Menu Plan Monday: June 28-July 4

29 Jun

This week will be an interesting week for me. Due to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in my body, I’m starting a Candida diet. This means no sugar, no dairy, and no yeast. Some people follow this diet for the rest of their life, but I will not be. I plan on doing this for a few months as I starve the candida bacteria. Then I will slowly reintroduce sugar in more natural forms (honey, fruits) rather than white and brown sugar. I’ll also start adding in dairy products that are homemade as much as possible, such as kefir milk and cream using low-pasterized milk (since I can’t legally buy raw milk in the state of Mississippi). I’ll also explore other flours such as spelt flour and brown rice flour.

In the meantime, this means a lot of veggies and soups. The point is that you starve the bacteria, meanwhile creating a lifestyle change where you do not “crave” sugary items. This is not a quick fix diet that once you achieve a goal you go back to eating junk. Once my candida symptoms are gone (which will take some time) I will introduce new foods one at a time. If my symptoms return, then I’ll know that I just have to avoid that food completely.

Here’s what I’m eating this week:

Monday: Carrot and Celery soup, Scrambled eggs

Tuesday: Mexican Chicken soup

Wednesday: Leftover soup (nothing that is older than two days)

Thursday: Veggie soup (made from a bunch of veggies like green beans, corn, and squash) with shredded chicken added in for protein

Friday: Roasted root vegetable soup

Saturday: Salad with shredded chicken

Sunday: 4th of July cookout with family; most likely the standard burgers and chips. This will be a difficult day for me to find something appropriate to eat.

My husband doesn’t need to do this diet, so I have homemade whole-wheat bread and sandwich supplies on hand for him to eat in addition to the soup and salad. He also plans on making some homemade deer jerky to snack on.

It’s Menu Plan Monday over at I’m an Organizing Junkie!

Quick & Easy Whole-Wheat Waffles

16 Jun

Pineapple Waffles-02

“I’m making waffles.” – Donkey from Shrek

I love to make waffles. They satisfy the hankering for something sweet in the morning. They’re great for dinner. And, you can make all sorts of variations with one basic recipe.

This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s cookbook How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food. This cookbook literally lives up to its title and is a must-have for any decent cook.

Oh, and they aren’t entirely whole-wheat, so it’s a great waffle recipe for those who dare to try a healthier flour. We have served these waffles to many a guest and not one guessed that it was made with whole-wheat flour. I think that even my brother-in-law (who has a very particular taste preference) wouldn’t even know unless I told him.

Quick and Easy Waffles

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Brush the waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. If the mixture seems too thick to pour, add a little more milk.
  4. Spread a ladleful (about 1/4 cup) or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3-5 minutes, depending on your iron.

Here’s where it gets fun. All the variations! Here are some of my faves:

  • Blueberries and grated orange peel (lemon peel is actually the standard, but we prefer orange)
  • Diced (or grated if you don’t like chunks) apple and up to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • Pecans and dried cranberries
  • Pineapple (drain this well) and shredded coconut
  • Chocolate chips and raspberries

Other variations that we haven’t tried but that sound good:

  • Substitute one cup of cornmeal for one cup of flour
  • Chopped bacon and shredded cheddar cheese
  • Substitute 1/2 cup of molasses for 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly minced or ground ginger
  • Serve with ice cream (SOLD!!!! gotta try this)

You could add any chopped nut or fresh fruit that is cut into 1/4 to 1/2-dice. I will often use what is on hand. This past week I had fresh blueberries but no lemons or oranges, so I used that.

Also, if you add a tart fruit you might want to increase the amount of sugar. I don’t bother because the maple syrup I pour on top makes it sweet enough to me. Furthermore, when I first made this recipe it didn’t seem sweet enough. But I was a sugar-a-holic when I first made it. I’ve been working on decreasing sugar in my diet, so I don’t have as much of a sweet tooth. Now it seems just right, and sometimes (if I add chocolate) it is a little too sweet. I would recommend playing around with the recipe and adjusting the amount of sweetness to your own preference.

I want to try this recipe using honey instead of sugar. I’d also like to try out some healthier flours so I can get rid of all the refined products. I’ll post the recipe again when I’ve found something that works.

Menu Plan Monday: May 31-June 6

31 May

I’m trying to do a better job with meal planning, so I’m following along with I’m An Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday. For more info on MFM, click here. I’m pretty proud of myself this week. I’ve planned out two weeks’ worth of wholesome food.

Here’s this week’s menu:

  • Monday: Memorial Day cookout @ Mom’s – burgers, potato salad, and baked beans. I’m in charge of dessert, so I’m making Berry Cobber. My dear hubby is making his famous fried ice cream. (Okay, not so wholesome today, but it’s a holiday so we’ll make an exception.)
  • Tuesday: Italian Cream Cheese Chicken Casserole
  • Wednesday: Crock Pot Ragout
  • Thursday: Chicken Chili served with Krissy’s Best Ever Corn Muffins
  • Friday: Leftovers
  • Saturday: We have a class reunion for J this evening at local fish restaurant, so we’ll be eating a light lunch. Spinach Rice Casserole and a salad.
  • Sunday: I am providing breakfast for our Sunday School class, but since I have to be there so early for choir (and since we have a worship service before our small group Bible studies) I needed something that could sit there and still be good. My sister is making something sweet, so I’m making something savory. I decided to make a crock pot Breakfast Casserole. I’m also have my mom and sister over for lunch, so I’m making J’s favorite Dorito Casserole.

