I've seen these before.
You probably have too.
They look super healthy and therefor a bit... well..."ehh".
But I was curious.
So we tried them.
They're oddly yummy!
Like... crunchy air.
The kids loved them.
A little too much.
I've made two batches in the past two days and Hubs hasn't had any because they're gone before he gets home.
CJ, Bean, and I are veggie lovers anyway so that may be part of it.
Yeah... I recommend trying them at least.
You just might like them too.
I have been trying to hang out with the kids more these days.
I'm a stay at home mom and that may sound like a hard thing to NOT do since we're together every day but that doesn't necessarily mean that I "hang out" with them.
I clean around them.
I clean up after them.
I help them get things out to play with and pick things up.
I even sit in the same room and read or surf the web but play WITH them? Hang out WITH them?
Yeah, it's not really my thing.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being around my munchkins.
That's part of why we have four of them!
But I struggle to play WITH them so I decided to come up with something that would keep us both entertained for a while.
Enter: Backyard Treasure Hunt!
With a few things I already had around the house...empty egg cartons, kid friendly jewels (aka pirate booty), leftover Easter candy, and spare change off the night stand... we were in business!
I did the creating and planning for them and they did the exploring and the hunting. (Oh! And it was educational as the kids learned about following maps)... This one was a win-win-win!
We are headed towards a Paleo diet in our house.
I won't say we're committed... it's more like a modified version of it.
For those of you who don't know what Paleo is here's a condensed version.
aka caveman diet, it gets you back to eating like they did WAY back when. no grains,
no corn, no legumes - that means peanuts (which I recently cut out anyway because
apparently it made Baby J's eczema flare up), little to no dairy (butter and ghee are a.o.k.),
lots of naturally full fat stuff like beef, coconut, avocados, nuts, and loads of veggies.
We've been working our way towards this diet for a few weeks now and I honestly feel better and have more energy than I've had in a while. Now, keep in mind that I have also been in a pregnant or recently pregnant phase for over five years straight. So my return of energy may be due to Baby J's 6 month birthday that is fast approaching even though I am still not getting a full night's sleep. Either way, the weight seems to be falling off faster as I have been losing weight at a noticeable rate. It's enough reason for me to keep going.
So all of that is to intro you into this yummy recipe that is quite possibly THE best fajita marinade, as the original sharer of this recipe assures me it is. (Found here.)
As usual... I tweeked it EVER so slightly and here's what I ended up with...
What' You'll Need:
1 lb chicken thighs
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup oil (I've used peanut but ghee, coconut oil, or palm oil may be better)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
What To Do:
Mix the marinade in a large bowl, whisk well, add chicken thighs and stir to cover. Let sit for at least an hour. Then grill them up! For the chicken thighs on a gas grill it takes 8-10 minutes to grill through (4 mins on each side). Once done, place on a plate and tent with foil for 5-10 minutes. Slice meat thinly against the grain and enjoy!
We eat ours over salad greens with peppers and onions cooked on the grill with salt and salt, cherry tomato pureed in the blender, guacamole, and a touch of sour cream. I've made this twice in the past week.
If you've been by to visit before then you'll know that I kinda have a crush on Andrew Peterson. No worries, Sweet Hubs knows and is totally okay with it cause I'm pretty sure he does too.
Well thanks to Andrew, we found Randall! Remember Slugs & Bugs?
And now... as if it couldn't get any better with all the great songs, albums, blogs, books, art, and concerts between the two of them... Randy is now working on an "all Scripture CD" to help us memorize the Word!
Yup! It's right here at the Slugs & Bugs / Sing the Bible (Vol. 1) Kickstarter page!
If you're not familiar with Kickstarter the short version is that it's an artists way of taking donations from fans with perks like pre release copies, CDs, apparel...and if you're a big spender... personal concerts! The money helps pay for production and you get to walk away with a gift and smile in your heart knowing that you had a part is something special like making awesome music available to everyone!
Based solely on Randy's past work I know this project will be amazing but it gets better... Sally Lloyd Jones, writer of The Jesus Storybook Bible, and the African Children's Choir are in on the project too!
I can't even handle it!
So if you want in on the ground level of this exciting project... check out the details and pledge packages at Kickstarter.
Aaaaand I'm out!
During the last election there was a BIG movement nationwide (well, specifically in California but it would have affected the entire country) to require companies to label food with GMO ingredients. At this point in time we can safely say the vote did not pass but there are many out there who are claiming voter fraud so maybe it's not all over yet. Either way, just because food packages won't be labeled doesn't mean you don't get to know the nitty-gritty. So here's what I've found so far...
There are those that don't use them and supported labeling...
