Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Thank You Note

**From the Goss family

Dear Enlightened Homemakers,
Most of you are strangers to Abigail and me. But when Shari gave you the opportunity to donate to Abigail, you did. Thank you for your kindness and generosity! It truly is remarkable to see complete strangers help each other. Abigail is too young to say thanks herself, but I thank you in behalf of this sweet 21-month-old princess.
She is doing absolutely fantastic! In the past 2 months her main tumor has shrunk about 95-97%! All of the metastasis in her bones are gone (at least undetectable!). Her bone marrow tests came back clear! Her oncologist says in his career he has seen maybe 1/2 dozen children respond this well.
But the hard decisions continue. Her doctor wants to continue chemotherapy because that's his job and she is responding so well to it. We are also giving her an alternative treatment product called Protocel. Our next decision is to say yes or no to another round of chemotherapy, hoping and praying that Protocel is doing what it's 'supposed' to do. So we would love for you to keep praying for her!
Again, thank you for your kindness!
Annabeth, Abigail and family

We are sooooo happy for you Abigail! Keep it up. The Enlightened Homemakers of the world are cheering for you. 

Thank you all who donated. I was touched to see how many cared for someone they didn't even know. You are the best friends ever.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Orange Blossoms for Tate

Tate gets the raw deal a lot of the time around our house and at parties. He can never eat treats anyone makes and usually takes it pretty well. However, he is getting older now and is starting to understand that he is missing something. I decided that this boy deserved a little something special and that I needed to make something that actually tasted sweet and delicious yet still stuck with his diet of no refined sugars, dairy or gluten. These little gems were absolutely delicious. Not just delicious for a gluten free kid that didn't know the difference; they were the kind of yummy that the other non-gluten free kids in the house wanted also. Tate was so happy. He grinned from ear to ear. I grinned from ear to ear also to make this little man so pleased. I made him some pretty rockin almond butter cookies as well. He deserves something good for all the rotten things he has to go through in this life!

Orange Blossoms

6 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk
7 T. honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp celtic salt
juice of half of an orange

Melt coconut oil and let cool a bit. 
whisk eggs, coconut/almond milk, honey, zest and vanilla. Add the coconut oil when not too warm and orange juice. Add coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until lumps are gone. Pour the batter into mini muffin pans, either greased or lined.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Do not over bake.

Ice them with the following:

1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp orange zest
couple tsp. honey as desired

Whisk then put in the fridge to let cool enough to thicken. Whisk now and then. It doesn't take long. If you want it sweeter, add more honey. This is really an amazing icing! 

Frost warm cupcakes. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The "Cookie"

My sister-in-law just called to ask for this recipe. It is the absolutely best cookie in the world. It is the only thing that I can't control myself around, well , other than a newborn's neck. When we make these, I have to make sure they get shared with others so that they are only in our house for the day.  I had posted this earlier with all the bad sugars but revised it since we are off dairy and don't want the bad sugars even once in a while at home anymore. It is still my favorite cookie!

Chocolate chip coconut oat cookies

1 cup softened butter or coconut oil
2 cups coconut sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups whole grain flour (tastes great with whole grain soft white flour)
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup unsweetened coconut
2 cups chocolate chips, I use Sunspire. 

Cream together the butter/coconut oil and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add dry ingredients and mix until all incorporated. Add in chocolate chips and stir. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. (or eat the dough straight) 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fast Food.

When you take pictures in a dark kitchen, the photo looks less than appetizing. Sorry about that. I cook, not take pictures. Take my word for it, it was yummy.

Sunday I had a great dinner planned with Shish kabobs and roasted rosemary potatoes. However, when it came down to it, only a few of us were going to be there to eat it. Since I only cook meat once to twice a week, I decided that the absentee teenagers would prefer I do the "meat" meal the following night. The problem was that it was now 5 pm and I didn't know what to make. I needed to do something quick. 

