Friday, February 27, 2009

For the Love of Lard

Ah, lard, sweet lard. I have come to really appreciate the stuff. It's hard to find good, pure lard from properly cared for pigs. And it beats anything else for frying and sauteing. I used to use olive oil and butter, but they burn too quickly. Lard, well, it's perfect! And it makes great biscuits as well. Who says eating NT has to be boring?

Well, apparently, my son has learned to love the stuff as well. I went in to tuck him in tonight and he was being sweet as sugar candy. I knew something was up. When I went to turn his covers over so he could lay down, there were my 3 containers of lard that we had just picked up from the farmer. He had 'teef'd' them and hid them under his covers. I have NO idea what he intended to do with them, and I'm guessing he didn't either.

But can you imagine lard all over the sheets? Yuck! I'm really glad he did such a lousy job of hiding them.

I cracked up laughing. Probably not the proper response, but how could I not? He looked at me all sweetly and innocently, like 'Gee, how odd mom, how did those get in there?'. He must get it from his dad. :)

Here is a great article on lard from the Weston A Price Foundation website. It's such a rich source of information!

http://www.westonaprice.org/motherlinda/lard.html

And this article is about how Crisco came to overtake lard in America, and how dangerous it is to one's health:
http://www.westonaprice.org/motherlinda/fats_crisco.html

Now if I can just keep track of mine......

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vegetables and Butter

Until last year about this time, I thought butter was bad for you. Who knew it was incredibly nourishing and far from fattening?!? I used to watch my husband slather it on his toast and cringe.

Having since learned that butter is actually extremely nourishing, I now slather it on our homemade toast daily. And grin big grins when I see the kids or Drew eating it.

I have even come to the conclusion that, while vegetables are good for you, they are not nearly as nourishing as other foods such as bone broth, cultured dairy products, butter, pastured meats, eggs, etc. They are more of a vehicle for eating more butter. :) Can you get much better then that?

Drew had to post about it on his blog. It made him pretty happy. Besides, he called me a genius. That is always worth mentioning. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sourdough Fun

**update 11/7/09 I've been using this recipe lately.  We like it for toast, crumbs, croutons, etc, but not for sandwich bread. I compromise on the 2nd rise by only doing it for a few hours.  It's not perfect, but a compromise I'm happy with for now. What I esp love is that the stuff does not go bad.  I've kept it for 3 weeks and it's been the same as when I first made it.**

I am so excited! I have wanted to try making sourdough since I found NT a year ago. But, it was a lot of work with very little guarantees. Luckily, I have been making bread for 2 years, so the transition to sourdough would not be as difficult as it could have been. But I was still too intimidated to try it.

When I was looking through the orgjunkie's Meal Plan Mondays, I found this simple tutorial for making sourdough. It was too easy not to try! If it didn't turn out, I figured all I was out was some flour and water and time.

Well, in 7 days, I had an obviously viable starter culture, so I made my first loaf of bread. We loved it! Well, Drew loved it and the rest of us liked it. The kids and I don't like sourdough bread, but we're learning to like it. :)

Here is a picture of my first 'baby'. :) I'm still proud of it! :) Obviously I'm not a professional food photographer. But I think it's beautiful.


And I've learned so much since then. I've read every book on bread that I could get my hands on, as well as websites and blogs. I feel I have a decent 'working knowledge' of sourdough now, which makes it more fun and less scary to work with!

Today I made monkey bread with it. And boy was it yummy!! I had found a recipe here (same blog as the starter tutorial was on-great blog!) for monkey bread and thought I could try making it with my sourdough recipe. Man was I right! It turned out great! Definitely healthier then your average monkey bread recipe, but somehow, not lacking none the less. Esp since it means we can consume it regularly without guilt. It's just as healthy as toast with butter and cinnamon and sugar-which we have often. Granted, it's still 'sweet'. But, delicious!!







First, I'll put down my recipe for the regular sourdough bread. It's our everyday bread. Not 100% perfect, but we enjoy it. We always eat it toasted. I'm not sure if it's light enough for a regular sandwich. We have yet to try it. But we have not gone out much as it's too cold, so picnic sandwiches have not been necessary. I started out with the recipe from the starter tutorial, with just starter, flour, salt and water. And it's not bad. But we prefer it softer and a little sweeter. So I came up with this recipe:

Sourdough Bread Recipe (makes one loaf)

Ingredients:

1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups whole wheat flour (I generally grind mine when I use it-I use organic hard red wheat berries from WFM, which I grind in my Vita-Mix)
2+ cups all purpose flour
2 cups water
2 tsp celtic sea salt
2 Tbls honey
2 Tbls EVVO

Directions:

Put the starter and flour in a bowl.

