Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Julie Surprise: Vintage Meets Modern

When my sweet Grandma Krantz passed away a few years ago, I was blessed to inherit many of her lovely things. Books mostly; her house had been quite literally filled with hundreds of books. More books than most of her posterity could handle, though I know that everyone did their best. Even with most of us taking home a stack of books, however, I know that some had to be donated because there just wasn't enough room for most of us to contain them all.

I'm one of her youngest granddaughters and I wasn't as close to her as some of the other family, so I felt happy with whatever of her possessions I was allowed to have. I also acquired lots of fabric, vintage patterns and some pretty vintage clothes that no one else would claim. My mother even let me take a small cross stitch that had my grandmother's anniversary stitched into it. I share an anniversary with my grandma so I thought it was kind of cool.

Even though we will always miss my grandma, it was really kind of an exciting adventure for me to help clean out her home and look through all of her treasures. The kid in me was just giddy to be allowed to look into storage rooms and closets that had been understandably off limits when I was a child. I have always had sort of a romanticized view of such places. Were I live no one really keeps things in their attics, but I had read books about young characters finding treasures in the attics of old houses and I always dreamed that someday I could move to an old house that had an attic for of mysterious chests full of all sorts of forgotten treasures. So yes, as you can see, the romantical little girl inside me was quite giddy to go through grandma's downstairs closets.

But I digress. Just before we left that day, my mother and I went upstairs and were preparing some final boxes and things to take out to our respective vehicles when I looked at the front room bay window and noticed that the lace curtains were still hanging there. I asked my mother if she had plans for those curtains because the wheels in my head were immediately whizzing with the possibilities. She said that they were slightly ripped and stained in some places and would need to be washed because they were dusty, but she told me that if I wanted them I was welcome to them and she would give them to me once she'd had a chance to take them down and clean them. I was thrilled!

Lace is expensive, and vintage lace in such a quantity seemed to me to be a real find! Of course once I got the curtains they sat in my sewing closet for a few years. I would pull them our periodically and stew over the possibilities again. The main thing I wanted to try was to make a lace skirt. Like this one I pinned two years ago.
Although, I think the first real concrete plan I considered for this lace was a year ago when I pinned the image below. I thought it would be a great plan to try making something like this using the lace combined with some old jeans. I'm always messing around with ways to mend/reinvent my old jeans so I figured this would be another fun way to reuse some of that denim. 
The tricky part about this idea was that I wanted the bottom edge to be scalloped but wasn't quite sure if I could pull that off with the shape of this skirt. I looks like this one is actually crocheted into a nice flared, hourglass shape, whereas my grandma's curtains were, of course, just straight. I simply wasn't sure whether the curtains would look as well if I tried to pull off something like this. I guess it was me figuring that out that postponed my use of the lace for yet another year or so.

Then Halloween rolled around this year, and I was determined not to go overboard with the costuming because when I do that, I tend to get burned out and can't seem to get into sewing for another six to nine months and then Halloween is back on the front burner again. So, instead of spending hours on a costume that in the end was going to make me look fat and I would never want anyone to see pictures of (AKA Halloween costume 2013) Instead I used a sailor hat that I'd used four years previous for a different costume and decided to throw together a simple sailor costume from some thrift store finds. 
Cardigan from Savers, White Slacks from D.I. Tank, already owned. Boom.
There. Easy-peasy.

Of course, I had other costumes to make for my family, such as the Flamingo for baby and Barn Owl for my oldest girl. Luckily they were not too complex.
(You might even say they were for the birds. Lol.) 

I was glad when my middle daughter agreed to use a hand-me-down costume from one of her older cousins.
(Which costume, I might add, has a special place in my heart because the main dress was originally my niece's flower girl dress that she wore to my wedding before it became a princess costume.)

Also, I taught my husband to sew buttons so he ended up helping out with a lot of the time consuming part of his own costume. Yes, he does look well, does he not? I think it is at least partly due to the satisfaction of helping to make it himself, but he is so happy with this costume, he says I'll never have to make him another one again. Apparently, he will forever after be Horatio Hornblower for the rest of his Halloween history.

