Monday, March 29, 2010

A Novel Idea

Compost, Stir Fry and Crudite

As I was cutting up my veggies for lunch today I had a novel idea. Why don't I cut up the veggies for dinner right now. I will only have to clean one cutting board and knife. So why not just cut everything up and have it done too. Hellloo!! What have I been thinking? Why have I been doing double duty? I know I could cut up all the veggies for the week but I find they tend not to last as long. So why not for the day, oh yeah I had an epiphany and I thought I would share.

So in the picture above I have the first bowl on the left is the cuttings and peelings for my neighbors compost pile. The one who has the great garden. In the middle are the veggies for stir fry and nutty noodles. On the platter is the crudite for lunch. I made hummus and a beautiful platter of veggies to dip.

I even made my own hummus, literally from scratch. I ran out of tahini and I made my own.
Here is the recipe


1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 can of garbanzo beans (not drained)
juice of one lemon
olive oil
Mary-Ann's Garlic Salt

In my Vita-mix I put the sesame seeds, garbanzo beans and water, lemon juice and salt all in. I slowly blend and add olive oil until you reach the desire consistency.

Another novel idea, why buy tahini when I can make it. I think it is probably cheaper if I buy sesame seed in bulk and I get back about that.
We went outside and set up the table and umbrella.
It was gorgeous. I love this weather.

Super Heroes to the Rescue Part II

I made these felt superheroes and never took pictures of Superman. I thought I would post about them today. I got better as I made more. Hulk was the first one I made and he is almost Gumby-ish. Then Wolverine was next and I had fun with him and his costume. Superman was last and by that time I had it down what stitching worked best. I used a zig-zag stitch and setting for stretch fabrics, the plus/minus setting on my Viking and created the super close wrap stitch. I had fun with Superman's hair too. The curl was little harder than I thought it would be. I kept on cutting out the opposite curl and on the third try I got it. Not bad for no pattern
Enzo loves them!

The Incredible Hulk

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I love the concentration and tongue sticking out

Kira is such a perfectionist and a great artist

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cornbread Waffles

To change it up a bit on our Saturday pancake/waffle morning tradition, I thought I would try a different type of waffle. I love cornbread jalapeno waffles with maple syrup. The spicy and sweetness of them is addicting. I knew the kids would not like the spice so I just made cornbread waffles. I used my normal pancake/waffle recipe but substituted one cup of rice flour for one cup of cornmeal. Next time I will probably use half rice flour and half cornmeal. They were good. I overheard Enzo commenting with Mmm Mmm the whole time while chewing. I guess it is definitely grounds for repeating this recipe

My plate with coconut oil for butter and maple syrup and my NZ coffee cup.
I talked with my sister yesterday and needed a visual reminder of NZ.

By the way they are coming out to the states in June until mid July!!!!
I am so excited to see them. It has been two years since we have been there and seen them.

Friday, March 26, 2010

GF Bread That Tastes Like Bread!

I found this recipe for dinner rolls and changed it up a bit to make loaf bread. Obviously, you can substitute rice milk, soy milk, agave syrup and egg substitute as you see fit. Enjoy. This is Eric approved, meaning my husband who does not like rice bread will eat this and prefers it to regular bread.

Best GF Bread
3 eggs – use Extra Large!
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1 TBSP xanthan gum
1/3 cup potato starch (NOT flour)
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/3 c. GF teff(for "wheat" bread) or Sorghum flour(for "white" bread)
1 TBSP active dry yeast
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Preheat Oven to 380 degrees.* Note: I actually started these at a higher temperature,
more like 450, and then turned the temperature down, in the attempt to get a crunchier crust.

Beat eggs in heavy duty mixer and then add oil, vinegar, and sugar, combining.
Add dry ingredients. Warm milk in the microwave (or on the stove) and add to the bowl, gently folding it into the flour.
Turn on motor, let ingredients combine thoroughly then turn power to medium and leave for 4 minutes while it stirs.
Spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and/or line with parchment paper.
Let it rise in a warm place until doubled.
Five minutes before you put the loaf in the oven, put ice cubes (in a pan) in the bottom
rack of your oven and let them evaporate into steam.
Open oven, put in loaf pans and let bake for 40-50 minutes.
Bread will brown on top fast, so halfway through baking cover with foil loosely.
Test by toothpick method or cut into the middle.

Alternatively, place a pan w/ 1/4 to 1/2 inch of boiling water on the lowest rack in the oven
5 minutes before you put the bread in and leave in there until bread is done.

These two baking methods should result in a crunchier outer crust.

***I usually double this recipe, when cooled I slice it up and store it in the refrigerator. It is best toasted a little but not necessary. I found that with typical rice bread, I had to toast it or it was so doughy. Not the case with this bread. Anyways enjoy.***

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let Go

Enzo's Left Hand

I was reading my devotion yesterday and thought of Enzo. She talks about letting go.
Letting go of all the things you are trying to control.

"As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My care." from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

One of the verses she refers to:

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying "Fear not I will help you"
Isaiah 41:13

Enzo's left side is weakened due to Cerebral Palsy.
He has a hard time relaxing his left hand. When he is concentrating on something, he tends to fist his left hand. It is common in people with CP. I have to tell him to relax and slowly he will, opening his hand and then I can take whatever is in his hand. A lot of time he does not even know that he has something in his hand. He forgets and I am not quite sure of the sensation/feeling he has on the left side.

