"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Pizza Cook-Off

This past weekend my family held our 2nd 'sorta' annual Pizza Cook-Off!
Last year my mom was sick, so we canceled. And never got around to rescheduling.
So, hence the 'sorta' annual!

The rules are simple: each family has to bring a pizza. It cannot be store bought, however we do allow premade crusts if the cook chooses!

Hubby and I chose to each make our own :) I did make the homemade crust for both of our pies though. And I swear yeast and I have a love/hate relationship - emphasis on hate!

Above is hubby's original 'Hawaiian Pizza' - which he did from scratch, no recipe.
Below is my 'Chix Spinach Alfredo Pizza' - which I did from scratch, with a recipe :)

Each pizza had a chance to snab 15 points -- up to 5 for presentation and 10 for taste! Below is one of my sister and her family's 'Pica De Meheco' Pizza! They definitely were going for the gold in presentation!!

And....the winner of the 2nd Sorta Annual Pizza Cook-Off was.....

Allen!! God.Bless.America. for all the whining he did about how everyone was going to have a recipe to go off of...then the hours he spent making the dang thing. Like he was Picasso creating a work of art.

Here is my sister Kellie, the first years winner, handing off the trophy!

We had all kinds of pies, and of course because I forgot to change the setting on my camera, most of the pictures did not turn out good! We had a Sweet Pepper Pizza, another Mexican pizza and this lovely one below. It was called 'Under the Tuscan Sun' and then, after it cooked, it's name changed to 'Under the Tuscan Sun...too long'! HA! And yes, it was my Dad's pie :) Two doozy's two contests in a row - step up the A-game Dad!! Isn't your last name MILANO?!

Anyways, my niece was petrified of the piece of burnt pie and my brother-in-law was having a field day with it!

Cheers to another wonderful Pizza Cook-Off :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Homemade Creamsicles!

Here is my newest favorite thing to make in the kitchen :)

Homemade Creamsicles!!
Since we are moving over to this traditional/real/whole foods diet [I can't decide what the proper term is], popsicles and creamsicles are just one more thing to make from scratch. They take hardly any effort and taste much better than the boxed ones. I purchased the Tovolo molds, which are BPA free.

So for my first go-round, I did Banana Mango Creamsicles.

After I peeled the fruit, I threw it into my mini food processor and added about 1 tbsp of honey and probably 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream - I just eyeballed it.

Then I blended it all together...

...poured it into the molds...

...and waited for them to freeze up!
I made these in the morning and we tried them in the afternoon. If I had to guess, they were in the freezer for 5-ish hours?

And they were delish!
The babe especially enjoyed as he is pushing through a top tooth at the moment!

Next up, Peaches 'n Cream creamsicles with canned peaches for the summer :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Whole Foods Transition: Coffee Creamer

I wanted to talk for a minute about one thing I have made a 100% leap on during this transition to eating whole, real foods. BTW, again, what do I call this? A 'diet', a new way of life? Lunacy? ;)

Anyways, I was a total flavored coffee creamer junkie. Especially during the holidays when, starting in fall, the stores would stock their shelves with flavors like Pumpkin Spice and then move into White Chocolate Raspberry :)

Throughout a lot of the reading I have been doing, it was pretty much a no brainer that these creamers really aren't really 'cream' - get me? So I figured it was probably to my overall benefit, especially my teeth, if I try to cut out these 'creamers' loaded full of sugar and things produced in a scientific lab. I had already started dabbling in my obsession of making things from scratch, and I stumbled upon Carrie Vitt's recipes for homemade coffee creamers. I made them a few times and they weren't bad. They weren't what I was used to, but in a good way. They weren't knock my teeth out sweet. So I kept up with them for a few weeks. Occasionally, I would be somewhere and use a flavored creamer. They started to taste terrible, like I was drinking something metallic, every time. The longer I went without drinking them in my daily coffee, the worse they tasted when I did.

Then, the inevitable happened. I ran out of my homemade stuff and didn't have time to think/remember/just make another batch. Coffee without cream for me is like taking a shower in cold water...like trying to drive your car with no gas. Follow me? So, because I can't drink my coffee black, or couldn't, I should say, I just used some cream I had in the fridge. After all, it was half of the ingredients I used to make the homemade stuff. Certainly it tasted different - again. But again, it tasted different in a good way. It tasted healthy - normal - what it probably should taste like! And I also noticed I needed less and less; from the transition to the fake flavored creamers, to the homemade creamers, to just the cream. Now, if I must, I really can just drink the coffee black, but I do prefer a little slurp of cream in there.

