Thursday, December 9, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
want the pattern? it was a Lion Brand pattern.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I think when September hit and the lazy days of summer were over I found my free time was limited.
My son had a party in August, yes that was many moons ago. But he wanted a dragon theme and I wanted to finally share some of the fun things we did for his party.
My husband drew this dragon for a fun game of pin the flame on the dragon.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. My husband who still enjoys eating meat really likes these "chicken" balls. He said he was very impressed and had nothing bad to say. Yahoo!
Ingredients for Tofu marinade
- 2 vegan chicken flavoured stock cubes(or powder to taste)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- salt to taste
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2-1 block of organic tofu cut into 1 inch cubes
Dissolve vegetarian chicken-flavored cubes in boiling water. Add spices, and tofu to marinade and let sit in fridge for at least 4 hours. I marinaded mine for 8 hours. You can do it over night as well to save time the next day.
I also made my broth very strong tasting. The instructions for my broth cubes was 1 cube per 2 cups of water. I used 2 cubes with only 2 cups of water.
Ingredients for batter
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose white flour plus 1/4 cup for coating the Tofu
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 eggs substitute or 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup soy milk
- 1 to 2 tbsps cooking oil
Add the 2 eggs and the milk. Mix all together well.
Take the tofu pieces and dip them in the 1/4 cup of flour, then dip into this batter to coat the tofu. Fry the tofu pieces in hot cooking oil until browned on all sides.
Server with your favotire Sweet and Sour sauce.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Are these not the cutest things you have ever seen!
My great friend made these for all the girls that came to the party.
We used them as the gift loot/party favour bags and all the kids collected the pinata goodies and put them inside.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
For anyone who makes whole wheat bread themselves they will know that it can be hard to get a nice light loaf. They tend to be more dense over the white loafs and they are by nature just harder to make.
But I am happy to say I have finally found the perfect whole wheat recipe. I very well may never make a different recipe again.
I do cheat a little and use my bread maker to make the dough for me. I have never been good at doing it by hand and always seem to kill the yeast. But if you are a master and making bread 100% from scratch then go for it. Otherwise I highly suggest you buy a bread maker, it is one appliance we can never live without in this house. 7 years and counting for when we bought our first bread maker.
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup bread flour
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select wheat bread cycle; press Start.
More often then not I only put my bread on the dough cycle of my bread maker. Once the dough has finished rising I take it out, flatten it and let it rise for another 30-50 minutes. I bake it in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I have never really pushed my children into not wanting to eat meat. They just haven't been eating very much of it unknowingly. I feed them "hot dogs"(once in a blue moon) and they eat them up like it is the original hot dog they ate many times before. They eat "pepperoni" on their pizza with no questions asked, and they eat "meat loaf" now more then they ever did.
They love beans and rice and can not get enough fruits and veggies. One other thing I am very surprised at is that they don't ask for milk very often since I stopped giving it to them. My son has only asked for cheese and crackers a couple times, but their desire for dairy has pretty much been eliminated. They willingly eat "ice cream" made from coconut milk, soy or rice milk and enjoy every bite. They have willingly replaced rice, almond and soy milk for cows milk.
When my son saw those piglets and decided on his own that he didn't want to eat them, I was very proud of him making the choice on his own. I think children don't want to eat animals that they think are cute and cuddly and when they get old enough to realise what they are eating they start to ask questions. Some children refuse outright to eat meat even if their family does, but many children eat it because they feel they have no other choice.
When we were at the Zoo we had the opportunity to watch a dairy cow get milked. Now it wasn't the old fashion way with doing it by hand, but rather at the Zoo they have a few cows that they used for their dairy source and they are milked by machine. I was not excited to watch this being done and I already knew what the process was, but I was glad for the opportunity so our children could see what really goes on. It was a great learning experience for them, and for me to explain to them why we don't drink milk.
The process at the Zoo was fairly humane, but the sad reality is, the calf's born to those cows are not shown with the words "veal" written on their pens. The process at the zoo is not nearly as degrading and unsanitary as it would be in a huge production line of 500 cows being milked 4 times a day, which makes the cow milking "show" 100% false in my opinion.
People will walk away from that show thinking that the cows are being treated well with a lot of care and love, and I seriously feel that the cows on the farm are treated that way. But the milk you are drinking is not from those cows at the Zoo.
