Lifestyle

Procrastination & Perogies.

by Kara
(yes, Kara).

Alright. It took me four months, but here I am – back to writing. Vicki and Katie have been very patient with me for the last few months, not hounding me daily or charging me 10 cents for weeks I didn’t write anything (winter months are tight, guys; 10 cents is a lot).

In all honesty, I do love to write, but I am very dependent on my Muse. My muse is known by most people as “Procrastination”. My best works come from last minute writing. Unfortunately, blogging does not give me deadlines (and Vicki and Katie don’t threaten to fail me for late assignments – although after reading this, they might start to). So over the past four months, I’ve come up with all kinds of things I should write about, and then think “but the kitchen needs to be cleaned and the cookies need to be baked, and I still have time before the blog post needs to be up”. You would think around three months ago I would have realized that I did NOT have time before the blog post needed to be up, but alas.

I know procrastination is not a great character trait, and I am working on my time management (but when did days get so short?), so the step I am taking towards that goal today is writing a blog post, without a deadline.

As promised, I’m going to share the recipe I used to make homemade perogies (I did a quick post about it on our Instagram).

(“Perogies” is an Americanization of the word “pierogi”, singular “pierog”. For the purposes of this blog post, I’m using “perogies”, since that is how they are fondly know in our house.)

If you have never tried perogies, I definitely recommend that you do. They are a Polish type of dumpling that, according to Wikipedia, can be stuffed with potatoes, sauerkraut, meat, cheese, or even fruit. I’ve only ever had potato perogies, mostly because once I find something I really enjoy, I don’t like to risk trying a variation that I might not enjoy quite as much.

The first time I had perogies was after I got married. We would by a big box of frozen perogies from Costco and enjoy them as a quick and easy lunch when we were both home. I must warn you: homemade perogies are fairly easy, but they are not quick. They are much more tasty than the frozen ones are, though.

The Recipe:

The Dough:

Since I did not make any modifications to the recipe for the dough, I’m just going to post the link here. (Note: I did use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, but that’s not so much a ‘modification’ as substituting one thing for something else that is essentially the same thing. It’s a swap that can be made any time, any place).

The Filling: Potato, Cheese, & Bacon

2 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup cheese
4 slices bacon, fried and cut into small pieces
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika

Combine all ingredients (make sure the potatoes are still hot so that the cheese melts). Mix with an immersion blender so that its is nice and smooth (it will also be quite sticky).

Put it all together:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Roll the perogi dough into a thin sheet. Using a drinking glass, cut as many circles out of the dough as possible (My circles were about 9cm in diameter. I also did mine in batches, since I do not have enough counter space to do it all at once).IMG_4678
  3. Drop a small amount of the filling in the center of each circle. Since it was so sticky, I used a piping bag & tip to do this, so that I didn’t get it all over my fingers.
    IMG_4680
  4. Fold the circles in half over the filling, and pinch closed (you can also press them closed with a fork).
  5. Drop the perogies in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes (until they float). Remove from the water with tongs, and set them on a plate.
  6. Fry your perogies. I like mine brown and crispy, but if you like them a little more doughy, don’t fry them for too long.
  7. Top with shredded cheese and sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and enjoyIMG_4686

 

I must say, making perogies from scratch is a lot more time consuming than making them from a box. But they are delicious, and so worth it! If your family loves perogies, definitely give these a try!

 

Advertisements
Bookish Posts · Lifestyle

Biscuits and Honey

by Vicki.

This post may contain affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything, but we may get a little something. 

IMG_1260 (2)

If you follow our Instagram you might have seen yesterday’s post where I admitted that I was finding homeschooling to be a bit of  a struggle. I don’t know if its the weather, the fact that my baby is now a toddler and into everything, or just slow days turning into slow weeks turning into slow months. I sat down this week and figured out where we were in our My Father’s World Curriculum and it appears we are 4-6 weeks behind schedule (yes, a full month). Now, that doesn’t sound great, but to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was going to be much worse! The two week difference is because there is a Fruits of the Spirit unit at the end of the school year. I am not going to stress about getting that unit done before the end of June – I think we will just work through it over the course of the Summer. It can be a good way for Peyton to stay in the learning mindset before Grade 1 starts.

