Dec 23, 2016

Honey nut brittle

We love this simple recipe that only uses honey and butter… And nuts of course.  For variety try different types of nuts where at in various other things like cocoa powder or different extract/flavorings, extracts, or coconut, etc.

* 1 cup honey
* 4 T butter
* 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
* 1 1/2 c chopped nuts (dry roasted peanuts are great)

1. If nuts aren't roasted, throw them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350° for about 10 minutes.
2. Put honey in a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to boil. Keep boiling on medium low heat until the temperature is 285--soft crack stage, almost to hard crack stage.
3. Stir in butter and vanilla and cook one more minute.
4. Then add nuts, and pour contents from saucepan on to a parchment lined cookie sheet.
5. Place cookie sheet and freezer to harden. Break up and store wrapped in parchment paper so the pieces don't stick together too much.

Original recipe from

Dec 17, 2016

Candy Making: Cold Water Test

Now  not a big candy maker, but for Christmas I thought making a little caramel popcorn or nut brittle sounded nice. If you have a candy thermometer on hand, it makes these type of recipes easy. But if you lose yours or don't have one it might be nice to know how to judge the temperature based on a cold water test. So here is how to do that....

Cold-Water Test

For the cold-water test, spoon a few drops of the hot candy mixture into a cup of very cold (but not icy) water. Using your fingers, form the drops into a ball. Remove the ball from the water; the firmness will indicate the temperature of the candy mixture. If the mixture has not reached the correct stage, continue cooking and retesting, using fresh water and a clean spoon each time.
Thread stage (230 to 233 degrees F): When a teaspoon is dipped into the hot mixture, then removed, the candy falls off the spoon in a 2-inch-long, fine thin thread.
Soft-ball stage (234 to 240 degrees F): When the ball of candy is removed from the cold water, the candy instantly flattens and runs over your finger.
Firm-ball stage (244 to 248 degrees F): When the ball of candy is removed from the cold water, it is firm enough to hold its shape, but quickly flattens.
Hard-ball stage (250 to 266 degrees F): When the ball of candy is removed from the cold water, it can be deformed by pressure, but it doesn't flatten until pressed.
Soft-crack stage (270 to 290 degrees F): When dropped into the cold water, the candy separates into hard, but pliable and elastic, threads.
Hard-crack stage (295 to 310 degrees F): When dropped into the cold water, the candy separates into hard, brittle threads that snap easily.

Dec 15, 2016

Homemade Tooth Powder

 If you're looking for a simple way to have your own toothpaste, in powder form so it doesn't get dirty from a dirty toothbrush, here is a basic recipe.  All you really need is the been tonight clay, or Redmond clay… But the other ingredients help to strengthen, heal and clean your teeth even more.

* 4 T Bentonite Clay
* 3 T Calcium Powder (crushed clean eggshells--optional for remineralizing teeth)
* 1 T Baking Soda (optional)
* 2 T Powdered Mint Leaf (optional, or essential oil)
* 1 T Cinnamon Powder (or e.o.)
* 1 tsp of Clove Powder
* 1 T (or more to taste) Xylitol Powder
* Essential oils for taste- optional
Mix all together and store in a glass jar. To use just dip a clean wet toothbrush into the powder and brush on teeth as normal.

Make sure powder stays dry so it does not go bad. And to make it into a paste you can add coconut oil. But the paste will go bad if you dip a dirty toothbrush into it.

You can also brush once or twice a week before this with activated charcoal to help clean and whiten your teeth. But it is not a tooth powder/paste replacement.

* Original recipe from www.wellness

Elderberry Syrup

 It's that time of year…" when the world falls in love."
 Oh wait, I'm not talking about that Christmas song. I'm talking about the cold season. We made this last year and just took a teaspoon for kids daily and a tablespoon for adults. But I've heard it's best to take five of the seven days to give your body a little bit of a break. It is a simple recipe if you have dried elderberries on hand. And if not, your local health store might have some or you can just get a cupful.

