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Archive for April, 2012

You either think this is the most disgusting thing you have ever heard or just got really excited.

Look at these gorgeous fresh eggs

Egg Shittake and Leek Pizza

  • pizza dough
  • 1 medium leek
  • 5-6 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 – 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 550 degrees with the pizza stone inside.

Chop the leeks thinly and the mushrooms in strips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with garlic to coat.

Spread the dough on your pizza stone.

Top with the veggies.

Drizzle with cream.

Sprinkle with half the parm and the goat cheese.

Place in the oven for about 5-6 minutes to cook halfway through.

Remove from the oven and add cracked eggs and remaining parm.
Be sure to crack the eggs in a bowl.
You don’t want shells on your pizza.

Cook for another 4-6 minutes until the eggs are set but the yolk is still soft and the crust is slightly browned.

When cutting the pizza cut through the eggs so the yolks spread.

If you like eggs and you like pizza you are going to love this!

Live Well!
~S

We’re Moving!
Come visit our new home….

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I have had made just about everything you can imagine at one point or another. But there are two things I have yet to add to that long list…

Beer and Kombucha

Seriously! You’d think I would have done this by now.

Well, let’s change that shall we?

Starting Kombucha Mother is really quite simple. You can purchase SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of  Bacteria and Yeast) at a number of health food suppliers, but why bother? Besides being more expensive – the average mother is around $20, this way will cost you about $3.50 – it’s easy and you get to say you made it yourself!

Here’s what you need – 

  • A bottle of Organic Raw Kombucha (right from the grocery store)
  • 1 cup of sweetened tea
  • A large glass jar ( a wide mouth mason jar is perfect)
  • A kitchen towel or cheesecloth
  • A rubber band

First, steep your tea – one tea bag in one cup of water. You can use any kind you like. For this batch I am using a black and orange pekoe blend. I will experiment with others next.

Sweeten your tea while it’s warm. For this you want to use regular sugar. One tablespoon. From all of my research, all other forms of natural sweeteners will cause the kombucha to be bitter. The sugar is only food for the bacteria.

Add the bottle of kombucha to the  room temperature tea and cover. You want the cover to be thin enough so it can breath, yet keep out any bugs and what ever might be floating around the kitchen. Place it on the counter or in a cupboard.

Now you wait.

That’s it! I told you it was easy. My kombucha mother has been brewing for a few days now. The temperature of your house will determine just how long it takes for the mother to be ready. A thin layer will begin to form on the surface. This is the SCOBY. You are looking  for a layer about 1/4 inch thick. When you have achieved this, you’re mother is ready and you are ready to make kombucha! It could take a week. It could take 3.

I will give you an update when mine is ready.

Happy Brewing!

Live Well!
~S 

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Our visit to Dr. Luther went better than expected yesterday! 

The best part of this picture is that crazy cat of mine

Diego came home {hooray} with a pile of meds and the reassurance that he is not dehydrated or suffering. He is however, in heart failure. His belly is distended, filled with fluid, but we have a diuretic that should help. The meds will not keep him alive, really. What they will do is keep him a bit healthier and a bit more comfortable. They may extend his life a bit, but will help his quality of life.

I want to be sure that I say, we did NOT choose meds out of selfishness. I am not going to do “anything” I can to keep him alive simply for my sake. The moment he is unhappy, in pain, suffering in any way, I will make the choice to say goodnight. As hard as that may be.

It’s funny. There are some things that bring out so many opinions. It seems someone is always trying to tell you what to do, how to live, who to be. And this is no different.

And yes, I know what you might be thinking. That is sort of what I do here. Show people other ways. Coach, guide, teach. I’ve been doing it for many many years. There is a difference, however. First, people come here to seek information. They come to me to ask.

I’m choosing to keep this situation as positive as I can. I only want to say, be careful about jumping to conclusions. Especially with matters of  the heart. Irreparable damage can be done with even the most passive aggressive statements.

Diego and I have been blessed with a few more strolls on the beach together. Though cut drastically short, we have been given more time than anticipated. And for that I will be eternally grateful.

Don’t forget to take the time to stop and laugh and love! Life is short.
Sometimes shorter than expected. 

Live Well!
~S 

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I’ve acquired many new readers here lately.

Thank you, New Readers!
And long standing loyal readers too!!! You are all so very much appreciated. Without you, I would be talking to myself. And I already do that enough!

So, in the spirit of welcoming those new, I am compiling a list of some of my (and apparently your) favorite posts of the past.

And a couple of my favorite random old photos too…

Dreaming of last years bounty
And new shed doors

Here goes….. 

Green Your Home – Bathroom Cleaner – Hands down. The. Best. Bathroom Cleaner. Ever. ….Still.

Lemon Honey Gargle – This is one of my most viewed, most searched for posts.

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes – This is my most viewed recipe and I have found it on Pinterest more than I ever expected.

Bento…. What? – I love this stuff. I  have seen it work magical wonders.

Winter Sown Gardens – Because these things are great! And I love gardening.

Wild Fermentation – Because everyone should make their own sauerkraut. Or you could buy some from me.

Getting Your Mojo Back – Because we all need some serious inspiration now and then. Or a good swift kick in the ass.

Today I’m – Making Laundry Powder – This one is fairly recent, but a definite fave. It’s so easy, saves tons of money and rids our homes of more unneeded chemicals.

That’s Not Really Olive Oil – Because everyone should know.

A Day In The Life… – It’s sappy and wordy, but there is tremendous meaning behind my words. And a considerable amount of emotion. Lot’s of others seemed to like it too.

And hoping for good news today
Even if he does leave the window sills a mess

I write mostly about stuff I love, so there is no shortage to choose from. Now it’s your turn…

What has been your favorite post?

Live Well!
~S 

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My emotions are all over the place today. I don’t know how it’s possible to feel completely elated and terrible sorrow at the same time… but it is. Because I do. Right now.

Let’s start with the good stuff, shall we?

This morning, Stacy, from A Delightful Home, featured my Butter Up, Baby! post in Your Green Resource. 

Go see!

Each week they pick a favorite post. This week it was mine!!

{insert happy dance here}

I am truly honored! As a writer, blogger, trainer, coach, creator of botanicals and apothecary items… my life’s goal is to encourage others to do bigger, better things. To help others live healthier. To find appreciation in my efforts is an accomplishment I will always find a bit surprising and terribly humbling. It takes me a bit off guard each time I find one of my photos on Pinterest {as I did again last night} or when I receive a message or call from someone I have helped. Keep them coming, just don’t laugh when I blush. Please know how honored I am to help each and everyone of you!

If you haven’t been to A Delightful Home or checked out Your Green Resource you should. There is a ton of great information and ideas shared.

Thank you, Stacy!

And thank you readers, friends and clients! Without you I would have nothing.

Some of you might remember my post Matters of the Heart.

Where I spoke of this big oath… Diego.

Well, friends, our time together is growing short. Over the past couple of weeks he has lost a tremendous amount of weight and become very quiet. Worse, he has developed the cough they warned us of.

There are lessons in all that surrounds us. I have yet to realize my lesson in this. But I must trust. We had a rocky beginning, Diego and I. He was, well, a demon bastard as a puppy. He ate everything. He had a nervous habit of peeing all over when he was excited or nervous. At well over a hundred pounds by the time he was 1, that alone was a nightmare. You never expect just how much can still be in there even after a recent visit to the woods! Uhg.

But at 4 he is just the best dog. He doesn’t bark, he listens beautifully. I can walk him off leash past other dogs and screaming kids. He will sit and stay, watching me walk a quarter mile away, eyes fixed, and come the moment I call him. He is such a good boy. Perhaps my lesson is in patience. Perhaps it’s a bit of karma for all those swears and all that yelling. And for crying over lost material objects.

I must trust that he will be in a better place. That there is reason. Hard as that may be. For now, I cry. I can’t seem to stop. We visit the vet tomorrow. My only hope through all of this has been that if he must go, it be at home. I hope for at least that.

But there is a chance he won’t come home tomorrow. Each morning seems worse and worse. Closer and closer. It’s hard for me to write at times. It’s difficult to find creativity in the midst of sorrow. I have many posts waiting final edit that could suffice. 3 pages of them. But the edit is often the most creative. Photos taken and added. Properly pieced together. Each time I try, each post I go to, nothing seems to spark. If you find some aren’t quite up to par, please bear with me. I’ll be back soon.

Take time to stop and laugh and love! 

Live Well!
~S 

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You heard me! REGROW celery.

