Zucchini!

So a couple of days ago I had about 15 yummy looking organic zucchini from our local co-op that I knew I needed to do something with or they were going to go bad. I tried to take pictures but the kids kept wanting to take their own pictures or have me take pictures of them!

I figured I could grate & freeze some of the zucchini to use later, which I did successfully! but I knew some would need to be used now. Enter my handy cookbooks and the internet!

I needed something for dinner that night so I looked at the ingredients I had on hand and looked at our crock-pot, since that would allow me to keep using the rest of the zucchini…and voila! Crock-pot Turkey Enchiladas! I grated the zucchini large, but no one even knew it was there! Every time I make this it’s a hit…sometimes a miss with our son, but a hit with everyone else! I added the zucchini in while the turkey mixture was cooking…I also used yogurt instead of sour cream since that’s what I had.

Then I used the grated zucchini in place of spinach in our oft used New-Fashioned Meatloaf recipe from The Biggest Loser cookbook…I also substitute Tomato Sauce for the Ketchup since it’s less expensive and contains much less sugar & carbs, naturally! It worked wonderfully! The kids ate it even better than normal! Since I have quite a bit of ground turkey breast, it was on sale, I made a double recipe and froze one meatloaf for another night. Tonight I used a bit of the left over meatloaf, warmed it on the stove with some spaghetti sauce and served it over pasta…another hit with the kids! and so easy for me since it was basically all made.

Of course I then thought of dessert…who wouldn’t?! For this I made Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins! I used a micro-plane to grate the zucchini to minimize the green factor, I also used Rapadura instead of Brown Sugar, and Applesauce for half of the Vegetable Oil. I usually substitute Coconut Oil for Vegetable Oil, but as this recipe was new to me I decided to hold off.
The muffins were soooooo fudgy tasting and yummy!! The kids kept asking for “cake”!

All in all a successful zucchini day!

Having fun learning!

A few weeks ago on Passionatehomemaking.com there was a giveaway for a preschool curriculum that I was excited about…so I entered…and didn’t win. But, I did get a discount on the curriculum and we’re loving it!

It’s called Learn Your Letters…Learn to Serve
and I don’t just like it because there’s “…” in the title!

My son has known his letters since he was 2, thanks mostly to Starfall.comand lots of reading, I felt that this would be good at really rooting the concepts he’s learned as we move onto reading, as well as start to teach my daughter her ABC’s. More than that though, I wanted help in focusing on serving others. Service to others and a humble spirit has been on my heart lately as I pray for the kids. I feel that we’ve become such a self centered society and we don’t want that for our kids. So that service aspect was a huge reason I chose to get this curriculum. And I LOVE it! Each week focuses on a different letter and associated projects to do with that letter….so letter “A” has songs, a verse, crafts, things to bake, devotional, ways to serve or show love/compassion…all kinds of fun things!

So far this week we’ve painted pictures with animal sponges, although they didn’t resemble animals by the end! while singing the “A” song and working on the verse…Made cards for the staff around Camp for everyone who’s name starts with “A” then rode around delivering them…and made a collage of pictures or words we found in magazines that start with “A”. Today we’re going to work on writing the letter “A”, then pack some Apples and go on an Adventure! Both of the kids have been enjoying it!

I really appreciate all of the different ideas for things to do and again, LOVE the emphasis on serving!

Yummy harvest!

I do not have a green thumb….I’ve said it! You would think that since my mom is fantastic gardener of all it might have rubbed off on me, but apparently not!

This year though, we finally have something to show for our work….even if it was neglected as of late…

So, I finally got out and started attacking the grass and weeds that had gotten completely out of control….lo and behold….there were lots of raspberries as well as strawberries just waiting for us to find and devour!



There’s nothing like the taste of home grown strawberries….yummy!!

I was also happy to see that the crows didn’t get all of the seedlings I had transplanted….we have tomatoes and zucchini growing!

Someday I will be better at multitasking….the kids won’t be so young….and our garden will be wonderful! Until then I’ll happily watch the kids loving picking and eating what makes it through!

2 books I love and will hopefully use to their full potential are The Backyard Homestead and Grow Great Grub !

Happy Gardening!

Local produce…

It’s the season!!

I’m sitting here compiling a produce share spreadsheet for my local coop…(a work at home way for me to get volunteer hours towards a larger discount!)…thinking about all the yummy local produce that’s becoming available now with all the farmers markets opening and sometimes through your local grocery stores!

