Monday, December 30, 2013

Home Comforts

I have been reading my enormous hard back copy of Home Comforts with such .well, comfort. Smiles.
Loving home and making it cozy, clean and comfortable has been with me for most (if not all) of my life. My mom said that when I was growing up, she could tell the condition of my bedroom (almost every one was shared with my
sister) by my behavior. If it got too messy, I misbehaved and as soon as it was clean, my mood settled.
I also loved homes of just about any kind because I would find something welcoming or inviting in them. I lived in or visited homes from Georgia to Ohio on quaint streets, condominiums, apartments, mobile homes, two story farm houses, all the way to the most simple of homes in the mountains of TN.

To this day, I recall the dining tables, living room settings, kitchen set ups, and much more.
When I grew up and ended up in my own home (and I've lived in a little shack, apartments, mobile homes, military housing, rental homes, and now the home we hope to stay in after being on this piece of land for over 20 years) ... I love having my own routines, homey places and more. There are aspects to homemaking that I don't love or I only like sometimes (like keeping the floors clean, scrubbing the back and bottoms of toilets, and organizing
paperwork) but I love making our house a home.
 Homemaking inspiration:

Home Comforts with Cheryl Mendelson

The first part of the book has a section on the author's domestic roots while growing up and on through to her own places. She shares some things on how her two grandmothers did homemaking their own way and shared some of what those ways looked like. She shared a quote from The Odyssey that said:
"Each day I long for home, long for the sight of home."

Starting out a Home Comforts series:
One - I know we are busy. I was trying to do this detailed, wonderful, and beautifully inspiring series for us from page one to the end of the book.
I'm realizing that it might never be if I keep such a perfectionistic view of how it must be. I will just share a bit as we go and we can discuss as we decide. Sound good?

Our own Homemaking History: What do you remember of your grandmother or grandmothers homemaking style? Do you remember how she/they washed dishes? Cooked? Had special recipes? Sewed? Crocheted? Cleaned? What else?
What about your mother? What routines did your mother adhere to, if any? How did she manage her work load whether from home or between working outside of the home and being there?

My paternal grandmother died tragically before I was ever able to meet her.
She had 12 children and one grandchild the same age as her youngest child.
She went out on Christmas Eve to get the youngest child (my dad who was
five) and her grandbaby a few more gifts. She got a ride from her friend who drove a mail truck and on the way home, they ran into a blizzard on the mountain. There was an accident and both driver and passenger were killed.
So... I never had the chance to know her or how she ran her home.
My other grandmother was in her 50's and died of cancer a month or so after she was diagnosed and we didn't live close to her for most of my life. I don't recall much but I remember her little home being neat and it being important to her that kids keep their feet warm :) One of my only memories of her was her scolding my mother for letting me go bare footed and putting her own slippers on my feet and insisting I keep them on. I remember the set up of her simple home and the roses she always grew around her porch.

My mother worked after the divorce (she left with the four of us girls to be with her mother when she found out she was sick and she and my dad ended up never getting back together) so there wasn't a lot of domestic things, I guess. I do remember her loving simplicity and the scent of vanilla... she simmered vanilla beads on the stove almost always. She was very, very routine and had her coffee and breakfast by a certain time in the mornings and she was always trying to make her own versions of what we wanted from fast food places or restaurants. This was to save money and because it was healthier. I went wild for the sausage Mcmuffin breakfast sandwiches at McDonald's ... they had probably just come out! ... and she made some at home by cooking eggs as roundly shaped as she could, cooking a sausage patty, and putting those topped with a slice of American cheese on English muffins. She put them in a lunch sack and microwaved them and they were amazing. I had one every morning! 

