Not everything about the links I share are going to be things I necessarily agree with or endorse, but they all have some valuable things to glean from! Take what you can use :)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Creamy Greek Salad Dressing

Store-bought salad dressings are pretty devoid of nutritional value but salad dressings are one of the EASIEST things to make much healthier yourself. My family prefers creamy dressings over plain oil & vinegar ones. I will eventually show you how I make ranch, caesar, and poppyseed dressing but today I'll show you how I make a killer creamy greek salad dressing that is fast and easy!


 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Instant Pot Chicken & Rice

One of my ultimate comfort foods that I adapted to my Instant Pot! Not the prettiest food, but soooooooo yummy!

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice



 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Instant Pot Nikujaga

We love Japanese food in the house (well, my husband doesn't like rice, but he's weird lol) and nikujaga (meat and potatoes) is one of our favourite meals. Today I decided to try making it in my Instant Pot! It turned out really yummy but next time I'll change just a few things;

1) I'll brown the meat and onions with the sauté function first.

2) I'll shave the edges of the potatoes to help keep them from breaking up.

3) I'll cook the meat for about 30 minutes, natural release, then add the veggies and cook 5 minutes.

With those changes, I think the dish will be perfect, but we were HUNGRY and needed it done ASAP and it was still absolutely delicious!


Instant Pot Nikujaga



 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Washing Hair with Herbs

I love using natural products for skin/hair care. Since we absorb what we put on our skin, I like to avoid as many chemicals as possible. One of the methods I like using to wash my hair is very common in India, it's using herbs and oils to wash and condition my hair. Here is how I mix up a basic herbal hair wash.




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Soaked Grain Einkorn Bubbat

Today's post is about the quintessential Mennonite Brethren raisin-studded side dish with a funny name! That's right, I'm talking about bubbat! One of my husband's, who grew up in the MB church, favourite dishes, I learned pretty quick how to make it. This time I decided to experiment a little and make a healthier version. It turned out delicious, though a little more like a dessert than a side dish!


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Middle Eastern...ish Chicken and Rice

Had a hankerin' for Middle Eastern food and a recipe I'd scribbled down for shwarma seasoning so I took those and ran with 'em! Turned out absolutely delicious!



Meat
2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 rounded tsp sumac
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
fresh cracked black pepper

Mix everything and marinate as long as possible, overnight if you can. Then fry it up when ready to serve.

Yogurt Sauce
1 cup yogurt (I used greek but regular would have worked better)
juice of 1/2 a large lemon (or 1 small one)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cumin (depending on taste)

Whisk together and let flavours blend in the fridge for as long as possible, at least an hour would be preferable.

Salad
1 cucumber, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
juice of 1/2 a large lemon (or 1 small one)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Toss everything together.

Rice
1 tbsp ghee or butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
2-4 cloves garlic, minsed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
fresh cracked back pepper
2 bay leaves
3 cups chicken broth

In a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, saute the onion in the ghee and olive oil until transluscent. Add everything else and bring to a boil with the lid on to heat the lid. Once a hard boil has been reached immediately transfer pot to thermal cooker (Wonderbag, cooler with blankets, etc) and let cook for 45 minutes.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Meatloaf Win, Dutch Oven Fail

If at first you don't succeed; try, try again!

My first attempt at outdoor dutch oven cooking didn't work out the way I imagined, but I salvaged dinner and it was still delicious! Learned some lessons though, and next time I think I'll have more success!



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce

Got a sudden craving for pizza? Whip up a fast easy batch of homemade pizza sauce! Depending on how much water you add and how much sauce you like on your pizza you can easily get several pizzas out of one batch! I just freeze the extra in 1/4 cup portions because that's about how much we like on our pizzas.


Homemade Pizza Sauce

1 small can tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed or finely minced
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp ea. basil & oregano
1/2 tsp ground rosemary
water to reach desired consistency

Mix together and let set in the fridge for up to overnight to allow the flavours to meld.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Garden Tour & Homemade Hair Treatment

A friend was asking me about a hair treatment recipe I posted a number of year ago on an old blog so I decided to make a new video on it. Gave y'all a tour of our garden while I was at it.



Friday, June 16, 2017

SO MUCH STUFF!!!!

Oh my goodness y'all SO MUCH has been going on lately! I really want to start giving my blog more attention but things have been happening so fast this year I've hardly had time to catch my breath let alone blog about it!  Here's a super-condensed version of what 2017 has been like so far!

