Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tater Tot Casserole

This is a quick, fun recipe that the kids love. Its quick to put together and great with a tossed salad or fresh green peas. I use the Cascadian Farms variety of tater tots because most varieties of tater tots have sugar and other undesirable ingredients in their potato products. The other option would be to make your own, which I have been working on but of course, its not nearly as quick. I will post a recipe for tater tots when I figure it out. You can also use canned refried beans. I like to make refried beans in large batches so I always have some on hand in the freezer.

1 1/2 lbs lean ground chuck
1/2 onion chopped
1 cup water
1 T chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups refried beans
1 16 oz bag of Cascadian Farm frozen spud buddies(Tater tots)
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

How Tos:
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion until no pink remains. Drain off any fat. Add the water and spices and simmer for 10 minutes until most of the liquid is cooked off. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pour the meat mixture into a 9 x 13" pan. Spread the refried beans over the meat mixture by dropping spoonfuls evenly over the hot meat. Sprinkle the entire bag of the tater tots over the refried beans, spreading out evenly. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the tater tots. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until tater tots are lightly browned and crispy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gluten Free Peppermint Brownie Bars

These are a sweet treat that I am truly enjoying. Its gluten-free and since the ingredients are all relatively healthy, my son can enjoy them and really feels he is getting a special treat. They are easy to make and pretty to serve. Make sure you grease the pan well and chill the bars thoroughly though, or you may find removing them a challenge.

1/2 cup grass-fed butter
1/4 cup of organic dark chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 cup sucanat
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of millet or alternative flour
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

1/4 cup softened grassfed butter
2 cups of powdered sugar(mine was made with sucanat)
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup cream

1-2 T organic dark chocolate chips
1 T crushed peppermint candy(optional)

The How To's
Grease a 13x9 inch pan with butter or coconut oil. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter. Add the chocolate chips and stir till melted. Set aside.

In your mixer, beat the eggs until fluffy. Gradually add the Sucanat until you have whipped up a light fluffy mixture. Mix in the vanilla extract until thoroughly blended. Lower your mixer to a medium speed and slowly pour in the melted chocolate, which should still be warm.  Add the peppermint extract. Mix thoroughly. Sprinkle in the sea salt and then lower the speed to low and sprinkle in the flour. Turn off the mixer, stir in the nuts. Pour the somewhat thin batter into your greased pan.
raw batter
Bake for about 15-18 minutes. The somewhat thin chocolate mixture will look like brownies when you remove it. Set on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

cream starts to thicken
In your clean mixer, cream the butter and gradually mix in your powdered sugar.  light and fluffy, add your peppermint extract and then gradually add your cream at a high speed, whipping until it holds its shape well. Scrape down the sides regularly and watch for the cream to reach a nice consistency for spreading. Do not overmix or the cream will convert to butter and the whey will ruin your frosting.

Spread your frosting over the brownies. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and candy over the top to give it a festive look. At this point I tried to loosen the brownie from the bottom of the pan, but cutting was challenging. I realized I did not use enough coconut oil to grease the bottom of the pan, so make sure you use enough. I then refrigerated until the frosting was more firm and cut them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cranberry Chicken

This savory recipe is so yummy. It can be done in a crockpot but I like it better in the oven. I use dried ingredients that I have on hand but during the holidays you can use fresh onion and cranberries and even use a clove of garlic you will just need to simmer the ingredients longer before baking the chicken. If you don't want to make your french dressing, use an organic french dressing from the store so you don't add corn syrup and msg to this healthy dish.

1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 quart homemade beef broth
1 whole chicken, cut up

The How Tos
Put the first five ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer uncovered until reduced by half. Set aside.
Place the cut up chicken in a baking pan, arranging the larger pieces to the outside. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes or until meat is cooked thoroughly (approximately 14 to 15 minutes per pound total cooking time) and sauce is thick and bubbling.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Coupon Trade

Coupon Trade is your one-stop shop for gift cards, online coupons and daily deals. Kind of like having your favorite coupon site, groupon and all your favorite retail stores all wrapped up in one. You can buy them or sell them.
Tonight at midnight is a special flash sale. That means a national card will be sold for half off. For instance, it might be a Shell gas card, a $50 card for $25? That would be nice. You won't know until midnight.  They will also be giving away $2000 in special give aways. 
So...if you are a night owl, check out www.coupontrade.com and set up your account so you are ready to roll when they roll out the deals.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

French Dressing

French Dressing


1/4 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt
  • 1 tsp homemade worcestershire sauce*
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pepper to taste
The how tos
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a blender. Add the oil slowly while blending on high. Add salt and then pepper to taste. Cover and refridgerate. Will last a few weeks. Makes about 1 1/2 cups

You can find an excellent worcestershire sauce recipe in the Often Used Recipes eBook at the Cooking Traditional Foods website.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lemon Chex

Chex Mix is a popular snack at our house around the holidays. We make it ourselves and use safer ingredients and we love to vary the way we make it. Today we are making a savory chex mix using a Moroccan spice blend and hot sauce and I also made Lemon Chex, which is more my style when it comes to sweets.

4 cups of Rice Chex(other flavors are too strong for this recipe)
1/2 cup of Vanilla Chips
1 1/2 tsp of lemon powder
powdered sugar

The How Tos
Place the Rice Chex(or equivalent) in a large bowl. Melt the vanilla chips in a saucepan. Stir in lemon powder, adding more or less to suit your taste, remembering that the lemon will be offset by the coating of powdered sugar at the end. Pour the melted vanilla chips over the chex and mix well. Spoon the mixture into a gallon ziplock bag and add about a cup of powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake well to coat the cereal mixture with the sugar. Spread out on a baking sheet to cool. Store in an airtight container.

