I have been cooking from Alice Waters’, My Pantry. Normally, I am thrilled if I can find 3 recipes in a cookbook that I enjoy. I’ve already found 3 in Alice Waters’ book, and there are so many more I want to try. They are great and easy to make. Last week, it was Oat Pancakes. This week it is all about flatbread! I don’t eat much bread. On the weekends, I might enjoy it as a treat. I love making my own because there are no plastic bags involved and of course it is delicious!
Sunday, we had pulled organic chicken and flatbread for dinner.
Here is Alice’s recipe.
Alice encourages you to try different flours. I used organic white. It is really important to buy organic flour. (You don’t want your flour sprayed with glyphosate.) Spend a few more dollars, support the organic farmers and yourself!
2 cups flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup warm water
3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together. Stir in the water and the oil. Knead briefly to form a soft moist dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Do you have a rolling pin? It is time to get it out! Divide the dough into 16 balls. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball into a 3 x 6 inch oval. My flatbread didn’t roll into perfect 3 x 6″ ovals. It is okay.
Alice uses a cast iron pan and medium heat to make her flat bread. I used my griddle and it worked fine. Cook 2 minutes, flip and cook 2 more minutes. Wrap flatbread in a kitchen towel to let the bread moisten with the steam.
I put my leftovers into a glass pyrex dish. They were all gone the next day.
“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”
Simplicity is my favorite word. There are many wonderful words but, if you were to ask me my favorite I would answer simplicity.
When my stress level is high, and life feels uncertain, I start physical projects. In January, I began painting our house shades of white . I have continued on during the pandemic. I finished the kitchen, mudroom, den, hallway, bathroom and even the basement stairwell. My husband Dan polished all of the brass door knobs. It feels so much better. I have decluttered along the way. I am working on keeping what is functional and what I love.
I am now working out in the garden. I planted lettuce, arugula, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and wildflowers. Today, I am heading out to plant potatoes. I don’t get a lot of sun in the back yard, so I ordered fabric grow bags. I have a walkway alongside the garage that gets all day sun. It is my new garden. So exciting!
I watched a Master Class with gangsta gardener Ron Finley. He plants sweet potatoes in coffee bean bags. I called Booskerdoo in Asbury Park and picked up a few jute coffee bean bags for myself and two of my gardening friends. I am waiting for my sweet potatoes to grow slips so I can plant them. I will keep you posted! Today, I planted potatoes in the coffee bean bags. I couldn’t wait for the sweet potato slips. I will find another place for them.
I also bought Alice Waters My Pantry after watching her Master Class. I loved her class. She inspires you to cook fresh whole organic in season food from your local farmer, or just grow your own. Plant potatoes into a coffee bean bag and wait for the magic to happen.
“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”
I have been feeling antsy lately. Is what I am doing important? Is this how I want to spend my time, or should I be doing something else? Sometimes I feel like I want more for myself. When I stop and really think about it, I realize I do want more. I want to create more space in my life. I want more quiet time. I have decided that following my joy is the answer. I love to stay home. I enjoy doing my own work. Painting the kitchen different shades of white makes me happy. It feels like a work of art to me. This week, I washed and ironed our linen bedroom curtains, composted, and made roasted pepper and tomato soup. I also taught 3 OutdoorFit classes. I have a great group of ladies, all over 50, who show up in crazy weather to workout. A cold and windy OutdoorFit workout brings me joy and happiness. I love the touch of craziness.
Earlier this week, I went to my friend Diane’s house to pick up 2 bags of composted leaves. Does that sound like an odd way to spend your time? Diane sold her beautiful home. She is moving to an 11 acre lot to build a passive home and grow organic vegetables. She didn’t think the new owners would appreciate her large composted leaf pile. She sent me a text, inviting me to stop by and help myself. I was so excited.
I went back the next day, and picked up 2 galvanized tubs full of compost. Why does this make me happy?
I love the connection with my friend.
I love the touch of craziness about it.
I love that the composted leaves will attract earthworms to my gardens. They are an indicator and creator of healthy soil.
I love the efficiency of using leaves to make compost for your gardens.
Gardening season is coming soon, but I really would love a good snow storm first.
Embrace your joy, step aside and watch what happens! It is contagious. What do you love to do? How do you like to spend your day? Would you like to connect with amazing women who love a touch of craziness? Come try an OutdoorFit workout! There is a fun class Saturday morning at 7:30.
My pitchfork is over 70 years old. It belonged to Dan’s Grandfather. A treasure!
I cook about the same every week. I try my best to eat in season. I change up the vegetables and herbs depending on what was at the Farmer’s Market, or in the CSA box that week.
Having a plan makes shopping easy. I shop once a week at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. I just go through the aisles and buy the same thing I also love Thrive Market. We eat what I buy so there is very little waste.
Here is a typical week of dinners.
Saturday: White rice, vegetables, cod (Click here to read why I eat white rice instead of brown rice.)
I cook in portion sizes. I cook for four. Full disclosure, sometimes the three of us eat the whole thing. Or I save one serving for Tom’s lunch the next day. The beauty of it all is cooking time is about 20 minutes.
Lately, I have been buying a whole organic chicken, pasture raised when I can find it. I make pulled chicken for lunches, and save the bones to make bone broth. I love the efficiency and no waste in the process! During the week, I cook rice in the homemade bone broth. The broth is so good for you and it adds great flavor to the white rice.
I love having a plan and knowing what’s for dinner. My special needs son Tom will ask me what’s for dinner. If I don’t have an answer he will keep asking. He has made me organized! I now have less stress around dinner. I am also working on eating earlier. The plan is to eat at 6 pm. I need to start cooking at 5:40. I can usually get in on the table in 20 minutes or at least in 30!
I love having my IPAD on my kitchen windows so I can watch Garden Answers or Grace and Frankie for the third time! It makes kitchen time fun!
I hope this was helpful to you. Do you have a meal plan?. Please post a comment. I love hearing about your everyday life.
I have been focusing on ways to reduce my plastic consumption and food waste. I have been so inspired by the Dutch Hill Homestead. They are all about zero waste. They make as many products from scratch as possible, and feed any leftovers to the chickens and goats. I don’t have chickens or goats, so I put my food scraps into the compost bin.
I am all about keeping things easy. I don’t like to fuss or spend hours in the kitchen. I looked at what I buy on a regular basis and investigated how to make them from scratch. Once you have the process down it is easy. My son Tom loves mayonnaise. He will eat it straight from the jar. This morning I made homemade mayo. It was so easy and I used a cute little ball jar.
1/2 cup Organic Avocado oil
1 egg from farmer’s market.
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard.
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Put all of the ingredients right in the ball jar. Get out the blender stick and blend for about 20 seconds. To tell you the truth, I didn’t measure and it came out just fine. I only make a small amount that I can use within a few days.
I also started making cashew milk, cashew yogurt, and almond milk. I hesitated with the almond milk because you need to strain it. I bought a nut bag and it is super easy. It strains the milk to remove the pulp. I can use the leftover pulp to make fat balls. I am feeling very efficient!
The last thing I have been doing is making bone broth. I buy an organic chicken I put the chicken in a covered pot full of water, bring the water to a boil and then simmer for about 90 minutes. I make pulled chicken from the meat, dividing it up into 4 oz portions in cute ball jars. It makes an easy grab and go lunch. I then put the stock, the bones and vegetables into the crock pot on low for 24 hours to make delicious bone broth.
Everything tastes so much better when made from scratch with the best possible ingredients. Reducing plastic consumption and food waste is good for your health, our planet and your pocketbook.
I hope this inspires you to get out the blender stick and whip up some homemade mayo! Let me know. I would love to hear from you.
My niece Katie once told me that she loves any activity that requires an apron. I just love that!
Aprons are so homey, comforting and cozy. It is a symbol of generosity and hospitality. It represents family, mothers and apple pie. Fathers too! My Dad wears an apron while cooking in the kitchen or out flipping a steak on the grill.
My friend Rosanne is a big apron gal! I reached out to get her take on aprons. She has different aprons for different activities.
Of course, She wears one to cook. Rosanne also wears one in the garden. It is short with pockets for her tools. She wears one when she paints because she keeps a rag in her lap to wipe off excess paint and she doesn’t want to get paint on her clothes. Rosanne also wears a canvas apron when cutting her husband’s hair. She doesn’t want all the little hairs sticking to her clothes. All fun activities! Here is a garden and lifestyle post with Rosanne from 5 years ago! I am just sorry that she does not have an apron on!
There is a part of me that is resistant to aprons. I grew up in the 60’s when housework and staying home with your family was devalued. I wear an apron when I cook. Otherwise, I would be wiping my hands on my pants. I borrowed the fancy apron from Rosanne for the post. Honestly, I didn’t feel comfortable in it. I love the function of my stained beige William Sonoma apron. I have no problem wiping my hands on it.
It feels like the apron is making a comeback. I love seeing people wear aprons. I know something creative has been going on. They will probably be serving something delicious to eat!
How do you feel about aprons? You probably never thought about it. Do you wear an apron? Do you like activities that require an apron? If you are interested in health, fitness and feeling your best it is important to spend sometime in the kitchen cooking. Put on a cute apron, get focused and let me know what’s for dinner!
This week, I bought meat from a local farm, Snoep Winkle Farm. They are located in Branchville, NJ. I first learned about Snoep Winkle because they sell their eggs at Whole Foods.
They sell grass fed chickens, pork, beef, and lamb as well.
From Snoep Winkle Farm:
“The more we learned about the conventional methods by which most livestock are raised, the more convinced we became that we wanted our animals to be raised as God intended – eating grass as the basis of their diet.
We do not give our animals steroids, growth hormones, nor sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics. Raising the animals on pasture is not only good for their diet, but is also the way they were intended to be raised. Their manure is directly applied to the fields by the animals themselves, thus fertilizing the pastures.”
