Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I made my own juice yesterday because I had my youngest grandbaby here and I needed to get it done. I made him some fresh apple juice but added too much water and he could barely taste the apple, I think. He put his little hand on his 2-year old little head and said, "I have a headache" as a means for having me not expect him to drink more than three swallows. [Smile]

Back to the other juice:

one apple (I used green)
one carrot
one pear
1/2 cucumber
handful of organic, baby spinach
two celery sticks

Made up one full size glass. Wonderful!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Juice for good skin!

I got this juice idea after going to the gym today from The Everything Juicing book and I really enjoyed it. It is literally just two red apples, 2 peeled carrots, 4 kale leaves and a handful of spinach. SO good and SO good for you!


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies & Sandy's Cinnamon Roll Frosting


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies 

 By: Vonieta Stogner  

Original Recipe Yield 3 dozen 


 2 cups packed brown sugar

 1 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

 1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree (used a whole 15 ounce can)

 2 eggs

 3 cups all-purpose flour

 1 teaspoon salt

 1 teaspoon baking powder

 1 teaspoon baking soda

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (added this and an extra splash!)

 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (added a bit more)

 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger (alas, another I added a bit more on)

 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves (out of these so I added more of the spices above and added some pumpkin pie spice and freshly grated nutmeg)

 Filling: (I didn't make this one but I will share the one I used below)

1 egg white

 2 tablespoons milk

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 2 cups confectioners' sugar

 3/4 cup shortening


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.

2. Combine the oil and brown sugar. Mix in the pumpkin and eggs, beating well. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix well.

3. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool then make sandwiches from two cookies filled with Whoopie Pie Filling.

4. To Make Whoopie Pie Filling: Beat egg white and mix with the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar. Mix well then beat in the shortening and the remaining cup of confectioners' sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.  

Sandy's Cinnamon Roll Frosting for Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Filling: 

8 ounces of cream chese

6 T. of salted butter

1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

LOTS of freshly grated nutmeg

An overflowing teaspoon of vanilla extract


I just beat the cream cheese with a paddle attachment on my blender and when it is creamy, I add the butter and let these blend together until not chunky or lumpy. I add the vanilla and blend and then the powdered sugar and last the nutmeg. This has become famous and THE MOST requested thing I make (well, only if it is on top of homemade, whole grain cinnamon rolls!) for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, family gatherings and more!


These were the loveliest little cookie pies and provided a delicious sweet gift for our family of five, our daughter's friend, and our oldest son and his daughter!


It might have been 93 here today and the oven didn't help a house with no central heat and air but we had fun pretending the leaves were falling while it lasted!



Nutritional Information  

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 425 | Total Fat: 21.7g | Cholesterol: 24mg

Saturday, August 25, 2012

BRIEF Post: 2 small ideas!

I haven't kept up with all we are eating and making in the kitchen right now so some of the lovelies will have to be added later or not at all. We'll see how it goes!

Saturday Smoothie:

Purified water
No fat yogurt, plain
frozen bananas
honey drizzle

The boys wouldn't try it because it wasn't a pretty color (not quite purple enough from the blueberries, not bright green... just different, I guess) but it was okay. I was drinking it more for the nutrition than for flavor anyway.

Open faced sandwiches:

I just took some left over turkey and shredded it quickly in my little food chopper thing that I adore and use ALL the time. I put about an ounce per piece of whole grain bread and topped with a slice of smoked Gouda cheese. This was broiled and brought out of the oven before having Newman's Own low fat ginger salad dressing drizzled over. Very good!

I lost six pounds but gained two of those back after two bad eating days!

I am making up our menu today and hoping it will be nourishing, energy lifting and nurturing all at once. Hopefully, I won't be so scattered I neglect to share any of it here. Smile.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Good morning!

Good day, eve, and what not!

I was out of half n half this morning and my coffee cup was in tears (better it than me, you must agree) and remembered seeing creamer recipes on a blog. I typed the closest thing I could remember and found the site right away!

