Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Light Lunch


Tuna sandwiches have been my favorite quick fix since I was a kid and learned how to use a can opener. There is something so satisfying about tuna mixed with a heap of mayo, onion and celery, and good bread. Well, not here! This is my childhood favorite dressed down but still quite satisfying.
What you'll need::
Tuna packed with water or olive oil (no sugar added), 1/4 onion diced, 1 celery stick chopped small, 1/2 an avocado, leaf lettuce (romaine, bib, red leaf), a handful of slivered almonds or chopped pecans (optional)
What you'll do::
1. Mix the tuna with the veg and nuts, if using them.
2. Mash your avocado and use it in place of mayo.
3. Roll the tuna up in your lettuce leaves to make little sandwiches.
Done and done! Have with a salad or fruit salad and your good to go.



Berry Burst!

What you'll need::
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 banana (I put mine in the freezer)
2 slices of melon
1 tbsp. of powdered greens
1 tbsp. of hemp seeds
juice of choice with no added sweetener
Toss all of your ingredients into your blender of food pro and whirl away adding juice as necessary to get the consistency you enjoy! This makes enough for 4 people depending on your serving size. Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Eggs and Hash!

On my journey to rediscover whole foods I had to rediscover breakfast. I don't purposely eat breakfast......ever. Water upon waking and coffee, maybe an occasional smoothie or I'll snack on whatever I made the littles for breakfast but being in the dumpy doldrums means I'm usually lacking in motivation when taking care of myself.

I've really, really enjoyed eating breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day and I'm such a hypocrite for saying so because while I push that upon my children I don't follow through! Well, I used to not follow through, I'm a born again breakfast lover.

I've included two of my latest breakfast creations, eggs and hash!

What you'll need::
2 eggs, 2 chicken sausages, 3 kale leaves, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 onions, 1 clove of garlic,  1/2 an avocado, splash of balsamic vinegar,  olive oil and seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, whatever you like)
What you'll do::
1. Juliene your peppers, onion, and mince your garlic. Saute them with the sausage (cut any way you prefer) and olive oil about 5-7 minutes. Season now with your choice of seasonings.
2. Tear up your kale and put with the sauteed veg. Splash the balsamic vinegar around and add a bit more seasoning to the pan and stir. Cover and let steam up a bit. Stirring every now and again until sausage is cooked through and veggies are done.
3. Remove veg from pan and put on your plate.
4. Crack your eggs into the same pan (adding a bit of olive oil to keep them from sticking).
5. Cook your eggs any way you like. I did over easy eggs this time around.
6. Serve your eggs over the veg and sausage hash with a side of melon or other fruit and avocado!

This breakfast was simply heavenly and kept me going for a long, long time.
What you'll need::
2 eggs, a fillet of smoke salmon, 8-10 Brussels sprouts, 1/2 sweet potato, 1/2 small onion, 1 clove of garlic, olive oil and your choice of seasoning.
What you'll do::
1. Cut up your Brussels sprouts into thirds (roughly) and saute with the olive oil and seasonings.
2. Dice your onion and sweet potato and mince the garlic and toss them in the pan with the sprouts. Lightly season again. Cover and let steam, add a bit of water if they begin to stick to your pan.
3. Once the veg is cooked through, remove from pan and put on your plate.
4. Whisk your eggs and season. Using the same pan as the veg, scramble your eggs and add the salmon.
5. Plate your eggs next to the hash with a side of whatever fruit you have on hand!
Breakfast of Champions.......x 2


To be able to taste truly is a gift.......without it, how would we know that chocolate tastes so incredibly good? This page will be full to the brim with recipes to entice your taste buds. Honest to goodness flavor that will nourish you from the inside out! What a better way to show yourself how much you care than to pop a morsel of heaven into your mouth and savor every last bite. To chew with your eyes closed and imagine that treat as it existed in nature to how it is now on your plate. My hope is to help you to honor the food that you eat.

My deepest regret is eating so fast that I didn't even taste anything......what a therefore, in this quest to find a slower pace to this life that is flying by at warp speed, sit-chew-breathe-honor-gratify!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Granola Mama

Before we get started I wanted to send out a thank you to the kind soul who nominated us for a Homie award for best family blog on Apartment Therapy! We were so excited to discover that nod and so greatly appreciate the loving thoughts towards our blog. If you agree......why not head over to Apartment Therapy and give us a vote. Many, many thanks for your support and love.......with smiles from ear to ear!!!

In the spirit of rhythm (check out our post from yesterday that talks about our rhythm charts) we'll talk today about how to make the best use of your time in the morning, especially if you have a partner and kids to get off to school.

I've always found that mornings were really tough. I'm not really a morning person, I like to sleep! Maybe it's because I've had babies for 12 years and the lack of sleep from co sleeping, breast feeding, illness, bad dreams, and all those other night time ailments that suck up the night time hours has caught up with me! I envy those women who can wake up early, have time for themselves, and have the rest of the day laid in order and ready all before the rest of the house wakes up! I'm sure it isn't all daisies all the time, but, I always felt like I was on the wrong bus! So lately, and as recommended in You Are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy getting up a half an hour earlier than the rest of my family is something I strive for. Although to be honest, being pregnant gives me a wakeful time from 1:30am-3:30am so sometimes I succeed and other times I don't........and other times I'm just up from whenever I wake until the sun rises! It's all a matter of circumstance and again, the rhythms that are created through Steiner philosophy are not meant to be rigid, but flowing and working with the natural rhythms that surround you, even when things are a little wacky!

The idea of waking up a half hour before the rest of your home is to give yourself time to just be. This can be a time to focus, plan, breathe, meditate, exercise, read.......whatever! It's your time and what you do with it only helps to give form to the rest of your day. I like to sit and breathe in the silence for a bit. It's a rarity that silence is in our home so I embrace her and remember to be thankful for that time to be with me! Then, I might read for a bit or write, get my big kids lunches together, prepare breakfast, and then wake the rest of the house. Once the the children are awake and out of bed, my husband will turn on some music, we'll begin to chat, sometimes the littles wake up and wander into the morning routine, the water is boiling for tea, the fire is being stoked, and life goes on, smoothly and  not rushed! THAT is what I appreciate most about giving myself time alone before anyone else is awake......I can prepare enough ahead so that there is no rushing! No one is stressed, rushed, feeling's all good! I can't recommend it enough......try it! It might take some time to get used to but in the end, you'll all be better prepared and feeling stronger to take on the day!

Another way to prepare for the morning rush is to prepare some things the night before. For me, that means food! The big kids are at an age where they can pack their backpacks and pick out their clothes, shower, etc. For me, making sure my family walks out of the house with food in their tummies and a healthy lunch is what matters most. They go out into the world armed with only what we give them from home; love, confidence, peace of mind, and food! Having healthy food options is essential to providing the mental and physical tools for the day. Breakfast is a light meal but I try to think of ways to bring in protein and fiber; like breakfast burritos, egg and cheese sandwiches, oatmeal with fruit, and if we need a quick breakfast I like to have high protein/fiber cereals on hand as well as our homemade granola! Granola is a simple, sweet, crunchy breakfast that pairs perfectly with yogurt or milk, fruit, or by the handful! To help with your morning's our recipe (adapted from the Tassajara Recipe Book)!

Homemade Granola


6 cups of rolled oats
2 cups of chopped walnuts
2 cups of slivered almonds
3 cups of sunflower seeds
2 cups of dried fruit (we use a mixture of raisins and dried cranberries)
1/2 cup of safflower or sunflower oil
3/4 cup of honey
1 1/2 cups of pure maple syrup
1 tsp. of vanilla
3 tbsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together your oats and nuts. Do NOT add the dried fruit at this time!!!!

Mix together the oil, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Heat on a low flame until
the sweeteners are watery and the honey has melted.

Pour the sweeteners over the oats and nuts and stir until everything is generously coated.

Pour the oat and nut mixture onto a baking sheet and pop in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Stirring every 5 minutes to evenly brown. It's a good idea to stay close to the oven
so you can check on and not forget your granola as it browns pretty quickly! Once the 20 minutes
is up, immediately pour your granola into a bowl to cool, stirring again every few minutes
to aid in cooling and prevent sticking. The granola will seem wet but will dry and crisp up as it cools.

Once your granola has cooled stir in your dried fruits and ENJOY!!!! We like ours with maple or vanilla yogurt
but enjoy it with whatever you like! This granola also makes awesome granola bars!

I hope this recipe inspires you to spend some energy preparing ahead of time to help ease your morning routine. There is nothing more rewarding than starting your day off with smiles!!!

~ With love and granola!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A little warmth and spice

As promised, todays' post will include both recipes for the oatmeal cookies and chai tea we made the other day. These may have to be some of the simplest recipes; one pot per recipe, few stirs, low maintenance.......super simple! Any child helping make either of these recipes will have plenty to do in the way of counting, scooping, stirring, and then of course enjoying!

As many of you know, or have assumed, I tend to lean towards a holistic way of living. My most recent read Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider has it the nail on the head as to how I strive to raise my family. Her mantra for living simply; "Living holistically with your life's purpose" describes perfectly my intentions on being a stay at home Mother, a wife, a friend, a neighbor. Don't get me wrong, some days I fail miserably and live even further from my intentions than even I realized, but, my heart is in the right place and so I keep trying! Anyway, sorry for the tangent! I choose to raise my children in a very holistic way, meaning to pay very close attention to the treatment of the whole (meaning the child as a whole; spiritually, emotionally, physically) and how each piece interacts and effects the other. That being said, it is my intention to continue to work in Rudolf Steiner's philosophy on a specific grain for a specific day during the week which he called "The Seven Planetary Grains".

Today is Friday, so it works well that we are focusing on oats, which are said to help loosen stiffness and increase stamina and resistance to disease. Another fun and inspiring book for children is The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book. This book is full of recipes and inspiration for cooking simply and with wholesome foods to nourish little bodies everyday.
If a Waldorf inspired rhythm is something you are looking to further educate yourself about check out the following blogs for more insight and inspiration to build a beautifully rhythmic spirit to your day: The Magic Onions, Waldorf in the Home, Bending Birches, Little Acorn Learning, and Rhythm of the Home.
OK......onto the recipes! 
Oatmeal Cookies
2 sticks of butter
2/3 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 eggs
3 cups of oats
1 cup of flour
Add ins if you choose: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips, dried apricots or apples
*Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
Mix together the first 10 ingredients (See I told you it's super simple. Just put them all in your mixing bowl and mix together until creamy and fluffy).    

Stir in the oats and flour one cup at a time

Scoop out spoonfuls of the dough on to your cookie sheet.

Bake for 9-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the middle is still a little doughy!
Let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet then gently transfer the cookies to a cookie rack.
Now, simply enjoy!

Chai Tea

3 cups of water
4 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole black pepper
1 inch piece of peeled ginger cut into 1/3 inch disks
1bag of your choice of black tea or 1 tsp. loose in a tea infuser (Irish, English, rooibos, or whatever your favorite is!)
Honey or maple syrup to sweeten
Milk of your choice

Place the first 6 ingredients into a pot, place on medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.

Turn the heat off and let the herbs steep for an additional 5 minutes or so.
Add the black tea and bring back up to boil but only for 2-3 minutes.

Strain your tea into a larger container (tea pot, mason jar, mugs)

Sweeten your tea to your liking and add your milk.

This is such a lovely and warming treat. You can adjust the boiling and steeping times to your desired tastes. If you like yours a bit spicier add 1 each additional spice (except cinnamon). I prefer almond or soy milk in my chai and choose honey to sweeten it but use whatever tastes best to you. That's the beauty and simplicity of either of these recipes, you can tailor them and add what you like best to make it your own!

I thank you for stopping by today and indulging your senses in our kitchen alchemy. It brings such joy to our family to live in a way that brings harmony and happiness and of course, if feels wonderful to share it with all of you! Blessings for a warm and spicy day!

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