Category Archives: recipes

Yoda Tea (for lung inflammation and congestion)

Back in the spring when I was sick with pleurisy I tried just about everything to ease the pain, reduce coughing and try to get back on the path towards wellness.  This strong brew, named ‘Yoda‘ by my children for it’s characteristic sickly green color, was the single thing that I felt benefited me the most.  With cold and flu season upon us, I’ve had regular requests to share this recipe.

Yoda Tea

1 large fistful of fresh thyme*
2 T. of matcha green tea
1 T. of turmeric
1 T. of whole cloves
orange peel- around 1 orange worth
Around 1/2 Cup of lemon juice
Honey to taste

*Whenever we have made this we have used the fresh thyme growing in our garden.  We grow an heirloom variety of “sweet” thyme, which has a very pleasant and rather milder flavor than regular thyme.  Some people have found that amounts need to be adjusted according.

Place the thyme, the matcha tea, turmeric, cloves, and orange peel in a quart jar.  Cover with boiling water.  Steep for at least 5 minutes, strain.  Add in the honey and lemon juice and drink it as warm as you can tolerate it. I suggest regular stirring or shaking to keep the powdered ingredients evenly distributed.
When I was at my worst I was actually drinking it a quart at a time, but obviously it could also be drunk a cup at a time, which may be more appropriate for a more minor illness.

 

obligatory disclaimer: I’m a random mother on the internet posting a tea recipe that she found helpful, not a doctor, so use your discretion and due consideration when making your own healthcare decisions.   
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simple cookery: pork chops and greens in tangy lime sauce (AIP friendly)

3 pork chops

1 T coconut oil

1/4 C coconut aminos

1/4 C lime juice

1 tsp smoked sea salt

1/2 onion, large clove garlic

spinach or other greens

optional: fresh mint for garnish, cauliflower

Preheat oven to 350.  Slice the onion and roughly chop the garlic.  Set aside.  Heat the coconut oil in a cast iron or other oven safe pan.  Brown the pork chops on all sides.  Set the chops aside.  Place the onions, garlic and smoked sea salt at the bottom of the pan.  Lay the pork chops on top.  Pour the lime juice and coconut aminos over top.  Bake for approximately approximately 13 minutes or until chops are cooked through.

Set the pork chops aside on a platter,  Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and use the juices to wilt as much spinach as will fit in your pan.  Other greens work as well, but spinach is my favorite for this.  You will have to heat it for a few minutes on the stove top with other greens.  Serve the pork chops over streamed cauliflower- preferably steamed in chicken broth for added flavor and nutrition- with greens, onions and sauce.  Garnish with finely chopped fresh mint.

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An AIP Valentine’s Day

Our first holiday with expectations since starting AIP.  Our traditional Valentine’s Day menu is potato pancakes, bacon and applesauce for dinner, with cinnamon rolls for dessert.  These Sweet Potato Latkes were not quite the same, but wonderfully satisfying.  Some people expressed a preference for them!  The bacon was missed.  I haven’t been able to find safe bacon yet.  But we served them with plain baked apples and they were greatly enjoyed (Galen ate 16).

Mairi and Galen came up with a darling plan to surprise their brothers with a Valentine’s Day brunch when they arrived home from work.  They made all of the decorations.  I helped them to plan the meal and Steve assisted in it’s preparation.  Heart shaped Bread Sticks with “Curried” Chicken Salad and a large bowl of fruit salad; all sorts of fruit chopped up and made fancy by tossing with chopped dates, the juice of an orange and coconut flakes.  When we went to clean up, we each found a valentine under our plates.

For our little treat to the children, I made packets of freeze dried fruit, wrapped in pink tissue paper, decorated with stickers.

I think I over compensated a bit because I also made Pumpkin Spice Granola for dessert, but everyone was much too full to eat it!  Actually, Iain, Elijah and I each had a little taste, much later in the evening, over a game of Flag Frenzy.

