Friday, October 30, 2009

Favorite Links Friday

Oh man, there were a lot of good reads this week!

1.  This was a fabulous post on a Biblical view of homosexuality.   I couldn't have said it better myself. :)

2. This got me thinking about Christmas gifts.  I love the idea of 'soup in a jar'. Or something in a jar.  I wonder if I can do it 'NT'?  Hum... I'll have to get my brain going on that one.  Christmas is less then 2 months away!  We aren't big on gifts, but I love the idea of something nourishing for giving to the kids' Sunday School teachers, family, etc. 

3.  I did a post on this giveaway, but thought I'd mention it again-for good luck. ;) Stephanie at Keeper of the Home is having a give-away from The Tickle Trunk.  It's definitely worth leaving a comment-just in case.  

4.  This is a neat guest post on The Nourishing Gourmet. I really like the recipes from 'Edible Aria'.  Ren is the author and amazing chef there.  We really enjoy his liver and onions, and I've made a few other recipes of his as well.  And he's got a great sense of humor! :)

5.  Shannon at Nourishing Days posted this short, but great read on the role of mothers, and specifically their use of natural healing herbs, etc.  You know how sometimes you read something and it's almost like you wrote it.  While we don't eat perfectly, I really do think we are to the point where our diet is helping us, and not hurting us.  And the next step is to find healing herbs, tonics, foods, etc. for dealing with specific issues.  I loved this quote from her post:  "Much of the knowledge that our foremothers held has sadly not been passed down. If you are like me you get married, have children and then wake up and realize that you are either too afraid or uninformed to help heal your family of even the most minor of ailments."  I felt exactly that way last year.  I was scared stiff.  Modern science wasn't helping me to take care of my family, but what seemed right according to nature and history was practically banned by the government.  I have had such a journey since then.  I've come a long ways, but, of course, have a long ways to go.  

6.   This is the wrap up to the Food Stamp Challenge.  It was very eye-opening to read her thoughts on the whole process.  I'd highly recommend you read the whole series.  


Lastly, I had to mention 2 new recipes we tried this week and LOVED. The first was this amazing Sloppy Cornbread.  The boys couldn't get enough!  I hope to try the corn muffin recipe sometime on it's own.  And the other was the pumpkin soup I made. 


 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Coconut Soup Recipe

I wanted to make a pumpkin soup this week.  I paid $2.50 for a can of pumpkin from WFM.  Grrr!  But I just don't know enough about pumpkins to go out and pick a good baking pumpkin and puree it, etc. I'll get there someday...

So, I found 3 different recipes Recipe 1, Recipe 2 and Recipe 3.  I sorta combined them, based on what we had and what we like. And we really liked it.  I was pretty excited to find a soup we all enjoyed.  That is no easy task! I served it with kombucha and fried mushrooms. Yum!!

Pumpkin Coconut Soup Recipe

2 Tbls butter/coconut oil1 can Pumpkin Puree

1 cup chicken broth

4 Potatoes
1 Onion

1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1 chunk of ginger freshly grated
1 can Coconut Milk

1 cup grated cheddar cheese



Directions:
1.  Saute Onion in butter or coconut oil.
2.  Add broth, pumpkin, potatoes and spices.
3.  Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat.  Simmer until potatoes are done.
4.  Stir in coconut milk and cheese until melted and well-blended.


There are a lot of variations I hope to try.  Adding croutons instead of potatoes.  And adding an apple sounds yummy also.  So many options!!  :)

I had to type it up while it was fresh in my memory. 



 

Stainless Steel Storage Food Giveaway Notice

Stephanie at Keeper of the Home is celebrating her 2nd blogging anniversary and is hosting a giveaway from The Tickle Trunk. She is giving away the tiffin.  Check it out!  It would be perfect for sending to work with Drew.  It's like a thermos of sorts.  And it's worth $40.




Now, I'm not really into shopping, and I am trying to simplify our lives by getting rid of 'stuff'.  But every now and then I'll head over to The Tickle Trunk and click around on their various items and I just drool.  I don't use a lot of plastic for food storage. But glass is heavy and not always practical for leftover storage and picnic style lunches.  The options at The Tickle Trunk are awesome!  They are all stainless steel, with tight shutting lids, and they come in various sizes.

They are not cheap, but I think would be considered an investment.  They even have straws.  We use straws often, but I'm not ready to give up my plastic ones quite yet.  :)

If you want to be entered for the giveaway, you need to comment on the blog post, and you can also get another chance to win by posting about the giveaway-which I just did. ;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast and supper options


Lunch, served with kombucha for all:
Monday: Sloppy Corn Bread
Tuesday:  Pumpkin Soup with Sourdough Bread

Wednesday: Baked Fish with Rice and curry sauce 
Thursday: Liver and Onions
Friday: Leftover Fish and Rice Casserole
Saturday: Roast Chicken and Veggies

Sunday:  Chicken Soup and Pasta

Friday, October 23, 2009

Favorite Links Friday

The days have gotten away from me, so this is short and late.  

1.  GNOWFGLINS has a great post titled: Five tips to help you establish Healthy Cooking Routines
Number 4 is where I really want to work on-preparing large batches of meals and freezing them. It's such a treat to just pull out a ready-made meal now and then!

2.  This is a fantastic post on why Christians need to be good stewards of the earth-even if it's the common thing to do at the moment. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast and supper options





Lunch, served with kombucha for all:
Monday: Roast Chicken and Veggies 
Tuesday: Chili 
Wednesday: Baked Fish with Fried Cabbage and butter sauce 
Thursday: Thai Pizza 
Friday: Fish Cakes 
Saturday: Chicken Chowder in Crockpot over Egg Noodles 
Sunday: Taco Salad

Friday, October 16, 2009

Favorite Links Friday

1.  This is a must read on the uselessness of tooth brushing.  I'm going to be fixated on all things dental over the new few days/weeks, as my husband broke his 3rd tooth and is in pain and needs some dental work done in a bad way.  I truly believe that the only way to properly care for your health is through proper nutrition and possibly some 'natural' remedies like the oil pulling he suggest in the article (I started doing this and have not noticed anything yet-except maybe a little whiter teeth-no luck with getting Drew to do it yet).  I also want the book he linked to.  I loved this quote "The tooth brush and toothpaste industry needs to collapse into a heap of nothingness."  I fully agree.  My kids have not brushed their teeth in over a year because I refuse to let them use the nasty tooth pastes on the market and I can't bear to force them to use the baking soda that I currently use. I could have them use just water, but... "because my teeth and gums are not meant to be scrubbed by plastic bristles twice a day."

2.  I wish I could have met Mr. Weston Price. Maybe I would not have liked his personality.  From his book, he seemed kind of 'stiff and scientisty'.  But he also seemed to have some real compassion for his 'patients'.  I wonder if he had a personal relationship with the Creator?  Maybe God gave him some special knowledge. ;)  I am reading this great, but long article on the Weston A Price Foundation's website.  It's worth reading if you have the time.  Here is a quote I loved: '"There is no objection to having the children fill up on bulky foods such as potatoes and vegetables, if the daily mineral and vitamin requirements have been satisfied first," he advised his nieces and nephews. ' Of course, that could be taken out of context, but the man was a freakin' genius!  I'm constantly frustrated that I didn't read about him sooner.  I know that is completely futile thinking, but oh the possibilities..... Can you imagine a conversation with his sister about her kids' eating habits?  How funny is that!  Did you know he had a son who died from an infection from a  root canal given by Mr. Price himself?  The article has some neat tidbits about the man's personal life. 

3. I am still trying hard to find the 'perfect' diet for us.  I want it to be simple, local, inexpensive and easy to prepare.  And the more I study and read, the more all that seems possible, and almost necessary.  I love reading 'all you need for your nutrients for the day are...' types of things.  This was an interesting quote from Mr. Price right after the quote he said regarding his nieces and nephews.
Nevertheless, it is probably easier for westerners to obtain high levels of nutrients from a diet in which carbs are minimized. But that does not mean one should overdo on protein. Price did not advocate a high-protein diet. "The protein requirement can be provided each day in one egg or a piece of meat equivalent to the bulk of one egg a day,"30 was his Depression-era advice. The best protein foods, according to Price, are nutrient-dense organ meats, shellfish and small oily fish such as anchovies or sardines, eaten with the bones. In addition, he recommended one quart of whole milk per day for children, to ensure adequate minerals and fat-soluble activators.
I do think with our lack of good soil to produce nutrient dense eggs and meat, a little more may be required.  But I love the idea of knowing exactly what is needed, and then just have fun adding other things like veggies to that every day.  So the stress would be gone as I know we were well nourished, and the fun would come in with the varieties of things I could add to basically change up the otherwise same diet.  And when I wasn't up for fun, I know I could say 'suck it up, you're nourished'.  :)  Ahh, such a servant's attitude I have.  

