Monday, August 29, 2011

Homemade energy & protein bars- LOTS of recipes!

Just typing the title made me hungry and I had to go have some of my homemade "lemon treats" as whole foods market calls them.  YUMMY!  They are basically like a lara bar in truffle form rolled in coconut, similar to the key lime pie flavor.  Easy as pie.. easier actually! Did I mention that they are perfect for a raw foodist, but don't let that discourage you if you are not into healthy food!
Moving on to the AMAZING bevvy of energy, protein, snack bars!  The best part these are truly healthy, low in any processed sugar if any and loaded with nutrients!

Don't go away... there are so many more and they just keep getting more interesting!

Click here for the 6 ingredient recipe that takes literally minutes to make.

Great twist on granola bars. Get the recipe here.

Saved some of the most interesting exciting recipes for last!
Lara bar copycat

All-Natural Chocolate Brownie Power Bars (Raw, Vegan, No Added Sugar)

PB&J lara bar taste a like!

Chocolate Black Bean Power Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, & Easy--Allergy Free Option)
I would love to know what you guys think!  Leave me a comment.  I am so excited to make all of these and have some healthy fun options on hand that are yummy and all natural!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Raw Fruit Pie- YUMMY!!

MY brother in law sent me this recipe as he knew I was loving me some dates lately!! Dates add a sweet brown sugar like quality that replaces regular sugar! This pie has NO ADDED sugar.  The dates do the sweetening.  He got this recipe from his gyms news lettter  Crossfit Oahu.  
Paleo Raw Fruit Pie 
2 cups raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, etc.)
1 cup dates, pitted (raisins, figs or dried apricots can also be used
1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
Cinnamon or nutmeg

Put raw nuts in a food processor, and blend  with S-blade until nuts are reduced to small crumbs.

Add the dates and salt, and blend again until no more date chunks remain.  Pour crumbs in to 9-inch pie plate, and use your hands to press crumbs into the form of a pie crust. 

Freeze pie crust for about 15 minutes.  This helps it become firm and solid.

Fruit Filling
6 cups fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, etc.)
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup date, soaked about 10 minutes in water
unsweetened coconut (optional)

Wash fruits, and cut off stems.  Cut bigger fruits into thin slices or chunks.

Put 2 cups of fruit, lemon juice, and soaked dates (without the water) into a blender and blend until you have a smooth liquid.

Put remaining 4 cups of fruit into a large bowl, and pour blended fruit mixture over it.  Mix well. 

Take pie crust out of the freezer, and pour the fruit mixture into it.  Use a rubber spatula to spread the filling into the crust.  Sprinkle coconut over the top and put back in the refrigerator for an hour or two.  Enjoy!
I can't wait to try this!  I have recently learned that using dates as sugar is how Lara bars taste so good with only a few ingredients.  The post of recipes for energy bars, protein bars, cliff bar taste-a-likes and lara bar copy cats is coming soon... Delicioius black bean chocolate protien bars with only whole foods?  Can't wait to try it!  I will try to make some of these and blog about it soon!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Bella's adoption story featured!

How cool!  Bella's adoption story was featured at My Crazy Adoption.  You can read the whole post there or here my blog.  I have a heart for adoption and love reading how God has placed these children with out families into a new family that loves and cherishes them.  It is exactly the picture of how God has adopted us into His family.

"True religion is this to take care of the orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

If adoption isn't for you think of how you can help those who are adopting.  Can you babysit for someone who has adopted, can you help fund raise for someone who is?  Can you pray for someone is adopting or has?  We are all called to be a part in some way.  Hope this inspires you to find a way to get involved and help these lonely children in need.

Here is an amazing family that I know that are adopting . This are my friends that adopted in Vanuatu with me. While I was adopting Bella she was adopting Koral.  They are now trying to adopt from Ethiopia and need all the help they can get.  Please read and see how you can pray or help in any way.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mini Tutorial for Star Wars birthday cake (Storm trooper)

I am going to walk you through the steps to making a storm trooper birthday cake.  It is basically a double layer cake with marshmallow  fondant used to make a storm trooper face on the side.  
My daughter Bella and I holding up my son's cake for his 7th birthday.
The first step is to make 2 round cakes to stack on each other.  I had tried this in the past and had my cakes fall apart before reaching the plate so this time I used plenty of oil on the sides of the pan and parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pans.  This helped TREMENDOUSLY! 

I used a recipe called "Crazy Cake" (recipe coming soon!) that does not use eggs, milk or butter,and can be made chocolate or vanilla and is DELICIOUS!!  We are not allergic to dairy but this cake is so moist, delicious, easy and inexpensive that it is all we make!  I always get rave reviews.

 Once both of your cakes have cooled. turn one out onto the plate and frost with butter cream frosting, as this helps the fondant to stick.  I add strips of wax paper for this stage so that you can remove them once you are done frosting to protect the serving plate from frosting.  Now place the other cake flat side down on top and frost the top and all sides with the butter cream frosting.

