Sunday, December 30, 2012

Homemade toothapaste

Homemade Toothpaste

2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbps. baking soda
2 Tbsp. calcium magnesium powder
2 Tbps. xylitol or green stevia powder
2 tsp. real sea salt
20 drops essential oil (I use peppermint.)
10 drops trace minerals

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Overnight Sourdough Waffles

Overnight Sourdough Waffles 

 HOLY SMOKE! Super amazing! They are filling, but don't cause me to feel bloated like most wheat/yeast things.This soaking process also breaks down (or predigests) proteins in the grains, making them easier on your digestive system and the fermented grains to neutralize phytic acid and release nutrients in the grains for absorption. AND .. they are DELICIOUS. My pickiest daughter who only eats crackers and cheese loved them and had them three times in 2 days.

This post is such a great way of helping to understand more about sourdough and this post was copied and pasted from:

This blog is my new favorite for healthy homemade goods.

Overnight Sponge

  • 2 cups of White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Evaporated Cane Juice
  • 2 Cups Kefir
  • 1 Cup Sourdough Starter (unfed)
Waffle Batter
  • All of the overnight sponge
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

The night before you will want to mix up your sponge.  In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, kefir and starter. Cover and let sit out on the counter overnight.  No need to worry about it going bad.  All the good bacteria in the kefir and starter.  I love mixing this up the night before.  Makes getting breakfast on the table much simpler.

In the morning your sponge should look, well spongy.  It will have risen and have lots of lovely little bubbles in it.

Now you are ready to add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well.  If you are not used to working with sourdough batters this will seem a little strange to you.  They have a very elastic consistency to them.  It can take a bit to get everything incorporated well.  Just stick with it.  It will come together.

Now all you have left to do is cook your waffles.  We use a Belgian waffle iron.  This recipe will make about 6 waffles yummy waffles.  We top them is pastured butter and local maple syrup!

Sourdough English Muffins

 There are many health benefits for using Sourdough rather than tradition yeast breads. I will post links later but I want to share some amazing sourdough recipes I have foundMy family loves bread so much but after reading so much on how "bad" wheat is, it was stressing me out b/c seriously what will my kids eat if they don't eat wheat and dairy? So we are trying to make small changes.. never perfect, but focusing on small changes.
Here is a recipe I can't wait to try.

