Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Week In Review

Summer seems to be whizzing by and the time I have to sit in front of the computer is very short, so I thought I'd share some highlights on the happenings here in Blissville.

The garden at our house continues to be very fruitful. The tomato plants are so tall! I am experimenting this year with an idea of growing them "vineyard style" in alleys of sort. No red ones yet, but they're coming along nicely.


The new blueberry bushes (7 in all) have some fruit, but we've let the birds have it this year. We've been picking at several local orchards (going out again this morning) and have 50 pounds of blueberries in the freezer. The freezer is about full, leaving no room for all the zucchini that started to come in.

The peach tree is heavy with fruit this year. I think it will be another two weeks before they're ripe enough for us to eat.

But my dear squirrel friends are back! Those little darlings climb the tree and take the peaches away, chattering (taunting me) the whole time. They have not been around for some time since the arrival of Sunshine our cat. But Sunshine hasn't been on duty patrolling the yard this week. She's been busy....

Meet Priscilla, Penelope and (I think) Peanut Butter.

Sunshine is pleased.


I've spent a lot of time this week canning! Raspberry, Peach, and Blueberry Jam - agave sweetened, and dill pickles. Superman bought me a pressure cooker so I could do all the beans that are coming in now.


Our very first batch of fermented Sauerkraut is under way right now! 13 heads of organic cabbage - a steal at $1 a head. I hope it turns out good!

I haven't stepped foot in a grocery store in quite a while. Buy fresh - buy local - support your local farms or they'll soon be gone. Check out http://www.localharvest.org/ to find a market near you. Only you and your dollar can change the food system. Put your dollars down where they count. I helped with a baby shower for my dear (very pregnant) friend Mavis. She is expecting her first baby (a boy) in just a few short weeks.

'Tis the season for tag sales! I haven't hit too many yet, but this week I picked up a bunch of canning jars and this cabbage shaped container. I love tag sales!Well, that's the week in a quick review - on with the next!
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. Ecclesiastes 9:10


Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Joys of Organic Gardening

This post may not be for everyone, especially if you have a weak stomach. The photo below is necessary to show just how the weather has affected the growing conditions for our garden this year. We have had rain to some degree for weeks now. Constant wet conditions are perfect for SLUGS! Those creepy, crawly ninjas of the garden world.....

This year we are tending two vegetable gardens. One at home and the other at Papa-rottzi and Gramma Butternut's house.

Here at home we aren't having any problems in the garden other than the lack of sunshine. That's mostly due to my hard working
girls that keep the insect population under control.

The garden at Papa-rottzi's house is much bigger than ours but is within walking distance...so we should be able to be there everyday (in theory) to garden and make sure things are going well. Little T. and I have had a rather busy schedule lately and have not checked in on the garden in nearly two weeks. I did however check on the garden here at home as I walked by it daily on the way to the chickens. It looked great, green and lush. I imagined that veggie garden number two looked pretty much the same and I did not have to worry.

Meanwhile (cue scary music), much to my dismay....the garden at Papa-rottzi's was under attack....we walked over yesterday to plant another row of string beans and as we turned the corner of the house....(insert shrill scream here), we saw STEMS! A whole row of stems with no leaves and rows of leaves that looked like swiss cheese!

Little T. shrieked "What did this?"!

I learned this day how to impress my child. Who knew all it would take would be what took place next. I told her it was slugs who did this very bad thing, then I showed her the giveaway clue: slug spit on the leaves. The child at this point was still an unbeliever, due to the fact that I am her mother and I don't know anything. She told me that the cluprit was clearly taller than a slug because the tops were eaten off of many of the plants. I told her that it was a whole band of slugs, no - an army of slugs that did this. I got the PROVE IT look. (Just to clarify, I spend much of my day having to PROVE IT.)

I knew we'd need a bucket, a big bucket. Papa-rottzi, why don't you have buckets at your house? No one was home -good. I went inside and got Gramma Butternut's big pot from the kitchen (I hope she doesn't read this.) I gave orders like a general in the military, "get two shovels, some water for the cooking pot and let's start rolling back the hay in the foot paths"! There they were, sleeping like little innocent creatures with their full bellies. Hundreds of them asleep under the hay. My child gasped and was so impressed that I was right and that I knew where to look for them. I maintained my parental level and refrained from saying "I told you so".

