Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring egg casserole

Finding fresh ingredients is tough this time of year, so I was thrilled to stumble on a trailer from an organic produce vendor (with shitake mushrooms!) the other day. It gave us the opportunity to experiment with a springy egg dish inspired by this dish from Traders Point Creamery. Spring egg casserole serves 3-4 8 eggs, beat 2 oz. prosciutto, chopped (broke? just use bacon) 2 green onions chopped 2 c. sliced shitake mushrooms 1 tablespoon butter In large pan, saute' prosciutto at medium-high heat, then remove from pan. Melt butter and then saute' mushrooms and green onions. Add beaten eggs and prosciutto; reduce heat to medium. Cook until eggs are set.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blessing of the Sprouting Seed

We place our trust in God for the big moments in life, but all too often we forget the influence in the little details. Generations prayed to their dieties for help with their harvest, yet in our whirlwind society, where our food comes from often - beyond the doors of the grocery store - doesn't get a second thought. This weekend, the kids and I finally started our first batch of seeds indoors. An attempt at tomatoes, leeks, ground cherries, cucumbers, broccoli and more. While I wasn't initially looking at heavenly help with my feeble attempts at seed starting, I stumbled across this and felt it would be fitting for my family, especially my oldest as she learns more about her faith. I found this prayer in a 50-year-old book, "The Year and Our Children," and thought it was perfect to share with our little green thumbs. This morning, we joined together to share "The Blessing of the Sprouting Seed."
To Thee, O Lord, we cry and pray: Bless this sprouting seed, strengthen it in the gentle movement of soft winds, refresh it with the dew of heaven and let it grow to the full maturity for the good of body and soul.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour tonight

Earth Hour - where folks are unplugging for an hour to raise awareness on climate change - starts tonight. Are you participating?

Even if you're not inclined to unplug at a certain time, the movement brings with it a few ideas to take a stand. Read more about it at today's Green Phone Booth.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Me, unplugged

Taking time for me is the toughest thing to do. I have work waiting, children to be cared for, a house needing to be scrubbed and a marriage to nurture. But me? It's the last thing on the list.

It's been nearly a month since I really posted on this site, a few prewritten posts not withstanding. While work was the primary reason, our project wrapped up a bit earlier than planned. But it wasn't until the work wound down that I saw the damage that had been done.

I was cranky - that I knew. But there was more.

I hadn't worked out in two months, between a bout of bronchitis and too many work hours late in the night. My house looked like a tornado blew through it. My blood sugars were through the roof from the chocolate I was mindlessly munching. Sleep came with difficulty, the result of too much stress and Diet Cokes.

By week two of the project, coupled with the realities of the family scheduling shift caused by my husband's new job (praise God!) and how my children were affected, I was on the verge of tears more than once.

And so I shut it off. I did the unthinkable. I took time for me.

I slept, even if it meant lying down at 8 o'clock with my kids to make it happen. I cooked some of my first regular meals in three years - and not something that came from the frozen food aisle or Papa Murphy's. And I unplugged.

My reader? Glanced at once or twice in the last month. Facebook? Accessed it only when I was managing it for work. Other blogs? Just said no. My photos? Still stuck on my camera.

I read books from the library. Took a bath and walks with my kids. Dug in the dirt a bit. And slowly, I've eased back into my world. Hopefully I'll spend a little more time there and a little less in the virtual world of work.

Thanks to all of you who waited for me!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A winner or two

Crawling back from my whirlwind weeks of work - and thanking God it's over! I wanted to belatedly announce the seed winners:

Free seed kit - Hipmommy (#1)
5 seed packets- Janice (#8)!

Please send me an email at goinggreenmama at gmail and we'll get you hooked up with Nature's Crossroads.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Clover 'cookies' for St. Patrick's Day

Four-leaf clover "cookies" made the cut for our menu for our St. Patrick's Day celebration in 2010.

Being strapped for time, it was a simple treat: Breadstick dough rolled into clovers and baked according to the package directions.

Powdered sugar, green sugar and milk formed a glaze that went on top. And sticky green smiles went all around.

My daughter declared, "These are the best cookies ever!" And thankfully, they didn't have the sugar or the calorie count of a batch of traditional sugar cookies for the celebration.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Storage solutions: They aren't what you think

Originally published at the Green Phone Booth, April 2010

Organizational systems. If you've found one that works for you, great. For me, I've found my ever-evolving life has meant I'm struggling to keep on top of the changes.

What worked during apartment life failed in my first house. The systems I used in my first home didn't work in our second. Toss in a child or two, college, you name it. I find I'm continually having to reinvent myself. And, along with it, how I use the things I own.

Take my curio cabinet. It's been home to VHS tapes, cassette tapes, knick-knacks, photos (and film), baby bibs and burp rags. It's latest incarnation stores my Cricut cartridges handed down from my mother. Or our child-size suitcases that are perfect for storing and toting building blocks or play dress-up clothes around the house. Or baskets that seem to reinvent their purpose on a weekly basis.Sure, you're thinking. It's easy to find something new to put in a cabinet, or a box or a basket. It's a little more challenging to have a use for some of the other things that come to us in our lives.

Take my poor cookie jar. We got this Jayhawk jar as a gift many addresses ago. In fact, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I'm diabetic, and at the time we were childless. Instead, it was packed away for sometime when. Flash forward a decade or so, and it's found new uses - just not what you'd expect. It became home to a host of bottle nipples and diaper bin filters for a time in our Kansas-basketball-themed nursery (quite possibly the only one in Indiana). It recently found a new life actually in the kitchen - this time to house our bags of bulk spices. Yes, the exterior may say "cookies," but it's never seen a crumb. But it's found useful work nonetheless.

Or our latest find. The garage has been the bane of our existenance, as we've yet to install the cabinetry we'd wanted to store things that truly need to stay out of reach most of the year. In the interim, we've gotten creative in how we handle things.

Some of the smaller (not sharp) items have taken refuge on a discarded bookshelf from a coworker. Two little red wagons I'd found curbside a year ago with the best of intentions of repainting have found new uses holding soccer balls and other outdoor toys - in easy reach of little hands.

And just last weekend, a neighbor randomly offered us her microwave cart. I nearly said no but accepted, and am so glad I did. The old, beaten cart in a few minutes' time has become an organized home for my gardening gloves, supplies and pots that were haphazardly tossed around by my husband as he tried to find other things in our garage.

My point? As you're cleaning and determined to once and for all make changes in how you run your household, you might not need to make a beeline to the home improvement or container store. Or even for a resale shop, for that matter. The things that might work best for you may be right under your nose!