In my kitchen

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Since my last post, I have been doing a lot of culinary prepping! When we had all the kids at home, I learned to grind grain for all of our breads and baked goods. I soaked flours and blends for pancakes, waffles and anything I found to set up the night or more before.

Since we moved, I haven’t done any of that often enough to warrant pulling the grain mill out and had gone back to using shelf flours for sourdough and such.

Anyway, that is something I’m setting the kitchen back up for and am hoping to get back to a weekly baking day. I want to make everything from whole grain biscuits to pita pockets and pizza crusts. This takes a lot more order and focused organization than I have had in far too long.

Other things I’m making lately: (some I’ve been doing for years and others I’m just now trying!)

  • Kefir, milk and water grains
  • Kombucha, made with green tea, black tea or both and flavored with ginger and/or fruit
  • Cultured vegetables
  • Grain free recipes
  • Homemade pasta sauce over gluten-free pasta
  • Bean and vegetable stew using speckled butter beans I put in the freezer last year
  • Crockpot crowder peas with kefir skillet cakes
  • Homemade salad dressings
  • Green juices and smoothies
  • Nutrition shakes 
  • Soups and stews

So far, I’ve completed most of my inventory and set-up goals. This has made such a difference in my productivity. Here’s what I did:

  1. Cleaned, organized and listed everything in the freezers, fridge and pantry/shelves.
  2. Stacked books to the left of my desk for easy grabbing when I have a few minutes to read. I have books here on sprouting, eating for health and healing, plant-based cooking, a couple of southern classics and one on eating from the garden. I could spend hours reading these and taking notes!
  3. Started another notebook to keep close by so I can keep all my ideas, planning, goals, and teaching topics in one place.

What I’m working on:

Days of the week kitchen schedule. Something with a day for baking, fermenting/feeding schedule, make-ahead basics and so on. I’ve filled in a few things. Monday’s are quick because our son has  Scout meetings. Wednesday is dinner at church and I want to start taking something to contribute. Thursdays may be men’s meetings and Fridays will likely be free days. That used to be our homemade pizza night…

Getting the practical tasks done is an important area. We need to have the oven fixed, the microwave removed, and others like those.

Getting some main dishes or meals in the freezer. I’d like to have a few soups and stews in 1-2 serving containers. Bags of spaghetti sauce (I’ll eat mine over zucchini noodles) and easy to get and heat snacks.

I won’t share my entire -slightly extensive – Master task list but will let you know how the present plan grows.🙂

How are things in your kitchen? Is there anything you’d like to do, make, or master? If so, what are they? What steps will you take or plan to set them in motion?

I’ll close with a quote I’m fond of and have no idea who wrote:

Bless the food before us, 

The family beside us, 

And the LOVE between us. Amen. 

 

 

 

A start💙

I’ll name this: Autumn Chai 🤓

Fall is my new beginning each year. For many, January seems to signal a need for new goals and healthier habits. Not I, not this lover of falling leaves and windy breezes! 

I’ve always had brand new hope and a fresh surge of energy when the seasonal shift from summer to fall finally arrives. 

I want the windows open and to spend time outside to breathe it all in.  All the plans and goals I’ve been procrastinating on or fallen from seem much easier to set and accomplish.

All of that to share my bliss at the hint of fall being near! 

Lime in the Coconut

My husband made a lime & strawberry smoothie recently and we all loved it. I was making a quick smoothie after my work out this morning and wanted something similar. I ended up making everything based around coconut milk and lime juice because it just sounded delicious.🙂

I got out one of my favorite culinary resources book wise; vegetarian flavor bible The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page. I looked up limes and the book will list flavors that go well with whatever you are looking for. I ended up with this smoothie:

 

Lime in the Coconut smoothie

8 ounces coconut milk

1/2 frozen banana

2 hands full spinach

1 scoop of nutrition/protein powder, strawberry flavor

1 cup of ice

Fresh lime juice, 2 limes

Blend!

I ended up adding some water and 1 tsp. of green tea powder

This smoothie has these possible health benefits:

Limes:

  • reduce arthritis symptoms,
  • can help prevent the hardening of arteries,
  • can fight cancer cells,
  • helps against cold and flu.

Spinach:

  • protects the colon,
  • good for your heart,
  • helps lower high blood pressure,
  • helps maintain brain function, memory and mental clarity.

Bananas:

  • helps control heart rate and blood pressure,
  • helps regulate digestive system,
  • the magnesium helps strengthen bones and protects the heart.

I’ve been studying nutrition for 26 years and I have notes from so many sources since I started. I am still so amazed by all there is to learn about nutrition. For the sake of simplicity, I gathered these health benefits from one place in case you’d like to read more on each or all. It is Dr. Mercola’s site, http://www.mercola.com/ .

Morning Routine

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I have finally settled and sorted my summer morning routine!

  • See my husband off to work with a thermos of coffee, a thermos of oatmeal and a thermos or shaker cup of nutritional shake. Take my thyroid medicine.
  • Quiet time. Read my Bible with a cup of coffee. Pray, meditate, daily affirmations, visualization, reading and checking my planner.
  • Make our bed. I need to get more pillows and pretty this up!
  • Exercise. I am aiming for either 30 minutes in the mornings and 30 more in the evenings or all 60 in the morning.
  • Shower. Face. Hair. Get ready.
  • Tidy bathroom. Quick shower wipe down, sinks and counters, toilet inside and out and vacuum or sweep now or when I’m doing the rest of the floors.
  • Empty/re-load dishwasher and breakfast. Make kefir or check on it.
  • Get laundry going while doing daily cleaning. Hot hot spots, pick up and vacuum/sweep and quick mop. I like to listen to books, In Touch radio and podcasts while I’m getting things done and I finish by putting water and essential oils in all my diffusers.
  • Online time. Checking emails, watching my YouTube subscriptions and working on businesses. This last part of my routine has been the most neglected so I’m working to keep up with it better.

Do do you have a morning routine? If so, do you have it at the same time each day and what does it look like in your home?

Rice cooker/ steamer food prep 

I love food and meal prepping! I learned some of the basics for this from my mom. She was a single mom and she commuted to work. She planned our meals out once a week, down to the snacks. Anything she could prepare ahead for the week and/or the next day, she did. As a result, we had three meals a day to include a cooked dinner and after school snacks. 

When my kids were babies, I planned ahead for their food when we were at home or gone for the day. 

Now, I’m planning and prepping for the three of us left at home (and I make extra for our daughter for the minutes she is home now:) and it makes a difference for our fitness and health. When I fall off track in this area, we notice it. 

I’m always looking for fresh and new and tried and true ideas and tips. I also try a lot in my kitchen. 

I like creatively using my appliances to make the absolute most of each one. 

One if my favorites is using a rice cooker/steamer. I got a SS Miracle brand from Amazon after having it in my wish list for two years. As soon as the price got low enough, I bought it. That was several years ago and I love it! I don’t use aluminum or non-stick after reading of the health risks.

In the rice cooking part, I cook grains, wild rice, and more. In the steamer, I steam vegetables of just about every kind. Today, I tried elephant garlic, peeled and sliced sweet potatoes, and thickly cut carrots in the steamer/top. I also added two eggs to see if they would cook as well as boiling them. Everything turned out perfect! I drizzled some balsamic vinegar and tamarin sauce on them (iver quinoa) and they were delicious! 

If you have used your rice cooker/steamer for different foods, I would love to hear your creations. Please email me at smile529@gmail.com or comment here.😊 

    
 

Typing my way to healthier life spiritually, emotionally, relationship-wise, physically and more!