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Homemade Mondays week 100

Homemade Mondays is a series for people that are on a journey to better living, via healthier eating and a more natural lifestyle.  We realize that there are different paths that we all take to get to that place, and this bloghop celebrates that.  Whether you’re a seasoned raw foodist who has banned all things unnatural, or a rookie who is starting out by cutting out junk food, we’d love to hear from you! Link up with your favorite recipes, projects, crafts, or rants and raves.

The Hosts

New co-host, Kelly from The Sustainable Couple 
How to:
Homemade Mondays will open every Monday. You have until Thursday to make your submissions. We will share our favorite posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and shout it from the rooftops.
  • Link up. Use the submission form below to add your blog posts to our gallery below. You can add as many links as you’d like, as long as they’re on topic. What’s eligible? Recipes, crafts, DIY projects, gardening, fitness, green ideas or just plain old advice. We’re pretty open.
  • Tell us about yourselves. Leave a comment telling us a little about your site and what you’ve shared. Of course this isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good way to stand out.
  • Link back. Share the love by adding a link back to this party with your readers so they can see all of these great ideas as well.
  • Follow our Pinterest board. Remember to check out our Mostly Homemade Mondays Pinterest board where we’re pinning some of our favorite posts from the week.

The featured post from last week is Strawberry Apple Granola from Raia’s Recipes.

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Meal plan for September 28th – October 5th

We were sitting inside on Wednesday night and all of the sudden we heard this crazy loud :splat splat splat: and  then an enormous 10 minute intense downpour took place, overwhelming our gutters, and flooding the street.

I look at Troy and said “what the hell was that”?  To which he replied “the end of summer”.

Indeed fall, seems to be officially here.  I’m canning applesauce, baking bread (without sweating from just looking at the oven), and the garden is winding down.  I love fall.  It’s a return to using my cast iron skillet for almost every meal (which makes for a very simple dinner clean up), and to a bit of a slower cozier pace.  Soon it will be dark at 4:15 pm, and my desire for yoga pants and wool socks will supersede all else.

I bought some yarn yesterday.  And I intend to knit myself a scarf very very soon.  My mom taught me to knit in 2000 (and I still only know one basic stitch – go me), and in that time I’ve only knit one thing for myself.  I’m looking forward to it.  I’m sure it will be done in about 15 years.

I’ve mentioned that our remodel is progressing, and I shot a really short snippet of how everything is looking now that they have framed the basement.  There was a bit of a hiatus in August as the contractors went to work on a corporate job.  They’re getting ready to break through our upstairs wall, so in a matter of days, Troy and I will likely be sleeping in the living room, and our stuff will be coated in dust.  I am twitching just thinking about it!

I am 100% shocked that I have not yet had a note sent home from Jack’s school asking me to no longer pack glass in his lunch.  I recently made a double batch of chocolate pudding and poured them in little 4 oz canning jars.  You can freeze them easily, and then it acts as an ice pack in his lunchbag.  I also make jello, so that he has a choice every morning.  Do the wonders of canning jars ever cease?  I want to find Mr.Mason and give him a big ole smooch.

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Jack had an entire week of good reports at school!!!  He kept telling me he was working so hard at being good, and I could tell.  You may remember that I promised him an organic strawberry milk if he had five days of not getting in trouble.  Well, he earned it, and then bless his heart shared it with a friend who came over for movie night.  I told Jack he could save it for breakfast the next morning, but he wanted to share it.

15 more school days of good reports, and he gets a juice box in his lunch every day for a month.

It’s not bribing so much as rewarding for good behavior, right? I mean, I don’t go to work without the promise of a paycheck, you know?

We ready to discuss meals?  Let’s do it!

Monday:: Pizza, roasted brussels sprouts, and fruit.

Tuesday:: Turkey burgers, chipotle sweet potato fries, and fruit.

Wednesday:: Chicken skewers, grilled zucchini, and fruit.

Thursday:: Chicken gyros, roasted brussels sprouts, and fruit.

