Cook Along With me….

After settling in, in our hotel and then our corporate housing I am just itching to get in the kitchen!  We have been eating out nearly all meals everyday, since my husband’s company is paying for our food and we have no kitchen we have had little choice in how we eat.  Though we have been frequenting the local health food store and I plan to get to an Amish market to get some local produce, beyond that, I really miss cooking! 

In effort to save money, eat more healthy, and get organized I devised a cooking system that I hope will be really streamlined and easy for our busy family. 

It works like this:

Make a menu for all meals (breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks) for 15 days.  Each meal that get’s made is made double so you total 30 meals each eaten twice.

Then make the menu, list the ALL ingredients for each meal, print and shop.  Then when you arrive home, plan an entire month of menus.  To avoid leftover boredom, you cook one meal and double it. You then box up the leftovers and freeze them.  When your menu calendar repeats itself you simply pull out the meal from the freezer and cook.  It simply, is that simple. 

I had this idea floating around in my head for awhile, so I’m exited to try it out!

(what are you cooking up for the month? How do you meal plan?)

My list is below:

Supper’s x2

Lasagna and Garlic Bread

Mixed vegetable curry with dhal and pita bread

Burritos with refried beans and cheese

Black bean and corn burritos

Quesadillas with refried beans and cheese

Greek style burritos with navy beans, feta and peaches

Vegetarian chili with green chili cornbread and cinnamon

Tofu stir fry over basmati rice

Adzuki bean cakes over basmati rice

Red beans and Rice

Ish Dish

Home made veggie pizza

Home made pasta mushroom stroganoff and bread

Veggie Egg bake

Smokey mac and cheese


PB&J with fruit and cheese slices


Pasta with sauce

Pita & Hummus with fruit


Steel cut oats with cinnamon, brown sugar and fruit

Oatmeal with fruit, nuts and maple syrup

Grits with butter and honey or syrup

7-grain hot cereal

Homemade bread (toast) with butter and jam

Homemade yogurt or Kefir with fruit

Banana bread/zucchini chocolate bread






Kefir water



Bread and butter


homemade crackers


Grocery List:


  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Yam
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Tomato
  • Green Peppers
  • Celery
  • Snap peas
  • Scallions
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu (extra firm)
  • Peaches
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini/bananas


  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Adzuki beans
  • Navy beans
  • Red Beans
  • Lentils
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Pasta noodles (macaroni 2lbs)
  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • Curry powder
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Mexican seasoning
  • Brown rice
  • Basmati rice
  • Yeast
  • Corn meal
  • Grits/oatmeal/steel cut oats/7-grain cereal
  • Coffee beans (ground)
  • Thyme
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Bay leaf
  • PB
  • Yeast
  • Sugar


  • Green chili
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Canned tomatoes (4)
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Tortillas (several packages)
  • Pita bread
  • Hummus
  • Olive oil/safflower oil
  • Jam


  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Bacon
  • Beef/Buffalo
  • Ricotta
  • Cottage cheese
  • Mozzarella (1lb)
  • Cheddar (1lb)
  • Smoked moz./ched.
  • Eggs



  • Water Kefir grains
  • Yogurt starter
  • Green Tea
  • Red Raspberry leaf
  • Nettle
  • Red clover
  • GT’s Kombucha

On Motherhood and…  Changes:

Well it’s been awhile.  I have some good excuses though… Life has taken a turn of unforeseen events leading up to a big life changing move!  Our intent, our families goal, is to purchase a large plot of land in CO and move our family there to build a homestead where we can raise our babies and animals and food in the nature loving bliss that God has provided for us.  We intend to pay cash for everything as we are almost out of debt (including a mortgage) and we have vowed to remain debt free and we are committed. Slowly but surely we planned to get there, this year we thought we’d be there, but finances just didn’t quite allow this (sure we could get a loan for some land and financing for construction but being debt free is our priority) so we wait.  Until my husband got an amazing job offer with his company in southern Ohio.  The job offer was an incredible blessing to us as it is a large pay increase, plus many more benefits, and the chance to relocate without having to pay for it, plus we will be renting, which is very affordable since the cost of living in OH is 22% cheaper than in MN. 

Overall this has been a great decision for our family as it allows us to save over $700 a month to put into our savings for out land and building. 

With these great changes comes some strong emotion.  Particularly with my 2 year old who is dealing with typical 2 year old independence/interdependence and a life changing move at the same time—which you know has been lovely for our family!  With love and gentle discipline, family support and God we will be able to navigate these changes smoothly.

I hope to update when I can as this will become a place where our family can gather to see the grandkids and where friends come to see our loved ones.

