Friday, May 28, 2010

Song of the week.....

I am going to start sharing a song of the week with you all.  Music is a huge part of my life.  I listen to music all day and use music to get me through any happy or tough times in my life.  I strongly believe that music brings people together like no other art form and that peace can happen through music.  Since I believe this in a very strong sense I play music in the morning, while we play, while we color, drive, cook dinner, and get ready for bed.

There is so many different musicians and types of music that I love and I constantly research new and old music.  I want to share some of my favorite songs with you all.  So every week I will pick a song and post it. 

Since I just went to the John Butler Trio concert last night with my husband, then I feel it is appropriate to share one my favorite songs of his.  He is an amazing musician and I enjoy seeing him live (3 times now)!  His message of peace and unity really shows in his lyrics and songs.  His music inspires his audience to fight for the planet and to join the peaceful revolution.  I grew to love JBT for the heavily acoustic and politically charged songs that inspired me to take a good look at myself and the world we live in.   If you haven't already, check him and his band out! 

Here is his song Peaches & Cream....After I gave birth to Ayden, Drew and I listened to this song a million times finally realizing what his lyrics really meant.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Potato & Mustard-Greens Soup

I made this on Monday.  I had a ton of potatoes in my kitchen and I had mustard-greens in my garden just waiting to be picked.  So I wanted to find a soup recipe that had both of these ingredients.  I searched for hours trying to find the "right" recipe.  Everything I found was either extremely fattening or non-vegetarian.  I decided to look at a few different recipes and make up my own.  It turned out delicious.  I was very happy with the end result  and so were my boys.  Here is the recipe:


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 celery stalks, cut fine
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 water
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups potatoes, diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup mustard-greens, chopped
1/2 cup of milk, you can use non-fat, 1%, or 2%
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onions and celery.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Blend in flour.  Cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add potatoes, water, vegetable broth, and salt.  Stir constantly until boiling.

Turn the heat down to low.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add mustard-greens, cook for 2 minutes.

Add milk, let it heat for about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.  Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Menus and watching the time fly by....

I can't believe May is almost over.  Where did the month go?  But it was an exciting month.....Mother's Day, turning 30, our first wedding shoot of the season, planting more seeds on the farm, camping with friends, and BBQ's.  I am excited for June but more excited for the sun to come back!

Out little backyard garden is doing well and we have already started picking our lettuce and greens to eat.  It is pretty awesome to go out to your backyard, pick some lettuce, and make a quick salad to eat.  I am excited for the peas to show up and the garlic to be ready.  When it stops raining...I will grab the camera and take some pics of our little backyard garden to share with you all.

Last week our menu went really well and everything was delicious.  I would highly recommend the Tortellini Primavera.  It was easy, quick, and delicious.  It would be perfect for a busy evening.... for the parents out there.  This week we are trying one new recipe but mostly just doing some family favorites.  I hope everyone is well and doing there part in the food revolution. 

MONDAY:  Potato and Mustard Green Soup.  (The mustard greens were fresh from our garden.  This was my own recipe that I made up because I couldn't find a recipe I like with these ingredients.  My next post will be the recipe for this soup.) 

TUESDAY:  Spaghetti with homemade sauce and roasted veggies.

WEDNESDAY:  Veggie tacos and homemade spanish rice

THURSDAY:  The husband and I are going to see one of our favorite musicians play, John Butler Trio at The Crystal Ballroom.  We have seen him play twice before but never in Portland and we are very excited to see him here.  We will have dinner at the Ringlers Pub which is the restaurant downstairs from The Crystal before the show.

FRIDAY-  Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter, brown rice, and roasted zucchini.

SATURDAY-  Green Pizza with homemade pizza sauce and dough.  (Late dinner because of a photo shoot that early evening, so I will have the pizza prepped and ready to pop in the oven when we get home.) 

SUNDAY-  BBQ at our farm.  Salmon burgers and grilled vegetables!

 Mustard Greens from our backyard garden

For more meal planning inspirations, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie every Monday.

Happy gardening, cooking, and eating,


"Households that have lost the soul of cooking from their routines may not know what they are missing: the song of a stir-fry sizzle, the small talk of clinking measuring spoons, the yeasty scent of rising dough, the painting of flavors onto a pizza before it slides into the oven."  -Barbara Kingsolver

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Menus and Farms

I'm here!  Blogging has definitely been on the back burner lately, which is kind of a good sign.  Our photo business has been booming and life has just been busy.  I'm trying to get back in the swing of things in this blog world.  I have some great ideas that I want to create here.  I hope to continue blogging about 3 to 4 times a week.  Let's see if this busy mama can do this!

