Hi friends!  I want to make some sort of cinnamon roll or pull apart bread/loaf for our labor day/September birthday get together on Monday.  I have never done something like this before.  Anyone have some suggestions on recipe’s or desserts to make?

Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Cheese Grommit!

I made cheese!  Fresh Mozzarella! It wasn’t so hard. If you have the right equipment, it is pretty easy actually.

I followed instructions from

My substitutions:i

I halved the recipe

2% milk

I had Junket Rennet, so I used one whole tab.

Also, the only thermometer I had that even got as low as 90 degrees was my remote BBW thermometer, so that’s what I used, and it came out swell.

If you are going to try this, read her tips and notes at the end.  They are pretty helpful.

Anyway, I made this for breakfast.

ImageSara Lee 45 Calorie bread for the toast.

Slices of my homemade cheese

Slices of Heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden.

And a delicious drizzle of aged balsamic over the top.

Himalayan Salt benefits

This is really interesting!

Bio-Sil South Africa

The benefits of Himalayan Salt

In South Arica this is available from :

Himalayan Salt

26th August 2013

By Dr. Edward F. Group

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Himalayan crystal salt is far superior to traditional iodized salt. Himalayan salt is millions of years old and pure, untouched by many of the toxins and pollutants that pervade other forms of ocean salt.

Known in the Himalayas as “white gold,”Himalayan Crystal Salt contains the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body. This form of salt has also been maturing over the past 250 million years under intense tectonic pressure, creating an environment of zero exposure to toxins and impurities.

Himalayan salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy. Its minerals exist in a colloidal form, meaning that they are tiny enough for our cells to easily absorb.

Himalayan Crystal Salt: The Health Benefits


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Another Success

Well, in going along with the trend of Wednesday’s being awesome dinner nights, last night I made Lemon Risotto with Fresh Coho Salmon.  Yes, it was delicious.  Yes, I ate too much and has to sit with my jeans unbuttoned for a while.  No, it was not a weight watchers savvy meal.

It was just what I needed.



1 1/2 cups of Arborio Rice

6-8 cups of Reduced Sodium Chicken Stock

1 cup of white wine (I used a chardonnay, because I was going to drink the rest of the bottle, so use what you like.)

1 Shallot Diced

2 Cloves of Garlic Minced

2 tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Zest of 1 Lemon

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 1/4 Lbs of Fresh Coho Salmon ( I got skin on and removed the skin at home.  You don’t want the skin) Cubed

5 oz of Goat Cheese (Chevre)

3 scallions diced



On medium-high heat add olive oil, shallots and garlic, and cook until translucent.

In a separate pot/pan, get your chicken stock heated.  You don’t want to add cold chicken stock to a hot pan of rice, as it will bring down the cooking temp and take longer to cook, as well as alter the consistency of the rice.

Add rice to the pan with the shallots and garlic, and stir to coat the rice in oil.  Allow it to toast for about a minute until the rice starts to turn translucent as well.

Add the white wine and stir to de-glaze the pan and unstick anything that may be sticking.  Allow the wine to reduce for a couple of minutes.

Start by adding a couple of ladles of warmed chicken stock to the rice.  Just enough to cover the grains.  Turn the heat down to a simmer and stir every couple of minutes.  When the liquid is almost gone, add a few more ladles full. 

Continue this process until the rice is almost fully cooked.

Add the lemon zest and 1/2 of the lemon juice, as well as 1/2 of the scallions and stir.

Add your salt and pepper to taste, I also added some crushed red pepper to mine at this time.

Add the rest of your chicken stock and stir for about 1 minute.

Add your cubes of Salmon.  Fish takes little to no time to cook.  Stir gently to insure even cooking. 

Just before the fish is done, add your goat cheese in small clumps and stir until it is all melted and combine.

Your rice should be done and super creamy

Sprinkle the remaining lemon juice and scallions as garnish.


I love making Risotto.  It takes a little time, but it is generally really easy, and it impresses people a lot.  You can also have total creative freedom with it.  You can add anything and flavor it anyway you want, and the rice just soaks it all up.

Also, I suppose this recipe isn’t too bad health wise.  I used Goat Cheese instead of cream AND cheese.  And because of this, I was curious about the Points Plus value.  It is 12 Points Plus per serving.  Not great, but also doesn’t break the Point bank so to speak.

Portion Control Patrol

I don’t know why it is I feel the need to either rhyme or alliterate in all of my post titles, but sometimes I spend more time coming up with a title, than actually writing the post.

As the title suggests, I have been feeling a strong need to pack everything in my kitchen into one or two person portions.  I see this trend, that when other parts of my life start to feel out of my control, I crack down on my poor eating/drinking habits.

I know when I have been to relaxed with my eating habits, when I start to crave things like cheeseburgers and burritos.  I love burgers and burritos, don’t get me wrong, but when I am following my “healthy lifestyle” eating plan of whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and limited meat, and exercise, and actually don’t want to eat things like burgers and burritos.  I don’t crave them, I don’t think about eating them, I don’t really like the smell of them.  Id rather smell garlic simmering in olive oil, awaiting some baby spinach or asparagus.  When I am not eating as I would prefer too, I want “bad” foods all the time, which only makes me feel worse for not listening to myself to begin with.

So I suppose its time for some re-evaluation of my goals.

1. Consistently remind myself that if I want to effectively help others, I need to believe in my ability to help myself.  Healthy food can taste as good as unhealthy food, and make you feel better at the end of the day.  This is my calling.  Help others create a positive, sustainable relationship with food through gardening, cooking, sharing, and eating.

2. Eliminate excuses by proactively finding alternatives and GET ORGANIZED – For example, if your inner environmentalist is unhappy with the excessive use of Ziploc baggies for portion control, invest in a variety of glass jar sizes.  They are easily available at the grocery store, in the canning and preserving section.  This goes for all aspects of life, not just portion control.

3. Adequate sleep is just as important as what you eat or how much you exercise.  If I want to have the energy and motivation to cook, can, preserve, write, exercise, read, create etc. after I get off work, I need to get a good nights sleep the night before.

4. Remember those size 12 red cords are still at the bottom of my pants drawer, and remember how much I love them and want to wear them again.

5. Though I may not currently have the resources, time or money to do everything I have plans to do, there are always things that can be done, baby steps, to help obtain the resources I am lacking, that will eventually lead to success.

6. I want this.

Pre-season Blues

Aw crap, its football season again.  A time of year I grew up despising since it falls right around my birthday, taking the attention away from, well, me.

These last few years however, my addiction to food television has made the start of this season particularly harsh, as my ability to remain in control of the TV remote is lessening every day.  I’m losing Mondays, Thursdays, and of course Sundays.  RAWR!

So my plan for this season is to do what I started doing last season.  Invite people over, and feed them “game night” foods which I have secretly made Weight Watchers style and watch everyone’s reactions.

Here are a few of my ideas.

Baked Hot Wings with Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese dip and cut veggies

Homemade garlic pesto hummus

Baked veggie fries (I’ll try a few different kinds of veggies out to test the waters) with French onion dip (more Greek yogurt)

Shrimp Skewers with garlic lemon dip (more Greek yogurt, seeing a theme?)

Spinach and Artichoke dip.  I made a great one last year that was WW friendly and if you didn’t guess already, it has Greek Yogurt in it.

Anyway, you get the point.  I will entertain myself in ways I see fit, while the menfolk turn into uncivilized hooting baboons.  I’m ok with this, as long as they provide useful feedback on the snacks.

Food Focus

My current profession is a receptionist at a wonderful acupuncture and massage clinic.  I love my job, really I do.  I also am fully aware that it is not my destiny to remain behind a desk for the rest of my life.  There will come a time at some point (in the distant future) where my desire to make my part time hobbies become a full time career will overpower my comfort of having a reliable income.

I know that gardening and cooking will eventually become what I do, not just what I do for fun.  My philosophy is still developing but I know that food is medicine, food is love and food is life… at least for me anyway.  It is my intention to use my “powers” for good.

I am still in the learning process though.  I am learning the basics of cooking, the building blocks of gardening, and the fundamentals of putting the two together.

My question to you foodies out there is, once I am at an appropriate level of efficiency with these things, how do I narrow down and hone in the skills I have developed, into a sustainable career that will support myself and my family, and still achieve the “greater good” goal that I have in mind?  For example, food carts owners pick one specialty to sell on their carts.  That niche market is what makes them successful.  Do I need to pick one thing I am good at, or enjoy doing and stick with it?

How do I narrow down the infinite list of possibilities in my head, to a tangible project that I can begin to work on as a “hobby” so that when I am ready to make it my career, I am prepared, educated, and equipped to succeed?

These are my thoughts today.