Suburbanmomcooks’s Weblog

September 4, 2008

Demarle

Filed under: Demarle,food,garden,Recipes,Uncategorized — by CarrieK @ 5:01 am
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The kids are starting school and I’ve been re-organizing my house (really, I’m just making a bigger mess) and I’ve fallen behind on my blogging. I’m going to focus on my Demarle pages so my wonderful customers have access to more product information and recipes.

Go directly to my Demarle page…

Coming soon:

Updated Garden Page (the trees are down and the cement is up!)

Updated Canning and Preserving Page (apples! pears!)

August 12, 2008

Fleece on the Beach

Filed under: Demarle,garden,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 6:36 am
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We’re just back from a wonderful camping trip on the coast of Oregon. Two things one needs for a happy trip to the beach in Oregon, fleece and a kite. Thankfully we had both!

I have a HUGE to-do list:

Re-do all my links (finished with recipes, onto to my Demarle pages next…)

Work on my Cost page

Take “before” pictures of my yard for the Garden page…the tree guy will be here next week!

Start a Camping page to organize my outdoor kitchen and all our camping gear

I’ll be back tomorrow night!

August 1, 2008

Night out with the Girls

Filed under: Demarle,garden,organization,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 5:33 pm
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The kids are in bed, I finished my dinner and I indulged in a decadent piece of 73% dark chocolate with a nice glass of Merlot. Not a bad finish to the day. Time to blog…

Last night I went out with the Girls. I caught up with some “old” girls and met some new ones. What a lovely night! We ate (sushi, wonderful sushi), we drank (mojitos, margueritas, ahhhh margueritas!) and we talked. And talked. I could’ve talked all night. And still cried out for more….We talked about husbands, raw milk and yogurt, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, food allergies, husbands, medically altered women, foreign countries, kids…like I said, we had drinks.

The occasion (and it takes a big one to drag me away from dinner and bedtime with my monkeys) was that 2 of my friends are leaving. One to the UAE, and one to South Dakota and the world beyond. You will be missed dear friends. *sigh* I will live vicariously through you. Have lots of fun, have lots of adventures. Be safe.

Because I was trying to get out of the house in something nicer than jeans and a baseball cap and I needed to find a shirt without sticky fingerprints or food stains on it, I did a switcheroo on The Menu and made quesadillas and burritos for dinner. Quick, easy, nutritious.

Tonight I stayed home and made a WONDERFUL dinner. Pot of long grain brown rice, steamed green beans and a beautiful piece of salmon. Yum! I poached the salmon in my Flower Mold with the Octagonal Silpat on top. Lots of leftovers to keep us in food for a day or two.

Today I reorganized my pantry, a cupboard and my big shelf unit in the garage. I moved all my storage containers (bags, thermoses, jars) to the garage. I moved all the food into the house. I created one whole cupboard for my homemade jams and jellies. It is satisfying to reorganize. I had been procrastinating for weeks. I finally got some inspiration from Lunchinabox.net and Theperfectpantry.com. I’ll post some before and after shots of my pantry soon. It looks a little bare. I’m not panicky like last week, but I do need to address the whole “have food on hand for an emergency” thing. It’s Thursday, we have plenty of food in the house to get us through the week AND I have about $15 left in our weekly budget. Not bad huh? I was thinking today I should save it for our camping trip. I would like to indulge in s’mores and beer. Sounds like a camping trip to me!

Tonight I will be updating the Canning and Preserving Page and the Garden Page. Busy, Busy, Busy!

July 30, 2008

Catch Up (with Hot Dogs)

Filed under: budget,garden,grocery,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 5:06 am
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I’ve got some catching up to do. Here’s days 16-19.

I’ve been obsessing over the grocery list. With only one day to go until my next shopping trip, last Saturday I revised The Menu and triple checked The List.

I rode my bike to the grocery store Sunday morning. I stopped at the bookstore to pick up a gardening book, then headed over to not shop ’til I drop. I did my bit of shopping, (found some fabulous salmon on sale for just under $8 a pound! Bought some for next week too…) then sat down to have some lunch and look over my new gardening book. I rode home with great satisfaction that I had spent only half our weekly budget ($50.01 to be exact!) and I got it all home on my bike.

We’ve gotten to a slow start on our garden. We started taking down some trees and we are discussing how to get the cement up. I’ve designed our garden in the potager style; a kitchen garden that is an extension of your home. I am having a grand ‘ole time working on the design. I’ve been reading about heirloom vegetables, how to incorporate beneficial flowers and herbs, and how to grow espaliered fruit trees.

Let’s not forget, I’m not living on acres in a rural area, or in the city where I can grow stuff on my balcony or roof, I live in a very typical, average suburban neighborhood on a small lot. It’s an older neighborhood with lots of grown trees and too much shade. The soil here is mostly impacted clay. The only plants that survive here are rhododendrons, azealas, pines, doug firs, hostas and ferns. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Creative work, the best kind.

So, back to the task at hand…I’m supposed to be keeping track of how my menu is going. Saturday night we had broken lasagna in the Fluted Square Mold for dinner. Sunday night we had friends over so I splurged a bit (but didn’t count it towards my weekly budget)…we BBQed burgers and hot dogs. I served fresh picked raspberries, homemade guacamole with tortilla chips, beer and a rolled up angel food cake with raspberry syrup and whipped cream made on the Flexipat (so easy!!). It was delicious. I admit though, in my attempts to be frugal, I did not serve enough food. *how embarrassing!* Next time I will serve some potato salad or bean salad or salad…something!

