Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chèvre and strawberry overnight French toast

I had this dish in a restaurant as a grilled cheese and loved it. Wanted to turn it into a fast breakfast for my family. Here it is. 

You can make this the night before, or if you are an early bird like me, make it and let it set at least an hour to soak up the eggs. 

Grease a baking dish. The size will be determined by how many you are cooking for. 
Layer first layer of bread. Sprinkle chèvre onto break then squeeze strawberry jelly onto it. Top with a layer of bread slices. 

In a bowl, scramble 12 eggs (9 x 13 pan, half for 10 x 10). Whisk in some milk. Pour over bread. 
Refrigerate at least an hour, overnight is better. 

Let rest on counter while oven pre-heats to 375°  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until egg mixture sets up. 
Serve w powdered sugar, cocoa powder and strawberry syrup. 

You can also serve it with walnut ice cream topping. Yum! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Homemade ornament 2013

Every year I like to try to give a homemade gift out to my family and friends. 

This year I saw something on Pinterest has sparked my interest. I saw a melted snowman in a clear  glass ornament. 

It's really quite simple it's kosher salt, whole peppercorns and some embellishments and a few tiny twigs from my Christmas tree. I made the scarf curved with ZOTS (adhesive scrapbooking dots. They are  like a glue but in  that you just stick on.). And the nose is just a triangle cut out of craft foam. 

I probably could have found a tiny top hat at the craft store, but then he wouldn't be melted if he had his magic hat. 

No cook Rum Balls

Here are a few basic rum ball recipes. They are do easy to make and the sky is the limit on making them your own. Oreo cookies, nuts of your choice, add your favorites. 
They travel to parties well in candy boxes you can buy at craft stores. 

These cookies start out exactly like rum balls except you add 1 cup of Graham crumbs to the mixture. I used unsweetened chocolate, because the icing sugar and the Graham crumbs are already sweet. The first bite is bitter, but then the cookie is less so, which is a nice surprise.

1 cup icing sugar
1 cup finely ground almonds
3 squares [3 oz] unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/3 cup dark rum or your choice of hard liquor
1 tsp vanilla
unsweetened cocoa to roll into

• Line trays with waxed paper and set aside.
• Place a fry pan on low heat and add the chocolate.
• Stirring continuously, partially melt the chocolate.
• Remove from pan from heat and stir until chocolate is fully melted
• In a large bowl, combine the almonds and the icing sugar.
• Add the melted chocolate, the rum and vanilla.
• Add the Graham crumbs and stir to combine.
• Press together with clean hands.
• One by one roll mixture into 24 balls.
• Roll each ball into unsweetened cocoa and place on the prepared tray.
• Let rum ball cookies dry on the tray for 1 hour.
• Serve or place cookies in Tupperware containers until needed.
• Rum ball cookies freeze well.


You know those days when you really, really, really want a homemade cookie, but the thought of the mixing and the baking and the cooling and the cleaning up makes you reach for the box of supermarket cookies instead, when what you really wanted was the homemade deal?  That is where these delectable little rum balls come in.  They require exactly no oven, no cookie sheet, no baking, no cooling and about 15 minutes from “I think I want a cookie” to popping into your mouth.

Ironically, they do START with supermarket cookies –Nilla Wafers, to be precise.  You’re going to pulverize about 2 cups of wafers to make about 1 3/4 cups of Nilla Wafer crumbs…this is best done in your food processor.  Do the same thing with walnuts – about 3/4 cups to make 1/2 cup of finely ground walnuts.  Now dump all of that into your stand mixer with some powdered sugar, some butter, some water and a little rum extract (which you can find in the baking aisle next to the vanilla extract).  Let the mixer rip until you have a nice stiff dough.
Now roll the dough into little balls (about one inch across), and then roll the balls in a little powdered sugar until the are nice and coated.  And that’s it – you’re done.
Seriously!  Done.  Homemade cookies.  Ready for the eating.  Sometimes the easiest things are also the most delicious!


1 large box vanilla wafers
3 TBS cocoa powder
3 TBS light corn syrup
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup rum
chocolate sprinkles (for rolling)

Process the vanilla wafers in a food processor until finely ground.Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and stir until combined. Add the corn syrup and rum and mix well. Chill if necessary and then shape into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in the chocolate sprinkles. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Message to Milk Haters

I got really irritated with a milk hater the other day. "People don't need milk after a certain age, people's bodies can't digest it after a certain age". 

MY body can digest it. Quite well. My body runs better when I consume raw, organic milk. 

So you don't  eat cheese, ice cream, or beef/chicken/fish or even vegetables for that matter??  Let's be real, your body doesn't need meat, or even vegetables to survive. I know people who don't eat either that walk on two legs. You'll go on living eating junk but adding meat, vegetables and dairy give your body nutrients. 

Milk and gluten is bad for people who are intolerant  of it. That doesn't mean people who are capable of eating it and digesting it shouldn't have it. 

So to say milk isn't meant for humans is a crock of bullshit. Mind your own business if YOU can't digest milk. 

Look at that cream line in my raw, organic milk at the top of this page. 

If you want to learn the benefits of drinking raw milk, do your own research and don't believe all of the horror stories of the naysayers on the web. Most of those stories are fabricated and exaggerated. 

There's my tirade. Let me have my milk. Of you don't like it, don't drink it. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Shampoo from kitchen ingredients that costs pennies to make

I have tried a gazillion recipe for shampoos that I saw on facebook.  Most of those "forwards" (shall we call them) are bogus fails in my book.

As far as castile soap may work for some, but I have never had success, in any form, no matter what ratio I hair turned into a nightmare.

A friend recommended something with a baking soda in it.  That got me thinking...I love using apple cider vinegar rinse for my scalp...why not baking soda and vinegar!  Genius!!!  So simple!

I not only experimented on my hair, but I also had my husband try it.  (He's a real trooper).
His hair looks amazing and he likes it.  You do not smell vinegar.  I love it too, of course, or I wouldn't be blogging about it.

I put it in these containers for keeping the baking soda moisture free until I use it, and easily applying the vinegar rinse.

Here is how it works..wet your hair in the shower and take a handful of the dry baking soda and rub it into your scalp...rub it all around, Then, with a pointy nose bottle, apply the vinegar to your scalp(I get mine at Sams Club in a six pack in the restaurant section)

You will get a reaction like this on your scalp.
Let it react and rub your fingers thought it.

Then rinse want to get the baking soda out.  Proceed with your regular beauty regimen fo your hair...I am low maintenance...comb it and blow dry it (or let it air dry if I have nothing to do).  I keep it simple.

You can add a few drops of essential oil to it also..we have tried both with and without and both get great results..the essential oils just add a bit of remedy for things like dandruff/dry scalp, psoriasis, etc. It is said to help men keep their hair longer too.  Who knows.  It can't hurt.

I won't toss the castile soap, as it works for making a shaving lather, that is hopefully safer than the commercial brands.
I am slowly but surely working on ways to lessen the toxins in the products I use.  I am in no way close to getting rid of it all,but I am well on my way.

Some other things that work for me.....

Honeybee Gardens makeup is the safest makeup I have found that stays on for most of the day (8-10 hours before I need to touch it up)

 I just got this cute new compact this week.  I only picked two shadows so far. I am new to eye shadow, as I never really wore it. I am just learning to use it so I haven't decided on the other colors yet. I guess the packaging sold me on the shadow, since I never thought I needed it until I saw the compact lol..

Toms is my favorite deodorant. I tried the crystal and like it for a short time, but the staying power on that isn't the best...Toms gets me though a normal day. I am sure I can come up with a homemade baking soda deodoarant, but I need convenience..I am out the door before 5am, so I don't have time to play with things that take time.

Some other home remedies I love is....scrubbing in the shower (for cellulite deterrent, see my earlier post) and also dry brushing my body.
And it need be, or as a summer sun lotion...
Coconut oil!  Everyone uses that now adays.  I love it on my lips too.  I melted some and put it in a tiny container and apply it with my finger.
Other tried and true remedies I use regularly.

Home Remedy for warding off colds...and shortening their lifespan if you waited too long to ward them off.

I look forward to a friend sharing with me, her coconut milk shampoo, as I like variety when shampooing my hair and making coconut milk is simple.  Coconut oil treatment as a "hot oil" treatment once a month is nice..but that is all my hair can take for oil.  I have thin straight hair and anything that can make it look greasy, will.  
I don't like eggs or mayo in my hair, the smell nauseates me.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Roasted Poblano and Corn Grits W Chorizo

OMG this is so good. I saw this first on Pinterest and there were a few recipes for it, so of course, I picked and chose ingredients and here is my results above.  YUM.  You can add cheese if you want, but it does not need it..and I personally don't like cheese on my grits.
Okay, this is going to  give you a double batch..makes enough for my house we eat big and all of the recipes I saw online, one cup of grits would not satisfy my family.  If you have a small eating family, half this.

