Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Chicken Asparagus Pasta Casserole

  • 4 ounces Gluten Free mini penne pasta or similar shape (we prefer quiona pastas)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning blend
  • 1 cup cooked asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups diced cooked Chicken


Grease a 9x9-inch baking dish. Heat oven to 350°.
Cook pasta in boiling water following package directions.

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter; add bell pepper and sauté until tender. Add garlic and green onion; sauté for 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until well blended. Stir in chicken broth, cooking until thickened. Stir in milk; continue cooking, stirring frequently, until thickened and hot. Add seasonings, asparagus, and chicken; heat through. Stir in the cooked drained pasta and pour into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Serves 3 to 4.

Creating Goals for 2013 - Making My 20 Wishes List

According to squidoo dot com, the Top Ten New Year Resolutions are:

1. Stop Smoking
2. Get into a Habit of being Fit
3. Lose Weight
4. Enjoy Life More
5. Quit Drinking
6. Get Organized
7. Learn Something New
8. Get out of Debt
9. Spend More Time With Family
10. Help People

Sound familiar?

For the rest of this story CLICK HERE

Sunday, December 23, 2012


It seems that this question is given to us every year about this time (celebrations of Hanukkah and Christmas). With all the secularism and commercialism of our day and the continual ignoring of the Biblical nativity story, believers are trying to cope with all these attacks upon the birth of our Lord Yeshua and are often confused. While this article may be a bit different from what you have heard previously, it is our hope and prayer that it will receive some careful consideration by Bible students everywhere.
In my university days, Ancient History was of great interest to me and became one of my major fields of study. I was especially interested in Rome because so much of our Bibles is related to that period of time. Here are a few facts that may help you in trying to answer the question "When was Yeshua (Jesus) born?" We will begin with Luke 2:1-14 where in verse 1 we learn that Caesar Augustus made a "decree...that all the world should be taxed."
  1. CAESAR AUGUSTUS ruled from 43 BC to 14 AD. His real name was Octavian and he was the grandnephew of Julius Caesar. It was under his reign that the Pax Romana (the Roman peace) was declared throughout the empire beginning in 30 BC.
  2. CYRENIUS (Quirinius) is called the "governor of Syria" in Luke 2:2 and we are told that "this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria." The Greek text actually says that Quirinius "was governing" in Syria. Flavius Josephus refers to a census in 6 AD when Quirinius was the actual Governor. But, at this point (Luke 2:2) Quirinius was merely handling administrative duties in behalf of Varus, the actual Governor. Egyptian records state that a census was done by Rome every 14 years and that it took several years to accomplish it.
  3. HEROD THE GREAT was alive at the time of the Messiah's birth according to Matthew 2:1. One of the problems which scholars have had in dealing with the time of our Lord's birth is a reference in Josephus where he records an eclipse on March 13, 4 BC and says that it was "shortly before Herod died." Time between the birth of the Messiah and Herod's death is necessary since Joseph and Mary with the baby fled to Egypt and did not return until after Herod's death according to Matthew 2:18-21. The actual date of Herod's death (Roman history) was January 14, 1 BC.
  4. TERTULLIAN, church leader and historian, said that the birth of Jesus was 41 years after Augustus began his rule, and that Augustus died 15 years after the birth of Jesus. The actual date of the death of Augustus Caesar was August 19, 14 AD. It is interesting to note that Tertullian also said that Jesus was born 28 years after the death of Cleopatra who died in 30 BC.
  5. IRENAEUS, a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John, says that Jesus was born in the 41st year of the reign of Caesar Augustus. Eusebius, a great church historian, also says about the same thing. The 42nd year of Augustus ran from the autumn of 2 BC to the autumn of 1 BC.
  6. ZACHARIAS, the father of John the Baptist, was a priest "of the course of Abia (Abijah)" according to Luke 1:5. There are 24 courses (divisions) of priests according to I Chronicles 24. Abijah's course (division) was the 8th course among the 24 courses. When the Jewish Temple was destroyed by the Roman Governor Titus on August 5, 70 AD, the first course of priests had just taken office. By tracing back carefully, the 8th course would have ended their duties on July 13, 3 BC. The birth of John the Baptist would be 280 days later - around April 19-20, 2 BC (which, interestingly, was Passover that year!). The birth of Yeshua (Jesus) would have been six months later (Luke 1:36) which would place it in the fall of 2 BC. The very interesting fact in all this is that the actual date in the fall of 2 BC would have been Tishri 1 on the Jewish calendar - which is Rosh Hashanah - the Feast of Trumpets!
Our conclusion (if we have gotten all the facts straight!) is that the Messiah, our blessed Lord Yeshua was "probably" born on September 29 in 2 BC.
Personally, I am happy to celebrate the birth of the Messiah on any date of the year you wish it to be! The good news is that in the city of Bethlehem, ISRAEL, the city of King David, the Savior was born, and He is "Christ the Lord" - Messiah - KING of kings and LORD of lords!
David Hocking
HFT Connect

Monday, November 26, 2012

Great Mashed potatoes

Grandma Farmer has a new BLOG name and a new BLOG site!  Go there and get signed up so you don't miss a single post!

Also we have a new FACEBOOK PAGE:  https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Heritage-Harvest-Home/445484685509081

so keep up with us there!

To find out about GREAT MASHED POTATOES click the link below


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Pudding Cake

This is a great little cake reminicent of a bread pudding but made with cake.  You Gluten-Free folks will love this cake that is perfect for this time of year.

  • 1 yellow cake mix, made and baked, according to package directions in a 9×9 pan ( I used a Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix and it works great, I would guess any gluten free yellow cake would work as well.)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    1. Cut cake that has been cooled into 1 inch, or so, squares and set aside.
    2. In a large bowl combine milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, eggs, and pumpkin. Whisk until well combined.
    3. Carefully fold in cake pieces and fold gently until cake is completely covered.
    4. Pour into a 9×9 pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until it is set.
    5. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, or let cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    6. Enjoy!

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Tons Of Autumn Crock-pot Recipes

    I love crock pot recipes, especially in the colder months.

    Being a homeschool mama, collecting and trying new crock pot recipes has become an obsession with me. My crock pot has become my best friend. I use it almost daily. It has made my life so much easier. I just throw in the ingredients and supper will be ready within a few hours. It is especially helpful on Sundays after church.

    Main Meal and Soups Crock Pot Recipes

    Now you can get them too!  Just go to

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    Planning For Your Next Garden

    Planning is the most important task you can do in your garden whether you are starting a new garden or planning next years garden in your current spot.  Fall is the perfect time to do this so if you don't have snow on the ground or your ground isn't already frozen, get to it, there is still time.

