Diaper Rash Revisited

Since this post in June 2013 I’ve added two more babies to the crew! I don’t have a ton of new things to add, but I had a few minor changes to make. And I wanted to repost is for those who hadn’t seen the original post! I hope it’s helpful! Continue reading “Diaper Rash Revisited”

Old Fashioned Cottage Cheese

Unfortunately I had an entire ½ gallon of raw milk that went sour.  I really didn’t want to dump it out, didn’t have the cultures to try making cheese and a few of my kids can’t have it at all, so I couldn’t try putting it in baked goods.  So what to do with it? Continue reading “Old Fashioned Cottage Cheese”

Dinner Plans for a Month


Recently with the Holistic Mom’s Group there have been some recent diet changes in some families and some removing gluten and there has been a lot of chatter about what are good and easy meals to make, how to grocery shop, what are popular ingredients, what brand gluten free flour is good, etc.
Continue reading “Dinner Plans for a Month”

Household Cleaners

I try to be a minimalist, although I find myself being a collector. In the back of my mind plays the mantra that my father would always say, “You never know when you might need this!”  True, but do I really need to keep it until I MIGHT actually need it?  I might never need it!   Continue reading “Household Cleaners”

Ranch Dressing

When we made the ‘chicken wings’ for Tonchi’s birthday a few weeks ago,I wanted to have a dip for them since they were being breaded and not covered in a sweet and sour or barbeque sauce.  I didn’t want them to be too dry since they were also baked.  And as most kids prefer, a dipping sauce is a must!

The first option that came to mind was ranch dressing but the last time I looked at the label I was concerned with what was included in the ingredient list. The first few ingredients are normal, understandable ingredients that are to be expected, but then it includes sugar as the fourth ingredient, MSG and quite a few additives, preservatives and artificial flavors.

I figured that if I looked hard enough on the web that maybe I could find a good substitute.  I did spend quite some time looking through different options and recipes from a multitude of websites.  All the looking finally paid off!

Marks Daily Apple is a great primal blog and has lots of great recipes.  This recipe for ranch dressing is amazing!  It definitely isn’t as thick or creamy as the store bought varieties, but the flavor is far superior!

Here is the link for Mark’s Daily Apple Creamy Ranch Dressing.  I’d recommend reading his post about it, which I found informative, amusing and so true!  Also he advises following the recipe to a ‘t’ the first time around before altering it.  I did… sorta! 😉  And it was awesome and the whole family (except our dairy free Aisling) voted to have it again!  I have a feeling this will be a new favorite!

My changes:
I didn’t have greek yogurt or buttermilk, so I used organic yogurt (which I strained in a cheesecloth for about an hour or two) and our raw farm milk which is about like cream.  I also added the mayonnaise which he lists as optional.  I make mine with 50/50 olive oil/coconut oil which makes a thick mayo (like icing) and I figured it would help thicken the dressing.

It still turned out a little on the thin side, but the flavor definitely made up for it!  It isn’t a direct imitation, but it is a good substitution!  I haven’t had commercial ranch dressing in a few years either, so I may not remember the flavor 100% either!

Give it a try and I’d love to know what you think!

Update March 2014

We had this dip again with chicken wings and I wanted to make it completely diary free so that not only Aisling, but Koa as well could enjoy it.  I changed it a little bit more, but it’s definitely still the core recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple.  I can’t claim any of it, but here is the list of ingredients and the few changes I’ve made.  

Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 cup paleo mayonnaise 
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon tamari
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

Just mix it all together and enjoy!


