Sunday, December 8, 2013

Felted Wool Dryer Balls

I'm not sure why I hadn't added these before now, but we finally did it!  My husband and I have been using felted wool dryer balls for over a year now and have never looked back!  We haven't purchased dryer sheets in that entire time saving us lots of money!

What exactly are felted wool dryer balls?  They are balls of wool yarn that are 'felted' to stick together when tossed in the dryer.  These balls of yarn soften your clothes, shorten drying time, reduce static electricity, and fluffs your clothes overall.  Unless someone is allergic to wool these are the safest and most chemical free alternative to dryer sheets!

You get 4 to a bag and you use all 4 at a time.  Color does not matter in the dryer.  Cost is $14 but they pay for themselves in a very short time!  I have four colors right now or a variety pack!  Blue, black, tan, or ivory.  Try them out!  You won't go back to dryer sheets!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Free Shipping!!

Effective now until Monday at Midnight, there will be free shipping for all orders over $10 for those in the US & Territories.  Don't wait!  Get your holiday shopping done now!  We will have more items posted by tomorrow!!  Stay tuned!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ginger Snaps! GF & Grain Free!

We made these cookies for the Halloween event at a Farmer's Market and boy were they a hit!  So, we're packaging them now to sell!  Oh so yummy, grain free, gluten free and very low sugar!  They are soft and chewy but if you want harder ones, I can do that too!  I will make 'harder' ones to make pie crusts!  We only use organic ingredients as well.  A bag of 30 cookies is $5.00  I can ship these if I have notice via USPS flat rate (2 days).  Cost for shipping will depend on the quantity ordered.  The 30ct bag would run $6.50 for shipping, but if you want a larger order, I can do that too!  Trust me, I'm really not making much money off these at all!  But, I want to share what a wonderful grain free, gluten free ginger snap can taste like!  Email me if you're interested!


We have been working on soaps the last 2 days and have some great updates to old soaps!  Our No-Poo Shampoo Bar now has Comfrey Leaf Powder in it!  While it colors it green, it is a great healing herb often used in healing salves and ointments.  It also has added Tea Tree Oil which helps with fungal infections, dandruff, etc.  All in all, it a great change to our shampoo bar! These bars are $6 each or 3/$15.

We have a great new scent as well!  Spiced Citrus!  It smells so good!  Orange essential oil with tangerine, clove and peppermint.  A fantastic combination that somewhat smells like spiced orange cider.  It is also colored with annatto seed powder to give it a nice orange hue!  So nice.  We have more Lavender Vanilla soap as well.  I do need to get more goats milk now! We are out and need to make more for the upcoming holiday events.  All bars are $5 each or 3/$12.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

What fun!

My daughter and I got back from vacation yesterday and boy did we have some fun!  We saw so much of Southern California, it was insane!  We put over 600 miles on the car!  We went to Hollywood, the walk of fame, Grauman's Chinese Theater, Griffith Observatory, The LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Huntington Beach, a swap meet (flea market to those that don't know what a swap meet is), Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Belmont Fishing Pier, and more!  We also got to go to the Jay Leno show - twice!  It was amazing!  Lastly, we saw lots of family and friends.  All in all, a great trip and much needed vacation.  Now on to 'work'! LOL!

By Monday, we will be posting updated items, the new spice blends that we have, and gift basket options for the holidays!  So, stay tuned over the next few days!!  Vacation is great, but glad to be home too.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


From October 31st to November 8th, we will be on vacation.  If you need anything immediately, please email me!  My daughter and I have not had a proper vacation in many years and I am headed to my 30 year High School Reunion and we will celebrate her 21st birthday!  My eldest daughter and husband will be at home manning the trenches!

It's sad though that my husband is not coming with us as this will also be during our 25th Wedding Anniversary!  He was not able to get off of work to come.  When we return we will have lots of great new things coming for the holidays!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Irmo Farmer's Market!

Although it is nearing the end of the season, we have been accepted into the Irmo Farmer's Market.  The first date we will be out there is in December at their holiday market.  Until that time we are still looking for venue options for Saturday's.  In the interim, if you need anything please feel free to contact us to get your items!  We will deliver free to locals!

This market it typically held from May through October on the 1st and 3rd Saturday's of the month with 'special occasions' as well.

Monday, October 14, 2013

No More Vista Marketplace at 701 Whaley

Effective immediately, we will no longer be at Vista Marketplace at 701 Whaley.  It is in the best interest of our business and family.  As we took so much time away from ourselves and our own business to focus on market issues, we are going to refocus our efforts on what we do best - make the best products possible and sell them online and at markets that are beneficial to all.  If you have been visiting us there and need anything, please feel free to contact me and we can make arrangements to get you what you would like!  Take care and have a great evening!

Friday, October 11, 2013

No Market Tomorrow

Saturday, October 12, 2013 we will not be at a Saturday Market for the first time in nearly 9 months.  I have had some life situations arise that I have to work tomorrow and just can't get out of.  I also need to do some canning while the fruit is in season!  My eldest daughter is getting married in 8 months, the holidays are approaching, and many things are upcoming including my youngest daughter's 21st birthday, my 30 year High School Reunion, and my 25th wedding anniversary.  The canning is for my daughters wedding and is scuppernog almond jelly!  While things with the business are okay, I need to take the opportunity to make some income that I know will be very helpful.

I started this business to help many people including myself but now must take a few days and step back to take care of some much needed family things.  I do hope everyone will understand that.  If anyone is in need of Paleo Bread ($7), Paleo Blueberry Bread ($8), Cheese Bread ($9), Jalapeno' Cheese Bread ($9), or wants cupcakes (chocolate or vanilla gluten free; $3 each or $15 for 6/$30 a dozen; these are LARGE cupcakes), just email me or text me and we will gladly arrange to get it to you!!  Email is or text me at 803.240.6428.  Thanks so much for understanding that right now family needs must come first!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Small Business, Big Game Video!

Here is the link with our final entry!!  Vote daily please!!

Small Business, Big Game

Want to just watch our Video?  Here ya go!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Small Business, Big Game

A couple of months ago I applied for Intuit's 'Small Business, Big Game' contest in the hopes of even getting just one of their small 'grants' they were giving away.  I never expected to hear from them!!  However, we have!!  We've made it into the next round and need everyone to VOTE every day for us!!  Over the last week I have been working with my daughter and four students from my Alma Mater, the University of SC on getting a video together to move forward with this as a video is a requirement for entry.

Our video will be uploaded very soon.  I can't thank Aaron and Randy from USC enough for all their help with the video!!  However, here is the link on where to go to vote for us!!  Thank you everyone for any and all help you can offer!!  Spread the word and help us win!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Wondering what it is like to live with HAE (Hereditary Angioedema)?  A new documentary has come out!  'Swell Movie' and is available for viewing online!  Yes, my face can get like many of the photo's shown, my left leg and my abdomen.  It can be scary but at least we now have treatment's available.  There is no cure.  This is part of what prompted my business and in helping others.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vista Marketplace

Looking for a CSA basket?  Want to be able to shop a farmer's market anytime?  Here you go!  The Vista Marketplace has such a way for you to do that!  Many of the vendors have their items on this Online Farmer's Market that attend the Vista Marketplace at 701 Whaley in Columbia, SC!!  And we're in it!  Check it out!!

Vista Marketplace Online

Please note:  As of October 15th, we are no longer affiliated with this Online Farmer's Market.  Please order from us directly on our site.  We hope to get into another Online Market soon!  Thank you so much!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Healing your food allergies naturally? Is it even possible?

More than four years ago when I started on this journey of truly 'healthy' eating with non-chemical, unprocessed, unadulterated foods and 'clean' eating I never thought this would be even remotely possible but I am here to tell you that it IS 'possible'.  I was tested REPEATEDLY for multiple, multiple allergies to pollens, 'pests' (insects) and foods and was allergic to more things than you could possibly shake a stick at!  I met with a nutritionist that specialized in helping people in my situation and was handed a 'list' of foods that literatlly was only FORTY foods long.

That was it - forty foods that I COULD eat.  It was very, very short indeed.  I just cried and cried.  What on earth was I suppose to eat?  Following that day set in depression, many fights with my husband and family about food and how we were going to eat that first year.  I didn't even know HOW to cook anymore.  My eldest daughter then got the idea that we start researching foods and watching the Cooking Channel and The Food Network.  I learned to 'Can' my own foods (a long process of learning!) and I learned and learned some more!

I learned 'how' to substitute things.  I learned that if I couldn't have chicken or pork, try veal or lamb or even gator.  We tried sweet potato noodles, use tapioca noodles, learned to make gluten free items (that are amazing by the way!) and then started making our own spice blends.  We started our business out of this need to have good foods as well.  Our friends wanted our products.  I also found that the 'sulfites' from foods were also in body care products as I continued to have problems with 'itching' all over and it spread over into laundry detergent.   We learned to make our own of that as well.  I now have just learned to make dishwasher tabs (more to follow with that!).  We also started making and selling that these items as I figured if I was having these issues from all these chemicals and preservatives, others had to be as well.

I also started taking probiotics.  Over 70 percent of our immune system is in our gut (stomach) and if all these 'bad' things are being 'eaten' it is destroying our gut (hence our immune system!).  To heal our gut, we must replace the 'good' bacteria that has been lost by eating over-processed foods, taking antibiotics, etc.  As a provider when I have patient I have to give antibiotics to I now recommend probiotics to every single patient to protect their gut (hence immune system!).

I started reading up on how to 'heal' my immune system (and gut) and watched the movie 'Genetic Roulette'.  It all made sense now!  Over the last eight months, I have slowly started coming off all the medication that I had been on (over fifteen of them!) and I now only take FIVE!!  One is only 'as needed' so really I only take four on a daily basis and will likely not ever get off of them as two are antihistamines.  Another is for my blood pressure which goes up if I have a bad HAE attack.  The last is a preventive medication for my headaches (which the dose is reduced in half and I'm hoping to reduce that again).  The as needed medication is for my HAE which is a very, very expensive injectable medication.  I would love to never have to take medication but know that isn't likely going to happen.

So, what happened?  I still have many allergies.  I'm still allergic to all the grasses, trees, weeds, and mildews, and cats but my gut has healed tremendously and many of my food allergies are now gone.  It has been confirmed through ELISA testing (a form of blood testing) from an allergist.  Does this mean I am going to go back and eat everything again.  Absolutely NOT!  I was previously allergic to chicken, pork and turkey.  I no longer test allergic to them!  I will not go and eat 'commercial' versions though.  If I do eat any it will be antibiotic free, chemical free, pasture raised meats.  I also tested no longer allergic to honey!  That right there might help my pollen allergies!!  I will be getting some Raw local honey for sure!!

Tonight my family and I are going to have a pasture raised, antibiotic free, chemical free chicken using our own seasonings with organic veggies.  We will see how I feel over the next three days (just like an infant adding a new food again!).  If all is good I will get some pork from the same farmer!!  I am so, so very excited by all of this as I thought I would never be able to eat some of my favorite foods again!!

Now, this does NOT mean that all food allergies can be healed!!  I would NEVER recommend that someone avoid foods they are allergic to and just start eating them again after a while.  I was tested and retested!  As always, consult with your own healthcare provider about your own circumstances.  I am just giving you my situation.  Have a great week!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fall Pollen and Ragweed

Every year I see more and more people come in during this time of year with allergies.  I also see on the side of the road a whole LOT of this pretty yellow flower!  I would love to stop and 'pick' some but know better as I would be in the hospital if I did.  What causes such horrible allergies to develop and why are they worsening every year?  There is two different things going on here.  Our food supply continues to worsen with food processing, adding chemicals, preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics to our food slowly destroying our gut which is where the majority of our immune system is.  In eating these things, we slowly lose our ability to know the difference between what is 'foreign' and what isn't in the body.  This is how an allergy slowly develops (our body develops 'antigens' to the pollens).  When we eat food related to that pollen, the body can't recognize the protein anymore as a 'normal' protein and we have a 'reaction' to it. That's allergies in a nutshell.

So, what is ragweed?  Ragweed is a pollen given off by a plant. "Ragweeds are flowering plants in the genus Ambrosia in the sunflower family Asteraceae. Common names include bitterweeds and bloodweeds" (pictured above).  Many people have problems with "oral allergy syndrome" (OAS) as the pollen attaches to other foods/plants during the fall season as it sheds from the plant.  This is what causes the 'oral allergy' symptoms when they eat the other foods.  The pollen gets in the mouth and causes the irritation.  If you have general allergy to a food, it is a different type of reaction.

Symptoms of OAS include tingling of the mouth, itching, and even swelling/edema of mouth/tongue/lips.  General allergies include nasal swelling, congestion, runny nose, sneezing.  If you have symptoms limited to just the mouth, it is likely OAS.  If it is more 'general' symptoms, you are likely allergic to the food itself.

"The foods that most commonly cause oral allergy syndrome in ragweed allergy sufferers are banana, chamomile tea, cucumber, dandelion, Echinacea, melon (cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon), sunflower seeds and zucchini."  Many people that are truly allergic to ragweed and have problems with these foods should avoid eating them as allergies can worsen over time and food allergies are difficult at best to reverse (if not impossible).  If you have ragweed allergies follow-up with your allergist/PCP is highly recommended!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Curry Powder!

With so much excitement going on, we forgot to post we had finally added the curry powder!  Oops!  It is now on our order page!

Curry Powder - A traditional Indian favorite but without the allergy provoking ingredients!  This bottle is packed tightly with either 5 or 8 oz!  We use this one in our home often to make curried goat or lamb! Contains Cumin, Coriander, Fenugreek, Ginger, White pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Mustard, Cardamom, Nutmeg and Allspice.  As always, if there is an ingredient in something that you need left out, please email us and we can do it or leave a note in the comments section!  We can do it!  Photo to come soon!

Still drinking soda? A picture is worth a thousand words.....

A friend of mine on FB posted this article by 'Natural News Buzz' about 'A Sip of soda: How Soda Impacts Your Health'.  It came with this amazing photo!  Actually, the photo is more the article.  Read through just what the ingredients in soda does to the body.  I'm so glad I gave up soda over seven years ago.  Now you decide.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

New Soap Fragrance for the Men!

Pachouli-Lavender Goats Milk Hot Process Soap

Another version of our own recipe of Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Grape Seed Oil, and Coconut Oil using old fashioned hot processed methods!  Enriched with Glycerin!!  This soap is extremely moisturizing and
smells masculine!  Scented with pachouli and lavender essential oils!  Non-irritating and no sulfites!  A 5oz bar!  It is 'colored' with natural Indigo as well!  Goats milk is from a local Goat Farmer here in SC!  See our 'body care products' page for details and ordering!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Produce Bags!

I don't know about you but when I go to the farmer's market, one thing that tends to bother me is that when I pick up produce, it is dumped into a bag mixed with all my other produce.  I would rather keep things kind of separate and be able to just put it away when I get home.  Well, we are going to offer a solution to that problem!!  Reusable (and completely washable!) produce bags!  These are completely hand made!

Made of 100% cotton muslin, double-stitched seams (to prevent fraying and prolong use!) with a draw string, these bags come in various sizes!   Extra small for items such as cherry tomatoes, cherries, etc.  The long (small) bag is great for carrots, celery and anything that is extra long.  The small bag  works great for regular sized tomatoes, onions, and more.  The medium bag is wonderful for small bags of potatoes, kale, lettuce, and more.  And the large bag is big enough to hold lots of great things such as broccoli, cauliflower, and lots more!  Prices are from $1 to $5 each or get a full set of all five for $12 (save $3).  Toss these in your market bags and when you shop, no need to worry about what to carry your produce in!  When you get home, you can store then in the bags in the fridge or remove the items and then wash them for future use!  Just don't forget to put them back in your market bags!  These will currently only be available at markets but depending on demand and emails, we may put them on the web-site.  So, come see us at the markets and get your bags today!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Gluten Free/Corn Free Baking Powder now available!!

Brand New!!

Gluten Free/Corn Free Baking Powder!!  Have you been trying to find baking powder without corn or wheat?  Well, we now have it!! Gluten free, corn free (and of course aluminum free!!) in a sealed reusable tin!  As soon as I'm able, I will do some 'refill' bags so you can reuse your tins!  Cost for the tin is $4.00 for 4oz. Ingredients include Baking Soda, Arrowroot Powder and Cream of Tartar in the perfect blend for your Baking Powder needs!  See our 'food product' page for ordering!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

New Soaps Ready!!

We have 2 brand new soaps ready!  These are 'hot processed' old fashioned soaps!  We have 2 'fragrances' so to speak!  'Vanilla Lavender' infused with real vanilla bean and lavender oils and 'Unscented' in a wonderful 'Butter Soft' soap '!  Each just $5.00 per bar!  Oh so wonderful!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Registered with FDA!

I have officially registered with the FDA under the 'Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program' to ensure my body care products meet the stringent standards of products!  I'm awaiting 'approval' that they meet the proper standards and my labeling may be 'adjusted' to ensure they do, but I want to ensure all my customers that we are compliant with all labeling and manufacturing practices!!

This is through the FDA's Office of Cosmetics & Colors.  I will be submitting each and every formulation to them over the coming weeks!  It is a VOLUNTARY process that manufacturers go through.  Not all businesses do this at all.  Be sure the company you are buying from is following good manufacturing practices!!  A Form FDA 2512 has been filed for 2 formula's already.  Every item we have will be filed with them!  I will keep you all posted as we proceed through this process!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!!

Just wanted to take a moment to say Happy 4th of July!!  Despite the turmoils of our country we still live in the best country in the world!  We still are able to choose careers, do things we like, go where we like, and have more freedoms than any other place in the world!  Yes, these are very difficult times for us all but lets celebrate what we are thankful for!

Friday night we will be announcing what market we will be going to on Saturday.  Due to some difficulties, we as a company have decided to try other avenues for Saturday's.  So, stay tuned!  Where will we go?  It will be a blast wherever that may be!  We will have some great new items as well!  New soap, new bug repellent spray, new items!! See you soon and be safe this holiday (if you're in the USA that is!).  Have a great day everyone else!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Feature in 'Miss Millennia' Magazine!!

I have been featured in 'Miss Millennia' magazine!  So exciting!  This magazine is written by women, for women!  It is all about empowering women to be the best that they can be!  Please check out the article and see just where we have come from as a business!  Have a great night!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Dip Mixes!! And a 4th of July Special!!

Just in time for 4th of July!!  Two new dip mixes and a 4th of July Special!!  Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Dip Mix and Mexicali Dip Mix!!  One of my followers Sarah F inspired the Mexicali one!!  As for the Sun Dried Tomato - Basil, that has been in the works for some time and it is finally ready!  Both of these are salt free as well but full of flavor!!

Our 4th of July Special is local only though (sorry about that!).  We are doing this special to help kind of 'get rid of' the 'small' 1oz tubes of the bug repellent tubes that we have so we can move on to new 2oz tubes!!  How awesome is that?!  I finally found 2oz tubes!! Cost of the 2oz tubes will be only a little more but last much longer!  Just $8.00!!  We only have 13 tubes of the 1oz left!  We will also have these for the lotion bars and they will be $8.50.  So, what is the special?  1 bug repellent, 1 lip balm, 1 four oz spice jar (except cinna-sub), and one dip mix all for $12!!  That is a savings of $3!!

