Dec 30, 2013

Probiotics Worksop {Lacto-fermenting + kombucha + kefir}

The new year is a perfect time to begin to incorporate new foods to your diet.

You are invited to a workshop on making probiotic foods on Saturday, January 4 from 9-11am.  This is an opportunity to taste a variety of lacto-fermented foods and to learn to economically add probiotic, nutrient-dense food to your diet (even while in college), as well as asking questions regarding traditional foods.  

College students will be having a breakout time to discuss how to thrive in college on a special diet.  It is very important for these students to be able to network and encourage one another on their journey.  Younger students will stay with parent.

We will be making lacto-fermented vegetables that students can prepare in their dorm room, as well as making kombucha, and water kefir.  Because water kefir is growing in its popularity and people on a dairy-free diet can benefit from this drink, we will have different flavors of water kefir to sample that taste kind of like KeVita.

You will go home armed with both a kombucha SCOBY and water kefir grains, new friends in the real food journey, and confident to start making your own probiotics, at college or at home

The teacher is my good friend, Diane Loftness.  She has a wealth of knowledge of real food and healthy living.  Growing up on a farm in Kansas, she has been eating and preparing traditional foods her entire life.  Within recent years she and her family have been eating grain free and experienced healing from eating according to the GAPS diet.

This workshop will be in Diane's home near Conway.  There will be a limit of 10 families. Cost is $25 per person or $30 per family, non-refundable, in advance to hold your spot.  Please email Diane soon if you would like to participate; the last two workshops she hosted sold out: dloftness AT gmail DOT com


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Dec 22, 2013

Beef Curry for the Crock-Pot

Before breakfast, I mixed this up and we enjoyed it for lunch after church.  Delicious.  As written it served 2 adults and 2 children with an adult portion left over.  I guess we were all hungry.  Next time I will double the recipe to ensure plenty of left overs.

--1-2 lbs stew meat*

--1 yellow onion, cut in chunks
--1 can coconut milk, full fat
--1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
--1-2 sweet potatoes cut in chunks
--2T lime juice (about one lime), lemon juice is OK
--2 cloves chopped garlic, or more
--1 tsp curry powder
--1/2 tsp ground coriander
--1 tsp cumin
--1 1/2 T chili paste, or 1-2 tsp red chili flakes - I omitted and served hot sauce on the table for the adults
--1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or 1 tsp ginger powdered

Mix everything in the slow cooker, cover and turn on.  It will cook in 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  I didn't add salt because I knew my family likes soy sauce on their curry.  If your family doesn't like soy sauce, or if you don't have a ferment to garnish the top, then add about 1 teaspoon of salt.

Serve with white or brown rice, made with chicken broth.  I also served steamed veggies (a bag of frozen "California Blend") with a generous portion of butter.

*If doubling this recipe, it might be cheaper to buy a small roast and cut it up yourself -or cook the roast and shred it.  Of course you could substitute chicken for beef.

Garnishes, all optional:

-- fresh cilantro
-- soy sauce (fermented, I use San J brand)
-- lacto-fermented banana pepper relish
-- hot sauce
-- chopped peanuts
-- wedges of lime
-- toasted coconut
-- if you like your curry sweet, pineapple tidbits

Enjoy, y'all!


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Dec 18, 2013

Who Needs Cheerios When You Have Real Food?

He's munching on cooked sweet potatoes -the perfect finger food. 

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Dec 16, 2013

I am a Mother Who Serves Raw Milk

In April, we rejoiced when Arkansas joined the ranks of about thirty other states that legally sell raw milk.  

My last two pregnancies I drank copious amounts of raw dairy.  All three of my children drink it.  We are a very healthy family and are rarely sick (never from drinking milk.)  When my youngest was two weeks old, he had his first bottle of raw milk formula, after I realized my milk supply had nearly dried up.  (Thankfully I was able to work with a lactation consultant and re-establish it.)

Did you see the news tonight? David Goins from KARK visited my home to ask about drinking fresh unadulterated milk.  Heaven forbid, I give it to all three of my children!

