Friday, July 25, 2014

Distelrath Farm Tour - Coming Up

Very excited to take part in the upcoming Blogger Family Farm Tour at Distelrath Farm. We drove past this new-to-us location on our way to our fairly ill-fated strawberry picking family adventure earlier this year (too hot outside for my wee babes that day) and have been wanting to go ever since! I creaned my neck in the passenger seat to see more as we drove past - I did see some lovely chickens and have been seeing write-ups about the location. Cannot wait to fill you all in on this gem!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Greenwood

I am so incredibly excited about Fresh Thyme Farmers Market coming to Greenwood! We are in an area pretty devoid of much in the way of natural food stores - and if you can find them - they are fairly small and not vary diverse what they carry. I cannot find what I need from one store - I end up having to go to different ones each week for what I need.

Was lucky enough to be on invited to the Friends and Family Night this week for Fresh Thyme to get a little beforehand sneak peek at what this store has to offer.

And woah.

You guys are going to love this place!

Really good prices - talking like 77 cent strawberries! Kinda unheard of for a health food store. So much produce, so much deli items, so many bulk pantry can pour your own honey, olive oil and more! So happy!

And for all the dairy free and gluten free peeps - this store has your back! From pizza, to ice cream and more - happy dairy free day!! I wanted to skip joyously down the aisles! Ha! This stuff is hard to find on our side of town unless you count the tiny natural foods section in Kroger.

Essential oils, bath and beauty products, cereals, it is pretty cool.

Check it out!



At Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets we believe you shouldn’t have to give away the farm to feed your body nutritious food. We’re on a mission to improve the way our communities eat by offering fresh and healthy food at amazing values -all in a vibrant and fun shopping environment, with smiling friendly faces.

The foundation of healthy eating is often based on incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets. Therefore, at the core of our offerings is an abundant produce department, overflowing with fruits and vegetables, fresh from the farm, often locally grown and much of it organic. We’re so passionate about produce that we’ve made it the nucleus of the store, ensuring the bounty of fruits and vegetables is visible from all other departments.

Here is more on the Grand Opening:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer's here!

So glad to be done with winter - but my do we have some catching up to do! Time flies with two! :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Diving Into Dairy Free

So we have decided to go dairy free for our little miss Ainsley. Bouts of fussiness and arching her back through all hours of the night even on reflux medication (same as we had done for Delaney 3 years ago) lead us back to the pediatrician and also a chiropractor for insight and answers and also to rule out any ear infection, etc. Everything ruled out - so the elephant left standing is dairy in my diet. (and possibly soy- but we are going to talk about that right now - because if you take out dairy there is almost nothing left it feels - and so to also remove soy - omg let's just not go there right now). Tofutti sour cream and cream cheese are my saving graces right now - take those out and then what?? Yikes. Ok..on to the dairy free stuff.

When you first think about going dairy free it is pretty crippling. All you goes through your mind is what you cannot have. But there is light at the end of tunnel for all you fellow dairy-free people out there! I know you have that deer in the headlights look as you grip your bottle of powdered probiotics and stare at your pantry and fridge...because it is ALL DAIRY...but rest easy. There are options, choices, and you WILL feel better - and obviously baby will too.

We started this journey about a month ago and it has made a big difference for me even. I cheated and had a cupcake with dairy cream cheese and was in so much pain myself afterwards. Oy.

So here are your first steps if you are going dairy free that I found helped me.

1. Stock up on the staples: Kroger has an awesome natural food section that features a lot of what you need to go dairy free. The idea of trying to fit in an extra trip to the healthfoods store was daunting to think about when toting around two children during our limited weekend time - but really I have been able to find almost everything I need at Kroger. Yay, Kroger! :) Meijer has limited items and I haven't foraged Walmart for dairy-free so I cannot report on the scene there if there is one...but save your sanity and go to Kroger.

Buy dairy free staples that will help you daily in cooking, baking. Almost any recipe can be modified to be dairy free - this is freeing to think! Creamy casseroles, cookies, etc....modify, modify, modify.

Here is your staple list:

  • Dairy Free Butter
  • Dairy Free Cream Cheese
  • Dairy Free Sour Cream
  • Alternative Milks (coconut, almond, or rice)
  • Alternative Cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar, etc)

I found it helpful to go ahead and buy half gallon cartons of several different alternative yes, there is an entire shelf in my fridge dedicated to milk.

I have found that almond milk has much more subtle taste than soy milks or coconut milk - making it great at modifying recipes that call for cows milk. I haven't tried rice milk yet - but may here in the future just to see how it compares to almond milk.

On the dairy-free cheese - do not hold much hope on these folks. Unlike the easy substitutions from dairy to non on the milks, sour cream, etc....cheese is in a league of it's own and I haven't tried enough of the alternatives out there to say what works best. I have tried what I read was the best Just not cheese. Helps ease the transition, but so obviously not cheese. Especially cheddar. Just a word of warning on that.

In my fridge:

  • Almond Milk Original - is slightly sweetened. Works as a great substitute in baked goods, cereal milk, french toast, and frostings.
  • Almond Milk Unsweetened - for things like mashed potatoes, cooking dishes like casseroles etc where you wouldn't want a sweetened taste at all.
  • Almond Milk Chocolate - helps with those chocolate milk cravings! And yum!!
  • Coconut Milk - Coconut milk is a fattier milk than almond milk and works in recipes calling for whole milk. I have used mine to make an uh-mazing dairy-free ranch dressing.
  • Tofutti Cream Cheese - great for subbing in recipes that call for cream-cheese including frostings.
  • Tofutti Sour Cream - goes great on tacos, and any recipe calling for sour cream.
  • Daiya Cheeses - Cheddar and Mozarella
My dairy-free sanity savers:
  • Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Homemade Dairy-free ranch dressing - mix up a jar to keep in the fridge - you will be glad you did
  • Hummus (do yourself a favor and add a clove of minced garlic and some olive oil, stir, and warm it up - yum) - sooo good and filling with warmed, soft pita bread cut into triangles.
  • Bacon
  • French bread loaves 
  • Burger King French Fries
In the event that  I decide it might be worth it to try going soy-free:
  • homemade soy-free "soy" sauce
  • subbing  greek yogurt (something about the yogurt cultures eating the lactose making it ok for dairy free - haven't tried so not sure) for the tofutti sour cream
  • kraft lactose free cheese ?? (statement found on Clarks Condensed: *Most brands of Kraft Natural Cheese have had the lactose removed, along with the whey, resulting in 0 grams of lactose, including the 100% Grated Parmesan that is used in this recipe. However, some remnants of lactose could remain, just not at a reportable level. From most that I’ve talked to that are lactose intolerant, Kraft Cheese does not bother them, but if you have an extreme intolerance, be cautious.")

Helpful Links:

Milk Conversions for Recipes (borrowed from: Cooking with Curls)
  • Heavy Cream = Coconut Milk (can)
  • Whole Milk = Coconut Milk (box) or Soy Milk
  • Non Fat Milk = Almond or Rice Milk
  • Half & Half = Half Coconut Milk (can) & Half Coconut Milk (box)

Thursday, February 13, 2014


"Oh no! My hands are cracked!"

(She is just now noticing and referring to the lines on her palms and also that her skin is so dry from this brutal winter. She originally wanted a bandaid or "bandage" as she refers to them as for the cracks. Ha!)


"Delaney, who is your new friend at daycare?"


"Angry? Is she mad? Or is that her name?"

"That is her name."


(Turns out her name is Avery and, small world that it is, she is the child of someone we went to high school with!)


Also "Octopus" can be easily confused with "Apple Purse" :) 

Daddy and Delaney were having craft time and he asked her what she wanted him to make her out of the craft paper. And she said an Apple Purse - so that is what he made...and she told him no and took it from him and cut the bottom all up (for legs) :) 

It wasn't until a few days later when he was retelling me the story that we put it together. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

(Indianapolis) To Do with Toddlers: Veal's Ice Tree

This has been one of those soul sucking winters that just makes you want to pack up and move to the equator. I mean S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y. Now add in an on-the-go toddler and an infant and you practically spell out stir crazy.

We packed everyone up this past weekend and spent a day at the mall (ugh), the three-year-old burnt some energy with Dad at the indoor playground (yes, germ-city - we know...)and Mom took the baby around to cross off some returns from our list of to-do's.

Afterwards we revved up the GPS and headed towards I-74 in search of the fabled ice tree. I have heard about it off and on for the last several years but never made it out that way. It really is a must-see! In person this ice sculpture is just magnificent and jaw dropping - makes you stand there in the family's backyard in utter awe and silence. Definitely will be a seasonal family tradition from now on! In fact Delaney asked to see it again this morning -- a full two days later! Next time we will remember to bundle the baby - so THAT's why those pink baby snow-suit things exist - aha!

Pick up a brochure while you are there and read more about the tree and it's history - fun little back story.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Leftover Magic and Improvised Refridgerator Cooking

There is something exciting about taking ho hum leftovers and creating something fantastic out of it. I also see the random left overs in the fridge as a bit of a challenge. Sour cream, whipping cream, half a box of vegetable stock....bring it.

We had went out Saturday night on a rare double date night with some new friends and came home with half of a chicken. I told him to order pasta but he swears he didn't hear me - but either way we came home with an entire half a chicken that he didn't touch much of. I do admit it didn't look good - neither of us enjoy picking meat off bones.

Sunday night rolled around and I was still looking for ways to use up the half a box of vegetable stock that has been in our fridge from a pasta sauce recipe we tried. Perusing through my evernote recipes for inspiration - it hit!

Half a left over chicken fully seasoned and cooked from the restaurant + vegetable stock + sour cream + 1/4 bag of tortilla chip crumbles = Enchilada Soup!

It is a recipe I have saved in my evernote account for awhile now that has sounded so good! Though at first, as it was cooking up I was skeptical - wasn't hitting me as great as far as smell or taste with just the chicken, store-bought veg stock and tomatoes. Not to mention that I forgot to grab heavy cream from the store - boo! Nothing else to do but improvise! Took advantage of the "cream of something soup mix" I had made up quite a while ago in the pantry - put in 2-3 tablespoons. And a few tablespoons of flour, a few tablespoons of butter - lots of salt and pepper.

But what really made this meal come to together are the add-ins. They take the soup from mediocre to sheer inhalatino-mode.

Here is what we added and suggest making mandatory if you plan on trying this recipe at all - of course they cannot be added on until last minute right before serving.

- crumbled tortilla chips (enough to make up for the thickness of the soup depending on how much chicken you put in etc - I never got the base to actually become creamy as the recipe states - of couse I didn't have heavy cream so this could why - no I take that back - it is definitely why - but I didn't want to NOT make it or run to the store again - so two handfuls of crumbled chips it is! 
- cheddar cheese
- monterrey jack cheese
- sour cream dollop
- green onion
- and inhale :)