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Aug. 7th, 2013

douc langur

homeless

I am currently living with a friend of mine here in Shelbyville.  She warned me when i moved in that her mom was coming to stay for a while in December and that i would need to move before then, which was no big deal because that was still a ways away and i was hoping the divorce/house stuff would be taken care of by then.  She informs me today that her mom has decided to come in September instead and stay until God knows when (which she is totally freaking out about) so I essentially have until September 15th to find a new place to stay.  I really didnt want to sign a year lease on a place when i could be getting my house back and not to mention that divorce ruins your credit, so i have terrible credit, and i have all of $20 to my name right now.  So getting a place of my own right now isnt really in the cards.

Here was my plan:  I need to hold 12 parties this month, that WAS my plan anyway but now it's more of a "do or die" kind of thing.  That's really the only way to ensure i will have enough money to move.

Right now i have about 5 parties on my books for this month. which is nowhere near enough.  I was considering doing a "Help me not be homeless" party promotion but i am afraid 1) that will be really tacky and 2) i really hate to ask people for help.  But right now i'm really stuck and dont know of any other option. 

Jul. 29th, 2013

douc langur

sucks

A word of advice.  The WORST possible thing to do to a person coming out of an abusive relationship is to have an "intervention" about how they are living their life wrong.  in 15 minutes 3 months of therapy were reversed and i am now unable to leave the bed/ couch once again.  Thanks guys.

I really want to say to them, "where was this intervention a year ago when you were sitting by watching me be torn down? I had to figure this all out on my own, so on my own is how i'm gonna come out of it.  you know what happens when you clean your closet?  Things get really messy before they get clean, so back off"

you can't confront someone who has been made to think they cant do anything right and the world would be better without them  and tell them that they arent doing anything right without them feeling even more worthless. 

Mar. 26th, 2013

douc langur

an here it is... my soul...

I've been very quiet for a long time.  i'm not a blogger, never have been, probably never will be.  but i like to have this for these moments in time when i need to bare my soul to the few friends who actually read this in hopes that someone somewhere will listen.

three weeks ago i left my husband.

over the past year of growth and development i have come to realize that i was in an emotionally abusive, neglectful marriage.  our marriage has always been about him.  he gets what he wants and whatever is leftover might be mine.  When he did go out in public with me he would ignore me, i would spend most of my time looking for him only for him to turn around and abandon me again after 5 minutes of me following him.  at home he would give me the silent treatment.  on a good day i would get possibly 5 hours of mild interaction.  sex was on his terms, and not often.  he manipulated to get his way, and made me cry almost every day.

for those of you who know him, i'm not saying this for you to judge him, i'm saying this to not judge me.

i left my husband.

at this point in time, i dont want to work it out.

and i am fully aware that in the eyes of 50% of my friends, this makes me a bad person.

Today i was abruptly kicked off of the hospitality team at church because i must have "too much stress".  too mush stress to arrive to church 30 minutes early to say hi to people at the front door before church begins.  translation, "we don't want our church to think it's ok for a wife to leave her husband, under any circumstance"

i was more upset by being abandoned by my church then i was when i actually left him.

i drank half a bottle of nyquil so i would feel nothing.  it worked.

he comes to my house everyday to take care of our child and either yells at me or doesn't speak to me.  he tells me, and our friends, that i an a quitter and never gave him a chance to change.

i gave him 5 years to change.

three times in two years i begged him to hit me instead of ignoring me.  he wouldn't even look at me for days.

i feel nothing.

i spent three years thinking it was my fault and trying to change myself to make him happy.  i'm the one giving up.

twice he told me the way he treated me didn't matter because i would never leave him.  i left him.  i'm the bad person.

i feel nothing

A wise friend told me:  There is a difference between giving up and having enough. 

Dec. 20th, 2012

douc langur

cabbage, beef, and blue cheese

This recipe was so good i actually licked my plate clean, i know, so gross!  i also do not have a picture of it because it was all gone before i thought to blog it! 