    The Basics of Garden Preperation is:
    • Turn the Soil.  Remove all the previous vegetation from your annual planting areas and turn the soil or, if you are using the Lasagna or Back To Eden plan skip the turning and just remove all the previous vegetation.
    • Test the Soil.  Your soil test will tell you what admendments must be done to the soil and fall is the BEST TIME to do this.  That way any admendments have time to meld together and further compost into your soil.  Turn the Soil again after you add your admendments.  My favorites are manure and Kelp.
    • Level the Beds.  Get your beds all nice and level.
    • Cover the Beds.  We just got done with a record drought and I'm wondering about next year.  Either way I'm going to cover my beds now and be ready.  This will save me mountains of time later.  You want to first cover your beds with a layer of three sheets of newspaper (no color and soy ink please) then cover that newspaper with 3-4 inces of wood chips and leaves.  Don't worry you are still going to be able to plant in this in the spring.  Just think how awesome it's going to be!!!
    Free Seed Catalog - Garden Seed Catalog

    Now you can start going through all your seed catalogs and order all the catalogs for next year, which should be arriving in the mail by December!

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

    Get Rid of Clorine Bleach and Make Your Own!

    Why Bother?
    • Bleach can often cause respiratory issues.
    • It can also cause burns to the skin and even nervous system damage.
    • Allergies and asthma are often irritated by bleach and can cause serious reactions in those who have problems with these conditions already.
    • Beyond causing its own problems, chlorine bleach also has some really dangerous potential reactions with other chemicals and materials.
    • Each year thousands of calls are made for help and of those calls about 1/4th of them are related to bleach and the household cleaners that contain them. Many of these accidents involve children and can be potentially fatal.
    whiten clothes with all natural homemade bleach

    Yes, the simple stuff we use to whiten clothes is not safe. In fact, bleach can be deadly.

    To find out more go to THANK YOUR BODY and get the recipe for something that will work just as well in your wash!  Your family will THANK YOU!!

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    Low Carb, Low Sugar Seven Day Fast Menu Plan

    What's all this about a low carb fast. Typically a 'fast' is a way to cleanse, rest, heal your body and a low carb fast is no different. What we are trying to accomplish is to remove sugar and high glycemic carbs from your diet to give your body a rest from the onslot of all that insulin rushing through your body which makes your body turn insulin resistant just to survive.

    Thai Sir-fried Vegetables

    I go into more detail in my post:  SCHEDULING A LOW CARB, LOW SUGAR FAST

    Day One Menu

    Day Two Menu

    Day Three Menu

    Day Three Menu

    Day Four Menu

    Day Five Menu

    Day Six Menu

    Day Seven Menu

    Can your body heal itself?  I think so.  I try to do a Low Carb, Low Sugar Detox at least quarterly.  Look into other issues that might be causing your blood sugars to be out of wack.  Gluten Intollerance is one of them.  My Doctor called Type 2 Diabetes and Gluten Intollerance SISTERS.  Some are calling Alzheimers the new Type 3 Diabetes so it is prudent to get your blood sugars in control.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Washing the Wax Off Apples

    If you are like me you wash your fruits and vegetables before you peel them or eat them.  Washing Apples to get the wax off them can be a real problem, especially since we also like to eat the peels on these fruits.

    While we carefully wash all our fruits & veggies, apples have a food-grade wax covering the outside of the skin that doesn’t wash off easily.
    Recently Joy In My Kitchen posted an excellant article on how to remove the wax from your apples.  It's a great article so take the time to view it. 
    While you are peeling those ORGANIC apples (I never suggest using the peel from any apples, oranges, limes or lemons that are not organic) don't forget to save them and make some yummy Honey Apple Tea.  I also found this recipe from Joy In My Kitchen
    Apple Honey Tea
    6 apple peels from Organic Apples
    3-4 C water
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
    1 T local honey
    1 T lemon juice
    1. Place apple peels in a sauce pan. Cover with water and lemon juice and cinnamon
    2. Bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes, until liquid is colorful and appley.
    3. Strain out the apple peels using a colander positioned over a large bowl.
    4. Then, add in the honey. Taste... add additional honey or cinnamon to taste.
    5. If you are serving right away, you may choose to add a cinnamon stick in place of ground cinnamon. Then, to keep the tea warm, transfer to a crockpot set to "low" or "warm".

    **To make ahead for a frugal holiday party beverage, just boil the apple peels and then freeze the liquid.  Add to your crockpot about 3 hours before serving, and heat through adding lemon, honey and cinnamon sticks to taste. Serve warm from the crockpot.**


    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Monday's Money Saving Tips

    1. Challenge yourself to try making your own things.  Have you tried home breadmaking?  This is one thing that will save you a good deal of money for just a little time.
    2. Do a “maintenance run” on your appliances. Check them to make sure there isn’t any dust clogging them and that they’re fairly clean. Look behind the appliances, and use your vacuum to gently clear away dust. Check all of the vents, especially on refrigerators, dryers, and heating and cooling units. The less dust you have blocking the mechanics of these devices, the more efficiently they’ll run (saving you on your energy bill) and the longer they’ll last (saving you on replacement costs).
    3. Cancel unused club memberships or magazine subscriptions rarely read. Are you paying dues at a club that you never use? Like, for instance, a gym membership or a country club membership? Cancel these club memberships, even if you think you might use them again someday – you can always renew the membership at a later date if it turns out that you actually do miss it.
    4. When shopping for standard items (clothes, sports equipment, older games, etc.), start by shopping used. Quite often, you can find the exact item you want with a bit of clever shopping at used equipment stores, used game stores, consignment shops, and so on. Just make these shops a part of your normal routine – go there first when looking for potential items and you will save money.\
    5. Keep your hands clean. This one’s simple – just wash your hands thoroughly each time you use the bathroom or handle raw foods. You’ll keep yourself from acquiring all kinds of viruses and bacteria, saving you on medical bills and medicine costs and lost productivity. That’s not to say you shouldn’t explore the world and get your hands dirty sometimes – that’s good for you, too – but basic sanitation does help keep the medical bills away.
    6. Give a gift of a service instead of an item. For new parents, give an evening of babysitting as a gift. If you know pet owners, offer to take care of their pets when they travel. Offer up some lawn care as a gift to a new homeowner. These are always spectacular gifts for anyone – I know that, as a parent of a toddler and an infant, I love receiving a babysitting gift, probably more than any “stuff” I might receive.
    7. Switch to term life insurance. Repeat after me: insurance is not an investment. Switch to term insurance instead and use that difference in cost to get yourself out of debt and start building some wealth. Universal and whole policies are much more expensive and offer a sub par investment opportunity – you’re much better off getting yourself free of a debt burden than spending extra on such things
    8. Master the ten second rule. Whenever you pick up an item in order to add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for ten seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back. This keeps me from making impulse buys on a regular basis.
    9. Learn how to dress minimally. Buy clothes that mix and match well and you’ll not need nearly as many clothes. Then you can mix and match a vast number of combinations!  I have 5 slacks, 2-3 skirts and 7 tops that will mix and match together!
    10. Air up your tires. For every two PSI that all of your tires are below the recommended level, you lose 1% on your gas mileage. Most car tires are five to ten PSI below the normal level, so that means by just airing up your tires, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 5%. It’s easy, too. Just read your car’s manual to see what the recommended tire pressure is, then head to the gas station. Ask the attendant inside if they have a tire air gauge you can borrow (most of them do, both in urban and rural settings), then stop over by the air pump. Check your tires, then use the pump to fill them up to where they should be. It’s basically free gas!

    Sunday, October 14, 2012

    Quiet Time

    You can keep Christ at the center of your life by spending quiettime with Him.  This quiet time is an appointment you keep with Him daily.  Here are some suggestions for developing a consistent quiet time...

    • PRIORITY - Mke this a priority in your day.  Select a time and schedule around 15 minutes daily.
    • PREPARATION - Find a place where you can be alone.  Have your materials together (Bible, journal, devotional book, prayer list, pen or pencil).
    • PLAN - Develop a plan that includes prayer, Bible study, and writing down your thoughts.
    Begin your time in prayer asking the Lord to guide your thoughts to be compatible with His thoughts.

    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Do Crabapples Make You Crabby?

    That's funny.  Crabapples are those tiny little apples that you find on those trees that bloom so profusely in the spring and put on such a great show.  Crabapples (Malus) are the most stunning of spring flowering trees for your landscape. Many of them are small in stature and can be beautiful throughout the changing seasons (spring flowers, fall fruit, textured bark and craggy branches in winter).

    Crabapple trees are probably the best apple pollenator you can put in your home apple orchard, every orchard should have one.  Yes, they can be a bit messy and a pain to clean up after every year but you will have a much better harvest of your large apples if you plant at least one of these.  I am planning my planting of heritage apples for next spring and a Whitney Crab Apple will be among the lot. Crabapples are great for pollinating regular apple trees; their pollen does not affect the taste of the larger apples.  The small to medium size trees are perfect for smaller spaces, used for privacy screens, even growing under power lines. The fruit is useful to wildlife, including many songbirds.

    Are they good for you?  SURE! Brazilian researchers place apple second only to cranberries in phenolic content and antioxidant activity, so crabapples would also fall into that category. In other research, when several fruits were tested ‘in vitro’ on human liver-cancer cells, apple rated third in antiproliferation activity. They concluded that “dietary cancer prevention is proposed to provide a new alternative biomarker for future epidemiological studies in dietary cancer prevention and health promotion.”
    ‘Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common fruits.’ Sun J, et al. Dept. of Food Science, Cornell Uv., Ithaca, New York, USA. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 4; 50(25):7449-54

    Kelly Rossiter Photo

    Perhaps it's the mess they make that gave them the term "Crab"apple, but more likely it's their bitter, tart flavor that caused them to get the name.  I remember crabsapples pickled and served every year on my Grandmother Shavlik's Thanksgiving table and I've spred my toast with lots of Crabapple Jelly. We've even been known to throw a few into our apple cider blend for that added spicy tang. Unfortunately, you need to have a tree growing in your yard, or know someone who does, because they are an old-fashioned fruit and you can't find them in stores. I sincerely hope that they come into fashion again, because I see lots of possibilities for this fruit beyond jelly and spiced or pickled crabapples-- chutney, pies, sauce, fillings, juice....

    The following recipe is adapted from a blog by Stark Brothers Nurseries.

    Canned (Pickled) Crabapples

    Preparation Time: 2¼ hours
    Yield: Approximately 6 pints
    You need:
    • 3 pounds crabapples
    • 2½ cups honey
    • 2½ cups pure apple cider vinegar
    • 2½ cups water
    • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
    • 1 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
    • 3 sticks cinnamon, each broken in 2 or 3 pieces
    1. Wash the crabapples (discard those that are blemished), wipe clean the blossom ends, and leave the stem intact but trimmed short.
    2. Prick the crabapples in 2 or 3 places with a fine skewer and place half in a large kettle. Cover with the honey, vinegar, and water. Stir all together.
    3. Tie the spices in cheesecloth and add to the crabapples in the kettle.
    4. Cover the kettle and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the apples are tender but not falling apart.
    5. Remove the crab apples from the hot syrup and put aside. Repeat with the remaining half of the crabapples.
    6. When all the crabapples have been cooked, remove the kettle from the heat and return the first batch to the hot syrup.
    7. Allow the apples to cool in the syrup.
    8. Drain the crabapples, discard the spices, return the syrup to the pan, and bring to the boil.
    9. Pack the crab apples into pint or quart jars, cover with the boiling syrup to within ¼ inch of the tops, and screw on the lids.
    10. Process for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Saving Money In the Kitchen

    The theme of today's post is a saying that my grandmother used to say:

    Waste Not, Want Not

    So today we're going to give you 10 ways to save money in the kitchen and not waste a thing!

    1.  Freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays. Use in recipes that call for coffee or drop into coconut or almond milk for a refreshing drink!
    2. When you have that one or two little spoonfuls of vegetables leftover and you’re not sure it’s worth saving, chop them and put them in the freezer in a zipper bag or plastic container. Reach for these veggies for omelettes or soups.
    3. Never throw out bones from roasts, poultry or fish. Use this for making broths and stocks.
    4. The ends of baguettes and french loaves or any bread that is getting old–don’t throw it out! First dry it well in the oven overnight with the light on.  Then place in the food processor and pulse, making bread crumbs. Store in freezer.
    5. When bananas get overripe and mushy, don’t throw them out! Peel and freeze. These are perfect for banana bread, smoothies and “soft serve” non-dairy ice cream.
    6. Compost everything you can’t find a way to eat! Or feed it to your chickens. Or feed it to your worms for great vermicompost!
    7. Bruised fruit or fruit that has passed it’s prime that everyone passes up in the fruit bowl, cut it up and freeze it. Use in smoothies.
    8. Save your banana peels and plant them under your rose bushes to give your roses a potassium feed.
    9. Place used coffee grounds around your pepper and tomato plants to boost soil nitrogen.
    10. Turn leftover rice into rice pudding!

