Books for Myself; Books to Read to my 5-year-old

Here are four books I read to myself and two I read to my daughter Lydia in the past month. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty Nine people check into a ten-day wellness retreat in rural Australia.  Three of them are a family, two others are a couple, but otherwise they've never met before.  Each … Continue reading Books for Myself; Books to Read to my 5-year-old

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Brown Rice Salad

Looking for something gluten-free to bring to a potluck?  My family recently tested 4 varieties of gluten-free pasta and two pasta alternatives in my Sunflower Pasta Salad recipe.  One of the alternatives that didn't work well was brown rice--the size and texture just aren't right for that recipe. But we had a recipe for a … Continue reading Brown Rice Salad

Party Without Plastic! How to serve less trashy refreshments

This year I've been helping with a local challenge to reduce single-use plastics.  My church hosted a screening of Plastic Paradise, a documentary I highly recommend for learning more about where plastic stuff goes when we throw it "away."  Of course we wanted to serve some snacks to welcome people to our parish hall and … Continue reading Party Without Plastic! How to serve less trashy refreshments

Palak Paneer

This is a simple homemade version of the delicious "creamed spinach with cheese" dish popular in Indian restaurants.  We've tweaked the recipe enough that it's become our own, and meanwhile the recipe we started from is no longer online. Paneer is a firm, white cheese you can buy at an Indian grocery store--it's the best … Continue reading Palak Paneer

Help Save Pittsburgh from Instant Garbage!

Here are some upcoming events in our Challenge to reduce single-use plastic products in Pittsburgh: Tuesday, March 5, Allegheny County Council will consider a resolution on plastic reduction, 5:00pm at the City-County Building. Saturday, March 9, a "No Plastic, Please" Awareness Blitz will train volunteers to visit (the same day) restaurants in Squirrel Hill to … Continue reading Help Save Pittsburgh from Instant Garbage!

Go Green in 2019: Cut Back on Single-Use Plastic!

Here in Pittsburgh, we're having a challenge to reduce consumption of single-use plastic (SUP) products.  If you live somewhere else, launch a challenge in your area!  Even if you make it just your personal challenge to use fewer SUPs yourself and to ask the stores and restaurants you visit to stop pushing so many SUPs on … Continue reading Go Green in 2019: Cut Back on Single-Use Plastic!

Wild Sheep, Wingmen, and Dueling Detectives [book reviews]

I recently read two novels translated into English, a book written in English that attempts to translate "boy world" into ideas parents can understand, and an English mystery with some parallels to the Swedish mystery I'd just read. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami, translated from Japanese by Alfred Birnbaum A young man finds … Continue reading Wild Sheep, Wingmen, and Dueling Detectives [book reviews]

Magic Breakfast Burrito + 70 Things to Cook in Cast Iron

We've had two cast iron skillets in our home for years, and we use at least one of them almost every day.  This year, we inherited three more!  That's what inspired me to collect a whole bunch of recipes for foods that cook well in cast iron. My friend Alison Frane (of Chickicheesinara Sauce fame) offered … Continue reading Magic Breakfast Burrito + 70 Things to Cook in Cast Iron

A Certified Wildlife Habitat in an Urban Churchyard

"Wildlife" sounds like something that lives out in the wild, right?  We picture wildlife in the jungle, in the desert, or at least deep enough into the forest that it can't hear motors. But wild animals live in almost every acre of Earth's surface.  Squirrels are wildlife.  Ladybugs, ants, and even pigeons are wildlife.  Leopards … Continue reading A Certified Wildlife Habitat in an Urban Churchyard