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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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)


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!


For Your Information

This is the cleaning/home preparation for selling edition. Hope you find something useful!

*When hanging pictures, put a piece of tape on the wall before driving the nail. This will prevent teh paint from peeling off when you remove the nail.

*Clean windows with any of the following solutions:

  1. rubbing alcohol
  2. white vinegar
  3. 1/2 cup ammonia + 1/2 cup vinegar+ 2 Tbl. cornstarch

*You can remove pain splatters from glass (windows) with hot vinegar.

*You can eliminate bathroom odors by keeping a small decorative dish of vinegar out on a counter or open shelf.

*Keep bathroom mirrors from fogging by rubbing a thin layer of dish soap over the mirror when dry. This works wonderfully!

*You can revive droopy veggies by placing them in a dish of cold water with a Tbl. or two of lemon juice and letting them soak for a bit. (I know that has nothing to do with home care.)

*If you are a knickknack person and you have a bunch of small containers of sorts fill them with a bit of sand to weigh them down and prevent tipping during dusting. That is of course, if you dust. If you don’t, I won’t hold it against you…

*Clean the inside of your fridge with baking soda so you can deodorize at the same time,

*To more quickly clean an oatmeal pot, soak it in cold water instead of hot. Amazing!

*I’ve never tried this, but word on the street is that if you crack a favorite dish you should boil it in a pot of milk for 45 minutes. This should cause the crack to disappear and actually make the dish stronger as well. Who comes up with this stuff?

So, what do you know this week?

Pretty Picture For The Day

Pretty Picture For The Day


For Your Information

Sorry for my absence. Inara is on day five of her fever/cold and I’m trying to focus all my leftover energy into getting the condo selling ready. Thanks for your understanding. :)

Here’s some stuff I know and now you do too:

*30 plant varieties feed 95% of the world’s population. Does that sound like a balanced diet to any of you? It sure doesn’t to me. It also doesn’t sound very friendly to the soil!

*Almost 40% of Americans have at some point in their lives consumed cold pizza for breakfast. The other 60% are lying.

*Nutella, oh, that sweet delicious spread, is sold in over 75 countries and-get this- is more popular that peanut butter! Try some from the freezer. Yum!

*JJ Abrams and Joshua Jackson together? What a treat. I like Fringe.

*A fresh egg will sink when placed in water. A not so fresh (stale) egg won’t.

*The largest earthworm ever found was a freakish 22 feet long. Yuck!

Remember, this is a give and take segment. I shared with you, now you share with me!

What do you know?


For Your Information

First off, sorry I haven’t been writing more. I think my brain suffers more than you do though cause it’s bursting with information it wants to share! We’re trying to get the condo ready to put on the market so that’s what I’ve been working on in my overabundance of free time. I hope to be able to write more regularly again soon!

Okay, on to some random facts…

*Giraffes sleep only two out of every twenty-four hours. I think that’s why they use their heads as weapons: cause they’re too tired to remember what a headache it will result in!

*Doctors at the UofVA just finished up a study on bees and pollution in an effort to figure out this colony collapse disorder nightmare. One thing they discovered according coauthor Jose D. Fuentes is that “Air pollution destroys the aroma of flowers by as much as 90%.” Suck.

Speaking of bees, I told Erik that I want to have a bee hive in the yard when we buy a house. He’s in no way keen on the idea cause he’s convinced people will get stung. The next day I discovered that bees are nesting in the siding by our door on the patio. I was pretty amused.

*Sloths in the wild sleep nine and a half hours a day. Sloths in captivity sleep up to fifteen and a half hous a day. What bums!

*Over a 28 day period, your vinyl shower curtain will leak 108 potentially harmful chemicals into the air according to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice. That’s what that crazy smell is when you open the package on a new shower curtain- you know the smell I’m talking about! It’s a bunch of chemicals from the PVC. If we don’t drink out of bottles that have been warmed and cooled anymore, why do we steam a big sheet of it right next to our naked bodies? I’ll tell you why: cause the alternative is to use a heavy cotton or bamboo cloth curtain instead and my dear husband is none too keen on that idea either.

*Another study, this one published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, has finally cleared 100% fruit juice of the “making kids fat” reputation it’s carried. Turns out it’s only those not 100% juices, you know, the ones with added sugar, that are the real culprits. Go figure. 

*Garlic works better at lowering your cholesterol than even Lipitor. Hmmm… God’s knowledge vs. Man’s knowledge…

*I have now put 43 bins worth of stuff in storage and because of the small space we live in it feels great!

What Do You Know? Please Share!