Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Compass or the Clock?

“What comes first, the compass or the clock?
Before one can truly manage time (the clock),
it is important to know where you are going,
what your priorities and goals are,
in which direction you are headed (the compass).
Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going.
Rather than always focusing on what’s urgent,
learn to focus on what is really important.”
–Author unknown

Ethiopia Ribbon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! Crazy, awesome, amazingly fabulous..
The Violet Ribbon is at this very moment in Ethiopia..
We are closer to our sweet, little Violet than we have ever been!

D, M, and BJ Junior the turtle.. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! :) :) :)

D and M.. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!! :) :) :)
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to D, M, BJ Junior, and to their awesome mom, Lynda! I am over the moon right now!  :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tree of Life.. and pearls!

This morning I came across this beautiful and intricate necklace from Peaces of Indigo artisan jewelry..

Romantic, rustic, unique... love it!

And the artist just happens to be my sister, Dawanna :)  She has a plethora of lovely pieces and a great blog as well. Check her out and support a fair-trade, American artisan!
Just to further entice you... here are a few of her other amazing pieces:

Monday, July 25, 2011

One word: Halloumi

Today I made a great and magical new discovery.. Halloumi cheese.

And even better, a killer halloumi recipe from my new fav cookbook, In Season: Cooking with Vegetables and Fruits by Sarah Raven.
By the way, the book cover and spine are absolutely beautiful for display but it is such a great source in the kitchen that you will need to keep it within reach.

In Season: Cooking with Vegetables and Fruits
This book may make you want to grow a garden, shop at farmer's markets, and cook ;)

So back to dinner..
My recipe is Halloumi, mint, cilantro, and dill pitas. But I switched out basil for the dill since I have one in my garden but not the other.
The basics on halloumi:

Its a traditional cheese from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, but it is commonly used in the Middle East and in Greece.  It has a higher melting point than other cheeses, so you can fry it or grill it.
This recipe leaves the choice to you.. so I grilled it.

So here it is:
My first-ever food/dinner/recipe blog-posting...

Cut the halloumi (8 oz) in slices. I also chopped yellow squash, zucchini, and a red bell pepper for a quick saute.

Mmmm.. delish! Just a few streams of olive oil and fresh veggies make the perfect summertime side dish.

I also chopped a generous bunch (each) of mint, cilantro, and basil.. a bit less basil though since it can be overpowering. And then I just tossed the herb mixture together. At the same time, I warmed a few pita breads in the oven, covered in foil @ 350 degrees.

So at this point, you may be asking, how the heck does a cheese not melt when you put it on a hot grill? I had the same concerns and as you will see in the following photo, the cheese got pretty steamy at first when the water was cooking out of it. It was a little weird and gross actually. And because of all of the steam and my impatience, the initial grill marks were a bit disappointing :( 
Semi-grilled halloumi.. disappointing grill marks 
In my disappointment, I decided to let a few minutes pass to really allow the heat to do its thing on those cheesy bits! And so I enjoyed one of these:
Yes! I'm not a huge beer drinker but this jazz is good :)
Meanwhile back at the halloumi pan...
Seriously, it smelled even more amazing than you are imagining right now :) I mean, grilled cheese but not grilled bread/grilled cheese.. actual grilled cheeeeese.
Yeah, they should bottle that fragrance and sell it!

 So now the assembly-line of deliciousness:
Cut pita in half and stuff each one with 3-4 slices of halloumi and a good fistful of the mixed herbs. Then drizzle with a good fruity olive oil. We really like Colavita.
And voila!
Dinner is served! :)

Everything else..

Well I have decided to start a new addition to my blog..
its basically called everything else.
Yes, as hard as it is to believe, there are other things that take place in my head and in my daily life other than The Violet Ribbon (which I will, of course, continue with passionately!)

So other than adoption and waiting and sweet & fabulous Ribbons.. what else do I do?
Well, you know.. the normal dinner-thing and work-thing but hopefully I can sound somewhat interesting! ;)

So let's start with food.. always a favorite subject!

A new journey of mine has been becoming a vegetarian several months ago.
It sounds kind of dramatic but I saw the documentary, The Cove, this past spring and it changed me forever!

I had previously seen Food, Inc. and several others and though they were educational and horrifying in their own way, for some reason I was not truly affected until I saw The Cove.
(photo courtesy of flickr: bee happy123)

It was different to see these wild, beautiful creatures versus the typical farm animals we all view as "food". There is just a disconnect when it comes to our food and especially where it comes from.. I think in general we see cows and chickens and pigs as our dinner and that's it, pure and simple.
But I think that we have been given stewardship over all animals, it is our job to take care of them.. and to act as if we "own" them and have a right to treat them with such complete disrespect and ugliness is just wrong.

I haven't gone into Vegan-territory because I am eating eggs, cheese, a bit of dairy and the occasional sustainable fish (You must check out Paul Greenberg's book, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food)

I'm not condemning anyone that eats meat. My husband, Stuart, still eats it (although less often now) but we have chosen to only purchase meat from local, humane farms that treat their animals with kindness, dignity and respect and who use butchers with the same morals and values.
In a happy surprise, there is apparently a nice-sized movement of people with a similar mindset and thus there are more options for this way of eating than you would imagine! Kind of exciting actually :) Honestly, this has made eating more tasty, interesting, flavorful, colorful, fun, and healthy!

So I think you should all watch The Cove.. it is very educational, not gory and traumatic.

And I promise to share many veggie-loving, yummy recipes with you!

So this is my start to a switch from the adoption-only postings.. hopefully I can keep it interesting enough for you!!  ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Great Wait List..


We are somewhere between #4 & #12.. I'm choosing to focus on #4 :) 

Photo courtesy of:

flickr By szczel

Violet RIbbon across Missouri!

Branson, Missouri.. Robyn (future Grandma!) and Gwyn (future auntie!)

Branson, Missouri.. Buzz (future Grandpa!) and Gwyn (future auntie!)

Branson, Missouri.. Braden, Ethan and Gibson (future cousins!) and Gwyn and Robert (future aunt and uncle!)

Branson, Missouri.. Uncle Robert and Auntie Gwyn :)

Noel, Missouri.. Stan and Evelyn (future double great uncle and aunt)

Violet Ribbon on The Great Wall and the streets of Japan!

The Great Wall of China!.. Jenny :)

The Great Wall of China!.. Kim :)

The Great Wall of China!.. Kate :)

Tokyo, Japan (Harajuku Street).. Kim!

Thank you a million times over to these awesome friends and sisters for thinking of us and our Violet while on their East Asian adventure! I love you three immenseley!!