Friday, March 5, 2010

A Little of This and That

I've been sugar free for 2 weeks and 4 days now.  It's still going well.  For the first time in my 30-ahem years, I am learning to see food as nourishment instead of as reward, medication for boredom or to satisfy my insatiable need for sweets.  I might actually possess this thing called self-control which alluded me for so long.  I do miss chocolate.  A lot.  I wouldn't say I crave it, I just miss it.  Like I would an old friend I haven't seen in a long time.  That's kind of sad, isn't it?

I have no doubt that I will make it to Easter.  The big question will be, "What then?"  I am planning on partaking of sugar on Easter.  After that?  Do I save it for special occasions?  Can I do that?  Or, do I need to cut it back out and plan on living the rest of my life this way?  I could.  I really think I could.  It would certainly be a whole lot better for me.  I'd like to think that I'd be able to save sweets for special occasions only.  Maybe I can.  I guess I will just have to try it and see.  Can you tell I'm a bit undecided here?

Last week, I consolidated freezers.  A couple days later, I ransacked our pantry, organized the empty jars, made the full jars more visible and pitched the jars that have been there more than two years or had unsealed by accident.  No matter how good my intentions were to use up that Victorian Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce I made two years ago, it just did not happen.  That stuff was no good.  Not two years ago and most certainly not now.  Here is what the re-organized pantry looks like now.

Did you know I love ice cube trays even though I don't like ice in my water (that's all I drink)?  I do.  They're great.  They have so many more uses than to make ice cubes.  You know I use them for homemade baby food.  In addition, I freeze yogurt starter, pesto and those extra few tablespoons in the little can of tomato paste that would otherwise spoil in the fridge.

Clockwise from top: tomato paste, baby food (peas, brown rice and sweet potato), baby food (peaches and rice cereal), baby food (butternut squash, chicken and apples), baby food (carrots and potatoes), pesto, plain yogurt starter

These Sour Cream Pancakes were DIVINE.  I used Deb's recipe from Smitten Kitchen who got the recipe from Ree (The Pioneer Woman) who got the recipe from her husband's grandma.  I wished I would have thinned the batter out a bit with milk- mine was very thick.  If I had, I would've had a lot more pancakes.   A lot of these pancakes is a very good thing.

I made baked onions last week (recipe inspired, once again, by Cooking Light).  It was a first and they were excellent.  You leave the bottom intact, chop off the top 1/3 of the onion, peel it and set them in a baking dish with 1 cup of vegetable stock.  Bake and 400 degrees, covered for about an hour.  Uncover them, turn them over and top them with a feta/breadcrumb/dried thyme mixture and pop them back in the oven (uncovered) for another 15 minutes or so, watching to make sure they don't brown too much.  These were sweet and savory.  Who would have thought- baked onions?

One more thing I will mention.  This whole no-sugar thing (which you all may be completely tired of hearing about, I recognize) has inspired me to tackle something else I want to change.  For the remainder of Lent (and possibly forever) I am fasting from my computer on Sundays.  No email, no blogging, no Facebook until the kids are in bed.  I've found that it helps me set Sunday apart from the rest of the week in a way I had trouble doing in the past.  I've written before about my desire to do this here.

Taking charge of one area in my life has lead to courage to make other changes.  Look out, life.  Prepare to be shaken up a bit.  I'm feeling empowered. Pin It


  1. Ohhh what a pretty pantry!!! The pancakes look devine too. Kudos to you for kicking the sugar habit. How did you get over the first few days?

  2. Good job on no sugar!! WOW!! That is amazing...! And to think, I cried for a week about diet coke. What a ninny...! lol!

    I want your pantry...could you just ship it over to me?'re the best. :)

  3. I love ice cube trays too, used them to freeze baby food quite a bit when my kiddos were younger.

    So, you can use frozen plain yogurt as a starter in making yogurt? I didn't know that. I make soy yogurt for my oldest, and I didn't realize that, I thought that the plain yogurt always had to be "fresh". I'm going to try that!

