Friday, April 23, 2010

Linky Love

It's been a few days! So, I'm going to share with you some things that I've loved this week! (This is...a lot of links to read through. I'm running on the assumption that no one is going to want to read every. single. one. However, if this is totally overwhelming, and you'd like linky lists like this broken up in to separate posts, please let me know in the comments.)

To Make:
How to make a ruffled top from a men's shirt (ThreadBanger)
A quiet book (Camille's Casa) (Loads of pages and patterns!)
Little Girl Leggings (Sparkle Power, hat tip to Myrnie)
Bubblegum Jumper (From an Igloo, hat tip to Myrnie)
Indoor Hopscotch! (Dollar Store Crafts)
A Chore Jar that everyone can help with (Somebody Needs a Nap)
Make your own Deodorant (How About Orange)
Pillow case to a market bag! (whipup.net)
Easiest Cushion Cover Ever (Gingham Cherry)
Fabric Covered Brooch Makeover (~Chez Vies ~)
Tile Coasters (Cheap AND fast!) (Little Birdie Secrets)
Non-Committal Curtains from Bedsheets (Sew Much Ado)


Food:
A blog of nothing but pictures of school lunches, from around the world. Yum! (What's For School Lunch)
You're Throwing Away more than $500 in Your Kitchen Every Year (mnn.com)
A blogger is looking for 1000 picky eaters, in 30 days. Click through to sign her petition and sign up! (Good Bite)
Did you know you can grill beets?! (sfgirlbybay)
How Jelly Beans are Made (Serious Eats)
Edible Science Experiment with your kids (Make and Takes)
Beyond Easy Oven-Dried Tomatoes (Svelte Gourmand)
A SF school has planted the first vertical school garden (Slow Food USA)
Fudgy Frosting (Teach me to Walk)
Lunch Lady Q&A (Fed Up With Lunch, hat tip to Myrnie)

Garden:
Make a Sunflower TeePee! (RootsAndWingsCo)
Make your own seed tape (Givers Log) (An easy way to plant itty bitty seeds, or a great way to gift them!)
Grow your own microgreens...no garden necessary (Craftzine) (harvests are ready in about a week!)

To do:
A man's mission to share skills with the younger generation (Make and Meaning)
(Here's his new blog, too) (Hands On Project)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Proud to be a Mama

(Please excuse me for a minute. This blog is still a baby, and I'm still stumbling my way around, trying to figure out her voice. I want this to be a place of inspiration and idea sharing...and so far, all I've managed to do is share lots of OTHER people's ideas, and a few write-ups on Food Revolution. I'm looking for a few guest posters, so if you'd be interested, PLEASE leave a comment! Any topic, housewife related, is great. Green living, playtime ideas, Joy in the Journey moments...anything you have to share.)

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to road trip with a few good friends. It was a short trip - just a 90 minute drive into the city. We were there to listen to a visiting church leader from Salt Lake City host a discussion with local leaders from the three closest states. It was a great meeting, and I learned a lot...but what I enjoyed most was spending three hours in a small car with three awesome mamas. We we noisy, we were laughing, we were sharing stories...and we were reveling in being mamas. Very few of the stories involved cute kids or proud moments. Our theme seemed to be, "Oh my goodness, the craziest thing happened." These stories were followed by relieved ELATION when we found out that the story was in no way, shape or form unique. Kids talk back? Yup. Mine, too. Kids throw kicking, screaming tantrums? Yup...just last night. I think the highlight was when one mother-to-a-sassy-8 year old girl actually broke out her notebook and took notes while another mother (who USED to be a sassy 8 year old girl) told her all the things that would have helped her when she was a child. It was glorious.

