Saturday, July 31, 2010

Picking Blueberries

Picking Blueberries

A few weeks ago when picking up my eggs from the lady down the road I learned that she grew blueberries and every year after she picked what she needed for the winter she let others come and pick. Well you knew that I was going to be all over that! *grin*

Picking Blueberries

So this weekend we headed over with our buckets and I brought along my oldest son to help out and we set to work.

Picking Blueberries

They were giant bushes nearly 7 feet high as I had to stand on my tippy toes to reach the berries on the very top branches and they were just loaded with berries. I've never seen such big berries and even the slightly under ripe ones were sweet :)

Picking Blueberries

So far we have picked two pails full and I'm hoping to get another 1 or 2 if I can but if not I'm still happy with what we were able to get :) One great perk to picking our own is I know they weren't sprayed with any pesticides and I was able to pick out all of the stems if we pulled any off the bush. That way I know I can just use them later without worrying about checking for any unwanted bits :)

I see a lot of blueberry muffins & pancakes in our future *grin*.

~ Rosina

Friday, July 30, 2010

Homemade Lemon Pepper Pasta ~ Recipe

Lemon Pepper Pasta

Oh my word do I love homemade pasta *grin*.
I just have to say that if you have been wanting to make your own noodles but have thought that it must be a lot of work it isn't! It takes less time than it does to knead, rise & bake bread or buns... honest :)

Occasionally when we are in the city and we're going to be home late I'll pick up some fresh lemon pepper fettucine noodles that are made locally to cook up for dinner and we all love it but I knew that if I just put my head to it I could make it to *grin*.

lemon zest

I started by grating the zest off of one large organic lemon and squeezing all of the juice out of it with my reamer. I then added it to my blender pureeing it along with 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns until the peppercorns were broken up into small flecks. This makes quite a spicy dough so if you are less keen on pepper I would go with about 1/2 the amount :)

To finish your pasta dough you will need:

2 eggs
2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon lukewarm water

Place your flour and salt in a large bowl or directly on your counter and make a nice big well in the center. In the well add your eggs, oil, water and broccoli puree.

With a fork slowly start to beat your eggs, mixing them into your broccoli puree and then start to gradually pull the surrounding flour into your wet ingredients until it has taken on a dough like consistency and you can start to work it with your hands.

Lemon Pepper Pasta

This is probably the only part of making homemade noodles that really requires any elbow grease *grin*. Keep working your dough kneading in a little bit of flour at a time until you have a smooth and silky feeling dough. It took me about 10 minutes and around a 1/4 cup of extra flour to get my dough to a gorgeous soft green stage. Once you've finished kneading cover your dough with a greased bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes.

While your dough is resting you can bring out your pasta machine and clamp it to your counter so you are ready to start rolling :) Don't worry if you don't have a pasta machine. You can roll the dough by hand with your rolling pin and use your pizza cutter to make strips to!


If you've jumped ahead a bit and noticed that all of a sudden my dough turned *green* that's because I forgot to take photos of us rolling our dough through my pasta maker this time and I'm going to use the photos & text from my Broccoli Pasta recipe that give you the low down on how to finish making your noodles *grin*. I know I'm a total cheater but I thought why type it twice! LOL.

broccoli pasta

This is my favorite part. I just love to see the dough work through the rollers into long sheets :) It helps to have a second set of hands but definitely not mandatory.

Cut off a chunk of dough a little bigger than a golf ball but not as big as a tennis ball. Does that work for mental imagery? *grin*. Dust your chunk of dough with flour so that it won't stick to the rollers and with your machine set to the widest width start cranking your dough through. Repeat this step 2 or 3 times at that width dusting with flour as necessary and then reduce the roller width one setting. Carry on rolling and dusting as necessary until you have a nice thin sheet of dough roughly 3 mm thick.

broccoli pasta

Next switch your handle to the noodle cutting rollers and feed your sheet of dough through the fettucine roller from start to finish. That's it! You now have a handful of fresh fettucine noodles to dry!

