Friday, May 21, 2010

the distraction...

Yum Yum... Seriously... these are good. The new batch of fruit leathers.. SUCCESS!  and what might you ask was distracting me causing the first batch to be a little over cooked?

Well, This..

Because Phil.. who is doing the work in our basement.. found a way to get all those pesky exposed ducts that really ruin the look of our basement ceiling.. up into the floor joists, for a price that was almost not over budget. And while this does extend the length and scope of the project, we will end up with a much nicer basement playroom and family room, and before the summer ends he tells me.

I am really starting to adore Phil, and I try to focus on that idea when I am tripping over all the toys that now live in the office but somehow migrate all over the upstairs.

We added this..
to go with this..
don't be distracted there by my brand new insulation and studly wall, we are talking keepsake heirloom wall people!
State Meet Tomorrow!!
Much love,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Little Update... few words

Feeding time at the Zoo... Kindly notice Lil Bit's outstretched hand. She's a big fan of teeeets. 

Swim Season is upon us. These two are not on the team...
Can you spot Cubby (the perpetual ham) and Miss H (the die hard pupil)? This was their second day of swim practice. YAY! 
We went strawberry picking.. 

ate some. 

Actually, I made some really delicious fruit roll-ups, but when I put them back in the oven to get them PERFECT, I forgot them and they got too crispy.
I will take a picture of what distracted me from strawberry bliss... but not till tomorrow.

Much love,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Menu Monday--Roasted Pork Tenderloin Gives Two as BBQ Pork Sandwiches

are you popping over from TSP? Thank you I love that place! For the next six weeks (and possibly longer if my ego is properly carressed with comments and I stay organized) I will be sharing my best tips and tricks for menu planning, including several of my give two menus. You know the meal that you cook once, but gives you two great dinners. 

This recipe uses a v shaped roasting rack and pan.. but you can always roast the veggies and meat separately in a roasting pan and baking dish. 

Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/veggies
1 plain pork tenderloin (I shop at costco and get them in a 2 pack)
1 tablespoon rubbed sage, 
1/2 tablespoon rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, 
3 tablespoons olive oil
coarse kosher salt (a pinch at a time!!)

1 green apple, 1 pink lady apple, 4 peeled sweetpotatoes 1 yellow onion diced into 3/4 inch chunks,  1 head broccoli, rinsed and chopped additionally, two whole unpeeled sweet potatoes pierced several times with fork)

Rinse tenderloin salt and pepper lightly if desired (I usually pepper only) 
Combine spices together and mix, 
Rub tenderloin with 1 tbs olive oil on all surfaces, then pat spice mixure onto pork. 
toss chopped veggies and apples with olive oil additional pepper and a pinch of coarse kosher salt (less is more)
Put veggies in the roasting pan place meat on roasting rack and slide into a 350 degree oven until pork is done. Pork is done when a thermometer reads 165 degrees and juices run clear.. usually 25 minutes per pound.  Put the pierced but unpeeled sweet potatoes directly on the oven shelf next to the roasting pan and let them bake. 

Serve: Pork cut into medallions from one side of tenderloin, with a scoop of roasted veggies. 

Give Two additional ingredients --
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup favorite BBQ sauce (we use kc masterpiece)
Hamburger buns
1/4 cup apple juice (or orange), and possibly more to taste

After dinner directions: 
Shred remaining pork and put in tupperware with bbq sauce and vinegar
Slice roasted pierced sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop flesh with a spoon. combine with leftover roasted apples, onions, sweet potatoes, in blender, processor, or mixer with whisk attachment  with 1/4 apple juice mix/blend/process until smooth adding additional juice to get desired consistency. 

Put in reheatable container and fridgerate till tomorrow. 

Serve Give TWO meal. 
Reheat pork in sauce in microwave until heated through and steamy (or on stovetop you may need to add two tablespoons of water). 
Reheat Mashed Sweetpotatoes in microwave or in oven. 
Serve pork on hamburger buns with a side of sweet potatoes.  Collard Greens,  southern style fieldpeas or green beans rounds out the place nicely. 

Let me know what you think. The flavor of the two pork meals are very different and can definitely be used for back to back dinners, but we like to spread it out and go meatless a day between (usually with lentil soup which we then turn into liesagna). 

Let me know if you try it, and what you think!! 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

a long week

It was a long a busy week, punctuated at odd intervals with extreme business, and then lengthened by periods of circling...
 In the middle of a day filled with this lovely face from Lil Bit.. a mysterious package arrived which I let Cubby open with me because I was on my last ounce of mommy control let me tell you.. and do you see those adorable flip flops.. WELL they are mine mine mine!! And they are better than flip flops.. they are SWITCH FLOPS. They were a gift from my super hip Mother in Law in honor of Mother's day.. and let me tell you they kept me smiling all day!!

