Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Kids Eat Everything.

I am so thankful this today that my kids eat everything.  Well, alright.  That might be a BIT of an exaggeration... almost everything.

almost all the time.

Like yesterday, we ate at 8, 10, 11:30, 1:30, 5, and dessert at 6.  I feel like I live with Hobbits.

But seriously, I am so thankful that my children are adventurous, good eaters, even when I feel like the food is gross.  :-)

What are YOU thankful for today?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu Plan 3.19.2011 Revisited

Here's my menu plan as I wrote it two weeks ago and what we ended up having/ how I ended up editing it. 
  1. Spaghetti with veggie sauce-- homemade noodles with flax; roast zucchini and fennel tossed in.
  2. Wings, broccoli, homemade sauerkraut-- potato wedges and roast carrots
  3. Chili
  4. Bean soup
  5. Asparagus pesto* Chris has forever vetoed the asparagus pesto!
  6. Potato and spinach curry
  7. Palak Paneer (Spinach and cheese curry) with coconut spice rice*
  8. Homemade Sauerkraut with green mashed potatoes and leftover grilled steak
  9. Asian Anise soup* with hummus and veggies-- we made the Green Energy Soup instead.  Only Sam liked it. (Weird, right?  That the two year old ate it and no one else? I thought so...) with homemade bread.
  10. Butternut squash soup with socca-- with bread
  11. Red cabbage slaw with lime vinaigrette* and a roast-- will have next time!
  12. Broccoli, Chicken and Rice casserole that I kind of made up on the fly.  I'll have to share the recipe this week.  :-) 
  13. Kids: Pizza-- well, more like tomato pie, with broccoli, tomatoes and shredded carrot on top Mom and Dad: Date to Burrito Loco with friends!!
And the extras that I want to make:
  1. Granola
  2. Sweet Nut Mix*
  3. Chipotle flax crackers*
  4. Sweet Carrot Bread*-- this was pretty good!  I used prunes instead of raisins.  Ben didn't like it. 
  5. Zucchini coffee cake (only use half the sugar)-- SO GOOD. Made it twice. mmm. Will make again, and soon! (I have frozen shredded zucchini in my freezer from last year's garden.  That makes this recipe a snap to throw together!)
  6. Whole wheat honey scones (Use less honey-- 2-3 TBS)-- deliciousness.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Menu Plan 3.27.2011

It seems like I just posted a menu plan!  But this weekend was my weekend to go shopping (I've been going only every two weeks, and LOVING it), so I needed to make a plan.  Here it is. 

  1. Spaghetti (Zucchini or wheat, haven't decided.  Might have both!)
  2. Roast with Beet Salad and roast carrots
  3. Beef tacos with broccoli
  4. Potato and Spinach Curry
  5. Noodles with gravy and salad
  6. Mashed potatoes and Sauerkraut (Our next batch will be done this weekend!)
  7. Lentil Stew
  8. Chili with stewmeat, Salad and cornbread muffins
  9. Sweet Potato soup with salad (or maybe coleslaw?)
  10. Chicken Tacos with a veggie
  11. Beans and Rice
Let's see how we do for the next two weeks!  Thanks for keeping me on track.  :-)

Do you menu plan? What's your favorite way to plan?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Homemade Sauerkraut and Papaya Sorbet

Chris made homemade sauerkraut two weeks ago, and this past weekend it was ready for tasting!  It was a little mild, so we are going to let it ferment awhile longer, but boy was it good!  So we celebrated by buying hot dogs (a real treat for us, as we only buy Nature's Promise ones with no nitrates or nitrites) to eat with our sauerkraut!  It was so delicious!

Also I have a quick new recipe to share that I made up because my kids did not want to eat the last half of the papaya we had and it was going to go bad!

Papaya Sorbet
Half of a papaya, cut into chunks
1/2 cup or so of almond milk (any milk will do!)
2 TBS maple syrup (or honey, agave)
1 TBS hemp seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)

Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add more milk if you want it thinner.  Now, you could pour it in a glass and enjoy!  Or, I filled my muffin pan up with the smoothie and put it into the freezer.  When they are frozen, I will pop them out of the pan and put them in a bag, waiting for some day when I want to pull a quick, delicious snack out of the freezer. For my kids. Or myself!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011



There are so many different versions!  Here's my version, which I use most frequently.  But, it's never the same!  I am always adding new weird things (like I did tonight), or too much cumin (I did this tonight, too!) or SOMEthing. 

Chili a la Janet
3 cups dried beans
5 1/2 cups water
3 green peppers
1 or 2 onions
4+ cloves garlic
(today I did 2 shredded carrots and 1/2 head cauliflower)
28oz can crushed tomatoes
2+ tsp salt
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
(2 tsp kelp powder-- adds a little salt and nutrition, totally optional!  I only use it because I have it)

Soak beans. Cook beans, peppers, onions, garlic, other veggies in a pot for 2-3 hours on the stove or 8-10 hours in the crock pot.  Add the tomatoes and the spices after the beans have cooked. Adjust spices to your liking.  Sometimes I brown 1 lb. stew meat and put it in with the beans, or sometimes 1 lb ground beef.

We used to put all kinds of stuff on/in our chili-- macaroni noodles mixed with chili with a healthy dose of cheese, sour cream and hot sauce on top is my favorite way to eat it!  But, since we have cut back on dairy, we haven't had cheese or sour cream in the house.  And since I stopped buying white flour noodles, I haven't had macaroni in the house, either.  I still enjoy a great bowl of chili with hot sauce.  Especially on a cold, rainy day like today.

Do you  make chili?  What do YOU like in your chili?  Do you use toppings?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Menu Plan 3.19.2011

So I realize it has been more than two weeks since I posted a menu plan-- almost three weeks! I ended up going out of town at the beginning of last week, so that threw my blogging and menu plan off a bit.  In a good way, of course!  :-)

Here's what I got for the next two weeks:
  1. Spaghetti with veggie sauce
  2. Wings, broccoli, homemade sauerkraut
  3. Chili
  4. Bean soup
  5. Asparagus pesto*
  6. Potato and spinach curry
  7. Palak Paneer (Spinach and cheese curry) with coconut spice rice*
  8. Homemade Sauerkraut with green mashed potatoes and leftover grilled steak
  9. Asian Anise soup* with hummus and veggies
  10. Butternut squash soup with socca
  11. Red cabbage slaw with lime vinaigrette* and a roast
And the extras that I want to make:
  1. Granola
  2. Sweet Nut Mix*
  3. Chipotle flax crackers*
  4. Sweet Carrot Bread*
  5. Zucchini coffee cake (only use half the sugar)
  6. Whole wheat honey scones (Use less honey-- 2-3 TBS)
*Recipes from Breaking Free: Truths for Healthy Living

I'll check back in a week or two to let you know how my meals really turned out.  I love the flexibility of meal planning like this!  I have everything I need for a variety of foods, but I can make what I feel like on a given day! What's your favorite dinner?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Beet and Parsnip Quinoa

Cool new recipe for you!  I developed this as a quick side to go with our first grilled steaks of the season.  MMM.

I used black quinoa in this recipe because I saw it at the store and wanted to try it.  But, you can use whatever kind you like.  And, in fact, I didn't really like the black quinoa because it is a bit crunchy-ish, even after it is fully cooked.  Kind of like steel cut oats never quite get all the way soft... My kids didn't care for the texture.  But the overall dish ended up quite good, in my (and Chris'!) opinion.  (I always get excited when Chris likes something new I just made up!)

