Saturday, October 18, 2014

Screen time printable

I created a quick printable to limit my kid's screen time. It's so hard to remember how long each child has had the iPad or Kindle or been playing the Wii. Or to remember if they've already played that day. With four kids, I needed a solution.

I created tokens with each child's name on them that are good for 30 minutes of screen time. They each get two. I'll laminate them and put a magnet on the back and put them on one side of the fridge. When they use one, I'll set a timer and move one of their tokens to the other side of the fridge. There will be serious consequences for a kid that moves their own! ;)

I'm hoping this helps provide a solution to our problem. I think the kids will like it and feel a bit more in control of themselves. They usually only play for a short while before abandoning the device (still running) to head off to play. I'm hoping to also instill a habit of a central charging station where they can pick up the device from and have to drop it off when they are done. No more "where is my Kindle" when I want to read at bedtime!

Here's a printable that you can use if you'd like. Just write you children's names in and laminate (or don't). I may color mine in different colors to make it more obvious, too.

Monday, September 29, 2014

menu plan september 29 - october 5

monday: shepherd's pie

tuesday: buffalo chicken zucchini noodle bake

wednesday: spaghetti squash with red meat sauce

thursday: leftovers

friday: pizza with tapioca starch crust

saturday: whole chicken in the crock pot (bones kept for simmering stock)

sunday: chili

breakfast is eggs and sausage links or nitrite free bacon

lunch is assorted soups made from the always simmering chicken stock

Homemade candy corn!

Found a recipe that I want to try this year so my kids can have some additive free, food-dye free candy corn!

Candy Corn
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup (preferably organic, avoid high fructose corn syrup!)
5 tablespoons Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup powdered soy milk
a pinch of sea salt
Red & yellow food coloring

In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup, Earth Balance, & vanilla to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium & boil the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, remove from heat.

Sift the powdered sugar, powdered soy milk, & salt into medium bowl.

Add the powdered sugar mixture to pan & stir to combine.

Let the mixture stand until slightly warm to touch, about 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.

Consider putting on rubber gloves, so you don't stain your hands. Add several drops of yellow food coloring to one piece of dough & knead food coloring into the dough until smooth and color is even. Repeat using red & yellow food coloring (for orange) with the second piece & leave the last piece white, but knead it until smooth. This isn't an easy task & could take up to 15 minutes!

Roll each piece into ropes of equal length (don't roll too thin or the dough will break) and push the three ropes together to form a long rectangle.

Using sharp knife, cut the ropes into triangles. Some will be white tipped & some will be yellow tipped.

Shape the candy corn as desired! You can even make Mellowcreme Pumpkins!
This yielded 110 candy corn, all larger than the store bought ones you're used to! You could easily half this recipe & have a ton to share with others. I made mine somewhat large, as they're easier to work with, but you could make smaller ones & have a TON!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Menu February 17-23

I am realizing as I post these (sorry about missing last week!) that we repeat a lot of meals which may seem boring when I write it out but in reality nobody has ever complained around here about the lack of  diversity in our food. I honestly think that is what helps me feed my family a whole foods diet. We just have a few things we like a lot that we work with so it doesn't get so overwhelming. For instance, we literally eat eggs and sausage every single morning. Today we had waffles for something fun, but that is so rare around here! It's just so easy to wake up knowing what to pull out for breakfast. And my children know what to expect and that makes them comfortable, too. No unnecessary stress for me about what to make and no complaining from them because they know if they don't want eggs then they can just wait until lunch (this never happens!).

We have recently started celebrating the Sabbath (although we are celebrating from Friday afternoon until Saturday night) so in Friday's slot I will link to our menu for our Sabbath Feast. We are enjoying having a long, drawn out dinner with an appetizer, soup course, salad course, main course, coffee, and dessert! The kids love it and it's fun to just sit and chat at the table once a week. It's something that I want to do more of as my kids get a bit older.

On Fridays after dinner we let the kids stay up late, usually playing video games with Dad or watching a movie in our bed all snuggled in together. We are so stuffed from our meal that everyone sleeps well! Saturdays consist of a variety of things, but mostly we are just intentional about being together and staying relaxed. And, most importantly, renewing our minds with God's word! After a simple dinner meal (something like homemade pizzas that we all make together) the kids get baths/showers and pick out clothes for Sunday morning. Saturday night is an early bedtime so Seth and I can have some quiet time (alone or together) to end our Sabbath.

