t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


Pasta Fagoli

Pasta e Fagioli
(Cuisine Art Pressure Cooker Recipe Book)

1 T olive oil 
1 1/2 c chopped onion 
1 c diced carrot 
1/2 c diced celery 
3 cloves minced garlic 
2 t Italian herb blend (divided) 
6 cups water

1 lb dry cannellini or white beans, rinsed and picked over (about 2 cups)
1 bay leaf 
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth 
2 cans diced tomatoes with their juice
1 t real salt 
1 1/2 cups quinoa macaroni noodles (multi grain work as well)
chopped fresh parsley 
freshly grated parmesan (optional)

Saute in oil until translucent, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Season with 1 t of herbs. Add sautéed vegetables, water, dried beans and bay leaf into pressure cooker.
Pressure cook on high for 35 minutes. Allow natural pressure release for 20 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes, salt, and remaining herb blend. Boil and add pasta.
Cook for 9-10 minutes, until al dente.
Serve garnished with parsley and grated parmesan.

With the holidays upon us, cooking for big groups may be looming.  This a great easy dish for adults and children.  I allow my kids to pick out one item, that may not be their favorite.  :) Nothing beats the kind of meals that result in huge amounts for easy delivery, mass feedings, or leftovers.  Almost every time I make this meal I bring a pot to a friend.  One of the easiest ways for me to store and deliver soups is filling quart jars.  I don't need to worry about getting them back or missing them for storage of more perishable items.  

I saute my vegetables directly in the pressure cooker, add the dry beans and water, cook, and then boil the noodles all in the same pot.  This serves well with a green salad, fresh fruit and sourdough bread.  


Thanksgiving in Aspen Grove

Piling into a family cabin. Moonlight hikes. Wild remote helicopters. Dance parties. Great times.


Kitchen Snuggles. Is that Possible?

Kitchen Window Seat  

       Yes!  One possibly more unusual item, I felt was essential in my kitchen was a cuddle spot for reading.  As the hub of family life I wanted a place directly in the action, out of the action.

 This has to be our family's favorite single or double snuggle spot in the house.  We have a super soft blanket just wrapped around some foam, until I get around to sewing cushions.  In the mean time it is a luxurious snuggle.  The seat is 25" deep and 54" long, so there is plenty of room to curl up with a book, or the morning newspaper.  I added a soffit, corbels, and arch to enhance the feeling of enclosure.  With your feet off the ground you become entirely out of the "work way."  It is a perfect place to be right in the action, but out of the action. The large window lets in lots of natural light all day, but indirectly, so it never becomes uncomfortable or glaring.  A peek at Mt. Timpanogos and the back yard are just added perks.  Finally below the seat are 2 gigantic drawers.  One is filled with books and quiet games, the other with pillows and blankets.

Another fun aspect of the window seat, is it allows Emmett and Berkeley to be in on the action without pushing and banging around stools and chairs.  Our toast supplies are in the adjacent cupboard.  The two little munchkins love to stand on the window seat and help Ellery and Callista make toast.