Camping Food Favorites

We discovered some new camping food favorites on our recent camping trip.

Firstly, Teddy is our resident fire man… he is in charge of gathering the supplies we need to start the fire. He sets the fire expertly with crumpled up newspaper on the bottom, twigs and kindling arranged like a teepee over the paper and then thin logs on top of the kindling. He lights the paper with a match and stands back to watch his creation burst into life. I can see by the look on his face that he feels immensely competent when he sees his fire grow. He watches it and judges when to put the next logs on. Wheeler Gorge (where we camped) is in the throes of a desperate drought and we were asked to keep the fire very small. I was so proud of Teddy for his restraint in keeping his fire small. For sure, 7-year-olds CAN be trusted.

The kids LOVED cooking these ‘Little Smokies’ on sticks over coals. They cooked them until they were roasted brown and plump and the dripping fat sizzled on the fire. Kids sure do love to cook their own food!

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

We mad the most delicious steak sandwiches. BBQed steak cut into thin slices, roasted asparagus and fresh heirloom tomatoes… a sprinkling of salt and, gosh, they were good!

 

New Camping Food Favorites : the Magic Onions

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Kitty discovered a new way to roast marshmallows. She stuck a piece of chocolate on the stick with her marshmallow and carefully roasted it over the warm coals. She was very careful (after a few mishaps when her chocolate dripped off) to turn her roasting stick constantly to allow the chocolate to melt down onto the marshmallow. Imagine how yummy they were… just like roasted marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate.

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

We were bothered a little by yellow jackets on the first night but, luckily, the campsite was full of white sage which is a natural bug deterrent. We made bundles wrapped tightly in grass and set them on a stick over the fire. We placed a small burning ember in the center of a sage bundle and watched it smoke its wonderfully fragrant, bug-repelling, smoke. Soon, our campsite was a sweet-smelling haven, free from yellow jackets.

Try this next time you are bothered by them.

 

Sage Burn to ward off Yellow Jackets : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

My Good Man needed to get a little work done and we loved his new ‘office’. He said he’d never been more productive in his whole life.

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

While at the river, Teddy had a happening of great proportions… a beautiful blue dragonfly alighted on his finger and stayed for a full few minuted.

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

And here are some more pictures of us enjoying the gorgeous wilderness.

 

Best Camping Food : www.theMagicOnions.com

 Camping  : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping  : www.theMagicOnions.com

Best Camping  : www.theMagicOnions.com

As Teddy, and Elizabeth Gilbert, can attest, moss and lichen is exquisite.

 

 Camping  : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Super Simple Tomato Jam Recipe

At the start of summer, we planted two cherry tomato plants.

Wow… have they produced!!

We have feasted for weeks on gorgeous tasting bursts of summer.

The kids have picked them daily, popping tomatoes into their mouths while they are still warm from the sun.

We have eaten caprese salads, tomato mayo sandwiches, tomato and basil spaghetti, tomato ragu.

And, still, our little tomato plants keep giving us more.

Today, we made tomato jam and, boy, is it yummy!!

Best of all, it is SO easy to make.

 

Super Simple Tomato Jam Recipe : The Magic Onions : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Ingredients :

 

*   3 lbs tomatoes

*   1 tsp grated ginger

*   2/3 cup sugar

*   1 tsp lemon juice

*   1/4 tsp salt

 

Method :

 

Dice the tomatoes roughly. I quartered the cherry tomatoes.

Add tomatoes, sugar, ginger, lemon juice and salt to a saucepan.

Bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until your jam thickens.

That’s it!! How easy is that?!!

We eat our jam on fresh bread and butter – half of it is gone already!!

 

Super Simple Tomato Jam Recipe : The Magic Onions : www.theMagicOnions.comSuper Simple Tomato Jam Recipe : The Magic Onions : www.theMagicOnions.comSuper Simple Tomato Jam Recipe : The Magic Onions : www.theMagicOnions.comSuper Simple Tomato Jam Recipe : The Magic Onions : www.theMagicOnions.comSuper Simple Tomato Jam Recipe : The Magic Onions : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Yum!!!!

It’s not too sweet.

The tiny amount of ginger compliments the tomato taste so well.

We all agree… this jam is THE BEST.

 

Super Simple Tomato Jam Recipe : The Magic Onions : www.theMagicOnions.com

Super Simple Tomato Jam Recipe : The Magic Onions : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Thank you, Mother Earth for the daily gifts you give us.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Unplugged and Ranging Free.

We ended our two-week Spring break with a burst – 4 days of blissful camping with wonderful friends. Oh, what a gift it was to be out in the wild places, watching our unplugged children ranging free.

No computers, TV’s, phones (except to listen to the daily Oprah/Deepak meditations), microwaves, radios, Starbucks, washing machines.

Lots of play, laughter, giggling, nature, calmness, campfires, s’mores, BBQ’s, free will, bonding, love, living with one withe the sun, and the moon, stars, birdsong, archery, reading, talking and lots of happy children and adults.

We camped in a tent (which is new for us as we usually have our RV) and were rewarded with a rain and wind storm one night… the rain beat a lullaby on tent all around us until the wind got jealous and tried to blow us away… what fun to have the elements fight over our attentions.

I’ll share some of my favorite photos and a few of the delicious meals we enjoyed.

camping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.comcamping - www.theMagicOnions.com

Breakfast :

Bagels and cream cheese, toasted over the fire, with fresh tomato, avocado and lemon pepper.

Pancakes (that I’ve pre-made), heated over the fire with blueberry pie filling, heated over the fire, whipped cream and bacon cooked over the fire.

Scrambled egg sandwiches with bacon cooked over the fire.

Lunch/Snacks :

Casadias – cheese filled tortias heated over the fire until the cheese melts, with avocado and fresh tomato.

Sandwiches made from last-night’s left over meat and ketchup.

Lots of pre-cut veggies and dip – carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, snap peas.

Rice cakes with peanut butter and banana slices.

Fruit – watermelon, strawberries, apples, oranges, mandarins.

Dinners :

Carne Assada – thinly sliced meat cooked over the fire served in serve-yourself tortias with condiments – chopped tomato, avocado, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, cut mango.

BBQ ribs cooked over the fire with asparagus roasted over the fire and potatoes roasted in tinfoil in the fire.

Steak, of course, seared over the fire with corn roasted over the fire and watermelon.

Oh gosh… just thinking of all this delicious food makes me want to go BACK!

What are your favorite camping meals?

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Nourishing your Family with Skill It and a Giveaway!

I’m super excited to introduce my newest Magic Sponsor, Leah, from Skill It. Welcome, sweet Leah!

Not only is Leah going to share a few of her business secrets with us but she is also offering one lucky reader a spot in her fabulous upcoming ‘Season’s Eatings’ course… details are below.

Leah founded Skill It as a way to celebrate the everyday pleasures of living a (mostly) handmade and home-cooked life. She loves sharing her passion for food, family, creativity, and domesticity with others through her writing and teaching. In addition to creating beautiful e-courses like season’s eatings and Feathering the Nest, she is a certified holistic life coach. She makes her home in Rhode Island and relishes every opportunity to connect with the natural rhythms of daily life.

Donni : Hi Leah. Can you tell us about the beginnings of your business.

Leah : I have always thought of myself as a teacher and when I look back now, I see that I have always gravitated towards helping others to grow and flourish. I believe deeply that children learn best by doing and that their brilliant and capable minds blossom when we allow them to be active participants in our homes and communities. As parents and caregivers, our best gift is to provide the space and opportunity for our children to explore their environment with as few rules and restrictions as possible. I believe that by trusting our children, they rise to the occasion and the sense of confidence they gain in that way is the most beautiful and natural thing in the world. I started Skill It to share this perspective and support others in creating this type of surrounding at home with my writing and e-courses.

 

Donni : What word describes your business best?

Leah : Nourish. I recently wrote about the meaning of this word and how it connects to everything I do in my life and my business. I started my journey inspired by the importance of teaching children how to cook from as early an age as possible, something that the Waldorf school system does so well. As I have grown and evolved, I started to see that cooking is just one of the many ways we must learn how to feed and nourish ourselves. I love talking about how important it is to set an intention when you’re in the kitchen so those good feelings will find their way into your dishes and nourish your loved ones.