This reminded me how often do we forget we are even carrying a burden, holding onto loved ones, trying to keep in control or caring about our possessions. We do not even know we are doing it. We have grown numb to the sensation of the weight or pressure of what we are holding onto.

God wants us to let go. We need to relax. We need to have confidence and faith in Him. We can feel secure with Him on our side. He is here to help, He WANTS to help. We need Him to help us. We clearly can not do it on our own.

The picture above is of his sweet left hand open. I slowly placed it on mine. I caressed it softly, encouraged him to open it and to relax. He was so sweet and listened, did not question and honored my request. We sat there hand in hand for a few seconds. He looked up at me and smiled. What a tender moment of trust.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Deal of the Century!

How much do Bob Double Joggers normally go for? New about $400-$600, right?

Guess how much I got this used one off Craigslist?

It is a little sun faded and needs new straps which I can sew myself and already have the material?
Just guess

$25 dollars! Yep that is right $25 dollars, no typo. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 dollars.

And I call that the deal of the century! I can sell my old jogger for at least $40 so there is even a profit going on.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Queen for the Day

Today my 93 year old grandma was Queen for the Day. At noon she was escorted into the dining hall with a cape and crown. She was given flowers. Best of all, there was a local all-girls basketball team there to honor her because of her past accomplishment of being on the Colorado State Girls' Basketball Championship team!

How amazing and special!

My grandpa used to ask my grandma if he could sit next to her and she would simply reply
"Well are you going to behave?"

She used to ask me if I wanted to see her boyfriend,
then she would show me a picture of my grandpa.

Full of spunk and sassy as can be.
I love that lady.

Picnic Blanket

I wanted to give a homemade wedding gift to my dear friends. I saw this post for a homemade picnic blanket forever ago(I forgot where). I then saw a tutorial of one down at the fabric store
too. I got one and a half yards of the vinyl and of fabric. I started it in February with the project and then my sewing machine died on me. I need to get it to a doctor and hopefully within the next week, as I have fabric for a Easter dress for Kira.

The ones I saw did not fold over the edge. I liked bringing vinyl side over. I think it gives it a fun look. Now I do not know if the picture shows it but the vinyl has small brown polka dots, super cute. I really want to keep it, so that means I did a good job to me :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Arugula Pesto with Roasted Tomatoes

I did not have tomato sauce or enough tomatoes to make a sauce. So instead I wanted to make a pesto sauce. Then I realized I did not have basil. I love being at the end of the groceries for the week. No really, some really good, different recipes come out of desperation. I googled to see if there was even such a thing of arugula pesto. Sure enough there was a recipe for it. So I made my own recipe.

Arugula Pesto with Roasted Tomatoes

Cooked Pasta-I used Brown Rice Tube Pasta
1 cup Raw Almonds
1-1 1/2 cups Arugula leaves, stem removed
2-3 large garlic cloves
about 1/2 cup olive oil
Mary-Ann's Garlic Salt
2 cups grape tomatoes

I put almonds, arugula, and garlic in the vita-mix/blender. Slowly increase the speed and drizzle in oil until creamy.

**I found it was a little rich and added about a 1/4 water because I knew the kids might not like it. Thus it turned a lighter green not dark green like pesto usually is :)**

In a large sauce pan throw in tomatoes and sprinkle with garlic salt. Pan roast for about five seven minutes. You want them soft and blackened a bit. In a large serving dish or the pot you cooked the pasta in add the pesto sauce a large spoonful at a time until coated and then add the tomatoes and serve.

I have used cashews before and it gives it an even creamier taste. It is really good and no cheese.
Either freeze the leftover sauce or store and use later that week.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Much Needed Prayer

A Pastor with GUTS!

Thought you might enjoy this interesting
prayer given in Kansas at
the opening session of their
Senate. It seems
prayer still
upsets some people.. When Minister Joe
Wright was asked to open

the new session of the
Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the
usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

The prayer as delivered on January 23, 1996 by Pastor Joe Wright to the Kansas House of Representatives:

Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask Your forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. Lord, we know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we've done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it

moral pluralism.

We have worshiped other gods and called it

We have endorsed perversion and called it an
alternative lifestyle.

We have exploited the poor and called it the

We have neglected the needy and called it

We have rewarded laziness and called it

We have killed our unborn and called it

We have shot abortionists and called it

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it
building esteem.

We have abused power and called it
political savvy.

We have coveted our neighbors' possessions and called it

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it
freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our fore-fathers and called it

Search us oh God and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son, the Living Savior, Jesus Christ.


The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks,
Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is
pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with
only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India ,
Africa and Korea .

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio
program, 'The Rest of the Story,'and
received a larger response to this program than any
other he has ever aired.

With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep
over our nation and wholeheartedly become our
desire so that we again can be called 'one nation
under God.'

If possible, please pass this
prayer on to your friends... 'If you don't stand
for something, you will fall for everything.'

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Enzo!!

At 9:07 a.m. three years ago I delivered you.
Yes, I caught you and immediately fell in love with the most precious boy ever.
There has been quite a few bumps in the road these last three years.
Through every single one, you have amazed me!
You are persistent in everything you do.
I am so proud of you and how you have overcome so many obstacles.

You will always be my bestest boy ever!
I love you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

GF Irish Soda Bread and Irish Stew

Irish Stew and Soda Bread with Whole Grain Mustard
My dad made this set of dishes for our wedding.
In seven years, we have only lost one plate.
I love the bowls!

Everything in the Kitchen Aid

Recipe made enough for two loaves

Definitely baked quicker in two small loaves.

How could you not love these colors

Recipes to follow, now it is time to eat!
Happy St Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Have the Organizing Bug

Or maybe it is spring cleaning time. Either way I have been organizing a lot. Things that have bugged me since we moved here are slowly getting a makeover.

Here is problem #1 The tupperware/plastic cup catch all drawer
Whenever I open it everything falls over.
My sister-in-law had containers in her drawer and a light bulb went on for me.

I had two extra plastic shoe boxes and put them in and it works.
I put the Camel back and water bottles in the back.
Smoothie and kids cups in the middle box.
Tupperware/cereal bowls in the front box.
Lids and two rectangle storage containers on the side.
They all fit and do not fall over!

Now for my pantry. We do not have room in the kitchen for a true pantry so I have a spot out in the garage, right adjacent to the kitchen. I keep all my spices and everyday use stuff on top of my refrigerator. But all overflow is outside.

All of my cookbooks, flours, large appliances and
packaged products-beans, pasta and rice.

Shelf #1
I moved all cookbooks into a basket, so they do not fall over.
Shelf #2
Flours and cooking wine
Shelf #3
Extra spices, beans, pasta and canned goods
Shelf #4
Kitchen Aid and Juicer
Extra Large Foil and Back up water

Red Beans and Rice

I had seen this on a few blogs on their menu planning. I have never had and thought why not try it. It is cheap and easy. Plus from what I read it is a traditional Monday meal. I had already soaked and cooked Pink Beans on Sunday. Monday was a bit crazy with all the appointments and bus time, so I definitely needed a easy meal and this was. So instead of Red Beans I used Pink beans and it was really good. Everyone liked it except Kira, she had her mind set on Spaghetti for dinner, so she did not even try it but had fruit instead. Oh well.

I made this referring to this recipe as a guide of spices.

Pink Beans and Rice

1 lb. Pink Beans cooked
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
2-3 stalks of celery
1-2 tsp of paprika
1 bay leaf
couple sprigs of fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper
1 Tb Braggs
1 Tb Olive oil

In a large pot heat oil and add onions, celery, peppers, garlic and bay leaf. Cook until onions are almost transparent. Add cooked pink beans, paprika and thyme. Add braggs and s&p. Simmer until the sauce is thick. Serve over rice and add a little Sriracha.

Now, I still have a lot of white rice left over so I am switching on and off of brown rice and white in order not to be wasteful. So we are still eating some refined but not nearly as much as before, maybe only 5% of our diet is refined.

We did not eat all of the beans so I froze the rest in order to have a full meal on another night.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Miss Victoria's Scarf

Kira modeling the scarf for me

Today is a special day for my little bub, Enzo. He turns three on Thursday which means he is out of the in-home Speech Therapy and into a class twice a week. I am so happy for all of his hard work. His teacher Miss Victoria, who has been coming to our house for a while now, has been such a blessing. I knitted a scarf this last week for her. She has beautiful blue eyes and thought this would be perfect for her.

We are happy to be moving up but we will definitely miss our visits with her :(

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blueberry Pancakes

I have been making pancakes more for dinner lately and thought I would surprise the kids with blueberry pancakes. I had got Costco's frozen blueberries for smoothies. I changed the pancake recipe a little. I found Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour at Food 4 Less for a dollar cheaper than New Frontiers Health Food Store. I thought why not try it for that price. I made tortillas earlier in the week and they were good. The flour mixture is mainly garbanzo bean flour, so it is a little stronger in flavor. I used three cups of Bob's Flour mix instead of regular GF Mix.

This morning I thought I would use it because I did not want to measure everything out. Easy peasy. They turned out good and I am glad I add the blueberries because it definitely had a different taste. They were good not great but the kids ate them so no problem.

Enzo in the action of eating

I now cook all the pancakes and then freeze them after they are cooled. This morning has been lazy and about an hour after we ate the kids wanted more. So I gave them a couple more from the cooked pile and grabbed one for myself. I do not know if I did not cook this particular one completely or what but, it was horrible. It tasted like really bad blueberry hummus or something that is completely wrong. I was gagging and ran to the kitchen for juice. Awful!!! I think I just got a dud.

So I would not recommend Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour mix for pancakes. Maybe for pizza crust or more savory items.

I have got the hebe gebe's thinking about that taste.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stressed Out?

