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Get Real: February Recap

**This post is part of the Get Real series. Please remember that this is meant as a learning community. We know that many of you are passionate about what you do and we want you to express that, just please do so in a way that will be an encouragement and aid to others making a transition. We want this to be a “safe space” for participants to learn. For that reason, we reserve the right to delete any comments that are not handled in this manner.

Experts say that it takes up to six weeks to create a new habit. Here we are eight weeks in, how are you feeling with your new Get Real habit? I know it’s been challenging for me simply because I am just making my way back to reality from having our new baby boy! I tried three different yeast bread recipes including a “real food” twist on Tricia’s Grandmother’s Custard Bread but they all failed. They either failed to rise, failed to bake or were just bricks! Luckily this past week I FINALLY had success with Musings of a Houswife’s Honey Whole Wheat bread. I’ve tried many whole wheat recipes and my husband has disliked them all. This one was an out of the park HIT!!

My whole wheat success!

I don’t have a grain mill but it’s in my wants and needs and hopefully I’ll get one this year. However I am very tempted to get a cheapy coffee grinder in the meantime to try it out Angela’s way. I did however recently make a bulk purchase with Azure Standard and bought some Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix  and some bulk quinoa so I could try out a few more recipes that I’ve been pinning lately in our Get Real journey. I’ll post my results on our Facebook page as I go!

We thought it would be nice for us to ask someone in the Get Real community to share with you their experience each month with the challenge! Someone different than our blog partners, someone who is in the trenches with you and doing this right with you! Reader Alyssa Stanley of Musings from a SAHM walk us through her February! She is a stay at home mom with a hard working husband, and three beautiful daughters living in Rifle, Colorado.

Hi everyone! Here’s how my family did this month:

Week 1 Challenge: My husband and kids really wanted pizza but in my effort to eat better and minimize processed foods we decided to make pizza at home rather than have the local pizza place deliver. I had made homemade pizza in the past but had gotten lazy about it in the last few months of my pregnancy and had been resorting to ordering it in. I have a really easy pizza dough recipe that makes just enough dough for two thin crust pizzas. We actually prefer our crust to be on the thinner side. By taking just a few minutes to mix up the crust in my mixer we had a healthy homemade pizza that my kids and husband loved- and I didn’t feel guilty feeding it to them. No we just have to work on the favorite toppings- but that is another week’s challenge.

The other thing that we made and loved was whole wheat tortillas. I sent them to school for my daughters pre-school class snack and the teacher said the kids loved them. I was excited to share some real food with the class after the past few months of holiday cakes, cookies and candy.

Week 2 Challenge: Try a yeast bread recipe and breakfast making my own bread has been something I wanted to do for a long time and this was just the push I needed to do it. I don’t have a bread maker so I kept putting it off thinking that I couldn’t do it without one. Then I saw that Tricia had made bread in her mixer and oven. I put on my apron and got to work. And now I am addicted. I tried the recipe from Musings of a house wife. This recipe is great because it makes 4 loaves- and when your family tastes homemade bread fresh out of the oven those 4 loaves won’t last long. A few days later I tried the Honey Whole Wheat recipe from 100 Days of Real food. Her recipe is for the bread maker but I just made it in my mixer and followed the steps that Jo-Lynne has in her recipe. I think I prefer the second recipe just a little bit more. It had a slightly more chewy texture and a little more sweet. Overall both recipes are good and my sandwich loving hubby approved. I think he would be ok if I never bought conventional bread again!

For me breakfast is not my favorite meal of the day to make. It typically takes me a cup or two of coffee before I can get going but my kids are usually ravishing or “starving” the moment they wake up. Having some easy breakfast stuff prepared ahead of time is the best way for us to avoid processed breakfast foods and cereals with little to no nutrition. We love to make big batches of waffles or pancakes on the weekend and reheat leftovers a few times during the week. We are also loving crock pot granola that is easy to make and eat it with milk or yogurt.

Week 3 Challenge- This challenge was also appropriate as we are exploring some possible gluten related issues with my daughter. We tried a breakfast “cereal” with quinoa a friend posted on Pinterest. I really enjoyed it and my daughter (with possible gluten intolerance) ate almost all of her portion. It was a lot like oatmeal. We also tried some quinoa with some sautéed spinach and garlic as a side dish. My kids didn’t gobble it up because of the suspect green stuff, but I enjoyed it as a filling and easier to cook alternative to rice.

We’re looking forward to the month’s ahead in this journey!

Please comment a recap of yours or link up a blog post recap if you have one! We want to hear about YOURS too! And make sure you are pledged as you will be getting an email on March first to find out if you are continuing on the this journey with us.

February Week Four Action Item:

Each week we will try to give you some simple action steps to put this journey into practice. It is important that you start this journey by understanding yourself, your goals and perhaps your obstacles.

  1. Write a summary of how you are doing with the challenge thus far (post in comments, link to a blog post, or post on the FB Fan Page). You can cover any of all of our focus areas for the month:

February Get Real:

Please take a moment to thank our guest authors and sponsors by clicking over to their sites and/or liking them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Sponsor: Bread BeckersOne pledged Get Real participant will be winning a grain mill OR a mixer, winners choice!
Guest Author: Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife

11 Responses to “Get Real: February Recap”

  1. Jenn says:

    I had a few goals this month, and I have to say I achieved some but didn’t quite get to the sprouted stage. I have an overwhelming fear of sprouting. I don’t know why. But for the most part this month was good.