We will be at Forest Lake Farmer's Market on Wednesday on Beltline Blvd from 3pm to 7pm tomorrow, at Lake Carolina's Farmer's Market (Northeast Farmer's Market) from 3pm to 7pm on Thursday, and Soda City on Main St on Saturday!  Get this special while it lasts!!  As soon as the 1oz jars are gone, so is the special!!

Have a great night everyone!!

What's the difference between a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician's Assistant?


I was asked this question yesterday and it was actually a question on my comprehensive examination to 'pass' to graduate with my Master's Degree education at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.  But, more important is why is this important?  It's important in knowing 'who' you are seeing as a provider.  There is so much controversy in healthcare these days you really need to know who your provider is when you walk in that door to see them.  I will start off with an explanation of the various fields by defining each one.

Nurse - there are so many 'types' of nurses it isn't even funny!  That 'nurse' they may be calling may not in fact even be a nurse.  It could be certified nursing assistant, a medical assistant, a LPN, an RN, a BSN, an NP, or a doctorate prepared nurse!  See what I mean now?  So, let's go through each of those.

  CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant is a one year program that teaches someone to do basic skills as an 'assistant' to the nurse.  They provide 'basic healthcare needs' such as bathing, ambulation, and general activities of daily living in a variety of settings under the direction of an LPN or RN.  More often they work in nursing homes, individual homes or hospitals.

CMA/MA - A Certified Medical Assistant is also a one year program that teaches someone to do basic office care skills for duties in a doctors office under the direction of an LPN or RN.  They can do phlebotomy, injections, and more depending on the setting and the guidelines set forth by the physician in the practice.  In some settings such as Community Health Care Clinics their duties may be limited or even in some states.

LPN/LVN - Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse - A one to two year program (typically) that has more skills than that of an CNA/CMA but less than an RN.  They provide basic care at a range of levels under the direction of an RN.  With advance training they can even start IV's (intravenous fluids), assist with procedures, and do further duties under the direction of the physician.

RN - Registered Nurse - A two to four year program and has passed a licensing exam to be a registered nurse.  They have some of the greatest responsibility and are often in charge of other nursing staff.  They often assist in coordinating care, monitoring patients and more.  Many of these nurses can advance their degree's with a Bachelor's degree (BSN) and with further degree's (Master's degree or higher) can hold advanced practice as an CNS (Clinical Nursing Specialist), NP (Nurse Practitioner), CNM (Nurse Midwife) and even CRNA (Nurse Anesthetist).  Lastly is the PhD or ND (Doctor of Philosophy or Nursing Doctorate).  Most of those with advanced degrees are board certified in their area of specialty and there are numerous areas of specialty including family practice, pediatrics, women's health, psychiatry, geriatrics, emergency care, and more.  Advanced practice nurses are trained under the nursing model and are often autonomous in practice and do not need the physician on site to practice if they are in a state that requires physician collaboration.  Many states do not have physician collaboration requirements.  The areas are boundless!  Board Certification is required for Advanced Practice with continuing education to be renewed to continue licensure every five years.  Advanced Practice nurses can receive reimbursement for services and most have DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) numbers to prescribe prescriptions when necessary (depending on the state).  Laws for Advance Practice vary from state to state.

PA - Physician's Assistant - Many states still have a Bachelor's degree requirement though that is changing to a Master's degree.  PA's work under the guidelines of a physician regardless of the state they work in.  Some states they can work without a physician on the premises, however it depends on the length of time in which they have been working and which state they are in.  They are trained under the medical model.  All PA's require physician supervision.  Continuing education and retesting for board certification is required every six years.  DEA numbers are that of the physician that they work for.  Laws for PA's also vary from state to state.  PA's also can work in a variety of settings including physician offices, emergency rooms, hospitals, and more.

So, major differences between a PA and NP - training/education, supervision, and autonomy.  Each is described above.  The choice is yours.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

More Proof GMO's are bad for our guts!

Another Facebook page I follow posted the link for this article and I thank them for that.  I've seen the photos of these animals before, but not about what it specifically does to the gut.  GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) are bad news for all of us.  As crops they destroy the environment by putting pesticides into the soil, destroy our honeybee population, and cross-pollinate into non-GMO crops; as 'feed' they destroy our animals by weakening their immune systems, making them sick, and destroying their reproductive organisms; and as 'food' for us, they basically do the same to us as it does to the animals (and more!).

Please don't believe me, read the article and see the evidence for yourself.  Be forewarned though, the photos are graphic!  This is what Monsanto, the FDA and the Food Industry is trying to HIDE from all of us!!  They just don't want anyone to know but we're learning and they're being found out!  Other countries REQUIRE labeling or BAN these practices!!  Why doesn't the United States?  It all boils down to the old fashioned dollar!  Demand labeling!  Demand these practices stop, and stop now!  Read on.....

GMO feed turns pig stomachs to mush! Shocking photos reveal severe damage caused by GM soy and corn

Saturday, June 8, 2013

New Give-A-Way

So close to 1,000 likes on Facebook and who get's rewarded?  You do!  Go to our Give-a-way page for all the details!  Photo to follow soon!  L'Ecuyer's Give-A-Way

Saturday, June 1, 2013

New Products just for Summer!!

Hate bugs? I sure do!  But I hate chemicals even more!  Mosquito's sure love to bite me and I hate using those 'chemically smelling' and chemical laden bug repellents!  Now, you don't have to!  I have been using natural 'bug repellents' and 'critter repellents' in my gardens for years so I set out to find a wonderful and natural bug repellent to offer to all of you!  A wonderful coconut oil and candelilla wax lotion bar infused with all natural essential oils to keep those pesky critters away!!

When I was testing the fragrance combinations I approached my puppies with them and they sure ran! LOL!  It does NOT smell bad, they just don't like the fragrances!  I have these 'plants' in my garden bordering it and I have NOT had any difficulty this year with bugs or critters eating my crops!  So, what essential oils are we using?  Citronella, clove, eucalyptus, tea tree, and rosemary!  It's blended to smell oh so light!  Visit our Body Care page to order!!

We also have a new and refreshing Body Spray in Eucalyptus Spearmint and a wonderful Coconut Oil Orange Sugar Scrub!  So enriching for the skin!  Enjoy your summer!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Two New Mixes!! Fajita & Pizza!!

NEW!! Pizza Mix or Fajita's anyone?

