Friday, October 31, 2008

Making a small local change
is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) (use organic fertilizers)

Brad is the past President of the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Assoc. and worked to promote the organic, local and sustainable food movement in Texas, by organizing the largest sustainable AG conference in Texas, developing Small Farm Workshops, and marketing for local farmers.

We are now signing-up members for our 2009 CSA program. Beginning in February, enjoy 30 weeks of fresh seasonal vegetables to the end of the year including, tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons, zucchini, cucumbers, cabbage, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, collards, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, chinese cabbage, beets, turnips, baby greens, radishes, herbs and much more. Read more details on how our CSA program works, or contact us for more info. Delivered to these locations each week in season...

personally I would feel better about supporting Local and families can pick up on way home Tuesdays, 3:30 - 6pm at Host: American Health Food Store

$960 for a 32 week share. (family of 2 adults and 2 children) pay in advance in three equal payments of $320 DUE Jan 1st, April 1st and Aug. 1st ($26 a week)

Pinto Bean Cookies 1.2

variation of my bean cookies

step 1: (in blender)
3 cup cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cup applesauce
1 cup butter or non-hydrogenated margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup splenda
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. drinking cocoa

step 2 in bowl:
4 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned, not instant)
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (1 cup of wheat berries makes 1.5 cups of flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp. cloves or nutmeg (no label, not sure, but they smell good heehee (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
4Tbsp. ground flaxseed
4Tbsp. ground TVP (textured vegetable protein)

step 3 in bowl:
combine 1 & 2 and then:
2 bags Guittard milk chocolate chips

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Memoirs of a madman

Magnus working on his journal, both writing and illustrating.

Dining adventures

Cafeteria is just not worth the risk. We pack our own thank you very much! but the noise level is something that would break your mind.

Monday, October 27, 2008


All the kids are bathed, the house is clean.
I have insisted the homework be done, now I am mean.
Dinner was lean, we split an 8 oz steak 4 ways.
With the recession / depress, we are looking at more lean days.
I sort my recyclables, I bake my bread, and I boil my beans.
I hope that I can teach my children to be lean.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Support Local Farmers

HOME sweet FARM (Brenham,TX) 1 Review
Our CSA serves the Brenham, North Houston, South Houston area. Members pick-up at our farm or at a drop-off-site every week during the growing season. We pro-rate the annual cost with a goal of 32 weeks in a year. Our members pay for each season up-front to receive a share of fresh produce available every week during the growing season. (more...)
St. Fairsted Farm (Conroe,TX) LocalHarvest Sponsor! 6 Reviews
In this busy, fast-paced life; we often find the need to adjust our drop-sites to accommodate our members for the season. Our pricing fluctuates with the cost of fuel, labor, fertilizer, and feed; we hope you understand our product is a commodity with many variables and at all times we try to deliver you the best price for natural farm products. (more...)
Blue Star Acres / 4B Ranch (Alvin,TX) 7 Reviews
We have been a family co-op for many years . We want to share our blessings and good fortune with our neighbors. We grow many heirloom varieties of tomatoes, when you taste them you'll know why! We are going to be growing a large variety of herbs, veggies & fruits. FAQ: Do I have to be at home for delivery? No, most of our members aren't't home, or if it's a night delivery, asleep. (more...)
Jolie Vue Farms (Houston,TX) 1 Review
Triangle Farm (Waller,TX) 0 Reviews
Members pick up their shares at the farm

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A house behind the foliage

Trimmed up the trees and can finally see the house from curb now. It is really a startling difference.

Perrrfect loaf

Beautifully risen and golden brown. If only there was smell-mail!!!

zojirushi bread machine

for those that know: we have had this machine since 1999 and we make a loaf of bread a day.

the two current favorite recipes:

White Oat Bread
1 3/4 cup water
2 tsp sea salt (15 g)
3 Tbl local honey (55 g)
2 Tbl Canola Oil (10 g)
420 grams of White Unbleached Flour
100 grams quick oats
80 grams vital wheat gluten
2 Tbl powdered milk (80 g)
2 tsp yeast

Basic Setting (3:30)