Anyway, so this was probably the least stressful Halloween I've experienced since before I had kids. It was so nice and the best part is that after it was over I was totally still in the mood to sew. 
In fact, since working on costumes required me to tidy up and clean out the (Harry Potter) sewing closet, I found all sorts of old projects and things that have been needing a mend, and because I wasn't burned out on sewing, I have really felt motivated to get things done in there! Since Halloween, I have mended two pairs of my daughters jeans, four pairs of my husbands jeans and one pair of my own. I have also added lace to a shirt of mine that had permanent stains so now it is not only wearable again but much cuter than it was before. (I'll need to post pictures soon.) Anyway, last night I was feeling in the mood to mend a little something before bed and I went into my closet and pulled out this skirt. 
I've had this skirt for so many years, I'm not even positive where I got if from or when. Yet I've always liked the way it fit and the style, though I've sometimes wished it where a bit more interesting as far as color or detail goes. It's a very neutral color. A bit too gray for beige and a big to beige for gray. Anyway, it had been in my sewing closet for at least a year because of some popped seams on the flounce. As I examined what needed to be done with it, it suddenly occurred to me that I had recently found grandma's lace when I had been reorganizing my sewing space and somehow it suddenly clicked in my head that perhaps instead of sewing an entirely new skirt from the lace, perhaps I could simply up the interest on this existing skirt by adding some lace over it. I pulled the lace out and laid it over the skirt to see how it would look and to my utter surprise and amazement the color of the lace which I would have described as off-white or cream blended perfectly with the color of the skirt. I mean, technically the skirt was still a tone or so darker but they appear to be quite well matched in their temperature---Neither one being too warm or too cool for the other. Thus, in my joy at the idea of this new discovery/project, I put it all back into my sewing room and went to bed, knowing that this was going to be a bit more time consuming than a a quick mending of a seam. I could hardly wait to wake up in the morning and get started!

Because this is already such a long post, I thought I'd try making a visual tutorial of a series of images all combined into one long strip, since I actually remembered to document this project. Let me know if you need something more clear. I know it turned out very tiny. I have no idea why it won't show it bigger, but I suppose this has something to do with how tall an image can be  on blogger, and this image is rather tall. Once day I will probably need to go back and just put in each image individually. But as I doubt more that three people will even care, I will wait until I get a request.
Other than the slight flare at the bottom, I think it turned out rather a lot like the skirt pictured below, which I pinned to my wish list a year or so ago. Now I need no longer lust after this lacy loveliness. I have me own!


There you have it! Vintage marries so well with modern, don't you think?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Julie Surprise: Namaste Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Layer and Coconut Sugar Glaze

I doubt I will ever grow tired of pumpkin and thus I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the canned pumpkin puree at my local Costco.

We've only purchased our first pack, but I have already enjoyed making a myriad of delicious favorites from those three 15 oz cans as well as discovering and inventing some delectable new concoctions. (More on those later . . . I hope.)

Today I used the last of the coveted pumpkin puree. I had two cups left, just enough to make a nice double batch of Namaste's Pumpkin Cake recipe, which I have been intending to try since I bought the pumpkin puree earlier this month.

Since having to go gluten free I've been experimenting a lot with coconut flour and other gluten free alternatives but since I really have enjoyed their allergen free cake mix in the past, I was excited to see that my Costco began carrying Namaste's Perfect Flour Blend.

At first I wasn't sure if I liked it better than the coconut flour. Both can be tricky to bake with if you aren't used to how different they are from wheat flour, but finally I took the advice on the back of the bag and looked up some recipes on their website.

I adore their Best Banana Bread! I have even adapted it into zucchini bread by simply replacing the mashed bananas with some pureed zucchini and adding some cinnamon. Both ventures were a great success.

Also, following a recipe designed for the gluten free flour helped to to realize what I had been doing wrong in my previous attempts. The batter for a gluten free cake or bread is a lot thicker than you would expect, and that's okay. I kept adding water before, when I was trying to use it as a substitute for regular baking recipes and the results were always doughy and gooey. I have realized that adding more liquid wasn't the answer. I just had to be okay with the idea that when you bake with this gluten free flour, the consistency is simply going to be a lot thicker.