    I love love love love, like really love Musings of a Housewifes ww bread. My kids loved it, I made it into buns etc. I love that you don’t have to knead it for 10 minutes. That’s been my hold up for ever. I don’t make bread as much as I enjoy because of the kneading. Lame, but true. This eliminated that annoying step and made me a much happier baker. The one thing that I found was that my family (not me) eat a lot of bread. 8 loaves in 4 weeks. Yikes. But with sandwiches, and buns etc I guess it makes sense.

    I tried a gluten free pizza dough and again it sucks. But I’m determined. I think I will try another one this week before the week is over..

    The one other holdup is my kids cereal. But like I said at the beginning my kids like rice crispies. We did find brown rice gluten free ones and I am happy with the ingredients. Not ecstatic but ok with this choice. I am loving granola for cereal or gf oats..

    I tried Millet as a starch and although it wasn’t my favorite it was a nice change from the rice that we eat. I like rice, but by being celiac rice has kind of been my shudder point. You can only have so much rice, so many ways before you hate rice. So I tried hulled millet. It was decent. I’ll keep trying other grains!

    Can’t wait for next month!

  2. Lisa says:

    I am still trying to get the bread down pat. First week’s batch was okay, second week was awesome, now the third week was a flop. Guess it will just take some practice. I will have to watch Bread Beckers Bread 101 again. It is an amazing source of info and I can not thank you enough for bringing them to my attention. looking forward to march and pasta!

  3. Rebecca C says:

    I have been making our sandwich bread and hamburger buns from half white and half whole wheat that I grind (with a nutrimill grinder). I actually started that in January, so I feel my habit is entrenched now.

    I also started making tortillas. I tried white first, then wheat. I have switched recipes a couple of times and still looking for my favorite one there.

    Instead of packaged cereal we have been having oatmeal a lot. We mix in things like pumpkin or banana, with cinnamon, chia seeds, some milk or cream. Top with yogurt and or fruit.

    Finally, I experimented a bit with almond flour and coconut flour. I made a few things with almond flour like pancakes and muffins. With the coconut flour, I made cheddar biscuits quite a few times. I also ground up almonds and made my own almond flour. I purchased rice flour and ground some oat flour. Not sure what to use that for yet, but up for trying a recipe soon.

    Thanks for the interesting challenges!

  4. Ashley says:

    I have actually been attempting my bread with a sour dough started I made. My first loaf was good, my second one didn’t rise at all!! Idk what happened with it. I have made the bread with yeast before, but really wanted to get a good recipe down with my starter that am soooo excited about. Oh well. Gonna bust out another with yeast tomorrow so we can make sandwiches this week!

  5. SarahM says:

    I’ve come a long way this month! I still need to practice making bread but I feel much more confident.

    The first week I made tortillas and they were awesome! So easy too! I also made Artisan bread. The first loaf was very, very dense but tasted great! I sliced it thin and made Melba toast, which my daughter LOVED! The second time around it was much, much better but still not what I was hoping for. I’ll keep trying it.

    The second week I tried Musings of a Housewifes ww bread for my family’s sandwich bread. After trying countless recipes and having them all fail I was terrifed! My family loves snadwiches and toast. We eat about 2 loaves a week so I really needed to get this one right. The bread was super easy to make and turned out great! I was so excited I decided to try an other recipe I had been looking at. It was a total flop! It rose ok, then fell in the oven making a bread brick. I had to throw it out. It was so hard I couldn’t even cut it. Feeling bummed, I tried Musings of a Housewifes recipe again. Success! I’m going to keep using her recipe for our bread but I will experiment with others thru out the year.

    We really didn’t need to do antyhing different for breakfast. We typically eat eggs, oatmeal or toast and fruit. We’ve bought sugary boxed cereals them in the past for an afternoon treat but I’ve never considered them a good breaskfast option. I’ve been trying to make granola and yogurt forever it seems, time keeps getting away from me. Well, today’s the day! I already have the yogurt going and I’m heading in after this post to make granola! Finally!

    I’ll be trying quinoa for the week 3 challenge. I’ve seen it. I’ve read out it. Now, I’m going to try it!

    I’m using very basic equipment for bread making: a very large plastic bowl and a wooden spoon. Oh, and a heating pad! Weird? Yes. But it really works beautifully to make the dough rise in my cold, drafty kitchen. After this month I really, really want a Kitchen Aid Mixer! I’ll be saving up for that. :)

    Thanks OAMM for this series! I’m really enjoying it and I’m learning SO much! It’s taken the fear out of getting “real”.

  6. Claire says:

    Hi!

    My family is trying to switch to Whole Foods and just bought a breadmaker. I want to learn how to substitute honey for sugar, so that I’ll be using less-processed ingredients, but most recipes list sugar. I’ve done some research online and keep getting different advice on how much liquid should be eliminated from the recipe when adding honey (one site says reduce as much liquid as you add in honey, another says reduce by 1/4, etc.). I would be very grateful if you could please point me in the right direction.

    Thanks!
    Claire

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