Beet and Parsnip Quinoa
One Beet, diced into half inch cubes (with the skin taken off first)
One parsnip, skin off, diced into half inch pieces
One cup Quinoa
Half an onion, diced
One or two cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
3-4 cups water

Over medium high heat, cook the onion, beets and parsnips in olive oil, about 5-7 minutes until they start to get soft.  Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds to a minute (Don't burn the garlic). Add the quinoa and water.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 15-30 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the water is absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When I made this, it simmered for a good 30 minutes.  The beets were just barely soft-- not crunchy, were still firm.  I really liked them that way.  If you want them more cooked, just simmer longer, adding a bit of water as necessary.  One note, though is that the black quinoa did not get mushy as it simmered longer.  White and red will get mushy if they cook too long, so consider starting the beets earlier than everything else if using white or red and you want really soft beets.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting Green with Food

My attempt at green food for St. Patty's Day. What did you do to celebrate?

Green Mashed Potatoes
Six potatoes, diced and cooked
1/4 cup butter
1/4-1/2 cup milk(whatever kind you have on hand.  I used unsweetened coconut milk)
A big handful of spinach, blanched and pureed

Add all ingredients, and mash with a masher.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

We love mashed potatoes at our house, and I add spinach to everything.  So this was a perfect fit for our house.  I paired it with leftover grilled steak and homemade sauerkraut (Post about that coming up soon!)

Shamrock Shake, the healthy way!
Leftover spinach puree from recipe above (or about 1/4 cup)
A couple of scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream
A splash of mint extract (careful-- a little goes a long way!)

Blend ingredients. Feed some to small children.  Save most of it for the adults!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A New Level of Weirdness...

This week Chris came home from work with the onions and garlic that I asked him to pick up at the store.  "I have this amazing idea for a sandwich," he said. I eagerly waited for the description, but was not too sure about his newest idea, until we had it for lunch.  :-)

Onion Sandwich
recipe developed by Chris
One thick slab of onion
Two pieces of bread

Over medium-high heat, fry the onion in a pan, just to caramelize the edges, one or two minutes on a side. Meanwhile, spread on as much horseradish and then mayo onto one side of the bread as you like.  Add onion when done. Eat.

This sounds so weird-- I was definitely grossed out when he told me about this sandwich, but then actually trying the sandwich was a different story! It was actually good!  Which is why I'm sharing it with you.  My kids even ate it-- well kind of.  I think Ben ate his mostly in tact, but Sam pulled all the onion out and ate it separately.
Ellie chose to pass on the onion sandwich-- but not on being cute!  :-)

Are YOU brave enough to try something new?  What new things have you tried recently?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hot Dog Stock

Tonight we had hot dogs for dinner.  (They were our favorite kind-- Nature's Promise all Beef no nitrates, nitrites, etc.)

Also I made a small batch of chicken stock today.

Well, the chicken stock was cooling on the stove as we were cleaning up from dinner tonight... Chris came in the kitchen, and was quite surprised!  "Why in the world would Janet use hot dogs to make stock?!" 

I didn't.  It was a carrot.  :-P

Friday, March 11, 2011

Menu Plan Revisited

Here's my menu plan from two weeks ago, and I have edited it to see how I did:

