Green Acres in the City ~ Join us a begin the journey in search for a simpler life...

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sandwich Bread


I have been on a quest for a decent GF Sandwich Bread. I love my bread machine but lately I have had the yearning to make bread in the oven. Let it rise on top of the stove under a tea towel just like the memories I have from my childhood. My mom baked bread for us growing up. This was back in the days when I was eating wheat. She would need and need, then put the dough in the pans under her white embroidered tea towel and let it rise. OH just the smell of the yeast working was heavenly, and how I wish I had my hands on those tea towels.
Now that I cannot have gluten I have tried many recipes to find that sandwich bread that works for me. I have adapted some, had a few failures but here is a combination of 2 that I found worked quite nicely.
Gluten Free Sandwich Bread
3 c Gluten Free Flour Mix ~ I have tried it with the GF Pantry All Purpose and not a big hit, I found the I used equal parts Brown Rice, Sorghum and Namaste Flour Mix to work for us.
1 tsp Xanthan gum
1 tsp Sea Salt
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 c lukewarm water
1 package Regular Yeast
2 tbsp melted butter~ we used the Earths Balance
2 whole Egg Whites
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Heat oven to 350. Butter bottom of loaf pan. Mix first 3 ingredients in large bowl and set aside. Mix next 3 in a separate bowl, set aside. Mix final 3 in small bowl. Add the wet ingredients into the dry in the large bowl. Mix well with rubber spatula. Transfer dough to bread pan. Set on top of stove, place tea towel over top and step away for 30 minutes, go read, hug on your kids or just enjoy the thoughts of what is about to come.
When dough is done rising, transfer into pre heated oven and bake for 40 -50 minutes. Gluten Free bread does not rise or bake like regular bread. It may look flat or sunken in that is OK! Depending on flour mix it may not get as golden. Remove pan to cooling rack for 10 minutes and then remove bread from pan. Cool slightly, slice and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Soccer Mom


Two words that I never thought would be associated with my name, Soccer MOM! Wow was I wrong and yes go ahead and laugh my friends I know you are and that's why I love you all. No, I don't have a Soccer Ball sticker on the back of the Urban Farm Truck, yet. I keep teasing Mr. Miller that I will put one on there if he doesn't behave. Truth be known he has become quite the Soccer Dad. He has gone to the practices and on Saturday after practice they turned my hallway into a practice field for ball control.
St. Thomas More has 2 boys kindergarten teams, the Bullets and the Flames. My little star is number 12 and he is having a ball. That is what it is all about as Coach Kevin tells them every practice, "it is not who wins but did you have a good time?". He is a great Coach and he has assembled a great team of volunteer parents to help. My hat is off again to the parent involvement at St. Thomas More.
Now where do I get a book on Soccer, I know nothing about it? Is there a "Soccer for Dummies" out there?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reflections

I received an email this morning that really made me think about where I have been, am and going. We all are busy in our day to day Rhythms but do we all take time to enjoy? I know that there are days here where that doesn't happen. There are dishes to be done, laundry, sweeping and baking the bread. The list could go on and on. Does that all really matter? I am finding that what matters are these 2 beautiful little boys I have and Mr. Miller. I need to relax and enjoy the blessings that God has bestowed up me. Here is a little piece of what made me think this morning.

"Can't seem to get where you want to go fast enough? Leave it to God.
Worried about your kids? Leave it to God.
Living in a place you'd rather not be? Leave it to God.
Looks like you won't graduate with honors? Leave it to God.
Found a lump and you see the doctor tomorrow? Leave it to God.
A mid-career change seems scary? Leave it to God.
You did the job but someone else got the credit? Leave it to God."

-Day by Day with Charles Swindoll
Haven't we all been there? I know I have and I am. Here are a few things I am choosing to "Leave to God".

Not enough finances to pay the bills? Leave it to God.
Need a car that runs better, more safely? Leave it to God.
Have needs that only a miracle would cover? Leave it to God.
Feel like people are understanding you? Leave it to God.
Finally I am going to leave you with one thought. A Priest of ours used this in a sermon years ago before we moved back to Kansas City and it gave me the courage to continue with our move. Then low and behold this morning this same email had it in there. OK God I am seeing the post it note loud and clear.
"Let Go and Let God..."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

8:30 pm ~ Lights out!


Are you participating? Come on what will it hurt? Can't you live without your lights and TV for 1 hour tonight?


I was very excited to read that our state of Missouri is a participating state. At 8:30 tonight the lights on the Capital Dome will go out. Are you signed up? We are!

Friday, March 26, 2010

{this moment}

~ A little moment from my week that warms my heart...

The love between cousins run deep from the oldest to youngest.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chicken Ideas

We have started to utilize the grill again. I am always so excited when Spring peeks through the clouds and we can start grilling and I have finally figured out how to light this one. Mr. Miller and I got this for our anniversary 4 years ago and it has always scared me to light it. I know, I hear you laughing at me. Last week I had to call him at work just so he could walk me through it.

Well I have been wanting chicken and I have come up with 2 marinades in the last week that are fabulous. This chicken turned out so tender.

Bourbon Chicken
1 c bourbon
1 c brown sugar
1 c olive oil
1 c prepared mustard
1 c Worcestershire sauce
Mix ingredients in a large container. Rinse Chicken and poke holes with fork, place in marinade. Make sure chicken is covered. Place in fridge for 6 hours. Remove and grill for a wonderful dinner. I served this with a Cabbage and Cucumber slaw. Very tasty.
Java Chicken
1 c coffee, prepared
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/4 c chopped onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp black pepper
I followed the same instructions as above. This does not taste like coffee. The coffee is acidic so it acts as a great tenderizer. This ends up with a maple sweet taste and is perfect with a baked sweet potato.
Have fun and get out and enjoy that grill. I look at it as one less dish to clean when we cook outside.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Corners



Just a few looks into Spring and Easter around Green Acres. I finish the boys ducks for their Easter Baskets this morning. I made them out of a couple of sweaters I had. They are both soft wool, nice and cuddly. Happy Spring to you all!





Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First days of Spring?

This is what we woke up to Sunday morning in Kansas City. Friday was sunny and 67, by Friday night late the snow started coming down and did not stop until sometime early Sunday morning. We got 8 inches by the ruler calculator. AKA Mr. Miller taking the ruler outside and putting it in the snow on the patio. Technical, I know.

Miller and Son Snow Removal at your service. Poor Peanut needed to be able to get out and we needed to be able to dump the compost buckets.

My chef and chief snow removal artist was tired out Sunday night. Can you see his "Pencil Thin Mustache"? We have discovered a Soy Chocolate pudding that he loves.

Thank you for all of your suggestions on Dairy Free options. We have found some winners and some misses. We have decided we like the flavor of the Rice Blends Cheeses best, they may not melt the same but there is no after taste like we found in the soy. So again, Thank You to my blogging buddies and readers for your continued support. Blessings to you all.



Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome to Cameroni's Grille

On Sunday afternoon I decided to take a little nap with Henry. I left Cameron and Mr. Miller to their own devices. This is what I woke up too.

"Welcome to Cameroni's Grille, Mama!"

My boys made me dinner! They looked on the menu board and saw spaghetti and doesn't it look wonderful? Cameroni even made his own picture menu and Mr. Miller even helped him set the table.

He made a special plate for his little "bother" as he refers to him as.

Which in turn the little "bother" loved. I decided we would just eat in our diaper cover.

Ladies and Gentleman, the man behind the meal..."Cameroni!"


It was a very special meal made by my little man. I couldn't have asked for a better dinner date.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

One Small Change: Giveaway: Reusable Produce Bags

I love the One Small Change going on at Hip Mountain Mama. Today she is sponsoring a give away head over and check it out here One Small Change: Giveaway: Reusable Produce Bags.

These are such a fabulous idea. What are some of the changes you are making?

I hope you all are enjoying the first day of Spring. We had 65 and sun yesterday and now 4 inches of snow is what we woke up too and more on the way. I think we are staying in.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Break Fun







Cameron and Daddy did some carpentry work yesterday. Cameron decided it was time to put a roof on his fort. I was informed this was a job for boys not girls. I didn't have the heart to tell him that the drill that Daddy was using was actually Mama's. He will figure it out at some point.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!





We had our traditional dinner on Sunday. I found a Bison Corned Beef Briskit. It was very good flavor wise. A little dryer than traditional Corned Beef, overall very good. This is my "saints" favorite meal. What is your traditional St. Patrick's Day meal?




Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our new accomplisment!







Junior Mint has finally taken to sippy cups. OH we haven't quite given up the bottles yet. We are not in a rush. I know they say by 12 months but you know he is still a baby and we only take the bottles at bedtimes and when we first get up. I promise he won't go to college or kindergarten with them.

He is very proud of himself. We are on Spring Break here this week. Just spending time at home together, Daddy is going to spend the day with us tomorrow. After all with a name of Patrick you should get St. Patrick's day off don't you think?

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Little Ham

Cameron had a fun "hamming it up" for Mama while she played with her new camera this weekend.

