Fried Peppers and Onions

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Fried Peppers and Onions (a humble place)

Today I’m sharing a recipe. Hooray recipes!

My very favorite side dishes are the ones that I can prep and stick in a pot or a pan then forget about for 45 minutes while I prepare the main dish. Bonus meal idea: side dishes AND main dishes that I can prep and forget. Why haven’t more of those been invented?

But I digress.

Fried peppers and onions are one of my favorite prep and forget side dishes because they take very little effort but provide a tasty little addition to pretty much any type of meal. I often serve this with tacos, but it also goes really well with Spanish omelet too.

Peppers and Onions
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium onion peeled and thinly sliced
  2. 2 red peppers seeded and sliced into strips
  3. 2 tablespoons butter
  4. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  6. 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves (click here to get $10 off your first order at Vitacost!)
  7. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter and olive oil together in a pan.
  2. Add peppers and onions, cooking over low heat for at least 30 minutes, or until peppers are very soft.
  3. Add garlic, basil leaves, and salt and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions
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This is My Body, Broken for You

This is My Body, Broken for You (a humble place)

I found it ironic that I had this post all written up, but wasn’t sure if I should share it because I always hesitate when I hit the Publish button on posts like this. Almost in response to my hesitation, an article that echoes my sentiments nearly identically was published in the latest issue of Soul Gardening and I decided that I wanted to share my heart on the topic as well. I find courage in knowing that I’m not alone in my mental rabbit trails.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of mothers, the beauty of our broken bodies, and the gift we’ve been giving in becoming even just a little more like Christ. There’s a specific phrase that I keep returning to in the wee hours of the morning when my eyes refuse to stay open and my spine can barely keep me upright, but I’m rocking a little girl who just won’t sleep and I can’t seem to set her down. Or when I simply want to sit and rest for a while but a little boy with more energy than should be physically allowed literally spins around and around in circles in front of me, asking me to do five things in the span of three seconds.

This is my body, broken for you.

These days, my body is weary. Weary is the best word I can think of to describe it as it feels, at times, like a constant state of being worn out, tired, and spread thin. Weary. I am weary.

Many mothers begin their new role by allowing their bodies to be broken. To be torn. To be cut. To be stretched. To be mutilated. And all by choice. I remember in those frenzied minutes after the ambulance arrived at the hospital and they rushed me to the OR to get B out via emergency c-section, I was devastated and scared beyond words. But even in that insanity, I knew that I would do anything to make sure my little boy was okay, even allow someone to cut me open.

For the mothers whose babies didn’t grow in their bellies but resided prominently in their hearts, there is the invisible brokenness. The brokenness that tears your soul in two when the only way to be with your baby until money is raised, piles of paperwork are gone through, and legal obstacles are tackled, is a gentle caress of a sweet, tiny face frozen in time on a computer screen. And then, sometimes, they never even get to caress those little faces in real life.

For the mothers whose babies were here and then not here so suddenly, there is the heartbreak of being a mother, yet having no earthly person to show for it. Of the memory of two positive lines that ultimately equaled a pain and loss beyond words. Of the bittersweet taste of having loved that little person deeply and intensely despite their whisper of a life here on earth. And of the terrifying dive back into the depths of that pain to face it all again for another tiny person.

We go on to the “little years,” residing over these small people who rely on us for their every need, but have no way of expressing this need other than through piercing cries. This often means saggy breasts laced with stretch marks, mastitis, sore nipples, blisters, being bitten, etc. All in the name of feeding our children…nourishing their little bodies so they can thrive. We carry and wear them for endless hours regardless of the protests that our backs and feet may express. We spend countless nights staring blurry-eyed at the clock as the minutes tick by, breathing in the scent of the little downy heads that have been given to us, wondering why they just won’t sleep.

And then, of course, there is the emotional brokenness. The brokenness that only our hearts know from the perpetual mourning that accompanies motherhood. The good-bye to each phase. The feeling of each precious step going by far too quickly.

And yet, we continue to allow ourselves to be broken for them.

