Monday, March 30, 2015

How to make soup, Portuguese style

The Portuguese love their soups. If you go to any restaurant they will usually have a "cream of ___" soup or a pureed vegetable soup as an appetizer. They barely cook with vegetables so if they didn't eat these soups they would have a very heavy meat and carb diet. My mom says this is a fairly modern affair and when she was little soups weren't pureed, but were main course meals with beans or meat usually.

I wasn't a fan of making Portuguese pureed soups, because they're time consuming and I usually cook with vegetables. However, since it does seem like the natural baby food I've started making them for Addie. And my hubbie loves them so I've made some for us too this winter. I've started to appreciate them as a good way to get greens in (instead of green smoothies), especially to ward of colds and flus in the winter. Now I make them from fall to Easter.

So here are the basics of making a soup:
Roughly chop some potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots as a base. Drop them in boiling water with some salt.

There are two keys to making a good soup. The first is the quantity of water. Make sure your water barely covers your vegetables. A watery soup is the worst. If your soup is too thick, you can add more water after pureeing and if it's too watery you can add some boiled sweet potatoes and puree again, but it's still best to get the water quantity right.
The next key is to always put in sweet potatoes and pumpkin, or at least one of them. My mother-in-law says she doesn't make soup without them.

Then add whatever roughly chopped vegetables you'd like in about the same quantity as the base or a 1 to 3 ratio. I usually use green beans, zucchini, leeks, pumpkin and something leafy like kale, watercress or spinach.  Boil until the potatoes and carrots are tender and then puree with a handheld blender. You can add some chives, chopped herbs, dried dill or croutons to make it extra yummy. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Catholic Family Night: Printable Resource

When I was little, I still remember my neighbor being called in by her mother for "family night" and me not being invited. How rude! Now that I have my own family, I also want to have a weekly time for my family to hang out... even without neighbor kids. I am jealous of the "family home evening" I see on Mormon mommy blogs, where it is simple and consistent. The Catholic Church has a richness of teachings on the family and they are little or not at all known to the average Catholic.

Here are some guides I am making for our own use, that I would like to share with you. They will look at Church documents such as Gaudium et Spes, the Catechism, Familiaris Consortio, Letter to women/children/families, Dies Domini, etc. The document will be updated as more sessions are added (it is a work in progress).  

There are blank spaces to write in an opening prayer/song and a treat. There are some ideas for social nights, to do instead of a "teaching" night. More to come soon! Please tell me if you find this useful!

Session 1: For the family, not at the expense of the family

Download PDF here:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Article on CatholicStand

Is the World Overpopulated?

March 12, AD2015 1 Comment
Chelsea - flight
I was flipping through an English textbook and there was a page about overpopulation in which it described the growing amount of people in the world, the lack of resources and solutions to this problem, namely “family planning”. Then there was a writing prompt for an essay on how to save the planet and limit family size.

Keep Reading here:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

We're not taking the time to nurture friendships and community

This part of what Emily Stimpson says on the Jennifer Fulwiler show (link here) (don't you LOVE the Jennifer Fulwiler show?) sent a bolt right through me. This is one of the things that I feel like I am most failing at right now, both for myself and for my baby:

“Young people don’t know what friendship looks like. (…) Why do you think that is?...”

“Well part of it I think is their parents’ fault. People our age and over who have been busy and on the move and focused on their career, there have been divorces that have fractured communities, and we learn friendship from our parents. We learn what it means to love, and spend time and be real and just to be in community by being in community. And I think as a culture we’ve become so obsessed with making sure we’re getting to all the soccer games or making sure we’ve got the corner office that we’re not taking time to nurture friendships and community. So part of it’s learned. But it’s also social media is a very easy crutch…”

I'm working on it. Do you take the time to nurture friendships?

Friday, March 06, 2015

If I don't have time, maybe I'm doing the wrong things.

I am constantly writing and rewriting lists of priorities and schedules for myself. Constantly getting frustrated about not getting everything done. I've come to the recent conclusion that maybe the things I get done and barely get done are ENOUGH. Time and space are limits, we are limited beings and I need to rest in the fact that I cannot bend time and time isn't even mine... it was given to me. Maybe I can't get to that craft, theme party or play date for the baby because God doesn't want me to. If I were worried instead about doing what God wants with my time, I'm sure he would give me enough time for those things.

I really like Jennifer Fulwiler's post about Mother Teresa's schedule and how she rests. She has peace at the end of the day, knowing what I got done, I got done.

So if I start my day with prayer no matter what and am just able to get "basic" things done like food, bathing the baby, doing a little exercise... maybe that's okay. And relaxing with my husband at the end of the day and going to bed early is more important than staying up to finish something on my to do list. What I got done, I got done.