Sunday, March 23, 2008

sweet! our suite!! it's compleeeeete!

glue-down cork tile: NEVER again. floating cork is SO much better...but on a budget, it was this or nothing. here is B, pulling up the carpet tacks, getting ready to lay 'em down.
mayan took these! go, b, go!

uh-oh, somebody is getting high on the adhesive fumes....

her, too!
(just kidding, it was a low-odor water-based cork adhesive, very mellow)

aw, who could resist those baby blues??

okay, just after this, blake suffered a major back-injury moving a piece of furniture--it sucked! it took a loooong time to finish the project, mostly it got done by him laying one row at a time, everyday after work. poor B! but it finally healed enough for him to bust out the final area last weekend. (thanks to Rich and Breana and Rich's mom for coming over and moving our bed for us!!) today we did most of the final touches.....




huh? who's room is this?

it's the newly done master bedroom! so sexy!
(i love these lamps, we got them at target years ago--they shed the coolest light on the walls. i decided to mount them, so they don't take up bedtable space)

this area is waiting for some photography, a rug, and my favorite swivel rocker...why do we have 2 tv's you ask? well our dumb no-name big screen doesn't communicate with the comcast universal remote, so we watch movies on the wide-screen and tv on the regular tv. tv-heads have to do what tv-heads have to do, you know?

AH!! devil kitty!! no, it's just Humper....note the new curtains covering our badly trimmed balcony doors. HUGE improvement, i tell you.

this room is soooooooo us. i'm beyond excited.


hey, haven't done one of these in a while...35 weeks here (a few days ago)...i look stoned in this picture...HA! i wish! but the "nester" in me does make me want to go in there and clean the fingerprints off of that mirror RIGHT NOW. i'm gonna.

phew, now we can relax...right?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

bathroom remodel

BEFORE:THE INSPIRATION:
DURING:

CLOSER...:

AFTER:


a kitty zone, too

ooh, baby, baby!

Friday, March 21, 2008

What CAN we eat?

Anyone that knows me, knows these two things: we have food allergies and that I am part of an online Mothering community in Portland. What do these two things have to do with each other? Well, as the birth of this child approaches, many moms have expressed their desire to cook us a meal in the weeks after the baby is born. I find this sweet, generous, and so tribal-like that it makes me SO happy that I moved here, although I know my community in Bend would have done (and has done!) the same. Being online, though, puts me in a much larger group of continual "contact" with little effort.

As a mother to a food allergic family though, it puts me in a hard position that really only other food allergic families can truly understand. I have learned how to cook for my family's special needs over years of practice (and many mistakes) and frequently cook two separate meals at the same time (one for Blake and I, and a tweaked version for the girls) and use ingredients that are only safe because they are very particular brand (like bacon, for example--there are only 2 brands that I know of that are safe, but I use it everyday) or make many things at home (like broth and mayo.) So eating out, or eating food made by others, is a major anxiety for me--either there are too many questions to even ask (literally needing to read every single label myself to look for the very hidden things like "stabilizers" and mono-and-di-glycerides) or the information isn't even available and the risk isn't worth it (pain, itching, nightmares...) But as part of a community, it important for me to be able to trust that someone CAN cook for my family if need-be, and there are definitely people who have put in the effort to understand and accommodate our diet--like Allison (who's husband had his own dietary issues so she absolutely knows what lurks in foods) and has provided many a safe meal for us. And Breana, who is always ready with labels for me to read and makes a damn great chocolate cake that is completely soy-free. Of course, my mom, who has been out to countless lunches with me and the girls, and has seen me every time whip out safe food from my purse, ALWAYS checks with me before giving to kids anything new. These things I appreciate more than I can express.

So by request, I have complied a list of recipes that I use regularly, and other dinner ideas that are Perlingieri-safe. I should have done this a long time ago just to have in my recipe binder. The following is 8 specific recipes and then a list of general ideas for anyone who is ever interested in making us a meal.

Dinners:

1)Coq au vin

Ingredients:
2 cups red wine
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (8-ounce) chicken breast halves, skinned
2 (4-ounce) chicken thighs, skinned
2 (4-ounce) chicken drumsticks, skinned
1/2 cup white or brown rice flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
3 bacon slices, chopped (Applegate Farms “Sunday” bacon or Coleman hormome/antibiotic -free from Costco are the two safe nightshade-free bacons)
1/2 cup pitted dried plums, quartered
2 bay leaves
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)


Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl; cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Remove the chicken from marinade, reserving marinade, and pat chicken dry. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in flour; set aside.