Lemon Pepper Pasta

I don't have a fancy place to hang my fresh noodles so I use the railing of our stairs covered with tea towels that have been dusted with flour so the noodles won't stick as they dry. Let them dry completely if you want to store them or if you plan to eat them for dinner right away let them hang there about 15 minutes before cooking them. They cook up really quickly! I usually boil them 5-6 minutes but if you like yours a little more al dente I'd cut the cooking time by a couple of minutes :)


It makes roughly 1 pound of pasta and it was the perfect amount for all 6 of us with fresh broccoli from the garden :) It definitely has some kick with all of that pepper and the lovely lemon taste great. This recipe would be fabulous paired with seafood! That will be my next project :)

PS. Check out the Wholesome Whole Foods and Food Renegade weekly link up for more great recipes and articles :)

Bon appetit!

~ Rosina

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Canning Cherry Jam

cherry jam

I finished canning my cherry jam last night and am pleased as punch with how it turned out :) I've been making pectin free jam the last couple of years but I've never made a cherry jam so I did some looking on the internet to see what I could find but pectin free recipes are far and few.

I usually use apple to replace store bought pectin but from what I could find lemon was the fruit of choice to combine with the cherries so that's what I did *grin*. I used 4 cups of cherries total per batch, 2 cups roughly chopped in the food processor & 2 cups of halved cherries plus 1 lemon rind and all the juice. It smelled awesome!!

cherry jam

Next was to get that perfect jammy consistency :) The best way to tell when your jam is ready to be put in the jars is to do a simple spoon test by placing a spoon of jam in the freezer for a minute and then pushing the jam up the spoon with your fingernail to see if the jam wrinkles and stays put. If it does that then you're finished!

cherry jam

I passed the spoon test 3 times and now have 15 jars of yummy cherry jam... make that 13 as we have done a wee bit of taste testing *grin*.

Are you canning any jam this summer?

~ Rosina

Monday, July 26, 2010

Linked In Monday

I thought you might enjoy some of the articles and recipes that have come across my inbox during the last week :)

We're all going on a summer holiday
Photo found via Flickr at Greeny Greenslade

Still having trouble trying to decide which sunscreen you should buy for your family this year? Kitchen Stewardship has a great review on her site where she gives you the complete low down on more than 20 mineral based sunblocks.

Fresh Grated Coconut
Photo found via Flickr at quintanaroo

Girlichef shares how ridiculously easy it is to make your own fresh shredded coconut. No more store bought for me :)

cool canopy
Photo via Family Fun

We are definitely going to be making some of these Cool Canopies!!

Check out the following great projects to :)

Make this great set of Rag Juggling Balls

Weaving Without a Loom looks like so much fun

~ Rosina

Fresh Cherries

fresh cherries

I am covered in cherry stains and loving it *grin*.

When we were at Coombs this weekend all of the fresh Okanagan fruit was being delivered by the box load!! The whole market smelled like fruit :) There were cherries, apricots, peaches, plums... It brought back memories of when I was a little girl. There was a traveling fruit man that would come every summer to my mom's door with boxes of fresh fruit that he picked up in the Okanagan and then would peddle door to door. My mom would always buy peaches and this time I bought cherries :)

fresh cherries

I've been dying to make cherry jam but it always seems to be so expensive to buy those little bags at the grocery store but by buying a 20 pound case I cut my cost in half! I didn't really want to pit 20 pounds of cherries all by myself though so I halved the load with my mom *grin*.

Cherry earrings

The kids pulled the stems off as we sliced and pitted and a few of the doublers were claimed as cherry drop earrings *grin*.

fresh cherries

Mmm, they taste incredible. I've got a bunch put aside for jam, some to freeze, and a handful that are going to be a special treat on our crepe blintzes that I'm making for dinner :)

~ Rosina

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Girls Day Out

Goats on the Roof

It was girls day out this weekend and my mom and I took my daughter down island for a day of shopping at Costco and a special stop at Coombs. Actually we were there twice. Once on the way down and once on the way home *grin*.


