Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Janey's Pumpkin Pie

Janey's Pumpkin Pie 

Pie Crust:

2 c flour
1 tsp fine real salt or sea salt
2/3 c real butter, or coconut oil (Note for taller, flakier crust use Lard)
1/3 c cold water
Pulse butter (cut into cubes) and salt and flour in food processor until crumbly.

Add water and pulse until ball forms.Or in a bowl, add cut butter and flour and salt, and use pastry cutter to mix- mixing until crumbles begin and then add water to ball.

Lay out on a flat surface, cut ball in half (makes 2 crusts) roll out flat to fit 9" pie plate, pinch edges of crust. let rest 15 min before baking.


1 can Pumpkin Puree (15 oz)
1 can Coconut milk (13.5 oz)
2 egg yolks
1 egg
3 tbsp honey (or sugar)(Note: for sweeter pie increase to 1/4 c, I prefer to taste stronger pumpkin.)
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp nutmeg)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt (or real salt)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Blend with whisk pumpkin puree and eggs until smooth. Add spices, salt and honey and the coconut milk. Whisk together until creamy smooth.

Pour into pie crust filled pan (9"). Tap to release air bubbles. (Foil around the edges if you do not want dark brown - I forgot this! But I'm reminding you! ;P!  )
Bake 15 minutes. @ 425 F. Then Turn down oven to 350 degrees F and bake remaining time until set- about 40 min. Butter knife inserted toward crust edge should come out clean.

Let cool completely. Serve with Whipped cream and enjoy! 

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Finishing touches

Simple curtains and Fun- Finishing Touches.

Moving and unpacking for an unorganized person like myself takes time. Finding the right spots for things- adjusting, readjusting... the shelves that were in one house, are not the shelves in the new house... more in the bathroom- less in the bedroom- where is this? where is that? -

Moving takes time. Simple as that.
And then, there are the final touches. Small things that make a house a home.

I never had sliding glass door in the old place- now I have 2. Oh what to do- what to do?...
So I made curtains for the one in my dining room, and although it has been over 16 years since I sewed- it slowly came back to me. Simple straight stitches- trimming,leaving room for the curtain rod, length. I had fun. Nothing complicated.
I liked the end result- I was happy with the light weight material letting in more light to my dining room.

I still haven't decided what to do on the slider in the bedroom! But that's coming. I'm thinking dark beige there. We shall see. 

Then I was loving the light in the kitchen! 
The window above my sink is my favorite, and although I like my privacy I do not want a solid curtain there. So I thought this was a perfect time to have some fun! I have never done it before- I decided to string my own beads - used all kinds- from natural stone beads to plastic pony beads. I found a few decorations in the Christmas isle that worked too - haha!  I wanted a prism for the light to catch and rainbow all over- mainly for my cats; who cannot get enough of little lights, refractions, and laser light dots- lol.
But a bead curtain???! How retro- so retro, I was in love with the idea- just for fun! Because the kitchen to me is a fun place, and the center for the home! So here's my start- I have to go get more beads to start - but you get the idea. Enough to give the cats a small rainbow refraction- and enough to make me smile! yay!
I plan to make a small top valance to hide the wire tops, but that's it for this window. I'll add beads as I can.

What's most important to me is to make our place feel comfortable. It's not the things we have, or do not have, that make it special - it's the thought, care and love in a home that makes it bright and loving.
Time- everything takes time. 
It is slowly coming together. yay!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Happy hearts make a happy home.
Brightest Blessings!

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Back to Real Food and loving every minute of it!

Yay! We have a kitchen again! 

Love love love getting back into the kitchen and enjoying REAL food again!
Everything is so yummy when it's chopped fresh and cooked right! 

Tonight my hubby is making fajitas with homemade Mexican Rice and beans.
The Recipe for Authentic Mexican Rice can  found here:  Homemade Mexican Rice.

The fajitas really are simple- a matter of taste, really. Use Steak, chicken, or pork, cut the meat into small strips. Set aside.  Chop garlic, onions, bell peppers and jalapeno. Saute vegetables in olive oil until tender over med heat, add meat and brown. reduce heat, lid, and cook for 15-20 minutes until the meat is tender and done thoroughly ( varies depending upon which meat you choose to use.)  Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with warmed tortillas.

Tonight is perfect example of how it has been since we moved here. I was the helper- and happy to be "chef assistant!" Yay! During our 3 months away, we all missed real food so much!  We would sometimes  talk about what we should make first once we had it all back! Discussions debated between lazagna (last night),  or  pork chops(night before),- even meatloaf  made it in there!  The kitchen is now a new sparked interest, and REAL food is the only thing on the menu!!Watching the family now-  Every dinner is now a team effort in cooking! And I am loving the help in the kitchen! It has been wonderful!Yay!!!!

 Hope you've had a great week!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Oh, How I love DIY All-Purpose Lemon Cleaner!

 DIY All Purpose Cleaner

After a lapse in my routine, and exposure to commercial cleaners for 3 months, I am falling in love with natural cleaners all over again!  Oh, how I missed the sweet fresh smells- the aroma of essential oils- and the nontoxic clean!!!!!!! It just does not compare- really!  

Today was a shining example-  the task of cleaning the stove top and mainly the oven. I hate cleaning an oven- sorry no excuses - just stating a fact- I hate cleaning ovens. Awkward and the worst tough grease ever. People I know scream, "Easy Off!"  I respond with a resounding, "Noooooooo!"
 A former employer of mine would spray it without care- noxious fumes a flying! It was horrible- I won't go that route. Ever.

