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Archive for June, 2013

Monday

  • eggs; oranges; milk
  • leftover chicken soup
  • breakfast for dinner: waffles and an attempt at hamburger gravy!; fruit

Tuesday

  • leftover waffles; milk
  • leftover soup
  • steak; garden salad with hard-boiled eggs; sweet potatoes?

Wednesday

  • pumpkin custard
  • brown bag: sandwiches; apples; whatever fermented veggies are left in fridge
  • leftover steak salad

Thursday

  • leftover pumpkin custard
  • burgers; broccoli; potatoes
  • ? maybe camping with friends

Friday

  • ? probably bacon & eggs
  • ? still camping
  • ?

Saturday

  • ? probably bacon & eggs
  • ? leftover something if we’re home in time
  • leftover bbq ribs from freezer

Sunday

  • leftover waffles
  • leftover chili & cornbread from freezer
  • hamburger casserole w/frozen peas & rice from freezer

We might be camping with some semi-GAPS buddies later this week!  We haven’t really planned out any meal stuff yet so I didn’t get a whole lot at the store today.  I am in charge of bacon, though, so I got plenty of that.  :)  And some good hot dogs since they were on sale.  I’ll also be making s’mores stuff, “cornbread”, and any other yummy treats I can think of before Thursday.  I’m thinking of some parfaits kind of like this but I’m not sure if the other family likes lemon much.  I know they like peanut butter cups and banana muffins so maybe I’ll do some of those too.  I know that we eat like maniacs when we camp so I want to make sure we’ve got enough snacks to keep us on an even keel!

I’ve been working a ton since I got back!!  I found out I’ve been accepted for a local boutique show so I’ve been prepping for that, and I’ve had several custom orders for my Etsy stuff too.  (Search Etsy for jmaybe or Steady As She Goes if you’re curious about my work!)  While the extra work is tiring, it helps a lot with the financial shortfall of being gone two weeks and many students not coming for regular lessons over the summer.  I also will be starting work as a real estate assistant soon so hopefully that will be a blessing and not just extra on my plate.  My goal is that by this time next year, I will be able to set the thermostat wherever we are comfortable and not worry about being able to pay for it.  83 in the summer and 58 in the winter gets old fast and after several years of that I’m ready to be comfortable again!  It’s funny…growing up, we definitely kept it warm in the house during the summer but I never, EVER remember the house being cold in winter.  Mom & Dad always made a point of keeping it warm for us kids and I never thought much about it until the past few years when we’ve been trying to save on our heating bills.  We cope by wearing lots & lots of layers and eating warming foods, but maaaaaaaan winter seems long when you’re cold.  :D  I’d also like to be able to go to the chiropractor as often as we need to.  I’m definitely feeling the need more now that I am sewing a lot.  It really messes up my hips & back to sit on the floor to cut things out and then hunch over my machine for hours.  I think that setting these financial goals will help me focus on the work without feeling so grumpy about it.  I am truly grateful that I can do the work and still stay home to homeschool my kids.  I don’t take that for granted one bit.

Not much longer until the kids leave for summer visitation with their dad.  I haven’t planned out my Intro Redux yet but I know from experience I won’t cook much while they are gone unless I have it planned and I am motivated.  I need to think of some good motivators.  :)

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Monday

  • eggs; oranges; milk
  • peanut butter and honey sandwiches; apples
  • lemon chicken with potatoes, broccoli, and carrots

Tuesday

  • cherry crisp; milk
  • eggs; sausage or bacon; oranges; broth
  • hurry curry and rice?

Wednesday

  • leftover cherry crisp; broth
  • sandwiches; apples; pickles; milk
  • burgers; broccoli; baked potatoes

Thursday

  • eggs; sausages or bacon; oranges; milk (put leftover chicken & veggies in the crockpot to warm before leaving in the morning!)
  • leftover lemon chicken & veggies
  • chili & ‘cornbread‘; garden salad

Friday

  • ? probably eggs, toast, oranges and milk
  • leftover chili & cornbread
  • chicken livers; cucumber salad; sweet potatoes

Saturday &Sunday

  • leftover ?  (just me)

Monday to-do includes rainy day baking: sourdough challah for the kids, GAPS cherry crisp for us all, grain-free ‘cornbread‘ and anything else I can whip up quickly.  We might not have another day cool enough to bake for quite some time so hopefully this challah will last through the summer.  With the kids leaving for 5 weeks not too long from now, we may be able to stretch it.  They’ve been making themselves peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch several days a week which is awesome for me but also uses up our bread reserves quickly.