In a separate glass container, melt the honey (if necessary) and add the salt, honey and EVVO and mix well. Then pour into the flour bowl.

Mix with a wooden spoon until too hard to stir and then turn onto a floured counter and kneed for 8-10 minutes. Add water or flour as necessary.

Cover and let it sit on the counter for 8-24 hours. This breaks down the phyates and makes the nutrients from the freshly ground grain available to your body. It usually doubles in size during that time.

About 4 hours before you want to bake it, knead it again for 5 minutes, cut in half and roll each half into a ball. Put in a buttered loaf pan and cover for 4 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let it cool on a rack so the crust does not get soggy.

Serve with lots of butter.

I'm not sure if you could just do the first rise in the pan and not do the 2nd knead. I will try that sometime and post my results.

I also prefer the bread with an egg in it, but it's so hard to knead into the dough after it's been kneaded already, and I'm not sure if it's ok to leave it out on the counter for so long. It tastes fine without it.

Monkey Bread Recipe:

Follow the same directions as above, except when you're ready to shape it, bread the dough into small pieces and roll into balls. Then melt 1/2 stick of butter and put some cinnamon and sugar into another bowl (1/4 cup of sugar, 1TBLS cinnamon is what I used). Dip the balls in the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon and sugar.

Press them all into a loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve with a tall glass of raw milk. Yum!!!!! Dip the 'dough balls' in melted butter.


My cute little helper-mostly eating the cinnamon and sugar mixture

Ready to 'rise' for a few hours

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mama Loves Learning

Ok, so it has nothing to do with nutrition, but I don't have a baby book and I never want to forget this. Plus, my friend Tanya does a Mr. Linky on Tuesdays for 'Mama Loves', for which this fits.

Myia, who turns 6 in May, does not yet read. She can read some, but she is very shy about it and I have not pushed it much yet. We do her phonics book and she is very intelligent, but in all fairness, she can't really read yet.

However, the girl writes all day long. She writes emails and signs and books and notes. They are hard to read, but we do ok. She sounds every word out and write down what it sounds like to her. Tonight, she brings me a folded piece of paper and tells me to read it later. I open it up and this is what it says:

'der toth fary i dont hv ane loth teth'

Translation: 'Dear tooth fairy, I don't have any loose teeth.'

I cracked up laughing! Luckily, she had went back into her room. It was so cute! She knows there is no such thing as a tooth fairy, but the concept of losing a tooth is very exciting to her.

Earlier tonight we were at IKEA. They have an abacus in the play area. Myia was playing with it so I sat down next to her and we started playing together. At one point, I asked her how many would be half of all of the beads on it. I had no idea if she even understood the concept of half. She thought for a moment and then started taking 5 from each set and moving them over. After she was done, she counted them all and stated proudly '50 is half mom'. Man was I proud!

She is so brilliant it scares me sometimes.

So, to fit in with Tanya's theme: Mama loves watching her children learn new things-esp concepts that they get all on their own. It amazes and astounds me!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meal Plan Monday


I am finally linking in to orgjunkie.com's Menu Plan Monday. I'm very excited! Be sure to click on the link to see other weekly meal plans.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday
Breakfast: Bacon, Fried Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Pazole (hominy) and rice
Dinner: Leftovers

Tuesday
Breakfast:
Sprouted Flour Pancakes w/Maple Syrup
Lunch:
French Onion Soup and Brisket
Dinner: Pazole

Wednesday
Breakfast: Breakfast Cookie and Smoothie
Lunch: Minestrone Soup
Dinner:
Leftover Soup


Thursday
Breakfast: Scrambled Egg & Bacon, Toast
Lunch: Pizza Margharita
Dinner:
Minestrone Soup

Friday
Breakfast: Ham and Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Yogurt
Dinner: Leftover Pizza

Saturday
Breakfast:Fried Egg and Bacon, toast and yogurt
Lunch:
Fried Ham and Potato
Dinner: Popcorn and Smoothies

Sunday
Breakfast: French Toast and Yogurt
Lunch: Roast Chicken with Green Beans
Dinner: Leftovers

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken Curry Soup Recipe

We had this yesterday and it was so delicious! The smell was amazing, and it was so satisfying and filling! Of course, I did eat 2 bowls...

