Thursday, December 29, 2011

We Moved!

Tonight marks the 10th night in our That's minimalist living for you! We have attempted to take all our most important/necessary items and condense into one room, for the most part at least.

We do have some thing in the kitchen. We brought our juicer, slow cooker, and our knife block. We brought all the peanut essentials. Cups, spoons, pacifiers... We also brought all of our food. I have quite a spice collection. I'm going to guess that I have about 40 different seasoning. Lots of grains in mason jars. Some "milk". Cereal, and a few cans of beans, and various tomato products. I'm hoping to be able to phase out all the canned good soon. I want to be able to can my own stuff once we start our garden.

We did the bulk of the moving last Tuesday. My brother had taken a bunch of boxes up here for us a few days before Christmas, so we ended up with two pick of truck loads. I did much of the moving of the heavy furniture with the mister, and I have really been feeling it since then. Can we say "out of shape?!" I also drove my car up packed to the gills with clothes and things we would be using in the house.

Mister brought 11 garbage bags full of clothes and other things we don't need to the goodwill. I think that's a lot considering I thought I didn't have a lot of clothes.

Finally today I dropped off the last key. It took sooo long and so many days to be done! We opted not to paint and I did very minimal cleaning. All with baking soda, white vinegar, and Castile soap! That's for another post though...
I just needed so badly to be done with that place.

There was huge pile of stuff that had to be gone through down stairs in the dining room. My grandparents have a crab dinner every new years and it had be gone by then...

My grandma has done all our laundry, and I must say it feels nice not to have a huge pile of clothes on my to do list. I got off at 4 two day last week, which allowed us to come home and eat dinner at a reasonable time. My grandpa eats at 6 every. night.

I do miss being able to frequently use only 1 car. I cant walk home anymore...

There still is much to be done. Lots and lots of organizing. I don't know where some things are.

It's almost weird how we seem to be managing on so much less. Space and time, mostly!

I'm still waiting to *really* get back into my rhythm. I know it's going to be a new rhythm but I'm ready! I'm having difficulty getting settled in a way because my work hours have been so crazy last week (the moving week), this week because everyone there is sick and next week because the husband in the family I work for is going out of town.

How has moving been for you and your family? Has it ever taken much longer than you anticipated to become settled? How did you handle it?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Green juice this morning


4 carrots
2 oranges
1 in ginger
4 kale leaves
1 lemon

The spinach was much easier to juice than the kale! At the end I ran a little distilled water down the feeder to clean it out. I think it's good. The peanut only took one sip.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I juice because I can.

I think that juicing is very cool.  I thought that long before I ever had one.  Before I knew about the benefits of juicing.   Before I had fresh juiced, juice!
We got a juicer about about 8 months ago.  Mister did all the research and decided the best one we could get for the a reasonable price was the Jay Kordich PowerGrind Pro.

Now, like with most things, all juicers are not created equal.  There are many different kinds with different features, and perhaps most importantly different price tags.  I could be wrong, as I haven't specifically looked into it...BUT I think some are as cheap as $100.  However, some are several thousand dollars.  That's a huge variance in price!    So, how do you decide which to buy?  Here is what I know...
Get one:
  • with the most powerful motor you can afford
  • that will juice leafy greens
  • that is easy to clean (and do it immediately after juicing)
  • which extracts the pulp
Okay, so I must be honest.  I hadn't actually juiced anything myself.  Of course, I've drank the juices Mister made.  Never though, had I made my own juicy concoction.  I think I was a little intimidated.
All that changed yesterday, because yesterday...I JUICED!!
And dare I say, I make better concoctions than Mister does.  I think it's like cooking, which I love AND I'm good at. 
So, here is a little looksie-loo at my juicing journey thus far.

Yesterday's Juice

2 quartered organic Fuji Apples
3 thin organic carrots
1 in piece organic peeled ginger
1 organic lemon

It was a little peppery, which I think came from the lemon.  I liked it.  You will probably like it.  The bubbie thought it was just okay (she doesn't like ginger).  The peanut took a few sips, which I think means she liked it too.  I didn't think the ginger was overwhelming, and I'm not a huge fan of it either. 
Please try and let me know what you think.

Today's Juice

4 Dino Kale leaves
2 Rainbow Chard leaves
2 quartered tomatoes
3 carrots
2 lemons with peel
1 clove garlic
3 stalks celery (I used the innermost stalks with all the leaves too)
1 Persian cucumber
Looks good, doesn't it?  Five a day the color way! Everything is organic, with the exception of the garlic and the carrots. 

This one was as good as a veggie green juice can be I guess.  I will say, the smell of the greens being juiced is not my favorite.  I couldn't really taste the garlic, and being that I LOVE garlic next time I might try two cloves.  To get the greens to go down, and not get stuck...I tore them in smallish pieces and looked down the juicer to see they cleared before I added something else.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on juicing, juicers, and my recipes.

