Monday, December 21, 2009

Monarch Butterflies

We raised 2 of these beautiful monarchs, I thought they weren't going to make it as they stayed in their chrysalis much longer than I had read they would.
Here is when one had just made it's chrysalis, and the other was hanging in a "j" getting ready.
They have spun a sticky silk on the top of the enclosure to get ready to make their chrysalises.
A very hungry caterpillar. They ate the entire $10 milkweed plant, I actually drove to Athena's school to get more milkweed the Friday after Thanksgiving, but then by the weekend they were done eating and on to their next stage.

This was such a special thing to do with the kids. Athena was SUPER into it. We can't wait to do it again.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Tree time

Time to bust out the lights and tacky decorations. I have most of my shopping done for the kids. Just a few more things on my list. We were racing the rain in the photos. Don't want to bring a dripping tree in the house. Wish us luck, here we go.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Pancake perfection

These were so good. That is all I have to say.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 16, 2009

Break time/giveaway

I'm taking a break from blogging for the time being, but did want to let my readers know about an awesome giveaway happening right now over on Chocolate Covered Katie's blog. Check it out. You could win some yummy raw cacao products!

Promise to update with photos soon...Athena's last soccer game of the season, giant lizard in the house, etc.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

MoFo Day 31 - Happy Halloween

We spent the evening at my brother's house so the kids could trick or treat with their cousins. We left a couple of bowls of candy on our doorstep and hoped for the best. We came home to only one of our 8 pumpkins smashed in the street (not bad) and just a few pieces of candy left in the bowls. The kids enjoyed a few pieces of candy out of their treat bags and will leave the rest out for the "Halloween Fairy" or "Halloween Bunny" as Rowan calls it. The Halloween fairy will leave them a present in return, and also a few pieces of candy:) One of the funniest moments of the night was when Rowan was handed a bag of "hot cheetos" and he immediately exclaimed, "Mommy! Them are vegan!" which is his way of saying these days that he sure HOPES they are vegan. Wishful thinking I guess you could say. He never brought them up later though, so I guess he wasn't too excited about them.
The key to a successful vegan Halloween is stocking up on lots of vegan chocolate varieties.:)
I made this basket to pass out to the littler trick or treaters, pretzels, raisins, fruit leathers, and play dough.
Skittles and lollipops for the older kids. My kids actually tasted their first skittles today. wow, what a day:)
Before we went out for the evening, Athena made a plan for pumpkin carving. She carefully designed the faces for each of her 3 pumpkins, big, medium, and little, and drew them on a piece of paper (I think she picked this up from school).
Then Chris helped carve the kids' designs.
They thought this butterfly shape inside the pumpkin was pretty neat.
My race car driver.Pink Super Girl.
Happy kids.
The trick or treating crew, aka "the cousins".

Thursday, October 29, 2009

MoFo Day 29 - Birthday

Today is my nephew's 3rd birthday. It was fun celebrating with him and the family. I don't really have a post ready today but look at this awesome vegan cake my sister in law made for the occasion!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MoFo Day 28 - Waffling about waffle irons

I own only one waffle iron, and a silly one at that. My mom picked it up on discount and it is a belgian style maker but in the shapes of farm animals. While I love my waffle iron, I dream of a thinner, crispier waffle. So I'm thinking of asking for a new one for Christmas this year. I feel like having 2 waffle irons in the house might be a bit over kill, but I really think it will get a lot of use since I love making waffles. I also decided I want an electric air popcorn popper. I had one long ago and I don't know why I gave it away. I need to be able to make more popcorn and my pot technique sucks now that we have an electric range. I've pretty much decided that I need to bring popcorn with me everywhere because twice in the last month I've caught 2 year old Rowan eating random, most likely, butter laden popcorn. Both times we were at the playground. One day he was leading a group of toddlers in a found food experiment. They were all shoveling their faces with popcorn they found on the ground (and i have NO idea who left it there)! ew, double gross. The next occasion he was digging into a friend's bag of popcorn and when I told him that it wasn't OK, he shoved a few more handfuls in his mouth. Athena was such an easy vegan to raise. She loves being vegan and never questioned it. Rowan on the other hand, well, he wants to eat the "yucky kind of chicken" (stupid KFC billboard by Athena's school!). My husband and I have always felt that as our kids got older, we would allow them to make their own choices about food, but we meant A LOT older. For now, we will continue to make the decisions, whether Rowan likes it or not:)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MoFo Day 27 - Vegan Essentials

Our latest Vegan Essentials purchase arrived today. The jokerz bar has already disappeared into my belly, wow, it was good. It was my first time trying one. I consider it an early Halloween treat to myself:) The 2 canisters of vanilla chai vega will be enjoyed by the entire family. Chris will most likely use the vega sport drink (also haven't tried it yet so this is just a sample of it). Then to round out our purchase...some vegan B12 tabs.