There are two sides to every coin.  The AAP says stay away from fresh milk, the Wall Street Journal gave it thumbs up.  If you want to educate yourself further about real, fresh milk, there are videos here and this is a great website.  Both advocate drinking it raw.  Do your own homework.  Don't let the media brainwash educate you.

As for me and my house, we consider raw dairy some of the most nutritious food our money can buy.

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Dec 12, 2013

Deceptively Delicious - hiding squash

A generous amount of butternut squash and a few decorative pumpkins (the pie sized ones) have been staring me in the face since oh, about mid-September.  Hello, it's December.  I roasted those babies last week and made a GINORMOUS pot of butternut squash soup.  And had 5 cups of squash/pumpkin remaining.

{Last week my eleven-month old also started sleeping through the night **THANKYOUJESUS!!!** and I feel like I have a new lease on life.}

Some where along my food journey I read Jessica Seinfeld's book, Deceptively Delicious.  The basic premise is you can hide nutrition in certain foods and your children pickiest eaters will never know it. Life ebbs and flows and there are times I do better at nutrition with my family.  With the extra 5 cups of  roasted butternut squash in my fridge, I decided to add a cup or so to my chili.  The family never knew it.  Double bonus for me is that the squash isn't going to waste!  
You could also do this with carrots or sweet potatoes in most red-sauced-dishes.

The sky is the limit as to what you can hide.  In the cookbook Jessica goes so far as to hide a can of garbanzo beans in chocolate chip cookies.

What are you hiding?

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Dec 10, 2013

Deviled Eggs = Perfect Party Food

They need no utensils, are nutritious and many people really like them.
I made them even more nutritious (and tasty!) by adding lacto-fermented pickle relish from this summer.

Take some to your next holiday party.

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Dec 6, 2013

Real Hot Chocolate

It's cold y'all! After a lot of trial and error, I've come up with a hot chocolate recipe that my family loves. And, the best part, this hot chocolate is made with (mostly) natural sweeteners. 

HB's Hot Chocolate
2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (we like Ghirardelli)
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup sucanat (or any type of sugar)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon real salt
4 cups whole milk
Heat chocolate and water in a sauce pan just till the chocolate chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Then, add sugar and salt, boil 3 minutes. Lower heat a bit and whisk in milk. Do not heat it to boiling or the hot chocolate will have a skin on the top. Serve with sweetened whipped cream. I sweeten my whipped cream with sucanat and a bit of vanilla. Super yum. Now, I must warn you all, this hot chocolate is not sicky sweet. My hubby and I both love sweets and we both think this hot chocolate is plenty sweet and the whipped cream really sends it over the top. 

Don't these people look happy?? Not pictured is the baby who would really love some hot chocolate, but hasn't had any yet. We like to listen to Christmas music while we drink our hot chocolate. Now go make some memories!

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Homemade Breakfast Cereal

HB here. I love cereal. My kids love cereal. But, I cannot bring myself to buy it mostly because the extrusion process involved in making cereal basically causes the cereal to be toxic. If I want something toxic, I'll eat fast food.  I'd rather not waste my toxins on cereal.  I found a recipe for soaked whole wheat cereal at and decided to give it a shot. There are two videos posted that explain the process of soaking and then preparing the cereal. Part one here, part two and full written recipe here. I watched the videos and made the cereal. It's super simple. Really.

My tips when making this cereal:

  • I soaked soft white wheat flour in buttermilk. Buttermilk is, by far, my favorite soaking medium. Such good flavor. I let them sit for about 6ish hours. It's best to soak grains longer, but I was pressed for time and concerned that our power would go out due to crazay Arkansas weather.
  • I crumbled the cake into pieces about the size of a nickel. There were also plenty of extra crumbs that were really small. I tried to avoid leaving any huge pieces, while at the same time, avoiding grinding the crumbs into powder. (The cakes themselves are delish and would be a great breakfast treat!) 
  • I put the crumbs in two bar pans and baked at 200 for about 3 hours, turned the oven off, went to bed and then turned the oven back on for about 5 more hours. I stirred the crumbs every 2 hours or so.

