Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Crudite and Dip

Pumpkin Face Appetizer http://www.glutenfreematters.com

I saw this Halloween Crudite and dip on Pinterest a few years ago. Although I thought it was really cute, I never attempted to make it - until tonight.

We are going to my son and daughter in laws house for Halloween dinner and my daughter in law asked me to bring a salad and dressing. Although I'm also bringing a salad, I decided to also make the crudite and dip because I always wanted to try it!

It was easy to make , a delight to look at, and healthy to eat! 

I used lebaneh and humus for the dips- 

Halloween Pumpkin Face Appetizer http://www.glutenfreematters.com

Happy Halloween!
I used 2 bags of baby carrots, a handful of parsley for the stem. 6 cherry tomatoes for the mouth- and 3 small bowls for the dips. 
Dips: Humus
Dips: Greek Yogurt 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Herbal Teas- The Perfect Bone Strengthener ?

I wanted to add more bone building and strengthening vitamins and minerals to my diet . I was reading some articles that suggested infusing herbal teas is a great way to do it. 
Herbal teas are made from nutritive herbs that have pleasant tastes and are easy to make.

You are probably most familiar with herbs like chamomile, peppermint, and hibiscus which are commonly found in commercially sold tea bags, but herbs like dandelion, nettle and oat straw are less familiar and usually need to be ordered on line or purchased in some health food stores .

These wonderful herbal teas come in bulk and are prepared by making an infusion.
Infusing tea is as simple as boiling water, adding the tea and allowing it to steep for a specified amount of time. Generally an hour or longer.

It seems that the vitamins and the minerals that are stored in the roots and leaves of the herb have traditionally been used for centuries by herbalists who suggest remedies to their clients for the medicinal and nutritive benefits.

This formula is known as a bone building formula  because herbs like nettle and dandelion, oatstraw, and horsetail are rich in calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients needed for bone building or mending. Also for hair, teeth, nails.

Bone building Herbal Teas

These are the main nutrients found in each herb, but they also contain other nutrients in lesser amounts plus trace nutrients
***Oatstraw- rich in calcium and magnesium ( oatstraw is not gluten free unless labeled certified gluten free)
Nettle leaf- Vit C and D , Calcium Magnesium and zinc
Dandelion leaf- rich in Vit A , C, and D and iron, zinc, and magnesium
Horsetail- contains silicon which is necessary for good bone density
Stevia leaf tea- a natural herb that adds a sweet taste without affecting blood sugar levels and also contains vitamins and minerals. This is not the powder- this is the actual leaf cut up.

The herbs are often sold in bulk and are dried and cut so they are ready to use for tea. I like making tea because I find it easily digestible making it perfect for me with celiac. ( however, I would never try something new without checking with your medical doctor first especially if you are taking medications)

Recipe for Bone Building Tea Infusion

I like to make my tea infusions in a mason jar. Caution: I Make sure to rinse the jar with warm water first ( so I don't add boiling water to a cold jar) and place a metal spoon to help distribute heat in the jar before adding the boiling water. I cover loosely, but never seal the with its lid ( I use a different cover)

1. Mix together 1 tablepsoon of each herb (  nettle, dandelion, and horsetail ) and add to mason jar.
2. cover with 8 cups  of boiling water ( I let the boiling water cool for a few minutes)
3. Cover and steep for 4 hours or overnight is best.
4. Strain and Drink 3-4 cups daily ( refrigerate to store for up to 3 days)

If you prefer using tea bags: I would only use only when traveling-bc there are only small amounts in each bagNettle leaf tea bag

***Please note that Nettle leaf and Stinging Nettle leaf are the same product ( they use the name interchangeably)

I read more ideas on how to use tea for bone building on Susan Weed  who is an herbalist who teaches about using tea for nutrition. I recently listened to a lecture and she said it is best to steep your tea separately like a container of nettle and a container of horsetail. She also recommends red clover tea .

Read the reviews on Amazon of the benefits people share 
If you read the reviews on Amazon by individuals using these products, they will help you understand how beneficial nutritive herbal teas are. In addition to helping build and mend bone growth, the nutrients in these teas ( and other teas) people are using them for  allergies, edema, hair, nails, joint pain, muscle pain and more -

I am not an expert- I am just starting to use nutritive herbal teas- so I will keep you posted on the results and benefits. I'm looking to strengthen my nails, bring more vitality to my hair, and strengthen my bones - I will let you know as soon as I see ( or don't see) results.

