Monday, April 26, 2010

PUR Faucet Filter Giveaway Link

We have a PUR pitcher to filter our water, but I would love to have a faucet filter since the pitcher is always empty when I want to use it!  I guess that means we forget to fill it, right?  Well, anyway.  When I mix up powdered drinks in my 2-qt pitcher, there's not enough water in the filtered pitcher to fill it, so I either have to wait to filter more or mix in some non-filtered water.
However, every time I look at faucet filters, they're pricey, and I'm never sure if they'll be so in-the-way that it will drive me nuts.  As a result, I've never taken the plunge.  When I saw Clair's post and the opportunity to possibly win one, I knew I had to enter.  And I got extra entries for posting this :)  Feel free to enter here, and if you win and don't want it, you can pass it on to me.  Haha.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Look, Gram! It's your pot!

In the last post, I briefly mentioned an unexpected "produce delivery": basically, our Pastor got a call from someone who literally had a truckload of produce to donate.  While this isn't a common occurrence, similar things have happened before, so he did what he always does -- call everyone in our small congregation, several friends, some folks he's met in the community and is reaching out to, and his neighbors, and then have everyone over to "shop" from his driveway.  I ended up with 3 heads of Iceberg lettuce, a 10lb bag of potatoes, 11 small-ish apples, a 1lb bag of kale, and a few handfuls of key limes.
Adding that to Thursday's normal delivery, I've been able bit creative and "adventurous" this week, due to all the produce that came flooding in our doors!  I was excited about the free kale, because I hadn't heard of it until recently and was hesitant to try it, but have had several friends lately say how much they love it.
Wednesday I made Chamberlayne Chicken and Kale Stew, posted by a friend of mine.  I made a few adjustments (like no chicken, and all chicken broth instead of some veggie, as well as less pepper), but it was yummy.  We both decided that, while kale is not our new favorite veggie, it's good for you and certainly doesn't taste bad, so we'd eat it :)
Friday, since I get off work early, I really spent good time in the kitchen and made a batch of applesauce with the apples.  I got the recipe from the book I had just treated myself to: Food to Live By by Myra Goodman (the used copy cost me $4.99, shipping included!)  She's got an affinity for raspberries, but I adjusted it since I didn't have any of those on hand.  The first batch I made was just apples.  When my hubby tried to eat the whole batch in one sitting, I knew I should use the other 1/2 of the apples to make more!  This time, I replaced Myra's raspberries with 1 cup of chopped strawberries.  Yumm!  I can't even tell you how amazing this stuff is :)
apples before cooking, and the finished strawberry applesauce.  nothin' but fruit and sugar.  wow.

While I was chillin' in the kitchen (and avoiding the TV for TV Turnoff Week), I figured I'd try another way to incorporate the kale.  Dear Vonda over Absolute Organics kindly sent me several recipes, one of which hit close to home: Kale and Potato Spanish Tortilla.  I had potatoes, kale, eggs (thanks to my co-worker and her chickens) and salt, so I was good to go.  The only hesitation: how would the hubby react when he saw green in the legendary spanish tortilla?
Thankfully, though it seemed to take forever, it was the best of the 5 tortilla attempts I've had in my life, and we both loved it.  I think he was so glad to have a yummy tortilla for dinner that he didn't even complain about the green.  And honestly, the kale didn't seem to change the flavor much either.  Maybe the kale will become standard in my tortillas - adding a few extra antioxidants and vitamins to the otherwise protein-and-starch-heavy meal.

So there you have them - this week's kitchen experiments with fresh produce.  They all were pretty good, and clearly it was an inexpensive week, grocery-wise, so I'm doubly happy.  

Eating produce... Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yeah for organic strawberries!

