Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sensory Solutions

Vacuum-cleaners, blenders, too many voices... all of these wreck havoc on little, sensitive ears. So here's Laura sporting her solution. Earmuffs! These are Silencio Low Pro-2000, which are similar to the Silencio Orion, Ultra Slimline that are found on Amazon now. They are easy to put on and have held up to a lot of wear and tear.

We also have Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuffs normally used in construction and on firing ranges. When they are turned off, they have a noise reduction rating of 22. When turned on, they allow normal sounds up to 82 decibles to be heard. If environmental noise goes above 82, they turn off and automatically muffle the noise. When noise levels drop, they turn back on. So when it is loud, they muffle noise. When it is not, the child can hear you. Pretty sweet.

I keep these on a low shelf, so that anyone who needs them can toddle over and put them on.

Acorn Squash

Who says gluten-free, casein-free, corn-free is a boring life of rice? Check this out!



Acorn Squash
Mango Juice
Apples-- one for every squash
Canola Oil
Canola spray

Wash acorn squash and slice--carefully--in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for roasted squash seeds (yum!)-- or not. Score the inside (see the picture) and brush with mango juice. Sprinkle with salt and spray lightly with canola oil-- this keeps it from drying out too much. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

While they are cooking, slice and chop apples and almonds. Place in a pot with 1/2 T oil and 1/4 cup or so of mango juice. Cook until apples are soft.  When the squash have cooked for 30 minutes, remove them from the oven and fill the squash with the apple mixture. Return to the oven for 30 minutes.

Homemade Rice Grits

We eat rice grits regularly now-- at least twice a week. This makes boxed grits a bit pricey. So I make my own!


Ingredients: Rice

Place a bag of rice in the freezer. I hear that it usually takes about 30 minutes to freeze rice, but I usually put mine in the night before. Pour 2-3 cups of rice into the blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes until you can see no more big chunks of rice. It takes a good, sharp blender for this. My old one does not chop them nearly as fine as my new one (Read my post about my blender). Pour the blended rice into a sifter or strainer. Sift the rice grits out. They are what's left in the sifter. What's in the bowl underneath is cream of rice-- so make a Fufu Cake!! I grind 6 pounds (3 bags) of rice a week. This gives me 8 cups of cream of rice to make into two Fufu Cakes and one batch of cream of rice for breakfast, and also gives me two days (7 cups) worth of rice grits. These grits are just like the ones in the box and work exactly the same in any grit recipe (Here's mine!)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cooked Apples

It's cold. They're hungry. Time for a snack.


1 bag of Golden Delicious Apples
1/2 cup of water

Cut the fruit-- I use an apple cutter. Place in a sauce pan. Add water. Cook on medium high until soft.

Fried Plantains

As I search for good gluten-free, casein-free, etc. ad nauseum snacks, I find that I need to look outside American culture with it's corn, wheat, and sugar obsession. Getting all cultural, we tried fried plantains. Yeah, they're fried, but they are oh, so, good.


Oil for frying (I use canola)
Powdered sugar, if you are into that kind of thing

Cut the plantain into sections, slice in half and then slice thinly (1/2" thick, 3 inches long). Heat oil in skillet, place plantains in hot oil and fry for 2 minutes each side. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Cold Snap

When we take down the Chanukah decorations, the house always looks so boring. So we made it snow! The children and I cut out snow flakes and hung them in the windows, from the rafters, on the curtains and mirrors. Now, though it does not look exactly festive, at least it is not so drab.

Perhaps it inspired the weather. We've had a cold snap. David heard about the freeze warnings and decided to put out a sprinkler. There was a lot of ice this morning-- and it's still there at 3:00PM! It's c-c-cold!