4.  This is a great post on some causes of infertility.   


5.  I greatly desire to make this purse.  Isn't it beautiful?  She is going to give me a crash course on sewing with a more simple purse.  Hopefully I can work up to it. :)


6. I just found this and had to post.  Wow, can you imagine living in a community like that?  It's kind of 'utopian', but I love it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'In Everything Give Thanks'

Why?  'For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.' (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Yesterday I was NOT thankful.  I was having a bad day and refused to be thankful for anything.  Luckily, God put some people in my life for just such times.  And they encouraged me throughout the day (Facebook CAN be useful). I woke up this morning refreshed in mind and spirit.  Life isn't any different today.  The same problems are there.  But I have a different attitude, one of thankfulness. The Holy Spirit worked in my heart and mind today to encourage me in awesome ways.  And to give me his 'peace that passes all understand'. 


I drove to the post office this morning and the car died 10 times on the way home.  We have no idea why it does that to me.  It doesn't happen to Drew at all.  So, for now, I am stuck home except when he can drive us places.

But, the kids and I went for a walk this afternoon and as I watched them run and play and giggle, my heart was filled with thankfulness for their health and energy and life.  In spite of their rough start on the SAD diet, God has graciously given them overall good health.  And my own two legs that can carry my body wherever I need to walk?  AND having no car at all is so much worse then only being able to go when Drew is able!  How blessed are we?   Blessed beyond measure!  


I tried making sourdough bread again today.  The recipe has actually turned out the last 3 times I made it and I was really excited about this batch. But my oven is erratic and unreliable.  It shuts off (kind of like my car-maybe Drew should turn it on), or it goes really high.  Well, this time it went really high and my loaves are all burnt on the outside.

But I am so thankful for the trusty toaster oven I paid $6 for at a thrift store awhile back.  There is very little that I can't cook between my toaster, my crock pot and the 30 minutes I can generally trust my oven to be reliable.  And I know of ways to use the inside of the bread to nourish us and still be quite enjoyable.  How blessed am I? 


Drew broke his 3rd tooth Sunday night and was a mess yesterday.  We have no dental insurance and his teeth are an all-around disaster.  He really needs thousands of dollars of work done on his teeth, and then we will need to do that to the rest of his teeth in a few years again!  The SAD died has wreaked havoc on his teeth.  And we can't nearly afford ANY work done.  And he really needs to get out of pain.

But, after pretty much spending all day in prayer and researching my 'trusted' sources for alternative health options, I'm more excited and encouraged then ever to keep feeding the 4 of us 'nourishing' foods and to keep the refined and processed junk out.  And I found some great alternatives to trying to manage Drew's current pain while we figure out what to do in the long run. 


I miss my family and closest friends like crazy sometimes.  They are all in Iowa/Minnesota, too far for heart-to-heart chats and hugs and other such 'necessities' for mental and emotional health.  :)  Esp when I'm having a bad day like yesterday.

But, did I mention how grateful I was for 2 friends to dialogue throughout the day yesterday over email.  They were both so good to let me vent my anger and frustration and fears, while pointing me to the real source of peace and life.  A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.-Provers 17:17


 I must confess my own selfish attitude yesterday, of blaming my husband for not having more self control and taking better care of himself so this didn't happen to his teeth.  I was walking around feeling quite sorry for myself. 


But my both of my friends pointed out that I was so blessed to have a husband whose very life and family heritage is grounded in the Word.   And on top of that, he adores me!  How did I get so lucky?  


