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Friday, April 30, 2010

12 Foods to Buy Organic/ 15 Foods Not to

The Daily Green put an article up called "The New Dirty Dozen: 12 foods to eat Organic"

They also put up "The Clean 15: Foods you don't have to buy Organic"

As it stands now we don't buy much Organic, but I may have to look into some of them that are on the Dirty Dozen with as many pesticides as they test for!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter

So my hubby and I both love peanut butter, specifically Laura Scudder's Natural Nutty PB. But at $4-5 a pop and one a week that can take a chunk out of your grocery budget.

Lately hubby has been having an apple & PB with breakfast or Toast with PB and raisins, so we have been blowing through it.

It was the end of the grocery budget this week and no room for PB...
So I took the peanuts we had and made PB!

Plain Peanut Butter Ingredients

1 Cup Roasted Salted (or unsalted) Peanuts (we get ours in the bulk bin at Sprouts)
2-3 Tbsp Canola or Peanut Oil
1/4 tsp (to taste) Salt

Honey Peanut Butter Ingredients
1 Cup Roasted Salted (or unsalted) Peanuts (we get ours in the bulk bin at Sprouts)
2 Tbsp Canola or Peanut Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp Honey
1/4 tsp (to taste) Salt

Now *sigh* I only have a blender, if you have a food processor and are much cooler than I, please, by all means use it.

Pour the Peanuts and 2 Tbsp Canola/Peanut oil into your Blender/Food Processor. Pulse a few times and then blend to combine. Add a pinch of salt, blend for about a minute then taste. Then you can decide if you need more. 1/4 tsp or so worked out well for me.

If you want it to be crunchy (like me) then you don't have to blend as long. If you need to add more Canola/Peanut oil go ahead until you reach the consistency you would like. I used 2-3 depending on the batch. If you want Smooth PB just let it keep blending (it will take quite a few minutes)!

For the Honey PB just add 1.5 Tbsp of Honey and you are golden.

This turned out SO great! It made about 5 oz of PB, so we have 2 flavors to choose from and we enjoyed some Honey PB on some wheat bread for a snack!

The whole process to make 2 batches took me about 15 minutes, but that was with figuring out the ratios and using a blender. So, next time I'm sure it will be quicker and if you have a food processor it should go even faster!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cinnamon Toast

Well many of you know that I love the Pioneer Woman, her website is amazing, as is the recipe she posts.

Yesterday as I was surfing the web I was on here site and the recipe was for Cinnamon Toast, I was about to make breakfast so I gave it a go.

p.s. If you want professional pictures you will have to go look at P.W.'s site. I'm not claiming professionalism here, especially not when I'm just trying to make sure I get to eat while Lucy girl is sleeping.

Ingredients (for 2 pieces of toast)
2 pieces of Wheat bread
2 Tbsp Softened Butter
2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Dash Vanilla Extract

Take the butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and combine in a bowl.

(before the mixing)

Spread onto bread.

Put into pre-heated oven (350*) for 10 minutes.

Broil on low for 2-3 minutes (keep watch!)


Monday, April 26, 2010

About Me Monday(s)

An acquaintance of mine has a blog and she has been working through the 5,000 questionnaire, I thought it would be fun to join along. So every Monday ( I hope) until I'm done will be 15 questions from the 5,000 Questionnaire, click the link to see it in full.

1. Who are you? Christina

2. What are the 3 most important things everyone should know about you?
1. I love Jesus and am thankful for my salvation through Him.
2.My family and friends are so important to me, I'm big big big on family.
3. Working out and cooking keep me sane.

3. When you aren't filling out 5,000 question surveys like this one what are you doing?
Caring for Lucy girl, reading, cooking, blogging, working out...etc.

4. List your classes in school from the ones you like the most to the ones you like the least (or if you are out of school, think of the classes you did like and didn't like at the time).
Once I got into my core courses for Exercise science I loved them.
I had a love/hate relationship with Gross Anatomy, the lab part (dissection) was my absolute favorite, but I could have done without the lecture part!

5. What is your biggest goal for this year?
By God's grace to be the best mommy I can for Lucy

6. Where do you want to be in 5 years?
In another (bigger) house with 1-2 more kids perhaps? Enjoying life with my hubby and kids.

