Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eating Dandelions

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What?  Eating Dandelions?  Yes, Ma’am, that’s exactly what this post I’m sharing for Frugal Fridays is all about.  Eating those free greens nature provides for you right in your own neighbourhood is being frugal indeed!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

1940s Woman’s Home Companions

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Hello ladies!  Im so glad to be able to take part in Rednesday over at Its a Very Cherry World and Vintage Thingies Thursdays at Colorado Lady. I love seeing all the entries in these two fun “eye candy” carnivals as I like to think of them.

Farm Chicks Give-Away

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Do you all love the Farm Chicks?  Surely you must!  And if you’ve never heard of them before, head over to the website and check out all of their cute and practical ideas for homemaking, including Serena’s blog.  I am so excited to share with you all that I am giving away Farm Chicks in the Kitchen!!  this is one of their cutest books and it is filled with 144 beautiful color pages of great recipes and practical little DIY ideas for your kitchen.  Even if all you did was use it for eye candy, it would still be a treat!

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And the best thing about this Give-away is that it is Gimmick-Free.  You don’t have to be a follower, or post a link to my give-away, or advertise it on Facebook, or do a write-up on it, or a grab a button, or do a little dance or send me a blood sample or give me your first born!  Can you believe it??  An honest-to-goodness give away where I share something with you awesome readers just for the fun of it!  Yay for free stuff!

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So, ALL you have to do to enter for this give-away is the following:

1.) Be a member of the female sex that lives in Canada or the US.

2.) Leave a comment and make sure I can link back to your blog through your comment or leave an email address where you can be reached should you win if you dont have a blog.

3.) Leave a comment letting me know what part of my blog you enjoy the most (OK, is this a gimmick?  Hopefully not, just trying to survey what kinds of posts you ladies enjoy the most).  So in other words, do you like the Retro art, posts about cool vintage stuff I find, recipes, homemaking tips, money-saving tips, etc.  Is there anything you’d like to see more of?  Feel free to say so.  AND if you really dont have an opinion at all thats ok, too. just a leave a comment saying youd like to enter. :)

I so look forward to being able to give this awesome book away to one of you lucky ladies. The Give-away will run until Mother’s Day, when I’ll announce a winner.

Good Luck, Ladies!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Homemade Coleslaw

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Summer is on it’s way ladies, and summer means barbqs, picnics, and meals that don’t required a lot of standing over hot ovens and stoves, right?  Coleslaw is one of the classic summer salads although with local cabbage being available nearly year-round, there is no reason not to enjoy it at any time!
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I have a confession to make: forever I’ve been buying those bags of pre-shredded cabbage and the jars of coleslaw dressing.  Then I remembered that i used to  make coleslaw for the deli I worked at in college, and it was super easy and more tasty than the stuff I was buying and paying extra money for at the store, so I decided to give it a try last month and I am so glad I did.
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Making coleslaw yourself is cheap, easy, and delicious, and you can control the ingredients yourself to help manage your sugar, fat and salt intake.
Creamy Coleslaw (or Cabbage Salad as some would say)
1/2 Head cabbage (I do half a head at a time because we are a small family, but of course you can very easily double this)
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I advise you use the REAL stuff, but I leave it to your discretion)
1 1/2 Tblspn Sugar
1 1/2 Tblspn Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 teaspn kosher salt (or to taste)
generous sprinkling of fresh-ground black pepper
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1. Half your cabbage and core it, and put the other half in the fridge for a different recipe or, if you’re like me, more coleslaw later in the week.  Get out your cheese grater and shred the cabbage with the broad side of the shredder, not the fine side.  If you have a food processor that is good at shredding go ahead and use that, you might get a chunkier texture if that is what you prefer.
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2. In a large glass measuring cup, or in a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar, and whip up with a fork or whisk.
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3. Stir the shredded cabbage and dressing in a large bowl until well-mixed.  Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over salad, and mix again.
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4. I like to refrigerate mine for an hour or so before serving, but honestly its delicious the minute its done.
Do any of you ladies have a coleslaw recipe that you like?  Pass it on!!