Of course, being who I am, I usually find it extremely difficult to follow a recipe exactly. While I did follow the basics of this pumpkin cake recipe, I couldn't help being inspired by some other recipes I found on pinterest, and thought it would be fun to spruce this one up a bit.

So while this is the Namaste recipe from their website, the one intended for their gluten free perfect flour blend, I also was inspired by this cream cheese filled pumpkin bread and this pumpkin coffee cake with the brown sugar glaze.

Thus we have a gluten free pumpkin cake with a cream cheese layer and served with a brown sugar glaze.

Actually, because I doubled Namaste's recipe I did two different cakes; one with the cream cheese filling and for the other, I sort of took inspiration from this Snickerdoodle Bread and sifted some cinnamon coconut sugar mixture in between layers of the cake batter. Then, after it was baked, I poked holes in the top and poured the brown sugar glaze over it like in the coffee cake recipe. Of course, I probably should have cut the glaze recipe in half. It was a bit too much for my 8x8 pan, so we ended up scooping a lot of the excess glaze off the top of the second cake and drizzling it over the one with the cream cheese filling.


So here is how I made the recipe. Which is basically Namaste's but doubled and with a few slight substitutions. Oh, except there was one little thing that I want to improve on the original recipe. The original calls for one 1/8 tsp of salt, which doubled is still only a measly 1/4 tsp.
(Now I'm not one to be afraid of salt. Salt is actually extremely important to your health. Of course processed salts and sodiums are gross but good old regular sea salt is awesome for keeping your iodine levels up.) Anyways, too me this cake was just a tad bit on the bland side, and if you've made bread and forgotten the salt, you will know what I mean. So I'm going to increase the salt to at least 1 tsp next time because the I actually used 1/2 a tsp and it wasn't enough.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake 
with a Cream Cheese Layer and a Coconut Sugar Glaze

2 Cups Namaste Perfect Flour
2 Cups Coconut Sugar (Or raw Stevia or other sweetener of your choice)
1 Cup + 4 TBS Oil of your choice (I did half coconut oil and half organic pastured butter)
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
4 Eggs
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp (or maybe 1 1/2 tsp) Salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8 X 8 inch baking pan. 
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. 
In a large bowl combine sugar and oil. (Melt the oil in the preheating oven first if you need too) 
With a wire whisk blend in vanilla and pumpkin, then beat in eggs one at a time. 
Gradually beat in flour mixture. (You might need to switch to stronger beaters if your wire whisk is not strong enough for the super thick batter.)
Spread batter into prepared 8 X 8 inch pan. 

~If you want to try the snickerdoodle version, spread a shallow layer of the batter on the bottom of your pan, then add a few extra glops on top of that. Then mix about 1 TBS of coconut sugar and about 1 tsp of ground cinnamon together , maybe add in a few sprinkles of salt as well, and then sprinkle this mixture over the batter in the pan. Then add some more dollops of batter in between the sugar dusted ones and then cover it all with a final thin layer of batter. This will create a sort of cinnamon swirl effect when baked.

~If you want to do the cream cheese layer mix together 4 oz of softened cream cheese with 1 large egg and 1/4 cup of sweetener of your choice (I used raw Stevia to keep things white, but I almost wish I'd used honey.) 
I also added in a dash of grass fed gelatin because, honestly, I throw it into everything.
Anyway, whip that together until smooth and then carefully spread over a layer of pumpkin batter. Then top with another layer of pumpkin batter. It's pretty thick, so you might need to add little dollops at a time and then smooth them together with a rubber spatuala. Honestly, I almost didn't have enough batter left to cover my cream cheese cake after doing the cinnamon swirl one so I had to skim some of the batter off the top of that one to get the cream cheese covered up. Next time I'll want to make my first layers thinner and perhaps I'll even double the cream cheese filling.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 

Allow to cool.