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan; set bacon aside. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove chicken from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.

Remove onion and carrot from marinade with a slotted spoon, reserving marinade. Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in marinade, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add chicken, bacon, dried plums, and bay leaves; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaves. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
***
2)Asian-style pork meatballs

(I have no measurments for this--i am a guess-timating...you can use your kitchen intuition!)

In a mixing bowl combine:
1 1/2 lbs ground pork
add about 1-2 Tbp maple syrup, 2-3 Tsp sea salt, and 1/4 cup rice flour

Mix with hands and form into 1-inch meatballs. Place on a baking sheet and cook at 325 for about a half hour until they are done.

Serve with long grain brown or white rice (with water or homemade broth) and stir-fry veggies (for example: garlic, onion, ginger with carrots, zuc, bok choy in sesame, sunflower, or safflower oil...)
***
3) Beef and broccoli stir fry

2-3 heads of broccoli
oil for sauteing (safflower, sunflower, canola)
1 1/2lbs beef cut-up for stir-fry (NS will do this for you if they don’t have some on-hand already but it needs to be unseasoned)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup yellow or white onion, chopped
2 cups beef of chicken broth (this must be homemade or with a “safe label”)
2 Tbs tapioca flour
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs sea salt

Wash broccoli and saute or steam with salt and pepper until tender-crisp--set aside.

Add oil to pan, saute some minced garlic, onion for a few minutes, then add the beef. Add some liquid (water or broth) if you like.

In a small saucepan, mix together broth, tapioca flour, syrup, and salt, and warm. When meat is almost done, add this mixture and bring to a simmer. Add veggies into the pan as well. TASTE! To get the "take-out" flavor--there should be a good balance of sweet to salty--so if you really taste the maple, add more salt and vice versa.

Serve with long grain brown or white rice.

Variations:
-adding carrots and/or mushrooms to the broc or the rice
-doing a sliced up pork tenderloin instead of beef
***
4)Turkish Lentil-and-Vegetable Soup
(this one could be frozen)

Ingredients:
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh parsley sprigs
4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 pounds lamb shank
8 cups water
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups dried lentils (small french green work best)
2 cups thinly sliced celery
2 cups thinly sliced carrot
1 cup chopped leek
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
8 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Place first 4 ingredients on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely.

Trim fat from lamb shank. Place cheesecloth bag, lamb, and next 11 ingredients (lamb through pepper) in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 2 hours or until lamb is tender. Discard cheesecloth bag. Remove lamb shank from soup. Remove lamb from bone, and discard bone. Cut meat into bite-size pieces, and stir meat into soup. Spoon into shallow bowls, and sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon mint and 1 teaspoon vinegar.
***
5)Roast chicken (broth-free method)

5lb roasting chicken
olive oil
1 lemon, cut in half
1 head of garlic, with the top cut off
any fresh herbs on hand (parsley, rosemary, thyme...)
sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 500. Rub the chicken with a lemon half and exposed garlic cloves, then stuff those inside the chicken (the whole lemon and the galic head) as well as the fresh herbs. Drizzle the outside of chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes (it will make lots of noise at this temperature--that is normal, don’t panic!) then turn oven down to 350 (dont open the door to do this, it might be smoky) and roast for another hour or 1 1/2 hour, turning 180 degrees halfway. Its done when the juices run clear. Pull out and let sit for 15 minutes.

Serve with any two side dishes.
***
6)Sauteed chicken tacos with black beans and cilantro pesto

Beans:
2 cups of dried black beans
lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
sea salt

Soak beans overnight in warm filtered water and the juice from one lemon. Drain and rinse and put in a pot--add water to cover and bring to a boil. Skim foam off of the top then add garlic. Simmer, covered, for anywhere between 4-6 hours (depending on the size of the bean.) When they are done, drain, and add salt to taste.

Chicken:
1 1/2lbs chicken boneless breasts or thighs or combo of both, cut up into bite sized pieces
1 tsp dried oregano
1 lime

Heat oil in a large skillet, and add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and oregano (optional garlic powder too) and the juice from one lime. Done when cooked through.

