Organic Girl Style: Cilantro Lime Agave Homemade Salad Dressing

Cilantro Lime Agave Dressing GiftOrganic Girl is a salad greens company that makes the most delicious salad dressings I have ever had in my whole entire life.  Yes – they’re THAT good.   The only problem is, when I went to the one and only store in my area that seems to carry this brand, a smallish 8 ounce bottle was priced at an astounding $8 US Dollars.

I gazed upon my favorite flavor with yearning in my heart and on my tongue.  There it stood – the tangy, tasty, and subtly sweet deliciousness that is Lemon Agave.  Oh-so-tempting as I salivated on the memory of its taste – though not  tempting enough to put it in my basket and exchange it for 800 pence of hard-earned cash.   Continue reading

The Time-Space Continuum and Savory Vegetarian 15-Bean Slow Cooker Soup

15 Bean Soup BowlWe eat whole foods as much as possible, in the European slow-cooking, slow-eating countryside style, preparing most meals from scratch with a minimum of packaged convenience items, and a sprinkling of favorite indulgences.  Dinner is when this really comes to bear, since we have a real chance to sit down, share, and *linger* – my main term for all things “slow living.”

I make heavy use of my slow cooker year-round in the process… so much so, I’m considering just keeping that gargantuan beast on my counter at all times as a practical measure. ;) Continue reading

Limited Edition! Homemade Chocolate Coffee Creamer

Chocolate Creamer hostess gift mugI did a double-take walking through the store the other day, as I happened across special limited editions of the usual Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk in the baking section. Nommmm… naturally flavored chocolate and caramel… Imagine the baking deliciousness to be had!

I immediately thought of what a delicious treat this would be in my Homemade Coffee Creamer.  And with house guests and holiday parties right around the corner, what a wonderful way to share homemade goodness with family and friends! Continue reading

Easy Like Sunday Morning: Gluten Free Cranberry Banana Oat Muffins

Cranberry Banana MuffinMuffins are the handiest treats around!  They’re quick and relatively fool-proof – and so easy to make healthy and wholesome without tons of sugar like you might find in packaged or bakery varieties.  I love to stock extra muffins in the freezer for quick grab-and-go breakfasts and snacks, too.

This cranberry banana oat recipe is mildly sweet, and makes a light-tasting muffin that’s gluten-free.  It’s also a great way to use overripe bananas, which are always in rotating stock at our house. I love using ingredients that are naturally abundant and in season, so I threw in some cranberries for Fall flair.   Continue reading

Busy Day Quick & Healthy Potato (Veggie) Soup

Potato Veggie SoupFall is in full swing now with crisp weather and falling leaves, and the soup is definitely on here at our house.  We just can’t get enough of it – whether light, hearty, creamy, or brothy…. We’ll take it any way, any day! ;)

This is a great recipe when you want something warm, savory, and nutritious, but you need it quick.  And it’s perfect for those in the family who may not typically go in for the veggies… they’re here in force, though blend seamlessly into the rich potato base to get around those picky eaters.  Mighty O asks for seconds and even sometimes thirds on this one!  Continue reading

Easiest Thing Ever: Homemade Coffee Creamer

Homemade Coffee Creamer Ball JarWhen I first heard about making your own coffee creamer (beyond plain ol’ half and half ;), I figured it would be complicated and possibly time-consuming. Turns out, it is literally one of the quickest, easiest things you can make at home – and one of the healthiest switches from an otherwise highly processed, preservative-laden product.   Not to mention, the homemade version is just SUPER delicious!!!  You’ll never go back to that store stuff once you try this.

So here goes- let’s do this thing. Continue reading

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bundt BreadBy the end of summer, we’ve had our fill of zucchini side dishes and add-ins to every soup, stir fry, and entree.  Time to get creative and indulge in some chocolate bliss…

This Gluten Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread is a sinfully delicious, yet not overly rich, recipe adapted from one I found on allrecipes.com.   This can be served as a breakfast bread or with afternoon tea, or as a scrumptious dessert.  We actually just served this up at Mighty O’s birthday party this past weekend, disguised as chocolate cupcakes.  I don’t think the kids realized this was a veggie dish at all!  ;)   Continue reading

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Dishwasher Detergent Result GlassDishwasher detergent seems to be one of those items where we always seem to be looking for something better.  Especially as someone who prefers the more natural route, though still wanting exceptionally clean dishes , believe me, I have tried them ALL!

With my recent efforts to change over to as many homemade cleaning products as possible, it seemed like I was starting all over again.  I had a favorite big-name brand of dishwasher detergent that I became loyal to over the years – and though the “natural” products never quite measured up to that degree of commercial-grade sparkle, I always felt much better using them.  Unfortunately, they do get spendy – and are harder to find.   Continue reading

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Laundry Detergent BucketOne of my latest obsessions is making homemade cleaning products.  My mom initially turned me on to the idea of homemade laundry detergent when she reported making 5 GALLONS of laundry detergent – that worked well! – for just a couple of dollars.  Whaat?!  This appealed to me on so many levels.
There are so many good reasons to make your own laundry detergent.  To live more naturally, consume fewer products with less packaging, reduce chemicals in our homes and on our bodies, and to stem the pollution going into the waste stream and waterways – and last but certainly not least, to save money.  Laundry detergent has always been one of the most expensive items on my grocery list, especially since liquid detergent is pretty much all we can use in our HE machine – so this is an awesome way to conserve in the household budget.   Continue reading

Green Tomato Lime Cilantro Salsa

Green Tomatoes Pig Plate

My son, Mighty O, will be starting at a very cool, very small school this Fall. We’ve had lots of interesting experiences with education already in his young life (perhaps more on that later…), though we are very excited about this one!  This school follows an outdoor-oriented program that is similar to the forest schools of Scandinavia and the American Pacific Northwest, with a very hands-on learning approach that also includes lots of music and performing arts.  If I were the type to ever say, “Squeeeee!” – well, it might be now.

At any rate, the school maintains a wonderful garden, which is tended by the students during the school year and once a week through the summer months.  A very nicely-producing young tomato plant was uprooted by a well-meaning child at our last visit, and the green tomatoes on the bush were begging for a use. I grabbed them to make a tomatillo-style salsa or chutney, which could come in use for the school’s Fall festival, where they serve food from the garden’s bounty.   Continue reading