Happy Juicing!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So I'm Sewing...Kinda.

Who is on pinterest?  I am!  I love it.  Its a place where you can easily loose several good hours.  Once I got really into it, I found this tutorial on how to make a hobo bag.  Actually I think the person who made it calls it a boho bag.  Who's right?  I'm not sure.  Id like to think me, however she is the one who can actually make the bag. 

This story begins before I became a pinterest fanatic.  Mister, the peanut and I went to the local and super famous pumpkin festival in Half Moon Bay a few weeks before Halloween.  They had A LOT of craft booths.  One woman had these cross-body(hobo) bags.  They were all Tye-dye.  Bleh.  Now while I am working on my crunchiness, I'm not ready to go that far into the hippie realm.  Not to mention they were being sold for something like $40.00.

When we got home I googled the bags.  I had to use nearly a billion different search terms to get what I wanted.  But I found it!  The only problem?  I hated all the patterns.

Epiphany.  I can make one.  Duh!  Because I'm sooo good at sewing.

I'm not good at sewing.  When I was 20, I make a pink terry cloth kangaroo halloween costume with my grandma.  Upon recent reflection, I think my grandma made the whole thing as I watched.  Sewing is hard.  Much harder than I thought it would be.

Any-who, back to pinterest, and the point of this post.  The hobo boho purse tutorial.  I'm very excited. I can do this. I'm going to make 500 of these purses, and sell them on Etsy.  Then I will be a real WAHM.

Here we are almost a month later, and I'm not done with the first one.  I took a crazy long time looking at fabric with my mom.  From now on she will be referred to as "The Bubbie".  I already have the material to make hobo boho bag #2.

The Bubbie used to sew a long time ago, but not any more.  However she is very crafty.  She has been making wreaths like crazy this month, but that's another post.  The Bubbie helped me uderstand the sewing terms in the tutorial.  She went with me and the peanut to Kinko's to enlarge the pattern.  She held my hand as I held the scissors to make the first fabric cut.  Scary! We started pinning it together.  Less scary.  I think she may have run off with the peanut at this point.

The Bubbie doesn't have a sewing machine.  Now we go to my grandma's house.  She does have a sewing machine.  I start sewing the bag up there on a Sunday.  I'm very jazzed about this.  Grandma says I can take the machine home!

I did a little bit the night I brought the sewing machine home.  Then NOTHING gets done for approximately 3 weeks.       

BUT, I've been working on it for the past two nights.  Hard.  Really. Hard. 

You might think that it's complete now.  After all, I'm writing a whole post about it. 
I'm not done.  I'd like to think I'll be done soon.  But I might not be finished for several weeks.  That's just the way it goes sometimes.  I think my Etsy dreams are on hold.  For now.

Do you ever take way longer than you think you ought to, to finish a project?
Tell me about it.
I'd love to know I'm not alone... 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Moving on...

Times are hard for lots of people right now, and we are no exception.  Before Mister and I became pregnant and got married things in a financial sense were a lot better.  We were big party people when we met each other, and now we look back on those times and wonder how we ever got forward several years down the road and we are struggling to pay rent and feed ourselves each month.  This is no way for anyone to live.

So we are making a HUGE change for our little family.  We are breaking the lease on our 2 bedroom apartment, and moving in with my paternal grandparents.  Now, I should say I have lived with them before.  Twice actually, and I have been quoted to say that "I would have lived with them until I married except for the fact that they live on a dirt road 20 minutes from everything." When I was in my much earlier 20's living so far away was difficult.  I mean, come on, no cell reception?!  Now it sounds heavenly.

My grandparents are in their early 80's, but I think they are like very few of their peers.  They are both so active.  My grandma is out and about 6 days a week.  Volunteering, lunch with friends, picking up my cousin from school, visiting us at work, and the list goes on.  My grandpa stays at home most of the time, BUT has about a million projects he is working on.  One of those projects is to finish an apartment in their basement. We will move into the apartment when its all finished.  Mister and I, but mostly Mister go up to their house and work on various projects every week to get us closer to moving up there.

Until its all finished we will be living in their spare bedroom.  All three of us.  Obviously, there will be some challenges...

Minimalism is something I have taken an interest in, and now is going to be the time to get really serious about putting the little bit I know into practice.  I think it will be good for us.  I'll be writing here about how the moving and resettling process goes.  I'm somewhat nervous about how our daughter (peanut) is going to take it.  Being 18 months old at the time of the move, I think she doesn't understand too much of what is happening.

Mister and I have many things to discuss about starting our lives up there.  We want to have a garden.  They have lots of room.  5 acres!  We are going to be working extremely hard to become completely debt free.  I want to start running.  We are talking about having another baby.  We want to get a dog.  I wan to take some online courses.  Starting with placenta encapsulation.  And most importantly for me, I'm hoping we can get to a place where I am not going to work everyday for someone else!