I am trying to use up some healthy lentils so I tried out this lentil chili recipe with some corn fritters. It was a great, quick meal. It took less than 20 minutes to have it all done. Of course, I did use a pressure cooker so add on about 15 minutes if you don't own one yet. Lentils are so great for you and you can really put about anything you want in this chili. I stuck with the recipe this time, a rare thing for me. I think I would add some celery and carrots but it tasted great and completely meatless. The corn fritters were perfect with it. I loved to eat a little piece of them with every spoonful of chili. With fresh corn that will be here in the summer, these corn fritters will be a regular, I am sure. I used the Costco organic sweet white corn. Fresh corn will be even better.

Lentil Chili

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 1/4 cups lentils
2  15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Saute veggies in some olive oil until a little tender, about 5 minutes. Add broth, lentils and chili powder. Pressure cook for about 7 minutes on the second ring. Then add the tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper and simmer until soft. If you are not using a pressure cooker, after sauteing the veggies, add broth, lentils, chili powder and tomatoes and simmer after bringing to boil for about 30 minutes or until soft. Add Cilantro when lentils are tender. 

Corn Fritters
(Martha Stewart recipe)

2 cups corn, fresh or frozen (thaw first)
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tsp sugar or sweetener of choice
1/2 tsp. baking powder
celtic salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sprouted spelt flour ( or flour of choice)
coconut oil to fry

Add all ingredients together and fry on a skillet in a couple tablespoons of coconut oil. Keep them warm in the oven until ready to eat. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ordering Monday.

I am ordering oils and supplements Monday. Email me to get your order in. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fresh Finds...Sprout's deals.

I am really so easily excited. I even had to text my friends the news as soon as I left the store. Sprout's now has organic coconut sugar in bulk! $4.99. Seriously, good news. They also have coconut flour in bulk as well and it is on sale through March 29th. What more could I ask for? I'll tell you...Here is what else filled my cart tonight:

Applegate Farms organic, uncured lunch meats: $5.99 (original price, $7.99)

Organic apples: $.99/lb

Crofter's organic, no sugar added jams: $3

Annie's organic fruit snacks, no sugar: $3

Cascade Valley organic granola bars: $2.79

Organic potatoes, 5 lbs for $2.50

3 lbs clementines: $1.98

Organic Pears, 3lbs for $1.98 (I think)

Organic applesauce $2.98 for 23 oz.

Most of these deals are good until at least next Wednesday. Some until the end of the month. It was a good trip. I love when shopping trips turn magical. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Saving....the earth, the cash.

It is spring break around here so the posts have been a little sparse. But, I have accomplished much around here including a full day out in the yard. 3 new trees, dead bushes trimmed and a garden prepared and ready to be filled tomorrow. Yipee. How little it takes to make me happy!

I have been trying this year to eliminate waste. You know, the whole save the environment, save your pocket book type thing. Throw in there the whole save your body from contamination thing also. We just waste so much and really could save some grocery store dollars is we just made a few changes.

The most noticeable change for me has been my paper towel usage. I am a big time window cleaner. I like my glass door to be CLEAN. Like no fingerprints at all CLEAN. I also like my mirrored closet doors clean, counters clean, walls clean, etc. That equals lots of paper towels. This year I made the best purchase ever. Seriously. I am so in love.

MICROFIBER TOWELS. I bought a huge package at Costco for some insanely cheap amount. There is enough towels in there to last me for a decade. They clean like nobodies business. Totally streak free and grab dust like a magnet. I sound like an infomercial but seriously, LOVE THEM! They have almost completely replaced paper towels for me. I save the paper towels for the really icky messes that I don't want to go into the washer. I used to go through a large 10+ roll of paper towels a week. Not kidding. Now, I maybe go through one roll a week. I start with a micro fiber towel in the morning and do the kitchen counters, then the mirrors, then any wall smudges, then the bathrooms. All in one towel. I use a different one for any dusting that needs to be done. 

I have blogged about this before but my very favorite thing to clean with in the whole wide world is a spray bottle filled with 16 oz of water, 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract and 6 drops of peppermint oil. It smells heavenly and disinfects and leaves windows streak free. They go from counters to mirrors. One towel, one cleaner. 