I look at pictures of myself now and compare them to the ones taken before I became a mother, and I can see it in my face, that aging that occurs during long periods of sleep deprivation. I see it in the multitude of white strands that adorn my head and seem to be popping up more and more often. I see it in the lines radiating from my belly button and the extra skin that seems to have made itself quite at home.

And I am honored.

I am honored that I get to learn what it is to be more like Christ in this way – to sacrifice ourselves for our children. I am honored that I get to be the mother to these amazing little people who I call my own. I am honored that through all of these struggles and the physical and emotional pain that so often accompanies motherhood, I get to hear “mama” and know that it means me.

I am honored to be broken.

 

Weekly Meal Plan: 10 November to 16 November

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Weekly Meal Plan: 10 November to 16 November (a humble place)

We were married in this spot 10 years ago last Thursday. ♥

I’m doing some blog housekeeping these days and finally switched my feed back to the default WordPress feed. If you’re subscribed through Feedburner, please change your subscription to the default one at http://ahumbleplace.com/feed/. Feedburner hasn’t been supported in several years…I’m behind the times.

Also, for those who follow through RSS or email, would it be helpful if I offered a “food only” option where you only receive updates related to food (specifically, recipes and meal plans)? I hate to clutter inboxes, so I thought I’d put that out there. Weekly Meal Plan: 10 November to 16 November (a humble place)

Last week included our anniversary, a box of “new” clothes, and the latest issue of Soul Gardening in the mailbox. I absolutely love this (free!) little journal and highly recommend it for mothers (Catholic or otherwise!) desiring to find beauty and connection with God in the day-to-day work of raising little ones and caring for their families. Honestly, they put it far more eloquently than I can with their mission statement:

Soul Gardening is a journal written by mothers, for mothers, designed to offer tangible encouragement and community as we respond to the call to grow in holiness and simplicity. Published under the patronage of Our Lady of Nazareth, our purpose is to express the beauty of this vocation, the heaven to be found in even the diapers and the dishes, and the power in making our days a living prayer.

If you get the latest issue, check out the recipe section where you’ll find a little contribution from me. Weekly Meal Plan: 10 November to 16 November (a humble place)

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more…]

Weekly Meal Plan: 3 November to 9 November

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Weekly Meal Plan: 3 November to 9 November (a humble place)

Homemade raw milk whey.

I spent some time this weekend adding all of the Nourishing Traditions menus for each day of the week into the menus section of Plan to Eat (I know – I have some crazy exciting weekends). A few months ago, I had every intention of planning one per week and that idea, as so many things do these days, fell by the wayside, so I’m hoping this helps. I’ve also been slowly adding all of my Nourished Kitchen weekly meal plans into the menus as well. It’s a handy little tool, actually. I didn’t really understand how to use it when they first introduced it, but I’m really liking it now.

Our tenth wedding anniversary is on Thursday….TEN YEARS! How did that happen? I find myself saying that a lot in recent years… became a mom – HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? (ahem) Had a second baby – HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? (you’d think I’d have figured that out the first time) Married ten years – HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? Basically, how is life happening? How am I “suddenly” an adult? But also, how is everything going by so quickly?

And how is it that some days go by s o   s l o w l y?

Anyway, enough mental ruminating.

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more…]

System Status: October 2014

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System Status: October 2014 (a humble place)

B helped me preserve some leaves from one of our nature walks this month.

We managed to make it through the entire month of October without turning on the furnace. Hooray us! It was a little tough these last few days, but with our down comforters and a few well-placed space heaters, we survived. I think this is the first year I’ve ever been thankful that Colorado has such a mild climate. Usually I’m aching for snow this time of year.

Aside from that, the month was fairly uneventful. We went to an apple orchard and visited our raw milk dairy in the first week, then we had our family pictures done….our first as a family of four. That’s still kind of surreal….that we = 4 now. I think back on the days when I really wanted to get a Smart car and wonder what in the world I was thinking.

And life rolls on. 

In the end of October I’m into….

Books.

I finished What Alice Forgot and loved it! The ending made me happy. I need to read more books with happy endings. Books with sad endings, while usually a lot more profound and thought-provoking, generally just make me feel drained when I finish them.

