Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Passion Fruit

Passion fruit, rich in vitamin C, super immune system boosting.

I'm growing this on a screen door I hinged onto my patio edge as a lattice.

Here's how it looks when it takes over (above) - not my yard.

In the drugstore, you can get tincture of passionflower. About 20-30 drops in a drink or under your tongue is equivalent to an Ativan (anti-anxiety drug). 

I use it for when I have to fly or if I am having bouts of insomnia. It is great for lowering BP and helping depression/anxiety and insomnia.

In the Phoenix area, this can grow quite well. It likes the heat and sunshine.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Pineapple Benefits and Uses

Oh, to have fresh pineapple is a super delight. It's a fruit so sweet, it's great to add to smoothies. A container of diced pineapple in the refrigerator can go quickly. In summertime, this is the craving. Here's some uses - 


pineapple with cottage cheese for breakfast

pineapple with yogurt and granola

sauteed pineapple with brown sugar and butter poured over pancakes or french toast

pineapple smoothie with vanilla yogurt and coconut water


pineapple chunk wrapped with bacon and held in place by toothpick. 400 degree oven cook 25-30 minutes, dousing with a glaze of brown sugar, soy sauce, cayenne, ginger, and pineapple juice.

Side dish and salsa

pineapple with cabbage slaw, mint, cilantro, lime juice, and red onion.

crushed pineapple in rice, soy, and green onion with stir fry.

tropical salsa with mango, pineapple, red pepper, papaya, lime juice, red onion OR green onion, jalepeno, cilantro, chili powder, salt, pepper.

sliced pineapple grilled and put atop a burger with teriyaki sauce.

pulverize in Magic Bullet or Nutribullet to make popsicles.

pineapple daiquiris.

added to salad. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Going Vegan: Adding Vegan Plant-Based Principals Into Any Diet

I wrote my ebook "Going Vegan" to express how important it is to bring plant-matter and micronutrients into your diet. It even has a great deal of information on how to add vegan practices to a meat-eating diet, as well. 

It's all about realizing how vital the "gatherer" aspect of our hunter-gatherer nature is to our health. I share a lot of tips and tricks for sneaking more veggies into your family's diet, as well.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Tropical Party Popsicle and Tropical Soda

When you live in the desert, the first 100-degree day, you are looking at the water temperature, dragging out the swimsuits, and making cold drinks. Here's two I love to make - one is frozen!

I cut up watermelon, pineapple and mango and put into a magic bullet mixer and add coconut rum. Whirl and pour into popsicle molds. 

You can do all kinds of variations. Sometimes I add cilantro or ginger for zing.

The best soda I've ever had is made with no sugar added. Tonic water has a natural sweetening taste to it when mixed with fruit. I put watermelon, ginger root, mango, and pineapple chunks into a bottle and put in fridge. Now and then I turn it upside down to help mix the flavors. This is so much like real soda taste that you feel super guilty.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Steak-Tasting Beer Beef Stew

Best beef stew begins with a good stock. This was made with t-bones from steak at a previous meal. While I ate the meal, the bones cooked in water, salt and pepper on the stove for a good hour at least. Then, I put it in a container and froze it for later use. 

Butter and oil both in pan. Dredge stew meat in flour and cook on pan with onion, garlic and celery until meat browns. 

Put in put with beef stock in pot. Add pre-boiled potatoes and carrots. 

Mix beer with flour to thicken it. 

Add worstershire, parsley, rosemary, pepper, salt. Can add dash of A1 sauce or Heinz 57.

Cook until thickened and veggies and beef are ready. Can do in a crockpot. 

The T-bone stock creates a very steak-scented stew. It's intoxicating! 

Adding Homesteading To Suburban Life

Most people have a wee homesteader inside of them. It might be appreciating repurposing cast-out items, fixing things around the house and yard, constructing things, experimenting with cooking and canning, growing vegetables and the like. 

The sense of independence and industry, time with nature and mastery of skills are intoxicating.