We had lunch, ate ice cream...


picked up some fabulously fresh island vegetables...


and of course we watched the goats. Goats on the roof, goats in the barn, goats in the field... seriously a stop at Coombs in the summer is all about goats *grin*.

Hope you all have a great weekend to!

~ Rosina

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chicky Nuggets ~ Recipe

chickpea nuggets

My husband is a complete carnivore *grin* and would eat meat at every meal of the day if I let him! I love meat and all but I also enjoy making tasty meatless meals to and I know my kids are quite happy to have those meatless meals every once in a while to :) So I've been experimenting with beans and after a few different tries messing around with the ingredients we've come to enjoy these great Chicky Nuggets minus the chicken *grin*.

You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or 1-19 oz. can rinsed well and drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsely or 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. cumin (depends how much you like cumin *grin*)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
chickpea nuggets

In your food processor combine the chickpeas, garlic, onion and parsley and pulse it for a couple of seconds. You don't want to make it a smooth paste but leave some texture to it. You can also crush your chickpeas by hand using a fork or potato masher but I find that I can never get enough of the lumps out if I do it by hand :)

Next in a bowl slightly beat your egg, lemon juice, cumin and salt & pepper all together and then mix in your chickpea puree and bread crumbs to create a thick mixture that you can scoop and shape into chicken nugget shapes.

chickpea nuggets

In a stainless steel frying pan over medium heat drizzle in a little bit of olive oil just to grease your pan so the nuggets won't stick and when the oil spits a bit when you add a drop of water it's hot enough to add your nuggets. Fry them on each side until nicely browned and are best eaten hot right out of the pan :)

chickpea nuggets

I think we usually get about 18 nuggets out of this recipe and are fantastic paired with some homemade french fries baked in the oven :)

Definitely kid tested and mother approved *grin*.
Have fun making them! PS. Check out the Wholesome Whole Foods weekly link up for more great recipes and articles :)

~ Rosina

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Down by the Bay

Down by the Bay

Down by the bay, where the watermelons grow. Back to my home, I dare not go. For if I do, my mother will say, "Did you ever see a boat riding a goat?" Down by the bay. *grin*

We live only about 10 minutes away from the ocean and quite often we pack up our markers, coloring pages, books, binoculars, journals or whatever else we might want and head down the the wharf for the afternoon.

Down by the Bay

It's a great way to spend the afternoon getting out of the house but staying close to home :) My oldest loves boats and never tires of sketching freighters, tug boats or fishing vessels that are coming and going out of the marina and this time of year there are always lots of people fishing right off the large dock.

It was quite busy this afternoon when we were there as lures were being cast and excited screams were let loose as someone thought they just might have caught one! Quite a few times there was mad dashing with a giant net but we never actually got to see anything landed on the dock. Oh well there's always next time :)

~ Rosina

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nothing but Nets

This is such a selfless and amazing act of kindness that I just had to share this with all of you. The following entry is copied from Amy of Inspireco with her permission and it shares about one womans mission to create a quilt, raise awareness and provide for those in need. Please read it, join in if you are able and share it with others.
~ Rosina

A couple of months ago Crystal of A Little Bit Funky felt the nudge to do more with her blog than just write and share...She felt like she was being led to use her blog as a catapult for showing God's love. I want to share her story with you. I hope you are as moved by it as I am.

Crystal had the brilliant idea to make a quilt, a magnificent quilt, to offer as a sort of raffle in exchange for mosquito nets purchased for those who desperately need them in Africa.

She contacted sweet Jody from Fabric Shoppe...and told her what she was on a mission to do...Jody almost immediately offered to donate ALL of the fabric Crystal would need to make the quilt. Think about the generosity in that offer...that's a lot of fabric to send to a stranger with a promise to make a quilt to benefit a charity. Crystal cried in the parking lot after she read that email. And then a friend offered to pay for the batting and the shipping. Everything was coming together so well and Crystal was so excited to get started.

