The Icecream Man

nov1409 040--revisednov1409 041--revised

Gloria, watching from just in side the door.  She looks jealous.

Gloria, watching from just in side the door. She looks jealous.

So we shared.

So we shared.

A scoop of vanilla and a scoop of lime...yummy.

A scoop of vanilla and a scoop of lime...yummy.

I don't know what this cone is made out of....

I don't know what this cone is made out of....

It just disolved into this nasty orange mush.

It just disolved into this nasty orange mush.

And this is where it ended up.  Maybe next time, we'll skip the sharing with Gloria part :)

And this is where it ended up. Maybe next time, we'll skip the sharing with Gloria part :)

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Kids and Cooking

I’ll admit that sometimes I find it extremely annoying when the girls frantically pull over the chairs to hover over the counter while I’m trying to whip something up for dinner.  However, I love that they are so curious and eager to learn and to help!

I try to involve them in whatever I’m cooking if they show interest.  Usually I have them peel garlic or something tedious like that :)   My mom let my brother and I experiment in the kitchen and I always assumed that is why we both are fairly comfortable in that area.

Here are a few pictures of our attempt with pita bread.  I’m not including the recipe because  it didn’t really turn out.

Let’s call it flat bread.  It didn’t exactly have a pocket like pita bread is supposed to have.  But it was fun to make!027--revised029--revised025--revised

013--revised

024--revised

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Healthy Macaroni and “Cheese”

What is it about mac n’ cheese?  Why IS it so good?  It seems like it would be nasty but unfortunately, I really like it.  My children also really like it so I’ve tried to think of some alternatives.

I can’t decide if I’m just that amazing or if they are THAT easily fooled.

In the case of this recipe—it’s a good example of how important presentation is.  It really doesn’t taste like macaroni and cheese but it LOOKS so much like it that the kids are tricked into thinking that it’s the real thing!  Hahaha! Regardless, here’s my recipe in case you’re interested:

Macaroni noodles (200 grams or about 7 ounces) cooked and drained

2 Tablespoons butter

1/4 Cup brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast

(Go here for a great article explaining what this is and the health benefits)  It sounds weird but we really like the taste (buttery is how I would describe it) and try to add it to some food regularly to provide vitamin B12 since we don’t eat a lot of meat.  I think you usually have to get this at a health food store.

1-2 teaspoons turmeric

(also has many health benefits) Go here if you’d like to read about all the health benefits of turmeric or here to read another post of mine where I mention it.)  It’s just a spice you can buy at any grocery store and it’s bright yellow like mac n’ cheese!

1/2 Cup milk

salt to taste

My husband had questioned whether I should be putting the word “cheese” in this recipe.  My question is whether THEY should be putting the word “cheese” on the box that you buy in the store.  :)

Now, tell me that doesn't look like store bought macaroni and cheese!

Now, tell me that doesn't look like store bought macaroni and cheese!

This is the brewers yeast.

This is the brewers yeast.

Turmeric.  Kind of looks like the "cheese" powder to me.

Turmeric. Kind of looks like the "cheese" powder to me.

And there ya go!  Very easy and VERY healthy!

And there ya go! Very easy and VERY healthy!

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My Job

“I know that some jobs don’t really count, don’t make much of a difference, don’t actually matter that much, don’t have much lasting significance. Not so with mothering. I know that in some jobs the worker is only handling cleaning equipment, or car parts, or computer keyboards, or insurance policies, or court cases, or political legislation, or stockholders’ funds. Not so with mothering. A mother is handling things of a far greater magnitude. She’s handling never-dying souls. She’s daily conducting heart surgery on eternal spirits whose forever destinies are influenced most profoundly by the hands that rock their cradles, wipe their noses, spank their fannies, open their Bibles, prepare their after-school snacks, and turn off their bedroom lights. Those motherly hands are molding characters which will become men and women who will turn the world upside down either for good or for evil. Now that’s a job that counts. ” Womanly Dominion, page 108-109

I came across this on a blog I read regularly called The Stay-at-Home-Missionary. I found it very encouraging.

Nov 8 09 002--revised

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Lentils, again.

Don’t worry–I have not forgotten about lentils.  Some of you gave me some VERY good ideas and I will post some of my favorites another day.

