Thursday, February 24, 2011

What I’m Reading Right NOW...

   And boy is it awesome! The only problem is, as much as this fantastic book is for beginners, I think I still need the extra dumbified version for those who still have no idea what “heading” a plant is, or even some of the supposed simpler stuff... like comprehending how one even grows certain plants inches apart of each other...in a certain way...on a certain day...when the moon is just perfectly aligned with the known hemisphere and the correct zone within the country you are in leads to ideal temperatures for... What?! I don’t even know! Okay, so maybe that isn’t so simple! Oh well, just to get you all excited too for the upcoming growing season (we are determined to have at least something come out of our backyard this year!) I am recommending “The Backyard Homestead” by Carleen Madigan     
     Check it out at amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Homestead


Let’s ROCK this summer, Garden Style!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Kitchen

Hey there all! So I finally downloaded some of my kitchen pictures and thought I’d share. Maybe some of you remember that we did some serious remodeling when we first moved in. If you would indulge me for just a brief moment of  “All About Me... And My Kitchen” 

Check out the first pict,
The decor etc was not mine as this is a walk through photo but you get the idea. Notice the drop down ceiling too... 90’s anyone? Now AFTER...


Yeah Yeah! How ‘bout it?! Or how ‘bout a view of my super awesome new range, complete with center pancake griddle and some cutsie farm decor to boot?!







Or maybe my sweet new stainless steel fridge?






Oh Oh! How ‘bout a comparison of sinks?! Ready? Hold on kids...





Before...











... And After!
See the peach tree (sort of dead looking but hey) in the background there too? Yup, those peaches made for some serious awesome jam this last summer too!


And although it wasn’t an apron front sink, I did get a pretty awesome deep one, complete with       sexy faucet!   



And last but not least, a brief view of the adjacent dining room. This is the right side of the room, across from the counter top bar area.
                                              Before...







And After!
Okay fine, so its not the best shot, but those windows let in tons of light and views!

I am so glad the majority of the remodeling is over. If you are about to embark on a journey like this, or if you are in the middle of one, don’t be afraid, it is SO worth it in the end!
Thanks for letting me share!




Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Times and Seasons; My New Years Resolution

(Hey guys! I found this draft in my postings and thought I would finish it. This was after I was sick AGAIN after my youngest so far was born, this time with bronchitis and the flu. I think it was my “Motivation Proclamation” of sorts. Whatever it was, I decided to add a few Resolutions. Maybe some of you have felt this way before?! Welcome to a New Year Right?!)

     With the New Year having swiftly arrived and consequently up-rooting all my best laid plans for delicious holiday postings and anecdotes, I am starting afresh. Forget that for the last week and a half we have survived on breakfast cereal, ramen, and drink mix powder for extra vitamin c (and convenience). Set aside  the fact that even with an exciting new kitchen appliance, the concept of using it regularly still seems to evade me and my floors are no better off than they were before the arrival of such a fancy doohickey steamer cleaner contraption... (which is now beginning to gather dust in the corner). And let’s not even go anywhere near discussing the lack of new and innovative (and perhaps I should also add “healthier”) family dinners I am normally so inclined to make. If I told you what was in my cupboards right now I am sure you would be shocked and appalled. That, or you would just smile, nod, and get that faraway look in your eye as you recall all the luscious delicacies (and maybe a few in-decentcies!) you enjoyed over the holidays and how some of those yummy morsels may still yet remain in your own pantry with closer inspection. Call this “The Allegory and the Oddity”; a little slice of my life, briefly illustrating where continuous and somewhat monotonous daily occurrences have left me feeling that somewhere I have need for predictable reform and that with a few feverish long winded run-on sentences, a feeble attempt to reclaim some of what was lost in last years hulabaloo can be redeemed.
     Well, just maybe.

~ Kids are only young once, a popsicle in the middle of the day never hurt nobody (as long as it is an all natural fruit pop made without red40 and high fructose corn syrup)
~ Breakfast cereal w/milk, and juice to drink sometimes DO constitute a well balanced dinner, and I will not get on myself if that happens every so often
~ Going out to dinner is NOT a sin. Unless it’s Taco Bell. Enough said.
~ Although bathrooms do not clean themselves, kids CAN learn to help with them, and I will not stress about a little pee on the seat with 4 boys living at home. And a dad. And I will not stress about it. I will not. I will not. I will not. (3 times is the charm by the way!)
~ Some food really IS yummy-er with oil. And butter. Mmmmm. (I will still include recipes with grapeseed oil and coconut oil and all the latest new health raves I promise, but butter really just does work sometimes, and hey, kids need the fat for growing brains right? Right?!)
~ Pajamas are still ok before noon. Maybe for those of you out there without children, you still do this. I don’t know how all of a sudden it’s some kind of “No-NO” considering even before kids I would laze around in them and didn’t feel self conscience, but I won’t let it get to me any more, after all I have a baby still! And no, I am not talking myself into this!
~ I will try ONE new food every month. That may not sound like much, but honestly I have tasted much of what is out there, so I am going to have to get creative on this one, and go out of my comfort zone!
~ I will teach each one of my boys this year how to make ONE food from start to finish. I really don’t want to have that boy... who grows up to be a man... who can’t find the toaster. Even if it is just toast for the 3 year old. We can do it, and I will include them on my adventure.
~ Smoothies ROCK. All those lovely veggie, kale, green ones I have talked about? Yea. Won’t live without ‘em now!
~ Peace in the world starts at home. Cliche? Perhaps. But one small step for a family will affect generations to come, and all those around them too. I want to find Peace this year, amidst all the financial, political, social, economical, and YES even eating trouble out there. And offer a little humor and fun while I do.
     So Here Goes...
          READY?          
               JUMP!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Make Some Muesli Today!

     And what is Muesli you may ask? Deliciousness. In a bowl. And according to good ‘ol Merriam-Webster, it is not only a breakfast cereal of Swiss origin, but an actual German/Swiss word whose root not only means food, but is ‘akin’ to the Old English word mete, meaning “Meat”. Now I know you all did not read this for a grammar lesson, but I just had to share this random and possibly superfluous tidbit of information for two reason; 
      1) I happen to love language “using big words makes me feel smart” spoken with sort of a country/hick twang
      2) “Meat” really describes the crux of this breakfast, it is full of good grains, proteins, fruit, and all sorts of nutrients


     Now to get down to the “Meat” of this whole long story...(redundant much?!) I grew up with Muesli (okay okay, I had it for the first time when I was 9 and we moved to Germany). But we soon grew to love it, and making it ourselves was the cheapest way to feed 5 kids and 2 adults cereal on a regular basis. I stumbled across the idea again when I ran out of cereal at home for the boys and myself. We had corn flakes, some leftover frosted flakes, and a little stale Kashi granola type stuff. Nothing fun by itself, but mixed together in just the right amounts, and you have a pleasing configuration of food that, quite frankly, I go nuts over! 




     Muesli Morning Breakfast Mix


4 - 6 cups corn flakes
1 - 2 cups frosted flakes
1/2 - 1 cup granola type cereal
1 - 2 cups random flake grain cereal (like some kind of flax plus thing, basically whatever is left in your pantry)
1/2 - 1 cup raisins
1/2 - 1 cup small chopped dates
1 - 1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
1/2 - 1 cup chopped/slivered raw almonds (I did my own by cracking a bunch of raw almonds with a spoon)
Cinnamon if desired 


     Believe it or not, it combines great! Take a big bowl, dump everything in, stir it all up, and store in an old giant corn flake box or tupperware container. I actually have mine with almond milk, as I am discovering how lactose intolerant I am. Yum!

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