Sunday, November 25, 2012

Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

I am experimenting with some wheat free recipies.  Most will be gluten free as well, but what I am focusing on is reducing wheat consumption.  One thing I have learned is make sure all your ingredients are produced in a gluten/wheat free environment - you do not want cross contamination.  Check baking soda and baking power. 

This is an adaption from my Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes.  I tried using Oat flour instead.  The first one came out very flat, so I added xanthan gum and they turned out great.  One problem I came across is that the batter thickened up a bunch while cooking the pancakes.  Next time I will only use 2 cups of oat flour. 

The good news is that they turned out fantastic. 

Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

Adapted from
Serving Size:  1 pancake
Weight Watchers: 


  • 2 ½ cups Oat Flour (make sure it is not produced in a plant that contains wheat)
  • 2 tbsp xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ¾ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted + butter for frying
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100% pure maple syrup for serving


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Make a well (hole) in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the honey, eggs, milk, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Whisk together thoroughly, but do not over mix.
  3. Gently fold the mashed bananas into the batter with a spatula.
  4. Heat a griddle or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Swirl enough butter around the pan until it is well coated. Add pancake batter using a soup ladle. I used a 1/4 cup batter per pancake.
  5. When the pancakes have begun brown on the bottom, flip them over to cook the other side.
  6. Serve with warm maple syrup and a side of fruit. And don’t forget to freeze the leftovers for another day!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Am Thankful

I have seen many posts on facebook about what they are thankful for. I love this thought - but wished people would do it everyday.  When we focus on what we are thankful for - our brains are not as focused on what we are not thankful for.  We live in a world full of gripers, complainers and so many people who want to blame everyone instead of taking responsibility for the problems in their lives.  I have to admit that I am guilty of it also.  However, I really try to search for the positive in every situation - even if it is an opportunity for improvement in my life - even if the situation is hard. 

This post is going to be ongoing - I plan to update it regularly.  This is just what I thought of in 20 minute this morning. 

  • I am thankful for a cup of warm coffee on a cold morning.
  • I am thankful for rowdy, noisy, at times frustrating boys - because they are here.
  • I am thankful for autism, because it helps me see the world differently.
  • I am thankful for wheelchairs because it allows my mom to still go shopping with me.
  • I am thankful for technology that allows my husband to work with a great company based in New York, all from our home office. 
  • I am thankful for open hearts and minds.
  • I am thankful for a husband, who loves me and honors me despite all my flaws.
  • I am thankful for my heating pad.  It helps relax my tired muscles at the end of the day.
  • I am thankful for sons who will go get me another cup of coffee - just cause they know I like it.
  • I am thankful for a family who will give me big hugs and say thank you for meals I prepare - even when a new recipe fails. 
  • I am thankful for forgiveness - because I need it all the time.
  • I am thankful for learning new things - it keeps life interesting.
  • I am thankful for cell phones.  It helps me keep up with our crazy schedules.
  • I am thankful for Jon's iPhone as it is a perfect thing to take away when needed. 
  • I am thankful for X-Box live.  I love cooking in the kitchen and hearing Jon share his faith with people he does not even know.
  • I am thankful for a mother-in-love who knows the beginning of school is stressful - so she makes a few dinners - so I don't have to cook that night.
  • I am thankful for ear buds - two teens in the house - enough said.
  • I am thankful for spellcheck - because I cannot spell. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Homemade Applesauce

I have not tried this yet, but wanted to go ahead and post it so I do not lose the recipe.  I bet it would be fabulous with cinnamon. 

Easy Homemade Applesauce

Serving size:
Weight Watchers:

4 (peeled, cored and chopped) apples
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place in medium saucepan.
Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until soft.
Mash with the back of a fork or pass through a food mill.
Keep covered in the fridge for up to one week.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thieves Household Cleaner

As many of you know I am now eating minimally processed food free at home, and now I am trying to become minimally chemical free.  This comes in the area a medicine (both prescription and over the counter) and environmental (cleaning products).  This is a very slow process.  I am taking my time, learning about each oil and trying it.   Mostly to replace OTC medicines right now.  This journey actually began 6+ months ago with a large scale research project.  All of this led me to a company called Young Living.  To read the whole story go to my page entitled Young Living Essential Oils.

