Monday, October 31, 2011


I've been dying to make these treats for Halloween.  Believe it or not, you can make Caramel Corn that won't give your dentist or your naturopathic doctor a heart attack. That's because it's made using brown rice syrup which is gentler sweetener that actually requires your body to take a bit more time to digest than refined sugar.  Which is a good thing.   I can't stop stuffing myself with the candy corn.  While this healthier twist on a traditional treat may not be appropriate for doling out to trick or treaters, it is a definite must try for the family and close friends at this special time of year.  Welcome Ancient Ones!  Happy Samhain!

Candy corn is a festive seasonal confection that is easy to make.   I am 
especially pleased to say that this recipe won’t rot your teeth. 

8 cups popped organic popcorn kernels– about 1/2 cup dry 
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil 
1/2 cup organic brown rice syrup 
1/4 cup organic almond or peanut butter 
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Heat ingredients in a saucepan until liquefied, about 5 minutes. 
Stir until well blended.  Slowly pour mixture over popcorn while mixing.  
Let cool and enjoy, or then transfer the popcorn mixture to a glass baking 
pan and bake in the oven at 350 degrees.  Be careful not to scorch it– check 
every 3 minutes or so until slightly browned and crunchy. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011


     This is my second post today, but I just have to belatedly say how much I am totally digging the Occupy Wall Street movement.  It is so refreshing to see people finally speaking out against tyranny and greed.  Woo hoo!
     Okay, so now that autumn is in full swing, I am enjoying the simmering stews and stocks which warm our souls.  Today, I am making a huge pot of beef stock so that I can make some good old fashioned onion soup sometime soon, maybe this week.  It's been on the stove all morning and I'll probably turn it off tonight before we go to bed.  I made it extra delicious by roasting the bones in the oven before I added the water and vegetables.  Yum.
     Oh!  and how can I forget to mention how excited I am about enrolling myself in a Holistic Nutrition Program?!  Yes, as soon as I complete all the reading, assignments and tests, I will be a Holistic Nutritionist.  Watch out world.


Autumn is the time of year to harvest wild rose hips.  They are the beautiful red orbs the roses leave behind after they've blossomed and shed their petals. Everyone is crazy about tropical super foods like goji berries and acai, but what about rose hips?  They are one of the highest sources of Vitamin C!  There is still so much for me to learn about this land I live on, as I have yet to really wander and identify the local flora and fauna.  Our own property doesn't grow very many rose bushes so I was wondering where on earth I could go close by that was plentiful and easy to access between naps and snacks with two kids.  Everyday when we go for a walk I see wild rose hips growing on the side of the road, but know that those are not good for picking and consuming because they've been poisoned by the cars.  So, when I noticed the abandoned house on our street whose yard is full of wild rose bushes I decided to wander on over and pick a few.  That's when I heard the dog bark and the next door neighbour come out onto his deck.  I kept on picking anyway figuring it wasn't his property and I was only gently wildcrafting. We're a pretty harmless and non-threatening crew (wee Faegan and momma with a babe on back) so he left us alone, but I had a feeling he was wondering why we were there.  We came home with a small basket of goodies, but I wanted more rose hips.  That's when I decided to ask my sweet neighbour Karen for help.  They have a gorgeous piece of land next to us, and as it turns out, FULL of rose hips!  I left the babe at home with papa and Faegan and I set out one sunny afternoon to pick to our heart's content.  We were fortunate to even have some help from Karen and her daughter's who picked the prickly rose hips with us.  
We picked until I had to come home to feed the baby and then, when everyone was asleep I got busy preserving the harvest.  I opted for the no-cook methods which preserve the heat sensitive Vitamin C in the fruit.  So now that the harvest is in and "marinating", we can sit back and wait a couple of weeks before we sample the goods.

organic local apple cider vinegar
wild rose hips

Method:  Half fill a clean, sterile glass jar with chopped rose hips.  Fill the rest of the jar with vinegar.  Seal with a layer of wax paper to prevent the lid from rusting.  Shake everyday for about 2 weeks and then strain.  Use in salad dressings.


wild rose hips

Method:  Place whole, clean rose hips in a food dehydrator and dry until all the moisture is removed.  Chop them coarsely in a food processor and then sift to remove the hairs.  Store in a glass jar and use them to make a nutritious tea all winter.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I am so in love with herbs.  This past week the herbal "bug" has hit me again and all I want to do is putter in the kitchen and make potions and concoctions.  Last weekend found me wandering through the yard, observing the dying of the plant world all around me, when I realized some of my herbs were still hanging in there.  
Even though they were not in their prime harvesting state I brought them in and hung them to dry.  Little bundles of rosemary, marjoram, thyme and tarragon hung from every corner of the kitchen for a few days and were then removed from their stems by little helping hands (Faegan's) and mommas one afternoon.  
Once dried there wasn't very much, but we now have four little jars of homegrown herbs to use in winter cooking.
     My father adores my herbal healing ointment and has been running low on it for some time.  I finally got around to making a batch to bring him when I visit my parents in Ontario in a few weeks.  I haven't made a batch of this stuff since I sold my natural skin care company 3 years ago!  Good thing it lasts a long time when stored in the refrigerator.
     While I was in the herbal mood, I decided to make Scott some manly man herbals.  The best way to get a guy to ingest herbs is to make them into chocolate.  Rosemary Gladstar has a a great recipe for Energy Balls that contain ginseng, pumpkin seeds, gotu kola and spirulina that is perfect for keeping my man in tip top shape.  Bonus!  he even like them.
by Rosemary Gladstar

3 parts organic pumpkin seeds, powdered
2 parts organic Siberian ginseng powder
1 part organic ginkgo or gotu kola powder
1 part organic ginseng powder
1/2 part organic spirulina powder
1 cup organic tahini
1/2 cup local honey
1/2 cup organic crushed almonds
organic coconut, cocoa powder, raisins, chocolate chips, goji berries, bee pollen

Method:  Combine the powdered herbs and spirulina, mix well.  Combine the sesame butter and honey together, to form a paste.  Add enough of the powdered herbs to thicken the paste, then add the almonds and any other additions you like.  Roll into walnut sized balls.  Eat two daily.

     The jar of red clover blossoms I harvested last spring came in handy last night when I blended a Women's Liver Tonic Tea for myself to have on hand at tea time.  I am loving getting back into making actual infusions instead of just quick teas, which boosts the healing power of the plants.  
by Rosemary Gladstar

3 parts organic nettle leaf
2 parts organic dandelion leaf
2 parts organic lemon balm
2 parts organic red clover blossoms
1 part organic alfalfa leaf

Method:  Combine all herbs together and store in a jar.  Prepare as an infusion by boiling 1 cup of water per tablespoon of herbs.  Pour water over the herbs and let steep for 30-60 minutes.
     All this herbal activity has inspired me to get out there and pick some wild rose hips, and to plan a more elaborate and productive herb garden for next year.  Green Blessings everyone!

Monday, October 17, 2011


If you haven't already noticed, I tend to bake a lot.  It appears I have a bit of a sweet tooth!  So here I go again, posting another recipe for a dessert.  I'm still making my way through that bag of wild cranberries in my freezer, so I made a delicious bread pudding sweetened with my ultimate favorite thing, maple syrup.  Good thing we had a pint of Rice Dream Vanilla frozen dessert in the freezer, because if there is one thing that this bread pudding screams for, it's vanilla ice cream.  I've got to be honest, this dessert is really good.  So good, I had three helpings.  Seriously.  

8 ounces thinly sliced organic bread (I used the the Boulangerie la Vendeenne's Organic Spelt bread leftover from lunch)
organic butter
2 cups organic whole milk 
2 organic eggs
2/3 cup local maple syrup
1/4 tsp pure organic vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup local wild cranberries

Method:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Butter a 2 quart baking dish, set aside.  Bake the bread on a cookie sheet until it is dry, about 12 minutes.
     In a bowl, whisk the milk together with the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and salt.  Tear the bread into chunks and add to the bowl, along with the cranberries, stir until the bread is coated and begins to soak up the milk.  Pour the bread into the baking dish.  Let stand at least 10 minutes, or in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.
     Dot the surface of the pudding with little dabs of butter, and bake about 30 minutes.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011


As much as I have been loving the cooler temperatures we've been experiencing lately, today's warm sun made a most beautiful sunset, complete with my loving family around me.  Something about the light made the eyes of my baby and husband so vibrant and well, blue.  I had to take a picture, and as I did I thought to myself, wow, I am so digging my man right  
We were outside with the kids filling the bird feeders with the seeds Scott harvested from his very own sunflowers.  One of the saddest things I have chosen to do is to stop purchasing bird seed because it comes packaged in plastic bags.  So it was with great delight that I filled the feeders tonight with seeds that came direct from the garden.  So of course, I had daydreams of growing fields of sunflowers......

