Nov 28, 2010

Baby's First Food: Coconut Milk

One of the main components of coconut milk is a medium chained fatty acid, which is also true of breast milk. This makes coconut milk an easily digested first food. Babies and children need lots and lots of healthy, saturated fats for their rapidly growing brains.

I scooped out the creamiest (solid) from the top of the can and gave Caroline (almost 7 months) about a teaspoon, a bit at a time.

She loved it!!

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Nov 26, 2010

Thanksgiving WAPF Style

People often have trouble reconciling “healthy eating” with holidays. With all the indoctrination we have heard equating healthy to low fat, low salt, unsatisfying “rabbit food,’ I think it is hard for most people to imagine a tasty, satisfying AND healthy holiday meal.

Yesterday at our house we did enjoy such a meal. It was certainly not low fat, low taste, or low labor. I spent many hours in the kitchen in meal preparation, but all the work seemed worth it when I watched my family's enjoyment. We all would have to admit to eating too much of it, but it was nice to know that the food was not just tasty but also nourishing.

So what was on the Lipe Thanksgiving menu?

Local pastured turkey – brined, rubbed in herb paste (made with fresh herbs and coconut ghee) and roasted. This was the best and juiciest turkey we have ever had. Truly amazing!

Giblet gravy – made with turkey giblets (heart, gizzard, and liver), the broth from cooking the giblets, homemade cream of mushroom soup (local mushrooms, chicken bone broth, fresh milk, seasonings), and chopped boiled eggs.

Green bean casserole – frozen organic green beans, homemade cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions (made by dipping onion pieces in egg then flour and frying in bacon grease).

Sweet potatoes – local sweet potatoes boiled and peeled, then mashed with coconut oil, maple syrup, a little salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. (Marshmallows from Whole Foods added to the top for the occasion. I haven’t figured out how to make healthy marshmallows.)

Dressing – dehydrated homemade sprouted wheat bread mixed with eggs, fresh herbs, and chicken bone broth.

Layered salad – local organic lettuce, frozen organic peas, celery, green onions, pastured pork bacon, fresh grated parmesan, homemade fermented mayo mixed with a little sucanat.

There were a few items that appeared on the Lipe Thanksgiving table that came already prepared (besides the marshmallows) – organic cranberry sauce, pie crusts (which were rather disappointing) and canned pumpkin for the pies. The pies were made with fresh cream and maple syrup (rather than sweetened condensed milk) and topped with organic vanilla ice cream. I prefer fresh whipped cream as a topping, but fresh cream is a scarce commodity. (Whipped cream with maple syrup will absolutely always be my pumpkin pie topping once I procure my own cow.)

I enjoy the challenge of making as much food as I can from scratch, but I understand that everyone’s idea of a holiday is not all day in the kitchen, so if your meal was less homemade than mine, it is certainly no cause for guilt. One thing I do hope is that everyone of you got to enjoy the best part of Thanksgiving -- spending time being thankful with friends and family.

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Nov 22, 2010

UPDATE: S. 510 Food Safety Bill

I received the following e-mail from the Weston A. Price Foundation today:

Agribusiness shows its true colors!

Last week, the Senate voted 74-25 to move to consideration of S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act. After thirty hours of debate and behind-the-scenes negotiations, the Senators released a final Managers Amendment that includes a compromise version of the Tester-Hagan amendment. Thank you to all our members who have called and written over the last several months to help protect local foods!

But even though an agreement was reached on the Tester-Hagan amendment last week, the issue is still not over. The final vote on the bill has been delayed until Monday, November 29, due to disagreements over amendments relating to the health care bill and a ban on earmarks. And, in the meantime, Agribusiness has shown its true colors.

For over a year, the big Agribusiness trade organizations have supported passage of S.510. From Agribusinesss perspective, the bill was a win-win: they could absorb the costs of the regulations because of their size; theyd gain good PR for supposedly improving food safety practices; and the competition created by local food producers, which is rapidly growing, would be crushed by the regulatory burdens.

This was only speculation until now. But when the Senators agreed to include the Tester-Hagan amendment in the bill, to exempt small-scale direct-marketing producers from some of the most burdensome provisions, twenty Agribusiness trade organizations fired off a letter stating that they would now oppose the bill.

The letter from the Agribusiness groups states: [B]y incorporating the Tester amendment in the bill, consumers will be left vulnerable to the gaping holes and uneven application of the law created by these exemptions. In addition, it sets an unfortunate precedent for future action on food safety policy by Congress that science and risk-based standards can be ignored.

What science and risk? No one has produced any data or evidence of any widespread problems caused by local producers and marketed directly to consumers. All of the major foodborne illness outbreaks have been caused by products that went through the long supply chains of Agribusiness.Agribusinesss real concern about the Tester-Hagan amendment isnt food safety, but the precedent set by having Congress recognize that small, direct-marketing producers are different, and should be regulated differently than large Agribusinesses.