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Fall Home Remedies

    Today we are going to send you to the site of a fellow blogger for some great tutorials on making herbal tinctures and teas.  You are going to love:


    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Monday's Money Saving Tips

    1. Make your own items instead of buying them. I like to make my cleaners and laundry Organic Essential Oilsdetergents.  Hunt around for recipes – it’s amazing how many things you can make at home in just a few minutes that saves a ton of money compared to the commercial version.  Personally, I prefer to make my own with essential oils so that I and my family can avoid those chemically ladden ones.
    2. Encourage your friends to do less expensive activities. This is often a tricky thing to do, but there are a number of techniques you can try.  Be the first one to suggest something – that often gives you the power to steer the group towards things that are cheaper. Have you priced a round of golf lately?  YIKES!  Geocacheing is one great idea.
    3. Don't Speed. Not only is it inefficient in terms of gasoline usage, it also can get you pulled over and cost you a bundle. My son is a State Trooper and if we get a lead foot and get pulled over my son is sure to know about it within 10 minutes as was the case when we got a warning for speeding a few weeks ago. Boy, did we hear about that one!  It’s highly cost-efficient to just drive the speed limit so keep that gas in the tank
    4. Read more. Reading is one of the cheapest – and most beneficial – hobbies around. Most towns have a library available to the public – just go there and check out some books that interest you. Then, spend some of your free time in a cozy place in your house, just reading away. You’ll learn something new, improve your reading ability, enjoy yourself, and not have to spend a dime. 
    5. Always ask for fees to be waived. Any time you sign up for a service of any kind and there are sign-up fees, ask for them to be waived. Sometimes (but not always), they will be – and you save money just by being forthright about not wanting to pay excessive fees.
    6. Eat less meat. For the nutritional value, meat is very expensive, especially as compared to vegetables and fruits. Simply change around your regular meal proportions to include more fruits and vegetables and less meats – eat a smaller steak and a bigger helping of green beans, for example. Not only is this a healthier way to eat (saving on health costs), it’s also less expensive.
    7. Use a brutally effective coupon strategy. Here’s the trick: wait a month before using the coupons. Save your coupon flyer out of your Sunday paper for a month, then bust it out and start cutting anything that might be of interest. For a bonus kicker, use the coupons in comparison with your grocery store flyer that week to find out ways you can use a coupon to reduce the cost of an item already on sale – you can wind up paying pennies for some things and, on occasion, actually get food for free.
    8. Utilize online bill pay with your bank. This serves two purposes. First, it keeps you in much closer contact with your money, as you can keep a very close eye on your balance and be in much less danger of overdrafting waiting for those checks to clear. Second, it saves you money on stamps and paper checks by allowing you to just fill in an online form, click submit, and have your bill paid. Try it out, if you’re not already.
    9. Always keep looking ahead. Don’t let the mistakes of your past drag you down into more mistakes. Look ahead to the future. The choices you make now won’t affect the past – but they definitely will affect the future. Think back, and remember how the bad choices you made earlier are costing you now, and constantly remember to not make those mistakes now so that they don’t cost your future self.
    10. Connect your entertainment center and/or computer setup to a true smart power strip. A smart power strip basically cuts power to all devices on the strip depending on the status of the first item on the strip. So, if you have your workstation hooked up to this, every time you power down your workstation, your monitor powers down, your printer powers down, your scanner powers down, and so on. You can do the same thing with your entertainment console – when you turn off the television, the cable/satellite box also goes off, as does the video game console, the VCR, the DVD player, and so on. This can save you a lot of electricity and significantly trim your power bill.

    Friday, October 5, 2012

    It's Time to Plant Garlic

    People all over the world have used garlic for centuries. Specialty garlic is food that can be enjoyed in a manner much like fine wine. Garlic thrives in rich, well drained, composted soil with a pH between 6-7. Adapted to many climates, garlic is easy to grow and is bothered by few pests. Separate the cloves of garlic just prior to planting. Plant the cloves 4-6 inches apart, covering them with 1-2 inches of soil. Elephant garlic is planted 6-8 inches apart and covered with 4-6 inches of soil. In the plains states garlic is best planted in October so it has time to establish a good root system before cold weather settles in. When spring growth begins, water to keep the soil slightly moist, and fertilize with a high nitrogen fertilizer applied every two weeks until bulbing begins. As harvest approaches, watering should be less frequent to avoid molding or staining. Cut off any flowering stems at the top leaf to redirect energy to the bulb.

    HARVEST: Garlic should be harvested when 3-4 green leaves remain on the stem. Each green leaf represents one layer of covering over the bulb in the ground. If there are no green leaves when you harvest, you may find the cloves are exposed when you dig up the garlic.

    Freshly dug garlic can be used straight from the garden, but if you let it dry slowly in the shade, it will last for several months.Click To Enlarge

    Tie the plants in small bundles and dry in a cool, shaded, well-ventilated location. After about 2 weeks, you can hang the bundles in a cool location, out of any direct sunlight. You can also remove the stems and store the garlic heads in a mesh bag.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    More Cold and Flu Thoughts

    Here are some hints for avoiding the Flu this season:

    1. Eat 2 cloves pickled garlic per day.
    2. Drink Grandma Farmers Herbal Immune Builder Tea once a day
    3. If you feel the flu or a cold coming on drink Grandma Farmers Cold and Flu Tea
    4. Wash your hands throughout the day.
    5. Every time you shake someone's hand, wash yours.
    6. When you go to the store wipe the cart with sanitizer wipes.
    7. When you use a public bathroom do not touch anything with your hands or skin.  When you flush....RUN!  The germs are spewing through the air.  Use sanitizer wipes throughout process.  80% of people who use public restrooms don't wash their hands.  That means there is probably urine and fecal materials on all public surfaces including toilet seats, stall handles, toilet handles, sink knobs and exit handles.  Use a towel to touch these objects.
    8. Avoid touching your face with your hands.  A cold or flu virus can easily be transmitted through your eyes or nose.
    9. Dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide regularly.  This will kill potential germs plus if you have a cold or flu, it will helpyou not to re-infect yourself.  Remember to rinse your toothbrush in water before thouching any fabric.  The hydrogen peroxide will bleach out your towels.
    10. Wipe your cell phone, computer key board, doors and door knobs/handles with damp sanitizer cloth inside your home and vehicles.
    11. Increase your vitamin C to 2000 mg daily for adults and 500 mg a day for children.  I use Vitamin C Ascorbate.
    12. Take 1-3,000 units of Vitamin D daily, especially in the winter.
    13. Increase your Vitamin B complex by adding it in addition to your whole food Multi-vitamin
    ATTENTION: Information given herein is for informational purposes only.  We do not pretend to be physicians.  Please see your physician for a medical condition your may have.

