ERGObaby Giveaway

Another awesome giveaway to enter!

I would love one of there to help tote my very-moblie-never-wants-to-sit-still son.

Enter at One Frugal Lady.

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Britax B-READY stroller Giveaway

Oh how I would love to win this stroller.

Look at all these configurations. FUN! I love the second seat accessory! That would be a must!

The Shopping Mama has a giveaway going on one right now.

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First 5K

I signed up for my first 5k two days ago. It’s this Saturday…and I’m pretty excited…and nervous!

I worry that my left leg will give me a little trouble. I had shin splints a few months ago and I’ve just recently been able to run again. I have not been able to run too fast as my shin starts to tighten up. I really hope with a lot of stretching it will be kind to me and let me put my all into the race.

I timed myself on Saturday and I ran 3.1 miles in just over 30 mins. I am aiming for about 28 for the race…so we will see.

I’m so excited!

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Peppermint Chocolate Green Smoothie

Oh My! This is good!

Thought I’d try a “Green Monster” .

Peppermint Chocolate Green Smoothie

3 cups Spinach (or a big handful. Steamed)
1 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
1/2-3/4 frozen banana
2 heaping T Cocoa Powder
1/2 t Peppermint Extract
2 T Ground Flax Seed
3 cubes of Ice

Like peppermint patty (with a bit of banana)…for breakfast. The kids LOVED it!!! I will be making this again and can’t wait to share one with Chris.

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We’re a one zucchini family

Some mornings I wake up and decide what I want the day to be like. Sundays are challenging at times. Chris leaves  early for meetings at church and it is up to me to get myself and 4 kids ready for church and out the door by 8:35. It takes at least 15 minutes to get them out the door and buckled in the van…in the summer.  I don’t think much more needs to be said about why Sundays can be a challenge.

I woke up this morning knowing I was not going to yell (that usually starts when that 1.5 hours I had to get ready passes by in  30 minutes and leaves me 5 minutes to get 4 kids dressed, find their shoes, get them to the van and remember to put my shirt on that I’m  “ironing” in the drier.) I did well this morning. I even gathered my children for a prayer before I threatened them with their lives asked then to get in the van. That was a first! I hope to do more of it.

Church was great today, as usual. I was even able to go to Relief Society meeting while the presidency and young women took over primary. It’s nice to get away from the kids for a bit and enjoy conversations with adult women. Imagine that!

I’m no good at fasting but tried today. The first Sunday of the month is fast and testimony meeting. No breakfast for me. The kids had some left over “brownies” that I made yesterday. I changed the recipe up a little but these Banana-Coconut Bars were really yummy.

Banana-Coconut Bars

1/4 cup silken tofu, lite or regular ( I used firm tofu…don’t laugh it’s all i had. Just beat it with the mixer as long as you can and it will get smooth crumbly)
3/4 cup brown sugar or Sucanat (brown sugar)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon rum (or 1/2 teaspoon rum extract)(I used maple…YUMMM)
2 large bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour(I used whole wheat…next time I will try white)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut

For topping:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the top I just sprinkled my pre-made cinnamon sugar over it.

Preheat oven to 350F and oil or spray a 13×9-inch baking dish.

Mash or blend the tofu until smooth. Add the sugar and blend with a fork until creamy. Add the vanilla, rum, and mashed bananas, and stir well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the coconut. Make a well in the middle and pour in the banana mixture. Stir only enough to moisten the flour (over-stirring makes them tough). Pour into the baking dish and put into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.

Remove from the oven and while warm, cut into bars. Sprinkle the mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon over the bars, reserving some to sprinkle onto the serving platter. Remove each bar and put it on the platter.

Gone in less than 24 hours!

For lunch I made another Curry-Coleslaw Cucumber sandwich.

Arnold’s Multi Grain Sandwich Thin
Layer of sliced cukes
Handful of baby spinach
Huge scoop of the curry coleslaw I made a few days ago. I’ll post that recipe soon.

Chris enjoyed his too.

After lunch I went to check on some of the zucchini. Chris picked a big one yesterday so I knew there were more. I came back in with 13 zucchini. Dinner??

I had seen a recipe I wanted to try so I started to search. WHY?? don’t I bookmark recipes I want to try? An hour later I found it…right where I knew it was. Well, it was worth the search cause it was a hit. Chris raved and thanked me for all the effort I’ve been putting into feeding our family better meals. It made me start to think about why I started this change.

First, I wanted to lose weight. And lose it in a healthy way…not by cutting out my meals so I can eat chocolate chip cookies all day.

I wanted to feel better…and THAT I do!

I wanted to stop eating so many boxed dinners and processed foods. And Burger King…I used to eat there at least once a week…3 times some weeks.

