Thursday, February 28, 2013

Enchiladas: part 1

Uncle Tommy is coming! My brother Tom hasn't met his new niece yet and is coming in from Colorado to see her and Gavyn! He should be here tomorrow morning. So I asked him what he wanted for dinner, and like most men, he said he didn't care. After I gave him some options, we agreed on enchiladas. We both developed a love for enchiladas after tasting a casserole a friend made up in Minnesota. This recipe is a little more authentic, and hopefully even better!

I am going of this recipe from Bev Cooks. They are shredded beef enchiladas. Usually I would make my enchiladas vegetarian by using beans, but I know my boy likes meat. Anyway, I wanted to make it completely unprocessed, for blogging sake. So I am going to start with the enchilada sauce. When I looked up this recipe, most had me using canned tomatoes. Not bad, but I wanted to take it a step further and use fresh tomatoes.

I started by peeling the tomatoes with the ol' boil and shock method. I started with 10 roma tomatoes.

They boiled for just a minute or two, then....
started to get nice and peel-y, so into the cold water they went!
 The peels came of nice and easy


I then put them in a blender and let 'er rip! I didn't seed my tomatoes because I really don't mind the seeds or the extra juice, but some people do.

Then to make the sauce. I made a rue using olive oil and flour - 4 tablespoons of each (it seems like a lot, but this is a big batch) and I also added in the 5 tablespoons of chili powder.

I then slowly started adding my tomato sauce. I knew if I tried to just dump it all in it wouldn't blend well, so I did it slowly.
Once it wasn't such a goupy mess I added it to the rest of the tomato sauce

And then added the spices. Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and cumin.

I also added chicken broth (not my own yet, I know - but soon).

After it started to simmer I let it do that for a bit and then it was done! This is about enough to make 3 batches of enchiladas. Totally cost efficient.

I'm going to use 1/3 for this week, 1/3 for a taco pizza, and the jar is going in the pantry
Tada! I waited until after I made the stuff to take a look at the can and see what was in it - and this is what I found:

Can someone tell me why this sauce needs color added? I'm so excited to use my own sauce!

So step two will be homemade tortillas and then in step 3 I'll make the enchiladas! Come on back and check it out!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
8-10 roma tomatoes
4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 T flour
5 T chili powder
1 1/2 t onion powder
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 1/2 t salt
2 1/2 t cumin
3 cups chicken stock

Boil the tomatoes until peeling, and then put into a cold water bath. peel with your hands and then add to a blender and whir them up. Combine olive oil, flour, and chili powder in a pot and whisk until combined and thickened - a couple minutes. Slowly add in tomato sauce, whisking as you go. Then add all the seasonings and the stock, and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. It should thicken slightly. If you wanted to make it hot and spicy, go ahead and add either some hot sauce or cayenne pepper or even fresh hot chilis - whatever you like.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Product Review: Unreal Candy Coated Chocolate Pieces

In other words, M&Ms. When it comes to chocolate, I prefer mine not covered in a candy shell, but I can't escape the popularity of this candy. It is brightly colored, making it very appealing and pretty for all seasons and holidays. However, this also means it is full of artificial food dyes. Food dyes scare me.

While I would love to give a go at making M&Ms myself, I think that is waaayyyy down the line. I also know they would end up looking NOTHING like real M&Ms, if that is what I really wanted.

Over the summer I found these at a Walgreens while I was waiting for a prescription to be filled. Since then I have seen them at CVS and Target. I thought it was a marvelous idea! I may not eat much of this type of candy, but recently I had reason to buy some:  to decorate my son's birthday cake.


The Unreal brand also sells their version of peanut M&Ms, snickers, milky way, and peanut butter cups. I have tried the peanut butter cups as well (my favorite candy) and they were pretty good. They don't taste exactly like a Reeces, but that is because they aren't filled with hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup and other laboratory ingredients. It was basically just peanut butter in a dark chocolate shell - pretty darn good.

Anyway, the un-junked m&ms are really very good. They do have a little different flavor, and I can't decide whether it is from the colorings or the better ingredients in the chocolate itself. The colors aren't as bright, but they are natural looking, and I feel so much better letting my son have a few of these rather than food-dye covered candy. They also worked really well on his birthday cake, since I also used concentrated vegetable coloring to color the icings.

These are much more pleasing to my eye

This was Gavyn's Choo-Choo cake. The candy is used in the back two cars. 
I'm no dietitian, but I would suggest you don't go buying these thinking you can now gorge yourself on candy since it is chemical-free. They do have less sugar than M&Ms, but they can only be part of a healthy diet in moderation. However, when you do indulge, you can feel better that you aren't putting so many chemicals into your, or your family's, bodies. Oh and aren't those pastels perfect for Easter?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chocolate obsession

I blame my mother. She introduced me to it, encourages me to eat it, and supplies me with it. Boy I love her for it. Chocolate - I know most women do enjoy it, but I'd say I am downright addicted to it. Sometimes I will tell myself NO MORE because I'll get to this point where I can eat a Hershey bar with a cup of hot cocoa with a piece of chocolate cake on the side. After some time away, however, I always comes back to it.

So of course, on this quest, I had to check the ingredients. Nothing is more pure than  bar of chocolate right? Sigh, wrong. Turns out there is soy lecithin, PGPR, and artificial flavor in it. I didn't know what PGPR was, so I used handy dandy google. Polyglycerol polyricinoleate. Yes, I copied and pasted that instead of trying to copy it out. It is a manufactured emulsified fat that replaces some of the cocoa butter in chocolate - because cocoa butter is more expensive. Well I don't like that, not one bit. You also know how I feel about artificial flavor. What does that even mean?

I face an even bigger problem now. My son. The boy LOVES him some chocolate. I know it is my fault, but I knew we couldn't avoid giving it to him forever. I want him to have the best of the best, and still be able to enjoy the best things in life, so for our house, I am going to try a few different recipes of homemade chocolate. 


This one came off pinterest, from this site. So it is one of those fashionable paleo recipes, because I am oh-so trendy. It uses coconut oil as the fat, which is something I've bee trying to get more of in my diet anyway. 


These are my ingredients:



I'm too poor to buy "the best" cocoa powder, but I seriously can never tell a difference like most foodies claim to. 

The directions say to melt the coconut oil and then blend everything in the blender, but you see, I had this going on:



So I didn't want to be running my extra loud blender. So I just put everything in the pot on the stove. This worked perfectly - and no need to dirty the blender!



It all came together pretty quickly over medium heat. Then I just poured it into 12 muffin cups and stuck it in the fridge!


Well, don't mind if I do. 
I was worried they wouldn't come out of the paper lining that well, but they came out perfectly! Also, they are delicious. A very fudge-y consistency and very rich. It melts fast in warm hands, but don't eat to too fast - savor it. Then lick your fingers. 



They also past inspection with my boss. Approved!



Next I think I'll try and order my own cocoa butter and use that. I just happened to have all these things at my house already, so that is another plus. Oh, I also didn't add vanilla to the recipe because that is something I didn't have, but they are still really good. I'm guessing a little vanilla would make them even better. I also put a little sprinkling of salt over a few of them just for me. In my opinion, salt compliments chocolate really nicely. Well, in my opinion, salt kind of compliments everything nicely...

Enjoy!


Chocolate peanut butter fudge


1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup high quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup smooth almond butter
1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt all ingredients except vanilla in a pot over medium heat. Once combined and melted, remove from heat and add vanilla.  Pour into paper-lined muffin tin cups or silicon muffin cups and fill half-inch full.  Makes 10 -12.   Chill for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes.  When firm, remove.  Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  Mmm-mm!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cashew cream

I've just started this blog and I think I've mentioned cream cheese twice already. The stuff is magnificent. After I had Alli and didn't really have time to make myself lunches, I would bust out the crackers and cream cheese and go to town while I was walking her around the house in her mei tai carrier. It was fast, satisfying, and took care of my craving for chips and dip. Lets face it, cream cheese isn't exactly a nutritional power house. So that is one reason why it probably shouldn't be a daily part of my sustenance. Second, it isn't exactly cheap! Philadelphia original cream cheese also has whey protein concentrate and carob bean gum - not exactly bad things but things that I can't just pull out of my pantry. So I went looking for a substitute.

I came along a recipe for cashew cream cheese and thought I would give it a try. When I was a vegan back in college I used to make cream sauces using cashews and they always came out great. This one only had a few ingredients: cashews, salt, water, and a little yogurt. I didn't really think any miracles were going to happen, but since I like cashews anyway I thought I would try it.

