Friday, June 29, 2012

Good Eats V

You'd think this was a food blog by all the pictures of what we ate for supper and the pancake recipe yesterday! Well, here's the thing, we're getting ready to move! Oh, that! Packing boxes and taking things off the walls does not make for exciting blog material, but we keep eating for some reason, so I keep posting... That's the joy of real-life blogging, right?

We were on vacation through the weekend, and while we ate like kings at my in-law's, I didn't take any pictures to prove it. Well, except the pancakes. There was a rice, broccoli, fri-chick, cheesy casserole by my sister-in-law one night, delicious sandwiches (I love a good sandwich!), pesto pasta--the pasta was fresh from the farmer's market too! We also ate our fair share of our friend's homemade cheesecake. Yum!

Monday: I used the last of my fresh veggies to make yellow curry over couscous. Amazing how long potatoes, carrots and cauliflower stay fresh! Here's a link to the curry recipe that we love.

Tuesday: We're a one-car family right now, so we all go to town on Tuesdays with my husband. We drop him off at work, hit up our two grocery stores, eat lunch somewhere, then head to the splash pad. I thought veggie hot dogs with corn on the cob would be an easy supper, so I picked up some meatless hot dogs (near the tofu), buns and corn at the store.

It's not the healthiest or cheapest meal we eat--the veggie hot dogs are a splurge at almost $4 for eight, but it's a favorite with the boys!

So is corn on the cob. I knew I had a post from two years ago with J2 (above) as the baby eating corn on the cob. Here's a link for that trip down memory lane!

J3 even enjoys chewing on the cob with his two teeth!

Wednesday: I made this coconut vegetable soup again because we liked it so much! I paired it with a green salad with julienned zucchini, carrots and sweet red pepper and made a thai dressing for it. The dressing had lime juice, soy sauce, red pepper, rice vinegar and garlic. We loved it!

Thursday: I got to go out to Olive Garden with a friend and my three boys. What a treat!

What did you eat this week? Did you try anything new?

feed my family friday

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vegan Pancakes with Grandma {Recipe}

We made the trek down to Missouri to spend time with my husband's parents this last weekend. My husband's brother and his family from California were spending the week there, too, and the cousins had fun playing together!

Part of the time my husband's sister and her family was there too, so Grandma and Grandpa had 9 of their grandkids around at one time! That was a lot of fun. And a lot of pancakes!

Four of the grandkids helped Grandma make vegan pancakes on Sunday morning. Isn't that a fun Grandma? She wasn't worried about the 18 mouths to feed, she was rejoicing in her blessings and making memories with them! Love her!

I wanted to share the pictures of Grandma cooking with two 3-year-olds, a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old, as well as the recipe she used. These vegan pancakes are from a book called Best Gourmet Recipes from the Chefs of Five Loaves Deli and Bakery. It's written by Neva Brackett who ran the vegan deli and bakery.

You'll need:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (other flours may be used, such as rice, barley, corn or oat flour)
1 tsp. salt
2 cups soymilk or nutmilk
2 Tbs. honey or cane juice crystals

1 Tbs. non-aluminum baking powder

1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender or with a wire whip. Let sit 5 minutes to become foamy.
2. Pour onto hot griddle, being careful not to stir down the bubbles. Bake until golden brown on each side.

At this point in the process, Grandma got called away to tend to Great-Grandma, so my sisters-in-law and I finished the pancakes. No one took pictures of us in the kitchen--what? We're not as cute as the kiddos?

This recipe says it make 8-10 pancakes, but I got about 15 three-inch pancakes out of the batch. Some variations are to add a mashed banana, a cup of blueberries or a handful of chopped nuts to the mix.

Don't the pancakes look delicious?

We enjoyed our pancakes with a sauce of blended strawberries, banana and apple juice. We also like natural peanut butter and pure maple syrup.

Hope you enjoy these non-fat, no cholesterol, whole grain flour, dairy-free healthier pancakes!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Father's Day Sign

I know Father's Day is over, but I just had to share what I made for my husband this year! Before there was Pinterest, I saw this sign and knew I wanted to recreate it.

As far as I can tell, credit belongs to The Handmade Home

I chose to keep my version simple by using a piece of board, my Cricut and black paint.

First I sanded the wood down to make the edges smooth, then I stained it with 'special walnut' stain. You should totally wait for the stain to dry, but I cut out the vinyl letters with my Cricut and started sticking them on while it was still wet. Well, vinyl doesn't stick to wet stain, so I added a little poly to make them stay in place and it worked great. Still, don't do what I did! Have some patience and wait for the stain to get good and dry!  

If you hadn't noticed, I didn't pay too much attention to my inspiration picture and my quote is a little different. Oh well--it still rhymes!

The next step in the process is to smear black paint all over your kids and freak out that they might touch something! No, really, they've done this before and know the concept. Well, except for the one-year-old who was super tight-fisted, except when he tried to lick the paint! His hand print isn't perfect, but that's ok!

I added my kids' names with more vinyl letters, then sealed it all with poly.

Daddy likes his new sign and we have a lasting memento of when our boys were 5, 3 and 1. Aw...

