Five Uses for Sage

http://www.funhappinessandlife.com/five-uses-for-sageThe sage in my little herb garden has done wonderfully this year. I am dreading the first frost because it will all wilt up and die. Before that first frost happens I want to use this beautiful looking and smelling plant. I’ve found a few delicious and very pretty ways of using this versatile and aromatic herb.

Sage has a nice broad leaf with a soft feel whose scent is clean. It can traditionally be used in dishes of poultry and pork recipes. It pairs very nicely in a butter based sauces. Below are the five ways I use sage in my home.

1. sage Butter

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Herbs can be used in flavored butter. Once the butter is made it can be used in dishes, frozen, or given as an addition to a present. This is a simple and straight forward preparation.

Grab about 20 sage leaves, remove the stems, wash and fully dry the leaves. Allow a stick of unsalted butter to come to room temperature. Finely chop up the sage leaves. Fold the herbs into the butter and form a ball or log and wrap with plastic wrap. Place into freezer to form solidly. Ta-da Sage Butter!

2. Sage hummus

Sage hummus a seed and nut free spread. http://www.funhappinessandlife.com/five-uses-for-sageI made this hummus without tahini oil because D-Man, my older child, has a sesame seed and nut allergy. We can’t buy hummus from the store because of the these allergies, so I make my own. I have tried a couple of recipes, sage hummus is one of my favorite spreads on a pita chip.

Open a can of chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinse, and drain. Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic, use more or less depending on taste. Wash, dry, and coarsely chop sage leaves. Add all ingredients to food processor. While processing add olive oil and sea salt to taste. Continue to add and process until desired texture is achieved. Delicious!

3. Dried Sage

Drying sage to use during the winter months. http://www.funhappinessandlife.com/five-uses-for-sageDrying sage is super easy and can be used throughout the winter months until your fresh plant grows back in the summer. Cut down a portion of the plant, depending on how much you think you will use. Gather the stems and tie together with baker’s string. Hang in dry and dark space with room for air to circulate around, for best drying. Let dry for at least 4 weeks until brittle to the touch. Place into air tight container to use when needed.

4. Sage salt

Ingredients needed for herb flavored salt are found in your herb garden. Drying sage to use during the winter months. http://www.funhappinessandlife.com/five-uses-for-sageFlavored salt is another great way to use and preserve herbs to be used for later. Take your fresh ingredients of sage leaves, lemon thyme, garlic and salt. I use about 1/2 cup sea salt, 2 cups fresh sage leaves, 1 cup lemon thyme, and 1 clove garlic. I pulse the ingredients a few times in the food processor. Try not to over process it ruins the texture of the salt. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and store in mason jar. This can be used in sauces and on meats. You can add any herbs you want, but this post is about sage.

5. Sage wreath

Sage wreath http://www.funhappinessandlife.com/five-uses-for-sageThis is the last item you can use sage to create. It’s a craft and not a recipe, but you can use the leaves as they dry out in recipes. Just remember as you use them the wreath with look more and more bare. I used a 12″ foam wreath form from the dollar store, garden wire, needle nosed pliers and wire snips. This wreath used about 10 stalks off my sage plant. I arranged the leaves from top to bottom. I really filled in and overlapped the gathered leaves. Remember this will quickly wilt and sag so you need to add more wire sections to hold it in place.Sage wreath adds a natural touch and nice aroma to the kitchen. http://www.funhappinessandlife.com/five-uses-for-sageTo make the wire stays. I clipped the wire about 1 inch long, held in the needle nose snips and bent down the wire.

Once completed I used a colorful ribbon to place over my kitchen sink. I enjoy the aroma and the look. Notice the difference in the leaves from when I was assembling the wreath to one day later. The sage leaves do droop, but that’s because it’s not made out of plastic.

Sage is a wonderfully versatile and tasty herb that can be used in your kitchen and for decoration. I hope you enjoy making all the herb inspired flavorings and crafts.

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Shoes: How To for Kids

It’s the start of a new school year and you are just trying to get the kids out the door and their shoes are on the wrong foot and they are not tied. You are trying to hold it together but are about to raise your motherly voice to Ursula level because you just got them dressed, teeth brushed, fed, lunches packed, water bottles filled (seriously what about the bubbler?), homework folders found and they can’t even get their shoes ON THE RIGHT FEET?! Have no fear….Easy hack for your kids to get their shoes on the correct feet. #ADL #dressingindependence #downsyndrome #funhappinessandlife

shoe hacks are here!

