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Menu planning comes around again! LOVE!!! January 27, 2012

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — detailsbydawn @ 8:13 pm

Hello all!  Here we go again with menu planning so the wonderful husband can take care of the shopping for me!  Love that man!!  And in honor of Chinese New Year we will be focusing on some yummy Chinese recipes in the next couple weeks!  Not a lot of time today, but I did want to say that I am going to post next about sprouting my beans before use and the benefits and how stinkin’ easy it is!!!  😉  SO, be sure to check back!  Here is this weeks menu.  ENJOY!!!  ANy questions or comments, please feel free to ask!  (This will be unedited as there is much to do this afternoon, forgive typos!)

Monday: Breakfast:  Egg Casserole in Muffin cups, (great left overs!) with my twist, turkey bacon with 2% milk along with mixed berries.  Lunch:  Asian Chicken Salad  Dinner:  Turkey Quinoa meatloaf and Mock Mashed Potatoes.  Since this is such a healthy dinner, I am going to splurge with dessert tonight, Gluten Free Choc. Garbanzo Bean Cupcakes!  One of the best parts of this is the one on one time I get to spend with a kiddo!!

Tues:  Lunch  Red Pepper Soup with roasted Spaghetti Squash  I know peppers on sale this week, so this is a good time for this soup and I will be serving grilled cheese for the kids and my FAVE from this past week the Gouda and Pear Grilled Cheese for ME!!  Dinner:  Crock Pot Chicken and Rice.  I will be making this a double batch and will be switching it up needless to say, but good bones to follow.  I will be using some real ingredients instead of the horrible salty soup mix and brown rice of course.  Needs to be large on Tues so I can have left overs for Wed. night since we head to church and this usually entails the crock Pot!

Wed:  Breakfast:  Cinnamon Toast Pancakes (double batch of course for another day!) low carb, high protein and good fats!!! OH how these children love pancakes so lets make them good for us, no?  Lunch:  Left over salad and soup for me as I will be running all morning with meetings.  😉  Dinner will also be left overs because of busy evening!  sorry all!

Thurs:  Quick lunch this day.  Some left over soup these  make ahead wraps:  Avocado Bean wraps with salsa...  sprouted beans for me and Ezekiel wraps!  We are having some homeschoolers over for a craft project for valentines day so I will be making this adorable snack, apples and marshmallows along with stuffed cucumbers (these were a big hit last week and easy to make ahead), Dinner:  Trying something fun and new….  homemade Asian Dumplings, a FAVE around here!!

Friday:  Throwing in a treat for the kiddos, Egg fried Rice, the healthier version!  They are going to LOVE it!  😉  Dinner OUT!  Yippee!!!

Again, Saturday lunch is usually a wing it day with Daddy and dinner will be date night.  😉

Sunday: dinner Pork chops that I have in the freezer and MANY blackberries as they have been on sale of late…. SO excited to make this dish, Blackberry Pork Saute with real mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans!

One other thing I wanted to share is about making homemade “Ice Cream” using the amazing Yonanas machine!!  It is SO inexpensive and cures a great sweet tooth will ALL natural choices.  Just freeze your favorite fruits and bananas and go crazy.  The kids think it is a blast to make it.  It comes out like soft serve and you just mix it up and go.  Top with choc., or throw it in while churning.  YUMMO!!!!  Just thought you all might enjoy if you didn’t already know about it.  Time to get the list together since the menu is planned!  WHEW!!!!!  What a process, but I feel SO good when it is done and to know my family is eating as healthy as we can manage makes me happy too!  Happy Momma, Happy HOME!!!!  😉

Also, on another note, there was a passage in my bible reading this morning that moved me loads, so I will hopefully have time to share about that as well in the next few days!

