Friday, February 28, 2014

Recipe Friday: Potato Kale Quiche

I made this the other night for dinner, but didn't put it in a pie crust.  I just poured the filling into a casserole dish.  I've taken this dish to at least one family gathering and it went over pretty well.  I really love it.  As far as quiches go, it's pretty hearty, with all the potatoes.  I think the nutmeg flavor makes it seem a little sweet, which of course I love.  It's from my favorite cookbook The Vegetarian Mother's cookbook by Cathe Olson.  I've used this thing so much my copy looks like this:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Family Time

When we moved schools I got all the paperwork that the teachers usually ask for at the beginning of the year.  Along with all the boring forms, Ellie's teacher had a little "Getting To Know You" kind of paper.  One of the things she asked was if the child had a TV in his/her room (which up to a week before would have been "no" but Santa had just brought her one--although it's only hooked up to the Wii U) and another was "What 3 Things Do You Do As A Family?"  Now, I'm not sure what the purpose of this question was, but it made me feel a little guilty.  I had a hard time coming up with 3 things we do.  I said 1. Family Walks (which, admittedly, we haven't done in a LONG time--thank you very much Ohio Winter) 2. Sunday Morning Coffee and Donuts (a tradition that was started when Evan and I moved to our first house, before we even had kids.  Even on vacation we scout out the local Dunkin and get our Sunday coffee and donuts.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rockin' Green Detergent

When I first started using cloth diapers I used Allen's Naturally to wash them.  It was a $21 box of detergent and it lasted for almost a year.  It came in a plain white box with "Allen's Naturally"  in box letters on it.  It worked well.  I was happy.  But then, over time, as cloth diapering moms know, the ammonia smell started.  It happens every once in awhile.  It's just a build-up from extended use, but I was having a hard time getting rid of it.  So I asked at The Breastfeeding Center, where I got the diapers, if they had any suggestions.  They suggested Funk Rock.  It came in a small black and white bag with green lettering.  It looked fun.  I tried it.  It worked.  I was happy.  After awhile I ran out of my boring boxed Allen's and had to go back to the Breastfeeding Center to get more detergent.  I decided to give Rockin' Green a try because I liked the Funk Rock and, as you can tell from my descriptions above, I liked the packaging.  I also thought the concept was funny.  Well, actually the concept is genius, the marketing is funny.  What makes Rockin' Green detergent different form all other green detergents is that it's formulated for your water--soft, medium or hard.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yogi Teas

I used to be a coffee drinker.  I drank coffee all through college (lots of sugar and cream, of course) and even after I was married.  But then I got pregnant.  Then I was nursing.  Then I was pregnant.  Then I was nursing.  Then I was pregnant.  Then I was nursing.  Then I was nursing AND pregnant.  And now I'm nursing.  So no caffeine is what I'm saying.  I did decaf, and still do decaf coffee occasionally, but when I started shopping at Raisin Rack I discovered the Wide World of Tea.  So much fun!  A whole wall of teas that claim to do different things.  I bought the Mother's Milk one, because, well, I was nursing.  I loved it!  I also bought the Mother-To-Be  because I was pregnant.  I finally started to branch out and what I've found is that Yogi teas are really good.  I don't know about their claims for aiding various ailments, but from I flavor standpoint, I haven't really found anything that quite compares.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Regreening: Personal Care Products

First, I started buying only organic produce again.  Then I started hang drying my clothes.  What was the next step I would take to get back to being as green as I was before I started to get lazy?  This is the question I've been asking myself as I do laundry, make beds, clean and make lunch.  So I thought about advice I've given to people asking me how they can be greener--start where it's most important to you.  Food has always been the most important aspect of living a greener, healthier life.  That's why I chose to start going back to solely organics first.  (The rest of the food will follow, but slowly.  What I realized, as I got less and less green and farther and farther away from organics--I was saving $150 a WEEK by buying conventional and crap food.  Not healthier, but definitely cheaper!)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Recipe Friday: Power Bombs

I just lost the entire post I wrote-- twice.  So you get the short version-- BAM's power bombs--  great healthy dessert.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Back to Greener: Bye Bye Dryer!

Last week I blogged about trying to go back to being as green as I was at my height of greenness.  (Before I got lazy.  Let's face it.)  I decided my first step was going to be a baby step and I was going to stop being cheap and buy all organic produce.  I went to the farmer's market and got some local, natural (and in some cases) organic food.  This week I'm greening my cleaning--again.  Back to using the drying racks!  I really had a good laundry routine going.  One day I wash, the next I fold and put away.  But I'm using that dryer again and I know how much energy I can save buy using my drying racks instead, so I'm going back to using the dryer for towels and (some) diapers only.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Repurposing Socks

In the world of Greenness we have the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  To reduce means to decrease the amount you consume.  Don't be wasteful, basically.  Reuse means to use an item or resource again, without changing the form (my Grandmother-In-Law is famous for this--she reuses meat containers for cookies--my Brother -In-Law just LOVES that!).  Recycling is taking an item, breaking it down and making it into something else (like a plastic milk jug being melted down and made into another plastic bottle or a park bench.)  In my opinion Reducing is the most important.  Reusing is next best, because it doesn't require any additional energy or resources to reuse, as it does to recycle.  Today's lesson in the 3 R's is about Reusing.  Reusing socks.  This may sound gross, but I'm not taking about wearing and rewearing your socks for weeks on end.  No, this about finding a use for that poor random sock

