All posts by Avivah

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Lentil Rice Mushroom Loaf – recipe

Several readers requested the following recipe. Here you go!

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Lentil Rice Mushroom Loaf

  • 1 c. cooked rice
  • 1 c. cooked brown/green lentils
  • 1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
  • 1 c. chopped mushrooms (I used canned sliced mushrooms and don’t chop them)
  • 1/3 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/4 c. broth (I use chicken broth)
  • 1 c. quick oats
  • 1 t. parsley
  • 1/2 t. basil
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 2 eggs

Saute the onion, mushrooms and carrots.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  The spices are just a suggestion, add whatever you like in the quantities you like.

At this point I like to pulse the mixture with a immersion blender so that it holds together well when it bakes. Pour into a pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a greased pan at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes.

Eat and enjoy!

Avivah

Pictures from our oldest son’s wedding!

Can you believe it’s been five months since my oldest son got married?!?

I hope it’s not too late for you to enjoy these wedding photos!

I expected to have some official photos to share with you quite a while ago, but there was a delay in the discs getting to us. We got them a couple of days ago, and as I promised right after the wedding, here are some of the pictures!

Our beautiful daughter in love!

Our wonderful daugher-in-law

Our oldest son on his wedding day

Our oldest son on his wedding day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family photo (Rafael wasn't feeling well)

Family photo

All of our children (except Rafael, who wasn't feeling well)

All of our children (except Rafael, who wasn’t feeling well)

The oldest seven boys

The oldest seven boys

Ds23 with ds18 at chassan tish before wedding ceremony

Ds23 with ds18 at chassan tish before wedding ceremony

Dh and ds23

Ds23 with the best father in the world at chassan tish :)

Ds15 helping ds23 put on kittel before bedeken

Ds15 helping ds23 put on kittel before bedeken

Bedeken ceremony

Bedeken ceremony

Bedeken ceremony

Bedeken ceremony

Dh and I walking ds to chupa

Dh and I preparing to walk ds to chupa

Dh and I with ds at chupa waiting for bride to arrive

At chupa waiting for the bride

Sharing a smile under the chupa

Sharing a smile under the chupa

Immediately after wedding ceremony - my son, the married man - so emotional

Immediately after wedding ceremony – my son, the married man – so emotional

Dh and I with our lovely new couple!

Dh and I with our lovely new couple!

Our full family photo with our newest addition!

Our full family photo with our newest addition!

It’s so nice to share these family milestone events with my blog readers, who after so many years together here are almost like extended family!

Avivah

Keeping thoughts positive about our upcoming meeting with Dept of Ed.

My husband was feeling under the weather this week and took a day off of work to stay home and rest.

At some point in the morning, he was doing a puzzle with a couple of the boys and looked up at me and said, “It’s such a beautiful environment here.  Thank you for all that you do – I know it doesn’t happen by itself.”

Often I look around at my home and family, and feel a deep sense of contentment: of being right where I’m meant to be, doing what I’m meant to to do, living my life every day with the people I love. I don’t ever take it for granted. It’s been a choice that I didn’t make one time, but many, many times.

It’s been a choice when feeling conflicted and pulled about finances, homeschooling, living in a different country.  But our decision to build our family in a given way has been a consistent. In our home there are a lot of people, a lot of personalities, a lot of things that are happening and moving parts in so many directions!

And now we come to a place of once again consciously making the choice to create this environment for our children.

We recently filed a new application that included Yirmi as he has reached the age for official homeschooling.  On Sunday morning we have an appointment – together with ds5, ds8, ds10 and ds11 -with a committee at the Department of Education regarding our homeschooling application.  I don’t find it appropriate for adults to question children about the educational decisions their parents have made for them, but no one has asked my opinion on how to run things in our government. :)

Yirmi, age 5- at day camp this summer

Yirmi, age 5- pic taken at summer day camp

I had a lot of anxiety about this process for a very long time – from the time Yirmi was an infant, actually.  I felt that submitting this application for a child with special needs would be voluntarily walking into the lions den. But as I’ve said before, making decisions from a place of fear isn’t a good place to be at.  If I’m feeling fearful I need to look at my thinking – and then I ask myself if I’m giving away my power to the officials at the Dept. of Education.

I can’t control what the people I will meet will say or do or think of me, but I do have a choice about the thoughts I allow into my mind!

  • I choose to picture a pleasant and positive meeting with all involved.
  • I choose to picture permission to homeschool all of our children, and particularly Yirmi, being granted quickly and easily.

