Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Wednesday - Garden Gumbo, Rolls
Thursday - Casbah Curried Chicken, Couscous
Friday - Mom's Meatball Stroganoff, Egg noodles, Corn
Saturday - Indian Spiced Chicken, Rice, Israeli Salad
Sunday - Mexican Chicken Stew, Corn muffins
Monday - Fettucini with Bolognese Sauce, Salad
Tuesday - Chili, Tortilla chips
I am also happy to say that we had no food waste! Well, I can't claim that everyone ate absolutely everything that was on their plate. BUT. On work days, the husband took leftovers from the night before for his lunch. In some cases, Ansel and I ate leftovers at home for lunch as well. And if there was still excess, I froze the leftovers as individual portions to use at a later date. So now we have six or seven individual meals frozen. Awesome. That'll help in a pinch. And it means I didn't throw money in the trash.
OK, now I need to get down to business planning this next week. I'm also taking on homemade laundry detergent. It's not exactly "crunchy," but it will be inexpensive. So that's something!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We did have luck the other day with a chickpeas and tomato pasta salad. The kids liked this one, too, so it will have to stay in rotation. And it calls for a lot of vegetables, which is awesome. I also love single dish meals for some really ridiculous reason, I'm sure.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Is it eco-friendly? Not likely. Is it super healthy for my family? Probably not. But darn if it didn't clean the clothes.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I also have bread dough about to go into the oven, tomorrow I'll make cookies(promised Ansel) and banana bread(have overripe bananas). If I get on a good roll, I might go ahead and make protein bars, but we'll see. Can't put the cart before the horse!
It feels good to be back on the wagon!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
So, let's see.
The biggies..... We use cloth diapers. We didn't with Kadin. Heck, I had no idea they even really existed anymore. But we have with Ansel since he was born. And seeing how he's almost 3 1/2 now, that's a LOT of diapers we haven't thrown away. I won't lie and say I love it at this point. It's tedious. But I remember Kadin's last months in diapers being tedious, too, and all I had to do with those was throw them away.
(I will also add that Ansel wore this same diaper today, as a matter of fact. The color's lost some of it's brightness, but the diaper is every bit as functional as it was in this picture, when Ansel was a little over a year old.)
We breastfeed. Feeding artificial human milk(also known as "formula") creates a TON of waste. If you can possibly breastfeed, I highly recommend it!
This is about 3 days post-partum, our first outing.
I use reusable menstrual pads. I'll spare you a picture on this one. Really, you don't want to see. But I promise you it's NOT gross. And an unexpected plus of it has been that they're WAY more comfortable than anything disposable ever was.
One of our cars is a hybrid, and we LOVE it! It's fun and cute and spacious enough and gets great gas mileage! The blue one on the right. The grey SUV is my parents'.
We buy organic products and local products when we can. This is less strain on the environment, especially the local products. Organic products also reduce the amount of impact each crop has on the land itself.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
So today my husband sort of ambushed me into a personal training session at his gym. I did NOT want to go. Really. Fought it every step of the way. I don't like exercising, but I know I have to make myself do it. Which is why we own a treadmill. Now, I don't actually USE the treadmill, but we own it. I must have burned calories putting it together. But back to the point.... I hate exercising, but more than hating exercise itself, I hate exercising around other people who can see me and judge me. Yes, I know people look at me and judge me all the time, and I can live with that. But I am embarrassed by just how out of shape I am.
So, this morning I find myself at the gym, in the personal training office. And so of course they start by getting your measurements. Weight was first. Now, the last time I was weighed was a month ago at a doctor's appointment. And from that time to today I lost, *drumroll* NINE POUNDS!!!! NINE people, NINE!
And you know what's more? I haven't done anything at all except change how I eat, and pay more attention to how much I eat. I also don't eat after dinner at all. I even went to Disneyworld and ate less than wonderfully, and I've had a few slip ups here and there(like yesterday, when I was SO not in the mood to cook).
I feel so.... vindicated! The husband knew I was making good changes, but there were some things he didn't think I was doing right. And now, well, this kind of proves it, doesn't it? Woo-hoo!
