Sunday, March 24, 2013

Move to Wordpress...

I'm going to try to start blogging again... It won't be daily but hopefully it will be at least somewhat regularly.
But I'm moving away from Blogger.  I transferred this blog to Wordpress:
New address:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hello Gluten...My Fingers are Crossed!

We tried a gluten free & casein free diet and noticed no noticeable difference.  I know it makes a huge difference for a lot of people and I admit we weren't 100% perfect but pretty close.  So my son going back on gluten & some dairy.  My wallet is grateful since it is not cheap to eat gluten and dairy free.  Seriously eating healthy is expensive, especially when you are feeding a family of 7.  We are going to remain sugar & refined foods free.  We'll reevaluate after a few days and see if going back on gluten has any negative effects.  My fingers are crossed hoping gluten isn't the culprit.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Aebleskivers - A modified family favorite

Aebleskivers are a family favorite. They are Danish Pancakes that are round like a ball. We love them! But here's a hint... Don't buy the pan that is $8.99 on It doesn't work well, spend the at least $25 and get a good pan!  I had to throw my $9 pan away - it just didn't do the job.

Here is the recipe we always used growing up.

1 1/4 C. Flour
2 1/4 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Salt
2 T. Sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 Egg
1 C. Milk
6 T. Melted Butter
Combined flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon. Add egg, milk and 2 T. of the butter and stir until smooth. Bake in an aebleskiver pan using the rest of the butter to grease the pan. Serve with homemade raspberry jam. Sprinkle with powder sugar if desired.

These are even good if you make a "healthy" version like I do now with whole wheat flour mixed with ground flax seed, no butter added, milk instead of water and honey instead of sugar.  Yeah I know we eat awfully strange now.

Go buy a pan and try this recipe. They are so good!

Strawberry Ice Cream

We found an ice cream recipe we like even better than the Maple Pecan one. This one is much creamier. I think we've made this a dozen times in the last few weeks.

Strawberry Ice Cream
1 cup raw Cashews
1 cup pitted dates (Costco now carries these by their dried fruit & granola bars)
2 cups water + more water if needed
1/2 cup white or pinto beans
1 tsp vanilla
12+ Large Frozen Strawberries

Soak nuts and dates in 2 cups of water for 4 hours or more to ease blending. Blend nuts, dates, beans, water & vanilla in high powered blender until smooth. Add more water if needed to thin and dilute to desired richness. Add frozen strawberries and more water if needed, blend until smooth. Freeze in an ice cream freezer.

WORD OF CAUTION: Do not eat if you are allergic to any of these ingredients! My nephew was here this weekend and after eating this ice cream we discovered he likely has a cashew allergy.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Finally a Real Winner - Maple Pecan Ice Cream

I've tried a lot of recipes in the past few months.  I like most of them as does my husband.  Usually one or two of the kids will like something as well.  But it is really rare that I make something "healthy" that everyone loves.  Even rarer to have them begging for more.

Perhaps I'm just trying the wrong kind of recipes....

Today I made Maple Pecan Ice Cream which was demonstrated at last month's Health for Life Cooking Class.  Usually I try a recipe at the class and love it but when I actually make it at home it doesn't turn out quite as well.  Thankfully I think this recipe is error proof.

Maple Pecan Ice Cream
1 cup raw Pecans
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup white or pinto beans
4 cups ice water
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
a pinch of salt (optional)

Seriously looking at those ingredients would you thing this would be any good?  I wouldn't.  I didn't even tell my kids what was in it until they had tried and loved it.

Blend all ingredients in 3 cups of ice water until smooth.  Add remaining water plus more if needed to thin and dilute to desired richness.  Freeze in an ice cream freezer.  Top with chopped pecans if desired.
*Soak nuts and dates in water for 4 hours or more to ease blending.

This is a 5 star recipe!! It only makes about 4 cups of ice cream which is all the Cuisinart Ice Cream Freezer will hold so everyone got 1/2 a cup of ice cream and was begging for more. I just started soaking more dates and pecans so we can make this again tonight!

Earlier this summer I bought a regular ice cream freezer at Wal-Mart but I never opened it. When I saw how easy and fast the Cuisinart Ice Cream Freezer worked I returned my unopened ice cream freezer to Wal-Mart and ordered a Cuisinart Freezer off

It's been sitting on a shelf for the past month until I finally decided that yes it was something I really wanted and was going to use and keep.

I must admit I also wondered if purchasing my Vitamix was wise decision. I've had it for 2 months and I use it at least once a day. I make green smoothies, tortilla soup, pancake batter, grind up nuts, grains and dates... For the amount of cooking I do it is well worth it!  Costco has the best deal I've found but had a close second.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cooking, cooking and more cooking

How did over a month go by so quickly.  The kids are back in school and I had hoped life would slow down but it didn't.  I've found no time to blog.

