Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nesting or just hungry??

I have really been enjoying making food in a more traditional way. The goal is to not use any processed foods.  That's tough, but once you change a little thing at a time it's really not that hard.   It's been very rewarding for me and it makes me feel like I've actually been working.  So, I thought I'd share what I've been up to.  

One of little R's favorite meals is Taco Night.  Taco Night is basically a taco buffet.  I set everything out in little bowls and I let her make her taco how she wants it.  (I don't have a picture to show you.  Next time!)  I fry up corn tortillas and set those on the table as well.  I haven't gotten around to making my own sour cream, so for now it's just organic sour cream.  Anyway... Her tacos are usually sour cream and cheese.  BUT.. by allowing her the freedom to eat them how she wants to, she eats everything I want her to eat.  That was neat to see.  She usually puts her meat and beans on the side along with some tomatoes and olives.  Whew!  So, this is just one picture that I took.  These are refried beans.  I soaked them for 24 hours, then cooked them for 8, then mashed them and cooked them in lard.  Yum!  I do it in lard because lard has a super high amount of vitamin d and a.  It's also not nearly as dangerous to your body as vegetable oils.  I've been doing a lot of reading about oils and how the vegetable oil industry got started.  It's amazing that "cholesterol problems" and heart disease actually started to rise and become and epidemic after they convinced people to stop eating animal fats and switch to vegetable oils.  You should definitely check out the documentary 'The Oiling of America' if you're interested.  Anywhoooo.... These are my beans!  

Well, the other night I promised Taco Night and only when dinner time came did I realize I had no meat!  So, I made these parmesan avocados.  I found the recipe on Pinterest. Super yummy!  I've never cooked avocado, so it was good to find something different.  Little R loved them too.  So, that night dinner was just beans and avocados.  Well, fruit too.  We have fruit at every meal.


I have had to designate a fermentation corner.  I have just started making lacto-fermented veggies.  Lacto-fermented veggies are very good for you!  Anything lacto-fermented is I suppose.  It introduces many amazing probiotics into your body.  The other thing it does is break down the veggies so that they can be utilized properly in your body.  There's a whole bunch of science involved that I don't get.  Left to right in the picture is:  Sourdough proofing, sourdough starter (waiting to be fed), lacto-fermented carrots, lacto-fermented sauerkraut and a lacto-fermented lemonade.  The Sauerkraut was yummy!  The recipe called for caraway seeds and I found that I didn't care for them as much, but still yummy.  It's not vinegar, so you can eat a lot more of it at a time.  The carrots we will try tonight with dinner.  The lemonade is something we're all looking forward to.  Lacto-fermented beverages are a great way to get started if you're looking to add natural probiotics.  The reason you want to eat or drink them is that they're alive.  These little yeasty beasties and bacterias are alive and you just can't get that in a capsule.  Kombucha is our usual go-to drink, but I'm all out.  I just set up some yesterday and it's now in the fermentation corner.  Kids love the fermented beverages.  They're usually fizzy and so kiddos think it's soda.  It's also a great way to wean yourself off of sodas and harmful beverages.  

 These are my lacto-fermented dill pickles.  I'm especially excited to try these!  From what I hear, they are light and not as tart as the vinegar pickles.  I keep having to swat hands away from these.  

I couldn't be more proud of the way this loaf turned out.  Isn't it gorgeous!?!  This is sourdough made from a sourdough starter not instant yeast.  I haven't gotten to the stage where I can grind my own grains yet.  I don't have a grinder.  I don't even have a mixer, so everything is done by hand at this point.  This is the recipe from Breadtopia.  It's a no-knead recipe, so this was perfect for me.  I'm a beginner.  I have NEVER baked a loaf of bread.  NEVER!  So, when I pulled this beauty out of my brand new dutch oven, I was so excited! (I bought it for this purpose, but I'm glad I did now.  Do you know how many recipes call for them?!)  It tasted as good as it looked.  <---  Past tense because it's almost gone.  I pulled it out of the oven late last night and there may be a quarter of the loaf left.  Child and husband approved!  So, I may just become a good housewife yet!  Thanks to Pinterest and some lovely lady friends here, I have definitely become a better housewife and mommy.

I know this must have been a boring post to today.  I'll try to have a more personal post soon.  I have a visit scheduled Friday with the midwife.  That may bring some exciting updates.  Maybe, maybe not.  This pregnancy has been very "boring" and easy.  I'm definitely not complaining.  I've had an easy time and I'm excited to meet this relaxed easy going little Belina.  Only a few more weeks!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kombucha Day and Traditional foods follow-up

I did finally bottle the kombucha.  I followed the recipe that I found online for double fermenting for flavor.  I have noticed that it works better for my tea to ferment it longer.  It makes it a little more tart and strong as well as give it a little more effervescence.  I just love that word.  :)

I mentioned the other day that I think I have been eating less.  Well, it must be true.  Last month at my prenatal visit I gained 8 (8!!!) pounds!  That's a lot.  I mean A. LOT!  I'm only supposed to gain about 1 pound a week at this point.  Well between the last visit and the one this week I only gained about 1.  Not even a whole pound.  Believe me when I say that I eat.  I eat plenty.  I'm just eating foods that are more nutrient dense and higher in fat.  That's been such a life saver for me.  I'm not hungry at night anymore.  I also have way more energy.  I feel so much better.  It's hard to fight this programming that says that more fat makes you fatter.  It's very hard.  BUT, I can't deny the way I feel.  My blood pressure is lower than two weeks ago too.  That may be pregnancy related though.  So... I don't know.  Either way, eliminating processed and sugary foods from your diet is not a bad thing.  I guess that's about all I have to add for today.  Take care!