Here is how this masterpiece was born:

Today is leftover day.  I had some beef left over from making chili rellenos for the past 2 nights, so i looked in my fridge to see what i could do with it.  Here is what I came up with:

you will need
1/2 head of cabbage
1 tbsp evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup cooked ground beef
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
2 tbsp blue cheese (from a triangle of blue cheese)

Heat evoo in a skillet over med heat.  I took 1/2 a head of cabbage and chopped it up into about 1 inch size pieces and threw it in the skillet.  After about a min i added the vinegar (which my husband said made the house smell like feet), lemon juice, an butter.  then i let saute for about 5 minutes, until the cabbage was soft.  Then I added the beef, blue cheese, salt, cumin, cayenne, and oregano.  i let this simmer for about 10 min, until the cabbage was turning brown on the edges an the beef was getting a little hard. turn it off, you are done!!  enjoy!!!  it's so super yummo!!

Nov. 23rd, 2012

douc langur

Jambalaya, mmmmmmm

I was on my way home from working tonight when i realized I had forgotten to thaw the fish and didn't have anything to eat tonight.  I had this weird craving for Jambalaya, and Owen thought it was a great idea! 

I like to make stuff with a little bit of this and a little bit of that, so i am posting this now so it is fresh in my mind so i can reproduce it later.

Ingredients:

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp whole-wheat flour
1 cup brown rice
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp seasoned salt (i get mine from regina at http://ironleafherbals.com/main_page.php cause it's 100% clean
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp organic lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup red wine (i like Cabernet sauvignon)
1 can organic tomato paste
1 green pepper chopped into small bits
1 red pepper chopped into small bits
1/2 onion chopped into small bits
1 lb shrimp, deshelled and cut into pieces
1 package aidells cajun style andouille sausage


It starts with a roux.  Don't know what a roux is?  That's ok, I'll tell you!  first you take butter, i used 4 tbsp.  melt it in the bottom of a stew pot, i use med heat.  Once it is melted add 4 tbsp (a 1-1 ratio) whole wheat flour.  Stir with a whisk intermittently for about 5-10 minutes, until it turns a slightly darker color of brown.  I had used my 4 cup pyrex measuring cup yesterday to make mayo so it still had oil in it, which meant i could not use it.  Instead I used the 22oz mug we had brought home from the highland tap room in Louisville to add water to the pot once the roux was ready.  I used 3 mug fulls, which was like, hold on let me go measure....6-7 cups of water (homemade stock is best, but i had used all of mine). 

This is the part i did wrong.  Bring to a boil, then add the rice and turn down to a simmer.  This was my first time using brown rice and did not realize it took 5X the amount of time to cook brown rice as it does to cook white rice. 

Add the spices, lemon juice, wine and tomato paste, Let simmer for 40 minutes, until the rice starts to tenderize an be actually edible instead of hard enough to chip your teeth.  The sauce should be getting nice and thick too.

At this point add the meat (shrimp and sausage).  cook another 10 minutes, then serve. 

These are pictures of the jambalaya in the pot, and of my husband eating his second bowl.  I wanted him to smile and hold his spoon, but he said he refused to be in my blog.  So sad, but the jambalaya was still good!!!  BTW:  It is sooo good with a bottle of the red wine to drink with it!!!!
jambalaya 1
jambalaya 2

Nov. 20th, 2012

douc langur

Tonight's dinner: Sweet potato burgers!

I have had a TON or requests for this recipe, so here it goes!  I do need to add a disclaimer that this is NOT my recipe.  This is a recipe I found on pinterest, although I did modify it a tad to be 100% clean. 

tonight's dinner: Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Sauce  this recipe was posted here: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/09/smoky-sweet-potato-burgers-with-roasted-garlic-cream-and-avocado/
the recipe I posted is almost directly from her website, except a few things are changed. 

it was pretty much clean already:

Ingredients:

2 cups coarsely mashed sweet potatoes (or yams), about 2 large potatoes
2 bulbs of roasted garlic
1 cup cannellini beans (rinsed and drained if canned) (i used the northern beans)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup oat flour (or all-purpose, wheat, etc)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 avocado, sliced
2/3 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
1 teaspoon maple syrup (i didn't have maple syrup so I used honey)
extra salt and pepper for seasoning yogurt/cream

4 whole wheat buns

but in order to make it completely clean I had to change the panko crumbs to my bread crumbs i had made from stale wheat bread i had made earlier in the week.  I also left out the whole wheat buns since it's REALLY hard to get clean bread unless you make it. 
 

Directions:

To roast garlic, i cut the tops off about 6 cloves of garlic, placed on a piece of tin foil (yes i call it tin foil, it drives my husband nuts but i always have and i always will! ) drizzled with olive oiI with a little salt them close the foil and bake it at 350 for an hour. 

I also pierced the potatoes and baked in the oven for an hour on the same shelf as the garlic until i could pierce through them easily with a fork.  You can also do this in the microwave. 

In a large bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork. Add in sweet potato and mash together, then add in spices, salt and pepper, minced garlic, egg, whole wheat bread crumbs and flour. Mix together until combined, then place bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. This helps form them into patties, but as a warning they are still somewhat messy.

While mixture is chilling, combine yogurt/sour cream with 2 bulbs (squeezed out) of roasted garlic cloves, maple syrup (or honey) and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth then set aside until ready to use.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil.  I have non-stick pans so i did not need the oil, and med heat was too hot and burned the top of my first one so i moved it down to med-low, but you have to cook it a bit longer). Remove mixture from fridge and form into 4 equal patties (mine made 6, i think my potatoes were bigger), then place in the skillet once hot. Since the mixture can be wet and messy, do not move until they are fully cooked and golden on one side! This takes about 5-6 minutes. Then, add more oil if needed (this really helps cook them) and flip burgers very gently. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Toast buns if desired.

Assemble by topping burgers with roasted garlic cream and avocado! like i said before, i did mine bunless and it was perfect too.  Adin loved them!  he ate them up!  They are really good with bacon on top too, and also with a side of green beans.  ENJOY!

I will post a picture tomorrow when i take a picture of us eating the leftovers!

douc langur

Substitutions

As I was browsing through my pinterest page wondering 1) what I should make for Thanksgiving and 2) what my next blog should be about I realized something that i have known for a while,but you all may not.  So here you go!  You don't all of a sudden have to only use recipes that are already clean!  You can substitute anything not clean for a clean food, it just may take a little finagling and may change the taste a little bit (like substituting white flour for whole wheat).  So today we are going to learn how to change your favorite recipes into clean eating!!! YAY!!! 

What's the best way to teach you to substitute?  lets do PIZZA!  Pizza is a hard one that I personally LOVE

Let's start here with the dough.  listed is the regular recipe.  The * denotes items that are not clean and will need to be substituted

Ingredients:

1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour *
2 tsp yeast (1 packet)
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar *
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm water (120 to 130°F)*
3 tablespoons oil *

So how do we substitute these?  Honey is a GREAT substitute for sugar, but make sure you buy it locally and not just a generic from the store.  there is a huge difference and you get a lot of great health benefits from local honey.  Whole wheat flour is substituted for the regular flour, but use a little less, so 1-1/2 to 2 cups because it is more dense, also use a slight bit more yeast so it can rise better.  In terms of oil you want to be using an unrefined oil.  it is less processed and is therefor better for you.  I prefer olive oil for my pizza, but in other recipes coconut oil or any unrefined nut oil works well.  you ca also substitute butter in some recipes.  

prep yeast in the water and honey for about 5-10 minutes, until it gets nice and frothy, stir it first to make sure the honey and yeast combine fully with the water.  In the meantime combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  as soon as the yeast is ready mix them all together.  I prefer to use my kitchenaid mixer until a nice ball is formed, then i knead by hand on a pastry mat.  once the dough is firm, but not too firm.  you want it to have some give.  Roll out the dough to as big as you want it. i have a pampered chef pizza stone that i use and i like the dough to be that big.  once the dough is rolled out transfer it to the tray, stone, whatever, that you will be cooking it on. 

