Friday, December 25, 2009

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

No recipes today... Happy Nameday to all the Christina's, Christos', Christiana's, and Christian's out there (and forgive me if I forgot anyone). Our gifts for the boys ranged from purple vestments to plastic swords to Star Wars! Noting like variety in our home:)

Christ is Born! Glorify Him! Have a wonderful feastday... from our family to yours...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies and other Nativity Treats:)

Artoklassia is on its last rising so we are going to make GF Sugar Cookies.
Here is the Arto. recipe. Alas, it is not gluten free.  I do not think that would go over well (as the priest says something about this offering of wheat, wine and oil in the service).  That is ok with me.  It is blessed and at least Big P and I will eat it (little p is not on a gf diet and DH actually has celiac's so he will not eat it).
Here is the GF Sugar Cookie recipe. I made it two days ago so it is ready to be rolled and cut into cute Christmas shapes:)
Here is the Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe.  I make it GF by using GF ginger snaps.  I am normally sugar free, but have saved up all my not-eating-sugar-bonus points for a slice of this cheesecake on Christmas day (and I find that by not eating sugar, all I really can handle is a small slice and I am happy:)  And, yes, it is on the flylady site.  Many years ago I was a member of flylady and it did help me to get undercontrol but I didn't like receiving so many emails.  So once I felt like I had a schedule, I stopped being a member of the flylady world.  And the things I like, I still do and that's fine with me!  And this recipe is amazing.
Granma's Famous Meatballs... wait a minute... family- should I post granma's famous meatball recipe?!?  I don't think it's a secret...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Brazilian Shrimp Stew and Coconut Rice

This is an amazing lenten recipe.  Go to this website for the recipe.  The coconut milk makes it so creamy that you do not even realize that you are not eating milk! 

Coconut Rice is here.  It is an unsoaked brown rice recipe.  The only thing that I do different is use 2 Tbs. margarine and 2 Tbs. olive oil.  Oh, and I just skip the whole cardamom pod thing and the saffron.

I will try to post the gluten free pizza crust recipe soon.

Until then, have a great evening (I am, in addition to making dinner, making 2 loaves of prosfora for Christmas Eve Liturgy because tomorrow I will be making Artoklassia for Christmas Eve Liturgy- our liturgy is really Christmas morning because Orthros is at 11pm and Liturgy is at midnight:)  The boys helped with the prosfora!

You know you are nearing the end of a fasting period...

when you have soy cheese pizza for dinner!  I made two pizzas (one for the kids and one for the adults- we had LOTS of veggies on our pizza).  I made a gluten free crust (I finally feel like I do not need to fear the GF pizza crust)- well, actually made two GF crusts.  This is really the only time we use soy in our home.  I am not a fan of soy but DH likes to have soy cheese pizza at least once during a fasting period.  So there you have it.  I may post the crust recipe (it, too, is lenten) but I also am heading over to mom and dads because my uncle is going to be over for a short visit.  And we get to see him maybe once a year (although this year he came to the family reuinion in June).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Falafel, Juddrah, and Hummus

This is what we call Middle Eastern Night in our home.  I used to buy the falafel mix but most of them contain wheat (and other things).  So when DH was diagnosed with Celiac's I thought that we would never have Falafel again!  But I found and adapted a recipe for us that does not contain wheat!  Yay!  And these are the best tasting falafel I have ever made (stop making those just add water mixes right now and go make this falafel).  It does take more work and planning (soaking the beans at least two days ahead of time).

2 cups garbanzos
4 Tbs whey or lemon juice
4 large cloves garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup oil

So the 2 cups garbanzos, water, and whey/lemon juice is for the soaking of the beans.  You soak these beans twice (2 Tbs. whey/lemon juice for the first soak and 2 Tbs for the second soak).

After you have your soaked/rinsed beans either make the falafel or put the beans in a freezer bag or container and put in freezer.  I will do this a lot (esp. during fasts) so that I know I have beans on hand.

I use my food processor for this job.  Add 1/2 the garbanzos to food processor.  Add 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 tsp. of each of the spices.  Do not add oil (that is for cooking).  Pulse until reduced to a coarse paste.  The mixture should be finely ground enough to form into a ball (and then flatten - that's how I make my falafel) and hold its shape but it does not need to be entirely smooth. Dump falafel mixture into a bowl and repeat with the rest of the garbanzos and spices.  Mix the two batches together, cover, and put in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Form into patties and cook in oil.  Serve with hummus and sliced veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc).  We do not use pita bread (does anyone have a gluten free pita bread recipe?)  I have read to serve with corn tortillas but that just doesn't sound appealing to me.  So we just dip our falafel into the hummus and eat with the veggies. 

Sometimes I will also make juddrah as the side dish (although, this ends up being a lot of beans eaten in one sitting).  You can soak your lentils, just not as long as the other beans...
to soak lentils... put amount of lentils you will need for recipe into a bowl, cover with warm water and stir in 2 Tbs. whey or lemon juice.  Let sit for 6 or 7 hours then drain and rinse and continue with your recipe.  I suggest initially decreasing the water that you cook with and adding later as you cook because the soaked lentils can and will cook faster with less water.  Just keep an eye on it:)

Back to the Juddrah...
1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water (but use less if using soaked lentils)
2-3 large onions chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup uncooked rice (if you use cooked rice, use less water)
1 Tbs. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbs. lemon juice

Chop onions.  Heat oil in pan.  Add onions. Saute until carmelized/almost burnt.  Add water, lentils, and rice.  Cover and cook (ok, I usually use brown rice and it will take longer than 20-25 minutes but I don't remember how long) until rice and lentils are cooked, stirring occasionally.  Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

So I tried this once with soaked garbanzos and it just wasn't smooth enough for my family (and, hey, my boys will eat hummus so why mess with a good thing, right?)
1 can garbanzo beans, reserve juice
1 1/4 tsp. tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced (I usually use at least 2)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs olive oil (optional)

Heat beans over medium heat until they come to a boil.  I use a slotted spoon to remove the beans (put beans into a bowl) and reserve the juice.  Add the next 4 ingredients to the beans.  Now, add about 1/2 the reserved juice (more if you like a runnier hummus, less if you like a pastier hummus).  I have this milk shake attachment to a hand chopper (electric) that I use to mix the hummus but I have also done this in a blender.  Blend until creamy and very smooth.  Serve with vegetables, tortilla chips, rice crackers.

Again, my sister is in town from Russia and we have been spending lots of time with them.  Last night I did make Ratatouille and will hopefully post the recipe in the next few days.  Today I have an intimate wedding shower in the morning and my niece's 1st birthday party/open house to see my sister in the afternoon.  So it is a busy day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Topsy Turvy Meals...UPDATED with Links!!!

Sunday night was ended up having leftover pasta and red pepper sauce (from Friday night's dinner).  Monday night we had leftover pasta with marinara sauce (I had some in the freezer).  So tonight will be the Baja Fresh night (yay) with Katie's rice.  Tomorrow we are doing falafal, juddrah, and hummus (get ready for the falafel).  And Thursday we are going to have my parents and my sister and her children over for dinner before Big P and little p's school nativity program performance.  For that crowd (of nine people) I am going to make the good old standby of Lentil Soup (and because my dad is super picky about eating cooked vegetables... he won't even eat cooked tomatoes (like diced tomatoes- he's fine with tomato sauce) or cooked onions!  So to please my dad we will have lentil soup.  And maybe some leftover falafel and hummus for those that want it!

The next 10 days of meals might be a whirlwind with my sister here from Russia (as in, we might be eating at my parents home a lot).  Hopefully I will get to try some of the recipes that I have marked for the next 10 days of the fast.  We shall see...

Thanks for reading and for following me on this journey of discovering new recipes for Gluten Free Fasting in the Orthodox Church:)

Update:  go here to enter to "The Christmas Shoes" movie giveaway!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dinner Saturday and Sunday Night...

Saturday was the last Fish day before Christmas so we had our favorite Salmon recipe with our favorite french fry recipe and Greek Salad minus feta (and I am not planning on eating fish for Christmas).  And, we had my mom and dad over because it is my birthday on Monday (we try to have my birthday on the last fish day so that we can have fish and not Lentil soup or something like it).  It was a fun night and we played Apples to Apples with my parents.

Tonight we are having Baja Fresh for dinner with Black Beans instead of my homemade refried beans (I did soak the black beans and made them myself but I am not going to mash them like in refried beans).  And I am going to try Katie's suggestion for the Baja Fresh style of rice.  Tomorrow night (monday) is Cub Scout Christmas party (they are having pizza- not sure what we are having).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Penne with Sweet Pepper and Tomato Sauce AND Garbanzo soaking day 2

I made a double batch of tonight (really last nights) dinner because I went to my mom's group Christmas Party Potluck and White Elephant Gift Exchange.  Had lots of fun, came home way too late (and I was maybe the second person to leave!).

