green mama

green mama

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gotta love the egg timer

I have been feeling a little dejected busy lately, and totally worthless for blogging. However, today I took a peek at my blog, mostly to see what other people were doing....and found out I can mark another item off of my "to do" list. Yeah me!

We got rid of our microwave. I was thinking I might do an experiment on the effects of microwave ovens, but then I realized how much I love both my Jade plants and opted just to get rid of the damn thing. So onto Freecycle it went.

I was a little nervous in the aftermath. I have a 5 month old baby who I am making food for and thought I would be microwaving this food. Guess again. I am okay with that, as she is much better off for it anyway. Somehow in my sick, twisted mind I have to keep my babies safe, but my health on the other hand is a free for all. I eat right and get plenty of exercise, just by default. Because I am the defender of my little ones, I also eat organic broccoli, herbs from the backyard and free range eggs.

However, one of the vices I have yet to relinquish is my coffee habit. That being said, I am not the type to consume multiple double shot latteblahblahblahs. I have my cup in the morning, made right in my kitchen, and drank out of a ceramic cup. So, I don't feel toooo terribly guilty for this small pleasure. In the back of my mind is the nagging thoughts of how bad my coffee is for me and the environment, so it is on my to do list. Oh, and I like to microwave old coffee.....

The things I use(d) my microwave for
-old coffee
-"softening butter"
-the timer feature

But all in all it has been a pretty smooth transition. I never realized how dangerous it could be to put a cup of water or coffee in the microwave. I have a whole new system for getting my old coffee warmed up which involves adding a mini-scoop of new coffee and a bit of water and turning the pot on. I just have to remember to only do that for two days, otherwise who knows how long I would be recycling coffee grounds. yuck. My mother questions this technique, but I figure it is at least better for me than radiation.

As far as my butter, it softens pretty quickly in a cast iron skillet. duh. Plus, why would I want to soften my butter in something so toxic, to make bread that is "good for me."

And I splurged on an old-school egg timer, which I am in love with.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sometimes one is enough

With the Hallmark Holiday of Father's Day quickly approching, I am losing sleep. My Guy prepped me weeks ago. He sat down at the computer and was shoppping Amazon out loud. You know what I am talking about.
"oh, this one looks nice. let me read you the reviews...."
"now, I like that this one comes with suchandsuch...."

So now, with only 5 shopping days till Father's Day, I don't know what to do. My dillema lies in to buy or not to buy.

Part of the problem that I am having is completely and totally selfish. I didn't get a damn thing even get a card for Mother's Day, and barely got a Happy Mother's day wish. I don't expect a new iPod (that is what my girlfriend got, ahem), something cute and thoughtful would have been wonderful. Some examples of what I would have liked from My Guy include: teaching my daughter to say "happy mother's day", a painting or drawing done in secret for said holiday, breakfast cooked for me (not the kind where I get to clean up a huge disater in the kitchen afterwards). And although I got none of those things, I do not want to let my raw feelings ruin Father's Day. However, My Guy is more of a *stuff* person than I am and he would like something, I am sure.

Now, we have already made a super cute "I love Daddy" book out of cardboard. And if he knows what is good for him, he will gush over it. I have plans to head out to the farm that I bought our CSA from and pack a picnic and go fishing. I think this sounds like fun, and it will be a memory maker.

But, then what? The reasons I don't want to buy (in no particular order)

1.Our children are young. We have a lot of these holidays ahead of us. I don't want to set the bar too high at this stage in the game.
2. I try not to buy anything we don't have to have. We are saving for a house, and I am just an not the consumer I used to be.
3. I am still secretly sad about my mother's day. Even though I tell everyone I put no stock in these stupid Hallmark holidays.
4. I know that if I buy him what he wants, it will sit in his shop, unused, 364 days of the year. Annoying.
5. That one day of the year that it does get used, I will have get to hear all about it. "honey, its a good thing i've got this. what would i do without it?" Annoying.

