FFWD – lemon – steamed spinach

Loved this dish as did the rest of the family (except for Hannah, who hates cooked spinach)!  I didn’t bother to REALLY steam it, I just dumped it into a pan and let the heat do the rest.  The addition of lemon truly made this divine, I always use garlic with my spinach. I served it with a shaved asparagus pizza from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook, which I am completely obsessed with at the moment.

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The real post is below and I think it illustrates nicely my attempt at leaving Perfection behind.  See, I misread WHICH recipe to cook for today and accidentally made next month’s!! Ha, who cares!? We loved them both and I enjoyed myself either way.

FFWD – Swiss Chard Pancakes ( sort of)

I have been MIA for a long time, longer than I care to admit.  A lot of things got in the way, school, job, family but mostly my obsession with doing everything perfectly.  I kept thinking I would get back to this blogging and cooking thing as soon as _____________ (fill in the blank).  In the last few months I have started to question the tapes playing in my head from a whole new angle.  It’s time to start living, people.  What the hell am I waiting for?

Yesterday this quote came across my Facebook page:

I choose to see this as a sign that I am on the right path.  Here I am blogging again because I WANT TO and because I LIKE TO and that is it folks.

Soapbox in the closet…….this recipe looked really yummy and reminded me of two other pancake type things; one was a sweet pancake generally made with apples that I used to eat in Germany called Apfel Pfannkuchen.  I know that Dorie’s is a savory dish but her description of her friend Didier and his love of his mom’s Frenchy pancakes  immediately brought up memories of  Pfannkuchen and how Omi used to make them in place of the traditional open-faced sandwich dinner.  The other recipe that jumped back into my mind was one I picked up at a cooking class and have since lost along the way.  They were teeny, savory pancakes made with corn and hot sauce.  They were topped with guacamole and shrimp and were totally divine.  Needless to say I was on board with this new pancake.

No swiss chard to be found and my Perfectionism started to nudge me from the corner.  “See! This is why we don’t DO this anymore, you can never execute it the way it SHOULD  be done.  Just give up.”  A swift kick to the nether region of said Perfectionism and I simply improvised and used spinach.  No big deal.  Have another glass of wine.

Here is what the batter looked like in the blender:

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You’ll notice I am a little less Amish with the new IPhone and Instagram and all.  Thank my children, I had little to do with it.

We, I mean Bob, fried them up in Granny’s cast iron skillet.  They looked so yummy!!

I served them with a salad as suggested.  Ham, swiss cheese, English cucumber and dill along with spinach and a vinagrette made with real French Dijon (there is ABSOLUTELY NO substitute).  Bob even whipped up a dipping sauce of greek yoghurt and our lovely dijon.

The verdict, pretty darn great!!  This is a keeper! I can hardly wait until the fall when we actually have swiss chard from our CSA.

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Volunteer Coordinator Article

Did any of you happen to be at Pineview Elementary on Monday night,  March 4th?  If so, then you saw the same “awesomeness” that I observed.  Hundreds of students and parents having a great time all in the name of reading.  RIFF (Reading is Family Fun) Night takes place in Reedsburg once a year, usually in conjunction with Read Across America Week.  This week celebrates reading and all the fun associated with it as we honor good old Dr. Suess on his birthday.

   It’s been a couple of years since I attended RIFF Night.  This year I decided to help organize the South School room along with other PTO members.  What a blast! It was so nice to connect with other students and parents, see all the fun activities other schools and organizations thought up and listen to students read.

    What does this have to do with volunteering?  Just about everything.  While this night is sponsored by the district and there are countless business hours put in by our staff at Pineview and the other schools, it is the volunteers who really pull this one off.  I mean, really, why leave the comfort of your house on a Monday night when it is GOING TO SNOW AGAIN?

    Hundreds of kids and parents out and about all in the name of reading.  Amazing!  Even more amazing were the PTOs and other volunteers who helped pull this night off.  A silent auction was held in the cafeteria to raise money for each school’s PTO.  This was standing room only and a boatload of cash is now on it’s way to help fund great things in our grade schools.

    Let’s not forget about the community volunteers who stepped up for our students as well.  Bingo with police officers, face painting with high school students, making bookmarks for an orphanage in South Africa and a relay race were only a few of the wonderful activities on hand that evening.   Our teachers were there as well, keeping things moving in the reading rooms and directing participants in the right direction.

    There is a lot of negative press concerning education swirling around at the moment.  It is too easy to remain stuck in our position of how we think schools SHOULD be run and what is wrong with students, staff and education in general.  A night like RIFF Night challenges us to look at these opinions; it begs us to look at the positive.  As my dad always says, “Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?”    Be part of the solution – VOLUNTEER!!