And do you know the most amazing thing I noticed. (I know, I am weird). The drops that form at the top of your drink, after your 5th cup of the morning sits on your desk for a few hours, look buttery! Not like some synthetic oil forming on a puddle. That is when you know it has to be good!

Can you see the 'droplets' that look like the color of butter? :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Link Loitering

Here is a short list of things this week.
All I have to say is TGIF...no, seriously, THANK.GOD.IT'S.FRIDAY! This has been the longest week ever!!!

Seed Savers Exchange is offering 2012 Webinar Series on saving your own seeds. The first one was this past week, but I am sure you could get caught up!

Have you checked the new USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for your area? It is the first time it has been updated since 1990! (Global Warming, anyone?)

Good quick read on Michael Pollan's Least Favorite Foods! (Psstt...look what he says about yogurt! I told you!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whole Foods Diet - Working on Kicking!

So I have mentioned some things I have already kicked/transitioned over to as I work my family into a Whole Foods 'diet'. (Or is it more appropriate to refer to it as a 'real foods' diet? I have no clue!) Now, to share some of the things I am working on kicking out the door for good! These are at the top of the list!

Refined Sugar
I would love to move to all natural sweeteners in the house, but there are few things hubby uses white sugar for, one being his morning coffee. If I left him some honey to pour in it instead, I am not so sure he'd be appreciative! So, I am working on it. In most of my cooking and my own consumption, I go w/o the refined sugar. I used Maple Syrup and Honey the majority of times in place of sugar. And truthfully, when I do have something with refined sugar in it now, my teeth aren't happy with me and I can taste the difference. I prefer to not have it! I even kicked the flavored creamers habit I had with my coffee. Now I just use a little whole cream; that is a BIG deal for me. I loved those flavored creamers. But you know what? Now that I've kicked them, if I do have coffee with some, it taste TERRIBLE!

Pop is already something I do without. The only time I may have it is at a holiday/family gathering where it is in abundance (and wine is not an option - lol!). My husband, however, thinks that any time he is thirsty, he needs a pop *sigh* -- so transitioning him over on this one is going to be quite the battle and I am not sure I am planning on winning it any time soon either. Though, I will say, we both agree it will be something we won't be giving to the babe as he gets older! (Sorry, Dad! This means you can't either!)

Cold Cereal
Again here, I don't really do all the fruit loops, fruity pebbles and cookie crunches of the cold cereal world, but hubby does. He doesn't eat them too often and it isn't an item he mentions he'd wish we had so this could be fairly easy to cancel out all together. Going along with the breakfast theme, I'll also add that we have 'leggo'ed our Eggo's!' Yep, that is right .. no more Eggo Waffles or boxed pancake mix here. It is all from scratch. And would you believe, pancakes from scratch hold well in the fridge so you can enjoy them for 2 more days?! Really! I take them to work and much on them cold - they are GREAT! And when you make them with whole wheat, they are very filling too.

So, while this list is just a start, I think it is a pretty good start :) Certainly, Hot Cheetos need to go too, but you know what, they kinda don't taste as good anymore either when I do have some!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I can't say Thirty is too exciting.
16 was exciting...even 18 was.

21 was a memorable one, of course, if memory serves me correct ;)
And heck, even 22 was!

30, ehhhh

But don't my friends & family know me so well!

My good friend Jen, who I don't get to see in person all too much, drove over an hour to make a surprise visit at my work...with 3 boys in tow! What a saint! And she brought me this, complete with organic suckers :)

One of my sisters, Mallory, stopped in with my two nieces as well. It was a grand old party of 3 and 5 kids in my lil' ol office! She was going to bring me my favorite sushi, but with two kids in tow, that is not an easy task; the restaurant sits on the town square and it isn't kid-friendly to maneuver! But it is the thought that counts!

Tonight I get to spend a quite evening with a few of my favorite guys!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mom Snydrome: Example 1

This is an example of what I like to call 'Mom Syndrome'

You are probably looking at these photos thinking 'why did she post the same pictures over and over again?'

