PRESENT DAY MOMS

Homemade Bread

Emily DaFoe
DSC_0886.jpg

It’s surprising HOW EASY bread is to make. I don’t know about you, but my family goes through a minimum of 2 loaves of bread a week. So when we discovered this easy, fun, and simple recipe, it was a game-changer. 

I recommend washing your kid’s hands first (before getting started), and if you have an apron, throw that on them too - as this activity gets a little MESSY!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 24 oz water

  • 3 teaspoons salt

  • 5 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour

  • 1.5 teaspoons instant yeast

TIME

10 minutes to make (approx 90 mins to rise + 40 min to bake)

METHOD

STEP 1: 

Combine water and yeast into a bowl and stir the ingredients until the yeast has thoroughly mixed with the water.

STEP 2: 

Add the flour and salt to your water/yeast mix and allow your kid(s) to mix the ingredients together with their hands. Once everything has been mixed through, let the contents sit for 30 minutes.

STEP 3: 

Then sprinkle some flour onto your countertops or XL chopping board, and knead the bread for approximately 5-10 minutes. You may need a metal dough scraper to keep the dough from sticking to your countertops. Use this as another opportunity for your kids to ‘play’ with the dough. 

STEP 4: 

Place the dough back into your bowl, cover with a dry tea towel, and let it sit for 90 minutes. 

DSC_0877.jpg

STEP 5: 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

After 90 minutes you will find that your mix has doubled in size. Take the dough out of the bowl and using the metal dough scraper to divide it into two balls. Place each dough ball onto a greased baking pan and cut a criss-cross over the top of your dough. 

STEP 5: 

Bake in the oven for approximately 30-40 minutes, until there is a golden-brown crust. Eat the bread hot or cold ( My personal favorite is warm baked bread with melted butter and honey - YUMMO ). 

DSC_0881.jpg

Garden Poppers

Emily DaFoe
IMG_3709.jpeg

One of our favorite veggies that we planted this summer was green chili peppers! While we patiently wait for all of our other veggies to ripen, our chilis have become a daily snack, and who doesn’t love a good popper?!

With only 3 ingredients, this is a fun snack, great side dish for entertaining kids and adults, and it’s an easy one for the kids to make, or at least help you with.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Green Chilis - however many you want depending on the size of your family. We just did 4 because that’s what our garden had to offer this week.

  • Whipped Cream Cheese - Trader Joe’s is my favorite!

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese

*Side note: You can add bacon to the top of these, or if you want it a little spicy - use Pasilla Chilis or Jalapenos seeded. My next batch will include some with a little Siracha mixed into the cream cheese.

IMG_3708.jpeg

METHOD

STEP 1:

Set your oven on broil then cut the peppers in half, wash and de-seed them.

STEP 2:

Use a small spoon to fill the pepper with whipped cream cheese - use as much or as little as you want!

STEP 3:

Sprinkle the shredded cheddar on the top and place in the oven on a lightly greased baking sheet.

STEP 4:

Broil for about 3-5 minutes until the top is golden. Remove and let stand for a few minutes to cool. Add a little cracked pepper if you like!

*We prefer not to pre-cook the peppers so they have a little crunch left, but if you want them soft, bake them for 5-10 minutes on 350 before stuffing them with the cheeses.

IMG_3723 2.jpeg

Homegrown Tea

Emily DaFoe
5.jpg

What can cool you down on a hot summer day, pair with cakes at a fancy brunch, and soothe a sore throat on a frosty winter night? It’s the second most consumed beverage in the world, tea. When you learn how easy it is to grow and make your tea, you will be asking yourself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

Growing a garden of tea and herbs can allow you to enjoy your blends, as well as the beautiful flowers and aromas of fresh herbs. We had A LOT of fun choosing which flavors we wanted to plant in our tea garden. Once we planted the tea garden, we waited a few weeks for our garden to grow, then we harvested bundles of our goods and dried them out. Once they were dry, we had a tea party in the garden!

METHOD:

CHAMOMILE

  • Benefits: Chamomile is known for its calming effects, but the small, daisy-like flower can also increase appetite and relieve indigestion.

  • How to grow: Sow chamomile seeds indoors or in the garden. Plants do best in fertile, well-drained soil in a sunny spot. While chamomile will grow most places, it will not tolerate temperatures over 98 degrees for very long.

