Food and Our Emotions

by Lora on September 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Fall will soon be here and the sights and smells that go along with it will be floating in the air.  When I begin to feel fall in the air, certain memories come flooding back to me. I remember a Saturday, when I was in my late teens, when I was raking the yard. The smell of the leaf litter brought to mind that fall was truly here and that would mean that the Louisiana State Fair was just around the corner.  The simple thought of the fair brings to minds all kinds of yummy treats!  Especially cinnamon rolls!  Every year there would be a trailer outside the door of one of the exhibition halls that would sell cinnamon rolls. They didn’t just sell them, they had a window going down the length of the trailer that would draw you in as you watched. The baker would roll out the dough, put on seemingly hundreds of pats of butter, sprinkle the cinnamon/ sugar mixture and roll them up.  They would then use a string to cut the cinnamon rolls, place them in a pan and put them in the oven.  After watching them make the rolls, there was nothing better than biting into a warm, oozy, sticky one for yourself.

The other fall memory that comes flooding back is of our first fall we lived in Baton Rouge.  It was the first LSU home game day since we had moved to Baton Rouge, and when I went to the store I could feel a sense that the atmosphere was different.  In Baton Rouge the air has an electricity in it on game days.  It happened on this day that I was making gumbo, and from that time on the beginning of LSU football season was tied to a pot of gumbo. Isn’t it amazing how vivid our memories are and how they are tied to our senses?  Smell, taste and even a briskness in the air can bring them flooding back.

In our home the holidays are indelibly tied to food. Certain holidays just wouldn’t seem right without their special dishes.  I have wondered why we tie food to special occasions. At times I wonder if this is a good thing, or are we focusing on “things” as opposed to the importance of the event. Then the rolodex in my mind quickly flips cards and lands upon the Jewish feasts.   The first one that comes to mind for me is Passover; it was a great foreshadowing of what the Lord would do for His chosen people through the life of Christ.

Our holiday celebrations are often centered around the kitchen.  The girls and I are always crowded in the kitchen, baking our favorite dishes and having a wonderful time together.  That is, until the last few years.  These last few years have been hard on us due to the girls illnesses which have caused the holidays to not be what they were in the past.

Because of the health issues in our family we have recently embarked on a new lifestyle.  The word diet doesn’t do justice to the changes this is making in our lives. Three and a half weeks ago we went Gluten Free, which entails not eating any wheat, barley, rye or spelt. After a week our bodies began going through withdrawals, and then our reactions leveled out. We then began noticing we were having stomach/intestinal issues when we ate other grains and certain foods. On Sept 13th we will begin the SCD diet . After doing some research we decided that this is the course we need to take. We have decided to wait until the 13th (some are wanting to start now) because of Sarah’s birthday celebration.

One of the things that has surprised me as we travel down this new path is how emotional our attachment to food is. Can you imagine never eating sugar again, not a cake or a traditional pie with crusts? Tears have been shed, and we have felt a sense of despair over what we will eat. At times we have felt a sense of loss over what the holidays will be like without our favorite foods. It has been a few days since we came to this decision, and we are all coming to peace with it. Last night the girl who had been the most visibly upset by the thought of this diet said to me, “I was missing all of the food I wasn’t going to be able to have during the holidays, then I remembered, last year I was so sick, I didn’t feel like eating any of those foods.”

The next year is going to be one of change for us on many levels. I will become a grandmother in January, and our prayer is that this diet will help the girls (and me) to heal physically. The holidays will be different on a couple of levels. It will be our first year without Lindsay, and our first year without all of our traditional foods. Our goal is to find ways to make our new diet interesting and exciting, even within our limitations. We will share our adventure here in the hopes of helping others who are having some of the same issues. We hope that you will share your journey with us as well by leaving comments.

Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

by Lora on June 1, 2010 at 2:13 am

My but it’s been a long time since I posted here! It has been for a good reason, though. In January my oldest daughter became engaged and April 24th, she was married. Just yesterday we found out she is expecting and we are all rejoicing with her & Ryan.