Nettle leaf Tea:

Dandelion Leaf Tea:

Horsetail :

*** my good friend Laura and Co- Author of Food No Matter What is an expert on making herbal tea infusions. She suggested to me that I grind ( not to a powder) the loose tea in a coffee grinder before infusing. ( I believe it is to make the tea stretch further) Laura correct me if I am wrong! - gotta give Laura a plug for her newest book which is an actually an exciting time travel book

Frontier Natural Products Organic Horsetail Herb (Shavegrass) Cut and Sifted -- 16 oz

Frontier Stinging Nettle Leaf - Cut & Sifted - Organic - 16 Ounces

Dandelion Leaf Cut & Sifted Organic - 1 lb,(Frontier)

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I am not trying to diagnose or treat disease. The information in this post and on my blog are strictly for educational purposes. I am sharing what I am doing. Always consult your doctor before taking herbs or making any changes in your diet especially if you are taking medication. Herbs can interfere with medicine- so check with your doctor before trying any herbal tea.

I'm sharing this post on Weekend Cooking at  Beth Fish Reads where anyone can share a food related post!

I am an affiliate for Amazon and like most bloggers will receive a very small compensation from Amazon if you click on a link from my blog and make a purchase. It helps me defray the cost of running a blog. ( this does not affect your cost in any way) I appreciate your support- thanks

Food No Matter What! Stories & Recipes for Perfect Dining in an Imperfect World

The Summerman Time Travel Matchmaking Agency - Book One: Open for Business

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wordless Wednesday- Washington Crossing Historic Park


This is the Delaware River where George Washington crossed to New Jersey for
The Battle of Trenton in 1776. It was Christmas Eve and the Delaware River
was frozen at that time.

Famous photo of George Washington crossing the Delaware to the
Battle of  Trenton in 1776
                        One of the Houses where George Washington resided River est 1776

Bucks County is one of the most beautiful areas on the East coast. It's also a historic area.

The town of Washington Crossing, Pa. is where George Washington crossed the Delaware River to go into the town of Trenton to fight the Hessians. It was one of the important battles that helped the colonies win their independence from Britain during the War of Independence.

Today was a beautiful day. We had  lunch at the Washington Crossing Inn located on the bank of the Delaware River

After lunch, we walked around and I took some photos. .

Blacksmith's house

Sign for the Washington Crossing Inn where we had lunch in the historic town 

Steel bridge rebuilt in 1905 after wooden brush was washed out
Since it was built in 1905, it is very narrow and many drivers hold their breath when they drive across
Madelyn if you are reading this you may remember driving over this bridge...
Washington Crossing, Pa  to New Jersey ( Trenton)

Sharedon  Wordless Wednesday at Beth Fish Reads
Wordless Wed on Tuesdays wordless on tuesday http://thesimpleyear.com/, image in ing, 
ClaireJustine linky  and Saturday snapshot hosted by West Metro Mommy  Create with Joy bethere2day nanahood

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Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.

Bad Cold: Good Hack

I've had a Bad cold for the past 6 days and have been going through tissues like crazy. BUT I found a great hack on Pinterest.

I stationed myself in my personal "office" at home to keep the germs confined to one area as much as possible.

The room is entirely mine and houses my computer in front of two bright windows,  a large comfy sofa, a cozy upholstered chair near the window, my supply of essential oils, and my essential oil diffuser. 

To date, I've gone through 2 and half boxes of tissues, taken my temperature excessively, drank liters of herbal teas, applied Thieves Essential oil to my feet , chest, and diffuser and been combing Pinterest mindlessly and obsessively and eaten lots of homemade broths and soup. 

I made this soup in 10 minutes

 I was on Pinterest early this morning and found a good hack for when you have a bad cold

Here is The Hack I Learned From Pinterest

This is a cool hack for disposing dirty tissues when sick. It helps stop the spread of germs and is economical and planet conscious.

 Use an empty tissue box for your dirty tissues instead of a plastic bag or garbage can. No one including yourself will have to empty the germ-y garbage. When the empty tissue box is full of dirty tissues- just discard! AND if you grab a tissue- you know just where to dispose of it!!

What do you do when you have a cold? Do you stay in one room or do you go about business?
I like to confine myself and my germs; my husband doesn't.. It's a big problem..
What do you do ?/

Don't forget to leave me a comment...

Pumpkin Chocolate Pudding Mousse

Want to satisfy your sweet tooth without any refined sugars? Do you love rich dark chocolate and creamy spicy pumpkin? This delicious ( gluten free and vegan) pudding/ mousse contains both!!

Make it in 5 minutes
I made the portions small because this dessert is truly rich and decadent yet,  made it in just 5 minutes in the blender with simple healthy ingredients. That's right- no cooking or baking involved. Just blend and chill! It made 6 small bowls.

vegan chocolate pudding

It is so good you could serve it to your finest company and yet so easy and healthy you could indulge yourself every night!!

My Memories of Chocolate Pudding
When I was a young girl, my mother used to have a special snack waiting for me in the refrigerator when I returned home from school. In those days the neighborhood kids walked to elementary school, which could be anywhere from one to twenty blocks. My special snack was often chocolate pudding. It was my favorite and created wonderful memories for me of my school years. The routine of a special snack after the long walk and then homework was a good one. 

My pumpkin chocolate mouse is entirely different than the chocolate pudding/mousse my mother used to make, but it brings back the same good feeling.