Erin’s Sourdough English Muffins

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (thick or thin)
  • 1 cup liquid (water*, milk, fermented dairy, coconut milk…)
  • 2 cups flour (your choice)
  • add-ins like seeds, dried fruit, or chopped nuts… (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (or any other sweetener)
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt of choice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
*Note: The English muffins will turn out if you use water instead of full fat or fermented dairy and if you add more flour initially for easier kneading. However, the results will not be as soft on the outside or as tender on the inside once you’ve finished the cooking.
Place 1/2 cup sourdough starter (thick or thin) into a medium size bowl. Pour onto that the 1 cup of liquid. This is the first place where the recipe is very flexible. Your liquid could be water, milk, any fermented dairy, coconut milk… Stir to combine starter and liquid. In this photo, I chose to water down some of my homemade yogurt. If your sourdough starter is very stiff, you might need an extra 1/4 cup of liquid. I have never added extra liquid.
Sourdough English Muffins
Once combined, add 2 cups of flour to the mixture. This is the second place where the recipe is very flexible. Use any combination of flours. I have used white wheat, whole wheat, and rye. I know there are a lot of spelt users out there and sprouted flour users, too. It’ll all work! The only flour I question is rice flour, but if used in combination with another flour, it might even work.
Sourdough English Muffins
Stir well to combine. Along with the flour, I often add in a couple tablespoons of ground flax seed or poppy and caraway seeds (when I make delicious rye sourdough english muffins). The soaking affects the seeds as well as the flour. So, great! Cover and let your dough sit overnight, even up to 24 hours.
Sourdough English Muffins
Sourdough English Muffins
I’ve added these pictures to show you the thickness of my dough. The stiffness changes every time I make this recipe. Sometimes it is more wet. It really does not matter too much. In the morning, you will be able to tell that your sourdough has been at work.
Sourdough English Muffins
On top of your soaked dough, sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt (I use 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt), 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 tablespoon honey. Use a wooden spoon to push/cut/stir in your newly added ingredients. Don’t worry about incorporating it perfectly; you will be kneading it in just a moment.
This next part of the directions might feel a little strange, because you are kneading something that could be quite wet. I pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto my counter and spread it around with my hand and then rub my hands together. I then dump out my dough onto the oiled spot and knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes. The purpose of this kneading is to incorporate the honey, baking soda, and salt. After this, I take a pizza cutter and separate my dough into 8 equal portions.
Sourdough English Muffins
As you can see, the dough is quite wet. Up until this point we have not added any new flour. At this time, I do find it helpful to dust my hands with flour before I shape each muffin. You might prefer to use all-purpose flour for this dusting, or sprouted flour where the sprouting has done the work of soaking. I usually use what is on hand… whole wheat. Whatever.
With dusted hands, pick up a portion and gently shape it into your muffin. My muffins are usually about 1 finger thick and maybe 2-1/2 inches wide. Sometimes they are nice and round. Sometimes not. Size and shape are not important here. Place your muffins on a lightly floured or cornmealed (greased might work if you want to stay away from newly added flour) sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Sourdough English Muffins
About 5 minutes before you want to griddle/skillet your muffins, set the heat to mediumish. I usually set my cast iron to 4, the front of my stovetop griddle to 5 1/2, and the back of the griddle to 4 1/2. Each place distributes heat differently. You will figure out what works best for your situation. You don’t want the muffins to brown too quickly because the insides need a chance to cook. I also have found that I do not need to grease my skillet/griddle. Do what you think is best here as well.
Carefully transfer the muffins onto your heat source. Cook the muffins for about five minutes on each side. You can take a little peek every now and again to make sure the bottoms are not getting too brown. When it is time to flip, do this carefully. Your muffins will plump up beautifully, and you do not want to deflate them by being too rough. Cook for the second five minutes. Now, if you find that the outside edge of your muffin is not as done as you like, feel free to pop these into a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. I do not bother doing this.
Sourdough English Muffins

Thursday, October 11, 2012


(Cafe du monde in New Orleans if famous for their Beignets. I was looking for my recipe and realized I never posted one of my favorites. I like these better than Cafe du Monde.. is that sacrilegious for a Cajun girl to say? but true 'dat anyway!)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
5-7 cups all-purpose flour (Last time I made them all I needed was 5 cups?)
1/4 cup shortening
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, evaporated milk, and blend well. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the shortening, and then the remaining 3 cups of flour. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. Fry in 360ยบ hot oil. If beignets do not pop up, oil is not hot enough. Drain onto paper towels. Shake confectioners' sugar on hot beignets. Serve warm

Multigrain Bread

Multigrain Bread
Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook
1 1/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) seven-grain hot cereal mix
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour (not bread flour)
1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 oz) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 tablespoon salt
Optional (I omitted): 3/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats
*If you’re using salted butter, just decrease the additional salt by just a bit.
Place cereal mix in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour.  Whisk flours together in separate bowl.
Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, butter, and yeast and mix on low speed until combined.  Add flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, and knead until cohesive mass starts to form (*note: some at high altitudes have noted they have not needed all of the flour, go by look and feel and stop adding flour if you need to!) 1 1/2-2 minutes; cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.  Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3-4 minutes (if it does not clear sides, add 2-3 tablespoons additional all-purpose flour and knead until it does.  Don’t add more!) continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes.  Add seeds (if using) and knead for another 15 seconds.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, round ball.  Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.
Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide in half.  Press 1 piece of dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, with short side facing you.  Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go.  Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed.  Repeat with second piece of dough.  Spray loaves lightly with water or vegetable il spray.  Roll each loaf in oats to coat evenly and place seam side down in prepared pans, pressing gently into corners.  Cover loaves loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size 30-40 minutes.  Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.
Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake until loaves register 200 degrees, 35-40 minutes.  Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.  Remove loaves from pans, return to rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.
Storage: Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Wrapped with additional layer of foil, bread can be frozen for up to a month.
For those without a stand mixer, Cook’s Illustrated recommends:  “Stir wet and dry ingredients together with a stiff rubber spatula until the dough comes together and looks shaggy.  Transfer the dough to a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, roughd ball, 15-25 minutes, adding additional flour, if necessary, to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter.  Proceed with recipe as directed.”