So with all these reasons to not buy, I only have one reason to buy. It will make him happy. I guess I better get to the hardware store.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Meatless Monday

Tonight we are going to enjoy the bounty from the farmer's market and our CSA goodies. We got a bunch of strawberries, and last night I made strawberry shortcake with them. Yum! The difference between a strawberry from a local farm and a strawberry from the grocery store is astounding.
We also got a few sprigs of asparagus, damn that short-lived season. Mostly we got greens, spinach and such. So tonight we are having big salads and these goat cheese and herb souffles. I found some seriously delicious goat cheese at the Farmer's market, it is a tad expensive but I can't help myself and have bought some every week. I can justify it because I get the fresh herbs out of the garden and don't have to pay $3.00 for a litte bunch at the grocery store. So I think it works out.


7 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
4 large egg whites


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes. Place 1 tablespoon Parmesan in each dish; rotate dishes to coat with cheese, leaving excess in dishes. Place dishes on baking sheet. Whisk milk and yolks in bowl to blend.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes. Add flour; whisk 1 minute. Whisk in milk mixture. Whisk soufflé base until thick and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add 1/2 cup goat cheese, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper; whisk until cheese melts. Beat whites in bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into base in pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup goat cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan over. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions. Divide mixture among dishes.

Bake soufflés until puffed and beginning to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Meatless Monday

This Meatless Monday we are having cake, and eating it too! Now, I realize cake doesn't typically contain meat. However, this particular chocolate cake contains no milk or eggs, so it is pretty animal friendly. Try this cake, you won't regret it.

Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup strong brewed coffee, warm
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar

Tip: Quality cocoa ensures rich chocolate flavor. Try Green & Black's organic cocoa-available at gourmet and natural food markets.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch round cake pan with softened butter. Line bottom with wax paper, coat with butter and dust with all-purpose flour. Set aside. Whisk the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a large bow and set aside. Stir the coffee, oil, vanilla, and vinegar together and whisk into the flour mixture, just until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center rack of the oven until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean- 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Serve with Deep Chocolate Glaze.

Deep Chocolate Glaze

8 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream, plus 2 Tbsp.

Place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Gently stir, using a whisk, until smooth. Use immediately. (this makes enough for two cakes)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The price of happiness

I was going to discuss all the wonderful deals I got at various garage sales this weekend. Somehow, I have lost my steam.

I am a recovering retail whore. There, I said it. It is truly shocking the total 180 that I have done over the last year or so. Admittedly, I have a ways to go still, sometimes I still get that itch. In order to keep myself from running to the nearest mall, I garage sale. I have to tell you I love it. I like all the aspects of it. First and foremost, the bargains, jeez have I ever found some deals. I also like that I am keeping someone else's junk out of the landfill. It is also a much better way of recycling than putting your plastics in that blue bag on the curb. Then when I get tired of it, I just sell it to someone else in a garage sale, and the recycling circle is complete.

I started hitting the yard sales when I was pregnant with E. I like to buy the sort of things that you never can get enough use out of, such as maternity and infant clothing. It is such a waste, and I just cannot justify spending money on a shirt that I may wear a handful of times over a span of nine months. I also like to buy furniture (yes, My Guy hates hates hates that) and toys.

This weekend I happened to find some yummy deals on Lego's, E's obsession. I brought home my goodies and had to throw it all on the back porch because we were running behind on a few obligations that we had on Saturday afternoon. Then this morning E happened to find my stash.


I replied that I would have to wash these toys before she could play with them. She proceeded to follow me around with a red mesh bag full of Lego's.....


Finally, I just had to stop and wash them up. I was hesitant because my original plan was to save these particular Lego's until I found out if L was the mouthy-type. E never really put anything in her mouth, and I am hoping L is the same way. If she is not, the last thing I want strung all over the house are these tiny little bricks. But, it was too late.

I headed to the bathroom sink with E hot on my heels, jangling the bag of Lego's. We filled up the sink with hot soapy water and dumped her treasure in. As we swish them around, my darling daughter looks up at me and says,


My heart soars. Then I am hit with the realization that I am creating a little retail whore. Damn.