Category Archives: New Hampshire

Lesson 1140 – Keto diet and backyard chickens

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It turns out that a Keto diet is a *very* good diet to be on if you have chickens (and want to make a thrifty dish or two. This one crustless quiche recipe uses 12 eggs (although to be fair it makes 12 servings so that’s really only one egg per serving.) Once made, I froze the leftovers and in the mornings I take one serving out, sprinkle more cheese on it and then heat it in the microwave.I think this is a terrific breakfast recipe for anyone, especially older kids who sometimes are so rushed they forget to eat something for breakfast.

Here is the original recipe from I breathe I’m hungry.

It’s a low carb and gluten free breakfast casserole recipe that is hearty and easy to make!Ingredients

• 12 oz. Jones Dairy Mild Sausage (roll)
• 10 oz pkg of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
• 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
• 12 eggs
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions

• Break up the raw sausage into small pieces and place it in a medium bowl. Squeeze any remaining liquid out of the spinach, and break it up into the same bowl as the sausage. Sprinkle the feta cheese over the mixture and toss lightly until combined. Lightly spread the mixture onto the bottom of a greased 13×9 casserole dish or 18 greased muffin cups.
• Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat the eggs, cream, almond milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together until fully combined. Gently pour into the pan or muffin cups until about 3/4 the way full.
• Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 50 minutes (for the casserole) or (30 minutes) for the muffin cups – or until fully set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Approximate nutrition information per serving:
Per muffin: 137 calories, 10g fat, 1g net carbs, 8g protein
Per square: 206 calories, 16g fat, 1.4g net carbs, 12g protein

I slightly modified this recipe.

• I cooked the sausage before I assembled the casserole.
• I used ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese (it’s what I had on hand) and I sprinkled it on top.
• I used about 1 cup of heavy cream and didn’t use any almond milk (again I didn’t have it on hand.)

Although the original recipe used a pie plate in the photo, I used a 9 x 13 casserole dish. It’s easier to cut a rectangle it into 12 servings than a circle. Cooled down servings are wrapped and put into the freezer. A quick pop into the microwave and with a hot cup of coffee, I’ve got a yummy breakfast.

 

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Filed under Challenges, Food Savings, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, Recipes, Simple Thrift Tips, The Family

Lesson 1138 – What’s really important about Salem, Mass

On Saturday, Marc and I decided to spend the day in Salem, Mass, about an hour drive from our house. Although Salem has a deep history that includes colonial living and seafaring life, it is, of course, for the witches that it is best known.

And boy do these guys like to celebrate their witches. For the entire month of October, the town gets its freak on. For sure, you’ll see all things witches:

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And you might even see a token nod to the town’s pirating history: Continue reading

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Filed under All things local, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, The Family

Lesson 1131 – Real Soup in a Cup – A thrifty and healthy lunch

Several people pointed me to this news story that has made the rounds recently. Basically, it’s the lament (whining) of a 350 lb. woman on benefits (she lives in the U.K.) She currently receives about $32,000 year (includes public housing) and claims that she remains fat because the government is not giving her enough money to buy healthy food or to join a gym. If she only had more money, she claims, she would be able to lose weight.I’m not even sure where to start with this one.

First, if you look at her cupboard, you’ll soon realize that the woman wouldn’t know healthy food it came up and bit her on her substantial bum. Second, last time I looked, walking was free.

As a mother of 6, I have spent years figuring out how to feed my kids a healthy diet without breaking the bank. I’m all about saving money and I’ve written about it in newspaper and magazine columns and articles. I’ve even taken the SNAP challenge and did quite well on less than $35/week (and I also showed how I could *save* money while on SNAP.

My kids, deprived beings that they are, very rarely get grocery store cookies, cereals, or soda. They just don’t because none of us need that garbage. The other night we had a cake for a birthday celebration. We all enjoyed it because it was special. Cake is celebration food – it’s not something that should be eaten every day.

Some of my readers have asked me to write again about how I plan our weekly menu and then how I shop for it. (I routinely spend about $160 – $180/week to feed our family of 7 adults – that comes to about $26/week. And trust me, when money was *really* tight, I’ve fed everyone for less.)

I have a few other projects to finish up, but in the next few weeks, I will do just that. I’ll share our weekly menu (something I do every Sunday morning) and my shopping list. I’ll make the meals for the week and will show you exactly what we eat.

If one spends $180/week on food that comes to $9360 per year. That’s a far cry less than $32,000 (and remember, I’m feeding 7 adults (our youngest is 15) – the woman in the news article is feeding herself and two children.) With the money I could save on her benefits, I could probably afford to buy a second-hand bike which could provide even more exercise.

Until I do my menu sharing, to start things off, I’ll give you a quick money saving healthy recipe which I plan on using for the entire winter.

Continue reading

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Filed under Challenges, Food Savings, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, Recipes, Simple Thrift Tips, The Family

Lesson 1130 – Weapons of Mass Destruction – State Fair Peelers

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Destruction

This summer Marc and I went to a few State Agricultural fairs. At one of the fairs, I saw a woman on a raised platform wearing a speaker’s microphone while she stood in front of a pile of near-naked vegetables.

“No way,” I said to Marc as I pulled him to a stop. “She’s demonstrating peelers. Let’s go watch.”

My first tip-off should have been that no one, absolutely no one else was around her.

My second tip-off should have been the Band-Aid on her finger.

“That’s not from the peeler, is it?” Asked Marc who laughed because the thought was so ridiculous – a demonstrator of peelers who cut herself – now wouldn’t that be silly.

Well let’s just say that sometimes reality can be a lot funnier than anything this writer could have come up with. Yup, she hadn’t been paying attention and she had sliced her finger on a peeler.