Every heard of ghee (pronounced gee)? How 'bout butter oil? Clarified butter?
I hadn't until about six months ago when I was looking for healthy cooking oils as alternatives to the old standbys that, I'm discovering, aren't as fantastic as we're told they are. (More about that at the bottom of the post if you're interested.)
I like coconut oil for baking, granola, curry, and other sweeter cooking but the coconut flavor can come through so if it's a savory dish I like more of a butter taste.
Anyway, ghee is original to South Asia and is used for rices and lentils mostly but it is delicious on steamed vegetables. From what I've read when you heat the butter the milk solids are removed so it has been known to be a good option for people with a low dairy tolerance. It's great for frying and sauteing with a high smoke point of 482 F and has been shown to lower bad cholesterol as naturally saturated fat foods will do. (Yes, saturated fat may actually be GOOD for you and low fat just might be bad but that's another discussion for another day).
So... where can you get ghee?
I have seen it in stores sold in jars but it's so simple to make and I know exactly what the butter source is so I quickly and easily make my own.
Place one cup of the butter (salted or unsalted, I've done both and they're both fine) in a saucepan.
No, not all butter is created equal. Grassfed and the darkest yellow you can find are best.
I personally prefer Kerrygold blocks wrapped in foil, not the spreadable tubs and have found that the best price around is at Trader Joes.
Heat the butter on medium high heat until it begins to boil.
There will be two foaming stages. Some people skim the foam off the top but I have seen no need to do this plus I'm cheap and hate to see any butter wasted to the skimming process.
The butter will foam once, as shown above , and then clear up...
until it foams the second time. According to Alton Brown the second foam indicates that the ghee is done. It will be a deep golden yellow and the milk solids will fall to the bottom of the pan..
or, as in my case, the boiling will cause some of the milk solids to rise to the top.
Strain how ghee into a heatproof jar and let cool.
(milk solids left in the pan)
The first time I did this I was shocked that the ghee was no longer liquid after it cooled. Instead it was somewhat of a gritty, grainy texture but it melts right back to liquid once heated.
So why not olive oil or canola?
First, I am not a nutritionist and have conducted no personal studies but our
families eating mantra is "as God intended it" which basically just
means with as little processing, pesticides, and tampering with as
possible. If it required intense processes and intimidating machines...
we avoid it. That's about as simple as I can get.
Olive oil is great IF you don't overheat it. Research has shown that olive oil can be damaged at temperatures as low as 320 F. Some go as far as to describe its post heated makeup as "toxic". We use it on salads and just about anything else we don't heat.
Canola Oil is
a product that all together gives me the willies. It's sold as a health
product but nothing about it makes me feel good. According to Sally
Fallon, co-founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation writes in her
cookbook Nourishing Traditions...
"the newest oil on the market, canola oil was developed from rape seed
... which is considered unsuited to human consumption because it
contains a long-chain fatty acid called erucic acid, which under some
circumstances is associated with fibrotic heart lesions. Canola oil was
bred to contain little if any erucic acid and has drawn the attention of
nutritionists because of its high oleicacid content. but there are some
indications that canola oil presents dangers of its own. it has a high
sulphur content and goes rancid easily ... during the deodorizing
process, the omega 3 fatty acids of processed canola oil are transformed
into trans fatty acids..."
Vegetable Oil is almost always corn oil or soy oil and both of those ingredients are high on the GMO list. For that reason, alone, I avoid it.
reality is that you can find research to support just about any theory
you have but these are two instances that I haven't been able to refute
to my satisfaction and for our family it's "better safe than sorry".
I mentioned that I made these a few weeks ago when the kids were sick and I wasn't about to run four kids out the door so I found this recipe at Restless Chipotle.
For ease I copied it word for word here...
4 cups flour (all purpose, bread, whole wheat or a mixture- be creative
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup whole milk
Salt crystals for sprinkling
1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water OR 1 egg white + 1 tablespoon water, beaten together for egg wash.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and butter .
If you are adding seasonings mix those in with the dry ingredients.
Cut butter into flour mixture until it forms coarse crumbs.
Add the milk and knead to form a ball.
Divide in 4 parts and roll out paper thin on a floured surface. The thinner they are the crisper they will be.
Cut the dough into squares (a pizza wheel works great for that!)
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and prick all over with a fork.
Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt (or cracked pepper ..or..)
Bake at 325 until golden brown..about 15- 20 minutes. (check after 10 minutes)
yield of this recipe is largely dependent on how you cut the crackers.
The nutrition information is based on cutting them into 36 large
I switched out a portion of the white flour for home ground wheat flour.
Another tip is to roll the dough as thin as you are able. The thinner the better and the more authentic the taste.