 

Donni : Tell us about your background. What path led you to the work you do today?

Leah : People may be surprised to learn that while I live in Rhode Island, I am originally from California and have lived in Arizona and Hawaii, too! I’ve had so many different job titles in my life I can hardly keep track, but one of my favorite experiences was managing a farm-to-table restaurant in Hawaii while I volunteered in a middle school garden. Living in Hawaii, I was intimately connected to nature, food, and the seasons and this awareness has stayed with me ever since. I like to think that I am radiating some sunshine and Aloha to everyone I meet, whether it’s here in New England or the wonderful people I connect with in my e-course sessions.

Thanks Leah.

Leah has also shared two printable PDF’s with us. One is a super cool grain cooking chart and the other is a YUMMY honey cake recipe.

Printable Grain Cooking Chart PDF

 

Printable Honey Cake Recipe PDF

To find out more about Skill It, follow Leah here :
Skill It: http://skillitri.com/
season’s eatings: http://skillitri.com/e-courses-2/seasons-eatings/

Feathering the Nest: http://skillitri.com/e-courses-2/feathering-the-nest/

 

Now for the generous Giveaway :

Giveaway Description:

I am giving away one spot in my upcoming course, season’s eatings where we explore and practice an attitude towards food and family dinner time that celebrates the simple pleasures of cooking and eating together with the ones we love. For two weeks, we’ll take a tour of all four seasons, exploring the cooking techniques that fit just right for the time of the year. We’ll talk about how to get grounded and centered so you can truly enjoy feeding and nourishing yourself and your family.

The value of the course tuition is $49 and the class begins on May 5th.

  • Throughout the journey you’ll get:
  • Twelve emails from me, three for each of the seasons
  • Four printable cookbooks, one for each season, yours to keep and work from forever
  • Exploration of cooking techniques and philosophy to create a connected, seasonal kitchen
  • Several pretty, printable cooking charts to bring more ease to your dinner routine
  • A dozen printable dinner-table conversation starters for each season
  • Connection in an online circle with like-minded mamas and caregivers
  • Live conversations with me in our private Facebook group
  • Other surprises and goodies as we go along together

Enter below. The lucky winner will be chosen Saturday, April 12th.

Congrats Jennet – you are the winner! I have already sent you an email.

Blessings and magic,

Donni
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe.

I have to admit… we are on a roast beef and Yorkshire pudding craze! We had it for Christmas Eve dinner, New Years Eve dinner AND my birthday dinner. You’d think we’d be tired of it by now but, NO, I could have it for dinner again tonight – I love it so!

My mom and dad lived in Yorkshire for a while. While we were visiting, their neighbor came over to teach us how to make Yorkshire pudding. There’s no need to be afraid of it… once you have it, you have it forever.

This is her recipe.

 

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe :

Ingredients :

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

2 eggs

pinch of salt

a muffin tin

oil or drippings

Method :

Pour the milk and eggs in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Put the flour and salt in another bowl. Make a volcano hole in the middle of the flour (you kids will love helping you with this!)

Pour the milk and egg mixture into the center of the flour.

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe : www.theMagicOnions.com

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe : www.theMagicOnions.com

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe : www.theMagicOnions.com

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe : www.theMagicOnions.com

Now for the trick… use a wooden spoon to gently swill the milk and egg mixture around in the middle of the flour volcano hole. Each ‘swill’ will grab a little of the flour from the side of the bowl and mix it into the mixture. Around and around and around until, slowly and gently, all the flour mixes in.

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe : www.theMagicOnions.com

Set your Yorkshire pudding mixture aside for at least an hour.

Then, heat oven to 450 degrees F. Put 2 teaspoons of oil in the bottom of each pan in the muffin tin (Any oil will do. Dripping is the best).

Put your muffin tin in the hot oven for 10 minutes or until the oil is very hot (almost smoking)

Carefully (it’s VERY hot) take it out of the oven (and close the oven again to keep the heat in) and quickly pour or spoon the Yorkshire pudding mixture into the muffin tins, filling about two thirds full. Try to do this as fast as you can as you don’t want the oil to cool. I have my mixture in a jug and pour it into each tin.

