Monday, December 28, 2009

Gingerbread Hobbit Hole

Sorry it's after Christmas... but for Christmas I got a new camera, as my other one went out and it just wouldn't do justice to the Hobbit Hole to do pictures when the camera I was borrowing in between the going out of one and the buying of a new one. I used the same gingerbread recipe I have used before. We cut out the front and doors of gingerbread, cut some "logs" for the sides and used cardboard for the top and back, only because we couldn't agree on a way to bake the gingerbread for it.

I had some extra melted chocolate when I made some chocolate covered nuts for Christmas, so we spread that over the top, back and lawn areas and then covered it with green colored coconut.

We are huge LOTR buffs, if you can't tell... and were quite pleased with the end result, though I think we needed to spend alot more time on it. Just didn't work this year, but there is always next year and it got our creativity going.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Foodie Gift Boxes

It's that time of year again! I actually really enjoy this, I enjoy how pretty the treats look in the gift boxes, and I hope they enjoy getting them as much as I would. My love affair with food. *Grin*

Here's what I put in there this year:

"Cinnabon" Cinnamon Rolls
Gingerbread Men (and fish, holly leaves, presents and Christmas trees)
Crabapple Jelly
Apricot Jam
Zucchini Bread
Artisan Bread
Peppermint Bark
Dark Chocolate covered Almonds and Pecans
This is the first time I've done chocolate covered nuts, I thought they looked so pretty! They in fact did look beautiful when I made them, but I bought some 100% Cocoa chocolate... and I followed her recipe, but even with all that honey they were super dark and one would really need to be a fan of really dark chocolate to like them. I put them in the boxes anyway and also made some with some semi-sweet chocolate chips that I had. They were much more to my tastes. I was a bit disappointed, I thought the honey would make them sweeter, perhaps I shouldn't have gotten 100% cocoa.

All in all, I was very please with everything in the box and thought they looked lovely. What are some things that you give as food gifts each year? Are you famous for something delicious? :-) Do tell!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oatmeal Apple Raisin Cookies

Brian is a Scout Master for our church scout troop. One of the things they are supposed to learn as scouts is to eat healthy, I've done different snacks for them, carrots, apples, cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls... Today, I wanted to make something healthier than I have the last few times...

Oatmeal Apple Raisin Cookies
3/4 c. coconut oil
1 c. sugar
2 T. molasses
1 egg
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 c. rolled oats
1 peeled, diced apple
1/2 c. raisins

Mix coconut oil, sugar, molasses, egg, milk and vanilla together, then add the dry ingredients, sifting them together first (I typically put the flour in the bowl on the wet ingredients, put salt, baking soda, etc on top and stir it up slightly before mixing it with the wet ingredients.)

Drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet, bake at 375˚ for 13-14 minutes, let cool on cookie sheet 1-2 minutes before moving them to the cooling rack.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Swedish Raisin Rye Bread

*Reposting from 2007*
It's that time of year again- I need to make this!

My mom's side of the family is Swedish and one year my mom made this bread for Thanks-giving or Christmas and we all loved it- she has made it each holiday ever since and to me, it's just not a holiday without it! Serve with butter to spread on it.

Swedish Raisin Rye
1/4 c molasses
1 T. yeast
3 c water
1 c wheat flour
mix and let set 10 minutes.

1 tsp. salt
2 c. rye flour
3-4 c wheat- or more till dough no longer sticks to side of mixer.
Mix 10 minutes-- in the last 4 minutes put in 2 c. raisins.
Form into 3 round loaves and place in greased pie pans.
Let rise till doubled, then bake 30-40 minutes. (knock on bread to hear a hollow sound- then it's done)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Guest Post by Ed Steene

The pharmaceutical industry toasts to your ill health
November 24, 2009

By Ed Steene

Your good health translates into zero profit for the pharmaceutical industry. General well-being of the public and cures for disease would mean the collapse of the pharmaceutical industry since they must have illness to have demand for their drugs, in order to exist. This is the truth that drives political corruption, mandating of vaccines, control over the healthcare industry, and efforts to destroy natural health companies and practititioners.

But to accomplish and sustain your ill health, the pharmaceutical industry must confuse people about the source of good health, make sure there is no access to what people actually need to be well (including information), and keep the public perpetually frightened of diseases and their risk of dying.

The pharmaceutical industry works especially hard to keep the public from knowing two things, a central one about people’s biology, and a central one about their drugs:

1. People are blessed with an immune system which does a phenomenal job day in and day out in protecting them, and in helping them get well if they become ill. Their being well does not depend on luck. People get cancer, for instance, many times over their lifetime but naturally shrug it off because their immune system is designed to do just that.

