Thursday, May 23, 2013

Photos from the Garden




Making Egg Survival Suits

A few weeks ago The Girl had a Girl Scout event where they encouraged the girls to come up with a container that would cushion an egg and allow it to survive a 30 foot drop. Well, both the kids love a challenge like that. So we set to work building  Egg Survival Suits.

The Girl wanted to use popcorn as her cushioning material and found a box to hold it all, but she wanted to make some sort of net/hammock from rubber bands and balloons in the middle to hold the egg and keep it from rattling around in the box of popcorn. She then added a couple of balloons on top and bottom.

The Boy wanted to use mostly balloons for cushion making an orbit of balloons around a small egg carton then added a parachute and a couple of extra balloons to put it over the top.

When they were finished building, we added one of our backyard chicken's eggs then dropped the Survival suits from the top of our tree house.

Both kids' contraptions kept the eggs safe. So we had to drop them again! And both survived the second drop as well, although The Boy lost a balloon in the second round.

The Girl took her Survival suit to the Girl Scout event the next day. Her egg survived through both the 20ft drop and the 30ft drop! She was very excited!

I love this kind of activity. Both kids used their engineering skills to create something  from their imagination, then got to test it in a real world situation...and most importantly of all, they had a blast!

Spinach, Leeks and Bacon

Here's another one inspired by what was left in my refrigerator the day before the veggie box arrived.  It turned out very yummy, and when the garden is producing this summer I'll most definitely make it again! The kids got creative with the lemon before I used it. This one had a ridge on the top and looked like a chick. They called the Chickie Lemon. :)

Spinach, Leeks and Bacon
1 bunch of Spinach, trimmed or about 2 C baby spinach
2 leeks, sliced and rinsed well
2 T coconut oil or butter
juice from 1/2 lemon or about 1/4 C lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 Strips of crumbled bacon or about 1/4 C bacon bits (optional)

Melt oil in a skillet and sauté sliced leeks until just starting to brown and get soft. Add spinach and lemon juice to pan, cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes until spinach is just starting to turn a darker green. Remove from heat and mix in bacon, salt and pepper if you're using it. Serve warm.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pizza Egg Cups

I've been on a mission to get more protein in my kids in the morning before school. They don't eat paleo exclusively and breakfast is where they really want to have their grains and carbs. For the most part I don't push, but offer food I think is better for them. Sometimes they go for it and sometimes they don't. Last week I had a little extra weekend time and decided to make egg cups to keep in the fridge for the week's breakfasts. The boy wanted bacon and cheese in his and the girl wanted pizza flavored. I wasn't sure exactly how to go about that, but I gave it a shot and she seemed to like them. Each morning, she would get out one of her egg cups, put it in the microwave for a few seconds to knock off the chill and gobbled it down. Give them a try!

Pizza Egg Cups
6 eggs
6 slices of bacon cut in half
6 Tbs pizza or pasta sauce (I like classic or newman's own)
6 pepperonis
optional : olives, peppers, mushrooms, or other pizza toppings.

Beat 6 eggs in a bowl with a fork. In a muffin tin, lay half of a slice of bacon across the bottom then lay the other half on top of it making an X in the bottom of your pan. Spoon in egg until it reaches almost to the top of the muffin cup. Place 1 Tbs of sauce in the middle of the egg then top with pepperoni slice. Add any optional ingredients you would like. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until eggs are set. Cool then eat!

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Few Lunches and Dinners

I'm not nearly as good as Cavegirl Kate about photographing my meals, but here are a few I managed to remember to document.  I hope they give you some ideas!

Salmon Fillet with roasted beets and carrots and salad

Spinach salad with steak and caramelized onions

Brunch out at a restaurant: California omelet (eggs, bacon, tomatoes, peppers) topped with avacado, salsa, sour cream (I do some dairy.) and green onions.

Three Fried sunny side up eggs (I have a great recipe for making the best fried eggs. I'll post that another day.), olives and guacamole

Pizza egg cups (eggs bacon, pizza sauce and pepperoni) Recipe to follow!

Leftover lunch: hamburger patty, roasted asparagus and olives

Sunday dinner on the grill: Pork chops and fruit skewers (apple and pineapple chunks)

The Garden

The sunny days this spring have been fabulous! I've gotten my garden weeded and several of my starts planted already! Usually I try to get start getting my plants in the ground by Mother's Day, but this year, I already have several things in the ground.

I start my plants from seeds in my greenhouse. This year I started lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, pumpkin, beans, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, onions, crook necked squash, zucchini, golden beets, turnips, rutabaga, radishes, peas, melons, cucumbers and....drum roll please...tomatoes. Yes, I got tomatoes to sprout this year! That's a red letter day, folks, put that on your calendars!

So far I've put the kale, spinach, radishes, peas, turnips, rutabaga, and broccoli in the garden. I've had trouble getting my cabbage to sprout this year, so it's still in the greenhouse even though the other cold loving veggies are already outside. The other heat loving veggies will probably stay in the greenhouse a little longer unless I get impatient and put them outside. :) My cukes and zukes have also had trouble sprouting this year. So I've brought the seeds in the house and am trying to sprout them in wet paper towels before I put them in the starter trays in the green house. So far that seems to be working with the cukes. Zukes still haven't sprouted. I'll give them a little while longer, then may go buy some starts from the garden store. Zucchini may be my favorite summer vegetable, so I'll have to have some in the garden one way or another!

I've also got several perennial veggies and fruits in my garden: rhubarb, strawberries, asparagus, chives, sage, oregano, chocolate mint, apples, pears, and cherries. I'd love to have more fruit trees, maybe a plum or an Asian pear. But we make do with what we have for now. My little 1800 sq ft garden manages to feed the family from July - October most years, which is pretty good!


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