This week I have also really been loving roasted vegetables.  I know, I know, they are so 90's, and so overdone.  But when you only eat tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and zucchini when they are in season they become a rare delicacy.  We've been eating roasted veg in everything from pasta, panzerottis and quiche.
 The last leaves of lettuce in the garden have been tasting awesome dressed in this Maple Soy Vinagrette from Recipes from the Root Cellar.  I know I keep mentioning this cookbook, but that is because I am really diggin it.

2 Tbsp organic balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp local maple syrup
2 Tbsp organic tamari
2 cloves organic garlic
1 1/2 inch piece of organic ginger
3 Tbsp organic e.v olive oil

Method: Blend and enjoy.

One of my greatest pleasures in being a mother is revisiting the wonderful world of childhood with my son.    I love sharing songs, stories, games and toys from my own childhood, as well as introducing both of us to new and exciting things.  Being a child of the 80's I myself was totally immersed in television and plastic culture, so it is fun exploring a whole new world that doesn't include these things.  Each day is an adventure into story, fantasy, nature and parenting.  I am learning so much about myself as a person as I strive to be a loving parent and person, the likes of which I would want my child to model.  No doubt, this is a very challenging process, but at moments like this one right now I am so diggin being a mom.  I am really loving awakening creativity within myself, and enjoying the creativity of others.
  Right  now I am reading The Compete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales and can't wait until Faegan is a bit older to share the tales with him.  But for now I am just relishing the rich imagery and fantasy of it all.....

Sunday, October 2, 2011


To say that I am diggin my Gong is an understatement.  I am blown away and am in awe of my Gong.  I am blessed to share the practice of Kundalini Yoga every Saturday afternoon with some beautiful people at All Yoga in Dartmouth.  To celebrate, I carted my Gong over to the studio and it is now the Gong-in-Residence, which I use when I teach to immerse the group in it's healing sounds which moves us beyond the boundaries of our minds.  Wow, or as we like to say in Kundalini Yoga, Wahe Guru! 
     For all you mothers out there, you know how important it is to nurture your children.  I hope you also know how important it is to nurture yourself too.  I often forget this, especially with a young infant to care for, as well as a three and a half year old, a husband, goats, chickens, turkeys, and a household to manage.  Anyway, I've committed to putting a little more effort in doing things that recharge my batteries so I can be a healthier, happier me.  This includes booking a healing massage once a month, which I've done twice thus far.  What a beautiful thing a massage is.  Afterwards I feel so light and well, content.  As I am driving home I look at people in their cars and on the street and I think to myself, "wow, if everyone had a massage, we could all feel this good and the world would be a very different place."  It is such a simple thing, but such a huge thing at the same time.  So I am definitely digging the massages. 
     In addition to the lovely massage sessions, I also do simple things like give myself home spa treatments.  Most of the time I don't put any effort in how I look, and never put anything on my face except shea butter and olive oil when I get out of the shower.  A couple of weeks ago I took the extra few minutes to prepare myself a nice natural cleanser based on the formulation I made for my former company Anointment.  I then slather my face in Tangled Gardens Rose Petal Honey to act as a "mask".  The final touches include some Anointment Rose Toner, and then a moisturizing dose of olive oil and shea butter.  
When I have lots of time this whole thing routine also includes a sugar or salt body scrub session and an herbal face steam.  I am definitely digging the self pampering.  Don't get me wrong though, the pampering isn't all easy peasy.  Oh no, I am a Kundalini Yogi after all, so I start the day off with those cold showers I mentioned in my last post, and then a few minutes of heavy duty Kundalini wake up exercises.  It's all about balance, ya know?