I will not and do not force my children not to eat meat or dairy. I want them to come to the realisation themselves that by them not eating meat or dairy that they will be healthier and not contribute to the suffering of animals. Nor will they be sucked into societies view of what you should be eating.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
- 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seed
- 3/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- Pinch of Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
- 5 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Molasses
- 1/4 Cup Raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl mix together all ingredients. Drop cookies onto a greased cookie sheet. Use 1 slightly raised tablespoon of dough per cookie. Mash down dough some to help them spread out. Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and top. Allow cookies to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before taking off cookie sheet.
Friday, July 16, 2010
- 1 6oz Can Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Flakes
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
- 1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1/2 Block Extra Firm Tofu
- 1 Cup Chopped Onion
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Red Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Topping Mixture
- 3 Tablespoons Plain Yellow Corn Meal
- 3/4 Cup Cooked & Drained Lentils
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Thyme
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Onion Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Mustard
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Link to Video
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I really appreciate this show but in reality I wonder how many people are watching it and how many people care.
Here are a few scary facts about paper and how using virgin trees is impacting our environment.
- Approx. 324 L. of water is used to produce 1 KG of
- Average worldwide annual paper consumption is 48
KG per person with North America accounting for
- Asia has surpassed Western Europe in paper
consumption and will soon surpass the United
- Recycling 54 KG of newspaper will save one tree.
- Paper manufacturing is the 3rd largest user of fossil
- Recycling paper uses 60% less energy than
manufacturing virgin timber paper.
- Paper manufacturing is the largest industrial user of
water per pound of finished product.
- 10,000 trees are cut down annually in China to
make holiday cards.
- Every year in the United States, over 2 billion books
are published, 359 million magazines are published
24 billion newspaper are published
- Recycling half the world's paper would free 20
million acres of forestland.
Ok, so you get the point. Please read the link above to read ALL the points.
How can you help make a difference? One of the most important and easiest things you can do is make sure you do not buy toilet paper and paper towels created from virgin trees. There are so many other options out there these days. Even wal-mart sells an eco friendly paper option. Super Store has their President's Choice brand and Vita Health sells Seventh Generation.
The key to finding a good brand is to read the label. Make sure the company has a high number of post consumer material Seventh Generation used 90%!
Another serious issue is pulp being bleached with because we have this obsession with everything having to be white. Having pulp bleached with Dioxins has seriously toxic consequences. If you must have white toilet paper you should use eco friendly paper goods that have been whitened without chemicals.
So why isn't recycled paper cheaper you ask? The Government highly subsidises the logging industry to make virgin paper affordable. The best thing we can do is to STOP BUYING virgin papered goods. The more you buy the more the industry will stay alive. The Government needs to wake up and support those companies who are trying to make a difference so everyone can afford to buy recycled papered goods.
So, before you walk down the lane at wal-mart to buy your "kleenex" or toilet paper think twice about what brand you buy and the virgin trees that are being destroyed. And pass on the napkins at the resturant. Carry a few reusable cloths to wipe down the kids if needed.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I am trying to find some yummy breakfast ideas to feed the kids.
We have decided(after much reading) that cereal is pretty much one of the worst things you can ingest(more on that later). The kids do ask for it once in a while and once in a while they can have some of our fairly old depleting stock of cereal. It is plain cheerios or organic rice puffs. Not much to choose from so I am trying to make things that are much more exciting then cereal.
If you want to make the dough itself a little sweeter, substitute agave nectar for a couple tablespoons of the soy milk. Or, if you want sweetness without calories, try adding a little stevia or your favorite sweetener to the batter
2 cups white whole wheat flour (I used 100% organic whole wheat flour)
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly oil a non-stick baking sheet. Mix the dry ingredients together well (flour through raisins). Add the pumpkin and mix until crumbly (do not overmix). Combine the soymilk and lemon juice and add it, stirring until a soft dough forms. If all flour is not moistened, add additional soymilk a teaspoon at at time until dough forms a ball.
Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and sprinkle the top lightly with flour. Roll out about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 1 1/2-2-inch wide biscuit cutter or glass dipped in flour, press straight down without twisting to cut into 12-15 biscuits.
Place the biscuits, sides lightly touching, on the oiled sheet. Bake until tops are lightly browned, 9-11 minutes. Serve hot.