These were really easy, rather quick, and tasty. I don't think they replace regular saltines for flavor because, let's be honest, there's nothing like a saltine... but it's a really good alternative if you're trying to do more homemade or just don't want to run to the store and they're so buttery you can't eat just one. I know I sure didn't!
Just recently Hubs and I were talking about how we have been needing to streamline our calendar.s He makes appointments while at work, puts them into his phone, and I don't hear about them until he's about to walk out the door for them OR the kids and I have appointments and I need him to take a late lunch and he forgets...
We tried syncing our calendars through "sharing" on our phones but that wasn't working for some techy reason... and then I found Cozi.
I wasn't even looking for it but someone I follow on Pinterest pinned a link to Modern Parents Messy Kids about several different family organizing sources, Cozi, being the first suggestion.
I figured it couldn't hurt to try and, so far, I'm impressed.
Cozi keeps a calendar which you can add and see events to from your smart phone, PC, Kindle, iPad.... Each family member is assigned a color and your calendar will be all prettified as you add more events. Hubs can now open the Cozi app, right on his phone, and see where the kids and I will be during the mornings, see what's on the lunch menu for CJ's school, and know what dinner plans are without needing to check with me. If I put it in the calender, he can see it!
Cozi doesn't only allow you to share your schedule... with it you can share shopping lists! This thrills me to no end because now when Hubs is out and about he can swing by the store without needing me to text him a list (first world problems, I know). What a great way to set up Hubs to score extra points with me! He can just show up with things I need! OR if he's out of shaving cream he can throw it on the list and I won't have to see the disappointment on his face when he realizes I JUST got home from the store and he needed deodorant anymore.You can create your own catagories of lists too so if you have a party coming up or need items for a recipe you can create specific lists for just those things.
There are also options for a to do list and journaling. Why journaling? If something happens throughout the day you want to share and don't want to forget, you can jot them down for later. How smart!
Overall, I love the premise of this site and so far it seems to do just what I need it to.
Give it a gander over at Cozi.com.
Hubs is on day 5 of being under the weather. He was able to go back to work yesterday but was exhausted by lunch time.
Miss Mak went to bed with a fever last night and has been on the couch and napping on and off all morning.
I have been dumping probiotics, omega-3s, and bone broth into the kids like it's my job; washing hands until my hands beg for lotion; and avoiding sugar like it's the plague.
So far, it's just a fever for Mak and exhaustion for Hubs, but I feel a little off as though my body is waiting for everyone else to get better so it can fall apart.
We are surviving though and I felt it necessary to give a few shout-outs for making sanity possible this week...
PBS, without your constant streaming of child friendly, educational shows (except for Barney. I am NOT thankful for Barney). I'd have nothing left to offer my couch-bound baby and her 22 month old-driving mommy nuts with her whining-sister without you. Bleach, Vinegar, and the Washing Machine, for obvious reasons. Two crockpots, with which I can keep perpetual broth a'boilin' in and still make an easy dinner at the same time.
Pinterest and the homemade saltine recipe I found on it, with all the soup and broth I've been pumping into our family Hubs has become weary and needed a little extra something to sink his teeth into. Rather than sending him to the store and endangering countless healthy individuals I found this recipe and within thirty minutes had something that tastes a lot like the "real thing" and with ingredients I could pronounce. (Recipe to come). Preschool, who took my four year old off my hands for four hours today and limited his exposure to his three year old sister who can't help but want to play with big brother.
This little dude's face, which I could stare at for hours as he coos and tells me about his life's plans. I melt at the sight of this double chinned beauty. He makes every day seem "not so bad" even now, in the midst of his growth spurt that has him up every two hours, day and night. Coffee, my little piece of heaven that I enjoy during nap time when the whole house is asleep. That's right. Four kids. One nap time. God is good!
And that's that.
I hope you're all well as the sick season ends and the disinfection sunshine returns!!!
I'm not sure how long you've been dropping in for but I'm so glad you have!
Just thought you should know
So... Yesterday I finally got a teensy bit of motivation to do something I've been intending to do for months now.
First of all, do you remember this wall?
It started out a year and a half ago looking quaint... and wallpaper... and bordered... and blue.
Cute but not for us.
So we took it off.
I should say we TRIED to take it off.
After a good long stretch I gave up we covered it.
And then I painted it with chalkboard paint with the intention of "doing something" up there eventually.
Months passed and I finally got an itch to git'r done.
First I conditioned it...
And then I got a little out of control!
I'm not gonna lie... as it would clearly be an attempt in futility...beautiful chalkboard art is NOT my forte.
And I may have gone a little overboard.
This will take some practice.
But for now, I'm gonna get used to it and see how it goes.