  • As you can see from an earlier post, our flock is expanding! We had no luck with incubators. Even though we now have a good rooster (friendly AND fertile!), electricity is not very reliable in rural Ontario. The power goes out at least briefly several times a month it seems! If it so much as flickers our incubator shuts off and especially if it happens at night, by the time someone notices the incubator is off it's too late! However, we've had 2 hens go broody so far this year! One hatched out a couple chicks early this month and another is "due" tomorrow :). 
  • Speaking of our flock they are really earning their keep! Not only do we have all the eggs we need, we have lots of buyers for our excess. We've also gotten a few chicken dinners from them already.
  • One thing we are not that happy about is we have had to stop letting them free range. We lost one when she got run over in the driveway (they are so friendly they SWARM cars that show up (cars= people, people=food & attention) and even if people drive slow they can't always get out of the way if they're ALL in the way! Also, they like to range into the neighbouring fields, and now that crops are in we don't want them eating the neighbour's crops (or coming in contact with the chemicals they spray on said crops :s ), So they are not very happy to be confined to their run, but in the very near future we'll be putting up portable fences to make them pastures we can rotate through to get the benefits of free ranging without so many of the risks.
  • Our garden is in! I was really wanting to put in a Back to Eden garden this year but we didn't get to it last fall, and with everything else going on this year we were running out of time to put in ANY garden! Also, since we are renting here and our long term goals are a little uncertain at this point so we decided we would wait until we had those goals made before we start putting that kind of time and effort into permaculture! So our dear friends from Homestead Acres came and tilled up our garden bed for us and gave us a BOATLOAD of extra heirloom veggie transplants to get us started! So for the past week, we have been working on getting the ground ready for planting, and getting in as many of the transplants as we could! Tomorrow I'm making some planting templates to help me space all the seeds I bought. I'm using Square Foot Gardening plant spacings to make wide rows in the garden. I'll make a garden video soon!
Well, that's about as short as I can keep it! I'm hoping to have the planting finished this week then I'll have a little more time to squeeze in some blogging and videos! I have so many ideas in the queue, so stay tuned!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Chicken Antics, Cleaning, and Homemade Bug Spray

Another video today! In which you come along while I re-conquer the kitchen after a week of sickness in the house, see our cute chickens, and make some natural, non-toxic bug spray!

Friday, June 2, 2017

They're HERE!!!

Sweetie's eggs are hatching <3


Day in my Life: June 1/ 2017

I have really been enjoying some great YouTube channels lately, and it's inspired me to give making videos another go. I HATE HATE HATE the sound of my own voice, and I've discovered that when I try to narrate I sound like I'm reading a children's book! *sigh* Hopefully I will improve with time :p . With that said, here's my first video of my new channel...a day in my life! Just so happened to be a day that went pretty smoothly (except for the ending, which was the beginning of a week of stomach flu in the house :s ) don't worry, they don't all go that well and I'm sure you will see some of those too LOL. 


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Moved In

Our little silkie hen, SweetHeart, is broody. She's so tiny and we've had problems with predators going after our setting hens before so to be on the safe side we've brought her in so she can be thoroughly spoiled and safe <3
A lot has been going on around here the past few months! I've really needed to pull back from my blogs and refocus. I've decided first of all that if I can't find the time to post on either of my blogs, then it's time to bite the bullet and just combine them. So I've moved everything I wanted to keep from my health and cooking blog over here and this will be my only public blog for all topics. Not that anything will change a whole lot, I'll still post when I have time/remember to which means you'll get a zillion posts one month then nothing for a few months until I feel the blogging bug bite again lol. See this is why I could never make money blogging lol.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Roasted Veggies & Meat


This is one of my favourite meals! It's frugal, versatile and absolutely delicious! The oven roasting brings out the sweetness and full flavour of the vegetables. You can use any vegetables you happen have taking up space in the fridge, any kind of meat that you like. When done you can add a sauce if you like (marinara, curry, etc.) and/or serve over rice or noodles. Or wrap it up in a tortilla and a dollop of sour cream  or just eat it straight up! Toasted nuts are yummy!

This really is more of a method than a specific recipe,

1) Chop up a bunch of veggies, today I used
  • red skinned potatoes (I only use regular potatoes occasionally, white fleshed sweet potatoes would be fabulous instead!)
  • green bell pepper
  • red bell pepper
  • carrots
  • onion
  • mushrooms
  • garlic
you can really use any vegetables you want; brussles sprouts, squash, turnips, parsnips, celery, fennel, tomatoes, zucchini, etc. Remember that some vegetables shrink when cooked so use more than you think you need.