Roasted Poblano and Corn Grits w Chorizo

4 medium poblano peppers
Oil for brushing on your peppers, I used peanut
2 C milk
6 C water
2 T garlic, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
2 C quick cooking grits, NOT instant
2 C frozen corn, thawed
4 T butter
1 T butter
10 links chorizo sausage

Pre-heat oven to 400°
 Brush the peppers with oil and set on a foil lined sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cut in half, remove seeds, stems and  thin layer on skin as best you can.  Chop into pieces, set aside

Put 1 T butter into saucepan and saute chopped garlic until lightly browned. Add milk and water salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Add peppers and grits..and bring back to a boil.  (stir so you don't burn it on the bottom).  Lower to simmer and stirring often, simmer for 5-7 mins until thickened.
Add corn and cook two minutes.  Add butter.

While you are cooking the grits, put the chorizo, sliced into medallions into frying pan, and cook until browned.
Serve grits in bowl, with chorizo on top..the grease from the chorizo makes the grits even better.  Offer a slab of butter in case anyone likes extra.

Chocolate Decadence A Rich, Dark, Fudge-like cake

Chocolate Decadence
 (makes one 8 inch cake)

preheat oven to 325°F

In a heat-proof bowl:

1 lb of dark chocolate, cut into cubes,  or semi sweet chips 
1¼ sticks of unsalted butter, cut into about 10 pieces

Set bowl over a small sauce pan of just simmering water and stir until melted.

Remove from heat.

Whisk in 5 large egg yolks

In your stand mixer or a bowl with a hand mixer, beat 5 large egg whites and ¼ tsp cream of tartar
and gradually add 1 Tbsp sugar beating until soft peaks form.

With a rubber scraper, fold half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then the other half.
Scrape into a greased and wax paper lined 8 x 2 inch round pan (not springform)

Set the pan in a large shallow baking dish or roasting pan, set the baking dish in the oven and pour boiling water into the baking dish (not the chocolate cake pan) until water is halfway up the sides of the chocolate cake pan. (This is called a waterbath, for those new to this).

Bake for 30 minutes.  The cake will have a thin crust but still be gooey.  Set the cake on a cooling rack and cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 4 hour, or overnight.

Slide a knife around the cake pan edges and invert onto a plate and remove wax paper.
You can use a doily or stencil and sprinkle with confectioners sugar if you want for decoration.

Remove from refrigerator one hour before serving.Slice into very small wedges, this is a rich dessert.

Everyone should have this in their kitchen..its the bible of cooking.  I have about 10 favorite go-to recipe books, and this is the first one I always pick up to look up recipes.  There are probably newer editions, any edition will do.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Make your own Almond Extract (lemon, orange, vanilla, coconut, mint too)

I was so disappointed that my store stopped carrying the big size almond extract, because I use it more than vanilla extract and I use it A LOT!
Here is a recipe to make your own. These are great gifts for friends too.  You can put them into a cute jar and label them up for gift giving.

Almond Extract
Add 1 cup of chopped raw almonds to a half-pint size canning jar.  Cover with Vodka and put the lid on tightly.  Store it in a cool dry place for a month, swishing it around every day. strain the almonds and store. Storing 2-3 months will make for a stronger extract, but if you can't wait, one month is fine.

You can also make mint, lemon, orange, coconut and vanilla extracts.

Vanilla Extract
2 oz vanilla beans for every pint of vodka

Lemon or Orange Extract
zest from one lemon or orange per 1/2 cup vodka

Mint Extract
add 1/2 c mint to 1 c vodka

Coconut Extract
1/3 C freshly grated coconut (or unsweetened grated from a bag)
1 C vodka

Fresh Spinach and Cheese Ravioli w Garlic Parmesan Lemon Sauce

You can buy fresh spinach ravioli, or make your own, its pretty easy.  You can either make the noodles w spinach in them or put them in with the cheese or both.

Here is my pasta and ricotta recipes from previous posts if you want to venture total homemade from scratch.  I also have a basil pasta recipe if you want to play with your homemade pasta recipes. I promise your family will love you for it.

This lemon sauce recipe was adopted from a coworker who is a fellow "real food" foodie.  I changed it up slightly. He makes a pasta w asparagus lemon sauce.  I was out of asparagus and happened to have some fresh spinach ravioli from the market.  I am making this today again but with homemade ravioli, because my family loved  it so much!

(this is for one pound of pasta, I double it, it goes fast)

Make and boil your pasta..meanwhile...

In a sauce pan that is large enough for that pasta you are cooking..

1/4 C coconut oil (he uses olive, I really don't care for olive, use what you like)
heat and add
2 T fresh lemon zest and  5 cloves of fresh garlic, right before you are going to put the pasta in..heat a min or two, but don't burn the garlic (duh, stating the obvious for the oblivious lol)
Pour in the pasta and toss.
Add the parmesan cheese and any herb you might want..don't over power the lemon, its a fresh light recipe.  I like a little parsley.


Today I am making basil linguine and putting the lemon sauce over it w asparagus and chicken.  It was requested by my husband.  He is off at work and I am making linguine from scratch. Some Italians make Italian cuisine out to be rocket science, but Italian food one of the easiest cuisines to make.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Everyone has their own version, here is mine..basic, but adaptable to your own liking. Omit the hot peppers if you don't like it hot. Remember, I do not measure, so this is estimates of what I add...go more or less of anything you like, add what you like, omit what you don't.
This recipe makes a lot so I make  it in a big stock pot.


5 jalapeno and hot peppers (I mixed varieties from my garden), chopped
4 green peppers chopped 
3-4 onions chopped 
3 lbs beef (I use organic)
4 slices bacon, diced (I use organic)
handful of Oregano
Cinnamon (pinch or two or three)
1 bulb garlic (yes, I used thew whole bulb), rough chopped

Fry this up in the stock pot, no need to dirty a fry pan. No oil, your beef will create its own.
When the beef is browned, add...

Approximately 20 tomatoes, seeded and skins removed (or use canned, diced and stewed, I do in the winter time, about 2 cans stewed tomatoes and 2 Large cans diced, with juices)
2 mugs water (i'm too lazy to grab my measuring cups)
3/4 C chili powder
1/4 c minced garlic (the dried type, we love garlic)
2 T celery seed
4 T paprika
1 T cumin
2 T cayenne pepper (more or less)
salt and fresh cracked pepper
simmer about two hours (more or less)

2 cans black beans (normal size)
2 big cans kidney beans 
the amount doesn't matter, how many do you like, we like a lot you can use any type of beans you like

Cook another half hour

Serve with diced raw onions and cheese and Tabasco 

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Let's talk about measuring one more time...I don't do it. I add more of what I love and less of what I don't.  There is my cooking lesson for today.

I made a big batch of this, because my sister in law had surgery and I wanted to take her some and food doesn't leave my house easily unless there is plenty for everyone. You can half this batch if you have a four pack.

For the bacon, I just judge a cup, you all know I don't measure.  I just slice a quarter of the pack, while frozen, and put the whole pack back in the freezer for the next recipe)

1 whole celery, diced (pack of celery, whatever ya wanna call it, 6-7 stalks))
2 onion, diced
8 cloves garlic 
6 fresh sprigs Thyme (about 1 T fresh  or 1 tsp dry)

2 ~ 51 oz cans clams
12 potatoes diced
1 T Old Bay

1 stick butter 
½ C flour (really I don't measure, who am I kidding, its a roux)
2 C milk 

1 whole celery, diced (pack of celery, whatever ya wanna call it, 6-7 stalks))
2 onion, diced

 Saute bacon, celery and onion  in a soup pan (this is where you are making the soup, so make sure its big enough) until cooked, add garlic and thyme and cook another minute. Remove half and put into a frying pan. 

Add all of the juice from the cans of clams and 1 T old Bay. Add diced potatoes and bring to a boil, until potatoes are cooked. Add clams and cook another minute.

Make a roux...take the other half of the celery mixture that is sitting in a fry pan waiting...add butter and begin to saute.  When its melted and hot enough, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, scraping the pan or use a whisk, until the flour is cooked,   You will want to do this on lower heat so you don't burn the butter.  Add 1 C of the milk or cream or creamy milk..whatever ya got, we got raw thick full fat milk. whisk like crazy until thickened (okay, not really fast, just constant, but its a good arm workout if you wanna whisk like crazy. Add roux mixture to soup, add another cup milk and heat.  
 Salt and pepper to taste

Dammit, I failed to take a pic of the beautiful roux. I am no photographer..I just cook. If I think of a pic, I get one.