Archive for February, 2007

Perhaps a fix? (and MaryEllen adventures)

February 28, 2007

I just received a note from WordPress help that apologized and said the problem had just become apparent and they are working to fix things as quickly as possible.  As soon as they do, I’ll be finishing posts.  John and Kevin have some great art work and I have a month worth of pictures that I need posted!

Until then, tonight Charlotte was hogging MaryEllen’s bed, so MaryEllen was making a bed on the couch.  Instead of a dolly or a teddy bear, she took this old (It was my 16 year old nephew’s toy!) hard, plastic Frankenstein toy to sleep with her.  She had it sharing her pillow and blanket and was “reading” a story to him.  Joe got a picture on his cell phone.  Perhaps we can upload that sometime.

MaryEllen has also been getting quite opinionated about her fashion lately.  I pulled out some maternity clothes the other day.  There was a nice white top and some olive green pants.  MaryEllen looked at me with a frown and said, “Are you going to wear that?”  I asked if there was a problem.  She said it didn’t look good.  Then I asked Kevin who was nearby if there was anything wrong with my clothes.  He looked, said, “um….No, there’s nothing wrong with them.”  Then in his kiss-a-little-rear-for-good-measure-dramatic way he said, “You look beautiful, Mom.”

MaryEllen also told me that she doesn’t think her dad looks right in Sunday clothes.  When I asked what she meant she said, “He just doesn’t look right.  He needs his regular stuff, not good clothes.  Well, not naked either, just with his jeans and stuff on.”    While in the car one day with her dad driving she asked him quite sternly to please put his hat back on.  What a pistol.  4 years old she is!

Stir Fry Noodles

February 28, 2007

This is adapted from a recipe by (who else?) Marilu Henner.

Stir Fry Noodles

1 pound of noodles (or spaghetti)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups (at least) of broccoli cut into small florets or small stem pieces
2 red peppers cut into smallish chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound tofu
1 cup creamy Italian salad dressing (I use dairy-free Nasoya brand)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

Prepare noodles or spaghetti as instructed on the package.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil until almost smoking. Add the broccoli and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red pepper and stir for another minute. Add garlic and tofu and stir for one 1 minute more. Then add the pepper and Italian seasoning. Stir well and add the noodles. Combine thoroughly and serve hot. Enjoy!

Still No New Posts

February 27, 2007

This Mac thing has me going.  I am unable to upload photos to wordpress.  They told me it was Safari that was the problem and to switch to Firefox.   Well, I did that and photos still won’t load.  Other than that, I like the Mac better.   Hope all is well with you.  God bless.

More Lenten Recipes

February 20, 2007

My friend Ruth is hosting a carnival of meatless meals for Fridays during Lent. Here is the link for the first one:

Lenten Recipes

February 19, 2007

One of my all-time, favorite cookbooks is “Healthy Life Kitchen” by Marilu Henner. We use it year round, but it is particularly appropriate for Lent. The book contains 3 chicken recipes, but all the rest are either meatless or fish. I thought I would share a few of our favorites.

JAC’s Carrot Soup

-2 cups vegetable broth (we use Imagine brand no-chicken broth)
-6 medium carrots, washed and shreaded
-3 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon ground pepper
-1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/2 cup soy milk
-1/4 cup rice milk
-1/2 stick soy margarine, softened

Combine 2 cups of water, the broth, carrots, potatoes, onion, salt, and pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are tender.

Remove the pot from heat. Transfer the mixture to a blender, 1 to 2 cups at a time, and place the lid on the blender, leaving the top slightly ajar to allow steam to escape (very important tip!). Carefully blend the mixture at low speed until smooth.

Return the blended mixture to the pot and place on high heat. Add Italian seasoning and nutmeg and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in milks and margarine until blended and heat thoroughly.

Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and serve hot.

My notes: I shread all the veggies in the food processor so it makes it really fast. I also have a small hand blender where I can blend soups right in the pot. It was one of the best kitchen tools I have ever bought.

Cilantro Corn Chowder

-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 1/2 cups red onion, chopped
-1 cup diced carrot
-1 1/2 cups diced yellow bell pepper
-1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
-4 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
-2 tablespoons vegetable soup concentrate (I like Organic Gourmet brand)
-3 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
-2 tablespoons chopped chives (We have never used these)
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 avocado, sliced (optional)

Put olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onion, carrot, and the bell peppers and saute until the vegetables soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Add potatoes and mix well into the vegetable mixture. Saute an additional 7 to 8 minutes. Add 7 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

Remove 1/2 cup of broth and dissolve soup concentrate into it. Add this to soup and mix well. Cook soup and additional 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove 1/3 of the soup with lots of vegetables in it and set aside. Blend remaining 2/3 of the soup until smooth in a blender or food processor. Stir in reserved soup, corn, cilantro, and chives. (If you want to thicken the soup up just a bit more, blend a few more of the whole vegetables from soup with 1 cup of corn.)

Bring soup to a low boil, stirring frequently, and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat, continuing to stir so that the soup doesn’t stick to bottom. Season to taste.

Serve with sliced avocado on top if desired.

There are several more soups in here that we just love. The soups alone are worth the cost of the book (especially if you buy it used!)

Our favorite fish recipe in the book follows.

Spicy Grilled Salmon

-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1/4 teaspoon paprika
-4 salmon fillets
-1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Mix all dry seasonings together. Rub salmon with olive oil and then coat with dry seasonings. Grill on very hot grill for 5 minutes on each side.