I’m also making Baked Oatmeal for breakfast throughout the week. Since there are only two of us, it will last us the whole week. It’s so yummy, so we don’t mind eating it every day.

It’s also time for more homemade bread. I love this recipe from Progressive Pioneer.

We do leftovers for lunch. Again, it’s just the two of us. By cooking nearly every night we have enough for lunches throughout the week (and one night devoted to leftovers). If I’ve planned too much, we just substitute leftovers for a meal. No food goes to waste in this house!

Online studies at Bible Cafe for Women

18 Apr

I’ve always wanted to be involved in a women’s Bible study group but because I teach on Wednesday nights I’m never able to. No problem, thanks to the Bible Cafe for Women. I’m super excited about this and can’t wait for the next study.

We’re going to study One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer.

One in a Million is about an exploration of the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness. Priscilla Shirer encourages participants to fully engage in the abundant life God has waiting for those who will allow Him to take the lead in daily living. One in a Million is an opportunity for you to experience your deliverance from strongholds, to conquer your wilderness living, and to claim your God-given inheritance. Source: Lifeway

If you can’t see the following video, click here to view it on YouTube.

The study starts tomorrow but you can join in at any time. All you need to do the study is to purchase the workbook. You can sign up to receive updates and discussion questions through email. Click here for more information.

Giveaway at Keeper of the Home

16 Mar

Stephanie at Keeper of the Home is giving away a package of Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap. Check it out here and also read her review.

I’m definitely very interested in this product and will most likely try it out at our house. My hubby, J, has sensitive skin so I have to be careful what kind of detergent I use. He also has problems with sweating, usually when he’s nervous, so I have to combat stinky underarm stains. Yuck. To top it off, I have an extremely sensitive nose. J says that he’s going to take me hunting because he’s convinced I could scope out a deer. Okay, so maybe my sense of smell isn’t that good, but it’s definitely better than average.

This means that I smell a lot of things that other people don’t. And, that includes stains and odors that commercial deodorants aren’t getting to, only covering up. It seems I have the hardest time with knits and cotton t-shirts. Everything else does fine. At least I think it does fine. We have tried detergent after detergent, and right now we spend a lot of money using Tide. Seems to be the only thing that works.

I appreciate that Tide is concentrated, so I waste less packaging. But I still don’t feel like it gets the job done completely, short of me getting a good ‘ol fashioned washboard and scrubbing away. Also, I’m not comfortable using something that, though they’ve made attempts to create something better for the environment, is still not all that good for the environment.

We are attempting to get rid of toxins in our house, and as we make a list of all things that eventually need to replaced, detergent is one of them.

After reading Stephanie’s review, I’m excited about this new possibility. We could get the same amount of loads done (we use cold water) for a lot less. To me, that seems like a good idea.

My favorite quote from Eli Stone

11 Mar

Just wanted to pop in real quick and share something inspiring. J and I have been watching tv shows through Netflix, some instantly and some on DVD. Lately I’ve been watching a bunch of older shows (or older episodes) that I never watched while they were on tv. We’ve watched Pushing Daisies, which I adore and am so sad that I found it so late.

Another show we started watching is Eli Stone. I’ve watched four episodes and really enjoy it so far. Plus, I love Jonny Lee Miller ever since I saw him in Mansfield Park.

The show is about a guy who starts having hallucinations that are really visions pushing him towards paths that help others while he learns more about himself and his relationships with those around him. Meanwhile, those decisions make him look like a certified quack and strain his relationship with his employers and his fiance.

The first episodes deals with him learning about this new-found gift. Eli’s friend, Dr. Chen is convinced that Eli is meant to be some sort of prophet, saying that God has called a prophet in every generation. Here’s how the rest of that conversation goes:

Eli: The difference between those guys and me is – I don’t believe in God.

Dr. Chen: Sure you do. You believe in right and wrong. You believe in justice, in fairness. And, you believe in love. All those things – they’re God, Eli. And, that [pointing to a sunset] – that’s God, too.

Of course, I understand that many people have different and opposing views on what God is. After all, there are a billion and one religions devoted to this god and that god. And, I also understand that line was written from a secular, neutral point of view so every person, no matter his or her faith, could walk away appreciating the quote and not finding any offense with it.

But, I’m going to speak from my point of view. As a believer in Christ, I do agree that God is love, just, and fair, among many other good attributes. After all, God is good. And what I love is that Dr. Chen associated a sunset with God. I thank God for sunsets all the time.

Furthermore, as I strive to be a better and more confident artist, I am reminded of the True Artist, Yahweh. I can paint canvases, make cards, draw dolls, and scrapbook my history. And, while I’m proud of my masterpiece, I can only say that it is, at best, a fair imitation of the true masterpiece that surrounds me – God’s creation.

Take, for instance, the sunset. Dr. Chen was right saying that a sunset is God because God created that sunset. No man or woman or child can claim ownership to that marvelous masterpiece. How marvelous that He would take a moment during the creation of this world to paint a sunset that you and I can enjoy often – a sunset that is different every single day.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

Signs of Spring

18 Mar
There are two things around our house that are a dead giveaway that spring is arriving.


First sign of spring, originally uploaded by wonderfully complex.

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