Welcome!

This is my journey in keeping my family happy and healthy.
In this day and age, what parent knows best what to do and how to care for their family?
There are so many conflicting ideas, so much wisdom, and so many paths.
It is here that I will compile information on what I have learned and the choices I am making.
Maybe my path will help others.... or not. Enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Beautiful Raised Garden Bed!


I have been wanting a raised garden bed for a while now. Our soil is SO dense and clay-like that it's almost impossible to dig into, and takes so much to amend. We tried growing last year, but it just wasn't successful for many reasons, some of which were laziness. For me, trying to go out to the backyard while watching a toddler, and gardening, watering, etc is just so tricky. Willow, my kiddo is easier to watch now that she's 2, so it's certainly more feasible to have the garden so far in the backyard. But this year, somehow I managed to coerce my husband into making me a raised garden bed!


We realized that actually, the best sun comes into the front yard, so this was going to be the location for our garden bed. Luckily we have a high fence so the recent issue of vegetable gardening in the front yard has not affected us in the least. And what I love so much about having it in the front yard is the easy access to it from the kitchen!!! I wish I'd thought about this years ago. Okay, well, just sooner anyway. :) So now I can go out and gather fresh herbs for cooking and it only takes me a minute to do so. Yay! I'm converted. Now I want to grow everything edible in the front yard. If only the yard has more sun.....

Here are some other pictures of the front yard garden area....










And just to give you some perspective.... here are a few pictures of what the bed looked like just over a month ago.....



Isn't it amazing how fast your garden grows!!!! I'm so excited for this year's harvest, next year and the years to come.....

Oh and trust me, I will be doing a lot more to the front yard in the next several months/years. :( The beautification project has only begun. I'm hooked!!! :) Get hooked too.... It's so easy to have a raised garden and grow your own organic veggies & herbs! Get out there and garden! :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

HEALTHFUL RECIPES: Honey Whole Wheat Bread

 This is my favorite bread! It's my go-to bread for everything! It's great toasted with eggs for breakfast. It's great with butter when you're on the go. It makes a nice sandwich! You really can't go wrong with this bread. And it makes 2 loaves, which means you have enough for a family of 4 for the week. :) You will LOVE this bread!


HONEY WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

Ingredients

    * 1 (.25 ounce) package rapid rise yeast (1.5 tsp)
    * 1 teaspoon white sugar
    * 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    * 1 13.5oz can of high fat coconut milk
    * 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
    * 1/4 cup honey
    * 2 teaspoons salt
    * 3 cups whole wheat flour
    * 2 cups all purpose flour
    * 2 tablespoons coconut oil (for greasing pan)
    * an egg (for glazing)

Directions

   1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water.
   2. Combine coconut milk, coconut oil, honey, salt and wheat flour in bowl. Mix in yeast mixture, and let rest 15 minutes. Add all-purpose flour, and process with dough hook (or by hand) until dough forms a ball. You may need to add more flour to get it to form a proper ball. Knead dough by processing an additional 80 seconds, or mix and knead by hand 10 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl. I usually rub some coconut oil over the top and then cover with a clean towel. Let dough rise for 45 minutes, or until doubled. I often let it rise while I'm napping with my toddler, so oftentimes I let it rise up to 3 hours!
   3. Remove risen dough from bowl, and divide dough in half. Fold and shape each half. I usually roll it over itself into a nice little roll (like how you roll up your sleeping bag), which also helps to squeeze out some of the bubbles and make for a nice loaf. Form into loaves, and place in oiled 9x5 inch bread pans. Oil the tops of the dough again, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until doubled; second rise should take about 30 minutes.
   4. Place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (Though what I often do is to put the loaves in before turning on the heat).
   5. Whisk egg and glaze the tops of the loaves. Then cut slits with a sharp knife down the top of the loaves (to allow for better rising while cooking).
   6. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes (sometimes up to 40), or until tops are dark golden brown. Slice when cool.

I hope you enjoy this bread as much as my family and I do! This bread is so yummy you can eat it all by itself with nothing on it!

Linked to Kelly The Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesdays
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