Monday, October 31, 2016

Menu Monday - October 31

I hate to brag but in about an hour I will be smearing real butter on my homemade bread.  If only you could  smell my house right now.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love my bread machine?  

This week we are still cleaning out the fridge and I have a solid plan in place already.

Breakfast: breakfast burritos and potato pancakes (to help me use up applesauce)

Lunch/Dinners: sloppy lentils (used up Heinz 57 sauce in there), biscuits and gravy and take out cheeseburgers

Snacks/Desserts:  chocolate cake and hubby went shopping hungry and came home with a lot of our favorite snacks (smoked almonds and cheesy crackers)

Still trying to eat intuitively but I am running into the problem of not being hungry.  It turns into a cycle of not eating because I am not hungry but knowing I should eat to get the metabolism going.  Serioulsly need to exercise to solve this problem I bet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Homestead Happenings - First Snow!

I am home after my mini-vacation.  There was a new grandbaby born and it was high time to go and meet him.  Stormy and I hopped on the ferry and cruised over to Valdez and spent a week snuggling the baby, going to a birthday party and visiting.  Next we took a road trip to Anchorage to spend the weekend and another birthday party.  It was a blast and I am missing them but content to be back at home.
Stormy on the ferry to Valdez
We had our first snow yesterday.  It's already melting but it was pretty to see.  Unfortunately the chickens hated it.  They refused to get their feet cold and I think for some of them, it was their first experience with snow.  The chicks didn't care and wanted out, but their over protective mamas kept them inside. 
Chicks are almost feathered out and growing big!

Strawberry-Cranberry Crisp

I have been slowing catching up with my chores.  Today I made yogurt, bread and a strawberry-cranberry crisp.  Yesterday I made beans, steel cut oats and some noodles for Stormy.  My fridge is stocked up again.  The mechanic did a great job surviving without me.  He mainly ate canned beans and scrambled eggs so I am itching to give him a bit more variety and fatten him back up.  
I came home determined to eat for better health.  I'm not worried about the foods we eat because the majority of what we eat is whole foods.  What I need to work on is how much of said food I eat.  What I am noticing is that I eat according to the clock and not on a hunger scale.  So now I am trying to wait until I am hungry to eat, eat slowly and eat what I am craving.  Hopefully that will get me back on track.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Menu Monday - Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe

It is an absolutely beautiful day here on the Kenai Peninsula!  My chores are finished and homeschool is done for the day.  Time to sit down and write out my menu for the week and watch some YouTube videos.

This week I am still cleaning out my mother in law's freezer and fridge.  Later this week, Stormy and I are going away for a week for family birthday parties!, leaving the mechanic home alone and fending for himself once the leftovers run out.

Here is my plan for the week:

Breakfasts: Eggs! must eat eggs because the chickens keep popping them out.  There is also some cottage cheese and yogurt that needs to be eaten.

Lunch/Dinners:  leftover spaghetti from the freezer, beans and toast and I plan on making a big pot of chili before I leave.

Snack/Dessert:  I made a pumpkin cake today that should last until I leave.  The mechanic will be happy eating peanut butter  and jelly while I am gone.

Virtually a cooking free week!  I do need to make some bread but I am out of my favorite organic, unbleached flour so I may just buy a loaf to be eaten for the next week or so.  
I can't leave you without one of my favorite recipes.  This soup recipe is better than the canned type.  I enjoy adding some Israeli Couscous to mine.
The Best Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe 
1 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion - chopped
1 garlic clove - crushed
3 cups Veggie stock (chicken stock is good too)
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 TBSP tomato paste
pinch of sugar
2 bay leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Basil (opt)

Heat oil is a skillet.  Add onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until soft.

Transfer to a crock pot.  Add stock, tomatoes, paste, sugar, bay leaves and salt and pepper.

Cook on low 6-8 hours.  Adjust seasonings and remove bay leaves.  Blend until smooth with immersion blender or transfer over to upright blender.

Garnish with optional basil. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Food Cost Breakdown - September

Canning and Food Storage
Red potatoes 30 pounds $17.38
Frozen Blueberries for jam $12.79
Celery for soup $1.99
Chicken stock $6.58
Carrots  10 pounds $14.38
Red Onions 11 pounds  $21.97

Total cost of food toward Food Storage $75.09

Pet Supplies
Chick Starter $24.79
Dog Food $32.29

Total cost for pet supplies: $57.08

Monthly Groceries
(A few of these items were bought for a family dinner with my mother in law)

Milk $53.32
Ice Cream bucket $13.19
Ice Cream bars $6.19
Ice cream cones $1.39
Heavy Cream $34.36
Mayo $6.39
Pizza $17.97
Candy for School treats $6.55
Unbleached  Organic Flour $9.39
Cheddar Cheese block $41.08 (one block went to Dee's house)
String Cheese $10.79
BBQ chips $7.89
Orange Juice $4.29
Butter - Organic $19.58
Flour Tortillas (for Dee's Dinner) 3.69
Flour Tortillas - 7.98
Shredded Mozzarella (for Dee's Dinner) $14.19
Monterey Jack Cheese (for Dee's Dinner) $7.99
Grated Parmesan $6.39
Albacore Tuna $4.78
Marshmallows for Stormy $4.99Coffee - $36.70
Sparkling Water $15.92

Total cost of monthly groceries $335.11

Household Items

Total cost of Household Items $0.00

Total September Food and Household Cost $467.28
Yay! that's $32.72 under budget!!