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    Monday's Ten Money Saving Tips

    1. Turn off the television.  A really big way to save money is to watch less television.  financial benefits to this are: less exposure to guilt-inducing ads, more time to focus on other things in life, less electrical use, learn to communicate with your family, etc.  Watching TV is a great to unwind in the evening, but look for another hobby to do that.  Secondly, don't just turn it off,  unplug it too, as the TV continues to use electricity when off.  We put ours on a plug strip that way we just flip the switch.
    2. Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store. You can make food mixes, candles, bread, cookies, soap, jams, jellies, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively. These make awesome gifts for others because they involve provide a personal touch.  Include a personal handwritten note with the gift. This will make it more special than anything you could possibly buy down at the store.
    3.  Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it. One should never go into a store without a list. Make a careful plan of what you’ll buy before you go, then stick strictly to that list when you go to the store. Don’t put anything in the cart that’s not on the list, no matter how tempting, and you’ll come out of the store saving a bundle.
    4. Invite friends over instead of going out. Almost every activity at home is less expensive than going out. Invite some friends over and have a cookout or a potluck meal, then play some cards or a game. Everyone will have fun, the cost will be low, and you'll have a great time.
    5.  Instead of throwing out clothing that needs repair, fix it instead. Don’t toss out a shirt because of a broken button – sew a new one on with some closely-matched thread. Don’t toss out pants because of a hole in them – put in a patch of some sort and save them for times when you’re working around the house. Simple sewing can be done by anyone – it just takes a few minutes and it saves a lot of money by keeping you from buying new clothes when you don’t really need to.
    6. Don’t spend huge amounts of money entertaining your children. Most children, especially young ones, can be entertained very cheaply. Buy them an end roll of newspaper from your local paper and let their creativity run wild. Make a game out of ordinary stuff around the house, like tossing pennies into a jar, even. Realize that what your children want most of all is your time, not your stuff, and you’ll find money in your pocket and joy in your heart.
    7.  Drink more water. Not only does drinking plenty of water have great health benefits, water drinking has financial benefits, too. Drink a big glass of water before each meal, and not only will you digest it better, you won’t eat as much, saving on the ol’ food bill. You’ll also find yourself feeling a bit better as you begin to get adequately hydrated (most Americans are perpetually somewhat dehydrated).
    8. Make a double batch of a casserole. Casseroles are nice, easy dishes to prepare, but on busy nights, it’s often still easier to just order some take-out or eat out or just plop a prepackaged meal in the oven. Instead, the next time you make a casserole, make two, three or four batches of it and put the other's in the freezer. Then, the next time you need a quick meal for the family, grab one of those batches and just heat it up – easy as can be. Even better, doing this allows you to buy the ingredients in bulk, making each casserole cheaper than it would be ordinarily – and far, far cheaper than eating out or trying a prepackaged meal. AND you'll have something ready to go when you find a friend in need.
    9. Clean your car’s air filter. A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%, saving you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles you drive in an average vehicle. Plus, cleaning your air filter is easy to do in just a few minutes – just follow the instructions in your automobile’s manual and you’re good to go.
    10. Do a price comparison – and find a cheaper grocery store. Most of us get in a routine of shopping at the same grocery store, even though quite often it’s not the one that offers the best deals on our most common purchases. Keep track of the things you buy most often, then shop for these items at a variety of stores.  I keep a notebook handy whenever I go shopping.  I check the notebook after I've created my menu to note where I want to shop for the best deals that week.  Don't forget to compare sale ad prices while making your shopping list.

    Saturday, September 29, 2012

    Goats Enjoying Tree Trimming

    Mike was working to clear 'weed trees' out of our shelter-belt this morning.

    The goats always like when he does this because he gives them branches so they can eat the leaves.

    They love it!  The limbs will all be shredded into mulch for next years garden.  We are doing everything we can to reduce weeds and watering needs.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    Busy Day Lasagna

    Occasionally I look through my frig for what I like to call a Buffet Menu Idea (group of left-overs) or for things that need to be used up.  Today I found a partial jar of pasta sauce and some ricotta cheese. I also had some Italain Sausage in the freezer that I had purchased for a meal that didn't happen and some miscellaneous veggies that needed using.  I hate wasting food!

    Here's what I came up with.  This recipe serves 2-4 so multiply it for your family.

    12 ounces pasta sauce
    1 cup water
    2 large cloves garlic, minced (can use three cloves of your pickled garlic)
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1-2 cups gluten-free noodles (use penne {tube} or other curly pasta so the sauce sticks to the noodles)
    1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese  (can substitute cottage cheese)
    8 ounces bulk Italian Sausage (ground beef works)
    8 ounces vegetables (brocolli, cauliflower, zuchinni, carrots), cut in bite size pieces
    1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 3/4 tablespoon dried)
    3/4 cup Italian cheese blend (or 1/2 cup Mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan)
    1. Crumble the Italian sausage into a large skillet and cook 5 minutes or until done, stirring occasionally.
    2. Stir in spaghetti sauce, water and garlic.  Bring to boil.
    3. Add your vegetables. (if your veggies are pre-cooked left-overs add at the end)
    4. Stir in noodles; cover.
    5. Cook sauce on medium-low heat for 9-12 minutes or just until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; stir.
    6. Mix ricotta and basil; drop spoon fulls over the noodle mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; cover.  Let stand 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    There is frost on the pumpkin here in Southeast Nebraska this morning.....a full two weeks early.

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

    Daylily Bed Is Now a Currant Bed

    Daylily Bed Number Four is no more.  I've moved all the Daylilies out of this bed and into a 'flower bed' in front of the garden squares.  This bed was a bed of pretty pinks, mauves and ivory. I sold quite a few lilies out of that bed, they were a favorite among my customers.  I won't be offering any more of these colors for sale until the new bed gets crowded.

    I don't know about you but I get these great ideas and then I tweek them as I go along.  Do you do that too?  My dear hubby doesn't like it when I get the 'let's move it' stage.  I never do it to my living room or any other room inside the house.............just my landscaping.  I think Mike would like it better if I would just move the living room furniture around every now and then.

    The above picture is when we first set out the raised beds.  They've grown a lot since then.  There are asparagus in a couple and other perennial herbs in others.  I've renovated them a bit because the soil has settled so I've added manure, compost and more soil from the garden expansion we did two years ago.  Next spring the area that I reserved for the winter squash is going to sprout five new 4' x 28' beds next spring and we are adding a 12 tree orchard and a huge new garden space on the south side of our house.
    I'm working on my farm beautification project.........(more grumbling from my hubby) and tomorrow we will till and prep a bed in front of one of our barns that we will grow sunflowers for the seeds in.  The chickens and goats love sunflower seeds and they are very good for them.  Plus the plants will add some beauty to that area.
    What did I put in the bed?  My Black Currants did not like the place where I planted them.  So their new home is in the old Daylily Bed Number Four.   We added some manure, layed newspapers down and then mulched them with some pine mulch.  Currants like the soil to be a bit acidic so we'll add some composted chicken manure mulch in the spring and these guys should really take off.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    Butterfly Quilts - Flannel Rag Quilts for Children

    I have made four of these little beauties.  They are made from 100% Cotton flannel sandwiched with Cotton Flannel batting.  They can be made in a variety of colors. The quilt is approximately 57 1/2" (146 cm) from wing tip to wing tip in length, 64" (164 cm) in width at the top wing tips, 48" (123 cm) in width at the bottom wing tips, and 38 1/2" (98 cm) in length in the middle.

    Animal shape rag quilts are an ideal blanket for the home, auto, travelling, school or babysitter, and simply as an extra little something to snuggle up with. Makes a lovely and unique gift.

    These butterflies can be made in whatever color combinations I can find in flannel fabrics.

    Cost $125 plus shipping  CONTACT ME for details.  Allow two weeks for construction and 10 days for shipping.  I ship the the contential US only.

    Comfort Food For Two In Your Slow Cooker

    Use a small slow cooker for this recipe

    1/2 - 3/4 pound grass fed ground beef
    1 tablespoon coconut oil
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 stalks celery, diced
    1 cup green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
    1 Roma tomato, diced
    4 golf ball size potatoes or equivalant (can substitute turnips for low carb)
    1 cup beef broth/stock
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    2 ounces cream cheese

    In a heavy skillet brown and crumble beef with onion and celery.  Add the garlic, the last minute.  Add the broth and spices and simmer for 5 minutes.  Now add the cream cheese and stir until cream cheese is melted.

    Add the tomatoes, potatoes and green beans to the slow cooker.  Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir until they are combined.  Cover the slow cooker, st on low and cook for 4 hours.  Serve topped with cheddar cheese.

    We got two meals from this recipe or 4 servings, especially if you serve with a salad on the side.

    Scheduling a Low Carb Fast

    What's all this about a low carb fast.  Typically a 'fast' is a way to cleanse, rest, heal your body and a low carb fast is no different.  What we are trying to accomplish is to remove sugar and high glycemic carbs from your diet to give your body a rest from the on slot of all that insulin rushing through your body which makes your body turn insulin resistant just to survive.

    When a fellow blogger suggested this proposition I was very curious.  As a Type 2 diabetic I do not like taking pills and getting the side effects from them.  I wondered..........was it possible to reduce the carbs enough to stabilize my blood sugars?  What I found out was amazing.

    First I want to say that I am not a Physician and what I have to say in this article should not be construed as me taking the place of your Physician.  Please see your Dr before making any dietary changes.

    I discovered several things about this type of fast.  First of all, after several days on the diet I did see a huge change for the better in my blood sugar control.  It was amazing.  I haven't made it through a complete 21 day fast but I'm going to do some additional research and go for it.

    It is important to remember that while weight loss might be a great side effect of this fast, it is not the goal.  The goal of this fast is to cleanse, heal and rest your body systems. Great care should be used when beginning this fast, during the fast and in ending the fast.  If you are diabetic remember to watch your blood sugars carefully.

    Some Things I've Learned

    Do you know how much sugar the average American consumes?  HINT:  A lot!  One hundred and fifty-six pounds to be exact. That's how much added sugar Americans consume each year on a per capita basis, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Imagine it: 31 five-pound bags for each of us. That's about 36 teaspoons a day!!!!  This just should not be so and it is no wonder that so many americans and even children are becoming Diabetic!

    Physical Benefits of Fasting In General
    from eHow.com
    Fasting does not necessarily suggest depriving the body of all food. Sometimes a fast includes a short period of abstinence from eating just certain foods. Fasting does not mean starving yourself. What it does mean to some people is timing when you eat, and then eating specific foods in moderation. However, consuming enough fluids throughout any fast is important to prevent dehydration. Although fasting can be a controversial issue, the value of physiological fasting as a treatment for many chronic health conditions continues to be studied.
    • The possible health benefits of fasting are thought to be many and include improved immune system function, increased energy, and an overall sense of well-being. The physiological benefits of fasting have been known to lower systolic blood pressure, body temperature, and cholesterol, in addition to lowering glucose levels in the blood. The body's metabolic rate also slows during a fast, allowing it to conserve energy, thereby contributing to the healing process.
    • Many advocates of regular fasting maintain that it contributes to a longer life by cleaning the body of harmful toxins. They believe that chemicals absorbed into the body from the environment are stored in the body's fat. When a person fasts, the body must rely on these reserves, as an energy source. As the body breaks down fat, toxins are released and eliminated through the function of organs like the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and skin. Some people believe that fasting can be used to manage weight and achieve safe weight loss and therefore may be an option to treat obesity and related hypertension.

    Spiritual Benefits of Fasting

    Exerpt from Christianity
    In the Old Testament, God commanded Israel to observe several set times of fasting. For New Testament believers, fasting was neither commanded nor forbidden in the Bible. While early Christians were not required to fast, many practiced prayer and fasting regularly. Jesus himself affirmed in Luke 5:35 that after his death fasting would be appropriate for his followers. Spiritual fasting clearly has a place and a purpose for God's people today.

    Fasting requires self-control and discipline as one denies the natural desires of the flesh. During spiritual fasting, the believer's focus is removed from the physical things of this world and intensely concentrated on God. Put differently, fasting directs our hunger toward God. It clears the mind and body of earthly attentions and draws us close to God. So, as we gain spiritual clarity of thought while fasting, it allows us to hear God more clearly. Fasting also demonstrates a profound need for God's help and guidance through complete dependence upon him.

    3 Tips To Make Fasting Easier:

    From Better is Better
    Don’t eat a huge meal right before you start your fast.
    Especially when you first start using Intermittent Fasting, it can be very tempting to pig out before a fast. This is part of the psychological fear of “starving,” a fear which has been well reinforced by the food industry. But a huge meal before starting your fast will set off that hormonal imbalance we are trying to avoid, regardless of the macronutrient (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Macronutrient_and_micronutrient) composition.
    Avoid sugars before your fast
    Obviously, I would recommend you always avoid processed white sugar. But before your fast you might also want to think about reducing other sources of simple sugars such as dried fruits, high GI fruits, such as bananas, and milk. All these will tend to rile up your hormones.
    Avoid starchy carbs
    There’s nothing wrong with a good sweet potato, some succulent butternut squash, or a nice bowl of steel-cut oatmeal, but before a fast all these things could represent enough of a stimulant to insulin release that they could make your fasting Hormonal Hunger more prominent. As far as grains and potatoes go, I’d try to avoid them most of the time at any rate, but pre-fast I wouldn’t want to touch them with a ten foot pole. And of course, any processed food-like substances made with white flour should be trimmed to a bare minimum at any time.