When, in fact, each picture is different. 

When the pictures are of your kid, they all look cute. How could you choose just one?
The side stare?

Or the dead on stare?
And this, my friends, is how those professional picture palaces get you. You spend a months worth of paychecks on 900 hundred poses because, how could you choose just one?

By the way, someone tell him (and his milk belly) to PLEASE.STOP.GROWING so fast on me!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tough Kid Milestone

This is one tough kid!

And no, I don't say that because he is decked out in camo, just like is father. By pure coincidence too...although, when 90% of his wardrobe is camo, I am not sure how much it can be considered coincidence!

This 10 and half month old is battling his first ear infection.
And other than the green boogers and waking me up every other hour of the night, you'd never know :)

So to help make him feel better, he came out to the barns for a visit with the horses today. This weather is so wacky - yesterday my nostrils stuck together as I chiseled ice out of the horses water buckets. Today I layered up but didn't even need a coat.

And now worries, the babe was triple layered up taking extra care to insure his cute little head and ears were covered!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Link Loitering

Things I love from the past week!


Iron Chef Michael Symon posted this week on his facbook page about how he thinks children's menus are one of lifes worst inventions. Following up on that, Greenhouse Tavern Chef Jonathon Sawyer's wife, Amelia, wrote this blog post. KUDOS! What are your thoughts on this?

I can't wait to try this 20 minute homemade enchilada sauce! It's hard to find a recipe that doesn't call for vegetable or canola oil.

Who has heard about this blog?

This would totally be something Savannah, the farm manager, would do!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Switching to a Whole Foods Diet - What I've Ditched!

As I slowly learn more and more about what us Americans consider food, I throw up in my mouth a tad, and then become horrified at what used to be in my cupboards :) I know, I lay it all out there, no holds bar!

Seriously though, it's amazing what so many people don't know. And there is so much info out there to sort through and comprehend that it can be overwhelming. So, here and there, I thought I would share some of my take-aways from this learning process in the best layman's terms possible!

First, you must understand, I have a husband who needs everything to be black and white and very convincing with a first time impression, otherwise, forget it. If you have ever read about Jessica's 'Hungry Angry Husband', I swear he must be a long lost brother to my husband! So, in short, I can't serve tofu and if it is something new & different, it has to be husband approved and not take 12 hours to cook either! Trying to change our whole diet as we knew it has been no easy task and not something we are even close to completing-- but I can tell you, my husband is coming around and he understands where I am coming from with why I am doing this. But sometimes, he just wishes there was a can of Cheese-Whiz in the cupboard, some Oreos and a Big Mac!

If anyone else is interested in making these changes, I know it is intimidating and that can keep a lot of people from trying. I wanted to share a few things that were easy no-brainers to start with!

Cooking Oils
No more Canola & Vegetable Oil in the cupboards. I only use Olive Oil (usually extra virgin) and Coconut Oil on a regular basis. There are some others for special dishes, like toasted sesame oil too, but they aren't used almost, if not, daily. This was an easy switch and quite frankly, using coconut oil for high temp cooking is great! I love it. It doesn't smoke or seem to burn things or stink! It's great! And, no more spraying cooking pans and sheets with nasty Pam...buy yourself a spritzer and pour your olive oil in it!

I never had margarine in the fridge (except for the one time I used it for a fly repellent experiment!) but if I did, it would have been one of the first too go. I just stock up on unsalted butter. Since most baking recipes call for unsalted and most dishes I can salt to my own taste, I stick with unsalted.

It is all about the full fat dairy over here so we only use Whole Milk. The closer to its natural form, the better a food is for you. Without going on too long of a tangent, drinking skim milk is basically just drinking chemical filled water. real food is a good resource for info on this. My husband is a huge milk drinker so he had no arguments with getting Whole Milk! *Note, we cannot legally purchase raw milk in Ohio so Hartlzer's is the closest to it as they use a low-pasteurized temperature processing.

