'. It all looks pretty, though, huh?

And then we woke up to this. The weather dude said it was going to happen, but you can't always believe what you hear.

I thought I had another couple of weeks until I would have to embark on my annual pesto making event. I was wrong. I don't even have any pinenuts. Maybe I can use walnuts? I saved from the garden what basil I could. Totally not in the mood to make pesto, though.

The party got canceled, but I figured we could be pigs anyway. And I could try out the recipes I was planning to use. Smashed White Bean and Rosemary Crostini = Delicious. (Recipe to follow.) The whole thing takes less than 10 minutes and everyone liked it.

It looked like this around 1. We had just canceled the party and the weather dude was saying things were "tapering off". I was thinking "Wow. We could have had our party." For the's still freakin' hours later. I told you those weather people can't be trusted.

Vegan lasagna. I don't know where the recipe came from; somewhere online. My review is mixed. I'm not really into fake meat and cheese products. (Truth be told, I'm not really into real meat and cheese products.) If you take off that layer of fake cheese and pick out the fake Italian sausage, it's good. The fake cream cheese isn't even noticeable, so next time I won't bother with it.

Ryan ate it in its entirety. I picked it all apart. The kids didn't eat it at all. (We did eat an entire box of Joe Joe's today, so you have to take that into account. If I would have let them starve all day, they probably would have at least tried it.)

To sum it up, I'm still in the camp of "fake meat and cheese is disgusting". And you can't say I didn't give it a chance. For any of my veg friends who eat this stuff, I have an unopened package of each you can have. Just let me know and it's yours.

Smashed White Bean and Rosemary Crostini

Saute 3 crushed cloves of garlic in olive oil. Add 1 can of drained white beans and heat for 3-5 minutes. Smash beans with the back of a fork. Stir in fresh rosemary and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt.

Slice a baguette. Drizzle with olive oil and broil until toasted. Top baguette slices with the bean mixture.

Eat. Delicious. Very filling. The perfect thing to have with that next bowl of soup.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rainy Day

T'was the perfect day for napping, except work got in the way. It's cold and rainy and dreary. And windy. Did I mention cold?

One of these days, I'll have a post about sewing. The whole point of this blog was supposed to be sewing. I'm itching to sew, but can't seem to get to it.


(Don't think we're just playing. I'm going to make them calculate mechanical advantage, potential and kinetic energy. But, yeah...we're also playing.)

Not at work:

Between black bean and corn soup, curried sweet potato wedges, Morrocan Stew, couscous with raisin and mint, cupcakes and a ton of other uneaten stuff in the fridge, it's leftovers tonight. And maybe again tomorrow, as well.

Pledging to sew something this weekend so I can get rid of this itch.


This is great.

To quote:

"'my biggest revelation in terms of self-sufficiency is this: It is no big deal. You can tell yourself anything is too difficult, or you can just do it. And you do not need to reconstruct your worldview or take issue with others.

You just need to be hungry."

Don't I always say this?

Monday, October 24, 2011


Who wants to guess which one of my kids spent a year in Chinese Homeschool?

Quick Sesame Noodles

(This makes an obscene amount. For you newbies, this is how I cook. It's all guesstimates. If it doesn't taste right, just add some more of something.)

1 box of whole grain pasta
1 lb of shelled edamame
1 cup of frozen peas
A few handfuls of brocolli florettes
1/2 sweet onion
A handful of mushrooms

Cook the pasta. Saute the onion and mushrooms in vegetable broth. Steam the other vegetables. Toss everything together with the sauce.

Sauce: With 2/3 cup of vegetable broth, mix 2 Tbsp sesame oil, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp Tamari, 2 tsp ginger, 4 cloves crushed garlic and a handful of chopped green onion.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend Recap

Once in awhile, the "weekend of productivity" happens.

I left a lot out. Like Friday. Friday was crazy. And the most mundane shopping multiple times, fixing the headlight, cutting the grass, fresh laundry and sheets for everyone, Halloween costumes taken care of, power outage...If I would have known all this was going to happen, I would have documented it all. Because, who knows when I'll do all of this again in a single weekend?

Cross Country County Finals...she didn't race. Her knee is hurt. But, we were there. :-)

Pupusas...yeah, I could make them. But for $1.25 each, why? You have to know where to go to get a good pupusa. Some pupusarias are, well..., not good. This one? One of the best I know.


Planting salad sprouts. Everything else left to plant is bulbs. These will last only for a bit.

LAX...because the day was gorgeous.

Cleaning up the last bits of Irene. Yeah, I know Irene happened a long time ago. Cleaning up just didn't happen.

Butternut know I love it. The last time I made this salad, I steamed it. Roasted is far better and no problem to do. Peel it, dice it, toss with a little olive oil, sea salt, fresh garlic and herbs and roast at 500 until it's done. This squash gets so sweet. I just remembered this salad is supposed to have pepitas. Oh well, we forgot to notice.

Friday, October 21, 2011


No School = Field Trip to Plantmasters

I've know Leon and Carol for years. Since Alicia was a baby. I've finally seen their garden. So beautiful...

We took the Daisy troop (and a gaggle of other folks) with us.

Thank you Leon and Carol for the awesome tour. I think everyone had a good time and we all learned some things.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eating Fire

Here's how it goes around here:

I buy bananas, because I think we should have them around. Because my kid decided to become a runner and they are good for runners to eat. And because everyone else likes them. I'm not a huge fan, but will eat one occasionally. At any rate, there are only two scenarios. Either they get eaten faster than I can bring them in or the turn black while we all stare at them. The latter is common.

So then I am forced to do something with them. The obvious is banana bread. You already read about that on Monday.

But, my people are kind of spoiled or tired of banana bread, because they are all like "Really??? Banana Bread?".

So then I am forced to do something with the banana bread. Today, it was banana bread French Toast. I took a picture, but it's too blurry. You all don't need one anyway. You've seen French Toast before.

I have no idea how it tasted. I'm not a huge fan of banana bread and even less of a fan of French Toast. The kids ate it. One of them was all "Why did you have to use banana bread to make this? (in a voice that let me know she'd have preferred cheap, white bread)"...but she ate it. Which means (in 14 year old girly speak) that it tasted fine.

That's confirmation it was breakfast two nights in a row for my kids (for all of you keeping count).

The rest of us (Ryan and I) had this Indian-ish kind of dish that came from taking a few liberties with a vegetable biryani recipe. I'm not Indian and am not even going to pretend I can tell authentic from not even authentic-ish. All I know is that it was good.

And tasted like fire.

In the world of "tasted like fire", it was only half as fiery as the stuff I got at the Jamaican joint. A place where business all but stopped when I said I wanted the spicy (and they all stared at me). And then, as I was eating it, it occurred to me that perhaps that was a bad idea. But, for the record, I went the following day and did it again. I love fiery food.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vegan Mayonaise

So, I made this "salad dressing" the other day using silken tofu (and had it in my mind it was going to turn out like dressing one pours over salad) and it turned out almost exactly like mayonaise. Except way less disgusting than actual mayonaise.

And then I thought about it and realized some people call mayonaise "salad dressing". Now it makes sense.

That was Monday. I split it in half. I left some plain (in the event we need mayonaise or something) and the other half I blended with basil from the garden.

It's more like a dip, but the flavor is good. This definitely has potential. And it's close enough to Miracle Whip my kids will never know the difference.

It couldn't be easier to make.

Put the ingredients in the food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth and creamy.

1 box of silken tofu
4 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar (or whatever kind of vinegar you have)
1 garlic clove
1 tsp stone ground mustard
1/2 tsp of salt

Dinner=Spinach salad with the aforementioned basil dressing/dip, Brussel's Sprouts and carrot/ginger/cashew soup (from a box...gimme a break...I can't be a chef every night. ;-) )

And because I'm running a restaurant....and because a mutiny is bound to happen if I cut them off animal products totally...and because I feel like they need significantly more calories than what we ate:

The kids had ham/cheese omelettes with toasted banana bread spread with Nutella.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Using stuff up.

Weird stuff in my pantry. I don't know why we have the mushrooms. The peppers came home with Ryan after I sent him for pablamo peppers awhile back. Ummmm...these are not what I wanted. The giant star of anise...I like the way they smell and they are pretty. What other reason did I need to buy them? Need to come up with ideas to use these things up.

Much easier to use up is old fruit.

The lazy way to use it is to feed it to the chickens.

Or the kids. These aren't the right kind of apples for a crisp, but who cares? My kids didn't know the difference.

Making one is easy-peasy. Just slice some apples and stir in some cinnamon and sugar. Make the "crisp" with a random mixture of oatmeal, flour, some spices and sugar. I put in some butter. I don't think you have to. Bake at whatever temperature the oven is already going at until it looks done.

Is it outrageous we've eaten 1/4 lb of cinnamon since the end of July? I bought it at some Amish grocery in Missouri. Not a tourist-y type Amish Market, but a real Amish grocery.

The filling for dinner...tofu tamale pie (almost vegan).

Hungry? Apple crisp, banana bread and the tofu tamale pie (I filled the pan too full and it kind of ran over.).

I'm thinking somebody else should wash the dishes.