The Yard men finished renovating the yard..  It looks so much better I cannot even tell you!! They also replaced an ailing cherry tree with a real apple tree. So exciting! I'm hoping it doesn't go the way of every other tree we've had in the yard.

Miss H had her dress rehearsal for her first and only ballet recital..
 I wish I would have gotten a slose up of her hair, she insisted on a braid bun, and it turned out fabulously! So of course I had to snap the pic as we were rushing out the door, so maybe she'll let me do it again. 

Finally, this just cracked The Mr. and I up.. at lunch today the kids all took their mandarin oranges and slipped them over the rims like they were enjoying cocktails on a sunny beach, not chicken nuggets in the dining room.
so cute!! Speaking of cute.. guess who's been sitting on the potty? I know Lil Bit can you even believe it? I'm not getting my hopes up just yet, but there really will come a day when we will be diaper free.
Also.. the workmen have been working away downstairs and they have made a big mess that will soon be my new basement crafting lair, playroom, den, study, and guestroom. They have also framed in the most lovely closet I have ever laid eyes on. I can hardly wait for the electrician to come through and light it up!!
Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Holding Pattern

I am in a holding pattern.
Tires are bald
car needs maitenance
Building Inspector not available for questions
Door Installer not having proper equipment
Husband at work
I would love to be sewing and watching the kids through my new windows but they are not installed or delivered or possibly even ordered yet.

It is a beautiful day, if only we could accomplish something other than nothing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

As I have loved you, Love One Another

It has been YEARS since I have given a talk in church. I am sharing this message in service tomorrow.

18 months ago, our youngest daughter Rachel was born. And in the first months following her birth what I had regarded as my body’s retaliation against my 5 years of pregnancy and little exercise, a natural part of getting older (I was afterall practically 30!!) worsened. At every increasing sign and symptom I thought, this is manageable.

I prayed for the pain to cease, I prayed to understand how to heal it. I prayed for a solution to what was wrong with my body. I neglected of course to consider the state of my heart, the depth of my pride. 

My spine began to tilt, and my back began to hunch under the weight of my independence. Still I thought I didn’t NEED someone else to drive my kids to school. I didn’t NEED someone else to hold the newborn baby, I didn’t NEED, well I didn’t NEED anything, because I was JUST FINE, even though I looked a little like Quasimodo. 

As the pain increased so did my stubborn desire to not be a burden until  the simple act of cooking breakfast for my children took all I had. I lay on the living room floor, unable to feel my right leg save an explosive nerve pain in my knee. Under my own shallow breath came the unmistakable silence of a choking child. “He’s choking” Hannah and Connor called out. Lifting my head I could see that they were right. But 8 feet lay between Andrew and I. And the thought of moving even one inch brought me to tears. 

I crawled the distance in the most excruciating pain I had ever imagined, and in that 8 feet I prayed that my child, born himself on Christmas day, would not be the price of my pride. I toppled the chair he was seated in, and turned him over my explosive knee and the unchewed morsel loosened, and he breathed. 

And I cried. 
Because I was relieved, because I was in agony, because I was ashamed, because I had been blessed with a second chance. And I tell you with great shame this is what it took to rein my pride. 

Renewed  in faith, stripped bare of pride. I confessed my need to the care committee and the fruit of the spirit in this congregation was harvested and laid at my feet. It is love expressed in a casserole cavalry one night after another. It is Mrs. Simes homemade strawberry freezer jam and perfect biscuits (which are now a staple at our house!) It was Mrs. Wright’s macaroni pie which fed my children meal after meal while I mourned my Grandmother’s death. The fruit of the spirit is the infinite loads of perfectly sorted and folded laundry (the likes of which I hate to say has not been seen again in our home). It is the attentive ear to all my greatest fears while driving me to endless appointments. It is the simple tender act of pushing my kids on the swing. The fruit of the spirit is abundant in this community, families that I had only seen for moments as I herded my children through the church set down their own work to take up service for me, to love us, to feed us, to heal us.  My gratitude to you for your answer to my need, your desire to love someone as obstinate as me, to lay down your own work to shoulder mine is immeasurable, and your working on my heart has been for my good. 

I previously understood the new commandment to mean we should serve one another, but Highland's love and care for my family taught me the commandment is more fold than that. We are to serve one another, to encourage one another to share each other's joys and burdens, but also we are to see in one another the power that God has given to console and comfort one another. When we choose to live independent of one another we close ourselves to one of God's greatest gifts, the Spirit that lives and moves in his people encouraging them to do His will. 
Before my experience, I thought it was more valuable to be the one serving. But now I understand more fully that neither serving or receiving is more valuable, because both are His will. We give for the glory of God, and we are put in need and receive that God may be glorified, His works seen and shared among us.