I found it on my NT discussion group, there were no measurements, so I guessed-but I guessed really good and I want to make sure I have it for next time. :)

Chicken Curry Soup Recipe

4 Cups Chicken Broth (homemade is best)
1.5 cups of chopped cooked chicken
1 Medium Red Onion
6 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 can of coconut milk (i bought 2 whole coconuts and used the milk from them, but a can would work-I couldn't find any at my grocery store)
1 Tbls curry powder
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
2 cups of veggies (I threw in frozen peas and frozen corn)
4 raw egg yolks
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Cup cooked rice (optional)

Saute chopped onions and garlic in butter until soft (we like them a little crunchy).

Throw all but the egg yolks and CO into a stock pot. Bring it to a boil and then reduced it to simmer for 20 minutes.

Melt the CO oil and add the egg yolks and mix well. Next, add a little bit of stock and stir. Once it's mixed nicely, add the mixture to the soup and stir to incorporate.

Serve with rice as we did, or with some buttered sourdough bread. Yum!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Meal Plan Monday


I am finally linking in to orgjunkie.com's Menu Plan Monday. I'm very excited! Be sure to click on the link to see other weekly meal plans.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday
Breakfast: Bacon, Fried Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Fish Cakes (leftover from last week)
Dinner: Tuna Sandwiches

Tuesday
Breakfast:
Sprouted Flour Pancakes w/Maple Syrup
Lunch:
Chicken Curry Soup
Dinner: Cut up Veggies and Peanut Butter

Wednesday
Breakfast: Fried Egg, Yogurt and Toast
Lunch: Meatballs, gravy and Mashed potatoes
Dinner:
Leftover Soup


Thursday
Breakfast: Scrambled Egg & Bacon, Toast
Lunch: Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza
Dinner:
Leftover Meatballs and Mashed potatoes

Friday
Breakfast: Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Sour cream, Toast and Yogurt
Lunch: Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
Dinner: Leftover Pizza

Saturday
Breakfast:Fried Egg and Bacon, toast and yogurt
Lunch: Hard Boiled Eggs and Veggies
Dinner: Popcorn and Smoothies

Sunday
Breakfast: French Toast and Yogurt
Lunch: Roast Chicken with Green Beans
Dinner: Leftovers

Monday, February 9, 2009

Meal Plan Monday


I am finally linking in to orgjunkie.com's Menu Plan Monday. I'm very excited! Be sure to click on the link to see other weekly meal plans.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday
Breakfast: Bacon, Fried Eggs and Toast
Dinner: Tuna Sandwiches

Tuesday
Breakfast:
Sprouted Flour Pancakes w/Maple Syrup
Lunch:
Brisket, biscuits and Roasted Veggies
Dinner: Leftover Chowder

Wednesday
Breakfast: Fried Egg, Yogurt and Toast
Lunch: Chicken N Biscuit
Dinner:
Brisket sandwiches


Thursday
Breakfast: Scrambled Egg & Bacon, Toast
Lunch: Tex Mex Pizza
Dinner:
Leftover Chicken N Biscuit

Friday
Breakfast: Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Sour cream, Toast and Yogurt
Dinner: Leftover pizza

Saturday-Valentine's Day (I work all day, date w/ Drew at night)
Breakfast:Fried Egg and Bacon, toast and yogurt
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Out to Eat-sandwiches for kids

Sunday
Breakfast: French Toast and Yogurt
Lunch: Roast Chicken with Green Beans
Dinner: Leftovers

Monday, February 2, 2009

Meal Plan Monday


I am finally linking in to orgjunkie.com's Menu Plan Monday. I'm very excited! Be sure to click on the link to see other weekly meal plans.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday
Breakfast: Bacon, Fried Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Curried Beef Stew and sourdough bread with butter
Dinner: Tuna Sandwiches with cut up carrots

Tuesday
Breakfast:
Sprouted Flour Pancakes w/Maple Syrup
Lunch:
Fish N Chips
Dinner: Leftover beef stew

Wednesday
Breakfast: Fried Egg, Yogurt and Fruity Quinoa and Apple Breakfast Cereal
Lunch: Chicken-N Biscuits (replacing chicken wit turkey)
Dinner: PB&J on sourdough

Thursday
Breakfast: Scrambled Egg & Bacon, Toast
Lunch: Beefy Enchilada Bake
Dinner:
Leftover Chicken N Biscuits

Friday
Breakfast: Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Sour cream, Toast and Yogurt
Dinner: French Fries and Hot Chocolate, hard boiled egg

Saturday
Breakfast:Fried Egg and Bacon, toast and yogurt
Lunch: Fried ham and Potato with eggs
Dinner: Leftover Pizza

Sunday
Breakfast: French Toast and Yogurt
Lunch: Roast Chicken with Green Beans
Dinner: Leftovers