Category Archives: Recipes

Urban Farms!

For a while now, I’ve been fascinated by urban farms, and what people can do with just a small suburban or city plot of land. My hope is to one day have an acre or two…or three to do with what I please and for my kids to run around on. But, since I don’t have that right now (Its a saving season. Thanks Dave Ramsey…) I have been researching what you can actually do with a smaller plot and its AMAZING! Its kind of what kick started my want for chickens; seeing other people with them in their little suburban yards!

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/11/madison_heights_reconsidering.html

http://www.chicagobooth.edu/magazine/33/3/backstory.aspx.

This guy lives in a suburban Chicago neighborhood and raises chickens, heats their home with wood collected from the area, and has planted fruit and walnut trees on his property.

Some people go above and beyond…

http://www.examiner.com/biology-in-san-francisco/urban-farming-changes-run-down-lots-to-blooming-gardens.

https://sunhomedesign.wordpress.com/tag/suburban-farm/.

See all that greenery? Yep, that’s edible food right there. Granted, living in an HOA may have more restrictions, but still! Isn’t it awesome what you can do right where you are?

So, as I was drooling over these sites and things, I stumbled upon a new magazine called Urban Farm. After checking it out,  I signed up and got my first magazine yesterday. In love. Yep. I love it! Here’s their site in case you’re interested in reading some articles or subscribing for the mag ;o)

http://www.hobbyfarms.com/urban-farm/urban-farm.aspx

Some of the highlights ~

  • Conservation Districts. Yeah, I’d seen that title before in those little city newspapers that come in the mail and never paid any attention. But did you know that in some cities, they will help finance some urban projects? The article, called “Modern-Day Deserts” told about a NC woman who wanted to install a rain garden and not only did she get consultation on how to do it from her city Conservation district, but she was also reimbursed for over half her costs! Definitely worth looking into.
  • Books! They have a whole page dedicated to what books having to do with gardening and urban farms they recommend, with highlights.
  • Vertical Apple Trees. Never in my life have I seen it, but you can grow thin, vertical apple trees in a planter on your patio! Since we live in a rental, I’ve put off the desire for planting fruit trees and the like because I know we won’t be here forever, but I can definitely start in a planter! Check out http://www.gardendebut.com/fruit-trees.php for more info on it.
  • a whole 8 page article on Seed Starting!
  • Edible Flowers. I had no idea you could eat roses. I still don’t know if I will, but I’m glad I know now! There’s even a recipe: 3 egg yolks, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 10 rose petals. Lightly coat the rose petals with egg yolk. Dip petals into the sugar and lightly coat both sides. Dry in room temp overnight. Serve as a beautiful garnish on a dessert.
  • How to start grapes in a planter. …!!!…
  • Different breeds of chickens
  • And an awesome story about a company in Chicago called Growing Home (www.growinghomeinc.org) that is taking in homeless people, teaching them how to garden and harvest, and also giving them classes on finances, resumes, etc. They are also allotted a share of the crops, and its right in the heart of Chicago!

I hear the urban farm movement is picking up and I’m so glad to hear it. Its about time Americans realize that we can produce our own food, and live sustainably on our own, no matter where we are! I’m a novice, for sure, but so glad I have resources to help me learn.

In other news, tomorrow we are going to get our hens! I will be posting pics for sure!

 

 

 

Stuff ‘n More Stuff

Weeeeell, its been so long since I posted that I think I’ll just share a little bit of everything! Okay, maybe just the top runners that are swimming in my head. 🙂

Chickens!! I’m pretty sure that building the chicken coop has been the longest project ever. I and definitely not handy, and while my husband is, it just kept having to take a back seat. BUT, its almost finished! We just need to secure some hardware cloth around the run and the gate to keep dogs and such out, and then I am making the appointment to go pick up 2 hens from a chicken farm in Terrell! Did someone say homeschool field trip? Yup. You better believe it. I plan to ask this wonderful woman lots of questions and have her show the boys some things, also. Here are the updated pics of the coop!

I’m currently toying with names for the hens that we’ll get. They’re not going to be for meat, so naming should be safe. Maybe Lucy and Ethel? Henny and Penny? ….

30 Day Shred. Yep. Jillian Michaels’ workout, and it kicks butt. I finally have some accountability to follow through with it, and I’m on day 11 out of 30!! Its a 20 minute circuit training routine, and after 10 days you bump it up to the next level. I just started level 2 today and I was all over the place! I haven’t noticed weight loss, but I have noticed some toning going on. I’d love to see a little weight loss, though, as I’ve kept about 10 pounds after each of the 3 kiddos. So that’s 30 pounds that I’d love to see gone. I’m trying to watch my caloric intake, as well, but since I’m nursing I need to be careful not to affect the milk supply. The Lord knows this almost 6 monther loves to nurse! I love that the workout is only 20 minutes because its just enough time for me to do it without the boys hurting each other. Or burning the house down.