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Dairy Free Cheddar Onion Petals and an AIP Super Bowl

This is why I could never be a food blogger.  To be a food blogger, you need to look ahead and pull together fabulous dishes in advance so that when holidays and other occasions come around, everyone can benefit from your experience.  But no, I am a craft blogger.  I make things.  And when I’m done making them, I tell you about them.  When I get the chance.  Even if it’s two days too late to be of any use.

For those who were wondering, our latest food venture is the Auto-Immune Paleo Protocol, for reasons that are beyond the scope of this post, which is probably going to be quite long as it is.  This site has been an incredible resource.  It’s going pretty well so far.  One aspect that has been an absolute pleasure is that Seraphina can now have everything we eat, exactly as we eat it.  Or well, maybe cut up a little smaller anyway.  There is no more cooking a whole meal only to remember just as I’m about to serve it that baby has nothing to eat.  I don’t miss the ensuing panic one bit.

The older male types in the house seem to feel that viewing at least part of the Super Bowl is important.  I think it’s more that it’s an event than anything else.  Me?  I couldn’t care less.  Seriously, I had to look up whether Super Bowl was one word or two.  But it’s once a year, so I try to humor them.

Since we just started with all this food stuff and I’m trying to keep it fun, I thought I would surprise them with a special snack.  I cut plantains on a diagonal and fried them in coconut oil.  Once salted, I served them with this sauce, hoping it would be kind of nacho-ish.  It wasn’t really, but they still found it delicious.  I ate mine at the dinning room table with Seraphina while reading a book, which was just fine with me.

Steve went to bed before the half time show. After which I suggested we switch to watching an episode of Africa.  They both readily agreed.  My hand-quilting and I where happy to join them.

I’ve been making these Onion Petals for a while now.  It’s inspired by a recipe I found in an issue of Mary Jane’s Farm.  As is, they are not AIP compliant.  But without the paprika they would be.  They are a great favorite in this house.

“Cheddar” Onion Petals

4 onions
2 T olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
3 T coconut milk
3 T nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp kelp powder (optional)
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine everything except the onions in a medium mixing bowl.  Slice off the ends of the onions and peel them.  Slice in half like this…

and then in half again like this:

For the larger outside layers, I sometimes cut them in half again.

Pull apart all of the layers and toss them in the sauce to coat well.  Dehydrate at 145 for approximately 8 hours until crisp.  Serve immediately (they re-hydrate quickly and don’t keep well).

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Dairy Free White Chocolate Ice Cream

I totally dropped the ball on a birthday party for the kids this year.  Birthday sweaters? check.  Quilts? check.  Wonder book with at least a week’s worth of entries for the emerging 7 year old? check.  Treasure hunt obstacle course?  check.  Meaningful charm for Mairi’s bracelet?  check.  Plan crazy, exciting, right of passage adventure for 16 year old? check.  Fancy cakes made to their exact specifications? check.  Well thought out, carefully planned party?  Nope, not so much!

Not that we always do a party.  But they did specifically request one this year.  To which I said yes.  And then promptly forgot about it until just days before their birthday.  So when a friend called to say that her son wanted to spend his birthday with us and had we done anything for our kids yet? (answer: yes!  A whole, whole lot in fact, just not a party…)  Between us we have 4 kids with January birthdays.  The answer?  A laid-back, two family, 4-in-1 birthday party,

And it was good.  Just right, really.  Good, nourishing food.  Basket ball and ping pong tournaments.  Dress up and dance play.  A few simple gifts.  And the comfortable feeling of being with dear old friends.

There son knit Iain a hat.  That one is a boy after my own heart.  The beautiful beeswax candle was their gift to Mairi.  She’s enchanted.  We’re both really itching to make candles now.

Since we had already done the cake thing, I decided to play around with ice cream for the “party”.  We made a White Chocolate and Clementine Bombe inspired by this recipe.  Our version included home-made dairy free white chocolate ice cream.  Which was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!

Dairy Free White Chocolate Ice Cream

6 egg yokes

1 1/2 cups of sugar

450 ml full fat canned coconut milk

200 grams of cocoa butter, broken into small pieces

450 ml of cashew cream (see below)

seeds from 1 1/2 vanilla pods

2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the cashew cream: place cashews in a high power blended, such as a Vitamix.  Add water to the same level as the cashews and blend until smooth.  If you don’t have a high power blender, try soaking the cashews for several hours first.

