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Thursday, January 31, 2013

anti-recipe #58 homemade yogurt and gluten free biscuits worth writing home about

And yes, Mom, I'm talking to YOU.


Seriously though, these biscuits are amazing. I should know. I just ate three. And, unlike most other gluten free attempts these actually taste BETTER than regular biscuits. I know, right???

SO, what does yogurt have to do with it? Well, there is yogurt IN the biscuits. AH HA, you say!

And I know I've written about making yogurt before but seriously, you need to try it.

Yogurt. Heat up around 1.5 qts of milk (WHOLE milk), to 105-110 degrees. If it gets too warm, just let it cool or add more milk. Stir in a cup of store bought yogurt. Stoneyfield really is the best. Plain yogurt. Or a cup of yogurt from your last batch.

Make sure its still at 105-110 degrees. Now heat up your oven for just a minute, just so its warm enough to warm your hand when you hold it inside, but NOT enough to blast hot air on your face when you open it. Turn the oven off. Cover your pot of milk with tinfoil (this needs to be an all metal pan, by the way) Place in the oven.


Dont stir, but every now and then test the temp. If it cools down too much, rev up your oven again for a bit. DONT walk away and forget you did this while changing a diaper or stopping a fight about whose blue ninja minifigure is whose. If you do this and run back into the kitchen (yelling shit shit shit the yogurt!!!!) DONT grab the pot out of the oven WITHOUT A POT HOLDER. YOU WILL BURN YOURSELF. If you do this (who me??) let it cool, add more milk to pull the temp back down quickly. If the temp gets above 120 the yogurt will curdle. All is not lost though, if you happen to have done this, because if you let it strain through cheesecloth your yogurt cheese will be PERFECT in lasagne, spread on toast, etc.

But yogurt, we want yogurt.

So, dont let it get that hot. In five or six hours you will have yogurt! And really its SO good. It may seem runny at first but once it settles down you can pour out some whey (SAVE IT! adds great to soup or baking, instead of water, for added nutrition!!) Then it becomes much creamier. I just ate a fe bites of week old yogurt as I was making the batch today and it was SO good. Totally creamy and just like store bought!!

Ok. Add honey. Eat.

Now for the biscuits.

Two cups gluten free flour. I use Namaste flour brand, the "baking" one. Add three tsps baking powder. One tsp baking soda. 2-4 T butter, dash of salt. Now mix well, crumbling the butter. Now add a cup of yogurt! (plain) mix, form into round shapes, and bake at 450 for around 10 minutes (15 if you are using stoneware) this makes around 6-8 biscuits.

Smother with butter.

Then come and say thank you. HA.

I joke, this recipe is totally straight from Mark Bittman, except for the gluten free flour part. Also I added cheddar cheese tonight. To DIE for.

Okay. Its bedtime for kiddies. GO MAMA GO!

where i am at


Sunday, January 27, 2013

let it snow!

I am sitting in a quiet house. GASP. Kiddies and dada are out playing in thick heavy snow. I was out in it for a bit, with baby toddler dear strapped to my back sound asleep. She is now on our bed, sprawled out, snoring.

I am sitting, writing, drinking chai and eating ... homemade fudge. A lot of it. Oops.

And for this moment - though the teething baby kept me up half the night and dada and I had that regular arguement of "who-is-more-tired" before church this morning and little man is out of sorts which makes me dread Monday morning - for now, in this very specific moment it hits me like a ton of bricks.

Damn am I blessed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

circle time thoughts, and a winter circle

Circle time is a favorite thing at our house.

Okay, so at first it feels corny, kind of forced, especially when you have your six year old jumping on the couch, rolling his eyes at doing I'm a little teapot for the toddler. You find yourself yelling DO THE MOTIONS TOO. And then feeling bad for yelling. Wash Rinse Repeat.

BUT after awhile it becomes a happy rhthym to the day, little miss has a happy glowing smile when we start and, oh, the cutest thing is baby toddler's face, especially as we "circle round the dancing fairy ring" in the beginning. She wiggles her little body to the singing, bopping her head like a little chickadee. Adorable.

So, why do it?

