A blog about family, food and fun!

Tag: simple

The Importance of Walking in the Wood With Kids

The Importance of Walking in the Wood With Kids

Since being laid off I have been trying to spend time with family and friends. My Dad is nearing retirement and has some free time as well so I have been trying to get the kids out to see him on the family property out […]

Fun Times with Mr. Oscoey

Fun Times with Mr. Oscoey

Mr. Oscoey and I took some time a little bit ago to spend some time together since I have so much more free time now that I have been laid off. We had a great time exploring the Amazon Spheres, Pike Place Market and just […]

Happy Blogiversary!

Happy Blogiversary!

One Year of Blogging Done!

 

Last weekend was the one year anniversary of Oscoey. I can’t believe how quickly the last year has gone! I have learned a lot about blogging over the past year and gotten to know many fabulous bloggers as well.

 

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Huckleberries in the garden.

 

When I first started out blogging with my very first blog post:

 

 

I had all sorts of ideas of what I wanted the blog to be and then the reality of life set in and I had to way scale back my ambitious plans.  There simply was not time for me to be posting quality posts 3 days a week, be on top of social media all day long and be an active member of all the blog groups I am part of and have some semblance of a home life. Luckily I realized pretty early on that it is ok if I can’t write an article for a few weeks or if I miss out on pivotal twitter discussions because I am not doing the blog as a full-time business making gig. I am doing it because I enjoy writing about our life and I love the community of people I have become a part of.

 

Raspberry Jam!

 

My blog first started out as a basic mom blog with many posts about the garden and recipes. I loved my weekly garden posts and will continue them on a less frequent basis this year. I love looking back at how the garden changed over the growing season.  I am probably going to scale back on the recipes though. Mr. Oscoey is more the cook in the family and now that I am working again I really don’t have time to cook much any more.  I use my banana bread and chocolate chip cookies recipes all the time though. They are a great dairy and gluten free choice for any sort of social gathering you need to bring an item to.  I am planning on making my dairy and gluten-free banana bread to bring with a jar of homemade jam to our work potluck at the end of this month.

 

Summer squash.

 

I have spent a little time focusing on urban homesteading on Oscoey because I firmly believe that people should grow at least a little of their own food. It is easy to set out a pot and even just grow a little bit of lettuce. Connecting with nature and understanding the seasons is something a lot of people have lost. Growing your own food is the easiest way to regain that connection and as an added bonus you have cheap organic produce to munch on! I am very excited to start our garden this year and I look forward to spending time out there with the kids every day. They love to graze and eat whatever is in season and that is fine with us!

 

Blue skies.

 

After I had done the mom blog thing for a while and focused on our little urban homestead I found the personal finance community and I haven’t really looked back. I love reading about personal finance, talking about savings strategies and getting inspiration from others. I will be honest and tell you I was a little nervous when I added the “Finances” category to the top of my page but then I did the Uber Frugal Month Challenge this January and I loved being a part of that community and jump starting our frugal mindset once again.

 

Wrinkly full picture off of the frame. 3/30/17

 

My crossstitching progress pictures seem to have fallen by the wayside…and that is mostly because I have not been stitching.  I would love to have the time to stitch every day and I am very inspired by my Instagram feed with everybody’s progress but I am honestly too tired at the end of the day to even think about picking up a needle.  This picture was taken almost a year ago and even though I have actually made progress on the piece I am no where near finished with it like I had hoped.  I also have several sewing projects I would love to write about that I have not worked on in months so I think one of my blogging goals for this year is to talk about some of my projects and spend some time tracking them on a weekly basis to motivate me to finish them.

 

Oscoey had a great first year! I want to thank everyone that is a regular reader of the blog! I love your comments and interacting with you. Here’s hoping to another great year of blogging!

