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Showing posts from April, 2012

Bulgur, Brownies and Bread

Bulgur, red quinoa, mint, parsley, lemon, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, olive oil

3/4 cup bulgur
1/4 cup red quinoa
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Soaked bulgur in 3/4 cup boiling water. Once quinoa is done cooking I added it to the bulgur to continue the "soak".  While soaking, mix "dressing":

zest of one lemon (optional, but good)
3 T lemon juice
3 T olive oil
2 tsp. finely minced garlic

Add to bulgur/quinoa and begin chopping vegetables:
1 cup chopped fresh parsley 
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup sliced green onions
3 cups chopped tomatoes
1 1/4 cup chopped cucumbers
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 

Once the bulgur has absorbed all the water, add veggies and herbs. I also added a bit of sauteed spinach because, in my mind, the more greens the better! The flavors are even better after spending the night in the refrigerator.

~I found this recipe at Kalyns Kitchen.
~Read about the benefits of mint and how to harvest here.

While in the kitch…

A Heart FULL of gratitude.....

for weeds that become the most beautiful flower in the eyes of children,    for the simple joy of licking the bowl (or the spatula),    and for the magic found in a sink full of bubbles.
May I always embrace the magic and joy that can be found through the eyes of a child.

Lunchtime Happiness

My lunch today was delicious....

Cheese Quesadilla (whole wheat tortilla with my favorite Trader
Joe's White
Wisconsin Cheddar)

Bulgar (and quinoa)

Sauteed veggies ~
baby spinach, tomatoes,
cucumber, peppers
and mushrooms.

Yum. I enjoyed preparing this meal just as much (or maybe more) as I enjoyed eating it. I don't know...something about the vibrant colors, the rhythmic motion of chopping vegetables and the aroma. I soothes me. I makes me happy.

Or maybe it's because I know that no one (all my little "Littles") will be interested in eating my lunch. I don't have to share my yummyness.

Bee Collage

The bees have arrived!!!

Produce Bag

Over the past couple of weeks I have been slowly cleaning out the laundry room. The laundry room is the dumping ground for tools, craft supplies, stock pans which don't fit in any of the kitchen all the stuff that has no other home. Things get dumped, the door gets closed and the room is ignored. So anyway....this is the bag I grabbed out of the laundry room today. I also grabbed the stack of embroidery hoops. I had found the hoops at a garage sale years ago and had intend to make butterfly nets with the daycare kids. The bag of tulle is the leftover material for the tutus that I made at Christmas. I'm done making tutus. Time to find a new project.  Before I even started searching for ideas (I became sidetracked. No surprise there.) I stumbled across a tutorial on making reusable produce bags:  I did a simple version. I'm not very skilled with sewing so simple is good. No drawstring. I cut the t…

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent and Dish Soap

So  "No Grocery Week" also means no money spent on anything that can be lived without.  As mentioned in my "No Grocery Week", I did buy apples and bananas. I also bought toilet paper...and milk....and formula. Only the essentials necessary to get me through the week and as a child care provider that list of items are necessities. Although I was out of dishwasher detergent and the ingredients to make more, I figured I'd hand wash dishes for the week........until I started to run low on dish soap. Not to mention I spent some time in the kitchen yesterday and had tons of dishes. Time to alter some recipes to make do.

The dish washing detergent recipe that I finally found and like includes citric acid. I'm out of citric acid. Hmm....I do however have a few lemons. I made my recipe without the citric acid, added a tablespoon to the dishwasher, cut a lemon in half and squeezed! One of daycare helpers enjoyed this task. The powder I used was equal parts borax and…

No Grocery Week

This morning, as I cleaned up the breakfast dishes, I did the prep work for dinner and my lunch. My lunch is often different from the children's lunch. I usually have soaked oats or a smoothie for breakfast, veggies (most often a mega-salad) for lunch, and then for dinner I eat what I fix for the family (this usually includes meat). I'm not inclined to be a vegetarian but I am working towards eating more vegetables. No meat at lunch means that I focus on filling up on veggies.

This week the grocery budget is zilch. I did pick up bananas and apples because I was out of fruit. So no lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber or my favorite, avocado. I am always amazed at what I can create when I make the best of what I have to work with. It's fun and I like the challenge.