But this was one of those moments that made me think twice about my organic ways. It would be SOOO easy to throw something toxic on these bad boys, quick and easy. But no. We had to be quick to get rid of them but it was in no way going to be easy. We shoveled them one by one into Gramma's big cooking pot. To Little T. this was extremely entertaining although it took hours. When all the foot paths had been checked, we took the big pot of slug stew home to the chickens who said I'm the best cook ever! They went nuts!

Everyday there are lessons to be be learned. Here's what I learned today:

1. Slugs are gross.
2. Gross things entertain children, especially mine.
3. One cannot leave a vegetable garden unattended for any period of time.
4. One must be reacting constantly while gardening organicly no matter how busy ones schedule may be.


Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman


Monday, June 29, 2009

98 Pounds of Strawberries!

I'm sure you know the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper - right? The Grasshopper spends his summer playing and living it up while the Ant hunts, gather and collects food for the long winter that is to come. The story does not end well for the Grasshopper (click here to refresh your memory of this Aesop's Fable)!

My role each summer is that of the Ant. I collect, gather, can, and freeze whatever I can get my hands on. There is nothing more satisfying that to open a frozen bag of raspberries in the middle of January and with one whiff, be transported back to the field they were picked from....ahhh, sweet summer.

Little T. and I just finished up with strawberry season in New England. Our goal was 100 pounds of strawberries. The grand total between our four trips to the berry patch equaled 98 pounds, but I'm pretty sure that we ate the other two pounds in the field during the process!

So what does one do with 98 pounds of stawberries? Mostly they are frozen to be used for smoothies which we enjoy daily year round. Part of them went to making Strawberry Jam and a very small part was eaten as Strawberry Shortcake during these weeks of picking. This years new dessert creation was
Strawberry Shortcake Surprise! If you give it a try (please credit this blog for the recipe), let me know what you think.

The freezer is 1/3 full with strawberries. Blueberry season will be starting...well, as soon as the sun comes out! It seems like it's rained every day for a month. The blueberry bushes at our local berry farm are just waiting for the sun to shine.

Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pancakes for Breakfast or Dinner?

When is the best time to eat pancakes? Well, if they're low-glycemic sourdough pancakes, you can have them anytime! These pancakes will not leave you feeling like you need to go lie down after eating them.

After our Nutrition and Weight Loss Class last night we had another cooking demonstration after the recorded section. Sourdough Pancakes were the specialty of the night, served with blueberries, whipped cream and hot fudge sauce. The house was packed once again! Next week we will be doing another cooking demonstration - all the locals are invited.


Here are some photos from last night:

Superman was in charge of the griddle. We made a double batch of the sourdough pancakes using a 1/4 cup to measure them out.
He thinks he flipped about 70 of these babies last night! I'm not sure exactly how many pancakes can be made with our recipe, but I know it is a lot.

I hope this post will inspire you to give sourdough pancakes a try. Here is a link for the original recipe I've adapted to suit low-glycemic eaters - members should use the recipe in your recipe packets. And here is another link for caring for your starter.

Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bread Making Demonstration

Last night we had our regular Wednesday night Nutrition and Weight Loss Class here in our home. The class is also broadcast over the internet and can be joined in by people all over the country. After the class we had another special demonstration just like last week. This week I showed our class members how to make a natural yeast or sourdough bread from beginning to end.
This required some planning on my part to show each step of the process that normally takes up to 2 1/2 days, in just 45 minutes. I started prepping for the class on Monday and by last night there was a total of 8 loaves of bread in various stages. Here is a link for the full recipe.
Here are some photos taken by Papa-rotzzi:


The first step in the process was to make the 'sponge'. The sponge is a mixture of whole wheat flour, milk and sourdough starter. The sponge should be set aside for 8 hours or more depending on the time of year and the weather.