Return muffin tin to the oven and bake for 20 minutes at the same high heat. You can NOT peek! Don’t open your oven until the 20 minutes is up (very hard for those of us who have old ovens that don’t have see-through glass doors).

After 20 minutes, your Yorkshire puddings should be perfect. Take them out and enjoy with gravy, roast beef and veggies.

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe : www.theMagicOnions.com

Yum, yum!

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Chocolate Banana Bites :: A Summer Treat

Kitty and Teddy made the yummiest summer treats for us today :: chocolate banana bites. It was Teddy’s idea… ‘Let’s make chocolate marshmallows!’ he declared. It being summer and all, I agreed it was a special enough occasion to warrant a chocolaty treat (plus… I do LOVE chocolate marshmallows!). But alas, no marshmallows in the pantry… ‘how about using banana instead?’ I inquired.

Kitty cut up the bananas into bite sized pieces while Teddy and I made a bane marie on the stove to melt some chocolate chips together with a couple of tablespoons of milk.

We set a blanket on the grass and all sat together dipping our bananas into the warm melted chocolate. Oh my, how yummy it was. We smiled and laughed as we dipped our bananas and, afterwards, lay on the blanket looking up at the blue sky, finding animals in the clouds. I looked over at my two sweet, chocolaty, children and saw that they were holding hands as they searched the sky together… their eyes sparkling in just the same way, and I realized that we had just created a beautiful family memory together. It struck me that special memories happen mostly when you don’t expect them to… the simple act of being together is often all it takes.

I will be mindful to let the simple pleasures flow this summer.

Banana Chocolate Bite Recipe :: www.theMagicOnions

Banana Chocolate Bite Recipe :: www.theMagicOnions

Banana Chocolate Bite Recipe :: www.theMagicOnions

Banana Chocolate Bite Recipe :: www.theMagicOnions

Banana Chocolate Bite Recipe :: www.theMagicOnions

Banana Chocolate Bite Recipe :: www.theMagicOnions

Banana Chocolate Bite Recipe :: www.theMagicOnions

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Juicing It Up!

We have lovely long mornings together. Teddy is an early riser. He snuggles into our bed at 5.30am and daydreams quietly beside us. By 6am, he just can’t stay still any longer and declares that it’s time for us all to get up. I used to begrudge waking up so early and, if truth be told, I’ve tried just about everything to get the boy to sleep a little longer but, as NOTHING has worked, we’ve decided to accept that our mornings start at six. It’s beautiful in the early morning… we light the fire, make coffee and tea, snuggle up together, read and chat and watch the magnificent sun welcoming the day in pinks and oranges. It’s amazing how once you accept a hardship, it often turns out to be a blessing after all!

Soon Teddy is ready for a little activity and we set about making our morning juice. We collect all manner of fruit and vegetables from the fridge, wash, peal and cut them and juice them in our juicer. Teddy loves this task and has taken on the role of juice-maker of the family. He knows how important this role is as he is filling us up with magical vitamins and nutrients. We put in all kinds of fruit and veggies, depending on what we have available. Our favorite mix is oranges, apples, strawberries, berries, cooked beets, cucumber, radishes, kale and carrots. We have found that we don’t like celery in our juice… it is too strong and it’s flavor takes over and repeats on us all day long. A lot of fruit makes our juice wonderfully sweet and the veggies give it a great nutty taste.

Here are a few photos of this mornings delicious juice.

Do you have a favorite juicing ingredient?

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Kid-friendly Chocolate Cake Recipe

Teddy is the baker in our home. He LOVES to bake. He has a stool that sits next to the kitchen island, ready for whenever he needs it. As most of you know, TV and Video Games are very seldom watched and played in the Sunny House… baking is a great alternative to both.

Today, Teddy and I baked a chocolate cake for desert. Here is our photo journal with our recipe that follows at the end.

 

Here is our easy and child-friendly chocolate cake recipe. Yum… it makes a deliciously light and fluffy chocolate cake!

NOTE: with your help, all steps can be completed by your child.

  • 1 cup of self-raising flour
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • half a cup of melted butter
  • half a cup of milk

Wash hands.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F (or 180 degrees C).

With butter, grease a large cake pan (about 9 inches in diameter).