Rhythm, you know? Coming together to do something fun, as a family. Even if you, like most parents, sing a few songs, do nursery rhymes together, its nice to have it be an official, "thing" a special happy time. Also, as a busy mama, its so easy to be like, oh, its 11:30 the kids are hungry, they've been playing all morning and I've been cleaning, and oh, I havent really interacted with them in a goodly few hours. (Yes, I meant to write goodly. Just wanted to.) So you do circle time, breathe in, breathe out, you know? This is a good thing to think for the day, breathe in as a unit, take some time to connect, then breathe out, as they go play and you attack the laundry. (Which I am neglecting right now as I type in the sunshine with a cup of chai...)

And yes, sometimes it feels forced. Mama is grumpy. Mama is tired. There was a reason I didnt become a preschool teacher! But, you know how it is, you force a smile for a few minutes as you sing "row row row your boat" for the fourth time, and suddenly you are grinning too, at your little kiddies, having fun together.

So, give it a whirl. It might work for you!

Here is what we do, for winter at least. Also, I pretty much just go right into the next verse or movement, to keep up the flow, you want to avoid stopping and staring at your kids, or asking them what they want to do next (asking for them to argue about it, HA) but of course if they want a repeat I might do a verse again once or twice. I have all these on my IPhone, some say you should have it memorized...I'm getting there...

Also, Pre-homeschool I would follow this time with a simple story, acting it out with little figures (think the three little pigs or the gingerbread man). We still do, for little miss and toddler girl, but then we keep going right into school time.

For us having a "call song" to circle time is important. Some families might light a candle or blow a few notes on a whistle or ring a chime.

And, we dont do all of the following, it varies from day to day. (That would be a LONG circle time) And yes, we often end with yoga! We do yoga poses with kid names, although little man does like the warrior poses. HA.

And here is our call song.

Follow, follow me
To the ring of the fairies
Follow, follow me,
Where the fairies dance and sing.
Gather with now
All the magic you can carry,
As we circle ‘round the dancing fairy ring.

Now look around
We’ve made a ring
By holding hands you see.
Yes, here I am,
And there you are,
Together we are we.

We sing this while holding hands, and doing a few motions at the end.
Then we do a few circle songs, with motions, where obvious.

Rinka ranka rosy ray.
Welcome, welcome, golden day.
I can skip and I can hop.
I can turn and I can stop.
I can dance and I can sing,
With my friends we form a ring.

Sally go round the sun
Sally go round the moon
Sally go round the chimney pot
on a snowy afternoon
( go around in a circle then all move in to center on whoosh!)

Ring around the roses,
A pocket full of posies.
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
The cows are in the meadow
Eating buttercups
Ashes, ashes
We all stand up.

Then we say our good morning verse:

Good morning dear earth
Good morning dear sun
Good morning dear flowers and fairies, everyone
Good morning dear beasts and birds in the tree
Good morning to you and good morning to me!

Or maybe this one:

Morning has come (arms up open)
the night is away (bring arms to sides on floor outstretched )
We rise with the sun (stand up)
And welcome the day!

This one is apparently a song. I found it online. I like the words but dont know the tune. I made one up.
Good Morning to the Sun up in the sky
(hands arms opening to sun gesture)
Good Morning to the birds as they fly on by
(arms out at sides fluttering)
Good Morning to the trees so straight and tall
( arms above head straight and tall, palms together))
Good Morning to the birds and squirrels and all
(hands cupped against chest at heart level look down)
Good Morning everyone
(outstretch arms for hug if you like)

I like to then do snippets of some classic hymns, like this one:
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Then maybe some finger play type verses. We are doing ones about forest or winter animals and counting right now.

(use fingers on your hands for each “bunny”)

One, two little bunnies
Sitting on the ground.
Three, four little bunnies
Looking all around.
Five, six little bunnies
Standing in a row
Seven, eight little bunnies
Waiting for the snow.
Nine, ten little bunnies
All ready to go
Five little mice went out to play, (Creep hand away from body on floor)
Gathering crumbs along the way, (Pretend to pick crumbs off floor)
Out came pussycat sleek and fat; (Arms out from belly)
Four little mice went scampering back (Four fingers creep back toward body)
(etc, counting down to one who luckily escapes!!)


2 tiny tadpoles swimming near the shore,
up swam another two and that made 4.

4 tiny tadpoles playing naughty tricks,
up swam another two and that made 6.

6 tiny tadpoles in a giddy state,
up swam another two and that made 8.

8 tiny tadpoles found a little den,
up swam another two and that made 10.