Pesto:
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2-4 cloves are garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 pine nuts
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

Place cilantro in food processor and pulse until well chopped. Add garlic, salt and pine nuts and blend well. Slowly add oil (if you have that attachment to add liquids drop-by-drop, use that) with motor running until a good paste is formed.

Serve with warmed tortillas (check label for soy ingredients), ripe avocado, sour cream, grated cheese.....
***
7)Pesto with chicken, olives, artichoke hearts and two different pastas

Pesto:
as above but with basil instead of cilantro

Saute some pounded chicken breasts with olive oil and sea salt and pepper until done. Slice into strips. Add some olives (santa barbara brand is what I use--check other brands for hidden ingredients) and artichcoke hearts (same deal, check label) and toss with cooked penne or any pasta.

(NOTE: I usually cook a pot of normal wheat pasta and also a separate pot of gluten-free rice pasta, then divide up the meat and sauce, making a smaller kid batch with rice pasta and a bigger wheat batch for us adults.)
***

8) Sweet and Sour chicken (Nourishing Traditions style)

(this recipe is for 8 so it could be split between 2 families--or for one family, cut recipe in half)

8 boneless chicken breast with skin ON (butcher will do this for you)
1 cup orange juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup pple cider vinegar
2 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tbs fresh garlic, peeled and minced
3 Tbs oive oil
2 cups chicken stock

Pound chicken breasts lightly to make even. Combine oj, lemon juice, vinegar, ginger, and garlic in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for several minutes. Allow to cool, then add the olive oil. Marinate the chicken in this for several hour or overnight. Remove from marinade, and broil breasts in oven for 7 minutes each side. Keep warm while making the sauce.

Place marinade in saucepan with the chicken stock and boil vigorously until reduced by half. for a thicker sauce you can take 2 tsp of tapioca flour and whisk in a small bowl with some water--when it's dissolved add to the sauce and simmer and stir until thickened. To serve, slice breasts across the grain and serve over rice, with spoonfuls of sauce. Great with steamed cabbage and sauted mushrooms, or veggie stir-fry.
***

Create-a-meal!
(meat-veggie-rice/potato dinners)

(ex: porkchops, applesauce, and greenbeans with mushrooms...chicken breasts, chard, and brown rice...)

Main dish:

*Any cut of pork, lamb, beef, or fish suitable for sauteing, grilling, broiling...prepared simply with salt, pepper, and olive oil, or any other ingredients/herbs found in the other recipes.


Side dishes:

*Green beans with mushrooms
(Cook 1 lb of green beand in boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water. Heat up 1 Tbs oil in skillet, add 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot rings, saute for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups crimini mushrooms, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper; saute 4 minutes. Add green beans back in, more sea salt to taste, and stir unitl heated about 1 minute.)
*Mashed sweet pots (I add a little maple syrup and salt at the end)
*Baked potatoes (some regular bakers and 2 sweets)
*Salad w/ vinaigrette
(Salad ideas: mixed greens, grated carrots or zucchini, cucumbers, radish, avocado, sunflower seeds, apples....)
(We can’t eat bottled dressing but homemade vinaigrette is so easy! In a small mixing bowl, combine minced garlic or shallots (about 2 tsp) with 2 Tbs good vinegar--red wine, balsamic, sherry, champagne....let sit for a few minutes. Slowly drizzle in 4 Tbs olive oil while whisking. When emulsified, taste add more oil or vinegar to taste, and sea salt and pepper. Serve on the side or salad will get soggy.)
*Steamed, roasted or sauteed veggies (carrots, zuccinni, broc, squash, chard, beets, mushrooms...),
*Apple sauce
*Basic rice
(brown or white long grain is our favorite, but basmati or any rice works well made
with water or homemade broth)
*Risotto with peas

Broth recipe:
You can use a whole raw chicken cut up (after a few hours pick off the meat for a dish like enchiladas) or you can use the carcass of a roasted chicken (but that chicken cannot have any spices, butter, etc.) Drop the meat in a large pot with 1-2 chopped onions, 2-3 chopped carrots, and 2 stalks chopped celery. Fill with filtered water leaving a few inches at the top, and add 1-2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar if you have it. If adding vinegar, let sit for 1/2 hour, if not just bring to a boil, turn down heat and cover--simmering gently for 6-12 hours. Optional add a bunch of chopped parsley the last 10 minutes (imparts valuable minerals.) Let cool then, strain into containers. Sit in fridge for fat to rise to the top then skim off (great for cooking with!!)

