Happy to Color Outside the Lines!

Archive for January, 2014

Lemon-y Garlicky Kale

The kale coming out of the ground right now is so mild and delicious. I cannot possibly get enough of it! I keep pairing it with everything on the dinner table. I think my family is growing tired of it, but I,  clearly, am not. I am endlessly grateful for living in an area with such incredible farmers who put out such fantastic produce. It’s a real gift to have access to it.

I made some herbed fried chicken the other night with lebanese coriander potatoes and a galicky, lemon-y kale that was to die for.

SOOO easy too. Really doesn’t get better than this.


1 bundle kale, stems removed, leaves torn into 2 inch pieces, rinsed and dried.

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp oil (I used sunflower)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

salt to taste


Heat oil in skillet

Add garlic and heat briefly…you dont want it to burn!

Add kale, and quickly toss to coat.

Before garlic begins to brown too much, add water, toss, and turn heat down to med-low, braising for about 5 minutes, or until kale is tender.

Once kale is the tenderness you like, remove from pan, shaking off any excess liquid.

Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with the lemon juice.

Toss to coat, serve.


This was SOO good with the lebanese potatoes I made…they were perfection when combined!

I’m loving the leafy greens of the current season. So good for you, so delicious, and so gratifying to support my favorite local farmer in the process!


Lebanese Coriander (Cilantro) Potatoes

I love potatoes. I love middle eastern food. I love to make things that are different and unexpected, yet oddly familiar and comforting. Therefore, I love this recipe.

I also love how easy it is. Furthermore, its a great way to use cilantro (or coriander) which is so prevelant in our area right now. 🙂

I got some awesome cilantro in my CSA box this past week, and I’m always looking for new ways to use it. I usually put it over tacos, mexican soups, in salads or in salsas. I wanted something different this time.

Enter Lebanese coriander potatoes. 🙂

This recipe was so great because I am also totally into all things lemon right now. I love all the citrus in the winter, and made sure to get a few lemons from my fave farm too.

The ingredient list is very simple:

3-4 pounds potatoes, cubed

2 TBSP minced or crushed garlic (I like to use Trader Joe’s already pulverized variety, but you can use whatever you want.)

4 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Your favorite cooking oil (I use high oleic sunflower.)

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

The process is pretty simple too:

Combine the garlic, lemon and cilantro in a large bowl.

Fry the cubed potatoes until tender and golden brown.

fried potaotes


Drain, add to large bowl.

Toss to coat. Season as desired with your favorite salt (I used himalayan pink salt.)

Serve at room temperature.


I served these with some pan fried herbed chicken, and sauteed lemon/garlic kale.



So super yummy and a pretty awesome way to use local, organic produce. Can’t go wrong with that!



Why Unschoolers Unschool…and More.

I sent this link to my husband a bit ago. Not only because he is an unschooling parent, but because he is a member of upper management. What amazing information and research for someone in his position(s) to have.

The line between school years and work years really isn’t a necessary one. One’s experience really can just evolve.


Unschooling: Rasputin to Russian Cuisine

Sometimes I am amazed by what inspires my children to learn.

A couple of weeks ago, we visited Rasputin’s…a record store. The kids all love music and were happy to spend an hour or so skimming through the used cd’s and vinyl.

We came home with some random 90’s cd’s, a “Sounds of WWII” record, a poster featuring an Albert Einstein quote, and a burning question:

“Who was Rasputin, mom?”

This warranted a trip to the library where various documentaries and books were retrieved for review.

Which led to a brief study on Russia.

Which led to one of the kids studying Russian cooking…which may lead to a trip to the Russian Market we found around the corner today.

Who knows where it will go from there.

I love to see them craving knowledge. I am treasuring these moments. Sometimes I find myself disappointed that my own education wasn’t as gratifying and electric.

Or maybe it is. I have learned more in these years than I ever learned in school. Perhaps their education IS my education too, at least to some extent. Afterall, their education is their own, and not mine to claim. Perhaps THEY inspire my learning more than I could ever inspire theirs…which is not at all how we are taught homeschooling should be. It is in this that I am able to see how I am unschooled just as much as they are. It never ends simply because the “school years” are over.

Loving this crazy journey.


“Cold Buster” Smoothies

In all honesty, I am not sure these would help you bust a cold, but my 13 year old son swears it does. He’s the only kid that didn’t catch the cold that took down his mom and sisters, so maybe he’s on to something drinking these.

