Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lime Peanut Coleslaw and Italian Cabbage with Quinoa

Cabbage consumption has risen considerably in our home with the addition of two new recipes in our everyday repertoire. I've always been a fan of cabbage in the form of sauerkraut, but have despised it in coleslaw, finding the salad sickening in texture and sweetness. However, the discovery of 101 Cookbooks' Lime & Peanut Coleslaw recipe has redeemed coleslaw in my mind. I can do nothing to improve this recipe and can only link to it with the hearty recommendation of my whole family.

When we visited family in Pennsylvania this fall, my brother-in-law Brian made a delicious Italian cabbage stew for one meal based on a recipe given to him by a friend. Since our visit, I have cooked the stew several times for my family, both following the online version and Brian's version with my own tweaks (which we prefer):

Ingredients

* 1-1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage (pork or turkey; skins removed and
crumbled)
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and 3 cups water
* 4 cups shredded cabbage (I have used a medium head of Napa cabbage
successfully.)
* 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

1. In a large skillet or Dutch Oven, brown the sausuage with the chopped onions and garlic and drain.
2. In a saucepan, combine 3 cups of water with the rinsed quinoa. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for fifteen minutes.
3. While the quinoa is cooking, add the shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, chicken broth and spices to the sausage mixture in the skillet. Bring to a boil, then simmer until cabbage is tender.
4. Stir in the cooked quinoa for a one-dish meal. Sprinkle parmesan on individual servings.

My two-year old loves this meal!


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Toddler Takes

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"They're my boots!"


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Toddler Twister



Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Believe It or Not

Logan stayed home with James on Saturday morning when I took the older kids to piano lessons. When we arrived back at home after the lessons, James had a story to tell.

You know how Logan calls apple cider "apple spider"'? Well, I gave him some applesauce to eat and went upstairs to do something.

He started shrieking, "Daddy! Come here! There's a spider on my appleboss!"

I went downstairs, thinking that he was just making something up to get my attention, but when I looked at his applesauce bowl, sure enough! There was a large spider perched on the rim!

There is such a thing as an apple spider!
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Yesterday, Logan informed me, "I did see a shark! It was swimming in a swimming pool! It was taking a bath!"

"Where did you see the shark?" I asked.

"I did see the shark at the creek! It was swimming in a swimming pool! A lion did swallow it! He did eat it all up!"

And later...

"I did see a catfish! It was on the grass! A dog ATE the catfish!"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

One Reason for Prayer

We pray in order to stimulate, deepen, and strengthen our faith.

This reason for prayer is almost a complete reversal of our usual idea, which is that we pray because our faith is strong and at its best. Prayer is an activity we are called to perform when our faith is not complete, when things are not going well, when God seems far from us. These are the times when we most need prayer. These are also the times when prayer is most difficult and we are prone to procrastinate in our praying, thinking that we just do not have enough time for prayer. We put off prayer and allow time for prayer to get squeezed out of our schedule even when we say to ourselves that prayer is vitally important to us. The near-universal difficulty of finding time for prayer on a regular basis suggests that more than laziness or lack of faith is the issue. We are up against some inner conflict about who we are and who God is, and our flight from prayer is also a way of fleeing from our confusion and ambiguity.

When we discover our resistance to prayer, we should realize that we are in deep conflict, whether we are conscious of it or not. Part of us wants to seek God's will and the other part of us is digging in its heels to resist. The resisting part of us finds excuses not to pray, becomes obsessed with the dry spells and bored with prayer. We begin to doubt that prayer is worthwhile or get distracted from prayer by a variety of fantasies...We need to pray most when we least want to do it, because our resistance is a sign of some spiritual problem that only manifests itself in our reluctance to pray.

The act of prayer is a way of renewing a sense of God's presence in our lives and of deepening our own faith. But such renewal and depth come only when we have resisted the temptation to give up and have pushed ourselves to the demanding work of prayer. [emphasis mine]

--from my current reading: Reformed Spirituality by Howard L. Rice, pp. 75,76