See the toothless grin? We lost our tooth a week ago when we were at Lunch with our Uncle Wayne. There is nothing like finishing a meal at a restaurant wit h a 6 year old stating "Mama take it out, it is just hanging there!". The adventure never ends.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Corners

When you live in a small house you have to make use of every corner. Mr. Miller helped me do just that this weekend. I found an apple crate in the garage that I have had for years and we decided to use it for a shelf in the kitchen to house my antique jars that I use for canisters. This freed up space on the counter so we are not so cluttered by my sink. I love my cozy little corner.


I love being married to a handy man. We have few "honey-do's" coming up, he starts Saturdays again on the 27Th. UGH! OH be watching for the great project of 2010, here at Green Acres there is always some sort of project.



Now what to do with Mr. Miller's cassette tape collection that was housed in the crate. I mean we are talking the best of the 80's and early 90's.

I am still trying to figure out the new camera and how to take the date off, that is obviously the wrong one to boot. I guess I need to get the instruction book out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"I go out walkin..."







We have a new trick...we are walking! We also like to talk on the phone. Sunday night we called the Deacon and Pops and he talked and walked and walked and talked.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Coming!

Spring that is! Its coming and I am so excited. We spent the weekend working in the yard. Mr. Miller and Cameron put compost on the garden beds, picked up sticks, put grass seed down and grilled hamburgers on Saturday night. As for me I created one of my favorite sights out my back window...

Freshly washed diapers on the line to soak up the sun. As for Henry he supervised and was a good one at that!

OK so this picture is from the summer. Brief update on the camera saga. The Deacon sent me a card for the Olympus and she is up and running with a Band Aid over her boo boo. In the mean time Grampie called and left a message that he ordered me a new Canon Cool Pix and it should be here this week. I am very excited. He also told me that he was surprised at the mileage that I have gotten out of the Olympus. She was a hand me down from him before Cameron was born. OH she will be kept around. I think I will start referring to her Band Aid as her new tatoo.

Thank you to my wonderful parents both birth related and marriage related, I couldn't do what I do with and for your grandsons without your help and support. We love you Nana, Pops, Grampie, Grandma, Poppa and Mimi!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One Small Change ~ books, books and more books

I have always had a fascination with books. I love libraries, in fact I majored in English Literature in College ~ GO WASHBURN! (Sorry I just couldn't help myself) The classics are my favorite, whether its Jane Austen, James Joyce, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton and on and on. I can always find a sense of joy in a good book.


I have decided that our March One Small Change will be visiting the library on a weekly basis. I have bought a few more books than normal since I have been home this last year and lets just say that books are expensive not to mention the impact on trees to make a book. Why not share them. How many of you re read a book once you have bought it and then read it? So I was thinking we all know how to share or I at least hope you learned the concept in Kindergarten, although I sometimes wonder if we know how to in this house with a 6 and 1 year old.


Here is our local library, we actually used to live just across the street from it. I loved that. We would walk Cameron over on Tuesday evenings for "teddy time". You brought your children in their PJ's with their favorite bed time pal and they would read stories. Thankfully we are still a short distance, a little too far to walk but a short drive and it is on the way to Cameron's school so Henry and I stop sometimes before we pick brother up.


Libraries are a wonderful resource for the whole family. Our library has activities all week for the whole family and they are free, yes I said free! Go on check it out. Its a great way to make a small change not only for the environment but for the whole family.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Louder Than Words"

I read a book over the last week that really spoke to me. "Louder Than Words" by Jenny Mc Carthy. In this book she talks about her journey to get help for her son Evan who has Autism. I have spoke many times about my puzzle known as Cameron and our journey with him. I know he is not as severe as some but none the less it is a journey to get him on a course in life to give him the best guidance we can with the Aspbergers.


I felt such a connection with Jenny when she would talk about things such as Evan not reacting to other children when he would get hurt or they would take things from him. Cameron was very much the same way. He would internalize everything. It took his pre school teacher, Miss Lorie, to open our eyes the way they should. OH we knew something was different but there is always the fear of the unknown. I still remember the first time once we got a diet regiment and medicine routine under control and he was able to show emotion. I cannot describe that feeling of my baby he fell and got hurt and for the first time those are tears. He felt something and felt that he could express himself.