I’m choosing to keep my thoughts focused on a positive outcome, rather than fearing our quality of life being threatened if permission is denied. I trust that the same One Who gave me these children to raise will help us through this process. That thought has helped me replace my anxiety with feeling empowerment instead. I was pleasantly surprised when I got the call about the meeting that I felt very calm – even after hearing the name of the person we’ll be meeting with (someone with a reputation for being very difficult to deal with).

I won’t write more than to say that this is a significant meeting, particularly since I’m not aware of any other child with Trisomy 21 being homeschooled in the entire country. So we’ll be blazing a new trail. :)

Another camp picture

Another camp picture :)

We’re looking forward to receiving our legal approval and to sharing our good news with you! We welcome all positive thoughts and prayers on our behalf as well!

Avivah

menu graphic

Weekly menu plan – nourishing, gluten free

After my last post when I shared some of my kitchen happenings, I got a good number of responses saying that readers miss my food posts.  I stopped sharing my menu plans when I moved to Israel, thinking they weren’t very interesting.  Interesting or not, it’s what we eat!

Here’s the plan for this week!

Sun: breakfast – homemade breakfast pizzas; l – black bean burgers, baked beets; d – chicken tamale pie

Mon – b- polenta; l – potato kugel, chicken soup; d – oriental rice (with cabbage and chicken)

Tues – b – morning rice; l – pumpkin smoothie bowls, d – chicken pot pie

Weds: b – oatmeal;  l – chicken pot pie; d – lentil meatloaf

Thurs: b – polenta; l – baked sweet potatoes, eggs; d – red lentil dal, rice

On Sundays I try to plan my menu for the week. I first check what I have in the fridge and freezer so I can integrate those foods. Today I defrosted chicken and a couple of frozen dishes that I’ll be using in the next 2 – 3 days. I also usually start the week by soaking at least two kinds of beans.

We make challah weekly and when there’s extra dough, we freeze it in smaller portions for use during the week.  This morning the boys defrosted homemade pizza dough for their own breakfast and each made his own version to eat.  My house smelled way too good for a Sunday morning! :)

Ds11 is preparing the black bean burgers for lunch as I write.  He didn’t mind making the recipe when I told him he didn’t have to chop the onions. :) Last week while I had the food processor already out, I decided to dice a bunch of onions at once and then popped them in the freezer in portion sized bags to make meal prep faster.  This morning I defrosted a one cup portion of the onions in anticipation of this recipe, so it was ready to be used by the time he began.

My purchases last week are influencing my menu this week!

Last week I got a case of bananas on sale for 4 shekels a kilo and put a bunch in the freezer, frozen as single bananas, chocolate covered bananas (for a Shabbos treat) and 1 c. portions of mashed banana. In addition, the kids ate so many fresh bananas, plus I made a couple of huge pans of funky monkey baked oatmeal for Shabbos in two different flavors.  This week I’ll be using the frozen bananas for smoothies.

There was also a good sale on pumpkin (2.90 shekels a kilo) so I bought a lot.  I put all that was on the refrigerated shelf into my shopping cart and then asked the produce guy to open up another huge pumpkin and give me half of it.  He couldn’t believe I really wanted that much and asked me a couple of times if I was really going to use that – so I had to reassure him that I really knew what I was doing.  Obviously I don’t have the buying habits of a typical customer.  :)  I prepped that pumpkin together with the boys the day that we bought it and froze it in 4 cup portions, so all it’s my ready to be used.

Having my menu plan ready at the beginning of the week gives me a calm and relaxed feeling around food preparations.  When I don’t have it ready, I end up wasting time and feeling pressured while trying to figure out each day what I should make.

Avivah

 

 

brunswick stew

Brunswick Stew – recipe

Here’s the recipe for Brunswick stew for my readers who requested it!

This recipe comes from The Joy of Cooking.

Brunswick Stew (serves 8 – 10)

  • 5 pounds of chicken parts
  •  2 T. oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 3 c. fresh or frozen lima/cooked white beans
  • 1.5 – 2 c. chopped tomatoes, canned or fresh
  • 1 c. barbeque sauce or unseasoned tomato sauce
  • 1 c. tomatoe puree
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • 1 T. minced garlic or 2 t. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 c. corn, fresh or frozen

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken parts and saute the chicken in batches over a medium heat. Set aside.

Using the 2 T. of oil, saute the onions and celery until tender.  Add the chicken to the pot.  Add all remaining ingredients except for the corn, and bring to a boil over a high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is almost tender, about 35 – 45 minutes.

