in my kitchen

The good news is I survived week 1 of the Whole Living Detox, which means meat/dairy/gluten/sugar free for 7 straight days!  So of course I promptly celebrated my achievement with a big fish sandwich!  ;)  But, truth be told, I am really really glad I took the challenge.  Sometimes you just need a 'reset' and these recipes were so fresh and delicious that I immediately felt the rewards from eliminating the not-so-great-foods from my day and replacing them with tons of vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts.  It reinspired me in the kitchen and helped me organize my pantry a bit.  Although I'm no longer sticking to the plan exactly, I am still making my way through the recipes from week 2.  So far I've loved this broccoli & chickpea salad and the baked salmon.  Something about watching my little boy beg for more baked salmon makes this mama very proud.  Have a healthy week and let me know if you've tried any of the recipes.


winter, baby!

Whew!  We survived the epic cold snap last week, and Edwin even learned a new word, "brrrrrrrrr!"  I think we must have panicked a bit when temps dropped below zero, because we did what any reasonable Wisconsinite would do...booked a trip to Palm Springs, CA!!!!  In March we'll be packing up this little guy and taking our first flight and vacation as a family of three.  I can't wait! 


make it!

I am loving these homemade air fresheners from terrain.  They have me simmering up all sorts of loveliness and trying out different concoctions to see what smells nice.  I love the grapefruit & rosemary and the cinnamon & cloves. So easy and perfect for these cold days spent indoors.  I was gifted something similar from a coworker this year and loved simmering it on my stove the week of Christmas.  Such a cool gift idea, maybe for mother's day!  And now I'm kicking myself for all that sage I wasted in my CSA box - it's rumored to decrease a woman's breast milk supply - so of course I avoided it like the plague.  Never once thought of making an air freshener out of it. Lesson learned.  Keep ALL unwanted herbs from now on to simmer up and make the house smell lovely.  Yay!

(photo, scent ideas, & adorable weck jars from terrain)


in my kitchen

Have you guys seen the recipes for the Whole Living Action Plan?  I've been waiting for them all month and they are finally here!  Two of my favorite foodie ladies contributed the recipes, bloggers from My New Roots and Sprouted Kitchen, and I am totally on board.  This week I'll be participating in the challenge and making the mango tahini smoothie, creamy broccoli soup, cauliflower rice stir fry, and coconut trail mix.  All of the recipes look pretty adventurous and, of course, nutritious.  I'm hoping to stick to the plan so I'll report back with my success...or failure. ;)  In other news, it's supposed to be frigid cold this week so we'll likely be huddled up indoors making blanket forts with the baby, watching this film, and trying out all of these delicious new recipes while dreaming of spring.  Stay warm! 

(photos from Whole Living)


around 13 months

Edwin is such a treat these days.  I've mentioned in previous posts that he seems to be a little toddler already, and it's true!  I had no idea that my little baby was going to change so quickly and become a little boy so soon.  He definitely has a fun and easy going personality.  He loves to play and be tickled and listen to music and read books and run around and give hugs and kisses and go up and down stairs and knows lots of baby sign language.  He doesn't like getting picked up if he wants to run around or getting strapped into his car seat or getting his diaper changed or eating green beans or broccoli.  He throws short little baby tantrums if we do these things. ;)  He loves to eat, but also loves to throw food on the floor!  He drinks lots of milk but still loves to nurse 3 times a day.  His sweetest time is right after he wakes up and he sits in his crib singing to himself and turning on his musical seahorse, totally content.  He sometimes plays independently but sometimes wants to be silly with us.  His favorite toys are puzzles, trucks, blocks, and the vacuum cleaner hose.  He eats crayons while I teach him how to color.  I give him spoons and bowls to play with while I cook.  I bundle him up in his snowsuit and go for walks until his little cheeks get chapped from the cold.  He also has a budding modeling career and has posed for 3 local baby apparel items in the last 6 months!  He seems to love the camera and I'm not surprised with how often I'm photographing him lately.  He's definitely getting trickier to capture though.  It seems like he always has drool on his shirt or crazy hair (um, he might need a haircut soon!) or the never ending runny nose, making it impossible to get a decent shot.  But I love when he runs up to me while I'm taking his picture.  I think he is starting to figure out that I love him to pieces.  And I think he loves me back (even if he sometimes bites me or hits me or throws something at me) because he'll wrap his arms around my legs and look up at me until I pick him up and then he'll dissolve into giggles when I kiss his cheeks.  He's pretty amazing.  Even when some things feel really hard and like I'm constantly being pushed or challenged in some way, and I'm constantly making mistakes, I know we've learned a lot and are good parents.  Not great parents, but we'll get there. 


creamy gingered carrot soup w/wild rice

I don't know what I was thinking last week, but I way over-planned on meals.  I'm realizing now that I can put a ton of time into planning ahead, only for it to change the instant I finish.  For example, on Monday I was just getting ready to cook dinner when some friends called and invited us over for a New Years Eve celebration.  Of course I quickly rearranged our dinner plans and whipped up a dish to share with friends (it was this recipe!)  But, it seemed to set the tone for the rest of the week and now I sit here looking at my wonderful week of meals wondering where it all went wrong.  First, there was the dinner with friends incident.  Second, the pasta dish I made was huge and we had leftovers for days.  And last, the carrot soup totally stole the show and prompted me to make a second and third batch almost immediately.  Needless to say I only made it through half of last weeks recipes and I think I need to scale things back a bit.  This week I thought it seemed appropriate to leave you with the magical carrot soup recipe that has taken over my kitchen.  Although it is slightly embarrassing to search for "carrot soup" on google images, why not add another to the mix?!  It really is delicious and so healthy.  This recipe comes straight from my friend and Ayurveda practitioner, Patricia Wickman, of Radiant Living Yoga and Ayurveda (I've shared recipes from her before!)  I love working with her and she always reminds me of my passion for health and healthy food - a passion that I hope to share with my family and with you!

(For any mommas and babies out there, this soup makes a wonderful puree.  But if your baby is bigger (like mine,) and refuses the spoon these days (like mine,) then just grab a cup of the sauteed carrot/celery/ginger mix before pureeing.  It makes great finger food!)

Creamy Gingered Carrot Soup with Wild Rice
Adapted by Patricia Wickman from Heaven's Banquet

1/3 c. wild rice 

1/3 c. ghee or butter

Pinch of hing (optional, I do not have this spice on hand so I left it out)

2 Tbsp. minced ginger

4 c. sliced carrots

1 1/2 c. thinly sliced celery

1/2 tsp. salt

4 c. vegetable stock

1/2 c. orange juice

2-4 Tbsp. raw sugar

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 c. warmed maple-coated pecans (or toasted walnuts!)

Salt, pepper to taste

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1. Prepare the wild rice as directed by the package. (I like to use my rice cooker.)

2. Melt the ghee or butter in a large soup pot. Add the hing (if using), ginger, carrots, celery and
salt. Stir, cover and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are very tender,
20-25 minutes.

3. Purée the vegetables, stock and orange juice very thoroughly in a blender or food
processor until smooth.  It should be velvety and not chunky.

4. Heat the soup to serving temperature. Add the wild rice, cinnamon, nutmeg and
allspice. Thin with stock if necessary. Season to taste with the raw
sugar, salt and pepper. Garnish and serve with toasted nuts.  (I topped mine with dark leafy green kale in addition to the nuts.)


daily cleanse

I thought I'd share a simple and realistic detox recipe to help ring in the new year!  All you need is warm water and squeezes of lime.  Drink it first thing in the morning upon waking to help get your metabolism going and give your body a much needed burst of vitamin C.  This vitamin helps ward off colds and flus, helps neutralize free radicals which cause inflammation in the body, and can even help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.  Plus drinking lime juice in warm water is good for relieving constipation and can even aid in weight loss.  Limes contain more vitamin C than lemons, but if lemons are all you have on hand they would work too.  I read a really great book last year that talked about our bodies amazing natural ability to detox itself.  All we need to do is reduce our exposure to toxins and give our body a little nutritional boost to help it along.  I'm going to make this part of my daily morning ritual in 2013 and hope that a few little changes like this can keep me feeling my best. 
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