Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Fun New Toy for Hannah

We went to IKEA last Saturday for their big Green event. They were selling compost bins and rain barrels for 1/2 price. So we got one of each. The first night that we installed the rain barrel we had a thunderstorm and the barrel got totally filled!! So, now I am waiting for the weather to get warmer to be able to feed dry plants. I love our new compost bin! It feel so much better about chopping up fruits and veggies and being able to put the scraps in the bin to be used later on. Since we eat a lot of fruits and veggies this is perfect for us! Oh, and I garden too so compost will help too!

Another thing that we got while at IKEA is this great swing for Hannah. We got two separate attachments: 1 for on the porch like the picture and the other is down in the basement. It seemed a little bit safer than the wooden swing that they sold. And the pouch swing looks super comfy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What I Am Enjoying Right Now


I have made Kale Chips, which are so yummy and so versatile with different dishes. If you haven't tried it, go to the store and get a bunch of kale and make some. You will be hooked.

My latest creation, and don't get grossed out because it really is good, are Kale Shakes. Both my husband and daughter drink them also. And they are a tough crowd. This is an easy easy drink

Kale Shake

1 cup of Soy Milk (plain)
1 cup of Kale (washed and torn into big pieces with stems)
1/2 cup Strawberries (Frozen or Fresh)
1/2 Banana (Frozen or Fresh)
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder (Unsweetened)
1/2 tbsp of Agave Syrup

Put all in a blender and blend slowly by pulsing it to break up the fruit and kale. Then keep it on medium for about 2-3 minutes. (This gives me time to put all of my left over ingredients away.) You can play around with the fruit that you mix with it. Sometimes I will put in frozen pineapple or blueberries or mango. It just depends on what I have in the freezer. It's a great way to get fresh, uncooked kale into your body. Have fun! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Did you know that...?

Did you know that you can donate old running shoes to groups that will give them to the less fortunate? Last year when I was running a lot, I bought 2 pairs within 6 months because of the miles that I was putting one them, which is definitely not a bad thing. And as I am increasing my mileage this year, I will go through more shoes, I'm sure.

I have probably 3 pairs that I don't use for running. One pair I use in the garden when doing heavy duty gardening and then one pair that I use for just regular everyday walking so my running shoes don't get worn out and then an extra pair somewhere. I could totally donate that pair to one of these places:

One World Running

If your shoes are really beat up, you can send them to Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program.
They use the whole shoe for different things like:
Are there running/walking/tennis shoes that you don't use that you could donate?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Photography Class Session 4

I really enjoyed doing this Photography assignment from Flexible Dream's Blog a lot. It may because I am a Professional Organizer and love seeing things grouped together and finding multiples of things. There was something very satisfying about taking these pictures and looking at the other "student's" pictures.

Here are mine:

We celebrated Hannah's 4th birthday and I got quite a few shots of multiples.

Princess Crown Birthday Cookies

A very random Lily of the Valley bloom in our backyard.

The last 4 were taken at Storyville in Woodlawn.

With this shot, the organizer in me couldn't resist adjusting the plates and plastic-ware before I took the shot so the colors looked together. (Can you say OCD freak?)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Daily Prayer

Keep Me Content
to do what is my duty-
Make me humble,
not asking for praise.
Awaken me to see the
world of beauty:
Teach me the peacefulness
of quiet ways.


My husband's grandmother, Laura, just recently passed away and all of the siblings were to come over to their parent's house to go through her belongings to decide what they wanted to keep. One of the many things that Jonathan and I got was a poem inside of a frame. When I opened it up to put the poem in another frame, I found out it was a card given to Laura by a friend about 50 years ago. Apparently, her friend thought of Laura as someone who did such wonderful things for people and she didn't ask for praise at all. She served & lead people because she loved them. (She was the president of the PTA of my father-in-law's school.)

I thought this poem was worthy enough to share with my blog followers because of the peace that can follow if you keep this in mind.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vegetable Stock

I usually buy vegetable broth either at Trader Joe's or MOM's (My Organic Market). Both brands that I get work for me. I usually get the "no salt added" version because salt adds up quickly and think it taste just as good and then I add my own salt to my taste. But I have been thinking about making my own Vegetable Broth and here is the one that looks the easiest to me. It was from Kitchen Daily. Have you ever made your own Broth? If so, what recipe did you use?
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 onions, quartered
    • 2 to 4 carrots in 2-inch sections
    • 3 stalks celery, with leaves, in 2-inch sections
    • 3 to 5 cloves garlic, halved
    • 4 cups consisting of some of the following, cut into 1-inch pieces: potato, sweet potato, leeks, shallots, summer squash, winter squash, parsnips, apple, mushrooms, spinach, chard, fennel **
    • water
    • 3 to 4 tomatoes
    • 1 to 2 bay leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
    • 1 hunk parsley, stems only is fine
    • any or none of these fresh herbs: a few stems of thyme, oregano, marjoram


Or, In stock pot, cover vegetable mixture with 4 quarts of water. Add tomatoes, bay, peppercorns, parsley, and any herbs you choose. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least two hours.

Strain stock. Stock can be frozen for up to three months. After that the flavor deteriorates.

**(Note: in making vegetable stock, avoid the cabbage family and turnips, lest their flavor dominate. Also, avoid eggplant and peppers, which can turn stock bitter)

about this recipe

Here is one place where the cook can be a little lazy. While you want to scrub your vegetables, you don’t have to peel them—not even the onions or the garlic! You can vary the stock according to what you have in your refrigerator. ( I like to keep a plastic bag full of stock candidates: parsley stems, celery and fennel tops, mushroom stems, carrot and apple peels.) If you want a deeper flavored stock, skip the stove top browning and roast the vegetables with olive oil on a cookie tray in a 425 degree oven before putting them in the stock pot. For added brightness, squeeze a lemon into the pot, or add some white wine. If you think your stock is too sweet, cut down on or eliminate onions. For warmth, add a half teaspoon of fennel seeds or a stick of cinnamon. For a lighter, fat-free stock, eliminate the olive oil and the browning stages, and simply make by combining and boiling all ingredients.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lentil and Veggie Dinner

At the request of my friend, Chrissy, I have a recipe post of my Lentil dinner last that was really really good.

1 cup Green Lentils (but you can use whichever one you like)
3 cups of Vegetable Broth
(When broth is boiling add lentils. Cook until tender)

Red Pepper (diced)
Onions (diced)
Garlic (minced)
Mushrooms (I diced them so finely that my husband and daughter didn't know they were in there. Hee hee)
Carrots (diced)

Toss in a bowl with a little olive oil and some seasoning like, salt, dill and pepper. saute on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

In a bowl, I added the lentils, then veggies and then the Kale Chips. ENJOY Chrissy! It's so easy!

Did you know that....?

Did you know that there are many foods that give you sufficient amounts of iron? I didn't until I found this article from Lately I have been extremely tired. So tired that as soon as Hannah goes to sleep at 7:30pm, I could easily follow her lead and jump into my bed and sleep until the morning. In the past, I have been anemic and I was wondering if I was suffering from anemia now. This article gives suggestions for healthy foods that naturally have iron in it. Here is the chart:

Iron Needs for Adults
The RDA for a vegan diet for iron is 14 milligrams per day for men and post-menopause women. Women pre-menopause should consume 33 milligrams per day of iron.

Iron Needs for Children
0-6 months: Breast milk provides adequate iron, 0.27 mg/day
7-12 months: 11 mg/day
1-3 years: 7 mg/day
4-8 years: 10 mg/day
9-13 years: 8 mg/day
14-18 years (boys): 11 mg/day
14-18 years (girls): 15 mg/day

There are many other foods that contain iron, but these are the higher level iron foods that will address the problem before it begins.

Iron Rich Vegan Foods Amount Iron (mg)
Soybeans, cooked
1 cup
Blackstrap Molasses
2 Tbsp
Lentils, cooked
1 cup
Spinach, cooked
1 cup
Quinoa, cooked
1 cup
Tofu, cold or cooked
4 ounces
Tempeh, cooked
1 cup
Lima Beans, cooked
1 cup
Swiss Chard, cooked
1 cup
Black Beans, cooked
1 cup
Pinto Beans, cooked
1 cup
Turnip Greens, cooked
1 cup
Garbanzo Beans, cooked
1 cup
Potato, cooked
1 large
Kidney Beans, cooked
1 cup
Prune Juice
8 ounces
Beet Greens, cooked
1 cup
2 Tbsp
Vegan Hot Dog, frozen, commercial
1 hot dog
Peas, cooked
1 cup
Black-eyed peas, cooked
1 cup
1/4 cup
Brussels Sprouts, cooked
1 cup
Bok Choy, cooked
1 cup
Bulgur, cooked
1 cup
1/2 cup
1/4 cup
Apricots, dried
15 halves
Vegan Burger, frozen, commercial
1 patty
1/8 medium
Soy Yogurt
6 ounces
Tomato Juice
8 ounces
Green Beans, cooked
1 cup
Kale, cooked
1 cup
Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup
Broccoli, cooked
1 cup
Millet, cooked
1 cup
Sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp

Monday, April 12, 2010

Awesome Kale Chips

These "chips" are so amazingly flavorful! I thoroughly enjoyed them and even made a second batch because they were so easy and good.

1 bunch Kale (washed and cut up)
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300°
  2. Chop kale into ½ inch pieces
  3. Place kale in a large bowl
  4. With hands massage oil, lemon juice and salt into kale
  5. Place kale on parchment lined baking sheet
  6. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes until kale is dark green and crispy
  7. Cook for about 12 minutes but keep an eye on them so they don't shrivel up too much.
  8. Cool and serve

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Treats

On Easter, Hannah, Jonathan and I made some adorable cupcakes that we found on We made lambs, because of Jesus being the lamb of God, who died for our sins. We originally found it when we were looking for ideas for a cake for Hannah's birthday party. The videos show step by step directions and are so easy to follow. I, of course, do not follow directions well and improvised as I saw fit. Can you see what I changed?


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