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Take a minute and check out the new RECIPE feature.

Thank you!

Courtney

COOKING CLASSES

Before my long and wonderful roadtrip this summer, I was hosting some fairly regular cooking classes in my home. I loved sharing what cooking knowledge I had and ways to make cooking work as a mom. Now that I am back some previous attendees have expressed interest and so, here is the new “style” of cooking class:

1. You get a group of 5-8 others together as well as a date and time (weekdays and evenings seem to work best).

2. I email you a list of cooking themes to choose from- you choose your theme.

3. You come, learn, have fun, and pay {Rate: $10 per person}. You go home with recipes from the theme, a fun night, some food in your belly, and hopefully some new tools for home.

RECIPES

I will send you the recipes that correspond to My Weekly Menu for $3 a week. If you are interested email me at wholediligence@gmail.com.

Sunday-Whole Wheat Pasta (make sure you cook in well salted water and toss with EVOO when done) with Roasted Veggies (a mix of zucchini, squash, onion, tomato tossed in fresh crushed garlic, EVOO, s/p), goat cheese (crumbled on top) and bacon (crumbled on top), sliced fruit, raw milk

Monday-Peanutty Noodles with Chicken and veggies, salad with lemon vinaigrette, toasted pecans, and parmesan

Tuesday- Whole Roasted Chicken, roasted potatoes, steamed green beans with butter and lemon zest, sliced tomato salad

Wednesday- Salmon cakes with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, sliced tomato salad (we have lots of tomatoes right now!), sauteed greens

Thursday- Leftovers Night, salad or veggies

Friday- Pizza night, Caesar Salad

This is adapted closely from a Pioneer Woman recipe:

Cut jalapenos in half the long way {WEARING GLOVES}, scrape out the seeds {WEARING GLOVES}. Mix together cream cheese or goat cheese and a fav cheese {grated cheddar, pepper jack, blue cheese…}. You could also add a fresh herb if desired {basil, sage…} or mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, or green onions. Then, fill each jalapeno half {WEARING GLOVES} and wrap in half a slice of bacon {I love Trader Joe’s uncured Apple Bacon} and secure with a toothpick. Place in a pyrex dish and put in the oven at 400 degrees until the bacon is done. {Could also be BBQd}.

{WEARING GLOVES} This is a necessary component. DO NOT SKIP! I did not do this and found my hands BURNING (you know that feeling you get when you get a burn and it feels like it just keeps on burning). Well, I had that feeling for a couple hours after preparing the jalapenos! I finally went online and looked for something to help. I found many forums that addressed this issue. I ended up pouring rubbing alcohol on my hands, rubbing it around for a bit, drying them off, and repeating for close to an hour. WEAR THE GLOVES!!!

I get veggies from 2 CSAs, some from my small garden, some from my dad, and some from my in-laws… so what to do with all of these tasty treats:

-Tomatoes: bruschetta (tomatoes, 1-2 garlic cloves, large handful of chopped basil, salt, drizzled with EVOO and can be tossed with pasta after the fact); roasted with garlic after being tossed in EVOO- added to pasta, layered in lasgana, eaten with goat cheese and a slice of bread; sliced and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and topped with basil on top of fresh mozzarella; with cheese on a sandwich; canned for later…

-Greens: All chopped and cooked in chicken broth, onion, garlic, s/p- saved to layer into lasagna, enchiladas, or topped with a fried egg and cheddar cheese; Chard thrown into a smoothie or chopped and thrown into a salad; sauteed with EVOO, garlic, s/p- served along side a meal; tossed into spaghetti; tossed with pasta, bacon, and goat cheese; thrown into soups

Squashes: chopped and cooked with tomatoes, onions, dijon mustard, s/p; chopped and tossed with other veggies, onion, garlic, tossed in EVOO, s/p, and served as a layer in lasagna or tossed with pasta/bacon/goat cheese, or eaten alone

Zucchini: muffins; cookies; breads; zucchini/tomato/onion/dijon combo; shredded and frozen for later; raw with hummus

What else do you all have for me?

Childproofing had little necessity for me with my first child, a bit more with my second but not much, and I think my third could break down even the best child proofed home. I am not the super, overprotective mom. I’m okay with my kids getting bumps and bruises and dirty. I want them to learn how their body works and how it works in their environment. This doesn’t mean my kids can ruin my furniture or what not, but we have a healthy amount of risk incorporated into our kids lives. Now, there are many childproofing necessities (for some kids) that are just smart and keep kids from unnecessary danger. If your kids never leave your sight disregard the tips found below.

Here are some abnormal, tried and true childproofing tips {developed in my home post-third child}:

-open your passenger car doors, you should see a part inside a hole that can be turned. Turn it and your child will not be able to open the door from the inside (while driving for instance).

-Keep all medicines and vitamins in a container up in a cabinet that cannot be reached by any unreasonable amount of climbing. Kids enjoy the flavor of medicines and vitamins and may be tempted to push the limit to reach these scrumptious “treats.” Note: Just because a top is “childproof” does not mean it is!

-If your child has found entertainment in opening the fridge door and independence in serving themselves food and drink put a fridge lock on the door (up high!) If you don’t mind them doing this or they are of an appropriate age be weary of leaving open alcohol or spicy foods in there.