My Menu Plan

  1. Zucchini Spaghetti with Spaghetti Sauce we had this twice!
  2. Coconut Cucumber Soup* with roasted carrots and creamy spinach soup the cucumber soup was NOT a hit for dinner, but Ellie and I did like it.  I think I will make this again as a light, cool lunch, especially when it gets hot outside!
  3. Asian Anise Soup* with potato wedges --will add this to next menu plan
  4. Split Pea Soup* with salad  I added a carrot, an extra potato and a parsnip to give the soup some texture.
  5. Asparagus Pesto Fettuccine* --will add this to next menu plan
  6. Beans and Rice with salad
  7. Lentil Burgers with carrot sticks these turned out so good!  Especially with some ketchup, mustard, onion and avocado.
  8. Raw Falafel* with guacamole, raw veggies and maybe hummus This was good.  I really liked the falafel (I've never had it before), but I did not blend it until it was smooth enough, and I added water to it, which just made it seep through the dehydrator trays. But, I really liked it, especially with guacamole and cucumbers on top.
  9. Chicken, potato wedges, creamy spinach soup I posted the creamy spinach soup recipe earlier this week, and it was a hit with everyone!
  10. Beef Roast, broccoli, quinoa I am going to make black quinoa with this meal tomorrow!  I had never seen it before the last time I was in the Wegman's bulk foods isle. 
  11. Cauliflower curry** had this one day, Creamy Potato and Spinach curry** and this another day with soybean socca. I had never heard of it before, but I have been reading Pure2Raw, and they raved about it, so I just had to try it! My first attempt was pretty ugly (although the kids loved it!).  My second attempt was MUCH BETTER.  :-) 
  12. Vegetable Soup
  13. Sweet Potato Soup over Barley-- I was not sure about the barley but I wanted to make this simple soup a meal... Sam had three bowls! :-)
I also have some extras that I am planning to make-- snacks/desserts/breakfasts
  1. Sesame Rice crackers (recipe coming sometime this week, maybe!) Yay!  I finally posted it here.
  2. Avocado Muffins* these were great-- I made them for breakfast; the recipe made seven, and we ate all of them!
  3. Cashew Butter
  4. Nutty Gelato* made it with cashew butter instead of almond butter.  I must say, it was really sweet!  I will cut back the agave, but otherwise, and excellent dessert!
  5. Sourdough starter (with rye flour) I made this, but it started to get moldy, so I threw it away.  I did make a couple of things with it first, like my oatmeal sourdough apple cake!
  6. Raw Granola (haven't settled on a recipe yet) hopefully next time!
  7. I also discovered an amazing snack this week over at Pure2Raw-- popped amaranth!  I bought some at Whole Foods, not knowing what I was going to do with it, and then Pure2Raw had this great post about popped amaranth! It's delicious.  Chris wants to make a video-- maybe sometime soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our Food Journey Part VI

Finally!  We get to this year!  If you haven't read the rest of our journey, catch up here.

This year we have seen so many really drastic changes to our diet. 

It started with the boys' ears being so clogged from colds, etc, that we mostly cut out dairy.  Not completely, but mostly.  I started buying almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk (mostly for Ellie) instead of our fresh, raw milk.  And I stopped buying cheese, which is a favorite food in our house.  At first I wondered how in the world our lives were even going to go on or exist at all without dairy.  But you know what?  They did.  And I learned/ am learning dairy alternatives every day!

Next, Chris wanted to avoid all sugar, wheat, and gluten.  I wasn't exactly on board with that one right away.  How am I supposed to feed my family anything when we aren't eating dairy, sugar, wheat, or gluten. I really resisted this change to our diet.  I knew that Chris was going to be more strict with it than the kids or I could ever be.  I did finally have a heart change and chose to submit to my husband.  Even in the realm of food it is so important to submit to our husbands, if we are to be truly a picture of the church submitting to Christ. But, I digress from the topic of food... :-) Anyway, once I finally did choose to submit my will to Chris', you know what? God blessed it.  I had a HUGE burst of creativity in the kitchen!  We had all kinds of amazing food that week!  I even came up with the sesame cracker recipe that I'll share below. 

ANOTHER change we have made here in the Good household since the beginning of the year:  eating more raw food.  My mother-in-law got the book The Live Food Factor: The Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Diet for Body, Mind, Spirit & Planet for Christmas.  I was immediately interested in these crazy people who were insane enough to eat ONLY RAW FOOD.  Chris and I knew right away that we needed to be incorporating more raw foods-- at the very least more vegetables-- into our diets pronto. I have been learning so much about raw food and the benefits of eating raw, but also the benefits of cooking certain foods.  We are still working towards a balance in our house on this one.  It's tricky working with little ones-- finding things to eat raw that are beneficial for and also realistic for our children.  We also got another book on the topic, Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets, which has helped a great deal in figuring out what is best for our family.  There are also a bunch of great recipes/menu plans! One last book I should mention on this topic is Breaking Free: Truths for Healthy Living.  This book also has a great, balanced approach with a lot of really helpful recipes, some of which I even tried out these last two weeks! It has a great chapter on feeding our children as well. 

