Thursday, May 28, 2009

Extra Spice of Life

I have two extra Spice of Life for any takers. $29 each. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A conversation with grains: Soft White Wheat

It use to be that whole wheat meant one thing, hard red wheat. It made a nutty, heavy loaf of bread that some didn't care much for. Then, in 1990, the hard white wheat came our way. It has more moisture and a lighter color and flavor. Now, we have another variety to choose from: Soft White Wheat. It is known as the pastry flour. It is perfect for baking cookies, crepes, pie crusts and pancakes. It fools my family into thinking they are eating white flour products. It is almost as light as white flour when ground and has a very mild flavor. While it doesn't have as much protein as other wheat grains, it does have as much fiber and is a "whole grain". You wouldn't want to make a whole loaf of bread with only soft white wheat but up to half of the flour mixture per batch is fine or if you know the game, you can add more gluten and other tricks. But, let me tell you....these whole grain crepes are simply out of this world and I will never go back to a white flour crepe, even on the special occasions. I could eat these daily. This is a great way to trick the kids into thinking that they are eating white flour junk. This flour also makes an incredible Belgian waffle.

Whole Grain Crepes

Put all ingredients in a blender:

1 cup freshly ground soft white wheat flour (tastes good with other wheat as well, just a little heavier)
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Blend just until smooth. Add more milk if needed. You want these real thin . Pour some batter on a skillet with melted butter, swirl to spread into a very thin circle. Fry them on both sides until lightly golden. Repeat, adding a thin coat of butter each time (I just use the stick to rub some on the pan each time). Fill with fresh fruit and creme.

Where to get Soft White Wheat: Why check my friends out at Preparing Wisely or order from Azure Standard. If you are not fortunate to do either, the Internet has plenty of other options for ordering. Enjoy!

PS: So the cookbook isn't making my May deadline but it is coming soon. May was nuts but it is almost there. Can't wait!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Summer Garden

I have received a few emails about wanting to see my garden that I talk so much about. I do love it. It is my pride and joy along with my children, of course, of both whom I have nurtured and raised from seed. So, here is a little of my garden tour.

The dwarf peach tree, that isn't so dwarfish, deserves some mention. It is the prominate feature along side the garden. The birds love the peaches which is a good thing in a way because it keeps them out of my garden. Who wants to nibble on tomato's when you can peck at a delightful peach? Once again, we have a million peaches, unfortunately small, but nonetheless, we have eaten them for weeks now in every imaginable dish. Still not sick of them. Cobblers, muffins, glazes, granola, salads, etc. So many ways.

Can you tell what this is? Check out the little brown lump in the ground. It is a potato. Ever so cute. This is my first potato ever grown by my own little hands. There are clusters of them. Ever so cute.

The pepper plants. The question from one of my fellow EH's asked about growing peppers in AZ. Yes, it is hot. Yes, they get scorched and brown. My trick, my summer garden is in "canopy" style. That means that the plants are a bit crowded to let the leaves shade each other. This cute little plant is partially under the canopy of a zucchini plant. The big leaves help shade it so that the pepper can grow, burn free. It gets plenty of sun.
The big picture. You just can't do it justice with a picture but here it is. The summer garden is a messy one. I prefer the neat lines of the fall garden but the summer garden must be shaggy. I just planted a new zucchini plant so that when the older zucchini plant stops producing, plant #2 will take over its job. If you have a space, add a plant. I also have a couple mystery plants that have popped up from my mulch. It is either cucumber, melon or squash. We are so excited to see what kind of plant baby we have. The kids check it daily.
Last photo: Last nights side dish. Garden biscuits. Don't tell, they were made with white flour. I just had too. A good biscuit just isn't the same with wheat flour. This biscuit is a good way to use up some of your garden fresh herbs.

Garden Biscuits

2 t. yeast
2 1/2 C flour
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C shortening, I use spectrum palm shortening
1/4 C finely shredded carrot
2 T snipped fresh parsley
2 T. finely chopped green onion or chives
1 C. buttermilk

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 2 T. warm water. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a pastry blender and cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in carrot, parsley and green onion. Make a well in center of lour and add in yeast and buttermilk. Use a fork, stir until just moistened. If too wet, add a little flour but keep moist and sticky. Turn onto well floured counter. Knead 8 times. Roll out 1/2 inch thick . Cut into desired biscuit size. (mini biscuits are great!) Place on ungreased cookie sheet and brush with melted butter. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Red, Yellow, Orange and Green

The fruit of my labors have paid off today. The tilling, the weeding, the watering; all worth it. I had a delicious dinner of Chicken with a roasted Poblano Cream Sauce made with a Poblano straight from my garden ( recipe in my now favorite Martha Stewart cook book) , roasted yellow and green squash with onions, all from my garden and fresh peaches right from my tree. Boy how good food tastes when picked and eaten fresh. Delicious. I have been patiently watching my tomatoes turn from green to red, tomorrow is the big day, I just know it. I have the dinner all planned around those 5 tomatoes that should be just perfect for picking. I just love the summer garden.