After the resting time for the sponge has been completed, it should look very bubbly and airy when a fork is dragged though it - it almost looks dry. This is when the rest of the ingredients get added to the sponge and mixed together as best you can in the bowl, then, the dough gets turned out onto a counter to be kneaded until all the ingredients are worked together smoothly.


The newly formed dough gets placed back into a bowl and directly covered with plastic wrap (right on top of the dough) and loosely covered with a towel for about 2 hours. After this rest period, divide the dough into two loaves, knead lightly to shape into a loaf and place in loaf pans.

This is where working with natural yeast can get tricky....because this last rise is hugely dependant on the time of year and the weather. First, lay plastic wrap right on top of the loaves and cover again with a towel. In the cooler months, I need to put the loaves in the oven (while it is off) and place a roasting pan on the shelf below them filled with boiling water. Close the oven door and don't open it for at least 8 hours. This usually does the trick.

In the spring, summer and fall there is no need for this extra step. The final rise can happen on a counter in about 8 hours or so.


When the loaves have risen, all that's left to do is bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes. Test the loaves to see if they're cooked completely by thumping a wooden spoon on the tops - you want to hear a hollow sound.



Then comes the best part of all - the eating! Last night we had warm bread from the oven with Kate's Homemade Butter and Orange Marmalade.

Making bread with natural yeast is not as difficult as it sounds. I hope this post helps and encourages you to give it a try - and thanks to all the people who stayed for the demo last night!

Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 4-27-09

As you can see, the swimming area needs some major spring cleaning!


We worked really hard in the yard this weekend past! Not only do we have the normal spring clean up things to do, but we also have to CLEAN THE LAKE - yes, clean the lake. That means that we have to get in the water and rake all the leaves and other debris out of the lake, before we can actually swim in the water. Unfortunately for me, I am the only one who sees it like that (rotting leaves on the bottom of a lake = leaches). So, Saturday - I raked all the muck out of the swimming area! I tell myself this is really good exercise for the arms. Superman and Papa-rottzi worked on the new shed for most of the day, and Little T. went swimming - it was that warm.

My helper - Garden Barbie stayed with me for most of the day, raking the muck that I raked out of the lake (I simply do not do a good enough job - she has very high standards).


Our menu this week is pretty exciting for dinnertime, but breakfast and lunch are going to be simple due to the fact that I spent our budget on dinners. Breakfast will pretty much be oatmeal, eggs and toast and for lunch we'll mostly be having leftovers.

We will be trying some new recipes this dinner week. I'll let you know how they are.

Sunday - Cheeseburgers and Chopped Salad

Monday
- Salmon with Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Tuesday - Spring Panzanella

Wednesday
- Freezer Meatloaf w/ White Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday - Pasta with Lentil Bolognese

Friday - Homemade Chicken Nuggets w/ Honey Mustard

Saturday - Pork Stuffed Collard Greens

For more great menu ideas, check out www.orgjunkie.com.

For all the members of our Weight Loss and Nutrition Class - this week directly after the class we will be having a bread making demonstration. That does of course mean there will also be bread eating as well!

Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Homemade Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping

Every Wednesday night at 7:30 PM EST we have a Nutrition/Weight Loss Class here at our house. This class is also broadcast LIVE over the internet through our website. The attendees vary from 6 to 20 in our living room, sometimes it's standing room only. The website hosts anywhere from 20-50 people. The class also gets recorded for those who have other commitments on Wednesday nights.



Each week after class, the LIVE attendees always have a special treat from the Test Kitchen. We are constantly trying out new low glycemic recipes to keep our program exciting and do-able. This week we did something a little different after class. I demonstrated how to make Homemade Magic Shell, which is VERY easy- so easy in fact that I didn't hand out a recipe for it and basically just wing it every time.


Here are some guidelines when making Magic Shell:

Begin by melting about 1/4 cup of coconut oil in a saucepan, being careful to remove from the burner as soon as it is clear. Whisk in about 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa, 2 tablespoons of agave and 1/2 teaspoon or so of vanilla.Last night we had homemade vanilla coconut milk ice cream and topped it with the Magic Shell - everyone loved it! The coconut oil makes the mixture harden as soon as it hits the cold ice cream.


Give this chemical free ice cream topping a try, it's so easy.


Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Perfectly Poached Eggs


Finally, I've found the secret to perfectly poached eggs! (It's the little things that make me happy.) I have been discouraged from cooking poached eggs in the past because when they get in the simmering water, the whites go 'ghostly' on me. You know, they get all feathery and wisp away in the water and most of the egg whites are wasted because I can't get them out of the water. Basically it turns into egg soup. I don't like to waste eggs - it takes my girls 24 hours or longer to make just one!

I've tried all the tips: apple cider vinegar in the water, crack it into a cup first and so forth....


Shortly after I started raising my own flock, I read somewhere (can't remember where), that the best eggs to use for 'sunnyside up eggs', are eggs that are laid the same day. They stay together - in other words, they don't spread out after you crack them - it's like they're more compact.

This afternoon for lunch we had
Roasted Asparagus and Eggs for the second time this week. This time I didn't make it with the sauce, but instead roasted the asparagus with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sea salt.

I prepared the simmering water as directed in the recipe, but today near the stove I just happened to have eggs that were just collected. My eyes couldn't believe how today's fresh eggs were different when they hit the water...they stayed together like little round golf balls.


Just thought I'd pass that little bit along!

Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 4-20-09


This weekend past we were truly blessed with two beautiful spring days! We spent a lot of time outside working in the garden. All of the seeds that are safe to plant this early are finally planted. Broccoli, onions, kale, swiss chard, and peas, are just some of the crops we planted.

Warmer spring days also mean Tag Sale and Flea Market season has finally begun. I love to go to Tag Sales...but before I can go to Tag Sales....I had to participate in one. You see, we had this great idea (smirk) about 2 years ago. Superman and I decided to Tag Sale all spring and summer and then we would sell it all on Ebay over the winter. Well, in theory it sounded good. But it takes a lot of time to do that kind of thing! It's time to just move all the stuff along and clear the basement out, so I participated in a Flea Market at a local general store over the weekend.

Our menu looks pretty yummy this week if I don't say so myself. Last week was not so exciting food wise because I did a 5 day Reset. I and am 5 pounds lighter than I was a week ago - now I'm ready for warm weather clothing!

Sunday
B - Oatmeal w/ Sunflower Seeds & Walnuts
D - Hot Dogs & Chili

Monday (make
sourdough bread)
B - homemade Yogurt and Granola
L - Leeks and Lentils (recipe coming soon)
D - Crockpot Beef & Beans w/ salad

Tuesday (make yogurt like
here, but not such a high temp.)
B - Eggs
L - Left-over Leeks and Lentils
B - Oatmeal w/ Applesauce and Sunflower Seeds
L - T.B.D.
D - Salad Night (this week the salad will be topped with black beans, poached eggs and real bacon bits)

Thursday
B - Eggs and Toast
L - T.B.D.
D - Kale & Garlic w/ Soba Noodles

Friday
B - Yogurt and Blueberries
L - T.B.D.
B - not sure yet
L - not sure yet
D - Asparagus & Ham Quiche

On any of the above recipe links that call for sugar, we substitute agave nectar.

For more great menu ideas - check out www.orgjunkie.com.
Have a great week -Wonderwoman

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The First Asparagus

Do you see what I see?
Clearly - there is food pushing it's way up through the soil surface in my garden....lovely...organic...nutritious....
unregulated.


Don't tell anyone.

Meal Plan Monday 4-6-09


What's cooking in your kitchen this week? I tried a new bread recipe from Breadtopia on Sunday. It was so yummy! I only make bread that uses natural yeast or what is called 'sourdough'. There are many articles on line explaining the health benefits (members of Reset Your Ways should note that the link takes you to an article where the author follows a glycemic index using white bread as the 100 - unlike the one we follow which uses glucose as the 100), of bread made using a starter of sourdough versus using man-made yeast.

Breadtopia has not only has great recipes, but videos that show you how to use natural yeast - check them out!
Here is our menu for the week:

Sunday
B - McMommy's (Ezekial muffins with bacon, egg and cheese)
L - Salad with wheat berries and black beans
D - Sourdough Pizza (1 aparagus with cream cheese and swiss, 1 plain cheese)

Monday
B - Eggs on Spelt Sourdough Bread (as noted above)
L - Barley and black bean soup
D - Leftover pizza

Tuesday
B - Smoothies
L - Grilled cheese (on the same spelt sourdough)
D - Asparagus quiche and salad

Wednesday
L- T.B.D. (to be determined, usually leftovers)
D - Chili and salad

Thursday
B - Eggs on toast
L - Wheat berry and black bean salad
D - Pasta with a cheese sauce and broccoli

Friday
B - Smoothies
L - T.B.D.
D - Crock pot beef and beans

Saturday
B - Sourdough pancakes
L - Rice and spinach casserole

For more great menu ideas, visit www.orgjunkie.com.

Enjoy the Easter weekend, and remember - eggs and bunnies are nice, but they have nothing to do with Easter -Wonderwoman

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 2-23-09

The last few weeks have been pretty out of the ordinary here in Blissville! All of my time and energy has been spent trying to preserve and protect a very basic freedom - to purchase raw milk. This is a choice that our family takes seriously. If our forefathers thought that food would be regulated that way it is today, I think they would have added 'freedom to choose your own food' into the constitution. You can check this out to read about the fight to preserve choice in Connecticut.

Now we wait for the law makers to vote....so it's back to a normal routine! That means back to the kitchen for me. I miss kitchen creativity time. It's easy to see how cooking can become a chore when there's really no time to cook. I even fell off the meal plan wagon!

Below is our menu for this week. For more great menu ideas check out http://www.orgjunkie.com/.

Sunday
B - Quick Broccoli & Cheese Pie
L - No Nitrate Hot Dogs & Salad
D - Pizza: Chicken Catchattore, Hamburger, & Cheese

Monday

B - Smoothies (see or favorite recipe below)
L - Leftover Pizza
D - Salmon (see sauce recipe below), & Snow Peas

Tuesday
L - Chicken Salad Sandwiches
D - Hamburgers & Sweet Potato Fries

Wednesday

B - Smoothies
L - T.B.D. (to be determined, usually leftovers)
D - Grain Burgers & Cole Slaw

Thurday

B - French Toast

L - T.B.D.
D - Garlic Pasta & Biscuits

Friday

B - Chicken in a Basket
L - T.B.D.
D - Meatballs (spinach and feta), Brown Rice & Veggies

Saturday

B - Breakfast Sandwich Casserole
L - Tuna Sandwiches on Sourdough Bread
D - Pizza (we love pizza!)

Our Favorite Smoothie Recipe (serves 2)
Substitute your choice of ingredients and type of milk. Never try this recipe with store bought eggs - always know your source! This smoothie is a powerhouse of energy and nutrients and keeps us going unto lunch time.

2 C raw milk
3 free range/pasture eggs
2 T coconut oil
3 T flax seed
1 T agave nectar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c (give or take) frozen strawberries

Note: we use a Vita Mix and add the flax seed while the motor is running. If your blender is not powerful, you may want to pre-grind the flax or buy ground flax seed.


Creamy Sauce for Salmon (serves 2)

4 oz cream cheese
3 T milk
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in food processor and pour over salmon in a casserole dish. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Very yummy!

Take a moment this week and appreciate the freedoms we have in this country - enjoy each moment.
-Wonderwoman

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 1-26-09

Me, Little T., Zoe (far left) and Evelyn go ice skating.


When life gives you lemons - make lemonade! Or perhaps this would be more fitting...when life give you temperatures that don't exceed 30 degrees for weeks on end - go ice skating!

Here is our menu for this week:

Sunday
B - Smoothies with milk, coconut oil, ground flax seed and strawberries
L - Chicken Soup
D -
Pizza

Monday
B - Smoothies and Toast with Peanut Butter
L - Tuna Melts
D - Spicy Turkey Stuffed Zucchini* (recipe below)

Tuesday
B - Sunnyside Up Eggs and Ezekial Toast
L - T.B.D. (to be determined)
D - Pasta with Sauce &
Spaghetti Squash, Salad with Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

Wednesday
B -
Sourdough Pancakes
L - Turkey Sandwiches on Sourdough Bread
D - Spinach & Cheese Casserole

Thursday
B - Eggs on Toast
L - Leftover
Spinach & Cheese Casserole
D - Sticky Chicken

Friday
B - Leftover Sourdough Pancakes
L - Tuna Sandwiches
D - Crockpot Pizza Beans w/ Sausage

Saturday
B -
French Toast
L - T.B.D.
D - Crockpot Beef & Beans

Baked Goods: Coconut Loaf, Cream Cheese Muffins and Sourdough Bread.

*Spicy Turkey Recipe - Picture the warm days of summer and late fall....this is when I am like a squirrel. Harvesting and storing. You know those jumbo sized zucchini that stay on the vine too long that you can only find at farmers markets? I buy them up, cut them in half and freeze them. These are great for stuffing. Here is one of our favorite stuffings that I'm sure you could use for a casserole or tacos:

1 pound ground turkey
1 T butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 chopped onion
1 T chopped basil
1 T paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt

Saute the onion and garlic with the butter in a large skillet. Remove and set aside. Brown the ground turkey in the same skillet. Add spices and the onion/garlic mixture to the skillet and heat thoroughly. Now, this is when I usually put this mixture in the
zucchini shells, but you could use it for tacos (it's spicy) or a casserole with sliced zucchini and top the mixture with shredded cheese and bake.

For more great menu ideas, check out
www.orgjunkie.com

Have a great week -Wonderwoman

Monday, January 19, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 1-19-09

The icy view from the top floor.

You've heard the expression 'when it rains, it pours'? We had some really cold weather the end of last week into the weekend - the coldest was Friday night. When we woke up Saturday morning, we had no heat! The fuel line froze because water got into the tank from a broken gauge. To make matters worse, the battery in Superman's car died. He spent all day running around fixing things and making them work again. Then came the moment (cue scary music) when he had to break the news of how much he spent fixing things....of course that means the grocery budget will have to be adjusted. Luckily, I've stocked up on a few things and only spent $15 at the grocery store this week.

Unfortunately, we won't be trying any new dishes this week. But we'll still eat good. Breakfasts are going to be mostly smoothies, toast and eggs. Lunches will be sandwiches.

Below is our menu for the week. For more great menu ideas check out www.orgjunkie.com.

Sunday
Crockpot Unstuffed Cabbage

Monday
Leftover Unstuffed Cabbage

Tuesday
Roast Chicken
Brussel Sprouts
Brown Rice

Wednesday
Meatloaf
Spaghetti Squash

Thursday
Chicken & Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo

Friday
Spicy Turkey Stuffed Zucchini
Brown Rice and Salad

Saturday
Pizza Night

Have a wonderful week -Wonderwoman

Monday, January 12, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 1-12-09

For rent: one slightly used set of in-laws. Both work just fine.


Happy Monday!

The weekend past brought more snow here to us here in New England. That's fine with me! I'd much rather have snow covering the lifeless looking ground this time of year than not. The last few winters have been awful. Mud. A muddy, soft ground that makes you want to stay inside. If it's going to be winter - let it snow!


It's good to count your blessings on a regular basis. Sometimes we get so caught up in the details of life that we overlook the blessings we've been given. Yesterday, I didn't shovel the driveway....I planned on doing it - but later. About 2:00 yesterday afternoon our little Boston Zoe was yip-yipping out the window because she saw someone she knew (otherwise she barks like a German Shepherd). My in-laws were outside shoveling our driveway! Now you may be thinking 'shame on you for not going out and doing it'. Yes. For a moment I did feel shamed. But they really looked like they were having a good time! Being a gracious gift receiver is just as important as being a giver. We are blessed that they take such good care of us. I made them cream cheese apple muffins to have when they were finished.

Sunday night we had a quick dinner of Beans and Kale Pasta with Bacon. The original recipe called for white beans but I didn't have any. I did, however, have pinto beans. Absolutely yummy! Some might be a little cautious to try kale. Don't be! It's a very underused green, rather on the mild side, but full of nutrition! We will double the amount of kale next time, it was so good.

