March 30, 2012

We've been outside...

Playing and sowing seeds (lettuce, swiss chard, lima beans...and a long list of others yet to be planted) in our backyard garden.We are also getting ready for Pascha, the day we celebrate our Lord's Resurrection! Lots of church services, more than usual, we will try to go to as many as we can. Reading the Bible and being in church, partaking of the sacraments, looking at the icons of the saints, who are example to us all, help us on the path to salvation. I find that this time is hard, I tend to judge others, when I am not doing all that I I really on the path to salvation or meandering off to distractions? I need to look at myself and try to become a kinder and more helpful person.I've baked some kulich (click here for the recipe), a wonderful sweet bread. I will bake more and make cheese to go with it. Want my recipe?

Cheese-pascha (here's my homemade cheese instructions)

3 lbs farmer's cheese (instead I used my homemade cheeses)
1/2 lb salted butter (softened)
1/2 c. raisins (I didn't put any in my cheese-pascha, just decorated it with them after)
1/4 lb finely chopped almonds (didn't use them this year)
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 egg yolks (I made coconut macaroons with the left over egg whites)
1 whole egg
1 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (scraped the seeds from the center of a vanilla bean instead)

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Combine with cheese (adding nuts and raisins, if desired) and cream. Cook in large pot over medium head until mixture bubbles, stirring occasionally (about 1/2 hour). When cool, add vanilla, place mixture in mould lined with cheese cloth. Refrigerate and allow to drain, unmould and decorate! Spread on top of kulich and enjoy!!!We also have wonderful eggs, thanks to our 2 hens, Clementine and Nutmeg! Clementine is the white and tan one, she's an Ameraucana, and just started laying eggs a month ago, a beautiful pastel blue-green colour... and Nutmeg, the Rhode Island Red, gives us the brown eggs.

March 26, 2012

Going back for seconds...

We plan to get more of this at Trader Joe's...we are lucky to live just 2 miles from it. $3.49 per pint.

March 23, 2012

Lenten cleaning...and what we can do!

House "spring" cleaning this time of year, and cleaning of the soul...a time for a more spiritual look at things. We are not perfect. What can we do to make ourselves better? We can give...My daughter Hannah has been making bracelets for about 3 weeks now, as a Lenten Campaign to raise money for the Lucky Girls in India. She has braided some, knotted others, picking colours that coordinate well together. Today she told me she wants to put beads on some... She is selling them for $2 each and 100% of the money is going to be donated online on April 14th, 2012. If you want one, let me know and I will gladly mail you one!!!

Before you watch the short film here, you will want to turn off the music on the sidebar. from Lucky Girls on Vimeo.

Maybe you'll want to join in and make bracelets to benefit the Lucky Girls, too!

March 21, 2012


We're making little bread larks today...inspiration from this recipe. They are actually in the oven right now. This is before we put them in...It is a tradition to bake these in memory of Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, which we celebrate tomorrow. There are supposed to be 40 to celebrate each of the forty martyrs. In explaining why we make birds, I told my daughters it's a representation of the Holy Spirit that was present in each of the soldiers, gave them strength in their Christian faith.

Zhavoronki or Larks (little bird breads)
  • 6 cups flour (I am using half whole wheat and half unbleached white)
  • 1 cup sugar (next time I'm going to use honey)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp. yeast
  • orange zest (optional)
  • cloves, raisins, or cranberries for eyes
  • sunflower seeds or whole almonds for beak
Mix the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, flour (a cup at a time, stirring well before adding the next), salt and the vanilla or orange zest (if using) together well. Knead about ten minutes. Place in a bowl and let rise until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 40 pieces. Roll each piece into a long round shape. Tie each piece into a knot (we did not do this, but just formed it into a nice bird shape). Make one end into the shape of a head for the bird. The other end will be the tail feathers with a knife cut little lines. Put two cloves, raisins or cranberries (you can get creative) on each bird for the eye and a whole almond for the beak.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. We didn't get 40 out of this batch, but less, so next time, we'll have to portion out smaller pieces of dough. They were still fun to make!

P.S. I am still working on the vest...but the weather has turned warm, so I don't know if he'll even want to wear it:

March 16, 2012

Pita bread

I joined Pinterest this week...and am enjoying looking at inspiring things, that I want to make and have made, sharing them...
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I just added pita bread there! I followed this recipe and I plan to make it again with tabouli (I will add a cup of bulgur instead of just 2-3 tablespoons)and falafel.
Since I was just trying out the recipe for the first time, we simple ate it with honey (mine is crystallized right now, still scrumptious, though)!I picked the pretty little daffodils in our yard and they brought cheer into our home on a rainy day...more thunderstorms today. It's almost spring!

