Friday, December 12, 2014

Our Lady of Gudalupe

Today is the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. So this morning I let Lenny watch this YouTube video explaining the history and the miraculous properties of the image of Our Lady on the cactus fiber cloth which is still preserved in Mexico today. He also watched a cartoon version of the story which was only available in Spanish, probably because of copyright issues, so I sort of narrated it to him while eating breakfast/folding laundry/getting dressed.

Then I course I had these delicious peppermint white chocolate star pretzels that I was saving for Christmas, when I saw a Pinterest picture about using twelve star pretzels to represent the woman with a crown of twelve stars. And I thought, even better to draw a picture of Our Lady and use the pretzels as the stars on her mantle. And the best part is I don't have to wait til Christmas to eat them. 

BEWARE: You will have crumbs of these stuck all over your clothes and especially your socks.
I had to sweep and and change the kids' clothes. 
It was as bad as all those little pieces of hair stuck everywhere when I cut Lenny's hair in the kitchen. 
Except the kids don't cry when it gets in their mouth. 

So I drew up a big image on a few sheets of paper towels since I was too lazy to tape printer paper together. We talked about the meaning of the missionary cross necklace and the Aztec maternity belt as well as the significance of the rays of the sun and the moon she stands on. Then Lenny put the stars all around, I snapped a quick pic, and we descended on those pretzels like a starving pack of wild dogs. 

I didn't want to let my two minute drawing go to waste, so we got out the paints and went to town. 

All done! 

Looking back, I think we should have painted first then did the pretzels after the paint dried.
But it came out well and Lenny also told me later in the day that Mary is like the moon because she reflects the light of God. Be still my heart! Lesson learned.

Side note-
Jam of the day: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus by Kings Kaleidoscope.

From the Book of Revelation, 11:19—12:1-18.[3]
11:19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. 12:1 A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 It was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. 4 Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. 6 The lady herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of for twelve hundred and sixty days.
7 Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, 8 but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night.
11 They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death.
12 Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them. But woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time.
13 When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year. 15 The serpent, however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current. 16 But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth and swallowed the flood that the dragon spewed out of its mouth. 17 Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus. 13:1 It took its position on the sand of the sea.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Quinoa: You're Doing it Wrong

Maybe you're not. There's a good chance you are, though.

Everyone says quinoa is a great replacement for grains and it is. But if you have ever just made a cup of quinoa and served it on a plate next to some poached salmon and arugula salad, you probably thought it was meh at best. If you actually do like eating quinoa this way, more power to you. I do not. But I love dishes that use quinoa as a base for bold flavors.

We are constantly fighting the battle to eat healthier. And I discovered that they sell quinoa at Aldi. So, we are eating a lot of quinoa these days. And if you've ever been on Pinterest I guess you've noticed that they obviously own stock in quinoa because there are a million recipes on there.

Here are my favorites:

1. Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Salad with Basil and Mozzarella

I love the roasted eggplant and zucchini, and the red onion. The little mozzarella balls are the best part. It's like a caprese salad turned into a meal. Deliciousness.

2. White Bean Quinoa Salad with Caramelized Onions and Bacon Dressing

Onions and mushrooms caramelized in bacon grease. And you get to eat the bacon, too, all with melty blue cheese crumbles on top. 

Mexican street corn is the literal best. I always add a bit of mayo to this salad because I like unnecessarily making it fatter. You could add plain yogurt instead. Or not.
Also, I just grill everything by semi-burning it in a pan on the stove top. I really don't believe that I'm the only person in the world who does this. 

This is your typical cold quinoa salad with beans. But the dressing is THE BOMB.

Warm goat cheese. Silky dressing. Caramelized, tender veggies. Soooo good.

It tastes exactly like enchiladas. But no taking forever rolling up tortillas and then eating said tortillas the next day and gagging on the sogginess. 

7. Avocado, Chickpea, and Quinoa Salad

This is a great lunch. Creamy avocado, sweet tomatoes, protein from the beans, and lots of flavor.

Another amazing dinner. Like an epiphany in your mouth. I used homemade creme fraiche in place of the crema and feta in place of the queso fresco. 

So make yourself a quinoa dish and ENJOY IT. That way you can stop telling everyone that you just don't like it. Join the cool kids club and become a fangirl of quinoa too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Greek Avocado Salad (and Advent Music)

Greek salad with avocado? Yes, please. Thank you, Pinterest.

Seriously, thank you.

And thanks for the picture Because after I stirred mine up it looked like a mystery-ingredient potato salad drenched in clumpy green mayo. 

Also I couldn't stop shoveling it in my mouth long enough to actually take a picture.

The only thing I did differently from the recipe is reduced the red wine vinegar and added a little bit of balsamic. So goooooood. Not at all a wintery type lunch but it is like 72 degrees so whatever.

Anyway I busted out my Advent jams and the first song I hear is Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing sung by Sufjan Stevens. Commence trying to sing and sounding so whiny and pitchy. And then weeping at every other word. Ay me.

I wanted to upload a video of the song and of course there is no real music video but there are lots of videos that people made to go with the song. The first one on the list was black and white shots of animals... I just don't get the right vibe from lions chillin in the savannah. So I scrolled down a little further and BAM giant Jesus face.

Look at those eyes!
How can you say no?

So enjoy that.

Happy and Blessed Advent Y'all.