Monday, December 21, 2009

A little garden experiment

So I think this year along with my fancy schmancy seeds I would like to plant a "grocery store" garden using seeds you can locate in a grocery store. Perfect examples would be black beans or celery seed (which is usually salsify). I know one year I had planted whole mustard seed out of my pickling spice mix and it not only grew but it produced seed and then that seed grew. Very cool! So as an experiment I will run germination tests over the next couple of weeks and just see how viable all that seed you get in the grocery section really is. I also plan to use store bought potatoes and garlic. Who knows I might find a new favorite.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yule Log


I made a yule log today using a recipe from online with a few alterations
here is the original:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Decadence-Yule-Log/Detail.aspx
now I mixed all the dry together first, in a separate bowl I put the eggs and oil, water. blended wet, added to dry and baked.
I also adjusted the recipe for 18 since my pan was 12x18, used cocoa and oil instead of unsweetened chocolate (which removed the melting step for the cake), used 7 eggs instead of 7 1/2, used 3 TBS water + a single serve instant coffee packet instead of coffee liquor.
The icing was mostly to recipe except since I needed more of it I added 8 oz of heavy cream whipped up to extend it and again left out the coffee liquor.

I just hope it makes it to church tomorrow in one piece and its enjoyed :D

Planning for Spring

I'm working on our plan for the spring garden. Many mistakes were made last year we do not care to repeat. We over planted and were overwhelmed by a new baby. This year we plan to reduce the size, use raised beds and double dug beds. I ordered seeds very carefully to hopefully have enough to raise and save seeds for next year. I was very careful to order heirloom seeds and I probably need to go through my inventory and determine which varieties I have from last year that are also heirloom so they can continue to be a part of my collection for years to come. When I did my inventory the other day I determined we have about 100 varieties of fruits and veggies to work with. All I can say is awesome.

Spice Heaven

I went to Penezy's spices last week. I think I'm in heaven. I plan to replace all of my old spices with their amazing variety and prices :D
I think also that I may further explore indian cooking. recipes to come? Also in the new year, lots of whole grain cooking.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Materialistic Christmas

There is a lot to love about Christmas, but gifts (either giving or receiving) are not among my favorite parts. Today we were out, list in hand trying to find what everyone wanted and fighting our way through traffic and crowds only to come home feeling exhausted and disgusted with the process. Why can't we have a Christmas that resembles Thanksgiving...you know with family, good cooking, spirit and much less hassle. Instead just as soon as Thanksgiving leaves us we are in the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recipe: Basic Simple Syrup

its very simple
ratio of 2 sugar to 1 water
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
boil until clear
add 1 tsp extract (most extracts) to make a coffee syrup
or
add
1 cup cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 TBS light corn syrup (or if you are me, you don't have corn syrup and I think I'll use Agave nectar instead)

bring ingredients together and if necessary strain to remove lumps

Recipe: Basic Cheese Sauce

2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
make a roux
then add 1 cups milk
and 8 oz of cheese
salt and pepper to taste

use cheddar for a cheddar sauce, works great for homemade mac and cheese
when this is refrigerated it congeals nicely...think I'll experiment to come up with a homemade cheese whiz

Recipe: Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Packet

4TBS dried buttermilk
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground blk pepper
1/2 TBS ground dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried chives
1/4 tsp dried dill

mix and use as dried
to make dressing add 1 cup water, 1/2 cup mayo and blend well

I'm going to start posting recipes

So a little explanation. The recipes I'm posting will for the most part be a replacement for something that you would normally buy ready made such as cream of chicken soup or ranch dressing packets. I don't know that anyone but me will be interested but who knows :D

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

hmmm...maybe I should try it on for size?

http://morningstarr.typepad.com/aworthylife/2009/02/take-2.html

Trying to get out more

  1. I need to get out. Having my DS has made me realize that I need to meet some people who have kids around his age and meet a few people for myself too. I was invited to a knitting circle this evening and I really enjoyed the company of a few like minds...actually I was a little surprised how much I had in common with them. I always thought myself to be a little out there but I think maybe I'm just a little out there with my old friends. Does that change who I am if I'm not a bit weird? Nah, I'm still weird...just they are too!
  2. (btw..not sure why this is numbering my text...it just is) a few weeks ago I went to a Shy/Lonely moms play date which I unfortunately arrived late and only really made the acquaintance of one other mom there. I probably would have fared better if I had arrived earlier, before everyone had settled in.
  3. Prior to that I went to another play date that I had a great time at. Lots of people, I seemed to have things in common with. Hopefully I get the hang of all of this and manage to make a few new friends.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Whole Wallet

Eek! We decided to go to Whole Foods today. I like to rotate grocery stores for variety and so this week it was Whole Foods. What a mistake!!! I did find some organic frozen fruits and veggies which was my main goal to make for baby food but in the process I picked up a few other thing and my total bill was $130!!! I didn't even come close to filling the cart...heck I didn't even get all the things on my list. They were so expensive and we thought some of their pricing was a bit shady even. For example we bought a bag of wild shrimp prepackaged, the sign said 9.98 on the bin, we grab one and I checked the reciept and it was 19.96...went back in talked to customer service and they explained the 9.98 per pound but the bags were 2 pounds....there were no 1 pound bags so to me this is deceptive marketing. In the frozen fruits they had 10 oz bags of fruit at eye level for the same price as 1 lb bags on the lower shelves...hmmm...again a bit deceptive! I had thought this was a pretty wholesome place to shop but now I'm scorned and never going back. I'll stick to my usual stores: Meijer, Walmart, Kroger, Marsh, and Trader Joes where I know I can usually find a good buy.
I will say this though...they did have nice, American made baby toys. Just saying

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful

I type this as I settle down for the evening and nurse my DS before bedtime. He is the reason for my thankfulness this year. Two years ago, I was in the hospital with a herniated disc and was induced and delivered my dead daughter. It was the worst possible way to spend Thanksgiving. Last year was significantly better as I was pregnant with our son, but I probably still wasn't quite in the spirit as in August my dad passed way somewhat unexpectedly. This is our year!!! We have our baby, our darling boy...I'm not going to pretend that babies are the answer to anything but having him has helped to heal my heart. He is truly a joy, not just to me but to my family as my dad's passing was a hard realization to all of us of our own mortality.

This year, we have our baby...I still miss her, miss my dad; but my dad would have loved my DS and had she survived, we would be in a different place and most likely would have a child that had some level of disability and would have never had our DS.

I am thankful this year that we have our new family. What a joy :D

Monday, November 23, 2009

Homemade baby foods

I was just on my favorite site for homemade baby food wholesomebabyfood.com and I have plans to make my baby's foods from organic fresh and frozen foods. Since we are pretty much on single ingredient stuff so far its pretty easy: steam or boil, mash, freeze in icecube trays. So far we have been through the 4 day rule on oats, barley, apples, pears, peaches, plums, bananas, butternut squash, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes and we just started green beans.

I keep dreaming that maybe he will start eating enough of any of these to allow me more freedom. My boy is such a boob-man that I'm not sure he will ever want to wean somedays. For now I dont mind but I was hoping that shortly after a year old we could wean him and maybe try for a baby #2. Eh, only time can tell.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My New Goal (in light of the BPA everywhere)

So I now am on a mission, this might take a while to get down but I would like to work on making more things from scratch or buy fresh; specifically things that you might normally buy in a can like beans, canned fruit...that kind of thing. I'm looking up recipes and thinking my freezer will be getting tons of use since my canning jars have lids that contain BPA. I need to figure out how much BPA we are talking about with the canning jars though...I mean are we talking the same as the store shelf metal cans or are we talking more like a fifth of that? More research to come

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BPA everywhere?

so I have been making most of my own baby foods but I was buying a few jarred for convenience and now I'm finding out that BPA is in the metal lids and I looked at my gerber containers and they are a 7 (which could be BPA ridden)...ugh
I also like to can food grown in our garden and the canning jar lids have BPA in them.
why are we being poisoned by this crap??

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Family Frustrations

I'm mosting venting this for myself. My SIL is causing me grief and my solution is to cut off communication to her...not sure if this is temporary or permanent but she has to show some improvement before I reopen communication with her. The deal is that her ex has a history of drug addiction (specifically crack-ntm he hooked my SIL on the stuff), stalking, verbal abuse and tax evasion. She has a son out of her marriage prior to him and a daughter from a different relationship so her ex has no relation to either child. Her daughter believes that the ex is her daddy (she does know he's not her bio dad, just emotionally dad) and wanted to see him yesterday. I contend that he is no daddy and has no business in her life, is even dangerous to her wellbeing and nothing but heartache will come from this. She wants to make her daughter happy. I argue that this won't make her happy, just make her want him more. Anyhow the arguement goes on and ends with her telling me she won't send her off to him. Welp she lied. She sent her off and to the best of my knowledge it was so she could go off and party. I don't really have anything against a girl having a good time. I do have a problem with her lying, her sending her daughter to this awful man, her shirking her parental duty to have a good time and to make her girl "happy". As a parent I do believe you have a responsibility not to keep your kids happy, but to protect them from dangerous people (like him), to keep them around people who are of good character and influence (he's not that)! Well, taking my own advice....no more contact with her. I need to keep my son protected and unfortunately I guess that now means her. I can't trust her to be off of the drugs, to protect her own kids, or to be a good influence.

