Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Body Series - Oils - Part 3: Grapeseed, Kukui Nut, and Olive Oil

My first post on this topic (Part 1) covered three oils (Almond, Avocado, and Coconut) and my follow-up post (Part 2) covered Meadow Foam Seed Oil, Jojoba, and Hemp Seed Oil, including two favorites (Meadow Foam and Hemp).

Starting top, clockwise: Grapeseed, Kukui Nut, Olive

In this post (Part 3), I discuss below my experiences with Grapeseed Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, and Olive Oil. Keep in mind, this is a casual experiment and based on my experiences with these oils over the course of several weeks. But, I think you'll find the results meaningful and useful.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why Should We Send Holiday Cards...?

About three years ago, I started down the very slippery slope of "holiday card sending decline". I had recently moved, gotten married, and was now helping to raise a little boy. I had a full time job, a house to keep clean, and nourishing dinners to get on the table-- and all this during the holiday season, when I was trying to shop for presents, decorate, and complete end of the year projects for work.

Wowee, I was busy and I sure didn't know if I was going to have time to write any silly holiday cards. I didn't have time for that! Surely everyone could see how busy I was?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rice and Lentil Pilaf

This would be great to make on a Sunday so you could have quick and easy lunches all week. If you use a vegetable stock, this is vegetarian.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lettuce Wraps

We love the lettuce wraps at PF Chang's and make a version at home that is really good. They are also pretty fast to make. It's a great change to the menu rotation that the little one and husband really love. I hope you'll give them a try.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Homemade Hot Sauce (Tabasco Style)

My husband is so wonderful--he shares my time with work and this blog and happily tests out all the things I make. I am not sure he is the best test subject, because he mostly says everything is delicious, but it's certainly good for my self-esteem.

This past weekend he made a hot sauce in the style of Tabasco Sauce, which we had always purchased and kept in the house (prior to making this recipe) and which does not appear to have weird ingredients. But we grow a lot of peppers every year and even husband appreciates the value of foods with ingredients we can follow directly to the source. So this year, he made this sauce and it is even better than the store-bought kind.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Warm Lemon Water - A Morning Routine

When I quit drinking coffee, I starting drinking a mug of warm water with the juice of half a lemon every morning instead. This was something I had tried off and on over the years, at the recommendation of Dr. Hyman in his Detox Box, and had also heard this practice recommended from numerous other sources. However, it wasn't until I quit coffee that I starting drinking a glass of warm water with lemon every day. And, I'm glad I did! There are many, many wonderful reasons to add a glass of warm lemon water to your morning routine, and I've discussed several below.

Try drinking a mug of warm water in the morning with the juice of one-half lemon squeezed into the water. ***Be sure to scrub the outside of the lemon before using and try to use organic if at all possible.

Why is this a good idea...?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Crumb Topping

I usually don't really care to make pancakes. For one thing, they take forever and mine always turn out funny looking. Now, in all honesty, part of my problem, I am sure, is that I refuse to use a pancake griddle. So, instead, I am trying to cram these tiny pancakes in a skillet with rounded sides and gravity takes over and the result is these funny oval-shaped things. The other reason I don't care to make pancakes is because, normally, I don't think they taste all that great for so much work involved in making them.

Well, this is not any old pancake recipe. This is a super amazing pumpkin pancake recipe and, despite everything I mentioned above, these pancakes are totally worth it. I have to thank Two Peas and Their Pod for the inspiration for this recipe. Go check out their recipe though for really slick looking pictures.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bolognese Sauce with Green Olives

I love pasta. I mean, looooove pasta. And one of the most disappointing parts of transitioning to a real food lifestyle (for me) was eliminating pasta, since it was primarily made using white flour. However, as food choices have improved over the years, there are now really great alternatives to the white flour pasta noodles of days past and my family enjoys pasta once or twice a month now. If you have not tried the Jovial line, I highly recommend it. This meat sauce goes really well with whole wheat pasta, brown rice pasta, or even rice. Or get creative and try serving over gnocchi, pierogi, spaghetti squash, Portobello mushrooms, or even potatoes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guest Post: LittleOwlCrunchyMomma - Superfood Series #3: All About P**p!

