Saturday, June 30, 2012

Natural Grocers

Today I got to do something I never thought I'd get to do in Montana!  Although I'm still pining away for a Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Aldi's, I got to go to a pretty cool new grocery store in Billings today.  It's a part of the Natural Grocers chain, and I had a blast shopping there.  I had a list of things I wanted to find there, like super-firm tofu, the new Daiya Havarti cheese, seitan, soy yogurt, nondairy whipped cream, and Amy's pizza with Daiya cheese, and I found it all and then some.  Not only that, but the prices were really pretty decent.  A lot of what I saw was priced the same as WalMart, and I got some great deals on things like Amy's burritos for $.99 (they're $3.00 apiece at WalMart).  I will definitely go there each time I make my monthly Costco run!

Weekly menu

I spent the day in Billings with my parents today, so I came home and threw this together really fast.  I'm not going to post the recipes tonight, but if anyone wants one (or more), let me know and I will post them asap.

Here's what we got in our baskets today (2 organic, 2 conventional):

2 bunches celery
4 containers cherry tomatoes
6 green bell peppers
6 yellow onion
2 red onion
2 butternut squash
2 spaghetti squash
3 romaine lettuce
2 petite lettuce
18 bananas
4 bags green grapes
2 bags carrots
12 plums
2 cantaloupe
4 bags cherries
10 mangos
4 apricots

And here's what I either bought separately, or have left over from last week:

4 avocados
15 plums
15 apricots
10 nectarines
2 qts strawberries
6 pints raspberries
1 qt blueberries
1 qt blackberries
10 mangies
2 red pears
1 lemon
6 spaghetti squash
2 bags potatoes
1 big bag broccoli florets
2 pkgs mushrooms
4 acorn squash

And here's the menu!

I tried to pick several meals that will use up a lot of veggies all at once (stir fry, kabobs, salad bar, pizzas) and we'll eat lots and lots of fruit, too.  The meals that come from actual recipes are all from my new favorite cookbook, "Supermarket Vegan."  I L-O-V-E this cookbook!  Everything is cheap, easy to find and easy to make, plus there are only a few tofu recipes and no other faux meat recipes.  I love tofu and I don't mind some meat substitutes (like seitan), but I'd much rather just eat beans and nuts and whole grains to get my protein.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

All trekked out...

Our five big kids got home from the Martin's Cove pioneer handcart trek a couple hours ago.  One who was sure she didn't want to go had a giant smile on her face and told me how wonderful it was and that we were right when we said she'd love it.  (Ah, I love these rare moments of parental right-ness!)  Another kid who was on the fence said he was miserable the entire time, but when I peppered him with questions about the experience, it was clear he'd had at least a few positive moments.  All came home beyond sunburned, which I was worried about.  But they're home, and they're safe, and they're generally happy.  All are showered and drastically less stinky.  I hope they'll remember this experience throughout their lives, and that they'll reflect on the sacrifices of their pioneer ancestors.  Pushing a handcart 8 miles is one thing, but pushing one day after day, with all your earthly possessions, through the mud, snow, rain and heat, with too little to eat and loved ones dying along the way - that's a whole different thing.  I hope they realize that it was FAITH that drove those people to leave all that they knew and go west, in search of religious freedom.  I hope that they never take their own faith, and the ability to worship God as they please, for granted.

Hopefully I'll have some pictures to share soon.  :o)

Weekly menu

I know I always say this, but today's baskets were great! I got two conventional, two organic, and two Mexican veggie packs, so there was a lot of good variety.  Here's a picture and the list:

Romaine lettuce

Spaghetti squash

Russet potatoes

Tomatoes (beautiful ones, on the vine)






Red Boar kale (gorgeous!)

Roma tomatoes on the vine
Green grapes

Butternut squash

Nectarines (white flesh)



Red onions

Mexican veggie pack:

Green onions


Poblano peppers


Yellow onions


I still have spaghetti squash and butternut squash left from last week, plus a ton of bananas, potatoes, watermelon, some other melon (I don't know what kind it is), apples and oranges.  We also have quite a few plums, pluots and apricots, even though we've been eating them like crazy!  