The recipes called for coconut milk and I just used a partial can for yesterday's Summertime Corn & Zucchini soup so the rest was in the fridge.  There were a few flavors to choose from and I opted for the Cinnamon Streusel since I LOVE cinnamon and there are so many lovely healthy benefits to it.

 I made the date paste used for sweetener (so easy) by following the directions to add one cup of dates (de-seeded) to one cup of water in a blender. Mixed that together with one cup of coconut cream and added a teaspoon of cinnamon (more than the recipe called for) and about 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
So, if you see the recipe, you'll notice that I veered off of it but I do that from time to time.

The first sip or two were not pleasant for my personal taste buds. I added a packet of Stevia in the Raw and sipped a couple more times and found it quite nice. So, I am half way through my "make it work when I don't have creamer" coffee. I am a bit delirious over using the keyboard for it has been far too long since I used it other than flinging a sentence or two out between cooking, cleaning and catching the many spinning plates of summer.

School is back and so are nicer routines and better bedtimes and the bliss of it all is just a smile! It allows for entire blocks of time to clean and breaks in noise levels to make thinking up food ideas possible. I mean, we ate over the summer, of course but by the end of it... what a flurry of forgotten meal plans, lost shopping lists and thrown together dishes.

Now, I am back to getting up by 4:30 am or 5:00 am to get my husband a cup of coffee to drink right away, a thermos full to take to work, a smoothie to drink on the way to work and a thermos of oatmeal for once he settles down at work!
After this, the last of our five beautiful children is in school. How can we hold them up for neck kisses and spend entire portions of a day changing diapers and wake up to have them holding their own babies so quickly? No time for tears (well, there is time but I'm not in the mood for crying) so back to breakfast talk ---
A quick emptying of the dishwasher, laundry started, my own coffee in hand and I have time to read my Bible and pray! Love, love.
I time this so I can finish up about five minutes before our over energetic, happy, sad, mad, loud, striving always to control everything and everyone and HUGE hearted boy who drives me to my knees for prayer more than anyone has in my entire LIFE... is roused out of slumber. He gets to choose between smoothie or breakfast of the day (whatever I chose for the day at large) and we pull his lunch from the freezer and fridge together. I pack the room temperature things the night before.
After the basic dressing, teeth brushing, and back pack grabbing, we head out and pray on the way to school.
Once home, I clean a bit and either hop on the computer (it has been too long!) or share a cup of coffee with one of my darling loved ones or write. Sometimes, I do all and more.
Either way, it's okay, I wake up with myself.
Sorry, I simply love Billy Joel songs and always have and have heard them so often that sometimes they show up in my speech... or writing.
This morning, I decided to make a juice later and something with more substance for breakfast. I drained a can of white tuna and put half of it on a piece of whole grain bread. I put a 60 calorie slice of Gouda cheese on top and broiled until bubble and starting to have golden brown places on the cheese. I threw a grand hand full of organic spring lettuce mix on top and drizzled with 1 T. of Bolthouse Farms Caesar Parmigiano yogurt salad dressing. It is only 45 calories for 2 tablespoons!
SO good and filling.

If there is someone out there reading this (and I would not blame the world for not since I haven't shown up in such a long time) ... I hope you have a day overflowing and flowing of God's blessings. They surround us, follow us, find us and keep us all the day long and they ride on wings of endless love for us. How much we have to praise and thank Him for...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer soup and Carrot Cake

I still haven't managed to keep up with every new and comfort standby I've put together in my kitchen but get there, I shall... I hope.

Anyway, lots going on with school starting back and adjustments are made with so many ages and stages of loved ones. We are eating a lot and I am scaling recipes to cover anywhere from around 7 to 15+  at a time. We only have five living here but three of the five need leftovers for lunches and we also gather our other loved ones frequently to share in visits and foods!

The recipe I made for today's dinner served five with two left over plates/bowls so I'll need to up it next time to offer one more left over.

We took the suggestion of the cookbook's author I got the recipe from and served this over Basmati brown rice. I cook up a batch at a time of different rices in my rice cooker and it has a steamer basket on top so I almost always fill it with vegetables to serve with the rice. Last night, we had a coconut and chicken cream dish (from a jar) added to bite sized chicken breast pieces I browned and simmered until fully cooked. This was served over the just mentioned rice and steamed broccoli.
Onto tonight's:

Summer Lovin' Curried Corn & Veggie Chowder
* My daughter was helping gather ingredients for this and we both kept mixing two of the book's recipes. As a result, I have one or two extra seasonings and messed up on the actual steps. It still turned out well liked by everyone. *

1 t. canola oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
1 c. shallots, finely chopped (I used Vidalia onion)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped finely (I used yellow bell pepper bec/ we didn't have any red)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1/2 t. red pepper flakes (also out of these delicious things so I used red cayenne pepper)
1 zucchini, sliced into small pieces (about 1/2 pound)
1 3/4 cups corn, from 3 ears of corn (reserve cobs) --- I just scraped all the corn off of the 3 cobs and used it so I don't know if it added up exactly.
1/2 t. salt
3 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken broth...didn't have the other)
2 t. arrowroot powder
1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped carrots - author's note: "I cheat and use baby carrots, 'cause the work is half done for you".
1 heaping T. mild curry powder
3/4 c. light coconut milk (used regular)
Juice of 1/2 lime, or to taste
Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Per serving: 1/4 recipe
Calories: 180
Total fat: 5 g
Carb: 30 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 7 g
Sodium: 760 mg

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots and red bell pepper in the oil until translucent, about 4 minutes. Use a little nonstick cooking spray or brother if needed. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and saute for another minute. Add the zucchini and corn and sprinkle in the salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring once.
Measure 1 cup of the broth into a measuring cup. Mix in the arrowroot with a fork until dissolved. You do the s because it's just easier to get the arrowroot dissolved into smaller quantities of liquid. Add the arrowroot mixture to the pot, along with the rest of the broth.  Mix in the carrots and curry powder. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, break the corn cobs in half and add them to the pot. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the corn cobs. Add the coconut milk and lime juice.
Use an immersion blender to blend about half of the soup. If you don't have an immersion blender (get one!), then transfer about half of the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, then add back to the pot. If the soup is still steaming hot, make sure to either keep the opening on top of your food processor open, or lift the lid often for steam to escape. If steam builds up in a  closed container it can explode the lid off. Ouch. Taste for seasoning. Serve garnished with cilantro, if you like.

This recipe uses a method that really makes corn chowder shine: Let the corn cobs stew in the pot. They hold lots of maize-y flavor, so don't let 'em go to waste. At the end, you remove the cobs and only your delicious soup knows they were ever there. I suppose you can use frozen corn instead, but only if you 're really crunched for time.

From: Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Help for last night's sweet craving:

This is from my Blendtec cookbook so is set up for a high speed blender.

Carrot Cake
2 1/2 medium carrots, cut in half

Directions: Place above ingredients into blender jar and secure the lid. Be sure carrots are placed vertically in blender jar. Press the Speed Up button until blender reaches 3. Allow the cycle to run for 50 seconds. Pour carrots into a separate bowl.

Note: If batter is not blended to desired consistency, remove jar after the cycle has finished and shake until the batter removes around in the jar. Place back on the motor base and press the Pulse button 3 to 4 times.

1 medium apple, cored into eighths
1/2 medium orange peeled

Directions: Place ingredients into the blender jar and press the Pulse button 30 to 40 times. After every 10 press, remove container, shake, place back on blender and continue to press Pulse button.

