Category Archives: Cooking

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Easter Eve Cookies

Today, I’m over at The Homeschool Post sharing a recipe for cookies that can be made on Easter Eve as a very tangible lesson for your children to experience the Easter story.

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!

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Juice

My One Day Fast

Have you ever just felt so toxic that you couldn’t imagine anything being able to make you feel better? I have been living on junk food and fast (junk) food for so long that I just couldn’t imagine that eating a salad every day would ever be able to counteract and clean the system to make me feel better. Not to mention that the addictions to the drive thru were still too strong to fight. I needed something extreme.

Enter the Fast.

Last week I decided to go to the extreme of fasting for the first time. I must admit that I’ve had an interest when the church does the Daniel Fast each January, but I’ve always talked myself out of it.

So, I decided that I needed to go extreme – 3 days at least – target of 5 days. I was convinced that extreme was the only way to go. Plus, anyone who knows me knows that anything worth doing is worth overdoing. I planned a juice fast because apparently a water fast in our toxic environment can be ultra-dangerous.

The decision was made before dinner so that’s when I started – no reason to put it off, right?

The next day, I occasionally felt hunger but it wasn’t anything too uncomfortable. Even though spiritual reasons were not involved when I made the decision, I found that through the day I felt closer to God and prayers were frequent.

That night, after 36 hrs of not eating, the hunger came on strong, and I felt light headed and sick, sick , SICK… I ate a banana to ease the situation and later HAD to eat some salad. I felt like a FAILURE.

How was ONE day going to make a difference? Did I suffer for nothing?

Unbelievably, no – even a one day fast made a HUGE difference. In The Maker’s Diet, Jordan recommends a partial day fast each week to allow your digestive system to rest.

All in all, I would say that it was beneficial, and I look forward to doing it again soon – although maybe I need to remember to drink more juice next time…

If you’re interested in fasting, I found that the Fasting Center had a lot of really good information. But, from everything that I’ve read, the Fasting Center may not be cautious enough…according to the Maker’s Diet, extended repeated fasts can mess with your metabolism permanently, so definitely research, research, research!

Have you ever fasted? What was your experience? Tell me about it in the comments.

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Chocolate Meltaways and Banana Muffins ~ Gluten Free!

Recently, I told you about a new Cookbook, Good and Easy Eats, that I had the opportunity to review.  At the time, I was looking forward to trying the Chocolate Meltaways in part because I was really intruguied by the idea of a desert with a black bean base. Yes, you read that right – BLACK BEANS. In a desert. So, needless to say, I was a bit skeptical. But, it only required a few new products that weren’t already on the shelf: black beans, agave syrup, and carob powder.  So, not too bad of an outlay for a potentially great reward.
Well, I have to tell you, it is absolutely amazing that this is made out of beans – they do NOT taste like it at all!  I have to admit, that I am not particularly fond of the carob powder, but my son LOVES these things. So, the 10yo that I can’t get anywhere near beans is eating black beans – which is totally AWESOME!  We will definitely be making them again – although I think I will make it with extra cocoa powder and drop the carob. Hopefully that will work out well, too.

We also made the Banana Muffins from the cookbook, and it’s hard to believe that these things are gluten free!  They turned out a little dryer than I would have liked, but I think that was a preparation problem and not a recipe problem.  We’ve also had good luck with the Italian Dressing, so I encourage you – if you are interested in learning about an alternate HEALTHY eating style for your family – or, just learning some new HEALTHY recipes – then, get ahold of this book – and give it a try….even those recipes you never would think go together……like black beans and chocolate.

Apparently the holidays brings out the baker in me, because you can find me over at the HSBA Post talking about favorite Christmas cookies today.  Won’t you come share yours?

Note: Some links are affilate links – thank you for your support!

Good and Easy Eats: Review

I haven’t really posted a lot about it, but my son, Rex, was recently diagnosed with Aspergers.  It really wasn’t a huge surprise, but what was a (albeit mild) surprise was how much diet can play a role in how his day is going.  For instance, we recently had pretty good confirmation that food dyes affect him negatively. And, another suggestion that I’ve seen offered is that it’s a good idea to remove Gluten from the diet.

Now, I’m not really sure I really understand what gluten is to be completely honest with you – so, you can imagine how thrilled I was to be offered the opportunity to review Kim Wilson’s new ebook Good and Easy Eats which is a collection of recipes that are not only gluten free but are also free of dairy, egg, soy, yeast, and wheat.  Wow – what a list, right?!?

I have been looking over all of the recipes, and I’m so encouraged to see how many of these recipes are foods that we would normally enjoy – just prepared in a slightly different way (and with different flours, etc…)  We particularly love the idea of adding Fruit Smoothies to breakfast and making our own salad dressings (of which there are 4 basic types and there is a recipe included for each type.) Kim also offers suggestions on a lot of the recipes to change up the recipe if you don’t have issues with gluten.