Our farm has been on full force this past week.  We got peas growing and seeds planted!  This last weekend we planted corn, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi.  I can't wait to start seeing the little sprouts pop out of the ground.  One of our partners of the farm is looking into getting a couple chickens this summer.  We have enough land where we can build a chicken coup and area for the chickens.  I will keep you posted on this project but I think it will be so amazing to enjoy our own fresh eggs. 

I am excited for this upcoming season of fresh growing food from our farm, my father's garden, farmer's markets, and local co-ops!  It is so prodigious to raise our son in an environment that supports healthy, organic, and local food.  That is where our change will happen, in our children.

Here is our menu for the week:

MONDAY-  Tortellini Primavera

TUESDAY-  Veggie Stir Fry (Drew's night to cook)

WEDNESDAY-  Auntie and Ayden dinner date with MJ and AC. (I work and my husband is in school late)

THURSDAY-  Polenta & Vegetable Bake and a garden salad

FRIDAY-  Camping in a yurt at Manzanita Beach with friends.  BBQing salmon and veggies.

SATURDAY-  Camping.....Salmon burgers and tuna pasta salad

SUNDAY- Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and a tomato caprese salad

Happy cooking & eating,

"'Just living is not enough,' said the butterfly. 'One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.'"-Hans Christian Andersen

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Menus, Meditations, and Mama's Day!

I have been meditating a lot lately.  In the beginning of my journey of motherhood, I told myself I was going to practice peace and bring mindfulness to our lives.  My husband and I both knew that this was the type of environment we wanted to live in and bring our son into.  It has been a journey, with many different obstacles trying to get in the way of our goal of practicing peace.  We jumped right over those obstacles and continued on practicing and learning along the way.  It has been amazing.  Meditation is something that I have done from time to time but I want to start bringing it into our home more.  So now I add daily mediation to my journey.  I am learning to meditate within my daily activities;  waking up before my family and sitting on the back deck, sitting in the backyard under the sun, while gardening, on long walks, and while cooking.  It is so easy for me to meditate while cooking and I personally think it makes the meals better.  I hope to continue my journey towards daily meditation.

I am still learning.

I am continuing to menu plan every week and it has been going very well as usual.  This is an exciting week for us.   My husband's first art show during First Thursday at the Pearl District.  I am beyond proud of him and can't wait to for the show.  It has been so fun helping him prepare for this event.  We will also be spending lots of time at the farm.  And of course, celebrating my mama and being a mama on Mother's Day. 

Here is our menu for our week:

MONDAY-  Baked Salmon, whole wheat couscous, and steamed broccoli

TUESDAY-  Tuna melts and sauteed vegetables in a garlic sauce.  (My husbands night to cook, while I work.)

WEDNESDAY-  Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Chilaquiles Casserole, chips & homemade guacamole.

THURSDAY-  My husband's photo show.  Appetizers and finger foods at the show.

FRIDAY-  Breakfast for dinner-  Southwestern Tufo Scramble with whole wheat tortillas and black beans

SATURDAY-  Gemelli with bell peppers and tomatillo*

SUNDAY-  Mother's Day BBQ at my parents house.  I am baking carrot cake to bring.


Gemelli with Bell Peppers and Tomatillo (One of my best girlfriends from Turning Thirty gave this to me, while visiting her.)

2 large red bell peppers
3 ears of corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups) OR frozen corn
1/2 pound of gemelli pasta
1/2 cup roasted tomatillo salsa or salsa verde
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon of salt

1. Preheat the broiler.  Line the broiler pan with foil; place the bell peppers on the broiler pan.  Broil 4 inches from the heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until evenly charred, 13-16 minutes.  Remove the pepper from the broiler, then wrap in the foil and let steam 20 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, peel, core, and seed the peppers and cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips.
2.  Heat a 12-inch nonsticl skillet over medium -high heat.  Add the corn and cook until lightly charred in spots, 2 minutes; transfer to a large serving bowl.
3.  Meanwhile, cook the gemelli, according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
4.  Toss, the gemelli, salsa, peppers, goat cheese, salt, and enough of the reserved liquid with the corn until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy .  Serve at once. 

Happy Mother's Day,


"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."  ~Washington Irving