Sunday, February 28, 2010

so glad i procrastinated this afternoon...

because i got to chat with a friend, and i was complaining that i have to do dishes this afternoon before we leave. and she said

"set the timer for 15 mins, and when it goes, stop."


i have to finish dishes, laundry/packing, and tidying. if we devote 15 mins at a time to each task, we could get it all done!!!! and not be overwhelmed!!!!!!

could this be true??????

i'm gonna give it a whirl, and see how it works out. i'll let you know.

Friday, February 26, 2010

SOS Cuisine

ok, i just found this website (thanks, annie), and i have to say, it's awesome!!! there's menu plans, recipes, and find what's on sale where (you enter your region/province, so don't worry. you won't be teased with a great deal on grapes in nuvavut or beef in vancouver if you live in charlottetown. lol). no more flipping through a huge pile of flyers to find the best deals! this website has already done that for you.

but wait! there's more!!

let's say you only have a couple things in the fridge. you can enter those items, and it will bring up recipes for you! and there's a menu planner, too! and not just a one-size-fits-all menu. nope. you can specify that you're cooking for one, or cooking for kids, or vegetarian, or fish-less, or beginner, or on a budget, or gourmet, or pressed for time. incredible!!

i've gotta say, i lurv this site. i'm so happy i found it, and i can't wait to just dig in and use it! annie, you rock!!!

and here's the link to the site: SOS Cuisine

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

mmm... lentils...

yes, i know it may seem a little odd to some of you, but i like lentils. love them, actually. and so do the kids. all of them. and so does charlie, it would seem. but that's a whole other story. anyway, i posted a recipe the other night for lentil and spinach soup, which i stole (and had to alter a little bit, admittedly) from Jamie Oliver. and oooooooh, is that soup good!!!


would it surprise you to know that i have more lentil recipes up my sleeve? ok, granted, one isn't much of a recipe. it's a lentil casserole i learned from a friend in bible college, and always remembered it, even though i didn't make until about 10 years later. i'll admit, i was a little scared. scared that it wasn't really as good as i remembered. scared that the kids would hate it. scared that i would screw it up somehow (though how, i don't know, since it's the absolute simplest recipe ever!! and there's the lentil and sausage soup that the kids love. we just had some leftovers tonight and it was to die for. seriously. i would take a bullet for this soup. ok, maybe i'm exaggerating a little bit. but not much, gentle reader. it's just that good.

i'll start with the lentil casserole, since you can just click on "lentil and sausage soup" above, and it will take you to the recipe. so, here's the recipe for the casserole.

oh, wait! before i start, let me remind you that i "learned" this recipe by looking at what my friend had made. not watching while he made it, just looking at the finished product. so yeah, there really won't be much for quantities. i just add till it looks right.

Dave's Lentil-icious Casserole

  • some lentils. k, lots of them, since they make up the main part of the dish. but it's soooo worth it, so go nuts with them. i'd say, fill the casserole dish about 1/2 to 2/3 full with lentils, cooked.
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • feta cheese
  • garlic
  • olive oil
preheat oven to 300 to 350F. (why do i even bother posting my own recipes here? LOL)
add lentils, tomatoes and generous amounts of feta into casserole dish. throw in some crushed garlic. drizzle with olive oil. not too much, mind you. just some. (wow, even i want to cry reading that line. LOL) maybe 1-2 seconds of pouring. hope that helps. mix together.
toss into the oven and bake... till it looks done. not too long, though. say, 30 mins? keep an eye on it. you'll know when it's done.

ok, now to be honest, i cheat. it's just easier. instead of using a can of plain ol' diced tomatoes, i use a can of bruschetta tomatoes. it's awesome. it already has olive oil, garlic and herbs mixed in. so really, when i make this casserole, it only has three ingredients. super easy. and perfect for when you're rushed. i think the other short-cut you can take is to use a can of lentils. they're already cooked, so you don't have to worry about that. i don't use them, though, due to the high amounts of salt in canned beans. and really, lentils are probably one of the easiest, quickest beans to cook, so it doesn't really take much more work.

and really, this has to be one of the simplest and yummiest recipes i have. it's also pretty cheap. i figured it out once, and i can make this casserole for less than $5. the biggest expense is the feta, but i love feta, so i consider it worth it. and really, i use feta in a lot of other things (eg, spinach salad and my favourite pasta sauce... which i might also post, since it's just that good), so i get good value from this "decadence."

again, i thought of posting the lentil sausage soup recipe, but it's kind of long, and i already linked to it, twice now, so i'll just leave it for now. but seriously, check it out, because it's delicious! everyone here loves it. i've made it twice already and bram asked me tonight if i could make it every night.

mmmm... lentils...

