Starting a Journey to Health

20160415_195059Many years ago, in the early 90’s I was working 50 hour weeks.  My hubby was working as much, if not more.  We had 3 kiddos by then and lived in town.  In the previous 5 years we had buried both my grandmothers, my uncle, my mother and my grandfather. 3 of those deaths were cancer.  My Mom knew the connection between living right, eating well and environment but had no tools to stay or get well.  Her death cemented in me a need to give my family the tools and knowledge to do better than Mom could.

It’s hard to look at all modern day offers us and tells us we need and walk away from that with healthy choices.  We all know Twinkies and fast food are not healthy, plastics are bad for us and our environment and that activity helps keep us fit.  Where do you start if you are living in town, have no garden and a kitchen full of redneck Tupperware ( used margarine tubs for food storage?)

1st, don’t sweat the big picture.  You will loose your mind and develop an eating disorder. Pick a small part to focus on.  If money is an issue, who doesn’t have budget issues, start with something easy for you.  Probably the best way to start is with getting your digestion on track.  Get your body digesting food properly.  I read a wonderful book once, The Hot Belly Diet, it gives you a great one month plan for resetting your digestive system.

I started introducing cultures, living food, to our families diet.  Kombucha, yogurt, keifer, kimchi.  Any food that is a probiotic and you can make yourself to get your system processing the foods you eat properly.  Get that homeostasis functioning above par.

Getting on Track Pt 1



This is a great drink made from sweet tea with a Scooby, mushroom, culture that grows, ages and feeds on the sugars leaving you with a healthy fizzy drink.  Look up scooby, bucha or kombucha in your favorite market and you can easily purchase all the stuff you need in a kit for $25 to $50.  I did it on the cheep.

Went to the local store and bought a plain kombucha drink.  It needs to be plain, flavor will prevent the culture from feeding.  I looked for one that had sediment on the bottom of the bottle and strands in the tea.

I made a quart of sweet tea with organic green tea and 1/3 C sugar.  Then I poured it into 2 quart glass jars and topped that off with the kombucha I purchased. It needs to set still in a dark area at about 60 to 70 degrees.  You need to let it breath.  I used flour stack at first.  That only attracted fruit flies, not good.  So I eventually used the standard lid intended for the container, I never tighten them, only set them on the jar strait.  It lets the bucha breath and keeps bugs away.

Leave it be for 10 days.  Depending on the process the bottle you purchased went through you should see a film on top, sediment on the bottom and a tangy nearly fizzy drink.  Go ahead and drink some, if one looks or tastes better than the other, keep your culture and starter from that batch.

Make more sweet tea, add the culture and liquid you saved and set up again for 10 more days. It took me 4 cycles like this to get to a full proper culture growing.  This is what you are looking for.growingscooby

After so many batches you will have mushrooms to share.  We give excess to the chickens, dogs, compost…. Scooby.jpg

If you like flavor wait util you have some good fizz going for you.  Then when you take you finished bucha down you can add flavor in the form of juice, dried powders, or whatever tickles you and bottle it for a few days to let the fizz build and flavors marinate.  You’ll be making your own healthy probiotic pop.

We’ll call this “Getting on Track” Part 1.  Next in this series I will post a few options for making your own yogurt. 

Moist Chocolate Cake with Chocolate/Cabernet Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Cooked Cab/Cacao Frosting

YUMMY!  I am not much of a “by the book” cook.  I am a fistful of this, pinch of that, in the mood for this or that spice today kind of cook.  When I find a recipe I like, I will try to follow the recipe the 1st time.  Then my family is subjected to altered versions to tweak to our taste for weeks after.

This cake recipe is a morph from the original Hersheys Cocoa tin back in the 40’s.  We like to keep things as raw and organic as we can so instead of Cocoa, Cacao.  To replace milk and a portion of the butter I have used butter milk or yogurt (our own culture from non pasteurized milk.)

The icing comes from many different favorites all hybridized to develop a not too sweet, clean rich frosting. I have always hated confectioners sugar.  It seems like a cheep, stretched GMO loaded cheat to me.  After doing some gourmet baking research I came across a stove top recipe with flour and regular sugar.  Simply delectable!  Then I combined it with my favorite rich moose recipe and thought, as with all things, a splash of wine can only make things better.

Now, please forgive the minimal photos and lack of quality.  My phone was “lost” months ago and I am trying to get by borrowing my hubbies phone when he is around.  Lousy lighting, no prep ready, rushed to just get it done……..

So, here is my newest creation.

Moist Chocolate Cake


  • 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 C sugar
  • 3 lg eggs
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 2/3 C Cacao or Cocoa
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 C milk or buttermilk or yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 deg.  Grease and flour a 13X9 or 2 square/round layer cake pans, or line your cupcake tins with papers.

  1. Cream sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time blending well after each addition.
  2. Mix the rest of your dry ingredients thoroughly.  Alternately adding portions of your dry and wet to the creamed.  Start with 1/2 to 1/3 or the dry, mixing thoroughly. Then 1/2 to 1/3 wet, thoroughly. Then more dry.  Keep going until all ingredients are fully blended, no lumps, a nice creamy batter.
  3. Pour into your pans(s.) Bake for 35-40 min until knife inserted comes out clean.  Cool on rack.


Cabernet Chocolate Custard Frosting


  • 2 Tbsp butter softened to room temp
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C cacao or cocoa
  • 2 heaping tsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C milk
  • 1/2 C cabernet
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Blend all the dry.  Cream with your softened butter. in a medium thick bottomed sauce pan.  When thoroughly blended slowly add your beaten eggs util well mixed.  Add milk and cab beating until smooth.
  2. Put over low to medium heat (temp depends on thickness of your pan, you do not want to scald the milk or curdle the egg by fast rising and uneven temps.) Constantly whisk as heating.  As it starts to steam, get hot, it will start tracing and ribbon for you.  Just before it reaches a boil it should be thick pudding consistency.
  3. Pour over your cake. You have a few minutes while cooling to spread before it sets.  Do not let it sit too long before shaping and covering your cake.  You have minutes.

What’s nice is this icing sets up pretty and holds it place and shape. Plus it is rich and flavorful with out the excessive sweet pasty feel of a butter cream frosting.