Which brings me to food! Since I’m watching calories, I’m trying to be more diligent with my meals being wholesome. I was doing that slowly before, but the workout gives me even more incentive. One of my new faves…

Quinoa and Black Beans! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quinoa-and-black-beans/detail.aspx

Its a very quick meal with lots of flavor and nutrients, and makes great leftovers! You should make it! Costco sells the big bags of quinoa.

On the menu for this week is chicken tacos (I wonder if this will get hard to eat once I get my hens…), Veggie black bean gumbo (minus the okra as hubby is a Yankee and thinks its “mushy”), carrot BBQ chicken sammies, and  breakfast burritos (eggs and lunchmeat in a tortilla) which are super easy and the kids love!

I’ve also started my veggie seeds this week. Hoping to tackle some square gardening this spring and have enough to practice canning later on!

Lastly, school. Ethan just finished the 1st grade Handwriting Without Tears workbook so it was finally time for me to ‘Charlotte Mason-ize’ his copywork. We are starting with Psalm 23 and he’s doing great. He does a page or so of copying (depending on the sloppiness) and then we read it together from the beginning. It such a great way to help him with scripture memory!

Math has been an ongoing adventure. We were using Miquon math, but it got way advanced to Ethan very quickly, so I moseyed over to Mardel’s and looked through their books until I decided on a BJU (Bob Jones) workbook that I liked. This is our third time switching it up but we gotta do whatever works! Its fairly easy for him right now, but I want to still keep it fun for him, so I’m cool with that.

Now that spring is approaching (and Jovie is not a newborn), I plan to hit the nature notebook a little more often. This covers our science stuff for now except for the occasional experiment that he wants to do.

That’s pretty much it for the academics. As for other things we’re doing, we are doing Bible study in the mornings, reading through “On the Banks of Plum Creek”, some Arnold Lobel library books, some poems from “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, and when time permits, some poems and short stories from “Everyday Graces” which is great for learning manners.

Life is good here in the Reindl household. 🙂

 

 

Life Goes On

Remember that show?

I used to love that theme song…

I haven’t blogged in a while because, well, life goes on, lol.  Especially with the holidays here! I’ve been busy planning gifts, changing diapers, playing with my kids, homeschooling, drinking coffee, breaking up 5 and 3 year old arguments over who’s toy belongs to whom, *cough*browsing pinterest*cough*, more drinking coffee, cooking, you get the picture.

But, its important to me to keep the blog going, and I enjoy it. So here I type! Here’s the lowdown on the Reindl household….

I found a lovely quiche recipe that I had forgotten I had, that was given to me by the owner of a cute little bed and breakfast place near Glen Rose, TX. I cooked it and it was wonderful. So, here’s the recipe!!:

Broccoli Quiche

1 to 1 ½ cup broccoli (if frozen, cooked, drained and chopped coarsely), 2 eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, 1 c whole milk, 1 c heavy cream, ½ t salt, ½ t ground white pepper, pinch freshly grated nutmeg, 4 oz cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

 Pie Crust

4 c flour, 1 ¾ c shortening ( I used butter), 1 T sugar, 2 t salt, ½ c water,                1 T vinegar, 1 egg

Mix first 4 ingredients in food processor. In small bowl mix water, vinegar and egg.  Pour over flour and pulse just to combine. Mold into balls. Chill at least 15 minutes before using. Use large amounts of flour when rolling. Makes 4 crusts.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Partially bake the pie shell until light golden brown. Remove the pie shell from the oven but do not turn off the oven. Meanwhile, whisk all remaining ingredients except the cheese in medium bowl.

Spread the cheese and broccoli evenly over the bottom of the warm pie shell and set the shell on the oven rack. Pour the custard mixture into the pie shell (it should come to about ½ inch below the rim of the crust). Bake until light golden brown, a knife blade inserted about 1 inch from the edge comes out clean, and the center feels set but soft like gelatin, 32 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

I am not an egg person, folks, but this is super yummy, so TRY IT!                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                     We are still plugging along with homeschooling, of course. Ethan is learning subtraction and doing quite well with it. I really like how Miquon teaches the concepts in many different ways to make sure they’re getting it. His pages look something like this…

5+___ =8

8-___ =5

3=8- ___

They’ll throw in different shapes around the missing answer to make it a little more challenging, and then ask for the student to think of his own problems, too. And he gets to use his Cuisenaire rods to help him figure it out.