Buying locally, especially through farmers markets or farms…
1) Saves Money!Since you’re not paying for packaging and for the produce to be shipped to the stores.
2) Gives you fresher, more nutrient dense veg & fruit!The produce is usually picked that morning then goes right to you.
3) A great way to get your kids out and interested in all the many kinds of veg & fruit out there!Farmers markets most often have a wider variety than the grocery stores. They are so colorful!
4) Supports your community!

Buying locally can also let you stock up on items such as berries and tomatoes for canning or freezing…you can usually get great discounts for buying bulk flats or larger. When you can or freeze your food yourself, you know what you’re getting and you don’t have to wonder if BPA really leaks through the linings of the tins of tomatoes from the store!

Here are some local farmers markets…
Olympia
Puyallup I went to this for the first time last year…WOW!!
Puyallup
Tacoma Their website has free printable activities for your kids while shopping!

Happy marketing!

Quick update….

I am so excited!!!!!! Two wonderful things happened in the last two days….I visited a MOPS group and was able to fellowship with some great ladies who are going to be starting a Beth Moore bible study I’ve been wanting to do!!

And the best….my seeds are sprouting! I’ve been trying to do a garden the last couple of years but had roadblocks…I’ve either been pregnant or had a newborn combined with the problem that I’m definitely not a green thumb. I am determined to have one this year!! So excited!

I’ll update with pictures in a few days….

Yummy deliciousness plus the weeks menu…

Yummy Deliciousness!

2 foods I love…Nutella and Rice Crispy treats! How to make then a little healthier?? I found a couple of recipe’s today and decided to give it a go!

I used a mash of 2 recipes…the first one is from Food.com the second is from Savoring the Thyme

I really like the Nutella recipe, but need some more direction as the Food.com recipe gives. So, this is what I ended up with…

Recipe~
1/2 cup nut butter*
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup Nutella
5 cups crispy brown rice cereal (I would use slightly less next time for a little more gooeyness)

Directions~
1. Combine peanut butter, honey and nutella in a pan on med heat. Stir until bubbles appear.

2. Add brown rice cereal to the nut butter-honey mixutre, 1 to 2 cups at a time and stir to combine until mixture is sticky.

3. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper. Press the mixture into the pan and let sit on the counter until cool. Cut and serve. Lasts 1 week in an airtight container.

Verdict~ Yummy!! As I said, I’d probably use less Brown Rice puffs, but otherwise they were great! *Sorry the pictures are low quality. Our camera battery disappeared so the camera is kaput!

Weeks Menus…

I really need to learn to stick to a budget! To that end, I went through our fridge, freezer and pantry to see what I could make this month using what we have on hand…

Monday~ Turkey Meatloaf (Biggest Loser Cookbook), Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower…yumm!
Tuesday~ Spaghetti squash topped with the leftover Turkey Meatloaf & Jaime Oliver’s Pasta Sauce Not classic pasta sauce but really good!
Wednesday~ Zucchini Bake I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m excited to!
Thursday~ Chicken Soup (Deceptively Delicious) We’ve had this once and really like it. I roasted a whole chicken on Sunday so between the Zucchini bake and this Soup that’ll do it!
Friday~ Enchilada Casserole So warm and yummy!
Saturday~ Pizza. We use a great dough recipe from our Vitamix cookbook, Jaime Oliver’s Pasta Sauce, and whatever is on hand for toppings.

We use leftovers for lunch or freeze for the next week. Hopefully it goes as planned! Happy Cooking!

Authentic…

What does it mean to be authentic? For the last few months I’ve felt very unsettled…
what is my purpose?
what is our/my ministry?
why do I feel so defeated in every area?
We live/work at a Christian Camp and we’re rearing 2 beautiful children, so isn’t that it?

It started when I began reading Crazy Love and A Holy Experience and has continued in so many small and large ways…I feel the Lord is calling us to
Love. Live simply. Live sacrificially.

My husband read me this story the other night…if you’re not familiar with the original click here As he was reading it I mostly just digested it, but over the next few days it began to grow and grow in my soul. This is what I want to be like. Not the exact story of course…the heart of love and Jesus. To live quietly and simply, loving and serving others.

Then this morning as I was doing my bible study the Lord brought it home…
1 Peter 2:11 “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul
1 Corinthians 5:7 “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast-as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed”
from Beth Moore, Stepping Up; A journey through the Psalms of Ascent…“as long as we are carnal, we will never fulfill God’s ministry in our lives.” “We need to be authentic with ourselves and each other”

I want to be authentic! I want to be free of war in my soul! Thank you Lord that you died, you were our sacrifice, so we can love you! love others!