Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Healthy Peppermint Hot Chocolate

So, in the spirit of the holiday season, I decided to make some hot chocolate this morning. Here's my recipe:

2-3 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups raw milk
2 tbsp raw honey, or stevia if you are trying to cut the calories
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
dash of celtic sea salt

Mix together cocoa & salt in a large mug. Warm milk, honey, and flavorings in a pot on the stove, just until it's warm so you keep all the nutrients alive in the honey and milk. Whisk the milk into the cup with the cocoa. Serve!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Creamy Swiss Chard W/Bacon Over Pasta

So this week I couldn't get my local, humanely raised bacon, so I used storebought, but everything else is organic and/or local. In the last produce coop, we each got two bunches of swiss chard, and since my husband isn't a fan of leafy greens, I had to cleverly disguise the greens in a bacon/cheese fest :) He still wasn't crazy about the greens, but ate it all, so that's a good sign! This meal closely resembles macaroni and cheese, but with some green stuff and bacon added. YUM!

1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped coarsely, stems and leaves
7 pieces thick cut bacon or 3/4 lb or so, reserving 1/2 the fat for the sauce
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup sour cream
3 tbsp flour (I used pamela's)
1/2 cup raw cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 lb linguine pasta(I used Hodgson Mills gluten free)

Cook bacon and crumble. Cook pasta according to directions. Use 1/2 of the leftover bacon grease to cook onions and garlic in. Add flour, creating a roux. Then add the milk, sour cream, salt, oregano, onion, garlic & pepper until it thickens. Top with chopped chard, and cook down until greens are soft. Add crumbled bacon. Stir, and mix in with pasta. Serve with a crusty bread or a green salad to complete the meal.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sheperd's Pie

I love shepherd's pie, and it's probably my husband's favorite meal, so that's a plus! Tonight, I had plenty of time to make dinner, so I started at about five, peeled and cubed potatoes for mashed potatoes, and prepped the makings for Shepherd's Pie. I've adapted this from several different recipes and attempts and trials, and I think this is the best version yet.

Shepherd's Pie(serves 6-8?) Time to make:1 hour, 20 minutes

1 1/2-2 cups chopped assorted veggies(tonight I used green cabbage, celery, zucchini, carrots, onions and corn) The addition of cabbage really adds a lot of flavor
1 lb ground beef or lamb(preferably grass-fed beef)
1 tbsp gluten free flour
1 cup organic milk
1 cup beef broth(I used homemade beef bone broth)
6 small potatoes, peeled and cubed( I used 3 baby reds from the farm and 3 organic russets)
1/4 cup organic sour cream
2 tbsp grass-fed butter
1 tbsp lard (for cooking the beef in, grass-fed is very lean)
1/2 can organic tomato paste
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350, Put potatoes on to boil. Brown ground beef in lard in a skillet(I used a cast iron skillet so I could just pop it in the oven. Add all veggies and cook until tender. Add broth, 1/2 cup milk, salt, pepper, worcestershire and tomato paste and then sprinkle in the flour, mix well. Let simmer for a few minutes. Meanwhile, make mashed potatoes. You can just take the pot off of the stove, add butter, 1/2 cup milk, sour cream and salt and pepper and mash right in the pot, or you can transfer potatoes to an electric mixer. After all is done, if using a cast iron skillet, just plop the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture and spread evenly. You can also use an 8x11 glass dish and put meat mixture in first, then top with potatoes. Sprinkle mashed potatoes with shredded cheese and cook for 30 minutes in the oven! Let cool for a few minutes before eating. It gets VERY hot!

