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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Barley Love and Life in Maliva

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Is it weird to be a fan of barley? Is it more weird to post about barley and unintelligible song lyrics at the same time?

This is not and never will be a food blog, but holy cow! I have to tell y’all about this salad, Hearty Barley and Cauliflower Salad, a recipe from Real Simple magazine. I made it last night and polished it off this afternoon for an early Friday dinner after sending two of the menfolk off on a weekend Scout camping trip. (On a side note, when you finish dinner at 4:45 Friday afternoon, the evening stretches out in front of you like a glorious mini-weekend in itself. The old folks in line at Denny’s might just be on to something.)

Anyhoo, this salad is SO GOOD. The inclusion of salami raised its family sample rate, and it was surprisingly well-received across the board. I used the fancy manchego cheese, substituted spinach instead of radicchio so I didn’t have to make an extra trip to the store, and added pine nuts – brilliant. But for me, it’s all about the barley. So chewy and substantial and yummy. I am a new and enthusiastic fan of barley.

Hearty Barley and Cauliflower Salad With Manchego and Salami

credit to Real Simple magazine, Hearty Barley and Cauliflower Salad With Manchego and Salami

Wait, too much barley excitement for you? I can slow down……

OK,  just one more thing before I leave you overwhelmed with the PARTY that is me on a Friday night. You know those songs that contain lyrics you just cannot understand, so you are left to make up your own? Well, my kids and I love to listen to this song by the Christian band Unspoken, called “Lift My Life Up.” Beautiful song, cool vocals, great lyrics, respect.* 

HOWEVER, even though we KNOW the lyrics are in part “I lift my life up, my life up…” it totally sounds like “I live my life in Maliva.” Makes us laugh every time. Every. Time.

I live my life in Maliva. Ha!

Wonder if they like barley in Maliva?

What about you? Any fabulous new dinner finds, or hysterically misunderstood song lyrics you’d like to share with the class?

*(Hey, hey you! Don’t you go running off or rolling your eyes just because I referenced Christian music. The genre is WAY better than it used to be, and is now often nearly indistinguishable in quality and style from other pop and alternative music forms. Don’t believe me? Check out groups like alt-folk-rock-ish Rend Collective or the pop-y Francesca Battistelli. Even if you aren’t a Christian, misunderstood lyrics are cross-faith funny!)

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Misadventures in Chia: Crunchy Little Balls

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Misadventures in Chia: Crunchy Little Balls

I’ll admit, introducing a new dessert by saying “Here’s a yummy pudding with crunchy little balls in it” to four boys  was a strategic error. A HUGE strategic error from which there is no recovery or return. I don’t mean to offend any readers with delicate sensibilities, but if you don’t immediately know what I’m talking about, then you definitely do not have an 8-year-old, 10-year-old, 13-year-old or 44-year-old little boy at home. That’s all I’m saying. ‘Cause “crunchy little balls” will last them ALL NIGHT LONG. It’s the verbal gift from mom that just keeps on giving.

But it was my first attempt to cook with or serve trendy new ingredient (buh-bye kale, so 2013!) chia seeds to my clan. I made this chocolate chia pudding recipe, and knowing that some family members (HELLO HUSBAND) are particularly tentative about new textures/flavors/dishes/shirts-I-gift-for-Christmas I was trying to make it sound FUN. And chia combined with liquid makes these tiny gelatinous balls that are like mini-tapioca or the boba in bubble tea, but with a little crunch to them.

For what it’s worth, I liked the pudding. The texture is weird but cool, and it was very chocolatey.

photo credit to Robynowitz at allrecipes.com

The fam, not so much. Three out of four did NOT like it, and I’m pretty sure the 8-year-old was just being nice to me. My middle “blessing” actually said “Mom,with this dish you have ruined the concept of pudding. Ruined it.” So dramatic…can’t imagine where he gets it.

So, clearly, I’ll be forcing them to eat the HUGE bag of chia seeds I got at Costco yesterday as often as I can, in as many ways as I can imagine. I’m quite looking forward to it. {cue evil laugh}

(What’s that you say, perhaps I should have purchased a slightly smaller bag for my first foray into chia cuisine, to be more reasonable, rational, moderate? Really? Have you met me?)

If I can’t convert them, I can always just grow a new clay family. Maybe this guy.

chia guy

I wonder if the seeds are cheaper this way from Amazon?

PS – Kale, I’m just kidding. We actually all love you, you’re not going anywhere.

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