Category Archives: food

Healthy Banana Oatmeal Muffins – Pinterest (Fail?)

I’m in a quest to try as many of my Pinterest pins before I die….although that might be difficult because I can’t seem to stop pinning. So many recipes, crafts…things to do…. Anyways, I saw a recipe for a healthy banana oatmeal muffin here.  I had all the ingredients…especially some bananas that were well past their prime. Now, I’ve made many, many muffins in my life but never tried one without flour. And I really am trying for more healthy cooking.
They were quick and easy to make…but not so much a hit at my house. Middle son (who usually woofs my banana bread) said they were just all right. The little ones ate them…but not the whole thing and didn’t ask for more. Out of a dozen muffins I ended up giving four to the chickens two days later. I think it was the texture of the muffins that threw us off. I didn’t really like it. It was kind of like eating a mushed together oatmeal. Oh well, I’ve seen another one that has some added flour…and maybe if the oats were pulverized first?

And no, that’s not my hand. I just forgot to take a picture first.


Today’s harvest and one of the sad realities of having animals

Today’s harvest included some tomatoes, nasturtium flowers, a Rond de Nice heirloom zucchini and one egg.


However, I may not be getting many eggs for a bit. Depends on how traumatized my girls were early this morning when a raccoon attacked them. Two dead hens and five who are fortunately not injured but acting shell-shocked.

I think what bothers me most is the fact that raccoons don’t seem to even eat them. They just tear them up. I’m going to be picking up feathers for days.
Also, time to rethink how they will be housed. We live in a small university city of about 64,000 people but still have lots of wild life….the raccoons live in the sewers. They’ve just never been an issue because we always had Abby, our Golden Retriever, in the backyard to protect them.


And protect them she did. She was a force to be reckoned with when it came to her chickens. Unfortunately, three weeks ago we had to have her put to sleep because she had cancer. And now the coons think they can do what they want.
I don’t think so.

Today’s Harvest

Some chili’s, cilantro, bell pepper, chives, green onion and tomato….looks like salsa is in order. Only three eggs so far. I think the heat is slowing things down for my girls a bit.


Edited to add a picture of what’s left of the salsa. Turned out pretty spicy…my chili’s are hot this year!

Eating From the Pantry

This year one of the things I’m trying to do is to be more organized and to gain a few more skills. I have a fairly good sized pantry but it’s not very organized. Things get put in there randomly….then they get pushed to the back and then they get gotten. Sound familiar to anyone?

So…. one of my goals for the year is to reorganize my pantry and refrigerator so that I don’t have to get rid of things that have expired or that turned into a science project at the back of my refrigerator.


Yes, I’m really putting myself out there putting a picture of my refrigerator on the internet. Honestly, I really don’t know how it happens. It gets organized and then things get shoved in there and it looks like this. Scary.

I also need to get into my freezer. ( No pictures of my freezer will be happening. It’s in my garage and today it’s just too dang cold to go out there to take a picture. This is coming from someone who is not dealing well with the freezing cold weather we’re having here in California). I  have an older chest freezer that tends to have items at the bottom that get forgotten. One of my goals for January is to clear it out. I’ve been using items from the freezer from the pantry and fresh stuff from the fridge for the past 2 weeks with a set a goal of not spending more than 20 dollars each week. Originally, I was going to set some restrictions for myself on just buying fresh fruit, vegetables, bread or dairy. But, I decided not to be so restrictive so I’m just giving myself 20 dollars each week to spend on what’s necessary. So far I’ve spent 28 dollars. For the thirteen days. That’s a serious record for me.

One thing I’ve discovered, I have a lot of tomato products. Really a lot….tomato sauce, tomatoes juice, tomato paste, spaghetti sauce, frozen tomatoes from my garden, sun dried tomatoes. I won’t be buying tomato products for quite some time. Anyone have any creative recipes? You can only eat so much spaghetti.

Wish me luck as I dive deep into the recesses of my pantry…..

Linking up with Adventures in Country Living at Shalom Engedi Farm who is also Eating to the Bottom of Her Freezer.

Farm Rich Review and Giveaway!

The winner is Jackie!

When I was approached by Farm Rich to review their products I had never heard of them before. But, I do love trying out new things. I was pleased to discover that their products are sold at my local Target and Walmart. I received 2 coupons good for free Farm Rich snacks and appetizers and picked up some mozzarella cheese sticks and some meatballs.


– Made with 100% real mozzarella cheese
– Breaded and seasoned to perfection
– Good source of calcium and protein
– 0g trans fat per serving

The cheese sticks were delicious with ranch, ketchup and barbeque sauce. They had a nice crunchy outside and that yummy,gooey inside. They didn’t last very long at all…….

The meatballs had a nice flavor and were a good addition to my spaghetti. They also could be used as an appetizer for dipping.


Farm Rich has been generous enough to give me 2 additional coupons to giveaway. ( $6.99 value each)

Would you like to enter?! You know you would! All you need to do is let me know which Farm Rich products you would try.
If you would like additional entries you may subscribe to my facebook page,follow me on twitter or give me a follow on
Pinterest. Giveaway will end Friday, July 20 at 9pm PST. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received 2 free farm rich coupons in exchange for giving an honest review on my blog.

Ultimate Potato Soup

I found a delicious soup recipe on a neat meal planning website called Food on Your Table. Meal planning has never been my forte. I just can’t seem to stick with meal planning for any length of time. 

Fortunately this one seems fairly straightforward.

You can look in their cookbook for a recipe…main dishes or a side. Then the site creates a shopping list for you.  And you can add other extras to your shopping list. It also has an app you can put on your iPhone so you can take your shopping list with you. I really liked that.

Servings: 4
Ready In: 45 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

2 (cup) potatoes,
diced 1 (stalk) celery,
diced 1/3 (cup) onion,
chopped 1 (14.5 ounce can) chicken broth or vegetable broth,
divided 1 1/4 (cup) half-and-half cream
2 (tablespoon) butter,
melted 2 (tablespoon) all-purpose flour

1. In a large pot, bring potatoes, celery and onion to a boil in 2 cups of broth. Cook until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid.
2. Combine reserved broth and half-and-half in pot. In a bowl, combine melted butter and flour. Stir into half-and-half mixture over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and stir until thickened. Stir in reserved vegetables, remaining broth, bouillon and pepper. Heat through and serve immediately.
3. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pantry Challenge Wrap Up

Back at the beginning of January I accepted a challenge to clear out my pantry. My thought was to clear out anything that was expired, organize what I do have and get some sort of inventory list going. I had my son pull everything out of the bedroom closet we call a pantry so I could get a real look at what we have.
image I’m pretty pleased with the small amount of things I found that were expired. There were a half dozen cans of beans that were given to us last year when my dh was unemployed. I never used them because they were already expired when given to us but I didn’t want to get rid of them because if things got really bad I thought we might have to use them.
Note to self and anyone else listening…if you are going to help someone out by giving them food…don’t give them expired foods. I know you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth when things are bad. However, while I was grateful to receive the free food…I was also a little afraid of giving my family food poisoning. Now that we’re in a better financial position I’m sure the opportunity to help someone else will happen. My lesson learned? Give the best of what you have not the stuff you plan to toss.
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10.
Anyways, back to the challenge. One thing I discovered was that I have a lot more than I thought in some areas and am sorely lacking in others. Plus, things are scattered in too many places around the house to be used in an organized fashion. I’m finding things that we’re tucked in the back of cabinets because there was nowhere else to put them.

I’ve set a couple of goals that I want to accomplish over the next few months.
1. Get everything we have put onto some sort of inventory list. Anyone have any suggestions for a simple inventory system?
2. Clear out the extra room so it can effectively be used for our food storage. Not sure how fun this will be…it’s become the catchall room for everything that doesn’t have a place.
3. Create a menu plan to use what we have. This is going to be my biggest challenge. I have major menu plan envy from all the wonderful blogs on the net. I’ve never been very successful at creating a menu plan that works for my family.

One last thing… I tried to keep shopping to a minimum for the month of January with the intent of using up things that might be close to expiring. I can honestly say that this part of the challenge was a big success! I only purchased basic items that we needed and we ate from the pantry the rest of the time. Money spent for the month?  $134 out a $300 budget. We did eat out twice…but dh wanted to take me out both of those times….so I wasn’t about to say no.

I’m pretty satisfied with the way things went in January, but still feel like I have a long ways to go in getting as organized as I want to be.

Back To Basics

I’m a big fan of my Back to Basics appliances. 


This one is my trusty apple peeler, corer, slicer. 

It is the handiest thing when you have a large amount of apples or potatoes to peel.

The Power of the Sun

Dinner tonight included pork ribs that were cooked to perfection…

random pictures 043

not in the  oven…not on the grill…but in this….


It’s a Tulsi Sun Oven.  I’ve had mine for several years and I love it! Of course mine doesn’t look as pretty anymore as the picture, but it is THE best thing to use when the temps outside are in the 90’s or 100’s and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen.  We get lots of days like that here during the summer.

Disclosure: Someone said I need to disclose that I didn’t get paid to say this. Nope…didn’t get paid a penny. I just happen to have one of these beauties and love to use it. But, if someone wants to pay me to brag about it I’d be happy to.  🙂

Menu Plan Monday

Trying to keep better organized at how the food is being used around here.  Here is my plan for the week:

Monday dinner: Leftover turkey, salad

Tuesday dinner:  Spaghetti, mixed veggies, whole wheat bread

Wednesday dinner:  Tuna noodle casserole, mixed veggies

Thursday dinner:  Chicken, rice, broccoli

Friday dinner:  Tostadas

Saturday dinner:  Pizza

For more great Menu Plan Monday menu planning ideas visit!