  • How to Harvest: Harvest branches when they have several open flowers, and hang to dry in bunches. Once the stems have dried, remove the blooms and store them in an airtight container. 

  • To Brew: Steep two teaspoons of dried flowers in one cup of boiling water for five to 10 minutes.

MINT

  • Benefits: Mint has a numbing, calming effect, making it an ideal drink to relieve anxiety, depression, or headaches. Mint also reduces flatulence, bloating and stomach cramps, and has been shown to effectively relieve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by up to 75 percent. Cooling menthol in the tea relaxes intestinal muscles and produces bile, which digests food more quickly.

  • How to Grow: Mint is a hardy plant that is relatively easy to grow. It will grow in average soil and partial to full sun. Start seeds indoors and place outside after the last frost, or place fresh stem-tip cuttings in moist soil to root. Mint will spread, so plant it near a barrier, such as a sidewalk, or grow it in a container.

  • How to Harvest: Pick leaves often to promote growth and keep the plant bushy. While mint can be dried, it tastes as good fresh. 

  • To Brew: Harvest fresh leaves, tear them up slightly, and steep in boiling water for three to seven minutes.

4.jpg

LEMON BALM

  • Benefits: Lemon balm has calming properties; it can also help relieve headaches and lower blood pressure. 

  • How to Grow: Lemon balm grows quickly in most places; it tends to spread. To prevent spread, grow this herb in a pot, or cut back flowering stems in late summer. Lemon balm grows best in fertile, well-drained soil and full sun. 

  • How to Harvest: Its leaves are best when harvested just as flowers are beginning to bloom. Simply cut the leaves and dry them out. 

  • To Brew: Steep a few dried or fresh leaves in boiling water for two to five minutes.

LAVENDER

  • Benefits: Lavender produces beautiful purple flowers that not only smell and taste wonderful but also help ease headaches and prevent fainting and dizziness. 

  • How to Grow: Lavender prefers very well-drained, almost sandy, soil and sunny, open areas. It can grow in pots or planters but will grow taller and have better air circulation in a garden, which will help deter fungus.

  • How to Harvest:  Pick stalks of lavender just as the flowers bloom, and dry in small bundles before storing in an airtight container. 

  • To Brew: Steep four teaspoons of dried flowers in boiling water for two to five minutes.

ECHINACEA

  • Benefits: Echinacea has antiviral and antibacterial properties, which make it great for helping to combat colds and sore throats. The whole echinacea plant, from its purple coneflowers to its roots, can be used in tinctures and teas. 

  • How to Grow: Start with a plant from a nursery, or sow seeds indoors in late winter. Echinacea will not bloom reliably until its second year, but it is hardy and can withstand cold winters. It prefers full sun in cold climates and partial shade in areas with hot summers. Echinacea grows best in rich soil with a neutral pH. 

  • How to Harvest: Roots can be washed, cut into small pieces, and dried. Stems should be cut above the bottom set of leaves and hung upside down to dry. 

  • To Brew: Steep one tablespoon of dried root or dried stems and flowers in one cup of boiling water for three minutes.

HIBISCUS

  • Benefits: Studies show that it can measurably lower blood pressure. It is also frequently used for stomach upset, cramps, fever, and sore throat. It’s rich in vitamin C so it can help to boost your body’s immune system.

  • How to Grow: Most hibiscus plants are grown from potted nursery plants. You can also take cuttings from a hibiscus shrub or start hibiscus from seeds sown indoors 6 weeks before the last frost. All hibiscus plants grow best in full sun. They need fertile, well-draining soil that stays moist, but not soggy.

  • How to Harvest: Pick of the hibiscus flowers and dry them out. 

  • To Brew: Hibiscus tea has a very tangy flavor and a rich red color, similar to cranberry juice. Like with several other herbal teas, when you brew hibiscus, you brew the flower. 

For more information about the medicinal benefits of tea, READ HERE

DIFFERENT METHODS TO DRYING OUT YOUR TEA: 

  • Withering: This is the process of allowing the leaves to air-dry. Usually, leaves are left to wither in a thin layer on a flat tray.

