Spring has definitely arrived at our home! Two sweet little birds are even building their nest in one of the bike helmets we have hanging right outside our front door. This morning we had such a sweet circle, and Lyr was pretending it was her birthday. (We were at a friend's birthday party yesterday). She realllllly wanted cupcakes for her "birthday" so we decided to make a whole day of it, and had a fairy party. We sang fairy songs like "Fairy Ring" by Maria Sangoilo and made gluten free fairy cakes:

*To make the cakes:
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (we like Bob's Red Mill)

2 eggs
sprinkle of salt
1/2 T baking powder
1/2 stick softened butter
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c milk or 1/2 1/2
4 oz. greek yoghurt

Mix together all ingredients and pour into silicone muffin cups. Bake at 350. When cool, frost with sunflower seed butter or cream cheese. Top with fresh, edible flowers and/or edible gluten free butterflies (find them on etsy).

They were a success!

Serve them with tea!

After the tea party, we told this fairy story while I wrapped a twig loom with yarn. Then the girls searched for flowers to make a fairy loom of their own. They found a special spot in our garden to set it up.

I'm planning on reading "Good Night, Fairies" by Kathleen and Michael Hague at bedtime. Such a sweet day!

Sage and Butternut Mac and Cheese

Today was so sweet, and one of those days where everything falls into place. I worked for a few hours while the girls were at school, then after pickup we went to the grocery store. Not prepared with a list, we did the usual - just grabbed what looked good. Butternut squash, some nice cheeses, rhubarb, etc. When we got home, L took a nap while Isla and I began to prepare the dinner we would bring our friends and their new baby.

Sage and Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese
*Apologies to the organized types, there are no measurements, but if you try letting go, and just go for it, I bet it will turn out amazing!

You will need:
butternut squash (med. size)
2 T butter
fresh sage (a big handful, washed and torn into small pieces)
a splash of 1/2 1/2
two egg yolks
one small container part skim ricotta cheese
a big handful of shredded mozzarella cheese
a big handful of shredded parmesan cheese plus more for the top
1 and a half c vegetable stock
olive oil

Peel and chop up the squash into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil and a little salt. Bake at 450 for half an hour or so, until soft. Cook a small bag of pasta (we used egg noodles) according to the directions on package while squash is cooking. Remove squash and let cool a little. Turn the oven down to 375. In a small saucepan, heat up butter until just bubbling. Add the sage and cook until just starting to brown (five minutes or so). Add the stock to the pot. Smoosh up the squash a little with a potato masher, then add the stock mixture. In another bowl, mix up the ricotta, parmesan, 1/2 1/2, and egg yolks, and a little salt and pepper. Layer (kind of like lasagne) the ricotta mixture, squash mixture, pasta in a baking dish (we used two so we'd have dinner for our friends as well as our family), and top the last layer with some extra shredded parmesan. Cook on 375 until the top is kind of golden and crispy-looking.

We also made garbanzo bean and brown rice flour bread, chia-seed pudding, and a big kale-carrot-avocado salad, and put it all in a big basket. On the way, we listened to the audio story "Visiting the New Baby" (highly recommend! Check out, under the "At Home with Martin and Sylvia" section) which beautifully mirrored our afternoon!

Wednesday - Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Wednesday is yellow! We made spontaneous spaghetti squash and both girls ate it up!

I think it helps calling it pasta.

Spaghetti squash
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve a spaghetti squash, scoop out the seeds, and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and cook until you can easily pierce the skin with a knife (45 minutes?). When it's fully cooked, remove from oven, drag a fork through it to "get the noodles out" and top with sliced tomatoes, chopped basil, and shaved parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.

Sprout Your Own Lentils

I don't know if it's everyone's kids or just mine who love sprouted lentils. My oldest eats them as a main course. They're so easy to do - Just fill a mason jar or a large cup with 1/3 cup lentils and then fill the rest of the way up with distilled water. Cover the top with a thin cloth (we used some napkins) and set out of the sun somewhere on your counter. After 12 hours (or overnight), drain the water, and fill to the top again. This time, pour out the water right away. Rinse like this once or twice a day for a few days, and you'll have sprouted lentils! Transfer them to a baggy (don't zip it, though) and keep in the fridge.

A Steiner-Inspired Meal Plan: Monday


The color is purple, and the grain is rice.

Tonight we made a lentil soup recipe courtesy of my dear friend Kristin, and tweaked it via suggestions of my dear friend Emma.