Thieves Products

Last Saturday (11-3-12), I received another order of essential oils and in it came Thieves Household Cleaner.  I only bought the 14.4 oz bottle so I could see if it would work.  I had to try it.  I love my Thieves Lozenges and my Thieves Essential oil so now it was time to give this a try. 

Now for a back story.   I have a had time with most cleaning products.  I can feel them burning my lungs and throat.  They make me cough and feel horrible.  Many times, I feel like I need to leave the house just to breath.  So cleaning with products has fallen on Scott. 

Thieves Household Cleaner 14.4 oz
I bought two spray bottles (one for home and one for school), and mixed the Thieves Household Cleaner with filtered water. 

I actually started here at home before taking it into my school. It had to work on me and my two boys as all of us have fall seasonal asthma so we were a good test market. I used it in my bathroom on one sink - did pretty good! I am impressed - took off soap scum and residue. No coughing, no wheezing, no burning, no yucky feeling. After no problems for a couple of days, I took it to school. 

I used it immediately.  Some of my tables were sticky, so normally I would have to use a Clorox wipe (which make me wheeze and my eyes burn and water and just feel yucky - but it was all I had).  I cleaned all the tables and door handles with it.  No coughing, no wheezing, no burning, no sick feeling.  Easy to use and my room smelled wonderful.  I also LOVE the smell of thieves - as do my kiddos.   I always have my Thieves Essential Oil on right now to help keep me from getting all the germs that walk into my class.  It is funny - the kiddos come up to me and say "You smell so good" and sniff me (remember they are 5).  Maybe they will get the benefit from me wearing it.  OK back to the cleaner.  It worked like a charm.  There was sticky leftover juice (from the day before) mixed with whatever they clean the tables with left on one of the tables and some stuck on glue residue.  Cleaned it with no problem.   Now I have something to replace the Clorox wipes.  Everyone who walks in my room, loves the smell. 

This morning, I woke up and counters had not been wiped down.  Normally I would wipe down with water and have Scott use cleaner on it later.  I thought - lets give it a try on a much larger scale.  I got my Thieves bottle that I had made earlier in the week and sprayed one counter down liberally.  No coughing, no wheezing, no burning, no yucky feeling.  OK - I decided to try the rest of the kitchen - NO PROBLEMS and it cleaned like a charm. I even used it on my glass top stove.  What was even better is I loved smelling the cleaner as I cleaned. 

Thieves Household Cleaner 64 oz
My take on the product - I have a love/ hate relationship with it.    I love it cleans without making me (or my family) sick.   I love that it actually works.  I love the smell.  I hate it because  I will have to start cleaning more now that it does not make me sick. 

Guess I will buy the bigger bottle next time.  

Coming soon - my take on the Thieves Lozenges, Thieves Essential Oil and Thieves Mouth Wash. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sausage Pancakes

Sausage Pancakes

Source: Adapted from Plain Chicken
Course: Breakfast


  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk I used fat free
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/2 lb sausage cooked and crumbled (I use my own turkey sausage recipe)
  • cooking spray I my use olive oil pump
  • butter for serving
  • syrup for serving


  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Make a well in the center and pour in the syrup, milk, vanilla, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  3. Spray griddle or frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat.
  4. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.
  5. Sprinkle approximately 1-2 Tbsp sausage on top of pancake.
  6. Brown on both sides.
  7. Serve hot with butter and syrup.
I tried making these as a baked pancake - turned out well.  I cooked them for app 25 minutes (until center comes out clean with a fork). 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer

There will be a lot of sweetness from the raisins. But once the creamer is in the coffee, you may actually need a bit more sweetness, depending on your tastes. That’s where the maple syrup comes in. You can add it to your creamer or simply to your coffee either way.


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice no sugar added
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup to taste optional


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk and raisins, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning, strain out the raisins from the milk.
  3. Using a blender or immersion blender, blend in the rest of the ingredients
Source: Gracious Pantry

God has been Working on Me

It is always amazing to me how God puts people in our lives. Some are there to plant seeds and others are there to help cultivate things He wants you to know.

So is my journey with essential oils. I have had many planters, but three come to mind right now Kristen, Tage and Shelli. I respect these threeladies a great deal - so I read and listened to statements, testimonials, and facebook posts about their journeys and that planted the first seeds. However,I was not ready to hear it yet!