  • Rolling: using your hand or a cloth, roll the leaves, so they’re wrinkled. Rolling cracks the cell walls of the leaves and allows the flavors and antioxidants to escape into your brew.

  • Drying: While tea can be served after it has been rolled, it is often more economical to spend your time producing enough tea for several brews. To store your tea for later use, you’ll want to dry it. You can dry your tea by spreading it out in a thin layer to air dry, then lay it out in the sun—or you can bake it under low heat until the moisture is gone from the leaves.

  • Dehydrating: For large batches of tea, clean off your leaves (pick out any bugs), and then place the leaves onto the dehydrator machine. Put the device on the lowest heat and check it every couple of hours. They should be completely dry within 3-5 hours. Be careful not to burn your leaves, so check them regularly. 

Apricot Fruit Leather

Emily DaFoe
IMG_2544.jpeg

With school starting in just days, or weeks if you are lucky, we have been starting to gather some of our favorite healthy and homegrown snacks for lunches or after school snacks. We will post more about those soon, but to get it started, here is some delicious fruit leather!

There is no shortage of stone fruit this time of year! With plums and apricots dropping from our trees, it’s the best time to make a great kid-friendly snack for the lunch, pool, beach, after school, sports or at the park. With only three healthy ingredients, it’s a winner for everyone.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups apricots - pitted and quartered

  • 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey

  • Parchment Paper

  • Cookie Sheet

IMG_2230.jpg

METHOD

STEP 1:

Quarter and remove the pits of 4 cups of apricots.

STEP 2:

Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on the apricots and stir.

STEP3:

Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for about 10 mins until they are soft, then remove from heat and add them along with the honey to a food processor and blend until smooth.

STEP 4:

Place waxed paper on a cookie sheet and spread the puree out evenly.

STEP 5:

Set your oven to 150-170 and bake the puree for 4-5 hours or until it’s cooked in the middle. This is best when made in batches.

STEP 6:

Once it’s baked, let it cool and use kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter to slice and roll. I kept the waxed paper on so it’s easy to peel off.

Enjoy!

IMG_2566.jpeg

Beach Picnic!

Emily DaFoe
unnamed-5.jpg

Summer is about beach days, and keeping things REALLY simple! That is why we enjoy those late afternoon days at the beach where we can feed the kiddos outside and let them play while the sun goes down.

Last week, we took a super easy dinner seaside that consisted of watermelon, hotdogs, popcorn and marshmallows. Because we are the ones who carry everything, we kept it really light and as effortless as possible.

unnamed-4.jpg

INGREDIENTS:

  • One pack of organic hotdogs

  • One pack of organic buns

  • A small jar of ketchup - or any condiments you prefer.

  • One pack of Jiffy Pop

  • 1 watermelon - pre sliced with the rind on

  • 1 pack of marshmallows

unnamed-18.jpg

While there isn’t really a method to making this happen we do have a few tips that might be helpful:

TIPS

  • First make sure you are allowed to have a fire on your chosen beach.

  • Bring a small Duraflame to get the fire started.

  • if you have one, bring a small camping grate to put on top of your fire so you can cook the hotdogs easier. Or just bring long skewers or use sticks.

  • Dig a really big hole for your fire so it’s blocked from the wind. Always bury your fire when you are finished and clean up after yourself.

  • Bring a trash bag to make clean up a breeze.

  • Find long sticks that will work for marshmallows so you don’t have to bring bbq skewers from home.

  • Add any condiments to small containers so you don’t have to carry large jars.


unnamed-25.jpg
unnamed-22.jpg

Homemade Bean Sprouts

Emily DaFoe
APC_0436.JPG

YUM, who doesn’t like fresh organic bean sprouts!?! 

Sprouting is an easy way to introduce your little ones into the wonderful world of gardening. Gardening begins with seeds, and seeds are magical. These tiny inert pieces of nature contain all of the energy and genetic information to grow a sprout, a flower, or a 200-foot redwood tree. They are amazing and fun for your kids to watch, plus sprouts are an extra tasty treat to add to your salad, sandwich or to eat by the handful. Like I said, YUM! 

When I was a kid, we used to secure an old stocking with a rubber band around our jars as a make-shift sprouting lid. However, these rinse and drain sprouting lids are a game-changer, and you will be eating sprouts in as little as three days. 

