the weather this week has been amazing. simply amazing.
the nights are cool, i usually wear a hoodie in the evenings if I'm running errands, or hanging out downstairs in the office/basement. the days are sunny and warm, but not hot.
if i could find somewhere that stayed like this year-round, i would SO be there.
so, a lot of our month has looked like this:
today i moved the kids IKEA tent outside (weighted down with bricks since it was really windy), and they played for hours in that thing. they made the wagon into a "train" and traveled to Mexico. they were hikers and they lived in the mountains, and they were forest animals. i love that i have a window overlooking the backyard so i can hear all the wild stories and play going on while i cook and wash dishes and just putter around the kitchen.
ezra's little rubber boots make me smile every single day.
i've spent a LOT of time in the kitchen this month. our kitchen is so very tiny, but it's a pretty cheerful place at times. especially now, for Mother's Day, Dustin spent nearly 10 hours just cleaning and organizing this tiny, but busy room, and everything is so much more efficient now.
i've been doing a lot of baking, more than usual, which i love, but there are lots of new things going on in there too. for starters, we've been juicing and making lots and lots of smoothies. several years ago, Dustin and I bought a Juicer, and it honestly didn't get a lot of use. I realize now, that I didn't think outside the box much. Apple juice, carrot juice, the occasional apple/carrot combo. ha! quite creative, eh? but several months ago, I was reading Carrie's blog and saw the weirdest juice combo, and followed some links for the recipes here, and for some reason, i got the itch to drag the juicer out a few weeks ago and give it a try. the kids LOVE it. i love it, Dustin loves it. i am so shocked because i am such a picky eater, but the taste has been amazing.
the kids favorite is spinach/mango/strawberry, but they honestly haven't had anything that they haven't liked (*yet)
i like to clean out the fridge and throw bits and pieces of everything to try new things (and get LOTS of healthy food into one day). the wildest one was:
spinach + celery + cucumber + carrots + grapes + strawberries + lemon + orange, and then a banana in the end for the kids (i am allergic to bananas). it was wildly delicious (though not very pretty) and i used up a lot of produce that was about to go bad. sweet!
the only thing i do differently (which causes quite a bit more mess), is i add the final juice project to the blender with ice, and a few other things which don't yield as much juice (bananas, for instance) but add to the taste, and it's just so good. if i had an easier to clean juicer, i would do this daily. as it is, it takes about 20 minutes of clean up after I'm done, and so we generally juice 4 or 5 times a week instead.
the best thing is I make extra, freeze it in these little jell-o mold containers, and after dinner the kids finish that off like "sorbet" for dessert.
big thumbs up from Juju :)
all of this juicing and blog reading has lead to me reading a lot of Vegan and Raw Food blogs. as I read some of the stuff these people make EVERY DAY, i realized that being a vegetarian wouldn't be nearly as hard as i once thought it was.
**a few exceptions would be my brother's cooking and my dad's barbecue, i'm still thinking i would totally cave in those situations**
sooo, all that to say, i've started eating a vegetarian diet. the kids do mostly as well, but they just don't know it. annabelle still has random non-veg meals at school and if they are out with Dustin, they get whatever if they want it, but at home, i have stopped cooking and buying meat.
Dustin's okay with it, he's eaten strictly vegan in the past so it's not a huge leap for him, but none of us (at the time) are real vegetarian activists or anything, we're still testing the waters. plus he has a lot of customers give him delicious venison jerky, and so that is something he won't turn down, for sure.
in doing this, i realized that one of the main things that i HATE about cooking (besides clean-up) is cooking meat. i hate the smell, i hate to touch raw meat, i hate the extra mess, all of it. eye opening, eh? since I've eliminated that burden, cooking hasn't been so bad, and at times, has even been therapeutic. plus Spring produce is my FAVORITE, so that makes it all easier.
i have a few vegetarian cookbooks that are SO good, and that helps, plus the internet is FULL of blogs and websites loaded with yummy (and some not-so-yummy) ideas.
i guess i've rambled enough about that for now, but it's been one of the activities consuming me lately, so there's that. i'll try to post more (but less) tomorrow. ;) goodnight!