Odds and Ends

Hola my friends! How was your weekend?

Mine was really truly great however as always went by way too fast.

Our basement is almost finished and it is so exciting to see how it has all come together. We (okay, mostly Dana) spent a good chunk of the weekend continuing to work on the basement and move furniture downstairs. Our guest bedroom is officially moved downstairs which means that we can start working on the nursery upstairs now!

We also teamed up and tackled the weeds in the garden. That was a much-needed job and I am happy to report that all of our plants are doing well! We even had two sugar snap peas; one for each of us. They were crunchy and perfect.

Some other odds and ends…

I caved and bought some more maternity clothes. I tried to go with the basics this time around: dark jeans, shorts, black tee, white tee, long-sleeved grey tee, and I got a few other tops as well! Old Navy and Gap have great maternity wear!

melanie

Healing my gut is an ongoing journey, so I made myself another batch of bone broth soup to help soothe and heal. Making bone broth is quite the process in case you didn’t know! I made chicken bone broth but someday I want to make beef bone broth because i think I would enjoy it more (more flavor).

bone broth

I’ve been trying to be creative with foods again now that I am really into all foods again (no real aversions any more that I can think of). I threw together an old salad staple of mine with some minor adjustments based on what I had in the kitchen: spinach, strawberries, chicken, red onion, parmesan cheese, sliced almonds, and poppy seed dressing. I would have preferred feta cheese but we didn’t have any. And I should have added black beans and avocado. But it was still good.

strawberry salad

Dana and I made Saturday night date night and went to Punch pizza for my first time. They serve Neapolitan style pizza and eating their pizza seriously brought me back to our honeymoon in Italy. We got the margherita pizza with olives and mushrooms. We also split a really delicious salad.

pizza date night

The last odd and end:

About the same time I found out I was pregnant, I received a wonderful package from a company called Puro Fairtrade Coffee. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I stopped drinking caffeine. Not to mention, the thought of coffee made me queasy in the first trimester.

So there I was with three delicious bags of coffee beans along with a sweet little mug sitting in my home to review. I felt so bad I wouldn’t be able to review it myself but asked if it were okay that my husband review it instead, and they agreed that would be absolutely a-okay!

puro fairtrade coffee puro fairtrade coffee puro fairtrade coffee

Puro coffee

About Puro Fairtrade Coffee 

Puro Fairtrade Coffee comes from a company Miko, they are based in Belgium and are one of the oldest coffee roasters in the world (since 1801!). All coffee from Puro is Fairtrade, but uniquely, Puro works in partnership with a rainforest charity called World Land Trust and money from each bag of their coffee is used to buy and protect areas of rainforest in coffee producing countries.

Puro coffee sales to date, have funded the protection of more than 10,000 acres of rainforest across 6 countries.

Although I personally wasn’t able to taste-test the coffee as I gave up caffeine when I became pregnant, Dana, my husband was able to taste and review it for me. He just finished up the last of it a week ago. He really enjoyed the earthiness (but not TOO earthy), bold and rich flavor of the coffee. We both love that the company is fairtrade and feel great about supporting a company with so much compassion and heart.

Sustainability

Their roasting plant in Belgium was placed near to Antwerp, the world’s second largest coffee port and its roof is covered with solar panels providing for all electricity needs. Residual heat from the roasting process is re-directed to power underfloor heating throughout the factory and offices. Coffee chaff generated through roasting is given to local organic farmers for fertilizing their fields.

I love this!

Another partnership in the UK combines used coffee grounds from filter and espresso generated at key client sites with food waste, creating compost. Also….Puro’s coffee foils are even upcycled into bags, flower pots and dresses!

Video

Now you can see why this company is so great! To learn more about their story watch their video: http://vimeo.com/fairtradecoffee/our-story 

Online Shop

They have an online shop if you are interested in purchasing:  https://www.puroathome.com/

Okay, that’s enough randomness for one day. Have a good one! xoxo

Lots of Food Prep

Happy Friday!

I had a bit of a goofy tummy yesterday so my day of eats was very sporadic. I started the day off with a smoothie.

Strawberry Banana Cocoa Smoothie:

  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Kefir
  • Kale
  • Aloe Vera Juice
  • Cocoa powder

smoothie

I really had to force that bad boy down; I just wasn’t feeling hungry. I drank about half of it and put the rest in the fridge.

I also sipped on a warm cup of Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea. When I was in Colorado last weekend, I got to sample this stuff and really liked it so bought a box to bring home. I still need to tell you about my Colorado weekend!

celestial seasonings tea

Lunch was more of a snacky deal all day than an actual “lunch”. One of my snacks was ants on a log, aka celery with peanut butter and raisins…

ants on a log

This definitely brought me back to childhood. My mom would make us these for a snack or sometimes she would do banana with peanut butter and raisins. I really enjoy the crunch of the celery and the smooth peanut butter combined with the chewy raisins. So many textures and a nice sweet flavor!

Yesterday I received a book I ordered called “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. It is a book my chiropractor recommended to me and one that he and his family use all of the time. I am just getting into the book but what I know so far is that this book brings us back to our roots, or really, our ancestors roots in regards to food intake. It is about eating whole foods, eating fermented foods to help with intestinal health, eliminating sugars as much as possible, etc.

nourishing traditions

 

I am pretty pumped about it and will keep you posted when I learn more. Right now I have a pot of bone broth simmering on the stove with 2 Tablespoons of vinegar (this helps leach calcium and minerals out of the bone and into the broth; it will simmer for 24 hours). Bone broth is something mentioned in the book quite a bit.

I also made my first batch of homemade fermented sauerkraut. It’s been a while since I have tried sauerkraut, but last time I did I wasn’t a fan at all. We will see how I feel about my own batch.

The directions said to combine one shredded medium head of cabbage, one tablespoon of caraway seeds, and two tablespoons of sea salt (it called for whey but said if you don’t have whey you can use an extra tablespoon of salt so that’s what I did) in a bowl.

fermented cabbage

Next, it said to take a meat tenderizer mallet and pound down the cabbage for ten minutes, to release the natural juices from the cabbage.

fermented cabbage

Arm workout, done. Next, you spoon the cabbage mixture into canning jars, smash it down with a utensil that fits in there (I just used a spoon) until water gathers at the top of the cabbage. You want to leave one inch of space between the top of the cabbage/water and the lid.

fermented cabbage fermented cabbage

Cover the cabbage and let it sit in room temperature for three days, then place in the fridge and eat whenever! Like I said, we will see if I like it but it’s worth a shot at least!

I also made some homemade fauxtmeal raisin cookie bites made from dates, raisins, cinnamon, and almonds. These were also part of my snacky lunch.

mah balls

In the later afternoon I took Moose for a walk outside and it was unbelievably gorgeous! In Minnesota at this time of year that means it was 40 degrees, but it sure felt warm! Moose was having a hay day with all of the smells everywhere in the snow.

For dinner, we made my favorite grilled salmon recipe with grilled parmesan garlic broccoli.

salmon

And an evening snack of FAGE Greek yogurt with honey and strawberries.

greek yogurt and fruit

We spent the rest of the evening catching up on DVR’ed Whitney and Modern Family episodes that we missed while we were away.

It was a good day full of lots of food prep!

I hope you all had a great Thursday and have an even better Friday!