A few months ago when I still hated lentils I found a way to use them where I couldn’t even taste them!  Falafel!!!  I usually use two cans of chick peas (garbanzo beans) but this time I used only one can and the remains of my lentil soup from the day before.  Sure it had carrots and beans and a few other random veggies but nobody had any idea and hey, a great way to sneak in some more veggies!

Here’s the recipe:

Falafel

*One can garbanzo beans (drained)

*Lentils (the equivelent of one can)

*One onion (finely chopped)

*Two cloves garlic (finely chopped)

*Two teaspoons cumin

*Two to four tablespoons whole wheat flour

*Four tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

*Salt to taste

*You can use One teaspoon of baking powder but I don’t and they turn out just fine.

Combine garbanzo beans and lentils in a blender until mostly smooth but just slightly chunky.  Add other ingredients and mix well.  I usually add the flour last and the amount varies depending on how watery it is.
I use a spoon to scoop a ball shape and plop it into a skillet with a little bit of hot coconut oil.  Mine are usually too wet to form into balls but you can add more flour so that is possible—I just try not to add too much flour for health reasons.

Once they are browned on one side, use a spatula to flip over and brown the other side.  Then set out on paper towells to soak up some of the oil.

(that skillet has since gone bye bye--not more teflon flakes in our food)

(that skillet has since gone bye bye--no more teflon flakes in our food)

You can also brush them with oil and bake them but that takes too long for me.  You can use whatever kind of oil you want.  I use coconut oil for all cooking because it is more stable at high temperatures (basically, doesn’t become a trans fat).

Tomato, onion, parsley salad on left, hummus on right.

Tomato, onion, parsley salad on left, hummus on right.

We usually eat falafel with hummus and cucumber yogurt salad (or cucumber sauce) on whole wheat tortillas or homemade pita bread.  This time I just chopped up some tomatoes, onions and parsely instead of cucumber salad.

Can't forget the Spiracha Hot Chili Sauce!

Can't forget the Spiracha Hot Chili Sauce!

The finished product--YUM!

The finished product--YUM!

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Five things I’m LOVING right now

Talk about lazy blogging….

1. Turmeric.  (I am so sorry to a few of my friends who are probably getting sick of hearing me talk about turmeric.)  It’s an acquired taste because it is very strong but has so many health benefits—I’ve been putting it in everything I eat!  If you’re interested, go here for a nice simple list of health benefits, some of which include cancer prevention, liver detoxification, fat metabolism and the list goes on!

2. My new workout video (yes, as in VHS because $5 is a lot less that $18) with Janis Saffell.  It has a very embarassing name…so embarassing in fact that I covered it with duct tape.  I suppose I have to tell you here in case you want to check it out!  It’s called Brand New Butt.  Yah, yah laugh all you want but my butt is going to fit into my pre-preg jeans….correctly.

3.  Our sweet baby, Gloria!  She’s clapping her hands, and pulling up on everything and thinking about crawling.  She is such a source of joy for all of us!  (Just to clarify—I always love her, not just “right now”….and I love ALL of my children…also, not JUST “right now”.)  We are just really ENJOYING her!

4. The relationship with my neighbor.  She is a young mom of two and we have really gotten close over the last year.  She and her sister are now coming over once in a while to study the bible with me which is really more of a blessing for me than them, I’m sure.

5. FLY LADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh my….what an answer to prayer!  This is a website devoted to helping women get their homes in order and so much more.  It may be common sense to some people but not me and OH, what a blessing it’s been to have help putting together a daily, weekly and monthly schedule for myself as far as housework goes.  It was recommended to me by three different friends….just wondering why I hadn’t heard about it sooner!

Anybody else really into something lately?  A new recipe to try, new book to read or new workout plan?

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What’s new?

Well I’ve done it. The exact thing I didn’t want to do. Start this blog and then just stop posting regularly. Here’s the thing–sometimes life is just so lively that you don’t have time to really contemplate or reflect much,
let alone remember your password for Wordpress.

I’ll try not to bore you too much here with a few updates.
1. The two older girls have started back to school.
2. Hmm….could’ve sworn there was more stuff going on.

And there’s a glimpse into my life. I’m easily bored but VERY easliy overwhelmed….it’s quite a challenge finding the balance :)

Actually, there are some very deep things stirring around up there in my scatterbrain but I haven’t had the time to sort and fold and put away. Laundry is a struggle too, but what else is new?