APC_0447.JPG

INGREDIENTS:

  • Various packets of organic sprouts (Bean mix, sunflower seeds, radish seeds, Mung Beans, Alfalfa, etc.)

  • 1 wide mouth mason jar

  • Soligt Easy Rinse & Drain Sprouting Lids

TIME

3 minutes

METHOD

STEP 1: 

Place 1-2 tablespoons of seeds your mason jar and fill 3/4 with cold water.

STEP 2: 

Cover your jar with a sprouting lid and soak for 8-12 hours, or until the seeds double in size. I usually do this before I go to bed and allow them to soak overnight. 

STEP 3: 

Drain the seeds and rinse them, then drain again. Put the jar upside down and place in an area out of direct sunlight (I put them on my kitchen counter by my sink). 

APC_0458.JPG

STEP 4:

Repeat step 3, rinse and drain the seeds between 2-4 times a day, making sure they never completely dry out. Do this for 2-3 days, or until your seeds are ready to eat. (note: some seeds take around a week to germinate properly). 

STEP 5: 

Finally, rinse and drain your seeds and eat them!

Old Fashioned Ginger Beer

Emily DaFoe
APC_0560.JPG

As a kid, there was nothing better than sipping on a cold old fashioned ginger beer to cool off from the mid-summer heat. This easy to make recipe has all the good stuff in it; natural ingredients and natural probiotics! Plus it tastes delicious too! 

This is a 2 step process. You will make the ginger ‘plant’ first, and then a week later you will complete the ginger beer syrup and bottle your brew. 

IMG_8645.JPG

GINGER PLANT - PART 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 raisins (or sultanas as they say in Australia)

  • Juice 2 lemons

  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Pulp

  • 2 Teaspoons Ginger (fresh ground or powdered)

  • 2 cups cold water (use natural dechlorinated filtered water)

  • 4 Teaspoons Sugar

  • Large Jar with Lid

TIME

10 mins to prep. 7-10 days until complete fermentation. 

METHOD

STEP 1:

Combine all ingredients into a sterilized screw-top jar. Put the lid on and leave out on the counter for 2-3 days. In warm weather, the mixture should start to ferment. ( To sterilize the jar and lid, boil in water for 5-10 mins or place in the oven for approx 20 minutes )

STEP 2:

Then each day for 1 week, add 2 teaspoons of ground ginger (or powdered), and 4 teaspoons sugar into the jar. This is referred to as ‘feeding the plant.’

APC_0500 (1).JPG

TO MAKE GINGER BEER

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups boiling water

  • 3 cups of sugar

  • Juice 4 Lemons

  • 1.65 Gallons of dechlorinated cold water (211 ounces or 26.5 cups or 6.25 liters)

  • 18 x 16 oz reusable glass bottles.

  • XL Pot

  • Funnel

  • Stocking or muslin

  • Small strainer

TIME

30 mins to prep & bottle

APC_0502.JPG

METHOD

STEP 1:

Dissolve sugar into boiling water, add lemon juice. Place a piece of muslin or stocking into your strainer and pour the PLANT through the strainer adding it into the boiling water/lemon juice mix. Squeeze the muslin/stocking dry and put the remanence of the PLANT to the side. Bring the entire mixture to boil, then turn off the heat.

STEP 2:

Sterilize your bottles. You can do this by either; 1) Dipping in a rolling water bath for 5-10 minutes. 2) Putting them in the oven for 20mins (be sure to remove plastic rubber from caps). 3) Cleaning them in bleach or disinfectant… Here is a helpful link to correctly sanitize your bottles to avoid any bacteria buildup. https://www.morebeer.com/articles/sanitizingmethods.

STEP 3:

Add 1.65 gallons of cold water into your mix. Use a measuring jug and funnel to pour the mixture into the clean, dry bottles. Seal the bottles securely and keep for 3 days before using. Store your bottles in a cool dark environment. 

STEP 4:

After 3 days carefully uncap your bottles to release the carbon dioxide build up, and then recap. Do this every day for 5-7 days. This will ensure that your bottles will not explode from the Carbon Dioxide pressure that will naturally occur from the fermentation.

APC_0565.JPG



Watermelon Sparklers!

