Tuesday, April 30, 2013

brotherly love

When we were at the pool with Michael's sister and family, I glanced over and saw two of our nephews sitting next to each other. I loved seeing how these two brothers just sat at the edge of the pool chatting. I am not sure what they were chatting about ... maybe which of their cars would win the next race? but I know that this picture will be repeated many times as they grow older and continue their friendship. What cuties.

Monday, April 29, 2013

milling mondays: vegan oatmeal peanut butter cookies

These cookies are a nice light and healthy treat combining great flavors of banana, oats, and peanut butter. When my in laws were coming for a visit I wanted to make cookies, but my mother-in-law doesn't eat granular sugar or dairy (which you will find in most cookies) and I had eliminated egg at the time, so this is the recipe I ended up using. These tasty cookies turned out to be vegan as well.

Vegan Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe modified from doctoroz.com
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp. agave nectar
1 Tbsp ground flax seed plus 3 Tbsp water
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (wheat berries)
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix together the ground flaxseed with the water. Let it sit to form an egg like consistency. To get the best nutritional value, grind the flaxseed right before you use it (do not use your WonderMill to grind the flaxseed).
If you mill your own flour, grind the wheat berries. I used my WonderMill.

Wisk together the mashed bananas, peanut butter, milk, vanilla, agave, adding the flax seed mixture last.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
Drop the dough onto a baking stone or greased cookie sheet. I love my baking stone because you don't have to grease it and it is really hard to burn the cookies. I have used my Pampered Chef pizza/baking stone for the past 12 years and love it (thanks Jen:)).
Bake the cookies for 13-16 minutes until slightly golden brown.
Let them cool on a rack.  And they are ready to eat.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

happy 2nd birthday jonathan

happy birthday sweet jonathan.
we hope you will have a special day. we are so happy we got to play with you a couple of weeks ago.
love you, uncle buck and auntie signe

Saturday, April 27, 2013

auntie signe needs a nap

I think Jonathan realized that Auntie Signe was not used to the excitement of three nephews 5 and under living with her .. so he thought he would help her by getting a blanket and pillow for her to take a nap. Thank you Jonathan:)

Friday, April 26, 2013

a visit from michael's sister and family

Michael's sister and family are moving to Florida. So on their drive from Washington to Florida they swung by to visit us. It was fun to show them our life here. We had lots of fun exploring all the fun playgrounds in Chandler and racing cars (not sure why I don't have any pictures of the cars:( )

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

diy thursday: natural fruit and veggie cleaner

As I mentioned in my berry wash post, I use a natural fruit and vegetable cleaner spray that I love. I have used the recipe for years now so I am not sure where I got it from. This spray is all natural, easy, budget friendly and super quick to make. It gets your fruit and veggies with hard skin clean and ready to eat. It helps get rid of the residue (dirt, pesticides etc. I have mentioned we try to buy mostly organic and especially the dirty dozen - check out the list) stuck on the skin of the fruit or veggies.

1 cup distilled water
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice or 1/2 a lemon
1 cup distilled white vinegar
Blend all the ingredients together in a bowl. Add the vinegar last since combining baking soda and vinegar will cause a reaction and the mixture will bubble up. This is also why you don't want to mix the ingredients directly into the spray bottle.

Once the ingredients have reacted, pour the mixture into a spray bottle using a funnel. Keep the spray bottle nozzle closed when you are not using it since the pressure from the reaction can cause the spray bottle to leak fluid if it isn't closed.
When ready to clean your fruits and/or vegetables, first wash them with water and then spray them with the cleaner. Let them sit for about 5- 10 minutes. Rinse them with water and dry them. Now they are clean and ready to be eaten.
This mixture works great because of the combination of ingredients. Vinegar kills any mold and other bacteria that might be on the surface on the fruits/veggies. When acids like vinegar and lemon are added to baking soda, the reaction helps lift soil. Lemon also is great at killing bacteria. So together they all make a great team.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

wordless wednesday


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

playing with nathan

Our friends Brent and Kelly and little Nathan moved last week. We are excited about their new opportunity, but we are sad not to have them across the street anymore. Before they left, Michael and I had a chance to hang out with Nathan a couple of times. He is such a laid back dude:) Super cute.
We will miss them.


