Thursday, March 29, 2012

As of Late

Well, obviously I don't have nearly the time to blog as I did before The Viv. Sorry about that! She's zonked out at the moment though, so I thought I'd post some quick food-spiration. So here you have it, an actual original recipe of mine. But that's not as exciting as it sounds. I had an empty kitchen but was hungry for something healthy, so I pretty much just combined everything I had, and it was delish! Without further ado, I give you Black Bean & Pesto Quinoa.

Black Bean & Pesto Quinoa
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 zucchini
2 cups cooked black beans
8 oz arugula pesto
Raw sunflower seeds
  • Cook the quinoa
  • Cube zucchini and combine on cookie sheet with black beans. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a 350 degree oven till zucchini is slightly browned and beans are crispy.
  • Thaw arugula pesto in a sink of hot water. (Haha, I had this in my freezer from the abundance of arugula I was getting in my fall CSA share. If you don't have frozen arugula pesto on hand, just make pesto like you normally would but sub arugula for basil!)
  • Once everything is cooked, roasted, and thawed, stir it all together, top with sunflower seeds, and enjoy!

 I also made this amazing, and I mean amazing, Edamame and toasted Coconut in Avocado recipe from Joy the Baker. This is a recipe I plan to repeat at least once a week; it's that good!

Last weekend Clint, Vivian, and I spent the majority of our time outside, and my super fantastic amazing husband built me two raised garden beds! I absolutely cannot wait to get planting!

And here's Viv in her retro Baby Banz. They're perfect for all her adventures!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Very Special Gift

Family and friends have been beyond generous and supportive of Clint and me as we have welcomed our new baby into the world. We've been almost smothered with gifts, cards, and prayers over the past six months or so! One of the most special gifts we received is this handmade quilt from my very dear friend Sharon.
The quilting and binding are all hand stitched, and Vivian's full name is beautifully embroidered in one corner. There is so much love and friendship in each of those individual stitches and in each piece of fabric chosen that I was overcome with emotion when the quilt arrived in the mail and I tore into the package. Viv is so lucky at have such a wonderful auntie, and I am so thankful to have such a wonderful friend!

Vivian (when she was a newborn) is obviously quite content wrapped up in so much love.

The beautiful hand stitching of her name
If you love the quilt as much as I do, you should check out Sharon's portfolio. I can guarantee it'll blow you away. She's one of the most talented and creative people I know, and her portfolio perfectly represents her unique style and skill!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring is in the Air

I have a nostalgic obsession with rhubarb. My great aunt used to grow rhubarb in her garden and dutifully deliver bags of it to my mom every spring. My mom would then turn it into the most amazing rhubarb crisp. That combination of sweet and tangy couldn't be more perfect, but now the copious amounts of butter and sugar are much less appealing to me! So with spring in the air and rhubarb season upon us, I was on the hunt for a healthy rhubarb recipe. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy! Most are either for strawberry rhubarb pie or variations on the rhubarb crisp my mom used to make. Obviously not an improvement nutritionally. Finally though, I found a recipe for Chia Rhubarb Apricot Muffins that sounded quite delightful, and it sure was! If you're a rhubarb fan, I recommend you make these as soon as you can get your hands on some fresh rhubarb!

I've also been craving massive amounts of veggies. I just can't seem to get enough! So when I spotted this recipe for Wild Rice and Quinoa Power Party in a Bowl that contains at least five different vegetables, I knew I'd found the perfect meal. In this photo, I topped it with avocado to make it even more delicious and nutritious!

And I think it's nearly impossible for me to post anymore without sharing a recent photo of Vivian, and this one sure does make me laugh!

Love and veggies, Lizzie

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TOMS Shoes

If you have a pair of TOMS and you're like me, you love you your TOMS! And what's not to love? Their motto is "One for One." Every time you buy a pair of shoes from TOMS, they give a pair to a child in need. As if the cuteness of the shoes wasn't enough, the company's philanthropy has only added to their crazy popularity. My poor TOMS are pretty beat up by now. I got them way back when the company was pretty new, and then my dog got a hold of them, but they're still great, right? Well, maybe they're actually not so great. Not too long after I purchased my pair, I noticed a little tag on the inside of the TOMS of my other friends, a tag not present in mine, a tag that read, "Made in China." What could this mean? We all know that many American companies outsource the production of their goods to China or other countries for the cheap labor and slack regulations. I personally try to avoid buying things from these countries because I don't want to support exploitation of any kind, wherever it lies on the scale between unfair labor practices and human trafficking, unless the company is dedicated to and transparent about paying their employees a living wage and investing in the betterment of the community. If that was the case behind the "Made in China" tag inside TOMS shoes, I'm still all about supporting them. If not however, it seems even worse than a company like Nike (who is well known for their exploitation of workers in the name of profit) doing the same thing because TOMS bases their entire image on doing good in the world, and exploiting the poor and vulnerable does not match up with doing good in the world. Well, my dear friend was considering purchasing a pair of TOMS and wanted to find out about their manufacturing practices, so she emailed the company. Below is their reply.

Does that answer satisfy you? It sure didn't satisfy me. What exactly does "representatives in the factories virtually every day" mean? Who are these representatives, and what exactly are they doing? And the term "human rights and safety efforts" sounds pretty weak to me. Come on TOMS, we need more than "effort" in this area, we need actual, concrete, ethical practices! I think this response from TOMS is weak, shallow, and does little to conceal that at the end of the day, they're more about profit than they are about giving back, despite all the bravado indicating otherwise.

I don't want to leave you without a alternative to the TOMS disappointment! Check out the company, soleRebels. They make their shoes in Ethopia, and pay their workers a living wage. They use locally sourced organic materials and utilize recycled and artisan materials as well, among many other positive things! Now that's a company I can get behind and support wholeheartedly!