Primal Taco

This isn't a new idea by any means....  but I just tried it for the first time tonight.  The verdict is in.  The family loves it and we will be doing this again very soon.

If you used to use corn tortillas you are really going to like this.  The romaine lettuce gives you that satisfying crunch you want in a taco.   You know how to make a taco... I don't have to walk you through it.  Just take the regular tortillas and toss them out the window.  Next take a fresh head of romaine lettuce and wash and separate the leaves.  Fill them up with anything your heart desires.   I used ground beef, cheese, avocado, salsa and onions.

There you go!  Quick, easy and grain free.



Today is my anniversary!  It is hard to believe that the three musketeers have been a family for 11 years.  It has been a crazy ride.  We have known exquisite joy and deep sorrow.  We have grown as individuals and as a family and somehow through it all we have grown closer together. 

Jim, my partner in everything, I love you so much more now than I did the day we said "I do".  You are the most intelligent man I know.  I love your quick wit and playful side.  You have shown me that a giant of a man can also be the most compassionate.  I love how you bring me back down to earth when I spin out to high.  I love that you are the best father to our girl.  You push her to do better and support her where she is at.   I love how you and I can still stay up all night talking about anything and that you take the time to explain things to me.  You are the solid foundation that our life is built on.  My life is so much better with you in it.  xoxo

Kalista my precious girl,  You are my heart.  You live up to your name every day.  Truly, you are "the most beautiful light" and you sine on everyone you come in contact with.  Your life has been so difficult and for that I am sorry.  We have spent a million nights with no sleep, cried a million tears, learned 100s of therapies, fought (and won) the evilest of women.....  and it is all worth it because every day you kick autism's butt.  Every new step you take is a victory and a reason to celebrate.  Thank you for inspiring me every day.  You have taught me things about compassion, kindness, spirituality, sacrifice.  Things I never could have learned with out you.  You bring out the best in me.  I love you.

I hope the next 11 years are full of laughter and adventure.  ((and maybe a few nights of sleep?))


Pretty Kale and Mushrooms

If you have looked at my recipes you have probably noticed there are a few things that are really important to me about food.  First I think food should be healthy, simple and easy or I (and most other people) won't make it.  Also food should be an experience of delight for the senses.  It should taste good for sure.  Think for a moment about how your food smells and how it makes your house smell.   mmmm....  I love the sound of chopping veggies and how they sizzle when I toss them in coconut oil.  Most importantly it has to be pretty.  If I am going to take the time to pick out the best ingredients it has to be vibrant and reflect how healthy it is going to be.

I have really started to love Kale for breakfast because it feeds all my senses.  There is just something wonderful about how easy and pretty it is.  You can add (or subtract) anything you want to this dish.


1 bundle Kale, washed and stemmed
2 pieces bacon, chopped  (or for a no meat version just use coconut oil)
1 small onion, sliced
2 cups mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste or use braggs liquid aminos  if you like that better

First chop the bacon to the size you want and cook in a skillet.  While that is cooking chop the onion and then place in the skillet with the bacon and stir till the onion starts to look translucent.  Add the mushrooms and cook for few minutes.  Add a splash of vinegar and stir till the mushrooms have absorbed it and are tender.  Add the kale and keep it moving in the skillet or it will burn.   Very quickly it will cook down and become vibrant green.  Place in a bowl and top with salt and pepper or braggs.  Enjoy!

It is just that quick and easy!

 Sooo pretty!


Squash bugs!

This year I planted a garden and it has been so fun and rewarding to be able to gather salad greens and herbs any time I want. 

One problem is squash bugs.  Everyone tells me that they are just a fact of life when gardening here in the desert.  Squash bugs are ugly little things that lay brownish/redish eggs on the under side of the leaves and reproduce at an alarming rate.  They suck the life out of your squash plants and eventually kill them.

See what I mean?  Ugly......

I have tried all kinds of natural remedies like planting garlic by the squash, marigolds, basil and washing the plants down with different concoctions.

Finally I found something that actually works!  A simple shop vac.  Thats right people just vacuum up the little suckers.    Use the wand attachment to suck them up, cut off any dying leaves and burn the leaves and the contents of the shop vac.  Use a solution of dawn dish soap and green tea (cooled) to wash off the eggs.  You may have to do this two or three times to get them all. 

Thanks for the great tip Kerry!


new whip!!

I'm going to be studying self defense using the short whip and a staff.  I am SUPER excited and ready to learn.   So, I needed a short whip for the course. 

This is my new 4.5 foot bullwhip built by The whip man!   It is not as pretty as my first one but it is fast becoming my favorite!

Apricot Preserves (sugar free)

We were really lucky this year to have all of our apricot trees produce fruit.  I picked and picked and gave away boxes and boxes this year.  I love that feeling when the abundance is just overflowing and a little overwhelming.  I dried apricots, froze them and Bottled them because those are all really easy to do.  Jim ask if I could make some apricot preserves so I thought I would give it a try.  I think it turned out really good.

