type='text/javascript'/> A Latte Talk: October 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Foody Friday - Par-TAY

I admit it. Halloween is not my thing. If Halloween suddenly went away, I would shout and sing.

But, it IS fun for the kids, and there's not a lot that's cuter than all the sweet little kids dressed up at my front door. Emphasis on LITTLE. Big kids in grotesque masks aren't so cute.

The worst part of Halloween, to me, is being the mother of 2 previously sweet children, who become frightening monsters when on sugar. Not to mention the next 30 days when the greedy factor goes up and an unbelievable amount of time is spent counting, sorting, and planning the various tastes, flavors, and available highs of the candy in their stash.

The link at the bottom of the post is to a group of recipes, and one I'm personally SO excited about, because it works into the Halloween Candy Master Plan '08. Here are the specs of the plan:
  • Halloween night: Children of candy-eating age are allowed to eat as much candy as they want, no limits. Buckets will be on hand, just in case.
  • Post-Halloween-candy-binging: Mother confiscates all candy wealth to be redistributed via rationing.
  • All-Saints Day, Nov 1: Mother makes candy brownies for all to enjoy, and the Halloween candy will be "used up" very quickly.

This plan was implemented in hopes of preventing a recurrence of the Great Whiny Kids Fiasco of November '07.

The candy will be gone by November 3. Mark my words.

Here is a website that will give you a vast plethora of ideas for using up that Halloween candy.

You're welcome.

Join in with your partay/ appetizer/ fun/ random recipe below!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I will rejoice with you

A few years ago, a group of young married couples that Matt and I were involved with embarked on a discussion that is vivid to me. I've been rehashing it in my mind lately. It was this:

How do we handle rejoicing with those who rejoice when we are grieving the very thing in our lives that they are rejoicing in?


How do we handle sharing our rejoicing, when we know there may be people around us who are grieving that very thing in their lives?

I'll just bare my soul here and tell you that for us, the dangling carrot is a satisfying job for Matt with a steady income (And, like, with a few little wee health benefits, maybe??!!). It's the green grass on the other side of the fence for us. It is, hands down, the area of our lives that can easily become an idol to us ("If we only ________, then everything would be fine!").

For another, it is the desire for a child. How can a woman grieving her infertility rejoice with a sister who is announcing a pregnancy?

Another woman might desperately want to have a marriage that is fulfilling. She wants a mutually trusting and loving relationship where she can feel completely at ease. But instead, there is abuse, anger, and heavy disappointment.

There are countless scenarios where one person is struggling, and her friend is rejoicing.

How do we handle this? I know how we should handle it, Romans 12:15. But it doesn't always feel that simple.

I have my own thoughts on the matter, but I want to know:

How do you handle it?

Why is it so hard?

What, if anything, should we do differently?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Enough Already!

So, I've been thinking that for newbies to A Latte Talk, it's been a bit confusing that I post the theme for Foody Friday just a few days before, and then don't list any recipes, etc...

Admittedly, I don't feel like giving a whole lot of info when I'm madly typing out my theme post.

SO, I added a little list in my sidebar that lists out the themes a few weeks in advance. For all you planners, this will give you some thinking time. :)

And, if you ever have suggestions, PLEASE, drop me a note and I'll add your idea!

This will be the last you will hear about Foody Friday, unless, of course, it's... Foody Friday.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Foody Friday - Egg-o-rama

I love eggs. We had them for dinner tonight, actually. They're quick, yummy, healthy. What more can you ask for? Scrambled eggs, served with turkey breakfast sausage, toast and bananas. An entire meal for my family in 10 minutes and under $10.

I'm going to give you two recipes.

The first one is my standard comfort food assemble-it-the-night-before-and-pop-it-in-the-oven-in-the-morning delicacy. It never did win me the "Freshest Idea" award at MOPS, but it SHOULD HAVE! It was always GONE... eaten... devoured... just no award.

I'm not bitter or anything.

CAUTION: For you healthy peeps, you can skip this one. It has fat, preservatives and chemicals of every kind interlaced throughout.


(OK, it's not really called that. It's a casserole. But it is yumminess)

(And, yes. Yumminess is a word. I just made it up.)

  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  1. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with crescent roll dough, and sprinkle with crumbled sausage. In a large bowl, mix beaten eggs, mozzarella, and Cheddar. Season the mixture with oregano, and pour over the sausage and crescent rolls.
  4. (Insert here: cover and put in the fridge overnight)
  5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (Increase time if you refrigerated it overnight - probably more like 40 minutes)

OK, healthy ones... you can start reading again. I currently have 2 of these babies in my freezer, waiting for a quick meal. It's unique in that it has pizza seasonings in it and mozzarella cheese. It has a very different taste from other spinach quiches I've had (Usually with feta or gorgonzola or another type of strong cheese). My kids loved this.