2) Toss vegetables with plenty of coconut oil or ghee. Toss in lots of sea salt and pepper as well as any herbs or spices you feel like.

3) Turn into an uncovered baking pan. Use a pan large enough for the vegetables to fit with little overlapping. Otherwise your veggies will stew rather than roast. Bake at 375*F for 90 minutes stirring occasionally.

4) About 30 minutes before the vegetables are done cut up your meat of choice (I used chicken breasts) and fry in a little oil (coconut oil, ghee, etc) until browned and cooked through. Usually around 20 minutes. Now's a good time to toast some nuts too if you want to use them, some toasted almonds would have been sublime!

5) Remove the vegetables from the oven and toss in the meat. Season with a little more salt and pepper if it needs it.

This is also DELICIOUS served cold on Shabbat (toss with a little vinegrette for a roasted veggie salad!)

Frozen Snickers Bites

I'm not going to share a picture of this one because if you saw a picture you probably wouldn't make them Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension! While not the most aesthetically pleasing little snacks, they sure are tasty! I got this recipe from a raw food forum I was on a while back. I Googled it but it looks like the forum is no longer in existance! Oh well, here's the recipe!


Frozen Snickers Bites

1/2 cup almond or peanut butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw honey, maple syrup, or coconut syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of sea salt
Medjool dates

  1. Mix all ingredients but dates together until smooth.
  2. Slice down the side of each date and remove pit.
  3. Using a butter knife, fill each date with almond/cocoa mixture. After this step I sometimes will add a whole almond in there too!
  4. Gently press edges back together and place on a plate.
  5. Freeze dates and transfer to a freezer bag.
Eat them frozen. Yum!

When You Just Don't Love Liver

My kids actually don't hate liver, and my husband likes it, I'M the one who needs more ways to get this nutritious item in, which is odd since I LOVED plain boiled liver as a child! I do like pate and I make a real tasty liver and apple dish but I want another way to get more in. Enter liver pucks...


I buy a couple pounds of liver, soak it in the fridge overnight in water with a generous splash of vinegar or lemon juice, then I puree it in my Vitamix. I pour the resulting goo (which my daughter dubbed "liver pudding") into muffin cups lined with cling film, freeze, then pop the pucks of frozen liver puree out, wrap them in the film and put them in a freezer bag. Anytime I make anything with ground beef/lamb (which is once or twice a week) I thaw and add 1 puck for every pound of meat. You can use other organ meats as well, keep in mind though that they may not puree as smoothly as liver and then you might have texture issues. Works for me!

Homemade Rehydration Fluid

This recipe was given to me by an AWESOME doctor we saw once 9 years ago (of course he wasn't taking new patients *sigh*).


Homemade Rehydration Fluid (like Pedialyte)


1 quart water (I use pure spring water or good filtered water, all that chlorine in tap water wont help a queasy tummy)
8 teaspoons sugar (I use sucanat or coconut palm sugar because it is full of minerals)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use celtic sea salt, the purpose of pedialite is to replenish the body's lost minerals, so I want to make sure the minerals are THERE!)
1/4 cup apple juice or the juice of half an orange

Mix all together. (I used warm water as it helped the sugar and salt to dissolve faster)


Detoxing Foot & Body Scrub


I like to take a detox bath at least once a week, but sometimes things just get too hectic and I have to be satisfied with a quick shower. I also like to exfoliate my skin from time to time, especially my feet, so I decided to combine the two! I used some of my favourite skin softening and detoxifying ingredients to make a foot and body scrub! In the shower I'll hop in, let the heat and steam open up my pores, slather this stuff all over and let it sit for a few minutes then wash it off. If my feet need a little TLC I'll give them a good rubbing with the scrub, sit down with my feet up (and resting on a towel) for half an hour then follow with a nice hot soak.

Simply mix together

  • 2 cups epsom salts
  • 1 cup coconut oil (remember that coconut oil solidifies at low temperatures, so be sure to let the hot water run a while when using this in the shower)
  • a few drops of lavender essential oil.
That's it, luxurious and relaxing! 

