Saturday, October 25, 2014

A puzzling situation.

My original surprise for today fell through so I will have to make that connection in the future. I may have to try for a few surprises a week, just in case plans do not work out.

Our oldest provided a great surprise today though. She has always loved working on puzzles and she is very good at them. She has worked on huge flour puzzles and cube puzzles and strangely shaped puzzles. To date the hardest puzzle she has made was a 46 piece puzzle of the United States (a few states were joined.) After having a week long puzzle-palooza, both my husband and I thought "Let's have her try a puzzle with more pieces."  Just this evening she completed a 100 piece puzzle. We are so very impressed and proud.

Once finished my husband said "We are going to have to buy you an even bigger puzzle. Do you think you could do a bigger puzzle?" To which she replied, "I could do a huge puzzle, even 115 pieces."

Many blessings to you on this fine evening--Kate

Friday, October 24, 2014

Let me spin you a yarn.

Another big favorite of mine is yarn. Maybe addition better describes it. I have always enjoyed creating with yarn, weaving, knitting and crocheting. It is a lovely medium to work in. After working in a yarn shop though, I am drawn to it. All of the different textures all of the different sources for making it and of course all of the different projects you can do with yarn. Wonderful, versatile stuff.

As you can see I have a lot of it. This does not even include the yarn I have set aside in bins for half finished projects or the unpleasant, inexpensive, craft quality acrylics.

Much of my stash is the standard wool and cotton, but I also have some made from some interesting fibers.

This one is Baby Cashmere (Goat)

 This one is bamboo

Here's one made with Hemp.

This is recycled silk fibers. They took apart silk cloth and spun the thread.

and this one is made with milk protein. (Do not ask me how.)

The best part of course is what you can make with it.

This scarf I knit with an entreloc pattern in a wool yarn made by a company in Japan.
They have the most beautiful self striping dye patterns. 

Here is a nearly finished child's hat with a fun heart and bobble pattern. 

I think hobbies are a big part of what keep me sane, as well as provide opportunities for me to learn and grow.

I hope that you have something that you love, that challenges you and keeps you growing.

Many blessings to you on this fine and cozy day--Kate

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Own it, Watched it, Moving it along.

Today's Thing, television box sets. Remember the days before Netflix and Hulu? When we did not have the latest television shows streamed instantly to our computers, phones or through our gaming systems? Where if we missed a few episodes, or even a few seasons of a series, we had to find it on DVD. Those days are now gone and with them the need for our old box sets. So the thing out the door today, the complete series of the "Gilmore Girls", season 1-3 of "Heroes", season 1 and 2 of "Glee", season one of "News Radio" and the first season of "Fringe."

Of course not all of the old box sets are headed out the door. "Doctor Who" is still happily on the shelf. Some series are worth keeping around. 

Many blessings to you on this fine and rainy day--Kate

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oh Bother

I have two big items on my "To Do" list, my kids' Halloween costumes. I am happy to say that today I wrapped up the costume for my youngest. My little Pooh Bear.  

We have plans to dress the dog like a bee. 

This was a fun and quick costume to put together. Though I had to make changes to the original pattern, (which was just a brown teddy bear,) and designed the little red shirt. I forgot how much I enjoy coming up with sewing solutions. It has been a long time since I have done any design work. 

Stay tuned next week when I will have costume number two done for my oldest. 

Many blessings to you on this fine and crafty Birthday--Kate

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sometimes the biggest transformations happen within.

I am going to do something very different for this Transformation Tuesday, I am going to share a secret.

Here is the secret, I am a disaster. I am selfish, bossy, critical, rash, impatient, never ask for help, short tempered and negative. Poor qualities for a wife, yet I am one and truly lousy qualities for a mother and I am that too. Most days I feel completely inadequate for both roles.

This secret sharing comes after a rather miserable day and a horrible fight with my husband. Unfortunately miserable days are not that uncommon, but thankfully for the last few year, horrible fights had become a rare occurrence. The problem is that after 11 years of marriage we know exactly what buttons to push to achieve maximum wound. They are well worn buttons and sadly they are easy to push.

I am not sharing my secret to elicit sympathy but rather support. I started this blog to get my life in order. To create a place of accountability. To think that this only applies to my home or my work would be naive and narrow minded. If I did everything to get my home in order, to get my projects done, to get my body healthier and life humming along with rhythm and purpose but did nothing to examine and challenge my own short comings, I would be fooling myself and only waiting for the fail.

I have been following a beautiful blog called "the Orange Rhino challenge." It was started by a mom who challenged herself to 365 days of yelling less and loving more. She offers the same challenge to others in a smaller 30 day format. Her next challenge starts Nov. 1 and coincides with her book release, so it is also a book club this time. It is my plan to start this 30 day challenge. Wish me luck and I will happily take all your words of encouragement and support. I will need it.

