Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Visit to a Temple

During a recent trip to Hawaii we took a day trip to the Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples. The Byodo-In Temple is located at the foot of the Ko'olau Mountains on Oahu. The most sacred aspect of the temple is the nine-foot Buddha. The is the largest Buddha carved in over 900 years. Surrounding the Buddha are smaller carvings of enlightened beings known as Boddhisattvas. Here are some pictures from our serene trip to the temple and it's grounds.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Here are some pictures from our garden. The flowers are blooming and the veggies are ripening. Looking forward to a summer of fresh homegrown food!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Harvesting Collards

After a successful winter garden, my daughter and I harvested the last of the collards. It was time to prepare the soil and get ready to plant spring and summer veggies. Collards are so full of vitamins and fiber, a great addition to any meal. I also learned that they are delicious sauteed with a little garlic and olive oil, no need to cook them for hours in a pot of water and no need to add pork. Fresh and clean, that is how they are best!

Here are some pictures of our last batch of yummy homegrown collards:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Start your Veggies in a Sunny Window

As spring quickly approaches it is time to start your summer garden. I found this picture on an adorable blog called The Lark. What a great way to recycle your tea tins! You can plant your starter seeds in these sweet tins and when ready transfer them to a bigger pot or bed in the yard. I also have been storing up toilet paper rolls to use as little pots for my seedlings to grow in. You can find a complete tutorial for starting seeds in toilet paper rolls on the ehow website. Here is a picture of their final product:

I have just begun prepping our raised boxes for our spring garden, I will keep you posted on our progress and share pictures as well. I hope this summer we have a larger harvest and less caterpillars.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

My children are very particular about cookies. They don't like them from a box and toll house are not up to par. My personal recipe for "Surfer Cookies" meets their satisfaction though. "Surfer Cookies" are oatmeal chocolate chip and absolutely to die for. Whenever I try a new recipe they ask, "Why? Where are the surfer cookies?" Recently, my neighbor introduced me to an amazing blog called Whatever. She has a recipe for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. Why not, one more try... Well success! Here is the link to her blog and yummy kid friendly recipes: http://megduerksen.typepad.com/

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Valentine's Day Cafe

My husband and I were invited to our youngest child's school for a sweet valentine's day celebration. They set up a cafe with tables, candles, menus, the works. We were seated and served a yummy snack by our sweet boy and treated like very special guests.

Here are some pictures from our date at the Valentine's Cafe!

Our waiter ready to seat us with menu in hand

The table was set and decorated by the children, tie-dye hearts and all

A healthy muffin and sweet/salty snack mix

A recipe book and flower as a gift...

No-Knead Bread Recipe

After much buzz about the no-knead bread I will share the recipe with you all. My dear friend Jacqueline passed the recipe on to me and I am forever grateful. What a gift! Watching it rise, the smell of it baking, eating it fresh from the oven has really made my family appreciate the art of bread. Not only is it healthy and fresh, it also saves money that I used to spend on artisan bread. Jacqueline not only makes amazing bread, she prepares healthy meals made from local and organic foods. She shares her passion for healthy food with friends by preparing meals, sharing recipes, and meal ideas. Her email address is cateringtokids@homesc.com for more information about her mission.

So hear is the recipe passed from Jacqueline to you!

No-knead bread:

Mix together:
3 cups of organic bread flour (or for healthier bread 2 c white/1 c whole wheat bread flour)
1 packet dry yeast
1 ½ tsp kosher salt

Add to dry mixture:
1 ½ cup water

Rest 4 hours in bowl covered with towel in a warm spot

Flour surface place dough on surface and fold in half

Place bowl upside down over dough on surface for another 30 min.

Preheat oven to 450

Place dutch oven in oven to warm up

After 30 min is up place dough in dutch oven, cover

Set Timer for 30 min. Check to see if it is golden brown. Remove when done.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

D.I.Y Composter

My son Baylor recently decided to make a composter for a class project. The project was to do something that would have a positive impact on the earth. After doing some research online he gathered the materials and put it together. The process is shown below....

First he drilled holes into a large garbage can for ventilation (organic matter needs oxygen in order to break down)

Next he decided to paint the composter to give it a personal touch

He placed straw in the bottom of the can to promote drainage

In went the organic matter we had collected from the kitchen

I will keep you updated on our DIY composter, but as of today I think we need another can. It is amazing how little trash we have now once we have recycled and composted!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No-Knead Bread

Here is the follow-up post to yesterdays post on the bread of France:

My second bread making experience turned out just as yummy as the first. I prepared the dough at around noon. Simply mixing bread flour, salt, yeast, and water together in a bowl.

