Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Best Scrambled Eggs Ever

So, since I can't have much dairy now, I had to figure out a way to make healthy but yummy eggs for breakfast.  It's not that I hate eggs...I just really don't like them!  I can add onions, peppers, etc and make them swallowable, but I can't eat that every day.
So, I decided to play in my kitchen one morning and created what we all think is THE BEST tasting scrambled eggs ever!
You don't taste the coconut AT ALL, but it gives them this light fluffy texture and a deep, rich flavor!  SO GOOD!!!!

8 eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk - we made our own....no more cans for us!  :(
2 Tbsp coconut oil

1.  Break eggs into large bowl and add coconut milk.  Whisk together.
2.  In large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium high heat.  Add eggs and cook until finished, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

So THAT'S What's Been Wrong with Me?

So, I started this Whole30 diet which isn't meant for losing weight, it's meant for figuring out what's making your body sick or inflamed.
I have been struggling with a long list of symptoms really since I turned 18, and could NEVER figure out what was causing it.  My doctors had told me "Oh, you just have high levels of estrogen" and blew it off like it was no big deal...but I had TONS of pain and it was almost ALL the time.  Last fall, I ended up with a 2 inch ovarian cyst, and started changing our diet, getting rid of all added hormones in our food.  So, all of our milk (raw) and beef/chicken was bought straight at the farm, from cows that were pastured on grass.  No more canned food.  Only organic fruits, veggies, and grains.  I tried everything and nothing was helping.
I finally decided to find a specialist in the area to go see, and of course it was going to be VERY expensive and the insurance company won't pay for it.  So, I looked into it some more and found the doctor's blog.  She highly recommends Whole30 as the first phase of treatment, as many times, it is actually the food that you are eating that is causing illness and chronic pain.
I started the diet, which consists of nothing but high quality pastured meats and seafood of any kind, any kind of fruits and vegetables (except for potatoes for some people), and nuts and certain seeds and oils.  No dairy, no grains of any kind, and no legumes, and no sugar.  These things are known to cause systemic inflamation and hormone imbalance.  So I figured it was worth a shot.
By day FOUR, all of my symptoms were GONE!  Every last one!  I woke up pain-free for the first time since I don't remember when.  And they stayed gone! 
On day 9, I went out to eat with some friends and I ordered a steak, spinach, mashed potatoes, and it had a tomato-wine sauce on top.  I was full of symptoms from about an hour after I ate, all through the next day.  Then I was better.
Two days later, I ate at my moms.  We had crabs and chicken and broccoli salad.  I was totally fine.  Then, I decided to go ahead and eat a piece of pineapple cake...I can't resist it...and by the time I took my last bite of cake, my stomach was in knots and I felt terrible.  EVERY symptom was back that night and part of the next morning.  Has now been 3 more days and I have felt perfect!  No grains means no symptoms!  I have even started eating a bit of dairy...a little cheese on a bunless burger, or a small slice of ice cream cake to celebrate a dear friend's birthday.  My stomach gets a little upset when I eat dairy, but not too big of a deal...not a dealbreaker at this point...but even a tiny bit of wheat causes everything to flare up!  :(
I didn't stick with the diet perfectly for the 30 days because we're going to the beach after 3 weeks.  I plan on doing a perfect whole30 when we get back.  But honestly, if you are like me and have lots of unexplained symptoms, even doing it for a week or two may be immensely helpful!  I was shocked!  I even finally started to lose a bit more weight!  I leveled out back in the spring, even though I was counting every calorie and doing about 70 miles on the elliptical every week...just couldn't lose another pound.  And now I'm down about 5 more!  So that's an extra added bonus!  I don't even care about my weight...I just want to feel good!  And I'm amazed to say that it was actually WHEAT that was causing me pain for the last 15 years!  I will NEVER go back!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bacon Blue Cheese Burger

We went to this little pub in Gettysburg called Appalachian Brew Pub the other night and I had the most fabulous burger I've ever tasted!  And of course, I couldn't resist making our own homemade version!  The results were SPECTACULAR!  The kids wanted 5 more burgers!  LOL!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large vidalia onion, halved and sliced
4 oz precooked bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1.25 pounds ground beef
salt to taste
lettuce for wraps (or hamburger rolls if desired)
1 container blue cheese crumbles
1 large gala apple, cored and sliced in rings
2 large jalapeno peppers, diced

1.  Form patties out of ground beef and cook to taste on the grill.  Sprinkle salt on burgers as they cook, if desired.
2.  While burgers are cooking, in a large skillet, saute onion, and brown sugar in olive oil.  After about 5 minutes when the onions are starting to get soft, add bacon and continue to cook until onions are completely soft.
3.  When onions are soft and burgers are cooked to your liking, assemble burgers.  Place blue cheese on bottom half of roll.  Top with burger, then onions/bacon, then apple slice or two, and then top roll.  Top with jalapeno peppers, if desired.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homemade Goldfish Crackers

OK, so I've decided to attempt this one today!  :)  My kids LOVE goldfish crackers, but I won't buy them anymore because of all the extra stuff that are in them.  So, since I stumbled upon this recipe last night, we're going to try them today!