I have planted an extra amount of pepper plants this summer. I had never been a huge bell pepper person but then I realized that I just had never really eaten them in the right venue. First off, they are simply beautiful. They are a perfect shade of each color; red, yellow, orange and green. If you haven't noticed, the real foods with the most vibrant colors are the healthiest for us.Peppers are perfectly crisp. They are absolutely nutrient rich. Check these stats out: Red Bells are higher in Vitamin C than oranges and loaded with Beta Carotene. They are rich in lycopene and beta-cryptoxathin which help prevent and fight cancer. All the bells contain high amounts of A and C and fiber. They also contain some Vitamin K which is great for bone health.

I have been adding these little gems to many different recipes lately. At first the munchkins would pick them out and question my reasoning for putting these veggies in their dinner. Now, they are used to seeing them in various dishes and have no qualms about digesting them. I can now say that I am a pepper lover. You can use them in so many dishes; salads, pizza's , omelets, salsa, etc. Try them out. If you need a recipe to experiment on, try out this lovely little pizza we made last week. They were all sure it sounded gross but ALL ate and loved it. Sorry , my daughter deleted the photo so just try to imagine it. Of course, this one will make it in my recipe collection.

Spanish Omelet Pizza

1/2 lb red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, about 1 cup
3/4 C chopped bell peppers, various colors
1 T olive oil
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 tsp chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 large ball of whole wheat pizza dough (I bought mine from Fresh & Easy)
6 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
2 T. chopped cilantro

In a small pan, boil the cubed potatoes until barely tender. Drain. In a small omelet pan or skillet over medium-high heat, saute the bell peppers and onion in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the reserved potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chipotle peppers and stir to combine. Add the eggs and stir and cook until the eggs are no longer runny. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes. Spread on rolled out pizza crust. Top with grated cheese. Bake in 500 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro when done.

**Recipe adapted from The Ultimate Pizza book

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother of the Year

FYI. for those of you who sincerely congratulated me on winning mother of the was a joke. I figured you would all figure that out and have a giggle as I did when I saw this on other's blogs. It's just one of those websites that plugs in your name on a random site. Some of you thought it was real. I assure you that if I ever won such a ridiculous award, I would never mention it out of total embarrassment.  Thanks for the congratulations anyways! We are all mothers of the year. We have no choice. No one else wanted the job.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May specials for Preparing Wisely

Here are the May specials for Preparing Wisely in Mesa( check link on right for store info). I am particularly excited to see the  maple syrup still on sale and the Dried eggs. What a deal. You can get a bulk discount if you buy 6 or more cans which brings the price to $15 a can! Regularly $23.99 per can. We all need eggs in our food storage.

Saturday May 16th we are celebrating our One Year Anniversary.
We will be offering samples of various products and demonstrating
The Volcano Stove, The Global Sun Oven and the Katadyn Water Filter.

May Organic Specials

Organic Maple Syrup Grade B, 32 oz Reg. $32.50 SALE $22.50
Raw Organic Almonds 5 lb bag reg $45.00 SALE $35.00
We also have some of our most popular items on sale.
Offers good through May 31 or while supplies last. 
Country Cream Real Instant Milk
Makes 20 Quarts (5 Gallons)
Bulk Sale Price:
$15.00 Per Can when you buy 6 Cans
Reg. Price Price: $20.00 Per Can
Whole Powdered Eggs
Makes 80 Large Eggs
New Low Price!
$19.99 per Can (Was $23.99) 
Bulk Sale Price :
$15.00 When you buy 6 Cans
1 Gallon Xagave Organic Agave Nectar
The Complete Sugar Replacement
Sale Price: $35.00
Regular Price: $42.00
Come check out our clearence items: 
Various books including popular titles from Dave Ramsey and Erleen Tilton, select back packs and hydration packs.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