~If you want to try the coconut sugar glaze soaked version:
Mix together 1/4 cup coconut milk or raw heavy cream in a sauce pan with 1/4 cup  coconut sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Once the sugar is melted and the sauce looks smooth, poke holes into your now cooled pumpkin cake and drizzle the glaze on top of it, allowing it to soak in. 
Serve immediately, or keep covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

~Alternately you can simply pour it over slices of cake. 

P.s. This cake is also good with butter melted on top.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Julie Surprise: Out of the Blue Salad

I will be the first to confess that I'm not naturally a very organized person, I'm the one who is usually a bit late, or who will call you last minute for a baby-sitting gig because I totally spaced something I needed a sitter for until the night before or even the morning of. Yes, I know. I am ashamed. I am getting better about it though, through huge effort and help from my list app, reminders and calender on my smart phone, I have improved slightly.

On the other hand, I can do spontaneous, and I can handle random. I will not have a break down if plans fall through or if something changes. I can handle change. In fact, I've discovered I sort of need things to change up a bit everyone once in a while because too much structure makes me crazy (i.e. grumpy, emotional, intense, high strung, etc.) My husband and I are well matched because we both enjoy making random and spontaneous decisions together.

For example, back in July, on one of the rare Sundays in which we did not have a family party or any other after church obligations, we spontaneously decided to drop in at his parents house to borrow their barbecue grill and their pool for a little family summer fun with our kids. His parents were out of town, but even if they hadn't been, they also have no problem with spontaneous drop-ins.

Anyway, once we got there, my hubby started firing up the grill and he asked me to look around the kitchen to figure out what else we could eat, like some kind of salad to have on the side with our grilled chicken.

(I guess I should clarify that this is also totally cool at my in-laws house. They have a standing policy that if the food is there you can have it. [which idea, honestly, was a little hard for me to get used to when I first got married because in my house you always had to ask about anything you wanted to eat in case Mom was saving it for something.] My mother-in-law sort of has this mentality about it; she feels like if she is generous with what she has, that there will always be enough. In fact, I think she sort of has a contract going on with God where if she shares her abundance that He promises her that her cupboards will always be full. Don't quote me on that, but I'm pretty sure there was something like that in the story my hubby told me.)

Anyway, there I was, in someone else's kitchen, with the task of figuring out what to eat for our spontaneous Sunday picnic. I looked through the fridge, but as my in-laws were out of town, there wasn't much there in way of produce. So I checked the freezer, "Hmm, frozen fruit." and the pantry, "Nothing." and the storage room, "Hmm, canned pineapple."

What I did find in the fridge was part of what got my wheels turning about the possibilities. My mother-in-law had some good sour cream. The kind that has only two ingredients (cream and enzymes) so I was thinking maybe I could use it to make some sort of fruit salad.
Pineapple is awesome with cottage cheese, so it seemed like I could perhaps make it work with the sour cream so I dumped a can of drained pineapple into a bowl and plopped about a half a cup of sour cream on top. Then I added a bit of sea salt and a packet of Truvia because they don't keep coconut sugar in their house (and I can't eat cane sugar).

Mixed that all up and tasted it. Hmm, not too shabby. At the same time I was doing this, I was making a fruit smoothie for us to drink with some of the frozen fruit in the freezer. I thought about adding a variety of fruit to the salad, but honestly, I was thinking something a little simpler sounded good so I decided to only go with frozen blueberries (about 1/2 cup again). Blueberries and pineapple just sounded delicious.

Once I started stirring those in, the color of the salad turned a lovely bluish-lavender color and I figured I was pretty much done. . .

Except . . . there just didn't seem to be much salad for everyone, and while it was good, it seemed like it needed something. A little more contrast of flavor. so I looked in the fruit bowl and found a couple of ripe bananas. I sliced one up and threw it in.

Tada! Out of the blue, we have a salad!

Needless to say, this salad was not only lovely to look at but it was delicious to eat as well. In fact, I had to go back inside halfway through our picnic and make a second batch so everyone could have as much as they wished. So, that being said, I'm going to double the recipe here at the bottom because for a good sized group you'll probably want it at least doubled.

