Thursday, January 27, 2011

At Your Request

Roasted Veggie Stew

This is a delicious and hearty dinner. Bonus: It's also fairly easy. Try it & let me know what you think!

And I like to double or triple the ingredients to make a nice big pot- it is very yummy & leftovers are good, too! So when it calls for 2 parsnips, I just use a whole bag (etc). Enjoy!!

Roasted Veggie Stew

2 tsp fresh thyme, snipped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped 1/2" cube for all the chopped veggies
1 potato, peeled & chopped
1 rutabaga, you guessed it, peeled & chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cubed (haha- got tired of typing chopped)
1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 c veggie broth
15 oz can great northern beans, rinsed & drained

Toss all the "peeled & chopped" veggies plus the onion with the oil. Sprinkle with salt. Spread on a cookie sheet & roast in a 450 degree oven until brown & tender. (30 min ish?)

Meanwhile, bring the broth & beans to a boil in a large pot. (If you only have dry thyme, add it here.) Add the roasted veggies and return to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes or so & stir in the thyme (if you snipped fresh from the garden). I like to mash some of the soup at this point for a slightly thicker consistency.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

At Your Request...

Red Pepper and Pignolia Sauce
This sauce is versatile, easy, tasty & healthy! You only need a bit on your grains, as it's very rich. I served it over Israeli Couscous tonight & loved it. On other occasions, I've used it to top rigatoni, brown rice, and even veggies. Use your imagination!

For the roasted peppers- you can buy a jar *or* you can just toss 3 whole peppers on a cookie sheet & roast in the oven. This time I did mine at the last minute. Put them in at 500 for, oh, 45 minutes or until the skin is blistery & can peel right off. Then peel, seed & enjoy.

Red Pepper and Pignolia Sauce

1c roasted red peppers (2-3 peppers)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp pine nuts, lightly pan toasted
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1+ Tbsp basil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until creamy & smooth. Serve over pasta or grains.

That's it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meal Planning Mondays

Week two of Meal Planning Mondays. Here is last week's menu. I may not write that we're having salad every day, but we do. Sometimes I make it fancy, others it's just mixed greens, dressing and a few nuts. I like to make homemade dressing and it's quite easy with my Williams Sonoma salad dressing bottle with recipes printed on it. Chris gave me that and a salad spinner one Mother's Day and it has gotten SO much use! I {love} it! Here's a similar one, but I just shake mine- no gadget to stir.

M- Winter Veggie Stew (Roasted Rutabagas + Parsnips + Onions + Carrots + Potatoes = warm & yummy goodness!)
T- Ben & Timothy's Birthday! This year, Timothy requested pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. Since we have Apolojax, it'll be quick PB&Js for lunch, and Ben wants BBQ Beef Ribs on the smoker for dinner. We'll serve those with smoked new potatoes & {ahem} salad.
W- Red Pepper & Pignolia Sauce over quinoa
R- Linguine (I forgot which sauce I'm making. Sorry!)
F- Pizza
S- Creamy Lentil Soup
S- Stuffed Shells

Last week, Mauricio took me up on the offer to pick a night & pop in. Who will it be this week? Give us a call & come on over!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Anyone Read This Book?

I just read a review of Large Family Logistics over on Raising Olives. She's plugging the book- says it's changed the way they do life in a lot of ways... I'm curious. Skeptical. Interested. Looking for a miracle!

I've seen the book in Vision Forum but glossed right over it. We have our little routine down, so why rock the boat? But when she said 1)it's helped them even after keeping house fairly well for years and 2) she's offering 2 books FOR FREE well, let's just say she got my attention!

I hope I win!!

Have any of you read it? I wonder if I should buy it... add it to the ever-growing stack of books I am reading. Maybe I'll win & the decision will be easy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sabbath Rest

I planned a crockpot meal for tomorrow so we can enjoy a Sunday off. A Sabbath rest.

Abba worked 6 days & on the 7th, He rested. I see wisdom there... I get it in here {pointing at my heart} but just can't always get it into here {pointing at my head}! It's hard to get all the work needed in a household of 8 accomplished where I won't be starting Monday at such a deficit it's not worth trying...

So back to the crockpot. I planned a crock pot meal (Asparagus Strata) as a step in the right direction. That's a little less work and hopefully a little more time to share a laugh, a hug, a game with the ones I love most.

What do you do to allow time for special memories? Do you sing, study the Word, nap? What sets the Lord's day apart for you?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Meal Planning Mondays

I am often asked, "What exactly do you eat?" Sometimes because people are wondering what {mostly} veggie people enjoy for dinner and sometimes because the thought of cooking for 8 three times daily seems daunting. So I'm going to start posting our weekly menu on Mondays. If you want to stop by, now you can browse the week's offerings and know which night to show up. ;)

M- Navy Bean Soup, Rolls & Salad

T- Baked Eggplant over pasta w/Italian Salad

W- Homemade Mac & Cheese, Stewed Apples & Veggie Dippers (homegroup night- we all eat together)

R- Crock- Venison with Stout & Potatoes (and salad)

F- Stir Fry (Asian Salad)

S- Roasted Veggie Stew

S- Crock- Asparagus Strata

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kindness Matters

Chris is out of town with Ben. Man trip to the Everglades- you know, wrestling gators, camping with boa constrictors and fishing from dawn to dusk. I can't wait to hear all about the memories they made!!

