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Feb 21, 2012

Wholesome Comforts Review & Giveaway (Closed)

 

This post is part of

Real Food 101 at Ruth’s Real Food

Titus Tuesday at Time Warp Wives

Tackle It Tuesdays at 5 Minutes for Mom

Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family

Homemaking Link Up Wednesdays at Raising Homemakers

Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade

I must confess, I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Kate’s other books… yet.  Trust me, they are now pretty high up on my list of books-yet-to-be-read. She sent me a copy of her newest creation, Wholesome Comfort, to review and I was delighted.  As I scanned through page after page of recipes, I had to run and get my husband.  A man who doesn’t believe in vegetables, surely he could appreciate this book for what it was!

As he scrolled through the pages, I could hear him saying, “I like gravy!  I like mashed potatoes!  I like beef stew!  Hey, this is pretty much the way you cook already!”  Bonus.  Why? Because this means that I can make almost anything in this cookbook — a healthier, more real food variety of an old favorite — and he’ll love it!

The first thing that wowed me about the book was it’s actual look.  Seriously, it’s gorgeous.  Not in that glossy, looks-like-a-magazine sort of way.  It’s so beautiful in that it actually looks like a book you’d find dusted with flour in your grandmother’s kitchen.  It has such a warm, loving look about it.

To be honest, I wish I could show you the table of contents — that’s where I really started to feel wowed.  It’s clear, clean and has a great dietary guide that really gives you an idea of what will and will not work for you.  Nothing makes me more irritated than finding a recipe that sounds delicious, and then reviewing the ingredients only to find it contains fish or milk, something that isn’t often consumed in our household.  Because there is no seafood anywhere in the book, and several recipes are indeed dairy-free, I feel confident about choosing Kate’s recipes for my family.  The pictures actually look warm, inviting and delicious, without being perfect.  I love that!!!  It really does feel like they came right out of the oven and on to the dinner table.

And Kate writes with simple, clear instructions that make you feel like you’ve been doing this forever.  You try one recipe and your mind is already practically memorized the entire process.  All of these recipes are designed to be traditional dishes you’ll serve to your family again and again.  And the cute little stories about how the dish came to be make it feel so relaxed and real.  Brilliant!

Another thing I love about this book?  White whole wheat flour.  Hurrah!!!  Ever since discovering this hidden gem in my grocery shelves, I have not baked anything without it.  It has become the foundation upon which all my other recipes are created.  But even if you can’t tolerate wheat, there are lots of gluten-free recipes in this book to delight you as well!

Like Kate’s family, we too consume pasturized, grass-fed, local and/or organic meats and poultry.  It felt good to know that what the instructions I was receiving from Kate were being based off of the same meats as I use.  If you’ve ever made a hamburger with commercially grown beef as compared to one of locally grown beef, you’ll immediately see — and taste — the difference.  The commercial meat is dyed bright red, plump with water and tastes like the styrofoam container it came in.  Whereas the locally grown patty will be darker, fuller, and taste like a little piece of heaven.  Kate is writing about that kind of pleasure — the delight in enjoying a product that, while slightly smaller, gives you more than it’s fair share of joy.

Something that Kate really portrayed to me was her dedication in writing her recipe books.  Not only does she focus on writing for everyone else, but she writes, and cooks, for herself.  She works and works at a recipe, or an idea, until she has created something that, in her opinion, cannot be better.

“When I choose a recipe as my go-to recipe, you can be sure I’ve tested it carefully – and probably thrown out dozens of versions prior. Recipes don’t earn a place in my permanent file unless they’re top quality, my  true “ideal” for whatever dish I’m making.”  

Wholesome Comforts, pg 13-14

That says a lot about Kate as a person.  She’s actually doing this — cooking, tasting, rewriting, shopping, menu planning, asking for reviewers, etc. — because she wants to excel!  This really appeals to me, as this is the same type of mentality I use in writing and crafting.  The difference between myself and Kate?  She doesn’t let her perfectionism get in the way of offering what she’s created to the world.

So, now you want to know about the recipes, right?  Well, as I was flipping through this cookbook, trying to decide which one to sample, I started to get overwhelmed.  Seriously, I’d need a month to make everything.  The onion soup looks so warm and savory.  Oh wait, the italian sausage — what a great alternative for breakfast.  Oooh, we just gave up on our favorite packaged gravy, I bet her gravy recipe is to die for! But finally, I settled on the simplest, easiest recipe in the book.  Hot chocolate.  It could have been because it was later in the evening.  It could have been because it was cool and I wanted something warm to keep me company.  But I decided to make the hot chocolate because of one simple reason — I.  Love.  Chocolate.

So I went to my cupboard and discovered that I had juuuuuuust enough honey.  Out came my favorite old cast iron saucepan, and in went the honey, vanilla and the cocoa.  Now, as I said earlier, our family doesn’t drink milk a whole lot because neither myself nor Naomi tolerate it well.  So instead, I used a cup of unsweetened almond milk. It took no longer to mix it up and heat it on the stove than it would to boil some water and mix it with a pack of powder.  And it was just divine.  I never would have thought to use honey instead of sugar in my hot chocolate, but it was a brilliant idea and one I can see myself relying on in the future.

