Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Hi to everyone! I sure have missed blogging here lately, but our family has really been busy lately, leaving me absolutely no time to focus on much of anything else. Through lots of prayer, I decided that taking an extended "blogging break" was best for me and my family, but now that things are slowing down a bit, I will (slowly!) return to regular posting! I will also be changing the design of my blog, so please bear with me!! Looking forward to reconnecting with all my friends!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook for March 9, 2010

Outside my window it's cloudy and gloomy, about to rain.

I am thinking about revamping my daily routine to better fit our family's schedule.

I am thankful for the prayers of friends and God's promises to help me when I ask for help.
From the kitchen blackened fish, baked potatoes and salad.

I am wearing a coral-colored lounge pants and jacket duo.

I am creating some new planner pages for my homemaking binder.

I am going to the BMV to plate our new car---oh joy!!

I am reading "Nourishing Traditions", still!

I am hoping that God is going to answer some very difficult prayers!

I am hearing a gentle spring rain outside the open kitchen window.
Around the house is the smell of fresh, spring air, something we've gone too long without!

A few of my plans for the rest of the week are learning to make my own tortillas, going to the natural foods market to buy more water kefir grains to replace the ones I killed this weekend (oops--forgot the sugar water!) and working on my itenerary for cooking classes I'll be teaching later this spring.

You can find more Daybooks at The Simple Woman.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook for March 2, 2010.

I am now taking part in the Simple Woman's Daybook, hosted by The Simple Woman Blog. I will be posting a Daybook entry every Tuesday.

Outside my window is sunny and beautiful, but still a bit cold!
I am thinking about spring and the upcoming Easter season.
I am thankful for God's providence in my life, at no time more apparent than now, as friends and family blanket us in prayers for Henry's impending layoff.
From the learning rooms little Henry is looking at a book about wild animals.
From the kitchen crab salad wraps, potato salad and fresh water kefir cream soda.
I am wearing my pajamas! Feeling a little under the weather today.
I am creating a packing list for our impending move.
I am going absolutely nowhere today!!
I am reading "The Mission of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson and "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon, and thouroughly enjoying both!
I am hoping we find a new home hunting is frustrating!
I am hearing two babies blissfully snoring away!
Around the house are a lot of those little ladybugs, a sure sign of spring!
A few of my plans for the rest of the week are making beef and chicken stock, packing some boxes and getting together for tea/coffee with some friends.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fish Recipes for Lent

For my contribution to Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday this week, I am sharing a few of our family's favorite fish/seafood recipes. Our family is following tradition in observing the season of Lent by foregoing meat on Fridays, instead eating only fish. To keep it interesting, I've began experimenting with different methods of preparation and recipes. Fish is not at all difficult to prepare and is one of the most nutrient-dense foods one can consume. A few of fish's benefits:

*promotes excellent growth and bone structure

*rich source of iodine and zinc, minerals that are a little difficult to get in the average person's diet.

*deep-sea oily fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon, etc...) are particularly high in omega-3's, crucial for vibrant, healthy skin and hair, as well as a proven method of treating depression, especially postpartum depression.

*good source of fat soluble vitamins A and D.

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Terriyaki Salmon

4 salmon fillets, boned and skinned

1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp. rice vinegar

1 tbsp. raw honey

1/2 c. naturally fermented soy sauce

Place salmon on a broiler pan; in a glass jar with a lid, combine the rest of the ingredients. Shake vigorously. Baste each salmon fillet with the sauce; place in oven and broil under very low heat for 6-8 minutes, basting frequently. Drizzle a bit of the terriyaki sauce over the salmon before serving.

Salmon Cakes with Lemon-Caper Mayonaise

1 can salmon, drained and flaked with a fork

1 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. each dried oregano, summer savory and basil

1 tbsp. mayonaise

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, minced

2 tbsp. bread crumbs

coconut oil for frying

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; mix until well-combined. Form into medium-size patties and fry in coconut oil for 5 minutes on each side.

Lemon-Caper Mayo

1 c. mayonaise

juice of 1 small lemon

1/2 tbsp. capers

Combine all ingredients.

You can also check out my recipe for Shrimp Caprese here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Frugal, Earth-Friendly Tip--Repurposing Glass Jars

By now, you are probably aware of the dangers associated with using plastic containers for storing food or cups/bottles for drinking beverages. Plastics are known to leach harmful chemicals into our bodies, especially after being heated, making them particularly unsafe for food storage/serving. I am planning a more extensive post (or two!) on plastics in April, Earth Month, but I'll give you a quick run-down of some of the pitfalls of using plastics:

*increased hormone production in females, increased female hormones in males.

*altered immune response

*increase in certain cancers, especially those of the prostate and breast.

*increase in birth defects

*increase in behaviorial disorders, such as hyperactivity and aggression

And those are just a few!