Simple Mom had a link to this stress test. Do it see where you stand

Think Your Life is Stressful

This test, based on the work of mental health experts Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, helps you identify the sources and amount of stress you encounter in your life. The following is a list of stress inducing events, in the order of their Life Change Unit (LCU), from high to low. Note all the items that apply to events you have experienced during the last year and add up their LCUs. Then take a look at what you can do about your stress level.
Life Event
1. Death of spouse
2. Divorce
3. Marital Separation
4. Jail Term
5. Death of a close family member
6. Personal injury or illness
7. Marriage
8. Being Fired from work
9. Reconciliation with spouse
10. Retirement
11. Change in health of family member
12. Pregnancy
13. Sexual difficulties
14. Addition of family member
15. Major business readjustment
16. Major change in financial state
17. Death of a close friend
18. Changing to a different line of work
19. Change in frequency of arguments with spouse
20. Mortgage for loan or major purchase over $ 15,000
21. Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan
22. Major change in responsibilities at work
23. Children leaving home
24. Trouble with in-laws
25. Outstanding personal achievement
26. Spouse begins or stops work
27. Starting or ending school
28. Change in living conditions
29. Revision of personal habits (dress, manners, associations)
30. Trouble with boss
31. Change in work hours, conditions
32. Change in residence
33. Change in school
34. Change in recreational activities
35. Change in church activities
36. Change in social activities
37. Mortgage or loan under $15,000
38. Change in sleeping habits
39. Change in number of family gatherings
40. Change in eating habits
41. Vacation
42. Christmas
43. Minor violation of the law

If your total is 0-150:
Congratulations! At the moment, your stress level is low. Your chance of illness or accident related to your stress within two years is low. Any change can lead to stress, even enjoyable activities, such as vacations or new forms of recreation. Want to see what to do to keep your stress low? Learn about methods for dealing with stress.

If your total is 150-300:
Take care of yourself now. You have borderline high stress. Your chance of accident or illness related to your stress within two years is moderate. Recommendation: To reduce your stress, try some of these methods.

If your total is over 300:
Warning: You have a high stress level. Your chance of accident or illness related to your stress during the next two years is great. Stress intervention techniques are strongly urged. Click here to learn more about stress.

I did not do so well, I scored 478. There has been a lot of change in the last year...not all bad, but there has definitely been change. So what am I going to do about it? They recommend breathing for starters. They also recommend reading for 20 minutes or taking a walk. I am trying to do both. I think the biggest for me is time alone or time to do my hobbies. I love sewing, cooking and connecting with friends. I think the Thursday morning fellowship with the ladies from church is going to help. I need to start running again. Running always relieves stress for me. I just need to find a path the double stroller fits.

How do you deal with stress?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Paper Clutter Lesson 1

Where does paper clutter start and why does it follow me everywhere? I do not get catalogs. I do not get the newspaper or magazines. Yet, I can not get it under control. I have a good filing system, WHEN I use it, which is 60-70% of the time. I find I will be really good for a month or so and then it starts to pile up out of control. How do you keep it under control?

I won the free workshop over at Simplify 101: Organize Your Paper Clutter.
It started on Tuesday and I read the first lesson then started homework today.


Here is the stack of papers that have been collecting dust and even a black sock! Opps!

I went through everything. It took more than fifteen minutes, she wanted to have us commit to fifteen minutes a day for paperwork during this process. I took time and just powered through it. I filed papers that needed to go into my file system. Dated artwork from the kids and threw out ones that I did not totally love-chicken scratch ones and some artwork that was not really their artistic ability but rather busy work. I gathered food recipes. I keep track of the costs of certain food from different stores to make sure I get the best deal and I am efficient when shopping. (I do not drive to each store just for one or two good deals.)

I had 1/4 of a kitchen trash bag full of just paperwork! UGH! I get all of my bills through e-bills and have cut that excess paper out. You would be amazed at all the paperwork that we have for Enzo. It is ridiculous. All of the HIPPA, disclosure junk and every announcement of my rights. You know what people just put it on a website and update by email and save the trees!!!! The government is unbelievable when it comes to excess paperwork.

I updated my home management notebook and filing container.

It feels so good getting it down. This also inspired me to get the garage clean, well, at least my things that are out there. Eric loves a clean garage, thank goodness. I finally unpacked the last two little boxes that I forgot about from the move. Obviously nothing of great importance since it has been almost two months we have been here. My plan with this paper clutter workshop is to get my stored paperwork under control. I have notebooks from school that I can not get rid of. Maybe I can scan and download or something. My math class notebooks were beautiful. I used to sell my notes because they were so neat. I want to cut the paper clutter where I can.

What is the hardest part of your paper clutter?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Preparing for the Day

I just read my little devotional and had to share about it.

"I have prepared this day for you with the most tender concern and attention to detail. Instead of approaching the day as a blank page that you need to fill up, try living it in responsive mode: being on the lookout for all that I am doing"
From Jesus Calling By: Sarah Young

Easier said than done huh? We have to have complete trust in God knowing that His ways are perfect.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

Psalm 37:23-24

As for God, His way is perfect;
the word of the Lord is proven.
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
For who is God except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
...He makes my feet like the feet of deer.
And sets me on high places.

Psalm 18:30-31 & 33

How awesome to know that His ways are perfect. We don't have to be and could not possible be perfect. If we trust in Him and remember constantly that He has our hand. We are like the little toddler in a parking lot. We have no idea that there are cars moving forward and backwards. We do not know the direction we need to go. We are at the height of the wheels and only see a percentage of the big picture. We are not paying attention, all we are looking at is the pink bubble gum on the ground or the occasional puddle. We HAVE to hold onto His hand in order to survive.