We are looking forward to the future, and the furture is now!
What does your future look like? 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Soup and brownies.

A friend of mine was coming over for soup a few nights ago.  Its been something of a favorite past time with her.  It all started many years ago when we worked together and would bring each other food.  Lots of time, I brought soup.  The first time I ever mad soup was in my first apartment.  I was 20 years old and it was a 0 points weight watchers soup.  All veggies.  I fell in soup, err I mean love with making soup.  I've been making soups for close to 10 years now...

My Friend ending up not being able to come over, but I still made soup of course.  It was wonderful.
Pumpkin-Black Bean-Chipotle Soup.  I'd like to take a moment here to sing the praises of chipotle anything.  I just love the flavor.

This is the recipe I used:

I didn't read the directions well enough.  Oh well.  I coarsely pureed ALL the beans.  I used chipotle chile powder. Its expensive, but sooo good.  I didn't buy any cilantro, so I added a bit of coriander.  I know that coriander is the seeds and cilantro is the leaves, but the soup was so good.  I used only 1.5 chipotles in adobo.  Next time I'll used the full amont called for.  It wasn't too" pumpkiny".  So more of that next time as well.  I think I'll just give the tomatoes a little chop.  I like the texture and flavor of tomats a lot!  Mmhhmm.  Hope its one of those better the next day soups!

Then I made some brownies.  I really like the nestle recipe.   It can easily be found with a google search.  I didnt use any eggs in this recipe for the first time.  Insread I used ground flax seed in a ratio of 1T flax to 3T water.  You have to let it sit for a few minutes.  Its incredible how it works JUST like eggs!  The above mentioned ratio is for one "egg".  It works well in lentil loaf also.  More to come in another post about that. 
Anywho, back to brownies.  They tasted the same right out of the oven.  Once they were a day or two old they got a little nuttier.  I urge you to try replacing eggs in your recipes with the flax mix.  It was many benefits.  No Cholesterol.  More fiber.  Just to name a few. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Food...It's what's for dinner.

We like the chickpea cutlets from veganomicon around here.  I was reading somewhere how people are changing the spices and making minor tweaks to change the flavor.  I look at it as the cutlet can kind of be changed the way you can do chicken many ways.

So, I bought a bunch of broccoli on Saturday and didn't end up cooking it.  I had this recipe I wanted to try.
I didnt think there was enough "sauce" to reduce, so I added more soy, broth, and sesame oil.  Then I got creative.  I added a little mirin, and sriracha.  Sriracha is great.  My "new" sauce reduced wonderfully and the broccoli was super yummy. 

I figured since that was kind of an Asian flavor, maybe I could "asify" my cutlets. 
Here is the chickpea cutlet recipe from
I used sesame oil instead of EVOO, used 1/4 cup of mirin and 1/4 cup of veggie stock, grated ginger in place of the lemon, and did some space switching.  I used red pepper flakes, onion powder, eden organic's seaweed gomasio, and 1/8 t ground clovers.

I guess this is as good a place as any to let you know I dont measure ANYTHING.  Sometimes not even in baking! 

I did measure the cloves because I didn't want it to be overwhelming.  The flavors were pretty spot on, I think.  But, I don't think I used enough vital wheat gluten (remember I don't measure?).  The husband, from here on out to be referred to as "Mister" didn't like them.  I suspect the VWG was the reason.  I fried 1/2 and baked the other 1/2.  I think baking was better here.  It yielded a denser cutlet.

All in all I haven't been deviating from recipes for too long.  I think this was an overall success, and am excited to try my hand at it again.    

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

We eat vegetarian/veganish at home.  I have a good group of recipes to pull from.  I choose my weekly recipes based on what I got in my CSA box.  I think a realistic way for me to be posting regularly would be to start with my passion for food and cooking.  For now I'll post dinners, with the intention of posting after dinner each night with pictures and highlights.

Week of August 1st through August 7th.

Monday-Seitan Piccata
From Veganomicon

Tuesday-Olive, Tomato, and Millet-Stuffed Zucchini
From Vegan with a Vengance

Wednesday-Falafel with tahini dressing
Tenacious Tabouli From How it all Vegan

Thursday-Quinoa Puttanesca
From The PPK (never made this before)

Friday-Mushroom Barley Stew
From How it all Vegan

Saturday-Sweet Polenta Pie

Sunday-We have dinner at my grandparents house EVERY Sunday.  Family dinner night and we love it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The journey of a thousand miles....

begins with a single step.  My goal is to get to a point where I can stay home with my daughter.  I want take care of my family full time.  This blog will accompany me on this journey.  I am going to be highlighting changes we are trying to make.  Being more minimalistic.  Living on less.  Reducing debt.  Living a crunchier lifestyle.  What we are eating for dinner.  Looking forward to getting started!