Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Journey

I am embarking on a new journey. Andy and I decided there is no time like the present to curb our terrible habit of eating out and often in front of the TV. Please join me and walk beside me through comments and following on this new excursion! Love and prayers are much appreciated! :)

Back to the Table One Day at a Time - 365 Day of Only Eating at Home and Around the Family Table

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We are now home from vacation and we're ready to embark on a new journey! Without too much being said, we are entering a time of life in which we need to start minding our financial "Ps and Qs" even more.

I am quickly finding just how much growing boys can eat. With a husband, three growing boys and God-willing more in the future, I really need to learn how to stretch our food budget all the while trying to obtain good nourishment!

This week I am going to issue a challenge for myself. I have a family pack of split chicken breasts that has been in the freezer for a while. I am going to challenge myself to make as many nutritious meals out of that chicken as possible.

Now I know that some would say, "Cook it and refreeze it so you won't get burnt out on chicken." but I'm not one of those types. If it goes in the deep freeze, it stays until we clean it out. As hard as I try, I just cannot keep up with what I have in that big ol' thing.


Operation 5 1/4 lbs. Chicken Breast Challenge

I used to just bake the chicken with some seasonings and call it dinner, however I need to learn how to stretch it further and bring more vegetables onto our plates.

I will begin the challenge Sunday night. I will be putting chicken into a slow cooker with vegetables and allow the chicken to slow cook - I will be saving the vegetables to make bone broth.

Monday: 2 cups chopped chicken - no broth
Chicken Enchiladas  - with re fried beans and salsa

Tuesday: 4 cups chopped chicken - 4 cups of broth or broth from cooking chicken
White Chicken Chili - with salad and bread (This while make enough for several lunches and LOs)

Wednesday: 1/2 cup chopped chicken - no broth
Chicken Alfredo - with salad

*I will be making the chicken stock out of the bones and vegetables for other meals*

Thursday: 2 cups chopped chicken - 4 cups of chicken stock
Chicken Gnocchi sou- with garlic bread and salad

Friday: 1 cup of chopped chicken - no stock
BBQ Chicken Pizza - fruit and veggie tray

Saturday: 1 cup of chopped chicken - no stock
Chicken Quesadillas - with Spanish rice and chips and salsa

Sunday: 2 quarts chicken stock
CP Baked Potato Soup - with sandwiches

Monday: 1 cup shredded chicken and remaining chicken stock
Chicken and Noodles  - with green beans and mashed potatoes

Tuesday: 1 cup of shredded chicken
Buffalo Chicken Dip - with tortillas, chips and salsa

As I look through these meals, it's really going to be a stretch to get all these meals out of 5.36 lbs of chicken but we're going to give it a whirl! :) If I get all of these meals out of that chicken, I will be stretching one chicken into NINE meals!

Wanna take the challenge with me? Go ahead, try it! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Making Memories

We are/have been on vacation. We came down for my best friend's wedding and decided to rent a house with my parents for the remainder of the week.

We really didn't have an agenda or anything that we wanted to do after the wedding but take it easy and embrace life at a slower pace. Andy has been working a lot and the boys (and I as well! <3) have been yearning for his undivided attention.

The trip started out with a good but hectic trip through three airports with three little people. The airplane ride was nice compared to driving but keeping the boys entertained and quiet was quite a job. They were really well behaved, it was just trying. I was trying to keep the baby (who has taken up screaming - shrill at the top of his lungs) quiet and Andy would try and keep one of the other boys entertained.

We then came into a major city and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We then went right into the rehearsal - Dylan the ring bearer and I a bridesmaid - and were constantly busy with wedding activities. Poor Andy was stuck in the hotel room with the other two. If I were him I would have been crying and pulling my hair out.

The morning of the rehearsal, we woke up to Dylan having pink eye. I tried to get into contact with my friend to find a pharmacy and we got the doctor to call in a prescription, not knowing the pharmacy was closed. By the time we figured out the pharmacy was closed, the doctor's office was closed as well. Fortunately, eye drops seemed to do the trick.