    Low Carb Sugar Fast

    So we've gone through the why and wherefores of fasting, what is a high carb sugar fast.  It is what it is.  Typically a person can eat from 300 grams of carbs a day.  Those who have physical limitations, such as diatetees, are exempt from this thought.

    For good health, or for weight loss, or weight maintenance, strictly limit refined (processed) carbohydrates (apart from occasional treats). Refined processed carbohydrates are a major cause of weight gain, obesity, diabetes type 2, and many other diet related diseases. Carbohydrates include complex carbohydrates, like starches, and simple sugars such as white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and honey. Choose 100-percent whole grains and fruits and vegetables for most of your carbohydrates. Balance your carbohydrate choices with protein sources such as lean meat, poultry, eggs, or fish, and some healthy fat such as olive oil, avocado or nuts and seeds.

     Do not eat white bread, white pasta, white potatoes, or white rice. These foods are VERY high glycemic and will spike your blood sugar, which will make you hungry again much quicker. Add fiber to your diet (which you will automatically do if you switch to whole grain carbs) and eat 5-6 small "meals" during the day instead of 3 big meals.

    According to eHow, if you are diabetic............

    "Women should have between 2 and 3.5  carbohydrate servings per meal, while men can have between 3 and 4. A carbohydrate serving is considered 15 grams, meaning that the total number of carbohydrates a woman should have at one sitting is between 30 and 55 grams and for men is 50 to 65. Be sure to read labels carefully to make sure the math adds up. For instance, a serving size of peanut butter is not the same as a serving size of carbohydrates. A two-tablespoon serving size of peanut butter is 8 grams of carbohydrates, making two servings of peanut butter 16 grams of carbohydrates or roughly one carbohydrate portion for meal purposes."

    The key if you are low carb and sugar fasting or dieting is two fold:
    • Never take your carbs below 180 grams per day
    • Avoid ALL refined, processed carbs
    I am trying to do a 3 week Low Carb/Sugar Diet quarterly through out the year.  I'm not doing this to loose weight (although that might be a side benefit) but am doing it to help my body heal and to get a break from this high carb society.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    Dinosaur Flannel Rag Quilt

    Cuddle up with this huge dinosaur rag quilt featuring cosey flannel fabric. The quilt is approximately 75" x 47 1/2"  and has two layers of flannel sewn together with the seams on the outside sandwiched with a cotton batting. To make this quilt a rag quilt,  cuts have been made along all the seams.  Quilt is pre-washed before it's arrival to your door to make the seems fray which gives it the cute 'rag quilt' qualities.

    Animal shape rag quilts are an ideal blanket for the home, auto, travelling, school or babysitter, and simply as an extra little something to snuggle up with. Makes a lovely and unique gift.

    I made the above quilt for my grandson.  I can make one for you in similar colors or other color combinations of your choice.

    Cost:  $110.00 plus shipping

    CONTACT ME for details on payment.  Allow 2 weeks for construction and 10 days for shipping.  I ship only tro the contenintal US

    Ways to Build Your Immune System - PART ONE

    Wow it's fall already and the little ladies with the needles are out everywhere trying to give you a flu shot.  Good news is that there is a better way to get through the cold and flu season without invaiding your body with toxins.

    Germs are everywhere.  The key is to build up your immune system to fight them off so today we are going to share with you 10 strageties that can help build that immune system in to a big mean fighting machine.

    VEGETABLE BASKETOne site said, "Eat Like Peter Rabbit".  I like that.  Bad, unwholesome food impairs immune function.  This includes  avoiding French fries, soft drinks and most importantly SUGAR.

    The best way to build and increase the action of those action warriors, your white blood cells, is to enhance your intake of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  It's also important to get an adequate amount of good protein.

    If you are a new mother and worried about your infant getting the cold or the flu.  Breast milk is your babies first defense against sickness and disease.

    A great way to add fruits and vegetables to your or your child's diet is smoothies.  Who doesn't like a smoothie?

    Pumpkin Smoothie (adapted from Healthful Pursuit)

    Ingredients (1 smoothie)
    • 1 cup Whole Milk
    • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (frozen)
    • 1/2 banana (frozen)
    • 1 tbsp raisins or 1/2 tsp maple syrup
    • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
    • pinch ground nutmeg
    • pinch ground cloves
    • pinch all spice
    • Whipped Topping (optional)
    • Place everything but whipped topping in the blender.
    • Blend until smooth
    • Pour into your favorite glass and place a couple tablespoons of coconut whipped cream on top.
    • Sprinkle with cinnamon if you’d like!

    According to Dr Sear's there are eight food substances that can help build your Immune System:

    Vitamin C. Vitamin C tops the list of immune boosters for many reasons. There has been more research about the immune-boosting effects of Vitamin C than perhaps any other nutrient. Vitamin C supplements are inexpensive to produce, and it's available naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Also, you can buy a vitamin-C-fortified version of just about anything. Here's what the research shows about how this mighty vitamin protects your body.
    You don't have to take in massive amounts of vitamin C to boost your immune system. Around 200 milligrams a day seems to be a generally agreed-upon amount and one that can be automatically obtained by eating at least six servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

    Check this link out for the TOP 10 FOODS CONTAINING VITAMIN C

    Vitamin E. This important antioxidant and immune booster doesn't get as much press as vitamin C, yet it's important to a healthy immune system.

    Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells. Vitamin E enhances the production of B-cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria. Vitamin E supplementation may also reverse some of the decline in immune response commonly seen in aging.

    You need 100-400 milligrams per day, depending on your general lifestyle. People who don't exercise, who smoke, and who consume high amounts of alcoholic beverages will need the higher dosage. Those with a more moderate lifestyle can get by with lower levels of supplementation.

    Check this link out for a great list of 15 FOODS TO BOOST VITAMIN E

    Carotenoids. Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging. Like the other "big three" antioxidants, vitamins C and E, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by interfering with how the fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream oxidize to form arterial plaques. Beta carotene is the number one carotenoid. Researchers believe that it is not just beta carotene that produces all these good effects, but all the carotenoids working together. This is why getting carotenoids in food may be more cancer-protective than taking beta carotene supplements.

    To  much vitamin A can be toxic to the body, so it's better to get extra beta carotene from foods and let the body naturally regulate how much of this precursor is converted to the immune-fighting vitamin A. It's highly unlikely that a person could take in enough beta carotene to produce a toxic amount of vitamin A, because when the body has enough vitamin A, it stops making it.

    Check this link out for the TOP 10 FOODS PACKING VITAMIN A

    Bioflavenoids. A group of phytonutrients called bioflavenoids aids the immune system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental pollutants. Bioflavenoids protect the cell membranes against the pollutants trying to attach to them. Along the membrane of each cell there are microscopic parking spaces, called receptor sites. Pollutants, toxins, or germs can park here and gradually eat their way into the membrane of the cell, but when bioflavenoids fill up these parking spots there is no room for toxins to park. Bioflavenoids also reduce the cholesterol's ability to form plaques in arteries and lessen the formation of microscopic clots inside arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Studies have shown that people who eat the most bioflavenoids have less cardiovascular disease.A diet that contains a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, at least six servings per day, will help you get the bioflavenoids needed to help your immune system work in top form.

    Check this link out for the 9 FOODS RICH IN BIOFLAVENOIDS

    Zinc. This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. While some studies claim that zinc supplements in the form of lozenges can lower the incidence and severity of infections, other studies have failed to show this correlation. A word of caution: too much zinc in the form of supplements (more than 75 milligrams a day) can inhibit immune function. It's safest to stick to getting zinc from your diet and aim for 15 to 25 milligrams a day.

    Check this link out for the TOP TEN FOODS HIGH IN ZINC

    Garlic. This flavorful member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. The immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulfides. Garlic can also act as an antioxidant that reduces the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream. Garlic may also play a part in getting rid of potential carcinogens and other toxic substances.

    Selenium.  Best food sources of selenium are tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, vegetables (depending on the selenium content of the soil they're grown in), brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, garlic, Brazil nuts (2-3 a day), and lamb chops.

    Check this link out for the TOP 10 FOODS HIGH IN SELENIUM

    Omega-3 fatty acids. A study found that children taking a half teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections and fewer days of being absent from school. The omega 3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. (This is why grandmothers insist on a daily dose of unpalatable cod liver oil.) Essential fatty acids also protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection. One way to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is to add one to three teaspoons of flax oil to a fruit and yogurt smoothie.

    Check this link out for the TOP TEN FOODS HIGH IN OMEGA 3'S

    Monday, September 17, 2012

    Adding Basil

    The most loved herb of summer, basil adds a bit of magic to just about every kind of dish from appetizer to salad to dessert. The best thing is that Basil can be easily grown indoors in the winter.  It is a member of the mint family and can add a special flavor to many dishes.

    How To Chop Basil....what in the world is a chiffonade?

    This is a great video on how to cut basil from the plant and then chop it so you don't bruise it.

    Everyone knows about Pesto but many of you haven't tried it.  Be brave and give it a try.  Toss it with pasta, spread it on sandwiches, or dollop it into soup. There's just no end to the versatility of the Italian condiment called pesto. A mixture of fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese, this simple spread can be whipped up in 10 minutes.

    The Food Network had this great article 50 Things to Make with Pesto with the above picture.  Now you give it a try.

    Basil Is More Than Pesto

    Basil is most famously added with Tomatoes and Mozzarella Cheese.  In fact you can just slice tomatoes and alternate them with sliced Mozzarella Cheese to a platter, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped Basil.

    Try this great fish recipe:  Baked Tilapia with Tomato and Basil  The recipe link includes some great 'how to videos'.


    I personally loved OLD FASHIONED LIVING's page on Basil.  Go there for tips on growing and using Basil.

    Finally, it's time to preserve some basil.  True to my prediction we are threatening a frost tonight here in Nebraska already.  A bit early as I thought might happen.  The weather has been weird to say the least.  Basil is a tender perinal and needs to be protected from the cold.

    There are several ways to preserve Basil for the winter months.  First of all, PESTO can be made and frozen in small containers.

    Life On the Balcony offered THREE WAYS TO PRESERVE BASIL which offered the three basic options.

    freezing herbs

    I liked the Simply Canning site's complete instructions on freezing basil complete with the above picture

    If you just can't stand the thought of not having fresh Basil in the winter here's a way to take a piece of your Basil plant and root it to grow indoors in the winter.

    Container grown basil does have some special needs over that grown in the garden.
    • Use well-drained, nutrient rich potting soil and check the pH every four to six weeks. Although basil isn't fussy about soil composition, it will grow best in a soil with about a 6.0 to 7.5 pH. Maintain pH with a good organic fertilizer at about half the recommended strength on the label.
    • Keep the earth moist, but not soggy. After watering, drain excess water from the plant saucer.
    • If a sunny window isn't available, grow your basil under artificial lighting. Ten to twelve hours a day under a fluorescent shop fixture is an economical way to provide your plants with the light requirements they need.

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    Rooting Bushes

    No rooting hormone but I wanted to root some old fashion spiria bushes to fill in my section easier.
    THEN, I ran across this idea!

     Open your kitchen cabinet and grab some cinnamon. Plant stems dipped in it will kill fungus and bacteria to help keep those new cuttings free of disease while rooting

    Thursday, September 13, 2012


    Did you know that sweet potatoes can be baked in a crockpot? Simply wash several sweet potatoes, drain but don't dry them (you will need some moisture) and place in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 to 6 hours, depending on the size of the sweet potatoes. That's all there is to it.

    It only costs a few pennies to run a crockpot vs the amount it costs to heat up a whole oven.  Our sweet potatoes cooked in the crockpot was perfect especially since there it only the two of us.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Cold & Flu Tincture From Your Garden

    This is made from a group of herbs easily grown in your garden or landscape, all of which are said to have healing/immune building properties.  This recipe is for informational purposes only and is not meant to take the place of  your doctor.

    Supplies needed:

    -Solvent (i.e. 100 proof distilled alchol or vegetable glycerin)
    -quart sized glass mason jar
    -fresh and dried herbs below


    -2 ounces dried Echinacea root (how to harvest)
    -1 ounce fresh lemon balm leaves
    -1 ounce fresh horehound leaves
    -1 ounce fresh sage leaves

    1. Measure your herbs using a small kitchen scale
    2. Chop fresh herbs, until fine
    3. Add all herbs to glass jar
    4. Pour solvent over herbs to fill the jar.  The solvent should rise 1-2 inces above the herbs
    5. Place the lid on the jar and shake until the herbs are well combined.
    6. Label the jar with contents and date
    7. Set in a warm, sunny window and steep for 2-6 weeks, shaking daily
    8. Strain with a cheesecloth, compost the plant material, and place tincture in dark colored bottles for storage in a cool, dark place.  The tincture should keep for up to 5 years.

    Adult Dosage
    At the sudden onset of cold and flu symptoms, begin taking 1/4-1/2 a teaspoon of the tincture every 30 minutes to an hour until symptoms subside.

    Child Dosage
    I recomment calculating a child's dose by using the "Young's Rule."  Add 12 to the child's age then divide his/her age by that number.  For example a 6 year old would calculate at 6/18 or .22 I would give her 33% of an adult dose.

    ** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **