Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Jambalaya

A healthy taste of New Orleans!


Jambalaya


Ingredients
1 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more, for desired heat)
4 c. vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
2 c. brown rice
1 can kidney beans (optional)
1 tsp. sea salt (optional)

Directions
1. In a large pan, saute onion and garlic in a splash of water (or oil) over medium heat until tender.
2. Add celery and bell peppers and cook until just barely tender.
3. Add diced tomatoes, spices, and vegetable broth. Bring to a slow boil.
4. Add brown rice and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
5. Once the rice is tender, stir in kidney beans and salt, if desired.
6. Serve warm.



*This recipe is intended to be healthy and meat-free, but feel free to add cooked chicken, shrimp, or sausage for a more authentic New Orleans jambalaya.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Homemade Hot Cocoa


Homemade Hot Cocoa


Ingredients
8 c. unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. sugar (or 3/4 c. for extra sweetness)
pinch of sea salt

Directions
1. In a large pot, combine almond milk and vanilla and heat over medium heat until steaming.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, and sea salt.
3. Once the milk is hot, add a ladle full into the bowl with the cocoa mixture. Whisk until mixture is smooth and creamy. This is to avoid clumps in your hot cocoa.
4. Pour the creamy cocoa mixture into the pot and bring to a boil. Whisking frequently, boil for about 5 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes or until cool enough to drink.


Saturday, February 15, 2020

Our Weekly Menu: February 17-23

Here is what we're enjoying this week!



Monday (President's Day)

Breakfast: Tofu Scramble, Toast w/ Fruit Preserves
Lunch: Cheesy Roll-Ups, Side Salad, Cucumbers, Roasted Beets
Dinner: Chik'n Fricassee w/ Biscuits (Lincoln's Favorite)*
Dessert: Apple Pie*

*On the menu last week, but our day got away from us

Tuesday

Breakfast: Blackberry Smoothies
Lunch: Chili w/ Brown Rice, Peaches, Corn
Dinner: Sub Sandwiches

Wednesday

Breakfast: English Muffin w/ Sausage and Cheese
Lunch: Cheeseburgers, Pickles
Dinner: Smokey Cheese Pasta
Dessert: Apple Pie

Thursday

Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast, Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Vegetable Lo Mein, Tofu Bites, Mandarin Oranges
Dinner: Corn Chowder

Friday 

Breakfast: Biscuits w/ Preserves
Lunch: Macaroni & Cheese, Baked Beans, Broccoli
Dinner: Pizza

Saturday

Dinner: Balsamic & Herb Tofu, Couscous, Roasted Vegetables

Sunday

Brunch: Waffles
Dinner: Cheeseburger Wraps, Chips, Corn on the Cob

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A Day in the Life of a 4-Month-Old

Often I read blog posts titled "A Day in  the Life of..." and enjoy them. My day is not so entertaining so I chose to document the day of my baby as yesterday she turned 4 months old! 

8:20 a.m. – Mommy awakens me from my beauty sleep


8:40 a.m. – My diaper has been changed and I get set down for some playtime


9:18 a.m. – I begin to fuss because I’m hungry


9:23 a.m. – Mommy getting ready to nurse me
9:35 a.m. – All done! I managed to spit up all over without getting a drop on myself.


9:38 a.m. – I finally give Mommy the big burp she’s been waiting for
9:44 a.m. – Mommy changes my bib and tucks me into my swing for my morning nap. This is my favorite time of day. I don’t like to suck on a pacifier, but I love to gnaw on it for a bit to settle myself. 


12:26 p.m. – I’m awake! The piano teacher will arrive soon. I like to stay in my swing and relax for a little while. 


1:15 p.m. – Big sister is done with her lesson so Mommy warms up a bottle of milk for big sister to feed to me. I’m finally taking a bottle but Mommy is still my favorite. 

2:22 p.m. – I got a diaper change and Mommy changed me into my outfit for the rest of the day. She said we’re going outside. I can’t wait!

2:38 p.m. – Mommy brought my jumper outside again so that I can have a safe place to play. I love being outside with everybody.


3:25 p.m. – I got a little fussy in my jumper so Mommy and I went for a walk around the backyard. We found these pretty peach blossoms!

4:11 p.m. – I’ve been back in my jumper for a while now but I’m beginning to get sleepy. 


4:36 p.m. – It was time to come inside for a snack. Mommy nursed me and within a few minutes I was fast asleep. She put me in my swing so that she could make dinner for the big people. 


6:36 p.m. – I’m awake! Mommy took me out of my  swing and fed me again. Then I got to snuggle with my big sister.
7:15 p.m. – Daddy is home! It’s so nice to see him.
8:00 p.m. – Everyone else has gone to bed but I get to stay up with Daddy while Mommy takes a shower. I fell asleep again in his arms. 
9:06 p.m. – I’m dressed for bed and ready for more milk. I eat a lot at night. 


10:21 p.m. – It was a big day! I am worn out and fast asleep.

Good night.  

Monday, February 10, 2020

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, February 10, 2020

Joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday. 

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

TODAY
FEB 10
Partly Cloudy
70°59°
10%
SSW 12 mph
TUE
FEB 11
Scattered Thunderstorms
73°52°
50%
SW 18 mph
WED
FEB 12
Cloudy
56°52°
20%
E 10 mph
THU
FEB 13
Showers/Wind
76°43°
70%
SW 21 mph
FRI
FEB 14
Partly Cloudy
49°24°
10%
NNW 10 mph
SAT
FEB 15
Sunny
45°30°
0%
NE 9 mph
SUN
FEB 16
Showers
58°46°
40%
SW 7 mph

AROUND THE HOME...

The children have some new-to-them toys left around the house that my dear friend Carol gave to them over the weekend. She was one of the first friends I made after moving here and even though we hadn't seen one another in a long time, we seemed to pick up right where we left off. She's moving out of state as soon as her house sells and I will miss her terribly.

I have a waffle maker and griddle to clean from our Sunday meals that I am not looking forward to, but it's all part of cleaning the kitchen.

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

I'll be mopping the floor in the kitchen, dining room, and foyer today. We have school lessons to work on and piano lessons after lunch. Laundry is in process. We're hoping to go outside after piano lessons to continue working on the landscaping plan. I'm needing to solve a drainage problem to satisfy my husband (the back of our property collects water during heavy rains and my husband does not want the mulch to be swept away). The baby enjoyed her time outside last week, though it slows down the yard work process having a little one to tend to.

FROM THE CAMERA...

"Oops"

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
-Abraham Lincoln

ON THE MENU...


Click here for our full menu for the week.

Monday: Pasta Bolognese
Tuesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches w/ Tomato Soup
Wednesday: Chik'n Fricassee w/ Biscuits (Lincoln's favorite)
Thursday:  Ramen w/ Tofu
Friday: Perfectly Pink Pasta (Special Valentine's dinner)
Saturday: Jackfruit Tacos
Sunday: Cheeseburgers, Tater Tots, Pickles

I AM READING...



 PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

My older son has his first baseball practice on Tuesday night. Oldest daughter has dance on Tuesday and Thursday. More baseball practice on Friday. The younger two will be with me as we shuttle around to activities in the evenings. The season is about to get busy.

LINKING UP WITH...



Saturday, February 8, 2020

Our Weekly Menu: February 10-16

I'm back to posting a weekly menu that includes all of our meals. My plan is to post them on Saturday even though the menu does not start until Monday. Here is what we're enjoying this week!



