My new orchid - lovely. : )
It's Saturday morning and it's a lovely morning. We've been getting some timely rains so again, the flowers are beautiful and the grass is wonderfully green. As I type, all the windows are open to a much-needed cool breeze and a mourning dove is singing outside. The softness of the morning light is beginning to come in and all is quiet.
If asked if I'm a morning or night person, I would definitely have to say morning. I love everything about it. Although, last night, while the sun was going down, my husband and I went out for a neighborhood walk and that time of day was also nice - it was quiet, you could see the lights coming on in people's homes, the sky was pink-ish from the sunset. The only thing about night for me is that it's the end of a day whereas morning is a beginning. It's brand new - full of possibilities. : )
The week hasn't been a week of anything out of the ordinary (that's why I haven't had anything to really talk about). Just doing our daily work. So, today's post will probably be a bit shorter.
There are a couple of things that I wanted to share with you. The first is something that I've posted before, but I think is worth repeating. The importance of breakfast and the recipe for our homemade instant oatmeal packets.
Not a great photo, but you can see what I mean.
With our quest to eat healthier, these packets for breakfast really help in that area. They are so quick to put together and keep them in the kitchen by the stove so that in the morning, all I need to do is heat up the water, pour the packet in, stir, and a minute later - breakfast! Here is the recipe:
HOMEMADE INSTANT OATMEAL PACKETS
For each packet: (serves 2)
1 cup quick oats
4 tsp. powdered milk
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or 1 Tbsp if you prefer it less sweet)
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Add mix to 1 3/4 cups boiling water and cook for 1 minute. That's it!!!! I'm all for preparing things the night before to make everything just that much easier in the morning - so I put the pan on the stove along with the liquid measuring cup (for the water), a spoon for stirring, and the packet out on the counter before bed. That way everything is out and ready.
On the table you could set out any dried fruit that you might want to top it off with (remembering to also set the breakfast table in the evening so you won't have to do that in the morning).
Every ingredient in the oatmeal packet is good - there is debate over quick oats vs. old-fashioned but to me, oats are oats and oatmeal is an excellent food for nutrition. The powdered milk adds extra calcium, the brown sugar is still sugar, but we need a little sugar to get the morning energy, the flaxseed is another ingredient that is excellent for nutrition (good for digestion and lots of fiber), and lastly, the cinnamon not only adds flavor but has lots of healing properties. I love reading about the different pairing of foods for optimal nutrition, and I read that oatmeal and orange slices are to be served together so we do that too. : ) We've learned that instead of buying orange juice, it's best to just buy the oranges and juice them or eat the slices. I think it's a very good way to get the nutrition we need to begin our day.
I've also been making smoothies to go along with our oatmeal. I keep frozen fruit in the freezer at all times and we always have bananas and kefir and/or organic yogurt. So I throw a little of this and a little of that in the blender every morning - so yummy! : ) I hope you can give this a try. If you have children or grandchildren around they can certainly help you and I KNOW they will love the taste of everything. Help them to learn proper foods to eat and good nutrition that will carry them through the rest of their lives.
The next recipe is a raisin bread recipe that I am now making every Friday for the upcoming weekends. Our bread machine makes quick work of it, but yesterday I made the mistake of putting the setting on "dough" instead of "sweet bread" so I took the dough out after it was finished the first time, sprayed a loaf pan and put the dough in that, covered it and let it rise for an hour, popped it in a 350-degree oven and baked it for 35 minutes and it was perfect. So my mistake turned out well.
The reason I bake this every Friday for the weekend is because we do take a break from the oatmeal packets on the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, we toast our raisin bread and serve it with peanut butter and still make our smoothies. It just gives us a nice break - something a little different to make the weekend a little different. Here is the recipe if you'd like to try it:
CINNAMON RAISIN OATMEAL BREAD
In bread machine pan add (in this order):
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. softened butter
2 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup quick oats
2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp. instant dry yeast
1/2 cup raisins (at first I made the mistake of putting these in right away, but every bread machine has a timer that goes off telling you when to add the fruit and it turns out much better)
Select the "sweet bread" function (or dough like I did and just bake it in the traditional oven) and 1.5 lb. loaf. Press start. That's it!!!! This is very good - again, I hope you can give it a try. : )
I have been trying a couple of new recipes this past week that haven't exactly been a hit with my husband so I keep trying! I wasn't cooking unhealthy food before, but I'm now more aware of cholesterol levels along with sodium levels and trying to keep food in it's natural state as possible instead of the creamy casseroles (we'll see how far that goes once winter comes!). I wanted a summer of learning and am getting it with food preparation. : )
Speaking of learning - here are 4 more words from my Cranford book that I looked up and am sharing with you as well:
While having a couple of rain days this week, I was able to get to my "studio" (love that word) and work on a couple of things:
Anyone who quilts knows how long it takes to cut little tiny squares out - but I'm getting there!
Working on my August cookie-cover-of-the-month that will go into the Etsy shop soon. I don't have my shop listed in the sidebar of my blog, so if you'd like to go and check out what I have it's at HousetoHomeDesigns. : )
Well, I think that's about it for this day. I have my list of things that I want to accomplish (but it's okay if I don't get to it all). It's going to be cooler and less humid so that will be a motivator. I hope all of you enjoy the home that God has blessed you with and that you will be motivated to work in it and keep it a place that you, your family, and friends can enjoy.
Thanks for dropping in!