In Crystal's own words:
"God is responsible for all of this coming together. God loves all people. God loves Africa...and all those sweet people who are suffering from something that is SO easily helped..."
"To me...each piece of fabric in this quilt stands for a family or person...or BABY...that together we can help...and this may sound crazy...but if you are one of the many who have told me of plans to adopt from Africa...the net you buy just may save YOUR future baby. Crazy cool, right?"

Malaria kills over 1 MILLION precious people PER YEAR!!!

In fact, there are 10 new cases of malaria every second.

Every 30 seconds, a child in Africa dies from a malaria infection. A child that is no less precious or loved or held dear by his parents than our own children.
By buying ONE net a family of four can sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net, safe from malaria, for four to five years.
The benefits of bed nets extend even further than protecting those sleeping underneath them. The insecticide woven into each net makes entire communities safer – killing and repelling mosquitoes so that they can’t go on to bite others who may not be protected by a net.

Although $10 for a bed net may not sound like much, the cost makes them out of reach for most people at risk of malaria, many of whom survive on less than $1 a day.

Just us $10 is a couple of latte's...a movie...a shirt...a lunch out...a CD...a couple of magazines...any number of frivolous things that we all throw money at...can I challenge us all to give those up for a day...or a week or a month...and give a net or two or three instead?
Let's help Crystal show God's love to people in Africa.
Each net you buy is ONE entry into the raffle to win this quilt!

And as a special little help you remember what this quilt represents...she added this cute little tag. :)

Go buy a net by clicking HERE.

The winner will be chosen NEXT FRIDAY the 23rd!! So every net bought by Thursday the 22nd at midnight will count as ONE entry.

Now...pretty, pretty, PLEASE...go BUY A NET...and spread the word!!

(Feel free to copy this post to your blog. Email it to friends. Make a difference today.)

Handbound Love

handbound journal

I love journals especially ones that use traditional stitching like these lovelies that I have acquired over the last couple of years. No they're not all mine *grin*. The center one is my special treasure and the other two were gifts for my parents :)

I want to share with you an amazing seller on Etsy that was super sweet, accommodating of my requests, and is Canadian! Oh how I love to find Canadian sellers :)

handbound journal

I have been secretly drooling over La Paperie's beautiful journals for a little over a year now. I could never quite decide on which one I wanted as I really wanted them all *grin*.

My mother had recently mentioned that she wanted a journal for putting pictures of her flowers in and a place to jot down garden notes so that she could look back each season to see what she had done the previous years. I just knew she had to pick one from Beverly so I had her come over to choose the one that she liked.

She picked the above cherry red sketchbook with a lovely little silver button and the package arrived yesterday. It was wrapped in tissue, tied with a simple jute bow and it was so much fun to watch my mom open it up, feel the paper and breathe in that wonderful smell of real leather.

I hadn't yet told her that it was going to be a special gift from me to her :)

handbound journal

Of course since I was getting one for mom I just had to get one for myself and finally make a decision as to which one I was going to pick *grin*.

I love to browse through the past sales in all of my favorite Etsy shops to see what sort of items had previously been available in their shops. Don't be to shy to ask a seller if they could make one of their sold items as they are almost always able to recreate one that is similar if not the same!

As I looked I found this beautiful little mahogany journal with it's feminine ribbon tie and pretty little flower button... I just knew that it was to be mine :)

handbound journal

One of the special little touches that Beverly has available is the option to customize the front page of your journal with a personal message of your own or one of the well know quotes of the past. I chose to go with a favorite of mine by Helen Keller

"The most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart."

I can't wait to put pen to paper and fill it with my thoughts.

~ Rosina

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nature Spotting

black bear

There have been quite a few cougar sightings again near our home but fortunately we haven't come across one but we have seen TONS of black bears. They just seem to be popping up everywhere! A couple of years ago we had a run in with one we lovingly named 'Dennis the Mennis' which some of you will remember reading about as I chased him with pots and pans, watched him stand on my front living room window and I even had boogers blown on me by his evil counterpart that was caught in the bear trap placed in our yard *grin*. Yes it was definitely something I will never forget or the kids! Cute and cuddly... I think not.


