Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Productivity... {Gratituesday}

One of the goals we set back in the beginning of January was productivity. I have to admit that I haven't felt very productive so far this year. Here we are nearing the end of February already, and I've barely touched my to-do lists, my goals lists, my 50 before 50 list. Sigh. The thing is that I'm busy. All the time. And while I know I'm productive, I've been struggling to find a balance between that which I'd like to accomplish and that which I need to do on a daily basis. Thankfully, this past weekend provided the opportunity I'd been longing for to break from the tyranny of the urgent.

Eager to get back into the bread baking groove I so thoroughly enjoy and have sorely missed, I decided that bread baking would be Saturday's primary task. I rolled out one loaf and sprinkled on cinnamon which made for some really delicious toast on Sunday morning -- num.



With that mission accomplished, I eagerly worked on several other kitchen projects I've been wanting to tackle including starting a sourdough starter...



And was thrilled to see it showing signs of life on Sunday evening.



I set a jar of buttermilk on the counter to culture.



After the bread came out of the oven, I baked a "speed scratch" cake for Sunday's fellowship meal. It's called Too Much Chocolate Cake, and, yes, it's made from a cake mix. It's a compromise from our normally healthy low-sugar, whole foods way of eating, and we're ok with that!



Dinner was supposed to be a chicken Caesar salad, but after being on my feet in the kitchen all day, I was hungry for something with a little more substance. I borrowed this recipe, and, of course, I played with it and created what I'll call "garlic Parmesan pasta" (will share the recipe soon!).



And since that cake was calling our names (it smelled soooo good!), we decided it wouldn't hurt if we each enjoyed a small slice with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. :)



Saturday truly was a productive day, but then every day typically is. I'm thankful that after the kitchen was cleaned I was able to sit down with my knitting and actually finished a knitting project! But that is a topic for tomorrow's post.

Anyway, what I'm really trying to get at here is that I'm thankful to have refound my bearings after a busy end-of-2011 and a slow-to-get-back-into-the-groove-2012. I'm thankful to have begun being more productive in my kitchen in ways that not only stretch my grocery budget but also that serve to improve the health of my family (well, except for that cake...).

Spending a day busy in my kitchen while the sounds of music and laughter and life swirl around our home is just about as perfect as a day can be.The realization that there is so much to be thankful for in any given day...just the fact that I'm breathing in, and out, and have eyes to see and hands with which to work and arms to hug with is a gift. That my husband is...amazing, and that I've been blessed with children who love their mama is really, quite simply, overwhelming. Hugs from my sweeties are precious as are the conversations we share. I am truly blessed. What any of that has to do with productivity is beyond me -- just had to let it all out! (It's that Voskamp woman's book getting to me...)

Before I sign off, I just have to share what I discovered last evening:



Yee-haw!!

Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. ~I Thessalonians 4:11

However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts. ~John Calvin

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. ~I Thessalonians 5:16-18

~~~~~~~~~~

What are you thankful for today? Join me over at Laura's for Gratituesday :)
Also sharing with...
Titus 2sday
Domestically Divine
Living Well Wednesday
Simple Lives Thursday
Proverbs 31 Thursday
 Our Simple Farm

22 comments:

  1. Hello, I found you through the comment you left on my blog. I love the picture of your lovely sourdough starter. I need to get back on the sourdough bandwagon. I'll be coming back to your blog to visit when I have more time to look around.

    Blessings

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    1. Elisabeth, welcome and thanks for the sweet compliment. :)

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  2. Ohh I want to try your recipe! It looks yummy. [o= I am so happy your starter was a success. ((happy dance))!!!

    Blessings and ((HUGS))
    -Mary

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    1. Can't wait until it's ready to bake with! Wardeh says to keep feeding until the starter is at least a week old -- can't wait for Saturday!

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  3. That days sounds like my idea of a wonderful day! I love the days when the rest of the housework is done, there is little or no schoolwork and I can just cook! What a blessing it is.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Looking forward to seeing that recipe for the garlic parmesean past! It looks yummy! In fact, your entire post has me "drooling" because I keep seeing all these delicious looking breads and foods! :)

    I'm glad you had a productive day. As this new year unfolds, I am learning that productive can take on different meanings for different people. It just depends upon the season of life they find themselves in.

    Blessings!

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    1. Different indeed! Hoping to share the pasta recipe before the week is over. :) Blessings, ~Lisa

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  5. Looks so nice....all that yummy food! I made bread and pizza dough today. But I am so nervous about doing any bread that requires a starter....any suggestions on where to start to find an easy recipe????

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    1. Peris, I'll post tomorrow or Friday with a link some great sd starter info I found over at GNOWFLINS; it's the one I'm trying this week and finding success with. Lord willing, it'll be ready to use for baking by Saturday. I'll share how that goes then. Thanks for stopping by! ~Lisa

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  6. Lisa, that's a great-looking sourdough starter! I have a sourdough cookbook from back in the 70's when I was in high school...my mom let me go off on a sourdough kick, and oh, did we have some yummy baked goods from it! Looking forward to project photos!

    Blessings,
    Lori (who is patiently waiting for summer when your lavendar blooms and gets added to soap again...) ;-D

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    1. Lori, You are so sweet! I haven't forgotten your lavender soap request. :) How's the hibernation, by the way? Hope you find some time to jump back into blogging soon.

      Blessings, Lisa :)

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  7. I am new to your blog, following from Raising Mighty Arrows. I am curious as to what you're doing with the buttermilk. I'm a new follower.

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    1. Welcome, Keri. :) What do we do with our buttermilk, you ask. Buttermilk is a great for soaking grains (not that we do that all the time); we use it when we make pancakes, muffins, etc., and it's a primary ingredient in our Easy Peasy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (you can find the recipe on our "Homemade Pantry" page) which we make all the time.

      Thanks for stopping by! ~Lisa

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  8. If you are interested, I have a version of that chocolate cake that doesn't use cake mix.
    http://beingfrugalbychoice.blogspot.com/2011/04/worlds-best-chocolate-cake.html

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    1. THANK YOU, Sarah!! I'll be popping on over to check out your recipe and will give it a try the next time we bake this cake. Of course, we don't bake this one too often and usually bake from scratch with healthy ingredients, but this is one cake I never thought to try replicating. Again, thanks for the recipe! Blessings, ~Lisa

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  9. My day today involved homemade bread. 2 loaves that looks like your picture. It makes my husband so happy so that in turn brings me joy, too. That cake is calling my name, too!

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    1. Happy baking, Pamela! It is a joy to bring happiness to the husband, isn't it?!

      Have a great weekend! ~Lisa

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  10. Your bread looks fabulous! I can't wait to hear how your sourdough starter does. I've wanted to try my hand at it but keep reading all these horror stories of how hard it is to get one going.

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    1. Shara, We're making a batch of sourdough waffles this morning -- will let you know how they turn out. :) Btw, How's the recovery going?

      ~Lisa

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  11. Lisa,
    I really need to stop visiting you when I'm hungry, because your yummy-looking photos make me want to head to my kitchen and raid my fridge - big time! :)
    I have a sourdough bread starter that makes wonderful bread: 6 loaves per week to be exact, which my children devour almost as soon as they come out of the oven. :) My hubby loves it too, and takes it in his lunch. What a blessing to be able to bring pleasure to my family by what I put on the table! :)
    Blessings to you and thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are welcome, Lisa. :) I've read that I should feed my starter for three weeks before baking bread with it, so I'll have to wait two more weeks before I try it. That said, I'm making sd waffles this morning with some starter that would otherwise be discarded -- can't wait to try them! And yes, blessing my family with healthy, nourishing breads, what a joy that is! Enjoy your weekend, ~Lisa :)

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Thanks so much for visiting; your kind thoughts and questions are always welcome. :)

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