Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Georgia in Hawaii

Here are a couple pictures of Georgia in Hawaii.  Her squad was invited to be in the Pearl Harbor Parade.  The kids got to stay in the barracks.  They had a lot of fun exploring the beach, going through the maze at the pineapple plantation and helping out with the Memorial.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Real Food Challenge week 3

The real food challenge got put on hold briefly for Thanksgiving....though most of that food is real, homemade food, and we ate it happily for days :)

This week we are getting back into the challenge.  I cooked a pot of pinto beans and made them into refried beans.  I have to say.... it was.... easy peasy!  Why did I not do that sooner?  It seemed so intimidating.  

The flavor is great.
 Once the beans had been soaked and cooked, I put them in a blender with chopped onion and garlic that had been sauteed in bacon fat, a bit of salt, blend it up and wa-la, Refried Pinto Beans!

Last night we had Navajo tacos with our lovely delicious beans.  

Georgia also got home from Hawaii last night (which worked our perfectly since any kind of taco is pretty much her favorite meal).  
She had a blast.  She hasn't stopped talking about it.  

Today, I'm attempting my first sourdough loaf.  I have had my starter for about a week.  I ordered a fresh starter from Breadtopia.  I have been feeding it each day and it has been doubling in size with each feeding for the past several days.  

I have the loaf rising on the stove, ready to be cooked tomorrow morning.  
I'll let you know if it works :)

Monday, December 8, 2014


I'm so excited!  Our first apple crop.  Aren't these the cutest little apples you ever did see?! 


They taste fantastic!  The perfect blend of sweet and sour.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Quick Chicken Tortilla Soup

Last night I threw together a quick soup for dinner.

6-8 cups Chicken Stock
4 cups Cooked Black Beans
3 cups dices left over chicken
1 bag frozen corn
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 onion sauteed
juice from 1 lime
Season with 2+ tsp salt and taco seasoning to taste

Heat through and serve with sour cream, cilantro, avocado and tortillas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Real Food Week 2

I'm still very happy with how things are going.  I have made my third batch of yogurt.  This time I added extra cream.  It came out thicker and MUCH richer.  I think I actually prefer it without the cream.  I like the sour taste...with the cream it tastes more like dessert.

Last night we had one of our favorite Indian style dinners.  I do buy the coconut curry sauce (I haven't yet mastered that on my own) add chicken to the sauce and serve it with rice and salad.  A very light, but filling meal.

Tonight we are having one of Levi's favorite's, Red Lentil Dal.  It is delicious and great by itself, though I usually pair it with a salad and some fresh fruit.

Tomorrow is Chicken & Potato soup using the fresh broth I made Sunday night from the cooked whole chicken we had for dinner.

With each batch of yogurt I have given Levi a couple teaspoons (he really liked it) and so far so good, There hasn't been any obvious reactions.  His Doctor had urged us to try the Bravo culture.  Unfortunately it is far to expensive.  There is another culture they recommend for Autism, but I just went with a regular Bulgarian yogurt culture.  I culture it for 12 hours which is the longest they recommend to try to maximize the breakdown of the proteins.  I do use raw milk which I buy at our local Sprouts Market.  It is pricey, but still cheaper than the kids normal yogurt.  Georgia has tried it, but she wasn't thrilled with it.  Surprisingly, she didn't like the sour taste.  So I may throw some in a smoothie for her.

I'm still working on getting a few things to incorporate in this real food diet.  One being Lard.  Did you know that Lard has one of the most potent forms of Vitamin D?  Well, at least if the pig has been pastured and raised outside.  Apparently they are just little Vitamin D factories.  It is also essential for proper hormone production.  I'm also still trying to decide if I want to attempt another sourdough starter or just buy one.  I'll let you know when I finally make the leap.

The other major change I have made is soaking our grains/bean/lentils.  I generally soak from 8-24 hours with apple cider vinager.  Oats, I do overnight.  Beans I do as close to 24 hours as possible.  Lentils, I start in the morning and make for dinner.  I haven't done any grains yet.  So far I have used the sprouted wheat flour that I get at the store.  

