Peanut Butter

It’s not really a thrilling topic, but since I need to keep in the habit of posting here it is…

Sophia hates it.

Nola loves it.

David likes crunchy, hates creamy.

I like creamy, and dislike crunchy.

David also likes Skippy brand whereas I like natural kinds. You know, the ones that separate and you have to nearly lose an arm trying to stir the oil back in… David hates having to do that every time he wants peanut butter. I also don’t enjoy having to do so for the girls all the time either.

Amazingly, when I put peanuts from Costco into my Vitamix I get this…

Peanut Butter

This time it came out with some bits still in it, but not as big as chunky PB. There is no need for the fridge, and it won’t separate! The tin of peanuts is $6-$7 and I get about 2 jars worth (I don’t fill up my jar to the top). There’s nothing hydrogenated in it either, which is why David was willing to do without his beloved Skippy. 🙂

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have some more 2014 in 2014 numbers to post. I keep losing track of the number of items when I go on purging binges. I’ve had to make some estimates, but I low-ball it just to be on the safe side. I can already tell a difference in the areas I’ve worked on and organize, and I’m really really liking it! 😀

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Homemade Almond Butter

I’ve heard of all sorts of people making homemade butters – peanut, cashew, sunflower, coconut, and almond. I finally decided to give almond butter a try since I’ve been successful twice now at making almond milk from scratch (which I *still* need to photograph and post). How hard could making almond butter be, right?

Well, after pausing the movie that my sick kid was watching – because I have amazing timing and all – it took a solid 20 minutes of thinking I was going to kill the food processor. There were a few stops to scrape down almond chunks. I stopped a few more times because I just *knew* that a second more and it would give up the ghost. But in the end…

AlmondButter-1

I had almond butter!!

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Food Revolution and a Giveaway!!

***ETA – This post is “stickied” until the Giveaway is over, please scroll down for new posts!!!***

I’ve posted this before, but please watch this video. It’s 21 minutes and 53 seconds long, but the message is important.

Jamie Oliver has done some great work. He has points that are valid not just for kids, but adults too. As a parent I know I am guilty of not providing the best options to my family at all times. It’s hard sometimes. We have busy lives. David starts two college classes tomorrow, Girl Scout cookie sales are in full swing, plus meetings, it’s also illness season and our family has not been spared. Sometimes the solution is to run to Little Caesars and get two of their $5 pizzas. Convenience is the key more often than not, and it shouldn’t be. I’d rather pull something from my freezer that I got at Trader Joe’s, and while it’s still a packaged meal I can add a frozen veggie and give my family something that offers more nutritional value.

A few years ago I did a food challenge and I did good for maybe a week, and then I slipped, and slipped some more, and by the end of the month I was like “That’s it, I suck!”. Going all out from the start did me no favors. I did it to myself, and honestly I let my slips discourage me too much. I can’t make a promise to only eat home cooked meals from scratch every single day for any length of time, but I can make better choices when I do go out. I can also make a few small changes at home that become a habit, and then change a few more things. For example..

I’ve been buying loaf bread lately. I have a grain mill, and a recipe that my family likes. I need to make bread at home.

I got a new Vitamix for Christmas, and smoothies have been requested almost daily. I know I can make yogurt at home much cheaper.

I know I won’t be able to get all organic food, but I can keep plenty of fresh healthy snacking options available for the whole family.

That brings me to…

FoodRevolution

The simple things I mentioned above to take steps in the right direction to eating better will be implemented by me for Food Revolution starting March 1, 2013. Yes, I know it’s a whole month away, but I want people to join me! I also want time to plan, because I’m a list maker (David says OCD). I want to see tons of other blog posts!

You don’t have to go all out, just change a few things. Eat out less, make something at home that you’ve been meaning to start doing again. Eat more fruits and veggies.

So please join me!! If you decide to participate please feel free to add this little badge to your page, and of course comment right here on this page. 🙂

Also, since Jamie Oliver deserves some well earned credit I am going to do a…

Giveaway

Yes, a giveaway!!

There are rules and stipulations though, of course.

1) Like Gingham Apron on Facebook.

2) Comment here confirming that you completed #1.

3) The drawing will be open from the moment this post is up, until 12:00pm (Pacific) on February 28th. I will put the number of comments received into a random generator and announce a winner soon after both here and on Facebook.

I’m sure you’re wondering what I will be giving away… Well I did say I would be giving Jamie Oliver some credit, so I think that his book Jamie’s Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals is a perfect prize!

Giveaway is over.  Congrats to Elizabeth on her new cookbook! 🙂

FoodRevolutionBook

Good luck, and I hope to see people participate!

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“Is pizza junk food?”

That was the question asked at dinner last night.

Dinner consisted of Boboli pizzas we topped with cheese, black olives, and turkey pepperoni. While we were eating Sophia asked if pizza was junk food. I told her that yes, pizza was junk food. That was cause for an exasperated remark of “We’re eating JUNK FOOD?!”. Yes, honey, we are. What do you think our “Family Dinner Out” to Buffalo Wild Wings was? David piped in at that point with “Do you think mac and cheese is junk food?”, and I pointed out the french fries. She seemed a bit disgusted with this revelation. She may have even said “ew”. I was already plotting though, which I am excellent at.

“How about, no junk food for 2 weeks?”

Starting today, we will not have “junk food”. No eating out. No pizza. No mac and cheese. And no ramen. David even agreed to it.

A caveat. My parents will be in town as of the 6th, and if the only opportunity for them to go to dinner with the girls is before Monday the 11th, then I will just tack a day on at the end. Grandma and Grandpa being here is very special because it was not expected, and honestly I wasn’t sure when we would see them again. So I am willing to cut some slack on that one, but I will encourage the girls to make some healthy choices.

This has me thinking though. Two weeks is a good start. I want to push myself again. I attempted to do a real food challenge 3 years ago, but I didn’t do as well as I know I could have. I want to try again. Later today I will get some details together. I do not want to do this alone though. So fire up your blogs, your kitchens, and yourself!

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Accomplishments

I didn’t set out to have at real “resolutions”, but it just sort of happened. I’m also in no way going to argue with a health my habit being formed.

Today is 10 days with no coffee.

Today is also 23 days without soda (save for some ginger ale when I was sick, but that was more to do with nausea and hydration – I had way more water and Gatorade).

Now, I wish I could say the same about carry out pizza. 😛

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