Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekly Menu ~ June 25th

Breakfast:  Bagels with Fresh Fruit
Lunch:  Garden Salads
Dinner:  BLT with Pasta Salad (recipe coming this week)

Breakfast:  Cinnamon Struessel Muffins (Gluten Free)
Lunch:  Hummus with Veggie Sticks
Dinner:  Community Dinner at Church

Breakfast:  Yogurt and Fruit
Lunch:  Cream Mac & Cheese
Dinner:  Hot Dogs with Baked Beans

Breakfast:  Poached Eggs on Toast
Lunch:  Quinoa with Sauteed Veggies
Dinner:  Chicken Enchiladas with Salad

Breakfast:  French Toast
Lunch:  Tuna Wraps with Apples
Dinner:  Homemade Pizza on Sourdough Crust

Breakfast:  Yogurt with Granola
Lunch:  Egg Salad Sandwiches with Grapes
Dinner:  BBQ Pulled Pork, Corn On the Cob, Ranch Seasoned Oven Fries

Breakfast:  Green Smoothies
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Pot Luck Birthday Party

Linking up over at I'm an Organizing Junkies Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, June 22, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


In gratitude this week for:
  • A fantastic Summer Solstice celebration
  • A garden that continues to grow and neighbors that keep dropping off their extra seedlings
  • Ice Cream for supper
  • Three of the most awesome daughters anyone could ask for
Wishing you a blessed weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Banana Maple Walnut Ice Cream

Summer sure arrived with a bang this year.  Over night the temperatures when from the 70's to the high 90's!  So it was time to find some cool treats and fast.  Now my family loves treats!  I'm mean who's doesn't.  But this mama isn't always thrilled with all the stuff in commercial treats!  So I really shy away from store pop-cycles and such.  So what's a mama to do?  Whip up some Banana Maple Walnut ice cream of course.  This treat is so quick and easy and healthy too.  You could even serve it for breakfast.  Heck, I had it for dinner tonight while the rest of the family was gone.

Banana Maple Walnut Ice Cream

3 frozen bananas
1/4 cup walnut pieces
maple syrup to taste, about 1-3 tsp depending on how sweet you like it

Put the banana into the bowl of your food processor.  Being to pulse at 5-10 second intervals.  You don't want to let the food processor run continuously as the heat with melt the bananas.  When the banana is about half smooth mush and half chunks throw in half the nuts.  Process in pulses again.  Next drizzle in the maple syrup.  All let's left to do is fold in the rest of the nuts.  If you don't like large chunks of nut you can put them all in earlier.

Scoop and serve!  That's it!  And it it hadn't been 93 degrees in my kitchen, it wouldn't look like such a melted mess.  But do looks really matter when something is this good?  I think not!  This made on BIG serving, two normal servings or three kid size servings.  Adjust the amount of ingredients to your needs.

Of course the options are endless.  You can do peanut butter and banana, chocolate banana, coconut banana.  Really let your imagination and taste-buds run wild.  I'd love to hear what combinations you come up with.

Linking up at Country Mama Cooks, Make Your Own MondayHomestead Barn Hop, and Scratch Cooking Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice

Wishing all of you a joyous first day of summer!  We love celebrating the Summer Solstice.  Rebekah has been counting the days down for over a week now.  Preparations are being made for our dinner of hot dogs, potato packets and grilled corn over the camp fire out back.  And of course there will be s'mores as well.

Here is a lovely little story that Rebekah and I read this morning.  I thought some of you might like to share it with your little ones.  The Return of the Sun King by Christine Natale.

Yarn Along

Joining in the fun of the weekly 
Yarn Along hosted by Ginny over at Small Things. In Ginny's words:

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

I'm still plugging away on Rebekah's Hetty.  Doesn't seem like I made much progress this week.  Really there has been too much pulling me outside, the chickens, the garden and such, that knitting really has taken a back burner.  But that's ok.  As I get older I realize there really is a season to everything.  And while I truly love to knit, there are so many other things I love to do as well.  Things that can only happen during this season.  So I will keep plugging away at the knitting stitch by stitch, row by row.  But I wont get perturbed with myself for not getting more done, because really a lot is getting done.

