Monday, September 29, 2008

Are you vegan and pregnant (or plan to become pregnant)?

If so, Karen Rae Ferreira is looking for you. I cannot participate myself because I have reintroduced dairy into my diet, but here's the message from Karen:

I am working on my masters thesis project to study 50 or more pregnant vegan women, in order to clarify for women, their
families, midwives & physicians, how well-nourished a pregnant woman and her baby can be on a 100% vegan, 70% or more raw, organic diet. I am sending this to a few others who I hope will be interested as well. I welcome any input or suggestions, and I would love for you to share this with others.

I feel honored & happy to provide this service for the sake of future generations of raw, vegan children. Before this study can become a reality, I will need at least 50 women who are pregnant presently, or plan to become pregnant in the next year and a half. Of course such plans do not always match up with the hoped-for time-frame; still I am happy to include on my email list those women who would like to participate. The actual data will be compiled on women who participate for at least 13 weeks during pregnancy & immediate postpartum.

Participation begins by filling out an application & questionnaire (currently in progress). Once accepted into the study, the only
requirements for continuing with the study are:

-Maintaining a predominantly organic, 100% vegan, 70% or more raw foods diet
-Lab results & clinical findings for perinatal visits, as ordered & assessed by the woman's midwife or physician, to be sent to me via fax or mail
-Maternal testing for DHA, vitamin B-12 & folic acid, and vitamin C, at
the beginning & end of pregnancy
-Newborn screening for vitamin B-12
-Supplemental vegan food-sourced DHA, vitamin B-12 & folic acid, and vitamin C is highly recommended

I will be submitting a brief article to various publications, magazines & internet groups during the next few weeks to give as many women as possible the chance to partake of this study. I would love to receive feedback on the process of conducting the study, and recommendations for places to submit the article would be greatly appreciated. I am looking forward to all of the connections that will be made during the next two years, and sharing the outcome with all of you & the childbirth & health professional communities.


Karen Rae Ferreira, CCH, RSHom
Registered & Certified Classical Homeopath
Services & Online Courses in Homeopathy; Homeopathic Childbirth
Assistance; Sustainable Living
Healing & Detox Coach - Utilizing Ayurvedic Raw Diet & Nutrition &
Western Herbs

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 28th... A great day for PUMPKINS!

Who says it needs to be October to start harvesting pumpkins?

Can you say, "anxious"? Thing is, there's no tellin' who is more anxious, me or him! Can't wait for pumpkin pies, bread, jack o'lanterns, the whole shabang!

October, here we come!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lunch with Daddy - Tomato Tart Style!

We don't often get Daddy at home in the middle of the day. But, lucky for us, yesterday he decided to work from home. He actually needed a bit of concentration time, so we took our play outside and found another bounty of tomatoes in the garden. Zeal picked a huge bowl of the cherry tomatoes, and then stayed outside to play while I went in and "did something with them."

Since we had a bunch of fresh dug garlic and these wonderful little tomatoes, I made this tomato tart. Since I had been making pie crusts lately, it was easy to whip out another. I think the Fontina cheese (and fresh organic tomatoes, of course) is what made this so good. I thought we could eat half for lunch and half for dinner, but alas, it got all eaten up with lunch.

I usually only share dishes Zeal makes with me here (or does on his own) but since he grew and harvested the main ingredient, I figure that is doing his part and it's okay to share.

This weekend, I will be going to a Harvest/Gratitude Women's Circle, and need to bring a dish representing the harvest. Since tomatoes and garlic are the only things I'm harvesting right now, this will be the perfect dish to bring.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Did I say, "Enough for ONE pie?"

I meant 32!

Okay, it looked like we had picked blackberries enough for one whole pie, which we were actually pretty excited about.

Until... Zeal pulled out this old favorite kitchen tool - a pastry mold - and we decided to make a bunch of little snack pies instead. Now he's jumping up and down about it; he's so pleased!

So we ended up with 8 for us now (enough for dessert tonight and leftovers for lunches tomorrow)


24 to stick in the freezer for yummy winter snacks:

And so begins our freezer journey... more to come, for sure.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Backyard Treasures

So we're up in the morning, and getting things going around the house and decide to go throw the dog a ball for a bit before we leave for our day out.

We're busy admiring the growth in our backyard, amazed that things are flourishing the way they are even though we've done a less than stellar job of watering this summer. Thanks, I guess, to our unseasonably wet August.

Zeal ventures to the back corner of the yard, where we rarely travel, to "fetch" the ball when Bengali doesn't do her job as well as she normally does.

And lookie what he found? Just sitting back there in the corner, doing a beautiful job of ripening while we had no idea they were there. A treasure from the alley --- blackberries!!!