2. Most drugs do not “cure” disease or support the functioning of the body (insulin is an exception) but only mask symptoms. Antibiotics kill pathogens but they simultaneously wipe out people’s immune system.
Both things concern the immune system and are in serious conflict: people’s immune system is what keeps them healthy and most of what the pharmaceutical industry has to offer messes it up. Those two facts are not selling points for the industry.

So, the less the public knows about how their body works, the less they trust their own bodies, the less they are able to support it in functioning optimally, the better for the pharmaceutical industry. That is, the more afraid and helpless people feel, the better . So, the industry works to create myths that keep the public anxious.

You are just lucky to be healthy (so far);
You have only avoided disease “somehow”;
You are vulnerable at every moment;
You are harboring disease you just don’t know about yet;
Your genetics have condemned you to whatever you may “get”;
Infectious diseases are terrifying and deadly, can crop up at any time, and are getting worse by the year;
Natural food supplements are not only worthless but dangerous;
Staying or getting well is terribly complex, dependent on extensive testing and medical expertise; and
You can’t live without industry’s expensive drugs and vaccines.

Rubbish. Nonsense. Hogwash. Fiddle-faddle.

When it comes to chronic or infectious diseases, what the industry doesn’t want people to realize is that they come naturally equipped with an ideal means of staying well – an immune system that runs on automatic pilot – and that they can stay well or get well, simply and cheaply on its own.

So, how does this miraculous immune system work? What does it consist of?

Bacteria. Lowly bacteria!

Seventy to eighty percent of the immune system is in the gut and it consists of friendly bacteria. People are dependent on those friendly bugs and stay well primarily thanks to them and the work they do for free. A Yale study lionizes those very bacteria for helping prevent type 1 diabetes and questions whether people haven’t overdone hygiene since the body needs to be challenged to be strong.

For most people, thinking of bacteria as positive constitutes a major paradigm shift. Everyone has been endlessly schooled in the dangers of bacteria and along with that accepted their own vulnerability, their dependence on pharmaceuticals to protect themselves, and a randomness about getting sick (one can lose this bacteria battle at any moment and for no reason). To take in the opposite, that people are not only helped by little bugs but are accompanied by them as they busily protect their host, is quite an overturning of thinking. But it is the shift that allows people to see that they don’t need to be afraid and that chronic and infectious diseases are not some random attack from outside but are related to a weakening of the immune system (or a threat to the good little bugs inside).

To bury the fact that lowly bacteria is everyone’s friendly and potent protector, the pharmaceutical industry continues to do all it can to teach people to fear bacteria, to even be terrified of it, and to encourages people to do everything in their power to avoid or get rid bacteria through intense, even sterilizing, hygiene. Thus the growth in sales of antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers and all the ads for kitchen and bathroom cleaners showing bacteria being wiped out. There is even an ad of a child reaching to touch his sibling in the back seat of a car, with creepy green “germs” growing on his hands. What great fear. Sterilize the kid.

“But what about pasteurization?” you ask. “Didn’t that protect people by killing bugs?”

Yes, but then again, no. Yes, it protected people from abnormal bugs that resulted from the abuses of industry in producing milk. Milk was first pasteurized in order to deal with contamination of milk from dairy cows brought into large cities by industry, fed brewery waste and forced to live under filthy, unnatural conditions. That is, pasteurization was used for milk coming from cows forced into the first CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations). Pasteurization was an industrial process used to kill off dangerous bacteria resulting not from normal milk but from industry’s unclean processes. But no, because at the very same time, unpasteurized milk from normal dairy farms, full of living good bacteria, was so valuable that it was being used by the Mayo Clinic and others to treat diseases.

Blurring that distinction in types of bacteria is where industry tricks the public. Normal bacteria is not dangerous but needed.

Natural vs. Chemical

Industrial bacteria from sordid industrial dairy conditions, on the other hand, needed to be gotten rid of through pasteurization because it was dangerous. Industry spun that to their advantage, however, casting pasteurization as a special good – and necessary for all milk – and then worked to change laws across the country to force raw milk dairy farmers whose milk was perfectly safe and still living, to comply. This was not about the safety of the milk but about trapping those dairy farmers into a corporate milk system in which they could no longer sell their living milk directly to customers, but had to sell to middle men who pasteurized the milk until the vital bacteria was dead, and got their assured cut in doing so.

Raw milk dairy farming still exists (the Amish have never stopped producing it) and is making a comeback as more dairy farmers take it up as the only growing segment of the dairy industry, with people buying it for its good taste and health benefits. Industry is now doing all it can to end that completely. Using the false idea that pasteurization is necessary to make all milk safe, they are demanding regulations to enforce pasteurization for raw milk dairy farmers’ milk. This, of course, destroys raw milk, but that’s goal since those farmers offer healthy product (one that greatly supports the immune system) as well as independence for themselves and their customers from corporate control. Both are intolerable to agribusiness and the pharmaceutical industry.

Twisting of science – comparing healthy milk to industry’s rotten milk, and natural substances to man-made synthetic ones – is the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA’s means of attacking all natural products. They want to make the little guy who sells natural things that are particularly healthy, go through absurdly inappropriate industrial processes which are only needed to kill off industry-caused pathogens but which kill the value of the natural product. That finishes the little guy and his wonderful product.

Industry also insists that natural supplements can make no claims to health whatever, even if they have studies supporting those claims. Why? Because what other way can they deal with products which actually can make people well, cheaply, and can’t be patented? Cherry growers had a study done that showed cherries are potentially 10 times stronger than aspirin, tylenol and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Now, for the drug companies and FDA that’s not good news, that’s a threat. The only way they could come at that was to keep the producers silent about the value of cherries, which they did, while doing nothing about the thousands of people who die each year from NSAIDS. Natural substances really stick in the craw of the pharmaceutical industry because they are a gift from nature, bypassing corporate control and getting rid of profit-making illness. They are biologic substances tested as safe by human beings for thousands of years – and were the original basis of pharmacology itself. They are so valuable that drug companies, which criticize them at every turn, are meanwhile seeking to patent their (supposedly worthless) properties.

Criminalizing Nature for Chemical Profits: S 510

With a bill in Congress (S 510) meant to wipe out natural supplements, the pharmaceutical industry has been using its influence with media to put out stories against those supplements. The Boston Globe slams a law that distinguishes food supplements from drugs and the AP puts out a series attacking natural health practices. And in the midst of a suspect swine flu which is more and more thought to be bioengineered during Bush’s time in office, the pharmaceutical industry has the FDA warn health stores and websites they may not even have sections labeled “cold” or “flu” or use those words in recommending supplements to people. That is, no one is supposed to know that supplements can help them stay well or get well on their own, or discover how unnecessary vaccines are in the first place if one’s immune system is kept strong, because that would interfere with selling billions in vaccines that many do not want or need.

There are two worlds here. One is natural and provides or supports the good bacteria which is the primary basis of everyone’s immune system (or health). The other is industrial, synthetic, often GMO, and generally (usually greatly) destructive of people’s immune system (and thus, simply put, unhealthy).

People need only understand bacteria keeps them healthy to no longer fall for industry’s “food safety” scares about bacteria because they can see the distinction between good and industrial bacteria and choose food accordingly. Real “food safety” protects good bacteria. It protect farmers who produce products full of good bacteria. It stops industry from inflicting industrial demands and processes – pasteurization, irradiation, antibiotics, etc. – on farmers’s living food products because they contain the good bacteria which make food itself valuable to begin with. Once people recognize they have good bacteria on their side, they will appreciate how it differs from dangerous industrial bacteria from contamination. They will also learn over time that vaccines, drugs, antibiotics, radiation, pasteurization, GMOs, all hurt the little bugs and realize the importance of protecting them.

Drug companies live by the law of industry: profit or perish. The laws they lobby for are worth looking at closely since it suddenly becomes apparent why these corporations cannot ever be on the side of public health. Health is worth literally nothing. Sickness, side effects, and diseases, though, are bonanzas.

Friendly bacteria is the true basis of good health, just as a soil rich in microbes is the true basis of good food. With a strong immune system, people can avoid or recover from chronic and infectious diseases and don’t need to be perpetually afraid. Health is simple – it comes from healthy living food. In knowing this, people are in a good position to stop industry legislation (S 510) that falsely implies all food is dangerous, and that sterilizing living food is “food safety.” We are now in a good position to insist the FDA stop threatening free speech about safe natural supplements, and instead demand that they go after the pharmaceutical industry’s synthetic drugs that routinely kill 100,000 people a year.

This article reprinted with permission. It originally posted at:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bib Making Project (A Shameless Plug)

Poor Titus, since he started eating solids when he was about 7 months old, has been wearing Naomi's bibs. Look how hard that has been on him- a boy, wearing purple. Sad.

So I decided to make some more... only my sewing machines are all broken down. You know, it's just not our year for things running! Brian's car broke down, all 3 of my sewing machines, the camera went out (probably not much posting until I get a new one). I really enjoyed picking out fabric for bibs and there was so many cute ones, so I bought extra and decided to put some on Etsy. You can check out our Etsy store here.

I cut them all out and then my lovely friend Cara invited me over and I used her surger to sew them up.

Then my friend Kristy brought over her sewing machine so I could sew all the velcro on.
I think I made 28 bibs altogether. Some for Naomi, some for Titus and some to sell.

So, maybe I'll make enough money to buy a little camera from a pawn shop. :-) I miss my camera!!

There, now Titus has some definitely boy bibs. :-)
Please stop by our Etsy store! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


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