Beta Testers Needed for Refreshing Beverage Course

Be a BETA Tester!

If you are interested, follow the link below. Tag someone you know who is interested too!

Please follow the link for the link to Refreshing Beverages, An Online Course

https://chefpamela.com/refreshing-beverages-course/

Video Recipe: Homemade All Natural Dog Treats

How we LOVE our Dogs!

Here is a video recipe for Homemade All Natural Dog Treats

Easy to make and perfect to treat your furry friend. Best of all, you know what is in the treat you are giving your dogs.

The biggest trick is to leave these dog treats in a low temp oven until they are crisp and hard.

Printed recipe is at the end of this post.

Enjoy! Woof!

Hush Puppy Natural Homemade Dog Treats

  • Servings: 32 biscuits
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Get the kids to help!

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 2 cups oatmeal

  • 1 cup peanut butter

  • 1 cup bacon grease

  • 1 cup parsley

  • 3 eggs

Mix it all together, roll out and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes, then turn the oven off and let the biscuits stay in the warm oven until they are hard and crispy. Overnight on 140 degrees does a great job of this!

Bag or jar the dog treats once completely cool. Label them so humans don’t think they are cookies. You would think the aroma would give it away, but these days, you never know. My husband walked by and nipped a bit of what he thought was “cookie dough”…a fraction of a second later I hear “Ew! What is that!?”

Ha!

Lesson learned: Don’t nip dough.

Visit Hush Puppy Dog Calming Formula online at: http://hushpuppyoil.com

Hints for bacon grease: Save what you cook in the fridge. Ask your favorite restaurant, neighbors or even local culinary school to save it for you or offer to buy it. (They will most often give it to you, but you have to ask!)

My American Friends: Are you ready for the 4th of July?

There is still time to check out Hush Puppy Dog Calming Formula and get it in your home before the big fireworks displays come to town.

For more information, Please Visit: www.hushpuppyoil.com  

Your Dogs Deserve it

 

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Holiday Recovery

 

So, how are you doing?

How did you make it through the holidays?

 

I want to talk to you about how you think about yourself today.

If you over ate or simply ate holiday foods and now feel full, bloated and sluggish, don’t hate yourself for it.Where you're supposed to be

Let’s change that mindset. The holidays offer lots of tempting ways to derail a diet and healthy lifestyle.

Sure we drank eggnog, ate cookies and treats, mashed potatoes, cheese, cream, butter, meats, dips, chips and a lot of stuff in between.

We started with good intentions but still ended up eating that biscotti dipped in Amaretto or hot chocolate, not just once but maybe a few times.

So What! ENJOY IT!

Stop the guilt garbage; that kind of thinking is very damaging.

Recognize where you are with it, identify what needs to be done and make a plan to do something about it.

Then get busy working your plan.

Leave the guilt garbage behind. You’re better than that.

You don’t do these things every day (at least you shouldn’t) If just once a year you allow yourself to enjoy the holiday treats your guilt factor will go down and your self-love will increase.

Self-love is the key to successful diet and lifestyle changes. It is a complex process that one typically needs support and encouragement to succeed.

You may identify you need to clean up your diet, get moving more, learn about real foods, how to cook great meals easily, meal planning, how to care for your body, skin and spirit.week-3-giving

During this time approaching the New Year, take some time to reflect about the new you that could emerge in the New Year. Think about something you want to accomplish, see, visit, write, develop, do, create; the list is endless and so are your possibilities.

Share your thoughts and goals with us so we can all be supportive of each other.

This year I am going to lose the last 10 pounds and get a movement routine into my schedule that becomes habit. (So my skin and muscles have nice tone!)

I’ll be turning 60 in October and I’ll declare right now: No flabby old lady for me!

#NewYear #selflove #noguilt #gettingbackontrack #bestyearever #beyourself #loveyourself #resolutions

 

Happy Healthy Holidays Starting Soon!

Healthy-Holiday-Facebook-cover

FREE – Happy Healthy Holidays
Transform Your Holidays!

Next Monday marks the start of our FREE Holiday Event! We will transform our holiday season together and start the New Year out right!

Do you want to join us? It is FREE and we are all participants.

We can all do it our own way. All you have to do is set goals and be accountable for your actions and progress at least once a week.

