Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Fun

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We are headed out tonight to do our annual collection of sugar.  I know this is far against anything I "preach" when it comes to food.  But as far as kids go, I think the lesson to learn is prevention begins with education not forbidding.  Now wait...I sound like I'm talking about sex education  but we'll leave that subject for another day.
I feel my role as a parent is to guide my children into the lives God created them to live as adults.  So, I try my best to teach life skills instead of just giving them rules.  Now enter October 31st and the plethora of candy that comes along with it.  We've tried a few different things to moderate the candy, and this is where we landed and these principles have helped us.
1.  Limit the amount of candy that comes into the house in the first place.  (We do this by going to an event instead of staying home.  That means I only have to deal with the candy my kids collect not the massive bowl for trick-or-treaters too.)
2.  Set a boundary or principle for your child to learn about consuming candy.  (We keep the candy in a public area of the house.  Eating in private, especially junk food can spur eating disorders.  And it is good to associate eating treats with special family times, instead of something we do when no one is looking.  This is also why I make it a point to bake and enjoy treats with my kids.)
3.  Make the association between caloric intake, and physical exertion.  (My children get to enjoy their piece of candy each day after their work and chores are done, they then immediately get to go outside.  We do not eat candy on rainy days.  This also helps me keep my sanity in a small house with 4 kids.)
4.  We show them the truth about processed sugar.  (This year I went through the photos in Nutritional and Physical Degeneration with them.  I didn't associate it with Halloween candy, just happened to work out that way.  The photos are copyrighted so I can't put them here, but you can find a few of them here or order a copy of this amazing book for yourself, or check your local library. 
5.  Know when enough is enough.  (We throw out any candy that is left after 1 week.  We do save the candy bars and chop them up to put into fudge and my kids give the fudge to their teachers at the Y.  They fussed about this the first year we did this, but then after their teachers thanked them and said it was the best fudge ever, they are actually looking forward to doing it this year.)
I'm not saying this is the way everyone should do it, I just thought I would share.  It is so easy to binge on junkfood, especially little ones wrapped in shiny paper.  I am finding it easier after a year of balancing my amino acids with The Mood Cure and being on a diet low in vegetable oils and processed grains.  In the end, I would have to admit most of my intentions in doing this is not for my children's health, but for my sanity.  Kids on sugar are a force to be reckoned with, and I would rather not!  Have a great Halloween!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle 
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Preserving Ginger

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I just wanted to do a quick post on ginger.  I was making my Korean Taco meat for dinner tonight, and I reached into my freezer for my ginger.  This made me remember how I used to feel about fresh ginger.  I was always afraid to buy it, because I would use it for one recipe and then the rest would rot on me.  So for a while, I was using dried ginger, which is okay, I guess, but not the real thing.  Somewhere along internet searching, reading, and well..let's admit it, wasting a ton of my time, I ran across the idea of freezing ginger roots.  And of course, I love my freezer!!
At first I was afraid it would be impossible to break and peel the stuff, but it isn't.  I actually think it may be easier to peel, and you can still break a "finger" off very easily.  

Just throw it in a freezer bag.  It's ready whenever you need it. No need to defrost. 

If you are still on the fence about ginger read this.  Ginger can be a great natural alternative to treat everything from a cold to motion sickness, in the way of prevention the list continues, including:
Ovarian Cancer Prevention
Colon Cancer Prevention
Morning Sickness
Motion Sickness
Menstrual Cramps
Heartburn
Pain and Inflammation
Migraines
Diabetic Nephropathy
Dry Winter Skin

I'm sure, like me you find yourself somewhere on this list, so why not enjoy ginger as much as possible and let your freezer help you get the most out of your root!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle




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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

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I will probably say it a million times before January, but I LOVE THIS SEASON!!  Pumpkins, mums, cinnamon on everything...and well whip cream too while you're at it!  I officially got out my UGG knock-offs today to keep my feet toasty so I could open all of the windows and let in the cool air.  For breakfast, I whipped up a batch of these smoothies.  The recipe comes mostly from my husband, but I took the time to nail down the measurements so I could share it with you all, so I will take full credit for it!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Makes 4- 1 cup servings or 2-16oz servings 
You will need a blender with at least a 6 cup capacity.

