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Archive for August, 2013

Monday

  • leftover chocolate banana cake; peaches; milk
  • tuna salad; cucumbers
  • “spaghetti” and meat sauce w/garden squash, peppers, & tomatoes; green beans

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • crock pot peach crisp using windfalls? and milk
  • leftover chicken & veggies
  • burgers, kimchi, green beans from garden; pumpkin muffins

Thursday

  • leftover peach crisp; milk
  • hot dogs; kimchi; apples
  • turkey hash with butternut squash, japanese turnips, & sweet onions

Friday

  • bacon & eggs; fruit; milk
  • pb & j sandwiches
  • liver and…??  green beans? pumpkin muffins?

Saturday & Sunday

  • leftover something – just me


We made these Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies today.  The bottom cookie part was okay although I would definitely reduce the honey if I make it again.  I added salt and used homemade chocolate chips for the bottom part.  I added salt and vanilla to the top part, but since I was out of chocolate chips I added an extra 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons melted butter.  The result was…weird.  And way too dry.  I added an egg, even though it didn’t call for one.  Still too dry but I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I just quit there.  I spread the bottom layer in a 9″x13″ pan as specified in the recipe but the resulting layer was so thin that I scooped it all out and put it in an 8″x8″ pan.  Then I patted the too-dry brownie part into a thin disc and laid it over the bottom cookie part.  I cooked it in the Sun Oven, thinking that the moistness would be retained better that way and maybe the brownie part would magically turn into actual brownies.  Nope.  I think it needed an extra egg or maybe some yogurt or something.  Not sure if she left out some ingredients or if it really makes that much of a difference to melt chocolate chips into the batter – but without eggs, I can’t imagine how it would hold together.  *shrug*  I don’t really care, though.  I won’t use that brownie recipe again.  Maybe the cookie part.  Maybe.

It will be pumpkin season soon so I’m trying to use up all the pumpkin I have left in the freezer.  New pumpkin muffin recipe is on the agenda for this week.  I’d like to start using more coconut flour recipes to take the place of some almond flour recipes.  Almond flour is making up way too much of my budget!

Last week was crazy.  This week will be crazy.  Next week will be crazy.  I haven’t been doing a good job of checking my menu the night before to do any necessary prepwork and it really hurt me last week.  I’ve got to do better this week.

Garden news: Volunteer squash growing out of our compost pile are actually starting to set fruit!  We are so excited!!  We’ve had 3 spaghetti squash that grew from another volunteer plant earlier in the summer so hopefully we’ll get something big enough to harvest from these new plants before a killing frost.  It looks like we’ve got a butternut, something round and pumpkin-like, and possibly a banana squash in the works.  Yay!  And our second planting of cucumbers has survived and is producing now.  Our first set of plants was decimated but cutworms so this is also very exciting.  :)  Green beans and peppers are doing ok, tomatoes need to hurry up and RIPEN ALREADY, and we harvest a very small volunteer melon.  It is about the size of a softball and about that heavy, too.  We’ll see if it’s any good later this week!  Our blackberry plant is sending up new shoots close to the mother plants, peaches are dropping, and apples are done for the year.  Not a bad year for as little time as we’ve put into gardening.  I would like to plant some lettuce, arugula, and radishes soon but other than that I think we’ll just focus on watering and harvesting.

We were only able to get a 1/4 beef this year.  As I packed it into the freezer, I thought about how quickly we’ll go through it.  :/  I definitely need to source bones and organ meats because we got barely any this time.  Luckily I had gotten all the trimmings last time to I was able to render about 1 gallon of beef tallow and that should get us through this year with no problem.

I’ve got lots of topics I’d love to write about soon but I’ve also got four new choral pieces to learn this week so I’d better wait until I’ve got that finished.  I would really love to address the blogs & comments I’ve seen on the web in the past year dissing GAPS because it didn’t work for some people.   Too many people who have only a passing knowledge of the diet are talking about it like they are experts.  Bugs the crap out of me.  Really.

**Potatoes are not GAPS-legal.  Check this link for a list of acceptable foods.

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Monday

  • leftover waffles and milk
  • leftover lamb soup and banana muffins
  • sirloin steak; yellow squash; potatoes on the grill

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • leftover fruit crisp; milk
  • tuna quiche; fruit salad
  • spaghetti with spaghetti squash & tomatoes from garden; cucumber salad

Thursday

  • leftover tuna quiche; fruit salad; milk
  • leftover chicken; zucchini; banana muffins
  • “spaghetti” with spaghetti squash, tomatoes, & pepeprs from garden

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

  • leftover bacon, egg & cheese muffins; milk
  • pb & j sandwiches?
  • burgers etc

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We are constantly on the search for easy, make-ahead breakfasts that are filling enough to last all morning.  I tried a new recipe last week, with some modifications:

  • 16 eggs
  • 1/2-3/4 cup kefir
  • 4 Tblsp softened butter
  • 2 Tblsp melted beef tallow
  • 2 Tblsp bacon drippings
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 8 oz shredded raw cheddar
  • 8 oz uncured bacon, cooked and chopped, reserving the drippings to add to the muffin batter

I whipped the liquids together, then added the dry ingredients, the cheese, and the bacon.  Then I portioned into muffin cups and baked at 350 degrees until the muffins were set in the middles and just starting to brown.

