Friday, May 30, 2014

-Free Recipe Friday: Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

I have a delicious dairy-free/vegan/gluten-free recipe for you today! One of the many things people miss when going dairy-free for whatever reason is ice cream. I'm one of those people. I know people who have said they could never go dairy-free because they wouldn't be able to give up ice cream. Let's face it: ice cream is important to many people. There are some delicious non-dairy ice creams available but the better ones come in tiny containers tend to cost more than a typical 3-scoop ice cream cone! Making it yourself cuts back on costs and lets you make exactly what you want with the ingredients you want.

Today's recipe, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl comes from The Vegan Scoop

1 cup soymilk, divided
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 cup soy creamer (my note: Silk makes original and French vanilla; both taste very good in this recipe)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, even if you use the French vanilla creamer)
3/4 cup peanut butter (I use regular, store-bought peanut butter with sugar in it)

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of the soymilk with arrowroot and set aside.

Mix soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup soymilk, sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate chips in a saucepan and cook over low heat. (Not too low or it'll take forever!) Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and immediately add arrowroot cream. This will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably. Add vanilla extract.

Refrigerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2 to 3 hours. (Elsewhere in the book, he recommends letting it chill overnight.) Freeze according to ytes of freezing, swirl in peanut butter.

Yield: 1 quart


My one piece of advice when making this is to not let the ice cream mix too long after you've added the peanut butter. While you can still taste the peanut butter and the combination of the chocolate and peanut butter is amazing, the peanut butter can end up mixing in very quickly and you lose the swirl. As you can see here:

Don't have an ice cream maker? Check these out. I have the second one and am very pleased with it.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Laughter: Helps with an Illness-Free Life

I decided I would give you a laugh today. :D

I like looking through local real estate listings. I've been doing it on and off for years. Sometimes there are some pictures that, in the words of Arsenio Hall, are "things that make you go hmmm."

While I haven't seen any local photos on this site I'm sharing, I have seen local photos that matched photos at this site. Not any of the extreme ones, where your mouth drops open and you can't believe that is actually from a real estate listing, but I've seen a lot of bad photos. And just today, I saw some more and it made me think of the following site and since laughter is the best medicine, here you go, with a few samples from the Terrible Real Estate Agent Photographs site:

I've seen some blurry photos like this one today:

I saw a local photo with a kid walking in the room, but not hiding under the bed:

Although fortunately local realtors don't post crazy pictures like this
or this (?!)

Check out the site. Shake your head. Laugh a little. It's good for you. ;)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Interested in healthy living?

Yes, the following is a complete business plug. I won't do these often, but I am inspired and will do so now. :)

Do you enjoy using more natural products than what's typically available/used?

Would you like to move away from using, or at least reduce your usage of, things like over-the-counter pain killers?

Would you like natural products that can help your immune system, mood, skin, digestion and so much more?

How about getting a discount on such things, earning free products and even making a little (or a lot of) money on the side?

I am loving my Young Living essential oil products and know there are other people out there who do not know these products yet but would love them, too. You can order any time, at full price, as a retail customer, but if you sign up for a wholesale membership, you get 24% off all of your orders, have the opportunity to sign up for Essential Rewards where you can earn free products based on your monthly orders and you can even start a home-based business to supplement what you are earning (or not earning) now or even work toward having it replace your current income.

Unlike some other home-based businesses you sign up with, Young Living does not require that you make a monthly or even a quarterly order. With a minimum order requirement of only $50 per year, you can maintain your wholesale status easily. I am currently signed up with a completely different company which requires that I place orders of $400+ every quarter to maintain my status. Needless to say, since I only signed up with that company for the discounted products, I have lost my status a couple times already and will probably lose it again. $50, though--a year? Easy. And the free products are fantastic! I received about $100 in free products from an order I recently place. How nice is that?

The Premium Starter Kit. The diffuser may not be the one shown.

When you sign up for wholesale under me, you only need to order one of the starter kits (which ones are available depend on the country you live in) and put in my sponsor/enroller number #1772120. If available where you are, I highly recommend the Premium Starter Kit as it gives you the diffuser (I am in love with my diffuser and use it every single day) and the Everyday Essential Oils kit, which is a fantastic way to get to know some of the basic oils. If you want both the diffuser and the Everyday Essential Oils kit, it actually makes no sense to buy them retail as you save much more money on this by signing up for wholesale. The starter kits also come with some business tools, sample products and information for you. Add to all this that I will be there to support you every step of the way! If you have a question, ask! If you want help in getting started in establishing a business, ask! :) And if you need more information before purchasing or signing up, don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

My goal at the moment is to get 5 new people to join up, 5 people who are interested in working with me to build up a home business, interested in working toward financial freedom. Will you be one of those 5 people? Sign up today at , ID#1772120.

Friday, May 23, 2014

-Free Recipe Friday: Amazing Oven-Fried French Fries

French fries are gluten-free and dairy-free and if you make them yourself at home rather than buying the frozen kind, you can be sure of the ingredients and no contamination!

They do take some extra time, especially if you don't have a French fry cutter. If you are cutting by hand as I do, just a word of warning: don't make the fries too thin. They will get too crispy. Also, despite the recipe instructions, the lowest position in my oven is actually too low, as I discovered yesterday when I put it to the lowest position for the first time. I also used olive oil and they are just fine with olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

This week's recipe is off-site, so you'll need to visit to check it out. These fries are absolutely worth the trouble to make!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Product Review: Glutino Gluten-Free Bagel Chips

I bought these Glutino Gluten-Free Bagel Chips for my daughter sometime ago, and she had them once and then not again. I don't know if it's because she doesn't like them or she forgot about them, but I found them and decided to try them myself. They are dairy-free, although do have the "May contain milk" warning on them, which means I can actually try them.

Plain, they are quite tasty. They are not like bagels, not like chips. They are like another sort of dry bread thing out there that I can't remember the name of because I've had them maybe once in my life. In any case, I quite like the taste, although how hard they are was a bit of a shock at first. They can get dull after a while just on their own, so I put some peanut butter on them one day and really liked them that way. I'm sure you could put any kind of spread that you like on them and they would be quite tasty.

They come in different flavours, but so far, I've only tried the original flavour. I definitely would like to try other flavours.

Two thumbs up from me!

Illness in the house today

I have two sick nieces here today. One is spending quite a bit of time coughing and given I've had a bit of a sore throat all week, I don't want to get worse by being exposed to something else (or more of the same)! I hadn't thought to use Young Living's Thieves blend this week, but from all the recommendations I've read, it's one of the better oils to use when there is viral illness around.

There are also some new oils in the house today. I got my latest Young Living order and got some free promotional items with it: a 15mL bottle of Lavender (always useful!), a 15mL bottle of Peace and Calming (exactly what I wanted but didn't order!) and a 15mL bottle of Geranium, which I haven't tried yet. I was going to diffuse it but decided I had better go with the Thieves instead right now.

The cats helped inspect the shipment. :D


If you are interested in trying any of the Young Living products, do check out their website--make sure you have your country selected--and ask me any questions you may have here or email me! When ordering (or signg up), please do use my Sponsor/Enroller ID 1772120.

Disclaimer: These statements and any information contained on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe treatment for any specific health condition. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult individual products labels for safety information.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dealing with Nausea--Drug-Free

My daughter got up this morning and headed to the bathroom. Not unusual. But she was in there so long, I thought she must be getting herself fully ready first thing and that was unusual. Then I heard the toilet flush, she washed her hands, headed back to her room and I got a text from her: Help me.

She was feverish, weak, nauseated and had just suffered some bad diarrhea. (Sorry if that's tmi!) I got her some ginger ale, a folded damp wash cloth with a bag of ice inside, the Pepto Bismol just in case she wanted some and then asked her if she wanted me to diffuse some of the Young Living peppermint oil in her room. She nodded. She'd had a bout of nausea a couple weeks back and was game to try the peppermint oil and it really helped, so she wanted it again today.

Now, she did have Pepto and the diffusing in the morning, and they helped, but it was hard to know which one had helped most or at all. Later, fever and nausea were coming back and she didn't want more Pepto, just more peppermint diffused. Again, it helped. A lot. I find it amazing that just smelling it can make such a difference! I know I've used peppermint oil, just smelling it from the bottle or applying to key spots on my face, over the years to help with headaches. I didn't know until recently that it was good for nausea, too.

Have you experience with peppermint essential oil? What about other drug-free alternatives to dealing with nausea?


If you are interested in trying the peppermint oil or any other of the Young Living products, do check out their website--make sure you have your country selected--and ask me any questions you may have here or email me! When ordering (or signg up), please do use my Sponsor/Enroller ID 1772120.

Disclaimer: These statements and any information contained on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe treatment for any specific health condition. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult individual products labels for safety information.

It's Friday! -Free Recipe Friday!

I have been wanting chocolate chip cookies all week long, so I decided that would be the -free recipe I would share: my chocolate chip cookie recipe. This is a slightly modified recipe from a cookbook my mom had when I was a kid/teenager. The recipe called for butter or vegetable shortening and we always used butter. But one time we didn't have butter or enough butter so I used Crisco shortening. They turned out better than they had with the butter! I've been making them with Crisco ever since although did try dairy-free margarine. It works, just not as good. My mom always used to mix the dough in a food processor and I didn't feel like having to clean the food processor afterwards one day, so I just did it by hand. Again, they turned out even better!