And since every post needs a picture, here ya go, the cute picture for today. Ansel at around 18 months.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
So now that I've rambled.... It's expensive(sort of), but can be healthy pretty easily!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The vast majority of this is organic, with only a few exceptions based on availablity and cost. Apples are always organic, because my kids eat so many of them. Potatoes always are, too, as I've heard they have some of the highest levels of pesticides among conventional produce. In this particular week, the strawberries were conventional, along with the cilantro and jalapenos. The tomatoes were local, but not organic.
And this is what we did, later in the day. It's Spring Break for Kadin, and this was about the most exciting thing that happened all week. Sad, I know, but we're(ok, I'm) still recovering from last week's time served at Disneyworld.
Ansel showing his true colors.
Here's the dough rising. It looked a little sad, in my opinion.
The same day as the bread I decided to make chocolate chip cookies. I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. But, I know they're not all that good for you(although also not all that bad if you know what you're putting in them).
Now that I've tried with half the butter, I don't intend to go back. The taste was not affected negatively. The cookies were able to bake without overly browning. The other blog(if I remember it, I'll post the link), also suggested using half wheat flour, so I'll try that the next time. Can't hurt!
This is an example of a snack that Ansel ate one afternoon, and he did eat all of this, along with a cup of water(he likes a lot of ice in it). It's quite pretty, which I think I appreciate more than he does. But I do take some pride in being able to prepare simple, attractive foods for my family.
Hamburger buns! This is another item from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The book raves about this recipe, and I was definitely skeptical. I'm not a huge fan of wheat buns. They seem to be distracting to me.... just too much going on. But, as a part of this all whole foods thing, I figured I'd give it a go.
They looked soooo good coming out of the oven! And they smelled amazing!
We grilled hamburgers outside, of course, which meant the boys got time to play outside. We have a dirt/rock pile off to the side of the house(no idea what it's from, it's just always been there) and they spent a good deal of time just digging.
I'm trying to get used to my new lens. This was fun for me to be able to stand on the patio and take pictures of the kids on the far side of the yard. Still needs work, but it was exciting!
And the husband doing his part. I do grill as well, but if he's available to do it, I am HAPPY to share the responsibility.
The buns got rave reviews! They used the same dough as the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread I've been making as our basic bread. It was remarkably simple, and there was no specific skill or technique necessary to get a good result. The book also gives instructions to make hot dog buns, which is very similar to making the hamburger buns. I don't think I'll be buying buns again! The taste was flavorful, but not overpowering, much better than any storebought wheat buns I've had.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I had this whole day planned for baking and kitchen things, but then I woke up to a clogged kitchen sink and yucky standing water in both sides of my sink AND my dishwasher! It threw off my whole day, and my momentum never recovered.
Fortunately, today happens to be the day that Domino's is sponsoring a fundraiser for Kadin's school, so 20% of what we pay goes to his school. So if it's for charity, it's ok, right?!
Actually, to be completely honest, I think this is totally fine. Sometimes we will eat things that aren't awesome. I happen to think pizza is way better than, say, McDonald's. Not to mention that I reserve the right to not be proactive now and again. It's bad enough that I had to scrub that disgusting sink once it was fixed, and that I had to soak dishes in the bathtub, and subsequently had to clean food yuck out of the bathtub.
So come on, Domino's! I wanna get the door!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I started out by making another loaf of the white bread I posted about last time. This time I made it for my neighbor, who is scared of using yeast. I've told her it won't bite her, but she doesn't believe me.
As that dough was rising, I started my next dough.
I purchased this cookbook, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day a couple of weeks ago and have been slowly gearing up to start following their plan. There's a pretty lengthy chapter in the beginning about ingredients and materials and supplies, and yes, I actually do read things like that.
The basic idea is that they have master dough recipes that you make and store in the fridge until you're ready to bake. The dough will stay in the fridge for up to five days. As you need to, you pull off a certain amount of dough, manipulate it slightly into what type of bread you want to make specifically, let it rise, then bake. No kneading! (in almost all cases) And it only takes five minutes when you actually use the dough. Making the master recipe does take a bit of time, but really not even all that much.