Thanksgiving recipes

I have decided this year I'm going to help out my mother-in-law with Thanksgiving dinner, even though she usually say's that I don't need to bring anything when I ask. Here's the recipe that I found I'm going to use.
Cream of Mushroom Soup:
olive oil
1 lb. button mushrooms (or any other kind you prefer)
6 Tablespoons butter
2 cups chicken/vegetable broth
2 cups whole milk
6 Tablespoons flour (sweet rice flour preferably, but brown rice flour works ok too)
1 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard less than 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a little kick (optional)
salt to taste (maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons)
French Fried Onions
1 3/4 – 2lbs fresh Green beans, cleaned and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 Tablespoon Tamari J’s Wheat Free Soy Sauce

Directions: To start this recipe, I would prepare the french fried onions. It would be smart to prepare these in advance and store them in an air-tight container, so you are not stuck in the kitchen for longer than you have to be. First, saute your mushrooms in olive oil and set aside. Next, prepare your cream of mushroom soup. Start by melting your butter in a large saucepan and once the butter starts to bubble, add your flour. Then add your spices- I chose dry mustard, shake of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and the tiniest amount of cayenne pepper. Once the roux has cooked/bubbled for a few minutes, add your milk and chicken/vegetable broth. Whisk until the sauce thickens. Once the sauce has thickened, add back in your mushrooms. At this point, cook your green beans for 4-5 minutes until bright green. Strain the water from the green beans. Once they are done, put the green beans in a large casserole dish. Mix in the soup and soy sauce. Top with the French Fried Onions. Bake for about 35 minutes on 350 degrees or until bubbly. This will make a huge casserole!

French Fried Onions
1. Gather your ingredients.
2 or 3 big sweet onions (shallots are a good variation)
enough milk for soaking onions
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons salt (try the first batch and adjust the salt to taste)
pepper (you can also add a little cayenne pepper if you wish)
gluten free flour
oil for frying
2. Measure gluten free flours, salt, and pepper and put into a zip lock bag.
3. Slice the onions and separate into rings.
4. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Oil should be about an inch deep. When the oil is hot enough, a flick of water will make the oil sizzle.
5. Soak the onions in milk for a few minutes. Don’t try to do all the onions at one. Just one batch at a time.
6. Dredge the onions in the gluten free flour. Give them a good coating of flour.
7. Place the onions in the frying pan with the heated oil.
8. When the onions start to float to the top turn them over and cook until just golden brown
9. When the onion rings have finished cooking, lay them on a paper bag or paper towels to cool/drain some oil.
10. Store in air-tight container, top your casserole, or eat them!

Recipes taken from I think I'll also make a gluten free cornbread dressing as well. Anyone got any good recipes?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Steak Fried Rice

I'm down to the dredges of the cow share that I took part in last october. Why I saved the filet mignon for last, I dont know. Well anyway, it was sort of freezer burned. So, instead of throwing it out, I decided to cut it up in pieces and make filet mignon fried rice. Turned out pretty good except I wouldnt cook the filet all the way through next time. Medium rare would have been perfect. Another good reason not to use such a fine cut of meat for fried rice!!

2 filets, or cheaper cut of meat, cut into 1 inch cubes.
2 cups cooked brown rice(day old is best for fried rice)
2 free range eggs
any combination of vegetables that you like. I used zucchini, white onion, carrot and white cabbage, about 1 1/2 cups.
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp organic wheat free soy sauce.
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, sliced
sautee veggies until tender. In a separate pan, cook meat until medium rare or medium if you are using filet, otherwise, you can cook the meat in the same pan with the veggies. Combine veggies and cooked rice. Season with fish sauce and soy sauce and ginger.Add steak right before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Acorn Squash stuffed with Apples, Sauteed Swiss Chard with Bacon & Raisins and Roasted Lemon Chicken

This is a three course meal that I made last week. I usually have to prep food ahead of time, because I get home around 6:30 or 6:45 most nights, but I will not sacrifice homemade food just because I don't have enough time when I get home to make meals from start to finish. I cooked this chicken ahead of time and reheated later. I used the microwave to cook the squash because I was running short on time, but I normally would use an oven. It would taste better but take longer to cook..probably like an hour or so. So, if you have time, go for the oven! The swiss chard took like 6 minutes to cook. I cooked the bacon ahead of time and chopped all the veggies, so all I had to do was combine ingredients in a pan and cook.