Serious moment:
It has been quite the battle for me to embrace what I have been called to do. Just when I think I’ve come so far, I realize that I have so much further to go. I’ve seen this pattern quite a few times. Please tell me that’s not how it always is…someone? Please? At some point you just “arrive” right? Okay don’t tell me cause I think I know the answer.

Oh what a journey the past five years on the mission field have been…..
I am so thankful for the patience and grace the Father has for me.

Off to put away the last of the laundry…

Blessings to you all!

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Tomato Soup

tomato soup

During high school I worked at a restaurant called Spud’s Rotisserie and Grill and it was such an awesome learning experience. The owner and chef, Peter, was like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld (if you remember that).
I worked there with a few of my best friends and we had a little bit too much fun sometimes but also learned a few things.
Peter taught us some valuable cooking skills like how to chop cilantro without chopping off a finger and how to roast red peppers or make the most amazing croutons in the world. He is very gifted and is famous in our town for a few things. One is the ceasar salad dressing….wish I could remember how he made that. Another was his Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup…oh so yummy.
Anyway I was thinking about that soup recently and happened to find the recipe on the restaurant’s website! YAY! So I thought I would share it with you. It is super easy, healthy and so delicious.
6 whole, peeled garlic cloves
5 red tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 red onion, cut into rings
dash of pepper and kosher salt
Slice tomatoes 1/4 inch thick (I just halved mine….cause I’m lazy) and place in a shallow baking pan. Top with jalapeno, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in preheated oven (375) for 45 minutes until slightly blackened. Then blend in batches in a blender until smooth.
One hilarious thing about this post is that one of my friends who used to work there with me also just wrote about this very same thing on her blog since we had been talking about it recently. Great minds think alike! Hope you enjoy this recipe!

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Grocery Shopping

I used to LOVE grocery shopping….seriously. They say that grocery stores are designed to suck you in and hypnotize you into staying longer because the longer you stay, the more money you spend. AMEN! I used to enjoy strolling up and down the isles in a daze. I probably made almost three full circles a trip.

Well things are a bit different now, aren’t they….Why yes, they are! Let me tell you what grocery shopping looks like for me now. (Little side note here: I’m not complaining, in fact I find it quite amusing)

Load up all four kids in the car (I won’t even mention traffic…well I guess I just did.) Go to the only grocery store in town that has shopping carts to buy things like cereal, diapers, yogurt, butter, flour, shampoo (and occasionally they have conditioner.) Then we drive to an outdoor veggie market every Friday where we can get all our fresh veggies and fruit. There is a stand off to the side that sells nuts, dried beans and chilis and another that sells fresh cheese.

A lot of little corner stores sell eggs, but not the big grocery store so we usually buy those right near our house.
If we need tortillas we walk to go to one of the many tortillerias around town. Then meat is in another entirely different location right in the center of town. We’re practically vegetarian these days for two reasons: 1. The idea of dragging us all up there…oh man I’m sweating just thinking about it. 2. The smell. Ew.

So that’s the routine for the basics. Now if we want any frozen foods or “convenience” food that’s a two and half hour drive to the big city.

Think about this: Glue, aspirin, powdered sugar, fresh baked bread, trash bags, wrapping paper, socks, bananas, chicken breasts, hair ribbons, tools, clothing, fabric, and magazines all have their very own location…apart from each other :) Sure makes ya appreciate one-stop shopping where all of these things could be found in one store.
BUT where’s the fun in that? I feel like I’m living in the olden days and I kind of like it.

Let me be honest….I don’t ALWAYS like it. However, speaking of the olden days….we DO get fresh milk delivered to our door every morning by a sweet little grandma who milks the cows herself. Now THAT is awesome! I’ll take that over Walmart any day.

Here, this is in case I'm boring you with my ranting.

Here, this is in case I'm boring you with my ranting.

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Tea Party

Such little ladies.

Such little ladies.

Beach party apples

Beach party apples

I found a fun idea in a recipe and modified it. This recipe suggested making baby caramel apples by using the melon baller thingy (is there an official name for that?) and toothpicks then dipping them in caramel or melted chocolate. Instead we made “sand” out of nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon all ground up in the coffee grinder. And of course we used umbrellas instead of boring old toothpicks.

Jenna enjoying her tea and snacks

Jenna enjoying her tea and snacks

Molly stirring her tea

Molly stirring her tea

Lauryn and her lovely lipstick

Lauryn and her lovely lipstick

They may have had a little too much fun with the makeup :) Good golly.

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