As for the reading, I did finally get a chance to start The Red Tent.  And I am enjoying it.  Hopefully as we settle into our summer rhythm I will be able to spend more time in the evening reading.  We shall see.  The little one may have different plans.  She thinks that is her time to be read to, and you now she is quite right.

And speaking of the little one.  We have been reading  Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe.  What a sweet book.  Thank you to Annie over at Bird and Little Bird for hosting the Read Aloud Book Along.  This was a new book to us and oh so much fun!  Rebekah is now planning out three day canoe trip and want to paint our canoe red!

Hope you are finding some time this summer to create and read.  Two thinks I truly believe every soul needs.  Please stop by this week's yarn along and share your projects or visit all the talented and creative ladies.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And The Winner Is . . .

Rebekah and I had so much fun making out little ladybug rocks.  But I think she had even more fun hearing all the wonderful comments from those who were hoping a few little lady bugs would come to live with them.  Thank you to everyone who entered for making this such a wonderful experience for my little girl.

Of course she had to be the one to pick the winner.  And so without further ado, the winner is . . .

Nicole Spring of Frontier Dreams!  Congratulations Nicole.  I have sent you an email so we can figure out where to send your little ladybugs.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekly Menu ~ June 18th

Breakfast:  Poached Eggs on Sourdough Toast
Lunch:  Leftover BBQ Chicken and Macaroni Salad
Dinner:  Baked Penne, Garden Salad and Garlic Bread

Breakfast:  Green Smoothies
Lunch:  Hummus and Veggie Sticks
Dinner:  Ham and Potato Fritatta and Sauteed Veggies

Breakfast:  Yogurt and Fruit
Lunch:  Nut Butter Sandwiches and Orange Smiles
Dinner:  Camp Fire Dinner - Hot Dogs, Potato Pockets and Roasted Corn

Breakfast:  Swiss Oats
Lunch:  Spinach Salad
Dinner:  Quinoa with Sauteed Veggies

Breakfast:  Blueberry Banana Sourdough Muffins
Lunch:  Popcorn
Dinner:  Homemade Pizza on Sourdough Crust

Breakfast:  Crepes with Ricotta Filling and Fruit
Lunch:  Tuna Sandwiches and Apples
Dinner:  Grilled Chicken Broccoli and Tomato Pasta Salad

Breakfast:  Green Smoothies
Lunch:  Left Overs
Dinner:  Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Potato Salad and Alyssa's Special Green Beans

Linking up over at I'm an Organizing Junkies Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, June 15, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


In gratitude this week for:
  • Some fluffy new arrivals
  • Catching up with a friend
  • A bit of sun, a but of rain a good mix for out growing garden
  • Getting a bit closer to the launch of my big project
Wishing all of you a glorious weekend.

Don't forget my little one's giveaway!  Today is the last day to enter and she'd be thrilled if you'd enter.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining in the fun of the weekly Yarn Along hosted by Ginny over at Small Things. In Ginny's words:

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

Stitch by stitch, row by row this little Hetty is starting to get somewhere.  These days when the garden and chickens are calling us outside, finding time to knit isn't always easy.  But like the tortoise, slow and steady I will win this race eventually.  Of course it doesn't help that Rebekah has requested that this be a dress instead of a top.  Oh how many inches and increases does that add?  Not sure, but I know I'll figure it out.  And so stitch by stitch, row by row I'll keep plugging away.

Oh and just you don't love the mug?  It was my favorite mug and some how got a crack down the side.  Just enough that it wont hold liquid anymore.  I was so sad, but couldn't toss it.  And then I discover that it is just the perfect thing to hold my yarn while I knit.  No more chasing yarn that has rolled across the floor and a a new use for my favorite mug so I don't have to throw it away!