How to Make Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar is one of those ingredients that you can't really substitute. I have been to the store many times to get some for a recipe in the past because I didn't have enough to make my frosting or enough to dust my chocolate cake. I never really thought much of it.
Since we moved to healthier sugars and tend to use organic rapadura or evaporated cane juice, the stakes go up. You don't pop into your local grocery store and pick up a bag of organic powdered sugar. You also don't find it without cornstarch(typically GMO), the ingredient used to keep it from caking up and it costs a small fortune if you can find it.
So, I decided to make it myself.

1 cup of evaporated cane sugar
1 T of arrowroot powder(or other starch to prevent caking)
evaporated cane juice and arrowroot

powdered sugar

How Tos:
Place your sugar and arrowroot in the blender. Cap the blender and set on high. You will see the powdered sugar move to the surface and the granulated sugar drop to the bottom as it processes. It takes about 10 minutes to get a fine powder for frosting, but less time if you just need some for making muddy buddies or lemon chex. You can use it immediately. I have not tried making it with Sucanat. You may need more arrowroot to absorb the moisture from the molasses and honey, but it would work the same way. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beef Broth

Beef Broth is a staple at our house. It is great served on the side with a sandwich and can be used in lots of recipes. So when I can get my hands on grass-fed beef bones, I break out the pans and crock pot and get a batch going as fast as I can. It smells amazing as it cooks and the rich broth is so good for you.

Since I order beef in bulk, I recently acquired several bags of beef bones from grass fed cows. This is the best type of bones to get and will have the most vitamins and minerals within the marrow and meat.
You can ask your butcher to cut them up for you so that the marrow is exposed as often as possible in each piece. It really doesn't matter if they are meaty or not. The nutrition and flavor is so high above anything you can get at the store that the effort is always worth it.

Here is how I make mine.
Place your beef bones in a large roasting pan and place in a 375 degree oven for about an hour. Pictured is a batch of about 5lbs worth.
Bones are ready to roast
Once the bones are brown, you can do one of three things. You can transfer them and all the drippings to a crockpot, you can transfer them to a stockpot or you can continue using the oven to create your broth. I typically transfer to the crockpot as I do not want to burn that much electricity to make my broth, but if you have another heating source(like wood for example) for your stove, it may make more sense to leave it there. I also like the ability for the crock pot to work on its own. I would never leave my stove on if I had to leave the house, but leave my crock pots going quite a bit. 
Back to the process...Make sure you transfer all the drippings that are on the bottom of the pan. This is pure flavor. You can add a little water to the pan to loosen the particles and get them into your crockpot.

Roasted bones are ready to transfer to a crockpot
Cover your bones with water and add a splash of apple cider vinegar. By splash I mean a tablespoon or so. Cook this on high until the water begins to boil, then lower to low for about 24 hours.  You want all the marrow to be cooked out of the bones and with beef bones it takes this long. You can determine this by looking at the bones after they cook overnight. If you still see marrow and the bones are not brittle yet, you can cook it a bit longer.

Once the bones have cooked completely, you can strain the broth, or scoop out the bones with a slotted spoon. I prefer this method, leaving bits and pieces of meat in my broth. I allow the crock pot to cool and place it in the refrigerator. 24 hours more and all the fat will be solidified on the surface. Lift this off and place in a freezer bag. This is tallow and is wonderful for putting in recipes that need fat. I keep a bag in my freezer at all times. The remaining broth will most likely be in a gelatinous state. You can place this in a freezer bag as well, refrigerate in a jar to use within a week, or you can pressure can it for future use. I will typically save up several batches in the freezer and can mine rather than use up the freezer space long term.

So it's really that easy. You are going to be so pleased with how its tastes, and once you see how easy it is, I am sure you will want to make this again and again and will start looking for bones to roast!  By the way, if you have a bone from a pot roast, you do not need to brown the bone, just place it in water and simmer. Since these bones are typically very small, you can save them in the freezer until you have enough to cook a decent sized batch.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Free Kindle Book

Gluten Free Sauerbraten

Pot roast is an economical meal and is easy to fix in a crock pot. This recipe brings back fond memories of my grandmother who could cook the best pot roast on the east coast. Finding pot roast on sale is not usually difficult and you could also use stew beef.  The most expensive player in the recipe is usually the gluten free ginger snaps. If you don't make your own, watch for them in your local scratch and dent store or for a sale. They keep a loooooong time since they are very hard cookie anyway. I changed the recipe to use gluten free ginger snaps, so we can all enjoy it but if you aren't allergic to wheat, you can use the regular ones. Sauerbraten goes well with mashed potatoes, egg noodles or spaetzel. Maybe some sauerkraut on the side.

2 T lard
3lb grass fed Pot Roast
1/2 c braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 C gluten free Ginger Snaps
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 C water
2 T sugar
2 bay leaves

The How To's:
Brown your meat in the lard in a skillet or dutch oven on medium high heat. Searing all sides. Place roast in crock pot. Pour vinegar over the roast and add the bay leaves. Brown the chopped onion in the drippings. Pour over the roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until tender.

When the roast is almost done, Put two cups of water in bowl and add the ginger snaps, allowing them to soak and soften and set aside. Once the roast is tender, remove the roast to a platter. Add ginger snaps mixture and stir into the drippings to make a gravy. Add more gf flour if needed to thicken the gravy. Using an immersion blender mix everything well. Strain the gravy, removing the bay leaves and any chunks of onion. Return the roast to the gravy and bring back up to serving temperature. Serves 6-8.

*This recipe can be made in a dutch oven as well. Cooked at a simmer, it takes about 3 hours to get the meat tender.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

Warm and satisfying, this soup will stick to your ribs and is a favorite for the entire family!


