Ming Is A Good Listener

Ming Listening

Ming Listening

Ming is a great listener! She also understands a lot of what is being said.  You can tell her “Skyli will be home soon!” and she runs for the door, or “Lucy is coming over” and she runs to the window looking for her. Lucy is a Black Lab and a member of the extended family.  Ming, Ming loves chicken, and when you say “chicken”, her eyes get really, really wide.  She also watches t.v., especially if there are dogs in the show.  But what I love most about how Ming listens is when she just sits and listens while I am in the kitchen.  She sits near my feet and is content to stay there as long as I am there listening to me talk to her as I work.  She tilts her head side to side and looks straight at me.  I could learn a lesson or two from her complete attention.  She makes me remember to try and listen as well as she does.

Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Tapenade

Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Tapenade

Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Tapenade

Don’t you love dips and spreads?  I do, and it is so nice to know you can make them yourself with great ingredients that feed your body  and not only taste awesome, but have nothing but good ingredients.  I am also looking for easy and fast!  I served this tapenade recently with almond flour crackers.  It is good with vegees also, like cucumber rounds, or on top of a salad. The eggplant is peeled before roasting, which makes it easy to digest and pretty when pureed.


1 Medium Eggplant, peeled and cubed

2 Red Bell Peppers, seeded and diced

3 Green Scallions (green parts only, sliced)

3 Tablespoons Garlic Infused Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley

2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil

1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon – 18 year old aged Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat Oven 400 degrees.  Placed cubed eggplant and peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil over them and add salt and pepper, then toss until coated.  Place them in them in the oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes tossing a few times during cooking until they are starting to brown and very soft.  The last 20 minutes of the cooking time, add the chopped green scallions, toss and continue roasting.

Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Tapenade

Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Tapenade

Remove from the oven. Cool for five minutes.  Then, place the roasted vegetables in a food processor with a steel blade and pulse a few times.  Add the balsamic, parsley and basil and continue pulsing until blended to your liking.  I like just a few bits of vegetables showing and not completely blended. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Serve! This keeps in the refrigerator about a week and can be re-warmed or served cold.

Here is the tapenade served as a shrimp canape.

Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Tapenade Shrimp Canope

Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Tapenade Shrimp Canope

…..and served with crudites! There are so many options for this!

Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Tapanade

Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Tapenade

I love to hear your thoughts!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Red, White and Blueberry Snack Bread

Memorial Day weekend is almost here! I always get excited when Summer is just around the corner. I start thinking about fun summery food.  I love the 4th of July, hanging out with family and friends, picnics, the kids twirling around with sparklers waiting for the fireworks to start, parades, barbecues, happy laughter, and lots of outdoor time.  This bread is not only yummy, it is fun and just right for a picnic in the Summer.  I am serving this at a cookout over Memorial Day. It keeps well in the refrigerator, so it can be made in advance leaving you more time to play outside!  It would also be very delicious and pretty topped with some fresh berries and coconut milk whipped cream if you want to dress it up more.  But it is pretty just by itself, and it is soft and yummy.


2 Cups Super Fine Almond Flour

2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

pinch of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon of Pure Stevia Leaf (optional, I use one that contains just Stevia Leaf here.)

4 eggs

1/4 Cup Organic Palm Shortening (I like Spectrum) or Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons Clear Honey

1 1/2 teaspoon SCD Legal Vanilla Extract (just vanilla and alcohol in the ingredients)

1/4 teaspoon SCD Legal Lemon Extract (optional)

1/2 Cup Diced Fresh or Frozen Strawberries

1/2 Cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries

Red, White & Blueberry Bread Batter

Red, White & Blueberry Bread Batter


Preheat Oven 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a medium loaf pan, then line it with parchment paper.

Mix together Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, Baking Soda and Salt and a pinch of nutmeg and the cinnamon.

In a separate bowl whisk eggs, then add the clear honey, melted palm shortening and the rest of ingredients up to the fresh berries. Add the wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Gently fold in the berries so you don’t start getting swirls of the berry in your batter (Red, White and Blue).