Many blessings to you on this daring day--Kate

Monday, October 20, 2014

Recipe Night

Today is a late post for one very fun and yummy reason. We went to a recipe night hosted by our Maximized Living clinic, Summit Family Chiropractic. They host this event once a year and it is an evening to try out new grain free, sugar free, healthy recipes. As an added bonus they are also ridiculously delicious recipes too. I am going to share three recipes with you tonight. First the recipe I made for the event, Taco Pie and then my two favorites for the evening. 

Taco Pie

Crust Ingredients:
-2 cup almond flour
-1 tsp salt
-3 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp baking powder
-8 oz cheddar cheese (I used organic)
-1 egg (again for us organic.)

Crust Preparation:
*Combine all dry ingredients including grated cheese in a med bowl. In a small bowl whisk egg, then add it to the dry ingredients. Knead the mixture by hand to evenly distribute all ingredients. The "dough" will form a ball. Push dough down in a pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn off oven and let crust rest for additional 10 minutes, (unless you like a softer consistency for the crust then remove immediately after the first 10 minutes.)

Filling Ingredients:
-1 lb ground beef (once again organic grass fed)
-2 Tbsp chili powder
-1 tsp salt
-2 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-2 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
-1/2 cup water (I used organic chicken broth)
-3 Tbsp salsa (optional)

Filling Directions:
*Brown ground beef then add spices, broth/water and salsa if desired. Cook for additional 5 minutes. Pour over prepared crust top with shredded cheese and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. 

-Shredded Spinach
-Hot Sauce
-Sour Cream
-Black Beans

Here is my Taco "Pie" post oven but before toppings. It was still too hot.

Recipe number 2--"Mac" and Cheese

-1/4 cup butter (organic)
3 Tbsp Cream Cheese (organic)
1/4 cup Chicken broth (organic)
1 cup Cheddar Cheese- shredded (yup, organic)
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional cheese for topping
2 jars of Heart of Palm

*In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in cream cheese and broth until completely combined and smooth. Reduce heat slightly and add cheese, stirring until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Instead of traditional macaroni noodles, cut 2 jars of heart of palm into discs or moon shapes by cutting the cylinder in half lengthways then into slices. Boil in water for 5-7 minutes. Drain well and add cheese sauce. Put into baking dish and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. 

I would have taken a picture but this dish was a crowd favorite and there was not a morsel left to photograph.

Finally the Decadent Chocolate Cake

Decadent Chocolate Cake

(makes 1 – 9 inch cake)

1-15 ounce can of unseasoned black beans
5 large organic eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted organic butter OR extra virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup xyliol plus 1/2 teaspoon liquid pure stevia extract
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon filtered water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  grease a 9″ cake pan with coconut oil or  a thin layer of butter. Dust cocoa all over the inside of the pan, tapping to evenly distribute. Cut a round of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pan (put a couple drops of oil so that is doesn’t curl, then grease the top of the parchment lightly.

Drain and rinse beans and shake off excess water. Place the beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, stevia and salt into blender. Blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. Make sure there are no chunks.  Mix together cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter with xylitol until light and fluffy. Add the remaining two eggs, beating for one minute after each addition. Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix. Finally, stir in cocoa powder and water  and beat the batter on high for one minute or until smooth. Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cake is done with the top is rounded and firm to the touch. After 10 minutes, turn out cake from pan, and flip over again on to a cooling rack. Let cool until cake reaches room temperature, then cover with an overturned bowl.  (Frost immediately before serving)

Super Chocolaty Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted organic butter
1/4 cup xylitol, pulverized into powder
5-6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Pure stevia extract, to taste

Optional addition for a glossy finish:
1 fresh organic egg yolk


Cream the butter in a small bowl until fluffy. Powder xylitol in a coffee grinder or for a minute or two, until extremely fine in texture (will look like powdered sugar). Stir powdered sweetener into butter with a spatula, then beat until smooth. Slowly blend in the cocoa powder (do this slowly so that it doesn’t explode), vanilla, and sea salt. Beat in the coconut milk and egg yolk. Add stevia, and keep tasting and adjust sweetness to your liking.

This cake was amazing. 

I hope you enjoy these three new recipes. 

Many blessings to you this very late night--Kate

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Autumn Offering

Autumn Offering
by Judith A. Lawrence

I shall be Autumn
this Halloween,
with leaf draped skirt,
and folds of
boysenberry velvet wine
flowing to the ground.

Brown stained face,
eyes rimmed in gold,
nails dripping sunset,
a crown of twigs
to cover my head.

You may gather from me
the spring of my youth,
my summer of maturity,
and hold onto with me,
the solace of these days
of remembering
before the frost.