Sunday, February 24, 2013

Whole Foods Dinner Club

No, this is not going to become a food blog, but I am excited to share that I've joined 5 like-minded friends on a food journey to start cooking more healthfully for our families. For us that means eliminating as much processed foods from our diets. No more refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors, no "cream of crap" soup either. We also want to be more eco-conscious, using local and organic meats and veggies whenever possible.

Basically, the six of us have created a dinner club. Each month, we meet up to exchange freezer meals (based on a preassigned category that rotates each month). This month, I'm responsible for the chicken dish. I'll need to create 6 of the same chicken dish that meets our health requirements and can be frozen and prepared later. I'll come home with my chicken dish and 5 other recipes: soup, beef, pork, vegetarian, and breakfast.

Baby steps.

I'm not going crazy and tossing everything in my pantry (although I'd really like to). And I'm not buying all new stainless steel and cast iron cookware. However, I will be replacing junk with healthy food when I go food shopping and replacing my poisonous Teflon cookware one piece at a time.

Last summer, I did a lot of once-a-month meal planning. I'd like to get back into that again. I think it will be a lot easier once we get our upright freezer. We're planning to split a local, grass-fed cow and a pig with the other families. Then all I'll need to buy each week are veggies, eggs, and dairy. Oh, how I can't wait for the farmers' market and the veggie CSA to start up again!

What does this mean for the blog? Not much. I want this to remain a mostly crafty blog. But it is about my life, and healthy cooking is going to be taking a much-needed front seat in my life for good. So, I'm thinking about adding a once-a-month food related post, including our monthly menu, and anything exciting going on with our dinner club. Maybe I'll include some recipes if I find some really awesome ones that are worth sharing. What do you think?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Valentine's Day Playdough Cookies

I wanted another opportunity to play with the white winter playdough again. We've already made snowmen with it, and Little O has played with it independently at her desk. I decided to pull out the same accessories we used for the snowmen and add some circle and heart-shaped cookie cutters. Little O couldn't get the hang of rolling the playdough flat, but she enjoyed mushing it with her hands and ripping it apart. Great work to develop those fine motor skills!

Once I rolled my dough flat, she was interested in helping push the cookie cutters into it. I cut out two circles and two hearts for each of us to play with. I wound up with one heart and one circle, and she got the rest.

I made sure she could reach the decorating supplies: buttons, sequins, heart-shaped sequins, bows, and googly eyes. Then I started decorating mine.

She got the idea pretty quickly. She really liked the small, multicolored sequins. She grabbed handfuls at a time and sprinkled them onto her cookies.

She also enjoyed taking the supplies out of the box and putting them in a pile. I had to let go of my OCD tendencies for this. It is Ok that she mixed the sequins and the googly eyes. It's is.

In the end, this is what we wound up with. They are not beautiful, Pinterest-perfect playdough cookies. But they are perfect to Little O and to me. Process. Not product.

Happy Crafting!
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