We’re reading “On the Banks of Plum Creek” from the Little House series and are loving it. Who doesn’t love those books?!                                                                            We just finished a “One Wintry Night” by Ruth Graham that briefly tells the stories of the Bible all the way to the first Christmas. It’s a great read but I’m not sure why they make the angel that guards the way back to the Garden of Eden look like a Native American woman. (Please know that I have nothing against Native Americans. It was just strange in the story to see her there guarding the garden complete with feathers hanging from her hair and such.) In fact women angels in general throw me off…I’ve never seen one referenced in the Bible at all. Correct me if I’m wrong…

Ethan’s a little over halfway through with the 1st grade Handwriting Without Tears book, also. He’s been promised an ice cream trip when he’s done.

I’ve been a slacker with nature walks since its getting a little more chilly outside but there’s a lovely little patch of land about 2 acres big that’s within walking distance from the house with wild berries growing, pecan trees, evergreens, etc. that I love taking the kids to explore. One day I’ll post a pic. If I could build a house there  I totally would! It’s that cool.                                                                                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Our Christmas tree is up and decorated! Everything about it says “Little kiddos decorated me!”….and I’m ok with that. I love the little hands that helped make it. One day I know I’ll miss too many ornaments in one spot and multicolored lights.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And my latest project has been researching about small homes and creative ways to decorate them. Check out some of these lovely shots!…

http://www.epicturs.com/2011/05/08/interior-design-ideas-for-modern-small-living-room/

http://ourvintagehomelove.blogspot.com/2011/09/fall-transitions-in-living-room.html

http://ourvintagehomelove.blogspot.com/p/our-home.html                                         *sigh* I pretty much love her whole house. Give me a cozy vintage house with charm and character any day…. :o)

http://lostandfoundbailee.tumblr.com/post/11386755393/the-colors-i-die

I’m too lazy to go and link all the pics. Sorry…                                                                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jovie is now 3 1/2 months old and learning how to giggle. It melts me. And she is such a Daddy’s girl! She loves to listen to him talk! This melts me, too. Everything about that squishy little cookie face melts me.                                      (Cookie Face has become her new nickname from Daddy.)

Tis the Season…

for colds. Yuck. I haven’t posted in a while since we’ve had the sickies here, a nasty cold bug that my oldest brought home and shared. But we’ve almost kicked it out!

I did take some pics of our happenings on Kitchen Tuesday. Since we were sick, I made some homemade chicken soup. Yum. Homemade chicken soup is soooooo much better than the store bought kind. And I made a huge pot so we’re still eating from it!

I never follow recipes exactly but here’s an approx. of what I did:

I put 5 chicken legs ,                                                                                                                            1 box or around 4 cups of organic chicken broth,                                                          about 2 cups of chopped carrots,                                                                                                 a teaspoon of basil,                                                                                                                               a teaspoon of oregano,                                                                                                                        and a sprinkling of celery salt                                                                                                        into my crock pot and let it cook on low for at least 5-6 hours.                                  Then I removed the bones and skin from the pot.                                                                 I cooked a whole box (16oz) of penne pasta separately in vegetable broth and then added all of it to the soup. I added salt and pepper to taste and then added fresh lemon juice. We LOVE lemon in this house and it gives the soup a nice kick.

Any kind of meat works but we prefer dark meat in the soup. And I sometimes add about a cup of chopped celery but my son doesn’t like it so I alternate when I add it. Also, for leftover I add a little more broth because the pasta really soaks it up. Oh! and garlic is always a nice addition. (See. I don’t follow recipes well.)

Since this wasn’t ready until dinner, I heated up some frozen black bean soup for lunch. SO glad I’m starting to freeze batches of foods for days like this!

I also made homemade laundry soap for the first time! (I know, its not kitchen-y but I was really excited to do it!)

I followed what this gal did on her blog….http://beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com/2010/11/homemade-laundry-soap.html

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax, found in the detergent isle

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, found in the cooking isle

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz, found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-naptha soap, found in the detergent isle

2 small containers of oxyclean or store brand oxyclean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total) found in the detergent isle. (this is optional)

You basically shred the soap and add it all together. It makes A TON of soap, but my only concern is that the Fels-Naptha soap seems to have quite a bit of perfume in it. I think after this batch I’ll try to find a different kind of soap to add. The worst part was shredding the bars of soap but I finally got a new shredder (woohoo!) which made my job easier. This one has a nice container

that attaches at the bottom with measurement markings!