Reading is sort of in the same slump.  My morning Bible and study time are happening regularly, but reading for pure fun, well that is another story.  I pulled The Red Tent off the shelf after it being mentioned at the Herbal Conference I went to a couple of weekends ago, but haven't done anything but move it from desk to table to nightstand.  I really hope I get a chance to start it this week.

Rebekah has kept me busy reading to her.  This weeks favorite is I'll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Lisa Tara.  A cute, simple book about a baby sea turtle who hatches and needs to find his way from the sand to the sea.  Rebekah loves that each page ends with a repeat of prose.  It is a fabulous bedtime story with it's gentle rhythmic prose. 

Don't forget to hop on over to the Yarn Along and see what others are knitting and reading.  Inspiration awaits!

Don't forget my little one's giveaway!  There is still time to enter and she'd be thrilled if you'd enter.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Garden Update ~ June 12th

The garden, in the past I have had a love-hate relationship with out garden.  However, this year I must say I am truly in love for now.  We started a little slow as we were trying to find someone with a tiller.  We didn't garden last year and so our spot was really in need of some TLC.  We were blessed when a family from down the way came with their tiller and not only tilled the older garden area but expanded it!  Yea!  More to love or hate.  At that point I wasn't sure what it would be.

Then we were blessed with some organic tomato and pepper plants!  Wow are these plants beautiful.  And having been started by someone who knows what they are doing we should have tomatoes and peppers before September.

See this little beauty of a tomato!!!!!  In my garden before the middle of June we have tomatoes!  And not just the lone one, but at least dozen, probably more!!!!!  I will say we had a scary few days last week when all it did was rain.  However I think we made it through with just a little yellowing of the bottom leaves.

And here is the lone pepper at the moment.  A few more flowers and lot of buds, so I'm confident the peppers will be producing well.

I've dreamed of an herb garden for a long time, and this year marked the start of it.  It is hard to see but there are chives, tarragon, chamomile, basil, parsley, oregano, comfrey,  lavender, rosemary, and lemon verbena.  Yes, I am excited about this little garden.

These are the wild black raspberries!  It looks like it will be a bumper crop.  I will share with all the birds and bears, but I sure hope I get to them first. In a couple of weeks we will have to head up the mountain and check on the wild black berries.  I love living in an area where we can wild forage to much.

The blueberry bush in the back yard is loaded with berries.  I need to get it covered before it is pick clean by the birds.  I'm hoping the wild blueberries will be just a full.  That's a hike up another mountain.  Oh how we love the Foss Mountain blueberries.  And I just brought the last bag in from the outside freezer.  We almost made it through the year.

There is a bunch of other stuff growing in the garden ~ red and green cabbage, cucumbers, pumpkins, green beans, carrots and lettuce.  All yummy stuff.  The girls and I have been out tending to our baby every day.  Lots of weeding and watering at this point.  We are hoping it turns to lots of harvesting in the near future.

So do you have a garden?  I know lots of you do.  I'd love to hear about what you are growing and harvesting.  Also if you are able to wildharvest in your area I'd love to hear about that, too.

Don't forget my little one's giveaway!  There is still time to enter and she'd be thrilled if you'd enter.  CLOSED

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekly Menu ~ June 11th

Dare I say I think summer is here!  After a week of rain the sun is shining and the mercury is climbing.  Of course that means more grilling, more salads, and more fresh fruit and veggies.  The farmers markets and stands are starting to open.  Oh I just love being able to get local produce.  And hopefully our garden wont be far behind.

