Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friday Photo

Watching the tractor.

Lots of change is happening in our busy little corner of the world. We are taking our first trip without the chickadees since, well, since we had our first chickadee. Sweet Babe who will be one year old next week is happily adjusted to a bottle. Her brothers and sisters are contentedly settled at Grandma and Grandpa's farm for the duration and a more delighted group of kiddos couldn't be found. A pool, trampoline, sandbox, rope swings, tree house, horses, cows and a calf, rabbits, kittens, an old farm dog, not to mention a billion legos. What more could a kid want. Throw in two uncles, an aunt and it's almost enough to make a kid cry. Not quite like a mama cried this morning as she drove away from her babies, but who's comparing?
The whopper of a change is coming a week after we return when we move to our first home. Our little rented home has been home in the truest sense for eight years and the time has come to move. I catch myself looking for moments like you see in this photo to remember our life here. Little brother ran out to the fence to watch our neighbor's tractor just like his two big brothers have done all these years. All our kids have grown up here, right across the street from Nana and Papa. My heart catches to think of them growing up anywhere else, even if it's just across town. It won't be the same. I know it will be good but, just so very different. If only we could get Nana and Papa to come with us, now that would be perfect!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mustard Vinaigrette

Today's Bennett Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette.

Salad dressing, why in the world should you make your own salad dressing? After all, there are hundreds of varieties of salad dressing to choose at any grocery store. If you have read this little old blog for any length of time, you will be able to guess the first reason I make my own salad dressing. Okay, you may be able to guess the first two reasons; I'm a tightwad and I'm a dork who likes to make all her own food. There are a couple of other very good reasons you might want to get out your blender (or a whisk) and a few items from your pantry and whip up your own dressing.
My sweet sister is struggling with gluten and soy intolerance. These are tough items to avoid nowadays. Once you start looking around you will be amazed at the variety of products that contain wheat and soy. It's in nearly every pre-made and processed food that is available in a regular grocery store. Not too big of a problem if you have access to a good natural foods store and are able to shop there. However, making your own dressing allows you to save time and money and best of all, you can tailor it exactly to your families needs and preferences. Do you want raw vinegar and organic olive oil? Go for it! No garlic? No problem! Sugar instead of honey? Get out that sugar bowl! That is the beauty of making it yourself, you can make it your way!

Mustard Vinaigrette

1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 to 4 small cloves garlic (your preference, I like 4)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of black pepper
1 cup olive oil or a mix of oil (I use half olive/half peanut)

Measure mustard, vinegar, garlic, honey, salt and pepper into your blender container. Buzz it a few times to mix. I have a covered hole in the center of my blender container lid that I can uncover and pour into, you probably do too. Remove the cover of the hole and slowly pour in the oil while the machine is running. It should emulsify and thicken up immediately. You can't fail with a vinaigrette using this method. Taste your lovely concoction and see if it needs more salt or pepper. When it's just how you like it, pour it into a jar and refrigerate until you need to drizzle it over your lovely salad.

Lookey there! You just made your own salad dressing. Good job!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Photo

First bonfire of the summer!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Photo

Magnolia blossom compliments of the world's sweetest six year old boy.