I have dabbled in making my own yogurt and it's worked out well, I just need to remember to keep up with doing it. When I am out of homemade however, I no longer buy all those fancy yogurts with cake & fruit flavors. People think they are healthy, but they aren't. Read the ingredients - that will be your first clue. Plus, 'real' yogurt is chocked full of good probiotics that are good for you! I buy the large container of PLAIN yogurt, where the only ingredient listed is Grade A cultured milk. Sometimes, depending on the brand, you may see it list cultures such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus -- you wouldn't know it, but these are the GOOD bacterias that want in yogurt but that you do not get in all those fancy flavored yogurt cups. Plain yogurt does have a tang to it and if you aren't used to it, you will probably think it is gross, but I fix that by adding in some of my homemade jams and fruit butters! Cheaper and healthier for you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What's Your Take?

So I am sure we've all heard by now about Paula Deen being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I have read lots of opinions on this as it's swirling the web.

Honestly, I think Paula says it best herself in the clip below - you have to be responsible for yourself. C'mon people! At the end of the day, if every meal you cook is something off one of her shows or out of one of her books, of course you are going to get fat and have health problems.

I think what really has struck me though, is the comments being made about her diagnosis being related to butter. The more I learn about 'real food', the more I realize this is an ignorant comment. Let's be real - on the diet side of the diagnosis, I think the refined grains and white sugar are the culprit  - certainly not the butter!! And lord help us all if this announcement makes people ditch their butter for margarine. Seriously - if you have margarine in your fridge, get up right now and pitch it! (Yes Mom, you too!!) That stuff is like a silent killer in a tub, happily hiding out in your fridge. And if you need any more reasoning, I did an experiment one summer with it. I rubbed it on part of the stall wall in my horse stalls to see if it would deter the flys and nats. And you know it, those bugs didn't TOUCH the areas coated in margarine.

Anyways, I am getting off topic. I am posting this because I am also interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions on this whole debacle. Please, express your opinion freely, but don't hate on others if you do not agree!

Click her to see Paula make her announcement on the Today Show - for some reason, it doesn't want to post onto my blog.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Beef, Mushroom & Barley Soup

I kinda just threw this one together over the weekend and it turned out a success! Give it a try. Don't be intimidated by the length of this recipe. A lot of it is just tid bits of info. The soup is super easy to put together!

Beef, Mushroom & Barley Soup

1# ground beef
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup barley*
2 large leeks, sliced
1 carrot, sliced or diced ;)
1 garlic clove, diced
4 cups beef broth
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cooking sherry
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme

* The night before you make the soup, place one cup of barley in a pot with one cup of cold water and 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Let it sit overnight until you are ready to use the next day. When you are ready to use it, drain the water and rinse off the barley. Doing this helps 'rid' the barley of Phytic acid. Phytic acid blocks mineral absorption in your intestinal tract...so, in laymen's terms, buy soaking before eating (minimum of 7 hours), you are now allowing your gut to absorb all the good vitmains and minerals. Click here for a better understanding of Soaking Grains!

Ok, now onto the soup!

1. Cook your ground beef in your dutch oven or whichever pot you use to make soups in. I used grassfeed beef so it required a tad of olive oil while I cooked it. Once finished, remove from pot.

2. Add in more olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter then add your leeks* to the pot to cook.
 * A word on leeks! Because of the way they grow, leeks have a tendency to have dirt in them. So, slice them and throw them into a bowl of water to rinse the dirt out. Place them on a towel to dry a tad, then into the pot they go. I sliced the white ends of the leeks to about half way up the green end.

3. After the leeks have started to cook down - 10 minutes or so - add in your carrot, garlic and mushrooms. You will probably need to add more olive oil and butter - the mushrooms will soak it up quickly. Especially if you use fresh, versus canned, 'shrooms.

4. While your veggies cook down to a soften & translucent state, gather your peppercorns, bay leaf & thyme. I wrapped them up in some cheesecloth and tied with cooking twine so I could fish them all out when the soup was done. Fun side note, hubby didn't know it was in there and when he helped himself, he ladled the herb baggie into his soup. When I realized what he did, I had to interrupt his lunch to fish it out of his bowl - classic! He was mortified!!

5. After your veggies have cooked down, deglaze the pan with the cooking sherry and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add in your beef & chicken broths and bring soup to a boil. Drop in your herb bag too!

6. Once soup comes to a boil, take it down to a simmer and let it simmer about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, add in your rinsed barley and cook at a simmer another 20 minutes or so before serving.