Homemade Eatmore Bars


When I was a little girl, my dad used to walk with me down to the "baby store", which is what I called the local convenience store (it was a tiny store so I guess I figured it was a "baby" store :p ), for a treat. Depending on the season I had my favourites. In the summer I liked banana Popsicles, Fudgsicles, these plastic cones of orange sherbet with a gum ball at the bottom, or a mint chocolate ice cream bar (my dad always got a cherry Popsicle or a strawberry shortcake bar). When it wasn't so brutally hot out, I went for an Eatmore bar (my dad went for the Big Turk, which later became a favourite of mine as well).

Now that I try to eat healthier, I don't eat as many candy bars as I used to (and when I do, I cut them into small pieces and just have a little piece once and a while when the craving strikes) and I would really like to make healthier versions to replace my favourites with. This recipe is my first attempt at recreating my still favourite candy bar, the Eatmore.

If you are unfamiliar with them; an Eatmore is a soft, chewy peanut and chocolate candy bar. I figure it shouldn't be TOO hard to recreate them as they seem pretty basic. I used dates as the main sweetener and the bulk of the recipe. Blended with cocoa powder I figured it would make the perfect chocolatey chewy base. Peanuts, being legumes, are not paleo; but since they are a major component of an Eatmore, replacing them with another nut would drastically alter the flavor. While they would be good, they wouldn't be an Eatmore, so I went with peanuts.


I started with 1 cup of pitted medjool dates. They weren't the softest dates I've used so I soaked them in warm water for about 20 minutes.


Into my food processor went 3/4 cup roasted peanuts, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and a tiny pinch of salt (because the peanuts were unsalted).


I blended them up.


The mixture was a little dry (I should have soaked the dates a little longer) so I added a drizzle of honey.


After blending in the honey I pressed the mixture into an 8x8 square pan and popped it into the freezer for an hour.


Then I cut it into squares and put them in the fridge.

Of course I did taste one right away ;). The verdict is.....close, but not quite the same. I have a couple adjustments in mind and will try again later, but these were still very yummy and they will be enjoyed!

Homemade Cleaners

I like to make my own household cleaners. I find they do just as good a job as the storebought ones yet they are cheaper, and safer (obviously they still need to be kept out of reach of small children, but I wouldn't hesitate to let my 7yo use any of these products)! Here is a list of cleaners that I make.

Window & Glass Cleaner
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water

Mix and keep in a spray bottle.

Disinfecting Scouring Powder
1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax
10 - 20 drops of lavander, tea tree or lemon EO

Mix and keep in a shaker jar. If I want a cream cleanser I just sprinkle this on, then squirt a little liquid castile soap over it.

Laundry Detergent
1 cup liquid castile soap or 1 bar soap (if using laundry soap like Fels Naptha, use 1/2 a bar, but I prefer to use Ivory), grated
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
6 cups hot water
hot water

Combine soap, washing soda, borax and first amount of water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until dissolved. Place into an empty 5 gallon bucket and slowly fill bucket with hot water. Stir gently. Let set 24 hours, stirring occasionally. (Sometimes I just use 1 tsp of Dr. Bronner's liquid soap per load of laundry if I don't have time to make a batch.)

Fabric Softener
White vinegar
Aluminum foil

I put about 1/4 cup of vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser, this removes any soap residue left over from washing. I toss 2 or 3 balls of wadded up foil into the dryer and keep them there until they start to fall apart (usually about 2 weeks or so), this takes care of static (or just line dry, but I don't have a clothes line here!)

Disinfectant Spray
1 cups rubbing alcohol
10-20 drops lavender, tea tree, or lemon essential oil

Mix and keep in a spray bottle (light will break down the bleach). For a more child safe version, you could use pure or slightly diluted vinegar instead.

Spray Cleaner
I use the all purpose cleaner recipe from Wanting What You Have. It's by far the best spray cleaner I've ever used!

