Friday, February 29, 2008
It has lots recipes (like recipes for making your own "convenient foods" and lots of things to do with dried milk), tips on menu planning, grocery lists, homeschooling curriculum, etc. If you go to their website, I suggest checking out "Recipes," "Other Goodies," and "Healthy HBHW."
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Beth at The Natural Mommy is hosting a healthy snack recipe exchange today. I decided to submit my favorite recipe for hummus. My mother-in-law gave me this recipe, and I think that the chipotle chilies and cilantro really make this recipe.
2- 15 oz cans garbonzo beans (chickpeas) drained. I use dried, pre-soaked chick peas and fill my mini food processor almost to the top.
1/2 Cup water
1/4 C + 2 T tahini (I do not have this, so I leave it out)
2 T olive oil
2 1/2 t minced canned chipotle chilies (I do this to taste)
1 Large garlic clove
1 1/2 t ground cumin (or to taste)
1- 4oz jar slice pimentos
Blend these ingredients in the food processor. Add more oil or water if needed.
1/3 C chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Blend a little more.
Great with crackers (esp. whole wheat) or veggies!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I really like my metal pots.
When we moved here, we decided to buy some of the Dominican metal pots. However, the factory made ones were way more than we wanted to spend. So, we found some handmade ones that did not have plastic handles. They're wonderful. But, it can get annoying having to hunt down a hot pad whenever we want to lift the lid or move the pot. After a few burned hands, we got used to it. It wasn't a big deal. But then a friend mentioned something about how nice it would have been if they at least came wrapped in cloth. "Ah ha!" I thought. I was looking for a useful crochet project. So, I started crocheting. This is what I came up with. It works wonderfully and it's so nice not having to grab the hot pad. I have one more set to make. I just wish I'd done this earlier!
For more helpful tips, go to Rocks in My Dryer.
Monday, February 25, 2008
This is especially for the grandmas (White Sox outfit from Nonna Gerig, measuring spoons from Grandma Dee)
Sunday, February 24, 2008
It was a $60 week. $25 of that was towards a liter of olive oil and enough milk powder to make 4 gallons. We probably won't even use much of that this week, so if you negate that, it was a $35 week. Not bad.
Saturday: Roast chicken and Veggie Rice (Save chicken and stock for later use).
Sunday: Chicken stir fry- Lots of veggies and some of the leftover chicken served over stir-fried pasta. Spices include onion, garlic, hot pepper, ginger, sesame and oyster sauce. It was yummy!
Evening meal- Mashed Potato and gravy sandwiches with a little leftover chicken.
Monday- Date night. Broccoli and Italian Sausage (sausage homemade and given to us by a couple here) Risotto, salad
Tuesday- Dinner Party
Wednesday- Homemade pasta sauce from the freezer, pasta, salad, bread
Thursday- Vietnamese Chicken soup and Vietnamese Salad using leftover chicken and broth.
Friday- Leftovers/Throw together
Lunch Ideas; Tuna, Veggies and Hummus, Yogurt (when I make it), Fruit, Leftover pasta salad with leftover chicken and leftover homemade BBQ sauce.
I'm going to try to make a least one bean meal a week to substitute for meat (some meals we have no protein substitute for meat, but I don't want to do that often). Speaking of which, what are other inexpensive substitutes for meat?
Friday, February 22, 2008
When I make my list, I split the food items into 4 categories:
These coordinate with the 4 different places.
The longer the produce lists are, and the sorter the other lists are, the happier the budget will be. I really enjoy living in a place where fresh produce is so inexpensive. However, packaged items are much more expensive, and meat is somewhat comparable.
Expensive items here are: oil, milk ($4+ per gallon if you buy skim), milk products, convenience foods, salsa, etc. When I realize that food is comparable, but average income is over 5X less here, it makes me realize why I feel like we spend so much on food. Relatively speaking, it's about 5x more. Which makes me understand why those in poverty here have such a hard time feeding their families (many, who have jobs, have to work more than 1, even if they don't live in poverty). I feel like we do a good job when we spend $40 per week (usually ends up being $150-$200/month) , but when I think about our monthly income being $800 (well, technically this is our budget, we're still raising support to reach it), it doesn't seem quite as good. Ah well, the important thing is that God is providing, and we're eating yummy produce.
end "brief" interlude
So, back to me walking. I strapped Jeremiah into the carrier on my front; took an almost empty diaper back-pack, and walked down the hill to the grocery store (5 min walk) after stopping in at the wood stain store to say hi to a friend. First, I bought some groceries at the first supermarket (I only made it to one in this trip), and filled my diaper back-pack with the items. Then, I walked to the market to buy veggies. I bought a huge bag full of vegetables (which were put all in one bag) and somehow made it back up the hill to my house. Daniel estimated that the bag of groceries weighed at least 20 pounds (he thought closer to 25). Wow, I'm not sure I'm going to want to do that very often. That was my workout for the day. And we still had the meat market, other grocery store, and fruit market to go to. Luckily, I just found out that the meat market delivers for free, so that should help in the future.