I just baked 45 pumpkin muffins for Athena's class. I signed up to bring snack and instead of buying a couple of bags of veggie booty I had the great idea of baking muffins for the school. Now I am kind of kicking myself, but I think the kids will enjoy it:) Athena doesn't usually eat snack but she is excited to eat the snack that we are bringing! We are also bringing a bowl of strawberries and rasberries as per Athena's request.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

MoFo Day 25 - zbar

Rowan at the Halloween Cyclocross Race.
Rowan enjoying aclif kids zbar as the after race prize.

We went to 2 parties today and so I wasn't really in the kitchen much today (other than whipping out a quick batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins). So I thought I'd just leave you with some pictures of Rowan enjoying his bike race with his Dad. He had an amazingly fun day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mofo Day 24 - Pumpkin Pancakes gone wrong

Here is a pic of the new and improved pancake. They tasted better today surprisingly.

Chris has the camera with him so I can't post the pictures but I really screwed up my pancakes this morning. The first batch were just piles of mush. I had added WAY too much pumpkin. I tried to remedy the situation by adding lots more flower and it worked OK. They were definitely not my best and not pretty to look at since they were chocolate and a little burnt they looked like extra burnt pancakes. I actually have a question about pancakes...I can make them fairly well but I only have a cast iron skillet to do it on. I find that it is really hard to get the temperature just right so they don't burn, but actually cook through the center. Anyone have tips for me? My family doesn't complain, they gobble up any of my wacky creations. I wish I could share a recipe but it was seriously a very random mixture.

On an entirely different note, I spend the afternoon/evening with my 5 year old and had a very nice time. We went to the ballet (for the first time), then out to dinner, and then did a little shopping. The boys were out at a Halloween bike race and are just arriving home now. Athena has been asleep for an hour already! I'll try and post the picture of my very ugly pancakes tomorrow. Until then...:)

Friday, October 23, 2009

MoFo Day 23 - Fresh Salsa!

As I've gone through this month, I have realized that we eat so many tortillas. At least twice a week it seems we are wrapping something up in a tortilla. Tonight I made some salsa to go with our wraps du jour. The salsa was pretty spicy, so not for the little ones, but I LOVE spice so this one was for me!

Sara's Salsa
3 large tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 red pepper
1 cup spinach
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
(chile's of your liking, I used one really tiny red one that I don't know what it was called, and a HUGE jalapeƱo)

I blended it all up in my food processor and that was that. Cilantro would have made it even better, but I was all out:(

I am looking forward to tomorrow. I'm taking my 5 year old to the ballet for free, and then going out to dinner with her while the boys go to a Halloween cyclocross race. Then Sunday, we have 2 parties to enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

MoFo Day 22 - the best lunch (ideas)

I've been packing a lot of lunches lately and was just wondering what your favorite lunch you've ever packed was? The one I most loved this year for Athena's lunch was a couple of pumpkin pancakes with sides of applesauce and coconut milk yogurt. Who doesn't like breakfast for lunch? Here is another lunch I packed this week. Again, nothing special, but it gets the job done. The little containers held some peanut butter for dipping the pretzels. I packed Rowan a lunch today too because he and I joined Athena's class for their weekly park walk. I was so happy that she invited me to come because at the beginning of the school year she told me she didn't want me to ever come on the walks:( Now she says I can come every other week. Sounds great to me! Athena is still loving her school which makes my life so much easier.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MoFo Day 21 - English muffin pizzas

This is another one of our quick and easy dinners that the kids LOVE. They love to make them and most of all, eat them! I use the Rudi's organic whole wheat english muffins, then bake them in the toaster/convection oven at 375 for 8-10 minutes. The kids pick what they want on them, tonight Rowan just wanted cheeze and Athena opted for seitan and olives. Of course they got a good sprinkling of nooch. They had other stuff on the side as well, like little green grapes and carrots sticks. We had to eat dinner on the run and these transported nicely.

Here is a picture of my little cutie that I couldn't resist. He really enjoyed hte pumpkin patch today!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MoFo Day 20 - another quick dinner and the NEW LUNCHBOX

So I don't always feed my kids really healthy stuff, but I try to balance it out as best as I can. My kids LOVE veggie dogs, I think they are pretty gross but do enjoy them a couple times per year. Tonight they got to pick their dinner and so veggie dogs it was. I paired it with a heaping pile of kale chips and hoped the sprouted bread and kale balanced the meal out. They also ate some fresh apples and bananas and a brownie for dessert (this was over the course of a few hours).
Athena's new lunchbox arrived! Nothing fancy for her first lunch in it, but I'm sure she'll be happy with it. She's got a PB & J sandwich, green grapes, seaweed rice puffs, 1/2 a mini luna bar, and applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon on the side.
Here is the box closed.
And into its insulated bag. The applesauce container fits right into the pouch next to the water bottle holder. Pretty nice!

Monday, October 19, 2009

MoFo Day 19 - Noodles again

Sometimes being a mother of 2 young children with busy extracurricular activities means I don't make the elaborate meals I intend to. Some nights I just open my fridge and try to pick a vegetable I know they'll eat, a protein, and a carb. Tonight it was peanut noodles with chickpeas and spinach. And they gobbled it up. It is a cinch to whip up something like this quickly because I don't have to look at a recipe or anything. I just KNOW what I need. To finish off the meal I gave them each a bowl with fresh organic oranges, raisins, raw cashews and coconut flakes. There, I'm done, and on to the next part of our evening...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

MoFo Day 18 - Chai spiced pumpkin scones

I took a box of simply organic chai spiced scones, added 3/4 cup pumpkin, the ground flax the recipe calls for, and added rice milk until the batter got the right consistency. Then added a few chocolate chips for my 2 little chocolate loving monkeys and sprinkled them with sugar. I know some of you might be thinking that all I do is bake out of a box, but honestly I bake quite a bit and from scratch! I just can't pass up sales on some of these baking mixes, especially when sometimes it would end up costing more to buy the ingredients individually. I also just like to compare them to my homemade to see if they taste any different. Growing up I remember only baking things out of a box, so I am proud that I have come a long way in baking from scratch. The scones turned out pretty well. Athena gobbled 2 up while Rowan snubbed them entirely. I'm guessing it was the strong chai spices that turned him off, or it may have been the consistency. This is a gluten free mix so the doughyness is a little different than he may be used to. I'm pretty sure it was the spices though. It was nice to be able to whip up something special in only 5 minutes this morning since I wasn't feeling 100%. I'm fighting off a little cold so I've been taking it easy. I hope I feel better tomorrow!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mofo day 17

We are heading to a vegan potluck soon. I made some brownies and cashew cheeze dip to serve with chips.
I am also blogging from my iPhone for the first time. I'll keep it short for now and I'll maybe update after the potluck.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 16, 2009

MoFo Day 16 - Banana PB Chocolate pick me up shake

It was really hot today and by the afternoon I was tired and overheated and wanted a little treat. This is my favorite treat when I don't have any baked goods in the house:)

Banana Chocolate PB Shake

1 frozen banana
12 ounces almond milk (if you plan on having some to share)
1 scoop of peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
1 spoonful of chocolate sauce

Blend and enjoy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

MoFo Day 15

Yep, I missed a day. I usually blog after the kids are in bed but last night I fell asleep with the kids on accident and just couldn't bring myself to get back up. I didn't have a fabulous post planned anyway, so no big loss, but I really wanted to succeed this month! I was just going to say that my kids LOVE the idea I borrowed from this blog for "banana sandwiches". They have snacked on it the past 2 days.

Tonight I made this soup again and these muffins again. For the kids it was just oven roasted potatoes with lots of dulse, tamari roasted chickpeas, and garlic bread. I also tried a tuscanlope today which is a lot like a cantelope. It tasted almost the same to me but the outside looked different (not much though).

That is Rowan's plate. You can see the tuscanlope:)

Here is a picture of the soup when it just started cooking in the crockpot.And here is the finished soup!

Athena has the day off tomorrow so we are planning on doing something special, her choice, for the day. I feel like it's Friday, woo hoo!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MoFo Day 13 - Whole Foods Pizza and Fresh squeezed OJ

Athena juicing some super juicy organic oranges
Rowan waiting "patiently" for his turn
The pizza we saved for Chris (we packed a few pieces away for lunch tomorrow)

Tuesdays are tricky over here as I stupidly signed Rowan up for a soccer class during our usual dinner time. I usually pack something for the kids to eat before hand, but I wasn't up for it today. Luckily, I live just a few miles from a Whole Foods who fairly recently starting serving up Daiya vegan cheese pizzas. Their pizza are huge and I find them very delicious. The kids LOVE pizza, but I usually just get their half with olives and daiya so I don't have to spend my evening picking onions of their food. Chris and I go for the vegan veggie which usually contains olives, onions, peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, and eggplant. We also had some spinach salad to round out the dinner.

When we got home from soccer, the kids helped me make some fresh squeezed OJ. Athena has the sniffles, so this was perfect for her. Our oranges were very sweet and made perfect OJ. I can't wait to buy some more at the co-op next time.