Julie Surprise: Out of the Blue Salad

  • 2 cans chunk pineapple or tidbits would work well too, drained. (I added the juice to our smoothie)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, (you could use fresh, but it might not look as blue in the end.)
  • 2 large bananas sliced.
  • 1 cup clean sour cream.
  • 1 packet of truvia, or non-cane sweetener of your choice (honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar)
  • A dash or two of fine sea salt.

Mix and enjoy!

I'm so glad that I was given the task to spontaneously whip up a salad with random ingredients.
If I hadn't had that opportunity, I never would have tasted this delicious concoction!
So while I may appear to be a very flawed person, I'm so glad I can handle being creative under pressure. Things can be pretty yummy, out of the blue.

~Julie :}

Friday, June 6, 2014

Julie Surprise: Laundry Basket Tip

I recently read somewhere online about a Mom who has all of her kids do their own laundry, even the really young ones. They all have their own basket and are responsible for washing and folding and putting away their own clothes.

Because I have a stacked washer/dryer I'm not sure that requiring them to climb up in order to reach the dryer makes a lot of sense for us right now, but I have been trying to figure out ways to give my girls more responsibilities and it occurred to me that in my Mom's house, all seven of us kids had our own laundry basket; where my Mom, or whoever was doing the laundry, would put our clothes for us to take upstairs and put away.  Granted, I think some of us just left the clothes there and only came to pull something out when the closet was looking bare, but for those who lived upstairs it was a convenient way to transport newly washed clothing easily.

At any rate, I have six of these bright green laundry baskets that I bought on sale at Smith's a few years ago (when they were on sale for $0.99 each!) they've been useful for sorting different colored loads, but I've found that I do tend to wash all my girls clothes together without separating the colors much, (they're mostly either pastel colors or hot pink anyway) so I realized maybe I should designate a couple of these baskets for my girls to have for their own. Also, since I've been trying to get them to help with putting away laundry for a while now, I thought maybe this new idea would add some novelty to something they tend to find rather dull.

Then the question became, how do I designate the baskets? My mom wrote our names on ours with a sharpie, but I kind of wanted it to be easier to see at a glance.
Suddenly it came to me! I realized that all I needed to do was thread a different pretty ribbon through the mesh in order to personalize the baskets for each girl. Yay!

 Interestingly enough, I already had a few ribbons that even matched the shade of green of the baskets. 
My four year old goes by the nickname Kitty, and she loves anything Hello Kitty, she even has some Hello Kitty clothing in her wardrobe, so it seemed pretty obvious which ribbon should be on her basket.
My older daughter, Lillian, is seven now and a bit more serious. She doesn't like Hello Kitty anymore because that's for babies, ya know? So I figured she would be fine with a shimmery, sheer, floral ribbon. Besides, she prefers to go by 'Lily' so something with flowers seemed appropriate.

So there you have it! A simple way to designate and personalize laundry baskets!
Hope this made you day a little brighter!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Golden Afternoon (A Theme for Flowering Vine)

This is probably my very favorite theme that I designed for the Flowering Vine Live Wallpaper App.

I started out wanting to do something that had at least all the primary colors so that it would feel rich and full and vibrant. I chose to make the background gold and tried to make it look as truly golden as possible with the parchment texture. I think it sort of looks like gold leaf. Then I made the butterflies blue and slightly transparent so as to contrast with the background. Then to round out the color scheme I made the flowers rich pink with dark green vines. Finally I added a purple haze for the vignette effect.

I just love the feeling of this theme. It seems warm and luxurious like a palace garden in India or something. The name I chose for this theme, of course brings to mind the song from Disney's Alice and Wonderland, but I chose it because it seemed to fit the gold theme and reminds me of a dreamy summer day.

If you want to have a lot of fun playing around with the app making your own themes, the app is available for Android and can be purchased here. Thor Media has a lot of other pretty live wallpapers as well. Check them out!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Personal Tooth Healing Experiment/Plan Thing

Okay, let me first state that I am aware of how much contradicting information is out there when it comes to people's opinions about what foods are healthful and what foods are really bad for you.