10 tiny tadpoles in the mud did delve,
up swam another two and that made 12.

12 tiny tadpoles wriggling just for fun,
One called out, “There’s the stork!”,
. . . And then there were none.
[because they'd all hidden, not because they were all eaten!]

And then maybe a winter poem, I like this one.

(from Winter Seasons of Joy)

A little child went walking
One lovely winter day.
He saw a little rabbit
That quickly ran away.
He saw a shining river
Go winding in and out,
And cold, cold fishies in it
Were swimming all about.
Then in the cold snowy forest
He stopped to take a rest,
And there among the tall trees
He saw a squirrel’s nest.
He heard the sleepy bears snoring,
Tucked snugly in the cave.
He saw the icy patterns
That Jack Frost came and made.
He saw the winter birdies
Across the treetops fly.
He saw the fluffy snow clouds
Sailing ‘cross the sky.
He heard the cold wind blowing
And tightened up his hood.
How wonderful, the child thought,
To walk in winter woods!

This is a fun movement verse:
Winter is cold
(hug yourself and shiver)
There is snow in the sky
(flutter fingers above your head)
The squirrel gathers nuts
(pretend to gather nuts)
And the wild geese fly
(flap arms)
The fluffy red fox
(cup hands over head to form ears)
Has his fur to keep warm
(stroke arms as if stroking fur)
The bear’s in her cave
(form a cave shape with your arms)
Sleeping all through the storm
(fold hands under cheek and pretend to sleep)

And then we might do, I'm a little teapot or Row Row Row your boat (where the kids hold hands sitting on the floor, facing each other, and "row" back and forth)

We like these too, movements are obvious:

This is my right hand, I hold it up high
This is my left hand, with it I touch the sky.
Right hand, left hand
Roll them round and round
Left hand right hand
POUND POUND POUND (on the floor, not each other!)

Open and shut them (hands!)
Open and shut them
Give a little clap
Open and shut them
Open and shut them
Fold them in your lap
Creep them, creep them
Slowly creep them, right up to your chin
Open up your little mouth but do not let them in!

Then this is a good seasonal one, with obvious movements:
Snowflakes, snowflakes, dance around
Snowflakes, snowflakes, touch the ground
Snowflakes, snowflakes, on my nose
Snowflakes, snowflakes, on my toes
Snowflakes, snowflakes, twirl around
Snowflakes, snowflakes, touch the ground

Another sweet poem:

Outside there is a Pine Tree
Standing straight and tall.
It needs no decorations
Nature’s done it all.
Pinecones on its branches
With icicles glistening bright
Snow upon its needles
And birds at rest from flight
I see it from my window
And take the time to say
Thank you for your beauty, tree,
On this winter day.

Then we do this sequence, about king winter. I recently made one out of felted wool (needle felting). Little miss was so impressed she made one herself!

(I say this with my hand like a megaphone in a booming voice)
King winter is now in the land
He reigns with a cold freezing hand
He makes jack frost touch nose and toe
And brings us bright and shiny snow

(For this one, take out some silk cloths to cover the children
Children crouch and are the "dear little plants")

In the winter garden, through the falling snow
Stars are gleaming, streaming, gleaming,
Down to earth below.
In the winter garden, seeds lie warm below
Deep and snug and oh so warm
Covered by the snow

( Sing) Deep in the earth buried deep so deep
A dear little plant lay fast asleep
Sleep little plant so snug and warm
Sleep little plant all winter long
The little plant slept so warm and tight
While King Winter raged with all his might

(For the following one, turn to each direction and make big windy whoosh sound with hands cupped around mouth like megaphone)

Old King Winter came out to play
And said I'm going to make this a very cold day
So he turned to the east ~ Whoooosh!
To the south ~ Whooosh!!
To the West Whooosh!
Then he turned to the North and said that's the best!
For my very good friend is the old North Wind
And when we play, we make a very, very, very cold day

(and then, in anticipation of spring, the flowers bloom out of the snow from under the silks!)
From down below up up I grow
And spread my leaves so wide
At the top a little room
From which a lovely flower blooms to open to the sky

(Then we might do these, a few bean bag tosses, the first in an arc like a rainbow, the second around the body. )

Red, and orange, and yellow, and green:
The rainbow’s seven colours have a bright shiny sheen.
Light blue, indigo, and violet all told.
At the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold.

