Friday, July 29, 2011

Eucharisteo Moment

Eucharisteo - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember as thanks to the Lord.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday weekly menu

This weeks menu is up (I do Wednesday to Wednesday because that's how I shop and it's just easier for me that way)
Trying to have more fruits and veggies. Got great stuff at Sprouts today, everything had a great price.Lots of lucious tomatoes, pineapples, avocados, 77 cent blueberries. Yum!

I had all five of my little ones with me and an elderly Italian woman stopped me and we spoke for quite awhile. She told me of the days of Mussolini, of the blue eyed marines who rescued her. She said my boys looked just like those handsome blue eyed marines. She thanked me for raising the next generation, she was beautiful and I could have stood there in between the pineapples and the mangoes for hours talking to her. What a jewel! Yet one more reason I love going to Sprouts! We mothers are so encouraged when someone spurs us on with good words. I thrive on those words.. likewise the reverse can also be true. When a mother of lots of little ones hears "you have your hands full" "you must be crazy" or "wow, I certainly couldn't do that!"... it can dash my day to bits. So if you, reader, are out and about in your day and you see a Mama, trying her best in the store with her children, encourage her! She needs it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Day book

Outside my window...
I am watching the breeze flow through the Jacaranda trees, it's amazing that we are having a breeze at all in this Phoenix heat, but it is lovely nonetheless!

I am thankful...
for my hardworking husband who never ceases to amaze me with how hard he works for us! He came home late last night with a black face, black hands, black arms, burns on his arms from welding. He never complains.

I am thinking about...
how nice my speed walk on the treadmill was during naptime for the kiddos. I listened to my Pandora radio station:Ella Fitzgerald. So nice!

Learning all the time...
Bought a book from the thrift store yesterday on Caligraphy. Can't wait to get two seconds together to delve in!

From the Kitchen...
Tonight's dinner is my Mother's Oven fried Lemon Chicken recipe. I tweaked it a little bit, a dash of garlic powder here, a tiny bit of jamacain jerk mix for a kick, marinating in fresh lemons. Going to bake some fresh french bread to go with it. The smell of fresh bread from the oven is on the list of top favorite smells!

I am creating...
a scrapbook for my husband's boss, Kevin right now(he gave me the pictures and the supplies).Seeing someone else's memories keeps me accountable to take time for my precious ones and make our own special memories. I also feel a little convicted that I have two kids who don't have their own scrapbooks.(someday!)

I am working on...
being extra affectionate with my children these days. Being a family of five kids, I know there are times when they are really missing out. So I'm pouring it on just to be on the safe side. Couldn't hurt!

I am going...
to hang out this evening in our backyard and let the kids play. Hopefully it will be a bit cooler by then.

I am reading...
Yikes... still in the same book. But I'm loving it, and I guess slowly digesting it. "A thousand gifts" by Ann Voskamp. Probably one of the best books I've ever read. It's beautiful, it's painfully convicting at times, it's what I need.

I am praying...
for a certain brother who works in Washington DC, that God will prove Himself faithful and that justice, TRUTH and peace reign in the White House.

I am hearing...
Fernando Ortega. I love how he sings the hymns. So lovely.

Around the house...
a few kids still napping, a few doing school, a few playing.

One of my favorite things...
this week, it has to be sea salt Chocolate.

a few pictures to share...
we set up our miniature planetarium. It was magical!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

Our family loves Eggplant Parmesan! It is a comfort food, usually involves a bit of prep work and turns out greasy but good. But, we're trying to be healthier people these days and so I've worked out some of the kinks from my original recipe, and so here is my healthier baked version which I think tasted even better than the one I've always made.

First, take a glass baking dish (9x13), spray with Pam and dust a layer of italian seasoned bread crumbs and then a light layer of Parmesan Cheese. After that, a layer of pasta sauce. I used "Classico's Caramalized Onion and Garlic Sauce"-it's really yummy!

Then lightly saute sliced and peeled eggplant and a red bell pepper in a little olive oil.
Then saute mushrooms and shallots together until soft and golden.

Add the mushroom mix as a layer, dust again with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. After that, place on another layer of tomato sauce.
then, place on the magical eggplant and bell peppers.
Add another layer of bread crumbs, parm cheese, sauce and top with slices of fresh mozerella.
Then dust the cheese with more bread crumbs and parm cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, then put on broiler for two minutes to toast the cheese and bread crumbs. This turned out delicious!!! No egg batter, no frying, and it's easy to spoon on the plates. The bread crumbs makes the sauce thick and still adds another level to the eggplant. Oh my, it is good! Why don't you make it tonight?

Julia's Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant, washed, peeled and sliced
1 pkg mushrooms, washed, sliced
1 red bell pepper, washed, peeled and sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
approx 1 cup bread crumbs, give or take
approx 3/4 cup parm. cheese (the cheap stuff)
1 lb. fresh mozzerella cheese (you'll be happy you chose fresh, trust me!)
pam spray
olive oil for sauteing
2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce
Serve with pasta noodles.