Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

A Gift for You from KS–Healthier Parties and Kids-Eat-Less-Junk-Food Secret!

December 22nd, 2014 · Uncategorized

Parties and potlucks aren’t exactly a bastion of healthy food.

It’s not like people usually walk away from a buffet table groaning, “Oh, I feel so nourished and alive!”

Rather, one is often over-stuffed and groaning to be sure, that heavy feeling in the gut resulting both from the quantity and quality of the food in question.

I always attempt to bring something healthy to keep with our family’s real food ideals, but if a party-goer has to choose between a pile of lovely spinach and those little wieners wrapped in crescent rolls with a spicy, MSG-laden dipping sauce, guess which platter goes home empty?

Homemade Guacamole Recipe (19)

Party food success is a union of great taste and a pleasing appearance, and when you’re in the minority trying to avoid processed food, you have to speak the language of the majority. The food has to be recognizable, first and foremost!

That’s why I bring a lot of dips to a potluck or volunteer to bring a salad to our family’s holiday parties – people know what they’re seeing and are more likely to try it.

10 Real Food Party Recipes for Every Eater flat cover

I wish I would have had this ready a few weeks ago in time for your December gatherings, but at least I’m sharing so you can one-up what you bring for any New Year’s partying you might be doing. My gift to you this season is a 37-page cookbook with 10 main recipes + 5 supporting recipes, all simple, inexpensive real food goodies you can bring to parties and potlucks.

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Grace for a Stress-less Holiday

December 17th, 2014 · KS lifestyle

GRACE for a Stress-less Holiday : via Kitchen Stewardship

This post is by KS contributing writer Pam Farley from Brown Thumb Mama.

We’re supposed to be joyful…we’re supposed to be festive. But the pressures of family, gloomy weather, and too many social events can turn the holidays into horrordays.

Don’t let this happen to you. Remember to give yourself GRACE and reduce your stress this holiday. Here’s how:

G is for Gratitude.

Reading blogs around the holidays can make you feel like everyone ELSE is perfect. Perfect decorations, perfect family pictures, perfect food… If you aren’t careful, you can spiral into a vortex of doubt, envy, or worse.

Instead of looking outward during this time, look inward and fill your heart with gratitude. Take a moment to deeply experience your senses. Breathe slowly and feel the ground under your feet and the sounds around you. Write down something good that happened today–even if it was that the kid who bagged your groceries didn’t smash the bread.

Gratitude allows you to see the wonder and awesomeness of being alive.

GRACE for a Stress-less Holiday: via Kitchen Stewardship

R is for a Realistic Schedule.

When Hubby and I were newlyweds, this was our Christmas routine: Christmas Eve dinner at his family’s ranch. Midnight Mass. After-Mass gathering at a friend’s house. Christmas morning breakfast with his family. Christmas day with my family. Christmas dinner with his extended family. Go home and collapse.

Needless to say, we’ve cut this schedule back now that we have kids. Can you imagine keeping a 6-year-old and an infant occupied during all those events?

It’s not easy to say “No,” especially to family–but our sanity is more important than dragging ourselves to 6+ events in a 24 hour period. It’s more fun to celebrate the weekend before and spend the entire day together, anyway.

GRACE for a Stress-less Holiday: via Kitchen Stewardship

A is for Ask for Help.

Do you beat yourself up to fulfill “family expectations” (see above) or overextend yourself to make memories for the kids? Do you think if one event falls through, or if the gifts aren’t wrapped perfectly, or your cookies burn, the entire holiday is ruined?

You are bullying yourself. Harsh words, I know–but many of us lose our minds at the holidays and end up yelling at Hubby, the kids, and mentally tearing ourselves down. Don’t do it!
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Monday Mission: Make Your Own Cranberry Juice {GUEST POST}

December 16th, 2014 · Monday Missions, Recipes

This is a guest post from a generous reader, Linda, who responded to my request for “reader driven” Monday Missions. I have frozen cranberries that I never know what to do with, so I hoped this recipe idea would be helpful to others, too, especially while cranberries are on sale this month (and usually clearanced out after Christmas, FYI). And yes, I know it’s a Tuesday…can I have a “bye” on keeping my calendar organized since I’m still on partial maternity leave?

Homemade Cranberry Orange Juice

Everyone loves cranberries: in sauce, in bread, and, of course, cranberry juice. Bottles of cranberry juice line the shelves at the store or you might even find some concentrate in the freezer section. If you, like me, object to the added sugar and wonder what else is in that bottle, the solution is here. You can make your own! No expensive equipment required.

Homemade Cranberry Juice

Cranberries are in season mostly in the fall, and in the grocery stores before Thanksgiving. (Note from Katie: You can put bags of fresh cranberries straight in the freezer so stock up if you find a deal!) Try this recipe with just cranberries, and then experiment with adding other fresh fruits that might be available: blood oranges, blackberries, or raspberries. Any fresh or frozen fruit you regularly enjoy could be added. [Read more →]

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Time & Budget Busters: 6 Snack Foods You Should Make At Home (And 6 You Should Buy)

December 12th, 2014 · Tips

Time & Budget Busters: 6 Snacks You Should Make At HomeThis post is by contributing writer Bethany Wright.

It’s the Most Snackiest Time of the Year!

This time of year always stretches my creativity when it comes to surviving the marathon of holiday events, family gatherings, Christmas potlucks, and crazy schedules. When it comes to navigating the holiday busyness with our little ones, I find that snacks can be the make-or-break difference – especially with late-night events and routines that aren’t even close to normal.

(Snacks can also help us Big Ones survive, too!)

But constant on-the-go snacking can quickly and secretly drain your budget. And at the end of the day – it’s just SNACKS! It’s one thing to splurge on the occasional lunch or breakfast. This season can be a time when funds – and time – are tight. When I’m stressed and rushed, it’s easy to reach for a carton of crackers or a box of applesauce squishers … it’s great for saving time, but is so painful to the budget. GAH! What to do??
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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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