Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our busy season

Oh man.....

God is good!

Most of you know that we were able to accept on offer on the house not even two weeks into putting it on the market.

What a blessing!

Now, with that blessing, comes a crazy season of life for us. Unfortunately,  our home isn't officially sold. We have to get through the inspection and other things, but I'm trusting in God. Jason Rude (our realtor) said the buyer and pretty excited about getting this house, so I'm hoping nothing stops her! :)

If/when we are kicked out on April 27, we will be jumping from place to place. We have some AMAZING friends who have said we could bunk with them for a little bit while we get things situated.

AND on top of it all, my computer is going down hill very fast. I'm very surprised it has not kicked me off after being on it for more than 3 minutes!

So, needless to say (which is a funny saying, because people always go onto to say it anyway), I will not be blogging about our fun adventures for a while! I know, I know... please don't start crying! I will try! ;)

So here are a couple things I want to leave you with.


This is the formula I used, can be adapted to any spray bottle.
20fl oz. of regular vinegar. you can used pickled vinegar but I wouldn't find it.
1/2 cup salt
a large squirt of dish soap.

This will kill everything but unless you pour major amounts on bushes or large flowers, it should be fine around them

These are pics of two different weeds in hourly order


2 hours

4 hours

somewhere around 10 hours

The next day! 

Now I will leave you with my sweet kids. 
We spend most of our time outside digging in Nevaeh's "garden". 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

freezing adventures

I have had a lot of fun with freezing foods!

Not only does it save me money, it helps me have foods ready if I'm having an incredibly busy day.

But this blog post is about homemade, from scratch foods.

It's harder work than to buy canned or pre-made at the grocery store, which is precisely why the grocery stores became popular. People became busier and less focused on healthier/better foods. They didn't have time to make homemade deliciousness from scratch.

But let me tell you.... putting the extra work into scratch foods and freezing is sooooo worth it!


Here is what I did for my black beans and homemade wheat bread. The amount I've saved is listed at the bottom.

Black beans
My life group (future mama!) friend, Angie helped me out with this one. I'm sure I could have googled it, but Angie is a cooking guru and what's better than a friend!? 

First, soak the beans over night in a bowl of water (in the refrigerator). Then put them in the crock pot and cook them on slow for about 8 hours. Note: they stained my crock pot bowl, after a couple washed it came off. 

 Then place them in freezer containers or freezer bags. I have 3 other bags of beans on the side. 
Viola! You're done! 

Spaghetti Sauce
Next I made some homemade spaghetti sauce. I didn't take pictures but here is the recipe I used. 
I doubled this recipe and to make it healthier, buy the 'no added salt tomatoes'. PS: ground beef can be added to this as well. 

2 large cans  stewed tomatoes
2 cans  diced tomatoes 
2 small onions chopped
1 green pepper chopped
5 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbs white sugar
1 tbs dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

-blend the stewed tomatoes in a blender/ food processor. I add the diced tomatoes while cooking because we like our sauce a little chunky.
-in a stock pot, brown the (beef if added), onions, peppers, and garlic. Pour in all tomatoes, blended and diced, reduce heat. 
-add the rest of the ingredients. 
-Simmer for about 40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
-Makes 5 bags to freeze, about 5 cans if doubled.

TO FREEZE: I measured out the amount in the store-bought cans and put them in a freezer bag. They can last up to 3 months and there they sit now. Waiting to be eating with some yummy wheat noodles! 

PPS: I browned the meat in Coconut oil (more on that in the bread section), it helps preserve the food better. 

BREAD!!!Whole Wheat Oat
I'm going to start out with a side note on coconut oil. 
I used coconut oil in my bread recipe in place of vegetable oil because it is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. What that means the bread will last longer if you eat bread slowly (if you keep it in the fridge, it lasts even longer)! Plus coconut oil is soo healthy for you! It has so many benefits that I can't get into right now... it would last forever! I found it at walmart for 5$.

However, I use a ratio of 80/20 with coconut oil because it is a heavier oil. In his recipe it calls for 2/3 cup of vege-oil. I filled the 2/3 cup 80% full with coconut oil (microwaved it, coconut oil is a solid), then I added olive oil until it reached the top of the measuring cup. 

1/2 cup warm water
3 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup bread flour
1 tbs white sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
41/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup coconut oil and olive oil
10 cup bread flour

Makes 6 loaves, I cut this recipe in half.

-In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the 1/2 cup water, yeast, 1/4 cup bread flour, and sugar. Let grow for 5 minutes. I will bubble almost immediately. 

-Add Oats, the 4 1/2 cups warm water, whole wheat flour, salt, 2/3 cup brown sugar, and 2/3 cup oil into the bowl. Mix on low speed with a dough hook for 1-2 minutes. Increase speed slightly, and begin added bread flour. 1/2-1 cup at a time until dough pulls away from bowl. It is normal for dough to be sticky. 
-By the last couple of cups of flour, I took the dough out and kneaded it myself. It's a big chunk of dough, plus I like the hands on part. I added the flour and kneaded with the palms of my hands starting in the middle of dough ball and pushing out. 

 -Oil bowl and roll dough around to coat surface. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. (I turned on my oven and kept the door open while the bowl sat on stove right next to the exiting heat. OBVIOUSLY MAKE SURE KIDDOS ARE NOT AROUND WITH A HOT, OPEN OVEN!)

 -Divide dough into 6 (mine was three because I halved the recipe) pieces. Shape loaves and place in greased 8x4 in pans. Let rise until dough is 1 inch above rim of pans, usually 1 hour.

 -I did not have another loaf pan so I put it into a oven save ceramic bowl.

 Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and to cool completely. 
TO FREEZE: after cooling for 10 minutes, wrap while still warm in plastic wrap and then again in freezer paper. Wrapping while warm will preserve the moistness. It should last 3-4 months in regular freezer and up to 6 in a deep freeze! 


The breakdown of savings:

-1 can = .70- $1
-1 bag is 2.50, makes 8 cans worth. 
         I saved 5-6$

-1 can = $1-$3
-1 recipe totals (for me, I had most everything) 3-4$, makes 5 cans worth. 
        I saved 2-10$

-1 loaf = $1-$3 ( I buy 3-4 loaves for a month, when you have kids, it goes quick!)
-1 Recipe totals 2.50 (once again, I had most everything on hand anyways), makes 6 loaves.
        I saved 2-12$

Plus my homemade laundry detergent (located under the tab mama projects, click on title of pic), I been saving close to 40$ a month! 

Even though it does save money, that is not the best part. The best part is how delicious everything is!! 

I am going to make homemade clorox wipes soon! :) 
I hope you enjoyed, please if you have questions, ask!