 

 

 

Indoor Seed Starting Resources

Indoor Seed Starting Resources

Indoor Seed Starting Time   It is that time of year again when I start to think about what seeds I need to start indoors. This is our third year gardening at our house and the second year for us starting seeds indoors. Last year […]

Dried Banana Chips

Dried Banana Chips

One of the easiest, cheapest and healthiest snacks I make my kids is dried banana chips. My son absolutely loves them! We buy a couple of bunches of bananas at Costco for $1.39, slice them up and put them into the dehydrator and at the […]

Easy Vegetarian Burritos

Easy Vegetarian Burritos

We have been trying to eat both healthier and cheaper in our house and besides beans one of the ways I have been trying to do that is to add more squash into our diet.  I love squash.  I am really excited about our zucchini and spaghetti squash plants.  The rest of my family is more than a little apprehensive.  The little kids are hit and miss when it comes to squash and my oldest daughter is strongly positioned in the squash is disgusting camp. My husband is not a huge fan but he will eat it…sometimes. Costco has organic butternut squash for a reasonable price that has been cured so it will store well in our pantry.  I highly recommend buying and storing a couple of butternut and spaghetti squash in your pantry as part of an emergency kit/last minute dinner idea.  As long as they have no blemishes they should be good for months in a cool dry place.  We usually have at least one type on hand and when we are stuck in a vegetable rut or having a lean grocery week I pull out the squash.  Usually one squash is good for a few meals since they are pretty large but it depends on how excited the family is about eating it that particular week.

 

This week I had a craving for my vegetarian butternut squash burritos.  They are super easy to make and can be adapted to make rice bowls so they are gluten free. Sometimes I add a garlic sauce or some of my husband’s white barbecue sauce but if you are trying to eat healthier they should be eaten without the sauce.  We always have rice and tortillas on hand so this recipe doesn’t require and extra trip to the grocery store for us if we have avocados on hand.

 

 

First thing to do is slice your squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  I usually put the rice in the rice cooker at this point as well.  You can make as much as you need but I usually make 3 cups of rice since we eat it with other things as leftovers.

 

 

Next your squash needs to be peeled.  They can get slippery so be careful how you hold it while you peel.

 

 

While I was assembling everything the kids played with Play-doh. Luckily they didn’t make too much of a mess!

 

 

After peeling dice the squash and put it in a steamer.  We have an old Revere Ware one that we inherited from my mother-in-law that is the true workhorse of our kitchen. You can find similar ones here.

 

 

Tonight I also made some roasted sweet potatoes in case the kids wouldn’t eat their squash.  Good thing I did because the kids were apparently craving them and ate most of the three large potatoes I baked on their own.

 

 

After the squash and rice were cooked I set up our assembly station. I sliced avocados to order and it was an excellent meal. My son actually ate some avocados and my daughter ate a ton of squash so overall it was a success! We had oranges for dessert which is another way to keep the meal healthy.  The kids had a post-dinner snack of most of the sweet potatoes which was hilarious because our son used them to get the dachshund to chase him around the house. He found it hilarious and she got a few pieces so it worked out for her as well.

 

 

Our avocados were not as ripe as they promised to be but they still tasted delicious with the squash and rice. I am hoping next year to grow our own butternut squash but for now, the ones I find at Costco are by far the most delicious. They have a smooth texture and a not too sweet taste that I love.  For some reason this combination of rice, avocados and butternut squash is really appealing to me.  The three ingredients really balance each other out and it makes a quick and easy meal that the whole family enjoys!

 

How are you incorporating squash into your meals?

 

Easy Vegetarian Squash Burritos

June 22, 2017
: 5-6
: 20 min
: 30 min
: 50 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Butternut Squash
  • 3 Cups Cooked Rice
  • Large Flour Tortillas
  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions
  • Step 1 Cut your butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. The extra half can be stored in the fridge covered in plastic wrap for a few days or you can do the next step and put it in the freezer for later use.
  • Step 2 Using a vegetable peeler carefully peel the skin off of the squash.
  • Step 3 Once peeled dice the squash into bite size pieces and put in a steamer pot.
  • Step 4 Cook for 20 min or until tender.
  • Step 5 Slice your avocados just prior to serving.
  • Step 6 Assemble your burritos! Start with a tortilla and add rice, avocados, squash, salt and pepper to taste. If you have some creamy sauce around you can add that as well but it will not be as healthy. You can also skip the tortilla and make a rice bowl if you want to cut out the wheat to make it gluten free.