As you can see, I quadrupled the recipe, added extra eggs, added kefir, reduced the amount of cheese and bacon, and tinkered with the fats.  My bacon was not terribly fatty and I only got about 2 Tblsp drippings to add to the batter, hence the butter and tallow.  If you have enough drippings, I’d suggest using them instead of the other fats.  The recipe as I’ve written it here made 24 muffins, which was enough to feed the three of us for three breakfasts.

Leaving the full amount of cheese and bacon in these muffins would no doubt have been delicious – however, cheese and bacon are pretty expensive.  The recipe as I’ve written it here cost me about $12, or $0.50/muffin.  If I had included the full amount of cheese and bacon, that would have increased the price to about $1.10 per muffin.  At two or three muffins apiece for breakfast, that would have exceeded my budget.  I think you could leave out the cheese OR the bacon and still have a decent muffin, but I’m not sure I’d try leaving out both of those ingredients.

Verdict:  A winner!  My kids scarfed down their breakfast and would have willingly eaten more.  The muffins were fairly easy to put together and held up well just sitting out on the counter for a couple of days.  I popped the leftovers in the toaster oven to reheat them the next day and they were just as good.  I served these muffins with a 12oz glass of raw milk and some fresh sliced peaches for a filling breakfast.  I will make these again.  I may even try batch-cooking some to stick in the freezer.  (Getting breakfast on the table has been much harder since school started!)  Next time, I plan to add some chopped peppers and maybe some chopped sweet onions.

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The kids are back!  That means I have to figure out how to cook again.  I’m late posting a menu mainly because I’ve not had the time to sit down and write one down.  We’ve been blessed with bacon and garden veggies this week so I’m going to try to incorporate those in our menu.

Monday

  • bacon & eggs; milk; peaches
  • chicken sandwiches
  • zucchini spaghetti and meat sauce w/garden tomatoes

Tuesday

  • “banana splits” with kefir cheese, peaches & brazil nuts
  • coconut poached cod
  • leftover zucchini spaghetti

Wednesday

  • crock pot apple crisp using windfalls? and milk
  • leftover zucchini spaghetti
  • burgers, kimchi, green beans from garden, and leftover spiral potatoes**

Thursday

  • leftover apple crisp; milk
  • breakfast for lunch – waffles, bacon, fruit
  • beef short ribs; green beans; yellow squash

Friday

  • waffles; fruit; milk
  • burgers, kimchi, green beans, and leftover spiral potatoes
  • lamb stew – maybe with lentils?

Saturday & Sunday

  • leftover something – just me


So.  Whoa.  Long time, no see!  I’ve got lots to talk about and not much time to do it.  I’d like to post twice a week but the chances of that happening are pretty slim right now.  Homeschooling, Etsy, piano lessons, extracurriculars, accompanying…right now it’s pretty overwhelming.  I bought a bushel of peaches (2nds) last week and found myself on the verge of tears because I was too exhausted to process them by the time I got the rest of my work done.  This might not be the best year to try to put up food.  :/  We aren’t keeping up with garden work, either – apparently it is monsoon season in Arkansas and the mosquitos are TERRIBLE!  We are trying to stay in as much as possible and that means not much is happening in the garden.  I need to get out and stake up tomatoes, string up the cucumbers, and set more supports for pole beans but I have to be honest and say that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

I bought a spiralizer last week because I had a few textbooks to purchase and still needed more to get Amazon’s free shipping.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.  :)  So we made baked spiral potato fries with a bunch of the potatoes my dad gave us (not the best way to cook them in my opinion – I think we’ll have to deep-fry them if we try again) and some zucchini pasta for spaghetti.  I didn’t even cook the zucchini – we just put the pasta sauce right on the raw pasta and ate it that way!  My kids liked it, although my daughter said she preferred her zucchini cooked.  I was impressed at how far the pasta went.  I wasn’t sure what to expect so I spiralized 5 medium zucchini and it ended up being enough for about ten servings.  Not bad!

I made these muffins when the kids got home last week, with a few tweaks.  They pretty much thought they were the best ever.  Review & recipe to come.

Exercise: I need to.  Badly.  Hunching over the sewing machine for hours on end has done a number on my abs & transverse muscles.  I am thinking about doing something like this but really don’t know when I’ll find the time.  I haven’t been able to squeeze in my usual butt yoga – and that’s only 20 minutes!  I’m a little discouraged.

I’m not doing budget calcs this week but I know we are well within our usual $75 limit thanks to garden veggies & gifts.  Yay!

**Potatoes are not GAPS-legal.  Check this link for a list of acceptable foods.

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