Wedding weekend via Instagram

3 airports. 
1 sleepy baby.
The peonies held out for the wedding.
The view from our hotel, The W, in the Foshay tower. 
Quality breakfast time with Papa. 
Quality time with Morsmor.
Ready for the rehearsal. 

Pretty hair at the salon. 
Beautiful arrangements at the Semple Mansion
Pretty dresses.
Smiling couple. 
Family portrait at the Semple. 
Great dancing ended a fabulous night. 
Waving bye bye to Minneapolis. 

Meatless Monday Night Mexican

I had a large bag of sweet peppers left over from grilling this weekend and after eating them raw at lunch today, figured I needed to find a way to use them in dinner.  I love playing the use-what’s-in-the-cupboard-fridge game, especially when it means using food before it goes bad.  There is nothing I hate more than finding a bag of moldy produce in the fridge.

Tonight’s use-it-up dinner was fajitas with tortillas and a side of beans & rice.

Two of my favorite ingredients in Mexican food are the Nueva Cocina seasoning packets and the Gardein meatless porducts.  I used the beefless tips tonight.  The Nueva Cocina Chipotle is a perfect spicy sweet blend with spices, raisins, and Chipotle peppers – one of my favorite flavors on earth.  The Gardein meatless products are so tasty – they are egg free, a good source of protein and made with a blend of ancient grain flour and tasty spices.  
For my fajitas, I sauteed half a white onion in cooking oil, added 6 to 7 chopped small sweet peppers, and added in 2 cups chopped mushroom.  I sauteed all of this for about 15 minutes on medium low heat while my rice cooked and black beans simmered on low.  Then, I added the Chipotle taco seasoning packet, plus 1 cup of water, the beefless tips, and simmered the entire mixture for about 10 minutes more or until most of the liquid was gone.  
I served the veggie mixture in warmed tortillas and the beans & rice on the side. 
In other news, we are still working on a kitten name and after a vet visit today, we know he is a he.  Any name suggestions?  

Weekend Warrior

Why am I a weekend warrior?

Because, this was the weekend before Caroline’s wedding (which means I need to write a speech!),

 the weekend before the new end-of-the-year schedule begins and marathon teaching starts (no more fun projects during planning),

the weekend of the Warrior Dash race,

the weekend to pack (for the wedding),

the weekend we got a new kitten (smitten for this kitten!),

the weekend of the Coach’s baseball game (go Grasshoppers!),

and a weekend to finish a project (more on this later).


Goodwill find of the week plus easy weeknight dinner

We swung by Goodwill this afternoon after work.  We had planned to go for a walk due to our awesome crock pot planning yesterday afternoon, however the rainy weather had other plans for us.  So Goodwill it was.  I perused through the kids’ section and on the way out,  up on a rack above some women’s blouses, I spied this lone shoe.

I grabbed it as fast as I could, looking frantically for its pair.  Eric, my voice of reason, said, “I’m sure they have the mate in the back.”  Sure enough.

So, with a few baby clothing items, a pair of Coach Espadrilles, and a pair of men’s Polo jeans we were only out $30.  Not a bad afternoon of thrift picking.

Dinner was easy, tasty, vegetarian, and ready!  The curry was weak, but Greta was able to eat this meal no problem, so it was nice of us to keep it on the mild side for her sake.

 Curried Vegetables & Rice

3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (3 cups)
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (2 cups)
1 large red onion, cut into strips (1 cup)
1-1/4 cups apple juice
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 cup uncooked regular brown rice
1  12.3 oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup golden raisins

1. In a 4-quart slow-cooker combine potatoes, carrots, red onion, apple juice, tapioca, curry powder, ginger, salt, and cardamon.

2.  Cove; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

3.  Cook rice according to package directions.  We put the rice into the slow cooker and added 1-1/2 water with the veggies to make this a one-pot meal.  This worked really well!

4.  If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting.  Add tofu, zucchini, peas, and raisins to cooker.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes more.  Serve with chutney.

From Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes, 2002.

Oak Island, NC weekend

We spent last weekend at the beach, at Oak Island, NC.  I had not been to this part of the North Carolina coast before and was not let down in the least.  We stayed in a house right on the beach and enjoyed the easy access to the water.  It was lovely to spend time with Eric’s family, walk the beach, watch the cousins play together, eat fresh seafood, and have ample time to enjoy our camera.

Here’s a small sampling of photography from the weekend:

Night photography of the lighthouse.  
Our beach access at night. 
A crab who was not happy to see us. 
Sea foam. 

One tired baby. 

Cosmic Dance of the Universe

I finished this watercolor painting of Shiva and the Cosmic Dance of the Universe, before Easter.  It was one I have been working on for a little while.  I used a photo of a statue from a college text book as inspiration, Art of India.  The painting was for some friends for the upcoming celebration of the birth of their second child.

Shiva, watercolor on paper, 2012.

The camera was not cooperating on Easter, and so my original shots were somehow lost.  Just took these today.  The saturated colors on this watercolor painting were especially fun to work with, I added the black outline for a a little punch.

Buddha next?