Friday:: Popcorn and movie night!

Saturday:: Smoked salmon frittata, garlic bread, and fruit.

Sunday:: Family dinner at my parent’s house.

This week I spent $19.23 at Costco, $3.50 on raw milk at the farm, $42.11 at the grocery store, and $15.09 at Trader Joes.

What are you having this week?

Confessions, September

One of my favorite times of the month – confessions!  It’s when I unleash some verbal diarrhea, then you do it, and we all feel great, free, and are ready to move on with our lives.  Let’s go!

  1. I don’t understand the point of fingerless gloves.  At all.  Explain this to me please.  “Oh, my palms are so cozy, but my finger tips are ice cold”.  Huh?
  2. I’m disappointed in this blog author that I read.  I recently started rereading her blog from the beginning and she used to be so funny, and real.  She cursed, she said what she thought, and now she’s just some fake flowery version of her former self.  Makes me sad because those early posts seemed so legit, and now I feel like I’m reading the musings of a mannequin in a Macys window.
  3. I think Troy purposely is terrible at hanging clothes up on our drying rack.  I think he hopes I just say “oh fuck it, you can stop hanging clothes up, I’ll do it”.  I will not give in though, and crappy hanging or not, he has to keep on it.  I’m on to you though honey.
  4. I really hate the end of summer on NPR.  They have all the high school interns who worked there over the summer produce these little segments.  And I’m sure we’re supposed to be super impressed that these kids did such great things, but I just can’t stand their “stories”.  They use every NPR d-bag trick known to man and shove them in to the three minutes they have.  Soft whispering voices, taking huge pauses in-between sentences, and playing music in the background the WHOLE time.  All I can think when I hear them is “future pretentious a-holes”.  And I love NPR, so I guess I’m a pretentious a-hole too.  I’m ok with that, but at least I’m not pretentious with a soundtrack.
  5. Our neighbor is a full-time single dad (ex is no longer in the picture), and he’s a great dad.  He works a ton, and his son is wonderful and Jack adores him.  I invite the little boy over all the time, and I think my neighbor thinks it is because I want to give him a break. That’s nice and all, but the real reason I do it is because his kid plays with Jack and they distract each other so I can get shit done.
  6. I am really sick of people wearing dumb hats all the time.  Almost no one looks good in a fedora, and celebrities who wear those scrunchy wool hats in the summer in Los Angeles to look “cool” make me want to slap an idiot.
  7. We still use a baby monitor for Jack.  He’s five and a half years old.  And it’s a video monitor.  I have no idea why.
  8. We didn’t get a normal ear thermometer for way too long.  I think Jack was three when he finally said “can you stop sticking that thing in my butt please”.  Ooops.
  9. At my six weeks post partum check up after Jack, I had to laugh when my OB asked me what kind of birth control I was using.  I said “um, it’s called having a six week old baby, and still crying when I poop”.  She laughed so hard, and always brings it up at my yearly exam.
  10. Whenever I see a new stories describing a missing kid as “x feet tall and weighing x lbs”, I think “I’m screwed”.  I seriously can’t remember how tall Jack is and how much he weighs.  Go me.
  11. I cannot be trusted to put the lids on leftovers in the fridge.  After dinner, I put food in glass containers for our lunches the next day, and then put them in the fridge to cool down.  I got a 100% on my food handlers permit like 10 years ago, so I remember you’re not supposed to put lids on hot food.  Well, I NEVER remember to put the lids back on them before going to bed.  Troy has to do it; I can’t be relied upon to handle this chore on my own.
  12. When Jack and I walk to the library, he plays on the learning computer, and I read magazines.  I love looking through Cooking Light, stealing recipes, and then using real butter and heavy cream instead of “cooking spray, and non-fat milk”.

Phew, I feel better.  Now it’s your turn!

Spicy Asian green beans

I used to hate green beans.

I thought they were gross, and boring.

Please do not read anything in to this story I’m about to tell you.  This isn’t a hint or a wink wink nod nod about anything.