Whole Wheat Oat Bread
2 cups of water (480 g)
2 tsp sea salt (15 g)
3 Tbl local honey (55 g)
2 Tbl Canola Oil (10 g)
600 grams of Flour (1.5 cups of wheat and 1.5 cups of oat groats ground with Whisper Mill)
70 grams vital wheat gluten
2 Tbl powdered milk (80 g)
2 tsp yeast

Wheat Bread setting (3:40)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Black Bean Brownies

1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups white sugar
1 cup cooked black bean puree
4 eggs
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Mix cocoa, butter, sugar, black bean puree and eggs together in a bowl until well blended. Sift dry ingredients together and stir into wet mixture. Grease a 9 x13 inch pan with cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until done. Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.

Easy, Festive Chocolate Holiday Pretzels

Excellent alternative to messing around with melting chocolate and dipping pretzels.

SERVES 30 , 3 plates



  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Open the bags of pretzels and remove all the unbroken pretzels.
  3. Place whole pretzels on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets in a single layer.
  4. Place three chocolate chips on each pretzel, repeat for an entire cookie sheet.
  5. Place cookie sheet/s in the preheated oven, bake for 4 MINUTES FOR THE SHEET OF pretzels
  6. Immediately upon removing from the oven, place one M-n-M on top of each pretzel/chocolate.
  7. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 8-10 minutes, to allow chocolate to re-set.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Raising my Kids... It is complicated

Each day, children need to hear their parents say:

  1. I think you are marvelous: We have to correct, nag and direct them all day. Sometimes they need to hear from us what they are doing right and well. Try to balance your positives to negatives at least two to one.
  2. You can do it. This is usually a better thing to say than “I can do that for you” because more than doing for them, we need to let them know that they are fully capable of doing for themselves.
  3. Good Job. Praise after a job well done is very important. As young adults, they still need praise and encouragement.(We all do!) Saying an unconditional “Good Job” without the added comments of advice, or ways to improve, is money in the bank.
  4. You are capable of better. They also need to hear the truth from us. If they are not giving their all to an effort and the end result is poor, we need to tell them so, constructively and without letting them off the hook.
  5. What was good about your day? This is a better variation of “How was your day?” because it invites them to open up if they want to. But its not so trite. They need to know that you want to hear about their lives…everyday.
  6. Can you help me _________? There are so many things that your teenager is better at than you. (Electronics comes immediately to mind!) Asking for their help accomplishes many good things. It engages them in the household and your life. It equalizes the power in your relationship. It makes them feel good about their skills. And it makes them feel valued by you.
  7. I Love You: Just because they seem uncomfortable with the mushy stuff, doesn’t mean they don’t need, crave and want it.


That is one top gun hottie

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Sunday at church... well not your 'average' church service!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pinto Bean Cookies



  1. cream crisco, sugar and eggs, add mashed pinto beans and applesauce.beat till fluffy --
  2. add dry ingredients.beat till smooth.
  3. stir in raisins, and nuts.
  4. drop by tspful on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
  5. bake at 375* for 15-20 minutes.or golden brown.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Already posing for portraits, Jordan is such a handsome boy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Politics this week

Because Joe and Jane Six-Pack also have retirement funds: Over at the Six-Pack residence I am guessing that rumored layoffs down at the plant are a subject of much concern. What with the little Six-Packs going to the dentist next week, maybe mom and dad want to hear what's good about McCain's economic vision, not what's bad about Obama's now irrevocably broken relationship with his spiritual mentor. (serious giggles)


Meanwhile, America's infrastructure priorities will probably take a distinctly European turn -- especially under Democratic leadership -- with a greater focus on mass transit, walkable cities and "smart growth" and declining support for the kind of subdivided, car-connected sprawl that has flowed outward from our cities since the days of Bailey Park. Gas will probably get more expensive, thanks to stricter environmental regulations as well as market pressures; so will McMansions and big lawns, vaulted ceilings and master suites. More Americans may well eschew the suburbs entirely, opting for the denser, mixed-use neighborhoods that New Urbanists have been urging on us for decades -- kinder, gentler and hipper versions of the Pottersville depicted in George Bailey's nightmare vision, dotted with coffee shops and farmers' markets instead of honky-tonks and gin joints. (drinking my second cup of coffee here)

