Dreaming of Spring

In order to help me through this last dragging-on of Winter, I am trying to surround myself with Spring in whatever way I can. My lovely flower in the kitchen is one of my most cherished mood-lifters at the moment. My whole family has gotten the biggest kick out of watching this monster grow. It’s amazing, isn’t it, science and plants and growing and life?

Flower.

Top View.

And speaking of science and plants and growing and life, Rudy Mae’s 2nd birthday is right around the corner. I am having quite a difficult time with this. I never experienced this with the boys, I was always super excited at every age change, but I always knew there was the possibility of more children along the way somewhere. I think now that I know Rudy is our last, I am having a much harder time dealing with her growing up. She is getting so incredibly smart, and so silly (I love it!), and so loving, and so beautiful. I am excited to see the little person she’s becoming, for sure, but I just want to keep her my baby for just a while longer.

Waiting.

Cue nee!

Play Group.

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Chickpea Salad

I didn't think of taking photographs of it until I had nearly ravished it all.

I didn’t think of taking photographs of it until I had nearly ravished it all.

I was raised vegetarian and then somewhere along the way, I strayed into the meat-eating world. Three years ago, I decided that I was going to go back to my roots and the day I thought about it, was the day I started, having never looked back. It has been relatively easy, but I must admit, I still have a rough time when I see someone eating a tuna salad sandwich. That was one of my absolute favorite sandwiches of all time. I even tried to convince myself and my husband during pregnancy that probably my body needed that protein and if I only ate tuna and then stopped again once she popped out, it would be good for her. Thank goodness my level headed, non-craving filled husband helped me stay strong and vegetarian. (She was perfectly healthy without the tuna, by the way!)

Now, I am not a cook, so I have had a tiny bit of difficulty being creative in the kitchen. I started scouring the internet for vegetarian recipes to help me (and my poor, overly-fed-with-pasta family) and began a wonderful Pinterest board to keep everything I find in one place. I had seen a handful of recipes dealing with chickpeas/garbanzo beans and I adore hummus so I knew I would get on well with these. However, besides roasting them with a Mediterranean Spice mix (which is amazing), I never got around to trying any of the others.

Until today. Oh…my…heavens to Betsy. This was so incredibly mouth-wateringly delicious. I read a few recipes and then with those recipes and my personal tuna salad recipe as my guides, I came up with my own mixture. My friends, I give you… Erica’s version of a Chickpea Salad:

  • one 15 oz. can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • one large dollop of mayonnaise (to your liking- mine probably equaled about 1/4 cup)
  • a tiny bit of mustard (to your liking- mine probably equaled about 1/4 tsp)
  • one stalk of celery, cut up chunky
  • salt and pepper (to your liking)

I drained and rinsed the chickpeas and then poured them in a bowl. I had a wonderful helper, Miss Rudelle Mae, and she was rather enjoying eating them whole, so she got pretty upset when I started mashing them with a fork. Mashing then ceased so I would say mine was 50/50 mashed and whole beans. Next time I may use a food processor or mash them a little more with a fork, but the texture was not bad at all when it was still very chunky. I then added the rest of the ingredients and mixed it all up. That’s it! This is pretty much the exact same way I used to make my tuna salad. I ate it mostly just with a fork standing at the counter, but I did end up putting a little on a piece of bread and having it in sandwich form. Either way is delectable.

Garbanzo beans.

Other ingredients.

Extreme Close Up!

Some Favorite Presents – Toddler Version

As the holiday season really kicks into gear, I thought it might be fun to showcase some of the presents we have received, to be able to share with those who are interested what things we were super excited about. Today, I am going to show a couple of Rudy Mae’s presents that she is really loving from Caleab and I.

These photographs are a mixture of two presents, both of them from the company Melissa & Doug. The first one we purchased at our local toy store here in Yellow Springs, Mr. Fub’s Party. It’s called “Pizza Party” and is a wooden play food set that the individual pieces stick together with velcro. The second is called “Wooden Kitchen Accessory Set” and we bought it on Amazon.com. It consists of three wooden pots and pans with lids, two wooden utensils and an oven mitt.

Rudy picking a topping off of her pizza.

Rudy picking a topping off of her pizza. This topping we call “Veggie-roni” instead of “Pepperoni”.

Oven-mitt and 'za.

What Rudy really likes to do is take all of the pizza toppings and put them into the big red pot and stir it up.

What Rudy really likes to do is take all of the pizza toppings and put them into the big red pot and stir it up.

Pizza Topping Stew.

Kitchen Treasures

I got such a kick out of displaying my vintage Christmas decorations, and honestly have been planning on showing more elements of my home some time or another, so today while I was making some lunch for Rudy Mae and I, I decided to snap some of my favorite elements of my kitchen. Some areĀ  purely for decoration, some are functional, but all are thrift store finds, or as I call them, “treasures” (and as I pronounce it very obnoxiously, “tray-sures”).

Singer/Songwriter

It probably comes as no surprise that living in a household that is constantly filled with music, most often, music from her dad Caleab, Rudy Mae seems to be a music lover. Since she was old enough to understand that music was being played, she was clapping to it, dancing to it, tapping to it, or singing to it. In his love for music, Caleab makes sure to have plenty of extra instruments that can be shared by all, from Ziven, Calum, and myself, to Rudy Mae. These instruments, although they technically make music, are not in the best condition, and would therefore not be much of a loss if a wife or child, not as familiar with those particular instruments, might damage one. Rudy Mae has been enjoying Caleab’s ukelele of this kind lately and can often be seen carrying it around with her. One afternoon, when she was in the kitchen and, in her mind, out of sight, she was absolutely jamming out. In the fashion of most children I know, once the camera got pulled out, she quieted down. I asked her a few times to sing me a song and she wasn’t having it. Once I kind of gave up and accepted the fact that she was not going to oblige me, she gave me a lovely, albeit short, performance.