Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Homemade Brownies Recipe & Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

So funny.  I posted on how I needed to find a homemade brownie recipe and what came up on my computer screen?  A Homemade Brownie Recipe!  I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, New Nostalgia and found this recipe.  I haven't tried it yet, but I am going to and get back to you!  If you try it before me, let me know what you think about it?  I like how Heavenly Homemakers also has a recipe for homemade chocolate chips too!  Someday....for now, I will buy mine already made. 

I made whole wheat bread today in my mom's breadmaker!  It was the first time I have ever made bread and it turned out great!  It was very simple really and the cost of the ingredents was minimal.  The kids loved watching the bread maker knead the dough and watching it rise through the little window up top of the machine. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Raw Milk, Grass-Fed Beef, Brownies made with Applesauce

I continue to study the basic components of the food we put in our body from Nourishing Traditions.  It is very interesting actually! I have always loved the sciences of Home Economics and Nutrition. 

Some items I am pondering are:

1. Introducing raw milk to my home. I am studying the FDA and USDA's warnings against the unpasteurized milk and their motivations behind their opposition of the milk. I have also been researching the truth about raw milk from the proponents of it. 

2. I have one pound of grass-fed ground beef in my refrigerator! I intend on making a family dish passed down two generations called Pate Chinois with it. I have the opportunity to buy an eighth of a cow with my dear neighbor (who is so tickled to teach me all she knows, which is a ton!). But Mr. Eco and I want to taste it first. I have read it tastes different than the hamburger meat from the store or butcher.

An interesting side note about grass fed beef is that I subscribe to bon appetit magazine and they recently wrote an article about this book (pictured).  I had only heard of grass fed beef from, once again, my dear neighbor.  We've had conversations about how the meat we buy at the grocery store is irradiated.  I was floored when I Googled what that even meant!  Go ahead, Google it, then come back :)  Ever since, we have been purchasing our meat from a butcher that gets their meat from a local farm; however, the cows are corn fed.  We thought, at the time (about two years ago), it was better than the alternative.  It is now time to give grass fed a try! 

- Need to recycle an electronic device?  Visit this website for a location near you. 

- I made boxed brownies (I know, I need to find an easy, homemade recipe) tonight and used 1/4 cup canola oil and 1/4 cup applesauce. You would never know I used applesauce! It makes the brownies healthier and is an easy substitute for oil.  I also don't have to grease the muffin pan since I use Demarle products to bake in!

Demarle at Home is the best to bake in and found here.  My favorite Representative is Gina Anderson, although ALL the representatives are outstanding!  It is naturally non-stick because it is made from food grade silicone which, when broken down is essentially made from sand.  Because it is flexible and non-stick, it makes getting your baked goods out easy and clean-up a snap! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Studying, Cooking, and Feeding the chickens!

I am reading a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  My neighbor let me borrow it as we always chat about eating well for our health and the health of those we love.  I am learning so much about the American diet and how our society is guided to ideas about the food we put in our bodies that are false and down-right unhealthy!   I am learning about the types of fatty acids and how they contribute to the health of our body and it's systems.  It's like taking a biology class!  Oh, the memories... 
Bottom line:
  • Choose butter over margarine,
  • Red meat and eggs (including egg yolks) are good for us to eat! 
  • Tropical oils are very good for us (palm and coconut oils).  I always thought canola oil was good, but I learned these oils are better.

My poor Roma Tomatoes!  The have what is called "Blossom-End Rot."  That's what is causing the brown circle at the bottom.  I am hopeful the damage won't be great as many of the tomatoes are fine...crossing my fingers!  I can't wait until they are ready to be picked!

This is the solution to my kids not liking the really-cool peanut butter Winco has in it's bulk section!  It is healthy for them as it is all natural, naturally sweetened with no hydrogenated oil or trans fat and we all like it!
I had the kids run over this bag to the neighbor who has chickens...scraps from the soup I made!  Sometimes I have the kids dig holes in the yard and bury the vegetable scraps...that is what composting currently looks like in this house!  Something to work on, I know :)  Anyway, if Eco-Amie does not want the kids a diggin', I feed the chickens!  The best gift?  When she has extra eggs and gives us some!  So grateful for her bounty! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trader Joe's Face Lotion

I recently bought this face lotion at Trader Joe's and I am very proud to say, I love it!  It is so moisturizing and does not break my skin out.  I went home and looked it up on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep page and there was not an exact match for this product.  I compared the ingredents with other Trader Joe's beauty products and it appears to fit in the Moderate risk section (by my untrained observation and reading).  I would prefer it got a Low risk rating; however, I am happy with the product and intend on using it.  It was reasonably priced and feels very good on my skin...not too greasy, not too smelly, and it leaves my face and neck feeling very moisturized!  The label states it was produced without any animal testing or animal by-products.  That makes me feel good about the product as well. 

I have always paid attention to see if products and their by-products were tested on animals since I complied a speech about animal testing at the junior college I attended.  It was then I was introduced to the organization PETA.  The research I completed for the speech was very eye opening and made me feel horrible for the animals.  I know, I know, better animals than humans, but it still made me sad to read what the animals endure for the health and beauty products that line the shelves in our stores. 

Do you have a favorite beauty product that is eco-friendly as well as animal-friendly?