Then I covered the bowl with a cloth towel for 4 hours in a warm spot.

After letting the dough rise for 4 hours I placed the dough on a floured surface and folded it in half once. 

I then covered the dough with a bowl and let it rise for another 30 min.

After 30 minutes I place the dough in a heavy enameled pot and baked it for 30 minutes covered. After 30 minutes I removed the top for 2 minutes to get a nice golden crust.

The family loved the bread and ate it along with yummy soup for dinner. The perfect meal for a winter evening.  Most of the bread (and butter) gone!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Bread of France

This past fall I was fortunate to visit the beautiful country of France. I have been lucky in my life to have travelled a great deal but I had never been to France. I was blown away by the beauty of the country, the  art, the wine, and especially the bread! After spending 10 glorious days in France and eating more baguettes then I would like to admit, I became a bit spoiled. Unlike in America, people are not afraid to eat bread. It is a part of their culture. In Paris, everyone on the metro has a beautiful golden baguette sticking out of their purse or half eaten in their hand. I returned from France in search of the perfect loaf of bread. After failing many times I decided to make my own. I made 2 loaves of no-knead bread last week and it was delicious! I am making another batch today and will share the results in tomorrows post, but in the meantime here are some pictures of bread in France....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sofa Slip-Covers

Having three kids places a definite strain on your furniture. Luckily most of our furnishings are wood and not fabric. But the one of the sofas we own has sure taken a beating! Our neighbors were getting rid of this sofa and offered it to us. It is a "vintage" Crate and Barrel with nice lines and a great pull out bed. We love the couch but after many smoothie spills it could sure use a face lift. Above is a great hemp fabric I found from hemptraders.com . I want something durable. non-toxic, and eco-friendly. I have also thought about going with white. Something I can throw in the wash with some oxy-clean. Any thoughts on what works best in your home?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Slow Cooker - Lentils

I shared this recipe last year but am reposting it in honor of my friend Lisa who just took the Crock Pot plunge. This lentil recipe is easy, healthy, and inexpensive. It takes me about 5 minutes total (including chopping) to prepare. Yummy and quick! Bon Appetite Lisa!

  1. 1 bag lentils
  2. 1 box chicken or vegetable stock
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 1 diced onion
  5. 1 red pepper chopped
  6. 2 chopped and seeded jalapenos
  7. palm full or approx. 2 tbls. paprika
  8. " " " cumin
  9. " " " chili powder
  10. minced garlic to taste (heaping tablespoon for us)
  11. dash of cayenne

put in crockpot on low for 6 or high for 4

serve as burrito or taco filling or nacho topper with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream

freezes beautifully

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just Released

Do you have a shelf full of cookbooks that looked great in the bookstore but have collected dust ever since? If so then here is the cookbook for you! Make Me Something Good to Eat a cookbook by Tamara Davis has answered my prayers. This small cookbook is full of kid friendly recipes suited for adults as well. The recipes are healthy and quick promoting simple living at its best. I ordered the cookbook after getting hooked on Tamara's online cooking show and have since plowed my way through the book making everything from orange and green muffins to pasta with pesto sauce. OK so here is the challenge, clear out the clutter! Donate any cookbooks that have not been used recently and only keep what you love and use. If there is a cookbook with one or two recipes you like tear them out and place them in your recipe binder. Out with the old in with the new.....

Check out Tamara's Web Site at http://www.tamradaviscookingshow.com/

Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Batman's After-School Snack

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread/Muffins


3 or 4 ripe bananas, mashed up

1/3 cup melted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 organic egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups of spelt flour

Chocolate chips (a many as you like)


Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Melt butter in bowl. Add bananas and mash them up with fork. Stir together. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over top of mixture & stir together. Add the flour & mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan or muffin pan. Bake for about 1 hour, muffins about 15-20 min. Remove from pan, slice, and enjoy.

The Library - Save on Cash, Clutter, and Waste

A while back I wrote about my love of books. I also discussed my self-imposed restriction on my purchase of books. So far it has been a success. I have continued to utilize the local trade-a-book to get new books while I trade in the old. I have also expanding my library use 10 fold (you know you are a frequent visitor when you don't need to show your library card). With a bit of delayed gratification the library is not only free but efficient as well. Here is how it works. I go online reserve the books and movies that interest me and when they are in I receive an email notification. Usually it only takes a few days to get what you are looking for unless it is a new release & you are way down on the list. The NY Times Book Review online is a great resource for new books that you might want to reserve. Now I am able to read as much as I want without the expense, the waste, and my shelves are relatively clutter free.