Thursday, May 31, 2012

Potatoes Broccoli and Rosemary

     This last week I made a potato broccoli soup for dinner.  I found that using this "Broccoli Coleslaw" in my potato soup was a great way to add some veggies.  My kids thought that they were noodles, double score.
     I also think that potatoes and rosemary are a great pairing.  I just planted some rosemary in the garden and can't wait to find more uses for it.

My youngest and  I were cooking up a storm and washing a lot of dishes.  She has a pink scrubber that makes it fun for her to help. I think encouraging my children to see doing dishes as fun is a bonus.  I know I don't seem to enjoy it very much.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sunsets and Light

     There is just something about the light and air at sunset.  I notice the bugs in the fading light.  My skin looks like a warm color, actually, everything looks like peaches, almonds, apple crisp.  The trees, plants and people seem to take notice too.  They take in the last few moments of sun and soak it in. 
     It is one of my favorite parts of the day when I take time to notice the sunset.  It is easy to get so consumed with doing, accomplishing daily tasks, or compaining, that the beautiful "Light" moments are missed.
      I keep thinking about the verse from the Bible in Psalm 119:105
"Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."
  I am constantly needing light for my path.  Today, I am thankful for Gods light, and direction.   

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chive Blossoms

 Longer days spent outside means that I am on the computer significantly less.  As a family we wrapped up another year of Awana, and baseball season is coming to a close.  The chickens and garden are starting to grow which revives my love of being outside.

I have been adding chive blossoms to soup, salads and my homemade corn tortillas.  This recipe is one that my mom gave to me when I first go married.  It has served me well over the years. 

Corn Tortillas
2 large eggs
1 1/1  c. corn meal
1/2 c. flour
2 c. milk
pinch salt

Beat well.  The batter will be thin.  Spread thin layer in lightly greased hot skillet.  Flip after a few min.

This time we ate them hot, right off the skillet, but many times we will fill them with all the burrito fixing's, like beans, lettuce and cheese.  They also make a great side when having chili.

If you are feeding a crowd, make ahead and keep in the oven on warm.  It takes atleast 20 min to make all the tortillas from this recipe.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Start of Lake Season

“I'm always happy when I'm surrounded by water, I think I'm a Mermaid or I was a mermaid.

The ocean makes me feel really small and it makes me put my whole life into perspective… it humbles you and makes you feel almost like you’ve been baptized. I feel born again when I get out of the ocean.”
Beyoncé Knowles
I thought this quote is awesome.  We swim at a lake and not the ocean and love it.  Having three girls in our family, they all love to play mermaid in the water.  It is imagination play at its best. 

    I dipped my toes in the lake this week.  It is ice cold.  I eagerly anticipate long days outside and fresh produce.  Our local farmers market opens today.  This is the time of year that fruit salad, green salad, crisp veggies, and all things berries sounds perfect to take to the beach for a picnic. 
     I am trying to help my kids make different memories of food and the beach.  The sensory memory is a strong thing.   Instead of Cheetos and fruit snacks, trying to bring popcorn and real fruit.  Many good memories revolve around food.  It isn't easy cutting out the junk but, worth striving for!    

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lemon Balm

     Lemon Balm is a delicate leaf with a minty, lemon flavor.  In the spring, the leaves are soft and tender.  I paired it with cucumber, celery, a dash of apple cider vinegar and olive oil.  It tasted fresh and crunchy.
     I also take these leaves and and make a tea from them.  Steep in hot water for about 8-10 minutes and then drain the leaves.  I have served it hot or over ice.  It makes drinking water more of a celebration than a chore.  I don't know about everyone else, somedays it is harder than others to drink the amount of water I should.  If  I'm not careful I consume way too much coffee.
     Lemon Balm is a hardy plant that comes back each year in my garden.   According to The Herb Book, It is known in France as a "remedy for headaches and tiredness."   In my opinion, taking time for a fresh tea during any given fast paced day, is a great way to revive any tiredness. 
     My theme for this year has been revive.  Revive the simple, healthy, and good things.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Small Town Baseball

     I cheer for baseball, I cheer for softball, I cheer for family.  Soaking up glorious sun rays, sitting in the grass, and hoping for a quick three up, three down so we will be up to bat.  I love the anticipation, the count of balls and strikes, the crack of the bat.  Our small town has great baseball.  Nostalgic.  Sometimes, when I'm watching I feel like a could snap a picture of Norman Rockwell painting.
     Walt Whitman said some beautiful things about baseball.  

 I see great things in baseball.  It's our game - the American game.  It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism.  Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set.  Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.  ~Walt Whitman

Baseball has kept our family on the constant go, but it has been a blessing to us. 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012


     Rhubarb, oh, glorious rhubarb.  Winnie the Pooh goes on a honey hunt, I go on a rhubarb hunt.  As I drive around in the town close to where I live, I see the mammoth green leaves in many gardens, back alleys, and side flower gardens.  
     This year my friend gave me a load of it.  I am working on getting my own plant to thrive (it takes a few years to establish a transplant.)  Which is oddly enough the way I feel every time I move to a new house.  Establishing a home takes a bit of time.  We have lived in our new home almost two years.  I feel my roots going deeper and deeper now.

     This tart stringy plant is amazing when paired with sugar.  Cobblers, crisps, pies, and strawberry freezer jam are my favorite.
     I recruit help from family members and we chop, and chop and chop.  It takes about 20-30 cups to make enough for my jam recipe. 
     My son often says, "I'm hungry."  I had him help me make this cobbler.  I think it helps my kids appreciate a dessert when they get to help.
The kids rode bikes and I ran a mile to go get the ice cream.  It made me feel a little less guilty about eating it knowing I had burned some calories pre eating it. Rhubarb Cobbler
6 c. chopped Rhubarb
3/4 c. sugar mixed with rhubarb
biscuit topping:
2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
2 T. sugar
2 T. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1/2  c. milk or yogurt
1 whole lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  For topping:  Cut butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Add wet ingredients, just until combined.  Spread over rhubarb and sugar in 9x13 pan.
Bake for 30-45 min until toothpick comes out clean of biscuits.
Best served with ice cream.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chocolate Granola Bars

I must admit we are slightly addicted to granola bars.  We eat them in the car, on the go, if we are near or traveling far.  This is part of of lifestyle with four kids who are in sports and church activities.  I started making my own granola bars, because, it is simple, and then I know what the ingredients are.  
I main kinds I stick to are, Chocolate and Coconut.

Chocolate Granola bars Total time to make about 30 min.
preheat 350 degrees, grease 8x8 pan
2 c. oatmeal
1 c. flour (white or wheat, both work fine)
1/2 c. chopped almonds
In sauce pan combine on medium heat
6 T. butter
1/2-3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
stir until smooth
add 3-4 T. cocoa powder
Take off heat
add tsp. vanilla
Cool for 5 min.
add 1 egg and stir
Pour over oat mixture.  Mix until all is coated well.  Press(I use my hands) in greased 8x8 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 16-18 min.  Let cool completely before slicing. 
Tip: I tried to add more oats or more flour, it made it crumbly, not staying together.  they key is to get all the oats coated well with sauce mixture.
For a different variety, I add 1/2 cup shredded coconut and omit the cocoa powder.    Other possible add ins would be raisins, min chocolate chips, or peanut butter.
Fact:  Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber.  Eat your oats! 
Come back and leave a comment if you try this yummy recipe.  Let me know what your kids think.