Emily DaFoe
IMG_1469.jpeg

Is there anything better than a big watermelon in the summer months? We think not! Give the kids a little kitchen project to kick off your 4th of July, and summer season.

I saw this cute idea on the Women of Today blog last summer, and it quickly became my go-to for pool parties, afternoon snacks, and apps for the kids at summer bbq. These watermelon sparklers are so cute, easy to make, and a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

Method

STEP 1:

Cut your watermelon into 1” thick rings.

STEP 2:

Use your star cookie cutter to cut our each of the star shapes.

STEP 3:

Take your skewer and add blueberries - as many as you want - but leave room for the handle and the star.

STEP 4:

Top the skewer with your watermelon star and enjoy!

IMG_1471.jpeg

For a little treat for the adults, here is a very simple and tasty addition to any summer BBQ.

Ingredients:

  • watermelon sliced in rectangles or squares

  • crumbled feta cheese

  • chopped arugula

  • balsamic vinaigrette 

  • blueberries - optional

Method:

STEP 1:

Cube your watermelon

STEP 2:

top watermelon with arugula, feta and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Garnish with blueberries if you would like.

STEP 3:

Enjoy!

IMG_1478.jpeg




Ranch Picnic

Emily DaFoe
_DSC5735.jpg

It’s safe to say we are very lucky to have friends with horses. We are also really lucky to have really mild weather year around to have outdoor meals with our kids.

Because we all know that kids are best when they are outside playing in nature, we pack up sandwiches and retreat to our friends ranch for a play date where they can run free and enjoy exploring.

MENU

Roasted Chicken Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh bread

  • Roasted Turkey or Chicken

  • Cheddar cheese slices

  • Lettuce

  • Dijon mustard

Make the sandwich using the above ingredients and set aside, Cut a paper bag into thin strips and use kitchen twine or yarn to tie around the paper to keep it closed.

Cucumber and Fig Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • Cucumber - 2 peeled and sliced

  • 3 Sliced fresh figs

  • 2 springs fresh dill

  • Crumbled Goat Cheese to top.

  • Balsamic Vinegar - or a light dressing

Once you have sliced the figs and cucumbers, place them in a bowl together and sprinkle the dill and a few tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese. If you like, drizzle balsamic vinegar on the top, or just a little olive oil.

_DSC5744.jpg

Photos by Brittnay Taylor

Father's Day Egg Sandwiches

Emily DaFoe
IMG_0551.jpeg

We are big fans of breakfast sandwiches in our house, so what better way to celebrate Father’s Day then breakfast in bed. Because of the kiddos, we have two yummy recipes that are both kid and grown-up friendly.

There are many ways to make these, but here are our favorites:

OPEN FACED EGG AND FETA WITH MICRO GREENS:

IMG_0556.jpeg
  • Two farm fresh eggs - poached or scrambled

  • Sliced red onion

  • Handful of microgreens

  • Crumbled Feta

  • Everything Bagel Seasoning

Toast your bread to your desired degree of brown and cook your eggs however you like them. I poach mine medium so it’s not super runny, but the yokes are not dry. Once they are cooked, top your toast with eggs, crumbled feta, micro greens and shaved onions. Sprinkle some Everything Bagel Seasoning on top for a little more flavor. We use large slices of sourdough so it’s enough for 2 eggs, then slice it in half

EGG, TURKEY AND CHEESE SANDWICH:

IMG_0552.jpeg
  • Two farm fresh eggs - poached or scrambled

  • Thinly shaved roasted turkey

  • Sauteed red onion.

  • Sliced cheese - we like to use Toscana with rosemary, but any cheese will work.

Again, toast up your bread and make your eggs however you like them. Melt your cheese on top of the eggs before you take them off the heat. Sautee up the turkey and onions until they are golden brown then remove from heat. Add the egg and cheese to the toast and top with the turkey and onions. This one is kid approved and delicious!

Fresh Juice

Emily DaFoe

Is there anything better than fresh squeezed orange juice? We don’t think so. It’s a way to keep healthy, enjoy something a little sweet, and keeps the Vitamin C flowing.