Below is our menu for this week. For more great menu ideas visit www.orgjunkie.com

Sunday
B - French Toast
L - Salad with Sunflower Seeds and Apple Cider Dressing
D - Beans and Kale Pasta with Bacon


Monday
B - Eggs and Toast
L - Leftover Pasta
D - Chicken Parmesan, Brown Rice and Asparagus

Tuesday
B - Baked Oatmeal
L - T.B.D. (to be determined, usually leftovers)
D - Pork Roast, Sweet Potato Fries

Wednesday
B- Leftover Oatmeal
L - T.B.D.
D - Salad Night

Thursday
B - Chicken-in-a-basket
L - T.B.D.
D - Pasta and Meatballs

Friday
B - Omelets
L - T.B.D.
D - Cabbage Roll Casserole (Crockpot)

Saturday
B - Sourdough Pancakes
L - Crockpot Turkey Soup
D - Pizza Night

Have a wonderful week, and remember to count your blessings, whoever they may be -Wonderwoman

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A French Toast Kind Of Day!


Here in our part of New England it's a french toast kind of morning. Chilly and snowy. Snowy with a layer of freezing rain on the top.

We've started the day with one of my favorite breakfasts - French Toast.

Now you may be thinking there's nothing really special about French Toast - everyone knows how to make their own version....true. As someone who loves to cook, I've learned to leave myself open to the techniques of other cook and I always seem to learn something.

Here's our recipe for a hearty and healthy breakfast. I'll list the ingredients I use, but substitutions can be made:

(1) loaf of homemade sourdough bread
Raw milk from Baldwin Brook Farm
(read here for an update on the CT raw milk issue)
(3) organic eggs from chickens named
Barbie, Sweetheart and Bad Hair Betty
Cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut oil


After slicing the bread and whisking the eggs and milk (about 1 cup of milk), I like to really soak the bread before I place them on a buttered griddle.





I'm pretty generous with the cinnamon. Cinnamon is a super star at helping control blood sugar, and the effects can last for quite a while after eating it. Read here to learn more about cinnamon.


Just a quick sprinkle of nutmeg goes on each side. I like nutmeg, but in small doses.


I've been trying to incorporate more coconut oil into our diet. The health benefits of coconut oil are fantastic! I've been reading Sally Fallon's book Eat Fat Lose Fat, it really backs up all I've learned about fats and especially coconut oil.

I just got a really great deal on this gallon of coconut oil at our local health food store. It's produced from Nutiva. When buying coconut oil, there are many things to take into consideration. Most importantly to me; I like to make sure it's organic, cold pressed and unrefined. Here is another interesting article about coconut oil.



Coconut oil is wonderful in place of butter on French Toast! A little dollop between each slice of hot French Toast and a drizzle of agave nectar is all you need to finish off this yummy and nutritious breakfast.

How do you make your French Toast?

Enjoy the day - Wonderwoman


Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolution?


When talking to people this time of year, I always ask them if they made a New Year's Resolution. Usually the answer I get is "I don't believe resolutions work". Well, no, they don't. That is they don't work by themselves! A person has to RESOLVE to make a resolution work.

I googled New Year's Resolutions and Wikipedia said: A New Year's resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. Perhaps it's the 'commitment' part that is the trouble for most people.

I love to make New Year's Resolutions. Much thought gets put into what it will be this year. It's the perfect time of the year with no distractions. The beginning of a new year is like a clean slate. It's a time that you can RESOLVE to improve an aspect of your life.

For me resolutions have been about healthy living for the last few years or so. Some of them have been big things like losing the weight and keeping it off, others not so big like taking my supplements everyday (not just when I was feeling run down).

Making a resolution (notice how I say A resolution - not 10) is like taking baby steps. Baby steps is how I got to good health. And that's what I tell our Health/Nutrition and Weight Loss class on Wednesday nights - baby steps. Don't try to change every habit you have overnight! It will be too overwhelming and then you set yourself up for failure!

What do you think the number one New Year's Resolution is every year?

Mine is a little different (oh, yes) this year, but nonetheless it has to do with good health. I'll share later in the week.

Happy New Year -Wonderwoman