Breakfast:  Green Smoothies and Bagels
Lunch:  Spinach Salad
Dinner:  Mini Burgers and Three Bean Salad

Breakfast:  Cinnamon Struessel Muffins (Gluten Free)
Lunch:  Hummus, Raw Veggie Sticks and Pita Wedges
Dinner:  Sausage & Potato Fritatta and Garden Salad

Breakfast:  Swiss Oats with Fruit
Lunch:  Grilled Cheese and Carrot Sticks
Dinner:  Taco Pie

Breakfast:  Poached Eggs on Toast
Lunch:  Orzo with Pesto and Grape Tomatoes
Dinner:  BBQ Chicken, Potato Salad and Corn on the Cob

Breakfast:  Homemade Yogurt and Granola
Lunch:  Tuna Wraps with Apple Slices
Dinner:  Homemade Pizza on Sourdough Crust

Breakfast:  French Toast with Fruit
Lunch:  Nut Butter Sandwiches with Orange Smiles
Dinner:  Sloppy Joes, Ranch Seasoned Oven Fries and Peas

Breakfast:  Green Smoothies
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Grilled Steak, Macaroni Salad and Alyssa's Special Beans

Dessert this week with be frozen covered chocolate bananas, gluten free chocolate chip cookie pie and raw chocolate torte.

Linking up with Menu Planning Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Don't forget my little one's giveaway!  There is still time to enter and she'd be thrilled if you'd enter.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Homemade Yogurt ~ Tutorial

Yogurt has been a staple in our home for many years.  And we have been making our own for quite a few now.  And I am shocked every time I peek at the price of yogurt in the store and just can't figure out why more people just don't make their own.    Not only is it truly easy to make but it is also frugal, more nutritious and taste so much better.  So while there are many tutorials out there for making yogurt I thought I would share mine in hopes that some of you will be inspired to make your own as well.

First you will need to get your supplies together.  Now don't let this intimidate you,  You don't need anything fancy, none of those expensive yogurt makers.  So here goes:

  • Large pot
  • Mason jars & lids, I use two quart jars as that is how much yogurt I make at a time
  • Thermometer
  • Small bowl or measuring cup
  • Whisk
  • Heating Pad
  • Cooler, I use a soft side I got at the dump store (really any container, even a box would work)
Now for the ingredients.  As I said I make 2 quarts at a time, so that is what I'm going to give you here.  It should be easy enough to adjust to make more or less.  Really, making yogurt is that easy.

  • 2 quarts milk - I use raw
  • yogurt starter - this is the live bacteria you need to introduce to the milk  You have a few options here.  You can purchase a starter at your local health food store or online from someone like Culture for Health.  The next option is to purchase a cup of plain yogurt at the food store.  Just make sure it says it contains live cultures.  Many do.  And once you have your own yogurt you can use a little of the previous batch to make the next batch.  
That's it!  You are ready to make yogurt.  I will tell you that this takes a bit of time.  So it is best to do on a day that you will be home.  Most of the time is just waiting for milk to cool and yogurt to culture, so you will be free to do what ever your heart desires, but you should be around.

First you will want to make sure that all your equipment is clean.  You are growing bacteria here so no need to have some nasty strain hanging around.

Next pour the milk into your mason jars and set in your pot.  Fill the pot with water at least half way up the jars.  This is just a water bath.  It is a simple way to heat the milk without scorching it.  And it saves on dishes as the pot should be able to go right back in the cupboard as soon as you are done.

Heat the milk to 180 degrees.  True you milk isn't raw anymore, but this is the safe way to kill any nasty stuff that might be there.  You will also get a nice thick yogurt.  It is hard to get a thick raw yogurt.

Once your milk has reach 180 degrees remove it from the water bath and let it cool to 110 degrees.  This is where you need to be around but not totally tied to your kitchen.  The milk needs to cool so that when you introduce the culture you don't kill the bacteria.

Sorry about the blurry picture.  Not great with my left hand.  And as you can see I missed the 110 mark a bit.  That's because I forgot to take the picture before I started adding the culture.  Shhh don't tell.

Now you are going to pour a little of the milk into a glass measuring cup or small bowl.  To this add your starter yogurt.  I add about 2-4Tbsp of yogurt per quart.  It really is the amount left in the bottom of the jar from the previous batch(If you purchases a yogurt starter, you will need to follow the directions on the package).  Gently mix the milk and your yogurt really well.  Once mixed pour the milk/yogurt mixture back into the rest of the warm milk and mix again.

