Category Archives: Menus / Recipes

A place for our favorites.

Coffee? Tea? What is that?

I think that one of the hardest things to get over right now is the fact that I usually spend about 4 hours in the kitchen each day preparing all of our meals from scratch.  At the moment, and for the last 7 months that has not happened.  I am finding myself getting tired of the same things to eat each week.  My brother and sister in law used to say that their dinners were on a rotation with specific things on specific nights.  Well, they would be pleased to know that we are hitting a rotation menu.  Although, not by choice, and honestly, in our house we are all getting a bit bored.

This morning I almost didn’t even eat because I just did not want scrambled eggs… again!  ( I know… you’ve heard this before right?  Just a few days ago?)

So, out came the cookbook and creativity followed.  Almond flour Cheddar and herb muffins.  The kids and I really enjoyed them and honestly, they weren’t difficult to make.

What I did next however, made them look at me like I had 10 eyes.  In fact, my son exclaimed, “What, are you done with coffee now too?  Didn’t you have any?  You just made a whole pot!  What are you doing with all of those things.  That looks disgusting, and if I did that you’d tell me I was going to throw up.”  (Point made, point taken, now go get your school work done!)

I have been reading so much about Turmeric and it’s health benefits, along with it’s ability to help with inflammation and killing parasites etc.  My husband just sent me another article from the Wall Street Journal discussing Turmeric and colds.  Since I’ve been congested the last few days and have been feeling punk, I decided to come up with my own “tea” concoction.  It’s surprisingly good and amazingly healthy.  (By the way, I’ve been doing this for a few days now, I guess the child just hadn’t seen me actually make it.)  🙂


What’s That? (per mug)

1 TBS Coconut Milk/Cream

1/8 tsp. Turmeric

1/8 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 – 1 tsp.  Fresh grated Ginger

1 TBS Raw Honey (or a 1/4 dropper of Liquid Vanilla Stevia)

Hot water

Put all of the above in a mug, preferably in the order listed, stir and drink hot.


Breakfast Anyone?


With last week being a week of set backs, of epic proportions I might add. I felt good enough this morning to try to make my kiddos breakfast. Even though the doctor said to let the kids do all the prepping while I rest and for my only job to be the compilation of the meals, I guess you could say that I’ve hit my peak of feeling like a sluggard and was determined to help start their school day with a breakfast aroma that just shouted out “I love you guys”.

That being said, I slowly (doctors orders) looked through the fridge and pulled out all of the ingredients to make an egg frittata. Sydney and I watched one of the cooking shows make one on Saturday, so I thought I’d try it. Out came the leftover paleo hash that Gary made for me on Saturday, the eggs, green onions, black olives, frozen peas, butter, homemade pesto, cilantro and ricotta. Started on the stove and then placed in the oven, I’d say that for the 10 minutes worth of prep it was well worth it.

Thank you Lord for giving me the strength, desire and ability to still care for my family. I pray that all I do will honor and glorify you!

My Version of the Egg Frittata

Saute (in a large cast iron pan, this one made 8 slices that fit on a salad plate):
Leftover Paleo Hash, cut up green onion, black olives, frozen peas, in butter and a little grape seed oil

Mix 8 eggs, cilantro, salt and pepper, and add about 3/4 C. Milk

Pour over the sauteed vegetables. Let cook until starting to firm around edges. Then dollop the pesto and ricotta on top and place in the oven at 350 for about 20-30 minutes. Cut and serve hot.

Mmmmmmm!!!! Now I’m off to bed, my one activity for the day is done. 🙂

Our version of paleo hash:
turnips, beets, large white radish, onions cut up into small cubes and sauteed until soft. Yum!

Gluten Free Fruitcake Frenzy


Christmas and New Years always bring out the most wonderful memories of years gone by.  Some of those memories linger in our minds and in our senses.  This Christmas, maybe because I am in “lounge” mode allowing my body to heal, it seems my senses are even more in tune to what’s around me.  Sounds and smells can either irritate me or bring great joy.

I’m not sure exactly why it happens, however, I’ve noticed that the things I didn’t find enjoyable in my younger years, certainly are so the older I get.  For years my grandmother used to make  a traditional holiday fruitcake.  I never liked it very much and honestly thought it was just horrible.  As I have grown older and matured (wink), I found that I actually do enjoy it and I begin to crave it as the holidays arrive.  My grandmother being 88 years of age, does not make too many loaves any longer and in the last few years I have had the pleasure of receiving one when she may have only made two.  I am grateful that she shared it with her granddaughter and am even more grateful for the recipe.  After all, since finding out I have celiac, it’s been one aroma I miss at Christmas and New Years.

With her family recipe, I was able to come up with a gluten free alternative that satisfies my craving and it is quickly becoming a favorite in our home.

