Saturday, December 28, 2013

Grain Free Ginger Cookies

My daughter-in-law, Rachael Breneman made these and wow!  They were delicious - and healthy!
Recipe by Detoxinista at
Prep time: 40 min.   Cook time: 10 min.   Total time: 50 min.

These cookies are made with protein-rich almond flour and blackstrap molasses.  They are loaded with iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, and potassium.  They are sweetened naturally with pure maple syrup, rather than sugar, and they are free of eggs and dairy for those who have food sensitivities to those foods.  These are soft and chewy cookies, but if you like them more crispy, press them into flatter shapes with the bottom of a glass before baking, and increase the baking time.

1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

1.  Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, and mix until a thick batter is formed.  Chill batter for 30 minutes in the fridge.  This will make the batter nice and firm before scooping.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  A small scoops works real well and is a time saver.  Use the bottom of a glass to press down slightly on the top of each cookie (the thinner the more crisp, but if you want a soft and chewy cookie, a thickness of 1/4" would be about right.

3.  Bake dough 8-10 minutes until firm around the edges, but still soft in the center.

4.  Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.  Yum!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Immunity Pops

by Rama Pfeiffer, Founder of Freshly Grown
Used by permission

It’s December right now, but I’ve officially decided popsicles are great all year round. Who doesn’t love popsicles, right? These particular popsicles are great for boosting immunity or for when you or your kiddos are already under the weather. They are packed full of hydrating and immunity boosting ingredients, plus they taste awesome. Win!

Immunity Pops

10 oz. coconut water
2 large oranges, juiced (should make about 5 oz.)
1 1/2 c. tart cherries (mine were frozen)
1/4th c. raw cranberries (optional, I happened to get these in my weekly box)
2 Tbs. crystalized ginger, chopped or 1 tsp. raw ginger, minced
2 Tbs. Elderberry syrup
2 Tbs. probiotics, powder form
1-1 1/2 Tbs. manuka honey or raw honey

Juice your oranges, they should make about 5 oz., then combine your orange juice with the 10 oz. of coconut water so the total liquid equals 15 oz.  Add your liquid to a pitcher so it’s easy to pour. In a blender or food processor add the rest of the ingredients, pour some juice in so it has something to mix with and pulse or blend. Once ingredients are fully blended, you can add everything back into the pitcher. Pour your yummy immunity mixture into your Tovolo popsicle molds leaving a bit of room at the top. Freeze and enjoy. If you have any liquid left, it tastes like a nutrient-packed punch, so don’t hesitate to drink up! Cheers to immunity!

Breakfast Immunity Pops!

Coconut water = Hydration + Electrolytes
Raw Orange Juice = Vit. C
Tart Cherries + Cranberries = Antioxidants
Ginger = Antiviral, antibacterial, soothes stomach, combats inflammation
Elderberry Syrup = Antiviral, antibacterial, fights cold and flu
Probiotics = Beneficial gut bacteria that boosts our immune system and fights infection
Manuka Honey = Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal (in a different medicinal class than raw honey if you want to really kick an illness’ butt and boost immunity, BUT, raw honey will work if you don’t have manuka on hand. I highly recommend investing in manuka honey for your holistic medicine cabinet. Treats a multitude of ailments. Read more here.)

 For the popsicle molds, I use these. They’re great.
Immunity Pops! | Freshly Grown

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

Cook this breakfast casserole in your crockpot while you sleep! 

Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner during the busy holiday season!
1 lb. Nesse's Country Sausage (contains no nitrates)
1 bag (26 oz.) frozen hash browns
12 eggs
1 cup milk (I use coconut milk)
1 Tbsp. ground mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
16 oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese

Begin by browning the sausage in a pan while you start the other ingredients.
Coat inside of crockpot with coconut oil, and evenly spread hash browns in the bottom.
Crack 12 eggs into a large bowl and beat with wire whisk.
To the eggs, add milk, ground mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  Mix well and set aside.
When sausage is browned, drain off grease and spread sausage evenly over hash browns.
Add cheese to egg mixture and mix well.
Pour egg mixture over everything in the crockpot.
Using a spatula, distribute ingredients evenly.
Turn on the crockpot to LOW and cook for 6-8 hours.
Turn off and let set before serving.