That is my combination glad game/Christian country western song. :)

I know I'll struggle with it all again and have bad days when I sit and worry.  But I am so grateful to know that what happens in this life does not ultimately matter.  We are here for a short time, to bring glory to the creator God. Even when life is out of my control, he is still firmly in control!  What a blessing that is-when I choose to remember and live in it. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast and supper options




Lunch, served with kombucha for all:
Monday: Roast and Veggies in Crock Pot
Tuesday: Baked Fish with Rice and onion salsa
Wednesday: Cabbage Borscht
Thursday:  Roast Chicken
Friday: Fish Cakes
Saturday: Seafood Chowder
Sunday: Chicken Chowder in Crockpot over Egg Noodles

Friday, October 9, 2009

Favorite Links Friday

I love the fall. It's my favorite time of year.  I like each season for the change it brings and it's own challenges and possibilities.  But there is something about fall that just makes me sigh big happy sighs.  So here goes *SIGH*  Ahh, can't you feel the tension going out your fingers?  :)

Here are some links I really enjoyed this week.

1.  This is a great post on the history of sugar.  It's short and simple.

2.   Here is a free ebook from Nourished Kitchen.  It's called 'Get Cultured'.  I'm looking forward to looking through it.  I'm excited to start more fermenting of veggies myself and enjoy any recipes and encouragement along those lines.   It looks beautiful also!

3. This was a fun post on what is inside people's refrigerators.  Who knew something like that could be so interesting?  :)   

4.  I saw this posted on a blog and had to share it here. I had seen this a year or so ago and was really enthralled by it.  'What the world eats' on time.com

These are a Few of my Favorite Things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings...

Ok, not THAT kind of thing.

I was reading a post today entitled 'What's in Your Fridge?'.  It was really fun to 'peek' into other foodie's refrigerators/fridges.  And it got me thinking about my own kitchen and how it would be fun to post every year or so what are my favorite features, etc.  So I can look back and compare how far I've come. And even see which things stuck.  Granted, I may not be blogging in a year from now.  But the kids and I had fun getting pictures today.  And it made me thankful for all that I do have.

So, here is a peek into my kitchen in October of 2009.  It's humble, but it produces some mighty nourishing and mostly tasty meals!  And a lot of time is spent here, preparing and eating meals, doing school with my 1st grader, doing laundry (it looks kind of tacky, but it's mighty handy!), playing play dough, doing crafts and painting.  And, as you can see today, putting a whole chicken in front of the kids to pick at while I mess around on my blog.  :)






First I'll show off my extra freezer, for which I'm extremely grateful.  My in-laws bought it for us for Christmas last year and it has been such a huge blessing to us.  We drive an hour to pick up milk and eggs once a month, and I store the extra milk and cream in there.  I also buy the majority of our groceries for the month at once, so I keep all the meats, grains, frozen veggies and fruit and butter in there as well. I cook up big batches of things when able to freeze for easy reach.  That includes black beans, chicken broth, lard (which I rendered myself-so proud!), nourishing soaked cookies, waffles, granola and any extra meals that I have leftover. 




The freezer is in my son's room (which is one of the doors off the kitchen), in his closet.  I call it my pantry.  He has no idea that I am invading his personal space. :)  That won't last forever I'm sure.

Next to the freezer, in the corner, I have a shelf from IKEA.  I keep my glass bottles on it for easy reach also.  We use them all the time.  We still use a lot of plastic, but not nearly as much as we used to.  I will reach for a ball glass jar if I think it will work.  I have the 32 oz on top. We use those the most.  Underneath I keep the half gallons jars, which I seem to use quite often as well.  And under that, I have the 16, 8 and 4 oz jars, as well as some odds and ends ones.



Finding lids for them was quite a chore.  We reach for them throughout the day and it took me awhile to figure out how to keep them in easy reach, while still looking nice.  I finally found a wicker basket at a thrift store for $1 and it works perfect!  I found it easiest to write on tape and put them on the lids and glass containers for easy identification (the iced tea looks just like the chicken broth-but you do NOT want to confuse them!).  I find the tape and ink hold up for quite a few washings before I need to change them.  And the vast majority of our jars use the same lid-which is so nice!  I'm quite proud of my wicker basket.  It's the little things...






Now, into the kitchen itself. Along side my washer and dryer is my refrigerator. How I wish we had chosen a bigger one when we bought it 3 years ago.  But who knew I'd actually start to prepare REAL food and use it?  I wasn't interested back then, so having a bigger refrigerator seemed useless. Live and learn.