Have a great week....and Happy Thanksgiving :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 1 Update

Real Food update:

Sourdough take number 1, worked!  That is until I stirred it with a fork.  Then it died.  Darn it, I forgot you are not supposed to use metal.  Sourdough take number  So today I will be starting take number 3.  Third times a charm, right?  LOL...I hope so!

I have made 2 batches of homemade yogurt.  The first turned out okay (it was a little thin & clumpy).  The second time, I heated the milk to 180 instead of 160 the time before.  The second batch turned out much better and less clumpy, more smooth.  So I will stick with the higher temp from now on.  I have had some of this homemade yogurt every day for the past 4 days...and my tummy is smiling.

For dinner we have had, Pot Roast with biscuits (didn't work so well with the GF flour...will try the sprouted wheat flour next time).  Tacos with beef/beans/lime rice/lettuce/tomatoes/cilantro/sauteed peppers & onions/salsa.  Potato/Broccoli/Cheddar soup (Yum).  Lunch is usually left overs or a sandwich on sprouted bread.  Breakfast is some combination of eggs/bacon/toast/yogurt/granola/soaked oatmeal or cream of rice cereal.  For dessert  I made some homemade brownies on Monday night with the sprouted wheat flour.  They were divine.

I'm mostly using coconut oil for cooking and sauteing.  The only time I really use anything different is for eggs, which I like with olive oil.  If I have bacon fat, I will use that in savory dishes.   But so far I have been happy with the flavor of the coconut oil.

The week is busy as we are winding down to vacation next week.  

Georgia goes to Hawaii in a couple weeks with her Young Marine Group for the Pearl Harbor Memorial Service.

Levi has just over a month left of his home therapy program.  He has been in this program since he was 18 months old.  It has been a very long time.  The hours each week have slowly gone down each year...and it will be finishing around his 9th birthday.  I will have consultations with the therapy company, but we will otherwise be on our own from now on.  It is one of those bitter-sweet things.  The therapists are great, the help is wonderful...but it will free up some time for us.  It also means however, that I'm left with the burden of making sure that we keep up on teaching play and self help skills.

Have a great week.  I'll post some pictures next time from our Arizona trip.  We had a lot of fun!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Week 1

I'm starting week 1 of 4 of the Real Food challenge.  The philosophy?  Eat real food like your great grandparents.

While some of the things are still store bought for convenience...a large part of it is the real deal.  Now we already eat a diet pretty low in processed food.  So this is just an opportunity to improve on what we are already doing.  

Why am I doing this?  Well, my health took a dive recently and so I've been trying to figure out how to make it better.  So far I have focused on making sure I eat breakfast.  I really nice big breakfast.  Wow, it is amazing how much better I feel by just eating breakfast.  I used to rush to get the kids fed and ready for school...and even though I'm up at 6am...I often wouldn't eat anything till 9 or 10am.  That habit got me in a lot of trouble.  Then I wouldn't be hungry till 2pm for lunch which is during school pick up.  So I would eat when I got home at 3pm.  Dinner is between 5 and 6, and it just didn't work out.  So now I eat with the kids in the morning.  Also making sure I go to bed by 10pm, has really improved my energy and mood.  It is hard for me to go to bed early...but I'm determined to get things back on track.

As for the diet, I'm having to adjust some of the things for the kids.  But, I really like what the website/book has to say about real food.  It has been something I have been thinking about for a long time.  Finding her book was a fluke, but it is perfect timing.  I knew I wanted to try soaking/sprouting/sourdough/fermenting for quite a while and have done it off and on over the past several years...but I felt that her mini tutorials and directions were so easy to follow, it really made me feel a lot more comfortable about finally taking the plunge.

So here we are the night before day 1.  I have my sourdough starter going (I actually started this several days ago and it was doing great until I mixed it with a metal fork.  Then BAM.  It deflated never to rise again....upon some research, I realized that I should never use metal to stir it.  So I restarted it tonight.)  I have a bowl with biscuit dough soaking with a little Apple Cider Vinegar, and fresh homemade yogurt that should be ready to go in the morning.  

I'm excited.  We will see what the week brings and how much of the food, the kids will eat :)