“Control the food supply, and you control the people.”

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It’s not often I get on my proverbial soapbox and rant about things.

Am I passionate about certain hot issues?  Yes, absolutely.  Especially one of where my food comes from.

Okay, I’ll admit… I don’t always eat organic, or even healthy.   I too have my moments of weakness where I just want something really bad for me.  Like a handful of Lindt truffles perhaps!     : )

But, I do try to stay aware of the origins of the food my family consumes.  We hardly eat any pre~prepared foods and I buy organic when there is a choice.  I choose to live as closely to the earth and our food as possible.

A smart person once told me “You pay now for organic, or pay later with your health.”

I have to agree with that philosophy.  There must be a reason that my family hardly ever gets ill and are generally in very good health, when I see pretty much all of my friends getting sick repeatedly and on some sort of medications for various “ailments.”  Coincidence?  I’d be hard to convince about that one.

Does it cost more?  Of course it does.  But, I personally believe that the benefits, far outweigh the extra cost.

Most people don’t realize that the majority of our produce and foods, are grown from GMO seeds.

But, what exactly are GMO’s?

First let’s look at the lab rats that have been fed a diet of GMO seeds.

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“In a recent scientific study, a shocking 70 percent of female rats died prematurely when fed GMOs. Fifty percent of males died early. Almost all of them died from cancer tumors.”  Natural News.com

What are GMOs?
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

Are GMOs safe?
Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In nearly 50 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.

Are GMOs labeled?
Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve.  Nongmoproject.org

http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037289_Monsanto_corporations_ethics.html#ixzz2NLGsYIr5

http://www.naturalnews.com/037289_Monsanto_corporations_ethics.html

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Banana Bread

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Banana Bread

Ingredients

    • 1 cup butter, room temperature
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together.
  2. Then add the eggs and mix.
  3. Then put in the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the bananas and sour cream and mix.
  5. Then add in the chocolate chips and pour into 3 greased loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until a toothpick that has been inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

 

Dried Cherry Shortbread Heart Cookies

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Cute and delicious!  These little buttery, crispy cookies are a perfect little gift for your Valentine!

Just wrap a bunch and tuck them into a cellophane bag and tie with a pretty ribbon for a home baked and thoughtful Valentine’s gift.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried  cherries

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.with a rack in center. Combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until combined but not too creamy. Stir in dried cranberries.
  2. Pat dough evenly into an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan. Bake until just beginning to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack until cool enough to touch, about 20 minutes. Run knife around edges, remove shortbread, and transfer, right side up, to work surface. Use 1 1/2- to 2-inch heart cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Use a paring knife to trim stray bits of cranberry from edges. Cookies will keep for 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

Seeds of Change

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In the cooler, darker months of winter, I find that I turn to musing over my gardens… Or gardens to be.  I adore reading about raised beds, alternative gardening ideas, landscaping plans, outdoor rooms, herbs, fruit trees and flowers galore!

One of my favorite go to catalogs for lovely, organic, high quality seeds is from Seeds of Change.

http://www.seedsofchange.com

Make It Easy Tonight! Big Flavor Beef and Bean Chili

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Yesterday the kids wanted tacos for dinner and The Mr. wanted chili.  It seemed like a lot of the same thing in two days, but I went ahead and obliged opting for turkey tacos last night and beef and bean chili tonight. What can I say, I got off easy these past two days with cooking honestly!

True to form I used a couple of different recipes and created my own adding things here and there and I have to say, while my chili is always good, this one had more depth of flavor than the rest I’ve made. I will mention that while it’s not blow your brains out hot, this is not for the faint of heart when it comes to heat.  Keep in mind when garnishing with sour cream and cheese that will reduce the heat on the back end.

A note about the chipotle peppers in adobo.  I’m not sure who this relatively small can is designed for but I can tell you even though it’s a small can, it’s a lot.  The last time I had a recipe that called for these, I froze the remainder, thawed them a bit, took out two peppers and that is what I used in this recipe.  I stuck the rest back into the freezer even still!

As always, I try to use organic ingredients whenever possible.  That however is your choice.  I just enjoy them more.     : )

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

1- 1/4 ground beef (we used 80%)

2 – 14 ounce cans of chopped tomatoes (I use Muir Glen organic / one can regular and one can fire roasted)

1 – 14 ounce organic red kidney beans or black beans/ rinsed and drained

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce roughly chopped

1 medium onion finely diced

1 green pepper finely diced

4 cloves garlic finely minced

2 tablespoons EVOO

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 -1 teaspoon chili powder (use less if you are not into spicy chili)

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

Chopped cilantro optional garnish

Chopped green onion optional garnish

Sour cream optional garnish

Grated cheddar cheese optional garnish

Sliced avocado optional garnish

 

Let’s cook!

Start with your EVOO in a deep pan on medium heat, add your onions and peppers and cook till translucent.  Add cumin and mix well.  Add your ground beef to pan with garlic and chopped chipotle peppers in adobo and cook till the meat is no longer pink.

Add tomatoes and beans, salt and pepper, paprika and  chili powder.  Reduce heat to low .  Cover and simmer about 45 minutes to develop the flavor.

Serve with a garnish of cilantro, sour cream, cheese and avocado.

Scottish Cullen Skink Soup ~ Smoked Haddock Soup

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This is a traditional Scottish smoked haddock recipe.  It is a fine Scottish soup of great taste and
simplicity.  This Cullen Skink recipe was provided by Kris Burrin, the exceptional English Chef of The
Seasons restaurant in Stonington.

Preparation time:
About 30 minutes

Ingredients: (4 servings)
1 lb Finnan Haddie
2 pints full fat milk
2 oz. butter
85 ml double cream
2 cloves
1 fresh bay leaf
12 oz potatoes cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 medium onions
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Method:
Peel one of the onions, cut in half and stud with the cloves.  Put into a pan with the milk and bay leaf,
bring just to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the Finnan Haddie and simmer for 4 minutes.  Lift
the fish out onto a plate and strain the liquid through a sieve into a jug.  When the Finnan Haddie is cool
enough to handle flake into large pieces and set aside.


Peel and finely chop the remaining onion.  Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and cook over a
gentle heat for 5 minutes, until softened but not brown.  Add the reserved milk and diced potatoes.
Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked but still just firm.
Blend half the soup in a liquidizer until smooth.  Return to the pan with the double cream and Finnan
Haddie flakes, season with a little salt and pepper and warm through for 1-2 minutes.


Serve in a warmed soup tureen, scattered with the chopped parsley.  In the picture above – taken at the
Seasons Restaurant in Stonington, Kris Burrin also added a few flakes of crisped parsnip to garnish.