Do a similar method for beef broth--roast a few pounds of meaty beef short ribs in the oven until brown, about 325 for a half hour. While this is roasting, put a few pounds of knuckle and marrow bones (usually available in the meat dept--ask the butcher) into a large pot and cover with water. Add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and let sit. When ribs are done add them along with some chopped onions, carrots, and celery--add water to cover, leaving a little space to the top. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam that forms at the top, and simmer covered for a good 12 hours. Strain, put into containers and skim the congealed fat off the tops after its cooled in the fridge. You can feed the remaining meat and bones to your dog!



Things we can’t have:

Soy (includes lecithin--found in some choc and coconut milk, vitamin e--found in some oils, cooking spray, braggs, “natural flavors”--found in most things with labels, “veggie oil”, mono- and di-glycerides, “stabilizers”, condiments, margerine...it goes on and on!)

Mayan cannot eat any:
*nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes--sweet pots and yams are NOT nightshades, bell and chile peppers, “spices”, paprika, cayenne, curry blends, eggplant)
*corn (also hidden in everything--including possibly iodized table salt--use sea salt instead)
*eggs
*gluten
*dairy (butter, cheese, yogurt, milk)


Other notes:

*Cheese/dairy, corn and nighshades can all be served on the side though! Crumbled cheese, brie, crusty bread from New Seasons, buttery mashed potatoes....

*Also you can make up your own recipes from ingredients from the provided recipes:-)

*Sea salt, herbs like thyme, parsley, rosemary, etc, garlic, onion, ginger are all the basic safe foods I use to flavor our food.



Phew! Maybe over the years I can expand on these and create a whole book....thanks to everyone who has made the offer to provide us with a meal, the gesture itself is very much appreciated.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Uncle Tom

My mom's uncle, Tom Chamberlain, passed away this morning at age 94....isn't that incredible?--he was born in 1913! We all think it is very sweet and fitting that the Irishman chose St. Patrick's Day for his departure.

Tom was one of three brothers: Tom, Dick, and Harry....no, I am not kidding you. Dick was my mom's dad. Since Tom lived in Bend we saw him occassionally, and he was the epitome of a dear sweet old man, with all of his marbles--full of stories, too. In fact, he was at our wedding, and I have been told repeatedly my him and my mother, that our wedding was the time of his life. He was VERY impressed with the belly dancers...I don't think a good Irish-Catholic boy like Tom had seen anything like that up close before!

My mom had been visiting him often, and saw him the night before. He lived in a house in Deschutes River Woods that he himself had built (he was a woodworker by trade)--actually when our family of 5 first moved to Bend, that was the house we lived in, and I remember it well.


An Irish toast:

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

two shots

The New Neighbors
So far, in one week orange juice, canola oil, a hand-held blender, babysitting, herbal tea, some cal/mag, extra chairs, and a muffin pan have all been passed from one house to the other--sometimes escorted by our 5 and 6 year old daughters. I look out my window and see her in the kitchen and feel like the luckiest girl around.



The Animal Man
Our pets flock to Blake everytime he sits down. Morning tea is their daily opportunity to get some serious B lovin' in before he heads to work. Notice the kitten playing with the bigger cat's tail--he didn't put up with that for long!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

been sewin'


a few months ago i was at fabric depot to get some stuff for a quilt and it just happened to be their huge 40% off of everything sale--i grabbed the last cart available and started piling in bolts of cute stuff i liked. didn't know what i would DO with most of it but that didn't matter! one cute fabric i found was in the baby/nursury secion, it was a grey flannel with skull and crossbones, too cool to pass up. well i am happy to say i have finally put it to use! i made myself some cloth pads for after the baby is born--postpartum pads they call them. it sounds nice to have some soft natural cloth up against you those first few weeks as opposed to some synthetic gel-filled plastic pad, which i've used in the past and yes, are convenient...but i am going to be washing diapers anyway, these will slip right in. i based my pattern off of this mama's pads (who if i could afford i would have bought a ton of!) on Hyena Cart, a place for crafty mamas to sell their goods. the construction is flannel on top, a cut up prefold diaper in the middle, and fleece on the back (which should protect against leaks) which Breana GAVE to me. so each one cost less than three bucks to make (online ones were over $13.) now i am working on the next size down, for normal periods. i wonder when i will have to worry about that again! Ahhhh!!

the funny thing about this pattern is that when i am done with them, if the baby is still tiny, i can use them for diapers--ha! they are totally unisex.....i'll just add some velcro.