Floor Cleaner
I also add a big glug of white vinegar to a bucket of HOT HOT water and use this to mop my floors. I like adding some essential oils too (rosemary or wintergreen are my favourites, as is pine if I'm missing PineSol LOL)

Wasp/Spider Killer
I try to ignore them outside but if they come in the house it is ON! I am phobic of both so when they invade my safe area I don't mess around. Call me a nasty horrid person all you want and feel free to call PETA on me but there is no "catch and release" program around here!! Unless it's a honey bee, then I'll hide in the bathroom while ds or dh chases it outside, I will not kill a honey bee! I can't stand to get close to them so I need something that will work from farther away, but I don't want to be spraying toxic chemicals around my house (especially since they seem to like hanging out in our bedrooms :s). I just mix 1 cup of blue Dawn dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of water and put it in a squirt bottle that has a good hard stream function, that way I can take 'em out at a distance I'm comfortable with. This takes out wasps real fast, spiders not so much, so I just use this to knock them down (why are they ALWAYS on the CEILING!?!?) so I can finish them off with the fly swatter. I've heard that you can keep spiders out with peppermint EO, apparently no one told our spiders that because it doesn't work around here :(. I know this isn't a cleaner, but it's MADE with cleaners, and you can use it as one if you want (plus it's always funny to see a persons face when you tell them you washed the dishes with Wasp Killer XD.

Healthy Tartar Sauce



Certain things just have to go together for me, and since I'm making fish for supper tonight, there has to be tartar sauce. Today I'm going to give you my recipe for probiotic tartar sauce!

You will need...

1 cup of healthy mayo (I make my own mayo or use avocado oil mayo from Costco)

1 large fermented dill pickle, finely diced or 1/4 cup fermented dill pickle relish

1 1/2 tbsp dried minced onion (or you can use fresh)

1 large clove garlic, minced finely (I like to grate it on a microplane)

2 tsp finely chopped preserved lemon (or use a tbsp of lemon juice)

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and allow to sit in the fridge a few hours for the flavours to meld into one creamy bowl of deliciousness!

Healthy Fudge-Pops



I LOVE Fudgesicles! I make chocolate kefir popsicles, and while they are delicious, the texture is more crystalline. I was seriously hankerin' for that smooth creaminess that Fudgesicles have but wasn't sure how to go about recreating them. Then I came across this recipe and it sounded so good, but I didn't have enough coconut cream! So I decided to half the recipe and make it as a pudding/mousse. As I was blending it together it reminded me of blending up a box of Jello instant pudding, which made me think of Pudding Pops, which made me think of Fudgesicles, which made me reach for some Popsicle molds and freeze some.

Now as you can see from the picture, mine turned out a little gritty. That's because the brand of coconut cream I used is a little gritty. It was not bothersome but a smoother brand would take care of that if it bothers you. I have to say these REALLY hit the spot! Smooth and creamy, just like a Fudgesicle! These wont be my standard frozen treat, as I like to use popsicles as a way to get probiotics into us and these are not probiotic (though they would be if you cultured the coconut cream first! Hmmmm), but when I need that cold creamy fix, this will be my go to recipe!

1 can coconut cream
2 tbsp raw honey
1/3 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla (or mint extract, or orange extract!)
Dark Chocolate stevia drops to taste (you want the mixture to be a bit sweeter than you want the frozen pops to be)


Beat together, pour into molds and freeze!

Quick Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is one of my favourite summer beverage! There are all kinds of ways to make it but this my super fast instant gratification recipe!

You will need:

1 cup of your milk of choice (almond, coconut, dairy, etc.)
1tsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cocoa (optional)
Sweetener of choice to taste (I use a tbsp or raw honey or a few drops of stevia)

Put all in a blender (I use my NutriBullet for this) and blend for about 30 seconds. Pour over ice and enjoy!

You can add a healthy boost by substituting some of the milk for yogurt or kefir or blending up a little probiotics powder in there too!

Got Ants? Got Borax?

Today I'm going to tell you how to apply the latter to get rid of the former! We were invaded by ants this spring. They had been driving us nuts! They didn't seem to be interested in the kitchen at all, preferring to hang out mainly in the computer room and front hallway for some reason. I wasn't going to buy any ant traps because not only do they contain chemicals I'd rather not have in the house, they also don't work! I've tried using them several times over the years and ants have always ignored them completely!

I'd read that borax kills ants and to mix it with sugar but that's never worked either, they wouldn't touch it. I decided I would try one more time to get the little suckers and this time, it WORKED! The trick was to dissolve the borax and sugar in water!

Here's what I used:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp borax
cotton balls
a few shallow lids

I dissolved the sugar and borax in the warm water, then I soaked some cotton balls in the solution and placed them in some shallow lids (from yogurt containers) in the areas they liked to hang out. The rest of the solution I poured into a clearly labeled bottle and placed out of reach of the kids. They didn't notice them right away so the next morning I poured a bit more solution over the cotton and within a couple hours we started seeing some action. They LOVED it! They'd drink up the solution until their little abdomens bulged! Then they dutifully carried their sweet poisony cargo back to the nest! Borax...it's mmm mmm good!



