Friday, June 28, 2013

How to make a GREAT burger!

Let's face it.  We all like good burgers!

So many times we are disappointed with the outcome.  I have friends who went on a summer time quest last year for San Diego's best burger. I mean really.... people are into burgers. Once in a while it is nice to go out for a great burger. If you do 99.9% of the cooking for your family you TOTALLY understand what I am saying.  No prep, no cooking, no clean up, nothing but eating and having someone take your plate away.

But as the warm weather is upon for for a few more months we are spending more time outside and will certainly cook and eat more meals outdoors. So I have to admit......I  make an AWESOME hamburger. And today my friends, I will share how I do it. It is simple, everyone I have ever shared the recipe with is amazed at how good it is and how simple to create pure grill greatness.

So here it is. Get a nice big bowl and add ginger powder, garlic powder, tumeric, dry mustard powder and celery seed. Mix this all up (as much as your taste buds like, I use about 2 T of each per 2lbs of meat) add about 2 lbs of ground meat (grass fed beef and bison are my faves) then squirt on 2T of your favorite BBQ sauce and mix with your hands. THEN it is time for the cheese. Pull out some slices of pepper jack cheese and build 2 small patties. Put 2 small cheese slices on top of one of the burgers, top with the other. 

open flame burgers in cast iron cookers!
NOW THE IMPORTANT PART! Hold them in your hand and start crimping the edges together until there are no seams.  This will give you a stuffed burger that WILL NOT ooze out and will stay super moist.

Hit the grill and cook however you like. One more secret of mine. On my buns I use mustard, lettuce, cilantro, pickles, onion, DANDELION and SWEET POTATO PUREE.  Those last 2 will make it even more amazing.

Good luck grilling this beautiful summer, and give the above a try, guaranteed hit!

Friday, June 21, 2013

My best home remedies part 1

I have people ask all the time: "April, I am having a huge issue with ________!  What should I do????" I have facebook friends who post questions that need help and I always have people thanking me for my more 'natural' solution that helps or allows the body to heal itself vs. the pharmaceutical companies getting a little richer.

With the sunny slightly breezy days we have had I decided to talk about my favorite allergy  remedies. The first one is....... LOCAL HONEY AND CINNAMON. Seems a little simple, right? Well it is. They key is good ingredients, so I don't recommend the standard grocery store stuff. Find a good cinnamon, I use one from Indonesia. It is c/o and it is good!!!!! The I use any honey I get from the local farmers markets.

The key with this mixture is it puts the LOCAL allergens back into your system. And as you know if you have ever had an allergy issues it is the LOCAL allergens that are getting you. This is the whole principle of homeopathy. Not sure what that is? The basic explanation is a little of what makes you sick to make you better. FROM NATURE!!!! (so don't confuse what I am saying to what the pharma companies tell you about vaccines.)

The recipe 1T local honey to 1/2t cinnamon, mix and eat. If it is weird to you add it to hot water, hot tea (no sugar in the tea)  or cut up a lovely apple and dip. You see this makes it so easy to give your kids as well. Do this 3-5 times a day and withing a day or two you should be good to go. This also works when you are starting a cold! Same procedure and it will help clean you right up.

My next favorite thing to keep allergies away, you know the saying about an ounce of prevention..... BEE POLLEN. About a year ago I started taking bee pollen on a semi regular basis (once a week in a smoothie), needless to say this spring I have not had any allergy attacks.

Now you have to figure there is a reason I know about all of these allergy relieving things, right? Literally just take 1t of the pollen and add it to a smoothie, or sprinkle over yogurt filled with your favorite fruit. Here is interesting info from Dr. Leo Conway, M.D of Denver Colorado. He reported that 94 percent of his patients were completely free from allergy symptoms once treated with oral feeding of pollen. Everything from asthma to allergies to sinus problems were cleared, confirming that bee pollen is wonderfully effective against a wide range of respiratory diseases.

