Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Need ideas

I know this is a foodie blog, which one would think, I suppose, means I have all the answers. I know I own The Joy of Cooking and Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, one would think I'd have all the recipes and ideas I could ever possibly need.

But I'm chicken. Or rather I have chicken. I have two whole chickens in the freezer. I have no idea how to cut up a chicken. Not a clue. Even though detailed directions, complete with pictures, are in The Joy of Cooking.

So I need ideas on cooking chicken other than roasting the whole bird. And preferably without having to cut it before hand.

Maybe I should just shore up my courage and give it a go.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Feeling a little stupid.

I was at our health food store this afternoon. The book I'm reading "Eat This and Live for kids" by Dr. Don Colbert, has convinced me to eat healthy.  I have spent more on fresh fruits and vegetables in the past month than I have for a very long time.

Dr. Colbert talks about supplements and how important they are because our food is not as healthy as it once was. He also talks about the importance of eating organic as much as possible.

My personal Dave Ramsey won't allow me to buy only organic as much as I might like to.  In light of this, I prayed that God would give me wisdom in how to feed my family. That He would guide my food purchases.

That brings me to being at our health food store this afternoon. I wasn't there to buy organic but I knew they carried some organic fruit and vegetables. I also know they charge you an arm and a leg and pay through the nose.

And that is just darn painful!

This afternoon, I purchased 3 organic oranges, 5 apples and 5 bananas. I bought the girls a good multi-vitamin.  I kept finding things that I wasn't intending to purchase but when I saw them, I knew it was something we needed.

That is NOT a bad thing. What makes it a bad thing is when you have cash. And you ONLY work with cash. It's a bad thing when you have other purchases to make and spend almost all your cash on organics and supplements.

Hence my feelings of abject stupidity.  I realized at supper that I had prayed about the food issues. While I'm not saying "God told me to buy those items even when I might be a bit short for other needs", I think I could almost say that. I bought things we needed, things that will help improve our health.  When I realized that I had prayed I decided and announced to my family that I was finished wallowing in my stupidity.

Which is a good thing.

Except I can't seem to stop thinking about it and dwelling on my feelings of stupidity. I just had 2 Corinthians 10:5 flit through my mind, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ." While I can't say God told me to buy them, I can take my feelings of stupidity and make them obedient to Christ.

Culvers, Dr. Colbert and Chicken

Last night we had one last hurrah dinner out. I had not dined out for the previous two weeks, choosing instead to eat more healthy food at home.

I was somewhat surprised when I bit into my Culvers cheeseburger, that it really had little flavor. The fries? Oh my. Don't even go there. They tasted like cardboard...or at the very least chemically induced food product. I am sure at some time or other those fries started off as a good healthy potato, but last night I wasn't even sure they could truthfully be called "food".

I'm reading "Eat This and Live for Kids" by Dr. Don Colbert with Dr. Joseph Cannizzaro.  I started it about a month ago and that is what has really kicked me into gear for eating healthy. I don't think we necessarily ate horribly unhealthy before, but there was definite room for improvement.  This book is simply chock full of good tips.  I won't spoil it all now, I'll wait for the review but I have learned so much!

We are now consciously eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. I'm not sure I'm always getting in the vegetables, but considering I didn't eat them before, any amount is better. I have eaten so much fruit in the past few weeks I am positive I will turn into a piece of fruit if I eat another one.

I have often heard that the nutrients of our fruit and fresh vegetables are in the skin. I have stopped peeling my potatoes and carrots. I don't peel apples, grapes, peaches, plums or pears. But I read last night in the book, if I don't buy organic (and really who can afford to all the time exclusively buy organic?), I should peel them. Because the skin is where most of the contaminants are located.

This book that in the beginning filled me with such a longing to eat healthy, cook healthy and ditch not only fast-food but all restaurant fare for one month, is leaving me wondering if there is any way to really eat healthy at home. Yes I can do what I can to cook healthy food. But if our "healthy" food is so contaminated, why bother? If I'm going to get contaminated food whether or not I eat healthy, what is the difference? Other than processed food isn't even real food at all.

I have started shopping at Sams to save some money. And thus far I've not noticed a huge savings, but I just started too. Dr. Colbert says one should shop every couple of days, if not every day. Our food should be consumed the day we buy it. For me, that isn't really feasible, which I know lets me off the proverbial hook, but still I wonder.

