The End

Well, my time as a nursing mother has come to an end. Her father and I discussed nursing before she was born, and decided that two years was a decent amount of time for everyone, and it has been.

My cupkeiki has, for the most part, self led herself in this process. I decided, almost a week ago, that nursing for her had become purely a comfort seeking behavior and no longer served the purpose of nutritional balance. We stopped nursing during the day at about 15 months and moved strictly to nights and have stuck with that program flawlessly. However, about two weeks ago, she had started to get into the routine of becoming fixated on nursing early in the evening, it wasn’t that she was tired or hungry, just that she could control it and would beg and throw fits until I decided it was time to lay down for the evening. I wouldn’t give in and realized the change in purpose for doing it (nursing) quickly.

Last Tuesday I began my “no nursing adventure.” I started in the morning by saying she wouldn’t be nursing that evening, then reiterating what big girls do; they drink milk, water, juice, eat dinner, fill up their bellies and sleep all night. Well the evening came and she cried, screamed, punched and kicked. She begged, “last time mama, last time.” And as much as it pained me, I didn’t give in. The following nights and for the rest of the week she would recite her own mantra at bed; big girls don’t nurse, drink milk, water…and then she would pass out and has since been sleeping till 8:00 in the morning! It’s been a whirlwind of emotions for me, as my hormones are changing, my breasts are killing me and my little girl is becoming more independent. I’ll be honest, I’ve done my very best to fill up her belly at night just to ensure she sleeps, making protein fruit shakes using some expressed milk (to handle the pain of engorgement), almond milk and yogurt. It certainly has helped I think. Mostly, I think she knew she was ready for it but wasn’t going to totally stop if I wasn’t. She has chosen to replace nursing with snuggling. Every time she starts to ask to nurse she stops herself and says, “snuggle up mama!”

CSA Saturday, you can feel it in the air!

Whoa, what a change in weather so quickly. All of a sudden we have crisp mornings and perfectly warm afternoons. Certainly this morning I wasn’t quite ready for our bike ride to the market; that cold breeze brushing across knuckles and cheeks was a bit of a wake up call to the change happening!

I was excited to pick up plums from Ela Family Farms, as well as the last of the Honey Crisp apples! The plums are amazing!

I was also excited for more amazing vegetables. I feel like we have certainly been more than lucky with our CSA with Revive Gardens. Everything has been amazing, satisfying, and we are always looking forward to the next week! Especially, for me, the amazing heirloom tomatos! There’s nothing more exciting than biting into a tomato with so much complexity and beauty and knowing that you may have to wait a week to do it again!

Last night I made a roast in the crock pot with tomatillos and red peppers from our CSA and an ancho chili, oregano, cumin rub. Cooked on high for 6.5 hours. Served it over cumin spiced black beans…talk about delicious!

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Pears…they’re a texture thing

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Remember when you were a kid in school and somedays for lunch you got, pears in a cup?! Bleh!!! What else can you say about those cups of awfulness? I’ve never gotten past the disgusting nature of pears in thick gross syrup, and have also never trusted a pear to not taste like that. I also have a tiny issue with the texture, it doesn’t feel right…to my tongue, so I sort of avoid them, or have tried to anyway. That changed with our CSA share with Ela Farms, where we got three weeks of them. Time to grow up and eat the damn pears!

Last night, in an attempt to be creative with pears I made a pear and currant crisp. At first bite, I was relieved that the pears didn’t taste too grainy, or like those from elementary days! In fact, my cupkeiki even chowed down on it, as did my niece, her friend and my brother in law. Win win!

Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients:
6 small Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cubed.
1Tbs. Flour
2 Tbs. Honey
11/2 Tbs. Lemon juice
1/4C. Currants
Then…
A half Cup for each of the following: flour, packed brown sugar, butter, and rolled oats.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375F, and grease a pie dish. Mix pears, currants, flour, honey and lemon juice in a medium sized bowl. Dump pear mixture into pie dish. Using the same bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar and butter until crumbly (use your fingers, it’s more exciting). Top pear mixture with oat mixture and bake for 45min or until crisp on top.

