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Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Week Activities

Some reading and ideas for observing Holy Week:

Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary on Palm Sunday

Liturgical Year for Little Ones has great ideas - note especially "for the Little Ones" - for families during Holy Week.    and more here.

Dana at Roscommon Acres has a Holy Week lesson plan.

Feel free to leave a comment with a link to your own Holy Week post - or someone else's that you enjoyed.  I'll try to update with new links during the week.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Looking toward Holy Week

We are days away from the pinnacle of the Christian year: Holy Week and Easter.   My house is in utter disarray with give-away bags, packed-up boxes, and random pieces of furniture waiting to be moved to the storage unit.  I suspect my Holy Week is going to look a little "light" this year.

But we'll bring out a few of the Way of the Cross items from a couple of years ago to help us remember the focus of our week.  And we'll attend as many of the Holy Week services as we are able.

Perhaps you'd like some ideas for Holy Week?  I'll post them as I see the next couple of days, but to get your started here are some of my ideas and thoughts from years past:

Way of the Cross for Families
Choosing the stations and artwork
Devotions for the stations
Photos from the Way of the Cross hosted in our home

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Slackish Blogging

Well, you know you are a slackish blogger when one of your best friends calls to see if everything is ok because your blog has not been updated in weeks.

You also know you are a slackish blogger when you miss a popular feast day (St. Patrick)...and don't even manage to link to your blogging friends' good St. Patrick Day posts.   (like: Splendor in the Ordinary, The Daily Weaving,  Frankly Journaling

While I may be a slackish blogger, I'm not a slackish mama (at least not right now).

We are busy packing up our house!  After looking on and off for around 3 or 4 years, we've finally found what just might be THE place.  We are gathering some info and off to do some contract negotiating this weekend.  We have some new info about the builder/developer that we need to do some discernment on, so if you think of it we'd love your prayers!

It has been a busy couple of weeks of  visiting the model homes, gathering initial info, checking out the new neighborhood, walking a couple lots and...packing (to get the house ready for showing).   Too busy for blogging.

But I'll be back soon . . .

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tofu with Broccoli and Peanut Sauce

This is an original recipe by yours truly, but that is just a way of saying "made up".  It is quite good (as attested to by my whole family) and easy to make.

Tofu with Broccoli and Peanut Sauce
by Kerry   serves 6 hungry people with some leftovers

2 pkgs (blocks) of extra-firm tofu
4-6 heads of broccoli
1/2-3/4 of a bottle of Peanut sauce
    (I use an 11.5 oz jar of  Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce - in the chinese/asian food section)
Enough cooked rice for 6 people (I make mine a little ahead and keep it in the warm oven)
Oil for sauteing

You'll also need a large saute pan, a casserole dish (9x13 or so) and a warm oven

Drain each block of tofu by slicing it in half lengthwise and placing the two halves on paper towels.  Place another paper towel on top and gently press down.  Let the tofu sit on the paper towels while you prepare the broccoli.

Trim the broccoli into medium-sized florets (bite size).  Include some of the stem, too (trim off the tough outer growth).

Heat some oil (enough to coat the pan well, about 1-2 T) in your saute pan.  Add the broccoli and cook for a few minutes until it starts to turn bright green.  Drizzle a good amount (1/4 c or so) of peanut sauce on top.  Stir to coat and continue cooking until just tender, but still with a good firmness.  Transfer the cooked broccoli to the casserole dish, drizzle a bit more peanut sauce on top, cover with foil and place in warm oven.

Back to the tofu.  Change the paper towels and press out the last of the water from your tofu.  Dice tofu into bite-sized pieces (about 1/2 inch square).

Heat more oil in pan (enough to coat the pan well, like before).  Add tofu and cook for 2 minutes, turning gently.  Drizzle a good amount of peanut sauce on top and continue cooking until tofu is well-warmed.  Keep an eye on it as the peanut sauce can start to burn at this point.

Place cooked tofu over broccoli, drizzle more peanut sauce over top and serve over the cooked rice.  You can also recover it at this point and keep it in a warm oven until ready to serve.  I don't think I'd leave it for more than an hour - the broccoli might get too limp.

This only takes a few minutes to cook - 30 minutes from start to finish (not including the rice cooking time, which might take longer depending on what type of rice you make).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lenten Meal Plan for 3/1-3/6

I'm sorry I missed posting our meal plan last week.  I've had a request to share a tofu recipe (which was on our menu last week): Tofu and Broccoli with Peanut Sauce.  Really good and quite easy!

Anyway - here is our meal plan for this week:  Again, we are fasting from all meat, and some of us are fasting from all animal products as well.  Most of these meals are vegan and some are lacto-ovo vegetarian.  All * meals will have recipes posted this week.

Breakfast: Cinnamon Raisin bread with PB
Lunch: Noodles with oil or butter and cumin OR humus with veggies and pita
Dinner: Potage Parmentier (Leek and Potato Soup)

Breakfast: PB Smoothies and/or cereal (with soy or regular milk)
Lunch: Grilled Cheese (or just toast) and Vegetarian Vegetable soup
Dinner: Sweet Potato Oven Fries,  Dijon Brussels*,  and brown rice (cooked with a bay leaf in the water for flavor)

Breakfast: Pumpkin Bread
Lunch: PB & J, jello with fruit, chips (this is our day out of the house)
Dinner: Taco Night (no meat: Morningstar Crumbles and refried beans instead) with guacamole* (my secret recipe that I'll share with you!)  instead of cheese for vegan fasters

Breakfast: cereal with soy or regular milk
Lunch: veggie and cheese kebabs with dip (dressing or hummus)
Dinner: Pasta e Fagioli with Artisan Bread  (For vegan Pasta e Fagioli: skip ham bone/pork ribs, use veg broth, skip butter and parmesan)

Breakfast: Orange Julius* (made with soymilk) and muffins (just from a mix)
Lunch: Couscous salad, cheese cubes, and kalamata olives
Dinner: Focaccia with dipping sauce (tomato)

Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: celery and peanut butter, fruit, and crackers with cheese
Dinner: Veggie Fajitas with refried beans

Sunday: FEAST DAY!

Julia's Potage Parmentier

Wow - who knew fasting could turn up such GREAT meals?!  This is one of those - it is so easy to make and is really delicious.  The entire family loved it: hubby, teen son, two youngers and even the toddler!  If you are keeping a strict fast, this is quite good without the milk and butter...but with those it has a deeper, richer flavor.

Potage Parmentier
from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Serves 6 as main course, 8 as a soup course

3-4 c (or 1 lb) peeled, sliced or diced potatoes
3 c (or 1 lb) thinly sliced leeks (including the tender green)
2 qt of water
1 T salt
4-6 T cream (or milk) or 3 T softened butter
2-3 T minced parsley or chives (a little less dried)

In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, combine the potatoes, leeks, water and salt.  Simmer, partially covered, for 40-50 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Mash vegetables with fork, run through food mill, or use a hand blender.  Taste and correct seasoning as needed.  (If using dried herbs, add now so they can soften up).

You can now cover and set it aside until just before serving - just reheat to gentle simmer if necessary.

Once reheated (or if still hot, when ready to serve), stir in milk, cream or butter. Stir in herbs and serve with a lovely crusty bread.