Tuscan Bean and Farro Soup.

February 22, 2010

I miss meal planning. I miss routine. It has taken a few months to get into a rhythm with the baby and all. (Have I mentioned she is a very loud squawker?) But we are getting there. Meal Planning Monday shall return.

In the meantime, we have been living off a lot of soups and big salads (thanks to many of your delicious recommendations). This soup here (or slight variations of it) has been made almost once a week in our house this winter. We never seem to tire of it. It is so delicious, healthy, and uses up vegetables from the garden that might not otherwise get eaten. It is also a perfect way to eat Rancho Gordo beans, which we have been obsessed with for about a year now. Seriously, if you haven't discovered Rancho Gordo, do yourself a favor and go to their site and buy some. You have never tasted beans this delicious.

Tuscan Farro and Bean Soup

from Gourmet, August 2006 (R.I.P.)

1 cup dried borlotti or cranberry beans
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
10 cups water
1 large tomato (1/2 lb), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
10 fresh sage leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup whole-grain farro
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3-4 cups chopped greens (chard, beet greens, kale, etc.) (optional)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pick over and rinse beans. Soak in cold water to cover by 2 inches at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. Drain well.

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in water, drained beans, tomato, parsley, sage, and thyme and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary to keep beans covered, until beans are tender, 2 to 3 hours.

Discard thyme sprigs, then blend mixture in batches in a blender until smooth (I often skip this step because I like the texture of the Rancho Gordo beans so much), transferring to a large bowl. Return soup to pot and bring to a boil. Add farro and salt, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until farro is tender (it will be chewy like barley), about 30 minutes. If using greens, add to pot and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes). Stir in pepper and serve drizzled with additional oil.

A Cozy Little Cabin.

February 20, 2010

I can't get the image of this cabin out of my mind. I've been feeling a bit blues-y and isolated lately (sick kids and rain and all), and somehow this photo captures that feeling. I like the story behind it too.

How to Really Love a Child.

February 19, 2010

My uncle gave me a copy of this a long time ago and I used to have it hanging on our refrigerator. I have no idea what happened to it. I really like it a lot.
reminder from here

She's on the Mend.

February 18, 2010

My kids have certainly had their fair share of coughs, colds, runny noses, etc., etc., etc. Somehow, however, we have had almost no fevers. I compulsively take their temperature when they start getting sick, but nada. Yesterday afternoon however, Juju -- sweet, sweet dear -- was out of it. She was completely limp in my arms and didn't want to interact. Eyes glazed over, flushed cheeks. Sure enough, the thermometer read 102.4. I panicked. What to do? Call the doctor? Alert the swine flu authorities? Oh yeah, Motrin. That's why we keep that bottle of purple goo locked away in the medicine cabinet. I gave her a spoonful and sure enough, 20 minutes later she was running and playing and stealing toys from her brother. Always a sign she's feeling better.

A few minutes after that C-Man and I had her saying "Dada home, woohoo!" after we told her Daddy was on his way home. (This is something she started saying a month or two ago when B would come home and she knows we think it is the *cutest*thing*ever* so she'll bust it out for entertainment's sake every once in awhile.)

Dada Home -- Woohoo! from domestic reflections on Vimeo.

Going Crazy For the New Olive Juice Stuff.

February 16, 2010

I thinking matching ones are in order for the girlies.
Or, maybe this instead? I love those sleeves.JuJu would be all about the tulle skirt.That's right....it's a freaking "vintage sun suit." Oh my.
C-Man still lets me dress him like this. More importantly, B still lets me dress C-Man like this.
Ooooh. The baby stuff is divine. It's exactly the stuff I like to see babies in. (Please, no newborns in jeans and tennies, OK? Thanks!)
Little E really needs that little romper.
And the toys and gifts are great too....lots of new stuff!
This is the cutest ride-on toy I've seen.
A chalkboard from France.
This adorable sewing kit for C-Man...want, want, want!
Princess and the Pea.
These cute pencil cases...for a gift I'd throw in some of their colored pencils and one of these cute French school notebooks: All items here .

