Monday, December 8, 2008

Morning Goodness

Now listen to me. I am not a big fan of breakfast. I truly have to be in the mood and I still have not figured out what gets me there-- BUT If you like oatmeal AT ALL. you are gonna wanna make this recipe. I got it from my friend Lissa. We met in kindergarten. She had the best art projects of anybody in the class (and I aspired to be just like her in my artistic abilities--but to no avail-- my best art comes out in the kitchen). And she was really nice. We are still friends.We were cruelly seperated in elementary school but we were reunited again in junior high again-- and i know for sure she helped me survive Drama, PE (both of which were terrifying to me) and Orchestra (which was traumatizing for other reasons we don't need to go into).We even got to be roommates at college for awhile. Do you have any friends that you have had for THAT lONG? Lissa is truly my oldest (other than my sibs) and one of my dearest friends. And she is still a great artist! She even got a dgree in it. But she is also really fun to cook with and talk about books and just life in general. So this one goes out to Lissa who is so busy with her three kids she probably won't even have time to read this for a long time!

I've decided to name it
Lissa's Delectable Baked Oatmeal Yumminess (she and her kids have thier own name for it but I can't remember what it is)

In a bowl mix together all of the following ingredients:

3 c. regular oats
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
**2 eggs
2 c. milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 apple grated
1/2 c. coconut

then you can add craisins, raisins, bluberries, or any other dried fruit and you can add seeds and nuts-- I used chopped up raw almonds (since i'm ALLERGIC to walnuts--did you know that about me?) and threw in craisins (because I do not- as a rule- like baked raisins).
I also threw in some coconut milk.

Butter a 13x9 pan and dump it all in
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes (mine took more like 35 minutes)
pour milk over it and eat this in a bowl! mmmmmmmmmm

**did you know that if you don't have eggs or don't want to use them you can sub appplesauce (which a lot of you bakers already know) OR you can grind up one heaping tablespoon of whole flaxseeds and blend until it becomes a fine powder. Add 1/4 cup cold water blend 2-3 minutes until thickened and has the consistency of eggs. Each 1/4 cup of Flax seed mixture will replace one egg in baking. I have tried this and it really works!

Let me know if you tried this goodness and if you like it as much as I do.
And now you know at least a few new things about me.
P.S. I got tagged by my other friend Susan so stay tuned for my next post...
(p.p.s. there is a link to Ezra's blog now in my sidebar if you want to check it out)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Did I just eat another Maple Bar?

A wise person once told me that there is no pain like heart pain. At the time the pain I was experiencing seemed so profound, but looking back it was really a simple heartbreak from a broken puppy love crush. It doesn't matter though-- when the heart aches, it aches.

It's been awhile since I last posted. A lot has been going on. It's hard to know what to post about and what to leave out in blogland. I have been making some very hard decisions in trying to figure out what is best for me and ezra (ezrebecca as my little friend ariana calls us :)). Unfortunatley Murv decided he does not want to stay married any longer and it seems we are unable to reconcile our views about so many important things that I have accepted his decision and quit holding on in hopes of reaching some workable compromise.

I spent last week in Texas cleaning up a lot of our messes, packing up and driving a moving van back to Idaho. It was a long and painful journey. And while this is definitley not the outcome I had hoped for, it does no good to argue with reality nor to hold onto dreams that seem to have no possibility in the real world.

The journey with Murv has been one of great importance in my life. I come out of it with a beautiful son, an almost two year adventure living "off the grid," raised awareness and consciousness of myself and our mother earth, and many lessons learned about life, how to be happy regardless of circumstances, and an even firmer belief in a loving God who watches over and protects me, comforts me and guides me, while still allowing me to make mistakes and learn as I stumble along. I walk away bruised and tattered, But with a firm knowledge that I gave and loved wholeheartedly, to the best of my ability. I went at our dreams and our life together with tenacity, hopeful optimism and undaunted courage. Seriously, Lewis and Clark have got nothin' on me...

To be frank, there were many ugly and difficult times in our journey together--too many. But to be fair, there were also so many beautiful times as well.

While I feel the weight resting squarely on my shoulders of adequately caring for this amazing boy -- this union of mine and murv's souls-- by myself- without the person I optimistically believed would always be my other half-- I will trust and not be afraid. I will hold my head up high and continue walking the path. I will truly miss Murv's presence in my life and hope that the pain of this loss and the death of all that could have been will heal over time. Maybe some day, in some way we will all still get to be padobe kids...I have been around long enough to know that things always have a way or working themselves out.
For now you may catch me eating too much and unhealthy food (like a maple bar before I even get to the checkout line at the grocery store), or playing a little too loudly on my drum, or curled up in fetal position, or staring off into space as I walk around in a daze-- trying to let go and go on...but I trust that this too shall pass, and there is still so much to look forward to.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friends, cooking, thrifting and all that fun stuff...