This week we are learning the letter “Ii” and discussing insects. The children’s book that accompanies this unit is “The Bee Tree”. This book is a really cute story about a Grampa taking his granddaughter on an adventure to find a bee tree. Along the way different people join the search and, once the tree is located, help with harvesting some honey. Afterwards they all enjoy the honey with biscuits, tea, music and dancing. The Grampa later draws a comparison between the hard search for the bee tree and its sweet honey reward to the hard work of learning to read and the sweet adventures that can be discovered between the pages of every book. A very cute story that both Peyton and Chase really enjoyed.

The curriculum suggested making biscuits and enjoying them with honey after reading “The Bee Tree”. The kids love helping in the kitchen, but I rarely include them in food prep because I don’t like mess. So, when I suggested that we all bake together, they were very excited. I found this easy scone recipe on Pinterest. It was fun baking with them, they were actually very helpful (and just a little bit messy). It also was exciting to see them try and enjoy doing something new. The whole process from start to warm-just-out-of-the-oven scones was less than half an hour. I’m sharing the recipe below because it really was quite easy and the scones were absolutely delicious!

IMG_1244 (2)

Simple Sweet Scones (from GeniusKitchen’s website)

Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder,  1tsp salt, 8 Tbsp cold unsalted butter (cut up), 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup milk

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 425°F (220 Celsius).
  2. Put flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl; stir mix well Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Add sugar; toss to mix.
  4. Add milk and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms,(the dough may be a bit crumbly). Add a bit more milk if the dough isn’t crumbling or attaching to itself.
  5. Place dough on floured counter and knead gently until the dough comes together in a ball.
  6. Pat or roll into a circle about 1 1/2 inches thick.
  7. Cut each circle into 6 or 8 wedges.
  8. Place wedges on a greased cookie sheet- slightly apart for crisp sides, touching for soft.
  9. Bake about 12-16 minutes, or until medium brown on top.

If its rainy and chilly where you are (like it is here) these make a wonderful late afternoon snack with a hot cup of tea! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

IMG_1264 (2)

 

 

Lifestyle

Its Maple Syrup Time!

By Katie


Its the most wonderful time of the year.

20180320_143158

Well, its the most sweetest time of the year:  Maple Syrup Season.  When the days get above 0° and the nights stay below, you know that the sap is running in your maple trees.  (Its also running in your birch trees and walnut trees – with less sugar content, but still tappable and syrupable.)

20180325_152425

I love tapping my trees because, in addition to getting delicious syrup, it gets me outside.

20180320_143203

I find it hard to get outside with babies at this time of year.  Its wet, cold, and muddy.  Maple syrup is fun, quick and easy. I can go collect sap.  I can dodge outside for a few precious minutes to check my boil.

20180320_143133

The chance to breathe the fresh air revitalizes me and makes me believe that this season will end.  (Ha.  Am I talking about the winter season, or the baby season? You’ll never know!)

20180325_152452

I am not going to write a how-to, because this is only the second year that I am tapping my trees so I am far from being an expert.  There are many blogs and books out there that have a lot of sugaring wisdom in them.   Last year I read Sugartime by Susan Carol Hauser.  It was delightful, though her trick of 2-drips-off-a-wooden-spoon to indicate the readiness of your syrup was difficult to copy.   This year, I bought a hydrometer.  Using it has taught me a lot about the consistency of syrup as its finishing up.

20180320_143250

I empty my buckets at the end of every day.  I have come to 1 or 2 over flowing buckets which stinks because, “lost sap!” but the reality is, I have twins.  And they get blamed whenever I run out of time to complete a task.   Stinks for them, but they’ll adjust.  Or they will learn that Mama loves her projects 🙂

20180325_152427

Anyways.  This is a good sap year and I have been collecting gallons upon gallons of sap which equals gallons of syrup.

20180320_143157

I had a major boil over.  It made me want to cry.  I lost over 2 gallons of sweet, delicious syrup.   (I blame the twins.  But it wasn’t their fault.  Their dad was putting them to bed.  It was my fault.  I thought I could multi-task and clean up the house. Rule 1 of syrupping: You can’t multitask when you have Almost Syrup boiling. )

20180320_143221

 

There is probably another week or so of sap collecting,  another finish boil or 2 and then the season will wrap up for another year.  The end of sap season brings the beginning of seed season.   And seed season brings garden season and outside and freshness and dirt.

I can’t wait!

 

Lifestyle

THM October Recap.

by Vicki

First of all, I am sorry it took so long to get this month-end recap. Its been a crazy two weeks here for us. We just returned home after being gone for approximately 2 weeks (first visiting Katie and her family in Kingston and then house sitting for my in-laws). It was a nice two weeks, but it is SOOOOO good to be home. I am definitely a home body. And a bit of an introvert – and I introvert best at home.

Anyways, to my October THM recap:

The month of October went by very quickly. I was worried it would drag on because I was trying something new and difficult, so that was a happy surprise. I was also surprised to find that I actually enjoyed the healthier lifestyle. I felt so good the entire month. I had energy (even though I am sleep deprived), I was in a better mood, and I didn’t struggle with feeling bloated or crampy.

I would say I had approximately 3 cheat days in total all month…which I am counting a win! It was hard to stay on plan away from home. In Katie’s house she follows the THM lifesytle so that wasn’t a big challenge, but at my in-laws I found I felt out of place without my different ingredients. I could have packed them but that also felt kind of overwhelming. I decided to give myself grace and just eat what everyone else was eating (and don’t get me wrong – my mother-in-law’s kitchen was filled with delicious foods, so it wasn’t hard to convince me to go off plan).

What I wasn’t expecting was how truly horrible I felt when I went off plan. My body felt like it was rebelling against my food choices. That surprised me, but it also made me wonder: is that how I always felt and I had just become used to it? Yuck! If nothing else that realization has given me a renewed sense of purpose when it comes to THM. Even if I don’t see a change in my body…I feel one. That’s a good enough reason for me to continue.

So in November I am continuing my THM journey…just delaying my start date to tomorrow (my first full day back home). I am very much looking forward to being on plan again and having my body re-detox (is that a word?) so that I can start to feel healthy again. I am going to continue trying for no cheats – people say that it takes a good 6 months of no cheats to really detox and feel 100% (so that’s my BIG goal). I also want to incorporate some exercise into my weekly routine – a couple of times a week. I am still not sure what that is going to look like. If you have any ideas for some exercises that can be done at home (with a husband that is gone early morning and comes home around supper/bed time I have a hard time getting out of the house to ‘work out’…I mean I could go in the evening…but I would rather spend time with my hubby). Anyways, pass along any of your exercise ideas! This momma wants to get healthy – AND I would love to be able to play soccer again next Summer. Dreaming big here;).

Have a healthy November!

 

Lifestyle

Confessions of a SAHM

by Kara

Hey, all!

Lately, my blog posts have been few and far between. So I thought I’d do a little bit of a ‘life update’.

I was originally introduced to you as a “Farmer’s Wife”. That is no longer the case. Although I still live in a big, beautiful, somewhat drafty farm house, my husband got a job in landscaping. This has been a big change for us. He is no longer home for coffee and lunch, but he is home on Saturdays. In addition to not having my husband home during the week, I also do not have a car available to me anymore.

I love being a stay at home mom. I have a hard time being a stuck at home mom.

I am taking a long journey to learn how to be productive when nothing I do seems to make a difference. I clean constantly, but at the end of the day, my house never seems clean. I can spend all day in the kitchen, but the dishes are never done and the meals are never cooked. I can have the laundry machine going from morning until night, but the laundry hampers are always full. Which begs the question – how did it seem easier to get stuff done around the house when I spent more time away from the house?

Its so easy to get bogged down by the repetitive nature of cleaning and cooking and laundry-doing. I have spent the better part of my time as a ‘stuck at home mom’ being discouraged, annoyed, and anxious to get out of the house. Zoe regularly crawls into her car seat. She has the same ‘get up and go’ gene that I have.

I love that ‘get up and go’ gene. It’s the gene that makes me want to be a stay at home mom, and eventually a homeschooling mom. It’s the gene that makes me want to take my kids and teach them how to handle different situations – visiting and grocery shopping and crowded sidewalks. Its tied to that ‘home-body’ gene. The gene that makes me love to spend most of my days cooking and cleaning and doing laundry. Most, but not all.

People ask me if I’m bored at home. I’m not bored. There is a never-ending train of household chores. If anything, I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by how fast the days go by. Night comes, and I suddenly realize I didn’t actually play with Zoe at all, or that I never sat down with a cup of tea and a good book, or that I forgot to write a blog post.

So here’s what I’m doing: I’m taking baby steps. I’m making a conscious effort to work out while Zoe naps. I’m focusing on drinking enough water in a day, maybe including a cup of tea. I’m trying to find a time when I can sit and do personal devotions. I’m currently looking for some kind of ‘day planner’ so that I can sort out all the jobs that need to get done around the house.

And I’m slowly learning that sometimes it’s okay to let the laundry stay in the hamper for an extra day.

Lifestyle

We Went on a Field Trip.

by Vicki

Homeschooling has been going well.

