Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kimmie in Real Life! (week 8)

"It is not how much we have 
but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness".
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

 Picnics in our yard,
walks around the block,
laying on the trampoline looking at stars,
laying down and soaking up the sunshine
hiking Cress Creek
walks around the park,
trying to keep cool on these hot summer days,
JOY in abundance...
this is what our past week was full of!

It was also full of yummy food and treats...
Here are the highlights of our week.

 Our week started off by making another batch of Homemade Tortillas and Tracy cooked some Tilapia fish and we filled tortillas with fish, mangoes, cabbage, chives, radishes AND cilantro (that we grew in our garden) and we topped them with some homemade ranch dressing... 
It was absolutely yummo!

Summer time means LOTS of yummy salads
and I love pasta salad as it is so versatile with what you can add in it.
Such a great use for garden produce and boiled eggs.
Definitely ALWAYS a hit with all of us when it is made up!

It felt like Christmas in July 
 with the yummy smell that these almonds filled our house with! 
Jade had to go to a dinner at his friends house and so we made up a batch of Cinnamon Roasted Almonds for him to take... 
we also took a bag of these to our neighbor who was celebrating a birthday.
So good!!  I need to make these more often and not just at Christmas!

Used whole wheat flour and 
made up delicious peanut butter cookies!
  Love the hearty, soft texture these cookies have. Used a tip from my neighbor and added in a Butterfinger candy bar all chopped up.  (I usually buy $20.00 worth of candy bars from Maverick in the spring when they are on Sale 5 for $2.00 and put them away so when we take the kids swimming or on outings, we bring along a treat for them to enjoy afterwards).

This week I decided to venture out and make 
Homemade Vanilla Yogurt
from our food storage powdered milk.
Definitely, VERY easy to make.
Heat oven to 200 degrees, mix water/dry milk powder...heat on stove to 180 degrees, remove from heat and cool to 110 degrees, add in yogurt start (we also added in vanilla and maple syrup) I put mine in a pickle jar, put the lid on... turned off oven, and turned on oven light, put container in oven and let sit for 8-12 hours. I put mine in the oven at 6:30 pm and pulled it out at 5:00 am the next morning when I got up for work. It was still quite thin, but I put it in the fridge and when I pulled it out in the afternoon it was all set up.  While the texture is nothing like it is in store bought yogurt, it is very tasty and if you make a lot of smoothies, or enjoy yogurt topped with fresh fruit, this is perfect for those uses.
Really reminds me of the texture/taste 
of Greek Yogurt.

Jade has been begging me for Gingersnap cookies
and so I made a batch of these. Love these as you just chill the dough and then you make cookies as you need them.   
These make your house smell SO good and they taste wonderful as well! 

Neighborhood kids enjoyed these as they swam in the neighbors pool  and rode around on their bicycles. Ethan told me that they kept saying to him...
"Hey Ethan, go and ask your mom if we can have more cookies"! 

Jade also begged me to make up Lion House Rolls.
So light and fluffy and they were the perfect accompaniment to our Lemon Herbed Chicken and the leftover rolls made PERFECT sandwiches with our leftover chicken.  
Ethan commented over and over how YUMMY they were 
and “could you make those up again”!   
I love that this recipe uses powdered milk!

I haven't made loaves of French Bread for awhile
as I have been making hoagie buns instead.  
I made up French Bread for Jade to take to a dinner he was invited to. I sent him with a loaf and we enjoyed the other loaf. 
SO yummy and good and it seriously makes the best sandwiches.

When I made up potato salad for Tracy’s work luncheon, I boiled up extra eggs so we could make egg salad sandwiches the next day for lunch.   

I think that is such a big thing about being frugal and thrifty,
is you are always thinking about tomorrow’s meals TODAY
and planning, planning, planning.

We felt like kings this week with cooking up a chicken and making potato casserole, rolls and steaming up some spinach from our garden!  
WOW, we were SO spoiled!
Such a decadent meal that we all felt a little guilty and it was hard to not overeat, especially after Tracy and I had just discussed with our kids the starvation problem in Somalia and South Africa.  

 The leftover chicken made sandwiches and we added it to salad greens from our garden.
I boiled up the carcass for an hour with water, drained off the yummy broth and made a batch of Cabbage Soup with the rest of our green cabbage, ½ head of purple cabbage and some leftover broccoli stem.

It was absolutely delicious! 
Love making sure nothing goes to waste!
Any chicken carcass that we have from Rotisserie Chickens, OR, chicken we make up ourselves, ALWAYS gets boiled and the broth gets made into one of our many yummy soup recipes!