Monday, April 22, 2013

milling mondays: yummy veggie burger

This is truly a very yummy veggie burger. In the words of my husband: this is the best veggie burger I have ever had. This burger has the perfect combination of flavors that will make it taste just right, not bland at all. I have been meaning to try to make my own veggie burgers for a while now, but I have been intimidated. It just seemed like it would be difficult. But it really wasn't. I wanted to make my own veggie burgers since it is less expensive than store bought, and because I will be able to pronounce everything that is in the burger (it seems strange that so called healthy veggie burgers made up of beans and other vegetables also have mystery ingredients that no one really knows what are ... doesn't seem healthy to me).  This burger's main ingredients include two things we cook a lot at our house, sweet potato and quinoa. YUM!
Yummy Veggie Burgers
modified recipe from thenakedkitchen
3 cups of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut up into about 1" pieces
1/3 cup oat flour (if you mill your own flour, use steel cut oats)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup corn
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp hot sauce
black pepper to taste
yields 8-10 burgers
After cutting up the sweet potatoes, put them in boiling water. Let them simmer until they are tender, about 20 minutes. Once they are done, strain the water. Let the sweet potato pieces cool a little before mashing them up.

Preheat the oven to 375F.
If you mill your own flour, grind steel cut oats to make oat flour. I use my WonderMill (do not grind rolled oats in this mill).
In a large mixing bowl, add half the beans and mash them. 
 Add the rest of the beans and the remaining ingredients.
 Mix it all it all together until it comes together. Don't over mix it.

Form the mixture into 8-10 balls. Place and flatten them on a parchment lined baking sheet (or greased sheet). Each burger should be about 1/2" thick.
 Bake the burgers for 30 minutes, turning half way through.
And they are ready to eat.
I served them on my homemade burger buns with some spinach. You can add whatever else sounds yummy such as hummus.  

These veggie burgers freeze well. Let them cool completely and then wrap them in foil before putting them in a freezer zip lock bag.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


how can you not just love this little guy. even his little cry is adorable. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

playing in the leaves


anders and i had a fun time playing in the leaves one morning when i was in dallas. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

diy thursday: homemade ginger tea

When I got sick in 2011, I started researching natural anti-inflammatory remedies. One of the things I learned was that ginger combats inflammation. It is also great for nausea and digestive issues. So I thought this would be a good thing to incorporate into my diet especially on bad days.
Ginger tea is really easy to make at home. All you need is some ginger root which you can buy at your local grocery store.

First, peel the ginger root and then slice it into thin pieces.

if you notice a blue ring around the ginger in this picture, it is not because it is bad. I just happened to buy blue-ring/Chinese white ginger this time.
 Finally, add some ginger root slices to some boiling/hot water.
Let the ginger seep for 5-10 minutes and you are ready to drink.
Often I slice up more ginger than I need and then freeze the pieces. Then they are ready to use whenever I want to make some ginger tea.
I like this tea because of its health benefits, but it is also natural, budget friendly and easy to make.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013



wordless wednesday


Monday, April 15, 2013

milling mondays: cranberry cake with dolce de leche and pecan frosting

Whole Wheat Cranberry Cake with Dulce De Leche Pecan Frosting
1 cup whole wheat flour (2/3 soft wheat berries and 1/3 hard wheat berries)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
5 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup dulce de leche
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F.
If you mill your own flour, mill the soft and hard wheat berries. I use the pastry setting on my WonderMill.  Since this is a dessert dough, sift the flour once removing some of the bran in order to make it less dense.
In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a different bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer at high speed until white and fluffy.

Add in the egg and vanilla.
Reduce the electric mixer speed and add the flour mixture and milk alternately beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix it until just combined.

Fold in cranberries.

Pour the batter into a 9x13 parchment paper lined (or greased) cake pan.
Bake the cake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Let it cool on a rack.
Meanwhile, make the frosting.

Beat the cream cheese with the hand mixer until smooth.
Then add the dulce de leche and a pinch of salt.
Mix until well combined.
Stir in the pecans.
Once the cake is cool, slice it into squares and add the frosting.