A few variations you may want to consider adding:
red, green, orange and yellow bell peppers, chopped
green onions, diced
diced chilies
chopped pimentos
fresh parsley, chopped

Winner #1 - Hazelnut Crusted Salmon

Diane Fenlason in Montana, my niece, was the winner of a cooking contest! 

  • 4 Salmon fillets
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup fine bread crumbs
  • Approximately 4 hazelnuts finely chopped in food processor or blender
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place salmon file ts in baking dish greased with coconut oil or olive oil.
  3. Brush light coat of mustard on top of the fillet.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  5. Mix together (or use a blender to make super fine) the breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, Italian seasoning, 2 sprigs of fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add to the top of the salmon.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until fish is opaque and tops are lightly browned.
  8. Garnish each fillet with a sprig of parsley.
  9. Serve with rice.

Frozen Fruit Salad

Tastes great!  Hits the spot! Easy to make!  Easy to transport!
2 large cans frozen orange juice - thawed, undiluted
2 large packages frozen strawberries - thawed
1 large can crushed pineapple in its own juice - use juice
4 large bananas - sliced
Combine ingredients and mix.  Pour in serving dish and freeze until needed (can keep up to 2 weeks).  Thaw approximately 1 hour before serving.  You will want to serve still partially frozen, but not thawed and mushy.  Tastes great!  Use especially with meals that need a little something cold.  Examples: Brisket, baked beans, macaroni and cheese.  Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes.  This just gives that added zip to a heavier type meal.  Easy to make.  Easy to transport because it's still in a partially frozen state.  If you take it out just before leaving home, it should be just right when you get to your potluck dinner.

Hurry-Up No-Bake Fruit & Nut Coconut Balls

(Need a batch of colorful cookies in a big hurry, without baking them?  Try this recipe.)

2 cups pecans or almonds, chopped
1 cup dried apricot, finely chopped
½ cups dried cranberries
1 ½ cups coconut, shredded and unsweetened
honey or maple syrup - just enough to hold together

Place sharp blade in food processor.  With the machine running, alternately add the nuts, dried apricots, cranberries and sweetener until well mixed.  It will form a ball when done.  Hand roll into small balls; set aside.  Place coconut in a shallow bowl and roll the fruit and nut balls in the coconut, coating them well, before arranging them on a serving dish.  These freeze well.  Yield: 25 Coconut Balls

Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes

 (On the two Heart to Heart Blogs)
Make-Ahead Recipes for the Holidays:
Holiday Recipes:

by Empowered Sustenance(Grain free, optionally dairy free, optionally egg free AND nut free)
Used by permission

This is the menu I created for my family's Thanksgiving. It fits my limited diet but all of the dishes meet my family's "regular food" standard. You can make most of the dishes up to two days ahead - I've outlined the game plan - so you can enjoy more family time and less last-minute food preparation!  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Homemade Seasoning Salt

by Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist - Used by permission

Homemade Seasoning Salt
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup nori flakes
2 TBL dried parsley
3  tsp dried celery
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dill
Optional Ingredients
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp dry mustard
Blend all ingredients well in a food processor or blender.  
If you prefer the flavor of different seasonings, change out
as you prefer.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Adorable Penguin Appetizers

Photo: Ummmmmmmmmmmm how freaking darling is this for a snack or horderve?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So cute I can't even stand it!!!!  You could totally do this for Thanksgiving as well!!!     Source unknown

Follow the photos using:
Black olives, seedless (Large and medium)
Cream cheese

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Eggs in a Nest

Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine
Note from Lois: By using a flower cookie cutter (one with petals), you will get a beautiful effect.  

