June 17, 2021

Weekly Kitchen Goal: Clean and season cast iron

Kitchen goal of the week:  Figure out how to clean and season the new-to-me Le Creuset grill pan I snagged at a garage sale for $10!
It’s the enamel part of it that has me a little confused, as normal cleaning methods for used cast iron seem too harsh.
Anyone have any ideas?

Coming soon…

Over the next few weeks, here are the posts I’m hoping to get up! This will help keep me on track, and I’ll provide links once the posts are up!

-a list of our favorite recipes, including links to ones that haven’t been majorly modified
-why we avoid Nestle products (at least some of the reasons why!)
-Several favorite recipes
-And more!

Fruits of the Spirit and Parenting

A few months ago, while having a discussion on parenting styles, mindsets, marriage, and marriage while parenting, a wise friend challenged me when she shared that she and her husband strive to always parent with the fruits if the spirit.

I have to admit, I don’t run in the same spiritual circles I used to, and hearing that caught me off guard. But I’m so glad she shared it, because I need to hear of such things more often. Just because I find myself in a very different place theologically than when I was in, oh, Bible college, doesn’t mean I don’t need to have Scripture spoken into my life, and further, I still have as much of a need as ever to read it, ponder it, and apply it.

So I’m thankful for friends that help me do that, and remembering that I need to seek out new ways to be involved with Scripture on a regular basis. (Hmm, part of this could be coming to mind because instead of being at church, hearing the readings from the common lectionary, and singing hymns, I’m sitting at home with a sleeping, sickly little guy on my lap.)

So, back to the fruits of the Spirit. I need to find ways to keep them more in mind, as I am not thinking of them that often. And I am struggling to put them into practice even more often.

Patience? Hmm. Some days, yes, but in the middle of the night when I just want to go back to sleep? Big fat fail.

Self-control? Mighty hard to find when I’ve eaten healthily all day, and just. Want. Sugar. (Keep wondering if my thyroid med needs tweaked, or if it’s because of burning more calories from breastfeeding, or *something*, as I’ve never craved sugar like this.)

While growing up, and still today, my mom kept Bible verses taped to the kitchen sink, to the bathroom mirror, or pantry door. Perhaps I need to do something similar, both to remind myself daily, and to serve as an example to my son.

Cute kid quote.

For several months my mom has been trying to get the little man to do the “mwah” kissing sound back to her.

Over the last couple of days, he has succeeded!  When we make a big theatrical kissing sound, he responds with a “mmm muh”!

SO cute!

(Of course, he can’t be too distracted, or he just ignores our efforts. :-))

New milestones!

While traveling this week, we’ve had quite a few milestones, including pulling up regularly for the first time (as of April 17th), pulling up on mama for the first time (yesterday, the 18th), and now today we are tripod-ing as he tries to figure out how to stand.  CRAZY!  In the last week he’s also gotten much better at crawling, and much quicker!  And at walking when holding onto hands.  Clearly so much is not safe anymore, especially this poor mama trying to get a few things done on her laptop while sitting on the couch.  He just pulls up and cruises over, and then starts hitting keys!

Yesterday was also little man’s first time in a pool, and he LOVED it!  🙂

Breastfeeding quotes, inspiring and challenging

Spent a few minutes reading through these quotes tonight.  These in particular hit home:

[quote]If a multinational company developed a product that was a nutritionally balanced and delicious food, a wonder drug that both prevented and treated disease, cost almost nothing to produce and could be delivered in quantities controlled by the consumers’ needs, the very announcement of their find would send their shares rocketing to the top of the stock market.  The scientists who developed the product would win prizes and the wealth and influence of everyone involved would increase dramatically.  Women have been producing such a miraculous substance, breastmilk, since the beginning of human existence.
~Gabrielle Palmer [/quote]


[quote]  When an actress takes off her clothes onscreen but a nursing mother is told to leave, what message do we send about the roles of women?  In some ways we’re as committed to the old madonna-whore dichotomy as ever.  And the madonna stays home, feeding the baby behind the blinds, a vestige of those days when for a lady to venture out was a flagrant act of public exposure.
~Anna Quindlen [/quote]


A brownie update

So I’m up to three brownie fails now!  At least the last batch was edible, but it’s edible as something like lava cake or even fudge!  Oy!

This recipe was carob specific, so I’m thinking the problem may be the egg substitute.  We’re thinking eggs aren’t the culprit for our poor little guy’s allergy woes, so hopefully I can try the real thing soon!

What’s that? Another brownie fail?

And here is brownie fail number two…


And this is AFTER they baked for 20 minutes longer than the recipe called for. Methinks there is an issue with melting carob chips en masse. Sigh.

Brownie FAIL.

So I tried to make brownies tonight.

And I suppose “try” isn’t the right word. I made them all right. They just STUNK!

A few critical details…

  • I’m allergic to chocolate.  Therefore, these were made out of carob.
  • (Related to the first point, this does mean that I haven’t had a real brownie in, oh, 16 years.  And it’s been a good 5 since I’ve had a carob brownie, which were store-bought.)
  • I thought I’d try the whole black bean brownie craze I’d heard so much about.  I love black beans, so what could go wrong?
  • I’m trying not use eggs, in an attempt to solve my poor little guy’s eczema.  So these were vegan, using banana in place of eggs.

I kid you not, for quite a while it seemed like none of those factors were going to be an issue!  No, it seemed like the death knell for these brownies was that the recipe inexplicably called for cinnamon.  And not just a little bit, but a whole tablespoon!  Don’t know why that didn’t strike me as much too much.

But, alas, when they came out of the oven, after baking them for a good 10-15 minutes longer than the recipe said, they weren’t brownie-like at all, just completely gooey. Gee, with mashed bananas and beans, should I really have expected NOT gooey?!  Oh yeah, and they tasted strongly of cinnamon!

No yummy carob dessert for me tonight. (Well, except for the several handfuls of carbob chips I ate after the brownie debacle!)

Do you have a STELLAR homemade brownie recipe?  Preferably more fudge-y than cakey? Lay it on me!  🙂


Fun and funky music video with local ties

The Strange Familiar’s ‘Being Me’

I’ve frequently seen an acquaintance mention this band, The Strange Familiar, that she has worked with in LA, but never really checked them out.  Recently their video for the song “Being Me” was in a MTV contest, and it was directed by none other than said acquaintance, Erin Brown!  I checked them out, and not only is this song and video great, they’ve got a great sound, and quite a variety of music.  And Mr. Z likes their music too, he smiles and dances every so slightly when the videos are played.

And great news, the video WON the MTV contest, and will now be in the regular rotation on MTV, which is huge for the band and for Erin! 🙂