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No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Yesterday my cupkeiki, who has been nothing but adorable the last few days, was asking for cookies. “Make cookies mama, puhweese”. Oh it just gets me in the feelers every time. So I went to the flour tin (yes, in our house we use tins) and discovered the flour supply drastically low. Time for a change in cookie thinking! The first thing that came to mind was, believe it or not, high school. Our lunch ladies always made these fantastic no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, they were the highlight of the lunch day whenever they made them (in general all the food was delicious, a perk of going to an incredibly small school!), so I started my online search for the perfect recipe. I knew I didn’t want peanut butter in it, and didn’t have enough quick oats to make very much so I needed a good chocolate and rolled oats recipe, which I found here at Eat, Drink, Smile: http://www.eat-drink-smile.com/2013/04/chocolate-oatmeal-no-bake-cookies.html

I made one tiny change to her recipe, instead of 2C. Sugar, I used 11/2C. I also added some dried coconut and dried banana (I chopped up about 1/4 cup of organic sweetened banana chips). It was easy, satisfying, and although my cupkeiki hasn’t taken to liking them just yet (which is ok, I’m not a sweets pusher with her) everyone was happy to eat them up!

Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/2 C. Sugar
6 Tbs. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/2 C. Milk
1tsp. Vanilla
3 C. Rolled Oats
Extra:
1/4 C. Org. Dried Sweetned Banana Chips, chopped
Handful of Org. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

Directions:
Mix the first four ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan, bring to a boil. Add vanilla. Remove from heat and stir in oats, coconut flakes and banana chips (if using extra ingredients). Drop by spoonfuls on to wax paper and allow to cool completely.

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Homemade Play Dough!

Happy Monday!! My cupkeiki and I had a great weekend, that’s part of the reason why my CSA pictures haven’t been posted yet! My mom came and visited us on Saturday, then my brother came over Sunday!

This morning my cupkeiki pulled the food coloring out of the craft box and said “do something mama?” I decided to google crafts with food coloring, found tons of links for play dough and said, that’s it!! 20 minutes later we are in play dough heaven!!

I’m going to share the recipe, but I warn you it’s pretty rough. I cut a recipe I found in half, then wound up adding back to it. Perhaps it’s best to say that you really have to tap into your memory of how play dough should feel to get the best outcome…right hopefully I haven’t confused you all!

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 Tbs. Canola oil
1 Tbs. Tartaric Acid (cream of tartar)
3/4 Cup boiling water
1/4 Cup salt
Food coloring and glycerine (optional)

Directions:
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add boiling water. Stir until dough is formed. *i wound up adding quite a bit more flour, perhaps another full cup when all was said and done. Divide dough into equal parts and place in food containers. Add as many drops of food coloring as desired to get desired color. *this means you may have to, once again, add more flour to return back to dough consistency. Glycerine can be added along with the colors, a few drops, to make the dough a bit more shiny and soft.

Work it with your hands to get the colors blended (mamas got to have some fun too!) and then hand it over to eager hands! My cupkeiki is really enjoying this, and it’s so easy to make I am too!

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dry ingredients

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added boiling water

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adding the food coloring and glycerine

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getting the right consistency and handing it over

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Have a fun and COLORFUL Monday and week!

S’mores Dip

My niece discovered this dip online, it being chocolate and marshmallows, was of course a “must make right away” dip. It’s really easy to do:

Ingredients:
1 C. Chocolate Chips (semi-sweet)
2-4Tbs milk (enough to keep the chocolate nice and smooth)
1 C. Marshmallows
Enough marshmallows to cover the chocolate mixture.
Graham Crackers, for dipping

Directions:
Melt chocolate chips, along with milk, over med-low heat in a small sauce pan. Once chips are melted add marshmallows and combine till smooth. Place in a small pan (we used a hotel pan) and cover with marshmallows, place under broiler and broil until lightly crisped on top (it’s really easy to burn sugar, so be sure to watch it closely!)
Enjoy with graham crackers and a cold cup of milk!

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Here we are, enjoying chocolate way too much (is that possible?? No, most definitely not!!)!

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