Monday, December 20, 2010

Camera, Spinach Dip, Hummus, and Wrapping Paper

Fa La La La Laaa La La La Laaa

Christmas came early this year when Chop got us a new camera--Yay! After some research he went with the Nikon D3100. We plan on watching a dvd tonight on exactly how to use the thing, and hopefully take a family photo with it. All big plans.

I am a big proponent of 3 square meals a day for myself. Not everyone runs best this way, though I think more would if they had the time. I love my 3 meals, need my 3 meals, and if I get them on time, I will rarely snack. This weekend I found myself at home on the mainland, in the middle of 3 projects, with an empty refrigerator and no car. I was staaaaarving. I was forced to do something I rarely, or I should say never, do anymore, which is have a snack as a meal. After making a batch of black bean humus in less than five minutes and eating it with some leftover rice crackers, I easy! I am not changing my ways so quickly, but I was happy to see the simpler side of healthy food and would like to encourage y'all to try the same.

Approximate Black Bean Hummus

1 14 oz can black beans strained and rinsed
2 Tbl tahini
3 Tbl lemon juice
2 Tbl olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Food process till smooth

I didn't measure anything which sped up the process and also helps you to feel like a super hero in the kitchen. If you make this and feel like you want more of one ingredient or another, go ahead! This is a great simple recipe to use as an exercise in tasting the distinct ingredients and determining what you'd like more of. Sour tang? Lemon. Savory? Salt. Bitter or richness? Tahini.

This is also a great example of why a stocked pantry is so important. I would have starved!

Last week I also lead a discussion on The 8 Causes of Cravings at a retail space in Providence. The turnout was great, the people were excited for the information and over all the experience made me feel worthy and generous (isn't that a bizarre thing to say?---it did though, it was such a nice night). For every workshop I do I like to bring food. This time it was Kale chips, raw chocolate truffles, and a raw spinach dip.

What I love about the spinach dip? Its quick, easy, full of nutrients and minerals, and it has those flavors that have you coming back for more more more---a great attribute for a healthy food to have. My suggestion? Bring this to your next holiday gathering. Instead of maowing on the cheese and crackers you can feel good about maowing on this. Serve it with some diced pumpernickel bread and zucchini sticks. Yum yum and yum.

Raw Spinach Dip

4 cups of baby spinach
1/2 cup tahini
1 small tomato chopped
1/4 cup red onion diced
3 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend till smooth.

About wrapping paper... I have a love/hate relationship with it. When I was a teenager I worked for a fancy woman's clothing store. There, I was taught how to tie a pretty magnificent bow and make gifts look sparkly and beautiful. We used real ribbon, colored tinsel, cellophane bags, (have you ever seen the scene in the movie Love Actually with Mr.Bean in the department store and the lavender sprig?), and metallic papers. I would bring all my gifts to work and wrap them at our wrapping station. When I started to learn a little more about the environmental impact of non recycled paper, and became a little more aware I actually went in the complete opposite direction and began wrapping my gifts in newspaper. The Sunday funnies are pretty colorful. I see the value in a gift being wrapped and the value in it being beautiful, and so after some time stopped with the newsprint and eventually started saving wrapping paper from birthdays, Christmas, showers, etc. (I look like a crazy lady, thanking people for my gifts and neatly folding their tissue paper into neat little piles).

The past few years I've started to use my paper grocery bags for wrapping. This has been a nice compromise. Some of the bags come with pretty holiday prints on them like snowflakes and ornaments. Each package is a blank page waiting adornment from either markers, stamps, paints (you can make stamps from an old sponge in the shape of a tree or polka dots and use with paint) Ribbons saved from gifts, or I make the exception of using fresh (new and store bought) real cloth ribbon, because it is just so pretty, and hopefully the receiver will save and reuse it. I no longer feel guilt for forgetting my cloth bags at the store, paper please! I figure if I can store my used crinkly tissue paper under my bed and move it with me every 6 months, someone with a bit more room and steady lifestyle and can make it happen. Once the packages are given the special touch, no one is none the wiser (or cares).

(OMG! My friend, TheBellyWoman, just brought this link to my attention
How beautiful does that look? The birch bark gift bags? So delicious--I'm done with paper next year.)

Trader Joe's bags have the cute little snowflakes that you can cut out and decorate the package with. Curling ribbon was left over from my father's birthday party this summer--I don't think anyone will care it's purple and black instead of red and green!

Lastly, my skin is so freakin dry! Lets all vow to drink a little more water this week. Our body is feeling the stress enough between the cookies, family, wrapping, and all that singing!

Love these glass water bottles, buy once and reuse. Water always tastes so much better out of glass.

Gratuitous Wesley picture below...

Baby it's cold outside--let's go for a swing!


The Belly Woman said...

Aaahh, the old "aesthetics vs. conscience" debate surrounding gift wrap. I share your struggle and have developed a similar solution, though I daydream of someday finding the time (and ability) to do something like this:

persephone said...

I have avoided soulemama for a long time, because it made me feel inadequate. I think I will start to change my perspective and instead strive to be inspired.

Bethany said...

Great post.
Gosh Wes is so damn cute. I hope I get to meet him someday.
These recipes look great.
I'm going to share them at work.
My boss just started making hummus. I think she'll love the black bean idea.
I thought of you the other night when I made soup! Me, making soup!
with KALE!
Congrats on your camera. Can't wait to see the pics.
Merry Christmas P!

Xcorpiao Pirado said...

That recipe looks awesome :) Mind if I post it on my blog, giving you credits?

Btw, great looking kiddo :) Reminds of my own when it was younger.

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