Flower Vanilla Butter

Flower Vanilla Butter

My daughter, Violet, and I love to make herbal treats together for our family.  Violet really enjoys the cooking in the kitchen, so it is a great enjoy the beauty of herbs together.  We have a lovely Rosa rugosa in our yard which blooms the sweetest of rose flowers.  They are deep pink with a berry like fragrance.

  

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Spiced Nut Granola

Spiced Nut Granola

My daughters and I have a long history of baking delicious granola together.  The girls get to choose what they want in the granola and then we have a blast measuring, pouring and mixing it all up.  Homemade granola is much healthier than store bought and can be made to suit your taste buds.  Plus I love how easy it is to throw on the table for breakfast on a busy morning.

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Our Daily Water

Our Daily Water

Long ago I learned the magic of simply placing a sprig of mint or lemon balm in my water bottle.  After a half hour or so the water takes on a lovely light taste of the herb.  My kids love herbal waters and I often put a sprig of mint into their water bottles if they are headed out and about for the day.  Yet when we spend the day at home, I have found that filling a pitcher with water and herbs doesn't seem to attract their attention.

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♥ Summer Herb Camp: Week Five Magical Mighty Mint ♥

♥ Summer Herb Camp: Week Five Magical Mighty Mint ♥

♥ Time to play with mint! ♥

Our fifth week of summer camp is all about one of my family's favorite herbs, mint!  

Projects and Recipes

We have a huge mint patch in our backyard.  It started years ago when I planted a little peppermint plant next to a little spearmint plant.  With the passage of time they have grown and spread, intermingling into a luscious green wonder.  We also have a big whiskey barrel in our yard where chocolate mint plays with a raspberry bush and pansies.  The result is that I have plenty of mint to enjoy with my family.  You don't need lots of mint to do these projects, just a bit will do.  But if you have a lot of mint, these projects will help you and your kids enjoy it!  

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Natural Living Monday

Welcome to Natural Living Monday where we share all our natural living tips, tricks, and fun idea

Your Hosts:

Amanda from Natural Living Mamma

Katie from Nourishing Simplicity

Angela from Mama Rosemary

Andrea from Homemade for Elle

Last weeks hostess favorites were:

Congratulations on being featured! These amazing posts (and a few others) will be tweeted, shared on my Facebook page and pinned on my Pinterest boards!

 

Are you ready to link up?

From this week forward the list is in random order!

Here are the rules: Your blog article must fit these categories: sustainable living, homesteading, DIY, herbs, home-made body and skin care, real food (no processed ingredients, Weston A. Price Foundation guidelines are a good place to start to define “real food”), and all things “natural“.

Link back to this week’s blog hop post so that everyone can see the other amazing posts.

Show some love! Go check out and see what others have posted. Share the hop and the posts you love!

Not required but I would love it if you would grab the button and share share share!

What are your best natural living posts this week?

Please Note:  

To add a post and see all the wonderful posts linked up this week, please choose "Click here" below!  

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Thank you for joining us on Natural Living Monday!

Natural Living Mamma

Natural Living Monday #15 ~ Brussel Sprouts With Toasted Pecans, Balsamic and Parm

Brussel sprouts are tiny cute little members of the cabbage family and when I was a kid, I hated them!  But now I love them and so do my own kids, which I think is pretty cool.  Here is a tasty recipe for making your brussels sprouts and eating them too.

Ingredients ~ measurements are not exact and don't need to be... follow your intuition and taste buds on this one!

  • 1 to 2 pounds of brussel sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
  • 2 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • about a 1/3 cup of pecan halves roughly chopped
  • balsamic vinegar
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions ~  Coat the bottom of a nice big pan with olive oil, lightly saute the garlic for a minute or so.  Place the brussel sprouts cut side down in the olive oil and roast the brussel sprouts slowly over medium low eat until they start to become dark and caramely.  Flip and cook on the other side until the brussel sprouts begin to soften and re acooked through, season with salt and pepper to taste.

tiny

Mean while place the pecans in another pan and slowly toast over low heat until the nuts become fragrant and toasty brown colored, stirring often.

nuts

Next toss the nuts and brussel sprouts together.