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

~  Dawn


Menu planning for next week with recipes! January 20, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — detailsbydawn @ 7:39 pm

Hello friends!  It is that time again, the lengthy process of figuring the meals for next week.  I think sometimes it takes a little while is because you have to look at your schedule for the following week, see what is left over in your freezer / fridge and then create an entire weeks worth of meals based on that!  😉   my husband, the grocery shopper, likes to throw in what is on sale when he goes to the store, and then sometimes there is a chance for switching it up a bit!  But, I will be making a couple great breakfasts this week too.  Again, like I mentioned before, we do not do much cereal or quick breakfasts around here…..  yes, I homeschool, so that certainly gives me a slight advantage of more time in the morning (love that!!!), but I assure you the left overs will be worth it!  Two baked breakfasts and you will be set for the week, and if you have  a larger family, just double it!  I have to say I am pretty appalled at the things i hear from friends/family of what they feed the kids at school for “breakfast”!  Just like all the experts say, it truly is the MOST important meal of the day, especially for kiddos heading for school!   But I have to say there are certainly some good cereals out there.  Some we like are Kashi and Ezekiel brands.  Full of fiber and protein to last throughout the morning.  Coupled with some fruit and that certainly makes for a nice breakfast on the fly!  I know everyone knows this, but when we don’t have enough fiber and the right combinations of proteins and carbs, the blood sugar spikes and we crash afterwards….  that is why it is SO important to make sure our meals are balanced.  Sometimes, we just get all in a hurry and throw that idea out the window.  I know I have been there and still do on occasion, but that is why I plan my meals out for the entire week so I am not struggling finding something to eat for all of us that is good!  😉

Here is the plan for next week!  Enjoy!!

Tomorrow breakfast:  Chocolate Peanut butter Quinoa  = YUMMO!!!  Lunch tomorrow left overs, and out to dinner with Hubby for date night!!  Woot Woot!!

Sunday:  Burgers (I look forward to trying this recipe slightly modified) with sweet potato fries and roasted broccoli.  Great recipe for these!!  But, a little tip, i put all the potato strips and egg whites in a ziplock to coat.  Works wonderfully!

Monday:  Breakfast:  Quinoa Donuts!!  I am SO excited to make these and I just ordered my donut baking tin. I found the Quinoa flakes at Meijier along with Quinoa.  So, if you can’t get on line to buy and no Whole Foods around, you should be able to find this stuff at any grocery.   Lunch Lentil Soup  and my FAVE  Sprouted Wheat bread.  Starting the process today to bake on Sunday I have all the makings already, so this is a no brainer!  Sounds delicious and I LOVE soups when it is cold!  Canned soups are really not so hot for us, so I really try to make them as much as possible, and again the left overs go great with some grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches.  Dinner:  Crock pot Turkey Breast.  I have a Fix it and Forget it crock pot book that I love.  I have to change up the recipes quite the bit, but the basic ideas are good!

Tues:  Breakfast, eggs with veggies scrambles.  Staple here!  Lunch:  A variation of this, will add turkey breast.  Stuffed Cucumbers, the kids love cucumbers so I think this will be something fun and new for them!  Dinner:  Chicken Tortilla Cigars.  These are a great make ahead because the bake in just 12 minutes.  We are gone from 4:30 until 6:30 on Tues. because of dance and gymnastics, so it has to be something either crock pot or that is easy and quick.  This is a definite favorite of the kids.  I use the Ezekiel sprouted grain Tortillas that I get at Whole Foods.

Wed:  Whole Grain Pancakes.  Bobs Mills Pre Mix!  I LOVE IT!!  I usually add ground flax seed and ground chia seeds for an extra healthy boost!  Lunch:  Quinoa Avocado Salad and I am SO looking forward to this one!!  Dinner will be left overs as we head to church early!

Thurs:  Breakfast, Eggs again…  Maybe some little donuts to go with if they aren’t all gone from Monday.  HA  Lunch:  Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup with my sprouted bread and almond  butter!  😉  Dinner:  Lasagna Rolls, boy they all loved this one and it was so easy too!  Not nearly as intimidating as it seems!

Friday:  Breakfast, one of our staples now:  Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal DELISH!!!  Left overs for lunch!  Simple!!  Hopefully out to dinner or bring something in!  😉

Saturday: Lunch we always wing it, or should I say I get the day off and my hubby wings it!!  Dinner:  Homemade Pizza.  We did this last week too and they have SO much fun making it.  So, why ruin a good thing and it is super easy and they LOVE “decorating” their own pizza and picking the toppings!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the recipes for this week!  Glad it is over, but looking forward to some yummy meals next week!  There is so much on my mind and so many things I want to post about!  Much coming up!!!  Stay tuned.  Have a beautiful weekend!