1/2 c. water
1/4 c. oil
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1/2 t. allspice
1 t. baking soda
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 1/4  c. sugar
2 cups flour

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Add above ingredietns and carrot mixture into jar. Press the Speed Up buton until blender reaches speed 7. Press the Stop button halfway through the cycle (when the display reads 30 seconds). Pour into round 9 x 9" sprayed baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Two Juices & a Lunch

Okay, I neglected to include a daily sodium goal and have found it is between 1,500 and 2,300.  My DIL sent me this Live Strong site to get the info from.

Some from today:

Early morning juice:

4 apples
2 limes (peeled)
1 lemon (peeled)

I juiced them all and drank the whole glass!

I got this recipe from The Top 100 Juices by Sarah Owen.

 The Top 100 Juices: 100 Juices to Turbo-Charge Your Body with Vitamins and Minerals (The Top 100 Recipes Series)

Another juice I had recently was supposed to be good for eczema. It was:

Juice 3 medium carrots, 1/2 medium beet, 1/4 bunch spinach, 1/2 cucumber, and 1/4-1/2 bunch parsley.
This one was gleaned from: Juice Alive by Steven Bailey, ND and Larry Trivieri, Jr.
Juice Alive: The Ultimate Guide Juicing Remedies

I don't get anything from posting these cookbooks, I just prefer having links and pictures of them when I am on blogs so I thought you may like the same:)

My lunch was a big plate of organic baby spinach based salad (with 1 T. of walnuts and 1 T. dried cranberries) topped with 1 ounce of turkey breast, 1 ounce of shredded cheese, 1 teaspoon of Bragg's Ginger & Sesame Salad dressing, and 1 T. of cucumber garlic yogurt. Delicious!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Salad & Soup Recipes

I am trying to be creative in the kitchen and make vibrant eating ... colorful and pleasant. I don't want to feel I am depriving myself or my family by cutting out a lot of standard and harmful foods. I am attempting to overflow with good things and finding ways to nourish our bodies.

Even though we have eaten healthy in some ways over the years (sometimes quite religiously and other times, here and there) ... I really want to make a life style change and stick with it. I believe it is important to get plenty of fresh water, fruits, vegetables, various grains, whole proteins, fermented foods and so on.

Through all the reading, recipes, revamping of this and that ... I am reminded of what is most important and first above any and that is to feed our spirits. We need the Living Waters washing through us, we need the Living Word working in us and we need Jesus Christ to be where we go to fill up to overflowing and for the meeting of every need.

Here are some verses that nourish my spirit:

Isaiah 44:14
He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it.

Ezekiel 31:4
The waters nourished it; the deep made it grow tall, making its rivers flow around the place of its planting, sending forth its streams to all the trees of the field.

Aren't those verses so soothing and nurturing?!

Here is a salad I made and very much enjoyed from Bragg Vegetarian Health Recipes:

Spring Salad Bowl
1 clove garlic
1 large head of lettuce
1/2 cup of radishes, slice
1/2 cup carrots, grate
3 green onions, finely cut
2 large, ripe tomatoes, slice
1 cucumber, slice
2 celery stalks, chop
Bragg Ginger & Sesame or Organic Vinaigrette Dressing (to taste)
*TIP* I used a Salad Shooter I got years ago for under $2.00 at The Salvation Army to slice the radishes, grate the carrots, slice the cucumber and chop the celery!
Rub salad bowl with garlic clove cut in half. Wash and dry head of lettuce thoroughly, separating and tearing leaves into bowl. Add radishes, carrots, celery and green onions. Slice tomatoes and cucumbers, retaining the skins: skins are not only nutritious, but colorful when serving. Use Bragg Ginger & Sesame Dressing or Organic Hawaiian Dressing. Serves 4.

LOVED this. We devoured this bowl by the end of the day!

More spirit feeding:

Ephesians 5:29
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,

Colossians 2:19
and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

This next recipe was a complete surprise hit. I was making it for myself and had NO idea anyone else would even try it. Our 9 year old son wanted to help from start to finish! He used a corn cutter thing I bought and scraped the delicious, fresh kernels off the cob and he peeled and cut the garlic. He chopped the tomatoes and wanted to peel and cut the potatoes but I finished them while he was working on something else.

