Archive | May 2011

Quantity Time

OK so here it is. My first official blog not about food! I think it’s a good one to start out on too.  Choosing to stay at home versus working.

I have never, ever wanted to work outside the home.  I did for one year after I was married as a substitute teacher/nanny.  I really didn’t care for it. I’d like to use stronger words than that but I am trying not to say the “h” word since my 3 year old has picked up on it!

I love that my time is my own and I can choose how I spend it! Yes I have a lot of work to do like dishes, laundry, menu planning, etc.  But if I want to put it off for an hour while I read a book I can with no guilt. The vacuuming will still be there tomorrow.  I love that I can plop down and play dolls with my daughter or quilt or plant flowers and ignore my house.

I love that I am home to greet my boys when they get home from school.  I loved it that I grew up with a mother that stayed at home and was always there when I got home. I loved that in Junior high when I forgot a book she was there when I called to bring it to me.  Or if I was sick she was there to take care of me or do the housework while I laid in bed and read.  I never doubted that my mother loved me because she was there. She taught me how to take care of a well-run home. She taught me the importance of making meals, sewing clothes, civic duties, and church callings. She didn’t lecture, she lived!

This is quantity time!  I watched her and she taught. I’m sure she was aware of the teaching going on, heavens I was the last of six children.  She had it down pat by the time I came along.  I found this talk in a book that I highly recommend!!! I found it at Deseret Industries(a thrift store) for $2.00.  LDS Women’s Treasury published by Deseret Book, is a collection of talks written by mostly women on being a woman today.  I found a talk by Beppie Harrison called “A Deliberate Choice:Staying At Home.”  It is long but wonderful.  I searched for her talk online and found this one from the 1982 Ensign that says almost the same thing but a little shorter. Please read it. It will inspire you that the little things we do each day as mom’s and women are  not going unnoticed.   Our children are watching us.  They are our most important audience.

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Beans, Beans, Beans

I have a healthy relationships with beans. What does that mean? Well I never liked beans growing up. Whenever my mom attempted to put beans in our taco meat I would complain loudly. As a grown up I’ve learned how healthy they were and now I am finding ways to enjoy them. As we are eating less meat I am trying to find even more ways to use beans. The interesting thing I ‘ve learned about canned beans is that they aren’t great. The aluminum from the can seaps into the beans. And we all know that aluminum is not healthy for us. I’ve even become a stinkier person lately because I don’t want it near me(stopped using antipersperant.) I went shopping to buy ingredients for chili today.  I have to serve it to 70 ladies at church and I didn’t feel well enough to buy dry beans yesterday and soak them and cook them today, so I bought canned beans.

Let me tell you the ingredients in the canned Small Red Beans:
Beans
Water
salt
Calcium Chloride(firming agent)
Ok… so those don’t look so bad, but when I looked on the kidney beans there were additional ingredients one of which was sugar. Why?
Why do we need to sweeten beans?
So make sure you are reading your labels. Not all beans nor brands are created equal. And if you can skip the can and cook dry beans. It’s very easy!

How to cook dry beans:

Put whatever kind of bean you are in need of into a large bowl. Cover them with water plus 2″. Then let them sit all day or over night. The next day rinse them well, less gas this way. Put them in a crockpot, covered with water plus extra again. Cook them on low all day. Leave out the salt and spices until ready to use or it makes the skins tough. The extras freeze in plastic bags wonderfully.

Nourishing your Spirit

Check out this link. This is something new for me so I hope the link works.

I love TED conferences. If you haven’t ever watch one you should. TED.com or Youtube has them.  But this one was with the conductor Eric Whitacre. Actually I’ve never heard of him until today. But he put together a 2,000 voice virtual choir with clips of people singing his music all over the world.  It’s absolutely amazing and will make you feel like a better person for listening.  I have to remember not to just nourish my body with healthy foods but nourish my spirit with healthy music & art.

Grain free Granola

So in my family we soak our grains in warm water and leave them on the counter from 7-24 hours before eating them.  It reduces phytic acid which binds up minerals and the “good stuff” and stops our bodies from absorbing them.  If I don’t have time to soak my grains which frequently I don’t, then I try to serve other foods. Particularly produce.  My son is a bread fanatic! I haven’t gone to sourdough yet, I intend to this summer.  So my bread is not soaked so I don’t want him to eat too much of it.  Well as I consider that we need to eat less grains I am looking for recipes that we love with less grains. I came across this recipe today for Grain-free Granola! Iabsolutely love it!!!! It smells so good coming out of the oven beware that you don’t eat the whole batch then and there!

Grain Free Granola
makes 2 Quarts

2 cups almonds
2 cups walnuts
1 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 cup dried fruit of your choice, chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup sesame seeds, optional
1/2 stick butter or coconut oil or combination of both
1/4 cup brown sugar or muscovado sugar or maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a food processor, place the 2 cups of almonds and pulse a few times until they are chopped up. Some pieces will be much finer than others, which is what you want. Those little, fine pieces will remind you more of what granola is supposed to feel like (i.e. mimics a cereal grain in texture) while the big chunks are welcome as well. Pour almonds into a large mixing bowl. Do the same thing with the walnuts. Add the remaining seeds, fruit and coconut to the bowl and mix well.

In the meantime, combine butter, sugar and honey over heat until combined. Take off heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour the hot liquid into the nut mixture and stir well until evenly combined and all pieces are coated.

Pour the granola out onto a greased, walled cookie sheet and spread out to an even layer. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until you can smell the nuts roasting. When done, remove and allow to briefly cool on the cookie sheet before decanting into your preferred storage jar while still warm, taking care not to allow it to cool completely on the cookie sheet as it can stick.