Introduction to October Unprocessed and My Menu Plan

A few weeks ago, bits and pieces about a project called #Unprocessed filtered through my Twitter stream – my main source for all things hot and newsworthy – and seeing that they were mainly initiated by @eatingrules, or Andrew Wilder, I just had to follow up and see what the buzz was about.

I was glad I did. I came across Andrew’s challenge to his readers – to go a whole month without eating processed foods – and I was instantly motivated to take part. After signing my name to the pledge, I started clicking around some of the posts from October Unprocessed 2010 (yes, this is an annual event) and was fascinated by the guest posts, testimonials and stories that arose from the challenge.

I knew I had to share the #Unprocessed challenge with my readers. After all, I can’t have all the fun in October by myself now, can I?

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Weekend Links

Have a wonderful weekend!

Cooking School: How to Make Perfect Yorkshire Pudding

Contrary to what many people think, there is no actual ‘pudding’ in true Yorkshire Pudding.

I’m speaking of those delightful, airy baked morsels, know to some as ‘Popovers’, that are traditionally British and served up with a classic roast beef dinner. They originated in Yorkshire, England, but for me, surfaced during my childhood years at the frequent request of my British father.

My mother could never make enough ‘Yorkshire pudd’, as we shortened it to, and now as a mother myself, I’m often in the same dilemma. Roast beef, new potatoes, and vegetable sides all take a back seat when there’s a basket of Yorkshire pudding on the table. Noah can polish off five or six on his own.

Once, at age four, he produced giggles from our guests when he sat stationed with a Yorkshire pudding in each hand, took a bite of their softness and, with a heavenly glance, moaned “Thank you, Lord”.

Sufficiently to say, we’re keeping with British tradition in our house – well those of a puffy nature, anyway. [Read more…]

Let’s Bake an Apple Pie

Written by Diana of Spain in Iowa.

The temperatures are dropping and school has officially started.  This is my first time as a parent with a child at school and I have to admit, the first couple of weeks I was heartbroken.  I missed my little guy during the days and what made it worse, he was having a rough time being away as well.

Now that he’s adjusted and quite happy to be in kindergarten, I’ve been on the upswing. I have found myself with more time on my hands and, in this season, there is nothing more relaxing than baking an apple pie.

All photos by Diana Bauman

With my 3 year old at home, we’ve been able to turn up the music, dance and bake. There’s so much freedom and peace in listening to good music and playing in the kitchen.

What’s even more rewarding is that the older boys are happy to see what you’ve created after a long day of school and work. I’m starting to enjoy these school days and the season in which I have found myself.

So, with fresh local apples at every farmers’ market (or your neighbor’s tree) let’s have some fun. Let’s bake an apple pie!

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Eat Well, Spend Less: Five Ways With Lentils (Curried Lentil Soup)

This month for our Eat Well, Spend Less series we’re talking about emergency preparedness. We were hit fairly hard by Hurricane Irene recently and lost power for 18 hours; others fared much worse.

We were scrambling a little for things like flashlight batteries and warm blankets, but all in all, we didn’t suffer much during the outage. Still, it was a fair warning that we could -and should- be better prepared next time. While the Texas fires may not be warming our doorsteps, we never know what we might need to be prepared for. Certainly a few snow days are in my future, although I’ve got a few months before I have to worry about that!

We’ve talked about the benefit of a well-stocked pantry, but how much more valuable does it become during a crisis or natural disaster predicament? Suddenly those cans of lentils, tuna and beans are looking particularly fine, wouldn’t you say so?

Lentils are one of my favorite staples to have around – for main meals or sides – and today I’m going to show you why.

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