Friday, May 24th, 2013
If this is what happens when you don’t eat your vegetables, I might consider not eating them more often. I love the colors that burst from this artichoke bloom. When the artichokes are still tightly closed, they are more tender for eating, but should you happen to “miss” their tender point, sit back and enjoy their beauty.
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
This is just so bittersweet. I love this St. John knit pencil skirt that I found for $1.99 at the Salvation Army. Now, somehow purchasing anything less fabulous for a penny more just seems so wrong. If you have yet to find your St. John in your grandma’s closet or you don’t have the patience to thumb through racks of ugly, thrifted sweaters, you can pick up a similar skirt from a more recent St. John Collection at Nordstrom for about $500.
Monday, May 6th, 2013
In today’s compare and contrast lesson, I think I just learned what kind of girls my son may be interested in. After he read the story, I asked him to describe the similarities and differences between the twins and he said, “Holly wears clothes that are sporty, and Polly wears clothes that are cute.” The word “sporty” was actually used in the story to describe Holly’s clothes, but “cute” was not used to describe Polly. Poor athletic Holly.
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
When you get three eggs a day from your hens, you end up with this.
So it’s only right that you make this.
While I have heard that real men don’t eat quiche, it seems that real kids do! Using the very easy Paul Deen Spinach and Bacon Quiche Recipe for inspiration, I substituted half & half for the heavy cream and turkey bacon for the regular bacon. From our garden, I had the kids grab fresh spinach to use in the quiche and green onions to topped it with once out of the oven. Next time, I will consider making the crust from scratch like my mother-in-law whips up. But just as time waits for no man, three hungry, hovering little ones wait for no homemade crust. They also didn’t save any for me, so I will just assume that it was good!
Friday, April 5th, 2013
As usual, this cauliflower from our garden made its way to our stomachs long before I had a chance to bring it in and cook it. But I look forward to setting some aside next time to make cauliflower mashed potatoes like these made by Jaden Hair over at Steamy Kitchen.
Saturday, March 30th, 2013
Last Spring, we were patiently waiting for our cute little chicks to grow up and lay eggs. This Spring is a different story. Each day we are treated to three fresh eggs, all laid in the same very hard to reach corner.
I love how each of our hens lays a different colored egg (my trendy little ombré inspired hens). But I am slightly disappointed that I don’t have a blue egg laying hen (a Teal Bird). Maybe next year. Back to this year, the kids and I decided to spend the afternoon decorating Easter eggs. I will admit that I am just now learning the proper way to make hard boiled eggs (ones without the strong sulfur-like smell and green ring around a not so fluffy yolk). Apparently you place them in a pot of cold water, gently bring them to a low boil, then turn the heat off and cover them with a pot lid for about 10 minutes. Who knew?
Although our fresh eggs are pretty enough as is, we brightened them up a bit with natural dye made from the beets in our garden. With beets this big, we figured this was the best ingredient for dye.
I placed the sliced beet in a pot containing three cups of water and boiled on high for about 20 minutes. I have read many suggestions to peel and grate the beets, but I figured that given the short attention span of my little ones, I better speed this process up.
I ended up with 1.5 cups of beet dye. To that I added 2 tablespoons of white vinegar (I have yet to find a resource that explains why, but my educated guess is to make the dye stick to the egg).
To give my oldest son a little spelling lesson while decorating. We formed words with alphabet stickers on the hard boiled eggs before placing them in the dye bath and peeled the stickers off afterwards. The two younger kids used a white crayon to scribble on their eggs before getting a bath to get the same “unexposed” effect. Again, time was of the essence here, so our eggs didn’t bathe in the dye for longer than 5 minutes. I am sure the longer they stay in there, the more intense the color.
While waiting for our eggs to finish bathing, we snacked on the cute carrots from the garden and discuss the true beauty of Easter, and I don’t mean bunnies and candy.
Mission complete for today.
Monday, March 18th, 2013
I had fun putting together this Backyard Carnival Birthday Party for my little man. It ended up only being a party of six people (our normal party of five, plus our “sixth man”, Auntie), but it was such a good time.
While we didn’t fry up everything under the sun, we did enjoy kettle corn, cotton candy, mini donuts, french fries, oreo caramel apples, corn dogs, pretzels, orange cream pops, peanuts, and grapefruit soda.
Custom animal cracker favor boxes were made to hold the birthday boy’s favorite little snack.
If you can’t have a real ferris wheel in your backyard, why not place goody-filled favor bags on a mini ferris wheel?
I just love the homemade aqua lollipops and so did the rest of the crew.
What’s inside the cupcakes? Tons of sprinkles, of course!
A clothes line with colorful sheets pinned up make for easy Carnival Booth stations.
What’s a carnival without games? The Duck Pond Match, Bean Bag Toss, Tin Can Alley, and Hula Hoopla games were a big hit with the kids.
At the photo booth station, a shot of the birthday boy flashing his new age and one of the him and his animal crew after hitting up the Face Painting Station run by Auntie, who somehow finds a way to be MVP of each party.
One of my favorite elements of the party was the orange DIY marquee arrow made of poster board and Christmas lights.
The party was so much fun that the kids begged me to keep the Carnival up for a week. I’ll admit it, I wouldn’t have had a problem keeping it up all year. Maybe we can make it a yearly tradition.
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
This interesting vegetable from our garden is called kohlrabi, a german word for cabbage turnip, but in our house, it’s the purple alien vegetable with the crazy arms. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked, and it’s leaves can be prepared like collard greens or kale. It’s taste and texture are a lot like broccoli, but a bit sweeter. We like to slice it thin (or even sliced like french fries), coat with a bit of olive oil (or whatever oil you prefer), sprinkle with seasonings, and bake until tender or even slightly crisp on the edges. The kids like to help prepare it by throwing all of the ingredients in a sandwich baggy and shaking it up. It’s a keeper!
Monday, February 25th, 2013
For my son’s backyard carnival party, I wanted to order these awesome teal lollipops from This Charming Candy. I now can vouch that February (the month of love and all things sweet) is indeed the worst month to try to order candy in a pinch! I thought to myself, rather than scrap the idea, why not make them. Being that I have always heard that hard candy is temperamental, I was a bit hesitant. But these ended up being easy, inexpensive, fabulous looking, and great tasting. Find the really simple recipe here.
The recipe makes at least 12 lollipops. I recommend purchasing two molds (found at Hobby Lobby for $3 each) so that you can make at least 12 lollipops at once without having to deal with trying to “reheat” any hardened sugar mixture. Who knows how that will turn out. For flavoring, I picked up one of the extracts from Hobby Lobby, found next to the candy molds. A couple of drops of blue gel food coloring mixed with a smaller amount of green (found in the baking section of the grocery store) will give you the pretty clear teal color that I achieved. The outcome, one happy little boy that was impressed with his mommy’s candy making skills.