Not only did he eat some of it but my 18 year old daughter, her 18 year old friend AND my 19 year old niece LOVED it! They came in and ladled a big bowl each and ended up finishing the whole soup pot before dinner time!

I felt it needed more seasoning and I added sea salt and pepper to mine along with 2 Tablespoons of parmesan cheese. So good!

Corn Chowder (it was more of a summer chowder than specifically corn)
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced small
2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 ears corn, kernels removed (above 2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and deiced
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 4-6 medium), diced
6 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup basil, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Place the onions and peppers in a large saucepan and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 Tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the corn and garlic, and saute 5 more minutes. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
2. Puree half of the soup in batches in a blender with a tight fitting lid, covered with a  towel. Return to the pureed soup to the pot. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. NOTE: I used my immersion blender right in the pot and saved a LOT of hassle!
You can also make this with leeks instead of onions -- substitute 2 leeks , white part only, diced and rinsed, for the onion.

From: Forks over Knifes, The Cookbook by Del Sroufe

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Daily Nutrition Goals

I have been spending any time I can scrape for such things continuing my personal ... better health guidelines. .. research.
I've written the following down several times using a variety of sites, publications and other resources but they are all over the place. It dawned on me that I could post here and share for anyone desiring to find out their own info and I will have it in one place!

I want to make a colorful chart with all of this info to hang in my kitchen and make it a lot easier to keep up with! I've been planning to do this for years and I just need to get it going!

 smile529: I have been trying for months to find out my exact nutritional needs. How much protein each day? Fiber? Calcium/Dairy? Fat? Servings of fruits? Vegetables? Grains?

I am finally figuring out some basics!

Protein: 180-225 grams of protein per day?!
I got this from
36-45 per meal when I eat five small meals?!
Our 9 year old son needs approximately: 80-96 grams per day and 13-16 grams per meal.
Our 18 year old daughter needs around 104-120 grams per day and 17-22 grams per meal.
My husband 156-195 grams per day and 39-49 per meal. says I should be having 1,000 mg of calcium a day.
According the the Mayo Clinic, I need to aim for 25 grams of fiber per day. My husband needs 38!
Our daughter needs 26 grams per day and our son needs 31.
I got the kids' numbers from:

As for fat 
 suggests no more than 25-35 percent of my total calories for the day. I don't want to mess with all the math but I plan on eating only healthy oils and I should get an adequate amount if I am keeping up with my calories.

Fruits: From what I've read... it appears I can do well on at least 3 servings per day and the same for my daughter.  My husband and son need around 4 servings per day.
Vegetables: 4-6 servings is my goal. The guys in our home need 5-6.


5 – 10 servings

This depends on the total number of calories you consume in a day.
  • If you consume 1600 calories, eat 5 servings per day.
  • If you consume 1800 – 2000 calories, eat 6 servings per day.
  • If you consume 2200 calories, eat 7 servings day.
  • If you consume 2400 calories, eat 8 servings per day.
  • If you consume 2600 calories, eat 9 servings per day.
  • If you consume 2800 calories, eat 10 servings per day.
One serving of grains is equal to:
  • 1 slice of bread
  • ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal
  • 1 cup ready-to-eat dry cereal
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005

Here is some helpful information for what kids need: (I focused on this age group but they have all of them on the site).

9 to 13 Years

Mayo Clinic states that girls age 9 to 13 require between 1,600 and 2,200 calories a day and boys need 1,800 to 2,600. The wide range in energy needs is dependent upon growth and activity levels. At this age, many children are involved in sports and other activities, which require energy. On average, recommendations include consuming seven servings of grains, two servings of vegetables, three servings of fruit, three servings of dairy and three servings of meat daily.

Read more: