Monday, April 2, 2012

Lacto-fermented Lemonade

When life gives you a bag of lemons......make lacto-fermented lemonade!

I was recently given a bag full of lemons.   I had so many ideas for them, but life got in the way.  A week later they were STILL in the bag waiting to be touched.   Since I was making ginger ale using my mother's whey and ginger ale recipe,  I thought I would apply the same process and try
lacto-fermented lemonade.  Although I am not sure of the properties of this, I do know that what the Nourishing Traditions book teaches:  "lacto-fermentation makes nutrients in these goods more available and supplies the intestinal tract with healthy promoting lactic acid and lactic-acid-producing bacteria." (page xii)  I thought that lacto-fermenting my lemonade would not only give my family something healthy to drink, but it would also be a tasty alternative to ginger ale. 

 (these are all very approximate measurements..)
Juice lemons (however many you have)
If they are organic lemons you can add the zest of a couple lemons 
1/4-1/2 cup of whey (see my mother's post above) 
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup of rapadura (you can use any sweetener)
fill the rest of the container with filtered water

Let this sit on the counter for 2-3 days.  There was a film on the top of mine, but you can just strain that off.  Store in the refrigerator.  You can also add more sweeter at this point. I used WAY to many lemons so we diluted ours with water before we drank it.  This is a personal preference. 

Happy adventures into lacto-fermenting!! 
P.S. If you do not already have nourishing traditions......Get it!
 It is my bible for all things cultured or
 lacto-fermented :

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!
Don't you wish we all got this excited to see our shadow :)   I got up this morning and realized that I did not have a valentines outfit for Gracie!!! I simply did not think about it because we did not have anything planned.  As I was searching in her drawer I found a skirt that I never put her in and a top that was all stained so I decided to make them into a dress for her and embellish it since I am rich with fabric around this house :) I just love how it turned out!! 

  Since I was at it I thought I am so tired of wearing jeans and old tee shirts (and I am sure that my husband is tired of seeing me in that) so I searched in my closet for something and put together a new dress for me as well and we went and had a lunch date with daddy for Valentines day.  It has been a great day so far!  

Gracie's outfit before....
Showing off her outfit after
An old maternity shirt (that I am ashamed to admit that I still wore sometimes.......)
A dress that was a strapless summer dress (and a REALLY bad photo of it :)
Once again this is a bad photo but at least I got one picture :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Grass to food!!!

From Grass To Food

I wanted to call this post from grass to food because when we moved here we had basically just a great grassy lawn that was perfectly fenced in but I saw it not as a great place for Gracie to run around in but as a great place for her to learn about where our food comes from.  She will have a chance, even in the urban area, to get her hands dirty and experience picking tomatoes right off the vine and eating them. We did a garden last year (with not much success) but in learning from this experience we are doing things a bit different this year.  The other way to turn our grass into food was to get chickens for the eggs!!! It has taken me a year to get them but I am so excited to say we have some new little ladies that are part of our family.  The last thing that we have recently done in our yard it make a compost pile.  I will talk about these three things in this blog post.  I have to say first and foremost I am NOT an expert in any way on these things but I am just trying to provide the best food for my family at the best cost possible and give my daughter the love of great food just like her mommy and daddy.  

We are doing our garden this year with the principles from the movie  Back to Eden Film (you can watch it for free online if you follow this link so no excuses to not watch it :) It is a great film that is biblical based and talks about when Adam and Eve left the garden it says that the first thing they did was till the soil and how that is not what God meant for us to do when growing.  It shows a way to get back to the way God designed us to garden. Even for a new gardener like myself it is a great video to watch to learn about gardening.   This first picture is the strawberry bed.  The back part was existing from last year and the part in the front is the expanded portion with the new gardening method.  When my strawberries start to grow I will spread them out to the whole patch. The picture below is my summer garden (or the start of it) I bought these trays with the pods at Walmart for $5.50 each and I have 100 starts that are all Baker Creek Seeds.  The reason I do Baker Creek Seeds is because they are not genetically modified in any way and if I am going to do an organic garden where I want to give my family the best possible produce why would I use genetically modified seeds to plant with?  It is just a personal preference though :)

 Celery Experiment
This is such a cool thing I had to share!! I saw on Pintrest that you could grow celery by simply chopping off the bottom couple of inches of the celery that you buy at the store and planting it.  I buy organic celery every week anyway so I thought it would not hurt to try.  This first picture was the first week I tried it (about 3 weeks ago) and it is totally sprouting and all I did was put the bottom of the celery in the ground.  You can see from this picture that with our new form of gardening you simply dig down through the mulch and plant into the soil.  I have not watered the garden once and it is totally growing!!! (I am still amazed since our water bill last year went up about $50.00 a month from the garden alone...).  The second picture is the second week and the third picture I just planted yesterday. 
The Compost Pile
 We re purposed some old fences that the neighbor was throwing out for the cutness factor and so that I did not have just a pile of compost in my corner that looked ugly :) Great idea Dad!!!  We just put our leaves and compost (before we got the chickens) under a tarp to "brew".  I am going to rake this out and let the chickens "turn" my compost for me so that I do not have to do it by hand.  Then I can use the compost to put on my garden when I am ready to put in my summer garden. The picture below is under the tarp. 