For the tougher jobs, I use the same spray bottle but add a little baking soda to the cloth. I just spray the cloth a bit then sprinkle a little baking soda. It cleanse the sinks, counters, wall smudges, etc. No harsh chemicals, no rough abrasives. Perfect and something like $.59 a box. It is great on stainless steel sinks, getting rust spots and grime off. It can make your paint look new again as it takes off most smudges.

Now onto the kitchen soap. I go through lots of that too since I have lots of kids using lots of dishes. They do the dishes and like to use lots of soap. To combat that, I have taken precautions since they simply aren't going to use less soap. I've tried. 

Fill up half the bottle with dish soap, preferable one without chemicals and toxins, and add the other half with water. Give a little whirl and there you go. It pours out easily and is less concentrated so you don't waste so much. You really need very little soap to get the job done. I can't believe how long the soap lasts now. 

Now onto the body wash. Another big thing that produces lots of waste in our house. 7 bodies to clean. Kids love to make bubbles. They think they need like 7 squirts to clean one little body. My favorite combo:

The photo is hard to decipher but it is the wildflower hair and body shampoo from Abe's Market. It comes in a gallon for about $15 bucks. I use it for shampoo on Tate but it is mostly our body wash. I put some in a pump bottle , dilute with water and add in my favorite peppermint oil. It wakes up the senses, leaves you with a little tingle and with no harsh chemicals at all, your body will thank you. I have hardly used any out of my new gallon thanks to the "watering down" method. It is amazing how it stretches it out. I also love it on my face in the shower. 

As far as food goes, simply plan meals around what is on sale. I am talking produce and meats here. If you are trying to buy good organic, local and seasonal foods, wait to plan your menu until you hit the market. Buy what is on sale and available then go home and plan your menu. If you do this, you can end up really not spending more on your food than if you bought regular conventional. For instance, Sprouts has organic apples on sale right now for less than there conventional apples. Buy lots, make apple fritters for breakfast, apple sauce for homemade granola for lunch, apple crisp for dessert. Organic sweet potatoes were on sale last week. We had Jamaican sweet potatoes and black beans, sweet potato fries, sweet potatoes in our soup. The sweet potatoes were once again cheaper than the conventional potatoes. You just need to buy smart and cook smart. 

You don't have to go to the poor house by adopting a healthy lifestyle. I hate when I hear that excuse. You just have to use your head a little and plan a little better. 

What are some of your money saving tips at your house? Please share.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Abigail's Video

New post coming tomorrow, finally, but if you want to take a peak at cute little Abigail, watch their video from channel 5 news:

Thanks to everyone who donated to this sweet family. You can still donate money through pay pal on my site or buy a fitness works pass as well. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fresh Finds...

If you haven't already checked out Bountiful Baskets, now is a great week to do so. It is the organic basket week but in addition, you can get 36lbs of organic Fuji apples for $28. Steal! You can also get a 21 lb case of pineapples for $14! Super great to freeze in chunks for smoothies. They have bread as well.

Walmart is now carrying some pretty good varieties of organic lettuce and spinach. It is getting close to the Costco price which is great when you can't quite get there. I am getting more and more impressed with Walmart. Almost. Still don't love it but they are really starting to carry some good items. They have the Annie's organic snacks for a pretty darn good price too. I love to send those to school when we have the snack buckets. 

I am ordering on Wednesday and I have some specials also! 

Probiotic Support which is normally $47 will be $40 for this order only.

Vitamin D3 is on sale for $17 instead of the new price of $21. 

There is a great new Yeast control pack that has been working great for clearing yeast overproduction in the body. There are 4 supplements that you rotate on a 5 day basis. I have copied the info below from New Beginnings.

New Beginnings is now offering a liquid Yeast Control Package designed for younger children who do not swallow capsules. The following potent single herbal products have been placed together in this package to provide better and more palatable (better tasting) broad spectrum Candida and bacteria control. When the suggested protocol is followed, this package provides yeast control support for at least three consecutive months while reducing the possibility of the yeast building resistance to the herbs:

Suggested Dosage/Protocol: Dose 6 – 10 drops of each herb with breakfast and dinner for five (5) consecutive days or as suggested by your healthcare practitioner. Start with any one herb and keep rotating through all the herbs (every 5 days) for a period of three months. Probiotics should be dosed at bedtime or at least two hours away from herbal doses. This protocol can be used whenever Candida symptoms appear.

Even if you don't have yeast issues to work on, these supplements are great to have in your medicine cabinet. We use them all the time to fight off the bugs. You can click on the individual herbs for info about each herb as well. If you order by Wednesday, you can get them for $60 instead of $68. 

I will be ordering oils and Feel Good Foods yeast kits as well. Email me asap.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fitness Work Fundraiser for Abigail

Thanks to a sweet blog friend, Heidi, a fundraiser has been organized for little Abigail. She is selling Fitness Works passes for $20 which are good for a 3 month pass at the gym. It is a great way to get in shape for the summer and help Abigail. 

You can email her at if you are interested. She will have the passes this week.

In addition, she has a great challenge being offered with prizes and a cash pot for the winners. You can check out her blog here. You get points for working out, reading inspirational materials, not eating sugar and snacks, etc. Super great idea. You have until Tuesday to join. When you are on the blog, click on all the links on top for the rules and points. 

Great Work, Heidi and thanks so much for helping Abigail! You can buy as many passes as you want and they come with lots of coupons as well. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The many faces of kefir

When many think of milk kefir, they think of it as a probiotic beverage. It is something you drink and that is about as far as they get. In our household, drinking milk kefir is about the only way we don't use it. We are not a fluid dairy consuming household; to hard on our little tummies. But, my milk kefir is used in about every other way. It is my sour cream, my buttermilk, my dairy in my cooking. Today, it is my herbed kefir butter for some hot french bread later on or a spread for crackers. Can you even think of a healthier butter than raw Jersey milk kefir butter? It is a butter with probiotics and cultured for easy digestion. It also happens to taste rather nice. It has a little tang to it which makes it taste light. Super yummy.

The process is very easy. After you make your milk kefir; letting it get thick like buttermilk, stir in a little sea salt and herbs of choice. Then, pour it into a cheese cloth or thin cotton dish towel. Twist it up so that the whey starts to drain. Put on a rubber band to secure the twisted towel. Stick a wooden spoon or other dowel type gadget through the rubber band and hang the cheesecloth over a pot/jar. The spoon/dowel will rest on the pot to keep the cheesecloth suspended. Put it in the fridge overnight to let the whey drain. In the morning, untwist the cloth and the butter should be ready. It will last at least a couple weeks in the fridge. The whey can also be used in recipes.

Milk kefir is generally cured at room temperature. However, I am finding that since I like my kefir to get real thick, I am favoring a fridge method. I leave it out on the counter for about 5-7 hours then with the kefir grains still in the milk, I put it in the fridge. I then let it sit in the fridge for a day or so. This allows the kefir to continue to get real thick without it getting too sour. There is still the same amount of probiotics in kefir cultured at room temp or in the cooler fridge. I checked. Sometimes I like my kefir to get fizzy as this makes it a natural leavening agent to cook with. It makes the fluffiest waffles in town! I let some get quite sour as it makes a sourdough effect on baked goods. 

Oh so many ways to kefir! It is so easy. I love not having to buy buttermilk or sour cream. It is always ready for me as one batch is always ready and one in the culturing process. 

Start culturing. It is easy and so beneficial to your body. Don't be afraid. I promise you can do it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The American Philosophy on fats.

I have talked many times about my distaste with the American food philosophy. It makes me cringe when I hear the faux pas thrown around like gospel. Why can you go to every other industrialized country out there and they "get it" and we just don't? Why do we believe what the FDA tells us instead of what history does? 

I won't get there today. I have been there way too many times but I do want to talk a little about fat.

