November 11, 2013

Date Cookies

medina loved these.  I found them easy to make and they were pretty tasty.

Date Cookies
1 3/4 c almond flour (used the stuff from Trader Joe's...nothing fancy)
1/4 c big bore sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 T water
3 T oil
1 T vanilla
1/3 c chopped dates (used the cheap ones from Winco bulk bin)
1/3 c chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  Then, add the wet ingredients and stir until everything is completely combined. Then mix in the dates and nuts.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or oil and scoop balls of dough (should make 18) onto the sheet. Press the dough down to ½- inch thick circles. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until slightly firm. Let cool before serving.

(Adapted from this recipe.)

September 16, 2013

July 28, 2013

Baba Ganoush-ish :)

I guess I can never quite make a recipe like it says...mostly 'cause I want to use up stuff.  So, I made this tonight and it is amazing!!!  Tasted wonderful on tortilla chips and I think it will taste as good or better tomorrow after it has had a chance to chill.

Baba Ganoush-ish

2 skinny Asian eggplants or 1 medium globe eggplant
2-4 cloves fresh garlic (4 is a lot, I smell like garlic, just sayin')
3 T lemon juice
3 T tahini
handful fresh dill
salt to taste

Roast the eggplant on a pan with parchment paper under the broiler for about 20 minutes.  Turning a couple of times.

Let eggplant cool.  Once cool put all ingredients in your Vitamix, food processor, or blender and blend the hell out of it!  Enjoy!!!!

July 16, 2013

6 Mind Hacks That Keep Stress in Check (Really!)

A friend posted a Huffington Post link on Facebook today.  Love it.  So, I made a visual reminder with a picture of the little monkey :)

July 1, 2013

June 29, 2013

Farm Hive Check-in with MC

MC and I went and worked on the bees out at the farm today.  It was hot as hell...nearly 91 degrees or more.  We ended up pulling three boxes of frames to bring home and spin for honey.  I also got stung in the index finger on my left hand ;)  Ended up not really working the last hive (Hive 1) because we were hot, tired and a bit dehydrated at that point.  But, so far they all still appear to be alive and kicking!

June 10, 2013

Bang-Bang Chicken

Um, this was yummy and super easy!!!!!  I adapted a shrimp recipe I found online.

Bang-Bang Chicken

three LARGE chicken breasts diced, sprinkled with salt and fresh ground black pepper
gluten-free flour in a ziploc

palm shortening/oil

Shake the chicken in the ziploc, drop into hot oil.  Use a nice big pan for this!  Cook on medium stirring frequently.  It's okay if it sticks a little.  Add a little more oil if you need it.  Cook until chicken is done and starting to get golden.  Remove to a bowl.

1/2 c. mayo
1/4 c honey
1-3 tsp Saracha...I'm not sure exactly how much I used.  I liked it with more!
1 T coconut aminos or tamari or soy sauce - pick your poison

Mix together and then mix with the chicken.  Add a little fresh parsley if you have it.  Otherwise, enjoy.  Good by themself or over something like quinoa and rice.

June 1, 2013

Farm Hives Check-in

I have never seen that many bees in a hive.  Hive No. 4 is full of bees!!!!  But, they aren't filling the supper in as well as I would like.  Hive No. 3 is really weak but I went ahead and put a super on in just in case since I can't get out to the Farm as often as I would like.  

I went ahead and threw a second super on Hive No. 2.  The bees have built some crazy comb in some of the boxes.  Not sure what's up there and I didn't see the queen in any of them. 

I also noticed that bees were flying in and out of one of the old boxes that the previous folks had left.  Turns out a swarm of bees has taken up residence there too.  I think I'm going to see if Isaak wants it since 7 hives feels like my limit or I might combine it with one of my weaker hives.  Not sure yet.

Entrance to Hive No. 4....the hive on steroids!

Hives when I got there.

Hives when I left.

May 29, 2013

House Hives Check-In

Finally got back to the hives at the house.  Moved the nuc (split) into a full box.  Went through the copper top and it looks like it has a queen laying eggs.  To be honest, I didn't see the queen in any of the boxes but there were new larvae so I'm going with it.  

The top bar may be my undoing.  I have yet to figure out how to work it without screwing up the comb since they glue it down the sides and on the bottom.  As I was fishing around in the bottom, one of the girls stung me through the mesh on my glove.  My hand is really swollen!  Since I was trying to go through the house hives after work and it had been a long day, I just stopped there.  I'll try to finish going through it on Saturday when the weather is nice again.  From what I did see it is doing great though!

May 19, 2013

Pork in Spiced Coconut Sauce

This one came from an Chinese/Asian cookbook I bought when I was in college.  It originally called for shrimp but I almost never buy them so I adapted it to pork.

Pork in Spiced Coconut Sauce

1 lb pork, diced into bite-sized chunks
cajun spice seasoning
juice of 1 lemon or approx. 1/4 c lemon juice
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 can corn
1 can coconut milk

Sprinkle pork with spice seasoning, lemon juice, and marinate for 1 hour.

Heat olive oil and saute garlic until slightly softened.  Add pork and cook until mostly done.

Transfer to a bowl leaving as much of the liquid behind as possible.  Add tomato paste and cook over a low heat, stirring well.  Add thyme, cinnamon, and Tabasco sauce.  Stir well.

Puree half of the can of corn with the coconut milk.  Add to the pan and simmer.  Add pork and the rest of the corn and simmer for 5 minutes. 

This is good served on top of brown rice, quinoa, pasta, or baked potatoes!!!

Mustard Pork Chops

Not sure where this one came from either and I haven't made it in a while.  Andrew and I used to eat these all the time when we lived in Corvallis.  I'm sure it would be equally tasty with gluten-free bread crumbs and I plan to have it later this week.  

Mustard Pork Chops

1 1/3 c gluten-free bread/cracker crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp salt
3 T olive oil, divided
2 tsp dijon mustard
4 pork chops

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat 2 T olive oil until hot but not smoking.  Saute crumbs, garlic, sage, and salt until golden brown; 3 to 5 minutes.  Note:  This will make enough crumbs for about 12 pork chops.  Just freeze any leftovers.

Pat pork chops dry.  Heat 1 T olive oil over moderate-high heat.  Cook chops 2 minutes on each side.  Transfer to baking dish.  Top each chop with 1/2  tsp dijon mustard and then dip top in crumbs and put back in the dish.

Roast meat in middle of oven until done; approx. 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 140 degrees.

Harira Soup

Another handwritten recipe I've had in a notebook that I'm afraid I might lose; not sure where I got it though!

Harira Soup

7 oz. dried chickpeas (~1 1/8 c)
1/2 c olive oil
1 T chopped fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 onions, diced
4 c vegetable stock
7 oz. dried lentils
pinch of saffron threads
1 T sweet paprika
1 T cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 c water
5 T gluten-free flour blend
juice of 1 lemon
28 oz petite diced tomatoes, canned
1 bunch flat-leaf parslep, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
5 oz vermicelli pasta, broken up - gluten-free or you can leave out

Soak chickpeas in a large bowl overnight. 

Heat oil in large soup pot and fry ginger, garlic, and onions until the onion softens.  Add 2 c of the stock, the chickpeas, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the lentils, saffron, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.  Cover with the remaining stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

In bowl, gradually mix the water into the flour. Add lemon juice and tomatoes.  Place the bowl over the steaming pot, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.

Add parsley and cilantro and add mixture to the soup, stirring constantly.  Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the pasta and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Mushroom Polenta Rounds

I think this was originally a Weight Watchers recipe.  I'm going through some handwritten recipes and thought I'd add it here before I lose it! 

Mushroom Polenta Rounds

1 log of store-bought polenta
8 tsp Parmesan
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/4 lb mushrooms
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 T cream cheese
1/4 c. water
2 T fresh parsley, chopped

1. Preheat over to 450 degrees.  Slice polenta into about 18 rounds or so (it's been a while since I made it so I can't remember.)  Put on baking sheet, spray with nonstick spray or brush with some olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp Parmesan.  Bake until lightly browned; 15-18 minutes.

2. Heal olive oil, add mushrooms and cook about 7 minutes.  Stir in garlic, rosemary, salt and black pepper.  Cook for about 1 minute.

3. Add cream cheese and water.  Cook about 2-3 minutes until the cream cheese has melted and everything is combined.

4. Put 2 T on each polenta round.  Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp Parmesan and garnish with the parsley.

Taco Seasoning

Making your own taco seasoning is easy, cheap, and healthier.  Buy the spices in bulk and use a pint-sized mason jar.  Folks tell me it tastes pretty darn good!

Taco Seasoning
4 T chili powder
2 T onion powder
2 T garlic powder
2 T cumin powder
1 T brown sugar
1 T cornstarch (helps keep the mixture from caking and thickens stuff a bit when you put the spice mix on your taco meat)
4 tsp salt
4 tsp paprika
4 tsp oregano
3 tsp red pepper flakes

As I said above, I like to put everything in a pint-sized mason jar and shake the heck out of it.  I use about 1-2 T of the mix for about a pound of meat.

