Thursday, October 20, 2011

Busy Day! Feels good.

Today has been busy & productive.  It's fall break here, so the kids are out of school today & tomorrow, & Jimmy doesn't have to work (working for the schools has its perks!).  I was actually able to SLEEP IN until 7:30am, which is almost unheard of for me.  My body has an internal clock that is set between 5-6am, and it rarely budges, so this was a nice treat.

I did a lot in the kitchen today.  I roasted/cooked four chickens for most of the day, got all of the meat off, and will make chicken broth with the carcasses tomorrow.  I bought the chickens (organic, all natural) from Costco- two for around $22.  That is a lot compared to what I normally spend on chicken, but I decided it was worth it.  I've seen all natural chickens for $22 a piece, so I decided it was the middle ground... a good compromise.

I got a lot of meat out of them, too.  If I stretch it out a bit it is enough for seven meals, plus all of the chicken stock I'm making tomorrow.

I was able to fit one chicken in my smaller crock pot, two in my larger crock pot, and then I roasted one.  The instructions for roasting said to put it in the oven at 350 for one hour.  It didn't say whether or not to cover it, so I did, thinking that it might dry out uncovered.  I took it out at one hour, and it didn't seem quite done.  I put it back in for 30 more minutes, and even then parts of the leg/thigh didn't seem done.  So I think I should have cooked it another 15 minutes at least.  The chickens in the crock pots cooked for 8 hours, and were definitely done.  Hopefully not too done- but they seemed all right. 

I decided to try making yogurt again, with a few changes from the first time.  Everything went much better, except I let it come to a boil again, dang it!  It happened a lot quicker this time.  In the instructions it said to stir it about every 10 minutes, so I had stirred it once after 10, I set the timer, and thought I had time to run down & throw in a load of laundry and make it back in time to stir again.  I made it back in less than 10 minutes, but it was already boiling.

I googled it, and found out that everything is fine if it reaches the boiling point, but the yogurt might not be as smooth.  That's a relief.  I can handle that, as long as everything else is working fine.

I had plenty of time to let it cool down (plan on hours!).  After more research I've discovered that you can cool it down by placing the pan in cool water, too. (DUH, Jan!)  Once it was about 90 degrees I poured it into the jars, added a tablespoon of Greek yogurt to each one and stirred them up.

I decided to use the cooler again, but this time I used a hot water bottle, and then covered it with a towel.

This should work a lot better than the cooler all by itself (duh, Jan! It's like I'm in the kindergarten of natural living).  I was going to use a heating pad, but we don't have one & I was going to have to buy one.  Everyone that I found had a 2-hr automatic shut-off, which wouldn't work.  The hot water bottle should be just fine.

I couldn't get the lid to stay down tight.  Like my red-neck solution?

I started my first sprouting project a few days ago.  Here's an update:

SWEET!  Kind of creepy, but sweet!  I took this picture in the morning, and now the sprouts are 2-3 times longer!  I can't even remember what's coming up in my meal plan that I'm making with this.  Can't wait to try it, whatever it is.  (Now if I can get my family to eat it!)

And last, but not least, I made Cowboy Cookies.  I was supposed to make these last week, but didn't get around to it. 

I know they're not much to look at, but they are GOOD.  I used a recipe from my October grainless meal plan that I ordered from

They have almond flour (I ground up my own almonds), coconut flour, salt, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, honey, pecans (I used walnuts instead), shredded coconut (I used chipped coconut), and raisins or other dried fruit (I left this out).

My family LOVED them.  Jimmy couldn't believe that they had no processed sugar, only honey.  He still can't get over the fact that butter is okay.  Yesterday he asked if he could buy some "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" to put on his popcorn, and I said NOOOOO!  If only I could get him to read the book... :)

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