Pizza Mix!  I use to love eating some chips flavored like pizza.  I love Kale Chips too but sooooo many have additives including MSG, corn starch, food coloring, etc that make them so bad for you!  Now, you can flavor your chips, pizza sauce, etc. and not worry!!  Our new Pizza Mix is FANTASTIC!!  It sold out the first week we had it at the Markets!  We have more now of course!  Only in a 4 oz bottle at the moment!  This mix is a wonderful blend of oregano, basil, parsley, bell pepper, fennel, thyme, marjoram, pepper, ginger, cayenne pepper, and dill weed.  To make pizza 'sauce', combine 2 tbsp with a can of tomato paste, add water to desired consistency!  It's that simple!  Enjoy!!  (photo coming soon!)    A 4 oz bottle is $5.00

Fajita Seasoning Mix!  Every mix I looked at had corn starch, MSG, or other ingredients that just didn't make sense to me at all!  When I cook scratch fajitas it is just spices.  Now get my fajita mix without all the preservatives and additives that others add!  A wonderful blend of chili powder, black pepper, cumin, Mexican Oregano, cayenne pepper, New Mexico chili pepper, and lime powder!  Just add a 1/4 cup of water to 1/2 a packet and you have TWO servings of fajitas! (photo coming soon!).  A 2 oz packet is $4.00.  Get it while you can!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 16th, International HAE Awareness Day!!


HAE - Hereditary Angioedema.  A very rare, potentially life-threatening disorder that is under recognized, often misdiagnosed, and mistreated for many of us.  Today, May 16th is International HAE Awareness Day.  Please help me spread the word of what this disorder is.  Too many providers, nurses, and people in general just don't know what this disorder is.  It affects 1 in about 50,000 people and is on the Rare Disorders List in the United States and Internationally.

Just what is HAE?  HAE is a genetic defect in the 'complement cascade' of the immune system that affects the body's ability to control 'edema' (swelling).  There are various 'types' though regardless of the type, we all suffer with many of the same symptoms.  Some have a lack of the protein that keeps one from 'swelling'.  Others have this protein that is 'broken' and yet others they just don't understand yet what causes it.  That is very simply put.  It is actually quite complicated.

So, why do providers and health care professionals 'miss' this diagnosis?  It is very complicated to diagnose! Many times it can 'look' like something else.  It can look like an 'allergic' reaction, a stomach disorder, or something else altogether.  Additionally, the symptoms can vary from attack to attack.  One day it could be a 'facial' swell, the next it could be an 'internal' abdominal swell with significant abdominal pain, and the next time an 'external' abdominal attack where someone looks nine months pregnant when they're not!  An individual may also just get a hand or a foot swollen.  For me, it took 38 years to get a proper diagnosis (and that was just about 15 months ago). I would have 'attacks' of all varying degrees from very mild to quite severe.  However, my attacks are usually abdominal or facial.  And there are 'triggers' that can make it worse such as 'hormones', stress, food allergies, etc.  Why food allergies?  They're along the complement cascade as well.  Additionally, many of the 'foods' can have 'hormone' properties which are a direct trigger for it (e.g. soy).

A bigger issue now is that when a patient visits an emergency room they often are not 'believed' with what diagnosis they have.  Even with a definitive diagnosis, many emergency room providers don't know how to treat, are reluctant to treat effectively, wait to treat, or don't feel it is necessary. I personally have been told by an emergency room physician "I'm not going to treat you with a $10,000 shot for something you don't have."  How on EARTH could he say that to me after I WAS definitely diagnosed with this disorder and was struggling to breathe?  I personally believe often times, they don't like being 'questioned' or 'told' about 'how' to treat anyone.  However, this is one disorder that really isn't taught in medical school, is not taught to nurse practitioner students (I'd never heard of it until I was diagnosed) and most nurses don't know anything about it.  These providers need to understand that as patients, we are very well aware of what we are living with and how to treat it!  We have a wonderful organization that fully supports us and ensures we are aware of all that is available to us.  We have to do something to raise awareness and get patients proper care and treatment!  Without it, people can and are still dying from this disease every day.  Please help me raise awareness!!

Treatment for this disease is extremely, extremely expensive.  There are currently 4 'best' treatments that are injectable medications either through subcutaneous injection or intravenous infusion.  One 'infusion' whether it is subcutaneous or intravenous can cost at a minimum of over $7,000!!  A month's worth of medication can range from $20-36,000!!  A couple of these medications are used 'preventively' and a couple are used as a 'rescue'.  Many insurances do cover these medications as it is considered a life threatening disease but many insurances will fight tooth and nail to keep from approving it.  These medications also weren't available in the United States until about 4 1/2 years ago.  Prior to that the only medications available were metabolic steroids.  However, metabolic steroids have serious adverse affects on the body and are no longer considered first line treatment.  I was on steroids for a period of one month and it was horrible.  I had mood swings, trouble with my liver, high, high blood pressure, and more.  Not fun at all!!  I now have one of the new medications and it has been a Godsend!  I've only been to the emergency room once since I've started on that medication.  I was dehydrated and had a severe abdominal swell that was more 'internal' and couldn't be 'seen' until much later and then I looked like I was nine months pregnant.  It was agony to say the least.  I was 'allowed' to use my 'rescue' medication in the emergency room while they gave me fluids and pain medication and it slowly resolved.  I was still sick for a few days after but not like I use to be.

Things have drastically improved since I've been on the type of medication I now have.  However, awareness still needs to be raised all over!  Too many are going undiagnosed, under treated or untreated because too many just don't know about it.  Please help us raise awareness for HAE!!

For more information, go to the Hereditary Angioedema Association's website!  Have a great day!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pet Peeves of Illnesses

Tonight I saw a post by Huffington Post about the 'Pet Peeves' of Gluten Sensitivity/Allergy.  In fact it became a trending topic on Twitter!  When I responded on Twitter tonight, many of the same 'pet peeves' that were answered were the same as I had which got me to thinking - everyone with healthcare issues has to have 'Pet Peeves' about their illnesses, what are yours?  I'll start by listing a few of mine.

I have not only severe food allergies including wheat but also Hereditary Angioedema; a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic immune disorder (HAE Day is May 16th by the way!).  As far as my allergies go, it annoys me to no end to be in a restaurant and treated as though I'm 'making it up' to be 'difficult' for the server or chef.  If I could eat what they put in their food, I would prefer to order it that way!  Please don't just 'remove' what the allergen is, I can still have a reaction!