But I digress... After church today, I took the kiddos to Applebees for a quick lunch on the way home. The hostess sat us across from an older couple peacefully enjoying their meal. I silently prayed the children would be well-behaved so we didn't ruin their lunch!! Not that Lauren, Timothy, Andrew, Georgia Anne & Clara are bad, they're very sweet, but after being quiet in church all morning there is lots of energy stored up!!

Long story short, the man did some magic tricks to make Georgia Anne smile and I realized, with relief, that they love children and we were ok to relax. {whew!} Here's the cool part- when our server brought our check, he told me they had given him money to pay for part of our dinner!!! I am totally blown away & blessed & grateful!! Thank you, friendly folks!

There is another matter of kindness I should say thanks for- the unmerited favor I have received from God! He didn't just pay for my meal, he paid for my admission to the best banquet in eternity! I have done nothing to deserve His love, but He has become man, lived sinlessly and then died bearing my sins to achieve my forgiveness.

I'm smiling, grateful for all the love shown today. I think of the adage, "To whom much is given, much is required." I'll look for chances to live out this loving kindness today to my family and neighbors because Kindness Matters.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bird Watching

I'm working on February's article for The Creekline and wanted to reference a cute little brown bird I saw playing in my birdbath yesterday. Birds never play in my birdbath! Maybe it's the junk that's always corralled there... But these teeny, tenacious flitterers were playing in the water, around the tacklebox and in spite of the ice floating in it from the previous night's 30 degree low!!

I'm like a proud parent! So I googled "small brown bird Florida". I'm sure I can ID it from a picture. I mean, how many little brown birds can there be?

Google's results were so funny I had to share with you!!

A HAWK?! That's small?! They eat little brown birds for dinner!!

No, Google, I don't think a hawk is the cute little brown birdie I was looking for. What else can you offer?

Seriously?! A PELICAN!?! The first word I typed in was small. I don't think pelicans are small by any definition. Maybe compared to a pteradactyl. Or an ostrich. But that's not the point. Well, I think I saw a sparrow or a thrush or something of the sort... I can't tell you for sure because, well, you know. I guess I need to find a good bird ID website- homeschool research project for Ben, maybe?!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Humble Orthodoxy in Dug Down Deep

I just finished Dug Down Deep (which I enjoyed over a cup of tea last night.) A few passages really jumped out at me- I'm posting them here for my own reminder as much as for others' sake! :)

"...while we shouldn't be mean and spiteful in representing biblical truth, neither should we apologize for believing that God has been clear in his Word. The humility we need in our theology is first and foremost a humility before God. As pastor Mark Dever puts it, 'Humble theology [is] theology which submits itself to the truth of God's Word.' This is a good reminder for me."

"But truth can be known. And what the Bible teaches should be obeyed. Just because we can't know God exhaustively doesn't mean we can't know him truly (Psalm 19:7-10; John 17:17). Just because there is mystery in God's Word doesn't mean we can pretend God hasn't spoken clearly in the Bible.

"Christian humility,' Dever writes, 'is to simply accept whatever God has revealed in His Word. Humiligy is following God's Word wherever it goes, as far as it goes, not either going beyond it or stopping short of it... The humility we want in our churches is to read the Bible and believe it... It is not humble to be hesitant where God has been clear and plain."

Harris goes on to say the same thing we talked about in homegroup last night which is the same thing I heard on my iPod Tuesday night in a message by Elyse Fitzpatrick. (Think God is trying to tell me something?!) He says:

"Do you want to keep your orthodoxy humble? Try to live it. Don't spend all your time theorizing about it, debating about it, or blogging about it. {teehehe!} Spend more energy living the truth you know than worrying about what the next guy does or doesn't know. Don't measure yourself by what you know. Measure yourself by your practice of what you know. {emphasis mine}"

Lord- Let your Word inform & shape every area of my life. ~Amen~

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Cup of Tea and Thee and Me

Chris just went to bed & the kiddos are all in their spots (oops- Georgia Anne just flew by & is in the bed with Andrew. Did I see that? Nah...)

I'm not quite ready for bed, so I'm about to enjoy a cup of Sleepytime, Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris & a tea cookie. Two tea cookies. Yes, that's better.

Looking forward to a couple of minutes of down time...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Plenty of Time

School starts in 5 minutes. The Christmas decorations are all over the dining room- where we do school. The laundry room (completely clean Saturday/Sunday) is again home to overflowing baskets & piles of clean laundry on the counter. But it's okay... I've got plenty of time!

I am not escaping into the computer (this time). I'm talking to myself instead of listening to myself. (I'm more convincing in print.) I have enough time each day to accomplish the things the Lord is calling me to. Methinks I should do a study on this topic; it's a constant struggle here on school days!

The truth is- the homeschooling mom often doesn't have the luxury to focus on one task at a time.So I'm hoping the Lord will help me keep my priorities right today. That I can lay all the other "need to's" aside when my littles come up to me for help with a baby doll's dress, tying a shoe, or the same math problem for the third time. I want the children to see that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have Plenty of Time for them.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ten Ways to Say Thanks

How many people generously gave you and your children gifts this Christmas? You have that many opportunities to teach your children gratitude right now!

I wrote my January article in The Creekline on this very topic (these article & last January's are both posted on my website if you want to read them.) Lauren wrote Thank You notes on the cards she received from Granny & Papa for Christmas. How will you say THANKS this year?

The Gospel Song

Our homeschool group hopes to sing this song in a couple of months. Since we're a wide range of ages, it may sound about like this... and that would be a perfect way to put a smile on some folks' faces at the Nursing Home. :)

Any suggestions for another song to sing?