Category Archives: Recipes

Our New No-Waste-Zone

Our New No-Waste-Zone

 

So….here we are in Maryland. Big changes. Big adjustments. Life is definitely different. Our house essentially has the same rooms. But they are all smaller than before and we have a fireplace and stairs…less to clean. But our budget has needed some vast overhauling. Due to unexpected circumstances we have had to cut and that has been mainly in our food…which is to say: we have really become a No-Waste-Zone!!!

Homemade Banana Bread

Brown bananas into banana bread (and their peels to the rose bush). Leftover green beans and rice into our soup from our roasted turkey breast shredded and broth from it’s bones. And oatmeal not eaten by the kids goes into a bag to throw into “porridge bread”. I almost feel like my new motto is “I have a bread for that!”

Which brings me to this morning. After visiting historic Colvin Mill yesterday and purchasing blue cornmeal and roasted yellow cornmeal, I was inspired! We made some cornmeal mush from the roasted yellow for breakfast (like cream of wheat but cornmeal instead).

My children rejected it. Even with honey to sweeten the buttered concoction, they were just not used to it and took an immediate disliking. Granted, they did eat some and made do with it, but there was definitely a fair amount left. So I ate mine and mulled what to do with the rest.

Cornmeal Mush Breakfast Bread

And then it hit me: just add the rest of the ingredients and make cornbread! So simple and no waste! It is sweet because of the added honey and it has butter and a bit of salt already. I just added the flour, leavening, and milk.

From Scratch Turkey Chili with Masa Cornbread

This has been a total shift in my thinking in the kitchen. Peels, skins, and ends of garlic, onion, and carrots go into the freezer as well as bones from our roasted poultry to make into the bone broth. I wait to eat lunch until my kids have finished and eat what they don’t. When I made a bit too much alfredo sauce and pasta for our casserole containing shredded turkey and broccoli, I just threw it in the fridge for a small lunch later.

Anything I am about to put in the garbage I look at wondering if there is another application or use. I cringe throwing out our apple cores knowing I could make apple cider vinegar. We just don’t have a way to do that yet. Our lack of storage means way less space to let it ferment.

So this is our life now…and it is great! A new appreciation for kitchen skills, frugality, and the ability to provide healthier options for our family’s diet.

 

So, what have you reused or stretched in the kitchen? Leave a comment below.

Getting in the Greens

Getting in the Greens

GettingInTheGreens

 

Vegetables.  Man is it hard for me and the fam to get them into us.  In my own life I know it seems to be going so quick  every day that we eat only fast or quick snacks and meals.  We get into these ruts every few months or so and have to kick our butts out of it!

So I obtained a soup recipe.  A green soup.  A detox soup.  With lots and lots of vegetables.  Makes sense since I found it on the site of a gluten free vegetarian.  It took me longer to make it than I anticipated, but it usually does with new recipes.  But it is very tasty and very full of veggies!  So here’s the link:

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2011/01/detox-green-soup-recipe-with-broccoli.html

Now, more about this fabulous site…I also have good friends, with and without children, that are allergic to gluten and so on.  I have looked for recipes that allow us to host dinners and coffee dates with these restrictions and have come across an endearing and rather remarkable blog.   The long and short of it is that this lovely lady was an awesome baker and cook and wrote the cookbooks to prove it!  However she got sick with celiac disease and had to give up gluten and more.  But no worries, she couldn’t stop  baking and cooking just because of silly gluten having to be left out.  I have found delightful recipes on her site from gluten free pumpkin pies to buckwheat chocolate chip cookies to gluten free brownies and on and on and on.

Some people are required to cook and bake this way.  Some choose to do so to have a healthier and more natural lifestyle.  I choose to use her recipes to treat my friends who need to be gluten free so they can have decadent and truly delicious edibles.  And I eat them because they taste extremely awesome!!!

So.  Here’s to this remarkable lady and her remarkable blog!

Pumpkin Spice Latte…psych!

Pumpkin Spice Latte…psych!

Pumpkin SpiceLatte

OK, so I am definitely one of the many that have become crazily addicted to Starbucks and their lattes.  But let’s face it, I know I am not the only one that really can’t afford them.  I mean at all!  And of course there is also the fact that caffeine, sugar and chocolate are not really something you want your children taking in overly in the breast-milk.  To do so right before nap-time is not the brightest idea.

So here is a little idea I had today that brightened my day without costing me $3.50 plus tax (just for a tall caffe mocha http://www.fastfoodmenuprices.com/starbucks-prices/).  I have bought the Starbucks Christmas blend (or Thanksgiving Blend is good, too) in decaf along with International Delight Pumpkin Spice creamer and Reddi-Whip.  You just brew your coffee, add the creamer to the sweetness and creaminess you prefer and add a bit of whip on top for an comparable replica of the real deal without making the process overly involved.  I have had a truly delightful morning enjoying my treat at home with my kids.  🙂

You don’t have to buy actual Starbucks brand coffee to brew for such a treat.  Just make sure you are drinking decaf if you can help it and watch your whip intake.  Some people even enjoy the sugar free whip cream.  Most importantly, it’s just making sure that you make your coffee the way you like it.  Don’t be afraid to experiment, though, if you want!

May make a great Christmas present.  Ask for some great quality coffee for this treat if you are into coffee as much as I am.  Starbucks brand is pricey but worth it in my opinion.  Other quality brands include Seattle’s Best (same company as Starbucks), Lattitudes, Green Mountain, and usually local or small coffee companies are able to roast their own coffee beans in small batches.  The smaller the company the better the coffee more often.

There are of course a number of pins on Pinterest that are worth trying for those of you wanting a more involved approach or an actual Starbucks copycat recipe. Here are a few to check out.

Tomorrow I will try this with the Peppermint Mocha creamer by International Delight!  It’s going to be sweet…literally!