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Meal Plans Week of 12-11-11

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Good morning. Another chilly Sunday in Michigan here. We finally got a little snow by us. I can’t say I’m excited. I’m not a cold weather person at all. But it does make it seem more like Christmas. Rebecca sure is excited 🙂  Christmas preparations are well under way. I’m done with my shopping now. And I’ve started addressing cards. There is still plenty to be done, though. Last week was quite busy. I ended up doing more shopping than I had expected. Yesterday alone we got our tree, stopped by my grandparents, went grocery shopping, went to the orchard and went to the mall. It was busy, but it’ll be nice this week not having to go to quite so many places.

The kitchen was busy with our usual weekly dairy products and some homemade Christmas goodies. I can’t say yet what all we made 😉  I did make my 2nd attempt at butter…another flop 🙁  I even used just the cream from the very top of the milk jars. I’m wondering if the fat content in our milk just isn’t high enough. If that’s the case I’m pretty bummed. Not so much for the butter, but for the health aspect. Oh well. Maybe someday we’ll be able to go back to our other cow share. That was the richest milk I’ve ever had. There was definitely never a shortage of cream from that. This time I cultured the butter flop. So it was kind of a whipped sour cream. And I used it to make a batch of ice cream for myself 🙂  I also made mayo, cherry muffins, lots of roasted beets and a meal for my grandparents.

I have a lot on my agenda for this week inbetween running here and there. Today is church. Tonight is our Christmas program. Rebecca will be singing a couple songs, and my parents will be there. Rebecca is so excited to wear her new dress today 🙂  She picked it out. Not exactly the dress I would have chosen, but she loves it. Monday is milk pick up. Tuesday is Kindermusik. It’s hard to believe that it’s our last class of the semester! We’ll miss it, but I am really looking forward to a break. We’ll have our Tuesdays free for a little while now. Next semester doesn’t start until the end of January. Wednesday we have to go to the pediatrician for a shot for Abram. Then he gets a 2 month break before his next visit. Justin also has worship team. Friday is MOPS. Saturday we might do a family outing. We don’t have things totally planned yet.

In the kitchen I want to get a lot done. I’ve been gradually using up our freezer supply of baked goods. Now the freezer is starting to look bare. That hasn’t happened in a long time. It means it’s time to start baking! Fun. I at least want to make breakfast cookies. I’m not totally sure what else yet. We might do our Christmas cookies this week. I’d also like to make “gingerbread” houses with Rebecca (using graham crackers, not gingerbread). I’ll do my usual dairy products. And possibly some pesto. Since we’re doing the letter N this week I thought I’d try doing some New meals this week. So be on the lookout for new recipes this week. I’m also doing Nuts. I stocked up yesterday since we’re almost out. They are all soaking now.

There is also a lot of Christmas prep to get done. I need to start planning my Christmas menus (going to two parties and hosting one), wrap presents, finish Christmas cards and embroider Abram’s stocking. I also need to work on more homemade gifts and possibly some baking for our parties.

Now time for my update. Thankfully it’s more positive than last week’s. Most of the week was still rough. But yesterday and so far today have been a bit better. My appetite is returning. I have more energy. I’m so thankful for that. So, what changed? I actually changed quite a few things in the past few days. Which means it’s impossible to know how each particular thing helped. I was able to get more beets. So I’ve been eating those daily. I got more good lemon juice. So back to my wonderful lemon water. My magnesium supplement came a couple days ago. I started taking that yesterday. I can’t say how it’s impacting me so far. It’s also hard to know how much to take. The dosage is 400 mg. But from what I’ve read when you are magnesium deficient you should take more like 1000 – 1200 mg a day to get back on track. I’ll start with the 400 and see how it goes. I may have to look into a 2nd supplement to increase my intake. The supplement I’m taking now is hard to take. It’s a liquid. It’s basically like drinking strong salty, minerally water. I mix it in juice to help, but there is no masking that taste 😛  I have also been eating lots of salads, raw foods and veggies this week. My meat and animal fat intake has been down. I don’t like that, but it does give my tummy a little break since I have a hard time digesting it. I’ll try to bump it back up gradually. I’ve been keeping my fat intake up with EVOO, coconut oil, egg yolks and sour cream. The other thing I did the last couple days was add more coconut oil back into my diet. For a while I was drinking smoothies daily that contained lots of coconut oil. Then the last few weeks I haven’t been making them. I got kind of burned out on smoothies. So I took a break. Which is fine. But then I didn’t get much coconut oil in my diet. So the last 2 days I had smoothies again and have been making a point of trying to eat a couple Tbsp. of coconut oil a day. I personally can’t eat it plain. But I like it in/on a lot of things. I mixed some into my custard this morning. Lots of little changes that add up to me feeling a bit better. And hopefully I’m past whatever I was going through. Maybe it was more die off. Maybe it was the lack of coconut oil. Maybe it was too much animal fat/meat. Maybe it was lack of magnesium. Maybe it was too much stress. My guess is it’s a little bit of everything combined. I also was having lots of sugar/starch cravings. And taking too many little tastes of sweet things. I was just having a hard time staying focused and doing what I knew I should. I feel like my gut flora somehow got way out of whack. I can just tell by my digestion and how I’m feeling. Not sure if I need to bump up my probiotic or just be very cautious with anything sweet (even fruit and honey). Hopefully this week I can get back on track. I’m too busy to not feel well 😛

On to a new week. Hopefully it’s a better one. Here’s what’s on the menu.
S (freeze butter, soak nuts, church, prep dinner, Christmas program, soak flour)
  L – leftover pasta bake, garlic bread, broccoli (Justin), salad (me)
  D – (cp) – gumbo

M (dry nuts, make breakfast cookies, milk)
  D – ham, scalloped potatoes, beans

T (skim cream, make yogurt, make sour cream, make kefir, bake squash, KM)
  D – croque madame, squash

W (Christmas cards, embroider stocking, prep breakfast, Dr. S.)
  D – cp pork and beans, peas squash soup

Th (make cookie dough, make and decorate Christmas cookies)
  D – BLT spaghetti (Justin going out for dinner w/ work? then different menu) – salad or leftover soup (me), Justin (out to eat)

F (clean, MOPS, make butter)
  D – bacon wrapped dates, scrambled eggs w/ bacon, bacon popcorn, peas

S (laundry, family outing, make gifts, wrap presents, Christmas lights?)
  D – pan fried pork chops, roasted squash chunks, cauliflower w/ cheese


  1. Sara says:

    I’m finally reading your blog… its been weeks! Although I don’t have time to get through the older posts… I’ll have to visit again later.

    So glad you are feeling better, Mary! I’m sure you are, as well!!

    Mmm… I love croque madames! Yum!

    Saturday is a very bacon day. 🙂

  2. Sara says:

    Forgot to say…

    What a bummer about the butter flop again. Did you try turning the speed up on high for awhile? Sometimes if I skim a little milk into my cream on accident, I have to turn the speed up. But its always worked… so strange.

  3. Sara says:

    Just had another thought… I wonder if you are skimming your cream too soon, therefore it could still have too much milk in it. I just noticed you skim your cream the day after you get your milk. I never skim our cream the next day… its just not thick enough yet. Anyway, its just a thought.

  4. The Voogts says:

    I had the mixer as high as it will go. After about 25 minutes of whipping I gave up again. I thought it might work this time. It actually turned into whipped cream well, then started to deflate a little. But that’s where it stayed.

    I usually figure almost 24 hours is enough time to let the milk set before you skim cream. That’s what I always did with our other milk and we had plenty of awesome cream. Maybe I’ll let a couple jars sit another day this week and see what happens. Can’t hurt.

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