One area that we battle with daily is that Cameron does not sleep all night. This started at about 15 months. We can now get him to sleep at night with the help of melatonin, however it is getting him to stay asleep that we struggle with. Jenny discusses the need for diet restrictions for these children and that studies have shown that a casein free diet with help with their sleep patterns. We have started to cut back on the dairy in Cameron's diet. I have started to be dairy free after 6pm. We had our first trial with that last evening at a family birthday party. I brought GF and Dairy Free Chocolate Sandwich cookies, which are amazing by the way, Cameron refers to them as "orneos". Mimi also cut up strawberries, his favorite fruit, but there was still cake and ice cream for others. This was so hard to tell him no, I will make sure next time to bring our own ice cream that he can have. I will tell you that we had 2 nights of him sleeping all night this weekend. I know it is soon but we will see what happens. I would love any suggestions from you readers on how you get through these tough times. This is not going to be easy switching a 6 year old to dairy free, especially one that loves cheese, milk, yogurt and ice cream.
I want to encourage you to go to the Library and check this book out. It really opened my eyes to so many things. I feel so blessed to have Cameron in our lives. He is such an amazing child. He may not be 100% normal or what the general public views as normal, but who is? And really what is normal? I know we will have good days and bad days. Sometimes taking him just to the store is a big trial, too many people just are more than he can handle. We get a little out of control and yes people stare and I know what they are saying under their breath but I just smile and think to myself the their house is made of glass just like mine and be careful on the stones that you throw.
Cameron is an amazing boy with amazing talent, he is smart, funny and oh so sweet and I am proud to be his Mama.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

{ this moment }

My friend Earth Mama gave me the inspiration for this post. Also in talking with the Deacon yesterday she shared her sermon for tomorrow. Her sermon talks about the Fig tree and how God puts things in front of you for a reason. Take time and look around I refer to them as "Post it Notes". Take a moment and think of something that you are grateful for.



Here is my {this moment} a beautiful little boy that is growing up way too fast.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Cookbook Challenge ~ The Pioneer Woman Cooks



Well I dug into another cookbook last night. We had Chili on the menu and I had thawed my Bison but chili was not what I wanted, so I went to the bookshelf and sat down with Ree, you know The Pioneer Woman. I am married to a man who loves meatloaf and I have given birth to 2 of the most amazing little men who, like their father, love meatloaf.




I found her recipe for Meatloaf. This was wonderful. The only change I made was to leave the bacon off of the top, a ~ I didn't have any and b ~ we are trying to watch our waistlines. Please check out her cookbook here. http://thepioneerwoman.com


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mexican Meatball Soup

Oh how I wish I had pictures for you. My new camera card is not here yet, soon I hope.

I was messing around in the kitchen on Monday, the usual open the freezer, pantry and fridge and see what I could make a soup out of. I had soup on the menu for Monday, just soup no specifics.

I found frozen meatballs, an assortment of veggies, chicken broth and tomato sauce. So here is what I came up with and it is wonderful.

Mexican Meatball Soup
1 package frozen meatballs, you could make your own if you are so inclined.
4 C chicken broth
8 oz tomato sauce
1 med onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bell pepper, I used red
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumim
1 tsp chili powder
olive oil
  1. Saute your onion, pepper and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent.
  2. Add broth and tomato sauce
  3. Add meatballs, tomatoes, zucchini and seasoning
  4. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese

This made a very hearty soup and I will definitely be serving it again. Very easy on the wallet and it could have any veggie you have sitting around. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Cloth Diaper that I "flip" for

You know how I love my cloth diapers, and especially this little bum in them. Well I have found a cloth diaper that I am literally "flipping" for.

Cottonbabies the makers of Bum Genius have come up with a diaper system that is wonderful. This is a one size fits 8lbs-35lbs cover with a cloth insert. I will tell you that I put 2 inserts in at night and for the first time we have no leaks. That's right I said no leaks. You can pick up a cover and insert combination for around $17. I have been using the G diapers and cloth inserts that I have been making but we were still having problems with leaks at night. I thought I would try one of these and OH how I love them. I have been able to pick some up off of diaper swappers too. I am able to use my G inserts in these too. They have a disposable insert for while you are away from home too. I am still using my G's so I have a pretty good rotation. I am looking at stocking inserts on my etsy site real soon.

photo courtesy of cottonbabies


If you want a less expensive route I have also tried their econobum system. I find it equally as good. These run about $9.95 for cover and insert. The nice thing about www.cottonbabies.com
is that they have free shipping. You can also use a prefold as your insert, just fold it in a tri fold pattern.
photo courtesy of cotton babies
I have to tell you that cloth diapering is a great way to save money and it doesn't have to be expensive. If you use disposable you are spending around $3000 on diapers during the duration of your child's use of them. You do the math. I think it is worth it for peace of mind, less diaper rash and some savings in your wallet.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Rhythm of the Home

This has been a very exciting morning here. I had a recipe featured in my friend Heather's online magazine. Rhythm of the Home is a quarterly online magazine featuring fellow bloggers and the ways that share their inspirations, tips and recipes. Please check it out by clicking the button on the side of my blog. You will find me under the CELEBRATIONS tab and my recipe for Sour Cream Banana Cake.



Thank you Heather and Bernadette for including me. This is a good day indeed!