I had this salesman come to my house the other day to show me the Saladmaster. Seriously, I could have bought it. It makes such cute designs out of your veggies. But, $400 wasn't as cute. However, he has cookware as well and you don't need any fat. No oils. Nothing. You can eat totally fat free.

Big problem. We need fat. Those fat free diets are just wrong. Vitamins and minerals bind to fats for digestion. Fats signal to our bodies that we are full. Our body needs these fats to work right. Of course, we need the good fats and America gets that part wrong. Think about the European countries that consume lots and lots of it. Olive oil, pure cream, cheeses, etc. They have a much lower percentage of heart disease than we do and are much thinner. They eat the real deal fat, not the partially hydrogenated junk that we eat. You get real cream from a real cow that eats real grass and top that off with real culturing. You get real olive oil from a tree grown without pesticides. You get cheeses that are from grass fed cows, antibiotic free, aged the right way. They eat eggs, fresh fish and grass fed meats. They eat lots of carbs. They are healthier than we are. 

Today I have two gallons of fresh raw milk from a Jersey cow (the best milk for the body) sitting in my fridge. The cream is thick on the top. They asked if I wanted it strained. Heck no. Oh the options! Yogurt, butter, cheese. I can't wait to get to it all. Let's not even for one minute think that I can just dive in and eat it all without consequence. You can still gain wait even if it is natural and healthy. All things in moderation. But, the point is that many people cringe at the thought of butter and cheese, olive oil and whole milk yogurts. They would rather eat a low fat meal that in truth is plastic and synthetic chemicals. Silly Americans. 

As always, keeping it real is the way it should be and  always will be. Portion control is key to a healthy body and soul. 

Wish you were all as lucky as I am to have some Jersey milk in your fridge. I affectionately call my milk "Snookie" milk after Snookie on Jersey Shore. I don't watch it but who doesn't know about Snookie? It is just an appropriate name from the Jersey milk. I have Snookie Cheese, Snookie Yogurt and Snookie butter. Wouldn't it be great to dip a cookie in my snookie milk? That is going too far. 

Want some real milk? You can get raw milk here in AZ at Save Your Dairy in Queen Creek. Check out their website for info. They have a few drop offs as well in the valley. We don't drink it but it makes the best yogurt and kefir around. As far as the real butter, cream and cheese; Trader Jo's has some great options as well. 

Have a great day. I have a free calendar today. It has been so long I don't know where to start. So far, I am completely blowing it off. In my jammies at 9:41. Please don't stop by. My dishes are still in the sink.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spare Change?

Did you wake up today trying to think of a way to help someone out? Do you have a desire to lighten someones load, even a little? I have an opportunity for you, my enlightened homemaker friends. I have a simple way for you to help someone out , even if just a little. My dear friend,  Annabeth and her sweet little Abigail, could use a little help. You can read her story here. Just weeks ago, Annabeth found a lump on her little Abigail. She is now in the hospital fighting stage 4 cancer. Life can turn upside down in a matter of minutes. 

As you know, cancer can take a toll not only on your emotions but on your pocketbook. Even with good insurance, treatment is big bucks, especially if you try any alternative route. I had an idea that today; I could ask my friends for help.

What if everyone who visited my blog today and tomorrow gave $5? $10? We could raise some good cash that the Goss family could use to help fight miss Abigail's  cancer. It may not be much but it could help lighten the load just a little. It would show them that we care and as moms, we are behind her. 

So, my plea, dear friends; all you have to do is click on the donate button below. Donate what you can. Even $5 will add up if we all help. If anyone is in question of how the money will be donated;  rest assured, every penny will be accounted for. I will print the pay pal page and give it to her along with the cash earned. She will see every penny that was pledged. You may also go to any Wells Fargo bank and ask to donate to the Abigail Goss Medical Fund.  

Thanks so much ! I love this dear family and they are simply amazing at their strength during this difficult time. You will be blessed for your contribution and so very appreciated!

You can follow her progress here.