Here you can see the size and texture of the finished cereal. Not the best presentation, but tastes very yummy. 

The cereal itself tastes a lot like grape nuts, but has a better, less-grainy, flavor. And, the cereal is not nearly as hard on my teeth as grape nuts. My dentist told me that hard cereals, like granola and grape nuts, can cause tooth breakage and chipping. We added raisins and milk to ours and loved it. My older kiddos (pictured below) say they prefer this cereal to granola. Yay for a new, simple, nourishing recipe! Thanks to Sarah at the for this great recipe!

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Dec 4, 2013

Kombucha Workshop

I taught a kombucha workshop tonight and one of the participants drove home with her kombucha scoby buckled into a child's carseat.
Is there interest for another workshop in January?  Email me and I'll add you to a list - luvmyhub AT gmail DOT com.


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Dec 3, 2013

Tools that Make My Kitchen Efficient

These are some things in my kitchen that I use daily and are indispensable for their efficiency.

1.  Quality Chef's Knife 
Did you know you are actually more prone to hurting yourself with a dull knife than with a sharp one?  About ten years ago, my in-laws bought this Global chef's knife for Christmas.  I have used it almost daily since.  You can go to stores, like Williams-Sonoma, and test drive different knives to see which one best fits your style.  I like the way this knife fits in my hand.  Global knives have a reputation for being light and holding their edge.
2.  Wooden Cutting Board
Not long after I started using my new knife, I could tell it lost its edge.  I called the knife store and the first question the employee asked me was, "What kind of cutting board are you using?"  Turns out I was using a glass cutting board and they are horrible for dulling knife blades.  Some people are afraid of using wooden boards because of germs.  When cutting raw meat, I use a plastic board.  For everything else I use wood then simply rinse it with really hot water.  Occasionally I will use soap, or spray it with hydrogen peroxide then rinse it.

3. Sharpies, Masking Tape, and Scissors
These things are not only for the home office.  Sharpies will write on virtually anything: paper, plastic, metal...even your clothes!  My friend, HB, introduced me to the magic of the clickable Sharpie and you don't have to keep up with a cap.

Frequently I will reuse yogurt containers to freeze broth and label them with tape and Sharpie.  Or, if sending several containers of food to a friend, use a sharpie right on the container.

The vintage scissors used in my kitchen have black metal handles.  My family knows if these are found outside the confines of my kitchen...beware!  These scissors are used primarily for quickly opening packages.

4. Glass Jars 
My preference is the wide mouth jar so I can stick my hand all the way to the bottom and clean it but   any jar will do.  My parents used to eat Miracle Whip by the truck loads, oh wait, they still do.  I should say: Miracle Whip used to come in glass jars.  Remember that?  Well, my hoarders parents judiciously saved a few billion jars.  I'm thankful for their forethought to my real food habits.

You can pour hot soups into glass (I don't like to put hot food in plastic).  You can use jars for storage of virtually anything.  Even though you can see what's in a jar I have been known to label it, just for fun.  Instead of the standard issue metal lids and bands that are prone to rusting, I usually replace with plastic lids...on which you can write and erase the Sharpie.

5. Apron
With all the time spent in the kitchen, save yourself time in the laundry room and wear an apron.  Add a string of pearls and pretend you're June Cleaver.  You won't catch me wearing her heels, though.

What have you found increases efficiency?

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Nov 24, 2013

Conversations Around the Table

A friend gave me a copy of Bread and Wine: Finding Community and Life Around the Table*.  I decided to use this book as a spring board to start a book club.

Seven ladies from my neighborhood met last night to share a meal from recipes in the book.  I hosted.  The evening didn't go exactly as I had planned.  

First bump in the road was my son's swim meet that went very late.  I found myself holding a heavy fussy baby while doing last minute preparations.  I felt rushed and scattered.

Thankfully a couple friends came early to set the table and various other tasks.

