Monday, July 13, 2015
DIY or do it yourself is a big thing right now. One of my goals in living is to reduce and hopefully eliminate processed food in my family's life. One of my problems with making my own food is that I get bored. I wish I knew more about how to make up recipes as I go that are exciting and flavorful. When I make something new or something that I haven't made in a long time, I get inspired to continue. The problem is I find myself making the same things all the time. The other night, I had a craving for lentils. I almost didn't make them because I felt like its summer and I should be making a light summer dish, not a heavy comfort food dish. I did add grilled pineapple and a caprese salad with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella which I do think lightened up the meal. What it did though, was to inspire me to make more foods that I don't usually make and to actually listen to my cravings when they are healthy cravings. I think my next goal is to learn about different spices and how they work with different foods. We, unfortunately, did have store bought canzone for food today and I bought an egg sandwich at a small local bistro today for breakfast. I am not really hungry for any other food today, but I plan to start tomorrow with making my own foods and experimenting with different foods and spices to feel more inspired to eat healthy, flavorful, inspired foods. One of the things that inspires me is to watch cooking shows as well as to go to my local farmers market. I love seeing all the different foods, some that I have never heard or cooked with and some are just inspiring even though I have eaten them many times before but maybe in a different way. What really inspires me is my friend Holly, at thesoulchef.com, who cooks every week and always inspires me to use new and different ingredients. I love trying new foods and foods that I have had, but cooked in different ways of with different flavors. Today, I promised my oldest son that we would make granola. He loves granola and yogurt and he loves to help in the kitchen. I want him to help and learn new foods that are healthy, especially since he is on the autism spectrum and I feel that he really needs to watch his diet to help with some of the symptoms of his autism. That in and of itself is enough for it's own post and more. Later tonight, after I find a good recipe, we will make our own granola so that we can add it to our yogurt which I want to become a staple grocery item in our house. Here's to some good, healthy, DIY foods to help kick the processed food habit and save money at the same time! Amy
Thursday, July 9, 2015
It seem like there is a new phenomenon where everyone wants to live in a tiny home. I actually live in a smaller home with my husband and our 3 kids. Our home is all of 1000 square feet but it feels so much smaller because we have so much stuff. I have been watching tiny house hunters on HGTV and am getting more and more inspired to get rid of stuff and live a more minimalist lifestyle. I initially started this blog when I was about 35 and was starting to re-evaluate my life and the way I live it. When I started this blog, I was hoping to get rid of the reliance on big box stores, material goods, and more things like that. I was hoping to spend time upcycling things from thrift stores and the like. Unfortunately, I have not really followed through with my goals. I have made small changes that sometimes feel like 1 step forward and 2 or more steps back. This is a huge journey for me. I am trying to figure out why this is so difficult for me. I am not blaming the way I grew up, but I think that since I had limited ability to get the things I wanted and we were always on a strict budget, I tend to want to over spend. Its not an excuse, but it is something to think about when I try to figure out why I seem to have an obsession with things and why I can't seem to get rid of stuff. My goal is to slowly get rid of extra stuff and to move toward a more minimalist lifestyle. I want to teach my children how to live a minimalist lifestyle, but at the same time, not feel deprived. I think it is going to be important to explain how stuff isn't what is important in life yet still allow them to have things that are important to them and have the things that they enjoy. I want to live a lifestyle that allows us to enjoy our life, not owe other people money and actually have a savings. I want to stop spending money out to eat. I have a hard time with this because I really love eating out. I want my kitchen to work for us. I want to enjoy cooking and spending time together in the kitchen like I grew up. That means, I need to clean off my kitchen table and find a place for what's on there and if there is not a place, it needs to go. I want my kitchen to look clean, open, and be functional. Another are I need to deal with is my craft supply area. I love crafts and crafts supplies and crafts books. I also have a little obsession with buying things that I don't need. I really need to go through my stuff and get rid of some things that I don't need any more. I need to focus my crafts and not just do everything and anything. While I want a larger home, more like a farmhouse, I still want to live a minimalist lifestyle. I want my children to grow up with things they need and want, but not everything they want. I want them to understand they don't need multiple build a bears and other toys like they already have. I don't see us moving to a larger farmhouse anytime soon, and I actually like my house and the land that it site on. I want and need to make the most of what we have and really enjoy my little suburban homestead. I will keep moving towards a natural life and look forward to sharing my journey. Amy
