Thursday, September 10, 2009

Recipe - Tostones with Sauce

Tostones Sauce

3 garlic cloves
~ 1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp white vinegar
8 oz. can of tomato sauce

In mortar and pestle, crush garlic and salt into a gooey paste. Add olive oil and white vinegar and stir. Add tomato sauce and stir until well mixed.

Here is a nice little video on making the twice fried tostones:
The sweet ones are called maduros and the recipe can be found here:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Decluttering and found money

It has come to me that decluttering may be a lifelong thing. I mean, I don't really want it to be...but I always seem to have piles of things to clean up. How do I keep the piles from existing in the first place? I still have no idea but I have managed to get better at going through stuff and getting rid of it.

In the past week, I have gone through 3 boxes of stuff. I made mountains of stuff to shred (which I have been doing little by little). This has given me some room on my shelves. I can actually see the back of some of the shelves! (Meaning they are not so piled with stuff that I can't see the back). I have a shelf for sewing stuff and a place for all my music books and equiptment. W even provided me with a hook for my borrowed bass guitar.

Hey! Only 3 years and my office / music room is starting to look better. Sigh...

I found a ton of mula in this decluttering. I found cash! I found gift certificates! I found old, old checks! It is crazy and I have already decided that I am changing the way I handle these type of things as they come into the house. My problem is that I often will leave a check in a card until I have the chance to write a thank you note. My mom pointed out that if I just keep some thank you notes by the mail slot, as soon as I get a check I can just dash off a quick thank you and put the check in my wallet. Voila! I am definitely trying it.

Ok - that is all for now. I will post some photos of the chickens soon.

Monday, June 8, 2009


James (front) and Violetta (I think)
Hiro (front), James, Mariposa, Violetta.

We recently got some baby chicks which have astounded us with how fast they grow. W built a cool coop using some old cedar fencing from a friend (thanks D and D). Our chicks are all female despite the names!

During our "chicken investigation" W found a cool blog where a photographer took a picture of his chicks every day for 8 weeks. The blog, 3chicksaday, is awesome. Check out the fantastic photos of Noodle Soup, Salad Sandwich and Pot Pie.(It is also finished - but he just started a new blog, The Occasional Chicken.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nature Scavenger Hunt

I love the idea of taking the kids on a Nature Scavenger Hunt. Here are some ideas on how to make it a success. Have you ever done one of these?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Blue Sky

We received a "2008 Blue Sky" report from Pacific Power. If you haven't heard of it, Blue Sky is our local program for supporting renewable energy. We pay a small premium to ensure that we support using Green-e Energy certified renewable energy. Below is text taken directly from a letter from Pacific Power.

Our details:
"Our total 2008 Blue Sky purchase of 12,833 Kilowatt-hours of renewable energy avoided the release of 15,548 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions into the air. This represents environmental benefits equivalent to not driving 15,767 miles. I believe this cost us $100.00."

Blue Sky details:
"67,000 Blue Sky customers supported 490 million kilowatt-hours of Green-e Energy certified renewable energy. That is equal to the output of 107 wind turbines. "

Do you support renewable energy?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On a roll

Last September I started taking bass guitar lessons. I have been taking them ever since (with a brief holiday related hiatus in December). My teacher is super fun and basically makes it what ever I want it to be. We have worked on technique, scales, jamming, and learning other people's songs. She definitely keeps things interesting. In November my homework was to go write a song. I basically went home, asked my daughter what to write about (mermaids) and wrote out the lyrics. Soon after I had a bass line and started to sing along with it. At Thanksgiving this year I made all our guests listen to it. :)

Since then, I have been inspired to work on more songs. I completed another song (which I am still not perfectly happy with), and have started working on 3 more. Today on the way to work, I wrote some more lyrics and am eager to put them to music.

I am not sure what is inspiring me. It could be longer days and more sun. It could be that I have started drinking honey ginseng tea again (seriously). It could be that I am working out way more than I have in a long time. Whatever it is, I am happy to have that inspiration right now.

