Vanilla is BACK, Christmas Specials, and more!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Did you think I forgot about you?  What with every other business under the sun peppering your inbox with sales and special offers, you probably thought I didn't even care.  ;)

Well, honestly, I just don't like to jump right into SELL SELL SELL when my Thanksgiving dinner hasn't even had time to settle.  I love the coziness of this time of year and wanted to just savor it.  

And so I did.  :)

I have new product news, and some special deals for you as well.


1.  Vanilla is back!  Since the last batch of pure double-strength Madagascar vanilla extract was so wonderful, I made more, except I got fancy about it.  This time around you can choose from the same great traditional vanilla, an organic vanilla, or a Kentucky bourbon vanilla!  Quantities are limited (especially on the organic and bourbon varieties) so get your order in quick!  These look beautiful and make a great gift!

2.  No-Lice Spray is back!  I had some of my regular customers getting worried when they saw that our herbal head lice repellent spray was out of stock for so long.  I've got a fresh batch ready to go, PLUS a special deal for you!  I have a limited number of scratch-and-dent bottles that I don't want to waste, so I'm offer these (with totally fresh, new spray in them) at a nice discount.  If you don't care about a pretty bottle, this will save you a good chunk of change!  Now is the time to make sure you are covered so your kiddos don't come home from school, church, or activities with the cooties.  :)

3.  Quantities on everything are limited right now.  Tis the season when I try to clear the shelves here.  Not only does the IRS tax me on any income I earn, but they also tax me on all of the inventory left on my shelves at the end of the year!  :(  So, I won't be getting any more product in stock until January.  We have plenty of most things here, though some are already sold out or we may have just one or two of some things left in stock.  If you want to order, do it soon, and I'll give priority on a first-ordered-first-served basis.

Now onto the sale and special offers:

Due to the change in policy for our biggest source for products, I'm not able to offer any price reductions that aren't authorized, which means I have to get creative with my special offers.  Here's what I've got for you:

Here's how it works:  Place your order anytime this month, and I'll email you a gift voucher for 20% of the product total.  You can use it just like cash when you make a purchase at Supermom's in the new year!  The only item that isn't included in the 20% off is the vanilla.  That's already priced as bargain as I can make it.  :)

I'll have to do the gift vouchers personally, so give me a day or two to get it to you, ok?  :)

2.  Every purchase this month gets you a FREE copy of my ebook Supermom's Favorite Family Recipes for the Hurried, Harried, and Hungry!  This books has lots of great crock pot and cozy recipes that you will enjoy making (and eating!) this winter.  Retail price is $12.99, but I'll email you a copy for free! (Give me a day or so to get this done, ok?)  Read all about this ebook here.

3.  Free for all:  My oldest son and I have a little business in the homeschool realm, and we have a Christmas freebie there that is available to you (and everyone!).  Please help yourself and enjoy.  :)  Clickety click.

4.  Free Shipping within the USA on all orders of at least $30!  We use Priority Mail, so you'll get it fast.  Normally orders go out within 24 hours.

Pumpkin Time Freebie!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Tis the season for pumpkin and spice!

We're celebrating with this wonderful soap.  It's perfect for your whole family, and makes a delightful gift for hostesses and friends!  It smells wonderful, feels wonderful, and comes wrapped in an adorable pumpkin fabric.

It's available in the store, but you can get a FREE full-sized bar of this when you place a $30+ order, which will also include Free Shipping!  It'll automatically be added to your order, so don't worry.  You don't have to do anything special to get your freebie.  :)  

A good deal gets even better!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Since our main wholesale source changed their policy for retailers, we've been unable to regularly offer store-wide sales.  Thankfully, today is an exception!

From now til the end of September you will get 10% off your entire order.  Just click through here for your automatic discount.

In addition, don't forget that you'll get FREE SHIPPING on all orders of at least $30!

AND, you'll get a free copy of my ebook, Supermom's Favorite Family Recipes for the Hurried, Harried, & Hungry, which normally sells for $12.99.  You can read more about it here.

I Want To Give You My Book

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fall is in the air!  It's time to get the comfort food happening.  Let the crock pot be fired up and casseroles await your call in the freezer!

I love this ebook because I love these recipes.  They are easy and delicious and comforting for fall and winter.  You can read all about it here.

I love it so much that I want to give it to you so you can love it too!

This ebook normally sells for $12.99.  You're gonna be able to get it for FREE!