½ lb of uncured bacon
1 lb pototoes(russets, Yukon gold or red)
1 large onion, chopped
1 quart chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 T potato starch
¼ cup cool water
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grass-fed raw cream
2 T fresh chopped chives
1 cup shredded grass-fed cheddar cheese
1 cup cultured sour cream

The How To’s:
Fry bacon. Meanwhile peel and cut potato up into one-inch cubes. Remove cooked bacon to a paper towel to drain and fry chopped onion in the drippings until tender. Pour onion and drippings over potatoes. Add chicken stock, garlic and salt. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours (potato should be tender). Chop up drained bacon and refrigerate in a covered dish.
Once potatoes are done, mash mixture until about half the potatoes are coarsely mashed. Mix potato starch in a measuring cup with cold water water to remove lumps and pour into crockpot to thicken the broth. Stir to blend in the mixture well. Add cooked bacon, liquid smoke, cream, and pepper until well blended. Cook on low for about 5 more minutes to heat through and allow soup to thicken. Salt to taste.  Serve in bowls topped with a little cheese, sour cream and sprinkled with chives. I like to add some fresh ground black pepper. Tastes just like a baked potato!

This can easily be made dairy free by eliminating the cream and cheese. You can use coconut milk if you miss the rich, creaminess cream imparts and Cheddar rice shreds taste great on top if you desire that sharp cheese taste.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts

As fall rolls in, I have really been resenting my recent status of "gluten intolerant." I thought I had a handle on it as I learned to substitute rice pasta in my lasagna and how to always have a gluten-free Udi's hamburger bun in my freezer in case of a last minute trip to a restaurant for dinner, but I was still pretty grumpy about not eating the wheat bread I bake for my family and the chewiness of a hunk of french bread served with my french onion soup.
Earlier today I received an email for a recipe for Apple Cider donuts and that put me over the edge. I was craving the taste of a fried donut. The sweetness, the texture, the idea of having one, put me on a one-way track to a new recipe. I experimented with the flours I had and what I had learned so far about combining them and this is what I ended up with.
They come out soft and tender but don't fall apart and as they cool the outside becomes crunchy, which was delightful news to my crunch-deprived palate. I used Truvia and cinnamon to roll the dough in after frying, which cut down on the sugar. I plan to experiment more with the Truvia in my batter but I think the sugar will be tough to replace as far as what it lends to the texture and flavor.

1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 T xanthan gum
1  cup of evaporated cane juice(divided)
1 tsp baking powder(aluminum free)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon(divided)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs from pastured hens, beaten
Lard or coconut oil for frying

The How To's:
In a small saucepan, heat the apple cider to a boil and continue to boil until it is reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat and add the coconut oil and allow to melt. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a small, deep bowl, combine 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated stevia with 1 tsp cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar and dry seasoning. Mix well with a whisk. Make a well in the center and add the vanilla, beaten egg and cooled oil and cider mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until you have a dough similar to cookie dough.

Heat a fat of your choice for frying in a dutch oven. I prefer coconut oil or lard. Heat to frying temperature(about 350 degrees). Take a large metal spoon and scoop up a dough ball, the size of a golf ball. Gently drop into the hot fat. Fry, turning if necessary and cook until brown. Remove with a metal slotted spoon and lay on folded paper towels to drain for about 30 seconds. Roll in cinnamon sugar mixture while still hot. Place on a cookie sheet and put on hold in a warm oven.  Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Serve your donuts to a delighted brood of children and husbands :)  Makes 18 donut holes.

*Amazon links are not referral links

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Red beans and Rice

There is nothing quite as satisfying on a cool fall evening. I have been tweaking this recipe for some time and this is my favorite version yet. I utilize ingredients that I store in my winter pantry but feel free to use fresh where you can. Red beans and rice make a complete protein, so the meat is not necessary. I We add it for the flavor and I like to keep scraps of ham around for all sorts of things. It is an economical dish and easy to make.
You can measure out the morning ingredients and put them in the refrigerator in a covered container if you need to have something quick and easy to prepare before you leave the house in the morning. Soaking the beans overnight allows them to fully cook in a short amount of time, but I like to let this recipe simmer all day. The flavor is exceptional. This recipe has just the slightest bite to it from the jalapeno but isn't too spicy for our family. If your family isn't fond of spice, you can eliminate the jalapeno.

The night before...
1lb of dried small red beans
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 cup bacon fat from uncured bacon

In the morning...
1 chunk smoked ham(about a one cup piece) without nitrites or fresh uncured ham and a tsp of liquid smoke
1 cup dried onion(or 2 cups fresh, chopped)
2 t garlic powder(1 T fresh, chopped)
2 T dried oregano
2 T evaporated cane juice
2 T dried basil
1 T dried thyme
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Salt to taste

In a large crockpot, pour your dried beans, which have been rinsed and sorted. Add the jalapeno and lard and cover with water. Soak the beans overnight.

In the morning, add the rest of the ingredients except salt.  Cook on low all day, watching the liquid level to make sure beans stay covered until tender but then allow it to cook off toward dinner time. When beans are tender, use a potato masher to mash about half the beans. This will thicken up the liquid quite a bit. You can use a little cornmeal sprinkled in to thicken it up further if needed as you want a thick sauce when you serve it.

Serve over a bowl of hot, cooked brown rice.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Green Chili Stew

This recipe became a meal due to miscellaneous leftovers, but turned out really yummy. Its a versatile recipe and its also gluten free and very warm and satisfying on a cold fall evening.

1 lb of grass-fed beef(Stew beef or ground beef works fine) or chicken
1 T bacon fat from grass-fed pigs
1 med organic white onion, chopped(1/4 cup dried flakes is fine)
4 cups fresh peeled, cubed organic potato
3/4 cup of chopped mild chilies(in Latino section of the grocery store)
1/4 cup(approx) of chopped hot chilies(I used my canned hot banana peppers-do this to taste)
1 1/2 cups of corn kernels(fresh off the cob, canned or frozen)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Chicken broth(about 4 cups)
1 T chili powder(green chili powder or red is fine)
sea salt and pepper to taste
 Start by browning the meat(if uncooked) in a skillet with the bacon fat. Spoon the meat into your crock pot immediately and start it cooking so it will be tender. Brown the onion in the drippings and spoon that over the meat. Add the potato and corn, chilis and seasonings. Cover with chicken broth and set on low until meat and potatoes are tender*. Once tender, add 1/2 cup of corn flour and stir in to thicken up the broth. You can serve this over rice or in a bowl with a little cheese and sour cream. Maybe a thick slice of cornbread on the side? YUM!
 *Obviously using ground beef will cook faster than stew meat. You can have that ready in a few hours. When I use the stew meat, I usually add the potatoes later or cut them in bigger hunks so they don't get too mushy before the meat is tender.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meal Planning 101

Do you ever walk in the door at 5pm after a very long day and wonder to yourself what you will be making for dinner? We've all done it to ourselves. Planning meals is something that takes a backseat to all the other things that life throws at you each week. I've found a few strategies that make getting dinner on the table a lot easier.

Recycle your Food
If you pull out a whole chicken, you have several meals in your near future. The first is the roasted chicken. Maybe with mashed potatoes or rice and a few fresh vegetables. I usually carve off half the meat to serve for the meal. The rest of the bird is picked clean and the meat is shredded for a casserole or chicken salad. Then take the carcass and place it in the crockpot or large pot and cover it with water. Add a quartered onion, some celery leaves and let it cook for 24 hours. This will produce a nice chicken broth that you can turn into any number of soups, stews, base for dried beans or strain and can or freeze for later use. You can also do the same with a beef bone. For more on making beef broth, see this post.

Don't Waste Food
Don't throw it out if it can be repurposed. Turning leftovers into something else is a great way to end the monotony of the week and prevent it from ending up in the trash can. A pork shoulder can be roasted and served plain, then shred the leftovers and make bbq sandwiches or cook it some more with added spices to create a burrito filling.
If you have small portions of meat or vegetable, place it in a freezer container or bag and save it. When you have accumulated enough vegetables and meat, make soup! Some of my leftover soups, though unrepeatable as a recipe, have been our favorite meals.

Shop and Stock
While it seems like a nice concept, shopping for the week's meals on a budget is often impossible. I rarely see the ultimate sale on the right variety of foods to create the best menu. So when hamburger is on sale(a really good sale), I stock up. I often get a quarter to half cow in fact direct from a farm. The meat is either frozen in meal-sized portions or canned for later use. Then, when I plan a meal, I can pull from the "grocery store" of bargains in my home. The same goes for poultry, vegetables and any other staples that I need. My purchasing several meals worth of each item that is on sale, I have my own pantry full of options and can make the most economical meal possible.

Sunday is Recipe Finding Day
On Sunday's after church, I try to relax. One of my favorite things to do is pour over new cookbooks from the library, search on internet cooking sites or watch cooking shows. From that I can come up with new and exciting recipes to try.  If I am wanting to try a new recipe, I put any items I do not have in my pantry on the shopping list so that when it goes on sale, I can get it. I write down where the recipe is(if its in a book) and that makes it easier to find later, particularly if I am planning a few weeks out. If its a new recipe, I print it out and put it in my planner. If the recipe is a hit with everyone, it gets added to my cookbook, if not, I throw it away.

Putting it all Together
After I have a nice "database" of recipes, I pull out my trusty planning sheet. I use this to outline meals for each week. Sometimes I do this with a friend and we plan our weeks together. This makes the process much more fun of course! I start with the upcoming week and fill in the blanks. For the week coming up, I will add the things I need to do, appointments, any prep work for food later in the week and any missing items that I need to purchase.  If I found a ton of beef recipes, I might spread them out over several weeks and leave blanks for the non-meat and other meat days. I can fill them in later. The current week goes inside the cover of my binder for easy reference. If I don't already have the recipe in my binder, I note where the recipe is. Then, when my week begins, I am ready. I have learned that knowing ahead of time makes pulling out the necessary items to thaw, soaking the right amount of beans and starting the long-cooking items much easier to remember.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Seek and Ye Shall Find

We are all seeking something, aren't we? My dad is in a seekers "group" that meets monthly. We seek joy, blessings and peace. We seek purpose, fulfilling relationships, relief from pain and we seek happiness. The thing is, we mostly seek this in all the wrong places. We waste time and money on things and therapies and drugs and activities to make us forget the pain. We read self-help books and listen to speakers tell us how to get it. How to BE happy. All that energy wasted, really. Its all temporary and it all goes away when the real pain comes.

The source of all that you need is in one place. Its all in one person; Jesus. If we only seek Him, use our time and energy seeking Him instead of all those other things, we find those other things when we find a relationship with Him. Does that make sense? By pursuing Jesus, you find all you ever wanted in the way of joy and peace. Its so easy and yet for most, so hard. It goes against the logic of the world.

Stopping the world to get off and look for a relationship with Jesus is not necessarily all that easy and where I live, not very popular. You turn your back on everything that is whizzing by you. And it keeps whizzing, it doesn't wait for you. You have to ignore your to do list that chants in your brain as you try to focus. All those things out there to do aren't necessarily in His plan or His will. He may guide you in a completely different direction. I will say it gets easier with practice, but at first, its kind of hard. You sit in a quiet place and you read God's word and you pray and you wait and you listen. Did you know that pleases God? When you spend time with Him?

I bet if you don't believe or you don't have a relationship with Him at this point in your life, you probably think I am a whack job. Its okay. I can tell you He does speak. He may not speak every morning and He may not speak audibly to you, but He speaks. Without a question, He does. He will show you the way, He WILL fill you with a peace that I couldn't explain to you if I had all the days necessary. Its not possible to describe what it is like to have joy and peace in a situation that doesn't, in the furthest stretch of the imagination, warrant it. Its just there, descending on you and filling you with a warmth and relaxing feeling that you know the moment it arrives. It will get you through the toughest of days. That's what He does, you know. He gets you through those days that your friends can't. And He is always there; just waiting for you to come back.

Try Him.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gluten Free Fried Chicken

Crispy on the outside, full of flavor on the inside. I use a meat tenderizer because I find that our pastured chickens can be a little tough for fried chicken since they run around the yard all day while they are growing. Store-bought, caged chickens are already tender and don't require this step.