Mix the vanilla extract and vanilla seeds into the cashew cream.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yokes and sugar together.

Slowly heat the coconut milk in a small pot until it just about reaches the boiling point, but do not allow it to boil.  Whisking continuously, pour the hot milk over the egg mixture and return to the pot.  Stir the mixture constantly over low heat until it forms a film on the back of a wooden spoon.

  Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa butter until melted.  Allow the mix to come to room temperature.  Stir in the vanilla cashew cream and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Run through an ice cream maker, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Makes approximately 2 quarts.

The “baby bombe” consisted of cashew cream, coconut milk and banana, frozen in a lined teacup.  She was pretty thrilled, as you might imagine!

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simple cookery: banana candy

I know they don’t look very appetizing, but trust me, these get gobbled up almost before they hit the plate.  They are the easiest thing in the world to make, just two ingredients and technically one of them is optional.  Slice bananas approximately 1/2″ thick.  Arrange them on dehydrator trays and sprinkle with cinnamon (this would be the optional part).  Dehydrate at 145 for around 24 hours.  You don’t want them to get crispy, just chewy.  They will feel softer while still warm and chewier as they cool.  Take a few out to test from time to time until you get to your ideal texture.  Helpful hint: do not let your children test them or there will be little hands snatching them off the racks every time you turn your back!  We have experimented a bit with making them in the oven and it is possible, but trickier.

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cider making

At our friend’s homestead, nearly a month ago now!  The world outside has changed so much in that time!

For a seasonal treat; peel and chop parsnips, add them to a roasting pan with chopped apples (no need to peel these).  Add a splash of cider.  Cover and bake until soft.  Delicious!

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Mairi-Bread

The space bar on my laptop stopped working.  My laptop is dying a very slow and painful (to me) death.  This is why I’ve had so little to say in general and in particular about our dear Elijah’s birthday.  I thought I would save you the frustration of trying-to-read-a-post-written-like-this and me the frustration of trying-to-write-a-post-like-this.  But it kind of worked as a photo essay; 13 in 14 pictures (one for good luck?).

Santa Hat details

Horse Lover Mitts details

Rosebud has been very eagerly learning to cook lately.  Very eager about learning all sorts of things actually, which is a fabulous state of mind for a burgeoning first grader to be in!  I have officially started some first grade work with her, with the thought that as school work slows down for the summer with the boys, it will give me more relaxed time to concentrate on her.

Cooking wise she’s really attached to the idea of doing things herself.  The latest in her string of accomplishments is writing her own recipe.  What started out as my humoring a little girl of 6, turned into our new favorite grain-free bread recipe.  It’s absolutely delicious!

  Mairi Bread

4 eggs
3/4 C arrowroot flour
3/4 C sunflower seed meal*
2 T. honey
3 pinches of salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C apple cider vinegar

*The sunflower seed meal must be ground fine.  If it’s not things might separate and get a little weird.  Still tasty, but without the beautiful bread-like consistency that you will over wise get.

Mix all of the dry ingredients.  Blend all of the wet ingredients.  Mix the two together.  Pour into a well greased loaf pan.  Bake at 375 for around 40 minutes.

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garden fresh

Kale and parsley salad topped with the lemon-tahini dressing from the Oh She Glows Cookbook and roasted butternut squash.  Absolutely delicious!  Our squash this year has been amazingly flavorful.

Our neighbor remarked that it was like perpetual summer in our garden.  While that may be a bit of an overstatement, it’s true that we’ve been slowly working to extend the season.  Things are winding down, but there is still a lot of goodness coming in from the garden.  I think the ever-blooming strawberries are the most startling of the enchanted garden sights.  Despite several frosts the nasturtiums that remain in a somewhat sheltered corner are still blooming.  Almost all of the leaves have been stripped from the trees around us, but the calendula and all of the pansies and violas under Seraphina’s tree bloom on.   

