Tuesday, April 05, 2011

April 5 2011

Paperwork organization, done. I had worked on this not too long ago. Got some bills later today that will need to be taken care of tomorrow. Long evening at a snowy track meet. :) Our oldest daughter did really well, running a 6:17 mile. :) Feel blessed to be able to cheer her on, and know that she is such a great person, too! :)

Monday, April 04, 2011

April 4 2011

I have done the organization task for today-bathroom cabinets. I did our powder room cupboard, my bathroom cupboard and our medicine cabinet. I had done it over Christmas break or Thanksgiving break, I think, so it wasn't too bad but still needed tidying.

Very rainy day here, sometimes with terrible downpours, and our backyard looks as if my husband and I need to begin on that ark! :) I hope you are well and dry. :)

New Recipes

I mentioned in a previous post that we'd tried some new recipes last week. We liked most of them so I thought I'd share:

This one is from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, which is a wonderful, seasonal cookbook. I love it!
Tostadas with Garlicky Spinach, Grape Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
4 6-inch flour tortillas
1 C grape tomatoes, halved
2 TBSP minced fresh cilantro leaves
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
5 ounces baby spinach (about 6 Cups)
2 ½ ounces fresh goat cheese, crumpled (about ½ Cup)

Move an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425*/ Brush a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil and arrange the tortillas on the baking sheet in a single layer. (I just sprayed the baking sheet with Pam)
Toss the tomatoes, cilantro, 1 Tablespoon of the remaining oil and salt to taste together in a small bowl. Set aside to marinate for several minutes.
Heat the remaining oil and the garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the spinach and salt to taste and cook, stirring constantly, just until the spinach wilts, 1 to 2 minutes.
Divide the wilted spinach evenly among the tortillas. Top the spinach with a portion of the marinated tomatoes and then sprinkle with goat cheese.
Bake until the tortillas are crisp and the cheese softens, about 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

Another I tried, which was also very tasty, served with crusty bread to soak up some of the sauce, Roasted Mussels.

One more, which was in the Dream Dinners cookbook. I cooked the recipe (tripled) so we ate a serving and froze another, which we pulled out and ate with the tostadas, above! :) Enjoy!

Orzo Salad – Serves 25


3 c Orzo Pasta, boiled in water 10 min, or just until soft.
1½ c chopped scallions
1½ c drained and chopped Kalamata olives
1½ c crumbled feta cheese
¾ c fresh chopped dill
¾ c olive oil
½ c plus 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
¾ c red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper

Rinse pasta with cold water.
Combine the orzo, onions, olives, feta, and dill in a large bowl.
Set aside.
Whisk together the oil, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour 1/2 of dressing over the pasta mixture and stir to coat all over.
Toss with the remaining dressing just before serving.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

List of Awesome

Last week Cathy Zielske's blog talked about a list of Awesome. I thought it was an interesting list, like our thankful feathers around Thanksgiving. I've been working on keeping a "gratitude list" here on my desk, so I can write things down when I think of them, also seeing those positives. I have been putting some thought into my list. I have 36 items, since my 36th birthday is this month.