7. What stage of life are you in right now?
The "grown-up" stage, married with a beautiful kiddo ;)

8. Are you more child-like or childish?
Hopefully Child-like

9. What is the last thing you said out loud?

10. What song comes closest to how you feel about your life right now?
I'm so bad at these questions, I don't know.

11. Have you ever taken martial arts classes?

12. Does your life tend to get better or worse or does it just stay the same?
There is an ebb and flow.

13. Does time really heal all wounds?
Nope it helps, but Jesus does

14. How do you handle a rainy day?
By enjoying it, it hardly rains here in AZ, it also makes me feel relaxed!

15. Which is worse...losing your luggage or having to sort out tangled holiday lights?
Losing your luggage for sure! It is one of the worst things when traveling.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Food Inc. Yikes!

Well can I tell you what I did last night?

Hubby was at the Diamondbacks game with a friend so after I put Lucy girl down for bed I popped a bag of popcorn, grabbed a beer and sat down to watch Food Inc. on my laptop via PBS (thank you very much PBS).

I had wanted to see this for quite some time but just hadn't gotten around to it, the Library didn't have it and I just never got around to renting it. I'm glad that I've seen it now.

I'd say as a whole we are fairly conscience about the food decisions we make, but I have to say I will likely be more so after seeing this movie.

Here are some of my don't have to agree, but I'm going to put them out there.

***Since it is so hard to find good research confirming or denying the claims of the movie that come from impartial sources; know that much of this is coming from Food Inc.***

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)- We decided close to a year ago to try to not buy HFCS containing products. THIS IS SO HARD! HFCS is in SO many things. Also, companies try to get around people avoiding their product by only having Corn Syrup rather that HFCS. We also try to stay away from these.
Next time you are in your normal grocery store (not health food store) try to find a brand of Raisin Bran that does not have HFCS or Corn Syrup, I've found it impossible.

This is not to say that I don't have it every once in a while (soda, etc) but as a whole the decisions we make do not include HFCS.

Sign a petition to get Congress to tax foods/beverages that contain HFCS to make ones that do not contain it more affordable HERE.

Soy- We also try to avoid Soy as much as possible, but again it is in SO many things you can buy at the grocery store. There have been numerous studies over the years saying that Soy may not be as good for us as we first believed. Again due to the fact that there are varying opinions, I urge you to check it out for yourself.

In the movie it talked about one particular company (which I will not name purely because thought I'm just a minuscule blogger, I don't want them after me) who has patented a particular type of soybean (that is Genetically Modified) and that is now close to 90% of soy on the market. WHOA!

Who knew you could patent food. Surely I didn't.

Meat/Poultry/Fish-I have to tell you I'm a meat eater. I like meat, I don't believe I could give it up. I like it, a lot. But, I have to tell you I was pretty disgusted to learn that there are hardly any farms that allow their cattle, poultry, hogs etc to eat anything but corn.

The conditions that chickens, cattle and hogs are subjected to is frankly, gross.

One company in the movie has made an ammonia based food additive to be added to hamburger to help stop the spread of things like E. Coli. Ammonia?

Food Inc. said if you allowed a cow to eat grass instead of corn for 5 days they would shed 80% of the E. Coli in their ammonia needed there.

Also, Farm raised Tilapia/Salmon is now being fed corn! *Scratches head, a fish eating corn, hmmm*

In the film it talked about how corn is subsidized by the government, it costs less for meat companies to purchase corn than it does for farmer's to grow it due to the subsidization. Perhaps I'm a bit old school but I can't fathom why we are subsidizing this? *Bites tongue*

I will say after seeing this movie there will be certain companies I will not be supporting, Sprouts will be getting much more of my business when it comes to meat/poultry/fish.

My heart broke and I broke down in tears when the movie told the story of the 2.5 year old boy who died of a certain strain of E. Coli after eating an infected hamburger. He died 12 days later. His mother is now an advocate of regulating plants and sanctioning them/shutting them down if they continually fail safety standard testing. Support Kevin's Law HERE.

I could go on and on, but, I won't. Go back up to the top of the page and click on Food Inc. and watch it for yourself.

Here are some things you can do!
1. Buy Local /support Famer's Markets
2. Buy what is in season (Clicky)
3. Choose foods without HFCS/Soy
4. Buy Grass fed Beef/ Cage free Eggs
5. Pay more attention to what you put in your bodies, God only gave us one and he told us it is our Temple, take care of it.

