Spaghetti Squash

This past Saturday we took a family trip to the Farmer’s Market. I love the market in the fall! There are always so many more options! Plus fall decorations are available as well!! One of the things I bought on Sat was this gorgeous spaghetti squash. I can’t wait to cook it! I have found so many recipes on Pinterest, I can’t decide which one to try first!

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These are the recipes I am trying to decide between…

Creamy Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Creamy Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

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Roasted Squash Parmesan & Herbs

What do you think? Which one should I try? Or do you have another recipe suggestion?

Just a Fall Monday…

Happy Monday! (Or not so happy in this household)
I’m not sure how all of your Mondays are going, but mine started out rough! Here’s how it went:
1) Bubba woke up at 8 am (he usually sleeps until about 8:45-9), he was super grouchy & did not want to go through our normal morning routine.
2) Bubs threw a screaming tantrum because he did not want to play with his toys in his play area (I let him roam the house instead)
3) I tried to feed him breakfast and he didn’t want anything besides crackers
4) I went to put some out-going mail in the mailbox and Bubs shut the front door, locking me out! (Thank God the sliding door was open or this Momma would have had a major meltdown! I did have to walk around the house in my skimpy PJ shorts & a hoodie though)
5) Bubs pulled a big bag of cashews out of the cupboard & dumped them all over the kitchen floor, he also had 4 is his mouth! (He likes cashews, but we cut them in small pieces for him, so 4 whole ones made me nervous!)
6) I put him down for his morning nap, which normally he falls asleep in less than 5 mins, this time… It took 30 min.

SILVER LINING – he slept 1 hour & 50 min AND I got an hour nap in!

The day was much better from that point on, we ate a late lunch and went over to our neighbor’s house for a play date!

Bubs loves to play with E & E’s daughter, N! Since today was such a nice day out, we played outside! Bubs had fun and came home and took another nice nap!

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How did you enjoy (or not enjoy) your Monday?

Farm Fresh – revisited

Hello again! I am trying a bit of an experiment, blogging from my iphone… Here goes nothing! 😊

I’m sure you all saw my beautiful veggies from the organic farm, if not, here is the picture again! You can read about them here.

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Well, as you can see from the picture, it was WAY too much food for a family of three! So we offered some to our neighbors, E & E. They loved having a chance to get farm fresh organic food (for free!)! E made bruschetta with her veggies, what do you think?

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Looks delicious, doesn’t it!? She said it tasted amazing and her family loved it! You can find the recipe she used here.

I’m so glad she was able to use some! I hate seeing any of these gorgeous veggies go to waste!

Do you have any awesome recipe recommendations that call for fresh veggies?

Farm Fresh

Wow! I meant to get back to my posts as soon as we returned from our Labor Day weekend trip, but time just got away from me! I am so sorry!! I am not sure why it always takes so long to get back to your normal rhythm after vacation!? (It seems even harder with a child…) Well, here is my next post, I hope you all enjoy!

In my opinion, nothing beats fresh fruits & veggies straight from the farm!! Not only do they taste better, they are more nutritious that way (because they are so fresh!). There are many reasons they are more nutritious for you, they are super fresh, so they are at their peak for nutritiousness; they have less pesticides because the goods are local and do not need to travel far; some are USDA Organic; and some do not use pesticides, but did not get the USDA Organic certification. Of course not everyone can be a farmer, but most of us can visit our local Farmer’s Market! Another option is to join a local CSA!

Do you know what a CSA is? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Many of those farmers at your local Farmer’s Market may offer a CSA membership. They can be quite pricey and your weekly fresh food variety & quantity varies from week-to-week. If you are a veggie lover, you can probably use them all, but if you are a picky veggie eater, it may be hard to use everything. My parents belong to a local CSA, we alternate (between my parents, my brother & sister-in-law, and me) who picks up the veggies each week. It works out nicely, because between our three families, someone usually eats what veggies we get. This was my most recent pick-up!

Farm Veggies

Farm Veggies

The CSA we belong to is Stone Coop Farm, they are out of Hamburg Township, MI. If you are local to that area, you have probably seen them at the Brighton Farmer’s Market. If the idea of joining a CSA sounds good to you,  you can search for a local one here. Some CSA’s offer a local drop-off in your area, at Stone Coop Farm, we have a time & day to go to the farm and pick our veggies up. This year they have been offering organic eggs, which are amazing! The quantities are limited, so they ask that you order ahead of your pick-up day & time to ensure you get some.

Eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies is important to me & my family. I try to buy organic whenever possible (more on that later), and try to make sure the hubby & Bubs get their suggested servings each day!

Do any of you belong to a CSA?

Hot Summer Weather

Can you believe summer is almost over?? The weather has been all over the place this year, it feels like summer just started!

I am not ready for it to be fall yet (even though I do love fall too), but summer is my favorite season!!! Hot weather, sun bathing and going to the lake, what’s not to love? I guess I passed this love down to Bubba… What do you think? Here are some photos of our summer fun to send you on to your Holiday Weekend!

Water table from Nana & Papa!

Water table from Nana & Papa!

So excited to get in the pool, Bubs wouldn’t even wait for me to get his swimsuit on!

Swimming in my clothes!

Swimming in my clothes!

Pool Time!

Pool Time!

Looks like a good day for a swim…

Checking out the water

Checking out the water

Time to get in…

Checking the water temp

Checking the water temp

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Refreshing!

Bubs just LOVES to be outside, even if we aren’t playing in the pool…

Sandbox from Grandma & Grandpa!

Sandbox from Grandma & Grandpa!

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Handfuls of sand… at least its INTO the sandbox this time!

We have been trying to show Bubba how to bury his feet in the sand, I am not sure he gets it quite yet…

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Attempting to bury his foot…

Baby Girl likes the sandbox too… she is also a photo bomber (I’ll show that in another post!)

Baby Girl photo bomb

Baby Girl photo bomb

More outdoor fun!!

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I am not sure if you all agree with me, but I think that might have been cuteness OVERLOAD!!

I am looking forward to this weekend, we will be spending it with family & close friends! I think Bubba is REALLY going to like swimming in the lake!!

Do you have any plans for Labor Day Weekend??

Homemade Bread Part II

Last week I attempted to make homemade Honey Oat Bread. It didn’t turn out exactly as planned (you can read about it here). This week I decided to try again, and this time with brand new yeast.

I didn’t take as many pictures this time, since all the steps were the same as the first attempt.

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Dry Ingredients

Once all the ingredients were combined, and the dough was formed, I placed it in the bowl to rise.

Dough Before

Dough Before

Dough After 30 min

Dough After 30 min

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Dough After 30 min

YAY!!! It actually looks like it doubled this time!!! I guess using expired yeast does matter! 🙂

Bread Pan Before

Bread Pan Before

Bread Pan After 30 min

Bread Pan After 30 min

Yay!!! It rose again, just like it was supposed to!! Things are looking up…. time to pop this baby in the oven!

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Bursting out of the bread pan!

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It turned out PERFECT!!! Look how large the loaf is this time??

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I am ready for my taste test!!!

YUM!

YUM!

The bread is AMAZING!! (Not that it didn’t taste good the first time) My first attempt created a very dense, doughy bread, this time it is so much lighter!

Ok, so I learned that the expiration date on yeast is no joke there for a reason! I think I will still be purchasing metal bread pans, as the bread was still slightly doughy on the bottom in the center, and I think I could fix that by using a metal pan. I’ll keep you posted! I plan to make more later this week for Labor Day weekend!!

Do you have any baking tips or tricks to share?

Lawn Care

BAD seasonal Allergies & lawn care do NOT mix!

Hubby does most of the lawn care, as I have horrible seasonal allergies. That being said, I still contribute to the lawn care with ideas, some weeding and landscaping. This year I have been stricter about what we put on our lawn, I have always worried about Baby Girl & the lawn chemicals, but now that Bubba crawls in the lawn too, I am even more strict! I looked into Organic weed control, but honestly, it really doesn’t do much, and we had OUT.OF.CONTROL. dandelions this year! We ended up doing the first step of “Scotts Weed & Feed“, that took care of the dandelions, but since we haven’t continued through the steps, we have gotten other weeds in the lawn. At least many of these weeds are green and when freshly mowed, look like grass, so we have just left them alone!

This summer has been an odd one, weather wise, its been extremely hot & humid, then cold & rainy, then back to hot & humid… all that weird weather has seemed to make mushrooms grow… I feel like I live in Alice & Wonderland!

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my backyard

Bubba was VERY interested in the mushrooms, which made me VERY nervous…luckily, Baby Girl leaves them completely alone, so no worries with her. Hubby pulled the mushrooms as soon as he got home from work, that way we didn’t have to worry about them anymore! Let’s hope no more come or I will be looking for Alice!

Do you have any green lawn care tips to share?

Household Cleaners vs. Household Chemicals

Have you ever taken the time to read the ingredients of your household cleaners? (Well, the ingredients that they actually list??) There is a reason it is very “in” to buy green cleaners now! If your curious about your household chemicals cleaners, check this website, it helps explain what they are and what they are made of!

Personally, I love Seventh Generation products, but they are a bit pricey, so I have been learning to make my own (you can find TONS of ideas & “recipes” on Pinterest!)! I am starting out slow… so far I have made my own dishwasher detergentbathroom tub & tile cleaner, drain de-clogger, and dishwasher cleaner. There are so many others I want to make! Currently we have plenty of cleaning supplies in our house, so once those need replacing I will work on making my own.

Dishwasher Detergent

Dishwasher Detergent

Shower Cleaner

Bathroom Tub & Tile Cleaner

I think all of these work great!  (for tough drain clogs, you may have to use this recipe multiple time) The dishwasher detergent is a LARGE quantity, I don’t think we will need dishwasher detergent EVER again…

Have you made any homemade cleaners that have worked great??

Homemade Bread

I am always looking for recipes that are easy and healthy. I am obsessed in love with Pinterest, i’ve been busy pinning recipes that are easy to make at home AND use whole foods, not chemical-filled, processed foods. So when I found this bread recipe, I was dying to try it out!

Of course, I’ve never made bread from scratch before, so this really was a learning experience. I FINALLY had time to try it out today while Bubba was napping! Here goes nothing…

DSC_1654I’ve read that this is the BEST flour to use and it comes in ORGANIC (even better)!

I got all my supplies ready…

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Totally off subject, but the bowls with the blue stripe on them were my moms, she gave them to me when the hubby and I bought our house. I’ve always LOVED them and I just found out they were actually my great-grandma’s! Anyway, back to the bread…

DSC_1657(I’m new to this whole “food photography” thing, but I really like this picture.)

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DSC_1661I am a little obsessed with my Kitchen Aid mixer, I love when recipes call for it’s use!!

dough, before it rises

dough, before it rises

The next step says to let the dough rise for 30 min-1 hour, covered.

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Ok, so I waited 30 min, and the dough looked no different, so I waited some more… then Bubs woke up from his nap… so the dough actually had about 1 hour and 45 min to rise.

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I am not sure it looks much different than the before picture, do you? I moved on anyways, I figured if it hadn’t risen yet, it wasn’t going to!

DSC_1671Now that the bread is in the bread pan, I let it sit (per the recipe) for 45 min… it was supposed to rise again.. if it did, it wasn’t much… again, I moved on!

DSC_1672It looks pretty good, doesn’t it? It smells AMAZING, actually it has made the entire house smell AMAZING!!

Taste-test time! I could barely wait for it to cool, I was so excited to try it (not to mention my mouth had been watering since it was baking!).

DSC_1675As you can probably tell, it isn’t as large as the original recipe, I am not sure it even looks like a slice of bread!? I have no idea what caused the issues, maybe the fact that the yeast expired a week ago (oops!)? Or maybe because I used a silicone bread pan? Or maybe because its hot outside, so I have the A/C on, so very little humidity in the house? I have a feeling it might have been all of those reasons, but oh well, it still tasted GREAT! I am going to try it again later this week, hopefully I will get better results!!

Any recipes that you have found on Pinterest that haven’t turned out as well as you had hoped?

Party’s Over…

Birthday Boy!

Well… the party is over and is it ever! I am so glad everything turned out so good! Bubs was very spoiled and got some GREAT gifts! We had tons of food, so we sent family home with leftovers… no one seemed to want any cake for the road though!? So what does that mean? The hubby and I picked at it… I was pretty much “caked-out”, but he was able to “not let it all go to waste”! Once he was done pigging out eating it, we threw the rest away!!

The day after Bubba’s party was Father’s Day, so we were running around all day. Brunch with my parents then dinner with the hubby’s parents. By the time we got home we were exhausted! We put Bubs to bed, got ready for Monday morning, then went to bed ourselves! I have to say, Monday came WAY.TOO.FAST!!!

Monday was Bubba’s actual birhtday, we had a very “chill” night. We gave Bubs his presents from us, relaxed in front of the TV and ate dinner. Dinner was leftovers from Bubs party, the hubby had ice cream and I had some frosting (right out of the container) for dessert! Frosting is definitely one of my weaknesses…. the cake is ok, but the frosting?, the frosting is the BEST part of cake!! Knowing how out of control I would continue to be while the leftover frosting was in the fridge, I felt the need to get rid of it ASAP….

frostingI know, I know… I should have done the green thing and rinsed out the containers and recycled them… but I just had to get rid of them as soon as possible so I would STOP eating it!!! Totally a “green fail”, but sometimes we got to do what we got to do!

What are some of your weaknesses when it comes to food??