This recipe I am posting here is for a single batch (4 to 6 servings)
2 1/2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (or 1 can diced tomatoes- you choose how much work you would like to put into this dinner)
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or to taste (ok- does anyone actually own a 1/8 tsp?)
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. fresh chopped basil
2-3 Tbs. veggie broth or water
1 lb pasta (I used gluten free pasta)
1/2 tsp. coarse salt

heat the oil over medium heat.  add onion and cook until very tender, about 15 minutes.  add garlic and cook until onion begins to carmelize (I love love love carmelized onions). add tomatoes, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, bring to a boil.  reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the red pepper is very soft (about 15-20 minutes).  Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  return mixture to skillet and stir in basil.  reheat over low and add veggie broth or water as needed to make a smooth sauce. 

cook pasta according to package.  transfer to large bowl and toss with the sauce and coarse salt.

DH walked in the door as I was preparing to "blend" the sauce.  And he was aghast.  Why would you blend something that looked so good and chunky (remember, he does not like blended foods- see the garlic potato soup recipe).  So I partially blended the sauce.  This is delicious.  A winner to everyone but Big P.

Garbanzo soaking day 2.
drain water off of 1 day soaked garbanzo beans (no need to rinse).
add 2 Tbs. whey or lemon juice
fill with hot water
cover and let sit for another 24 hours.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Getting ready for falafel...

So if you would like to join me in making falafel at some point in the next few weeks get soakin' (your garbanzo beans, that is).

2 cups dried garbanzo beans
2 Tbs. whey or lemon juice
hot water

put garbanzo beans in bowl.  mix in whey or lemon juice.  add water.  cover and let sit over night.  repeat for another 24 hours.  rinse, drain, and store in the freezer for falafel day (coming soon, to this blog).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cashew Vegetables (with optional shrimp)

I added shrimp to this recipe...

1 cup white or jasmine rice, cooked to directions on package (I used soaked brown rice, go here for directions)
1 lb broccoli tops, separated into small florets
1 Tbs. oil (I used coconut oil)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup snow pease
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 can baby corn (I opted to leave out the baby corn)
2 Tbs. hoisin sauce (I found Gluten Free hoisin sauce)
3 Tbs. duck sauce (I left out the duck sauce b/c the duck sauce I found either had wheat in it or was made with corn syrup so instead I used Gluten Free soy sauce).
1/4 unsalted cashews
salt to taste
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

The recipe suggests cooking the broccoli before stir frying it but I have never done that when making stir fry so I skipped that step and went right into...
Heat a skillet or wok over high heat.  Add oil and onions.  Cook 1-2 minutes then add broccoli, snow peas, bell pepper and baby corn (which I did not add).  Stir fry for 3-4 minutes (at this point I removed the veggies, added more oil, and stir fried the shrimp then continue) add hoisin sauce and duck sauce (or soy sauce) and veggies to pan and toss until everything is evenly coated.  Remove from heat and toss with cashews.  Season with salt and crushed red pepper if you like it spicy (DH added crushed red pepper to his).  Serve over hot rice.

DH says this is a keeper.  Even with all the changes that I made:)  I liked the flavor from the hoisin sauce (and I like that I found the gluten free hoisin sauce).  I may just have to keep that in stock in my refrigerator!  The boys are always more difficult to please (the are still eating dinner right now).

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Potato Casserole

This is one of those recipes that you can probably add a whole lot of different "stuff" to and make it great every time. 

2 cups canned tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
3 onions thinly sliced (I think I used one onion)
1 clove garlic, minced (I used two)
4 Tbs. parsley, chopped
1 Tbs. mint, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4-6 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 peppers cut in 2 in. pieces
1 zucchini thinly sliced

I actually just chopped everything and mixed it well in a large bowl and then dumped it into an oven proof dish with lid (I have one of those super nice dutch ovens from Martha Stewart (what are they called, katherine?)) rather than layering each veggie (potatoes then tomato mixed with spices then zucchini then peppers and repeat).  Bake covered 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook until vegetables are tender. 

I can see adding green beans or summer squash or, for those who like eggplant it could go well in it. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Salmon with oven potatoes instead of garlic mashed potatoes...

Turns out I didn't have enough of the right type of potato to do the garlic mashed potatoes (doh!) so I just did the oven potatoes with unpeeled red potatoes.  No complaints about this dinner!  And I do stick with the same salmon recipe only because the times that I have ventured out and cooked salmon a little bit different are the times my children then will not eat dinner that night.  We like this recipe and I feel like we mix it up enough with other types of fish that it's ok to eat salmon cooked the same way (except in the summer... we do cook the salmon on cedar planks on the bbq... you know, it's "only" 20 degrees outside, DH should really have bbg'ed this evening:)  Go here for our salmon dinner recipe.

Hey, is it colder here than in Moscow?  I need to look into that...

Monday, December 07, 2009

One thing I have noticed...

is that trying out all these great, new recipes is awesome and we are finding some keepers.  Most times, in  my everyday cooking, I will double something and then freeze it so that we have lunches ready and waiting for the next few days and/or weeks.  With these new recipes, I am not doubling (because who wants double of something that you don't like... remember the spinach, potato, garbanzo fiasco a few weeks ago?!?).  So, for tonight's dinner (and I do have DH's thumbs up for this one) I am making a double pot of lentil soup.  We are completely out of soups in the freezer for lunches in the coming weeks (and almost everyday I am eating lunch at school with either Big P or little p because of the distance and that I pick up little p at 12:30pm).  I posted the lentil soup recipe a few weeks ago.  I like it.  In fact I like it so much that I used to ask for it on my birthday growing up!  Yeah, I know, I am a little strange. 

And tonight is Cub Scout night.  It's the kind of night where you need something easy to make.  Stay tuned for tomorrow night's salmon with garlic mashed potatoes!!!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

No Dinner post tonight...

because we are going over to some friends (see yesterday's post).

I am bringing gluten free chocolate chip cookies made with almond flour (and they are vegan!).

You can find the recipe here.  I own her cookbook and it has the recipe in it (but I also found it online for you all:).  Instead of grapeseed oil I used coconut oil and instead of agave nectar I used honey.  Yum!

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!!!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

No dinner tonight...

Sort of just kidding with the title of this post.  I am not making dinner tonight.  We went to Vesper's at St Nicholas this evening and they had some food there and we are now eating leftovers.  Tomorrow we are going to some friends for dinner (we do this Supper for Six thing in our parish where three couples are grouped together and do three dinners together so that's what we are doing tomorrow night).  I'm supposed to bring dessert.  I need to figure out something that's lenten and gluten free.  Maybe I will post it for you:)  Good night... hope St. Nicholas leaves something yummy in your shoe!

Friday, December 04, 2009

"Olive" Garden Pasta

This is what DH dubbed our dinner tonight (it's really only garden pasta).  He thought that it tasted like something from the Olive Garden. So, from now on, we will call this "Olive" Garden Pasta!

"Olive" Garden Pasta
2 Tbs Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic minced (I LOVE when a recipe calls for lots of garlic)
1 medium zucchini, finely diced (ok, I just cut it in quarters the long way and then sliced it)
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped (see note on zucchini)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup veggie broth
1 28oz can diced tomatoes (I actually only used 1 14 oz can b/c that seemed like a lot of tomatoes)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta cooked (we used gluten free)

Heat a deep skillet or pot over medium heat (I actually used my wok for this- my stock pot lid fits on my wok). Add oil and garlic and saute until the garlic sizzles.  Add zucchini, onion, carrot, and bay leaf. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender and onion is translucent. Remove cover, add broth. Stir, add tomatoes, salt and pepper and parsley (I had dried parsley and I just shook some into the sauce).  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to serve. 

So this was super yummy and I thought of adding broccoli and I am kind of glad that I didn't- this was just fine.  Oh, wait, I did add something.  A splash of red wine.  I can't make a tomato sauce for pasta without adding red wine so I did add that splash of red wine. When I asked DH what you would change/add to tonights dinner he said, "more of it."  I actually think we do not have leftovers of this! 

Finally, last night's dinner...

Unsoaked Rice
2 cups long grain brown rice
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 cups broth (the recipe calls for chicken broth- I used 1/2 veggie broth and 1/2 water)
1/2 tsp. salt

Melt butter and olive oil in pan.  Add rice.  Saute rice.  Add liquid and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Reduce flame to lowest heat and cover tightly.  Cook for 40 minutes (ok the recipe says 1 1/2 hours.  We have a gas stove and my "lowest:" heat setting is still a pretty hard boil so it has never taken me 1 1/2 hours to cook rice- and if I left it on the stove that long I would end up with burnt rice).

Fish Tacos
1 lb fresh or frozen fish (I used tilapia- cod would be good)
2 Tbs. margarine or butter melted
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
corn tortillas
Salsa, guacamole, whatever you like to put on your fish tacos (except none of that yogurt/sourcream dressing because we are fasting).