Many Blessings,



Sprouting wheat berries for bread…. LOVE! January 16, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — detailsbydawn @ 2:29 pm

Hello all!  Well, winter has finally set in and has kicked  me into baking and cooking gear!  So, I finally had a chance to document the stages of sprouting and baking my sprouted wheat bread.  This bread is SOO good, but it took some practice and I didn’t have a very good recipe or guide to begin with.  There are SO many benefits of sprouting grains (click link for more info) as I have spoke of before.  The kids LOVE this bread, but let me say, it is a sweeter bread and not a sandwich bread.  It is more for soups or just a great snack with almond butter on it, etc.  However you an back off on the sweetness and add a touch more salt perhaps for a more savory bread.  I will be changing it up soon.  I would love to add cinnamon and raisins and see how that turns out next time.  I have done this so many times and finally got it figured out.  The first time, as many complained from the original blog I found it on, the bread was hard as a brick and burnt.  SO, after MUCH experimentation I have it down to a science I do believe.  So, here goes: (pictured below… the Final Product!  YUM)

Ingredients:  1 cup hard wheat berries, about 1/4- 1/2 cup Agave light (or honey) and a dash of salt to your likeing.  That is IT!  You will need a crock pot for cooking it.

First, you must rinse 1 cup of hard white wheat berries (there are many kinds, you just need to figure out what flavor you like), and then soak them over night.  I leave the water about 1 inch above the berries.  You will have some floaties, so just discard.  Cover with dish towel to set overnight and drain them in the morning.  Rinse them again.  You will see them start to have a little white “tail” poking out.  That means they have sprouted.  You could certainly  start your bread now, but we like it sweet, so the longer the “tail” the sweeter the bread.  Pictured below is how I like mine to look.  You need to rinse about 3-4 times throughout the day and drain and cover and let sit with the towel over it.   Depending on how warm it is in the house is how quick they seem to sprout.  But, usually I have to wait one more night until they are sprouted well.

Close up of the sprouted berry.  See the “tail”  😉

Then you put all the berries into a food processor.  Now, here is the part that can vary…  if you like a moister bread, you can rinse the berries one more time and drain them well, but keep them a little moist (Please note that when you take it out it will be very sticky on your hands and mushy, but it will be ok).  If you like your bread a little firmer and nuttier, then do not rinse them before you put into the processor.  Make sure they are dry.  I like it both ways.  It tends to cook a little quicker without the added moisture.

Then I simply add the Agave, sorry I do not measure exactly.  I usually just semi-moderately pour it in one full circle.  Then add a few turns of the Sea Salt mill.  Then you go ahead and let it rip!  You will have to stop it a few times and scrape the sides down.  Then something super cool happens if you don’t rinse the berries one last time before….  A ball of “batter” will form all on its own.  Just take it out, scrape the extras and add to the ball.  Form into a round, semi-flat loaf.  It will not be too big either, but this loaf feeds my three kids and me for at least one meal if not an added snack for one or two of us….

Picture above isn’t a perfect ball because I rinsed the berries this time for a softer bread.  So it looks a little more mushy.

The trick to not burning the bottom is to do what I picture below.  You need to make a barricade between the batter and the small crock dish you put the batter in.  So, I take a small glass lid and turn it upside down in the large crock pot. Then, I make a “rack” on the bottom of the small ceramic dish I am putting it in with foil.  I have yet do find a wire rack this small, so if anyone knows, please share!  Just roll foil up the length of your dish.  Then I spray it all with Pam.  And, you are ready to go!

Put the ceramic dish on top of the lid you placed on the bottom of the crock pot.  Do not cover the dish in the crock pot, just put the crock pot lid on.  Our Crock pot has 4 settings.  I put it on the second to lowest;  8 hour  low I believe.  The batter that is drier cooks for about 4 hours and the moister bread might cook for one or two more depending.   You need to keep checking it.  The outsides will be harder to the touch, but they soften up after you wrap it when you store it.  When you touch the center it will be softer, but firm.  It will be a nice golden brown too.  Let it cool on a rack or a towel, and yummy bread awaits.

This bread doesn’t rise obviously, so the shape you form is the shape it will be in….