Have a great day and God Bless!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sweet and Sour Swiss Chard

I used up the last bunch of our Swiss Chard from Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op. I think I like this recipe more than the Sauteed Swiss Chard I made earlier.

I adapted it from HERE.

I didn't have any raisins in the house (we usually do!) so I had to omit those, I think they would have been great, but I didn't miss them.


1 Bunch Swiss Chard- stems chopped / leaves chopped (separate the two)
1 Medium onion Diced
Pinch of Salt
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Canola oil
3 Tbsp White Vinegar
3 Cloves Garlic
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/4 Cup Raisins ( I didn't add)

Start by adding the butter and canola oil to a pan that you have a lid for. Heat on medium high then add diced onion and a pinch of salt and cook until they just start to brown.

***note to self, reset your camera back so that you can take better pictures :( ***

Then add all other ingredients BESIDES the Swiss Chard leaves.

Cover and cook over Medium or Medium high heat for 8 minutes.

Then add the Swiss Chard Leaves but do NOT stir. Cover and let steam for 3-4 minutes.

Mix around and serve!

This turned out very well, I actually think that it could have used a bit more of a kick (more vinegar). But it balanced out the Swiss Chard nicely, I would like to make it again with the raisins I think they would really be nice with this.

I'm so excited that I get to try new recipes because of Bountiful Baskets!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I have to tell you since I started wearing Lucy around in a wrap when I take her out I've gotten some crazy stares.

But here are a few reasons why I love to wear her:
1. It simulates what she was used to in the womb, being close to mom.
2. She can hear my heartbeat (also a comfort thing for her)
3. I have 2 hands available!
4. It's easier on my body than carrying her in the car seat.
5. She gets to experience everything I do (especially when facing out) because she can see and goes with me
6. It deters people from touching her

Now with all this Sling Controversy people (like a sweet postman at the post office) also sometimes feel the need to tell me "I just saw on CNN health that some babies died in Slings" in which case I replied "That's why I use a wrap, so she is upright". Not that I necessarily think there is anything wrong with slings, but it is easier to get out of the conversation that way.

The first time I ever took her out (and in the wrap), I had to go to the library to return some books. She was only 4 days old. We drove to the Library, I put her in the wrap, walked in, went to renew my books (apparently my card expired and I needed a new one) and the first thing the lady said was "Can she breathe in there"? I'm thinking to myself, yes of course she can! I'm not going to do anything to hurt my baby girl. But, I calmly replied, yes, she can.

But, I digress.

Babywearing has been so helpful for me. My dear friend L made my wrap for me as a baby shower gift ;). Did you know that it can wreak havoc on your body if you carry your infant car seat around? Read THIS. Think of this a typical infant car seat weighs about 7 lbs. At the beginning when you have a cute little baby then you are carrying around maybe 15 lbs.

But as your cute little bambino becomes more of a bruiser/bruisette and weighs 16 lbs now you are lugging around 23 lbs. No small task when you are holding it at your side!

There have been very few times I've carried Lucy in the carseat, Hubby would rather me not because he knows that it can just be so bad for your body. I've done it when she's been asleep mostly and we are going into someone else's house where I can't put her in her crib. Other than that she usually goes in the wrap.

Mostly, I use it while shopping. I take her to the grocery store and put her in a front cross carry (facing in). That way she can take a nap, because I can put one side on her head a bit so it stays in place and she can sleep.

Yesterday was the first time I put her facing out, because she has great head control. She had a great time taking in all the sights at the Grocery store.

Another bonus of having her in the wrap is people are less likely to come up and touch your child. Because of course they are mostly covered by the wrap and they are so close to you that it would be wrong for people to reach for them. This is nice because it keeps germy hands away from your kiddo!

Then we also use it to take Lucy girl on walks. She'll usually fall asleep from the walking and we don't have to worry about the stroller.

Here is hubby with her on when she was 2 weeks old. (He now wants a camo wrap, the blue isn't manly enough *shrugs*)
There are so many options for wearing your baby, wraps, slings, mei-tei's, beco's, ergo's etc. I'd love an ergo but I DON'T love the price tag.

For more info check out these sites:
TheBabyWearer (TBW)
WearYourBaby (this has picture by picture demo's of how to put your baby in safely).

