Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Limited sleep [such is the woe of being a parent] begs this to be a really simple post to mirror a simple recipe.

I tend to rely on a variety of stir-fries for my lunches throughout the week. Getting a meal in while tending to two active, demanding girls is hard enough. Cooking nearly impossible. So salads, stir-fries, and smoothies generally round out my daily meals.

During the summer we put away quite a few veggies from the Farmer's Market and our own garden. When these run out, as they inevitably do, I rely on store-bought frozen. Organic ensures the product itself is not genetically modified but doesn't protect the product from being owned by a GMO-based company. Whenever you can, try to find out who the parent company is and what they're standard practices include. Even better, ask your local health food store if they carry any local, organic frozen [or storage] produce. You may be surprised with what you find!


2 medium mushrooms, chopped
1/2 a medium onion, diced
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced or granulated garlic powder
A good 2 - 3 cups of veggies of choice, fresh or frozen [for this recipe I use frozen beans and frozen asparagus]
2 tsp. tahini
splash of white wine vinegar
sea salt, to taste
quinoa, cooked
raw sesame seeds, garnish

In a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until onion is just transparent and mushrooms slightly browned. Add fresh or frozen veggies and saute until just soft. Add tahini, a large splash of white wine vinegar, garlic or granulated garlic powder, and salt to taste [I tend to make this recipe on the saltier side]. Mix well.

Serve over warm quinoa and garnish with sesame seeds.

Friday, February 7, 2014


NOTE: If you don't have children in diapers, this incredibly potent salve is still for you. I keep it on hand for all sorts of general first aid uses, including cuts, scrapes, burns, bites, etc. 

Okay, let's just put it out there. Walking with a baby through teething is miserable - especially when it's a very long journey. There's a reason we don't remember our teeth coming in - the unbearable pain. Sharp bone masses cutting through skin in your mouth sounds like a walk in the park right?

On the scale of teething misery, my youngest daughter pulls a 10. She is notorious for horrible teething. Constant runny nose, check. Cranky and irritable, check. Outbursts of screams in the middle of the night or a nap, check. Terrible sleep, check. Rash on cheeks and around mouth, check. Obnoxiously red bum, check. Sores that blister, check.

The last of these "symptoms" is what caused me both pause and concern. Without fail, my daughter's little tush breaks out into sores that inevitably turn into blisters. I've tried creams, powders, baths, naked time, diet changes - apparently nothing can stave off the sores. At one point I had a steroid cream prescription in hand but simply couldn't get myself to the pharmacy - I knew I could do better right out of my kitchen. 

Then a friend of mine mentioned she had picked up a honey cream from a local Amish community and it worked fantastically on her little boys.

Pause for a brief slap-hand-to-forehead, DUH!, moment.

Of course honey! I had already been using it for cuts, colds, burns, allergies, pretty much everything. It makes sense sore bummies could benefit too.


Raw honey is one of my favorite all-purpose medicinal tools. It's sugar content makes it a powerful antibacterial which is why it works so well in treating cuts, scrapes, large wounds, blisters, burns, rashes, and bites. When environmental allergens are high, consuming a teaspoon or so of honey can reduce allergic reactions to pollen [I also like bee pollen granules for this]. Raw honey is a nourishing food and really an all around wonderful kitchen remedy. Please note, because honey is extremely high in sugar, if you have hypoglycemia you may want to avoid internal use. Heating honey can quickly destroy it's beneficial properties so please use raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, local [if possible] honey.

This salve has worked wonderfully for us. My daughter still finds herself with a very red bum come teething time but it has kept any sores from turning into blisters and effectively preventing infection.

Makes about a 1/2 cup of salve

Special note: the essential oils found in this recipe are important as they are specifically used to treat diaper rash. You can use yarrow or Moroccan Blue chamomile essential oil in place of  German chamomile. Make sure you are using high-quality essential oils when treating medical conditions. 

1/4 c. unrefined, pure coconut oil
1 T. lanolin
1 T. beeswax pellets
1 T. shea butter

1/4 c. raw [local] honey
20 drops grapefruit seed extract
5 drops German chamomile essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
80 mg zinc powder [or crushed pills]

In a double boiler place coconut oil, lanolin, beeswax, and shea butter. Heat on low until just melted, stirring constantly when it starts to melt. Turn off heat and gently stir in honey. Pour this mixture into a blender or small food processor. Let it cool to room temperature [about 10 - 15 minutes].

While oil mixture is cooling, place the pills into a small dish and crush to powder using the bottom of the pill bottle.

When the oil mixture has cooled, add remaining ingredients and blend on medium to high until a thick, creamy paste has formed [about 30 seconds, stop to scrape sides, blend an additional 30 seconds]. Scoop mixture into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. You can use immediately but I like to let mine cool for 4 - 8 hours if possible. This will keep for about 6 months at room temperature.

I like to pour most of my salve into a glass jelly jar and put a little in a small tin to keep as an all-purpose salve for general first aid use.

I use cloth diapers and this salve has had no effect on their absorbency.