Monday, December 29, 2008


So, I decided to take the week of Christmas off from work. What a great vacation and much needed break. I have done so many things this past week-- I hope I can remember them all.

Grant and I cleaned out our attic- threw a lot of stuff away and made a trip to the goodwill. There is much satisfaction in completing a project. Grant and I almost never complete projects together because we have such different work schedules.

I have been experimenting with bread recipes this past week. Some have been successful and others have not been! I have pictures that I will post later. I love my new wheat grinder, but I am trying to find the right balance of whole wheat in bread recipes without the end result being a hard, thick bread. Still working on the balance. In the meantime I have made four wheat bread loaves, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and a french artisan white bread (by far the most delicious).

I made homemade sauerkraut this week. It's still fermenting, but we should be able to try some in the next day or two. Did you know that homemade sauerkraut is super good for you-- one of the best fermented foods you can eat. According to the Weston Price website:

"Many sources say raw fermented foods are beneficial to the digestive system by increasing the healthy flora in the intestinal tract or creating the type of environment for them to flourish. Sauerkraut and its juice are traditional folk remedies for constipation. Fermentation actually increases nutrient values in the cabbage, especially vitamin C. Fermented foods are also said to facilitate the nervous system."

I discovered a store at the Farmer's Market that sells pasture fed, antibiotic and hormone free poultry, pork and lamb. I picked up some eggs, a whole chicken and some chicken parts. Made a chicken stock last night with the chicken and chicken parts. I am so excited to discover this store and hope to be able to get there at least once a month.

I finished two books this week. I have been so inspired by one of them-- I will have to blog about it later. All about traditional foods vs. industrial foods. I can't say enough good things about it.

I went to the flea market and stocked up on salts, herbs and green teas.

I know there are other things I've done, just can't remember them right now. I'll post pics of our Christmas and going-ons soon.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas with family and friends.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The real reason of the season

This sign caused quite a stir here last year. Someone was "offended" that a McDonald's was allowed to post this. However, since it is owned by an individual, they were allowed to post whatever they wanted.

Way to go McDonald's. If I ate at McDonald's I would certainly support this one!

This is my view

9 hours a day, 45 hours a week, 180 hours a month and around 2, 250 hours a year.

My office. It's really a nice office with a lovely view of the Country Club golf course. It is though, still, an office.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My New Toy-- The Wheat Mill

Oh, the crazy things I get my heart set on.

I am so fortunate to get a Christmas bonus every year. My firm is very generous and I am able to pick out a special gift that is for me and unrelated to Christmas. My toy of choice this year is a wheat mill.

I hear the snickers and groans-- but, wait, are you listening-- you can grind your own wheat into flour!! How exciting is that?! What, you are not impressed?

Seriously, it is a cool toy and, yes, it is limited to grinding flour and beans. But the benefits of freshly ground flour is pretty cool. Many more nutrients (26 vitamins and minerals) than store bought flour (which has to be "enriched") and much more flavorful. My goal for 2009 is to make my own bread. It will be delicious, more nutritious and just another way to get away from the unpronounceable preservatives that plague store bought bread today.

(sidenote: they are playing Canon in D on the radio right now-- LOVE THAT MUSIC-- I walked down the aisle to that song. I used to listen to Canon in D when I was a little girl and told myself that I was going to "walk down the aisle to that song.")

So hopefully, when my vacation starts next Monday, I will have time to try a loaf out and get back with you on how it turned out.
Oh, and if you want to come by and grind your own flour- feel free! I bought my wheat from my local health food store, Harmony Farms.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Umm, I just found my first grey hair a few days ago. This is very sad news for me. Call me vain-- I don't care, but I'm too young for this. And I don't even have kids or a stressful job.

Sigh, the silver lining (pun intended) to all of this is that it can't be seen by anyone because it is near the nape of my neck (not on top). The hair gods were kind to me with that small gift.

Sigh (again).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not your Grandma's Knitting

This picture cracks me up. I don't know why, but it does.

I decided to try a new nail polish color-- black. Thought it might bring out my mysterious, artistic and, dare I say, goth side.

