Friday, March 23, 2012

a spin on tradition

Every St. Patrick's Day, we celebrate with one annual tradition in our family. We make delicious Reuben sandwiches. These simple sandwiches have most of the typical ingredients, with a healthy little spin. As vegetarians, we replace the classic corned beef with a ripe, green substitute -- avocado!

Reuben sandwich for the vegetarian palate
Recipe makes one sandwich

2 slices rye bread
1/2 avocado, peeled and sliced (or mashed)
1/8 cup sauerkraut
2 thin slices swiss cheese
Thousand Island dressing

Set oven to broil. Spread a layer of Thousand Island dressing over both slices of rye bread.
Lay slices of bread on a baking sheet, setting one slice of swiss cheese on each bread slice. Broil until slightly toasted. Spread sauerkraut and avocado over one slice of toasted bread and cheese. Close second toasted slice over first to complete sandwhich. Eat and enjoy!

Serve with a side of veggie chips, potatoes, or as an appetizer.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

starting seeds

I have been lusting for spring. This winter was mild, but even so, I want sunshine and green and birds. I have already been out in the garden a few times to start the annual spring clean-up. It is still too early for us to start plowing our garden, but we did start some of our seeds inside two weeks ago. Every year, we stockpile egg cartons, as they make the perfect starter containers.

Here is what we do:  Remove the lid off the egg carton. Fill each egg cup with damp potting soil so the soil is level with the side of each cup. Make a slight indent in the top of the soil in each cup. Place two or three seeds in each indent, then cover them with soil.

Once planted, we store our seed starters in a clear tub with a lid to cover it (plastic wrap can work, too) and place it in our dining room window, which gets plenty of Southwest sunlight in the early spring. The soil should remain relatively moist. When the seedlings get to be about 4 inches tall or so, they need to be transplanted from their egg cartons to a larger container, such as plastic cups or even pots. If you are past your last frost, they can already be planted in the garden, but need to be gradually hardened to the elements before they can be moved outside.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

sugar and spice and everything nice

Sugar and spice
and everything nice
that's what little girls are made of

Sunshine and rainbows
and ribbons for hair bows
that's what little girls are made of

Tea parties, laces
and baby doll faces
that's what little girls are made of

As Esme turns five years old today, I cannot help thinking of how hard it is to keep up with her. She can play with her doll or in her kitchen for hours, humming and whispering all the while. She will dance to music--or dance without it, get swept up in the magic of an audio book, make fascinating and intricate collages out of scraps and do-dads, stir fresh fruit into her oatmeal, and pick out the brightest outfit known to girl-kind. She will curl up in your lap and listen as you read book after book, turning the pages and pausing at pictures. She will climb in bed with her big sister, shining flashlights together under the quilt and sneaking giggles until they both fall asleep.

Happy birthday to you, dear Esme.

Monday, March 5, 2012

hints of spring

Spring is right around the corner, and our garden is ready for the season change. Strawberries and daffodils are already coming up at the end of our mild weather Winter. The chives and mint are ready to harvest. And we have even spotted a few violets! With the promise of warmer weather, we are starting our seeds indoors this week. We saved seeds from last year's bounty, including tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini. 

Last night, Mother Nature surprised us with a carpet of snow. I was beginning to think we were not going to get a decent snowfall this Winter. I had to get a closer look, especially since everything is beginning to sprout. 

Right now, I am... watching the snow, even as it melts before my eyes... thankful for the beauty and joy in my life and my home... making my week's to-do list of chores and preparations for my littlest one's upcoming birthday... listening to my girls giggles, even though they are not feeling well... gathering my motivation to kick-start my busy day... enjoying a quiet moment, a hot cup of tea, and a mid-morning snack... 

Friday, March 2, 2012

prenatal belly dance video

The following is a video of a full-term pregnant woman belly dancing with her daughter six days before the birth of her baby. Traditionally, belly dance was practiced prenatally and performed by a woman during labor and childbirth, helping the woman's body overcome the pain associated with childbirth. For more information on the subject, check out my post, Belly Dance as Traditional Birth Dance.

The video follows up six days after the birth of her son, dancing and nursing. The video is both beautiful and sweet. Enjoy!