Friday, July 31, 2009

Latest Josiahism

We were at the county fair yesterday (I forgot my camera) and we were in the pig barn. Josiah came running up to me and at the top of his voice yelled, "Mom, Mom! Did you know boy pigs have milkers, too?"

Please Pray for Rick and His "Rock"


This is our friend, Rick, and his friend, "Rock". He and I met in school when we had a geology project we worked on together. We worked in the same soil mapping office for awhile and Michael was his best man at his wedding. He is on his 3rd deployment to the Middle East. He's a captain now and in Iraq escorting convoys. Please pray for him and his wife, Mindy, and their two small children. He just started this deployment and has a long way to go. I emailed him and asked him what the story is behind "Rock". If I hear back from him on that, I'll let you all know.
P.S. Michael's brother, Nathan, is over half way through his deployment, so please keep up the prayers for him and his family as well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

German Dill Pickle Recipe


















This is a family recipe that has been in Michael's family for awhile now. My MIL got it from her great aunt. People who love pickles absolutely go crazy over these. Now I'm not a pickle person (I only fish out the pickled garlic) so canning these things is an act of love for my family and friends. I really do enjoy it because I know how much they all love these pickles and it is way healthier than the buying them at the store. We usually make some with barely any spice, some medium spicy and some really hot. The kids beg for these pickles and even like the veggies that go in with them. Last time we canned 47 quart jars in one day. That was enough pickles to get us through two years. These make wonderful gifts, too. I've vacuumed sealed these and sent them to Iraq several times.

German Dill Pickles Recipe:
For one quart jar you'll need:
3 slices onion
3 slices green pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1 clove of garlic (we like to put at least 4 cloves in every jar)
1 small dried hot red pepper (more or less depending on how hot you want it)
1 head fresh dill (or 1 Tbl dry dill seeds)
pickling cukes (as many as you can stuff in the jar)

Pack in jars. Put 2 onion rings, 2 green pepper rings, half the garlic, half the pepper, all the spices on the bottom. Pack with pickling cukes. Top with 1 onion ring, 1 green pepper ring, half the garlic and half the pepper.

Brine:
Boil 4 quarts water and
1 quart apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup pickling salt (the original recipe is really salty, so we like to cut the salt down to 1 cup)

Pour into jars leaving adequate head space. Heat in canner for 10 minutes. Do not boil! Let pickles sit for at least six weeks before opening.

Rough estimate of how much ingredients you'll need for 25 lbs of cukes:
1 gallon apple cider vinegar
1 box of pickling salt
1 pkg bay leaves
6 green peppers
6 onions
1 box/sack mustard seed
1 to 2 dill fresh stalks
6 heads garlic
1 to 2 packages of dried hot red peppers

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Harley Fun

Look what I found in my saddle bag!


Stacie came up last weekend with Lily (her youngest) and Josh (her oldest). We had a wonderful time yard saling, swimming in the pool, wading in the river, going to the arcade, and just driving around. Usually we hole up and don't go anywhere because we have so many kids, but this time we could all fit in the truck, so we did all kinds of stuff.

My sis knows I was having motorcycle withdrawals so she watched the kids for me while I went for a ride each of the three days she was here. What a wonderful gift!





Lily could take a nap in this seat!
















Michael moved the handles bars back for me and now they are really comfortable. I'm glad I've got long arms.
Riding off into the sunset. Thanks again, Stacie!
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Part 2: Homeschool Field Trip to Looking Glass Fish Hatchery

Here are some more pictures of our homeschool fish hatchery field trip. This is a picture of Mitch. He and Josiah quickly became friends. They had a wonderful time together. One big reason I joined this christian homeschool group is so that Josiah would develop some good relationships. Seems to be working. Yeah!
Roger is explaining to us that these large tubs are where they put the tiny fish that have just developed from the eggs.
After the fish get too big for the blue tubs, they go to an outside holding tank where they are given space to get bigger.
















These were indoor holding tanks for the big salmon. They had the nets over them as well as black netting because they could jump right through the nets. These were some heavy duty nets. I was shocked that they have enough strength to go through something like that.