Chicken Stock

Today we decided to try our hand at making a traditional chicken stock.  We bought a chicken carcass and heads and feet.  I had big R handle the carcass, so actually this is is his stock.  Here's what it looked like pre-simmer.

So, according to the traditional foods experts the head feet are supposed to add amazing nutrients and gelatin to your stock.  I'm so glad that hubby was available to handle this part.  Do you see my big two gallon jug of kombucha?  It's almost kombucha day!  Yay!

I don't know if you can make it out, but the head is at about 2 o'clock there in the picture above.  It wasn't as horrible as I thought it was going to be.

This just cracked me up as well as creeped me out!  I felt like we were doing some sort of witch's brew or something.  It smells amazing though!  I think I'm going to be hungry all day.  It's been simmering since this morning.  We will be having chicken and rice soup tomorrow night.  I can't wait!  I'm going to soak the rice starting tomorrow morning.  I'm also going to make some vegetable soup with the left over stock.  Should be yummy!!

Also on the agenda for my kitchen tomorrow is gravy and biscuits and banana bread.  Mmmmmm!  Don't you want to come over?!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Kombucha Day

Well, yesterday was supposed to be kombucha day but my scoby isn't quite ready.  I'll give it a couple more days.  I have my clean bottles out and ready.  I did try the apricot butter and cream cheese today.  Like everything else I've tried, it's very dense.  Man!  I ate half an english muffin with cream cheese and apricot butter and I started to feel full after just the half.  I ate the other half plain with just butter.  R was only able to eat half of a half with the cc/apricot on it.  I'm not sure if it's true or not, but I think I'm eating a little less now that I'm eating more nutrient dense foods.  I can't be sure.  I haven't been able to change my whole diet yet.  I did order a whole chicken from the farm I get my milk along with the head and feet (yuck!).  I will be making my first attempt at real chicken stock.  It should be interesting.

What else?.... I just gathered all the diapers, so I will be washing those in a few weeks.  It's very exciting!  I can't believe that I'll be seeing the midwife for my 30 week visit this week!  That just seems too close.  Things are going well and progressing normally.  Thank goodness.  Well, I think that's about it.  I have a picture of the apricot/cc snack that I made, but I don't know if I'll post it.  I will be posting a picture of my stock regardless of how successful it is.  And, for dork's sake, I'll post a picture of my newborn diaper stash.  It's pretty impressive.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nourishing Traditions

I have recently come across a "new" way of eating and cooking.  It's not really new at all, but it's new to me.  A few of my mama friends mentioned to me traditional foods and eating in a traditional way.  I had a friend in California mention it to me a few years ago actually and I had no clue what she was saying.  Haa!  Anyway...  So, the past couple of weeks I have been trying to incorporate this way of cooking and eating into our diet.  It's been tricky that's for sure.  Anyway... If you're interested check out the book or seminar called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  Or, check out the book by Weston A. Price.  I can't remember the name right off.  I'll add it to the bottom of the post when I find the name.  I just wanted to share a couple of pictures of the things I have made today!

Grape Flavored Kombucha!  Yum!  

Buttermilk Biscuits (Someone may have stolen a biscuit before she thought to take a picture.) The flour was soaked for 12 hours before baking

Apricot Butter - I have no idea how this is going to be.  It was warm when I made it, so I couldn't tell.  See my kombucha in the back?  That's 2 gallons!  It should be ready for my second bottling in a few days.

So, that's what I've been up to.  A busy little bee!  I have to brag.  The apricot butter was made with homemade whey.  Yay!  I made my own whey!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer in Tampa

So far the summer has started and been pretty uneventful.  I still haven't found a good flow yet, and I'm not sure if I will before the littlest Belina is born.  For now, we just take one day at a time and do what seems right at the moment.  I finished my knitting project for little R, but I haven't taken a photo of it yet though.  I have another project on the needles that I seriously need to work on more.  It's for teeny Belina, so I'd like to have that done before he/she is born.  Other than that, not much is going on.  Little R had a birthday in two days and I do believe she's excited.  Turning five is a pretty big deal.  I've been so absent from online blogging and facebooking lately, that I think I've forgotten how to share all those silly detail you people posting and sharing.  Oh well!  :)  Maybe I'll share more if something exciting happens.