I confess I have a fairly large collection myself in my little "food opinion museum" that resides in my cranium.
So let me just preface this with the statement that, if some of the things I say about food seem backwards or crazy to what you think you know about food and being healthy, just know that the "stuff" that I have chosen to believe is based on my own experiences and research.
I will try to add links to supporting information so that you can at least understand where I'm coming from, but realize that the road goes both ways so maybe some of your ideas would seem wrong or crazy to me. In such a case, I try to take a step back and remind myself that your "stuff" that you have chosen to believe also comes from your experiences and what you may have been told or have read, so let's all be polite and respectful and if you think I'm crazy, you might want to do a few Google searches and see how many other "crazies" like me are out there. At least you'll see where I got my ideas from.

That being said; my intention is not to write a foodie fairy-tale. For me, this is real. This is my life and life is a journey. I didn't get where I am all at once, I've been led here slowly, a little at a time by taking different paths, opening new doors and doing a LOT of reading and questioning various health care providers.

I know it's June now, but for a moment I'm going to step back to the very beginning of the year and share my New Year's resolution. I decided that I only wanted to focus on one major resolution this year and here it is: This year I intend to heal my teeth.

There it is. I first heard of people healing their teeth probably two or so years ago and the idea of this possibility has been stewing around in my little cranial cauldron for a long time. (Yes, I appear to be on a mind metaphor kick today.)

So, after reading this article which was kindly shared on a crunchy Facebook group I'm a member of back at the beginning of December; it of course recalled to mind the little bits and rumors I'd seen in the past about how people have healed cavities, but this article gave a lot more information as to why certain remedies and changes work and introduced me to the danger of excessive Phytic Acid in our diets. This little anti-nutrient and others like it are mainly found in foods like grains, nuts seeds and beans.
WHAT??? That means all health food gurus whether eating vegan, raw or paleo not only have high amounts of this in their diet, it may be even more so than people eating processed food because they often replace things like dairy and wheat in their diets with almond, soy and coconut options which are even higher in phytic acid than their conventional counterparts.

At first this information seemed absolutely overwhelming. I mean, didn't I just spend the past four years of my life trying to replace all the processed crap with more whole foods? In all this time I've gone from buying the cheapest wheat bread available to going all out with Dave's Killer Bread: Organic, Non-GMO, and packed full of 21 whole grains nuts and seeds! I'll be the first to tell you, this bread is delicious and after a year or so of eating cleaner it soon became the only bread I can eat that doesn't give me massive indigestion for up to two days. Now I have to give bread up altogether???!!!!

Well, as you can see, this is why it took me a month of mulling it over before I began to wrap my head around the possibilities. For one thing, every bit of information you receive, be it from the internet or your neighbor or you health care provider, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. (Lol. Sorry, I think there might be a lot of food related expressions in the future of this post.)
Anyway, my point is, I've learned that with any new idea; instead of freaking out and immediately turning my life up-side-down for every new food fad or health tip--or conversely, completely disregarding it as B.S. because it seems so new and foreign--such new information needs to be (yes, I'm going to say it.) PROCESSED! Hee, hee . . . Okay, in all seriousness though . . . It's a good idea to step back and look at yourself as objectively as possible.
If something really shakes you up it's a sure sign that questions need to be asked. Questions lead to understanding. Once you understand something you can either take it or leave it, but it's the state of 'not understanding' that breeds fear or anger in our intellectual selves. This is how all forms of human controversy start. This is at the root of racism. Think about it. When something or someone seems too different from what we're accustomed to, all too often we not only don't understand it, but our reaction is to either attack it or run away from it. Fight or flight, you see?

However, if we can use our big human brains to overcome our animal instincts we begin to ask questions, and explore this new and foreign thing which eventually will lead to at least some new level of understanding. As I stated before, once you understand something to the point that all fear is gone, then you can choose whether this new thing is going to become part of your life (in science that's known as adaptation) or you can choose to move on to the next thing.
Growth and change are inevitable. Even people who try to avoid change of every kind can't avoid it. It will happen no matter what you do or don't do. Even if you think you're comfortable where you are right now and don't want anything ever to change, chances are others around you will probably create new relationships, or choose to go new places and adopt new life styles, so while you strive to cling to life as you know it, you can't control every aspect of the world around you. Eventually what you know as reality right now will slip through your fingers and change into a new reality. Sounds kind of depressing right? Well, it might be if you just let it happen to you and strive to cling to what can't last, but if you accept growth and change as inevitable and make active choices about where your life journey will take you, life becomes an exciting and invigorating adventure!

