Thrifty Thinking – Regrowing Veggies, Kitchen Gardening.

Did you know that you can regrow some store bought veggies in your kitchen?

Image

We are a heavy on the veggies kind of family. We tend to go through a bunch of green onions, celery, and about a head of romaine lettuce a week (along with a lot of other yummy veggies). What’s great about these veggies in particular is that are very affordable and you can actually regrow them right in your kitchen window, year round!

It’s very simple, very quick and so much fun for the kids to watch. (We used this first try as a science lesson for our four year old son who made a hypothesis and kept an observation journal throughout the project.)

If you’ve ever planted a garden, you may already know that when you cut off the tops of lettuce and green onions, rather then pulling out the bulbs, they will grow new leaves and shoots, remarkably fast. It’s that simple, even in your kitchen window in a cup of water!

I started out with a head of red lettuce and a bunch of green onions.

I washed them then took my kitchen sheers and cut the lettuce leaves free from the stump and the green onion tops an inch or two away from their bulbs.

I placed them in a Tupperware type container with an inch or so of water. (that I changed every day) This photo was taken the morning after.

Image

After one night the onions were already noticeably growing back.

Image

The lettuce was a bit slower but did end up growing back as well. Every couple of days i would cut off and use the regrow then my stumps would just start growing right back. It was quite an interesting project that I think we will keep up, rather then just throwing the stumps away.

Advertisements

Thrifty Thinking – Making That Yogurt Greek Style

We are big yogurt eaters in our home. Yogurts are made using active, good bacteria. Probiotic, which literally means ”for life,” refers to living those organisms that can result in a health benefit.

Image

In fact, we love yogurt so much was have replaced all sour cream usage in our home with a dollop of plain yogurt instead. And cream cheese? We substitute it for plain greek style yogurt.

We love greek style yogurt, but at $1.50 a single serving container? Come on now, for just a few cents more I can buy the 32 oz container of the regular ol’ yogurt.

Luckily after some research and a bit of experimentation I have come up with a easy way you can buy the cheaper, regular ol’ yogurt, and turn into the amazing greek style yogurt we all love, for a fraction of the cost. It even tastes better then what i’ve bought in the store.

The only difference between greek yogurt and regular yogurt is that greek yogurt is strained removing much of the whey, which is the water content, leaving it thicker. So really all you need to do is strain the yogurt and add some flavor.

BUT! the whey in yogurt is amazing. It is full of calcium, potassium and vitamin B-2. It also contains several amino acids and other compounds identified with boosting immunity, (including casein and immunoglobulins.) So I will also show you how I save that whey and what I use it in.

I started this blog after I had already strained my yogurt (note the whey covered collection bowl and filled container), so I don’t have pictures of it actually straining. Sorry.

So here is how i make that yogurt greek!

You will need

  • 1 small strainer
  • A bowl that the strainer will not fall down into but rest upon
  • Cheese cloth, or even paper towels work! (I’ll show you with paper towels, thinking thrifty here.)
  • 1 32 oz container of regular (not lowfat) yogurt
  • 1 small tupperware container (to save the collected whey)
  • Fruit, juice, jam… (whatever you want to flavor your yogurt with.)

Image

Start out by lining the bottom of your strainer with two paper towels and then set your strainer on top of the bowl for the whey to drip through.

Next, fill the strainer with the entire container of yogurt. Spread it around to make sure its evenly spread out and not in just one giant lump in the middle.

Image

Now you need to wait, for about 4-6 hours. You can set it in the fridge, but I find that can slow down the straining process. When yogurt warms up it separates faster, so I leave mine on the counter and refrigerate immediately afterwords.

You will notice that yellowy water is straining from the yogurt and after a few hours the yogurt will start to look thicker.

After the straining is done (the yogurt will look and feel like soft cream cheese and your collecting bowl will contain yellow, watery, whey)

Image

You now have greek style yogurt!

Put the yogurt back into its container and pour the whey into the container to store in the fridge. (You can ring the remaining whey in the paper towels out into the container as well.)

At this time I take a couple spoonfuls of the greek style yogurt to store in a separate container to use as a healthier substitute to cream cheese.

You can keep your yogurt plain or add in fruits and juices. (I like to add some pineapple juice and a spoon of marmalade.)

Image

Now what to do with that whey?

You can toss the whey, but I wouldn’t. Like I said before it’s full of healthy goodies.

I add a couple tablespoons into our milks and juices. Once mixed its tasteless, add it to anything you can think of! It’s a good little health boost.

Are you a big yogurt eater?

If you try this, let us know what you mixed into your yogurt. I am always looking for new flavor ideas.

Check us out http://www.facebook.com/Thegeekyparent

Embracing The Geek In You!