  • 8 ounces, weight Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Cut Into Cubes
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cold Water

Preparation Instructions

Pulse everything (except water) together in the food processor until the dough resembles coarse sand.
Pulse in water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Remove dough from the processor, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes. You can use a toothpick to make the eyes and smile if desired. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until crispy.
Makes approximately 7 dozen crackers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tomato Basil Bread - like Panera Bread

  • No more store bought bread...that is one of the new things I decided to start doing for my family.  I don't want to be ingesting 30+ ingredients every time I put a piece of bread in my mouth, no matter how tasty it is!  There just is no good reason for it!
  • And homemade, nutritious bread is cool and all, but I do not want to just eat boring whole wheat bread all the time either.
  • So today I decided to try to make Panera Bread's Tomato Basil bread.  You know the one...it has the crunchy brown sugar topping that is just SO amazingly paired with the tomato and basil flavors!  (I know, sounds totally gross, but it's super good!).  I couldn't find their actual recipe online, or an exact "copycat" recipe, but I did find a recipe for Tomato Basil Bread here that I used.
  • I added the topping, omitted crushed red pepper flakes, and swapped canned san marzano diced tomatoes for the tomato paste.  Result?!  Probably the best bread I've ever made...and I have made bread many times! :)  This is definitely going to be a new staple in our family! 
  • I used unbleached bread flour this time, but next time I will do half all purpose and half white whole wheat to see if we like it with the whole grain.  I figure even if I don't switch to all whole grain flour, every little bit helps...and of course, the fact that I only used 11 ingredients for this gourmet, several flavor bread is a huge plus in my book, even if it was regular old flour!
  • Two notes - I didn't put brown sugar on the whole thing...just wanted to try it without too, since I hadn't made this before...AND, I served this with a vegan chili recipe that I came up with and it was such an awesome pairing - the sweetness of the brown sugar and the smokey chipotle flavor in the chili.  DEFINITELY a great combination!
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
     warm water (110 to 115 degrees)1/4 cup fresh basil , minced (can substitute with 2 tablespoons dried)
     parmesan cheese , grated4 heaping Tbsp canned diced san marzano tomatoestablespoon sugartablespoon olive oilteaspoon salt2 1/2-2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • Ingredients for Brown Sugar Struesel Topping
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup flour (I probably used a little less than that)
    3 Tbsp cold butter


  1. 1
    In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in basil, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes and 2 cups flour. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  2. 2
    Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. 3
    Punch dough down; knead for 1 minute. Shape into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
    Make Brown Sugar Struesel - In medium bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour.  Add butter and cut with pastry blender until it's the size of small peas.
  4. 4
    Top dough with brown sugar mixture and bake at 375° for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cooling rack.

Steel Cut Oatmeal Bread

Here's another whole grain bread recipe!

We have made a LOT of very significant changes in our diet, one of them being no store-bought bread.  And trying to add lots of whole grains into our diet.  So, I stumbled upon this recipe and tried it out, and it was a big success!  It made great peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and great toast with a little apple butter!  We will be making this a few times a month for sure!  It's so good!  Very filling too!

(this makes 2 loaves of bread)


  • 2 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 3/4 cups steel-cut oats
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Dash of granulated sugar
  • 2 packages dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons each)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour


    1.  Combine the first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a stand-up mixer, and let stand 25 minutes.

    2.  Dissolve granulated sugar and yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Add to oat mixture. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Gradually add 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 3 cups whole wheat flour to oat mixture. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of the remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).

    3.  Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide in half. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each portion into a 14 x 8-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Roll up each rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place each loaf, seam sides down, in a 9-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

    4.  Preheat oven to 350º.

    5.  Uncover dough, and brush egg evenly over loaves. Bake at 350º for 45 minutes or until loaves are browned on bottom and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pan, and cool on wire racks.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Crockpot Blueberry Peach Oatmeal


1 cup steel ground oats
1 cup Arborio Rice
4-5 cups water
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
About 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
About 1 cup frozen peaches, chopped

1.  Pour blueberries and peaches into bottom of crockpot.
2.  Add remaining ingredients and stir together.
3.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours, overnight.
4.  When serving, if you want a little creaminess, add a drizzle of raw milk.