Here's the dealio:

Make ANY purchase of ANY amount at either Supermom's Health and Wellness OR at the business I have with my 2 oldest kids:  Classical Composers Monthly, and I will give you this ebook!  (Homeschoolers:  If you don't yet know about Classical Composers Monthly, get thee over there and check it out!)

The way it works is simple:  Place your order at either place.  I'll see it and send you your very own free copy of this ebook via email.  Please allow me 24 hours to get this done, since I'll have to do each one individually.  :)

If you order from Supermom's, don't forget that you can score FREE shipping with any $30+ order.  One bottle of Supermom or Superdad vitamins will get you there!  Also, Bee Strong and Ultra Immune are on sale right now, so take advantage of that as well.

I'm going to keep this deal going for the rest of September.  Feel free to let your friends know!  It's a great deal and I'm excited to get these recipes into your hot little hands.  :)

GREAT Deal on Coconut Oil!

Friday, August 23, 2013

There is a really GREAT deal on coconut oil right now.  You will *not* want to miss it if you are a fan of this healthy, versatile oil.

Vitacost is offering their BIG 54-ounce tubs of coconut oil for just $16.99 right now!  (Sale ends Aug. 26)

If your order is at least $25, you'll get free shipping.

If you don't already have an account with Vitacost, create one through my referral link here and they'll send you a coupon for $10 off a $30+ order!

If you are already a registered Vitacost customer, use coupon code Bevita6 to get $5 off!

So check it out:

Buy 2 54-ounce tubs of Vitacost coconut oil @ $16.99
If you have a new customer certificate, use it and get $10 off, which would equal $23.98 for 108 ounces of coconut oil!  (only 22 cents/ounce!)

In order to bump your total up to $25 and get the free shipping, you can either add a small item to make up the couple of bucks you need, or just take full advantage of this great sale and buy a third tub of coconut oil!

For current customers, instead of the new customer certificate, use the Bevita6 coupon code to get $5 off your total, and you'll still qualify for free shipping after buying 2 tubs of coconut oil! (26 cents/ounce)

This is the cheapest price I have ever seen, so this is a great opportunity to stock up!  I use coconut oil instead of butter in all sorts of baking, you can use it in raw recipes, and you can even use it to moisturize your skin and soothe sore/chapped/dry/injured skin!  It's wonderful stuff.  I just used up the last of my previous big tub of Vitacost's coconut oil so the timing is perfect for me on this.  I hope it is a help to you!

Specials this week!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

I've got some good deals for you this week!

First:  FREE SHIPPING on your order of at least $30!  Hurry and stock up without the additional shipping cost.  Clickety click to go to the store.

Second:  Half Price on all of my ebooks!  Ready to put that zucchini to use?  Needing to get a good plan for fall and winter meals?  I've got what you need!  Click here for ebook descriptions, or jump to the order page and use coupon code HALFPRICE.

In other news:

I've decided not to do the text alerts.  There was only a small response, which tells me there isn't a strong desire for this mode of communication right now.  We'll stick with newsletters, blog posts, and facebook for now.  :)

Synergy Circle is currently CLOSED to new members.  I'll let you know when it is open for new members in the future.  :)

Supermom's Synergy Circle

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The interaction of elements that when combined 
produce a total effect that is greater 
than the sum of the individual elements." 

Since 2008 I've been working with so many people, helping them learn how to eat healthier without going broke, without eating weird stuff, and without going to extremes.  It's been great, but my class members would often tell me that they want even more support and continuing help so that they could keep working toward their goals.  
As a busy wife and homeschooling mom myself, I have wanted to offer more, but wasn't sure what I could do that could give my class members more without stretching myself too thin.  I've tossed around many ideas, gotten feedback from many past class members, and finally have what I think is going to be an absolutely fabulous resource for you.

I call it Supermom's Synergy Circle.  Synergy is defined as "the interaction of elements, that when combined, product a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements."  That is exactly what I have created for you here:  Multiple elements to the group that will all work together to give you MORE education, MORE support, MORE coaching, MORE inspiration and ideas, MORE accountability, MORE motivation, MORE community, and MORE benefits than ever before.

Doesn't that sound exciting?!  You can listen to me tell about the program here:

OK, so let me tell you what's included:

1.  You get my 12-week long online class to get you going with the knowledge and practical tips that will get you up and running.

2.  You get all four of my healthy eating ebooks, so you'll have a lot of great recipes and ideas right away to start with.