Another issue is people making comments such as 'Oh, I couldn't give up bread.'  Well, I hate to tell you but you COULD if your life depended on it!  You can give up any food, any substance, anything if your life depended on it!  Trust me, I've given up far more than the average person!!  Try living without the following foods just for one week: wheat, rice, chicken, pork, turkey, olives, cinnamon, lemon, grapefruit, millet, barley, honey, bay leaves, bananas, buck wheat, rice, garlic, onion (all alliums including green onions and leeks as well), all melons (watermelon, honeydew, cantelope, etc.) paprika, turmeric, kiwi, tuna, avocados, raw tomatoes, raw potatoes (when peeling them), pitted fruits (peach, plums, cherry, etc), pumpkin, cucumber, hops, soy (including soya lecithin), lentils, walnut, pecans, celery, squash (all including zucchini, spaghetti, etc.), spelt, apples, and all the artificial food dyes.  I think that about sums it up.  Yep, those are the things I am allergic to.  Makes it near impossible to eat!  Also, many, many, many of these items are HIDDEN in other things!!  Things such as the 'spices' (garlic, onions, turmeric, etc.) or even lemon, soya lecitthen, soy sauce, etc.

I hear all the time as well 'Oh my God, what do you eat?'  Not exactly a 'nice' thing to say to a person.  It's hard enough!  Or when I DO tell them we eat 'other things' like gator or frog legs, I hear 'Oh, you're just disgusting'.  Gee thanks.  So, you would rather I eat these other things that will outright make me ill?  I don't think so!

Another question I often get asked is 'So, if you eat it, what happens?'  What difference does it make!'  I can't eat it!  Period!!  Just be understanding and move on.  Or better yet, "So, we can't make you anything to eat anymore, I guess you'll have to bring your own."  Have a little understanding and ask for a recipe of something!!  It's hard enough for us with these kinds of illnesses every day, do you have to make it harder on us?  We enjoy going out just like everyone else.  If you KNOW we have this going on, communicate with us to ensure we can be there and enjoy ourselves like everyone else.  It's really not that hard.

So, on to you all - what is YOUR pet peeve with your health conditions?  I know there are many!  Feel free to post them but be polite and clean!  Thanks for opening up the conversation Huffington Post!  One thing I have learned from all of this - read labels, plain and simple.  It sure saves a headache!!  It doesn't mention what we do from here though..... Ideas anyone?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there!! While it's too late to order for mother's day, it isn't too late to order for another day!!  How about graduation or father's day?  They're coming up as well!!  How about a gift box of spices for dad?  A body care gift set for that grad?

Next week (hopefully!) we will be debuting a new blend!!  Pizza anyone?  Just mix this in some tomato sauce and voila'!  Pizza sauce!!  So, stay tuned for more to come!!  Ciao!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Only One Week Left!!

Mother's Day is One Week from Today!!

Don't delay!  Get your mother's day gift baskets now!  Order by Wed night at midnight to ensure on-time delivery by Saturday for mother's day!!  Just go to our Holiday Specials page and order from there!  If you live in the immediate Columbia area, free delivery (it may charge, but will be refunded for Columbia, SC residents!)!!

New product as of today!!  Whipped Shea Butter Body Butter!!  Still need a photo to put it up but feels oh so amazing!  A wonderful thick rich shea butter whipped with arrowroot powder, vitamin E oil, and we can specialize it with a fragrance if you like (essential oils).  Just $9.00 for a 4oz jar!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Size Jars & Holiday Specials!!

Now Available!!  Larger 6oz jars!  We have four of our favorite blends available in large 6oz jars for only $6.50!!  What a fabulous value!!  Links are up on our product page!  Spice & Dip Mixes Products  The blends available include Bayou, Chili Powder, Caveman, and Mexican.  We will be getting all our blends in this large size very soon!!

Additionally, Just a note that all our dip mixes can be made into dressing!!  How is that you ask?  Instead of mayonnaise, use vegan or grass fed buttermilk instead!  It's wonderful!!  I will try to post a picture the next time we mix one up.  Have an awesome week everyone!  I have much to prepare for this weeks markets!!  We have run out of many items and need to get more made!  Foot cream, lip balms, lotion bars, soaps, and more!!  I have even created my own brand new 2 butter, almond-coconut oil soap recipe I'm going to test out!  Stay tuned for that one!

Mother's Day is Coming!!  Sunday May 12th is just 2 weeks ago!  Order now before time runs out!!  Our page has been updated especially for Mother's day!  We have some great specials and a great new 'spice pack' of jars!!  Be sure to go to the Holiday Specials Tab for these great deals!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Soft Shell Crab, Zesty Salad Greens with L'Ecuyer's Ranch Dressing and Roasted Artichokes!

We were at Soda City Market again today and had a fantastic time!  We get to meet lots of people and I was able to pick up a CSA Bag of greens from City Roots Farm, some wonderful Soft Shell crabs from Our Local Catch and we made our Ranch dip mix into dressing for a change!  All this made for a fabulous dinner tonight!!  Right now I feel like I just want to roll over and go to sleep, I'm so stuffed!

Just take a look!!

And, even better yet was that this was a completely Paleo dinner!!  How could this wonderful dinner be Paleo you ask?  Just look on for recipes!!

Zesty Salad Greens with L'Ecuyer's Gourmet Ranch Dressing

1 package City Roots Farm Zesty Salad Greens
1/2 tomato diced (we have to use canned as I'm allergic to raw tomatoes)
1/2 package L'Ecuyer's Gourmet Ranch Dip Mix
1 cup Organic Grass Fed Buttermilk
1 cup Organic Grass Fed Sour Cream

Place salad greens and tomatoes in a bowl and toss.  In a separate bowl, combine dip mix, buttermilk, and sour cream.  Blend well.  Allow dressing mix to 'chill' about an hour before serving (optimally).  Drizzle dressing over salad and enjoy!

Pan Seared Soft Shell Crab

4 fresh soft shell crabs, cleaned and dried
1 cup arrowroot flour
2 tbsp L'Ecuyer's Gourmet Caveman Rub
1 cup Coconut Oil

Mix arrowroot flour and L'Ecuyer's Gourmet Caveman Rub together.  Dredge cleaned crabs in flour mix.  Heat oil in skill over medium high heat.  When oil has reached 350 degrees Fahrenheit  place crabs into oil using tongs (be careful of oil splatter if crabs are not dry!).  Let sear for 3-4 minutes until crisp.  Turn and cook other side for another 3 minutes until crisp.  Place on rack over paper towels to drain any remaining oil.

