Category: Projects

An easy non-GMO list

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I found a great list of all brands of food that are non-GMO. It is very easy to navigate. It is an easy way for you to ease yourself into changing the brands you already buy. Remember: don’t try to change everything in one shopping trip. You will drive yourself bonkers! You also should read tall food labels even if the package says non-GMO. You can never be too safe.

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days. Life just sometimes gets super busy :). I will definitely see you tomorrow though!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

And don’t forget to share with your friends :)!

Can you write a Fifty?

I am taking on a writing challenge called ” The Fifty“. You have to tell a story or write about a moment in no less or no more than 50 words. This might be difficult for me. However, I love challenges. Tell me I can’t do something and I will try my hardest to prove you wrong ;). Well, here we go. By the way, this first paragraph will not count towards my fifty word count. It starts right now….

                A moment in time. A smile. A laugh. What were you thinking? It appears as though you are having the time of your life. Did you ever think it would end? It seems as if you felt this moment would last forever.  Or was it simply a moment in time?

So, what do you think? “What was my inspiration”, you ask? I actually had two inspirations. First, I saw a picture recently of my grandfather’s parents and siblings sitting around a table when they were young. Everyone looked so happy. I was thinking of that picture. Another one was this painting from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. I had mentioned him in a previous blog. I absolutely love his work!

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Why don’t you try a Fifty! Fifty words come up really quickly so think wisely about what you want to say. Leave it in the comments below. I would love to read them (as I am sure everyone else does!).

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Oh Goldfish…Why must you tease us?

Goldfish-Crackers

As a child, I literally lived on Goldfish. They are so easy to just pop in your mouth and who can resist the parmesan flavored ones? Then, I grew up and learned how to read the ingredient labels on food. And that ended our love affair. Sigh…..

I was thinking of writing about Goldfish the other day when a friend of mine sent me this article. (Shout out to Diana!!) It just clarified everything I thought about the ingredients not only in Goldfish but in Pepperidge Farm in general. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Pepperidge Farm. I think I have definitely bought my fair share of their products. I just feel, in this day and age, they need to look at their ingredients and begin to see where they can add more natural ones.

Look at this label from their Golden 3-Layer Cake.

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I don’t even know what half of the ingredients are, let alone pronounce them. My motto: If you can’t pronounce it or you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it. These ingredients are literally damaging our bodies each time we eat them.  When you read the article it says that the founder of Pepperidge Farm originally started this company to make food without additives because her son had an allergy to commercially baked products. What happened to this brand?!?!

Goldfish ingredients are not quite as bad but they do contain GMOs.

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According to the article I mentioned above, Goldfish is being sued because they claim on their product that it is natural and no artificial ingredients. Several of the ingredients are GMO based. So sad :(. I love these crackers.

So, what is a girl to do? You need friends who watch out for you! And my friend Diana sent me this recipe for homemade Goldfish crackers!! I have yet to make it but it seems pretty straightforward. The writer shows how to make the fish shape out of an aluminum can. That seems like too much work for me. I would honestly use any small cookie cutter I had to make these. It is the taste that I miss the most!

I definitely plan on making these real soon. I hope you try them as well :).

Comment below.

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com

Don’t forget to spread the word about The Mrs. Z Files! Thanks a bunch!

Spring has sprung!

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This is a very quick post today. For those of you who have liked my Facebook page, you already have seen this. So, sorry for the redundancy.

I learned about the vernal equinox in junior high. I remember my sixth or seventh grade teacher telling us that you can stand an egg up during this time because the gravitational pull is strongest. I have done a lot of research and most people say that even though this is true, you can stand an egg up on any other day. Well, I still hold a firm belief that it is much easier to stand an egg up on this day, as well as the winter solstice, then any other day.

Spring sprung at 12:57 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. I started trying around 12:30. At 12:52 p.m., my egg stood up. I will promise you that the egg is not hard boiled, it is not a fake egg, and there is nothing holding it up. Here is a better view:

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So, keep this is mind for next spring. It is a great ice breaker for talking about gravity with your class  or your own kids.

Comment below if you’d like :).

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com as well.

Oreos!

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March 9, 2014

When I was a little girl one of my favorite cookies were Oreos. I loved dunking them in a cold glass of milk. Sometimes I would take the two cookie pieces apart and just eat the cream. Yummy!! Let’s just say, I have definitely eaten my fair share of Oreos.

Oreo-Ingredients

Sadly, I have not had an Oreo in years for my own personal reasons. These reasons are solely based on the ingredients (see picture above). They include palm oil and high fructose corn syrup. I largely avoid those added preservatives in my diet. So, you could imagine my joy when I came across this recipe for homemade organic Oreos.  At first glance the recipe seemed mighty lengthy. However, this blogger explained in detail each step. This was great for me. If any of you are like me, I need any type of recipe spelled out and explained. I also enjoy when someone includes pictures in a recipe so at least I know if I am headed in the correct direction.

Back to the recipe. It calls for all organic ingredients. This is totally up to you if you are going to do that or use whatever you have on hand. I used organic ingredients for everything except the sugar and the cocoa powder. I used dark chocolate cocoa powder, which had no processed ingredients in it. As far as the sugar, that was a store brand. Yes, I used regular sugar. I’ve already mentioned that I am working on changing products in my house to healthier choices. I just haven’t gotten to this particular one yet.