We ended our field trip with a picnic lunch in the air-conditioned building. There really wasn't any place outside with shade. We all had a great time and the kids had fun learning and interacting with each other. Thanks to the moms who were able to make it!
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Part 1: Homeschool Field Trip to Looking Glass Fish Hatchery

Last week, we had six families from our local christian homeschool group who were able to get together for a tour of the Looking Glass Fish Hatchery. Even though it was super hot that day, we had a great time and learned a lot.

We are in the spawning room in this picture.
This is Roger, our Oregon Fish and Wildlife tour guide. In this picture he's showing us what the eggs look like as they develop into what we would recognize as a small fish. They showed us the hatching room which was very interesting.
They let us walk among the outside tanks/pools and look at some really big salmon. They raise 5 types of Chinook salmon found around the area.
Here is a great picture of the outside holding tanks and the building where they actually "hatch" the eggs. The hatchery was much bigger than I realized.
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Confessions of a Blogging/Facebook Addict

Confessions of a Blogging/Facebook Addict:

When my sister was up here visiting this weekend, we were talking (surprise, surprise) about our blogging/Facebook habits. We realized we were both spending way too much time on the computer. Our houses, kids, husbands, work, pets, health and even or relationship with God have been suffering because we've been spending too much time on the computer. I think that is why I've been having a lot of neck and shoulder problems. We realized that as stay-at-home-moms whose husbands are gone frequently, we are craving relationship with friends/family/blogging friends. We were actually feeling a pull towards the computer all day long. I want to be clear: Blogging/Facebooking isn't a bad thing in itself. It is just that we need to bring the time we are spending on the computer under control. With our addictive personalities (we are "all or nothing" kind of gals), we understood that we needed to limit our time on the computer.
So after we prayed and confessed, we asked the Holy Spirit to help us bring this thing under control. We immediately came up with a plan. We are only going to open our email/blog twice a day - once in the morning and once at night. Since surfing the net isn't our problem, we wanted to be able to have access to the Internet for shopping, checking weather, banking and homeschooling if we needed to during the day, therefore we are going to shut off our computers only at night. Thank you, God, for revealing this to us! All weekend, we held each other accountable. We'd go by the computer and say, "Feelin' the pull". I praise God for giving me a sister whom I can be so completely honest with. Thanks, Stacie! You're the best!

So what about you? Are you feeling the "pull" to check your email, blog or Facebook homepage too often? Are you telling your kid's "to wait while I finish this or that" too frequently? Every time you hear the computer "ding" are you checking it even during meal times or when you are on the phone? Are your neck and shoulders killing you because you've been on the computer too long? I hope that unlike me, you can answer "no" to these questions, but if you can't, please consider confessing to the Lord and asking him to show you how much time He wants you to be on the computer. I don't want to get legalistic about this. Depending on life circumstances or personality differences (it may be more or less than what He's laid on my heart), but the point is, search your heart. If you are open with Him, He'll reveal to you what He wants you to change. This has been hard to admit and a little embarrassing, but I hope and pray that my being honest about this topic will help some of you take a hard look at your own Internet habits. Maybe you'll like what you see, maybe you won't. Please, just take it to the Lord in prayer. Now I better get off here!
God Bless You All,
Jackie

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gotta Love the Slip and Slide!

This Slip and Slide was so worth the $7.99 I spent on it. The kids had a blast! I thought I'd post some cute pictures of them doin' their thing. Hailey is such a dare devil. She got right in there.
Josiah had to work out the coordination a bit, but finally got it. He was having a hard time remembering to extend his knees when he hit the plastic. I should have brought the video camera out for that one! He was so funny.
Hailey has this thing about dipping her head in water. Anytime she's around water, she'd dipping. We went to a friend's house for dinner the other night and we caught her doing it in their dogs' swimming trough. I better keep the toilet lids down!
I just had to throw this picture in the mix. Hailey decided to have a sword fight with the water. It wasn't long before Josiah joined in. It is nice to see them having so much fun together. She's getting to an age where Josiah is really viewing her as a playmate. When she's taking a nap, Josiah can hardly wait for her to wake up. I was so worried about their age gap (hubby was deployed between kids and it takes me a long time to conceive) but they seem to be making the best of it. It just confirms to me that God knows what He's doing when He's making families.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Take Me Down Into The River

