Spring Treats

 

So a couple days ago I decided to make some “spa water.” I was chopping fruit for the dehydrator anyway. This is the flavor combination I came up with. Cucumber watermelon strawberry lime and mint. Decided we needed something without sugar  but less boring to drink around the house. I also decided to order some water kefir grains on Amazon. My SIL is in love with fermenting things and she suggested I try it after we talked about how I needed to get started with kombucha again. She’s mailing me another SCOBY, and last night I got a shipping notice for the kefir.

Image

Dehydrate all the things! Here’s my beautiful dehydrator full of apples, strawberries and watermelon. The apples are destined for other places (snack mix) but the watermelon is for eating plain like candy. The strawberries already ended up being eaten along with some yogurt, but I originally planned to use them for granola bars.

Image

And here’s the finished product:

2014-04-23 09.03.47

That’s all for the “pretty” stuff. Bright and early my MIL texted my husband that the goats (and she herself) have cryptospiridiosis. Ok, so not so bright, considering it was before sunrise, but definitely early. She’s VERY concerned. Although in a healthy person, a few weeks (up to a few months) of diarrhea is inconvenient, it’s not really something to be too worried about. And eventually the parasite is expelled on its own. In an immunocompromised person (such as someone with Celiac or Autoimmune Heptatitis) or someone taking corticosteriods or immunosuppressants, the parasite can be quite persistent. It can be impossible to get rid of, and will eventually deprive them of nutrients and hydration to the point of death. On the bright side… K doesn’t seem infected. Although M does. So all the kids are being secluded from each other today. We need to pick up hydrogen peroxide and wormwood. Thankfully, we have a WCV scheduled for M tomorrow. So we’ll get everyone checked out then. And perhaps they’ll say it’s nothing?

Advertisements

The week in review

 

 

 

 

I managed to remember to take a few pictures of my kitchen adventures this week. But since I did repeats of some of my favorites (and because my food photographer is sub par at best) I am just posting a couple. Below is some shrimp fried “rice.” Previously, when attempting to make cauliflower fried rice, I had to grate the cauliflower to rice size by hand. Now I have the great fortune of being able to toss it in my ninja for about 15 seconds.  Fried “rice” is great because you can substitute in or out any number of meat or vegetable options. Or even fruit. Like you see here, I added pineapple and fresh basil leaves. The original recipe is on nomnompaleo.com. I would love to get my hands on her cookbook and just work my way through.
Image

 

 

Also from Nom Nom Paleo this week I attempted Green Chicken, and Cracklin’ Chicken. Cracklin’ Chicken is a staple in my house. I absolutely love it. My husband, however, isn’t a huge fan. He just doesn’t seem to enjoy chicken thighs. Regardless of how I cook them.  The green chicken was, unsurprisingly, not my favorite. I dislike cilantro and the mint with meat thing… It was just too odd. But don’t let that discourage you from trying it. It seems to be a crowd pleaser, according to NomNomPaleo facebook comments.

I’ll probably be making some bone broth soon. While cutting the bones out of my chicken thighs, I remarked to myself “I’m running out of places to store bones…” And of course immediately realized how creepy that sounds out of context. Which I also verbalized. My husband had to agree, from his seat on the couch. I did explain that I was in the middle of preparing dinner and that I had 2 tupperware containers of bones already and just none left to use because they’re all busy (I ended up using a ziploc bag) but he still thought it was an odd thing to say out loud.

 

 

Image

 

Also this week I decided I needed to tackle some of the paleo snack recipes I’ve been collecting, and had picked up the ingredients for. I only actually got around to one. Easter weekend. We got busy with church and egg hunts and visiting family. But I did make time to try Popular Paleo’s Apple Pie Snack Mix. Best news? It’s Whole 30 compliant. No… wait… Best news is that it is DELICIOUS. Served warm or room temperature. I mananged to have the self control to feed most of it to my kids, but I had to have some. And it’s back on my to do list.

Image

 

 

It’s dried apples, walnuts, coconut oil, vanilla, toasted coconut flakes, and “pumpkin pie spice.” Super easy and fast to make. I put that last ingredient in quotes because I don’t ever have it on hand. Ever. It seems silly to me to buy something like that when I own all the ingredients separately and could just as easily use a dash from each of those bottles of spices.  I’m not going to post the recipe but believe me when I say you should head over to Popular Paleo and grab it. Yum.

Image

 

 

This picture is misleading… Yes, it looks great stored in a mason jar. But to be honest, it stayed there for about 30 seconds before we ate it. And in unrelated news… K milked a goat yesterday. Grandma and Grandpa have new baby goats. The kids were just too happy to head out back to see them. And my adventurous little farm girl tried her hand at milking.

20140421_084128

This is my new dehydrator. Because my husband loves me.  And today I will be drying watermelon, strawberries, and apples. You can guess what the apples are for. The strawberries are for granola bars. And eating plain. And the watermelon is just going to be done in strips… like candy. Hope it all goes well.

 

Whole 30 Weekending

 

 

 

 

 

I occasionally enjoy reading other blogs. One of my favorites (although my husband doesn’t understand the appeal) is The Bloggess. And the other day I went into my kitchen to find this beautiful practical joke from my husband. I love that man.