Goals should include:

  • Nutrition (adding in at least one healthy food per week)
  • Exercise (a minimum of 30 minutes 6 days a week)
  • Gratitude (take the time to be grateful for at least 3 things in your life daily)
  • Giving (challenge yourself to give without expectation of reciprocation once daily)

Nutrition
Don’t be hard on yourself this holiday season. Our goal is to simply add in one healthy whole food each week. Enjoy your holiday traditions and don’t eat beyond what feels good to you.

Exercise
Resolve to get at least 30 minutes of good healthy exercise in each day (with one day of rest). You will feel better through the holidays. Exercise is good for depression, weight maintenance and your general health.

Gratitude
List 3 things that you are grateful for each day. By focusing on gratitude, we see our lives from a different perspective. Instead of seeing what is going wrong, we see the more important picture of what is right in our lives.

Giving
You don’t have to brag about your giving, but if someone gives and it turns out to be really special, share it with us. You may also want to include it as a part of your goal. In prior years, my goal was to give without cost; it does not have to be an expensive gift, just thoughtful and meaningful.

Do you know anyone who is struggling through the holidays? Invite them along!
This weekend I will work on my own goals and post them here.

Please click on the “Secret Facebook Group” page that you can be invited to if you would like to be involved!

Comment below or Follow this link to the Face Book Group to join in, this will be fun!

Share this with your friends!

The group will close on Monday, 11/24, 2014 so be sure to request to join by then. See you there!

Happy Healthy Holidays fb group banner#happyhealthyholidays #holidayfun #holidaysupport #holidayweightgain #avoidweightgain #healthyyou

#stayontrack

 

Eat Fresh! What’s in Season Now: November 2014

Eat Fresh! What’s in Season Now: November 2014

Fall colors are in full swing, we are anticipating the first frost and freeze.

Today, the first day of November is rainy, cold and there are flurries in the forecast.

It’s a great day to pull out the crock out and put on a warming soup or maybe Chai tea.

Gather these things to make Chai. include black tea or burdock root or another herb if you prefer.

Gather these things to make Chai. include black tea or burdock root or another herb if you prefer.

If you’re heading to the market this month, here’s what you’ll find in season:

Apples: We’ve had some amazing local apples! The flavors this year are so delicious. Eat them raw, slather with almond butter and toasted almonds, make pies, turnovers or apple dumplings. Apple DumplingGrab extra to make apple butter for Christmas.

Apple Snack!

Apple Snack!

Beets: What a powerhouse of nutrition. Red, gold, big or baby beets, roast them, peel them , eat them. Make salads, pickles, noodles, you will feel your blood getting healthier with every tasty mouthful. Don’t toss those green tops! Chop the stems and saute, cook the greens like you would spinach, wash and saute until tender. I love the greens with a splash of Ume Plum Vinegar.

Bok Choy: This season is closing very soon due to frosts and cold weather. Grab some for stir fry, use instead of plain green cabbage in making bok choy slaw.

Brussels Sprouts: OK, try shredding them, saute with shiitake mushrooms, onions and pecans.

Put pecans on top

Put pecans on top

Use them in making slaw to. Get them before the freezes set in!

Kale and cabbages at the market

Kale and cabbages at the market

Cabbages: Fresh available through mid December. Time to make some sauerkraut! A good New England Boiled Diner with potatoes, celery, onions, carrots, cabbage and brisket would be nice on a chilly evening. Sweet and Sour Cabbage is great with roasted pork or pork chops, sautéed onions and apples. (See, staying seasonal!)

Collard Greens: My favorite choice for Meatless Mondays! Boiled collards, pinto beans and organic blue cornbread.

Greens from the market

Greens from the market

Yummy! Don’t salt the water you cook the collards in so you save it to use as a base for vegetable soup. Being November, chilly days are surely ahead. Nothing smells better or warms you better than homemade soup. Except chopping and burning wood.

Cranberries:

3 Cranberry sauces from left to right: Orange Cranberry, Easy Cranberry Sauce and Sherried Cranberry Sauce

3 Cranberry sauces from left to right: Orange Cranberry, Easy Cranberry Sauce and Sherried Cranberry Sauce

Although not local, these fresh berries only appear for a short while. Buy several bags and freeze them now for later. Make a batch of Cranberry Liquor or use left over cranberry sauce to make these oatmeal cranberry bars.

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

 

 

Cucumbers: Going quickly!

