Kindergarten Graduation…sniff sniff

I realized after a few people asked that I never showed pictures of my baby girl’s graduation and last day of school.  I think I was just so excited for summer and to start homeschooling that I pressed on through to first grade!  So, here you go…

She was obviously excited!  Mrs. Broadway was my Kindergarten teacher as well, can you believe that?  She is a lovely woman and has a wonderful heart for teaching.  Go Faith!

I love the awkward way that each kid stands.

My little buddy giving his approval.

The teacher had them draw a picture on the first day of school and then on the last.  Good idea, huh?

The school secretary who happens to be Grandma.

Making some masks…they lasted a few hours but no a whole lot sticks to plastic.

Mr. Bean

I had to say goodbye to the lunch bag I made…sniff.  If you have interest in making one for next year, they are so easy!  It really was one of the easiest things I’ve ever sewn.  Go here for the instructions from Martha and her team.

Goodbye, Kindergarten!  Thank you Mrs. Broadway!

Junk Food Remade:PB&J

I’m so excited to kick off my “Junk Food Remade” series with strawberry preserves.  What?  That’s not that bad, is it?  I chose this because a PB&J sandwich is one of the most popular, if not THE most popular thing a kid will be served in his childhood.  Some kids actually eat it every day!  This is food that has SO much room to improve for a lot of people out there.  Don’t get me wrong, you can buy great preserves and jams at the store with the same ingredients I’ll show you to use, but for a LOT more money.

Check it out…

Crazy, right?  Did you know that there was not only high fructose corn syrup but corn syrup and then sugar as well.  No matter where you stand on the HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) debate, 3 sources of sugar in one product need not enter a child’s body.  So, we can solve this problem very easily by making it ourselves and controlling exactly how much sugar is in it. Don’t worry, I’ll show you how :)

Start with some ridiculously awesome smelling strawberries from your local organic market.

California residents have one more reason to buy organic because we had a new law go into effect this year that allowed for the use of methyl iodide, a state-listed CARCINOGEN.  Yes, that’s right….carcinogen.  They apparently aren’t shown to cause TOO many problems (at least not documented in the papers that hang out on the desks of Cal-Strawberry), so are used on the soil to kill everything before the innocent strawberry plants are put in.  This seems to be a replacement for Methyl Bromide, recently banned.  I’ve signed petitions against both of these products and I think some of us are still confused as to how it came to be approved.   Makes you feel so warm and fuzzy inside knowing that people care for you so much, right?

If you leave in an area that doesn’t grow organic strawberries, you can also call the other local farms and inquire about their farming techniques. I used to do this before organic farms were really common and popular.  Many farms don’t have an organic certification but may practice the same principles of an organic farmer, without having gone through the certification.  In my experience, organic strawberries from the grocery store are usually from large farms and are pretty tasteless (read taste like water and have so few vitamins and flavor it seems pointless to eat them), comparatively speaking.

Exit soapbox.

Back to the lovely strawberries…

The whole strawberries have an overnight refrigerator rest in the sugar, before preserves are made the following day.

Day 2: Cook the strawberries until they reach a simmer, and continue for 5 minutes.  Try to keep the strawberries as whole as possible.

Strain and reserve the liquid for the next step.

Add the lemon juice and continue cooking the reserved liquid on medium heat until it is reduced to 1/2 the amount.

Sterilize your jars for 10 minutes.

Put some boiling water in a saucepan and add your lids and rings until needed.  I’ve stuck mine in the pot as well and never had any problems with the glue melting, but this is the way most books show you to sterilize them.  You choose, but I would start this way first.

Fill, leaving a  1/4 head-space and process for 5 minutes.

I intend to try them on this and these and these.  So many more options than with strawberry jam last year!

To make a different kind of PB&J, try using almond butter.  You can find it at most stores now and it is PACKED with helpful nutrients like protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.  You could also just blend up some nuts right on the spot :).  The other reason I prefer almond butter is that so many people are allergic to peanuts now…REALLY allergic.  Most people (myself included at one point) think they are both a type of nut but peanuts are technically beans (legumes), while almonds are true nuts that grow in trees.  Cool, huh?

Try it and let me know how you like it.

Strawberry Preserves

6 pounds strawberries, cleaned and hulled

2 cups organic sugar ( you can use less)

6 T lemon juice, fresh

 

Recipe adapted from “Canning For A New Generation” by Liana Krissoff

Fathers Day + Torrey Pines Hike

This is his element.

Yes, he hiked the whole way dressed as a fighter pilot who wears an army helmet, whilst carrying a bow and arrow.  He even got saluted a few times.

We made it to the bottom!

They love their Dad.

Seeing who can find the biggest Shore crab.

This guy was pretending I wasn’t there.  Nice try, Mr. Crab.

Goose Barnacles with their heads in.  They really do look like a goose when they are out and have long necks.

Peek-a-boo

She thought it was pretty.

It’s much easier going down than up…ask my little buddy.

Thanks to my man for taking us to this lovely place…what a Dad.

Tomato harvest + Brioche BLAT with tarragon mayo

We had our first red tomatoes this week!  Thank you, God, for letting the sun out to make them nice and ripe.

I always try my first tomato with a few speckles of sea salt.  Next, I could think of no better way to honor the tomato than with my version of a BLAT.  I baked some brioche (which didn’t really work out since I pushed the dough a day to long because I was tired…oh well) then whipped some mayo with lemon, chopped tarragon, and cracked pepper. I used pancetta (or italian bacon) instead of regular.

My favorite sandwich…ever.

B acon

L ettuce

A vocado

T omato

For my husband: the Peleo version as an egg scrambler.

Camping Birthday Party…s’more included

*Warning*

This post contains unhealthy like materials that are un-Bon-like and might be harmful to your body.  Birthday parties are the only exceptions to eating these foods.  Ok…maybe not the only.

My little buddy had his 4th birthday recently.  He was super into campers at the time so we both decided a camping themed birthday was prefect.  I had a lot of ideas of things to make and do, but in the end, camping is meant to remind us how simple life really can be.  S’mores reminded me of simplicity and at party planning time, I had been seeing tons of Pinterest pins on s’more related things…mmm…I’m hungry now.

Crushing the graham crackers in a bag means easy clean-up and more freedom for them to help.

Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Separately, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Combine butter mixture and flour mixture.

Press half of the dough on the bottom of a spring-form pan, saving the rest for the top.

Add the chocolate bars on top.   I HAD to use Hershey’s because what other chocolate bar do you grab for a s’more, right?

Spread the creme on top of the bars and then lick your fingers. Add the remaining dough in flat discs, then bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until brown.

Other camper add-ons were an actual camper brought by Daddy, the camper crayons I made in an earlier post, party favors in a baked bean can, and pin the bumper sticker on the camper.  We grilled some grub and just enjoyed a relaxing party with our loved ones.

My wonderful mom also turned a fire truck pinata into the awesome camper!  Isn’t it great?  Thanks, Mom :)


Recipe adapted from Lovin from the Oven

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