Okay, so as if all these major changes were not enough, there is one more.  I have spoken about soaking grains a little bit on this site before.  My heart right now is to really prepare all my grains, legumes, beans having soaked or sprouted them first.  This breaks down the phytic acid in the bran of the grain, unlocking many nutrients that are inhibited by the presence of phytic acid in digestion.  I haven't done this much yet.  I would like to experiment with sprouting wheat (and then dehydrating it before grinding it into flour) instead of soaking it, to see if that is a better option.  This last soaking part of our journey is going to be a real learning curve.  I don't know too much about what I'm talking about... YET!  I intend to find out as I go and I will  clue you in to my findings as well.  So far, the best site I have found with information on soaking is KitchenStewardship.com. Katie has done extensive research over the past year-- comparing soaking methods and sprouting, interviewing all kinds of experts on this topic.  If you are interested to know more, go here

Whew!  Glad to get that all down for you folks to read!  I hope our journey from simply giving up soda to a dairy/gluten limited, low sugar, more vegetable laden, soaked grains diet will inspire you to go out and take that first step in your life!

And finally the recipe I promised: 

Sesame Rice Crackers (Dairy free, gluten free, vegan)
3 TBS oil or palm shortening (Oil can be coconut, vegetable, light olive oil, or any other mild flavored oil)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups rice flour (I have also used a rice/millet mix)
2 cloves garlic, crushed or pressed
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp tumeric
1/8 tsp paprika
2/3 cup water

Combine the oil, sesame seeds, rice flour, garlic, salt, tumeric and paprika. The result will be almost like a pie crust before you add the water-- crumbly, but moist.  Stir in the water. Turn the dough out onto a cookie sheet. Press it out until it is a relatively even layer on the sheet.  I like to use some plastic wrap on top of the dough, so my hands don't get really messy.  Score the crackers (a pizza cutter works really well!) into whatever shape you like.  Ben likes sticks, but Chris likes crackers, so I usually make a combination.  Bake at 250* for an hour or so.  Check after 40 minutes to see if they are done.  They should be crispy, but not brown.  Because of the turmeric, these crackers will be yellow.  Last, a note about oil vs. shortening: The crackers were more... oily (for obvious reasons!) and dense but less likely to fall apart when made with oil and were kind of flaky (reminiscent of pie crust) when made with shortening.   

Enjoy!  These usually don't even get 'put away' at our house-- everyone just snacks on them right off the cookie sheet until they are gone!

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Recipes! Sourdough Oatmeal Apple Cake and Spinach Soup

Hi, I tried two new recipes today!  (Even kind of made them up!!)

The first is an experiment with my sourdough starter.  I started it because it is supposed to be the best way to break down the phytic acids in the grains (allowing the most nutrients to be available to your body).  One note about soaking grains:  If you use white flour only, then there is no need to soak your grains/flour.  The nutrients blocked by the phytic acid are in the bran, which has been removed from white flour.

I knew last year, right before Ellie was born that I wanted to do primarily sourdough preparation of my grains, but it has taken a long time to get there.  :-)

So, last night while I was washing dishes (when I do my best thinking) I was trying to brainstorm a new breakfast using my sourdough starter.  It needs a little work still, but I was too excited to share it with you to wait until I perfected it!

Sourdough Oatmeal Apple Cake (could be dairy and gluten free and even vegan)
1 1/4 cup flour (used wheat last night, spelt tonight)
1 cup starter (used 1/2 cup tonight)
1 egg (could substitute banana if you want to go vegan, and it would sweeten it a bit, too!)
1 cup milk (almond, coconut, cow's,...)(used half water tonight)
1/2 cup oats
3 TBS coconut sugar (will use 1/4 cup tomorrow)
2 TBS your favorite oil/fat-- butter, coconut oil, light olive oil, vegetable oil, etc.
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
1 apple (half sliced, half chopped)(trying a pear tomorrow)
cinnamon for sprinkling
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

The night before:
Combine flour, starter, milk, oats and leave on the counter

In the morning: 
Add egg, melted butter/oil, sugar, salt, soda, chopped apples and 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Mix together and pour into 8x8 pan
Arrange apple slices on top and sprinkle with cinnamon
Bake at 350* for 30 minutes

Okay, on to the spinach soup!  I have been trying to figure out a way to get my little ones to eat spinach. Sam gags on it, and has even thrown up at the table from trying to swallow it. Ellie just looks at me like I'm crazy. This soup was a hit with everyone tonight!

