Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fresh Flowers

For probably a month now I've been blessed with new fresh flower arrangements on a regular basis. Kiersten loves flowers and is constantly putting together different arrangements. I love flowers but arranging them isn't my favorite activity. I certainly do enjoy having a daughter that likes to do this, though! Even in the dead of winter she will take a walk in the woods and come back with a beautiful bouquet of greenery (one of my favorite ways to enjoy a bit of the outdoors indoors!).

I'm often amazed at the difference a week can make in the vegetation world! We certainly shouldn't get bored if we pay attention to nature! And there is so much that I don't know about plants growing in my own yard!

I get nervous every year about this time~planting time. I don't want to forget to plant something important. And I want to get enough of everything planted so that I won't have regrets later on. Because, I can't re-do this for another year. It seems so final. Thankfully, there is always next year but next year can seem so very far away when you know you've missed out on something.

So far this season I have planted:
asparagus (Actually, I'm only maintaining what I already have.)
tomatoes~Aunt Ruby, Jubilee, Ace 55, Beafsteak, Pear, Cherry, Green Zebra
lettuces, romaine, head, and loose leaf ~ lots of different kinds but I goofed up my markers and don't know what is what
Burgundy okra
bush beans, couple different varieties
sugar snap peas
Yukon gold potatoes
peppers, banana, sweet bell, and a hot variety that, again, I've lost the label to
Basil, 3 different varieties
common thyme

I've a decent list of vegetables that I'm still hoping to find a spot for! We'll see.....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A New Cookie

I wanted to share this cookie recipe because it was just too awesome to not share! 101 Cookbooks is a great blog! I would love to try most of the recipes that she shares! These Carrot Oatmeal cookies were just incredible! I will say that I didn't follow the recipe exactly. I'm beginning to wonder if I ever do!

Maple syrup has become so out of my price reach that I substituted my own homemade brown sugar syrup, which is simply:
1 part water:2 parts brown sugar, plus any flavoring you want to add, probably vanilla but I have used almond, too.

Oh, and another substitution that I had to make~I didn't have fresh ginger on hand. Powdered ginger worked just fine.

Here are the ingredients used. I won't post the whole recipe as I'm not sure how much is considered o.k. to share when it comes to recipes. But go on over to 101 Cookbooks and you can have fun browsing for hours if you have the time!

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/2 cup unrefined (fragrant) coconut oil, warmed until just melted
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Raw Food Week

I enjoy experimenting with raw food. I've eaten completely raw a few times over the past few years, sometimes for a couple months, usually not that long. I always feel pulled in that direction, especially when Spring rolls around. I also turn to raw food when I'm concerned for my health. I know how great I feel when I'm consuming huge amounts of raw food.

For a week now I've been enjoying the raw food way of eating. This time around I'm determined to keep track of the foods that I really love. I'm always trying new recipes but am awful about keeping track of them! I figure if I post them here, I'll have a record. Plus, maybe someone else will see a recipe or idea that they would want to try. I realize this if quite different than main stream food thinking, but that's o.k.! I certainly wouldn't want to be "normal", whatever that is! :)
I've used recipes from and enjoyed perusing the following sites:
Ani's Raw Food Kitchen I happened upon this blog right after preparing a recipe of Ani's that I found in the Tribest catalog. Kiersten and I made Strawberry Parfaits and they were awesome!
I wasn't able to follow the recipe (again) and so I'll just post what I did below:

Strawberry syrup:
1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup raw honey (We have great local honey! ~ Ani called for Agave Nectar.)

Cream sauce:
1 cup soaked walnuts (Ani calls for cashews which I do think would probably work better but not a must!)
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
1/4 cup filtered water, as needed (I used more than this and my cream was still quite thick.)
(1 Tbsp. vanilla extract ~ the recipe calls for this but I didn't have any.)

1/2 cup sliced strawberries or more

1. Buzz the syrup in your blender.

2. Buzz the cream in your blender.

3. Assemble. Cream on bottom. Syrup on top with strawberries topping it all off. Ami garnished her parfaits with mint. Not sure why I didn't. I have tons of it growing right out my back door. Next time.....

Navita's Naturals I've never ordered from this company but they appear to have a lot to offer.

Raw Royalty Just a new-to-me raw food blog.

Today, I had the most wonderfully refreshing lunch!~~~Vegi Wraps
The wrap itself was a romaine lettuce leaf. I spread this with some Raw Cheddar Cheese Spread I'd made earlier in the week. Next I put a hand full of shredded carrot and zucchini down the middle of the wrap and then topped it off with homemade fresh salsa. My salsa was ultra simple. I chopped up lots of cilantro (from my garden) sweet onion, and a Roma tomato. Oh, yum!

I've enjoyed raw fruit shakes of all kinds, many wonderful salads with incredibly tasty home made salad dressings, and I've enjoyed nuts, raisins and dark chocolate for my snacks. It's been a great week!

I almost forgot! For Easter lunch I made a Raw Strawberry Pie. I've enjoyed every last bite!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Toddler Reading and Play

Here are a few library books that Zeke and I have enjoyed this week.
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
All of my children have enjoyed the Harold books, especially my oldest. Simple, fun, and sweet.

I Like it When.... by Mary Murphy
Zeke really like this book. He's begging to keep it at his house. "We really have to keep it at our house." The first page says, "I like it when you hold my hand." I would read this and then he'd respond, "I like it when you hold my hand, too!" We took a long walk on Friday and did just that!
I'll probably try to get this book from Paperback Swap.

Hugs and Kisses by Christophe Loupy and Eve Tharlet
Sweet and innocent with pretty illustrations.

We also recently made this great play dough from Simplicity Soup! By the way, play dough isn't just for toddlers!!!

Play Dough

2 c flour
1 c salt
4 T cream of tartar
2 T oil
2 c water

Stir until smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring rapidly (to avoid lumps) until it forms.

Scrape out of pan onto flat surface. Knead a few times, cause it’s fun when it’s all warm and it helps get the sticky out.