recipe
Sep
01
2013

So…it’s Sunday

This day means lots of things to lots of people.  In certain parts of the world it is actually the beginning of the work week others it’s their day of rest.  But to spite what people around these parts would have you believe beginning this month a lot of focus is on football and preparation for hunting season. Autumn being just around the corner for some of the rest of us is exciting too.  By “some of us” I really meant some of you.  It is a while until it cools off here.  We are so excited because the weather is to be only in the low 90’s ONE day next week 🙂  But I am going to try and remedy my need for some cooler weather by making what has now become my annual trek to Vermont the first of October.  Now THAT I am excited about.  Here are a few pictures from my last trip.  I might have already posted them but really, can you see too many pictures of Vermont?

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Have a lovely LOVELY Sunday! Monday I am going to tell you all about Benjamin Jude. He read my posts about Hannah and Rachel then told me “Next time you can tell everyone how I am really your favorite.” LOL – love that boy! So yes, one day next week, probably tomorrow I am going to tell you ALL about my favorite Benjamin 🙂

Ben

And if I can get myself together, NotQuiteJuneCleaver’s etsy shop will be up and running again soon. Just in time for some holiday shopping.  Hopefully that “if” isn’t too big 🙂

Love and Peace to you all!

Namaste!

Aug
31
2013

Simply Saturday

I wish. But this is moving day for Hannah. When Jerry and Ben get up we will head out to the storage buildings and get all of Hannah’s things – or at least what will fit in the Jeep and Tundra. There may have to be a couple of other trips made later on.

After three doctor trips yesterday, one which involved the taking of a biopsy from the back of Ben’s scalp we headed out to Natchitoches to eat an amazing supper with Rachel, her boyfriend, her roomie Katy, and our oldest daughter Jessica and her husband. Rachel put a roast in the crock-pot before she left for classes yesterday morning so it had been cooking all day. I have to say, and this is not just a proud mama talking, it was better than any roast I have cooked and I thought I had that down pat. She had put carrots in with it and then as another side, made stewed new potatoes. Amazing. Delicious – all of it. It was the first time we had seen her new townhouse and it is adorable. It looks just like where two artists live. Artwork everywhere and Katie’s parents provided a great amount of furniture and housewares. Katy collects mushroom things and the kitchen was so cute with all the mushroom mugs and things. Though they have only been moved in a little while, it was already very homey and comfortable. They even had a wreath on the door 🙂 I wish I had thought to take pictures.  Oh well, next time.

You be watching and waiting for a post of extraordinary length when I find something Rachel CAN’T do. I am going to write ALL about it! 😉 She is pretty freakin’ amazing. She paints, draws, and is a crazy-good photographer. And her writings – whoa – what??? Insanely good. I don’t know how a person does all the things she does, does them so well and doesn’t just burst at the seams with talent. You can teach people things and teach them to do them well, but then there are those people who are just naturally good at things and it all just comes so easy to them. Things other people work so hard to be mediocre at. Like baking. This is a cake she baked and decorated at 17 with no cake classes, no baking classes – nada. Just went for it. “Sure, I can do that.” And she did.

cakies

I don’t know a lot of 21 year old college students who could throw together a meal like she did last night after going to class – well maybe culinary students but you know what I mean.  I don’t know a lot of them that would want to, to be fair.  It really wouldn’t surprise me if she eventually went to culinary school.  I know she can’t see that ever happening, she’s in her Senior year and just wants to get this degree behind her and get out there and make a living doing her thing.  And she will.  You remember her name because one day you will see her art hanging in some amazing places.  It may be paintings.  It may be illustrations.  It may be photography.  But you will see it.  Maybe all of those things.  AND one day you will read something that blows your mind, and it will be hers.  One of her uncles (RIP) said once when she was maybe 4 or 5, after watching her draw, “Rachel is going to be famous one day.” Yep, wouldn’t be a bit surprised.  AND not only all that, she’s stunning.

427092_3288769822132_1570922000_nI stole this picture off her facebook page, so if I owe someone credit, let me know. I will make amends.

Easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

And like her sisters,  Rachel is a wonderful daughter, sister, aunt, friend…human being. I know I get long winded about my children but they are my life, this blog is about my life so thus this blog will, from time to time, be about their adventures.

