Saturday, September 27, 2014

MY NEW SNACK

Feast your eyes on this spoonful of goodness.


That, my friends, is something you need to try. Unless you have a peanut allergy, of course. It's what I recently came up when I needed a little snack late one night and have enjoyed a couple times a week ever since.

One spoonful of fresh ground peanut butter, a few dried cranberries, a pinch of toasted coconut, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Oh my! It's delicious.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

MENU: 9/25/14 - 10/1/14

Once again I have no new recipes, but I have a lot of things I've made or will be making ahead of time. We'll also be incorporating a lot of food that we've been given recently - broccoli, tomatoes, beef, bacon, pumpkin, and onions.

Recipe links are in green, in case you're interested in trying some of these foods.

ADVANCED COOKING 
* cracked wheat & honey bread - I realized one day that someone had taken the last loaf from our Franz stash in the freezer without telling me, so I made some of this bread two days ago - one loaf that got added to an improvised dinner and one for sandwiches at lunch. I'll make some more in the next few days for sandwiches.
* no-knead bread - I made one loaf just for fun and we ate it over two meals, then made another loaf yesterday for some of the dinners in this menu.
* peanut butter - I make at least one batch a week from peanuts I buy in Winco's bulk department.
* spinach - I had a part of a big bag from Costco that was wasn't rotten, but was getting past its prime. I chopped it all up and popped it in the freezer for adding to scrambled eggs and smoothies.
crockpot beans - I make one or two batches of this pinto/black bean combo each week and freeze some of the beans.
* garbanazos - I made up a crockpot full of beans, made green hummus with some, then froze the rest for later use.
* pumpkin puree - We picked five pumpkins from a friend's garden, so I'm roasting, pureeing, and freezing them. I usually stock up on canned pumpkin for the year when it's on sale during the holiday season, but this time I'll have a stockpile in my freezer instead.

BREAKFASTS
* doughnuts (we have these at church, though we always have some dry roasted almondsfruit, and/or cottage cheese at home or on the road first)
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings/fruit & spinach smoothies x5
DINNERS
* leftovers
* tacos - seasoned meat, crockpot beans from the freezer, and some other toppings served in a tortilla, bowl, or over a pile of greens
* rice, kale (summer harvest from the freezer), and eggs
* BLT salad/toasted no-knead bread
* super simple carrot soup/ricotta & apricot toast made with no-knead bread
* six layer casserole (crockpot)/balsamic roasted brussels sprouts
* sesame noodles/roasted broccoli 

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* produce 
* popcorn (kernels from the Winco bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven)
snickerdoodles

(This post contains affiliate links.)

9/25/14 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I'm thankful that in the two years Tim's been without a full-time job we've neither missed or been late on a single bill nor skipped a single meal.

What is one thing that you're thankful for?

Monday, September 22, 2014

BLESSED BY BOOKS

A friend stopped by on August 23rd and dropped off about 30 boxes of books, which came to somewhere around 1,000 books. They were books that her family had used for homeschooling or just read for fun, but they were no longer being read or used. She wanted them out of her home, so she offered them to me with the hopes that we could sell some and put the cash toward living expenses when we have gaps in the budget from days Tim can't sub.

I spent some time that evening arranging the books all over our living room, then held some open houses for friends and acquaintances to drop in and take the books they liked, then drop whatever money they wanted to in the money jar over the next few days. The following weeks were filled with request from friends after I posted pictures of all the remaining titles on Facebook. I was also able to donate some books to a few worthy causes. Then, once everything died down, I sold the remaining boxes for dirt cheap to a man down the road who is collecting books for an online book store.

It started like this.





And it ended like this.



Thanks to a generous friend's donation and the support of lots of people who bought books from us, we now have hundreds of dollars that we didn't have a month ago.  My friend's family acquired more space in their home. People we know were able to get books they wanted, often for less than they would have paid elsewhere. Some people received free books. The man down the road got a screamin' deal on some inventory, which also meant I didn't have to haul the leftovers to a local thrift store. What a blessing!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

OUR IMAGINARY KIDS

I've been purging some totes filled with various memorabilia and came across these pictures. They were an activity at one of the baby showers I had when I was pregnant with Silas, a small group of family and close friends who lived in another town. The group split into into pairs and each pair was given an 8x10 photo of my face and of one of Tim's. We all had to take those pictures and mix them together to predict what the little Ws would look like. Here's what happened.


Karen and Marnie, two friends of mine, predicted Tim's hair.


Linda and Monica, my MIL and SIL, zeroed in on my love of food. (Oops, just realized the blonde eyebrow got loose went over to the black eyebrow side.)


I somehow managed to make our black and white baby look Asian.


Monica, a friend who organized the game, took the "mixed baby" thing down to one black ear and one white ear.


Tiffany and Sonja, two friends who hosted the shower, let the baby have my head hair and Tim's facial hair.


Linda and Amy, my psuedo-MIL and SIL, gave the baby some truly mixed hair.

Oh, I love these pictures! Aren't they funny?! I think this was one of the best baby shower activities I've ever participated in ... and I've been to countless baby showers.

I showed them to the little Ws yesterday and they were all cracking up. Needless to say, these won't be getting tossed any time soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

MENU: 9/18/14 - 9/24/14

There aren't any new recipes this time around, but there were enough last week that it all balances out. Ready? Here's what's on tap, links in green.

ADVANCED COOKING - I actually did the first two last week, but hadn't mentioned them in the last menu.
 cashew cream - I made up a double batch, then took what was left after one night and froze it in an ice cube tray for easy access on Taco Tuesday or other times Teebs needs a sour cream sub.
* peanut butter - I don't know if this really counts because I do it once every week or two, but I made a batch of peanut butter.
* zucchini bread - I'll have one of the kids make 2-3 loaves for the freezer.

BREAKFASTS
* doughnuts (we have these at church, though we always have some dry roasted almondsfruit, and/or cottage cheese at home or on the road first)
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings/yogurt, fruit, & spinach smoothies x3
* egg, potato (I often bake an oven rack's worth once a week and pop them in the fridge for breakfasts,other times I dice them right before cooking), & spinach or kale scramble x2
DINNERS
* leftovers
* tacos - seasoned meat, crockpot beans from the freezer, and some other toppings served in a tortilla, bowl, or over a pile of greens
roasted broccoli/teriyaki chicken (crockpot)/rice
* lentil bean chili/rice
* chicken tortellini with kale
creamy zuke soup (from the freezer)/e-z drop biscuits
* balsamic roasted brussels sprouts/garlic quinoa with parmesan

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* produce 
* nuts - pistachios & dry roasted almonds
* popcorn (kernels from the Winco bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven)
blueberry oat muffins (still haven't done these, so we'll make a DF version)
* chocolate chip peanut butter bars

(This post contains affiliate links.)


9/18/14 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I'm thankful that having everyone home again this year means we can stay late on Wednesday nights and sleep in on Thursday mornings.

What's something that you're thankful for?