~Samantha + Family

WIP Wednesday and Other Home Happenings:

A Cleaned dinning room:


A Sick little boy laid on our couch all weekend Sad smile


In between sickies, we walked outside.



And yummy yarn that is getting knit up into a hat pattern I’m test knitting titled: the Woodland Beanie.


What are you all working on?

Whittling a Wooden Spoon


I greatly enjoy whittling wood.  It is a lost art, one of which is very soothing and calming to the soul, it busies the hands and provides time for reflectiveness— a thing I don’t often have time for.  I also enjoy making things by hand for my children.  When my weest expressed interest in solids, I though a first spoon was in order!  Down to my studio for some much needed creativeness!



  • Found wood— preferably a soft-ish type— in 6in x 1nc branch style (not rotting!)
  • A set of wood whittlers
  • A dark pen/marker for outlining
  • Sandpaper
  • Beeswax 

About a half an hour of time

Gather your supplies, and create a space where you can get a bit messy!  There will be wood shavings all around!  I took my materials out of my studio and brought them to the couch (yes it’s white, but I was arm’s reach from my Dyson!) Get comfortable and grab the marker and mark out where you will be carving the spoon.


Notice my red line?

Start carving away at the branch opposite from your body!  Don’t learn that obvious rule like I did!  Ouch!


Keep whittling until it resembles a spoon. IMG_3078


Gouge out the middle part of the spoon towards one side of the branch at the end.


Whittle until wood resembles a spoon, sand smooth and finish with beeswax!






Celebrating, faith, family, fertility, the beauty and newness of Spring and the joyous resurrection of Jesus!













Happy Belated Earth Day, Good

Friday and Happy Early Easter!

Easter projects are in full swing as we meet our deadline luncheon tomorrow at 2!  As you can imagine cleaning is on my list, but ever so hard to complete will littles (and very little ones I mean) in tow.  We will do the best we can, but mostly we enjoy crafting and cooking and other busyness as opposed to cleaning!  I was born on Good Friday some odd 20 some years ago, and it’s always special to me, as we celebrate Jesus’s death for us on the cross and of course tomorrow as he is resurrected! But no matter how religious or not you are, I hope this weekend finds you well as you gather with your family and friends and enjoy each other’s company… as life is short as you know!


Previous Post

A Child’s First Meal:

Our littlest one is by no means ready for his first meal, he thoroughly enjoys his mama’s milk, but he is very interested in the workings of the family meal. Breast milk is the best first meal for a little one, the addition of wholesome foods should ideally complement milk and not be instead of nursing (if you are in fact nursing— no judgments here, however breast milk is best). So I handed him his first bowl and spoon (which I made— more on that later) and let him explore the textures and weight of a simple wooden meal set.

We normally set the table at supper time— baby is no exception! It is a very cherished ritual that our family has come to enjoy greatly.  The simple act of placing placemats, ironing a tablecloth and grabbing utensils is a lost homemaking art, gone with the wind like having church clothes reserved for observing Sundays,  hanging clothing out on the line, playing a card game or even reading a book by candlelight.  Someday soon I hope to see these in fashion again.


This new experience has brought some much needed suppertime peace— as you can imagine the distraction of a baby has made our meals much quieter!


He loves his suppertime set!  I wonder how long he can play with it until he wants some ACTUAL food?

The other children love having the baby actually sitting up and seeing us while eating! Something about the baby sitting in his own chair makes him seem more like a little person and less like a baby!

I’ve been reading up on baby-led weaning, first solids, the importance of the first meal being a health-full one, and nursing in general. All of which have my mind spinning, and wandering on all things nutrition and health—- particularly from an Anthroposophical viewpoint. It all makes sense and it all merits more in-depth learning on my part.


However, here I will discuss the wondrous first beginnings of a child’s first meal.  Of equal importance is how and what the food is served in.  We choose wooden bowls finished with beeswax, which are then hand washed.  I make a lot of our bowls, spoons, knives ect. myself from birch, maple and other such hardwoods.  No plastic, even metal (to cold, and alters the taste of food) in my house.  We own no microwave and had to laugh when we bought a wooden kitchen that indeed had  microwave on top— both my children had no idea what it was and asked why someone would have to ovens one on bottom and one on top and why was it so small!

First foods should not be cereal but instead whole foods based such as an organic banana, sweet-potato, or avocado. Above all foods should complement the nursing relationship and be a pleasurable family centered experience!  A good book on the topic is called:  Nutrition: Food, Health and Spiritual development by Rudolf Steiner and Whole Foods for the Whole Family by LLL International. Of course follow your own intuition in regards to your own beautiful child!

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