Tag Archives: all natural

A Little of Everything

First off, thanks for all your fabulous comments yesterday on my mothering post!  Every one of them meant so much.  🙂

Today was a pretty fabulous day.  It was filled with strawberry picking, playing with friends at the park, sitting in the shade on the lawn swing watching the kids play, gardening, talking, tree climbing, homemade strawberry sorbets and lots of other good stuff.

There weren’t exactly bluebirds circling our heads (though a grackle did dive bomb me in the back yard as I was hanging laundry!), but the kids were pretty much happy and nobody stripped down, scaled cars, shouted at me or alarmed the neighbors.  A success in my book.

Now on to other things…

If you’ve been alarmed about the recent news stories concerning lead found in juice boxes, Z Recommends has another side of the story you might want to read.

Yes, there is probably lead in your child’s box of juice. There is also lead in your honey, your salad dressing, your teething biscuits, your store-bought chocolate chip cookies, your pickles, your lettuce, your spinach, and your sweet potatoes (fresh). There is lead in many of the things you – and your children – eat on a regular basis. That’s because there is lead in pesticides, in the air, in the soil… almost everywhere…

It’s good information that puts it all in perspective.

If you’re like us and have an abundance of strawberries (say 55 pounds!) this page of strawberry recipes might come in handy.

I highly recommend making strawberry sorbet with some of it, though.  My easy way is to blend fresh strawberries in the blender with a little water and sugar to taste, and then freeze it in the ice cream maker.  It’s that easy!  Victoria says she likes it even better than ice cream.  You can put the mixture in popsicle molds too.

We also made some jam and syrup but most of it we just froze for later.  If you’re new to freezing berries, the best way to do it is to wash and hull them and then spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a freezer until they’re just frozen (1 to 2 hours) and then put them in gallon bags (squeeze out all the excess air to protect them from freezer burn).  Flash freezing them first means they’ll be individual berries and not a solid lump of strawberry ice when you want to pull some out later.  🙂

Lastly, Here’s some sweet little paper dolls of all sorts to print out next time you need a little rainy day fun.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to read “The House of Dies Drear” to a very impatient night owl.

Kiss your kiddos, count your blessings, and don’t forget to take care of you!

Happy Thursday!

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Hot Vanilla Milk!

Here’s a super easy and tasty treat you can make next time the kiddos come in from the cold.  Hot vanilla milk is quite a bit like hot chocolate, except (obviously!) it’s made with vanilla and it’s also way easier!

To make:          

Heat a cup of milk in the microwave or on the stove until very hot.  In my microwave, that’s about 1 minute.  Stir in a dash of vanilla (I just pour about a cap full, it doesn’t take much) and sugar to taste (try about a teaspoon and tinker to your child’s taste, you could obviously use honey too).  Stir and serve! 

I have an aunt who only sends me pink things (don’t ask, and no, I don’t particularly care for pink!) and she sent me some junky pink marshmallows recently so we topped our hot vanilla milk with some of those last time.  You can also go all out and dollop whipped cream on top.

For a different taste, you and the kiddos can experiment with other extracts (butterscotch, peppermint, etc.).  Enjoy!

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Homemade Fruit Roll-ups!

I’m in love with this idea from Gourmet Magazine and am definitely going to give it a go with the kids this week.  Last week we made popovers, butter and lollipops (all easy versions!) and we are all really enjoying doing recipes together.  The kids love fruit roll-ups but I love all natural foods.  What a perfect solution. 

Strawberry Leather

Serves8 to 10 (snack)
  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:8 hr (includes cooling)
May 2008
  • 1 1/2 lb strawberries, halved (4 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Equipment:

    a 17- by 12-inch nonstick bakeware liner such as a Silpat; a large offset spatula
  • Purée strawberries with sugar in a blender until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heavy saucepan.
  • Bring purée to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally (more frequently toward end), until thick enough to mound slightly and reduced to 1 to 11/4 cups, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 200°F with rack in middle. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick liner.
  • Pour hot purée onto liner and spread thinly (as evenly as possible) into a 15- by 10-inch rectangle using spatula. Dry purée in oven until it feels drier (it shouldn’t stick to your fingers) but is still slightly tacky, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  • Cool on liner on a rack until completely dry, at least 3 hours and up to 24.
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper over leather, then peel leather off liner and roll up in parchment.
Cooks’ note: Strawberry leather keeps in a sealed bag at room temperature 1 month.

(Hat tip to Blissfully Domestic!)

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