Oh, boy. That was a major tangent.

Anyway, so I read the article, mulled it over and decided if nothing else, the tooth healing diet would be an interesting experiment. I did a ton of additional research and looked more into what this whole phytic acid issue was all about and I re-read the original article again and realized that it says "cut back" on food containing phytic acid, so that's not an absolute "cut it out" command.  It also has been extremely relieving and helpful to realize that one can reduce the amount of phytic acid in any of these foods by properly preparing them. In other words, soaking, fermenting or sprouting can all help.
Even so, just becoming aware of this information made me realize how much people now days really, really do eat an excessive amount of grains nuts and seeds. The crazy thing is, that one might ask, "so what's the big deal, we have all depended on grains and breads in particular since ancient times, right? Wrong actually. This article was extremely eye opening for me. Apparently, what we all have assumed to be the history of food is not quite accurate.

So, now armed with this new knowledge, it really has taken me some time to rethink what I might have once considered a normal meal or snack. Probably even more so than when I was cutting out processed foods. Even though I am aware of how to make them a bit better, and I know that I don't have to completely eliminate them from my diet, becoming aware of how easy it is to fall back on the grain, nut and seed fillers has made me quite determined to use them as little as possible, simply because I know how hard it can be to avoid them under certain circumstances. Therefore, whenever I am tempted to have something like that, yet still have another option, I've made myself go with the other option. This is mainly because occasionally I really don't have another option, or sometimes I even risk hurting someone's feelings, like my Mom or Mother-in-law on my birthday. Luckily for me, my birthday was in February so I could allow myself some freedom to eat cake and other rule breaking treats provided they were made as cleanly as possible (Clean because despite wanting to avoid making a big deal out of things, I still don't want to be sick on my Birthday.) and I was still kind of figuring out how to implement the whole tooth healing diet that early in the year anyway.

So the adapting the diet was the first stepping stone toward this goal and by March I finally was feeling like I had a better handle on the meals that will work for me. I also finally had a little extra moola (Birthday money!) that enabled me to invest in some fermented cod-liver and butter oil capsules; supplements that are a major part of re-mineralizing the teeth.

Also in March my husband found this article and shared it with me just about the time that my capsules arrived in the mail. Therefore, I also started oil pulling at the same time that I began taking to cod liver oil supplement.
It has been two months since I started oil pulling and taking the capsules. Though I've not noticed any major results, I took a picture the other day to compare to the one the day I started taking the capsules and I can see that one of my teeth that was starting to look kind of black in the center has lightened considerably.
I'm excited because I feel like my efforts toward realizing this goal are finally gaining momentum. The next step will be to figure out how to implement more organ meats into my diet.
It has been surprisingly challenging to find organ meats of any type in any of the my local stores. I bought a whole grass fed chicken at Smith's Marketplace back in February to use it to make crock pot chicken stock and happily it came with a few giblets, though not much and they were so tiny that the recipe I used to make liver pate didn't yield much in the end. Still, I thought I'd maybe just start freezing the giblets as I buy chickens so I can make a bigger batch. Sadly, the next time I went to buy one they didn't have those ones anymore, just conventional ones with no giblets. So, now I need to figure out some other way to incorporate organ meats into my diet.

Anyway, as it stands, this year has already seen a lot of subtle changes in my diet and I intend to start sharing some of my favorite recipes in the next few weeks during summer vacation. Let's hope I can manage to do so, not only to help others who want to remineralize their teeth, but also because the food is yummy and I'm finding that I'm missing the grains nuts and seeds less and less as time goes on.