I grow an organic garden with herbs, veggies, fruits, roots, you name it! But I also look to creating interesting artwork for the yard made out of found objects and interesting trellises to grow vines up.

The homeowner where I live decided to throw out the screen door, but I saw a trellis.

Now, pole beans having a support and it adds some architectural interest to the patio. As he is wheelchair bound right now, he will appreciate being able to pick beans off his porch.

As well, I am growing a wall of corn and melons along the patio that both shade the patio from heat, give privacy, and make a place for him to pick. 

There are grapevines growing along the corner post of the patio where I have a pot of flowers lined by empty wine bottles that catch the light. I put hooks on the posts of the patio with twine pulled taut for the grapevines to grow up and block sun off the porch.

This birdfeeder above was made from an old headboard post found out in the desert and a piece of broken composite board painted in southwest colors and a bird feeder attached to it. 

I took an old terra cotta pot and painted it with southwestern colors and added a white platter with water for a bird bath.

There are so many things you can work with to put a little homesteading in your life.

Consider - 
*making compost
*growing a garden
*repurposing household items as garden art or practical places for plants to climb
*making wine or beer
*using herbs for healing
*making healing bitters
*canning extra produce
*utilizing architectural elements like windows, doors and gates for garden art.
*make a potting shed out of found items. (go on nextdoor.com and find out what your neighbors might be getting rid of if you haul it away, like taking down a gazebo and using the wood or garden rock).
*call your landscapers or city for free mulch that they dump on your driveway and you can haul to your garden and put where you need it.
*learn how to quilt and sew.
*try your hand at making pottery.
*make a koi fish pond.
*get some chickens for your yard and to love.

There is something about a sense of self reliance, the physical industry that goes into homesteading that makes you feel young and strong and in control of a life that sometimes feels like it's in your boss's or family's hands. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Ham and Cheese Croissants

Got a roll of croissant dough? Make a sandwich. In this case, I took thin sliced ham and shredded cheddar and mustard. 

Roll up and cook by directions at 350 degrees. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Hashed Brown Brunch Cups

I love these for brunch and a little Tabasco to douse on them.

Thaw a bag of frozen hashed browns. Spray muffin tins well with cooking spray. Press the hashed browns into cups to make cup shape. 

Cook at 450 until crispy and dried out - they will pull away from the cups when they are done.

Put in tiny diced tomato with garlic salt, pepper, salt tossed with it, bacon crumbled, cheddar cheese. Beat some eggs and put some egg mix on top. Cook in the 450 oven x 5 mins. 

They pull right out of tin. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Surf and Turf Leftovers

If you're doing Surf and Turf, you know it's expensive!! One evening for a celebration, my friends and I got t-bone steaks, jumbo shrimp and king crab legs. Total cost? Over $100. The next day, I was determined, we would enjoy it again without a replay of the day before and utilizing all the tastiness.

When we ate the steaks, the bones were set on a plate. The shrimp tails and crab shells were put on a plate. Many of the legs' meat were not eaten, so I removed the meat. I boiled the shells and tails in water to make a stock. The bones were equally done the same in another pot of water. The stocks were frozen for later use.

The next day the steak was cut in thin slices on diagonal and put in a hot pan with cheddar and heated. They were put on whole grain bread with a mix of Heinz 57 sauce and a bit of horseradish.

I heated up the stock made from the seafood and extra crab. I added some fresh parsley, a couple cloves of minced garlic, some sauteed onion. Then I made a medium golden roux of butter/flour and added milk to thicken. A dash or two of tabasco. I added 2 tsp of Cowboy Spice Company's Orange Black Pepper Trail Seasoning.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Raw Smoothies: Health Insurance in a Glass

We don't usually get around to raw fruits and vegetables unless we have a token salad at some point during our week. 

But, it's super easy to have 4-8 servings of raw fruits and veggies, herbs and roots a day without any daily stress. 

First, get an individual-sized Magic Bullet or other pulverizing device. This one (below) is around $32. 

Buy your organic fruits, veggies, herbs and roots and clean and cut them up, mix them up, and put them into small freezer bags so they are ready to use. 

Whirl up your breakfast and it's already in the drinking mug or mix up a snack in seconds. If this is your breakfast and two in-between-meal snacks a day, you've gotten your fiber, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting and disease- fighting needs met for the day. 

Tip: Keep some bags of frozen fruit on hand for when you need a quick blend - berry mix is great and melons.

Here's some elements of mixes - 

Liquid - water, coconut water, almond milk
Protein - Greek yogurt, nuts, milk
Fiber - chia seeds, raw oats
Veggies - spinach, kale, carrots, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, greens
Herbs - cilantro, parsley, ginger root
Fruits - seasonal - watermelon, berries, pineapple, bananas, dates, grapes, mango, peach, orange

My breakfast whirl is raw oats, banana, cinnamon, and almond milk

Dessert-like shake: frozen dates, almond milk, cocoa powder.

Snack mixes: I always use ginger for anti-inflammatory and the heat cuts through "yucky" veggie tastes. 
I also add a sour - in summer I use granny smith apples and in winter I use cranberries. Sour cuts through the taste too. 
I try to mix lots of colors and greens for most nutrient dynamics.

For something everyone will drink - spinach and orange. It sounds weird, but the taste is amazing. Granny smith, cilantro and ginger.

Depending on how you feel health wise, mix it up differently. 
For cleansing - greens. 
For colds and tiredness - ginger and orange.

This is such a simple way to recharge your health. Drinking one of these gives an instant ALIVE feeling, as if every cell is doing a happy dance. It's like caffeine without quickened pulse and super let-down. 

Side effects: healthy skin tones, moister skin, fantastic bowel regularity, diuresis/lowered BP, mental clarity, boosted metabolism, better health, refreshing sleep, clearer vision, and much more!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

ShRed's Chicken Enchilada Soup

I've had a blast working on this recipe. Here's how it goes - 

I take 4 thin half chicken breasts and slow cook them and tear them apart.

Then, 1 T. vegetable oil in a pan to cook 1 diced clove of garlic and 1/2 c. diced onion.

Mix 1 c. masa harina and 3 c. water (can find this in a bag in the cooking aisle or Mexican food aisle, like flour) in a large pot.

Add the cooked garlic and onion, 1 c. enchilada sauce, 16 oz of velveeta cheese, 1/2 tsp of hot sauce (I use buffalo sauce), 1-1/2 tsp Cowboy Spice Company Red River Fajita seasoning, 4 c. of chicken broth, 1 tsp salt. 

Add the chicken and 3/4 c. frozen corn.

Bring to boil and reduce heat to low and simmer 30-40 mins covered. 

I take corn tortillas and cut into thin strips and deep fry to put atop the bowl of soup. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Buffalo Fried Chicken with Buffalo Gravy

I was feeling like fried chicken and gravy but the weather turned hot and the thought of typical country fried chicken and gravy with biscuit sounded a bit, well, blah. 

I took the chicken, cutting it into tiny strips and marinated in a mix of buffalo hot sauce and milk. 

In one bowl, I put flour with salt and pepper. In another bowl I put eggs mixed with Buffalo hot sauce. In another bowl, I put cracker crumbs mixed with 2 tsp of Cowboy Spice Company Sweet Heat

I dipped chicken into flour mix, egg mix, then cracker spice mix. I heated up the oil and fried it. 

I made a gravy with a roux of 2 T butter, 3 T flour, and when it was golden, I added 3/4 c milk, 1/4 c. buffalo sauce and 1/4 c. chicken broth. If gravy gets too thick while heating, add more milk.

I put the chicken on the plate with an open biscuit, added some of the cracklings from frying pan to the gravy and put that over the chicken and biscuit. Then, drizzled with ranch dressing.

This was a pretty mind-blowing experience! 

Herbed Chicken on Mashed Yams

Pretty easy but fancy meal with very complex exciting tastes. The lemon acid and the sweet yams mix well together. Cut up and peel one ...