"When a woman stays at home and cooks with good judgment and understanding, peace and happiness result. She thus controls the family's health and destiny, also her husband's mood, disposition and feeling, and assures the futures of her children." - Jaques DeLangre

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wannabe Ranch Dressing Recipe

My amazing daughter perfected this recipe after much trial and error. It tastes WAY better than store-bought ranch and is so GOOD FOR YOU!

1 pint jar
1 cup Daisy sour cream
1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
1/2 tsp Real Salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried dill
a bit less than 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/16 tsp ground celery seed (just fill your 1/8 spoon half way)

Mix all the ingredients in the pint jar and enjoy! Keep refrigerated. I have no idea how long this lasts in the fridge as we eat it up too fast to tell!

For a nice thick dip, omit the buttermilk and use 1 and 1/2 cups of sour cream.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Quest For Easy - A new recipe!

Easy Recipe - Potato Surprise!

5 med potatoes, washed and sliced thin
1 med onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups cream, raw is best!
1/2 cup grated cheese
basil, dried
garlic powder
Real Salt

Butter a 9X13 casserole dish. Spread a layer of sliced potatoes over the bottom of dish. (Use about 1/4 of the potatoes.) Sprinkle 1/3 of the sliced carrots over the potatoes followed by 1/3 of the diced onions. Sprinkle basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper over veggies. Repeat 2 more times. Finish with a layer of potatoes. Pour the two cups of cream evenly over the veggies and sprinkle the cheese over top.

Cover the dish. Bake at 350 until the veggies are soft. Mine cooked for about an hour and a half. (I bet it was done sooner, but I was at a meeting!) I made two pans of this and it wasn't quite enough for my family of 8. They all LOVED it!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

You May Be Shocked When You Read This!

Several weeks ago I received an email from a woman who found my blog and liked it. She asked me a question that has had my mind going ever since. Her question went something like this - Do you feel that, as a Christian woman, spending so much time in the kitchen cooking is the best use of your time?

...as a Christian woman. I couldn't get this phrase out of my thoughts! At first I felt a little defensive. Of course it's a good use of my time. I'm serving my family and making sure that my kids grow up healthy and strong so they can, in turn, be good Christians. Then my thoughts turned to Christmas 2010.

Christmas 2010 I received an early present that changed my life. The gift was a small accident that left me hardly able to walk! How can this be a gift, you ask? Well, it MADE me stop! I had to lay around a lot and recover. I didn't make any treats for neighbors or for parties. I didn't make any treats at all, to tell the truth. The local Costco took care of all my baking! I watched movies with my kids, played board games for hours, spent time with family and rested. It was the most enjoyable Christmas I've had in a long time and it opened my eyes!

After much deliberation, my answer to that reader's question is no, I do not think that, as a Christan woman, spending huge amounts of time in the kitchen is the best use of my time. It feels good to say it!!

I have done a lot of re-evaluating over the last few months. I believe strongly in the principles of proper food preparation. I know I feel better when my food is soaked and fermented. I also know that God has a great work for me to do, and that if my time is eaten up preparing the things we are going to eat up, then things are off balance.

As a Christian woman I need to have time to spend with my children and my husband, visit the sick and needy, provide service to my neighbors, and take care of my personal spiritual needs. I also need to have time to cook nourishing food for my family. Balance is the key word. Will my kids look back and remember how much time I spent playing and learning with them, or will they remember that I was too busy to play because I was always in the kitchen. Will they remember all the perfectly soaked grains I fed them, or will they remember the time I spent with them?

I wish the next part of this post was full of all the great ideas I have about how to accomplish this balance! It's not! I'm working on that part. I'd love to hear your ideas. I know this balance can be achieved and I'm excited to start this new journey! Want to join me?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Even Happier In The Kitchen!!

When I started this blog my desire was to help women find joy and satisfaction in the kitchen. I truly believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It's where we gather naturally as a family. If mama is happy in her kitchen everything else seems to just run better!

My last post was all about herbs and my gratitude for them. Look back at the picture of my herb cupboard. There are bottles and bags full of my favorite herbs. I expressed my pleasure at being able to care for my family's basic medical needs using these herbs.

I am excited to report that I have hardly touched an herb or used a tincture since the end of October! I haven't had ONE CUP of peppermint infusion (tea) or slathered on any St. John's oil either!

Have I changed my mind and started using pharmaceuticals? NOPE! I have discovered essential oils! Actually discovered is the wrong word. I started using a few essential oils about a year ago. I bought several from the health food store and used them here and there, but I always felt disappointed that they didn't do just what the books and websites I read said they would.

In October an amazing string of events lead me to a doTERRA essential oils class. I walked in to the class very sceptically. The woman teaching the class taught that a certain combination of oils could help heal depression. As I sat there listening the Spirit bore a strong witness to my heart that my family needed these oils.


My herb cupboard is now my oils cupboard. I use oils every day that DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY WILL! They are so pure that you can ingest them! Even little kids can take them internally. I got out the old bottles I bought at the health food store and read the labels. They all say not to ingest them! They all say they are 100% pure. If they are really 100% pure why do some of them advise you to seek medical attention if you swallow them?