Spinach Quiche

  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust (I use this recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced and quartered
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well (or 1/2 lb fresh spinach, chopped)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring the pie crust to room temperature.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add the onion and cook until onion becomes transparent, about 5 minutes. Combine the spinach with the onion, cover the skillet; turn off the heat, and set aside.
  3. Unroll the crust and press to fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Trim the edges.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl until light colored and frothy. Add the garlic, thyme, basil, cheeses, and spinach mixture, and stir until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the spinach mixture into the prepared pie crust.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until the top is golden brown, and an inserted tooth pick comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
If you're new here to Foody Friday, take a moment to read the rules of how to play, and please join us!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Foody Friday Theme

This Friday's theme will be...

Drumroll, please....

Egg dishes.

It's cold outside. There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING more fabulous than waking up on a chilly Saturday morning and popping an egg dish in the oven, to be enjoyed later alongside a vanilla latte.

Egg dishes even make very nice lunches, or easy pop-in the oven dinner.

I also like the fact that I can make a relatively cheap meal when eggs are my protien, compared to meat.


Eggs! It's what's for dinner!

Wait. Wrong slogan.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The New Ava Translation (NAT)

She started with the popular verse, John 3:16 -

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal lice."

Monday, October 20, 2008

And they weren't even axe murderers!

I had me a little get-together with some bloggy friends Saturday morning.

bloggy friend (n): (1) A person you probably know more about than your next door neighbor, and yet you don't know their last name, and in some instances, their first name either. (2) A person you hope is not an axe murderer in disguise, when you go meet them at a local restaurant for breakfast.

I had to tell Corene that I was going out to breakfast with some friends "that I met on the computer". Tell me that's not going to come back to haunt me in about 10 years...

These ladies were great! What a fun morning. Many of us confessed to each other that our husbands were a bit skeptical about just who we were going to meet, and were we sure that they weren't crazies?

Well, I'm not sure about the part that they weren't crazy. I do believe that they were all crazy. But in a different, sleepy-coffee-drinking-we-all-have-preschoolers-crazed-mommy sort of way. This title is one I wear with pride. It is only a season that we get to be crazies, why not have fun with it??!!

Given the above definition of the attendees, you might assume that we consumed a mighty lot of coffee at our table.

You would assume correctly.

We were waited on by the fabulous Fernando. (wait - Eduardo? Ricardo? What was his name??!!!!)

At any rate, he was gracious when we asked him to split our checks, and then double-gracious when we each handed him cash that he needed to give change for. He walked up to the table with 7 checks, and 7 stacks of change, all orderly and organized.

He won my praise, though, when he even took pictures for us with 4 different cameras. With a very weary smile on his face. Needless to say, I tipped him well.

Anyhoo, here's the group picture taken by Senor Waiter:

From left to right, Rachel from Badgers on the Loose, Heather of the EO, Kelly of LoveWell, Sara from Butterville, Whitney of Baby Tunnel Exodus, Moi, and MinnesotaMom.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Role Reversal

Only from a firstborn...

Often, when the kids all go downstairs to play or watch a video, I'll say to Corene, "Can you keep an eye on Isaac while you're down there?"

(She's actually very responsible in this job, she takes the role very seriously. If Isaac is getting into something, it's a millisecond before I hear her correcting him and redirecting him... and usually, she does it gently, and he responds well. Aaaahh, this is one reason why I maintain that having 3 children is easier than having one child.)

(Behind the usually, of course, there are the times when this doesn't work so well, and I have to come intervene when Isaac is SCREAMING and Corene is "helping".)

Anyway... yesterday I came downstairs and sat on the floor where the kids were playing, and Corene walked up to me and said,

"Mommy, can you keep an eye on Isaac for me for a second while I go potty?"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Foody Friday - Stuck in a rut recipes

Thank you to Jenna for the theme idea! Jenna, of whom I have not seen in bodily form for at least 3 weeks and who I'm currently feeling withdrawl pangs from. Any typos in this post can be attributed to the twitch I've acquired from withdrawl.

These are the recipes you actually WANT to get stuck in a rut making. For me, the recipes I don't get tired of and make over and over are the ones my family is SO done with after the second time. And the ones they usually want me to repeat are too boring for me. So we do a little bit of give and take :)

However, here at Foody Friday, it's my party, so I'm giving you a Jenny-doesn't-get-sick-of-it recipe. Don't ask my kids or family if they like eating it (I'm making it this week for the third time since it's gotten cool).

