Friday, January 28, 2011

Now Playing:

"Big Day for Norah"

Coming soon:
"The Parents' Long Weekend Week Month Week"
(here's for hoping)
(off to the storage unit it all went today)

Monday, January 17, 2011

January Thaw

Today was finally warm enough to go outside for a bit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Lentil Soup

This recipe is a must try!  We had it for the first time the other night and it was delicious!  Even if you don't think you will like lentils give it a try.  Please!  It is that good.  Also this was the first time I had cooked with kale.  Jake and I both love it and it will become a staple for greens in soups in the future.

It comes out of the magazine Real Simple, March 2006.  Guess I have been holding on to it for awhile.  The crossed out parts are the original recipe noted with how I changed things.

Winter Lentil Soup

4 leeks, white and light green parts only  1 medium onion (have you seen how much leeks cost?)
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained diced
6 cups water
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup brown lentils
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 1/2 tablespoon dried
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 fresh basil leaves (optional) 1/2 tablespoon dried
1/4 cup (1 oz) grated Parmesan (optional) (I forgot this - it is still in my fridge)

From these changes, I also halved the recipe.  I didn't want a ton of it if my girls wouldn't eat it.

Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each half in 1/4-inch-thick half moons (about 2 cups). Place in a large bowl of cold water and swish to remove any grit. Drain and pat dry. Uh, just dice an onion.

Remove the stems from the kale.  Stack the leaves on top of one another and slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch-strips; you'll need 3 cups.

Heat the oil in saucepan over medium heat.  Add the leeks onion and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon (I let someone else dice them for me), for 5 minutes.

Add the water and bring to a boil.  Stir in the kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper, and basil (if using).  Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Spoon into individual bowls.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using).

"Tip from Real Simple magazine:  Basic brown lentils retain their shape better during cooking than pricer red and yellow lentils, so they are terrific for soups. You can substitute green lentils, which taste slightly peppery."

My girls ate this soup pretty good, which says it tastes pretty darn good.  Jake and I loved it.  I think however they were more excited about the Teddy-bear bread and filled up more on that, but that is okay.

Monday, January 10, 2011


It's a New Year and time for a new blog look. I still have a couple of things I want to update, but for the most part this is my new look for awhile. Simple. I don't make New Years Goals. But a friend of mine chooses a word to focus all her life on. I decided this was better for me, but I am choosing a "focus" because I can't choose just one word. If I could it would be simple or maybe simplify. See - I can't choose just one word. But as I was thinking about this a scripture kept coming to mind. It is one that my mom must have taught a lesson on in church when I was little. I remember making a lot of magnets. It was in the days before everyone had a home computer and people must not have laminated much then either. A scripture was typed on the backs of yellow 3x5 card then my parents put contact paper on both sides, add a magnet to the back and a small orange silk flower to the front. I am going to make a replica for my fridge to remind me, but for now my blog is in a type font and has a yellow header. I am still trying to find a picture of a perfect orange flower for my blog header.

Here is the scripture:
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;    -Doctrine and Covenants 88:119

The words that stuck out in my head were learning, order, & faith - as you can tell from my header. To me that is simplicity for our home. Those are simple things we can continue to work on this year. Those things can be simple choices that make us better by the end of the year. Simple that is what I am going to strive for this year in our home. So my word is simplify (need to make it a verb to act on it). I am going to focus on this through aspects of learning, order, and faith.

Recently I have found a couple of really great websites on simplifying your home and have added these to my blog lists.  Also last June I started doing this to my apartment along with rethinking decor and making it my home rather than just an apartment that was a home for us and all our stuff. I will post more on this organizing feat later on.  I have made some great changes and also am stuck in some rooms (mostly waiting for budgets to replenish).

Yesterday I read an article on CNN by Tsh Oxenreider about simplifying the stuff in your house.  This was my favorite paragraph.
"Living this way isn't about having nothing. It's about everything in you life having value. It's looking at all your belongings and knowing that you've given that thing permission to be there, that the item is truly adding value and beauty to your life."
This is my 2011.

Mission Organize Apartment