Saturday, April 28, 2012

crawfish boil at the oh-so-cute swoope house in austin.

Friday, April 27, 2012

in austin, tx for a weekend of celebrating a new marriage in our family.
here are a few images from our first full day here:
a special bag of wedding goodies.
dresses & such unpacked and all ready for wear. 
fluffy pillows and cool sheets...ahhhh.
local scenery.
la virgen de guadalupe. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

and then...
we decided to add three more animals to our collection. 
now we have fourteen.
fifteen counting the gecko.
sixteen counting the frog that may or may not still be alive in the tank. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

dandelion greens fresh from our yard.

with spring's arrival, i have been thinking a little about the act of foraging...
of going into the "wild" to find food.
to most of us nowadays that sounds extremely risky, dangerous and slightly stupid.
i agree because we haven't been taught what's okay and what's not okay to consume.
we have lost the knowledge of how to forage, like we have lost many traditions and practices simply because technology has given us "better" solutions. 
well, this girl would like to learn how to forage. 
i think it's pretty amazing to be able to go into your backyard or a neighboring field and pick food for your table.
so far the only thing i know to forage is dandelion greens. 
i am working on learning more and would ideally love to take a class somewhere, someday, to learn more about foraging in virginia.
but whatever i choose to do, i will definitely approach foraging as something to do with the utmost care and 
with training received from the experts.
in the meantime i picked up a little book at the library entitled Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants.
i have also stumbled upon some interesting websites that talk about foraging...this one in particular.
even martha had an article on foraging in her magazine last august.

Friday, April 20, 2012

vegetarian eats.

beet burgers on homemade rolls.

jeremiah and i are vegetarians at home.
we don't cook meat at home although we have been consuming fish lately due to some successful dumpster dives.
but other than that we stick to full-on vegetarian meals under our roof.
i actually love being vegetarian at home because there's more money for other groceries and i don't have to worry about any sanitation issues which would drive my OCD up a wall.
so what do we eat instead?
lots of pizza on homemade dough.
stir fry with bragg's liquid amino acids or soy sauce.
homemade pasta in veggie lasagna, ravioli, or noodle dishes.
a lot of soups in the wintertime.
roasted veggies (we LOVE them).
and much more.

i don't follow all of these recipes to a "T" but switch them up to use what we have and to make them a little healthier. 
for example, i always try to substitute whole wheat or white whole wheat for all purpose flour. 
i would also like to start experimenting with other flours (oat, spelt, rye, etc) more often.
i also try to use ghee (what is that?) in place of olive oil and butter when i am sauteing, etc. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

here's what is growing in one area of my garden at the moment...mostly cool weather plants that love spring.
but luckily the time is upon us to plant all those lovely summer crops like tomatoes and basil (and zinnias and sunflowers)!
i hope to purchase some transplants this weekend so i can get them in the ground soon.
besides keeping the garden going, we are in the process of getting the chicken coop built.
that is project NUMBER ONE this weekend! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

butternut squash ravioli.

i made my first batch of homemade ravioli last night.
i used this recipe as inspiration.

for my pasta, i usually follow the recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill bag of semolina flour - substituting 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour for semolina flour.
for the filling, i simply roasted the butternut squash until tender and then mashed it with a fork and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic pepper.
after feeding the pasta through the pasta roller, i laid one piece out, placed a few dollops of filling and then laid another piece of pasta on top, pressing the pasta down around the filling with my fingers to seal. 
i kept some square and then cut others with biscuit cutters in different sizes.
after cooking them in water, i placed a few in a skillet with melted butter and sauteed for a few minutes.
the rest i simply served with tomato sauce. 
although my raviolis were not too pretty, i found them very tasty!

Friday, April 13, 2012

we had a beautiful couple and their children over last night.
it was a lovely evening filled with lasagna, homemade bread sticks (which the little boy loved to use as a weapon), and cookie bowls!
the best part was the conversation with our new friends.
we are so thankful to have their friendship here in this little town of amelia courthouse.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

my mom never fails to have an easter basket for us even though we are all above the age of ten...but i'm not complaining.
along with our easter celebration, we celebrated my brother's huge achievement at sunday lunch.
my mom's coconut cake...tasty and pretty!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

a time of resurrection.
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stood and looked in. 
She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 

"Dear woman, why are you crying?" the angels asked her.

"Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I don't know where they have taken him."

She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize him. 

"Dear woman, why are you crying?" Jesus asked her. "Who are you looking for?"

She thought he was the gardener. 
"Sir," she said, "if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him."

"Mary!" Jesus said.

She turned to him and cried out, "Rabboni!"

Friday, April 6, 2012

origami crane garland.
i made these little cranes about three years ago for my wedding.
i didn't end up using them for the wedding but have kept them around.
the other day i decided to thread them with string to make a lovely little garland to hang in the guest room.
i think it is quite sweet!

here are step by step instructions on how to make an origami crane.
to make a garland, simply run thread through the center top of each bird with a needle until you have a nice chain of birds.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

today we dyed easter eggs.
i haven't done this since i don't know when. 
the kid and the adult perfectionist came out in me all at once.
on a rather blissful note, today my big brother found out he passed the bar.
my entire family is ecstatic!
he has been working oh so hard for this and has been quite the example of perseverance.
we are so proud of him and so excited to see what the future holds!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

yesterday we revisited maymont park in richmond.
we have two little visitors staying with us while they are on spring break.
i get to play mom for a whole week!
am i ready for this??