Tuesday, May 29

Sauteed Swiss Chard over Pasta

This one is a new fav around here. Packed with all kinds of yummy, healthy goodness, and a ton of veggies, this has become one of Sam's most requested meals.

Swiss chard is a big, leafy green that looks a lot like mustard or collard greens. I get mine fresh every Friday from our wonderful Farmer's Market here in town, and now refuse to buy it from the store after having eaten it so fresh. It's very, very easy to grow, also. It is called 'summer spinach' and tastes like spinach, only slightly sweeter, and a little sturdier. The more ingredients you can find fresh, the better this meal will turn out. This also doubles well for a big family. As written below, this feeds all 4 of us, plus leftovers for at least one grown up lunch, or two kid lunches.

Sauteed Swiss Chard over Penne Pasta
by Brea!

1 large bunch swiss chard, well rinsed, well dried, and very roughly chopped, stems removed
2 raw strips good bacon, diced (optional)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
white and light green of one leek, minced (you can also do 1/4 cup minced yellow onion)
one large head broccoli, cut into small florets
one large red bell pepper, diced
2/3 c diced or shredded chicken breast (optional)
good quality cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
one pound whole wheat penne pasta, cooked al dente

In a large frying pan, cook bacon over medium heat. When bacon is almost done, add leeks (or onions), garlic, a lot of olive oil, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. (The leeks cook very fast, so you might want to wait a few seconds to add them if your garlic isn't finely minced.) As soon as your garlic starts to look soft, add all the swiss chard to the pan. Pour on more olive oil and add more salt to help bring out all the water from the chard, and carefully turn chard several times, making sure to move the garlic mix, too.

Add broccoli after chard has been cooking for about 2 minutes. Cook until chard is completely wilted, then add bell pepper and chicken. Cook 30 seconds more, adjust seasoning as needed, then pour over the pasta. Generously grate fresh Parmesan over the top, and serve immediately. Enjoy with a good garlic bread!

**This is a good meatless meal, and we sometimes add other veggies at the same time as the broccoli, like sugar snap peas or fresh green beans.

Monday, May 28


Well, I done got myself tagged by Candi. Eight random or little know things about me ...

1. I love bad movies. I stayed up the other night until 2 in the bleeping morning watching the Breakfast Club. (Don't you, forget about me. Don't you, no, no, no, no ... Come on, you know you remember the song and are now singing it!!)

2. I hate people touching my feet. Or being in the same general vicinity of them. Or looking at them. Even John knows not to touch my feet. Other people's feet don't bother me, but heaven help the person who gets too close to mine. You might lose an eye.

3. I want to be a cowgirl when I grow up. I want a cattle ranch, maybe about 50,000 acres somewhere in Texas, with a river, and I want to get up every morning at 5 and go work my cows with my big ole' family (of course, in this dream, I have at least 7 kids, and extended family lives on the other side of the ranch). My horse would be the prettiest and the nicest, and everyone would envy me, and I could cry when she got really old and died.

4. I listen to music when I'm alone that would not be found in most homeschool moms' cars. I am extremely fond of punk and ska (I have the Deftones, Less Than Jake, the Clash, and AFI, to name a few), and some other random stuff (like the latest Justin Timberlake ... haven't you heard? He's bringing sexy back. For real, yo!) (and who could pass up the Garden State soundtrack? Also, Nick Drake, and some Toadies thrown in for good measure. Sometimes you just need to listen to some really loud stalker songs.). All of that is just what's in my car right now.

5. The real reason I run is because it's the only thing that is mine. All mine. No one goes with me, no one can talk to me, no one can ask me for milk or a snack or a video or where-are-my-clean-work-pants or mom-the-baby-wants-something-to-eat or anything else. I am all by myself, and love it! Of course, staying healthy and looking decent in a bathing suit don't hurt ...

6. I love to cook for people. I love to have people over, just so I can cook for them. I don't enjoy going out to eat more than once a month, and I'm not crazy about going to other people's houses because that means that I'm not the one doing the cooking.

7. I absolutely cannot follow a recipe. Everything I cooked is always tweaked, to a certain extent. Just ask John. It drives him nuts.

8. Babies make me stoopid. When I am around them, I can no longer form sentences, I drool, I grin like an idiot ... Doesn't matter whose baby it is, and even if I am holding my own baby, I still act a fool. I just want to eat them all up!!!

So, there's me. Any questions? :)

Saturday, May 19

This is not going to be good for my housework ...

Something bad has happened. Since our internet got fixed (got fixed? That sounded raawwwther Southern ...), I have discovered something the rest of the world has known about for a while. Something wonderful, something informative ... I am so happy!

Want to know what it is?

YOU TUBE!! Did you know they have cooking videos? I haven't had Food Network since we moved out here, and I can watch Alton Brown for the first time in almost 2 years!! My new favorite that I stumbled on is Cooking Up a Story. Love it!