Here are some shots of the kids playing in the river. Hailey managed to lose one of her shoes. Josiah spent most of the time trying to catch a fish with his bare hands. The crawdads in that river will never be the same! The kids still had a wonderful time and would love to go back soon! Maybe I'll take Stacie and her kids this weekend.
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How to Make Raw Queso Fresco (Fresh/Quick Cheese Recipe)



















Since my blogging handle is “CheesemakinMamma”, I thought I better start posting more cheese recipes. This is one of the main cheeses we make. It is so quick, versatile and easy. I can have this cheese in the press in 2 ½ hours. We use it on our sandwiches and substitute it for most cheeses including mozzarella, jack and even Cheddar depending on the recipe. It freezes very well when vacuum sealed and it seems to hold its shape better. I make approximately 4 lbs (using 4 gallons of milk) at a time. You can cut this recipe in half if you only want to do 2 lbs. I make 4 lbs a week because I trade some of my cheese for the milk I’m using to make the cheese as well as our drinking milk and eggs. You can also make this out of skim milk, although it makes less cheese. We like using whole milk. That is why the cheese is naturally yellow in color. You may use goat or cow's milk with this recipe.

Raw Queso Fresco Recipe:

1. Heat milk to 90 degrees and add 1/4 tsp direct-set mesophilic starter or 8 oz prepared mesophilic starter. Stir in thoroughly.

2. Then add ½ tsp liquid rennet or ½ rennet tablet diluted in ¼ cup water. Stir (from top to bottom) for one minute

3. Set for 30 minutes or until a clean break occurs.

4. Cut curd into ¼ inch cubes.

5. Gradually heat curds to 95 degrees over 20 minutes, stirring gently every five minutes. Watch this step! Don’t overheat because your cheese will turn out like rubber (know this from personal experience).

6. Let curds set undisturbed another 5 minutes
7. Drain off whey then add 9 Tbl fine ground Celtic Sea Salt or cheese salt and let sit covered for 30 minutes.

8. Line mold or cheese press with cheese cloth and put broken up curds into it.

9. Press at 35 lbs of pressure for 6 hours. Remove cheese from mold.

(Note – I really don’t like the cheese press we bought. It is made out of plastic and it is hard to know what your pressure is. You have to keep checking it and tightening. Don’t buy a cheap one! I’m hoping my hubby can make me a different one sometime.)


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally Found One! + Misc Pictures

I've been looking for a used trail-a-long bike for awhile now and I finally found one thanks to my massage therapist, John Combe. He found me one in almost perfect condition, brand name with accessories for $85. Love it! If this doesn't get me in shape, I don't know what will. It is quite a haul with the trailer attached too, but luckily we live on the flat part of town, so I'm slowly working my way into getting in shape to pull both kids. Josiah absolutely loves it and has suggested that we give Hailey a buggy whip to make us go faster. He's learning better balance because of this bike. He can't flop around or it makes me weave. He's doing so much better. Every time we hit the main road, he bursts into song. It just cracks me up. We are quite the site, let me tell you. He'll be singing "The B-I-B-L-E", or "The Battle of New Orleans" at the top of his longs. I feel like the Little Engine that could.

Hailey just loves to help Josiah do his chores. Here she's helping him wipe down the front of the dishwasher. She's singing a little song while she works. She babbles words to the "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" tune. Can't understand the words, I can recognize the tune.


No, I'm not feeding her Diet Coke. My step-dad is holding it in the picture, probably just to irritate me since he knows we don't do pop. This is a picture of Hailey hanging out with us at one of Josiah's soccer games. I just love this shirt she got from her Aunt Abby.



