Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lessons Learned Through Gardening

This year, I have attempted to grow an organic garden. I planted strawberries, rosemary, watermelon, cucumber, green onions, and lettus. We also have some left over carrots from last year growing as well. Most of my plants started from Seeds of Change seeds that I planted and let sprout. While it is still early in the process, I have learned a few lessons I thought I'd share.

1. Apparently gardening requires daily effort. Somehow, I don't know that I realized this when I first began this process. Plants must be checked on several times a week. I neglected my strawberries for a week and they were almost completely dried up. I am having to do some work to revive them now.

2. Lots of things try to kill plants. Bugs, thunderstorms, and debris all threaten to take down my little garden. That doesn't even include my cute little nephew who overwaters them. I lost a watermelon plant due to the attention he gave it. It takes effort to protect these plants.

3. I have also learned greater appreciation for my forefathers who lived on what they planted. When we had a bad thunderstorm come through a few weeks ago, it took out my onion crop. For me who is dilly dallying in gardening, it's not a huge loss. For those whose lives depended upon the success of crops, that could have been devastating.

In the end, what I am remembering is that Heavenly Father has provided multiple avenues to teach eternal lessons. I'll give you an update and let you know how things turn up!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sign Our Petition

Please take a minute, if you haven't already, to sign the petition to encourage Nestle to drop artificial ingredients.  If it can be done in the UK, why not here!?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dogs and More Dogs

Every Monday when my mom comes over, she brings her dog, Sunny.  And Sunny and our dog, Tulip, get to have a fun playdate.  They dance and prance, but this past Monday, they apparentely disagreed about the ideal temperature, because Sunny spent her time bathing in the sun and Tulip enjoyed the airconditioning on the couch.

I mean, look at her soaking up those rays!

 And then Tulip just enjoyed the couch.
 Snuggled up and waiting to be pet!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to Make Applesauce (Just Two Ingredients!)

I bought a lot of apples from bountiful baskets a few weeks ago, I mean, like 40 pounds a lot.  There is only so much fresh apple juice a girl can take-- so I made applesauce.  It is so simple, and you don't even need to know how to can it, simply stick it in the freezer and it'll stay good for months.  This is so not an exact science, so feel free to change what you like!

Start with your apples.  Yep, delicious and pure.
 Peel them.  If you're making a lot of applesauce, like I do, because me son loves them, you'll want to invest (they're $15 or so) in a peeler, corer.  You can buy an pricey one at Pampered Chef (and as a consultant I'd love that) but your basic run of the mill one should do just fine.  Notice you don't need to wash it or even peel the sticker.
 Having a helper might make this more fun.  Or more challenging- since his motor skills are still developing. :)  Either way, it's a great way to get the kids in the kitchen.  Peel all your apples and put them in a pot.
Once they're all peeled, get a cute kiddo hand to break them up.  Just squeeze them until they are in smaller pieces.
 Like so. :)  This is his favorite part.
These are the leftovers from peeling.  Throw them in the compost, or eat them if you want (that's what my mom was doing when I made these.  She also suggested baking them to dry them out for a crunchy treat.)  We composted them.
 Add water to the pot and cook until apples are tender.  I normally add enough water to come about 3/4 of the way up the apples.  I can add more later if needed.  I somehow missed taking a shot at this.  Once tender, pour into blender or food processor and process until you get the texture you like.  Use the water from the pot to thin it out if you like a smoother texture.
 Pour into containers and put them in the freezer (or fridge if you will use them quickly).  I use these mini containers since my son loves applesauce- this is the perfect size for a snack.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Raw Fruits and Veggies

I recently watched a movie called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead where it talked about one man's juicing journey. The movie was inspiring and had me thinking a lot about how many fruits and veggies I consume.  We do a fair amount of juicing in our house, which is great.  We're cutting down on the processed foods we consume... but I don't eat a lot of plain veggies, raw and in their natural form.  So I've started serving plain fruits and veggies at meal time.  I think apples and pears are my favorite.  Look at these delicious things!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Healthy Foods to Make and Never Buy Again

Came across this article and thought it was fantastic.  It's a list of things you can make on the cheap, which are healthier!  Awesome awesome, and it has links to the recipes!