This week I found this beautiful quiche dish at a thrift store! It is stoneware and let me just tell you how lucky I feel. I put it back three times because I felt guilty for thinking of buying something I don't need but just want. But I just kept knowing deep down in my gut that it was a true find and that I would regret it later. I told myself-- you have never made a quiche in your life and you will probably hardly ever use this dish. But eventually my little gut gave in. I was tested once again at the checkout line when I saw that it had about 5 people ahead of me and Ez decided he was d-u-n-n done, shopping. I almost set it down and left but at the last second, took my place in line like everybody else and waited my turn. Thankfully the lady behind me entertained Ezra during our wait. I spent a lot of time surfing around on the web for the right recipe for Quiche. I really wanted one that did not call for a boring pre-made pie shell, but I just couldn't seem to find the right recipe. You know how you just know when you've found the right one? It just wasn't happening.
So anyway, my wonderful thoughful friends Susan and Crit and their two little munchkins showed up in my bedroom unnanounced at 10:30 pm Thursday night! They drove a long way to see us-- BFF extravaganza. After the shock of the suprise wore off-- my first thought was that I just had to find the right recipe so I could try out my new dish on them. No more messing around. the time was now!
After I got everyone settled into thier sleeping arrangements I went back to my search. I was trying to find out if a quiche shell is the exact same as a pie shell or if it should be nade slightly differently? I just did not know. And it was simply too late to call my sister who knows everything about cooking and ask her. So I settled on a martha stewart pie crust recipe (found here), and the Allrecipes website recipe of the day which just so happened to be a spinach quiche! I was very unsure of whether this was going to work or not but I just decided to stick with the adventure and have a little faith that I could in fact actually make a pie crust! I have heard that it's tough to get a good one so obvioulsy my perfectionistic-- it's not ok to make a mistake self-- was a little nervous. At 2:00 in the morning I put my "disc" (which I have no idea if I did it right or not) into the refrigerator to chill overnight and went to bed-- well kind of. Just about the time I was ready to go to sleep-- Ezra decided he was ready to not sleep-- :)
But anyway by the time I got up and moving and spent all the time it took to prebake the pie dough ( I read it would be less soggy this way) and make the quiche and bake it-- It ended up being our lunch instead of our breakfast. I made quite a few alterations to the actual quiche recipe based on things I compiled in my head from my quiche recipe research. But this was the recipe I scaled it from-- here --I added pear tomatoes, and precooked bacon, precooked yellow zucchini and onions and I forgot the garlic. I also used a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar and substituted fresh parsley for spinach. I went with sour cream rather than yogurt and added some chili powder, seasoning salt and extra pepper as well as fresh rosemary.
Let me tell you-- the pie crust turned our pretty good-- for my first one with no clue what I was doing-- I was pretty happy with it. I would like to find one that is flakier and not as dense and a tad less butter for next time but all in all this was honestly the best quiche I have ever eaten-- and I'm not just saying that. I want to make one every day now! And I had so much fun feeding my friends-- I am glad they were patient with my experiement :) And I am glad I got that dish.
I did it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

All this yummy stuff

got made into baby food this week for this yummy little person. Seriously. I really could just eat him up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recipes for Kim and Mike

Because I love you both so much!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
2 eggplants sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (so you have round discs)
2 eggs, beaten with a fork
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (buy some or make your own by just belnding up two bread ends in a blender or vitamix --whether you buy or make add parmesan cheese and italian spices to your bread crumbs for more flavor)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce (roasted vegetable or any variety)* I used my own homemade (see below)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese*
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Pasta of your choice (penne or rotini works well) about 4 cups dry
Fresh basil (this is the best part-- dont skip the fresh if you can find it)

Preheat oven with a baking sheet inside to 375°F. Coat eggplant slices with beaten egg, then bread with panko crumbs. Generously grease hot baking sheet and place eggplant slices on it in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes. While baking boil your pasta to al dente. Mince up your basil.

Increase oven temperature to 475°F.
In an 8 x 10-inch oven proof dish, grease and layer red sauce with basil sprinkled over it, eggplant, pasta, red sauce sauce, fresh basil, cheeses. Repeat, finishing with cheeses. Make sure the top layer of pasta is covered really well with sauce so it does not dry out the pasta and then top with cheeses. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, about 15-20 minutes.

