Thursday, March 26, 2009

Daja's Having a Giveaway!

So, Daja's celebrating her 598th blog post with a giveaway the likes of which you have never seen!

So, go on over to in other words... and see what I mean! Hurry, deadline is Monday!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Happy First Day of Spring, Everyone!
Did you notice the daffodils on the window sill?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Produce Aisle Inspiration

So, yesterday evening as I was buying vegetables for Potage Printanier, the fancy name for our Springtime Soup that we always have for dinner on the first day of Spring, I immediately thought, "Spring decor!" when I saw a little container of wheatgrass!

I put it in an urn and wrapped it with a ribbon from my stash. Kind of cute for only $1.69, isn't it?

I'm thinking it needs something -- a little bird, an egg, or one of those moss-colored bunnies from Pier 1 that I am seeing all over blogland.

But for now, I'm pleased.

Potage Printainer
(from the McCall's Cooking School)

2 leeks
1 small onion
2 T. butter
2 potatoes
2 medium carrots
1 1/2 quarts hot water
2 t. salt
8 stalks fresh or frozen asparagus
1/4 c. raw regular white rice
1/2 lb. fresh spinach
1 c. half-and-half

Trim leeks. Cut slice off root ends and dark green tops so leeks are about 7 inches long after trimming. Peel off tough outer layer from bulb. Wash thoroughly in cold water to remove any sand and dirt. Drain well. Slice lengthwise and then chop to get 1 cup chopped leeks.

Peel and chop onion and add to leeks. Put butter in a 3-quart kettle and heat over moderately high heat until it is melted and hot. Reduce heat to low; add leeks and onion. Stir with a wooden spoon until leeks and onion ar well coated with butter.

Cover kettle and cook leeks and onion over low heat for about 5 minutes or until very tender. Meanwhile, peel and quarter potatoes; peel carrots. Cut potatoes and carrots into very thin slices (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick). Add to leeks and onion with hot water and salt.

Increase heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. When soup is boiling rapidly, reduce heat to low; cover kettle and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, if using fresh asparagus, snap off tough ends and discard. Cut fresh or frozen asparagus spears into 1/2-inch-long pieces.

Add rice to the kettle. Stir to separate rice; cover kettle and simmer for 15 minutes. Add asparagus; simmer for 10 minutes. Wash and dry spinach; remove tough stems. Chop spinach; add to rice-and-asparagus mixture and simmer 10 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender.

With a wooden spoon, gently stir the light cream into the soup. Increase heat to moderately high and bring soup just to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and chill overnight. Just before serving, return soup to a boil, stirring constantly. Makes 8 servings.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our St. Patrick's Day Menu

One of the perks of planning holiday menus is that of inspiration. Some days it's really a task to come up with something interesting for dinner. So, I take advantage of all holidays -- big and small.

Holidays also are a big help in setting the table. It can be fun to come up with something new. However, this evening my table wasn't planned ahead. I just starting setting it with what I saw as I opened up the cupboards. I used a green tablecloth, (Wow, isn't that a unique idea!) and went from there. The China I used is called "Amsterdam", so it wasn't really Irish, but it is green!

Our menu started with Irish Beef Stew, a recipe from Fidel Murphy's Irish Pub, Grand Cayman, as published in Bon Appetit in March 2001. A couple of years ago, I went searching for a new St. Patrick's Day entree. I don't really care for corned beef and my mother doesn't like lamb stew. So, I was happy to find this recipe. It's very good, but more like a soup than a stew.

Of course, we had Irish Soda Bread. We love this recipe. My husband doesn't care for caraway seeds and I don't like raisins in anything (by themselves, they are fine), so we leave both out. Fantastic warm with melting butter.
And for dessert, Mint Chocolate Cake. Very much a winner. Tastes like an Andes Mint! And so pretty, too.

So, that's what we ate tonight. What did you have?

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Dov's First Haircut

Notice how happy he is!

First snips

It took a village of hands...

All clean and neat, but maybe not as happy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Freedom Through Discipline

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

About thirteen years ago, I surprised my husband for Christmas by learning how to play the piano. At least enough to play a handful of hymns and church songs. For about two months, I practiced many hours a day. And on Christmas day, I sat and played. It felt so good! The freedom to play was wonderful!

But……after Christmas, the motivation of the surprise was gone. I slowly stopped practicing. And now, I can’t claim to play the piano at all anymore.

The difference between a person who has the freedom to really play the piano and someone who can’t (me) is discipline. The pianist disciplines herself. She practices. And practices. Consistently.

And what is the reward of discipline? Freedom!

My lack of discipline in practicing the piano keeps my fingers in bondage. I am not free to transfer what I see on the music page to my fingers. I am completely tied up.

Have you ever asked God to miraculously give you some gift? Oh, I have. I wish that God would just let me sit down at the piano and just miraculously be able to play. I want to wake up one morning thin. I want to open my mouth and automatically know how to speak a foreign language. I asked for Spanish. Though I’ve also thought speaking Vietnamese would be great, too. Both would be very helpful around here.

See, I know people that this has happened to. I know a couple of people to whom God has given the gift of a language instantaneously known. I knew a girl who just sat down at the piano and knew how to play. (Sadly, the gift was also taken away when she turned her back on God.) I watched a very large woman lose weight during a prayer service. She had to grab hold of her clothes when they started to fall off! I also know of people who have been delivered from addiction instantaneously.

So, why hasn’t God done this for me? I really LOVE piano music. I really NEED to lose weight. I could really USE the ability to speak Spanish.

But God picks who gets the miracle. For whatever reason, He chooses. He knows what is best for each one of us. I would assume that one of the best reasons for NOT getting the miracle is to teach us the rewards of self-discipline.

One of the biggest rewards, of course, is freedom. It makes sense that since Christ has set us free, He intends us to live free. We keep our freedom by discipline.

“He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.” Proverbs 5:23

So, for now, two of my goals are to have an organized office/studio/workroom and to lose weight/be healthy. So, I’m now going to the gym. And trying to regularly devote an hour working ON the office. (Working IN the office is already a regular thing.) Oh, I will keep praying and asking for God’s help. But, while I wait for my miracle, I will discipline myself. And while I’m disciplining myself, I kind of think my miracle will happen. One day I WILL wake up a whole lot thinner and walk into a neat and organized workroom.

And maybe one of these days, I’ll tackle that piano again.

While I’m Waiting
Psalm 5:3, 27:14, 33:20, 37:7, 38:15, 40:1, Isaiah 30:18, Lamentations 3:24
by John Waller

To hear this song, click here.

I’m waitingI’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

© 2007 Travelin’ Zoo Music (ASCAP) (admin. by EMI CMG Publishing)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sunday Laundry Shirt Dress GIVEAWAY!!!!

Sunday Laundry Shirt Dress GIVEAWAY!!!!

Okay, I'm not even thinking about wearing this dress. BUT, Daja is. So, I think I should win it for her, don't you?
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