Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homemade Salad Dressings

 

This weekend I decided to make a few batches of our favorite salad dressings…from scratch!

As you know, I try to cook and bake without preservatives and chemicals, so I have been either using a homemade vinaigrette or finding an organic version of a particular dressing. We have not been too thrilled with the selections at the super market…especially for Ranch Dressing.

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They all turned out fabulously!

I made a Ranch Dressing, Honey Mustard and Italian Style Dressing.

Here are the recipes:

 

Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used Spectrum Canola Oil Mayonnaise…it is all natural)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together (I did this in a 4 cup measuring glass). Pour into a container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Let me tell you…This is the BEST Ranch I have ever triedSmile

 

Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

This one would be great as a dipping sauce for homemade chicken breast nuggets!

 

Italian Style Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • a pinch dried thyme
  • a pinch celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon water

Whisk all ingredients together. Let sit for at least 4 hours or overnight. Can either be refrigerated or kept at room temperature.

This is what I decided to have on my salad last night. It was the perfect compliment to the lasagnaSmile

 

Do you make your own dressings?

What is your favorite recipe?

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekendSmile

 

Jessie

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I’m Back…Again

 

Hello!!! I am still here!! Unfortunately I have been without internet service for a few weeks (long story involving me and our cable company…let’s just say I need to learn NOT to let my temper get the best of me sometimes).

 

So…

I am going to give you the run down of the haps this past few weeks….

 

First, I spent a fabulous day with my kiddos, mom, sister-in-law and nephews at a few farm markets.

 

Here a a few pictures from our little day trip.

 

 

Corn Maze!

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Grandma and the crew.

 

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The average group takes 20 minutes in this particular maze…it took us 40…directionally challenged we are.

 

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Finally!!!

  Hayride!

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Cousins!

 

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Me and my girl ♥

 

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Gorgeous Michigan apples.

 

Lunch

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My mom and the kiddos.

 

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My sweet Gabbers ♥

 

 

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My yummalicious lunch! Turkey Panini with garlic pesto mayo and tomato, kettle cooked chips and an apple….Gotta LOVE farm market cafes.

 

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Fresh apple cinnamon donuts…These devils were sitting next to me….and I couldn’t decide whether to eat one before or after my lunchWinking smile

 

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I decided to set a good example for the kids.

 

 

Playground Antics

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We carved our HUGE pumpkins from our garden.

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This is the coolest picture! It looks like the jack-o-lanterns are on fire! I have no clue what my camera was set on, but it looks awesome

 

Gabe and Lily had their class Halloween parties…at their two different schools. I had to go back and forth…haha!

 

Princess Lily! Normally she does NOT eat like this! Or drink Kool Aid (I think this may be the first time she had ever had it…hence the weird look on her face).

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Sponge Bob Gabe

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I have also been making some cakes. If you have only been following me for a short time…I have a small cake business…I know, I know…a healthy baker? I use all natural and organic ingredients…giving my clients a more natural alternative to processed grocery store and commercial bakery cakes

 

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Fondant pumpkins in progress.

 

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Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting!

 

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Ready to go!

 

I also did a little experimenting with Christmas cakesSmile 

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Now that I am back in action, I will be posting our bathroom remodel progress soon!

Jessie

Monday, October 10, 2011

31 Days to a Happy, Healthy Family: Healthy Kiddos!


The most important job I have in my life is that of mommy:)
I adore my kids, and will do anything to make sure they are safe and healthy! 


90% of children do NOT get the nutrients they need from food!
That makes it crucial they take a supplement.
And...
Not all supplements are created equal.
Most of the top selling brands contain artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Not to mention nasty fillers. Make sure that you buy your children NATURAL vitamins, NOT synthetic.
The artificial ingredients in some vitamins may be linked to ADHD!

I am partial to Incredivites:)
My kids LOVE them too!