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels.Place fish in a single layer in greased shallow baking pan. Combine margarine/butter, cumin, garlic and lime (I actually used more lime because I love lime).  Brush over fish.  Bake in a 450 degree oven 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Warm tortillas in the oven by wrapping in foil and placing in oven for about 5 minutes.

We also had the red kidney bean dip recipe that my sister, Katherine, had suggested.  I happened to have some already soaked/cooked red kidney beans in the freezer:)

This dinner, though a lot of work (isn't taco night, even with meat, a lot of work?  All those little add-ons to prepare and kind of a pain to make sure everything is done at exactly the same time so that all your foods are hot) is kind of worth it in the end:)  Fish Tacos also take us back to when we first met, through Project Mexico.  We did spend quite a bit of time at the fish taco place in Rosarito when we had time off from working.  DH tried to explain to Big P that we met in Mexico working at an orphanage and that we went out for fish tacos all the time- I don't think Big P quite got it all.  And I do think my home made fish tacos are better than the fried fish and mayonnaise on a tortilla that we would get at the taco shop.

Not dinner recipes, yet...

Here is a link to sign up for the online newsletter from our school.  It is different from what you might receive in the mail.  I am just going to cut and paste what I received in my email inbox today.  I will see if they can post it as a pdf on their main site so you can preview this beautiful newsletter. 

(ten minutes later...)  ok so I can't cut and paste it into blogger.  Take my word for it, it is beautiful.  If you would like me to forward the email to you, please leave me a comment and your email address (be sneaky about leaving your email address) and I will forward it to you!

UPDATE:  try going here to view the newsletter before signing up!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Fish Tacos, Kidney Bean dip, Brown rice, and toppings...

So that was dinner tonight. And I am actually a bit tired right now and will probably not post the recipes (although the kidney bean dip I posted a few days ago- a suggestion from my sister).

I will say that it was a delicious meal (I did the Nourishing Traditions non-soaked brown rice) although I did miss having some type of sour cream/yogurt sauce on my fish:)

Tomorrow, busy day. At school in the morning to make St. Nicholas cookies for the children (for Sunday school and for Agia Sophia Academy). Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow afternoon to post tonight's dinner recipe. Saturday, another busy day... I'm helping to lead a prosfora baking workshop (the bread that we use for Holy Communion) in the morning.

Big P and papa are "Scouting for Food" on Saturday morning. little p will probably be with yiayia and pappous. So, if a Cub Scout or Boy Scout comes to your door on Saturday and asks for canned food for the hungry, please, think of my Big P out their collecting food, and give to that scout. Thanks:)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bouillabaisse of Spinach, Potatoes, Garbanzos, and Saffron

This is our first "yuck" recipe (I don't count when Big P says "yuck") since the beginning. Not bad!

I have decided that I just don't like cooked spinach. Well, I liked cooked spinach in eggs or brownies or lasagna, but not in a soup.

But I will share the recipe...

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound spinach or 1 10 oz bag fresh spinach cut into 1/4 in. strips
1 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes, unpeeped, cut into 1 in. pieces
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp powdered saffron or 1/2 tsp curry powder or to taste
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (i actually did use canned beans... I have not had much luck soaking and cooking garbanzo beans- I do fine when I soak them for falafel (which I will post in a few weeks) but when I have had to add them to soup it seems as if I never cook them long enough)
4 thick slices peasant style bread (optional- we did not use the bread).

in a medium pot, heat the oil add the onion and cook until lightly browned. add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. add the broth and wine; bring to a boil over high heat. add half the spinach, the potatoes, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Return to boil. reduce heat to medium boil and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender (15 minutes)
Stir in the saffron. add garbanzos and remaining spinach, stirring well to combine. bring to a boil over high heat. immediately remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 3 minutes. remove bay leaf. serve (over bread if you choose).

So... it looked like a real good soup with the potatoes and beans and spinach. Except I think I don't really like cooked spinach (I know I already said that). DH thought it was bland. More saffroon? Should have gone with the curry? I do love curry. And I do agree with him. It was bland. But it also was a lot of wilted spinach. On potatoes. In a bland soup. Have I made my point? Maybe YOU like cooked spinach. I LOVE raw spinach- I love spinach salads so it's not an anti spinach thing- and I like kale- maybe I should have used kale? Kale holds it's form better, it tends to be somewhat bitter, but that would be an improvement to, uhm, bland, right?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Stir Fried Shrimp and Broccoli (and a question)...

1 lb. shrimp (you decide if you want fresh, frozen, cooked, uncooked, tail-on, tail-off)
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
3 Tbs. soy sauce (we use wheat free soy sauce)
3 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. corn starch
1 1/2 tsp. sugar (or substitute of your choice)
1 Tbs. oil
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups broccoli flowerets
1 cup thinly bias sliced carrots
1 small onion, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (optional- ok, not really, but I do not like mushrooms. There, I said it, a food that I will not eat. They taste like dirt to me)
2 cups hot cooked rice (as opposed to two cups cold, uncooked rice)

Do whatever you need to do with your shrimp (you could also use scallops, if you wanted to). Set aside. Combine vinegar, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, and sugar, set aside
Heat oil in wok or large skillet. Stif fry the garlic for 15 seconds. add broccoli, carrots, and onion. Stir fry for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until all the veggies are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok with slotted spoon. Add vinegar mix to wok and bring to boil. Add shrimp or scallops and cook until shrimp turn pink or scallops are opaque. Stir in veggies, heat through. Serve over rice.

We love this. Except Big P. But he's tough to please.

Question- I need to purchase hoisin sauce and duck sauce. Is there a wheat free version of hoisin sauce? Where do I find it? and what is duck sauce and where do I find that?
Thanks (I realize I could "" it and raise money for our school, but I thought I would start a dialogue with my readers:)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

This is one of those recipes that I don't use a recipe to make. It's a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The nice thing about this meal is that I usually save it for busy days like today! I had a reg. dr. appt. today (everything is good), grocery shopping this afternoon, pick up at school, and, tonight is our once a month cub scout pack meeting. So we are all going (and, anyway, DH has somehow decided to be one of two assistant scout master's for the pack- he is an Eagle scout, BTW and really enjoys this scouting time he has spent with Big P).


I use GF pasta (if you have been following my lenten cooking blog so far, you will notice that we do not use a lot of pasta- and that's not just because we are gluten free- even before the celiac days, our fasting was more heavily beans and vegetable oriented so get out of that carb rut!!! It can be done!)

1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 cloves garlic minced
a little cinnamon
salt and pepper
red wine

that's about it. If I have lots of time I will saute onions and peppers and add it to the sauce. I have also been known to throw in some zucchini or yellow squash:)

This is our fast fasting option- I try to keep it all on hand at all times (big shopping trip to Costco today involved buying the bag o' garlic heads- yes, we do go through that much garlic).

Red Kidney bean Dip...

My sister sent me this recipe. She soaked her kidney beans instead of using a can of beans. She also chopped cilantro withthe limes to put on the top. This would be a nice alternative to the pinto bean refried beans I made a few weeks ago. And I happen to have a bag of kidney beans in the freezer:) We might be doing this later this week! Looks yummy!

3 tablespoons olive oil (not extra-virgin)
1 large onion, finely diced
3 fat cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 3/4 cups kidney beans, reserving the liquid in the can
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lime, zested and juiced

Heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft and golden.
Add the kidney beans and their liquid and stir in the tomato paste and spices and cook for a few minutes.
Add the lime juice to the kidney bean mixture. Take the pan off the heat and when it has cooled a little, process the mixture until it is a bumpy puree. When it is cool, arrange in small bowls and sprinkle over the reserved lime zest.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fish and Chips...

We had cod and homemade oven fries tonight for dinner. It was delish.

Pan Fried Fish
1 pound fish (I used 1 1/2 lbs cod)
1 cup flour (I used 1 cup Gluten Free all purpose mix (I make it myself:)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup beer or milk (I used Gluten Free beer)

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Combine four, baking powder, salt, and beer and mix until smooth. Dip fish into batter. Fry fish in oil (I used olive oil) about 2 minutes on each side until goden brown. Serve. yum!

The homemade french fries are from this site. And remember, after you cute your potatoes- ALWAYS DRY YOUR POTATOES WITH A CLEAN KITCHEN TOWEL! That makes them crispy and they won't stick to the pan!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vegetable Soup...

Ok, so there are probably about as many different versions of vegetable soup as there are people who have inhabited the earth since creation. In fact, I have at least three different versions of "vegetable soup" that I make during fasting times. This is a new version (as in, I have never made it until tonight). And, of course, I changed little things here and there depending on what I have on hand(I do not happen to have Old Bay Seasoning so I looked it up online and sort of made up my own version of it).

