“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

Custom~ Double Thumbprint, Heart Necklace

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Ah our friends at ETSY.  Such a talented group of artists to discover!

Custom Fingerprint Heart Necklace Jewelry Double Thumbprint Sterling Silver Personalized, We are introducing our newest jewelry that takes two fingerprints puts them on a heart, casting it as one piece and creating a beautiful piece of sterling silver jewelry.

A Great design for a Bride and Groom, Mother or Father and Child, 2 children, friends, sisters, etc.

After you order we send you at our cost a “very simple” mold making kit to take a mold of your fingerprints. We enclose a self addressed stamped envelope to send it back to us. From that mold we are able to make a casting of the fingerprints in sterling silver. We never scrimp on the silver so they are pretty heavy. Then we engrave a name on the back. How cool is that??? Within 6-8 weeks your fingerprint is shipped to you on a beautiful sterling bale, and a 17 inch sterling chain.

This is a forever gift for anyone to wear, child, mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, friend, or wear your own. But the best is for the mother to wear her childs print.
It is an organic look and each one will be different.
Any questions, please let us know.
A velvet pouch is also included.

I’ve posted a piece from this lady before.  See the dog nose pendant @ https://octaviasvintage.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/dog-nose-necklace-the-perfect-gift-for-the-dog-lover/

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http://www.etsy.com/listing/45154689/custom-fingerprint-heart-necklace?

Vietnamese Pork Pho Soup ~ Delicious, Healthy Love for Your Tummy!

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When the Mr. and I used to frequent Montreal for our weekend “adult” getaways, our favorite go~to hangover remedy, as with most other cultures was some sort of big, fresh vegetable, noodle and protein soup.

Thanks to many great reviews online from Montreal natives, we were lucky to find a lot of great restaurants that are “off the beaten path” of tourists, that have phenomenal cuisine at low prices!

So where is the best place to get pho?  A tiny hole-in-the-wall place in Chinatown, Cristal No. 1.

It was absolutely AMAZING!

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/67/1548051/restaurant/Chinatown/Cristal-No-1-Montreal

The whole late night, post partying, healthy soup practice, seems to not have taken hold here in the U.S. as it has pretty much everywhere else.   That is, it’s probably unlikely that it will become popular, unless the Golden Arches start carrying it, anyway!

I’ve been making this soup at home for years in the chicken form.  Chicken stock and meat.   This past week I made pho with a lovely, tender pork loin and it was absolutely amazing.

Here is the recipe I used.  Feel free to add any variety of veggies on top that you have, the key is to add them AFTER the noodles, meat and broth.  The idea is to keep them fresh, vibrant and crispy.  The nice thing about this soup is it’s easily made ahead of time.  If you chop the veggies first and refrigerate till you’re ready, it’s only a matter of heating up the broth.  This means, healthy, quick dinner!

Here are some fresh / raw veggies I’ve seen on Pho:

Julienne carrots

Julienne cucumbers

Mushrooms

Cilantro

Sliced thin red peppers

Jalapeno thin sliced

Bean sprouts

Sliced thin read onion

Chopped mint

Chopped basil

Lime wedges

http://guiltykitchen.com/2009/10/14/daring-cooks-vietnamese-pork-pho/

And if you’re ever in Montreal, definitely check out Cristal No. 1.  It’s the best pho in Montreal!

Super Sexy Wedding Ring? Or Awesome Halloween Costume Prop!

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I’ve been married 18 years this coming March 18th. I never asked for, nor cared to have a diamond engagement ring, till today when my friend Bebe Buell posted a photo of the coolest ring EVER by Dior.
I have yet to locate the exact price, but I’d imagine it’s as luxe as the ring itself!

Dreamy Wild Mushroom Lasagna

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped shallots (about 4)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 (4-ounce) package presliced exotic mushroom blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
  • 1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • Cooking spray
  • 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. 2. Combine 1 cup boiling water and porcini. Cover and let stand 30 minutes; strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid and mushrooms.
  3. 3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add cremini and exotic mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sauté 6 minutes or until mushrooms are browned. Add thyme and 3 garlic cloves; sauté 1 minute. Stir in wine; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese and 1 tablespoon chives. Add reserved porcini mushrooms.
  4. 4. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add remaining 3 garlic cloves to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add the reserved porcini liquid, 2 3/4 cups milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Combine remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to milk mixture, and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  5. 5. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray, and top with 3 noodles. Spread half of mushroom mixture over noodles. Repeat layers, ending with remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheese over top. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until golden. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon chopped chives.

Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light 
JANUARY 2012

40 Carrots Serum ~ Liquid Gold Baby!!!!

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A couple of weekends ago the Mr. and I were going out for the night.  I went to put on my makeup and felt utterly discouraged at the condition of my skin.  Now, granted it has not seen any amount of sunshine in what feels like ages, but…

I started looking around on Amazon.com to see what’s out there.  Something to brighten, lift or whatever, just make my skin look less haggard please!  I was getting product overload within seconds, but somehow or another I did find this little gem and I have to say, I’m hooked.

I’ve got lines on my forehead that I have had since high school and have used dozens of different lotions and potions.  All of them were just so so and way too greasy.

As I said, this was two weeks ago I bought this and I am astonished at how well this has worked.  My three primary areas I am focusing on are the marionette lines near my mouth.  Apparently an indicator as to which side of your face you lie on at night. I also use it on and around my eyes and my forehead.  Honestly, I wished I had taken before and after photos to see the difference.   But, I can say with 100% truth that my wrinkles definitely have lessened and well, last weekend at the club a twenty something guy did not believe my husband when he asked how old I was!  I can live with that!

Please note that some folks experience irritation with this product.  I’m experiencing nothing uncomfortable, but I have noticed my skin is appearing to look a bit rosier and certainly less ruddy.

Chinese Steamed Chicken Buns ~Bread Machine

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When I was in Jr. High School my mom worked with a gal Keng, from Singapore.  Occasionally Keng would bring in food that she had prepared.  Sometimes it was noodles and once in a while it was these deliciously savory, fragrant and chewy steamed buns.  They were like nothing I had ever tried at any Chinese restaurant.

I was recollecting Keng and her amazing steamed buns and decided to make them.  I had just bought an industrial size pack of boneless, skinless chicken breast and was tired of oven fried chicken, I needed something more complex and savory. Sadly, I cannot honestly recall what the meat was in Keng’s buns.  I believe it was ground pork.  That would be amazing too.

I found a recipe or two online and one in my bread machine cookbook and combined them all to create my own recipe.  My girls and husband were crazy about them and The Mr. promptly said “You can make these anytime you want!”  I laughed and assured him, it was going to be a while before I did these again.  Not because I did not enjoy them, but they are a lengthy project to undertake.  But, yes… they are mighty tasty!

Dough Ingredients:

5/8 cup lukewarm milk

2 cups unbleached white flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon room temp butter

1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast

Pour the milk into the bread machine and add the butter.  Sprinkle the flour to cover the milk.  Add the salt and sugar into separate corners and put the yeast directly in the center.  Use your dough cycle on your machine.  Allow the dough to rest after the cycle ends.  I allowed mine to hang out for about three hours after the cycle ended.

Filling Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

2 inch piece of ginger root finely minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (*this seems like a small amount but the flavor is needed)

8 ounces chicken breast, thinly sliced and cut into 1″ pieces

3 scallions chopped

1 tablespoon cilantro chopped

Salt and pepper

Mix all of the ingredients and marinate for at least 1/2 hour.  Heat a non stick skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil.  When the skillet is hot add 1/2 of the chicken and stir fry for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from skillet and add the second batch of chicken.  Cook for 3 minutes and add the the first batch.  Let rest for 1/2 hour to cool the ingredients.

Vegetables For Filling:

1 small can sliced water chestnuts ~ Drained

2 carrots peeled and roughly chopped

1 small onion roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic roughly chopped

Add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are well chopped.  Add the chopped vegetables to the chicken, once the chicken is cooled and easy to handle.

Dough Preparation:

Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll the dough into a log shape.  Cut the dough into eight uniform segments and cover with a tea towel.

Take the first piece of dough and roll it into a 5″ round.  Recover and roll out the remaining dough balls into 5″ rounds, covering the dough as you work to keep it from drying out.

Heat approximately 6″ of water in a large stockpot and place your bamboo steamer on the pan.  Heat the water to a boil.

Take one round of dough and add about 2 tablespoons of filling and pull the dough out a bit.  Run a small amount of water around the edge of the dough.  Bring the sides of the dough to cover the filling and pinch the edges together to seal.  Place the bun on a small square of wax paper or parchment.  This is used to keep it from sticking in the steamer.

Cover the completed bun with a tea towel as you create the remaining seven.

Load the buns into the steamer, being careful not to allow them to touch the sides of the steamer or each other.  Keep in mind that the buns will expand as they cook.  It’s quite surprising how much larger they get while steaming.

steamed bun

Steam the buns for ten minutes and serve immediately.