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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RECIPE WED #15: Chicken Paprikash

This is hands down one of my favorite chicken dishes plus one of my dear friends Nancy gave it to me makes it extra special!

Looks like this pic from:
She is such a fabulous cook, amazing crafter, meticulous house keeper and inspirational gardener, it's even part of her name, LOL!! She is one of those people who you are so blessed to have in your life- that come along side you and mentor you and the impact of their impression on your life is a thumbprint time will probably never erase.

 Unfortunately similar job advancements that brought her into my life also removed her from my daily life and have placed her many states away. I think though we aren't able to contact regularly I think of her often  especially when I make this dish. She makes dumplings with this dish that are so light fluffy they melt in your mouth and though she gave me the recipe I just can't duplicate it, it always tastes like undercooked lumps of  I pair it with her simple spinach salad and EVOO vinaigrette and most of the times homemade eggless noodles- one day I will master the dumpling!!

Her original recipe cooks on the stove pot and calls for basic paprika, we LOVE smoked paprika so I make it with smoked and with my family time constraints I adapted the recipe for the crock pot...tastes soooooo delish,

Chicken Paprikash
  • 1 3-4 Lb whole chicken, cut up {or pieces you family likes or is on sale like leg quarters, breasts, etc...)
  • 1/2  onion diced 1/2 quartered
  • 2C chicken stock
  • 2-3T smoked parika
  • 1/4-1/2 C sour cream
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • garlic infused EVOO or plain if you have it 
  • 1/2 of red and yellow peppers, chopped in large pieces
  1. Season Chicken Breasts with S& P and rub into skin with a light coating of EVOO and allow to come to room temp for 20-25 min
  2. Heat skillet and once hot add EVOO over medium heat, do not get so hot it's smoking. Once water flicked across skillet "dances" it is ready to add Chicken
  3. Place Chicken skin side down and ALLOW to sear and crisp skin for about 4-5 min
  4. DO NOT flip chicken if sticking, it means it has not crisped enough, be patient and allow the skin to get that carmelization, it will tell you once it does by releasing!
  5. Once chicken easily turns flip chicken and cook 2-3 min more. NOT cooking all the way through just searing, in the words of Chef Anne Burell "brown food tastes better!"
  6. Place quartered Onion and peppers in bottom of crock pot-will infuse the chicken with awesome flavor and later we will sneak in some veggies!
  7. Place chicken in bottom of crock pot, pour stock in pan and cook several minutes scraping up all the brown goodness and pour stock over chicken
  8. Add finely diced onions, parika and kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  9. Cover turn on low and cook for 4-6 hours.
  10. Remove chicken and large pieces of onoins and peppers.
  11. Add sour cream to stock {or in our case we use yogurt that has been drained of some it's whey for the cultured aspect}
  12. Pick the  meat off of the bones and keep the skin and bones for stock later, I place in gallon bag until it's full then make a flavorful stock from the bones and skin.
  13. Wiz the onions and peppers in food processor for a few pulses to puree the veggies. I love how this thickens the sauce and allows me to sneak in veggies and at the same time flavor my dish!
  14. Add meat back in and replace lid lightly, turn off heat but leave alone while you make noodles or if you can make a decent dumpling do so now.

Spinach salad
6 oz baby flat leaf spinach
palm-ful of crumbled feta cheese
freshly toasted almond slivers

Toss with favorite EVOO vinigerette, I don't measure I just use a cruet and pour in balsamic vinegar to line, add EVOO to line then add water sprinkling in salt and pepper.

As by evidence of my menus we make this about 2-3 times/month, it's easy, economical, tasty and really once your sear the chicken pieces it really isn't time consuming, after about 10 min of prep it's basically a "set it and forget it" type recipe....ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TEACH ME TUESDAY: When it's time to say WHEN!


WOW, what a crazy 10 days it was been! Kids have been super sick, all my ambitions have been laid aside and my mommy's intuition and home remedy know how put to the test as well as my nerve to actually use it....