My book club is reading Revolutionary Road this month and I started it as it’s been on my to-read list for a while. But then I read the synopsis (because I’m sometimes in the habit of ruining book endings for myself) and decided that it was definitely not for me. It’s gotten such rave reviews and sounds like it’s a very deep book, but I knew it was better if I didn’t take it in.

I finished The Illuminator and enjoyed that one too, though it was a lot less about illuminated manuscripts than I thought it would be which was what first drew me to it. I think I might also have an unhealthy addiction to historical fiction.

I started The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and I’m finding that I don’t care for the audiobook narrator already….that’s hard to get past. Also, I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to successfully imitate Jane Austen’s voice, especially in modern times. I actually have a hard time listening to her books because the prose is so complex (for my little brain, anyway), but this book hasn’t given me any problems at all in that department. My book club is starting The Invention of Wings next month but I don’t have it yet, so I’ll stick with this one until that comes in.

You can also follow along with my reading addiction through my Goodreads account.

TV.

I picked up Call the Midwife Season 3 at the library and, of course, love it (even the overly Photoshopped cover). My favorite quote from Sister Monica Joan so far has been, “I have put Plato here, next to Mr. Freud, so they can be companions in their ignorance.” ♥

Music.

Irish Coffee on Spotify. Perfectly mellow and Irish.

Movies.

We didn’t watch any movies this month and are actually really behind on our Hulu queue too. E has been working on getting his Six Sigma green belt (which he achieved on Wednesday!), so there have been a lot of work nights for us. It’s also just difficult to sit down and watch TV at night when we aren’t finished with bedtime routines until 8:30 or 9 and then B likes to call us into his room approximately 8.5 billion times for water/hugs/fix his blankets/etc.

Food.

Rooibos masala chai. Nomnomnom.

Also, pumpkin everything.

The coconut bars recipe from Nourishing Traditions.

B got his first taste of pizza this month! He didn’t like it, so I’ll be experimenting with different sauces. I’ve had such an overwhelming craving for it lately that I don’t think the experimenting will be too hard on me.

Projects.

B and I made a Thanksgiving placemat based on ideas from this “batik” tutorial and the placemat instructions in The Handmade Home. I forgot to take pictures before B decorated it with food from various meals, but I think we’re making another one so I can put up a little tutorial. Maybe. System Status: October 2014 (a humble place)

I got around to organizing all of my craft supplies, fabric, yarn, paints, etc. so I’m going to start on our Christmas stockings soon. My goal is to have them done by Christmas of B’s senior year of high school. I may just make it…

Miscellany.

Magnesium lotion. This stuff is awesome and SO easy to make.

Twice. Still. They’re having a 40% off sale today! I got a referral credit earlier this month, plus another $10 credit for installing the app on my phone. These paired with the sale saved me about $70. I was glad for this as all of my cold weather clothes are either of the maternity kind or haven’t been in style since 2006. Not too shabby!

And there you have the state of the Reb. System Status: October 2014 (a humble place)

Please know that if you make a purchase using some of the links on this page, I may earn a commission and I am very grateful for your support of this site. Thank you!

Weekly Meal Plan: 27 October to 2 November

Weekly Meal Plan: 27 October to 2 November (a humble place)

I roasted the last of the sugar pie pumpkins this weekend. I thought these would last me the rest of the season but I was very wrong.

I spent pretty much all day yesterday organizing all of my craft supplies and B’s toys. What a task. But it’s done and I think everything is sorted in such a way to actually encourage me to do some crafting, rather than opening up the closet, trying to pull something out of the mess of yarn and fabric and paint without it all falling on my head, and giving up. I’ve been needing to make new Christmas stockings for all of us as B’s still isn’t done and C doesn’t even have one. E wants us all to have matching ones….so I think that’s probably my next big project.

If you’re in the Denver area, I just heard about this new website called The Farm 2 Table Trading Post where you order various farm-produced products (like meat) through their website, and then head to a local farmer’s market on the following Saturday to pick it up. Their prices for roasting hens absolutely can’t be beat, though they don’t include the giblets. Still….we’re going to have to try it one of these weeks.