Add the corn and simmer for another ten minutes.

This makes a nice large recipe and is frugal, filling and tasty!

Avivah

 

bulk freezer food

Why cooking in bulk will make your life easier

Have you ever felt like you’re constantly cooking and struggling to keep up with the meals that need to be served?  I have!

This year I have five boys ages 11 and down home all day, and not having any teenagers who are homeschooling means that there are fewer older children to delegate tasks to. That means that the younger boys are learning to step up and help more, which is good, and also that I do more.

Having meals ready on time makes our home run much more smoothly – there’s nothing like kids asking again and again for food and not having anything to serve them makes everyone irritable!  Nutrition is important to me but I can’t spend hours in the kitchen – I try to stay home as much as I can, but I still have homeschooling, shopping, regular therapy appointments and extracurricular activities for the boys to attend to. Not to mention my work – sessions with clients in the evenings and in a couple of weeks I’ll be adding workshops back in to my schedule.  Oh, and I try to get some sleep, too. :)

I make meals from scratch three times a day.  It’s rarely fancy – we have hot cereal or eggs for breakfast just about every day.  There’s nothing wrong with scrambled eggs and rice for lunch or dinner but when I get busy that becomes too frequent and it doesn’t feel like a meal to sit down together over!  Since having a sit down meal with our family is an important value for me, I try to make a satisfying dinner.

With all of the holidays, I had been caught up in the cycle of cooking, cooking, cooking but never getting ahead.  This week I’ve been able to get back into a cooking routine that makes my life much easier – cooking in bulk!

What I try to do is plan ahead so that I can double whatever I’m preparing for dinner.  I then can serve some for dinner and ‘feed the freezer’ a meal that I can pull out at a later time.

Here’s a list of dinner meals for the last few days:

Mon – black bean vegetable soup and rice

Tues – baked chicken, chickpeas with sauce, salad, baked sweet potatoes

Weds. – chicken tangine with chickpeas

Thurs. – Brunswick stew

Here’s what my cooking schedule looked like the last few days:

On Sunday we had leftovers from Shabbos for dinner (chicken, potato kugel, roasted vegetables). I didn’t need to do any cooking for that night, so on Sunday afternoon I prepared a large pot of black bean soup.

I went out with the boys on Monday afternoon and before I did, left the soup on a very low flame to heat up. We walked in at 6:35 pm – I try to serve dinner at 6:30 pm – and were able to sit down to eat dinner as soon as we got inside.

Later in the evening I soaked a pan of chickpeas.

On Tuesday I cooked a pot of rice, a pot of buckwheat, ds10 baked a large pan of sweet potatoes and I asked someone else to put the chickpeas on to boil.  I also baked a pan of chicken – all quick and simple things to prepare.

On Wednesday I did a big shopping trip and got a bunch of chicken on sale (including chicken wings for just 4.90 shekels a kilo so I got twelve kilos!). Since the chicken was fresh, I made peanut butter/honey chicken with sesame seeds for Shabbos and plain roasted wings to use for two other dishes I planned to make that day.  I also cooked a few kilos of chicken gizzards.

(The buckwheat cooked on Tuesday was intended for a dish but the boys asked if they could eat it for lunch, so I let them have it.)

While the chicken was cooking, I prepared two chicken dishes: a double recipe of chicken tangine with chickpeas (using chickpeas I had cooked the day before), and Brunswick stew (using white beans I had also cooked in advance).  I also made some quinoa black bean burgers using some leftovers I had in the fridge that I served for lunch the next day.

We had the chicken tangine Weds. night for dinner. Later in the evening I boiled a large pot of potatoes and soaked a pan of lentils.

On Thursday morning ds10 mashed the pot of potatoes and I cooked the lentils.  While they were cooking I prepared two lentil mixtures: lentil meatloaf and lentil-rice-mushroom casserole.   I made 2 large 9 x 13 pans of each. We had one pan of lentil-rice casserole for lunch; the other three pans of food went into the freezer.

I then had an unexpected furniture delivery that took a lot of time and energy to organize (looks great now, though!), and it was later in the afternoon before I could take a nap. Before I lay down, I put the Brunswick stew on a very low flame to heat up. I got up at 6:10 pm but dinner was ready on time thanks to the advance preparation!