Of course, some plastics are considered more safe than others. You can read more about that here in the Smart Plastics Guide, a ultra-informative resource on plastics usage. However, I am making it a goal to have pretty much all but eliminated plastic food storage from our home by the end of summer! One step I have taken in this direction is the utilization of various glass jars for food storage. I use wide-mouth canning jars to store just about anything in my pantry--popcorn, dry beans, rice, you name it! I plan on purchasing some very large glass canning jars to store flour, as I am regretably still storing it in a big plastic bin! :( Another good option for flour storage would be ceramic crocks. I use glass canning jars for cold storage, too, anything from leftovers to homeade stocks to water kefir beverages. I love using all the Santa Cruz glass juice bottles I've saved over the past year to store fresh fruit juice from my juicer! I find my glass jars the best option for all the ferments I may have brewing at any time in the kitchen--sourdough starters, fresh ginger ale, sauerkraut, etc... As you can see, they are well-used in my kitchen! I also repurpose any glass jars from ready-made products I have bought, such as jams, honey or coffee, as they make excellent food storage containers for smaller quantities.

Are you making the switch from plastic to glass in your kitchen? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Simple, Nourishing Breakfast--Baked Oatmeal and Coconut Smoothie

Our family really enjoys oatmeal! Both tasty and nutritious (especially when served up with some raw cream, butter, real maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon!), oatmeal is a wonderfully frugal yet filling breakfast option.

Several months ago, I began to notice quite a few recipes on various blogs for baked oatmeal. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try. I followed a very basic recipe, adjusting the ingredients to our likings, and I must say that we were quite pleased with the results. Our baked oatmeal was something like a giant, very soft oatmeal raisin cookie! Like a regular bowl of breakfast oats, it does require a bit of preparation the night before, but requires little hands-on time to assemble in the morning, making it a time-saving breakfast option. We like to serve ours with fresh butter and real maple syrup or raw honey.

We have also been experimenting with some new smoothie recipes, and recently I paired this recipe for coconut smoothies with our baked oatmeal breakfast. Coconut milk and coconut oil are extremely beneficial to our diets, containing high ammounts of lauric acid, and according to Sally Fallon in her book Nourishing Traditions is "an essential saturated fatty acid that enhances the immune system and protects us against viruses, yeasts, parasites and other pathogens in the gut." This coconut smoothie is an easy, tasy way to get more coconut products into your diet.

Coconut Smoothie

2 tbsp. coconut oil

1 1/2 c. whole coconut milk (stay away from the ones labled "lite")

1 banana, cut into chunks

1/4 c. raw honey

1/2 c. plain or vanilla whole-milk or cream-top yogurt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (you can omit this if you are using vanilla yogurt)

2 cubes ice, optional, but makes for a nice, cold, almost pina colada-like consistency!

Blend all ingredients in a blender until ice is completely crushed and blended with the other ingredients. Serve immediately.

Baked Oatmeal

Oatmeal is particularly high in phytates, so this recipe calls for a soaking step--plan ahead! However, I find that soaking my grain products makes for an easier preparation in the morning, as half the work is already done! If you are new to soaking, you can find some excelent resources listed at the bottom of this post. I highly suggest you take some time to read about this important step to preparing healthier whole-grains and legumes.

6 c. rolled oats

1 c. melted butter or coconut oil (personal trial and error has proven coconut oil to make a more moist product, but either is fine!)

2 c. yogurt or buttermilk

1 c. pure maple syrup or raw honey

Mix all ingredients until moistened in a large mixing bowl; cover with a clean dishtowel and let soak overnight, 12 hours or more. When ready to prepare, add:

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 c. raisins

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients until moistened; transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until top starts to crack, a sure sign it's finished.

There you have it--a quick, nourishing start to your family's day!

Further Resources on Soaking

The Value of Soaking Your Whole Grains--Lindsay delivers a very thourough post on the health benefits and how-to's of soaking, including more resources at the bottom of her post.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weekend Reading--Link Love!

Well, I've never posted a link love post before, but I have way to much work to procuce a regular post today, so I thought I'd share these great articles I've enjoyed over the week. Happy reading!

What About Some Time to Myself?--this soul-searching post by Stephanie at A High and Noble Calling blog should perhaps be required reading for all moms! If you do one thing this weekend, READ THIS!

Planning to Make Real Food Preparation Happen--Stephanie at Keeper of the Home blog has once again written an informative, detailed post on organization, this time concerning the preparations needed for ensuring your real food meals make it to the table! Preparing real, nourishing foods requires quite a bit of planning in advance, and Stephanie shares the simple yet effective system that works for her (and now me!).

Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays--one of my favorite websites, Food Renegade, hosts this weekly blog carnival devoted to real, traditional food. Check it out--maybe you'll find a new recipe or two to try over the weekend!

"Green" Your Swiffer!--I love Emily's idea for repurposing cloth diapers into washable, reusable Swiffer pads!

Have a great weekend!