I was planting impatiens amid the hostas in the garden along the front porch this morning, when I unearthed a statue of Saint Joseph buried upside down! I brought the patient saint inside, washed him off, and now he is perched on my desk.
I'm debating whether I should send him to the previous owners of the house since once the house sells you're supposed to dig up St. Joe and bring him along to your new home. Of course, there were still about six feet of snow on the ground when they moved out so I guess I can understand the oversight!
June 10 was the big day! After hearing that my sister wanted to give the baby Wall Words for his birthday, we decided that we should paint his room first. Then, as long as we were painting it, why not rip out the carpet? If we were ripping out the carpet, why not take out the rod from the closet and replace it with a better organizational system?
Going room by room is definitely the way to go! The room should be painted this weekend, but we probably won't replace the floor until later in the summer. There's really no rush, DS doesn't sleep or spend any time in there anyway!
Here are the "Before" pictures:
Goodbye and good riddance, yucky blue carpet!
We're painting the room "Fortune Cookie," a color that's just barely off-white and not at all the color of a fortune cookie. We're considering this for the floor. Over the next few years, we'll do the same in the other three bedrooms and the hallway. So excited we've begun!
I made this for our anniversary. It was delicious! Try whole wheat fettuccine for a twist!
Fettuccine with Roasted Garlic, Onions and Peppers
2 bulbs garlic olive oil cooking spray 3 medium onions, cut into wedges 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch slices 2 T. olive oil or vegetable oil lemon juice 2 T. finely chopped parsley 1/2 t. salt 8 ounces fettuccine, cooked, warm
Heat oven to 400 F. Cut a scant 1/2 inch off tops of garlic bulbs, exposing ends of cloves. Wrap garlic bulbs loosely in aluminum foil. Spray jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Arrange garlic, onions, and bell peppers on pan. Bake vegetables uncovered until garlic is very soft and vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool garlic slightly; squeeze pulp into small bowl. Stir in oil, lemon juice, parsley, and salt. Spoon garlic mixture over pasta and toss; add onions and peppers and toss. Serve warm.
There's probably an infomercial out there about it, but I've seen a short version. Looks too good to be true, right? Well, I thought so too until I read a review about it Reader's Digest. There was an article with reviews about several "As Seen on TV" products. The Vidalia Chop Wizard got rave reviews (several other products did surprisingly well too). I believe it said something along the lines of, "We loved it so much, we started looking for more things to chop." That was enough for me. Next time a 20% coupon came in the mail, I made a mad dash for Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
The first thing I chopped? A carrot. A M A Z I N G. DH and I couldn't get over it. We're "gadgety" people, and this thing is right up our alley.
You may say, "Well, why would I want to clutter up my kitchen with more stuff?" "I can chop very well and very quickly." I say to you, if you can really chop that well, then no, this isn't for you. If you're worried about space, though: ditch something else. This is so, so, so worth it. I chop and dice a lot of vegetables, fruit, etc. I hate it, and frankly, my knife skills aren't the greatest. (After two years of cooking every day, if they haven't improved, I don't hold out much hope they ever will.) This makes my life so much easier and so much more fun.
Thank you for your attention. Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging.
For those of my readers who are observant Catholics or Orthodox Christians who observe fasting/abstinence, I thought it would be fun to share good vegetarian or vegan recipes for Fridays, Lent, or other periods of fasting during the liturgical year.
This is a recipe I found at Katherine's blog, Gloria in ExcelsisDeo. I had a feeling we would like it since it includes two of our favorite foods: couscous and black beans. Another bonus is that all the ingredients are things the baby can eat too. (Well, just about-- he hasn't had corn yet, but once he does...) It's made with chicken broth, but that could easily be swapped for vegetable broth if you are avoiding animal products all together.
I think this would also make a good side dish with roasted chicken.
This was also very quick to make. I had it completely assembled, in the fridge to chill, and the kitchen cleaned up in 30 minutes. Now that's my kind of meal!
Anyway, without further ado:
Black Bean and Couscous Salad
INGREDIENTS 1 cup uncooked couscous 1 1/4 cups chicken broth 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 8 green onions, chopped 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained salt and pepper to taste
**Note: I inadvertently used the last of my green onions the other day (didn't plan ahead!), so I substituted a Vidalia Onion. I also added about half a green pepper.**
DIRECTIONS Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans and toss to coat.
Fluff the couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.
We watched the National Spelling Bee a few nights ago. It occurred to me while watching that the state of things in America can't be all bad if the National Spelling Bee is popular enough to be broadcast during Prime Time by a major network!
I enjoyed watching and was thoroughly impressed by the kids especially since I had a terrible time understanding the words when spoken by the judge/moderator. I had no idea what he was saying, it was so garbled. Sometimes it seemed like the kids couldn't really understand him either. Luckily they were able to figure it out based on the etymology, meaning, etc. Maybe I'm losing some hearing because even with the Closed Captioning I wasn't exactly sure what was happening.
I was tickled too that a homeschooler won. I could tell the minute they gave him the word he knew it. He asked for the definition, etc. just as a matter of course, it seemed. Then rattled off s-e-r-r-e-f-i-n-e. Not too unusual for the Bee, but I had a moment of, "Take that public school system!"