Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grilled Peasant Bread

Crusty bread (or rolls)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Cracked Pepper
Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary)
minced garlic

Heat olive oil in a cast iron frying pan till hot, add seasonings. Lay bread slices or sliced rolls in the pan-- face down. Grill till browned. Add additional oil and seasoning as needed for all your bread.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bean Salad

(the original recipe calls for dried beans, cooked each according to it's own kind-- 1/2 dry of each)

1 can Black Beans
1 can Red (adzuki) Beans
1 can Black-eyed Peas
1/2 lb green beans (use frozen or fresh, cook to tender-crisp)
1 small red onion

1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon (sometimes I use honey mustard instead, depends what I have in the pantry)
1/2 c Olive Oil (spring for the high quality stuff, it's totally worth it)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Combine beans and onion in a serving dish. Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over. Chill and serve.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Meals Under a Dollar

Ok. So. Tonight's dinner was awesome. Awesome and super cheap. It has inspired me to start a new... sompthin.' Meme? Series? Whatever. If y'all want to join in, let me know in the comments and I'll set up a Mr Linky so y'all can add in your own posts. The basic idea is for menus for tasty meals that cost under one dollar per person. Tasty is important. If it's not tasty, we don't care how cheap it is :) I'm calling it MUD: Meals Under a Dollar, 'cause I'm a sucker for an ironic acronym.

Here's the menu and cost breakdown. I'll post the recipes in subsequent posts.

Bean Salad (from the Williams-Sonoma Cookbook) Deviled Eggs (my own recipe) Grilled Peasant Bread (my own recipe) Frozen Orange Julius

(and I bought some Brie to serve with it, but forgot to put it out :P )

Cost Estimates (I'm not including things like salt and pepper and condiments, since I keep those on hand and have no idea how to estimate those costs...)

Bean Salad: ($3.75/2 since we only ate half... $1.90)
3 cans beans (3X$0.60)
1 bag green beans ($1.50)
1 onion ($0.20)
dressing ($0.25)

Grilled Peasant Bread: ~ $1.00
whole wheat rolls ($0.75)
olive oil (?X 1/4 cup))

Deviled Eggs: $0.32
eggs (4X$0.08-- eggs were on sale this week, so I've been using them for proteins as much as I can)

Orange Julius: $0.60
oranges (free)
bananas ($0.10-- I buy over-ripe ones @ $0.25/lb and freeze them, which makes really great drinks)
milk (~$.50)

Total Cost: $3.82 to feed four people

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What's on your MP3 player?

Or other music listening device ;)

Avett Brothers

Yael Naim

The Be Good Tanyas

Zee Avi

Ingrid Machaelson

Nora Jones


Michael Buble

I really need some more good male voices in that list. Any suggestions?

(I know some of these are the same exact links I put up last time, but I have branched out a little, so cut me some slack...)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our church home group is studying The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis this semester. It's been a great read, full of convicting passages and rousing conversations. In particular we discussed something tonight that pertains to this blog. Well, it directly touches my parenting and friendships and, I suppose, indirectly pertains to this blog.

We were reading and discussing the tenth letter from Screwtape to his nephew, Wormtongue; the one in which Screwtape is "...delighted to hear... that (the) patient has made some very desirable new acquaintances..." Those new acquaintances turn out to be of the bad company sort that tend to corrupt good morals-- particularly those of a new Christian.

The passage that provoked my sudden return to the world of Real Blogging (as opposed to the pics and video that have been passing as "posts" here lately) is this:

No doubt he must soon realize that his own faith is in direct opposition to the assumptions on which all the conversation of his new friends is based. I don't think that matters much, provided that you can persuade him to postpone and open acknowledgment of the fact, and this, with the aid of shame, pride, modesty and vanity, will be easy to do. As long as the postponement lasts he will be in a false position. He will be silent when he ought to speak and laugh when he ought to be silent, He will assume, at first only by his manner, but presently by his words, all sorts of cynical and skeptical attitudes which are not really his, But if you play him well, they may become his. All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be.

Take just a minute to think about that passage and the areas and way it may play out in your own life. No? Only me? Well then...

I know that this is something I struggle with often. I want to be liked. I want to fit in. I want to feel a part of whatever group I'm in at the moment. I want people to think I am whatever they think is awesome.

And here's how it applies to my parenting and, indirectly, this blog. If you've read my posts about Attachment Parenting, Babywearing, homeschooling, birth, and health, you know that I'm a pretty crunchy/hippy mama. I'm comfortable with that. Matter of fact, I really kinda like that image of myself. My friends back home are also hippy mamas, to a certain extent.

But then there are our ideas about child training. And the whole married-to-an-English-Teacher-Classical-School thing. And the tech-to-human ratio in our household. And my children eat stuff like Chicken Nuggets and cheez curls. And we've seriously considered attending an Anglican church. Or Episcopal. Or something similar also involving incense and chanting. Oh yeah, there's also now a mini van....

So, you see, I have one foot in each camp. And it's very tempting, when conversing with fellow members of either camp, to pretend that the other side of me doesn't exist. That I really am simply a dyed-in-the-wool Hippy Mama-- co-sleeping, delayed vax-ing, non-circ-ing and all. Or, on the flip side, that I'm the intellectual wife of an intellectual, who values "high" conversation, attends a high church and wouldn't dream of breastfeeding a two-year-old.

But the truth is, both sides have valuable truths. And I have good reasons for adhering to some of the various tenants of both stereotypes. Either extreme has it's problems, but a good balance of the two is exactly what I want in my life. The problem arises when I am reluctant to truthfully represent my actual beliefs out of intimidation and a desire for acceptance.

As I read that passage and pondered it, and as we discussed it tonight, I began to wonder about my new friendships here in Orlando and whether or not I've done a good job representing, unashamedly, my convictions. In particular, in the areas of mothering and... oh, wife-ing, or whatever you call it. I didn't come to any grand conclusions, but just a general sense of needing to renew my commitment to certain key issues and needing to be more bold in vocalizing my convictions when the opportunity arises.

PS. In case some of you who Know were wondering if I'm also thinking about Political Views in this conversation, you know it! But I'm totally not going there on this blog. Been there, done that. Not doing it again. No politics.