I made a batch of fresh DIY All Purpose Cleanser, and while the formula was still hot in temp I turned right around and sprayed down my oven! The worst thing that happened in my house is my husband asking-"Did you peel an orange?" (I'd added orange essential oil to this particular mix as well as lemon essential oil.) The result? My oven is shining! and I finished with ease in less than a half hour- that's with complete wipedown inside and out.
The best part- I saved a small fortune making a very effective cleanser, using basic safe ingredients already in the house.  I do not have a headache from fumes, my family isn't running from the house because of the horrible cleaners smell,  no one was exposed unnecessarily to toxic ingredients, and it's clean! So clean I want to bake! I am heading for the store now- Haha!  

All Purpose DIY Lemon Cleaner 

1 tsp washing soda
2 tsp Borax
1/2 tsp liquid soap (Castile soap or dish soap)
2 c hot water
10-20 drops lemon essential oil
pour into recycled spray bottle, cap and shake until dissolved. spray on surface and wipe away!* Works wonders on stoves, and counter tops!

Knowing I was cleaning the oven I added about 5 drops orange essential oil- just because it smelled so good. I was wanting the citrus smell! LOL

I have posted this mix before- I am just resinging the praises due to our personal lapse. You can find my original post at this recipe here: DIY All Purpose Cleaner

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lavender For the buggy bites!

I spent a lot of time outdoors this summer.  Outdoors is wonderful, fresh and healthy! But occasionally buggy. I realize the bug season may be diminishing with the winter coming on; but I thought it still worthy to note. I will never again race for the anti itch topical creams or the over the counter bug bite relief. I will grab my essential oils. Specifically - Lavender.

Lavender is fantastic for anti-inflamatory, analgesic (pain relieving), anti bacterial and skin and wound healing properties!

For me, Within seconds of applying 1 single drop on top of a bite- the itch of a mosquito bite was gone. Within a day, evidence of it drying up was there; and it was gone in 2days. Lavender oil saved me from  the itch and scratch and sped up the healing process!  I was sold!

Then I tried it on a particularly nasty mosquito bite my son had on his leg, when it healed the same way- I was sold. For the rest of the summer that's all I grabbed! Worked exactly the same for the spider bite my older son got and then again for ant bites we experienced at one BBQ!

An extra bonus is the scent of lavender is known to be a de-stressor, soothing and calming- great for keeping the edge off the day! 

Also worthy to note: Flies and ants do not like lavender- absolutely fabulous to plant in your garden around the picnic areas!  When we BBQ'd I'd mix a drop of Laveneder Essential oil with a tsp of coconut oil and rub it on my feet and legs before going out and wasn't bothered by flies or ants like some other people.

For more information on Essential Oils, their properties and uses: I recommend Lea Harris- who has a wonderful site full of extra information and recipes at Nourishing Treasures . One in particular, that I recommend is her : Itch Be Gone .

Lavender Essential Oil!   May my medicine cabinet never be without it! Haha! :)

You can find Lavender Essential Oil at many health food stores.
Or try:

You might also like the links found at: Wellness Wednesday November Link Up 11/6

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Returning to Home -

It was breezy and the small wind seemed to increase a bit, but nothing prepared us for the gust that came! Suddenly it gusted 3- - no 40 - no 50 mph! picking up dirt, debris, bits of tree branches flew by. The gust didn't end - it increased! dirt and sand in the eyes- we couldn't see the road any longer- so thick was the wall of dirt going by-  the umbrella for the table picked up and flew 10 feet into the pool, trying to grab it and save it and nearly fell in -then continued blast- trash and tree limbs flying across the parking lot... a dust devil the size of a small tornado picked up large tumble weeds and threw them into a whirl 200 feet up in the air... it kept going....until it was gone.
... just as suddenly as it started....
I saw this happen last month.

 An actual occurrence, that turns out to be a perfect analogy for our lives this last three months.

A whirlwind, a tornado of events, turmoil, upheaval, and then sudden calm.  Discovering how to survive a storm and still smile with little left.
I am not comfortable giving out whole details, but in short- we were buying a house, the seller backed out 5 days before escrow, everything fell through, and three months later- after multitude of events such as losing cars and jobs- we are finally back in a rental house.
It is now a week after our move and I am still going through boxes, and discovering where things might go and basically...settling down.

I never intended to be away so long.

I learned a great many things during that time and I want to share it all with you, I just have to figure out how to word it all. I missed writing!
The three months covered the bulk of summer here. The hottest months- we did a great deal of swimming and walking.
Many hours got spent outside- and we enjoyed the BBQ many nights, rather than going out to eat fast food. I found out just how bad I could feel after nasty fast food. (McD's made me feel like I had poisoned myself into a sluggish grease pit, I wasn't alone! Everyone including the kids agreed!)
Oh, how I missed real food! I craved home cooking daily. We all craved it after just a week of not having it! The BBQ helped, but really  nothing compares to homemade lasagna fresh from the oven (our voted most missed food 2nd was baked chicken).

 I missed my All natural cleansers and safe cleansers. I used baking soda whenever I could but could not escape the motel cleansers etc.

In the heated outdoors, I discovered Lavender Essential Oil is fantastic for mosquito bites, and spider bites, and virtually eliminates all itching! It also deters ants and flies.

I discovered my small jar of coconut oil could become far more than cooking oil, it turned into my daily moisturizer, my hand lotion, and a soothing answer for sunburn!

I discovered my bottle of castile lavender soap could wash dishes, be a hand and body soap, and shampoo!

I discovered that even in trying times and adversity I still could not compromise my beliefs that natural is better than the convenience products sold on the shelves. All in all the experience was like a test for all of us- did our steps to go real food and more natural before really take hold? I'd have to say a resounding YES!!!!!

So happy to be back! So happy to be able to write it all again!

As I unbox and unravel from the past summer- I hope to start sharing everything again. Thanks to everyone for following and thank you for your patience!

a truly Consistently Sporadic Writer