If you want plain yogurt you are all set.  If you want to flavor your yogurt you can add a little vanilla, honey, or maple syrup now.  I usually make one quart plain and one vanilla.  We don't sweeten our yogurt.  I don't also add fruit or anything else at this point, that way everyone can have it "their way" when the time comes.

All that's left now is to incubate the yogurt.  Basically you need to leave the jars in a warm spot for a while while the bacteria grows.   This is where the heating pad and cooler come in handy.  There are lost of ways to keep the yogurt warm.  I have heard of people using their crock pot or dehydrator.  Some use a cooler and pour the hot water in from heating the milk, just beware that you may have to add more hot water to keep it at temp long enough.  I'd forget.

As you can see, I just put the pad around the jars.  Zip up the lid and let it be.  The longer you incubate your yogurt the more tart and thick it will be.  About the minimum you can incubate is 6 hours.  Then it becomes personal preference.  I will tell you I have forgotten about it and left it overnight, when I was supposed to go in the fridge at 9pm, and it was still amazing the next morning.  So really you can't go wrong.

Once it is done incubating, all that is left is to put it in the fridge.  Warm yogurt is not all that yummy.  But once this had cooled down I promise you it will be some yummy stuff, thick and creamy.  Sorry for the yucky picture here too.  Yogurt just doesn't photograph well for me.

Now this turned into a long post for something that really is simple so here's a recap.

Take your milk and heat it to 180 degrees.
Cool milk to 110 degrees.
Pour off a little of the milk and add your yogurt with live cultures and mix well.
Pour milk/yogurt mixture back into the warm milk and stir to mix well.
Put lids on your jars and keep them warm for at least 6 hours more like 12.
Refrigerate until cold.

See isn't that easy?  I hope you will give making your own yogurt a try.  It really is so much yummier and truly frugal.

Linking up over at the Homestead Barn HopMake Your Own Monday, Scratch Cooking TuesdayTraditional TuesdaysHealthy 2Day Wednesday, and Country Mama Cooks.

Don't forget my little one's giveaway!  There is still time to enter and she'd be thrilled if you'd enter.  Sorry this is closed!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lady Bug Rocks & A Giveaway

With the arrival of the sun, we are also blessed with the arrival of the bugs.  Now don't get me wrong I love all of God's creatures.  However, when it comes to the biting and stinging kind of bug I often do wonder wheat He was thinking.  Luckily my girls are really into bugs, at least for girls.  Rebekah is always bringing me some sort of bug wanting to know what it is.  I do my best but really bugs just aren't my thing. So to meet her need for bugs and my need for crafting we came up with these cute little lady bugs.

First we headed to the river to collect some smooth roundish rocks.  Sorry no pictures of that.  I was busy looking for rocks while Hannah and Rebekah were busy throwing the rocks in the river.  No worries, we all had fun.  And really that is what it is all about.

A few simple supplies we had on had.  Red, black and white paint and a few paintbrushes.  The big white paper is off the end rolls from the local newspaper.  I just love this stuff.  The newspaper gives it away when there isn't enough left for it to work on their printers.  Lucky for us there is a good 2-3 inches of paper left on the roll.  Great stuff for using as drop cloth, tracing bodies, making gift wrap, drawing pads and so much more. Really I suggest you head to your local newspaper and get yourself a roll or two or three.  You will find tons of uses.  Sorry for the interruption, now back to our regular blog post.

Once you've assembled all your supplies, it is time to paint.  We painted the entire rock red.  Once that dried we added the black head, stripe and spots.

After the black dried we added two white eyes to the black head.  And once dry added smaller black pupils.  You can see them in the top picture.  That's it.  Now we have lots of friendly bugs of the non-biting variety.  I plan to add magnets to the back of a few of them to use a magnets on our fridge.  And I have a few more that are looking for a new home. Rebekah is really excited to send them off.  the giveaway was her idea.  I'm sure she will even include a picture for the lucky winner.

