New web address

Hey wonderful followers of Foodie Mama,

I’ve recently switched my blog to a new address at http://foodiemamatalks.com/. You shouldn’t have to do anything to keep receiving my blog posts because I was able to move all email and wordpress followers at the same time. I do worry that some of you might be getting my emails in your spam folder. I follow a blogger that this happened to recently. All you have to do, if you haven’t gotten my two blog posts this week, is check your spam folder in your email and make sure my posts aren’t in there. If they are, move them to your inbox and make sure to add the email address to your contact list.

Happy Friday everybody! It is a glorious day here in NC!

Foodie Mama

Advertisements

Honey Whole Wheat Bread – 7 ingredients in all

homemadebread

Delicious and nutritious homemade bread

Well I did it, I made homemade bread, and it rocks! Here is the Honey Whole Wheat Bread recipe I used from allrecipes.com. There are seven ingredients in this recipe and a majority of them I had on hand. I followed the recipe exactly, despite some of the reviews, and it turned out beautifully. I may remove it from the breadmaker about ten minutes earlier next time because the crust is a little tough. But the bread is so very delicious.

We had breakfast for lunch today with eggs, bacon, clementines, and homemade honey whole wheat bread. It made me so proud to serve something so yummy to my family, they have such low expectations when it comes to bread. It has been bothering me for a while that the bread was the hold up in enjoying the sandwiches I make. I spend a lot of time making sure to get the deli meat and cheeses with no additives, organic salad mix, and mayo, but then you eat the sandwich with crappy store-bought bread and it just makes you kind of sad. But no more! We’ll see how many times I actually get around to making the bread. Ahh, good intentions.

The breadmaker is the way to go, that thing is awesome. The one I got was donated from a close friend who no longer wanted it. The behemoth was manufactured about 100 years ago, okay not really, but I found the manual online and it looks old, but it works perfectly. I would ask your friends if they have one sitting around they don’t want before buying one, I’m sure there is sad little breadmaker out there, just waiting to be loved. The whole wheat breads take longer to cook for some reason, I think it has something to do with yeast rising in whole wheat flour, but it took 3 hours and 40 minutes to make ours. It makes a lot of bread, I think I could probably do it weekly and have just the right amount for my family. And final bonus of this whole project, making your own bread is SO CHEAP! You can buy crappy tasting bread for a lot of money, or make your own homemade for very little money. YAY!

Healthy bread – one sure sign

wholegrain

Look for this symbol!

Marketers selling bread have gotten pretty crafty lately. It is most likely confusing to some if you don’t know what to look for when searching the long, grocery store bread aisle. Here is what to look for when you want the most nutritious bread option, the label must read “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain” bread. Legally a marketer of bread cannot put 100% whole wheat or grain on the package, unless the statement is true. They can put things like “natural,”  “wheat,”  “multi-grain,” “seven-grain” and “nutri-grain,” though, and trick you into thinking what you are eating is better for you. But if it doesn’t have “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain” on it, then you might as well be eating white bread for all the nutritional value you are getting.

I’ve been told over and over and over how much better whole wheat bread tastes if you make it yourself, and how much healthier it is for you than the store-bought version. I’m planning on making my own bread in the next week or two, just have to find a spare minute. But alas, the real world beckons, so for now we will be getting 100% whole grain from our local grocery store instead.

Daggone good pot roast recipe

potroast

Delicious Pot Roast

I found this Many Meals Pot Roast recipe a couple of months ago on one of my favorite recipe websites, allrecipes.com, and we absolutely love it. I made it today and my youngest had three helpings. She doesn’t even weigh 20 pounds yet, so hopefully that tells you something about the deliciousness of the recipe. The recipe meets my criteria because it has few and simple ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry/fridge right now:

  • beef chuck roast
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • onion
  • carrot
  • celery
  • diced tomatoes
  • beef stock

This is actually a sponsored recipe so I was skeptical at first, as I am of all sponsored things online, but after reading the reviews, I decided to try it. I did make several changes including only using 1 pound of meat, half an onion, 3 carrots, 3 celery strips, one can of tomatoes and stock as needed. I cooked the meat in oil like the recipe says, pulled the meat out and put it in the crock pot, then added the veggies to the pan with tons of spices like basil, thyme garlic powder, and parsley, as well as the salt and pepper. I added the stock and tomatoes to get the yumminess off the bottom of the pan, brought the mixture to a boil then poured it all in the crock pot on top of the meat. I cooked it 3.5 hours on high, then cut it down to low for about 2.5 hours. So six hours total cook time in the crock pot. We serve this meal over egg noodles and have yet to have leftovers. I will have to double or triple the recipe next time so we can freeze some.

Photo thanks to allrecipes.com.

Over disinfecting

antibacterial

Kitchen Cleaner?

Are you still using antibacterial soap and cleaners in your home? My family has been opting out of both for a while now, and I just assume everyone lives like we do. But recently a friend of mine sent me this FAQ titled, Ditch Disinfectants, by Dr. Andrew Weil. I thought I would share the article because is has a lot of good information about how the ingredients in disinfectants, triclosan in particular, are building up in the environment and, “potentially making germs tougher and more harmful to us.” If you’ve never heard of him, Dr. Weil describes himself as a, “world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit.” The FAQ is really interesting, stating that antibacterial products are not, “necessary except in nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare settings where there is a high risk of spreading infections from person to person. There’s no proof that the antibacterial soaps and washes marketed for home use serve any useful purpose. Soap and water do just as good a job of cleansing.”