Those of you who know me know how I love a good conversation about poop. So, talk about great luck, when I invited Jacquelyn with LittleOwlCrunchyMomma to join us here at Axiom at Home she decided to share a post about, of all things, poop! Actually, this article is about way more than just poop.... It is a wonderfully eye-opening and candid article about Jacquelyn's experience using the power of food to heal her own body.

You are going to love this blog as much as I do, so I hope you head over there to check out all the wonderful content. In addition to this incredibly informative and interesting third installment in her Superfood Series that she is sharing with us today, you will find a host of other information on this blog, from helpful to humorous and enlightening to heart warming. I've recently started incorporating spirulina in my diet after reading Superfood Series #1 and my family loves all the delicious meals and treats I've made from her recipes! And, her post on Coconut Oil (15 Ways I Use Coconut Oil Every Day) is a great reminder of the wonderful benefits and daily uses of this amazing oil. If you haven't already, be sure to like her on facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

So, without further ado, please welcome Jacquelyn, LittleOwlCrunchyMomma....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Cornbread (with GF variation)

It seems like we all have pumpkin fever around this time of year and are looking for places to include pumpkin in our recipes. I came across this recipe by The Comfort of Cooking, which is a perfect combination. Man, is this stuff good! I modified it slightly from the original version, which you can find at the link above, and also include a Gluten-Free variation that is equally good for those who are interested.

Basic Chili

The following is a very flexible recipe for a hearty, rich tasting chili. Feel free to substitute in and out ingredients to your preference using whatever is available at your farmer's market or provided in your CSA box.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Body Series - Test Lab: Lip Balm, Bath Fizzies, & Body Scrubs

I have a close friend that I have known since I was 15 years old and we have found ourselves living somewhat close to each other after all these years and are lucky enough to see each other a few times a year. Last year around the holidays, she gave me a gift of homemade cookies and treats. My family and I enjoyed that gift so very much--the thought (and love) that was behind it as well as the enjoyment of the baked goods and thinking of her and her family as we snacked on the cookies and candies she made.

So, in that spirit, this year we decided to collaborate and craft homemade items as gifts for other friends and family. First, we canned pears and strawberries and recently, we made homemade bath fizzies, lip balm, and body scrub. We researched many different recipes and decided to try these three, which turned out really nicely. In fact, we were incredibly impressed with how easy they were to do and how pretty they looked (to the point of high-fiving each other all day, I mean, they turned out that well)!    :)

They are awesome projects for beginners, which I definitely am, and they make beautiful, wonderful gifts.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Personal Pumpkin Pies (Crustless)

It's about this time of year that I'm trying to figure out what will be on my table for Thanksgiving. Desserts are always up in the air, as I spend most of my time on the main course. Honestly, we used to order our pies out, which was super easy, but those pies didn't have that home cooked taste, and even worse, you really don't know what's in them. The following recipe is a fairly quick and easy pumpkin pie recipe with adaptations and you'll wind up with about six little personal desserts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hamburger Stroganoff

I love the idea of making a "hamburger" stroganoff because it's so easy and relatively inexpensive and everyone loves it. Holy cow, the trifecta of a smart dinner! :) We enjoy this version a lot.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Baked Beans

For this recipe, baked beans is actually a misnomer because they are not baked at all. Although you could bake them, if you are so inclined, but I don't think it's necessary. However, the name "Barbeque" Beans doesn't really work either because barbeque sauce is not a dominant ingredient (and it's optional). So, baked beans it is, but even easier since there is no baking involved!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuit Rolls

We like biscuits and gravy here. It's one of those things we have just not been able to give up forever and my husband makes about once a month. Since we do enjoy it so much, we thought we would try to find a better choice for the biscuits and after much researching we came up with this recipe. These biscuits are very good with the biscuits and gravy, but have a definite dinner roll feel to them and we enjoy them alongside our dinners as well. I couldn't decide if they were more biscuit or more dinner roll, so we call them biscuit rolls. Enjoy!