Well, the next day I decided to tap into my earthy, creative, grandma side and so I pulled out the knitting. When I saw my black nail polish with my knitting needles, it just seemed so, so, so not like my grandma's knitting.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I think these shots are really cool. Me in action.

Twisting and kicking.

Turning. Turning.

This is my favorite shot. Floating in air.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lucky Me

How lucky am I. I got to meet two very big Christian artists in the past couple of weeks.

Mark Schultz and my dance team . . .

Me and Nicole C. Mullens . . .

Now, if I could just meet Selah, Third Day, Casting Crowns and Bruce Springsteen. My life would be complete.

Carolina Hurricane's Game

Grant and I and Marty and Meridith went to the Hurricane's game on Nov. 30.

In order to save some money and calories, I ate at home. Casper was just making sure I had some company during dinner.

Grant sure was hoping the Hurricane's would win. He even bought red reflective tape to cover his Duck's jersey!

They did not win.

However, we still had a great time!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homemade Chicken Stock

In my quest to feed myself and Grant healthier, more natural foods, I decided to make my own chicken stock. Bone broth is an excellent, healthy food that I can easily make in my own kitchen-- which translates to “you can do this too.” I can easily store the broth in my freezer and it is ready for any recipe I need. I am eliminating the need to buy chicken stock at the store, thus reducing my food costs and trash waste. The best part for me is not ingesting the preservative laden, sodium filled, “fake” stock at the store. To find out everything you wanted to know about bone broths healthful qualities visit this page.

The key to success here is TIME. It takes a while to cook the stock so that it is full of flavor. But since I don’t do this very often, it is time I’m willing to spend. And it’s not like I’m slaving over the stove during that time, but I don’t like leaving the house when I have the stove on (I have three curious cats at home).

The recipe (from Sally Fallon):

A whole chicken with the innards**
4 quarts of water
2 tablespoons vinegar (this helps draw out minerals from the bones into the broth)
2 carrots, peeled and cut up into large pieces
2 or 3 celery stalks cut up into large pieces
1 onion peeled and cut up into chunks
3 or 4 or 10 garlic cloves roughly cut (this is my own personal addition-- I love garlic-- stop snickering Grant)
Handful of parsley

** of course it will be a much healthier stock if you can purchase farm raised/free range, antibiotic/hormone free chickens

Cut the wings off of the chicken and place them with the rest of the chicken and innards into the water with all ingredients except the parsley. I immediately start to bring to a boil (although the recipe link above suggests letting it stand in the water for 30 min. to an hour). Anyways, remove the scum that rises to the surface (toxins usually float to the surface in this scum). Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 6 to 8 hours. The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor will be. During the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking you want to add the parsley. When done cooking, remove the chicken and vegetables. Strain the remaining broth into a bowl and freeze or use within 5 days. I shred the meat off the cooled chicken and am able to use it in 3 or 4 recipes.

I get so excited when I think of all the economical and healthy things I am able to make with this one chicken. I am able to get 4 quarts of stock and enough meat for several dishes.

I even got Grant on board with this-- he said it made him very happy to see a bunch of homemade chicken stock in the fridge. I think that translates into “thanks honey for ‘slaving’ over the stove all day so that we can have preservative and sodium free stock for use in our many healthy dinner recipes”-- yes, I’m sure that’s what he meant.

Another recipe that you should try.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My weekend plans

So, I am very excited to be spending my weekend with the MARK SCHULTZ-- yes, the very talented Christian singer who was just on "Extreme Home Makeover" and is known for many songs.

He is coming to my church and will be a part of our Christmas concert on Friday and Saturday night. How cool is that? I get to hear him twice-- woo hoo! Anyway, our church is having our concert before and after Mark Schultz' concert. I am dancing in 2 songs, 1 Bible verse, a small finale bit and am a "music box ballerina" for a drama skit (with a real, live, pink tutu and pointe shoes y'all)! So, it will be a busy week for me with tech/dress rehearsals and two performances. But who cares, because I get to hear Mark Schultz this weekend. Sweeeet!