4 Months.

February 15, 2010

so bright, so loud, so fun.

it's all happening way too fast.

Dreaming of Summer....

February 12, 2010

I know we have no business complaining about cold weather here in San Diego, but today JuJu and I were missing summertime. She put on her new swimsuit for the occasion and talked nonstop about the pool.
{because i knew you'd want to see it from behind}

Naps and the Boy.

My boy is in between naps. Meaning he doesn't always take them anymore. He usually needs one, but that isn't always a factor. So, we give him the option to have "quiet time" which in theory gives me a break (assuming the girls sleep at the same time....please, please, please?) and C-Man some down time as well.
The cutest is when he insists he is "NOT TIRED AT ALL MAMA" and then I find him like this about 45 minutes later:

Ten Things I'm Loving Right Now.

February 7, 2010

1. A New Necklace. My mom gave me this sweet little necklace and I just adore it. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me that there are three little charms on it.

2. DIY Home Fragrance Ideas. I've never been much of a scented candle person, but I must admit there is something so comforting about a well-scented home. Can't bake apple pie everyday though! Thanks to Sarah's nifty ideas, my house smells so warm and yummy now. (If I do say so myself.)

3. Making Granola With the Kids. I am convinced that granola is the easiest, most satisfying thing to make with kids. They love to eat it (for breakfast, snack, or, ahem, dinner in a pinch) it's easy-peasy to make, the house smells wonderful, and most recipes are healthier than the kinds you buy at the store. Today, we made this recipe.

4. Leggings and Big Sweaters. I admit it. I completely overdid this look the first time it came around (I was in high school). And I am probably on the verge of doing it again. But it's the perfect slightly-pulled-together-mom-look that I rock many mornings taking C-Man to school, running errands with my girls, or even out on a casual date with B. I pretty much only do the black legging thing and I've got a bunch of sweaters that work, my current favorite being a charcoal gray open wrap cardigan by Joie that is rather slimming. Just the type of uniform I need when I am in a rush and without a chance to fuss over myself -- which is pretty much all the time these days.

5. Hand-Stitching Felt. When your 4 year old son regularly begs you to "Please, please, please mama, sew something with me!" and he knows more about all things stitchery than you do (he sews at school), it's time to do something about that. I've been stitching some felt projects in JuJu's class and learning a lot from her teacher, and I bought this book. So I can spend some quality time with my son sewing, you know??

6. Lunch With My Girls. I have been going to lunch with my wee girly ones lately and it is so nice. JuJu has such nice table manners and is quite the conversationalist when we are out (even if it is just In-N-Out Burger). I can't wait until they are older and we can just chat about girl stuff. I didn't do enough of that sort of thing with my mom and I am determined to do it with my daughters.

7. A Mother's Helper. Just before Little E was born, B arranged for a very sweet, very eager, very mature 11 year old in our neighborhood to come help me a couple of afternoons a week. I wasn't sure how it was going to work out at first. (Frankly, I was overwhelmed with the idea of 3 children....would this be adding one more to the gang?) But. Let. Me. Tell. You. She has been a lifesaver. She plays with the kids while I'm getting dinner ready or nursing the baby or one of the many other things I do. Best of all, C-Man and JuJu are so happy to see her. She always brings new books to read to them and will crawl around on the floor playing monster way longer than I care to.

8. Homemade Bread. Thanks to encouragement by my friend Sarah, we are making homemade bread several days a week now and it has changed our lives. This deserves it's own post come to think of it, so I'll just stop there.

9. Her Sweet Little Rosebud Mouth. 10. Also, Rubber Band Wrists. Need I say more?

Someone Needs a Haircut.

To Market, To Market.

February 2, 2010

We have been spending Sunday mornings at the farmer's market. The kids sort of have a routine. Kettle Korn stop, then listen to the music. Play with friends if we run into them (which we usually do). It's a nice ritual, I must say.
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