Better than I thought it would.

We haven’t started sending Peyton to “real” school yet, so I guess that’s a pretty good indication that we are surviving. 🙂

IMG_0847Over the last couple of weeks we have been learning the letters “L” and “A”. Along with these letters our units have been about Leaves and Apples. I thought that this would be the perfect time to visit Chudleigh’s Apple Farm.  Aunt Danielle, Kiera and Carter joined us which made a fun day even more fun! We were blessed with the perfect Autumn weather and were able to enjoy the sunshine as we explored the farm, picked apples, slid down giant slides, watched animals, and ate some yummy treats.

IMG_0881IMG_0872IMG_0890IMG_0886Homeschooling Bonuses: we were able to choose a day to go that had beautiful weather, we could stay from 10:30-4 without worrying about catching a bus, and I got to enjoy the farm with all of my kiddos! IMG_0921IMG_0939IMG_0935Visiting Chudleigh’s is one of my favorite Autumn traditions. What traditions do you have for this beautiful season? IMG_0861

 

 

 

Lifestyle

THM October Recap: Week 2

by Vicki

I am currently attempting to enjoy a no-cheat 100% Trim Healthy Mama (THM) October. You can read about my journey so far here and here. If you are interested in what THM is you can go their website or purchase their plan book and cook book

Two weeks done! Phew 🙂

Week 2 was definitely harder for me than Week 1. I think that kind of makes sense with the human condition (or at least my human condition). I find that I am always pretty good with the first week of a change – all the adrenaline and excitement about my new choices seem to keep me accountable and in check. Then week 2 rolls around with the realization that change is work and work is hard and hard is tiring and well, I’m already tired with normal life and three children. So. There’s that.

I also struggled with some chocolate cravings this past week. Okay, you got me, a lot of chocolate cravings. I love me my chocolate and its hard to say “good bye”. I know that THM has lots of chocolate substitutes and that 85% dark chocolate is on plan (and I like these options!) but buying already made and cheap chocolate is just plain easier :).

I’m embarrassed to say that this week wasn’t a complete success. I never fully cheated, but there were little bites sneaked as I prepared kid’s snacks, 5 Costco fries eaten while waiting for the littles to eat their lunch, meals/snacks eaten in less time than the required (suggested?) 3 hour intervals, too many on-plan protein bars enjoyed (these are sooo good), and mixing of fuel sources (although those happened accidentally). I think some of the problem was that I wasn’t fully prepped for this week. I am following Jen Mason’s October menu to help keep me on track but last week I just couldn’t get it together. I was late in getting groceries, I didn’t follow the meal plan and just kind of “winged” suppers, and I didn’t do any prepping of healthy snack options for myself.

IMG_0800
I was better at preparing myself lunches this week, so that’s a win!

This coming week, in order to get myself more cheat-free and on track, I have come up with some goals. 1) I would like to implement the different sippers that are in the cookbook. These sippers are super drinks that help heal your internal body, combat cravings, keep you filled and fueled between meals, and are kind of yummy! 2) I also want to really strive to meet the 3 hour intervals between meals and snacks. I find this a little difficult because I often don’t get around to feeding myself breakfast until later in the morning (after feeding the kids, dressing the kids, organizing the kids, throwing in a load of laundry, doing a quick tidy up of some area or other in the house, etc. etc. etc.) so that pushes my entire meal plan off for the day. If I eat breakfast at 9:30, I have to eat lunch at 12:30, snack at 3:30 and supper at 6:30 (which is kind of late for the kids and makes our evenings less enjoyable). But 12:30 to 5:30 is kind of a long break between meals (for me) and I find myself craving an energy boost or pick-me-up mid afternoon. So, my plan is to try to make sure I feed myself earlier on in the day. Even changing my routine enough that I eat breakfast by 8:30 would help make the rest of the day run smoother and easier (food-wise, no saying it will have any affect on what I am able to accomplish or the amount of chaos created by the three kids ;D).

IMG_0816
Raspberry Zinger Goodgirl Moonshine – so yummy!

So, those are my goals for this week (in addition to continuing to follow THM and the meal plan laid out by Jen Mason): Drink more sippers (hydrate & heal) and eat breakfast earlier so that I can leave 3 hours (minimum) between each meal and snack. What are your healthy goals for this week? Are you trying to drink more water? Exercise more regularly? Go to bed earlier? I would love to hear your goals. I’ll help keep you accountable if you help me :).

On to Week 3!


This post contains affiliate links. It costs you nothing but may give us a little something.