And finally, here are the recipes!

Baked falafel
serves 6


1 cup plain, unsweetened soy yogurt
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice

¾ cup water (for cooking bulgur)
¼ cup uncooked bulgur
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup fresh cilantro (no!!!!!0
½ cup green onions
1/3 to ½ cup water
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
¼ to ½ tsp cayenne pepper
3 garlic cloves
Cooking spray

Additional ingredients:
6 flatbreads
12 slices of tomato
 chopped fresh cilantro (no!!!!)

To prepare sauce, combine first three ingredients, stirring with a whisk until blended. 

To prepare falafel, bring ¾ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan; add bulgur to pan.  Remove from heat, cover and let stand 20 minutes or until tender.  Drain and set aside. 

Preheat oven to 425.

Place chickpeas and next nine ingredients in a food processor; pulse ten time or until well blended and smooth (mixture will be wet).  Spoon chickpea mixture into a large bowl’ stir in bulgur.

Divide mixture into 12 equal portions (a heaping ¼ cup each)’ shape into patties on a baking sheet coasted with cooking spray.  Bake at 425 for 10 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Spread about 2 ½ tablespoons sauce onto each flatbread.  Top each flatbread with 2 falafel patties, 2 tomato slices, and chopped cilantro (if desired – and it is NOT).

Potato-Butternut Squash Roti Curry (A Caribbean curry)
serves 6

1 ¼ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp canola oil
1 ½ onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled acorn squash (about ¾ pound)
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled yukin gold potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups water
½ cup light coconut milk
½ cup cilantro (or not)

Combine first 6 ingredients; set aside

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.  Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add spice mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in water and coconut mil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potato is tender.  Sprinkle with cilantro (or don’t!).

Moroccan flatbreads
serves 4 (2 flatbreads each)

½ tsp dry yeast
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp warm water (100-110 degrees)
9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
¾ tsp salt
cooking spray
1 tbsp onion powder
½ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp canola oil, divided

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Weigh or lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level with a knife.  Add flour and ¾ tsp salt to yeast mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 minutes.  Shape dough into a ball; invert bowl over the dough and let stand for 15 minutes.  Uncover; knead dough for 3 more minutes.  Divide dough into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a ball; lightly coat with cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.

Combine herbs and spices in a bowl.

Working with one dough portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), carefully flatten each portion into a 6 ½ inch circle (dough will be delicate).  Sprinkle 1/8th of the spice mixture over the center of the dough.  Fold top and bottom of dough over spice mixture, then fold one side over the top of the dough, and one side over the bottom, making a package.  Gently press square of dough to seal.  Repeat with remaining dough portions.

Heat ½ teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add 4 flatbreads to pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side until crisp and golden.  Transfer flatbreads to a parchment paper-lined platter.  Repeat procedure with remaining ½ teaspoon oil and 4  flatbreads.  Serve immediately. 

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
serves 6

3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
cooking spray
½ tsp salt, divided
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups soymilk (or other nondairy milk, but not rice milk as it’s too thin)
1 cup shredded vegan cheese, divided (I’ll be using Daiya mozzarella)
¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional)
¼ tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp cornstarch
8 ounces (1-inch) cubed day-old French bread (about 9 cups)

Preheat oven to 400.

Arrange squash in a single layer on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt.  Bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until tender.  Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 350.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Remove from heat; cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch into soymilk.  Stir in remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ cup cheese, pepper, and nutmeg.  Stir in squash and onion mixture.  Add bread, and stir gently to combine.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Spoon into a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with remaining ½ cheese and nutritional yeast., if using  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until pudding is set and lightly browned. 

Egyptian Koshari (yummy street food!)
serves 8


1 tbsp EVOO
1 cup finely diced ontion
1 ½ tbsp minced garlic
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1 15.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained

3 tbsp EVOO
3 cups thinly sliced onion
½ cup uncooked vermicelli, broken into 1-inch pieces
5 cups water
1 ¼ cup dried lentils or yellow split peas (I’m using red lentils)
2 ½ cups cooked long-grain rice
1 tsp salt

To prepare sauce, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add chopped onion to pan, and cook 15 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; cook 2 minutes,  Stir in ½ tsp salt, peppers, and tomatoes; cook 10 minutes or until slightly thick.  Transfer tomato mixture to a food processor; process 1 minute or until smooth.  Keep warm.  Wipe skillet dry with paper towels.