Here it is... another vegetable soup recipe:)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
2 ribs celery chopped
3 medium red skinned potatoes, diced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (see above)
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
3 cans broth
salt and pepper to taste
5-6 oz. spinach or baby spinach

Heat a deep pot over medium heat. add oil, onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, bay leaf, and Old Bay Seasoning. Cover pot to cook veggies about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. add beans, tomatoes, broth and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Serve when spinach wilts.

Ok. I did not have spinach so we did this without the spinach. But we would like to try it with the spinach. I used 2 cups veggie broth and added about 1 cup water so I used less broth/water than the recipe called for which I think is fine. We like a thick soup anyway. I did not use canned beans. Back when I made the Vegetarian Chili, I had soaked a combination of black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans. I did not use all the beans for the chili so I put them in the freezer. I pulled the bag o' beans out of the freezer and used that (it was probably 3 cups of cooked beans). We liked this soup. It is very good; very hearty with all these veggies. You could probably add all sorts of other veggies (grean beans, peas, etc). This is a keeper recipe and it is actually better than my stand by vegetable soup recipe. Yay!

In other news... a friend of mine from church mentioned when I started this recipe blog that it reminded her of the movis Julie and Julia. At that point my only knowledge of that movie was that it was about a woman who sets out to make everything in Julia Child's cookbook. I didn't realize she blogged about her experience. Another friend mentioned that the movie was playing at the $3 theater last night so we went to watch it. It is very cute. I very much enjoyed it. I don't know that I would have the discipline to do something like this for an entire year and my reason for doing this is different than Julie's reasons... I am doing this to add to my recipe collection of good Lenten meals instead of eating lentil soup every night (even though we ate that last night:) Depending on how I am doing by thte time Nativity rolls around, I "might" continue to post new recipes for regular meals because we all do get stuck in that cooking rut. I would love to venture out and make new dishes for my family. AND we also have diet restrictions and I am always on the lookout for new ways to turn gluten filled foods into gluten free foods.

I do promise, though, that I will never post things about my relationship with my husband. You won't know when we have an argument; I just can't do that to him.

Anyway, enough ramling from me. Tomorrow we are having FISH for dinner!!! WooHoo! You know you are Orthodox when you get excited about fish:)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Meal plan put on hold for one day...

Actually, I should say two days because yesterday was Thanksgiving. We have a problem with fleas in the house from my sister's cat, Honey. So Honey is now an outside cat at my parents and we "bombed" the house yesterday morning and stayed the night at mom and dad's (this is our second "bombing"- we bombed two weeks ago).

Now we are home and I am taking a break from cleaning in order to post an unplanned for dinner recipe. I have permission from DH that instead of making the little bit more complicated vegetable soup that the children will probably not eat- I can make the super easy lentils:) I know, we are trying to stay away from the lentil soup but I do have permission:) And the children LOVE it!

Here it is...
Lentil Soup (or as we Greeks call it... Faki- yes, you heard me right. And yes, it is pronounced like that infamous four letter word- fun to tell it to your friends when you are in grade school:)
1 cup lentils
1 can tomato paste
1 onion chopped fine (optional- my dad hates cooked onions so I grew up without the onions)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 stalk celery, chopped fine (optional- dad also does not like celery)
1 clove garlic minced
5 cups water (or water and vegetable broth)
1 tsp salt

sort and wash lentils. Place in deep saucepan and add all ingredients. Cover and bring to boiling. reduce and cook slowly for about 1 1/2 hours (or boil hard for about 1 hour if it's 5pm and you need to eat dinner in an hour and you just didn't have time to prepare your meal earlier in the day because maybe somebody got sick at school and you had to go pick them up and that just totally interfered with your "plan"- hey, it happens sometimes;) Serve with red wine vinegar.

I double this recipe all the time because it freezes so well. I will also sometimes add 1/4 up brown rice (and a little extra water) or cut up two potatoes (dh likes the potatoes- he is of Irish descent, you know) or chop up some carrots.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lentil Salad...

Please forgive me... posted the sweet potato souffle yesterday and then time just went into superspeed and I lost track of it (until I was in bed and thought, should I go post our dinner recipe?) AND then, after I typed up the recipe at school today, the internet went down and I lost it all! So, here it is...

Lentil Salad

1/2 pound lentils
1 bay leaf
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 Tbs. olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
splash red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. tahini (optional)

Cover lentils in a pot with water and add bay leaf. Boil then simmer for 20 minutes until tender. Rinse in cold water and drain. Combine lentils with tomato and parsley. Mix oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, and spices together. Pour dressing over lentils and coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with tahini (use a little water with the tahini if it is too thick).

We really like the dressing on this. I added a cucumber and was feeling in the mood for shrimp so I sauteed shrimp in olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. DH did not like the lentils. He felt like he was eating a bowl of lentils. His suggestion is to not use lentils at all and to make this a pasta salad and maybe add a can of rinsed/drained garbanzo beans. He did say to keep the shrimp in it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sweet Potato Souffle

For Thanksgiving... this is a family favorite. It is not lenten:) It is easy to make gluten free.

Sweet Potato Souffle
3 c. mashed sweet potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
3 eggs
1/4 c. milk
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. gluten free all purpose baking mix (or 1/2 c. flour)

Mix all souffle ingredients and put in a 2 quart baking dish. Mix topping ingredients well and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bate at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Will post tonight's dinner (Lentil Salad) well, uhm, tonight! After we try it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vegetarian Chili

This is such a family favorite that we do not ever have meat chili. And when we were at some friends house for dinner one night and they served meat chili, we were surprised at how much we also like meat chili!

Vegetarian Chilis
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 bottle of beer (we use Gluten Free beer- Bard's Tale or Redbridge)
3 to 4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. pepper
several dashes hot pepper sauce
1 15 oz can of pinto beans
1 15 oz can white kidney beans
1 15 oz can red kidney beans
(all beans drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole kernal corn
1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini or yellow squash

I put everything except the zucchini/squash in a crock pot on low all day. I did not use canned beans but I soaked black beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans last week (according to bean soaking instructions in last week's post). I measured out 1 cup of each of the beans, added whey or lemon juice, and covered with warm water. I cooked the beans for 4 hours the next day. Then measured out 6 cups of the bean mixture for today's chili. The rest I put in the freezer for another time:)

About an hour before dinner slice the zucchini/squash and add to crock pot. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread (I haven't made the cornbread, yet, but it's only 5pm so I still have time to decide if I want to make it or not).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Change of Plan... Fish Plaki

Instead of doing Vegetarian Chili tonight, we had Fish Plaki and leftover rice from last night and peas. Vegetarian chili is all set to go, in the refrigerator. Tomorrow morning I will put it in the crockpot when we leave for school.

Fish Plaki
3 lb. fish (we used haddock)
salt and pepper
5 TBS. oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup white wine (optional)

season fish with salt and pepper. Let stand. Saute onions in oil until soft; add garlic, tomatoes, parsley, and salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes. Pour half tomato sauce in baking dish; place fish on top and cover with remaining sauce. pour wine over fish. Bake in ovenat 350 degrees for 45 minutes, basting often. Serve warm or cold. The tomato "sauce" is delish on the rice:)

This is our standard Greek style fish recipe. We all like it:)

Fish Plaki

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Not cooking tonight...

Happy Feast Day of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple! It is actually my uncle (Panayotis) and my aunt (Maria) nameday! Story about my uncle... my yiayia was pregnant with her fourth child. She had three boys (the eldest being my dad). There was a church dedicated to the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple that she could see from her kitchen window. She prayed to the Theotokos that if she had a girl, she would forego the Greek tradition of naming the daughter after her mother and instead, name the baby girl "Panayota" for the Theotokos. She had a boy. And, as my yiayia (and many Greeks) are fond of saying, "Ti na kanoume" which means "what can you do" and named her son Panayotis. So his nameday is today.

Anyway- we are going to the monthly Hope and Joy (our 5 year old through 5th grade youth group) dinner/activity tonight before Vesper's. So they will be cooking up some spaghetti with marinara sauce and salad. I will bring my own gluten free noodles for my family and use their sauce.

Tomorrow's dinner (something to look forward to:)- Vegetarian Chili. Those from my parish have tasted this yummy lenten/gluten free (it has beer in it) chili before. I *might* make some GF cornbread but we shall see. Be on the lookout for the recipe(s) posted tomorrow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Baja Fresh dinner at Home and vegetable broth recipe!

One of our favorite meals is to do "Baja Fresh" beans and rice at home. So this isn't a new recipe for us, but it is one that we all like. I soaked pinto beans over the weekend and cooked them for four hours on Monday then froze them. Pulled out the frozen beans this morning and fried them up for dinner tonight.

Basic Beans
2 cups beans (black, pinto, kidney, white, etc.)
warm water
2 Tbs. whey or lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, mashed
salt and pepper

cover beans with warm water. Stir in whey or lemon juice and leave for 12-24 hours. Drain, rinse, and place in a large pot (or in the crock pot:) and add water to cover beans. Bring to a boil and skim off foam. Reduce heat and add garlic. Simmer for 4-8 hours (when using the crock pot I will put the beans in in the morning and let them cook for 10 hours). Add more water as necessary. Season to taste.

