Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dog Treats: Pumpkin Biscuits

Pumpkin dog biscuits
This is the first time that we are harvesting pumpkin from our backyard garden although we used to plant ornamental pumpkin in our mountain garden.
After harvesting an eight kilo pumpkin, a few weeks ago; I decided to give our dog a taste of the orange vegetable, too. 
But not before checking if pumpkin is an appropriate dietary supplement to our golden retriever
I found out about the benefits of pumpkin to dogs, in this website
Pumpkin is a great sourse of fiber, therefore, it helps dogs who have problems with indigestion of upset stomachs. Second, pumpkins are excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron. And third, it is a major aid in weight loss, if ever your furry friends have an obesity problem.

Ingredients for pumpkin dog biscuits:

2 cups mashed pumpkin
2 cups flour
a pinch of garlic powder
some chopped parsley or dill


Combine mashed pumpkin and flour, mix. 
Add the garlic powder and chopped parsley or dill and mix thoroughly.
Form into a ball.
In a pre-heated oven, 180 C degrees, bake for around 10-15 minutes.

Here's a recipe for spinach dog biscuit.

Pumpkin dog biscuits with parsley

Monday, September 24, 2012

DIY: Garden Label Sticks

Okay, this post might not be too relevant in our part of the world as it's autumn now; but for those of you who are still busy in the garden, you might want to try this: your very own garden label sticks.

This idea came to mind because we cut down some trees; we separated the bigger branches and the smaller ones which we plan to use for our grill. And while doing that sorting, my girls, who got bored, started carving into some branches. And the garden labels sticks were born :-)

Materials needed to create your own garden label sticks:
The garden labels made from tree branches
Materials needed to create your own garden label sticks:
- enough branches as needed
- a knife
- paint brushes
- a pair of pruning shears
- paints (we used watercolors, which lasted the whole summer despite the rain)

here's what we need: enough branches, knife, paints, paint brushes, pruning shears  
How to make a garden label stick:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grocery Shopping at Langnese Fabrikverkauf (Factory Store)

Here is a place especially good to visit during summer time, Langnese Fabrikverkauf (Factory Store) in Heppenheim.

We always go there not only because of the variety of ice cream, but because they also sell an assortment of frozen meat, veggies and baked goodies that are cheaper than those found in the supermarket (even in the discount shops!).

Surprisingly, they also now have toiletries such as those from Dove (shampoos, lotion, etc.), perfumes, etc. Also included are chocolates, baking items, noodles, ready-to-bake cakes and cookies, ready-to-mix sauces, and whatever the new product specials are being offered in a particular week!

Yes, a good tip is to check the special offer in their website; especially if you are looking for a specific something. In our case, we love the ice cream and the pretzels and the frozen fish section!

Entrance to the Langnese Fabrikverkauf 
Tips to bring if you plan on visiting the Langnese Fabrikverkauf in Heppenheim:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dear Egai (1969-2012)

Edgar 'Egai' Elguerra (1969-2012)
Hey, Egai.

Remember our early grade school days?
Hurrying to the canteen during recess.
Finding a place to enjoy our snacks.
Sharing lunches.
Playing around the school grounds,
(naalala mo lumulusot tayo dun sa may dulo ng waiting shed para tumakas minsan?)
buying street food behind the school gates,
while waiting for our 'sundo?'

And then the time when we were allowed to go home alone?
Sometimes, we would walk together.
Even though I am supposed to be turning left and you turning right.
But we simply needed the short walk to chat up,
to look at the baskets of goodies sold by the street vendors,
to buy some yummy street food.

Then high school.
You went to the boy's school next door.
I remained loyal to the girl's school.

But everytime I would see you, I would always call your name.
Greet you, chat a bit, ask about your mother.
(Remember, my mother and your mother got to know each other, too)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Story of the Girl Who Wants a Nintendo

Remember her?
The girl who has been pestering us to buy a Nintendo for her? 
The girl who has been begging to find a Nintendo under the Christmas tree for her?
The girl who has been pleading for a Nintendo birthday present?

Well, the last time she asked, we told her she could have a Nintendo only if she'd be able to pay for one herself. Meaning, she needs to save her allowance and all the gift money she would receive to be able to realize her dream of having a Nintendo. In fact, she did say she'd buy one when she's in high school. Well, MC started high school (middle school).She's in grade five already.

The best things is, she has enough money saved. She is ready for her Nintendo. And a few days ago, we went shopping, for her Nintendo.

Look what the girl who wanted a Nintendo ended up buying...

Monday, September 10, 2012

MC's First Day in Middle School

Okay, okay. I don't really know if they call it middle school here in Germany. But see, MC is now in fifth grade. That means goodbye grade school!
MC's new school bag and her mini school cone, beside it, IC's super mini school cone :)
Leaving the fourth grade is a little bit complicated here in Germany. There are many kinds of middle school levels that are available for the fifth graders: the Haupschule, the Realschule/Werkrealschule and the Gymnasium. The school choices depend on the following: the school grades, the teacher's recommendations, the parent's agreement (in other German regions, the school grades automatically discerns the school's level), the kid's nod, and of course, the number of fifth grade applicants.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Homemade Dried Tomatoes

We really thought our tomatoes this year would be a lost cause. The weather went a bit crazy; more cold and wet than warm and dry. The latter most favored by the tomatoes.

Good thing we have most of our tomatoes planted under a roof. They bloomed. The tomatoes came, but they were mostly green. As if they would never turn red! Then we went camping, taking advantage of a one-week warm weather forecast; leaving the watering of our tomatoes and other plants to our friendly neighbor.

When we came back? Wow, the tomatoes were thriving! We gave away most of the first harvest. The rest we packed and froze.

The red, red tomatoes
The tomatoes kept on thriving. We pluck them out daily, early morning and late evening. We eat them for breakfast, just like that. We have them as salad for lunch, with olive oil, salt, pepper and vinegar. We serve them as relishes for dinner.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Girls' Rock Climbing Camp

MC's first climb.
Our little adventurers are back! From a long list of available day camps for this summer school holiday, the girls chose the most challenging.

The first one was the rock climbing day camp. They do love to climb trees, but rock climbing is different!

MC got a slot, but IC didn't. But hey, we always go together. And this time, we came as a family because we wanted to watch MC and there's a hope that maybe, IC would get a chance to try out, too.

Then IC chose to wear a long dress. Given the chance, would she try out?

Here's the photo story: