...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Enjoying Winter, Planning for Spring

Packets of energy waiting to be cared for and turned into vegetables.
It sure has been a weird winter here again.  Last year we adapted to having very little snow and cold, but this year we've had a little bit of everything: rain, snow, warmth, sunshine, deep cold, deep snow.  I guess that's what they call a "wintry mix."  We've managed to get outside a good bit (though it's never enough for me) this season, which keeps the cabin fever at bay and by my theory is what's kept us so healthy (Ah! that fresh air does wonders!)  But I am getting excited for spring and our 2013 vegetable garden.  My attitude towards gardening has improved greatly from last year when we had just finished our kitchen (so were thoroughly exhausted from both mentally and financially) so I really kept the garden spending to a minimum.  It was also a test for myself to see if I'd miss the extra work and subsequent poundage of veggies.  I did and I didn't, but regardless I'm ready to jump back in full force this year.

I don't know if it's just the cold, dark days or the fact that I'm still enjoying the benefits of green juicing, but when I went through the seed catalogs this year all I wanted was greens, greens, and more green stuff.  I hope my attitude is the same in May and June when we're buried in salad mix, collards, and Asian greens.  (I see a bartering opportunity or two or three!)  As I mentioned in a previous post I'm also trying to capitalize on V's current obsession with pink and purple; she's excited to grow a pink and purple garden: pink radishes, beets, tomatoes, and pole beans; purple string beans, broccoli, tomatoes, basil, lettuce, and tomatoes.  Let's hope she enjoys eating those colors as much as she enjoys wearing and coloring with them.

Not a ton to report on the recipe front as I feel like I'm just beginning to crawl out of a winter rut--a cycle of [homemade] quesadillas, soup, pizzas, pasta on a loop for too long.  Lately I've been pumping up our homemade regular pizza dough (not gluten-gree for my husband/daughter) with lots of supplemental goodies.  I knew these extra ingredients wouldn't so much affect the outcome of the dough so I added ground arame (seaweed), ground flaxseed, chia seed, daylily powder, hemp seed.  You could also throw in some beet green powder, ground shiitake mushrooms, nutritional yeast.  Go nuts!

Super Pizza Dough!

They will seriously never know it's good for them.

Rolled out and ready to pre-bake

I finally had an opportunity to get back to a project I began last February--making gluten-free flatbread.  My attempt back then turned out a rigid though tasty bread.  More recent attempts gave me a pliable bread for which there are endless possibilities.

Grain-Free Flatbread (for Gluten-Free Wraps)
Many homemade gluten-free, grain-free flatbreads I've found use psyllium husk for pliability.  This recipe contains very few ingredients compared to some of the complex formulas out there.  That makes it easy enough to produce weekly (and freeze after baking if you'd like.)  (Note: If you haven't been eating a lot of fiber lately, don't eat the whole pan at once. Psyllium is very high in fiber, which should be added to the diet gradually with lots of additional water daily.)

½ c. coconut flour
2 T. psyllium fiber powder
¼ c. coconut oil
1 c. boiling water

1/8 t. sea salt
1/8 t. granulated garlic
½ t. Italian seasoning herb blend (or Herbamare seasoning)

Whisk coconut flour and psyllium together in bowl along with salt and herbs, if using. Add coconut oil. Add hot water a little at a time, stirring as you add (will melt coconut oil). Mid well making sure all dry bits are incorporated.

Roll (w/ rolling pin) or pat (w/ moistened spatula) bread out on silicone baking mat or parchment paper-lined jelly roll pan until thin and even. The dough is forgiving, so feel free to move pieces around and repair patches as you go. Bake at 375F for 15-20 min. depending on your oven and how thinly you've rolled the bread. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool to room temp. before slicing/eating.  (Note:  It's better to err on the side of baking less as overdoing it will make a crispy, fall apart wrap.)

Before you know it I'll be starting all my garden seeds so stay tuned for those adventures.


Happy Valentine's Day

Sweets for you or your Sweets.
Taking a moment to wish you all a day filled with love and friendship.  Here's a yummy (and healthy!) gluten-free, grain-free brownie recipe for your sweeties.  Enjoy the day and I'll be back next week.


Quieting Down

I'm finally getting a chance to settle into the winter quiet.  Our remodeling project wrapped up a couple of weeks ago and we're just about finished with some other rearranging and remodeling from the weekend.  (Will share more space-saving ideas in a later post.)
The new wall paint in V's room, which
I did NOT intend to be pink, but it goes
well with the woodwork and these
"wabi-sabi" floors I love.
We donated our old couch, which had an amazing 10-year
run.  So many stories this old couch has heard.
Managed to get my garden seeds ordered today--my focus for the season is color, texture, unique varieties not found at the farmers' market, and LOTS of greens while Vera's going to grow an all purple and pink vegetable garden (I thought we might as well capitalize on her current obsession with these two colors.)

I've also tied up some loose ends on a few mending projects that were sitting around for a while.  It's a slow time, but I'm relishing the quiet and hoping to dig into a good book soon.

Found this basic denim vest at a rummage sale last year and removed the
train patch on the upper L.
I new I wanted to make my own patch so I started freestyling with some
of the knit T-shirt scraps I have stashed.

It turned into a sort of "sun" with a vintage bird button I found at the
antique flea market a couple seasons ago.

As they say in Portlandia, "put a bird on it."