3.  You can participate in two group coaching calls a month so that you can ask your questions and benefit from hearing how others in the group are doing things. The days and times will vary, depending on the need of the group, and in order to help as many members as possible.  These will be recorded, so even if you can't be there live every time, you can still listen and benefit from the session. 

4.  You can take advantage of Super Speedy Coaching Calls at least twice a month as well.  Super Speedy Coaching is a quick 10-minute long one-on-one phone session with me available to focus on helping you with your specific needs.  This quick style works great for all of us that are so busy and just have a quick question or two for the moment.  I'll have at least two hours blocked out per month when members can call me for personalized coaching.

5.  You can join our private community area on facebook.  Here we will hang out as a group, share and discuss articles and recipes, encourage one another, tell what's working for you, and make new friends that are also working toward eating and living healthier.  I'll be there regularly (probably at least a couple times each day) and will be available to answer questions there as well.  ALSO, if I have additional time available for more Super Speedy Coaching, I'll announce it there and be waiting by the phone for your call.  :)

6.  As new products and services come available, Supermom's Synergy Circle Members will be eligible for the deepest discounts available.

I'm also open to letting the group evolve according to the needs of the members.  So, additional services and benefits may come as I get to know you all and learn more about how I can help *you* best.

Supermom's Synergy Circle is going to give you so many connection points and so much support!  You are going to love it and I am going to love getting to spend more time with each of you!  This is something I have said for years I wished I could do, and now it is here and I am really excited about that.  

To learn more details about the program, click here!  Ready to join us?  Click here!

"Wheat is Evil"--I'm not buying it

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I know this might bring the grain-hating crusaders out of the woodwork, but I want to speak up.

Swearing off whole wheat and all grains is really, really popular right now. It seems that every third person has suddenly discovered they are gluten intolerant.  It reminds me of 20 years ago when every third person was lactose intolerant.  (and now most of those people are back to consuming dairy and most of the lactose-intolerance products are long gone)  Suddenly everybody is suffering from eating something that we've been eating all along, and this was just figured out in the last 5 years?  Um....ok.

While I FULLY respect your experience, I just cannot get on board with this myself, nor as a sweeping generalization for all people.  

Last year I did a 19-day juice fast.  I did it as a cleanse and detox.  I did it to get down to no dependency on sugar/dairy/wheat/grains/anything and then see how I felt and what seemed to work for me once I went back to eating regular food.  Know what happened?  Here's a bit from what I wrote 4 months after the juice fast ended:

For me, I did not experience any amazing energy, mental clarity, 
or general extraordinary wonderfulness either during my fast or after it.  
When I eventually tried eating a little bread, I found that my tumultuous stomach calmed down a bit, 
which was a better reaction than I had experienced with anything else I had eaten since exiting the fast.  
I didn't experience any adverse reactions that I could identify, and so wheat and brown rice and oatmeal have continued to be a regular part of my diet ever since.

I'm in the midst of updating my healthy eating class today, and I wondered about my recommendation of using whole wheat and other whole grains as a part of a healthy diet.  Seeing as how most people are eating non-whole grains all the time, I have to believe that switching to whole grains will be healthier for them. For people that suspect that they may have an intolerance to wheat/gluten/whatever, I think you should do a serious experiment with eliminating it from your diet and see what happens.  I know my mom is experiencing some encouraging health improvements after going gluten-free, and I think that's great.  What I cannot support is the vast vilification of all grains for all people.  

Yes, I read Wheat Belly.  All of it.  And that is one of the reasons I decided to do the juice fast.  But I remain unconvinced.  Sorry.

Making Applesauce....Without Pain and Suffering

Friday, July 12, 2013

Back in the day when I was young and newly married, my husband's sweet parents would make homemade applesauce that they canned and then brought to us when they came to visit.  They had purchased local apples, and then one by one they had peeled, sliced, and cored every. single. one. and THEN cooked them on the stove top in a large pot with a little water in the bottom, taking special care to make sure it didn't scorch on the bottom.

So that is how I learned to do it, too.

And when I think about how many millions of lightyears easier it is for me to make applesauce now, I practically weep inside for that young, eager mother of little ones who spent many back-breaking hours peeling and coring.

If you are doing all that work to make applesauce, first:  YOU ROCK!  Second, STOP and READ THIS INSTEAD!  Your misery is almost over.

Thankfully, before too many years of hand-cramping applesauce-making misery went by, I learned about good tools for home food preservation.  The two that are essential to my applesauce making are these:

The Back to Basics Food Strainer makes peeling a coring a thing of the past!
This fabulous steamer means that I only have to wash my apples to prepare them for sauce and juice-making!