And I scored 3 free food grade buckets from the bakery at Tom Thumb so I was able to store it in that. These will be great for when I start storing bulk foods, like beans and such! Just hit up any bakery dept and ask if they have any unwanted sugar or icing buckets! The lady on the blog said that her soap lasted about 9 months using a TBS per load so I’m excited to see how long this lasts. The soap filled about half the bucket, I believe.

And for kicks, I’m showing off my snazzy new salt and pepper shakers that were given to my husband by a coworker who visited Mexico recently. I love them.

Hope your day is full of blessings and productivity! I should probably get out of my jammies now to try and make that happen.

Time to be Real

This has been one of those weeks! You know, those kind. The ones where you throw everything to the wind and just go forward one step at a time. We’ve hardly eaten any dinners I had planned on my menu for this week, my kids have watched too much TV, I’ve bought fast food one too many times, and I have laundry and unfinished projects scattered around me. Not exactly what I had planned. I would have rather said, “We ate from home for every meal, I stayed caught up on all my chores, we never turned the TV on, we’ve been homeschooling every day with extra Thanksgiving projects thrown in, and I rescued a stray dog!” Yeah, nope. But, that’s life and I’m ok with it.

I didn’t do anything for Kitchen Tuesday today either, but mainly because we ventured out for a playdate this morning. And the kids had fun so it was worth it 🙂 All I have done is pull out the homemade pizza dough from the freezer (yay for freezing food for later!) and mixed up a jar of iced fruit water. I cut up an apple, a pear, and some lemon and threw it together in hopes that my kids will be excited about a ‘new’ kind of water. They drink water really well already, but there are times when they start asking for juice so I’m hoping this will help! I found the idea on pinterest, of course.

Check this blog out for cool flavored iced water ideas, http://nancycreative.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/feast-your-eyes-on-flavored-water/.

And to stay updated, here is the progress on the chicken coop!

Hubby has been working so hard for me!! Hopefully it will only take another day of work before its finished, minus the painting. That will be MY part.

And here is the new project I acquired in the last week.

Its a TRUNK! And I scored it at my thrift shop for $10! I’m hoping to get it sanded before the end of the weekend and then get some paint and new hardware for the front.

So, even with things not going as planned, they’re still going. And I have faces like this to look at everyday. *sigh*

And now I’m off to tackle the laundry that’s staring me down.

 

Kitchen Tuesday!

We almost didn’t have a Kitchen Tuesday here, folks. Caleb dropped a hammer on his toe this morning while the 2 month old was holding a huge cryfest. And both thought the end of the world had come…..and I’m pretty sure I did, too.

But, thankfully, things simmered down some so I was able to get a few things done in the kitchen.

First up, I made pizza dough! I found a recipe for it over at http://frugalandsimple.com/2011/01/04/pizza-crust/ and hubby really likes it! Yes, it is white flour. The man still likes his white flour sometimes and who am I to refuse him? 🙂

I froze the dough so that when we are ready for pizza night, its already there! It freezes well.

Next, I grated some cheese…

Sounds exciting, right?! But, I bought some in bulk at Costco and instead of buying the shredded kind which is usually coated in cellulose or potato starch, I figured I’d shred it myself and keep it in a baggie. It took me only a few minutes to do this.

Note to self:   Buy a new grater. Soon.

I’ve heard good things about this one from IKEA…and its only $5.

While I made the boys lunch, I took a few minutes to tidy up the pantry and throw out some old items that I wasn’t using. We are not totally crunchy here yet (baby steps folks) hence the chips and Nutella and such…..Mmmmmm…Nutella. I’v recently discovered (thanks to Pinterest) that it makes THE BEST hot chocolate and you can also mix a cup of plain yogurt with about 1/2 cup of Nutella for some yummy fruit dip!

I was suckered into that red bag of caramel popcorn by the Boy Scout that came to the door.

And looking at this now, I need to throw out that microwave popcorn since I put our microwave in the garage about 2 weeks ago! We’ve been living fine without it, and I now have more counter space!

Next shelves…That last one is mainly pitchers, utensils and such.

The last thing I did was to make some bread crumbs. I made 2 loaves of homemade bread a few days ago and it tasted awful! Waaaaay too yeasty tasting. It was like eating solid beer. Blech! I have no idea what happened to it, so if you do, please fill me in.

I didn’t want to waste the bread so into the food processor it went! I made one bag of regular crumbs and threw some Italian seasoning in another bag for some seasoned crumbs.

I put both bags in the freezer. And that was that!

Now just be glad I didn’t show you the sinks full of dishes I was trying to avoid while getting something done for my Kitchen Tuesday. It wasn’t pretty.