Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amazing Vegan Mac n Cheese

I love mac n cheese and who doesn't!?! When we first went off cow dairy products I made my mac n cheese with goat cheese but since we are off animal products I have stopped making it for some time. We went to Trader Joe's they had their pumpkin puree out in front and it reminded me of yummy mac n cheese. I bought some and made it last night. I used nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese and it was so good! The family gobbled it up with fresh green beans.
Here is the recipe:

Vegan Mac n Cheese

Bag of Trader Joe's Penne Rice Noodles cooked according to package
3/4 can of pumpkin puree
3 Tb nutritional yeast
~1/2 c rice milk
1 Tb earth balance butter
Mary-Ann's seasoning salt or pinch of nutmeg and salt & pepper

Cook noodles according to package (for rice noodles I usually cook them 9-10 minutes but not more since they will fall apart). Drain, lightly rinse and return to pan. Add the pumpkin immediately. Then add nutritional yeast, rice milk and butter. Mix until blended well and add salt to taste. You might need to keep warm over low heat in order to mix well if noodles cooled down too much.

Serve immediately with a yummy green vegetable like broccoli or green beans.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot!

The clock in my bedroom

Well, I do not need to tell some of you how hot it is here but ugh!
 It was 108 at the pool here on the Central Coast and boy did the pool deliver! 
I am sticking to the couch as I type and my wrists are sweating as they rest on the laptop.
We do not have air conditioning and 99% of the time I could care less about a/c but the last two days it would have been nice for sure but then the electric bill would come and I would faint with sticker shock.

We had physical therapy today and Enzo's PT was a smart cookie and had the water table for him to play with. We caught the bus and headed to the pool (thank you Shelley!!!).
We got home and even though the house was closed up and dark it was still 92 degrees in my room. Right now it is 94 degrees but it is almost cooling off at 6:30 pm.

Besides the pool, ice cold drinks and doing much of nothing, how else to you cool down

Can we have ice cream for dinner?

Friday, September 24, 2010

#5 on the List Done!

Nightgown for Sadie

Goodness, I finally got this puppy done on the List!
I started before and messed up so bad for some silly reason and 
this fabric is not forgiving when you re-sew over a couple times. I got frustrated and walked away.
I found super cute hot cocoa fabric on sale a couple weeks ago. 
So yesterday instead of cleaning the house, I decided to sew it.
Sewing all seams and going over with the serger was so nice.
The ruffle turned out better than expected and I just used the serger on it, so easy!
I admit my arms and neckline could be better, there are a few puckers.
But on the whole I think it will look so cute on the little Miss.
Kira modeled it for me and said "Is this for me?"
I replied "No, but I have enough fabric for one for you too."
"Yeah!" she exclaimed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

School and Morning Snack-Banana Bread Muffins

Well I guess I have been busy since it has been since August for a post....opps! I have been very busy but loving every minute of it. Kira has started school at home and loves it. We started Zoo Phonics in the summer when my sister brought it over from NZ. The kids love it and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a phonics program. It is fun and interactive for the kids, while teaching them (and me) phonics. I did not learn phonics as a kid, so it is interesting for me to learn the process. We started to read a couple little easy reading books, cat on the mat etc. Then she wanted to read more. So we read the first two pages of "The Fire Cat". She did great and loved every minute of it. She is getting some sight words and wants to learn more. I love seeing her excitement and do not want to drown it out with constant lessons and pounding it into her brain. But rather take our time and let her lead the way with the speed of learning. As long as she wants to keep reading in a session, we will.
I guess I am doing a mixture of traditional schooling but with a small part of unschooling in it too. The whole unschooling idea intrigues me. I love the idea of them studying what their interests are and as a parent you can lead the learning by certain books. I read this one blog on how the mom would put out a book on insects on the kitchen table in the morning and then the kids would go through it and it would produce the appetite for more. The kids would go outside with jars, shovels and magnifying glasses then have a day full of learning all untraditional. Anyways, I want to incorporate that type of freedom in teaching Kira and Enzo and encourage their interests to come out!

I have been baking more now that is is a little cooler...not that it ever really got hot this summer. There were a few days here and there but nothing crazy. I just realized that I do love to bake and I know why now. When I have something baking and the kids smell it and I overhear them talk to one another about it in wonder, it is so cute. In example, I was baking banana bread for our neighbor and Enzo and Kira are coloring in the living room. Enzo turns to Kira and says "Kira, do you smell that?" She replies "Yes, what do you think it is?" He replies "Something yummy!" Then they came to me and asked when it was ready and when could they eat it! It was so great that their senses were heightened and it peaked their interest! So cute! So I guess I am a baker after all.

This recipe is great, easy and quick. For some reason I thought banana bread was more labor intense than this. It is also vegan which is great, but full of flavor! I have tweaked the recipe a bit, it originally had one cup of sugar and it only needs 1/4 cup because the bananas are so ripe and sweet. I want to mess around more with it but for now this recipe is great!

Gluten Free Banana Bread Muffins
3 ripe bananas
1/4 c oil
1/4 c cane sugar
2 c GF flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 c chopped walnuts

Mash bananas and mix well with oil and sugar.
In a separate bowl sift flour, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda.
Mix banana mixture and flour mixture.
Fold in walnuts
Using 1/4 c fill muffin tins about 3/4 full.
Yields 12 muffins

Bake at 360 degrees for about 20 minutes.
I bake them in my toaster oven for about 16-18 minutes.
My oven heats up the whole house and I not ready for that kind of heat :)

Kira does not like walnuts but Enzo does. So I split the mixture and only use 1/2 c walnuts in Enzo's and top the muffins with walnuts so I know which one is which. It just takes a second to do and then I do not have her picking apart the muffins :)