Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nurturing Ourselves

Only when we nurture ourselves as women, do we have the strength to nurture our children with authenticity.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Roasted Semi-Curried, Totally Awesome Yam!!!!

(And the babies loves them too!)

Peel and dice Yams
Toss in enough oil to coat
Spread evenly on a roasting tray/pan
Give a healthy drizzle of honey
Sprinkle with crushed red pepper
Sprinkle with Turmeric
Sprinkle with unsweetened, shredded coconut
Sprinkle with Sea Salt

Roast 425-450 for 25 minutes, watching so they don't brown (and coconut doesn't burn), but everything just starts to lightly golden and carmelize.  Ooooooh  So yum!

ENJOY!  AND you know, I have to say, they're pretty too!  So enjoy looking that them, before they GIT IN YO BELLAY!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homemade Applesauce

It's so easy, I'm sure most of you know how to do it... here's a happy reminder.

Peel apples
Chop into little bitty cubes
Place in casserole dish with cover that is over safe
Sprinkle and toss with cinnamon
Bake at 400 for 25 minutes
Turn off oven and let sit for an hour
Remove from oven and serve warm, cold, mash them up more for a smoother texture, put them in your fridge and serve them warm, reheated in a pan or whatever... just ENJOY!!!

Ava loves them (FANTASTIC baby food!  She can mash the small chunks with her gums).  Todd loves them.  I love them.  It's a great dessert or mix a few spoonfuls into your oatmeal (I love to leave the sauce chunky for this reason... mmm).  I love that when I mix the applesauce into my oatmeal, I don't need anything else to sweeten it or add flavor... the apples do that naturally!

What else do you enjoy using applesauce for?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tea: Alfalfa

When the Arabians noted that feeding alfalfa to their prized horses made the animals swift and strong, they began consuming alfalfa themselves.  This legume, which is indigenous to Arabia, has been called The Father of All Foods.  Packed with vitamins and minerals, this super food can be used as a natural tonic, for fitness and weight control and to restore the body's ability to produce vitamin K.

As a tonic, alfalfa will provide eight essential amino acids, vitamins A, E, K, B and D, phosphorus, iron, potassium, chlorine, sodium, silicon, magnesium, and beta carotene.

Alfalfa is a natural laxitive and diuretic and will ease water retention, provide a system cleanse, improve digestion, and maintain your intestinal tract in it's top condition.

Alfalfa is also a great source of vitamin K, which is required for blood clotting, carbohydrate storage, and liver vitality.  Frequent use of aspirin, alcohol, or drugs can destroy your vitamin K supply and antibiotics can deminish vitamin K supply as well as destroy the healthy flora needed for it's production.  Normally vitamin K is manufactured in the intestinal flora as a by-product of digestion, but with introduction of these toxins into the system, the production of this vitamin is hampered.

Caution: Alfalfa is not recommended for people with autoimmune disorders.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Whole Wheat Honey Flax PIZZA CRUST!

The other night, per the hub's request, I made pizza.  I set out to create a yummy whole wheat honey flax crust recipe to bring a little healthy to our pizza.  It took me a couple nights of pizza making to create a crust I'm excited about.  This crust is a thin crust, crispy, whole grain crust, and I love it!

Here's how you can make this yummy dough at your home!

What You'll Need

1 .25 oz package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (around 110 degrees)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
Spices of your choice (keep toppings in mind), used to your taste - example: Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Paprika, Crushed Red Pepper, Garlic
Another option is to embed cloves of fresh garlic in the crust after you've flattened it out (YUM)

What You'll Do

Preheat oven to 425-450 degrees F.  If you use a pizza stone, don't forget to toss it in the oven and preheat it.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine flour, flax meal, sea salt and spices. Make a dip in the  in the middle and add honey and yeast mixture into center. Knead together until well combined.

Cover and set in a warm place to rise for an hour or so.  The dough doesn't need to double, it's more about the ingredients mingling to bring out each others flavors.

You can also make this dough ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge, covered.  Then, about an hour before you're ready to make your pizza, take it out of the fridge and let it sit and warm to room temperature.  I like to do this while Ava is taking her morning or early afternoon nap, then when she's up while I'm making dinner, there is one less step to do!  

Roll or press dough on a floured or lightly oiled pizza pan or cookie sheet and poke a few holes in it with a fork.  Leave on pan or sheet and allow to rise another 5-10 minutes.  You can roll it a little further after this if you want thin crust, or just leave it.  It can be helpful to cook pizza on parchment paper to transfer to another surface before cutting.  The parchment paper is extremely helpful if you're going to transfer "raw" pizza to the pizza stone before baking.  Yikes, the pizza would be tricky to transfer without the paper, lest you have pizza that resembles roadkill.

Add toppings!

I like Prosciutto, Dried Black Mission Figs, Goat Cheese, Garlic Cloves and Fresh Basil. Sometimes I add fresh Mozerella, sometimes not.