First, let me tell you about my steamer:

The bottom pan is filled with water.  This will be heated to boiling and produce steam.  Lots and lots of steam.  I try to remember to check the water level each time I finish taking steamed apples out of the top.  Otherwise your pan can go dry and get damaged, as happened to mine a long time ago.  Thankfully, this stainless steel set is extremely sturdy and continues to serve us well despite my mistake.

The next pan that nests inside of the bottom one allows the steam to rise up through the center cone.  This pan also collects beautiful juice!

The next layer is the colander.  Fruit goes in here.  The steam comes up through the holes and gently cooks the fruit without ever burning it.  The fruit bursts open and releases juice, which drips through the colander and is held in the lower juice reservoir.  Notice that the middle spot does not have holes in it.  This is so that you don't lose any juice that would fall down through that open cone spot below it.

Here are my washed apples filling the colander level to the tippy-top.  Although our apples weren't all perfectly beautiful this year, they had no bugs or worms, and so all I did was wash them and throw them in the pot.

Put the top on and let it roll!  I leave the burner on high so the water in the bottom boils continuously.

These apples had been steaming for about 20 minutes.  You can see that they are starting to burst.  While they could probably go through the food strainer at this point, letting them steam for a few more minutes will make it even easier.

After about 25 minutes or so the apples are super smooshy and easy to run through the food strainer.

I made a video to show you how the food strainer works, but technology ate it and won't let me upload it anywhere.  :(  I found someone else's video showing them using it so you can at least get an idea.  Below:

The Victorio Strainer in the above video is basically the same idea as the one I have, except mine is a little less expensive.  Nevertheless, the idea is that you put your fruit in the top funnel, turn the crank (easy and fun for kids to do), and out one side comes perfect applesauce, and out the other side comes peels and cores.  This works great for tomatoes, too!

For each full colander of apples that we steamed we got a little more than a full 9x13 pan of applesauce.  Since the apples we're working with right now are June apples, they are pretty sour, so the sauce needed to be sweetened.  This year I experimented with using Sweet Leaf Stevia, Coconut Sugar, and finally some nice local honey.  The honey ended up being our favorite, by far.  It was also less expensive than the Coconut Sugar.  I don't have a specific recipe to recommend to you for sweetening your applesauce.  It's really going to depend on your apples and how sweet you want your applesauce to be.  So just experiment little by little until you get a feel for how much honey (or other sweetener) you need to add to get it just right.
We also got some nice apple juice at the same time we were making the applesauce!  Here is a picture of some collected juice in the steamer.  Some little bits of apple do come through, so if you don't mind pulp, you can keep it, or if you do, you'll eventually want to strain off the pulp (and add it back into the applesauce) with a fine sieve.

You may have noticed that the juice reservoir has a tube running out the side of it.  Toward the end of the tube is a clamp.  When you're ready to get your apple juice, get out your glass jars, stick the hose in, and then squeeze the clamp to release the pressure on it and the juice will come out easily.  Again, because these were sour June apples, we choose to sweeten the juice with Sweet Leaf Stevia.  

To store your applesauce, you can choose to can it or freeze it.  I avoid using all plastic containers that have BPA in them.  #3, 6, and 7 are the worst.  Also, Tupperware has BPA in it so I avoid using that if possible.  You can freeze in glass jars if you leave an inch or more of head space.  There are some square and rectangular glass containers that can work well for this as well.  You can do some research about which plastic containers should be safe.  (I'm not going to bother linking to any because plastic safety seems to change all the time, so in an year from now who knows if the information I find today is still relevant.)

With the help of my food strainer and the steamer I was able to process a large laundry basket full of organic apples from our bad yard in less than 4 hours, including cleanup time.  That is time well-spent!

Have you ever made applesauce?  What tips would you want to share with us?

Amazon is My Favorite Health Food Store

Many years ago when I first opened Supermom's Health and Wellness, it was very challenging to find some of my favorite products if a person didn't live near a health food store.  Thankfully, as time has gone on, Amazon has become an absolutely fabulous resource for almost all of my favorite healthy staples.

What's so great about it?

It's easy to find everything.  No more struggling through an unfamiliar store layout trying to track down something you need.  (or making a special trip and then finding out they've discontinued it or are out of stock)

Product reviews let you know how others feel about the items, and if there is something that people like better.  When trying new things, it's especially nice to have some assurance from other customers that what you're considering getting is a good product.