* ⅔ c dried elderberries
* 3½ c of water
* 2 ginger root
* 1  cinnamon stick (1T powder)
* ½ tsp cloves
* 1 c raw honey

1. Boil all ingredients, except the honey; until reduced by half (about 45minutes)
2. Remove from heat and stir in honey
3. Let cool and place in closed glass jar. Store in fridge.
4. Take 5 days/week during cold season (1 tsp/kids, 1 T/adults). 3-5 times/day if have a cold.

* Original recipe from www.wellness

Dec 6, 2016

Things to make using medjool dates

I try to use natural sweeteners in all my recipes and cooking nowadays. And I've found that I normally can get away with fruits as sweeteners. For my muffins I'll just add lots of raisins or dates. Dates blended up work wonders. They are super sweet and sometimes we just eat one or two after dinner as our dessert (or a prune or something). The key for including them in things is generally to take out the pit, soften/soak in water, and blend up or chop finely.

Here are a few things I put dates in...
Pancake batter
Power balls
Cranberry sauce
Sweet potato topping with pecans
But/date pie crust
Almond milk or smoothie/shake

Dec 4, 2016

Caramel Popcorn

Here is a basic caramel popcorn recipe. Great for the holidays.

  • 1 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
1. Pop the popcorn
2. Melt the butter, sweeteners an salt together. Bring to a simmer and cook gently about five minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla (it will foam a bit).
4. Quickly use a wooden spoon to stir hot mixture into popcorn. (A big brown paper bag works best and is easiest cleanup since the caramel will harden really fast. So work quickly!)

The variation for this are endless. I'd like can't cane and a chocolate/coconut oil drizzle variation.

Dec 1, 2016

Peppermint Almond Joy bites

 It's the Christmas season and we are looking for more healthy dessert recipes. I wanted some type of a coconut ball or something. I found this recipe, which isn't  exactly what I wanted, but it tastes great. It reminds me of our Powerball's, but the ingredients make it more Christmasy.  Some people call these almond Joy bites. But I've taken that and added peppermint flavor to make it great for this season.

  • 2 cups Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
  •  A few drops of peppermint oil ( or a candycane)
 Just throw everything into your food processor and blend it up for about three minutes. That's it. 

* original recipe is from 

Nov 24, 2016

Hotdogs: uncured versus cured

 I was looking for some hotdogs the other day to satisfy my kids lunch appetite. And came across uncured hotdogs. I wasn't sure what that is, so I looked it up…

"Uncured hot dogs do not contain artificial nitrates or nitrites. The meat in an uncured hot dog is preserved with celery juice or celery powder, which happen to be a naturally occurring source of nitrates. Uncured hot dogs, like cured hot dogs, are fully cooked and should be prepared the same way."

 So uncured hotdogs aren't much different than the other types of hotdogs except that they're slightly healthier, because they use a naturally occurring nitrate instead of an artificial one to preserve the hotdogs and prevent the growth. 

 Good job celery for being helpful for preserving hotdogs…  who'd of thought? 

 So next time you're getting hotdogs… Keep your eye out in case there are uncured ones which are slightly healthier. Of course it still is a hotdog. 

Oct 21, 2016

Spinach and butternut squash meatless lasagna

 Here's a nice meatless lasagna recipe.

12  cooked lasagna noodles
1-2 cups grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese
 Light sprinkling of Grated Parmesan, or as desired
    Butternut Squash Filling:
  • 2 cups butternut squash puree(about half of squash)
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/2 cup water (or more, if needed)

  • Spinach Filling:
  • 5 handfuls of spinach (1 cup when "cooked")
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Mix the butternut squash filling with butter and water. 
2.  Separate bowl mix all the things together for the spinach filling.
3. Grease a 9x13 dish, then  place half the butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. 
4.  Add cooked  lasagna  noodles to cover the squash. And then add the spinach feeling as the second layer on top of those noodles. 
5. Add another layer of cooked noodles and then put the remaining half of the  puréed squash on top.
6.  Lastly, at the last layer of noodles on top and cover with grated cheeses.
7.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. ( covered if you don't want it to get too dry  or crispy).