After I had dropped off half of the noisy carload, I had a few minutes to talk alone with one of the quietest moms in our group. She is a talented woman, and the mother of two little boys. Our conversation turned to high school reunions. My ten year is coming up, and hers was just last year. When she was in high school, her classmates assumed that by the ten year reunion, she would be married with a brood of 9 or 10 kids already. After she graduated, she took a different path - school instead of marriage, and then a move to the Big City where she worked as a professional seamstress (a stitch setter, actually) in the garment district. She had her career laid out for her, and figured that by the time the 10 year reunion rolled around her classmates would be astonished at her fabulous career, instead of her army-sized brood.

Well, life's funny. She ended up meeting a wonderful man while she lived in the city, and now is a stay-at-home mom to two adorable little men. She didn't attend her ten year, because she realized that all of the people she wanted to see...were still in regular contact. She had nothing to prove.

Think back to your high school years. Do you have anything to prove to your classmates? Did you exceed their expectations? Meet them? Do you care? Are you where you thought you'd be?

Share!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Healthy Fast Food Nutrition and Calorie Counter Guide

Healthy Fast Food Nutrition and Calorie Counter Guide
Fast Food Nutrition and Calorie Counter Guide

A friend sent me this link, and I thought you guys might enjoy it! A nutrition guide to...fast food. (Is that an oxymoron?)

(Image from www.fastfoodbook.com)


Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Linky Love

Food:
Jamie Oliver has just filmed the sixth, and final, episode of Food Revolution. It will air on April 23. (Charleston Gazette)
Shop Healthy! The Free App that gets you shopping for healthy food. (AppCraver)
Play kitchens encourage healthy eating in kids (ad) (PRWeb)
Friday is Food Revolution Friday! Go here for a link to the petition that Jamie will take to the White house on April 15. (Sensei Talks)
Jamie Oliver's Cheats Sponge Cake with Berries and Cream

Home:
Spring Cleaning Week: The Bedrooms and Bathrooms (SimpleMom)

Make:
Strawberry Bag (ikat bag) (a sweet little market bag, that folds up....into a strawberry!)
Recycled Upside-Down Planters (Design*Sponge)
The Lemonade Dress (~Ruffles And Stuff)

Aaaaand....just for giggles. Go here to see why mother's need sleep. PLEASE. I cry, with tears streaming down my laughing face, every time I watch this. (Mormon Mommy Wars)

How TV Superchef Jamie Oliver's 'Food Revolution' Flunked Out | | AlterNet

How TV Superchef Jamie Oliver's 'Food Revolution' Flunked Out | | AlterNet

I was going to include this in my next Linky Love post...but I had too many things I wanted to say.

This article claims that Jamie's Food Revolution has failed, flunked, gone kaput.

Forgive me while I vent for a moment. (This is an uprising afterall!) Did anybody ever say that Jamie was going to single-handedly change the nation's school lunches with a reality television show?! No. Nope. Never. What he did do, with his over-budget, over-the top television show was to highlight an issue. School food is nasty. Kids have been saying it for decades, chefs have been saying it for years...and now parents have been saying it for weeks. Now, what are we going to do about it?

The reason that so many kids are buying lunches at the elementary school highlighted in the show is that their parents provide for the family at a level so close to poverty, the students need the school lunches to ensure that they are receiving the proper nutrition during the day. The author goes on to say that the federal reimbursement for these meals is so low, it could barely buy a Snickers bar.

While that might be true, I propose that the parents could feed their children wholesome meals at home, with a little effort and planning, for $.60 if needs be. I know I sound pretentious saying that, but I believe it. Homemade yogurt and granola is a perfectly acceptable breakfast, and would just take a little bit of time to prepare.

What do you guys think? Did the Food Revolution fail, or is it just beginning? My vote is that this is just the beginning. And kudos to ABC for funding the show, and (yes, even) paying the difference for the kids to have healthier lunches for two months. Good on them. Now, let's continue the revolution!

Discuss.

A simple homecooked meal

Jamie Oliver is right - this was simple! (In fact, it's his recipe for the chicken.) A half chicken, rubbed with olive oil, salt and a spice mix. The potatoes were tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I arranged the potatoes in a roaster pan, and the chicken on a rack on top of that. Preheat the oven to 475, and then turn it down to 400 as soon as you put your pan in. It needs to roast in there for over an hour and a half. The chicken is done when a thermometer in the thigh registers at 170 F. It will continue to cook after you pull it out, and will reach 180.

