Monday, February 21, 2011

Two more recipes

I know, I always add three recipes at a time but I couldn't think of a third. Anyway these are two really really good recipes almost worth three. lol

 Super Quick and Easy Whole Wheat Bread
 I can't remember where I found this recipe. I didn't know if it would be good or not, I've been looking for a good bread recipe for a while. This one is really easy and really good.

 Have your favorite little chef help you pour 1 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt
 Then mix it with various utensils :)
 Then realize you can make magic disappearing clouds if you clap when your hands are covered in flour
 1 cup of oats

1-1/2 Tablespoons of honey
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of milk
 Mix together
Form a ball and place on a baking sheet

Bake at 450*F for 20 minutes

When it's done you should knock on it and hear a hollow sound.
It's really to eat! 
This bread would go really well with home made butter!

Chili Your Way
Here is a delicious chili recipe from a great Vegetarian cookbook called "Better than peanut butter & jelly: Quick vegetarian meals your kids will Love!" We love this recipe but, it makes a lot of food so unless you have a big family be prepared to have leftovers.

1 can (15.5oz) of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15oz) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I didn't have any chickpeas today so I used black beans instead)

1 can (15oz) of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed (these are also called cannellini beans)
3 cans (14.5oz each) stewed tomatoes

 1 small can (8oz) corn, drained (I use a 15oz can just because I can't find any organic corn in an 8oz size and I never end up using the leftover corn)

1 zucchini, sliced (I didn't have a zucchini handy but I do usually add it and it's great)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

Saute zucchini, carrots, and sweet potato until crisp-tender in a sauce pan coated with olive oil

Combine beans, corn, tomatoes,and sauteed vegetables in a large pot

Add seasonings:
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon cilantro chopped
2 Tablespoons chili powder
Dash cumin and red pepper flakes - I don't add the red pepper because it would be too spicy for Liam but I do add Asafoetida to help with digestion (it also supposedly helps fight the flu and helps prevent asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough)

Cook slowly for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Lots of protein, lots of vegetables and lots of colors.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the dreaded stairs

How do you get your kids to learn a subject they're not good at or hate? Make it fun. My mother hated history growing up, so she took us to Old Bethpage Village Restoration (Colonial America), Sand's Point Festival (Medieval), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Egyptian). So, we grew up thinking history was fun. This video shows adults will do someting they don't want if it's fun, how much more so will children.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Boiled Wool Slippers

I just bought a pair of boiled wool slippers for Liam and myself from Sierra Trading Post. (Wool is my new obsession)

They have great prices on lots of wool products for both adults and kids. I bought 100% wool made in Austria, Wesenjak Slippers. Liam's slippers were only $14.41 and mine were $22.46. I would suggest wearing them with socks. We love them they keep our feet so warm!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Geology at Garvie's Point

I joined a homeschooling group and Bill, Ella, Liam and I went to our first homeschooling event. It was a geology class at Garvie's Point Museum. I was super excited to go. I haven't spent much time teaching Liam about rocks. Our Earth science studies have been mostly about the water cycle and volcanoes.

Anyway, the lecture was a little over Liam's head, but I tried to make it interesting for him. I found it really informative. He talked about how minerals are formed, how to test their hardness, and how some of them are used.

It didn't help that the room was covered in dinosaur posters and paleontologist tools that Liam was fascinated with.

The classroom was pretty awesome.

Liam's favorite part was the experiment (isn't that everyone's favorite part of a science class). We were given 3 boxes with 5 minerals in each box.

Liam loved looking at them with a magnifying glass. We were to write down their color, their luminosity (how shiny they are), their streak (scratch them against a ceramic tile), their hardness (try to scratch them with your nail, try to scratch them with a penny, try to scratch glass with them) Liam loved scratching the glass with quartz, their break line (the lecturer broke a piece of calcite into parallelogram like piece by hitting it with a piece of iron. He let Liam hold it and carry it around to show everyone), and any other special properties (Liam loved holding the flakes of mica up to the light to see how the light shines through it).

After the class was over we got to see some minerals that glow under a black light.


Then we went upstairs to the museum where we learned a little more about minerals.

And then we learned about Native Americans.

Even Baby Ella got to learn about Native American babies. "Look they were carried around just like me!"

They have a wigwam in the center of the museum that all the kids loved to play in.

I found the museum really interesting.I'd love to go back when it's warmer. I bought two books about Native North Americans for Liam. One about all the different tribes in North America and one about Native North American tales.

Afterwards, we went hiking in the snow, in front of the museum.

and followed animal tracks. We found bunny tracks that led to a tree with moss around it, and then dog tracks.


It was a really fun and educational day!

Monday, February 7, 2011


I have been buying a lot of organic baby things off of ebay lately. I bought a miYim chicken rattle for only $4 (amazon sells t for $10.50).

I'm not 100% happy with it because it's way too big for my 3 month old to hold. I put her entire fist through it, but as she gets older I'm sure she'll love it. Still, I love that it's made of super soft organic cotton velor and stuffed with organic cotton as well. It's surprisingly hard though, not squishy (not compressible) but the beak, wings and tail aren't stuffed so they will be great for chewing on as she gets older.

From the same store I bought her an organic cotton flannel blanket for $4 that Babies R Us sells for $10. I really happy with it. It's very big 30" x 40" so she'll be able to use it for a while.

Here's the best part. Neither of these things were listed on the woman's ebay store. She was selling two 3-6 month organic long sleeve onesies by Tadpole. I messaged her and said "I would like to buy your onesies. Do you have any other organic clothes or toys?" She responded yes and posted the rattle and blanket. I paid $8 plus $3 S&H and she sent me the two onesies for free!

Tadpoles onesies, by the way, are incredibly soft. However the neck opening is a little big. I know babies' heads are humongous but I worry about her shoulders getting cold in these!

I've bought a couple other things off of ebay. Like, organic Under the Nile Footed Pants for $4 (everything seems to be $4!) I bought them in pink and white. No S&H.

It's definitely something you should look into.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Banana Bread

Liam and I made this banana bread recipe that I found on the Dr. Weil website. It's hard to find a really good  vegan banana bread recipe here is one that uses no eggs or milk. If you really can't eat honey (which I don't agree with, I'll post about my brother the beekeeper later) then you can just replace it with sugar or agave nectar. This bread is moist and delicious you won't even notice that it's good for you!

Banana Bread
Native to the Caribbean and Central America, bananas are one of America's favorite fruits. They are rich in potassium - one banana contains 450 mg of potassium, one-fifth of the adult daily requirement - and offer a fair share of magnesium (33 mg), too. In addition, bananas help to strengthen the stomach lining and are good for soothing indigestion. Most banana bread recipes are saturated with butter and sugar. This one uses a small amount of canola oil instead - which is much better for your heart - and honey, which of course means lots of flavor. Don't use regular whole-wheat flour. It is too heavy for this recipe. Look for whole-wheat pastry flour instead.

Food as Medicine
Bananas have two stomach-protective mechanisms. First, they help the stomach lining to produce a thicker mucus barrier to protect against stomach acids. Second, compounds in bananas called protease inhibitors can help reduce bacteria in the stomach that have been shown to promote ulcers.
3 very ripe bananas (I only had 2 bananas)
½ cup honey (I used 1/3 cup)
3 tablespoons expeller-pressed canola oil, plus a little more for oiling the loaf pan (I used olive oil)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used 1 cup of walnuts)
1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Lightly oil a loaf pan.
2. Mash the bananas and mix with the honey, canola oil and vanilla extract. 

3. Stir together the whole-wheat pastry flour, baking soda and salt. Add the nuts.

4. Blend the two mixtures and spoon into a lightly oiled loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until center is set.

I'll post pictures later :)

Waldorf School and Finger Knitting

Bill and I went to the open house at the Waldorf School in Garden City today. It was pretty amazing. They only had wooden, wool, silk or cotton toys NO PLASTIC. They serve organic vegetarian food. They go out for recess twice a day n matter what the weather. The learn French and German starting in Kindergarten than Spanish later. They all learn how to play flute and violin. They learn t knit, do wood working and beeswax and clay molding. The classrooms are beautiful. The teacher and class stay they same from 1st grade to 8th grade. They believe in no media no TV, computers, video games. We really liked it. But it comes with a pretty hefty price tag $10,000 for Kindergarten, $17,000 for 1st grade and it gradually increases to $20,000 for 12th grade.They do have financial aid but its probably not like 90%. Bill thinks I can d it all at home. 

Anyway, when we were going through the school one of the coolest things was the knitting which they start in Kindergarten with finger knitting. I didn't know what finger knitting was so I looked it up. I found a youtube video about it.

It's suprisingly easy. So I tried it with Liam.

He really liked it at first. But towards the end of the 15 - 20 minutes it took to make this bracelet, Liam (the knitting astronaut) was bored. Still I'm really surprised he was able to sit still that long and do it. I'm really proud of him :)