34 weeks today. had a wonderful visit with the wives. they are so on it, and attentive and we're all feeeling very hopeful that things will go smoothly. baby is growing everyday, and is still extremely active (more than any of my other babies....) and responsive to us listening and groping. both girls used their hands to feel where the head was (headed down, thank goodness!)
in two weeks, the wives come to our house for a home visit. slightly mind boggling, because i don't FEEL ready but that is b/c i am not ready at 34 weeks.....hopefully after that visit and the mother blessing (and our bedroom being finished--blake has been doing awesome working a little bit everyday on the cork floor) i will have had that shift into true anticipation and openness to meet what our friend Fawn calls "the Last Nomad." no arguments there--lol!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

yes, i still exist

this is the last photo i took of myself--about a week ago, in the almost finished bathroom. i have completely survived my laptop withdrawls, and now do laundry and bake regularly. if it were warmer in our house i would be barefoot, then i could be barefoot and pregnant and bake and do laundry all day. it suits me well, i tell ya.

i could do some complaining though. for starters, i am kind of freaking out! time is moving WAY too quickly for me right now. i am 32, almost 33, weeks. that means i could comfortably have a full term baby in just over 4 weeks. Hell's no, i say. i need AT LEAST 6 more weeks. baby is doing very well, very active, and shaping up so far to be a peanut like the others. i won't complain about that--my baby can be small as long as baby is healthy and thriving which is the case thus far. baby's bony little buns keeps trying to poke through the top of my belly but keeps running into my ribs. possibly related is that a good three-inch patch of skin has gone completely numb just under my right boob--it's either that or the sheer weight of my boob is causing the numbness. regardless, i had it with my other pregnancies too and i am confident the feeling will return soon after birth. on the hip front, now that i am well into my third trimester, the relaxin (the hormone that helps widen the pubic bone) is for sure kicked in and doing its job. at night when i go to roll over, it feels as though my hips have "melted" into the pillows and mattress, and i have to be oh-so gentle in readjusting. same goes for getting up to pee, which thankfully is not very often (maybe once a night, sometimes never) as i hear with third time moms, the bladder has developed more nightime resiliency or something to that nature. speaking of pillows, i must always create a sort of wedge that goes from my waist to my head and props me at a good 30 degree angle, so as not to upset the Heartburn. if i fall off of my wedge in the night, and wake up with acid eating at my throat, i always have a cup of milk there at the bedside ready to sooth me.

other than that i'm goooooood. i am trying to swim once or twice a week which feels AMAZING. the first time i went, i did four laps and thought i might die. but friday i did eight, in about a half hour, with no problem and it felt so good. i was extra pleased to have the slow lane all to myself--'cause let me tell you, i am slooooooow. still doing yoga once or twice a week, too.

the house is shaping up. the only thing keeping me from posting pictures of our new uber-cool bathroom is that i need to find a cool shower curtain rod. the ones at home depot are hideous, i tell you. IKEA has what i want but i am saving my strength since everytime i go there i leave with the gnarliest backache ever. the person who designed their carts with all 4 wheels to swivel, so that the cart is always carreening out of control and it takes every muscle in your back to keep from crashing into the stacks of beautiful swedish-house-crap, should be shot, in my humble opinion. i have successfully painted our bedroom and am ready for blake to pull up the carpet and lay down the cork floors. add curtains, a comfy chair, and some tidying and my "suite" will be ready for me and the baby to rock and nurse all day long for a few solid weeks. diapers are stacked, organic baby clothes folded neatly, wool diaper covers are lanolized, and i am even finishing up on my own home-sewn cloth postpartum pads. they are so cool, they have grey flannel tops with skulls on them. now that is some post-partum bleedin' in style. too much information? ah, well, i am not sure anyone is reading anymore anyway--lol.

mayan's blog is much more interesting--go check it out: http://www.mayanszoomtozoom.blogspot.com/