It’s time for new Therapy Thursday post. For those of you who are new to us here at Fun Happiness and Life. I like to post about ways for your little ones to gain some independence by learning how to perform their activities of daily living (ADLs). I am an occupational therapist and this is one of the main focuses of career. In addition I have a small child who has Down syndrome and we would like him to grow up to be an independent adult. In order for him to be independent we need to help him along the way. One of the paths to independence is to be able to take care of your own daily cares, like getting your shoes on the correct feet. Continue reading “Shoes: How To for Kids”

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Whipped Cream Cheese

Saving some money on a peanut-free spread!

Make your own whipped cream cheese for less. #tastytuesday #funhappinessandlife #foodblogOur sons like to have cream cheese and jelly sandwiches for lunch. We have a child with a peanut, tree nut and sunflower seed allergy in our home, D-Man. As a result we do not use peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, or hazelnut spread in our sandwiches. We have tried the soy nut butter spreads and the one Mr. P and I enjoy the most is WOWButter. My boys don’t care for the taste of soy based spreads. They prefer cream cheese.

I tend to buy about 3 bricks of cream cheese a month. When I am making frosting for cakes I buy even more. I make the boys jelly and cream cheese sandwiches on a weekly basis. I cannot stand the lack of ability to spread the bricked cream cheese. It’s really annoying when I am trying to make sandwiches for their lunches, when they are eating their breakfast and we are about to get out the door on time…..maybe.

There is whipped cream cheese that is much easier to spread right next to the brick version. The issue is I am frugal person and I am willing to put in a little more effort to save a few pennies. Last month I decided enough was enough with the bricks, so I caved and bought the whipped. Continue reading “Whipped Cream Cheese”

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Allergy Testing That Wasn’t

Today was our D-Man’s annual asthma and allergy appointment. It was time to get his skin testing done. I always go into these appointments a little apprehensive. I try not to show that apprehension to him, because he does not need that pressure. I dream about going in and having the doctor say….”he’s not allergic anymore” then I jump back into reality and worry about possibly adding more do not eat items to our list.

D-Man is our 5 year old son who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, fin fish, shell fish, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and cucumbers.

This year I told myself things are going to get better, D-Man has been so good without any major issues for a few months now. He have begun eating cantaloupe (if you don’t know why this is a big deal for us check this out.) D-Man hasn’t had any more adverse food reactions since, his first epipen experience, nearly 9 months ago. He hasn’t had to use his rescue inhaler for any increase in asthma symptoms for the past 5 months.  D-Man is rocking it and getting ready for kindergarten to start in the fall.

The appointment went per usual

D-Man let me know he had to go poop right at we were being called back to the clinic room. So we said we’d be back shortly and I took D-Man and my potty training 3 year old, Big-C,  to the bathroom for a group toilet session. We finally returned to the waiting room and were escorted to the clinic rooms. D-Man was measured, weighed and roomed by a friendly and talkative nurse. Continue reading “Allergy Testing That Wasn’t”

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Cauliflower on the Grill

I love cauliflower,  my husband does not. My children have to be convinced to eat it, either with a huge dollop of ranch dressing or smothered in melted cheese. Even then, it is difficult to get any of my boys to eat cauliflower. I have a solution…

the grill!

My husband, Mr. P, let me know that this is the only way he will eat cauliflower and actually enjoys it. In addition to the cauliflower there are two simple ingredients. Papa John’s garlic butter and paprika. We eat at Papa John’s, more often then I care to admit. D-Man, my son with food allergies, can eat their pizza. We typically order one time a week and therefore end up with extra containers of garlic butter. I have found a recipe on Pinterest of how to make your own, but we haven’t had to resort to that, yet…

Grilled cauliflower that the family will eat. #grillingrecipes #vegetablesonthegrill #foodblogger #funhappinessandlife #foodallergy

I love any chance to prepare a meal, or part of meal on the grill. This time of year fresh veggies are super delightful. I am putting my new grill pan to work, same one I used making zucchini pizza boats. I have also made this recipe in a Wilton Armetale dish. They are delicious both ways depending on your tastes. The grill pan allows for drainage, so the cauliflower is dryer and more grill flavory (yep not a word, but you know what I mean). The Armetale dish allows for more buttery quality of the cauliflower, since the garlic butter just bubbles around it. Continue reading “Cauliflower on the Grill”

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