Monday, April 5, 2010

Esater / Menu planning / Leather Pillow

Easter Morning

When C Monster woke up this morning first thing we did after getting dressed was an egg hunt.  Easter for me not really anymore about religion or an easter bunny but more about the beginning of spring. I am debating next year doing a celebration on the spring equinox instead. That all being said I also believe C Monster should be exposed to "mainstream" culture that "most" kids are exposed to - not for him to feel left out when he is older.

I decided a little egg hunt would be fun.  We had some cloth eggs that we purchased as an easter present for him last year so we hid them around the house each with a picture of the next destination attached.  At the end was a little basket with 2 chocolates and 2 cars.  For me using eggs is OK - the symbolism of eggs for me makes the beginning of life and that's what spring is for nature the beginning.

Here is a video of the eggs hunt - it's a bit long :-)

Once a coat now a pillow

Geoff ruined one of his leather jacket.  I hate wasting perfectly good leather; so I decided to try to make something from it...

Menu Planning - what's this - part 2

As I mentioned in the post yesterday; I was asked: "how do I find time to make everything?" When it comes to meals in the house it seems to just come together; it just happens.  It probably helps that I love cooking and baking.

So how do I find time to make everything? - Well first I am a stay at home mom / homemaker.  Yes I like to call myself a homemaker; I take pride in having supper on the table every night; making sure the house is somewhat clean; planning and designing every little bit of the house; coordinating vacations and family adventures and yes you can forget making cookies and iced tea - to only name a few.

Some tips I can offer you to be able to maximize how much "from scratch" cooking you do:
  1. Involve the kids - C Monster at 2 years old knows how to level a spoon full; fill a measuring cup; operate (with supervision the stand mixer)
  2. Kitchen appliances are your friend - I love my food processor, blender, stick blender, bread machine and stand mixer
  3. Make extras and freeze them.  I often make enough soup to freeze a jar.  When I make pizza dough the recipe is large enough for 2 large pizzas - you can pre-assemble the extra pizza and freeze it for latter.  Same goes for cookies & muffins (take out of the freezer and put them in the oven for a few minutes and you will have the next best thing to fresh.
  4. Pre-prep basics.  I pre-chop garlic and ginger in my food processor and freeze it in ice cube trays. 1 tbsp per cup with some water.  Once frozen transfer to ziplock back.  When you need garlic or ginger just grab a cub from the frezzer.
  5. When greens such as kale, swiss chard, spinach starts to wilt in your refrigerator; clean then chop up in food processor - again freeze in ice cube trays. You can toss these in pasta sauce; pizza sauce or anything else at the last minute to boots up the nutrition value.
  6. Practice your knife skills - once you can chop and cut fast and efficiently you will be amazed at the amount of time you cut off your prep-time.
  7. Keep you cuboards organized - it goes faster to cook something if you can find what you need.
  8. Use your bread machine for more then basic breads; it can make pizza dough; rolls and even sweet bread like banana breads.
  9. Get familiar with recipes; it goes a lot faster to cook something you have alreay done a bunch of time; then to follow a new recipe.
  10. I can't say it enough involve the kids.
  11. Also don't keep the processed foods in the house - if they are not there you will have to choice to make something from scratch if you want to eat.
    Sunday April 4th - C Monster's Food Diary

    Pre-Breakfast Easter Surprise
    1/2 Kinder Surprise Egg
    1/2 Little Scoop Egg

    He refused to eat
    Apple Juice Water Mix (50/50%)

    PCO Berry Granola Bar
    Spelt Pasta with Sneaky Veg Sauce
    PCO Cheddard Cheese
    Apple Juice water Mix (50/50%)

    Afternoon Snack 

    Supper (with Grandpa Roy)
    Pizza Pizza cheese pizza
    Chocolate Milk
    Chocolate Ice Cream

    Evening Snack
    6 Organic Raw Cashews
    1/2 Box PCO raisins

    Now to finish answering how do I do it all - I don't something always gives.  My house is never perfectly clean, my dishes are often behind, my laundry piles up, the dust is gathering on my furniture.  I also have help - my wonderful husband loves to bake and often makes bread in the evening.  My mother in law comes by once every 2 weeks giving me a chance to catch up.

    Sneaky Veg Sauce

    If you have a picky eater like I do you need to get creative. One of C Monster's favorite foods is pasta; white pasta with tomato or meat sauce is not really the healthiest meal so I mix it up for him in a way most kids wont notice.

    1/2 jar PCO 
    1 small onion
    2 small carrots
    2 small beets
    1 cube frozen chard/kale (see tip number 5 above)
    1 cube frozen garlic (see tip number 4 above)
    1 tbsp olive oil

    Chop up onion (pretty small pieces) and start cooking in pan pre-heated with the olive oil. Use medium heat - make sure you check on them frequently and stir to avoid burning.

    While onions are cooking - using your shredder attachment for your food processor shred the carrots and the beets.  Take out shredder attachment and replace with cutting blade and pulse the mixture 3 to 4 time to cut even more finely.

    When onions are getting soft add frozen garlic, chard/kale and beet/carrot mixture - cook until all vegetables are soft.  If mixture is sticking add a bit of water.

    Once cooked mix in sauce and make sure it is thoroughly heated; toss with your favorite pasta and enjoy.  I find that veggies stick better to noodle that are in spiral shapes.

    Looking Forward To

    My garden being planted

    1 comment:

    Geoffrey Wiseman said...

    My jacket got a big tear in it somehow, it's not like I set out to ruin it.

    C has never been great at eating food, bit the last couple days have been worse than most. I guess he knows were recording what he's eating.