You start by soaking the cashews.

Then you just drain them, put them in a blender with some water and blend them up. In hindsight, I should have used my food processor. Once I dirty one appliance though, I don't dirty another one. So I had to do some poking and proding to get it all blended up.

Then you add a few tablespoons of yogurt. The result was basically just cashew butter. It is good, but it doesn't satisfy my need for cream cheese. I think I'll eat it with some veggies or maybe put in in smoothies or something. I'll find a use for it.

Then after I made this, I realized there WAS a better alternative to cream cheese - goat cheese! Why hadn't I thought of that before? I love goat cheese, and it has that creamy consistency. There is a local farm here - Prairie Fruits Farm - that makes their own goat cheese and while it is horribly expensive, if I really need that creamy spread I should buy the stuff that at least has some nutritional value. Goat cheese, and most products for that matter, tend to be  lower in fat, higher in protein, and generally better for the human body to process.  I don't think I'll be blending up cashews anymore - they taste pretty good in nut form.

Cashew cream
2 cups cashews
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T yogurt

Soak cashews for over 2 hours in water. Drain, and add to blender or food processor. Blend until a paste is formed, and then blend in the salt and yogurt.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Yogurt!

I can never really sort out my feelings about dairy. I am somewhat intolerant to milk and ice cream, which is fine since I hate milk and would rather eat a big piece of cake for dessert instead of ice cream. However, I LOVE cheese. Sometimes I don't feel so great after eating it either, but it is totally worth it. It has been around for hundreds of years and comes in so many different types and textures. There are some really honest organic kinds out there, and they aren't a whole mess of ingredients.

Then there is another part of me that thinks: This is COW milk. I am eating a product made from the milk of COWS. How un-natural is that? I'm not a cow, I am a human! The human body was not made to process cow milk...it was made to process breast milk and then be done with it. No wonder so many people have allergies and intolerances to it! I also don't think the whole calcium argument holds any bearing at all. The US has the highest dairy consumption in the whole world, but also the highest incidence of osteoporosis. I just don't think the calcium that is in dairy is absorbed by our bodies. If anything, I think it leaches it from our bodies.

Well, shoot - it is a constant internal battle for me. I can also argue that eating products like cheese is just part of living in the time that I do. My Mom eats dairy, my Grandma ate dairy, and my Great-Grandma who lived to be 102 ate dairy. So for now, I eat dairy. Well, actually at the moment I don't, because I am testing to see if it could be causing some of Alli's congestion and gas issues. After 3 weeks I see no improvement, so if after another week or so I still don't see a change I'll go back to eating my cheese :). Maybe someday I'll quit dairy for good, but for now I'll enjoy my cheese and butter.

Yogurt is a dairy product that is actually very beneficial to eat - not because of its calcium content but because of the beneficial bacteria it contains. This bacteria helps aid in digestion. Yet another fact to add to my mind's never ending debate. My husband takes yogurt for his lunch every day. Until now I have bought the little tubs of yogurt that is a conglomeration of a sad non-fat excuse for yogurt, high fructose corn syrup or sugar, "natural flavors", and gelatin or some sort of thickening agent, amongst other things depending on what kind you get. Well, we thought it was healthy!

So for the first time I made my own yogurt. I requires 2 simple ingredients - Milk and yogurt. You use 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt as a starter for your batch, and then from that batch save 2-3 tablespoons for the next batch and so on. In that bit of yogurt are the bacteria which you are looking for - the bacteria that will eat up the lactose in the milk, mulitply, and make it thick and tangy. It is so easy it is sickening.

These are my supplies to start out with.


This is my first step. EASY.




I heated the milk slowly on the stove. The directions I was using suggested using a double boiler, but with both kids napping I decided I could just keep stirring and maybe zone out a little at the same time. I  heated it to 185 degrees (OK 186, let's not get too OCD about it). I then put the whole pot in the sink with cold water to cook it down to 110 degrees. They suggested using a candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot, but I don't have one. So I used my digital meat thermometer and it worked just fine.


Once the milk was down to 110 degrees, I added the 2-3 T yogurt.


I stirred it well, and then put the lid on. I placed it on a heating pad set at the medium setting and covered it all with a kitchen towel to keep it warm.


Then it must sit, undisturbed, for 7 hours. When my husband got home from work I told him he must NOT touch the pot, leading to a night filled with teasing gestures of touching the pot.

At 9:30 pm, I finally got to take a peek, and I knew I had yogurt immediately by the tangy smell! It wasn't very thick, but real yogurt isn't because it doesn't have added thickening agents. It tasted pretty good - a little drizzling of honey is all it needed to be great.

The husband took his first batch to work with him today and I am so proud. It did thicken up a little more in the fridge over night. Not only do I have natural yogurt, but it is so much cheaper! It is about half the amount of money I'd spend on yogurts for the week, AND it is organic. So really I'm saving about 75%!

An added bonus - no waste from containers!

swirled with local honey

Monday, February 18, 2013

Venison Stew

I used to be a vegetarian. It's true! In fact, I was even a vegan for some time in college. I don't regret it...I had good reasons. I still have good reasons, only now I have found ways to eat meat that I am OK with. See, I don't eat meat unless I know where it came from. Unlike most people, I want to see the dead animal. I want to know how it was raised, what kind of life it had, what was put into its body, and how it was killed. I just don't trust the meat at the grocery store. All those hormones they give the animals to make them bigger and fatter scare me to death. Then there are the conditions in which they live. And the way they are killed. Lets just say, it makes me sick.

 So I eat wild game. I will eat other meat if I know where it came from and how it was treated, and once a month if we go to a friends' house or out to dinner I may order some meat just to feel treated. Mostly, though, I eat venison, pheasant, duck, fish, and goose. I have hunter friends and family that supply me with this lean, protein rich source of food. I think that hunting for food is a much more humane way to get dinner than to buy the stuff at the store. The wild game I eat had a good life and a fair chance at survival. That slab of sirloin you got from the supermarket never had a chance, or a good life.

Our family still eats about 75% of our meals vegetarian. Less in the summer when I can get organic meat from local farms. Mostly because I like it, and am familiar with it. Luckily we also have a nice chest freezer in our basement filled with all sorts of game.

One of my favorite ways to make venison is in the crock pot. Venison is very lean, and so it can be tough. Cooking for a long time makes it so tender. So here is how I make venison stew - a completely unprocessed meal that will give you lots of leftovers! This is my own recipe, but it probably doesn't stray too far from any beef stew recipe you can find out there.

I start by cubing the venison steak. There were 4 steaks - I'm not quite sure pound-wise how much I had. Maybe 1 1/2?

See how lean that is?
I brown the mean in some extra virgin olive oil to give it some color and a head start with the cooking process. While that is happening, I cut up my veggies:

2 onions, 3 carrots, 2 pieces of celery and 5 small potatoes. You can also throw in cabbage, green beans, other root veggies, etc. It is stew, do what you want!

I put all the veggies into the crock pot.


I then add the browned meat, and 4 cups of beef stock. I'll admit, I used store-bought organic beef stock here. Hey, I'm a work in progress! I'm sure coming soon I'll put up a post about making my own stock, but for now I had to use what I had in my pantry. I also threw in some parsley and oregano.

All stirred up!
Pop the top on and let her go! 3-4 hours on high, 5-6 hours on low. Then at the end I like to throw in some peas for some green color, AND some red wine. Red wine + red meat = yummies. I love cooking with wine!


And there you have it - hearty, healthy, warm, and completely chemical free.

Venison stew:

1.5-2 lbs venison steak, cubed
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 large carrots, cut into discs
2 stalks of celery, chopped
5 small red potatoes, washed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 t dried oregano
1 T dried parsley (this summer I hope to have fresh herbs from the garden!)
4 cups beef or venison stock/broth
1/4 cup red wine - taste it to be sure its good
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

Garlic would be another good addition. I didn't add it because Allisyn doesn't like it in my milk.

Brown the meat in the olive oil for about 10 minutes until it has some color. Put in the crock pot with everything up to the red wine and cook for 3-4 hours on high, 5-6  hours on low. Add the wine and peas and heat it through. Serve with nice crusty bread to soak up all that yummy broth!

Graham crackers

Is it s'more season yet? As I look outside at the cold, rainy, windy weather, I have my answer. This winter is just going on and on and on. The teaser days of 40 and 50 degree weather didn't really help matters. Now my toddler wants to go outside when it is 25 degrees without a hat on, because we did it last week. Sorry kid! Maybe if I start doing some preparations for bonfire season, it will magically appear. If it doesn't. I will be ready when it comes.