 

Kate’s Wholesome Comfort Hot Chocolate
Recipe Type: Drink
Author: Kate Tietje
Prep time: 1 min
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 6 mins
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp honey (preferably raw)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole milk (raw) — I used unsweetened almond milk
Instructions
  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk all ingredients together over medium heat. Continue to do so until all cocoa has been stirred into the milk. Pour into mug and serve.

Next on the menu?  Meatloaf!

BUY IT! Kate has generously offered up a great discount for Wholesome Comforts.  By using the code MINI25 before February 27th 29th, you’ll be able to purchase it at 25% off!

WIN IT! This week, we’re giving away a copy of Wholesome Comforts!  I like to keep our giveaways simple and easy, so here’s all you have to do.  Go over to Modern Alternative Mama, scroll to the bottom, select Wholesome Comforts and check out the table of contents.  Now here’s the real challenge — if you had to choose, what would you make from the selection of recipes?  Post your comment below and let me know which recipe tickles your tastebuds! Contest closes February 27th!   Due to an error made earlier in the giveaway, we’ve extended the date to Feb. 29th.  So you have a couple more days to get in on it!   The contest is now closed!

Our winner is comment #11!

Congradulations Marilyn!  I hope you enjoy
that pumpkin spice ice cream.  It sounds divine!

 

No purchase necessary. Winner will be randomly selected by random.org.  All opinions are my own.

Disclaimer: Yes, I am compensated for some (but not all) of the purchases made via the referral links in this post. You can read my entire disclosure policy here.
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Feb 14, 2012

Assumptions

Welcome to the February 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Respectful Interactions With Other Parents

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have focused on how we can communicate with other parents compassionately.

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Through the evenflow lense

Photo Credit:  Holly Allen

One afternoon, a younger couple came by to visit Michael and I.  They had recently discovered they were pregnant and were visiting with us to tell us the good news.  I was so excited.  I launched into a series of comments about nursing, offering up suggestions and advice, and even going so far as to offer to lend her several of my favorite brand of nursing tanks, which I practically lived in when Naomi was born.

After listening to me prattle on forever, the young lady looked at me sheepishly, and said, “Well, I don’t know if I’m going to breastfeed.”

It came as a shock to me.  Not breastfeed?  Why not?!  Breastfeeding is one of the most wonderful things you could possibly experience!  The closeness with your baby!  The bonding!  The nourishing!  The quiet snuggles!  The amazement of your body and its abilities!  How on Earth could you not breastfeed?

For me, breastfeeding was not a choice — it was just what I knew I was going to do.  No second guessing, no questions.  I just knew that was what I would be doing.  In fact, I’m still doing it!  Naomi is going on 21 months and still nurses when we cuddle in the mornings or evenings.  And I love to let her.

But this young woman was not me.  She is a very modest person, who doesn’t enjoy anyone being too close in her personal space.  She commented that she wasn’t comfortable having the baby be attached to her all the time.  She’s just not that type of person.

The thing is, this wasn’t about this young woman’s personality.  It was about me and my assumption that everyone is comfortable enough to breastfeed.  But they’re not.  Sure, we all have heard the whole breast is best campaign, but the truth is, not everyone is capable, physically, mentally, or emotionally, to make that choice.  And that was something I, an advocate for breastfeeding, hadn’t really recognized.

Sometimes advocates (like me) don’t realize that their overzealous desire to help the campaign is actually hurting it.  Parents who are not practioners of attachment parenting are not bad parents.  They’re just different.  Their children are not set up for failure.  Our job as advocates of natural and attachment parenting is not to push or bully someone into agreeing with us.  Rather it is our responsibility to give them an option, answer their questions, and let them decide from there.  No one enjoys being bullied about their choices as a parent anymore than they enjoy someone telling them how to vote, what religion to subscribe to, or whom they should or shouldn’t love.

So I apologized.  And I never tried to push her to change her ideals.  Their child is over a year old now, gorgeous and healthy.  They needed no help from me.