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
A while ago, I posted about fermented foods and my attempt at making my own. I tried making my own wild fermented our dough starter and did well. Unfortunately, I didn't do well at feeding it and it went bad. I did end up growing my own kombucha SCOBY. I wasn't sure it was going to work since I had read that companies had started making kombucha so that it wouldn't form a new Scooby. Well, I was worried for nothing. From everything I read in forums, it was mostly because it was winter and we keep a cold house. It's now summer and I have a thriving SCOBY, that probably grew too long in the tea, but it looks so pretty. I think the kombucha is probably too vinegary for my taste. I have heard that plants really like it so I plan to water my plants with the vinegary kombucha. I already have another gallon jar started. My brother in law told my husband that he read that coconut water kefir is really good for kids on the spectrum. I actually have some water kefir grains coming in the mail from Maryland that are supposedly really strong and healthy grains. I can't wait to get them and start drinking water kefir again. I am hoping that between water kefir and kombucha I can kick my diet soda habit. Hopefully once I get my water kefir grains and I get them multiplying, I can start trying to add them to coconut water and see if I can get coconut water kefir. I did read that you may be able to actually use coconut water for Kombucha and I have an extra SCOBY that I am going to try. I just have to read up more on how to do it. From the little that I have researched, for a short time you can "brew" kombucha in liquid other than tea, but then you need to use to tea to feed it what it needs to grow and thrive. I will be trying the coconut water kombucha soon so watch for my updates. Recently, I got an email or saw a Facebook post from Nourished Kitchen about "how to make a ginger bug for homemade sodas" at http://nourishedkitchen.com. Like I was saying, I am hoping to some day soon, kick my diet soda habit. I was watching Dr. Oz today and my fire for this goal was re-ignited. I can't wait to try to make a ginger bug so that I can have healthy sodas along with my kombucha and my water kefir. There is just something so satisfying about fizzy soda, but the sugar, the artificial sweeteners, and all the additives make it so bad for you. I'm hoping, I can get my fizzy soda like taste and get some health benefits from the fermented part of these drinks. Some store bought cabernet grape kombucha in a champagne glass My new batch of Rooibos tea with my lovely SCOBY in it started today Happy fermenting. Maybe I'll even try my sour dough starter again! Amy
Sunday, July 5, 2015
This title seems a little all over the place, but I am hopeful, it is really what this post is all about. I have been trying to figure out my dreams, my passions and my style. What I have realized over the last couple of weeks, probably more like months, is that I love the whole rustic, farm style look. That being said, it goes along with my hope that I can actually live a more suburban homesteading lifestyle. I really want to get back to upcycling, minimalistic living, living and eating healthy and naturally, and basically just living a holistic lifestyle that will keep my body, mind, and soul healthy and happy. We finally got the garden in place. I think we may still have some things to plant, but we have the bones of the garden in place. We have beans that are growing from seed along with peas, cucumbers, luff plants, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and collards. We have a lot of tomato plants that we grew from see, but we hav4 that we bough from the local nursery that have a better start than the ones that we grew from seed. We have pepper plants that we also started from seeds as well as some ghost peppers that we just bought. Ghost peppers are really hot and we are using them as an animal deterrent (hopefully). We forgot to add eggplant seeds to our order, so we had to get all our eggplant plants from our local nursery. I also have some purple potato plants growing. The other thing I did this year was to add potted herb plants. I am hoping that when the cold weather comes, I can bring these pots in the house and we can have potted plants all year long.