     I really was excited to go to Women's Conference. After all, I have only had three days away in all of my motherhood career of 15 years as stated and those were even taken on three separate voyages. I felt I deserved a little break. I was excited about returning to my old stomping grounds, my college campus that I have not set foot on since I left it in 1991. I was even going to stay in the dorms with my old college roomie. I busily prepared meals, finished the laundry, had all lists and chores finished. My plane landed and we arrived on campus. We walked into the dorms and I had a sick feeling come over me. I was suppose to be excited, I was suppose to feel a bit of freedom and enjoy the walk down memory lane. But, the minute I walked into that dorm which mind you have not changed one bit, my stomach turned. I had had a dream about a year ago that my Dad was taking me to college. I was 18 again but I knew that I really was 36. I had five kids. My Dad told me that I was wrong. I was 18. I was going to college. He dropped me off. I cried. No one believed me . I had to start over. I had to be 18 again, looking for a husband,waiting for kids. It was a horrible dream. The minute I stepped onto that campus again, I felt that dream. I felt total loneliness even though I was surrounded by women. In that very moment, the moment I should have been rejoicing in to have some peace and freedom, I felt for absolute surety that being a mother was what I was born to do. It was the only thing I wanted. Even accounting all the horrible days that I wanted to leave and not return, I wanted nothing else. I wanted to cuddle my children. I had only been gone a few hours and I missed them terribly. 

I love being a mother. They wear me out from head to toe on a daily basis but I love them to pieces. Thank you for making me a mother my little angels. Thank you for allowing me all the opportunities to be better, stronger and more charitable than I ever thought I could be. Thank you for forgiving me for all of the times that I wasn't. Thank you for teaching me on a daily basis how far love can go and that through the hard times we become stronger and closer. It is a hard job. No doubt about it. However, there isn't a better job on the planet. The pay is horrible but the hugs and kisses make it all worth it. 

Happy Mother's Day to you all. I hope you all get spoiled. A special "Thank You" to my own wonderful mother who taught it all to me and still is. She is the perfect role model. I love you.  

Friday, May 8, 2009

Essential Oils Book

For those of you who were interested, I have a friend who is placing an order for the essential oil book "Nature's Pharmacy". The book is my favorite for understanding how to use oils. If she gets enough orders, the book will be $25 or $30 if under 10 ordered total. Both are great prices. If you want one, email me and I will forward her info to you!

  Also, this is a little embarrassing but I wanted to thank all of those who nominated me for this prestigious award. It is truly an honor. Click on the link below. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First Aide Oils

Thanks to all the lovely ladies who came to my class tonight. I had a great time. As per our conversation on oils, the Be Young website is not done just yet so I have pasted some of the common oils below for now. I will send emails to those who wanted more info. These are the basic "first aide" oils. Here are some of the uses and how to apply them. These are my favorites along with the Breathe blend and Oregano oil.    

Lemon Oil   $15
• Inhale as needed to stimulate concentration and memorization.
• Diffuse to help protect from air-borne germs. Add 1- 2 drops to purified water in a
spray bottle to help cleanse high traffic areas.
• Kills surface bacteria. Use spray (above) do disinfect personal areas while traveling,
to keep kitchen sanitized.
• Apply 1-2 drops neat to skin irritations, such as insect bites, for itch relief.
• Agitate 4-5 drops in water for an invigorating shower or bath.
• When out for meals, use 1 – 2 drops rubbed on hands to cleanse and disinfect.
• Calms nausea
• Stops bleeding. Gums, shaving nicks, bloody noses, etc.
• Citrus oils are Photosensitive – do not expose skin where citrus oils have been applied, to direct sunlight for 48 hours

Eucalyptus Oil  $12
• The oil of choice for viral and respiratory infections. Anti-bacterial. Congestion of
any kind – sinuses, skin, female organs, etc.
• Swimmers ear – apply from behind the ears down the neck to clavicle.
• Sinus infections – apply straight or 50/50 across bridge of nose & sinus area of face
• Cold or flu – 1 drop to wrist & forearm back and forth every hour…maybe a trace on
tongue and in a capsule 2 to 3X day
• To boost immune system, apply everyday after shower on chest and feet
• To ease viral infections apply to chest, clavicle and on back
• Foot bath – use in foot bath to soothe and cool and prevent illness from setting in

Peppermint Oil  $16
• Pain - minimizes bruises. Gently tap a few drops
• Headaches – apply to back of neck, forehead, temples, nose - smell, make a hot tea
• Gastrointestinal problems – Put a drop on tongue
• Heartburn (lemon & peppermint liver cleanse)
• Migraines – apply to forehead & temples right away
• Hot flashes – back of neck or put into water to drink
• Pain – use for bone pain – smashed finger, shin, etc. Use instead of Vicodyn; Drop
right on gauze after surgery along with Fysical Thera P
• Burns – very cooling
• Headaches – forehead, temples
• Bee stings – instantly works; Drop on stings, tap and blow on it
• Use a drop of peppermint stirred into a teaspoon of honey for a stuffed nose.
• Inhale a drop of peppermint from a tissue for travel fatigue, indigestion, nausea,
motion sickness, and gastrointestinal cramps.
• Mix in a warm tea to dissipate congestion.
• Acid reflux – Marjoram and Peppermint in palm of hand and stir with finger
Lick finger and spread the rest over gastro area

Lavender Oil  $19
• It is the Universal Oil
• Burns, cuts, cysts on face, scrapes, sleeping, and shock straight
• Bathtub with Epsom salts to relax and soothe sore muscles
• Spray for sunburns; mix several drops with water and drop of peppermint, shake and
• Antiseptic, calming, relaxing and balancing.
• Relaxes and soothes the nerves when faced with anxiety, vertigo, depression,
headache and migraine, hypertension, and earache.
• Provides allergy relief.
• Antispasmodic and stomachic properties calm asthma, colic, whooping cough,
flatulence, dysmenorrheal, labor pains, sprains, strains and stress.
• Regenerates cells and thread veins, bruises, cuts, sores, scars, and stretch marks.
• Useful for areas of inflammation such as athlete’s foot, burns, insect bites, itching,
rheumatism, scabies, chicken pox, cystitis.
• Beneficial for oily skin, acne, and dermatitis; excellent antiseptic properties ward off
skin parasites, such as scabies.
• An effective insect repellent.

Tea Tree Oil  $22
• Anti-Bacterial. Use with infections.
• Use like Eucalyptus
• Dip toothpick & suck on it
• Apply behind & under ear, down jaw & down to jugular vein, pulse points.
• Scrapes/cuts getting infected use straight
• Pink eye – 1 drop oil, ¼ tsp salt with warm water & put on compress over eyes
• Abscess in mouth – 3X daily
• Sore gums by molars 3 X day
• Wisdom tooth removal instead of antibiotics
• At first sign of prickling sensation at back of the throat, take a drop of Tea Tree on
the tongue, also apply under jaw line, along the path of the jugular vein, from the
ears down to the clavicle.

Spice of Life Blend  $29
• Apply single drop to back of fist. Lick. (We call it the ‘lick trick’. Very spicy!)
• Put a drop or two on the bottom of the feet. Rub in.
• Put a drop or two on a slice of apple – delicious! Helps children to ingest the oil.
• Use to season Pineapple Upside Down Cake – immune enhancing cake!
• Use instead of Altoids or similar breath freshener.
• Blend 3 – 4 drops of oil with 1 Tablespoon of raw honey, pour hot water over and
make an immune boosting tea.
• Place 1-2 drops in the palms of your hands or on a carrying cloth and inhale any time
of the day. Breathe through each nostril 2-3 times. Repeat after 15 minutes if
• To use as a traditional remedy for protection when the body is most challenged,
diffuse 15-
• 20 drops in 10-15 minute intervals throughout the day, making sure to give 30 minute
breaks between intervals.

Fysical Thera P Blend  $29
• To relieve weariness, aches and pains. Apply neat to the affected area.
• For relief with fast action, apply 3-5 drops directly on the targeted area and alternate
between cold and warm compresses for 60 minutes.
• Apply topically on palms of hands and bottoms of feet.
• Mix 3-5 drops to 1 Tablespoon Message oil and massage on irritated, inflamed areas
and weary bones.
• This invigorating and healing blend will perk up the senses and ease congestion.
Rub 2 – 3 drops on the palms of the hand, inhale.
• To ease achy, overused muscles, massage a mixture of 3-5 drops diluted in 1
Tablespoon of Message oil into the targeted area.