This does require a juicer and I can’t advocate enough how important a juicer is for our family. I make fresh veggie juice every morning which helps with warding off sickness, a good way to get extra vitamins, and can help get the body moving if anyone is a little backed up. We also use the fresh juice to make popsicles which are a delicious treat.

RECIPE

  • Orange and Carrot - 3 or 4 large peeled oranges, 8 large carrots and one lemon to cut the sweetness

Here are some of our favorite juices.

  • Celery - straight up! Yes, it’s a trend but it’s refreshing and has a ton of health benefits.

  • Celery with lemon and cucumber. - one stalk of celery, 1 peeled lemon, 1 cucumber

  • Green is Good - kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, ginger and lemon. Just add as much as you want because it’s all good!

  • Tomato with lemon, cucumber and celery - It’s like a salad in a bowl.

  • Pineapple and carrot. This feels like the tropics. Add a little orange juice if you would like.

Build a Bowl

Emily DaFoe
1-2.jpeg

Summer is perfect time to eat less meat, eat more veggies, shop at the farmers market, grow your food, and introduce easy week night dinner options.

Our family eats a TON of veggies so I thought it would be fun to create a “build your own bowl” night. This is also something that can be made ahead of time to make dinner very easy on you after a long day at the beach or pool.

METHOD

INGREDIENTS

  • Grain - Choose your favorite - white rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, etc.

  • Dice up your desired veggies - I use green veggies like broccoli, snap peas, zucchini, brussel sprouts, avocado, kale or spinach.

  • Protein - If you want, choose your favorite protein. I tend to go for chicken or straight veggies, but sometimes I’ll try tofu or salmon.

  • Sauce - Rather than soy sauce, we use Braggs liquid amino acids or coconut amino acids.

STEP 1

Cook your desired grains and set aside.

STEP 2

Cut and steam all of your veggies and put them into their own serving bowls. I cook mine separately the put them into individual bowls.

STEP 3

Chop up and cook any protein of you choosing however you want - even if that means picking up a roasted chicken at the market. Keep it easy on yourself.

STEP 4

Build your bowl. Once it’s all cooked, invite your family to build their own bowl. It’s a fun and creative way to get your kids involved in the kitchen. It also makes them feel like they have a choice in what they are eating, but you know it’s all healthy and delicious

There are a lot of kid’s culinary tools that are safe and fun for them to use. This let them help with meals and gets them involved in how to cook and the experience of preparing food. The Curious Chef is our favorite.

Sushi Date

Emily DaFoe
IMG_6867.jpeg

I’m very lucky to have a good eater! He will literally try everything - including fresh sea urchin - and it happens to be one of my proudest parenting feats. While everyone tells me that it will change, and it might, I have never given him options, he eats what I make the adults for dinner, I rarely made special meals just for him, and that works for our family. While there are a few exceptions of things he’s never been interested in - tofu. and I can’t blame him - he will hammer down just about everything else and loves salad!

One of our go-to snacks or light dinner options are sushi rolls. We love sushi in our house and it’s an easy treat I can whip up in minutes. Everyone is happy!

METHOD

Ingredients

  • Sushi Making Kit

  • Nori paper

  • Rice - brown, white, or cauliflower ( though it doesn’t hold together as well. )

  • Veggies - any you want to add - slice them thinly.

  • Protein - any fish or chicken if you desire.

Step 1:

Cook your rice and set aside. I have used white rice, brown rice, and cauliflower rice. They are all great but the cauliflower doesn’t hold up as well.

Step 2:

Slice up cucumber, avocado, cabbage, and carrots into very thin strips. You can add any protein you would like also. We have made chicken rolls, cooked salmon rolls, and strictly veggies.

Step 3:

Remove all of the nori from the package and spread it out on your counter. Evenly place a scoop of rice on each sheet and spread you desired veggies along the edge of the rice.

Step 4:

Use your sushi bamboo mat to gently roll your sushi into a tight roll. Use a little water at the end to bind the nori to make it stick.

Step 5:

Take your sharpest knife and slice your rolls. Mine always look a little dodgy at the ends but they still taste delicious.

These are great to add to school lunch, take to the part, serve as an app for play dates, or just make it for dinner!


Mulberry Jam

Emily DaFoe
7D59668B-D742-41C9-9132-16AB1D437DD7.jpg

Canning and jamming is becoming a little bit of a lost art. It once was something passed on from generation to generation, and now its been lost in the easiness of modern connivence and the busyness of our lives. 