(for the readers on the email list - this is modified from our present Home Comforts discussion)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday dinner

Our dinner:
Salmon sandwiches with spinach and a drizzle of this amazing mayonnaise with my beautiful changes! What were my changes? I omitted the Sirachi sauce or whatever it is called and added a few spoons of chipotle chilis. SO delicious! My husband LOVED the mock mayonnaise and I think I will start keeping it on hand. I served the sandwiches with blanched broccoli and a splash of a sweet balsamic vinegar. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

DELICIOUS cabbage salad

I shredded two heads of cabbage in the food processor and doubled all the ingredients but used less sugar and oil than called for. This was so good! I took it to a church potluck and it was a hit!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Today's healthier choices


Rainbow salad with healthy, homemade dressing
Portabella mushroom pizzas

Rainbow salad:
I threw baby spinach leaves, mixed salad greens and cut up Romaine lettuce in a big salad bowl and used my handy salad shooter for all the colors. A quick note on salad shooters... I got my first at the Salvation Army for under $3.00 years ago. I used it until the motor gave out and I used it a LOT. Right before it gave out, I bought one I found at Goodwill for under $6.00. I gave it to my DIL and blessed being that she is... she gave it to me when I was despondent over the high prices new shooters costs. To explain things a bit so I don't look like someone who gives and grabs back ... the shooter hadn't been used and she was only keeping it for making salads when company visited. We live close enough that I told her she can let me know if she ever needs it and she has a bit more space in her little kitchen.
ONTO... the food! Right onto my greens, I shredded cucumbers, celery, beets, onions, cabbage, carrots, yellow squash, and I don't recall the rest.

The portabella pizzas were turned upside down (stem and brown inner side scraped out) and a little spaghetti sauce was spread in each "crust". I added 1 teaspoon of Ricotta cheese to each pizza, 1/2 ounce of sharp cheddar and 1/2 ounce of goat cheese. I topped each with shredded carrots, shredded onions, shredded cabbage, and shredded beets. I know it sounds bad but it somehow worked. I put these in the oven at 400 degrees until the toppings were bubbly. I've made these mushroom pizzas for years and I don't think a batch ever turns out the same!

Nut meat veggie burgers on bread (had no buns) with mayonnaise or cashew ranch dressing, tomato slices (salted and peppered) along with Romaine lettuce, mustard and ketchup.

Rainbow salad left from lunch.
Spaghetti squash with a drizzle of olive oil and seasonings.

Nut meat veggie burgers:
3-4 carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled and quartered
one splash of OACV (wanted lemon juice but I used the last of what I had on lunch!)
1 cup of pecans
1 cup of almonds
Sauteed mushrooms (in Worcestershire sauce, light soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar)
A sprinkle of chili powder, a dash of liquid smoke, a squeeze of chipotle mustard and another of barbecue sauce.
All the ingredients went into the food processor using the S blade. I pulsed/chopped until holding together. I had to work to make these stay together on a greased cast iron grill. I topped some of them with sharp cheddar and they were delicious in flavor but I need something to make them less soft next time. They were still a hit.

That is all for now!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First post of Fall

Tonight's dinner:

Chicken breast (made in the pressure cooker last night) pulled from the bone, de-skinned and sliced. Sauteed in a cast iron with freshly sliced portabella mushrooms and a drizzle of olive oil, shake of pink Himalayan salt and ground peppercorns. This went into a serving dish and I sauteed some chopped garlic (my 10 year old son loves this chore ;) and let it heat up until fragrant and added to the chicken and mushrooms.

We are also having broccoli after I finish dunking it in some boiling water for a couple of minutes and then giving a few stirs in the same skillet I made everything else. This will be served with toasted tri-colored couscous and baby spinach leaves. I might grate some Parmesan or really sharp cheddar cheese over the top and serve with pan seared, whole grain bread.

It feels good to be back in the kitchen! I mean, I've been in the kitchen almost constantly but everything has been such a blur of activity and rushing from one thing to the next. I love it when I can bring something together and experience it more than just flinging it from pan to plate.

My husband made very fattening smoothies with eggnog, nutmeg and bananas so it is a good thing we are all hopping back to healthy tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Earlier summer garden notes

A post I just noticed not sent from earlier on this summer: (an update: the garden is almost gone! All we have left are some peppers, basil, and possibly watermelon! We are making plans for a fall/winter garden now. )

How are you?
Share from your kitchens!
Share from your living areas!
Share from your gardens!
Share, share!

How is your homemaking?

Things here are overflowing with blessings.
There have been some scary situations… some sad moments and reflections and things haven’t been perfect. What I’m choosing to focus on is the light flowing through our lives and that light is from the Lord. He pours it down from heaven and surrounds us with beauty so bountiful that the world’s countless words cannot come close to explaining it.  Here, we  are growing our best gardens ever, we are happy in our new (to us) home and still studying nutrition in research, reading, and almost living in the kitchen some days.

