Archive for August, 2012


  • eggs; peaches; water kefir
  • leftover soup
  • steak; butternut squash; arugula from garden



  • eggs; oranges; broth
  • lentil soup leftovers
  • brown bag – turkey & arugula sandwiches; grapes; dilly carrots



  • granola; hardboiled eggs; yogurt (camping)
  • sandwiches etc (camping)
  • leftover lentil soup

Saturday & Sunday

  • ? leftovers (just me)


My Azure Standard order is coming tomorrow.  I’m disappointed that my case of apples did not ship but I know it won’t be long before they have them regularly in stock.  I may stop by Vanzant’s Fruit Farm Tuesday and see if they have any seconds to tide me over until next month. I don’t plan to buy anything else this week (although I didn’t last week either, and I ended up buying some nitrite-free lunch meat, bananas, and pineapple…heehee).  Since we are camping later in the week, I won’t be able to pick up milk on the day that is usually open for me.  Next week I will need eggs, milk, and cheese for sure!  I’m also getting low on grassfed butter, so I bought a couple of pounds from Azure this time month and will probably have to do that every month unless I hit another nice sale.  Luckily we are starting to get some garden greens again and maybe with this break in the weather I’ll actually have some produce again soon.  Too bad I never find a cow out there grazing when I go hunting for veggies!

Budget-wise: I’m spending $65 on my Azure order but should have no other food expenses, as we already have the ingredients for these meals on hand.  Our actual costs for the meals on this menu and extra snacks should come to about $65, which is $10 under budget.  The hot dogs, lunch meats, and “treats” that we will be eating this week will push food costs higher, but the lentil soup should help balance those costs.

I need to make a loaf of sandwich bread, some muffins to go with the lentil soup, and some cookies so I can stop eating the wheat chocolate chip cookies I made last week.  Once again, I did not make mayo – so that is still on my “someday I will actually make this again” list.  And I need to start some more lacto-fermented lemonade.  This is the last week before we start back to ballet and golf – and maybe Tae Kwon Do too…I can’t remember.  Anyway, craziness to ensue and I’ll need to run a tight ship if we want to eat at a decent hour once we jump back into everything.  Snacks, as usual, will likely be my downfall.  I would like to make one “naughty” treat every week to keep from buying treats on impulse when shopping, so I should be reviewing new recipes on a regular basis!


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We are planning to camp later in the week and I decided that we’d go all out and bring the fixin’s for s’mores – all homemade, of course.  I decided to get a head start and make the chocolate today and then store it in the freezer.  I pinned this recipe from Homesteader Kitchen a couple of weeks ago and decided to give it a go today.

Right off the bat, I realized I was in trouble.  I had no Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate.  I did have cocoa powder though!  And since the container of cocoa powder said I could substitute 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 Tablespoon oil for each ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate called for, I thought I’d go ahead.  Then I calculated how much cocoa powder I’d need and boy howdy!  24 Tablespoons is darrrrrrrrk chocolate.

I wanted the chocolate to be thicker so it wouldn’t melt away during our camping adventure, so I used cocoa butter instead of oil.  At this point, I was melting

  • 24 Tblsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tblsp cocoa butter

over low heat.  It seemed a bit dry, so I added another Tablespoon coconut oil.  At this point, the chocolate was nice and smooth; it looked like melted chocolate chips.  I turned off the heat and added

  • 4 Tblsp honey

and mixed it well.  At this point I panicked because it was clear my chocolate was seizing up.  Not only that, but the 4 Tablespoons of honey did not a sweet chocolate make!  I added another

  • 2 Tblsp honey


  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

and at this point the chocolate was THICK and grainy.  I’m not experienced enough to know whether or not I could have saved it at this point, and I didn’t want to risk making things worse…so I left it.

We fashioned half the chocolate into nickel-sized patties and spread the rest in a pan to cut after they are cool.  I will freeze them and then package for travel before we leave.

