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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Peach Cobbler

This weekend I got the first of my Baking Bucket List done. I thought I was going to have to move some things around because cobbler sounded amazing, and I wanted to make it. Luckily I seemed to have already put that down for Week 1. Yay!

Finding a box of huge peaches at Costco for $4 on Thursday is sort of what started it. That and I just love cobbler, even blueberry, and I’m not the biggest fan of blueberries (muffins are also the exception). Now put fresh raspberries in front of me, or put me in front of a raspberry bush and it’s on. I digress, though. Peaches.. millions of peaches. Peaches for me.

Okay there is a chance I should NOT be writing a blog post because I seem to have the attention span of my 5 year old. So just humor me.

Pay no mind to the center. O_o

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Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

************ PLEASE READ THIS DISCLAIMER I WILL PUT IN CAPS JUST BELOW THIS ATTENTION GRABBING HEADLINE THING ************

I HAVE BEEN USING THIS FOR AWHILE, AND MY RECENT BATCHES HAVE NOT BEEN FREE FLOWING. THEY HAVE CAKED UP HORRIBLY MAKING THE MIX ALMOST UNUSABLE. THIS IS MORE OF AN INCONVENIENCE THOUGH. MY REAL PROBLEM IS THIS MIX SEEMS TO HAVE EATEN THE COATING OFF MY ALUMINUM HANDLED RADA KNIVES LEAVING A NASTY TARNISH THAT COMES OFF WHILE USING THE KNIVES. THE SAME FOR THE HANDLES ON MY KITCHENAID STRAINER. ALSO THE MEASURE LINES PAINTED ONTO MY 1 & 2 CUP MEASURE PYREX CUPS ARE COMPLETELY GONE.

I’VE STOPPED USING THIS HOMEMADE MIX JUST THIS WEEK (6.5.13) BECAUSE OF THIS. I SUSPECT THE LEMISHINE IS TO BLAME, BUT I’M NOT 100% CERTAIN, BUT I CAN’T AFFORD ANYMORE RUINED DISHES. 😦

More than a year ago I got two huge tubs of dishwasher tabs from Costco. I’m down to about 1/4 of the final tub. Of course when I stocked up on the dishwasher tabs David was still making a comfortable sum of money and I didn’t really think much of spending $15 or so on each tub. Obviously things for us now are far different. It’s bad enough when I have to spend $15 on toilet paper, $15 on David’s razors, and $15 on coffee beans. That’s almost 1/5 of my budget for 3 things!! Though I do use all 3 – I steal a blade from David once per month, I’d kill before I give up coffee, and I have cut our paper products usage a great deal (that’s a post soon to come!) – I still hate having to get larger ticket items.

I’ve been researching and reading about different types of homemade dishwasher detergent. I live in Nevada, and our water is exceptionally hard so I have to take that into consideration. I once tried to make the liquid stuff, but it never thickened and I was skeptical. I’ve seen the powder recipes that call for Kool Aid, but I’d rather just avoid the food coloring that has a potential to stain since we are in a rental. I found a recipe using Lemi Shine.

Lemi Shine

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Baking Soda and Peroxide Cleaner

Yesterday for breakfast David and Nola made pancakes. He used Pam in the pan, and a double batch of pancakes later the pan was a hot mess. Literally and figuratively. I decided that I would not waste the last of my lone Magic Eraser, because it should be left for emergencies like kids + Sharpies + walls. Instead I decided to give the baking soda and peroxide trick a try. I read a review from someone saying it totally didn’t work, so I went into it prepared to scrub my arms off with soap after if need be.

I took pictures of my loaf pan because I didn’t think to do pictures of the pancake pan…

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Tuna Casserole

Roux scares me.

I’ve not had the proverbial testicular fortitude to try to make it until this tuna casserole. I do not claim that it’s anything similar to what someone who makes cajun dishes would make, but it did made a thickened sauce that I needed for the casserole. I’m actually going to be using the same method tonight for dinner to make another type of casserole. 🙂

Mmmm I want more now that I'm looking at the pictures.

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Homemade Butter

In my honey wheat bread post a few days ago I made mention of homemade butter. I love homemade butter. My kids love homemade butter. Nola asks for it with homemade bread. It’s like .. well .. bread and butter together. 😉

When I was back in Texas I found a page showing how to make homemade butter with pure muscle by shaking the hell out of a container. I admit I used that method up until a few weeks ago. I stumbled upon a much easier method. Yes, Pinterest was involved, how did you know? Since then homemade butter has been a staple.

This is why here Meg, this is why were here.

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Egg Salad Sandwich

For lunch today my two year old asked for “pea-ut butter jelly time” (think of the dancing banana here, yes that’s where she got it) I was going to have some too because my homemade strawberry jam is rather fabulous if I do say so myself (and so have a few others, so I know I’m not tooting my own horn here), but then I realized my dietary restrictions today include no seeds.  Strawberries have seeds.  Blast!  So after I got my kids settled I looked into the fridge and remembered that I had wanted an egg salad sandwich at Whole Foods the other day, but they were out.  Conveniently enough I had eggs, and my homemade mayo.

Incredible edible egg!

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Deodorant Update

I made deodorant on Friday and said I would report back in a few weeks, well I lied, I’m going to report my findings now.

David came home Saturday from Seattle, so I of course did my customary house scrubbing.  I try and make it look like I didn’t let the girls destroy the house all week, or as I tell him to cover up the wild parties we had.  😉

Getting a week of house cleaning crammed into a few hours will of course ensure that I’m a nasty mess by the time I’m done.  I had put on my deodorant the day before after my shower, and yet there was no stink.  I had also given some of the deodorant to my sister, because turning as many people into tree hugging hippies as I can is a goal of mine.  She went on a major house cleaning bender yesterday (to feng shui your home you must first make it look like a 4 year old, 2 dogs, and 2 adults don’t live there .. hehe), and informed me that she too worked up the epic “I cleaned the house” sweat and did not stink.  I’d say two clean homes, and two non-stinky hippies means the deodorant works.  😀

Homemade Deodorant

My crafty friend who recommended muesli to me recently made deodorant and lip balm.  I ordered the stuff for both from Mountain Rose Herbs and got it today, and purchased from ylang ylang from Whole Foods.  Despite being VERY tired I decided to whip up a batch of deodorant.

Now I admit I LOVE ylang ylang.  It’s my favorite essential oil, lavender is close on its heels though.  There’s sweet orange oil in it too, but ylang ylang is the dominant scent.  Here’s where I admit that I seriously thought about smothering myself with cocoa butter.  The smell is a-mazing.  I also sampled some of it since the cocoa butter I got is food grade.  It tastes good too.  😉

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Spelt Crackers

Having two young kids crackers are a staple in the house.  I like crackers, and so does David.  I’ve been attempting to make things from scratch more often, which happens to work out nicely for the March Challenge.

The blog calls them “spelt everything crackers”.  I didn’t have “everything” so some dried onion, sesame seed. and kosher salt it was.  I also did not have a spray bottle at had so my toppings did not stick so well.  I need to remember a spray bottle that is for this purpose.  😛

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