Since the wedding has been over we have changed the way that we do our menus. I have had the younger girls (14-17) planning the menu for a week. They are given a budget, find the recipes and then we shop together. They have really enjoyed planning their menus. They spend hours pouring over cookbooks and looking online for recipes. They are also responsible for preparing the meals and snacks.

I have posted Caroline’s menu below, she is 14. If you would like to get other great menu ideas, be sure and drop by Laura’s site.

If you’d like to read my thoughts on the wedding please drop by My Simple Life and check it out here and here.

Breakfast

Sunday: Sour Cream Blueberry Coffee Cake

Monday: Oatmeal Pancakes

Tuesday: Strawberry Muffins

Wednesday: Monkey Bread

Thursday: Pumpkin Cake

Friday: Cream of Wheat

Saturday: Left-over Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Lunch

Sunday: Breakfast sausage casserole

Monday: Mac’n Cheese

Tuesday: Pasta

Wednesday: Ravioli

Thursday: Soup & Proper Ceasar salad

Friday: Shrimp pizza

Saturday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Dinner

Sunday: Sandwiches

Monday: Mexican Cornbread

Tuesday: Salisbury steak w/ Brown Rice w/ Ketchup
gravy Bacon wrapped green beans & Salad w/ orange poppy
seed dressing

Wednesday: Orange chicken w/ noddles or rice

Thursday: Hamburger Gravy w/ Fries

Friday: Fish tacos, Spanish Rice & Homemade Re-Fried Beans

Saturday: Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

Dessert

Monday: Maraschino cherry cake

Tuesday: Apple Dumplings

Wednesday: Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Thursday: Banana Bread

Friday: Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Saturday: Bread Pudding

Kitchen Tip Tuesday — Holiday Planning

by Lora on December 30, 2009 at 1:36 am

It’s been weeks since I posted to any of my blogs, but I at least wanted to get on and post this kitchen tip I came up with last week. Whenever I am cooking a big meal, like a holiday meal, I plan out all of the steps for cooking each dish, and break it down into steps. I then work backwards from the time I am planning on serving, deciding when each dish needs to be in the oven, or on the stove, so that it will finish on time. I also plan for things I need to do throughout the day such as setting the table or making tea. Every holiday I have made a chart and written everything out. This year a light bulb went off over my head and I decided to make myself a chart so that every holiday I wasn’t writing out. Here’s a picture of the chart and I have also created a pdf that you are free to download and print.

Photobucket

I found having this chart very useful last week and am using it to plan out the rest of this week since we will be having company and I am needing to plan several big meals. I hope that you will find it useful as well and if you think of any way of improving it, please share your ideas.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year, and please drop by Tammy’s blog for other great kitchen tips!

Kitchen Tip Tuesday– Chicken Stock

by Lora on December 2, 2009 at 3:27 am

One of the most satisfying things I do in the kitchen is to make chicken/turkey stock. Today we finally got around to making our stock from our Thanksgiving turkey. I have had the carcass in the refrigerator since Thursday, but have been too busy to make the stock. Today Hannah made the stock for me while I was finishing up some other projects around the house. Nothing compares to seeing the golden goodness of quarts and quarts of stock steaming up their containers. To us homemade stock is a luxurious and special treat.

The girls love to heat up stock with pasta for lunch, we often make quick soups with it, or a family favorite… chicken and dumplings. I have a couple of different ways in which I make stock, it depends on what I have and what I plan on doing. Last week for Thanksgiving I made stock with a package of chicken wings. Today Hannah used the turkey carcass and the turkey wings. Often I will make stock when I prepare chicken leg quarters. I will buy a 10 lb. bag of leg quarters, clean them, boil them, take the chicken off of the bone (this I freeze in 2 cup portions for meals), then use the water that I boiled the chicken in to make stock. I will add the bones back to the water with some carrots, onions, and celery (with leaves if possible). I will add a tablespoon of salt and a little pepper and bring it to a boil. Once a boil is achieved I will reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered,  for several hours.  A simmer has bubbles coming to the top and constant movement. If a film is forming on your stock, you have it too low.  When it is finished, I divide it into containers and marvel at it golden goodness.