My notes: We don’t grill it. I put it in a very hot over (45 degress F) for 18 minutes on one side and 5 – 10 minutes on the other depending on the thickness. We usually get large fillets, one for the family, from Costco. Also my husband likes fish a bit more dry than most.

Here are some links to my previous blog posts that have good recipes for Lent: (Sorry about the links, I can’t figure out how to do fancy one word links on the Mac yet!)

Fettuccine dish:

Chickenless chicken Salad

Spinach Things & Pizza (just disregard the birthday cake for Lent!)


Dinner on Saturday Night

February 19, 2007

I took a lovely picture of this, but I can’t seem to upload any photos yet. AARRGG! WordPress security and my Mac doesn’t seem to get along, but I’ll keep trying. This is one of those dishes that every one here loves! It is from “Cooking the Whole Foods Way” by Christina Pirello. This also makes a lovely Lenten dish.

Fettuccine with Seitan & Sugar Snap Peas

-10 tp 12 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
-1 or 2 carrots, cut into thin matchstick pieces
-1 (8 oz) package fettuccine (we usually use 1 pound)
-2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
-1 pound seitan, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (aka wheatmeat. I use WhiteWave brand)
-1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (I use less dried most of the time)
-1 to 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
-1 cup vegetable stock (I use Imagine brand ‘no-chicken” broth”)
-1/4 cup mirin
-Sea salt
-3 or 4 green onion, cut into thin diagonal slices
-Generous pinch of paprika
-Lemon wedges (we don’t use these)

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and boil snap peas 1 minute. Remove with a strainer and rinse under cold water. Add carrots, cook 30 seconds and drain. Rinse under cold water and mix with peas. Set aside. (We don’t do this anymore. We like our veggies crispy and just leave them to steam at the end of the recipe a little longer.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook fettuccine according to package direction just until tender.

While the fettuccine cooks, heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add seitan pieces and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely, and set aside.

In the same skillet, stir in parsley and flour and cook 30 seconds. Stir in broth and mirin and season lightly with salt. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add peas and carrots and simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. (This is where I put a cover on, turn the burner to low, and simmer/steam veggies for a few minutes.)

Drain fettuccine; do not rinse. Arrange on a serving platter. Spoon sauce over fettuccine and top with seitan pieces. Sprinkle lightly with green onions and paprika and serve with fresh lemon wedges. Makes 2 or 3 servings. (In our home with 2 adults and 5 children it more than feeds us all with leftovers with the pound of fettuccine!)

10 Days since I posted?

February 18, 2007

Sorry for the long delay. I hope to get some things up soon. First we had to take back the digital camera for several reasons. I did finally get another one, but haven’t used it much. The weather has been freezing here and I always seem to be cold. My other excuse is switching computers. I am now on a Mac and I have to learn how to do some things again on this blog. So, please bear with me.

Well, I was going to post some pictures, but I don’t know where they are in this machine! Sorry, you’ll just have to wait until I can find them. Windows and Macs are like apples and oranges to me. But, I am enjoying being able to check my messages very quickly!

A Novena for a Friend

February 8, 2007

My friend Donna Marie is asking for people to join her in a novena to the Infant of Prague. They need to make some deciscions. You can go to my blogroll and click on “A Garden of Roses and Lilies” to read more.

Thank you and God bless.

The Joy of Being 4

February 7, 2007

Today was such a special day.  It seems as if MaryEllen has been waiting for us to tell her it’s her birthday.  This morning Joe (Daddy) said, “Happy Birthday, MaryEllen.”  Her reply was so sweet, “Is today my birthday?” with such eager anticipation in her voice.  She was overjoyed to now be the same age as her friend Erin.  She told everyone in the family at least once that she was now the same age as Erin.   This afternoon when I started making her cake she asked, “Can I have a sheet cake Mommy?”  How can you resist that little darling.  She also asked for pizza.  So, I spent the afternoon baking.  My mom, “Mom-Mom” called today to wish her a happy birthday.  MaryEllen told her that I was baking a cake and said, “I wish you could come to our house and eat the cake with us.”  (I hope that will be a strong enough hint for my Mom to move closer to us!)  Tonight at the dinner table, MaryEllen passed gas very long and loud.  She started giggling and said, “I tooted on my birthday.”  She is just so joyous, free, and so cute and sweet.  God sure has blessed us with this little gem.

 mebday-update.JPG    mebday2-update.JPG

Happy 4th Birthday, MaryEllen!

February 7, 2007

Today is MaryEllen’s 4th Birthday.   Where has the time gone?  The night before she was born I was driving home from a quilt guild meeting.  It had snowed while  the meeting was going on and it was still coming down.  It was a long drive home.  That was about 9 pm.  Around midnight I was going to bed and felt kind of strange.  I laid down and said a little prayer, “Please Lord, not tonight because of the snow.”  At that moment my water broke and she was born about 4 1/2 hours later.  Here are some pictures from that wonderful morning.

 joe-kristen-me-update.JPG   john-holding-maryellen-update.JPG    grandmom-and-me-update.JPG

The first picture is Joe, MaryEllen, & I just after she was born.

The second is John holding MaryEllen.   He did NOT want to leave my side that day, not even to go play in the snow.

The third is my mother holding MaryEllen.  It was her second grandaugher, but the  first to be  born in 13 years.