October 28, 2008

Today's lunch

No, I didn't make it all today :) Mujadarah (rice and lentils) was made last night, flatbread (lepyoshka) was made the night before, and today I just whipped up another batch of Muhammara dip. Tomatoes and cilantro are a perfect addition for rice with lentils, but boy, those tomatoes from Whole Foods are a mockery to my taste buds that are going through a withdrawal after feasting upon real tomatoes from farmers market and Annie's garden in the last few months...

today's lunch
And here's the recipe for Lepyoshka that our friend Linda shared with us (so it's authentic Uzbek ;)

Mix and knead:
2 Cups water
1Tbls yeast
2 tsps salt
5 cups flour

Divide dough into 4 balls and press out one at a time into circles on greased board. Leave the edge thicker than the middle. Condition top with egg and prick flat middle part with fork. Bake on lightly greased baking sheet at 425 until lightly browned.

I have to add that I didn't do the egg part, just made sure the dough was greased on both sides lightly. And I also found out that it's best to stretch out your dough until it's about 1/2" thick. And don't wait for the browning part, mine were too hard once they got browned, but maybe it's just our oven. Oh, and lastly, I did half white flour and half whole wheat. Next time I'll go for all whole wheat :)

October 27, 2008

It's all about colors

Happy colors make ma happy. Or even better, any colors in fun combination make me happy :) So I'm putting together a quilt, hoping it will be a perfect addition to our couch for those cold winter nights (and days) when I want to wrap myself in a blanket and watch a show with a cup a cocoa or tea.


This stack of fabric has been staring at me for a couple of months, so it's quite an accomplishment that I was able to put together half of the rows last night. Oh, and did I mention it's my first quilt ever? I just hope it won't turn into new addiction, since it's a very time consuming one :)

October 21, 2008

Food for thought

This is as close as I'll come to mentioning politics on this blog :) I had no idea who Colin Powell was until I saw this clip and then Mark explained to me why this guy sounds so convincing. Honesty, duh!

October 19, 2008

Late hikes

This year we haven't been very good at having regular hikes, esp. in the fall. Partly because Saturday is the only day when we get to unburry our house from heaps'o'stuff that magically grow back overnight and it's just too hard to find perfect time when it's not kids' nap time and not too dark outside, and when we are not too tired.

This week we've been able to get out !TWICE! and both times is was so refreshing to change the scenery, breathe some fresh air in, get our shoes muddy and listen to the silence of the trees around.

Today's photos are still in the camera, but I have some other ones ready that we took during our Wednesday hike. Both Mark and I were taking photos, so he deserves some credit for doing his best at 'covering' for me when I couldn't hold my camera still while bouncing on my feet to keep Anya from squirming :) And I do enjoy seeing things from his perspective, and the fact that those photos are a 'surprise' to me, something that I don't get to instantly view on the camera screen...

On the way back is was almost too dark to take photos, but I don't mind the noise so I cranked up the ISO and caught the following:

October 13, 2008

Some recipes to share

Last week Mark and I had a chance to eat out (no kids!) at Mazza (Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant). They had a stunning variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes and we couldn't resist ordering two sampler plates. We loved every single side, all of them! In fact, we loved them so much that I miraculously remembered the names of two sides (unusual for me) and was able to find some recipes online in hopes to recreate the delightful taste of middle eastern cuisine at home. I've cooked two dishes so far and both Mark and I agree that they turned out just as good, so I am happy to share the recipes :)

Muhammara (walnut and roasted pepper dip/sauce)
7 oz roasted bell peppers (or 2 bell peppers roasted in the oven)
1/5 cup fresh bread crumbs (about 1 slice of bread)
1/3 c walnuts (recipe called for roasted, but I left them raw)
2 garlic cloves
1 T lemon juice
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3 T fresh parsley
2 T sesame tahini
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Toasted pita triangles, as an accompaniment

*can be purchased at middle eastern markets, sub'd by 1T lemon juice + 1T agave nectar or honey, or made at home (which I'm going to try next time)

Directions: throw everything in the blender on highest speed (reserve half of the oil for gradually adding it later when the ingredients are fully blended together). Done!

more later... Anya's awake...

October 8, 2008

Better late than never

Remember this post? Well, the thing is finally done! Six months later, it's finished, totally wearable and wonderfully comfortable :) I redid both straps and body completely, but I love the new fabric for the body so it was well worth it :) Now I just have to hope that Anya will learn to sit in it still for more than 10 minutes... Actually, I was surprised at how well she did last night while I wore her in this MT at Noodles & Co. She only got mad when I sat at the table to eat and she realized she couldn't grab the food off my plate, hehe :)

October 5, 2008

Not sleepy...

Dark room, old movie, rocking chair only work on parents, not babies...

October 4, 2008

Trying new things

I've been wanting to try needle felting for a while and last night I finally picked up some special needles for felting wool. I didn't expect this to become so addicting! I love the simplicity of needle felting, just cozy up on the couch, surround yourself with fluffy clouds of colorful wool (dyed with KoolAid by Maya and me for making wool 'paintings'), put on a movie and start pocking that wool with the needle :) VERY relaxing... Seriously, somebody should've given me a warning. WATCH OUT, NEEDLE FELTING WILL STEAL UP TO 3 HOURS OF YOUR PRECIOUS SLEEP! (good thing we have an alarm clock named Anya)

I ended up making a mushroom (the kind that accompanied illustrations to every folk tale of my childhood) and a 'harvest' fairy. Don't laugh, this was my first attempt and the 'wheat' turned out more like a rocket or an orange squid. I'll have to fix that tomorrow ;) (oh, and today I also added a bunny, a carrot and a pumpkin, but haven't taken any photos of them yet).

October 2, 2008

She took matters into her own hands

Poor little hungry children, they had no choice but to get the dinner themselves. They lovingly shared the last of apple sauce and even found a couple of clean souvenir spoons to eat with, along with a washed sour cream container and a large salad bowl to put apple sauce in...

OK, yes, we were out of clean dishes, but did have a couple of spoons, even though Maya chose out of the blue the painted spoons :) And it wasn't dinner time yet (by our standards) so kids were just trying to get themselves a snack while Mark and I were deciding on our evening escape-from-the-house plans. See, no need to call CPS ;)

The current state of things

not sleeping. mess. not sleeping. more mess. not sleeping again.

I guess that about sums it up. Anya still can't figure out how to sleep at night and I fear she's going back to her 'no napping' routine as well. Cute as a button, as always though :)

Our house is a disaster and we can't do much to make it look more decent right now. It takes Maya and Elijah about 10 minutes in the morning to throw toys on the floor, shred paper all over the living room, spill all kinds of stuff and/or food on the table, open 3 boxes of soy milk and spill that on the floor while filling the cups to the rim, go around the room touching everything with i-won't-eat-with-a-spoon hands, all while fighting each other and screaming. Ahhh, the joys of motherhood...

Then if I do get a few minutes to catch my breath during the day, I usually spend that time for eating my breakfast (in the afternoon), and staring at the ceiling afterwards. Mark's coming home means kids losing their minds and getting yet another burst of energy which they use for... you guessed it, making more mess, fighting, running around like crazy and such. So we try to remove them from the house then get back even more exhausted just in time for late dinner. 1.5 hours later they are in bed, Anya is giving up on fighting her tiredness and drifts off to sleep in the arms of ever-so-bouncy Mark and the peace is restored... for an hour or two.

And yet, amidst all this craziness, I find those priceless moments that make up for my state of constant frazzled-ness. Like Maya getting all giddy about her dress-up clothes that mama was forced to buy at the kids consingment store just to get out of there as quickly as possible. Elijah babying his beloved trucks and diggers, carefully wrapping them in his blankie and asking me to give them hugs and kisses. And of course, the star of the show (or queen of the house, jailer of the prison, take your pick), who is getting better and better at her scooting/crawling skills and now manages to make rounds in the living room leaving a trail or drool (or rather licked floor) behind. How can I not enjoy it all? :)

Then somehow I manage to sneak it little sewing projects here and there. They are not perfect, but I don't care about 'perfect' right now, just 'good enough' for the sake of some kind of accomplishment will do.

That's it for today. Time 10 minutes of sleep before Anya wakes up. But I do have post tomorrow about Maya's idea for dinner (after she gave up on expecting mom and dad to feed her)