  4. Have I ever told you how much I love your pantry? I think it was one of the first things I saw on your blog about a year ago. And so many good ideas for the ice cube trays! I never thought of saving that last bit of tomato paste - it always bothered me to throw it out, but I new it would go bad just sitting in the refrigerator until I needed some again.

    I had planned on making pancakes this AM; now I'm trying this recipe since I already have Ree's cookbook. Thanks for the heads up on it.

  5. Another great taste is to peel a Vadalia onion (the bigger, the better) but leave the root end attached. Scoop out some of the middle (same as filling a baked apple). Pour one packet of beef bouillon (I use the low sodium one) into the onion and top it off with a pat of butter. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake (or grill) for about an hour at 350 degrees. Ta-da...tastes like onion soup but so much easier!

  6. Kathy, The first few days weren't as hard as I thought they would be. I just had to re-think what I would eat for snacks. Making sure there was little to no sweets in the house helped, too.

    Heather, I buy a large container of plain yogurt for starter and freeze it in ice cube trays. As I need more starter, I thaw out as many as I need (even microwaving it a few seconds doesn't harm it if you forget to thaw it). It works great and I don't have to ever worry about starter going bad in the fridge before I can use it:-).

  7. Okay, I'm back. Those were the BEST pancakes I've had. Seriously. I could crave those things. Problem is... it only made 11 small ones and I wasn't paying attention and I burned 4! Must make these again soon - and double it!

  8. I have a confession. For breakfast the other day I ate a cinnamon bun, waffles with syrup, and coffee with creamer. I physically felt awful after all the sugar first thing. I immediately thought of you and knew you weren't feeling that way :)

  9. Hey!

    Since it's a "this and that" post today, I'll comment on that 5-minute bread recipe you either posted or linked to at some point. It ROCKS! Love it. I am in process of baking my 3rd loaf of it, and just made the 2nd batch to keep in the fridge! The one change I made to it is to brush it with an egg-white wash before baking - it really improves the texture of the crust - crunchy, but also chewy!! Yum.

    And I will need to check out these pancakes - love pancakes. Don't need to eat so many, but love them!!


  10. Keep the life withut sugar posts coming! I'm on day five! Can you believe it?! Without God's help, I could NEVER have done it!

  11. I'm not sick of you talking about your sugar-free diet! Of course, I just found your blog last week, and I also just went sugar-free about 2 weeks ago. And I homeschool my kids, too, so I am finding your blog to be a wealth of useful information (plus, it's funny!). I think it might have to be a lifestyle thing for me, too. I think when it is an addiction (mine was for sure), you have to tread very carefully. A recovering druggie would never have "just a little bit of crack". Of course, we do have the power of the living God inside of us, so that helps! ;o) Anyway, thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  12. I have been off of sugar for 2 weeks as well...OK, I did cheat this past Wednesday at Bunco. I immediately got a raging headache and it lasted the rest of the day! I think my body was trying to tell me something! Good luck, WE CAN DO THIS!!

  13. I use my small ice cream scoop (the one I use for cookie dough) to scoop out the tomato paste onto a plate. I freeze it until hard, and then pop them into a container for the freezer. Just my twist on the ice cube tray idea. (I use the trays for juice and broth/stock.)

  14. Hello! I'm a new reader and a fellow Menno from Lancaster Co. We homeschool and garden in the suburbs and hope to move further out, soon. Your pictures of the Rod and Staff preschool books caught my eye. My 9 and 11 year old loved those when they were small. I loved the gentle, home-based illustrations.


  15. Someone commented on a "5 minute bread" recipe, could you please send me the link to that recipe? Thanks! Yummy baked corn last night, by the way. :-)

  16. Menno Jeweler, Here's the post where I talk about 5-Minute Bread...

  17. I remember when I stopped eating chocolate. It was so difficult. That was about a year ago. From time to time I'll still buy some, but more often than not it remains unopened in the refrigerator until I throw it out. Then there are the times I still take a bite - it doesn't taste as good as it used to. I do miss that satisfying, savoring "feeling" when the chocolate melts in your mouth - but I don't get that any longer. Your description of missing an old friend fits.

  18. I am so jealous of your pantry. It's wonderful.


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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