The Chickens!!!!
 This has got to be my favorite part of the new grass to food experiment.  One of my daughters first foods was egg yokes and we have been buying for a local guy for about 8 months and I really wanted to have some chickens of my own.  My parents have chickens and I have wanted to get some for our family for a long time.  I just think it is so cool to go out in the morning and see if there is any eggs for breakfast.   We just got 4 laying hens and hope to get possibly 2 more but being that they are laying hens they cost us $15.00 each so we will get more next week hopefully (by the way $15.00 is a good deal for a laying hen) My amazing dad came to visit and made this cool coop that we have nicknamed the Zamboni chicken coop (because it looks like a Zamboni my husband says :) My dad made it movable so that I can move it around the yard so the chickens can get fresh grass everyday without them eating my garden!!  We just got them yesterday and we already have 2 eggs!!!! I am so excited.
The girls eating their breakfast and hanging out

Our Zamboni chicken coop

Before we got the girls

Just another angle

The little door so that I can get eggs and let the out if I want.  (My husband is going to build another door on the other side so that I can put their food and water in easier.) 

The roost for them to rest on

Before we put the sawdust in but a picture of the laying boxes.    
I know this is a lot of info but there seems to be interest in my little experiment. That is the great thing about blogs, you can ramble about things in your life and someone may want to read it :) Hope this helps someone out there.  By the way we live in the middle of the city and do not have much land but we have made what we have work.  Even if you only have a little patio you can have a little garden :) Blessing to you all!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Minnie Mouse Outfit

 Minnie Mouse Outfit

We we going to a birthday party for a little one year old and I did not want to just give a toy or some bought clothes when I have the skills to make something.  I have not sewn many clothes but I though I would try it and I think it came out so cute!!  The little girl loves Disney so I thought I would make a Minnie Mouse inspired outfit.
For the skirt I just took one of my daughter skirts (she is the same age) and traced it while allowing enough seam on the side.  The first one I made I did not leave enough fabric so when I gathered it the waist was way to small.  You would make it almost into a box and just have a slightly wider base then the top. I made two pieces then sewed them together at the seams.  I  then attached elastic to the top and gathered it.  Finally I put on some decorative lace on the bottom just to make it extra cute :)

For the top just used iron on transfer paper made for sewing.  You iron it over the material and then cut it out to the shape that you want it.  I just googled minnie mouse head coloring sheet because it gives a bigger picture usually and then I just traced it off the computer screen.  After cutting it out you just iron it on then reinforce it with sewing. 

This was a clippie that I bought from Etsy and then link is here Nyas Bowtique.  It was only $2.00 plus shipping and she was so great to do a rush order for me!  (Thanks Amy!!!)  I would love to know what you think!!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

11 Months Old!!

11 Months Old!!

Our little pumpkin is 11 months old today!! It is also Brad and my 2 year anniversary.  For our anniversary my husband took my out to a wonderful dinner on Saturday night and it was the first time that I have left Gracie with anyone but Daddy and she did very good.  It was hard for my but it was really nice to go out with just Brad and not have to worry about Gracie getting loud or making a mess :) It was also so nice to just have "adult" conversation.  I know that so many people think that I am crazy to have not left Gracie for this long but we did what was best for our family and what worked for us. 

 Looking back at the pictures from this past month I can really see little miss personality coming out in the pictures!  I wanted to take her to the pumpkin patch and get pictures for her 1st birthday invitation.  I made her a tutu (because every little girl needs a tutu right???) and she had so much fun!!  Here are some of the other pictures from the pumpkin patch. 

Also this past month we went and visited her Uncle at the winery that he works at and Gracie had so much fun playing in the fountain. 

The next pictures are from a Sunday afternoon where daddy thought she should be dressed accordingly......

And this was from our big night out. 

I cannot believe that in just one month you will be a year old baby girl!!!!  We love you with all our heart :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

10 Months Old!

10 Months Old

Our little monkey is already 10 months old and she has learned so many new things this month!  Gracie is crawling everywhere and she is so fast!  She pulls up on everything and get into any thing that is in reach so it keep momma and daddy VERY busy.  She has also gotten 2 teeth finally!! This has not really helped with sleeping but she is doing better, only getting up once or twice a night.  The other new thing is Gracie is eating so much!  She LOVES to eat and really the only thing that she does not like is scrambled egg but she will eat hard boiled egg yoke with no problem.  She loves to eat things straight from the garden.  Her favorites are tomatoes, beets, cucumber, green beans, and really any other fruit or veggie. 

  Gracie is very vocal to what she wants.  As I sit here typing she is yelling at the top of her lungs for no reason.....just to yell but that is ok :) She really is such a great little girl and each day that goes by we get to see the little personality that is coming through.  Today, on her 10 month "birthday," she also got her new big girl car seat!  The other one was just getting too small for her so hopefully the new one will make long car rides better then previously.  Keep up growing into the beautiful little child that you are becoming baby girl.  We love you so much and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Helping momma make a salad

After this we had to lower down the crib....she would have figured out how to get over sooner or later

Her favorite silly face :)

I have my watermelon shorts on

Giants game with mom and dad

Giants game with momma, Conner (he is 3 days older then Gracie) and Amy

I LOVE bath time!!!

Just too tired to keep playing! Apple to eat while I am at the Heirloom festival

Helping Grammy plant the fall garden

Mom and Grammy canned salsa while I hung out with Uncle Obadiah

I think I can get down from here.....

How do I get out of this gate momma??????

My big girl car seat!

Eating rice (I think :)