New beginnings

It’s officially Spring, Easter is around the corner, I’m now a newlywed, and their is going to be a Lunar eclipse in 3 days. I think it’s time for new beginnings. Not just for me but for everyone and everything.

Spring is a time of renewal, growth, and life. Animals are coming out of hibernation, trees and plants are starting to bloom, and the days are longer. Easter is the holiday when Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and life everlasting. Commercially, Easter is symbolized by Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, baskets, egg hunts, chocolate, and Peeps. The history behind the Easter bunny is also a representation of rebirth and life. For Pagans, the Teutonic deity Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate. Eostra eventually became Easter through the years and spelling changes.

So where is this going? Welp, I’m not sure. I feel like it’s time for a new start, a new beginning, in my own life, but I’m not sure how or where. For starters, I have ignored my beloved blog here for quite some time. I was busy with life in general but mostly getting through the first year of my Master’s program and planning a wedding. Then I got married at the same time midterms were due. Now, I’m just trying to get through finals before I enjoy a long awaited semester off for the summer.

I have so many things I want to do during my time off. First on the list is to spend more time with my family. Sure, I spent time with them while I was in school but it was divided time – part of my mind was always on something else (school, wedding, new job, etc.). Now, I am in a job that is perfect for me (for now), the wedding has come and gone, and I will not have school. The other things I want to do are to plant my vegetable garden, finish the backyard landscaping (hello, gravel), and get the house painted. I also want to finish all the inside house projects like painting the base boards, installing a ceiling fan in our room, put in the rest of the smoke detectors (um yeah, not safe), repaint all of the doors, and paint the kitchen cabinets. The plan is to do the outside stuff soon because it is going to get stupid hot here pretty soon in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. After those are done I can do the inside stuff in my lovely air-conditioned home.

Of course, someday I would love to go through all the wedding photos and family photos in general, and put them in albums/scrap books/etc., but seriously who ever has the time to do that? Isn’t that something that perpetually stays on people’s to-do lists?

Does anyone read the About Me section of a blog? I do. I like to read about other people. I like getting to know people and learning about how other people live their lives. I guess that’s why I am drawn to the social work profession. I think an easy way to have a fresh start is to update that section. I remember when I first wrote that for my blog. I had said that I was planning to do a half marathon in 2013. Or was it 2012? Tells you how long it’s been since the last time I read that thing. Welp, I haven’t done a half or any race for that matter since I wrote that. Oops. I did however sign up for the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown here in Tucson so whether I do it or not, I am signed up and paid for a half marathon on October 19th. Also an 8-miler on Labor day. Also a 5k on May 31st.

Let’s see, what else? Like I mentioned, I did get married on March 1st of 2014. So I am a newlywed for about 6 weeks. We are going on 6 years together so I don’t really feel like a newlywed. <– That is the answer to the question that I get alllll the time, and all of it's forms, "So, how's married life treating you?," or "How's it feel to be married?" Um, no different. We are also now 1 year in our beautiful southwest Tucson home. I still love it. This year my oldest will officially be a "teen" – super weird. And, also mentioned earlier, I have officially finished (well, after April 22nd, but who's counting) my foundation year of my MSW at USC. I have 2 more semesters to go and I’ll have my Masters. Then I’ll be making more money (hopefully).

Ok, so this isn’t Cassie’s thoughts and goals blog. It’s the Love Language of Food blog. What this all comes down to is the soon I will have the time and energy to do the things that I love to do which is showing love to myself. My home is where my tastiest creations are made so I need to nurture my humble abode. Obviously, my vegetable garden once it gets going will supply delicious, organic food for my family and myself – which again is love for them and for the earth that grows the plants to feed us.

I know where this is going now. I can see it. In my near future I am envisioning dinners with friends al fresco, picking fresh juicy tomatoes off the vine, and running across a finish line. I can see myself taking photos at a vegan food festival (foreshadowing, wink-wink) and a thirteen birthday party. Good things are in store.

Delicata squash and carrot soup

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I had these 2 delicata squash that I needed to use because they were getting old. I was home all day so I roasted them in the oven following the instructions on the sticker that was on it.

To roast the squash: cut lengthwise and put cut side down with a couple tablespoons of water in a baking dish. Cover and roast at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Recipe for the soup follows:
2 delicata squash roasted and removed from skin with spoon
24 baby carrots boiled until very soft
2 cloves garlic peeled and boiled withe carrots
Half inch size of fresh ginger peeled and also boiled with the carrots
Everything went into the blender even the boiling water. Seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Added some soy milk -about half a cup- to get things moving and voila!

Oh! I also put about a teaspoon of curry powder in the blender, too.

Mini grilled cheese and tomato soup

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After an afternoon of shopping – groceries, Christmas gifts, and the like – I decided to go with an old standby for a quick dinner. I don’t know if you can tell from the picture but those are baguette sized slices of bread and that’s a dessert bowl – you know the kind you would put a scoop of ice cream in. I don’t know why I but I love small food. Just like animals are cuter when they’re babies I think small food is so cute and fun to eat. Of course hubby had a real size bowl and regular slices of bread.

This meal is entirely from Trader Joe’s.
- the TJ’s carton of creamy tomato soup
- roasted garlic and time bread loaf
- Earth Balance
- sharp cheddar

That’s it! Except I’m also having wine because that’s what shopping makes me do.

What is this gnarly thing?

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Who can guess what this highly underutilized vegetable is???

I have a great recipe that I got from the New York Times with this thing as an ingredient. Any guesses?

I

Lazy Sunday breakfast

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Hash browns, pan roasted heirloom tomatoes, over medium eggs with smoked salmon and dill, pancakes, and – last but not least – Bloody Mary. Then football and a long run later. It’s days like today that I’m glad I know how to cook because we are able to enjoy a great meal while still in our pajamas, no makeup, no shoes, no lines, and no snooty severs. Just good food and even better company.

Happy Sunday!

Pear, goat milk Brie, and honey crostini

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A perfect light lunch after my grocery shopping today. Everything you see here is from Trader Joe’s. no, they don’t pay me to say that although I wish they would.

Here’s what it took:

Sourdough bread slices
Sliced goat milk Brie
Sliced pear
Drizzle of olive oil
Broil for few minutes
Then drizzle honey
And a few grinds of black pepper

For the love of zucchini!

zucchini

Check out this really great article and recipe ideas that use zucchini.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/09/08/magazine/bittman-zucchini-recipes.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=MG_ZA_20130904&_r=0

Zucchini is super cheap right now and can be used in so many different ways. My personal faves are grilled (simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil), as fries (especially from Zinburger – yum!), and grated and turned into pancakes. I have yet to use them as noodles but it is on my list of things to try out. How do people get them all curly and noodle-y? I’ll figure it out. Probably some cool kitchen tool is all I need.

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