Monday, February 1, 2010

trying out a new recipe

ok, so this afternoon i took the kidley-winks to the bookstore. i know, i know, library library library. except that i was getting a math workbook for blithe, who is really struggling with that subject lately. and they frown on writing in library books. soooo....

i went to my new favourite section of any book emporium. the cookbooks. i must confess, i've fallen in love with jamie oliver. i think he's amazing. such great recipes. yeah, that's why i love him. his recipes. no, really, it actually is, believe it or not. anyhoo... i picked up my favourite of his books, Jamie's Food Revolution. man, if i had money, i'd buy me a copy of that book and NEVER put it down!

well! i began to peruse said tome, and my mouth was watering whilst i scanned the titles of each recipe. and then one little delight caught my eye. "Egads!" i cried out impulsively, "that sounds simply marvellous." ok, honestly, i don't think i actually said anything (especially anything that intelligent). i think my reaction was more one of speechless awe with a touch of flabberghastedness (is that even a word?!) and embarassment as i realized that my jaw was on the floor and i was standing in a puddle of drool. let me tell you, it wasn't as pretty as it sounds.

"for crying out loud, heather," i can hear you exclaim right now, "are you ever going to tell me what this recipe was for?!?!" alright, fine, here you go:


and spinach


you must realize by now that i quite like lentils. ok, i lurv lentils. and spinach. and soup. and more importantly, as i read through the ingredients, i realized i had pretty much everything in this soup!!! i even have a piece of ginger, if you can believe that! (i rarely have ginger.) the only ingredient i lacked was chili peppers, but that's ok, because the kids don't like anything too spicy (who's kids are these? i mean really!)

well! i came home and got to work. it's simmering away right now, as a matter of fact, much to my delight.

oh! i was actually going to post the recipe (such as i remembered, having mournfully replaced the book on the shelf for i, being poor, have only my dreams... and yes, i just alluded to WB Yeats, for those who noticed... which is probably no one... wow, i'm a nerd!!). and believe it or not, i can actually put in some measurements! and you know, typing that, i can actually hear annie smiling proudly. so here goes, jamie oliver's lentil and spinach soup, or my version of it.

some olive oil
2 carrots, sliced roughly (whatever that means. i just chopped them)
2 stalks of celery (which is disgusting and should be banned, but it's my first time making this, so i'm trying to follow the recipe here)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
some ginger, sliced/chopped/whatever. just whatever you do, don't throw a whole chunk in. you only need a bit, and it should be in itty bitty pieces.
some water. i don't know. 4 cups-ish? (do you hear that? it's annie crying over this line.)
1 medium tomato, diced
some lentils (sorry, annie, i just threw in whatever i had left. maybe 1 1/2 cups? forgot to measure. my bad.)
some spinach (this isn't in the pot yet, and nope, i'm not gonna measure. just toss some in. 'cause that's how i roll)

alright, so you throw the olive oil, carrots, celery and onion into a pot, and put that on the stove. and once you've turned the stove on, you let that all cook up till the carrots are tender but still retain their shape and the onions are clear. somewhat later in this process, i also threw in the garlic and ginger. mostly because i couldn't remember when specifically they go in. i should probably actually copy the recipe next time, eh? anyhoo... then you dump in the water (you probably should use broth, which is what his version called for, but i lack that at the moment, so i just used water), tomato and lentils. i also added some salt and pepper and a touch of chili powder, just for kicks. and because like a good scottish girl, i can't live without salt. anyway... let that simmer apparently for a while, like till the lentils are done cooking. then for a little longer, i would think, just to let the flavours blend a bit. then after a while (you know, when it looks right), toss in the spinach. let that simmer for about 10-30 seconds, yes seconds, and then feel free to serve.

this is currently simmering away on the stove, so i'm afraid i can't post any feedback yet. but rest assured, gentle reader, that as soon as we're done eating, i will fill you in on how it went. cross your crossables that it works!

UPDATE: IT'S FANTASTIC!!!!!!! seriously, you HAVE to try this recipe!!!!! mmmm.... lentil and spinach soup.....

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i like this blog. this is where i write about homelife. my kids, my pets, recipes, natural cleaning products, gardening, cool finds... that's what i write about here. this is the hands-on part of my personal journey. i'm reclaiming myself, a self i lost in a hospital somewhere, among all the meds, plastic, waste and complexity that comes with Special Needs parenting. i crave simplicity, and this is my journey to create it for my family and me.

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