To Do list

May is exhausting. There is band concerts, choir concerts, every award banquet imaginable, Mother's Day teas, Baseball tournaments and team parties, etc. It is only the 8th and I am ready for it to be Memorial Day.  I had plans today of canning and organizing my husbands closet.Funny little enlightened homemaker. What a dreamer.  Instead, a Mother's Day Tea, Costco, Mother's Day shopping and preparing for a class tonight. I must be coming down with Chronic Fatigue syndrome. I am just too tired today. I just want to forget about that long "To Do" list and be that cute 20 something girl I saw riding her bike with her cute work out clothes this morning jamming to her ipod. Just today I don't want to be the girl with the long list. I want to be sitting on the beach, perhaps next to my husband who at this very moment is enjoying the warm beaches of Costa Rica. I will pretend to be happy for him. OK. Maybe I am wallowing in self pity today. But, wouldn't you if instead of going to Costa Rica you got to take a trip to Costco?  I'll get over it. Tomorrow is a new day and who knows what adventures are in store for me.....maybe I will go crazy and go to target and buy something not on my list . Crazy.     

I thought all you ladies who have that "To Do" list hanging on the fridge might enjoy this little video from Hillary Weeks. I was able to see her at Women's Conference and she hits it on the nose. Enjoy.

Click HERE

PS. I am placing an oil order again Monday if anyone needs anything.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Are all the presents bought? Pinatas stuffed? Fresh tortillas made?If so, you get extra points. For me, I am not quite sure what one does for Cinco de Mayo except eat Mexican food. In honor of this celebration, we have eaten Mexican food for the past two days. We may sit today out but if you are stuck with not a Mexican dish to prepare, let me suggest a couple from my new favorite cookbook:

This is a cookbook from Martha Stewart that is mouthwatering. My SIL recommended this to me and I immediately sat down and read it like a novel. Each recipe has a photo and every recipe is worthy of a chance at my dinner table. I can't wait to make them all.

I have made two in a row and they were simply delicious. The Tortilla and Black Bean Pie and the Beef Tacos with Radish and Avocado Salsa. My children upon hearing what was being prepared made the gestures of dissatisfaction but all plates were cleared. They were sure that the avocado and radish salsa was going to ruin a perfectly good steak taco but they loved it. They were surprised. So was I since none of them like avocados. They are now converts. This food is all so colorful and fresh. I wish I had photos to share but it was devoured too quickly. Try them out. Go pick yourself up a copy of the cookbook to tie you over until mine comes out!

Happy Cinco de Mayo and try one of these out!

Beef Tacos with Radish and Avocado Salsa

1 avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6 large red radishes, ends trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 T. chopped pickled jalapeno chili
2 t. fresh lime juice, plus 1 lime cut into 8 wedges
1 t. olive oil
coarse salt and pepper
1 pound skirt steak
1 T. ground cumin
8 corn tortillas

Heat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat. Line a cooking pan with aluminum foil. In bowl, stir together the avocado , radishes, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice and oil. Season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap pressing it directly to surface to prevent discoloring. Chill.

Arrange stead on baking sheet. Rub both sides with cumin. Season with salt and pepper generously. Broil without turning until well browned, 6-8 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes under foil.

While steak is broiling, stack and wrap tortillas in a dampened kitchen towel; microwave until hot and pliable , 1 - 2 minutes. You can then stack them in foil to keep warm. Cut steak into strips on the diagonal. Place on tortillas and top with salsa.

**I doubled this recipe. I also used sirloin and only used half as many radishes. I squeezed lime juice on the beef before serving.

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

4 10 inch flour tortillas
1 T canola oil
1 Large onion, diced
1 jalapeno Chile, minded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. ground cumin
coarse salt and pepper
2 cans 15 oz each black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 10 oz package frozen white corn
4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Using a paring knife, trim the tortillas to fit a 9 inch springform pan, using the bottom of the pan as a guide. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cumin. Season with slat and pepper. Cook , stirring occasionally until onion is softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the beans and water and baring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 8-10 minutes. Stir in corn and scallions and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Fit a trimmed tortilla in the bottom of the springform pan; layer with one quarter of the beans and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat three times, using 1 cup cheese on the tops layer. Bake until hot and cheese is melted; 20-25 minutes. Unmold the pie; sprinkle with scallions. Slice into wedges and serve.

** I used Monterrey jack cheese

Sorry no pictures. Have a great day celebrating the 5th of May. What does one do for the 6th of May? In case you were wondering , my vacation was fun and I will tell about all I learned later, come visit me again.

Adios Amigas!