Sunday, November 8, 2009

H1N1 is among us...

Need I say more? It's been a long, achy weekend for all of us. Daniel is the only one who seems to be unaffected. I guess young boys are virtually unstoppable, or at least this one is. We were all advised to remain quarantined in our home and on Tamiflu for 5 days. This is day 3...

Only 2 days to go. I'm beginning to suffer from cabin fever. The good news is that the weather is wonderful and all of the windows are open. Warm sunshine and a cool breeze is the best medicine for me. Throw in a good book to take my mind off my pain and I'm good to go.

A piece of advice, if you even suspect you may have the flu, go get tested. Tamiflu has done wonders to ease the severity of our symptoms and the duration of the illness.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sue Gregg's Apple Oat Muffins

My wonderful husband got me the entire set of Sue Gregg Cookbooks for my birthday last month. These are the most amazing cookbooks I've ever owned. Sue believes in using fresh, organic ingredients when possible, and soaking your grains before making bread. It's a very healthy way to eat, and every recipe I've tried so far has been fabulous.

Click on the link above to visit her website and learn more about her cooking philosophy.

Although they did not photograph well, the Apple Oat Muffins are delicious. They remind me of a giant oatmeal cookie. If I had not made them myself, I would never have guessed them to be healthy. They are extremely moist and full of flavor.

Apple Oat Muffins

Amount: 12 medium muffins

Bake: 375 degrees F (190 C) - 20 minutes

1. Preheat oven. Grease/spray muffin pan.

2. Stir together in large mixig bowl and let stand 5 min.:

1 c. buttermilk

1 c. rolled oats (uncooked)

1/2 c. raisins

3. Blend together dry ingredients in seperate bowl:

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I used 2 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. salt

4. Blend vigorously into oats and buttermilk:

1 egg

1/3 c. honey

5. Cut into wedges, core, and grate coarsely:

1 medium apple, unpeeled

6. Blend dry ingredients into liquid ingredients just until mixed. Fold in grated apple.

7. Fill muffin cups almost full and bake.

8. Cool 5 min. before removing from pan. Turn muffins upside down until ready to serve.

***Sue's notes: These muffis will be moist and heavier than other muffins because of the oats and they do not rise as high. You may think they are not quite baked, but they will be golden brown on the bottom. Best served warm.

These are my new favorite muffins!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All the way from Nottingham!!!

Yesterday, I received my very first international package.

I was so excited to open it and discover the goodies inside.

My sweet blogging friend, Ann, made these amazing items. A cute Christmas chicken (which Sara Lynn has laid claim to), a needle case, and a beautiful bag.

The stitches are perfectly sewn and the yellow floral fabric is amazing.
I can hardly wait to tuck my needles and thread into those cozy little pockets.

I am absolutely in love with the items.
Thank you so very much, Ann!
I will treasure them always...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween - A family affair

When my grandfather called last week and wanted to get the family together for a hayride and hotdog roast on Halloween, I told him we wouldn't dream of missing it.

We had a blast even though it rained and the hayride didn't happen.

I'm sure you can imagine how difficult it was to get the above photo. Our little ones range in age from 6 months to eight years. Daniel is the oldest of the great-grandchildren.

We had a Minnie Mouse (Sara Lynn), a scarecrow, a princess, a cowboy (Daniel - who tells me he is indeed a sheriff), and two firemen. Preciousness!

Afterwards, we went Trick-or-Treating at Gran and Papa's house. Sara Lynn needed to be the one who knocked on the door...

A humongous bag of treats awaited them.

They wasted no time with the taste testing. I'm pretty sure we'll have difficulty tucking them into bed tonight after the immense sugar high they enjoyed this evening. Sigh...

Did I mention that we moved to within walking distance of my parents? It's been so nice having them close by.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breakfast of Champions

Especially this time of year, Apple, Cinnamon, and Whole Grains Hot Cereal is a family favorite. It simply can't be beat with a little raw organic honey drizzled over the top and a cup of hot organic medium roast coffee on the side (with more honey added, of coarse! That is raw honeycomb wax you see floating on the top of my coffee. It has enzymes which are beneficial to your good health.)

Sara Lynn wants you to know that this breakfast is kid approved.

She enjoyed 2 helpings in the photo above.

And because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day...

I had a poached egg served over whole grain cheese toast for lunch.

Just in case you are wondering:

Yes, I still ejoy washing dishes here. Life is good!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Veggie envy, anyone?

My first CSA vegbox arrived this afternoon...
I could not be more pleased!

First of all, the box weighed at least 25lbs. I know. I had to pick it up and carry it to my car myself.

And second, the vegetables and fruit were in pristine condition. They couldn't have been fresher or more beautiful if I'd picked them myself. There were Chinese eggplants (three of which we've already eaten), ripe tomatoes, green tomatoes, summer squash, okra, and cabbage...

There were also lettuces (one of which is MIA because we enjoyed a salad this evening), mustard greens, green beans, a pumpkin, and Staymen apples. One of the apples is the largest apple I've ever seen! Seriously, look at it in comparison to the pumpkin. It's humongous!

I'm extremely satisfied with my Grow Alabama CSA subscription. They also have organic meat, eggs, cheese, olive oil, sea salt, coffee, and soy candles. I highly recommend this program to you if you're lucky enough to live in Alabama. :) Otherwise, Google for CSAs in your area. It is an excellent way to support your local farmers and gain the fresh, quality, organic produce you desire.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Grow Alabama... Organic CSA

If you live in Alabama, you seriously need to check out this site:

Grow Alabama

I was referred to Grow Alabama by a friend who knew that eating local organic food was important to me. These people are amazing... be sure to check out the farmer's stories.

Above is a butternut squash which we grew ourselves. It is the last of the fresh produce we enjoyed from our garden before we moved. My favorite way to eat it is roasted in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt drizzled over the top. Just cut it in half and scoop the seeds out first. Then bake it uncovered @ 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Easy and delicious!

I believe this CSA if just what we need to tide us over until we are able to plant our own garden in the spring.

***If you decide to become a member, please let them know on your application that you were referred by me - I'll receive bonus veggies for each referral. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First cold snap of the season

Around here recently, there has been much sunset watching...

And farmer's market visiting...

Pumpkin loving...

A lot of peanut boiling... It's a southern thing!

Some definite fish catching...

And chicken coop building...

Perrinial herb and flower planting...

Lots and lots of serious playing...

And one captured crescent moon rising over still waters at twilight.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spiced Oven-Dried Apples - make them!

Oh my, these are delicious! I recently purchased a large basket of apples at the local farmer's market, and found myself googling for different ways to use them up. In my search, I stumbled across a great blog, Home Steeped Hope, and this wonderful, easy recipe. We've already made and devoured them twice!
I must say, my home was delightfully filled with the wonderful smell of baked apples and spice. I can't imagine anything that more perfectly captures the essence of this season.
I live for Autumn!
The cool, crispness that welcomes each new day.

The intense, penetrating blue of an October sky.

The glorious sunsets that wash the horizon with hues of fire.
I choose to spend my days soaking up the goodness of God's creation as I seek to serve Him.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It feels like home

We are finally getting settled into our new home, and it truly feels right for us to be here. We can't help but praise God each morning when we wake up and see what He has blessed us with.

Most of the boxes are unpacked - and I'm a working mom, you know! Recently, we decided that it's just not best for our family for me to work outside the home.

It's been very difficult for me to juggle the needs of my family with the needs of my job. We'll be transitioning to one income in the next few months, and we are confident that we have made the right decision. We trust God with our needs, and feel that He is prompting us to make a lifestyle change.

It's extremely important to us to become more self-sufficient and self-sustaining, especially where our food is concerned. We eat organic foods as much as possible, and try to stay away from highly processed foods.

I have learned the hard way that chemical preservatives, commercial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are poison to our bodies. I have Crohn's disease which is a digestive/autoimmune disorder that I believe could have been avoided. I highly recommend the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon if you are interested in this subject. It is full of information and recipes for making a return to traditional foods which nourished the generations before us.

I am dreaming of the day when we will plant our new garden. I have plotted out where the barn will go. And, I am debating what livestock additions to make to our little farm.

This is a day of great possibilities and opportunities. I hope you'll stick around to see what adventures lie ahead!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moving Day

This is what we've been up to for the past few weeks.
Painting and cleaning and making things ready.

All in anticipation of this day.
(If you look closely, you can see our house across the pond.)

We're ready to have this move behind us.
I'm tired just thinking of all the packing and unpacking to be done.
But it'll be worth it.

This is where you can find me as soon as I have finished feathering my new nest.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blossoming Indepedence

My sweet babe is growing up...

"I do it myself!" has become her motto...

She can pack her bag, put her shoes on, use the potty...

But she's still my babe.

And thankfully, she's not too big for the occasional piggy back ride.

But don't you dare think she needs help getting into her carseat.
She will take great offense!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quilty dreams

I purchased this fabulous Heather Bailey Pop Garden fabric last Spring from knowing it was destined to become my first quilt. The gorgeous (and my favorite) aqua and red paisley fabric will be the backing, and the brown semi-floral fabric will be the border.

I'm not exactly sure what pattern I will use, but I do want to keep it simple. I think 10x10 in. squares will show off the large print fabrics nicely. I like this pattern by Thimble Blossoms called A Piece of Cake.

I've also considered this ragged squares quilt by Crazy Mom Quilts. She's got tons of great tutorials out there just begging to be tried.

And here is a great machine quilting tutorial by Anyone Can Quilt.
Why don't we give quilting a try together?