Roasted chicken with lemon:

1 whole (preferably organic)chicken-I used a 2.5 lb chicken from a local farm
1 lemon, cut in quarters
2 cloves garlic, chopped
sea salt & pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil for basting

Rinse chicken & pat dry. stuff cavity with garlic and squeeze lemon juice over it. rub salt and pepper into the chicken skin and then stuff the lemon in the cavity as well. Baste with coconut oil. Cook in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apples

1 acorn squash, cut in half
1 granny smith apple, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tbsp grass fed butter
agave nectar or maple syrup

Place squash in a microwave safe dish, fill cavity with apple chunks. Microwave on high for 15 minutes, or until done. Top with pats of butter, agave nectar and cinnamon. Cook in microwave for another minute or so.

Swiss Chard w/ Bacon & Raisins (adapted from recipe on

1 bunch swiss chard, leaves removed from ribs, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
1/4 cup raisins
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped

Sautee onion in coconut oil until tender and transulcent. Add smoked sea salt and swiss chard. Cook down until wilted, add water and raisins and cook for a few more minutes. Add in bacon right before serving. Very kid friendly with the raisins and bacon..oh and afraid of vegetables that are too green husband friendly too. He liked it! yay!

Crock Pot Steak Chili

So, I had a sirloin tip roast in the freezer that needed to be cooked and instead of making the typical roast with potatoes, onions and carrots(which I do all the time) I wanted to give it a twist. It happened to turn out like chili when I was done though. And it was darn good!

1 2-3 lb sirloin tip roast, browned to seal in the juices
1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced or chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 cup dry black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup salsa(I use jack's, cause it tastes so fresh with the cilantro)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 jalapenos, chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place roast in the bottom of crock pot. If there is any visible fat, trim before browning and remove bones if need be. Combine all the rest of ingredients in crock pot and stir. Cook for up to 11 hours on low. Use a fork to break up the meat into pieces after it's done. I like to stir in some ketchup afterward and top with cheese and sour cream. It really did end up tasting like a steak chili!

Gluten Free Banana/Pumpkin Muffins

I made these last night and they turned out amazingly well! If you don't use Pamela's mix, make sure you add baking soda. Pamela's mix already contains baking soda. It also has a trace amount of milk, but you could make it dairy free by combining your own gluten free flour blend.

1 cup pamela's mix (or other gluten free flour blend)
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup raw honey
2 free range eggs
1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
4 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup canned pumpkin pie filling(I used an organic brand)
1/2 cup mashed banana(about 1 banana)
chopped pecans or walnuts on top

Preheat oven to 350. Mix eggs, oil, vanilla and honey together until well blended. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into muffin tin or loaf pan. Top with nuts. If making muffins, cook for 23-28 minutes, if using loaf pan, cook for 1 hour. Yeilds 12 muffins. I think next time I'll add dark chocolate chips too!

Mark's Tuna Salad

My husband can make a good meal, even though I rarely see it! Last night he made tuna salad for us for dinner. This recipe could easily fit into a traditional foods lifestyle if you alter the ingredients some. I used mayonnaise purchased from The brand is Wilderness Family Naturals. It contains no soybean oil, and is all natural. I would omit the relish and replace it with finely chopped naturally fermented pickles and add a little honey for sweetness. You would probably want to leave out the lawry's salt as well. I would have used celtic sea salt, but the hubby was making it, so..

Here's his recipe:

2 7 oz cans tuna, drained(We like albacore)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
lawry's salt(to taste)
2 free range hardboiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup sweet relish(we like Wickles)
sweet mesquite seasoning(to taste)
1 tbsp grainy mustard
mayonnaise, to the consistency that you like

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, serve with crackers, as a sandwich or in a salad. Mark had a sandwich with raw pepperjack cheese, and I had it served over a salad with raw pepperjack, fresh avocado and homemade dressing.