This is the best.  Don’t throw out the end of that celery. Grow a new one!!!

Just cut the end off – about 3-4 inches.

Place them in a bowl of water.
Yes! That is lettuce you see there. It works for lettuce too!

This is day 5. Look how much the lettuce has grown.
You only need 3-4 days but they will stay longer if you don’t have time to plant.
I also am trying this with leeks and scallions for the first time.
We’ll see how it goes.
In this photo they have been in water a day.

Then plant!
Don’t worry about the yucky looking edges. They will decompose.

Regrow your celery and lettuce!

Live Well!
~S

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In the world of sustainability we use what we have available to us. And lucky for me, not only do I live in an area where seaweed is readily available, but seaweed is also an amazing addition to any garden.

The Benefits of Seaweed –

  • Enriches the soil – Seaweed is full of beneficial trace minerals and hormones that stimulate plant growth. It’s a natural fertilizer.
  • Natural pest repellent – Slugs hate salt. They also hate sharp edged material because it cuts their soft bodies. Seaweed, being from the salty sea, contains a high salt content. When it dries, the edges get very sharp. It’s perfect for the strawberry patch! It also helps to repel other pests as well.
  • Acts as mulch –  A thick layer of seaweed can help keep soil moist by reducing evaporation and block the formation of weeds. It also does NOT contain weed seeds like many other mulch sources such as bark mulch.
  • Aerates and loosens the soil – When seaweed breaks down it helps to lighten soil, providing a better growing environment for plants.

Using Seaweed in Your Garden – 

  • When using as mulch be sure to apply it 5-6 inches deep. As it dries out, it will shrink, leaving gaps in coverage.
  • Because it dries and shrinks as it does, and breaks down well, it often needs to be reapplied one more time before the season is over.
  • Seaweed doesn’t have to be used as mulch. It can be added to compost or applied under your favorite mulch choice. You will still reap the benefits of fertilizing.
  • Don’t use kelp for mulch, except for between rows. They are hard to form around plants and leave things looking messy. They can be applied first, however, in between rows of things like beans and peas. Just lie them flat. You might need a knife or large scissors to cut them to meet the ends of the row.
  • As with all mulch, keep the area around the plant stem free.

Gathering Seaweed –

  • Be sure to gather with as little negative impact as possible. Only take about 1/3 or less from an area. Then move on to another.
  • Use buckets, small grocery bags and sacks when gathering. It’s wet stuff, so it gets heavy. And slippery. Place a large tub or bin in your car, if you aren’t using a truck bed, to keep from making a mess.
  • Be sure to have permission first. Although most have crews they pay to remove seaweed, it may be against the rules for you to gather it in some locations. Check with the local parks recreation first.
Disclaimer – Seaweed is not for the faint of heart. Things live in seaweed. Like bugs. I’ve found that when gathering, it’s best to pick it up from the very top with a small grip and shake it out. Be ready for critters!

What Makes Seaweed So Great –

  • It regrows rapidly, making it one of the best, most sustainable fertilizers available.
  • It can also be used as chicken feed. Just put it in a burlap sack, place it in the farmyard and for the next few days you can turn it over to find lots of little bugs and critters for the chickens to feast on!
  • Best of all… it’s FREE!

Then there is Kelp Tea

You can make a fabulous fertilizing “tea” from kelp. This works great if you can’t gather large amounts and just want the benefit of the fertilizing qualities of seaweed. Just place it in a large glass container with a lid. You could use a solid bucket, but glass is better. Leave it to sit for just a couple days in the sun. Use the liquid to spray directly on plants or apply to the soil. Again, it’s a great fertilizer and pest repellent.

There is a high salt content in seaweed, of course, so when using as fertilizer or using large quantities you may want to rinse some of the salt off prior to use. Just lay it flat in a driveway and spray it with a hose.

Disclaimer II – Seaweed is not always the prettiest form of mulch. Personally, I like it for some of my gardens but not all. I especially like it in the strawberry patch. Otherwise, I prefer to add it to the compost piles and using it as a tea. For gardens where you will be kneeling often to work, consider another form. It gets very sharp which can make working in the garden a bit uncomfortable. You can see in the photo above how I limit it’s use. I will use something else, like buckwheat hulls, in the rest of the herb garden. I do need to go back for more though.


Have you used seaweed in your garden? Will you now?

Live Well!
~S

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