A Thing of Beauty , An Act of Love

img_11481This is my new dining room table. She is a thing of beauty to be sure! With eight feet of length to her we can easily seat ten around her. I’m guessing we could fit more if they’re children once our bench is finished being constructed. Yes, that’s what I said. It’s a custom order. As was the table. They are our housewarming gift from Erik’s father’s hands. I love homemade gifts! This table means so much more to our family than anything we could have found on a showroom floor! Inara is a real fan of the table as well, as evidenced here:

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Oh, the meals that will be served at this table and the stories told!

What is your favorite made by hand, filled with the givers love gift you’ve received?


What is this “Farina” you speak of?

Hot goop on a cold, cold day! (sung to the tune in my head)

Farina n. flour or meal made of cereal grains, nuts, or starchy root

Farina looks like cream of wheat. Um, more accurately, one could say cream of wheat is farina. It’s white and smooth and oh, so good! Guess what though? I just found out it doesn’t always have to be! No? Yes!

I went on my investigation for whole wheat farina as I said I would here and found that it can be purchased for a minimum of $1.69/lb. for the organic variety.  Sickening. Non-whole wheat farina is about $.89/lb in the bulk bins at NewPi. I fretted too soon though! On further exploration I stumbled upon Wardeh’s blog where she mentions having purchased whole wheat farina just to realize she could make her own for a lot less money. I took her tips, made them my own and voila! We had whole wheat farina for dinner last night. No, please, hold the applause. Thank you.

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I started with two cups of hard wheat berries which run approx. $.99/lb. if my memory serves me. I threw them into my blender, turned it up pretty high for about 30-40 seconds and boom! I had farina. It was a little hardier than we’re use to and I may blend it finer next time, but it was still good and the baby ate it which is my real kitchen test.

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On Wardeh’s suggestion I used three cups of water to one cup of farina. The water should should be brought to a boil before adding the grains. I generally add raisins to the water so they have time to rehydrate and plump up. Stir in the meal and turn heat to low. Allow cereal to simmer for approximately ten minutes stirring a few times to prevent sticking. When cereal is dome serve and add sweetener and toping of your choice! We went with milk, honey, cinnamon, and ginger along with the raisins last night. It was tasty and inexpensive to boot!

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Think about it everyone. You’re getting the whole grain this way. Nothing has been removed or altered. This is good, honest eating.

Some other topping ideas could be: agave, stevia, dried cherries, craisins, apricots (dried or not), strawberries, cocoa powder, dates, carob chips, chopped almonds or walnuts, etc. The possibilities are endless. It is truly an artists canvas.

For those of you who remember me mentioning that Erik doesn’t think this qualifies as dinner, don’t worry. He knows how to make any meal his own!

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Tricked by the pictures…

It’s nice to realize that your words aren’t always falling on deaf ears. Take yesterday for example: for lunch I was in a rush so I served Erik one of Amy’s Pot Pies. I thought it was a chicken pot pie and he’s recently talked of craving meat so i was lovingly feeding him meat without going through the hassle of cooking it myself. last night while working on dishes (what a man!) Erik was breaking down the box for the recycling can and read off the label “Amy’s Vegetable Pot Pie”.
“No”, I said, “it was a chicken pot pie.”
“Nope, vegetable.”
This made no sense. I’d seen the pie and what looked like little bits of chicken floating around in the gravy. Even in the cover picture it looked like chicken bits! A quick read through the ingredients list brought the answer: tofu.
“Man!” I growled under my breath, “I won’t be buying this anymore.” I quickly collapsed in laughter as I hear from the kitchen the tune “Man, I feel like a woman*!” being sung. Haha! What a man indeed!

*soy (tofu) has been found to contain high levels of estrogen


For Your Information…

Good News! The FDA has finally approved stevia! All I can say is it’s about time.

Diabetics of the world rejoice! (and all others trying to cut out refined sugars)


New Years Resolutions

One of my favorite movies of all times is Beauty and the Beast. Though I haven’t seen it in years I can still sing 90% of the songs and quote a good portion of it too. It’s quite the marketable skill. One of my favorite parts of the film is when the Beast wants to get Belle a present that will really mean something to her. His servant  starts listing off suggestions: “Flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep!” That’s what I always think about when people (myself included) talk about their resolutions come January 1st.  It’s just a bunch of promises we have no intention of keeping. Not this year, friends!

Pumpkin Potato Soup

Pumpkin Potato Soup

This year,Lord ,willing,  I will be posting a minimum of three recipes a week. What type of recipes you ask? Yummy ones. You can expect to find recipes using whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, and no processed white sugars. There will be the occasional gluten free baking project as well.

Butter and Honey Granola

Butter and Honey Granola

I’m looking forward to continuing to share our family’s journey into healthy living as we seek to honor God with the small and large areas of our lives. Thank you to those of you who have hung around this long and welcome to you who are just joining in! I truly hope you will learn something here and leave something here.

Welcome to our table…


Breakfast for Dinner (in a non-offensive way)

What a beautiful morning!

view from my window right now

view from my window right now

There’s not a cloud in the sky , the sun is shining bright and the air is still. I believe they refer to this as “the calm before the storm”. This evening it’s suppose to thunder sleet, freeze itself with with up to a quarter inch of ice and then peacefully snow down up to eight inches. Glorious! If you live even fifteen miles south of me you can expect more icee, less snowee. Bummer, huh?

This week all I seem to want to eat is warm comfort foods. If Erik was game, we’d be living on farina and granola (note to self: google “whole wheat farina” and see if that cookbook was just yanking your chain), but he’s not, so we’re not. Instead we’ve had to branch out to add in breakfast rice pudding.

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It’s such an easy meal really. You make a pot of rice according to the directions on the bag. You then add cinnamon, ginger, agave, and raisins to taste and top it off with a swirl of milk. Delicious! I made it for dinner last night and shall be warming the leftovers up for breakfast this morning.

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A New Resource

I’ve made a new friend. It’s name is PaperBack Swap. It’s really a thing of genius. You take ten books you don’t plan on reading again (so far I’ve found 63) and post their ISBN numbers. Then you get two credits with which to choose any two books you want that other people have posted. You choose your books and they are mailed to you by their previous owners on their dime. If someone chooses a book that you’ve posted then you mail it to them (on your dime) and receive another credit to get another book. See, what did I say? Sheer genius.

It only costs about $1.50 to mail a paperback by media post. Taking into account that even if you find one of those $.01 books on Amazon postage is still a minimum of $3.99 you’re really getting a deal. What type of book are you looking for? I can pretty much guarantee they will have it or something similar. So far I’ve just picked amazing cookbooks, but I’ve also started looking at their homeschool text books. Great deals! Did I mention that if no one wants your books but you want other peoples you can buy credits as well? I know, it’s a little shady sounding, but for under $4.00 a credit, we’re still beating Amazon!

Above are the pictures of the two cookbooks I have thus far requested. I’ll let you know how I like them! Based on their reviews they should prove to be quite interesting!

If you would like to join PaperBackSwap please do so using the link to the right or mentioning my nickname: reluctantcaterpillar. It’s another way to get credits! Try it… I think you’ll like it!