Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Organic Gardening: 10 Easy Soil Tests

Check out this article in Organic Gardening: 10 Easy Soil Tests. How is your soil? I'll be checking mine soon!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Alpha and Omega DVD AND $50 Coupon Off a Future Great Wolf Lodge Stay ~ Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of the Alpha and Omega DVD AND a $50 Coupon Off a Future Great Wolf Lodge Stay ~ Giveaway at A Mom's Balancing Act!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Charlie's Soap giveaway on All Aboard the Giveaway Train!

Enter to win17 oz All Purpose Cleaner, an 80 Load Laundry Powder & a grocery bag from Charlie's Soap! Check out the giveaway at All Aboard the Giveaway Train!

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Enter to win: Kaitlin & Kylie's Gourmet Treats {Review & Giveaway} On Thanks, Mail Carrier!!

Enter to win a delicious nut sampler from Kaitlin and Kylies! These look so yummy, I was drooling! I would really like to try their Chocolate almond butter cups! Enter to win at Thanks Mail Carrier!

handmade chocolate

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Free National Park Entrance Days ~ 2011

The National Parks Service will be having a series of free entrance days into the National Parks again this year!

Olympic National Park in WA

Lots of days all through the year, make sure you take advantage of them!

Mark your calendar for these fee-free days in 2011:
  • January 15-17
    (Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday weekend)
  • April 16-24
    (National Park Week)
  • June 21
    (First day of summer)
  • September 24
    (Public Lands Day)
  • November 11-13
    (Veterans Day weekend)
Which national park will you go to? 

Yosemite National Park in CA

Enter to win Birds Eye Vegetables + $100 American Express Gift Card AND Birds Eye Prize Pack Giveaway

Enter to win Birds Eye Vegetables + $100 American Express Gift Card AND Birds Eye Prize Pack Giveaway from Two of a Kind - Working on a Full House!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hoppin' John - my vegetarian version - Happy New Year!

I have made this dish on New Years Day for the past few years. This year, we went out for dinner on New Year's Day, so we had it tonight...the 2nd of January. Hoppin' John is a dish that is traditionally made on New Year's Day in some areas around the United States, and is thought to bring luck and prosperity for the coming year!

I usually serve it over brown rice, but I got a late start and decided to just have the main part of the dish. I think that it is delicious either way, with or without the rice. As an alternative, you could serve it with cornbread. We really like the Bob's Red Mill GF Cornbread Mix.

1 lb dried black-eyed peas
3 C water (may have to add more while the peas are cooking)
3-6 cloves of garlic (minced or sliced)
1 t salt
1 Lg. onion - sliced
1 large bunch of greens (collards, spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
black pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 C broth

Sort and rinse the black-eyed peas. It's really important not to skip this step when using dried beans and other legumes, to rinse off any contaminants and pull out any small rocks or other debris that gets mixed in during processing.

Place the rinsed peas in a large saucepan or stock pot with the 3 C of water and bring it to a boil. After it boils turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or so and then add in the garlic and the salt. Continue cooking for another 40 minutes or until the beans are getting tender. Check occasionally to see if you need to add more water.

Next you add the greens and onion. I used rainbow swiss chard this time, but have used many other greens and they are all good!

 Make sure to rinse the greens well and then slice or chop them into pieces. Slice or chop one large onion and add both the onion and the greens to the black-eyed peas. Add the broth now too. I used chicken broth (not vegetarian, I know, but it wasn't essential to me that the whole dish stay vegetarian. You could use vegetable broth if you want). My favorite broth is the Organic Better Than Bouillon in either chicken or beef, but they do have several vegetarian varieties as well. I usually buy it at my local Costco.

Your pot will probably seem quite full at this point, but do your best to stir in the greens and onions. Increase the heat to somewhere between low and medium and stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom.

The greens will cook down a lot over the next 15-30 minutes. Continue cooking  until the greens and onion are tender. Season to taste with black pepper and serve plain, over brown rice or with cornbread!

Happy eating, and a have a Happy and wonderful New Year!


6 week old Lunchables Extra Cheesy Pizza -- no mold -- Food Decompositio...

This is an interesting experiment that Mom's Plan has been doing. Thankfully I don't feed my kids Lunchables....but it is kind of sad that so many kids eat this stuff all the time.

Mom's Plan

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gluten free Holiday Blossom Cookies

I modified this recipe from a full gluten version and they turned out beautifully! You can use the alternate ingredients to make them vegan (dairy and egg free) if you like.

Preheat oven to 350°

1/2 C softened organic butter (or vegan substitute)
1 C organic granulated sugar
1 large organic egg (or 1 T. ground flax seed mixed with 3 T. warm water)
1 1/2 t vanilla ext.
1 C sorghum flour (or any other blend of GF flours)
1/3 C coconut flour
1/3 C almond meal/flour
1/3 C potato starch
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
2 T organic milk (or soy, rice, almond milk....whatever your preference is)
sugar for rolling the cookies in
organic, fair-trade chocolate (I used the Theo holiday chocolate - peppermint bars)

Cream the softened butter, sugar, egg and vanilla ext. in a large mixing bowl until well mixed. In a separate bowl mix flours, baking soda, and salt together and then add dry ingredients slowly to butter mixture and stir until well blended. Shape the dough into one inch balls and roll in sugar.

We used a blend of organic sugar and a little red sugar (I don't like to use much food color, so we just used a little bit to add some color). :-)

Make sure to roll them around good so they are well coated with the sugar. Then place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Break up your chocolate bar and press a piece into the middle of each cookie. My son wanted to try some without chocolate (he doesn't like can that be?), and he wanted to make some really small ones too.

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until cookies are lightly browned and set. Let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack. When they are all the way cooled and you and your children have stuffed yourself full of as many cookies as you can handle - place the rest of the cookies in an airtight container and put them in the freezer ( I personally like to reuse my large sized yogurt containers). I like to freeze any gluten free baked goods that are not going to be eaten right away....they keep much better this way.

Here is the finished product! Yum!

Introducing EDY'S Slow Churned Shakes and Smoothies and $100 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway at Outnumbered 3 to 1!!!

Check out Outnumbered 3 to 1's review of EDY's Slow Churned Shakes and Smoothies and enter to win a $100 Walmart gift card!

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