I think it is so important to support our local farmers. It is critical for our health, our family’s well being and the survival of the earth. Does that seem extreme? Maybe.
I know it is more expensive. If you pay attention to portion control and eat less. It all works out in the end.
Tom and I have been going to the farmer’s market every Sunday. I love to buy sheep yogurt and sheep cheese from Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley, NJ. It is so delicious! I buy 1/4 pound and that is our cheese for the week.
I love my little back yard garden this year. It is so nice to go out every morning to pick lettuce for a salad. Pretty soon, I will have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and cute little red potatoes! I have connected with other people who know more about it than I do. It is a wonderful community and we all learn from each other.
I love my simple vegetable garden. I planted lettuce, kale, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, a few herbs AND cute little organic red potatoes! I go outside every morning to pick lettuce, so I am all set for the day’s salads. It tastes so much better when you grow your own! I hope you have been inspired to plant a small garden, or maybe have a pot of basil on your kitchen window sill.
I am so glad that the April OutdoorFit Functional Fitness Challenge was to go outside everyday and work in the yard. Some days, I went out just to pull a few weeds. Other days I planted a vegetable garden, planted flowers and moved plants around. It was amazing how much I was able to get done! A huge benefit from all of this has been connecting with my gardening friends! We text each other, send videos and share tips! I love that I have a community of people who love the earth and physical movement here in NJ.
Movement, going outside, eating fresh greens from your garden is very important for your health, well being and feeling fabulous!
Are you feeling fabulous?
Here are a few fabulous tips.
Eat the best possible food that you can.
Hang out with Fit and Fabulous Energetic people.
Get a good night sleep.
Read a good book.
Drink lots of water.
Take high quality supplements.
Enjoy a glass of organic red wine!
Plant some lettuce.
Would you like my support to get you there? Click here to learn more about my 90 Day Fit and Fabulous Program.
I have taken time off from the blog. I know I needed to post this the end of March. It doesn’t look good when you go to someone’s blog and they haven’t posted for two months. I have been busy!
April was a wonderful month in the garden. The April challenge was so gratifying. The Challenge was to go outside everyday and do something in the yard. There are so many health benefits even from just pulling a weed. I am sorry I never posted. I was obsessed with being outside, weeding, planting, and mulching.
May’s challenge is to do three eight point planks, 3 anchored bridges and 2 extensions. It is a recovery month from all of April’s gardening.
Planking with Elena. It is always more fun with friends!
Of course, I am still out pulling weeds and new Blue Kazoo Spireas are coming Friday from Proven Winners! Happy Mother’s Day To Me! Have you been planting? Leave a comment and a photo. I would love to hear from you!
They will have pretty white flowers soon!
OutdoorFit in the Spring! Join us for a full body workout. It will energize and strengthen your body so you can enjoy the rest of your life.
Slow down and take time for creativity. I really enjoy it when I take time for creativity. I love it when I take the extra steps to make something special. It creates coziness in my life. Last weekend, I replaced an old worn cushion cover on an outside antique wicker chair. I was thinking I don’t have time, but I can make time. It took me a few hours but I did it. I was then motivated to sweep the porch off. Next, I added some extra greens and dried hydrangea from my garden to the generic wreath hanging on the door. Now, every time I come into my house it makes me happy.
Trust in my own decisions. I am recovering my dining room chairs. I found two fabulous grain cloth fabrics on Etsy. Now, I need to decide which one to use. Either one will work. So, what do I do?? I text a friend and say what do you think? She said give it the weekend and pick the one I like best. She knows me too well! So much harder for me but of course it is the right answer!
Organize. This is huge for me. Last Sunday, I got up, cleaned the refrigerator, wrote out the dinners I wanted to make for the week, and made a shopping list. I actually stuck to the meal plan each night this week. It has been so freeing. I know what I am making and I have the ingredients! I have leftovers that I put in ball jars for lunches. It is so efficient and calming. Next step is to organize other areas of my life. What if I made a to do list for my business? I am sure successful entrepreneurs have a plan written out not just ideas in their head.
Meditation. I am always saying I am going to meditate. I am getting better at being consistent with this, and I am beginning to feel a difference in my body. It is very grounding. 20 minutes meditation daily is a wonderful intention for December. Take time to get quiet.
Eat Well. Stay off the grains and sugar. This no longer feels like deprivation, which is a miracle. That is a whole other blog post. I set the intention not to have dessert and it works. December is a time of celebration and I can enjoy without going crazy eating treats that I don’t really want.
Exercise. I exercise. I teach OutdoorFit 5 times a week. It is also important for me to walk daily. George the dog is in my heart and is with me on my walks.
What changes would you like to make in December? Exercise more, eat well, meditate. If you feel overwhelmed, start small. Focus on one little area and complete a small task. It builds momentum and you will feel like doing more. It will bring peace and joy.
Enjoy the Season, It is the most wonderful time of the year.