DSCN3627

Finally, I highly recommend topping with a generous drizzle of sweet balsamic vinegar and some parmesan cheese.  This is seriously tasty!  I hope you enjoy it should you decide to embark on this cooking adventure.

DSCN3637

And now….

Welcome to Natural Living Monday here we share all our natural living tips, tricks, and fun ideas.

Natural Living Mamma

Thank you for joining us on Natural Living Monday! I am excited to see the great things you have been doing to live a more natural, whole, holistic life.

Your Hosts:

Amanda from Natural Living Mamma

Katie from Mexican Wild Flower

Angela from Mama Rosemary.

Last weeks most popular posts were:

 

 

10 ways to Strengthen Your Immune System by Small Footprint Family

 

 

Congratulations on being featured! These amazing posts (and a few others) will be tweeted, shared on my Facebook page and pinned on my Pintrest boards!

Are you ready to link up?

From this week forward the list is in random order! I am hoping this will get the late linkers more views! Here are the rules: Your blog article must fit these categories: sustainable living, homesteading, DIY, herbs, home-made body and skin care, real food (no processed ingredients, Weston A. Price Foundation guidelines are a good place to start to define “real food”), and all things “natural“. Link back to this week’s blog hop post so that everyone can see the other amazing posts. It is just basic common courtesy. Show some love! Go check out and see what others have posted. Share the hop and the posts you love! Not required but I would love it if you would grab the button and share share share!

What are your best natural living posts this week?

To see all the wonderful posts this week and link up

please use “Click Here” below.  Thanks!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...

Orange Blossom Pomegranate Cheesecake

Orange Blossom Pomegranate Cheesecake

There is something special about cheesecake.  Tasty and creamy, it seems to somehow make everything right at the end of a nice meal.  I have made a few cheesecakes in my life.  From rich decadent amaretto topped with juicy delicious cherries to one made of yogurt with a crust of granola and topped with an array of fresh fruit. 

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Fresh Thyme And Lemon Balm Honey

The first snow is magical.  We were blessed with that special magic just over a week ago.  Just a light dusting,  it was beautiful.  The snow brought huge smiles to my girls' faces in anticipation of winter fun.  Preparation for the storm included a trip the garden for one last harvest.  My little one followed along side me and helped me bring in our veggies and herbs.  As we rambled through the yard we found our  way to the fairy garden we planted a couple of months ago during the heat of summer.  We found a large amount of thyme and lemon balm all ready to come inside and join us for the winter.  We decided to make a little treat for getting us through the long winter ahead ~ herbal infused honey, yummy!

Infusing honey with herbs could not be easier...

Pack the herb into the bottom of a jar.

Pour honey over the top.  Use a chop stick or a knife to stir the herbs into the honey because the honey will sit on top of the herbs and need a bit of help making its way to the bottom of the jar.

Some fun gooey bubbles will come up and insight potential giggles from little onlookers.

After stirring you will see the honey level go down and will need to add some more to top it off.  Perhaps the fairies took a little sip?

Then comes the hardest part, waiting.  Waiting for the honey to be done.  If you can, try to wait at least a week before you start eating your honey.  Truth be told we have already "tasted" the honeys many times and even had some on pancakes.  Ah well...

Make sure to label your honey and stir it every day.    Or you can simply turn the jar over a couple of times a day.  This great tip and a wonderful video tutorial from Mountain Rose Herbs on making herbal honeys can be found HERE.  After a week or so has passed either strain the herbs out of your honey or just eat them along with the honey.

Please Note:  When infusing fresh herbs in honey you want to be sure to keep the herbs covered in honey so they don't rot.  The water content in the herbs is what makes this happen.  By keeping the herbs covered the honey preserves them and prevents spoilage.  It is really hard to keep the herbs covered which is why turning the jar over a couple of times a day is just brilliant   Because the flipping of the jar doesn't keep the herbs submersed in honey, but it does keep the herbs coated and that does the trick!