Thursday evening, I prepared the filling for shepherd’s pie, chopping up the chicken gizzards I cooked the day before, then topped the chicken and vegetable mixture with the potatoes ds10 had mashed that morning.  Once the two huge pans were baked, they went right into the freezer for two different meals.  (In case you’re wondering, I also made some chicken soup and roasted chicken for Shabbos.)

With some advance thought and a bit of extra effort, I now have four different dishes/6 meals in the freezer. It didn’t take much extra work but ready to go meals in the freezer are my ‘fast food’ for busy days!

Avivah

clarity

How To Get Clarity About What You Really Want

I think much of the inability to teach others how to respect you stems from a confusion as to what our needs really are or where boundaries should be. How can one achieve that kind of clarity? How does one teach others when one often cannot articulate one’s needs to oneself?

What an insightful comment on my last post!  Yes, this is completely true – so often we don’t know what we want and therefore we can’t communicate it to another person.

The six foundational principles of my Leadership Parenting approach are:

Connection, Compassion, Clarity, Courage, Calm and Correction

Every one of these are critical in parenting effectively.

Let’s talk a bit about clarity. Very, very often when parents ask me questions about how to handle different situations, I’ll ask them what they want.  “What is your goal in the situation?  How would you like this to play out?  What do you really want?”

That might seem simple, but knowing what you want often isn’t simple at all.

I recently had my first Supernanny stint, when I went into the home of clients to watch their family dynamics and see firsthand what was happening.   During our session that followed, I told the mother that she wasn’t clearly communicating to her child what she wanted of him.  In the privacy of my office, I was able to ask, “What do you want?”

She explained and explained and explained, and I finally told her: “I’m a mature adult sitting here listening to everything you’re saying, and I still don’t know what you want!  We can’t expect a child to be able to figure it out – we have to make it easy for him!”

You know why it wasn’t clear to her child or to me?  Because it wasn’t clear to her!

It’s okay not to have clarity. It’s not a moral failing. It’s understandable to feel ambivalent and have conflicting feelings about what you want. But lack of clarity can lead to unnecessary pain and frustration in our lives. To get the most out of life, you need to be able to clearly articulate to yourself what you really want.

Why is it so hard to get clarity?

  1. Sometimes we’re afraid to admit to ourselves what we want. It feels too big, too unreasonable, too hard to attain. So we readjust what we want to what we think we can have, and then we tell ourselves that’s what we want. However, there’s often a residual niggling discomfort that remains of the subordinated original desire that will keep poking at you.
  2. Sometimes the lack of clarity is because you’re living life based on what others expect of you and doing what everyone else does.
  3.  Another reason for the lack of clarity comes from having competing agendas – for example, someone who wants to be a stay at home mom and also wants career success. I recently experienced a conflict of competing agendas, which I shared at a seminar with the person leading the sessions. His feedback was that I have to be honest with myself.  That was not the answer I wanted to hear.  I felt like screaming in frustration when he gave me that answer, because (I thought) I was being honest with myself and that’s why I felt conflicted!

But when I thought it over afterwards and didn’t feel so defensive, I realized he was right. There was something I was saying that I wanted because I felt I should want that – and part of me really did want it and felt excited at the thought of taking on that role – but there was something else that I wanted more which I was giving my available life energy to.

Don’t be afraid to ask yourself, “What do I really want?”

To tune into the answer, choose a quiet place when you can be alone with your thoughts. It can be helpful to lie down with some beautiful relaxing music playing in the background, or to sit outside in nature. I like sitting in my garden – you don’t have to go far from home! The main thing is that it feels peaceful to you.

Take some deep breaths and try to quiet your mind.

When I start this process, I initially get mental noise, like the static when you’re not tuned into an official radio station. “I don’t know what I want! I want this and this and this and I can’t have it and it’s to much and I’m completely overwhelmed!!!!”  While I consciously may say I want clarity, there’s part of me that likes being able to be ambivalent because then I don’t have to change anything I’m doing.  But if I keep sitting with myself and giving myself space for the response to come, the answer gets more and more clear.

Your inner self really does have all the answers.  However, sometimes you’ve gotten so used to habituated responses that aren’t in tune with that inner self that you can’t distinguish what is the healthy voice of truth and what is the voice of fear or habit.  It can be helpful to get feedback from someone you trust who is outside the situation; those people can often see things more clearly than you can.

Being a parent is such an amazing opportunity because it opens us up to incredible possibilities for growth and awareness that we wouldn’t have had otherwise!  Seriously.