The green beans were sauteed in a little canola oil, and then tossed with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Total hands-on prep time? About 15 minutes. Not bad!
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Linky Love






Food: 
Real Food: Making the Switch to Real Sea Salt (SortaCrunchy)Make your own mustard! (Martha Stewart, via Angry Chicken)
Sustainable Eats (a Seattle blogger who has turned her 1/5 acre Seattle lot into a garden...and grows all her own food. Amazing!)

Want to avoid nasty, contaminated ground beef? Grind your own. (NYTimes) (We've been doing this for a few months, ever since my husband watched Food, Inc. last December. Incidentally, we haven't eaten any fast food burgers since then, either. Hmm....)


Home:
Spring Cleaning Week: Living Room, Kitchen and Outdoor Spaces (SimpleMom)
The Benefits of Non-Toxic Cleaning (SimpleMom)
Common Roadblocks to DeCluttering (SimpleMom)
More homemade cleaners (Little Adventures)

Food Revolution, Episode 4

1. Without the community, there's no way I'm ever going to start a Food Revolution.

2. Jamie's going to get 1,000 people into his kitchen...or he owes Rod the DJ a beer.

3. By telling people that Jamie has no chance in h*** in winning this bet...he's offering some great publicity for Jamie's kitchen! (All part of the plan, folks...)

4. He's tried his schtick on elementary school kids...and then high school kids...why not get the college kids in on it?! And...dancing, while they're in it.

5. And...cue the flash mob! Ever wonder what a stir fry recipe would look like...as a dance? Now's your chance to find out. (Go here to check it out.)

6. This dance is cracking me up! I would I could have been there to see it. It's weird, yeah...but does anything happen in the Quad of a university that ISN'T weird?! Right then.

7. Closed down the street, got his little board with his 1,000 squares for the 1,000 faces...and he's ready to DO this thang!

8. It will improve your skin, your hair, your life, your s** life. Whew, boy. Them's a load of claims!

9. A 50-something woman who has never cooked before?! How does that HAPPEN. Seriously. Woman or not, how do you live for 50 years and never COOK?!

10. He's got foxy chicks and old nannies on his board. (I certainly hope I can be an old nanny someday!)

11. How cool for that construction business to let Jamie come in and do a demo/cooking class session. How's that for a little break in your work day?!

12. Alice has shown up! She cracks me up. "Have we got gloves??" No, dear girl. We have soap, and lovely "pahsta."

13. "People see how excited he is, and how easy it is to cook." It seriously is easy. That's not the point, though - so many of my friends don't cook because they. don't. want. to. Simple as that. They'd rather be doing other things. So the trick is to come up with cuisine that gets them in and out of the kitchen as quick as possible...without raiding the pantry for a boxed something or other.

14. Now it's time to show DJ Rod WHY Jamie is here. It's not to pick on your nice people...it's to HELP them. We're in a mortuary. Looking at caskets. There's a normal one...and then one that could fit my entire family. It's built for one very. large. person. You could do cremation...but the person will not cremate properly with all that lipid build up. If the person must be buried, they must purchase two burial plots.

15. "It aint about cookin' lettuce. The Food Revolution is about saving lives." ~ Jamie. Amen.

16. Rod is meeting Jamie's friends. The big ones. That room...is sobering. There is an issue, for sure, in America. Rod, wake up. Don't fight this. Seriously. To anyone who thinks the annoying little English man should go home...WAKE UP. There's an issue.

17. Rod's had a change of heart. Whether his animosity was a publicity stunt or not, I think it depicts the struggle that many people would have when Jamie first arrived.