 Egg in a Nest
Instead of serving your egg on toast, try serving it in toast. This breakfast classic, also known as Egg in a Saddle, Egyptian Egg, One Eye, and Bird in a Nest, is a long-standing favorite.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Crack the egg into a bowl and set the bowl aside.
  2. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter (circle, heart, star, or flower) to cut a shape out of the piece of bread.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Place the bread in the pan and fry it lightly on one side (you can also fry the cutout shape). Flip the bread over. Reduce the heat to low.
  4. Carefully pour the egg into the cut-out hole in the middle of the bread. Cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the egg has set in the bread "nest." For an over-easy egg, flip the egg and bread and cook it on the other side. Serves 1.
This recipe was given last year, but I think it's especially good for this time of the year.  So many people in recent years are eating gluten free, and this recipe works for them, as well as those who are eating grain free diets.  It does have a good many eggs which add protein to these mini muffins.  Complete directions and photos are included here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicken Corn Soup

1 whole natural chicken (preferably pastured and without hormones)
1 whole lemon
2 minced garlic cloves
2-3 quarts pure water
salt, pepper, herbs, seasoning
Place whole chicken in a large pot, with a lemon cut in half and 2 minced garlic cloves stuffed into the cavity for extra moistness and flavor.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and additional herbs and seasoning of your choice.  I used a chicken seasoning blend.  Add water to make a rich broth, and simmer for a couple hours until the chicken falls off the bones.  Simmering the bones will release valuable minerals to the broth.  Pour off the broth to reserve for the soup, and allow chicken to cool enough that you won't burn your fingers as you remove the meat from the bones.  Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the broth, and toss out the rest.  Chop up the chicken and add to the broth. 

While the chicken is cooling, cook the following until tender and add to the chicken and broth:
2 large chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups carrots, chopped fine or grated in food processor
2 cups corn (I cut fresh corn off the cob, but frozen corn would be fine)
Add at least 2 Tbsp. ginger paste to the soup. (This can be found in the produce department or you can save by making your own by blending chopped and peeled ginger root with a little water and olive oil - just enough to blend it well.  Freeze in ice cube tray or Tupperware midget cups to add to soups, salad dressings, meats, etc.).  
For directions:

Taste to see if you need to add more salt, herbs, or seasoning.  I added a drop or two of each of the following doTERRA essential oils: cilantro, dill, basil, black pepper.  They add so much more natural flavor and are completely safe for cooking, although not all essential oils are safe to use internally.

I made this batch of soup without adding carrots and celery, but they do make it more colorful, tastier, and healthier.

Healthier Coffee

A favorite way I used to enjoy my one cup of coffee each morning was to put stevia and non-fat dairy creamer in it, BUT the dairy creamer is full of chemicals, so I had been going without any cream at all.  Recently I heard of putting 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a cup of coffee for the many benefits it has, so I tried it.  I poured only a fourth of a cup of coffee into my cup with a little stevia, then added 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.  The secret to making it a great cup of coffee though is to use a hand blender in the cup at this point to mix it up real well - then add the rest of the black coffee.  The coconut oil makes the coffee look and taste like cream and vanilla were added!  Delicious!   There's no need to buy an expensive cup of coffee.  Make your own for a money-saving benefit, plus great flavor as well as better health!

This is about 1/4 cup of coffee, a small amount of stevia and 2 Tbsp. coconut oil after mixing it with the hand blender.

The full cup of coffee and the hand blender I used to mix it.

Apple Ginger Salad

Recipe from Cara at Health Home and Happiness - Grain-Free Meal Plans - - Used by permission

1 apple, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon ginger root, grated
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup crispy walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
Combine first five ingredients in a bowl. Blend together the honey and orange juice, then use it as dressing.

Ginger Broccoli Beef Stir Fry

Recipe from Cara at Health Home and Happiness - Grain-Free Meal Plans - - Used by permission

This delicious stir fry using fall and winter veggies can be prepped in the morning or the night before.  I went ahead and chopped all the veggies and placed in the fridge while I was grating the ginger for the marinade this morning, then dinner just took minutes to put together in the evening.  The ginger gives a nice sweet heat to this meal and the red peppers give it a beautiful burst of color.