In my *duh* moment for the week, I grilled some grass-fed ribeye steaks flawlessly and then proceeded to leave the grill on to clean for five minutes for three hours while I was at rehearsal.  Thank God I had also forgotten to feed the dog or I might not have gone back outside at all!  But I’m kicking myself because now I will undoubtedly run out of propane in the middle of a meal and have to run to Walmart for another tank.  All the more reason why I need to get that rocket stove built!

Timewise, this week is going to be hectic.  We have VBS in addition to our usual activities and my schedule is all messed up so meal prep will probably feel a lack of attention.  We’ll be getting back at lunchtime and will be starving, I’m sure, so speed is going to be an issue there.

Healthwise, vacation was a stinker.  I ended up eating several wheat-based meals and really saw detrimental results in my skin and my digestion.  I’m still not back to normal!  I plan to do a quick run of intro when my kids leave for summer visitation and see if that helps get me back on track.

Gardenwise, we won some and lost some while we were gone.  We came back to our best sour cherry harvest ever – more than a gallon of good ones!  But we lost 2 raspberry plants and our peach tree dropped virtually all of its fruit.  My tomatoes were gnawed off by what I suspect was cutworms so we had to start over, but my uncle gave me some nice big heirloom plants from his nursery on our return trip so I didn’t feel too bad about the ones we lost.  :)  We’ve had over a gallon of strawberries and about a quart of blueberries, the lettuce was going great guns when we got back, and my radishes were gigantic.  The herb seedlings I planted in an upright pallet all died while we were gone, though.  I’m calling this a draw.

Budgetwise, I’m too far behind on work to spend time figuring the cost of the meals for this week.  I spent about $10 on milk and about $40 at the grocery store today; I forgot that I’ll need extra eggs since my usual source is not coming to deliver them this week so that will add another $5 or so to out-of-pocket expenses.  My Azure Standard order arrives tomorrow and will contain 14 bunches of broccoli, 10 lbs lemons (yay for lacto-fermented lemonade!!), 5 lbs carrots which I plan to ferment, 2 lbs cucumbers which I also plan to ferment (for some reason none of my cucumber seeds germinated this year! boo), 5 lbs red potatoes, and 1 gallon mint honey.  I’ve never tried mint honey before but it was cheaper than my usual source so I decided to go for it.  My Azure total was $100.  Other than eggs & milk I probably won’t need much else for quite some time, which is good because I have a vacation to pay for!

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I’m back!!  Vacation was great, my brain is now worthless, and I have ten gazillion things to do before I can even think about catching up.  Instead of tackling those ten gazillion things, however, I have decided to make brownies.  First things first, people!

I’me calling this a semi-review because I did not try these brownies as written.  (If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, this should come as no surprise!  I like to do things my own way.)  Here’s what I did:

  • 40 Deglet Noor dates, processed in food processor with
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut flour

This was how I chose to make my own date sugar.  Dehydrating dates and then grinding them to a powder as suggested in the original recipe blog comments was waaaaaaaay more work than I was interested in.  My method did not produce a fine powder, but the date pieces were small enough that I was content.  I also hoped that retaining the moisture content of the dates by processing them this way might result in a more moist and chewy brownie.  After the dates and coconut flour were processed, I whipped together:

  • 1 cup soft coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 cup kefir
  • 2 Tblsp honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Then I blended in the date mixture and whipped well in my stand mixer.  I greased an 8″ x 8″ pan and spread the thick batter evenly in the pan (the batter nearly filled the pan, by the way).  Then I put the pan in my Sun Oven, which was preheated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and let it cook while I did other things for 90 minutes.

I did not choose to make these brownies dairy-free.  I also added more eggs, some honey for uniform sweetness and extra moisture, and increased the cocoa a bit.  Since I subbed my own date sugar, the date pieces were large enough to notice texturally but I didn’t feel that they were unappetizing.  Cooking in a solar oven *is* different than cooking in a regular oven, so I’m not sure how a conventional cooking method would treat these brownies yet but they were very moist even after a long time in the Sun Oven.  I think there was far too much batter for an 8″ x 8″ pan, however – I will halve the recipe next time.  This batch seemed more like cake – a very dense cake – which is fine, but I wanted a brownie.  :)

Verdict:  I would make these again, halving the recipe and reducing the cook time though.  I think a cold glass of some sort of milk is a must with this recipe!

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