Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Latte

Why pay for a high price and high calorie pumpkin coffee from a coffee shop when you can make one at home for a fraction of the cost and calories! Enjoy fall with this wonderful coffee!

Ingredients:
1 cup of organic coffee
4 oz organic milk or cream
2 ts organic sugar, brown would add a nice taste
2 TB pureed organic pumpkin (canned is fine)
1/2 ts organic cinamon
Dash each of organic nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves

Whisk all ingredients together. Top with a scoop of homemade whipped cream if you desire. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin facial mask

'Tis the season to get some pumpkin and rub it all over your face =) No really...pumpkin is full of antioxidants and exfoliating properties. So whip up this mask, spread it on your face, and sip a Pumpkin Pie Latte while you wait!

Pumpkin Mask
4 TB pureed organic pumpkin
1 egg
Optional:
2 ts almond milk and 1 ts honey (for dry skin)
2 ts apple cider vinegar (for oily skin)

Whisk ingredients together until well blended. Cleanse your face. Steam if you have time. Spread mask evenly over your face. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Moisturize.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quick Facial

This is the first entry for some great make-at-home beauty treatments! They are easy, and all natural ingredients! Here is a 3 step quick facial with some easy ingredients you probably already have!

1. Steam- Boil water and place into a large bowl. With a towel over your head, place your face 6 inches or so from the water. Hold there for 30 seconds. Take a break. Repeat. Take a break. Repeat. You will steam for a total of 3 times.

2. Exfoliate -  In a bowl, mix together fine cornmeal and a little water so it's paste like consistency. Scrub your face gently with the mixture and rinse thoroughly.

3. Moisturizing Mask - In a bowl, mix together one egg white and a tablespoon of plain yogurt. Spread all over your face, avoiding your eyes. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, finishing with a splash of cold water to close pores.

That's it! So easy and your face will feel great!

Adventures with the Fuzzy Feather Heads-Part 1

This fall we ordered a new kind of chicken for our flock. We usually get Rhode Island Reds, Araucana's, Barred Rocks, Silver Laced Wyandottes, and Black Austrolorps. We've always wanted some of the chickens featured in the "Top Hat" Special. They are a mixture of different types of Polish chickens, and some others. All of them grow feathers straight out of the tops of their heads. Since it was so late in the season, we could not order just a few of one kind or another, we had to order 25 of the "Top Hat's" and get what we get. As soon as these little ones arrived at a day or so old, most already had a little cotton ball looking fuzz ball on top of their heads! They were so cute!







At 6 weeks old they are starting to get quite the personalities. Some are super friendly, some are extremely wild, all are still super cute, and rather funny looking. =)
This is my friend "Spits". She likes to come over to the waterer and spit water on us, every time we're in the coop!






 Stay tuned for more adventures with our Fuzzy Feather Heads!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Make your own vanilla extract


 Ok, this is so awesome! We go through a ton of vanilla in this house. Hubby likes to put it in his coffee, not to mention baking, etc. Here, a 4 oz bottle of organic vanilla extract costs about $8. I was chatting with a friend who told me she makes her own and it's super easy. I immediately ordered a bunch of organic vanilla beans, you only need 6, but I wanted extra. Order them here They have good prices. In my grocery store it costs $7 for TWO beans. Check out beanilla's prices, SO much better!
So here's what you need:

6 organic vanilla beans (See note at bottom, I added another bean later)
2 cups organic vodka (if you can find it, otherwise a mild tasting vodka)
1 clean jar with a tight fitting lid. I used a bottle with a cork because it's pretty =)
1 2 or 4 oz amber bottle (beanilla sells these too)

Take a sharp paring knife and slice your beans down the middle leaving an inch attached.


Place all beans into your jar.
Pour in the 2 cups of vodka.


Put the lid on and shake it.

