Food52 ‘ICE CREAM AND FRIENDS’

Any book by Food52 is done beautifully. The pictures alone are worth getting the book to browse thru.

‘ICE CREAM AND FRIENDS’ is no exception. It is a fun book about making ice cream and other assorted cold treats. The pictures are yummy looking and beautiful. Some of the ice creams are intriguing such as Black Pepper Feta Ice cream. That sounds amazing!

If you have an ice cream maker this is a definite must have book.

This book was given to me by bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest opinion.

More thoughts on Simplified eating

img_0165 My home made bread.

Simple Foods

I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about what it is I’m trying to do with Simple Eating. So far I’ve come up with

  • Eating the same foods for meals simplifies meal time and allows me to have what I need on hand. For instance, breakfast. We have chickens, therefore lots of eggs. My go to breakfast is: 1 egg either fried or scrambled and since I make my own bread, a slice of toast. I also make my own granola, granola with yogurt is a go to. I was making my own yogurt but then buying the organic at Costco for 6.49 seemed like a  no-brainer. Making yogurt is pretty easy  to make so that maybe something to try.
  • so, decide what breakfast works for you and that you have ingredients available. Perhaps you do smoothies. Then be sure that’s what you do almost daily and it simplifies the process.
    image

    Our girls lay pretty colored eggs!

    Having what you need on hand makes the difference in a stressful morning or a calm one.

    Bulk buying

  • Buying in bulk such as black beans, pintos, rice, cheese, coffee, meat, butter, let’s me put meals together easily. If you don’t want to make your own beans, buying the organic cans at Costco is a great option too. I keep canned beans as well since once in awhile it’s nice to open black beans and then just cook up some rice.

       Right equipment

  • Having the right kitchen equipment makes some of this easier. A crockpot is essential. You can throw together chicken, veggies, sauce and then 6 hours later it’s done. I do all my beans in the crockpot. I put in @ 2 cups of beans, rinse, and then cook on high for 7-8 hours. The last hour I add garlic cloves and salt. Next is a rice maker.  This is a must if you eat rice once a week. I use to make rice using the Tassajara recipe book. It was fun until you forgot about it and it burnt. With a rice maker, it is fool proof.

 

        Menus

  • Having a menu is essential even if it is just variations of what you do every week.  such as Taco Tuesday can be tacos, but also bean and rice bowls or pizza night might be homemade but once in awhile it’s take- out. So plan for the week wth your menu.
  • Have a theme for each night for dinner ie; the taco Tuesday etc.
  • cook once and then use leftovers. I try and do roast chicken once a week or week and a half. Then I make up menus based on leftovers. Chicken tacos, chicken soup in the winter, chicken salad.

Planning ahead to shop also allows you to figure out what you need and if you buy what in season that makes meal planning easier too.

I think also, simple food eating has a lot to do with what season you are in your life too. Do you have young kids, retired, teenagers? That will certainly make a difference in how you try and simplify meal planning.

 

Fun reviewing books!

If you’re an avid reader as I am, this is a great option to read new books.

Netgalley books are all e-readers so you need a Kindle or the kindle app. It’s lots of fun. My reviews are honest and there have been a few books I gave not so great reviews on.  But I enjoy reading most of them.

Try this out if you’re like me and love reading.

Simple Eating

In this journey of minimalism, I’ve wanted to expand past the decluttering and streamlining things to food as well. Not so much decluttering that area but eating simpler and eating the same foods weekly to simplify menus etc. We do eat pretty simple but for some reason, I want to even more.

I’ve always bought bulk foods, rice, beans, etc since the 1970’s. Even soaps, detergents, canned goods etc because it’s easier for me and simpler to buy bulk and then not have to think about those things for 6 months. Back in the 1970’s we’d go out to a place called Mother Truckers by Ananda. Mother Truckers is still there and does a brisk business. Ananda is still there although many changes have occurred. It’s still a spiritual community based on Yogananda Paramahansa’s teachings. Anyway, we’d go out there, which was about a 2-hour drive for us, and get bulk shampoo, honey, etc.

Now co-ops are everywhere or Whole Foods and you can great bulk items.  I can even get Lundberg organic brown rice at Costco in a 12 lb bag. I can get a 10lb bag of sugar and there’s honey in large jars. I don’t use as much honey anymore so we just get a smaller jar.

I still get 10 lb bags of rice and beans and store in glass jars.  I use to buy the 25 lb bags but that was more than we’d use in a reasonable amount to time. I even have some of my original gallon jars I had from the 70’s. I use to go around to the restaurants and ask for their old pickle jars, mayonnaise because you couldn’t really buy the gallon jars anywhere.

I use a weekly menu that’s simplified to some extent but I’d like it to be more so. Maybe as I get older or further in this minimalist journey, I just don’t want to think about things like what extravagant meal do I want to cook. I want my food choices to be simple.

I like wearing the same clothes and keep my colors to black, white, gray and occasionally deep purple or navy blue.  So with food, I want to have fewer choices so I don’t have to think about it.

Our weekly menu looks like this

Sunday- BBQ or roast something ( need to refine this)

Monday- pasta something ( this can be mac and cheese,or lemon spaghetti, or ?

Tuesday- Taco Tuesday ( really anything Mexican)

Wednesday- Sorta whatever day ( this is the one I need to work on)

Thursday- crockpot something,  usually pinto beans or black beans Then we add tortillas, avocado, salsa,. If its soup in the winter fall, bread along side.

Friday- homemade pizza

Saturday- This turned into sammie Saturday. A simple sandwich of some sort.

