Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple & Lentil Soup

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Forgot to take picture, but this pic by ‘acriley’ found on flickr looks pretty close. But I don’t have that sweet bowl.

 

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple & Lentil Soup

This was a super yummy, relatively easy vegetable feast. With this soup, you do your food prep and then let it just make your house smell yummy for about an hour. At the end, you use a blender or an immersion to make it all creamy and smooth. This reminded us of a pumpkin soup that I make sometimes (both of these soups hold texture issues for Caleb) but that soup calls for brown sugar. I love brown sugar, but this was just as sweet (how can something as healthy as a sweet potato taste so yummy?)!

My first introduction to sweet potato included boil or bake and then mash. That prep often felt grainy in my mouth, but it was ‘so good for me’ so I would get it down with a smile for the kids sake. Over the last couple years, I’ve found some more fun ways to include sweet potatoes and now they feel like a real treat. Is there such a thing as too many sweet potatoes?

Vegetables

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Dad’s Garden, 2014

Vegetables and I have a terrible relationship. They are like that friend that calls ALL the TIME and wants to BE MY BEST FRIEND, and I feel like they are so faithful to me, I should at least go out for coffee with them once in awhile. Vegetables are all guilt for me. I don’t like them. And I should. I don’t eat nearly enough. But I should. Plenty of people like vegetables. And I should.

The first time I went to India, I worked and prayed for a whole semester to be able to eat a banana. I started by eating a quarter of a banana. And praying “God, help me like bananas.” The week before we left for India I managed to get a whole banana down – barely.

Vegetables have never gotten that much effort. We’ll go through spurts where I get almost the required amount of servings on the table or at least into the house. But vegetables, as I know them, are just not that fun to hang out with.

And then it occurred to me, what if I’m hanging out with them in the wrong way? What if I stopped trying to include vegetables because it is Right and Good, and found a way to make it FUN? What if I learned to cook and prepare for flavor and enjoyment, not for DietVirtue. What if I let the enjoyment I have in baking flow over into cooking – and cooking with vegetables in particular?

This journey began in two places during the year of 2015. My friend Carlene had some great kitchen knives. I got some great kitchen knives (and a great cutting board) and now I am kind of enjoying prep work a whole lot more. My journey through Replenish 365 with Lisa Grace Byrne (best decision for me EVER) also taught me to be gentle with myself and my goals – in a really sustainable way. (There is still time to sign up for Replenish 2016 and can’t recommend it enough. I’m going to take a second time around this mountain!)

While I am NOT stating a goal or a resolution (because those don’t work so well for me) – I am saying that I have an intention to learn to prepare and enjoy vegetables this year.

And maybe next year, I’ll tackle bananas.

More Roman Shades

Roman Shades. I love them. I think they are such an improvement over the plastic roller shades that we have started out with. Yesterday I made my last set of Roman shades for our home. And I have to say, they might be my favorite.


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Sofie and I found a fabric that was ‘appropriate’ (my word) for shades and reflects all of her vibrancy and life. I love her fabric as much as I love Anna’s.

What makes the shades stand apart, is that they are velcro’d on the top. They are entirely washable. I also love how the fabric and lining were sewed together inside out and turned, like you would a pillow cover. It is a nice neat edge. Finally, these sit neatly inside the window frame. We will add a valance that can be matched with any of her many colors. I can see this as becoming a way for HER to add her touch of pizzazz to the shades that have momma’s stamp of approval.

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None of the other shades in our bedrooms that I have made will be washed with a simple zip. They are all pretty much permanently mounted. I am pondering whether they can be partly deconstructed and re-constructed to add this user friendly feature.

Sofie’s take on the shades – they are much better than the roller shade that had served us faithfully for about 10 years…. but not so much the last few months. We were literally duct-taping them closed at night! She also says that the fabric is both sophisticated but not so sophisticated that she feels like she should put her dolls away. She can be a BigLittleGirl comfortably.

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Here is a link to the pattern I used. This would not have worked if I hadn’t made three rooms worth of Roman Shades before. The directions get you started, but they don’t guide you all the way through. (http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Roman-Shade)

Next project – finishing the quilt I started for her 7 years ago. The top is ‘done enough’ and the back will be with the same fabric as the shades. 

 

 

WaffleGoodness

waffles

I’m kind of in love with waffles right now. You know how you are supposed to get three waffle irons in honor of your wedding? Yeah. We didn’t get one. And since I didn’t grow up with a waffle iron, I didn’t really notice.

Until last year.

And then I got it into my head that I really did need a waffle iron to have a happy home. So after some not too thorough research, we bought a Belgian Waffle Maker. It has worked well for us, and we’ve been trying bunches of recipes.

Our recent favorite recipe is not only the healthiest, but the yummiest. It is from the King Arthur flour website.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2T sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil

I substitute applesauce for the vegetable oil. (I didn’t tell anyone that I was doing this the first time and no one knew.) I also have tossed in a bit of vanilla or cinnamon – according to my whims.  ALSO, King Arthur says that if you are sensitive to the full whole wheat taste to substitute in a couple Tablespoons of oj with milk. AND IT WORKS.

When I was making waffles tonight the kids asked if I was making the yummy recipe I had made last week. And I was.

The only thing you could do to improve this recipe is to add some of my Dad’s homemade Maine maple syrup… which you can spy in the photo of tonight’s leftover waffle.