The main course was Steak au Poivre with Congac Pan Sauce.  And it was uh-may-zing.  Quite possibly the best thing I've ever put in my mouth.  Getting it to the table was, well, it took much longer than I planned. {Stress!}

Everyone chatted and enjoyed bacon wrapped dates (recipe also in book) while Tammy and I filled the house with smoke seared the steaks.

I felt crazy distracted wondering how my eldest was doing at the swim meet, greeting friends, making interpersonal connections for others, watching the steaks, filling glasses, and the bajillion other little tasks that are yours as hostess.  Did I mention the fussy baby?

Once sitting at the table though, my heart calmed and was flooded with gratitude.
Six friends surrounded me.  Though we don't know each other well, several had already begun sharing stories from their lives.  Some were very hard things.  We laughed.  We cried.  Burdens are easier to carry when shared with a friend. 

I'll be the first to say the food was very good.  The conversation was even better.  

Yes I felt scattered and didn't check off everything on my list before guests arrived.  You know what? Nobody cared that my bathroom didn't get cleaned.  Or that I didn't have time to vacuum.  Definitely no mentions of the cobwebs or the laundry waiting to be folded in the chair.  I bet no one even noticed that my baseboards need dusting too.  

All the comments on the evening were based on relationships.  My friends were grateful to have new friends.  We heard stories of persevering in the midst of trial. We laughed at the bone-headed and sweet things our children do and say.  Some received encouragement to stay the course.  

Later this week as we gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, remember it is the people -not the food- that make this holiday great

Don't sweat the small stuff.

Focus on the people.

If you feel bad about having a dirty bathroom, drop by my house.  Mine will make you feel better. 

*The subtitle of the book is different on Amazon. CBD has a better price.  I recommend this book for starting a book club, there is a cooking club discussion guide in the back. 

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Nov 16, 2013

Tips for Bulk Buying Beef & Storage

Buying meat in bulk saves time and money.  I highly recommend it.  Even better is if someone gives it to you.

My husband just took a whirlwind 10-hour-each-way-trip to Kentucky to pick up beef from my dad (who has a farm).  Dad raised the steer and gave me half.  My friend, HB, got to pay for her half.  On the hoof, our steer weighed about 900 pounds and Dad paid the processor for packaging 420 pounds of meat.

This is what half a steer looks like in a deep freezer.  
HB took inventory as she was putting her meat in the freezer.  I didn't make an inventory list of mine, but am sure my half of the beef is very similar.

41 pkg ground beef (each package contains an average of 1.5 pounds of beef)
7 huge bags bones (each bag is about 5 pounds) 
17 roasts (each roast is around 3 pounds) 
5 pkg stew meat (about 1 pound each package) 
5 pkg liver (about 1 pound a package) 
22 pkg steak (each package is around 1.5 pounds) 

In addition, I got the tongue, heart, and eyes.

My husband took the back seats out of our mini-van and filled it with coolers. Three giant coolers ~4 feet long and 4 others, regular sized.

Once he returned with the beef, HB and I unpacked each cooler and did a simple "one for me, one for you" kind of separation.

For the most part it was very even.  Since it was vacuum packed in plastic, we could see the amount of fat and bones and could compare packages.  For instance, at one point we bundled 3 fatty roasts with big bones and the other person got 2 roasts with less bones.  

Vacuum packaging is more expensive than freezer paper but a worthy investment since it will prolong the freshness of your meat.  Plus there is the benefit of being able to see inside the package without opening it.

For easy access, I collected my steaks in a box.

 And organized the roasts all together, too.
The top shelf is corn and green beans (thanks, Mom!) with a few roasts.

