Archives for August 2013

How to make homemade chewy fruit snacks

Yesterday my son walked through the doors of his elementary school for the first time. The milestone was bittersweet, of course. He had been going to daycare since he was three months old, but this was different. This was real.

Now that we have a baby in the house, it’s been startling to look at my firstborn. To see how his baby fat is melting away. To see how big his feet are getting as we buy yet another pair of shoes, the ones that take him into that big, unfamiliar school full of strangers.

My son inherited many of my traits, including my sensitivity. Kindergarten was a fraught-filled time for me, and while my son has more experience navigating the social world of children than I had, I want to do what I can to remind him that no matter what is going on during the day, he is loved.

One of the ways I express love is through food, and I thought his entry into elementary school would be the perfect time to expand my homemade snack repertoire. I’m trying to keep his packed lunches as healthy as possible, but we all deserve a treat now and then. These homemade fruit snacks fit both orders.

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Harvest Corn Chowder Recipe

Corn is at its absolute peak right now, and we’ve been taking full advantage of the season. Last week we blitzed about thirty cobs to get a small part of the harvest packaged and in the freezer.

The boys -and Clara, as she is 18 months-going-on-eight-years and must be involved in anything we do – shucked, and I removed the kernels with my nifty trick involving a bundt pan and a chef’s knife.

If you’re wondering what do to with corn, aside from rolling it in butter and sprinkling it with salt, I may have a few good ideas. But first, you need to add todays harvest corn chowder to your weeks’ menu plan.

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Kids in the Kitchen: Tips for creating a motivational chore chart

There is much I have learned from my mother over the years, and this summer, I pulled yet another one of her super smart parenting tips out of my back pocket: the sibling chore chart.

If there’s one thing that has been a complete success this summer, it has to be my boy’s chore chart, which has simplified how the small jobs get done around the house and the homestead.

It’s nothing fancy, just some lines and scribbles on a paper that we made together on the first day of summer vacation. Yep, that’s right, we started the holidays with a firm reminder that they have to pull their own weight around the home.

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July disaster, regrowth and lessons learned: a homesteading update

Editors note: I asked Danny to share about our July garden disaster in his frank, factual way. I haven’t written about it previously because, well honestly, I was too upset. If you’ve been through a major storm, one that has wreaked havoc on your homestead, then you’ll understand why.

I‘m one of those people who love storms. I guess I’m both awed and impressed by the sheer power that they unleash, whether it be a rain storm, thunderstorm, blizzard or hail.  I’ve never really thought of them as dangerous, because we watch from the comfort of our home, and get candles and stuff like that ready, “just in case” we lose power.

But last month, we had a very intense wind/rain storm that reminded me that there is indeed an element of danger and they are no laughing matter. From Aimee’s various Instagram pics and Facebook updates, regular readers will know that our neighbor’s large tree crashed through the fence and landed pretty much square on our garden.  Here is the story.

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Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Charred Corn Salsa

We’re grasping at summer now that the days are slipping through our fingers quicker than ever and the evenings are noticeably cooler. Gathering the family, barefoot and dusty, around the patio table at the end of a day is a cherish moment as we all know that this weather is as fleeting as our unhurried evenings.

Last week we saluted summer with a feast of soft corn tacos filled with lemony grilled shrimp, ripe avocado, and a generous spoonful of smoky corn and sweet onion salsa.

I don’t think anyone spoke around the table during this family dinner, we were all to busy building and eating tacos. Then Danny and I sat back, satisfied, while the children whirled around on the grass, newly energized.

Jan’s shrimp and tomato kebabs were my inspiration for this recipe, while the garnish came together after a quick assessment of fridge leftovers – lonely cob of corn? Check. Half an onions. Got it. Limes? Always. Alright, let’s get grilling.

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