I was really inspired when we took our family camping trip to Moosehead Lake. As we were driving down the dirt roads to the camp ground started listening to a nutrition show on Dr Radio. I’ll have to do my research and figure out who it was but she was interviewing an author of a cookbook. Something along the lines of a southern comfort food gone healthy vegetarian cookbook. It’s bugging me I can’t remember…I will figure it out. The author said something along the lines of “if you can make a dead bird taste good you can makes vegetables taste better” It is so true. My meals have tasted so much better since I’ve started planning the meal around a vegetable rather than a pound of ground beef. It was a turning point.

I also have a friend who started a blog about her experience with CSA. This post helped confirm what I needed to do. I haven’t joined the CSA but I am not buying processed boxed foods. When I get groceries I leave with a cart full of veggies and fruits. I also have my gardens that are giving me an abundance to work with…such as those massive zucchini.

I had to start using them up and I remembered seeing a recipe that I thought I could adapt a bit. Found it on Katheatsrealfood.com

Summer Squash Gratin

  • 2 medium squash
  • 2 medium zucchini (or one giant one!)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2/3C shredded cheese
  • 1/4C panko bread crumbs
  • basil, salt, pepper, oil

Directions are on the post.

I used a giant zucchini. I also diced up half a block of firm tofu into tiny chucks and sauteed it up with the garlic. I didn’t mix it in with the cheese and tofu garlic mix but layered them separately in the dish.

More of an after shot.

It was DELISH! The kids didn’t care too much for it but they loved the couscous I served with it.

12 more huge zucchini are sitting on my counter…Time to cut, blanch and freeze!

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So excited…and potato soup

A friend of mine is running a marathon right now! She has about 20 mins left to make the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. I’m so excited and anxious to hear how she does…

GOOO AMY!!!!

While she was out doing her easy peasy 26.2 miles I pushed out ‘about’ a mile. Not sure how far but I ran back and forth in front of my house a few times. Evening goes by too quickly so I did what I could. I don’t dare run too far in the dark. There are too many things that could “get me” out here. Like some crazy hick or an angry chicken.

Tonight I wanted some comfort food for dinner. It’s been a bit chilly for this time of year so potato soup sounded perfect. Typical of me, it’s 5 and I need to make dinner. I search the internet for at least 45 minutes to find something to make. I’m learning that healthy is often found under vegan when searching recipes. With Chris and I both being lactose intolerant vegan recipes offer great alternatives for things like potato soup. And this one was DELICIOUS!!

I changed it a bit as I didn’t have all the ingredients. It was so yum. I will be making it this way again. The original recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen is here:

Potatoes can be microwaved, boiled, steamed, or even baked beforehand, but microwaving is quickest.

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked and peeled, if desired
1/2 small onion
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (using more will make it spicy)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon raw cashews or 1/2 tbsp. cashew butter (optional)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 1/2 cups low-fat soymilk or other non-dairy milk

Vita-Mix InstructionsHigh-Powered Blender Users: Place two of the potatoes along with the remaining ingredients into the blender in the order given. Start machine on low speed and increase to highest setting. Blend for about 4 minutes, until steaming hot. Dice remaining potato and divide it among 4 bowls. Pour the soup over the potatoes and serve hot.

Regular Blender InstructionsRegular Blender/Stovetop Users: Chop the onion and sauté it until soft in a medium-sized saucepan. Cut the potatoes into cubes and add 2/3 of them to the pan, along with the broth, rosemary, white pepper, and salt. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Pour into blender along with cashew butter, soymilk, and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth. Return to pan, add remaining potatoes, and cook, stirring often, over low heat until hot.

What I changed:

I used chicken stock and a rosemary garlic herbal blend. I omitted the salt since there was plenty in the chicken stock. I also omitted the cashews and yeast…not a staple in this house. I added 2 diced crimini mushrooms that I sauteed with the diced potatoes…perfect!

I left some of the skin on the potatoes so it made the soup a greyish color. Made Chris a bit nervous but let me tell you…it was soooo good! A great winter soup.

Here’s a picture of one of the girls tiny bowl. The light is bad so it looks more green but it was an ugly gray.

Amy should be done her race by now…can’t wait to hear!

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Avonana

With all of my kids I’ve done some sort of homemade baby food. Why? Because it’s cheaper, and sometimes easier. I know what they are eating. I can add texture and flavor and so far I’ve found my kids to be pretty good eaters.

I do buy some jar food and start off with rice and oatmeal cereals. There are times I need to just grab a jar of food and go. When I am making food I usually make it at meal time and don’t do much for storing it.

Avocados are a great first food for a baby. They are mild tasting, super creamy and have loads of good fats in them. Great for their brain and central nervous system. This along with a list of other great nutrients.

I have not made much food for Wes yet. I tend to start with jar food since I’ve not been able to achieve the same smoothness with my cheapy tiny food processor. Today we made some Avonana. He loved it. Julia said it looked like green frosting…and really it was quite tasty.

Avonana
Half of an avocado
1/4 or so of a ripe banana
Few drops of water to achieve desired thickness

Blend away. It will make a super creamy, sweet, NUTRITIOUS meal for your monkey! And I bet they will love it!

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