Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gifts in all this (Five Minute Friday)

I forgot to publish my five minute friday from yesterday...
Happy Saturday morning!

...I wake hearing the little voices down the hall.
I've closed my eyes again & the guy next to me has rolled out of bed.
He shows the kids that the long awaited Care Bears dvd was brought by the mailman,
and yes they may watch it.
I fall asleep in the few minutes that pass.
He brings me the smallest baby, who is not so small anymore.
Look at all these gifts in the first few minutes of my day.

Leftover oatmeal is already in the fridge.
Breakfast in a literal minute before the man heads out to work.
Coffee brewing, children eating, baby exploring, gifts.

Library visit & books piled high.
A sister helping her toddling baby sister.
A sister building towers for her siblings.
A brother & sister adventuring through the yard together.

The daddy to these four gifts surprises us with an afternoon visit,
part of which includes a tricycle ride.
And the gifts go on and on.

"Every good and perfect gift comes from above"

Do you know about Five Minute Friday?
Go check out The Gypsy Mama.

We set a timer, throw caution to the winds and try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
Want to play Five Minute Friday? It’s easy peasy!
1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt- no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Meet & encourage someone who linked up before you.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Schools for Zambia

 Join us to IMPACT lives in Zambia...   


"Hi.  My name is Richard.  I am in grade 7.  I stay with my sister, Josephine.  I have three brothers and two sisters.  My other sister attends Lifesong and is in grade 5.  Her name is Emelia.  My mother stays in a village far away.  My father died in 2006.  Thank you for supporting me and may God bless you and add more days to your life.  My favorite subject is art."

Richard is just ONE of the 253 students that we are blessed to serve at Lifesong Zambia.  He is also one of the students that will be moving on to grade 8 this fall.  

Without the construction of new classrooms, Richard may join the 95% of Zambian children that are not able to attend High School. 

Will you join us in impacting the lives of children like Richard?

To add to the excitement--thanks to a generous donor, all donations will be matched up to $225,000!!


To join the Impact Zambia 100 team, email!

When you email Lifesong, include my name (Erin Adams) as the place you heard.
They will enter me in a drawing for a trip to Orphan Summit VII
(Which I probably won't be able to attend anyway.  But, wishing 'n' hoping...)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Injera, Berbere & Red Lentils

Recipe for Fake Injera - 
The real deal would have Teff Flour.  I have yet to get any Teff flour.  
So, I can't tell you how much different this would be if I was using it.
Injera is much like a thick crepe or a thick pancake or maybe a bit like a tortilla.
It is very simple to prepare, but like crepe batter, should be mixed a bit ahead of time.

Here are the things I whisk together -
2 cups Self Rising Flour
1/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 cup Cornmeal
2/3 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
2 1/3 cup Warm Water

Cover & let it sit out for several hours, at least ( a day even).
Your batter needs to be bubbly & stretchy.
Now put about 2 cups of the batter into your blender.
Add some water, about 1/2 cup, & blend so it is pourable like a crepe batter.

It is a crepe pan that I actually use to cook mine.
You can use cast iron or non-stick.
Heat a dry pan (no oil!) to medium to med-high.
Swirl about 1/3 cup of batter in your hot pan & cook without disturbing.
You don't flip the Injera.  Just cook until done through, with tons of little bubbles across the surface.
It doesn't burn easily.  But, if it is on the thin side, & cooked too long, it will be crispy like a chip.
You don't want that.
You want a soft, flexi bread to dip in your lentils.
I pile mine in a towel, while they are all finishing, before serving.

Now onto the Ethiopian Red Lentils.
This is a slight adaption from the Saveur Ethiopian Lentil Stew

1 1/2 cup Red Lentils (or maybe called pink - they are more of a coral color, though)
4 teaspoons Butter
1/2  Yellow Onion, small diced
4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
small can of Diced Tomatoes
3 Tablespoons Berbere  (of what?!!  I'll give you the recipe below.  It's an Ethiopian Spice mix.)
3 cups Water
Salt, to taste

Saute your onions in the butter, until onions are soft.  Add in garlic & saute for another minute.
Add in tomato & lentils.  Stir in Berbere.  Pour in 3 cups of water.
Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to keep a gentle simmer.
Partially cover, but come back to your pot to stir occasionally.
Cook for about 40 minutes.

Go over to Saveur for the Berbere - Ethiopian Spice Mix

Eat!  Remember you don't need flatware.  You can just use the Injera to eat your lentils with.

Pinwheel Cookies

Pinwheel cookies are a fun treat for a blustery spring day.

We made these cookie when I was a kid.
I've always loved them.
They are a little funny.  There is no sugar in the dough.
The sugar is all on the top.

Here it is spring time, begging me to make pinwheel cookies,
even though I had determined not to use artificial food coloring anymore.
I went to certain store specifically to get India Tree sugars.
I get there & the India Tree sugars they carry are NOT the nature's colors line.
Argh!!!  I got the ones with poison in them, because we we set on making these cookies that day.
If you plan ahead, you can order from Amazon.

The recipe is from Pillsbury, some cookbook that looks more like a little magazine.
I seem to have lost it, though.  So, this is my best recollection of it all...

Pin Wheel Cookies
makes about 30

3/4 cup Butter, softened
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 Egg, separated
2 cups Flour
1 T. Baking Powder

dough -
Cream together the butter & the cream cheese in your mixer.
Beat the egg yolk in & set the white aside for later.
Beat the flour & baking powder in, just until together in a sticky dough.
Pat into a flat disk & wrap with plastic wrap.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

sanding sugars
M & M's
30 Popsicle sticks

assembly -
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll dough into a rectangle, as evenly as you can, to about 1/8" thickness.
Trim up the edges to make it straight, into a size where you can get 3 x 3 squares.
e.g. a 9" x 12" shape will give the ability to cut 3 squares across & 4 squares down.
Cut your squares 3" x 3".  Then slice down about 2" from each corner, toward the center,
like so -

Place your squares on your cookie sheet, leaving room for the sticks between.
Lightly beat your egg white with a fork & brush your squares with the white.
Press a stick in the center & sprinkle with sugar.
Now you need to pull in every other corner to the center point at the top of the stick.
Now it looks like a pinwheel, right?
Stick the M & M in the center.
If you are tempted to add a dab of egg white to the top to "glue" it all together, don't do it.
Everything will slide apart.

