Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ham Pot Pie

After my guests on Easter left, I was left with roughly 3/4 of my ham! So. much. ham. So what's a girl to do? Look for left over recipes. Last week, we make eggs with ham for breakfast, split pea soup with the ham bone and ham chopped in it, and then I froze some. We also had just left over scalloped potatoes and ham for a few lunches. Ham ham ham.

I just recently found this recipe on pinterest for Ham Pot Pie, and made it last night. It will be a regular dish from now own. I already love to make chicken pot pies, and although this is topped with biscuits instead of dough, its fabulous.

I won't enter the recipe, since you can click on the link above, but here are some yummy pictures.

I sauteed all the veggies : potato, peas, corn, carrots, celery and onion in butter.

Transfer to baking dish.

Biscuits made with fresh parsley. I will definitely be making these again, and will be good and soak them first. Next time :)

This was after I added the biscuits, which I just formed by hand, instead of rolling them and cutting them.

And this was the finished product. It was delicious! 

This meal was made out of everything I already had in my fridge/pantry. Now that is something I can appreciate! Let me know if you try it :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday, Monday

Today I have big plans and aspirations, I think. But when I try to remember them, I forget them and think of something else. This could be due to the fact I woke up at 6am this morning, on my day off, to make Erin his coffee and kiss him good-bye. He is going out of town for a few days.

This is exciting and sad at the same time. Mostly only sad because he won't be going to yoga with me tonight. And sad because I don't really like to cook when he isn't home to eat 75% of it and all the leftovers. Which makes this exciting because then I have an excuse to just go out and get me some chipotle or a deli sandwich for dinner instead :)

This morning, while drinking my coffee, I finally signed up for Farm Fresh To You, an organic produce delivery system they have in the area. I was debating doing this since last year, but over the summer I hardly cooked. I did other fun, laborious things like paint my house from head to toe (which I know houses don't have, just go with me), tiled my kitchen floor and bathroom, picked out sinks, and faucets, and hardware, installed pretty glass door knobs, sanded walls, caulked gaps in things, puttied walls, taped trims, washed paint brushes, handed my husband tools, and used my cute pink cordless drill. So, anyways, this year, now that my kitchen is put together and I have more time on my hands, I've signed up for it! This is exciting. Not only is everything locally grown, it is organic and it gets delivered to my door!!! Amazing.

Now I don't have to drag the kids with me to the grocery store to get expensive organic produce for dinner. Haha, just kidding. I guess this makes me lazy since I won't be needing to leave my porch to get the fruits and veggies. And for the record, I have no children yet. So, I am lazy sometimes. Anywho, the box I picked is a regular sized box, it is $31.50 and I have it scheduled for every 3 weeks. I did 3 weeks because I can't wrap my brain around spending $63 a month on fruits and veggies. And there is no way that would fly with Erin, lol, so we will try every 3 weeks.

You can select all kinds of things you don't want to ever be put in your box. I really only selected a few things, since I am looking forward to the challenge of getting things I have never seen, eaten or made before and having to come up with something! Sounds fun :) I selected bok choy, dandelion, and something else. Just because.

I have been making my own bread for the last few weeks, and feel like I am not spending as much lately at the grocery store. Not that I spent a ton of money on bread, but kinda! I buy sprouted whole grain bread, for toast and what not. Sourdough english muffins, for egg sandwiches. A loaf or two of sourdough bread for dinner. Then, maybe tortillas occasionally. All of this things I can now make myself. Which is awesome. Just a few weeks ago, I was spending about $80 at Trader Joes, maybe another $20 on things from Safeway that TJ didn't have or that was better to buy in bulk, like tp and paper towels, cotton balls, etc. Then I would occasionally buy my milk, eggs and other fun things at the natural foods co-op. Yikes! This last week, I think I spend about $50, total. I have been buying more things in bulk, and making my own breads. I don't imagine cutting down my bill that much every week, but it is fun and challenging to keep a budget.
I felt bad after buying all this, because I used so many plastic bags. Maybe I can start re-using the bags? They weigh the contents so I can't bring any containers or anything. Any ideas? Make my own, ya ya I know :)

I currently have my second batch of kombucha tea going, since my first batch was a hot mess. I believe I learned a few valuable things, though. Such as: Don't use half a scoby, don't use tap water, don't use cheese cloth. So, I will try try again. I have it sitting by my heater because I know my kitchen/counter is too cold for it. Its like baby. Is it eating enough? Is it too cold or too warm? Should I do this or do that? It keeps me up at night just thinking about it!

This is my artisian bread on the left and my kombucha on the right. I will be making this bread after I clean my kitchen and finish my coffee.
 I made chapstick this week. I was so easy. Coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Homemade Granola & Split Pea Soup

So I've already blogged once today, only I was signed in as Erin and accidentally posted it on his "Ecclesiastical Thought's" blog, lol about granola. We'll see if any of his seminary friends read his blog and are interested in granola. Also, it's a wasted effort on my part, boo! I got things to do!

Anyways, I will still tell you about the granola I made today. It is so good! I have been munching on it all day, hopefully there will be some left for Erin to try :)

I have really become obsessed with eating greek yoghurt, topped with honey and granola. Yum, yum, yum. However, all of those things are expensive :/ I'm pretty sure I won't be making my own greek yoghurt (maybe regular though!) or honey, so I will make my own granola then!

