Monday, January 28, 2008
"Is this Heidi's house?" the woman on the other end asked.
"Yes", Noel replied.
"Congratulations! You've won the Trader Joe's bag raffle and can come in to pick up a $25 gift card, " the woman said.
"NO WAY! ARE YOU SERIOUS? THAT'S GREAT!!!!" Noel practically shouted.
So, off we went to Trader Joe's to claim our gift certificate.
Trader Joe's has an incentive program for bringing your own grocery bags (I bring canvas ones that I bought there several months ago). Every time you bring your own bag, you can fill out a ticket to enter the raffle. Noel and I have wondered for a long time if anyone actually wins the raffle since we're pretty sure no one shops and enters as often as we do (we often go multiple times per week), but now we know it's for real!
What a great start to the week!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
This recipe comes from the "Horn of the Moon Cookbook", which is one of my favorite cookbooks. As Noel said yesterday, "we're batting a thousand with this cookbook!". In other words, every single thing I've made from it has been a big hit.
Black Bean Enchiladas
1 1/2 cups uncooked black beans
6 cups water
2 Tbsp sunflower oil (I used canola)
3/4 c finely chopped onion
3/4 c finely diced carrot
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3/4 c finely chopped green pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 minced fresh jalapeno
1 1/2 tsp salt (I used only 1 tsp and might try even less next time, just don't think it's necessary)
12 corn tortillas
1 1/2 c salsa (recipe below)
2 1/2 c grated Jalapeno pepper Jack cheese
Soak beans in water for 8 hours. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, 1 and 1/4 hours or until tender. Drain water.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in fry pan and saute onions, carrots, basil, oregano, and garlic. After a few minutes, add peppers, spices, jalapeno, and salt. Cook a couple more minutes until vegetables are tender. Add vegetables to beans.
Preheat oven to 375. Brush each tortilla with remaining oil and salsa lightly on both sides. Set aside remaining salsa. Bake a few minutes until tender and soft (not crisp). Remove from oven.
Put 1/3 c bean mixture down the middle of each tortilla, and a line of cheese. You should have enough to fill all 12 tortillas (I ended up with extra filling). Roll up and lay seam side down on a cookie sheet. Brush with salsa and bake about 7-10 minutes, until tender and cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream on top and remaining salsa.
Salsa (if you care to make your own)
28 oz can whole or diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp sunflower oil (I used canola)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1/2 c very finely chopped onion
3/4 c vry finely chopped green pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
1 minced jalapeno
Crush tomatoes (I used a potato masher, but you could run them lightly through a food processor) to desired consistancy. Combine with rest of ingredients. Chill until ready to serve (I recommend a few hours at least to let the flavors blend).
Yields 3 cups.
I hope you enjoy it if you're inspired enough to try it! I'm sorry I didn't take a picture to post with the recipe...maybe next time.
Monday, January 14, 2008
"If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That's not gallons, but barrels. Small changes in buying habits can make big differences."
If you've been wondering if your decisions actually have an impact on the future of our world, they do. And if you're looking for a good book to read, I highly recommend this one (though I'm not even a quarter of the way through it).
Are you making an effort to be more "green"?
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Noel and I enjoyed a fantastic week in Michigan a couple of weeks ago. We were "home" for 8 days, which were packed with non-stop travel, visiting, and other activities. Following are some of the highlights of our trip:
- Meeting our nephew, Jett, for the first time
- Spending an afternoon in Holland with Becky and Bryant. We were able to visit New Holland Brewing Company, The Peanut Store, and JP's all in just a couple of hours! It was so refreshing since we haven't been to Holland since we moved to California.
- Visiting briefly with Ryan and Amber
- Seeing nearly all of our relatives in a matter of 6 days
- And finally.........SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the first time since we've move to California, we had a white Christmas!
Stay tuned for lots of pictures. And really, I am going to try and get better at staying on top of blogging!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Mom and Dad's trip concluded with a fantastic dinner at Cafe Bizou. We celebrated mom's birthday with good food and good wine. At the end of the dinner, we saw all of the floats drive by the restaurant to find their final resting places. It was quite a sight!
We headed down Colorado Blvd the day before the parade to see where our seats were and how long it would take us to walk. We were so thankful for spectacular weather.
Grandma Doris, me, Noel, Grandpa Don
Josh showing off his new sweater. Jett sporting one of his new bibs that Hillary made for him. She's so great at making cute baby stuff with her new sewing machine. Check out the burp cloths on Dad's leg.
Ruby's favorite part was hiding in the boxes.
Hillary was able to find some fantastic deals shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Heather and I definitely benefited from these deals! She gave both of us so many presents; I could hardly believe it. We each got 2 tank tops in addition to lots of other fun stuff.
All the men in the family got the same shirt from American Apparel (Heather organized this). Nothing like wearing matching shirts while drinking beer together.
We were able to spend a little alone time with Heather, Josh, and Jett. Here's Noel getting to know his nephew.
The first of 3 snow storms we had while in Michigan. This picture was taken as we celebrated Christmas at Emily and Jason's house.