It’s also a pretty delicious  way to enjoy the gorgeous oranges in my CSA box.


Pretty simple stuff.


four oranges, peeled

1 cup whole, raw milk

1/4 cup real maple syrup

1 cup raw cream (he has also used vanilla yogurt and loves it)

4 raw *pastured* egg yolks (like, from a farm…not a factory)

2 tsp vanilla

1-2 cups ice

Blend until creamy and frothy. Serves two to three.

Vitamin C, natural probiotics from the raw milk, protein from the eggs and just enough sweetness to make you feel like you’re getting away with something.

Sounds good to me, cold or not.

Creative with Kale

I celebrated my 15th anniversary with my husband at the end of December. Total Michael Jackson “And nobody thought this would last” moment. Ha!

We clearly didn’t think about the future when we got married at Christmas time. At all. No thought of future kids, expenses, and how we were totally giving up the chance of ever celebrating our future 15th anniversary due to all of our future money being tied up in presents for our future 3 kids.

So, I make a nice dinner.

I get a CSA box every week and I cannot believe the inspiration it gives me. There is just something about the colors and vibrancy that makes me want to create something amazing.


I was planning on a nice country dinner complete with collard greens until I realized we had eaten them all two nights before.

I totally HAD to find something good for us because the rest of the dinner was chicken fried steak, fried potato slices (with a butter and parmesan garlic sauce) and cornbread with honey butter.

Hey, the honey was local and raw. There is some redemption there, right?

The dinner needed greens and kale did the trick.

Here’s what I did:

Wash and pat dry (or salad spin) your kale

Chop into large pieces.

Saute 2 minced cloves of garlic in a pan with 2-3 TBSP olive oil

Add kale, and stir until coated.


Add 1/3 cup bone broth (I had homemade beef bone  broth…use whatever stock/broth you have)

Simmer for a few minutes until wilted and tender.

Season with salt

Drizzle with about 1 TBSP of red wine vinegar and serve.


And let’s be real…the rest of our carb-fest was too.

anniversary dinner

Kale isn’t just for chips and smoothies, ya’ll. Have some fun and make something new!

Coloring Outside the Lines

I spent much of my teen years trying to fit in. I figured out in late high school that “fitting in” wasn’t nearly as fun as being true to myself was. It was the beginning of what seems to be a theme for my entire life.

Nothing I have done in my life is “text book”, but it certainly wasn’t a conscious decision.

When I got married, it was a last minute run to Vegas, 6 days before Christmas. I rented my dress. We left with $30.00 and a tank of gas. It snowed. In Vegas. A lot.

When I had my first child, I instinctively refused most modern parenting practicies. I discovered years later that there was a name for all of my “hippie” habits, as I called them. Attachment Parenting. Huh. Go figure.

I cloth diapered my kids. I breastfed long after my kid could talk to me. I slept with my babies for years, in our “biggest bed in the world” that was simply mattress after mattress, lined up across a bedroom in our tiny house. I questioned everything, approached medicine from a holistic standpoint and you better believe my kids wore soft leather booties for years. Above all, I devoted myself to truly connecting to my kids and couldn’t bear the idea of losing that when they went to school.

So, in the next chapter of parenting, I began homeschooling. After years of pretending to fit the mold of a structured learning environment, I decided to fly my “unschooler” flag once and for all and release myself and my family from the pressures of our modern school system. My kids have never learned more.

In an effort to live more simply and focus on what was important, we bought a ranch on 7 acres. 3 years later we figured out that it was, in fact, NOT more simple for us and willingly rented out the house in order to move into a small-ish apartment with a patio that is perfect for container gardening. We learned a lot. Talk about unschooling. We all got a lesson or two in those years.

Something else I learned? We don’t fit between anyone’s lines. We are a pretty original bunch and I like it that way. We are not alone, of that I am sure. I know there are others like us, but they certainly don’t live nextdoor.

It can get lonely.

I love God. I don’t love the current state of the modern church. It’s hard to fellowship with believers when they are busy trying to encourage you to join their congregation. I love being a stay-at-home mom, and I don’t plan on changing that, despite the stigma that my “job” carries.  I don’t trust the American food system, even though the government deems it “safe”.  Above all, no, I dont’ want to buy a house, and yes, I’m sure my kids are learning.

Life is a journey…we all know the cliche. I’m just glad mine is a colorful one.

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