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Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

So I pressure canned some dried beans the other day. I’ve never done that before. Pressure canned, yes. But not dried beans. 

 I did it in hopes of actually getting my chickpeas totally soft because I don’t like eating gritty hummus.  

 Well, it worked. And I made too much hummus. 
 So I need to find ways to use it up. Not everyone in the family loves the stuff. 

 Chapatis were yesterday’s method and how fun! If you have several small children and the same amount of rolling pins, they will happily do most of the work for you. In fact, they had so much fun that I didn’t have the heart to tell them to stop rolling. Chapatis are supposed to be fairly thick. Oh well. Still yummy!  

Chapatis

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 t melted lard or butter 

Pinch salt

1/2 – 3/4 cup water

Butter

Mix flours, fat, and salt. Slowly add water and stir until a soft dough forms. Knead a few minutes to bring the dough together and then cover and let sit 30-60 minutes. 

Divide dough into 10 pieces. Roll each one into 4″ circle. Fry on a hot, ungreased skillet until bubbly and just a bit golden brown, flipping and frying the other side, too. Place in a damp towel after brushing one side with a bit of softened butter. Helps to keep them soft and pliable. 

Serve traditionally with Indian food or with hummus and various toppings, rolled up taco style.

Yield: 10

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I was asked recently what some of my go-to quick lunches are and I sort of drew a blank. It’s been a while since I visited that subject! 

Here’s a new one. I’ve seen this recipe so many times in the More with Less cookbook and thought it looked boring. Then this morning I realized the only leftovers I had to serve the littles for lunch were noodles and broccoli so I needed to get creative. 

This is such a simple idea but not one I would have come up with on my own. Of course it would have a hundred different variations, using whatever is on hand in your fridge. Add the cooked veg straight to the pan! Throw in some hot sauce!  Sauté a bit of onion in the butter before adding noodles. Etc, etc. 

The recipe suggests tomato wedges to go with it. I think that is a wonderful summer idea! But alas, it’s March, and tomatoes are nowhere to be seen in the windy tundra out there so carrots, hummus, and leftover cooked broccoli it was!   

Scrambled Eggs and Noodles

Adapted from More with Less

1 T butter

1 1/2 cups leftover cooked noodles

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

Salt/pepper

Parsley, fresh or dried 

Heat butter in skillet. Fry the noodles for a minute or so. 

Mix the eggs with milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over hot noodles and scramble until cooked through. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. 

Serves: 3 small appetites

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If you keep a sourdough starter on hand for no other reason than to make these, I won’t blame you. They are easy. And they taste like cheese even tho there is no cheese in them!

I know I should probably post about how to handle a starter and such before I dive into recipes but really, Home Joys has most of the tips I’d give you anyway so head over there if you want to dive in! I’ll gladly share starter with anyone local.

Back to crackers, I’ve made these 4 times in the last two weeks. Easy and nutritious snack for kiddos!

IMG_3772.JPG

Sourdough Crackers
Adapted from Home Joy’s recipe

1 cup sourdough starter
3 1/2 T softened butter
1/2 t salt
About 1 cup whole wheat bread flour

Mix everything together, using only as much flour as needed to make a soft dough. It will depend on how wet your starter is.

Cover bowl and let dough rise a few hours or until it looks a bit puffy. Divide in half and place each one on a greased cookie sheet. No need for parchment paper here. Roll the dough out directly on the sheets until it’s a scant 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle with desired seasonings. I usually do garlic powder. Lightly roll the seasonings into the top of the crackers.

Cut the crackers with a pizza cutter to desired size. No need to separate them. Just slide both pans into a preheated 350 oven and set the timer for 12 minutes. At that point, take off any crackers that may already be done (golden brown and no longer soft). Put remaining crackers back into oven and every few minutes take off more finished ones. This process usually takes me about 25 minutes until they are all baked. It depends on your oven and also how thick each cracker is.

Store cooled crackers in an airtight jar or container. The longest I’ve had them around was 4 days and they were just as delicious then as freshly baked. I’m are they would keep at least a week, longer if frozen.

Yield: about 6 cups of 1-inch crackers

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Ok…

…so I have to do just one more post. I kind of left you all hanging there in October. 3 months pregnant and whoosh, I was gone. Well, here’s the baby.

Baby happens to be a boy named Bennet. He arrived on April 5 after 1 hour and 23 minutes of labor. I only had to push twice. It was amazing.