So as soon as we can get motivated we are up and out of here for another busy, BUSY day.  And of course we have to get our stuff done and get back because LSU plays at 8 tonight.  Can’t miss that 🙂  I really don’t watch football, college or otherwise but Jerry likes it.  You all have a good weekend.

Love and Peace to you all.

Namaste!

Aug
30
2013

Foodie Friday: Falafel

Happy Friday Peeps!

Now bear with me today approving comments (and come on – leave me some feedback!) and it might be tomorrow evening before I approve them. Jerry, Ben and I are off to the big city for doctor appointments.

Today’s recipe is for Falafel.  I love love love falafel. And it is so easy to make gluten free.  I want to remind you of my favorite falafel recipe.  I posted this recipe a long time ago – three years ago I think.  Before I had to give up gluten. So to make gluten free just sub the flour for your favorite all purpose gluten free flour mix.  Some times changing a recipe to gluten free changes the texture and even the taste but happily not in this recipe.

Honestly, I used to love the boxed mix.  Homemade is always better but if you are short on time, and aren’t restricted from gluten, the boxed is a pretty good substitute for “the real thing”.   My favorite boxed brand is Casbah.  I think I have even seen gluten free mix but am not sure. If you have the time to make falafel completely from scratch this is the recipe you want. If you are not familiar with falafel, it is a fried ball of chickpeas, dating back to Biblical times, likely originating somewhere on the Indian subcontinent but now popular all over India, North Africa and the Middle East. The Egyptian version  exclusively uses fava beans but I can’t vouch for that recipe as I have never eaten a fava bean falafel. What makes falafel different from many other bean dishes is the beans are not cooked prior to use. Instead they are soaked then ground with other ingredients and deep fried.

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oil for frying

Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, salt, cayenne, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of a ping pong ball, or use a small cookie scoop found here.
Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a skillet or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Serving suggestions:
~ Fill a  pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled relish. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Or any combination of such condiments.  I am not a big fan of tahini but here is a quick recipe for you.
Tahini  Sauce
* 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
* 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
~Serve as a finger food with a Tzatziki.
Tzaiki is a yogurt cucumber dip that you really need to make the day before and chill overnight.
*Plain low-fat yogurt
*juice of 1/2 lemon
* Medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
* 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
* 1 tsp. dried parsley
Finely dice or grate the entire cucumber. In a bowl, combine 8 oz. of plain yogurt and add the diced cucumber to it. Stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill overnight.
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So there you have it! Yummy, yummy falafel!  Homemade is always better but if you are short on time, the boxed is a pretty good substitute for “the real thing”.   My favorite boxed brand is Casbah.  If you have the time to make falafel completely from scratch this is the recipe you want. If you are not familiar with falafel, it is a fried ball of chickpeas, dating back to Biblical times, likely originating somewhere on the Indian subcontinent but now popular all over India, North Africa and the Middle East. The Egyptian version  exclusively uses fava beans but I can’t vouch for that recipe as I have never eaten a fava bean. What makes falafel different from many other bean dishes is the beans are not cooked prior to use. Instead they are soaked then ground with other ingredients and deep fried.
My Favorite Falafel


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas or one can chickpeas drained, if you are pressed for time
  • 1/2 large onion, diced chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro or both
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (not necessary but adds a little heat)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (possibly my favorite spice in the whole wide world 🙂 )
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons flour (all purpose or gluten free blend)
  • oil for frying
Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, salt, cayenne, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of a ping pong ball, or use a small cookie scoop found here.
Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a skillet or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Serving suggestions:
~ Fill a  pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled relish. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Or any combination of such condiments.  I am not a big fan of tahini but here is a quick recipe for you.
Tahini  Sauce
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
~Serve as a finger food with a Tzatziki.
Tzaiki is a yogurt cucumber dip that you really need to make the day before and chill overnight.
  • Plain low-fat yogurt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
Finely dice or grate the entire cucumber. In a bowl, combine 8 oz. of plain yogurt and add the diced cucumber to it. Stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill overnight.
So there you have it! Yummy, yummy falafel!
Love and peace to you all!
Namaste!