2014-04-11 20.14.34

It’s been sunny here in Washington. We decided to make the most of our 3 day weekend. Friday we went to the dentist to get K’s cap put back on her tooth. Then we went up north to run a few errands and had lunch at Famous Dave’s. You can make this Whole30 by ordering what I did… The Cedar Plank Salmon (no sauce) with steamed broccoli and grilled pineapple. Just make sure not to get any bbq or honey. 😉 My middle son tore into his hunk of bone-in chicken like a real caveman.

Image

Picture above is Saturday’s “brunch.” Scrambled eggs with tarragon, smoked salmon and red onion. This was good. The kids really enjoyed it. Saturday we went out for a paleo picnic at the park. I brought more smoked salmon, mesquite smoked turkey, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, baby carrots, hummus, and the kids picked out their own drinks. VitaCoco (coconut water) in pineapple and lemonade flavors. Pictured below is an example of Whole30 stir-fry, in case you aren’t planning a picnic. Don’t use soy sauce. Because I haven’t dropped into Whole Foods for coconut aminos, I made this using thai fish sauce and balsamic vinegar. Sounds weird, but believe me. Top it with a little homemade chili garlic sauce and you wont even know the difference!

Image

After our picnic, we went to the mall and let the kids drive around on one of the “zoomers” that they rent out at a kiosk inside. They chose the dinosaur and had an absolute blast for the next 30 minutes. And we finished up the day by grocery shopping. And I’m pretty excited to make a few of the things I’ve got saved to my Pinterest boards. Strawberry banana granola bars, apple pie trail mix, fruit snacks… We didn’t pick up any processed goodies for the kids this month. I’m considering making the kids some paleo themed shirts. I’ve got some great ideas. I’ll post them up when I’m done, and of course, because I’m nice, I’ll be willing to make and ship some to anyone who is interested at cost. Because profit is lame. 😉

Image

Sunday morning we went to church. Which we do every week. It was Palm Sunday and our church was having baptisms. Pastor Kevin preached on The  Bystander Effect as part of his There Is More series. It was a good one. K decided to get baptised, and now I plan to sit down with her during our Bible lessons and make sure she truly understands the importance of her life decision. At only 7, it seems like a 50/50 chance she only did it because she knows Jesus did. After church, our goal was to have a relaxing day in. Our water heater, however, had other plans. And the stupid bottom rusted out at water shot out from anywhere it could possibly escape and has flooded my laundry room. I’m still waiting for a call from  the people who are supposed to replace it. Thankfully, this happened right after I had finished all my husband’s work laundry, and washed the dishes before dinner. The dinner dishes will just have to be done with boiled water (after I’m done with this post.) And I wanted to share one of the AMAZING paleo dinner discoveries I’ve had. Even my kids loved it. Bacon Beef Butternut Squash from The Civilized Caveman. I like this so much, I’m going to post the recipe right here with the modifications I made. DON’T use the cheap packaged bacon. It’ll be too greasy. Grab it from the butcher. Or a Applegate bacon will work. It’s usually reasonably priced at Fred Meyer.

Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Cut squash in half and scrape out the seeds
  3. Place face down in a pyrex dish with 1/2 inch of hot water and cook for 30 minutes
  4. While its in the oven, cook the bacon in a pan until crispy, set aside and leave the bacon fat in the pan
  5. Add 2 of the sliced onions and celery to the pan and then add the beef
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and your cinnamon
  7. Continue stirring until the beef is finished, remove from heat and place in a bowl
  8. Remove the squash from the oven, when you can handle it scrape out some of the guts, leaving ~1/4 inch of squash, add squash to bowl with meat
  9. Crumble your bacon and add that to the bowl as well
  10. Mix well and then stuff your squashes with the beef mixture and place back in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes
  11. While your squash are baking, add your reserved onion to your sauté pan (drained, add 1 TBS olive oil… or keep just 1 TBS of animal fat) and cook them over low heat with your balsamic to caramelize them
  12. Remove squash from oven, top with caramelized onions and Enjoy!

Progress

Image

Don’t tell my children that writing letters is a thing of the past. We decided to practice this dying art form today. Above is a picture I snapped with my phone of A signing his letter. It’s always nice to see your kids making some progress. The boys are counting to 20 with 80% accuracy. They like to skip 14 for no reason I can understand. M and K are doing some basic addition and subtraction. K is reading. A recognized the word Go. Both boys recognize their names. And can write the first letter.

We are working on Days of the Week. They seem to know the names of them, but in no particular order. So we’re learning the song. The kids clearly favor learning Chinese. Although probably because they don’t think they’re doing any work just learning songs for 30 minutes a day. They all know some colors now. I’m probably going to start adding colors to my descriptions of things. Since our chopsticks and bowls etc are color coded for the kids, it shouldn’t be hard. Although then we’re likely only to learn green, pink and blue….

How does anyone keep up with housework when they’re doing school the first half of the day? This lack of dishwasher is killing me. And I never seem to fold all my laundry.