1. a raw beet salad
2. we have become obsessed with grilling pizza
3. some grilled carrots
4. making tortillas
5. a weekend breakfast of oatmeal and mimosas
6. a simple coleslaw with caraway seeds
7. the view out my kitchen window one morning
It’s been a while since I did one of these ‘in the kitchen’ posts. I have been so busy enjoying the incredible spring weather, picking up the camera hasn’t really crossed my mind lately. We have spent lots of time outdoors, heating up the grill on the weekends. Grilled pizza has become our latest obsession–we made three of them last weekend!
As much as I love the change in seasons, and not so secretly wish we had more prominent ones here in southern California, I do love how early our delicious summer vegetables start showing up at the markets–and they are slowly starting to trickle in. Tomatoes and peppers, oh my! Soon all the farmers will have their heirloom tomatoes spilling off the tables. There will be an overabundance of squash, and more varieties of eggplant than I knew existed. Red and green okra! These are the vegetables I live to cook with.
Deodorant. Oh deodorant. I have had the hardest time with this one. As I have gotten older and learned more about the toxic chemicals in much of our household and beauty products, I have worked towards replacing all the chemicals with either homemade kitchen concoctions or purchased all natural products. Deodorant though, I can’t tell you how many all natural sticks I have bought over the years, only to find that I smelled a little too ‘natural’, and not in the way that I wanted. So the chemically garbage stuck around. Recently though I have seen countless people pinning recipes, and having read Drea’s post on the subject, I finally decided to give it a try.
Well, this is my second batch so I think it is safe to say that it works. Now I just need to get Russ to convert to the homemade deodorant.
There are a few things to be noted, the first four or five days I wasn’t applying quite enough and was beginning to think I was just an incredibly stinky person. Finally I tried doubling up what I was applying, and since then I have had no problems with any odors. I took a picture below of about how much I use. It does take some getting used to. Before getting dressed I apply it to both armpits, blot it with a towel so it’s not running down my side if I have applied too much, and let it air dry for about a minute before I put on my shirt. Those steps may not be necessary, but that’s how I do it.
Here is the recipe (from ohdeardrea):
1/4 arrowroot powder
1/4 baking soda
6 tablespoons coconut oil
Our family grew this past weekend.
This is Rosie, our newest member. She is a 1 1/2 year old Shar Pei mix that we got from the shelter. She is the perfect addition to our home, she has such a mellow temperament, yet is playful and curious. We have been showering her with love and attention, putting all our chores on the back burner to go for many walks and visits to the park. Now that she is with us, I can’t imagine it any other way, she is such a love. I’m smitten. Most importantly, Lucy loves her and she loves Lucy.
Posted in Family
Tagged Animals, Family
This year has been a doozy for me so far. I usually take great pride in the fact that I (almost) never get sick, but this is the third time this winter. I have heard others in the mama group we go to saying similar things,many families seem to have been hit especially hard by sickness this year.
Because of this sick mama, we have spent the past few days cooped up in the house. Looking back it is all seems a fog, and I am not entirely sure how we made it through with no Yo Gabba Gabba (thank heavens, I hate waking up in middle of the night singing those blasted songs!). Thankfully I have been the only sick one this time around, and today am feeling 95% better. We played outdoors for a little while, baked and ate lots of bread, and Lucy helped me harvest my first batch of pea shoots (which I later threw into some delicious pasta with feta and onions). I am keeping my fingers crossed that neither Lucy nor Russ catch the bug.
I hope you are all well, I am ready for Spring!
Posted in Uncategorized
I don’t usually shop the deli counter at our grocer (for those in the area, I mainly shop at Sprouts), but last week I was feeling a bit pressed for time and thought I would splurge on one of their prepared salads. Maybe it is the warming weather (It was 84 degrees yesterday!), and the fact that Spring is right around the corner, but I have been craving light and fresh tasting salads. This one really hit the spot, so I decided to recreate it. It was delicious on it’s own, but would be just as nice served alongside a sandwich or burger.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
- 1 (12 oz) bag frozen shelled edamame
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of 2 lemons
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook quinoa. In a pot bring two cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from heat, let cool.
2. In a large pan over medium heat warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chopped onion, red bell pepper, celery, and jalapeño (I tried to chop things so that the pieces were close in size to the corn and edamame). Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic. Cook veggies until softened, but not too soft, you want a little bit of bite left in them. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. In a small bowl stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.
4. Stir all ingredients together (including the cooled edamame and corn). Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Last weekend I whipped up this little pair of flannel pajamas for Lucy. I completely improvised on the pants, tracing another pair, then adding a little extra around the sides to sew them up. I then added elastic to the waist and ankles. For the top I used this pattern (which I also featured in this post), and lengthened the sleeves to 3/4 quarters length. I made a few mistakes along the way, but in the end they came together in about two hours. I plan on picking up some more flannel next weekend and working on a few more pairs the next size up, this kid grows to fast!
