Sunday, April 7, 2013

Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup

Simple,slightly sweet, creamy soup.*
Makes 4 cups

2 Tablespoons oil  (olive, canola)
1 1/2 Tablespoons grated ginger root
1 small onion (chopped)
4 cups butternut squash (chopped)
1 cup carrots (chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup Almond coconut milk  (or milk  or cream of your choice)

On medium heat, heat oil in a medium pot. Sauté onions and ginger root for a few minutes, add carrots and squash. Sauté for a few more minutes. Add just enough water to almost cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are soft. Carefully blend in blender until smooth. Return to pan. Add milk and heat. I drizzled some almond/coconut milk and sprinkled cinnamon over my soup.  Sprinkle some shredded coconut and cinnamon on top, if you have it. That is what I would have done! 

* This recipe is easily tweaked. Play with the spices to see what you like.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Salty Taste, Eyedrops, Vitamins and Vegans

A Lovely Summer Evening

One thing the Internet has changed is that it is more likely when you find the answer to one question, you will stumble on the anwer to other questions that you didn't even ask.

A few weeks ago, my granddaughter, Keely, developed a salty taste in mouth. No matter what she ate, it tasted salty. After a few days, I decided to research it to see if I could find out the reason for this. Good old Google gave me the answer. It turns out there are a myriad of reasons this can happen. The wide range of reasons include diseases, dental problems, dehydration, being vegetarian and using eyedrops.

Fortunately, in Keely's case, it was a pretty safe bet eye drop use was the culprit. She had something in her eye, but refused to let anyone try to get it out. My daughter got her some eye drops in the hopes that it could be washed out. It took a few days, but it worked. After that, she had no need for the eye drops. And, as my search predicted, after a few days, the salty taste disappeared.

Since I have been vegetarian for two years moving over on to vegan at the beginning of this month, the vegan reason that popped up in my "salty taste" search caught my eye. Upon reading further, I discovered that vegans are at risk of developing the salty taste due to a B12 and/or zinc deficiency. As I went down the list of foods that provide B12 and zinc, I was relieved to see that walnuts are among the foods that provide zinc. I love walnuts as well as other nuts and seeds.

The B12 did not look promising at all. The best sources were oysters, fish and other foods that I don't eat. The article recommended B12 fortified foods. I started reading the labels in search of B12. Nothing was very promising until I checked the coconut milk. One glass provides 50% of a person's B12 daily requirement!

So here I come full circle. If Keely had not developed a salty taste in her mouth, I would not have turned to the Internet to find the reason and subsequently discovered I need to be careful about my B12 and zinc intake!

By the way, in case you are wondering, the photo has nothing to do with this story. I took it while enjoying a pretty summer evening and thought I would share it. :-)
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happiness Is a New Grandson!

Posted by PicasaI'm beside myself with joy! My grandson, Robert David, was born last weekend. I love you, Bobby. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Strange Looking Bug

This little critter came in through the front door. Fortunately, they are not usually found in the house. I had no idea what it was. It's a pretty small insect, so I didn't see the strange antennae until after I had downloaded the photo. The antennae made identifcation fairly easly - with the help of Google. It is a type of scarab beetle. The three prongs are but part of many that the beetle can fan out. It was lucky that it was not closed. It may have taken longer to identify. By the way, they use the antennae to "smell" for food.

Another name for the scarab beetle is dung beetle. Yep, they eat dung as well as carrion and dead plants. Gross, but necessary. Here are a couple of interesting couple of facts I came across. Scarab beetles have been around for 150 million years. They ate dinosaur dung! There are 35,000 different species of scarab beetles that have been identified and it is thought that there are another 15,000 yet to be discovered.

Those strange antennae really got me curious. I searched a few websites before finding the interesting information. I'm not an entomologist, so I really wasn't looking for a bunch of technical information. It seems only fitting that the website I found that has the most fascinating and fun information is called - Scarabs for Kids! It's a fun website. I'm glad this little critter led me there. I only have one request of the scarab beetle - please stay outside!
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Interesting Facts

I follow Wild Birds Unlimited on Twitter. They have tons of interesting articles about birds and other wildlife. Here is a fun fact from an article that explains how weight activated squirrel proof feeders work:

"But overall it takes over 65 chubby chickadees to equal the weight of one medium squirrel."

Doesn't it just make you smile to think of the sight of 65 chubby chickadees? They are so cute to begin with!

Click on the link above to read the whole article. It's very informative and and interesting. The blog is here on blogger.  It's a great blog!

Thought I would start blogging again. I'm not even sure what I want to blog about here. I guess just the Odds & Ends that come to my mind. I have not known how to get started. Today, I realized - why not just jump in? I decided, a photo would be a good ice breaker. I found this one I took last summer of a Great Blue Heron in the little pond out back.

I love these birds. One time, I happened to be sitting on the deck where I could see a blue heron and my binoculars were in hand. He stayed in the pond hunting frogs for a very long time - two hours and I stayed right there watching. He moved slowly, yet purposefully and patiently. He caught so many frogs I was afraid there would be none left. But of course, there were. I love these bird, and the frogs. Well, that's it for today.
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Skywatch Friday, A Gift and Awards

Although I am posting a photo (click to enlarge), I am not submitting it to Skywatch Friday. I don't know if I will be able to visit any of the fantastic blogs that participate, therefore, it doesn't seem right for me to post my url. If you have the time, drop by Skywatch Friday and click on some links. This is amazing group of skywatchers -- great photos!