Free Shipping!  Most of what's available on amazon is eligible for free shipping with a low minimum order.  Lots of that is available for even faster shipping through the Amazon Prime program, which I love!

What is Amazon Prime?  For an annual fee you get FREE 2-day shipping on all of your qualifying purchases (which is almost every single thing I ever look at), without  a minimum purchase. (You also get free streaming movies and some other benefits that you should check out.) Seeing as how I often find myself thinking, "Oh no!  I need a birthday gift STAT!" that 2-day shipping has saved me from spending a day driving to The Big City to purchase Legos for birthday boys.  It is also great when I need more coconut sugar, maple syrup, or other pantry items. (or missing vacuum cleaner heads!)  With a couple simple clicks amazon will have it on the way to me and it'll be here before I would have had time to go buy it in person.  (Maybe a third of the time my Amazon Prime purchases arrive **the next day**!!!)

Subscribe & Save makes my life so easy!  Very often when shopping on Amazon for grocery and household items you will see an option to add it to your Subscribe & Save account.  Depending on the timing and amount of items you purchase through Subscribe & Save, this can save you 5-15% off the regular prices, PLUS give you Free Shipping!  Some of the things I love about this:

--The even lower price, off of what was already a GREAT price to begin with!

--The fast shipping.

--I never forget what items I like to get and never have to look them up again.  I can easily see from my Subscribe & Save management area what I bought last time.

--Amazon sends an email about about a week before it's time for your next Subscribe & Save shipment.  This I especially love because I have the opportunity to adjust my order.  If I don't want to get an item this time around, it's a simple click to solve.  If I need a different quantity than I ordered last time, I can change that too.  It also shows me if the price is higher or lower than last time I bought, so if I bought something when it was on sale but now it is not, I know that and can decide if I want to get it at the current price.  And if I don't want something at all, that's easy to click and remove as well.

--Basically, there is no risk to you taking the good deal on the Subscribe & Save price when you are buying something.  Amazon allows you to discontinue that item and never get it again, easily and with no hijinks.

All-in-all, Subscribe & Save gives me great prices that are normally lower than I would have gotten in-store, and I don't have to leave the house to get it done.  The ease of using the system is fabulous, and there are no sneaky tricks to worry about.

What do I buy from Amazon?  Here's a list of a few things I regularly get through my Subscribe & Save?

Heritage O's Cereal

Heritage Flakes cereal

Coconut Sugar

Organic Oats

Coconut oil when it goes on good sales

My daughter's favorite shampoo

Fair Trade Dutch Process Cocoa

Himalayan Sea Salt

Maple Syrup (I stock up when there are good deals)

I also buy birthday and Christmas gifts, school supplies, household goods, office supplies, and many other things from Amazon.  It makes my life so much easier!

So, you'll see me recommending Amazon for a ton of products nowadays.  I feel like they system is so beautifully easy to use, it's definitely a wonderful tool available to busy and budget-conscious families!  I hope this post has been helpful to you in understanding how Amazon can help YOU!

Are you an Amazon shopper?  Do you use Subscribe & Save?

You Might Want to Check Out....Aldi!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

I've been to Aldi maybe 4 times in my life.  While I heard people talking about their low prices, when I would scan the ads, it always seemed like they only sold the kind of foods I would never buy.  (And by that I mean canned and processed stuff.)

But then I checked it out and what do you know?  They had an organic cheerios cereal!  And that got my attention, oh yes it did!  (General Mills has spent a lot of money to avoid having to label their GMO-containing foods.  Cheerios don't seem so wholesome or safe anymore...)

And now?  MORE organics are coming!  Starting July 10, 2013 there will be quite a few organic items on special for the week, so you'll want to get in there with your cash or debit card and buy 'em while they are available!

Also, organic grass-fed beef and antibiotic-free chicken!

You can read more about the specifics of what's coming here, and check out this helpful article about buying whole foods at Aldi's.  And, for those of you who do not know the mysterious ways of shopping at Aldi's, you simply must learn the ropes here.

I'd love to know:  Do you have an Aldi near you?  Have you ever shopped there?  For seasoned Aldi shoppers, tell us your best tips for what to buy!

Finally! "I Knew Her When....."

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Any of you who, like us, have had backyard chickens, will appreciate the humor in this.  What's more? I can finally say, "I knew her when!"  This gal is the sister of my brother-in-law, and we went to college together.  She's got a great sense of humor.  Check this out:

 You love her, right? Yeah. I know.

