Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Coconut Oil has become a staple in my kitchen lately! Here are some of the health benefits of coconut oil.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My DayBook for April 27, 2010

Outside my window... it's been a crazy weather day today here...rain, sun, snow, sun, snow again, rain, sun, snow...enough said!

I am thinking... about Joseph's test he is having done on Thursday at the hospital. So much to ponder.

Photo thought to share... My little chicken whisperer! >>>>

I am thankful for... my friendship with Tori! She is a phenomenal mother and an inspiration to me!

From the kitchen... I can smell the glorious aroma of my fresh pot of coffee brewing!

I am wearing... t-shirt & yoga's

I am creating... a grocery list of all of the things I need for Sofie's party.

I am going... nowhere tomorrow except to take Joe to the doctor for his 5 year check-up after school. Then up to the farm to get some more milk.

I am reading... still reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

I am hoping... that our garden flourishes this year. I have a vision of beautiful, lush plants full of goodies!

I am hearing... the sound of the tractor running outside. Not too sure what he's up to!

Around the house... we are getting ready for Sofie's First Holy Communion party on Sunday. Cleaning, cooking, and of all weeks to start this...Painting! What were we thinking!

One of my favorite things... yard sales! I can't wait for the yard sales to start popping up all over!

A few plans for the rest of the week... practice & preparation for Sofie's Communion, off to the doctor with Joe on Wednesday, and hospital testing for Joe on Thursday.

Thanks to Peggy from the Simple Woman's Daybook for inviting us to join in!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day Freebies!

In celebration of Earth Day there are going to be some great freebies today! I'll post them as I come across them so be sure to check back often!

  • Win a free reusable shopping bag from Earthbound Farm Organic. Go to their Earthbound Farm Kitchen at 1pm Eastern Time to watch a quirky video and take a quiz to win a bag!

  • Free printable coupons from Seventh Generation, good for baby care items, cleaning products, feminine care, or laundry products!

  • Click here to print a coupon for $1.00 off any Cascadian Farm product.

  • Click here to print a coupon from Tribe Organic Hummus.

~Joe's Favorite Kale Chips

In this house we all love kale in soups, but I honestly have never had it prepared any other way. I bought a HUGE bunch of kale for $.99 at the market. Seriously, it was a HUGE bunch. I used it for some homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup (recipe to come soon) and still had tons left over. This is one super healthy food that is very affordable, and one bunch can be stretched a long way!

In my quest for healthier options for my family, I came across a recipe for Kale Chips. Admittedly, I was very skeptical that I could pull these off and get my kids, or husband, for that matter, to eat them. And LIKE them! But, I decided to give them a shot! And boy am I glad I did! We all love them. They taste surprisingly, just like a potato chip! What a wonderful, healthy alternative!
The health benefits of this super food are plentiful. Just to name a few, it's loaded with fiber, vitamin A, and it's a superb source of calcium!

So get your hand out of the greasy potato chip bag and give these a try! Their totally easy to make and don't take much time whatsoever!
What you'll need to make Kale Chips:
  • a bunch of kale (wash and spin or shake off water, you don't want wet kale)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt (to taste)

Preheat oven to *325 degrees.

Tear kale off of its stem into bite size pieces. Place onto a baking sheet and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt. I toss it all with my hands, makes it much easier to coat evenly and spread them into a single layer.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning at about 7 minutes to ensure even crispness. Crispness? Is that even a word? Well it is now!
They should come out crisp and lightly browned on the edges. Be careful, once they start to brown they WILL burn quickly!
Cool and enjoy!
I've stored whatever is left (which isn't much after Joe gets his hands on them) in a container at room temperature and they kept well for the short time they stuck around! So I'm not too sure how long they will keep for! I'm sure you won't have many left to worry about it though!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My DayBook

My Daybook for Today, April 20th, 2010

Outside my's dark outside, which means bedtime for the kiddos and quiet time for Momma!

I am thinking...well, wondering, why in the world I decided to start baking 3 loaves of bread at 8:30pm!
I am thankful for...everyone in the house is feeling better and can breathe again!

From the kitchen...dinner tonight was Scrambled Eggs w/Spinach and Turkey Sausage! YUMMO! Now, I have homemade bread baking away in the oven!

I am wearing...t-shirt & grey yoga pants

I am creating...hmm, well, first sourdough starter.

I am reading...Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. So far I love, love, love it.
I am van doesn't cost too much $$$ to get fixed at the garage!

I am hearing...Darla snoring, she is the cutest little Boston ever!

Around the much to do to prepare for Sofie's upcoming Communion party. Inside and outside! Better get a move on!

One of my favorite things...listening to my children playing on the swings, laughing and playing! The sweetest thing ever!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Girls night out with Sofie & some great girlfriends on Friday night, and watching Food Inc. tomorrow night on PBS!

Picture Thought... (see above) my beautiful little ones playing on the swings, one of my favorite sights and sounds is to see them smiling together!

Special thanks to Peggy, at The Simple Woman's Daybook, for hosting today's Daybook! Pay a visit to her blog to read more Daybooks or join in and start your own!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Upcoming Posts To Watch Out For!

Upcoming posts...

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread, Tori's Whole Wheat Healthy Banana Muffins, My Sourdough Starter, & Ideas to use up my abundance of eggs!

*FREE* Rayovac Batteries

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Most Walmart stores carry the 4-packs of AA's for $.97 and Target has 2-packs for $1, making them free with this coupon!