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Making the actual cookie dough was easy. The recipe didn’t say how much whole wheat flour to actually put in because the blogger used spelt instead. I put in 2 cups and next time I might put in 1 and 3/4 cups. The dough had a slightly drier texture to it and I think it was from too much flour.

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I also recommend not putting the dough into the refrigerator for longer than 30 minutes. It was very hard when I took it out and was slightly difficult to roll out.

 

Once I did roll it out, I used a heart shape cookie cutter to make the cookie shapes. I made this around Valentine’s Day, so I thought it was appropriate. You can change the shape for any holiday or occasion.  After the cookies baked and cooled, I made the cream. It doesn’t taste exactly like an actual Oreo but it was super yummy! Next time, I need to use less milk because it was a little too runny.

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Here is what my final product looked like. They really were delicious. The texture of the cookie is not hard like the originals. But it just tasted so good and I felt at ease knowing all of the ingredients were of my choosing to put in. Since I used a small cookie cutter, I wound up being able to make 60 cookies!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and that you try your own homemade Oreos! I know I added a lot of things that I would do differently next time. But remember: this was my first time using the recipe. There is always room for improvement in everything you do ;).

Post your pictures below of the Oreos you make!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

This one is for you…

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Today’s post is dedicated to my grandpa.  One year ago today my family lost our patriarch. My grandfather was a man who stood strong in what he believed in but loved each of us with all of his being. My life changed March 4, 2013, as I am sure those who knew him felt the same way. I hope you are enjoying heaven Grandpa!

From as far back as I can remember, I have loved stories and the written word. I can remember reading books as a child and could actually feel myself “getting lost in a book”. Words and descriptions are so powerful to me. My whole life I have been exposed to stories of the past. My grandparents have told some many stories of their childhood and younger years. Sometimes these stories were told so often that many times they went on deaf ears. However, I can probably say many of them verbatim. Now that my grandfather is gone, I long for those days of stories and the constant repetition of his memories. It’s one of the only things I have to hold on to of him and I crave for any stories I can get.  My grandmother is now the holder of those stories. When I hear a memory coming to light in her conversation, I listen intently. She is the last link to my grandfather and to her generation.

You might be asking, “Where is she going with this?”. Don’t worry, I always get to my main point. Don’t forget, I have the gift of storytelling. It is in my genes. Of course, I digress again. Let’s get back on topic. When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to do something to capture that time in my life so that my child could experience it with me when they got older. My foray into journaling began. I wrote an entry once every 2 weeks telling my little one what I was feeling, any fears/excitements I had, any exciting adventures Daddy and I had gone on, etc. I have continued this journal for my son and plan on doing so in the future. I do not write in it as often. However, I do capture all milestones he makes and the fun adventures we go on as a family.

I wanted to do this so that when he gets to be a parent, and even a grandparent ( Mrs. Z, don’t rush your life away!!), he can pass on these memories to his children and grandchildren. Many of the stories my grandfather told I’ve either simply forgotten or I remember bits and pieces. He is not here to fill in the blanks. It hurts my heart sometimes to think about that. Life is funny, though. There are times where I am doing something and, out of nowhere, I remember a bit of a story I had forgotten. Or I say something, and it’s something my grandfather would have said. I look at my son and tell him that his great grandfather use to say that. I know he doesn’t understand what I am saying, but he smiles. And I know one day when I tell  him those stories about his great grandfather, he’s going to love them. I just wish grandpa was here to tell them.

I will take my leave now, but I want to leave you with some words of wisdom. I know I am not at an age of great wisdom yet, but I feel that I have gathered a little bit of wisdom in my years on Earth so far. So, here you go: Listen to the stories. Hold on to them. Record them. Share them. You are the link to the past. Our time here is so short. Make the best of it. And remember to live life to the fullest!

I still miss you a lot grandpa! I love you old man! <3 DJC SR.

A snow day means painting time!

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We had a huge snow storm today! Where I live we had almost a foot! (I want to give a shout out to my fabulous husband for doing all of the shoveling! You’re the best!)

It is truly too cold to bring my son out to play. Maybe some of you would, however, I despise the cold weather! Anything under 50 degrees is brutal to me.  So, maybe not going outside is a more selfish strategy. Nonetheless, we stayed inside.  We had super fun, though. We fingerpainted!! Well, my son splashed paint all over the place while I daintily used a paint brush. He had such an awesome time! Above is a picture of his masterpiece. My very own Picaso ;).

I actually wound up making my own fingerpaint. Am I being overbearing by doing this? Maybe to some, yes. And I will totally admit I do take the clean part of life a little too drastic. However, I do enjoy it and I feel that regular fingerpaints you buy in the store have lots of chemicals. At my son’s age, he will undoubtedly put his fingers in his mouth. I really don’t want him eating those chemicals. And, at his age, he really isn’t going to know the difference between homemade and store bought fingerpaint, so it’s a win-win.

I found a really simple recipe online from one of those Mommy websites. It really was so easy. You mix 2 tablespoons of white flour with a little bit of water until you get a thin paste. The site did not specify how much water, so I slowly added a little bit at a time until it was a thin paste consistency. I then added food coloring and it was time to paint. I do not use food coloring with added dyes, such as yellow 5, etc. I used the India Tree decorating set. It is slightly expensive, but it lasts a long time and it is made with vegetable colorants. The paint was a little bit thinner than the stuff from the store. I might have used too much water. Otherwise, it was a great time and my son loved it!

Do any of you have interesting paint recipes or stories? Comment below!!!

You can also reach me at themrszfiles@gmail.com