The second shelf is for roasts, and the third shelf houses the steaks.  The drawer at the bottom collects packages of ground beef.
In the door I have a few containers of beef stock, made a few weeks ago, along with more ground beef and stew meat.
Also in the garage is a side by side refrigerator in which I store bones and offal (liver, heart, tongue.)  This refrigerator was in the garage when we moved in two years ago and I'm not certain of it's reliability so I don't keep precious meat in it.
The next two pictures are of HB's freezers.  This one is her kitchen freezer.
 And this is the deep freezer.
When I pulled these bags of bones from the coolers, my mouth started to water - thinking of all the yummy beef broth and soups this winter.
From the processor, I requested the tongue.  Yes I did.  Here's a recipe.  I've already indoctrinated my 3.5 year old.  She went to bed saying, "Tongue is good!"  My 8-year-old, on the other hand, is not convinced.  I don't plan on letting them know when I cook it.
 We also requested to keep the eyes.  We're weird homeschoolers, ya know.  Dissection here we come!
If purchasing beef is in your future, there are a few things you should know.  Of course you'll want to talk with your farmer and ask about their relationship with their processor.  Chances are, the farmer will have the gig figured out and lead you along.

My dad has used the same "good ol' boy" meat processor in eastern Kentucky for years.  As in, it is a small operation and they process a LOT of deer this time of year.  I visited it a few years ago and thought I wrote a blog post about it but cannot find it now.

Last year I got more cube steak than I wanted.  This year I wrote out exactly which cuts I wanted and in which quantity.  And it came exactly how I asked for it.  I'm thrilled!  Below is the list my dad printed and took to the processor.
The cuts we want are:
1. roasts (~3-5 lb packages)
2. steaks (~1 inch thick)
3. stew meat (~2lb pkg)
4. ground - 80-85% lean.  I want it fatty enough so that hamburgers stick together on the grill.
5. bones for stock making, especially
  - oxtail
  - shank bones (3-5inch pieces in 3-5 lb packages)
  - any other bones the butcher knows of that would be good for soup.
6. no round steaks. (John says there's a round roast and that is OK)
7. both eyes, and they can be packaged together (for homeschool dissection)
8. liver - however they usually package - I think I remember: slices in 1 pound packages
9. tongue - yes, I'm going to try it.

In the past, I have asked for the extra fat to render as tallow.  It is a nutritious and delicious fat to use when cooking - especially frying potatoes!  But, with a baby who has been all consuming this last year, I decided to forgo the tallow-making this year.  I can't do it all.

Some people prefer extra lean ground beef.  Me, I'm not afraid of fat.  I actually like it in great quantities, as long as it is healthy fat.  If you try to make a hamburger for the grill from lean burger, it will fall apart.  And you will cry if your burger falls into the coals of your grill.

If you have a dog, you can ask for any extra bones for it.

What other advice would you give to someone looking to buy meat in bulk?

Previous posts of interest:
Benefits of Bulk Buying Local Meat - by Tracy Youngblood
How to Buy Local Meat in Bulk - by Lisa Lipe

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Nov 13, 2013

Bok Choy & What to Do with It

My first introduction to bok choy was several years ago when we lived in Phoenix.  A neighbor friend roasted baby bok choy and delivered it along with a meal.  I was delightfully surprised how much I liked it.
If there's a "bok choy season," spring and fall are it.  This week's Farmshare basket delivered a generous portion.  What will I do with it?  What do you do with it?
 As the name suggests, it goes well in Asian dishes or stir fries.  Last week I stir fried a couple heads of napa cabbage (also 'tis the season!) so I wasn't in the mood for more stir fry.
Pictured above are the two parts of bok choy - stems and leaves.  The stems are crunchy like celery, without the fussy strings, complete with a slight hint of onion or garlic.  The leaves are versatile like spinach and can be eaten raw or wilted.  It is from the brassica family, so those with weak thyroids should always cook their bok choy.  Read more.
Putting on my thinking cap, I decided to use this portion of bok choy, or at least the stems, as I would celery.  The leaves I have reserved to wilt with a batch of kale and turnip greens - also from this week's Farmshare basket.
While browning meat for chili, the bok choy joined in on the fun.

Once cooked through, my family won't know I've pulled a fast one on them.  The bok choy looks like a cross between cooked onion and celery.

Other ideas for using bok choy:

-use like spinach in a stew or soup
-eat raw in salad, along with other greens
-juice it
-in recipes that call for celery, like beef tips
-stems cut in sticks and used as crudités with veggie dip or peanut butter
-make a frugal and quick dinner of crepes, using the leaves instead of spinach. 