Marinade for the Beef
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
5 Tbsp. fish sauce (or 1 tsp. sea salt + 1/4 cup stock)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. peeled, grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. chili pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground cumin

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

1 1/2 lb top sirloin steak
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil (optional)
3-4 green onions, sliced 1/2-inch apart, including the greens
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 hot chiles, such as red serranos, seeded, sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled, cut lengthwise into matchstick shapes
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
Chill beef in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing, this will make it easier to slice.  Cut into thin strips, 1/2 inch by 2 inches approx.  Place in a bowl and toss with marinade ingredients. Allow to marinade all day.
Stir fry: In a skillet over medium-high heat heat oils until very hot.  As the oil heats, pour marinade from beef.  Saute beef in 3-4 small batches until browned on the outside but rare on the inside, approx 1 minute.  Transfer to a bowl and stir fry the rest of the ingredients, cooking until vegetables are cooked to desired doneness, just a few minutes.  Serve, pouring juices remaining in the bottom of the pan on top.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

1/2 cup ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves

Mix all the spices together with a wire whisk, and spoon into a spice jar.  Purchase your spices in bulk from a natural foods co-op if possible for lower prices (in most cases).  If you live near a Sharp Shopper, this is a good source as well.

Sharp Shopper
You might want to find store locations here  for some extra good deals on healthy food.  Although they sell plenty of junk food, they do have an entire aisle of health foods with excellent prices.  People travel several hours just to shop there for low prices on certain items.  There are several things I buy there when we visit family nearby.  They sell 25 pound bags of wheat berries, 25 pound bags of rolled oats, and have many health foods already packaged and priced (grain such as spelt, oats, barley, rye, and others), unsweetened coconut, various kinds of seeds and nuts, baker's yeast, and spices, to mention a few.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Eggs with Extra Color and Flavor

Fancy Fried Eggs ~ Lay 1/2-inch rings of sweet red, orange, yellow or green pepper in a small frying pan with coconut oil already melted.  Crack a pastured egg into each one.  You won't need to turn the eggs if you add about a tablespoon of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Continue to cook on a low setting, and the yellow yolks of the eggs will get a white coating from the steam.  Cook very slowly until done according to your liking.

Scrambled Eggs in Pepper Rings ~ Mix scrambled eggs with a little water, salt and pepper.  Lay 1/2-inch rings of sweet red, orange, yellow or green pepper in a frying pan with coconut oil already melted.  Pour enough scrambled egg mixture into each pepper ring so it doesn't overflow.

Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables ~ Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan and saute' a small sliced sweet onion (or half of a large one) until browned a bit.  Cover with a lid and stir occasionally so they don't burn.

 Add about a 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated carrots and cook until tender.  You can buy already grated organic carrots to speed up the process, although of course, grating them yourself would save money.  Cover with lid to help steam carrots.
Beat 2-3 eggs and salt with a small amount of water (for fluffier eggs).  Chop or slice fresh spinach to add to the eggs.
 Here the spinach is added to the cooked onion and carrots, just before pouring eggs into the pan.  Leave off the lid after adding the spinach and egg mixture.
This is a nutritious meal suited for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even dinner!  Add a colorful piece of fruit or pepper slices to the plate.  Two or three eggs make a full meal for one adult.  Adjust the recipe accordingly.

Sesame Grilled Chicken

Thanks to Katie Fagan in Virginia for sending this recipe!
1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil
3 garlic cloves
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar (Stevia would be a good substitute)
2 Tbsp. ginger root (grated)
¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
4 scallions (chopped)
6 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds (toasted)
Combine marinade ingredients. Add chicken and marinate 3 hours or overnight. Remove chicken from marinade and grill over medium-high heat 4-5 minutes on each side, basting with marinade. Toast sesame seeds in frying pan over medium heat, shaking to prevent burning. Sprinkle over grilled chicken. Serve with steamed veggies and rice or couscous.

Lime-Kissed Fruit

Thanks to Katie Fagan in Virginia for sending this recipe!

