Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: February 29th, 2012: Gymnastics!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meal Plan Monday: February 27th, 2012

French Toast

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Chicken Burgers

Rosemary Garlic Chicken Skillet

Honey Marsala Pork (Mike's creation, recipe to come.)

Fish and Chips

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

1 lb bacon, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
3/4 cup diced celery
4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 medium red potatoes, diced
1/4 c gluten free flour
2 c chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 c heavy whipping cream

Optional garnishes: chopped chives, bacon bits, sour cream, shredded cheese
In a 6- to 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp.
Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving half for garnish. In bacon fat, cook onions, carrots, and celery until the onions are translucent. Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whisk in flour and stir constantly over low heat until the flour is cooked and the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add chicken stock and half of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
Over medium-high heat, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash some of the potatoes for thicker, creamier texture. Add whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
Adjust thickness by adding water or stock. Soup should have a creamy consistency.
Season to taste, and garnish with toppings.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm a Natural Parent - BUT... MacNCheese is Awesome.

Welcome to the "I'm a Natural Parent - BUT..." Carnival
This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. During this carnival our participants have focused on the many different forms and shapes Natural Parenting can take in our community.
Sure, I have recipes for some of the most delicious homemade macaroni and cheese around. Quality cheese, cream, butternut squash, quinoa pasta, toss with organic broccoli, finish it off in the oven...

But, at least once a month I want mac n cheese. From a box. I don't even want the "name-brand" version. Just the cheap@ss generic kind (though these days we eat the gluten free versions). Here are the totally not "natural" versions I still love even after everything I have learned about food.

"Fish Eye Stew"
2 boxes Mac N Cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 small bag of frozen peas
1 can of tuna in water; drained

Prepare mac n' cheese following box directions. Dump in peas and tuna. Bring back up to temp while stirring. Consume.

"Octopus Stew" (No, I don't know why they are both called stew.)

2 boxes Mac N Cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 small bag of frozen peas
1 hot dog per person

Prepare mac n' cheese following box directions. Dump in peas. While that is cooking, boil a small pot of water. Cut 2/3 up each hot dog creating 8 "tentacles". Skewer hot dog on a chopstick and dip tentacles into boiling water. Let curl and heat through, pushing down to spread tentacles. Serve on top of noodles.

And really, I don't even feel bad about serving these. I don't serve them all the time. They at least contain veggies and protein. And sometimes this mommy needs an easy dinner that is guaranteed to please and fill bellies to "sleep all night" levels.


I'm a Natural Parent — But … Blog CarnivalThis carnival was created by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. We recognize that "natural parenting" means different things to different families, and we are dedicated to providing a safe place for all families, regardless of where they are in their parenting journeys.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012: Natural Play

"I am making a machine that will make you a beautiful dress."

Meal Plan Monday (On a Tuesday): February 21st, 2012

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Italian Lentils and Noodles

Adobo Pork

Garlic, Chickpea, and Spinach Soup

Shepard's Pie

Gluten Free Biscuits and Gravy

New World Shrimp
(From Glorious One-Pot Meals)
Olive oil
1 1/2 c quinoa
2c broth or water
8-12 garlic cloves
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c vermouth OR dry white wine
1 to 1 1/2 lbs uncooked raw, frozen shrimp: peeled and deveined
4 med tomatoes: chopped OR 28oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 green bell pepper: cored, seeded, and sliced
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp dried parsley OR 4 tbsp fresh parsley: chopped

Preheat oven to 450.

Rub or spray dutch oven with olive oil. Pour quinoa into pot and add the liquid. Stir to make and even layer.

In a medium bowl, mix the garlic, thyme, salt, olive oil, and vermouth. add the shrimp and stir to coat. Pour the entire mixture into the pot.

Layer in the tomatoes and the bell pepper slices. Sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven. Remove the cover and let sit for 2-5 minutes before serving to allow the quinoa to fully absorb all the liquid.

Tell All Tuesday, February 21st, 2012: My Spot

So, it isn't perfect. It gets drafty in the winter, but that works out now that we have downstairs neighbors! It has a chaise style cushion to lounge on. When I am organised, what I need is within reach. Except my other children when they start fighting, of course. It is My Spot.

A caddy of handy supplies. An ever rotating stack of books to lure my other children to some quiet time while I breastfeed baby. I know it might look like a box of tissues, but I found it to be a cheap container for a ball of yarn and project. Right now: a scarf requested by L1. And of course my laptop. So I have some kind of contact with the outside world when my whole life seems tied to My Spot.

All the usual suspects: water (usually I don't remember and someone brings it for me!), diaper supplies, remotes, pacifiers my baby rarely deems worthy, deodorant for when I realize I can't stand the smell of myself. There is also a changing pad, but it rarely gets pulled out. 

Do you have a Spot? The best place in the house to snuggle your little ones, read, knit, work, surf the internet? What are your "On Hand Must Haves"? Share with me!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Meal Plan Monday: February 13th, 2012

Little shorter list this week with plans for eating out for Valentine's Day and leftovers from last week. Have a good week!

Chana Masala by the wonderful Anktangle

Quesadillas with refried black beans

Roasted veggies and rice

Chik'n, Spinach, and Pasta Bake: a vegetarian version of this recipe using Quorn Chik'n Tenders and gluten free pasta.

French Toast Breakfast

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli