Regaining Some Sanity

Regaining Some Sanity

So the last few days I have felt my sanity slipping away.  The kids haven’t been listening to me.  Mr Rockstar has been getting more aggressive.  I have been battling a never ending cold.  The list could go on and on.  Some of it is just all the little things that make moving hard on all of us.  Everything is “new” and that stresses us all out.

Besides the stress of moving, there is also the stress of suddenly homeschooling all 3 kids (the girls had been attending preschool 4 mornings a week prior to us moving) and having to come up with a curriculum/plan.  Before we moved I was homeschooling Mr Rockstar but the state of WA provided all of the curriculum.  When we moved I had to return all of the books they had suppled us.  I have always dreamed of doing Montessori for homeschooling the kids.  I have most of the supplies and Montessori albums (a list of all the different activities kids in ages 3-6 should complete and in what order) but it is still stressful deciding where to start.  In some ways a written out curriculum that tells you what to do each day is easier….but when I was using a formal curriculum with Mr Rockstar it was frustrating to both of us since he is not “average”.  Some things were way to easy for him and other subjects moved at a faster pace than he was grasping.  It seems like the perfect time to really give Montessori Homeschooling a try.

Today I had a revelation, Continue reading Regaining Some Sanity

Creamy Spinach and Chicken Pasta (affectionately known as Spinach Stuff)

This recipe was a household favorite when we were growing up.  Just like other kids spinach wasn’t usually something we begged for but we all LOVED this spinach recipe.  Now that I am cooking it I realize why my dad was so quick to agree to make spinach stuff whenever we requested….it is super easy!  The whole family loves this one (unfortunately we just found out Mr Rockstar is allergic to spinach !?! Maybe I need to try this with Kale? sometime).

SONY DSC

When we had this the other night Continue reading Creamy Spinach and Chicken Pasta (affectionately known as Spinach Stuff)

Transitioning to Whole Wheat

We are slowly eating through the pantry.  As we do we are transiting to 100% whole grain, no refined sugars, and organic where feasible.

Yesterday I decided to experiment with my favorite 5 minute Overnight Rustic Bread.  I made it with 100% Whole Wheat flour.  It turned out great with no recipe adjustments!  The kids ate it no questions asked with a little butter and honey.

SONY DSC

Since the Overnight Rustic Bread turned out so well this morning I tried Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes.  I used the Continue reading Transitioning to Whole Wheat

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Spinach and Apple Salad

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This recipe is free of Casein, Chocolate, Citrus, Corn, Dairy, Egg, Gluten, High, Legumes, Peanuts, Soy, Sugar, Yeast, Artificial Food Color, and Artificial Preservatives.  It does have a few high salicylate foods.  This would be a great recipe on the elimination diet. Continue reading Stuffed Acorn Squash with Spinach and Apple Salad

Fisherman’s Wharf Bouillabaisse in Bread Bowl

I hate “fishy” taste with a passion.  That being said a good bouillabaisse on a rainy day is a magical thing.  When prepared just right there is no “fishy” taste.  The kids didn’t even realize they were eating fish.  Hubby and I agreed that this soup turned out AMAZING.  It is our new family favorite for cold fall days.  It will transport you to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.

Bouillabaisse
Bouillabaisse
Overnight Rustic Bread used as a bread bowl.
Overnight Rustic Bread used as a bread bowl for bouillabaisse.

Continue reading Fisherman’s Wharf Bouillabaisse in Bread Bowl

Overnight Rustic Bread

The entire family LOVES this bread.  The dirty little secret is it only takes 5 minutes of my time before bed to mix up the dough and then another 5 minutes to get it ready to cook.  The crust comes out the perfect crusty, crunchy goodness just right for a bread bowl.  The inside stays nice and moist perfect for dipping in soup and sauces.  (UPDATE: It works just as well with 100% Whole Wheat Flour!)

Overnight bread cooked in small ramekin without lid to make dinner roll.
Overnight bread cooked in small ramekin without lid to make dinner roll.

Continue reading Overnight Rustic Bread

Giordano’s Style Stuffed Pizza

SONY DSC SONY DSC

We  absolutely LOVE Giordano’s stuffed pizza when we are in Chicago.  So, having not lived in Chicago for quite some time, we were thrilled when we found The Great Chicago-Style Pizza Cookbook at a library book sale.  It has the “secret” recipes for all the top Chicago pizzerias including Giordano’s, Pizzeria Uno, Gino’s and others. Continue reading Giordano’s Style Stuffed Pizza

Vegetable Tian with Arugula and Mango Salad

SONY DSC

Adapted from emeals.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lb medium red potatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 lb zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 lb medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 c grated gruyere cheese
  • 2 c arugula leaves
  • 1/2 mango, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1/4 medium red onion sliced
  • 1/2 T champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 t Dijon mustard
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 t cumin

Instructions:

Heat 1/2 T olive oil in skillet. Cook onion and garlic 8 – 10 min or until soft. Spread in the bottom of an 8” x 8” baking dish. Arrange potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes in baking dish, tightly overlapping and creating one layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 T olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375°F 45 min. Remove foil, top with cheese and bake an additional 30 min or until brown.

Combine arugula, mango and onion. Whisk together vinegar, Dijon, olive oil and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with salad.

Salmon Cakes

SONY DSC

This recipe is a great use for leftover Herb Roasted Salmon.  You can make your own fruit salsa or pick up some at Trader Joe’s.

Adapted from emeals.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb salmon, cooked and flaked
  • 1 1/2 T fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 T Old Bay seasoning (leave out if you are using leftover Herb Roasted Salmon)
  • 1/4 c gluten free bread crumbs (I used and old biscuit.  Alternately you could use flax meal)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake salmon for about 15 minutes, or until it flakes easily (skip this step if your salmon is already cooked and leftover from Herb Roasted Salmon).
  2. Combine salmon, basil, cilantro, mayonnaise, Old Bay seasoning, breadcrumbs, egg and salt.
  3. Form into palm size cakes.
  4. Heat olive oil in skillet. Brown cakes on each side for 2 minutes.
  5. Top with fruit salsa of choice for a great flavor combination, if desired.

SONY DSC

Kitchen Aid Mayonnaise

SONY DSC

All the pre-made mayonnaise I could find had soybean or canola oil and lemon juice as ingredients.  When I was a child my mom used to make mayo from scratch so I decided to give it a try.  It was so easy!  I used sunflower oil and olive oil and it does have a distinct sunflower taste.  I saw some recipes that used melted coconut oil instead of sunflower oil so I will try that next time!  The recipe I based mine off of did not require any added lemon juice which was a bonus.  The texture turned out perfect: nice and thick.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg yolk (from a pasteurized egg)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed oil or grape seed oil or coconut oil melted
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Whisk the egg yolk, vinegar and 1 tablespoon water in a medium nonreactive heatproof bowl (glass or ceramic). Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring 2 inches water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

Set the bowl with the yolk mixture over the saucepan (do not let the bowl touch the water). Slowly whisk until a thermometer inserted into the yolk mixture registers 150 degrees F, 4 to 5 minutes.

Dump the bowl with the yolk mixture into the bowl for your Kitchen Aid Mixer.  Put on whisk attachment.

Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Combine the oils in a measuring cup. Whisking on high constantly, slowly drizzle the oil into the bowl in a thin stream until smooth and thick. If at any point the oil is not emulsifying into the mixture, stop adding the oil and whisk to combine before continuing. Whisk in 1 to 2 teaspoons water if the mayonnaise is too thick. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 days.