Monday, October 26, 2009

I heart iMovie!

I think I may have opened Pandora's box and inside it was the iMovie software. This software allows you to make movies with sound, credits and all easy enough that I figured it out in less than an hour. And that was just making a basic 2 1/2 minute movie. I'm sure there are lots more fancy things you can do but The Amazing Race was about to come on last night and I decided to call it quits. So you're wondering, how does this fit in with the analogy of Pandora's box? Well, with my new fancy movies I'm afraid the requests for new movies each week are going to start rolling in from people whose name rhymes with T-Pain. And I'm just afraid that I won't be able to keep up- I mean I do have lots of pointless television to watch each night ya know!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Adventures in cooking

Maybe it was the cool weather or the potty-training imposed house arrest, but I was busy cooking all weekend long! Many would groan at the thought of cooking all weekend but I was in heaven. And this weekend I made a few old stand-by's, but also ventured into making a few things that were way out of my comfort zone. First on Friday I made a seitan and lentil loaf. Seitan is a rubbery sort of food, intended to mimic meat. It is made from vital wheat gluten flour and water, so on its own it is high in protein, low in flavor, which is a pretty good summary of my seitan lentil loaf. I also had a couple of acorn squashes laying around and made this to go with the seitan loaf:
Acorn squash with chile-lime vinaigrette

Later that evening an intense sweet tooth craving came on and after sending Chris to the grocery store to retrieve much needed chocolate and heavy cream, I whipped these up:
peanut butter chocolate brownies

After spending Saturday trying to potty-train one little girl (with little success), I decided to skip any more potty pleads and spent Sunday cooking up some more delicious delicacies. First up was an old favorite, granola! I know what you're thinking, "Does this girl ever get tired of granola?"- and the answer is, no! I love granola and since my last blog about granola I have started using a different recipe:
I finished up the afternoon making kimchi, a Korean pickled cabbage type dish. I would love to tell you how that turned out but its still marinating as I type. Kimchi

And then, to please my little pumpkins, I made some mac-n-cheese for dinner. You might be wondering, "How does she have time to cook with two wild things running around?". Well, as much as I would love to say that I have superwoman powers, the truth is that I have a great husband who helps keep the kids entertained in exchange that I promise to let him eat meat every once in a while :).

I feel a change a comin'

Fall is here- hallelujah! Summer in North Carolina is great until about mid-July, by which time the stifling humidity makes you feel like you've been stuffed at the bottom of a young teenage boy's gym locker! The leaves are nearing the peak of their color, the nights are becoming cool enough to wrap yourself up in a blanket, and days are comfortable enough to allow lots of playing outside. A few pictures of the twins enjoying all that fall has to offer:

When Daddy's away....

We do naughty things- like eating peanut butter sandwiches on the couch while watching Sesame Street in our p.j.'s before going to bed!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A day without meat?

Happy World Vegetarian Day loyal blog followers! I know that I have been on bloggin' hiatus for a while but wanted to alert all of you to the holiday upon us on this 1st day of October. Oct. 1st is a day to put down the meat and pick up the veggies. I have been vegetarian pretty much since the kids were born. At first I did it to lose the weight that I gained during the pregnancy and now that most of the weight is gone, I continue to choose a vegetarian diet because I just don't miss meat that much. I have always said that if a strong meat craving comes over me then I will give in, but as of yet that craving hasn't hit. While completely giving up meat is a choice that most people don't feel ready to make, simply choosing to reduce your meat consumption has both beneficial health and environmental effects. So why not choose today to be one day in which the fruits, veggies, and grains take center stage on your plate. Here is a recipe for black bean, swiss chard, and acorn squash chili. I am going to make this tonight with some cornbread and if you're in the neighborhood go ahead and stop by for a bowl! I'm sure Conner and Lizzie would be happy to teach you how to eat chili with your hands.

Black bean with butternut squash and swiss chard chili (from Epicurious):
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 cups (packed) coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves (from 1 small bunch)
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender and golden, about 9 minutes. Add squash; stir 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cumin. Stir in beans, broth, and tomatoes with juices; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in chard; simmer until chard is tender but still bright green, about 4 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.