Take your jar and place it in a dark cupboard. It will need to sit for 8 weeks. When you think about it, give it a good shake. After 8 weeks you can now pour some off into your amber bottle. This is what you will use daily. Leave the jar with the beans in the dark cupboard. NOW here's the great thing....you can keep topping off the jar with more vodka and this will last you for years! If you ever notice the color getting lighter, slice another bean and throw it in, give it a shake (It'll probably be a year before you need to add another bean). Isn't this great! So economical!

Commercial vanilla has a simple syrup added it to it, you can do this if you want but I didn't. If you're using it in baking you won't even notice a difference.

At one week

6 Weeks


10 Weeks (I added an extra bean at 8 weeks because it wasn't as dark as I wanted, and then let it go 2 more weeks)

Now you can pour off into your amber jars for daily use. Keep your large container in a dark cupboard. Add more vodka as needed.

Oh no!

I had a bunch of storage tubs that needed to be cleaned, so they were taken outside to hose down. I leaned them against some bushes so they would dry. Well after a week or so of wind and rain I realized they would probably do better in the garage because they just were never going to dry outside. Not to mention they were being knocked around by the heavy winds, and it just looked cruddy with storage tubs all over our yard. So one by one I took them into the garage. I went to pick up one that was upside down on the ground, the wind had knocked it off the bush I assumed....and when I lifted it up a chicken ran out of it!!!! I screamed! We had "lost" a chicken a week before but assumed, like all the others, it had been eaten by a fox. The poor thing had been trapped in this storage tub for a week! She laid one egg and then probably went on to conserve her energy. Luckily with the rain, there were puddles of water under there to drink, and bugs in the ground to eat. If it weren't for that I probably would have found a dead chicken when I lifted that tub!

Naturally flavor your coffee






Store bought flavored creamers aren't the only option for a yummy coffee treat. Not to mention if you read the labels on those creamers you are getting way more than just flavored coffee. Some have partially hydrogenated oils, some have high fructose corn syrup, and all have a bunch of ingredients most people can't pronounce. I'm a strong believer that if you can't pronounce the ingredient, then you shouldn't be eating it. Most of these would be "too taste", so play with them and figure out what's the best for you. But these are good starting points.

Mocha Coffee
Coffee
(Shot of espresso if you have it, but not necessary)
1-2 ts organic sugar ( Sucanat is the best option for sugar)
or 1/2 ts agave (Be careful with agave, a lot of them are synthetically made and terribly bad for you. Wholesome foods makes a good quality one.)
or 1 ts organic honey
1-2 ts organic cocoa powder
Organic milk or cream to taste, preferably raw

Vanilla Coffee
Coffee
Same sweetener options as above (If you can get vanilla flavored agave, that's super yummy)
A splash of organic vanilla extract
Organic milk or cream to taste, preferably raw

Chocolate Mint Dream
Coffee
Same sweetener options as above
1 ts organic cocoa powder
A splash of organic peppermint flavoring
Organic milk or cream to taste

Mint Dream
Same as Chocolate Mint Dream above, just omit the cocoa powder

Amaretto
Coffee
Same sweeteners as above
Splash of organic almond extract
Organic milk or cream to taste

Caramel Delight
Coffee
Sparingly use a sweetener, doesn't need as much as others
3 ts organic caramel syrup, or more to taste
Organic milk or cream to taste

Chocolate Covered Caramel
Same as Caramel Delight but add 2 ts cocoa powder

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to mince garlic - Video

I think my 2nd grade videographer did a great job! =)