As the week goes on, we've had many issues arise. Yesterday, the baby barfed all day and we were constantly cleaning up the mess.

Today we were determined to make memories. We decided to set up to Big Lou's Pizza. A pizza house that was featured on one of our favorite shows, Man v. Food. As we were pulling in, we saw a bus of school kids unloading. I took the baby and ran, all the way praying that this would be a good experience, to the front door.

As we sat down and began ordering, I hear "MOMMY!". As I looked over I saw that Dylan had poked a whole through his ginormous drink of red Hawaiian Punch. It was spilling out everywhere. I was tempted to get upset and make a huge deal but when I looked at the look of embarrassment in my son's eyes, I just cleaned up and joked with him. He was still embarrassed and very wet and sticky but we eventually moved on and made it a memory. We had a great time at that pizza house!

This vacation has and I'm sure will have more stressful and embarrassing moments but we have made great memories as a family that I'm sure we will never forget. So next time something happens, choose to laugh at it and make a memory instead of a time of tears and frustration. Some day, I'm sure you'll look back at it and smile.

"Don 't hurry. Don't worry. You're only here for a short visit. So don't forget to stop and smell the roses. " - Walter Hagen


Despair - the utter loss of hope; a cause of hopelessness; to lose all hope or confidence -

Everyone, whether if be spiritual, personal, financial, marital or any other crisis, has felt some sense of despair at least once.

Even the Son of God felt despair.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus felt despair and anguish. After a wonderful Passover feast, Jesus took a few of his friends to the garden and asked them to pray with him and watch him. There he began praying so intently and fervently that he began sweating blood.  Instead of praying with him, they - Peter, James, and John -  fell asleep. Jesus tried waking them a few times but they would only stir.

I'm sure Jesus  felt so lonely and hopeless. He knew that what would happen next. He knew that he was called, the very next day, to give his life for these friends who could not even wake to spend time in prayer. I'm sure he agonized and despaired over the next few hours and days. He knew his friends would betray him. They would deny him. They would doubt him. At that moment, I'm sure he felt complete and total despair.

Next, Judas walked right up to Jesus and kissed him on the cheek. The soldiers arrested him. The plan to cleanse our sins was in full motion. 

Jesus went before Pilot and watched as those who had welcomed him just earlier called for him to be crucified - to die on a cross. To die next to true criminals. 

He walked up a mountain, carrying a cross with a crown of thorns on his head being whipped continually. 

He was nailed to the cross and as he stood nailed to the cross, He felt abandoned by his Heavenly father. He, I'm sure, felt the ultimate despair and hopelessness. 

In Matthew 27:45-46, it says, "Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

I have felt despair. I have felt hopelessness many times. But I can assure you that I have never felt as agonizing - lonely- despair as I'm sure that Jesus felt in the garden or on the cross. Yet Jesus prevailed and rose just a few days later. Death had no handle on my Lord. My friends, despair has no handle on us. Though we may feel despairing, the sun will rise in the morning. 

The Bible has so many good verses about despair and God's promises. If you are in the darkness of despair please know that light is found in the true Light, Jesus Christ. 

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 - We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.


Philippians 4:19  -And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.


Revelation 21:4 - He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. 


2 Corinthians 12:9 - But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 


Psalm 91:1-16 - He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day....


Romans 15:13 -May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. 


My prayer is that you find hope and peace in your time of despair. Hold tight to His love, protection and promises... 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Voice

"If you say a thing, I will kill you and your family...."

I remember those words like yesterday. I remember the look in his eyes. The raspy sound of his voice. The warning and edge that came out with those words.

I was terrified. I said nothing.

"Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, with 60% still being left unreported."  Source 

Even now, talking about it is extremely scary. It's an irrational fear but still a fear. I fear what people will think of me. I fear what people will say. I fear that some won't believe me. I fear...