My April List of Awesome

1.My family(I am so lucky God put these three amazing people in my life/home!)
2.Sunshine (I say as a little peeks through the clouds, in July I will move rain to my gratitude list! :))
3.Photos, camera
4.My job (I love teaching children, and it's not a conventional classroom, but I get to interact with children everyday and see many of them learn as we work together)
5.My faith and my church
6.This blog (I have met many interesting people through posts and comments, made friends from far away.)
7.Morning Bible reading time (My husband and I have gotten up each morning since March 6 and quietly read our Bibles. The house is quiet, the coffee is hot and I like interacting with God before life speeds up.)
8.My extended family and in-laws (So lucky to have a good relationship with them all.)
9.My turquoise office room (I can scrapbook, read, write, type, and create here. Thankful my husband relocated his computer to another room, so I could make this room my own.)
10.A good night's rest
11.Music (I like all kinds, but the other day I heard some Bach and played some Yo-Yo-Ma, as well as my contemporary Christian and felt happy. :))
12.Hugging my kids-and getting hugs back! :)
13.A husband who is an involved dad that goes to far away track meets in the cold, rainy weather
14.Being able to run, the feeling running gives me, especially when the goal I've set has been accomplished
15.Nicely worded rejection letters (they seem less like a “no” and more like a “maybe later”)
16.Good books (well written and books that are just fun, fast reads)
17.The Bible
18.My new purse (I'm not usually a purse or shoe person, except running shoes, but I got a purse/bag last week that fits everything in a nice, organized manner, and it is wonderful!)
19.Birds, the birds chirping, welcoming spring
20.Coffee (homemade, Starbucks, warm, cold, any kind. :))
21.Drawing a bath for my daughter after a long, cold track meet(ten hours in the cold and rain, running and cheering on her teammates, and I got to make her a warm bubble bath to soak and recharge in.)
22.Painting my younger daughter's nails (she liked the way I did mine, so I got to paint hers, too)
23.Getting my younger daughter a hot chocolate at Starbucks after her cold, wet, muddy soccer practice (It's fun just to do nice, surprising things for them. :))
24.Trying new recipes (my favorite way to cook)
25.Freezing meals ahead, and pulling them out for dinner after a busy day
26.Warm showers on weekends that aren't rushed like weekdays
27.Afternoon naps on the weekends, especially during rain
28.Inspirational bulletin boards
29.Organized closets!
30.The positive feeling of hope
32.Friends who wonder how we are, or send cards when they read of sad times on the blog/Facebook
33.Sending mail
34.Receiving mail
35.Birthdays and annivesaries
36.Completed to-do lists

What's on your list of awesome? :)

April 3 2011

Day three of the organization challenge is kitchen utensils. This one took me a bit longer. I had a container we keep by the stove and three drawers of silverware, knives, measuring cups, etc. I went through it all in about 15 minutes, even wiping them out before I replaced things, and throwing things away. We don't need those "kid cutters" for pumpkins anymore... or those twisty straws that you can't get cleaned... so, clean! :)

Hoping to finish up laundry, among a few other things, today since we're all back to the regular schedule tomorrow. I hope your weekend ends well!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

April 2 2011

Organization challenge, day 2: I had begun the work on my closet yesterday, during "spring cleaning". I had not, however, finished removing clothes that didn't fit, or I knew I wouldn't wear. I still haven't removed all that are too small. Once I'm into summer running/training mode, I hope to be back in them again. I did turn all the hangers facing out yesterday, so when I clean it again I know what I didn't wear all season. I got rid of a few sweaters this week that hadn't been worn all winter. I love the backwards facing hanger trick. I can see what clothes have literally not been worn at all. They haven't moved. So, I spent my organization time today plucking out things that were not worn last summer/spring, and I checked our coat closets for coats/jackets that don't get worn, either. What a nice feeling! How is it going for you?


I saw two posts in the last few days that looked like good breakfast ideas, so I thought I'd share (haven't gotten to the organization chore for today).

Real Simple had breakfast smoothie ideas:
I thought the pumpkin sounded good for fall, the carrot pineapple sounded refreshing, the kale apple was beautiful-although I'm not sure what kale tastes like... and strawberry flax would be the first one I'd like to try. Not sure about the spinach grape and coconut...

Since I was on my freeze ahead kick this week, this food your way blog post piqued my interest with freeze ahead breakfasts. I am thinking I'd like to make the pumpkin pancakes, scones, oven french toast, and I have made strawberry bread and frozen it before. Are you hungry yet? I am! :)) Have a great day!

Friday, April 01, 2011

April 1 2011

Today I have completed day one of the 30-day organization challenge (see yesterday's post). Our living room wasn't too badly disorganized, so I spent some of my time in the basement where we watch tv. It was nice to know I was doing a quick cleanup, with a timer, and be done when that timer went off.

I also ran today, ate fairly well, thus far, and am checking a few more things off my to do list. I'm hoping to post some new recipes here, soon, that I tried this week. Hope your week has gone well!!