Friday, October 30, 2009


So, some people think I'm crazy, but most of my friends and family think its cool the way I eat. Yes, I have my slip ups and eat a handful of candy corn(my weakness!!) now and then, but for the most part, I've been trying really hard to eat traditional foods, local, organic and as much raw milk products as I can possibly afford. The next habit I need to kick however is my Starbucks habit. It's not that I even need the caffeine. Sometimes I go in just to get a drink out of habit. It's paying a hefty toll on my wallet though. I've found this awesome app for my palm called Budget Manager, and it's basically like a checkbook register in your phone. I always hated writing every purchase down, but I've got my phone with me at all times, so it's really easy to enter in amounts. It helps track your money and each budget individually. I know what I have in my account to the penny now and it's really helping me spend my money wisely. Anyway, back to food. My next challenge is to start taking coconut oil daily to see if it helps with my thyroid function. I've heard of people going off thyroid medication completely after taking coconut oil daily. What an easy fix! Last year, my family and I bought a whole pig from a local farm, lard, jowl, everything. A few months later, we bought a whole cow, bones, organs, everything. After reading the book, Real Food, What to Eat and Why, by Nina Planck, I was so convinced that eating traditional foods, the foods that were available and readily eaten 100 years ago is the healthiest way to eat. I understand why vegans and vegetarians feel the way they do about killing animals(well, only the ones that feel bad for the way animals are treated, not the ones that think animals shouldn't be killed at all, regardless of how humane it may be), but I'm convinced that I need a good amount of meat, protein and fat in my diet, but from a humane source. That's why I buy locally. I've felt this way for years but was convinced that I needed to eat according to the food pyramid to be healthy. Being gluten free, it's very hard to get in a lot of grains in a day, and I felt overwhelmed. Reading this book helped affirm my feelings about food and a diet that suited me. I'd say in a given day, my percentage of fat/carbs/protein is 50/30/20. Not exactly following the food pyramid. I believe that each person is different and that there's not a one size fits all approach to a healthy diet. I happen to feel great eating more fat and protein and less grains. Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox and share a recipe for everyone :)

Black Beans and Rice

1 can diced organic tomatoes
3/4 cup salsa or 1 can rotel
1 pork jowl, frozen or thawed
3 cups homemade chicken stock or bone broth
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 lb black beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
some salt and pepper
2 cloves minced garlic

2 cups cooked rice

Combine all ingredients except rice in a crock pot and cook on high for 6 hours. Serve with rice, sour cream, cheese and some sliced avocado. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rain, rain rain..

Ethan is now 9 and a half months old. We had a fun filled summer. Lots of pool time, spending time with family and a fun 5 day trip to Florida with the girls and babies. On that trip, Ethan popped his 6th tooth and just about gave up his pacifier. He still takes it occasionally, but he prefers the real thing :) It did help get through those rough colicky months though, and popping 3 teeth in like 3 weeks or something. He's eating 3 meals a day (usually sweet potatoes, peas, banana, meat, some kind of cheese or yogurt, kiwi, avocado and green beans makes up his meals) I occasionally give him brown rice and brown rice pasta, but only occasionally. I don't want to overload his system with grains.

Despite the rain, I love this time of year. It starts to get a little cool outside (by cool I mean low to mid 70's) and it's now okay to make soups a regular part of the weekly meal plan(I love soup all year round, but Mark think's it's wrong unless it's cool outside). My garden is starting to take form. I now have basil, coriander(?), green beans, cucumbers, and jalapenos. I grew some tomatoes over the summer and one plant did well, the other did not. We also tried to plant blueberry bushes and they just never took off. Hopefully now that I have a rainbarrel catchment, I will keep up with the watering more frequently and save water while doing it!

We're having such a hard time not totally going overboard on toys and clothes for Ethan. He so doesn't need any clothes. Everyone I know lately has had boys so I've gotten lots of hand-me-downs, which also helps justify buying the "Happy Father's Day" onesie, "Happy 4th of July" onesie, and halloween pajamas..oh and a halloween t-shirt that glows in the dark :) We also just bought him a cool truck by this company called Sprig. It's all recycled and eco-friendly materials. I love cool unique toys, something that no one else has.

