Nov 10, 2015

Tough Week Already. is already shaping up to be a tough week.

Have not done very well at creating and sticking to menu plans, but have not been eating out as much either.  This week we I fixed two new recipes.  Ham and Cheese Sliders and Autumn Pasta Crunch Salad.  It is so hard to prepare supper these days, daughter's work schedule changes weekly and son's schedule has just been changed to a split shift (plus he was talking in to going back to work part time at the restaurant he used to work at) so I never know if I am cooking for 2, 3 or four people.  Casserole type dishes don't really matter, but since the family is not really keen on them I try to not make them too often.  Also we are attempting to cut back on carbs, so cutting pasta, rice and potatoes.  In other words, the cheaper eats.  Throw chicken in there, because I am the only one that likes it.  However, I am the main cook, so am going to cook what I can eat most of the time and then cook for hubby's taste a couple of times a week.  Son is a bit of gourmet snob, don't know where he learned that from because he grew up on basic country home cooking.  However, he has said that from time to time he will take any left overs to work with him.  Really trying to cut back on the cost of groceries around here, especially since the family is shrinking a bit.  But, they don't seem to really go for the cheap stuff so much anymore so I am having to try some new things.  I am working on budgeting for the whole house, not just the groceries though.  Coupons don't work around here, and I took advantage of a local grocer on their daily markdowns but they are closed now.

Recipe review.  The sliders were...okay.  Not great, not terrible.  My biggest complaint was that the bread toasted a bit too hard.  If I make this again I think I will cover with foil for the first half of the cooking time.  The pasta salad was...okay.  I actually enjoyed it, but I didn't read the recipe correctly and left out what I feel were a couple of important steps.  Also, when I make this again...and I will make it again...I will cut down on the amount of dressing.  It really didn't seem like it was that much, but in the end it was.  For my taste, it needed a little more sour to it.  Maybe it is just me...but today's vinegar just doesn't seem to be as strong as it used to be. is what the menu plan looks like for the rest of the week.

Tues. - probably going out to the Crest, a neighborhood restaurant (both kids are working there part time) because it has been a really tough day.  Besides, I set two whole chickens in the fridge to thaw yesterday morning and they are still froze solid.  Also,  Tuesday is Minestrone night at the Crest (the restaurant I mentioned) and they absolutely make the best.

Wed.  Chicken - trying two recipes.  One I have made before - beer can chicken (in the oven instead of on the grill) and the family actually does like that one.  The other is a kind of take on that, using a bundt pan. Bundt Pan Roasted Chicken from Just a Pinch...because anything from that site is just good.  I am making two chickens with the purpose of having cooked chicken ready for some other dishes.

Thur. Pork Tenderloin with a couple of sides.
Fri. Some type of beef  dish.

I love looking at Organizing Junkie's site and especially on Menu Plan Monday. Check it out if you need some inspiration.  Hoping to take advantage of grand kids being gone to get some cleaning done and better organized meal plans.

Having our first winter storm...nothing much to it for my area except temperature change.  Enough to have my bones really aching.  This time change is hard on me too, the early darkness (we are on Pacific time, it get's dark about 5 now, by Jan. it will be totally deep dark by 4:30) is so depressing.

Just when I plan out some major chores, around keeping grand babies, something happens and changes it all.  I know that you all have had that experience.  At any rate, my heavy cleaning plans have been put off by a couple of big deal...just need to accept it and go on.  On that note, it looks like my youngest daughter will be moving out this week end, so may be able to actually empty out one of the storage units.  YEAH, cuts that cost in half.  I plan to turn her room into a play room slash den.  The grand babies will use it during the day and I can just put a gate up to keep the youngest safely in check while I do my chores and maybe even a bit of sewing.  (Hopefully, praying for this) then in the evenings I can use it as a room to hang out in away from all the sports that floods my television. LOL  I am daycare for the youngest two grand babies (age 2 and 4) during the week so a room for them will be so awesome. I can get all the toy clutter out of the living room.

Okay...on the list for major cleaning.
1.  Master Bedroom - it is full of clothes that need to be put up or washed and several boxes of misc stuff that I just can't seem to let go of.  I am hoping to get it all cleared away and then will be able to bring in my dress form so I can actually work on my "old West" or "Victorian" wardrobe for our cowboy action shooting matches.  I have some crochet projects that need to be finished up so I can get the yarn put up.  Also hope to weed out some clothes and shoes and such for donation or for yard sale.

2.  Living room/dining area - I need to move all the furniture and clean out the toys from underneath, vacuum the furniture to hopefully get rid of a lot...I MEAN A LOT...of cat hair.  Dusting, cleaning walls and floors, mopping as well.

3. Bathroom - have tried everything I have seen on the web and several commercial products.  NOTHING works.  The bathtub is old, original to the house (1985) and really just needs to be replaced.  Am working on nudging hubby to start on that project.

