Posts Tagged food

Processed Food – What’s in your Cupbord

Go through your cupboards, don’t worry I’ll wait. Take a short inventory on what you have in stock. How much of that is processed? Be honest with yourself and don’t be ashamed. As a promoter of urban homesteading and an advocate of trashing the “crap”, I still have boxes of Kraft Dinner stashed away for those emergency days.

tyfn / Free Photos

Processed and pre package food were brought to North America for conveniences. During the wars, food supplies were low as products were being shipped to the front line. Everyone did their part and soon we were faced with a shortage. Lucky rural dwellers could depend on their own produce, but many families relied on new canned ingredients. The trend continued into the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s when modern appliances catered to a new lifestyle. Women weren’t always in the home and the need for a fast meal was met with the microwave. Mass marketers convinced us that this was the way of the future and it was a low cost opportunity to feed your hungry family, fast.


Dannerzz / Free Photos

Why are we now under a food revolution then? With convenience comes a price. Slowly we’ve realized that a lot of these time-saving chemicals are actually harming us. With obesity, cancer and heart disease on the rise we can’t really afford to take chances with what we put in our bodies. We’re hurting ourselves.

When I’m not blogging here, I run a blog called Diet Eats which explores current diet trends and whether they’re worth the investment. During the past few weeks I’ve been exploring some popular diet readymade meals. This is the first time in years that I’ve ate these and I must admit the experience is educating. After getting over the ingredient list and lack of flavor, the price at the end really didn’t justify what I was eating. The saddest thing was that I know people who eat these every day. Frozen fake food, nuked on high. Lovely.

As a working mom and full-time wife, I understand we all can’t put a gourmet meal on the table every night. I have on more than one occasion succumbed to the siren call of pizza on a Wednesday and yes, I do like Kraft Dinner and will serve it as the odd weekend lunch. Processed food is not good for you, but it’s there as a convenience when you need it. When you eat it every day it’s not convenient, it becomes your lifestyle.

Before you throw in a microwave meal for your toddler, stop. Remember that a few carrot sticks, a peanut butter sandwich and an apple sauce will be quicker, cheaper, better tasting and healthier – and you don’t need to be a chef to make it.


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camper’s cuisine

We work hard to keep food interesting for our kids And one of the experiences that really gets our family excited is outdoor cooking while on our yearly camping trips. The adventure begins long before the actual cooking does: choosing the food, packing the food, deciding what can be cooked on a fire and counting out the marshmallows. We get the whole family involved. Over the years, we’ve figured out what works best and what most delights hungry campers’ bellies! Here are my top 10 recommendations based on yummy factor and travel durability:

  • mini boxes of cereal
  • s’mores ingredients
  • small watermelon/bananas/apples
  • tortillas
  • salsa
  • eggs
  • canned beans
  • fresh, vacuum-sealed pasta
  • canned tomatoes
  • milk/cheese/butter

I’m not a big fan of uncooked meat with an unpredictable cooling system, but have had great success with pre-cooking ground turkey and re-heating for some outdoor tacos! For pasta dishes, we boil water on the camp stove and over the fire we’ll have a cast iron pan filled with diced tomatoes, pre-cooked meat (if we brought it) and any seasonings/herbs that we’ve brought from home. Although hot dogs on sticks are always a delight, road side corn-on-the-cob soaked in water while you’re at the beach (husks on) can also be cooked right on the grill of your camp fire (husks still on) and taste deliciously roasted once they’re done! We also bring a tabletop water dispenser that’s filled up at home and used for washing hands/food and providing cooking water. Get creative and bring foods that can also be used for a warm, energy-fueling breakfast. I’ll sign off here with a photo of some huevos rancheros made from leftover tortillas, salsa and eggs.


Louise Gleeson is a freelance journalist and mother of four. Her professional portfolio can be viewed at and you can follow along as she shares stories from everyday life on her blog at  You can also find her on twitter @louisegleeson

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fresh local food

It’s market time, and I’m in heaven. If you know me personally then you know I love food and when it’s this time of hear I go crazy. We are starting to prepare planting our family garden. The kids absolutly love it. I get excited with all the fresh veggies and herbs we use in cooking. Time for salas, salads, fresh treats and the best part it getting the kids involved to “pick & eat”

A few week ago my husband and I went on a local foodie tour and we learned about a lot of neat little local spots to buy some great foods like cheese, veggies, meats and more. If your local to the Ottawa area it’s a must do! They offer different types of tours you can find all the info on thier website.

Here area  few photos I took while on the tour

The number one thing I have learned about this tour don’t take where you live for granted. Get out explore and fall in love like I did with food, all over again!

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A Mom who love’s coupons & saving money!

I have been thinking of ways to save money. Before my two boys came into our life I used to use coupons. Not like I do now but I still used them when I could.