Looking at what I bought - it's pretty heavy on the junk food.  Mainly because we had several trips to the nearest city (70 miles away) and we tend to snack while we are traveling. Next month I will be going over my budget intentionally.  We are going to the nearest Costco and plan on buying food for storage.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Day in the Life - Fall 2016

I thought it would be fun to do a day in the life seasonal blog.  More for me and my family than anyone else.  I think it would nice to  look back and see what life was like and the changes and growth our family is making.  So here's a peek in my normal, boring day.

8:00ish - No alarm clocks here!  We get up when we want and it's usually around 8:00.

8:00-8:20 - Feed chickens and pets.  The Bible encourages us to take care of our animals before taking care of self.  I feed them, refresh their waterers and clean out the chicken droppings from the hen house.  Right now, I have a mama hen and babies in a brooder that is not part of the hen house but close by so I clean out that box, refresh their water and feed them some chick starter.  

8:20-9:00 - I come back inside and my wonderful hubby is usually making me a cup of coffee.  Right now he is spoiling me with a double-double.  Let me tell you, an americano with an extra shot of espresso does get ya going.  I feed the schnauzer and cat while that is making.  We sit down together and have coffee, share some thoughts and go online.  He reads me the news and weather and I share what I find out on facebook and emails.  

9:00 - Bible reading.  We read four chapters in the Bible every day and a chapter of Proverbs per day.  That easily gets us through the entire Bible every year.  This is hands down the best thing we do as a family.

9:15 - Chore time.  The mechanic goes out to work and I start on the kitchen side of the house.  I start by building a fire, do the dishes and sanitize the kitchen, fill the wood box, wipe down the bathroom, start a load of laundry, scoop the litter box and sweep the floor.  I also peek in the fridge to see if I need to cook anything.  I always have on hand an entree, a snack/desert and fresh bread.  

11:00 - I like to take a little break with another cup of coffee and more facebook time.  I will wander out to take a look at the chickens and fetch the eggs. If I did a load of laundry I will hang it outside to dry. 

12:00 - Homeschool - Still a struggle with my reluctant learner.  Stormy is still not receptive to learning but I coerce her through it.  She loves art and science, doesn't mind handwriting but hates math and reading.  Her routine only takes about an hour a day but it can be a long hour

1:00 - Afternoon chores and projects - After homeschool I like to pick up the living room and vacuum.  After that I look at my project list for the month and work on it or sit down at the computer to blog, budget or manage our online business.  

3:00 - I like to take another break and go outside to feed the chickens and gather more eggs.  If they are free ranging I will shoo them back into the run and lock them up.  If it is sunny outside, I like to stay out and enjoy the fresh air.  

4:00 - Time to tidy up whatever project I am doing and finish up any cooking I may be doing for the day.  

4:30-6:00ish - I spend time with Stormy and relax.  If she is distracted I will take the opportunity to read or watch YouTube videos and knit items for the eBay store.
Gloves I knit and sell on eBay

6:00 - 10:00 - Sometime after six the mechanic will wander in for the night.  I will fix him a plate of food for dinner and we will sit down and relax for the evening.  Usually we watch TV, visit about our day and play with Stormy.  At dusk, I go out and gather up the chicken feeders and waterers.  I wash the feeders out and dump out the water.  It's freezing now at night so I can't leave them in the pen anymore.  I check for more eggs, lock up the brooder and turn off the hen house light.

10:00ish - Bedtime routine - not my favorite time.  I'm tired but get through it.  I start by reminding Stormy to clean up when we start out last TV show for the night.  When the show is over, I get up and stack any dirty dishes in the sink, start the diffuser with lavender oil, fill up the water filter and tidy up the living room.  Storm changes into pajamas and picks out three stories for us to read.  After the bedtime stories, we say prayers and I tuck her into bed.  This routine takes us about 30 minutes.  If it's not too late, I will read awhile in bed before falling asleep.

The weekends are a bit different.  Saturdays I like to tackle any big projects  and I do the deep cleaning chores like the bathroom.  Sundays we take our rest seriously.  We spend the morning reading the Bible and listening to a sermon.  Most Sundays I  make a pancake breakfast but do not plan on cooking anything after that.  I do like to do the dishes after making pancakes but the rest of the day is chore free.  The mechanic has a harder time letting himself rest and he will be busy doing something.  Although we don't feel like we are under obligation to observe the Sabbath, the Bible makes it clear that a day of rest and worship is a good thing.

That's my typical day.  Some days we say forget it and load up and go to the beach.  About twice a month we take a day and go to town for errands and shopping.  This life is the beautiful reward of living a humble,  debt free life - the freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want.
Anchor Point Beach
If I can change anything about this routine it would be shifting our sleep times. No doubt we would benefit by being in bed earlier but it's hard to accomplish when you are a night owl at heart.

Lovin' life as the leaves fall down.