1 cup of rinsed red lentils in a pot with
1/4 cup brown or green rice
4 cups distilled water
1 onion, peeled and cut up into small chunks
into a pot and bring to a boil
turn down to a simmer, and simmer for 30 min.
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon rosemary (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
juice of one lemon

Since Monday's color is purple, we added our natural food coloring from Whole Foods, made from purple carrot extract. We made Jiffy (don't judge me!) blueberry muffins and put food coloring in those as well, and served it in purple bowls. We had purple candles and amethyst on the table and drank wine! (The girls had water in purple cups ;))

Natural Sugar Cookies with Less Sugar... But Still      Delicious!

In search of more Autumn crafts and projects, Isla and I decided to make cookies in Fall-inspired shapes, and frost them in the color of the season. We came up with our own version of the classic, to make these cookies a little more on the natural side. I am a big advocate of less sugar for kids, so we made these "sugar" cookies with hardly any sugar. To make them sweet, we glazed them with a little *wince* store-bought frosting which we made orange with natural food coloring. We bought our food coloring from Whole Foods, but if you are crafty in the kitchen, you can make a good orange using tumeric (for the yellow) and beet extract (for the red), and mixing it all together. Our make-shift cookie recipe:

1 c. organic unsalted butter at room temp.
1/2 to 3/4 c. (up to you) organic sweetener (we used evaporated cane juice)
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 3/4 c. organic all purpose whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix up the butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl. Stir in the dry to the wet a little at a time. Pat the dough into a ball and pop in the fridge, covered, for 3 hours or overnight.

Flour a cutting board and roll out the dough. Cut with cookie cutters and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (or line with foil) and bake approximately 8 minutes at 350F. While cookies are in the oven, if you are using store-bought frosting like me, scoop some out into a bowl, add food coloring and mix together. Let cookies cool before frosting.

Banana-Kale Muffins

Inspired by my visit to the Little Woods Pre-School Food Fair, and the muffins we tried there, I made up a new recipe this evening to sneak some healthy into yummy foods for my husband and daughter.  Actually, "sneak" isn't a good word, because I'm trying to encourage Isla to like foods like kale by preparing them in a way that's kid-friendly.  These muffins taste like dessert, but are a much healthier option:


one bunch organic kale
three or four small organic carrots
three very ripe organic bananas
one cup organic whole wheat flour
one tablespoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
big dollop of organic plain yogurt
one free-range organic egg
sesame seeds (1/4 cup or so)
one tablespoon baking soda
one tablespoon baking powder
one dollop organic honey
1/4 cup or so organic canola oil

pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
in a food processor, chop up the bunch of kale (after removing stems), the carrots, and the banana.  
put all three in a large bowl
dump in the other ingredients
mix by hand until blended
drop in greased cupcake pans (I use the mini kind)
bake until done - approx 10-14 minutes

A Pancake Recipe for Cold and Flu Season

We are not vaccinating. Yikes. Instead, we are opting for preventative measures. We swab her nose (and mine) once a day with saline and aloe solution. We also give her a children's formula sambucus (elderberry extract) which contains echinacea and astragulus. The sambucus is liquid, and tastes really good, but Isla won't take it in water as suggested. I had to get creative. I do things like pour it on her pancakes as syrup.

The pancakes are fantastic, and our whole family loves them:

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
dollop (about 2 or 3 tablespoons?) molasses
enough milk, soy milk or water to make it the right consistency 

Mix above ingredients. Cook on a hot skillet. Flip once. I eat mine with butter and sometimes syrup; Isla has hers with sambucus and kids liquid vitamin drizzled on top.

*Obviously check with your doctor before using any supplements.

Healthy and Easy Mac and Cheese

There is no doubt what my daughter's favorite food is; she likes mac and cheese better than anything else she's tried.  So, rather than fight it, I'm trying to work it.  Tonight, I made her favorite with a twist.  It ended up looking very green, but she scarfed it down like she hadn't eaten in a week.


Annie's Organic Deluxe Mac and Cheese made with whole wheat shells
Flax seed or Omega 3 oil
Nutritional yeast
A few leaves of kale, stemmed and chopped up in the food processor

First, prepare the mac and cheese as directed.  Then, drizzle flax seed oil on top, along with some nutritional yeast.  To top it all off, put 2 or 3 tablespoons of chopped up kale (chopped in the food processor) on the top.  (This amount was for Isla's tiny-sized serving.  Adjust the amount of kale to taste, and stir the rest of the kale in with the leftover pasta to eat yourself.) 

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