He has created each day new. I am so thankful for that. It is a blank day, I always want to fill it up with every possible thing. However this last week has shown me that my plans mean absolutely nothing. Here are some examples:

Sunday: I notice Enzo's eye was really red in the outside corner on the white of his eye. We go the ER and the doctor says it is just an irritation and will go away.

Monday: Enzo had his therapy in the morning. We took the bus both ways and had a great morning. I was planning on getting the laundry done once I was home and clean parts of the house. Instead Enzo's eye was worse than Sunday, it is red almost all the way to his iris. We go to the ER again. This time on the bus, Enzo is crying bloody murder because we are going to the doctor, the WHOLE WAY (seven minutes). Luckily, there are only about seven college students on the bus. We get there and the doctor tells me he DOES have a scratch on his sclera (the white of the eye), like the doctor last night noted. Umm, he did not tell me that. They give up drops and sent us on our merry little way.

Tuesday: Eric's day off. He is planning on working on the cars. I am planning on cleaning house, prepping for our weekly dinner with neighbors. He takes his paperwork in to his job and his motorcycle won't start back up. I have to pick him up in the middle of my routine. It throws the whole day off.

So you see, you can plan all you want but it does not always work out that way. If we look at the day through God's eyes then we might be able to see what He wants accomplished, not what we want accomplished. How hard is that. I am going to try today to really be aware of His plan for the day. Do I really need to take care of ALL the household duties? No, I can do a couple of things and really enjoy time with my kids and talk with them and relish in the moment of this season. That is all they want out of the day, your attention, your unconditional love and hugs, lots of hugs.

I fall victim to this all the time, I do things that drown out His voice. It is my own fault. I know the enemy contributes to it as well but I need to own up to what my habits are.

How do you prepare for the day?
Do you listen for His voice?
Or is His voice drowned out by the cell phone, t.v., babies crying, boss hassling you, or the computer?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Enzo Update

Today we went to CCS for Occupational Therapy (OT) weekly appointment. Since we just moved into a new city we have to go to that city's therapy unit, so a new OT and PT. Miss Sherry, his OT, is amazing. They connected right away and he responded really well last week. This week she wanted to use kinesio tape on his left hand and arm in order to strengthen his left side. She only used one piece of tape on the top of his hand right below his knuckles, going up his arm halfway. I had her put it on my arm first to show him it did not hurt and with a little persuasion/promise of a lollipop he allowed her to tape him.

Within seconds his hand was relaxed!! I could not believe my eyes. How could a little piece of tape correct his hand and grip so fast. She hopes to tape his hand/arm every week and add different positioning to strengthen and then as time goes by only tape a few to see the progress. Each taping will last about four days and we will see her every Monday. So it should last until Thursday and possibly part of Friday. This is so exciting and really crazy how it effects him so quickly. Just one step in the right direction toward recovery/healing. God is so good and answers prayer in so many ways, like tape. Amen

I Won Something!!

I follow Organizing Your Way on my Google reader and love her stuff. She had a giveaway and I won!

"Congratulations, Keilah, you won the Organize Your Paper Clutter workshop giveaway! I’ve emailed you with information on how to claim your prize."

I am so excited I can finally get my paper clutter under control, especially the kids artwork.

Yeah Me! I will post pictures of before and after of my clutter and organized area. It is a six week program so I will be able to do it gradually and stick to it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Going Out on a Limb

Okay after the last few days racking my brain of how I could make it easier for people to eat this way, I have come to a conclusion. I going to write an ebook cookbook. Quite a few people have told me I should and after talking to Eric he agreed with me and told me to do it. So here we go on our next adventure. I have already about 50 recipes and I am going to work on about 20 to 30 more.
I bought GF flours yesterday and I plan to try out some new GF recipes I am coming up with. The cookbook with be GF of course and plant-based too.

My biggest goal is to make easy, cheap, healthy and tasty recipes that do not take more than 45 minutes to an hour to prepare. Most will be less than that but some will be a little more in depth. Basically, I wanted to do a cooking class but I have no real way of doing it. So instead I thought I could write it all down. I am excited and a little nervous and who knows maybe someone will buy it and maybe no one besides my mom will buy it but that is okay. It will be something I can say I have done. If I can sew a invisible zipper, I can do this. I want a due date so that I have a little pressure. I am going to say that for my rough draft needs to be done in one month from today, April 6th. Then from there I will give a due date for final draft. I would love to have pictures too. Well I am eager to see how things will fall into place.

Health Update

Since we have switched to a plant-based diet, we have all had improvements to our overall health. It has been almost three weeks for the kids and I. I have to announce that Kira is finally regular after trying everything in the book before. She is eating better than ever, she never really ate that bad but now she is doing fabulous. The other night she ate three bowls of salad, big bowls too, easily four cups of spinach, romaine, and arugula mix plus a whole avocado. She told me she LOVES salad.

We have not eaten corn tortillas for over a week and the only dairy they have had was a small pat of butter on the potatoes. I told them that next week we would only have hummus on the potatoes and that there was no more butter. I did buy unrefined coconut oil and I have called it "white butter" to the kids before. I am trying not to use it and rather get them to like other toppings on their potatoes. Enzo already loves hummus, he has called it "bom bom" since forever and eats it by the spoonful.