 Well, she is not only the creator of snappy and smart vids, but she writes an excellent blog as well. Plus! PLUS! She talks about shopping at her local Farmer's Market, which is where I used to live, which makes me feel all warm and sunny inside. :)

 Visit her at One Girl's Rant and on her Youtube Channel where she will make you literally LOL.  Lotsa great locavore foodie recipes and much more!

Using Up a Bunch of Milk

Friday, July 05, 2013

We were given two gallons of milk the other day.  While I'm not much of a fan of cow's milk, much less non-organic milk, I'm not a purist.  If someone gives us two gallons of milk, I use it up as best I can before it goes bad.

I love to make use of what I have on hand.  I enjoy finding recipes that make something tasty out of the stuff that's left when it seems like "There's nothing to eat!"  It is a little game I play by myself, where I try to figure out what meals and snacks can be made from what we have in the house, and grocery shop as little as possible.

I have to stay on top of the makins' as much as possible.  Seeing as how we're a family that doesn't offer much in the way of convenience foods, we can quickly run into this situation:

My boys say some version of that to me, like......every other day.

Boys:  "Mom, there's nothing to eat!"

Me:  "What do you mean there's nothing to eat?  There are grapes, bananas, bread, butter, sandwich stuff, leftover pasta, leftover casserole, crackers, cheese, refrigerator oatmeal, quinoa salad, stuff to make burritos, stuff to make soup, stuff to make......"

Boys:  "Yeah....but.....there's nothing to eeeeaaaattttt......."

Yeah. milk.  How to use it up?  And produce identifiable food stuffs?

2 batches of homemade yogurt in the crock pot:  The older milk went into this so that I could stretch the use-by date way out.  The yogurt will be used in morning smoothies, as a sour cream substitute in casseroles, and instead of heavy cream in some recipes.

Homemade Hot Cocoa: Once for a snack, once with our German Pancake meal

Awesomesauce:  Will by mixed into casseroles that I will get made ahead and put into the freezer.

German Pancakes:  A simple recipe that my boys enjoy

Refrigerator Oatmeal:  Will provide breakfasts and snacks for my boys for a few days.

What are some of your favorite ways to use up milk or other perishable pantry staples?

Homemade Healthy Hot Cocoa

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

I'm up late working and needed a snack.  So what if it's summer?  The house is air conditioned!  Time for Homemade Healthy Hot Cocoa!

3 cups milk of your choice (works great with almond, rice, coconut, and other non-dairy milks)
half a cup water
heat the milk + water to your desired temp  (Not a purist, I heat it in a glass container in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes.  You could use the stove top, just be sure not to let the milk scorch.)

two-thirds cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
a pinch of sea salt

Whisk it well and serve.  Mmmmmmm.  If you thought Swiss Miss was hot cocoa, this will set you straight.  :)  Very yummy, easy to make, and kids love it too!

Baked Potato and Veggie Casserole

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I made this last night, tweaking (of course!) from another recipe I found somewhere that wasn't quite what I wanted.  The finished product was good and worth recommending.  This is a hearty vegetarian casserole that would work great for potlucks as well as at home.


5 pounds of organic potatoes:  You can use russet or thin-skinned varieties like I did

approximately 3-4 cups of veggies, such as
--cubed or shredded zucchini
--diced carrots
--corn (non-GMO only)

a half-cup (or more) diced onion

a half-cup thinly sliced celery

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 1/2 cups either plain yogurt, Greek yogurt, or sour cream

half cup organic milk

1 cup Parmesan cheese

8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1.5 teaspoons ground mustard

1.5 teaspoons garlic powder

half teaspoon onion powder

2 dashes cayenne pepper

1.5 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon course ground pepper


Scrub and bake the potatoes.  Generally 350-400 degrees for an hour will get the job done.  Don't forget to poke each one with a fork or knife so they don't explode all over the inside of your oven!

After baking, let the potatoes cool so that you don't burn your little fingers while you make this yummy dinner!

After taters are cooled, dice them up into smallish chunks, maybe around 3/4 of an inch.  Think of potato salad sized chunks.  Think of a forkful of casserole, and know what size makes sense for eating with ease.  :)

In a large (I mean it) mixing bowl combine the diced potatoes and all the veggies.

In a separate, smaller mixing bowl combine the yogurt/sour cream, milk, cheese, and all the spices and seasonings.  I will say that if you're aiming for something lower in calories, you could go halfsies on this sauce.  However, it will not be as creamy and wonderful and you will probably wish it was!