The results were a yummy nice textured biscuit. I tried one right out of the oven with a tiny bit of butter(that is a debate for another day). My goal is for my kids to enjoy these as well. I will feed them to the kids tomorrow and I will be keeping my fingers crossed that they like them.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
This recipe was originally adapted from the Vegan Spinach Lasagna from myvegancookbook.com.
I have made this recipe two times now with great results. My kids love this lasagna and eat up every last bit of it. My version is not vegan. I did add a tiny but of organic Cheddar cheese to the top of the lasagna. But I am going to bet that even without cheese my kids would eat this.
When I made this recipe the second time I decided to make a veggie Ground Round layer(what is veggie Ground Round?). I pan fried the ground round with some chopped up mushrooms and used that as my bottom layer. The only changes I made to the original recipe aside from adding an extra layer was not using the nutritional yeast and adding cheese.
The "ricotta" spinach mixture for this recipe is so good. I bet even tofu hating people will really enjoy this one. Give it a try, you will be very pleasantly surprised.
Tomato and white bean salad with dill and lemon
Tomato and white bean salad with dill and lemon
2 15-ounce cans white kidney beans, rinsed, drained
2 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes (about 12 ounces) or cherry tomatoes
2/3 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Toss all ingredients in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature 1 hour. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
I made the original recipe first and it was fantastic. So my mind got thinking on how could I make this so my son could eat it at school(must be nut free).
Here is my version of the granola bars, nut free.
1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 Cup ground Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 Cup Coconut Flakes
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Sunflower seed butter
1 Tablespoon Molasses
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon vanilla
To grind the oats finally I put them in a clean coffee grinder. This will make an oat flour which worked great in this recipe. I may also try grinding up some flax seeds in my next batch. I also didn't have any sesame seeds so I chopped up some pumpkin seeds instead.
I also added some yummy choco chips, butterscotch chips, marshmallows and coconut to the granola bars. I let the granola bars bake for 25 minutes then I sprinkled on 1/4 of chocolate chips, 1/4 cup coconut and a handful of marshmallows. I placed the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate. The bars were very goopy since the chocolate wasn't spread on, so next time I will sprinkle the chocolate on alone and bake the bars for 5 minutes and once the bars are out of the oven I will spread the chocolate around and then add the coconut and marshmallows.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
For tonights dinner I made Vegan Meatballs. They were super easy to make and tasted very yummy. My daughter didn't care for them too much but they did have chili in them. Next time I will omit the chili powder and maybe add some oregano instead.
The recipe makes 12 meatballs which was enough for a family of 4. If you want left overs or any to freeze make a double batch.
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoons garlic powder(I used 2 cloves crushed garlic)
3/4 teaspoons dried basil
3/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
375g Whole What Penne
1 cup sliced red bell peppers (any colour is fine, I used orange)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (or to taste)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 (4 ounce) can whole black olives
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, black pepper, and sugar. Add cooked pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese, green onions, and olives. Toss until evenly coated. Cover, and chill 2 hours or overnight.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Living Simple Naturally wouldn't be complete without posts on cleaning without chemicals.
Did you know that childhood cancer is the #1 leading cause of death among young children. Asthma is the most prevalent chronic condition in children.
Every time you spray chemical cleaners your family is breathing these chemicals and sadly they will last in your home for months, probably even longer for those of us who live in cold climates and we keep our windows closed for many months out of the year.
I have also taken on the task of selling Norwex products. I can not say enough about how important it is for your family to live in a clean home but not an overly clean home. People who are constantly bleaching and killing everything in site are not doing themselves nor their children any favours. Don't get me wrong. Norwex products work, but going beyond what is necessary is not essential to being healthy nor living in a clean environment.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
1 cup whole strawberries(frozen or fresh)
1/4 cup honey(or omit completely, fruit is sweet enough!)
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
"Almost" Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/3 cup vegetable oil(or melted butter)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup rice milk(rice milk is naturally sweet) or you can use cows milk
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp wheat germ
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cups rolled oats
Recipe taken from "Sugar Free Toddlers" Susan Watson. revised the original recipe.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Do you find yourself sneaking sweet treats when no one is watching? Do you bake for the kids but end up eating more then half of what is in the cookie jar?
Would you rather eat baked goods instead of real food when you are hungry?
If any one of these describes you then you have a sugar addiction.
So, after reading that you must want to at least give it a 2 week trial, right?
Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
Dehydrated Cane Juice
Fruit juice concentrate
High-fructose corn syrup
Sorghum or sorghum syrup