I have been waiting for this day since I signed up for Absolute Organics a few months ago - the berries have arrived!  Since finding out that strawberries are in the "dirty dozen" due to high amounts of pesticide residue, I cringe just a little every time I bite into one that's not organic... yet I love them!  So I was thrilled to find that they were going to show up in my box today.  A whole pound!  Yippee!  The Lord unexpectedly provided a few handfuls of non-organic key limes (as well as potatoes, kale, apples and lettuce) this week, so this batch of strawbs may end up in a Strawberry Key Lime Pie that I found a recipe for.
While on the topic of organic strawberries, want to see my sprouts?  I thought you would!
If you look very closely you can see one little sprout with 2 little leaves!  Unless my pots got mixed up, those are strawberry leaves!  They took 3 weeks and 1 day to sprout, and they are now about 11 days old.  Whether I'll actually get any strawberries out of them I have no earthly idea (haha... no pun intended), but it's a fun experiment anyway!  I have pretty much given up hope on the bell pepper seeds that were planted at the same time and have yet to show any signs of sprouting, but we shall see.  Perhaps more patience is needed.  Goodness knows if the Lord gave up on me after looking for evidence of change after only 4.5 weeks, I would be in a sad place!

P.S.  Thanks to Vonda and Steve for the free pineapple in honor of AO's 5th birthday... may they continue sharing organic goodness for many more years!

Soli Deo Gloria

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"New" Curtains

My parents just sold their house here in CLT, after having it on the marker for 8 months or so, as they're in the process of moving to Orlando, FL.  They got a contract 2 or 3 weeks ago, and they’ll be closing in mid-May.  The whole family spent a 3-day weekend in ORL over Easter, so we got to see some of the houses they were looking at (I think they put an offer on one this week, so we’ll see what happens) and overall just got to scope out their new stomping grounds.  
One of the added benefits of them selling the house is that I got some "new" (i.e. repurposed) curtains from my room at their house.  Conveniently enough, they match in my bedroom here, so now that the house is sold, Isaac and I got them and hung them this week.

Master bedroom

Extra room

Guest room

The guest curtains were hanging already, but had been hung too high up, so while we had out the tools to hang curtain rods, Isaac went ahead and lowered these so they look better :)

Hanging curtains... Soli Deo Gloria.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Seventh Generation Giveaway Link

In my desire to become more conscious of how I spend my money - and lately, of the health factor of my food and environment - I've been reading several blogs on a regular basis over the last year.  One of the ones that I discovered more recently is The Suburban Jungle.
She's got a Giveaway going on that I like... Seventh Generation Disinfecting Kit!  I've tried several of the Seventh Generation cleaning products, and really like them.  And when I can get them on sale and/or with a coupon, the prices aren't bad either!  Anything that will help me save money AND have fewer potentially negative effects on my health is a double-plus for me, so this kit would be perfect.  Head on over and enter by commenting on her post, here.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

AO is back :)

Since we were out of town for Easter weekend, and have been a bit behind in consuming our bi-weekly produce, I opted to skip last week and start back this week.  Despite the fact that I still haven't used the red potatoes they brought me 3 weeks ago (yes, they've started to sprout, but I don't mind), I was excited for my next delivery.  And since I'm home on Spring Break this week, I actually got to meet the kind gentlemen who brought it to me :)
Above you can see the following bits of organic goodness:
  • 5 Navel oranges 
  • 5 Fuji apples
  • 3 Bartlett pears
  • 3 HUGE Russet potatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • approx 6 Rainbow carrots (which is where a lot of the leafy green comes from - they said to cut that off for better storage)
The varied colors of carrots might require an explanation for my somewhat skeptical hubby, but thankfully a snazzy article was posted to the Absolute Organics Facebook page not too long ago, which you can read here.  And the zucchini is already slated for dinner tonight with the red potatoes, as suggested in this Rosemary Red Potatoes recipe.
That is, if I can pick out the zucchini from the cukes...

Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, April 01, 2010


One of the most frugal things I have ever done, whether I realized it or not, is to marry my sweet husband.  While I love my Daddy dearly, he is seriously lacking in some handyman skills, which means he gets stuck hiring out a bunch of stuff that I don't have to pay for, because my husband can do it!  In the last year, he installed ceiling fans/lights in both of our extra bedrooms.  Granted, my Dad maybe could have done that, but he could never have figured out how to run the wires such that the switch (which originally operated a randomly-placed outlet) actually works the new fixture!  Yahoo!  Here are a few pics of the most recent installation - in the guest bedroom.
Hubby did the hard stuff.

My job was to attach the fan blades to the arms.

Finish product in action!

Installing ceiling fans... Soli Deo Gloria.