Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Swiss chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow and red. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads while mature leaves and stalks are typically cooked. Swiss Chard is high in vitamins A, K and C. It is also rich in minerals, fiber and protein. Some research suggests that Swiss Chard provides a protective cover for the colon and kidneys.
Each year I plant a few more plants. According to Go Organic Gardening,
Swiss chard is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Some gardeners refer to it as a “cut and come again” plant, because you can continuously harvest from the plant all season long, as long as you harvest the outer leaves, and leave the center of the plant to grow.
We add it to other greens for a salad. But mostly, I cook it as you might spinach and add it to all kinds of dishes. I also freeze it for use in the winter.
Frozen Swiss Chard
Chop the leaves and stalks of mature (large-leafed) Swiss chard.
I usually cook up 6 - 8 cups at a time
Chop 1 small onion.
Saute onion in 2 T. olive oil. After the onion softens, add the Swiss chard. Cook until it's limp and reduced.
After the mixture has cooled, put 1 cup into a freezer bag. Label and put in the freezer.
Quiche (a previous posted recipe)
Sauces for pasta
Pesto/ hummus like dips
Sunday, September 12, 2010
According to our beloved, and occaisionally accurate, source, zucchini comes from the Italian word "zucca" which means "squash," and "zucchina" is its diminutive. It's commonly called a "courgette" in European countries. Different countries serve this all-purpose vegetable in a variety of ways: in Mexico they're put in quesadillas; in Italy they're breaded and pan-fried; the French cook up ratatouille; the Turks like to make a popular dish, mücver , or "zucchini pancakes", stuffing with meat, rice or herbs is a common dish in the Mediterranean areas.
Try it, you'll like it.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
This year, my garden has blessed me with a plethora of cucumbers. If I was a pickler, I'd be pretty happy. But I'm not. As a kid, I helped my mom can bread and butter pickles. As a young girl with plenty of discretionary time, working with wide mouth Ball jars and hot water baths was kind of fun. As a mom with far too much to do, pickling cucumbers takes up too much time.
My solution (besides leaving these green sweethearts on the neighbors' front steps), was to use a couple of really big ones in a salad. I served it at a larger family gathering, and everyone brave enough to try it loved it.
2 very large (or the equivalent) cucmbers
if the cucumbers are seedy, clean them out
Monday, September 6, 2010
This year, my 4 little plants are prolific! I've picked and cooked up 4 and have another 8 on the plants. My family is not overly keen on eggplant, but they're brave enough to try any recipe once. Here's one we liked
Real Simple, May, 2010
(I'm not sure why "caviar" is in the name.)
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
2 T. chopped, flat leaf parsley
1 T. olive oil
1 t. red wine vinegar
1 T mayonnaise (opt.)
Kosher salt and black pepper
Pumpernickely bread and cut up vegetables
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a fork, prick the eggplant all over. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until very tender, 50 to 60 minutes
Whe the eggplant is cool enought to handle, halve it lengthwise and scrape out the flesh, discarding the skin. Finely chop the flesh and transfer it to a large bowl.
Add the onion, garlic, parsely, oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Sprinkle with additional parsely and serve with the bread and vegetables.
2 large eggplants
1 medium onion & 3 cloves of garlic sauteed in 1 T. olive oil
1 handful of dried parsley
A splash and a drizzle of apple cider vinegar
2 medium globs of mayonnaise
Bake the eggplants for 60 - 75 minutes on parchment paper on a large baking sheet, turning every 20 minutes. After scraping the meat of the eggplant from the skin, mix the other ingredients (excluding the crackers) with a mixer. The result is a nice, creamy dip for crackers, etc.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Again, according to their website:
Monday, August 30, 2010
2.A will is a dead giveaway.
3.Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
4.A backward poet writes inverse.
5.A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
6.When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
30.The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
42.Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
43.A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
44.We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
45.A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
46.Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
47.I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
48.A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
49.A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'
51.Don't join dangerous cults: practice safe sects.
52.When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
53.Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
54.A man’s home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
55.Shotgun wedding – a case of wife or death.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
But my favorite place (almost in the whole world) is the North Shore along Lake Superior. We try to get up there every year. This same articles says of this area:
The northern part of Minnesota is the most rugged. The northeast section of the state has many rocky ridges and deep lakes and the area north of Lake Superior is the roughest and most isolated. Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota, is located north of Lake Superior. In the far northeast, the Minnesota border resembles an arrowhead. This area is called the Arrowhead Country.
The first video below is of the large falls near Grand Portage along Pigeon River. The DNR website says: Torrents of wild water plummet 120 feet over the High Falls down to the Pigeon River in this park on the U.S. - Canadian border. The falls, the highest in the state, presented a serious obstacle to river travel, so a "carrying place," or portage, was necessary. American Indians created the ancient nine-mile trail from Lake Superior to bypass the falls. This trail became known as "The Grand Portage."