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***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon February 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • How to Respond Respectfully to Unwanted Parenting Advice and Judgment — At Natural Parents Network, Amy (of Peace 4 Parents) offers some ways to deal with parenting advice and criticism, whether it’s from your mom or the grocery store clerk.
  • Judgement is Natural – Just Don’t Condemn — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shared her views on why judgment is unavoidable and why the bigger issue is condemnation.
  • Four Ways To Share Your Parenting Philosophy Gently — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares tips for communicating with fellow parents in a positive, peaceful manner.
  • When Other Parents Disagree With You — Being an attachment parent is hard enough, but when you are Lily, aka Witch Mom, someone who does not enforce gender roles on her kid, who devalues capitalism and materialism, and instead prefers homeschooling and homesteading — you are bound to disagree with someone, somewhere!
  • Mama Bashing — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud reflects on the hurt caused on the blogosphere by mama bashing and pleads for a more mindful way of dealing with differences.
  • Accentuate the Positive — Joella at Fine and Fair shares how she manages interactions with the parents she encounters in her work as a Parent Coach and Substance Abuse Counselor by building trusting relationships and affirming strengths.
  • The politics of mothers – keys to respectful interactions with other parents — Tara from MUMmedia offers great tips for handling the inevitable conflict of ideas and personalities in parenting/mother’s groups, etc.
  • Trying to build our village — Sheila at A Gift Universe tells how she went from knowing no other moms in her new town to building a real community of mothers.
  • Internet Etiquette in the Mommy Wars — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses how she handles heated topics in the “Mommy-space” online.
  • Parenting with Convictions — Sarah at Parenting God’s Children encourages love and support for fellow parents and their convictions.
  • How To Be Respectful Despite Disagreeing On Parenting Styles… — Jenny at I’m a Full-Time Mummy shares her two cents’ worth on how to have respectful interactions with other parents despite disagreeing on parenting styles.
  • Public RelationsMomma Jorje touches on keeping the peace when discussing parenting styles.
  • Navigating Parenting Politics — Since choosing an alternative parenting style means rejecting the mainstream, Miriam at The Other Baby Book shares a few simple tips that can help avoid hurt feelings.
  • Hiding in my grace cave — Lauren at Hobo Mama wants to forget that not all parents are as respectful and tolerant as the people with whom she now surrounds herself.
  • Carnival of Natural Parenting – Respectful Interactions with Other Parents — Wolfmother at Fabulous Mama Chronicles explores how her attitude has changed regarding sharing information and opinions with others and how she now chooses to keep the peace during social outings.
  • Empathy and respect — Helen at zen mummy tries to find her zen in the midst of the Mummy Wars.
  • Not Holier Than Thou — Amyables at Toddler in Tow muses about how she’s learned to love all parents, despite differences, disagreements, and awkward conversations.
  • Nonviolent Communication and Unconditional Love — Wendylori at High Needs Attachment reflects on the choice to not take offense as the key to honest and open communication.
  • Respectful Parenting As a Way of Life — Sylvia at MaMammalia writes about using her parenting philosophy as a guide to dealing with other parents who make very different choices from her.
  • Homeschooling: Why Not? — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how parents can often make homeschooling work for their family even if, at first glance, it may seem daunting.
  • If You Can’t Say Something Nice… — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her philosophy for online and offline interactions … a philosophy based primarily on a children’s movie.
  • Different Rules for Different Families — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses how differences between families affect our children, and how that can be a good thing.
  • Respectful Interaction With Other Parents — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares the ways she surrounds herself with a like-minded support network, so that she can gently advocate in her dealings with those whose opinions on parenting differ vastly from her own.
Jan 19, 2012
Comments Off on Giveaways and Broken Computers Don’t Mix!

Giveaways and Broken Computers Don’t Mix!

So… my computer fan is dying a slow and painful death, which means that my computer overheats waaaaaay too quickly.  The result?  Well, it’s tough to write a post — much less run a giveaway! — when your computer gets so hot you worry you’re going to burn the table it’s sitting on!

Then, my husband (aka The Hero) picked me up a special fan that the laptop sits on and makes it much easier to use.  Hurrah!

Well, as you might know, I’m doing a giveaway for Smart Sweets, a delicious eBook that teaches you how to cook without using traditional sugars.  Katie Kimball of Kitchen Stewardship wrote it, and included over 30 delicious recipes that really sound so amazing.  However, I only have one eBook to give away.

But, never fear!  I have great news!  Katie send me another special special treat — a 25% off code for Smart Sweets!  How awesome is that?  This will bring the cost of the book down from $9.95 to under $7.50!  Yum!  The code is Mini25, so if you can’t wait til next to see the results, you can buy it at a great discount.

So, there’s your latest update.  Now go enter the giveaway here!  I can’t wait to see how it goes!

Please note that any comments posted with regards to this post will NOT be counted in the giveaway.  You must comment on the giveaway post to qualify!

Disclaimer: Yes, I am compensated for some (but not all) of the purchases made via the referral links in this post. You can read my entire disclosure policy here.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed my post, please subscribe to miniMOMist and share on Twitter or visit my Facebook page.

Dec 22, 2011
Comments Off on Plastic Toy Brilliance

Plastic Toy Brilliance

Amber's Annoying Talking Dog Toy

If you haven’t found your way over to Amber Dusick’s blog, Parenting. With Crappy Pictures., you are in for a side-splitting treat.  Amber is probably one of the funniest writers in the mom-blogiverse and she does it with her unbelievably brilliant artistic talents.

A few days ago, I wrote about being mindful of plastic toys.  Well, Amber seems to share some of my views.  She has a little  noisy dog toy that was gifted to her sons that just doesn’t have a place in her home.  But instead of tossing it out, she came up with a fool-proof, makes-everyone-happy, no cost way of dealing with toys you don’t want in your home.  I love it!

 

See you later, cookie jar!

There’s a little singing pot that will very soon find a new home.  Go check it out her latest post!

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