Refried Beans (Note: we do use oil during the fast for cooking)
4 cups basic beans (see above)- i've done this with black beans or pinto beans
3/4 cup oil (the Nourishing Traditions book says lard or duck fat but, hey, this is lenten:)

mash beans. melt lard (or pour oil into pan). add beans and cook, stirring constantly. I always add salt and pepper at the end. after eating these I will never buy refried beans in a can. These are so much more flavorful (and we never eat refried beans with lard or duck fat because this is one of our lenten dishes).

We eat this with Rice...
Soaked Brown Rice
2 cups brown rice
4 cups warm water
4 Tbs. whey or lemon juice
1 tsp. sea salt
2-4 Tbs. butter (we do use Earth Balance margarine)

Place rice, warm water, and 4 Tbs. whey or lemon juice in a pot. Let sit for 7 hours (I just let it sit from sometime in the morning until an hour before dinner time). Bring to boil (after sitting- not you, the rice), skim, reduce heat, stir in salt and butter, cover tightly and let cook approx. 45 minutes. I bet you could use some vegetable broth in place of part of the water (although it's really good rice without using veggie broth).

We serve the beans and rice with sliced tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, jalapeno peppers (DH likes the peppers- I don't), and corn tortillas.

Veggie Broth
12 cups water
a couple of onions coarsely chopped
a couple of carrots coarsely chopped
a couple stalks of celery coarsely chopped
some cloves of garlic peeled
any other veggies you might have on hand
salt and pepper

I put all of this in my crock pot and cook on the lowest setting for a long time (anywhere from 10-20 hours). strain it through flour sackcloth and store in the freezer.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Garlic Soup with Potatoes...

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small carrot chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
about 2 large russet potatoes peeped and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large head garlic, minced (1 head of garlic, not 1 clove of garlic)
4 cups vegetable broth (I do make my own veggie broth and will post the recipe soon)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

heat oil over medium heat. add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3 minutes. reduce heat to medium low and add potatoes and garlic. cook stirring often, for 15 minutes. add broth, water, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. bring to a boil over high heat. reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all ingredients are soft (about 30 minutes). remove from heat and remove bay leaf. transfer the soup to a food processor or to a blender. blend until smooth. return to pot and cook over low heat until heated through. serve hot.

OK. DH liked the taste of the soup, but would prefer that it was "chunkier" (like, instead of blending all the potatoes, leave some potatoes whole in the soup... same with the carrots). Next time I will use more potatoes and carrots and then leave some whole. I like the taste of the soup. All that garlic is amazing!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Polenta with Roasted Veggies

1 small zucchini, diced
1 medium onion diced
1 baby eggplant trimmed and diced
4 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 or 3 sprigs rosemary (I used oregano because we don't really like rosemary)
salt and pepper to taste
1 roll polenta (16 oz)- I made my own on the stove.
olive oil or cooking spray to coat polenta
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

I didn't use eggplant but I did add in one summer squash, diced and some of the Trader Joe's frozen pepper mix (love that frozen pepper mix!).

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Combine zucchini, onion, eggplant, and garlic in bowl. Drizzle with olive oil to coat vegetables. Season with rosemary (or oregano:), salt, pepper and toss to combine. spread as an even layer on a 1/2 of a cookie sheet.

slice polenta (or in my case, cook polenta according to instructions) let "set" in pan and cut into small squares. Place on the other half of cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking spray and salt.

warm diced tomatoes in medium pan over medium heat. add roaste veggies and toss to coat. on a serving dish, layer polenta slices with roasted vegetables.

Ok. DH really liked this dish. I also added a splash of red wine to the diced tomatoes and some cinnamon (I always put cinnamon in tomato sauces). I liked it, too. I should have sliced the polenta smaller but I could also see doing this recipe and using GF spaghetti noodles instead of polenta (the roasted vegetables would be awesome in a spaghetti sauce).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Salmon with potatoes and salad...

Tonight we had salmon. This is Big P's nouna's recipe. I guess we do use one "fake" food... we use Earth Balance margarine during the fasting times.

1 lb. Salmon
2 Tbs. butter (or margarine) melted
2 Tbs. white vinegar
2 Tbs. ketchup
1 Tbs. Worcestshire Sauce (we use wheat free soy sauce instead)

combine above ingredients, brush salmon with sauce, broil 6 in. from heat for 15 minutes or until finished.

Oven Potatoes
decide how many potatoes you will need to cook (this is something I throw together because it is basic so there is no measuring:)
Peel potatoes and cut into quarters (or smaller if you want them to cook faster).
dry peeled potatoes with a clean towel.
put in pan.
mix in 4 Tbs. olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Put in 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until they are done to your liking:)

salad is just whatever you want salad to be... lettuce/spinach, tomatoes, cukes, carrots, peppers, but, no feta:(

Kidney Bean/Rice stew... And rules for soaking beans!

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 green pepper chopped (I used 1/4 bag of frozen Trader Joe's pepper mix)
3 cloves garlic minced
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs. cumin
salt and pepper
Jalapeno Pepper sauce (just shake some in)
2 cups red kidney beans drained
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups veggie broth (I make my own- which is another post:)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups brown rice (soaked)

heat oil in a deep pot. add onion, celery, peppers, garlic, bay leaf, cumin, salt and pepper. saute' veggies 5 minutes. Add hot pepper sauce, beans, tomatoes, broth, and water. bring to boil. add rice, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is cooked.

OK- I follow lots of Nourishing Traditions cooking. So I do use dry beans. I start soaking my beans two days before making a dish. On Saturday I put two cups kidney beans in a glass bowl added 2 Tbs. whey or lemon juice (your choice) and boiling hot water to cover the beans. Let that sit until the morning you are going to make your soup. Drain, rinse and put in pot with 3 cloves crushed garlic. Boil and reduce to simmer (cover) for about 4 hours. Then strain and use two cups of these cooked beans for above recipe. Freeze the rest for a later date:) I am constantly soaking and/or cooking beans and freezing them during fasting periods that way I have lots of beans on hand (like right now I am soaking beans for our chili dinner on Sat. night and yesterday I soaked pinto beans for dinner on Friday night- the pinto beans are on the stove cooking with garlic and on Friday I will mash them for refried beans:) Once you get started soaking beans and cooking beans and freezing beans you will end up with a nice supply of beans to use during the fast!

Rice- soak rice in hot water and whey or lemon juice for 6 hours. Then add to recipe (no need to cook before adding).

Review- I liked this a lot. DH added more jalapeno sauce and red pepper flakes- he wanted it to be spicier.

Day One Nativity Fast: Broccoli and Pasta

I made this on Sunday night for dinner...
1 cup water
1 pound broccoli florets (I bought a bag of frozen chopped broccoli)
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 pound GF pasta (we like the Ancient Harvest brand of pasta) cooked
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

bring 1 cup water to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Add broccoli and steam 3-5 minutes. drain and set aside.

Heat olive oil and saute garlic and red pepper flakes for a few minutes. add broccoli and pasta, nutmeg, salt and pepper. toss together for a few minutes. serve.

OK- dh thought it needed more garlic. I thought I could add green peppers, zucchini, onions and maybe pine nuts. plus more garlic:) This would be a good side to fish.

Entering into the Nativity Fast...

We have now entered into the Nativity Fast. On Sunday, I mistakenly asked my husband what are his favorite lenten recipes that I cook. He took a risk and told me that lately my fasting recipes have been really the same thing (lentil soup because it is so easy and everyone likes it- I guess everyone likes it when they are not eating it EVERY Wednesday and Friday).

So, in an effort to mix it up Orthodox style in our home- I pulled out three cookbooks; Complete Vegetarian, The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, and Rachel Ray's Veggie Meals. Now, mind you, we are not only keeping away from all meat and dairy but we also are gluten free (DH has celiac's, Big P has just started a GF diet and I have been GF for almost two months- little p is GF by default). And we completely avoid soy products so you aren't going to find any fake meats or tofu hotdogs here.

I have written out our meals for the next 40 days (well, now it's more like 38 days because we started the fast on Sunday). I told a few friends that I was doing this and they suggested that I write about what we like, what we don't like, suggestions for newbies to fasting in the Orthodox Church (DH and I are both cradle Orthodox so we have been fasting off and on for most of our lives), etc.

So here it is... I will note when something was substituted to make it Gluten Free so you will have the option of either following the GF substitute or using, for example, regular pasta. Also, I will post whether or not we liked it, what I think I can do to improve it, etc. Also, note that our parish follows the "fish is ok on all days except Wed. and Fri. until Dec. 12 when we do not eat fish until Nativity" rule. So there will be some fish recipes in these first few weeks. And for those who do not know about the Orthodox fasting- we are allowed shellfish so it is not completely vegan.