4. Kitchen - need to clean out cabinets and pantry again.  There are a lot of things I just don't use taking up room and some things I need to be using more (vegetable steamer) that is still boxed up in storage from when we remodeled the kitchen...almost two years ago. My pantry is so jumbled up that I have no idea what I have and what I don't have...and so much it makes it hard to use the pull outs because cans and boxes are constantly falling over or the weight causes the pull up to fall down when pulled out.  Need to clean out the freezer and organize it as well.  Also have an extra fridge that is mainly used for beer, soda and extra milk.  Hubby has told me I can go ahead and get rid of all the beer because it is so old.  He is convinced that the fridge is costing us an extra $30 to $40 dollars a month in electricity.  I am not, but am willing to empty it out and shut it off...after holiday meals. LOL

5. Holidays - have to figure out what we are doing...where we are doing it...for the next couple of months.

6.  Organize - I am great at making plans, writing list, just not on execution.  If I can finally get #1 & 2 done, I can actually be able to get time to plan out meals and such.

WELL...guess I got on a bit of a rant there.  Especially since this was supposed to be posted yesterday, but after my little venting episode about Paleo Diets (Nov. 8) I should just cut it off and post already.

Thank you for visiting and please come back again.

Nov 8, 2015

My Take on the Paleo Diet Plan.

Wow, best intentions and all that.  Nothing has gone as planned for many...many...months now.  I am hoping to do better, and I guess considering it had been almost an entire year between my last two postings, guess a little less than a month is an improvement.  So here goes.

Okay, we need to make some serious changes (have mentioned that on the blog before but have not followed through) so that is #1 on my list at the moment.  Cleaning has moved to #2 because the changes in diet and lifestyle are hopefully going to change my...and my family' and that has become a top priority.  I have spent several hours going over different food plans. Not going to say diet...that is a bad word that kind of defeats me before starting.  I know that is all in my brain, but you know...the brain runs the body so guess I will humor it.  At any rate...I have side tracked so back on the trail of thought.

I have seen so much about Paleo diets, that I just had to investigate it a bit.  OH MY GOSH!  I don't want to be a negative Nancy here, but come on people,  that is so TOTALLY beyond rational. I am not going to slam anyone that believes in it and is following it, but here are my reasons for crossing it off of my list.

For one, it is way too confusing.  I mean, the sites are so random in their information that the only thing  I found consistent was the fact that they all agree your food intake, or your meals, should be that of what a caveman would eat, based on what was available to them at that time. That is the only consistent point.  I find through my limited amount of research (because it just all started running together in my brain) that I had some serious questions come up in my thought process. Here are some things I just don't agree with and why.
1.  Early man was healthier.  Okay, how can we know this when the life span for them was 34 years for the man, 30 years for the woman.  They worked too hard and didn't live long enough to develop obesity or problems related to such.  They died - according to what scientist have found in fossils and bones - of broken bones, starvation, infections, animal attacks and exposure to the elements.  If the Paleolithic peoples had the technology in medicine, farming, engineering and weaponry of even the middle ages, much less modern today, they would not be extinct.

2. Eat low amounts of meat and high amounts of vegetables.  Those people ate what they could find.  They hunted, so probably was large a mounts of meat.  They didn't farm, so the general view is that all cereals and grains would be out.  I know that archaeologist have found proof of ancient tribes that ground corn and grasses into some type of loaf or biscuit to eat, it carried well in their travels.  True they didn't eat bread, muffins or pastas as we know it.  For one they hadn't figured out how to farm and stay in one place at that time and also, they barely had figured out fire, much less ovens to bake in.  This point also brings me to some recipes that are supportive of the Paleo diet and I just don't understand a few things.  How can potatoes be Paleo friendly?  Their origins are with the Indians of Peru, around 8,000 to 5,000 BC, and not really even cultivated until the 1500's.  Much later than the Paleolithic period.  Cauliflower is another allowed vegetable, however, it wasn't until the 12 and 13 century that it started showing up in the form as we know it when it was brought from Syria to the Brittanys.

3. A couple of sites suggest eating lots of fats, such as butter - but dairy is not allowed due to no domestic cattle in the Paleo world.  So the suggestion of duck fat I get, even rendering boars down for their fat,  But butter and way.  I just don't buy it that they knew how to process corn or olives in to oil...if they even knew what corn was.

I could go on and on, but I won't.  My head is already about to explode due to overload.  I will conclude with this.  Hamburgers are not Paleo friendly, even if you wrap it in lettuce instead of a bun.  1.  Beef was not hunted
2. Cheese was not processed
3. For years tomatoes were considered poison.

Based on my research...and I am in NO WAY a professional researcher, dietitian, nutritionist or historian...Paleo diet is just not for my household.

So, I keep on searching for the plan that fits us best.  I readily admit that we need to make some huge changes in our eating, I just don't know which direction that needs to go.  For now, I will be easing us in to some changes.  Less processed foods, more whole vegetables and fruits, less sugar and smaller portions will be the focus at present.