Last night we had quesadillas with beans on the side. I mixed together a can of black beans, a can of refried beans (yes, organic) and some grated cheese (raw, organic jack) and served it on the side. Quick and easy and nutritional. The kids even ate it.

Tonight we had Breakfast for Dinner. Yum! A real favorite with my kids. L and C helped me make the biscuits on the Roul’pat, then we baked them on the Silpat, I made scrambled eggs and sausages too. Served it all up with homemade raspberry jam and fresh raspberries.

I seem to be doing fine with the Menu Plan. It’s somewhat flexible, allows me some creativity and keeps our grocery budget under control. So far, so good. A nice side effect of all this, we hardly have any garbage! For the second week in a row, I’ve put out a half empty garbage can. We recycle like crazy and I put all kitchen scraps in the compost pile. And still our garbage out put is shrinking like crazy. Yay!

July 17, 2008

Life in the Suburbs is under attack!

Filed under: Demarle,garden,grocery,Recipes,sustainability — by CarrieK @ 6:34 am
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Ok, here goes….my first blog. I have no idea what I am doing, so I’m just going to go for it. I am writing this blog to help me keep track of changes we are making in our lifestyle. Life in the Suburbs in under attack! With the mortgage crisis and high gas and food prices, life in the suburbs is becoming much more difficult. It’s one thing to dream about wide open spaces on a farm or easy access to everything living downtown, but life in the suburbs has it’s perks too. Our little slice of suburbia includes great neighbors, lots of kids, full grown trees, a 4th of July parade, easy walking and biking, sprinklers in summer, and very little traffic. We are walking or biking distance from 2 parks, 2 grocery stores, 2 books stores and Jamba Juice. It’s a nice life. But as it is, it’s not necessarily sustainable.

This blog is going to help me track progress on a new menu plan to help us save money, organize new recipes and help me plan our “Victory Garden. I want to keep track of how I use Demarle at Home baking/cooking products, and how it all fits together in a sustainable lifestyle. I think my journey towards healthy food, sustainable living in the suburbs and self sufficiency is worth sharing with other families living and struggling in suburbia. I hope this becomes a forum for exchanging ideas, information and resources.

I have been selling and using Demarle at Home Flexible Bakeware for over a year now. It has cut my time in the kitchen down, saved me time washing and helped me prepare healthier food for my family. Demarle’s flexipans are made of very high quality, food grade silicone. The thing that really sets the flexipan apart from other flexible, silicone bakeware is the woven glass. Sandwiched in between the silicone is woven glass. It’s brilliant because glass is a very good conductor of heat, so your food cooks very evenly. Because the outside is silicone, nothing sticks to it, not lasagna, not cake, nothing. You don’t need any spray, extra butter or flour in your flexipans. You plop the food right in and it slides right out.

Another big point for me is the reusability and safety of Demarle bakeware and cookware. There is no chemical transfer of any kind when you bake in a Demarle Fleixpan. It’s safer than nonstick or aluminum and easier to use. All the black flexipans have a lifetime warranty. You will not need to replace them. Can you say that about your current bakeware?

Most of the recipes I’ve been using in my Demarle Bakware are from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions. It’s a remarkable book with waaaaay toooooo much information about nutrition, the politics behind food and ways to prepare food in a more healthy and sustainable way. My favorite recipes to date are the waffles and pancakes (absolutely the best I’ve ever had), chicken stock(it was very hard to add the chicken feet the first couple of times….!), rice pilaf, Kombucha (Wow! I could drink this stuff all day and it’s so easy to make), cream cheese (yup, cream cheese, from whole, raw milk no less!) and crispy nuts. I’ve tried to start out slowly and make changes a few at a time. Each recipe has gotten easier over time; it’s really more of an attitude shift. I spend my time soaking grain, fermenting Kombucha, straining whey from milk instead of standing in line buying dead/processed foods, unwrapping it all and throwing half of it away. I don’t think I spend anymore time in the kitchen that I did before I started reading Nourishing Traditions. Using Demarle bakeware makes prepping and clean up easier. It’s a nice marriage: whole, real food cooked and prepared in reusable, safe bakeware.

My next step is a garden. We are going to cut down some sickly trees in our backyard in the hopes of bringing some sunlight into our very shady NW yard. I am going to reuse the cement chunks (it’s actually really beautiful aggregate) we pull up from around the sick tree to build the garden beds. I think we have room for about 3 beds measuring 4×10 or so. I want to have room for 2 blueberry bushes, some rasberry canes (from my neighbor) and some blackberry bushes (replanted “volunteers” left behind by the squirrels). I have been looking at a website called Squarefootgarden.com that teaches you how to divide up and plant in square foot areas. It discusses plant rotation and soil too. It’s the first website I’ve been to that explained things in a way that I could understand. Come fall, I should have some winter crops in the ground. I will miss frequenting the Farmer’s Market, but my priority is to get our grocery bill down. And I want my organic produce!! It’s all about self-sufficiency.

So, the bakeware, the food preparation and the garden are all my way of creating and maintaining a more sustainable lifestyle in the suburbs. That and being prepared for anything. It’s a nice feeling to be able to depend on yourself for food.

My future dreams include at least 2 laying hens, a booming garden with year round produce, and a group of like minded people to meet with, share ideas with and possibly barter with. I am creating a sustainable, suburban lifestyle.

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