January 31, 2014

Raw Rainbow Salad

This last week I have been fighting an annoying virus, the weather has been cold and rainy but at least the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl! I am trying to stay in high spirits but this running nose has got me lagging so have been needing something to help me get back on the path to super mom. As usual on the weekends we go through the house and throw a bunch of food together for a smorgasbord. This particular evening we had a some freshly sprouted lentils, kale and carrots that needed to be used right away. We have been on a winter salad kick so I bumped it up a notch with a rainbow salad that was filled with vital nutrients during the long winter months. Plus this would be a great healthy super bowl party dish!



Raw Rainbow Salad

4-6 C Chopped Kale (I used 3 different kinds but use whatever you have.)
2 C Shredded Carrots (I used orange, yellow and red)
3 C Sprouted Green Lentils
1 C Raisins
1 C Sunflower Seeds (You can substitute with Flax)

1 C Apple Cider Vinegar (with the 'Mother')
1/4 C Honey
Salt to taste

Chop veggies and mix with lentils, raisins and seeds. In a separate bowl mix vinegar honey and salt until well incorporated. Toss salad with dressing then serve.

This takes about 10 minutes start to finish and makes a large bowl worth of salad. I think it is enough for large family or to bring to a potluck. If you do not eat right away you can refrigerate but texture can change a little after 12 hours.

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January 23, 2014

Crockpot Ginger Shredded Pork and Broccoli Salad

I have been trying getting in the habit of buying meat and cheese to freeze when it is on sale. It is something my family has always done, but now that I have a secondary freezer part of me wants to fill it. Maybe it is the need to feed my family or the security of knowing no matter what issues we are facing having extra food storage is never a bad thing. I had recently stocked up on small pork roasts. If you know me well, you know I rarely eat pork, not for any religious reasons, just... I don't really care for it. Bacon is the only pig I eat with any regularity and that only about once or twice a month.

I don't like buying food that my family won't eat so I went into the store with the idea that if my husband and son like it, I will try to enjoy it. Fast forward to a month or so later, I have a couple roasts left and I am sick of making pot roast. I looked up some different pulled pork sandwiches then decided to give it a shot but make a recipe of my own. Sorry for any one who does not eat pork for what you are about to see.


I was thrilled with how this came out! Less then five minutes of work then you let the slow cooker do the rest. You could use a dutch over too, you may just need to adjust your time. It is easy enough for anyone that can measure and plug in a crockpot.

Crockpot Ginger Shredded Pork

2.5 - 4 lbs Pork Roast
1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar (with the 'Mother')
1/4 C Soy Sauce
1/4 C Worcestershire Sauce
2 T Unfiltered Honey
4 Cloves Garlic (peeled and smashed whole)
1 Thumb of Ginger (about 1 T grated)
1 t Sea Salt
1 T Ground Pepper

Mix together liquid ingredients, honey, grated ginger, garlic and salt & pepper. Once combine add to slow cooker then place roast in mixture. Set to high and let cook for 6-8 hours or until able to shred. Serve on bun or roll and enjoy!

For a side dish I made a broccoli salad. I have never been a fan of raw broccoli. It is kind of funny because broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. For this salad you will only need 5 ingredients. Broccoli, raisins, sunflower seeds, apple cider vinegar and honey.



Broccoli Salad

2 Heads broccoli shredded (about 4 cups)
1 C Raisins 
1 C Sunflower Seeds
1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 C Unfiltered Honey

Mix together honey and ACV then set aside. Toss together broccoli, raisins and sunflower seeds. Pour dressing over mixture then toss again. Salad is ready to eat or can be chilled until needed.

This combination is  perfect meal for anytime of year. Great for summer potlucks or cold winter days. Please let me know what you think of these recipes!

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January 20, 2014

Heart help in cookie town

After months of pleading and obvious hints from my husband, I made a couple batches of cookies. I have been kind of purposely putting it off to avoid sweets in the house. After the holidays we felt awful because we ate so much garbage the last few months with moving, traveling and holiday decadance. So I broke down, but atleast I made them my way.



I had once posted a recipe for an oatmeal cookie that was loaded with goodies. (Click here to see the original) I used the same basic recipe for the batch you see below. Due to not having everything and wanting to use what was in the cupboard, I switched it up a bit. The ingredients crossed out is what I did not use. What you see in bold is what I used instead.

1 C Butter (Softened)
1 2 C Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar (firmly packed)
2 Eggs
¾ C Milk Almond Milk
3/4 C Nut butter (Peanut, almond, sunflower, etc.)
1 1/2C Flour
¾ C Whole Wheat Flour
1 t Vanilla
1 t Cinnamon
1 t Baking Soda
1 t salt
3 C Instant  Old fashion Oatmeal
1 C Dried cranberries
1C Almonds (slivered / chopped) 1C Flax Seeds
1 Pkg Chocolate Chips 1/2 C Carob Chips

Once everything is mixed together, scoop out small ball then gently press onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool. This batch makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

I also wanted to make some valentine inspired cookies so I went with my tried and true sugar cookie. Check out the recipe here. Instead of a frosting, I used food coloring. You can use watered down food coloring or concentrated fruit and vegetable juices.



Simply add a few drops of coloring to the dough after you roll it out. You can then paint it around like water colors or blow it like I did. This is a great alternative for those of you who may be anti-valentine as well. The marbled looking cookies are what the dough will look like once you re-roll it for the next round of cuts.


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December 03, 2013

New house! New house!

"A new house! Going to the new house!" My son excitedly says every time we go home. Our home! After 9 long months of looking at houses, almost buying one then it falling through...we finally found our new home! We are so happy and thankful we were able to find a house that is where we are are supposed to be. This has definitely been a test of patients and humility. In the long term view, it was just a few months with many ups and downs . We have a lot of work to do before we get the house they way we want it and functioning smoothly inside and out. We plan on updating a little at a time, planting as much food as we can handle and making a fun and loving home for our family. 