Greens: All kinds from whatever was planted in late summer for fall harvest. Make soup or saute yourself up a big bowl.

Fresh Herbs: Grow some of your own. Fresh herbs are expensive and why waste an entire bunch if you only need a leaf or a pinch? Besides having herbs growing in your kitchen is pretty darn cool. You’d be surprised how easy it is.

Kale: One of my favorite greens cooked or raw. If you’re prone to kidney stones, be careful as too much kale may encourage stone formation. Add dried cranberries to your kale salads.

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad

Saute it with bacon and onions or use Kale in soups, it’s quite delicious! Crispy kale chips are another way to use this amazing leafy green.

Lettuce: Tender lettuce will be gone once freeze happens. While you can buy lettuces year round, you may notice a slight price increase for it not being local.

Mushrooms: Only until the end of the month. Duck kale white bean soup 031

Mustard Greens: Spicy and greatly nutritious! If you don’t like how spicy they are, tame them by combining with kale, collards or other greens.

Napa Cabbage: Another good green about to retire for the season. I like this lightly blanched, stuffed and steamed.

Peanuts: Year Round, good source of protein. Have you ever made your own peanut butter?

Pecans: Pecan pie is just around the corner with the holidays fast approaching. Store your fresh pecans in a tightly sealed bag in the freezer for longer storage.Make Spiced Pecans for holiday gifts or make Pecan crusted okra for a new way to serve okra.

Pecan Crusted Okra

Pecan Crusted Okra

Radishes: One of my favorite salad vegetables, but try slicing them on a ham sandwich. Top a piece of lightly buttered bread with thinly sliced radishes, you’ll thank me later.

Romaine: Lettuces planted in the fall for the second planting, are coming to an end. Leaves should be strong and dark green.

Snow Peas: A crispy tasty treat. I love these as a nibbling snack or quickly saute. Be sure to “string” them before eating or cooking.

Snow Pea Tips: A trendy garnish for your plates

Spinach: Before the freezes set in for the winter, you’ll still find fresh spinach. Saute it, make omelets, spanikopita or spinach salads

Inside a baked garnet sweet potato; isn't that a great color?!

Inside a baked garnet sweet potato; isn’t that a great color?!

Sweet Potatoes: Available all year. Make Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries; save on fat and full on flavorSweet potatoes

Turnips: Roast turnips to bring out their sweetness. Mash carrots, turnips and potatoes together for a fun change to mashed potatoes

The foods are changing from light fresh foods to hearty, sometimes long cooked foods. The aroma of a simmering soup, a slow roasting chicken or pork roast is comforting and warming as the seasons change.

Thanksgiving is this month; time to reflect and express appreciation and gratitude for all you have in your life. With delicious produce still in the markets, plan your Thanksgiving menu around what you discover fresh.

The farmers will appreciate it.

#freshfood #whatsinseason #eatinglocal #eatrealfood #wholefood #realfood #seasonalfood #apples #cranberries #winteriscoming #staywarm #makesoup

mailboxes in winter

#happyhealthyholidays #healthyholidays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat Fresh! What’s in Season NOW: October 2014

Fall is in the air!

Fresh Crisp Fall Apples

Fresh Crisp Fall Apples

A nip in the morning, time to grab a light jacket.

Here is a quick listing of what’s in season now.

These are the things you should be seeing in the markets, things that are growing locally.

Click on the links for recipes and other great information while you read the list!

Apples – Quite abundant for apple dumplings  and apple sauce now through February. Find an orchard and go apple picking!

Beets –  get some baby ones and roast them. So delicious! Pickle some for later. Ummm

Pickled beets

Pickled beets

Apples on display

Apples on display

Bok Choy – debuts mid month! Make a refreshing salad of crisp stir-fry

Cabbage – plenty on hand until mid December. Try your hand at making Sauerkraut or Kimchee

Cherry Tomatoes – these juicy gems will be gone by November. I’ve witnessed my plants slowing way down in production. Enjoy them now!

Collards – A year round favorite green. Make some cornbread, cook up some pinto beans, add simmered collards and YUM! You’ve got quite a meal.

Cucumbers – are saying good bye. As in days of yore, if you haven’t put up your pickles yet, you’re almost out of time!Chow Chow Pic

Greens – Like cooler weather so there should be a good selection through mid December. Time to fortify.

Herbs – There are many you will find in the markets. They are quite easy to grow so you should consider a small container of herbs for your kitchen.