Seven years and I just now have turned my heart and fears to the Lord in order to use this as my witness.

I have often said that I don't talk about it because I don't think it should matter. Rape or premarital sex, the Lord has died for my sins. I don't have to answer to anyone. I have been on my knees before the Lord.

However, as I am trying to become translucent, I am able to say that it was indeed a "cop out". The plain and simple truth is fear. Even times when I confide in my friends or husband, I still hear... "Say a word and I'll kill them" or "You deserve this. You were asking for it."

When being honest with myself, I see now that he was trying to steal my voice. My voice in which to bring hope and witness to others who are journeying through this time. Others who need to know there is light on the other side. Others who need love and reassurance. Reassurance that He, the Creator who was in me in the dark alley - hearing my cries, screams and prayers and feeling those emotions with me, is right there... He is longing to hold you.

That dark night in the alley and many months  - even years after-  my voice was taken. My voice to stand and I say with the help of the Lord, I am a survivor. I am a testament to His amazing grace and love. A voice to share His overwhelming love and protection to others. A voice to bring hope and peace. A voice...

It will be a hard road but with the help of the Lord and prayers from others, my silence will be replaced with a voice.

"When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken."

 - Psalm 34:17-20

Please don't allow sexual violence to steal your voice. Tell someone, anyone. Please seek the help you deserve. Please email me or a friend or someone to being a sounding board. Please find your voice...

Check out Fear Will Consume Me No Longer!
This weekend was a HUGE step for me. I was in my best friends wedding in San Antonio. I have talked about it and many of you know that I am extremely fearful of men being near me that I don't know. I usually hyper ventilate and totally freak out. When I would think about walking down the isle with a guy that I didn't know, I would feel overwhelmed and start crying. Saturday was the practice run and I did alright with a lot of prayer but I was extremely nervous Sunday. I think the thought of others watching me, being in heels and walking with my arm linked to this stranger was more than I could handle. The whole ceremony, I stared at my husband and silently prayed for the Lord's power to take over my fears and get me back to the room without fainting or flipping out. I made it! Small steps, I tell you! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Am I Stubborn or Slow?

While I have been writing about loving yourself and the love of the Lord, I have been skirting around the topic in which the Lord has told me that I am really to write. I'm not sure if I was being stubborn and not listening or if it just didn't click.

This morning, the Lord didn't ask me if I wanted to write about this topic. He knew I'd say, "Heck NO!". He just told me it was time.

This topic is hard....

This topic brings judgement and controversy....

This topic makes me vulnerable....

This topic is my journey and my story....

I pray this topic brings hope and reassurance of God's love to someone.

I know there is a reason that the Lord has told me to write it NOW. I pray that it reaches someone. I pray that I find the right words. Words that bring glory to Him, not me. Words that show how loving and merciful He is, not how strong I was... Words that will bring healing to my heart and hopefully someone else's. Words...

Please join me as I share my journey back from sexual violence- the blessings I received, the challenges I faced, the pain I still struggle with.... but most of all the grace of a Loving Father.

You might want to check out this post as well...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


As I started writing my list of things in which I liked about myself, one revolving thought became clear to me...

To truly love yourself, you have to learn about God's love.

Not only do you need to learn God's love in order to love yourself, you have to learn of His love in order to truly love others.

I think instead of taking off on a list about being comfortable in your own skin, we should visit the idea of God's love. 

The Bible is FULL of verses on love. 

God's love is something I really struggle with... The thought of someone loving me so much in spite of my flaws and shortcomings is intense and scary. Someone knowing every hair on my head and every misdeed I've done is terrifying. But yet! He still loves us. He still yearns for our love and praise.

My absolute favorite people verse about love is found in Romans - 

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."-Romans 8:37-39 

This verse is so overwhelming to me. God loved me when I was born. He will love me when I die. He will love me if I meet Billy Graham or if Obama stays in office. He will love me in whatever circumstance I find myself in - good or bad. He is with me and loves me as I face the future or look back on my past. 

NOTHING... Do YOU hear me?! Nothing that you and I do will ever separate God's love for us. 

I went through a time that I despised myself. I felt useless, hopeless, dirty and many other things. I felt unworthy. I felt like I was unlovable. I turned away. It was a sad time in my life. BUT you know what? When I returned to His loving arms, He was right there waiting patiently. 

I often feel like my only "meter" for measuring how much the Lord loves us is my intense love for my children. Do you have a "measuring stick" in which you try to fathom God's love for us? If so, what is it? 

Friday, October 28, 2011


First I'd like to once again say how much I have dearly missed all of my cyber friends. I keep coming to times in my life where writing must take a back seat to other priorities. I hope you all understand! Please leave a comment letting me know how you've been and what new happenings have, well... been happening! :)

Today I want to discuss a topic in which I have been struggling and I know other mamas, for that matter, women struggle with on a daily basis. Now if this does not pertain to you and you have this topic mastered, please comment and let me know how to arrive as well! :)

It's an ugly word.... To me, it's one of the worst words around. Satan uses it in a mighty way and often times prevails...


How many times a day do we compare ourselves to other women? How often do we look around and feel inadequate? 

My house is a mess! How does she have everything so clean and right in it's place?!

How does she have time to make such creative and loving dinners? I barely have time for Hamburger Helper!

She is so skinny and put together! I could be a before picture of a Jenny Craig ad!

Goodness, here she goes again with yet another talent! I haven't even mastered one!!

And then, there come the even more dangerous comparisons...

Her children are so perfect! Good grades. Good at sports! Well liked! Oh my and so well behaved! I need to get home and whip mine into shape!

Her husband is so good looking and pays so much attention to her! Wish mine could be on a I Can't Believe It's Not Butter commercial as well! 

There are so many comparisons out there and we waste so much energy comparing! 

Do you know that when compare ourselves to others and try to be like others, we are actually robbing the Lord of one of his servants? 

We are all made in His image...

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27 

God did not make us in the image of Karen the good cook down the street. He made us in His image. An image that is perfect. Perfect for God's plan....

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

The body of Christ is made of many different parts with different functions and purposes. When we try to imitate another, we are not maintaining our function and instead imitating another's and our function is then missed out on.

Take our bodies for example... What if our nose decided it wanting to be an ear instead of a nose? We'll call nose, Ned... Well Ned the Nose didn't quite think he was good at being a nose. He's been looking over at Ernie the Ear for a bit and thought, "Wow! Ernie is so good at being an ear! I want to be like Ernie the Ear instead of like me, Ned the Nasty No good Nose!" 

We'd now have three ears and not one nose! The body would not work in the fluidity that God had programmed it and made it to be work in. Much like the body of Christ and His plan for the world would not be working as it should if we decide our function isn't good enough and try to be like someone else.

"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." - Romans 12:4 -5

"All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ." - I Corinthians 12:11-12

My challenge for you over the weekend is to find yourself. Make a list of things that you like about yourself and things you'd like to improve on. Monday I'll be back with my list and how I am trying to love myself instead of trying to make me into Karen the Good Cook down the court! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ecclesiastes 3:1

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..."

We are entering a time of change in our home and in our family... As a control-freak, I am terrified of change. It rocks my stable world. As we enter this time, I am going to be holding tight to this verse and the promises of my Father. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Menu Plan: Monday, July 18 - Sunday, July 24

I am trying to get back into eating and menu planning. I have started taking dinner over to my grandparent's two meals a week. We are quickly coming to the end of our bulk meat buy so it's slim pickins'. I am hoping that this week will bring a week at the house trying to incorporate good habits and routines before school quickly begins. I am finding that I am steadily becoming a home-body and I don't feel right when I am running around. So here's to beginning .... :)


Chicken Noodles

Italian stew with green beans

BLTs and some fresh veggie from the farmer's market

Salmon patties and macaroni and cheese

Baked oatmeal
Family BBQ
Broccoli cheese potatoes, salad

Baked goods

Our garden is still struggling. We are trying to bring it back in but feel like it's an uphill battle. Maybe tomorrow I will give a quick update! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Garden Journal: June 20, 2011

As I said yesterday, we are having a horrible time fighting the blight and fungi around these parts. It just keeps raining, and raining and raining and raining and raining... Continuously. At first I was just so thankful that the rain didn't flood my seeds out but not I just want it to not stop but come more periodically.