In a LARGE bowl, and with a wooden spoon, combine all the ingredients together. Mix well. (I find that the larger the bowl, the less mess there will be).

Pour cake batter into the baking pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Test that the the cake is evenly baked by inserting a toothpick into the middle… if it comes out gooey, bake some more… if it comes out clean, it’s ready!

Set cake on a plate to cool.

When it’s cool, frost it. We used my special chocolate frosting that’s made from whisking a cup of cooled melted chocolate with a cup of heavy whipping cream… we love it as it’s not too sweet. Leave frosting until it and the cake are room temperature, then frost. Add a liberal amount of sprinkles.

Eat :-)

See… much better than TV an Video Games

Here’s a link to other Magic Onion kid-friendly recipes.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

 

Natural Flu Remedies

Alas, this horrid flue has descended upon the Sunny House. I knew something was up when Teddy asked to sit quietly with me on the sofa on Thursday morning. He cuddled into me and sat, motionless for what seemed like ages, just gazing into the distance. Hmmmm, I thought, this is unlike my active 5 year old!

By nighttime, his eyes were glazed, his body was sore and his appetite was gone. Kate became ill on Friday and A Good Man an I, on Saturday. We have renamed ourselves, the Sick House.

We have a few ‘sick’ traditions in the Sick House.

Lemon and Honey Tea:

Image Sourse : The Cutting Edge Of Ordinary

We drink copious amounts of lemon and honey tea. 1tsp of honey dissolved in a cup of hot water… add two slices (or more) of lemon and let steep for a few minutes (add ginger if you like it… but we don’t). The lemon has lots of vitamin C to help boost the immune system… the honey is a natural antibacterial for a sore throat and the ginger is good for an upset tummy.

We also gargle with salt water when we have a sore throat. We make a cup of ‘salt tea’ : 2 tsp of salt in a cup filled up with warm water and stirred until all the salt has dissolved. We take a mouthful of the tea, put our heads back and gargle – spitting the salt water out between gargles (don’t swallow the salt tea!) It’s amazing how this simple remedy helps sooth a sore throat. The salt acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and draws the excess liquid away from the swollen tissues of the throat… reducing the swelling and soothing the sore throat. The salt also draws out, and dries, bacteria and mucus in the throat and flushes it away.

And then, of course, chicken soup!

I make up a big pot of chicken soup. None of us feels much like eating but sipping warm chicken broth is soothing and nourishing at the same time.

Image Sourse : Lucy’s Garden

Chicken Soup Recipe:

Add diced Onion and fry in a big soup pot.

Add Carrots at end of frying.

Add 1 pint of chicken stock

Add 8 cups of water

Add a bunch of Kale

Add a cut up chicken

Add a tablespoon of vinegar

Add 1/4 cups of dried split peas, 1/4 cups of lentils and 1/2 cups of barley.

Simmer for 1 and a half hours and serve warm with bread and butter for dipping. Usually, even my little ones without appetites will consume some warm and nourishing chicken soup.

I hope you are all feeling a little better than we do.

Do you have some ‘sick time traditions’ in your home?

Blessings and magic,

Donni

 

 

Cupcakes for Neighbors

We showered our neighborhood with cupcakes!

For 18 months, A Good Man has been building The Sunny House and now that we are in our beautiful new home at last, and enjoying every amazing corner of it, we do often spare a thought for our poor neighbors who had to endure 18 months of building noise, dust and activity. Not one person complained in all those months!

It was Granny’s idea to bake a HUGE batch of cupcakes and deliver them to all the people who have been so kind and encouraging to us. Of course, Teddy and Kitty thought this was a fabulous idea! The bake-fest began…

Teddy’s job was to mix the batter and a very good mixer he proved to be.

Kitty was the sprinkler adder.

My good man wrote a note of ‘Thanks!’ to each of our neighbors.

We made 50 cupcakes… look how pretty they are…

Seeing these lovely little bursts of sugary goodness, I’m sure you will all want a link to our cupcake recipe.

Luckily for us, some of our neighbors were out and we got to enjoy their treats… They were quite delicious!

Thank you to all of you who have put up with building neighbors :-)

Blessings and magic,

Donni