Indian Corn – for decoration

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Kale – Hearty and healthy; abundantly available. Make salads, stews, soup,  smoothies, chips, saute it, wraps. . .

Lettuce – makes another quick season before it gets too cold.

Muscadine Grapes – nearly gone. Freeze some for holiday punch bowls and drinks. Crush, simmer and extract the juice. Make sorbet to die for. Definitely worth doing

Muscadine grapes

Muscadine grapes

Mushrooms – you should be seeing a nice supply through the end of November

Napa Cabbage – shows us a quick cool season until mid December when the deep cold sets in with shorter sunlight hours

Peanuts – Seems these are always available

Pears – Nice juicy pears are around until the end of October. Poach a few, can a few more for winter treats.

Persimmons – The perennial Fall Favorite to those who like them. Honestly, I don’t get it.

Pumpkins – Yay! I get them for carving, roasting, eating, I plant succulents on them, decorate with them. After Thanksgiving, I paint them Christmas colors.

Painted Pumpkins Lined up to dry

Painted Pumpkins Lined up to dry

Radishes – There should be a bunch of radishes this month. I love the French Breakfast Radish. Yeah.

Raspberries – Fresh and short lasting. Enjoy them, freeze them but that’s just not the same as fresh. Gotta love those little seeds!

Romaine – Another lettuce for the Fall season. Practice your Caesar Salad skills.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Snow Peas  – Toss some into your Stir-fry, I like to snack on them like chips. So crisp and delicious!

Spinach – Add just a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg to your spinach for an awesome flavor compliment. Just a small pinch is all you need.

Sweet Potatoes – Available all year.

Tomatoes – If you grow them, watch for the first freeze and pick whats left. Make Green Tomato Chow-chow or Green Tomato Pie (tastes just like apple!)

A delicious Green Tomato Pie

A delicious Green Tomato Pie

Turnips – add some to soup, mash some with your mashed potatoes. Toss some into your greens as they cook. My favorite, Pickled Turnips!

Pickled Turnips

Pickled Turnips

This, is the list for the Piedmont area of North Carolina.

What’s growing where you live?

#localfood #eatfresh #healthyeating #freshfood #seasonalfood #localfarmers #farmersmarkets #freshfruit #freshvegetables #whatsinseasonnow

 

 

 

 

 

Questioning the Ethics of Farmers Markets

Is everything you buy from the farmers market from a local farm? If you think so, I hate to tell you, but in some cases,  you would be wrong.

As with every industry, business and activity, there are those who will jump on an opportunity for a quick buck.

Got to be NC Agriculture

Got to be NC Agriculture

There are ethical markets that vet their vendors to prove the products they are selling are indeed from the local area. Locally, the Matthews Farmers Market, Atherton Mills Market and Yorkmont Markets are truly farmers markets. Then there are others.

It really irks me when I see opportunists take advantage of trusting customers. Our local Farmers Markets  sell produce, hoop cheese and country ham; primary season is from April through October 31; adding pumpkins and squashes as the season comes to a close. The markets are extremely busy.

Ask about how the animals are raised

Ask about how the animals are raised

People buy there thinking they are in some manner, doing better for their families, communities and supporting farmers.

I remember when Robert used to tell me of the farmers market on the corner near his house. I lived in the mountains of North Carolina at the time and walking to a weekly farmers market painted romantic dreams of urban living.

There is a corner market nearby that I have been observing for years. It is a family run business, they own a nice block or two of land in what would be considered “prime commercial real estate” for mid-town Charlotte.

On market days, there are often traffic jams which require hiring off-duty police to direct traffic. People pile in and load up their baskets with whatever produce they find; feeling good about feeding their families on fresh “farmers market” foods.

They don’t ask questions, they just flock in and buy.

Vegetables at the marketEarly in the morning, restaurants show up at the market to buy the produce at wholesale prices. In turn, the restaurants go back and advertise on their menu’s that they offer “local vegetables bought from the farmers market.”

The biggest buzzwords in food lately are “local, sustainable and organic.” Claim that and you gain an easy audience in your marketing; your marketing image leans towards a caring business who supports the local community.

However, the public is being duped.

People don’t ask questions!

On my visits to the market, I noticed they would have the same bagged greens that we could buy in the grocery store.

Locally grown? Chiquita, really? Mangoes? Pineapples?