And now, seeing how the baby is asleep, and the kids are outside with John cutting things down with machetes and the newly fixed chainsaw, I am going to watch and learn about artisan cheeses!!!

I am just so very happy!!!

Friday, May 18

Clowns in WHERE???

Amy, thank you so much for the comment! It's nice to meet you, too! :)

Candi, I saw your tag. I'll do that (hopefully!) tomorrow, or Monday.

Don't have much time, but here's something to chew on: clowns in church! I'm not kidding. And I'm not talking about entertainment for kids at a church fair. I'm talking about ministers dressing as clowns (face paint, horns, floppy shoes, and all!) and blessing Communion. Got the original link from Amy at Humble Musings, and Googled my way from there. I think I may sit down and cry in a minute. Check out these links, and please leave me some comments as to your thoughts ...

Amy's post
Todd Friel's thoughts
great blog post
Are you kidding me?

I know that God loves us, regardless of out appearance. However, we should still seek to honor Him with our appearance when we are in His home. Can you imagine sitting down to an actual supper with Our King, dressed like this? What kind of impression would this make on a family of unbelievers, visiting a church for the first time? Is this the way that Christ wants His Bride to act? What Bride in her right mind would want to look like this? I'm not kidding, I want to sit down and weep and the disrespect and dishonor shown here.

There are so many thoughts in my head about this, but the rest of the words kinda fail me. And those of you who know me, know what a big deal that is!!

Friday, May 11


Sorry about the MIA. We've been insane ... up to The Woodlands for a day trip last Saturday, then church Sunday, lots of errands Monday, library Tuesday, then we left for Katy Tuesday when John got home from work. Stayed at Mom's Tuesday night.

We woke up early and met Papa at the Town and Country Starbucks (mmm ... vanilla latte, how do I love the? Let me count the ways ...), then to Galveston! Went to the WWII airplane museum, then Fish Tails for lunch, then the Moody fish pyramid and rain forest pyramid, then supper with the Cauthens.

Went to the beach with the Cauthens Thursday morning, lunch on the road, visited my dad for a while, then over to Mom's to see Nanny and have Lasagna House for supper, then finally got home around 11:30m last night, only to find out the bio-wheel on the fish tank wasn't working, and the motor was making a funny sound and smell, and we have no idea how long it was out ... but it works now, and we all had a good night's sleep last night.

So. Pics later, when I can function on a higher level. Right now, I'm going to seek coffee.

And Candi is coming to visit me tomorrow!!! Yay!!!!!!!

Friday, May 4

Thought ...


You are my dearest friend. I don't know what I would do without you. You make me laugh, and you make me think when I get too upset about things and call to rant ot you. But we may have an issue soon. If I'm not allowed to have four kids before you have any, there is a very simple solution to our not-existant-as-of-yet problem:


Seriously, I want to play with them.


Thursday, May 3


It looks like I have internet again!!! I am so happy!!!! My very, very nice cable man Mike came out today, and gave me a new cable router, and free HBO and Cinemax (yeah, like I'm going to watch those. Are the 'Stros on HBO? No? Why bother ...), and then clicked on a lot of things on the computer, and said, 'Hmmm,' a lot of times, and said that David is really cute, and now my internet works!! I don't have to hit the refresh button 87 times to get a page to load!! It took me over an hour to get that last blog post up, which made me rather cranky, and now I don't have to do that anymore!! YAYYYYYYY!!!!

So, an update ... John graduated from his Dale Carinage class. I'm so proud of you, baby!! I know you really didn't want to do this, but I'm so glad you did, and I know you got a lot out of it. Congrats!! Also, when you accidentally mostly shaved your head, I found that very, very hot. I'm loving the short hair, you sexy beast. Seriously. I almost jumped on you when I first saw it, but I probably would have dropped the baby, not to mention the fact that Sam and Evie were still awake and standing right beside us, and that would have all just been very damaging to their little minds ...

Sorry, I got a little distracted there. But his short hair really does look great.

Sam and Evie are doing really well with their reading, and we're probably starting math next month. They rule!! Sam is slowly starting to grasp money, because he's my Money Man at the Farmer's Market. Sweet boy.

David is still perfect, and has mastered intentional forward motion. Not quite what I'd call crawling, but it will happen oh so soon ... oy!

And I'm ready for another baby!! Well, I know I'm not allowed to get pregnant right now, because 1) Candi has laid claim to all my maternity clothes (congrats, dear!!), and 2) something about a skiing trip next January, and I am going to be forced to go ... blah, blah, family vacation, blah, snow, blah, blah. I don't like snow, or being cold, or the idea of skiing (maybe snowboarding ... we'll see). But maybe I can just make to cocoa and be the food gal. Hmm ..

And now, I'm off to veg with a good book and hot cup of my fab tea that I mix. I love tea ...