If she reads this and I suppose its possible although unlikely, this message is for you: You need help. I believe if you are indeed off the drugs as you say you are, you still need rehab- for the emotional side and for the self medicating. You need counseling to get over you ex, maybe your daughter does too and you need to be honest with your daughter as to why she cannot see him any longer. I love you but unless you make changes I can't talk to y0u or keep you an active part of my life or my sons. You can talk to my husband as much as you like but I will be letting the phone go to voicemail when you call or having him answer it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shower madness

Ugh! and Yay! DS is newly mobile, not in the traditional way but he does a version of a crabwalk using his head, arching his back and scooting his feet/butt. Its really cute but its creating a dilemma when it comes to taking a shower in the morning. For the last several months I have put him in his baby bouncer and he's been happy and he plays with the mobile on it. Now when I put him in it he squirms about, trying to get out of it I'm assuming? Anyhow its now unsafe to leave him in it and so I'm at a loss what to do. If I put him on the bed (surrounded by a barricade of pillows of course) he just cries after he gets tired of whatever toys I've put out for him and I just can't bear to just leave him crying if its avoidable. Yesterday I tried putting him on the floor and he scooted himself off the blanket and up against the wall and again...cried. same with the crib. I do have an exersaucer but being in a two story home lugging it up and down the stairs is a pain. I do have a playpen for him but again with the keeping him occupied issue. Maybe I'll check out Once Upon a Child for an entertainer of some kind to keep upstairs.

any ideas?
video

Monday, November 9, 2009

6 month update

Yay! DS is a half a year old already...which is crazy because I'm still trying to get used to the idea that I'm a mommy. He's growing so fast and at 27" long and 18#s he's a lot of baby to carry around. I'm discovering the fine art of babywearing is coming in really handy at his size. I bought a lovely Mei Tai and I can just sling him onto my back for walks and to clean the house if I need to and it works fantastic...highly recommended. I even had my 38# niece C on my back and really the sling held her well, C was comfortable and it wasn't bad at all to carry her. Back to DS though he really enjoys walks; heck sometimes like tonight that is the best way to calm him down. He's such a funny guy, really.

So speaking of funny, he's becoming mobile, rolling around, does a version of a crab walk and scoots backwards on the floor. And then there is the exersaucer and he bounces about and spins to which ever toy he wants to gnaw on all while having the best time. DH loves to play with him too...as a matter of fact I often need him to play with DS just to help him exhaust some of his extra energy so we can get down to the business of getting to bed.

We are still breastfeeding but now we are starting to introduce solids. I was totally gun-ho on the idea but now I'm finding it too easy to nurse him instead of prepare some kind of food. My original plan was to have DH feed him his solid foods but we forget and so it doesn't end up happening that way. Oh well, its still early in the game and DS isn't that excited about replacing his milk with solid food yet.

Our babe seems to be teething, oh it must be just miserable with the way he acts. I have teething rings, teething tablets, tylenol, numbing gel....nothing seems to work. Lots of drool and lots of chewing on fingers and such. I just feel so bad for him.

We are also still using cloth diapers, still hanging in there. I suppose unless solids start to pose a really laundry challenge for us we will do so until he is potty trained. Its really not been that hard and boy its a whole lot cheaper and more convenient than running out for a new pack or dealing with the blowout.

New Blog

So this is my new blogspot. I had been blogging on MySpace and then on Facebook but I really need a place that is a little more central. So here it is. I'll be posting DS's six month update soon and transferring over my old blogs. Mostly I blog about progress on our land, frustrations of life and of course the happenings of parenthood.

I do use a few abbreviations that if you don't read a lot of blogs and forums might be new.
DH = dear husband
DS = dear son
BF = breastfeeding
CD = cloth diaper
BW = baby wearing
SIL= sister in law
and then I may mention other people in my life by their first initials, since this is a public blog I would like to protect myself and anyone I mention from wrongful actions.