Bennet weighed in at 8 pounds and 6 ounces. A chunky little fella! So far he’s been my fussiest baby but the other two were complete angels so that’s not saying much. He’s now 6 weeks old and smiles if you talk to him. He’s also starting to coo. I just love this stage!

Jada and Tage are doing very well with him. Jada likes to “babysit” while I take showers or run outside for something. She’ll sit there beside him and talk or sing to him. So cute. Tage likes to hug his face. So far he hasn’t smothered him!

Me, I’m doing great over here. Keeping busy in the garden and flower beds and just cooking up a storm. Brad is doing the usual…driving tractors and keeping the cows happy.

And that’s life here, folks!

Later,

Z-

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A peek at what I’ve been seeing lately, you know, other than food.

Chickie's Rock

tiger lily

patiently waiting for a ride

lightning bug

lady bug on Russian sage

Oh no! She's growing up!

scooping up pond scum

squatting in pond scum

"doin' the disses"

mmm, pancakes

Oh. Hmmm. I just can’t write a post without any food! How about a summer lunch staple? It’s not much of a recipe but we eat it pretty often, much to pancake man’s dismay. He doesn’t much care for tomatoes (or basil). The little bugger. He’ll just have to learn to like them because they are main-stays these days.

Open-face Tomato Sandwich

Have ready per serving:

1 piece of toast (this is pictured)

1 large, thick slice of tomato

1 T basil chiffonade (It might go over with little ones better if it’s chopped up even more fine. Or at least, that would make it more difficult to pick out.)

2 t mayonnaise

salt, pepper, garlic powder/salt, onion powder/salt, or any combination of the 4

Spread the mayo on the toasted bread. Sprinkle with the basil before topping with the tomato. Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, or any other herbs and spices of choice.

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Brad always asks me to make orange julius. It’s a delicious icy beverage to slurp down on a hot day. I recently made it for him and then got the bright idea to make popsicles with it. I know. I can be a bit slow sometimes.

I whipped up a batch, poured the mixture into my popsicle mold, and in a few long hours, we had a tasty cold snack to munch on. Unfortunately, I only got half of one. Brad eats 4 at a time.

I like to make snacks that have some substance to them. Something that will stick to the ribs for more than 23 minutes. With little kids around who always want to eat, I think it’s important to feed them more than just a piece of fruit or a celery stick (unless it’s close to meal time, of course). The milk adds a little protein to these popsicles. If you want to up it even more, replace the water with more milk. I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it would be tasty. Yogurt would be good, too. I often make fruit and yogurt popsicles.

Oh, and throwing in a banana doesn’t hurt, either. I snatch them up at the grocery store when they are discounted for turning black. Frozen in little chunks, they are perfect for throwing into something like this.

Orange Julius Pops

Adapted from my mom’s orange julius recipe

1 frozen banana, in small chunks (optional)

6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate

1 cup milk

1 cup water

2 T sugar

1 t vanilla

Whirl everything in the blender until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze, hopefully not forgetting to put the sticks in when they are half frozen. At least, that’s what I have to do.

There will probably be too much of the mixture, unless you have several popsicle molds. Just drink it on the spot. Delicious.

Yield: 10 popsicles plus some

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Something Fun

The other evening the kids were driving me bonkers. (Kids do that sometimes, in case you didn’t know.) So after supper I decided I’m not going to try to get anything done. I’ll just do something fun with the kiddies. Because really, that’s getting something done too, right?

I also needed to give Jada something to color with. Instead of crayons. On the porch. Silly girl.

I got out some cornstarch and food coloring and set to work. Three minutes later, I had these:

They were so giddy.

I love the studious expression on Tage’s face.

It wasn’t long before they started painting the wall.

One of Jada’s masterpieces. She wouldn’t tell me what it was.

I think Tage enjoyed stirring the paint more than actually applying it to different surfaces.

Taking a break to watch a tractor, paint dribbling down his leg.

And we’re done. Don’t they look so cool?

I tried painting a little bit. It’s kind of strange stuff. You have to re-dip your brush pretty often as it all runs off the brush in the first couple inches of your stroke. But I really like the neon colors and they way it dries immediately. Oh. And the fact that is washes off. It rained that night and there wasn’t any sign of it in the morning. Yes! Bravo for another Pinterest find!

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Recipe from here

1 cup cornstarch

1 cup water

food coloring (gel or drops)

Mix the cornstarch and water until smooth. Divide the mixture between muffin cups and tint each one with food coloring. Stir well. Apply to sidewalks or brick wall with paint brushes. Wash off when finished or let nature do the job later.

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