My husband lost 41 pounds and won a Biggest Loser contest at work and since I started my weight loss journey three years ago… I have lost 36 pounds. I prayed over this and I believe God has been showing the way to go and it is an ongoing thing… not just a one ditch effort.

We have tried herb gardens, vegetable gardens, berries, flowers, you name it over the years. With all we put in… we haven’t yielded a great deal of harvest. The closest was one of my many herb gardens but something happened the next year and it never did well again. This year, I prayed over our seeds, seedlings, soil, land, and on and on and the Lord just blessed and blessed and blessed some more! I honestly don’t know that we have lost ONE plant! We WAY OVER PLANTED in hopes to have at least some success but every spot has not only survived but THRIVED! I even won a contest from (I think that is it) and got 50.00 worth of seeds for FREE!
We have three kinds of watermelons, three types of cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, yellow peppers, red peppers, rainbow chard, yellow squash, carrots, purple pole beans, basil, parsley, okra, egg plant, pineapple sage, sage, rosemary, lemon balm, dill, cilantro, several kinds of tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, specialty peppers, cantaloupe, honeydew, nasturtiums, zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, oregano, chives, chamomile, lavender, sweet mint, peppermint, German thyme, lemon thyme, hanging strawberries, and some flowering beauties left here by my beautiful MIL when she moved.

We are so in awe of God’s work every time we mulch, weed, gather, water, and so on.
I am also doing something I have tried for around 15 years now without the first sign of success …ever. I am growing aloe! Everyone I EVER had died no matter what advice I followed or how I followed it! Now? I have so many and more being potted every few weeks! I have two nice sized ones in pottery pots on each side of our back door (inside) and another one in a planter basket on one of the end tables. I have a stone fire place front/floor/shelf and there are a row of them there. I have a huge one (a gift someone had for like 10 years) in a terra cotta pot in the dining room, a vintage bowl full of little pots of them and some on the front porch! I used cacti soil mixed with some organic potting soil and some in regular soil and others in just organic potting soil. They are doing SO well!

My daily rhythm is basically:
Getting up around 4:30 or 5:00 am with my husband and making his coffee for then and a cup to go as well as a cup for me ;) I make his breakfast (oatmeal, eggs and garden squash with onions, or grits) and sometimes a smoothie or juice.

When he leaves, I have been sitting down with my coffee and doing my quiet time… reading the Word, praying, prayer journaling and so on. This morning I changed the schedule around. Now, I am heading to the gardens before Bible time to beat the heat. I may start reading but as soon as the sun rises, I head out with my garden hat on and hand shears in gloved hand ;) I take a good look at everything, weed here and there, mulch where needed, water if necessary, and gather anything ripe and ready! I want a lovely basket or something for gathering new cucumbers, basil leaves, pineapple sage, tomatoes, okra, rainbow chard, peppers, peppers, and more peppers! 

Monday, August 26, 2013


My daughter and I just enjoyed this nut meat mixture along with veggie filled/fried eggs and on top of a mixed salad.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Prayer Places

There is a television episode with Charles Stanley aired on August 18th, 2013, titled: God's Stress Remover. This sermon has had SUCH an impact on me... on my emotions, heart, and mind!
If you have access to something capable of playing a video... I HOPE you will take the time out of your day, evening, or week end to watch this.

I have watched this and taken notes on it and shared it with anyone who was willing to listen. It is that good...
Note: I'll share more on this after you've had a chance to hear about it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Around my appliances

We are trying to save the last of the garden so we can till it up and start over for fall! We didn't yield NEARLY the harvest we hoped for but the bounty was substantial even so. We have been juicing the cucumbers and using them in homemade salad dressings and eating lots of thinly sliced freshness on sandwiches. Spreading cream cheese on whole grain bread, pan seared toast, whole grain tortillas or lettuce leaves and layering with cool cucumber slices makes for delicious summer snacking!
I am gathering the rest of the cucumbers this week and getting the seeds out, rinsing, drying, labeling and storing them for the next time I plant!