The tricky part to make these cookies dairy-free could be to find dairy-free chocolate chips. Most of the ones I've found in stores have milk in the ingredients, and unfortunately, my favourite ones, the President's Choice chocolate chips, now have "May contain milk" on the label. (I still eat them even though I really should avoid all potential traces.) I believe Camino is completely dairy-free, but don't quote me on that, as is Enjoy Life.

One more thing about this recipe: Pretty much everybody LOVES this recipe--when I make it. I have tried my best below to put in the details that I might be following that others don't when making the recipe, but that's still no guarantee. I once supervised my niece making them and they did not turn out the same.

So, here we go, today's Dairy-Free Recipe:

Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350F-375F--the exact temperature will depend on your oven and elevation

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, very well packed (I normally use golden brown, but did use the darker stuff in the past and they were just as good)
1 cup of Crisco shortening
(just a note here: you want the sugars to be a little more rather than a little less than the full measure, and the shortening a little less rather than a little more; it can make a big difference!)

2 large eggs
2 (overflowing) tsp vanilla

2 cups flour (I use Canadian all-purpose flour; you may need to use something other than all-purpose or adjust your amount if you are not in Canada)
1.5 tsp salt (original recipe called for 2 tsp, if you like them saltier)
1 tsp baking soda

1+ cups chocolate chips (original recipe calls for 2 cups)


In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugars and shortening VERY well. I use a fork for this until it is as blended as it can be.

Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix with the fork until creamy. And then mix a little more.

Sprinkle over top the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix with a mixing spoon until well blended.

Add the chocolate chips and mix again.

Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. I make them large, about 2". The recipe usually makes about 25 cookies for me (well, it would be a couple more if dough didn't get eaten...).

Bake for 7-8 minutes. (You may need to play around with this. With one of my ovens, I baked them at 350 for 10 minutes and they were perfect. With my current oven, 8 minutes at 375 seems to work well, but I still have to play around a bit to get it just right. With the second batch, 8 minutes is actually too long for this oven.) I take them out when the edges are just starting to get golden and some peaks are showing signs of browning. They are, for all intents and purposes, undercooked, but not so undercooked that they will be gross. They will still continue cooking a bit as they sit on the cookie sheet.

 They look browner in this picture than I think they look in real life.

Let them cool completely on the cookie sheets. Do not remove to a wire rack. Because they are already a tad undercooked, let them keep cooking a bit without the browning!

If you prefer the harder cookie, by all means, cook longer. :)

Happy Victoria Day long weekend to the Canadians reading!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dealing With a Plantar's Wart

My son discovered a small plantar's wart on his foot about a week ago. I decided to see if there was one of my essential oils I could use on it rather than buying the kit that you use to freeze them. Sure enough, I found a testimonial about using the Young Living lemon essential oil that comes in the Everyday Essentials kit.

Just put a drop on once or twice a day and it'll be gone in no time. Well, it's taken us about a week to do 4 applications (we keep forgetting) but when we did the 4th one this evening, I noticed the wart is almost entirely gone! Oh my goodness, how I wish I had this available to me when I was a kid. I have a clear memory of being at my grandparents for a week for Christmas and having to soak my foot, rub the wart area down with a pumice, put the medication on...

Have you used an alternative to the modern freezing kits? Please share!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day 2 of Wheat-Free Eating

Although my daughter doesn't seem to be prepared to cut out wheat entirely, I have decided to. And if you read my previous post, there was some angst as to what to actually eat.

Well, I'm on Day 2 and I have to say, this has been the easiest yet of going wheat-free. The first time I went wheat-free was almost agonizing on Days 1 and 2--I was so used to having wheat pretty much all the time, it was just incredibly hard. And I was having cravings for it. This time around, while my thoughts will turn to a wheat product, when I remember I'm not eating wheat, I just find something else.

As for my wheat-free (and, naturally, dairy-free) supper plan for the week, it hasn't been followed at all so far. lol. Yesterday, instead of chicken piccata, we were at the grocery store to pick up chicken breasts and my daughter suggested we get one of the roasted chickens. Sure! I then made dairy-free scallopped potatoes (note: when they say "thinly sliced" potatoes, they really mean it! my poor potatoes were not cooked even after quite a bit of additional cooking time) to go with it and we just had some raw veggies on the side.

Today, I decided it would be rice with something. We have a lot of frozen ground beef, so I picked that and ended up making a kind of skillet casserole with Italian tomato sauce, ground beef, Italian sausage, chili powder and rice. My son complained when seeing it that he doesn't like the texture of this particular dish, that rice, tomato sauce and beef don't go together. I said that you can get burritos with that combination. He said, yeah, but we're not eating burritos. I then suggested he grab a tortilla and make himself a burrito. Well, it did the trick for him! Not his favourite dish still, but more manageable like that.

Breakfast-wise, I've just been having Rice Krispies with vanilla-flavoured rice milk. Had a stir fry for lunch yesterday and a couple of scrambled eggs for lunch today. I've had some other food, but I can't think what exactly.

That's the progress report so far. If you are wanting to go wheat-free, even if just for a few days, why not join me and let me know in the comments? We can support each other, share snack and meal ideas...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Menu Planning Can Be HARD

My 16-year old has been having increasing stomach pains, but has also been eating an increasing amount of wheat lately. Although in the past some activated charcoal did the trick, it doesn't seem to be helping the pain. Whether the pain is from something else or whether it's just so prolonged and she keeps eating wheat so it's not going away, we're not sure, but it's time to do something. Add to that, I've been feeling the need to go wheat-free for a while again, so with the two of us wanting to work on it, it's definitely time.

She wants to just cut back on her wheat; last time she had these pains, it took a few days of being wheat-free for them to disappear completely. So, I want to encourage her to at least go three days wheat-free and see if it helps. But that means having a menu plan. And although we previously did a couple of weeks straight of wheat-free, I'm sitting here trying to plan a wheat-free supper plan for the week and struggling! It's kind of sad that wheat is that much a part of our lives again, that we're that dependent on it.

Ideas I've come up with so far (and given they are for me, too, they are dairy-free, or able to be made dairy-free):

*chicken piccata (from the Wheat Belly 30-Minute or Less Cookbook) with potatoes and veggies
*a veggie or chicken and veggie stir fry with rice
*tacos (without the wheat tortillas; the Wheat Belly 30-Minute or Less Cookbook has a wheat-free recipe I could try or I could see about a traditional Mexican corn soft tortilla)
*pizza, with one of the crusts made with the recipe from Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen
*chili or spaghetti with gluten-free noodles
*skillet rice, kidney beans and tomatoes

This felt very hard to come up with. And it only covers 6 days, not the next 7. AND this is just for supper, not the other meals. She has already requested that I make the stuffed peppers recipe from Raw Food: A Complete Guide for Every Meal of the Day for lunch. I'm not sure I have what I need to make it, although I modify it anyhow because I can't eat one of the nuts in the recipe. But she'll need more than stuffed peppers to make it through even a few days of wheat-free eating!

Why does this feel so hard? It's not like we haven't done it before. But it's like a vague memory. I will have to see what I can dig up from this blog about what we've eaten in the past!


Cookbooks mentioned above:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Loving my new "stuff"!

I received my Young Living order last Friday (and delightfully discovered that we can, as Canadians, purchase everything Young Living has to offer, there are just some extra rules surrounding many products) and am loving my products so far! It turns out that I may love my Home Diffuser too much

as well as the blend Peace and Calming. (Just a note: A different diffuser has replaced this diffuser in the American market just this week!) The Everyday Oils Collection comes with 10 different essential oils in 5 mL bottles

and having signed up as a member, I also got some samples, including a roll-on of the Stress Away. It was a great way for me to be able to try the different oils. In any case, it seems that Peace and Calming is one I like a lot: I'm already out! I added it to some extra virgin olive oil for foot massages on my daughter and husband this week, used it in the diffuser a LOT in the evening and even early morning to see if it would help the kids sleep longer... I have discovered that I don't need to use as much oil as the diffuser's booklet said, so that will help when I get new stuff in, but I also probably ended up losing some with my massage blend; I didn't really know what I was doing. lol. I am definitely getting more of the Peace and Calming and fortunately, the standard-sized bottle is 15 mL. I think I can learn to manage it so that it will last a month.

I have used all of these oils this week and have been reading all kinds of information online about ways to use them and combinations to use. There is still so much to learn! I have read of more than one family turning to essential oils for their "medicines" rather than any kind of over-the-counter drug (Tylenol, allergy meds...) I am going to do my best to turn to the oils before turning to pain killers or allergy meds. I'm all for a drug-free life!

Now, I can't say if it's the oils or a coincidence but Valor is supposed to empower the mind and increase self-confidence (among other ways it's found to help); it's one I've been diffusing and I've been having a growing desire all week to focus more on my blogs and writing and to really spend more time working on a "wealth plan". I have some ideas floating around in my head of "upgrades" to this blog. How long it will take for the ideas to be worked out enough to make changes, I don't know. Just know that changes are coming!

Disclaimer: None of the comments made about essential oils are designed to diagnose or treat!