Great Grandma's Root Mousse - A Family Recipe From Sweden

Root Mousse

This is a Swedish recipe that comes from my Great-Grandma, Emma Charlotta Anderson Krantz. It doesn't really have any exact measurements, but it's a very delicious, simple, yet versatile recipe.

Basic Ingredients:
  • Desired amount of Potatoes Washed & prepped for cooking (You could peel them, but I like to leave the peels on, they're full of benefits & with soft skinned potatoes you won't even notice them)
  • About 1/3 less to an equal amount of Carrots as desired (Washed, peeled [if necessary] and chopped)
  • Desired amount of Bacon (Nitrate Free)

Boil the potatoes in a large pot with lightly salted water until tender.
Carrots tend to take longer so while potatoes are boiling I like to steam the carrots in the steamer basket over a saucepan of water because I find they cook a little more quickly this way than with boiling. My mother uses a pressure cooker for the same reason.
While the roots are cooking, fry the bacon until crisp and set aside until cool.
Once everything is cooked remove the potatoes from the water and combine with the carrots in a bowl. Whip together until smooth. (I use my stand mixer but a sturdy hand mixer will also work) They need to be whipped together or they will not blend properly.
You can add your choice of milk or the leftover steamed carrot stock, or a combination of the two to help them whip into a smoother consistency.
We also like to add generous amounts of butter and the leftover bacon grease.
You can also try other tasty additions to make the whip a bit more creamy such as grass fed cream, sour cream or cream cheese. Season to Taste with sea salt and a little black pepper.
Once the mousse is light, fluffy and smoothly combined, crumble the bacon and beat it in.

As I said before, this recipe is truly very versatile and lately I have also begun to experiment (I can't help it, it's just who I am) and try other additions and seasonings. One delicious addition is to caramelize some sweet red onions in the leftover bacon grease and then add them to the whip. This light sweetness adds a nice compliment to the other flavors.
Another time I did garlic and cream cheese and  that was super yummy.
Another variation idea is to add other veggies to your steamer basket with your carrots, I've tried adding cauliflower on one occasion, which honestly didn't really change the flavor but added some extra nutrients and I've even added beets, which made for a very lovely rosy root mousse. I also recently learned that my Grandfather used to cook turnips with his carrots.
Another time I was making it and it wasn't as large a batch as usual so I decided I should add some extra protein to make it a tad more filling and threw in some grass fed gelatin and a few egg yolks that I had leftover from some meringue icing I had done for my daughters birthday. The veggies were still steaming hot so I wasn't worried about the eggs being raw or anything. This way, not only did the gelatin and egg yolks add some extra protein but it was still okay for my 8 month old to eat since it's only egg whites that are a concern for being allergenic. (We're trying baby led weaning with this one.)
Another idea I've tried is adding curry powder and raisins to the mix for a sort of Indian variation which is also tasty, though next time I think I could enhance that idea further by using coconut oil and yogurt or kefir in the whip. Needless to say, the possibilities for this recipe are pretty much endless.

After I shared this with my local R.S. for a spotlight they were doing for their newsletter, a friend of mine told me that her father used to make the same thing only with sausage instead of bacon. I believe she said he was from Germany, so it wouldn't surprise to me to find that many European countries have their own versions of the same base recipe.

Even without all the creative possibilities though, the simplicity of the original is still very good.

One excuse I have for all the crazy variations is that I've been making this recipe almost weekly in the past couple of months or so. Thus, the need to change things up a bit. One reason why I've been making it so often is because of the cost per serving.
You see, over the past couple of years I've been tracking not only the prices of the foods we buy on my Out of Milk app; but I've been using that information to figure out how much any given meal we make actually costs, even down to the cost per serving. Root Mousse thus far has been one of the least expensive at about $0.57 cents per serving.  The only thing I've found to be less than that in the recipes I've assessed is cream cheese pancakes at $0.30 per serving. That's even when I'm using organic butter and eggs. How awesome is that? And to think that most fast food costs about $5.00 a serving! This proves that eating crap not only has long term costs but costs more up front as well! Ha!

Rosy Root Mousse
Ironically, my sister just barely posted this recipe on her blog as well. So feel free to check out her post too. She mentions a few things I hadn't thought of.