I am willing to try alternative "crunchy" ideas and recipes when it comes to foods, house cleaning products, beauty/body care items, my pet, my health, but when it has come to the health of my pregnancies and my children...ERRRRRRRRR (that is the sound of breaks being pressed the floor and the break pads smoking!)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yet, when my daughter woke up screaming and writhing in pain holding her ear, I remember all to well the many times my momma would hold my head on her lap 
and drop warmed "sweet oil" aka olive oil in my ear and run a blow dryer over it and 
"AHHHHH" the relief I felt...

I went to the pantry and to grab my EVOO,  then I remembered I had made garlic infused EVOO and had it in my fridge, 24 oz to be exact... 
pic from this site
I heated up a mug of water then placed a smaller cup inside w/a small amount of garlic infused EVOO, when it got to a nice temp I tested it on the inner part of my wrist. 

Using a dropper I placed 1-2 drops it in my daughter's ear and did a lymphatic drainage massage 
  • within 5 minutes she was calm and wanted to sit up on my lap, 
  • within 10 min she was asking for some water to drink...
  • within 20 she was up and playing with her dollies...

So began my first steps towards using alternative practices to help me kids

Lymphatic Drainage massage in for earaches:
  1. First, have the person lay on his or her side with the aching ear facing upward.
  2. Next put the ear drops (garlic oil, onion juice, colloidal silver, etc.) in the ear. 
  3. Grasp the lower part of the ear and begin stretching and massaging it. This helps the remedy reach the eardrum and begins the process of lymphatic drainage.
  4. Finally, after a few minutes of massaging the ear, begin using a "milking" technique to increase lymphatic drainage in the neck and throat. 
  5.  Place your finger in the indentation just under the ear and behind the jawbone. 
  6. Gently stroke the neck downward from this point. 
  7. Gently massage the lymph nodes in the throat area, too. 
  8. You'll know what they are because you'll feel hardened, lumpy areas in the neck and throat. These movements will dramatically increase the flow of lymph moving away from the ear.
  9. If the first round of this procedure doesn't completely relieve the pain, be patient. Just keep repeating the same process once every hour or so.

Within that hour my son wakes up SCREAMING his left ear red as ruby on fire. 2 days before he had the beginnings of pink eye, he typically gets this ever other month bc of a tear duct issue, he will get it lanced as soon as he is breathing freely enough to tolerate the anesthesia, I drained the ducts as I usually do and make sure it stays gunk free...

Then his temp spikes to nearly *105/106...scary!! *{DON'T ALLOW YOUR CHILD'S FEVER TO GET THIS, HIGH IMMEDIATLY GET MEDICAL ATTENTION IF TEMP SPIKES THIS HIGH!!} I remember reading in one of my old home remedy books I downloaded from amazon to my kindle originally published in the 1700/1800's:

"...  the feet are ice cold and the head raging with a fever to wrap the feet in a thin cloth soaked in apple cider vinegar and rub the feet until they were warm... "

by the time his feet were warm his temp was down to 102, then within 5-10 min he was in the 99 range...

Since then I have heard several other remedies:
  • To place a cut potato cut side down on forehead to draw fever
  • Slice an onion and place on soles of clean feet and put on clean socks-by the time onion turns brown fever is gone- don't know if I would do this to my young children, but I would try it with me and hubby 
  • To use cloth soaked in egg whites on forehead and on feet as well as a burn soother/healer and purportedly will prevent scaring
  • Cool bath, which i remember with some ice being done to me as a young child.

Then I read a site that included nearly all the remedies on EHow

    • 4 eggs
    • 1 small white onion
    • 1 tbs. of apple cider vinegar
    • Socks
    • 2 washcloths or handkerchiefs- I used old diapers I only used for burp clothes not prefolds but the thin ones you would have to fold into prefolds, perfect texture for lintness clothes
    1- Separate the yokes from the egg whites carefully and discard the yoke.  
    2- Chop the white onion finely and mix the pieces into the egg whites.  
    3- Add 1 tbs. of apple cider vinegar and stir gently.  
    4- Soak the handkerchiefs or washcloths in the mixture. While a bit messy, you want the cloth to be dripping with the liquid allowing plenty of absorption into the skin. Be sure some of the onion pieces remain on one side of the washcloths or handkerchiefs.  
    5- Wrap the washcloths or handkerchiefs around your feet with the onion touching the skin and place socks over the cloths. This natural remedy will quickly pull the temperature down to your feet, where it can do no bodily harm, naturally relieving a fever.

