Monday, April 11, 2011

The Art of Growing Art

I saw this article on how to make living art in the latest Sunset~Garden Anywhere magazine. It is titled "The art of growing art." I love succulents and when I saw this I knew instantly I want to try to make a piece of living art. Well, actually I fell in love with a several ideas of living art, but this is the first one I want to try and create as a masterpiece. My vision is to create a tall one and place it near my front porch and hang it under the eave on two chains. I think it will look stunning, especially with a landscaping spot light on it at night. I would be afraid to let it just lean against the house, as it might just walk away.

I watched the how to video as well and it looks rather simple and self explanatory. Now to locate the supplies to make it. I will put an ad on Craigslist to see if anyone wants to donate any succulents, as they multiply like rabbits. This will help cut down on the cost, cheap or free is always a very good deal. I am excited to plant a living picture.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are one of the most powerful, functional, and nutritious superfoods in the world! The chia seed is an excellent source of fiber, packed with antioxidants, full of protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the richest known plant source of Omega-3. Everyone from children to senior citizens can benefit from the wonderful nutritional qualities of chia seeds.

Adding just 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet will give you approximately 7 grams of Fiber, 4 grams of Protein, 205 milligrams of Calcium, and a whopping 5 grams of Omega-3!

  • More Omega-3 than Atlantic Salmon

  • More Antioxidants than fresh blueberries

  • More Fiber than bran flakes

  • More Calcium than 2% milk

  • More Protein, Fiber & Calcium than flax seed

Top 5 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds

1. Chia Seeds Are Nutritious On top of the fact that chia seeds have more omega-3 than anyother natural source, they are loaded with antioxidants, calcium,protein, fiber, and many other vitamins & minerals.

2. Chia Seeds Are Energizing Not only do chia seeds give you a boost of energy that lasts,they also provide stamina and endurance. A single tablespoon could sustain Aztec warriors for an entire day.

3. Chia Seeds Reduce Cravings Because chia seeds absorb so much water and have high soluble fiber levels, they help release natural, unrefined carbohydrate energy slowly into the bloodstream.

4. Chia Seeds Are Easily Digestible Unlike flax seed, chia seeds do not have to be ground up before you ingest them. The human body can easily digest chia seeds, and with about 7 grams of fiber per serving, they actually help.

5. Chia Seeds Are Convenient & Versatile You can eat chia seeds straight from the bag, mix them with your favorite drink, add them to your cereal or salad, bake with them and just about anything else.

You can add them to smoothies, yogurt, bake with them, grind them into flour and can be used a thickener etc.... Chia Seeds can be used in many ways and are heart healthy.


I found a quick bread recipe that calls for no oil and is moistened by Chia Seeds. I tweaked the recipe and eliminated the White Flour and substituted Garbonzo Flour instead. It is a dense bread and I enjoyed the texture and flavor, of course a light spread of butter or honey butter on each slice tastes even better. My kids gobbled slices of it up for breakfast today too.

You are probably scratching your head... What the heck are chia seeds??? My next post will help educate you on the benefits of Chia Seeds. You can get them at a natural/nutrition store, Whole Foods Market, Market of Choice, Capella's or even On-line. They come in a bag or in bulk.


2 T Chia Seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup of water; set aside for 10 min.

1/2 c All Purpose Flour (or substitute Garbonzo Flour)

1-1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder 1/2 tsp Salt

1 Egg

1-1/2 tsp of Lemon Juice

3/4 cup of Brown Sugar

1/4 cup of Honey

3 mashed Bananas

1 T of melted Butter

1 T Vanilla

1/2 cup of Walnuts, chopped

*optional 1/2 cup of Nestle Mini Morsel

  1. Mix the Chia Seeds and water and let sit while you get the rest of the ingredients ready or until they've started to gel.

  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder and salt).

  3. In separate bowl, beat egg with lemon juice, brown sugar and honey. Add the mashed bananas, chia seeds, vanilla and melted butter.

  4. Add wet mix to flour mix until combined.

  5. Fold in nuts and/or mini chocolate chips.

  6. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

(Makes one standard loaf or four mini loaves)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


He is back!!! Jamie Oliver's FOOD REVOLUTION takes on the City of Los Angeles. It airs on ABC, Tuesday April 12th. I am super excited to see and learn more about wholesome food vs. the processed, sugary and unhealthy garbage that is being served to our children in schools and in fast food restaurants. The last Food Revolution show inspired me to open my pantry and freezer and start eliminating processed foods and donate them to a local food pantry and also ditch some in my own garbage can as well.

We plan on having our teenage son watch the new FOOD REVOLUTION and find out what changes he is willing to make. He also complains that at his middle school when he used to get his school lunch that the fruits and vegetables were wiped out and they didn't offer any to the students that were at the middle or the end of the lunch line. There wasn't enough fresh produce served to accommodate the kids. He'd come home from school hungry.

So... out of curiosity, what do you think about your children's' school lunch program?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Springtime Farmer's Market

It is that time of year again at least in Lane County, Oregon. It is Springtime and open season at Lane County Farmer's Market. I was so excited to meander around the Farmer's Market and check out every booth to see what was in season. I found lots of organic salad greens, braising greens, root vegetables, herbs, squash, hazelnuts, colorful plants, vegetable starts, organic meat and poultry and farm fresh eggs.

I also came across a booth that sold locally grown wheat, lentils, beans, wheat berries, teff and more. The Mill is called Camas Country Mill and is owned by The Hunton Family in Alvadore Oregon, near Fern Ridge Resevoir. We got to talking and I shared with them that I had just made my Wheat berry Waldorf Salad. Both Tom and Sue were inspired and want me to send my recipe to them so that they can try it and possibly share the recipe with others.

After scouring the market I selected fresh local baby spinach, salad greens, chives, bok choy, mild radishes, red leaf lettuce and collard broccolini. I also purchased some of Camas Country's stone ground hard red wheat flour, garbanzo bean flour and an Ethiopian grain called brown Teff grain. I am looking forward to making some fresh homemade rustic bread.

I was also looking for Golden (yellow) Beets, but had no such luck. (I want to remake the Roasted Beet, Apple and Fennel Salad that I had at Adam's Sustainable Table on our food crawl). I did talk to one of the vendors that was selling plants and veggie starts and asked if she had the starts to Golden Beets. No such luck either, but she told me to check out Down to Earth or Market of Choice as she delivers to them too.

So I headed on over to Down to Earth and they had two six pack containers. So I will grow my own Golden Beets. I also picked up five blueberry bushes too, to plant in the backyard. The kids will love picking blueberries for their cereal every morning.

Oh... the bounties of Spring and the anticipation of Summer that is not so far off. Looking forward to my trips to the Farmer's Market.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Food Crawl

My Dear Hubby and I had date night today. He let me plan the whole date. I took him on a Food Crawl to two Sustainable Restaurants. (Maybe, just maybe.. I watch a little too much Top Chef, Food Network or Rachael Ray.. hence the idea of the Food Crawl). I thought that choosing food and restaurants that used local organic ingredients, produce and meats would be fun and adventurous for our taste pallets.

First stop was Lunch at the Laughing Planet Cafe at 760 Blair Blvd in Eugene, Oregon. We dressed casual, but felt a bit out of place with the hippie granola crowd, but they were laid back and didn't mind our company. Dear hubby and I shared a cup of their famous Vegan Chili (beans, tomatoes, zuchinni, carrots, onions, peppers and spices), a Farmboy-Tim Smoothie (canteloupe, honeydew, blueberries, kiwi, peaches and apple juice) and split a Burrito (organic chicken, pinto beans, organic brown rice, cabbage, picco de gallo and their homemade mild green tomatilla salsa). Tasty, healthy and satisfying meal.

Dear hubby and I spent a few hours digesting our meal by meandering around the Eugene Library and borrowed books on our next family vacation destination which will be to The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.

Next stop on the Food Crawl was to Dinner at Adam's Sustainable Table at 30 E. Broadway in Eugene. Great atmosphere, fine dining and very attentive staff. They are a Dinner House and we got there just as they opened at 4:30 PM. We had the place to ourselves at first as we were earlybirds. I fibbed/joked and told dear hubby that I reserved the Restaurant just for us. Okay enough joking, on with the food. First course was a cup of the French Onion Soup (carmelized onions with a floating crustini topped with bubbling cheese). The beef broth and onions were rich and sweet, but it lacked seasoning. Second course was the Roasted Beet Salad (roasted yellow beets, shaved apple, shaved fennel, toasted candied walnuts and Artisian Alsea Acres goat cheese and vinaigrette). Gorgeous presentation and was so fresh and delicious. Next course was the Entrees, we each ordered an entree and split them. My Dear Hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of man, so what did he order? The Smoked Prime Rib Sandwich with organic potatoe wedges. (Prime rib was from a local farm and the beef was steroid and antibiotic free). It was so tender, as if you were eating a filet mignon, and melted in your mouth like butter. We've never had a Prime Rib taste so wonderul. Next entree was the Savory Chicken Crock Pie (Chicken pot pie in a terra cotta crock with root vegetables, organic pasture raised chicken with a fresh baked buttermilk & herb biscuit pastry top). Couldn't eat it all so we brought home a doggie bag. Dinner was fabulous and we had a great Food Crawl together... but what about dessert?

We were a bit stuffed, so we spent a couple of hours digesting our meal walking around the mall, picked up some spring outifts for the kids and enjoyed hanging out at Barnes and Noble and picked up an audio book. Ahhh grown up time and shopping without kids is a nice treat. Speaking of treats... we ended the night with ice cream at Coldstone Creamery, we were both in the mood for chocolate and peanut butter. It was pretty crazy in there as a youth group was having a scavenger hunt and had competitions eating icecream and singing Coldstone's jingles. They looked like they were having a blast.

Food Crawl was a success, we tried some vegan dishes, sampled new dishes and new ingredients for the first time. Maybe next month we will do it again and pick a different food fare and new restaurants that we haven't experienced yet. One thing we learned is that with local sustainable ingredients the menu's change frequently due to the availability of what is in season.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cornflake Chews

Corn Flake Chewies

2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 cups light corn syrup
2 cups creamy peanut butter
12 cups of corn flakes

In a large nonstick pot heat sugar, butter and corn syrup to boiling, stirring constantly.

Take off heat and add peanut butter, stir until melted.

Add cornflakes to hot mixture and stir.

Spread in greased pan or cookie sheet.

Cut when cool.
(You can drop by round spoonfuls too, but I find it much easier to spread on a cookie sheet and cut into squares).
From Angie's Kitchen

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Homemade Granola Bars

Granola Bars
4 cups of Quick Oats
1 cup of Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup of sliced Almonds
1 cup of Pepita's (pumpkin seeds) (no salt)
1/2 cup of Sunflower Kernels (no salt)
1 cup of shredded Coconut
1/2 cup chopped dried Cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried Apricots
1 cup of dry Powdered Milk
1 1/2 cups of Honey
3/4 cup of Olive Oil
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Salt
Mix all ingredients together, press into a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Cut into square bar shapes while still warm, let cool on sheet for a few hours. Store them in a airtight container.
From my kitchen to yours, Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Health and Healing

I just wanted to apologize to my followers for not posting on my blog for a very long time. I have been quite overwhelmed with life and some health issues and had to put things on hold or give up for a duration and take care of me. Sometimes taking care of your own needs is hard to do and we get sidetracked and lose ourselves. I am seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel and will try to post every now and again. Thanks for checking in on me.