Thursday, January 29, 2009

Egg-less Banana Bread

I can't believe Lent is almost upon us. I am looking forward to reflecting on Christ; to experiencing the dark, candle-lit, minor-keyed Pre-Sanctified Liturgies; to practicing a more simple approach to food, including these ideas about gluttony from Alana; and to sinking into much more that has nothing to do with food.

And yet, there is the daily task of feeding the family. I offer the fast-friendly banana bread recipe several of you requested. May God bless Mary L., who introduced this treat to us when she brought by a meal after the birth of Little Builder.

The Ingredients
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I've used plain, and spelt flour too)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, unpacked
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup soy milk or rice milk
1/4 cup apple sauce or oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mashed bananas
sprinkling of mini chocolate chips

The Steps
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
3. Mix, in another large bowl, milk, applesauce, vanilla, and bananas.
4. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.
5. Grease & dust 6 muffin cups and divide the batter among them. Or use an 8inch square casserole dish.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

We like this bread spread with peanut-butter.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Carrot Souffle

The night you make it, it's dessert.
The next morning, it's breakfast bars.

I first enjoyed this recipe when eating with my grandparents. The menu included: black-eyed peas with sausage over rice, pineapple-cabbage coleslaw, and carrot souffle.

I'll give you the original recipe, but mention these changes I made:

-used only half the sugar
-used oil instead of butter (I've got a non-dairy girl)

The Ingredients
2 cups of cooked sliced carrots (or you could use 1 can of carrots, drained)
3 TBS butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp flour
1 tsp vanilla

The Steps
1. Place everything in a blender
2. Blend until smooth
3. Bake in a greased casserole dish at 350 for 45 minutes

FYI - I usually plan to make this the night after I make carrots as a side dish. I make extra, so I have them on hand.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Prayer for the New President

A prayer for civil authorities (excerpt from the Liturgy of St. Basil):

"Be mindful, O Lord, of all civil authorities and of our armed forces; grant them a secure and lasting peace; speak good things into their hearts concerning thy Church and all thy people, that we in their tranquility may lead a calm and peaceful life in all reverence and godliness. Establish the good in thy goodness, and make good the evil, by thy benevolence."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Veggie Loaf

Mamma Juliana reminded me about this place. I liked the more exotic combinations like green peas and cilantro, but my family prefers this one:

Garbanzo Cereal Loaf

1/2 cup cashews
2 TBS of flax meal mixed with 3 TBS warm water (or equivelent egg replacer)
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
One large carrot, peeled and grated
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, partly mashed
1 cup crushed corn flakes
1/4 to 1/2 cup tomato juice, as needed
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. salt


Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

1. Grind the cashews into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

2. Sauté any vegetables you've chosen in the until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients.

3. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.

4. Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.

It also makes a good sandwich filling the next day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gifts from God

We recently brought home Little Builder's St. Nicholas Creative Arts Festival ship. It was on display with a copy of a story about St. Nicholas in a ship that was tearing apart.

Petit flower cakes encourage smiles around the table.

Winter color, courtesy of the camellia from my sister's house.

Every good thing given comes down from the Father of Lights...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lenten Lunch Box

Greek Lentil Soup, a slice of bread, and an orange.

And I totally cheated when I made the soup Wednesday! I both

1) did not feel like cooking and
2) did not have a ton of time I cheated by using a can of diced tomatoes that already had garlic, onion, & oregeno added. No chopping. No sauteeing. Just dump in the lentils and tomatoes, add water and season to taste later. Oh yeh, and a bay leaf. The fast-forward version of Greek Lentil Soup.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Welcome New Moms

Welcome to the blogoshpere. If you haven't noticed, the list of Orthodox Mothers' blogsites is growing very large over there on the right margin of my blog. You might want to browse through and visit. Although I enjoy reading many of your sites, today I'd like to highlight Anastasia's site for - sort of paradoxically - good laughs and serious theology.

Also, if your site is not on there and would like to me add it, please email me at

orthodoxmother at g mail dot com

May God bless us, and keep us, and make His face to shine upon us, and give us peace.

We need it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Child's Name's Day

Little Builder - who is 5 and in public school kindergarten - has a Name's Day coming up. Last year, when it was on a weekend, we invited little church friends.

However, we live 75 miles away from church, so it's not practical for them to drive over after school on a week night.

We'll have cake and sing the saint's troparian, but I'm wondering...

Do any of you have other ideas about how we could celebrate?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Theophany in Pictures

Newspapers around the nation covered Theophany Services. I highly reccommend checking out these two:

1. Visit Syliva for her personal journal and photos, and don't pass up these cool pics by the paper, especially the ones of the 50 or so boys diving into the bayou.

2. Hop over to Susan Sophia's for these Kitsap Sun pics in windy Washington.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Theophany Trivia

When the priest says - Christ is born!
We say - Glorify Him!

When the priest says - Christ is risen!
We say - Indeed He is Risen!

When the priest says - Christ is baptized!
What do we say?

Look under the gingerbread for the answer:

Why, what else but "in the Jordan!" That was a fun surprise last night at the Theophany service, which, by the way is so full & deep. So much stuff in there that it will take years to absorb.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Pajamas

When my sister and I were 4 and 2 years old, my mom started making us matching Christmas pajamas, robes, or nightgowns. Now, the grandkids get them. Grami spends time each year picking her favorite patterns and material, then sewing. This year snowmen cheerily dotted a field of red. Little Builder had a tunic shirt and the girls had puffy gathered sleeves.

And sweet red hearts stichted their hems.

Yes, Anastasia, grandparents truly are Gifts from God, for which we are very thankful!