The only refined foods that I can think of that we are eating are the sunflower seed butter from Trader Joe's, which I love but it has cane juice, which is a fancy way of saying sugar. I did buy GF Dairy free pancakes from TJ's last night for a quick fix because I did not plan good enough. Those are the only "packaged" foods we have eaten. The occasional tortilla chip snitched from dad and I am not worrying about it right now. But that is it.

The kids seem happier and quite content with our new eating lifestyle. It is easy, way easier than anything I have tried. I do not have to worry about they allergies nearly as much. I came to the conclusion that if we are eating whole foods then I don't have to read the label, because I know what is in it. What a novel idea huh?

So in conclusion we are all doing great and feel great too. We have all been sleeping better also. I do not think I have ever felt so good either. If you feel like it is to much to do all of this then don't that is not what I am saying. Just add more whole foods to your diet. Eat a piece of fruit first if you are craving something sweet, dates are so sweet and totally take my craving away. If you are craving a salty snack have a handful of raw nuts, cashews or almonds. The most important thing I think you can do is to eat a handful of fruit or a big salad before you eat your regular meal. If you do this you will find you do not eat as much and you are satisfied with the whole foods more and more.

Good Luck

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Veggie Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries and Salad

From the top clockwise: Roasted Corn Salad, Sweet Potato Fries and Veggie burger on Spinach with grilled onions

So my goal right now is to write about what we are eating and how to have a plant based diet that is delicious and full of flavor and variety. Also to do this as frugal as possible without spending a fortune and without being a slave to the kitchen too. So for dinner last night we had Veggie Burgers, Roasted Corn, Broccoli and Red Bell Pepper Salad and Sweet Potato Fries

Veggie Burgers
14 oz Organic Tofu-Extra Firm-$2.68
1 c Brown Rice cooked-$.25
1/2 Onion-$.25
1Tb Yeast
1/3 c Brown Rice Flour-$.20
1 tsp Herb Salt
1/2 tsp Seasoning Salt
Total $3.38

Preheat oven at 400 degrees
In your blender or food processor add onion, tofu, and brown rice. Mix on low to medium until fairly mixed. Don't blend to much. Put mixture in a bowl and combine all other ingredients. Mix with a spatula/wooden spoon well. Using a 1/3 measuring cup scoop out onto a baking sheet with parchment paper on it. Makes about 10-12 patties. Bake for 40 minutes turning once after 20 minutes. I like our veggie burgers a little on the crispier side so I cook them a little longer and eye ball the color.

I topped the burgers with grilled onions, spinach and avocado
1/2 Onion sliced-$.25
3/4 c Spinach-$.50
1 ripe avocado-$.50
Total $1.25
We do not use buns as they are expensive to buy GF ones. I guess you could say we eat them "protein style".

Once your burgers are in the oven slice up your sweet potatoes for oven fries.
I use the thick slice side of my cheese grater. I have three slices on one side and it makes them really thin and they cook evenly.

I usually use three medium sized sweet potatoes-$1.19. Now on a separate baking sheet with parchment paper lay down sweet potato slices evenly. The parchment paper really keeps them from sticking without using oil. You can use regular potatoes or yams too.

I bake them for about 20-30 minutes turning them once. If you like them crispier bake longer.

Once they are cooked I place them in a large bowl and and drizzle about 1 Tb of Olive oil and season with seasoning salt. Now the seasoning salt I use has a sea salt, pepper, paprika and a little nutmeg. It is so good. If you don't have something like it just add a dash of nutmeg to them, and I mean a dash, not too much. So tasty!

Roasted Corn, Red Bell Pepper and Broccoli Salad

1/2 Bag of Trader Joe's Frozen Roasted Corn $1.15
1/2 Red Bell Peppers diced $.99
1 Broccoli crown (1 cup) chopped $.50
1 Green onions chopped $.10
Olive oil
Juice from one lemon
Mary-Ann's Seasoning salt to taste
Mary-Ann's Herb salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients and serve when corn is thawed
Or keep it in your refrigerator and and snack on it, just add a little olive oil each time to your portion to refresh it. Serving size about 1 cup and serves 4
Total $2.74

Burgers- $3.38
Toppings -$1.25
Total $8.24

Per Person $2.14

You definitely can not get out of a Mother's Market or Whole Foods for that let alone McDonald's and this is a boat load better for you. I usually have leftover salad and eat it for lunch the next day. These burgers are really good chopped up and put on a salad too. They freeze nicely also.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Candied Nuts

Candied Nuts

1 lb Raw Cashew nuts
1 lb Raw Almonds
1 lb Raw Pecans
3/4 c Organic Maple Syrup

Mix nuts in a bowl and add maple syrup until evenly coated.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lay parchment paper on a baking sheet. Evenly distribute on the baking sheet. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely. I put them in a freezer bag and keep them in the freezer. Such a great snack without any junk.

You can make them with just pecans and then put them in your salads too.

Singin in the Rain

Singin in the Rain

Tut tut it looks like rain

To rain or not to rain, that is the question. It was off and on all day so we had to make an outing of some kind. I decided to get us rain-proofed and just go outside. They had fun and I did too watching them. Now we are inside warm and cozy watching a video. We kept busy today with Legos, drawing and lots of eating. They each had two smoothies for breakfast with cashews on the side, a snack of ants on a boat(apple slices with sun butter and raisins) and lunch of leftover pasta. I also made candied nuts yummy yum and I snacked a little on them. The kids and Eric like them to as an alternative to sweets.

Roasted Veggies Pasta and Mixed Green Salad

Last night we had our weekly dinner with our neighbors. I decided to go out on a limb and cook for them differently. I know Eric and one of the guys like healthier foods but was a little concerned about the third and if he would like what I made. Oh well I went for it.

I made Roasted Vegetable Pasta with a Loaded Mix Green Salad.
And the third guy said "Man, this must be good for me, because it tastes so fresh. You can just tell by the ingredients." I think that is a compliment. I love that he said it tastes fresh, you have got to love that.

We had a good time of fellowship, conversation and prayer. You have got to love the breaking of bread with people. It feeds your stomach and your soul.

Here is the recipe:

Loaded Mix Green Salad
Feeds four adults

1 big handful of Spinach
2 Heads of Romaine Lettuce
1 big handful of Arugula
1/2 basket of Mushrooms sliced
1 Handful Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
2 small or 1 large Avocado-cubed
Three thin slices of Red Onion
1 Lemon
Bragg's Amino Acid
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mary-Ann's Garlic Salt
Mary-Ann's Seasoning Salt

Wash and spin lettuce until dry. In a large bowl add lettuce, spinach and arugula. Add sliced mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado and red onion. Squeeze the juice from one lemon and drizzle about 1 Tb of Olive oil and about 1 Tb of Bragg's. Toss it well and add herb salt and seasoning salt to taste. The key is to toss well and the avocado breaks down a bit and makes the dressing a creaminess.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

Rice Pasta cooked according to the package
2 Zucchini -quarter and slice
1/2 Eggplant cut in small cubes 1/2 in size
1 Red Bell Pepper-cut in 1/2 in cubes
1 Green Bell Pepper-cut in 1/2 in cubes
1/2 Medium Onion- chopped
1/2 Basket of Mushrooms-cut in quarters and sliced
2 Roma Tomatoes-cut in quarters and sliced
1-2 tsp Mary-Ann's Herb Salt or any Herb Salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a grill pan over medium heat add onions with NO oil and cook with herb salt until starting to brown. I cook each vegetable while I cut the next vegetable. Add bell peppers and cook. Then add eggplant. Next cut zucchini and mushrooms. Add the roma tomatoes last. Cook until mushrooms are brown and veggies are tender but not mushy, about 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat.

Add over cooked rice noodles and now you can drizzle a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top of the dish.

Eat your yummy salad first to prepare your stomach and then enjoy your noodles after. Add a little red pepper flake if you need a little kick. Enjoy!

Okay for your kids, they most likely will not like all of the chopped veggies. Take about a cup of cooked veggies and blend it and make a sauce to add to their noodles. I love giving them the veggies and they have no ideas :) My kids gobbled this up without a second thought.

The DIY Dish Giveaway!

I would love to win one of these machines and you could have a chance too. Go to their site and do one or all of the following:


There are so many ways to win! Each item below will have your name placed into the drawing. Be sure to post here and let us know. Official rules are found here.

1. Sign up for our FREE newsletter! You’ll never miss an episode! Plus, you’ll be entered into more giveaways, receive coupon codes, and more.

2. Grab our blog button! Find the code on the right side bar and add it to your blog or other online presence. ———->

3. Make a comment below. We’d love to hear from you! And we’d love to know what kinds of things you’d like to learn on the show!

4. “Tweet” about this giveaway and the new “The DIY Dish” show on Twitter.

5. “Follow us” on Twitter.

6. Become a “FAN” on Facebook.

7. Blog about the new show and the giveaway of TWO machines!

8. Embed the video above into your blog. (The embed link is found by clicking on the right corner of the video screen.)


Monday, March 1, 2010

Plant Based Diet

I watch this great video called "Eating" All I can say is WOW! I knew that eating a plant based diet was better for you but after watching this video Eric and I both are on board with eating a plant based diet.

Heart Disease, Cancer and Adult Onset Diabetes are all symptoms of an animal based diet. If everyone would watch this video and changed their diet, there would radical changes in American health. There is no gimmick or trick. The only trick is the way the government manipulates what a healthy diet is.

The biggest falsehoods that blew me away were:

*There is no documented cause of a dietary origin calcium deficiency.

*Bone loss occurs because of sedentary work and lifestyle.
i.e Astronauts have bone loss due to the gravity environment

*It does not matter if it is lighter meat it still has cholesterol.
3 oz. steak has 75 mg of cholesterol
3 oz. skinless breast of chicken has 72 mg of cholesterol

*3 glasses of milk has the just as much cholesterol as 21 slices of bacon

*Type II Diabetes can be totally reversed within a WEEK of a 100% Plant Based Diet

*Americans think they need more protein and that is due to Food Lobbyist paying off the USDA and such. Protein deficiency is rare. We are the fattest nation and we constantly concerned with something that only happens if you are starving!

*So where do I get my protein?

Here is the percent protein of certain foods

Pecans 5
Bananas 5
Grapefruit 5
Watermelon 8
Orange 8
Cherries 8
Brown Rice 8
Cantaloupe 9
Carrots 10
Potatoes 11
Barley 11
Almonds 12
Cashews 12
Walnuts 13
Corn 15
Wheat 17
Peanuts 17
Wild Rice 18
Tomatoes 20
Artichokes 22
Cabbage 22
Chickpea 23
Squash 23
Cucumber 24
Kidney Beans 26
Green Beans 26
Pinto Beans 26
Lentils 29
Broad Beans 32
Asparagus 38
Soybeans 43
Brussel Sprouts 44
Broccoli 45
Spinach 49

Now we as humans only need 5% of our total calories to be from protein. So clearly eating a plant based diet will satisfy your need for protein, a healthy protein. If you think about it what do cows eat? Grass, barley and corn...hmmm. They get their protein from a plant based diet

From His book:

*"The protein in human mother's milk is only five percent of the total calories. Mother's milk is providing protein during the fastest growth period humans will ever experience outside the womb. At no other time in our lives will we need a greater amount of protein. In fact, the average adult needs only half that amount or two and one-half percent of calories from protein. More than five percent protein is not only unnecessary, but also potentially dangerous because it will promote cancer and other degenerative diseases. Just one reason "high protein" diets should be avoided like the plague." page 133-134 "Healing Cancer From Inside Out" By Mike Anderson

Well there you have it if you eat a plant based diet you get all the protein, calcium and nutrients that you need. I am excited to have discovered this book and video. I have lost about six pounds since lowering my animal intake and another six pounds going 100% plant based diet. Making a total of twelve pound weight loss. I feel good and I am eating whatever I want whenever I want. I not counting calories, points, or weighing and measuring my food. I am eating what God has created for us.

The RAVE Diet and lifestyle means

No R efined foods
No A nimal foods
No V egetable oils
No E xceptions
& Exercise

I definitely am on board for no refined and no animal.
I am slowly working on no vegetable oil.
I am excited and curious to see how our health changes, all four of us and whoever else tries this. Let me know if you have heard of this or do something similar, I would love to know more.

Day 28-Last Day of Nothing- As Close as Possible

We got up early and had my uncle take us up to the Irvine Train station. We caught the train to LA and then from LA to SLO. It was a long trip. We were all tired and missed dad and wanted to be home. Enzo had a little meltdown in LA Union Station while I was checking bags. I could not do anything to soothe him and I could not walk away because we were in line. Brother, I do not want to do that again. Other than that they were angels on the train. We got home and they hugged dad and did not let go for awhile. So sweet.

We got home and I took a two hour nap, much needed. I had to go to the store last night because I would not have a car until Tuesday and the house was bare. So I ended our 28 days of nothing at 6:00pm.

This has been much harder than last year and I am not sure why. Maybe because we were on such a tight budget and then to get extra money, it was burning a hole in my pocket. When I say burning a hole I mean there were things that we really needed and I felt obligated not to get them because of my 28 days. I ended up buying the fabric and I am glad I did because it was a deal and we need clothes for Kira.

I reevaluated our food budget and changed it to $400 month and considering all the changes we did in our diet I totaled our food to $421.18. I spent $183.26 on other essentials other than food at the stores. Considering what we bought, I feel good about it. I am excited to see how eating a plant based diet changes our grocery costs. I am going to shop weekly so that I do not waste anything by buying to much.

Spending: Nothing

Smoothies and rice bread toast


Dried Mango-Kira
rice crackers


Roll-ups and fruit

Wow! I can not believe this month is over. I have learned a lot and have been humbled too. I will probably do it again next February and maybe tweak a few things.
Thanks for coming along on the journey. Hope you were challenged or encouraged. Let me know what you did, if anything.

Day 27

Today we had a family breakfast. Everyone pitched in and brought on thing and we had a wonderful time. I made my GF pancakes and they were a hit. I even made them with egg substitute and rice milk. I quadrupled the recipe and it was barely enough. I probably could have made six times the recipe and it would have been perfect. The kids all played so good together and I got to visit with my grandma, who will be 93 years young on the 7th of March.

I worked at the restaurant and it was not very busy but it was fun. I miss going to work and having that interaction with other adults. I came home packed.

Spending: $6.47 I bought a salad at work, I miss the food too

GF Pancakes
Home potatoes
Fruit and oj

dried mango

Salad and Twirly Noodle with Marinara

Late Snack:
Roasted beet salad with goat cheese and nuts-me

I could not pass up a half price salad at the restaurant

GF Best Pancakes Ever with no animal products
1 cup Rice Flour
3/4 cup Potato Starch
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour/Starch
This equals 2 cups of flour equivalent to 2 cups of wheat flour.
Then I used a regular pancake recipe not a gluten free recipe, Ah ha!
The best pancakes I think I have ever had.

Here is the recipe:

3 cup Flour-mixture
2 T 1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Agave syrup
1 tsp Xanthan gum
2 1/2 cup milk- I use rice milk
2 egg substitute**
1/4 c 2 Tbsp oil

**I used 1 Tbsp of Potato Starch and 3Tbsp water per egg, mix separately and add with wet ingredients

Add all dry ingredients and mix. Then add all wet and mix well. If too thick add a little water or more milk until desired consistency. Enjoy. They are so good you do not even need syrup or butter I think. I put coconut oil on the kids. We call coconut oil white butter now.