Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beco Baby Carrier love...

I have been wanting a good baby carrier for a long time, I finally got myself a Beco Butterfly II a couple months ago. I love the Beco Butterfly II because I can still carry my toddler who is over 30 pounds comfortably. It seems weird to purchase a baby carrier for a 2.5 year old but it will hold up to 45 pounds. We shop at a bulk store that doesn't have carts, pretty hard to carry bulk items and a 2.5 year old but now he can just ride on my back. We love hitting farmers markets and boy does it help to just keep the little guy on our back. I really love that it has a lining between him and I, it makes putting him on easy by myself, plus it makes it easier switch person to person without taking the child out. I'm sure its going to be a big help on portland public transit in the future. I recommend one for any momma!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Creating a Place to Garden

The future garden

While I'm up here in Portland I still want to be able to garden! I'm at my parents house and this is really the only place that gets good sun. Its kinda hard to see but there is a line curving around the back were it will end. Its a lot smaller then what I am used to but I think that's for the best. I can really focus my time on learning more. The soil up here in their yard is clay so we will have to dig out a lot of it and replace it with some good stuff for growing.

Its a big project and we are starting a bit late but I grabbed a 12 pack starter and will get some seeds started this week. I will be starting claytonia, spinach, kale, swiss chard, red romaine lettuce, and deertongue lettuce. They already have a raised bed full of strawberries (I'm so excited for them...yummy) and we will have our herbs in pots on the deck. I have a lot to learn about growing up here but I am excited for a new challenge. My mom helps run a small community garden so I plan on helping out there and learning from other gardeners.

I did actually get to harvest something this week! Just a few twigs of rosemary to make some homemade conditioner...hey, its something! We are linking up with Daphne's Dandelions for Harvest Monday, a place for gardeners from all over the world to show off there harvests, check it out.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vegetarian Chili with Lentils

We had an amazing friend over awhile ago who is a vegetarian, this is what I came up with for our dinner together. I love chili and making veggie chili makes it easy to adds veggies for the kiddos.

1 cup dried beans
1/3 cup dried lentils
2 carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
3 med tomatoes, diced
2 1/2 cup veggie stock
1/2 cup beer
2 1/2 tsp homemade taco seasoning mix (click here for the recipe)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
salt to taste

Soak beans overnight in plenty of water. Place rinsed beans, lentils, chopped carrots, veggie stock, and beer into a large pot. Bring up to bubble and then reduce to simmer until beans are cooked and carrots are tender, usually takes about 25-40 minutes. Then throw in the bell pepper, onion, corn, and tomatoes, these only take a few minutes to really cook. At this point add your spices, I usually add the the chili powder, and cumin and then 1 tsp of the taco seasoning. Then taste and add 1/2 tsp by 1/2 tsp until the flavor it just right. If it seems soupy or still has to much liquid, reduce until desired. Then take a taste and see if it needs more salt or flavor. Serve over rice with some cheese, sour cream or guacamole. Serves 4.

Today we are linking up with The Gardener of Eden for Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard, so go check out others wonderful recipes.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cheesy Veggie chowder with Sausage

I used these recipes to create a new came out amazing! I love it!
Cheesy Vegetable Chowder from lulu the baker
Cowboy Potato Chowder from tastykitchen

2 mild sausage
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/4 of an onion, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
3.5 cups chicken stock

for the roux:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour

1.5 cups broccoli, in bite sized pieces
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Start by pre-steaming the broccoli until barely tender, not quite done. Then saute onions, and garlic in a bit of olive oil in a soup pot until tender. Add sausage, breaking it up as you brown it. Toss in the carrots, celery and potatoes for a few seconds and then add the chicken stock. Bring up to temp and then reduce to a simmer until all the veggies are tender.

Now to make the roux...Start by bringing your soup back up to a bubble. Then heat up the butter in a large skillet and add the flour, whisking continuously over medium high heat until the mixture starts to turn a golden brown color. You will know when it is ready but be careful not to scorch it. Then carefully add the roux to your bubbling soup and stir it in well, this will thicken it up quite a bit.

Now for the last couple steps, throw in the broccoli and cheeses, stirring well so the cheeses melt. Then add the milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Now enjoy a yummy bowl with some crunchy bread!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tips and Tricks: Cookie Dough

We love cookies but most of recipes make way to many. I try to control myself but I love them to much. This trick helps because we make one batch and divide it into three. We bake off the first third and then freeze the rest. Just plop out the other two thirds onto cling wrap, roll up and toss in a freezer bag. Make sure you mark it with the temp and time. Then you can pull it out, slice it up, then defrost and bake. It works great.

We also add oat flour to our regular chocolate chip cookie recipe, replacing 1/2 cup of the flour with oat flour. We make oat flour by food processing oatmeal, it works great. Now I want to make chocolate chip cookies!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Transition to Portland

The little guy and I (Jennie) will be taking a little hiatus in Portland for a bit. The doctor will be keeping us posted on harvests in the future but for this week there is nothing to report. We were busy all week planning for our little trip. Since we will most likely be here for a few months I might try and start some greens so I can harvest a little too. We are featured on Mama Loves Papa today and plan on guest posting there later this month. We are linking up with Daphne's go check out with others are harvesting around the world.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Small Style

sorry its a little blurry

Our sweet little guy
The little guy has his own sense of style. This is what I came home to the other day after work. He loves hats and accessories, as you can see. It has been tough on him with me working more but at the same time it is good for him.

This week Small Style turns one! Congrats to Mama Loves Papa! Thank you for hosting this fun little blog hop every week.
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