Locally grown? Chiquita, really? Mangoes? Pineapples?

I noticed they always had corn. Always have corn, from April through the end of November. And the corn has a sign on it, written with highlighter, “Non-GMO.” Somehow I don’t believe it. I’d like to ask for proof.

What really caught my attention and lit my fire was the last time I was there. Each check out station was surrounded by pulp baskets of strawberries with signs on them declaring “Sweet Strawberries $3.99 qt.”

Being July and knowing it is well past strawberry season here, I asked:

Commercially grown strawberries dressed up to look like farm-fresh. These "local" berries are from California and sometimes Driscolls grows in Mexico too.

Commercially grown strawberries dressed up to look like farm-fresh. These “local” berries are from California and sometimes Driscoll’s grows in Mexico too.

“Where the berries were from?”

“California. . .”

“Are they organic?”

“No, they are Driscoll’s.”

This makes them no different from what you buy in the grocery store! Driscoll’s just happens to be a huge mono-culture farmer of commercial berries.

Commercially grown strawberries are sprayed and hold residue of many different chemicals. Here is an in-depth article you can read here:

Pesticides are a Danger to Health and the Environment – Choose Organic!

The article will tell you about the research and how dangerous chemicals are being used on commercially grown strawberries and other produce and best of all, what you can do about it!

So when people buy the berries from this market, they are not getting an organic berry but commercially grown berries instead. The berries are packaged to look like farm fresh; the hand written signs are casual and fit the marketing image.

Muscadine grapes

Muscadine grapes

I looked around and saw shoppers scarfing up the berries and other produce thinking they are in some way or another doing good because they are buying their food from the farmers market.

The problem is, they are buying the same as they would get from the grocery without it being disclosed! They are buying the same stuff commercial restaurants buy from commercial broadband vendors and smaller vendors like Restaurant Depot.

 The are buying the commercially grown food they are trying to avoid by shopping at the farmers market in the first place.

This is the kind of food we try to avoid for better health.

I think all markets should be required have signage on every product that says where it was grown and by whom. All items should be labeled how it was grown and be able to provide the paperwork to prove it, if asked.

Full Disclosure!

Let us have the right to make a choice and they should be prepared to provide the proof. I’ve lost my trust in our corner farmers market. They may have a few farmers but I don’t believe their corn in Non-GMO, I don’t believe their claims. Broccoli is not coming out of any local garden at this time of year, yet they have a table full of it.

The public needs to be aware of this practice so they can actually support the real farmers; go to a real market.

At this time of year, you won’t see any strawberries because they aren’t in season.

California has passed a bill to crack down on Farmers Market Fraud. See the article below for information.

 http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2014/08/27/california-legislature-passes-bill-to-crack-down-on-farmers-market-fraud/

In the meantime, when you go to a market, ask questions. If they can’t or won’t tell you, don’t buy it! They are probably a commercial enterprise posing as a farmers market for easy money.October 15, 2011 farmers market 021

Here are some easy questions to ask:

  • “Where are these (insert whatever fruit or vegetable) from?”
  • “Are they organically grown?”
  • “Does the farm have a website?” Then use your phone and look them up. You’ll know if it is a commercial farm or a local farm.
  • “Why do you have broccoli in August? Where is it being grown? and how far did it travel to come to be here?” [To people wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, this matters!]

The Farmers Market industry currently has few regulations. Some require you to apply and be approved before you can sell there. They actually verify you are truly a local food producer.

However, if you own a few acres of vacant land, you can throw up some awnings, spread tables with produce you bought at the broad distributor food service uses, invite a few folks to sell grass-fed beef, home-made cakes, pies, flowers, and you too can be in the Farmers Market business as long as you have a business license.

I think this is scandalous and it really makes me quite angry.

Don’t Assume!

We’ve all got brains in our heads, it’s time to put them to use. This is something everyone who goes to a farmers market should be aware of.

Do some research, find out what kind of farmers market you patronize.

Be sure you are actually getting what you think you are getting. Ask a few questions. The answers may surprise you.

Don’t be duped!

#eatfresh #farmersmarkets #ethicalfarmersmarkets #Knowyourfood #wheredoesyourfoodcomefrom #eatwell #freshfood #fruit

#vegetables #freshproduce #healthyfood

Support your Local Farmer!

Support your Local Farmer!