Butternut Squash Burritos

UPDATE: I’m linking this to Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, which is hosted at a gluten-free site.  You could make this recipe gluten-free by using any type of gluten-free tortilla or wrap, by putting the filling over rice or quinoa in a bowl, or by being super-nutritious and wrapping the filling in big leaves of chard or kale!

We have been getting a lot of butternut squash from our CSA farm this winter, and although we love butternut squash, we were getting a bit tired of eating baked squash with Honey Baked Lentils.  We had baked all of our squashes at once and had a lot left over . . . so Daniel tried making our Sweet Potato Burritos recipe with squash, and it was pretty good!

Rather than writing a recipe for a particular size batch, we’ll tell you approximately how much to use for each burrito so you can work with the amount of squash you happen to have! Read more…

Mama’s Personal DJ

A couple of Saturdays ago, I was all set for a big cooking binge, making a batch of Tart & Tangy Baked Beans from The Moosewood Cookbook plus four loaves of Raisin Bran Bread, then freezing some vegetables and washing dishes while the food was in the oven.  I thought my seven-year-old son would help me cook, as he often does, and during that time his dad would get some work time upstairs.  (He works from home as a computer programmer, and his weekday working hours are cut short by picking up Nicholas from school, so he’s often trying to squeeze in some work on the weekend.)  But Nicholas did not want to help cook!  He was all set to make a big fuss about how Mama or Daddy “had to” spend the late afternoon playing with him.

I thought quickly and came up with a strategy that worked very well! Read more…

Pajameter

This morning I realized that Today’s Young People have created the need for a device which can assess the pajama-like qualities of one’s outfit in a quick and objective manner to determine whether or not it qualifies as clothing for the purposes of, say, attending school.  This pajameter could be used at the school entrance alongside the metal detector. Read more…

Liebster Blog Award: 5 Great Blogs!

Despite my occasional protestations that The Earthling’s Handbook is not really a blog, it has received a Liebster Blog Award!  I will set aside my feelings about the yucky-sounding word “blog” to graciously accept this award and acknowledge that at least one-third of my readers have come here via weekly blog carnivals to which I link my articles–so in that sense, this is, in fact, a blog.

Read more…

Staying On the Ball at Work

This is an historic moment for The Earthling’s Handbook.

Almost 15 years after we started this Website, almost 5 years after we set up blog software so that I could write articles on my lunch break and post them easily, we have never posted any photographs.  I’ve explained my reservations about photos but also said it isn’t a strict rule.  I always thought that someday, I might write an article that really requires a visual illustration to show what I mean.

This is that article.

For a couple of years now, Daniel and I have been improving our “core strength” (abdominal and lower-back muscles) by sitting on an exercise ball and balancing with feet off the floor for a few minutes a day.  We keep a big red ball wandering around our bedroom for this purpose; it’s constantly rolling eagerly into our path to remind us to use it!  Read more…

Spaghetti Sauce, January 7 Version (with turnip!)

This most recent in my series of spaghetti sauce recipes is thick and non-peppery, ideal for use in Stuffed Shells.

We got a winter farm share this year, and last week it included two turnips, just two, a big one and a small one.  When we divided the veggies with our friends, we got the small turnip.  It’s hard to figure out what to do with just one turnip!  I had no plans for it until I was getting out the onions for this sauce and decided on a whim to try using the turnip, too.  You cannot taste it in the finished sauce, but it added nutrients!  It also sweetened the sauce so that I did not need to add any honey or sugar to reduce the “bite”.

Our farm crate also included an entire grocery bag stuffed full of greenhouse-grown kale, in tight clumps with much smaller, curlier leaves than the kale we normally get in the summer.  The “2 small heads” used in this recipe produced about 4 cups of shredded kale.

Here are the instructions/ingredients/method for approximately reproducing this batch of sauce: Read more…

Composting in the Office

I’ve been composting some of my household garbage most of my life.  At work, though, I had been putting compostable items in the wastebasket because there isn’t a compost bin in my office building.

Then one day in early November, I was setting my office wastebasket outside the door for the cleaning people to empty.  I do this only every few weeks because I discard very little during my workday.  I was astonished to notice just how many used teabags were in my wastebasket . . . and most of the rest of my trash was dead leaves from the plants on my windowsill, plus a few paper napkins . . . the only non-biodegradable items were a couple of pieces of clear plastic torn off the tops of the frozen meals I eat when I don’t have any leftovers to bring for lunch.  That got me thinking: Would it really be so difficult to bring home my compost? Read more…

A Doorstop from Reused Materials, Delivered By Airplane!

Today is the organizing tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, but I have no new organizing tips to impart.  Check out my articles on Organizing Girl Scout Troop Information and Things Not To Do: Home Organizing Edition.  Meanwhile, here’s an idea for a homemade gift kids can use to surprise their faraway relatives!

In early December, my first-grader was looking at a book of crafts made from trash and came upon this idea: Make a doorstop by decorating a shoebox with scrap fabric or wrapping paper and filling it with gravel.  He wanted to make one. Read more…

Top 11 Recipes of 2011

Happy new year!

For the first Hearth and Soul Blog Hop of the year, I decided to compile a list of the 11 Earthling’s Handbook recipes that were most popular last year–some of which have been online much longer than one year.  Just in case you missed them…

11. Improved Pasta Salad is a nutritious complete meal that is great for potluck dinners because it is vegan, it tastes good hot or cold, and most people like it.  Even a large amount takes only about half an hour to make.  This extremely versatile recipe can use almost any array of vegetables (fresh or frozen) that you have handy.  It even can be a way to use up random leftover cooked vegetables and pasta. Read more…