Keep in mind one of the things I AM allergic to is bee sting. So when I started taking the pollen I introduced it at a very small amount and increased each time I took it. I did not want to trigger an allergic reaction and all has been fine. If you are uncertain for yourself or anyone in your family I would recommend you trying it out the same way.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I love balls!

Who loves balls? Everyone in my house loves them......especially CHOCOLATE BALLS!

That is what we call them. Some people call them power balls, some people call them protein balls, some people call them energy balls. Regardless of what you call them, they are awesome!

Super easy to make, super good. Here is how to do it.

1C Almonds
1C pitted dates
2T cocoa powder
2T maca powder
melted coconut oil

Throw the almonds in a great blender or food processor. Once they are finely chopped add the dates until they are finely chopped and the mixture is sticky.  Next add the cocoa and maca and mix until blended.

Great oil and the best deal on this is at Costco.
Check to see how well the mixture holds together, if needed start adding coconut oil 1/2 t at a time. Once it can hold together... you're done. Form into balls and pop into the freezer. We eat them straight out of the freezer and they are SUPER GOOD!!!

What if you have extra coconut oil....don't fret, just rub it into the ends of your hair for a bonus deep conditioning treatment. ;-)

Chocolate Balls!

This recipe makes about 25 if no 2 year olds get their hands on them before freezing!

Saturday, June 8, 2013


The magic of compost gardening! Do you do it, should you do you know why?

For years I have composted. Last year however I got a new larger composter that is a tumbler. For those of you who don't's the kind you turn. It has always been amazing to me that your everyday food scraps breakdown and go right back into the soil feeding it lovely nutrients and making everything so happy.

In March we spread out the compost and topped all of the planting beds before we put seeds in the ground. WELL, we then decided to get some more reclaimed wood and build 3 more long planting beds for a small area between our garage and neighbors fence. So on mothers day after our lovely breakfast we started working. We finished off (3) 9 foot long beds and let them sit. If you remember IT WAS HOT that day, so we had a backyard picnic took showers and called it a day. The next day it was hot too. But the next evening we all started filling up buckets and loading the wagon to get our finished compost to those beds. With 2 beds almost full Andy was vigorously working over by the composter and I wasn't paying any attention to what he was doing as I was laying down straw and dumping the buckets of happy black dirt into our new beds.

Well my next wagon load was YUUUUUUCCCKKYYYY! And I mean YUCKY! He had emptied out all of the 'raw' compost from the bin and said 'let's just try it and see what happens". So I started dumping all of the squishy gooiness into the final bed. Then topped it off with finished compost. That was enough work for the evening.

The next day was warm again, so I just watered the beds and decided to seed the following evening. All the seeds went in well, I decided to run a soaker hose system over there to not have to hassle with hoses or watering cans etc. And figured would give it water and in a few weeks see what things were looking like.

The timeline is as follows: sunday- build beds; tuesday -fill with straw and compost; wednesday- water; thursday-seed; saturday- do hose system. Here is where it starts getting a little crazy. Tuesday when I went to check on our new little beds there was growth. In the first 2 beds each had one little sprout. BUT in the bed with the fresh compost.... it was amazing!!!! Keep in mind, the pictures you see here are planted seeds 5 days old. The last pic you see is 10 days old.

So the answer to the question, is YES! Do I do it, YES! Should you do it, YES! Will I always do it, YES! It is totally amazing!!!

Some of us compost because we don't want so much stuff going in the landfill. That is a great reason to start! You can take it one step farther by topping off some of your house plants, then if you decide to grow food, top of the food, then you will see the cycle gets bigger and goes faster and the next thing you know you are actually GROWING things in compost. Compost improves your soil structure, it becomes light and fluffy so air and water can move around. Compost increases the nutrient content of your soil, so you create a little Eco-system that give back to your soil what your plants are taking from it to grow, live and thrive. Compost allows your soil to hold more water meaning it can provide it to your plants in a longer more plentiful way. Compost allows your soil and plants to fight off disease more readily.  Think of it just like your body with a healthy alkaline bad cells can thrive in an alkaline human, your soil is the same.

So get out there and start composting! TOTALLY WORTH IT!