We've also had a pair of barn swallows that decided to take up residence in a fan outlet on the side of our home this spring and have so far successfully raised two batches of babies but I have never actually seen the nest! I'll be in the bathroom doing my hair or brushing my teeth and I can see the parents swooping in at break neck speed followed by the frantic peeping of the babies. It's sort of fun to listen to but all is silent now so I'm sure they have all left the nest again.

While visiting my cousin last weekend though we got to watch the above swallows in the most incredible nests. Just look at the structure of that one! It's amazing, like a mud pillar *grin*. Her entire home was covered in the nests anywhere there was a spot under the roof that would accommodate a nest :) I just love watching birds with the kids but I think now that the nesting spot on our home is vacant I'm going to plug the hole with some chicken wire to keep them from returning. I'm not sure what sort of damage they could eventually cause so unfortunately they will have to be evicted.

trout fishing

The boys have been trout fishing again and they have a bit of a competition going on to see who can catch the largest trout. K was in the lead but I think on their last trip he was topped by Opa and now he must try extra hard to catch that big one that got away *grin*.

They have so much fun going to the lake together and recounting stories of lost bobbers, tangled line, rain squalls that plague every trip and don't ask me how they do it but they have each completely wrecked their rods at least twice. There's got to be some really hard fishing going on in order for reels to fall right off! LOL. Oh well, it's all in the name of fun right?!

How about you, what sort of nature spotting have you had the pleasure of seeing?

~ Rosina

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dust If You Must & Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

I originally saw this poem shared over at A Magical Childhood but I just had to share it here on my blog as well for those of you who may not have seen it :) I have no problem admitting that I don't do a whole lot of dusting and that's because we've got a whole lot of living to do instead *grin*.

How about you?

(Author unknown)

Dust if you must but wouldn't it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed.
Ponder the difference between want and need.

Dust if you must but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.


Remember, a house becomes a home when
you can write "I love you" on the furniture....

With all of the fun in the sun going on right now it's that time of year when we all pull out our sunscreen and start coating our children in it, but do you know if your sunscreen is safe or not? Many of the popular brands seen on shelves are loaded with harmful carcinogens and I came across the handiest little widget over at Non-Toxic Kids that lets you put in what sunscreen brand you are currently using and find out how it scores from 0 ~ the safest all the way up to 10 ~ which you'll want to avoid like the plague *grin*.

Another blog has also shared a review on 3 sunscreens that are available here on the island and some tips on what you should be looking for when you gazing at the endless choices in sun protection :)

The sunscreen that we have in the cupboard turned out to be rated a 5 so it was smack dab in the middle of not bad & run shreeking in horror *grin* but I think we'll be looking for a new one the next time we head into the city :)

~ Rosina

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Real Food Community

egg shells

I love food... don't we all?

I especially love to learn about good food, most importantly whole foods and now I've come across a fantastic new group of blogs known as the Real Food Community. These bloggers are passionate about sharing about traditional foods.

Like the saying by Michael Pollan ~ "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." Sadly there are way to many foods that our grandmothers would never recognize today and I think that we need to move back to those unprocessed, recognizable foods and ingredients of yesteryear and stop being tricked by misleading claims found on so much of the packaging found in supermarkets today.

Needless to say I am really looking forward to digging further into some of these new blogs and the best place to find them so I'm told is to start scoping out the Real Food linkups that happen each week. They're loaded with oodles of great articles.

Food Renegade
Fight Back Fridays @ Food Renegade

Real Food Wednesdays @ The Kitchen Kop

Wholesome Whole Foods @ Health Food Lover

Others that were recommended as must read blogs are:

Nourishing Days
A Moderate Life
Kitchen Stewardship

This is going to be great! I am really looking forward to all of the new recipes to *grin*. Actually now that I mention recipes I found another blogger through the above link ups that loves Kohlrabi as much as I do and now I have 2 new recipes to try out :)

If you know of more Real Food bloggers that I should check out leave me a comment I'd love to know.

~ Rosina