Round the house
Round the trees,
Round the woods
With the rustling leaves;
Round the tree trunk,
Round the stem:
Round about
And home again.

Then we end with one or two from the following:

(Make gestures like the letters)
(A)--- Guarded from harm
(E)--- cared for by angels
(I)--- here stand we
(O)--- loving and strong
(U)--- truthful and good

The earth stands firm beneath my feet. The sun shines high above. Here I stand, so straight and strong – all things to know and love

I can turn myself and turn myself and stop me when I will.
I can reach high on my tippy toes and hold myself quite still.

We are truthful and helpful and loving in trust
For our hearts inner sun, glows brightly in us
We will open our heart to the sunbeams so bright
And fill all the world with our hearts inner light

And then a prayer for our day:
God be in my head, and in my understanding.
God be in my eyes, and in my looking.
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking.
God be in my heart, and in my thinking.
God be at my end, and at my departing.

I found this closing verse the other day, but we've never really done it.

My heart swells in joyfulness.
(Hands crossed over heart)
My spirit dwells in peace.
(Hands upraised over head)
My body rests in quietness.
(Hands down at side)
Our circle time has ended.
(Hold hands and be still for a moment)

See, fun, right?

Now a little story, some practicing our letters, then maybe a counting game or two, a Mother Nature Story (Burgess, at or a story about Roman gods...and there you have it, you are doing school!

my felted king winter, on the right, with jack frost. and little misses version,
on the left. CUTE.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

dreaming weekends and a cubby for little miss

Little miss is in that almost-four-so-she-must-be-grown-up phase. She plays ninja legos (cast off from brother!), but cant quite keep track of all the bits and pieces. We spend nearly 2 hours the other day searching on and off for one ninja she was missing. She wants desperately to learn to read, do math, and etc. just like her brother. Except, being three, when she cant get it just so she screams and throws a stink-fit. Of course, brother does that too, when he cant get things just so.

Of course, mama does that too...HA HA HA.

In any case.

I wanted her to have a little special place she could be and play, near our cozy woodstove school area. So, today, after brother had his lessons, we did it.

She is pleased and I love the affect (effect? affect? I am not in the mood to think this one through..)Cozy sweet little space. Just like my cozy sweet little girl. Dada has plans to make another playstand for the other side so the silk can stretch all the way across.

In other news.

Its freezing cold here. Actually TWENTY DEGREES BELOW ZERO. AT NOON. And that doesnt include the windchill! (Which was like -35 at one point!)

Before Mother Nature turned her back on us we had spent quite a bit of time enjoying our woods in the winter. We have loved going out, baby cozied up in the Ergo and her down-filled snowsuit, to track animals through our woods. We've learned where the deer love to gather in the pines, which bark they eat, and where the rabbits hide in the thicket. We've followed mice tracks across the meadow and into the chicken coop, then back out to their holes in the woods. We also built a lean-to out of branches under the pines, which will be a perfect spot to play on a hot July day.

Oh. July.

But now, with the cold, we are enjoying brilliant sunshine through the windows, and dreaming of July. Or a least late March.

And, this past weekend, with dada getting an extra day off, we spent a lot of time cuddled up on couches, with blankets and mugs of chai, looking through homesteading books, browsing websites and Pinterest boards, making lists, sketching out garden plans, and dreaming. "And then, we'll put pavers under the deck and install a wooden soaking tub, OOH, and a SAUNA, both heated by a homemade rocket stove, of course! AND THEN, we'll put a sliding door out to the area, from the family room and turn the family room into our own amazing master bedroom! (Which I am for real excited about doing. But first we'd have to turn the garage into a family room...which would mean building a garage...although first we need to buy this house, rather than just rent...HA.) And then this summer we'll put in a garden, with a fence around, and I'll plant sunflowers into a house for the kids, with a pole bean teepee in the middle! And we'll install rain barrels on the barn, that flow into a fountain in the center of the garden! And we'll plant EVERY VEGETABLE KNOWN TO MAN! (except lima beans, which I dont care for...) And then! And then! And then!

And yes, dreaming is good. Especially when it starts to feel more like "planning" and less "dreaming" ie, actually something we can DO, not just talk about!