Let us begin the journey to our Lord's birth! May it be blessed!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Innisbrook Wrapping Paper Fundraiser for Agia Sophia Academy!

My school's annual fundraiser with Innisbrook has begun. Innisbrook Wraps has beautifully designed gift wrap printed on quality recycled paper, coordinating gift wrap accessories,gourmet foods and fine Helen Grace Chocolates that make great gifts, Time Inc. magazine subscriptions, and more. For every item that is purchased, Innisbrook donates up to 50% of the purchase price to my school. I also earn a prize credit for every item purchased except school supplies. The more prize credits I earn, the more prizes I win! Please consider visiting the Innisbrook website and making a purchase on my behalf. A link is included below. Our sale will be over soon, so don't wait. Place your order today. Thanks for your help!
Seller: PAVLOS
Seller ID# R473422E
School Number: 112949
Click the link below to visit and they will recognize me and my school automatically.
If the above link does not work:
1. Click below
2. Enter the Seller ID# R473422E

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Honoring a Saint: St. Nektarios in Our Lives

(this is the article I wrote on St. Nektarios for our parish November monthly newsletter)

Apolytikion of St. Nektarios
The offspring of Selyvria and the guardian of Aegina, the true friend of virtue who didst appear in the last years, O Nektarios, we faithful honour thee as a godly servant of Christ, for thou pourest forth healings of every kind for those who piously cry out: Glory to Christ Who hath glorified thee. Glory to Him Who hath made thee wonderous. Glory to Him Who worketh healings for all through thee.

St. Nektarios was born in 1846 and reposed in 1920. St. Nektarios was a pious bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Other clergy, jealous of Nektarios’ favor with the Patriarch, spread slanderous rumors about him, which caused him to be exiled from Egypt. He went to Greece but because of the rumors he had a difficult time finding work within the church. He settled in Athens, where, due to his popularity among the people, he eventually became the Dean of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School. Later he founded a women’s monastery on the island of Aegina where he retired when his health failed. He reposed in 1920. St. Nektarios is commemorated on November 9th.

Rather than write an article about St. Nektarios’ life I am going to write about our own experience with this wonderful Saint. First, I would like to share St. Nektarios’ first miracle right after his repose. On November 9, 1920, St. Nektarios fell asleep in the Lord. “However, even in death St. Nektarios continues to perform miracles, the first of which occurred in the very hospital room in which he died. With the passing of St. Nektarios, a hospital nurse, assisted by a nun from the monastery, immediately began to change his clothes and threw his undershirt on the next bed. In this bed lay a paralytic, who once the undershirt landed upon him, was instantly healed and jumped out of bed praising God for his miraculous healing. This was the first of many miracles that St. Nektarios began to perform in death.” (

There is a special place in our hearts for St. Nektarios. To pinpoint exactly when, where, and how St. Nektarios entered into our lives is difficult. I do know that it wasn’t just my family or Paul’s family that loves St. Nektarios; but both of our families have a devotion to this modern day Saint of the Last Days.

Someone very close to us was taken in an ambulance to the emergency room with symptoms of a stroke. While waiting for the doctor, this person was anointed with oil from St. Nektarios and immediately, all the signs of the stroke disappeared. This person walked out of the hospital! This miracle touched our family very deeply.

A few months later, we found out that we were expecting our first child. During the first trimester of my pregnancy with Pavlos my parents went to Greece. While there, they made their first trip to Aegina to venerate the relics of St. Nektarios (knowing about the above miracle). My parents, knowing that I have chronic health problems and that pregnancy could potentially be very difficult for me, brought back some Holy Oil from the monastery. Paul anointed me every night during that pregnancy. And we prayed that, through the intercessions of St. Nektarios, God would protect me and our unborn child. The pregnancy progressed with none of the scary complications that the doctors said would happen. We did not know whether we were having a girl or a boy but we had decided to name our child some form of the name “Nektarios” to honor this saint and his having protected me and the baby. And then Pavlos was born and we named him Pavlos Nektarios (Pavlos after Paul’s father and Nektarios after our beloved St. Nektarios.

Most of you remember our second pregnancy with Petros Nektarios. Again, Paul anointed me daily and we decided, again, that if we were to become pregnant our child would have some form of the name “Nektarios”. I did eventually become pregnant with Petros but this time I developed some very scary complications. I ended up in the hospital for almost two months. Paul would come to the hospital to visit me and often anointed me with oil from St. Nektarios. Now we were praying that through the intercessions of St. Nektarios, the Lord would continue to protect me and our unborn child. Petros was born at 33 weeks during an emergency c-section. He spent the first month of his life in the NICU with an icon of the Theotokos and an icon of St. Nektarios. It was a difficult time and we are very thankful that through St. Nektarios, God strengthened us to be able to endure that trial.

And now we have two very beautiful, healthy boys. Through the intercessions of St. Nektarios, may the Lord have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Win Flour...

Enter to win King Arthur Flour over here. While we do not use a lot of flour in our home, this is an excellent brand and I can always use flour to make prosforo or artoklassia for church:)

An email from our church secretary...

We are planning to go on Wednesday evening. The Icon came to Portland 5 or 6 years ago. A member of our parish called us a few hours before the service but there was really no way for us to get out to Mulino in time. God-willing, we will make it this year!!!

The miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God will visit two parishes in Oregon this week. Both Fr. James and Fr. Sergei have sent invitations to the Orthodox faithful to come and venerate the icon and participate in the prayer services.

St. Martin the Merciful Russian Orthodox Church
Fr. James Baglien
925 NW Camellia Drive, Corvallis
Friday 10/9 at 7p.m., Moleiben & Akathist

Holy New Martyrs Russian Orthodox Church
Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov
13820 S. Union Hall Road, Mulino – approx. 15 minutes east of Oregon City
Wednesday 10/14 6:30p.m., Akathist

You can learn more about the Kursk Icon here.

And for news and pictures of the icon’s visit to Kursk on Sept. 27th go here.

Monday, October 05, 2009

what to do with the blog?

My last post was July 27. uhm. well. OK. So I'm not sure what I am doing with this blog. And I am not sure why I can't seem to find time to post anything. Maybe it's because the old brain isn't able to think of anything to post that would be of interest to the entire world:)

Just letting you all know that I am here, I am alive, and I am still reading your blogs via bloglines. Take care and maybe I will think of something to post (I am supposed to write an article about St. Nektarios for our church bulletin so maybe I will post that here when it is finished).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Making new friends...

I know I haven't blogged in over a month... I am too busy reading other blogs and commenting and then there's the whole vacation thing (Wyoming, camping, backpacking, camping again, etc.). I should not have any excuses:) There you go...

Anyway, I dropped Big P off at his first day of theater camp. It is from 9am to 3pm, everyday this week. Just like school. As we waited for all the children to sign in I noticed something that I have never seen in my eldest son- he was a bit nervous. And I realized that he has been sheltered and has never really had to make friends. He goes to school where we go to church so the children in his classes are mostly children he has known his entire life. And the new children or children from the other Orthodox communities just fit in so nicely with this established group. He has been going to Vacation Church School every year for the last three years but there are always his buds from school and/or Sunday school there, too. Swimming lessons are 1/2 hour and the teacher rotates through the children and we are never with the same kids twice (or we so far have never been with the same children twice). We were in soccer a few years ago but he was younger.

This is different. He wanted me to stay for a while until everything was settled (all the children in their groups). So I did- standing off to the side, holding onto little p who was ready to join in and wanted to stay. By the time I left (and seriously, it was only 10 minutes later so I wasn't there half the day or anything) Big P had made friends with some children in the "red" group (his group) and they were sitting together in a circle learning each other's names and playing games.

Is it a bad thing that he is so sheltered? I don't know.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's been a while...
Today is the first day of Summer Vacation. And the first day of the Apostle's Fast which is, on a personal note, very important to us:-)
We have lots of "plans" for the summer- hopefully lots of reading, lots of bike riding, and lots of fun around home (we do have one big trip planned and a few smaller camping trips as well).
That's about all. I miss my sister. And keep praying for my friend Maria!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prayer Request...

Christ is Risen!
My very good friend (who also happens to be my mom's best friend's daughter- translated= our mom's are best friends- they have known each other since before they met two Greeks) Maria was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Through the intercessions of St. Nektarios may the Lord watch over and project Maria. I, like my mom, am very sad. But I am boosted by Maria's optimism and I hope to do everything that I can to help her and her husband get through this trial! Please pray for her husband, family, and friends. I have nothing else to say because I am still trying to wrap my brain and heart around this. Thank you...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oops, I did it again...

Christos Anesti!!!
‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.' Matthew 6:34
Do you ever get yourself all worked up about something and then the next day, realize that you had literally miscalculated/crunched the numbers and that everything is really going to be ok? Happened to me yesterday and then I figured out how wrong I was about ten minutes ago. And now I am sharing this with you, my blogging friends.

