Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Child O' Mine

...and I am not referring to the wildly successful GnR song from ages ago. My boy has been really into listening to books on CD lately. We started with the very traditional Henry Huggins and have pretty much worked our way through Beverly Cleary including timeless classics like Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ribsy and also adding other childhood favorites like Judy Blume's Freckle Juice. Now he's on to whatever we can get our hands (for instance Hank the Cow Dog) and he just loves it. Spending practically hours at a time playing and listening. Lucky for me the library is such a fantastic resource.

The truth is I was starting to feel a bit guilty about the amount of time he was spending alone just listening and playing, although I could tell he was really enjoying it. So yesterday I asked if he would like for me to come up with a project or activity for him to do. He of course answered , "No, I'm enjoying playing mom." However about 30minutes later he came to me ready to create something and asked for popsicle sticks, glue and paint. I set him up with a nicely covered area and off to work he went using his imagination in an unfettered way and came up with all sorts of really neat items including (and this is all boy and fantasy) a very special dagger and one for daddy too, a wooden painted raft, and the one that I thought was the coolest a name plate that he wants to hang on his wall when we get somewhere that we can, "make holes in the wall."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Watermelon Granita

I just learned about granita this summer from a new friend of mine. If you don't know what one is, you are missing out, especially here in the middle of summer. A granita is a frozen fruit treat akin to ices. Well it's actually more like a shaved ice than traditional Italian ices. I have used this basic recipe that I am about to share with different kinds of juices, such as cranberry, orange-apple, peach and they have all been delicious. However, the watermelon is my favorite.

1C filtered or spring water
1/4C agave nectar
3C watermelon juice *

In a saucepan combine the water and agave and heat unitl all the agave is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the juice. POur into a 9 x 13 glass dish and place in the freezer. Every 20 minutes take a fork and drag it through the liquid until it is completely frozen. Dragging the fork through the juice as it freezes creates air cirulation and causes flaking of the ice crystals making a crisp, sweet and fruity dessert.

*Watermelon is mostly water and so you can put the flesh through a juicer and then mash the pulp through a strainer. There will be very little pulp when you done and lots of yummy juice.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chilled Cucumber Vegetable Soup

I wanted to share this great cooling summertime recipe that I came up with yesterday. We really enjoyed and maybe you will too.

2T olive oil
1T minced garlic
1/2 onion diced
1- 1/4" piece of fresh ginger
1 bay leaf

3C peeled, seeded, cubed cucumbers
1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
1C seeded and diced watermelon
1 small beet peeled and diced
1/4C fresh basil leaves
3/4tsp sea salt
1/2tsp dill
white pepper to taste

2C broth of your choosing

*Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot. Add garlic, onion, ginger and bay leaf and sautee until onion browns slightly. Add remaining ingredients excpet broth and sautee about 3-5 minutes stirring often. Pour both into pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer covered for about 25 minutes (or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through). Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove bay leaf (and ginger if you wish) and pour into a food processor. Process until the soup is rich and creamy. Refrigerate about an hour before eating.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Who is Beadtanical Betty?

Hello out there in cyberland. I'm Beadtanical Betty, although my name is not actually Betty...I'm thinking of that in more of the general familiarity of the word as in skate Betty or surf Betty only for me I'm more of a homemaker Betty. I suppose I think that means that I rock out in the household department. I do truly enjoy creating a fun, safe and genuinely happy household.

I spend a lot of hours in kitchen cooking up tasty dishes to feed my family and friends. I love to play outdoors and hike in the woods and take in beautiful vistas and wildflowers. I also create a variety of jewlery and floral peices using the French beaded flower technique.

I hope to use this blog as a place to chare my creative ideas, beautiful images of the wild, delicious dishes and funny antics from the life of a five year old, and of course the occasional mommy rant.