Babywearing may not be for everyone, but I sure do enjoy it!

P.S. I get many compliments on the wrap as well and people often ask questions and say how good of an idea it is. So it isn't all negative.

I would love to try a back carry soon, but I'll have to perfect it around the house before I dare take her out in it!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sauteed Swiss Chard Recipe

So I told you yesterday about Bountiful Baskets Food Co-Op. I hope you checked them out!

Since there were two bunches Swiss Chard and I had never had it before I looked up a recipe on Simply Recipes. com. I made something similar to THIS recipe.


  • 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
  • 1 small clove garlic, sliced (I used 1 tbsp chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (I used enough to coat the pan)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper (I used about 2 pinches)
  • 1 teaspoon butter (I used 1 tbsp)
  • Salt

First I cut off the hard ribbed part of the Swiss Chard (this is the very red part) it was about 1/4-1/3 of the whole piece. Then I chopped it into smaller pieces.

In a sautee pan I put enough canola oil in to lightly cover the bottom and heated it over a medium heat.

After it was warm I added about a tablespoon of chopped garlic and about 2 pinches crushed red pepper. I let this sautee for about 1 minute.
Then I added all of the Swiss Chard, covered it and cooked it for 5 minutes.
After it had cooked covered for 5 minutes, I flipped it over, added a few tablespoons of water, covered it and cooked it for 5 more minutes.

Then I dished it up and we had it with Hamburgers and Garlic Toast for dinner.
It was pretty good, it had a buttery spinach flavor to it. Not something I'd put on my top 3 list but it is definitely something I would eat again.

If anyone has another recipe, I have 1 more bunch to use up!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bountiful Baskets

Here is one way you can:
1. Eat healthy
2. Save Money
3. Save yourself a trip to the store!
4. Try foods you wouldn't normally try
5. Support local or small farms

You can order a basket from Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op!
I've been wanting to do this for a while now but somehow when they open up ordering in AZ from Tuesday-Wednesday I could never seem to remember. But this week I did.

How it works is you go to their website on the days that they open ordering for your state (AZ is Tuesday-Wednesday).
You place your basket order and anything else you would like, sometimes they sell bread, Italian packs, Mexican packs etc.
Then you choose where you want to pick it up (In AZ it is on Saturdays) They are almost always at a local park.
On that day you go at the time they say and you pick up your basket(s) of yummy produce!

This is what I got on Saturday!

I received for $19.50 (since it was my first basket, it is usually $16.50)
2 heads Romaine Lettuce
1 pint Grape Tomatoes
2 lbs of Carrots
6 Bananas
1 Pineapple
2 Packages Blackberries
1 Melon (I'm not sure what kind yet)
1 Package Mushrooms
3 Crowns of Broccoli
A few lbs of Red Potatoes
2 Bunches Swiss Chard

That's a lot of food- I'm trying to decide whether it would cost me that much at sprouts and I think it is about equal. The nice thing is I'm supporting local/small farms which I love AND I get to try new foods. Be sure to check out TOMORROW'S post for a Swiss Chard Recipe!

Bonus is all of these fruit/vegetables look amazing! We had some Blackberries and Romaine on Saturday and they were delicious.

So if you live in Utah, Arizona, Idaho or Nevada (I believe) check out Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op at the link below. If you live in another state, Google Food Co-ops and see if there is anything similar for you to try out.

It will be healthy for you and your family and it will save you some money. Plus, you are supporting US (and Mexican) farms!

This is their website Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op
You can also check out their Facebook Page

Have a great day and God Bless!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm Back!

Well, I have to say, I have been a horrible blogger!

I'd like to say I have a good reason. Being pregnant/giving birth/being a new mommy being the reason.

It was hard to do the food blog while I was pregnant because I was throwing up at the beginning and suffering from some BAD heartburn the rest of the time. This made food not quite so fun...

Then giving birth and having a brand new baby will zap all of the energy out of you!

But, that is no more, instead of solely focusing on food, I'll be talking about food, cooking, shopping for food, being frugal and all the new mommy stuff as well. Hopefully you will be able to learn some things about keeping your family healthy!

Here are some pictures of Lucy girl so you can see how busy I've been.

And Monday look for a post on Bountiful baskets, a cheap way to eat some healthy food!


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