-Use non-toxic cleaners because even putting childproof latches on cabinet doors may not hold back a budding housekeeper.

-Anchor bookcases, entertainment cabinets, and dressers to the wall! Seriously do this- if a child sees you put some desired object on top that may serve as enough motivation to inspire a climb. {Note: think about what your child sees you put on high places.}

-Get a chain lock or such and go ‘hotel style’ on your front door. Even two year-olds can open front doors. Another idea is to install those bells that go off when someone opens a window or door.

-Put all items you would like to stay off of face, hands, and mouth in a “safe” place. “Safe” is a subjective word subject to determination by each individual child.

-Sharp objects are another point of consideration: knives, thumbtacks, tools, scissors…

-Think about the designated “home” of breakables: computers, cameras, glasses, etc. Some children will want to mimic you in everything you do. That camera strap may just remind them of how you take pictures- “give it a try” may run through their mind and just as quickly they grab the strap and the camera falls…

My beautiful, two year old, bundle of energy wakes up and heads into our room for a cuddle. After slowly waking up from a good night’s sleep, she tells me “Breakfast Mama.” We get up and eat some breakfast- she loves granola (“nola”), fried eggs, fruit, milk, pancakes, kefir, smoothies…

After breakfast, I do the dishes and she goes and takes off her clothes and cruises around nudie for a bit. The rest of the day she spends busy as a bee:

-she “helps” clean with spray bottles and towels

-she “helps” herself to milk or a snack whenever I turn my back (go to the bathroom, go to get dressed, help one of the other kids)- cleaning usually proceeds this activity

-she climbs any and all counters

-she opens any and all containers

-she opens the front door

-she applies make-up

If your back is turned she will be “helping” herself in some way. She has perfected the art of observation and follows the lead of me and her siblings almost perfectly- the only exception is the mess that proceeds the “help”.

Examples:

-She opened up a lip stain lipstick and put it on while wearing a bunny mask- lip and face stained- she innocently says, “I do lips.”

-Went to get dressed- when I came out, she was sitting in her chair with a plate of ketchup, eating it with a spoon. “I eat ketchup, Mama.”

-Poured herself a cup of iced tea. “I thirsty Mama.” And keeps walking past me.

The list goes on and on. It may sound like I don’t watch her, but she is just fast and is inclined to take care of herself when know one else is in the room. She keeps me on my toes to say the least. I don’t trust her at all but love her drive and spirit.

Isn’t it fascinating the different personalities our children have and the way they manifest themselves in the family unit?

I try to minimize “extra” shopping trips and “extra” work as much as possible since it seems there is never enough time in a day to get everything done.I particularly like to limit grocery shopping. I do this by meal planning for a month, stocking up, and shopping lists. Not only does this save me time; it also saves me money!

Some shopping strategies I am employing:

-Once a month Costco run if necessary

-Every other week Trader Joe’s shopping trip

-CSA/Raw Milk pick-up once a week

-Azure Standard pick up once a month

-Target once a month if necessary

-Abundant Harvest or Farmer’s Market 1x/week

My grandma passed away a week ago; today was the memorial service and “celebration” of her life party. It was a beautiful day, exactly how she would have wanted it! Yet, there is still a sadness and a void straining to be filled by the many, many memories of this amazing lady I was blessed to have as my grandma!

I spoke at her funeral, thought I would share:

My grandma was a beautiful, generous, and sweet lady. Everyone who met her loved her.

My kids loved their GG and loved visiting her. They made her cards and pictures when she was sick. Little Marin would drag her around the house; Mason would jump on her chair or bed; Mackenzie would talk to her and tell her stories. I hope they brought her more joy than grief from the red jello spilled on white carpet and rough housing on couches.

Not only was she a blessing to my kids, she has been one to me. I was lucky to get to spend lots of time with her growing up: grilled cheese sandwiches at Broadway, sleep-overs complete with the beach, treats from Vons, boxes of animal crackers, dress up with her high heels and clip on earrings, eggs with bacon and cinnamon rolls in the morning; black Friday and birthday shopping trips, hanging out at BBKs and eating stuffed tomatoes for lunch, drives down south to visit Betty… She always made time for us and made us feel special.

And then all the little things that were Her: boysenberry pies, ice cream roll for birthdays, melting moments and stockings at Christmas, Ginger ale in the fridge, Early Times, her white tin pan of toxic smelling cleaner, black sweaters and pearls, her necklaces, her candies, cards, thank yous…

My memories are many and great and like my brother Sean said recently, “When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” I’m going to miss her humor, conversations, and just seeing her. But I’m so thankful for the life she shared and the legacy she left behind.

She taught us so much… to share your food and home with family, friends, and strangers. To make people feel special through dinner invitations, a note, a gift, or a pie. How to dress with style, how to keep a home and how to entertain. She taught us to value family, to have fun, to laugh, and to fill your home with people. I thank her for the love, manners, and lessons she instilled in me. I love you grandma. Our memories are treasures.

Just an update, we are still “on the road”. We have traveled through 11 states, over 6,000 miles, laughter and tears, highs and lows, good days and bad. We are currently hanging out in Texas and leaving for Oklahoma tomorrow. Fun times, beautiful sights, more than we could have imagined!

http://www.daveandcourt.com {the blog}

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