Monday

Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Sub Sandwiches, Chips, and Pickles
Dinner: Pasta Bolognese

Tuesday

Breakfast: English Muffin w/ Sausage and Cheese
Lunch: Bean Burritos, Guacamole, Salsa, Chips and Queso
Dinner: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches w/ Tomato Soup

Wednesday (Lincoln's Birthday)

Breakfast: Tofu Scramble, Toast w/ Fruit Preserves
Lunch: Pizza Bagels, Side Salad, Olives
Dinner: Chik'n Fricassee w/ Biscuits (Lincoln's Favorite)
Dessert: Apple Pie

Thursday

Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast, Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Fish Sandwiches, Pineapple, Rainbow Salad
Dinner: Ramen w/ Tofu

Friday (Valentine's Day)

Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Cheese Quesadillas
Dinner: Perfectly Pink Pasta
Dessert: Chocolate Truffles

Saturday

Dinner: Jackfruit Tacos

Sunday

Brunch: French Toast
Dinner: Cheeseburgers, Tater Tots, Pickles

Friday, February 7, 2020

A Good Father


Years ago, fathers did not spend so much time with their children. They were not bad fathers; they were considered to be good fathers. They loved their wives and provided for their families. They went to work each day and came home for dinner. They would occasionally spend time with their children, usually teaching them some sort of practical life skill. My grandfather instructed his three oldest boys on how to build a house from the ground up. This was a practical skill at the time. My grandfather also helped his children with difficult school subjects. He invested money in educational programs and would sometimes spend the evening working with the struggling child. He also taught all of his children proper table manners during dinner time, which was then rewarded with a night out at a fancy restaurant once a year. In the 1950's and 1960's, going out for a nice meal was a big deal! My father speaks very fondly of these memories.


Father's of the older generations did not come home from a long day at work only to be handed over the responsibility of the children because his wife was done. It did not require hours a week spent with each child as "quality time". I'm not saying that father's who want to spend the evening reading to their children or playing a board game are in any way out of line. I think this is great, as having a father in the life of a child is a crucial part of their development, but busy father's who work can still provide this.

My own children watch their father go to work each morning, knowing that he is making money to provide for their needs: food, a comfortable home, clothing. They're excited to see him when he comes home and surely they miss him throughout the day. They know that he is fulfilling his role as a provider for our family. He will occasionally make time for them individually, but it's more of a rare treat than an expectation. He is often home for dinner when it's not a busy season for him, and he's almost always home for evening family prayers.

As wives and mothers, we need to stop making our husbands feel guilty for the lack of time they spend with their children. Instead, we need to teach our children that they are loved by both parents and that each parent is fulfilling their responsibilities to the family.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

In Support of Our Latina Sisters

(As shared on the Facebook page)


My goal has been for this page to be an escape from current events and worldly ideas and instead be a celebration of womanhood, motherhood, and home life. However, I felt prompted to share my thoughts on the inaccuracies of a recent event. 

As you know, the Super Bowl half-time show has taken over the news since Sunday evening. I admittedly did not watch it then, nor will I watch it in the future. As we know by now, the half-time show was anything but family friendly. Without getting into the provocative and inappropriate details, we can come to the conclusion that the performers were anything but empowering to young girls around the world. Most troubling is that many women are defending the half-time show as an example of not only the empowerment of women but a celebration of Latin culture. Whatever brief and innocent celebration of Latin culture that may have been in the performance has been overshadowed by what is not Latin culture. I feel our Latina sisters have been poorly represented by what one may find on a street corner in Latin America (or anywhere, for that matter).

While not a Latina woman myself, I have had the privilege of crossing paths with many extraordinary Latina women (with even a few of them marrying into my extended family) and this is what I know:  Latina women are beautiful, both inside and out. They are also loyal and fierce protectors of their families. They work extremely hard, whether in the home or outside of the home. They instill good values into their children and lead by example. They love and care for all those that they encounter. They will sacrifice to make sure no one goes hungry. Most importantly, they are strong women of faith. These characteristics are similar to what we as women around the world share, no matter our race or culture.

by Mexican artist Jesús Helguera, 1910-1971 

We need to remember that J.Lo and Shakira are performers first and foremost.  They are not an accurate representation of Latina women (or women in general) nor do they represent the empowerment of women. They are slaves to the industry and are the perfect example of the objectification of women.

It is important for women around the world to come together and support one another. We have more similarities than we do differences. Do not let celebrities and the media tarnish the real beauty of Latin culture or of women in general.