We have had great success with a variety of peppers and we are eating those on so many things, adding them to dressings, soups, salads, baked goods and more. We are also dehydrating them, blending and making pepper powder to use for seasoning and natural health applications.
 Dehydrated tiny tomatoes. I set the temp at 135 and spread halved little tomatoes over a mesh sheet for about 10 hours. I have read you can blanch them or toss with a bit of oil and I have done similar in the past but this time, I was in a hurry and just put them right in after giving them a good wash. I love these! 
 Cayenne peppers from our garden and organically grown! My husband just cut the tops off and put them on the trays. We are dehydrating them at 140 and have the timer set for 8 hours but they may need to go up to 12 hours. We'll check them before bed and again in the morning. 
This is the flour milled from soaked, sprouted and dehydrated hard grain white berries. I also have a bag of flour done the same way with spelt berries. 

I have been soaking and sprouting a variety of grains and more - spelt, hard white, soft white, quinoa, lentils, beans, and so on. The grains have been sprouted in jars (or bowls and damp, clean kitchen towels) before dehydrating and then grinding into flours. I've used them as is after making into flours and I've soaked the flours the night before and all have turned out good to great.
We've had pancakes this way twice, cornmeal skillet breads, and bread loaves.
We made brownies with white flour and the regular baking ingredients and I wasn't highly impressed so I am hoping to make a healthier sweet this week to make up for it!

We have had a few times of eating from the pantry and freezer and nearly cleared both out in the process. What a blessing, what a blessing it was as a friend and I shared... to have food in the back yard! No bread? We sauteed different peppers with an onion and served alongside some eggs. Out of eggs? We had cucumbers and carrots in a juice! There were so many things that helped us stretch right on through and I am so thankful!

I am on a mission to make the most use of each and every one of my kitchen and household appliances as I can find to make. If they are going to take up space in this home, I want them to be used to the fullest!

So, the appliances I used making the things in this post were:
Our blender, dehydrater, oven/stove top, food processer, juicer, grain grinder, and I think that is it for now!
How do you use your kitchen and house hold appliances to get the most out of them? If you don't feel you get enough use from them... what are some appliances you'd like to gain ideas about?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
By: Vonieta Stogner
"A delicious pumpkin cookie that can be eaten single or filled with whoopie pie filling to make it even better."

Servings (Help)

Original Recipe Yield3 dozen


  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 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.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

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

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Draft share/Smoothies

Yesterday, I made a great, green smoothie someone posted on a forum. I will try to remember to get the link for that to post but I am hurrying up to add my smoothies because I only have about ten more minutes on here!

The green smoothie was simple:
4-5 oranges, peeled and cut or pulled in a few pieces

and the one I had this morning came from: Practically Raw and was a fall treat!

Apple Pie Smoothie
1 large apple, cored and cut in wedges (peeled, if desired)
3/4 cup of almond milk
1/2 t. cinnamon
Vanilla extract

In my drafts files... from my kitchen.

Quick share for my records and for anyone still reading this:

3 nourishing juices as of late:

1. Three organic carrots and two crunchy apples along with a piece of fresh ginger.
2. Three organic carrots and two organic oranges.
3. Apples, lemon, and blended with brewed green tea.


*Chocolate almond milk, frozen banana, peanut butter powder, and Greek yogurt.
*Apple, pear, cinnamon, almond milk and spinach.
*Apple pie smoothie from the Practically Raw book ... scrumptious! Two apples, cored and cut in sections (I usually use a little circle thing that does all of this at once) ... almond milk, cinnamon,

Bok Choy! I have never eaten this before and I bought it for juicing or green smoothies but we got hungry!
We tossed some garlic, fresh ginger, water and stir fry sauce in the WOK and added a bunch of Bok Choy after cutting it in slices across and then down the middle. My daughter made this and her friend, Jordan made organic, brown basmati rice. We drizzled some Paul Newman's light Asian ginger dressing over the rice and spooned the greens over that. SO GOOD!

We also made our very own Pumpkin Smoothies. My again mentioned daughter (Lauren --- I should share her name, right?) was talking about some Pumpkin milkshakes she heard about and I told her we could make smoothie versions. She wasn't delighted but I set about having her help gather things for it none-the-less. We loved them! It took some tasting to get it right but in the end... they hit the spot.

Almond milk
Pumpkin Pie Spice (we made our own from an internet recipe and used all of it for three smoothies: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger, 1/4 teaspoon or more of freshly grated nutmeg.)
Ice cubes
Vanilla bean sugar with a vanilla bean left in
We made these by blending well and then swirled some half N half in them SO GOOD.

