signs of fall

Fall is officially here, both inside our home, and outside in the world. Summer is my favorite season, so fall always brings with it a little sadness. I miss the sun setting late in the evening, the lazy days by the town pool, the sounds of crickets chirping, and the general relaxed feeling of the warmer months. Although they have their own unique qualities and benefits, I am always the last to welcome autumn days. Still, there is some beauty to be seen as the days get cooler, and we begin to prepare for the long, cold months ahead. What does fall mean to you?

On fields o’er which the reaper’s hand has pass’d
Lit by the harvest moon and autumn sun,
My thoughts like stubble floating in the wind
And of such fineness as October airs,
There after harvest could I glean my life
A richer harvest reaping without toil,
And weaving gorgeous fancies at my will
In subtler webs than finest summer haze.

~Henry David Thoreau






in the kitchen // october

I recently discovered a delicious chili recipe. According to my husband, it has lots of “stuff” in it, which is what makes it so yummy. I made a few modifications to the recipe (see below), which appear in italics. This meal can easily be made using almost all organic ingredients. I’ve found that organic canned goods are really not a lot more expensive than non-organic. And, this meal is packed with protein, which is great for pregnant or nursing mamas, or anyone who wants to get more protein in their diet without resorting to animal products. On top of all that, it is a hearty, meat-free dish that satisfies everyone, including carnivores (I’m the only vegetarian in the family).

Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained (substitute two 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes)
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (substitute one 15-ounce can chickpeas/garbanzo beans)
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (substitute one 15-ounce can chickpeas/garbanzo beans)
1 small can tomato sauce
about 1/2 cup to 1 full cup of water

Preparation
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add sugar and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

From Cooking Light, December 2003

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual, inspired by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{this momemt} 10/7/11

morning walk

Baby Z and I have been walking quite a bit the last week or so.

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As the weather gets cooler, it becomes a lot more pleasurable to be out in the fresh air, working up a sweat from movement (and not from humidity!).

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All of the smaller creatures are busy. I love to watch them go about the hard work of storing up a winter’s worth of food. I once learned that they will bite a nut before tossing it down. The damage to the shell prevents the nut from being able to grow into a tree.

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in the kitchen // september

Lately, I’ve been exploring the The Complete Tassajara Cookbook. After several postpartum weeks relying on the generosity of friends and family to cook my meals, I am finally back in the kitchen! From this one cookbook, we’ve enjoyed everything from delicious mushroom, green bean, and bell pepper quiche, to vegetable fried rice, to ginger muffins! I never tire of these delicious, simple, and wholesome vegetarian recipes.

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