Friday, January 30, 2015

Holiday Dresses

So here I am taking about the holiday dresses when it is almost February. Shameful I know but I just won't feel caught up unless I get these posted.

I originally posted about Hannah's Thanksgiving dress here but didn't have the pictures of her in it at the the time. Seems I am very behind in all things again. Sometime in this life time I hope to be more timely. I've been told once my kiddo's are in full time school I'll be able to reclaim some time. I sure hope they are right.
Over the holiday's I was discussing with a friend how difficult it is to find long sleeve dresses for the holiday's. Seems like an odd thing to me that there aren't more. Because of this I gravitate to the sweater dresses (that are surprisingly short sleeve too)  that can be layered. I'm a crazy Mom who thinks her daughter should be warm during winter even if it's a special occasion.
I would have loved to make a more formal dress with long sleeves but it just wasn't in the cards between the typical holiday bluster, sicknesses and completing orders for others. Maybe next year I can plan better
At the last minute I put together more yo yo's (something nice to do while relaxing on the couch in the evenings) and attached them to some FOE (fold over elastic) I had on hand for a matching headband. I have to say the FOE is perfect for headbands, it is soft and has a nice gentle give. Hannah calls it her princess crown.

I realized when I went to put together a quick Christmas dress for Hannah that I have never made a tiered dress for her. I've made gobs of  tiered dresses for others and a few circle skirt dresses for Hannah but never a tiered one. 
I thought it was time to give her one. I have been hording Christmas fabrics over the years only buying the ones I really like (which there is usually only one of each year). I hope to quilt together some for stockings and tree skirt some day but this year I felt that this dress was worthy of depleting some of my stock. 
In the end I really wasn't disappointed not the having the shiny satin or velvet dress this year. Hannah loved it in all it's simplicity and I loved that she could wear it all Christmas Day comfortably. 
By the end of Christmas day it was well worn, covered in chocolate and what ever else she got in to that day. I tossed it in the washer with all the other clothes, no added steps and it came out like new. I did make her a matching yo yo headband to go with this dress too. It however, didn't fair as well. Her brother was using it like a rubber band to get a rise out of her (successfully) and one of the yo yo came undone.  Ah, sibling love : )
Oh I forgot to mentioned, the middle layer is sparkly. That made it all the more princess-y in her eyes.

It's a bit late but I hope you all had a blessed Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by the nest.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Detox & Garlic Salad Dressing Recipe

Well I wasn't to far off with my recent lentil soup recipe post. It fit my qualifications for a detox recipe. According to the reading I've done it contains a few cleansing ingredients. Lentils for fiber and garlic and onions for cell development and protection. Plus I had always heard that garlic is great for fighting general illnesses and bacteria growth. The next time I think I will try using thyme instead of oregano since it to has healing powers too according to those who are experts. I also read here how (beef) bone broth is excellent for brain cell development and health. So maybe next time try bone broth in place of the box stock. The rest of the ingredients are at least benign and aren't on the experts avoid list. And I am happy to say my family ate the soup with out complaint (well at least most of us, my daughter is going through that picky eater toddler phase).

Let me be clear I am not an expert in these matters, I am just an every day Mom who need to expedite feeling better after a horrible eating jag. I figured why not share recipes for healthy meals my family will eat that, according to experts, contain detoxifying ingredients to speeds up healing. From the looks of it I already of a stash of healthy meals that may need a little tweaking but fit the bill. I have put together short list of good and avoid foods for detoxing (according to experts, ie. not me). 

beans & lentils


grains containing gluten 

nitrates (found in most sausage, bacon & lunch meats)
animal fats

At the bottom of this post I included links to my source information.

I'm happy to see that my family already has the top two avoids under control. The caffeine is going to be a killer. I live on coffee. Got to say I don't see my family embracing the seaweed so don't plan on seeing that in any of my ingredients lists. I have read a lot of detoxing with smoothies, tea's and consuming random things through out the day. These are not for me and I can't imagine most family households that struggle getting a meal on the table that appeals to everyone is hard enough than to add in these new routines with things they don't already have in stock. However, from my perspective, that makes the avoid list all that more important. Plus it may take longer to reap the detox effects, which is OK with me, Its better than wasting money and food.

I am sure there are a lot of beneficial foods that are not on my list, like olive oil and coconut. This list is the most common I found across many experts detox lists. That doesn't make those foods bad they may just not be as detoxifying. Perfect example is the Bone Broth. It's very healthy for brain development but does not help or prevent detox. 

Alright enough with that lets get on with today's recipe. I call this recipe "Stacy's" Garlic Dressing since my awesome friend Stacy shared this recipe with me a few years ago. It uses several cloves of raw garlic with very little oil or vinegar. Its a good thing I have friends that love garlic as much as I do cause after eating this salad dressing you smell of garlic for day's but it is so worth it. My grandmother use to eat a raw garlic clove every day which I thought was weird but really when I think about it now this dressing isn't much different from that.  
Stacy's Garlic Dressing

6 cloves of garlic (fresh not bottled!)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Mince garlic in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper. Whisk in oil and vinegar. Serve over your favorite greens. A little goes a long way.

I think this dressing would be great over shredded cabbage for a coleslaw or on steamed broccoli. If you try this recipe on any thing interesting, leave me a comment and let me know how it tastes.

Thanks for stopping by the nest!


Source information:
Dr. Oz
Alt medicine
Eat Local Grown

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Lentil Soup Recipe

In our house New Year's Day is the day where we get back to better eating after all our holiday indulgences. As I may have mentioned in the past for the most part our family is gluten and casein (dairy) free. However for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations I make exceptions. Well today I feel like crap and every aspect of my being reflects this: my energy, my mood and I feel like I am on the verge of a cold. It's a firm reminder of why we practice gluten and casein free eating. And for all you sceptics, no I did not drink alcohol at all this season, since I have a baby it just puts me to sleep.
You would think year after year of going through this I would remember and use better restraint. Since I am so stubborn I think I need to put together a new year's week long family friendly detox menu to use every year. Since I have not done my research yet I am going to start out with sharing my lentil soup recipe. It may not be detoxifying but it is pretty healthy so I will start there.

This recipe contains Worcestershire sauce which can contain gluten if the wrong brand is used. As with all gluten and casein free eating, read your labels to ensure they contain safe ingredients.

Lentil Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups/16oz of dried brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
8 cups beef stock (vegetable or chicken stock work well too)
1 14.5 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Saute onion, celery, carrots and salt till translucent. Add black pepper and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add lentils, stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, parsley and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a bubble then reduce to low. Covered and simmer for 2 hours. Stir in vinegar and serve.

Sausage variation (pictured above)
If you are not looking for an overly healthy but yummy lentil soup recipe I like to brown a pound of a good smoked sausage or kielbasa, diced, in the pot first. Then I remove it from the pot and drain off all but 1 tbsp of the fat to cook the vegetables in instead of the olive oil. Then continue with the rest of the above cooking instructions. Add sausage to the soup with the vinegar. Simmer for a few extra minutes to warm through the sausage again.

I hope your family is having a wonderful Christmas Season and a Happy New Year!

Thanks for stopping by the nest and God bless!