I know, you are wondering . . . where is the kitchen tip. Tons of people make their own stock, so you’re thinking what can I do that is so different. The tip I have is what to do with those carrots, onions and celery that are left from making my stock. I fish as much of these bits of goodness out of the remains as possible. I then blend them and freeze them in one to two cup servings. Whenever I make soup or dumplings I dump one of these packages into the pot. It is a great way to get veggies into the soup and it turns it a beautiful color as well. I have one daughter who wouldn’t eat carrots in soups, until I began doing this. Now I often put sliced carrots in as well as the puree.

I hope that you found this tip helpful, and be sure to visit Tammy to get more great kitchen tips.

Extreme Makeover/ Menu Plan Monday

by Lora on November 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm

As you can see my blog has gone through an extreme makeover. Lindsay has been working on it for several weeks and was finally able to get it up after battling many tendon issues in her hands. The picture in my banner is one that Lindsay took at the Katy Heritage Park. Historic homes are located in the park and you are able to tour them on the first weekend of the month. Back in August a few of us went by to look at the homes, and when we saw the kitchen of the Stockdick house, we loved it. I loved the vintage canisters and other features, so when we began looking for a banner photo this seemed perfect. Red is my absolute favorite color, which made the choice even easier.

I have been working on planning and organizing, trying to prepare for the winter season of asthma with the girls. I have been working on menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This week I am only posting my menu for dinner, as I don’t have the others completed as of yet. I am trying to come up with frugal, healthy breakfast and lunch ideas, so if you have any, please share.

Monday: Chicken and Dumplings with Biscuits (I’m using homemade stock & I hope to post the recipe later this week)

Tuesday: King Ranch Chicken & Ranch Style Beans

Wednesday: Crockpot Pork Chops over Rice, Cabbage, & Butter Beans

Thursday: Baked Ziti with Homemade Sauce & Garlic Bread

Friday: Chicken Stuffing Casserole, Maple Sweet Potatoes & Apples, Corn

Saturday: lunch: Bar-b-que Pork Roast Sandwiches, French Fries & Okra
dinner: leftovers

Make sure that you drop by Laura’s blog to get more menu ideas.

Menu Plan Monday

by Rachel on October 18, 2009 at 10:59 pm

I am just starting Menu Plan Monday since I have just started planning the weekly Menu with my sister Lindsay.

Monday: B-Oatmeal pancakes made by me
D-Pasta with Lentil sauce made by Lindsay

Tuesday: B-Banana chocolate chip muffins by me
D-White beans over rice pulled out of the freezer with garlic biscuits by me

Wednesday: B-Lemon poppy seed muffins by me
D-Cranberry pork chops with sweet potatoes, corn, and butter beans by me

Thursday: B-Orange yogurt bread by me D-
Beef pot pie by me

Friday: B-Apple nut muffins by me
D-quesadillas by me

I look froward to posting more menus. Make sure to visit I’m An Organizing Junkie for more great menus! And please visit my blog here!

Tea Time

by Rachel on October 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm

My family loves hot tea, one of my favorites is vanilla rooibos. My favorite way to prepare it is to put one teaspoon of vanilla tea in an infuser in a cup, then pour boiling water over it and let it steep for 10 minutes. remove the infuser and add 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar. Enjoy!
Penny smaller small cup
I have been starting to cross stitch and embroider and thought I would share some pictures of my latest projects.
Penny Photobucket
Since I am enjoying embroidery and cross stitching so much I want to try quilting soon. If you know of any good quilting books or websites it would be a great help if you would leave me a comment. The first quilt I want to make will be a simple one with some embroidered pictures on a few of the squares.

Please visit my blog to read more of my post here!