Pour batter into the loaf pan, smooth the top, and bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove loaf from the pan and cool completely.  Serve warm or wrap tightly and refrigerate.  It is good warm from the oven, (but give it an hour to cool before cutting) and also cold from the fridge is delightful on a warm day.  Store in the refrigerator.  You can eat this bread anytime of day.  My daughters love it for breakfast!


SCD, Paleo Red, White & Blueberry Loaf

SCD, Paleo, Red, White & Blueberry Snack Loaf


I love to hear your thoughts!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Ming Loves The Beach!


Ming at the Beach

Ming at the Beach

We love to vacation in Northern Michigan by the Great Lakes.  That is where I was raised, and I never truly appreciated the fact that I grew up in a year-round vacation destination until I moved away.  We have been taking our children back every summer their entire lives.  It is a dog friendly state, and we have been able to find a few beaches that allow dogs, so we can take them to swim.  Yes, pugs swim! I am a bit surprised, but they have webbed toes.  We saw a pug last summer swimming and fetching a ball for it’s owner, and it was just like a fish!  Ming likes the water too, but not to that degree.  She likes to wade, smell things, put her puggy face in the sand, and run!  Here she is with my daughters and I, and also her little black pug sister, Lily.  This was last summer on Lake Michigan.  I wonder what she will do this year now that she is two?  Maybe she will be braver and leap into the waves!

I love to hear your thoughts!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Honey Mustard Chicken Wings


Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

If you are craving some tangy, succulent wings that are easy and everyone will love, this recipe is a great choice!  The sauce is quick to mix together.   They smelled so good when they were baking in the oven, I could hardly wait to dig into them!  They would be great the next day in a lunchbox, but we didn’t have any left, so next time, I will need a double batch.  They are baked and then finished off under the broiler to get them nice and crispy.


2 lbs. Chicken Wings

2 TBS. Garlic Infused Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Clear Honey

1 Tablespoon Garlic Free Yellow Mustard

1 Tablespoon Djon Mustard

1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder

1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

1/8 teaspoon White Pepper

two dashes of Habanero Pepper Sauce

2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

Preheat oven 375 degrees.  Lay wings on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with a little extra Himalayan Pink Salt and Black Pepper (pre-season your meat to build flavor) and bake ten minutes. Meanwhile whisk up the rest of the ingredients for the sauce.   After ten minutes of baking, remove wings and brush with some of the sauce…coat them well.  Bake another ten minutes, remove from the oven and turn the wings over and brush again and return to the oven ten more minutes. Repeat once more for ten minutes. Keep an eye on your wings.  (Depending on the size of them the time will vary.  My wings were medium sized and took 40 minutes.) Turn on broiler and broil the wings until they are at your desired crispiness, coating again and turning once.  This will only take a minute or two.  Serve!

Can't Resist Them - Honey Mustard Chicken Wngs

Can’t Resist Them – Honey Mustard Chicken Wings


What’s So Great About Himalayan Pink Salt?

Himalayan Pink Salt

Himalayan Pink Salt

You may have noticed I use Himalayan Pink Salt in my recipes.  I think it is the bomb, because it has 84 trace minerals in it, it is unprocessed, we need salt for our thyroid and many other body functions, and it makes things taste so good!  It also helps us stay hydrated, which may be why it is one of the reasons it claims to reduce the signs of aging, for that glow!  It also helps keep your bones strong and your circulation flowing.  There are other great salts out there as well, another favorite of mine if Redmond Real Salt, but I am partial to the Pink!

Kelly Bejelly of A Girl Worth Saving recently posted a very informative article, The Amazing Benefits of Himalayan Pink Salton her blog.  Just click on the above link to read it.  This salt is amazing!