Red Sauce (if you want lots of sauce to freeze or can double or triple)
it thaws out in like less than a minute in a freezer bag in sink of hot water
Fill large pot half full of water and boil (the more extra room in the pot the better for later when cooking sauce so the bigger the pot the better)
Blanch about 10 medium to large tomatoes in the water till skins start to split (1-2 minutes)
Submerge in sink of very cold water
squeeze seeds out
Place tomaotoes back in large pot and boil then turn down to medium simmer (less mess if you have lots of room at the top of the pot)
In a sauce pan heat up 3-4 TBS olive oil and add a handful of chopped up garlic and about 2 TBS salt, heat in oil till it smells strong and then dump oil and garlic in tomatoes and stir
Stir and potato mash occassionally for several hours as you go (don't burn) till sauce is cooked down, thick and most of liquid is boiled out. Salt and pepper to taste.
The sauce is best to make a day or two ahead so it can sit in the fridge and get tastier

Plum Oatmeal Crisp
Serves 6
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
Between 1/2 to 3/4 cup cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 pounds ripe plums (about 8), cut into 1-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup flour, sugar, oats, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.
In a shallow 2-quart baking dish, toss plums with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon flour; sprinkle with oat topping. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Food glorious food

I love going to the farmers market every Saturday! This week I got eggplants, lemon cucumbers, pears, pluots, dried plums, sugar plums, fresh basil, and carrots. mmmm...

Which made for a lovely sunday dinner experiment. Heather and I made a baked eggplant parmesan casserole dish that turned out delicious-- especially since we had fresh basil and eggplant and my own homemade marinara sauce that I made earlier this week to add to it. It was soooo good... I love cooking. I just totally love it. :) It's my therapy.

As you can see this dish was a big hit-- they dug into it before I even had a chance to take a picture
Then we whipped up a delicious plum oatmeal crisp. That recipe came from this months edition of everyday food by our favorite ex convict-- martha stewart-- this is an excellent publication my sister turned me on to which includes recipes for the whole month that utilize ingredients that are typically available during that month-- hence the plum crisp.

If you want either of these recipes let me know...

This week I am looking forward to making carrot baby food and drying lots of plums and making more marinara sauce cuz man that stuff is so good- there is nothing like it at the store. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Look What I Did!

Today was a super productive day...

I made homemade butternut squash bread. It is s0 yummy! If you want to make it you can go here
And if you want to make homemade marinara sauce you have to have lots of fresh tomatoes from your garden. I made two pots of this stuff today!
In here you can see my little jars of pear tomato preserves, and frozen fresh green beans and squash for making baby food this winter when its time for ezra to start eating. You can see some of my marinara and plums too (kind of)!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


This month I turned 31 and Ezra turned 3 months old! I have been busy canning and cooking and working and taking care of my favorite little boy on the planet.

The days pass quickly and I find myself staring at other people's blogs and my emails and trying to muster up the energy to write on my blog and Ezra's blog...

The mail man babysat her girls so Heather and I could go to Art in the Park for my birthday!Then my dad and Ryan and Mary took me out for Sushi!Ezra had his baby blessing given to him by my dad and my brother Ryan. My mom got to be there too I love my boy!

Marley Jane is just 11 days younger than Ezra and they had their belssings on the same day! My mom also helped me and Heather with some of our many canning and food preservation ventures (Heather is even more prolific than I and she inspires me to keep at it!)
Dill pickles and plums
Bread and Butter Pickles
Corn which we went and picked ourselves and then processed for freezingPeaches and Peach Sauce for Ezra
HUGE Beefstake tomatoes from my dads garden for yummy fresh salsa

Eating breakfast at Honkers in downtown Nampa before hitting the farmers market!

We are staying busy and having lots of good times with our family.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I started a blog just for Ezra so that mine can still be my journal and his can be his. I'll still post about him on mine but there will be more about him on his own blog for those of you that want to follow his sweet little life around in more detail! It's still not much but I'll be adding to it as I have time. If you want to see it go here

Sunday, August 31, 2008

McCall Idaho

This is how Ezra felt about spending the week in McCall with Papa J, and ALL of his cousins and aunts and uncles on my side of the family--One 6 year old and 5 babies under the age of two!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Candid shots of Ez for Kim

I am working on a blog just for Ezra but in the mean time-- here are some recent pixies of my boy (and his awesome hair)!
Huh? Uh-Oh busted flirting with that older woman-- oh yeah she's my cousin...dang
It's hard to catch him mid-smile but this is the end of a big one! Man I love his smile and his natural mohawk, and his loooong eyelashes!He loves to suck his two middle fingers. Maybe he's saying I love you :)

Sweet Boy. I love you too.