Roasted beets with honey goat cheese ----drizzled with balsamic vinegar glaze or vinegairette.

Easy, delicious ice cream

My DIL, Ryann picked up my daughter, Lauren from Starbucks on her way home from work recently. They got here later in the evening and decided to watch a movie and the movie led to a movie snack and the movie snack was homemade ice cream.

Lauren & Ryann's "Made Together" Ice Cream

Half-n-half (a quart bag was 3/4th full)
Sugar (according to taste for how sweet they wanted it)
Vanilla extract (possibly around 4 Tablespoons)
cinnamon (around 1 1/2 teaspoons)
Cocoa powder ("we just kind of shook the container" ... ? 1/4th cup?)

They used the plastic food storage bag method:
A gallon size bag (press or zip sealed kind)  is filled less than half full of ice and 1/2 cup of Rock salt is added to the ice. The ingredients above are put into a quart size plastic bag and then the bag is pressed/zipped closed and placed inside the gallon size bag and then it is pressed/zipped close. Shake until the ice cream is thick and eat right out of the bag!

What they did:
My daughter put a little glop (her word) of peanut butter in each of their bowls. She microwaved it just until it was shiny and spreadable and she spread it on the bottom of the bowl and drizzled honey over that. They cut a hole in the corner of the ice cream bag and "piped" it onto the honey/peanut butter.
This was days ago and they are both still raving how this was the best ice cream!

One Bowl Cocoa Brownies on the Food Network

One Bowl Cocoa Brownies on the Food Network

My DIL and I just made these. The kitchen is cleaned back up and hopefully the chocolate goodness will be worth the oven heating up the house! Ryann swirled peanut butter over the top of the brownie batter and it looks SO good! My plan to keep away from white sugar will have to be upheld another day!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

I planned on making homemade ice cream on the 4th of July but didn't. I still had my ice cream maker  contaienr in the freezer so I knew I was approximately 20 minutes from cold and creamy creations and set out to search (cyber style) for a healthier version than those we've used for so many years now.
This Snickerdoodle Ice Cream was really good!

Yield: Makes about 3 cups
With the irresistible flavors of cinnamon and vanilla, this ice cream gives a nod to the classic snickerdoodle cookie. (See bottom of recipe for a vegan option.)
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (full fat)
3/4 cup unsweetened almond or hemp milk
1/2 cup (packed) pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup honey
1-3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth, 30-45 seconds. The dates should be completely blended with no chunks remaining.
Pour the ice cream into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
Go VeganTurn this into Maple Snickerdoodle Ice Cream by replacing the honey with Grade B maple syrup.

Easy & delicious soaked bread

Here is the bread recipe I am trying. I have some tried and true (lots, actually) bread favorites from the traditional white flour to freshly ground flour and more in my kitchen notebooks. We still have no shelves for my cookbooks so they are organized by type in tubs with lids and stacked in a corner.
Anyway, this recipe is way different than most I've made so I'll let you know how it goes after we try it.

Soaking grains and such...

I am sweeping through the pantry and fridge shelves to make use of what we have and have decided to share from where I am. If I ever find the many scribbled, copied, scanned, and hand given recipes and kitchen tutorials I have been saving to share here - I will share away. I've been far too much the perfectionist and wanted to have themed posting, pretty formatting, relevant pictures and so on.
Alas! I must serve from the humble place I am standing (and cooking, cleaning, soaking, simmering, and blending) or risk neglecting to share at all.

Here we go.
Recently, I cleaned the work table from our previous kitchen (now in the garage a couple doors from my kitchen) and got it ready for ... well, work. The dehydrator is set up and all nine trays are cleaned and ready to dry garden produce, farmer's market sells, and sprouted grains for milling healthy flours. I found my Kamut, hard winter white, hard winter red, soft pastry and a small bucket of spelt.

Last night, I soaked a mixture to make pancakes with today (didn't care for it but I might have modified it too much) and soaked some for whole grain bread, have some spelt sprouting to dry, and two kinds of grains are soaking to sprout.

We had these pancakes this morning:

Vegan, Soaked Whole Grain, Sugar-free Pancakes!
The night before making pancakes:
Make vegan "buttermilk" with:
3T apple cider vinegar
3 cups rice, almond, or soy milk
Whisk and let sit 5 minutes.
Then whisk into:
3 cups whole grain flour.You might be able to use brown rice flour to make them gluten-free...
Cover and let sit overnight.
The morning of:
Measure and mix into flour and "buttermilk" mixture from night before:
1/4 cup baking powder (yes! lol)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup grapeseed or "light-tasting" olive oil
1 tsp liquid stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract 
Cook in a cast iron skillet greased up with coconut oil over medium-low heat. 
Now I want to figure out how to make all-natural sugar-free imitation maple syrup... I'm thinking xylitol, maple extract, and water... 
In a hurry but plan to share how the bread turns out later today! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

How our garden grows as of June, 2013

Our growing garden!
This is a view of our row garden. The first two are not big yet but they are (from seeds)  rainbow chard and sweet peppers. The next row is yellow squash, then watermelons, then yellow and red bell peppers, and two half rows of basil. All were from seeds I won (so awesome!) from Sustainable Seed Co. with the exception of the yellow and red peppers... they were from the store!

This is our "square garden" where my husband tilled up squares and we planted things in each and created walk ways around each one. The view here shows our cucumbers (from seed) and pineapple sage (plant) along with a tiny row of sweet peppers from seeds that are so tiny you can't see them here. It is hard to see... but there are a few eggplants, a daisy, a chrysanthemum, several varieties of tomatoes, several kinds of peppers and more. 

Cucumbers! My husband made the trellises! 

More of what I listed above...

Closer view of yellow squash...

Closer view of rows: Carrots (from seed), purple beans (from seed), broccoli (plants) and red and yellow pepper from plants. 

My harvest basket ...only $1.00 from the local farmer's market! I gathered broccoli, cucumbers, yellow squash babies, borage, nasturtiums, and dill. This picture shows our first melons... so adorable! 
So thankful for God's bounty and provision. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Green Tea: Make Ahead Tip

This was my last email list post and I thought I would share it here as well :) 

One thing I have been working to better myself on is a more holistic approach to daily living and as a homemaker. What I mean by that, is working to stay aware of things on all levels (spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical) so I can grow in each and have a more successful whole.

Have you ever noticed how rare it is to see a dedicated homemaker (stay at home moms, wives and mothers working in the home and out) take proper care of herself? Even adequate self tending seems few and far between. I know this has been an area I've struggled with a lot over the years. How do you get enough sleep with little ones waking all night? When do you carve out time and KEEP AT IT when the tasks needing done over take the hours to do them?

There are no exact answers for these and a zillion similar questions bec/ each of us are so different BUT each homemaking heart can start looking at things in her own life and begin to make stacks of changes. Step one... do this... make your stack. Step two... keep up with Step one and add something else... second stack. We want a growing life but snapping our fingers and having it appear will probably yield little results.
Getting things prioritized and planning to have daily progress towards a more whole place in life can do wonders.

This is deep and wide and far reaching so I won't write a book on it... at least not yet. (smiles)
For right now, I will share something I am doing to keep my energy up and pour health into my body to keep going.
Today's Tip:
Green tea.
I've been trying to drink more of this for years! My daughter loves it but I have not seemed to get into it unless it is in a latte and how healthy is that usually? I tried something awhile back that I LOVED and it has made consuming green tea a treat! I drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices and I read or heard somewhere that you can sometimes add water to your juices or herbal teas. This hydrates more and/or adds nutrition and flavor.
I cut some of my juices in half with an equal amount of green tea and the taste was just amazing. I enjoy other cold, herbal teas but green tea is my present favorite. I was making a cup or two at a time and waiting for it to cool but it took awhile to cool and longer to get cold.

I brew 1-2 quarts of green tea and strain the bags (they go in our compost) and the tea goes in the fridge. Now, every time I make a juice, smoothies (some kinds do well with this) or just need a splash of green... I have it on hand. I have also frozen it in ice trays and that works well but I usually prefer the cold liquid. I already freeze yogurt, greens, herbs, pureed fruit, and some blended vegetables in ice cube trays for smoothies, soups, stews, stocks, teas and more. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Our garden progress!

These are the beginning shots and stages of our gardening this year. Things are changing so quickly that I haven't been good at keeping up with recording the progress. I will post the most recent when I get back to this computer!

