Tuesday, January 31, 2012

David Suzuki Foundation Website

Because I'm a big fan of David Suzuki's (and hope the planet doesn't collapse before I do) I sent Members of Parliament prewritten messages about a variety of issues...here.

Scroll through the list, if any of these issues are important to you, our your loved little ones, send a message and pass it on.

In addition, here's a confession. I feel guilty eating seafood. It's just how I feel. I know the oceans are in terrible shape and humankind is not being very kind to aquatic wildlife. There is good information about how to be a more conscious seafood consumer and even things to consider when eating out (sushi) related to mercury levels, etc.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Laundry...is it clean?!

Do you ever (also) have this problem...is the laundry in the basket clean or dirty?

I know it sounds like a dumb question, but when you're sleep deprived, have an armful of dirty clothes and wet towels and ALL YOUR HAMPERS ARE FULL OF is it clean/dirty CLOTHES then lie to me and say you've NEVER thought decided (aloud or in your head) "Oh, H-E-(double hockey sticks), it's easier to rewash the whole load again..."

Until TODAY. Black marker & some kind of clip = never guess which load is dirty or clean again! Whichever word faces the clothes inside = the status.

Until someone forgets to turn the clip...or your child or pet "removes" it., etc...
Ah heck. Sometimes good intentions are all that matters. Happy laundering!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Super Easy Home Made Salad Dressing

It's this easy...in order of most to least in the jar:

Oil (w-ever you like, I use canola), + Vinegar (I use sushi seasoning vinegar b/c it's sweet and mild, photo below) + whatever else you like (I like soy sauce, honey mustard & spices).

Store in fridge, shake and serve with your favorite salad!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Easier Homemade Baby Food

Ok. With the 2nd baby I was all ready to feed him store bought baby food...until...he started reacting to stuff. Long story short (he's fine) I'm serving him up some good homemade mush inspired by a batch of pureed yams my mom (thanks mom) gave us.

So. There are LOTS of recipe books, blogs, newsletters, advice and tips about making and storing baby food. This works well for me:

  • boil up [whatever food you're making]
  • emersion blender (the hardest working small appliance in my kitchen) w/ cooking water to desired consistency
  • pour it all into a parchment paper lined baking pan
  • freeze until almost frozen
  • take out of freezer, pop onto cutting board, cut up like brownies
  • toss back into original freezer bag, if possible (saves labeling & using a zip lock bag), or toss into a zip lock freezer bag
  • Please refer to your own trusted sources for best used by date, cooking methods, etc...
I like this because it's fast, easy and I found that not everything freezes well, or to rock hard consistency, in ice cube trays (apricots, prunes, etc...). If more cooking water is added to the blend then the mush is easier to pop out of out of ice cube tray once frozen...but pouring it into a pan (for me) is way easier.

You can use this method for blending up & freezing fruit for smoothies, etc. 

P.S. Another freezer storage tip...pour your soups & other "freezables" that start out soft (chili, pulled pork, etc) into zip lock freezer bags and freeze flat...then store upright like books in a bookshelf - save so much space and thaws quickly. 

Bon appetite!

Monday, January 23, 2012

SHE ATE IT! eggs + panko

Someone in our house is a little picky when it comes to food. Not all food though, "Treats" are a sure winner...but a scrambled egg? Hardly.

Yes, I know that Jerry Seinfeld's wife has a that cookbook out about sneaking healthy food into your kids diets, which is great but tonight I am not in the mood. I have enough cookbooks in my life to sink a ship and besides (right now) I think sneaking things in is annoying and more work...and...perhaps someone should just learn to deal with it (ok...that someone is obviously me...but let's just pretend it's not). Oh, and while I'm at it, I don't have it in me (today) to even think of making things "cuter" by adding eyes and/or cutting, peeling or slicing food into shapes.

Speaking of those scrambled eggs mentioned earlier. Here's winner #1, discovered by using the leftover egg wash from tonight's breaded chicken:

Egg + Panko Bread Crumbs > fried in a little Olive Oil = crunchy egg fritters. 
This is as close to a scrambled egg as I've gotten in 2 years so I'll take it. I don't care that she thinks it's crunchy chicken, even though I corrected her and said it was crunchy eggs. Besides, I think she was ignoring me.

P.S. Don't forget. I welcome any (easy) meal & snack suggestions and thanks in advance! 
P.S.S. I'm trying "You have to eat 3 things b/c you're 3 years old." Tonight she chose 1 peanut and 1 raisin to go along with her plain noodles tonight. Jokes on me, but it is kinda funny 3 hours later...

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Zero Waste Home

I'm not much for the TV program The View...but I catch it once a while. This morning there was a really interesting California family featured who produce less than 1L of garbage a year. Wow. The wife is French and the husband is American and the 2 sons are +/- 12 and 9 years old. The husband said he wasn't on board until he compared a year of finances before and after the switch. They spend 40% less money and say, "We now not only feel happier and eat healthier but we also lead more meaningful lives, based on experiences instead of stuff, and action instead of inaction."

This is their method: Refuse (flyers, junk mail, handouts from school that aren't necessary - they said they talked to the teachers), Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (as a last resort) & Rot (compost)

There are some crafty ways we can get closer to zero waste...it's a total commitment to get all the way there but some changes are better than no changes...and if it'll save us some money while doing so, why not, right? I think it would be easier to have everyone in the family on board in making simple changes. I'll use the fact that we could use the saved money towards a big man cave tv as bait (wink wink).

The Zero Waste Blog is good (here). I like "Store" section where good quality items are suggested to help you on your way...the author also gives tips if you have the resources to make some of the items yourself (old sheets into produce bags - I'm doing this, etc.)...even which water soluble wax crayons you can write the bulk bin number onto the bags with...

There's fashion advice (like how to wear and re-wear a striped shirt), Tips (Kitchen, Bathroom, Laundry & Cleaning, Dining & Entertaining, Closets, Medication, Gardening). It's Good! I'm getting me a striped shirt...

Check out the site - Any Change is better than No Change. 
Let's leave the world a little better than we found it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

I was at a potluck over the holidays and lucked out by tasting a friends Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. So super good and she says it's so fast and easy that she spends most of the time waiting for the quinoa to cook!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A new year...organized much?

At the beginning of January and September one thought rolls through my mind day and night...


Is this even possible? I have a lot of good intentions, which is nice, but is that good enough for me? I'm not sure...

Any who, here's a blog I like called Tatertots and Jello.  At least I know I'm not the only one with the need for order amidst the chaos. 

With all this being said, if the need to get organized is my biggest "problem of the day" I guess that just makes me the luckiest person in the world....
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