1/4 cup honey
3 oz. frozen limeade concentrate
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 3/4 lbs. fruit salad (strawberries, peaches/nectarines, melons, pineapple, bananas, apples, grapes, kiwi, etc.

Whisk honey, limeade, and poppy seeds together in the container you'd like to serve it in.  Add fruit salad and toss to coat fruit.  Chill until ready to serve.

Grain-Free Pancakes

Serves 2 

1/4 cup coconut flour
1 Tbsp. plain gelatin (grassfed is best)
4 eggs at room temp. (pastured are best)
1 heaping Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 coconut milk or cream
coconut oil for frying

Mix flour and gelatin together.  Add eggs and beat to a smooth paste.  Stir in the coconut oil; add the milk or cream and mix.

Cook about 12 small pancakes in a hot skillet with melted coconut oil.  Turn over when the edges and center turn opaque.

Serve with butter or ghee melted on top, and Fresh Fruity Syrup as a replacement for syrup.

Fresh Fruity Syrup
Fruit suggestions for syrup replacement: blueberries, peaches, strawberries, pineapple, or mangoes.  Bananas or natural applesauce would be good in combination to any of the fruits listed above.  Add a small amount of stevia for sweetness.  Blend in a blender or Magic Bullet.

Friday, July 19, 2013

An Easy Shortcut for Quick Tossed Salads

It's such a long and drawn-out ordeal to chop a lot of colorful vegetables for a tossed salad, but I've been using a shortcut which saves a lot of time.  Back in the BC days (before children), I was an Assistant Food Service Supervisor at Penn State, and when I used to order fresh produce for tossed salads, vegetables were sent from the "Produce Center," all chopped or sliced as ordered!  How I've wished for that luxury in my home especially when it came to tossed salads and soups.  So I shred, slice, or chop certain vegetables to be used in salads and  bag them in a Ziplock  where they wait in the refrigerator to be added to salads.  My favorite vegetables to use are sliced cauliflower, thinly sliced red cabbage, and shredded carrots - all mixed together.  These keep quite well for about a week. 

Then when I plate up a salad for my husband and myself, on each plate I put a handful or so of organic mixed greens and maybe spinach, with a handful of the prepared colorful vegetables on top.  Vegetables that get soggy or turn brown such as sliced celery, sliced cucumbers, or chopped peppers are not cut up ahead of time for instant use, but they could be saved whole in a bag to be cut just before serving. But all you really need for a colorful and healthy salad are mixed greens and the mixture of prepared vegetables!

So ...  now a tossed salad really can be a fast food that's healthy for you and your family!

Add  a special dressing with homemade mayonnaise as the base, and you've got a very quick and healthy tossed salad. 

Summer Vegetable Medley - Tasty and Colorful

To make this spur-of-the-moment dish, I used what was in the refrigerator: First I sauteed a sweet onion with minced garlic in coconut oil.  After the onion was limp and browned a bit, I added sliced  yellow squash, zucchini, a little sliced cauliflower, and finely sliced red cabbage.  Ginger paste, onion powder, salt and pepper gave it extra flavor.  It was cooked until tender but not mushy.  Very tasty!  Shredded carrots and sweet red, orange or yellow peppers would add even more color and flavor.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ginger Paste - Homemade

Making your own ginger paste is more economical than buying it in a jar at the grocery store.  I refrigerate and freeze it in Tupperware midget cups to add to many dishes for extra flavor and good health.

I found it very hard to peel ginger root, but since it was organic I simply soaked it in hot water with a few drops of doTERRA On Guard essential oil for a few minutes to be sure it was completely clean.  A produce cleaner would work as well.  I figured the peel would just add a little more fiber, and as you can see below, not a trace of the organic peel is visible. 

It was chopped into about 1-inch pieces and blended in my Vitamix with enough olive oil to blend it well.  Water could be used instead.  I did need to tamper it down with the tampering tool but it only took less than two minutes to get it smooth and creamy. 

Next, I filled these Tupperware midget cups, getting it ready to freeze.  There was a little extra paste left over which made a wonderful cup of ginger tea, with a small amount of NuStevia for a sweetener.  It was so delicious and ginger supports the immune system and also aids in digestion, so I plan to drink ginger tea more often, using this paste.