Agribusiness is trying to convince the Senators to pull the Tester-Hagan amendment back out. While the amendment is currently part of the Managers Package the amended version of the bill agreed to by six bipartisan sponsors nothing is certain until the actual vote.


This Thanksgiving week, please take a moment to call or email your Senators to tell them to hold firm on KEEPING the Tester-Hagan amendment part of the bill.

You can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or go to to find their website (if the phone lines are busy, the best way to reach them is through the Contact Page on their website)


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Nov 20, 2010

Linky Love

Looking for real food to take to a party?  I like spinach balls.  If you're staying near a freezer, these Peppermint Pattie Coconut Bark (and Almond Joy version) are always a crowd pleaser.  Not to mention you can sneak in some healthy coconut oil.

Video:  How to Make Gravy the Traditional Way

While not all real food, there are some good holiday recipes found at A Year of Slow Cooking (Crock-Pot).

Get more bone broth in your family by making nutritious soup.  Feeling under the weather?  Make a Simple Chicken Noodle SoupButternut squash soup is one of my fall favorites. This week I'm making Garam Masala Lentil with Coconut Milk Soup with broth instead of water - YUMMO.

I want to try this: Cider Braised Kale with Cherries.

For Thanksgiving this year, I'm going to my parents' house.  Last year Hubby and I hosted college students and here's how I decorated the tables and the menu - fun and frugally.

Gardening: think about building a cold frame now for spring seedlings.

(I'm writting less because our house was broken into and the computer stolen.  I'm using Hubby's computer when I can.)

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Nov 19, 2010

"Food Safety Bill": S.510

Many of you have been e-mailing me about S.510, a very dangerous (and expensive) food bill which was moved yesterday to the Senate floor for voting. I have also been getting e-mails from organizations concerned about our right to choose our own food, our local farmers, and out of control government spending. It seems that every organization I have any contact with is extremely concerned about the ramifications of this bill. I have written 2 previous posts about S.510, and am encouraging you once again to contact Senators Lincoln and Prior regarding this bill. Below are the details from the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.


Implore Them to Reject S.510

S.510 presents a major threat to the local food movement, States' autonomy to regulate food, and America's ability to be self-sufficient in food production. S.510 will significantly increase the power of FDA, an agency which has stated on public record that the American people have no ''fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health" and "do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish".

S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 needs to be stopped!
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121; ask to be connected to your Senator's office.


Go to and enter your zip code on the right side under "Get Involved" and click "Go".

Click on your Senators' names then click the "Contact" tab to get the office phone number(s). Clearly state that you are calling about S510, the Food Safety bill. Ask for your Senator to Vote Against S.510. Be sure to give your Zip Code.

If you get an answering machine, leave a brief message and immediately call another office.

Ask Friends & Family to Call, too!


S.510 will expand FDA's jurisdiction over intrastate commerce and impose one-size-fits-all regulations that will make it difficult for many small businesses to survive. (See Talking Points at the end.)

How bad can a federal food safety bill be? Let me count the ways! Better yet, let Senator Coburn give you a short video tutorial on the underlying problems with S.510.

FDA's failure to exercise its current powers hardly justifies rewarding the agency with expanded authority in the aftermath of the egg recall and peanut butter fiasco.

Moreover, FDA has proven itself untrustworthy to operate in the best interest of the American public as clearly seen in allowing the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in animals and its lax policy regarding genetically modified foods.

Congress needs to get the message: Solve the real food safety problems--the centralized food distribution system and imported foods--and not regulate our local food sources out of business.

Go to to use the online "Reject S.510 Petition" to send a live email to your Legislators and local newspaper editor.

Tell your Senators to protect local foods and vote against S.510.


1. FDA has more than adequate powers under existing law to ensure food safety and effectively deal with foodborne illness outbreaks. FDA has power to inspect, power to detain product and can readily obtain court orders to seize adulterated or misbranded food products or enjoin them from being sold. The problem isn't that FDA needs more power; it's that FDA does not effectively use the power it currently has.

2. S.510 will give FDA extensive power to regulate food in intrastate commerce; state and local governments are more than capable of handling any problems related to food in intrastate commerce. All the major outbreaks of foodborne illness involve either imported food or food in interstate commerce.

3. S.510 will hurt our ability as a nation to be self-sufficient in food production; it has more lenient inspection requirements for foreign than domestic producers creating an unfair advantage for food imports. Giving an advantage to foreign producers will only increase the amount of food imported into this country that does not meet our domestic standards. S.510 does not address food security--the ability of a country to produce enough food to meet its own needs.

