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February 2010
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April 2010

March 2010

Monday Bites ~ Roasted (winter) Veggies & Rice

After discovering roasted veggies a few years back, I have noticed that is pretty much always how I cook them now. Year round. Roasted Veggies. Tossed with olive oil, sea salt and spices. Fresh herbs in the summer and dried herbs in the winter.

It is perfection I tell ya! And my kids have consumed a ton more vegetables because of it. 

So even though spring is here, and I should be done with root vegetables and winter squash.... I am sharing this anyway. (If you are looking for a summer version, see here, add cherry tomato halves, fresh herbs and roast as directed. Serve over rice & with a salad)

And to my veggie friends out there, skip the sausage and throw some garbanzo beans in your salad and you're set! 




Gypsy Mama's Roasted Veggie Dinner

6 large potatoes, about 2 pounds, scrubbed and cut into bite sized pieces

1 butternut or buttercup squash, 2-3 pounds, peeled, seeded & cut into bite size pieces

1 onion sliced into big chunks

**also fabulous are leeks, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, garlic & any hard winter veggies**

1 pound of Italian sausage, about 3 links, cut in to quarters (optional)


~~Preheat your oven to 425. Prepare veggies & sausage as noted above. Toss all with olive oil, salt & spices of your choice in a large bowl. Pour the veggie mixture onto a baking sheet in one layer. Don't overcrowd them or they will steam instead of roast. I have to use two baking sheets for my family. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, swapping the baking sheets every 15 minutes or for even cooking.


ready for roasting 


Veggies are done when they are nicely browned and cooked through. Awesome served beside or over brown rice and with a green vegetable of your choice. I cook the brown rice with half water, half broth and a splash of olive oil to go with this. 

Leftover roasted veggies are excellent cold on a green salad. And though less nutritious, a favorite of ours is the following combo:: red potatoes, yukon gold potatoes cut into wedges, fresh rosemary, sea salt & olive oil. They are the perfect companion to a quiche dinner :) 



Enjoy :) 



I know I keep that ever changing list of the books we're reading over there on the side bar..... but I thought I would share a few that have been much loved as of late.

Firstly, we are loving audio books around here. I do believe there are some hypnotic powers behind the Frog & Toad and Mouse Tales collections. My children sit and listen and laugh and LOVE the stories. I am especially fond of being able to download these online!

At least once a day I have come in to the music room to see a scene like this.... Miss Seven curled up and lost in a story...... (in her cape and hat, I love it!)



We've listened to Pippi, Little House in the Big Woods, Roald Dahl, Frog & Toad, Winnie the Pooh and Mouse Tales.  All courtesy of the local library! Translates to - - Free! Mr. Three has fallen in love with the Frog & Toad and Mouse Soup series and we have been reading the books at night to both the younger two. This is perfect reading for Miss Seven too..... and there is this whole nostalgic thing for me since I read these as a kid. We're on the search for Little Bear audios next!

We often read picture books to both kids and then a chapter book to Miss Seven. The oldest two kids and Joe & I all take turn reading to her..... this works out great in many ways. Firstly, my oldest two practice reading aloud and storytelling..... secondly we all read the book. Or at least parts of it.... so it makes for good conversation around here. Anything by Kate DiCamillo is always a favorite!


reading with daddy

We just started Seven Year Wonder this week and it looks like a good one.... 


Any good reads at your place??


WIP - Spring Clothes!!


We seem to be having a spring theme this week.....

My WIP has been sewing some spring kid clothes....

It all started last summer with these pants::


elephant pants 

The elephant pants... as you can see they are now capris! These were made in a rush just before last years trip to Grandma's. Sewn from the bottom half of a pair of curtains. Mr Three adores these..... and they have really held up.... and with an elastic waist the ease of going to the bathroom without help quickly made these a favorite. Then they turned into the only pair he wanted to wear. You know, that determined 3 year old "I will only wear these ones!" kind of favorite. (these are based on a Burda pattern, #9828)

So the mama had to get sewing. 

A khaki colored linen pair was sewn up...... picking out the pocket is his favorite part.....


linen pants 



And then some go with everything plaid ones........


plaid pants

lemon blossoms

   I can't decide what's cuter..... the pants or those little feet :)


linen pants

the "tag"

These pants have a definite front and back, so I sewed a little ribbon loop on the back for him. "This part goes on my butt!" he tells me..... and finally figuring out the right order in which to sew the pants so I can serger and top seam them made me feel pretty darn smart :)   

*Just in case you are wondering, first you sew the front pieces together (serge & top seam) then the back pieces (serge & top seam) then sew the inside from ankle to ankle... pinning the intersecting seams at the crotch to make sure they match up (serge & top seam) and lastly sew up the sides from waist to ankle (serge & top seam). This order lets you get to everything to top seam and you don't end up with funky curves that are a pain to sew.*


wip for the girlies

In progress are some linen gauchos for Miss Eleven and a dress for Miss Seven.......