They were taking popular cartoon character vitamins.
But I could never get them to take then with out complaining that they tasted bad.
I ordered the Shaklee Incredivites about 4 months ago, and they beg me to take them!
I even tried one myself;)
No aftertaste, no "vitamin" burps (sorry, gross!).
PLUS...
Since Gabe has started taking them, he has not had to be on an antibiotic once!!! (He was on X brand vitamins for years without such results).
And...
He has only suffered one cold, which, for the first time EVER, did not result in an ear/eye infection:)


 Another important supplement I give to Gabe, are probiotics (at the recommendation of his pediatrician).
He has quite a few digestive issues, and these have helped him greatly!








Probiotics are especially helpful after children (and adults) have been on antibiotics.
They restore the good bacteria in the gut. Which is why most kids get diarrhea after a course of antibiotics...they have killed the good bacteria along with the bad:(




This next one is crucial to your kids health...
Milk!!!
   





 This is my children's pediatrician's top recommendation.
CALCIUM!!!
Preferably in the form of organic milk...

But if they can't tolerate milk, or have allergies, there are other options.




You just have to make sure that whatever "milk" you chose is fortified with vitamin D, for calcium absorption. 
Ask your pediatrician to see how much calcium you child needs!



On a different note...






 I had some questions and emails about Vitalizer.





This is what the strip looks like.
 2 Caroto-E-Omega supplements (red)
2 Vita-Lea multivitamins (green)
1 B+C Complex (yellow)
and
1 Optiflora probiotic (small white)


I am doing an adult supplement post tomorrow...
So stay tuned;)



Have a super week!


Jessie




31 Days to a Happy, Healthy Family: Another Healthy Yogurt Snack

I promise that I eat other things...
not just yogurt.
But...
I created this recipe this morning and it was too good not to share:)


Banana Split Parfait


  • 1-6oz. container of vanilla Greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
  • 1/8 cup strawberries (I used frozen organic...I thawed them and chopped them in the blender with a little stevia)
  • 1/8 cup chopped, fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 of a banana, chopped
  • 4 walnut halves, chopped
  • 1 tsp of mini dark chocolate chips
Layer 1/3 of yogurt on the bottom of a small dish. Top with strawberries. Layer another 1/3 of the yogurt. Top with pineapple. (Looking at the picture, I did my pineapple first...so whatever you like:)) Layer the rest of the yogurt. Top with banana, walnuts and chocolate. 

Enjoy!



Jessie

Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 Days to a Happy, Healthy Family: Adult Wellness

An important part of having a healthy family, is making sure that we take excellent care of ourselves.

I am going to share with you my top 5 must have wellness products.
These are the things I use every day to keep myself in optimal health.




1. Vitalizer Women. This is my multivitamin, omegas, B vitamins and probiotics...all sealed in one very convenient strip.  Once I started taking Vitalizer, I found my life changed! I wasn't tired in the middle of the day, and my energy level is ridiculous! If I forget to take it...I WILL know it by mid morning. Shaklee vitamins are actually the reason why I decided to become a distributor. I LOVE them that much:)

2. Organic Green Tea. It has boosted my immune system and metabolism. Green tea is also full of powerful antioxidants! It has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Right on!

3. Cinch Soy Protein. I suffer from Hemiplegic migraine, which means that when I am having a migraine, I have stroke symptoms...numbness, loss of vision, inability to speak and think clearly...SCARY stuff! Last year I started getting these migraines every month at the same time (hint, hint). I did a little research and found out that my migraines may be caused by a sharp drop in estrogen. I found that foods like soy, flax and nuts are high in phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). So...I started loading up on non-GMO soy (this is VERY important...buy only non genetically modified soy) and flax. Chick peas (hence my hummus obsession) are also high in pytoestrogens. That is why I love Cinch...It's easy and FULL of non chemically washed, non-GMO soy! The next month, no migraine! I have not had one in 6 months!!! Another bonus: It helps with PMS symptoms:) ...Plus, it is also excellent for men's prostate health...just don't say anything about the estrogens;) 

4. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. This is one of the first antiseptics ever used. I'm talking Hippocrates type old. It had also been shown to help with fat loss, acid reflux, sinus infections, acne, allergies and arthritis!

