Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stepping back

I've stepped back from my blog to ponder what it is, lately. My blog started as a blog for all things cloth. I loved cloth diapers. I still love cloth diapers... but my children are nearing the end of using cloth diapers.

Thoughts of Fluff grew to incorporate more than just diapers. Baby products, "green" products, toddler products, baby carriers (they sort of cover both baby and toddler!), and then recipes. Recipes count, because the kids have to eat, and I have find things they like and that are healthy (especially since Bobble was in Children's Hospital with Nephrotic Syndrome).

So then it became more of a recipe and toddler-geared blog.

The truth is, my children are growing, and soon the diapers will soon be gone. I will hold on to a few, but they will be gone. My children are developing their personalities, showing obvious preferences for anything and everything they do. I love seeing this, but that means this blog will have to shift a little bit more.

I'm going to take a week or two to finish up my current class (it's very demanding, time-wise), although I may post a little post between now and then, and then I am going to reintroduce you to my family. Squiggle, Bobble, Husband, and Me. I feel there should be more of me in this blog. More of my actual likes, not just my likes for my baby. More of what I enjoy, not just what I enjoy as a mom. It doesn't mean they are things I enjoy with my children, but I think it's time that I include me, too.

No worries, I adore baby wearing and that will remain a part of this blog for quite some time, as I still wear Bobble (and he's 4) and Squiggle isn't even 2 yet.

Please bear with me during this transition. I hope you enjoy what you read and continue to follow along, and I'd love to hear about what you want to see posts on, reviews on, or simply chat about.

I'm also contemplating a name change. I'd love thoughts and suggestions on that one, too!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Meatloaf with Lentils (original recipe)

I've been in search of a good meatloaf recipe for a while, and I finally gave up and made my own. It took a few times (trial and error!) to get the right ratios, but it's finally done and with pleasing results! It held together and tasted good to everyone (including the kids).

I am having trouble getting a decent photograph of it in a pan, though. Grease from the meat and having to use my old phone for these pictures certainly didn't help!

I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans, though the pictures seem to have disappeared from my camera. The last time I made it we served it with homemade potato wedges.

1/3c milk
2 eggs
2t sage
2t thyme
1t pepper
1/2c dry lentils (cook before using)
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1# ground beef

3T acv
2T brown sugar
1/2c tomato sauce/paste mixture (in lieu of ketchup)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix spices, milk and egg in large bowl.
Cook lentils, add to egg mixture.
Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil and then add to egg mixture.
Brown beef and add to bowl with mixture.
Mix well and place in greased loaf dish and add topping (mix all ingredients for topping together, then spread across top of meat mixture).
Bake for 1 hour.
Allow to sit 10 minutes before serving.

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. This recipe is an original recipe.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thursday Tips: Canned foods

Today's tip is one of those that might be one you already know, but it is worth mentioning in case someone didn't.

Canned foods, especially those that are not able to be just poured out of the can, can sometimes stick. Some people pound on the bottom of the can to get the item to fall out, others will take a knife or spatula and help it out.

There is another way, and it's ridiculously easy.

Since I was going to use up some tomato paste, I figured I'd give an example!

Open up your can, then turn upside down and puncture two little holes in the bottom side of the can (using the can opener). This allows the pressure seal to release the contents, and voila! Can is empty!

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pumpkin Chili

I'm going to come straight out and say it: I was scared to try this recipe. I dislike all squash except zucchini and yellow summer squash. The only exception is pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie. While I will eat some squash I dislike (like spaghetti squash), I certainly try to avoid it. Still, I was super intrigued by this recipe from MOMables. Also, my whole family loves squash. I made this recipe already assuming I would dislike it.

With cheese sprinkled on top
The recipe was super simple to make, especially since we had a can of organic pumpkin on hand. Normally I avoid canned items, but we do keep a few things in the pantry just in case. Normally we end up using the foods as they near the end of their shelf life because we simply don't use canned foods frequently. That's okay, though. I'd rather have them around in case we do need them then be caught unawares!

Without cheese
The recipe is really simple.

We added 1 small onion and a can of pinto beans since that's what was on hand.

To my surprise, you couldn't taste the pumpkin. I was prepared to not like the meal. I have a super sensitive palate, and can taste pretty much anything... but not the pumpkin. It actually bothered me that I knew there was pumpkin in it and yet I couldn't taste it! Another thing that bothered me is the fact I couldn't taste the ground turkey as turkey. I wasn't upset by that since I actually have a strong dislike of ground turkey. I love ground beef, but I just can't get past the flavour of ground turkey. This dish tasted like regular (as in no pumpkin, and with beef) chili. Not too shabby! I added some greek yogurt atop my chili and then topped that with some cheese. Delicious!

This meal would have been delicious with some cornbread. Next time we are definitely doing this with cornbread!

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.