Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yoga Sleeping and Other Things


Family Night in August courtesy of my Sister...Thank You!  A fun dinner at Islands.



All the chickens are laying now.  See the tiny egg...I think that might have been a first egg...they aren't that small any more.  It was really cute though.


I repainted Georgia's room, and had to take this off the wall.  It was so cute...a report of South American animals.



 


A couple projects I have done in the last few weeks.  I found these partially done door frames on craigslist a while ago.  they were long and skinny...maybe some kind of cabinet door.  Anyway, I turned them into little holders for necklaces, earrings and hair clips.  I love how they turned out.  

I also printed a 16x20 picture at Costco and put it on some 1 inch foam board from home depot.  I painted the edges of the foam board with some brown craft paint, used modpodge to put on the picture, and then sprayed it all with a clear coat.  A very cheap way to make a fake canvas print (under $10).  It hangs over our bed on our very bare wall.  I'll be adding a few more...soon hopefully :)


Grandpa Doug and kids after Grandma Jensen's funeral




A couple more of Levi's yoga sleeping poses.  They crack us up every time :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September Update

We went to Grandma Jensen's Funeral 2 weeks ago.  It was a very nice visit with friends and family.  She was a great lady and I loved hearing stories about her.  One of the things I will remember most is her food.  She loved people with food and most everything was made from scratch.  Tacos...not only was it shredded beef, but she made the tortillas.  Ice Cream?  Yea that was homemade to.  Her rolls were to die for.  I hope one day, I will be able to make food as yummy as hers.

On the way home, Levi slept in his typical Yoga poses.  I don't know how he manages to do it.  It certainly doesn't look comfy to me.


He also lost a tooth last week, right next to his two front teeth.  Although sometime in the last few days, he has managed to lose the one on the other side as well...so now he has two giant front teeth and holes on either side.  LOL!


Curtis was awesome and put in the little window A/C on Saturday.  Although it is only in the 90's...the humidity is high enough right now that it is miserable outside.  So I'm sitting, as I type this, at the kitchen table in front of the A/C at 9:30 in the morning :)  Seeing as it is already in the mid 80's outside with 70% humidity.  Yuck.


 Sunday we got to go to Oliver's 5th birthday party.  We had a blast.  The kids played at the park in the water.  Adults got to visit and chat.  It was a great time.



The kids have been in school since mid August.  Here is a picture of Georgia on her first day (we are still working on smiling BIG).  Levi hates having his picture taken...so I wasn't able to get a good one of him.  


I started back to school yesterday. This semester I am only taking 1 class.  Why?  Well, with the holidays coming I thought it best to keep things going but not be overwhelmed.  Ha!  We will see if I succeed :)  

On my break in August, I finished a few house projects and have been working on some quilts which I will share in the next post.

Have a great day!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Pot Roast & Red Lentil Dal

I made this pot roast about a week ago.  Georgia takes a bite and says, "Wow Mom, this Actually isn't horrible!"  So it has apparently gotten the stamp of approval.  I also made some GFCF mashed potatoes, that were decent, but need some work...so I'll keep working on those before I post em'.

1 whole Chuck Roast (mine was about 2.5lbs)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 whole onion, cut in half
3 carrots, washed (peeled is optional), cut in 6-8 pieces
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 cup red wine (you can use beef broth instead, but I like the flavor of red wine with pot roast)
2 cups beef stock/broth
2 springs Thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
2 springs Rosemary or 1/2-1 tsp dried

Heat pan with oil.  Cut onion in half and carrots into 6-8 pieces each.  Once pan/oil is hot, add onion and brown on both sides.  Remove to plate.  Put carrots in pan and brown about 1 minute, remove to plate.

Generously salt and pepper both sides of meat.

Add extra oil to pan if needed, Place meat in pan and sear it for 2-3 minutes on both sides.

With burner still on use either red wine or broth to degalze pan, scraping the bottom.

Pour glaze into crock pot.  Arrange meat, onion and carrots in the pot.  Add rest of stock to cover meat halfway.  Add Thyme and  Rosemary.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.  

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Red Lentil Dal

I really liked this recipe, and I have to say that it was worth getting the Panch Phoron mix for it.  Yay!

