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Showing posts from October, 2015

Menu: Oct 26 - Nov 1

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Happy Halloween! My favorite day of the year, tied with my birthday. Traditionally in my family we always had chili and hot dogs in the crockpot for Halloween. When I moved out here, I missed a year doing it. I didn't need to feed a family of people at different times, or have something ready to warm us up when we got back from trick or treating. But still, I found I was kind of sad about it. So the next year, I introduced Mr. Moon to my longstanding family tradition of chili & hot dogs as Halloween dinner. And I've done it ever since.

Somehow we ended up with an easy week ahead of us, though still with plenty of home cooked meals in store. We're getting used to the new schedule, albeit with a few reservations on my part. I'm keenly aware that we're over stocked with food, and we're working together to eat through it instead of buying more, so this menu focuses a lot on Eating the Larder as it were. 

What's on the menu?

Breakfasts: Oatmeal in the rice co…

Cocktails: Making our own grape-free Vermouth

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I have a jar collection. It's a habit that borders on hoarding, in the sense that I compulsively save them because it seems a shame to get rid of something so useful, except that I actually use and cycle through my jars doing various projects.

This is one of those projects.

Since I'm allergic to grapes, we simply omit vermouth from any cocktails that call for them. Of course, it means the cocktails are not quite right. I got a wild idea one day to figure out what it would take to make our own, and discovered... it's actually really easy. It just required a lot of small jars. Which I happened to have on hand.

There's plenty of recipes online, but it boils down to:

Steep some flavorful things in a spirit.Carefully add the flavored spirits into some sort of dry wine, tasting as you go, until you get a flavor you like; the final result seems to be a goal of about 50/50 wine and vodka. 
Of course, it's more complicated. For dark drinks, like Manhattans, apparently you…

Menu Planning for the Rest of Us

I've discussed before what my method of menu planning is. It hasn't changed much with it just being the two of us agin, except that if we don't do it, there's no one to suffer but ourselves!

The basics boil down to:

Know what you have in the fridge.Know what's in season/on sale.Know your schedule and be reasonable about what you can accomplish.Make the most of the time you spend cooking.  With our more-limited freezer space, I find we now focus less on freezing heat & eat foods, and more on having versatile ingredients on hand to make a variety of meals fairly quickly. Instead of making a pan of broccoli mac to put right into the oven, using freezer space for noodles that could otherwise be dry storage and ingredients that can only be used for one possible meal, we have pre-roasted chicken shredded and frozen in meal-size packages just waiting to be casserole, tacos, a pre-made pasta salad for lunches, and more. We buy foods and store them with this idea in mind…

Updating our chore chart, and protecting Relaxation time

Our new schedule, as I mentioned a few days ago, included needed to re-arrange our chore schedule. I'm sure I could have sat down and worked it out myself, but part of being a team means it's important that we are BOTH included in the work that shapes our lives. It's important to both of us that even if we do each have skills and responsibilities consistent with traditional gender roles, we are making our choices together and mindfully. It's one thing to have me typing up our decisions that we make together and helping him stick to them; it's another thing altogether for me to make decisions for him when they primarily impact his schedule and responsibilities as if he has no information or opinion to contribute.

It was a perfect opportunity to discuss as well what parts of our current/now-previous system were in need of improvement, and what new habits or skills we want to be incorporating. For example, we've had a bad habit of going grocery shopping and leavin…

Menu: Oct 12-18

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With Mr. Moon's new promotion, there's a little bit of shuffling our lives are doing. One of those shuffles is getting a little deeper into food prep & menu planning, since our week is even more structured than it has been. He has a few hours before his actual shift where he's on-call for emergencies, so he can get up early to make breakfast but we also need to be prepared to run out the door with little notice. That's where something like oatmeal comes in! We can set it up the night before in the rice cooker then just have him wake up, pour in some liquid (if we don't soak the grains overnight) and turn it on. Hot breakfast right when I wake up, even if he had to take a cab to work. Maybe soon we will even try making our own instant oatmeal packets!

What's on the menu?

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, egg sandwiches, cottage cheese & pineapple, leftover rice & beans w/ egg on top.

Lunches: Tortilla soup, turkey wraps, quesadillas.

Snacks: Power balls, apple & …

Making our chore schedule from scratch

With Mr. Moon's recent promotion, and subsequent phasing out of his retail job from his schedule, we've had to completely revisit our chore schedule. This has been a bit more difficult than I expected, because of how intricately I'd weaved the chores and the rest of our lives together. But that's exactly why what we had was no longer working.

Tuesdays were laundry days, but he works during the day now. Trouble is, weekdays during the day is when the laundry room has lower demand, which is why we picked it; and because Tuesday is laundry day, Monday is bathrooms day so the cloth wipes can soak overnight. So switching laundry day to, say, Thursday or Monday means unraveling everything.

And laundry isn't the only thing like that! Most everything is a twice-a-week job, deeper cleaning on one day and a tidy-up on another. We'd had Friday as a day to do little bits of highly visible tidying before the weekend, populated by late nights, early mornings, at least one an…

Let's talk about "healthy eating," diets, and mental health

It took two weeks for the hefty restrictions of this candida cleanse to wear me down into the beginnings of a full-on breakdown, stalled only by me recognizing what was happening because it's not my first rodeo. The details of it are personal and largely irrelevant, but the big-picture effects are not.

There's no chance I will say this better than others have before me. So-called healthy eating, clean eating, cleanses, dieting, and the like are not accessible to everyone. There are hundreds of essays available across the internet about the privileges of healthy eating, and the lack of access to fresh foods in poverty-stricken areas, communities of color, and by people with disabilities. We know for an unmitigated fact that dieting is bad for us, and leads to malnutrition, unhealthy eating patterns, and can trigger mildly disordered eating into full-blown dysphoria and eating disorders.

It is a mark of privilege, of which I'm aware, that I even had the opportunity to try th…

31 days: Power Balls (No-Bake, candida-diet friendly)

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Power Balls
One of the hardest parts of the candida diet is the sudden Hangries. Especially the first three days. Having something flavorful and filling to hand is a must. This recipe also helps sweep out the candida that's been starved & killed with supplements.

I feel like the original recipe started with this one, but it's been perfected for our tastes since then. I had to double it, and it didn't work well. So, here's ours.
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Power Balls (No-Bake)
The Formula:
2 cups nut butter
4 cups binder
1/2 cup sweetener syrup
3/4 to 1 cup fun chunky bits

Binders:
coconut flour
flax seed meal
nut meal
grain bran
seeds

Chunks:
Nuts
seeds
dried fruits
candy chips (chocolate, butterscotch, etc.)

Mix nut butter, binder, and syrup in a mixing bowl, or using the dough hook of your stand mixer. Stir in chunky bits. Refrigerate 15 minutes, then roll into balls of preferred size.

Candida-Cleanse friendly version!
2 cups almond butter (mine was the end of the jar, a l…

31 days: Spicy Shrimp Salad

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Spicy Shrimp Salad
We like a lot of spice anyway, and I'm finding this cleanse has really made us crave spicy foods. So you'll see a lot of spicier dishes in this series. I'm not surprised by this; when I was super low carb before, my spice tolerance was at ghost pepper levels. Since I started eating sweets again, I noticed I have a much lower heat tolerance, and I wasn't sure if they were related. It's nice to get some more correlating data for my theory that the more sweets I eat, the less spice I can tolerate. I'd rather do spice.

This as pictured, however, is surprisingly low on the spice despite the name. I've got tips for spicing it up as we go, what I'll do differently next time.

Tip: Trader Joe's Mayo is candida diet friendly! It has no sugar, and the vinegar used in it is apple cider vinegar. Stock up, if you don't want to spend time making your own. 
Spicy Shrimp Salad
Candida Cleanse friendly!

Salad greens
Cucumber
Tomato
Orange or red …

31 days of Blogging: Challenge Accepted

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In 2012, I did a 31 Days of Dinner blogging challenge where you pick a topic and write about it for 31 days. I enjoyed the idea, and while the original challenger isn't doing it this year, I'm going to do it again!

With this Candida Cleanse, I spent a lot of time looking for recipes. So. MANY. of the recipes labeled anti-candida-diet-friendly on Pinterest are decidedly NOT (seriously, orange-maple candied carrots anyone? Every single ingredient was banned). And as a result I've struggled to find menu ideas that are both appealing and on this cleanse. I'll also be linking to these posts on Pinterest so hopefully it can infuse some helpfulness into those search results.
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Day One:

This cleanse is killing my counter space. But it makes me smile to see so many fresh veggies waiting to be used! Avocados, tomatoes, rutabagas, bell peppers, and a couple green apples sitting there too.

Green apples are a quibbling point on this diet; some versions allow som…