The Perfect Roast Chicken

One of the ways I use my blog is as my own personal recipe book--these recipes are all things that I actually make my family. And, one of the meals we really enjoy is very easy, that is, a simple roasted chicken. Over the years, I have found that this particular recipe really is the most delicious and simple.

It is adapted from Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken, which you can find here. I do make slight changes to the recipe every time, based on what I have in the house, but the gist of it is presented below and I think you will enjoy it as well.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Potato & Leek Soup

I love fall and everything it brings with it, including the end to the brutally hot weather, scarlet and golden leaves, family birthdays, the beginning of the holiday season, use of my oven again, and warm soups! Potato soup is a favorite here and in many households, I know. I hope you'll try this very simple, nourishing version. I'll think it will be a regular at your table.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Applesauce Bars with Raisins and Frosting

Ahhh.... you saw that title and thought I lost my mind, didn't you? Frosting? I mean seriously, how the heck can I post a recipe with frosting?? Hm...... Well, you'll just have to read on to see.......

I adapted this recipe from Semi Homemade Mom's Raisin Applesauce Bars and Caramel Frosting. I hope you'll go check out her blog - lots of great recipes!


Avocado-Tomato Salad

You may find this hard to believe, but I never had an avocado until I was in my 20's and I never had an interest in eating one until I read Dr. Hyman's wonderful book, Ultrametabolism. In this book, I learned that avocados were a healthy fat and one should try to incorporate them into one's diet.

Things really didn't go well at first. I thought that avocados were pretty... um... well, like mushy, hm.... and, slimy, and uh... well, just downright disgusting! Ha! I really couldn't stand them at all. But I had recalled hearing somewhere that one should try to eat something 17 or 22 times (anyway, A LOT) before one definitively decided whether or not they liked the taste of something. So, every so often, I bought an avocado and tried to get it down.

So that's the history and now that you know it, you should be totally surprised that I have an avocado recipe here! But, that silly old rule about trying things 17 times was true because finally, after many years (it took something like 5+ years and way more than 17 times) I can honestly say I really do like avocados. And, my body is happier for it. See, I just love stories with happy endings.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mushroom and Walnut Pate

This post is evidence I am a chicken... You see, I've been trying to find a way to incorporate organ meats into my diet, but I have a lingering fear of all things subconsciously labeled "innards".

Okay, I know it's silly--I mean, I used to eat McDonalds for goodness sake... pink slime anyone? But that doesn't change anything now... So, after someone recommended a chicken liver pate as a good start on my journey to this interior realm, I chickened out, and made this instead......


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Body Series - Oils - Part 2: Meadow Foam Seed, Jojoba Oil, and Hemp Seed Oil

My first post on this topic covered three oils (Almond, Avocado, and Coconut) and compared them based on various characteristics. I discussed how using oils (vegetable, nut, and/or seed oils) to moisturize and care for our skin is a great idea for numerous reasons including quality, cost, availability, effectiveness, flexibility, etc. So, onward search to find the right oil or oils to use....

In this post, I have included Meadow Foam Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, and Hemp Seed Oil. Keep in mind, this is a casual experiment and based on my experiences with these oils over the course of several weeks. But, I think you'll find the results meaningful and useful.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Iced Honey Cream

We have serious ice cream cravings in our house. They creep in after dinner, and continue to harrass us all night long. Sometimes, we succumb and wind up buying a container of Ben & Jerry's (ok, THREE containers, I can't lie). And then I have remorse for a week afterward (I have remorse, the boys have no remorse whatsoever). Sigh.... and so it goes.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Test Kitchen: Sesame Honey Candy

I think that one of my husband's greatest difficulties on a real food diet is that he feels like he cannot satisfy his sweet tooth. He is often looking for a sweet snack and this treat satisfies that craving in a wonderful, nutritious way!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Body Series - Oils - Part 1: Almond, Coconut, & Avocado

Have you ever noticed all those bizarre-sounding ingredients in your face and body lotions? How about the fact that there's so many ingredients in these products and you don't understand half of them? Have you ever found yourself wondering about your skin care company's "green" policies, kindness policies, and overall corporate/ company policies?

Well, these are the kinds of questions I have been asking myself for years about the products I used and I was often disappointed when I found the answers. So, after much personal research, I started using pure oils (vegetable, nut, and/or seed oils) to moisturize and care for my skin after hearing about the possibility online and in various books. The great part about this is that vegetable, nut, and seed oils contain only one ingredient (hooray!) and can easily be purchased, for the most part, from a source that is green/ globally responsible/ kind to animals/ kind to other people (hooray hooray!). The other really great part is that, compared to my incredibly expensive former anti-aging regimen, using oils for skin care is a really frugal choice. Your pocketbook will thank you!

So, since most of you probably don't have the time or money or patience to research and try every oil out there, I thought it might be helpful to try to experiment a little on my own and record my results. First up, Almond Oil and Coconut Oil because they are relatively inexpensive and fairly easy to obtain and also fairly commonly known. I also included Avocado Oil this week because I've been wanting to try this oil ever since I read it helps reduce age spots, heal sun damage, and scars and may increase collagen in skin. WOW. Keep in mind, this is a casual experiment and based on my experiences with these oils over the course of several weeks. But, I think you'll find the results useful.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Stuffed Crepes

In order to make this recipe, you'll need to simply combine Sweet Crepes and Cinnamon Apples. I've separated the recipes in an attempt to be organized. I'm not sure if it's worked. Anyway, both recipes are fairly easy-- you could make the crepes in advance (store in freezer for months or refrigerator for a couple of days) and simply warm, and the cinnamon apples are quick to do on their own.

Now, you could make both components at the same time and, if you do that, simply start your crepes and, as they are cooking, make your cinnamon apples (chopping the apples a bit here and there between crepes, then simmering all ingredients together on low until crepes are done). Then when the crepes are done, stuff or drizzle with Cinnamon Apples, as indicated below. That is what I have done and it's not too difficult, and only about 20-30 minutes total cook time (keep in mind that the crepes are made one at a time, which lengthens that overall process).

Warm Cinnamon Apples

We used this filling for Apple Cinnamon Stuffed Crepes, made with Sweet Crepes, but it could easily be a sweet treat on its own or part of another dessert.

Crepes (Sweet)

This is a simple recipe for Sweet Crepes that you can use in dessert recipes, etc. We used ours in a sweet breakfast - Apple Cinnamon Crepes. They were delicious! In fact, I think I enjoyed the sweet version more than the savory crepes. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lentil Soup

This is another recipe from my grandma, and she always said that her best friend, Anita, taught her how to make this soup. Not only does it taste incredible, but it's very nutritious, easy to make, and freezes well. As such, this is a great soup to make on the weekend to have later in the week. If you've cooked the barley and bacon in advance, prep time is not long.

If you have not, simply cook while the soup is simmering to be added near the end of the process. I like to let my soup simmer on a very low heat for about two hours (maybe a little more, even) but you don't need to simmer that long. Also, if you do, you may need to add a little water as you'll certainly lose some during the process--depending on how thick of a soup you like. You can learn how to soak your lentils here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Apple Nut Muffins

"Almost all wild apples are handsome. They cannot be too gnarly and crabbed and rusty to look at. The gnarliest will have some redeeming traits even to the eye." -- Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples

Monday, September 17, 2012

How to Quickly Dice an Apple

In case you were thinking that you couldn't make one or another of a really delicious apple recipe because it was too much of a pain to dice the apple or it took too long or blah blah blah whatever... I am here to tell you that that is not the case! You can quickly and easily dice up apples for use in lots of recipes using this simple method.

"How long does this take", you ask? "Five minutes? More than five minutes??" No way! I timed myself leisurely chopping a 2nd apple after I took these photos on the first one, and it took 2 minutes and 5 seconds. No problem!

***Tools needed: A sharp knife and cutting board.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Italian Stuffed Fryer Peppers

This is a traditional Italian recipe (from my grandma!) for stuffed fryer peppers and is considered a treat for special occasions.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Test Kitchen: Lemony Creme

I saw this recipe for Italian Lemon Creme on Dimes2Vines and immediately thought I had to give it a try as a filling for my sweet crepes, a follow-up to savory crepes. If you have not checked out this website, I encourage you to do so as there are some really great posts. The following recipe is based on the recipe referenced above, with slight modifications.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Toothpaste & Mouthwash

"She laughs at everything you say. Why? Because she has fine teeth." --Benjamin Franklin

I know that homemade toothpastes and tooth powders are trending a lot online now, which is great, because I've been looking for a while for something to use myself and have just been unable to make a decision until recently. However, I finally decided to give something a try, described below, that I think uses the best of what I've seen and also is a flexible option in that you can use one or more of the ingredients below based on your preference. I have also included a few mouthwash formulas, the first being really more of an after brushing rinse and the others more of a traditional mouthwash intended to freshen breath.

2 parts coconut oil and/or
1 part clay and/or
1 part baking soda and/or
1/4 parts sea salt and/or
Lemon essential oil and/or
Peppermint essential oil and/or

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ham & Cheese Stuffed Crepes

This is a great way to bring crepes to the dinner table in a savory dish that will soon be one of your favorite "comfort food" meals!

Crepes (Savory)

Impress your family with these beautiful but easy crepes.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fruit Pizza

I had a craving for fruit pizza and decided to try to make one that would be nutritious and still taste good. This worked out really well - it is a fun and delicious treat.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Simple Pesto

If your garden is anything like mine, you're looking for something to do with a ton of basil right about now....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pico de Gallo

This recipe makes use of garden vegetables and is a great side dish, appetizer, or snack. It's also really easy to make, although takes a bit of time due to all the chopping and dicing. Also, quantities are approximate as I know the size of your summer vegetables varies, so keep that in mind when you are making your own. Also, you could use any type of tomato or pepper or onion, so feel free to substitute with whatever you have in your own garden.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Roasted Beet Salad

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time in Raleigh-Durham and had a really great dinner with friends at a popular local restaurant with a highly acclaimed up-and-coming chef. One of the courses included a beet salad and, while I had not really been a big fan of beets in the past, the salad blew me away and changed my opinion completely. While everything they served was very good, the beets were really special. That meal, combined with the really wonderful health benefits of beets and the fact that they are in season now, inspired this dish.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Zucchini Bread

Don't let all the ingredients below fool you - this is an easy and really delicious zucchini bread recipe you won't want to miss!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cold winter days bring out my desire to cook soups of all kinds. Cream of mushroom is such a warm, comforting soup and really pretty quick and easy to make. Also, you can make a double batch and freeze for all those recipes calling for cream of mushroom soup so you aren't tempted to buy a quick and easy, but processed "frankenfood" can of the "old standby". This soup calls for simple yet nourishing ingredients and I really think you'll love the creaminess and wonderful flavor.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Simple Salad

Salads are great because they are quick and easy and you can throw anything into them and have a nourishing, delicious meal in minutes. A salad is especially useful to use up leftovers (veggies, meats, fruits). The salad below uses some leftover items in my refrigerator today but please feel free to substitute and be creative. Be sure to wash all vegetables as needed and pat dry for the best results. If you are in a really big hurry, you can pre-chop all your salad items at the beginning of the week and all you have to do is put the salad together, which is the easy part!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Frozen Banana Nut Snacks

I don't know about your house, but in my house, husband and boy spend lots of time looking for snacks in the evenings and weekends. It is much easier to fight this battle with nutritious snacks on hand. I am happy to point them to these frozen treats, which are very easy to make and very tasty as well. We always have a bag in our freezer. If you make them small enough, they are bite-sized and quite handy even without toothpicks.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Corn Cakes II

The corn cakes we made last week were so delicious my husband wanted them for every meal. Well, that didn't happen, but I did make them again tonight with chili and he thought this second version so much more delicious that I just had to present the variation. The only reason there was a variance is that I was out of ingredients needed to make the other version exactly the same, I was in a hurry, and had a million other things going on. So, the result is this variation (tastier, more delicious) corn cakes.

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