Friday, July 3, 2015

Baby problems

What do you do if the book you want to read just happens to be unavailable because you're sitting on it??

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Vegan Black Bean Brownie Recipe

I've been trying hard to cut back on sugar, and adding more of the things we get with WIC and our local food pantry into our diets. I tried to make this recipe by substituting applesauce in place of the sugar, but it tasted like straight-up cocoa powder... So instead, I reduced the sugar by 3/4 cup, and it tasted much better. My husband ate his in approximately 30 seconds, so extra fiber, protein, and antioxidants for the win! :) 

I look forward to "tweaking" more recipes and sharing them here on the ole blog. Stay tuned for who know what I'll post next! :) 

Vegan Black Bean Brownies
adapted from No Meat Athlete's Recipe

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ cup sugar
1 1/4 cup cocoa
1 15 oz can black beans
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ c. applesauce
½ c. + 1 T. cold water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and cocoa, making sure to break apart any clumps from the baking powder.

Rinse beans well and return to can. Fill the rest of the can with cold water. Puree beans and water in blender or food processor. (I used our Ninja Kitchen System).

Add bean puree, vanilla, applesauce, and the cold water to dry ingredients. Stir until combined.

Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  [Mine were closer to 40 minutes]. When the brownies are finished they should be firm in the center and the edges will be slightly puffy and starting to pull away from the sides.  It’s important not to overbake in the oven because they will keep baking once you take them out.
Let brownies cool completely before cutting.

(Or cut off a piece and make sure that they taste good, like we did!) 

click here to PRINT this recipe :) 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cottage cheese at home, no carrageenan!

Found out tonight just how easy it is to make cottage cheese at home. . . Which is a great usage of all the milk Cora gets us :)

Take a gallon of your favorite percentage of milk and heat it to 180 degrees fahrenheit, stirring most of the time to prevent scalding. Once at that temperature, add 3/4 cup of vinegar -white or apple cider, again, your choice.
Stir in the vinegar and remove from heat. Let rest (i.e. Walk Away from it, go fold clothes or let the dog out or make a sandwich) for ten (10) minutes.

Pour into strainer lined with cheesecloth.
(You can put the strainer over a pan or bowl to catch the whey for drinking, watering plants, or other things I'm still leaning about)

Rinse with cold water, after removing the bowl slash pan that was under the strainer.
Let drain, add salt or seasonings if you desire, and eat.

You can add a little milk or cream to the curds, too.

This cottage cheese doesn't come out in neat little squares, but it tastes just as good - or better -because the only ingredients are milk and vinegar! :)

It's a great way to put your extra milk (if you get free milk with WIC or a food pantry) to good use.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Thumps in the Night

Something in the corner is making strange thumping noises. . . again.

I think we have dubbed her "Bear" quite appropriately. ... Paddington Bear - albeit a fictional bear from Darkest Peru - pops into my head every time I hear her thumps and bumps in the crib,

if you've ever been fortunate enough to read the Paddington books, you'll know what I mean.  It's a lot like the "quietness" that means trouble with little kids. . .

and it is all I can do to sit quietly and let her "rest."

... Rest, of course, being completely a summation of all the things she is most likely not doing.

She went to bed at 6:30, woke up around 9:45, ate a bit more, and went back to ... thumping, for the past hour or so. Perfect time to catch up on my meal planning and such, right?  ... A little hard to do, though, when one shares a living room and a bedroom with a crib-dwelling wee one.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Early Pi Day

Bear just took a nap that lasted 3.14 hours :)

why laundry is forever

You know you're a mama if you have a pile of laundry waiting to be folded (for a week) because the mere sound of laundry getting folded and taken care of wakes up a sleeping baby :)

[for all you not-yet-mamas, babies have supersonic hearing and extra sensitive vision, and can hear and see things that you didn't even notice!]

