Thursday, February 2, 2012

One Month!!!

We did it!  One month processed-food free!  There's no looking back now, the month went so well I can't imagine going back to our old eating habits ever again. 

In the last few month, I've had several people ask me "aren't you afraid that by completely eliminating processed foods from your minis' lives, that someday when you're not around and the opportunity arises, they will go crazy and binge?"  Um, noooooo......

Someone help me with this, please, because I am really not seeing the reasoning in this.  In our house, our minis aren't allowed to swear, watch inappropriate movies, play violent video games, hit, steal, play in the street.....and nobody worries that someday, they will go crazy when I'm not around and do any of those things. 

Giving up processed foods is not a radical choice I am doing to my kids, I am doing it for them.  This is not a rule that I am forcing them to follow, this is our family's newly adopted standard.  News flash America, kids aren't going to die from not being allowed to eat chips and oreos!  And there's no quality of life issue can have a great, fun, and exciting childhood that doesn't include processed junk food snacks and HFCS at every meal. 

Without trying to get all "conspiracy theory" on I the only one that does not trust the food industry at all?  Do people think that these large corporations value you and your children?  Do you think they really value the products that you put into your body more than they value their bottom line?  I put large food companies, distributors, and restaurants up there with pharmaceutical and insurance companies.  Let's be real, they are there to make a profit, not to give you high-quality nutritional products.  In fact, they'll put more money into marketing their products to look nutritious than to actually be nutritious.  And, for those that haven't heard, Whole Foods is a sellout.  So, think about where you shop and what you buy!!!

I did a little experiment this past few days to prove my point.  My oldest mini is 8 years old and was born with major birth defects throughout his body, a wicked sense of humor, and a fierce determination to let nothing stop him.  As if that isn't enough, he apparently is a genius as well, because last week he won his classroom's estimation contest by having the closest guess as to how many m&m's and candy hearts were in the jar.  And by closest guess, he was only off by 600 pieces.  Brilliant!  I know!  When I saw the jar of candy I internally groaned while saying, "wow, oldest are ah-may-zing."  And then I dumped the contents into a tupperware container and put it in the pantry, front and center on the 2nd shelf, which is eye-level to the minis.

And that tupperware has sat there, unopened, for nearly a week now.  So, my answer to all those of you wondering how the mini McGhees will react when they are exposed to junk food is this....I think they will be just fine. 

This morning the minis and I were watching the news, which is something I never do because I think mainstream media is bullshit pefer to live in blissful ignorance.  There was a story about sugar being as dangerous as alcohol.  They story included all the hidden sources of sugar...fruit, juice, cereal, soft drinks, baked goods, ketchup, sports drinks, etc.  My oldest mini turns to my middle mini and says, "well, the good news is we don't have to worry about any of that."   They're 6 and 8 and they get it

The reason I was watching the news is because today is Groundhog's Day!  My 6 year old mini was shocked to find out that he had school today because "mom, are you sure?  It's Groundhog's Day."  And the cutest.thing.ever.  My 6 year old mini truly believes that the groundhog is in control of what the weather will be like for the next 6 weeks.  And who am I to tell him otherwise?  So, to celebrate Groundhog's Day, I tried a recipe I found last week for homemade poptarts. 

Here's the recipe for the poptart pastry. 
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
  • 1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)
1.  Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
2.  Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
3.  Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.
4.  Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


1.  If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes.
2.  Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. [You can use a 9" x 13" pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.
3.  Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on.
4.  Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.
5.  Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.

Rolled out

Filling (I used cinnamon-sugar)

Cinnamon Filling (enough for 9 tarts)
  • 1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling
1.  Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

Jam Filling
  • 3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
1.  Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan.
2.  Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes.
3.  Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool.

The poptarts are absolutely adorable.  Our plan was to eat them after dinner, which is chicken fried rice.  But, they were so cute, I couldn't wait and had to let the kids try them after school.  Oh my.  These are seriously delish.  We all LOVED them.  And, I feel the need to point out the obvious here....these are NOT healthy AT ALL!!!!

Fried rice works with rice that is cold, so yesterday I made a batch of brown rice, which I highly encourage you to switch to.  If you absolutely can not do brown rice, do a 50/50 mix of brown and white.  This morning, while making the poptarts, I also baked three boneless skinless chicken breasts, so tonight's dinner will be an easy assembly.

  • egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used sesame)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice, cold
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped chicken meat
  1. In a small bowl, beat egg with water. Cook on a large skillet over medium low heat. Add egg and leave flat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and cut into shreds.
  2. Heat oil in same skillet; add onion and saute until soft. Then add rice, soy sauce, pepper and chicken. Stir fry together for about 5 minutes, then stir in egg. Serve hot.               

I also added frozen carrots, peas, and corn.  Very easy and the minis love it.

And, for those of you following the bread saga, I made yet another substitution. 

  • 1 1/8 cups water
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon dry milk powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon shortening
  • 3/4 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1.  Place ingredients in bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select whole wheat setting.  I put mine on light crust and 1.5 lb loaf.

Oh. My.  This bread is to die for.  So good and slices so easily for sandwiches.  Finally!!!  I found the perfect bread recipe.

And, finally, remember those $40 lunchboxes I wanted.  I found the cheap knock-off version at my favorite store, TJMaxx for $5 each! 

Holy Cow!!!  That's it for the day!  Think about the things I said and for those of you passing my blog on to others, thank you so much!  I started this for a few friends and have ended up getting more traffic than I ever thought I could!