Sunday, November 21, 2010

Been missing my blog..

We've had birthdays!
Little G turned 2 years old.

Miss E turned 4 (and decorated her own cake!)
Baby #3 should be around 2 pounds right now...
This is my new "Mommy chair"...
And the knitting project I just finished today. Newfie mitts for G!
Ahhh... that feels better. I've been a little nesty lately, so perhaps more blogging will come along with it. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Snack Time

My kids have 2 snacks during the day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They seem to need this in order to avoid the low blood sugar meltdowns (ie they turn into different children that make you want to tear your hair out).

I traditionally have a hard time with meal/snack planning, but with the help of google and my kid friendly cook books, I'm getting better!

I just wanted to share this snack idea that's always a hit with my children. They are plain snack crackers and I put a little of everything on them. Whatever I find in my kitchen that I think my children might eat.

Here, half are spread with natural peanut butter and half are spread with cream cheese. Toppings include: raisins, semi-sweet choco chips, cheerios, jam, cheddar cheese and blueberries. Things I've used in the past include: sesame seeds, mozza, pickles, strawberries, apple, other cereals...


And some snacking action shots (of course, the first thing to leave are the chocolate chips!). The kids love picking them apart and eating things separately... and a longer snack time means a longer rest time for Mama! (or Dad!)



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sugar free cooking...

They look like they are filled with chocolate-y deliciousness yes?

No. No no no no no no. They are so bland and sponge-like. Blech. This is my second recipe in recent weeks that made me ask, did they actually try this recipe before publishing it? (the other was a pumpkin granola bar).

I've been trying to make the kids more snacks/baked goods that have low-to-no refined sugar. My adventures have not always been successful.

I have found a really cool cookbook however, "Healthy Snacks for Kids" by Penny Warner. So far everything I've made out of it is good, and all of the recipes contain no (or extremely little) refined sugar or added salt. It's from 1983, but I've discovered that she's made some newer versions.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In love with a frying pan and mud.

Knowing what I know about the questionable chemicals in the non-stick coating of many frying pans, my cookware felt like my enemy. It was getting old and a little worn; it just seemed wrong to continue using them. So I bought a small cast iron frying pan and I'm in love. Properly treated it is just as non-stick as my others and it's actually more energy efficient. It holds heat so well that I can cook with temperatures that are 25% lower than before.

My new frying pan has not left it's place of honor since I brought it home.

And March break was so lovely this year. "Hippy" and I had time to prepare part of our garden.. I can't wait to start planting! (I think perhaps we should start a blog just for our garden!)

This space is twice the size as it was last year. And yes, Hippy pulled ALL of those rocks out of the mud! What a dedicated gardener.

We put some of those rocks to work as a pathway (is it hardcore recycling when you reuse rocks? heehee) Oh, and see that tiny green speck to the upper right of the big rock? That's our chives growing already! These were planted before we even moved here.


And we're so excited about this, that hill behind the kiddos used to be covered in weeds. We cleaned it off and made two tiers that we're planting the cucumbers and zucchini on... won't it be lovely when the vines are tumbling down that hill? So exciting!


We're also adding a salad and herb garden to the front of the house and a row of scarlet runner beans and sugar snap peas to crawl up the side of our deck. I can't wait for the planting! Indoor seedlings to be started soon. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's not poison!

I was a little worried about this yogurt experiment. Really, how fine a line do you walk between growing lots of good yogurt bacteria and the type that makes you kneel to the porcelain gods?

Well, I'm happy to report that it turned out great! Homemade organic yogurt, easy peasy. I did some unfortunate timing and ended up needing to scoop it out of the slow cooker for refrigeration at 1:30am, but other than that I was very happy. It has a nice taste and easily made around $16 dollars worth of yogurt if I were to buy the same amount at a grocery store.

I did eat a gigantic bowl myself (with maple syrup, yum!) before allowing my children to eat it... not because I'm greedy, just because I was a little nervous about the whole "growing bacteria" thing.

Just a little toddler activity to share. I wrote out some numbers and drew some shapes on a big piece of paper for a bean bag toss game today. A nice way to learn shapes/colours/numbers and they had a blast keeping "score" on the chalkboard. (Although everyone had the same score because they got to throw until they made their mark!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

In my adventures of crunchiness, I've abandon many pre-boxed and pre-made food items such as pancake mix, boxed cakes, bagged cookies... I also bread my own chicken nuggets and make my own bread crumbs... little things like that.

Today I am trying my hand at making my own yogurt and if all goes well I will be splitting the batch with my neighbour (who my husband has affectionately nicknamed "Hippy"). And then she will buy the supplies to make the next batch. Like a mini yogurt co-op. "Hippy" and her son also share the investment, work and bounty of the veggie garden. It's fun!

I'm using a tutorial found on A Year of Slow Cooking

I don't usually buy organic milk, unfortunately. It costs $6.60 for 2L, compared to $3 for local non-organic milk. I haven't yet been able to justify this added expense. But if this yogurt recipe works, even with the more expensive milk it will still be a money saver for the amount it makes.

All told, the recipe is supposed to take around 14 hours. So I've started today, about an hour ago.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I've always considered March in this area to be another month of winter. There is the odd snow storm, piles of dirty white stuff lining the streets and parking lots. It's actually one of my least favourite months.

March 2010 however is turning out to be awesome! It has been warm, all of the snow is gone, and I've actually had the sun touch my face every day for the past week. I have a serious case of spring fever! (And no, that doesn't mean that baby #3 is on the way, not yet anyway...)

I've had clothing on the line (and it didn't freeze!). Diapers today!

We've raked the grass and turned the soil in the garden (part of it anyway, we're making it bigger!). It definitely needs some more work, but it's not frozen!

The children have played outside almost everyday, often just needing a sweater.

And I've started reading this book, so I must have summer on the mind! (I'll write a mini review a little later)