I really hope you enjoy this bread.  It may take a couple times to figure out your crock pot, but just don’t over cook it because I am telling you it WILL be hard as a brick.  HA!  It will smell so yummy when it is ready too.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!  This bread is not hard at all to make, it just takes waiting around!  😉  But the end product is SO worth it in my opinion!

Have a blessed day!

~ Dawn


Menu planning day and recipes! January 12, 2012

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — detailsbydawn @ 3:50 pm

Hi All….  LOTS of info in this post, but it is my first on menus and books, etc. I like to use!  Hope you enjoy and find it beneficial!!!

Well, today is the day I usually spend about 2 hours planning meals and making lists for my amazing husband who does the grocery shopping.  I usually end up making another trip to  during the week because I simply run out of produce.  I will take a picture of our “produce section” that hogs my kitchen , but it makes me giddy when he gets home!!  I know, kind of weird.  I have not always been like that, but that is for another post!!  The first thing I have to consider for my menu planning is our weekly schedule.  It can get crazy so I usually have to do one crock pot meal that will be ready when we walk in the door.  I always try to make sure the recipe is large enough for left overs.  So, when we have to be to church early on Wed. evenings, we can just heat them up.  So, the big meals come Monday and Tues.  Also, I am particular about lunches.  I like to make things about three times a week and then the other two we just wing it.  The kids like that also.  They get to pick what they want on those days. I save Thurs. dinner for something a little more creative and fun since we usually have a slow day.  Tonight we are making pizza from scratch.  The kids LOVE doing this and it is so easy!  Here is the crust recipeI am using, and loads of info here about sprouted grains and flours.  We have already done it and it is delicious!  When the kids get to do their own toppings and such, they love to eat it.  A lot of the time I order my flours in bulk from Amazon. We are Prime members (free shipping on these items) and most of the time I try to do “subscribe and save” since it saves you even more!  You can even stop the subscription after one order or change the frequency any time.  I just store the flour in the extra freezer until I am ready for it.  I don’t know what we did without our box freezer.  It has been key to buying things in bulk and saving the money.  We got it on Craigs List for just $100!!!   I also use Amazon Subscribe and Save for my Agave usually.  But, sometimes there are better deals out there.  However, with the Amazon Prime free shipping,  sometimes that evens it out.  You just have to really search!  I will post when I get a good deal if you all are interested!

I have to say I am addicted to Pinterest (feel free to follow me, because I love how it organizes all my thoughts and I can start keeping my recipes in one place rather than my bookmark folder that is hard to navigate through.  Here I can simply see photos of all the recipes and dig right in!!  My next goal would be to move them from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  When the board gets too big, that will have to happen.  😉

I have two cookbooks that are my “go to” cookbooks for my weekly menus (but I use several).  The one I cannot live without for my baking needs is “Baking with Agave”.  I will have another post on Agave, but for now, here is the book.  There are many great muffin/cookie recipes and other breakfast goods!  I use it at least once a week.  We do not eat boxed cereal hardly at all, so I am always looking for things I can make ahead and have left overs!  We eat A LOT of eggs around here as well.  I am always looking for new ways to incorporate them except your basic scramble, etc.  We eat veggies in them every time we scramble, so there goes a lot of our spinach supply amongst other things.  AND, one thing I CANNOT live without is my red, yellow and orange peppers.  It is my one “go to” veg that I can eat when I have a huge craving.  They are usually soooo sweet, crispy and juicy! DELISH, not to mention how good for you!!

SO, next weeks meal plan is :

Monday:  Lunch  Sprouted Grain quesadillas (I will post another about sprouted grains, but these are awesome and I always have them!  I get them at Whole foods);  Dinner  Crock Pot Pork Roast

Tues:  Lunch Broccoli White Bean Cheddar Soup (great for left overs too!)Dinner needs to be make ahead because of dance and gymnastics, so these will be perfect!  Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Wed:  Lunch we will wing it…  I have long workouts in the morning, so we will want to just come home and grab something.  Dinner will be left overs!  Love Wed.’s!!

Thurs:  Lunch Toasted Avocado and Hummus toasts (we will have a little extra time so they can help cut out the circles in bread and spread the ingredients on!!) I will use Ezekiel sprouted grain bread though.  Dinner  Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Meatballs (this recipe is from Deceptively Delicious, another book I cannot live without!!)

