Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pre-Made Breakfasts

I'm trying something new this week...pre-made breakfasts. Breakfast and baking are my specialties and they often go hand in hand since so many baked goods are great at breakfast time; bread for toast or french toast, quick breads, coffee cake, granola; the list goes on. After getting used to a more leisurely summer pace, we are picking it up this week while the older boys attend a wake boarding camp. We'll have to be on the road daily by 7:45 and I know I won't be getting up early enough to prepare a healthy breakfast from scratch like I often do during school when I have other kids coming over as early as 6:00am They'll need the extra energy from a healthy breakfast to see them through the active days so I decided to spend a couple hours today preparing all of our breakfasts for the week. I had quite a few recipes that I've been wanting to try so most of these are new to me too. I'll edit at the end of the week to let you know how they all turned out. Scroll all the way down for both a shopping and pantry list of ingredients for all the recipes!

1. Refrigerator Oatmeal I did the blueberry maple.

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2. Blueberry Baked Oatmeal We went picking last week and have a lot of blueberries to use :)

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3. Blueberry Pancakes I added a teaspoon each of cinnamon and pure vanilla to my standard batter. I'm just keeping the batter in the fridge and will cook it on my big electric skillet one morning this week. It's just as quick that way as to reheat individual plates in the microwave. I'll add a couple handfuls of fresh or frozen blueberries right before cooking. If desired you can also simmer some berries with a little sweetener of your choice to make a compote to go on top.

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4. Chocolate Oatmeal Crunch

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5. Frozen Breakfast Burritos similar to these. I did mine a little simpler with cubed ham, hash browns, and cheese.

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While I was at it I also made Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf and Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.

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Shopping List:     
Blueberries (5c. +)
2-3 Ripe Bananas
Cubed Ham (Use leftovers if you've got 'em!)
Country Style Hash Browns
5-7 large lemons
Pantry List:   
Old Fashioned Oats
Chopped Walnuts (I subbed whole pecans that I chopped in the processor)
White Vinegar
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Nut or Seed Butter (Peanut Butter here)
Ground Cinnamon
White Flour
Powdered Sugar
Cheddar Cheese
Yogurt (Plain, Vanilla, and/or Greek)
Dry Chia Seeds
Milled Flax
Maple Syrup
Vegetable Oil (I subbed grape seed)
Additional for the Snickerdoodles:
Light Brown Sugar
Pumpkin Puree

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Garden and 2012 Goals Updates and our Big News

I'm still here...really! Thought I'd update my small readership on the current goals, garden, and what's been going on lately to keep me from posting.

First my favorite subject, the garden: I've accomplished most of what I wanted to do there. The small boarder plot along the back fence is half as big as originally intended, but I have a wonderful variety of things in it including watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and pole beans in green, yellow and purple varieties plus radishes, nasturtium and marigold intended to keep the bugs away. So far so good! *edit- I found a couple of squash bugs, eggs and a cucumber beetle today. The battle has begun!*

The squash bed right after planting.

We'll be adding lattice on the fence in the next few days to
train everything up. Some of the beans would be
more than half way over the fence already.
In my salsa beds I ended up with 13 mostly different organic heirloom tomato varieties including 3 Cherokee Purples, a German Johnson, Pink Brandywine, Striped Golden Peach, Yellow Blondakee, Yoder German Yellow, Bear Creek, Grandma Josie, Arkansas Traveler, Striped Peppermint, and Southern Night Black. I also have four bell pepper varieties and a couple of jalapenos plus a section of red onions and shallots, a large variety of basils, yellow thyme, rosemary, cuban oregano, stevia and one tiny little dill plant. Definitely an improvement over the last two years when I planted nothing save a few herbs!

Salsa bed shortly after planting.

Salsa bed today (6-20-12) I still need to pick up supports for a few of the tomatoes :-p

My first tomato of the season is almost ready! This is a striped golden peach heirloom.
Unfortunately my potatoes aren't doing well. If you remember I posted pictures of the towers I made, well the reds have mostly died. The yellow russets are doing a little better but still look like they're struggling. I can't figure out why. Some took in the compost pile though so maybe I'll get a small harvest from those. God has a sense of humor doesn't he? I still have sweet potato slips that I'm going to sneak into a bare spot in my front beds. Hopefully those will do better.

When they still looked good...

My poor potatoes.
This is what my salad table looked like a couple weeks ago shortly before things started bolting. I've since given up watering it and will just wait until fall for a fresh crop.

Here's a shot of my muscle man helping to haul all the compost and mulch for me. Gotta love him. :)

Still have about half of the pile to go...
And for fun, here are a few pictures of my patio beds and window boxes as they have progressed throughout the season.

Window boxes shortly after planting.

The heat has taken its toll on the creeping jenny and violas.
My patio garden holds strawberries, hardy kiwi, rhubarb, cannas, lavender, creeping thyme
roman chamomile and sunflowers.

I finally pruned the kiwi vines!!
Night garden at the beginning of the season.

Night garden today. Looking a bit overgrown. Things need desperately to be divided.

My favorite part of the patio garden right now. I'm loving the coleous!
And I must not forget this gorgeous "Carnival" hibiscus I picked up this year!

As far as growing some citrus...I planted a couple of  meyer lemon seeds from a batch that I picked up at Wally World of all places in early spring. One took and is growing beautifully. Maybe I'll get lemons in a few years. I won't be able to purchase any plants until we figure out for sure whether we are going to be moving in the near future or not.

Another goal I can say that is really coming along is sourcing grass-fed/pastured meat and eggs. I've been buying grass-fed ground beef at the farmers market and have several possibilities for a bulk purchase that may or may not happen in the fall. One of my husbands co-workers is getting us pastured eggs for a great price every 2 weeks and she just brings them to work for him to bring home. It doesn't get better then that! Chicken is the only thing I'm still working on. If I could get one whole bird per week we'd be more than set. *edit- Wolf Creek has posted that they'll have pastured chicken available at their market stands as early as Sat. Woo Hoo!!* Soon I'm thinking I want to create a source page where readers can find a list of my local contacts. That will help me keep them all straight too! In the meantime, some websites that I've found to be great overall resources include: (if you're interested in raw milk products), for u-pick farms, to source local grass-fed meat, eggs and diary, and the USDA Farmers Market Directory for a national list of markets in your area. If you're in the Kansas City area, Kansas City Food Circle is a wonderful resource as well. They hold an organic farmer's expo every spring that everyone should attend.

And last but not least I have almost finished cleaning out my craft room, which I no longer get to have because my two year old is moving into it to make room for baby number 4! That would be why I haven't been blogging as much. Pregnancy exhaustion makes it difficult to just keep the house clean (read clean up after my two year old tornado!) let alone keep up with the garden, learning new recipes and everything else. Our fourth boy will be along sometime in mid-October.

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