I already mentioned my girl Shaye from the Elliot Homestead blog, but this is her recipe and I followed it exactly. It cost me about $8 in ingredients that I bought in bulk from my natural foods co-op. It yielded roughly 8 cups of granola, holla! I usually spend about $4 for 2 cups :( The only downfall about this recipe is that it is not sprouted, but it is organic. So this girl is happy. Did I mention this takes about 10 minutes of active work and it bakes in 30 minutes? Sounds great to me.

Tray 1

Tray 2

Yum! It has oats, flax seed, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat groats (what the heck are those??), coconut flakes, chopped pecans, and honey.

This was the state of my kitchen this morning, after I filled my dishwasher too! So many dishes from Easter and me hehe.

For Easter, I made a lot of food and took no pictures, boo. Here was the menu:

-French onion soup, topped with sliced baguettes and shredded Gruyere cheese
-Homemade soaked whole wheat biscuits
-Spiral sliced ham
-Scalloped potatoes
-Brussel Sprouts (they have such a bad reputation but are AMAZing)

After our guests left, Erin and I watched a movie. But really he watched it as I slept on the couch. It was a long day!

And for dinner tonight, I am making split pea soup! MMMM. Have you ever been to Anderson's Pea Soup in Santa Nella?  I love me some pea soup. So I'm making it tonight with the left over ham and ham bone. I soaked the split peas today for about 7 hours in some water with a little kefir. Now they are cookin away in the hot tub.

This is seriously my favorite pot ever. When the soup is done, I will take out the bone, use my immersion blender to blend the peas, shred the meat and add it back to the pot. Viola!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hello April

It seems like I forgot about blogging in March. And in December, and November. But let's not let that get to us! I am a new woman. I feel like someone crazy has taken over. And I like it.

A few months ago, I bought the book Nourishing Traditions. I have several friends at my church who follow the book and cook the recipes inside. At first, I thought it was a great nutrition book and a new outlook on food, but wasn't about to prepare my food as the book suggests. It sounded complicated and time consuming. However, this my friends has changed. I love this idea of soaking my grains (rice, flour, beans, batters, etc), preparing my food properly so that it is best absorbed by my body, and enjoying the wholesome food I am eating.

I am becoming addicted to it actually. This week was the first of actually applying this. For example, on Saturday night, I knew that I wanted pancakes for Sunday breakfast. So, I got the whole wheat flour and soaked it with kefir ( an acidic median to break down the phytates in the wheat that our body can't naturally do on its own) overnight on Saturday. I made them Sunday morning and they were delicious. I also made my first soaked whole wheat bread and it is delicious! I got 3 loaves out of it. That recipe is here.

I am going to give a HUGE chunk of credit to my girl Shaye, who has the fabulous blog The Elliot Homestead, for inspiring this change in me. If you don't follow her blog, you should. She is funny and has wonderful recipes that are nutritious, budget friendly and made from scratch.

Some of my future aspirations include:

Getting my own grain mill
Sprouting and grinding my own flour
Brewing my own Kombucha (in the works)
Making all of our bread (sourdough, wheat, english muffins, biscuits, tortillas, etc.)
Soaking all of our beans and grains
Canning homegrown vegetables and fruit this summer
Making my own deodorant, chapstick, and whatever else I can
Find a local farmer where I can buy eggs and milk from, and a butcher where I can buy meat from
Get a dehydrator so I can sprout and dry granola, oats, wheat berries, and make yogurt
Sharing things with friends!

Some of my current projects in my new food freak journey are pictured here.

These are lentils that I started sprouting so that I could use them in lentil soup, which we enjoyed for dinner tonight, along with the soaked whole wheat bread. I soaked them overnight once, then for the last 2 days I rinsed them throughout the day until they grew sprouts that were 1/4 inch long. It worked!

This is my sourdough starter that I have going. It is very simple. I started with 2 cups of organic rye flour and 2 cups of warm water. For this next week, each day I stir in 1/2 cup of the rye flour and 1/2 cup of water and viola! Then I can make my own sourdough bread, tortillas, and whatever the heck I want. I'll share my starter with you if you want!

And this my friends, is the beginning of a great thing. Kombucha. Yep, that drink they sell in weird health food stores. The one that is raw, with live bacterial cultures in it and smells kind of like vinegar?? That's the one! And I am so excited to start making my own. If you want to learn about Kombucha, you can do that here. It is basically a fermented tea, filled with health benefits. I found myself a scoby, which is what is in the small mason jar. I found it at my local beer brewing supply store. And I bought a big glass iced tea jar to make it in and after its made, I can pour it out the spout! How nifty!

I plan on taking step by step pictures of my journey with this one, hehe, if we don't get taken over by the scoby growing madly in my pantry. I will keep you posted.

Alas, my sister graduated from cosmetology school! Yay Colleen! I just love her :)

Random things going on in our lives right now:
-Erin and I started going to yoga class together and we love it!
-I am working a lot more at Starbucks, raking in the dough!
-I am making huge messes in the kitchen
-We are getting our tax returns back and will be debt free by the end of this month!
-I am paying off my car soon, holla!
-We are currently on season 6 of watching Seinfeld and it has been such a fun journey watching it
-I am ready to plant our zucchini! We still have our tomato plant from last year that survived the winter and is currently still growing tomatoes, how crazy is that?!
-that's all, we aren't really that exciting. In fact, Erin and I are getting ready to play some yahtzee and probably watch some Seinfeld