4. S.510 will provide a competitive advantage to industrial food producers--the sector of the food system causing most of the food safety problems; the bill will impose burdensome regulations on many small businesses, a number of whom won't have the economies of scale to comply with S.510's requirements.

5. S.510 does nothing to address many significant food safety problems in this country, such as those resulting from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and various contaminants (e.g., BPA, pesticides, herbicides, etc.).


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Nov 17, 2010

Baby's First Food

It's not just chocolate - but chocolate fermented cod liver oil.

She liked it until she dropped the spoon. I only gave her enough to lick and make a mess.

Think this will hamper future chocolate cravings?

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Nov 14, 2010

Last Market Day in WLR

Monday from 2-5pm will be the last farmers market for the season. Stop and buy something tomorrow at the corner of Napa Valley and Hinson in the PA parking lot.

Here's what you could buy:

Barnhill Orchards: eggs, frozen peas and strawberries, sweet potatoes, pie pumpkins, turnip and mustard greens, turnip bottoms, kimchee, broccoli, head and leaf lettuce, and Chinese cabbage

North Pulaski Farms: Butterhead lettuce, Romaine lettuce, red & green bell peppers, bok choy, cucumbers and the last of our yellow summer squash.

Thanks to everyone who patronized the market this summer and we look forward to next year.

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Lunch Idea

For some reason, my son likes carrots in this shape.

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Nov 10, 2010

Easy and Delicious Bread from my new Bosch!

HB here with a bread recipe that will knock your socks off!

After a year of saving my pennies and a little love (in the form of cash) from my handsome hubs, I bit the bullet and bought a Bosch mixer. I was nearly killing my beloved Kitchenaid mixer by forcing it to knead wheat flour and I couldn't stand to see my Kitchenaid die such a slow, painful death. The Kitchenaid was also yielding inconsistent results. More often than not, the bread was crumbly, dry and barely good enough for toast. So, I traded my Kitchenaid in for a guitar (seriously) and bought a Bosch!

For my initial venture into large-batch bread making, I chose to master unsoaked/unsprouted whole grain bread. The margin of error is greater in baking the latter and I'm still working on just the right technique. In the mean time, I've chosen not to make the best the enemy of the good and enjoy fabulous, freshly baked whole wheat bread made with real ingredients. While I love to cook, I also love to spend time with my family outside of the kitchen.

I will share my recipe with pictures very soon, but first, I must mention the lovely lady who sold me my Bosch. Dixie at answered my many, many questions, gave me a great deal on my mixer, shared her bread recipe (including tips on kneading, etc.) and even called me to make sure I was getting the hang of whole wheat bread making! She still has the special going that she offered me. Go here to read about it.

Dixie's Basic Whole Wheat Bread (my commentary added in italics)

6 cups warm water
2/3 cup oil (I use coconut oil because I'm an addict)
2/3 cup honey (I use more like 1 cup...can't help myself)
8 cups Freshly Milled Whole Wheat Flour (additional flour needed later)
2 Tbsp. Vital Wheat Gluten (bought mine at Whole Foods, bulk food section)
2 Tbsp. Dough Enhancer (get it here)
3 Tbsp. SAF instant yeast
2 Tbsp. Salt
4-8 additional cups Freshly Milled Whole Wheat Flour

In the Bosch mixing bowl, combine water, oil, honey . Next add 8 cups of freshly ground wheat flour. On top of the flour, add Vital Wheat Gluten, Dough Enhancer, SAF instant yeast, and salt. “Jog” off and on using the “M’ side of the switch so that flour won’t rise out of the mixing bowl. Then mix on first speed until smooth. Then add the additional freshly milled whole wheat flour. Add it slowly as to not over flour. Stopping periodically to test it (we add the flour until the dough doesn’t stick to your floured finger when you “tap” it lightly) The amount of flour you add will depend on the moisture and protein levels in your wheat. Look for spots on the walls of the bowl that are clear of dough momentarily. You might stop the mixer and tap the dough gently with your finger to see if it sticks. It shouldn’t stick to you, if it does just add a little more flour. I add the flour very slowly towards the end.

This is what my dough looked like for this batch when I began the kneading cycle, but don't assume that your dough should look exactly like mine. The goal is to have a good not too wet, not too dry dough.

At this point turn your mixer to speed two and mix for about 5 minutes. The dough that was stuck to the sides and the floor of the mixing bowl will completely clean off. Form dough into 5-6 loaf pans.