To prepare koshari, heat 3 tablespoons oil in pan over medium heat.  Add sliced onion; cook 15 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring frequently.  Set aside.  Combine 5 cups water and lentils in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.  Remove from heat; add vermicelli, stirring well to combine.  Wrap a clean kitchen towel around lid, and cover lentil mixture; let stand 10 minutes, or until vermicelli is tender.  Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt, to lentil mixture; fluff with a fork.  Serve immediately with sauce and onions.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

An "ahhhhh" kind of day

Today was a great day. Five of our older kids are on the Martin's Cove handcart trek in Wyoming, so it's been relatively quiet. I went to the grocery store, and while I was gone, Joshua took care of the little ones, made lunch and did laundry. He also put away all the groceries so I could go out to lunch with my sister. This afternoon I made a ton of chocolate chip cookies, and then we went to Jackson and Beck's t-ball game, and then out to dinner at Mexico Lindo. Sofie's birthday is coming up on Tuesday, so we had them do the birthday song to embarrass her. ;o) We also teased her about having to wear the "lice hat," but she loved it all the same.

Tomorrow our big kids will be coming home late, stinking of smoke and a shower-less three days. Laundry will be especially delightful. ;o) We're celebrating Sofie's birthday on Sunday, so I'll have a cake to bake and presents to wrap, in addition to all the laundry and housecleaning and Bountiful Baskets stuff. I don't really enjoy our Saturdays. Too much work! Maybe that's why today seemed especially blissful.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Elder Whicker

Yesterday Joshua was ordained an elder.  I bawled all the way through the ordination.  I have so many conflicting emotions!  I'm so incredibly grateful for him and proud of the choices he's made throughout his life, but the thought of living without him for two years is really hard to come to terms with.  Now that he has graduated from MCC, I know he'd be off somewhere else anyway, even if he weren't serving a mission, but it's still hard to think about.  I'm so thankful that he WANTS to serve and that he's worthy to serve.  It would be that much harder if he were wishy-washy about it.

Today we're sending off his papers since we were finally able to get a decent photo taken.  We'd meant to do it last week, but with the swelling from his wisdom teeth removal being so bad, we didn't think he was particularly photogenic (unless he was going for the chipmunk look).  ;o)

Here's my sweet boy.

And here's a picture we will NOT send.  ;o)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Weekly menu

Our Bountiful Baskets were great today!  I actually planned my menu ahead of time with a couple of back-up ideas in mind in case I didn't get all the needed ingredients, but we ended up with plenty to work with!

Here's what we got:

flat of blueberries (I'll be making a boatload of muffins)
mini watermelon
red grapes
spaghetti squash
Romaine lettuce

Plus I still have this stuff from the last couple of weeks:

acorn squash
red pears
sugar snap peas

I'm going to have to be really good about remembering to tell the kids to eat mangos, pears and plums/pluots/apricots for snacks.  We keep apples, bananas and oranges in the pantry because they go so fast, but I tend to forget about the stuff in the fridge if it's not planned for a meal.

Here's the menu for the coming week.

And here are the recipes:

Black bean enchiladas verde
Grilled orange-glazed squash
Naan (I'll use soy milk and egg replacer in this recipe)
Korean BBQ tofu
Stromboli (this uses Gardein beef less tips, which we have a bulk box of in the freezer)

I normally make my own sauce for lettuce wraps, but this time I bought a couple of packets of stuff that you mix with soy sauce and sugar.  I'll let you know how it compares to the homemade sauce.  I mix Yves soy crumbles with the sauce, plus add rice noodles, green onion and grated carrots.