As the Christmas morning snow fell from the sky, we took pleasure in warming ourselves by the fire and began our morning with preparing the batter and placing the fruitcake in the oven so that it would be cooked before we started preparing and cooking the Christmas dinner.  From our home to yours, I hope that you will enjoy this gluten free twist to fruit cake.

(Note:  There are alternative options for soaking the fruit in rum as rum is not gluten free.)


Gluten Free “Family Recipe” Fruitcake

24 hours prior to making, soak:

6-8 Cups organic no sugar added dried fruits in rum (pineapple, cherries, raisins, plums, dates)

Mix in a small bowl mix and set aside:

2 Cups Gluten Free Almond Flour (or Sweet Sorghum Flour)

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Nutmeg

1 tsp. Allspice

1/2 pound chopped soaked & dried almonds

1/2 pound chopped soaked & dried pecans

In a mixing bowl, blend together:

1 Cup melted butter

1/2 Cup Organic Cane Sugar

6 Eggs

2 Squares bittersweet baking chocolate, melted

1/2 Cup Honey

1/2 Cup Sweet Red Wine

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Mix together the dried and liquid ingredients together until well blended.  Fold in fruit, reserving the liquid.  Pour into greased and floured loaf pans and bake for approximately 2 3/4 -3 hours or until done. Remove from pans and let cool completely.


Serve and enjoy!  


Gluten Free Clam Chowder


The snow falls and the fire place crackles with flames that light up the room warming not only the cool chill in the air, yet also our hearts.  With the close of the colorful fall months, it becomes soup season in our house.  As I’ve shared, fall brings about a craving of my previously printed Butternut Squash, Apple and Nut Puree, yet winter months bring about the craving of my son’s favorite… Clam Chowder.

After weeks of asking, every day I might add, I mustered up the strength and along with my daughter we made both of our favorites.  What a joy it is to cook with her, teaching her and watching her make her way around the kitchen.  I thought it would be a great time to share it as it would make for a great addition to the holiday celebration with children who are home or even company that is visiting.  Although, if you have more than 6-8 partaking, you may need to double it.  Especially if your children or visitors are anything like my son who ate nearly half the pot for dinner all by himself.

Gluten Free Clam Chowder

1 C. Onions, finely chopped

1 C. Celery, finely chopped

2 C. Potatoes, cubed

1 C. carrots, finely chopped

1/2 C. Butter

Melt butter in stock pot and lightly cook the above until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Then add:

1 Quart of Homemade Chicken Broth (for broth recipe, see the previously printed recipe on October 15)

3 1/2 C. Milk

1 box Gluten Free Pacific Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 TBS. Sherry Cooking Wine

2 TBS. Fish Sauce

In separate small pot:

Melt 3/4 C. Butter

Whisk into the melted butter, 1 C. Sweet Sorghum Flour

When blended well, carefully whisk into the stock pot with the vegetables.

5-10 minutes before serving, add: (Note: overcooking the clams will make them tough and chewy)

3 cans clams, drained and minced if desired

2 tsp. Thyme

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Stir well and serve hot.  If it becomes too thick, feel free to add either more chicken stock or purified water.  A cup usually will do the trick.


Another Fall Favorite Recipe


A few years ago a friend of mine introduced me to a tomatillo. For those of you who do not know what a tomatillo is, it is a small green, tomato like vegetable that originally came from Mexico. The tomatillo grows inside a husk and when it is ripe, the tomato looking green vegetable fills out the husk and the husk splits open. Many times I find the tomatillo literally falling off of the vine when they are done.
The tomatillo has many vitamins making it a wonderful healthy treat on salads, in soups, or with a little bit of cottage cheese. The tomatillo has a sweet yet lemony taste to it. If picked too early, it can be quite tart.

This year, was my first attempt at growing them at my home as well as at my friends garden where we had an entire row of them. Just like the soup, the recipe I’m about to share is another one that I crave when thinking about fall and winter. It makes a yummy meal enjoyed throughout the colder months, and reserving any jars of it until the next harvest is nearly impossible. There are many uses for the Salsa Verde, however, my favorite is with chicken. This is such a simple recipe, whether you can the Salsa Verde yourself (my preference) or whether you buy it in a store. In fact, I shared it this weekend at our church’s fellowship potluck meal. Easy and quick to make.


Salsa Verde Chicken

1 pint Salsa Verde (recipe below)

4-6 Organic Chicken Breasts

4-6 slices, or 1 cup shredded Raw Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9×13 glass baking dish. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Place chicken in bottom of baking dish and pour the entire pint of Salsa Verde over the chicken. Make sure to cover every piece.

Bake covered with foil or glass cover in oven for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until chicken is cooked through. Remove foil or cover and place cheese on top of each chicken breast. Close oven and cook another 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve hot.

For our fellowship meal, I boiled up some chicken breasts, cut them into round slices and poured the salsa verde in layers over the chicken in the crock pot. I then turned on the crock pot to low and cooked until ready to serve. (unfortunately, I forgot the cheese in this picture. )


Salsa Verde

Approximately 8 cups tomatillos, husk removed and washed

1 1/2 -2 cups chopped onions

2-4 hot peppers of choice, seeded and chopped

Approximately 1 cup chopped cilantro

Garlic cloves, I use about 6-8

1 Tbs. sugar, (optional)

1/2 cup lemon juice, (or use 1 cup and omit the lime juice)

1/2 cup lime juice, (or use 1 cup and omit the lemon juice)

2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup red peppers, mainly for color especially if you use a green hot pepper

I place all ingredients in the blender and blend until chunky smooth. Then you have the option of cooking it down on the stove for a few hours until much of the liquid evaporates, or go ahead and place into clean, sterilized hot jars for canning. The result of not cooking down is that the salsa verde will have a bit more liquid to it. If you do cook it down, it will also have a bit more of a potency to it as there is less liquid and the flavors will be more pronounced. Especially the peppers. I prefer to cook it down, however, if time does not allow, you will not have wasted your time in the above prep and can still can it. I did it without cooking it down two years in a row and it was just fine, just had a bit more liquid from the juicy tomatillos.

Be sure to leave a 1/2 inch at the top of the sterilized hot jar when filling. (I always add an additional 1/2 tsp. per pint of salt after filling the jars.) Wipe clean the rim and place the heated tops on the jars and the ring. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for approximately 20 minutes.

Keep in mind that if you buy the salsa verde in a store, my experience is that they usually are much spicier than the home made.

If you have leftovers, get some tortilla shells, roll up the salsa verde chicken in them and place them in a baking dish smothered with the leftover sauce (omitting some of the liquid) and bake until heated through. Top with cheese, a little shredded lettuce, sour cream and serve. Makes a nice lunch the next day.

The Wonderful Taste of Fall… Oh My!

I remember in my earlier years that fall was one of my most disliked season. As a child it meant the end of long summer days outside, days at the beach, endless board games and homemade dill pickles stolen from the fridge and the end of sleeping in until noon. As an adult, it meant the end of warm days, open windows, green grass, gardens and fresh produce from my own garden. It wasn’t my favorite season until a neighbor who lived across the street from our second home brought me a jar of soup. This soup was absolutely the most amazing soup I’d ever had. I asked her for the recipe and she gladly shared.

Fourteen years later, I am still making that soup, only now it’s my soup. I’ve altered it from it’s original recipe with ingredient changes as well as preparation alterations. This soup gets me giddy every time I think about fall. In fact, when someone mentions fall, it’s not the cold weather or brown trees and grass that come to my mind any longer, it’s that soup that I think of first. You know it’s good when you can taste it just thinking about it!

I suppose the protocol I’m on for my lymes disease must be working, since I can actually stay awake all day and actually get something done around the house while also making two soups. While my favorite soup is exactly that, “my favorite”, one of my families favorites’ is a Potato Leak Soup. Another favorite, and also very yummy, it’s one that I tend to forget about until my son looks at “my favorite” in the pot and salivates at the thought of the Potato Leak Soup. How can I resist making that too when I have all of the ingredients in my refrigerator just waiting for a purpose to be used. For now however, I am only going to share my favorite….. May your taste buds be stimulated….

Make a cup of tea, put on your apron, set aside an hour, grab your stock pot and enjoy the process as your work up to a moment of bliss… at least I hope!


Butternut Squash, Apple and Nut Puree

    Approximately 1/4-1/2 C. Real butter
    1 medium yellow onion, outer brown layer only peeled away, then chopped
    3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

    Melt the butter in the large stock pot. Lightly saute the onion and garlic. Be careful not to brown them. Add:

    1 Medium to large Butternut Squash, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped in food processor
    4 Large or 5 Medium Honey Crisp Apples, chopped in food processor
    1 Cup of either pecans or walnuts, chopped in food processor
    3-4 Cups of apple cider, unfiltered and un-pasturized is best, alternately you could use apple juice
    1 quart of chicken broth, homemade is best and has less salt making it a healthier choice ** See below for chicken stock recipe
    3/4 tsp. Allspice
    1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground cloves, if you don’t have ground then use a pinch of whole, just make sure you take them out before blending

    Let all ingredients cook together until the squash is tender. Do not boil. When all ingredients are tender, use a strainer and strain out chunky ingredients and blend smooth. Pour back into pot.

    Right before serving, add:

    1-2 Cups of whole milk or cream, or 1/2 C. coconut milk (remember that if you use coconut milk it will have a stronger coconut taste.)

    Let heat throughout and serve in bowls topped with shredded cheddar cheese, and a dash of cinnamon.

    Additional items that may be added and are complimentary: Shredded chicken, 2 TBS. brown sugar if not sweet enough, or diced roasted red peppers added just before serving.

    **To make your own chicken stock:

    Take an organic, free-range, whole, clean chicken and place it in a pot with peeled and sliced potatoes, carrots, parsley, onions, celery, garlic and 1 TBS. apple cider vinegar. From my experience and from other helpful experienced “mom chefs”, the apple cider vinegar will not change the taste of the stock, yet it draws out the nutritional enzymes from the bones. Cover the chicken and vegetables with purified water. Put the lid on the stock pot and place in the oven at 300 degrees for several hours so that the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the nutritional enzymes are drawn out of the bones into the stock. Strain out the vegetables and the chicken, reserving the meat for either soup or for chicken salad or even a chicken pot pie. Yum! This stock when chilled should be the consistency of a thick jelly. I like to put the stock into freezer bags or BPA free freezer containers and freeze until needed. Make sure to leave a one inch space between the stock and the lid.

    I have quite often used glass jars to avoid plastic products, however, with that may come the occasional broken jar that sticks itself to the freezer door and makes a mess. For some reason I find that some of my stock just doesn’t expand up, it expands out. Not to mention, bags leave more space in the freezer than the jars.

Healthy Eating starts in the Home

Genesis 1:29
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

People ask me quite often how long have I been eating healthy and organic. I tell them it’s been a 20 year journey. Honestly, it began just after my husband and I were married. I read a book that helped me to see beyond what I thought I knew about food. To add to that book, my cousins soon to be husband had a heart transplant and his doctor told him to only eat real butter, real sausage, real foods. If you cannot pronounce it, stay away from it. I remember thinking how different that was from what I was buying and from what I had known about food. I mean, isn’t low fat supposed to be good for you? Shouldn’t vegetable oils be good for cooking? What do you mean real sausage and real meats? What about all the fat?

When we were starting our family, I read about MSG not being good for you so I checked every label and avoided it when I was pregnant. I learned about High Fructose Corn Syrup when our son was very young, so we avoided it and only let him have soda on special occasion (although now, it’s completely avoided). By the time our daughter was born, I was learning about organic foods and was already buying it when I could. When our son was 5 he was tested for allergies and we found out he was allergic to tomatoes, wheat and dairy. So, once again I read all I could and changed what the pantry held. When we moved to our current home, in a completely new state, I learned about raw foods, Kombucha, beet kvass, fermenting, soaked and dried nuts, and my all time favorite book Nourishing Traditions and the Weston Price Foundation.

More recently, with my Lymes diagnosis, 3 of the 4 of us testing positive for Celiac, and food intolerance testing, 3 of us needed to again rethink how our bodies handled the food choices we made. We now eat nearly 100% organic and most of our meals are cooked in our kitchen. We belong to several food co-ops for discounts and eat raw as much as possible. This summer we had two gardens and also our CSA vegetable share.

I have learned over the past 3 years that from August through early October life will be spent canning all that the harvest produced. Canning Chili sauces, Salsa Verde, Pasta Sauce, Victory Sauce, beans, Ketchup, jams & jellies, fruits, and fermenting pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, carrots, corn relish and oh so much more. Another great process to keep some of the fruits is to dehydrate them. Great snacks for the family on road trips or when your walking through Disney. 🙂

There is nothing like opening the cupboard or fridge and seeing it filled with the harvest that you spent the summer caring for with tenderness and eagerness. This year, my mom, my daughter and one of my dear friends were a tremendous help since I was getting sick half way through the summer. Canning and preparing the harvest for winter is not easy. It’s literally a labour of love.

The journey has been long, yet well worth it. People ask me why we eat the way we do when we still get sick or in my case, I still have Lymes. I tell them that I feel this journey has been a blessing. It’s been one that has taught our children more than a conventional health class, and is continuing to teach skills that will carry them through adulthood for the benefit of their own families one day. By growing your own vegetables, canning your own harvest, and preparing and utilizing what you have for future meals saves money as well. We don’t spend as much over the winter months when we have all we need in the cupboards.

Along with my blogging of Why? I look forward to sharing some of our favorite menus, recipes, and healthy household alternatives that have been learned through many years of studying and research. I tell everyone that it’s not something you can just do in a day, it’s a process. Just like a new Christian and his/her sanctification, it will not happen over night.

When you think about it, what could be better than God’s naturally grown foods!