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rainbow Cake

I made a couple of rainbow cakes for a beloved teacher who retired after 32 years this year. We will miss you Mrs. Rogers.
I thought, oh this will be easy. 12 hours later I was finished. I did make 3 cakes, but it did take longer than I anticipated. I used the Rainbow Cake icing recipe from Martha Stewarts website found:

but I used this recipe for the Cake:
Prepare cake mix as per package directions. In addition to this add,
 1 egg
1 cup flour
8 oz sour cream or Greek yogurt
 1 cup white sugar
1/3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla or other suited flavoring

 For the Filling and Crumb Coat
    • 9 large egg whites
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
  • For the Frosting

    • 5 large egg whites
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract


  1. Make the filling and crumb coat: Cook egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; mix on high speed until mixture is room temperature. With the mixer on medium-low, add butter, one piece at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  2. Remove whisk attachment and switch to paddle attachment. Increase speed to high and beat until buttercream comes together, about 5 minutes; beat in lemon extract.
  3. Make the frosting: In a clean saucepan and bowl of an electric mixer, repeat process in step 1.
I don't eat sugar or flour (for recipes with no sugar and flour and see how I lost 74 lbs check out my blog
 Anyway, I didn't taste it, but my hubby loved the icing.  I do love icing that isn't made with powdered sugar. I didn't add the lemon, just vanilla.  I think I would try it again with almond next time.

Tips for making this cake:
 To make 3 cakes  I used 4 cake mixes with extender recipes.

To make the different colors I scooped out appx 2 cups batter in a large bowl and mixed gel food coloring in. I then baked them in 9 inch round pans for aprx 20 mins.  I let them cool and then cut them horizontally with a large serrated bread knife and  put them in the freezer for several hours to make icing easier.

Everyone at the retirement party loved the cake. I will take their word for it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wicked Cupcakes

I made these for teacher appreciation week, our theme was Wicked. Such a fun theme that I HAD to come up with a cute treat for make for the teachers and staff. I also did some red and purple flowers, but I forgot to photograph those.
The recipe for the cupcake is:
1 box devils food
3 eggs
1/2 C sour cream
1 c water
1/2 C butter
1/2 C chocolate chips
(if I knew I could resist Nutella I would have filled them with a Nutella creme filling.. but I that stuff is my kryptonite and I can't resist)

The icing I used was so fluffy and easy to work with:

 1 Cup Crisco Shortenin
1  Cup butter, softened at room temp
6-8 cups Confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp clear vanilla
1 tsp almond extract (if you don't want it to taste do 2 tsp vanilla)
6 oz heavy whipping cream

Cream shortening and butter  until fluffy. Add confectioner's sugar  2 cups at a time and continue creaming until well blended.

 Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream blend on low speed until moistened. Add additional whipping cream and or sugar if necessary (up to 2 ounces). Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy. (May take 5 or so minutes. Then add bright green food coloring.

Here is the Wicked Cupcake Wrapper pdf printable. It looks weird when I uploaded it, please write a comment if it prints weird and I will try to figure it out.

The hat is made of Wilsons fondant with black food coloring. (Hobby Lobby has a great food coloring for a great price). I used an extra large french tip.
Here is a great site for decorating tips:

The secretary was out of control with her amazing door decor and the hallways. I know this is generally a food blog, but I just have to share some of the decor as well. It was amazing. I did two of the doors; they came out OK, but not as well as I had envisioned. But I think are good for idea building, and now I know better for next time.. and I will remember that it takes WAY longer than 30 mins to hang everything ON the doors. I was naive and thought that would be the easy part.. WRONG!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Smurfday Party

A Great party starts with a great invite:
Here is the one I made and if you would like to use it here is a pdf version. Just download it and open it in Photoshop to personalize it.:
Feel free to use my files and have a great party, but Please do not redistribute or make money off of my work.
The Costume:
I searched for Smurf costumes online and most of the reviews were pretty negative due to the cheaply made and high costs... So I made my own. 
Dress: I bought 2 yards of white felt. I folded the felt in half and laid a sleeveless dress on top (with the top shoulder part on the fold) , cut it out and sewed the sides.  Took about 10 mins.

I crocheted the Smurf Hat by using this pattern:
Smurf Hat Crochet Pattern
I bought the tights and leotard from Amazon.  (make sure you have at least 2 weeks b/c these weren't Amazon Prime and took at least a week or so).

I hung up an "autographed picture" from Smurfette. 
Here is one for you if you are interested. She loved it and has it hung up in her room:
Autographed pictured 

One of the games we played was Pin the tail on Azriel. We used a coloring page of Azriel to draw it on orange poster paper and cut out 5 tails from the remaining paper. Easy as pie. The kids had a blast.

Smurfday Cake. The cake is always the most stressful part of the party for  me. I literally PRAYED my way through this cake..haha.  I would recommend watching a video on Youtube on how to apply fondant.  Would have been Very helpful... too bad I didn't watch it until AFTER I made the blue bottom part. 

I used Wilson brand fondant and used the Wilson brand food coloring for the color. The bottom is made of 2 9 inch round cakes. I froze them before icing them with buttercream prior to adding the fondant. Freezing them before makes them much easier to work with.  To make the grass I rolled the fondant out relatively thin and used a paring knife. I used powdered sugar to prevent sticking, then applied the grass by wetting a pastry paint brush. This also gives the fondant a nice shinny finish and cleans up the edges.

My son made the little mushrooms for me. He did a fantastic job! Thanks Juddy! The big mushroom is made from Wilsons extra large Cupcake pan. (My tip is the use  baking spray AND add a generous amount of flour b/c 2 batches broke apart trying to get them out of the pan... give yourself plenty of time and extra cake mix.) I used the food coloring straight from the container to paint the windows and doors.

 I bought the little figurines from, cupcake toppers. They are really cute and good quality for the price.
After the cake was served we played "Smurf Hunting". We hid the smurfs around the yard, each child got one smurf. They loved it.

I bought a iron on Paper and made this image. But I didn't save it.. DANG IT! Otherwise I would have shared that too. He loves this shirt and wears it regularly.

Carma playing Smurf Bingo. Here is the file to download it:
Smurf Bingo 1
Smurf Bingo 2
Smurf Bingo 3
Smurf Bingo 4
Smurf Bingo 5
Smurf Bingo 6
Smurf Characters for Calling

To play smurf bingo I cut each character from the "characters for calling" page and showed the picture to the kids to call Bingo. We really didn't use the letter part of  BINGO.. We just let the kids put a  marker (York Pieces candy) on the picture that was called. It was too confusing and would have taken forever otherwise. I hope that makes sense. If not leave a comment and I will try to answer it better.

Treat bags:
I used simple blue bags (10c each from Walmart). I made the "thank you for coming to Carma's Smurfday Party" tag and printed it on a shipping label. Inside the treat bags were the mini- coloring books, Smurf stickers, candy, Smurf key chain tags, random dollar store toys).
Here are the files for the mini-coloring books:
 Coloring page 1
Coloring Page 2
Coloring page 3

The food:
Papa Smurf's Smurfberry juice- I bought the Blue Cool-aid from Walmart 8 for $1.00 and added a label.
Smurfette's Smurfalicious Sweets- different kinds of Candy
Greedy Smurf's Smurfberries- Twix Wildberry cereal
Brainy's Nerds: Nerds Candy
Gargamel's Smurf Essence - Pixy Sticks
Papa Smurf's Smurfberry Jello: Blueberry Jello, with blueberries and whipped cream
Azriels Catch: Goldfish
Baker Smurfs Mushrooms: White chocolate dipped donuts with white chocolate chip or multi colored sprinkles.
Gutsy's Can you handle the heat poppers- fireballs
Grumpy Smurf's Sourpuss treats- Lemon heads

Here are the files for the Treat lables:
 Treat Label 1
Treat Label 2

On the door I had a poster of Smurfette with balloons and a welcome sign.  (Oh, I got a set of Mylar balloons on Amazon for a great price... 5 HUGE balloons for $11.00 and Smiths filled them for me for really cheap).

Here are some of the Smurf Cake toppers:
these were part of her present../ I paid $17.00... but we used them for cake toppers and decor:

 Here are some of the Treat bag items:
 Smurf Rings:
Smurf Stickers: