Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Caldo Verde


Translated loosly means: Winter green and sausage stew

4 Tbs olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and green parts only (chopped)
5 large baking potatoes (chopped into cubes or thinly sliced)
3 lg cloves garlic (minced)
4 cups chicken broth
6 oz hard sausage (cut into uniform peices)
1 lb Kale or other winter green (stemmed and sliced VERY thin)
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute' leeks in oil until tender in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add potatoes and saute' until they begin to brown. Add garlic and agitate for a few minutes.

Add chicken broth and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer on med until potatoes are soft. Mash slightly for a creamier texture.

Saute' sausage until brown in another pan. Add the greens saute' until tender (adding salt helps tenderise tough winter greens such as kale, but saute' too much and they loose their color). Add to soup.

Add salt and pepper to your liking.

Serves 6

It was very good. Perfect compliment to my Onion Upside-Down Cornbread or a Puglese loaf (traditional italian bread loaf) cut in half and topped with Provalone cheese. This soup can have many variations once you make it once you will see what I mean. Adding a tiny bit of Sage would have brought depth to the flavor but it was good just how it was.

October Melons


Just in time, I picked these sweet melons from the garden. We had them in a melon salad for dessert one night.

Two days later, it hard frosted, finishing off the season and the rest of the garden plants.
I am so glad I got these beauties out in time.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Little's Corner

I have been working on this all week. I have been collecting leaf prints from my friends on Sewing Mamas, and then did the quilt out of them. There is a lot of love in that sweet little quilt. Then I got some scrumy soft corderoy (my favorite fabric) and the idea for this set was born. All leaves, mushrooms, and snails it seems to fit a little boy... although not necessarily a baby. But I really like it.
Here is a close up of the quilt. Each print found it's place nicely. It is backed with a tiny leaf calico that I just LOVE. It is brighter than the sheet fabric but similar style and just as soft.
Here is the whole set. This was my first bumper and fitted sheet ever. The bumper has coordinating ties. One set matches the sheet, and the other matches the spark boarder on the quilt tieing the set together. The mushroom appliques at the top of the bumper are both coordinating fabrics with the bottoms done in some super soft wide whale cord.
And here is the finishing touch. A friend and I looked and looked for a snail that wasn't pink a couple weeks ago. I finally found one while picking up the curtians at Ikea. When you pull on the head and strech him out he plays Lullabye and Goodnight. I love it... it fits perfectly and is so cute!
Just 10 more weeks. Then I will have pictures of this set with a baby in it. :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Simple Cheap Decorations

I love Halloween... but not the scary side... the mystical, dark, turning in side of Halloween. I never liked the blood and gore decorations, so I set out to make some decorations that were my idea of what the All Hallows Eve story was all about.
I got the inspiration for the door from World of Warcraft, actually. A pattern similar to this was in one of the elven houses on a tapastry. Just goes to show that inspiration comes from anywhere.
Then I remembered this from an OLD Martha Stewart like two years ago or something (I just LOVE her Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas issues. I actually buy them at full price even now ) and thought I would try it. Cost: $2.99 for the bag of spiders, and $2.69 for the sticky tac. And I just LOVE it.


After School Banana Bread

This week is Parent Teacher confrence week. Alex comes home at 11:45am and Cyan is home all week from Kindergarten. So I have gotten used to having snacks right around the same time as lunch all set for them. Today I found three overripe bananas sitting in my fruit basket... they were starting to attract fruit flies. Fruit flies are not welcome... Something had to be done.

Hot out of the oven right as Alex stepped off the bus.

God, I'm good. ;)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Split Pea Soup

3 cups dry split peas
6 1/2 cups water
8 cloves garlic (minced)
1 lg onion (diced)

In a large pot, saute' the garlic and onion with a little bit of oil until they are clear. Add the split peas and 6 1/2 cups of water. Let boil for 45 minutes stiring occasionally. (I use a pressure cooker, so I just heat to high for 6 minutes and they are all done.) When the peas are cooked through, add the seasonings to taste. I like about 1 tea fresh ground black pepper and 1 tea Lawrey's season salt. The kids love this meal because it is the only time I make fresh crispy bacon. We crumble that into our soup before eating it.
Last night, Alex had 3 bowls of the stuff.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beautiful Children

These are some of my favorite simi-recent pictures of my kids. When I look at pictures like this I can't wait to meet Little. I wonder what he is going to look like, and how he is going to fit in our family. I almost hope he gets Don's eyes... just because I love them, but seeing my two blue-eyed beauties like this... well, we will just have to wait and see. Brown or blue? Who knows. Only a little while now.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Free Hugs Campaign


This is awesome... the song is cool... but the end will choke you up... or perhaps I am just hormonal. But it is sweet anyhow.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Random Furry Sweetness



Here is my cat. His name is Taio. He is 8 years old this month sometime.

I found him when exersizing horses with a friend, he and his 5 brothers and sisters were on the side of the road huddled around their mother, who had been hit by a car. I took him home and my friend found homes for the rest. He has been a wonderful cat. He doesn't meow and he is the most even tempered cat I have EVER met. I have never even seen him hiss unless hurt. He is a chubby ball of love and deffinetly a wonderful member of the family.


Happy Birthday Taio!

On the squash side of the yard...

Buried by agressors, these mighty fighters lifted their heads out of this hositle enviroment and attached themselves to the fence in hopes of servival.
The young here, basking in the late afternoon shade.
As their elders try to find peace and support where they can. Some didn't pick a very comfortable spot in which to call home, however much they learned from their situation.
But these few are a big help to the many who call on them for some subtle support now and again.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Spawn



Alex and Cyan are the light of my life, and also often the bane of my existence. Aside from the toys on the floor, the games in which if I do not referee blood ensues, and the endless tasks that it takes to be a mom of two unique and intelligent children I love them with all my heart. Little is already showing his colors via the 1am cervical kicks and the endless pounding when Don and I are trying to get alone time. I am sure he will fit right in with my other blonde beauties.

To quote a good friend:
"So we asked for intelligent, independent, and strong children... and God damn it... we got them."

Perfect breakfast for a pregnant chick

Free range farm egg, chedder, avacado, with tomato and cilantro out of the garden all on an 'everything' whole wheat bagel.
Part of this complete breakfast.
(All natural no hormone chicken and mango sausage and a cup of rasberry leaf, oat straw, and nettle tea)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Free Bounty



These tomatos just showed up in my yard. As they grew I did nothing... didn't train them, didn't cage them, I didn't even weed them. They are in an area of my yard I dedicated to squash this year. Very little work is needed for squash, and I did very little on that entire side of the yard. I went out there to get a squash tonight and these beauties were looking up at me. Two PERFECT tomatoes, just ready to be picked... tender, red, round, and beautiful. They even still had the chill of early fall on them. Seriously they looked like I could have pulled them from the stores greenhouse grown tomato bin, but of course, they tasted just like homegrown... and to add that to our black bean fajitas with squash for dinner tonight... Omg they were good. I am very grateful for the free bounty.

Black Bean Chicken Fajitas


Black Bean Chicken Fajitas
1 lb of chicken breast defrosted and cut into strips
1 lg green pepper
1 lg sweet onion
Salt and Pepper to taste

Toppings:
Cilantro
Avacado
Tomato
Sour Cream
Olives
I cut chicken into strips. Saute' on med high until tender brown in grape seed oil and sea salt. Then I take the chicken out of the pan, and add the onion, chopped into large peices (slivers) and the green pepper (same as the onion). Then I add pepper, and saute' until they are tender. Add the chicken back into the pan and a can or two of black beans (rinsed) and that is it. Afterwards I add tomatos, cilantro, sour cream, and avacado, and roll it all up in a tortilla, but for the cooking that is all I do, and they always turn out perfect.
Best compliment: Mexican rice and avacado slices