Weekly Meal Plan: 27 October to 2 November (a humble place)

Also, elections are coming up next week. If you’re in Colorado, be sure to VOTE YES on 105!!! Weekly Meal Plan: 27 October to 2 November (a humble place)

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more…]

Waiting

Waiting (a humble place)

I’ve hesitated to write here about how we’re handling the job situation for various reasons. But lately, even with all the post topic ideas I have rolling around in my head, I just can’t seem to sit down and write long enough to get anything even remotely coherent out. I keep telling myself to just write….JUST write! But for whatever reason, I’m backed up.

So I’ll write about the thing that has weighed most heavily on my mind since June 26th.

The last few months have been really, really hard.

For that matter, this whole year has been hard. We started with the last month of my pregnancy with C, a stressful pregnancy in and of itself, that ended even more stressfully with high blood pressure fears and going over the due date fears and VBAC fears, etc. etc. But C made her appearance and we thought we were in the clear.

The next few months brought deaths in my family and that of a high school friend’s mom who used to be like a mom to me. There was illness for those around us. There was adjusting to life with two kids and eternal mommy guilt of how I was treating my son. Then we lost Muse.

And then the lay off.

Since then it’s been intermittent sadness, feelings of being overwhelmed and, at times, feeling mostly hopeless, sprinkled with days when a job prospect pops up that has E and I a little more upbeat than normal. But then these just fade with time.

I don’t even really know what to say here. I’m just sad.

I’m sad that we were so close to buying a house and now we’re still stuck in our condo where B doesn’t have access to a yard. I feel like I’m damaging him somehow by not letting him run wild and free for hours on end each day. But I’m thankful that we didn’t actually buy a house because things would look a lot more dire right now if we had a huge mortgage to worry about.

I’m sad that E was treated the way he was. But I’m thankful that they showed him a lot more courtesy than they did some of the others who were laid off.

I’m sad that our ten year anniversary is coming up and neither of us feels much like celebrating, nor can we justify the added expense…nor can we really do anything outrageously awesome due to the aforementioned two kids. But I’m thankful that we’ve made it ten years.

I’m sad that we can’t move forward and are stuck in limbo until the job thing is figured out. But I’m thankful that we had money saved for a down payment on a house and that with E’s severance has allowed us to continue to be able to buy food and pay the bills so while we’re in limbo, we’re not in jeopardy.

Honestly, things really could be so much worse and I’m thankful for how God has provided for us. I do see that He has provided for us and I do honestly believe that He has a better plan for us than where we were headed. It’s just frustrating to be stuck.

I hate waiting.

But God is still good.

Weekly Meal Plan: 20 October to 26 October

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Weekly Meal Plan: 20 October to 26 October (a humble place)

creamed honey. nomnomnom.

Yesterday was C’s dedication at church and also marked the end of two very, very busy weeks for us. I’m glad the busy-ness is done and we can get back to our somewhat regularly-scheduled autumn which includes a leaf-collecting walk this week and a pumpkin patch next week. Can I emphasize enough how much I love this time of year? I’ve gone on and on about it in the past, but seriously, folks….it’s awesome.

I’ve been digging out my old Nourished Kitchen weekly meal plans and am going to try to start incorporating them here, so you’ll be seeing those more. Mainly it’s because I’m getting a little bored with our standard fare and those add a good variety of dishes, but I also like the fact that that’s three meals that are already laid out for me and it’s seasonal. Even though I subscribed for something like two years, there were a lot of recipes I never got around to making. I’m hoping to change that and make meal planning even easier.

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more…]

Weekly Meal Plan: 13 October to 19 October

 

Weekly Meal Plan: 13 October to 19 October (a humble place)

Sugar pie pumpkins from Azure Standard!

We’re in the middle of two very busy weeks with things like a trip to an apple orchard for B’s curriculum, a trip to our raw milk dairy to pet some cows, our annual family portrait session, as well as every-day life. If nothing else, it makes things more interesting, which can’t be a bad thing….right? Weekly Meal Plan: 13 October to 19 October (a humble place)

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more…]