Make sure to hit your browser's back button while the coupon is printing so you can print a second coupon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nutty Maple Granola

This is so tasty AND for an added bonus, the aroma from it fills the house with the most wonderful scent!
7 Cups oats
2/3 Cups melted coconut oil (you can use melted butter, but this is much healthier & tastier)
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 Cups REAL maple syrup (pure)
1/3 Cup almonds
1 Cup pecans
2 Cups walnuts
3 T. ground flax seeds

Mix all ingredients together. Stir until everything is coated with syrup. Spread onto a cookie sheet (be sure to use something with sides, not a flat sheet or stone, you'll thank me later when your stirring it!)

Bake in the oven at 325* degrees, stirring every 10 minutes, for a total of 40 minutes. All ovens will vary so if you notice it starting to brown quickly you'll want to keep close watch on it. It WILL burn in an instant!

Store in an airtight container or jar. This is my first time making this so I have no idea how this will keep. I'm sure it will be gone before it has the slightest chance of spoiling, it's that good!

This is great alone as a snack, cereal, or yogurt topping! It got an A+ from the kiddos too so that is just awesome!

You can use any combination/variety of nuts or seeds in this recipe. Even dried fruit or raw honey in place of some of the maple syrup. This is just what I had on hand to use! Next time I'll be adding some sunflower seeds to the mix and some of our delicious raw tupelo honey we bought in Lancaster this weekend!

Let me know what different tweaks you try so I can try them too!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Well On Our Way To Whole Foods

I've been meandering thru hundreds of articles, blogs, and news & health reports trying to educate myself as much as I can about ASD's (Autsium Spectrum Disorders) so I can do my best to help my son. I've learned such a wealth of information about how the foods we consume effect our health in such negative ways and have come to have a new appreciation for whole foods.

What are whole foods? Here's my quick explanation...any foods that are from nature, fresh, seasonal, and definitely unprocessed and unrefined. Foods as close to their natural state as possible.

This is when I decided it was time for me to make some major changes to my families eating habits. Although we didn't eat terrible, we definitely didn't eat many whole foods either!

My first food to conquer a healthier version of was yogurt. So, one of my kids favorite foods down, only about 1 million more to go!

After making the yogurt out of store bought milk, I started my research on raw milk. My hubby, for years, has wanted to get a dairy cow to add to our gaggle of animals. I've always been on the fence about it, mostly because I've never taken the time to actually sit down and actually learn the in's and outs of raw vs. pasteurized.

Well, guess which one won my vote?

Yep, raw.

Picked up my first gallon this evening. It's fresh, local, and WHOLE. Chock full of yummy goodness and nutrients that will NOT be found in pasturized milk.

Before you raise your nose to the fact that I will from now on be feeding my family raw milk, please take the time to educate yourself on the real truth about raw milk!

My newest homemade, and yes, whole food, is in the refrigerator draining as we speak! Cream cheese! And it's made right from my yogurt! I'll share more on that when it's finished! Pictures to come!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Making REAL Maple Syrup

The sap boiling away in the Evaporator

Our fresh supply of real maple syrup!

As a family, we make REAL homemade maple syrup at the end of each winter when the sap starts a runnin'! When we ran out at the end of this past November we were in a pinch and had to buy from the store. It was a huge reality check!

In one 12 ounce, store bought bottle (which by the way is only 2% REAL maple syrup) there were 35 grams of sugar, with the first ingrediant being High Fructose Corn Syrup. The next ingrediants...corn syrup, added water, maple syrup, cellulose gum, artificial flavoring, various preservatives, and added caramel color! Wow, isn't that a mouthful!?!?

Now I know not everyone has the supplies, nor the time or trees for that matter, to make your own real maple syrup. But all this being said, I cannot stress enough how much better for you the real stuff is! I strongly suggest finding a local producer of it to purchase from. It can even be used in recipes in place of sugar!

Thankfully, my hubby has the dedication to the farm and working hard to tap the trees, collect the sap, and spend hours boiling it down into delicious, natural, real maple syrup! This year we invited my sister-in-law and her family up to join us in the boiling! Our own "Sap Party" if you will! Time spent making memories, while producing something we can be proud of! (hubby did most of the work!)

Free Sample of Suave Professionals Shampoo

Sign up here for your free sample of Suave Professionals Shampoo from Target! I'm sure this will come with a pretty sweet coupon which will get you some free, or almost free shampoo at CVS soon! (details on CVSing to come!)

Monday, April 5, 2010

I Vow to Never Buy Store Bought Yogurt Again!

Have you ever actually looked, even glanced, at the back of a yogurt container? Here I thought I was making a great choice by feeding my kiddos yogurt as a snack just about once, even twice a day. One word...can you guess?

Sugar, sugar, and more sugar! Not to mention the preservatives and dyes also added in there! So I went on a mission to find a no-fail, healthy, yummy, homemade version. Luckily, I found one and just had to give it a go.
The end result...

Beautiful, creamy, fresh, homemade yogurt! With NO PRESERVATIVES & NO ADDITIVES! So much healthier and alot cheaper than store bought! All of this yogurt only cost me $1.70 to make!

You will find many processes to make homemade yogurt online. Anything from making it on the stove top, to in the oven, even in a picnic cooler! But, I highly recommend making it in a Crock Pot! It was unbelievably easy, with virtually no mess!

I used Sarah's Musings recipe in my Crock Pot and honestly, don't think I'll ever attempt any other method!

So far we've eaten it with granola, mashed banana, fresh blueberries, strawberries, even kiwi! It is wonderful in smoothies as well!

Give it a go, and let me know what you think!