Moab UT

Moab UT

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I know, I know.  All of you who have ten hummus recipes in your recipe box probably also have ten lentil soup recipes.  But, you never know.  

This is the recipe I pull out when I have no time to make dinner.  It's fast, cheap and delicious!

Lentil Soup w/ Rosemary
Vegetarian Times

1 med. onion chopped
2 stalks celery
2 medium carrots (I put in a few more)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dried, rinsed lentils
4 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (put in about 5 minutes before eating)
salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh rosemary leaves, minced

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, carrots, rosemary.  Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften - about 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until lentils are soft ~ 30 minutes.

We start 'em young

around these parts.  

We grind our own grain and this has always been a big hit with the girls.  They all three love to grind the grain and bake.  Each of them started working in the kitchen at a very young age-mostly thanks to Papa.   He is the bread man.

Zoe is helping Papa out this time.

For those of you thinking "I can't believe they are letting her stick her hands in there while it's grinding!"  The grinder is turned of now.  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tahini Dressing

This Tahini dip/dressing is awesome!  My kids will eat anything with this slathered on top - really.  We eat this stuff on salads, raw and steamed veggies, sauteed veggies, bread.  

I got this recipe from a book called The Vegetarian Mother and Baby Book.  This book was given to me with my first child and it is full of great mothering advice, but especially relating to food.  All of the recipes in this book are really good and easy to make.  This would be a great book for any mom.

I'll warn you, this stuff is addictive!

Tahini dip/dressing
Rose Elliot
The Vegetarian Mother and Baby Book

2 tablespoons tahini
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
juice of 1/2 lemon or ~2 tablespoons is using bottled lemon juice.
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the tahini into a small bowl with the garlic,  1 tsp of the lemon juice, and 2 tbsps water and stir.  The mixture will go very thick and lumpy to start with, then it will gradually become smooth and creamy.  Add more water and lemon juice to get the consistency and flavor you want, and season with salt and pepper.

**This recipe only makes one serving.  After seeing how much we like this dressing, I now quadruple it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vegan breakfast

When I got married my mother in law gave me a binder full of her favorite recipes.  Two of my favorite recipes are the Red River Cereal and Granola.  They both are super easy to make and so delicious!

Red River Cereal From Malibu, Canada

1/2 cup cracked wheat
1/2 cup cracked rye
1/4 cup flax seed

Add the above to 3 cups boiling water, lightly salted if you wish (we never do this), stirring as you add (I use a whisk to keep it from lumping).  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Can add more water if gets too thick; if too thin just simmer a bit longer.  Top with date sugar, honey, syrup, molasses, etc.  Serves 4

**Since we buy our grains in bulk and grind it as needed, we make this in bulk and keep it in the freezer.  My kids love this recipe-especially in the winter.  They like to add goats milk along with honey.  I think it's just fine with honey alone.  

Scrumptious Granola

3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut (I highly recommend using good quality coconut.  Go to the health food store and buy organic unsweetened large flake coconut.  It makes a huge difference.  Plus coconut is not expensive)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup slivered raw almonds (or your favorite nut)
1/2 cup raisins or other favorite dried fruit (optional - add after above is baked.  

Stir all ingredients together.  Place in large, heavy, shallow baking pan (I usd cookie sheets) brushed lightly with oil   Place in middle of oven at 250-275 F for about 2 hrs.  Stir every 15 minutes.  Cool and store in air tight container.  Makes 5-8 cups.  

**I typically double this recipe.  We all enjoy this granola recipe.  It's not too sweet.  During lent I top mine with rice milk (not a fan of soy milk) or we eat it straight as a snack.   

The Jesus Prayer

When Vladyka JONAH was Abbot Jonah he blessed our parish with a talk on the Jesus Prayer.  Of course it was a great talk.  We recorded it and you can hear it at  Scroll down on the menu to sermons and talks.  

Fall in Texas

I love fall.  In Texas it's particularly nice because of the hot summers.  By the time fall comes around down here, we've  typically have just endured a couple of months of 100 degree days with no clouds in sight.  
Then comes the cooler weather-just in time.  The leaves begin to fall. Attitudes change and soften. The windows go up. Wind.  Clouds.  

Yesterday I was standing on our back deck enjoying the weather and thought the sky was so beautiful.  

I loved living in Texas again. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

My little girl is growing up!

Today I spent the day cleaning and catching up after the weekend.  Katya, who will be 7 in January, has become such a big help to me.  As I was busy bustling through the house, I found Katya and Zoe in my room folding clothes.  I was a bit stunned to see her standing there looking so tall and taking care of Zoe by entertaining her.  Wow, they grow so fast.  

The one pic is of Katherine folding clothes and the other is her on the bed making Zoe laugh.  

The right white

Fr. Justin and I are planning to paint the interior of our house.  It is way over due.  After thinking of all the neutral colors I could live with, I've decided that I want to stay with white.  I think.   And this is where the problems began...

So, off I go to Home Depot and Sherwin Williams to find the right white.  Home I come with millions of paint swatches.  Yikes!  My living room wall is covered with white, off white, and beige paint swatches, as well as my bathroom.  

If you feel strongly that I should consider another neutral color besides white, I would be open to this.  Perhaps I am not able to choose a white because it's not the right color?  Go ahead, tell me.  For those of you who have been to my house and thought "If she would just put some color on those walls", now is your chance.   

Now, for those of you who have not been to my house, my colors are greens, reds, golds. 

I'll be waiting for your recommendations.  And so will Fr. Justin as he patiently waits for the right white to surface.