I've been really getting into cooking lately as well. Since last summer, I've grown to love the farmer's market and coop sharing. The Movement Dallas is the coop that my mom, sister and I are a part of, and they are now offering salmon, bison, and local, organic produce in addition to the raw milk, cheese, yogurt, chickens, eggs, beef and pork. I swear, I think I could live off of this coop and never go to the grocery store. My hubby wouldn't go for that though :) He likes his boxed cereal and chips and salsa too much. I've been trying to make sure that I order at least one or two kinds of meat each week so that we pretty much only eat sustainable, organic meat. I was getting so excited about Ethan being able to have milk products soon, because I strongly believe that raw milk is very healthy, but I think he's sensitive to it. Maybe he's just not ready for it yet, and in time, his body can tolerate it. I don't even know if that's it, but he's had an ear infection and has just been generally fussy and gassy for weeks now. I got all the dairy out of his diet (including butter in my cooking) and he's seemed a bit better in the past few days, so we'll see.

And on to food! Tonight I made wild alaskan salmon(packaged on the boat, frozen the whole way, so you know it's fresh). I cut open the vacuum-sealed package, and all I could smell was the sea. It was so nice to not be overwhelmed with a strong fishy smell. All I did was put some salt and pepper on it, and placed it skin side down in a cast iron skillet in some olive oil and cooked it till it flaked. Then, squeezed some lemon juice over it. I served it with sautéed bok choy, which had some chopped garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. A scoop of brown rice finished out the plate. It was so amazingly simple and delicious. Tomorrow I'm going to make bison chili, with soaked red beans and some cocoa powder (don't knock it till you've tried it!)

Work has been insanely busy lately, but in a good way. I like knowing that I can go to work and there will be plenty to do. Tuesdays are a bit crazy though. I split working and babysitting with my sister on Tuesday. My day starts at 7 am. I get up, get Ethan ready, make breakfast, get my pump ready, diaper bag packed, lunch and water packed, and head to my sister's. I have to be there by 8:45 at the latest. Either Shelley or I take the early shift to work and the other works in the afternoon. So for four hours, I watch 4 kids. We have a lot of fun in these 4 hours and I'm so glad that my little boy gets to play with his cousins at least once a week, usually more. Today, I took them all to Brilliant Sky, a kid's toy and bookstore in Highland Village. They carry all the unique toys that you don't see everywhere. You'll see brands like Melissa and Doug, Alex, Learning Toys, Edushape, Sprig, Playsilks, etc. I love it because they have a remote control train table, a marble game and other toys that kids can play with there while their parents look around. It seems like there's something for every age group to play with. We left there and it started to rain. So, we piled in the van and went an picked up lunch for my sister and mom, then drove to the studio, and when Shelley and I were doing the trade-off, Shelley stood in the rain while I got my stuff together. Addison came up with me and hung out while I worked. Actually, she was a big help. She tagged and bagged jewelry, and helped keep my boss's little boy entertained for a bit. After work ended at 6, I headed over to get Ethan, and went home to make dinner. Then there was dishes, and Mark bathed Ethan while I worked on my brother's website for a little bit. Got Ethan down to bed, and now I have some alone time. I love busy days like this, but let me just say, I'm glad it's only one day a week!! Well, that's all I got for today. I'll try to blog again soon. HA HA. right. It's been 4 months since the last post. Let's just be honest, it will probably be another 4 before I post again.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wow, I've gotten really bad at blogging!