    Monitor the fever carefully to watch for changes. Reapply the soaked cloths to the feet if the fever begins to return.

    Tips & Warnings

    • Egg whites are also a natural and helpful way to reduce pain and scarring from burns. Coat the affected area with a light layer of egg whites, and reapply once dry. You will feel instant relieve from the heat of the burn.
    • If the fever reaches above 104 degrees Fahrenheit and does not break, see a doctor.
    • I would coat the foot in light neutral oil to protect a child's skin before I applied the mixture and wrap in plastic wrap to further press the cloth into skin and help with the mess a bit, 
    • Plus lay a towel under the feet to protect from egg white contamination issues even with socks on I would still lay a towel under the feet...

    WHAT I have learned:
    1. Before seeking medical attention, it is good to give a child a cool bath, to try to bring down the body's temperature along with the poultices. The water should be lukewarm; not cold, and they should respond by telling you it feels good to them. However, if after the bath their temperature begins to rise again, it is time to seek medical attention.
    2. A temperature of over 104 degrees F is usually considered very high. You should also seek medical attention if you experience confusion, painful urination, a stiff neck, convulsions, trouble breathing, or severe vomiting or diarrhea.
    3. Fevers as high as 103-104 degrees should be dealt with immediately by a medical professional. If this event occurs during the night, the child should be taken to the emergency room. At the hospital, a doctor will evaluate your child visually, and will often perform various tests to make sure they are not suffering from a more dangerous illness, such as meningitis. They may take a urine sample to make sure they do not have an infection, or a strep screen, to make sure tonsillitis or strep throat is not the issue. 
    4. Never treat a child's fever with aspirin. It can trigger a rare but potentially fatal disorder known as Reye's syndrome.
    5. If your child is not able to keep liquids or solids down and is vomiting, this is not a good sign. They are in danger of dehydration, especially when they are not able to urinate or defecate.
    6. If they experience difficulty breathing, or their heart rate becomes unusually fast, this is also a symptom of a dangerously high fever.
    7. A rash on parts or all of their body, or "blotches", which is also in response to a fever.
    8. In some rare cases if the fever is very high, a child may experience what is called "a febrile seizure" or convulsion; which can be extremely dangerous.
    9. At the hospital, a doctor will evaluate your child visually, and will often perform various tests to make sure they are not suffering from a more dangerous illness, such as meningitis. They may take a urine sample to make sure they do not have an infection, or a strep screen, to make sure tonsillitis or strep throat is not the issue.
    10. Some infections to not appear right away, and may be difficult to detect. It is important to watch your child carefully and return to the doctor or emergency room if their symptoms return.
    I don't think I will EVER allow my children especially mini-moose with the CCM issues to have a fever this high again, it could have triggered the above mentioned " febrile seizure" or convulsion; which could have be extremely dangerous & life threatening especially to him.

    We didn't go to hospital, his temp was reduced within minutes with the ACV soaked litness cloths, I would be willing to try the above mentioned remedy plus use the cut potato on forehead...
    Plus good to know about the egg whites for burns...will file that one away for reference. But I doubt I will ever allow his temp to go that high again.

    I feel like the bacteria went from his eyes to ears to  his ears 
    it took 2 applications of the oil to calm him.
    I dropped the oil in his ears, he was still inconsolable 
    so it took him 2 more applications and about 60 min to calm him down 
    and remove the red from his ears, 
    I think point 10 mentioned about was what we saw happen in Izak.

    All weekend I have been using onion,garlic, and ginger poultices on the children,
    PIC From this site

    1. Applying a light coating of EVOO on backs, chests, and feet. to protect delicate preschooler/toddler skin. 
    2. I sliced an onion, smashed up 3 cloves of fresh garlic, and grated 3 T fresh ginger 
    3. Placed in pan with a little water.
    4. Saute on low until veg starts to steam and very warm--do NOT over-cook, only open up juices and enzymes, really heating up a light simmer.
    5. Then I placed the mixture in a thin cotton cloth (old dipes not ever used as dipes, the old fashioned kind you had to fold into a prefold shape)
    6. Wrapping like a burrito.
    I placed on back for up to 10-15 min as long as Kissi-cat let me, checking skin every 2min garlic can cause burns. I placed other poultices on chest and foot I placed a qt size freezer bag over to hold in place. Mini-moose wouldn't allow me longer than 2 min of application.

    Kissi-cat still has lingering cough, but sounds a lot better. Mini-moose was so bad I had to to admit...
    and take him to doctor.

    I could feel the rattling in his chest as I held him that past few nights as he miserably moaned and groaned and gasped...I was so torn, my gumption wants to hold out for the poultice to draw the mucus out as it has for Kissi-cat, but I can hear the weak cough tinged with the mucus, non-productive cough that surrenders in defeat.

    The pediatrician heard the rattling in his chest and now Mini-moose is on breathing treatments, within one treatment his breathing improved and for the first time in 8 nights we have a quiet night, no one is hacking, coughing or gasping. {We did this for  one  month and has yet to need another treatment}

    Kissi-cat is still phlegmy so as I read her night time story 
    I applied the "Why does it smell like Garlic in here?" poultice as we call it now-a-days in my house.
     It is working for her, so...

    I have learned sometimes u have to use your intuition and go ahead and use what you know and sometimes you have to know when seek help.

  • Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    RECIPE WED # 13: Chicken Scaloppine

    This is such an incredible chicken dish, the caramelized onions with a hint of sage really brightens this dish. 
    It reminds me of Chicken Bruschetta from Applebee's...
    Tell me what you think!
    This is Ree Drummond's pic, looks closest to mine- only this is MY recipe I am posting!

    • 4 lg bs chicken breast, defrosted if need be & split in half
    • 1/2 C a-p flour
    • 1 t dried ground sage
    • 1/4 t kosher salt
    • 1/4 t fresh cracked pepper
    • 1-2 T EVOO (I use garlic infused)
    • 1/4 C-1/2 C Balsamic Vinegar
    •  2 T Butter
    • 8-16 OZ angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
    • 10-oz white mushrooms, sliced (about 3 Cups)
    • 2 Med cloves of garlic, grated or minced (about 1 teaspoon)
    • 1/2 -1 red onion thinly sliced
    1. In lg skillet Heat oil over med-high heat Add onions and saute until softened about 2 min. Add Mushrooms and garlic and cook stirring often until veggies are softened and lightly caramelized, about 10-15 min. Remove from heat; set aside and cover with foil to remain hot/warm.
    2. Rinse chix breast halves under cold water; pat dry with paper towels. On a cutting board, cut each piece in half again. Place between sheets of wax paper, gallon zip lock bag or 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin, smooth part of meat mallet, or anything that you have on hand to flatten the chicken to 1/4" thickness.
    3. In a bowl combine flour, sage, salt, & pepper. Dredge chix pieces in mixture, shaking off excess. Sit on plate and allow for 15 min so the coating has a chance to adhere to chicken.
    4. In a large skillet heat 1-2 T of EVOO and 1 T Butter over med heat. Cook Chicken pieces until cooked through and lightly browned on each side, about 2-3 min per side add additional butter and evoo as needed. Transfer to place and cover to keep warm.
    5. Add Balsamic vinegar to skillet increase heat to med-high and cook, stirring to loosen any brown bits from bottom and sides of pan-about 1 min.
    6. Return Chicken and pan juices to skillet and reduce to low, turning medallions once or twice to baste them in sauce.
    7. Add cooked pasta to skillet with vegetables tossing ot combine; warm over low heat until heated through, about 4 min.
    8. Transfer pasta and vegetables to platter and arrange the chicken over top of pasta. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and lemon wedges if desired.
    IF you choose to make this as a part of your own Freeser session-At this point I will allow to cool and freeze the meal. 
    • I under-cook the pasta, only basically softening the pasta especially when using Angel hair it will get gummy textured upon reheating.
    • I will cook the dish up to serving. 
    • Allow to cook and place in a gallon freezer bag lay flat to freezer then place in the freezer baskets facing up, like old LP's back in the day so it is easy to flip through various meals in that basket/crate.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    Teach Me Tuesdays: Laundry Soap

    I have been making my own laundry soap since late fall-early winter, so about 9 months now. 

    Pic from this site
    I have tried using regular body soap & natural hand made soap grated into my laundry soap and I honestly don't like the thick gloppy soap, I think this isn't good for the washing machine. So this time I bought Zote laundry soap I have read that some people had troubles with the zote soap dissolving and leaving clumps. 

    The first time I used the zote- I allowed the zote soap, washing soda, and borax come to a boil that you can't stir down, then I allowed it to continue to boil for 30 minutes. It worked great, kinda runny but worked awesome!

    I had no issues with clumps of Zote soap and we had good results even with my husbands greasy metal flake dirty grimy work clothes. 

    The second batch with Zote I didn't allow it to come a 
    full roiling boil and we have chunks of soap kinda floating on the top. 
    My hubby says he sometime will have to rewash his clothes to get the clean,it hasn't lasted very long.... 
    so I don't think I will make that mistake again.

    This time I decided to try the powdered version, Here is what I did:
    • 3C Borax
    • 3C Washing Soda
    • 3 C Baking Soda
    • 6 Oz bar of Zote Soap, Grated 
    1. Mix all of the above in a gallon container, I used an upcycled ice cream container (THINK WHALE of a PAIL) that has a lid and handle. Mix well for 1-3 minutes until WELL combined. 
    2. Use 1-3T per load, depending on load size and "dirtiness" of the laundry.
    3.   I make sure I place the powder is as the washer is filling up & then add my clothes. I have used with ALL temperatures, only use HOT with white (FOR whites I have another formula see this post.)
    So far this has worked well, I was using baking soda for extra stain lifting power so I just added this into my formula  and so far:
    • No build up on clothes, 
    • They smell clean,  
    • So far all stains have washed out!

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    RECIPE WED # 12: CheeseBurg & Tator Cups

    Nice little Cheeseburg Cups in a cheesey sauce layered with all the trimmings. Can even save the garnish & Tator-Tots for later and freeze the baked cups for a quick heat and eat lunch or snack.
    Looks Similar to the cups @

    • 1-C Ground Beef, cooked {Can be left overs from night before or even ground turkey/chicken
    • 1-C Shredded Cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 Can Golden Mushroom soup Or French Onion Soup & 1/2 Can Cheddar Cheese Soup
    • Dollop of dill pickle relish, mustard & ketchup, 
    • 8 Oz or so Tator-Tots
    • 1-2 Tubes of (Basic) Buttermilk Biscuits Dough (Not Grands or layers, just basic)
    • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce

    IF desired- For Garnish: chopped tomatoes, Shredded lettuce & Cheddar Cheese, chopped dill pickle slices, cooked crisp Tator -Tots

    1. Cook Tator-Tots Crispy, according to package and set aside
    2. Set oven to temp suggested on Biscuit Package
    3. Spray regular muffin pan with cooking spray or grease REALLY well and unroll biscuit dough.
    4. Place biscuits into each pan, pressing the biscuits down and up sides, can use small melon baller to shape the inside of the biscuit to make a "bowl
    5. In a med bowl pour Soups, 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Dill Pickle Relish, Ketchup, Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce & Ground Beef. Mix together.
    6. Place 2 T of ground beef mixture inside of  each biscuit cup Top with 1/4 C of shredded cheddar
    7. Bake according to package directions.
    8. Garnish if desired with shredded lettuce, cooked tator-tots, diced fresh tomatoes, pickle slices, shredded Cheddar cheese

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012


    EVERYONE who knows me best, knows 
    I am obsessed with non-alcoholic beverage selections!

    Ever since I was young I would have several liquid refreshments with dinner- pretty basic: 
    Milk & water, but that was the beginnings of my "drinky-drink" craze budded there.

    I have tried several recipes and have not found one we all liked, until...

    This recipe here: tried it out, tweaked it, and called it DELICIOUS!!!!

    1.) First things first, if you want soda, you have to carbonate your water in some fashion, the easiest is is purchase seltzer water. This is a "sometime drink" so get DON'T GET all riled up over carbonation, what it does to you, plus the carbon footprint, and such...

    2.) Secondly, sweetener- this is a cheap MYO soda with lots of choices for your sweetener. Tip- For even more flavor, use fruit juice/nectar instead of water to make your syrup.:

    a. Sugar Simple Syrup
    1 cup organic granulated sugar
    1 cup water
    Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently, until all the sugar has dissolved.

    b. Honey Simple Syrup
    7/8 cup organic honey (select a mild-flavored type such as wildflower)
    1 1/8 cups water
    Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently, until all the honey has dissolved.

    c. Stevia Simple Syrup
    4 teaspoons stevia extract (liquid or powdered)
    2 cups water
    Combine and stir to dissolve. Stevia is a natural zero-caloric sweetener made from a plant and comes in powders or in liquid extracts. Flavor and sweetness vary from product to product. I'm partial to NOW liquid Stevia, but you may need to taste a few for yourself and see which you like. Since the sweetness varies by brand, use this recipe as a starting point and adjust as needed.

    #3: Flavorings. This is the fun part—coming up with your own unique soda flavors. The best way to add flavorings is to add them to your simple syrup while it's simmering, then straining out any fruit, herbs, or spices you use. Here are a few ideas to start: 

    a. Fruits
    (This is as far as we have tried)-Fruit sodas are wonderfully refreshing and so suitable for summer. Add 1 cup chopped fresh fruit, such as
    • peaches 
    • raspberries
    • watermelon
    To a completed batch of simple syrup. For even more flavor, use fruit juice/nectar instead of water to make your syrup. Select the tastiest, juiciest fruit you can find. Simmer for about five to 10 minutes until the fruit is soft and faded looking, using a potato masher or large spoon to smash the fruit apart to release as much flavor as possible.

    b. Herbs/Spices/Teas
    Ginger ale is a classic flavor, but many other herbs (rosemary, basil), spices (cinnamon), and teas (green tea, red zinger) also make exciting flavors.
    •  Add about ½ cup minced fresh leaves or about ¼ cup dried leaves or grated ginger root. {GONNA TRY THIS!
    • You can even add cocoa powder to your simple syrup, about ¼ cup, for a Yoohoo doppelganger. {SO GONNA TRY THIS ONE!!
    Simmer for about 10 minutes, using a large spoon to smash and muddle the leaves to release as much flavor as possible.
    c. Extracts
    Hit the baking aisle of your grocery store and look for tasty flavor extracts, such as vanilla for a cream soda, and add 1 teaspoon to a finished batch of simple syrup.

    d. Blends
    Single ingredient flavors are great, but why be boring? Mix and match to find sodas to go with any meal. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
    • ginger + vanilla
    • strawberry + basil
    • blueberry + lavender
    • cocoa + hot pepper (just a little)
    • banana + almond
    • cardamom + rose (use rose petals or rose water to make the syrup)
    • mango + chai green tea.

    #4. FINAL STEP:
    1. Strain any fruits, leaves, or spices out of your simple syrup after it's finished
    2. Let it cool in your refrigerator before adding it to your carbonated water.
    3. Pour 2 to 3 ounces cold flavored syrup into a 12-ounce glass, 
    4. Top off with cold soda water, and enjoy! 
    Any leftover flavored syrup you may have can be stored for up to a month in your refrigerator.

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

    RECIPE WED # 11: Odobo Seasoning

    I was so discouraged at the super market last shopping trip, I wanted to make a few authentic Mexican dishes and was going to give chipotle peppers in adobo sauce a try.  


    I couldn't find it at the "Super Mart", granted I did go to more than one store, but I know the "Super" store I went to (Only went there at all because it was after work and it was 10:00pm-otherwise I WOULDN'T go there at all!) has a whole "Mexican" aisle, but the location I went to by my house did not. GRRRR! Have the same selections at each store WILL YA?? I find that with many stores, I know they have to stock what is selling and different areas do sell different things. But I get so irritated that I have to travel all over town to get ethnic, wholesome, or organic food choices


    SO people in my area must only love white bread, chemical laden "American" boring bland non-organic food choices, then???? 


     That is soooo frustrating, sooooooo "they say" {Whomever they are anyway!} necessity is the mother of invention, right? I scoured the web looking for authentic recipes and found a few. I blended them together with all that I have on hand and tried this combo...jack pot!! IT tastes just like the MEXICAN resturants, yummy-yummy I got tastey treats in my tummy and I made it all by myself!!!!! Whooo-hooo!! And I saved us money to boot!


    Give this a try, you might really like it! I found all the ingredients at my bland boring "Super Mart", so I am betting it isn't that hard to find smoked paprika, dried ground chipotle pepper, & Dried ground Ancho chili peppers. If  you do have trouble there is always Amazon, they have EVERYTHING check the gourmet and grocery category.



    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (Didn't have any so I used Marjoram-next time I want to use Mexican Oregano)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried ground chipotle pepper powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried ground Ancho chili pepper power
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground all spice
    • SMALL pinch of Sugar, just to round out flavor, SMALL!! (Little less than 1/8 teaspoon)


    1. In a bowl, stir together the salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. Store in a sealed jar in a cool, dry place.

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Teach Me Tuesdays: Making Staples for the week

    Sundays are my day of accomplishing whatever tasks I have had in mind all week to do, but for some reason haven't been able to 
    & for preparing the week's grocery staples. 
    I of course go to church and spend time with the family, 
    however we try to designate Saturdays for Family Fun Days, 
    so I multitask on Sundays after church while Mini-Me-Moose is napping.

    This day I made: loaf of bread, started dough for bread throughout the week, made homemade yogurt, dried orange peels for diy citrus scrub, whey infused ranch dressing

    I. Making Homemade Bread Products From ABI5MD (Artisian Bread in 5 min/Day):
    • making the last loaf of bread from my bread dough I have in the fridge 
    • making a new batch to set in fridge for me to provide fresh baked bread products for the week (Pitas, Flat bread, Naan, Chibata, Bule, Sandwich bread, Flour Tortillas, Gooey Cinnamon Rolls, Bread Rolls).  
    • I might have to make a fresh batch mid week, yet I always am making a fresh batch on Sundays.

    I have 2- 5 LB bag of un-bleached flour in the deep freeze, but I forgot to get it out and it won't rise properly if the temp is that low, so I threw in 1 & 1/2 C of ground flax meal not sure how that will affect the gluten and baking chemistry over all. Don't know if that will affect the dough as it rises, or bakes or the chewiness, but u know I don't do a lot of things bc of fear of failure. I won't loose out on much, and I will gain experience and knowledge...we will see, maybe I will come across success to? Saw that Wal-mart has 25 Lb bags of unbleached flour for $16 that is on my list...
    (UPDATE: the flaxmeal an interesting addition, it added an crispiness to the dough, especially since I use EVCO to grease my pan, I REALLY liked the toasty nutty flavor this gave the crust!)

    I did learn something that extra-virgin Olive oil (evoo) is NOT a good substitute for extra virgin coconut oil (evco) for  non-stick baking when using the wet dough of The Artisan Bread in 5 min/day. Ughh!

    I asked the authors how to make the bread into loaf pans without using non-stick pans and Jeff Hertzburg assured me that using this one heavy commercial bakery loaf pan would help me along with heavily greasing it up. He uses EVOO, I had only used extra-virgin coconut oil as non-sticking agent up until 2day,  I thought I would give evoo a try, but NOPE, part of it stuck and as I tried to pick it off I accidentally placed my thumb on the pan and OUCH!! Searing pain immediately...

    I placed a dab of evco, on my thumb and then added lavender essential oil and you know, I was so
    • amazed that lavender actually helped take the pain away, 
    • amazed that I didn't see a blister forming, 
    • amazed that something natural actually works as purported to work!!
    A Little FYI on Lavender: 
    I have heard that the healing powers of essential oils was discovered when a french chemist had accidentally burnt his hands with some chemical mishap and dunked his hands in what he thought was water but was lavender essential oil. He noticed immediate pain relief from the natural occurring analgesic properties that lavender naturally posses and the healing properties helped heal the skin faster than the chemist expected. He then focused his search on the healing properties & recuperative properties of lavender and other essential oils.

    I have 2 oz of Lavender I always keep it on hand I use it as perfume but now I will keep it in the kitchen for a first aid kit too. Plus I learned that evco works amazing as a non-stick agent, amazingly well, plus it helped my burn, it is barely even red, just kinda cool I learned that some things actually work like I hear on the natural web. I will also be making a burn salve soon with evco and lavender within this week after that experience going to look up some recipes...


    I made tacos for Sunday supper and forgot to purchase sour cream so I took my plain yogurt and did the classic drain with a mesh strainer over a larger bowl trick to make the yogurt thicker like a sour cream product. It turned out great and no one knew of my trick, LOL! Now what to do with the whey left over, I have never given a second thought about throwing out the whey liquid in the past, but now-a-days who can afford to throw away anything that has nutritional value or possible meal enhancer quality or FREE substitutional ingredient.

    Yes, I know i just made up a word, but really how many times have u found a FREE substitute ingredient in your pantry for something that typically costs lots-o-dough?? 
    • Like when u make homemade stock and you place in fridge to cool
    • remove the fat layer off,
    • what do you do with that, throw it away? 
    • NO!! 
    • You finely dice an onion and render it with that chicken fat and 
    • AND you have Matzo Ball soup starter, you pay a fortune for that in the store, 
    • but this is a FREE substitutional ingredient.

    That being said, the whey that I had drained I caused me to pause and ask myself, 
    "This is a tangy nutritional liquid, do I throw it away or find a use for it??"

    I make my weekly ranch dressing and add buttermilk subsitute (milk with lemon juice), but instead of that I added the drained whey...guess what it worked!! YAY!! It was a free substitutional ingredient and it added nurtrion as well.

    I have read about making your own yogurt with pre-made yogurt and milk on the blogs. So I set about making the yogurt, it takes 10 min to cook the milk to kill off the bacteria in milk, then you cool it down so it won't kill the yogurt cultures, then you add the yogurt to the milk in a warm crock and wrap it with towels and blanket. Allowing it to sit the morning walla homemade yogurt stretcher. We will see how this works, Jim was not happy to see me pouring a half gallon of the precious "white gold" in a pan and not into his cereal bowl. I am moderately anticipating that this work. I am only out $1.29 if this doesn't work, but I have spent $3.99 or $4.99 on yogurt we all hated, so we will see. (Update: It turned out great and I have been making my own yogurt for over 5 months)

    I read from a blogger that she uses dried citrus peels to make a version of citrus scrub. Our family eats about 3 lbs of citrus/week I hate wasting the peels so I do grate the peel of limes and lemons and place in freezer for future use.  Just haven't really thought of what to use the oranges for besides making orange cookies, which we LOVE!, but now, we have a FREE subsitutional ingredient!!

    I have orange peels drying (Jim thinks I am insane), but hey, once he sees us saving money, the essential oils will become more intense upon drying so it will smell awesomely gr8 too! (UPDATE: THE BEST WAY TO DRY AROUND HERE WITH THE HUMID WEATHER IS TO PLACE IN OVER- I HAVE GAS, OVERNIGHT AND BY MORNING IS PERFECTLY DRY)
    • Once they are dried- 
    • might make about a week, 
    • then I will grind it in my bullet 
    • add borax and baking soda to an upcycled large herb container with w/sprinkle lid
    I LOVE HAVING a citrus scrub to remove the stains on my white ceramic sink which turns brown and stained even if I pour tea down the drain plus extra cirtus cleaning power to clean bath tub and sinks!! Pretty cool, huh? I have spice containers Jim thought I was nuts to save but now I have an upcycle purpose for them, I will place the mixture in those with the label I made from a free printable site.

    So in less than one hours time, I made a loaf of bread, started dough for bread throughout the week, made homemade yogurt, dried orange peels for diy citrus scrub, & made whey infused ranch dressing