Wednesday, September 29, 2010

she's baaackkk

finally got my laptop back! bad news - they couldn't fix the 7h problem. good news - they gave me a little keyboard to use, free of charge! it's going to take some getting used to, but i'm just glad the old gateway is still up and running!

i hope you didn't mind my previous cut-and-paste posts. every day i visit peace village's thought for the day and receive insightful emails from the daily om. they write such gems that i feel the need to share.

today's thought from peace village:

Today is a day of new opportunities. Let me not lose them by dwelling on the past.

i'm three weeks behind on my csa updates and even further behind on food pics, but dwell i shall not!=) 

week 12

week 13

 week 14

today's dinner was a super yummy stir-fry with kabocha squash (the pumpkin-looking guy from week 12) bok choy and peppers from week 13, and broccoli and patty pan squash from 14 (this week). the veggies were chopped and steamed with sliced button mushrooms...

... then served over quinoa with chopped mango, cilantro and a variation of quinoa salad marinade:

2 T coconut oil
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp raw organic agave
1/2" piece of ginger (or more), grated
3 T shoyu or tamari

i added 1 T chunky peanut butter (any nut butter would be tasty) and a clove of garlic per john's recommendation. good call, johnny boy!

this was our first time trying kabocha squash and the verdict is - delicious! tomorrow i'd like to roast it with kale, maple syrup, pecans and shoyu for a sweet and savory seasonal dish.

how do you like to prepare winter squash?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

from DailyOm
September 27, 2010
You are Beautiful
Seeing Ourselves
Many of us do not take the time to notice and acknowledge how beautiful we are as humans.

Many of us do not take the time to notice and acknowledge how beautiful we are as humans. We may be great lovers of beauty, seeing it in the people, places, and things around us, while completely missing it in ourselves. Some of us feel that it is vain to consider our appearance too much, or we may find that when we look at ourselves, all we see are imperfections. Often we come to the mirror with expectations and preconceived notions about beauty that blind us from seeing ourselves clearly. As a result, we miss the beauty that is closest to us, the beauty we are. Sometimes we see our beauty in a shallow way, noticing how well we are conforming to social norms, but failing to see the deeper beauty that shines out from within and that will continue to shine regardless of how we measure up to society’s ideal.

If we can cut through all these obstacles and simply appreciate how beautiful we are, we free up so much energy. We also become less dependent upon the opinions and feedback of others since we become our own greatest admirers. Many of us know that after a great yoga practice or a long, deep meditation, we are more able to see how beautiful we are. This is because we have released some of our baggage, thus unburdening ourselves and summoning forth the spirit that dwells within us. It is the heady combination of the divine spirit and the human body that conveys beauty more accurately than anything else.

To keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty, we can surround ourselves with images that reflect our beauty back to us—photos of a relative or child who has our eyes, images of teachers who embody spirit, or self-portraits that capture our essence in a way that allows us to see ourselves anew. The best way to keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty is to keep looking deeply into our own souls and opening our eyes to the human being we see in the mirror every day. 

image source

Sunday, September 26, 2010

peace village's thought for the day

"Together with love, let your words be filled with such power that they melt everyone's heart."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

om shanti

...been working on

through a retreat at peace village in the catskill mountains... with guided meditation, delicious (vegetarian) indian food, beautiful like-minded people, and some magic marker therapy...

and at home, sketching...


crochet therapy...

and kitty snuggling

not much blog therapy because my computer is in the shop again, though john is kind enough to share his desktop when he's not working on our case.=)

what brings you peace?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

puttin' up the produce

muth week 12: the usual plus a 25 pound box of heirloom tomatoes, free to a good home.

though i'm so new to it, i decided to document my efforts in preserving. since i'm so new to it and there are some things that could go wrong, i recommend everyone do their homework before following any method.

canning still intimidates me a bit so i decided to freeze tomato sauce and salsa in jars. one forum mentioned that you cannot freeze glass as it will crack upon thawing. others sources said it was fine, and ball has recipes for freezer jams, so i went with freezing.

about a quarter of the tomatoes were rotting, and heirloom tomatoes are so watery that i ended up with 6 half-pint jars each of sauce and salsa. both are really tasty, and half-pint servings are perfect for our family of two (humans=).

typically i search around and read various recipes until i get a feel of how much of what to put in, and i do taste-tests throughout. (with caution because these sauces get hot!)

the excess plum tomatoes were sprinkled with salt and dehydrated almost two days to make "sun-dried" tomatoes. they're stored in a jar in the fridge and will come in handy when i make raw cheez-its or the happy raw kitchen's yummy eggplant caponata.

keeping with the italian theme i apparently have going, i roasted sweet peppers and stored them in a jar of olive oil and dried rosemary. (without garlic because i read it could cause botulism toxins to develop.)

since i didn't plan on eating them right away, i stored the jar in the fridge. i imagine these roasted peppers would taste nice on some raw pizza or pita bread with hummus.

the original plan was to strip my 8 basil plants to make lots of pesto, but once i saw how much wildlife was living in and amongst them, i decided to just take off the larger leaves and leave the "basil bellagio" be.=)

even biggles (and a stray who left us a stinky gift) are drawn to those basil plants! 