For the toppings you want to make sure you are careful what to buy.  i get the organic tomato sauce and add basil, oregano, garlic, and salt to it to use as the pizza sauce.  then add whatever toppings you want, although be careful to follow the clean rules, the meat should be from a local farm, or at least hormone and antibiotic free.  you may have to give up the sausage and pepperoni, but bacon is still ok!  I put chicken on mine a lot.  chicken and spinach is really good, onions, peppers, etc.  the cheese is also tough.  you can no longer use pre-shredded  cheese.  so sad.  so you need to buy mozzarella and Parmesan that is still in it's pre-shredded form.  it's a bit more expensive, but man does it taste a lot better.  layer the pieces all over your pizza, then bake at 350 for 15-20 min.  I actually usually sprinkle a bit of Regina's seasoned salt on the pizza before it goes in the oven.  you can get that here http://ironleafherbals.com/main_page.php  Once the pizza is done, let it cool a bit, cut, an you are ready to eat yummy clean pizza!

See!  substitutions are easy!!

let me know if you have any questions about other substitutions!

Here is a picture of my finished yummo pizza
IMG-20121115-00391


Nov. 15th, 2012

douc langur

I heart Granola!!

Granola is awesome, granola is amazing!!! 

I love this stuff!!!  It is so versatile!  You can eat it by itself, add milk and eat it like cereal, put it over yogurt, or even a salad!  What a great way to add a kick or protein and fiber to your diet!

The problem: buying granola from the store is so freaking expensive, and i don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of cash to throw around, so here is my solution.  it's still pricey, but it's far cheaper than buying 3 boxes of cereal a week. 

MAKE YOUR OWN!

YAY!

you can do soooo much with granola, and when you break it down it's only about $10 for one batch (which is probably the equivalent to 3 boxes of cereal, an there is no crap or processed sugar). 

So how does one make granola?

Here are the basics I put in every recipe:

1/2 cup oil (it's best to use an unrefined oil, coconut oil or sesame oil are best i think)
1/2 cup honey (preferably from a local source, honey from the store is often highly processed)
2 cups oats
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp kosher salt

always heat the oil and honey in the microwave for about a minute and whisk together so they form an emulsion so they will be poured over the granola evenly.  You can also add some molasses to this mix for a little added flavor.

Now here comes the fun part!  deciding what you want to put in your granola!  you have so many options.  i usually pick 2-3 ingredients to add.  here are some possibilities:

coconut
chopped cashews
chopped almonds
chopped walnuts
peanuts
and there are more that i can't remember right now, but have fun with it!

i also add in 1/4 cup of flax seed for fiber and iron and sometimes bran too.  this is a great way to trick your loved ones into getting the nutrients they don't always get.

Then i mix it all together, the wet and the dry, spread them out on baking sheets (this amount usually takes about 2 baking sheets).  Then bake at 400 for 10-15 min (until the tops are starting to brown). 

break them apart with a spatula (they will still be hot so they wont be hard yet) then let them cool and harden.  once they are cool you can mix in raisins, or chocolate bits, or whatever sweet bit you want to add. 

I store mine in a tin canister, i think it probably held cookies or something at one time.  Here is a picture of my molasses granola:

IMG-20121115-00389

Nov. 14th, 2012

douc langur

whole wheat bread!

I have been making bread for about two years now.  Store bought bread is actually pretty terrible for you.  pick up a loaf of bread that ISN'T in the organic section (you can buy from the organic section, but most of them are over $5 and taste like cardboard) and look at the ingredients.  can you pronounce HALF of what is in there?  No? Does this concern you at all?  Maybe you shouldn't be putting all that crap into your body.  Just saying...

I make all different types of bread, sourdough, white, whole wheat, french, ciabatta, artisan, etc.  I LOVE my artisan and french bread recipes and have a lot of trouble with sandwich bread.  Sandwich bread is really hard to get right unless you have a bread maker, but I don't have THAT much counter space (that isn't already being taken up by the kitchen aid mixer, massive George Forman grill we got six years ago for our wedding, coffee maker, an other various kitchen appliances i take down from the cabinet when i need them, which lately is quite often).  I looked an looked and looked for a recipe that would give the nice solid exterior of sandwich bread with the fluffy interior that we all love so much.  Today my search has come to an end! 

The other day I ran into a friend of mine at the grocery store and spent about 20 minutes or so shopping together.  I knew I had to switch to the whole wheat flour but wasn't quite sure which one.  I was considering going for the organic, but at the moment we are on a strict budget when it comes to ....well... everything.  She mentioned to me that the King Arthur flour often has coupons.  Considering it's not very expensive to begin with, a coupon would make it close to the price I already pay for regular unbleached flour.  YAY!

The King Arthur flour site has awesome recipes!  While searching for a recipe that would be acceptable for the 10 day challenge I stumbled upon this gem http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/vermont-whole-wheat-oatmeal-honey-bread-recipe

Yes, you have read that correctly. 

Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

with a 5 star rating, i almost squeed with delight.  but i was still a bit skeptical.  would this bread REALLY be what i was looking for?  There were still a few things that had to be modified to fit with my rules so here is the modified version:

2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (if you are concerned about this you can also use agave nectar, just use a little less and add more water)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Saigon-type cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
5 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, brown rice syrup, honey, butter, salt and cinnamon. Let cool to lukewarm.

Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny (I use the dough attachment on my kitchen aid until it was a formed ball, then kneaded by hand until it started to feel firm). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour (i did about an hour and 15 minutes, but you can let it rise longer, whole wheat takes longer to rise).

Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves in two greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pans. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise till they've crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour (like before, you should let it rise a bit longer to compensate for the whole wheat).

Bake the loaves in a preheated 360°F oven for 33 minutes.* Remove them from the oven when they're golden brown, and the interior registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Yield: 2 sandwich loaves.


This bread was AMAZING!!!!!!  Not just, oh it's whole wheat sandwich bread so i'll eat it cause I know it's good for me amazing, but the honey is giving my mouth good feelings A-freaking-MAZING.  I didn't quite let it rise enough to get the true fluffy texture in the middle, but it was fluffy enough, and still had that nice not-to-hard crust.  I have found our new bread!  The best part, it probably only cost us $3, that's not bad!!   Here is the picture of the bread.  it calls for 2 loaf pans, but I could only find one of mine... weird cause i thought i had 3...  So instead i used a saucepan to cook the other loaf, which is why it's round....  Quick side note, if you cook it that way, make sure you put a potholder over the handle of the pan after it is out of the oven, cause if you are anything like me you will forget it was in the oven, and being in a 360 degree oven for 35 minutes does not feel good on the hand...bread

douc langur

lets try this again

Just to let everyone know, I'm not much of a blogger.  I like to write, but blogging just seems so..."why does someone care what I have to say?" on top of, "Oh i should probably write something today!"   But....I am going to try my hand at it one more time, mainly because people have actually ASKED me to blog....so here it is:

For those of you who don't know I have been on the fence for years about eating "clean', ie no artificial made in a lab CRAP.  I was doing it a little bit, here and there, checking labels sometimes, trying very hard not to eat HFCS but not paying attention to much else.  

Then something happened this year...

1) I became very good friends with a homesteader I have known for years.  He grows most of his own food and has chicken and goats for eggs and milk/cheese. 

2) I have had a lot of friends and family who have serious medical conditions that are/can be linked to the food they eat.  Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, colitis, crohns disease, and cancer (nobody knows what causes cancer but food is a possible link) to name a few. 

3) A very good friend has become a wellness coach and has really inspired and helped me to pursue a clean eating lifestyle.  here is her page  http://yourresetbutton.net/blog/  and i was introduced to pinterest http://pinterest.com/ayshatapp/ and http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

So what does it mean to eat "clean"?  It means nothing, absolutely nothing, can be processed in a lab.  This means buying fresh produce, only whole wheat grains, if it comes in a jar, can, package of any kind, it can only have 5 ingredients (unless they are all fruits or vegetables, or things you are familiar with).  Also, no processed sugar.  the rules are on the 100 days website. 

There is also a 10 day challenge on the website, which I began 4 days ago. 

I have been posting my meals on facebook an have had multiple requests to post the recipes,  so here we go!!  Hope you all enjoy, and please let me know if you have questions about the diet, etc.  oh, and it took about a week to "prepare" for the 10 day challenge so in the past week and a half i have lost about 8lbs and i feel amazing!  I don't even need to drink coffee in the morning to keep myself awake because i have so much energy, this truly makes you feel amazing!!!

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