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My easy eater has suddenly turned the dreaded picky. Yes, picky. Which makes dinner time not only a pain, but a chore with creating something the little guy will eat. Fortunately, big brother will still eat most things even if he is very specific on what those things are. ” no butter mommy. I don’t like mayo mommy” ( who on earth doesn’t like mayo??!!)
In a pinch, I threw together this quick and simple pasta dish as a quick, before baseball dinner. Mommy win! Nutritious, delicious and pleased everyone in one simple pan.

Sausage Bow tie pasta

2 bratwurst or Italian sausage links sliced into coins
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/2 bunch asparagus, sliced on diagonal
1 clove minced garlic
Handful of crimini mushrooms, sliced
Half lb of bow tie pasta
Parmesan cheese
Dried oregano
Crushed red chili flakes (on side )

Cook pasta as directed on package, drain but save some cooking liquid for sauce
In olive oil, sautée mushrooms and sausage till almost cooked through. Add peppers, thick part of asparagus and garlic and sautée till tender. Add in pasta, asparagus tips and just enough of the cooking water to give the sauce a little body. Season to taste, add in some Parmesan and serve up with red chili flakes for the adults.
Yum!

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Around the yard

February 11, 2011


In our little home, there are many mouths to feed. Every mouth thinks it is the most important, each one demanding its moment in the sun for care, nurturing, grooming and love. One whines, the other cries, another scratches, and many more rally for attention as the days move from wintery frost to spring time rains and budding trees. 

We try our best to give each creature their due attention in a timely manner. We do not wish for anyone to feel ignored, unwanted or neglected. We feed and cuddle and stroke and love each one in their due time, and in return we have happiness.

As this winter begins to turn into spring we have signs of wellbeing from the care we give. Plants are budding, trees are swelling, shoots are sprouting and hens are laying.

These are the moment when our love really pays off. These are the beginnings of life reaffirmed, of the world waking up once more.

 

To wash it all…

January 18, 2011


As many of you know, we mostly use cloth diapers in this house. Now I’m not going to get on a soapbox (no pun intended!) and tell you we did it for environmental reasons, we did it purely out of frugality and cost effectiveness. The fact that it is better on the environment is just a bonus. Since four months old my little guy has used cloth diapers primarily, only using disposables a back up or if we are out about town.

Well, cloth has come quite a ways since our Mother’s cloth diapers with pins and rubber pants and today’s cloth diapers come in all sorts of fun fashion colors with accessories and made from all sorts of materials. You can get them in bamboo, hemp, organic,with animals, flowers and even to support your favorite team.

But the number one question I get from all Mommas who want to start cloth is: How do you wash the things?! When we started using them I used an all natural detergent. What I do is dump the solid waste down the toilet and them put all the diapers in the washer for a cold water rinse followed by a hot water wash on the highest water setting. Then I put them all in the dryer. I hope to hang them to dry this summer once my clothes line is set up (hint, hint, Daddy!)

Using the all natural detergent I did not get the results I wanted so I ventured out and tried a new level of hippidom: I searched and search to find a recipe and made my own soap. My ingredients are Borax, Arm and Hammer Washing Soda and Ivory soap. Thats it. Just three ingredients and I can wash all diapers and all my family’s laundry and it all comes out clean smells, clean feeling and just fresh.

And the best part, besides knowing that I made it myself and its just awesome? The fact that each load of laundry only costs us about one cent! Love it!

Homemade Laundry Powder

Equal parts by weight of Borax and Washing Soda

Equal weight of grated Ivory soap, I usually use about one bar

Mix Borax and Washing Soda together and add grated Ivory soap. Mix well.

Mix well and pour into a container. I use an old wide mouth canning jar. Use one tablespoon per load.

Right now…

January 16, 2011


I am having a chat with one of my girls.  If I talk to her from my living room she will happily answer me by clucking and shaking her tail feathers.

My girls have been free range pretty much all their lives but recently, as in last fall, my husband and I decided to let them be free range all the time, meaning we no longer lock them up every evening rather letting them decide when they go in and when they are out again. This was done during a rather nasty rain storm with some ice mixed in when, let’s face it, we really didn’t want to go outside. They have their coop with lots of clean, warm straw, a heat lamp or two and plenty of food and water – they are set!

As these girls have gotten used to being free they have slowly, ever so slightly, moved closer and closer to the house and garden. They always knew the garden was a plethora of worms, scraps, and other delectable yummies: Momma’s brand new pea shoots? YUM! Momma’s sweet baby lettuces? YUM YUM! Momma’s just sprouted herbs?? Oh my goodness, YES!!!

But now, oh yes now, they have found the patio and the step that leads up to the house. And they watch us. ALL. THE. TIME. And my little guy stands at the window and talks to them. And screams at them. And tries to give them his toys through the glass.

I have a hunch that if I were to prop the back door open they would just mosey on in and make themselves at home. I think we might enter a new world of farm living at that point – chickens running underfoot while we carve our Sunday Roast. Hrmm…

Sorry ladies, I do have to draw the line at house chickens.

I’m sorry.

January 13, 2011


If there is anything I like more than crafting things it is getting a good deal on something my family needs. That being said, I have never been very good at coupons, always believing that I only needed to clip what I bought and use them when I regularly shopped. Boy, oh boy was I wrong.

Today was my very first day of couponing and I scored free dishsoap, toothpaste, floss, Lysol Disenfectant Spray and a can of mixed nuts. Yes, free!! I couldn’t believe it when I left the store, looking over my shoulder as if I were stealing from the store. I was shocked at the easiness of this buying, find whats on sale, match coupons and just buy smart.

But, as I went through my checkout experience I realized just how many times I say I’m sorry. Here it is my turn to check out, and yes, while I know I have coupons and it will take a few minutes longer (I believe I backed the line up about four deep!) and here I am apologizing to everyone in earshot. I’m sorry I take so long, I’m sorry for making you wait, I’m sorry for having coupons, I’m sorry for not having them in order, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

Towards the end of my check out experience I realized that if I am going to join the world of couponing Momma’s out there I need to stop feeling guilty for being a smart and savvy shopper. I realized that I, like so many other girls out there, are sorry for so many things that really are not ours to be sorry for. I constantly apologize and usually for things that are rarely my fault.

So, no, I’m not sorry! If you don’t like my coupons and how long it takes, tough! HA!

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