How to use infused honey...

Well this is the easy part!  

A tasty spoonful here and there... Spread on biscuits and toast... A big dollop in a cup of tea...

It gets even better though because the HONEY is infused with the medicinal properties of the plants, it becomes delicious little immune system boost during the winter.  Along with the amazing healing benefits of honey, LEMON BALM is a wonderful antiviral which eases tension in the nervous system and lifts the spirits.  Thyme, rich in essential oils, is an antiseptic that is amazing for spasmodic coughs and fighting off infection.  The thyme combined with soothing honey should be wonderfully soothing for respiratory issues.

Does it get any better than this?

Shared on: Natural Living MondayThe Woodwife's Journal, Kid's Co-op

Herbal Guacamole

herbalguac2 People either love them or hate them, yet as far as I know there is nothing else in the world like the lovely avocado.  Tasty creaminess that adds just the right touch to so many dishes.  In our house it is often the avocado that pulls everything together.  It wasn't always so for me.  As a child I would find them lurking in the taco salad my mother so often served.  Like a little bits of pale green nastiness they would taunt me as I zealously hunted them down and banished every piece from my meal.  As I got older my tastes changed and I found myself wanting to like avocado.  Finally the answer came for me... salt.  Salt!  So simple, it brings out a special flavor in the avocado that makes it absolutely delectable.  And all you need is a little, just a sprinkle to make the avocado's tastiness shine.  Whew!  I am grateful I figured that one out because now I love avocados and I am not sure I could live with out them.

I found avocados to be the perfect baby food for my children.  Just cut one open and smash it up right in the peel.  Tasty nourishing baby food.  Luckily my kids never had my avocado aversion and they like them even without salt, go figure.

My favorite thing to make with avocados is guacamole, of course.  I love to add as much flavor to my guacamole as possible with herbs.  Forging out in my yard (as well as at the farm stand and grocery store) I search for any savory addition for my guacamole.

Favorites are ~

  • Herbs like chives, parsley, thyme, cilantro, and even basil
  • Flowers like spicy nasturtiums, borage, and chive flowers
  • Veggies like arugula, tomatoes, and peppers

This year my garden isn't in the best shape.  We had a lot of construction right around our back yard and I found it wasn't much fun gardening with loud construction equipment rumbling right over my shoulder.  Yet, I still managed to get a few lovely herbs planted and flourishing.  And, with the help of my local farm stand, I found enough to make a nice version of my family's favorite dip.

Ingredients ~

  • Ripe Avocados
  • Herbs ~ I used cilantro, chives, thyme and parsley
  • Fresh Limes
  • Garlic
  • Salt, of course!

Method ~

Prep your ingredients.  Chop the herbs up nice a small.  I use a lot of herbs when I make this (probably about a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chopped herbs to each avocado)  and my kids still love every bite, even my 6-year-old who doesn't like "leaves."  How great is that?  Not only are my children eating avocados often with veggies for dipping but they also are getting lots of amazing green leafy herbs all chock full of goodness.  It is enough to make my heart sing!

Mince the garlic.  How much you use depends on how much you like garlic.  My husband and I like it a lot so we use 1 to 2 cloves each.  I mince the garlic with salt to help get the garlic's juice's flowing.  Then I leave it on the side so my hubby and I can add it to our guacamole because raw garlic is too spicy for my kids.

Next, smash the avocados up on a plate, I use a potato masher for this.  My kids love helping with this part.  It is really fun to see the avocado turn into little green tubular shapes.

Then just mix in your herbs with a squeeze of lime juice and so salt to taste.  Easy,  healthy and delicious served with raw veggies, crackers or chips for dipping.  Yum!

Avocado Nutrition ~

Despite their bad past reputation avocados are in fact good for you.  Each bumpy skinned fruit  is packed with heart healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamin E, and potassium as well as antioxidants.  So eat up and enjoy!