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Monday Morning Mix-Up 2/11/2013 – Flat cream puffs, real food stress, why to avoid protein powder shakes, vaccinating pets, and more!

Good morning readers! Guess what? David sent me the recipes from our Magical Dinner, so watch for those soon. We’ve been a little busy with Party Central here on Saturday. We had family over for a big lunch to celebrate two of our kids’ birthdays and then for dinner we hosted a group of good friends from church.

For both parties we served cream puffs for dessert (I love how many eggs are in them, so that redeems this recipe at least a little bit):

cream puffs

You may not be able to tell from that picture, but my stupid cream puffs all fell flat, here’s what they looked like right out of the oven:

flat cream puffs

I asked on Facebook and it sounds like my problem had something to do with the oven temp or not baking them long enough or something, but they still tasted great. We had ice cream in the middle, my homemade hot fudge and homemade whipped cream on top. (Looks like I didn’t whip my cream long enough either, geesh.) I didn’t make my homemade ice cream because we were serving so many, so I used a store-bought brand with the fewest ingredients. Once all the goodies were piled on, no one could tell how flat my cream puffs were anyway.

Let’s move on to the mix-up links I have for you this week and see if they are more exciting than my whining about cream puffs…


  • Check out our newest sponsor in the cleaning category at the new VGN Marketplace! This cleaner is completely natural and environmentally friendly, but it has a zillion uses for just about everything in your home. From cleaning counters and glass, floors, toilets and bathrooms, to washing laundry and or getting clothing stains out, and get this: it can also be used as a infant body wash. It’s powerful yet safe and mild at the same time!normal family
  • The other day I found this picture on the right and it’s perfect for us, ha!
  • Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about our gardens! Thank you Jill for sharing this neat gardening video with these comments: “Along the lines of self-sustainability…. A gal at our farmer’s market told me about this video that shows a really cool, low effort (no tilling or digging–hallelujah!) gardening/soil preparation technique. I just finished watching it and I’m so inspired! I’ve been really intimidated to dive into gardening in these central Texas soil conditions/weather, which is so different from what I’ve experienced in the past. But it looks like this method of soil preparation creates awesome garden soil that is also pretty drought tolerant and super sustainable and ecologically sound. This guy, who has been gardening all his life, basically sought God for insight into how He designed nature to work to build/maintain soil fertility and structure and then he just applied it to gardening. It’s kind of interesting that towards the end he mentions the likelihood of tough economic times ahead and how he believes God is providing this to help people prepare to provide food for themselves in a more doable way.” As you can probably tell from Jill’s comments, this is Christian-based, and you can watch it here:
  • RealFoodWednesdaysI’ll see you here later this week for Real Food Wednesday! (Did you know that participating is a great way to get more traffic to your blog OR to learn more about Real Food and get some great new recipes, too?!)


  1. It surprised me how easy it was for me to let go of food rules for my recent vacation–a cruise to the Caribbean. I ate the sugar laden desserts and drank the rum punch with nary a wince, but I still had trouble with the eggs. I avoided the scrambled because I just knew they were from powdered. Then I watched them make the fried eggs–with Pam spray and a quarter cup of vegetable oil! There’s no escape from the unhealthy on a cruise ship. In a scant two weeks I gained ten pounds and developed a disturbing edema in my feet and legs. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Breaking the food rules occasionally for short periods is sometimes necessary to enjoy life. After a week back on the good food, the edema is gone and the weight is almost back to where it was…and I’m loving my farm eggs, spelt toast and real butter.

    • I’ve always wanted to take the kids on a cruise, and we probably still will someday, but that was one thing I loved about our Colorado vacation a couple years ago – we ate at some restaurants and didn’t worry so much about things, but for the most part I could find the good stuff and cook it in our hotel room that had a kitchen. A meal here and there I’m ok with, but a whole solid week of eating whatever would be tricky for me!!

      • Oh my goodness! Kelly you must take the family on a cruise! Especially now that you are home schooling because when you can take your cruise during off times, you can save a lot of money. Many times cruises are desperate to fill the ships when the rest of the world is still in school! My daughter still talks about the cruises we took her on when she was 11 and 12. She had a blast!

        Now, back to the topic at hand: I have become much more lax about what I eat since I started following Matt Stone. I know a lot of people don’t like him or his theories, but the one thing he talked about that really resonated with me was how we can become too stressed out over what we are eating and that can be just as stressful as any of the other things we are assualted with all day long.

        I realized I was well on my way to orthorexia because I became so consumed with every little food thing. I would go to people’s houses and hide so I wouldn’t have to eat their chemical-laden food and recipes, so paranoid I had become. We’d go to a restaurant and I would agonize because I knew the salads had chemicals on them, the soup bases had MSG and the meat was fed soy and corn. I couldn’t even enjoy the occasional night out anymore! So after following Matt’s suggestions, I loosened up. No, I don’t fill my cart with Oreos and Chee-tos. I’m still making nutritious food, but now I allow myself to slip on occasion and it really has helped me a lot. Even my husband noticed that I’m not wound so tight.

        We only live once and I just decided to stop letting this real food obsession rule my life. If I see it and I want it, I eat it and don’t give it a second thought. The stress I was under had to be worse for my body than the occasional stray away from real food.

        • I actually think I stray *too* much the other way when we go out or to other’s homes, I can pretty easily just let it go knowing that when we’re home we’re *mostly* eating better (not always though!) – but the thought of eating junk for a whole week, that’s what freaks me out a little…

          One thing I’ve thought of is doing a ‘combo’ trip, where we cruise for 4 days and then vacation on land another 3-4 days or so… None of this will happen for a while, though, until we win the lottery or something. I don’t know how people afford vacations, especially those with more than a couple kids!


  2. I’m sorry your creme puffs fell, bet they still tasted great.:-) with all the trimmings i’m sure they were still a hit. it’s comforting to me that i’m not the only one who has these occasional cooking “flops” (isn’t there a prettier word for it?) It seems like my flops always happen when i am cooking for someone else!! :-( whaaaa! why is that? We are getting so many eggs, that is a good way to use them up. i am going to do a search for a recipe for some gluten free puffs. there must be a recipe out there. have a good day.

    • Yeah, I probably should’ve posted those as one of my “Friday Food Flops”, huh? But I have plenty, so it’s not like I’m wanting for ideas there. :)

  3. I have a Hamilton Beach oval crockpot, not as fancy as yours. Are all HB crockpots lower in lead, or just the particular model you show in the picture? I have had it a year.

    • Mine isn’t exactly like that one, either, it’s a basic Hamilton Beach, but it was the closest I could find to mine! I’ve heard that HB tests ALL their slow cookers for lead. I haven’t researched it enough to be sure that’s true though, if anyone does, let me know please. :)


  4. THANK YOU for posting the video! It’s very exciting. I’ve been wondering how to maintain a garden on my very poor soil as my husband and I get older and have less energy for digging, rototilling, etc. This is our answer! And I love the scriptural principles. Can’t wait to find some wood chips and try it out!

    • You and I both will be trying it out this year, Maryjane! I’m locating resources now for compost and wood chips! It really does make perfect sense, doesn’t it? If you go to the website they have a nice section of short FAQ videos too. Good luck to you–and me too! Maybe you can update here so we can see how it’s going for you as the season progresses!

  5. Any way to read about vaccinating pets without FB? I gave FB up years ago:) Also, I LOVE the “nice normal family” sign!

    • Sorry but I don’t know how you’d see it without going in there… Maybe borrow a friend’s sign in info and get in there that way??

  6. Thank you for the post on ‘letting go of the rules.’ I feel like I’ve never really made it on board with the real foodie movement. I’ve never made time to get to know local farmers or feel I can really afford the time and money driving all over the county or out of town to buy from the farm when I have a full-time job. It’s overwhelming and discouraging sometimes. For now, breakfast is the only thing I feel I have in the bag: oatmeal (flavored and topped to order/per child), egg and toast and store-bought juice. I make the same thing every day b/c it’s easier to have a routine down when I have to get everyone ready and out the door.

    I would love to get to the city an hour away just once a month to get to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s like my girlfriends, but I hate to give up my Saturday driving and shopping w/ 3 in tow and then I’m too exhausted and unmotivated when I get home. It’s a vicious cycle!

    • Don’t worry, many of us, myself included, aren’t all that sparkly in our diets either. I can’t imagine working outside the home and being able to pull off a lot of this stuff. I should do a post on that, asking how people do it working outside-the-home, what do you think? It might give you a few more tips?


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