Friday, November 30, 2012

Recipe Friday: Bean Dip

I wanted to give you a good holiday recipe this week.  I thought of lots of cookie recipes I have, but none of them can even remotely be considered healthy.   I thought this bean dip recipe might work as a holiday dish because it's great to dip veggies in and it an also be used with a Mexican dinner (I'm going to use it on quesadillas tonight.)  It's from my trusty The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook by Cathe Olson.  It's called Easy Bean Dip, and it truly is pretty easy. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ready or Not..Here It Comes!

I have a tradition the day after a holiday.  I take down all the decorations and put up the next holiday's decorations.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.  (Yes, December 26th, all my Christmas decorations come down, including the tree.  We had some guys out to put in new windows a few years ago a few days after Christmas and they assumed we were Jewish because we didn't still have our decorations up.  To be fair, we do decorate with a menorah every year, a remnant of the kids' Jewish preschool days.)  So the day after Thanksgiving, while everyone else is battling each other for Black Friday deals, I'm taking down my few Thanksgiving decorations and putting up Christmas lights.  It's my tradition, but it just didn't FEEL right.  I'm not sure why.  I've been thinking about Christmas.  Every toy catalog that comes across our threshold has circles around different items that the kids want on their wish lists.  But despite the garland, elves and snowmen all around me, it just doesn't FEEL like Christmas time. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SparX Candy--Healthy?!? Candy?!?!

I was selected for yet another blogger trial through Kiwi Magazine's Green Mom's Meet.  This time it is candy.  My children were, of course, very disappointed that I needed them to try candy so I could blog about it.  It took all of 10 minutes for it all to be gone. 

I applied for this sample because I was intrigued by the product, Xlear SparX  Candy because it contains Xylitol.  I had heard of Xylitol and knew that it was sweet and had something to do with your teeth and it was positive, but I wasn't actually sure what it was. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I threw a party and nobody came

Last weekend I threw a Healthy Baby Home party.  I applied to have the party through Healthy Child Healthy World.  I got free samples of baby lotion, baby wash, baby laundry detergent,  toddler fruit snacks, Luna bars and a full size of bath soap, bubble bath, baby wash and moist facial towelettes.  Plus lots of coupons.  I was supposed to show a DVD, play bingo and give out some of the full sized products as prizes.  I blogged about this already, I know.  It was sponsored by Seventh Generation (mostly Seventh Generation products) and they wanted me to have it by Thanksgiving.  So I planned two weeks out and sent out evites for last Sunday.  I got a few "maybes" a few nos and a lot of no replies.  It was a bust. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I've failed as a parent

I don't know what we did wrong.   We dressed the boys in doggie outfits.  We own (ed) two dogs, Evan and I are both dog people.  I watch dog shows and can name almost every breed of dog in each group (ASCOB stands for any solid color other than black-- dog show nerd, right?).  Yet Caden's first word was "kitty", Ellie and Vince both said last week that if they could have any pet it would be a cat.  What did we do wrong?!?!  Evan and I discussed it last night and we blame Meg. 
Please to see us as usual

Monday, November 19, 2012


I'm back!  I took last week off, mostly because I couldn't get to my computer.  We had most of our house painted and when I wasn't out, trying to keep my kids and dog out of the painter's hair, I was holed up in my bedroom, the only room upstairs not being painted.  So this week, I'm going to try to make up of my week of slacking.

Last week, while jammed in my bedroom with a dog, cat and two kids, along with tables and other items from the rooms being painted, I got an email from my friend Kristin, asking my opinion on CSAs (community supported agriculture) and one in particular that she had found.  I was kind of flattered that she asked me.  I have a little experience with CSAs, but by no means am I an expert.  I was actually really excited that she brought this CSA to my attention because it seems very different from the one I did a few years ago.  I was first struck by the fact that its a WINTER CSA!  Super cool, right?  It's not hard to find summer CSAs, obviously because that's the Ohio growing season, but this winter CSA struck me as really cool.  Let me back up.  I should probably tell you the name and all that stuff.  It's called the Fresh Fork Market.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Recipe Friday: Thanksgiving Turkey

Ok, this isn't really a recipe for a Thanksgiving turkey, but it might be an actual Thanksgiving turkey!  I got an email from Slow Food USA and it has a Thanksgiving quiz about the foods traditionally used to make Thanksgiving dinner.

 "If you're celebrating Thanksgiving and reading this right now, chances are good that you do your best to enjoy a thoughtful — not just full full — holiday. It isn't easy — but we can help! Take our quiz to find out how to make sure you're preparing a meal that is as good, clean and fair as possible. AND, every day until November 20, we'll draw a name from our quiz-takers to receive a turkey from a farm that has achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership's 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating from your neighborhood Whole Foods Market."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fast Food Nation

 I mentioned before that I'm reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.  I'm only halfway through it, but at this point it's safe for me to say, I REALLY recommend this book!  It's not quite the expose I thought it was going to be.  There ARE lots of shocking facts and HORRIFIC data on the safety of food at fast food restaurants, but I was also fascinated by the background of the industry and how it's shaped not only our country, but also our world.  Here's a YouTube clip I found that summarizes the book pretty well. (Actually it just hits some highlights, but it's still a pretty good synopsis.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Healthy Baby Home Party

Thanks California.  You blew it.  Proposition 37, that would have mandated labeling food containing GMOs,  didn't pass.  I'm very disappointed in you.  I'm starting to think maybe Superman shouldn't have foiled Lex Luther's plot in Superman 1.  (Ok that may have been a little harsh.)  I was really exited to really win one for the "Green Team".  We lost a battle, but we'll keep fighting the war.

So on a polar opposite topic--I'm having a party!  I "applied" to have a Healthy Baby Home Party sponsored by Seventh Generation and Healthy Child Healthy World.  I'm really excited to do this party, both because it will give me an excuse to invite over some mom's I don't always get a chance to really talk with and because they'll bring their kids and we'll have a massive playdate! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall is For Planting: Garlic

My garden is officially done for the winter.  Sunday I pulled out all the dying marigolds, the dead pepper plants and the brown vines from the butternut squash.  I used my garden fork (I don't know what the real name of the thing is.  I even checked to see if I could find one.  It has 3 prongs and a long handle.  I use it all year to weed in the garden.  It's my favorite gardening tool, yet I don't really even know what it is!) an turned all the soil over, picking out any stubborn weeds.  I used the garden rake to smooth out the soil and Evan tossed some mulched leaves on top of it all.  I have my kale still out there, but that's supposed to be good all winter long, and I want to test it out, so it stays.  I'm done gardening for the fall and I'm kind of sad.  Once I really started to garden, instead of just pull weeds that had overgrown my beds, I really enjoyed it.  But as the signs in front of the nursery up the street say, "Fall is for planting!"  So that's what I'm going to do--cling to my hobby for as long as I can!  I read on Twitter (@eartheats tweeted it) how to plant garlic.  It seems SUPER easy so I thought I'd give it a try. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tomorrow is THE day!

Tomorrow is the day--election day. (or as I like to call it, the day the political calls stop!). Here's your reminder to get out and vote tomorrow.  I don't really believe in telling people how to vote.   Vote your values.  If, by chance, your values are similar to mine, you might want to check out the website I got from Ken Cook from EWG.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Recipe Friday: Pumpkin

Yesterday I made Butternut Squash Soup and while I was roasting my butternut squash, I decided to roast the pumpkin that's been sitting on my counter for weeks.  I've blogged about pumpkins before, but I'll say again, be sure you're buying pie pumpkins when you're getting one to eat.  These are not the same as the ones you carve!  Pie Pumpkins are smaller and have deeper ridges. They're also generally darker in color than carving pumpkins.
Pie Pumpkins

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I'm not a huge fan of poetry.  I did ok with it in school, but the truth is it always made me feel stupid. I could see the symbolism when it was pointed out to me and I was always ok with the other elements of poetry, alliteration, onomatapoeia, similie, metaphor, meter, you know all that good stuff.  I always thoyght I disliked poetry because I was never allowed to just read it for pleasure. It sucked all the beauty out of it when I had to analyze everything I read.  That's why I liked teaching poetry to my first and second graders.  Analysis consisted of finding sight words or words in the same family, rhyming words, but mostly we read for meaning.  I was finally able to enjoy poetry and my kids did too.