Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beer Bread

Yesterday I baked a Beer Bread to take to a gathering we were attending. I just realised that I've never posted it on this site! I'll get a picture the next time I make it.

A few notes:
  • It's very easy (no kneading, no rising, minimal ingredients), and tastes phenomenal right out of the oven. 
  • Use the 1/2 cup butter (vs 1/4) - if you get 10 slices from your loaf, it's really not that much butter. 
  • I bake mine in a silicone bread pan and it just pops right out. No mess and the crust is deliciously crispy (from the butter).
  • Sooo yummy and you don't have to like beer to love it.
Beer Bread recipe on Food.com (formerly Recipezaar.com).

Gift Idea: Put all the dry ingredients in a large jar, attach the recipe, and a bottle of beer. The recipient only needs to provide the butter.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mothering Matters Meeting Recap

I had the privilege recently of speaking at a Mothering Matters meeting about being frugal and green. There was so much to cover and I'm no public speaker so I jumper all over the place based on questions and comments.

As promised, here is a list of products and resources that I mentioned in my talk.

Products I'm using:
hair care - Kiss My Face, Whenever shampoo and conditioner (purchased at Fortinos)
toothpaste - Desert Essence, ginger (purchased at Fortinos)
deoderant - Crystal, all natural body deodorant, roll-on (for some great info about deoderants and anti-perspirants, see here) (purchased at Goodness Me!)

Companies I'm interested in:
Norwex - cleaning without chemicals (just got my supplies today, will post on my experiences soon)
Melaleuca - "naturally based products that promote wellness and vitality" (currently trying a sampling of products and will post results)
Shaklee - "creating healthier lives"

Books for inspiration:
"Slow Death by Rubber Duck", by Rick Smith, Bruce Lourie (see my post about this book here)

The Story of Stuff Project:
 These online videos are enlightening and made in an easy-to-follow manner. Especially good for teaching.
- The Story of Stuff
- The Story of Cosmetics
- The Story of Electronics

Once again, a big thank you for inviting me to speak. If you want to know more, please consider following this blog. Now that my life has "simplified" somewhat, I will be posting more regularly. :)

My 4-year-old's portrait of me, with a heart for me to love him (his words).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tic, tic, can you hear it?

...that's my face tic-ing as I gaze in the mirror.

Am I the only one who is starting to witness the ravages of time (and childbirth) on the body? I turn 34 in a few weeks and although I don't feel old on the inside, I am starting to look it on the outside. I didn't expect that at only (almost) 34!

There's the grey hair and the wrinkles - standard stuff, but more than I was ready for. Then there's the sagging skin from weight fluctuations due to...ahem...overeating, then 2 pregnancies, and all the associated (thank goodness) weight loss. When I bend in half and look down at my stomach, it grimaces from side to side! Oh, speaking of side, ever catch a look at your face in the mirror with your head tipped to the side? Mine kind of melts off like a Salvador Dali painting. Attractive.

And need I mention the boobs? Whether it's the weight fluctuations, the pregnancies, or the breastfeeding, they are a shadow of their former selves. A proper (and expensive) bra complete with professional fitting is definitely in order. (Anyone done that before?)

I hate to be one of those "pity me, I'm so old" kind of people, because of course I'm not that old. It's just dawning on me that I might actually be a grown-up. My (valuable and hard-won) experience is now spilling over not-so-gracefully to my outer self for all the world to see. I'm not ashamed at all, just...blindsided, you know?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

CSA Weeks 10, 11, and 12 - The End!

Well, my CSA share has ended. I've many thoughts on the issue (the subject of a future post), but first I'll summarize the haul.

FrugalMaman's Fall CSA Box Week #10
Bananas (4) 904 g
Lettuce (1) 178 g
Banana Peppers (8) 274 g
Carrots - large (5) 1.239 kg
Onions (2) 501 g
Broccoli 771 g
Potatoes (3) 542 g
Spring Mix (bag) 144 g
Mushrooms (bag) 112 g
Green Beans 573 g
Oranges - satsuma (4) 372 g
Lemons (1) 94 g
Apples - delicious (6) 646 g
Total - 6.350 kg

FrugalMaman's Fall CSA Box Week #11
Bananas (4) 730 g
Broccoli 717 g
Red Onions (2) 629 g
Fingerling Potatoes (9) 511 g
Green Pepper (1) 190 g
Spring Mix (bag) 153 g
Unpasteurized Apple Cider (2 L) 2.102 kg
Cranberries (half small bag) 111 g
Apples (5) 501 g
Oranges - satsuma (4) 307 g
Pomegranate (1) 127 g
Boston Lettuce (1) 180 g
Total - 6.258 kg

We were away for our week #12 pickup, so I gave it to a friend and asked her to make a list of what it contained.

FrugalMaman's Fall CSA Box Week #12
potatoes (2)
oranges (4)
apples (4)
red onions (2)
peanut squash
carrots (bag)
boston lettuce (1)
lettuce mix (bag)
pint of grape tomatoes (1 pint)
broccoli (1)

GRAND TOTAL (11 weeks) - 63.7 kg (average 5.8 kg/week)

As for usage and wastage...I admit I've commpletely lost track at this point. The holiday season through a wrench in the works and a lot of food was wasted, because we weren't home to cook or were already overloaded with food from other sources. The cider (a delicious surprise) and almost of the fruit was consumed and we've still got many potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions left. The greens, celery, and far-too-numerous carrots didn't fare so well.

This was our second week without a pickup and so far I don't miss it. I'm still clearing old produce out of the fridge, which is a little sad. I'd had such high hopes...but as I said, that is another post.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life Balance...or Not

It seems that my biggest challenge right now is life balance. I recently began working from home and I am so enthusiastic about it that it is threatening to consume me. I'm a part-time student taking a university course by correspondance and I haven't cracked by textbook in weeks. I normally love cooking, but haven't had much drive to plan meals lately. I am a blogger that doesn't blog.

At least my children are vocal enough to make sure I continue to meet their needs! In fact, our family calendar is filling up fast since my husband and 3.5-year-old have started taking karate (F is Mon. & Wed. nights, DH is Tue. & Thu. nights, and they both go on Sat. mornings). Both boys go to preschool programs on Wed. mornings. I'm a member of a fantastic mom's group in Hamilton and I try to make it to several events a week. Things are getting busy around here.

I've wanted to make New Year resolutions, but I've procrastinated. That says a lot right there. So before my bloglessness gets out of control, I'm jumping back in. I aim to blog often, but not necessarily in bulk. If I try to write a long post, invariably I get interrupted, it gets put in the Draft bin, and rarely makes it out. So now that I have less free time, I'm lowering the blogging bar a little. We'll see how it goes.