Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It feels like a photo day

So let's catch up on May!

Charlotte discovered the tunnel. It was a little scary, but she made it!

And I'm sorry, but could she be any cuter? I just couldn't help myself.

My Momma, on mother's day <3

More Mother's Day fun, w/ Matt's Mom and Grandma "GG." Poor Charlotte was so "done" at this point, it was a long day!

Rowen playing with his little bud JJ

Charlotte enjoying homemade saurkraut on her hotdog. Mmm.... i have the weirdest kids :)


aww..... Charlotte lovin' on Daddy. (and a spatula.) Matt's face is one of utter enjoyment and disbelief- Charlotte is VERY stingy with her lovin's! (I'm pretty much the only one that gets them, ever.)

Would you believe we actually had a day nice enough to go to the Zoo? Rowen holding hands with his little buddy Adler.

Charlotte found the tupperware cupboard. She dumped out the bucket of lids. (organized, aren't I?)

Examined each one...
and then put them back. Sweet girl!

This morning we went to a (don't be shocked) McDonald's play place with our good friends the Carters. I know, I know, yuck, right? But the Mommas enjoyed a cup of coffee and the kids REALLY enjoyed climbing their hearts out. I do believe we'll be making a regular play date out of it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You can make that? Buttermilk!

Oh, I know where she's going with this one, you say. I've known that little trick forever! Just add some lemon juice or vinegar to milk and let it curdle for a few minutes and..... oh, wait my dear friend. This is so much better. And just as easy. If you like to cook with buttermilk (or drink it, you crazy person. I know you're out there.) Or if you have some buttermilk that's going to expire and you're not ready to whip up 50 fluffy pancakes, you have got to try this. And then thank me later for the money your saving and for it's pure deliciousness.

Okay, are you ready? This is so great it just tickles me to share it. You need milk (not ultra-pasteurized, it wont work) some store-bought buttermilk (it's the last time you'll ever buy it, I swear.) and a jar w/ a lid.
Measure 2 Tbsp buttermilk into your jar...
add the milk with your left hand while taking a picture w/ your right... no no, don't do that. Unless you have lots of towels near by. Just pour in two cups of milk. Okay?

screw the lid on and shake it like ya mean it. (for a minute! Make sure you do a little dance while you're at it. Endorphins, I tell ya!)

Set it somewhere that you wont touch it for a day. The timing is not exact and depends on the temperature of your kitchen, but technically it's "24 hours." But really, who's counting? Just don't leave it there a week, okay?
And while you're here, feel very blessed that this is not what YOUR fridge looks like. And let your imagination run wild with just how bad the SIDE of the fridge is. heh. Oh yes, the organizational queen of old is dead. six. feet. under.

Finally, take it down and give it a good stir so you can admire it's beauty. Try and contain your urge to eat a spoonful. (okay c'mon, I dare ya! I've always thought buttermilk to be disgusting until I whipped up my own batch. Ooooh mama.)
refrigerate and make biscuits at will! Or whatever your favorite buttermilk recipe is.

If you think it's been in your fridge a touch too long and you haven't used it yet, scoop out another two tablespoons, add it to two cups of milk..... you get the picture :) And feel free to double or half the recipe, the ratios matter, not the quantity. Enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A few Photos of the kids

...'cause that's what everyone REALLY wants, right? Enough about enzymes and rancid oils already. ;)

a little easter egg huntin' w/ Pop-pop. i love this last one. They both have such cute looks on their faces!

The gals are finally outside... But this was a few days before. Trying to cram onto the edge of the brooder box to roost. I can't believe how big they are! Look at this photo of when we first got them:

Rowen entertaining Sissy w/ donkey kicks all around her.

just before our bike ride. Rowen is SO cool. Charley is sucking on an apple slice. She knawed at it for about two hours- the duration of our sunny day adventure. Hehe. (more impressive than that, she kept her hat and sunglasses on the whole time. yeah!)

I told them to have goofy faces.
Okay i didn't. I just only snapped one picture and that's what I got. :)
Making the most out of our one sunny day: picnic dinner (broccoli raab w/ cheese, nitrite/nitrate free hotdogs, probiotic ketchup and raw milk. Oh yeah, we eat guuud when Daddy's gone.) It was Sissy's first hot dog. She would have eaten the whole thing if I hadn't given the last two bites to Rowen. Oink!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You can make that? Mayo!

Stop feeling guilty about spreading the white stuff on your sandwich- try this and know that you're doing something GOOD for your heath with every bite! It's ridiculously easy. I'm serious. It took me WAY longer to write/post this blog entry than to make the mayo. *snort*
I'm still perfecting my recipe, but that's the beauty of it. Change is a good thing!

Step one: gather your supplies, and make sure they're room temperature. You'll need:

1 egg + 1 yolk from pastured hens. (Yes folks, they're going to be raw. You want the good stuff.)
1 tsp raw sugar or other sweetener if you like (you can totally do without)
1 tsp raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
3/4 C olive oil (cold press)
1/4 C coconut oil
1 tsp whey (liquid drained off yogurt or kefir)
sea salt & paprika
If it's less than 76 degrees in your kitchen, your coconut oil will be solid. I like to fix this little "problem" by putting the (full) measuring cup in a tray of hot water. Liquefies right quick!

whirl the eggs, sugar, vinegar, and whey in a food processor until it's nice and frothy. Slowly pour in the oils while it's running, like so:
I made my first batch with vegetable oil because I still had it. It was.... eh.... not the best. Second batch was half coconut oil, half olive oil. It was yummy, but a tad too coconuty. This batch at 1/4 coconut 3/4 olive is pretty tasty! Essentially, you could use whatever combination of oils you wanted to as long as you have one cup. If you're just getting into more "natural" cooking and going w/ coconut & olive is making your eyes bug out 'cause they're so expensive ( i know... i know...) you could start w/ half veg oil & half natural oils. That would cut the cost, and at least you're going better than store bought. Baby steps, people. I'm thinking my next batch might be 1/4 bacon grease... wouldn't THAT be tasty??? Baconaisse... ooh, the sky's the limit when you make it yourself!
Sorry. I'll stop day dreaming and get back to the process.

Next step: admire it's thick, lusciousness, and season appropriately.
Here's the part that is really going to eek you out. Forgive me.

Put it in a small jar, close the lid, and leave it on your counter for about 12 hours. Raw eggs and all. (then refrigerate and enjoy.) You see, that's why you put in the whey. All the happy organisms in the whey go to work on the mayo, fermenting it and INCREASING the nutritional value- and the shelf life! Normally homemade mayo will last about 3-5 days in your fridge. And who wants to clean the food processor every time you want a turkey sandwich? This lovely stuff will last several months, if you don't eat it first. :) It took me a while to get up the nerve to try fermented mayo because I thought it would taste... well.... fermented. (and the whole raw eggs fermenting on the counter for half a day thing...) But honest to goodness this is the yummiest spread. AND it's actually good for you! Healthy, natural oils (instead of rancid oil, which is what all the stuff in the store is made of. If you're not aware, vegetable oils (soybean, cottenseed, corn, etc.) are processed at such a high heat that they turn rancid. Like when you have the heat too high in your pan and the butter starts burning and smoking? yeah. yuck. Then to mask the unsightly odor and color, they bleach & deodorize it. But I digress....)
where was I? Oh yes... pastured eggs, and oh-so-many enzymes to aid digestion and overall well being. :) Eat up!

Cost analysis:
2 eggs @ $4/doz = $0.67
1t raw sugar @ 5#/$6.65 =$.02
1t raw apple cider vinegar @ 32oz/$2.75 =$.01
3/4C olive oil @$6/ltr = $1.06
1/4 C coconut oil @ 1gal/$39=$.61
whey = free
spices = too little to count
Total: $2.37 for about 12oz of delicious, healthy, organic, probiotic mayonnaise. Let me know if you try it, what you use, and how you like it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rowen Strider May 4th

notice his feet are up! Love the strider bike. what a gorgeous day!