Tuesday, April 29, 2008
We love Ben & Jerry's. Great company and even great ice cream. Despite my new exercise program, we might sneak out this evening for a free cone...
And the winners' announcement is coming. Eventually. I promise.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Monday - Mexican food out after an afternoon, family hike
Tuesday - Red Lentil and Veggie Curry over brown rice
Wednesday - Slow Cooker Ham and Beans & Cornbread Muffins- First time trying the bean recipe. It was really good, but I'll probably decrease the amount of ham next time I make it.
Thursday - Cornbread Salad
Friday - Pizza dinner on the town with friends
Saturday - Dinner out before a family swim night (great way to get the kids good and tired for bed!)
Sunday - Community Meal (I'm going to blog about community meals soon, I promise!)
Haven't planned for this week yet. Not too many meals to plan as we have a couple community meals plus I am doing a getaway from the family this week. I still have lots more beans to use up. Anyone have any Great Northern Bean recipes they want to share?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Other than breathing a bit harder after walking up the stairs, the only way that living at a higher altitude has affected my life is baking (and cooking beans, but that is for another post!). I find it really difficult to bake. I have yet to make a yeast bread that comes out better than decent. Muffins are flat and dry. Even cookies seem a bit off. Part of it is altitude and part of it is the dry climate. The moisture in baked goods disappears almost instantaneously. I have heard all kinds of theories on how to adjust recipes, but those slight adjustments make it difficult to bake consistently. So I am continually on the search for recipes that work well. Of course, when I find a recipe that works well at home, it never seems to work well when we travel up into the mountains (about 10,000 feet).
This winter I finally found a cornbread muffin recipe that works great at altitude. Makes a nice dome muffin, isn't too dry, and tastes good! Miraculously the recipe works well up in the mountains as well. I adapted it from a corn muffin recipe in the cookbook Baking at High Altitude.
This recipe makes at least 36 corn muffins. We like corn muffins a lot in our house, but that is a bit too many for one meal. I've tried cutting the recipe in half, but it doesn't seem to work as well. (It also doesn't make good mini muffins.) What to do with all that extra corn bread?? I usually make one pan to eat with our original meal, one pan to make Cornbread Salad to eat the next night, and I save some batter to make Corn Dog Muffins for lunch the next day.
High Altitude Corn Muffins
3 cups corn meal
3 cups white whole wheat flour
3T ground flax seed
3T wheat germ
1/3 cup sugar
1T baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional - I usually use about 1/2 tsp)
1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
3/4 cup melted butter
3 1/3 cups buttermilk
Mix all the dry ingredients including the cheese in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix batter well.
Grease (don't skip this!) muffin cups. Fill each section to the top.
Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes.
1 pan of crumbled corn muffins (this works really well with stale cornbread as well)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
several tomatoes, chopped
1-2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 cups frozen corn
splash of apple cider vinegar
2 cups mayonnaise (more or less to taste)
Mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for 12-18 hours
Corn Dog Muffins
Leftover corn muffin mix
hot dogs (meat or veggie), cut into quarters
Shredded cheese (optional)
Fill muffin sections half full of muffin mix. Place hot dog pieces and a pinch of cheese in each section with corn muffin mix (I chop the hot dog pieces up pretty small and put a spoonful in each section). Cover hot dog pieces with remaining muffin mix. Bake as directed.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Kate and Jack are both healthy and on track. The only concern I brought to the appointment was that Jack doesn't consistently identify colors yet. The doc's assessment was the same as mine. Either he lacks interest (which fits with the not being consistent) or he may be color blind (which is very possible since my father is color blind and I am a carrier). We'll wait until next year or even two years before testing him.
Both kids were 85-90 percentile for weight. Jack is a whopping 35lbs, and Kate is squared with her height at 43lbs on our scale at home. Kate is 95 percentile for height at 43 inches, and Jack isn't even on the charts at 41.5 inches.
Hopefully we won't be back to the doctor until next year!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
What is a good substitute for Jet Dry? Vinegar! Works great as a rinse aid. Just fill up the rinse aid dispenser once a week or so. The dishes are clean and not nearly as wet!
Check out other Works For Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Follow-up: It turned out to be a fantastic day! After picking up Kate from preschool, we rode to a local park for a picnic. Ran into a few other moms. Matt got off early. Took the kids for a great little hike. Our first hike where both kids hiked the entire way. Granted it was only a half mile, but half of it was uphill! We finished up the day eating Mexican food on the outside porch of one of our favorite restaurants. Life is good.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day, and I decided to put the seedlings on the back porch to get lots of healthy sunshine (they get adequate, but not great sunlight when inside). And then I forgot about them. And then it froze last night. Just not sure how I am going to break the news to the kids...
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Me: Kate, let's go. It is time to get dressed.
Kate: Mommy, I'm c-o-l-d!
Me: Well, let's get your clothes on so you'll warm up.
Kate: I need something warmer than my undies and my clothes.
Me, feeling really exasperated: Kate, I don't have anything warmer than your clothes...
Kate: Yes you do. Your snuggles are warmer than my clothes.
Enough to melt even the iciest heart, no?