We had heard they were spraying the plants down by the river, so we lamented that we wouldn't have free blackberries this year. But here they are, in our very own yard --- and FREE!

Just enough for one pie!

But it will have to wait till tomorrow, for now we must head out for our day.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lego Crispies! (and our little kitchen tool of the week)

We got a new mold, in the form of Zeal's latest favorite past time, lego bricks!

We originally bought this to make lego cakes for a special party Zeal is planning, but they keep getting used as "trial runs". So fun!
Number one use for these molds - crispy revivals.

Here's a photo of the final product. You can't really see the circles on the top of the legos here. There's talk of painting the tops with melted chocolate next time. I like that idea!

Zeal is also aware that lego ice cube trays exist and is making plans for how he will use them (candy making plans, that is).

Molds are an especially fun (and easy) way to get kids excited about whatever it is you are cooking (biscuits, muffins, sidewalk chalk, etc. etc. etc.) We also have some other molds in the shape of: moon and stars, puzzle pieces, and lines (which we've made lemonade "stir sticks" out of. Do you have a favorite mold?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tomato Love, continued...

We have an obvious love for tomatoes around here.

That said, with all the travel we had planned for the summer, we decided to only plant four tomato plants in the garden this year (for fear we would be too overwhelmed when it came time to harvest). Now, I am lamenting that decision and wish we had a few more plants to pick from.

Still, Zeal is sooooo happy about his many ripe tomatoes that are just about ready to fall off their vines. We earnestly have been gathering and cooking up some sauce to enjoy right now. Too bad there won't be enough for some winter batches too. There's always next year, I suppose.

Easy Marinara sauce:
Drop tomatoes in Boiling water and blanch for about 30 seconds. Transfer to cold water and remove skins.

Sauté onions and garlic in an oiled pan. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil, and let simmer for a few hours, until reduced by about a third.

Makes a great dip or sauce that ALWAYS beats the stuff that comes in the jar!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Celery Snacks

Celery (and the things we fill it with) is a super way to get kids to a) make their own snacks, b) get them to eat something healthy for a snack, and c) help them "think outside the recipe"!

As you begin to get a snack tray ready for the kids, try just putting out nut butter filled celery and bowls full of various goodies for them to create their own.

Try any of the following (and whatever else you have on hand):
-blueberries (shown here)
-the old standby, raisins
-dried cherries
-dried cranberries
-trail mix
-sunflower seeds
-edible flowers/petals
-date pieces
-maple sugared nuts
-chocolate or carob chips
-sesame seeds

What do your kids like in their celery? Anybody try a different filling other than nut butters or cream cheese?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"A Great Day for Volcanoes!"

I never do this, but I am cross posting this one from The Wondershop blog because it just seems so fitting that these wonderful kitchen supplies also be featured here. Happy top blowing!

Kitchen and science "experiments" around here often lead us back to our favorite two ingredients to just play with: baking soda and vinegar! It seems these are the kinds of things that often show up in science fairs and a few classrooms. Around here, they might as well be considered everyday objects.

The ways in which Zeal likes to play with these two wonderful ingredients are more varied than I can probably recall and write down here, but here's the short list of some favorites:

-use an eye dropper to dribble vinegar on a pile or line of baking soda
-tape two plastic cups together, create a hole in the top and get baking soda and vinegar to react and ooze out the top
-add baking soda and vinegar to a bottle, cork it, and count to see how long it takes for the cork to pop! Repeat, and repeat again, trying each time to get the cork to shoot higher!

Zeal worked on this latest and more resembling of a volcano than any of his other baking soda-vinegar forays for a week: first building it from a container, tape and newspaper, then papier-macheing it thoroughly (a few days' project), then painting it,

and finally letting it blow! (or ooze, if you prefer)

Today, he pulled it out again and said, "Today is a great day for Volcanoes! Let's go to the park!" So we grabbed the necessary supplies and walked the few steps from our front door to our neighborhood park where he made it a community event.

Here's our favorite easy recipe for papier-måché:

Mix 1 part glue and 1 part water.
Dip dryer lint, newspaper, or colored tissue paper strips into the glue mixture and gently lay them onto the object of your choice. Let your sculpture dry in a warm area for 2-3 days.

and our favorite combination of lava: baking soda, vinegar, red food coloring, and a touch of dishwashing soap (we keep Dawn around just for projects like this - it also makes the best bubbles!)

By the time they got past the initial eruptions, the kids got really into the "hands-on" experience and, eruption after eruption, the lava got redder and sudsier than ever. They had a wonder-full time!

Welcome! Here you will find simple recipes, inspiring ideas, personal stories, inspiration, and tools to experiment and explore the kitchen together.  So enter the family kitchen with absolute abandon, and begin your journey towards thinking outside the recipe!