Spinach Soup (dairy free, gluten free, vegan)
2-3 TBS butter
5 oz. spinach, chopped
Coconut milk (any milk will do, even cream if you want to make it really rich!)
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a sauce pan.  Add the spices and stir them into the butter.  Add the spinach and let it wilt. Pour in the coconut milk (I probably used about a cup or 1 1/2 cups) and stir. Remove from heat and use blender or immersion blender to make it smooth.  Add coconut milk until you think it's the right consistency. Taste, add salt or pepper if necessary. Put back on the stove to warm, and serve! 

Do you have a sourdough starter?  Let me know what you think of this breakfast?  Have little ones who won't eat spinach, or don't like it yourself?  Let me know if these recipes worked for you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Our Food Journey Part V

Check out Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV, if you haven't already!

Once I got my nutrimill, I made bread. I'm not very good at it... I am not disciplined enough to do the exact same thing every time, and change just one little thing until I get it just right... plus, I forget the salt regularly.  Usually on the most beautiful loaves.  :-)

I had to find somewhere to buy wheat berries that did not cost an arm and a leg.  Somehow I stumbled across my most favorite store, this little Amish store in Bird-In-Hand, PA.  I get all my bulk groceries at Miller's Natural Foods, making the 45 minute trek every two or three months. 

Moving on, I discovered Laura at HeavenlyHomemakers.com, whom I love.  I feel like I could just stop by her house (if I'm ever in Nebraska) and we could chat all afternoon.  She is so open and real and honest about the struggles of everyday life and especially about how to feed her children!  I have grown and been so blessed and encouraged by her blog!  You should check it out!

Last December we moved right before we had our third child, into an apartment with a huge backyard!  We got to have a garden last summer and are already getting excited about this summer.

Last year is when I discovered KitchenStewardship.com, too!  Katie has done some pretty down and dirty research all about soaking, sprouting and sourdough.  She has been quite an inspiration, especially as I am finally stepping up and attempting to make more using soaked or sprouted grains or grains prepared with sourdough.

I am almost to the end!  Next time, I will share all the exciting and crazy things my family has been up to since the beginning of the year! See you then!

Portraits of food this week

Here are some of the things I have been working on this week:

This is my first batch of sourdough bread with my new starter in the background!  It obviously didn't rise very well, and I have to work on that... but it tastes good!  Not to sourdough-y. Plus, on the right is a batch of hummus I made up in the blender.  We had raw veggies and hummus for lunch yesterday, and I was amazed at how many veggies the kids would eat when dipped in something as nutritious as hummus.


Here is a loaf of bread which I soaked and baked. It looks so much nicer than the sourdough loaves!  I forgot the salt, of course, which is a recurring theme in my kitchen. :-)

And finally, here is the Potatoes with Cauliflower curry I made for dinner tonight. (oooh, you can see my reflection in the teapot!) Anyway, I thought it looked too bland-- monochrome.

I added some peas.  It was delicious!  (But, the Five Guys fries we splurged on and ate with dinner kind of overshadowed it.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Our Food Journey Part IV

We have already lost weight, made bread and root beer, and spaghetti sauce.

The next leg of our journey to healthy eating involves high fructose corn syrup.  Or, rather, a lack thereof.  We just got convicted to stop buying stuff with high fructose corn syrup in it. Meaning, bread all of the sudden got really expensive.  I'm talking $4 a loaf!  And Chris and I, being teachers, loved to bring a nice sandwich to school for lunch.  Let me tell you, after a couple of weeks/months, we rediscovered homemade bread.  I started making bread once a week. 

