Free Vanilla Extract and more!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My children at our annual visit to The Southern Lights.  They are a fun bunch of kids!  :)

Hello friends!

I hope that your Christmas was beautiful, meaningful, and fun.  We had a very good time visiting with extended family, both local ones and the ones that traveled from as far away as Florida and Massachusetts!  Today my children are enjoying their new gifts.  I have two boys working on their new world map puzzles, and a few others are asking for me to join them in playing their new Clue game.  :)  Never a dull moment here!

There are just a few more days before the end of the year, so of course our inventory reduction sale will continue since I'd rather give significant savings to YOU than pay taxes on stuff just sitting on the shelves.  So, enjoy these savings while they last.  On January 1 prices will be going back to normal.  You can see all sale items here.  

I would like to sweeten the deal even more by offering you a special gift.  Anyone placing a $100 order can also opt to get a FREE bottle of the delicious Vanilla Extract that I have available!  I just have a handful of these available, so this is a very limited offer.  You'll need to add the free vanilla to your shopping cart.  All of the details are here.

Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pecans are all still available, though at very limited quantities now.  The pecans we got from South Carolina were absolutely awesome.  I am getting one final order of these for the season, so if you want some, speak now!  :)  I lowered the pecans to 3 pound increments because they fit better in a gallon bag, so for those of you that didn't need a full 5 pounds, this is your chance!  :)  

Have you seen this article about the treatment of Whooping Cough with vitamin C therapy?  Worth a read!  This is the sort of thing that I so often come across and share on our facebook page.  If you have not yet joined me there, please do!

This recipe for Hot Cranberry Cider was a nice addition to our Christmas brunch and is soothing if you are chilled or feeling a little bit sick.  Easy to make, too!

Stay cozy, my friends!

Cranberry Walnut Granola

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I originally found this recipe here, but of course have made some tweaks that I liked.

1 ½ cups raw walnuts, roughly chopped
 ½ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
 ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
 ¼ cup more almonds, ground up as small as my food processor would do (all the way to flour, if you can)
 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
 ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
 ¼ teaspoon sea salt
 ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
 1 tablespoon maple syrup
 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
 ½ cup dried cranberries (preferably fruit juice-sweetened) In my case I had cooked cranberries leftover from making Cranberry Cider, so I used a half cup of those instead and I am glad I did!  So nice and tangy!

 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use no-stick spray on a 9x13 glass pan.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the walnuts, almonds and almond flour, coconut, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, maple syrup, and flaxseed. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until combined. Add in the cranberries if you are using wet ones like I did.  If you're using dried ones, wait.  Spread the mixture out onto your pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes with a spatula, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and stir in the cranberries if you used dry ones. Allow the granola to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or if you used the wetter cooked cranberries, store in the fridge.

Hot Cranberry Cider

Monday, December 19, 2011

My friend Jill (who makes the lip balms and soaps that we have in the store) sent me this recipe today because she saw on facebook that we were dealing with some sickness at our house, and she recommended it as soothing and good for coughs, chills, and aches.  I made some of this wonderful stuff and boy oh boy it tastes great and was easy to make.  I'm not sure how totally medicinal it is, but seems like it should be a decent choice for drinking when illness is going around the family.

1 pound of fresh cranberries
1.5 cups raw honey
1.5 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
two-thirds a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 cinnamon sticks

In a large pot combine the cranberries with 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil until the berries pop.  Strain off the berries, reserving the liquid.  (I saved the cooked berries and later used them in a granola recipe!)  Add in the cinnamon sticks and another 2-3 cups of pure water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.  In the meantime you can juice your orange and lemon with a citrus juicer.  After the 10 minute boil, remove from heat and add the honey, orange, and lemon juice and stir well.  You can take the cinnamon sticks out or leave them in, as you like.  Very nice for drinking warm or cold.  We found it very soothing.  It makes about a gallon of nice cider that you would certainly enjoy whether sick or healthy.  :)