Monday, April 28, 2014

The best gougere you will ever eat

How to make gougere | Easy gourgere recipeMeatless meals in Lent always seem to throw me off. It's like it was a surprise that it was Friday. And so I stood on a recent Friday evening, staring at my mostly empty fridge, wondering what meatless dish I could make that could pacify my children.

This gougere recipe is based on a Pinterest find for goat cheese and herb gougere from Eggs on Sunday. I have made another gougere recipe in the past but couldn't find it quickly. We tweaked this recipe based on what we had on hand in our home (and our first fresh herbs of the season!), and the results were fabulous.

Herbed goat cheese mini-gougeres

1 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, divided
6 oz. garlic and herb goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan,  combine the butter, milk and salt and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once. Whisk for a few minutes, then return the pan to the heat and continue whisking to dry the paste out slightly. Remove the heat from the pan again, switch to a wooden spoon, and add eggs — one at a time — stirring to make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the goat cheese, Parmesan and chives.
Pipe the batter onto the baking sheets (or drop by the tablespoonful). 
Bake each sheet, one at a time, in the 375 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes, until the tops are nicely browned and the gougeres are puffed. Serve warm, or let cool completely and freeze in a ziptop bag.
Makes about 2 dozen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Surviving sunburn with our essential oils

Easter Sunday, the kids played baseball. And gardened. And visited two neighbors. And jumped on their trampolines.

All without sun protection.

Did I mention the tank top?

My daughter returned home near bedtime, beet-red shoulders. In pain already. I felt terrible, but the damage had already happened.  I'm grateful that I could do more than say "You should have..." though.

Luckily I still had a bottle of sunburn blend I had made up last summer. We've been rubbing it on her shoulders and back a few times a day, and the pain and redness has really made a difference. (We did add some lavender essential oil, which helps soothe burns, along with the mix of coconut oil and tea tree oil.) But the pain quickly subsided, and the redness will as well.

Looking for a resource for essential oils? You can shop my doTERRA affiliate online. Send me an email at goinggreenmama at gmail if you'd like to learn how you can save 25% off your orders.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easy Apple Coleslaw (Mayo-free recipe)

I admit I have always hated coleslaw: The runny mayo, the drippy, wilted shreds of cabbage. But this recipe - this changed my viewpoint on coleslaw completely. In fact - don't tell anyone - it may make me a fan of slaw.

Coleslaw with no mayonnaise | easy apple coleslaw | coleslaw recipe

I began reading The PrayFit Diet: The Revolutionary, Faith-Based Plan to Balance Your Plate and Shed Weight recently, and was scanning the recipe section in the back. I stumbled on a one-serving recipe for apple slaw that was to accompany grilled pork chops. I took a leap of faith and decided it would work great as a side to the pulled-pork sandwiches I was planning.

Here's how I adapted the recipe for my family of four:

Easy Apple Coleslaw

1 1/2 cups shredded coleslaw mix (cabbage-carrots)
2 granny smith apples
2 carrots
2-3 teaspoons honey (I used blueberry honey, but any other local honey would work)
juice of one lemon
pinch of salt

Shred apples and carrots. Place in bowl and toss with the lemon juice to avoid browning. Add coleslaw mix, honey and salt; toss to combine.

What surprised me most was this coleslaw made fans of the slaw haters (me) and the traditionalists (my husband). 

Enjoy this grilling season!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

No sugar-day: It's tougher than you think

"The Day of No Sugar Challenge is tomorrow. Any takers? I'm going to try it. It includes all sugars, including honey & syrup, even though they're unrefined & natural. My morning tea will be the hardest for me, I think."

My friend posted this on Facebook yesterday. I thought, I ought to do this anyways, being diabetic. And after all, how hard could it be? I drink diet soda. I (normally) avoid a lot of junk food, and I don't make it a practice of adding sugar to anything
What I've found already in a few short hours that avoiding sugar in your diet is tougher than I thought. My initial thought was avoid the kids' Eggo's and syrup for breakfast and focus on a protein smoothie. I smugly added my protein shake powder to my vanilla almond milk, took a drink, and had a thought: Did it really NOT have sugar?

And sadly, I was disappointed.

As lunchtime approached, I found myself not being able to try my coconut cashews. Those I knew had sugar, but it was a fun way to get a little protein to tide me over until noon. I stayed clear of the bagels and cream cheese in the office even as my stomach began to grumble.

So I turned instead to my emergency stash of lunch supplies in the office:

Yes - even your beloved Mac n' cheese has added sugars!

Before you correct me, I realize macaroni and cheese isn't exactly health food, but it was great to keep stashed in case of bad weather or in the event of a work crisis (which never happens...) I had comforted myself with the fact there actually was some fiber and two ounces of protein. But this too, was tainted with sugar. Deep within the ingredients there was maltodextrin and corn syrup, not to mention good old-fashioned “sugar.” 

I ran home over lunch hour for a conference call and to start dinner. This time I didn't blink when I whipped up some hot cocoa and milk while I was prepping. At least Starbucks has the decency to spell it out as sugar. I knew I was going down there.

Dinner, at least, I can say is sugar-free. I checked. Leftover potatoes; steamed broccoli and chicken breasts in Cream of Mushroom sauce. I checked the label. No sugar there. 

But let's not talk about the sodium....

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pinning the perfect party

My daughter is known for her birthday parties. It is the one day of decadence we have in our kids' lives.

Let it be known there are no outlandish locations, no bounce houses in our backyard. Instead, our at home parties are themed out, low-budged and planned with fun details we make ourselvess.

We've had luaus, 80s parties, dance parties, Fancy Nancy tea parties. It is to the point that last year the neighbor girl, when she got the invitation, asked her mother what she should wear.

My daughter picks her themes usually by the day after her last party. So imagine my surprise when, just a few months away, she still hadn't decided.

She toyed with an American Girl spa party, which I happily found pins for ideas for making fun thing like sparkle lip gloss and accessories for their dolls. (Truth be told: It was a great distraction from a harried project deadline at work.)

And then we realized one of her best friends does not play with dolls. Not wanting to have her feel left out, we went back to ideas.

My daughter considered a "Goddess Girls" themed birthday party as well. For those not in the know, "Goddess Girls" is a series about the Greek goddesses when they were in school. Sort of true to the mythology, except for little details like Artemis is boy crazy.

We realized we could make several of our ideas fit the theme too. For Aphrodite, who likes beauty, clothes and cheerleading (according to the stories), we could make the lip gloss and paint out nails. For Athena, who is wise, we could do a "wisdom challenge" (games). For Artemis, who likes sports and art, we could do outdoor games of some sort. For Persephone, who loves plants, we could add flower embellishments to jewelry or headbands. The only Goddess Girl we weren't going to embrace was Phoeme, who is into gossip.

But it still didn't fit right.

And then, on a car ride home, my daughter said: "Why can't we just have a water party?" She asked for a splash party in the backyard, lunch and ice cream cake.

Why not?

The perfect party may not be able to be pinned. It may just come from a child's imagination.

Let I learn that lesson....

Friday, April 4, 2014

CSAs in Indianapolis 2014

Today's Indianapolis Star features a list of CSAs in Indianapolis as well as information on a new farmers market on the Indianapolis northside. If you have an Indianapolis area or Bloomington CSA that wasn't featured in the Star article, please share your information below!