1 cup red lentils
3 cups water
2-3 tomatoes
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup white or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped or made into paste
2 teaspoons Panch Phoron spice mix (I got mine off amazon)
1 bap leaf
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp kosher or sea salt...might need more to taste
1 lime juiced (fresh tastes best)
8 sprigs cilantro, de stemmed and chopped

Cooked Rice (optional)

1. Place 1 cup red lentils in a metal sieve and rinse well with cold water.  Pour cleaned lentils into a medium sauce pan.  Add 3 cups water.  Bring lentils to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. While lentils are cooking, bring separate pot of water to a boil.   Score the peel of the tomatoes with a sharp knife in the shape of an "X".  Place tomatoes in the boiling water and blanch for 1 minute.  Remove the tomatoes to a bowl to cool.  Once cool, peel the tomatoes and cut out and discard the tough stem.  Chop the tomatoes or mash them and set aside.

3. After the lentils have cooked at least 5 minutes, start preparing onions and spices.  In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chopped onions.  Cook about 3 minutes, add garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring continuously to make sure it does not burn.  Add the Panch Phoron and cook for 2 minutes.  Add bay leaf and tumeric, stir.

4. Add cooked lentils (with water) to the onions and spices.  Add salt, stir and cook for 10 minutes.  Add lime juice and tomatoes and cook 3 minutes more (at this step I added some left over chicken I had to heat it through.  It was very good, however lentils are a great source of protien, and so it isn't necessary).  Stir in chopped cilantro and remove from heat.  Serve with rice or naan bread.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer is coming to an end...

Everyone in this house is ready for school to start.  Last week the kids seemed to hit a wall with summer festivities.  It has been a great summer.  Georgia went away to camp for 5 whole days in June.  First time for her to be away from home in a very long time.  She LOVED it.  It is on a ranch and the kids get to ride horses and learn about all the animals and take care of them.  Lots of swimming, archery, rifle range, etc.  The first thing out of her mouth when we went to pick her up was, "I wanna come back next year!!!".  Whooo...thank goodness.  I was a wreck all week long, not knowing if she was having a good time.

Then we were off to Utah for the Jensen Family Reunion.  It was fast and furious and sooooo much fun!  We went down the provo river on tubes.  Curtis' started losing air...so Georgia had to get on mine with me...Levi got passed to another tube, while Curtis got on Georgia's and then Levi went back with Curtis.  All without flipping over in the COLD water.  By the end of the float, the water was a very pleasant temperature...but when you first get it, it was ICY cold glacier water.  I have a much deeper respect for all those pioneers who had to cross all those rivers along the trek.  BRRRRRR!  We also had a great 4th of July BBQ, Trampoline Park, Provo Rec Center & Lots of time with family.  Loved it!

We got home and Georgia had a week of swim camp.  6 hours of non-stop fun Monday-Friday.  Most of which is in the pool.

Then Cousins came to visit and we had an awesome trip to Knotts...our first time.  It was a lot of fun.  Levi is a total roller coaster junkie.  Georgia had a great time and loved Montezuma's Revenge.  A trip to the beach, and a fun Birthday dinner.

The next week Levi went to camp for the first time.  Again, I was a wreck wondering if he was having a good time.   There were activities he liked and others he didn't, but overall, I think it was a thumbs up.  They went on field trips every day.  Like Boomers Family Fun Center, Bowling, Circus, Knotts, Beach, Etc.  So I think we will try it again next year.

Georgia was off to swim camp again the next week.  But this time I had to take her out a couple days early.

Georgia has been having a lot of nose bleeds.  She gets them from time to time...seemed fairly normal.  Well around around May she got several during the hot dry fires that we had.  After we got home from the reunion in July, they started increasing in frequency...first every few days, then every other day, then every day, then multiple times a day.  That is when I got worried and called the doctor.  It took a week to get in, and in the mean time things continued to get worse.  So we went on Monday and it looks like it might be from allergies.  He said that things were very swollen inside her nose.  So he sent us home with some nose spray to reduce the swelling and we go to the Ear Nose Throat doctor next week.  Luckily the last couple days, we have been really careful and they haven't happened quite as much.  It will be good to see the doctor next week and find out exactly what is causing it and what to do to fix it.

So that is the summer recap.  School starts Monday...and I will work on posting some pictures :)


Monday, June 30, 2014

Angel Food Cake w/ coconut pudding and strawberries

This has become a favorite in our house...

