Thursday, February 2, 2012

Eggs and Chasing Goats

I've been working on finding new sources for food up here in Big Bear.  I've gotten as far as finding a new egg lady (yay!).  I posted a wanted listing on Craigslist and what do you know!  Another couple, also recent transplants, had eggs for me.

Lovely set of eggs from my new egg source

One of the lovely ladies who lays my eggs

Another beautiful egg layer!

The boys and I went to visit their home and pick up some eggs.  They also had a male little pygmy goat that was just the sweetest thing you've ever seen.  We visited again today for another dozen eggs and I got some pictures of the chickens and the goat.  We also got to feed the little guy (his chin was sooooo soft!).  While we were there Little Man was chasing him around and tripped.  He cracked his eyebrow right on the edge of their metal snow stairs and split it open.  Poor guy.  I had to visit Big Bear Lake urgent care and he needed stitches!  I didn't think he would.  Thankfully the doctor was able to use that surgical tape instead of actual stitches.  At least Little Man has a good story to go with the scar!

Little Man feeding the goat
That's my hand, feeding the goat
So handsome, he seemed to like getting his picture taken.  This is in  their little greenhouse/goat house

Carolina and the goat (I forgot the little guy's name)
Little Man and the Bean before chasing the goat incident
And after, Carolina was nice enough to find us some cookies to provide some distraction

I've also been being better about cooking and I'm really trying to get myself to bake.  It is not my favorite thing, but I'm so sick of buying store bread.  I feel like if I just get the hang of it I'll like doing it.  I know it's nothing like bread, but I started with these amazing grain free, blueberry almond crumb muffins and the kids went nuts over them!  They gobbled them all up (and each one is like a mini meal) and for the next two days Liam begged me to make more.  I made them again yesterday and they were gobbled up once more.  Now I need more almond flour!  It's great to be able to give my kids a "treat" that is really, really good for them.  I know that if they get full on these muffins it's all okay, they've had a ton of great food put into their belly.  Anyhow, gluten free or not (we are not a gluten free family), I highly recommend you check this recipe out and get some made.  They were soooo good!

Blueberry Almond Crumb Muffins

That's pretty much it.  The whole house, other than myself, has been down the last two weeks with that nasty belly bug that's been going around.  My house looks like a hurricane hit it and I'm exhausted.  Looking forward to Saturday down in Los Angeles, for a girly day of babyshowers, a trip to the spa, dinner at The Little Next Door and a movie (can't honestly recall the last time I saw one in the theater).

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Simple Fare

True to my word, I'm trying to blog a bit more.  Today I had some simple food for dinner, simple but scrumptious.

Early last year my CSA was offering an awesome deal on giant boxes of cosmetically marred but otherwise perfect organic apriums.  I got a box as did my friend, Marlyn.  I failed miserably at getting mine canned before they started turning, but Marlyn got her's done.  She was kind enough to give me a couple jars.  They've been sitting there, tempting me for months now.  I kept telling myself to wait for a time when I didn't have fresh fruit available.

Apriums in honey with dill

Tonight I was looking in my depressingly empty fridge (despite the large amount of money I just spent a few days ago at the store) trying to figure out what to do for dinner.  I looked in the pantry.  There were those gorgeous jars of apriums.  I also had a hunk of aged gouda sitting in the fridge and a bottle of chardonnay.  Sounded like a good combo to me!  And it was.  It was actually heavenly.  The apriums were super delicate, so I toasted a bit of bread to serve as a vessel for their sweet goodness.  The dill gave them this very slight and extremely complimentary flavor in the background.  The cheese and the wine just made it complete.

Apriums, aged gouda, La Crema chardonnay

I also had a lot of eggs, cheddar and some broccoli sitting in the fridge.  Sounded like little mini broccoli quiche time to me!  Took me about 5 minutes to toss together, puff pastry I already defrosted from the freezer, chopped up the broccoli and tossed in a super hot pan with some water and covered.  While that was getting a quick steam I buttered a cupcake pan and squished in 9 little squares of puff pastry.  Tossed the broccoli in and then poured some whipped up eggs, 1/2 and 1/2 with a bit of garlic, truffle salt and pepper.  6 of the 9 little quiches also had some cayenne pepper sprinkled on top.  I topped them with a small slice of cheddar.  Chucked them in the oven at 400 for 20 mins and voila.  Dinner was served.  With more wine, of course.

So obviously this was no fancy 6 course meal, or even one with a main course and 2 sides and a salad, just a busy mom who likes yummy food meal.  Trust me, it was satisfying, easy and damn good.

It's a New Year

As usual, I dropped off the face of the blogosphere, busy with life and living it.

In November, as we were about to extend our lease of the house of my dreams for another 2 years, the owners suddenly panicked, rescinded the lease extension and kicked us out instead.  They wanted to remodel and sell the house immediately.  I cried, begged and groveled (we'd spoken with them in the past about buying the house a couple years down the line as we were in love and they had been in agreement), asked if there was any way they would work with us to stay or for us to buy the house as-is.  They refused and went from somewhat decent to the landlords from hell.  We were forced to move mid-holidays.  And the kicker was they made me remove my entire garden.

We searched and searched for a new, suitable home for us in Topanga, one that we could squish into and there simply was nothing.  It was the holidays and Topanga is tiny with not a huge selection of rentals even at a good time of year.  We had to look elsewhere.  We ended up in Big Bear.

You really could make a movie out of the complete catastrophe of the situation with our landlords, husband went out of town right when our main neutral line went loose, lost appliances, smoking TV's, landlords claiming it must've been due to our new baby monitor, possible whooping cough quarantine (it wasn't), got too big of a truck that we couldn't get back off our street after we got it down to our house, then it dumped in Big Bear so after 2 days of attempting to move, we had to put our stuff in storage for a week.  We finally moved the Friday before Christmas.  Etc, etc, etc.  It was like the friggin keystone cops.  Complete insanity.  And, worst part of all, for me, the first year in my life I didn't have a Christmas tree.

In the end, we made it here and are moved in.  There are still boxes everywhere that I just don't feel like unpacking, but we are settled in enough.

The last several months I've also been working on establishing a little Etsy store comprised of scarves I've made, embroidered baby clothes, baby blankets, bean bag games, etc.  It's a joint effort between my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and myself.  That has taken a lot of my attention and between the move, losing my CSA and the store, my cooking has been seriously lacking.  I feel like the worst mother, my kids have eaten far too many things from the freezer in the last two months.

My January 23rd, 2012 resolution is reestablish all my methods and ways of getting organic, local produce, grass fed and pastured meat, fresh eggs, etc. and to do a better job attempting to keep up with blogging.  Not a promise by far, I don't have any real hope I'll be a better blogger this year, but I'll try!

A fellow and far superior blogger posted this great post today that made me think.  Long ago I realized this blog was never going to go anywhere in terms of a job/money producing activity, I'm a terrible writer, I'm not really all that great of a cook and I just don't have the braincells right now to dedicate myself to making this blog something that someone could really use as a resource.  I've always loved cooking and taking pictures of my food.  I love eating and cooking healthy foods and doing as much as I can from scratch.  But the reality of the situation is that right now my family and myself take up almost all of my attention and time.  A while back someone had urged me to sign up for google adsense, and I realized, after reading Peter's post today that I still had those up.  So I've taken them off.  If I ever remember to post and you still care to read and follow me, I am honored.  For now, this blog is mostly going to be my personal, food and Etsy related blatherings.

Off to snuggle with my lovebugs in front of the fire on this cold and snowy day!

Hot oak logs making us toasty!

From my driveway