So if you would like some lady bugs to come and live with you please leave a comment on this post.  I'll close the giveaway on Friday, June 15th and will announce the winner on Saturday.  CLOSED  Winner will be announced shortly.  Thanks to all who entered!

Linking up with Creative Friday and Friday's Nature Table.

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


In gratitude this week for:
  • A girls day with a good friend and herbs too
  • Extra help at the food pantry delivery this week
  • More and more planted in the garden
  • A bike ride to the river to skip and collect rocks
  • A new exercise routine
Wishing all of you a blessed weekend!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bartlett Baked Beans

Baked Beans are standard fair here in New England.  Funny as a kid I only ever remember having canned baked beans and hating them.  So when I got married it just goes to figure I would marry a guy who loves baked beans.  And so began the search for a baked bean recipe that we both would love.

It didn't take long to figure out that the best baked beans need to cook for a long time.  And for that I turned to my crock pot.  Now I can make baked beans any time of year without having to worry about the oven being on for hours on end.  I can also make enough to freeze for a couple of more meals at the same time.  You've got to love that.  And to top it off these beans are also frugal and much more healthy than the canned version.  I hope you'll give them a try.

Bartlett Baked Beans (Crock Pot Recipe)

  • 2 lbs dried navy beans
  • ½ cup unsulfured molasses
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot
  • 2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • dash ground cloves
  • ½ lb bacon
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Soak beans overnight.  Sort and rinse beans.     

 Place bacon and onion in a crock pot.  Add the beans.

Combine the remaining ingredients and add to crock pot.  This is a really thick paste.  Add enough water to cover the beans by ½ inch.  You really don't have to stir this in, but you can after it has been cooking for a while.

Set on low and cook 8-12 hours, the longer the better.

This recipe makes a lot.  I love that about it.  It is a great dish for a pot luck or neighborhood BBQ.  And even better the leftovers freeze so well.  I use quart mason jars and usually have enough leftover to fill and freeze two quarts.  Make sure you leave a little bit of room at the top of the jar as the beans will expand when they freeze.  Now you've got a quick side dish.  Just pull them out of the freezer the night before and let them thaw in the fridge.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining in the fun of the weekly Yarn Along hosted by Ginny over at Small Things. In Ginny's words:

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

Well with all the rain, I was finally able to carve out some time to knit this week.  I still didn't get as far on my Hetty as I would like.  Hopefully Rebekah wont out grow it before it is done.  It should start moving a long as I am working on the body which is just straight knitting.  I do love how it is turning out and can see myself knitting another one, as it really isn't the pattern's fault it is going so slowly.

As for reading I'm not doing much better there.  Rebekah is in love with Olivia.  We must read about this precocious pig five times a day or more.  It is a cute story, one my other girls enjoyed too.

I'm working my way through the Thinking, Feeling, Willing class over at Waldorf Essentials.  It is really Waldorf Teacher Training for homeschooling moms.  I am loving it and learning so much about myself and my children.  I love how Waldorf encompasses the whole child and not just the academics.  And this program really breaks down the hows and the whys in easy to understand language.  And their support is unbeatable.  Yes, as this school year ends I am already working on preparing for the next.  Who ever said teachers get the summer off?

Don't forget to head over to the Yarn Along and see what others are knitting and reading.  There is always so much inspiration.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekly Menu ~ June 4th

We are in a season of change and at times that makes menu planning difficult for me.  However I have learned that to throw the menu planning out makes the times of change and chaos even more chaotic.  That having my menu plan gives me at least one place that is grounded and from there I can begin to bring more peace and organization to our days.  So really if you are feeling a little crazy or disorganized and think menu planning is just one more task that will add to that chaos think again.  And then give it a try.  I don't think you will be sorry.