1 pastured fryer, cut up
1 T papaya enzyme(meat tenderizer)
1/2 t sea salt
Seasoned Salt
2 cups Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose baking mix
2 T paprika
1 T chili powder
1 t black pepper

1 T garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Grass-fed lard

The How To's:
Place the cut up chicken in a large glass bowl and cover with ice cold water mixed with the tenderizer and salt. Refrigerate for the day.
When ready to cook, take a large cast iron skillet with a lid and put enough lard in the pan to make about an inch of hot fat. Heat the fat on a medium high burner. You want the fat good and hot before you start frying your chicken. Keep the lid on until you are ready to start frying.
Combine your baking mix, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, salt and garlic powder in a deep bowl. Whisk together to blend well and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking pan with a wire rack(I use one of my cake cooling racks) placed inside the pan. This allows the chicken to sit up above any grease that will drip off in the oven.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and drain well, leaving the chicken in the bowl. Sprinkle liberally with seasoned salt tossing well to get the seasoning well distributed.
Place a few wet pieces at a time in the flour mixture, tossing to coat. Make sure the chicken is well coated. Carefully place skin side down in the hot lard a few pieces at a time. *Be careful not to move a piece once you place it in the fat until the skin has browned well or you will lose your coating. Once the heat has recovered from adding the first few pieces, dredge and add a few more. Start with the biggest pieces as these will take longer to cook and then add the smaller ones as you can. Keep adding pieces until your pan is full. Do not overfill or chicken will be soggy and breading will fall off. Once the pieces start to brown, carefully turn with a pair of tongs. Brown all sides well and then remove to a baking pan with a wire rack placed inside it. Start additional pieces if you need to. Put the pan in a 350 degree oven until the chicken is done and juices run clear. Serve with your favorite vegetables.

To make a pan gravy:
Use two tablespoons of the drippings from your frying pan or the baking pan. Place in a sauce pan and place over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of either the remaining dredging flour or more of the gluten free baking mix. Stir with a whisk to absorb the drippings. Add 2 cups of chicken broth(or milk or water or a combination of these three) slowly, stirring to remove any lumps from the mixture. Stir frequently until the gravy starts to thicken. Then stir constantly until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Great Deal at Dickies!

I just finished paying for an awesome deal and had to share.
I started by going to Ebates. If you don't have a membership with ebates, you can sign up through my referral link(below). It costs nothing to join and you use it as your starting point for shopping. I have used it to make phenomenal deals, particularly on big ticket items. The way ebates works is simple. They get a kickback from you shopping at a store they referred you to and they give part of that kickback to you via a rebate check once each quarter. Its simple to use and I love those checks coming in "rewarding" me for shopping online.

So anyway, back to the deal.
Go to ebates(sign up link here)
Search for "Dickies"
Click on the link for the store
Click on the "Clearance" link
Shop, fill your cart, go to check out.
Enter the code: HOT75 for an additional discount on the clearance items in your cart and FREE SHIPPING. I got this code from the blog Frugal Freelancer
Check out. You can pay with paypal or credit card.

I purchased a slub thermal hoodie and a slub thermal henley for back to school clothing. My total with tax was $10.88, SHIPPED!! Retail was $40!
And in a few weeks I will get my 3% back from ebates.
Shop now while there is plenty to choose from!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cholesterol and the High Fat Diet

Years ago when I invested in a copy of Nourishing Traditions for myself, I read how changing my diet to include rich fats, whole milk and grass fed beef would help, not hinder my body and its health. At that time, my cholesterol was creeping up toward 185 and I was following in the steps of both my parents who have high cholesterol. I did not want to add cholesterol lowering drugs to my daily regime and felt that diet was my best course of action. What I read made sense to me. Cholesterol has become a big problem with today's processed foods and I felt like limiting that and reintroducing all the foods from days gone by would be a good move. If I had told my doctor that, I am certain he would have laughed at me and wrote a prescription for Lipitor.

When you think of using diet to adjust your cholesterol, you probably think of oatmeal, cheerio's, lots of vegetables, heart-healthy diet meals, no trans-fats, not saturated fats, etc.  Even if you start taking the statin drugs to lower the numbers, you will still be told that you should drink skim milk(blech) and use margarine. If you've been reading my posts, you already know how I feel about these products and while I have been vocal about my distaste for overly processed foods, I have not had(until now) something to back up what I have been saying all along, aside from the well document research of Dr Weston A. Price.

In my recent quest to discover the cause of my dizzy spells, I had blood tests run per the advice of my nutritionist. I have not had a CBC and Cholesterol test for about 4 years now. The last one I had said my cholesterol was: Decidedly Bad.
Not good.

I am thrilled to say that after three years of eating butter, drinking whole milk products, eating whole milk cheeses, eating beef, cooking in lard and doing all of the things that the professionals say NOT to do, my cholesterol is down. Yes, down. It is now 155. My good cholesterol is now at a healthy 63 and my LDL is down to 83. The end results of my going on a traditional foods diet were all positive. So, I encourage you to look at Traditional foods. Research it for yourself. Take some time to read about why those fats are good for you and how they make your body run properly.

Related Articles

Green Pastures New Flavors

Green Pastures now has three new flavors of their high vitamin fermented cod liver oil; Licorice, Ginger and Peppermint. The new flavors are "kid tested" and have great ratings. If you haven't found a favorite yet, you might want to give these new ones a try!  The new flavors are emulsified, so the bottles are 8oz(237 ml) and contain 64 servings. You will find them easy to serve on a spoon rather than using the dropper like you do with the liquids.

For more information, you can go to our Products page. Flavor availability has changed.

Friday, May 6, 2011

FDA Agents Launch Covert Ops Against Raw Milk Buyers Group

FDA Agents Launch Covert Ops Against Raw Milk Buyers Group

I find it completely ridiculous that the government finds that this is something they should spend our tax dollars on. Raiding private homes, filing injunctions on Amish farmers. Its ridiculous!! This latest raid has scared off the farmer we have done business before and its not right. People knowingly participate in these co-ops. They know the products are not processed and are raw. They know its not pasteurized. They WANT this milk. They love it and if you've tried it, you KNOW what I am talking about. These co-op members don't want the white trash sold at the local store.

Why does the government want it stopped? Not to protect us. No, they want to keep Big Dairy happy. Those lobbyists do not like the little Amish man to get any of the big dairy pie. It must be stopped! grrrr....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Become a Beyond Organic Insider

Beyond Organic will open to the public in October of this year. Set to offer everything from grass-fed beef and raw milk products to specialized probiotic products they plan to do large group buys, which will hopefully mean affordable organic products for you and me. If you join the network now, its a FREE membership and you will get to try their new products before anyone else. Click here to join!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What, Me? Gluten-Free??

Last year in the spring, I experienced a sudden bout of severe vertigo that sent me to the hospital. The hospital filled me with fluids, ran no tests, sent me home with 3 prescriptions and told me to see an ENT. I do not particularly care for going to doctors, so I pretended the entire, very expensive experience didn't happen. That worked fine for me until about 5 months later when I experienced the same thing. This time requiring an ambulance to take me from the bathroom floor to the hospital. Again, same treatment when I arrived, fluids, drugs and "see ya."  However, this time, my husband agreed with the emergency room doctor and I was to see an ENT right away.

So I did. In the interim, while I waited for my appointment(2 months later), I felt like I was constantly in a brain fog. It was almost like I was on Benedryl. I felt like I was about to slip into another dizzy spell almost every day. When I finally got to see the specialist, he determined that my hearing was fine and so was my balance. The next, most-likely-to-cause-vertigo diagnosis was Meniere's Disease. While my hearing was fine, he explained, I could be experiencing loss and not know it. The test only showed hearing levels that day and didn't show if I was losing some quality yet. So, we scheduled the test, which was going to be 3 months more when all was said and done.

In the meantime, I was still in my fog. My options were the prescriptions they gave me, which treated the symptoms or take matters into my own hands. About that time, my daughter was experiencing back pain after certain meals and wanted to go on a Common Foods Elimination Diet. I decided to do the same, suspecting that rather than some disease causing my dizziness, it might be a food intolerance. We started the diet together and all my symptoms went away about 2 weeks into it. Was I surprised? No, not really. More like annoyed. Did this mean I was going to be allergic to something I liked? Was I seriously going to be inconvenienced by yet another food allergy in our house? Meals were already a bit of a challenge, so I truly wasn't cherishing the idea of having to custom cook for myself too. I love to cook, don't get me wrong, but at the realization of this possible diagnosis, I had a *really* bad attitude.

We determined after our 6 week parlay with nothing interesting in our diets, that my middle child was truly lactose intolerant. So we switched her to coconut milk products. This I could deal with. My son, whom I have written about before, cannot eat standard dairy fare either. So I have learned to work with this type of challenge before. Once we determined that one allergy for my daughter, we both did what is the worst move you can make when on that diet. We stopped testing foods and just started eating normally. So all that detoxifying we did was undone in a few days and I was experiencing brain fog again. Pretty stupid on my part. I know better. But I was so tired of my limited diet and having solved the problem with my daughter, I was no longer motivated to continue for me.

My testing came and went and lo and behold, I did not have Meneire's. So I told the doctor about my diet. He didn't scoff at it. He said it sounded similar to what a person with migraines would do to prevent migraines. He recommended that I see a neurologist about possible inner ear migraines. I dutifully set up my appointment (2 more months away) and sat back and analyzed the situation. I have been to neurologists several times. After gobs of tests, nothing has ever been shown to be wrong. I have been prescribed medicines and sent on my merry way. The medicines don't get taken, the problem resolves itself and I am thankful for good insurance. However, this time, I don't have good insurance. I have what one would consider major medical. A hefty 10K deductible that I had NO intention of meeting(although the two hospital visits had me well on my way the previous year). So after tossing the idea around for a while, I cancelled the appointment and set off on a new and much more interesting path; Alternative medicine.

I found a Natural Doctor(ND) in my area and went to see her a few months ago. She started me off on a detoxification diet. She suspects that my Adrenal glands are exhausted and after my detox, which was quite different from the elimination diet I had been on, all my symptoms were once again gone and I felt a lot better. Just recently, per her instruction, I started having some lab tests done. Blood work and various other tests to see how my body is functioning. I don't have the results yet, but let me tell you what I have been doing. My diet has been very limited. I am adding one new food every few days and watching for any symptoms that might arise. I am almost to where my Common Foods Elimination Diet left me. My ND told me to avoid gluten, dairy, sugar and caffeine. Good thing I already gave up caffeine, because giving that up too would have sent me over the edge!  In addition to my new food guidelines, she gave me a book called The Anti-inflammation diet which has tons of new recipes that I can try, using the foods that I have added back in. One of the foods it says to avoid is gluten, which I have been doing. However, they suggested that a little Spelt now and then is okay. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat that has far less gluten and the book stated that it was okay to have. I had avoided it up until that point, but since the book said it was okay...

Anyway, when I was at my local Earth Fare, I saw Spelt tortillas. Now I love tortillas. I love wraps, burritos, chimichangas and anything else that gives me an excuse to use a tortilla. So, I decided to try them. The gluten free wraps sitting next to them were hard and the spelt tortillas were soft... I like soft. I don't like tortillas that crack when you roll them up. So... I did it. I got them.  I went home and immediately made myself an awesome wrap with spinach and pesto and carrot sticks and romaine and goat cheese and I gobbled it down; very happy with my new discovery. The tortilla was yummy and was almost as good as the ones I make for my family. Two hours later, my body was not so happy. I discovered that Spelt is not okay for me. Dizziness. NOOOOOO!!!! I cried inside. Not gluten, not that!! Its okay when it might be a problem food, but I don't want to ban it from my life. Not when I fix everything for my family with it. The chocolate cake on the counter after Easter was hard enough to avoid due to my ND's ban on sugar, but the idea of NEVER having it? What about pancakes and bread and spaghetti macaroni and cheese...Oh the agony... what's a girl to do?