Well, it's been over 4 months since I last blogged. Let's just say, a lot has changed in the past 4 months! Ethan is getting so big and he's growing every day! He's already 17lbs 3oz and 28 1/2 inches long at only 5 months old. He's going to be a tall boy! He's rolling over enough that I have to keep an eye on him and he's learning how to grab things, especially my hair and jewelry. He's doing great with nursing. We never really had a problem with that except for one strange week when he was 2 months old that he would go like 6 or 7 hours without nursing, and when I would try and nurse him, he'd get fussy and arch his back. I'm not really sure what that was all about, but we got through it. He still sleeps in bed with Mark and I most of the night, but mainly because I've been dealing with insomnia for the past 4 months. I know, you're thinking..surely you would have had more time to blog if you were up all night watching the clock tick away. Well, I found that getting up out of bed made me more awake and made it worse, so I layed in bed, for hours some nights, wondering why I couldn't sleep. All the while, my child was sleeping peacefully next to me..sometimes 8-10 hours at a time. I figured I would get more sleep if he was in bed with us, so all I had to do was roll over and nurse him. Instead of finally drifting off to sleep, only to hear the monitor go off and have to get up and go get him. Luckily, my sleep cycle is finally normalizing. At first, my insomnia was the result of taking too much of my thyroid medication. I guess pregnancy can do some funky things to your hormones. Then, once I went off of that to normalize my hormones, I began taking zyrtec to help me sleep. I became dependant on it, and I think it eventually gave me insomnia. I've been off all medication(excluding the small amount of thyroid med) for the past two weeks now, and am slowly sleeping longer at night. My doctor thought that it had to do with low blood sugar beacause I would wake up at 3 or 4 am, ravenous, and sweaty. One night when I woke up, I got up and got a snack. I fell back asleep very soon after that, so I guess that was it too! Once I'm sleeping normally again, we're going to start putting Ethan back in his crib. I feel jipped though, because Ethan is a great sleeper..usually going 6-10 hours each night without waking up, and then there's me, laying awake, when I could be sleeping!

Anyway... my job is going well. I've been with Rachelle Dauphinee Jewelry for the past year and half and the business is growing! My highlight of the year so far though is being able to take a metalsmithing class with her. We're trying to expand our knowledge of jewelry making and evolve a bit more, so with that comes training. This week we learned about annealing and fusing. Basically we heated sterling silver until it turned red and pulled all the copper out of the metal, leaving fine silver in it's place. Next week we will be making a cuff. I'm having so much fun in this class!

Ethan's been so cute lately. He's started pulling his feet to his mouth and sucking on his toes. It's cute until he's big enough that he's walking around..then it won't be so cute putting his dirty feet in his mouth :) I have to be careful with breastfeeding because he's beginning to clamp down on me with his gums....That hurts, so I can't imagine how much it will hurt when he has teeth! We've been recording Ethan with our video camera almost once a week for the past month or so, because I've just realized how darn quickly he grows. I mean everyone tells you that, but you just sort of blow it off. It's totally true! I never realized how fast the newborn phase goes by. Now he's 5 1/2 months old!! I just bought him some new cloth diapers. We've been using Bum Genius 3.0 pretty exclusively, but I was doing diapers every day, so I decided it was time to get some new ones. I got an Econappi by Swaddlebees in chocolate with blue polka dots, two thirsties covers and a thirsties diaper, 5 prefolds, 1 prorap cover and 1 Happy Heinies AIO in a yellow color. I absolutely love the Econappi, and of course it was the most expensive one, at 26.95. But if it holds up, it will be worth it. Maybe I'll just set aside that much each month to buy more! I never realized how fun diapering could be!

Ethan's getting close to starting on solid food. He's not showing all the signs yet, but I have a feeling it won't be long. I want to wait as long as I can though because of the history of family allergies. Anyway, as you can see, my life is pretty much all about Ethan now. I love it!

I'll post about something else now. I love this time of year. I think I posted a blog last year around the same time, but I was pregnant at the time, so food sounded awful to me. The farmer's market is in full swing, and fresh seasonal produce is abundant. Last weekend, my sister, mom, Megan and I all went to the Farmer's Market in Coppell and Dallas. We got our raw milk and cheese, organic, local eggs, and I picked up some fresh uncured ham as well. After we got back to my mom's house, we made pickled beets, fresh pickles, ricotta cheese, beef bone broth and peach/plum jam for us all to share. All of the ingredients were fresh, local and organic. I made some roast one night and homemade biscuits with raw butter and topped them with the peach jam. It was to die for! Everything tastes so fresh this time of year, and I'm glad I'm able to enjoy it, since I'm not pregnant and nauseated by everything! Tonight I made a thai noodle and chicken dish that turned out really well. It's funny because last year, the week I found out that I was pregnant, I made a thai rice and chicken dish and it was the next day that I felt the nausea of pregnancy for the first time. My whole pregnancy, the red curry paste I used to cook the meal with sounded absolutely repulsive to me. Well, tonight I opened it up again, took a whiff and it actually sounded really good! Here's my recipe:

4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp red curry paste
4 tbsp coconut oil, plus 2 for veggies
2 green onions, chopped
4 basil leaves, diced
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp agave nectar
couple of squirts of chriracha sauce(hot chili sauce)
1 package vermicilli rice noodles (Kame brand)
12 oz chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 onion, thinly sliced,
3 garlic cloves, chopped

Mix the first nine ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. Sautee the veggies in the coconut oil until crisp tender. Put water on to boil and cook noodles until tender (about 2 or 3 minutes). Drain noodles and rinse with water to prevent sticking. Sautee chicken in a separate pan until done, then pour in sauce and veggies and heat until hot. Serve with crushed peanuts and a sprig of cilantro.

This turned out really well. I based the recipe loosley on one that I found online, making my own alterations.

We got together with the families from the birthing class that we took on May 24th. That was so much fun seeing all the babies..they are all about a month and half within age of eachother. I also enjoyed hanging out with other moms that are in the same place in life as myself. I'd really like to get together with them again sometime. Well, that's all I have for tonight. I'll try and blog again very soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pictures of baby Ethan

This is my sweet baby Ethan. He's so adorable. My dad took these pictures when he was about 2 1/2 weeks old. He's now 4 weeks old. I can't believe a month has gone by already since I had him! He's getting more filled out every day and is already developing a bit of a personality. We are trying to develop a bit of a routine, but as I've come to realize, that's easier said than done with a baby. Just when you think you've got them all figured out, they change and there's a whole new set of challenges and experiences that you weren't prepared for. For example, just recently I thought I figured out all the reasons he cried; wet diaper, hungry, tired, hot, etc. Well, yesterday he was pretty fussy all day no matter what I did, and then I finally realized that he wasn't getting enough to eat, so I think he's going through a growth spurt and needs more milk now. But it was frustrating at the time because he wouldn't take a nap all day and didn't finally go to sleep until 12:30 last night. Luckily he slept really well and is currently still sleeping :) It's great once you finally figure out what they need! He's growing really well and goes back to the pediatrician in a month. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about the whole vaccine thing. My pediatrician is really great and strongly believes in letting the parent chose whether or not they want to vaccinate, which is nice, but now the decision is ultimately up to me. My husband doesn't really feel strongly either way, so he doesn't have much of an opinion. I guess I have a month to decide :)

I've slowly returned to work. This week has been an exception though because my husband has been working on my car and the past 2 days have been really icy outside, so I haven't been to work all week. It's been kind of nice though and I'm trying to enjoy the time off while I can even though I am starting to have cabin fever! I've been making dinner every night too, which is nice because I really enjoy cooking, but I don't enjoy it when I don't have time. We did figure out a way for me to only have to work 25 hours a week, which makes me happy. I thought I'd be able to handle more but I guess I didn't realize how much energy a baby can take out of one person! Not that he's difficult, but caring for a baby is certainly a job in and of itself. However, it is the most fulfilling and joyful job that I've ever had! I absolutely love my job working for Rachelle and it is the perfect job to have when you have a baby because I pretty much have all the freedom that I need to tend to my baby.

I think I've finally mastered the whole cloth diaper thing. It's really much easier than I expected it to be. I think my husband agrees. Granted, he's a newborn and washing the diapers is much easier now than it will be when he starts eating solid food, but still. I also feel much better about not throwing disposable diapers into the landfill. It's really not much more work. You just have an extra load of laundry to do every other day or so. The only downfall to me is that cloth is bulkier, so you need a bigger bag to carry them in when you go out. I'm sad because the diaper bag that my husband bought for me for Christmas is too bulky to carry around all the time (and it was expensive too!!) That, and Ethan doesn't last very long wearing a wet diaper without getting fussy because there's not that absorbant crap in them to wick the moisture away from their bum. He must be changed, and he must be changed now! Ah well, luckily the diapers we are using are cheap and washable, so it's fine! Anyway, that's been my life for the past month!