United States of Motherhood: September 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rustic & Real Ketchup: Eat Real Food #Paleo #JERF

I planted tomatoes a tad late this year, but what I lost in timeliness, I made up for in quantity.  My friends?  I have juicy, organic tomatoes coming out my ears!  Perfect for my latest recipe.

This barely scratches the surface of my crop.  Time to get cooking!!

If you have kids, you know where I am going with this right?  HELLO Ketchup!!

Commercially bottles ones?  Chock full of corn syrups, high fructose syrups, preservative and artificial colorings. Even the so-called natural ones make me cringe.  Then looking around the internet, I saw quite a few (even paleo) recipes using canned tomatoes (ummm no!) or completely unsweetened (hello kids' rebellion).

So I set out this morning to make my own REAL condiment of choice from REAL ingredients.

Feeling Saucy!!

What I ended up with is a zesty rustic dipping sauce with just the right tangy, sweet goodness and a little kick.  Perfect for our sweet potato fries and lettuce-wrapped turkey burgers tonight.

So GOT TOMATOES?  Check this recipe out.

Rustic & REAL Ketchup #Paleo #Glutenfree


2 lbs fresh organic tomatoes
2 stalks celery
1-1/2 tbsp fresh chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 chopped garlic cloves
1/4 rounded tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp old bay seasoning (optional)
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raw, local, unfiltered honey

3/4 cup vinegar (I used 1/2 cup cider vinegar and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar)

Rinse tomatoes, remove stems and puree tomatoes and celery in food processor or blender until in a rough cut sauce form. Pour into a heavy sauce pan and turn on medium high heat just until it comes to a simmer.  Turn down immediately to medium-low. Stir.

Add basil through honey into sauce and mix well.

Fast simmer, uncovered, for 40-50 min until 1/2 to 1/3 of original liquid is left, depending on how thick you want your ketchup. The last 10 minutes, turn to low and stir more frequently.  It will turn into a paste and burble.

Once it is a pretty thick sauce/paste stage, return to food processor/blender and blend 3-5 minutes until is smooth without flecks. Return to pot. Add vinegar. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until it's the consistency you desire.

Put in sterilized jar and chill in fridge. Flavors will continue to develop.

It should keep 2-4 weeks. 

Makes about 2 cups.

So I begin my campaign.  Paleo or not, please #JERF my friends!  Just Eat Real Food! It truly is easy to make this small, baby steps to eating whole, healthy, and unprocessed foods.  

Join me?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Need Unlimited Talk Text & Data/Web?? Walmart's Unlimited Cheapest Plans Are Just Smart #Phones4School #CollectiveBias #shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. & its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

How did my baby grow up so fast? College!!

 My friends?  The time has come.  My Eldest is off to college in a few weeks. With college comes crazy expensive text books, school supplies, and if you are moving out of the area? Possibly new cell phone plans. Luckily for this mother's heart? He's staying close as a soon-to-be freshman at the University of Washington.  Not so good for this mother's heart? Seeing the data overages bill in the mail for the past few years.  My jaw usually hits the floor and my blood pressure skyrockets-- even without tuition bills looming. Yes, this is where Walmart's  Lowest Priced Unlimited Plan comes in.

It was fun taking my Eldest phone shopping to find great smart phones under $100 and even cheaper mobile plans. Waaaaaay cheaper mobile plans. We found a sweet little Nokia Lumia 521 smart phone and paired it with Walmart's Unlimited Talk, Text, and Web.

It. Was. A. Bargain.

Seriously??  A brand new phone for under $70 ($69.98 smartphone on rollback from $99.98) with no contracts?  They had me there because ((hello)) my kids crack their phone in as little as three days after they get it  and then we have a 2 year contract with it. True story!!

Then Walmart sealed the deal with $34.88 (rollback from $39.98) monthly unlimited for the life of the account when paired with a smart phone..

Ahem! Yeah I am embarrassed to admit we spend over $200 monthly with our current carrier for our family of five...and no, we do NOT have unlimited.  Oh the tears and raised voices that could have been spared, right?  You people with teenagers know exactly what I am talking about, right? Heh.

Gift for the New College Kid: SmartPhones from Walmart are Smart!

Yep, with my first born going off to college to stuff new stuff in his brain, it's not too late for this mother to learn too.  Get Unlimited Talk, Test & Data from Walmart and over data limit squabbles are a thing of the past.  It's the perfect college gift!

It'll keep him organized for school and yeah, he may watch a few Youtube videos and spend a little too much time on Reddit, but the bill won't make me cry like his soon to be college tuition bills will.  

Even better, he might pass on his wisdom to his little brother on how not to make steam come out of mom's ears. Walmart makes it easy.

Big Bro Showing Li'l Bro How Easy It Is to Activate His New Walmart Phone

 #Phones4School #CollectiveBias

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

1st Day of School: Something is Missing...

Happy 7th and 10th kiddos!!

And then there were two! Sigh! First Day of School pic tradition with two kiddos seems so strange without their my Eldest. Yep. Notably missing is their college freshman big brother still snoring away. He starts the University of Washington in 3 weeks. 

Where did the time go??

On School Supplies & Binders: Win Win

Kid #3  fell in love with a binder Kid #1  used in pre-school. 

Yes, pre-school and yes it was still hanging around...don't you judge me!! Hoarders-smoarders! Heh!

He found it in the playroom. Yes, the same Kid #1 now in college. It had his name written on it in puffy paint. It screams the 90's!

We tried to find one like it at various Targets and Walmarts and other stores of school supply repute, but to no avail. 

They just don't make them like they used to, people!!

So we took some MORE puffy paint THAT I HAPPENED TO HAVE HANGING AROUND (I said no judge! ) and painted over kid #1's puffy painted name last night. 

Honestly I love that we are upcycling instead of buying a new binder to fill the landfill every year. 

And? I don't mind not having to buy another $20 cyclone of papers and lost homework either! 


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