Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone has a very merry time celebrating!

~ Winter is here and it's time to spread the warmth and joy from the inside out ~

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Blender Blues are Over, Baby

A while back I posted about our need for a new blender.  Well, we now own a Vitamix!!  It took us awhile to decide, but after an awesome $4 food processor find at a local thrift store it was hard to pass up.  These fellas are pretty pricey, as I'm sure you know, so this is our birthday and Christmas to each other.  And we are quite happy with it!

First we made Buckwheat Groat Pancakes.  We have missed these since our last blender died.  The original recipe is from this blog.  These are a great thinner, grainy pancake.  

We have had many green smoothies the last couple of weeks!  It's wonderful!  Adam was inspired by this blog for our first one.  For those who have been making these for years, perhaps it seems silly to look for a recipe.  But this is new territory for us.  Honestly I love starting off the day with one, it feels great.  But I do like to have something to munch on, too.  Generally I will eat a piece of toast or something before downing the thick, ooey greenness that are our smoothies. 
Has anyone seen Troll 2?

Every time I see food this green, I can't help but think of it. 
Nilbog brew, baby!  Drink up!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Finding Inspiration, Homemade Cereal and Muffins

Squirrel visitor outside my window
Last Sunday we woke up to a light covering of snow.  Perfect for a special day.  That afternoon my neices and nephews (all but the youngest, who just turned one :) came over to make Christmas ornaments.  I dug out a variety of craft supplies, made some muffins (see recipe below), and listened to the sounds of John Dowland.  It was a festive atmosphere and thanks to Adam's help, everything was ready to go when they arrived.

I don't have any pictures, but there were some great ornaments I wish I could have captured. Popular materials of the day were felt, paper and bottle caps.  I won't go into details in case any are used for gifts for sisters who may read this blog.  Thanks to Tori, Madi, Sean and David for such a wonderful afternoon!

Any writers reading?  Well, I have recently decided on a little challenge to keep the creative juices flowing.  For the next month I will write at least 50 words per day.  50 words isn't much at all, so it should be very doable ;)  The idea is to set aside time each day to write a few thoughts, a poem, journal, or whatever wordplay comes to mind.  If you are a writer who is not writing, maybe you should consider creating a challenge for yourself.  Or perhaps there is something else that you dream about, but make little time to do.  Just remember to make the challenge something that is easily doable, so that it is not a matter of stress, but just a chance to allow your creativity to flow.  If you decide to do anything like this, I would love to hear about it!

Besides wonderful blueberry and chocolate chip muffins, Mom always made orange muffins.  Not only are they flavored with orange juice, but they are slightly crunchy from grape nuts.  Since we didn't have any berries in the freezer, these seemed like the perfect choice on Sunday.  It also gave me the perfect opportunity to make homemade grape nuts. That is, until I remembered that I didn't have any orange juice.  By the time that occured to me, I had already made the grape nuts and prepared the dry ingredients.  So what did I actually make that day?  Hearty Cereal Muffins with raisins.

Hearty Cereal Muffins with Raisins
(adapted from Mom's Orange Muffin recipe)

Dry ingredients: 
2 c. flour (I used spelt) 
1/3 c. coconut crystals (or other sweetener)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. grape nuts (see recipe below)

Liquid ingredients: 
2 T. flax mixed with 6 Tbs. water
1 c. soymilk 
1 T. orange peel
1/2 T. cinnamon
1/3 c. coconut oil

2 handfuls of raisins 

* Mix all dry ingredients, except raisins, in a large bowl. 
* Mix all liquid ingredients in a medium bowl.
* Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until moist.   
* Gently mix in the raisins.
* Bake in a greased muffin tin for 20-25 min. at 400 F (204 C) 

Homemade Grape Nuts
(adapted from More-with-Less

1 1/2 c. flour (I used half spelt, half ground buckwheat)
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. (or less) coconut crystals (may use other sweetener; use a little over 1/3c. if liquid)
1 c. soymilk + 1 tbs. lemon juice 
1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt

* Beat all ingredients until smooth.
* Spread dough onto a large greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 F (177 C) for 25-30 min. 
* Crumble while still warm using a blender, a cupful at a time.  
* Crisp in oven, set at 250 F (120 C), for 20-30 min.
* Store in an airtight container. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Soup's on!

We've been all about soup lately!  It's warm and delicious, all fits in one bowl...what more could you ask for?

Last week we tried these and maybe you would like them, too ;)
A blog I recently discovered and definitely recommend.

The Lentil recipe we followed pretty closely.  Good with a little salsa on top.  (Pictured above with a side of toasted sprouted wheat bread smeared with Earth Balance) 

Our broccoli went bad, so we made Potato Avocado Soup, but it was still delicious!  We decided not to blend ours, we were too hungry and impatient ;)  The potato soup tasted nice with a smoky pepper sauce.

I definitely recommend adding a little spice to both, if you're the spicy type. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

December Bulk Order

Remember the Green and Crunchy blog?  It was one of my all-time favorites.  At some point the blog's author, Sheri, began sharing images of her bulk food purchases.  Adam and I had heard of a group in town and the more we saw Sheri's posts, the more we realized that it was time we got started.  Unfortunately her blog no longer exists, but her inspiration stuck with us and we have proudly bought in bulk ever since.

We don't buy nearly as much as she did, but then again there are only two of us (she fed seven!).  The extra coconut crystals are gifts for the Moms.  We've been experimenting with it lately and thought our moms might, too.  A couple of things were left out of our order, which happens occasionally.  We often put our order in the night before and I assume they run out of certain items before filling our order.  Though sometimes a little disappointing, we're happy to save on the items we do receive.

Does anyone else order in bulk? 
I'd love to hear about others' bulk buying adventures ;)      

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'd Rather Go Blind

I can not get enough of this song! Trixie Whitley's voice is incredible. I have been listening to this over and over on youtube today and realized that I had to share it with everyone possible.
So enjoy!