Saturday, December 23, 2017

Super Foods & Frugal Accomplishments


Hello friends.  Last week, I redeemed swagbucks points for a $25 amazon gift card.  I did some holiday baking with pantry items.  One was a new recipe, which used some of the coconut flour I bought a few months ago, but hadn't figured out how to use.  The recipe also called for almond flour, which I didn't have, so I blanched and peeled raw almonds before grinding into flour.  I will say I used to make a banana almond breakfast drink, where I soaked the almonds overnight.  They would slip right out of the skins.  This time, I followed a tutorial on making almond flour, and it ended up being quite a time consuming task.  If I do it again, I'll go with the overnight soaking.  It was my first attempt at a from scratch gluten free recipe, and though they tasted good, they ended up flat rather than a ball shape.  I'll try less oil next time.  I ground wheat for my favorite chocolate chip cookies, and made them.  Salad was made using our lettuce, with homemade salad dressing. I checked the marked down plants at Lowe's, and got two six packs of pansies for $1 ea.


My niece suggested playdoh as a gift for my great nephew.  I'd seen some diy recipes on Pinterest, and used this one.  I used various brands for coloring.  I first tried a beet based natural color I'd originally bought for some body care items, but I'd had it too long, and the color had degraded.  I had already open containers of McCormick and Kroger food color, so started with them.  If I wasn't totally happy with the result, I added some Watkins food color, which I learned about and bought this year.  I'm pretty happy with the colors I got.  I bought several cookie cutters to include with the playdough.  Another niece asked for a squirrel buster bird feeder.  I bought that, and J made a lovely shepherd's hook pole for it.

close up
I took advantage of an amazon offer of $5 off $15 on books. I've enjoyed listening to holiday Pandora stations while working at home on holiday things.  I have several holiday stations, so I just switch to another when I tire of one.  A pot of vegetable soup was made using leftovers, our home canned and frozen vegetables, and pantry items.  Homemade bread that was given by a friend and frozen was warmed to go with it.  We enjoyed the soup two nights.  I was very happy to find a pomegranate at the little local grocery store.  It was quite a bit more than the ones I bought at Aldi's before Thanksgiving, but it will be nice for salads I plan to take to dinners this weekend.  While I do enjoy the special foods and sweets this time of year, I crave some healthy food too.  Bringing a festive green salad to the dinners will satisfy that.  Other than the pomegranate, I picked up milk and a bottle of wine I plan to take to one of the dinners.  So far, the only groceries bought this week.


On the Winter Solstice, I gathered greenery and made bouquets for the house.  On walks, I did more meandering off the path, and was rewarded with a few more clumps of usnea, which were added to the tincture jar.  I pulled four gallon bags of vegi scraps from the freezer, and put them in two large pots on the woodstove to thaw and simmer overnight.  This time and the last, I also added pieces of dried reishi mushroom, for its powerful medicine.  I'm not sure why I chose right before Christmas to do this, with everything else on my plate, other than we really needed the room in the freezer and I tend to think I can do more than I can in a day.  Besides reishi, I try to incorporate other super/ healthier foods in my diet as I can.  Sometimes I make maca hot chocolate (this one, though I use local whole milk & sometimes maple syrup instead of dates), other times this bulletproof coffee.  If you can use a nutritional boost too, in this season of sweets and excess, consider giving one or both a try.


I colored my hair at home, with J's help.  This is my third time using Hairprints, and I got the best results so far.  It is quite a time consuming endeavor, taking just about 3 hours, and requiring 6 different applications.  Ah, the price of vanity!  I potted an amaryllis bulb purchased a few weeks ago, for cheer in the dark days of winter, and happened to notice on a walk that a critter had dug up several nice pieces of moss, so I brought them home and placed them around the bulb.  Before my family's Christmas dinner this evening, I canned up the vegetable broth.  I got 17 pints in the canner, with an extra put in the fridge.  After leaving my brother's house tonight, we drove to a neighborhood known for hanging balls of holiday lights from the trees.  It is spread over many blocks, and was a fun and festive addition to the day.  I'm joining in with Brandy's Frugal Accomplishments today.  Wishing you fun and festivities in the days ahead!

5 comments:

April said...

Spending some quiet time this week catching up on blogs, and yours is always a quiet oasis. Love all the photography--I always do. Here's to a good 2018, Laurie!

Becky Gepford said...

I love that winter bouquet! The berries are striking with the winter foliage.

I also love the play dough. That is a great idea, and it looks so cute presented as a butterfly. Little people love play dough, so I'm sure he will play with it for a long time.

Have a wonderful New Year:)

Laurie said...

Thank you April, for your always kind comments.

Becky, the butterfly was a fun bit of serendipity, when I was trying to figure out how to place the last piece of playdough :o).

Wishing you both a peaceful New Year & a 2018 full of many good things!

Michèle Hastings said...

I was an early childhood educator for nearly 20 years and that was my go-to play dough recipe! That was a great idea for a gift.
Happy New Year!

Laurie said...

I didn't know that, Michele. Wishing you & Jeff a Happy New Year!