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
What Can Be Recycled
Plastic Grocery Bags labeled #1 or #2
Shopping Bags (with drawstrings and handles removed)
Plastic Newspaper Bags
Plastic Dry Cleaning Bags
Plastic Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Wrapping
Plastic Baggies (without zips)
Plastic Bags with Sealed Air for Packing
Plastic Bread Bags
Clear Plastic Bags Labeled #1 or #2
What Can NOT Be Recycled (at the store anyway. If someone knows a place to recycle these items, let me know!)
Plastic Food Wrap
Bags with Food Residue
Prepackaged Food Bags (like salad bags)
Bio-based or Compostable Bags
Black Colored Bags
Check Out Other Works For Me Wednesday at Rocks In My Dryer
Monday, April 07, 2008
Score Your Diet
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato-Olive Sauce
This recipe is from the USA Weekend pullout of the Sunday paper
2T olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1- 28oz can crushed tomatoes or 3.5 cups of your favorite marinara sauce (I used Newman's Marinara)
16 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 thin baguette, thinly sliced
1 log (about 10oz) goat cheese, sliced crosswise into 3/4 inch thick discs
Place oil and garlic in a Dutch oven, turn heat on med, and cook until garlic starts to sizzle and turn golden. Add tomatoes and olives, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to med-low, and simmer until sauce is thick enough to mound on a spoon, 10-12 min.
Turn sauce into a 9in square baking dish, evenly top with goat cheese rounds, bake until bubbly, about 10min. Turn on broiler, cook until cheese lightly browns, 1-2 min later.
Serve with toast rounds for scooping up the cheese and sauce. Yum!
The only not-so-great moment was when I lost it with the local ski school owner. We took Kate and Jack to their first day of ski school (usually we just take them out skiing). Matt and I enjoyed our morning of skiing alone together, and when we went to pick up the kids, I was livid to discover that my children hadn't skied AT ALL. I was told that the kids "didn't feel like skiing." Well, of course my 3 and 4 year old aren't going to want to ski when given the choice between getting dressed for outside or watching TV. I paid a lot of money for a morning of watching TV?!? I expected them to ski. Not the whole three hours, but at least once up the magic carpet. I was livid. I mean LIVID. And when I get mad, I am not proud to say that it isn't pretty (I get that from my dad!). I eventually got a 50% refund. The worst of it was that Jack was disappointed he didn't get to ride the magic carpet...
But enough complaining. Matt is out doing a few last runs, and I am packing up to go home. It has been a great skiing season. One of the snowiest on record. My only regret? I have intended since November to write a blog post about Vail Resorts' (which includes Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone) actions to be environmentally friendly. The resorts are 100% powered by wind, all the meat served is hormone free, the dairy products are organic, there is on mountain recycling, and even composting at Keystone! Since I didn't get around to writing a complete post, you can read about Vail Resorts initiatives on their website. Maybe I'll get to that post by next season...
Friday, April 04, 2008
Before I left for North Carolina last week, I was running a few last minute errands. One of them was at a large craft store to pick up some yarn for a project I am working on (sorry, Kari, it isn't the hamburger dress!). I decided, despite it being our no-buy month, to look for a special project that the kids could do with cousin Hannah who came to watch them. I was getting frustrated as I wandered up and down the aisles of the children's section that all the projects contained lots of plastic or other not-so-environmentally friendly supplies. I was about to give up when I spotted Magic Nuudles. Magic Nuudles are biodegradable building blocks made out of cornstarch. They stick together when slightly damp to build whatever you can imagine. The kids loved them. Jack was a bit abstract in his design, but Kate was actually building recognizable objects. They quickly became a favorite in our house both for the creativity factor and for the green factor.
The Magic Nuudle company also makes Magic Nuudle Stixx, Cornstruction Paper (which I can't wait to try), and cornfetti! They are offering a 10% discount to blog readers who call in their orders (toll free 877-938-6738) and mention "greenstylemom."
Thursday, April 03, 2008
The most immediate inspiration I received from the book was about toys. We have always *tried* to limit the number of toys that we have, but somehow they still accumulate. I have a difficult time cleaning them out for one reason or another. She has a list of what to look for in a toy. I'm going to use the list to help clean out the toys. Is it beautiful? Is it simple? And what is it made of? She compares toy materials to whole foods - the closer to the original source, the better and asks, "Can you picture your toy growing somewhere on earth?"
Love it, love it, love it!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
I think in a few years I'll have a full blown vegetarian on my hands. And that book is going back to the bottom of the pile for now...
- Switching back to regular lightbulbs and leaving every light in the house on all the time. It is nice to be able to see where you are going in the middle of the night plus we don't want to expend all that effort to turn lights on and off.
- All trash is going into one bag. This sorting the recycling is too complicated.
- Enough of spending so much money on organic foods. And while we are at it, we are going to start limiting our fresh foods. Bring on the processed stuff!
- No more riding bikes. The kids are too heavy to pull. Besides I don't want the kids exposed to so much fresh air.
- We are on the hunt for a new house. Preferably one well over 8000 square feet.
- We are tired of being cold. We are cranking the heat and wearing our summer clothes all winter!
- Going to start asking for plastic bags at the grocery. And have you noticed how they put far too many things in one sack? We'll ask that there only be one or two items per bag.
Are you a little surprised? Maybe you should look at the date on the calendar...