A couple of years ago, I got together with another mommy friend and we set about trying to learn the lost art of canning… We canned every type of fruit and vegetable that we could get our hands on, and even phoned our moms in the process trying to gather whatever tips they could share. We had canning parties, pickling parties, swapped recipes, swapped our jars we’d canned, we had a few terrible batches and a bunch of wins . There really is something magical about the process of bringing fresh produce from farm to table, and the wonderful sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that was forged . 

The best part of it all is engaging with this age old art of canning with my children. Passing wisdom, knowledge and memories along to them is what it is all about. We spent the afternoon running through the community garden, playing and collecting bucketfuls of Mulberries and then went straight to the kitchen to make this delicious and simple Mulberry Jam Recipe. 

INGREDIENTS

TIME

10 mins to prep

20 mins to cook

10 mis to can

METHOD

STEP 1:

Put an extra large pot of water on to boil. Thoroughly wash your jars and lids and then carefully place them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and allow them to dry. Set the pot of water aside, you will use this water for the final step.

STEP 2:

Rinse your Mulberries in cold water and remove any green stems. Place the Mulberries, sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg into a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium and allow the mix to simmer until the berries are thoroughly cooked (approximately 15 minutes). Be sure to stir regularly so that the sugar does not burn. 

STEP 3:

Use a potato masher to mash the berries. Bring the mix to a rolling boil and add the pectin, stirring consistently for 1 minute, then remove the pot from heat. 

STEP 4:

Immediately fill your jars with the hot mix, leaving 1/4 inch of room. Screw the lids on to a ‘normal’ tightness. 

STEP 5:

Reboil your large pot of water. Use canning tongs to carefully place your jars back into the boiling water (standing upright), ensuring that the jars are completely submerged. Keep your jars in the water for 5 minutes. Remove them carefully with your tongs and allow the jars to cool. 

STEP 6:

As the jars cool they will form a suction that will preserve the canned goods. Re-check the lids to ensure they are all screwed on tightly. 

TIPS 

The water bath allows for a shelf life of approximately 18 months. If you plan on eating your canned goods within a few weeks you can skip this step. Instead, let your jarred good cool completely and then put them straight into the refrigerator. 

Change up the receipt by using honey instead of sugar. Omit nutmeg, or add other spices like cloves or cinnamon. I used pectin in this recipe as Mulberries are a low pectin fruit, the downside is that commercial pectin requires more sugar to form a gel. If you’d like to avoid using the pectin (and less sugar), you can combine the mulberries with high pectin fruit such as oranges, pears and apples. 





Banana Avocado Ice Cream

Emily DaFoe
IMG-6234.JPG

SOOO if you’re like our family, then you’re a group of passionate lovers of ice-cream, right? Chocolate, Strawberry, Mint, Cookie Dough, Pistachio, Caramel… and the list goes on. Well, i’m also very passionate about what my children eat. My motto is the simpler the better; whole foods, clean foods and the least processed, the better. 

So, it’s only natural that years ago I went on the search for the most natural ice-cream I could make. I’ve been using this recipe for a long time and well before my little ladies graced my world. It’s easy, it’s quick and its dreamy texture will have you making weekly batches. 

INGREDIENTS

NOTE: Night before separate thick cream part from milk and freeze.

METHOD

STEP 1:

Pre-cut the banana and avocado and place in individual bowls. Ask your little one to add those ingredients to the blender. This way your child feels like they are really helping with the ‘cooking’ and getting involved and you don’t have to worry about them cutting fingers on the avocado or getting an avocado seed to the head.

STEP 2:

Ask little ones to add frozen coconut cream to your blender. Blend until completely mixed. Use a spatula to scrap down sides. My daughters loves to press the blender. I sit them both on the table and they take turns. Its super cute.

STEP 3:

Add Agave and blend. Scrape down sides.

STEP 4:

Once everything is completely blended and you no longer see chunks of the coconut cream, add the cacao nips and blend for just a few moments.

STEP 5:

Have the little ones hold the dish while you scoop in the mixture. We used a vintage pan and lid as our dish for this, but you can use Tupperware or anything else that creates an airtight seal. Place a layer of saran wrap over the ice-cream and push it gently down to come in contact with the mixture. This helps stop browning cause by oxidization. Don’t worry if you get a little during the freezing process you can simply scrap it off or eat it.

STEP 6:

The hardest step is the waiting. It takes around 4 hours to freeze and my eldest always sings ‘is the ice-cream ready yet?’ for oh, about 4 hours.

STEP 7:

When ready, pull from freezer, scoop a few yummy balls of deliciousness and add fresh strawberries, berries, fruit or any other toppings your heart/s desires.

STEP 8:

Enjoy!

Pickle Time

Emily DaFoe
IMG_2376.jpg

One of our favorite summer snacks is crisp dill pickles. Every summer we plant our starters in the garden and watch our cucumbers grow…but if we get impatient, we just find some great pickling cucumbers are the local farm stand. This is an easy project with the kiddos and teaches them how to grow and make your own tasty foods. After trying several pickling recipes, here is one that is a winner-winner!

INGREDIENTS

4 cups water

4 cups white vinegar

4 tsp of salt

8 garlic cloves

8 heads of fresh dill

peppercorns or peppers

canning jars

canning tongs

METHOD

STEP 1:

Dice up your cucumbers however you like and stuff them into your pint jars with 1 clove of garlic and 1 head of dill.

STEP 2:

Boil the water, vinegar and salt together. Once it's boiled, remove from heat and pour the brine over each of the jars leaving about a 1/2 inch of room from the top.

STEP 3:

Add your portions of peppercorns or chili peppers to make them spicy or add a kick.

STEP 4:

Place your lids on the jars and tighten. Use your canning tongs to place your jars into boiling water. Ensure the top of your jars is completely covered in water.

STEP 5:

Let the jars boil for 10 mins then remove carefully with your canning tongs and let stand. You will hear the lids pop, then secure the rings to ensure they are tight. Let them sit until cooled and store in your pantry until you are ready to eat them!

Enjoy!

Granda Jackie's Cucumbers

Emily DaFoe
unnamed-2%2Bcopy.jpg

One of our favorite summer snacks when visiting our grandparents were Grandma Jackie’s salt and vinegar cucumber slices. Fresh from her garden or market, she would make up batches of these, and the grandkids would boggle them up!

INGREDIENTS

5 small cucumbers peeled and cut into 1/4” rounds.

2 Cups of cold water

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon of dill - fresh or dryed

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Mix the water, vinegar, and dill in a bowl then add the cucumbers and refrigerate. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve. This is quick, easy and a great crown pleaser for kids and adults.

Just Peachy

Emily DaFoe
IMG_2230.jpg

Having a peach tree in the front yard was such a treat. We ate sweet stone fruit all summer long, and made peach jam, fruit leather, and our family fave, sliced peaches. Here is a healthy option for canned peach halves.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups peeled peaches

1/2 cup honey

1/2 lemon - juiced

4 cups of water

Canning Jars

Canning Tongs

METHOD

STEP 1:

Boil water and place your jars and lids into the boiling water to kill any bacteria. This will allow your canned peaches a longer shelve life without going moldy. Use your canning tongs and magnet to safely remove jars and lids. Place them on a clean tea towel to dry.

STEP 2:

Boil water and soak the peaches long enough to remove the skins easily.

STEP 3:

Once the peaches cool, cut them in half and discard the pit.

STEP 4:

Full you jars with your desired amount but leave some room at the top for the water/honey mix.

STEP 5:

In a bowl, combine 4 cups of water with 1/2 cup of honey. I opted for this recipe because I didn't want to add a bunch of sugar to our already sweet peaches. Once the honey has dissolved, fill each jar. Squeeze a 1/2 lemon and add 1 tsp of juice to the top of each jar to keep the color and to add just a touch of citrus. 

STEP 6:

In a large pot, reboil your water. Place the lids on your jars and tighten. Use your canning tongs to put the jars into the boiling water for 5 minutes, ensuring the water fully cover the jars.

STEP 7:

Use your tongs to carefully remove the jars and place them on the tea towel to cool. Retighten any loose lids. As they cool, you will hear a ‘pop’ on the lids which indicates that they have properly sealed.

Enjoy!