May 15, 2013

I Ate It...On My Bike

Last night I totally ate it on my way home.  I was riding around a guy walking on the sidewalk and my back tire caught the edge of the sidewalk where it met the parking lot in front of the eye doctor.  It hurt but I'm okay and so is my bike.  

These pictures were taken today to allow for full color development ;)

And as my friend Michelle Achee said on Facebook..."Life is a full contact sport. Glad you're intact"

But I'm still smilin'!!!!

May 9, 2013

Throw off the Shackles of Female Expectations

"Nothing in the world will turn everyone into a supermodel. That’s not the point. The goal is not to be supermodels. It is not to be 00s. The goal is, in fact, the opposite. Instead, the goal is to throw off the shackles of female expectations. It is to be fierce and to be confident and to be healthy exactly as nature intended. It is to be natural, to listen to one’s body above all other things, to be healthy, to be unapologetic, and to be fierce and hot and all of this, again, not because a woman is meeting social expectations of female physicality–whatever those might be for a particular woman–but rather because in natural womanhood there are serious health and serious pride." - Stefanie Ruper -

May 8, 2013

Farm Hives Check-In

Did not go through the boxes today.  But, I did take a couple of supers out.  I should have taken three.  The two strong hives are still going strong. 

The strongest one (Hive No. 4) was already filling the super with honey so I put a second super on it.  The other one (Hive No. 2) needs it but Hive No. 1 needed a super even more.  Hive No. 3 (I think) is not doing so well.  Not sure if it swarmed or if it is just weak. 

I need to spend a day going through them again!  I was kind of in a hurry since Monica was taking the boys and I out to dinner.

May 6, 2013

May 5, 2013

House Hives Check-In

Nuc seems okay.  Didn’t see the queen but there was still larvae.  

Top-bar was awesome.  I learned that part of the reason I had problems before was the comb was attached to the side of the box in addition to the top-bar piece.  Ended up screwing up a couple since they were connected to the next piece.  But, all in all, it looked really good.  Again did not find the queen, but I also didn’t worry about it too much.  

The coppertop looked okay.  They haven’t really made it up into the super.  Probably shouldn’t have put it on there yet but it doesn’t seem to be a problem.  Did see some new larvae...not sure it was being layed properly though.  Again, didn’t find the queen.  They have ate almost all of the pollen patty half that I gave them and are bringing in lots of pollen.

May 2, 2013

April 29, 2013

April 25, 2013

An Affair To Remember

Had a wonderful time tonight at the Alzheimer's Network of Oregon's fundraiser - An Affair to Remember.  I haven't gotten to dress up and be girly since my nieces quinceanera in 2008!  

Ate way too much good food.  And got to be around a lot of good people!  

Kathleen took a pretty decent picture of me.  I know a lot more were taken but this one got posted to Facebook rather quickly so I'm posting it here!

April 22, 2013

April 21, 2013

Working the Girls

Today Babbitt and Isaak and I went out to the farm to work the Girls.  Two of the hives are extremely healthy.  Isaak and I made a split for me and took a couple of frames with queen cups on them for him.  The other two hives are doing okay but aren't bursting at the seams like the others. 

Medina and I also brought the top bar hive into town to the house.  So, we're at four hives at Minto Island Growers, one full hive at the house, one top bar hive at the house, and a nuc (made from one of the healthy hives). 

It really helped having Isaak there yesterday.  He was able to explain things that we were looking at.  And, I found the queen in one of the boxes.  Isaak had a holder and pen to mark her so we did! 

It was a stressful weekend having Tamara and her kids visiting and then Andrew took the boys to Grand Ronde for an overnight visit - my first night away from Riley.  Getting to work the bees helped relax me a bit.

All photos from Isaak's cell phone!

April 10, 2013

April 6, 2013

April 5, 2013

April 4, 2013

Blueberry Flax a Coffee Cup

There are a billion and one recipes for baked goods cooked in a coffee cup in the microwave.  This one is tasty, easy and actually healthy!  I adapted it from one I found online but really made it my own.