18. A nice little plug for frozen veg...and for Green Giant in particular. (I have no problem with this! SOMEONE has to have been paying for all the things this show has consumed in the past two months - ingredients, kitchen space, etc.) (Frozen veg are, theoretically, picked at the peak of fresh, and then frozen within hours. Therefore, they're usually "closer to the vine" than fresh produce that has been trucked across the state (or the world!) before it ends up in your supermarket.

19. That board, with its 950 people on it, is really really impressive! Such a lot of smiling, happy faces.

20. The governor is insisting that the progress that has happened already will not be undone. Not sure how he'll do it...but it's his intention, anyhow.

21. "Sprinkle it from on high, guys. Give it some style!" Good advice.

A really great episode. Food is...essential. Food is life. Food does not have to be an unhealthy obsession. I firmly believe tha tonce we give our bidies what they crave and what they need.....other things sort of work themselves out. Did you see how much oil Jamie was putting in that wok?! Over a tablespoon. Fat. is. OK. Cutting out fat from your diet won't save you. Cutting out sugar won't save you. Cutting out fried things? Now, THAT has real possibilities....

What do y'all think?

Episode 4 can be found here.

My take on Episode 1 can be found here.
My take on Episode 2 can be found here.
My take on Episode 3 can be found here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Something to think about

I've tried the HK rice burger. It was called "Fahn-tastic", because "fahn" means rice. Naaaaasty! Nice concept - gluten free and all that, but the rice bun was just tasteless. Kind of like...bad burger sushi?

In defense of fast food...it employs a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise have a readily available source of employment. Again, just something to think about. It needs fixing...but I think it's WORTH fixing.

I'm not anti-fast food...not yet. We don't go often anymore...not since my husband watched Food, Inc. last December, but....I don't know. I'm still trying to process all of this new information. Can someone tell me how to duplicate the McD's burger TASTE at home? 'cause I'll miss that.
Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food
Via: www.OnlineSchools.org

Dear Jamie Oliver: For A Successful Food Revolution, You MUST…

Dear Jamie Oliver: For A Successful Food Revolution, You MUST…

A great blog post, from a Seattle mama, on Jamie's Food Revolution.

Can Organic Veggies Transform Education? - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

Can Organic Veggies Transform Education? - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

Evidence that Jamie's revolution did work on his home turf. "Authorized absences" fell by 15% after he helped remove 'turkey twizzlers' and chicken dinosaurs from the daily menu. Huzzah!

Jamie Oliver wasn`t planning on having fourth baby - Monsters and Critics

Jamie Oliver wasn`t planning on having fourth baby - Monsters and Critics

Nothing really Uprising-worthy here...but wanted to share the good news that Mr. Oliver is expecting his fourth child in September. Congratulations, Jamie and Jools!

Alle-Kiski Valley schools disagree with what Jamie Oliver is saying - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Alle-Kiski Valley schools disagree with what Jamie Oliver is saying - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

This is the article I've been waiting for. Other school districts across the country are getting a bit...steamed up over Jamie's depiction of public school lunches. Where he depicts french fries and pizza on a daily basis, other schools have been serving baked fries and using part-skim mozarella on their pizzas for at least 4 years.

Of course, maybe that's the point - if Huntington, W. Va. had already implemented these changes, maybe they wouldn't be the most obese city in our country. They serve as a warning...and a wake up call. As this article points out, eating better can mean more expense (unless, of course, you can grow it yourself!!!) and parents must be on board for that to be able to happen.

Kerry Trueman: Let's Ask Marion Nestle: Can Jamie Oliver Declare Victory?

Kerry Trueman: Let's Ask Marion Nestle: Can Jamie Oliver Declare Victory?

An interesting take on how effective Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution show is. I don't think anybody is banking on him completely revitalizing the way the town eats...but I think we can all agree that when he leaves Huntington, W. Va., there will be a few people who eat more veggies than chicken nuggets on any given day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trailer for Food, Inc.

Here you go! Coming soon to a TV near you. April 21, I believe. Check your local listings. I think this will be on your local PBS channel.


