My Top Ten

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the best burnt cake I ever had

Well, what can I say? It happens to the best of us. That darn broil setting is so dangerous for me to use, seeing as I know myself and how easily I get distracted. Having said that, we did have company over and were able to provide them with entertainment while we pulled a flaming cake out of the oven. I do not exaggerate, folks. The best part? We still ate the cake. And it was good, even without the crunchy coconut topping. The topping was supposed to be a nice golden brown, but I went waaay past golden brown here. You know when you're making something and you just know it's going to be yummy? This was the first time I had made this cake and I was so excited to try it, unburnt that is. Anyhow, I am sure it'll be scrumptious if you'd like to give it a go. It's very easy, all ingredients go into one bowl, mix it up and bake it!

Coconut Almond Cake
In large mixing bowl, combine:
1 1/3 c flour
2/3 c brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder

Whisk together to combine and break up chunks of sugar, then add:
2/3 c milk
1/4 c butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract

Mix together with electric mixer for 1.0 to 1.5 minutes until smooth & creamy.
Pour into a greased round cake pan.
Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes.

Coconut topping:
1/4 brown sugar
2/3 c flaked coconut
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons softened butter

Bring the mixture together with your hands until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Cover cooked cake with coconut topping and Broil for 3-4 minutes until golden brown right before serving.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Not-how-your-mama-made-them" Sloppy Joes

I cannot take credit for this scrumptious recipe. It belongs to my friend Em, although I did make a few small changes to the recipe. I, of all people, really enjoy looking down at my plate and seeing a well-rounded meal with potatoes or rice, a nice pile of vegetables, a healthful protein and a fresh salad on the side. But that "well-rounded looking" dinner is usually time consuming. I am continually expanding my recipe collection to include meals just like this one. This recipe provides all of the great things about the "well rounded looking" dinner except its all in one pot. Brilliant. This version of sloppy joes is very nutritious. It's got everything you need to make a great dinner.

Brown & season:
1 pound buffalo meat, in 10" frying pan
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon garlic

1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1/2 red bell pepper

blend one 14 oz can tomatoes with 1/2 of a red onion.

Once the meat has cooked through, add:
chopped Celery & Carrot
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 can kidney beans
Bay leaf

Allow this to simmer away on low heat for a bit of time to soften the veggies and mingle flavors.

Toast 100% whole wheat buns on which to enjoy your hearty sloppy joes!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

US & the World at large in danger of being sold GMO foods that are NOT labeled

Codex Conference - Institute for Responsible Technology

Please take a moment and follow the above "Codex Conference" link which will allow you to send a (pre-written) letter to US Government representatives about your concern over Genetically Modified Foods being sold to consumers without any labeling or warning. Monsanto is trying to make it a law that no GMO foods should ever require labeling, they would simply be stocked next to non-GMO foods.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This summer, in every diaper bag & mom's purse across America.....

there should be a tube of Arnica gel! This stuff is amazing. Or as I like to say: aaa-may-za-zing! (That saying is only to be used on something that is truly extroadinary, peeps). Also, keep an extra tube handy in your purse, mini van, medicine cabinet, etc. Why? Anytime your child falls (no skin break), arnica is the first thing you should smear on your babe, or child. It works well to reduce swelling and considerably reduces bruising if applied immediately after the fall. Of course, the classic summertime story is: beautiful sunny day, kids playing, kid runs excitedly on sidewalk, kid does face plant to cement, mama's stomach almost comes out of her throat, and the tears break mama's heart. Yes, we've all had this one occur in our household. I find that Bodhi does not want ice held onto his throbbing head, he just wants comforted. But I always take a few seconds the smear on the arnica right away, because it is a miracle working plant from our Creator. Also, arnica is excellent for sore muscles & pain relief after your honey has been working on your honey-please-do list. So, do the whole family a favor and pick up some Arnica gel for this summer season. Bonus, I just searched it online and see that it's available at Target, and of course, your local healthfood stores would stock this item as well (it's probably cheaper at the healthfood store).

Important note: Arnica is NOT to be used on an open wound, it is only for reducing swelling and bruising on non-broken skin. If you have an open wound/scrape you'd like to treat naturally; the remedy to reach for is Calendula Cream. I highly recommend keeping some Calendula on hand as well. Bonus usage; anytime a little rash or rough skin turns up, I rub in some Calendula for good measure.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Horizon Organic: Two Thumbs Waaaay Down!!!

I was told by some dear friends that Horizon Organic has been lobbying Congress to reduce the organic practice standard laws in the U.S. Naturally, I was very interested in this information and set out to investigate it personally. It wasn't difficult information to uncover and after a few emails to reputable business persons within the dairy industry, it was confirmed as absolute truth. History: Horizon Organic was bought out by a corporate giant Dean Foods in 2004, and has been spending $$$ to lobby Congress to LOWER organic standards in dairy farms across America. To top it off, Horizon trucks their cows to pasture to meet the pasture time required by law, and then trucks them back to their stalls They don't own any cow farms, they own milk production farms. Dean Food's primary objection is milk production, and allowing cows to graze is an interference. They don't care about the animals or about the quality of the product, they care about the profit they can turn.

Let your voice be heard at your local supermarkets. Tell the store managers that you aren't satisfied with Horizon Organic Dairy products and request a specific brand of organic products to be carried in-store. DO NOT buy Horizon Organic products; opt for other organic brands. It is highly probable that your grocery store's label brand of "organic" comes from some of the same dairies as Horizon's milk, so be cautious. Buying organic is expensive, but as a consumer, I want to make sure that when I am paying that primo price, the product I am getting is truly organic. The brand that I personally trust and am commited to is Organic Valley. They are family-owned and full of integrity. They are based in Wisconsin but partner with high-quality like-minded farms across America to provide the consumers with not only organic products, but LOCAL & ORGANIC products. That is awesome! I know that the Organic Valley products I purchase in Colorado Springs grocery stores are made with milk from an organic dairy farm 50 minutes away in Calhan, CO. That is the kind of organic practice I am proud to support.

What all does Dean Foods own? I'm so glad you asked! If possible, avoid these brands:

Silk Soymilk
Horizon Organic (they also own Berkeley Farms & Garelick Farms if those are familiar to you)
Rachel's Organic/ Rachel's Yogurt (this brand is mostly launched in the UK)
International Delight Coffee Creamers (I can hear the cries now, but trust me, these creamers are HORRIBLE for you!)
Land O' Lakes
They are marketed and sold under more than 50 regional and national labels in grocery stores; including Meadow Gold, Borden, Pet, Nature's Pride, Dean's, Country Fresh, Melody Farms, Broughton, Dairy Fresh, and the list goes on.

For the Non-Organic Reader:
To get an idea of what goes on in a normal, non-organic dairy, watch this video; click here. Warning, it is graphic and I would not recommend eating while watching. We all consume milk in many forms (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, packaged foods, snack foods, cheese powders in mac n' cheese, etc); take a few minutes to watch and understand what some dairies across America are engaging in as "normal" dairy farming. This is just a little urge from me to you, to encourage you to start purchasing organic dairy products, for the safety and health of your family. Actually, it is a gift from me to you. This is your health. It is a big deal, and you have to take control of it for yourself and your family. Consider it an investment in your health, which means less Dr visits and illnesses in the long run. Prevention is key.

Related articles:

Dean Foods, Nasty Corporate Giant beating monopolizing small dairy farms; read here

Learn the dairy brands Dean Foods sells under across America; click here

Chicago Tribune Exposes Dean Foods; read here

Organic Valley's Website; click here

Sign petitions to support the Organic Consumers Association; sign here
I personally like the first one, which is pushing for Whole Foods to sell organic products, no more "natural" products