My husband tilling our second garden. The first was tilled in rows and this was sectioned off in squares.

These are some of our peppers (hot and mild --- I hope our labels help us at harvest time!) and tomatoes with the mulch around them. The picture on the right shows our zucchini, one eggplant, our yellow squash and what will hopefully turn out to be a tiny melon patch.

The left shows a more close shot of the zucchini or yellow squash plants and a tree stump with mushrooms just bec it looked neat :)

Left is the some nasturtiums, a sage plant and a rosemary. On the right is a cilantro plant and a lemon balm. There are tiny dill plants coming up in between!

On the left, we have our scraggly, miscellaneous space where we planted extras. There are two tomato plants, two green bean plants, some sweet peas hanging on for dear life and a lot of weeds. On the right, is a tri-colored sage (now withered and gone :( and I think a parsley plant.)

Two chamomile plants and they have already grown two lovely flowers! On the left ... is one of cucumber plants.

Right: Rainbow chard... this is something I have been SO excited about and even though it is very tender to care for... I planted a lot and it is looking delicious! Left: Two parsleys and a basil along with some broccoli!

 Green beans, broccoli, watermelon and yellow squash
 Old rose bush
 Japanese maple - gift from my heart sister that she 
planted from a baby from her tree! Thyme - I have one
German thyme and one lemon thyme... love!
 Hanging strawberry (have two) and this one has a 
wandering jew peeking out!
 Sweet mint
 Cuban oregano: a first and an instant favorite!
My DIL learned about this from a local nursery
and now we both have one and love them!
 I have one of these rosemary plants on each side of 
our back door and we have two more in the gardens. 
 I forget the name of these beautiful peppers. I started
these from seeds I got from Seeds of Change!

 Cilantro I started from seed

 Dukat dill I started from seed. Most of the seeds 
came from Seeds of Change!

 Grand-littles herb garden. The whole kit was $1.00!
 Basil from seed!
 Dukat dill
 Bird on a stump 
 Chocolate beauty bell peppers 

 grandlittles herb garden growimg

 sage, parsley, rosemary, lavender and red lettuce

 row garden 
 Garden in squares

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Our food this Saturday...

Today: Coffee with cinnamon and honey mixture and half-n-half. Oatmeal for my husband with a small amount of brown sugar and half-n-half. Juice for me: celery, carrots, cucumber, jalapeno, ginger, lime and parsley. I didn't love the taste of this (even though it was spicy and I do love that) but I would have probably loved it with one piece of fruit to balance out all the heat. I made it bec I have been battling symptoms similar to sinusitis and I wanted to knock it out without antibiotics. I made our 10 year old son Annie's macaroni and cheese and chicken breast bites. He loves chicken nuggets from just about anywhere but I am trying to feed him healthier options so I bought chicken breast and sauteed them in a skillet (cut in square, bite sized pieces) with some seasonings and non stick spray. I added a bit of liquid aminoes and worcestershire sauce to keep them from being dry. A whole chicken (4.5 lbs.) was put into the pressure cooker and when it cools, I will get the meat and save the bones and broth to make chicken stock with some of the vegetables pieces I've been saving in the fridge. I am making Black Bean Stew for dinner and it is made in the pressure cooker as well. The set up on this has changed and isn't allowing the options I usually have so forgive how plain this looks!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Raw Nut Meat Lettuce Wraps

Print Recipe

Raw Nut Meat Tacos


Course: Main Course

Serves: 1


  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado, Carrot Cucumber
  • Salsa
  • Whatever you like on your tacos
  • Makes about 2 cups "meat
  • 1 cup almonds soaked 2 hours
  • 1 cup walnuts soaked 2 hours
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • Dash garlic powder or fresh garlic to your liking
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Dash cayenne for a spicy meat
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari if you are soy-free use a dash of sea salt to season


  1. Nuts can be soaked together. After 2 hours drain nuts. Blend in a food processor (not blender) for about 20-30 seconds to get the nuts chopped well. Add the rest of the meat ingredients and blend, scrapping down the edges of the bowl a few times to incorporate all the ingredients. Blend until your preferred level of chunkiness. I like my meat crumbly and not a smooth paste (see photo). Season with salt if needed.
  2. Pile the meat into the lettuce leaf with toppings and enjoy!

Powered by
Plan To Eat