Blueberry Flax Muffin in a Coffee Cup

1 egg
1 tsp melted coconut oil
1 T maple syrup or honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 c ground flax (I just grind the hell out of the seeds in my coffee grinder but you could use the flax seed meal as well)
1/4 c blueberries, frozen is fine

Whip the egg, oil and syrup.  Add the dry ingredients and then stir in the blueberries.  Pour into a coffee cup you've oiled a bit (I'm lazy and use the spray crap even though it's really not all that good for you).  Cook in microwave for 90 seconds.  If it isn't firm cook another 30-60 seconds.  Put on plate and serve with butter and/or a little more maple syrup!

Be sure to make one for each person or they'll try to eat yours!

March 31, 2013

March 29, 2013

Old Card from Mom

I've kept this old card for 8 years.  I thought it was a birthday card until I opened it and realized it was a one year anniversary card to Andrew and I.  Oh well.  I love the colors and the sentiment!

March 25, 2013

Knowing When You've Had Enough

Hard to do!  But, so worth it.

March 24, 2013

Love from Weisha


My Book Spine Poetry

I made this one today with some of the boys' books.

March 21, 2013

Book Spine Poetry

Medina created this today with some of our books after seeing a project Jean Gritter had her high school kids do.  I love it!

The Quiet That Lies Beneath The Chaos

The Living

“Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” – Johann von Goethe

March 19, 2013

Last Friday...Furlough Morning!

Leaning Into Joy

Thank You from Ken

Ken called me the morning of New Year's Day and asked if I would go to the local Christian bookstore for him.  He was stuck in the hospital (had been since Christmas) and wanted a couple of books to read.  By the time I got to him that afternoon, he was not feeling well so I dropped them and ran.  He sent this thank you card back to the office a few days later with Ray.

I didn't get to know him as well as I would have liked. He ended up passing away later that month.  I don't want to forget him though.  I loved his infectious laugh and so enjoyed talking bees.  At his service, his daughter surprised me by telling me he left me his hives that were overwintering at the house.  I still haven't seen how many there are but it was such a gift and worth so much more than the $35 dollars I spent on the books.  Thank you Ken!

Thank You Card from Deb

Literally brought tears to my eyes when I saw this on my chair!  I was having a bad morning and feeling like crap and came to work to this.  What a gift!


Kind note on the inside!

March 12, 2013

Raw-ish "Cheesecake" with Ganache Topping

I say raw-ish because I heat stuff up in the microwave to melt it...and it's not vegan because I use honey.  

WHO CARES!!! It rocks the taste-buds!  

I adapted this recipe to use what I had in the house.  It was a co-worker's birthday so that's always a good excuse to try something like this out on them.  They seemed to think it was pretty darn good too!  Next time I think I'll actually use orange juice like the original recipe called for.  I used the pomegranate juice this time since I had some I got for free and didn't want to squeeze the orange juice. The color was a little bleh but no one seemed to care too much.

Raw-ish "Cheesecake"

1/2 c almonds 
1/2 c pecans
4 dates (if the nice big ones, 8 if they're the cheap ones like in the bulk section at Winco), soaked until soft (I pour boiling water over them) 
1/4 c cacao powder

1. Place almonds and pecans in food processor or Vitamix and process until finely chopped. 
2. Add dates and cacao. Process until well blended. Mixture should stick together when you pinch it.
3. Press the mixture into the bottom of a spring form pan (I sprayed it with a little oil but I'm not sure it was necessary). Make sure you press it well.

zest from two oranges 
2 c cashews, soaked until soft (4+ hours or about 20 minutes if covered with boiling water), rinsed and drained well 
1 1/4 c coconut oil, melted 
1 c pomegranate juice or fresh orange juice 
2/3 c honey
1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1. Zest oranges and set aside.
2. In Vitamix, combine cashews, coconut oil, juice and honey. Blend until smooth. 
3. Add zest and ginger. Pulse just to combine. 
4. Pour over crust. 
5. Refrigerate overnight.

Optional Ganache Topping (adapted from same site
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 c honey
1/4 c coconut oil, melted

Mix everything together.  I used about half of this on the cheesecake (more would have been okay but it's really rich!) and added about 1-2 T bittersweet marmalade.  

This tastes best and is firmest straight out of the fridge.  But, it's good pretty much anyway you slice it ;)

February 22, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Crack Balls

Adapted from the Conscious Eatery.  Kind of like no bake chocolate cookies but easier ;)

Chocolate Coconut Crack Balls

1 c unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 brown rice syrup, maple syrup, honey, whichever you have and/or like the flavor of
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 T cocoa, heaped
2 T coconut oil, slightly softened
dash of salt

Blend together in Vitamix or food processor.  Make into balls and watch your 2.5 year old fight you for them ;)  or put in fridge to firm up!

Love Letters to My Sons..