This morning I was trying to think of what to make for dinner.  I normally do my grocery shopping on Tuesday, so Mondays are generally a little challenging for that reason alone.  Nevermind that my mom and dad come over, so I have to make diet changes for diabetics and high blood pressure (I actually tend to cook without salt anyway).  The list gave me the idea to make whole wheat pancakes!  Breakfast for dinner?  YES SIR!

Whole Wheat Waffles

I don't eat a lot of bready things anymore, but when I do, I LOVE waffles.  Love them.  My favorite has always been peanut butter, chocolate chips and syrup for toppings.  Delish.  Tonight I had my parents over for dinner and I made breakfast for dinner, which is a super easy meal.  We had a waffle bar!  Everyone put the toppings of their choice.  Here is my recipe for delicious whole wheat waffles, every time.

3 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp Turbinado (raw) sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
3 cups slightly warmer than room temperature milk

The original recipe that I based mine on also calls for oil, but I found that it's perfect without it.

Make sure to spray some oil on your waffle maker and go!  Here are some pictures from our waffle night.

Found this baking powder (low sodium and GMO free!) at Wal Mart of all places.  It was marked down $.50 too!
 Here's the mixture before milk.  You can see the turbinado sugar in the upper right corner, it is darker and has bigger granules.  Also, look at those eggs!  A much darker yellow than regular eggs.  These are cage free.
 Here is the mixture all mixed together after you add the milk.
Spray down your waffle iron, and put about 1/3 cup on each side.
 This is my mom's waffle- no syrup since she's diabetic.  Instead she had homemade applesauce, plain peanut butter, sliced almonds, and just a few mini chocolate chips to make her feel special.
 I LOVE orange marmalade, and waffle night is a perfect time to use it.  I even found this beauty on clearance (1/2 off, yo!) at Target!
 Raw almonds are pricey, so I tend to buy just a few from the bulk bin to have on hand for granola or waffles.

Free subscription!

Head on over to my friend's blog to win a free subscription.  The subscription includes 10 free trees and discounts on future tree purchases.  I purchased an apple tree last year, only to have it ruined by our dog we got about a month later.  I'm wanting to purchase another tree in the fall and try the process again!  Good luck!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blog Change

For the past year, we had purchased the domain name for our blog.  While it was nice to have the blog so simply to write and say, we have decided to not renew the domain name for now.  So please note that from today forward to get to our site, you'll need to type in the full address, which is  We're so glad for our readers and look forward to sharing new and crunchy content!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nestle Petition to Drop Artificial Ingredients- Please sign!

I have started a petition!  I am nervous how it'll do, but here's hoping for the best!  It's to encourage Nestle to drop artificial ingredients from it's products like it already has in the UK.  If it can do it there, why not here!  Please join me in signing and sending a message to Nestle and other big companies that we want healthier ingredients!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Winner has been selected and emailed

The winner has been chosen and emailed.  Please respond within 48 hours of email to get your prize.  Congratulations Lisa B.!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Product Review and Giveaway: Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil

I recently received a free jar of coconut oil from Tropical Traditions.  I LOVE coconut oil, but I hadn't tried theirs yet and was super excited to give it a try.  Some coconut oils are VERY coconutey and some you can't taste at all (for more information on the different types if you have never before tasted or purchased coconut oil, check out  I couldn't think of my favorite recipe- I use coconut oil all the time, from making soap to making hard shell chocolate for ice cream and for my son's eczema. (Want to win your own oil?  Keep reading!)

To learn more about their awesome coconut oil:

This oil is handmade in small batches and has numerous anti oxidant benefits.

So to review this product, I decided to use it to saute some things.  Tonight we had steak and I used just a little bit at the bottle, and it was DELICIOUS!

Two days ago, we had a little stirfry with onions, red peppers and chicken.  Take a peek:

Gorgeous red bell peppers, aren't they?

 In the pan, cozying up to the coconut oil.

This coconut oil was DELICIOUS.  Seriously.  It wasn't strong, like some can be.  It had a small hint of coconut, which I love.  I am definitely planning to purchase Tropical Traditions again and would HIGHLY recommend it.