Simple and Homemade

Hey Everyone!

I have been trying to enjoy the few days off in a row that I have had. I was asked to go in on my day off yesterday (which is a normal occurrence this time of year), but turned it down, as I am already scheduled to work 4 days in a row this week.

Yesterday, I was able to get quite a bit done around the house. I got a couple loads of laundry done, as well as making dinner. I made chicken penne, with a mix of whole wheat noodles and black bean penne noodles.

I also baked the reindeer sugar cookies we picked up at the grocery store.

I definitely miss being on my own, having to budget, living frugally, and living a simpler life. I have finally come to the point where I know what I want to be doing, and how I want to be living. I have realized that it’s time to be looking to move away from where I currently am, to an area with a better cost of living. I don’t really mind not having a lot of money, and making due with less. I am also the kind of person who wants and needs to do more for myself and my future family, such as gardening and canning. Homemade, homegrown and home canned food is better than store bought.

Creating Lasting Traditions

Hey Everyone!

On Friday, after I had gotten off work, I decided to make some gluten free, vegan pumpkin muffins.

I have been wanting Pumpkin food for the better part of the month.

Yesterday afternoon, I made a batch of homemade chili, which is fitting for the cook crisp days we have been having.

I also helped my mom make a batch of chocolate chip cookies as well as a batch of chocolate crinkle cookies, which are like brownie cookies.

Yesterday morning, I had to go to an all store meeting at work. Over the course of last week, our Christmas fixtures were set. Our holiday theme / motive is “creating lasting traditions”. Over the time I have worked for the company I am at, as well as other times, I have been slowly building up my Christmas decorations and Christmas tree ornaments collection. I have been adding things as I find things I like. This is the third holiday season I will have been with the company, so I have seen the ornaments for three holiday seasons now. Many of the ornaments are the same, and each subsequent season, has only brought out a few new ornaments. Many of the ones I have liked & bought from work, are the woodland creatures / Nordic / Scandinavian themed ornaments. The deer / reindeer has been a consistent through the three seasons. What is also interesting, is that Scentsy had brought out a holiday warmer with a similar looking deer a year or two ago, which I snapped up, since it fit in with what is starting to be my “Christmas theme”.

When the whole topic of “making lasting traditions” came up at work yesterday, I got thinking about the types of traditions I would want to make, if and when I have a family of my own. Many of which are simple, and won’t cost a lot of money. Things like making Christmas Cookies, and going and visiting some of the elderly, and bringing them some Christmas cheer, and watching “The Polar Express”, while drinking hot chocolate, and coming and visiting my family (as I don’t intend to stay in the Portland metro area), and do things like going to Peacock Lane, and the Christmas event at my parents church. I want to make the Christmas season “magical” for my kids, as well as teach them that Christmas is not about the gifts (even though they are nice), but about the birth of Jesus, and sharing God’s love with others.

So excited for Fall and Baking

Hey Everyone!

I know it’s only the end of July, but getting the first big wave of autumn stuff in at work, is really making me want it to be autumn already!

There have also been hints here and there that autumn is coming soon, some leaves are already starting to turn. It’s crazy. We have had a relatively cool July, which is likely contributing to it.

We are expecting some hot days next weekend, but I am interested to see what August and September are like this year.

This whole “Fall is coming” mentality, has me in the mood to be baking and making things that taste good.

On my way home from work, I stopped at bob’s red mill, and picked up a couple packages of their gluten free muffin mix, because I am wanting to be making more muffins, and try different kinds of muffins.

I am really wanting to try making lemon lavender poppyseed muffins. I had been hesitant about lavender as a flavor until a few years ago, when I had a cupcake with lavender frosting and it was so good, and now I am a fan.

While I was at bob’s red mill I also picked up a wheat free vegan Marionberry scone, it was pretty good.

I have also made Chili today, for dinner this next week. It just sounded good, and is super easy.

I also finished up a pair of socks today. I am actually happy to have this pair done, and can move on to other pairs of socks.

At least this weekend should be hot so I can get these socks washed and blocked while it’s hot outside.

Simple Homemade Food

Hey Everyone!

Over the weekend I had baked a double batch of snickerdoodles and a single batch of chocolate chip cookies. By last night all the chocolate chip cookies were gone.

Despite being a little under the weather, I baked another batch of chocolate chip cookies today.

I had also made a pot of lentil soup over the weekend.

I am also diffusing some essential oils tonight, hopefully it will help this cold from getting any worse.

Easy go to Dinner

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday my family and I had gone to the beach. We had gone to one of the beach towns that caters a bit more to the yuppie hipster Portland crowd. The only good part of that was the fact that I was able to easily find dairy free food. The bakery had these raisin spice cake type muffins that were dairy free. They tasted like they had applesauce in them (which would replace any dairy for liquid). They were so good. The place we had dinner had a few dishes that could be made vegan, so I got one of them.

Today, after I finished work I cooked up some dinner.

I had chicken to cook. I used my trusty old standby, vinegar and soy sauce marinade. All you have to do is put your chicken in quart size ziplock bags, then I like to combine the soy sauce and vinegar in a measuring cup before pouring it in the bags, enough to cover the chicken (about a cup and a half of the mixture per bag). Then I seal the bags and put in the roaster or baking dish to be baked in. I let mine marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours, could be left in the fridge overnight. I then removed the bags from the roaster / baking dish and then slowly dump the contents into the baking dish. An bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes or until done. It is so good.

I had also made some gluten free vegan cornbread to go with my meal, and a spinach salad.

With my schedule, on days that I work, I am up by 4:15 am at the latest, today was a 3:15 am wake up time. Beings that I am up so early and work stock crew, I am all about easy meal ideas that don’t require a ton of steps, or a lot of brain power.

Homemade Dinner after a Long Day!

Hey Everyone!

I am so happy Fall is here, it is my favorite time of year!

It means (generally) cooler weather, hot home cooked meals from scratch.

Yesterday after work, I made lentils and homemade easy artisan bread.

I wasn’t super tired when I started in on my cooking and baking, but by the time I was done I was exhausted. I had also been up since 4 am.

I am so excited for this fall and all the homemade food I will hopefully be making this autumn!

It’s Finally Turning into Fall!

Hey Everyone!

This past weekend was Labor Day Weekend. During the course of which I spent with my parents. Saturday we had gone out to Sauvie Island, and had gone to Kruger Farm, since my mom wanted to can pickled beets.

We had picked up 20 pounds of beets as well as a few other things while we are there. I am always amazing and how much less produce costs at farm stores and farmers markets than it does in the normal grocery stores.

This weekend we had also done some cooking and baking. I had made two pumpkin pies, one was the regular kind with evaporated milk and the other I made dairy free with coconut milk.

This is my dairy free pie before I baked it:

Yesterday, being Labor Day, my mom and I canned the beets. We got 9 quarts and 2 pints of pickled beets.

Today I spent some time out in the garden, picking raspberries, tomatoes and starting to trim back the raspberry bushes for the winter. I got just over a pint of raspberries and I got three pints of tomatoes. Our tomatoes have really been taking off.

I also saw this perfect spider web while I was out picking raspberries.

I am not a huge fan of spiders but I thought the web was amazing. I don’t see complete ones like this very often.

Most of the past week or so has been cooler, though we are having a little bit of a heat wave over the course of yesterday, and today. The next couple days is supposed to be hot for us. I am ready for fall to be here in full force. We are in the transition of late summer / early autumn when it still can get hot, but the days are generally cooling off, the nights are getting cooler, the days are getting shorter. Sunset is now before 7:45 pm! Late August is when we usually start seeing a dramatic drop off and difference of the days getting shorter.