Roasted Artichokes

2 globe artichokes
1 lime
1 tsp L'Ecuyer's Mexican Blend
Almond oil spray (I use Pampered Chef's pump bottle) or Olive Oil (I'm allergic to Olive Oil so I use Almond)
Pan of boiling water
Tabletop or outside grill

Bring pan of water to a boil (large enough to put both artichokes in).  Cut top 1/2 inch or so of artichoke off and bottom Cut both artichokes in half and clean the insides out (hair, and guts).  Rub the lime over the cut parts of the artichokes (helps prevent browning).  "Par boil" the artichokes in the boiling water for 10 minutes.  Be very careful placing them in the water (use tongs).  Remove from the water and lightly spray with oil and drizzle with L'Ecuyer's Gourmet Mexican Blend.  Place on heated grill and grill until nice and roasted, about 10 minutes.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Finding Healthcare without Insurance

I often hear how healthcare is so expensive when someone doesn't have health insurance.  This doesn't necessarily have to be true.  Through associations with the federal government, there ARE places someone can go to if they don't have health insurance (or are 'under insured').  In 1965 a group of centers were formed known as 'Community Health Centers'.  What started as a small group has become one of the largest groups of health care providers in the country providing services to millions of people throughout the country.  Over 1,200 centers serving 20 million people!  So, why don't more people know about these places?  It's a little know secret as I say!  They aren't 'advertised' as advertising is expensive.  Word of mouth is the best advertising.  And since these places run on grants (and not just federal but outside sources as well), intake from what insurance income they receive and the minute amount of 'sliding fee' income they receive from patients, advertising funds just aren't there.  How do I know about these places?  I work for one and have for many years!

You can search for one of these places by going to the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) search page here: Find a Health Center.  Just enter your zip code and it will find locations near you.  To utilize their services you usually have to provide proof of income (2 pay stubs or a print-out of your tax return or something from unemployment or social security, etc), list the number of people in your home, etc.  They often have programs as well to help you with medications that can connect you with 'Prescription Assistance Programs'.

In the area I live, we even have a program in our county that helps with 'tests and scans' so that we can assure that people are cared for.  Most communities likely have similar programs.  So, if you need to be frugal, or are forced to do so with your healthcare; find a community health center near you!!

However, not everyone will qualify to receive the 'sliding fee' scale.  It is based on the poverty level and number of individuals in your family.  To find out if you qualify under the poverty level, you can check here:  US Poverty Thresholds.  To qualify, you have to be under 200 percent of this level.  This means you multiple the level for the number of your family members by 2 of that income level.  So, if it is $23,550 for a family of four, your income would need to be $47,100 and below.   These centers also accept just about every insurance there is that most other offices won't accept including Medicare, Medicaid (including all the HMO programs), Tricare, and more.

If you need someplace to go, this could be your answer!  Many providers are the most caring and giving individuals I have ever met!  Have a great night!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Please note!  If I do not have your country or location listed, I am unable to ship there.  I am very sorry about that!  It is just too cost prohibitive right now.  I am looking into an 'export' partnership with someone that I hope will be able to help with it but right now it is just too much money to be able to do that.  Sorry for any inconvenience!  Thank you for understanding.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New Partnership!!

While at the Soda City Market today, Bryan Tayara, owner of Our Local Catch came to talk with me.  He asked if I was interested in partnering with him in developing some spice blends to put with his fish!  How wonderful!  So, I am now in the development stages of two mixes specifically for fish dishes, especially crab/seafood 'boils'!  I had been interested in coming up with some wonderful blends myself but this is a fantastic opportunity as we will have a direct market to work with!!

Check out Our Local Catch and help support local businesses!!  And stay tuned for our newest spice blends!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ready for Market!!

Tonight my daughter and I were at DER Kitchen for the first time.  We got a LOT of spices and dip mixes bottled up and are just about ready for Saturday!  We will be at the 'Soda City Market' for the first time!!  We are very excited to be joining this market in the heart of Columbia, SC; the capital city of South Carolina!  It is held every Saturday at the 1500 block of Main Street.  It is a bustling metropolitan area and this market is very lively!!  Come check it out!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New License and New Market!!

Now that we have moved kitchens I am required to have yet another license!  Since we are 'outside' city limits I wasn't required to have a 'city' of Columbia business license and now I am required to have one.  Once we were done signing all the paperwork with the new kitchen today, I went to the City of Columbia and within 30 minutes, I had my shiny new license in hand!  What does this mean?

There is a 'market' downtown I have been trying to get into and now I can!  It happens every Saturday.  Although I work many Saturdays at least I'll be able to start going every other Saturday!  It is called 'SodaCitySC'!  I am downloading the application as we speak!  Things are getting bigger and better!  And very soon the farmer's market's will be opening as well!  On to bigger and better things!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Commercial Kitchen!!

Effective this Thursday, the 21st I will be signing up with a new Commercial Kitchen!!  It is pretty close to my office downtown where I work (about 2 miles) and is much friendlier and less expensive to use!!  The last couple of months I have had absolutely no luck in reaching the owner of the other kitchen.  Thankfully, I had plenty of 'stock' of my spices and dip mixes that I didn't have to worry about orders - until now.  I am about out of bottled supplies!  I have plenty of supplies to make things, but must use a commercial kitchen to actually 'make them'.  It is SC Law that we have to use a commercial kitchen to bottle our spices and dip mixes.

I am very excited about this as it will help me get things done much quicker being so close to my office.  They have a secure area, I can use THEIR address even, and I can store my supplies there!!  My insurance policy lists them as my 'business' site as well.  The insurance was the biggest obstacle in overcoming.  But, we are ready!!  They even have a 'keypad' entry that will keep track of coming in and out which will help with budgeting, etc.  On to bigger and better ventures!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Update on Laundry Detergent!!

Okay, I did the original post on February 8th so that makes it roughly 5 weeks ago.  I only did a 'half' batch of detergent (1 gallon)!  I just made another half batch!  So, one gallon makes enough to do 16 loads!

Wow, we go through a lot of laundry!  Our usual detergent is about $5.00 a bottle (we shop the military commissary) and only does 20 loads per bottle.  At a commercial store, that same detergent is roughly $8.00 a bottle.  That means it would take about 1 1/4 bottles of detergent to cover that one gallon that I made (roughly $6.25/$10.00 [commissary vs commercial store].

So, how does this break down per year?  16 loads per 5 weeks is equivalent to 167 loads per year (give or take and that is just my husband and I not our girls). We certainly won't run out of detergent any time soon! LOL!   It cost me about $0.015 per load to make the detergent and supplies were bought commercially and not at the commissary!!  The supplies that I bought has enough to make detergent to wash nearly 600 loads and cost me $8.00 total.  

1 gallon = 16 loads x $0.015 = $0.21 per gallon
167 loads x 0.015 = $2.51 (10 1/2 gallons roughly)

8.35 bottles of commercial detergent (equivalent to 10 1/2 gallons of homemade) x $6.25/$10.00 = $52.19/$83.50.  I think I like that we will onlyt go through $2.51 of detergent in a year!  How's that for frugality?

