How to make Beautiful Butter

My friend Charlotte has the best job.  She makes fudge and candy all day at the Moab Fudge Factory.  The other day she came by with some Christmas goodies and a big box full of cream and butter.  I ask her why she was giving me the cream and she said that if she even so much as thought about making more fudge right now she would be sick. This Cream was just going to set around till it goes bad unless I wanted to use it for a potion to remove warts or wrinkles or something.....  (see what a good friend she is?)

Yes, part of it will make a nice Beauty potion and the rest will make beautiful butter.

Butter is the easiest thing to make and it tastes way better when you add Love to it yourself.


Heavy Cream
Sea salt  (about 1/2 t. for every pint)

Turn on the mixer on high and walk away.  You have plenty of time to do some house work or put your feet up.  Make sure the cream is not going to splash all over.  Toss a towel over the top if the splash gaurd isn't enough protection. 

Yes, this is the exact way that you make whipped cream.  We are just going to take it a bit further so the liquid and the fat separate.

At some point it is going to look like scrambled eggs.  Your butter is just about done.  Keep mixing till you see that the liquid has separated.  That is the butter milk.  Pour it out and save it for cooking or a Potion.

Run cold water over the butter and massage it with your hands till the water runs clear.    You want to get all the buttermilk out so that your butter will stay fresh longer.

Make sure to rinse in cold water or all your work will go down the drain.   Place in parchment paper and store in the fridge or serve immediately.

See how Pretty it is!

You can garnish it with a sprinkle of sea salt or some chopped herbs  or just use it as is.


Oil Infusions

As I was looking through my journals to find a lotion recipe I realized that most of my instructions start out with  "Grab an oil infusion of -X-  and add it to -Y- until -Z- happens.

So What is an oil  infusion anyway?  An infusion is when you mix medicinal or culinary herbs with a fixed oil for the purpose of extracting certain properties.

Medicinal oils are the base for most salves and used as a protective covering for the skin that holds the therapeutic agents to the skin for absorption of the remedy.

Cosmetic oils are used to enhance the appearance of the skin.  They moisturize, soften and brighten the skin.  I also use mine instead of perfume.  Use them to condition hair, as bath oil, or healing massage oil. 

Culinary Oils carry the nutrients, flavor, and aroma of the herbs to the food and greatly enhance the whole food experience.

There are two main methods of producing infused oil.  a Cold method and a Hot method.  The cold method takes a bit longer and is used for more delicate herbs and petals.  The hot method is more suitable for barks, seeds and tough herbs.

Cold Infusion method:
Place your chosen herbs/ petals into a clean glass jar and fill up with suitable carrier.  Olive oil, grape seed and almond oil are all good choices.  the oil level needs to be higher than the herbs to prevent them from going moldy.  Place in a jar i the sun and sake it gently every day for about a month.  If you would like a stronger oil strain the herbs out and add a fresh batch to the same oil. Leave it for another month shaking daily.  Strain and pour into a clean glass bottle and store in a cool dark place.

Hot Infusion method:

1/2 pint Olive oil 
3 to 4 oz dried herbs

In a double boiler place the olive oil and the herbs on medium heat. Gently heat for 2 to 3 hours.  Never allow it to get too hot because a burned oil mix is useless. The oil will take on the fragrance of the herbs as they infuse and will change color.  If after a few hours it is not strong enough strain out the herbs and start the process over with a new batch of herbs in the same oil.  Most of the time with hot infusions one time is enough.  Strain and place in a clean glass jar in a cool dark place.

 For a quick and easy herbal ointment Warm up the oil and  add coco butter or shea butter to it.  mix till it is all melted and incorporated.  Place in small containers to cool.

* the first photo shows calendula petals.  The infusion I use most for skin care.  The second photo shows garlic, rosemary, thyme.  the one I use most for cooking.


Natural Antibiotics- part 1

It is that time of year again!  As the days grow short and cold more and more of my clients come in with coughs, fevers all kinds of "flu season" symptoms.  It would be nice if they would stay home but no one wants to miss their color appointment so, Lucky me, I Get to stand really really close to them for hours.   Yay!!!

There are a couple of things you can do to stay healthy.  First, make sure you have enough vitamin D3.  Get it from the sun if it is warm enough and take a supplement if you need to.  Somewhere between 1000 and 5000 IU is about right depending on your skin color and what size of a person you are.  If you only do one thing for your health do this.  Second, keep your body alkalized.  Easy ways to do this are drink lemon water in the morning and eat your leafy greens.  (stay away from those holiday sweets)  With a little prevention on your side you may not even need the following information.

Many herbs have historically been used to treat the infections caused by bacteria that are now antibiotic resistant.  Medical research outside the united states has been exploring plants that can treat antibiotic-resistant disease.  From before recorded history, plants have been used as the primary healing medicines for human beings.

