Category Archives: Real Food

Because two is better than one….

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Every Sunday, I make a weekly menu, purchase the groceries, and think I am set.  Sometime during the middle of the week, I begin to lose momentum and my menu goes out the window.  I am just not that organized.  I am trying to get better, but this is a weakness!  This week I decided to try something different.  I decided to cook ahead on Sunday.  Maybe, this week will be a little smoother.  🙂

I found two birds together at Wal-Mart for $10.  I cleaned them up and roasted them in the oven for about 3 hours.

Chicken buddies

Okay, these were not my chickens, I forgot to take a photo, but you get the idea.

Once they were fully cooked, I pulled the meat off of both birds.  It is really amazing how much chicken you can get off of two birds.

Chicken Stock

Once I had the meat off, I put all the remains (carcass and skin) into a dutch oven.  I added onion, celery, carrots, parsley, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf.  I covered it all with water and brought it to a boil.  Once it started to boil, I turned it down to low and let it cook for about 5 hours.  After the 5 hours, I strained the juice from the other and poured it into 5 individual freezer containers.   WAH LA!  Homemade Stock!

Chicken Salad

Lunches are hard for me.  If I do not have something made, I will not eat.  Not a good idea!  I decided to make chicken salad for a few lunches this week.  Here is what I used:

2 c cooked chicken                3 boiled eggs (diced)            salt/pepper

2 celery stalks                         1 c mayo

1/4 c pickle relish                  1 onion

Mix all together and enjoy!

Chicken Chili

Hubby came down with something awful yesterday, so I thought he needed something special to help him feel better.  🙂 Originally, I was going to make regular chili because of the cool weather, however hubby and the chicken changed my mind.

4 c cooked chicken                           2 c black beans                        2 tsp cumin                  1 c green chilies

1 red bell pepper                                1 c diced tomatoes                   1 tsp coriander

1 onion                                                 2 tbsp chili powder                 2 c chicken stock

Saute pepper and onion.  Add chicken.  Add spices and green chilies.  Add beans, tomatoes, and stock.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mix.  Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese.  YUMMMMM!

I had 3 cups of chicken left over.  I put a cup in the fridge for chicken and mushroom stir-fry that I will make tomorrow and I put the other two cups in separate containers in the freezer.

After all of that, I sat down!  Hope you have a blessed week!

 

Still figuring things out…

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As you know, my family and I took a 100 days of real food pledge.  Well I am not sure what day we are on, but I know we have had tacos from the Mexican restaurant down the street many times.  Changing your eating habits in a world where food is enticing is EXTREMELY difficult.  It is also difficult to retrain your brain to make healthier eating choices. I am really struggling at the moment with my kids in particular.  Due to the fact, that before I started paying attention to what was fueling our bodies, my kids lived on the boxed, preservative filled, treats from the store.  I grew up eating them, so they must be okay.  WRONG!!!  It has really hit me this past year how much the food we eats affects the health of our bodies.  I have really started paying attention to diseases and such that are very common today that were not heard of 50 years ago.  

Where I messed up…

When I first decided that my family would take the pledge to 100 days of real food, I jumped head first without a paddle.  What I have realized now, is that you must take baby steps and change things slowly.  I was told this very piece of advice, but I didn’t heed the warning.  I have now stepped back and am proceeding in caution.  

Here are a few of the things that have changed so far:

*  Cut out all enriched white flour

*  Cut out high fructose corn syrup

* Have fruit and veggies at every meal

*  Cut out processed snacks  

The number one thing I have learned is to PAY ATTENTION and have AWARENESS!  Make healthy choices is how we should all aspire to live.  Good luck!  

Leave a comment or share the steps you are taking to live a healthy lifestyle.

100 days of Real Food

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It has come to my attention that my family has been purging on “fake” food.  What I mean is, food that is not too healthy for ya.  Fast food, boxed food, food that contains major preservatives, yada-yada-yada.  We have taken a pledge of eating 100 days of Real Food (http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/).  I know this journey will not be easy, but I am hoping to stick with it and stay accountable through this blog.  

We started by cleaning out the cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer.  I threw away three bags of stuff… YIKES!!!  I did keep some stuff because I had just bought it, but I did throw out stuff we haven’t touched or that was way too perservativy (this is not a real world).  

Second, I went to Sprouts and bought whole wheat flour, real maple syrup, honey, rolled oats, whole wheat pasta,  lots of fruit, and veggies.  I already had some veggies at home, so I will make do with  what I have, and stock up as I go.  

I came home and immediately started a batch of whole wheat honey bread in the bread machine.  Man does my house smell good!!  

Here is the link to the recipe I used.  http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/08/17/recipe-honey-whole-wheat-sandwich-bread-for-bread-machine/

I also whipped up some whole wheat banana pancakes http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/04/21/recipe-whole-wheat-banana-pancakes-freeze-the-leftovers/ with sliced strawberries.  This was a big hit!  

I am half way through day 1 and I am not really hungry.  I am going to munch on some fruit, cheese, and chicken for lunch.  I haven’t figured out what is for dinner yet, but I will post later.

Summer Days

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As summer vacation comes to an end, I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed my two rug-rats this summer.  Sure.. I have had trouble going to the grocery store with both in tow, haven’t been able to sleep in due to a precious little boy that wakes up at the crack of dawn, and am completely exhausted by the end of the day, but this summer has given me my identity as a mom back.

MB: 5years old

MG: 2years old

I realized that by working full time, I had completely lost the notion of ENJOYING my kiddos.  They are funny little people that have a lot to say about well everything really.  I also realized this summer the importance of my family and what I really love the most about my life is just hanging out with my munchkins and my hubby.  We have had Sunday family dinners with my parents and grandad.  We have had summer evenings on the back porch with a glass of wine, we have taken the kids paddle boating, swimming, and to the beach.  Most importantly I have reconnected with my family and completely forgotten about that thing called work.  I am looking forward to the fall season and all that it brings with it, but I have to admit I am not ready for Summer to end yet.  I need a little more time to sit barefooted outside, listening to Carrie Underwood, and sipping my wine.  I need a little more time of morning cuddle time and figuring out what adventures will await us during the day.  Most of all, I need a little more time to hug my baby boy, tell him how much I love him and how proud of him I am.  You see I don’t want summer to end, because when it does that means my baby is going to Kindergarten.  😉  (Sigh… sniff…sniff)

Road Trip

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My husband and I had a notion that we would take the little monsters to a water park about 3 hours away.  We decided that we would spend the night, thinking it would be easier to stay the night then pack the kids back in the car after being in the sun all day.  My plan was to leave the house around 8:30 in the morning, at 10:00 we were still in the city.  Trying to get the monsters out of the house is an almost impossible quest.       MG had to take 2 babies, a barbie, 3 snuggies, 3 binkies, a blanket, and her pillow pet.  MB had to bring a back pack of books, transformers, his blanket, his puppy, and his pillow pet.  After packing up their entire room ;), we were finally on the road.  Before we could even get 30 minutes out of town, we had already made 3 stops, and MG had  one arm concocted out of her car seat.  I was starting to have second thoughts about this fun filled trip we were about to embark on.   Good thing I had packed some snacks because every 10min. those two little monsters were wanting something else to eat.  I was happy to oblige as long as it kept them quiet.  The rest of the car ride went pretty smoothly.  Thank goodness for our portable DVD player, Toy Story and Transformers were our saving grace with MB.  The water park was fun, but it was hard to keep up with those little monsters at times.  Daddy decided to take MB on one of the big boy slides, so that meant I was nominated to stay with MG in the kiddie park.  MG would climb up the slides and then hide in the corner.  I had to ask several little kids to go up and rescue her.  She is a stubborn little thing though, really didn’t want to come down at all.  I am sure I was a sight, dancing around, trying to get her to come to momma.  Shoot. Me. Now.  I took her over to the lazy river, but it was not lazy by any means.  She didn’t want to just sit in the tube, no she wanted me to hold her arms and let her bounce on my legs while I walked.  (Hard visual, however, just know that it was more of an exercise, than a lazy jaunt in the river)  I was so thankful when Daddy and MB were coming back.  By this time I was ready to sit and have a rest, but the little monsters had other ideas.  They just played and played and played.  I knew it was time to go after I was sitting in the water and some kinda funk floated past me, yep that was enough public water fun for me….  We decided to head over to the hotel, Booking a hotel online after 4 glasses of mommy juice, not a good choice.   This hotel was more than disgusting.  I took one look at it, and told my husband that I could not stay there.  The room was hot as hades, the bed looked like it had dirty sheets, holes in the wall, torn chair….. you get the picture.  After driving around, we finally found a rather nice hotel, that I was much more content with.  Hubby says he will help with the booking next time… (it was the wine… I promise).  Needless to say, our little vacation notion turned into one heck of an adventure.

Trip to the Grocery Store

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For years my mom was a daycare provider.  I loved the babies that she took care of.  Their very cuteness is what inspired me to want lots and lots of kids.  When MB(monster boy) was born, he was the PERFECT baby.  Well that is what I remember anyway (I know every parent thinks his/her child is perfect, but MB really was!).  He actually didn’t grow horns and the third eye ball until he turned three when MG(monster girl) was born.  MG’s horns on the other hand developed much earlier, probably around the time she began to walk and talk.  I think its a ploy… the cuter the kids, the more devilish they are.  Two strikes against me… my little ones have big blue eyes that make your heart melt.  It’s hard to be mad at them when they are so darn cute!  But… believe me that cuteness can only carry you so far.  I had this great idea today to go to the grocery store.  It was one of those days when you need absolutely EVERYTHING.  I woke up early, took my shower, had my coupons ready and then went to battle getting the kids ready.  I swear I asked MB at least 50,000 times to get dressed.  He always has something he is doing.  First he was watching cartoons, he had to gather 10 cars to go with him, he had to color Nae (my mom) a picture real quick.  Are you flipping kidding me?  Kid, I should not have to repeat myself (I love those parents who only have to ask once and there kid just does what they say… really???).  Get your clothes on for goodness sakes!!!!  An hour and a half later we were in the car, with 8 cars, 5 of MG’s snuggies (little blankets she carries everywhere, her bunny, a cup of milk, and a cup of juice.  Crud.. where are my coupons and my grocery list, for that matter where is my purse??  Back inside I go.  We finally make it to the grocery store, and make it almost through the entire store, but I see the wine isle and really have been craving just a little mommy juice.  Up and down the isle I go, as both of my children’s arms are flailing and they are trying to touch every bottle they see.  I can’t even concentrate to see what kind of wine I might want.  Forget it!  Here I am trying to push this basket that is filled to the brim, while entertaining two hungry kids.  MG thinks she needs to have a taste of everything that goes into the basket.  We had already opened a container of cookies, goldfish, and two lunchables.  If she had it her way, I would have broke open the OJ and poured that into her sippy cup.  I had one more stop…. Produce.  MB decides he is going to get out of the basket to “help”.  No son, touching, smelling, and tasting every produce item you see does not equate to helping.  But thanks anyway.  Needless to say, I finally made it home.

I need a vacation!

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 I absolutely could not wait until summer.  I was feeling the teacher burn-out (all you teachers out there know what I mean).  Summer was calling my name.  Sleeping in, staying in my pajamas all day, eating when I wanted, coming and going as I pleased… wait a minute… I just remembered this must have been how summer was before the two little monsters that I call children were living in my house.  We will call these two little monsters BM (Boy Monster) and GM (Girl Monster).  My summer vacation now consists of the following…  getting woke up every morning by BM who finds his way into my bed nightly.  (I am not sure how many times I wake up in the middle of the night due to the aching pain that is pulsating through my arm because of the 80lb head that thinks my arm is his pillow.)  BM:  I want chocolate milk.  I want strawberries.  I want cartoons.  ME:  Really, because I would like to sleep 10 minutes longer, but that is not going to happen because your whining is the equavalent to my flipping alarm clock.  I groggily get up, get BM his chocolate milk, strawberries, and Scooby Do, settle back into my pillow, close my eyes, and fall asleep.  What seems like 5 min later (although I know it has to be longer, because Scooby is at least 30 minutes… right?)  BM:  Mom…… MoM…… MOM  ME:  What Baby?  I need more chocolate milk and a new cartoon.  Oh, well… I will get up now.  I will find my coffee and maybe, just maybe get to have half the cup in peace.   I get three sips of my coffee before I am running upstairs to get GM out of bed.  I walk in the room and find her sitting towards the back of the crib, blanket on her lap, looking all cute and innocent.  But the smell, that is radiating through the room is not innocent at all.  I turn on the light and what do I see… diaper on the floor.  ME:  GM what is that.  GM:  I dknow… (She is 2 and just starting to talk… a lot!)  ME:  Did you poop? GM:  No… ME:  Uh-huh I think you did…..  I proceed to remove her blanket, picked her up and realize that she has painted herself, the crib, the wall, her sheets, her blanket, her 5,000 snuggies, her pillow, her bunny… you get the point.  Well so much for enjoying my coffee…. The day proceeds in this way.. mismatch after mismatch, breaking up fights, cooking, cleaning up, cooking, cleaning up, etc.  I have now found myself counting down the minutes until my knight in shining armor… (aka… Hubby) comes home.  I need a break.  Wait a minute.. isn’t this suppose to be my break.  My summer vacation.  I think I need to go back to work… that I have decided is my real vacation.