Glad to be joining  Simple Living for Foodie Fridays, Hey Mom Whats for Dinner for Just Another Meatless Monday, and Veggie Momma for Meatless Mondays.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Baked Eggplant Parmesan (to die for)

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This is one of my new favourite mid-week meals, ladies, and I am hoping you’ll take a stab at it even if you’ve never made eggplant parmesan before (and even if you’ve never tried it!).  It’s delicious and this version is baked, so unlike the deep-friend parm dishes you are accustomed to, there are much fewer calories.  I dont know if I’d go so far as to call it “low-fat”, because there is still cheese in the recipe, but of course the lower-fat the parmesan and mozzarella you use the few calories and less fat there will be. 

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Ingredients:

2 large eggplants

2 large eggs

roughly 2 cups of fine breadcrumbs, perhaps more

salt and pepper

favourite Italian herbs (any combination of basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc, will do)

2T olive oil

1 1/2- 2 Jars of a good marinara sauce (preferable your homemade but a good bottled one will due)

parmesan cheese (at least 3/4 cup but more to taste)

mozzarella cheese (at least 1 cup but more to taste)

1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Slice the eggplants about 1/2 inch thick.  don’t slice them any thicker, as the crispiness that they develop in the oven is what makes the dish so tasty. 

2.  Prepare the two eggs by beating them with a dash of water in a wide, shallow bowl.  Add the bread crumbs is a similar dish, adding your favourite herbs and salt and pepper to taste (you want at least two teaspoons of herbs, but I usually use more like a tablespoon).

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2. Grease two large cookie sheets with olive oil.  You dont have to be overly generous here but do be sure that the pan is covered.  You dont want your breaded eggplant to stick or burn and the little bit of oil they will be cooking in will help them to crisp up and give them flavour.

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4. Using tongs, dip your eggplant slices first in the egg wash, and then in the crumbs.  I like to put the slice in the bowl, then gently shake the dish back and forth to get the slice coated nicely.  some people prefer doing this in a plastic bag, but I dont like how clumped up the crumbs get with the egg yolk when I do it that what.  But whatever floats your boat. :)

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5.  Place breaded eggplant on the cookie sheets in a single layer and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes on each side.

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6. In a square casserole dish (size is really giong to depend on how big your eggplants are.  As you can see from my photos, originally I thought my two eggplants would be enough for me to make two 8X8 pans of Parm so I could freeze one for a further date, but as I was filling up the dish I realized that because my eggplants were skinnier than the ones I’ve used in the past, really I had just enough for one very-full 8X8.  So you’ll have to experiment with the dish size), put a thin layer of marinara (preferably your own homemade!) at the bottom of the pan.  Then proceed to layer your eggplant, more sauce, and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.  How you do this will depend on how much cheese and sauce you like in your parm.  For us, becuase I was trying to keep it more cost-effective and lower in calories, I put down two or three layers of eggplant, then sauce, then a light sprinkling of parmesan cheese, and repeated that until at the very top layer I added mozzarella.  But of course it would be all the more decadent if you added mozzarella between each layer.

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7. Place the assembled casserole in the oven and increase the heat to 400 degrees.  Bake until the cheese is hot, bubbly and browned on top, about 30-45 minutes, depending on how big your casserole is.

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8.  You want to make sure you have some extra marinara sauce on the stovetop so that you can serve this delicious Eggplant with some spaghetti and marinara.  Serve it with a nice green salad on the side and you have a fabulous dinner for the whole family, often with left-overs for the next day, and its much lower in fat and calories than your typical fried eggplant parm would be.

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Bon Appétit! 

So excited to be linking up with Veggie Mamma for Meatless Mondays 

and Hey Whats For Dinner, Mom? for Just Another Meatless Monday  Hey What's For Dinner

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Red Lentil “Sand Box”

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I have recently discovered the lovely blog carnival Frugal Fridays over at Life as Mom, and for my first entry I’d like to share a fun, cheap activity to play with  your toddler.  Who needs another big, expensive, plastic, made-in-China toy when you could do something original for less and have a great time doing it?  Hope you enjoy. :)
Our little Bird is at an age (she’ll be two next week!) where playing with her can sometimes be a challenge.  She loves to run around and do things on her own, read books, get into mischief, and she LOVES when you sit and read with her, but I have been trying to think of more things that we can do together, that will hold her interest, that will give us face-to-face time.
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My husband discovered play dough last month and my daughter is nearly obsessed.  She says “aaaydough” all during dinner because she knows after the meal is over its play dough time with daddy.  I wanted to have something just as fun that she could love forward to doing with me, and I was reading a little book about games and activities for toddlers when I came upon the suggestion of “sandboxes” with alternative materials.  things like feathers, wood shavings, leaves, etc, for a fun time digging and exploring textures. Picture 046
One of the grocery stores in our area (FreshCo for you Ontario folks) has recently had 8 lbs bags of red lentils on sale for 3 dollars  Yes, you read that right: EIGHT lbs.  That’s a lot or red lentils!  I bought  a bag last week as I like red lentils for curries, soups, etc.  But then after I read this idea about alternative sandboxes, I thought it might be fun to buy a couple extra bags of these red lentils and make a “sandbox” out of them.
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And it was a success!  I need to get a bigger, better container, but for today we just used my roasting pan and one of the bags.  We took them outside on our deck (it was gorgeous out today!) and Bird had a blast scooping, raking, piling, dumping, flinging, and once or twice eating this big pile of red lentils.  She was having so much fun she got quite upset when we had to go in for nap time. :) It was nice because we were sitting face to face, enjoying a laugh together, and really playing together.  And Id say that was worth three dollars, don’t you?  :)
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Do you moms have any good activities you like to play with your toddlers?  Do share!

linking up with Saturday Show and Tell at Cheerios and Lattes and Kid's Co-Op at Learn with Play @ Home

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

1927 Needlecraft Magazine

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Hello ladies!  I am so excited to be back joining the fun blog carnivals Rednesday and Vintage Thingies Thursday!  I have been anxious to share this lovely vintage women’s magazine I purchased over a year ago with you all and this seemed like the perfect post to do it.

Typically when I am at an antique store and come across a stash of vintage magazines, they range from the 40s up into the 70s, with a bulk of them landing in the 50s and 60s.  Rarely have I come across something from the 20s, and especially in such nice condition (and such a nice price- I think I paid 5 dollars for it!).  I am not a needlework enthusiast myself but I so enjoy looking at all the beautiful illustrations, both in the articles and the advertisements, that my lack of knowledge of the subject matter was inconsequential.  I’d like to share some of the beautiful images from the magazine with you below (and look out for lots of RED!).

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I love love love all the homey domestic scenes that magazines used to include in their pages.  Look at this sweet illustration of a mamma on the floor reading with her little girl.  Precious!

 

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This article about table linens and aprons showed ladies enjoying teatime together and they appreciate each other’s handiwork.  Look how glamorous those gals look with their flapper-style bobs and dresses.  So cute!

 

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Now this was probably my favourite ad in the magazine, because as an advocate for breastfeeding I thought it was so cool to see an ad encouraging nursing even back in 1927. 

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Red fans will love this old ad for Campbell's Tomato Soup!

 

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Another great domestic scene in an ad for baking powders.  I love how moms used to take so much pride in feeding their family, and we can still take pride in that today!

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And finally, Il leave you with this glamour shot advertising the movies- does it get more 1920s than this??  Love it!

Thank you for stopping by at my blog and enjoying a little time-warp fun with me.  God bless!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mommy’s Little Helper

 mary_cassatt_27 breakfast in bed by Mary Cassat

The Old-Fashioned Family has been sick sick sick this week with one super-nasty cough/cold/sinus infection.  It all started Easter afternoon when we rushed our little Bird to the hospital when she couldnt breathe upon waking from her nap.  Turns out it was croup, but as we had never seen that before, it was really scary!  Soon after my husband and I both became ill as well, and we’re still not totally over it. 

The only good things about being this sick is that it afford us a lot of family time together, even if it was sick and miserable time! :)  And, I go to do more blog posts than normal, which was also fun for me.

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I have so many more posts that I want to do soon but for now I just wanted to share this darling video of our little Bird helping me with the laundry.  I was encouraged by a mentor of mine a few months ago that children can start helping with chores even when they are very little.  I took up the challenge and was amazed that indeed our little bird, only 22 months in this video, was able to help me put an entire basket of laundry in the dryer by herself.  The only downside: she likes helping so much that when the basket is empty she gets sad and cries a little when we have to close the door!  So sweet!

In the comments I would love to hear from you moms out there what chores your little toddlers are able to help with around the house.  Thanks for stopping by, ladies, and hope your Spring is as happy, and hopefully a little more healthy, than ours has been!

God bless, ladies!