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Monday, May 31, 2010

It is finished!

Oh yes, the play set has been constructed. We weathered a few bumps along the way but we're up! I wish I had taken some pictures of the kids playing on it after it was complete but alas, I was too tired to walk inside to get the camera! We're still expecting another playsoft mulch delivery as the 10 cubic yards (!!!) wasn't enough to even cover the ground within the landscape timbers. We are so, so happy with the finished product and even got to meet some neighbors in the process. Hope to get to know them better. Also, we couldn't have completed all the work without our friends, Jon and Emily Butler. A HUGE thank you to them for their hours of manual labor, smiles, and moral support!Here's the garage during the middle of construction. It was full of parts, boxes, and our normal pile of mess!



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Soup was a hit!

I am so pleased that the kale and white bean soup was a hit with my kids and hubby. Really, I needn't worry about Peter as he is the best sport and the best eater I've ever met. Every dish that I make, he'll try and doesn't complain. The kids, on the other hand, are a bit more difficult to please. I am happy to report that each and every one of us cleaned our bowls! See below for photos of the finished product and of the kids enjoying it! Yes, that's kale hanging out of Charlotte's mouth!
Kale is yummy, mommy!

Our big project for the weekend is to put together our new swing set, ordered from CedarWorks, a really cool company in Maine. The set is all splinter-free cedar and will never need to be sanded, sealed, or stained! The wood starts out as a pine-looking color and then ages to a silvery-gray. The pieces of the set were delivered on Friday, we had a guy bring in landscape timbers and mulch today, and we begin construction tomorrow. So far, we have one friend coming to help but we're not refusing anyone. Give us a shout if you're bored and we'll put you to work. We'll probably even feed you a meal or two! Had to kill the grass before putting down the mulch!

Also, I've figured out that you can roast radishes! So excited about this and plan to try it on Monday evening. Here's a recipe that sounds easy and yummy!

20 medium radishes, trimmed and cut into fourths (use all red, or a mixture of red and white)
1 1/2 T roasted peanut oil
1-2 T soy sauce (I used about 1 1/2 T)
2 green onions (scallions) sliced thin
1 T sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan

Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash radishes, trim ends, peel if needed, and cut into same size pieces. I cut the white icicle radishes into diagonal pieces, and the red ones into half or fourths, depending on how big they were. Cut green onions into thin slices.

Toss radishes with peanut oil, then roast about 20 minutes, stirring one or two times. When radishes are tender and starting to brown, remove from oven, toss with soy sauce to coat and mix in green onion slices. Put back in oven and roast about 5 minutes more.

During final five minutes roasting time, put the sesame seed in a dry pan and toast over hot stove for about 2 minutes, or until starting to brown. Remove radishes from oven, place in serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


So I promised that I would post a picture of the veggies that I'm trying to identify. Here ya go:

My 'expert' guess is that this is kale. I'm not 100% sure of my guess but I'm going to go with it because I love my one kale recipe. Sharing it here since I got a request. Even the kids like this one! I can hardly wait until tomorrow night when I get to eat this!! YUMMY! If you make it, let me know what you think! (Thanks to Lisa Baker who introduced me to kale and gave me this recipe.)

8 oz. kielbasa, thinly sliced (I use turkey kielbasa because it seems a little healthier)
1Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
29 oz of reduced sodium chicken broth (2 cans)
2 cans cannellini beans (or Great Northern beans)
4 cups chopped kale (sometimes I use fresh spinach)
1. Brown kielbasa in large saucepan over med-high heat about 4 mins. Remove from pan.
2. Add oil to pan and cook garlic about a minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add beans,
and simmer 5 minutes.
3. Remove 1 cup of soup, including beans, and puree in blender until smooth. Stir bean puree, cooked sausage,
and chopped kale into soup and simmer until kale is tender, about 5-7 mins.
Makes 6 1/2 cups (4 servings)

When it rains...

It pours! As if we needed something else going on in our lives, we've had two household events that have prevented me from posting recipes and photos that I promised. Number one issue happened yesterday evening. A five minute storm raced through Nashville and brought with it significant wind. That wind was strong enough to rip a huge limb (half a tree) off of one of our maples in the back yard. We didn't discover the problem until this morning when Alexander pointed out that the tree didn't look right. Upon further inspection, we found that the limb had jumped, for lack of a better word, off of its rightful spot (on the tree), and landed, javelin style, in the ground. It is resting against one of the other branches of the tree and some sort of cable, I think it's the internet. If that goes out, I won't be happy!
In addition to having the tree issue, our upstairs air conditioning unit keeps flipping the outside breaker. That means that we don't realize that there's an issue until it's 84 degrees upstairs. So, after calling about 8 different people, I got a guy to come out and take a look at it. He did something, I'm not sure what since I was chasing two kids around the yard, and said it was fixed. He changed me $160 and went on his way. One hour later, the breaker flipped and the house started heating up. Amazing how quickly the upstairs turns from comfortable to sauna-like! Anyhow, he'll be back again tomorrow to replace the breaker. Let's cross our fingers that it solves the problem.
I heard a song on the radio today that has the perfect words for the season of life that I'm in right now.
"And you know that there will be days in this life that bring me pain. But if that's what it takes to praise you, Jesus, then bring the rain." Well, the rains have certainly come. We're praising and praying and hoping for a time of sunshine.

Photos of our fallen limb and the place where it used to be attached.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Restarting. Again.

Well, I can't believe that it's been so long since I posted. But then again, I can believe it. It actually takes quite a bit of effort to keep up with a blog and truthfully, my effort has been focused on other things. However, I think it's time to start so that I can correspond with the outside world and let you know what we're up to. Oops, ended a sentence with a preposition. Does that mean that I won't be allowed to post this entry? We'll see when it comes time to publish.
I am going to attempt to identify some of the vegetables that we receive from our CSA and post the information so that those who are new to CSA or vegetable eating in general, can recognize and know what to do with the veggies.
This week, we got some pretty easy to identify things: carrots, beets, radishes (I cut off the greens and put them in a jar of water in the fridge), spring onions (I chopped these and put them in the freezer for later use), a red lettuce, and a bag of something green and leafy. There's also an herb in there that smells yummy but I have no idea what to do with it. I will post photos of the two things that I'm unsure about as soon as I identify them!
The beets will be roasted this week. Simple, easy, yummy. I'm going to try the radishes on a bread and butter sandwich with salt this week. I read somewhere that they were pretty good that way. Since my normal impression of radishes is bland and rubbery, I'm going to branch out a bit and eat them in something outside of a restaurant salad.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you're out there! I'm excited to get back out there to my adoring public. ha.