May 28, 2010

strawberry jam.

yesterday we decided to take advantage of one of our last mid-week days together & before daniel gets his 9-5 job. so we traveled down to ballyntine. for a movie (babies.) strawberry picking. a last minute trip to see daniels parents. & grandmom visiting. all of which were fun :)

strawberries were a little scarce yesterday (we are hitting the season at the end, i suppose) so it just took us longer to pick them. but now we have bunches. enough to make strawberry jam this morning adapted from this recipe. i got it stuck in my mind i didn't want to use pectin. & all of the comments about this particular jam said that it was MUCH to sweet with the called for 2 cups of sugar. & these strawberries were reaaaaally sweet anyways. so…you'll see below what i did.

Strawberry Jam

2 pints (4 cups) of sliced strawberries
1/3 cup of sugar (raw or cane)
1 small lemon (zest & juice)

no. 1
Combine sugar, lemon zest & lemon juice in a saucepan (big enough for all of your strawberries too!) on low heat until sugar is dissolved.

no. 2
add strawberries & continue cooking at a low heat until strawberries are (almost) completely broken down) as long as your heat is down low enough - you shouldn't have to stand over these. mixture will come to a boil. & that is good. check on your jam every 5-10 minutes & stir.

no. 3
once jam has thickened a bit & strawberries are broken down (about 40 minutes for me)

no. 4
pour into canning jars & let cool

mine is yum. let me know if you try this. it doesn't make a TON of jam. probably 2.5 cups? but if you have a bunch of strawberries around it is definitely worth the few minutes to make it!

sterilizing your canning jars:
if you are using ball jars, there are tips for sterilizing them on my link above. i washed mine with hot water & placed them in the oven at 175 for just a few minutes…

May 26, 2010

{supercalifragelistically awesome granola}

i found this picture on my computer today. on accident. & it made me laugh. we really weren't being grumpy i don't think. i'm about 98% sure this was pretty on purpose. but it was early morning if you can't tell. anyways. i typically don't share photobooth pictures...

now onto something that will make those morning faces disappear!

{supercalifragelistically awesome granola}

a few peeps have asked me for this recipe. it is the most easy thing. well, there is a tiny bit of an art to the baking part. & the eating. daniel is absolutely devooooouring this stuff.

this is adapted from a real simple recipe. they call it 'easy granola'. but my name is better. & while we're at it - thank you charlotte dixon for my subscription. the granola alone made it alllll worth it :)

4 cups of old fashioned organic rolled oats
1 cup of sliced or diced almonds
1/2 cup of shredded coconut (if you can find unsweetened PLEEEASE let me know where)
1/2 cup of agave nectar (you can find it at wal-mart in the baking aisle, or trader joes)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of cranberries (or other dried fruits)

no. 1
heat oven to 350 degrees. 

no. 2 
toss oats, almonds, coconut, nectar, oil & salt - DO NOT ADD YOUR DRIED FRUIT YET (unless you like it really…chewy.)

no. 3
bake for 7 minutes. pull out of the oven & toss. repeat at 14 minutes. bake until they are just beginning to turn golden but not burnt. 20 minutes in my oven.

no. 4
NOW add your dried fruit. mix & let it cool.

my magazine tells me that it should keep for about 3 weeks in an airtight container. ball jars are the prettiest to me.

serve with milk. or yogurt. or whatever else. it is the best breakfast or mid-day snack :)

if you either aren't wanting to fork out the extra $$$ for agave nectar & coconut oil (i would say that it is definitely worth it, though. especially the agave nectar. it gives it a better taste) you can substitute pure maple syrup & canola oil.

May 23, 2010

home again!

oh home sweet home :)
vacations are wonderful. & it also makes coming home its own kind of paradise. i will share a little more soon.

our very favorite moments were sitting out on the deck each night & reading & talking & watching the sun set surrounded by deep blue ocean in every direction. i will miss that.

but like i said, being home & seeing family is already so wonderful. actual life is beginning again.

i have forgotten nearly everything i had learned & was planning on for our month of fun foods next month. i am more excited than ever about this. this morning we were awakened by an intercom at 6:30 telling us it was OUR turn to leave the ship...10 minutes later we were in our CRV. still mostly asleep. we went through charleston & realized how hungry we were. the funny thing about the drive between charleston & charlotte is that there is about a 50 mile stretch of NOTHING but trees on both sides of the freeway. no food. just stray gas stations. & trees. & i did not want mcdonalds. i repeat - i did not want mcdonalds. so we passed one. & then passed absolutely nothing else for miles & miles until we found another mcdonalds. where we stopped. its been over 12 hours & my belly is still reminding me that i should not have ate mcdonalds. bleck.