Graham crackers are in a league of their own. They are primarily sweet, not salty. They are good plain, in desserts such as cheesecake, or for spreading with cream cheese and jam. Or one of those trendy cookie dough or brownie dips I have been seeing. So, they are worth having around and worth trying to make homemade.

I started with this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I looked at several recipes and they are all pretty different, so I started here and made my own tweeks.I didn't want to use a whole cup of brown sugar. So I used more like 2/3 of a cup. I also used more whole wheat flour - about half of the total flour amount. As far as crackers go, these were pretty simple. I started with blending the dry ingredients.


I then added the 7 tablespoons of cold butter and pulsed it in.

It'll go in much easier if it is cut up


I then added the honey, followed by the milk. I expected the dough would come together in a ball like the other recipes I have tried. Well, it didn't. This is kin of blurry, but you get the idea of what I was looking at.


So I decided instead of trying to add more and more milk, which most recipes don't even include, I would turn it out onto the table and work it with my hands. This worked pretty well and I was able to get a nice disc out of it. Then I had to refrigerate it. I hate it when I have to refrigerate things! With sugar cookies, I generally don't even do it. With these, however, since every recipe I looked at mentioned how crucial it is to refrigerate  I obeyed.

I didn't get to the rest until the next day. The dough was really tough, so I let it sit out for a while before messing with it. Then I rolled it out, took a pizza cutter to it, put the squares (and rectangles) on my baking sheet lined with a silpad, and put them in my 350 degree oven.  Since I didn't really follow the instructions very well, I just decided to start baking them for 10 minutes and see how they looked.


They ended up baking for about 12 minutes. When I took them out they still looked soft. Darn, I thought I had failed again! However, after waiting just a few minutes, they crisped right up and I put them aside to cool. I was surprised at how crunchy they were! AND delicious. Slightly sweet with a hearty texture. Gavyn had a little bit of a hard time taking a bite at first, but once he got a taste he came back for more and more. Now I just have to make homemade marshmallows and chocolate and we can have our s'mores! Maybe I'll get that done by bonfire season.


Here is my edited recipe:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup plus 2 T unbleached white flour
2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
7 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 T mild-flavored honey, such as clover
3 T whole milk

As a note: I always use salted butter. In my opinion, a little extra salt always makes things better. You can use unsalted though :). 

Combine dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in butter until there aren't any chunks left. Drizzle in the honey followed by the milk. Turn out onto a flat surface and knead a bit until it all comes together. Wrap it and refrigerate it at least 2 hours. Take it out and let it sit at room temperature for half and hour. Roll out the dough decently thin, and cut into squares or shapes. Pole with a fork for ventilation and move to a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a sil-pad. Bake for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees or until they look set and slightly brown. COOL the suckers before trying them!


Home Staple: Crackers

I have a toddler. Therefor, crackers are a necessity in our life. Oh does he love his crackers. As far as packaged food goes, there are some decent options as far as these crunchy snacks go. However, they all contain more ingredients than I am comfortable with, and a lot of it comes from corn and soy. Some crackers have hydrogenated cottonseed oil or other oil which means they have trans fats, even if they don't show any on the nutrition facts area. We don't need that. Plus when was the last time you ate a cottonseed? Some have "Natural flavors" which aren't natural at all. It is what give strawberry candy that flavor that tastes nothing like strawberries. Others have soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, potassium sorbate, and even red and yellow food colorings - many things that I would not find in my own kitchen.

So, away with the store bought, and in with the homemade. The first recipe I tried earlier this week was a sweet potato toddler cracker. The concept was good - get in a veggie while your kid eats a cracker. I got the recipe off pinterest and it led me here: Sweet Potato Toddler Crackers. Well, after spending a morning cooking sweets potatoes, mixing dough, rolling, and cutting....these were terrible. They were so tough and chewy that even my husband didn't eat them. That is saying a lot for a man that will eat a grilled cheese that is black from me cooking it too long. I realized the recipe had no fat in it. OK, I get that some people are scared of fat, but you need SOME in a cracker! In my opinion, fat is not the enemy. I think fat is essential and beneficial in the human diet. Anyway, not all is lost. Gavyn had fun rolling out dough and our black lab is loving her new treats.