Anyway.  So, put the M & M in the middle.
Gillian sorted the chocolate candies & very carefully planned the color combinations.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Tada!  Happy Spring!

Be sure to make enough to share with friends.
(p.s. we cheated on our 40 day simple food plan since we were hosting small group at our house...) 

Thursday, March 22, 2012


“The wind blows wherever it pleases. 
You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
So is it with everyone born of the Spirit.
John 3:8

“[Jesus said,]I have come that they may have life,
& have it to the full.”
John 10:10

“The wilderness & the dry land shall be glad;
& the desert shall rejoice & blossom as the rose.”
Isaiah 35:1

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lenten Cooking

Is lenten a word?  Pertaining to lent?
Oh.  I'll google it.
Yes!  Relating to the observation of Lent.

So, after my "lesson" on cooking beans from the dry state,
my friend who is extremely skilled in the kitchen
politely questioned my sources...
I had some stuff wrong.
I have Harold McGee's text book
On Food & Cooking the science and lore of the kitchen.
My husband & I heard him speak.  He signed our book.
Shame on me for not consulting him on the matter of salt in the beans.
Thank you Kristen.  You are right.  (I'm not surprised.)
It is completely, scientificly false, to say that you will
spoil your beans by adding the salt too early.
Apparently the item that would hinder the softening of your beans is
 tomatoes & other acidic items.
So, beware when you fix your chili, I suppose. 
As for the soaking overnight issue - Harold still recommends this.
Your beans can cook without the soak.  But, they will not cook evenly.
The soaking soften the outer shell & allows the interior of the bean to cook,
once you turn the heat on.

Alright.  Enough about beans.
And, I should tell you.  We haven't been stricly faithful to our goal.
We "break the rules" occasionaly.
We were running late for church on Sunday,
so reached into the dark corner of the cabinet & got out Cliff Z bars.
Gillian said, "Mom, I love it when you break the rules."
That wasn't the only time, either...

Peyton has so many plans of things to eat for Easter.
Fruit snacks, burgers, bars, cereal, juice, Halloween candy,

In our simple eating adventure,
we have found a lunch menu to fall in love with.
Ethiopian Red Lentils & Injera
We love this little meal!  So super tasty!
If I took good food photos, I'd try to do a little post on it for you guys.
But I don't. 
But, maybe I still will. 
I'll just do it in a very unglamorous way.

bad food photo - injera batter being blended

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's Official

She is now a big girl.

Gillian lost her first tooth a couple weeks ago.
We were a bit shocked.  She's 5 1/2.  What happened?  It seemed so soon.
But, that big tooth has already poked through.  It was time.

The other news on her growing up is that she started wearing glasses.
Her eyesight was quite a bit worse than her own daddy's already.
It is an emotional thing, when your child can suddenly see,
& you think back to all the times she was unable to.
We felt awful, really.

When we went to the zoo at the beginning of the year,
she was pretty much just waiting to go back home the whole time.
We were irritated by that. 
What?  Our child who loves this kind of stuff
is a grump the whole time we are at the zoo, just begs to leave?!
A few weeks later we realize she probably couldn't see the animals...
That was the only thing she had missed out on, either.
That was not the only time when I lost my patience with her,
because I thought she was just being difficult. 

I felt guilty & grateful all at once
I was filled with gratitude that we were able to give her the glasses she needed.
How many parents around the world wish they could do the same, but don't have the means?
We are so blessed to be able to get high quality medical care for our kids. 
Speaking of, you know about Toms shoes, right?  One for one.
When you buy a pair of sunglasses, you are also giving sight to someone else.
This may be reason enough for me to get my first pair of nice sunglasses.  Maybe?
I really only sunglasses from Ross.
So, this would be a whole new world for me.

More on Gillian & her grown up self...
She is a good money saver.  I knew that.
But last week she wanted to put money from her piggy bank into the real bank,
so we emptied the pig & counted & rolled money. 
She had $50 in there!!

We have never given allowance, either. 
I think we put a few dollars in there, when we first got the bank when she was a baby.
Mostly she hunts the ground & couches & washing machine for spare change.
I guess I should start picking up all the pennies I see on the sidewalk.

Gillian & I got to go on an ice cream date last weekend.
We have rain here right now.  But there was nice sunshine last weekend.
A trip to the best ice creamery around was perfect.

(mom & daughter matching eye wear & over-grown bangs.)

Gillian had Meyer lemon poppy seed.  I had burnt cinnamon.  Yummo!

Do you know about Embrace the Camera
Emily is trying to get everyone to get into the shot, because our loved ones care.
They will want pictures of YOU. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Listen Up!

Holy lent season you guys!  I haven't been on this blog much lately, have I?
It hasn't been intentional. 
I guess I don't have many blogging thoughts, while operating on a beany brain.

And, I've been sewing ears.
Bunny ears.

This is what I am adding to the Spring bag giveaway
There will be at least two pairs of easter rabbit felt ears in the package for ya'll.
I'll post tomorrow what the actual ones look like.

If you have donated to get an entry,
 & you also are a blog follower for an additional entry,
will you leave a comment telling me that you follow,
in case I miss you on the google follower list?

I'll be back by tomorrow!