Guacamole Egg Rolls

This is a variation of a recipe I saw at www.mommybistro.com She has some great comfort food recipes, you should check it out.
These are fun! Serve them with a side of salsa. As for the egg roll wrappers, I found egg roll/spring roll wrappers in the frozen section but after reading the ingredients I put them back. I would have put them back just for the fact that bleached white flour was the first ingredient, but scroll down a little and there was propylene glycol (aka anti-freeze, ick). Then there was Sodium Benzoate, which is a pretty bad preservative. So I went over to the Japanese isle and they had some spring roll wrappers with something like 4 ingredients, none of which were a deal breaker, so I got those. The only hitch with those is they are hard and crispy. I had some in my house a few years ago that I could not figure out how to use. Everytime I tried to wrap anything they would snap. Now, if you know how to use these you're probably shaking your head at me right now. If you don't, you have to soak them in water for a few before you try to wrap anything. Boy did that make an amazing difference =) The first thing I ever successfully wrapped with them were bananas, chocolate, and almond butter...THAT was super yummy! Though I've learned since then to use more than one wrapper for each roll so they are less likely to tear while wrapping and cooking. This recipe will call for two wrappers for each roll, feel free to use more, honestly three might be better, adjust accordingly. A ton come in the package I got so I didn't even come close to using them all.  Here's a pic of the ones I got:

Ingredients: (Makes 8 egg rolls)
16 egg roll or spring roll wrappers (Please read the ingredient label!!!)
2 avocados, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 organic onion, chopped
Handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 ts sea salt
1 organic egg, beaten
Coconut or olive oil for searing or deep frying (See instructions below)

In a large bowl, gently stir together avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro and salt.

Fill a plate with water and place 2 wrappers in the water to soak for a minute. Remove from water and place on a sheet of wax paper. Place a couple of scoops of avocado mixture down the middle.
Fold the bottom flap up a quarter to halfway up the mixture. Brush the beaten egg along all the edges.
Fold the top flap down, and roll up. Repeat with all rolls.
Now at this point, you could go ahead and deep fry them if you so desire. If you do, coconut oil would be the healthiest choice.
Or, you could heat a skillet with about 2 TB of coconut oil. Sear all sides of the roll, and place roll on a baking sheet. Repeat with all rolls. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, flipping half way through.









Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Grown Up Grilled Cheese

Jaz up grilled cheese night by stuffing your grilled cheese with onion, avocado, and tomato! Of course serve it with a side of tomato soup =)

Serves 4

Ingredients:
8 slices whole wheat bread
2 organic tomatoes, sliced
1 organic onion, sliced
1 avocado sliced
8 oz sliced organic cheddar cheese
Sea salt to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Organic softened butter

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Butter both sides of two pieces of bread and place in skillet. Warm for a few minutes and flip. Top one piece with the cheese. Then layer the avocado, onion, and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Place second slice of bread on top. Cook, flipping often to avoid burning, until cheese is melted. Repeat for the rest of the sandwiches. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yummy bread (no-knead bread)

This bread is so great! The only way I can describe it is it's ciabatta-like. Great to sop up sauces, great dipped in olive oil, great with butter. The directions may sound daunting but it really is pretty easy (Unless you take a nap and miss a step...not that I've ever done that or anything).

Ingredients:
3 cups organic white (unbleached) wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

You will need a covered pot that can go in a 450 degree oven (pyrex, cast iron, stainless steal, ceramic, etc)
1. Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowlwith a wooden spoon until the dough just
 comes together. It will be ashaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hourson countertop.

2. Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. Witha wet spatula, dump the dough into 
a bowl that is coated in olive oil.Shape dough into a ball by folding ends of dough over and tucking it towards 
the middle.Keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Cover dough withfloured cloth and let it 
rest for 2 hours. When you’ve got about a half hourleft, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 
450F.3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven (Carefully).
 Holding the bowl of dough over the preheated pot, gently use a spatula toremove dough from bowl and 
dump it into pot. Doesn’t matter which wayit lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover (Carefully, don't forget
 it's hot!).
 Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully goldenand middle 
of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack. If noteating right away, you can re-crisp crust
 in 350F 
oven for 10 minutes.

Coconut Macaroons

I never liked coconut until I made these! Hubby absolutely loves these! The kids gobble them up. So it's a winner all around!

Ingredients: Makes a dozen or so
2 organic egg whites
1/4 ts cream of tarter
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
2 cups organic shredded coconut
1 ts vanilla

Preheat oven to 335. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tarter, and salt until soft peaks form. Slowly add in the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is stiff and shiny. Remove from mixer. Fold in coconut and vanilla. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them, don't let them burn, you just want light brown lines.

Creamy Baked Potato Soup

Way back when I worked at Outback Steakhouse. I loved their creamy potato soup and their creamy onion soup. Though I still haven't mastered the creamy onion soup, this potato soup has long become a staple in our house. It's very hearty so don't plan to have it with a huge main course. Pair with a salad and an artichoke, Mmm!

Ingredients:
5 organic potatoes
1 cup organic milk
2 tb organic butter
1 oz organic cheddar cheese
1/2 onion
1 ts salt
1 ts pepper
2 cloves organic garlic
1 TB veggie bacon bits

Optional toppings:
chopped green onions
sour cream
veggie bacon bits
shredded cheese

Bake potatoes until done. Quarter the potatoes. Place potatoes in a blender (I use a VitaMix) with the rest of the ingredients and blend. If it's too thick, add some more milk. If you do this right after the potatoes finish cooking  you shouldn't need to heat up the soup. But if you wait awhile you'll need to throw it in a pot on the stove for a few. Or make ahead and put in the crock pot on "warm".

Caprese Salad

I love Caprese Salad! So do my kids! They cheer when I set it on the table. Now you can totally make this the pretty way by slicing your tomatoes in rings, placing a basil leaf and slice of cheese on top and then drizzling with the dressing. But for my family, I would need like 5 plates done like that for how much they eat of it. Do you know how long that would take? Just for them to gobble them right up. So I just mix it all up in one big bowl. Not as pretty presentation-wise, but oh so yummy!

Ingredients:
5 medium organic tomatoes, sliced
1 8oz chunk of fresh mozzarella
20 or so basil leaves, chiffon (put leaves in one pile, roll them up, and slice)
3:1 oil to vinegar (you need about a 1/2 cup total)
Olive oil, organic
White Wine vinegar, organic
1/2 ts sea salt
3 cloves organic garlic, chopped

In a measuring cup mix together oil, vinegar, salt, garlic, and basil leaves. In a large bowl mix together tomatoes and mozzarella, toss with dressing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nutrition in Scripture


My scripture quotes are from "The Scriptures" published by the Institute for Scripture Research. Elohim replaces God, and Yahuweh replaces LORD.

I've heard many Christians lately say that they don't need to eat healthy. They believe as long as they pray and give thanks for their food then cruddy food isn't going to effect their bodies negatively. Now, if you are in a situation where the only option is to eat something bad or you will starve to death, I believe praying in this case may help that food not do harm to your body. But if you constantly eat cruddy food and expect God(Elohim) to heal you, that is a wrong assumption or belief. You are defiling your temple, on purpose.

The body is the temple. You glorify God(Elohim) in your body. 1Corinthians 6:19-20 says "Or do you not know that your body is the Dwelling Place of the Set-Apart Spirit who is in you, which you have from Elohim, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim."
1Corinthians 3:16-17 says "Do you not know that you are a Dwelling Place of Elohim and that they Spirit of Elohim dwells in you? If anyone destroys the Dwelling Place of Elohim, Elohim shall destroy him. For the Dwelling Place of Elohim is set-apart which you are." In KJV Dwelling Place="temple". This verse is telling you that if you defile your temple He will destroy you. It would be false to think if you feed yourself bad food, that praying would save your health. Like the above verse says, it's just the opposite, you will be destroyed.

Genesis 3:19 says "By the sweat of your face you are to eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken." After man sinned, Genesis 3:23 says "so Yahuweh Elohim sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken" Man has removed himself so far from the way God (Elohim) intended him to live, and then wonders why there is so much sickness. Man is eating so much processed, packaged foods which have no nutritional value AND no work, sweat, was needed to obtain them.

Genesis 1:29-30 says And Elohim said, "See, I have given you every plant that yields seed which is whose fruit yields seed, to you it is for food and to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to every creeping creature on the earth, in which there is life, every green plant is for food. And it came to be so." This doesn't say put pesticides on your plants and it is food. It doesn't say genetically modify the food because what He made isn't good enough. It doesn't say process the food and then eat it. It says to eat it in it's whole natural form. Man alters the food that God (Elohim) made and turns it into a disease causing food product. It is proven that pesticides accumulate in your body. Pesticides have been found in unborn fetuses. Preservatives and chemicals are only good for your body if you're dead, which is where you're headed if they're in your food. Genetically modified food is known to cause organ failure, sterility, causes allergies, and even death. Is that what God(Elohim) wants us to put in our body? No, he wants us to be healthy, he doesn't want us to be sick. That is why he outlined what we should eat.

Then there's the animals we should eat. If you look at Leviticus 11 it outlines that you shouldn't eat the camel, rabbit, hare, pig, eagle, vulture, black vulture, hawk, falcon, raven, ostrich, nighthawk, seagull, owl, pelican, stork, heron, hoopoe, bat, flying insects that creep on all fours, anything that goes on its paws, the mole, mouse, tortoise, gecko, land crocodile, sand reptile, sand lizard, chameleon, every creeping creature, whatever crawls on it's stomach, anything in the water without fins and scales. You do eat the animals that chew the cud AND have a split hoof, any fish with fins and scales. The bugs you can eat, ewwwww but....ok if I'm lost in the woods (haha), locust, cricket, and grasshopper. There has to be a reason He said not to eat these, I don't think He randomly picked animals for food. There has to be something about those animals that is not good for the body He created for us.

Here's a fact that's disturbing, almost half of all Americans die of heart attack and strokes. The percentage of Christians and non-Christians is identical. So maybe “just” giving thanks for your food isn't enough. Just maybe it really does matter what food is put in your body. 30 percent of Americans develop cancer, same in the Christian community. Food is for fuel, that's it. God (Elohim) made our bodies to be self healing. The body, just like a car, needs the proper fuel to function properly.
Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.” Treat your bodies the way in which it would please God (Elohim). I don't think anyone can pray about and really put thought into it and come up with it not mattering what food is put into your bodies. You were given this body for this life. You were trusted to take care of that body. This body is your temple in which the spirit is in. If you eat a donut (fried, white flour, white sugar, etc) is that glorifying God (Elohim). It really isn't. Now, if I pray and give thanks for that donut, it is going to have the same effect on my body as spinach and leafy greens? I am a firm supporter and believer in the power of prayer...but if you aren't adhering to the rules and laws put forth for you, I don't think those prayers are going to be answered.

We must make our best effort to put in us that is the best fuel. But here's a verse that may put some at ease since everyone has their limitations, whether it's a budget or whatnot. In Proverbs 30:8 it says “Feed me my portion of bread”. In the KJV it says: “feed me with food convenient for me” If you look up the Strong definition of “food” it says “bread” and “convenient” means “statute, ordinance, limit, something prescribed, due”. Convenient does not have the same meaning here as it does today. I take this as saying, if you have a budget that just doesn't allow you to eat “perfectly”, do your best. If you have been “limited” on the organic or natural foods you can buy/prepare/serve, do what you can. If you are doing the best you can in your limitations, I believe you will still be blessed. But that is something to take to prayer.

Our bodies were designed to run off whole foods, not processed foods. Going back to Genesis 1:29 “See, I have given you every plant that yields seed which is whose fruit yields seed, to you it is for food...”

October is Non-GMO month!

There is so much debate on genetically modified foods, and October is Non-GMO month. So learn about GMO's and be informed. This weekend, there is a rally in front of the White House. Check out the facebook page on this event - https://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=253665024648042
GMO's are banned in 40 countries...but not the US. Why not? For the love of money is the root of all evil. The biggest genetically modified crops in the US are Corn, Soy, Canola, and Cotton. So unless a processed food package is certified organic, if it has soy, corn, or canola in it, it's extremely likely it's from a GMO crop. Genetically modified foods are known to cause organ failure, sterility, allergies, and even death. You have a right to know what you are eating! Foods that contain genetically modified ingredients need to be labeled. Alcohol and tobacco require a surgeon general warning, why don't GMO's? This article is interesting, stating that they can't label them because it would scare people. http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2011/10/12/state-department-biotech-labeling-would-scare-consumers/ Well they SHOULD be scared! Seriously...very scared. We have the RIGHT to know what is in our food. Avoid GMO's at ALL costs! Avoiding processed foods is better for your health anyway. If you must buy something that contains soy, corn, or canola, make sure it's certified organic. Certified organic products cannot contain organisms from genetically modified seeds.
Please read the book "Seeds of Deception" by Jeffrey Smith. This is a must read. Follow his page on facebook- https://www.facebook.com/#!/responsibletechnology
Know what you are eating and Just Say No to GMO!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tacos - Make your own taco night!

I'm sure most people know how to make tacos. I'm not talking authentic Mexican tacos, I'm talking American-ized tacos. But, do you know how to make it without the little packet of taco seasoning? If not, read on! Make your own taco night is a favorite around here. Simply fill a bunch of bowls with taco toppings, hand out shells, and let the kiddos go to town! Garden of Eatin makes organic taco shells, which I was super excited about when my grocery store started carrying them!

Ingredients for taco meat:
1 lb organic ground beef (or more depending on size of your family, this leaves us leftovers)
1TB organic garlic powder
1 TB organic chili powder
1 TB organic cumin
1 TB organic all season salt
1/2 cup water

Brown meat. Add all the other ingredients and simmer while you chop everything else! So easy-no packet needed =) (If you have onion powder, add some of that too, I never have any)

Toppings:
Shredded cheese
Diced tomatoes
Diced onions
Chopped cilantro
Shredded lettuce
Diced jalapenos
Beans
Salsa
Guacamole
Hot Sauce
Sour cream


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicken Fajitas (Works great for beef too!)

This recipe works for a pound of meat. Easily multiplies for more meat. Make with my tortillas! Mmmm, Mexican food!

Ingredients:
1 lb organic chicken (or organic beef may be used)
1 cup shredded organic cheddar cheese
4 whole wheat tortillas
1 organic red pepper, sliced
2 organic onions, sliced
1 cup organic beans, pinto or black
Organic sour cream, salsa, and hot sauce if desired

Marinade:
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup water
2 TB olive oil
2 ts braggs liquid aminos or organic soy sauce
3 cloves of organic garlic, shopped
1 ts salt
1/2 ts ground pepper
1/2 ts cayenne pepper

Slice chicken in strips and soak in marinade for at least an hour, up to overnight, in the refrigerator.
Cook chicken in a pan with red pepper and onions until chicken is cooked through.


Wrap in a tortilla with beans, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and salsa. Enjoy!

Tortillas

If you've ever looked at the ingredients on a package of tortillas you know that there is a ton of ingredients in there that really don't need to be. So why not make your own? 4 ingredients, one of which is water. You can't beat that! The following recipe will make approximately 10 6-8 inch tortillas. Smaller is great for soft tacos, enchiladas, for spreads, and to dip. Bigger ones to wrap for burritos and wraps.

4 cups whole wheat flour, unbleached, organic
2 ts sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients. Add the oil and mix until crumbly. Add water and kneed until smooth.

Heat a skillet or flat pan to medium low. Divide into balls about 1/3 cup in size, or slightly bigger than a golf ball. If you would like large tortillas, go bigger. Roll thin on a floured surface. I have a tortilla press but it doesn't really get them as thin as I'd like. So what I do is: Lay a piece of wax paper on my tortilla press, place the dough ball on it, top with another piece of wax paper, press. THEN I roll it out with a rolling pin further. This actually gives it a nicer shape than if I just roll it with a rolling pin. Plus I think it rolls thinner than if I just use a rolling pin. But I'm not the best rolling pin user, so do whatever you like. For years I did it without the press just fine. After you have one rolled out, throw it on an un-greased skillet or flat pan. Cook until you get some bubbles.
Than flip. Cook until you have some light brown spots on the underside, just a few minutes.
(Haha, yes I know that one has a whole, no one's perfect =)  ) Remove from pan and keep under a cloth until all the tortillas are done and are ready to be used. If you are going to be wrapping burritos, wet the tortillas and put in a toaster oven for a few minutes to make them easier to roll, plus they'll stay together really well. This works with ANY tortilla. Never make a burrito without that tip!