Here's a picture of a few of the first ones to partake. They sure look like they're enjoying themselves! You might think I'd feel a little sorry for sending these guys on a suicide mission, but I don't. The first few days of their stay we had FLYING ants in here, and one flew right into my eye! Oh yeah, it was on  photo draw.gif. Once word got out about the free refreshments, we had more ants than ever, but in a couple days, the invasion was over and we had our house back! Good riddance!

Sweet & Tangy Beef



Ok, so it's not the prettiest stuff in the world, but it sure is tasty! It basically arose from wanting to make this recipe but not having any meatballs handy! I actually like it better this way than the original! 

2lbs ground beef, browned
2 bell peppers (I usually use 1 red and 1 green but I didn't have any green ones today!)
1/2 cup ketchup (as you can see, I use organic)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sucanat
1/4 cup onion soup mix
1 can crushed pineapple (with juice)

Mix all in a casserole dish and bake at 350F for an hour. Serve over rice or potatoes. Perfect to make in advance and keep warm for Shabbat!

Blueberry Cake

While standing in line at the grocery store earlier this week the cover of Woman's Day magazine caught my eye. What was it that I found so captivating? Well, the gal on the front did look very sweet and friendly. But it wasn't her cheerful smile that drew me in, it was the scrumptious looking cake she was holding! I knew at that moment, that cake MUST be mine! Now I've tried fantastic looking recipes many times. They're usually ok, but nothing I would make again. THIS recipe however, was love at first bite!

 Now if you're looking for a healthy recipe, look elsewhere, this is refined out the wazoo, but it is so unbelievably yummy it is going to be my "company" cake for all time! I think it would be delicious with other fruits too!  I can't wait to try it with apples! A fantastic Shabbat dessert!

{Click here for the original recipe on the Women's Day website!}

Buttermilk Blueberry Cake

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9" springform pan 

3 3/4 cups all purpose flour {I plan on experimenting with fresh ground soft white wheat flour and soaking it in the buttermilk one of these days}
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Mix together in a large bowl, make a well in center.

3 large eggs
1 3/4 cup buttermilk 
1 1/2 cups white sugar {not sure what I'll replace this with in my "healthifying" experiments. I think sucanat would be too overpowering. Erythritol maybe?}
1/2 cup oil {I used light flavoured olive oil, melted palm or flavourless coconut oil are in my plans}
2 tsp lemon zest

Whisk together then mix into the dry ingredients. Don't over mix, you want it a little lumpy.

2 cups blueberries {I can't wait to experiment with other fruit like chopped apples, cherries, peaches or rhubarb!}
1 tbsp flour

Toss to coat and mix all but 1/4c of the berries into the batter. Scrape into pan and top with reserved berries.

2 tbsp course sugar {I used demerara}

Sprinkle over cake and bake for 70-75 minutes until it passes the toothpick test. Let cool 15 minutes, remove pan ring and place cake on wire rack to finish cooling.

Oh you MUST try it! It's like heaven in a pan!!!

Greek Salad Mix


I looooove me some greek salad, but I DON'T love all the rancid vegetable oil and MSG in storebought dressing! Nor do I like to take the time to measure out each herb and spice to make my own on busy nights! That's why I love to make mixes! I can whip up a delicious dressing for my salad, made with wholesome ingredients, and shave a few minutes off the time it normally takes (and for a busy homeschool mom, every minute matters!). Here's my mix and how to make the dressing!

Greek Salad Mix

1/4c. garlic powder
1/4 c. onion powder
1/4 c. oregano
1/4 c. basil
1/4 c. sea salt
1/4 c. pepper
1/4 c. ground mustard

Mix together and store in a pint mason jar!

That's it! To make dressing, combine 2 Tbsp of mix, 1/2 c. raw red wine vinegar and 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil. Easy and delicious! Make sure to top your salad with black olives (if you like those disgusting things lol) and LOTS of feta cheese!

Pennsylvania Dutch Spice Mix

This is to be used to flavor things similar to cinnamon, but with a more complex flavor.

4 parts cinnamon
2 parts ginger
1 part nutmeg
1 part cloves

Place in a jar and shake to combine. To make a FANTASTIC mixture for cinnamon toast, combine 4 parts sugar (powdered sucanat would probably work!) with 1 part spice mix. Mmmmmmmmmm!