There is a great deal of promise in addressing the problem through the use of plant medicine instead of antibiotics because plants have a much more complex chemistry than antibiotics.  Garlic, for instance,  has been found to contain at least 33 sulfur compounds, 17 amino acids, and dozens of other compounds.  Pharmaceuticals, in contrast, are usually made from One chemical constituent only.  Penicillin is penicillin, tetracycline is tetracycline.  Pharmaceutical antibiotics are, in fact, simple substances, not complex, and because of this bacteria can more easily figure out how to counteract the effects.  Herbs on the other hand are very complex.  If you take Yarrow, for instance, it contains over 120 different compounds that have been identified so far.  These compounds exist in a powerful evolutionary balance with each other.   They potentiate, enhance, and mitigate each other's effects in the human body.  Faced with this complex chemical makeup, invading bacteria find it much more difficult to develop resistance.

Today I am going to take a look at 5 different natural antibiotics.  I have chosen these because 1.  they work and  2. there is very good chance that you have one, if not all, of them in your kitchen right now.

Parts used: the fresh juice: in some cases, the dried plant.
Actions: antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti viral, wound healing accelerator, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer.
Active against: staphylococcus aureus,  Pseudomonas aeruginosa, herpes simplex 1 and 2.
Aloe is most well known for its ability to heal a burn but should be your go to plant for any wound on the skin. A mixture of Aloe and Raw honey is my favorite thing for any kind of cut or burn.  It is almost impossible for staph infection to get started when either substance is used on open skin.

Aloe is very simple to prepare. Just slice or break open the leaves of a fresh plant and apply liberally to any wound or burn.

 Side effects: Externally: None   Internal use:  Don't take it if you are pregnant because it can cause contractions  and in some people Hemorrhoids.

Parts used: the bulb and cloves are used for medicine an food.  Harvest in the fall when leaves begin to wither.
Actions: Antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan, antifungal, anthelmintic, immune-stimulating, hypotensive, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, cholagogue.
Active against: Tuberculosis, shigella dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus, pseudomonas aeruginosa, candida albicans, E coli, Streptococcus spp., samonella spp., campylobacter spp., Proteus mirabilis, herpes simplex, influenza B, HIV, and many others.  both gram-positive and gram negative bacteria.

Garlic is a well known culinary herb that has been used medicinally for some five thousand years.  this is by far the Most powerful herb for the treatment of antibiotic resistant disease.  (followed  by grapefruit seed extract)  No other herb comes close to the multiple system actions of garlic, its antibiotic activitiy, and immune potentiation power.

For stimulating immune function and for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol counts, Garlic works well either raw, cooked, or encapsulated.  For treating active bacterial infection, it should be consumed either in uncooked whole form or as juice.

Use in food as much as you want.  When fighting infection take 1 clove 3 times a day or 1/4 to 1 teaspoon juice 3 times a day.

Side effects:  the most common side effect of Garlic is nausea.  Garlic is not recommended for nursing mothers because it will affect the taste of the milk.


Parts used: the root is used for medicine as well as food.  Harvest in the fall when the leaves and stem have begun to dry.
Actions: Antibacterial, antiviral, circulatory stimulant, anti inflammatory, diaphoretic, antifungal, hypotensive, anti clotting agent, carminative, antiarthritic, anelgesic, antitussive.
Active against: Malaria, shigella dysenteriae, staphylococcus aureus, pseudomoniae, aeruginosa, candida albicans, E coli, Klebsiella, pneumoniae, Streptococcus spp., salmonella spp.

Ginger has traditionally been a primary herb of choice for treating colds and flu.  It is especially useful for children in that it is safe in large doses and yet tastes good.  ***Arelitively unknown fact is that Ginger's antitussive (anti cough) action rivals that of codeine, and its strong expactorant and antihistamine actions help thin bronchial mucus and move it up and out of the system. this makes it perfic for upper respiratory infections.  Ginger relieves pain, stimulates immune activity, reduces inflammation, and stimulates sweating, thus helping to lower fevers.

Take ginger in your food, in a tea or in capsules.

Parts used: The honey syrup itself.
Actions: antibiotic, antiviral, anti inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, expectorant, anti allergenic, laxative, antianemic, tonic, antifungal, immune stimulant, cell regenerator.
Active against: staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus spp., enterococcus, helicobacter pylori.

Honey contains, among other things, a complex assortment of enzymes, organic acids, esters, antibiotic agents, trace minerals, proteins, hormones, and antimicrobial compounds.  One pound of average honey contains 1.4g protein, 23 mg of calcium, 73 mg of phosphorus, 4.1 mg niacin and 16 mg vitamin C and vitamin A, beta carotene,the complete complex of B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, sulfer, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, manganese, high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, and formic acid.  Honey in fact contains 75 different compounds. 

For External use just apply directly at full strength and cover with a bandage.  For Internal use take 1 tablespoon either undiluted or in some tea.

Side effects: bees sometimes make honey from poisonous plants so make sure you get it from a reliable beekeeper.  Sometimes honey can contain botulism so never let a child under One year of age eat it.  Also people who have bad reactions to bee stings should not eat honey.

Parts used: the leaves.   Harvest the leaves before flowering and dry in the shade.
Actions: antiseptic, antibacterial, astringent, tonic, expactorant, diaphoretic.
Active against: streptococcus pneumoniae, staphylococcus aureus, haemophilus, influenzae, pseudomonas aeruginosa, E coli, candida albicans, Klebsiella, samonella spp.

** The essential oil is a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Sage is especially good for dysentery,  throat and upper respiratory infections, or any infection with excess secretions; used externaly for infected wounds.  though not as strong as other herbs it is great for children because it tastes good and can be used in cooking.

Tea can be drank as well as used as a gargle.  It is good as a steam in a sauna or sweat lodge or just boil the leaves.  The powdered dry leaves can be put directly on wounds. 
Side effects:  Sage will decrease or even stop lactation in a nursing mother.



Stuffed Avocado

OK, this is another "recipe" that is more about the picture than the instructions.  This is one of my favorite things when I am in a hurry.

Take an avocado and slice it in half.  Remove the seed and fill the hole with anything you like.

This picture shows it stuffed with shredded zucchini, onion, tomato cooked in olive oil.

One of my favorite things is to stuff it with Quinioa Tabbouleh  and Jim likes to fill his with salsa and dip chips into it.  Just about Anything will work.


Easy sugar wax

I talk to a lot of women at my job and one thing we All have to figure out is hair removal.

I splurged last year and got myself a laser.  It says that it is painless..... um, no not true.  It feels like getting poked with a strait pin over and over.  I'll keep using it but it is a LONG process and only kills the hair that has enough pigment in it.  That still leaves me with all the blond fuzz.

I choose waxing over shaving this time of year just because I don't like how it feels when my flannel PJ pants stick to my leg stubble.  ((come on... you know exactly what I mean))

If you have the luxury of being able to get away and have some time to yourself make an appointment to have some one do it for you.

If you are like me, and have zero time to yourself, you may want to consider doing it at home.  The good news is it is easy, costs almost nothing and will keep you hair free for 2 - 3 months.  I won't lie to you... it hurts.

Sugaring is not a true "wax" so if you chicken out you can soak it off in the shower.

You are going to need:
white sugar
filtered water
fresh lemon juice
talcum powder
glass bowl
wooden stick or spatula
cloth strips
cooking thermometer

Body wax
2 C, white sugar
1/4 C. filtered water
1/4 C. lemon juice

Heat the mixture in a sauce pan on low heat until your cooking thermometer reads 250 degrees F.  Take off heat and allow to cool back down to room temperature.  Pour the cooled mixture in a glass bowl.

Clean and dry the area you are going to wax.  I like to dust a little powder on my legs first so the wax comes off better and it doesn't hurt quite as bad.

Apply a thin layer of the white sugar wax to a small section of your leg with a wooden spatula.  Cover the area with a waxing strip and push down on the waxing strip to grab as much hair as possible.

Pull the strip off in the opposite direction of your hair growth.  Then place your hand over the area to alleviate some of the pain you experience.

If you don't have that much hair you can sometimes use the same strip for the next section.  Move the strip and rub it really good to get it to stick.  It just depends on your hair type.

If you are worried about ingrown hairs just use a toner or an acne cleanser on your skin when you are done.

It is just that easy.  Good luck!


Whip lessons

One of my favorite quotes goes like this:

"We do not grow old.  When we stop Growing we become old."

There is no better example of this than my Great Aunt Billie.  I see her every week and she is youthful and vital at 83 years of age.

About a year ago she decided that the world was going down hill and she no longer felt that safe all alone in her house at night.  I thought that she was going to tell me she wanted a roommate or to go live with one of her daughters.....

No, as it turns out she had decided that ((we)) needed to "learn the Bullwhip"!!!  You know, so we could be safe.....and sexy like catwoman.  (ok, I added the sexy part myself)

Because I love her with all my heart and would do just about anything for her I agreed to find out what we needed and where to get them. 

I found a wonderful man in New Zealand named Peter Jack.  Bless his heart!  He didn't even skip a beat when I told him that two girls wanted him to make whips for self defence.  When I told him Billie was in her 80s he told me that he could make hers lighter with a different handle so it wouldn't take as much muscle to use.  I found him to be friendly and professional.  I can't say enough good things about him.  (some of the advice he gave me has changed forever how I view my world)

Check out his web site The Whip Man.

So, we have spent the summer playing with our whips and having more fun than I ever could have imagined.  I have gotten into the habit of doing it in the morning and at night before my meditation.  Right now I only know how to do 17 different cracks.  I am working with both hands because at some point I want to do two whips at a time.  I am finding that it is great physical therapy for my chest and shoulders.  I will do it every day just for that reason alone.

This is Aunt Billie!  Isn't she the cutest?  I really hope to grow up an be just like her.  (can you tell she is waring her cataract glasses to protect her eyes? ... wish I had a pair)

Here is closer look at how absolutely beautiful these whips are.  They are truly works of art.

My whip is the black and red one.  Billie chose red and neutral. 

This kind of shows the differences in the plaiting.  (how many strands are used in the braid)  The top is a 4 plaited, 6 foot, cowhide bullwhip.  Second is my 16 plaited, shot loaded, 6 foot, kangaroo bullwhip.  Last is Billie's  12 plaited, 5 foot, kangaroo bullwhip that Peter made adjustments just for her height and age.   All of them different and beautiful!

These are the worst of my war wounds.   The one on the back actually blistered!  The good thing is you learn really quickly because you HAVE to.  There is no wondering if you did it right or not.  I recommend waring sunglasses and a long sleeve shirt!  Peter says that the whip will always remind  you when you do something wrong and how big of a reminder is up to you.    errrrmmm.....  I guess we know a little about my learning curve now....?

I named my whip Neeth the bringer of light and some of the things I have learned from her are:

1. stay in  your body.
2. focus on the moment (not the big bang at the end)
3. strength = beauty
4. be flexible and fluid
5. know what you are going to do and commit fully
6. keep trying
7. sometimes slowing it down is best
8. stay calm even when you are afraid.... soon all you will feel is the stillness
9. It is ok to be seen.  Some people are really attracted by what I do and others are totally repelled by it.  both of those reactions are fine.
10. It is ok to try/learn something new no matter what age you are.
11. Have fun and share the joy


Pumpkin cheesecake and Carmel sauce

I am going to have Thanksgiving at my house for the first time ever this year and I am so excited.  My major goal is to make it as Primal as possible with out making that a big deal.  I have been testing out ways to convert all the old comfort foods to grain free goodies that will make everyone happy and satisfied.

Deserts are a small problem because of the sugar.  I really love this one and I think it will be a big hit. Try it and see what you think!

2 cups raw pecans
1 cup of dates, pitted
1/4 tsp sea salt

In your food processor blend the nuts along with the salt till mealy.  Add the dates one at a time, but quickly so you don’t over process the nuts.  Again, Be careful not to over process. You want the batter to hold together when you pinch it.

Press the crust mixture in the bottom of your pan.  I used a 9×9 square Springform pan.  You could use any size, shape or style to fit the occasion!  Set aside while you make the filling.

2 cups raw cashews, soaked for about 2 hours (to soften them)
2 cups almond milk
2 cups cubed raw pumpkin, sugar pumpkin is the best
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 cup maple syrup or raw agave nectar

**3 Tbsp lecithin (dissolved in coconut oil)
**1 cup cold pressed raw coconut oil, melted

In a high-speed blender add the almond milk, lemon juice, salt, pumpkin spice, cubed pumpkin and maple syrup until very smooth.
Add in the cashews and blend until all graininess is gone.  Rub a little batter between your fingers to make sure it is nice and creamy.   This is a good time to taste test.  You may need to add additional spice or sweetness, it all depends on the quality of the pumpkin you used.  We are dealing with fresh ingredients here and the taste can very largely due to ripeness, etc.
Add the lecithin and melted coconut oil and continue blending until creamy and the powder is well-integrated.
Pour the mixture over the prepared crust.
Gently tap your pan on the counter top to bring all the bubbles to the surface.
Place in the fridge to set up.

Carmel sauce:
1/2 cup  raw almond butter
1/4 cup  raw honey nectar
1/4 cup yucan syrup
1/2 cup date paste
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup of water (may need more or less, do you want to drizzle or use as a frosting?)
1/2 – 1 cup raw pecans, chopped

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and process until smooth.  You may need to stop occasionally to scrape the sides down.
Hand stir in pecan or place on top after applying the caramel sauce.
Store left sauce in the fridge in a glass container for up to 2 weeks.  To soften, leave out at room temperature for a few hours or place the container in a bowl of hot water.

Assembly:  Pour caramel over the cheesecake and allow it to drizzle down the sides. Cut and serve!!  Keep chilled.


Mint Chocolate Lip balm

It is getting cold and that means it is time to give yourself a little pampering.  

I made up a batch of this lip balm the other day an it is amazing!  I can't think of a sweeter way to protect and moisturize winter lips.  Its so easy to make I have to share this recipe.


3 T. organic coco butter
1/4 square dark chocolate or 3-4 chocolate chips
1 t. vitamin E oil
4-5 drops peppermint essential oil

1. Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave.
2. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. (You may have to microwave the mixture again for a few seconds).
3. Add vitamin E and mint oil
4. Mix well and pour into a small container

Thats all there is to it!  The color will look pretty on anyone with olive skin tones all year round but anyone can pull it off this time of year.

I love the feel of the the tingly peppermint but if you don't you could also try substituting orange, raspberry or rose oil.

You're going to love this one!


Pumpkin Pickles

I took a walk yesterday and every ware I looked I saw jack-o-lanterns withering away on front porches, steps, and fences.  The once scary faces turning sad and droopy as the pumpkin breaks down.

It made me wonder how many die is this way and what we could do with them.  Other than pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie I really don't use it that much.

I found this recipe in my canning book and decided to give it a go.  It is a work in progress so I will keep you posted on the final verdict.

Pumpkin Pickle Recipe


1 5 pound pie pumpkin (avoid the monster pumpkins used for carving–too stringy)
kosher salt (do NOT use iodized table salt) 
1 cups sugar 

1 cup white vinegar plus 3 cups vinegar (may use a mix of white and apple cider)
1 Tbs whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon plus
4 sticks cinnamon
1 Tbs whole allspice
fresh ginger, crushed
powdered alum
canning jars, bands and lids

  1. Peel and seed the pumpkin and cut into 1 inch cubes. Put in a glass bowl, pour water over to cover and add 4 tablespoons kosher salt for each quart of water. Leave the pumpkin overnight or for at least 5 hours.
  2. Next day, drain the pumpkin cubes and rinse them well. Rinse the bowl well and put the pumpkin back into the bowl. In a medium pan, combine 1 quart water, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of vinegar, 1 Tbs whole cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 Tbs allspice and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. This is a syrup so be careful that it doesn’t boil over or you’ll have a mess on your stove.
    Remove the pan from the heat and pour the syrup over the drained, rinsed pumpkin.
    Let stand in a cool place overnight (refrigerator is fine, but bring to room temp prior to packing into jars)
  3. The next day, get your jars and lids ready: Fill your canning pot (or any large stockpot) halfway with water and bring to a boil. Put your canning jars into the pot (either using your canning rack or a pair of tongs) and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Lids and bands can be sterilized separately in another pot of simmering water.You want the jars dry when you fill them so after the ten minutes, remove the jars with tongs and place on a clean, dry towel. Lids and bands can sit in the water until you’re ready.
    Make sure you have several clean, lint-free towels on hand. A wide-mouth canning funnel is very helpful, but not necessary.
    Keep the water in the canning pot boiling while you finish the next steps.
  4. Remove the pumpkin cubes from the syrup and distribute the cubes among your sterilized canning jars, filling the jars up to within 1 inch of the rim with pumpkin cubes. Break up the remaining cinnamon sticks and slide one piece down into each jar with the pumpkin.
  5. Pour the syrup into a saucepan and add 3 more cups of sugar and 3 more cups of vinegar. Bring back to a boil.  (I am cutting down on my sugar so I only used 1 cup sugar...  use your own judgement)
  6. Remove the syrup from the heat and ladle into the jars over the pumpkin cubes. Make sure the cloves and allspice are evenly distributed among the jars. Fill jars to within 1/2 inch of the top.Wipe the rims carefully with a damp lint-free towel and add one little pinch of powdered alum to each jar.
  7. Before placing lids on jars, wipe the rubber-coated outside perimeter free of water and place them squarely on the rims. Screw on the bands, firmly, but not too tight. Place the jars back into the boiling hot water bath and process for ten minutes.
  8. After processing, remove the jars and place on a  towel to cool. As they cool, the lids should snap down with an audible “pop.” This means the jar is sealed properly. If any of your lids do not pop down (or if you can still push the lid down) you can either re-process, or just put the jar in the fridge after it’s cool and use the pumpkin within 10 days.
    Leave the properly sealed jars in a cool place for at least 1 week before eating.  The longer they sit the better the flavor.

Let me know if you have any favorite pumpkin recipes.  I'm up for trying anything.


Jack O lanterns

This is too cute!  I did not think of it, but I wish I had.

I'm going to try it tonight.

Go here for the recipe!



I know I have been missing in action the last two months.  Thank you everyone who emailed me to make sure my health is ok.  I am feel great and just got lost in the beautiful Indian summer we have been having.  Now that it is cold I will be inside more and can share what is cooking here in the house.

Last week I brought my plants in to save them from the cold and it has been interesting.  10 years ago my mom gave me a start of aloe and now that one little plant has turned into two humungous planters full of happy aloe.  The problem is my daughter can't decide where they go.  She is an Angel with autism and having everything in the right place is very important to her.  I never see her move the planters, but they have been making the rounds through every room in the house.  In all the moving there have been a few casualties and that has gotten me thinking about all the ways to use aloe around the house.

Here are a few of my favorites.
How To Treat A Wound With Aloe
  • Clean wound thoroughly
  • Apply Aloe Vera pulp in the wound
  • Wrap tightly with a bandage
  • Keep bandage soaked in Aloe Vera juice
The wound should quickly heal with little or no scarring, bandages will remove easily. There is also a much reduced risk of infection when using Aloe.
For minor scar removal, keep applying Aloe Vera juice morning and night (daily). This may take several months to see great results (six months or so).
For painful scrapes and abrasions, gently slide a split leaf over the area and reapply several times during the next 24 hours.

Burns & Sunburns
Good for soothing and healing burns and sunburns, simply apply juice from an aloe leaf directly to burned area.
Home Remedy For Digestive Problems
  • Three times daily take 1 to 2 TBS of aloe juice/gel. This will act like a general tonic and mild regulator of the bowels.
Sap Extraction For Bowel Regulation
The sap is a yellow bitter fluid that flows between the skin and the pulp of the Aloe and acts as a laxative.
  • Place green peelings of an aloe leaf in a jar of water and refrigerate. The more leaves in the jar, the stronger the tonic will be.
  • Take a few sips once or twice a week to help regulate your bowels. Top up the jar with fresh aloe leaves as needed.
Scalp & Hair Treatments
Aloe juice can add luster, richness and manageability to hair as well as heal some scalp abrasions and diseases:
  • Before bedtime wet hair thoroughly with aloe vera juice and allow to dry. Rinse thoroughly in the morning (may suds up a bit).
Poison Ivy, Poison Oak & AllergiesUse Aloe Vera as a pain inhibitor and reduce itchiness, also enhances healing of rashes and sores:
  • For relief apply aloe vera juice directly to area that is irritated.
Pregnancy Stretch Marks
  • Apply Aloe Vera juice directly to skin while pregnant, after birth keep applying to encourage healing.
  • As soon as the bite or sting occurs, split open a leaf and apply it directly to the bite area.
Arthritis Treatments
  • Dice up Aloe Vera leaves and place pieces in a jar of water, refrigerate. Drink 4 Tablespoons per day and top up water in the jar as consumed. The drink can be bitter but it does go away over time. Some may find relief right away, many don’t find relief until a couple months later. Make a fresh jar of leaves as needed.
  • For aching joints and muscles, rub Aloe Vera on the skin, relief should be felt within a few minutes and can be repeated as necessary.
Age Skin Spots
  • Apply Aloe Vera juice to the spots twice a day, spots will be reduced or completely removed after several months of treatment. 
Acne Treatments
  • Give your skin a good cleansing morning and night. Apply juice directly from the leaf. Can also apply to pimples and other sores.
  • For removing old acne scars, apply a little Aloe Vera juice morning and night until the scars are gone. This can take several months. If skin is dry, apply with a moisturizing cream.
  • Boil Aloe Vera leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapor.
How To Tell If You’re Allergic To Aloe Vera
Before applying any first aid treatments, find out if you have an allergy to it first. If you’re allergic to aloe vera, you may experience the results opposite to what you were hoping for. Here’s how you can quickly find out if you’re allergic to aloe vera:
  • Apply a small amount of aloe vera juice on the inside of your arm or behind your ears. If a rash appears or you experience a stinging sensation within a few minutes, do not use aloe vera for first aid.
Did You Know:
  • After removing an aloe leaf to treat a burn or cut, you can refrigerate it and it will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Aloe Vera is an astringent and may cause skin to dry. You can apply baby oil or other lubricant along with the aloe to help prevent dryness.
  • What leaf is best to use in first aid treatments? The lowest leaves (closest to the ground) should be used first. These leaves are older and larger so they have more juice and greater potency.

Caution For Diabetics:
Drinking Aloe Vera juice might enable the pancreas to produce more of its own insulin. Before taking aloe vera internally, diabetics should have their physician monitor their need for extra insulin since too much is dangerous.

If you don't have one of these wonder plants in your house go and get one!  they are really low maintenance and almost imposable to kill. 


Figs in a blanket!

My sister gave me a package of fresh figs today and I had no idea what to do with them.  Fresh figs are not something that we get that often.   I found this cute "recipe" that I think all my primal friends are going to love.  It is sweet, it is savory... it is quick and easy!  What more could you ask for?

Wrap each fig with a piece of bacon (I  used a slice of bacon halved lengthwise and wrapped it around the fig in a spiral).

Place figs on a baking sheets and broil, turning as needed, until bacon is crisped and browned. Serve hot.

Heating Pillow

Autumn is here!  It is my favorite time of year.  As the leaves change color and the storms roll in I end up feeling cold and achy at night.  My body seems to think I am not a cold weather person.  I know you are thinking that it never gets ((THAT)) cold where I live.  It is true!  The good news is the heating pillows help me be less of a baby.

These pillows are terrific for:
Hand warmers for anyone who wears gloves in the cold (hunters, skiers, hikers, or as you get into your car in the morning)
Neck wraps to ease sore muscles caused by hunching over the sewing machine.
Easing the pain of fibromyalgia and arthritis.
For sore overworked muscles.
Easing PMS cramps.
Helping breastfeeding moms lower their milk and comfort sore breasts
Cold feet in bed
Keeping food warm on the table or while being transported. Just put the dish on top of the heating bag.

These bags can also be frozen, and used as a ice pack for cold therapy.

No pattern is necessary, simply cut two pieces of cloth in the size/shape you wish your bag to be. Make sure to leave a seam allowance for yourself (about 1/2″).
Some prefer regular square shape bags, others prefer tubes or more rectangular shapes. Experiment, whip up a few different sizes and shapes to try. These are really easy to make as well as cheap!

You can use almost anything to fill your heating pillow.  Some of the options are: 
Uncooked rice
Feed corn
Buckwheat hulls
Flax seeds
Cherry pits
You can also add the following to the above for a soothing fragrant heating pad: Spices, herbs, essential oils. 
Ideas: lavender, rose petals, ground cloves, nutmeg, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, peppermint oil, crushed mint 
If using: Mix herbs, spices and essential oil with choice heating pad filler (such as rice) and let sit in a sealed container for a few days (occasionally stirring). This will help set and distribute the fragrance a bit.

Cut and sew the fabric for the heating pads the size and shape you want.

Leave an inch or two open on one side so that you can fill bag with your choice of filler. Fill the bag about 1/2 to 3/4 full, more or less as you prefer. Don’t fill too full though, you want the bag to mold itself around your body when you apply it.

 Once bag is filled, sew opening closed either by hand or machine (making sure filler is contained at the opposite side of bag).
If wanting a removable cover, just sew a “pillowcase” idea with your soft, plushy fabric by making it a little larger than your heating pad and leaving an open end (make sure to finish off ends by sewing a hem). Or you can add a strip of velcro to close it. Make sure to never microwave this cover unless it’s content is full cotton. Remove cover to wash as needed.

Place in microwave and heat for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on size of bag. Do not leave unattended “just in case” the filler smokes or starts on fire! As a precaution, you can set a cup of water inside the microwave while heating the bag to add moisture or spritzing bag lightly with water before heating. If you add spices and herbs, this is a good idea to do. 

That is all there is to it.


"not spaghetti" and Venison meatballs

It is fall and around here that means it is the start of hunting season.  It is the time of year for some Wild recipes.  Who is up for an adventure? 

I know what you are thinking....  "Isn't venison really Bambi?".  Why yes, it is.

Keep in mind that Venison is a healthy and delicious meat choice, but the road to a tasty meal requires care in the processing and preparation. If you’ve had gamy tasting venison before, chances are the offensive taste was obtained through processing or cooking. The meat’s quality is a result of the deer’s age, sex and diet. Older deer have tougher meat, while the meat of bucks in rut is stronger tasting from the stress of breeding season.
For nutritional value, venison is low in fat and calories and rich in protein. Use low-fat cooking techniques, such as broiling, grilling, baking or stewing instead of frying to keep the venison healthy.
Nutrient content of domestic and wild game meats (cooked, 3-ounce serving, unless otherwise indicated)
Domestic Calories Protein Iron Total
Beef 184 25 3 8 3 73
Pork 180 25 1 8 3 73
(roasted, skin off)
161 25 1 8 2 76
Wild Meats
Deer 134 26 4 3 1 95
Turkey 121 26 _ 1 _ 55  

All in all, just keep in mind the deer you are cooking and match it with the right cooking technique—roasting and stewing for tougher cuts and frying, broiling and grilling for more tender cuts.

It is just fine to grab your favorite bottle off the shelf and save your self some time.  We have an abundance a tomatoes this time of year and I like a more chunky style sauce so I made it my self.

10-15 tomatoes, skins removed and chopped.
2 cups chopped fresh onions, sauté them until they are soft.
3  clove of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons diced, fresh OR dried basil
3 Tablespoons of oregano
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped red sweet peppers
and a squeeze of lemon if you like it more acid.  Note: For thicker sauce add a can of tomato paste.

 While the sauce is cooking, make the meat balls.


1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground venison (or turkey meat)

Combine all ingredients except the meat into a large work bowl.  Once the ingredients are well-mixed, add meat.  Using your hands, combine ingredients.  Form meatballs into 2-1/2 inch balls.  Warm a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. add meatballs and brown for 2 minutes.  Turn and brown the other side for 2 minutes.  Turn down the heat to medium and put a lid on the pan.  Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until meatballs are no longer pink inside.

"not noodles"
summer squash or zucchini
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
olive oil

Peel your squash and cut into little noodle like strips.  Place them on a paper towel to dry.  You can even do this part hours before. If you don't let them dry they will be mushy when you cook them.

When you are ready to cook them warm up the oil and garlic in a pan. Saute the noodles for just a few minutes to heat and cover with oil.  That all there is to it!

Put it all together and you have a beautiful dish that will please even the pickiest gluten free eater.