Happy Spring Sewing :)   


Monday Bites ~ Spring Cauliflower Soup

I love soup.

Soup & bread.

Soup & salad.


I think I could eat soup every day and never tire of it.....

which confirms the fact the the midwest is the perfect place for me....

because, you know.... the winters there last   f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

And that means many, many pots of soup.

Soup & Bread

Because a salad is hard to find in Minnesota in January..... or even march...

but enough rambling.....

on to the soup.

Craving something light and a bit "springy" I came up with this....

there is just something about chives & lemon that make this soup so fresh tasting.

Swap the cauliflower for broccoli & make another delicious meal.


Spring Cauliflower Soup

*feeds a family of four, I double this and have enough for dinner one night & lunch the next day.

1 bundle of green onions, whites chopped (green tops reserved)

4 stalks celery chopped

2 TBSP butter

3 medium potatoes peeled and chopped

1 head of cauliflower chopped

2 cups of chicken or veggie broth

2 cups of water

1 packed cup of fresh spinach leaves (about 1 big handful)

1/2 cup half and half

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 TBSP lemon juice

salt & pepper to taste


Saute the celery and chives with butter until tender in a soup pot. Add the broth, water, potatoes & cauliflower & simmer until potatoes & cauliflower are tender. The broth will not quite cover the veggies, so stir often and gently press the veggies into the water as they cook. When they are tender, puree the mixture with the fresh spinach leaves and half & half. If the soup is too thick to blend, add a bit of water. If milk is heated too high, it will curdle/separate so don't substitute milk. Add the cheese & lemon juice to the pureed soup and heat over medium heat until the cheese has melted. Add salt & pepper to taste. Chop green onion tops to garnish soup and serve with some warm bread. Perfectly paired with a pint of organic home brew.... IPA.... yum!

Enjoy :)


cheesy cauliflower soup

organic soup & organic home brew 


It's been a busy one.....

It's been a very full week.......


out of doors Dinner on the patio with the first taste of our shiraz....


  breakfast with Princess Leia...


sir jasper Jasper kitty was knighted....


invasion  a fabric invasion..... (the littles discovered a box of big brother's old toys)


seedlings lots of little seedlings to care for.......  


live live music....


gnocchi & wine homemade gnocchi..... and a little more shiraz.....


Hope your weekend is a lovely one.   


WIP - The Remodeling Continues.....

Work in Progress. I think this is a good day to post craft stuff AND house stuff!

Ahhhh  yes.... remodeling. Remember that thing??

Next on the remodel list was the boy's room. No reason in particular.... it just happens to be the first room as you head down the hall..... and truthfully it did need a little help.

The pink room. Pink carpet. Pink walls. Pink balloon wallpaper border. Funny thing is the girls got the blue room! 

Oh, those poor boys.

Well, not that the little one minded so much..... but when you're 13 a pink balloon room is not so great... the Eldest was certainly quite happy ripping out the carpet..... and tearing the border down....

Joe had some drywall repairs and away went the intercom. A nice new wood door was put in and the walls were painted green. The flooring is nearly installed.... just the closet has to be finished. That will get done this weekend and then the remodeling of the closet.... we're thinking a bookshelf down the middle, a desk on one side and two clothes hanging rods on the other side. Also a nice new fan that actually works.... so many more little things to do..... but it's coming along very nicely.

And right now all four kids are all bunking in the girl's room..... I'd share a picture of all the beds.... but with that comes a whole lot of mess! It's a big room.... I keep asking if they could all stay in there and let me have the pretty little green room as my sewing studio.... so far it's a no go.... but they might have a change of heart!

And now on to some fun remodel photos........









I will *hopefully* be posting finished pictures by the end of the month.

Hope your day is a good one~      


Monday Bites ~ Baked Potato Night

Ahhh yes, baked Potato night.

Any meal where the kids get to add what they want...... how they want...... is a favorite.

And to be completely honest....... they love bacon.

Seeing as we buy good quality organic nitrate free bacon that costs a small fortune..... it's a rare treat around here! Usually cooked & crumbled to sprinkle over a black bean soup or on top of potatoes. What a treat.

We serve our taters around here with lots of green veggies and cheese and sometimes sour cream. All that green stuff makes for a pretty well rounded meal..... and easy to make vegetarian by skipping those yummy smokey bacony morsels....

Here's to an easy and definitely yummy dinner ;)


baked potato night 


the fixin's

**Bake 2 medium potatoes per person, leftovers can be used in many things. I roll mine up in foil and bake them at 375-400 for about half an hour.**

Roast up some broccoli, asparagus or whatever else you want.

Grate some cheese.

Dice up some green onions.

Cook up some bacon and crumble it up.

Set the butter, salt & pepper out.  Sour cream too.


This is our idea of fast food. Clean up is easy too.