Posted in Crafts, Sewing
I found purple potatoes in our farmers market this week. I am still excited about it, I haven’t seen them available in years. We really are very lucky to have incredible farmers markets year round.
I finished reading a fantastic book last week, The Seed Underground by Janisse Ray. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to check it out. While the book is very educational, it is more about one woman’s experience with seeds. The focus is on the decline of heirloom varieties and how genetically modified seed/food is pushing out the food that fed our ancestors for thousands of years. The book weaves together stories of people young and old who are fighting to save seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation, trying to preserve our past and help provide nourishing food for our future.
I hope you had a great weekend!
Posted in Reading
I wish I was a more devoted blogger. Some people have their blog posts lined up days in advance and a calendar planning out future topics. I, on the other hand, don’t usually have much of a plan when I sit down to write. Well, that is untrue, sometimes I have a recipe to type up, or a handful of pictures from a recently finished project. Most days though, I upload my photos and see if I can string together some sort of profound (or at least coherent) thought based on the moments I captured. I rarely succeed, but I keep trying.
Maybe that is just part of my personality. I hate feeling pressured into finishing things by a certain time, and I like a slightly unstructured life where I can do things at my own pace. I do however think I would like to start devoting a bit more of my time and thoughts to this space. I bought a little notebook that fits in my purse recently, and I plan on using it to jot down thoughts and notes. I haven’t used something like this in years (though I kept a journal most of my youth and into my early 20s), but I am hoping at the end of the day if I look back over it I might feel a bit more inspired to actually write something other than, “hey, check out my pics, yo!”.
So, look at my pics, yo! (just kidding, sort of)
We had another relaxing weekend at home. The first picture is of a spaghetti fritatta. I was a bit skeptical, but intrigued, when I came across the recipe in this book. Luckily we ended up really enjoying it, because we had enough to eat for a few days.
I knit up another baby hat. This on is for Russ’ aunt, who is giving birth to a baby boy this week. This is the pattern I followed.
The weather was so warm this weekend, we stuck Lucy in her swimsuit and filled a metal basin with water. She splashed around and helped us water the plants. I am excited for summer to arrive.
My first loaf of bread in a dutch oven, from this recipe.
So much knitting. I invested in a swift, Lucy loves working it with me.
Chickpea feta salad, from this recipe (found via Pinterest).
A new top for Lucy, made with the serger I got for Christmas.
I have settled into a nice groove lately. I have been able to accomplish quite a lot in a short amount of time, all while spending maximum amounts of time with Lucy and Russ. It is funny thinking back to before I had a child how naive I was. I fully thought I would be able to continue on my life as it was, with you know, a little bit of story reading and snuggles throughout the day. How wrong I was. Having time to work on hobbies is something I missed, but I really appreciate so much more since my time doing them is limited.
We cancelled our cable this week. It is something I have wanted to do for many years, and it took quite a bit of convincing/nagging on my part (and only after football season ended). I’m just glad it is gone. I never had cable in my youth, but in recent years I have found myself watching pretty much the worst of the worst television programs. Lucy goes down for her nap, I pull the knitting out of the closet and I put on some mind numbing program, just because it is there. Those days are behind us now, and I hope for the rest of our lives. Now, if we could just cut back on the Netflix.
Playing outdoors, in pajamas.
Feeding mama freshly picked parsley.
Egyptian liquorice tea, my favorite.
It’s days like today where I find myself feeling most fulfilled. I didn’t do much, but at the same time I did everything. As a family we enjoyed a few hours outdoors, just sitting and relaxing on this beautiful 72 degree day.We didn’t go anywhere, but we opened up the doors, let the kitties play in our tiny back yard, and just sat. It was perfect.
I crave a simpler life. One where we do hard, but fulfilling work, spend lots of time in the kitchen and the garden, and one where moments like these are a regular occurrence. So often in our day to day lives I forget to slow down. The house needs to be cleaned, the kid fed, and this mama has needed a shower for two days.
I know this can be achieved anywhere if you work for it, but having grown up in the country, where the pace of life is a bit slower, I desperately want to provide that life for Lucy. I am not really cut out for city life. Experiences cost money, nature is far away, and neighbors look down at the ground when you pass by them in the street.
I have started a little ‘farm fund’ in a jar in my closet. It is hardly anything, but I recently decided I need to work harder at saving for the life I want. At this point it is such a far off dream, but it is still there. Someday.
Posted in Personal
Tagged Life, Thoughts