It's mostly filled with my pastured eggs and milk.  But I also keep a half gallon of buttermilk and  yogurt in there.  There is always some chicken broth and more fermented veggies as time goes on.  I have some oregano garlic from the NT book.  It's pretty good.  As well as sauerkraut and kim chi (we bought that).  Our cheese drawer usually has Colby Jack, mozzarella and Romano Parmesan.  Yum!  You can see why we keep so many glass jars around.  My pantry shelf is often empty.

The freezer has some popcorn, tallow, bread crumbs, granola, frozen veggies and strawberries and wheat berries.





I took a few pictures of my favorite cooking gadgets.

The first is my trusty cast iron skillet.  I bought it for $4 at a thrift store and use it every day, for pretty much every meal.  Ok, maybe not that much, but it gets used a LOT!  I also use the mandolin often, although I hope to buy this one someday.  The box is a yogurt strainer.  I use that to make yogurt cheese and to get the leftover whey for fermenting veggies and marinating meats. I seem to find a lot of uses for it actually.  It's a handy piece of equipment to have around the kitchen.  Kind of like a non-disposable cheesecloth.




The second picture if of my handy-dandy toaster oven.  When we gave up our microwave last year, we replaced it with this. It was $6 at a thrift store and it gets used as often as my cast iron skillet.  Right now my oven is not working well, so I've been using it for pretty much everything.  I do wish it was bigger, but why complain?  (notice the butter dish next to it?  That thing gets filled pretty much every day as well-we eat a lot of butter.  Yum.....)



And this is also a place I spend quite a bit of my time.  My Vita-Mix was expensive, but I use it all the time and am very grateful for it.  I use it to grind grains.  Some days I wish I had a grain mill, but for the space I have, this works fine.  It only grinds 2 cups at a time and needs to sit for half an hour to let the motor cool down.  I also use it for smoothies nearly every day, and it's great for pureeing veggies for soups and sauces as well.  I use it for chopping the nuts for my granola these days also.
The nesting bowls in the middle were a favorite thrift store find (notice I buy a lot of my things from there?  I have 2 hugs ones close to me-I love them!).  They were $20, I know, it's expensive.  But I love them!  I think they are so beautiful.  I use them all the time as well.  I know they are lead free, so that was a big part of my decision at the time.  I soak, culture, marinate,  mix and serve things in them pretty much every day.
And of course, my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer, which I have had for about 8 years now.  It's possible that I could live without it, but it does make my life easier.  And it's such a quintessential piece of equipment to any American kitchen. My mother-in-law still has hers from over 30 years ago and it looks almost exactly like mine, and works like a charm still today.  It definitely can be considered an investment!






My list of favorite things simply wouldn't be complete without a picture of my cookbooks, and esp my favorite ones these days.  The first is my 'cookbook' shelf. And I took my 4 favorites off for a close up.  They definitely deserve special attention! :)




Nourishing Traditions is such an amazing book.  I have learned so much from it and still refer back to it for recipes all the time.  I even bought one for my best friend in Iowa.  It's so much fun to compare notes and recipes from it!  She loves it as much as I do.  The next one is 'Joy of Cooking', a 1972 edition I found for $6 at Barnes & Noble.  I had been wanting an older copy of the book, so I was beside myself when I found it.  It has recipes and ideas for EVERYTHING you could ever want to cook.  And it mostly used 'real' foods and is not too 'fat phobic'.  The next one is 'The James Beard Cookbook'.  A copy from 1959 that I found for $4, the same time I bought the Joy book-SCORE!!!  Same as for the Joy book, it uses mostly real foods and tells you how to cook pretty much anything under the sun. . He is big into organ meats.  So I hope that rubs off on me!  :)  I want to have a 'cooking with James Beard' month and base my month's recipes off this cookbook.  It's fantastic!  The last one is a 1979 Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  They were published frequently starting in the mid 1800s.  And it also, is a compendium of recipes and ideas to help one learn to cook, and using mostly real foods.  I know, who needs 3 such books?  But how can one resist? 




Well, that ends the tour of my kitchen.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I hope you did to. :)

Wrapping Up Our Square Foot Garden

Well, it wasn't wildly successful like we were hoping, but we were able to grow some of our own food and mostly, we learned a lot in the process. 

They were redoing our steps, so we had to take down the biggest garden, which meant ripping up some plants before they were done.  But this is what I harvested before we took the dirt out and moved the box.




Some cute little carrots and beats, some green tomatoes and a cucumber.  We also had 2 small squash that we fried up a few weeks ago.  I made them all into a yummy squash soup. 