This is what January is for, right? Garden dreams. Cozy cubbies. Mugs of chai. Kids who play Uno in fuzzy sweaters and wool socks. Babies in wool longies and silk shirts. Crackling wood stoves. Beef stew. (mmmm, dinner??) Throw blankets on every chair. I may even get out some knitting this afternoon.

Yes, January, despite your biting air, you and I definitely get on quite well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I want painting!

I hear this multiple times a day from my baby who, ever since last week, is obsessed with painting.

So, letting baby paint, mess free. Squirt paint in ziplock. Tape down to high chair tray. Put baby in her seat, wearing her white sweater, and let her go to town.

anti-recipe #57 fairly decent fried rice and really super good pad thai

So. One thing we definitely miss living out in the sticks, as it were, is easy access to city food. And while dada can make the occassional fancy pants meals that we loved for years pre-kiddies it was the take out food that we really missed. You know, dada is late coming home from work. Mama feeds kiddos frozen nuggets and brocolli. Dada offers to stop at the Thai place two blocks away from his office. Mama says yes please, and pours the wine. DINNER. Of course, dada still works two blocks away from the great Thai place, it would just be cold - and mama would be HUNGRY - by the time he took the train and his little truck home.

So, we do what country folk do. We figure out how to make it ourselves.

First off, buy pad Thai rice noodles at the store. Plus some fish sauce, or hoisen sauce. I dont know the difference, I've never gotten fish sauce. The hoisen sauce is easy enough to find, in the "ethnic" aisle.


(Side note, lots of cooking posts from me lately huh? It seems so boring to write about my day to day. "Today I fed the chickens. And the kids. We did school. I cleaned the house. I did a load of laundry. The end." )

Yes, so, get your pot of water to boiling. Dump in your noodles. Time it out and cook them 4-5 minutes. NO MORE. The will get gushy, and that is gross.

Mix up some hoisen sauce (1/2 cup), some lemon juice (2 T?), a bit of sugar (1 t?), and some pepper flakes in a bowl. When the noodles are done, dump them in with the sauce, mix.

In a wok, if you have one, or a large skillet type pan, fry up some chicken pieces (leftover from your roasting chicken, stuck in the freezer!) or pork, or shrimp if you happen to have some on hand, and some eggs with a dash of the sauce and 2T or so of oil.

Add the noodles, frying for a bit on medium heat.

Plate up and garnish with sprouts, (fresh!) cilantro and peanuts.


Seriously that is as easy as it is!!

Wow, right??

Now the fried rice is not so wow, but its good and filling and what is more, THE KIDS WILL EAT IT. (Well, under durress, but still, they ate it) Also, it uses up leftovers, which is nice.

Use leftover rice, at least 2 cups of it. It fries better than fresh. If you are using fresh let it sit out for a good hour before frying to dry out a bit.

Preheat 2T of oil, or so. Add in chopped onion, grate some carrot bits in, add a sprinkle of ginger and some soy sauce. Add in your meat, if you have any on hand. Now, scoop in your rice and fry it all up. Add a few more dashes of ginger and soy sauce to taste. Now some frozen peas (not canned, ew) or some edamame, not the shells obviously. Make a little hole and crack in a few eggs, let them fry up, then stir them in.

And, yes, that is it. Its actually quite good!

So, there you have it, my Asian cuisine efforts. I actually made a good curry the other day too. But as it was using straight up curry paste, and a can of coconut milk, it doesnt seem worth the anti-recipe status.

Okay. We just had a dumping of legos emergency and little man is working on the fake tears so, I better go. Look at me, posting in the middle of the day, just like old times! Oh, for the days when I am no longer chasing around destructo-toddler!

this is a crappy picture. sorry, its all ive got. i dont
have a picture of the fried rice. it looks like rice, with stuff
in it. HA.
Monday, January 14, 2013

going about the business of living

You know what I mean right? You come into these phases of life where, well, LIFE just takes over. It just IS. And it rolls on. And the doing of it all, well, its all consuming.

This is where I am.