For the Rogan Josh, I'm using jarred sauce and soy curls.  I'll dump both in the crock pot and let it simmer.  I usually make my own rajma, but I bought packaged rajma this time.  So all I'll have to do is make the naan and cut up the mangos.

The kimchi on Wednesday is some that I made a couple of months ago from Bountiful Baskets napa cabbage.

A couple other notes - we go to the summer matinee series every wednesday morning, so I pack a lunch/movie treat for the kids to eat while we're there.  This isn't something we could get away with in a big city, but our theater is pretty lenient about bringing stuff in (except bottles of pop or water that could hurt someone if thrown.  I'm guessing this rule comes from experience? ;o)  )

And on Wednesday night, our 12-and-older kids will be getting ready for the big Martin's Cove handcart trek.  That means we'll be missing 5 kids for a few days.  Should be interesting!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dossier on its way!

Our agency emailed today to let us know that our last document is already on its way to China, which means we are officially DTC (dossier to China)!  Yippee!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekly menu

I'm posting this in the car on the way home from Great Falls, so I'm sorry it's not in the usual format. My 21 and 16 year old daughters picked up our Bountiful Baskets while we were gone, and sent me the list of what we got so I could plan. I love when people realize how I subsist on routines. ;)

Here's what we got:

3 pineapple
12 tomatoes
30 bananas
6 honeydew
3 bunches of kale
5 cucumbers
20-ish green apples
20-ish plums
9 acorn squash
15 mangoes
3 heads lettuce
3 bunches celery

we still have carrots, mangos, melon, oranges, apples, cherry tomatoes and one pineapple from last week.

And here's my menu for the week. If anyone wants recipes, just let me know!

Mon lunch - quesadillas, celery/pb, apple, kale chips
Mon dinner - chickpea - apricot couscous, cucumber-tomato-mint salad
Tues lunch - uncrustables, carrots, plum, yogurt
Tues dinner - barley-bean-corn burritos (we didn't end up eating this last week), pineapple
Weds lunch - noodles w/ peanut sauce, snow peas, orange
Weds dinner - salad bar
Thurs lunch - hummus, pita chips, carrots, honeydew, fruit rope
Thurs dinner - plantain, black beans, mango salsa, rice, acorn squash
Fri lunch - chili, fritos, cheese, cucumbers, banana
Fri dinner - pizza/out
Sat lunch - chick'n tenders, tater tots, leftover fruit
Sat dinner - Asian noodles

Family Learning Weekend

This weekend most of our family got to go to the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind for Family Learning Weekend. This is an annual event for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their families from all over the state. The parents get to attend classes and meetings while the children are organized by age and get to participate in all kinds of fun activities like swimming, races, bowling and crafts.

Unfortunately, I got super sick and spent most of the weekend holed up in our room. Curtis filmed most of the performances that the kids put on, so at least I got to see those. I'm still disappointed that I missed so much. Hopefully next year will be better. (The Family Learning Weekend for blind and visually impaired kids is always the week before, and next year we hope to go to both since Cora's weekend got nixed this year.)

Also this weekend in Great Falls was Joshua's state soccer finals. I did manage to sneak away to watch some of his last game yesterday, but paid for overdoing it with a horrible night last night. Bleh. The Miles City Posse tied two games and lost one game by one goal. They were disappointed but they had fun and did a great job.

I'll post a video from FLW as soon as I can. I'm posting on the car ride home and the Internet connection is sketchy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Im having a low moment. After I thought our dossier had already been sent to China, I found out yesterday that something was missing. Apparently I was supposed to have an employment letter even though I don't work outside the home. And our homestudy agency forgot to attach the inter-agency agreement to our homestudy, so our placing agency stapled it on to the already authenticated homestudy. Hopefully that won't cause problems. As for the letter, I wrote it immediately, had it notarized and overnighted it to the Secretary of State. I called and left a voicemail today, begging them to get it back to me as soon as possible. Then once I have it back, I have to pay the courier fee in Washington DC all over again, plus a $40 rush charge. :( if I get the letter back tomorrow (big if), I can have it in DC on Thursday which means the courier can drop it off on Friday and pick it up Monday, and our agency would get it Tuesday. A one week delay wouldn't be such a big deal, but the wait after the documents are registered us generally six months, and I desperately want Thalia home in time for Christmas. We were cutting it so close as it was. Aside from the delay, this is going to cost us about $300 in fees and postage. Ugh :(

Monday, June 4, 2012

My birthday

Even though my birthday is tomorrow, we celebrated my birthday yesterday because everyone is always home on Sundays.  It was a great day, complete with one of my favorite meals (beer-battered avocado tacos), marble birthday cake, and some really nice gifts.  Mostly it was wonderful to have my whole family around me.  In two months, Teffy will be back in Billings, and shortly after that, Joshua will be on his mission.  We don't have much time left, so these opportunities are especially meaningful to me.

Curtis gave me a cute outfit and some accessories, and Zoe gave me a really cool sushi painting for the kitchen.  Zoe's and Joshua's friend, L, came over to celebrate with us, and he gave me a beautiful pinecone necklace.  Even though it was just something he thought I might like, I was THRILLED with it because I've been looking for a piece of jewelry to wear while we wait for Thalia.  I've done this with our other adoptions, but I just couldn't find the right thing.  Thalia's Chinese name means pinecone, so this necklace is just the perfect thing.  :o)

Forty-one, baby!

Sofie making her creepy face, along with our friend L (the giver of the necklace) 
Zoe in a rare shot without the hand block  ;o)

My new hat!

I really need to quit smiling like that...

Sushi painting Zoe made for me for the kitchen.  Love it!

Cora gave me this tiny puppy in a very large bag.  

Cora and Maizie

My pinecone necklace :o)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Recital 2012!

I said this on Facebook last night, but every time I go to one of my children's performances, whether it's a game or a dance or piano recital or gymnastics exhibition or a choir or band concert, I always feel overwhelming gratitude that I get to be the mom of all these wonderful children.  It's as if being a spectator allows me to see them through new eyes.  They aren't the same little souls who often get underfoot or sometimes backtalk or wet the bed or try my patience in myriad other ways.  They're amazing children of God, children of mine, and in many cases, children of others.  I always wish that their first parents could see them during these special times - see how smart and funny and talented and unique they each are.  Of all of our kids, we only know and have contact with one birthparent (Jackson and Loundia's Haitian mother).  I send her pictures and letters all the time, and we plan to visit as soon as we're able, but the chances that we'll have this kind of relationship with any of other other children's first families is pretty much nonexistent.  That makes me so sad.

Here are some photos of my sweet kiddos.  I just love them so much.
A bevy of costumes!

Pre-recital poses
Beautiful Maizie

This is Maizie laughing because she could hear her family members screaming her name.  I LOVE this picture!
Jackson doing the coffee grinder

Jackson getting down, with Beck in line waiting his turn

Cora (middle) doing her tap number.  We had to pull her out of dance last year because she was too scared to participate.  What a change a year makes!

Lily (second from left) doing her jazz piece

Loundia (she's easy to spot - the Haitian kid with the caucasian nylons - ack!)

Sofie's ballet piece

Sofie's tap piece

Loundia's ballet piece


Cora's ballet piece

Maizie's jazz piece

Sofie's ballet piece

Summer Strip-Down

I mentioned in a previous post that on Friday, we got to go to an acoustic rock show put on by my brother-in-law, J.  There were a few solo acts to begin with, and J did a few solo numbers, and then his newly thrown together band performed.  All five of the guys happen to be LDS, which was fun, and our son Joshua played guitar.

Here's a video of a super fun, silly song they did.  :o)

My camera makes it look like it was really light, but it was actually pretty dark when they were playing.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Weekly menu

This morning when I woke up, I was considering the odds of getting avocados in our Bountiful Baskets, and also wondering whether if we were lucky enough to get them, if they would actually be ripe (they're usually not).  I really wanted to have beer-battered avocado tacos for my birthday lunch tomorrow, but figured I'd probably have to hit three grocery stores in order to find enough ripe avocados.  The birthday fairy must have read my mind, because we got 9 perfect avocados in our baskets.  :o)  Clearly, it takes very little to make me happy.

This week's menu is heavy on the "Mexican" stuff, but that's just how it worked out.

Here's a list of what came in our baskets.  I got three conventional baskets, a tropical pack, and a flat of strawberries.

vanilla bean

grape tomatoes
green leafy lettuce

I also have a lot of apples, oranges, pears, carrots, peaches, cucumbers, mushrooms, bananas and mangos from last week, or that I purchased for meals for this week.

I'll be making strawberry muffins with some of our strawberries, but most of them will get cut up and frozen for smoothies.  We still have oodles of strawberry freezer jam left from the last time we got a flat of strawberries.


Beer-battered avocado tacos  If you're paying attention, you may remember that we ate these just last week.  But they're that good.  And it's my birthday.  :oP

Black bean enchiladas - these are super easy, and I totally cheat and make them like a lasagna.  I pour a little enchilada verde sauce in the bottom of the 9x13 pan, and then break several corn tortillas in half.  I put the straight edges around the bottom of the pan (2 halves on each side, one on each end, one whole one in the middle, and two 1/4 pieces at the top and bottom of the whole one).  It sounds confusing, but it fits perfectly.  Then I sprinkle about a cup of drained black beans on top, spoon on more sauce, and sprinkle Daiya cheddar or pepperjack cheese.  I repeat those layers 4-5 times, ending with a layer that just has sauce and cheese on top.  I cover with foil and bake at 400 for about 35-40 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes.  For one pan, you need about 2 dozen tortillas, a big can of enchilada sauce, 2 cans of black beans, and about 3/4 lb cheese.

Broccoli and tofu curry - For this dish, I press my tofu by putting a cutting board on top of my tofu and placing a couple of big pumpkin puree cans on top for about 2 hours.  I do it close to the sink because the water from the tofu runs all over.  Once it's pressed, I cut it into slices or strips or triangles and put the pieces onto a greased cookie sheet.  I spray them lightly with oil and salt them a bit, and then I broil them until they're brown and just beginning to get crispy.  In the meantime, I stir fry the broccoli in a little oil, and when it begins to get tender, I stir in a can of coconut milk and 2-3 tablespoons of curry paste. When the tofu is down, I add it to the broccoli mixture and then serve it over steamed jasmine rice.  Easy and yummy!  And trust me on the tofu thing - it's GOOD that way!

Barley bean burritos - I posted this slow cooker recipe on a few years ago, and the only thing we do differently is use vegan cheese and double the spices.  It's really easy and filling and because you it's a crock pot recipe, you can make it ahead of time.  We'll be using our frozen Bountiful Baskets tortillas for these.

Vegan crepes/blintzes

A little catch-up

This has been a busy week and I haven't had much time to write.  The days leading up to the dismissal of school for the summer left my kids a little on the wild side, and all the changes in our routines haven't been great for me, either!

Last night we got to go hear several local musicians at an acoustic show downtown.  My brother-in-law, Jay, performed some solo numbers, but also played with his band, which for the moment includes our son Joshua and several of his friends.  They did a great job and it was great to listen to some really loud and fun music!  I'll post some pictures of the event once I get them uploaded.

This week is also "recital week," with rehearsals every. single. day.  Today there are two recital performances, so besides the usual house cleaning, laundry, Bountiful Baskets, and shopping, we're also squeezing in hair and makeup and costume changes and juggling performances.  I'm excited to see the kids' dances, but I will be very glad when it's over!  We have 7 kids in dance this year, so it's a real effort to make it through this week without going bonkers!  Thankfully, our Bountiful Baskets haul was very light on things needing to be cut up or otherwise processed today, so most of it can just go into the fridge. That will leave me plenty of time to play beautician.  ;o)

Tomorrow we're celebrating my 41st birthday.  It's actually on Tuesday, but it's easier for us to do it on Sundays because we're guaranteed to have everyone home.

Next week we have three t-ball games and Joshua's state soccer finals.  We'll also be attending a weekend event at the school for the deaf and blind.  After that, I think I can take a breather!