Thursday, July 24, 2014

Friday: This Moment.

I will be busy tomorrow at a TRE Workshop, so I won't be able to post. Here is my This Moment (an little early).

Inspired by Soule Mama.

Breakfast. This Week.

Over the last year, I have insisted that we all sit down and eat Breakfast together. It's been a really nice way to start off our Mornings. 

Don't get me wrong, many days it takes every ounce of strength I have to drag my exhausted body downstairs and make some food. Nye-Nye is usually whiny and only wants to cuddle. Anala Bears is always getting into something. (Or locking me outside like she did yesterday). 

And, Papa Bear has merrily taken himself downstairs for a leisurely shower. I try not to get too resentful.

It's not easy. But, it's totally worth it.

This week I felt particularly Creative, so we had some extra-nice meals. On the Menu?

Cheesy Eggs with Black Beans, Bell Peppers and Sorrel topped with Crab Meat.

Cheesy Eggs with Thyme, Sorrel and Crab Meat.

Rice Cake topped with Sunflower Butter and Dark Chocolate with a side of Melon and homemade Farmer's Cheese with Mint, Honey and Chia Seeds.

Most days it's just Soaked Oatmeal or Poached Eggs with some Fruit and Yogurt. 

Nothing like an itty-bitty Garden right outside your Kitchen window to bring a little Inspiration to your cooking!

Nye-Nye LOVED making the Tartine. The photo is of her own Tartine that she made herself using our own Cucumbers, Basil, Mint and ONE Cherry Tomato. Can't wait to make it again!

Hope this inspires you to make some yummy Breakfast this Weekend. 

Enjoy your Weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Grilled Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Purple Basil.

Papa Bear was skeptical when I mentioned I wanted to make this dish last night. But, after a few bites he was a convert! I reassured him that I left plenty of Green Tomatoes on the vine.

After slicing the Tomatoes in 1/2 inch slices, I marinated them for an hour. Then Papa Bear worked his Grill Magic. I chopped up some Purple Basil from our Garden and added some Goat Cheese.

So easy and so damn good.

Do yourself a favor and make these at least once this Summer.

Marinade Ingredients

  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Kombucha
  • Brown Sugar
  • Sea Salt

Friday, July 18, 2014

Claude Moore Colonial Farm Summer Market Fair. July 19-20th 2014.

This time of year it's so hard. There are just TOO MANY cool things to do.

I can't believe it's time for "Claude Moore Colonial Farm's Colonial Summer Market Fair" already.

We have been to two Market Fairs over the last few years and it is hands-down my favorite event in Northern Virginia.

The volunteers do a phenomenal job with authenticity and food (and beer) is top-notched. They have killer meat-pies and veggie-pies, baked olives, roasted chicken among other things. 

There is plenty too do, but it's not too overwhelming to go with small children (like the Ren Festival). They always have a Kids Area with a few interesting activities. 

Everything is very reasonable and the site is quite lovely.

Claude Moore Farm has three Market Fairs a year. Their Summer Market will be July 19-20th from 11 am - 4:30 pm.

Tickets are $7 for Adults and $3 for Kids.

More information can be found here.

Here are a few photos from the Autumn Market Fair that I never got around to posting.

These two were my favorite from the day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lacto-Fermented Okra.

This is the first year, I have ever grown Okra. Since it was an experiment, I only planted one plant. 

It has started producing but there's not a lot to make anything with and so I decided to just ferment them. As I each pod ripens, I will cut it off and add it to the jar. Right now I only have four!

I am using the same recipe as last year's Fermented Green Tomatoes. It such a surprising hit with EVERYONE in our family. 

I added three Garlic Cloves, 3 Dill Flowers (from our Garden), some Black Tea (the tannins help keep the veggies crunchy) and 2 quarts of Filtered Water with 5 Tablespoons of Sea Salt.

I boiled the water, put in the salt and then let it cool to room-temperature before pouring it in the jar.

The okra floated to the top. I haven't quite figure out how I am going to keep them from bobbing to the top and sticking out of the water. I may have to find some grape leaves (which also have tannins) or just use a cabbage leave.

I will be storing the jar in our nice, cool Basement.

I will try and resist and wait until September to try them. Have you ever lacto-fermented Okra? Do you have any advice?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Frontier Culture Museum.

My Sister and I traveled to Staunton, VA this past Weekend. We had a terrific (and sweaty) time at the Frontier Culture Museum.

I stopped taking photos half the way through because (as usual) I ran out of memory on my phone. So I didn't get any photos from the German Homestead, the 1700's American Indian Hamlet, the 1740's American Settlement,the 1820's American Farm or the 1850's American Farm.

One of the most amazing parts about the Museum is that all the houses (except the Igbo Homestead and the 1740's Settlement) are ORIGINAL and were moved to the site.

I liked the design of the Museum and how you started at the Igbo (West African) Homestead and then moved to the European Homesteads before moving to the Americas. Each Homestead was isolated enough from the others, which made you really felt transported back into time.

I enjoyed seeing the differences between the layout of each Garden. Although, most were growing the same crops, each one felt very different.

We went at the hottest part of the day, when it was in the 90's. It made you much more aware of the ways houses were designed to deal with staying cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter.

My girls are too little to really enjoy it now. But, I can't wait to take them when they are older.

You can find more information here.

If you are ever nearby, I definitely recommend checking it out.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

For Pregnancy and Beyond. The Goodness of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea.

"Red Raspberry Leaf Tea" is a wonderful tonic for women during Pregnancy and afterwards. I drank it daily for my last two trimesters, during my most recent pregnancy. Did I mention my first Labor lasted for 20 hours and my second for only 5 hours?

I seriously think Red Raspberry Leaf Tea was big factor. (Besides Eating Dates).

I drank it sporadically during my first pregnancy and had very few Braxton Hicks Contractions. The second time? I had a crazy amount of Braxton Hicks. My uterus was revving up for the Big Show.

According to Susun Weed (herbalist extraordinaire and writer of the book Herbal for the Childbearing Year )....

Rubus is the best known, most widely used, and safest of all uterine/pregnancy tonic herbs. It contains fragine, an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself. Most of the benefits ascribed to regular use of Raspberry leaf tea throughout the pregnancy can be traced to the strengthening power of fragine or to the nourishing power of the vitamins and minerals found in this plant.

She lists the following; vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron, vitamin A and B complex, phosphorous and potassium. That sounds like an awful lot of goodness, doesn't it?

Not only has Red Raspberry Leaf Tea been terrific during my pregnancies, it's been a life-saver with Menstrual Cramps.

A few years back, when I was subbing at my local Baltimore City school, one of the teacher assistants was having awful cramps. I lived half a mile away, so during my lunch break I went home and brewed up Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. She drank it and later asked me what was in it, her pain stopped so quickly.

Infusions are different than brewing up a cup of tea. The magic number is 7. If you are using tea bags, the ratio should be 7 teabags to 1 cup of water.

If I don't grow the herb, I usually buy it from Mountain Rose Herbs. They come in plastic bags, so I generally store them in mason jars or other glass jars.

How to Make an Infusion with Leaves....

1. Take two handfuls of cut-up leaves or three handfuls of whole leaves.

2. Put in large glass jar.

3. Fill to top with boiling water.

4. Put lid on
5. Steep for four hours or overnight in the fridge.

6. Pour into a mug, using a tea strainer to catch any loose leaves.

***I reuse the leaves 2-3 times by just filling up the jar again with boiling water.

Another method is to put several handfuls in a clean towel, tie up the towel with a string or rubber band and steep it in a large stock pot. (The second photo illustrates what I mean).

I've used this method during my pregnancy because I was going through so much tea. I frozen several OJ bottles full to drink during Labor. I ended up only drinking one of the OJ bottles but drank the rest during my Post-Partum recovery.

Can you tell I love my Red Raspberry Leaf Tea?

**** A Reminder, please check with your Doc first and get the okay, okay?
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