Friday, October 26, 2012

Simple Living :: 5 Staples in My Pantry/Fridge by Stacy

I’m in the process of getting back to blogging, so recently I took a look at a post I was tagged in several years ago for my top 5 items in my pantry or fridge.  My items are a little different from a few years ago.   But isn’t that something you can always count on – change?  One thing that I’ve been slowly working towards in my family’s eating life-style is the goal “easily digestible.”  We have not turned our eating upside down with this, but it’s at the forefront of our mind when making food choices.  The kids can even tell others what processed food is....and were happy to let a family member know that their cheese was “fake!”  Here’s to hoping we don’t turn into food snobs, but take time along our journey to encourage others to think about what they’re putting in their body.

Mom’s Best Naturals Quick Oats - $1.95 for about 11 servings

This is our go-to breakfast for Sunday morning.  These are the best oats ever.  “Why?” you might ask.  Well, because the oats are small; almost as if they’ve been ground a bit.  I also use these in a recipe for high-protein pancakes – my family loves these! (See recipe below.) 

Del Monte Fruit Salad - $2.00 for 1 lb 16 oz (Wal-mart) 

The best deal for your money is to buy the bulk size, but since it’s on a different isle, I don’t always remember.  I’ve been making fruit salad for years thanks to my Auntie.  With this canned salad, I take out the squishy-green-gross grapes and replace them with firm red seedless. They make the salad oh-so-pretty.  Sometimes I add extra maraschino cherries.  And when we have pecan pieces, I add a handful of those.  This makes a great dessert and is definitely my go-to when we’ve run out of fresh fruit right before pay day!

Tilamook cheese – I prefer the 2.5 lb.  extra sharp cheddar at Sam’s for $9.98. 
At our Wal-mart, we can get 2 lb. of mild cheddar for the same price.  These cheeses are aged, and therefore easier to digest.  The longer a cheese is aged, the harder the texture becomes and the less lactose remains.  I use to buy whatever was on sale, shredded, and sometimes still do (Super 1 had a great deal last month - $10 for 4 lbs. – couldn’t beat that!).  Because this is a higher-quality cheese, you need less (although may not want less) when you use it.  It shreds up well and can be sliced for sandwiches. Now, if I could only keep my 8 year old son out of boys know this is “real” cheese.

Avocado and Almonds – previously these were a luxury, but now they are a staple! 
Unless they are on sale, the best buy for avocado is at Sam’s for about 5 of them for less than $4 (although I’ve been recently seeing them packaged together at Wal-mart).   My almond purchase varies, but these are great with cut up apple (my husband’s favorite snack).  I don’t have a go-to brand for almonds, although when at our local health food store I buy the NOW brand.  I’ve come across some cinnamon coated (without sugar) almonds and they are too good to keep in the house!

Goat’s Milk – I haven’t done the research (but others have) and goat’s milk is great for kids. 
We’ve been purchasing goat’s milk from a local goat farm for about the past year.  I’m not sure what we like better – drinking the goat’s milk, or seeing the goats when we go to the farm!  They also have a Llama, chickens, peacocks, turkeys…yep, we’ll keep going back!

So, what’s in your pantry or fridge that is a must have?  Tell us about it!


Extra Protein Pancakes

1 c. oats

1 c. cottage cheese

2 eggs

2 t. sugar

1 t. vanilla

1 t. cinnamon

I run my cottage cheese through the blender because I don’t like it chunky, so the last few times I’ve just put all the ingredients in the blender to make it easier.  I cook these up in a non-stick pan with canola oil spray, waiting till I see the edges firm before flipping.  We use NOW Maple Syrup and the family gobbles them up!  Easy to reheat in a toaster oven if you have any left-over (so you might want to make 2 batches if this is your desire).  One batch makes about six to seven 3” pancakes.  This may not sound like a lot, but they are filling.  My kids eat ½ the amount compared to my regular homemade pancake mix.

Stacy has been married to her best friend for 18 years and is mothering two fabulously active boys. She is intent on maintaining her sanity while homeschooling her boys, so they spend lots of time outdoors.  Their newest family fun has been taking down the old fort/swing set to be replaced by a large fire pit and picnic table to enjoy during the fall and winter.  Currently she is writing bible studies and teaching in a new women’s ministry at her church, Generation M, “women living the legacy of Christ.”  In her spare time, she enjoys reading fiction and has recently happened upon “Downton Abbey.”  You can find her revamping her blog at Against All Hurry:  achieving leisure one day at a time.  




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