What do you do with bok choy?


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Oct 31, 2013

Local Source for Non-GMO Animal Feed

A friend posted this on Facebook.  Since there are mostly email readers to this blog, I thought I would post her plea in this post.  If you are a "chicken keeper" please consider buying your feed from the Little Rock Farmers' Association. - Julie

If you or anyone you know is interested in having a LOCAL source for Non-GMO animal feed from Hiland Naturals Feed, would you please contact the Little Rock Farmers' Association (on Stagecoach) and tell them that you are interested in buying it from them? They have tried it before but did not move it quickly enough. I have a call in to the manager and he is considering it again since Hiland has just opened a new mill in Harrison, AR. I have told him I think there is enough demand to justify him carrying this - PLEASE help me convince him! I've been getting Non-GMO through Azure Standard, but it is just not economically viable. I suspect many others are in similar situation - PLEASE let Danny Naegle at Farmers' know!! Let your chicken keeping friends know!! Thanks so much!

--Penny Farrell Simmons

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Oct 30, 2013

Booritos $3 at Chipotle

On Thursday, October 31, Chipotle will treat customers dressed in costume to a burrito, bowl, salad, or order of tacos for only $3 from 4 p.m. to closing.

Proceeds from the fundraiser of $1 million will benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

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Oct 24, 2013

Quick Lunch Idea

These are kind of like open-faced quesadillas.  They're shredded cheese on corn tortillas baked till cheese is melted.  Eat plain or with a dollop of sour cream and a probiotic relish or banana peppers.
I like the taste of the corn tortillas from Whole Foods, but the ones from Kroger aren't too bad.

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Oct 21, 2013

Kraut Pounders

My kids jumped in on the sauerkraut pounding action tonight. 
We used a wooden French sytle rolling pin (or fat dowel rod). I've also found that using some "starter juice" from store bought Bubbies brand sauerkraut imparts a more delicious flavor than simply using whey. 


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Oct 17, 2013

One Dish Wonder: Chicken, Potatoes, Green Beans

There are two ways to make this dish, both explained below.  

Life with three small children seems to zip past at break-neck speed.  I meant to pull a chicken out of my freezer last night.  Laying in bed, I vowed to do it first thing in the morning.  It was 11:00am when I finally remembered and took action.

Fearful the slow cooker would not cook the 4.5 pound frozen-solid chicken in time for dinner, I opted for using my 5.5 quart dutch oven or stock pot. [Max temps in a slow cooker are 200-250*.]  Turning my oven to 290* I plopped the frozen bird in the covered pot and set to peeling potatoes.  For a woman in the kitchen without children, peeling 5 potatoes takes mere minutes.  For this woman with 3 needy children under foot, it took the better part of an hour.

So, frozen chicken in the pot [check], 5 peeled and cubed potatoes [check], one pound frozen green beans [check].  These aren't magical numbers per se, it's what I had on hand and what would fit in my pot - other root veggies would be delish as well. 

For the seasonings you can use whatever fits your fancy.  Lately, I've been loving Good Season's Italian Dressing.  You can buy a packet in the spice aisle or whip up your own concoction (minus the sugar.)  In all, my one dish wonder of chicken, potato and green beans were in the oven about 4 hours at 290*.  You know it's all done when the meat pulls easily away from the bones and the potatoes are tender.  If you aren't in a rush - or if you remember to start your one dish wonder earlier in the day - this would be a perfect slow cooker meal.  A frozen bird and veggies would have cooked just fine in 8 hours on high.

If a whole bird still makes you squeamish below are pictures of how to make it with boneless breasts in a 9x13 pan in a bit over an hour.
You can also use cutlets but I had breasts in my freezer.  I don't think arrangement of the food matters much, I tried to make it appear a bit balanced.  Once the breasts and potatoes were in the pan, I sprinkled mightily with my homemade Good Season's Italian Dressing without sugar.  Don't be stingy. It's what really gives the yum to this dish.  Last of all, I sprinkled about a pound of my mom's frozen green beans on top and decorated with a stick of butter and more seasoning.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 for at least an hour.   If you are using boneless skinless breast, you will need the extra fat, moisture and seasons from the butter.
My family of 4 eaters (baby is only eating yogurt these days) gobbled up this 9x13 pan and why I decided to use a whole bird today.