After my little rant(not little really), I decided I could handle this. I immediately pulled out all my alternative flours that I used to survive the diets I had been on and started to experiment. I know I can make a cake with that stuff, I know I can. I will figure out bread too, and tortillas. I am up for the challenge...right after my fog-headedness goes away and I can think again...

I will return to my ND in a week or so, after she gets all the test results back. Hopefully they will show what is going on with my body and she will be able to recommend some dietary changes, aside from staying gluten-free, that I can make to feel better. In the meantime I will research recipes and continue to add the other foods that I haven't had yet and muster up the gumption to have a good attitude about being...gasp....gluten-free.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Alternative Health Care...a thing of the past?

If you have used a midwife to have your children, seen a Naturopath for what ails you or visited any other non-traditional doctor for your health, you will want to watch what is coming down the pike in North Carolina.

Senate Bill 31, which clarifies the penalties for the "unauthorized practice of medicine," will basically criminalizes the practice of unlicensed forms of medicine, which includes the work of many naturopaths, homeopaths, herbalists, aromatherapists, and even some midwives in the state. It states that anyone who practices medicine or surgery without having been first "licensed and registered to do so" will be guilty of a Class I felony. While the bill is intended to keep quacks from practicing in our state, but it also prevents people that cannot get a license to practice in our state because what they do hasn't been "approved" as a method that can be licensed. Class I felonies in NC are the least severe kinds of felonies, but SB 31 will essentially make those who practice alternative medicine without an official, state-sanctioned license and permit, criminals of the likes of sexual predators and cross burners. Doesn't seem right, does it? If we choose to see a person trained in a particular area of expertise such as herbs or homeopathic medicine so that we can avoid traditional medicines, they will now penalize the person that offers that expertise. Its already difficult enough to get insurance to cover methods that do work for people, so we pay full price for that. But now they are going to outlaw the practice too. Soon we won't have anyone to choose because why would a person want to offer their expertise if they will be slapped with a felony charge for doing so?!
You can read a shortened version of the bill by clicking here.

Whether or not you live in NC, this bill is setting a precedent of intolerance for natural and alternative medicine, so it is important to oppose it regardless of whether or you live in North Carolina or not. The NC House is set to debate and vote for final approval on SB 31 at 7:00 pm EST tonight, April 4th.

You can reach the NC House to oppose the bill by calling (919) 733-7928.

You can reach Governor Bev Perdue's Washington DC office to oppose the bill by calling (202) 624-5833.

If you decide to call, please remember to respectfully express your thoughts. Ranting and raging is not going to help. Clearly state your opposition to SB 31 because it is taking away our health care choices and our health freedoms because it penalizes people who practice alternative medicine.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Not on my watch

If you have a daughter and she is approaching puberty, you have most likely had the mind-blowing experience of having the doctor have you leave the room so they can talk to your daughter "in private." This is, of course, without even asking the child if they "want" that to happen. For most of us, we robotically left the room when this happened, somewhat dazed, and stood in the hall wondering what just happened and what could possibly be the need to leave. Later, once leaving the doctors office, you find that the doctor has probably asked your daughter if she is sexually active, if she would like to go on the pill and how she just MUST have the Gardasil vaccine to "protect" herself.  There are several issues that arise here for me and none of them are pleasant. Some of them are downright scary!

First off, we are being told to leave the room where our precious daughters are sitting and leave them with another adult whom we trust at some level, but they may or may not hold to our belief system. In my case, the doctor we were seeing most definitely did not, for when my daughter explained that she was NOT going to be active sexually until marriage, she was told she needed to be prepared "just in case." She was told all about sexually transmitted diseases and how she needed to protect herself. When this didn't get anywhere with her, the doctor suggested the possibility of rape, non-consensual sex, etc.  Thankfully, my daughter was prepared for this type of false logic and defended herself. As the parent, I am responsible for having this conversation with her. If I had chosen to let the doctor have this talk for me, that's fine. But shouldn't that be MY decision? Anyway, the doctor in disbelief, went on to tell my daughter about how she needed to protect herself from cancer with the vaccine with Gardasil. And how, even if she were to say inactive sexually till marriage, her future husband may be carrying the virus. When my daughter retorted that her husband would be pure as well, the doctor suggested that he might lie.

When I was finally allowed back in the room, I could tell from my daughter's face that the experience she had just had was less than pleasant. As we drove home that day, she recalled the events that took place, half mortified and half scared. I was livid! Needless to say we haven't been back to that doctor, but the thing is, this situation is happening all across the country. I have heard story after story from friends whose doctor's have done the same thing (with girls and boys alike) and they were completely taken aback by it, just as I was. Our parental rights are being shoved aside as doctors take it upon themselves in the name of Privacy Laws and the like to inform our children about their right to have sex and how to be protected "just in case." You might think to yourself that your doctor holds to your beliefs and that wouldn't happen, but it will. I think doctors are being brainwashed by the AMA into believing that we must be protected from ourselves. And I have read articles that parents WANT doctors to have the birds and bees conversation for them. What is that about?!

 Not too long after that visit I had my yearly physical with my gynecologist. Knowing he is a Christian AND a home school father, I asked him about the vaccine. He understood my concerns and my daughter's decision to stay pure. "But what if she gets raped?" he asked me.  I think my reaction told him what I thought of that. I asked, "What are the odds of that happening to a girl that is living at home, has taken a purity pledge, is going to a conservative Christian college and isn't dating? Furthermore, what are the odds that this rapist will have one of the four HPV strains that the vaccine prevents?" He smiled and said that he could see that I had researched this and that it clearly was a decision to be made as a family or personally and dropped it. But that initial AMA- or Merck-sponsored schpeal from my doctor? It scared me!

