Monday, January 31, 2011

3 in 30 February

Tomorrow is the first day of February and time for a new set of goals. While I could just redo my goals from January, (especially those that didn't go so well) I decided not to do that.

Well, not completely.

Without further ado here are my goals for February:

  • Reading the Bible every day: I did do fairly well with this one, I am not behind on Bible in 90 days. I did get behind a couple of times but was able to catch up, but its only day 28 so I still have more to go before I have read all the way through. I am almost 1/3 of the way through!

  • Plan meals for each week: I don't mind planning out the meals but I have not successfully followed a plan for a week. If I plan some easy meals and more difficult meals but don't set the day of the week, I cook the easy ones first and then skip the harder ones. If I plan set days to do each meal, then I get aggravated because the warmest day of the week is the one I put down for chili - since this is Texas we could be having chili on the day it is 80F out and the next day have a low of 20F. So not only do I have to keep our schedule in mind, I also have to look at the weather. I am hoping that if I stick to the meal planning thing for a month, I will figure out how to do it so that it works for me.

  • do some form of exercise for at least 15 minutes: yes, I know 15 minutes isn't very much. Some days though, that may be all I can manage. Plus my hope is that if I do it for 15 minutes, I will add on some extra and make it 20 or 30 minutes worth of exercise for that day. Also, if when the 15 minutes becomes habit, I can up that habit to 20 or 30 minutes. I think.

So now you know what my goals are for February. What are yours? If you haven't set any goals yet, you might want to join 3in30.

Oh, how did I do in January? I did well with reading the Bible but not so good on cooking real meals which is why I am trying to plan meals to cook. The food diary was done I think one day out of the month. Again, meal planning should help with that one. So all in all, January wasn't great with meeting my goals. February will be better though. Right? Hello?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Soon I am going to have a new AMAZING recipe for you

My kids love to enter Youth Fair in our county and they love too cook - which works out well for youth fair.

And my daughter is stubborn. don't know where she gets that.

In our county, youth fair is very well supported and the kids that go to auction typically do pretty well. Being gluten-free makes it more challenging though because I am pretty sure that a cake made from weird ingredients would not do as well if it goes to auction. And I don't know that a cake made from sorghum (for example) would score as high as one made from wheat even if it tasted equally as good.

Yet she wanted to make a cake.

So we needed to find a cake that was naturally gluten-free. Or at least one with very little wheat flour so that a change to almond or oat flour (neither sounds as weird) won't mess the cake up too much.

On Thurday we baked. All. Day. Long. and we only made two cakes.

One of them, a Czechoslovakian poppy seed cake was underwhelming. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't good - 3/4 of a cup of poppy seeds for one thin layer is just too many poppy seeds. But that cake was fairly simple.

The other cake, a dacquoise, is one of the best desserts I have eaten. It also takes all day to make. The layers are of baked meringue and then it has white chocolate buttercream and dark chocolate buttercream in between the meringue layers.

Before you start gagging at the thought of all that sugar, I need to say that the meringues don't seem to be quite as sweet as the top of a chocolate meringue pie. The buttercream also isn't as sweet as the stuff on birthday cakes, in fact there is a bit of a bite from the unsweetened chocolate in the dark chocolate buttercream (it also has semisweet).

OH! And it also has a ganache - you know, chocolate melted in heavy cream.

And this is one of those recipes that you don't want to know how many calories there are.

You REALLY don't want to know.

But it will wow the socks off of a loved one.

The recipe will be posted soon but I want to get pictures just so you can see how this looks.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A challenge, an attitude adjustment, a long day

After I complained and griped and stomped around about the 4-H Food Challenge, my husband finally said "either take her out of the contest or quit complaining. You are ruining all the fun for her."


So I stopped. I made a conscious effort to only say cheerful things quit complaining out loud. I still think it is stupid less of a challenge to have all the teams making the same exact dish but the kids still did learn so very much. Even some of the parents learned something.

On Daisy's team each kid picked something to focus on, one learned to food pyramid and how to fit different things on the pyramid; Daisy learned about the vitamins, mineral, and other nutrition facts as well as substitutions that could be made; S focused on food safety and safety in the kitchen (cut away from yourself, wear closed toe shoes, etc); and B learned how to figure out cost per serving. Then they had to present the facts for the dish that they made to 3 judges - not knowing if they made the correct thing or not.

S had never competed before and was in tears before the challenge because she was positive she couldn't do it. The others had all competed in different contests before but not in this one so they were all nervous. Even Daisy, who looked as if she did this every day, admitted she was nervous.

We weren't allowed in the room where they were doing the competition. We weren't allowed near where the judging was happening. We sat in the hall. For 4 hours. The teams got a late start and then they have 40 minutes to fix the dish and figure out what to say. And then the judging starts. And the judging per team takes 8 minutes. So it took awhile.

When we went into the room where the awards were going to be given, Daisy kept saying she hoped they would win. I kept telling her that there were so many other teams competing that it wasn't likely, especially since this was their first time at this contest.

But I was hopeful, especially when I found out they were giving ribbons for 5th place. Then I found out their category had 11 other teams.

When they called 5th place and it was another county, I was a bit more discouraged but still hopeful. Then they called 4th and was less hopeful. Then they called 3rd and I gave up thought it really wasn't likely. Then they called 2nd place and it was Daisy's team.

They were so very excited!

And now we get to focus on Youth Fair where I have 2 kids that will be cooking and Daisy is also entering the in the Arts and Crafts division. Did I mention she made her Christmas gifts this year? She made a scarf for her great-grandmother, her grandmother, and me, she also put a blanket stitch on 4 blankets, plus made some hot cocoa mix. So she is going to enter a knitted scarf into the Youth Fair.

And now I am tired.

Friday, January 14, 2011

3 in 30 January check up

How am I doing?
Well . . .

  • On reading the Bible every day, I am actually doing well. I have read some every day and I am a bit ahead on the Bible in 90 days challenge. I like to stay one day ahead so that I am not behind if I am not able to do a full days worth one day. Honestly though, I am really enjoying it, and learning from it. Since it was only a few days before that I read where the Edomites came from (for example) I remember the connection when the Edomites don't let the Israelites pass through their land.
  • Keeping a food journal: I stink at this. Seriously. I journaled one day. Really I need to figure out some app for the Blackberry that makes it easy because I always have my phone with me.
  • On cooking more real meals: I did! I cooked a healthy, balanced, delicious meal for every day of the week. And then I woke up. So really not so much. I did do 3 meals with a TON of left-overs. We had homemade tomato soup (full of veggies) with grilled cheese sandwich (homemade bread), PW's Chicken Tortilla Soup (except it was more like a casserole because I didn't add the water. Because I doubled it. And my pot was too small. seriously), and homemade chili (which needs a bunch of work to taste right since there was no mix involved.)

    As a side note, I think it should be required by law to state if the serves 8 is 8-that-are-also-eating-Thanksgiving-dinner or 8-that-haven't-eaten-all-day-long-and-this-is-all-you-are-cooking. Because it really makes a difference.

    As another side note, we like chicken tortilla casserole.

So I guess I did halfway in all :-/

Next month I will challenge myself to breathe every day, eat every day, and brush my teeth every day.

The end.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A new challenge

I don't know about you but I am not huge on New Year being a big new start. After all, I still weigh pretty much the same as I did last week, bank account is still about the same, kids haven't turned into perfect angels. Everything is pretty much the same except I have to correct myself every time I write the date (I will finally get used to writing 2011 about April or May).

On the other hand, January does seem to be a good time to challenge myself and I do have some goals I want to practice. Did you know it takes 21 days to make a (good) habit? So if you start now, by the end of January you can have a new habit.

With that in mind I have decided to do 3 in 30. Meghan Tucker and some others decided to break all these goals down into manageable pieces by tackling 3 a month. That's all. No 20 page lists of self improvement goals. Just 3.

Then next month 3 more.

See it doesn't sound too hard does it.

So what are my goals for January? Mostly things I have been needing to do for a long time.

  1. Read the Bible everyday Last year I signed up to to the Bible in 90 days and I wasn't able to finish. This time I will. If you want more information about this years reading challenge (its not too late, it only started January 3rd) you can go here
  2. Cook more meals I mean real meals not just a quick throw together of omelets or mac and cheese. I need to increase how many veggies we eat too. I am not saying I can do it for every dinner but I would like to cook 5 healthy main meals a week. (ok, I would rather have a genie or fairy that would do the cooking for me, but we all know that won't happen.)
  3. Keep a food journal Being gluten free has helped me tremendously, fewer headaches, less joint paint, better digestion, clearer thinking. I know suspect that there might be something else that bothers me. I do still have headaches and more frequent than I would like. I am hoping a food journal will help point to whatever else I need to remove from my diet.

And that is the gist of it. Do you want to take the challenge too?