Nuts about nuts! 
We are a NUT loving family and 
many of my recipes use nuts of some kind.
SO, this is how I always have nuts on hand so any recipe can be made up at any time. I purchase large bags of nuts at Sam’s Club and the price ranges from $10 to $15 per bag (depending upon which nut) and then I store them in our cool food storage room. Most of them have a shelf life of at least a year and keeping them cool helps them last.  
I have a large bag of pecans, walnuts, several bags of raw almonds and bags of sunflower seeds and cashews. Such a great way to save money and also wonderful to have it where we can make any recipe, any time we would like to.

Summer-Time is always FULL of smoothies...
my family would really like these for every meal if they could.
Refreshing, nutritious and each and every one is ENJOYED!

Garden greens, radishes and chives that we grew in our garden,
topped with the last of leftover chicken,
I never tire of salad...
and Buttermilk Biscuits have been a favorite of mine since college...
SO yummy!

Saturday night was hectic as we worked late in our yard and when it finally was way past dinner time the kids asked what we were going to have...
SO, I opened up 2 cans of white beans, dumped in some salsa and a can of green chilies and blended until smooth.
Put in a pan, topped with cheese, and melted, turned to low and let simmer 20-30 minutes.
Topped with a dollop of sour cream and garden chives and it was perfect!

July 17th - 23rd
Green Smoothie, Zucchini Bread
Fish Tacos with garden fresh veggies on homemade tortillas
Huckleberry Floats (with Huckleberry Soda we had in our food storage)

Steel Cut Oats
Leftover Chow Mein, Bananas, Grapes, Zucchini Bread
Pasta Salad, Green Smoothie
(made homemade vanilla yogurt)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Pasta Salad, Banana, Apple Slices,
(Kids and I) Pasta Salad, Mango, Banana pineapple and homemade yogurt smoothie
(made Cinnamon Roasted Almonds and French Bread for Jade to take to his friends dinner party...also took a cellophane bag of Cinnamon Almonds to our neighbor for her birthday)
Peanut Butter Cookies
Jade went and had dinner at a friends house
We dropped him off and waited in Rexburg and so Ethan was hungry and we grabbed a "hot and ready" and went and enjoyed it at the park
(made Potato Salad for Tracy's work luncheon)

Steel Cut Oats
Boiled egg sandwiches on French Bread, grapes, lime drink, Peanut Butter Cookies
Tracy treated us to "Nacho Mucho" at our favorite local Mexican Restaurant "Mi Casa"...(aka Plum Loco)
(we both had the day off and worked hard in the house, took the kids to IF to walk the greenbelt and they were hungry and Tracy was a sweetie and treated us to dinner)
(made Gingersnap cookie dough)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Tuna/Radish sandwich, Apple, Gingersnap cookies
(kids and I) Tuna/Radish sandwich (toasted with melted cheese), smoothie, Gingersnap cookies
Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken (that cooked all day in my crock-pot), steamed spinach from our garden, potato casserole, Lime Drink, Lion House Rolls

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy)Chicken Sandwiches on leftover rolls, Apples, Gingersnaps
(kids and I) Smoothie, Chicken Sandwiches on leftover rolls, Gingersnaps
Cabbage Soup, rolls

Steel Cut Oats
Salad from fresh garden greens, radishes, chives and leftover chicken ,cherries, Buttermilk Biscuits
Homemade Bean Dip, topped with sour cream and fresh chives with Chips
Links to recipes used this week

Every time I listen to the news lately
they are talking about the famine in Somalia and South Africa and
I truly feel an abundance of gratitude for everything I have in my life. 
We are rich in all of the little things in life that sometimes are taken for granted...
nourishing food, clean water and air, sanitary living conditions, safety, clothing, a washing machine to wash our clothes, home that keeps us protected from the elements, able to grow fresh garden produce, Freedom, Happiness and the list goes on...

Life is wonderful
and I learned this week how true this quote really is:

"The difference between the impossible and the possible 
lies in a person's determination" 
Tommy Lasorda .

So grateful for all of the HAPPINESS
that I enjoy each and every day of my life
Happy Life and Happy Week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Food Storage makes delicious yogurt!

Okay, so I have entered the realm of making homemade yogurt
and not just any homemade yogurt...
yogurt made from DRY Milk powder (aka Powdered Milk).

Who would have ever known that you could take powdered milk and turn it into delicious tasting yogurt!