For more ways to get involved, head to www.takepart.com/foodinc. 

Sustainable Shindig: Host A Food, Inc. Potluck | TakePart Social Action Network: Important Issues, Activism, Environmental, Human Rights, Political News

ETA - Sorry. The movie isn't new, per-say, but it is new to TV!
Sustainable Shindig: Host A Food, Inc. Potluck | TakePart Social Action Network: Important Issues, Activism, Environmental, Human Rights, Political News

Hello, awesome! (Hat tip to Sally for sharing this on FB!) The Food, Inc. movie will be premiering on Wednesday, April 21, and will be streaming online a week after that. Will you be hosting a Food, Inc. potluck to celebrate? (Details are on their page.) Note - you might want to eat before you watch this movie. Just sayin'.....

An Easy Way to Buy Sustainable Seafood - Diner's Journal Blog - NYTimes.com

An Easy Way to Buy Sustainable Seafood - Diner's Journal Blog - NYTimes.com

If you could buy seafood from a company that only sold sustainable seafood...would you do it? The prices are apparently pretty competitive, but the shipping is what would get you - this reviewer spent $50 on some fish, and spent almost that much to get it shipped to him in NYC (wrapped, of course, in layers of styrofoam and cool gel packs). (The company's physical local is California.) Discuss!

Coming up with a Menu


I've been researching CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) of all sorts. I knew there were CSAs for general produce, but did you know that there are now shares of flowers, herbs, eggs, seafood and even meat?! Living here in Connecticut, we've been really spoiled. Stew Leonard's has a location near to us, and we've been buying nearly all of our meat, and most of our produce, there.  (Click over if you've never heard of Stew's. They are the World's Largest Dairy Store. They process their own dairy, from their own cows, in their flagship store in Norwalk, Ct. They butcher their meat from animals they raise themselves. Oh, and they have singing animatronics scattered throughout the store, so that's cool too. Heh.)

After looking at the CSAs, I talked with my husband...and he expressed a (very valid!) concern that I would not use all of the produce that the Fruit Fairy would bring me. Umm...ouch. (I have a history of reaching for the baked goods when I'm hungry, instead of the fruit, so the fruit gets thrown out after a few weeks...but the baked goods, somehow, never even get stale. *ahem*.)

To try to gear up to a more veggie-centric mindset, I sat down with him last night and tried to come up with meals for the rest of the week. 

Here's what we have to work with: 
2 heads of romaine lettuce
1 pound of green beans
4 russet potatoes
4 pounds of red potatoes
2 pounds of carrots
2 small crowns of broccoli
5 pounds of strawberries
4 pounds of oranges

Oh, and a batch of gorgonzola dressing from Sunday night that is WAY bigger than I expected it to be. Anyone local need some dressing? It only lasts for three days! Oy. What am I going to do with three cups of dressing?!

Her's what we came up with!
Monday: Cheese and Broccoli soup, with french bread (today is baking day!) and a green salad with homemade gorgonzola dressing.

Tuesday: Half a roast chicken (I found a half chicken in the freezer. Weird.) with roast red potatoes and steamed green beans.

Wednesday: Twice baked potatoes with gorgonzola dressing. (This might just be mashed potatoes instead, since the dressing is mostly sour cream and milk, with a little mayo.) Probably a salad this night, too. (This could also become gnocchi with a creamy gorgonzola sauce. Heh.)

Thursday: Carrot, sugar cane soup, with pork chops, spicy green beans and rice. 

Friday: Costco night! We usually eat pizza before buying our big stuff for the week. I'm out of yeast (*gasp*) so I'm going to be really upset if I forget to buy that this week!

Saturday: Maybe I can convince Lo Gung to cook this night? (Honey? *batting eyelashes*)

Sunday: Usually MEAT, of some sort. Tuesday of this week marks 7 weeks until we move, so I've got to start getting through the stuff in the freezer! We've planned on not buying any meat between now and June. We've got enough packed away where this shouldn't be a big deal. 