 

Image

Being a geek was something I tried my best to hide throughout my teenage years. One day I made the realization that a teenage girl who’s crush was Batman and favorite past time was Simming (Playing The Sims) was not regarded as being “cool”. So I did my best to keep it to myself and fit into this mold of what the other kids expected. I think we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. I am a very expressive person and I hated not feeling free to be exactly who I was. But that all changed when I had my first son. My homebirthed, blond hair, blue eyed baby boy. I then realized that he too would be a geek, there was no way of avoiding it and that his geekiness, in part, was going to make him who he was. I promised myself that I was going to embrace it and make sure he knew it was nothing to ashamed of and I think I succeeded.

 

By the age of three he could name more obscure Marvel heroes and villains then he had fingers and toes, along with their powers and weaknesses. He has his dad and I read comic books and Wikipedia entries on Superheroes and Star Wars characters more then picture books. Now at the age of 4 he can even name and number the 11 actors who played his favorite hero, The Doctor and is an endless fountain of nerdy knowledge.

 

Simon Pegg was quoted as saying that “being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”

 

I couldn’t have said it better. My first wish for my children was to always be honest, especially with themselves. One thing embracing my son’s geekiness did for his father and I, was force us to embrace our own. It has been extremely liberating to not only express my geek again but to be geeky with my little ones.

 

Wither you are a geek or just raising a geeky kid, it is important to show support, interest and help your child grow into who they really are with all the interests they enjoy and love them all the way. Maybe if we can teach our children to wear GEEK with pride and embrace it, the term will no longer be something to grow up and be ashamed of.

 

How do you embrace and support your child’s inner geek?

 

Check us out at www.facebook.com/Thegeekyparent

Skidders Shoes. Our review.

Skidders Review

Image

Our 10 month old has just started walking and now that he is on his feet, he is insisting on walking everywhere. Preferably we would like our little one to learn to walk barefoot but, we live in Portland, and the weather here is not yet warm enough for tiny bare feet. Thus our journey to find something easy for our little one to walk around in has started.

We were having lots of trial and error. Baby shoes with hard soles were to heavy, crib shoes were not big enough, socks were, well socks. Until someone suggested Skidders. At first glance, besides them being a bit odd looking, we loved them. Bright fun print on the top, the no slip but soft soles. The brand states that their Skidder Shoes are washable, non-slip, comfortable and flexible. Exactly the qualities we were looking for.

We were able to find some at our local Fred Meyers. They were on special for $12.99 about the price of the rest of the options we have tried but, the way they were packaged we were not able to try them on in the store without ruining the packaging.

This made me a bit uneasy because chubby baby feet can sometimes be hard to fit into shoes. But we purchased them and headed home to try them out.

The first thing we noticed is that, like some socks, the inside was full of tangled, toe grabbing, rogue strings. We cut a couple extra loose and dangling ones and got the shoes on just fine. Then we let our little guy go try them out.

He loved the bright fun print and was very interested in the texture on the bottom of the shoes but walking in them proved to be a bit difficult. When he would lift his foot to take a step the heel of the shoe would slip. When he stepped back down he would step right on the raised edge of the rubber sole’s heel and it would cause him to loose his balance and trip. Also, it probably wasn’t very comfortable to keep stepping on.

He kept at it though but we found we were constantly stopping him to readjust the shoes because they kept slipping off his feet and it kept getting worse. I think the sock top must have been stretching out?

So in the end we ended up returning them and getting a gift card to go to another baby walking option. The customer service lady told us she sees a lot of Skidder shoes come back to the store.

Needless to say we were disappointed. The idea seemed great and the prints were fun. The shoe itself, besides the stringy inside, was well put together and seemed like it could last through a lot of washing. He did wander into our kitchen and we noticed the shoes grip was perfect. I wondering if maybe the shoe bottoms were too heavy and caused the Skidders to slide off the feet inbetween steps. Maybe if the sock tops were higher, like a crew cut, or if the soles were a bit lighter they would have worked a bit better?

If Skidders are something you would like to try you can find them at local retailers (Fred Meyers and Target both have them) or you can check them out on their website

http://skidders.com

Have you tried Skidders? Let us know about your experience.

What worked best for footwear when your little ones started walking?

Check us out at www.facebook.com/Thegeekyparent

Have something in mind you liked reviewed or have you made something you would like us to review for you? Comment on the blog or message us through our Facebook page.

Favorite video games to play with kids, we asked you!

My little Dalek and I sat down today and made our first YouTube video.

He LOVED IT and is ready to make another!

I promised him I would let him blog this Thursday after our trip to Thing From Another World. March is Free Comics For Kids Month and so we are taking our boys.