I have decided to change my grocery day to Friday so that we can have fresh food in the house for our Sabbath meal and for the weekend. I am also working hard on eliminating daily runs to the store for one or two things! We are terrible about that around here.

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday: Coconut Lime Cod (the link is for chicken but I just use the breading recipe on cod and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or so) with baked sweet potatoes.

Tuesday: Cauliflower soup

Wednesday: Baked Balsamic Chicken

Thursday: Taco Salads

Friday: Sabbath Feast #3 (I will be updating this board as I finalize the menu).

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Chicken and veggies in the crockpot

I made these individual chocolate cakes last night and they were so delicious! Topped with freshly whipped cream and still warm from the oven.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Menu Plan: February 3-9

Monday: Butternut Squash Soup (didn't make it last week)

Tuesday: Tacos on coconut flour tortillas (didn't make this last week, either!)

Wednesday: Spinach Egg bake (also from last week)

Thursday: Steaks on the griddle seasoned with this dry rub

Friday: Pizza night

Saturday: Crockpot chicken

Sunday: Veggie soup with homemade bone broth (just toss veggies in! I include a can of tomatoes, usually, and sometimes make it creamy with some almond milk at the end.)

And for our sweet treat, these chocolate pumpkin muffins from Grass Fed Girl, grain and refined sugar free!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Menu plan: January 27 - February 2

Sorry I'm a little late in posting this! Last Friday my husband and I decided to tear out our kitchen...and then our dining room floors...and then to move our dining table into the kitchen and the sectional up to the former dining room...and so we've been a little busy! We tore out our wall oven and our cook top and borrowed an old electric oven from my brother for the interim (until we get a plumber here to plumb in a gas range). Of course, we didn't have a 220V outlet as our old cook top was hard wired in so Seth has some handy work to do before we could use our stove/oven. We had lunch yesterday at church and then had a Papa Murphy's pizza for supper (to try out our new oven - it works!). My husband loves Papa Murphy's so on occasion we buy one. We ate pizza in our old dining room/new family room while watching The Magic Schoolbus on our big TV which has now been brought out of the basement (much to my husband's glee). Nice relaxing evening in while the temperature dropped to 20 below zero! School has been cancelled in our neck of the woods due to extreme cold for the second (or third?) time this year. Crazy weather!

Here is what we'll be eating this week (maybe, as we may be hiring a contractor to come over for the rest of the week to help Seth put our gutted kitchen back together):

Monday: Pizza burgers without the bun. Seasoned tomato sauce, mozzarella, green peppers, mushrooms, and onions on top of a grass fed beef patty! Yum!

Tuesday: Whole chicken in the crockpot

Wednesday: Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry (subbing whole ingredients as necessary - we do use organic, non-gmo soy sauce on occasion)

Thursday: Zucchini Lasagna - brought this to a potluck last week and it got rave reviews! I didn't even get to try a piece!

Friday: Homemade pizza

Saturday: Tacos on Coconut Flour Tortillas

Sunday: Smoky Roasted Butternut Soup

Our sweet treat for Sunday afternoon will be Coconut Flour Brownie Cake. I made it last Wednesday night and I am still having it (with a scoop of ice cream) for dessert. It is so good - maybe the 3/4 cup of butter and generous portion of pure maple syrup make a difference!

Recipe from The Nourishing Home - Yum!
Have a great week! Maybe by the next time I post my kitchen walls will be back?! Here's hoping...


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A {grain free, gluten free} lunch recipe...

I follow a blog called Food Renegade and she often posts great recipes. Last week I tried one for Broccoli Bites and they were a hit at my house. The recipe came together easily and I actually pushed the batter into a greased muffin tin for ease. The best part, though, was the Maple-Dijon Dipping Sauce! It is so delicious. We used it with the broccoli bites and then that evening I was dipping my roasted chicken and sweet potato fries into the leftovers!

For lunch today we had homemade chicken nuggets. (I cube chicken breast and dip it in a milk/egg mixture and then throw the chunks in a gallon size bag with coconut flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper and shake to coat. Then I bake them on metal cooling racks put on top of cookie sheets for 20 or so minutes at 350 degrees.) I made a batch of the Maple-Dijon sauce to dip the nuggets in and YUM! I may or may not eat that stuff right off the spoon...

Let me know if you make this and enjoy it!