Mindful Menus - Week of 12/28/2009

December 27, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food :: Comments Off


Creative Commons License photo credit: kevygee

I have decided to join the Mindful Menus over at Chive Talkin’. It’s a once a week meme where participants share their healthy meal menus for the week. Better eating through peer pressure and group participation.And there is a challenge for everyone to join in.

I generally print my menus off from E-Mealz each week and roughly follow them. Some days we skip, or change things based on what we have and my family’s picky tastes. Here is what we are enjoying for dinner this week Read more…

Finally, Baking Bread Right

December 21, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Books, Food :: (2) Comments

I was a very good girl this year, Santa brought me The Backyard Homestead,
Great Yarns for the Close-Knit Family, and Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life. I closed my eyes and pointed at random to which one I would read first, which happened to be Made From Scratch. I’m a fee chapters in and already loving this book. Woginrich is a hilarious writer, and open about her failures as much as her triumphs. Something that I’m thrilled to read after reading too many books by perfect people.

I’s good for my ego to know that someone else manages to mess up often enough. Read more…

10 Steps To Live A Simple Life

December 17, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: simplicity :: (1) Comment

Empty Porch Swing
Creative Commons License photo credit: geoffeg

One of my big goals here is to learn to live a simple life, one with out so many distractions and complications that seem to stress us out. I’ve already made my simple living goals, but I wanted to map out small steps I could take to reach my goals. Then I thought I could expand it out a bit, make a list of steps that anyone could take towards living a simple life.

I could have made a huge list of steps, because goodness knows there are a lot of ways to simplify your life. But for the sake of simplicity I purged it down to the top ten. In no particular order, here are my 10 steps to live a simple life: Read more…

Creating Simple Living Goals

December 15, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Green Living, simplicity :: Comments Off


Creative Commons License photo credit: lululemon athletica

If I had a basic family goal, it would simply be to live greener. But what exactly does that mean? Breaking it down into chunks I want to live more naturally, to live simpler, to live more sustainable. Can I break those goals down even more? Sure. I want to garden, to have more homemade than store bought, to want less, to smile more, to be happier with what I have.

I could keep going, breaking it down smaller and smaller, crafting out a real agenda for what I want from this life. But I haven’t. Because for some reason, in my head just saying “greener” was good enough. It isn’t.

If you want to get something out of life you have to know what it is that you want, you have to set goals. Small goals and big goals, goals for today, goals for next year, goals for fifty years from now. I need to focus on my goals. Read more…

Canning Food For Beginners

December 14, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food :: (4) Comments


Creative Commons License photo credit: ellievanhoutte

A few weeks ago I picked up a box of jars for canning at a garage sale for only $1. I would have grabbed two boxes, but a feisty old woman snatched the second box up before I could reach for it. I thought about following her and asking for tips, but something told me she would have taken my box from me and ran off cackling. I only hope to be half as scary when I’m her age.

Sadly the jars have been sitting on a shelf in my garage. I have a ton of good reasons for that. One being that it’s absolutely freezing outside and just the thought of walking to my garage makes me put on another sweater. Second is that I don’t yet have all the supplies I need. In trying to be both frugal and small I am avoiding buying new lids and rings and other such supplies at the big box store. Instead I keep putting feelers out on Freecycle and Craig’s List, hoping someone will take a bite. Read more…

Blogging For A Greener Chocolate

December 11, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food :: (3) Comments

Dark Chocolate 10/26/2007
Creative Commons License photo credit: suavehouse113

A few days ago, on my personal blog, I wrote a bit about Nestle making a small effort to become more sustainable. Chocolate is my weakness, and also one of the biggest problems in the international food world. Most chocolates come from farms that practice slave labor and unsustainable farming practices. Needless to say, eating chocolate is an internal struggle.

Within a few hours of posting I received an email from a company named Ritter Sport, a German chocolate company that cares about where their chocolate comes from. They were awarded an ÖKO-TREND Company Certificate for their social commitment as a company.

The world isn’t just made of chocolate. That’s why it has always been a fundamental value of our company to look beyond our own realm, to operate sustainably and to be socially involved. Our efforts to protect our natural resources are a top priority with every expansion effort.

Today, I opened my door to a box nearly over flowing with chocolate bars, sent with love from Ritter Sport. Because it doesn’t matter how great a company is if their chocolate tastes bad. It had to be taste tested before my approval. Read more…

Local Food. Really Local.

December 07, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food, Garden :: Comments Off

Canada - Ontario Apple picking - 01
Creative Commons License photo credit: mckaysavage

Food has a life, a story. The environment it grew in, the people who produce it. And usually it’s traveled an awefully long way to get to our plates. I’d like to know these things.

There’s a moment, when you realize that the apple you are biting into was probably picked several days ago in a foreign country, that hits you. The moment is a collision, a crash of this new fact and the memory of picking an apple off the tree in your own yard and taking a bite.

I don’t remember when I realized that the food I was eating wasn’t from some nearby farmer. I do remember a bit of a panic, of fear, and horror. Why was my food being shipped to me when there was perfectly good land right here to grow food on? Of course I hadn’t yet heard of the locavore movement, or even considered such a movement might exist. It seemed natural to me, that food would come from nearby. Read more…

Bread Disasters

December 04, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food :: (2) Comments

When I was a little girl my grandmother made homemade bread every day. Warm, fresh, good for me bread. And, like any typical little girl of my time, I complained that we weren’t like the other families who ate their bread already sliced and from a plastic bag.

If I only knew that one day I would be desperate to toss out that pre-sliced junk for the real stuff. Like my grandmother used to bake. Read more…

Trash Or Food?

December 02, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food, Green Living :: Comments Off


Creative Commons License photo credit: sciondriver

Imagine this scenario:

You are at the grocery store picking up something for dinner. Suddenly a store clerk comes along, empties the shelves of their food, and tosses the packages into the trash. Then proceeds to refill the shelves with new boxes and cans. You look over to see a huge garbage can filled with boxes, bags, and wrapped packages of food, food that is now going to rot in a dump somewhere.

What would you do? Read more…

A View From My Kitchen- Wordless Wednesday

December 01, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Books :: (4) Comments

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