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Haymaker Farmers Market

I made it!  I said I wanted to go to the Farmer's Market in Kent this weekend and I did it!  I'm so proud of myself!  Of course it was easier because Ellie had a Girl Scouting event at 9:30 so I was already up and out of the house, which made it easy to get there early before everything was picked over. It was at a different location that it was last time--a little farther away from us, actually.  It was right across the street from KSU in a church.  There weren't as many vendors there this time as there were last time we were there, last year.  I don't know if it was just the week or if there are generally less vendors this year than last.  I took Olivia and Vince with me and both kids had a good time.  Vince was engaged the entire time, he was shopping and listening

Friday, February 14, 2014

Recipe Friday: Pink Pancakes

Happy Valentine's Day!  I decided last night that today's blog post would be pink pancakes, since that's what we're having for dinner, in honor of this pink holiday.  They're a great way to "sneak" veggies into a food all my kid will eat and with the ricotta, they're a good source of protein too.  So, be lazy like I am, I was looking back through my blog for a previous post of pink pancakes.  I couldn't find the recipe, but I did find last year's Valentine's day post--and it made me feel like a slob! Last year I made everyone a special Valentine's Day breakfast, planned a dinner made up of everyone's favorite foods, and reflected on how the true meaning of Valentine's Day--love. "I love my family so much and I feel like I spend most of my time nagging, herding, fighting and feeding them to actually focus on just LOVING them.  I tell them I love them so much, that I don't think it even registers with them anymore.  So between homework tonight and dinner and girl scouts, I hope my family can see that I love them by what I do, not just by what I say. "

Not so much this year.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Feeling Red

I realized as soon as I typed it, this could be taken as my membership in the Communist party, but it's not.  I looked at the color wheel and red is the opposite of green.  (Could have looked at a stop light too, I guess.)  I've been slowly losing my greenness over the last few months.  I didn't blog for the whole month of December, which is what helps me keep focused.  I've started buying less and less organic food, to save money (and it's saved me A TON!)  I bought TONS of harsh chemicals to clean with when we moved into this house.  I've been letting my kids eat crap.  I've been eating crap.  I'm still cloth diapering though!  And nursing!  So there's THAT.  But I really feel like I've gotten away from what I envisioned myself becoming when I started this blog.  The fact that I have this blog makes me feel even more guilty about my slide into orange and toward red.  The good news is that I'm in total control of it.  I can change it any time I would like.  I'm just tired and I lack the motivation to keep pushing on.  I never realized how much WORK it is to be green!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ellie's 7!

Seven years ago today I had my first little girl.  It seems like a whole different life, and it fact, it was. I lived in a different house, I had half as many kids, I was seven years younger, and I had yet to begin my quest to raise a greener family.  I know everyone is dying to hear every detail of my labor and delivery, but I'm sorry, all you get is that Ellie was my biggest baby, weighing in at 9 lbs, and my fastest labor, clocking in at 2 hrs and 45 minutes.  It's funny because Ellie's by FAR not my biggest kid and by FAR not my most impatient or impulsive child.  She is the one that looks the most like me,  and we share some other traits (sweet tooth), but by and large, Ellie is Ellie.  I love that about her.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Urban Farming In North Canton?

Well, very uncharacteristically, I was following up on yesterday's blog and researching chicken laws in North Canton.  I came across a few bits and pieces, like no roosters and no more than 6 hens, but I'm going to have to call and get the whole run-down before I even start thinking about them too much more.  However, while searching for NC chicken laws online, I DID find an interesting article about Urban Farming on the North Canton website, Patch.  It was dated last summer, which means that it may or may not be still in progress, but I thought it was an interesting article to share.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Thinking Spring

I'm done.  I no longer think it's pretty when I look out the window and see snow.  I no longer cross my fingers and hope for a snow day (thank you very much, Blizzard Bags!), and I'm sick of shoveling and trekking down to the bus stop in over-the-ankle-deep snow.  I'm ready to see those first shoots poking out of the ground.  I'm ready to head to the nursery.  But I can't.  My yard still looks like this.
View From My Kitchen Door 

There IS one thing I can do--PLAN!!  Ooooh!  I can even make LISTS!!  So the first thing I'm going to plan is my

Friday, February 7, 2014

Recipe Friday: Cheesy Taquitos

As I've said, I've been trying a lot of recipes from Weelicious.  To be honest, most of them have been flops, but we've found a few keepers.  This one, went over really well with everyone--which is a rare gem indeed!  They were easy to make, can be easily adapted to be vegetarian and reheated well (or so I hear--they were gone by the time I got to the table).  I'm copying the original recipe from Weelicious's website.  It calls for chicken, which I made for the rest of the family, but omitted for Olivia, Ellie and I.  I mixed the seasoning with the cheese and just spread it on.  It was really good--and cheap!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Juice Beauty

This past weekend I had a friend ask me for a more natural make-up.  This has always been an area in which I struggle.  I use EWG's Skin Deep database and research all the make-up and beauty products I buy, but I've found that the ones that get really low scores, 0-2, are generally brands I've never heard of, aren't sold around me, and are way out of my price range.  She was asking about Bare Minerals, a brand I've had good luck with, but their foundation scored a 7.  She was going to Ulta to check it out and match colors.