Marketing for antibacterial products has done a number on us for years now, especially moms. The ads make you think that your house will be crawling with bugs and harmful germs if you don’t use antibacterial cleaners. Here is a snippet from Lysol’s website, “LYSOL® Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner cuts through grease to help clean kitchen messes and kills 99.9% of germs* to help protect your family from the spread of foodborne bacteria like salmonella*.” Scary, right?

I’m a full believer in the science behind, “dirt don’t hurt.” We like to play in the dirt, and the only thing I don’t like about dirt is trying to get it out of my kids clothes. Call me old school, but a good soap and warm water scrubbing will kill everything you come into contact with, plus it doesn’t smell weird.

If you are looking for an anti-antibacterial cleaner, I wrote a post a while ago on how to make your own glass/counter cleaner using castille soap, vinegar, and water. And there are hand soaps out there without antibacterial chemicals in them, Softsoap makes a version, you just have to look around at the grocery store and you’ll find them. I’m still searching for a hand soap that has no chemicals, and more soap. I’d love to hear from you guys on what soaps you use, I need recommendations!

Homemade baby wipes

babywipes

Make your own baby wipes!

Someone gave me a recipe years ago for homemade baby wipes, like ten years ago. My sister and I both used these wipes with our kids and I’m so thankful for whoever passed this wonderful idea along. Whoever you are out there, thank you! This recipe is cool because it is mostly all natural, minus the paper towels.

I recently visited my parents and was feeling lazy so I didn’t make wipes beforehand. I thought I would save myself the time and effort and just use some Huggies wipes I keep in the car for wipe-worthy situations. As always, trying to save time actually made more work for me. My youngest ended up with the worst case of diaper rash she has ever had. I think it must be the alcohol in them, or something. Even though they say fragrance-free, they always have a flowery smell. My homemade wipes smell like sweet babies, you should definitely try it!

You need the following items:

  • 2 Rubbermaid servin savers, 3 quart
  • 1 Bounty select-a-size regular paper towel roll, not super or large or basic (which isn’t normal sized I learned after a stupid purchase at a warehouse store)
  • Baby shampoo – I use Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Fragrance-Free Shampoo & Wash because I have this on hand anyway for bathing babies
  • Water
  • Really good, sharp knife
  • Arm muscles

How to assemble:

  1. Cut the paper towel roll in half, this will be a little difficult, but then you feel like a rock star, so don’t give up.
  2. Mix together 1 tablespoon of baby shampoo and 1 to 1.5 cups of water. I tend to use less water in the humid NC summers, and more in the dry winters.
  3. Pour this mixture in the first Rubbermaid container, then repeat Step 2 and pour that in second container.
  4. Drop one paper towel roll in each container, count to 20, and flip the paper towel rolls over.
  5. Put the lids on and give them ~ 10 minutes for the water/soap mixture to completely saturate the paper towels.
  6. Take the lids off and carefully pull out the cardboard from the middle of the paper towels rolls. Recycle the cardboard and…
  7. You made your own baby wipes! You can pull the towels out from the middle of the roll each time you need a wipe.

It seems like a lot the first time, but it is so simple. Once you make it a couple of times, you’ll be an expert. Good luck!

Shredded Wheat – a carcinogen?

I used to eat this lovely cereal almost daily, Post Shredded Wheat n Bran. I added some fruit, golden raisins, organic milk, and was just as happy as could be eating this every day. I was so proud of myself for having found this item that had ingredients I understood – 100% whole grain wheat and bran. I neglected to notice, or pay attention to, the wording underneath the ingredients, until I read this article online called 13 banned foods still allowed in the U.S. This list is nuts, but BHT jumped out at me, because I knew I had seen it somewhere. And then I walked to my pantry and found it. My beloved cereal had BHT added to the packaging to prevent the food from becoming rancid. Right. So, what does that mean? Well, I’ve listed the entire blurb from the website Shape.com below, but basically this BHA and BHT may be a human carcinogen, a cancer-causing agent. Now I know, it says MAY be, but really, are you willing to take that risk? I’m not. Call me chicken, but cancer runs in my family and I want to do everything humanly possible to avoid it. So, sad face, no more Shredded Wheat for me. Sorry Post, you might want to consider a different type of package.

Here is the information from shape.com’s website:

Ingredients: BHA and BHT
Found In: Cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer
Why the U.S. Allows It: “Made from petroleum [yummy!], these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors,” Calton says. A better solution may be natural rosemary and sage. In a 2006 study, some organic herbs and spices proved to be efficient at preventing oxidative decay in meat, which ultimately could improve the shelf-life of these products.
Health Hazards: California is the only state that recognizes the U.S. National Institute of Health’s report that BHA is may be a human carcinogen, a cancer-causing agent.

Check out the other banned items including food dye, oil, flour, etc. Yet another reason to eat whole foods!