We had one blissful, beautiful, warm and calm day.  I spent the afternoon in the garden.  I could use weeks upon weeks of that kind of afternoon, both because there is so much more to be done and because it soothes and nourishes my soul in a way that little else can.  When my children are grown I’m going to spend my days tending my garden and my nights knitting away, with occasional breaks to bake pumpkin bread for my grandchildren, using the fresh pumpkins that they help me to harvest.  Granted I haven’t a clue as to how exactly I’m going to fund this lifestyle, but do let me have my little day dream!

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simple cookery: roasted red pepper soup

We sometimes stop in at this discount grocery store.  Mostly it’s full of processed food that we wouldn’t eat anyway.  And sometimes you come across completely disgusting food, well beyond what can actually be rightfully deemed “food”.  But usually there is a thing or two worth having at a decently low price.  And every once in a while an amazing find that makes it totally worth while to stop by whenever we’re in town.  Like our most recent trip where we came home with a 40 lb. box of organic bananas for $6 and an entire case of organic red peppers for $7 all in near perfect condition.  Amazing, right?  It takes a little work and hustle to get it all preserved before it has a chance to go bad, but it’s totally worth the effort.

We sliced and dried some of the bananas in the oven and froze the rest in chunks to be used in smoothies and things in the future.  Most of the peppers were frozen raw-some in chunks (to be used primarily for kabobs) and some sliced (for stir-fries and the like).  They keep quite well that way.

But first thing first, I made some soup!  A big pot of soup- some to eat and some to freeze for later.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

2 onions

1 extra large zucchini (or 2 medium, or 3 small)

3 cloves garlic

balsamic vinegar

broth

salt

oil

15 red peppers

1 tsp red pepper flakes

bunch of fresh basil

bunch of fresh parsley

Slice the onions.  Saute them in oil until translucent. Add in the garlic, cook for a minute or so stirring frequently.  Add a good glug of balsamic vinegar- use care, it’s going to sizzle quite a bit!  Allow the sauce of vinegar and onion juices to thicken.  Add the zucchini* and red pepper flakes.  Add enough broth to just cover everything.  Simmer until the zucchini is soft.  While this cooks, roast your peppers.  Slice them in half.  Remove the stem. Scoop out the seeds.  Broil them on a cookie sheet until the skin bubbles and they get a bit browned.  Flip and cook the other side.  Strip the leaves of the herbs and add them along with the peppers to the broth.  Puree the whole thing, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

*I used a Vitamix to blend my soup.  If you aren’t using some sort of high powered blending device, you might want to consider peeling both the zucchini and the peppers.  You may also need to cook the peppers in the broth for a while to soften them.

We’re in the final week of summer vacation and I’m both trying to prepare and trying to say “yes” as much as possible…getting my lessons plans in order, trying to get the house set up to accommodate everything, switching out baby clothes for the next size up (yet again), wondering where everyone else’s cold weather clothing got to, trying to keep up with the garden and the harvesting and the processing of food.  I’ve been spending a lot of time working to get my homeschooling binder in order, updating our calendar and trying to wrap my brain around new schedules; work two days a week for the big boys, multiple dance classes, multiple riding lessons, other possible classes- all of the related shows and special events and the things that come and go; in the last month between us we’ve had 8 doctors appointments, most of them 45 minutes to an hour away.  That’s not counting the all day affair that is traveling to our geneticist, which took place in the last days of July.  I’m having trouble trying to figure out where to fit in all of the dentist and eye doctor appointments that need to be scheduled, amongst all of the appointments with the other doctors and specialists and how are we to still have time for anything else?  It’s all rather stressful.  So far there are only 3 appointments scheduled for September.  But that’s mostly because we’re supposed to be going away for a while, so they can’t be scheduled for a bit.  Did I mention that I’m trying to plan a trip?  Right.  There is a lot of planning for that.  And then there are the yes things…meeting friends at the pond for yet another “last swim”? Yes.  Make ice cream for the third day in a row? sure, why not.  Work on that ridiculously messy big project? go for it.  Sometimes the yeses are stressful too (for me anyway), but worth it.

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