Josiah is getting ready to kick the ball. In this game, he was on the ground more than he was up. I'm wondering if he's going throw a growth spurt.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Part 3: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch


Part 3: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch

Today I’m going to share how investing in a few time-saving tools has helped me when cooking from scratch. I don’t like a lot of clutter in my cupboards or on my counters, but there are a few main cooking tools that I find essential in saving me time.

1. Good food processor: Not all food processors are created equally. I bought a used Cuisinart food processor off EBay and I love it. In fact I got rid of my blender because I can do everything I was doing in the blender in the food processor. I leave it on my counter top because I use it so often.
Some things I use it to for are:
-Shredding large amounts of cheese to freeze in smaller increments
-Shredding/slicing/chopping large amounts of fruits/veggies to freeze or make stir fry, soups, jams, etc…
-Making mayonnaise, mustard, marinades, etc. It’s so easy!
-No more pastry cutter! I use the FP to make the dough for my biscuits-in-a-pan, pie crusts (when I do them), etc. You can use them to mix as well if you don’t have a Kitchen Aid. Just can’t mix a large volumn.

2. Kitchen Aid: Don’t by the cheaper one, if you are going to buy one, invest in the Professional 6. It is bigger and heavier duty. I got a refurbished one off eBay for a lot less than what you can buy it at the store. This thing can go a long time before the motor even starts to get warm.
Some things I use it for are:
-making butter
-making double+ batches of cookies and other baked goods
-mashing a lot of potatoes at once
-I bought a grinder attachment and grind meat and pumpkin (again freeze in two cup increments) in it.
-I bought an ice cream bowl attachment (so worth the money!) and use it to make ice cream. When not using, you keep the bowl in the freezer, so one less appliance to store.

3. Bread Machine (2 lb capacity): I’ve been buying the cheaper ones, but I’m in the market for one that has a stainless steel basket. The cheaper ones all have the spray-on non-stick coating which can leach chemicals in your food. The one I have now is literally starting to peeling off. Yuck!
Some things I use it for are:
-bread
-French bread dough
-rolls
-pizza dough

4. Vacuum Sealer: We have a Food Saver vacuum sealer and it is great. Because I make such large increments of things, it is nice to be able to vacuum seal stuff for dry or freezer storage. It keep things from getting stale or freezer burnt and allows me to make bigger batches at a time so that I don’t have to make that particular item as often. Because the bags are made out of plastic, I find I’m using it less, but there are some things I find that just keep better in vacuum sealed bags:
Some things I use it for are:
-jerky
-cheese
-cooked meats

5. Stainless Steel Cooking Pots: I have 3 main cooking pots I use when cooking from scratch- a 1 gallon, 2 gallon and a 4 gallon pot. I got them all from Wal-Mart and they work just fine. My 4 gallon cheese/soup pot was around $60. If you’re going to do one gallon of soup why not use your food processor chop a few more veggies or better yet, go to your freezer, pull some out, and cook up 4 gallons of soup/stew? Freeze it in increments that work for your family size. Soup is our express food. We use it when we are in a hurry and I don’t have time to cook.

6. Stainless Steel Electric Tortilla Press: I love this thing! I got it off EBay for less than $50. It works like a dream. The kids love to help me make tortillas. You can make a double batch and freeze tortillas, using a square of parchment paper in between each one. When the tortilla bag is empty, simply store it with the parchment paper in the freezer for later use. A wonderfully easy snack for the kids is to take a frozen tortilla, fry it in olive oil or coconut oil until crisp, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Use pizza cutter to slice and eat. It is a fun and tasty way to teach the kids fractions, too.

Well that is it for my time saving cooking from scratch tips. Hope you have learned something you didn’t already know.

God Bless, Jackie

Friday, July 17, 2009

Part 2: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch


Part 2: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch:

1. Make a Meal Plan:
This is huge when cooking from scratch! Some people like to make a monthly meal plan, but personally, I like to do it week by week. That allows some flexibility, because as you all well know, life can change quickly. I only plan breakfasts and dinners, because lunch is always leftovers, sandwiches or salads.
2. Make the Meal Plan Match Your Schedule: When I’m making my meal plan, I pull out the family calendar. This greatly helps me in planning my meals because I know when I should pull something I’ve pre-made out of the freezer or if I have time to cook something new. Get in the habit of checking your Meal Plan before you go to bed each night so you can pull out what you need for the next day from the freezer and let it thaw overnight. Very important if like us, you choose not to have a microwave!
3. Schedule Time to Cook: I only cook new items maybe three times a week. I usually pick a morning or afternoon that I have free and do as much as I can during that time period. Remember if you’re cooking a lot at once, you don’t have to make it very often. If I have time to cook a new meal, I’ll make a ton of it and freeze it in smaller increments for when I don’t have time to cook. This keeps us from going out to eat and saves us lots of money! You’re probably thinking, “But I don’t want to eat such and such that many times!” Pretty soon you will get enough leftovers in the freezer that you’ll have a great selection in not time. For example, I usually have at least four different types of soup and several casserole dishes to choose from on hand.

4. Don’t Get Overwhelmed: Remember ANYTHING you are doing differently is better than what you were doing before. Don’t compare yourself to other healthy eaters. You have to pick and choose the things you feel are the most beneficial for your family. You can’t do it all! Trade with other people who are interested in making something you don’t want to do. Add new things as you have time or interest. Don’t force yourself to make something from scratch if you really aren’t interested in doing it. You’ll burn yourself out. Start with baby steps, eventually, you'll look back and be surprised at all the things you cook from scratch!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Part 1: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch


Part 1: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch:

The biggest obstacle to cooking from scratch that I hear from people is this statement, “But I don’t have time!” When I first started my cooking from scratch journey three years ago, I was overwhelmed from trying to do too much at once. I’ve learned a few things since then. I’m going to break this up into a few posts so it won’t be overwhelming to you!

Today I’m going to discuss some time-saving (and money-saving) methods of cooking from scratch.

1. Take Shortcuts:

a. I don’t peel anything unless I absolutely have to. When you peel a fruit or veggie, you are losing vitamins, minerals and fiber, and time! Leave the skin on potatoes, carrots, etc…

b. Freeze instead of drying or canning: This was a huge time saving tip. Freezing preserves enzymes. Canning damages enzymes and is time consuming. I think drying is time-consuming as well. I also keep my raw nuts, yeast, and wheat germ in the freezer. We buy nearly all our meat farm-direct, so we have plenty of room for large quantities of meat.

c. I don’t blanch my fruits or veggies before I freeze them. Call me crazy, but I haven’t been doing it for years and we’ve never gotten sick. In fact, when you don’t blanch, you are leaving more enzymes intact which aid in your body’s digestion of that food. Best of all, it saves a lot of time!

d. Don’t pasteurize your raw milk, cream before making cheese, butter, etc…Again, you’re losing valuable enzymes. That is the whole point of raw milk.

e. Avoid rolling out dough. Whenever possible, make biscuits in a pan; avoid pies, instead make crisps; use a tortilla press instead of rolling out the tortillas, etc…

2. Double, Triple or even quadruple your recipes:

a. When you are putting out the effort to cook, why not make way more than you would normally make then freeze it in increments you would use? Make a lot! It doesn’t take that much time to make more of something. I do this with my condiments (except mayo) and freeze them. You’d be surprised what you can freeze. You can freeze soups, cheese, ketchup, bbq sauce, homemade mock maple syrup, humus, leftovers and casseroles. Flash freeze your berries, then put them all together in a storage bag. We freshly frozen berries to throw on our granola, pancakes, hot cereal all year round.
b. When cooking beans, rice, mashed potatoes, hamburger, sausage, etc, for any recipe, cook a lot of it! These all freeze so nicely. I freeze these in two cup increments because that is what most recipes call for. It is healthier and cheaper than buying beans in a can, instant rice or potatoes. All you have to do is thaw it out and throw it in whatever you are making. How’s that for instant? Also, gravies, broth, pancakes, waffles, bread, hot cereal and tortillas freeze well. Make a lot and freeze!

*Side note: I find that when I make casseroles to freeze, they taste better if I leave them uncooked. I cook them after they've thawed out completely.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Did You Know?


Did you know that eating too much watermelon can turn your hair red? Happy Summer!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Update on Hailey

Thanks to all of you who prayed for Hailey Baby. She woke up from her nap this afternoon a new little girl. She began eating and drinking water and milk just fine. She kept it all down. Thanks again, everybody!

Poor Hailey Baby!


Hailey Baby is sick. Don't know what is wrong. I was on the phone this morning with my boss and she yacked all over. That'll bring an abrupt end to any conversation! Luckily, he's got two young kids, so he understood. She hasn't eaten much since yesterday at lunch. No diarrhea, no fever, just can't hold anything down. She seemed like she was feeling better and Josiah was begging me to go to the homeschool playdate in the park, so against my better judgement I put her in the bike trailer and we biked over to the local park. Just before we got to the park, she up-chucked all over. I changed her and she seemed again like she was feeling better and wanted to play. I had a picnic lunch packed and she barely ate anything, mostly drank water. She played for about a half hour then started getting clingy again. I knew I better get her home. Just as we pulled away, she did her thing again, poor baby. What do I? I don't have any other clothes to change her into and we've got to bike home. Josiah was on his bike, so it was pretty slow going. He's still using training wheels. We came home, I stripped her down, put her to bed and hosed the bike trailer out. That was my morning! Hope yours was better. I'm praying my little angel gets to feeling better soon.

BTW, the 3 sleeping bags she threw up on while we were camping cost us $45 to clean. Ouch! We could have bought one brand new sleeping bag with that money. LOL!


P.S. Anybody have any tips for teaching kids to ride a bike without training wheels?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Great Weekend of Riding

Michael was a very supportive husband and let me go for three motorcycle rides this weekend. I usually don't get to ride on the weekdays, so he's great about letting me ride on the weekends. It is my decompression time. I love it! On Saturday, I ran into our old neighbor and invited he and his wife for a ride. That was the first time I'd ever ridden with anybody else. It was kind of nice riding with someone else. After church today, I really wanted to try riding on the freeway for little way. I've never done that before and was a little nervous to go by myself, so Michael packed up the kids in the Subaru (great time for Hailey to take a nap) and he followed me. What a guy! We ended up driving to Ukiah and let the kids play in the park and bought ice cream at the little store. It was a beautiful ride although quite windy. On the way home, I rode just in front of a storm. It was very windy on the freeway but Michael said I did well. I hate riding in strong winds! I'll try to avoid that when I can in the future. Here is a picture of me on my ride out to Medical Springs with Lindsey and Paula.

Lindsey and Paula are wonderful friends and great people to go riding with. He made me take the lead. Later, I asked him if I was slowing him down but said he was worried he would slow me down. I really do ride the speed limit (+5 sometimes)!

When I got home today, Hailey was trying to put on my jacket. She kept saying, "Heavy, Heavy!". I helped her put it on and she loved it. Of course, I had to take a picture. It cracks me up the way the sleeves drag on the floor.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sidelines/After-Game Fun With Friends

We had some special bloggy/real-life friends, Yohn and Ruth, visit us the day Josiah made his first soccer goal. We used to go to church with this couple then they moved away. We both have kids around the same age. We’ve kept in touch through emails then blogging. They come to this area to visit family once a year and always stop in for a visit. They are into sports and were happy to come watch Josiah play. He had a great cheering section for that game! Here is a great picture of Josiah watching from the sidelines. He looks so calm. Don’t let the picture fool you! He was a regular cheerleader.

Our friend, Elisha is teaching Hailey how to make goofy faces. She caught on quickly as you can see.
Josiah is an “eager beaver” when it came to giving the other team five. I think this is such a good idea and I’m glad they do this even with the very young kids.


Josiah had been begging to go get ice cream at Dairy Queen all day. I know, it isn’t healthy, but how could I say no when got his first goal? Not only that, it gave us an excuse to see our friends longer.



The kids were getting pretty wound up by the time we finished our ice cream. We left shortly after this picture much to the pleasure of the staff and other patrons, I’m sure. We had a great time with our friends and I'm already looking forward to next year's visit. Thanks for stopping by, Ruth and Yohn!




Thursday, July 9, 2009

Seafood (Shrimp/Clam) Orzo Skillet Recipe

Seafood Orzo Skillet Recipe:

This is what we had for dinner tonight. Even the kids loved it. Yum!
Ingredients:
8 oz large shrimp (cooked or uncooked)
1 tsp oil (I used coconut oil)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp sucanat (could substitute with brown sugar)
2 cups whole wheat orzo pasta
3 minced garlic cloves
2 cups chicken broth
1 10 oz can baby clams in water
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbl fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbl butter
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
Directions:
1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, mix together salt, pepper, sucanat in glass bowl with lid. Add shrimp, shake covered bowl to coat.
2. Add shrimp to skillet, cook until opaque or warmed, but not tough.
3. Remove shrimp from skillet with slotted spoon. Set aside. In same skillet, add orzo, garlic, mushrooms, broth, clam juice (reserve clams), lemon juice, parsley and Italian seasoning. Mix well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until pasta is tender. Approximately 20 minutes.
4. Add butter, frozen peas, shrimp and clams and heat slowly until all are warm, but not tough. Dinner is served! How's that for easy?

Homemade Raw Yogurt Recipe

This one is for you, Anna! I mixed this in with Hailey's baby food when she was over a year old and she loved it.
How To Make Raw Yogurt:
Ingredients:
4 cups raw milk
1/2 cup plain pre-made yogurt (if you want to use a powder starter, follow directions on the package or you can get a start off a friend)
1. In saucepan, heat milk to just below boiling point. You have to do this or it will not set up right. Remove milk from heat and cool to somewhere between 100 and 110 degrees F. Can place saucepan in refrigerator for approximately 20 minutes if you want it to cool faster.
2. In the meantime, preheat yogurt maker (you can look up other methods on the net if you don't have a yogurt maker).
3. Add plain yogurt to warm milk, stirring gently to blend. Pour mixture into yogurt container, secure lid and place in warming basket. Cover yogurt maker and process 4 to 10 hours depending on how tart you like your yogurt. Set a timer! Yogurt should be partially set after processing but will thicken after refrigeration. If it isn't set, then try another hour.
4. Place container in refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours. Don't forget to remover 1/2 cup plain homemade yogurt and store in fridge for use as a starter later! Add fruit, vanilla, honey, etc... to taste. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

First Soccer Game and First Goal

Yesterday was Josiah's first soccer game. I was a little worried about how he would do because he can be a poor sport sometimes when we are playing games. I gave him the sportsmanship lecture and he must have listened because he did great. His first soccer game they got creamed. I think it was something like 1 to 13. I was really pleased because he kept a good attitude the whole game.

I don't know why this picture is flipped, but I hope you can see Josiah standing over the boy he just knocked over. He's shouting, " I'm really sorry, it was an accident!". The crowd was hysterical. The kid was OK. This was the second game. He did a lot better. Sorry the picture is out of order!


In the first game, Josiah was really aggressive, but he was all elbows. He'd push himself into the pack, elbowing all the way. We had a talk about that later. He did much better about it in the second game.


Josiah was typically looking everywhere except the ball. Again, he did a lot better in the second game. He's really learning a lot and quickly it seems.







Here is a picture of Josiah right after he made his very first goal. He was so excited, he even gave the coach "five". This was the second game. His team won that game. He definitely has an encourager's heart. Some of the parents were ready to give him some pom poms! He kept track of the score and cheered every time one of his teammates got a goal.






During his last round of playing, apparently he couldn't wait to go to the bathroom. There was a port-a-potty right on the edge of the field and he just ran out of the game to go. I was grateful that he went in the outhouse instead of on the field. I did make him apologize to his coach for leaving the game without permission. Again, you could hear the crowd laughing. He is just so precocious! All in all, even though the last two days have been exhausting trying to keep Hailey off the field and getting dinner ready in time before we have to go to a game (they are all evening games), it has been worth it. I see my son learning teamwork and how to be a good sport.











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