Sunday, December 14, 2014

Working on my Christmas desserts...& Thanksgiving recap

I've been spending a lot of time trying to figure out what I want to do for dessert this year.  I've made four different lists, crossed out more than I've left uncrossed, and re-written the list on way too many scraps of paper.  Good thing we are recyclers!  I have a few favorite recipes I love to make, but we are such a small group that I feel like I am the one who ends up eating mostly everything.

I've gained ten pounds since my gallbladder surgery.  SIGH.  VERY LOUD SIGH.

A nurse friend told me last night not to stress about it, that my body needs time to adjust, but I know the truth,  I've grown lazy and have a tendency to binge eat with no ability to portion control.  I need to get off this emotional path I am on and get healthy again!  I am realistic and know that this is NOT the time of year to try to change.  Too much going on, too much stress with work and life and getting everything done in time.

So where was I?  Oh, yeah.

For Thanksgiving, I made a wonderful assortment of single serve desserts.  Mini Cannolis, mini peanut butter cheesecakes, mini apple pies and turtle cookies.  Much easier to watch how much you eat when you are only having a small piece, right?  As long as you don't keep going back for more and more, right?

I had a picture of these yummy desserts on my iPhone, but someone (who shall remain nameless) deleted all the food pics from the Photo Stream in effort to make more room in our cloud storage.  :(

So here are the links for Thanksgiving yumminess (all recipes were made with clean ingredients, of course:)

Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

Mini Cannoli

Apple Pies

Turtle Cookies

Well, I gotta say while I enjoyed not having pies, and doing something different, I think my sister-in-law and her family were disappointed.  They expected and wanted pies.  I think all the time and effort I put into making all of the above went unappreciated.  So next year they will get a boring apple pie and a boring pumpkin pie.  Hmpf.  I ended up with a lot of leftovers (left a lot at their house too) and some even went in the garbage after a few days.  So so much for that.

Now I am back to I stick with my traditional cookies to avoid disappointment by my guests, or do I make what I want?  LOL Or do I do a combination?  There are only eight of us; eight.  Four adults, three teen boys, and a pre-teen girl.  Most who have experienced teen boys would argue that three teen boys = six adults, so I should count them as double.  I don't want tons of leftovers, no one wants me bringing plates of cookies anymore (I used to LOVE baking for an entire weekend then giving it all away) so what to do?

I'm so overthinking this.  Kathy

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Clean Alcoholic Beverages?

Sad news today about my favorite shot of choice. :(  One the bottle is gone it will not be replaced.

Alko Recalls Fireball

Sigh.  That's all I got.  Sigh.

Happy Eating!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gallbladder Removal & Recovery

Today is Saturday.  The surgery was this past Monday.  I am still living on bland foods, sigh!

Monday was not too bad coming out of anesthesia.  In my rush to get my kids to school and get to my 7am arrival call, I forgot to bring my own crackers with me, so I was stuck eating the saltines at the hospital, along with some ginger ale after the surgery.  First soda in...I don't know how long!  Months, easily.  Maybe even a year at this point.  So my day did not start out unprocessed, but it ended that way as I was unable to really eat anything else until late, when I had some home made chicken broth with a few grains of rice floating around in it.

Tuesday brought more broth and rice, with the rice slowly taking over in the broth to rice ratio, and some home made applesauce.

Wednesday, I woke up feeling awesome.  So good.  Steel cut oats with a bit of organic skim milk to thin and a sprinkle of cinnamon for flavor for breakfast.  Lunch, well, that's where the problems started.  I felt so good I fried an egg, melted two pieces of cheese on an organic english muffin, put a piece of ham in there too, with a small swirl of organic ketchup for flavor.  BIG MISTAKE. I can't capitalize that statement big enough.  I enjoyed every single bite...5 minutes after finishing it I thought my chest was going to explode.  Full blown acid reflux attack.  I will save you the details of my pain, but had some applesauce later that night just to put something in my stomach.

Thursday, still dealing with the aftermath of the bad choice I made Wednesday.  Back to rice and every meal.  Applesauce as a snack.

Friday, still dealing with the aftermath of the bad choice I made Wednesday.  Back to rice and every meal.  Applesauce as a snack.

Here we are on Saturday, almost feeling better. Peach Chobani for breakfast.  Melted American cheese (I know, but it's the lightest cheese I had in the house, everything else is very heavy) on whole wheat bread for a modified grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.  Broth and pasta for dinner.  I made a home made apple crisp Slow Cooker Apple Crisp for my family for dessert and had a TINY bowl; so far, so good.

Hoping Sunday is a bit better, as we are heading off to Comic Con tomorrow.  Not only will it be a challenge to eat unprocessed, but finding anything that I can eat at all will be tough.  I bought a box of Ritz crackers for emergency company during my recovery; I think they are coming with me tomorrow...just in case.

Happy eating - eat something good for me!!

P.S.  The above recipe comes from one of my favorite clean eating sites.  I made the recipe as written except substituted turbinado sugar for the sweetener.  I love the molasses flavor the turbinado gives to the apples.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Clean Eating Tailgate Menu

Go RU!! Big game tonight against Michigan.  We're heading out to tailgate and I just finished packing up my cooler.

On the menu is:

Cheeseburgers: grass feed beef with toppings of local bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, ketchup, pickles (last two not made by me but ingredients pass the kitchen test)  All toppings are organic.

Kale chips (local organic kale, EVOO, Himalayan Sea Salt)

Home made apple crisp (cooked in the slowcooker!!) using local organic apples, spices, turbinado sugar and oats (my rolled oats are not organic but they are single ingredient)

Fresh squeezed lemon juice (not organic cause I couldn't find any right now) with turbinado sugar.

Oh, and beer.  :)

Happy College Football Day, and Happy Eating!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Unprocesssed starts tomorrow!!!

Ready for another October Unprocessed?  I am!! Well, almost.  I found out last Friday that my gallbladder will be coming out on the 6th; so there will be a small crimp in my plans as I recover from my surgery,  I won't be doing much cooking (or probably eating) for at least a week.  Which means my daily posts won't happen as planned.  My diet the first week will be simple foods like broth, pasta, rice; boring!!  But it will be worth it in the end to not have to deal with the pain anymore.

I decided I have a few small goals to meet this month; scaling back my plans for the month but only pushing them off a bit, I still plan on doing everything I planned.

Goal 1: to learn more about alternative choices to cane sugar. I want to research how to replace cane sugar with honey or maple syrup SUCESSFULLY (I haven't been successful yet, seems the liquid affects the recipe) as well as how to use (or not use) products like date sugar.

Goal 2: to learn how to successfully replace wheat flours with other types of flours.  I used a hazelnut flour in a recipe not knowing you couldn't just substitute it.  Terrible results!  Apparently it's missing some important part, like a binding agent?  I have coconut flour I tried substituting for wheat flour in breading a backed chicken breast - came out terrible. Dry and powdery...blech.

Goal 3: to learn how to make my own condiments, like ketchup, mustard and mayo.  Problem I have is that we use them so sparingly I'm afraid they will go bad before we can use it all.  We literally use 2 tablespoons of mayo a week on my son's two ham sandwiches he takes to school for lunch.  Most home made recipes say it lasts a week or two.  A lot of work for something we rarely use.  Mustard is a tablespoon a week at most.

So I think that's it to start.  As I start to feel better, I may adjust my plans, but this may be a shortened "month" for me...

Good luck everyone, and HAPPY EATING!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

October Unprocessed 2014

It's that time again!  October Unprocessed via Andrew at - time to step back, think about what you are eating, how it is made, and how we can make our daily lives a little bit better by putting healthier options into our bodies.

I've been thinking about what I want to get out of the challenge this year; we live pretty much 75-90% clean around here.  My teen boys toward the 75% side of the range, my husband falling into the 80-85% range, and myself the upper 90% end.  There is something every season that just reels me in.  Right now?  That darn Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks.  :)  I know there are recipes out there that are supposed to be just as good, but part of the draw is the fact that someone else is making it for me. :) So what to do for this year's challenge?

I decided I want to put a little effort into learning more about specific types of foods and cleaning up the options.  I want to learn more about sugars, for example.  I get questioned on that a lot - "if you eat clean, how can you still use sugar?  It's so processed."  While I buy organic "pure cane sugar" for some things, turbinado for others, and local raw honey for still more uses, (and there is a bottle of agave on the shelf too) I use it sugar so sparingly I count it as part of my 10% unclean.  I want to learn more about other types of sugars, like date sugar, coconut sugar, etc to find some different options and how to best use them so I can change that % a bit.

Last year I watched a few members of the Unprocessed Facebook group making things like cheese, peanut butter, and almond milks that I was thinking I may try to do something like that as well this challenge.  I have a slightly busy month at work, so I'm thinking one per week; it will take some pre-planning and investigating but hoping it will all work well in the end.  I'll report back what I choose to try and how each one goes.

Lastly, my goal is to report in my daily menus - not only to hold myself accountable for staying on track but so you all can hold me accountable for making good choices as well.  There will be a small amount of deliberate exceptions I'll post in the beginning; life is too short to deprive yourself of something that makes you really happy, like wine from the winery I work at (they do add sulfites plus it's a job requirement to taste all the wines) and a s'more at our firepit.  Marshmallows are made by me though. :)

It's only September 17th so I have some time to get my plans in motion; if you haven't taken the challenge before I suggest you do, and also to join the Facebook group for helpful tips, ideas, advice and support.

Happy Eating!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Okay, I'm such a terrible blogger!!

Yes, I admit it. I am a terrible blogger.  I just can't seem to find the time to keep up with all the things I want to do each day.  Having two teen boys, two part-time jobs doesn't help either.  So I'm sorry!  I'm going to try to better this summer.

So before Easter I was on a hunt for "clean' Easter candy.  Have you ever been to this online store?

Lots of great choices!!! And not an artificial color in the whole place!  Their prices are a bit high, but you are paying for a premium product, so to me it's worth it.  Especially when it's just for a holiday. Jelly beans, chocolate eggs, it's all there.  Not every product is completely clean, but ALL are better choices than what we can buy in the store.

Happy shopping!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Love this blog!

I was cleaning out my bookmarks today and I totally forgot about this blog I found a long time ago.  It's called An Organic Wife and Cristina has some really great, basic recipes to replace some of the horrible processed versions.

She even has a recipe to replace Velveeta. OMG!

In the immediate future, I will be making my own powdered sugar. So easy!

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Welcome Spring!

Tomorrow is the first day of spring and boy I hope that means the cold weather will be gone!  As I type, I'm sipping an extra cup of coffee - one more than my acid reflux allows - as I am freezing!! It is so cold.  My New Jersey winter has given us more snow that I'd like to ever see in one season again; we've lost spring break from school, and we will have some tired stressed out kids come June.

But with spring approaching other things start appearing too...wish it was colorful flowers.  But alas, it's colorful candy as Easter season takes over the stores.  All those artificial colors and flavors calling my kids...jelly beans, marshmallow Peeps, spring colored chocolate eggs...need I say more?  Sigh.

St. Patrick's Day was easy; I have veggie-based food coloring that made everything green; I brined my own brisket for corned beef.  And breakfast, a substitute for Lucky Charms: Mallow Oats not perfect, but better. And the kids don't feel like they are missing out.

I am going to work hard trying to find substitutes for my kids this season.  I hate to deprive them of things they love, and they understand that their overall health is more important than that squishy, soft, sugary purple bunny, but they are teenagers after all, and peep pressure almost always wins out.

So let's see what I an find!!

Happy Eating!

P.S.  Rita's Ices gives away free cups on the first day of spring each year.  I contacted them and they have two flavors free of artificial colors and flavors; Alex's Lemonade and chocolate custard, in case you wanted a free treat. :)