5. WATER! I drink 80-100 oz. per day! Water helps flush toxins from our bodies, keeps our skin hydrated and is necessary for almost every body function. It will also keep you from feeling fatigued, hungry and grumpy as you make your way through the day.


I hope that you have found this advice helpful:)


Jessie




31 Days to a Happy, Healthy Family: All You Need is Love

This is yesterday's post. My router broke last night:( But...I got a new one!!!

Today my advice is simple...

Tell your spouse, significant other, children, grandchildren... whomever you consider your family...
"I love you!"

And tell them every day.

Love is patient, love is kind. It it is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge it will be brought to nothing.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8






Jessie

Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days to a Happy, Healthy Family: A Simple, Healthy Lunch


Today I am going to give you an idea for a kid-friendly, healthy lunch, made from leftovers.

I buy one or two organic chickens every week. I usually roast them using this recipe. We eat the chicken as a meal with a few sides, and use the leftovers for other meals. One of our favorites is this quick and easy chicken salad.




 I pull as much meat off the chicken as I can, and place it in a bowl.






To that, I add a little diced red onion, chopped celery, some dried cherries and  pecans, almonds or cashewsThen, I mix in some olive oil mayo. I prefer to use organic, because there are no artificial preservatives...
But...
This time I used Hellman's Olive Oil Mayo.








 I had some lettuce leftover from a salad the previous night, so I added that to up the nutritional value.
I also use 100% whole wheat bread (organic) for more vitamins and fiber:)






 This apple slicer is becoming one of my most used kitchen utensils. It is a must have! Especially if you have kids:)


I add a few spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt sprinkled with some organic cinnamon, as dip for the apples.

And...






A delicious lunch...
That was quicker, easier and  HEALTHIER than any mac and cheese;)
 
 
 I hope you are enjoying the series:)
Jessie

Bathroom Remodel: Part 1

I am so excited!
We are finally remodeling our bathroom!!!
If you read my blog regularly, you are probably remembering that we have been in the process of looking for a new house.
Well...
That hasn't gone so well:(
After bidding wars and offers on 5 houses...
We have decided to wait.

But...
In the meantime...
The house we have lived in for 11 years (wow!) needs some TLC.
 

We moved into our current home the day after we got married, 11 years ago. It is a rental owned by my parents.

Trust me, we never intended to live here for 11YEARS!
But, after Gabe was born, I was forced to quit my job and stay home with him. His health did not allow for him to be in daycare, and as he grew, it became apparent that there were more problems than we initially thought. Long story short...We made the decision that I would not go back to work full time.

So, we have stayed in our rental, hoping to one day be able to afford our own home.
Then, the housing market changed, and we found that we could afford our own home!
But...
After much consideration...
and many awful home tours (we have a tight budget).
We have we want to build a house ourselves!

Now we have to wait.
Building you own home requires significantly more money down:( 
 
 
Until then, we are making this one more livable:)

 
 
On to the remod...




 The gorgeous vanity and sink...
Love the 70's modular style...haha!











It really is clean...
Just old.







We have had 3 tub surrounds on this shower/tub...
and fixed the drywall each time we replaced it...
Because of poor design, it ALWAYS leaked!





Rotten drywall and floor:(








This is the Be-u-ti-ful paneling that we painted over 11 years ago.
I know, the yellow isn't much better...
I will prove that my taste has definitely improved:)







Love demo. (or rather watching hot hubby demo;))












Rewiring the fan/light.





More electrical...





Drywall ceiling! No more PANELING!!















It works!







After day 3...

















Here is a sneak peek of what's to come!















This is what it looks like this morning:)




 We (meaning my awesome husband) should be completely done by Sunday:)
I can't wait to share it with you!
Jessie