She has included a wide variety of recipes from an easy way to prepare Steel Cut Oats (Baked Oats) to the more exotic Coconut Curry.  We have such a long list of recipes that we’re going to be trying that I don’t want to include them all here, but I’m probably the most excited to try the Chocolate Meltaways which includes 2 cans of black beans.  I thought – What?!? but, Kim has already predicted the surprise factor and advises

“Don’t let the ingredients scare you away! These little fudge bites are amazingly tasty and no one can believe they have black beans as a base.”

All throughout the book, Kim has also been gracious enough to include tips and hints that have helped her family as well as a pretty good look at how they schedule their meals and are still able to eat wholesome foods on a reasonable food budget.  I find these bits especially helpful because I always tend to freeze up when I try to imagine implementing new habits in our routines.

Additionally, Good and Easy Eats would be equally beneficial for the family that is looking to supplement their regular diet with some healthier alternatives instead of making a complete change.

Good and Easy Eats is being released Saturday, December 10th, and will be available as an instant download for only $4.99!  Kim has graciously offered a free copy of the book to one of my lucky readers! This is a 24 hour give-away (well, a little longer but pretty close..,) so you have until 12:01am ET, December 10th, to enter.

TO ENTER: You have the opportunity for 2 entries per person. Leave a comment below answering one of the questions below (each comment will count as a separate entry, so if you are answering both, please leave 2 comments.)  I will use Random.org to choose the number for the winning comment. Don’t forget to leave your e-mail address or your Twitter name in the comment.

1.) Why do you feel that this book would be a great addition to your cookbook library?

AND/OR

2.) Go to the website for Good and Easy Eats and watch Kim’s introductory video and then tell us the most interesting thing you saw/heard in the video.  (Even if you don’t normally watch videos, I think you’ll find some of the information well worth while…..the video is right at 4 minutes long.)

I can’t wait to hear your answers!
Giveaway Day

Note: I was provided a complimentary copy of Good and Easy Eats for my honest and unbiased review. Links within the post are affiliate links – Thank you for your support.

Moon Doggy Mac

This is a recipe of our own creation trying to satisfy hubby’s craving for Mac & Cheese – and, this one has received high marks. You can see in the picture how he didn’t even wait for me to take the picture before he had to have a spoonful.  I’d love to know how your family likes it.  (Sometimes we use different cheese depending on what’s on sale…)

Moon Doggy Mac 
  • o   8 oz pasta elbows
  • o  4 TB butter (divided)
  • o   2 TB flour 
  •     2 cups Milk
  • o   2 tsp salt
  • o   1 tsp pepper
  • o   1/8 tsp red pepper
  • o   ½ tsp paprika
  • o   ½ cup finely diced onions
  • o   3 cloves finely diced garlic
  • o   2 cups (8 oz) shredded Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • o   2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (divided)
  • o   3 – 6 pieces of toast (for breadcrumbs)
  • o   Oil for sauteing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Cook pasta according to pkg directions; drain and set aside.
In a skillet, sauté onion and garlic in a small amt of oil.  Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 TB butter over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk constantly until light brown.  (Be careful not to overbrown.) Gradually whisk in the milk.  Whisk constantly while cooking over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.  
Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar cheese and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese (1 cup at a time) until melted.  Stir in spices, onions, and garlic.
In a large pot (preferably the one you cooked the pasta in), mix together the pasta and cheese sauce, and then pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.  Add remaining 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese to top.
Bake for 20 minutes with lid (or aluminum foil) on, and then remove lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  During the final 2 minutes (before cheese is hardened), add bread crumbs (below) and bake until browned.
While mac and cheese is baking, put toast into food processor and pulse until you get bread crumbs.  Brown in skillet with 1 TB melted butter – it won’t take long.

Cooking needs…Spices!

I’ve written that my son, Rex, is very interested in learning how to cook. Recently, we allowed him to experiment with chicken & rice. He didn’t care for the way that it was made claiming that “it has no flavor.” But, since he doesn’t have a lot of experience with various spices, we allowed him to set up a taste station.

We poured a little bit of every spice – and yes – I mean EVERY spice….well, not the cream of tartar – I did stop him on that one :) Anyway, we poured a little into 3 oz Dixie cups and put the spice bottle behind it (so that he knew which was which) and he tasted them all. This is the same child that won’t taste spaghetti sauce, but I digress…. He discovered that his favorites were cinnamon, garlic salt, and dehydrated onions (but not onion powder oddly enough).

All in all, a very successful experiment I would say….

His next project? Making homemade sodas. I’ll keep you posted as to the results :)