Maybe you'll get to hear one of my songs one day?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Try a Tri(athlon)

In an effort to help create a new habit and lifestyle, I am planning to participate in a novice triathlon. In support of this, I have started a new blog where I will be posting daily progress. You can check it out here: Triathlete or Mathlete.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

5 Things I Am Grateful For

A few years ago I read a book which instructed the reader to write down 5 things a day that you are grateful for. I am totally blanking on the name of the book. Does anyone know? If so, leave it in the comments.

Anyway, I feel like we are living in a time both scary and hopeful. In order to keep the scary at bay, I think it is important to acknowledge the things you are grateful for in your life. We can get very caught up in the "what if?" game and miss the beauty of our lives now.

I am not saying to be Pollyanna and ignore the real issues in our lives. But sometimes you need to recognize the great stuff, too. So here is today's list:
  1. My wonderful family (both my own and my extended).
  2. My fantastic job.
  3. My strong, active body.
  4. Music, musicians, musical instruments, etc.
  5. Snow (especially on Mt. Hood on a day when I am snowboarding).

What things are you grateful for? How often do you remember them?

Cleaning Out The Pantry

W always tries to get me to cook from the pantry. I always respond that there is nothing in the pantry to eat. W challenged me to only purchase essentials from the grocery store but I kept saying we had nothing to eat. So this morning, I suggested we clean the pantry out and take an inventory.

HOLY SMOKES! We have a lot of food in there!!!

I filled an entire 8.5"x11" sheet of paper with the inventory. Then, we challenged each other to come up with 8 meals. The more things we used, the better. Here are our lists (which will also give you an idea of what is in our pantry):

W's list:
  1. Lentils, onions, tomato sauce and spices over rice.
  2. Steak with veggies in green simmer sauce over brown rice. *
  3. Scones with scrambled eggs. *
  4. Meat/rice loaf (like meatloaf but with rice). *
  5. Salmon rolls w/sushi rice and seaweed. (We eat this a lot).
  6. Tofu with veggies in green simmer sauce over rice.
  7. Pasta with tomato sauce.
  8. Lasagna w/tomato sauce and faux cheese. **
  9. Tacos w/refried beans and / or burritos with scrambled eggs and beans.

My list:

  1. Pasta Puttanesca. **
  2. Rice and mung bean casserole. **
  3. Cuban style black beans (from dried beans) and rice.
  4. Linguine w/ pesto. *
  5. Risotto with some frozen veggie.
  6. Spring rolls (like the ones we get at our favorite Thai food restaurant) with water chestnuts. *
  7. Three course meal: butternut squash soup, smoked oysters w/faux cream cheese on crackers, pasta with mushroom & truffle pate.
  8. Miso soup with rice, seaweed and tofu.

Notes: Not everything on our lists is in the pantry but every meal on our lists uses at least one thing from the pantry. One star (*) was for using more than one thing in the pantry. Two stars (**) was for using a few things in the pantry and for creating something that sounded really good at that moment.

It was a really fun exercise and now we are challenged to eat out of the pantry. There is nothing wrong with having a pantry full of food unless you don't eat any of it because you don't know what is in there. That mystery is solved. For now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Senge's Open Letter to President Obama

Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization and co-author (along with a friend of mine) of The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World wrote an open letter to President Obama. I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Senge and being with him at various conferences. He is a delightful person and when you leave him you are filled with hope for the future (sound like anyone else in the news these days?). In this letter, he puts his enormous brain to work on the idea of the US collaborating with China. The letter is definitely worth reading.

Friday, January 16, 2009

5-Minute Shower Check-In

In May 2008 I began a quest to a shorter shower. In June I checked in on my goal and was still doing well. I checked in again today and the result? I think my shower is at about 4 minutes.
Calculating the savings, based on my initial calculations, I am saving 75 gallons a week from my original 10 minute shower. Since I first posted, 35 weeks have gone by. That is a savings of 2,625 gallons of water. Not bad for a simple change.

How are you doing?

Friday, January 9, 2009

G said when I am

G said when I am a grown up and a dad I will make a purple house.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I just figured out mobile

I just figured out mobile blogging.

If you can see this,

If you can see this, I figured out mobile blogging.

In a Perfect World

...I would post more on this blog.
...I would figure out how to post from my phone.
...I wouldn't spend so much time on Facebook at night instead of creating some posts here.

Over the holiday I had many thoughts for blog posts. Do I remember any of them? Just this one.

Happy new year!