Anyway, once we buy all our groceries I'll blog my menu plan and how we did (though I already know we went over our budget- arg!)
Find more frugal tips at Biblical Womanhood.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
What are some ways you keep the romance alive in your marriage?
For more Works for me Wednesday, see Rocks in My Dryer.
I've been tagged for a link meme:
*Start Copying Here*
I have randomly selected 5 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!)
It’s real easy!
Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially!
The benefits of Viral Linking:
- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!
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The Strategist Notebook ~ Link Addiction ~ Ardour of the Heart ~ When Life Becomes a Book ~ The Malaysian Life ~ Yogatta.com ~ What goes under the sun ~ Roshidan’s Cyber Station ~ Sasha says ~ Arts of Physics ~ And the legend lives ~ My View, My Life ~ A Simple Life ~ Juliana RW ~ Mom Knows Everything ~ Beth & Cory's Mom ~ A Mind Forever Voyaging~ enjoying the ride ~ Jennifer's thoughts ~ Mom of 3 Girls ~ Amanda ~ Don't Make Me Get The Flying Monkeys ~ ExPat Mom ~ Just Jessie ~ Wilson Six ~Krisitn ~ Nuttier Than You ~ Shonnte ~ Summer's Nook ~ Laura Williams Musings ~ Melissa's Idea Garden ~~ Eve at Confessions of an Everyday Housewife ~~ Blah Blah Blog ~~ Stop the Ride! ~~ Soap, Blings & Girly Things It's All for the Best ~ Keeping Feet ~ Junky Love in Freehand ~ Getting Out of Debt ~ Free From Broke Knits and Knots ~ Two Kitties and a Puppy ~ Wissman.org ~ Retro Brett ~ Changing Seasons
If your blog is one of the last five, I've tagged you. :)
Have fun exploring blogs!
Monday, February 18, 2008
So I'm a little late, but I don't do much posting over the weekend. On Thursday Jeremiah and I went to school to visit Daniel for lunch. That night we had a babysitter and went to one of the churches here for a couples dinner. It was nice. :) On Saturday we had our yearly tradition. My family had the tradition of eating fondue on Valentine's day (I think it started when I was in junior high). Since we have been married we have continued that tradition. This year, we discussed how we want Valentines to be a family holiday. So we exchanged cards and gifts on Saturday and made sure to have Jeremiah at the table with us.
A little about the meal:
Usually we have cheese fondue with bread, followed by meat and veggies in oil, and finish with fruit in caramel sauce. This year, however, we had to make a slight alteration. Since I'm avoiding milk and want to slowly start dairy again, we had tomato sauce with homemade garlic bread to dip as the appetizer. We also decided to go a little healthier and do a Chinese chicken broth with chicken, zucchini, cabbage, and other veggies to cook in it. We ended with homemade caramel sauce using soy milk and yummy fruit. It was a delicious, fun meal!
In order to stay "modest" tried to have a conveniently located washcloth. However, Jeremiah kept trying to eat the washcloth, so we didn't get much useable footage. This video is ok though. :)
For more meet-and-greet, see Beth's page.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Last Christmas I bought Daniel a rice maker (a fairly inexpensive soft one). Besides making rice, we've discovered that it works really well for soaking beans. We can put in the beans and water, heat them up on high, and turn them to low during overnight. Since then, dry beans have not been as intimidating to me. Then one day we decided to make extra beans, since we were going to the hassle of soaking them anyway, and we froze a few jars in the freezer. When I pulled out the jars recently to use them for "refried" beans, they were nice and soft and worked wonderfully! So, now if I ever soak the beans, I make extra and freeze them to have beans on hand the next time.
And just recently we found another use for our rice cooker- steaming carrots for hours so they're nice and soft for a tiny toothless mouth!
I thought I would include an easy and good bean dip recipe I got from my mother-in-law. Serve with crackers or veggies as a healthy snack.
Blend the following ingredients (we use a mini-food processor):
1 can navy beans (or a few cups dried and soaked)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
After the teaching session on Friday night, we had about 40 minutes for guided individual time. The retreat is located at a beautiful retreat center in Jarabacoa, so I found a place outside, in the dark, to sit, took out my flashlight, held Jeremiah, and started reading. Jeremiah was asleep, so I had about 20 minutes of very peaceful time looking at Psalm 29 (before it started raining and I had to go inside and change Jeremiah's diaper). Our directions were to read over it noting the human actions and God's actions, thinking about what it says about God, and then thinking about how we might react.
This beautiful psalm describes the awesome power and majesty of God.
"The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters." (vs. 3)
It also tells us our proper response,
"Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness" (vs. 2)
As I was reading, verse 9 jumped out at me:
"The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, "Glory."
After reading vs. 9, I had a mental image of an uncountable group of people bowing before God's throne, hearts filled with awe and wonder, unable to say anything but "glory!" What a beautiful picture! I long for such passion; to see the awesome holiness of God as it really is. I've had fleeting glimpses of it- especially through His creation. But I long for the day when I will finally see God's glory unveiled!
The last verse says,
"The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace."
After such a powerful psalm of God's power, I love how it ends with peace. In spite all of that terrifying wonderful power, God is our peace. Or maybe because of that power. After all, doesn't it bring peace to know that the same powerful God who's voice breaks the cedars longs for intimacy with us, in spite of our brokenness?
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
(it used to be a nalgene, but my husband had it at work with him the day I needed it and this worked just as well; I do have a rolling pin, I just don't like it)
Anyone else have any creative kitchen utensils I can add to my list?
Monday, February 11, 2008
The door to Jeremiah's room
First hand and foot prints
Shelves made by daddy as school cubbies converted to toy/book shelf; rocking chair with blanket made by Joanna
Winnie the Pooh curtains and stickers above door (we put these stickers around the room)
Dresser/Changing Table made by Daddy
Friday, February 08, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
On Friday, Daniel dropped me off with Jeremiah and Karen (a mother of 2 and a teacher at JCS, who roomed with me at the retreat). It turned out that this year, Jeremiah was the only baby there (they allow nursing babies). The evening's theme was "acknowleding His glory." Each "session" consists of four main components: worship, teaching time, personal reflection, and small group time. They keep the teaching time short to ensure lots of personal reflection (one of my favorite parts of the retreat!). There were three other sessions that weekend (Saturday morning and evening, and Sunday morning). Their themes were: "valueing God above all things", "remembering what God has done", and "making His glory known". Thanks to my wonderful husband who picked Jeremiah up Saturday morning and brought him back for feedings, I was able to have baby-free time to focus on the teaching and listening to God.
Over the next few weeks, I want to share what God taught me from each session, and how He is continuing to teach me. This will hopefull encourage you and further ingrain it in my hear.
For now, here are some highlights from the weekend:
-Refreshing individual time listening to God and reflecting on His Word
-Great praise time in English and Spanish
-Great fellowship with other women (it's so nice after living with all boys and tutoring all boys!)
-Fun talking and laughing time with other women
-Relaxing break Saturday afternoon to rest, make jewelry (supplied by the retreat), and talk
-Lots of good Dominican food!
-Not needing to make food
-Not needing to do dishes
-Meeting new people from around the island
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
The spinner section
Friday, February 01, 2008
4 lb Papaya fruit
1 tb Ground cinnamon
1 tb Ground nutmeg
1 tb Ground pumpkin pie spice
1/2 lb Brown sugar
1 c White sugar
3 Eggs, beaten
1 9" Pre-made pie shell -(Graham cracker shell)
Cut fruit meat from skin; cut fruit into chunks. Add sugars, let set 10-15 minutes. Place sugared fruit in a pot large enough to handle, cook over medium heat until fruit is tender and is easily broken into smaller pieces, about 30 minutes. Stir occassionally, to keep papaya from sticking. Add spices about halfway through the cooking process. When papaya is cooked, allow to cool about 15 minutes, add the beaten eggs, and place in the pie shell. Bake at 350 deg F for about 45 minutes.
Of course, I made some changes. My papaya was a little big, about 5lbs, but I used it all anyway. For the nutmeg, I only had whole, so I ground it myself (using the small side of a cheese shredder worked well). I didn't have any pumpkin pie spice, so I just made it myself (cinnamon, ginger, allspice or clove ,and nutmeg). I found the recipe somewhere online. I looked up online how much 1/2 lb of brown suger was, and found many different answers (ranged from 2-3+ cups for 1 lb. I decided to go on the small end and use the 2 cup (though I know it wouldn't be that exactly), and put in half of that (since it called for 1/2 lb). I only have brown (it's not American brown; it's somewhere between American brown and white sugar), so I used it for both (the total sugar was about 2 cups and a little more because I threw some more in later).
I made the crust, but couldn't find any graham crackers at the store, so I used some cookies (somewhere in between a graham cracker and vanilla waffer), as suggeted by Daniel. I made more than one recipe, because one never seems to be enough for a pie.
When the papaya was cooked, I poured it into the pie pan, but it didn't all fit- there was lots leftover! So, I grabbed two of the mini bread pans we bought over Christmas break, laid some of the cookies at the bottom, and poured in the rest of the papaya. I baked them in the oven (I'm not sure what the temp was, our oven doesn't work that way) and pulled them out when the filling had set. The crust was a little over done, but it still tasted fine. We ate the mini bread pan "pies" for lunch and saved the real pie for after dinner.
The most important part- Daniel loved it! He also got a kick out of eating the "leftovers" first.
Here are some pics of our Papaya "Pies." They look funny, but tasted great! (When they were warm they were a little too sweet and needed coffee (I forgot that Papayas here are riper and more sugary), but when we ate them cold from the fridge they were fine).
The pie (with slightly burnt crust...)