Enjoy! It was so good I didn't have a chance to snap a photo :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Handmade Pay it Forward

Handmade Pay it Forward has been floating around on Facebook and I thought it would be a nice idea to bring it to the blogosphere!

Handmade Pay it Forward 2012
 I promise to make something handmade for the first five people who comment. 

If you are one of the first five, you must, in turn, post this and make something for the first five who comment on your blog post.
Your Pay it Forward must be handmade by you, and your recipient must receive it before the end of the year! It can be something as simple as a cup of coffee, or as complicated as a handmade gift. You make the decision!

So, how about it? Can you be part of the 2012 Handmade Pay it Forward?

If you are commenting on this post as one of the first 5, make sure you leave me a way to contact you!
Happy Handmade Paying it Forward!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Link Love for the Week

Do you practice your planting by phases of the moon?

Photo Credit

Another reason to Know your Farmer, Know your Food ... or grow your own!

If you are looking to make a change away from processed foods, to a 'real food' diet, this is a great read for beginners!

Diana has the most amazing equine art! I want one of each, please :)

Anyone follow any of these weather proverbs?

I stumbled across this blog on practical tips for greener living!

And, Susy from Chiot's Run just launched a new 'real foods' blog, Eat Outside the Bag!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Growing like a Weed

This babe turned 10 months on Monday.


How did this happen so fast?

He is daddy's little shadow whenever possible - so come Spring time when we can get back outside, Daddy is going to have his hands full :)

And somehow, I seem to think, Daddy is looking forward to it :)

*Disclaimer: My Aunt bought the babe his first BB gun [pictured here] when he was a MONTH old.
 It's an official Red Rider Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
And if I have my way, he won't use it until he is 30!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Seed Ordering - 2012

Is anyone else overwhelmed with the decisions to be made for your 2012 garden?
Could these seed catalogs give us anymore choices?
The tomatos engulf me in anxiety and the melons - ah! How am I suppose to choose just one...or two?

Hubby dug up these Atomic Red Carrots the other day from this past seasons 'failed' carrot patch!

Ok, maybe that is a tad dramatic, but you know what I mean! Try to narrow down the decision on which varieties to grow is a daunting task! I have been asking for suggestions from Facebook friends of the blog, but I want to throw it out here too.

Tell me, what is your favorite food to grow in your garden? Which variety?
I am, in particualr, having a tough time choosing for tomatos, melons and corn. 
Any suggestions for me on your favorite? I am in garden zone 5b.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dark Days Challenge - Week 6 [Venison]

I mentioned yesterday that I needed to get a tad caught up on my Dark Days meals since I missed the past two weeks :0

So, last night for dinner, Allen made a Venison Pot Roast. I was a tad concerned I would go to bed hungry as his track record cooking Venison isn't exactly up there with Martha & Julia. But, I went at it with an open mind...and empty fork...and honestly, it wasn't too bad. After a few bites, truly it just tasted like the [cow] beef I am used to eating. But I kept picturing the dead deer hanging from the rafters of my garage and it kinda made me not really beg for seconds! ;)

Seriously though, if I didn't think about it, it wasn't bad. Then I think, how silly. It is just Venison. Get over it. But Vension is not something we normally eat, nor something we grew up on, so obviously, it takes some getting used to. I guess too, I don't see the animals I eat in their whole form and then butchered down so that could be part of the aversion too ;) But that could be a whole other blog post for another time!!

Carrots, potatos, onions and garlic all purchased from local farmers!

Do you eat venison? What is your favorite way to prepare it?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dark Days Challenge - Week 6

Finally, I am back with a Dark Days Challenge post after a 2 week hiatus because of the craziness of the holidays, a sick household and because it totally slipped my mind. And I am not going to lie - I feel like a total cheater with this meal because it couldn't be easier! But, to make up for it, hubby is roasting a venison steak for dinner, which I will post about soon!

So, what we have here is fried (local) eggs and maple sausage patties from Whitefeather Meats.

I must say, one thing I am enjoying more and more about cutting out the grocery store as much as possible and purchasing local is the people. They are so friendly, willing to answer questions or spark up a conversation and you never feel like you are bothering them with your purchase. It is such a breath of fresh air. At the grocery store half the time, you get some crabby cashier that hates their life and would rather be anywhere but there and they aren't afraid to make you aware of it - total downer.