“Sometimes, you just have to make do with what you have,” she said as she waved her finger aside ready to start her presentation.

Marc and I both should have walked away but the sense of the absurd held us.

She demonstrated the peeler (keeping her injured digit gently raised and out of the cutting area.)

“It’s really very simple,” she droned, “if you hold it this way , it peels, if you hold it another way it dices. And if you use this tool,” she expertly pulled out another device that looked suspiciously similar, “you can grate your vegetables to make slaw with NO messy clean-up.”

Not only did it do all that, but these magical peelers also:

  • Removed eyes from potatoes
  • Could be used by right or left handers
  • Were Swiss Engineered

And to top it all off, these peelers were high recommended for use by Arthritis and Rheumatism suffers. I didn’t have either of those conditions but who knows what coming down the road, right? Best to be prepared.

“Marc, we have to get this,” I said picturing the two cabbages that were sitting on our counter being easily grated into slaw. Continue reading

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Filed under All things local, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, The Family

Lesson 941 – Lyme Disease – Status

The last Lyme disease update I put on my blog was rather celebratory. I had finished 3 months of medication. Yay!

Many of my symptoms had, it seemed, melted away. Yay!

I was cured. Big Yay!

And then about 2 weeks after I had stopped the medication, I started to feel some very familiar twinges in my shoulder and elbow.

Hmm, I thought, it must just be the weather, you know that crazy New England weather of ours.

And then my muscles started twitching a little bit more at night. The bottoms of my feet start hurting again and that Achilles tendonitis like a song that you can’t get out of your head, started making itself heard. At first just around the edges and then it became stuck in my brain. Continue reading

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Filed under Life Lessons, Lyme Disease, New Hampshire, Personal

Lesson 932 – Home again

That tricky elf in a coop has finally gone back into his box (along with our Christmas Chicken) where I assure you he will be kept safe until next year.

Our flock

Our flock

For now, we are enjoying the fact that all of our chicks have returned home and that our nest is full once again.

Oh I know that as a mama hen, it’s my job to push out my little ones when the time is right, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t miss them and greatly enjoy their company when they come back to visit.

So good to see you, so very good to see you – sit down and tell me how you’ve been.

And come back they have with a roar, the kids haven’t all been together since last August. That’s a long time when you’ve grown up in a flock that has lived, worked, and tumbled around together.

Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Holidays, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, members of the flock, New Hampshire, Personal, The Family, The kids, Uncategorized

Lesson 926 – Lyme Disease – Status Week 14

Note: for those who may be new to this blog due to the Elf in a Coop series – on Thursdays I give on update on my and 5 of my kids status as we all cope with Lyme disease. We live in New Hampshire where Lyme disease is rampant and yet, many in our medical community don’t recognize the disease or know how to properly treat it.

I’m just one voice of the many out there.

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Well I sure wasn’t expecting to be writing this status report. I have been off of all meds now since Thanksgiving and just last week I saw Doc Holiday and told him that I felt great. I even gave him that list that showed all of my symptoms that have disappeared. Terrific we both agreed, even though we sort of shook our heads in realization that treating Lyme disease “just doesn’t work this way.”

Oh but what a difference a week makes.

My leg muscles are twitching (jumping around) again. My tennis elbow is back (and can I just say that it’s not fair to have tennis elbow without at least having played a good game or two of tennis), my shoulder tendonitis is acting up (I know it is because I’m reflexively not using my left hand when I drive), the bottoms of my feet are very sore again and the Achilles tendonitis, although not as sore as it was, is definitely noticeable.

I’ve also noticed that after reading a page in a book, I couldn’t remember what I had read and I’m forgetting things (which really stinks when you are a journalist.)

Lyme? Or gluten? Beer? (both of which I’ve had since stopping the meds.) Again, to be fair, I even have to revisit that ‘ol ghost of all chronic illnesses past – hypochondria? Stress of the holidays?

Am I just too weak?

There could be a million factors, all I know is that for about 2 months, while on medication I had none of these symptoms. Now that I am off of medication, they are starting to come back.

Guess Lyme didn’t work that way after all.

I’m going to wait until after the holidays (New Year’s) and then I’ll talk to Doc Holiday. I’m pretty sure that the answer is to go back on meds but this time, I’ll also add some of the herbal and supplement elements that are popular in the Lyme community. And while I’m certainly willing to go back on the meds, I’d rather wait until after the holidays to start the nausea/vomiting routine. It’s not a lot of fun.

Next time though, I’m not going to be in such a rush to be done. Superwoman, I clearly, am not.

Trust me, all of this is giving me new found respect for those who continue to be treated for Lyme disease. It takes a long time. The meds can be literally gut-wrenching.  There are days when you’ll do anything not to have to take medication. “I feel okay today, maybe I don’t need it.”

I think back to the constant arguments I had with my son when on some days he would refuse to take his meds while he was in high school.

At the time, I had thought he was being stubborn. A child. Didn’t he realize how serious this was?

Now I realize that he was just sick of being sick all the time. It sucks to constantly not feel good, especially when you are a kid.

I had read long ago, that when you are being treated for chronic Lyme (not acute Lyme) that you should expect to be treated for as long as you’ve had the disease. I’m not completely convinced that this is the case, however, it’s pretty clear for me anyway, that when treating my  chronic Lyme, 3 months of treatment is not going to do it.

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Thank you all for your comments and discussion. I read every single reply and find much value in your experiences.

Disclaimer, this is an account of my Lyme symptoms and treatment, it is not intended to be used in the treatment of anyone else’s condition. Please consult and work with your physician if you think you may have Lyme.

Let me know if you have any questions about my Lyme symptoms and/or treatment, if I don’t have the answer, I’ll find someone who does.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

5 Comments

Filed under Life Lessons, Lyme Disease, New Hampshire, Personal