Verdict: Hrm.  I think they will serve our purpose, but they are VERY dark, even with 50% more sweetener than the recipe calls for.  I am hoping the sweetness of the marshmallows will temper the bitterness of the dark chocolate.  I am also not impressed with the texture.  Now…it is probable that much of the difficulty lies in the use of cocoa powder rather than the Ghirardelli chocolate; however, looking at the picture accompanying the original recipe, it looks as though that chocolate had seized too.  I think I will look for another recipe that is sweeter and see if I can produce a smoother chocolate with cocoa powder.

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We had a snack crisis Monday and I decided to make these grain-free carrot cupcakes for the first time.  Although we are not strict GAPS anymore (we had brown rice for lunch today, and I even ate a real chocolate chip cookie on Tuesday) I decided to omit the baking powder in these cupcakes.  I did not make the frosting for these cupcakes because I was short on time, but I will definitely try it in the future.

Verdict: MMrffmkpermf.  What’s that?  You can’t understand because my mouth is stuffed full of cupcake?  Sorry, I’ll try that again.  Yum.  A keeper.  Love.  Love.  Love.  These cupcakes tasted like…real cupcakes.  They were sweet, like real cupcakes.  The centers of the cupcakes fell during baking (I assume because I did not use baking powder) but if they were frosted, it would be no biggie at all.  If you like carrot cake and are looking for a nice GAPS birthday cupcake, look no further!  I wish I had found this recipe before birthdays last year!  My only complaints: the cupcakes were a bit oily and the recipe contained no cinnamon or lemon.  Next time I’ll try reducing the coconut oil by 25%.  I dusted the tops of the cupcake batter with cinnamon before baking and that was nice, but next time I’ll add the cinnamon to the batter.  A lemon flavor (lemon zest and/or lemon oil) would also have been very nice in this cupcake.

Straight out of the oven, these cupcakes were delightful!  And then we had them for breakfast the next day, and they were still delightful!  These cupcakes are going into our regular rotation.

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I squandered my menu-planning hour today and so I’m going to toss this one together super-quick before bed.  This means our actual meals may vary considerably from this plan, but at least I will feel like I accomplished something before I sleep.  :)


  • bananas w/cream and walnuts; broth
  • leftover chicken soup and paleo toast
  • slow-cooked round roast with carrots, onions, and raw sauerkraut


  • peaches w/kefir; broth
  • “spaghetti” (make meatballs)
  • stir-fry with leftover roast, broccoli, etc


  • tuna quiche; oranges; broth
  • leftover stir-fry
  • brown bag – turkey sandwiches; apples; dilly carrots


  • eggs; oranges; broth
  • leftover stir-fry
  • chicken something



  • No. Idea.
  • leftover stew
  • stuffed peppers if I have enough garden peppers


  • ???
  • leftover stew
  • pizza?

Yeah, the last part of the week looks pretty flaky.  And since we might go camping, it is even flakier than it looks.

Snacks: Mom gave me a cantaloupe from her garden, so that will definitely be a snack item this week.  Milk will probably be my go-to emergency snack ration, though.  We are pretty much out of Larabars so I’ll have to make my own soon.

Budget:  A quick glance at these meals looks like it should fall well under my $75 budget; I’d put it at around $60 including all meals and snacks.  I bought $17-worth of veggies and eggs and $3.50 in milk this week, so only about $20 out-of-pocket.  That should get us through the week.  I’ll make my Azure Standard order tomorrow and that will probably be over $50 but it will be one month’s worth.