How to make Vinegar

A bottle of vinegar can be found in nearly every household.  It is setting on the shelf just ready for use on salads and as a taste enhancement in any number of recipes and for pickling and preserving foods.

Vinegar is the first thing we reach for when we need to clean off the spots on the windows and the mirrors.  If your dish washer needs and overhaul you just run vinegar through it.

Plant-wise Women have always used it topically in potions to retain and  enhance the beauty of their hair and skin.

In the early nineteen hundreds the medicinal/nutritional properties of vinegar fell out of favor along with medicinal herbs.  If you care to look, the health benefits are just astounding.
Vinegar is rich in mineral salts and potassium, which play an important role in metabolism,respiration, blood conditioning, and nervous system vitalization.
Vinegar is warming and helps with circulation so it helps with stagnant blood and can also move a stagnant mood.  It quickly reduces accumulations in the liver resulting from a bad diet.
***Vinegar neutralizes poisons in the body and it great for food poisoning.  Take 1/4 teaspoon every 15 minutes until relieved. 
It relieves damp conditions such as edema,overweight, excess mucus, and athletes foot.  (soak feet in vinegar to cure athletes foot)
Vinegar removes parasites and most worms that can live in the digestive tract.
Apply topically to get relief from the toxic effect of insect bites.
Dosage:  except where specified differently above, sip 1/3 cup water mixed with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar 3 times a day.

*Not for those with loose stools, muscular injury or weakness, and rheumatism.

Here is the bad news.  Distilled vinegar, like the FDA has approved, should Never be taken into your body or used topically because it is highly demineralizing.  (it is ok for the dish washer though)

You can buy alive vinegar at the health food store.  For the more adventurous, vinegar is super easy to make.

This aromatic sour liquid is made from a very simple two-step fermentation.

The first step of fermentation is accomplished when appropriate microorganisms turn sugar into alcohol.  These base liquids can simply be sugar and water or fruit juices.  Most vinegar is made from apples or grapes.  Apples being the base for cider vinegar and grapes being the base for wine vinegar.

The second step is accomplished by the action of the microscopic entity, Mycoderma aceti, which takes over and turns the alcohol into a dilute acetic acid.  Mycoderma A. is resident in all  free flowing air, and in time will find any alcoholic liquid left exposed.

Theoretically, you should be able to open a bottle of sweet cider and let it stand and after 5 weeks it will turn into a hard cider, then to vinegar. This process can be enhanced and quickened by adding a little "mother" from a previously made batch.

The mother is a naturally occurring, thick, jellylike substance that congeals at the bottom of the bottle.  It can be filtered out and passed from batch to batch as an inoculate which helps to insure that you continue to manufacture high quality vinegar.

Here is a better look at the mother.  You can purchase a mother at the health food store or you can just do like I did and strain it out of bottle that that I had almost used up.


Seafood Gumbo

I just made gumbo for the first time ever!  I have to say it is really great and I will do it again.  Even Jim liked it and he is not really a seafood person.

 Thanks to Barbara for the recipe!

3 T. olive oil
2 C. onion, chopped
1 C. celery, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
8 C. organic chicken stock
8 C. water
4 cloves garlic, minced
Tamari, black pepper, and red pepper to taste
1/2- 1 pound fish (any kind), in chunks
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup frozen clams
1 T. parsley, finely chopped
1/2 t. "gumbo file" (dried sassafras leaves)

Moisten bottom of a large pot with 2 T. water, then add oil and heat with medium heat until hot.  Add onions and celery.  Cook until onions are wilted and then add tomatoes, chicken stock, water and garlic.  Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes and season to taste with tamari, black, and red pepper.  Add fish, shrimp, clams and parsley.  Cook another 10 minutes.  Garnish with a sprinkle of gumbo file.

This is super easy!


take a hike

Jim and I just celebrated out tenth wedding anniversary!  It is a big deal to me.  Some how getting in to the double digits seems like we accomplished something.

We decided that the bast way to celebrate was to revisit the place where we got engaged and where we were married.  Come along on our hike!

This is the meadow where we go married.   (yep, same as the picture in my header and yes you read the elevation right)

If you look down from the mountain you see medicine lake.  It is more like a glorified puddle, but we love it.

Look at this!  There is still snow up there!

The hike gets really scrambly at the end.  All the rocks are loose and they slip down the mountain as soon as you take your foot off of them.  Every so often there is a bit of life that is clinging on even in such a harsh place.  This columbine  just made me smile.

We had to take a break.....  Jim made sure that I documented how tired we were.

He really is up there.  Jim made it... I chickened out when the rocks he stepped on started to hit me.

It was fine because the view and the silence were amazing.

It is hard to see in but there is a very dead tree and a very dead cow in this picture....  I thought they were both kind of cool.

This little guy was super cute and not afraid of me at all.

Thanks for coming with us!