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!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What is a GMO? Why are they so dangerous?

A GMO is a genetically modified organism.  This means that through gene splicing or therapy, the plant, animal, or organism has been genetically altered to do something that it wasn't meant to do by inserting genes of something else into it's genetic make-up.  An example of this is Monsanto's Round-up Ready Corn.  Monsanto has genetically altered the majority of corn in production today by infusing the chemical 'Round-up' into it's gene make-up.  They've done this to keep the corn from being attacked by 'pests' such as insects and from being overwhelmed with weeds.

When insects 'eat' the corn, their insides literally 'burst or rupture' from the inside out and kills the insects.  It also prevents weeds from growing around it according to sources that I have read.  So, how is this harmful to us?  If an insects insides are rupturing from the inside out, just what is it doing to us?  This corn is leading to intestinal problems, fertility problems, increased allergies, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation (insulin resistance), and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system (which is where the majority of our immune system lies).

Today, and since about 1996 more than 70 PERCENT of all processed foods contain genetically modified foods!!  Many crops have been modified with either a chemical, bacteria, or virus!!  That is just staggering!!  No wonder we are seeing such an increase in health problems in this country including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, cancers, and more.  We must put a stop to this insanity!!

Here is a link about many of the warnings from the Institute for Responsible Technology.  'Doctor's Health Warnings on GMO's.'  You will need adobe acrobat reader to read this file.  You can download that here:
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Another shocking thing that the food companies and the FDA are hiding from you is that these foods are BANNED in other countries!!  Additionally, since this type of product was introduced in India (Bt GMO Cotton) farmers are committing suicide at alarming rates as they mortgaged their farms with the assurance from Monsanto that these crops would be 'better' and that they would have great yields and their animals would thrive.  Quite the opposite has occurred!  Their animals are dying, they and their families are becoming sick with unknown illnesses and rashes, and their crops and floundering.  They are losing everything and they are shamed beyond belief and feel they have nothing left (read the brochure).

So, if these things are BANNED for being bad in other countries, are causing illness in animals and humans, causing allergies, infertility, and more, why isn't it banned in the US?  How can we as American's put a stop to this?  With your pocket book!!  STOP BUYING IT!!  Only buy packages that list it as GMO free, only buy organic, hormone free products.  Demand to the US FDA to STOP these practices!!  Demand to the Dept of Agriculture to STOP using hormones in the animals!!  Demand to Congress and the House of Representatives to stop the lobbying from food companies that try to 'sell' us that these things are 'healthy' for us as they AREN'T!!  Lastly, stop the food companies from 'sponsoring' the education of our dieticians!!  It's just pure insanity, cronyism, and socialism to allow this type of rhetoric to continue.  Again, I've given you the information, what you do with it is up to you.  Have a great evening!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Obesity & Vitamin D Related?

CBS' online site today posted an article that Obesity was directly causing Vitamin D deficiency.  While I don't know if that may be true, I do know that those that are obese get less exercise hence less sunlight and do have higher rates of Vitamin D deficiency.  I have seen this in practice.  Nearly 95% of patients that I see on a daily basis are Vitamin D deficient.  Vitamin D deficiency is defined as having a level of Vitamin D below 30mcg/dL (micrograms per deciliter) in your blood.  I check not only women but men as well.  Now, I can't say that 95% of my patients are obese.  I would estimate that at least 60% would fall into that category with at least 40% of those qualified in the morbidly obese category (this is a level of BMI greater than 40) with obese being defined as a BMI level above 30.  At least 20 percent would be considered overweight (a BMI greater than 27).  This makes as least 60 percent of patients at least overweight or obese.  They also are far more likely to eat an unhealthy diet.  But that leaves at least 35% that are not overweight or obese still Vitamin D deficient!

What is causing this epidemic of obesity and Vitamin D deficiency?  Our food supply!!  The majority of our food supply is tainted with genetically modified foods (GMO's), pesticides, and hormones.  It is also leading to an increase in cancers, cardiovascular disease, auto-immune disorders, stomach disorders, migraines, neurological deficits and disorders, autistic disorders, and more.  So, what is one to do to stop all of the insanity and avoid the complications and pitfalls from these disorders?  Eat organic and non-GMO foods to start; avoid processed foods; cook at home (whenever possible!); be an 'activist' and let your legislature's know where you stand and that you don't want these things in your food!!  Oh, and get at least 15 minutes of unrestricted sunlight a day!!

Want to read the article mentioned above?  Go here: Obesity Causes Vit D Deficiency Study Shows

Friday, February 8, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent & Wool Balls!!

Despite all the changes I had been making, my skin still itched.  My husband does the laundry and had been using a 'sensitive skin' laundry detergent so I decided to look at the ingredients and what did I find?  Yep, sulfites!  So, despite it being for sensitive skin, it still had the dreaded sulfites in it!  No wonder I was still itching!  So, I started searching about how to make my own laundry detergent!  There are so, so, so many recipes out there online!!  I finally found one that I rally liked and could use my own soap bars that I made!  Yeah!  It was oh so easy too!  So, while feeling better (finally) yesterday I made it!  My husband used it to do laundry afterwards and I wore clothes washed in them today.  NO ITCHING!!  Hooray!  Best yet?  It only cost me about $8.00 for supplies (including a one gallon jug, we have one other one) and all the supplies I bought will make - now get this - 576 loads!!  That equates to $0.014 per load (just over a penny!)!!  Here's the site for making the laundry detergent!!  How to make Laundry Detergent  Oh, and YES you can use this in HE washers!!

(no, this isn't my soap in this photo!)

Now you're probably wondering how well it cleaned? Just as well as commercial laundry detergent!  Now, what to do with the fabric softener?  I didn't want that chemical either!  I found another site that taught me how to make 'felted wool balls'.  So, I made a bunch of those and we used them!  Best of all, they can be used over, and over, and over, and over, and over!!  They cost me about $14.00 and I ended up with 8 wool balls.  How well did they work?  Very well indeed!!  No more chemicals in the laundry (well besides using some bleach on whites if needed)!!  Yippee!!  Our clothes are clean, no nasty chemicals except pure 'cleaners' and saving a ton of money!  Here's the link for Felted Wool Balls  Retail on Etsy for just 4-5 balls cost $20!! Outrageous!!  They're so simple to make yourself!!  I will never buy laundry fabric sheets again!!

Aren't they pretty?!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Genetic Roulette - How Monsanto & the FDA is playing with your life!

Yesterday on Facebook, one of my friends posted a link to this documentary that the FDA and Monsanto doesn't want you to know about.  This movie is about an hour and a half long but extremely worthwhile to watch and until the 10th of February, free to watch online!  The Institute for Responsible Technology is making available 'Genetic Roulette Movie'.  As they say 'you won't look at food the same way' after watching the movie.  I know I certainly won't!  I was already eating very well, but now will be changing even MORE things in our household because of this movie!

"Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives was just awarded the Top Transformational Film of 2012 by AwareGuide! More than 15,000 people from 50 countries voted for 30 films, including three on this year’s Academy Award shortlist. But Genetic Roulette was the “clear winner” by a wide margin.

This movie 'Exposes the dirt behind Big Biotech's failed Experiment'.  That is GMO's (genetically modified organisms) in our food supply.  It is failing big time and you and I are paying for it with our health!  Monsanto and the FDA do NOT want you to know about this movie!!  They want us all to think that the food that we eat every day is just 'fine' and that all is 'safe' to eat when it in fact is NOT!  Watch this movie before it costs to watch it!!  It WILL change your mind about the food you eat!!  I already had changed what I thought and this just compounded it.  Everyone should watch this movie.  I put the information out there, what you do with it is up to you.  Have a great evening.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ancestral GF Cream of Mushroom Soup

I'm home sick today and just wanted something 'comforting' to eat.  Some soup!  I can't buy commercial soups due to the chemicals and additives not to mention wheat and soy and wanted it to be 'Paleo' or 'Ancestral' as well.  But, I couldn't really find a recipe so I converted one!  It turned out fabulous!

Ancestral Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

16 oz mushrooms, chopped
Butter, 1 stick (1/2 to cook the mushrooms in ½ for roux)
4 tbsp tapioca starch (or whatever Paleo flour you prefer)
2 cups Coconut Milk, full fat or Almond Milk
2 cups beef, mushroom, or vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauté mushrooms in the ½ stick of butter, set aside (season with salt and pepper).  In a saucepan, melt the other ½ of the butter.  Add in the 4 tbsp of tapioca starch to make the roux.  Cook it to get the ‘flour’ taste out of it.  Slowly add in cold broth and whisk well.  It’s important to add a little bit of the liquid at a time and whisk to ensure no lumps!  Once incorporated, add the milk and whisk well.  Simmer just a few minutes and then add in the mushrooms and simmer about five minutes more.

I sprinkled mine with a little thyme herbs to give it a little extra flavor but you can leave it out if you want.  This took me all of about 15 minutes!  I used Mushroom broth (which I can myself) and Almond milk in this recipe.  I also use a lot of mushrooms!  I LOVE mushrooms!!  You can cut down the amount of mushrooms if you like.  Enjoy!!