Ginger paste in Tupperware midget cups and a cup of ginger tea

A closeup of the ginger paste

I add ginger paste to some chicken, turkey, and beef dishes, as well as to soups, casseroles, sauces, and dressings.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Recipes for the Fourth of July

Chicken Parmesan Muffins

Main Dish
Yields: 1 dozen

1 ½ lbs. raw ground chicken breast (Boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be ground in food processor or pulsated in the blender.)
1 large egg
1 egg white
6 Tbsp. dried breadcrumbs
3/4 tsp. dried basil
tsp. dried thyme
tsp. oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small onion, chopped fine
tsp. sea salt
tsp. black pepper
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup pasta sauce
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (save for topping at end of baking period)
Optional: dried parsley, oregano or basil for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin with coconut oil and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, egg, egg whites, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.  Mix all together.
3. Form the meat mixture and place evenly in the 12 cups of your prepared muffin tin. Spread the pasta sauce evenly over the top of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Top each muffin with a tablespoon of shredded cheese and bake in oven for another 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.  Garnish with fresh herbs.






Friday, May 31, 2013

Honey Mustard Chicken

Original recipe by Lois Breneman

My husband loves honey mustard salad dressing, so I thought I'd try making chicken with a honey-mustard flavor, and we really liked it.  Although no amounts are given, you can easily make this recipe.

coconut oil
chicken breasts, organic (cut into strips)
coconut flour (or other flour)
garlic, minced
ginger paste*
ground mustard, organic
honey, raw
peppers (red, yellow and/or green), optional

*Make your own ginger paste by blending peeled, chopped ginger root in the blender with olive oil.  Thin with a little water if necessary.  Refrigerate some and freeze the rest in ice cubes for future use.  This adds delicious flavor and healthy eating to your food.

Coat organic chicken with flour and brown in coconut oil with minced garlic, ginger paste, salt and pepper.  Mix mustard with honey and add to browned chicken to make a tasty sauce.

For a little color, add red, yellow and/or green slices of pepper during the last few minutes of cooking.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Delicious Homemade Mayonnaise and Salad Dressing

Delicious Homemade Mayonnaise
(A fool-proof way I've found to make homemade mayonnaise is to use a stick blender!)

1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup light olive oil

Put the first four ingredients into your stick blender container and mix well with the stick blender. 

Pour half of the mild olive oil into the blender container. 
I use "light" olive oil for mayonnaise because I think the flavor is much too strong when using regular cold pressed virgin olive oil.

Insert the stick blender into the bottom of the container. Press the "On" button and slowly pull upward as the mixture thickens.  Add the remaining oil and repeat. 

Add salt to taste.  Sometimes I like to add celery salt, garlic salt, onion powder, dill weed and a tiny bit of Nustevia.

The last couple times I made mayonnaise, I added a big handful of fresh basil, parsley, and oregano leaves growing on the sundeck to the blender mayo for a light green and flavorful spread.  This makes the most wonderful salad dressing, when thinned down a bit with water or coconut milk, and these green herbs add nutrients as well as flavor.

Salad Dressing
Make your own mayonnaise and transform a portion as a base in making salad dressing, thinning it down a bit with water.  After I make mayonnaise,  I make a dressing by adding the following ingredients: celery salt, garlic salt, onion powder, dill weed, Nu-Stevia, and salt.  Measurements are not given since I don't have specific amounts.  You can add almost any combination of spices for various dressings.  
Make honey mustard dressing simply by adding honey and mustard to the dressing above!

Homemade Cool-Aid

by Veronica Stanley-Hooper -
Excerpts from Veronica's article - Please go to her website for ALL of her article and beautiful photos of the beverages! - Used by permission

Note from Lois:  Eliminate sugary drinks containing chemicals from your family's diet for much better health and wellness.  Veronica gives some wonderful alternatives.  Natural concentrated juices can be diluted a good bit and still have lots of nutritious flavor, thus making them stretch a long way.  So Refreshing!