First you have to take a look at the size of these things!  The tomato is just a medium one....but still!  I believe they are as big as the peaches were last year!

First wash the apricots.  I just soak them in the sink in cold water with a splash of apple-cider vinegar and then rinse really well.

Apricots, pitted and sliced
1 can crushed pineapple, with juice
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 -2 boxes of Pectin (no sugar kind) 
1 T. butter

Mix everything in a big stock pot and bring to a full boil.  This should take 10 to 15 minutes.  Take off heat and skim off the foam.  (If you want to use sugar this is the time to add it)  Put back on the heat and bring to a full boil for 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and skim foam again. The butter is in there to cut down the amount of foam and it really works.  (If you don't skim it off it will turn into nasty solidified bubbles on the to of your jam.  Yuck!

Transfer preserves to clean canning jars.  Place the lids and rings on the jar and wait for the little popping sounds as they seal.

Note: 1. Make sure that you wipe the rim of the bottle clean before you put the lid on so it will seal. 2. the jars are super hot so make sure they are on a towel or a surface that is heat resistant.  (and far enough away from the edge that sticky little kiddo fingers can't reach up and get burned)

This is so easy!  The hardest part is cleaning and cutting the fruit.   Just look how beautiful it is when you are done.


Natural PMS Relief

Over the years I have spoken with many many wise women in the salon.  The subject of female problems always comes up sooner or later.  PMS, child birth and menopause are the glue that binds us all together.  I am always so fascinated by the women that go through this naturally and gracefully.  Over the years I have picked up quite a few tips and treatments.  I thought that today I would share some of the PMS cures.  It is interesting to me that quite a few of them have the same ingredients even though I picked them up from different women in different cities. 

Cramp Tea
1 T. crampbark
1 T. dried red raspberry leaves
1 T. stinging nettle leaves
1 t. dried comfrey leaves
1 t. oat straw
3 C. boiling water

Place herbs in a bowl and pour the boiling water over the top.  Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes.  strain the herbs out.  Drink on cup 2-3 times a day.

Massage oil for cramps
4oz olive oil
10 drops cypress essential oil
8 drops geranium essential oil
12 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops chamomile essential oil

Combine all oils in a sealed dark bottle.  The oil will keep of up to 16 months.  Massage oil into abdomen 3 times a day or as needed.  *as with all essential oils, do not used on irritated skin and stop use if your skin reacts to the oil.

Cramp oil #2
2 T. olive oil
4 drops lavender oil
3 drops geranium oil
2 drops chamomile oil
3 drops marjoram oil
1 drop ginger oil
1 drop patchouli oil

Combine and store in a dark glass bottle.  Massage on abdomen and hips as needed.  This one has a comforting heat that seems to melt the pain away.

Cramp oil #3
10 drops peppermint oil
5 drops clary sage oil
5 drops cypress oil
5 drops lavender oil

Combine oils and store in a dark glass bottle.  This oil is better for spasms and can be applied any ware you need to.  I personally like to use it as a soak in the bath tub.  a few drops is all you need.

Iron Womyn tincture
2 parts stinging nettle tincture
2 parts dandelion root tincture
2 parts dandelion leaf tincture
1 part yellow dock root tincture
1 part red raspberry leaf tincture

Combine all tinctures and store in a glass dropper bottle in a cool dry place.  It will keep up to 2 years.  Start 2 or 3 days before period is expected.  Drink 30 drops in a glass of water 2 to 3 times a day or as needed.  This tincture helps to replenish iron lost from heavy bleeding.

Periwinkle blend
1 C. water
1 T. dried american cranesbill root
1 T. beth root
1 T. periwinkle leaves

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.  strain and discard the solids.  Drink one cup a day during period.  *note: do not combine this one with the other teas.  Will keep for 48 hours

for Profuse menstration
3 cups water
2 t. yellow dock root
2 t. dried red raspberry leaves
2 t. dried stinging nettle leaves.

Bring water to a boil and add yellow dock root. simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the red raspberry leaf and nettle.  Steep for 20 minutes and strain.  Drink 1 cup 1 to 3 times a day as needed

Sever Cramp Extract
1 part cramp bark extract
1 part motherwort extract
1 part wild yam extract

Combine extracts in a glass dropper bottle.  Take 30 drops every 10 minutes till cramping subsides.  Keeps for 3 years.

I recommend labeling and putting the date on all potions just to be safe.  Also it is up to you to make sure you aren't reactive to any of the ingredients used.  A patch test on the inside of the arm works well.

I love all the wild wise women in my life but special thanks to Miss Julie, Miss Melva and Miss Ramona for these recipes.  I love you for sharing your wisdom with me when I needed it most!