With all the blight and fungi, my plants are still growing beautifully for the most part. We are blessed abundantly blessed and I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for this year's harvest!

One of my favorite things when making dinner is walking right out my front door to gather the fresh herbs to add while cooking or to snip some lettuce for a fresh salad!

Herb "garden" right outside the front door

The three different times of leaf lettuce. They are all so delicious!

This was an extra tomato plant I had so I decided to give container tomato planting a try. This plant is growing beautifully due to the blight not being able to attack it as it has everywhere else on the ground.

It actually already has tomatoes forming!

In contrast, this is one of the tomato plants we've been fighting to save from blight and fungi. It is still alive, as are most of them, but looks really pathetic. Kind of reminds me of the "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree". 

The side of house garden really needs weeded but with all that has been going on in these parts, I have not found the time Hopefully this weekend!

Peas - I just love the purple blooms!

We planted 16 pepper plants and surprisingly, the ones we thought were dying from transplant shock, are beginning to look as if they might make it!

The kale is beautiful to look at from the road and I am just amazed at how well it grows. This photo actually doesn't do it justice!

As I said, this side of house garden really needs weeding but here is a picture of the cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli plants.

These are also pepper plants. I think I am going to purchase some large containers and grow them in those. They weren't mature enough to transplant and the blight hit so I think I'm just going to stick to containers for them.

Back of house garden

Rows and rows of green bean plants!

Onions beginning to sow their little heads..


L-R -- Squash -> Pumpkins -> Cucumbers

Carrot and Radish bed - I began weeding it and the carrots were so small that they were coming out as well. I decided to give them time to grow and root better.

See the carrots popping up amongst the weeds?

Garlic bed - This is a perfect picture of what NOT to do with your garlic. See all those scapes that I never got to picking off? No? Well here's a better picture below!

So there are many areas that I need to work on in my garden. I need to convert weekend gardener to one that gardens like her family's food supply depends on it. But I do believe we are off to a good start. 
How about you? How does your garden grow? Any advice for me on converting to a everyday gardener (besides get off my tail!) :)?

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Time with Blight

I know I keep coming back and saying that I will be updating our gardening joys and woes, but we are still dealing with the woes...

The woes being blight and massive amount of fungi. It's been a crazy, crazy ride trying to fight these woes with organic measures but I am hopeful that this last time it worked. Now I am just looking at the forecast of rain for the next 10 days... Oy...

So stay tuned. I am hoping to get outside and take some shots today!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Garden Journal: June 6, 2011

Tomorrow I am going to be sharing the garden woes we had the past weekend. Today I am just going to share how great things are going and focus on the positive! :)

All of my herbs in their containers!
 This batch of lettuce is finally filling out and almost ready to eat!

 This batch has already been cut and eaten once!

 My container tomato plant experiment.

Look how tall the ones in the ground are getting!

 These peas aren't having such a great go at it but we'll eat them up just the same!

These pas are doing MUCH better! :)

Sorry for the horribly shady picture but this weekend, Andy and I took out the spinach and but in 16 pepper plants instead! 
One of the Kale plants bit the dust... I will be writing about my gardening woes tomorrow but for today, I am going to be positive! 
Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage plants - Remember those neighbors who thought I was crazy? Not anymore! Somebody really should weed this!

I just look at this beautiful broccoli plant and get sooo excited!
I spy with my little eyes something is green! Green beans popping up!!