Sweet Southern Cherry:
Tart Cherry and Apricot or Peach Juices

Sour Cherry Splash:
Tart Cherry and Lemon Slices with a splash of Apple Juice
Refreshing Lemon Mint:
Lemon Slices, Mint Leaves and a green tea bag (you can leave out the green tea if you like)

Blueberry Blast:
Blueberry Juice and Apple Juice

Tropical Sensation:
Coconut Milk, Pineapple Juice, and a splash of Apple Juice


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Resurrection Cookies: Directions & Printable Recipe

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I’ve had this recipe for Resurrection Cookies in my Easter file for a while, but this is the first year I felt my girls were ready for them.  (The last few years we’ve made Resurrection Rolls — just because I felt the simpler approach to the death and resurrection of Jesus was more age-appropriate for younger preschoolers).
I would suggest reading the Bible story of Jesus’ death and resurrection aloud to your children before you begin making these cookies.  I particularly like the version in The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos for older preschool and elementary-aged children.

resurrection cookies

Resurrection Cookie Recipe


  • 1 cup almonds (or pecans)
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zipper baggy
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixer
  • Cookie sheet
  • Spoons
  • Tape
  • Bible

1)  PREHEAT OVEN TO 300 DEGREES.  Place one cup nuts into a baggy.  Beat the nuts with a wooden spoon until broken into tiny pieces.  Remind children Jesus was beaten by the Roman Soldiers.

Read John 19:1-3

1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
I also included Isaiah 53:5:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

2)  Allow each child to smell the vinegar.  Pour a small amount into a bowl and allow them to taste it.  Explain that vinegar was given to Jesus to drink when he was on the cross.  Add 1 tsp. vinegar into a mixing bowl.

Read John 19:28-30

 28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

3)  Add egg whites to vinegar.  The eggs in this recipe represent life.  They remind us that Jesus gave his life to give us life abundantly.

Read John 10:10-11

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

4)  Put a pinch of salt in your child’s hand.  Allow them to taste it.  Add a pinch of salt to to the eggs and vinegar.  The salt represents the salty tears cried by the women who followed Jesus.

Read Luke 23:27

27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him

5)  Place a pinch of sugar in your child’s hand.  Allow them to taste it.  Add one cup sugar to the mixture.  Up to this point, the ingredients have been very  bitter, but the sweetness in the recipe comes from the sugar.  The suffering and death of Jesus are bitter, but the sweetness is that Jesus died because He loves us.  Oh, how He loves us!

Read Psalm 34:8

8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Read John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

6)  Beat the mixture for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed  (I recommend setting a timer — it’s important to beat the mixture well).   The whiteness of the mixture reminds us of purity and the cleansing of our sins because of Jesus’ death.

Read Isaiah 1:18:

18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

7)  Stir in the nuts.

8)  Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.  The mounds represent the tomb where Jesus was buried.

Read Matthew 27:57-60

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
9)  After the oven is preheated, put the cookie sheets in the oven.  TURN OFF the oven.  Allow your child to place pieces of tape and “seal” the oven door.  Jesus’ tomb was sealed with a large rock.

Reread Matthew 27:59

59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
10)  Leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Your child might feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight (they were probably expecting to have a yummy treat soon – at least mine were).  Jesus’ followers were very sad when the tomb was sealed.

John 16:20-22

20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
11)  In the morning, open the oven and have some cookies!  The cookies should be hollow inside.  Remind your child that the tomb was empty.  Jesus is risen!

Read Matthew 28:1-9

1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
Although these are personally not my favorite cookies (two of my girls loved them — one did not!), they are a great way to learn about the crucifixion and resurrection in a hands-on way for kids.  If you would like these directions in a printable form, please feel free to download the sheets I’ve put together with the Resurrection Cookies Recipe.

**I am unable to locate an original source for this recipe.  If you know the original creator of this Easter cookie recipe, please send me an email so I can give proper credit!  All Scripture references are taken from the NIV translation.


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