Mix it up good and then pour it over the potatoes and veggies and combine it til it looks beautiful.  Like this:

Get a 9x13 pan and oil it up nicely.  Pour in the casserole goodness and bake it at 350 degrees for about an hour.  When it's done it'll be nicely browned around the edges. Looks something like this:


Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I found the original inspiration for this recipe here.  However, I've tweaked it some and for ease of sharing I'll post the recipe I'm using right here.

This salad looks lovely since it's colorful, you could totally tweak it with other summer veggies from your garden, it can be vegetarian or vegan, and would be great for taking to a potluck or cookout.  I have added some of this salad to big bowls of organic greens as well.  It works by itself or as a salad topper.

Did I mention that it's super duper easy to make, too?  You can't go wrong with this one.  (Unless you think green olives are "stinky" like my boys do.  Then you will not like this.  But for parents of children with an aversion to stinky olives, this is great, because nobody else will eat this up when you aren't looking!)

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups or more of cubed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of cubed cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup sliced green or black olives
  • 4 ounces feta cheese (about a half cup)  (or leave it out to have this be vegan)
  • 1 cup (or less) raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon of the olive juice from the jar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1. Combine the water and quinoa in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Well the quinoa cooks make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, olive juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cubed tomatoes and cucumbers and the sliced olives. Add quinoa and mix well. Drizzle the dressing on top and add cashews and feta cheese.  (or don't.)
  4. Toss everything together. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving.

Banana Chocolate Chip Brownies

I make these anytime I have bananas that have aged past the point where I'd be willing to use them in smoothies.  This is quick and easy to put together, and the kids like it!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Get a 9x13 pan to be non-stick.

Combine in a mixing bowl:

half-cup butter or coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (or just throw in 1-2 smooshy bananas and let your mixer do the work)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder without aluminum
half teaspoon baking soda
half teaspoon sea salt
half teaspoon cinnamon or ground cloves
half cup of one of these: chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, pecans, walnuts

Mix it all up and then smooth it out into your pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Easy!

Productive Morning in the Kitchen

Monday, June 24, 2013

Some days I get into the kitchen with a plan and it is a beautiful thing.

After my delicious morning smoothie I got to work:

I'm making homemade yogurt in the crock pot.

I made a batch of refrigerator oatmeal for my boys.

One pan of Banana Chocolate Chip Brownies.  (I had two elderly bananas that needed to be used up.)

A batch of Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.  (My go-to lunch and dinner this summer.  Throw it on a salad or eat it alone!)

5 pound of organic potatoes are baking in the oven.  Later today they will be turned into a delicious vegetarian casserole.

One pitcher of healthy lemonade.  (Today I also added lime juice.  So nice!)

And I had a whole lot of abandoned aging clementines that nobody is eating, so I decided that we would turn them into juice.  Voila!  Gorgeous and delicious.  I have drawer space now for something else that people actually do want to eat, and will have no trouble getting takers to drink the juice.

It feels good to have a plan, to use what I have on hand, and to piggyback various projects upon each other so that clean-up and appliance use is shared and maximized.

For instance:

--the Banana Choc. Chip Brownies called for butter, but I have quite a bit of coconut oil on hand, so I used that instead.

--the organic potatoes really needed to hurry up and get used, so I planned to make a casserole with them today.  (recipe here)

--I accidentally over-bought organic milk, so turning half a gallon of it into yogurt helps preserve it for another use.

--the clementines were actually given to us, but were getting old and the kids weren't enjoying the texture that much.  Since I already had the electric citrus juicer out, we decided to also use it for the clementines.  One of the kids came along and volunteered to do the juicing, because, you know, that's a fun thing!  :)

--the quinoa salad helped me use up one garden-fresh tomato and the last half of a cucumber.

--the oven was in use for baking the brownies, and then went on to bake the potatoes as well.  (only one pre-heating time needed, and there will be plenty of time for the taters to cool down before I take them on to the next step later today)

I love, love, love to use up the food I already have on hand!  Am I the only one who would enjoy successfully clearing the shelves of the freezer and pantry and not having to go to the store for a long, long time?!

Refrigerator Oatmeal in Large Quantities

You may have already seen the awesome, beautiful varieties of refrigerator oatmeal that are featured on The Yummy Life.  Fridge oatmeal has been a huge hit with my boys.  It has been a wonderful item to have on hand for breakfast and snacks all the time.