There are three basic all-consuming, beautiful ingredients:

Half and Half

Ummm.... I'm weird. I am. But my CSA share from this summer has turned me into a LOVER of the green stuff. Especially if you put it with sausage and half and half.

You might argue that you could put anything with sausage and half and half, and it would taste good. That may be true. But Kale really REALLY does taste good this way.

I am going to be la-zy and just linky to the recipe. I don't do anything different than what's written except omit the bacon. But mostly because I'm a crunchy bacon kind of girl. And bacon in soup kind of loses its crunch. Oh, and I do use half and half instead of heavy cream.

Zuppa Toscana

Please, join in! What have you made over and over again?

Foody Friday! Tomorrow!

Quickly, the theme for tomorrow (sorry no warning) is what's your current recipe that you make over and over again, either because it's SO yummy or SO easy, or SO fast, or that you just LOVE. One of those meals that you could eat once a week and not get sick of.

Warning: For me, this meal falls into the "so yummy" category, which, this time of year, is comfort food... mmm...


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dearest Doctor

Dearest Doctor,

You must have underestimated the God-given gift of Mama Bear in me when you so rashly perceived my little bear cub as having a bad attitude in our visit to see you yesterday. Let us recount the facts in this case:

This child is 6.
This child had just had a long pointy Q-tip shoved in her throat, causing her to gag.
This child does has never met you before.
You are a MAN. Sorry to be sexist, but there is no shame in being sexist when you're six.
You are an OLD man. Sorry to discriminate based on age, but again... no shame.

When a child is curled in the fetal position and refuses to look at the Doctor who just walked in the door, it would be reasonable to assume that she is nervous, shy, even afraid...

Unless, of course, the girl was 16, and not 6. THEN, if she is demonstrating the above behavior, you just might be reasonable in saying,

"Well, her attitude could be better... THAT'S for sure!!"

But not to my 6 YEAR OLD.

I felt the need to write you a note, as we will not be seeing you ever again.

Blessings on your day, may you rest in retirement very soon,

Mama Bear

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Foody Friday - Soups

Before I launch into the single most yummy thing you could possibly put in your tummy on a cold night, I must tell you something about myself.

I am not consistent about anything in my life.

I try to be a consistent reader-of-my-Bible and quiet time have-er.
That's hard.

I try to be consistent mothering my children.
That's harder.

I try to be a consistent blogger.
That, my friends, is nigh impossible.

I try to be a consistent Latte drinker.
Wait. That's not hard.
I AM a consistent Latte drinker.

Anyway, when I'm either inspired to write, or if I'm feeling like my life is in good balance with a little extra free time, I enjoy prolific blogging. But it's hard to be consistent. So, when I logged on tonight to write FF for this week, I was SHOCKED that LAST Friday's pitiful post saying I forgot to do FF was my last post!

So, now you know that I've had no inspiration, and I've been busy. You don't really want uninspired, rushed posts to read, anyway, now, do you?? That would just bore you.

One thing that I am consistent about is eating. I eat every day.

The following soup may make you have heart palpitations. It is so good. Warning:It may not do anything for your hubby, if he is a meat and potatoes man, but he will eat it and smile and then sneak some peanut M&Ms and chicken bones for dessert.

Acorn Squash Soup


2 large acorn squash
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup rice
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cups water
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons veg oil
pinch sugar
salt and white pepper to taste
chopped parsley

Peel the squash and cut it into cubes. Place them in a soup pot and add the chopped onion, rice, chopped celery, and water. Cook the soup, covered, over medium heat until vegetables are tender.

Strain the soup through a sieve or blend it in a blender. Reheat soup and add the milk, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving. Serve hot. Serve with some crusty bread.

*I have also cooked the squash in the oven until soft and reduced the water, scooping the cooked pulp into the soup after it's cooked, and that's much easier than peeling and cubing. However, I don't think the flavor was as good. The squash cooked along with the rice and onion really makes the flavors blend fantastically.

AND, I just saw Acorn Squash at Aldi for $.99!! This is one inexpensive meal if you get the squash in season for a reasonable price! Yeehaw!

Join in below!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I got nothin'

Oops. I was going to do Foody Friday - Soups today. But I'm just a little bit behind, so we'll do it next week. EVERYbody has a favorite soup recipe, right? And it is most definitely soup weather. So, next Friday. Promise.

I just want you all to know something really really important. The very most best thing to consume while drinking your latte and blogging? Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate with Mint filling.

Oh MY. Yes sir. A-mazing.