In case you haven’t noticed we are doing a giveaway on our Facebook page to thank our fans for helping us get 100 likes! Since starting the giveaway we have more then doubled our audience. It is so awesome that there are so many other geeky parents out there and we are very proud that you are allowing us to entertain you! haha

Anyways, we asked a question on our Facebook page. We wanted to know what is your favorite video game to play with your kids and we got a lot of great answers.

Our family’s favorite games to play together are….. LEGO GAMES!

They are fun, require teamwork and a lot of puzzle solving. By far our favorite Lego game has been Lego Batman 2 with all the Super Friends. We loved the great DC superhero character choices and that the Minifigures finally have voices!

Some of you agreed that the Lego games were a lot of fun and some of the other games you guys mentioned were Wii Sports, Little Big Planet, Disney Universe, Minecraft, The Sims, and Just Dance games.

We were a little surprised we didn’t see more Super Mario or old Nintendo games come up. Those have always seemed so popular. But I think we saw a great selection of fun, kid friendly games and it gave us a couple new game ideas to try on our own.

Thank you guys for participating. We will be asking a new question here very soon and would love your responses.

Check out our YouTube video, (be nice, were new) subscribe maybe?

Also, remember to join in on our giveaway it ends Thursday, March 7th!Image

What does Chewbacca eat?

My little geeky is a typical 4 year old. His day is full of questions, “why why why why?” Then once all his questions are answered, he goes to rest. He spends this time thinking up a days worth of questions on a new subject for the next day. Today’s theme seemed to be Star Wars. He used to space (ha, Star Wars, space) them out throughout the day. But i guess he has been really busy because it seems like anymore he waits until tuck in time to ask me 50 questions in one sentence.

Tonight i placed him in bed, mismatched pjs he picked out himself, hugging a stuffed Iron Man he won from a claw machine and that’s when the questions began.

“Is Yoda dead and why is he so old and why is he green and why does he talk like that and can Luke go back in time and not get his band cut off and do you think it hurt and do you think someone ate his hand and….?.”

(Nod and agree, nod and agree and WHAT? Ate his hand?)

When i finally answered his questions to the best of my ability he looked satisfied and ready to sleep, so i told him goodnight and i turned to leave. He stopped me at the door.

“Mom, can i ask you something really important?”

“Yeah, of course?”

“Does Chewy eat Dog Food?”

“Uhhh, i’m sure he could eat dog food if he wanted to.”

“Does he eat pizza?”

“Yup, space pizza, all the time.”

“Oh yeah? What about ice cream?”

“He loves it!”

“Mom, your lying! Chewbacca doesn’t eat any of that.”

“He doesn’t?”

“No mom, he eats butterflies, that’s what makes him so awesome. I can’t believe you didn’t know that.”

“Me either! That’s why i’m lucky to have you.”

❤ My little geeky

Thanks to a google search, just to be sure, i came across a page That confirmed what i assumed was true. “Wookiees have a very similar diet to Humans, as most are omnivorous”

http://starwars.answers.wikia.com/wiki/What_does_Chewbacca_eat

❤ Geeky Mama

The Birth of The Geeky Parent

Well, this project has been in talks for quite a while now and i think its finally time to start on it.

I will start off by saying i am a nerd, a geek even. I have always loved everything geeky. Big Whovian, huge comic book and superhero fan. I play video games almost daily and yes, i even attend Comic Cons in costume. Anyone who enters our home knows it. We have a enitre shelf dedicated to Halo Spartans and Elites. Our living room artwork is a Dalek Victory poster and a beautiful blue police box sits upon our shelf amongst family pictures. Our bedroom is decorated with comic books and collected Star Wars Halloween masks.

My husband is as, if not even more, geekier then myself (this has been a subject of debate) and since marrying we have had two little boys who got a double dose of the geek gene. So we are now a complete geek family.

Sunday’s have been renamed Walkers Day.

Doctor Who is a weekly family event.

We are planning themed Comic Con costumes as a family. (Pokemon?)

You get the point.

The thing is, we don’t know any other parents like us. While i may find it hilarious that my 4 year old son is pretending to regenerate in the middle of the library’s preschool reading group, the other parents are wondering if he is having some sort of attack. I try to wave them off, “no it’s cool he is a Time Lord.” Then they start staring at me like i’m nuts.

But i refuse to give up hope. I know other geek parents are out there!

 

So Geek Daddy and i started discussing the the idea of a blog, a place to write our hilarious stories of being geek parents, raising these little geekies in hopes that we might make someone laugh or find another geek parent.

So this is the very slow, somewhat boring, beginning of something that will be amazingly rad. We have such funny stories to share and great ideas to put into action. I’m very excited!

Please share our page and you can join in on a Geeky Parent community on facebook, just follow this very unimpressive link. (25 likes and it will look a lot better!)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Geeky-Parent/162048683949465?ref=hl

Allonsy,

Geeky Mama