Tip for cutting onions without crying

I've noticed some people can cut onions with no problem. Then there's those of us that have a tears streaming down our face while we desperately try to keep ours eyes open so we don't cut off our fingers. Yep, that's me. It's so bad sometimes that I have to walk away for a few minutes to let it pass because I'm seriously concerned for the safety of my fingers. Then come back, chop again really quickly and hopefully be done...or not, and have to repeat walking away again. I have noticed that red onions are considerable worse than white and yellow. So here's my tip...and no, it's not putting it in the freezer, that so did NOT work for me, ever....

Put a spoon (metal) in your mouth before you start chopping. From my experience, I say go for a small spoon. The big ones tend to make me gag if I leave them sitting in my mouth for awhile. It honestly works for me. I can't guarantee it'll work for you, but try it! The other day I was chopping onions, without a spoon in my mouth, tears streaming of course, and my husband (who stood there staring at me the first time he saw me do this not knowing what to say or if he should ask) came up and shoved a spoon in my mouth and it stopped the burning! I still had a little tears since it had already started but the burning was completely gone, and the tears were definitely not bad, I could see, no finger-loss danger.

Give it a try, let me know if it works for you! Have any other tips...post them here!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mercola launches Health Liberty

In this day and age we need to fight back before we lose our food. Dr Mercola is launching a campaign to fight back.
Watch his video here...

Check out these links for some great causes on fighting back for our health:
http://www.toxicteeth.org/

http://www.organicconsumers.org/

http://fluoridealert.org/

http://www.nvic.org/

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/






Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to make natural food dye

Commercial food dyes are neurotoxins, so dying cakes and cookies is hard if you are avoiding food dyes. Ah, but it really isn't!!! There are some "natural" dyes on the market but if you've ever priced them, you'll be happy to know the options below are MUCH cheaper! Here are some suggestions for natural food dyes, and keep reading for a sample cookie frosting recipe. Please remember these are "food" dyes and may alter the taste so color and taste a little at a time. But to be honest, I've tried all of the below and the only one I noticed a taste in was the cocoa. But don't take my word for it, please taste as you go =) These can all be used for frosting OR batter.

Green: Juice spinach or kale

Purple: You could juice blueberries. Or I like to buy Wyman's frozen blueberries. If you let them defrost in a bowl, it will produce a beautiful purple dye.

Yellow: Tumeric

Brown: Cocoa powder

Pink: Pomegranate juice, cherry juice. Mash a handful of fresh raspberries and push through a sieve. Beet juice.

Orange: Carrot juice

Blue: Spinach or kale juice and tumeric
Now I haven't tried this, but a friend of mine wanted blue and was surprised blueberries didn't make blue =) She had some green frosting, so she mixed the green and purple and ended up with an aqua type color. It actually looked really good!

Here's a great cookie frosting recipe. It dries hard and shiny. Great for all kinds of decorating on cookies.


3 cups organic powdered sugar
4 TB organic milk
1/2 ts organic vanilla extract
2 ts agave nectar OR 4 ts organic light corn syrup

In a bowl, stir together the milk and sugar. On a low speed, mix in the other ingredients until smooth and shiny. Slowly add in your food dye. I would suggest a teaspoon at a time. (If it's too thin, add a little more powdered sugar slowly. If it's too thick (after you've added the dye) add a tiny bit of milk at a time.)

The firetruck cookies below used 5 ts of spinach juice, there was no taste change: (The kids helped frost and we aren't perfectionists, haha, so disregard the mess)