The oranges and strawberries will be snacks throughout the week. (My kids, unlike me, are GREAT about eating fruit.)

So...what are you eating this week?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Make Jamie Oliver's stir-fry recipe from last night's 'Food Revolution'

Make Jamie Oliver's stir-fry recipe from last night's 'Food Revolution'
Would you like to make the stir-fry from the most recent episode of Food Revolution? Click on the link, and try it out!
Find the Jamie Oliver stir fry recipe and more in the Food Revolution cookbook.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Childhood obesity summit: Food industry vows to make processed food healthier – Can we trust them?

Childhood obesity summit: Food industry vows to make processed food healthier – Can we trust them?

Companies are starting to respond to the Food Revolution...but when they take out the fat, will they replace it with salt and sugar? Read this article, and come back and discuss!

Friday, April 9, 2010

What is a Suburban Housewife Uprising?

This blog is inspired by the Food Revolution happening right now, but it goes so much further than that. Every generation is shaped by what is going on around them in the world. Previous generations of housewives have grown their own wheat, or taught their daughters to fight for the right to vote, or gone outside the home and entered the workforce, or replaced tired old recipes with new and exciting flavors found in mixes and boxes...or become housewives now, when Green is the new Black, and Eco Chic is the new Economical and Cheap. We are Suburban Housewives, and we are changing the rules. You might say we're even having an Uprising.

What is a Suburban Housewife Uprising?

Well, I can tell you what it's not. It's not judgmental. It doesn't convince. It doesn't cajole, nag or bring you down. It doesn't preach. It doesn't confine itself to one religion, ethnicity, area or social group.

What does that leave us with? I want to create a space where we can share our ideas, our experiences and our thoughts. Are you a mama that feeds their children nothing but homegrown vegetables and eggs from your back garden? Come on in! Do you just do your best to make cookies with real butter instead of buying Chips Ahoy? Awesome. And bring some with you. Do you make your own clothes? Sew your own table linens? Know how to tie a bow onto your daughter's hair? Come on in! You're all welcome. Just bring whatever you've got, and let's chat.


This will be a space to share links, ideas, passing niggling questions and other such thoughts as might help us to live up to our vital role as housewives. We keep the hearth warm. We feed the tiny bellies and mold the growing minds. We are homemakers - those mythical creatures who turn four walls and a roof into the place our children, once grown into adults, will dream about and try to emulate.

The Suburban Housewife Uprising is about us, as women, embracing that role. Never being ashamed of it. Stretching our wings and finding out where our creativity will take us. I was in my 20's before I realized I was creative. I wasn't creative like my friends were - I couldn't draw, or paint, or sculp Fimo dough into tiny, intricate shapes. I could sing, but I couldn't create the melodies. I could play piano, but couldn't perform anything that was truly great.

After I became a housewife, and was subsequently fired from my (extremely non-creative) filing job, I decided (with my husband) that it was time to finally be what I had always wanted to be when I grew up - a mother. I wanted to stay home, and play house. Shortly after I was married, my parents found a (relatively inexpensive) sewing machine for me, and made it my birthday present. To christen it, I went to a Black Friday sale and bought more yards of Snuggly Flannel than I had any right to. I had sewn when I was a child, but the experiences were never great. I could sew with some level of ability, but I never enjoyed the things I made. That all changed with that 16 yards of flannel.

 My husband has been able to let me stay home and raise our children, and it has been wonderful. I know not every woman can stay with her children 24/7. Circumstances might dictate otherwise. However, I would suggest that every mother has a duty to raise her children as best as she can. We use our instincts to raise our children. Nobody can do it better than we can. Nobody knows them better than we do.

So, our creed is this - armed with our creativity and our instincts and our knowledge and our experience, we will raise our children to the best of our ability. We will beautify our homes, care for ourselves, and feed and clothe our families as best as we know how. We will use the knowledge we gather, and we will decide what is best for us.

So, just one question remains - Are you in?