Here is the fondant recipe I used from cut out and keep. It is very easy and has simple ingredients.

Once you have made your fondant and rolled it out you should now have one pretty small batch in black and bigger one in white. We didn't have black food coloring so we used food color gel in brown and dark blue till it came out as close to black as we could get it.  Now roll them both out to about the thickness shown in the following photo.  
 I folded the layer of fondant back so you could see what I was covering, but basically you just lay it over the top of the cake with enough to cover all the sides.  I overestimated for sure how much I would need!  Once it is all laid out you just trim with a knife around the base of the cake   You can see that i have strips of wax paper under the cake REMOVE IT BEFORE laying the fondant down.
 Once the cake is trimmed it will look like this.  You can see I made the mistake of leaving the wax paper under the cake and it was VERY hard to get out later.  Since it is only strips you should be able to remove it easily right before laying on the fondant.

Now all you have to do is cut out your mask pieces.  You can look at a storm trooper or this cake to see how you want to do it.  If you make a 3 layer cake you have more room for the mask.  Once the simple mask pieces are cut out ( I did the glasses part, 3 small slits off to each side of the glasses and mouth pieces), then you wet the pieces with water on the back so they will stick and adhere them.
 I used a fondant press with the words happy birthday to "write" in the top and added a candle. You're done!

It was fun and easy to make and my son LOVED it!  What more could you ask for?  I would love to know if you try it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My favorite Granola recipe

My favorite Granola recipe

I make mine in this large stoneware casserole dish.

This is a modification of "Megans granola" from all


  • 8 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mix of raisins or sweetened dried cranberries or apricots
  • 1 cup coconut 


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). 
  2. Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins or cranberries or apricots and coconut before storing in an airtight container.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Pierce's 7th Birthday party Star wars style!

We had a star wars birthday party for my 7 year old son.  He LOVED it! We had it at the local park that has a water fountain for kids to play in and that was the perfect spot.  The kids could run off and play and no one was bored and I didn't have to plan too many party games to occupy everyone.  
I made sure to take a photo of all 4 of my kids PRE-party because I knew post party they would all be a mess!  Cruz on the left did NOT want to give up his light saber for the photo!  We made 20 light sabers for almost nothing with 10 pool noodles (on sale for $7 total) cut in half and a roll of black ad silver duct tape to create the handles.
The one party game we did play was "bomb the death star".  We drew the death star in chalk and then let the kids bomb it with water balloons till all traces of it had been washed away. Simple, easy, cheap and fun!
 The kids LOVED this and it gave them the change to play with water balloons and not kill each other. We tried a water balloon fight for a while but all the young kids were crying cause they were getting clocked in the face with water balloons and it stung.  This was a much better solution!
When the boys weren't in the water fountain and had run out of water balloons the light sabers kept them occupied.  This was the boys take home gift  in lieu of party favor bags and they were a HUGE hit.
I made a storm trooper out of a double layer round cake with marshmallow fondant.  I used my FAVORITE cake recipe called crazy cake that has NO eggs, butter, or milk and it is DELICIOUS.  We discovered the recipe while living overseas on a remote island in the South Pacific that limited access to these things.
I will do a tutorial on the cake when I get a chance.  Not because I think mine came out perfect but because a tutorial on this cake would have helped me a lot!  I am by NO means a cake master!  This was a classy fairly simple cake that anyone could pull off.  My son LOVED it, and that was the important part.
My other son loved the cupcakes we made with the same cake recipe.  Although he can't really talk yet at 1 he was able to clearly communicate with his grandma that he did indeed NEED another cupcake.

I can't believe he is already 7 now and Dahlia my second oldest is 4 1/2!  Time does fly when you are having fun!.
Here is an action shot of some of the boys playing with their light sabers in the fountain.  Everyone had a ball and I really didn't have too much planning to do since they were so occupied with the light sabers and fountain.  It made for an inexpensive fun and easy star wars birthday party!
Of course my husband and I had to duke it out.  I think I won of course, although he might give you a different story!   In the end I went home with 4 tired out kiddos ready for a rest and almost no cleanup!  The perfect ending to the perfect party.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

DIY all natural sweetened condensed milk & granola bars

I saw a great recipe for granola bars on Positively Splendid and when I asked for a substitute for the sweetened condensed milk she sent me this from  YEAH!!!


2 eggs
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients and use in place of processed sweetened condensed milk in recipes.

How about a delicious, healthy and easy recipe to use it in!
I found this amazing recipe with equally tempting photo from positively splendid.
It has all of 5 ingredients aside from the sweetened condensed milk we are substituting to make it healthier. 
This recipe is just slightly different than the original to up the health factor.

Easy Granola bars
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup carob chips, yogurt covered raisins or other sweet treat.
1/2 assorted dried fruit (think apricots, cherries, craisins...)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk or the substitute that is listed above.
I like to throw in some coconut as well!
Just mix it all together and throw into a greased casserole dish (9"x 13") and bake at 325 till golden (about 30 minutes).