3 cups of kefir (or plain yogurt)
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
5 (or so) tablespoons of coconut sugar, sucanat, or maple syrup (I add this at the end and do it according to taste, it will vary based on how sour your kefir is)
Milk

Add all of the ingredients to the blender except the sweetener and the milk.  Blend.  Add about 3 tbs. of sweetener to the blender, blend and taste.  Add more if needed.  When you get it sweet enough, then decide if it is the right thickness for you.  This varies in our house from person to person.  Add as much or as little milk as you need to get it the thickness you want.  Enjoy!!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My "Italian" Sausage

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We have been buying pork from a farmer for a couple of years now, it really is a wonderful thing.  Pigs that get to root through acorns and roots are such happy pigs!  On top of that, they are super tasty too!!  I have been trying to get a recipe nailed down for Italian Sausage and I have tried a few and always decided there was something I just didn't like something about them...and that something is fennel.  Okay so fennel, it taste like licorice!?! So, I am wondering what business it has in my lasagna??  I finally just scrapped the recipes and seasoned up my own "Italian" Sausage.  Please assume, this isn't the real thing.  However it is really tasty.  

If pork isn't your thing, first I would like to say I'm sorry that you are living your life without ham and bacon.  Second, if I haven't offended you enough so that you have left, you could easily use ground turkey or chicken for this recipe both meats would absorb the flavors fine.

My "Italian" Sausage

1-1.5 lbs of ground pork, chicken, or turkey
1 tbsp. of Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes (this is somewhere between mild and hot, double it if you like "hot" from the store)
1/4 tsp. of garlic powder
1 tsp. of sea salt

Mix ingredients into meat.  I usually do this in the pan while I am browning the meat.  You could do it in the raw meat and then put it into casings to make links.  I haven't gotten that brave yet....yet!!!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle


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Monday, October 8, 2012

Easy Raw Cocoa

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We just had our first cold snap here in the ridges of North Georgia.  We sat around the fire last night talking and shivering a little.  It was nice to bring out some sweatshirts and blankets and snuggle up for the football game on Sunday.  Along with that, I brought a cup of this amazing, yet so simple cocoa that my friend Denise shared with me a couple of years ago.  I haven't bought a cocoa mix ever again!

Recipe makes 16 oz. but can easily be doubled or more for a crowd.

2 cups of raw local milk (this will work with store milk too)
1 TBS of cocoa powder
1 TBS of powdered sugar

In a small sauce pan, heat milk on medium heat just until a skin forms on the top.  Add cocoa and powdered sugar and whisk until frothy.....THAT'S IT!!

This stuff is so good.  You can easily adjust the sweetness or chocolateyness (I know-not a word). 

Enjoy it!  In your blanket on the couch or around a fire in your back yard.

Love and Butter,

Mishelle 
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Every Gift

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My writer's block, or recipe block this summer is driving me crazy.  The reality is there have been bigger "fish to fry" in our home, to use a food term.  We've been remodeling our spiritual and emotional bonds as a family--to see the gift of life as a gift.  In the midst of this, I've still been cooking and snapping pictures, but the time I usually dedicate to putting words to my recipes has been spent on my knees begging my Lord for restoration.  The seasons of life come and go, and our family has truly been in a "rebuilding year", to use a football term, since the season is now upon us.
I did want to share one thing, that may be small, but today I am rejoicing over new dishes.  This summer alone, 8 different things broke or got destroyed in my kitchen alone.  Most of which I wasn't financially inclined to fix at this very moment.  One of mishaps occurred when a shelf support broke in one of my cabinets, sending almost all of my dishes crashing to the floor.  We still had enough dishes to sit down to dinner, but a lot were gone.  Now I wasn't crazy about my dishes to begin with, and I had already picked out replacements, but it wasn't something I couldn't classify as a "need" right now, so it had to wait.
A week ago, I got a call from my aunt who is newly retired and her company was closing.  In closing, they divided up all of the office goods, and being that she had seniority, she got first dibs.  She was a part of the party committee, so she claimed part of the dishes they had used for company parties.  I went to pick up the dishes, just expecting simple plates that had been picked out by someone in a different generation than I.  I was thankful, and they would serve their purpose.  What I received was a set of dishes almost identical to the ones I had been eyeballing.  I was amazed! 
I know the battle isn't over.  I know our rebuilding will take longer.  But now, I know my Lord knows the desires of my heart (even what kind of dishes I like!), and He alone rebuild this brokenness into something glorious.  I bid farewell to this summer of trial and welcome the change He has planned for me and my family.

 
"Every good and perfect gift comes from above."  James 1:17

Love and Butter,

Mishelle
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