Friday, December 6, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A hearty breakfast

This picture may not look like much, but I assure you it is awesome!

Leftover beans and rice with two over easy eggs and a dollop of homemade (canned) salsa.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pumpkin Bread Re-write

1/2 c sugar
1 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups pumpkin
4 eggs
2 c GF flour
1/2 c potato, tapioca, arrowroot
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, if flour is GF
1 tbs powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves

combine wet. combine dry. combine all. bake at 350 in muffins or a 9x13.

This is a re-write of this recipe.  I typed it up here while I was going through the ingredients on the page and deciding what quantities of things I would use.  These turned out awesome as muffins. Moist, but not wet. Rich (lots of pumpkin!) and slightly sweet, as I make most things these days. :-) Now I am coming back to make these again! And I thought I would share.  What am I going to do about the eggs, now that I am trying to keep them away from the baby?  I have no idea yet.


ps. I made this into a GF recipe. You could easily switch it back by making the flour and the potato/tapioca/arrowroot into wheat flour and omitting the xanthan gum.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lunch feast and a GF hamburger bun hack

Today lunch was a feast! At least, I thought so.

Leftover hamburgers with pancake buns, bananas, olives, leftover apple pie. Everything is gluten, dairy, egg free.

Of course as soon as the kids were done, they were asking what else they could have. I don't know what I am going to do with them when the apples from the end of our csa. They are my go-to snack/ add on to meals right now.

I started making pancakes when we have burgers because it is so much easier than making GF buns. It works great! I would not reccomend oat flour, however. They were dense and chewy and never dried out really. But leave the batter on the thicker side so they fluff up and stay thick. Then you can easily slice them in half to use as a bun.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Allergy friendly lunch

You're gluten and dairy free? What DO you eat?

Yes, we are gluten and dairy free, and, in fact, the baby is also egg and nut free right now too. And you know what? There are still (some) things to eat.

Today for lunch, john is having: half a banana, some asian pear, broccoli, a few chips, a date, sauerkraut, and cranberry relish.

For the other kids, I didn't give them banana, but I was prepared to offer eggs to anyone who was still hungry. Ellie also had some oatmeal because she didn't have any at breakfast. No one complained of being still hungry, so I didn't have to make eggs. And I forgot to add walnuts to the cranberry relish when I served it.

I was even planning to make crackers but ran out of time. And as I type this I remember I even have crackers in my cabinet!

In conclusion, there ARE things to eat when you are dealing with allergies. It may just require thinking outside the box. And more fruits and vegetables. :-)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Crazy Stuff that I do and take

I have becoming quite the fringe foodie/ wellness-ie recently.  I thought I might share some of the kooky crazy things I try to do every day. :-) Cuz, I thought you might want to gawk.

In the morning, I wake up and drink a glass of water. (I KNOW so weird, can you believe it!?)
Then, I make another glass of water with:

I take 5,000 IU vitamin D and 1/2 tsp fermented cod liver oil/butter oil (get cinnamon tingle, it is way better than chocolate creme) with the second glass of water. It's a little rough, but I always remind myself how good for me it is! Plus, Chris discovered that taking the vitamin C with the enriching greens makes it more tolerable. :-) 

At night I brush my teeth, floss, and get a tablespoon of coconut oil for oil pulling
Then I take a shower, but first I give my skin a good dry brush.  :-) 
After my shower, I spit out the coconut oil into the trash. 

Also, for my kids I give them 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D every day (that I remember) and I just made some elderberry syrup (immunity boosting) that I will be giving them every day also.  I don't worry about forgetting that, because it has honey in it and I know they will stalk me for it.  :-P 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bittersweet bounty

This week was the last week for our vegetable csa pick up. If you remember last year, I am always very sad when it ends. My csa takes away the planning of veggies in my house. For a blissful five months, I barely have to buy veggies at all. Or think about what veggies I should buy. All I have to do is pick them up! Or pick them from the garden. :-)

Anyway, for the last few weeks (I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier! File under 'definitely will do next year!'), I have been buying the seconds from the farmer. And canning them! It has been so much work- overwhelming at times, depressing at others- but oh, so worth it!! And what a blessing.

My goal is to can 50 quarts of tomatoes every year. And every year I fall dissmally short. Last year, I may have gotten to 25 or thirty. The year before, I don't think I even broke twenty.

I haven't counted yet this year, but it is a lot. A.lot.

But Saturday I picked up the last of the season's seconds for a very reasonable price, and now I am throws of the last canning of the season. It is a blessing. And sad, too, knowing there won't be fresh tomatoes again until next july.

So here are some pictures of my kitchen and my tomatoes. And now, back to my regularly scheduled programming: canning.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

How to Cook Beans and Make them Yummie

I make beans frequently.  Why?

  1. they are cheap!
  2. they fill you up like meat. 
  3. they stretch dishes with meat in them. (chili, sloppy joes, soups, etc.)
  4. they have protein.
  5. they are not wheat.
  6. they are not dairy. 
I recently discoverd that putting beans in the pressure cooker is so awesome.  The beans cook really quickly.  You don't have to soak them. They are always perfect. 

I learned reccently also that it is okay to cook beans with salt!  When I first started cooking them, I read that salt makes beans tough when you cook them and should always add it after they are cooked. But I always felt my beans were flat and lacked 'zing.' Even when I cooked them with onion and garlic! Now, I cook them with salt.  And usually in the pressure cooker. 

Here's how:
for every one cup of beans, add 1 tsp salt and four cups water to your pan or pressure cooker. 

Cook them for that long. 

Use them in whatever you like. 

See?  Easy. Now you can make beans frequently too! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Preserving herbs

This year is the first that I have successfully preserved herbs from my garden. I took the leaves, whizzed them up in the food processor, put in some oil (I used a mix of expeller pressed coconut and olive) to coat, scrape it out into a ziploc bag. I froze it in a very thin layer, and when I need it, it is easy to break off just the size chunk I want.  The flavors are preserved very well. I am really happy with the way it turned out!

In other years, I have dehydrated the leaves or put them in the freezer whole. Dehydrating the leaves takes away the flavor and makes them tough. Putting them whole in the freezer is better, but there can be that freezer flavor if they stay awhile. I am hoping the oil will keep out the freezer flavor. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Peek at Good Family Homeschool

Here is a picture of what homeschooling at the Good house looks like when everything is going great. This is not normal, but for ten minutes today I was in homeschool heaven. :-)

John coloring
Sam cutting out clothes to decorate a guy I drew for him. His shirt says, "I liic iscrem"
Ben doing reading work
Ellie coloring her traced self from cubbies on Wednesday
Me making lunch

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tomato paste

I got three (three!) Cases of seconds tomatoes from the farmer in charge of our csa. I have been branching out from my usual crushed tomatoes since I have so many tomatoes this year. :-)

I made salsa (with plans for another double batch), crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and now tomato paste.

I have to admit, it was benjamin's idea. And I am so glad he thought of it! I cooked a 8 quart pot of tomatoes down to about three or four cups. It was chris' idea to put the paste in ice cube trays and freeze them. Also, I had three half cup jars, so I put those three in a water bath. Now I have a bunch of tomato paste cubes just waiting to be put into a soup or chili or sloppy joes or... whatever!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Random kid pics

Here are some random pics I found on my phone:

One is the kids watching the Eagles at wegmans over lunch.

One is the kids at Barnes and Noble reading books.

There is John in the shed when he climbed on someone's bike. And John in his helmet with a tricycle.

There's Ellie reading the American Girl catalogue.

And eight kids in my van watching a movie while me and my friend Donna took turns getting haircuts.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall garden


I am so sorry I have not updated my garden this summer.

Today we worked on cleaning it up a bit. Chris even burned the leftovers right there in the garden. Last week I finished pulling out the tomato plants and chris mowed the grass.

Some things that are left in the garden still: our kale forest, other kale forest, swiss chard, beets, spinach, horsradish, and a whole host of peppers. Chris has plans to cover them and keep getting peppers until december... see previous post about how we have peter piper beat. :-)

Enjoy the pics!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Simple soup

I love making soup for dinner in the fall. This one came together really quickly because I had frozen chicken broth and frozen cooked beans.

I really like the way tomatoes and kale pair together in a soup, and so does Sam. Just the other day he was actually asking for kale and tomato soup. We are enjoying the last of summer's bounty of tomatoes, and we have a forest of kale in the garden.

In this soup: chicken broth, two big tomatoes, eight or so stems of lactinato kale, 1/2 a zucchini, three potatoes, about 3 cups pinto beans. So far I have only seasoned with salt. I will add some garlic and onions and I'm not sure for herbs. I froze basil and parsley from my garden this year in oil and I am really happy with how it turned out!

I better go finish dinner! I still want to whip up a batch of GF biscuits. Have a favorite recipe to share?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Simple lunch

Some yummy warm stewed apples with cornbread for lunch. Simple and delicious! very nice for this fall day.

It was the first time this year it has really felt like fall. Last night there was a frost advisory and Chris and I tucked or pepper plants in safe and warm. Of course I don't think it frosted last night, but better safe than sorry! Hopefully this weekend, we will get some plastic to cover them. Chris is hoping they last into december. We shall see.

YOU should see the amount of peppers we have already picked! We've got peter piper beat, that's all I have to say.

Happy fall!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Dinner stress

Do you ever stress over how or if a meal you planned is going to come together? Me too. Like right now; I am wondering if this will work out in the end.

Planned for tonight: rice and cabbage, lamb patties, broccoli and satay sauce to pull it all together.

Right now, rice is done, cabbage is cooking, broccoli is cut, chicken broth for sauce is thawing.

Plan is to finish the cabbage and then sautee patties, finish the sauce and cook broccoli.

Eta for dinner: 15 mins. Hope it comes together!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spaghetti sqash weirdness

Today when I was cutting up a spaghetti sqash for dinner, I found two seeds that had sprouted inside the squash! How cool and strange is that!?!? Have you ever seen a sprouted seed inside a squash?

Friday, May 24, 2013

'Free' Wing Night!

That's right.  Free wing night.  In our (or your!) very own home.

How is it possible to have free wing night?

I can't take credit for this trick; my wing-loving husband came up with it.

Buy a whole chicken. (Buying a whole chicken is quite economical, especially if you can squeeze two or three meals out of it plus make broth with the bones.)

Cut off the wings when you use the chicken, however you use it.  But, cut off the wings. Cut them into their two separate pieces and cut off the wing tip. Save the wing tip to throw in with the carcass when you make broth. Throw the wings into the bag in your freezer that is designated for wings.

Now comes the hard part: wait until you have accumulated enough wings to throw yourself a free wing night. When the day comes, it's a party!  Chris and I look forward to eating wings after the kids go to bed. (Not every night..., although some weeks we want to!) Chris loves wings, and I craved them when I was pregnant with John. Chris loved that.  :-)

Tonight, we party!

This is the best way to eat wings!  The chickens I buy are organic, but when you order wings from a restaurant, they are far from it.  Not only are we saving ourselves the exposure to the anti-biotic GMO chicken that is served at restaurants, but we also are saving ourselves some money.  Do we still order wings from restaurants sometimes? Yes, occasionally.  But we appreciate it so much more-- the wings are tastier, the homemade blue cheese dressing is killer... when we save them up in the freezer.

So if you like wings, and you like to eat organic, or even if you just want to save yourselves some money, try this trick!  It is awesome! :-)

ps. be aware that wings off a chicken you buy at the store are smaller than the ones you get from a restaurant, so plan to make more than you would normally eat.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


This lunch brought to you by the color orange. And Sam.

(Cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potato, and a leftover piece of peanut butter banana pizza)

Recipe for the above pizza coming soon!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Paleo "snack lunch"

For our midmorning snack today, which I didn't serve until 11:10 for various crying child reasons,

A banana, a coconut flour muffin, a handful of penuts that I haven't soaked yet but at least I finally made it to Miller's to buy, and homemade coconut oil peppermint patties.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Food Journey Update 5.12.13

I just wanted to make it official that we took Ellie off of dairy in addition to gluten about two weeks ago.  Since then, her itchies have gone away almost completely.  It is amazing.  I wish I had taken pictures to show you.

As for what am I doing about milk?  I have been making her nut milks homemade and only using them with her.  The recipes I found online were pretty consistent:  1 cup nuts to 3 cups water.

I am in need of a nut milk bag, as I have been straining them with my fine mesh strainer, and they are a bit more gritty than they would be with a milk bag. But in general I am happy with it. Two years ago, I balked at making my own nut milks but now it seems like no big deal.

Why make my own verses buying the store brands?  Mainly, the extra ingredients in the store brands.  Many have added sugar, although you can buy unsweetened versions.  Also, there is the thickener carageenan in almost every nut milk on the market.  Carageenan is a known carcinogen that has been approved for use in foods, even organic ones.

 It is amazing the journey on which God has taken me with our food... I really feel that He used our time two years ago being gluten and dairy limited and also used the meal plan Chris bought me for Christmas to prepare my heart and my abilities to handle this. I am thankful that I can do this for the health of my family!  And I am looking forward to further refining our diet to be as healthy as possible! It is an ever-changing journey, to say the least!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Alphabet buckwheat pancakes

During this time of being gluten free, I have been so much better than last time at making things on the fly and much more laid back about the whole thing.  Last week I made some pancakes for breakfast.  They were buckwheat pancakes-- I actually had some sprouted dehydrated buckwheat in my cabinet already, so making sprouted flour was bonus! 

This may seem terrible, but I honestly can't remember if I looked up a 'real' recipe or if I just adapted my recipe for gluten free/ buckwheat. It sounds more like me to do the second.  I know I got xanthan gum right around the time we made these, and I suspect I wanted to try it out and see if it worked like it said it would. 

As it turns out, this batter ended up being more like crepes than pancakes, which makes me think I actually looked up a buckwheat pancake recipe, or maybe I just ran out of flour and didn't care to make more?  That's also my style.  Whatever the case, we ended up having a great time making the pancakes. The batter was really thin, and I let Ben make a few that he put decorative holes in by drizzling the batter all over the pan.  That, (of course) turned into alphabet pancakes, at which point we ran out of batter.  Luckily, all children got one with their first initial... Ah, it is all coming back now. :-) (this is what happens when you upload pictures to your blog from your phone and then forget about them and then come back to try to write the post more than a week later.... it's like stream of conscience blogging or something.) 

I made everyone their own letter pancake, but Sam waltzed into the kitchen, picked up his "S" without even noticing what it was, and ate half of it before I could even say, "stop! Look at the cool pancake I made for you!"  Only after he had eaten most of his did he notice Ellie with an E and Ben with a B and ask where was his S?  To which I replied, "You just ate it" To which he replied by wailing... <sigh>

It was then that we got out the kitchen scissors, and the creativity continued on the pancakes I had made into boring old fashioned circles-- Ben and I shaped them into some cool creations. (mostly letters)

We may have also dipped them in the leftover glaze from the glazed bananas I made for dessert the night before.  The glaze may have made some already delicious, slightly sweet nutty pancakes into pure awesomeness.