Monday, February 25, 2013


Warm Quinoa and Roasted Veg Salad

I have a million-and-one things I'd love to write about... but I only have time for veggies today.

Several weeks ago,  I was talking to a gal who mentioned she was a vegetarian. I asked her if she had a good recipe that would make Cauliflower palatable.

Actually, what I might have said was, When I get to heaven I'm gonna ask God why he invented cauliflower. There MUST be purpose in those white stalky vegetables without any taste, but I certainly don't know what it is...  Oh, and don't tell me cauliflower makes a good substitute for mashed potatoes, cuz I just don't believe it.

She was gracious when she asked if I had ever roasted cauliflower. Of course I hadn't, veggies are meant to be steamed right?  She said to preheat the oven to 450, toss some cauliflower in a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt  and pepper to taste,  spread on a cookie sheet with parchment and place on the highest rack of your oven. Roast for 10-15 minutes, serve, and watch your family eat it til it's gone.

Hmm, I said. Not quite convinced.

But I figured a girl whose diet is 85% veggies probably knows what she's talking about, so I came home and did what she said*, and that cauliflower was DELICIOUS. Even The Mister, who only consumes the vegetables I serve to be polite exclaimed, "These are good!"

The next night I did the same thing with broccoli... same story. Even the kids ate it willingly.

Now I cook ALL veggies this way: broccoli, butternut squash, sweet peas, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, peppers... the list goes on and on. I had always roasted potatoes this way, but had never thought to roast other veggies.

Our funny Butternut is next...

One of my favorite lunches is to cook quinoa in advance and keep it in the fridge. Mixing it with fresh veg, basil, lemon, salt pepper and feta cheese makes a yummy cold lunch. But today I wanted to try it hot, so I roasted broccoli, sweet peppers, yellow squash and zucchini, mixed it with warm quinoa and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and feta... yummy.

*I added a little onion powder to the roasting mix, and when I'm feeling a little crazy i've used Lawry's season salt instead of salt and pepper.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fabric Bandages Tutorial

On Valentine's Day I had an unfortunate moment when I lost my mind: I put my finger too close to the foot of my embroidery machine. Thankfully, the guard around the needle kept my finger relatively safe. Unfortunately, the metal automatic threading mechanism and the needle foot come within millimeters of one another, and at amazing speed (600 stitches/min.)

My poor finger didn't have a chance.

In a bit of an ironic twist, my friend Amber had just posted on Facebook the day before that she had sewn her finger in her embroidery machine. I will admit, I kind of chuckled as I quickly hit 'like'. Who would sew her finger in the machine?

Pride goes before the fall. 

Soon Amber and I were swapping sewing wounds, and I noticed she had a cool Super Woman band aide. Amber pretty much IS Super Woman, so it is entirely appropriate. All I had was a brown ugly bandage, which just wouldn't do.

So I suddenly had a great idea! Why not try to make a few that would be pretty. Now I'm almost excited for the next time I do something stupid that requires wearing a bandage.

Here are the directions so you can make some pretty bandages too:

Fabric Bandages

1. Find some scrap fabric... I used 100% cotton.

2. Gather Supplies: fabric bandages of all sizes, spray adhesive, parchment paper, a cookie sheet, and your scraps from above.

3. Iron your scraps so they are wrinkle free. Place scraps on parchment line cookie sheet, wrong side up. Take outside and spray with adhesive.

4. Press bandages, top-side down, to fabric. (I used a scrapbooking scorer. But anything will do.)

5. Give the glue about 30-60 minutes to dry.

6. Trim bandages to size!

Tip: If you cut bandages before the glue dries it will make your scissors sticky. Letting the glue dry helps. When finished use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol and clean the scissor blades. The glue will come right off. 

So, I learned four things last week:

1. Never try to adjust fabric in the hoop while the machine is moving.
2. Cloth diapers (for monogramming) make great tourniquets.
3. Making pretty bandages is fun, and requires nothing more dangerous than scissors.
4. Friends can make painful moments joyful!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Five: Things (and people!) I Love

I'm about to name this trio Peace, Love and Joy. Quite frankly, their loveliness has been an encouragement this week.

I was able to spend a little time in the office to make a baby gift for a friend's new grand-twins. Preemie items take very little time, and making these in doubles made me giddy. I love me a baby. Can you imagine? two babies at once? Baby heaven! (and all my friends who are moms of multiples just rolled their eyes.)

I'm still on Cookie Detail. Things are beginning to slow down just a bit. Only 3 more weeks to go!

I didn't take this picture, I just stole it off the web. These are my parents on Valentine's Day. I'm profoundly grateful for them.

Last but not least (and this list isn't exhaustive,) Kona has also learned to smile when she she sees me with my camera. Now that's a good trick! She's a good ole' dog.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

God Knows

Walking through fields planted and sowed.
Beauty from ashes.
Years of laboring, as if on our own.

We stood, shaky legged, as ones given over,
Not chosen. Set apart.
Yet, abundantly, we've lived in this space.
Waiting and praying for right to reign.
In the end, we felt it never came.

Chapters close as quick as they open.
A weekend, a phone call, and it was done.
Pages filled from then til now,
have oft been hard, and lonely.
Though the passing of years has softened the blow,
Sorrow sporadically comes.

Looking through lenses that filter the view
There is one sure thing I remember:
We limped along as best we knew how
gathering strength just being together.
Each always worried for someone besides.
Traveling partners, without many words.
Our silence no secret:
We won't give each other up.

In the deeps of my heart Right already reigns.
This hard course was meant for us to walk,
Though we'd have picked an easier way.
We stand at the end, weary and worn,
But stronger in truth and in love.

In our pain we were blinded to see:
Right, long ago, won this battle.

God Knows.... was always there.

Long ago, in pain and in sorrow,
the Truth set us free.
And we stand, not as ones given over,
But one grafted in. Chosen. Mercifully set apart.
Not because we stand on our own,
For the Man of Sorrows holds us up.
"By His wounds we are healed."

(Isaiah 53)

Little Gifts

In the course of this week I've been given little gifts: Unexpected free time to make bread. A dozen eggs- fresh from the farm. Cut flowers from the garden of a friend... Smallish offerings I didn't know I needed, but in the receiving encouragement reigns. Never underestimate the power of a little gift. xo

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Crochet, Cookies, Candles

I've been looking at this little stack of yarn everyday for the last two weeks. It's like a colorful promise of rest after swimming in a cookie sea.

I am the Cookie Manager for our large Girl Scout Troop. It is a lot more work than I thought it would be, but I've also learned a lot in the process. I am so grateful for the ladies who have stepped up to co-manage. There is no way I could do it without them. We have gotten through the toughest week (Superbowl week) and will spend the next 30 days trying to keep things running smoothly. Cookie business leaves very little time for creative pleasure (someone has to teach school and clean house) But this time next month, that yarn is mine.

Last weekend we celebrated The Girl's big 13. Cannot believe we no longer have children in the house, but teenagers. There was all sorts of festivity: dinner, friends, and shopping. But I have to say, my favorite part was getting the chance to sit together for her birthday on Sunday night, just us four. After a busy week it was good to relax and enjoy the company of one another.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Miracle of Love

How often, Lord, our grateful eyes,
Hast seen what Thou hast done.
How often does thy Love surprise
From dawn to set of sun.

How often has a gracious rain
On Thine inheritance 
When it was weary, wrought again
An inward radiance.

Thou who upon the heaven's dost ride,
What miracle of love
Brings thee more swiftly to our side,
Than even thought can move?

Our love is like a little pool,
Thy love is like the sea,
O Beautiful, O Wonderful - 
How noble Love can be!

~Amy Carmichael