My love of green beans was instant one day, back in July 2008.  I was at dinner with my friend’s family for her dad’s birthday.  We were in the valley (San Gabriel, not San Fernando) at one of those enormous dim sum places where waiters bring things around on carts, the tables are huge, and the forks are non-existent.

My friend’s family is half Japanese, half Chinese, and they were very familiar with this place.  This honky white girl was not.  Food was placed on our table, and the waiter placed the whole cooked fish, right in front of my plate.  The whole fish with the big ole’ eye looking right at me.

And then I puked in my mouth just a tiny bit.

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was used to seafood in all forms; live, newly dead, cooked, with appendages and eyes.  We used to go crabbing as a family, my sister and I caught shrimp in the San Juan Islands, and we would go squid fishing for fun (always throwing them back).

But this fish just grossed me out to no end.

Looking around the table, I zeroed in on a bowl of white rice, and some green beans.  I heaped my plate with both, and promptly dug in.  And then the green beans punched me in the mouth with their awesomeness.  What started out as a “safe” plate filler, ended up being something I feel deeply in love with.  They were crunchy, they were crispy (those are indeed two different things), they were spicy, and they were amazing.  They were my barrier between puking and that stupid fish eye.

The next day I took a pregnancy test and Jack was a thing.

Again, this is not something you need to read in to.  I just needed you to know that those green beans saved my life one night, and I’ve been looking to replicate them ever since.

And now I have.  And now you can too.  Pregnant or not, you’ll love these.

For this recipe, you’re going to need a wok.  I’m sorry, it’s just a necessity.  This is the one I have, but I’m sure any wok will work for you.  There are tons of ways to season the wok, but don’t take my word for it.  I started a grease fire in the house a few years ago trying to season it based on one bloggers suggestions.

The recipe I use is based off of this one, but highly edited based on our preferences, and what I already had in my house.

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Spicy Asian Green Beans That Won’t Make You Puke

Pertinents
1 pound of green beans, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon, plus one tsp of high heat oil (I use expeller-pressed coconut oil, or avocado oil (Costco))
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 inch of ginger, peeled and minced

Sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice vinegar (not rice wine vinegar)
1 tsp of Sambal Oelek (or “hot cock sauce” as my BIL calls it)
1/4 tsp fine seal salt

If you love yourself, and a speedy meal, prep the beans the night before.  These beans need to be bone dry to stir fry, so I always prep them the night before and then wrap them in towel in a container overnight.  You might as well prep the ginger, green onions, and garlic.

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1) Heat a wok on medium-high.

2) While the wok is heating, mix up the sauce, and set aside.  Place a few paper towels or newspaper on a large plate, set aside.

3) Add the 1 tblsp of oil to the wok, and swirl around to coat the surface.  Once the oil is smoking, add the green beans, and stir them constantly to keep them from burning.

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Stir fry them for a good five minutes, until they’re blistered and crispy looking.

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Remove them from the wok and place them on the paper towel lined plate.

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Meanwhile, don’t notice that your son has nipped your camera (I’m listening to a lot of books set in London right now, so bear with me while I turn in to Madonna a develop a love of talking like a Brit) and has taken silly photos of your husband.

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Ask for the camera back.  Have to ask again, and not be pleased about it because damnit, it’s a Wednesday, you’re tired from working all day, and you need to take some photos of some stupid green beans.

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4) Add the other tsp of oil the now-empty wok, and swirl to coat.  Add the garlic, green onions, and ginger, and stir constantly for about 30 seconds.

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5) Then add the liquids, and if you are like me, this is when your smoke alarm goes off letting all the neighbors know you’re using your wok again.  They’re just jealous of your awesomeness.

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6) Add the beans back to the sauce/ginger/onions/garlic mixture, and stir for another minute.

7) Remove from the wok, and serve immediately.  Because they’re really freaking good, and you shouldn’t let them just be eaten by the rest of the family.

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Bon appetit!