Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Month Resolution

A new year means new resolutions for most...a clean slate, a new beginning, a fresh start. Three months later the new year is no longer new.  Resolutions have faded into the background and old habits have once again taken over.   Several years I ago while thinking this over I thought why can't every week be like this.  Maybe a week is too much, but what about every month? Why not?  Why not sit down on the last day of the month and set some monthly goals?  Maybe sit down with your husband and set some goals together.  Talk over what new things have worked during the past month, what goals (projects, habits, etc.) you want to accomplish/establish during the new month.  Discuss your children...behaviour issues, school situations, schedule time to spend with each one (a kid date).  Talk over the month's schedule.

So, what will my New Month Resolutions be? 

1.  Set New Month Resolutions for March during the last week of February.

2.  Do one full load of laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away) every weekday and as much as possible on the weekends.  Do one delicate load on the days that are necessary.

3.  Complete one 10 minute chore (see http://stephanieodea.com/) each weekday.

4.  Work on "after meal chores" with the kids (washing dishes, wiping table, cleaning under their chair).

God's plan for us is one of order.  God is a God of order.  The Bible tells us in 1Corinthians 14:40, "Let all things be done decently and in order."  The books of the law are full of order.  As Christians our lives should show order.  We shouldn't be running from one thing to the next leaving behind a trail of chaos.  We should have a plan, a purpose in everything we do.   A plan and purpose that is attainable. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quick Buttermilk Herb Bread

A friend of mine made this it was so good. Of course, I had to try it with some adjustments.  The is the original recipe.  Very yummy!!!!  The post that follows contains my experiment...my attempts to make this a white flour and cornmeal free recipe.  It came out decent.  It needs a little adjusting, but I think with those adjustments it will be a good quick bread base.  I served this  with quiche.  It not a sweet quick bread...more like a cornbread. 


Quick Buttermilk Herb Bread

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBL.  finely minced fresh rosemary
1 1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 TBL. honey
2 TBL. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray interior of 8X4 inch loaf pan with oil spray.

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients and rosemary.

In separate bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, honey and oil. Stir into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon batter into the baking pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool slightly on a rack.  Turn out the bread and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve immediately or store wrapped in plastic wrap or foil.

Quick Buttermilk Bread-Experiment

Quick Buttermilk Bread
(Experiment )

3/4 cup  whole wheat flour
3/4 cup  oat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 TBL. honey
2 TBL. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray interior of 8X4 inch loaf pan with oil spray.

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients.

In separate bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, honey and oil. Stir into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon batter into the baking pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool slightly on a rack.  Turn out the bread and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve immediately or store wrapped in plastic wrap or foil.

NOTE:  Add more salt.  Try with ripe bananas, raisins, apples, applesauce.

Oat Flour Pizza Crust

I have been fairly successful in eliminating white flour from my diet while at home.  (With the exception of last week when I was sick and didn't care what I ate).  I came up with this pizza dough made of oat and whole wheat flour.  It was adapted from a regular pizza dough recipe.  I took my chances and the results were...ok...nothing spectacular.  It wasn't great, but not terrible either.  I am going to keep it as a base that needs tweaking.  It didn't rise hardly at all.  The final texture was not bad, but not pizza "doughish." 

Oat Flour Pizza Dough

2 cups oat flour
1/2-3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp. honey
1 scant Tbl. active dry yeast or 1 package
2 Tbl. Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stir honey into warm water in a large bowl.  Stir in yeast until dissolved.  Let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.  Add flour, salt and oil.  Combine.  Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic.  Let rest for about an hour or so.  Lightly grease pizza pan.  Roll dough onto pan.  Top as desired.  Bake for 10-20 minutes uni done. 

NOTES:  All the mixing and kneading was done in Kitchen Aid Stand mixer.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stephanie O'dea Post

I liked the following article/encouragement from the "Crock Pot Lady" (http://stephanieodea.com/):

http://totallytogetherjournal.com/the-daily-7-for-a-highly-successful-household/

Rice and Beans-No tomatoes

In my attempt to save money in this new year I decided to have at least one meatless or low meat meal a week.  I would like to try to have two.  That would be a challenge.  I am a big meat eater and my husband...well.... every time I serve a dinner without meat I get comments like, "Where's the beef?"  You have to know my hubby.  He needs his protein and really can't afford to lose weight.  I have another challenge.  WD hates tomatoes.  In our house you eat what you are served, but I do consider our tastes when I plan my menus.  I don't want to constantly serve things the kids don't like.  Many meatless meals use tomatoes.  I searched the web for "tomato-less" beans and rice.  I found a few, but decided to take one as a base and make my own.  Here it is:

Rice and Beans

1small onion, chopped
1/2 cup or so carrots, chopped in very small pieces
2 cans of beans (any you like), drained and rinsed
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp Thyme
2 TBL. McCormick Premium Taco Seasoning mix...any taco seasoning would be fine or some cumin, chili powder, etc.
2 tsp. Garlic powder
3-4 cups brown rice, cooked
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring broth to a boil in a medium pot or large skillet.  Add onions and carrot.  Once broth returns to a boil reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender.  Add beans.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in rice a cup at a time until you have the desired bean to rice ratio.  Cook for another 10 minutes stirring frequently.  Season with Salt and Pepper.

NOTE(for personal reference):  Try cooking rice in Chicken broth instead of water with spices.  Add beans half way through. Try with more veggies (i.e. celery, peppers, corn)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Goals

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

We must press toward a mark...spiritually as well as physically and practically.  We need to know where we are going and how to get there.  Once we have a plan the work begins...taking each task and working to accomplish it.   Write down the "big picture," but don't focus too much on the big picture.  Focusing on the big picture causes us to feel overwhelmed.  Start with number 1.  When it is completed cross it off...yes paper and pencil here...cross it off with a pencil... a very satisfying feeling.  Now move onto number 2.  Keep going through the list.  It is amazing how much can be completed by setting a goal and focusing on each task individually.

Now to make it personal...

I have a few goals this year...some are personal and I don't want to share with the entire cyber-world, but here are a few:

1.  Get our house in order (a never ending task).  My hubby and I sat down and wrote a list of household goals for this year.  Redoing rooms, cleaning out clutter, putting on a new roof...everything we could think of.

2.  Lose 15 pounds...I wish it were as easy as it sounds.

3.  Have a devotional life...interesting wording...a life filled with devotion...to my Lord...it must start with a devotional time.  I don't mean just reading the Word here...I have done that for years.  I mean really getting to know the Bible and the Lord.

4.  Increase my prayer time.  Praying when I don't have a need.  Just talking to my Saviour.

5.  Be more encouraging.

6.  Work harder at being a friend.

7.  Be a witness for the Lord.

I would love to hear others personal goals for the year as well as any tips for organizing and keeping your goals.  It always helps to have some encouragement along the way.

"Let all things be done decently and in order." -1Corinthians 14:40