Yick


So I went on to another cracker recipe - the beloved ritz. Oh how I love ritz crackers. Especially with cream cheese. Mmmm. My Mom used to make me a snack of ritz crackers with mozarella cheese melted over the top and and extra sprinkling of salt. Oh my mouth waters just thinking about it! So I had to try and recreate these little gems. I followed the recipe from the Cupcake Project found here: Ritz crackers. I used 1/2 whole wheat flour. Well I'll tell you, these are delicious! They don't exactly taste like ritz crackers. They have a buttery, salty taste, but lack some of the fluffyness and chemical taste of the packaged kind - I love them. So did the family. They went fast. I was 1 for 2. Yay!

Yum!

In the future I probably won't cut out little circles like I did with these. I like to do as little work as possible, and taking a pizza cutter and making squares is just fine by me. Shape doesn't seem to effect taste much.


I'm going to do a seperate post about the graham crackers I made over the weekend, because they are worth their own post.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

On a Mission

I've always considered myself a healthy human being. I love vegetables and fruits, I cook a made-from-scratch meal every night for my family, and I even exercise. It hasn't always been this way. Growing up my Mom also made us healthy, whole meals every night. There was one thing that was almost unavoidable: processed foods. They are everywhere, in abundance, and ever so popular. They are staples - even healthy staples. Or what people are led to believe is healthy. Especially in my adolescence I was huge on processed foods. Hostess cupcakes? Loved em. Bread from a bag, cheetos, crackers, you name it, I ate it. I was always pretty good at watching portions, so it isn't like these foods made me gain weight. That is all that matters, right?

I now know that is completely wrong. I may have seemed healthy, but on the inside I was falling apart. I was eating chemicals in abundance, some of which aren't even digestible foods. They are put into packaged foods as stabilizers, preservatives, and flavor enhancers. Soy is everywhere, in almost every single box you can find at the store. I know what a lot of you are thinking. "I grew up eating that stuff, and I am just fine!". Well, that is fantastic. But, are you really fine? When you get cancer at 60, are you going to wonder whether all that cheeze spread you ate as a teenager had any bearing on this outcome? 

When I started trying to get pregnant for the first time, I discovered I had PCOS. Poly-cystic ovary syndrome. Wait, wait, wait, women with PCOS are fat, have excess body hair, and have diabetes. Well, most do, but not me. PCOS was a silent killer in my body. I couldn't figure out why I had it - nobody in my family had any trouble conceiving children. I was in a proper weight range, took care of myself, and definitely didn't have excess body hair. Why were my hormones all messed up? I can never be sure, but I'd bet any amount of money it had to do with the amount of chemicals I was putting blindly into my body. 

I did get pregnant. I did some intense hormone therapy to get my body working right, and I was rewarded with a beautiful, perfect baby boy. He is such a miracle to me. I did start eliminating processed foods from my diet. I don't eat meat unless I knew where it came from, I shop at the farmers market every weekend, and avoid soy like the devil. Did you know soy has artificial estrogen compounds, and your body may confuse it for the real thing. True story. I got pregnant the second time naturally. I think my body had started to heal, and coming off a pregnancy my body was in gear for more. I had been taking metformin, a blood-sugar stabilizing drug, so that may have helped too, but considering what I went through the first time, this was a piece of cake. My gorgeous baby girl was born just 2 months ago.

Pregnancy is amazing. I have Alli in there.

My children are perfect. They are so pure in body and mind, and I want them to stay that way. I can't do much about their minds after a while, but I'd like to think I can do something about how they treat their bodies. I want them to learn by example that you have to work for your food. Wheat thins don't grow on trees, and Red 40 is not a natural color. I want to feed them whole food, and teach them why they should be eating it.
My little darlings

So my quest begins. I want to un-process our world. I don't want to buy boxes and bags of chemicals from the store anymore. We are going to plant a garden. We are going to raise chickens. We are going to hunt wild game. I am going to make home-made laundry soap. Rome wasn't built in a day, and so I completely understand this is going to take some time. We are going to have to make small changes gradually to find out what works, and I am going to share it with the world. I hope it will be entertaining, educational, enlightening, and probably kind of hilarious.

I may also share some of my other natural mothering obsessions. I may throw in a post or two about babywearing, breastfeeding, and natural birth. I feel like topics like these would help give an overview of what I am trying to accomplish with my life!