Tuesday, June 26

Beautiful. Powerful. Go Read It.

Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy is guest posting over on the Introverted Church blog today, and her message is short, sweet, beautiful and powerful. You should really go read it. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, June 25

Menu Idea Monday: Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

I've been slacking a bit on Menu Idea Mondays, but I'm back on track today! Over the weekend, a new friend invited me to go strawberry picking and I brought home six quarts brimming with gorgeous berries. In addition to putting up some strawberry balsamic jam, I made Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate, a recipe I picked up from the Canning Homemade blog.

Photo from Canning Homemade blog
Check out the color in this photo! I am not talented enough to take such great shots myself, but mine came out the same shade - gorgeous!

This is a great recipe for a couple reasons:

1. The end result is very flexible - you can mix the concentrate with water, ginger ale, champagne, kombucha, water keifer - almost anything!

2. It's only three ingredients - strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. No poisonous imitation sugars, neurotoxic food coloring or preservatives. Also, it's free of gluten and just about every other major allergen!

3. There's an easy sugar-free option! You could can an healthier, more natural version of this by subbing honey for the sugar. If you opt to freeze the concentrate instead of canning it (not in your canning jars, please!), you can skip the sugar altogether. Just sweeten to taste with stevia or your preferred natural sweetener when you reconstitute it! It you use something already fairly sweet like ginger ale, you may not have to add any sweetener at all.

Either way, anyone used to cooking berries down for jam will be surprised and pleased by how far the berries go in this recipe - six cups of strawberries will make you 3 quarts of concentrate! I'm happy to have found this recipe and expect to make it a regular part of my canning rotation.

Wednesday, June 20


It's been a little quiet here around the blog because real life is busy! With the late spring rains finally petered out, we've been hammering away at projects around the property and programs at the museum have swelled as well.

But amidst all that, I wanted to take a minute to share some great recipes I've had a chance to try in the last couple weeks.

Dinosaur BBW "Mutha" Sauce - I didn't eat bbq until I discovered Dinosaur BBQ sauce. We can't buy it around here, so I was thrilled to find a make-it-yourself version from the restaurant's official cookbook that only used real products I already had in my kitchen! (Sub out the veg oil for olive oil, and only make half a batch - this recipe gives you a ton.) I was also pleased to find that it could be canned (thank you Ball Blue Book) - so I now have a backup jar sitting on my shelf for an easy dinner another time!

Photo from edible perspective
Low & Slow Sweet Potatoes - these could not have been any easier, and they were delicious! Cheap, healthy and flexible enough to go with any main dish.

Sage & Cinnamon Chicken - Another simple but delicious new recipe! There's lots of good stuff over on the Civilized Caveman blog, so if you have a minute, check it out.

Creamy Balsamic Dressing - one of the biggest problems I've had since cleaning up our diet has been finding salad dressing. We love salad, but I am strongly partial to creamy dressings and nearly all the commercially available offerings contain nasty ingredients (and are expensive to boot). I was delighted to find this fast, crap-free recipe and WOW is it good! I seriously want to eat it with a spoon... you need to try it!

P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef - I've never had PFC's mongolian beef, so I can't promise this tastes just like it, but it was fantastic. I thickened up the sauce and heaped it on top of the rice. It was thick and rich and I'll definitely make it again. (Note: I barely coated the bottom of the skillet when stir frying the beef - you do not need a whole cup of oil for that step!)

photo from taste spotting
Strawberry Balsamic Pizza - I left out the chicken on this one, but otherwise made to spec and it was amazing. A great taste of summer decadence! We made a meal of this, but I can see it being a great appetizer for a summer party as well.

Caramelized Green Beans - I found this while trying to use up the last jar of green beans I put up last summer. It's incredibly healthy, simple and delicious.

Quinoa Curry - The recipe calls for chicken, but I subbed shrimp with no problem. This one-dish meal only takes about 20 minutes to make and was a nice change up from our usual quinoa dishes.

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes - I made a few alterations to this recipe, but loved the end result. I skipped the sour cream, cilantro and adobo peppers. I subbed goat cheese for the cream cheese (such a good trick for healthy, creamy results!). Next time I might toss in a handful of sausage just for added kick, but this was a cheap yummy meal I will make again. I plan to make some of these, wrap them individually and freeze them to have on hand as easy lunches or a dinner back-up plan (new recipes don't always turn out well, after all!).

That wraps up the round-up for this week - happy cooking!

Monday, June 11

My Friend Wrote a Musical!

A friend of mine commented earlier this year that it's kind of amazing to see old friends that we've known since middle school and who/what we all turned out to be. Boasts of big dreams and smashing success have been reshaped, traded in for dreams we couldn't even imagine at the time.

That is what came to mind when I got an email from another friend this past weekend (links added by me):

I just wanted to send out a shameless plug for my show, The Eulogy, next weekend. 

The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival (associated w/ the Merry Go Round Playhouse) in Auburn has created a stage dedicated to, 'pitching,' new works.  My original musical has been chosen to be one of two shows to present opening weekend.  The Pitch is a 45-50 minute presentation of a new musical, kinda like an extended movie trailer.  The Eulogy specifically deals with my faith and the memory of my grandfather.   I would love to see you guys there!

How cool is it that someone I have been friends with since middle school wrote a musical that is actually getting produced and featured at a theater festival?!

She's brilliant and funny and wonderful, and I am certain her work will be a tremendous success. If you're going to be in the area next week, I encourage you to check it out!


Book by: Rachel Carrozziere
Music and Lyrics by: Annie Lash

Friday, June 1

Vaccination Detox Part 5: Wrap up and Reminders

Hopefully by now you are feeling completely empowered to combat the negative effects of vaccination on your body and have a great jump on things you can do this summer to make sure you're sitting comfortably well before next fall's vaccination season starts.

Today I want to wrap up with a few seemingly obvious lifestyle choices that tend to be overlooked but strongly impact your ability to stay healthy.

Get Enough Sleep - Everyone's busy, and kids/pets/work can seem to conspire against you, but when fighting off disease and investing energy in repairing itself, your body needs extra rest. Carve out time to go to bed early or take a nap for at least a couple days after getting vaccinated. The benefit to your body will be worth the inconvenience.

Go Easy on the Exercise -  While working out keeps your body in good condition to fight off attacks - bacterial, viral and otherwise - it's best to go light for a few days post vaccination. Let your body focus all its energy and resources on fighting off infection and shedding toxic metals.

Drink Water - Your body needs extra water to flush out toxins, so keep your water bottle handy (and not just for decoration!). Remember - no fake sugars! If you need to flavor your water, throw in a pinch of stevia and a splash of lemon juice.

As always, remember that every person's body and circumstances are unique to them. Pick what works for you, in your situation. Don't feel guilty or get frustrated over the ones you can't do or can't afford, and don't assume that the combo that works best for you is the same for everyone else.

It's not uncommon to get headaches, be a little sore or otherwise feel a bit under the weather post vaccination, so give yourself a little extra grace and breathing room.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to acknowledge that vaccines dump a huge load of infectious agents, toxic metals and other nasty debris in your system and to take action to intentionally clean these undesirables out as soon as possible!

Thanks for reading this series. Do you have any favorite detox measures that I missed?