One of the things that's been on my to-do list for quite some time is to make a quilt. I have no idea why I want to do this. I'm thinking a simple, bright patchwork throw to cozy up with on the sofa in the winter...
I've had these photos saved on my computer for so long that I can't remember where they came from, with the exception of that adorable baby...
We had lunch at Tre Trattoria a few weeks ago, and ever since I wanted to recreate their Tagiatelle, Thyme and Wild Mushroom pasta entree. I halved this recipe, except the grocery store didn't have tagiatelle or wild mushrooms, so I used whole wheat linguine and sliced baby bella mushrooms instead, and dried thyme instead of fresh. It was really good, but not nearly as good as Tre's. I can't wait to try it again with the right ingredients.
I've been trying to slowly empty the pantry and freezer of everything before the move. In that spirit, I put together this quick and easy vegetable gumbo recipe, based on what I had and referencing this recipe from Whole Foods and the instructions on the side of the Zatarin's box.
Honestly, it's been 5 years or so since I ate a really, really good cup of gumbo, and then it definitely wasn't vegetarian. So, I'm not sure how this gumbo compares for authenticity and taste to the traditional, but it did taste pretty decent to me and husband ate three bowls in one sitting. Plus, I'm pretty sure this is a lot healthier than the gumbo I'm used to eating and, it could easily be vegan (this particular time I added a small can of oysters, leftover from ages ago when I made oyster artichoke bisque, yumm... I would sub some sliced Cajun soy sausage for next time, and I also didn't think to check the ingredients on the boxed mix, so who knows. I think when I add sausage, it would go in to saute with the onions, celery and garlic in the beginning.)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 c. celery, chopped
1 c. onion, chopped (1 medium)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 boxes Zatarins Gumbo Mix with Rice
1 (28-ounce) can small redor kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 c. vegetable broth
8 c. water
3 c. (16 oz. bag) frozen cut okra
2 c (12 oz. bag) frozen mixed vegetables
Optional: 2 cans (8 oz.) whole oysters
Heat olive oil over medium heat in large pot. Add celery, onion, and garlic and sauté until soft.
Add tomatos and gumbo mix and cook for a few minutes, stirring.
Add 6 c. water, vegetable broth, and beans and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
Add frozen okra, mixed vegetables, oysters and 2 cups water, and bring back to boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
I love getting rid of things, but I find it really hard to part with paper clutter, unless I shred it. My beloved shredder broke a while back, but husband bought me a new one. This is about one third of what I shredded, going through files preparing for the move. I'm used to deciding to move, and then moving like the next day, so all this time to prepare is driving me a bit nuts.
Shredder buying tip: Don't bother with an expensive shredded. They all break sooner or later (usually sooner) so just pick up the cheapie so you don't fell mad when it breaks. Also, don't get suckered in by claims to shred dvds or credit cards - even if it does, and it probably won't, it won't do it well.
UPDATE: It's been two or three weeks since I started using the natural deodorants, and the Tom's actually didn't work very well. Or at all. The first few days, I layered them both and was hyper sensitive about whether they were working, if you know what I mean. When I was comfortable enough, I tried the Tom's by itself and it just didn't work. But the good news is, the Jason worked great. I like it better than my old deodorant. And, since I kept seeing all these paraben-free lables, I looked up parabens on Wikipedia. Sounds like they are nasty stuff to apply to your underarms. Even though it hasn't been scientifically proven to cause cancer yet, the link is there so why take the chance.
So, one of the things I've decided to do is gradually replace my makeup and toiletries with products that 1) don't contain animal products, 2) aren't tested on animals, and 3) are more "natural." I also have extremely sensitive skin, so fragrance-free/non-irritating is also a must. Since I ran out of deodorant, that's where I started first.
I was pretty happy to find a good selection at my normal grocery store, and picked these two up. (For some reason, some were by the normal toiletry aisle, and some were by the vitamins aisle.) My husband thinks that cruelty-free labeling is a marketing gimmick - I have no idea whether any deodorant contains animal products for instance - but I'm happy to put my dollars towards a company that thinks marketing about not being cruel to animals is worthwhile.
I was very skeptical whether "natural" deodorant would actually work. And both the ones I tried do, in fact I think they may work better than my old stuff.
I know this isn't a new song, but I've been singing it a lot lately, and somehow it's turned into the refrain in my head at night when I'm drifting off to sleep, something to keep thoughts from turning around and keeping me alert, when counting breaths doesn't work. The words are pretty beautiful, haunting, and sad.