While the texture is nothing like it is in store bought yogurt, it is very tasty and if you make a lot of smoothies, or, your family enjoys eating yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in this recipe is perfect for those.
AND it's such an added benefit that you made it yourself as it is SO easy,
you don't have to worry about all the added sugar, high fructose corn syrup
and artificial ingredients that are in store bought yogurt...
homemade yogurt is definitely a "Win-Win"!

This really reminds me of the texture/taste of Greek Yogurt.

Everything is from food storage except for the plain yogurt start you use, but after you have made your first batch, you can use your own yogurt for starts.

The yogurt really tastes much better after it has aged for a few days.
I made it on Tuesday and it tasted okay the first afternoon, but it was AMAZING and really good on Sunday when we finished it up.

Tracy and I topped ours with fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, frozen blueberries and since we didn't have any granola, we crumbled part of a homemade Gingersnap cookie and put it on the top and WOW was it ever yummy!

The first day we made it,
we made the most delicious smoothie I think we have ever made.
The kids asked me if it was a milkshake and if we used ice cream. NOPE...just homemade yogurt, banana, mangoes, pineapple, vanilla and ice!

Homemade Vanilla Yogurt
(turn on oven to 200 degrees)
3-3/4 cups water
1-1/2 cups dry milk powder
1/3 cup plain yogurt with live active cultures
1 envelope plain gelatine
1/4 cup REAL maple syrup (OR you can use 1/4 cup RAW honey)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together water and powdered milk in large saucepan over medium heat. Heat to 180 degrees F just below boiling point. (I just put in my candy thermometer and when it reached 180 degrees pulled it off the heat). Do not allow milk to boil!!
Remove milk from heat and let cool to lukewarm (110 degrees)
Take out 1/4 cup milk and put in separate bowl
Add gelatin to the smaller portion of milk and completely dissolve.
Add maple syrup, vanilla, and gelatin to larger pan of milk and stir to combine
Add in plain yogurt and stir until blended.
Put into clean containers and put on lid (I just used a glass pickle jar)
Turn off oven
Put jar in oven and turn on OVEN light and let sit 10-12 hours.

I put mine in the oven at 6:30 at night and pulled it out the next morning at 5:00 when I got up to go to work. It was still a little runny looking when I put it in the fridge, but when I pulled it out that afternoon it was all set up nicely. Keep in mind that it THICKENS after it cools and has chilled, so don't panic if it is not perfectly set up when you pull it out of the oven.

Can't wait for the next batch to be done to enjoy
another week of YUMMY yogurt snacks and smoothies!

What a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to not have to rely on the store to enjoy yogurt!

Friday, July 22, 2011

HI-YA! (and children's home rules)

 This year as I look at how hectic and busy our summer has been, 
I reflect on last years summer when Ethan had  
Tae Kwon Do class twice a week for 6 weeks.  
I don't know how we squeezed it into our schedules, but we did.   

We heard SO many kids saying the words "HI-YA" while doing their "kicks" every single class, that it is something we laugh at quite often, especially 
when Ethan is wearing his "HI YA" shirt that says 
"nice to meet you
on the bottom of the foot that is being kicked!  

Last year since I was dealing with such bad arm problems, I didn't get all of the things posted that I wanted to journal and save for memories sake.  

Memories of Tae Kwon Do with Tim Laderman
(albeit, the room only had just a few fluorescent lights on in such a large room and so the photos are NOT good at all, but they are memories, nonetheless)
What I loved most about the Tae Kwon Do class was the 
Children's Home Rules 
that they gave the kids that they had to memorize and repeat each week in class.

I think they are wonderful rules for everyday life...
simple rules and guidelines
that cover every aspect of life and help my kids be respectful to others
and responsible members of our household and society.

Also, great for teaching "Choices" and "Accountability"
and gets kids in the thinking mode.
 I thought I would post them as I thought others may enjoy these rules as well, especially during the summer when we are all striving to have order to our homes and lives.

Children's Home Rules
(1) Children shall greet their parents when they enter the house and tell them goodbye when they leave.
(2) Children shall at all times respect their parents and grandparents.
(3) Children shall at all times be truthful.
(4) Children shall strive for a good relationship with their brothers and sisters.
(5) Children shall willingly help with household chores.
(6) Children shall report to their parents when they have completed assigned tasks.
(7) Children shall be responsible for keeping their rooms neat and clean.
(8) Children shall daily keep their hair, teeth and body clean.
(9) Children shall abide by their parent's decisions.
(10) Children shall not interrupt adult conversations.
(11) Children shall refrain from rowdy behavior at home.
(12) Children shall develop an active mind, body and spirit.
(13) Children shall study hard both at school and at home.
(14) Children shall at all times respect their teachers and peers.
(Children who do not obey their parents, may be reduced in rank...
OR, Kimmie's rule..miss out on fun activities that they want to do!