squash chips are... well... interesting. to be honest, it took awhile for squash chips to grow on me, and i'm still not sure if i really like them. john loves them and i want to like them so i make them often.

slice zucchini, yellow or golden squash thin (a mandolin slicer works like a dream), then soak in cool water with a few tablespoons apple cider vinegar for about 2 hours.

after placing them on dehydrator sheets, sprinkle with a little himalayan salt and chipotle powder if you like spice, and dehydrate at 115° until crispy. 

badda bing badda boom, you've got yourself a healthy snack.=)

same procedure for eggplant bacon - slice thin, marinate, place on trays, dehydrate at 115° until crispy.

eggplant bacon marinade

2 T maple syrup
2 T olive oil
4 T nama shoyu
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder

eggplant bacon goes so nicely with veggie blt's and spicy black bean patties, accompanied by a homemade pickle... but i'll stop here and leave pickling for another post!


Monday, September 13, 2010

oh why oh why

hello darlings! did you all have a nice weekend? what did you do?

mine was great - we did a lot of cleaning and had dinner with family. my niece alaina is turning 3 tomorrow and her party is not until next weekend, so we sang "happy almost birthday" to her while she held her ears.=)


i also captured this photo of gus the groundhog enjoying pears. though he is ruining the foundation of my mother and stepfather's shed, i'm happy he has a cozy place to live with a yummy food source. 

 (see him there, to the right of tree man? you may need to click to enlarge.)

i'm a nerd for animals and think this video is adorable. it was made by oh why oh why, a non-profit "promoting vegetarianism through multi-media".

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

it ain't over yet...

it may be the day after labor day, but it's still summer in my mind. we do officially have two more weeks, after all.

autumn has its charming qualities, but i feel there's no sense in rushing it. the crispy cold air will be here to stay soon enough...

'til then, i shall relish in the last sunshine of summer. i will proudly wear my white skirt and short shorts. i will look away when i come across fall decor. the ac will stay ON. i will savor those tomato sandwiches and melons like i never have before, and john and i may even tube down the great egg harbor river one more time, for sh*ts and giggles.=)

muth family farm's organic csa week 11: red seedless and yellow doll watermelon, eggplant, red russian and dinosaur kale, collard, eggplant, zukes, cuke, yellow squash, peppers, jalapeno, tomatoes, acorn squash and romaine lettuce

Friday, September 3, 2010

just peachy

my little sister crystal and i picked 23 pounds of peaches last week.
she'd only eaten canned peaches, so it was exciting to see crystal try her first fresh jersey peach!
we also picked a few pounds of gala apples. what i wouldn't do to have a peach and apple tree growing in my own dad grew up with both!
neighborhood fruit is a site that shows where you can find public fruit trees in your area. there are a few apple trees listed in philadelphia i plan to check out. how nice it would be to get free, local apples! i've read apples can be stored up to four months wrapped in newspaper and placed in a cool, dark spot.
the apples were a little bland, but the peaches were out of this world! perfectly sweet and juicy. i planned to make crepes and cobblers, but as my sista' krista said, they're too good and should be eaten just is.=)

fyi - i have one younger sister, krista (pictured below with her fur baby, bear) and a "little" through big brothers big sisters, crystal (seen above). i named krista when i was 3 and have been crystal's "big" since march '09. i also have a brother craig (below with his daughter, alaina) who is just 13 months younger than me. god bless my mother!=)
back to the peaches - some made it into a salsa in our raw tacos with yummy raw ranch dip...
and i set lots aside for our second annual jam fest. this is just half of the peach and peach and pepper jam jars missy and i filled. peach heaven!
and this year we were joined by little miss marlie! (you can see more photos of marlie here.)
missy and i have been the best of friends since middle school. i'm truly blessed to know such sweeties! speaking of...i've still been reading your blogs, just not commenting as often because of my key issues. (i think biggles is trying to put an end to my computer habit!=)
 "stop blogging and play with me!"

i leave you with a tasty "burger" recipe you may want to enjoy on the grill before summer ends, and wishes for a safe and happy labor/labour day weekend!=)

spicy black bean patties
(serves 2)

the black bean burger recipe at can you stay for dinner? was my guide for creating the following recipe:

1 C. cooked black beans, divided
1/2 C. walnuts, divided
1/4 C. panko bread crumbs
1/4 C. carrot, chopped
1/4 C. any color sweet bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
chipotle powder, to taste (a few pinches goes a long way!)
few sprigs of cilantro (optional)
diced jalapeno (optional, for extra spicy patties)
salt, to taste

in a mixing bowl, mash half of the black beans with a fork or potato masher. add bread crumbs and the remaining beans, then stir to combine.

add half of the walnuts, coarsely crushed (you can do this with a fork). ground the remaining walnuts in a food processor until fine. stir into mixture.

heat olive oil in a skillet. add garlic, heat for one minute, then add carrots and green peppers. heat veggies over medium heat a few minutes, stirring often.

add sauteed veggies to mixing bowl. mix well.

form batter into two patties. spicy black bean patties can be served uncooked, grilled, baked at 400° for 20-30 minutes, or fried in a little olive oil, a few minutes on each side. be sure to handle the patties carefully as they crumble easily.

(you can refer to the black bean burger recipe for a picture tutorial on how to create these delicious mommajommas.)


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