Saturday, January 27, 2007


ARGH I had a long post ready to go and blogger ATE it!!!!

**** I ATE 10 SERVINGS OF PRODUCE TODAY!!!!**** I'm quite sure I won't be able to do that daily. ::snort:: If I keep this up I'm sure to LOOK like say a Cantaloupe or Melon.

~Stacia woke up early. I put on Waltons and cuddled with her...before the show was over Nolan and Zander had climbed into bed too.

~The youngers watched Brady other words we got a late start. All but Josiah who had to go to work.

~I was in the shower when Mandy dropped by. LOL The younger boys love playing with her boys...and we had a nice visit as well.

~I worked on taxes. I made a shocking realization today. For the first time EVER our child deductions did not off-set Mike's income. He had taxable income this year! AND we no longer qualify for the EIC. We've worked ourselves into a new tax bracket. We'll get everything we paid in taxes back...but we are used to getting at least 5K in a "refund". Ah well.

~I did some more trailer shopping. Delvin said that the owner gave him a hard time for giving me a hard time yesterday. It seems the owner has the trailer we have and says it pulls well and my van won't have trouble at all. BUT we'll see. They said that I'd have trouble pulling it up Pike's Peak but they don't think I'll be doing that often and said any trailer would lug for that. ::snort:: Mike found another model he's looking at too. The 31' model is top of the line with all the amenities. The 28' one is a "great little trailer but no amenities" and it's only $2k LESS but 2K pounds less too. BTW, do any of you know the what dry camping is and how it compares with wet camping? My mind scrabbled back through our 20+ years of camping and I came up with some clues about wet camping but I was quite sure that they weren't right given the context of the discussion. Debbie, have you and Brian used that terminology? Mike? He's checking our credit number et al. I'm checking with the courthouse. I want to register and license it in AK...he isn't sure I can. We did this with the van when we bought it either we should be able to or I should keep quiet because we shouldn't have been able to do it with the van either. ::snort:: The owner and now Delvin are sure that 1200 lbs is about what the average family hauls....and that we won't need all our camping gear (outside stove, sink, tent etc) any longer. We'll just need clothes, shoes, pots/pans, and food. I have no clue. Debbie, have you and Brian ever figured out how much weight you put into your trailer to go camping? I'm guessing a 5th wheel would be different or I'd ask Cindy - well Cindy - do you know how much weight you all take with you? Our van is rated for 8400 lbs. The trailer is 7200 empty.

~Went to the library to return books and look for the book Laura recommend. They don't have it.

~Looked around netflix and put the documentary Debbie recommend in my queue. Has anyone watched "The Long Road Home"? It's a documentary on the holocaust and the journey for the Jewish survivors to have a homeland in Israel. I know it would be too intense for the younger set from the preview. I'm wondering if it would be o.k. for the high school boys...possibly the 7th grader.

~Dinner - spanakopita and salad for Jamin and I. Tortellini and sauce for Jared. The youngers had oven baked fries, carrot sticks and such. Stacia ate it all.

Time to take care of showers, reading and bed time...Sunday School starts early.

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach pastry)

~Moosewood Cookbook (one of my favorites)

8 servings/ 375*

2 C crumbled feta cheese
5 eggs
2 T flour
3 T butter
1 C chopped onion
1 tsp basil
salt, pepper
2 C (1 lb) cottage or pot cheese
1/2 tsp oregano
2 lbs fresh spinach

1 lb defrosted filo dough
1/2 lb melted butter

Clean, stem and chop the spinach. Salt it lightly, and cook, adding no water, for 5 minutes.

Cook the onions in butter, salting lightly. When soft, combine with remaining ingredients and spinach.

To Assemble: Spread melted butter on a 9 x 13 baking pan. Place filo leaf in the pan - it will outsize the pan. Let the edges climb the sides) and brush generously with butter. Keep layers of dough coming, one on top of another, brushing each with butter. When you have a pile of 8 leaves, spread on half the filling. Continue with another stack of 8 or so leaves (don't skimp on the butter), then apply the remaining filling, spreading it to the edges. Fold the excess filo down along the edges, making little tidy corners (mine never are - I just stuff em).

Pile as many more layers of filo and butter as your baking pan will accommodate. Butter the top-most leaf and sprinkle with a Tablespoon of whole FENNEL seeds (this makes it great) if you have some on hand.

Bake uncovered, about 45 minutes - till golden.

This one is really pretty - I'll try to remember to make it again when the camera is working and add a photo. LOL

Better than Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing - from Heather

adapted from Top Secret Recipes

1/2 C mayonnaise or Vegennaise (I use the Vegannaise)

1/2 C buttermilk, plain yogurt or sour cream (I've been using vanilla yogurt but have some plain on the way LOL)

1/2 tsp of sea salt, parsley, dill weed, red wine or apple cider vinegar, lemon juice

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper (I've just used pepper)

1 clove minced garlic (I've used 1 tsp dried)

1 T finely minced yellow onion (I've used dried - I grind this and the garlic in my coffee grinder because my younger ones wouldn't like chunks LOL)

~Even though I've taken short cuts and not had the correct yogurt to use, this is a hit. I double it and make it about every other day. LOL Double recipe will fit in one of those Tupperware salad dressing mixer things.... I thought some of you might enjoy this.

*Freedom: The Story of My Second Life* by Malika Oufkir

I found this book to be an easier read than Stolen Lives...quicker. However, I think Stolen Lives is great background to this book.

Freedom, chronicles Malika's attempts to adjust to freedom after living most her life without freedom, first in the palace and then 20 years imprisoned in the deserts of Morocco. I think this book would be a good read if you think you may have begun to take freedom for granted.

I found that many of her observations about the new things she found when she reentered the world, such as automatic faucets and supermarkets, paralleled my culture shock when moving from the Philippines to America. ::snort::

I could have done without the chapter on "love", which would be better titled "lust" or something....but all in all this was a good book.