Great thing to memorize and to keep posted 
so everyone is aware of what is expected of them!  
 It has definitely worked for our family!

 I love my Children's Home Rules
list hanging on my fridge...
it is wonderful!
(Thank you Mr. Laderman!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kimmie in Real Life! (week 7)

“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, 
but the realization of how much you already have.” 

This week was all about
Other than some grilled salmon, tuna/radish sandwiches and some chicken in our Chow Mein the rest of our meals didn't have meat, but were FULL of veggies! 
Can you say yummy!!

Friday (7-7)
I knew that Saturday was going to be hectic as I had to work from 8-12 and we wanted to make some good headway getting projects done out in our yard and so I made up a batch of Minestrone Soup on Friday afternoon and put it in the fridge for us to pull out and eat during the weekend.
This Minestrone Soup served with Toasted Artisan Bread truly tastes like something you would get in a restaurant.  
It’s such a great recipe to make when you have random spinach and cabbage that you need to use up. Very nourishing and healthy!

I Love taking whole wheat flour 
and wheat germ and making pancakes with them!
I purchase wheat germ in BULK and then I freeze it (double bagged) in the freezer to keep it fresh and then have a pint sized jar in my fridge that I use as well.

We are in love with TOASTED Artisan Bread! 
It is the perfect accompaniment for soup or salad. 

Never underestimate how YUMMY leftover pancakes taste when made into a sandwich for lunch! I had to hide the leftover pancakes so the kids wouldn’t snitch them so I could make sandwiches for Monday’s lunch.  Kids were VERY happy with this lunch!

How does your garden grow? 
It seems like just yesterday our seeds just started to sprout and then we blinked and they are SO big and needing to be picked!  If you want to feel like a successful gardener just plant radishes. This is my first year I planted them and they ALL GREW!  
We are swimming in radishes.
(definitely going to follow the directions to sow them every 2 weeks next time we plant).
I hated to waste the gorgeous green tops of the radishes and so did some inquiring online and found out YES indeed that they were edible and turned them into the most delicious soup!  Everyone wanted seconds and there wasn’t any leftovers!   
Can't wait to grow more radishes to make more of this soup!

Also loved cutting Mesclun greens, Spinach and Swiss Chard 
 from our garden along with green onions and radishes and enjoyed the YUMMIEST dinner of Salad, grilled salmon and Toasted Artisan Bread.

The first red/purple smoothie we have had in a long time! 
WOW, this is so yummy, I wish I could open up a smoothie shop and sell would definitely be a top seller! Yummy!!

Frozen zucchini from last year was pulled out and made into delicious Zucchini Bread.  
Ethan informed me this week while he was eating the last slice that this was his very favorite thing and so I made up another batch just for him. He was thrilled!

Honey Cookies!  
I always have happy kids and hubby when these are made up sitting on our cake stand to enjoy!  I usually make up dough and chill and then I have dough to make for 2-3 days worth of cookies.  
These were a childhood favorite of mine that I used to enjoy at my Grandma Shuman’s house and now they are a favorite of my kids and Tracy as well!
Great cookies that are soft and not sweet for little kids.

Chow Mein...
so healthy, so easy and SO good! 

I'm finally out of tortillas (Tracy had tortillas leftover from some of his campouts and we have been using those for quesadillas).  However, they are all gone.   
We have SO much spinach, radishes and green onions from our garden that I wanted to put them to use in a fun way. I made 1/2 batch of tortillas on Wednesday night (6 tortillas total) and then Thursday morning I spread them with cream cheese, sprinkled on green onions, thinly sliced radishes and cucumbers and then spinach leaves, rolled them up and sliced them into thirds and we enjoyed a delicious lunch/snack.

ALSO, kids loved these so much they were sad we didn’t have anymore to eat,
so they begged for me to make another FULL batch so Jade could take some on his hike with his youth group on Friday and also so we could have a container in the fridge to grab a quick snack.
SO fun to have things that you made yourself and that you didn’t have to rely on a store.  
 Tortillas homemade with your own two hands are absolutely delicious, no matter how you fix them!

Jade was going on a hike with his youth group and I asked him what he wanted me to make for food….Tortilla wraps, FRUIT and Nut Cookies, apple halves with peanut butter to spread in the middle of them and Pecan, Almond and Cashew Nut Mix.

I had purchased a large bag of limes for $3.00 and noticed after a few days of sitting in the heat, that they were drying up. I cut them all up into slices, put some waxed paper on cookie sheet and froze them.   
After frozen, I pulled them out and put them in a  Zip-loc bag and I have been pulling out a lime slice each time we make a smoothie, OR, if I am making a Lime Drink, I pull out three and add to the mix and this has been awesome!
Mixed together
frozen blueberries, pineapple, yogurt, and Stevia and froze them into fruit pops!!
Delicious and such a wonderful, healthy way to cool off in the summer heat!

No matter what combination of fruit and veggies we blended up, each smoothie was SO yummy and very much enjoyed!

My sister-in-law sent me such a thoughtful gift in the mail...a book full of different Artisan Bread recipes...I found a yummy recipe for Spinach Calzones in the book and made it up for my family as we are swimming in spinach from our garden.   It was delicious, but it would have been better with more filling...  So, I need to tweak the recipe until it is exactly perfect how we like and then I will post that.

We butchered up some chickens this weekend as we bought a dozen pullets in the spring to replace some of our older hens, but one of them ended up being a rooster and it has been
driving me crazy hearing it CROWING each morning... 
we also have some hens that have gotten broody and if we aren't out there gathering eggs after they have laid them, they eat them.  The joys of chickens!
SO, we spent all Saturday morning butchering them.
Excited to make some yummy soup from the carcasses.

July 10th - 16th
Whole Wheat pancakes with fresh strawberries and Cherries
Zucchini Bread
Minestrone Soup with toasted Artisan Bread
Lime Drink

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Minestrone, Artisan Bread, Cherries, Zucchini Bread
(kids) Pancake Sandwiches, Smoothie
Cherries, Zucchini Bread
Minestrone, Toasted Artisan Bread, Lime Drink


Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy)Zucchini Bread, Cherries, Grapes, String Cheese
(kids and me) Smoothie, Quesadillas, Cherries
(kids)Frozen Fruit Pops
Grilled Salmon, Green Salad (all from our garden), Toasted Artisan Bread, Lime Drink
(Tracy and I) Chocolate Covered Bananas
Ranch Popcorn
(made honey cookie dough and chilled)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Tuna Sandwich on Multi-Grain bread, radishes, grapes
(kids and I) Tuna Sandwiches with sliced radishes, Smoothie (blueberries, grapes, pineapple, cherries, lime, water, ice and honey)
Fruit Pops
Radish Top Soup, sliced radishes, Toasted Artisan Bread, Lime Drink
Honey Cookies
(made a batch homemade tortillas)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy)Homemade tortillas spread with cream cheese, green onions, radishes, spinach leaves and cucumbers and rolled up, grapes, strawberries from our garden and Honey Cookies
(kids and I)Same homemade tortillas roll-ups as Tracy, but we had a smoothie to go with ours instead of fresh fruit 
Honey Cookies
Chow Mein over Brown Rice, Lime Drink 
Chocolate Covered Bananas
(made more tortillas)

Steel Cut Oats
Tortillas spread with cream cheese, green onions, radishes, cucumbers and spinach all rolled up, grapes, apples, Fruit and Nut Cookies
(Jade also took string cheese, peanut butter and Nut Mix)
Kids leftover Radish Top Soup and toast
Tracy and I shared an Orchard Oasis Jamba Juice

Green Smoothie, Fruit and Nut Cookies
Green Smoothie, Spinach and Cheese Calzone made out of Artisan Bread
LOTS of Otter Pops to cool off in the summer heat
Chocolate covered bananas

What a blessing it is to have a garden 
 and even though we didn't get our garden planted until the last weekend of June, it is growing and we are enjoying it!
I heard a segment on NPR last week and it really saddened me as they were talking about the famine in South Africa and how it is just not humanly possible to bring in food relief  for the millions of people that are starving to death.  
One village that they visited the people shared a whole chicken between 30 people and they had a few cans of water to share between them as well. 

It makes me have such a deep appreciation for each and every 
 morsel of food we have to eat and each and every glassful of clean water we have to drink and cook with!   

Even though most of our meals are not lavish at all, they are nourishing and comforting and give us the energy we need to be active and remain healthy!

Life is SO wonderful and 
I truly am blessed beyond measure!