Now, if I can manage to just set up my routine to do this, we'll be golden. You can make anything. There's different variations to the master recipe in this book. Some use all whole wheat, some a combo of wheats, some use various other grains as well. The one I decided to start with was the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. It makes four pounds of dough, which makes two loaves of sandwich bread. We mostly use bread as sandwiches and toast, so this is perfect for us. It also shows an easy way to make hamburger or hot dog buns using the same dough, so that's great.
I'm not going to post the recipe, because these aren't available online. There are some on their website which I linked above, and a lot of libraries also have their cookbooks.
This is what went into the master recipe.
Here's the dough, all mixed up, before it rose.
This is the part of the dough I used(half of the total) to make one sandwich loaf last night. You simply cut off the amount you need, flour the outside a little, shape it into whatever you're making, then put it in/on the pan to rise.
And the finished product! I am seriously amazed every time something comes out looking the way it should. I expect failure, and am totally impressed with every success.
I am happy to report that today the boys and I had sandwiches for lunch using this bread, and it's GREAT! Tastes like fancy bakery shop bread. So exciting! I used to spend $5+ for something like this up in Virginia without batting an eyelash.
After mixing up the master recipe dough yesterday, and after baking the neighbor's bread, I got started on banana bread. My whole family likes banana bread, and I like not wasting things(like overripe bananas). It also makes for quick snacks or breakfast, so that comes in handy.
The recipe I usually follow is pretty simple. I don't put nuts in mine because the kids tend not to like nuts in things. I was the same way, so it doesn't bother me to accomodate this one.
Banana Banana Bread
And the finished product! Making banana bread is super simple, so I didn't bother with step-by-step pictures. You just mix stuff together, pour in a pan, and bake it!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
In trying to stay with my once a week grocery shopping plan, I make a concerted effort to not run to the store for "just one thing." When does it ever end up being only one thing? And what a waste of gas and time anyway to go out just for that one thing. So we were out of bread, but I send a sandwich to school with Kadin every day for his lunch. Not having bread is a bit of a problem!
Now, realize, I've never MADE bread before. I've made banana bread or pumpkin bread, but not just bread. And I did try a cranberry swirl loaf real bread back in January, but I killed the yeast in the first step, so it was really dense and didn't rise right or anything. It tasted good, but the texture was alll wrong.
I just knew that if this whole foods thing was going to work, I was going to have to conquer bread. So I bought a bread book, and I'm working on figuring out how to implement it, but I was missing a significant ingredient for it's main recipe. So Google saved the day! It took a long time because a lot of things called for stuff I didn't have(like skim milk) or made two loaves(I only need one at a time and only have one loaf pan anyway). So I found one that used things I had, and sounded manageable.
Super Easy Bread for Beginners
I would have included pictures of the ingredients and the beginning of the process, but, I was on the phone with my mom at the time and to be honest, it just didn't even occur to me. But here's the dough, all mixed up. This is the point at which the dough was "chasing" the spoon around the bowl. I liked that description!
This is the dough in the buttered bowl, next to the heated oven(I was about to start granola bars) so it can rise. Sorry for the monotone here, didn't even occur to me to use a colored bowl. But ceramic Pfaltgraff does conduct heat well, so maybe it was actually a good idea.
Here's the dough an hour later, about to be punched down and kneaded. I was so ecstatic to see it had actually risen in a way that looked right to me! Yay!
And..... this morning, I had to make Kadin's sandwich as usual. I sliced the heel off and, whaddya know, it was soft bread! And the crust was chewy, not hard like I'd feared. And it tastes.... good! I will definitely make this again sometime, but I will bake it a little less and see if that makes the crust even better.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Again, I know some of this stuff isn't ideal. I'm still using up that peanut butter(this is the last jar). And when I'm baking, I use regular honey, not local.
The recipe says it makes three dozen. I can't imagine how small they would have to be to make that many out of one pan. I cut it into 18 bars which were a more normal granola bar size.
And this is what I made for the boys in the middle of all of this. The husband I were having leftovers from the night before's dinner out, so I didn't want to exert a lot of effort just cooking for the boys. So, half a box of whole wheat organic spaghetti, about a third of a jar of organic marinara sauce, some parmesan cheese, and a quick spinach salad. Voila! Dinner!