Breakfast:  Ham & Tomato Egg Cups
Lunch:  Creamy Mac & Cheese with Peas
Dinner:  Spaghetti and Garden Salad

Breakfast:  Bulgar with Fresh Berries
Lunch:  Sauteed Veggies over Red Quinoa
Dinner:  Hot Dogs, Bartlett Baked Beans and Corn on the Cob

Breakfast:  Oatmeal
Lunch:  Grilled Cheese with Peaches
Dinner:  Spinach Quiche with Fruit Salad

Breakfast:  Pancakes
Lunch:  Hummus with Veggie Sticks and Pita Wedges
Dinner:  BLTs with Three Bean Salad

Breakfast:  Homemade Yogurt and Soaked Granola
Lunch:  Tuna Melts with Kale Chips
Dinner:  Homemade Pizza on Sourdough Crust

Breakfast:  Sour-cream Coffee Cake
Lunch:  Nut Butter Sandwiches with Orange Smiles
Dinner:  Balsamic Honey Chicken Legs with Macaroni Salad

Breakfast:  Green Smoothies
Lunch:  Left Overs
Dinner:  Pork Chops, Brown Rice and Green Beans

Linking up over at Menu Planning Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Red Clover ~ Frugal Medicine

While Rebekah and I were out walking the other day, we came up on a beautiful patch of red clover.  We hurried home, grabbed a basket and the big girls and headed back to pick the lovely purple blossoms.

In only a few minutes we had filled our basket.  We took a few moment to watch all the butterflies visiting the clover as well.  Then we headed home to clean the blossoms before putting them in the dehydrator.

The blossoms took about 18 hours in the dehydrator set at about 95 degrees.  You don't want to dry them to quickly as they will loose their color.  And if it takes too long they can start to mold.  We will store the blossoms in a mason jar to use in our winter teas. (1tsp of dried blossoms to 8oz boiling water steep for 10 minutes, this can be taken up to 3 times per day)


Latin Name: Trifoolium pratense

  • antioxidant tocopherol
  • anti-tumor compounds
  • calcium
  • chromium
  • iron and copper salts (high concentration) 
  • isoflavones (water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants)
  • magnesium
  • niacin
  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • protein
  • thiamine
  • vitamin C
As you can see red clover is very high in nutrients!  It really is a good herb for almost everyone.

Constituents (uses):

Women's reproductive health - Red clover is used for relief during PMS and menopause as well as to promote breast health.

Blood health - Red clover is known to help cleanse the blood by promoting urine and mucous production, improving circulation and stimulating the secretion of bile.  Supplementation with red clover  has also been shown to improve hemoglobin levels as well as the size and number of blood platelets.

Respiratory health - red clover is known for antispasmodic effect.  Basically this means that it supresses muscle spasms and therefore can help with asthma, wheezing, coughs and such.

Red clover tea is easy to make.  Put 1 tsp of dried blossoms in a tea ball or muslin tea bag.  Pour 8 oz of boiling water over and let steep for about 10 minutes.  Can be drunk hot or cold.  Drink a cup three times a day for maximum benefits.  Red clover can also be added to other herbs to create your own blends.  So have fun and give red clover a try.


Red Clover should not be taken by pregnant or nursing woman.  The isoflavones (water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants) have not been proven safe for these women.

Also those taking blood thinning or needing to avoid blood thinning medications should not take red clover because of its milk blood thinning properties.

While red clover is considered safe you should always check with an herbal professional before self medicating.  This information is for educational purposes only.

Linking up at the Homestead Barn HopMake Your Own, MondayTraditional Tuesdays, Sustainable Ways,  Healthy 2Day Wednesday and Wildcrafting Wednesday.

Friday, June 1, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

In gratitude this week for:
  • Friends with a tiller and my now beautiful garden plot
  • Sunshine filled days and Evening Thunder Storms
  • Food Co-op Delivery
  • Chickens!  My how they have grown
Wishing all of you a glorious weekend!