Friday, March 23, 2012

this moment: beach bundle

This is a special moment from the past week that I want to stop, savor and enjoy.  If you are so inspired, please leave a comment for me with your own special moment and check out other moments this morning at soulemama.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

we are writing another cook book!

Yes, it is time we jot down all those family recipes again into another e-book to share with our family, friends, and anyone looking for some new ideas for supplying their family with nourishing, fun, gluten-free meals and some ideas on how to include your children in the fun. This time it is a collaborating project with many of the recipes written by my kids. This homeschooling cooking extravaganza is about to begin. Here are some of the ideas we have already started on.

ewey gooey blueberry muffins
Jetta's blueberry lemon aid (sugar free)
buckwheat pancakes with fruit compote

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

:: from the garden ::

52 weeks of happiness: week 3
(photo credit: Jetta)
The weather has been so nice that we have found ourselves diving into the garden with gusto. Last year we took what small amount of land we had around our house and turned most of it into an edible landscape. After fighting off squash bugs and having some success and some failure in our gardening efforts last year we are looking forward to what the garden will bring this year with a little experience and know how under our belts. We have LOTS of work to do but it is so much fun because it involves the whole family. For the next few months the garden is our class room, our playground, our gym, our grocery, our canvas, and our connection to earth and life. You can see below what we have been up to in this garden of ours.

This mulch pile is bigger than I thought. Glad we have such big helpers.

I cut my first piece of wood using a circular saw to create steps in the garden. I didn't really want to, but John encouraged me and I have to say it was pretty fun. Wow, watch out John, I may not need you any more! :) 

We are still eating our arugula from last year. So good. I love it a little more spicy tasting. 

Little hands love to get dirty. Filling little starter pots with soil is the perfect job.

There is just something so wonderful about feeling the dirt on my skin  My favorite childhood memories are sitting in a mud puddles playing for hours. I haven't changes much.

We had a surprise 10 minute hail storm in the middle of a perfectly sunny warm day. Wow! The garden wasn't expecting that. Pour little plants.

Just a little sweet snuggle.

Decided to paint the old shed with lots of little hands to help.

I had some time to reconnect with my inner artist. It has been a while since I took time to paint something on my own. It felt good.

I even made a little sculpture to keep the collards company.

Scout loved his new swing and had a permanent smile on his face while Grandma kept him going........

he loved it so much that he actually fell asleep.

we are starting some seeds this year in our hoop houses. Tomatoes, flowers, cucumbers and more.

That old shed has a new life. One that celebrates our family and the garden. 

Moving a mountain of mulch is always more fun when you have a buddy. 

We have a little space left in our front yard, so I had John till it up and....

we created a new strawberry bed. 

I am determined to use every possible space I have to grow food and plants that sustain us and our environment. It is a journey and a process of learning and changing the way we think fay by day. Taking back our land from the grass and using it to nourish our bodies and souls is worth thr effort.

This garden truly makes me happy

Friday, March 16, 2012

This Moment: mud

This is a special moment from the past week that I want to stop, savor and enjoy.  If you are so inspired, please leave a comment for me with your own special moment and check out other moments this morning at soulemama.  

Friday, March 09, 2012

This Moment: in the garden

This is a special moment from the past week that I want to stop, savor and enjoy.  If you are so inspired, please leave a comment for me with your own special moment and check out other moments this morning at soulemama.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Gluten-FreeYorshire Pudding

Yes, I am going back to my roots. If you didn't know, I am a Yorkshire Las. My Dad is from Leeds England and I have enjoyed learning about my heritage.  My Dad has always had a big Yorkshire personality and along with that "funny" way of talking (just kidding Dad), he is also an amazing cook. I hope he will like my gluten-free version of this Yorkshire classic.  I have to admit that I really didn't even know what Yorkshire pudding was until recently. It is definitely not pudding like we know it.  It was originally created as a plan to catch and use all the dripping in the pan and was actually cooked under the meat, catching the drippings as it cooked.

 In 1737 a recipe foe 'A dripping pudding' was published in "The Whole Duty of a Woman":
Make a good batter as for pancakes; put in a hot toss-pan over the fire with a bit of butter to fry the bottom a little then put the pan and butter under a shoulder of mutton, instead of a dripping pan, keeping frequently shaking it by the handle and it will be light and savoury, and fit to take up when your mutton is enough; then turn it in a dish and serve it hot.

Well any way, as they say in Yorkshire, 

'Ear all, see all, say nowt;
Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt;
And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt -
Do it fer thissen

(Translation: 'Hear all, see all, say nothing; Eat all, drink all, pay nothing; And if ever you do anything for nothing - Do it for yourself

(Of course, you know when the Yorkshire pudding is ready in my house when the smoke alarm goes off.)

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Pudding

1 C millet flour (or any gluten free flour you like) (I use my own soaked, dehydrated, and freshly ground flour)
1 t sea salt
1/2 t baking powder
¼ t xanthan gum
3  eggs
1  C Milk 

1 C of chicken or beef pan drippings (you can also use butter if you don't have pan drippings.)

(Makes about 8 -12 servings)
Preheat oven to 425. Mix all dry ingredients well. Beat eggs separately, then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Add the milk and beat on high for a couple of minutes (should be the consistency of thick cream). Put about 2 tablespoons of chicken or beef drippings into the bottom a  muffin pan and put in the oven to heat up for about 5 minutes. Take out of oven and distribute the batter evenly over the hot drippings. Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. You can also use a cast iron pan and just make one big Yorkshire pudding. That is actually the more traditional method of cooking it. I personally just like to have the individual servings that the muffin pan creates fro you.

This blog is part of Real Food Wednesday 

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

52 weeks of happiness: week 1

Observing the creativity and ingenuity that children posses is something that makes me so happy. 

If you are so inspired, post a comment for me with something that makes you happy. I would love to hear from you!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

5 months my baby

(Scout - 5 Months)

Yesterday my little boy turned 5 years old. Today my baby turns 5 months. What a full life this baby is having. He is surrounded by people that love him and he is exploring his world a little more each day. We are so lucky to live near family. He has grandparents that love him living so near and just this morning he got to see his other grandparents on Skype from Florida blowing kisses through the screen. He is finding his place in this family as one of the kids. He seems to love it here as much as we love having him.