On the top box, we still have chives, parsley and oregano, mint and wintergreen growing.  And today we are going to eat some broccoli, which is finally growing edibles for us.  The cabbage never came to anything except really big leaves. 






Our potatoes never really worked.  I need to dig through the garbage can.  We did have one that grew for awhile, but then stopped, so I'm not sure if there are any potatoes growing from it or not.  I am guessing not.  We think our problem there was simply that we started with lousy potatoes.  So we'll get better seed potatoes next year.  

Some thoughts for next year's garden:

1.  Start earlier.  We didn't start until almost July. 
2.  Prune, prune, prune.  It's hard to cut back healthy looking plants.  But we think that was why we had such nice green plants, but few edible parts. 
3.  Try less 'new' things, and concentrate on getting to know a few.
4.  Work on compost-trying green manure, possibly limestone with scraps pureed in my Vita-Mix, or red worms.  Either way, we need to get the soil healthier without spending a fortune on compost.  

We definitely took it as a learning experience and are looking forward to learning even more next year. 

I also hope to transplant the oregano and parsley so I can have it all winter.  And to add to that some cilantro.  Also, I hope to get a pot for growing greens indoors.  Once we had the home grown lettuce, the other just isn't the same! 

So, that wraps up our garden for the winter.  I look forward to picking out some seeds and starting them in the spring to transplant in the early summer.  And next year I hope to grow some things in our boxes throughout the winter (like garlic and onions and winter greens).  But we thought it best to take a rest so we can start with enthusiasm in the spring again. 

We will get this garden thing.......

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

  I am working on simplifying our meals, while making them wholesome and nourishing.  Simplicity for the sake of time as well as money.  I really want to keep the basics the same every week, while changing up the sides and sauces, etc.  I seem to get a little closer to my goal every few months.
That said, I am going to attempt to have the next few week's menus basically be: Roast chicken, fresh fish, soup from leftover roast chicken and stock, fish cakes/fish leftovers of some sort, a hamburger/red meat/liver meal and a roast (with the roast, I would like to be able to use leftovers for supper-esp for Drew) and one egg meal as well. 

Breakfast and supper options



Lunch, served with kombucha for all:
Tuesday: Fried Fish Sticks and French Fries
Wednesday: Albondigas Soup
Thursday:  Tarragon Roast Chicken with Broccoli from our garden

Friday: Fish Cakes
Saturday: Egg Salad Sandwiches
Sunday: Roast and Veggies in Crock Pot

Friday, October 2, 2009

Favorite Links Friday

1.  This is a great short post on the '3 Legs of Nutrition'.  1.  Keep the Bad Stuff out.  2.  Put the good stuff in.  3.  Properly prepare the 'good stuff'.

2.  This is a great link on 'punctuation' as she calls it (also known as a woman's monthly cycle, period, that time of the month, etc.).  There is a link for chemical free pads.  I would like to get cloth ones eventually, but I might try the others first. 

3.  This Christmas Planner looked interesting.  I really want to make Christmas extra special-without gift giving, vast quantities of sugar and selfishness abounding.  While being entirely Christ-centered.

4.  There were 2 challenges on blogs I enjoy reading this week.  While I must confess I am not planning on joining either, I will certainly be more mindful of those areas.  One is from The Nourishing Gourmet, and is a 'sugar free week' challenge. We really do not consume much sugar at home these days.  My evaporated cane sugar is used for kombucha pretty much solely.  And my rapadura lasts quite awhile also.  We do use a lot of honey and maple syrup though.  White flour also digests like sugar and she suggests taking that out also.  We don't eat much of that either, although probably a little more then we do of the sugar.  Food outside the home is an entirely different story of course.  But since we eat out maybe once a month, I don't worry too much about it.
The other is a 'food stamp month' challenge.  She has the amount you would receive for food stamps, for a family of 3 (in CO I believe) at $277.  So she is going to try to feed her family nourishingly (is that a word?) on that, and nothing extra.  I look forward to seeing her ideas and learning new ways to feed my family inexpensively. 

5.  Here is a great bunch of popcorn recipes that I really want to try.  Popcorn is something I'd like to work with more and add to our diet as more then an occasional meal replacement with a smoothie.  These recipes look awesome!