Fresh milled wheat

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have a grain mill and grind fresh wheat and spelt for us but it has been out of commission for almost a month. Luckily, we had a small cache of flour. When I exhausted our supply it was rough. Boo and I have a whole wheat waffle every morning and were stuck with white flour (which doesn’t taste very good) until someone went to the market and bought whole wheat flour (which tastes slightly better than white bleached but not a whole lot).

Why do I tell you this seemingly boring routine? Because I was able to open a Christmas gift early this year. I have problems with delayed gratification and I’m great guessing, so I can’t be given any hints. My husband did a pretty good job of talking “smack” so I was pretty sure I wasn’t getting what I got. I was home when it was delivered last week, as was he. He was installing a new stove and a repairman was installing a long-overdue new furnace. He and Boo grabbed the package and ran to the bedroom to wrap it. He then debated with himself orally about whether to make me wait or not. Then he tried to have Boo carry it to me but it was too heavy so Boo pushed it on the carpet and I met him halfway. After he let me open it, he explained that he would have felt silly having it under the tree for two weeks with all of us going without fresh milled flour. I’m quite excited because I had fresh milled whole wheat waffles last week and now that the big mill is back in service, I can serve as a backup for the family when the other grinder is unavailable. I’m also excited to learn that I can grind rice into rice flour for my husband who can’t have wheat.

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Biter Biscuits

A few months ago I bought some of those boxed biter biscuits for Boo because he had such a difficult time with his teeth. They were a bust, he had it less than 3 minutes before he bit through it and had a huge chunk in his mouth. He didn’t have enough teeth to finish it off, so I had to fish it out and get rid of it. Fast-forward to today when I think, the “interwebs” must have a recipe for me. I looked at several, but didn’t have ingredients for all of them, so I tried the one I found here. A nice healthy option, I made mine with 100% whole wheat, freshly ground by my brother-in-law and strawberry puree because I didn’t have any interesting extract flavors I felt comfortable using. I baked them for a while, so that they would be extra crunchy, just shy of burning them. After 25 minutes, he’s still gnawing on it without breaking it. He wouldn’t even let me have it to change him, I did supervise closely though, to make sure he didn’t choke. And best of all, these aren’t sticky like the store bought ones, so he’s got a few breadcrumbs hanging around but not gross sticky everywhere.

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What’s for dinner?

I like how many of the large recipe sites have a search function so you can enter the ingredients you have on hand and what ingredients to exclude and then search for what you can make for dinner (or lunch or breakfast or snack). Today I found a site that searches all the other sites with that functionality, I present SuperCook. I am in no way affiliated with them nor do I receive compensation for writing about them. This site allows the exclusion of individual ingredients or the options of: all dairy, all meat, all fish, all shelfish, all gluten and all nuts. The draw back to all dairy is that I have good butter substitutes, but milk is mostly out of the question when used as a thickener. I think I will plan a menu using the site to see if it offers up any new recipes that I might enjoy. When I search the recipes, it lists the ones first that have only the ingredients I listed (if any exist) and then offers up other suggestions if I have other ingredients on hand. I don’t know all the recipe sites it crawls but it seems to have many, including sites that have recipes but are not exclusively food sites. I leave you with this interesting quote from the FAQ:

Are there any default ingredients Supercook assumes everybody has at home?
Yes, Supercook assumes your kitchen at home has salt, pepper, sugar and water. There is no need to add these ingredients to ‘your kitchen’ on Supercook.

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A website or two

Page by Page Books – a site similar to Project Gutenberg

I’m currently reading a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” I saw the movie, now I’m reading the story. I think I like the story better.

Catalog and track your cookbooks and recipes with Cookbooker. It’s in beta right now, I’m not sure that I’ll use it as much as I thought I would. It has some of the cookbooks I have but not all and I haven’t investigated enough to see where to put in new books.

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Pumpkin Pie

I decided to make pumpkin pie for our family Thanksgiving dinner. The challenge: no wheat, no dairy, no egg. I found a recipe in one of my books, the consistency was great, the crust was good, the flavor not so good. I received a few recommendations: more sugar, more pumpkin spice. Back to the drawing board.

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Fitness Friday

Here’s the deal, this blog is supposed to be more than a “dear diary, today a boy looked at me” thing. Yet, I understand that my personal fitness is going to be boring to most people and I’m certainly not sharing my actual weight with anyone. One of my goals for 101 things in 1001 days is to run a 5k. I mentioned that I found a nice, gently used treadmill for sale and brought it home with me last week. In an effort to keep myself motivated, I am going to try to review something slightly healthy or health related as well as a quick update on my progress.

A website I have used in the past, but no longer use is eDiets. It is a subscription based service with a large menu and fitness system. Fill out a short questionnaire and you will receive a recommended menu profile to follow. I used this site years ago, before I knew I was allergic to dairy and before profiles. The profile suggested to me was not compatible with a dairy allergy. I remembered that I could tell it what foods I wanted excluded from the menu, but it still didn’t remove enough dairy. That meant I was constantly tweaking the menus. I tried the lactose intolerant menu, but it still used dairy products and said lactose-free this or lactose free that. The coolie menu application creates a shopping list so you can take it to the store and purchase only what you need. Cookies never appeared on my list, it’s a sad thing I tell you.

With eDiets fitness profile, you set your exercise level (beginning, intermediate, advanced), click the boxes for that equipment/tasks you want and it lines it all up for you. The site provides strength training exercises based on the equipment (or lack of) and you tell it what aerobics you like or can do including yoga, dancing, running, and swimming.

The drawbacks for the site were many for me. More than once I couldn’t log into the site to get my menu for the week, so my menu date would push back and I’d be shorted days. I started the program on a Sat. and when I stopped I was on Wed. The check-in process made me crazy. I don’t mind putting my weight into the thing once a week, but I also had to put my measurements in several times a month before I could get my menu. It would kick bogus measurements, so I had to either take them or waste time fiddling numbers. It only lets you have one computer generated menu at a time, the theory is that if you don’t lose enough weight, the menu will be tweaked to the lower caloric intake where possible. If you’re already at the lowest and you try to make it remove more calories it tells you to call and discuss your options with an eDiets representative. Because I had to check-in to receive my 7 day menu, I had a horrible time trying to plan grocery trips while trying to save gas. I would prefer to shop every other week, so I would create a menu, tweak it, print it and then scratch the menu and make a new one. The other option was to make the same menu two weeks in a row. Eventually, I just gave up and started copying the recipes into a file for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I’d print the whole thing and make my own menus. The drawback? No computer generated shopping list for me. I also struggled with food for my husband. I would make a triple batch of each shared meal hoping that would be enough food for my sweet bean-pole who is unable to climb up to 130 and maintain it.

Other than that, the menus were great, I adored the fitness piece. There were new community boards, but since it’s all subscription based, people seem to come and go. I’m still using some of the recipes, the concept is good, the check in is just too cumbersome.

Stay tuned next week for a profile on a free site.

My stats:
Minutes: 95
Miles: 3.82
MPH: 2.4
Days: 3 (Su, W, Th)

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Project Day

We had a wonderful time with our small group last night and this morning. Last night we met to celebrate a birthday and game night. This morning we continued our study in James, heavenly wisdom and had a time of games after the study and prayer. Jason and I only stayed a little while, we had left Daisy inside due to temperatures.

I decided we’re having calzones for dinner, so the dough is currently rising, it’s just about ready to roll, stuff and bake. I have also become increasingly frustrated with themes for this WordPress blog. I am enjoying the blog, the writing and changing up the look every now and again. I have blogged before about the plugins not working with all the themes. At first, I was positive the plugins were faulty, so I set about to prove it. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be the plugin, it seems to be the theme. I printed out the code behind the current brown, diary theme and discovered that rather than sticking with standard naming conventions, WordPress theme authors are using terms as they see fit, which causes other plugins to display poorly. I am setting out to fix this current theme and documenting as I go so that I can fix others I find. By the time I’m done fixing all the themes I like, it will be time to design one of my own, but I’m just not motivated to tackle that yet. Never mind, after spending several hours pouring over the code, I do not wish to rewrite the entire theme just for a few pretty graphics. I found a theme that is semi-cool and tweaked it to fit what I want layout-wise. I think I will use this one, eventually, as a jumping-off point for other things as I find or create graphics I like.

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate tomorrow. I have accumulated scrapbook pages, stickers and stamps to finally get a wedding scrapbook finished/started. I am downloading pictures from Ruth and Julie so that I can include some of them in the book. As for the weather, I’d like to sit down with Mom Proefrock and select some with her, since she’d like to make a book, too. Mom found a website that prints pictures for $0.06 plus shipping. It seems to be a current sale that may change with time, maybe a special for February.

A quick review of the last week – fun with craft stores in GR with Mom and Julie, I have scrapbooking supplies for the above mentioned project. I spend Thursday in GR catching up with Patty and Angela and drove home in more snow, again on a Thursday. I also upgraded/downgraded another Vista machine to XP. Acers are a challenge, but I’m improving on driver scavenger hunts.

I’ll try to get a few more posts up the early part of the week. Thursday, Jason and I leave for NY for my Grandma’s memorial service.

Adventures with a dog . . .

Today Daisy and I were quite busy. We went and bought a bike, no, not for her. I got a really good deal on it, almost 60% off the original price. After showing it off to Jason’s Dad, we went home and baked bread. One smallish. loaf of spelt and another of applesauce. We’ll see how they go. If that wasn’t enough adventure, we then rearranged the living room, the couch is now at a 45° angle to the television. I’m not sure what I think about the living room yet. The couch extends onto the kitchen floor in order to give the recliners enough room to recline. The kitchen is going to seem a little small having to navigate around the couch. We also cleaned a set of cupboards so that there are no milk products at all, and the wheat without milk is separated into a different area. Anyone need any wheat/milk/yeast products? At seven, it’s time for my shower so I can go meet Jason and Nate for Mexican.

I made some progress on the flowerbeds this week, but I still have stones to move. I’m not really sure I want to redistribute the stones knowing that I’d like to redo all of the beds eventually.