Yesterday was my first trip to Whitefeather Meats. I have heard lots of wonderful things about them and finally made my way there. They are wonderful people! And the babe had a great time picking out meat too :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This Weeks Wonders

Great article on your guide to Fats & Oils!

One of my favorite markets to visit makes The Washington Post!

Sarah Andrew is an awesome equine photographer and this is a wonderful article she did on the rehab of Zodiac - a horse taken in by Days End Farm Horse Rescue in MD. I followed along also on DEFHR's facebook page - what an awesome outcome for Zodiac!!

I read this post from Kim at Life in a Little Red Farm House with a nervous laugh the whole time! It is getting closer to the time for hubby to get chickens and while I am all about the fresh eggs, you may know by now I have a slight fear! And the thought if a rooster accidentally ending up in the mix terrifies me. I hope hubby has a game plan!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Country Road

...take me home

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Recipe: Pork Chops in a Cream Caper Sauce

This recipe is a favorite at our place and it tends to make the dinner plate rounds every other week or so. It is so easy to whip up and taste like you have been working on it all day :) Win-Win, right?

Pork Chops in a Cream Caper Sauce

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Unsalted Butter
8 oz button mushrooms, diced however you like
4 boneless pork chops
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth if you don't do wine....but really, try it with the wine!)
2 tbsp capers
Heat up, over medium-high heat, about 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Salt & Pepper your chops, then lay them in the hot pan to brown - about 3 minutes or so each side. Remove from pan & keep warm. Toss in your diced mushrooms - add more oil/butter if needed, mushrooms usually soak it up - and saute until nice and browned, about 10 minutes. Next, pour in your wine, scrape all the nice bits off the bottom of the pan, and let it roll at a nice simmer 5 minutes or so until it cooks down some. Then, add in your cream and let that cook in 5 minutes or so. Now, add your chops back into the pan along with the juices they left on the warming plate, throw in your capers and let it all warm together 5 minutes or so.

I serve this meal over rice and with a side of green beans or broccoli. I am a huge sauce fan and I have tried making it with 1 cup each of cream and wine and really, it is too much! You will have just the right amount with the 3/4 cup measurement. This dish is so good my husband usually licks his plate - I am serious, unfortunately ;) And, the babe even loves it too! Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A few things about...Food

Just a few quick tid-bits I wanted to share today in regards to FOOD!

I am behind on my Dark Days Challenge! With the holidays I didn't get in a meal for the week that was SOLE - sustainable, organic, local & ethical. Some came very close (like my chicken noodle soup) but then I threw in something like the noddles that canceled it out! Anyways, I am back on the band wagon this week and working on something for this weeks SOLE meal. In the mean time, I was reviewing recaps from some of the other bloggers participating in this challenge and came across this post from Barbara at Crowing Hen! She nails it - and it is something everyone should read. This is 'slowly' becoming a major soap box for me :) Truly, take the time to read this!

Another thing I wanted to share, that I found quite interesting as I was scouring through seed catalogs yesterday -- the Bull's Blood Beet! My sisters harp on me all the time about a comment I made once regarding feeding (re: NOT feeding) my kid something that contained red dye. They thought I was being ridiculous :)

According to the description of the Bull's Blood Beet in the Seed Savers Exchange catalog, 'The juice from the beets is used to make the only red food coloring allowed by Swedish law.'

Think about this people - other countries don't even ALLOW red dye unless it is from a natural source. And I will end that topic here -- because it could be a week's worth of blog posts all it's own. At the end of the day, if you have the choice to give, or not give, something that contains red dye, why wouldn't you chose not too? Just sayin'....

Monday, January 2, 2012

The First Snowfall

This morning the snow finally started falling! I am not sure who was happier; the horses or the husband!!

The horses have been dying to get out for a good romp. They have been out here and there over the past 2 weeks, but not very long as the pastures have just been a complete swamp to the point where they were sinking as they stood!

Notice Apollo on the left, other side of the fence, in this photo. And you can barely see Gypsy's head on the right. She has no ambition to romp around like a nut with the rest of them :)

I love Romeo's mane in this picture!

Ahh, Peace & Snow!