So after breakfast I started the soup for tonight's dinner, during which time I started thinking about what I would eat for lunch. Dinner was fairly easy thanks to the freezer full (now half full) of ch…

Rest in Peace Giz

The years have started to blur together. I think our beloved rooster, Gizmo, was about six years old. Or may he was older. Regardless, he was one of our first birds. We were especially attached to Gizmo over all the others because he was the egg that I turned methodically everyday while it rested in the incubator. He was the one egg out of a dozen that hatched. In fact he was overdue. The 27 days were well gone but something told me to give him just a little more time. He was the one I helped break free from his shell (although I read later that I shouldn't have helped). Gizmo was the one who stood apart from the others with his shiny black-blue-green feathers. He was majestic in his beauty. As he aged he became feisty. He'd follow me around the pen, feathers rustled up as if I was not welcome on his turf. I think he just didn't want to be overlooked. He wanted me to pay attention to him rather than the eggs which I was collecting. Funny guy, our Gizmo. Yesterday he fell a…

Never too Old to Learn New Tricks

This past weekend my husband and I spent two days with fellow homeschooling parents at the MACHE (Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators) Conference. This time was spent listening to experts. Many of the speakers were more than just seasoned home educators but each had their own unique talents in various fields. Each session had so many good choices that I had a hard time picking which ones to attend. We heard topics such as raising disciples, organizing the home, brain integration therapy and healthy eating.

Phil Downer, author and president of DNA (Discipleship Network of America), and his wife, Susy, were the weekends keynote speakers. I was impressed with Phil's honesty and his devotion to his family. He and his wife began homeschooling with the purpose of raising their children to be disciples of men. Often, as I reflect on my son's progress, I contemplate if I'm teaching him well enough to succeed in the "real world". Although important, I believ…
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

I've been a bit weary lately. Sometimes life just seems...well, hard. I'm ok with hard but sometimes hard begins to wear on me. Spring is coming in a hurry and I'm just not ready. 
The coop I purchased for my chickens is adorable and perfect... for two hens. I was hoping to move home six. 
The bees are coming soon and I haven't studied my books. I feel inadequate and ill-prepared. What if I fail? What if I kill my bees?
The garden? It is a mess and I want to "re-decorate".....but when? My seeds? Yeah, I don't even think half of them sprouted.
Oh, and the playroom that I started a YEAR ago? The walls are finally painted but I still need to paint the trim. 
Let's not even ta…

Three Gifts Opened Up

1. The Bible, opened up. Last night I was blessed to watch The Boy read our evening passage. 

2. A door standing OPEN in heaven

Revelation 4:1 
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this."

 ....and he was in the throne room. Twenty four thrones and  twenty four elders around the "One the throne". Thunder, lightening, voices, seven lamps of fire. Four creatures full of eyes and wings singing with glory and thanksgiving, 
"Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
and ....(verse 9-11)"Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, sayin…

Hiding, Held, Heard.......

Today, on the prompting of Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare, (you can find her April list here). I am searching for gifts hiding, held and heard. It's like a treasure hunt.

Hands held. The joy of holding babies hands as she practices for her first steps.

Toddler hiding behind his hands in a game of peek-a-boo.

JOY heard in the laughter of children playing.

My journey in finding everyday blessings for God is SO GOOD!

Super Salad

As I strive to eat well (and hopefully in the process I will also shed a few pounds), my weekday lunches usually consist of a veggie packed salad. I have come to crave my noonday salad. 
Bowl full of lettuce (spring mix), kale and spinach. Dice: one avocado, a handful of cherry tomatoes, a chunk of cucumber and half of an orange pepper.
Top with feta cheese, homemade Italian dressing, pumpkin seeds and slivered almonds. Yum.

Italian Dressing:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Wildtree Zesty Lemon Grapeseed Oil
1/4 cup Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil
1/4 Balsamic Vinegar
3 T. Wildtree Italian Salad Dressing Mix

Now if only I could resist the "treats" (potato chips, pizza, cookies, etc.) that my husband keeps bringing into the house. It seems I lose weight during the week only to regain it on the weekends. Two steps forward, two steps back.....

Wildtree Wednesday

Last week, as I was searching for something to satisfy my sweet tooth, I came to the conclusion that I have a LOT of Wildtree. I have one cupboard dedicated to spices and such. The middle shelf is completely filled with Wildtree. As a Wildtree representative, I've purchased many of the products in order to be familiar with the product I'm selling. Some of these are must have favorites (like the Guacamole Seasoning) and some....well, they just sit on my shelf. I decided I need to get adventurous and start using those herb blends that I rarely use. 
Wildtree has recently added a 10 day menu planner to the monthly newsletter. Instead of deleting my emailed newsletter as I normally do, I am vowing to try a few of the suggested recipes. Looking at the recipes, as well as the ingredients that I already have (no trip to the grocery store needed!), I picked Lentil Sloppy Joes, Rockin' Moroccan Carrot Soup and Basmati Rice with Spicy Chick Peas. 
10 Day MENU PLANNERincludes additiona…