Friday:  wing lunch or left overs and dinner hopefully going out!  😉

Sat:  We usually wing this lunch or have left overs. Dinner  Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili (everyone loved this and I am craving it!)  Daddy usually takes the morning/lunchtime with the kiddos so I can have a break and work/workout/clean….SO helpful!!

Sunday:  After church, sometimes out to lunch, or something easy.  Dinner Daddy usually gives me the night off and puts something together.  Love my hubby!

WHEW…  love to have this part over.  This is so nice to see it all planned out in one place with recipes.  I am usually checking my list all the time and having to find my recipes.  Again, very therapeutic!  Hope you all enjoyed and hope you liked some of the recipes!!


Upcoming topics for the new blog… January 11, 2012

Filed under: Encouragement,Health and Fitness,Recipes,Scripture,Uncategorized — detailsbydawn @ 1:06 pm

Good morning all~

I thought I better post what was on my mind to blog about before I forget.  My memory isn’t what it used to be and if I don’t keep lists lying around, I am in trouble!  I have also researched a lot of things and I would love to share my findings so you do have to do all the research again and waist your time!  So here goes in random order:

1.  Scripture that moves me

2.  Recipes that keep us healthy

3.  Schedules that keep me sane ( or make me crazy!)

4.  Our homeschool plans and schedule for 3 kindergartners along with the successes and failures and hopefully ways to remedy them.

5.  Grocery lists and the meals I plan on making for the week

6.  Photos of recipes, that might be a bit more challenging, while in process

7.  My new found love of sprouted grains and beans and how they are SO much better for us

8.  Info I found about baking and eating with Agave rather than sugar

9.  My gadgets I might purchase to make life in the kitchen a little easier

10.  Ways to save money on products/groceries and share links to those

11.  My weight loss/ weight gain journey

12.  How the Lord works in my life to make it better!  I could not live without  him!

13.  Challenges of raising our three children at the ages of 4, 5 and 6.  Not to mention the fact that they are all adopted from China with their own needs.  (And so you all know, if you don’t already, as a side note they are all “Special Needs” children.  They were all cleft palate affected and two were also cleft lip affected.  Our son has one small eye as well that he cannot see out of, so I will be sharing that process here as well, and any other challenges we go through medically)

14.  How I am REALLY trying to keep the bodies (my own and my families) that God gave us healthy

15.  Share a little more about homeschooling and that stereotypes that come along with it!  Boy has it come a long way and I enjoy the one on one time with my kiddos, being the one to see their milestones in their school work, and the hugs I get (instead of their teacher) when the lightbulb comes on and they see something for the first time…. all these things I wouldn’t have been afforded if I sent them to full time school

I am certain there is SO much more but these are the things on my mind this morning in a nutshell.  I am really looking forward to starting my journey this year and really searching who I am supposed to be as a wife, mother and business owner, and who God wants me to be for him!  Thanks for joining me and have a blessed day!

~ Dawn



Hello world!

Filed under: Encouragement,Health and Fitness,Recipes,Scripture,Uncategorized — detailsbydawn @ 1:40 am

Like the post says, Hello World!!  This is officially my first entry of my new blog!  Here I hope to share my true self and start exploring my life and to hold myself accountable, “on paper”!  I look forward to sharing God’s inspiration, recipes I LOVE that I affectionately call “healthified” eats, my homeschooling adventures with three kindergartners….. that is a whole other post…. my health and fitness journey, etc!  I just plain ole want to keep a journal of all things in my life that I feel like taking control over and doing something about this year!  I want to get organized and de-clutter my home life, I want my business to take another direction, one less demanding;  I want to find the joy that I once had!  There I said it, my first keeping it real statement!  Life has swallowed me whole and has left me with little joy!  I hope this journal helps me map it out, figure out why, and rejuvenate it!!  SO, if you decide to stick around, I would love to hear your real responses!!  I am exhausted, so time for me to hit the hay, at 9:35, pitiful!  But I do have a long work out tomorrow, school to do with the kiddos, and need to be to church by 6:00, so lots to do.  Sweet dreams all, and many blessings!

~ Dawn