Monday, December 22, 2014

Penny puffs

After attempting to paint my nails one evening, I decided to give Cora a makeover .... What kid doesn't love a mustache accompanied by snuggles with mama?  We gave her a beard, a wig, and a few different kinds of mustache. She looked like Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and Kenny Rogers, to name a few. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two months! :)

Introducing Cora Elaine, our little snuggle bear! Today at her two month checkup she was 11 pounds, up from 7 pounds 13 oz. at her birth.
(she was born via C-section after about 24 hours of Foley bulb and Pitocin and no progress past 5cm). She's a breastfeeding champ, and usually finishes her meals in ten minutes or less.
We absolutely love her, and she was the best surprise ever after thinking she was a boy for most of the pregnancy (we were team green, and what baby clothes we had were either from cousin Rafe or gender neutral... But several friends and family members gave us tons of girly clothes so we are pretty much set through six months (she's in 3-6 months now, and we've been taking advantage of thrift stores for deals on bigger sizes for the future.  She found her thumb yesterday, and enjoys trying to put it in her mouth, but usually ends up gnawing on her hand. :p   its kinda hard to remember what it was like with just the hubby and myself, but i absolutely love being a mama, and i know daddy feels the same about being this little girl's daddy. Its kinda scary knowing that God's trusting us to raise her for Him to the best of our abilities, and I'm sure we'll make mistakes, but I'm glad He's there to guide us through it all!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Favorite Sandwich Bread.... (recipe at the end, if you can stand it!)

For a few years now I have been making bread in my bread machine.  That bread machine (inherited from my mama) lasted until this past fall, when it went spazzo on me. We ventured to the mall in hopes of finding a new one, and finally scored a great deal on a little Sunbeam with 12 options (including dough, jam, and cake!).    I started cranking out bread again, happily knowing I was feeding my family healthy food with no extra ingredients or hard-to-pronounce additives.

Fast forward (rewind?) to about a month ago when we started getting excessive amounts of milk, what with the milk vouchers we got at our local food pantry and the 4.5 gallons a month that I qualify for with our WIC checks. .... and then I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes, meaning that milk-by-itself was out of the question.   I figured out that I could turn all that "undrinkable milk" (even more so since my husband can't drink milk without feeling ill afterwards) into delicious yogurt. 

So I started cranking out yogurt by the (huge) crockpotfull. I made some of that yogurt into yogurt cheese, and strained some further to a more Greek-yogurt consistency.  Just this last week, I combined 3 quarts of my Greekified yogurt with 2 cans of pumpkin puree, about 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, and a good helping of pumpkin pie spice. As I watched my handy KitchenAid mixer (an investment that has proved its worth over and over!) blend all the fun together, it came together beautifully smooth and tasted just like pumpkin pie! 

... The only downside of all this yogurt is there're only two of us at home to eat it. So now I get to start freezing it in baggies and such and make my own go-gurts :)   
.... add to that the vast amount of whey that is left after straining my 4 quarts of yogurt:   Each gallon of milk ends up making 2 quarts of Greek (thicker) yogurt and 2 quarts of whey.  

What to do with allll that whey?? 

whey'll, ..... 

I froze about 6 ice cube trays full of whey to put in baggies to add to soup later, and found that I can also add it to bread. 

So to experiment, I took my favorite bread-machine recipe and switched things up a little.  Just out of the oven, and husband already ate a slice with NOTHING spread on it! :)  

Here we go!  

Add to pan: 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ground oatmeal 
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast 
2 tablespoons white sugar 
1 teaspoon salt

Then add (also to pan): 
1/4 cup (plus a tablespoon or so more)  olive oil
1 cup whey (to replace the water in the original recipe, and add more nutrients!) 

Gently stir ingredients together (I use a melamine chopstick) to make sure nothing gets left behind on pan walls, and put in bread machine on the sandwich setting. 

Go do something productive or restful for about 3 hours, and try not to eat the whole thing as soon as it's done (because it's hot). :)  

I like to store my awesomesauce bread in a 2-gallon Ziploc bag :)