Science Fun with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Science Fun with Baking Soda and Vinegar

My daughter loves to play with baking soda and vinegar. She always helps me deodorize the garbage disposal by pouring the vinegar down the drain and making bubbles.  Today my son got to watch and he was fascinated.   This site participates in affiliate links […]

Hummus from Scratch

Hummus from Scratch

We have always been big fans of hummus. For a long time we bought organic canned garbanzo beans and made hummus from those but we have been trying to make as much of our food from scratch as we can so about a year ago […]

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

My oldest daughter and I love these sweet potato fries.  I make them every couple of weeks and they are usually gone by the end of the night.  The younger two kids either really love sweet potatoes or they can’t stand them so I usually make them as an extra dish.  They are so easy to make it doesn’t make it seem like I am doing extra work for dinner.  Some nights I start them when the younger kids are eating and then eat them as an after dinner snack instead of dessert.  It was yummy and way healthier than ice cream or cookies.

 

 

Wash sweet potatoes thoroughly with a vegetable scrubber.

 

 

I used three lovely sweet potatoes today.  We buy a gigantic bag from Costco every month or two and store them in a cool dry place.

 

 

Cut the ends off and then cut the sweet potatoes in half.  Stand each half upright on the wider end and cut it in half again.  Then slice each quarter into roughly the same thickness.

 

 

Spread your sweet potatoes on a standard cookie sheet. I used a Silpat under mine but you can also use parchment paper.  The sweet potatoes don’t have to be evenly spread and they can be touching since they will shrink as they cook.

 

 

Lightly coat your sweet potatoes with olive oil.  Ha ha! There is no actual olive oil on my brush because I didn’t want it to glop on there unevenly while I took a picture but you get the idea.  I love our silicone brush because I can just toss it in the dishwasher afterwards. Don’t ask me where we got it. My husband bought it many years ago and I have no idea where but they have similar ones on Amazon.

 

 

Sprinkle your salt and pepper. I don’t use a lot of salt in my cooking and if I add a bunch of pepper to these it is guaranteed that the little kids won’t eat them so I do a very light coat.  They do taste wonderful though if you add lots of pepper and a decent amount of salt so sometimes if I am feeling extra inspired I will make another tray for the grownups with more seasoning.  Turn your sweet potatoes over and repeat the olive oil, salt and pepper. I may forget to repeat the second side if my kids are extra distracting so you can skip this step but they taste way better with coating on both sides.  Put them in the oven for about 20 min, flip them with a fork to check tenderness and put them back into the oven for another 15-20 min.  Check them a second time. There should be a little carmelization on them but if you are feeding them to little ones it is better to leave them soft.

 

 

I made these for kids to eat tomorrow so I pulled them a little early to keep them soft  You can see some carmelization on the smaller pieces.

 

 

 

Yummy sweet potato juice coating the cooked fries. Let the fries cool for a few minutes and enjoy!  You could also add a pre-mixed seasoning salt to the fries or just do salt and have them be more like french fries.

 

I hope your family enjoys these as much as we do!  Happy cooking!

 

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

May 9, 2017
: 4-6
: 10 min
: 45 min
: 55 min
: Easy

Baked sweet potatoes make a great snack or side to any dinner.

By:

Ingredients
  • 3-4 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
Directions
  • Step 1 Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees and wash your sweet potatoes thoroughly.
  • Step 2 Cut off the ends of the sweet potatoes and slice them in half twice. Cut them into roughly the same width (usually 1/4″ or so) to make them fry size. The actual width doesn’t matter, just remember the thicker they are the longer they will need to cook and the softer the fries will be. I usually cut each 1/4 of a sweet potato into 4-5 slices depending on how big it is.
  • Step 3 Spread your fries evenly over a standard cookie sheet. I use a Silpat under them so they do not stick.
  • Step 4 Lightly coat fries with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  • Step 5 Flip your fries and repeat olive oil, salt and pepper on the other side.
  • Step 6 Bake sweet potatoes for 20 minutes.
  • Step 7 Flip the fries with a fork and put them back into the oven for another 20-30 minutes depending on how done they are. If they are already soft put them in for 15 minutes and check them again. If some of them are still a little firm it will probably be closer to 25 or 30 minutes but check every few minutes to make sure.
  • Step 8 Fries should be soft on the inside and have a little bit of carmelization on the outside. When I make them for the baby I leave them softer on the outside so he can chew them. Enjoy!

 

Sensory Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Sensory Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers

We have been spending a lot of time lately working on sensory play with our kids. They love to get messy and a lot of the activities we have been doing are brand new to our one year old and our three year old hasn’t […]