'Cuz if I'm gonna be making a mess in the kitchen I want enough for left overs, amen?


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Oct 14, 2013

Probiotic Relish

Today's ferment: radishes, banana peppers, a carrot, 2 jalapeños, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup whey (or juice from a previous ferment) and 1 T sea salt. After 3 days on my counter I will refrigerate the jar. 

Fresh, radishes are not my favorite but I absolutely love them shredded and fermented, like in this relish. My family will eat this relish on salads (potato salad included), Mexican dishes, and now soups since the season is upon us!  When you chose to eat lacto-fermented foods with your meal, be sure to add them when your food is cool enough to eat.  You don't want to cook (and kill) the probiotic power.


Other ferments of interest, as well as the why:
radish relish (with turnips)

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Oct 6, 2013

TIE Fighters for Lunch

Star Wars fans will recognize this: if using your imagination as a nine-year-old boy, you will see a TIE Fighter.
On a toothpick, I folded salami (or ham or pepperoni) and stuck cheese cubes on the end. 
My son says all the kids want to trade with him at lunch. (I'm not sure that's a good thing.) He asks for them all the time.  The first time I sent them for lunch, I marked the container with masking tape, labeled "TIE Fighters" just in case he couldn't see my attempt at creativity. 


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Oct 2, 2013

Free Webinar for Rhythmic Movement & Reflex Integration

Free Webinar!  Thursday, October 3, 2013, 9pm Central Time

Learn how Rhythmic Movement and Reflex Integration 'wake up the brain' and why these movements are key for sensory processing, learning, and optimal brain function.

Reflex integration has been proven effective by research and clinical evidence. Read this brief article about the importance of neurodevelopmental movement for learning and see more research references.

You are invited to a free, 60 minute webinar introducing Rhythmic Movement Training™ and why it works to promote better physical, emotional, social, and learning skills.

Rhythmic Movement Training™ (RMT) was developed by Harald Blomberg, MD and Moira Dempsey, co-authors of the book, Movements That Heal.

RMT is a system of gentle rhythmic movements and reflex integration activities for developing brain maturity that leads to a variety of skills such as: emotional regulation, speech, learning ability, strength, stamina, coordination and sensory integration.

Come and discover why so many OTs, PTs, parents, educators, and counselors are excited about the outstanding results they are seeing for children with challenges. The movement activities are excellent for teens and adults too.

October 3rd, 7 pm, Pacific Time (9pm Central Time)

Directions to access the webinar here.  You will be prompted for your name and email address.
The password is: RMT4BrainHealth  You will login with your email address and password.

For more information about the upcoming Rhythmic Movement Trainings go here and here.

--Lisa Lipe
Integrated Learning Connections

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Sep 29, 2013

My Favorites

Over three years ago, friends and I met to talk about real food and educating people.  From that picnic table, this blog was born.  Admittedly, some posts are worse than others.  Additionally, worthy words have fallen through the proverbial cracks.

I wanted to make you aware of links I've added in the right column:  my all time favorite posts on this blog.

You'll discover ways to save cash by ordering through Azure Standard (Oct. 9 is this month's ordering deadline) or learn key words to look for when buying fish.

Maybe you're new to the real food scene and need confidence in cooking a chicken...with bones.  Quite possibly your man needs a bit of encouragement to jump on the real food band wagon (that one was written by my hubby to women everywhere.) 

Are you paying too much for dead milk?  Read the difference between pasteurized and ultra-pasteurized milk.

Probably the easiest baby step, and doesn't add much to the food budget, is to buy pastured eggs.  This post attempts to convince you to pay more for nutrient dense eggs.

Recently, I made a tab across the top of the blog called "Favorite Recipes."  Go there to find most recipes you've seen here.

Are there other posts that are your favorites?

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