As for the yarn balls, we are still using them and they work great!  Fabric Laundry Sheets cost $6.97/200 (Snuggle at  They will be used over and over!  I will never buy laundry sheets again so the investment is definitely worth the $14.00 I spent on the wool.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Amazing Gluten Free Paleo Friendly Cheese Bread/Toast!!

Being gluten free and trying to follow a Paleo diet doesn't necessarily mean giving up 'everything' including bread!  I have found one of the BEST gluten free mixes on the market!  Chebe Bread!!  It took some doing but I even got our new Whole Foods in Columbia, SC to stock this mix for me!  Now to get them to stock the Focaccia mix!!  They got in the All Purpose Mix and the Cheese Bread mix's so far.  When I started this tonight my youngest daughter was 'helping' and accidentally grabbed the wrong box so we made this batch with the All Purpose Mix.  I saw recently a couple of different posts about people 'trying' different things to their mixes so I thought I would take my stab at it!  What I made ended up turning out FANTASTIC!!  Very 'sourdoughy' and with a great texture like 'regular' wheat bread!!  It's been so long since I've had a really GREAT bread!!

Amazing GF Paleo Friendly Cheese Bread

2 pkgs All Purpose Chebe Bread Mix (or Cheese bread mix or Focaccia)
2 tsp Baking Powder
4 organic Cage Free Large Eggs
4 tbsp Almond Oil (or Olive - I'm allergic to olives)
½ cup Plain Organic Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp Organic Milk
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.       Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F.
2.       Blend bread mix, baking powder, eggs, oil, yogurt, and milk in mixer.  It can get very ‘doughy’ so watch closely!
3.       Put into a stoneware loaf pan.
4.       Cover with Parmesan shredded cheese.
5.       Bake for 40 minutes in preheated oven.
6.       Allow to cool completely.

Slice into slices and top with organic butter and more shredded cheese of choice and ‘toast’ for ‘cheese toast’!  Yum!!

Doesn't the texture just look amazing!!


Jalapeno Cheese Bread

Add 4 small chopped jalapeno peppers to the dough and use cheddar cheese instead!  Cook the same way.

Cheddar Cheese Bread

Just substitute Cheddar Cheese for the Parmesan cheese and cook the same way!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Making Custom Spring Aprons!

Hello everyone!  I'm Heather, Renee's daughter and I have been making some custom aprons that I would like to sell!  Below is a picture of one I am gifting to a friend!  I am going to be asking $35.00 per apron; they are lined, have side pockets and front pockets.  Isn't it beautiful!  Please email L'Ecuyer's Gourmet if you are interested, and I can make it in the colors of your choice!!  Turn around time is 3-5 days to be made and shipped depending on the quantity ordered.  We hope you like them as much as we do!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Paleo Iced Coffee

Do you love Starbuck's Frappucino's?  I sure do - the bottled ones.  But, I've been highly addicted to them and I've needed to get off of them for a long time in trying to get completely Paleo.  There is also the little issue that I am technically allergic to caffeine!  So, why is it so hard for me to give this up?

Allergies to anything just like someone 'addicted' to sugar play mind games with you.  When you try to stop it, you mind tells you you 'need' that substance and you 'crave' it.  So, as with anyone addicted to anything it's been very difficult to get away from.  I have come up with a recipe for a Paleo friendly Iced Coffee!  I've been testing it over the week and it's really pretty good and tastes very similar to Starbuck's Frappucino Iced Coffee in the bottle!  I will be gradually switching from 'caffeinated' to 'decaf' over the next month.  Right now I am down to just one cup a day (which is really only 1/2 a cup of coffee in this recipe) so it should be a bit easier now.

Paleo Iced Coffee

Whatever brand you prefer brewed very strongly. This will keep in a pitcher in the fridge up to a week.

Iced Coffee:

1/2 cup of prepared strong coffee
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
3/4 cup of Paleo Milk of your choice

Pour coffee and maple syrup in microwave safe cup.  Microwave 1 minute to 'melt' the maple syrup into the coffee, stir well.  Add the milk and stir again.  Top off with lots of ice to chill and serve!

So, how will I 'wean' towards decaf.  As a nurse practitioner I learned how to wean infants from formula to milk.  It's pretty simple actually but time consuming.  I will have to 'adjust' it a bit though.  With milk I would have the parents replace one ounce of formula with milk every 3-4 days.  So, with this since it is only 1/2 a cup I am going to adjust it when I brew the coffee itself.  So, instead of say using 3 scoops of regular coffee, I will use 2 3/4 regular to 1/4 decaf coffee and adjust every few days.  Then I don't have to worry about 'mixing' everything as I go.  I will see how it goes as I really, really need to quit this habit!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ancestral Au Gratin Carrots & Parsnips

Aw, who doesn't love Au Gratin potatoes!  But, it just isn't very ancestral or 'Paleo' friendly now is it?  I was dying for something Au Gratin and just had to convert a recipe!  So, being the chef that I am (and I jokingly say that!) this is what I came up with!!  It turned out FABULOUS!!  My husband and daughter asked for seconds!!  If you have never had a parsnip, it can be used in place of potatoes and is a root vegetable similar to carrots.  They are quite yummy!!

Ancestral Au Gratin Carrots & Parsnips

2 Tbsp Grass Fed Butter
2 Tbsp Coconut, Almond Flour or Arrowroot Powder
1 cup Organic Milk or Almond Milk (separated into 1/2 cups)
2 cups Organic Cheddar Cheese
1 tbsp L'Ecuyer's Seasoned Salt
1 tbsp Ground Pepper
4 Med Organic Carrots, peeled and sliced
4 Med Organic Parsnips, peeled and sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and slice the carrots and parsnips (to slice evenly, I used a food processor using a thin blade which went very quickly!).
  2. In a sauce pan, melt the butter.  Add the flour of your choice (listed above) and make a roux.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the milk and allow to thicken slightly.
  4. Slowly add the cheese and allow to melt completely.
  5. Add the remaining milk, seasoned salt, and pepper and continue to simmer as the cheese sauce thickens.
  6. Layer half of the carrots and parsnips in your oven safe dish.  Pour half of the cheese sauce over this layer.
  7. Layer the other half of the carrots and parsnips in the dish and pour the rest of the cheese sauce evenly over the layer.
  8. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes covered.  Remove lid.  Increase the temperature on the oven to 425 degrees F.  Bake an additional 15 minutes in the oven.

I still have some left and will be enjoying this for lunch tomorrow!!  Enjoy!!