tomorrow i am trying to go grocery shopping before i make a serious plan. & making granola. mmmm mmmm good :)

don't think i'm completely mad - but this is on my reading list for the summer:

yeees. so in addition to chickens, cows have actually struck my fancy. it all began when we went to the sweet womans house we ended up getting our wedding flowers from. she had a brown cow. i loved it immediately. i'd never been so smitten with one before. but really, its only a natural thing. i couldn't escape my country roots forever. bring on the old cowboy boots! & the games of horse shoes!  & chickens & cows!

there are just two things i will never do:
listen to country music (taylor swift doesn't count)
or pull out a shotgun to rid our house of pesky woodpeckers (i'm not even going to tell you if that is a factual thing or not)

 (& no, daniel. its not for eating.)

i know theres a lot of work going into keeping a milking cow. & there would need to be some amount of land. our patio is out of the question for now. i've been researching some. & its just so fasinating. & my husband is not opposed to the idea either - since we can't decide on any other animals we would ever want (he isn't crazy about dogs. i feel the same about cats. so those are both probably out of the question. for awhile at least) but we will see. this would not be a hasty decision ;)

awwwww :)

May 17, 2010

T minus 1 = i have no idea what…but we're leaving tomorrow!!!

oh goodness. i am nervous & excited about leaving tomorrow. we haven't actually gone away for five days since we've been married…i can't remember what its like. i already miss home a little. but i'm sure that will be a short lasting thing :)

leaving for trips are CRAZY times!
im working on my third load of laundry
cleaning so we don't come home to messes (the worst feeling. coming home to messes)
paying bills
TRYING to work out medical bills…those will have to wait. ick.
going to the bank
cleaning our car - it is so happy now :) i didn't realize how icky dirty it had become
prepping ipods
trying to eat all of the perishable foods in our fridge.
& freezing others
emails. LOTS of emails.
make daniel's graduation announcements & sending
get daniel ready for his interview (aka ironironironstylehairtyingtiesphew)
& then i suppose we should pack later on tonight too…

but they are all exciting things. especially the cleaning the car part. YES im serious!

So completely unrelated to packing & leaving…DANIEL GRADUATED FOREVER & EVER!!!

there were SO many people! i kept on waving at some guy about three rows behind him - they both had beards. it was embarrassing. but this is REALLY him. the colored one :)

(this is really him, too)

& this is the building among many buildings that he will never have exams at anymore. or lectures. or need parking passes for. or anything else unless we just want to go & reminisce & talk about how we met there.

I have lots of food things to talk about too…but that just has to wait until we get home.

Hope you all enjoy your weeks! I'll be back Saturday :)

May 14, 2010

lemon kale chips. & life.

so lately a lot has been going on. all happily revolving around my sweet husband.
lots of exciting things. including graduating from school forever & ever!!!!!

i love being excited with him about these things. it makes my heart so very glad :) the lord has been awesomely good :)

in the midst of all these things i've been reading Emma like theres no tomorrow so as to be done in time to start the book i have picked out for our cruise: redeeming love by francine rivers. i was told some time ago that a coleman woman isn't quite complete until she begins to read francine rivers. aaand about 8 people have told me i must read it. so i am. i borrowed it from a friend & am soooo excited :) books & boats & frozen yogurt & sushi & most wonderfully - spending lots of time with daniel!

with all of the study time i've had lately to work with - i've been able to research lots for our month of raw foods - perfect timing after our pre-determined week of gorging ourselves with delights :)

so i found this website:

Elena's Pantry

& at first i was like 'okay, this will be the website i use for EVERYTHING. it all just looked so good. but i started researching a lot of the ingredients she uses (aka almond flour, agave nectar, coconut flour, etc…) aaaand almond flour is about $25 per POUND. i'm sure you can get it cheaper in bulk, but, umm….that is not happening right now. we are delightfully not-rich people. so i thought i had a plan. trader joes supposedly had almond meal which i found out was almond flour - just a bit courser & it can be substituted in place of regular flour for up to half of the called for amount - and for only $2.25 a pound. WAY better, but when i went to TJ's & asked where it was, they told me it was a discontinued product :( soooo if anyone happens to see it, let me know. Basically, i decided that Elena is awesome for things like lemon kale chips (below) but we just can't afford to cook with all of the stuff she's using right now. Soooo…i kept on looking. & i will post about my other findings soon. this is already getting too long.

