Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Finally - Lavash Crackers!

So ages ago, I promised I would post about the incredible Lavash Crackers I created. I know you’ve been saying to yourself, “When the heck is she going to post about those Lavash Crackers? What is up with that? She said she would post the recipe! Unreliable bloggess!” (Or maybe not.)

At any rate, below are the pictures and recipe for these amazing, melt in your mouth, uber crackers. I’ve always called them Lavish Crackers which is what they are – lavish, but the correct term is Lavash. These crackers originate in Armenia. I was inspired to learn to make them myself because I pay nearly an arm and a leg (where does that saying come from – was there a time when you could sell your arm and leg for big money?) for them at my favorite deli where I go to buy coconut gouda (I kid you not – it is heaven in a cheese).

Here is my annotated recipe (with pictures!) adapted from one I found in Organic Gardening magazine.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mornings: From Chaos to Calm (you can do it!)

Lately, our mornings have been getting out of hand. I crawl out of bed on the third snooze, pull on as many clothes as I can manage (my husband waits for the fourth snooze to get up and build fires in the woodstoves that heat our house) and put a pot of oatmeal on the stove for the kids. I then begin the CHORE of waking them all up. In the process, I am many times growled at and threatened. Trying not to take it personally (they’re teenagers), I generally throw in a load of laundry, locate my sneakers and my contacts and head out for a run. Then while running, I worry that one of them didn’t get up and I’ll return not only to a kitchen with oatmeal dripping down the stove and dishes abandoned on the table, but a child still snoozing oblivious to the beginning of another glorious day.

As I clean up the debris left from three obvious dashes out the door in my absence, I lament that our mornings have come to this. I fret that my middle child will find it hard to concentrate, once again having left without time to make lunch. I worry that the fact that no one brushed their teeth this morning (or any morning of late) means they will all end up with cavities and bad breath. I sigh when I find homework (due today!) abandoned on the kitchen table next to the jar of raisins. After that, I move on to berating myself for allowing my children to become such slobs in the first place and me for being so selfish that I leave for a run without making sure they are ready for their day.

One morning this week, as I turned yet another lap at the park (I couldn’t run my normal route due to the gauntlet of hunters dotting the trees surrounding our roads -it's hunting season in York County this week), I decided that it was time for a change. Our mornings need to be more intentional (to borrow a phrase from a soon-to-be bestselling book).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Giving the Sweet Potato it's Due

We harvested out sweet potatoes over a month ago, laying them out on my workbench to “cure” and then storing them in our “root cellar”. There are a LOT of sweet potatoes in there. Maybe more than enough.

I made sweet potato fries (my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes), roasted sweet potatoes, and sweet potato chips, but there are generally a limited number of customers in my family when it comes to sweet potatoes. Most everybody will eat the fries, but after that the audience drops substantially to about two. This is a sadness because I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes. In fact, I’m a superfan of this superfood. But I know someone who is more like a KING of sweet potatoes than a mere fan, like me. So, dear readers, let me introduce you to Mr. Jack.

Jack is a retired professor of Towson State University and runs the pool where my children have grown up. He not only makes careful use of the TIME OUT chair and teaches killer water aerobics, he also created and hosts the Pennsylvania Sweet Potato Festival (with the help of his amazing wife Bev). Jack knows more about sweet potatoes than anyone in my world, so rather than write a sub-par post on the beauty of the sweet potato (which I’ve done before), I interviewed Jack!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Why Food isn't Food Anymore.....

Here's a helpful infographic that underscores plenty of my previous posts. (And yes, I'm cheating a little this week but the book is sooooo close to ready!) Food Fillers
Source: Healthcare-Management-Degree.net

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Create a Professional Kitchen (even if you're an amateur)

Once upon a time, I organized our kitchen. I threw out things we never used and sorted the useful items into the prime drawers. I gathered all the spices, donated the duplicates, and lined up the jars with the labels facing outwards. I matched up all the plastic containers and tossed anything without a matching lid. I cleared the counters of erroneous items that had come to reside there by default. I even took down every piece of children’s art on the fridge. The entire kitchen looked ready for show. Because it was. The house was for sale. Why is it we never really clean out clutter or make our spaces truly tidy until we’re either expecting the Queen or putting the house up for sale? Don’t we deserve to live in such pristine places, too?

This week the topic for my evening class was “Clearing Clutter and Cleaning” and in honor of that I began emptying drawers and scouring my kitchen for wasted stuff and wasted space. This is not a job done in one morning. This is a job that takes determination, a large trash can, and several extra boxes for donations and indecision. Let me share my 10-step Kitchen plan with you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All Things Halloween

So.... I'm feeling guilty about a second week with no post! I have a really great excuse....I'm editing my book, Live Intentionally, based on this blog and my workshops. Fingers crossed and butt in chair, it'll be available by Thanksgiving.

If you want to know when it's available and how YOU can get your own copy, subscribe to my e-mail list through my website  CaraWrites.com.

In the meantime, here are a few posts-gone-by that'll get your through this Halloween week.

Want to know how to cook a pumpkin or need a recipe for spicy pumpkin seeds?? Click here.

Wondering if pumpkin is a super food? You betcha, click here.


Stressing out over Halloween costumes and candy? Been there, click here.


Does Halloween start the sugar overload that goes on through Christmas right on up to Valentine's day? Need some inspiration to kick the sugar habit? Click here.