These second video is from the Temperance River. It had rained all day, adding extra energy and mud to the river. About this river:
The steep-gradient river has cut through the fractured, ancient lava flows of the river bed. Swirling water carried gravel and rocks which wore away the basalt and created large potholes. Over thousands of years, these potholes were dug deeper and wider, eventually connecting and creating the deep, narrow gorge.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
My son, Sean, plays in the Gustavus Wind Orchestra at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. As a member of the percussion section, he’s had a lot of opportunities at GAC to learn and play excellent music. Since the college is only a short hour’s drive from our home, we’ve been able to hear him play a number of concerts. All of the concerts that GWO performed this year were in the lovely Christ Chapel on the Gustavus campus. I had a lot of quiet times in this chapel and am especially fond of the place.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
However, I summoned all of my “mom courage” and walked right up to it to get a good look. (“MOM! Don’t! It might be dangerous!”) We grabbed a couple of cameras and took some portrait shots of this unusual spider. Unfortunately I caught part of the web on my sleeve, which resulted in the spider’s journey to my arm.
“Open the front door!” ”I can’t, it’s locked!” "Unlock it!” "I can’t. I’m afraid!"
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
In preparing for a class I'm teaching, I came across some interesting facts and details:
- Forks were first used in Tuscany in the 11th century, but were condemned by clergy because food was a gift from God and only His creation could touch it.
- Knives have been around since the Stone Age and became a big etiquette problem in 17th century as men would use the ends of their knives to pick their teeth at the table. According to legend, Duc de Richelieu had the points filed off the table knives in his home.
And finally, let me share some words of wisdom that George Washington wrote in his rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.
1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.
11th Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.
12th Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs rowl not the Eys lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.
16th Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.
53d Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open go not Shaking yr Arms kick not the earth with yr feet, go not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.
54th Play not the Peacock, looking every where about you, to See if you be well Deck't, if your Shoes fit well if your Stokings sit neatly, and Cloths handsomely.
98th Drink not nor talk with your mouth full neither Gaze about you while you are a Drinking.
99th Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hastily. Before and after Drinking wipe your Lips breath not then or Ever with too Great a Noise, for its uncivil.
Check out this site for a chuckle and a sigh of relief.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
1 jar of Classico Vodka Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
1 T. parsley
1 t. basil
4 cups fresh spinach
2/3 (one handful) fresh shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
In a frying pan, gently sauté the finely chopped onion in the butter. Keep the heat on low and let the onions take their time to get glossy and decrease. Add the garlic after 1 or 2 minutes. Chop the spinach leaves and add to the onions and garlic. Carefully cook until all the leaves have shriveled. Add the jar of vodka sauce, the basil and the parsley. Add the parmesan cheese and transfer to a deep pie dish or shallow casserole dish. Top with shredded mozzarella and sprinkle some more parmesan on top. The dish can be refrigerated at this point.
Bake at 375 for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with hearty crackers or sliced French bread.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Recently, after a bout of difficult, frustrating, challenging, problematic, annoying, exasperating (well, you get the idea) situations I started crying out, whining and even demanding God to show up with help and grace. (Don’t worry, I know that God is not intimidated by my demands.)
I’ve often felt that God is just waiting for us to get really honest with where we are, how we feel about situations, and what’s going on deep inside our hearts. As adults, we’re not much different from our children who act out in some troublemaking way while the real reason is that their feelings have been hurt.
God, in His gracious and tender-hearted way, heard and answered my prayers. This week I’ve experienced daily tokens of His love and encouragements.
Let me recount them:
Sunday: Almost 4 hours of peace and quiet at home by myself while my family was elsewhere for the Vikings game.
Monday: A crisis of serious proportions with a computer was quickly solved by a good friend, saving us thousands of dollars.
Tuesday: An encouraging meeting with the leadership team in which I could share some frustrations and heartaches and they listened with compassion and understanding.
Wednesday: Someone who works with my kids at school told me that he thought they were incredible. Does a mother’s heart wonders!
Thursday: My lengthy breakfast-to-lunch date with my sister helped to fill my emotional tank. Her generous birthday gift overwhelmed me. And listening to my son be applauded after his piano performance raised that tank’s level a bit more.
Friday: A FedEx package from my sister-in-law contained a fun and unusual gift.
Saturday: After being gone all morning to a school board meeting, I came home to a sparkling clean kitchen bathrooms and living room prepared by my children.
Sunday: The day’s not over …….
As I’ve recounted to myself these daily blessings, I’ve realized that God has handed me many blessings and specific gestures of love that I’ve missed. That is probably why my “tank” go so low. Ephesians 4: 30 talks about being “sealed with the Holy Spirit.” God must need to do that because we leak so much.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Since the advent of children and a limited income I’ve become uber-practical in my clothing purchases. If it didn’t match most of my existing pieces, I wouldn’t part with my money for it. You guessed it: my closet was boring with mostly black, navy blue, tan, burgandy and gray.
But, thanks to my sister-in-law, that’s changing. She’s put me on a new path of cutting edre fashion and high style. I’ve taken her gifts as a loving, subtle hint to get out of my proletarian rut and jazz up my life with color, pattern and the peak of today’s styles. Haute couture here I come!
Last Christmas she presented me with these hot pink and black herringbone patterned tights. Have you ever seen such a creation? I tell you, I turn heads when I wear these. The looks on peoples faces tells me how disappointed they are that they’re not the trendsetter that I am.
Her most recent gift to me was this pair of fuzzy purple/aqua/white striped legwarmers. Since my sister-in-law lives in a big city I fully trust her leading regarding what’s “hot” for the season. (Though I would have thought that legwarmers were a thing of the ‘90’s. Who am I to question?) Experimenting with them, I’m not sure how they look best. I thought I’d give them a test run at the gym tomorrow with a bulky sweatshirt and leggings.
Feel free what do you think??
Maybe not too free .....