We tightened our belt in 1999 when we went effectively to one income. we tightened our belt in 2001 when we added Magnus to our brood. we tightened our belt seriously when the crash hit 2002 and we once again trimmed the fat off the budget in 2008 with appliance reliance reduction (getting rid of the electric dryer and the electric dishwasher and the electric deep freezer) we trimmed 338 kwh off our bill each month, we shut off our computers at night, we unplug appliances when not in use and we are still using 1500- 2300 Kwh and are finding new ways to eliminate our consumption or start producing our own with solar.

the grocery store is my next challenge. how to trim the fat off that starting with meat of course and including more bean recipes during the week. This weekend I made a KILLER chili.

Saute BASE:
  • 1 bunch of cilantro shredded
  • 3 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 cube butter
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 1015 Sweet Onion chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 poblano pepper chopped
  • 1 ripe mango chopped
  • juice of one lime
Soak over night and then boil BEANS:
  • 1 lb of black beans
  • .5 lb of pinto beans
  • 1 whole head of garlic, peeled, crushed, and chopped
Combine and SIMMER 5 hours:
  • base
  • beans
  • 4 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 packet of taco sauce
  • 1 can dice green chilies
Served over YANKEE Corn Bread Muffins made with Sweet Corn and sugar.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup yellow corn polenta
1 Tbl Butter
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 can creamed corn

just because we are in a Depression, doesn't mean that we will not eat well.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gas Prices

While this seems like a good idea, the fact is that we are still not 'getting it' if the guy on the street corner is having a 'sale' on heroine, it is still POISON!

Granted, I felt that I needed to fill up so that I could drive my kids to Cub Scout Camp that was 85 miles away, had we found something closer, that would have been better. I guess we can all come up with excuses until the automakers finally produce a plug in car that we can afford. In the mean time.. my Honda Hybrid did get 39 mpg in town and 45 mpg on the highway.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New Digs for Erik

Everything recycled from around the house but the new floor and ceiling. Magnus was so impressed he wrote a mini book with cute illustrations about it.

Magnus new room
by Magnus

I have a new room. It's cool. (rock on)
I used to share a room. I had 100 toys.
I did not want to share a room.
My Brother has a new room too.
I had a carpeted floor room.
My brother has a wood floor room.
The End.

Hours dedicated to lego'ing

Lego table in the closet

Who needs tivo

when dad has created a media server? Erik's computer center.

Very nice room

Erik's new room thanks to Jazz, Krys, mom, & dad.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Politics - Obama for President

I sincerely was for the father figure myself 6 months ago. I was for the seasoned veteran 4 months ago. what changed my mind? blathering about pork barrel spending after cashing the check for a bridge to no where that was never built. that to me is UNETHICAL. blathering about the mortgage crisis when only 2.7% of the homes are actually in foreclosure. Not a national crisis IMO. some people made bad choices, and like the current population of Helicopter Parents, no one wants to let anyone take responsibility for their mistakes.

someone got it in their head to bail out AIG and now they are having a spa day for 1/2 million while I am still staying at Motel 6 because I can get a $30 a night rate. As much as I dread returning to the "Carter" years and the "Clinton" years where the Democrats prevail with 'equalizing' the class structure of this country with "Promises" of public health care and social security and tax reform, I seriously doubt that anything will ever change because of the government. The reason that computers have changed our world is because of free enterprise not government stewardship, and I think that same free enterprise will eventually get us to change our energy from carbon based to Lithium Ion based. I truly pray for a government tax credit and low/no interest loan that SIGNIFICANTLY makes installing a solar power array on residential houses and Plug In Cars affordable so that we are able to achieve the goal in 2 years.

Ultimately, a couple of things made up my mind that I had to go with the bleedingheartliberalbedwettingdemocrats. The tax redistribution was one key point.

the other was as I was talking to Sverre last night, if I take all the kids with me to the 'mart store, and each throws in 2 or 3 items in the cart, by the time I get to the check out, we have add a couple of hundred dollars to the bill and while no one person was being 'greedy' combined they are bankrupting mom. So Mom says "no" pay for it yourself with your chore allowance. granted many of our citizens think that they all should be on an allowance. I disagree.