If its not stoking the fire (BURN, BABY, BURN!) then its out giving the chickens hot water to combat the sub zero temps, then running inside, with stinging cheeks (yes, THAT COLD) to stoke the fire again, then to the kiddies to read a story (we are currently doing Animal Stories by Burgess, and Greek gods and heroes, both on or do math, or play a game (the kids are obsessed with games this winter, Uno, Go Fish, Checkers, Scrabble, Candyland...I am NOT a game person. SMILE. Okay, ONE MORE ROUND. SMILE)

Oh, and then there is miss baby toddler. Miss baby toddler is terribly terribly adorable right now and terribly terribly busy and terribly terribly a lot of work. She is teething, those big bad molars in the back, and refuses to nap unless she is in the car or in the Ergo on my back. And she is ridiculously verbal. So there is no second guessing or ignoring of her wants. ("I want my milk, mama." She says, pulling at my shirt. Well then.) I've never been a blogger mama with a baby this age. Little miss was a tad older when I started. And I gotta say. What with the homeschooling and the chicken/fire tending. And the Miss Baby Toddler chasing. Well, lots of living, less time for blogging. As it is, it is now 10:23. Baby toddler miss is finally asleep. Dada just came and sat to talk and I was literally like, um, I'm talked out. Please, just leave me to my celebrity gossip site! (Come on though, its the post Golden Globe gossip run down. Best ever!) Isnt that awful of me? Talked out. Totally in "go mode" for 14 hrs. I cant do more than that. Mama needs her own thoughts now. Mama no talk. Mama ALL DONE.

School is going, and going well. Turns out its quite the relief being done with the alphabet story. Now we can just go ahead and learn phonics and practice reading. We are making readers of his favorite stories from the fall. The first was The Fisherman and His Wife, by Grimm Brothers. Next we are doing the one about the fox, from the letter X. He is super into it. Writing ACTUAL SENTENCES. I love to think of him having a little collection of books he wrote himself by the end of the year. Then the Greek god myths, which he begs for more of. And then our little gnome-y math stories. And I am going to start a book, "A Child's History of the World" soon. And French. And I was gonna do some basic science too. Maybe later?

Okay. In any case. Clearly I am tired. Clearly I have a lot on my plate. What mom doesnt though, right?

In any case. In any case. In any case.

Life is being lived.

And I sit in front of the crackling fire, rocking my baby to sleep, and yes, its a good life to live.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

anti-recipe #56 roasted cauliflower

So I'm in a really bad mood. And it's about cooking. We've totally been the family that cooks two meals, kids and adults, and I'm tired of it. So a couple days ago I thought, no MORE. And I made the kids eat whatever it was I made. They wouldn't. We gave them bread and milk before bed. And an extra large bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. The next night dada worked late and I totally made two meals again. Noodles and veggies for them, plus peanuts and chocolate chips and canned fruit for dessert. Roasted cauliflower and gluten free pasta with spinach, bacon and blue cheese for us. So tonight I'm like, darn it, kids totally eat fried rice, why shouldn't mine??! So we made them. Little miss, in the super picky 3 yr old eating phase, refused. Little man ate his, then wanted more food, "something else please" then spent a goodly amount of time crabbing about how he wanted the frozen store bought bread, not the lovely fresh homemade kind on the counter. We won that one. And now, little miss is going to bed with no dinner, just a glass of milk. Dada is doing the dirty work (I'm just blogging about it ha!)

Anyway, all that to say, roasted veggies are a favorite, for us beleaguered parents anyway, ha.

It's incredibly easy too.

Here is what I did the other night.

Rip open bag of frozen cauliflower. Pour in pan. Toss with 1 TBS of olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 375 for approximately 45 minutes, maybe an hour. Toss a few times while roasting. Eat. YUM.

My other fav is tossing cut up sweet potatoes and carrots with olive oil, honey and sea salt. Really super good. You can also use squash for this, with carrots.

Other ideas...potatoes, obviously. Broccoli and other mixed veggies are great like this too. Parsnips? Dada has done this before, doused with truffle oil, cause he is fancy like that.

So, there you have it. Roasting vegetables. Do it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

for the kiddies

Every now and then I try to be "nice mom" you know, as opposed to mean grouchy mom (said with a winky face guy here).

Today was that day. Okay, for 15 minutes at least. I saw this marble run made out of tubes from paper towels, etc, on Pinterest and I thought, hmm the kids would like they, I should make that. So we did.

It kept the kiddies occupied for approximately 22 minutes after we finished building it.

Ah, but what blissful 22 minutes they were! Ha!