I love my new oils! We really do use them every day. They have greatly added to my happiness and my confidence that I can be a healer in my own home!

Every time I find something great I just can't help but want to share it! I would love for you to experience these oils for yourself. My friend Tamara is opening her home for a class that teaches you how to use the oils and be your own family physician. Cherie Burton, the amazing woman who first taught me, will also be there to answer your personal questions about health issues your family is experiencing. I am going to help with the class as well. We are holding it on February 15th at 7PM. Everyone who comes will leave with a free sample bottle of one of the oils and the confidence that you can use doTERRA oils to heal in your home!

I can't wait to see you there!

Please email me for the address for the class.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Love Herbs!

What a great blessing plants are! Not only do they nourish our bodies, they can heal our bodies too!

This is the time of year when my heart turns to herbal remedies. My garden is slowing down, we are settling into a routine for school, and the weather is turning cold.

This is a picture of the section of shelves in my kitchen that are (mostly) dedicated to herbs, oils, tinctures, etc. I feel so happy knowing that I can naturally treat the coughs, colds, aches, and pains that happen in our family.

The most common thing I mix are herbal infusions. Our favorite are peppermint and a blend of comfrey and echinacea. I boil up a pot of water and steep the herbs for
15 -20 minutes, add a big plop of honey and let it cool down some. SO GOOD!

A quick list of herbs I always keep around:
Comfrey - for infusions
Echinacea - for infusions and capsules
Peppermint - oil and dried leaves for infusions
St. John's Wort - oil and dried plant for infusions and capsules
Chamomile - dried flower for infusions
Garlic - for SO much! It's a great anti-microbial.
Clove Bud Oil
Lavender Oil
Wintergreen Oil

A great source for all of these is Mountain Rose Herbs. They have great prices!

Last fall I took an herbal remedy class. I learned so much! I paid $50 dollars for the class and it was worth it! Yesterday I found a website that has a FREE webinar that covers some of the same information. It was great! I think every mother should watch it! It taught about how to use 17 common herbs to treat many different problems. All of the herbs are probably in your kitchen or pantry right now. The recipes are easy! Click here for the link. The people who teach the class are from a website called learningherbs.com. I signed up for their newsletter and I have learned a lot just exploring their site. I highly recommend it!

Learning to care for your family in times of *sickness and in health! What a great way to be happy in the kitchen!

*Always seek professional medical attention for serious wounds and injuries!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Best Friend and a New Recipe

This is a picture of my best friend! Oh how I love my dehydrator! My Dear Hubby bought this for me for Christmas many years ago and it has been an invaluable member of our household! I use it to dry pecans and cashews every other week. It blesses me with yogurt too! So far this year I have also dried:

Zucchini chips
St. John's Wort
Pumpkin seeds

By the end of the harvesting season I should also have quite a lot of apples and pears dried and ready to eat in the winter! (A big THANK YOU to the awesome ladies who share their fruit with me!) I am planning to make lots of apple and pear butter this winter. The recipe is from Nourishing Traditions. I'm going to make my first batch of apple butter today. It's lacto-fermented! I'll let you know how it turns out!

Apple Butter - 2 quarts

4 cups dried apples (or pears)
1 TBLS Real Salt
1/4 cup whey
1/4 - 1/2 cup honey

Place apples in a pan and add just enough water to cover them. Simmer until they are soft. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to your blender or food processor. Let them cool for a few minutes. Add the salt, whey and honey. Taste to see if it's sweet enough for you. Add more honey if needed. Pour into 2 quart-sized jars. Leave at least 1 inch between the mixture and the top of the jar. Cover tightly. Keep at room temperature for 2 days. Transfer to the refrigerator. Eat within 2 months. Try this on top of oatmeal or ice cream!

Happy Harvest!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Learn to Lacto-ferment! It's Class Time Again!

Where Has The Summer Gone?

I can't believe it's the first day of fall! Summer flew by! I hope your summer was as happy and productive as mine. My garden is still overflowing with produce! That beautiful patch of dirt in my back yard has given me so many blessings this year! Here is a list of what we've harvested so far:
Peppermint, chamomile, St. John's Wart, carrots, beets, spinach, peas, lettuce, zucchini, more zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash bugs, grasshoppers and about a million tomatoes! Whew! Just writing that list makes me tired! It's been a lot of hard work! I think it's time for something easy!

Easy? Anyone interested in an easy way to preserve your produce? Lacto-fermenting to the rescue! Look at the picture below. The big jar on the left is full of beet kvass. It's my favorite thing to lacto-ferment! In front of that is a jar of cherry chutney. It runs a close second.

There are many reasons to lacto-ferment. The number one reason being that the end product is full of enzymes that are so good for you! Most foods today are devoid of enzymes and we need them to digest food properly and to heal and nourish our bodies! Sound like something you are interested in? Join me this Saturday for fun class and leave knowing how to lacto-ferment! We will also learn how to make other condiments like mayo, salad dressing, and ketchup.

Email me if you are interested! I'd love to have you with me again!

My Birthday Cake

Making Tomato Juice!