All posts in NEST

NEST … with a few books we’re enjoying + happy 1st day of spring

Happy 1st day of Spring! We’re anxiously awaiting garden time and more outside time in general. As you can see below we couldn’t wait any longer to start planting seeds. Every square inch of sunny space is taken up by seedlings waiting to get outside. Gardening is a lot of work but each year I get more and more excited about it. It really feeds my soul to be in the dirt and the science is there to back that up. Here’s a great article to get you inspired about gardening. I love the harvest “high” they talk about. I can really relate to all of the mental benefits.

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Here are a few books we’ve been enjoying from the library lately. With avid readers in the house we’re there at least once a week so it’s pretty easy to have a running list of books on reserve.

Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by Tomie DePaola … so many of his books are favorites of ours. In this one Pascual, a young boy, joins the Franciscans and is told to cook for them but doesn’t know how. Kitchen angels come down and cook for him while he spends his time in prayer. We can all glean valuable lessons from this book. Now, if we only had kitchen angels to deliver our freshly cooked meals! That sounds heavenly.

Here’s a long list of Tomie DePaola books to look for at the library. So many good ones!

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. So many great themes in this book and perfect for spring. It’s a heartwarming story of life’s struggles and new growth – garden growth and personal growth. My little gardener girl loves this one.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind  by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.

I heard about William Kamkwamba and his windmills a few years ago but just recently found the picture book explaining the story and then the kids and I watched his very first TED X talk. If you haven’t seen the TED X talks with William Kamkwamba, watch this one first. Now watch this one, 2 years after the first! The boys were very inspired by William and his determination and inquisitive ways. Next, Jack plans to read this one.

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Blue on Blue by Dianne White with illustrations by Beth Krommes. This one has rhymimg text describing a thunderstorm with incredible artwork by the Caldecott Award Winner Beth Krommes.

Here’s a little description of scratchboard art, the technique that the illustrator uses to create her highly visual artwork.

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To get into the Spring spirit we went to volunteer with Clockwork, at Cultivate KC. Just the thing to kickstart the gardening bug! We helped out at their Gibbs Road Farm transplanting seedlings to larger pots and preparing an area for a cover crop of clover. I’ve written about this fantastic urban farm catalyst for Kansas City here before, if you would like to know more about their mission.

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Cultivate KC also hosts Urban Grown, a fantastic garden tour featuring Kansas City urban farms and farmers and the dates for the 2015 tour are set for June 27-28th. This is such a fun tour, I always learn so much!

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Dates for upcoming Local Food Expos and Transplant Sales

Kansas City’s Eat Local and Organic Food Expo

March 28, 2015
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Johnson County Community College (JCCC) Gym 

April 11, 2015
9:30 am- 2:30 pm
MCC Penn Valley Community College Gym

Gibbs Road Farm Transplant Sale, Saturday, April 25, 2015 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
 
The Bad Seed Transplant Sale, Friday April 18th 4-9 p.m.
 
Enjoy this 1st day of Spring and chime in with any children’s books you’ve been enjoying lately.
 
- Julie

NEST + NOURISH … happy new year + our favorite gluten free pizza crust

Well, hello again!

Life’s been quite a blur since Thanksgiving and it’s so, so good to be back sharing some little bits of life with you. It’s hard to look back at all the moments over the past few months and decide what to share. (Overwhelming really, which is why I decided to just begin with the current and our fave pizza recipes). First off, we are so blessed to have such meaningful moments together as a family and be thankful for all the family and friends that we shared special time with over the holidays!

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A couple of weeks ago we finally made it to the Plains Indians exhibit at the Nelson. It was so fantastic and very inspiring for all of us. James asked me to take numerous pictures of the detailed drawings and Emma especially liked the cradleboards and has since made one for her calico critters. I was inspired by all of the handcrafted bags and decided to finally get started on one. The exhibit is over now but I just heard the news that Boys Grow was given a donation of one of the tipis to have on their farm … what a perfect fit! They will truly be inspired by it and they have plans to incorporate Native American teachings as they grow their food and teach their youth entrepreneurial skills.

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FAVORITES LATELY

Board games by the fire with two new ones. Ticket to Ride Europe and Busytown.

Two things keeping our family healthy lately. Myco Shield Host Defense and homemade chicken bone broth. Here’s another great source for bone broth.

Gleaning inspiration and guidance from these New Year’s Resolutions from Pope Francis.

Really loving this simple printout from The Artbar Blog to make a family plan based on the above resolutions.

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Now for the yummy stuff!

The toughest part about giving up most of my gluten is most definitely the pizza. It’s one of my all time favorite foods, especially if it has a thin crust. I could eat it daily!

I found a recipe from Zen Belly Catering that was very good but I decided to adapt it so it had less starch. I came up with a couple of different versions and decided to use arrowroot starch instead of tapioca starch. They are both very good but the 2nd one is more of a true Paleo recipe. They are not listed in order of favorite. I like them both, so that’s why they both made the cut. The key to these crusts are the warmed pizza stone and the very hot oven.

FAVORITE GLUTEN FREE PIZZA CRUSTS – 2 ways

Each version makes 2 crusts – roughly 9-10″ rounds / I also used a pizza stone covered in parchment paper.

PIZZA CRUST VERSION 1 Ingredients

2 T. yeast

2 T. honey

1/2 c. warm water

1/2 c. white rice

1/2 c. millet flour

1-1/2 c. almond flour

1/2 c. arrowroot starch

1-1/2 t. sea salt

2 T. olive oil

1 egg white

3 t. apple cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS

Hand whisk the yeast, honey, and water together and let sit for 5 minutes to get foamy. In another bowl, mix the flours, starch and salt together. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, egg white, and cider vinegar. Now hand whisk all the dry and wet ingredients together and let the dough sit for an hour or more ( preferably in a warm spot).

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place the pizza stone in to warm it up. Split the dough into 2 balls. With a little olive oil on your hands take one ball of dough out of the bowl and start to press it onto oiled parchment paper. Add a little more olive oil if the dough gets sticky. When the dough is roughly 9-10″ round place the parchment paper with dough onto the pizza stone and bake for 6 min. Add desired toppings and cook for another 2-3 min. Let it cool down a bit before cutting.

PIZZA CRUST VERSION 2 Ingredients. (SAME DIRECTIONS AS ABOVE, JUST DIFFERENT INGREDIENTS).

In this one I replaced some of the starch with coconut flour and added more of the liquids since the coconut flour soaks them up really fast.

2 T. yeast

2 T. honey

1 c. warm water

1/2 c. coconut flour

2 c. almond flour

1/2  c. arrowroot starch

1-1/2 t. sea salt

4 T. olive oil

2 egg whites

3 t. apple cider vinegar

 TOPPINGS

Try to keep the toppings to a minimum. Since this is a thin crust it holds up better if it’s not weighed down with ingredients.

Some of our favorite toppings include:

A simple pizza sauce

sausage/caramelized onions/goat cheese

mozzarella/basil

kale/ caramelized onion/ chicken/ goat cheese

ENJOY!

p.s. let me know if you try them out and have a favorite. Also, let me know if you have a favorite I should try.

NEST… family nature hikes | with five and one

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Well, I don’t seem to have much time these days for blogging, but scheduling time outdoors is always at the top of my list. Join us this fall for a couple of hikes at local Kansas City trails.

FALL FAMILY NATURE HIKE SCHEDULE

Here are some great nature resources from the Children and Nature Network and the following articles are great motivators to engage in more nature based activities.

NPR article on children and screen time

This is always a great article to revisit. The Hybrid Mind

Enjoy this last bit of summer!

Julie