Carrot and Radish bed! See them?!

How is your garden going? I know some of you have been cleaning out the weeds recently. What are you putting in instead of weeds? 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fear Will Consume Me No Longer

It's hard to talk about. It's hard to think about. It was a life ago, yet it continually consumes most of my days.

If I talk about it, it seems real. Like it really did happen. Therefore, I stay quiet and just allow others to think what they want. It's easier than feeling and remembering the pain of yesterday. It's easier just to wear the label of slut, promiscuous teenager or whatever else others might label me as they judge me.

The ones close to me know but many people aren't allowed to get close - my own choice. Those who know, only know some. They only know what I allow them to know. It's easier. Feels safer.

I thought it was working...

But now I have come to the realization that it's not working.

It's hurting.

It's tearing me up inside and it's consuming many thoughts and much energy in which there are such greater blessings to invoke my thoughts. It domineers all of my relationships. It hurts my marriage.

Pretending it didn't happen has sabotaged so many potential friendships due to lack of trust and fear of letting someone see my tarnish. That night, when I came home and scrubbed my skin until it bled, I never really rid myself of the disgusting feeling I felt. I still carry it with me... I cannot pretend that it worked.

But... It really happened. It was hard. I was horrible. However, it made me who I am today. I am a lover and follower of Christ. I am a beloved wife and mother. I am a woman who survived.

However, I am not completely blameless in the lack of judgement and choices in which I made. It's not my fault.

I am a victim. I did not "ask for it" as I was told and I did not "bring it upon myself because I took care of myself". None of that is true. I am a victim.

Out of my greatest anguish, fear and heartache came my greatest light - a renewed relationship with my savior and a beautiful son - a reminder of God's promises. Even if you are in your darkest  hour - a dark alley with no hope in sight - the Lord is with you and if you love Him and turn to Him and His promises, He will never leave you nor forsake you. A reminder that from the dark, there is still Light.

This was my getting it out post. My vent. My searching for a way to get this out so I can claim a good night's sleep again. One without nightmares. One without fearing what tomorrow will bring. This was my silent voice - a voice of typed words on a computer screen. And while I spoke that silent voice, I must be honest and say that my vocal voice is not ready to quit pretending. I am not yet ready to stand face to face and discuss this. I'm just not there yet. I am hoping one day I might be but I cannot promise that either. It is my hope and my prayer that the Lord will one day use me and help other silent women who have endured sexual violence. 

 "He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds."
 Psalm 147:3

Saturday, June 4, 2011

AppleNut Oatmeal Panckaes

I am finally getting to the point where I can try and come up with my own recipes by tweaking and adding. I'm still not very comfortable with it but I am finally finding my way around the kitchen better!

Here is a recipe I came up with this morning:

AppleNut Oatmeal Pancakes

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2-3 cups of whole wheat flour (I think pancake making is all about the individual. Some like the batter runny, some like it thick. I personally like my batter runny. I think it is easier to work with - therefore, I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour.)
  • 1/3 cup of crushed walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup sucanant 
  • 4 teaspoons of aluminum free baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of applesauce
  • 2 1/2 cup of milk
You can either grind your oatmeal or you can leave it whole. I choose to leave the oatmeal whole. It cooked up well on the griddle.

In one bowl combine oats, whole wheat, walnuts, sucanant, and baking powder. After sifted, add eggs, applesauce and milk.

Pour batter onto griddle, cook and flip. These pancakes are so sweet and full of flavor that you do not need any syrup. You can drizzle melted butter or a small amount of honey.

Trying this recipe, I did not soak any of the grains. Next time I will try soaking. For more information on soaking your grains you can visit Lindsey at Passionate Homemaking.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"No poo" Update: Friday, June 3

I have officially been going strong on the "no poo" method for seven days. It's actually been quite easy and not nearly as embarrassing as I had thought it would be.