Then I started my journey to rid preservatives, chemicals and most processed foods from my lifestyle. That process started to change my perspective on many things in the world around me. I read books that told me about my body being a temple of God and learned a great deal about myself, my relationship with food and my relationship to God. It took me to blogs of others who had been on this journey longer than me. As I leaned about how to change my diet, God wanted me to share my journey (good, bad and ugly) - which is where this blog began.

As I followed the food blogs, learning more and more everyday, I started to hear about essential oils. Again - not ready yet, but something was starting to stir in my mind and spirit.

Then the watering of my seed about chemicals we put in our bodies in the form of medicines (both over the counter and prescription) began and my heart and mind began to open to essential oils. I came across many people talking about essential oils and the great success they are having with them dealing with many health issues - without the use of medicines that many times do more harm than good. Then I began to learn more about the effects of medicines on our bodies - some of them without us knowing about those harmful effects for many years. Then the research began.

This research led me to two companies. Both offered similar products, however, I did not know anyone personally (so I thought at the time) who used them. Then I got a facebook invite to a Young Living Essential Oils training class at the house of someone I highly respect and trust- Kristen. This was one of the two companies I had researched. Unfortunately, I could not attend that class - but my curiosity was tickled and started asking questions one night on facebook chat with Kristen. She gave me more information to read and shared how it had impacted her family. I prayed for God to lead me in the right direction for my family. Then I felt peace in my spirit that let me know - it is time.

I received my oils and began to play with them. I still was not sure what to do - so I played. That is when peppermint became a new friend - it took my headaches away! I get a lot of headaches - so this was the perfect oil to learn with.

Then Kristen offered another beginner class at her house. I did not care what I had to do - I would be there. I needed to learn!! Ladonna Beals was leading the class and I came in with no voice (which I had been battling with for over a month). I learned Ladonna would have her scanner there, so I texted Scott and had him and the boys meet me at Kristen's house early so we could all be scanned. I still have so much to learn about what that means - but give me time and I will have it figured out too.

I took what I learned at that class and began to apply it for my allergies, headaches and asthma. I have successfully made it through a few headaches, one major migraine and one asthma attach without medicine (or the ER - for the migraine) - only oils. My voice has come back and I have now had my first week since school started where I have a voice on Friday!

After I signed up, received my first set of oils, my friend Tage facebooked me and talked to me more about her journey and that is when I learned she was using Young Living Essential Oils. Then last week, Shelli posted on Facebook that her massage therapist convention was in town and they were offering free chair massages. Those knowing me - I love free! My neck had been hurting, so I went to see if they could help work out the kinks in my neck. There I learned Shelli uses Young Living Essential Oils. Those who planted the seeds, were using the company I was led to. They planted and when the time was right - that seed started to sprout.

I am now beginning a new step in my journey to getting healthy. This one involves reducing my use of over the counter and prescription medications. This one will stretch me a great deal. This will be a slow process. There is soooo much to learn.

I am a teacher and have a teacher's heart. I signed up with Young Living as a distributor - to be honest to get the discount. However, I am feeling led to educate people (not sell) on how to have a healthy lifestyle both with food and without the overuse of over the counter and prescription medications. Problem for me - I have a lot of learning to do first!!!!! So for now I share with my friends what has worked and is working for me and that changes everyday as I learn something new.

If you are interested in learning more about Young Living Essential Oils, please talk with me. I have a lot to learn - and if I do not know the answer to your questions - I know someone who does.

If you are interested in ordering oils, I have a link on the Young Living icon, that will take you to the website. You will need a sponsor id and and enroller id number. I have my number at the top of this page - you use it for both. You can sign up as a distributor or customer, the page will explain the benefits of both. As I said before, I am not here to sell anything, but to help those who want to know more.

If you need help, let me know and I will share what I have learned - which is constantly changing as I learn more.

In Him,

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cheesy Beef and Rice

Cheesy Beef and Rice
Serves: 14
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Weight Watchers: 3 pp+ (7 if you do 1 cup)

  • 1 cup long grain brown rice (I used a box of brown rice)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 T. minced onion, or fresh chopped onion
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Cook rice
  2. Brown ground beef with onion and garlic powder.
  3. Mix with rice and salt well.
  4. Stir in sour cream and milk.
  5. Spread into a casserole dish.
  6. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  7. Cover well and freeze.

To bake: Thaw casserole on counter all day. Place uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

From:  Heavenly Homemakers