Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easter Treats

I made some nice desserts this weekend and I thought it would be nice to just put them in my blog so I could pin them to pinterest. Honest. That's my whole objective. I've been really trying to relax a bit in life and approach life in a calmer way. No deep thought here at all just something pretty I made for a church planing conference - it's a themed thing.

For the crowd I made pudding (instant, no name... yeah)
Topped it with either oreo crumbs or graham cracker crumbs... from the Bulk Barn.
Stick in a little sprig of mint and add a couple of novelty chocolate stones. Voila ! Cute, eh?
Perfect for the conference but would also work well for a Spring theme , Garden theme, Easter theme. In fact one of my catchy motivational lines that I replay in my head during the daily grind of homeschooling and parenting the boys is "Plant with the harvest in mind". So it could work on that level too !

Almost too cute to eat !

A garden full of them

As more of a centerpiece I made this cake. INSTANT. Actually it was the second cake because for some reason my first one blew itself up in my fridge. Ok, it cracked and burst open. Still. Icing and crumbs everywhere. Warm up some INSTANT frosting (oh the shame....). I use a double boiler but you could do it carefully in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds. Pour it over your cooled cake. Be amazed. It will smoothly frost your cake like a fine ganache !
Then I just set my mind to tying in the brown and green colour scheme I was working with and was sure to use edible flowers. I used roses and daisies but there are many others and you could look it up online.
I tied a ribbon around the middle and then sugared some guava and grapes ( aha ! Green !)
I spritzed them a little with fresh lemon and rolled them up in white sugar. Just don't decorate your cake too much ahead of time or your sugar may sweat off and your flowers wilt.

For the church planting seminar

Edible flowers and sugared fruit

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Eating Healthy for Less

It can be a real challenge to feed a big family healthy meals on a tight budget. I know there are so many posts about eating for less - some of them are really great ! Others.... not quite as healthy as I would like.
I'm going to start adding to this entry meals that are really well received by my whole family. I am hesitant to write how much each plate costs as I know that prices vary so much from season to season and area to area. However, overall these bring me the most bang for my buck !
I have a family of 7 - 5 boys, mom and dad.

Use any firm white fish

Oven Baked Tilapia

Lay your fish on sheet of parchment paper
Season with salt & pepper
Add sliced lemon, slivered fresh garlic , cherry tomatoes and dollops of butter
Bake at 425 until fish is cooked through (it will be opaque and flaky)
I also like to poke the tomatoes as they cook to release the juices !

We serve this over rice with a simple green salad.

Laundry Days

The really funny thing about thinking of a title for this entry is that  in a family of seven EVERYDAY is "laundry day". That being said this is another opportunity to find ways to trim the bill down. What I've learned is that quite often in learning to trim the bill a bit I end up with better , healthier and greener results !

I was hesitant to make my own laundry soap because for one I thought it was difficult and secondly people can't seem to help but roll their eyes when you say that you do. Really the biggest job is grating the bars of soap - which you can make your kids do. The rest gets tossed in and shaken.

Recently I got a good deal on my old bargain basement store bought detergent and I picked up a couple of bottles. The result was itchy and irritated skin for my two boys who have aczema.

Try it. Don't let the scoffers deter you. It's cheaper, easy, gentler and better for the environment.... and it works.

Homemade Laundry Soap

All you need is pictured here but I use 2 boxes of baking soda instead of the one shown. You can also omit the laundry enhancer if you don't like scented products or add another if you want to have an even stronger scent.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Celebrating The Boys

For my Candy Man
CELEBRATING THE BOYS One of the things I love about being home is the opportunity to do special things for my family. I don't always have lots of money to buy great things but that in itself must be a blessing. It puts me in the position to be observant and take notice of what they really enjoy and get creative. I didn't think about sharing these pictures on a blog when I made these birthday treats so please forgive the lack of step-by-step instruction. There wasn't really a recipe. Some I saw online or in magazines and some I thought up myself. Hopefully you will be able to just copy the idea and make if your own if any of these are something you might like to do. Perhaps for the next birthday I will be sure to take more pictures and do a whole post on how we celebrate. For now here are some of the fun theme cakes :

For my Monkey Boy

For my Little Boy Blue

For my TigerMan