For the first five days, I did NOTHING. Nothing at all. I didn't even rinse my hair. I just left it be and took a shower - just cleaning my body. I know - eww!

After those five days, I started feeling yucky so I began washing my hair with a solution of 1/3 cup of baking soda to 1 quart warm water. I put it into an old shampoo bottle and used it over my hair. It was extremely runny. It was almost just like running water through my hair and massaging at the same time. After rinsing my hair thoroughly, I took a bottle of apple cider vinegar and just poured some over my head. Yes - not the most economical and Yes - for a moment I smelled like the inside of a Long John Silver's but after rinsing the vinegar out, the smell soon dissipated.

For the most part, I only had a couple of really greasy days. I would say probably the first five. After that it has been good, I think. No one has said that I look greasy anyway.

I will warn you, though, that as you take part in this little experiment your hair texture, color, etc. will all begin to change. I almost felt as if I had lifted all the chemicals from my hair and I was now finding my new hair. It was really exciting!

I am really struggling with the wavy, curly in the back, straight on the side issues going on with my hair. However, I am determined to do nothing - curling iron, hair dryer, rollers, etc. - that will make any difference in this experiment.

Are you taking the "no poo" challenge? How's it going for you? If not, why not? Fears? Hesitant?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberries Galore!

I feel so blessed to live in the location in which I do. Sometimes I whine that I cannot wait to get out of the city but I am truly blessed and need to remember that from time to time!

About fifteen minutes out of town there is a large farm and they have a farm market. It's not quite a "farmer's market" like many think of when they hear the term but it does us well (next time I will snap a few shots!).

A couple of days ago I decided to take a drive "north" and see what they had. Strawberries were in full bounty! It was beautiful. I was so excited! The boys and I purchased a large passel of strawberries and headed home.

With all these strawberries, I have spent the past couple days making strawberry jam and dehydrating strawberries.  Wanna know the simple process I use to make jam? I'm sure glad you asked because I am excited to tell somebody! :)

Of course the first step in the jam making process is to wash the strawberries thoroughly. After washed, I go through strawberry by strawberry and cut of the stem and leaves as well as cut out all of the bad spots.

This may come as a shock to you but here it goes... I am weird. I do not like the texture of strawberries. The taste is alright but the mushy weird feeling just does not work for me. Keeping that in mind, as I cut the strawberries, I throw them into a blender.
If using the blender method, I would recommend leaving a little juice in the bottom. It makes the blending process go a lot smoother. However, make sure to put the lid back on. It makes a disastrous mess with more liquid in the bottom to begin with.

I have been talking to a lot of mothers who, myself included, are just not happy with the amount of sugar a lot of recipes call for when making jam. While at the store the other day, I found Ball Naturals pectin. With this pectin, you only use 1 cup of apple or white grape juice. No other sugar necessary (Please read the five star review. It explains the product very well and I have had no problem with mine.) Using this pectin, you use four cups of prepared strawberries and 1 cup juice to one box.

Continually stir. Using stainless steel pots, my jam cooked quickly and began sticking to the bottom. Bring to a rolling boil and take off of burner or heat source. I skimmed the foam off of the top and then ladled the jam into pint jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Before putting lids on, be sure to wipe rim of jar. Often the jam gets on the rim and makes sealing impossible.

Place jars in pot in which there is enough room to cover with water. Keep in mind you will be bringing water to a rolling boil when you are looking for a usable pot. Bring water to rolling boil for 10 minutes. Take off of heat and allow to sit for five minutes.

 Carefully, pull jars from water and place on a soft surface. Allow to sit, undisturbed, for twelve hours. Jam should be "set" and sealed. If you see that a jar is not sealing withing a couple of hours, you can reprocess or you can refrigerate.

Isn't this just the most beautiful colored jam you've ever seen? I stand in awe of the wonderfully vibrant colors the Lord saw fit to make strawberries. He's truly amazing!

Next up I will be showing the dehydrating process. Come on back!