Honey Glazed Carrots

by Lora on October 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm

One of our favorite side dishes is Honey Glazed Carrots. They are quick and easy, and wonderfully delicious. Even my girls who don’t care for a lot of other vegetables, love these. I don’t really think of it as a fall dish, as we eat it year round. It is also a frugal side dish because carrots are relatively inexpensive. In this picture they are paired with my Twangy Meatloaf Muffins, and homemade mashed potatoes. I hope that you will try this recipe and let me know what you think of it. Be sure to drop by Tammy’s Recipes to get other great recipes for carrots in Tammy’s In-Season Recipe Swap. I can’t wait to see what the other ladies recipes and pictures.

Honey Glazed Carrots

1 lb carrots, peeled & sliced
1/4 cup honey
1 stick of butter
a pinch of salt

Steam carrots, and drain. While carrots are draining melt butter in bottom of pan. Add carrots to butter, stirring lightly to coat. Add honey and a dash of salt heating until warm. This is a very quick and easy side dish.

Scotch-Brite Pads– Kitchen Tip Tuesday

by Lora on October 13, 2009 at 3:45 pm

It’s hard to believe it’s Tuesday already (though my mind keeps trying to make it Wed.) and time for another kitchen tip. Today I want to share with you about one of my absolute favorite cleaning tools, Scotch-Brite Pads. I use these pads for so many things in the kitchen and even when cleaning the bathroom. I usually buy mine at Sam’s where you can get a box of 20 6in x 9in pads for just over $6. At Wal-Mart a small package is about $3. I usually cut my pads into 3in x 3in squares to use. This size works well and it is less wasteful to work with a smaller size. I have had my current box of pads for about 6 months and have only used a few sheets.

In the kitchen I use the pads to wash dishes, clean my stainless steel sinks, to get tough spots off of the counters, and once they get softer and are more worn, I will use them on my stove. I generally run mine through the dishwasher every night so that they stay clean and they hold up well that way. In the bath I will use one that is a little worn to clean my tub. It makes it much easier to get the soap scum to break down (doesn’t the phrase “soap scum” just give you the willies?).

I hope that you will find using these pads as helpful in your cleaning as I have. For other great kitchen tips, be sure to drop by Tammy’s Recipes

I have also been posting at My Simple Life more now, so you can catch up with what’s happening in our life by dropping by.

Menu Plan Monday 10-12-09

by Lora on October 12, 2009 at 3:18 pm


Another week has flown by for me and it’s already time to be thinking menu again. Thankfully when Lindsay and Rachel planned, they planned for two weeks. This will be a great help to me, because 4 of the girls are suffering from respiratory ailments. Having a menu already planned will give me just one less thing to think about and will make dinner so much easier.

I did learn a hard lesson last week. If you think you may forget to do something, write yourself a note  and place it in a prominent place. I often do this and even have a dry erase board in my master bath for just such things. Last Thursday I thawed my pork roast and then cooked it in the crock pot. I didn’t get it in the crockpot until about 3pm and let it cook into the evening. I didn’t want to put it in the fridge until it had cooled down some, so I left it to cool in the crockpot. Wanna guess what I forgot to do? You guessed it; I never put it in the fridge. I ruined a whole pork roast! I started to write myself a note, but thought, “Nah, I’ll remember to put it away. I walk right past it on the way to my room.” That should have been the first hint that I needed to write myself a note. I remembered it just as I was waking the next morning. As I awake I usually begin running through a mental list of what I have to do that day. I got to, “Put pork roast in crock pot with bar-b-que sauce…” and I stopped. Panic ensued and I ran to the crockpot. I was utterly dejected when I looked inside and saw the cold, lifeless, ruined pork roast. I am blessed that I have a very understanding husband to doesn’t get flustered over such mistakes.

Right now my menu only goes through Friday, because that is when my next shopping trip will be. I hope my menu sparks some ideas for you. Make sure that you drop by Laura’s blog to get other great menu ideas.

Monday: Shepherd’s pie

Tuesday: Pasta with Lentil Sauce & garlic bread

Wednesday: Taco Salad

Thursday: Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Salad & bread

Friday: Enchiladas & Homemade Re-fried Beans