March 14, 2012

The vest...'s not done, yet. I wanted to change the neck, from a scoop neck to a v-neck, but am not feeling brave enough to alter the pattern. So, here's what I've got so far:Tune in next week...hopefully, for a finished vest for my 2 month old nephew! Join in the "yarn along!"

As for reading, I have been on a political "kick"...

I finished Nineteen Eighty-Four and thought that it was a good book, if you think about the fact that it was written in 1949...from that perspective, it is quite interesting, and overall, I thought it was scary, for the fact that government or a dictator can have so much control over others...I was very disappointed by the ending!

I read Anthem (written in 1938, a beautiful novella, short and with a wonderful message) and then Atlas Shrugged (written in 1957, a long novel, too long in my opinion, but good in that it is thought provoking) by Ayn Rand almost a year ago. Next on my list is The Fountainhead (which she wrote in 1943).
My husband painted a patch of chalkboard paint on the wall for each of the girls...they love it. We have some egg-shaped chalk that my cousin gave us!

P.S. Just want to let you know, that we've been talking about moving to Arizona, as they apparently are the only state not observing the Daylight Savings Time (which I really really dislike)! There is someone here in Ohio working on stopping DST. I wish we could defy it, but then, we'd be an hour late to church, dance class and karate...

March 12, 2012

Vegan piroshki

(photo taken in 2009 of some meat filled piroshki I made)

Today I made some vegan piroshki and a poppy seed roll inspired by this article.

A recipe for Piroshki (a traditional Russian bread stuffed with vegetables or meat...since it's Great Lent, we are fasting, trying out best to not eat any animal products, basically vegan):

7 c. unbleached flour

2 T dry yeast

½ c. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

2 T. sugar (I used honey)

1–1 1/2 t. salt

2 c. water

1/2 t. Ground cardamom (optional....I did use this!!!)

Mix flour with yeast, salt, and cardamom. Add warm water, oil; mix and knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hands. It should be soft and well mixed. Cover with a towel and let rise to double in size, punch down and begin forming the pies.

I roll my dough out with a rolling pin, then use my round cookie cutter, about 3" around to cut a nice shape out, dab a little water around the edges, to help it seal, after filling...

Fillings for piroshki can be either sweet or savory. Here are some ideas: cabbage, or potato, carrots, sautéed mushrooms with onion. For sweet ones: any kind of jam, nuts, or dried fruit.

Let the individual pies rise again, then bake in medium oven for about a half hour or until done.

March 9, 2012


A tornado whipped through this area last Friday. I heard about this baby who was found miles away from her home...struggled for life, and wished that I could hold her and love her, maybe adopt her. ♥ Sadly, she didn't make it...and was buried with her family. It makes me realize how God has blessed us.I will enjoy every moment God has given us together...AND remember to thank Him.Although I try to do my best to vote for the people and issues who will keep America the land of the free...I am reminded that only God is the one who ultimately has control over everything. Am I worthy of His generosity?
Why have I been so blessed?
I need to be more diligent in giving thanks! ♥

March 7, 2012

Yarn along...slowly but surely.

Last week I finished the back of the little red vest (atop the books under the skein of yarn) and started on the front...

It's coming along nicely, I think I'll be done by next week's Yarn Along!

We're still reading the Bible. I love Genesis...and so do my girls. I got an awesome book from the library called One-Yard Wonders, filled with instructions of how to make things from a dog bed to a handbag or flirty skirt with just 1 yard of fabric. I am also reading a book written in 1949 called Nineteen Eighty-Four by Eric Blair (published under the pseudonym George Orwell), a very political book, government watching everything you do. Big Brother is watching you. Scary that this is the way our country may be going. Have you read it?

P.S. The results from the primary polls here in Ohio show that 37% of the people pick Rick Santorum and 38% of the votes went for Mitt Romney. A little disappointing, in my opinion.

March 5, 2012

Voting tomorrow in Ohio!

It's known as Super Tuesday, because so many states are voting in the Republican primaries. I consider myself a "crunchy conservative" actually, not a Republican. I love America, for the way it was founded, a place for the British to escape and obtain religious freedom!

I like to bring fabric bags to the grocery store, I recycle and reuse as many glass jars as I can, I save plastic bottle caps (to make snowmen like the fellow above AND other art projects), I like planting trees and growing vegetable in our backyard garden without the use of any chemical pesticides, we are conscious of what kinds of seeds we buy...heirloom and non-GMO. We have 2 chickens to get the freshest eggs. We thank God for all the freedoms we have and want to treat the earth He gave us well.

Tomorrow, I'm voting for Rick Santorum! I ♥ his "made in America" plan. I like to avoid buying things not made in America. If we have a problem, debt or lack of jobs....don't you think maybe we should try to buy American made products? And American grown fruits and vegetables?

Please vote!

(for whomever you choose, I just feel that MORE people should vote, if you care about our future)