I woke up this morning and immediately grabbed my phone and checked the weather. I came downstairs and turned on the laptop. I checked my phone for messages while I made my coffee. I got my coffee and sat down at the computer and checked my email. Now I sit here typing this. Do you even remember what we did before all this technology became requirements for us to function normally in our daily lives? Sometimes I strain to remember. I think I got my coffee and talked to somebody, maybe after that I walked my dog. One thing I do remember is being able to separate work, school, and my personal life. I think we all have become too aware of ourselves and what needs to be done that we forget to just live. Everyone needs time to unplug. We are so busy “checking in” we forget to look around and see what the world is trying to show us. Beautiful paths carved into the woods, natural phenomenon like the boulder field created from an ancient glacier, and finally realizing humans are just as much a part of nature as any other creature – we just need to do it right.
Egg Salad with Attitude June 24, 2012
1/4 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced radish
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. chopped chives
1/2 tsp. chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. chopped celery leaf
1 Tbsp. chopped watercress
1/4 tsp. olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients up to salt & pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes.
2. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Add eggs and fold into mixture. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Marinated Collard Greens June 23, 2012
My collard green addiction has not waned. I still try to find new ways to prepare them. I happened upon a truly interesting recipe that has become a staple for me. This recipe uses collard greens but is great with other similar greens as well like radish greens, kale, and swiss chard.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup diced radishes
1/4 cup chopped onions or leeks (white part only)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. sea salt, divided in half
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 bunch collard greens, washed
1/8 cup olive oil
1. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, tomatoes, radishes, onions, garlic, red pepper, 1 tsp. sea salt, and pepper. Set aside.
2. Take several collard green leaves, roll up like a cigar, and cut into thin strips. Continue until all greens are sliced. Place in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and 1 tsp. sea salt. With hand, massage into collard greens.
3. Add marinade and mix with hands until all are well coated. Let marinate for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
This is one of my favorite times of the year, when the garden starts showing off – getting buds, flowers, and fruits. Just looking at it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I know that in a short time I will have more produce then I can handle and I’ll break out the pressure canner. I cannot express enough the difference between food you grow on your own and what you buy in the supermarket. Did you know that celery actually has flavor and peppers aren’t bitter? Even more, growing your own food gives you a level of control over what goes into your body. I know what I use in and on my garden. I know how fresh the produce is because I am the one who picked it. This year, we extended the garden again and planted more than last year. This year’s offerings:
- Red onions
- Swiss Chard
- 3 Types of Tomatoes
- Green Peppers
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Green Beans
- Straightneck Squash
This sounds delicious!
Hearty Barley Salad
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
2 tsp. salt
2 cups sliced in two, grape tomatoes
1/4 red onion, small dice
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Half of a red, yellow and orange bell pepper, diced
Combine 4 cups of water and the barley. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer on medium low heat until barley is almost tender. Stir in 2 tsp salt and continue to cook until tender. Drain well; set aside to cool.
Toss in the remaining ingredients.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 shallots , chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients and whisk until emulsified. Toss with the barley mixture.
Great, inexpensive home cooking ideas!
These are some of my “go-to” recipes when money gets tight – no ramen noodles required (although I do like ramen….)! They all taste amazing and are under $1.42 per serving. The lentil/sausage recipe is the lowest at $.30 per serving – you can’t beat that!
What are your favorite budget-friendly meals? I’d love to hear from you!
Simple Living Food June 18, 2012
There is nothing that says real simple living like the times we take ourselves completely out of our element. For some, our home is in the urban jungle, for others it’s the suburban safari, and others the country zoo. No matter where you are or where you live, we all need to unplug and unwind and take time to be what we were born to be – the human. Just like every other animal, we were built to sustain in this world. Our problems lie in the struggle between how we were made to live and how we want to live in this world. Many people believe living like a human is beneath them – the Jones’ would’ve gotten take out tonight right? In our world where being busy is somehow a gauge of success (although I am not sure why), in my natural rebellious way, I did the opposite. I took a long weekend with some of my favorite people and animals to spend in the woods. Tents, a campfire, and nature are all you need to put life in perspective at times. (more…)
One of the most important parts of life is internal beauty. Music is beauty. To teach children to create beautiful music is amazing – to share that beautiful music with others is priceless. Good work!
Dear Beloved Blog Followers!
Our final concert was last Saturday. It was amazing, the students sounded out of this world, and families were so PROUD! I’m going to blog about this topic further once we have the videos posted (should be in the next day or so).
In the meantime, check out our fundraiser on Indiegogo. http://www.indiegogo.com/Tuneupphilly?a=601017
Please feel free to share this with anyone. Donations can be as small as $1. Our plan is to use this money to take our students to play at different venues, predominantly in North Philly, to spread live music out into the surrounding community. Our students have arrived as musicians, now we want to give them more opportunities!
Simplicity June 11, 2012
In many of my recipe posts I mention the farmers market. (I say many, and I’ve only been posting for a few weeks, but just let it go.) This “farmers market” is so unique here as it is an Amish market. Sure, I’m in Pennsylvania, but Amish country is about an hour and half west and although I love making that trip now and then, I am glad the Amish sellers make it here every week. The Bristol Amish Market is why I love farmers markets and anything like a farmers market. I go at least once a month and they have the most fresh vegetables, meats, fish, bakery items, cheeses, and more. What’s even better is the fact the Amish do not use hormones, pesticides, and other crazy things to mess up perfectly wonderful food. I feel confident in what I buy. I like that I have to rinse the vegetables because there is dirt on them – they should have dirt on them because they grow in the ground! Take the time to check out the markets in your area, it’s worth it. Once you grow or buy a vegetable from a non-commercial source, you will realize strange things: celery actually has flavor, a head of garlic isn’t that big, and carrots actually come in different colors! Even more, visit a pick your own orchard or farm for a really different, satisfying, and fun afternoon. Kids who grow or pick their own vegetables tend to eat more fresh foods – same with adults. Find pick your owns and farmers markets in your area.