I now spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  Today I made chicken and rice soup, salad, stir fry and homemade salsa.  Trying to have enough healthy food on hand for the kids to eat is tough but we're doing great most of the time.  There are days when I just want to order pizza for dinner but that's not an option on a gluten free, dairy free diet...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Spaghetti Squash

One of my good friends raided her dad's garden for me.  She brought me several bags of fresh produce including 2 spaghetti squash.  We'd never eaten spaghetti squash before and honestly my expectations were very low because I'm not a huge squash fan.  Last night I cooked up one of them and served it with Spaghetti Sauce.

Surprisingly everyone in my family ate this without complaint.  It's not as good as really spaghetti but makes a great healthy alternative.  Once is is doused in spaghetti sauce it doesn't even taste "squashy".

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review - Wellness on a Shoestring

Whatever your financial resources the power to improve your health is within you. It's in every choice you make, in every moment. Michelle Robin shows you how to harness your inner voice as you practice seven essential habits for complete well-being. Read stories from real people, at all income levels, who've adopted these practices—using little money—and seen their health dramatically improve. Better yet, follow the tips at the end of each chapter to create a lifestyle that leads to a phenomenal experience of body, mind and spirit.

Dr. Michelle Robin is chief wellness officer and founder of Your Wellness Connection, one of the nation's most successful healing centers, focusing on integrative healing disciplines such as chiropractic, Chinese medicine, massage therapy, functional medicine, counseling, nutrition and wellness coaching, and movement arts.

This was a well done book. I didn't come across anything "new" in this book but surprisingly I did agree with everything the author suggested. There is nothing really controversial in this book unless you think all alternative health providers and chiropractors are quacks because there are a few alternative medical suggestions given. There is a Christian feel to this book but it's not preachy or aimed at any specific religion.

The ideas were simple and things most everyone could easily do to improve their health: get more sleep, drink more water, exercise, eat more greens, get enough Omega 3 & Vitamin D, declutter your life, etc. If you a looking for a book that won't overwhelm you but will get you on the right track to living a more healthy life this is a good place to start.  We've already tried to implement all the suggestions in this book but it was a good reminder of a few things I should be doing better.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dehydrated Mangoes

Dehydrated Mangoes - A lot of work but they were so yummy!  Kim is always begging me to buy mangoes at Costco but they have added sugar so I refuse to buy them.  Instead I made my own.  They were really yummy but were gone way too fast!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vidalia Chop Wizard Shout Out

Finally an As Seen on TV product that actually lives up the hype!

I absolutely love this new tool. April at the Health for Life cooking class swore by her Vidalia Chop Wizard.

Since we've been eating a lot of vegetables in stir fry and soups lately it seems like I've been endless chopping vegetables. I tried the slap chop and while it is a fun tool and great for small jobs it is too much work to make a huge pot of soup or stir fry. My hand was sore after the last batch of salsa I made with it.

I made a huge amount of stir fry vegetables yesterday and was seriously surprised at how well the Vidalia Chop Wizard worked. I easily chopped twice as many vegetables as I usually do in half he amount of time. So worth the $20 I paid for it!

My only warning is the blades are super sharp. I tried to flick a small piece of vegetable off the blade and sliced my finger. Next time I'll use the tool they included for cleaning off the blades, it worked much better than my finger did.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kale & Quinoa Salad

My husband and I loved dinner last night. The kids on the other hand were not so impressed.

I decided to try a recipe from the Health for Life Cooking class I went to last week. It was my favorite thing that April made: Mediterranean Kale & Millet Salad.

I had to modify it a little because I didn't have any millet and could not find any at Wal-mart. And I forgot to grab a red pepper so I left it out. I substituted quinoa for the millet. It still turned out so yummy.

The only problem is I forgot how much this makes. There were 7 adults at the class and we only ate half the salad. So with just my husband and I and 5 kids who each ate a couple bites it meant we had alot of leftovers. I took some to 2 of my neighbors who I thought might actually eat it and put the rest in my fridge. It was still delicious even day old when I had it for lunch today.

So here is the original recipe by April Ashcroft

Mediterranean Kale and Millet Salad
1 cup uncooked millet (I substituted quinoa and couldn't tell the difference)
6 oz. or more of kale
1 14 oz can black olives
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper diced (I forgot to buy this so it got left out)
1 red onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cups white beans (great northern or navy)
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
more lemon juice if needed (I had only bought 1 lemon and would have added more lemon juice if I had another lemon)
1/2 tsp salt

Boil 2 cups water in a medium sauce pan. Add millet, reduce heat to low and simmer until millet is tender. Let cool.
Finely chop kale and transfer to a large bowl. Chop olives and add to kale along with the lemon juice. With both hands massage kale, lemons and olives very well until bright green and tender (like kneading bread). Mix in basil, remaining vegetables, beans and corn.* Add salt and more lemon juice if desired.
*Mix in the frozen corn with the cooked millet to thaw corn and cool the millet before adding to the salad.

RX Reformer - Gwen Olsen

The more I read the more turned off I am by drug companies...

Another great video with Gwen can be found HERE.