I want to work on what foods we’re eating. We like and eat a lot of beans and then I usually use the rice cooker to make organic long grain rice for the week.

Some chicken, tofu, a little beef and a little fish (not too often).

Breakfast is always eggs/toast or bagel/yogurt/fruit

Lunch is a salad or leftovers or 1/2 sandwich

I just don’t want to cook extra fancy stuff too much anymore. I do love cooking and trying new recipes, but I still want a base to work from.

Sunday stuff

I washed the Poang chair cover yesterday and today I’ll do the Ikea couch covers. The sun is drying everything and saving me from using the dryer. It’s actually hot here although not unbearable, about 88 or so. We had a nice BBQ and I made some potato salad. I have lots of leftovers.

Today B leaves for Long Beach for a meeting for 4 days. We’ll hold down the fort here. My son finished his semester and so is able to do some extra things. He’s planning on doing a few flea markets to raise some extra money for his year at SFSU.  I’m putting aside some stuff for him to sell. Plus he’s a bit of a hoarder so he has lots of old things he picks up at goodwill and he can try to sell that stuff. I actually have had some good stuff he could have sold but I had already put it in the Goodwill box. But I have a big stack of Life and I’m going to pick out some 1930’s ones that may sell. He has lots of Starwars, Star Trek, etc to sell. So hopefully he can make a couple of hundred. We haven’t heard back on his housing yet or his student loan stuff. I will try and have him call this week about the student loan as one of them we will be the co-signer on.

We are haveing great salads from the garden and should continue to for a few weeks. This is definitely lettuce time and then it’ll bolt. We also have some lovely radishes too.

I’ve been on a linen kick here since I mad the linen bread bags. Then I made linen tote bags and now I’m doing some pillow cases. I love linen and how it looks. I found a source that sells 120 wide for sheets so I’m considering that.  It’s been fun to sew on my new machine and make a few usable things. I’m still planning on making the tent trailer new curtains but I may end up using up all the linen I had bought for that. It runs about $10 a yard so very affordable.

I went thru all my magazines and sorted them by decade. I used to have them all sorted this way even by month. But that’s when I had 40 bins worth.  There’s still a lot there but I’m down to 6 small bins so not bad. I rearranged stuff on the shelves and there’s more space there too.

On the back wall of the other half of the barn, B is going to build shelves so my son can pack all his stuff he’s not taking to SF this fall. So that’s our next project for hopefully, next weekend. The bikes are hung up and it looks better that way too. We still have a lot of bins of camping stuff, life jackets etc, but that’s all stuff we need.

Today is a gym day and dinner is something simple, salad and?

This week I need to go to Costco and maybe Trader Joes. We’ll see.

Macular Pucker

That’s the diagnosis of my right eye. It’s not from the steroids the Dr. said, just happens. ( maybe she meant as we get older?? but was being nice). So, it’s basically a wrinkle on the back of the eye and that’s causing the blurred vision. I can cope with it ok but still.

I did have a horrible drive home as I could barely see and had to keep squinting. But I made it. Then it took most of the day for my eyes to stop bothering me. The dye they injected looked radioactive and so did my urine. Well, at least the good news is, if I can live with the blurred vision in my right eye, surgery isn’t necessary unless it gets worse. So, I’ll keep checking every 6 months and hope for the best.

We had the night of the killer raccoon again.  it was around 3:30 am and I had just gone to the bathroom( my usual 2 a night) and climbed in bed and then all of a sudden squawking and screaming from the chicken coop. B hadn’t closed te back gate. Now, here’s the story. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT I say did you close the chickens in. EXCEPT for last night. So there’s a raccoon climbing over the fence and chickens still squawking.   We see the poor chicken in the bushes with blood on her feathers.  We get her in and hope she makes it thru the night. Well, she did and her comb is bloodied but she’s alive. We’re keeping them in this morning to recuperate and then will let them out later.

So, I never really got back to sleep so I feel kinda worn out. But today is gym day so I’ll go do that and then over to the Koffee klatch and see who shows up.

I’ve been working on a sourdough starter and it doesn’t seem to be activating. I bought it from Amazon from a good company. They have been helping me troubleshoot what could be wrong. This is day 6 and still not a lot of bubbles. I asked Amazon for a refund which they did and then bought another starter from the store.It’s the same brand so I hope it works otherwise I’ll order a totally different one. I’ll start the bread recipe tomorrow regardless and see how it goes.

last night we had a nice lentil curry and naan bread and a salad with greens from the garden. yummy!!

Tonight I’m going to do some chicken kabobs /tofu kabobs with salad.

Midweek

Today I’m heading for an appointment with the retina specialist about my eye surgery. I’m secretly hoping he/she will say I can wait. But since this has been caused by steroids for so many years, I’m guessing they’ll want to go forward. Plus after the scary surgery, within 6months, I’ll need cataract surgery. Ugh… well, I’ll know by this morning.

I dropped off another load at Goodwill yesterday. It’s interesting how my journey with minimalism has progressed. In one box were odd glasses that I had one of. One was a nice Reidel, which is pricey. But I only had one and no one uses it. Not sure why I’ve kept it but off it went. Then I use to collect vintage sweaters.  I had one left that was late 50’s maybe early sixties. But I haven’t worn it in maybe 10 years. Plus it’s a wool and itchy.  So finally I put it in the Goodwill bag. So levels of decluttering and what I once was attached to , now I don’t care so much.

UPDATE: well my eyes are still dilated so I can’t see much and they are tearing but the specialist was very nice and said as long as I can deal with the blurred vision int he right eye, I don’t need to have the surgery anytime soon. So good news.

I’ll write more when the dilation goes away.