Having to be clear with your child forces you to think more about what you say you want and why you want it. Let’s say you’re battling a child to take a bath every night or eat dinner. What do you really want? Do care that much about the bath? Is there something else that you care more about that you’d rather be investing your time in?

Often parents admit that they don’t really care that much about the things they’re fighting with their children about, but they feel these are rituals or activities that everyone should do so their child should also do it.

Well.

Doing what you think you should do because everyone else does it doesn’t align well with being happy!

Sometimes it becomes clear that yes, the bath or meal or whatever else really is the priority. In that case, it shouldn’t be set aside but there might be some more effective ways to go about achieving your goal.

There’s no one right way to parent and there’s no one right way to deal with a given situation. It depends so much on what you really want – you can have two very happy and healthy families who have chosen completely different ways of living their lives.

When you get clarity you can create healthy boundaries and teach others how to treat you, as you align what you say with the actions you take.  That’s a very empowering place to be!

Avivah

treat others how to treat you

You Teach People How to Treat You

I was wondering if you could share with the blog readers more about the idea that we teach people how to treat us.Can you explain how that works, and how we can change the way they treat us?

Yes, I’m happy to explain that a bit more!  Before I begin, I want to clarify one very important distinction: we do not have any direct control over the actions of others, and can not directly change how they treat us.  What we do have control over is our own thoughts, speech and actions.  That’s where our power lies and that is always where our focus has to be.

I was speaking recently to someone who was complaining about all the people in her life who don’t treat her kindly. People are mean to her, kids are mean to her children, and everyone who passes her yard is mean to her pet!  And then a five minute walk away just a day earlier, I met someone who told me that the people living in that area are just wonderful, everyone is so kind and helpful. Are these two people living on different planets?

In a way, they are. Their inner worlds and the way they view themselves is constantly playing out with those around them.

**This is not about shaming oneself or feeling at fault for being treated badly by others. Not at all. There’s no blame here at all. It’s about recognizing where you have power to make your life better.

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My eight and ten year old sons came home upset one afternoon after playing with a friend. This is a boy who they’ve been extremely nice to, a nice kid who has strong reactions to what seem to others like very small triggers. In this case, he got upset and began throwing bricks at them, then ran after my eight year old and punched him.

When they got home, they asked for my feedback on how they could have handled the situation.  One said he’s not going to play with this boy anymore and he doesn’t have to keep being nice to someone who isn’t nice to him. The other said he sees it’s very hard for this boy to control himself and he doesn’t want to be treated like this, but he doesn’t think it’s nice to tell him he’s not going to be his friend.

This is a classic example of “we teach people how to treat us”! Substitute coworker, spouse or neighbor and you have the same kind of situations that we adults are dealing with all the time!

I told them they get to decide what kind of friendships they want to have.  How do they want to be treated by their friends? There is never a reason to tolerate someone mistreating you in the name of ‘kindness’ to them. You have a right to be treated respectfully and it’s your responsibility to teach people to treat you with respect.

So what would that look like in this case?

treat others how to treat youFirst of all, I told them in the future if it happens to leave the situation and come home immediately.  If he comes to play at another time, he can be told, “I don’t like what you did (yelling and throwing things at me).” They can then choose if they want to give him another chance or not.  If they give him another chance they can let him know, “If you get angry and hit me, I’m going to stop playing with you”.

The boy now knows clearly what their expectations of the relationship are. Can they control if he becomes explosive?  No, absolutely not.  But if he acts in an unkind way again, they will honor their own boundaries by leaving the interaction or even by leaving the relationship- and he will have learned that they mean what they say and will not interact with him if he can’t treat them nicely.

Now let’s look at another possibility.  What if they continue to play with him time after time regardless of how they are treated?  Then have them taught him that they will tolerate being abused from a ‘friend’, that it’s okay for him to explode when something bothers him.

Their response to his action teaches him how to treat them.

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If a young child playfully bats you in the face or calls you a name, how do you respond?  Do you smile and let her know you think she’s so cute?  Do you ignore it and tell yourself it’s not a big deal? Or do you hold her hand in yours and soberly tell her, “No hitting Mommy”? You are teaching your child how to treat you.

A couple of days ago I asked a child of mine to do a task and the child agreed, but with an edgy manner of speaking. I looked at that child for about a minute without saying anything.  The somewhat abashed response to me after a pause was, “Okay, that was obnoxious – I’m sorry. Yes, I can do what you asked me to do.”