I discovered a couple of really great resources on the web, the first of which was "The Homestead Kitchen." This website revolutionized my desire to cook for my family, as well as how to cook, and especially how to make bread!  Because of this website, and our desire to eat fresh, whole wheat bread regularly, we purchased a wondermill for Christmas that year. And I have not looked back.  I absolutely love it!  My wondermill grinds wheat berries and spelt (how is that spelt, exactly?), and a myriad of other grains (even beans, if you want to!) into fresh flour that has so many more nutrients available than store bought bread or flour. 

The price of the wondermill is expensive, up front.  But, Chris and I calculated that it paid for itself in less than a year!  I was spending $4 on a loaf of bread every week (Sometimes we would go through more!).  Now, I am spending roughly $2 for two loaves of bread.  So, I am saving $3 a week just from making my own bread! (Ok, so I realize that my math in the prior two statements DOES NOT work out to saving enough money in a year to pay for the wondermill... but it was DEFINITELY worth every penny!)

I guess one more note on this leg of our journey is that we started drinking fresh, raw milk. Yummm. Our pastor and his wife introduced us to it while we were engaged.  I had never really liked milk before, but boy!  Raw milk is delicious! And, since it has not been pasteurized, the enzymes in the milk that are living and beneficial are not dead.  The homogenization process breaks up the big fat molecules in the milk and makes them able to be absorbed into the body.  These fats are bad!

Around this time, our firstborn, Benjamin arrived on the scene!  And our journey continued...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Our Food Journey Part III

Here's how our food journey began.

And the continuation...

And finally, we got married!

The first year we were married, we lived in Kennett Square and both worked at Catholic schools in Wilmington, DE.  Chris' school had an Italian teacher who was this little old lady from Italy! How cool is that?

Anyway... One day, he asked her, "How do you make spaghetti sauce?"  We tried it, probably even that night, and thought, "That was good." Then the next week, we got our favorite spaghetti sauce out of the cabinet (I think it was Ragu Roasted Garlic).  We happily put it on our spaghetti that night... for the last time.  We thought it tasted gross.  And we never wanted spaghetti sauce from a jar again.  That was the real turning point in our story. We started making spaghetti sauce.

Our Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
28oz can crushed tomatoes
olive oil
garlic, as many cloves as you like
balsamic vinegar, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Use immersion blender to chop up tomatoes in the can.  (This step was recently added by Chris, who loves to use gadgets.  It is not absolutely necessary, but does change the texture of the sauce.) Heat a tablespoon or two olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Crush the garlic into the pan and cook 30 seconds or so. Pour in the tomatoes. Add finely chopped fresh or dried or frozen basil, up to a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (be careful, it has a sweet, strong taste) and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.

So easy.  So good.

Stay tuned for Part IV.... :-)

Trilight Health Giveaway by Kitchen Stewardship!

Here is something I am going to try.  I think it might be beneficial for your family, too! 

Enter to win $100 worth of products from Trilight Health today!  Learn how at KitchenStewardship

Don't forget to check KitchenStewardship's website to see how to win YOUR free stuff!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Our Food Journey Part II

Ok, so last time, Chris lost fifty pounds, and I started eating spicy food.

Fast forward one year.  My fiance likes to make bread and root beer.  Sunday afternoons we would make bread in his apartment.  I know, right??!  We were so cute!

And, our favorite places to eat:  Burrito Loco and the good ole' DK Diner. mmm. :-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Our Food Journey Part I

It started innocently enough.

Our food journey started before we even started dating.

Two things were happening simultaneously.  Chris was trying to loose weight, so he cut soda out of his diet and started eating smaller portions. I was being egged on by my newest lunch buddy to eat spicy food.

Chris lost fifty pounds.  My tolerance for spicy food grew (thanks to Chris and Burrito Loco!)