Angel Food Cake:
1 cup Pamela's Artisan Gluten Free Flour Blend
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups fresh egg whites (about 10 jumbo eggs, reserve the yolks for the pudding)
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp cream of Tartar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
1 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Sift together powdered sugar, flour and salt.  Do this 4-5 times (this is important, but if you don't have time...and I don't have a sifter, then the cake is a little denser...but still great)

In a stand mixer beat: egg whites, warm water, cream of Tartar, vanilla and almond extract.  Gradually add granulated sugar in 3-4 batches.  Soft peaks will form 2-3 min.  Turn to high and beat until stiff and glossy (another 2 minutes or so).

In 4 batches, add flour mixture by folding in gently with a rubber spatula.  Be gentle and quick, as not to deflate the meringue.

Put in a 10" un-greased tube pan (sometimes I grease the bottom slightly for ease of removal...but not the sides.  Bake 45-55 minutes in middle of oven until golden brown.  Cake should spring back when touched & not be sticky.

Invert on a bottle to cool at least 1 hour.   Using a long knife cut around sides and center post of cake to loosen from pan.  Let dry 1 hour on rack.

Pudding:
1 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup gluten free flour blend
1/2 tsp salt
8-10 egg yolks (reserved from above)
2 cans of Trader Joes Light coconut milk
2 pinches of nutmeg
2 pinches of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a heavy saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a boil.  In a large stainless steel bowl, whisk together all ingredients except vanilla.  Place bowl over boiling water and cook, stirring constantly for 12-15 minutes until pudding has thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

I cut the angel food cake into cubes and put in a 9x13 pan.  I pour the pudding over and top with sliced strawberries.

(This is also the pudding I use for Banana Pudding.  You would layer Trader Joes Gluten Free Ginger Snaps in the bottom of a dish, then add a layer of sliced banana and then pour the pudding over the top.)

It is super yummy, and probably Levi's favorite dessert.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Potty Training Success!

We have been potty training full time for a week and a half...however, this whole process is 2 years in the making.  Levi is in underwear from morning till bedtime.
So far we have only had 2 accidents, in which I missed the timer to take him.  

Success breeds success...at least that has been my experience with this.  

There is a lot to say and explain on this subject, but that will be done another time.  

For now I just need to say how truly grateful I am for prayers answered.

Here's to SUCCESS!

Monday, May 19, 2014

GFCFSF Ham & Potato Soup or Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I can't believe we have been on this diet for 6 1/2 years.  Most of the things that I miss include butter and cream.  Potato Soup has been no exception.

Well, I decided to give it a go without the cream, and you know what?  It was great.  So here it is.

1 left over Ham Hock with some meat to dice and add at the end (I use Trader Joe's preservative free Ham.  They are so good, but only available 3-4 times a year.)
1 carton Trader Joe's Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalk, diced
5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced in 1/2 - 3/4 inch cubes

Saute Onion in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots for 2 minutes.  Add Celery the last minute (don't over do the celery, it won't taste good).  Add chicken broth, ham hock and potatoes.  Let simmer for 25-30 minutes (another way is to let the broth and ham hock cook in the crook pot on low for 4 hours, and then add to the sauteed veggies and add the potatoes, this will give it a lot more flavor.)  Add the diced ham at the end and let heat through 3-5 minutes.

I have also tried it with fresh parsley.  I let it simmer in the pot for about 15 minutes and then remove.  It adds a nice depth of flavor.  I find that I don't need to salt it, since the ham hock usually gives it enough flavor on it's own.

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The second recent favorite is Pineapple Upside Down cake.  One of my altime favorites and something I haven't made since starting this diet.

I just substituted the flour in my old recipe for a gf mix and it turn out.  It didn't rise quite as much, but was still delicious...in fact, it is one of those cakes that is even better the next day.  So if you do make it, remember you can make it 1 day ahead.

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 can crushed pineapple or tidbits, drained (reserve liquid)

Pour melted coconut oil in 9" square pan, sprinkle brown sugar evenly around, arrange pineapple evenly.

Batter:
1 1/2 cups Pamela's gfcf flour mix
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix

Add:
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup almond, coconut or rice milk (or you can use reserved pineapple juice, this will make the cake more heavy, but it adds a nice flavor)
1 egg

Pour mixed batter over prepared pan.  Bake 40-50 min at 350'


Enjoy!