A soup recipe to enjoy

For those who know me personally, you will recall that I don't cook very well.  Fr. Justin, on the other hand, is an excellent cook.  I have learned a great deal from him, but I realize what is missing on my part is the joy.  I don't know why he likes cooking so much.  Maybe it enables him to work with his hands and frees his mind which is always working.  Or, perhaps he doesn't want to starve to death?  Just kidding.  

Anyhow, over the years I have collected a few of my favorite recipes which are vegetarian.  This comes in handy during the times of the year when our church fasts-which is often.  

Right now we have just entered the Nativity fast.  This fast requires that we give up meat, wine, oil and dairy-if we are able.  We will fast until Nativity morning following the Divine Liturgy.  Several friends have asked me to share some of our 'lenten' recipes and so I hope to do that here.  Suffice it to say that none of the recipes I will be sharing are labor intensive.  

So without further delay, here is a pasta and white bean soup.  We all love this soup-especially the kids.  This was taken from a book called Vegetables rock!, which I would recommend if you could pick it up used.  This book is a compilation of favorite vegetarian and vegan recipes from other sources.

Pasta and White Bean Soup with Garlic and Rosemeary
Jack Bishop
The complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook

1/4 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling over the soup
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups drained canned whole tomatoes, chopped (I buy the one's already diced)
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
7 cups vegetable stock or water
6 ozs. small pasta, such as small elbows or shells (We used whole wheat/whole grain pasta in our house, however, this pasta does not work in this recipe.  You will want to use regular white pasta)
4 cups cooked cannellini beans (you can use two 19 oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, if you don't want to cook the beans yourself)

1.  Heat the oil in a large soup kettle or stockpot.  Add the garlic and rosemary, and saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

2.  Add the tomatoes and a generous amount of salt and pepper.  Simmer until the tomatoes soften, 3-4 minutes.

3.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook until almost tender, 7 to 10 minutes.  

4.  Add the beans, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes to blend the flavors and finish cooking the pasta.  Adjust the seasonings.  Serve immediately with a drizzle of oil to taste.

Serve this with hot bread-particularly hot sourdough bread made by Gregory or Maria.  If this is not possible learn to make a good loaf of sourdough for this recipe.  Ok, or just go buy some...


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Axios! Axios! Axios!

Eis polla eti, despota!

Go listen to the banquet speech given by His Beatitude Jonah.  Everyone must hear this speach.  It is riveting.  

Thank you Lord for sending us this man!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Texas State Fair

Every year in September we end the summer by going to the Texas State Fair.  I have been going since I was a kid.  It was much different then.  
We would pack our lunch and go for the entire day.  Around noon my dad would go to the car and get our cooler with bologne sandwiches, chips, iced tea and blankets. He would meet us on the lawn, yes the state fair used to have several nice grassy lawn areas, where we would eat and shut our eyes for a bit.  We would still eat the fair food:  corny dogs, lemmon aide, funnel cakes, etc.  But those delicacies were reserved for the other half of the day.  We always knew that dad would let us eat those foods, but we waited for him to give us the go ahead.  They were a big deal to us kids and couldn't wait for Dad to ask who needed a snack.  To us it was like waiting for the wedding cake at a wedding.  We've come a long way huh?     

I don't remember riding all the rides when I visited as a child.  There was the huge ferris wheel and the sky way taking you over the fair and offering a great view of downtown Dallas-which was also a big deal to us since we drove in from the country over an hour away.  We rode these rides, but I think these were the only ones offered back then.  Thankfully.

Now, Fr. Justin and I get there when the doors open with the intention of getting it all in before around 3:00. (We have to leave by then to avoid traffic getting out of Dallas).  Why don't we spend the day like I did when I was a kid?  Well, there is no place to relax there.  All the nice grassy knolls are sheets of concrete with rides sandwiched so closely together  you wonder how they keep from hitting each other.  And it is incredibly noisy.  A nap would be near impossible.  

Nonetheless, we go with the girls every year and make the best of  what is there.  And we always have a good time.  We no longer pack a lunch, they don't allow you to take in food or drink.  So, we get to dine solely on the five star offerings of the food court.  Of course they still have the food the fair is know for, corny dogs and such, but I do wish we could pack a lunch.  And I do long for a nap around 1:00-ish...
This year we saw a couple new exhibits and shows.  My favorite this year was the train exhibit of old passenger trains.  Too cool.  The old trains were so luxurious.  If they still made trains like that to travel on I would definately take the tracks.  There was a newer retired Amtrak train there and it looked just like the interior of an airplane.  How unfortunate.  
The horse show was wonderful and of course the food pavillion (not to be confused with the food court, the pavillion is an educational building, therefore the food is typically of decent quality).  And, the food here is usually free.  :)   The bee keepers association had their bees working hard to protect the queen.  The dog show is always great.  

We always save the rides for last.  They are so very taxing on the pocket book and the nerves.  Suffice it to say they are my least favorite part of the fair.  They still have the ferris wheel and the sky way, but the girls are mesmerized the noisy fast commotion of the other newer additions.    Nonetheless, the girls picked their rides and ended with the log ride with papa.  

The picks are of Papa and Zoe by a train.  Look at the size of the wheels!  Elsie the cow;  a patient sow (with a smile on her face) and her babies, and the girls and papa on the log ride.  Oh yes, and there is Katherine on the log ride alone.  I couldn't believe that she talked the people into letting her ride solo.  

Despite wishing it were the way it used to be, I still like going.  We all do have fun, even if Fr. and I look at each other as we drive on to the freeway at 3:00 into the traffic with typically one baby crying and two others chattering over each other and fighting over the cotton candy bag, and wonder why the heck we do this to ourselves-every year!  

Oh well.  Next year we plan on making sure we watch the gators get fed.  :)