I remember in my college years that one of my favorite quick, easy, cheap meals were frozen burritos!  They were easy to travel with, easy to heat, tasted great and most important, at the time, CHEAP!  I’ve had[amazon_link id=”B002HTS540″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] Amy’s[/amazon_link] brand a few times in the recent past, but they are a bit pricey and I was sure I could make them for cheaper! Continue reading “Burritos”

Simple Substitutions

Substitutions:  This is a common category, chapter or appendix for a cookbook, isn’t it?  I figure I had better add this in too since I’m compiling a cookbook of sorts on this blog. I’m not going to add the typical list, but a modified version.Oftentimes I feel like I’m running out of something needed for a recipe or am looking for a natural substitutions in a traditional recipe.  I know there are TONS out there, but these are my favorite or most commonly used:

  1. Baking Power = 1 part baking soda, 1 part cream of tarter and 2 parts arrowroot. I JUST found this at Deliciously Organic and I’ll never be purchasing Baking Powder again!  There is also the aluminum and possibilities of grains in baking power that can be easily avoided this way!  How simple and easy!  All ingredients are things that I usually have on hand!
  2. Bread Crumbs = unsweetened coconut
  3. 15oz can of beans = ⅔ cups dried beans soaked and cooked
  4. 1 Egg = 1 TBSP powdered flax seeds soaked in 3 TBSP water OR 2 TBS arrowroot powder OR ½  banana and ½ tsp baking powder.  All work equally well for me!
  5. Heavy Cream (for baking) = ¾ cup milk and ⅓ cup butter
  6. 1 Clove Fresh Garlic  = ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  7. 1 Tsp Chopped Fresh Ginger  = ½ dried ground ginger
  8. 1 Cup Butter Milk = 1 TBSP lemon juice with enough milk to make 1 cup:  Then let sit about 5 minutes until thick and clumpy

Sugar substitutions are a little harder.  Here are the basics that I usually stick to.  They are in regards to sweetness.  If baking something it’s a little harder to figure out.  Make sure the liquid/dry ingredient ratio still stays about the same or is compensated in another way.

  1. 1 cup white sugar = ½ cup honey (if using in baking, remove 8 TBSP of liquid for each ½ cup of honey used in the recipe)
  2. 1 cup xylitol = 1 cup white sugar (approximately the same sweetness and volume – it’s an easy substitute!)
  3. Stevia – Here is a great conversion chart I found.  It has all the different forms of stevia.  I don’t use much stevia because I don’t like the bitter aftertaste.  Although… I just found a recommendation that the brand Stevita doesn’t have the bitterness because it is 95% pure instead of most brands which have fillers and are only 50-85% pure.  I plan on giving it a try and will offer a full report!

Also, just a little note on Honey.  Hubby is not supposed to be eating any processed/cane/white sugar.  Mainly because of the glycemic index, but also for the other negative effects of sugar in general.  Occasionally I do find the need to have a little something sweet and typically use either stevia or honey.  Someone recently told me “Honey does NOT have a low glycemic index, what are you thinking?!?!”  So I did a little research, and we are both right!  The glycemic index of stevia is 0 and white table sugar is 80 just as a reference range.  We get raw honey from a local honey farm and the average index is 40, however, for pasteurized honey it sky rockets to 75, just slightly better than regular sugar!  Just wanted to put that out there for those interested.

I also stumbled across a fabulous post about different sugars and a short summary of each.  There is also a great table for listing the glycemic index of each.  This was posted on Organic Lifestyle Magazine’s blog .  Take a look if you are interested!

PLEASE let me know if you have any equivalencies or substitutions to add!  I’d LOVE to hear!

Vegetable Pie

Mmmm! Just saying Vegetable Pie makes my mouth start to water!

A few weekends ago we spent two nights camping in our friend’s front yard! It wasn’t quite camping… the only similarity it held was the fact that we slept in a tent and had a campfire! Otherwise we enjoyed being outside, but didn’t do any hiking, cooking over a fire or any of that stuff. We had the comforts of home with the enjoyment of sleeping under the stars!

Continue reading “Vegetable Pie”

Very Unhealthy but Delicious Birthday Treats!

These little treats were so much fun to make and turned out so great! They were so easy that anyone can do it as long as you are willing to put in the time. It did take quite a bit of time, but it was well worth the effort. Continue reading “Very Unhealthy but Delicious Birthday Treats!”