Big P attends the local Orthodox school. Big P has some struggles with school. He is a smart child, has lots of extra energy, is ambidextrous (sp?), eyes do not track normally (but vision therapy has helped this immensely)- this description of Big P is to give you an idea of how important it is for him to stay in the small school setting of ASA. All that and he learns about our Orthodox Faith as well!

So, anyway, the financial aid letters went out yesterday. We are trying to enroll little p there as well, but he does not have the struggles that Big P has so his going to ASA next fall (as a 3 1/2 year old) was more of a bonus. For Big P, I see it as more of a necessity. I looked over the numbers we were given last night and fretted/cried to DH and even chatted with the Principal (we had a meeting last night for school things and I was so distraught/upset that I had to open my mouth and bring it up with her- thank God she is a wonderfully kind and caring person and loves Big P dearly). How are we going to pay for this? The number's do not make sense! Principal's advice- go home and sleep on it and we will talk about it more tomorrow (today). DH's advice- we will do what we have to do.

This morning (and I even called and told my mom about it all, too) I re-crunched the numbers and I somehow did not subtract one number from the other. I was off by a substantial amount. Glory to God! Because of my dorkiness/stupidity/jump to conclusion-ess personality I made a mistake. And it was all for nothing because Big P will stay at ASA. little p is another question. But he is only three- this is preschool (granted it is montessori and it is an amazing preschool but still, it is preschool). Big P is seven (Happy Birthday last Monday, Big P) and in "regular" school. Again, I say, Glory to God for my stupidity! What sweet relief!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Christos Anesti!
I keep meaning to update the old blog but just haven't done it. We are super busy (and I thought Lent and Holy Week were busy:).
Today we are heading out to the monastery (no school today and tomorrow). Saturday is my father in law's 8 year memorial service and my pappous' 2 year memorial service. AND- Pavlos will be serving at Vesper's after the memorial as an altar boy for the first time! He is very excited!
Sunday is liturgy and then we are having Pavlos' 7th birthday party in the afternoon followed by a mother's day bbq at our home. My head is spinning just thinking about it all. Pavlos' birthday is really on Monday. Seven years ago, though, May 11 was on Saturday- the day before Mother's Day and Saturday of Bright Week. Like I say- Pavlos is my first Mother's day gift and the best Mother's day gift:)
I have pictures of our last few days with my sister to post, pictures from Pascha, a little video I took of Pavlos and Petros, and now, after this weekend, pics from the monastery and pics from his birthday party! Crazy? Ok. we have to get ready to leave. Wish us well!!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Happy Nameday, Mom!!!! (St. Suzanna- Myrrhbearing Women).

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crazy 8's Meme...

Christos Anesti!
I was tagged by Sylvia for this meme. I haven't been blogging for awhile. School is keeping us busy! I do have some things I need to write up and will hopefully get to it soon:)

Here goes...

8 Things I am looking forward to:

1. Our Summer Trip to Wyoming and Yellowstone Park with Paul's family!!!
2. taking three classes to re-instate my Oregon teaching license (not yet, but sometime in the near future)
3. taking a trip to Russia to visit my sister and her family (someday, I hope)
4. Summer vacation!
5. Camping (first trip is Memorial Day weekend)
6. Going to the monastery next week with the boys (and a friend and her boys)
7. Baptism of our soon to be godson (have no idea when this is happening- but am looking forward to it)
8. Hoping to have lots of people over this summer- more bbq's, more hospitality:)

8 Things I did yesterday:

1. Made gouvroulakia (yum)
2. Went to school PTP board meeting (yes, I am on the parent teacher board)
3. Was part of in impropmtu procession through the house with the boys dressed up in their vestments and singing Christos Anesti at the top of our lungs (you know your Orthodox when...)
4. Did morning carpool duty
5. Laundry (that's everyday)
6. laid out my squares in my raised beds (we do the square foot gardening because we have a small yard)
7. good phone conversation with mom last night:)- Next time dad is at an AHEPA meeting, we should meet for dinner- just you and I- so you don't have to eat bad Thai food!
8. watched two more episodes of season 3 of Lost with DH

8 Things I wish I could do:
1. speak a foreign language fluently
2. visit my sister in Russia
3. knit and/or crochet. I'm not picky, would just like to learn one of these skills
4. exercise consistently
5. manage my time more wisely (ie- don't get sucked into facebook:)
6. I like my little house- but I would love to live closer to school/church (and have my parent's also move closer, too- but I don't think either of these will happen in the near future- just a hope/wish)
7. Trust in God for all things (be able to not stress and just trust that all things happen for a reason)
8. This is a big one- I have always wanted to go to the Holy Land and to St. Catherine's on Mt. Sinai. Don't know if/when this will ever happen, but would love to someday be able to go.
9. Yes, I'm adding a number 9- go back down to Project Mexico for a visit (that's where DH and I met and we haven't been back since we moved to Portland 8 years ago)- maybe someday do mission work again?!?!?! See number 7:)

8 Shows I Watch- OK, like other people, we rent all our TV/movies (through Netflix and the library) and rarely turn on the regular TV (except for things like last night we did watch the Blazer game). I have decided that that doesn't make us any more righteous or pious, it just means that we don't like commercials and we are picky about what we watch (and we like to watch what we want when we want to (and we are not going to get cable or a DVR or tivo)
1. Lost (we are currently in the middle of season 3- don't tell me anything about this show).
2. 24 (we are waiting for season 7 to come out on DVD and then will rent it from the library or something) so we are not currently watching it, but maybe will get to it over the summer
3. Star Trek Enterprise- DH loves Star Trek. We are in the middle of Season 2.
4. Oh, and DH has discovered a new show he likes (we have watched a few episodes on Legond of the Seeker or something like that.
5. Veggie Tales
6. Masterpiece Theater- or any adaptation of a period novel into a miniseries- I loved Bleak House.

8 Tags. You're it!

1. My sister, Katherine
2. My mom, Susan
3. Maria in Crete
4. My sister in law, Hannah
5. My koumbara
7. My goddaughter, Christy (if she has time)
8. If you are reading this considered yourself tagged:) (I can't remember who all has been tagged for this meme)

Monday, April 06, 2009

You know it's spring when...

Yesterday evening,
sitting on the deck in my parent's backyard,
having a nice chat with my sister,
drinking decaf coffee (because we just like the taste of coffee),
watching the children run around the yard-
getting into all sorts of mischief,
driving home with the boys freshly bathed and I notice...
I have two moquito bites.
It must be Spring:)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Now that we are reaching the end of Lent...

I thought I would post my Vegan Brownie recipe. This is the recipe that when DH first tried them, he then banned me from ever making them during a fasting period again because they are just that good. Now that he is Gluten Free, well, he just doesn't get any:) (actually, I made these for a presanctified liturgy dinner and subbed all purpose gluten free flour whenever it calls for flour and they turned out pretty good... they sunk a bit in the middle and were extremely moist, but those aren't bad things).

Vegan Brownies
1/3 c. flour
1 c. water
½ c. margarine
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c. white sugar
1 tsp vanilla

2 c. flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp. salt
12 oz. chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan.

2. In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 c. flour and water. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thick. Pour into mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

3. Melt margarine in saucepan. Add cocoa. Mix until smooth and set aside to cool.

4.Beat sugar and vanilla into cooled flour mixture. Stir in cocoa mixture until well blended.

5.Add remaining ingredients (chocolate chips last) and spread evenly into pan.

6.Bake 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring weather...

Today is so beautiful! little p and I planted some bulbs and then cleaned out our outside closet (off of our back porch- I use it as a dry goods pantry). Now it's time for some lunch!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First day subbing- the specialist that comes into the class to help the student's with learning difficulties ended up sending one of the students to security (that's what they call it- security). And, I guess that was the straw that broke the camel's back because he ended up suspended. I actually was helping other student's when the "incident" happened and didn't see it. Other than that, pretty typical middle school "we have a sub" behavior. Nothing I couldn't handle:) Thanks for your prayers and well wishes. I have a wonderful group of internet friends (some I know in real life and some I hope to meet in the future)!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Say a little prayer for me...

tomorrow. At some point in my life I acquired a master's degree in education and am licensed to teach middle school and high school social studies. I am no longer babysitting so have decided to dust off the old chalk and eraser and will be heading out tomorrow for my first sub job in a few years! Hopefully I want to take the necessary classes to re-instate my teaching license (I have a sub license) and someday teach...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Positive Peer Pressure...

Conversation with Big P on the drive home from school...

Mommy, Noah makes his own lunch for school. When we get home can I make my own lunch, too?

Uhm, sure. The whole lunch?

Yes, the whole lunch. You just cut the crust off the bread, I will do the rest.

Ok then.

And he did... make his whole lunch. And I cut off the crust of his bread (he has helped me in the past, this time he did it all).

Monday, March 02, 2009

Lenten Recipe Archives

these are lenten recipes i have posted in the past. please feel free to use them, publish them, whatever. anything to help us not focus so much on food during lent:)

oh, and monica is having a bean soup recipe party here.

Forgiveness and the Begnning of Lent...

Kali Sarakosti!

Please forgive me; may God forgive all of us!

Have a blessed Lent! (I have nothing interesting or exciting to post, sorry). I do have a number of old posts of Lenten recipes that at some point I will highlight in a new post. Can't get to it right now... have a hungry three year old waiting for breakfast (don't you know we are supposed to be fasting HAHAHA).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, little p!

Happy Birthday, little p! You are 3 today! You had a rather abnormal entry into the world but since then, have been a joy to our lives:) even when you are throwing a tantrum you are still a joy and a miracle for us. May God grant you many years!!!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Jedi Battle gone Awry...

Big P has been running a fever since Monday evening (it is now Friday morning). No other symptoms and he has been, for the most part, just a little less exuberant than normal. He is eating, drinking, etc. normally.

Anyway, on Wednesday evening, after dinner, I was downstairs cleaning up the kitchen. Paul was upstairs with the boys. They were engaged in some intense Jedi lightsaber training. Paul goes to the bathroom to put on a bathrobe to make himself more of a Jedi (I guess- I don't know much about such things) and all of a sudden little p is screaming. Paul runs in and finds his lip split and he is bleeding profusely. We all pile into the old mini van and head to urgency care. When we are finally seen by a dr. he tells us we need to go to the Emergency Room as they will probably want to sedate little p to do the stitches since he is a squirmy almost three year old and his lip injury repair will need to be precise.

Off we go to the ER. By 10pm (Big P is about due for a next dose of tylenol) we are not in a room and little p is running around the ER as if nothing had happened. I call mom and dad and the come by the hospital and take me and Big P home. I could not sleep so watched episodes from season 1 of Lost until Paul returned, at 1am, with little p who immediately said, "I missed you mommy!" They did not sedate him (almost, though, because I guess he was hysterical in the middle of the stitching). We did not get a before picture but here is an after picture. And a picture of me with my younglings!
Note: I like the picture of little p- we had just finished saying prayers so it was taken by candlelight and you can see, in the background (and a little blurry) our icon corner with lit candles.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Facebook 25 Random things about me...

I cut and pasted the 25 random things about me from Facebook (yes, I have a Facebook account and spend way too much time on it:)

1. I have been deported from a communist country.
2. I love love love to read. and I am always reading something.
3. Currently, I am trying to read the Bible in a year, following the Orthodox books (apocrypha).
4. I love that my children have book lamps attached to their bunkbed so that they can read before going to bed, too (which they do- and they turn off the lamps at a reasonable time).
5. I do not have a spleen- it was removed soon after giving birth to my second son.
6. When they removed my spleen, I was told that it is very rare but some people have a second spleen. Turns out I am one of those people. They removed the second spleen, too.
7. My favorite color is green. My favorite smells are green (fresh cut lawn, cucumbers, pears, green peppers, etc.). I think this must mean something but I am not sure what...
8. I have the greatest family ever. That includes extended family and inlaws. I love my husband's side of the family, too- they are good people.
9. I have seen National Lampoon's Vacation too many times to count. We recorded it from TV years ago, totally edited. But last night is the first time I have seen it unedited. I think it is funnier without the swear words, personally.
10. My faith is very important to me. It took me a while to find it (even though I am cradle Orthodox and have never left the Church) but it has sustained me through the good and the not so good.
11. I love politics and having a good political discussion BUT as I grow older I tend to stay away from these types of discussions. I find that politics has become a private matter for me.
12. I love to listen to music and I love to listen to it really loud. My children also love music and listen to it loud, too.
13. I am becoming a homebody. And I love it!
14. I can put my whole fist in my mouth.
15. I enjoy the outdoors- camping, hiking, etc. but I do not like sitting in the sun. In fact, I missed the rain when I was living in San Diego!
16. I talk way too much. I am working on changing this.
17. My nose is crooked from a biking accident when I was young.
18. I really want to learn to knit and or crochet.
19. I am not at all artistic. I am also not into decorating. I am finally, 3 1/2 years after moving into our home, putting things on the walls and doing bits of decorating.
20. I hate mushrooms.
21. I want to go to the Holy Land someday.
22. I can be very emotional
23. I am almost always optimistic.
24. My sons are named Pavlos Nektarios and Petros Nektarios for Sts. Peter, Paul, and Nektarios. Pavlos is named for his grandfather, Fr. Paul (but we use the Greek form of the name) and Petros is named for my dad. Nektarios is for St. Nektarios because we love him!
25. I love to dance, especially Greek dance. My husband hates to dance.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blogger Giveaway...

Sylvia is having a giveaway of this lovely Icon bracelet. I have seen these in our bookstore at church. Maybe someday I will have a giveaway, but I am not sure what I would give away:) Need to think about that one!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just do nothing...

"Christopher Robin says that he likes that too, but his favourite thing of all is to do Nothing. Pooh ponders that for a bit, and then asks Christopher Robin how you actually do Nothing. Christopher Robin explains that Nothing is what happens when people ask you what you're going to do, and you say "Oh, nothing", and then you go and do it, and Pooh says "Oh, I see". And Christopher Robin further explains that it just means walking along and listening to things you can't hear, and not bothering."

Big P and I have been reading a bit of Pooh lately (the original books). And this about sums up today.

I could have gone to Costco to return something that broke (a Leapfrog toy).
I could have gone to Fred Meyer to buy a birthday present for the weekend.
I could have gone to Trader Joe's to re-stock our wine supply.
I could have gone to my mom's to pick up maternity clothes to give to three pregnant women in our parish (mom is at work, so I would have just picked up the bags).
I could have gone to the library to return some books; not close to being due, just return them because they are taking up space on my counter.
I could have gone to Goodwill and drop off a box of misc. items that we no longer need.
I could have done all these things or just some of these things. Instead, I did none of these things.

I did not exactly do nothing (hard to to nothing when you have an almost three year old). Instead, I played a few rounds of our new favorite card game with little p (*Hisss).
Instead, I ordered some picture to be picked up from Costco tomorrow.
Instead, I searched and found a wedding picture of ours that is in a Waterford Frame to put in my new hutch.
Instead, I watched little p build Lego skyscrapers to make his own city.
Instead, I made us lunch.
Instead, I did a little workout DVD.
Instead, I made a CD of favorite U2 songs for our koumbaro (I have been wanting to make him this CD for a year now) and packaged it up ready to mail.
Instead, I got around to re-addressing a few Christmas cards that were returned.
Instead, I did those little things around the house (the great thing is that dinner is leftover from Tuesday night so I do not even have to cook) that just do not ever get done while at the same time playing and reading and chatting with my little p.

All in all, a good day (although I have to go to a meeting tonight which isn't horrible, it would have just been nice to not have to leave the house today:)

*Hisss- the snake making game. It says on the box for 4 and over but little p can easily play this game. In fact, he plays it by himself, oh, wait, not by himself, but with doggie (his favorite stuffed animal). We all enjoy this game (unlike Candyland where I try to sneak cards in so that the game will finish sooner... shhh, don't tell anyone). Go buy it for your favorite 2 almost 3 year old!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

sleep, glorious sleep...

is something that I lack today. I was very tired last night; even went to bed early. Could not fall asleep. Read. Could not fall asleep. Read some more. 2:30am finally able to turn off the light and fall asleep only to be awakened by Paul's alarm clock at 4:40am (why, oh why)- he doesn't wake up at 4:40- not sure why it was set to that time. Fall back to sleep around 5:30 to wake up to the real alarm clock at 6:30.
Me: Please, will you get Big P up and feed him breakfast and then wake me when you leave at 7:15am? Please let me sleep for another 45 minutes?

Of course, Paul agreed. I tried going back to sleep after Big P left for school (I am no longer doing the AM carpool so little p gets to sleep in) but I could not fall back to sleep. I am dragging today. And Fr. is coming to do our house blessing at 2pm and then at 3pm off to do the PM carpool. Thank goodness there is nothing planned for tonight!

Hope your night went a little better than mine (my only consolation is that my sister was probably awake during those hours too, but she has a new baby).

Friday, January 02, 2009

Read the Orhtodox Bible in a year...and a new blog.

Ok, so I'm not one to make resolutions. Never have been. I have some ideas in my head of things I would like to do to show my family that I love them and to reconnect with lost friends. One goal that is really set in stone is to read the Bible in a year. Many years ago a priest gave to me a spreadsheet of all the readings in the Bible divided up by date. Each day is about 10 minutes of reading. I have started a blog that is the readings (just cutting and pasting off of a Bible site). So, come read along with me! Please forgive me if I do not keep this resolution, but I am really, really going to try (and maybe blogging it will give me some accountability:)

My sister in law has started a blog, here's the link.