Monday, February 27, 2012

This & That

First, a funny story....

I went to the local Walmart recently to grab a couple items I can't get at the discount grocery I usually shop at.  My youngest, Joseph, has become quite unhappy about sitting in the cart while shopping.  But, in a large store like Walmart, I usually make him do it anyway.  Typically he'll fuss at first but then quiet down.

On this particular trip he kicked, fussed, and squirmed as I tried to put in him the seat.  I finally got him in & buckled the safety belt.  This is usually the point where he realizes his fussing is getting him no where & he gives up.  Not this time!  He flailed about, crying & fussing as we walked through the store.

I tried talking calmly & reassuringly to him..."You're fine Joseph.  We're going to do our shopping & then go home for lunch."  I tried distracting him.  "Here.  Would you like to hold this for mommy?"  Nothing was working.

A lady passed me early on and smiled at me.  Then, after about 10 minutes into the ruckus, I noticed the same lady walking over to us.  She smiled at me & then looked sternly (but not unkindly) at Joseph and said,

"I'm with the Noise Police.  And, you need to stop crying.  The other people don't want to hear you cry.  Your mommy doesn't want to hear you cry.  So you need to be mommy's helper & be quiet now."

Well!  Joseph looked at her stunned & the beauty of it was, he was quiet for the rest of the time!  Like I said, she wasn't unkind at all.  But, she ended up being quite helpful!.  I saw her again as we were heading to the checkout and I told her that her little talk with him worked, that he had settled down, & I thanked her.

Next, a couple thoughts on eating healthier...

We've been doing a few new things lately.  Since this past fall we've been drinking raw milk.  I've heard so much back and forth on the dangers vs. the benefits.  I decided to give it a try.  Here's my take on it....It's delicious.  We've had considerably fewer colds this season.  And, we've experienced no bad side effects.  So far, I'm pleased.

We also recently filled our freezer with some grass fed, hormone free, organic beef (some ground, roasts, steaks - about 1/4 side of beef).  And, I just researched & found some farms in the area that sell hormone free, organic chicken.  It's pricier for sure.  But, if we reduce the amount of meat we eat (a goal I'm working toward), then I feel like we can shell out a little extra for healthier meats.

And, a question for you other health concious folks.  Is there a health difference between unbleached & bleached flour?  I guess the most obvious difference is that unbleached flour wasn't bleached with chemicals.  I just don't know much else beyond that.  Any thoughts?

Finally, some recipes...

A group of us girlfriends have started getting together once a month for dinner.  And, rather than spend the money to go out to dinner we've been meeting at one friend's house & planning a themed meal where each of us brings a part of the meal.  This month we had a French food theme.  I made the appetizer and the dessert.  And, I was pleased with both, so I thought I'd share them here...

This is similar to how mine looked.  Except for the fancy design on top.
Brie en Croute
2 rounds puff pastry
wheel of Brie (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup fig jam
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds

Loosely place 1 round of pastry in a pie pan.  Place Brie on top.  Spread jam on cheese.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Place other round on top.  Roll edges to seal.  Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

(Note:  I actually only used one sheet of pastry & an 8 ounce wheel of brie.  I topped it with apricot jam.  You could really choose any flavor jam you prefer.  And, I simply folded the pastry sheet up & over the  cheese & sealed it at the top )

Raspberry Brioche Pudding
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 ounces (about 6 cups) brioche or challa, cut into 1 in. cubes
3/4 cup raspberry jam
whipped cream or ice cream (optional)
fresh raspberries (optional)

Generously butter the bottom and sides of  a slow cooker.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs & sugar until pale & foamy.  Beat in milk, cream, and vanilla.  Scatter bread cubes in slow cooker.  Pour milk mixture over break.  Dot the surface with jam.  Cover & cook on high for 3 hours or until center is set.  Serve warm with whipped cream & fresh raspberries.

(Note:  This was delicious & so easy to make!  When you first look at it in the slow cooker it doesn't necessarily look pretty.   But, I made home-made whipped cream to go with this.  I scooped the warm pudding into individual parfait glasses.  Then I topped it generously with the whipped cream & sprinkled it with berries.  THEN, it was pretty!  And, it was so good!  This got rave reviews!)


  1. Can you send that lady over to my area!? I need her. Noise police. Nice.

    Good for you for finding some healthy meat. I don't know the true reason to go for unbleached flour, I just do, bleached anything doesn't sound good to eat. It might just be to make your baked goods appear lighter? I'm not sure though. We are trying to eat less meat too. Even if I wasn't feeling like vegetarianism is an option for me, I would just because it is getting so expensive!!!

  2. That noise police story made me grin! Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Been meaning to tell you- you are so inspiring to me. I really need to lose the weight and I am so proud of you that you did.
    I feel like it seems like such a long road ahead.
    You are right about eating less meat.
    And you are so good about the lady.
    50% of me would of been upset and 50% of me would of been thankful- lol
    And I have totally done the shopping with the crying kid in the cart thing.
    A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.

  4. I love the story about the noise police! I need that lady to visit my walmart. :)

    Both bleached and unbleached flour are white flour so they're nutritionally about the same. If you're going to use one I'd go with unbleached (I try to) as it minimizes contact with chemicals. If you want to sneak in some whole wheat flour and trick the kids mix your white flour with whole wheat pastry flour. I've found it looks a little darker but the texture and taste are close to regular baked goods. This is especially helpful with chocolate cupcakes! I tricked my whole family!!!!

    We reduced our meat consumption (and have now gone vegetarian) and found we had quite a bit of extra money. That's a bit of a perk if you need some incentive to keep going! :)


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