If you're going to transfer it to a hot pizza stone, do so now. (Remember, this is easier to do with Parchment paper underneath the dough).

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.  Crust is done when you can lift it from the edge of the pizza and the entire pizza lifts up without any soft or saggy parts.

 And don't forget a salad to get some greens in!  We enjoyed a romaine, apple, bacon salad with homemade citrus raspberry vinaigrette!  Mmmm

Buono Apetite!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ava Opens her First Christmas Present (a bit early!) - What FUN!

Yesterday, Ava's first Christmas present arrived in the mail.  It was beautifully wrapped in red metallic paper and a big, beautiful red bow!  How tempting for a 7 month old, especially one who has a thing for ribbons!

Since it's our first Christmas as parents, and we too are excited by the beautiful paper and big red bow on this package, we decided it wouldn't hurt to let the little bit open her package a bit early ;)

And as usual, we try to see how much Ava can do before we jump in for assistance.  We try to encourage her to explore and try things for herself (as long as it's safe!), so we waited to see how much she could unwrap on her own.  What fun she had, pulling at the ribbon, tugging at the paper, mouthing it a bit and tugging again.  This kept her occupied for a while, exploring, learning and figuring out there was something WAY COOLER on the inside!  Thanks to my cousin Kirsten, Ava has a new favorite toy!

 Oh my goodness!  Look what's inside!

She's been crawling with the flower in her hand!  Her favorite piece from her new toy!

Warm Cozies, A Saturday Morning

As the rain drums on the roof and tree branches drip with glistening drops, our house is warm on this gray morning.  I feel so snugly with the little bit while we're in bed, buried under the covers.  But my slippers await me and Ava wants her morning sampling of solids.

This morning, I'm excited to get up and make buckwheat, buttermilk, banana, blueberry, coconut pancakes!  And furthermore, I'm encouraged after yesterday's lunch with the girls, that maybe Ava can pick up and eat a few TINY (like half a pea sized) nibblets of pancake (she did it with bread yesterday).  So, I whip together the batter (as the baby crawls over and pulls out all the pots and pans to play with on the floor) and make a couple cakes for myself and one tiny little one for the little one.  I leave the rest as batter as papa bear is still in bed... sleeping in (jealous)... I'll cook his cakes when he wanders out to our kitchen.

The pancakes turn out amazingly good.  I enjoy mine with a touch of dark amber maple syrup.  Ava enjoys hers with some yogurt.  Actually, Ava pretty much just enjoyed the yogurt.  The pancake was too sticky and I was afraid she might choke, so after a few tries, I decided to nix the pancake-baby idea.  She did get a little mushy fruit out of the pancakes though, and next time, I'll probably just reserve some of the mushy fruit before it goes into the batter for her.

What You'll Need - All Purpose Pancake Mix (This makes a bunch of pancake mix, from which you'll use a portion and save the rest in a container in your pantry).

I'll add that I have borrowed this pancake mix recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, "Feeding the Whole Family".

2 cups Barley Flour
2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup Buckwheat Flour
1 cup Blue Cornmeal (which I couldn't find last time I went to the store, so I used yellow cornmeal)
3 tablespoons  Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

What You'll Do

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container.  (I like to shake them in the container to mix them.  EASY!)
The author also includes a Glutten-Free Pancake Mix (this one's for you Lindsay! xo)

Substitute 2 1/3 cups Rice Flour, 1 cup Potato Starch, 2/3 cup Tapioca Flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum for the 2 cups barley and 2 cups whole wheat flours.  Hope this turns out well for you!

What You'll Need - Buckwheat, Buttermilk, Banana, Blueberry, Coconut Pancakes
I adapted this recipe from that book too.

1 Egg, separated
1 1/2 cups Pancake Mix (from above)
1 cup Buttermilk (sometimes I make it with Unsweetened Almond Milk if that's what I've got... use what you've got!)
1/2 cup Water
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup Frozen blueberries
1/4 cup Dried Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
Oil for griddle 

What You'll Do
In a large bowl, combine egg yolk, pancake mix, buttermilk and water. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.

In separate bowl, combine egg white, mashed banana, blueberries and coconut shred.

Gently fold into batter.

Ladle onto pre-heated, oiled griddle and cook on medium high heat. Pancake is ready to flip when you see the bubbles on top (although, these pancakes don't bubble quite as much as others I've made, so keep peaking underneath to help you determine when to flip).

Repeat with remainder of the batter.

Other Tasty Additions 
It would be yummy to add semi-sweet chocolate chips for a splurge!  Some added cinnamon would be lovely.  Raspberries, strawberries or any other berry or fruit, even peaches!

You know when you're driving on a gray, cold day and you see a warm glow coming from other homes' windows?  When I see this, I imagine there are families inside enjoying a cozy morning together like we had.