It was fairly simple to make, but we should've started higher to use more tubes. In any case, just gather up some tape, boxes, and tubes, and a couple marbles and go for it! Oh, we did two separate starting points so they could race.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

the dreaded update

It's been awhile since I've indulged in dreaded photos, so, here they are.

I've added a few beads recently, simple wooden ones.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

cozy saturday and rainbow silks tutorial

Dada just left with all three kids in go to Costco...on a himself...did I mention the three kids part?? He is my hero.

And so I sit. In my pajamas. In our cozy family room. Next to our cozy wood stove. AHHHHH...

Technically I am supposed to be working on school planning. I've made a masterful excel spreadsheet for school, and now I'm filling it in with the resources and ideas from 700+ pinterest pins on school topics. Yikes, right? Its been fun though, to see it all coming together, planning our unit studies around the seasons, or things we plan on doing this summer (going to see Mount Rushmore! Perfect for a study of the presidents and US geography!)

I am a homeschool geek mom.

So, yes, technically I am supposed to be doing this. But for now. I am drinking in the silence. The wood stove is crackling next to me. The sun is streaming bright and shining. The house isnt clean but, eh, it'll wait.

Silence. Oh.... Quiet. The giggling happy noises of kids are happy too (less so when they are screamy whiney noises, which we have had a lot of post-holidays. Do your kids do this too? Its like we are detoxing over her some days...) But silence is a special kind of happy tonic for mother's in the trenches of the little years.

my chair

So. I am loving our little family room these days, especially sunny days. It is cozy and bright and happy. We have couches made out of pallets, with twin mattresses on top. Perfect for jumping on, beating up, late night lounging with a sleepy baby in my arms, and yes, for visitors too. Then we have our little gnome world set up. Which yes, is for me more than anything. And our school corner.

prayer flags my brother brought back from tibet

what any floor should look like on a saturday morning

kicking back in her pooh chair

this is her latest face, stinkface we call it, where she whines, and
says adorable things. her latest (kind of amazing for a 15 month old, we think)
"i want bacon too!" ummm...also things like,
"evah-deen (her version of her name) want dada".
or "my dada go home, hug evahdeen"
its kinda crazy.

fuzzy pic but, dont you want to lounge there??

alphabet and season tree on the wall.

And then dada made a playstand (with plans to make another for a little fort) and I dyed some raw playsilks for it for Christmas. I love to imagine it as a little rainbow cubby space for the girls especially, once its finished.

I LOVE these playsilks. They are so bright and happy. You would pay like 25$ for these at a store (Sarah's silks being the most popular) I bought mine from the Dharma Trading Co. for maybe 6$ for the bigger size, and dying them was literally the easiest thing in the world. LITERALLY. (My Cali girl past coming out there, sorry. HA.)

I would show you pics of the dying process however, it unfortunately occurred when I had morphed into a crafting for Christmas ogre, Christmas eve, late at night, while holding a sleepy feverish baby (no seriously, I was HOLDING HER, ASLEEP. Yes. I was crazed.) which then led to a late night discussion with dada over my craftying zealotry this Christmas, and perfectionism, and letting things go, and well, etc.

So I have no pictures.

But I DID get the silks finished in time. And they ARE beautiful.


Here is how I did it.

Get three pot, filled with water, bring water to a near boil. Add a glug of vinegar to each. Then add a few drops of red in one, a few drops of yellow in another, anda few drops of blue in the third. Turn off your burners. Place an end the red and an end of the silk in the blue, yes, at the same time. If you want less of a line and more of a blended effect I'd recommend dipping the ends in and out so there isnt a line of color. Now, after maybe 15 minutes of soaking, dipping, slowly carefully take the empty middle section and pull it into the third pot, with the yellow solution. Push enough of the red and blue section into the yellow so you get green and orange, but leave a good bit of red and blue out of the pot too. After 15 minutes of yellow soaking carefully pull the whole thing out, into a bowl, and rinse out in cold water. Now lay flat to dry.


I made one a bright vivid rainbow (yes redundant of me), this was he first silk, obviously, and one more of a pastel-y one, with the leftover dye. To make pinkish instead of red, like I did, just add one or two drops of blue to the red pot. Then I added two drops of green to the blue pot, to get more of a turquoise. Proceed as above.

Isnt this great? Do I love these more than my children? YES. Oh well. Christmas crafty ogre mama learned her lesson. Let's hope I remember it by next year.


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