Elena's Pantry DOES have some yummy recipes though. i have so far only made her kale chips. SO yum. i meant to save them as a before dinner snack when daniel got home, aaaand i ended up munching on about, half of them before he even got there.

Lemon Kale Chips

you need:
1 bunch of kale
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice
¼ teaspoon of sea salt

no. 1 Preheat oven to 350°Chop kale into ½ inch pieces
no. 2 Place kale in a large bowlWith hands massage oil, lemon juice and salt into kale
no. 3 Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (if you don't want a big mess - it didn't seem like the chips would stick to the bottom of the pan if you didn't but don't blame me…)
no. 4 Bake at 350° for 12 minutes (perfection) your kale should be dark green and crispy. when in doubt - try one :)
 no. 5 eat eat eat. fyi - these aren't super filling. they're just fun. & make for good mid-afternoon snacks!

I will post again before we leave. Hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

May 7, 2010

spring haitus & raw foods.

lately, i haven't spent much time blogging. mostly because i can't help but think daniel is the only one that ever reads it, but you know what - thats good enough for me. oh, and my dear friend cait, too :)

lots of business has been going on:
- taking pictures of this awesome girl
- & this awesome couple (they gave me strawberries from their strawberry picking trip. umm...they are they greatest. anyone else is welcome to do such things. anytime.) i want to start thinking to do thoughtful things like that.
- daniel has five more days until he is done with school FOREVER
- 8 days until graduation
- 11 days until our cruise!!!

& on that note: i have been craving vanilla yogurt for weeks & weeks on end and can NEVER find it (seriously, with all of the 'healthy' foods everywhere don't people know that they should have frozen yougurt everywhere. psh.) buuuuut Daniel was looking at our crusie info and they have frozen yougurt. all.the.time. i am going to eat it at least 4 times a day. for 5 days.

we are coming home & starting June 1st we are going raw.
dum da dum dum!

okay, not completely. i have about 12 reasons why we are not going to (probably ever) be 100% raw eaters:

no. 1 you have to remember, 8 months ago, my boy was living off of frozen pizzas. & steaks. you can't make meat eating men NEVER eat meat. i won't do that to him.
no. 2 i just ordered a cow & i am super highly anticipating hamburgers & london broil & all such yummy things on summer evenings. & i love fish o so much.
no. 3 i don't have time to make our own milk, cheese, etc right now. I'm doing good to have a clean house with dinner (almost) on the table every evening.
no. 4 no black tea?!?

All of that said - we will be at least 50% raw everything.

I don't know exactly how much people out there know about the concept of eating raw foods but these three sites are really good sources -

Hallelujah Acres - and they are actually based out of Shelby, NC! which i think is awesome. They have seminars up there the first saturday of every month.  

The Best of Raw Foods

& Living Foods

Basically, if you don't want to take the time to rifle through all of the links - (i'm still learning about this, so if something is off, correct me)

if you were to eat 100% raw foods, nothing would be cooked. The vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts etc…that you eat contain enzymes that help you to digest & absorb your food - once you cook those foods (beginning around 106 degrees but definitely once you have reached 116 degrees) you lose a LOT of those nutrients & enzymes that are so good for you. Raw foods are also important to help keep your body at a good alkaline balance (ph 7.36). & for life. Its eating foods the way God has given them to us.

I'm going to make out a list of foods to shop for:

Right now, this is kind of how I'm thinking its gonna look:

Breakfast, snacks & lunch: Lots of leafy greens, nuts, fruits, no caffiene. whoops. does daniel know that part yet? no canned anything. No just-add-water type boxed foods. I am eating my fill of mac and cheese NOW, i can tell you that...

& dinners will be a little less crazy.We'll do meat - our beef is from grass fed cows, so thats fine by me, fresh eggs & if i can get chicken from someone local (& without all of the hormones) we'll do chicken, too. & at dinner we can do maaaybe pasta or bread as long as they are whole wheat. etc…

And i will blog about it here.

& tell you about how much i am dying to have french bread & mac&cheese. & also how many times i slip up.

the only exception will be if we go over to someones house for dinner. we've never been much of picky eaters, & i will definitely not start that now.