Letting go - by category

If you have read (or read about) “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo, you will be familiar with one of her most important rules for eventually having less stuff, and being happy about it. That is: you must consider all of your belongings by category, all together at once. That means you gather ALL of your belongings in a given category from everywhere inside (and sometimes outside) your home, and put them in one spot (such as the bedroom or living room floor). Then you hand...

Getting ready to clear out the clutter

Preparing myself for a life-changing house-wide purge, armed with the bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", I found that my biggest hurdle before actually parting with things was figuring out where they were all going to go. I can’t bear to just throw things away that could be useful (hence all the clutter in my house), so I needed to map this out first of all. Following is the 'cleaning out plan’ that I came up with (with a great deal of help from friend and professiona...

Why I am choosing to have less stuff

Some people are wired to be savers. I know I am. So naturally, I have struggled with too-much-stuff ever since I started having to clean my own room. Of course, I did not know what the problem was. I just knew that the prospect of cleaning my room was overwhelming and best to be absolutely avoided, because there was no good place to put it all. I have romanticized my tendency to pack-rat-ism, tried to accept it, sunk in despair, etc., but I know that is all avoidance. In reality, all that stu...

Chocolate Buttermilk Sourdough Cake

This moist and delicious cake is great plain, but an excellent excuse for frosting as well. My top recommendation is the secretly healthy/paleo/vegan chocolate avocado icing (which also doubles as an amazing chocolate mousse - you should try this) detailed below, or you could make a buttercream or coconut cream icing. I have been speculating about whether I could cream together honey, butter and shredded coconut to make a frosting. Ideas welcome! This recipe is based on the Basic Chocolate C...

Processed food challenge, part 2 (going shopping)

I keep trying to write this post, and get lost in it. This is partly because there is so much to say, and partly because my own understanding and strategies continue to evolve. So, what I am trying to offer here is a general but still useful overview, to follow up my previous “Processed food challenge" post. Are you trying to cut processed foods out of your grocery list? It is not going to be easy at first. It’s like going to a new grocery store and learning the layout, only worse. Give your...

Sourdough Rosemary Crackers

Does it seem like craziness to make your own crackers? These crackers are easy and very tasty, and a great way to use excess sourdough starter. They are also a good excuse to make bacon (don’t burn it!) or discover lard. This recipe is based on the Sourdough Bacon Rosemary Crackers recipe from Cultures for Health. Ingredients: 1½ cups fresh sourdough starter ¾ teaspoon or so sea salt, plus more to sprinkle on top 1 tablespoon or so rosemary, either fresh and finely chopped, or dried and r...

Bone Broth with beef, pork or lamb

It is high time I posted instructions for making broth with beef, pork and lamb bones! In the meantime, I hope that you have tried making broth with chicken bones. Once again, I must quote Katie at Kitchen Stewardship: “Bone broth is one of the best foods you can feed your body and...it is hands down the easiest nourishing food to make in your kitchen." Step 1: Get some bones. Buy, cook, and eat some nice steaks or chops (or whatever) with bones in them. Then save every scrap (especially j...

Sourdough Waffles

This recipe is based on a very nice recipe on the Cultures for Health site. It is an easy and satisfying way to use your sourdough starter. These waffles are moist, tasty, a little bit tangy, and great for breakfast or lunch (as sandwich bread!) or an anytime snack. Freeze the extras, and then toast whenever you want one. I have a "defrost" button on my toaster, which is very handy. Ingredients/preparation: Preheat waffle maker. In a mixing bowl, combine: 2 cups sourdough starter 1 tables...

Sourdough Coffee Cake

This recipe is adapted from the Sourdough King Cake recipe on the Sourdough Home site. If you don’t make it too sweet, it is lovely and satisfying for breakfast. Consider doubling the recipe and putting half the dough in the freezer after rising. I found the dough even silkier and easier to work with after freezing and thawing. Ingredients: 2 tablespoons butter 8 oz sour cream 3 tablespoons or 1.5 oz sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 ice cube 3/8 cup or 3 oz active sourdough starter 1 egg 3 scant c...

Roasting Vegetables

Nothing beats roasting for vegetables, in my book. My husband, who basically hates vegetables, totally agrees with me on this. Over time, my vegetable-roasting repertoire has expanded to include things I never imagined back when I was still intimidated by my oven. Now I am here to tell you: you’ve gotta try it! If you saw my kale post, you know we love roasted sweet potatoes, and hopefully you gave it a try. I use basically the same method with everything: wash it, cut it, toss with olive oi...