One thing that I did not find very convenient for me was to make the oatmeal right inside the jars.  It was hard to mix up, and seemed to not be as convenient as it sounded like it would be.  For my family I make a bunch most days, so I figured out the portions to get it done the quick-and-easy way.  This is my base recipe, and then you can tweak it for various flavors as you like.

In a mixing bowl combine:

2 cups yogurt  (I buy organic milk and then make my own yogurt in the crock pot)
2 and 2/3 cup milk (you can use rice, almond, hemp, oat, coconut, or dairy milk)
12 teaspoons chia seeds
8 teaspoons honey or coconut sugar (or to taste)

And then you build from there.

The most common one that I make includes two bananas, cubed up smallish, plus a variety of freeze-dried fruits that we have on hand.  Most commonly we use mango, pineapple, and pear.  The freeze-dried items soak up some of the moisture, as do the chia seeds, so the end product isn't runny or soupy. This also allows me to get away with using my homemade yogurt instead of thicker Greek yogurt that would cost a lot more.  Even without freeze-dried foods, you can go ahead with the regular yogurt, possibly cutting back the milk to just 2 cups.

Once the base of yogurt, milk, chia, and sweetener is done, I find that I can just wing it with how much stuff I add to it.  Also, I've found that the full half-pint jar can be a little too much for some in my family, so I tend to fill the jars about 3/4 of the way.  I get 9-10 jars out of this recipe.

Have you ever tried refrigerator oatmeal?  What variety do you love the most?

Supermom's Sugar-Busters Starting Now!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

We've talked about it.

Some of you have emailed me about it.

I've been thinking about it.

Today I decided:  It's time to do this thing!

Supermom's Sugar-Busters is forming now and we will officially kick-off our mission to get off of sugar on May 1.

Here's how it will work:

We'll hang out together on our facebook group, Supermom's Sugar-Busters.  There we will plan ahead and prepare so that we will be ready to have more success as we transition away from sugar.  Each member of the group can contribute recipes, tips, links to helpful stuff, etc.  We are all in this together!  I will be getting off of sugar (again!) right along with you.  

Possibilities include:
-- group calls where we can talk about what is/isn't working for us, and brainstorm about ways to overcome any difficulties you are facing and to experience greater success in reaching your goals

--private Super Speedy Coaching Calls with me, where I can spend 10 minutes talking to you on the phone, to help you with specific needs

We will be flexible and open to other ideas that the group generates and feels a need for!

Who can join us?

Anybody that gets the newsletter, reads the blog, or follows us on facebook is invited!  If you have a close friend or family member that you want to invite, feel free to do so.  After that, let's wait and see how many people we get.  Since this is our first time around, I'd like to start small(ish) and see what develops and see how I can improve the experience before adding tons of people.  So, yes, you can tell some people, but don't invite all of your facebook friends and twitter followers.  OK?  :)

What is the goal?

Well, our goal is to stop eating sugar.  Each person is going to have their own ideas and needs for how strict they will be, AND THAT IS OK WITH ME!  So, if you want to get off sugar, but still plan to indulge in birthday cake every so often, THAT'S OK.  If you want to get 100% away from sugar 100% of the time, THAT'S OK TOO!  I am not the sugar police, and nobody knows better than me the ups and downs that life brings and the way that our food and health goals flex accordingly.  So, if you think this group can help you, come on and join us!

How much does it cost?

No monetary cost!  I do ask that if you join the group you plan to make an effort to contribute to the group as best you are able.  If you have any experience with kicking the sugar habit, or if you have great links/articles/recipes to share, we want to hear from you! Or you may not know anything about getting off of sugar and may feel like a total novice, but at least you are able to encourage others toward their goals--That counts too!  Again, I'm not policing your involvement.  I'm just asking that we create a group that will support and encourage one another, because that will be way better than one "expert" talking at everybody, and I want this to be really helpful for all of us.

What you need to do:

Request to join our private facebook group here.  If there's an option to send a note with your request, let me know you got this newsletter.  If you invite a friend, ask them to let me know that you invited them.  That's all!

From there, just stay up-to-date with the Facebook group and you'll know everything that's going on.  OK?

What if I'm not on Facebook? 

Now is the time for you to join Facebook if you are not already on there.  I find that for most people, Facebook is something they are already keeping up with both on their computers and their phones.  By having our group hub on Facebook we are making it simple, there is no special system to learn or log in to, and if you have a smartphone, the group support and resources are only a tap away!  

You can start joining the group right now We will be sharing recipes and ideas to get set up to kick sugar starting May 1.  (and yes, if you already started or are starting later, you can still jump in!)

Let's do this thing!