Now I have entered a new whole world of couponing. It’s crazy how this all really works. I was in disbelief that this process would ever work. I was at the point where I was thinking of paying someone to find the deals for me and shop. When I came to this point I thought how hard can this really be? I joined a few local groups in my area and received a wealth of knowledge from where to price match, where to shop, where to find deals, coupons and so much more. I won’t go into the full details of everything. Just to let  you know once you start it’s so addicting to see how much money your really saving in the end. You think it’s cheaper to buy “no name” yes I was like that. We will buy “no name” brands for the cheaper price. In the long run guess what the brand name  works out to be the same price or free with coupons and just knowing the “cycle” of a sale and really watching your flyers.

This is my routine every Thursday we get our flyers delivered to our door. Now I’m a kid in a candy store when they arrive. I get them all. I take out all the ones I don’t need like furniture ones .. I only check out the sales on food. Here is a photo of what my Thursday night looks like. I wait till both my boys are in bed before doing this tackle of it all. I have my spread sheet, coupons that I need to use that will expire soon along with local flyers

This was the start to now “my love of couponing” I will post all of the links that have been helpful for me. I’m still no “pro” but I do have the passion to keep doing it. And I’m not sure why I never started sooner. As the old saying goes “better late than never.  I have taken a few photos of things I got for a deal. I stay it’s my steal deal.

So here are a few of my steel deals. Below the photo I will mark what the true cost would be vs sale cost then the cost with coupon and the money I spent out-of-pocket. I only have 2 photos to share as I’ve been doing this for a month and a half.

Steal Deal #1

Before sale price:

~2 pkg of Easy Ups reg: $14.47 x 2 =  $28.94
~2 pkgs of Greek yogurt reg: $2.47 x 2 = $4.94
~2 dove body wash reg: $6.30 x 2 =$12. 60
~4 crest tooth paste reg: $3.99 x 4 = $15.96
~1 irish spring reg: $2.99
total: $65.43

Sale price with coupons:

~2 pkg of Easy Ups sale: $9.99 x2 = $19.98 – $4.00 coupon = $15.98
~2 pkg of Greek Yogurt: $1.47 x 2 =  $2.49
~ 2 dove body wash sale: $3.99 x 2 –  $7.98 – $2.50 = $5.48
~4 crest tooth paste $2.00 x 4 = $8.00
~1 irish spring $1.99 – $1.00 coupon = .99
total: $32.94
saved: $32.49

My other photo has a lot more but I will just give you retail: vs sale/coupon price!

Before sale retail cost would be $117.00
With sale and coupons spent: $64.00
total saved: $52.00

Here are some great sites if you want to learn more about Saving & using coupons. If you have any questions you can also ask me and I will provide you with info that I think would help you.

Enjoy the links below:

Mrs. January has lots of info ~
Ottawa Coupon Swap group  with loads of info & help for beginners ~!/groups/ottawacouponswap/
Frugal Me Frugal You a great local blog post ~
Flyer On Fire want to know the deals in this weeks flyers check out ~

Any questions feel free to e-mail

Happy Saving!!

If there are any great websites that you use please leave a comment below and share with use your  fave website for deals!

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Easter Bunny & Chocolate

Happy Easter!

Working on the boys Easter baskets. So what are you putting in the Easter Basket? Feel free to comment below.  What are your healthy choices? Here is a list of things that we have put in the boys basket . Yes chocolate is in their basket it would not be Easter without a few chocolate eggs right?

Our Easter Basket Goodies

  1. A summer outfit and a few tee-shirts
  2. Fun games they can play with each other
  3. Card games
  4. I also made both boys a CD with their favorite music for the car
  5. Play-doh

I found a web-site click here. That had free printable. Here is what they look like. I have mine all printed out and ready to go for Easter Sunday for the boys to have their egg hunt

 I love this recipe thought I’d share with you. Turkey Stuffing! Need a easy stuffing recipe for your Easter Turkey?  Simple yet tasty recipe. *Recipe found on Cooking Nook*

Best Turkey Stuffing

3/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
4 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried savory
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
14 cups dried white bread, cubed

In a large frying pan, melt butter over a medium heat. Fry onions and celery together with the dried herbs, salt and pepper, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a very large bowl. Add the bread cubes and mix well.

If you are making the stuffing ahead: Transfer the cooked vegetable mixture to a large bowl. Let cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours. Mix with bread cubes before stuffing the bird.

Stuff the turkey at both ends with this mixture. (see our Roast Turkey Recipe for directions on stuffing the bird).

Stuff the turkey just before baking it. Do NOT stuff the bird ahead and let it sit, even in the refrigerator. It can become infected with bacteria and make you quite ill.
feel free to share your favorite stuffing that you use.

Enjoy your Easter Weekend with loved ones!

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