Above is the dough, ready to rise. I bought these lovely pans from Dixie as well. They are the BEST bread pans I've used and they are priced very well. The red pan on the end is a silicone pan that works pretty well, but doesn't allow for a very tall rise because the pan is flexible. I didn't get it from Dixie. :)

When they are fully risen you should be able to put a small dent in the side of one of the loafs with your finger and the dent will not come back out, or it will come back very slowly. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Above are the risen loaves, ready to go in the oven (see below). Please inspect the inside of my oven well so that you will feel better about yourself as a housekeeper. :)

Beautiful, nutritious bread, fresh from the oven. At our house, we pop the bread out of the pan as soon as we it can be handled, about 30 minutes after baking, slather butter on each slice and enjoy the yumminess.

Using vital wheat gluten really helps with the rise and the texture of the bread. The gluten really helps the dough become more stretchy, which makes a good sandwich bread that won't fall apart easily. See the difference below:

I used the vital wheat gluten on the left, and the bread on the right did not contain vital wheat gluten. The pores in the bread on the right are quite a bit closer together, which makes for a more crumbly, less flexible bread.

Enjoy! Feel free to comment with any tips or inquiries.

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Nov 3, 2010

Family Favorite: Chicken Livers

Should I consider it a Real Food milestone when my teenage daughter becomes quite irritable because I can’t get the chicken livers made before she has to leave for her babysitting job (or just another day in the life of a mother of teens)?

My 16 year old was enthusiastic when she saw that I was fixing chicken livers for dinner. She said, “I could eat liver every day.” We then realized she only had 15 minutes before she had to leave for her job. Enthusiasm quickly flew out the window. This meant she would have to eat some leftovers from the refrigerator instead. She was NOT happy.

I agreed to save her some liver, but liver is considerably better fresh out of the pan then reheated. So this meal was badly planned on my part.

Meal planning is a skill I have been working on lately. As many of you know, it is difficult to plan around the schedules of family members. We try to have a “sit down” family meal on most nights of the week, but are not always successful. Sometimes, like last night, I’m just trying to hand off some Real Food as they go by, hoping they will be full enough to resist the junk food likely to be found at their destination. (Since my daughter's destination last night was Julie's house, we can assume there was no "junk food risk factor.")

I’m planning a future post to share some ideas that may be helpful in real food meal planning. (As you have heard the saying, “those who can’t, teach”). In the meantime, you might want to try some nutrient-dense chicken livers. You never know, they might become a family favorite:

Pan-fried Chicken Livers:


1 pound of pastured chicken livers
1 cup flour (I use sprouted wheat flour.)
1 tsp. Real Salt (or another brand of unrefined sea salt)
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper (freshly ground pepper aids in digestion)

Marinate thawed livers in lemon juice for a few hours. (I generally use a mixture of water and lemon juice in order to have enough liquid to cover the livers). The lemon juice helps make the liver flavor more mild.

Drain the livers well.

Mix together flour, salt, and pepper. You can also add some garlic powder, onion powder, or whatever seasonings you like.

Roll the livers in the flour mixture (or put in a baggie and shake ‘em up).

Heat several tablespoons of pastured hog lard, bacon fat, coconut oil, or coconut ghee in your cast iron skillet on medium.

Put the livers in a single layer in the skillet. Brown them on each side.

I leave my livers pretty pink. This makes them very tender and helps preserve the nutrients. (Overcooked liver is tough.)

The livers can be eaten as is (the way my kids like them), or with hot sauce, or with gravy and biscuits.

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet DictocratsI use the recipe on page 484 of Nourishing Traditions for buttermilk biscuits. After removing the livers from the skillet, I fill the bottom of the skillet with milk and scrape up all the tasty little brown pieces off the bottom of the skillet. The gravy could be thickened with some cornstarch or flour, but I just leave it runny. When the milk is heated, we pour it over the liver and biscuits.

Here’s a link to a good article on liver that will make you want to try it.  And Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist, posted a chicken liver pate recipe last week that looks yummy.

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Nov 1, 2010

Weston A. Price Foundation Little Rock Chapter Meeting

Monday, November 15th from 6:30 to 7:30ish

Redeemer Community Church
(Located in Ashley Square Shopping Center at Reservoir and N. Rodney Parham. 2nd floor - above the Revenue Office)

Want to know more about Real Food? Where to get it? How to fix it? How to plan meals? How to shop economically for a family or for one? What steps to take next?

Come with your questions and participate in a discussion with your local WAPF “experts.” (Well, maybe “experts” is a bit of a stretch, but what we lack in expertise, we make up for in enthusiasm!)

You’ll get the opportunity to ask your questions to 3 women in various seasons and situations of life. Our discussion panel will be made up of:

WAPF Little Rock Chapter Leader Lisa Lipe - wife and mother of teens

Julie Majors, wife and homeschooling mother of young children

Former WAPF Little Rock Chapter Leader, Rita O’Kelley – single, full-time career woman who frequently cooks for 1…but is ready for ‘who’s coming to dinner’

Please join us!

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