Our local grocery stores are hideously expensive. I shop in  nearby town at Sams and spend less than half  of what I spend shopping locally for a month. I shop and purchase enough food for one month, (not counting milk and extra fruit/fresh vegetables I buy mid-month) and I spend less than I spend when I shop locally for 2 weeks. To me it makes sense to shop there. But I can't drive 3 hours round trip every day.

I seem to have fallen into a Dave Ramsey/Dr. Colbert conundrum.

Last night, feeling discouraged I prayed that God would show me how to cook healthy foods for my family. He alone knows my true financial state, He knows whether or not I can really afford all the supplements Dr. Colbert (who has no vested interest in the supplements) recommends.

Tonight, we're having chicken. I am not sure how I'm going to fix it yet. I could roast it, but there has to be a different way to cook it. I have no idea how to cut up a whole chicken. Julia Child in her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, gives a tutorial complete with pictures, but I'm not sure. And if I did manage to cut it up, the only other way I know to cook chicken is to fry it. And I already know that isn't healthy.

So if you have any whole chicken recipes, I'd love to hear about them.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Julia Child failed me.

Horribly. Miserably. In my time of need, she failed me.  She let me down.

I needed a good recipe for homemade noodles and she failed me. I searched Mastering The Art of French Cooking, I searched under every heading I could think of to search, I searched "noodles", "egg" "egg noodles", and "spaghetti" to no avail.

But Irma Rombauer saved the day and my supper plans. She had the recipe for egg noodles. Which I made into spaghetti noodles. And I learned one thing...

I make a mess when I make noodles.

I used wheat flour, since it is healthier than white. I did add an extra egg because the flour was more dense and I was having trouble getting the dough to ..well....dough. 

I also made my own spaghetti sauce. I simmered it all afternoon and it was quite tasty and the aroma was out of this world. 

To increase our vegetables, I added some cut up carrots, celery and tomatoes to the sauce. To round out our meal, I made steamed mixed vegetables. 

Sugar anyone?

"Many children are supersizing their sodas and getting about 24 teaspoons PER SERVING." (emphasis mine) ~Dr. Don Colbert M.D. in Eat This and Live for Kids

Just how much is 24 teaspoons?

"Many children are supersizing their sodas...." and... on Twitpic

A test!

I am reading Eat This and Live for Kids.  I got the book to read and review on my blog. I've already been in contact with the author about a recommendation in the book and he is changing it!  

The author, Dr. Colbert, states we are "over fed and undernourished".  He also says at birth, there are over 200 toxic chemicals in umbilical cord blood.   And it gets worse from there.  He also states that in his practice his first "prescription" is "water". He says:
I often tell patients that when they have a headache, the don't have a Tylenol deficiency. When they have joint pain, they don't have an Advil deficiency. When they have heartburn, they don't have a Pepcid deficiency , and if they are depressed, they don't have a Prozac deficiency. In each of these cases, the body is often crying out for water. I treat every patient I see in my practice first with water.
I know I drink adequate amounts of water (and I still suffer almost daily from headaches from the pit) but my girls don't. I'm not sure about Russ. 

So we have started on a health quest. For the month of October, we will not be dining out for ANY reason. I have been stocking up on fruits and veggies. For the most part we eat healthy already. We eat out only about once a week, and I don't cook from a box.   We will also be consuming more water on a daily basis. 

I want to see how we feel after cutting all the junk out, I think we're all so used to feeling bad, we don't know what "good" feels like anymore.  

I will, of course be blogging about this too.  You can either join our journey vicariously, or you can join us in your home. If you do, I'd love to hear how it is working for you! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Irma Rombauer's Pancakes.

Once again I completely forgot to set anything out for supper.  So this afternoon it was scramble time, time to decide if I am going to quick thaw something out, or scrounge something.

I am not a huge pancake fan. Nope. Generally Russ makes them for breakfast on Saturday mornings and I eat an egg.  Lately I've been thinking about pancakes though. Not like all the time, but I don't know, it's almost like I'm kind of missing them.

Tonight we had pancakes. There was nothing I needed to set out. I had all the ingredients. And was quick and easy.

Usually we make Betty Crocker's Pancake recipe but tonight I was in search of something a little different, and yes I do know, it's hard to be different with pancakes.

I used Irma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking pancakes. I think the recipe is about the same and the taste was very similar.

But it fed my pancake craving for today. So I'm good.

I think the first few cooked funny. Almost look like Charlie Brown's shirt.