I am excited to try as many projects with little to zero money. Not just because we don't have much to spend but I feel very strongly about reusing materials, collecting free materials that would otherwise be garbage or sit wasting away. I might not be able to afford to drive a hybrid yet or add a windmill or solar panels to my roof, but this is good way to start being a better human!

I love getting up early and watching Zion (our dog) run through her yard and stare at the animals across the street. We have a neighbor with chickens and ducks and another with llamas. We already feel like this is the place God has planned for us to be. Even before we moved in. I know we will be used at this location and I can't wait!

We have many projects coming and the list grows everyday. We know we can't do everything but we plan to continue to work to make this our home each day! Once we finish unpacking I will post some pictures and videos. Keep and eye out on the HandMadeByKristen YouTube channel for more how to videos, progress updates and  new project ideas!

I will be at the Covington Hollydaze Bazaar on December 7, 2013. If you are in the South King County / North Pierce County area stop by my booth, Chee Chee and Company from 9:00am - 4:00pm.

Jenkins Creek Elementary School  
26915 186th Ave. S.E. 
Covington, WA 98042


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October 25, 2013

Fuzzy wuzzy was a cryin'

 For Halloween this year I made my son a grizzly bear costume. He was given the choice of a bear or a lion because I had some left over brown fuzzy fabric gifted to me from my aunt. I finished it a few days ago but now he refuses to wear it. Negotiating with a two year old is not for the faint of heart. 

So... now I am trying to convince him it is just a sweatshirt since he will not even see the ears on the hood or the tail on the pants. So far he is smarter than I thought and will not fall for my games. If you want to make your own fuzzy animal costume here is what I did...



You will need:
Fabric - Enough to make to the size that fits (I used approximately 1 yard to make a 2T / 4T )
A pair of pants and a sweatshirt with hood to use as the pattern
Elastic
Scissors
Sewing machine or needle and thread
Felt -Optional

This project will take about 45 minutes to prep and assemble


After washing the fabric, fold in half then lay out pants and sweatshirt. Pin in place or chalk outline.

Cut out pattern and pin together until you are read to sew.

Pattern for hood and ears/tail
Inside of the back of the hood

For hood, cut two pieces for the side and then one center strip. Sew all together then add to shirt base. 

For the hood sides, make sure one is facing to the left and one to the right so the rounded side is the back of the hood.



To add elastic to the waist band of the pants and cuffs of shirt and / or pants, Fold the right-side in then sew seam with enough room for width of elastic. Leave 1/2 -1 inch opening to feel elastic through. Pull elastic all the way through and sew ends together. The sew closed seam.


I added felt to the tummy and inner ears. This is optional but can add some character to your costume.

For the tummy, round one piece of felt into a large oval. Pin in place then sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. I reinforced with a zigzag stitch for a second round.


For the ears and tail I just used a scrap piece of fabric (see pattern above). Cut 2 pieces for each ear and 2 for the tail. Sew together leaving bottom flat side open. You can stuff the ears to make them more full. I cut matching felt from tummy area to go onto the ears then reinforced with a zigzag stitch as seen here.




Once ears are ready you can cut a slit in the hood where you would like each to go. Insert ear and then sew each side of slit and ear together (see right).


***




I will break down my son sooner or later to wear that costume. If that later happens to come next year, I did add a 4 inch seam allowance so I can let out the length if needed. If you made a costume this year I would love to see your pictures or video!


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September 22, 2013

Enjoying the season

I have gotten to a point in my adult life where I am trying to enjoy the season I am in and make the best of what I do have and the people I am sharing it with. I always struggle, but nothing worth working toward will be as sweet without a few hiccups along the way. Autumn is now here and we are still not in a house. We got close but it fell through after waiting for 3 months for a word from the bank. Frustrated, but kind of relieved. I was not in love with that house and now I know it was just not the right one for us. So we are still looking for a house and I have a goal to be in before the new year!

So with buying a house comes a lot of waiting. When I am waiting and get bored or anxious I tend to bake.I have not been feeling very creative lately for many reasons but still like to change things up a bit when I can. Most recently I had been making Zucchini bread, thanks to a lovely friend that gave me some awesome Zucchini. My recipe makes two medium sized loaves so we have been trying to get in the habit of eating one and freezing the other for later in the year. Good thing too because between my husband, son and I we can finish a loaf before it is even cooled.

I have gotten my recipe that way I like it now for the basic bread, so I have been trying to add things to it now. Raisin and walnuts are always good and most recently ginger. I use 1/4 cup dried pieces of ginger that have been cut up finely, then just stir into the batter before pouring into the pan. It is not too intense but adds a little kick to the bread. I highly recommend you try it!

Here is a link for my Basic Zucchini Bread  recipe to try for yourself. We also like to top with a little butter and or honey.

Enjoy!
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August 07, 2013

Frozen Banana Treat - Revisited

If anyone reads my blogs regularly or happened to come across a blog I did on a frozen banana treat I am revisiting my original recipe and trying a new spin (link below). Since blackberries are in such abundance in the Pacific Northwest right now, I am always looking for a new way to use them. They are one of my families favorite berries and worth every little thorn to get them. You can buy them too to avoid the literal blood sweat and even tears, but I vowed to never buy something that grows wild in my own little part of the world.




Once you have your berries you can choose to separate out the seeds or leave the berries whole. If you have frozen berries you can add them whole with the bananas. If separating the seeds, you can pour about 1/4 - 3/4 cups of prepared blackberry juice into your bananas as you puree. This is also great with blueberries and strawberries.



Here is a link for my version of a non-dairy ice cream alternative:



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