My Pros and Cons of Autumn

Cons:

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Yea yea yea, it’s officially Autumn, so what. Today marks my least favorite time of the year for the Western part of the world. For one, I don’t celebrate holidays, so this is the time where people look at me like I got 3 eyeballs, a long green nose, and a broomstick hid away somewhere. At this time of the year flowers and pretty plants wither, and everything loses its vibrant colors and instead becomes a collection of blacks and grays.

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The trees look creepy all naked like that, someone should find some leaves to cover them. This is basically the time of year where everything dies and the Earth is cold (and I utterly despise the cold).

 

 

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But…

Pros.

What I do like about the Autumn (or what I like to call the reading) months is the peace it brings to our homes on the inside. Since were pretty much buried in, this is the time to catch up on some much needed studying. It is the time to cook foods that warm your soul like Chili, Greens, and Macaroni and Cheese fresh out the oven. And it is the time where we must turn up the heat and snuggle under the covers next to our lovers.

file(3)Speaking of cuddling, this time of the year makes movie night a lot more exciting than the summer months. In the summer, no one wants to be in the house because it’s so very nice outside. Summer is the time to get out and about and smell the fresh air. Winter and Fall however, is the time to be homebodies. A time to relax with a cup of warm tea, hot chocolate or coffee. I mean sure, you have a cup of coffee every morning but none of them can compare to the feeling of having the steamy liquid to engulf your throat when it’s bitter cold outside.

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The Fall / Winter months are also a great time to read so I will be looking to put my Fall Reading List together. I think perhaps I’ll even challenge myself to get through a certain number of books this year. My only set back is that I don’t want it to cut down on my scripture reading time so I’ll have to stick to a nice balanced schedule. I mean you know, priority is everything.

Is this time of the year exciting to you? Is it not exciting? Why? I would love to hear your pros and cons!

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Recipe Sunday: The Mung Bean

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So I have a niece with extreme allergies. As a result she is a vegetarian, but not just a vegetarian but extreme vegan. Her allergies are so bad that she cannot eat meat and is pretty much allergic to anything you can find in the dictionary. So anyway, I invited my sister and my nieces to my home to chill one Sunday afternoon and my sister mentioned we were having burgers.

Burgers? But niecee can’t eat burgers”.

Oh yes she can”, said sis, “She can eat these burgers”.

And this is how I was introduced to the Mung Bean.

My sister (we’ll call her V for now) made some of the most delicious vegan burgers I’ve ever tasted for them not to be made of meat. Now mind you my household is meat-a-tarians. I don’t have to define that for you do I? So yea, we meat eaters around here. But we both enjoyed the burger alternatives. Throw some cheese on there and make it up like a regular burger and Burger King ain’t got nothing on you. She made them thick and meaty too. V also makes imitation steaks out of these. So today I would like to share some information with you on the Mung Bean from an Article V gave to me written by a woman named Kim @ Affairs of Living:

Sprout-Mung-Beans-Step-9“If you eat beans, but haven’t yet ventured into the wonderful world of mung bean, you must! Mung Beans are used in many ways in SE Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are soaked, ground and used for flat-breads. They are sprouted and served raw. They are processed into noodles. They are peeled and split, and used to make dal, where they take on a smooth, velvety texture that is a true comfort food. They are cooked whole with coconut milk to make a sweet soup. They are mashed and used as fillings in sweet buns and deserts. They are cooked plain and added to various rice dishes. Quick cooking, full of protein, and easily digested, mung beans are considered to be an extremely healing and nourishing bean. Because they are small, they are easier to digest than larger beans, and are recommended for cleanings the body toxins. In Ayurveda medicine, they are considered tridoshic, meaning people of every constitution can find nourishment in the mung bean. And in Chinese medicine, mung beans are considered a cooling food and are recommended for detoxification, clearing heat, reducing swelling and edema and promoting urinary tract function.

34603-org-mung-beans-500Dry mung beans can be purchased in a variety of ways. Whole, they are bright and green. Or you can purchase them split where they take on the name moong dal. You can get moong dal either with the skins still on and or peeled-once peeled, they are light yellow. I love peeled moong dal, it is probably my favorite. I generally buy mung beans at the Asian markets, where they are the cheapest (this is also where V buys hers).

Hint: You can also use the mung bean as a flour!

“Additionally, it is high in iron, folate, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. Mung beans are also considered a low glycemic food, and are perfect for people concerned about blood sugar spikes. Using mung bean flour combination with other flours is a great way to add extra protein, fiber, and healthy, slow-digesting carbs.

Homemade Mung Bean Flour – Gluten Free, Vegan, High Protein

Yield: Approx. 2 1/4 c Flour.

Ingredients:
2 c mung beans (either whole or peeled or split or a mix)
Equipment:
Coffee Grinder or High Power Blender

Roasting the Beans:
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Spread beans evenly on baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes until golden, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning.
3. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Grinding the Beans:
1. In a coffee grinder or high power blender, grind the beans in batches. I used a coffee grinder (No, not me, Kim) and ground 1/2 c beans at a time.
2. Grind for approx. 30 seconds, shaking beans in grinder to evenly mix.
3. Once your beans are ground to a fine powder, transfer to a large bowl and grind the next batch.
4. Once all of your beans have been ground, let the flour cool (Grinding warms it up!) and then transfer to an alright container. Store in a cool place.

Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

It really don’t make no sense how good this looks. Beef stew anyone? We’ll need:

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• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 pounds trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck, cut into 8 pieces
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
• 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 thyme sprig
• One 5-ounce piece of pancetta
• 15 pearl or small cipollini onions, peeled
• 15 cremini mushrooms
• 15 baby carrots, peeled
• Sugar
• Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the meat in the casserole in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the meat with it. Add the wine, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

2. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the stew for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful.

3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cover the pancetta with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the pancetta and slice it 1/2 inch thick, then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.\

4. In a large skillet, combine the pancetta, pearl onions, mushrooms and carrots. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a large pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated, 15 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat, tossing, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 4 minutes.

To serve, stir some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and scatter the rest on top as a garnish. Top with a little chopped parsley and serve.

– Contributed by Jacques Pépin

Taco Soup

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Today we are cooking up something nice and warm to compliment the cold weather currently creeping into our households and capturing pictures of adults hiding under the covers.

Now, this recipe can actually be altered according to your personal touch because you’re basically making a Taco Flavored Chili. You’ll need:

• Ground Beef
• Kidney, Black, and Pinto Beans
• Shredded Cheddar Cheese
• Spicy Doritos
• Salsa (or Stewed Tomatoes, Onions, 1 can diced tomato with chilies, 1 can green chilies. If you use the Salsa you really don’t need to add the individual ingredients unless you’re a big time chef and you do that kind of thing. But if you’re not much of a cook, Salsa will knock that right on out lol,)
• Taco Seasoning
• and Corn (opt.)

• Take a skillet and on medium heat brown the Ground Beef, drain. Add the taco seasoning and mix well just as if you were making tacos.

• Scoop the ground beef into a big pot adding the beans

• Add water, salsa mix and more taco seasoning, along with other seasonings of choice (but keep it along the lines of a Taco / Chili like flavor). Also add the corn or anything else you would like to add to the mix.

• Let everything cook and gel together on medium heat. Stir occasionally so that the bottom does not burn.

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While that simmers, make a bed of Spicy Doritos in a bowl (You can actually choose your tortilla of choice but Spicy Doritos compliments this dish really well.). Scoop your soup into the bowl, covering the Doritos. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top along with any other topping of choice like sour cream.

Enjoy!