These days, its becoming increasingly more common for doctor's office to cite patient-doctor privilege when keeping parents in the dark about their own child's records. Numerous reports of parents being denied access to information, access to medical files regarding their child, and even denied the right to be present in the room when their child is being examined, have surfaced. While the frequency varies from state to state and doctor to doctor, it is occurring. Parentalrights.org has an interesting set of questions you can try answer in the form of a quiz. The answers will surprise you. Rights you assumed you had as a parent are no longer valid. So what happens if you refuse to leave? A friend have mine has had horrible experiences trying to speak for her child's wishes and refusing to back down. Fears of losing her children are easily validated with the reactions the medical community has when you balk at the system's way of doing things. Of course, homeschooling puts you on a watch list anyway since your kids are not getting access to private medical advice via the public schools. Add a religious choice to the mix and  you are sure to be flagged as trouble. So what's a parent to do? Choose your doctor carefully. Don't assume the same doctor you took your infant too will treat your teenager the same way and ask questions. Find out what they want to talk about, if they will make you leave and how they will handle your desire to avoid the situation all together.

My second big issue with this situation is the Gardasil Vaccine. There is a lot of marketing going on to convince you that you may be a failure as a parent if you don't protect your daughter. If your daughter is a young adult she is being told that her partner may carry it and she could get raped or if she is remaining pure until marriage, her future husband may have had premarital sex and acquired it. The thing about this vaccine is that it is not really what it says it is. If you think about it, you probably think it protects against cancer. Cancer is scary and marketing it as a cancer preventative is how they sell themselves. But listen to the commercials. In actuality, Gardasil is designed to prevent four strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which they say can lead to cancer. The National Cancer Institute has reported that cervical cancer is extremely rare in the United States. It estimates that of females that are born today, .68% of them will develop cervical cancer in their lifetime(that's a decimal in front of the 6). It also reports that HPV-16, one of the strains the vaccine is designed to protect you from) is found in approximately 50% of those cervical cancer cases(remember, less than 1% of women) that are linked to HPV. These are not 50% of all cancer cases, but 50% of cases where there is also evidence of an HPV virus. The virus itself is not the cause of the disease and it goes away in most cases without treatment. While researching this I found this interesting quote, that I have seen used in an edited form. It is on the National Cancer Institutes SEER publication on Cervical Cancer pg 84 and refers to a study in 2003 done by the NCI:

"Currently, epidemiological studies have revealed not only that women without HPV do not develop cervical cancer, but also that neither do most women with HPVA new generation of biomarkers should be investigated."

It would be easy to say that women without HPV do not develop cervical cancer and leave off the fact that neither do most women with HPV.

Other factors must be present for the virus to evolve into cancer. These factors include early onset of sexual activity, multiple sexual partners, and smoking. If you have already had the virus(for instance if you are a sexually active adult being told to have the vaccine), and you have already had or have the viruses it protects against, the vaccine does nothing to help you. In addition to it not exactly preventing cancer unless you use your imagination, there are over 100 types of HPV. So basically, it "could" protect you IF the person that your daughter marries had premarital sex with a girl who carried one of the 4(that's FOUR) different viruses that it protects against and she already is predisposed because she is sexually active, smoking or having sex with multiple partners, or has other factors that will lead to cervical cancer. Sounds promising, doesn't it?  Now I am not adamantly against vaccines, and I am certain in today's society, there are many women with those other markers that would benefit from the added protection(as little as it is), but quite frankly I don't feel that it warrants the scare tactics that are being used on young girls and their mothers that do not fit that profile. In addition to my cynical attitude toward this vaccine's abilities as a cancer prevention miracle, the vaccine has been shown to be downright dangerous. Do you want to risk your daughters health for this somewhat-sketchy protection?

I recently came across a YouTube video promoting a documentary about its dangers. You can view that here. If you google "guardasil vaccine" and add the word "dangers" to your search, you will be given plenty of opportunities to see how scary the vaccine is for some people.  There is an endless supply of horror stories and just reading the literature from the CDC or Merck, the vaccine manufacturer, should make you think twice. Especially since having regular pap smears (if you are sexually active) to detect precancerous cell development is the best way to prevent cervical cancer. Any doctor will tell you that the vaccine does not alleviate the need to have a yearly check-up.  The Gardasil vaccine costs $120 per dose and you must have three doses over a 6 month period to be fully immunized. Over 33 million doses have been distributed in the US. That's a pile of money and you know that is the drive to get people to have the vaccine.  So with that, I will end my little soap-box moment on this particular vaccine and move back to the purpose of this post, which is to make parents aware of the erosion of our rights  to parent our children and to forwarn you of the impending visit where you are asked to step out of the room...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cooking Traditional Foods Give Away

One of my dear friends, KerryAnn Foster has a great business. She develops recipes for people that have casien and gluten allergies that also want to eat nutritionally dense traditional foods. Recently she created a recipe for yogurt made with coconut milk. This is a wonderful treat since coconut yogurt is so expensive and I do not care for soy yogurt at all. This week she posted a recipe for donuts made without wheat flour. And they are nutritionally dense to boot!  What more can you ask for? Being able to make foods your kids want without having to subject them to all the nasty chemicals, preservatives and colorings sounds good to me. My son can't have those things so being able to give him treats like that really make his day. Today, she posted that she is going to give away a year's worth of her weekly recipe mailers. That would be a dream come true for me to have all those recipes to look forward to since I love to cook. She tests each and every one until she gets them just right, so you know they are good. Each menu mailer has five dinners (including side dishes), one breakfast, one soup and one dessert every week.  Just the time savings in menu planning makes it worth its weight in gold!  It contains a full menu, shopping list, a preparation plan, and serving suggestions for each meal.  Tips and information are included in every mailer as well. So head on over to her blog and check out this awesome contest.
You can find more information at Cooking Traditional Foods

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Better Seasoned Salt

2 T Redmonds Sea Salt
2 t evaporated cane juice
1 T kelp flakes
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t turmeric
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t arrowroot powder

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process for a few seconds to make into a fine powder. Pour blend into an empty spice container with a sprinkle lid. Keep in a cool dark place.