I will be reducing the sugar in the milk substitute above as I usually don't like things overly sweet and it healthies it up a bit too!  

The kids and I are making these today!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

FREE COMPLETE Biblical early learning curriculum!

I love this FREE curriculum that is laid out in a very easy to follow plan from Hubbards Cupboard.  She has a great curriculum for 2 year olds, 3 year olds, and this 4-6 year old one.  She includes a full month by month scope and sequence so that you can print it off and plan week by week or month by month to have it all lined out.  She even gives tutorials for the crafts to be done.  It is a great all in one FREE curriculum for all pre Kindergartners.  Enjoy! 


Monday, August 15, 2011

Over run with zucchini? Some fresh ideas...

We don't even have a garden and we are up to our ears in zucchini!  My friends and parents do have gardens and they seem to be partial to zucchini.  It must be this hot Colorado sun who knows.  So I have been looking for a variety of ways to eat zucchini.  Here is what we have been making...
Zucchini Pancakes
Zucchini Pancakes Recipe
Click here for recipe from Taste of Home
Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Recipe
Click here for minestrone recipe from Taste of Home.
We did used tofu instead of meat, and altered the veggies a little.

Multigrain Zucchini Muffins
Multigrain zucchini muffin recipe from All Recipes can be found here.
I made a double batch of this already large recipe and stored some batter in the fridge to make later as well as freezing some of the muffins we made for later.
Grilled Veggie Sandwich

Grilled Veggie Sandwich recipe from All Recipes
Our sandwiches had portabello mushrooms and were on whole wheat bread with Jarlsberg Swiss cheese.  We also marinated our veggies in some Italian style dressing.  They were DIVINE!
Grilled Pizza 

Pizza on the grill recipe from all recipes is here.
Just add zucchini to this pizza.  We used whole wheat flour in our dough to up the nutrition.


Zucchini, Tomato, & Corn
This photo and recipe from simple foodie is similar to our pizzacchini.
We chop zucchini, onions, and garlic and saute them.  Then we add some frozen corn, jarred pasta sauce and a sprinkle of white cheese (parmigiana, or mozzarella, or jack).  That is it and the kids love it!

Broiled zucchini slices

Broiled Zucchini with Cheese
Here is a similar recipe to what we do from Kalyns Kitchen.
We just slice the zucchini and sprinkle with garlic salt and then shred parmigiana or asiago cheese on top before we broil till the cheese is browned and the zucchini is still crisp tender.  SIMPLE!

Another thing I am trying is shredding a bunch of the zucchini (in a food processor) to later add to soups, muffins, casseroles, etc..

Here are a few I want to try.

Zucchini Provencal
All Recipe's zucchini provecal recipe can be found here.

Zucchini Lasagna
ravioli zucchini lasagna
Here's the recipe to good housekeeping's zucchini lasagna.

Wow when I look at all the things we have cooked with zucchini lately I realize how much zucchini we have been eating!! It is so good for us that I am glad we are finding ways to use it all up!  What have you been doing with your zucchini?


Friday, August 12, 2011

I Won A Versatile Blogger Award!

Thanks to Tracy from mama-press, I have won the Versatile Blogger Award!  YEAH!! I am a new blog so this is exciting!
I blog about health and fitness, homeschool, crafts, DIY projects, sewing, and home management as well as anything that strikes my fancy like hairstyles, and anything pertaining to mamahood. So thank you Tracy!

The rules after accepting the Versatile Blogger award are:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs.
7 facts about myself:
  1. I am PASSIONATE about my Jesus and my family.
  2. I was born and raised in Alaska and have traveled to over 30 countries in my 33 years the last three of those counties I was fortunate enough to travel to with my amazing husband and 3 children while pregnant with the fourth.  I hope to continue the adventure.
  3. I LOVE adoption and my daughter Bella was adopted from birth from Vanuatu, and I hope to somehow be involved in adoption again. 
  4. I have a masters degree in the Science of  Natural Health and am very into nutrition health and fitness.
  5. I LOVE LOVE to dance especially salsa and merengue and used to live in Costa Rica where I was friends with and club dancing partners with the salsa champion of Costa Rica.   FUN!!
  6. I am crazy frugal and love thrift shops, DIY projects, sewing, and a great deal on craigslist, where, by the way, I sold my two cars, my house and most things in it when we moved from Alaska. 
  7. I HATE peanut butter and jelly but faithfully feed it to my little crew that love it. 
15 blogs I'm passing the award onto:
  1. A Lemon Squeezy Home
  2. Homemade by Jill
  3. Wildflowers and Whimsy
  4. The Cottage Home
  5. Mama and Baby Love
  6. Craftiness is not Optional
  7. My Homespun threads
  8. Grosgrain Fabulous
  9. Centsational Girl
  10. Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care
  11. Bacon Tidbits
  12. Homemaker on a Dime
  13. our-everyday-art. 
  14.  1 plus 1 plus1 equals 1
  15. mama-jenn
Thanks again to Lindsay!  Hope you enjoy these blogs that range from crafty to adoption to homeschool and more!