I made this dessert for my husband. When I served it after dinner, his eyes lit up and the little boy in him enjoyed his special dessert.

The pumpkin is mild and blends beautifully with the rich cocoa for a very interesting flavor.

make your own pumpkin puree

The ingredients are healthy and naturally gluten free
This dessert is a healthy one containing avocado, pure cocoa, pumpkin puree, almond milk, dates, and some mashed banana. It's an after school treat that is nutritious and would delight any of your little ones, especially those that need a healthy gluten free snack!

Or if pumpkin is not their or your thing, the basic recipe lends to variations of flavors and also can be made as plain chocolate pudding. 

Serve it for dessert at an elegant dinner party or make it for yourself for a snack. Either way you will be pleased with the results.

Fall is pumpkin time and it's easy to make your own pumpkin puree from the smaller sized sugar pumpkins that are sold in Trader Joe's, farm stands, etc.

You can also make your own pumpkin spice mix from spices you already have in your kitchen.


2 Hass Type avocados, cored and scooped out
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
3 pitted dates soaked in 1/2 cup almond milk for at least half hour to soften ( add both)
1/2 cup of organic cocoa
1/3 cup of mashed banana
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup ( optional- I left it out)
1/2-1 teaspoon of pumpkin Pie spice

Place all of the ingredients ( avocado, pumpkin puree, banana, dates, almond milk, cocoa, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon,)  in a strong blender. Blend and scraping the sides with a spatula as needed. Remove from the blender and divide into small serving size little bowls. Garnish with a thin slice of strawberry.

Variation Suggestions:  add ½  - 1 tsp. (depending on your  preference) of  vanilla extract, cayenne, or peanut butter.  Add a little stevia instead of maple syrup. Omit the pumpkin and pumpkin spices and add more mashed banana. Basic Chocolate Pudding recipe: chocolate pudding. 

If you are a fan of pumpkin try my easy  Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Top with vegan whipped cream made from coconut milk
                   Use this whipped coconut cream RecipeJunior GF Chefs.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Roasted Acorn Squash and Pear Soup

Fall has officially begun, so I say bring on all the wonderful fall produce!! 

You will love this flavorful soup made with roasted acorn squash and sweet yellow Bartlett pears. 

Winter squashes like acorn squash make wonderful fall soup that can be delicious warm or just as good chilled.

With the fall weather vacillating between chilly nights and warm sunny days, this is the perfect soup . On an unseasonably warm day, eat this chilled soup chilled topped with chopped dates, cinnamon, gorgonzola cheese, pecans, and chopped pear.

I made this soup in three simple steps!

1. Roast the squash in the oven-

2. Blend in the blender

 3.  Eat or Chill 

Wash, cut , and core acorn squash 

Turn squash face down on parchment covered cookie sheet.. Place seeds alongside to roast.
I think that acorn squash seeds taste better than pumpkin seeds!

Once the squash is roasted, the soup itself can be made in minutes.

Acorn squash can be very sweet , especially when roasted in the oven. 
The seasonal yellow pears add an additional lovely flavor. 
But it is the toppings that bring it home for me!

The seeds need to be removed from the cookie sheet as soon as they turn brown. You can use a separate cookie sheet if you prefer. They are delicious and worth saving!!

The soup itself is vegan and of course totally gluten free- your toppings can be vegan or you can add blue cheese like I did!

Pears and blue cheese or gorgonzola chunks are a marriage made in heaven!

In the past there was some concern to as whether blue cheese was gluten free. It turns out it is!!

If you would like to know more read :  Is it safe to eat Blue Cheese on a gluten free diet?

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Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Baking Time: 40 minutes 
Blend Time: 5 minutes


1 acorn squash- washed,  cut in half and seeded
Save and wash the seeds and then toss in some olive oil and salt
2 yellow pears, peeled, cored, and quartered + a third pear to chop for garnish
4 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees
On a parchment lined rimmed cookie sheet, place the acorn squash halves face down. Pierce the halves with a fork to allow steam to escape. On the same cookie sheet place the seeds from inside the squash. Place in oven for around 40 minutes or until squash is tender ( time will vary depending on the size of your acorn squash.) 
When the squash is tender, remove from the oven,  turn the squash face side up and scoop out the flesh. When cool, place in a strong blender along with the pears, vegetable broth, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and then divide among individual serving bowls. 
Eat at room temperature or warm or chill and serve cold . 

You can go crazy with the toppings

Chopped pears, cinnamon, gorgonzola cheese, blue cheese, candied pecans, pecans, chopped dates- make it your way!!

Shared on Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or samie 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wordless Wednesday




 shared on the following Wordless Wednesday blog carnivals:
 Wordless Wednesday at Beth Fish Reads, Wordless Wed on Tuesdays wordless on tuesday http://thesimpleyear.com/, image in ing, ClaireJustine linky  and Saturday snapshot hosted by West Metro Mommy  Create with Joy bethere2day nanahood