What did you do for your husband on Father's Day? Any great ideas for next year?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Inspiration Files: Mudroom + Sink + Laundry

My boys would put the MUD in 'mudroom'. If we had one, that is. Just this morning, my boys came in from playing outside and they were covered with dirt. I should have kicked their cute little butts back outside and hosed them off, but I had them go take a shower. That meant that the boys had to traipse through the whole house to get to the bathroom and their messy clothes had to be shlepped back through the house and down the stairs to the laundry. Wouldn't it be nice if all of those facilities were close together?

While you don't see a laundry area in this picture, you can imagine one across from the sink. I like the brown textured rug that would hide dirt and hold up to heavy traffic, as well as the dark color on the walls and built-ins that wouldn't look dirty after a single use.

This entry ha a laundry, a sink and a free-standing cupboard--is that for shoes? I would like to add a place to sit down and a place to hang coats and bags, but I love all the windows and how bright this room is.

I like how DIY-friendly the above space is. Wood counters, farm-style sink, hooks on the wall... Again, a place to sit would be great, as well as a washer and dryer. I could never get away with such a billowy, white sink skirt either--it would get pulled on a grimy from little hands!

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

I love this laundry with the mix of wood finishes and elements that would add to its durability, like the tile floor. I'm sure there's a perfect bench with hooks and storage on another wall, right?

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

Here is a great laundry and mudroom combination that is easy on space and the budget. The shoe storage cubby rolls out to make a bench! All you need here is a sink! (And maybe a little more closed storage for out-of-season items!)

This entry is another that doesn't take lots of space. The hooks on the wall would make a place for the whole family to hang coats and bags, while the tray below is perfect for wet or muddy shoes. You see a glimpse of a sink in the foreground which makes me wonder if there's a laundry nearby.

I like the tile floor in this mudroom with adjacent laundry room! The storage in the laundry room would be great for mudroom gear as well as laundry supplies. I would add bins or baskets under the bench.

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

Nevermind that this perfect space would take up half of my house! It has all of the elements I was looking for--bench, shoe and coat storage, baskets, utilitarian floor, sink, washer & dryer, closed storage, windows... Well done!

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

This mudroom takes closed storage to a new level! I would love to have a space like this, even on a smaller scale. Maybe one of the closets could be exchanged for a washer and dryer, right?

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

This built-in storage unit is pretty enough to be in a high-traffic area, like near a main entry instead of off the garage or back door. I appreciate the warm wood tone instead of painted white--white just doesn't stay clean enough for me, not to mention my mud-covered boys!

Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

I just about gave this pin the boot because it doesn't include most of the elements in my quest. However, I think it's a great mudroom sink and floor. Perhaps the other walls not pictured include closets, a bench and hooks as well as a washer and dryer, right?

Source: via Tamra on Pinterest

Now we're talking! A mini shower! I love the idea, but I would want something that made hand-washing a little easier too. I like the storage baskets and hooks as well. I know that beautiful floor would be constantly wet in my house, so as much as I like it, it would have to go.

Source: via Jackie on Pinterest

I like this sink and faucet, only put a kid in the sink instead of the dog. (Wouldn't a wet dog be prone to shaking and getting mud/fur/soap/gunk all over those pretty white walls?)

What do you look for in a mudroom? Do you have one? Leave me a link so I can check it out!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Barns of Benton County: Tama Edition

You'll forgive me for slipping in this red quonset shaped barn that isn't actually in Benton County, right? I just love the farm house and the pretty, green lawn and what looks like a pasture in the foreground. Looks like there are several other outbuildings, as well as apple trees on the property. Wish I could have a tour from the owner--I'm sure he's in his 70s and inherited the farm from his father, so he could tell us stories all day, right? Sure! 

What's your favorite thing about this property? What stories would you like to hear?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Good Eats IV

We're on vacation at my husband's parents' house, so I'm supposed to make this quick! Since it's vacation I haven't done a great job taking pictures of our suppers, although we always eat really well around here! I do have a couple ideas and links to great recipes, though, so here's the run-down.

One of our favorite meals that doesn't take a long time to make is burritos. Sometimes I have homemade chili beans to use, but it's also easy to open a can of beans. I also like to saute up some fajita-like veggies to add some more flavor and vitamins. This evening I put a red bell pepper, an onion and a handful of sliced mushrooms in a skillet with some oil. I salted it and added some cumin and chili powder as it cooked. We top our burritos with lettuce and ranch salad dressing. Easy and filling!

I had a bunch (actually three!) of celery I needed to use up, so I asked Pinterest what I should make. This Martha Stewart recipe for celery soup came to my rescue. It was really easy to make and tasted good too. It's also very light and low-calorie. Since there was more celery to use up, I made a salad of chopped celery, cucumber, frozen peas, croutons and (imitation) baco bits with ranch salad dressing, parsley and dill. It turned out great! 

One of my favorite new recipes is from a recent Vegetarian Times magazine. I'm not at home and can't seem to find the recipe online no matter how long I search! It peppers, onions and tomatoes in a skillet with eggs fried on top. I will have to post that recipe (or a link to it) soon! I served it with a green salad that I added a few noodles to. Tasted like summer!

What did you feed your family this week?


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