What was my nonverbal message when I looked intently at this child? That although I was choosing not to respond verbally, I wasn’t oblivious to the inappropriate tone that had just been used. Yes, it’s definitely a more subtle response!  If the child was younger and might not have realized on his own that his response was out of line, I could have let him know: “You know, that sounded disrespectful. Can you say what you want in a more respectful way?”

This is just as true with people who aren’t related to us. If someone initiates a conversation topic that we would rather not participate in, we can direct the conversation to a different subject rather than feel forced to participate because we want to be ‘nice’. If someone speaks to us disrespectfully, we do not have to stay in that interaction to be ‘nice’. We teach others how to treat us.

One of my kids once opened the door for a neighbor since I was in the middle of reading to a younger child. I had never spoken to this neighbor before and he wasn’t a warm and friendly kind of person. Before I even had a chance to get up from the couch and without waiting for an invitation, he walked right into the center of my living room.  I felt my space had been invaded, and I told him to please wait next to the door and I would speak to him there. He got angry and threatened not to talk to me or help with the issue that he had come to speak about (the damage a leak from his home was causing to us) but I didn’t back down.  My home is my space and no stranger is welcome to come marching in as if he owns the place. My home, my terms.

treat others how to treat y

You can set the terms of the interactions that you participate in.  We worry too much about being nice to others, while not considering that it’s extremely not nice to ignore your own needs and subjugate them to the needs of others.

maya[1]Every day we have choices: what to respond to, when to respond, how to respond – and it really all begins with, how do we feel worthy of being treated? Do we honor our own needs, our own time, our own preferences?  We communicate this in so many ways and we’re not even aware that we’re communicating that! But our kids are watching us and have a very good sense of what we we really care about.

Avivah

A Story of Hope and Love

Someone shared this wonderful story with me of an adoptive father of 12 children, most of whom have Trisomy 21.  What in the world compelled this couple to travel across the world and adopt these abandoned children from various countries?

If I had read this story before I had a child with Trisomy 21 I simply couldn’t have related to it at all.  I had no part of me that could understand people who did things like that, and could only assume they were on a completely different elevated plane from myself.  I mean, why make your life harder?

 

Rafael, 9 months

Rafael, 9 months

I have a really different perspective now that we have our two treasures with T21.  Since we brought Rafael home I know that people sometimes put me on that elevated plane that I used to put others on, but from where I’m standing, it looks completely different.  It isn’t about picking up a heavy burden and suffering; the reality is so, so much love and blessing and gratitude and faith for all of our beautiful children.

Here’s the story I’m referring to – take a couple of minutes now to go and read it!  A Story of Hope and Love

I can’t even try to guess about seemingly negative things like why the author’s sister suffered as she did, but everyone can clearly see that it led to something very beautiful all these years later – his huge family of children with special needs – as a result of her being in his life.

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Ds8 told me a few days ago, “I’m glad that Rafael has Down syndrome.  Because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be part of our family.”  I’ve never articulated it in that way to our children, but he’s right – for us Down syndrome was the positive ‘hook’ that brought Rafael into our family!

Avivah

taco seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

A friend of mine gave me some packages of taco seasoning that she wasn’t using and while I wouldn’t have bought them, once I had them I started noticing how many frugal bean/legume recipes I had that called for taco seasoning. The mix of flavors definitely enhanced the taste of the final dish, even if the processed mixture didn’t enhance the nutritional value!

This recipe for homemade taco seasoning makes it possible to enjoy the convenience of a premixed taco seasoning mix without any objectionable ingredients!  It’s super quick to mix up, affordable, and good for you.

Homemade Taco Seasoning 

  • 1/2 c. chili powder (*note below)taco seasoning
  • 1/4 c. onion powder
  • 1/8 c. cumin
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1 T. salt

Mix all the ingredients together, and store in a jar.  Two rounded tablespoons equals one packet of taco seasoning.

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* If like me, you don’t have chili powder in your pantry and don’t want to go out and buy it just to make this recipe, it’s easy to mix up your own. To make chili powder, the recipe I used called for: 2 T. paprika, 2 t. oregano, 1 1/2 t. cumin, 1/2 t. garlic powder, and 3/4 t. onion powder.

**Yet another note: chili powder and cayenne pepper are not the same thing! Cayenne is much hotter and not a good substitute.  I learned this years ago when I made what I thought would be a  delicious and exotic salad and dressing, and used cayenne since I thought it was interchangeable with chili powder.  Every single person took a bite and then reached for his water glass.  :(  No one touched the salad after that first bite.

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Avivah