Things I need to make: Mayonnaise.  I’ve been saying that for weeks now, and to be honest I probably won’t get it done this week either.  Other things:  Granola.  Meatballs.  Pie of some sort.  Maybe cherry.  Mmm…

I got a SCOBY this week so I’ll have my kombucha up and running again soon!!  I’m thinking of putting a weekly “Weird Stuff in J’s Kitchen” photo up on my Facebook soon, and this will be one of my entries for sure.  :)

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Since we had the peppermint oil out yesterday, I mixed up a new batch of the tooth powder we’ve been using for about 5 years now.  Our dental hygienist always comments on how clean our teeth are (and sometimes, I admit, we are lucky make it in once a year for cleanings).  I can tell a huge difference in my teeth when we go on vacation and use regular toothpaste.  I think the glycerin in regular toothpaste is what makes my teeth so tacky and plaque-y, but I’m not sure.  Anyway, my teeth always feel very clean after I brush with this powder and even though the taste takes some getting used to I would never go back to regular toothpaste.  My kids also prefer this tooth powder to regular toothpaste, and choose to brush with plain water at their dad’s rather than use his toothpaste.  In theory, you could add dried stevia to give the powder a sweeter taste, but I’ve never tried it.

These are rough estimates, as I never measure when mixing:

  • 3 parts bentonite clay
  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 1 part sea salt (finely ground)
  • peppermint oil to taste (I usually use about 10 drops per 8-ounce batch)

The peppermint will clump up in the clay, so you’ll need to mix it well.  I like to use the back of a spoon and mash the mixture for about 3 minutes, until all lumps are smoothed out and the mixture looks uniform.  Since I dislike dipping wet toothbrushes into the powder, I put our tooth powder into an old (but clean, heehee) plastic ReaLemon bottle.  The small opening and the squeezeable plastic work really well for dispensing the tooth powder without much waste.  A sifter jar or powder container like the one here would work well if it was left mostly closed, too.

This tooth powder lasts a long time (partly because no one is tempted to over-do, heehee) and I think I mix up 8-ounce batches no more than twice a year.  The clay and peppermint oil require a bit of an initial investment but since they last for several batches it is much more cost-effective than buying toothpaste.

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I saw this recipe for peppermint patties several months ago but haven’t gotten around to testing the recipe until now.  We don’t currently have any “treat” foods on hand and after a rough week (which followed an even rougher summer) we decided we needed to indulge ourselves.  Enter: the Peppermint Patty.

I fiddled around with this recipe a little, adding vanilla extract and at least an extra teaspoon of honey (probably more like an extra tablespoon) and then adding extra honey and an egg yolk to the filling.  I also added a pinch of salt to both the chocolate mixture and the filling.  I had hoped the egg yolk would help emulsify the filling, as the honey did not blend well at all.  The yolk did help a little but I still had quite a bit of honey setting to the bottom of the mixture.  I did not heat either mixture, as my kitchen was warm enough to completely liquify my coconut oil.

I decided to use my silicone mini-muffin pan for the patties.  There are 24 cups in this pan, and each cup holds about one ounce.  The recipe does not state how much chocolate and filling to put into each cup and I found myself wondering how much I should reserve as I went along.  I ended up putting about half the chocolate in the bottoms of the cups (a teaspoon or less for each), then using almost all the filling as the next layer, and finishing with the last half of the chocolate mixture (and I had a small amount left that I spread in another pan).

Verdict:  I’d make it again, with changes.  The end result was a patty with about twice the filling thickness I’d like.  In fact, although I think the egg yolk improved the taste of the filling, I still was not a big fan.  The chocolate mixture was very nice but I felt the filling was too much like eating cold coconut oil.  If I make this again, I’ll just add the peppermint oil to the chocolate mixture and skip the filling altogether.  It will save me time and improve the taste, in my opinion.

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GAPS Meatloaf

I think I’ve posted a meatloaf recipe before, but I find that a simple tweak of my Grandma’s recipe is what I go back to time and again.  Here’s my GAPS version of Grandma’s meatloaf:

  • 1.5 lbs grass-finished ground beef (I asked my butcher to make it extra fatty – I think it ended up 85% lean)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste or tomato sauce (I cheated tonight and used Annie’s Naturals Organic Ketchup)
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno, diced finely (optional)
  • 1 small onion, diced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix it together, dump it in a loaf pan, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the loaf is firm in the middle and juices are bubbling (usually an hour or so in my oven).

Yep, that’s it.

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