SCD Paleo Strawberry Lemon Tea Cookies

These are bite size, or maybe two bites, depending on how large your bites are, shortbread tea cookies with freeze dried strawberries and lemon zest.  They have just the right amount of strawberry and lemon flavor, and they are egg free if you have difficulty with eggs.  They are really pretty when plated to serve.  You could include them as part of a luncheon, take them to a spring picnic, or serve them as an after school snack for your kids.


Strawberry Lemon Tea Cookies

Strawberry Lemon Tea Cookies

So, here we go! Let’s whip up a quick cookie!

Preheat Oven 350 degrees.


Mix together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl including lemon zest.  Melt shortening then stir in the honey.  Gently but thoroughly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the strawberries.  Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 8 – 9 minutes until the tops are just starting to show a touch of golden brown.  Cool a bit before popping them in so you don’t burn your tongue. 🙂

Scooped Strawberry Lemon Tea Cookies

Scooped Strawberry Lemon Tea Cookies Read to Bake

Makes approximately 16 cookies.


Thick and Rich Italian Tomato Sauce


Italian Tomato Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

Italian Tomato Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

This recipe for Italian Tomato Sauce is thick and rich with a lot of flavor.  You can make it in larger batches and freeze it too ,so you always have good sauce on hand.  You need a food processor or immersion blender for this recipe.

Thick and Rich Italian Tomato Sauce


2 – 25 oz. cartons or cans of Strained Tomatoes

1 orange bell pepper, diced (they are the sweetest)

1 Tablespoon Garlic Infused Olive Oil

1 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tsp. ground fennel

1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning (I used Spicely Organics certified gluten free)

1/2 Cup Dry Red Wine

Place garlic infused oil, diced orange bell pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt in a dutch oven or large stock pot and cook on medium high heat until soft and starting to brown. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer on stove top with sauce partially covered with the lid for approximately 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The sauce will reduce, thicken up, and get infused with all the seasonings you added to it.   Using a food processor or immersion blender blend the sauce until smooth incorporating all the orange pepper so there are no chunks.  Serve!  The sky is the limit.  I served it over zucchini ribbon noodles.

Spring Strawberry Sugar Snap Pea Salad

I am so happy to see the Spring produce start to come in at my local organic market. This week, I picked up some beautiful organic sugar snap peas and strawberries that inspired me to make this bright and colorful salad.  I paired it with an orange vinaigrette, and it was a big hit!  I sliced the sugar snap peas into 1 inch pieces and lightly sauteed them in olive oil and Pink Himalayan salt before adding them to the salad, so they are still crunchy.

Strawberry Sugar Snap Pea Spring Salad

Spring Strawberry Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Serves 8


1 Head of Organic Iceburg Lettuce

5 pieces of Sugar Free or Honey Sweetened Bacon cooked until crisp

2 Cups Organic Sliced Strawberries

1 Cup Organic Sugar Snap Peas

1/2 Cup Marcona Almonds (chopped), or Slivered Almonds

1/4 Cup Sliced Scallions, Green Part Only (the white part is a FodMap, so if you are low FodMap Avoid White Part)

Orange Vinaigrette (See Recipe Below)

Saute the one inch sliced sugar snap peas in olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt until tender, crisp, just 2 minutes.  Add other ingredients except dressing to a large serving bowl, top with sugar snap peas, then toss with Orange Vinaigrette, sprinkle with a little more Himalayan Pink Salt (Kelly Bejelly of A Girl Worth Saving just wrote an informative article on the benefits of this salt), pepper, and serve.  A delicious spring salad! This is one of my favorite salad dressing at the moment.  I love the bright orange flavor.

Orange Vinaigrette

Orange Vinaigrette

Orange Vinaigrette


3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Organic Orange Zest

2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 Tablespoon Clear Honey

1 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

2/3 Cup of Blood Orange Olive Oil or Unflavored Olive Oil (the blood orange gives it an extra orange boost.)

Whisk Together the ingredients and serve!

A Quick Snack That is Portable and Healthy – Sardines….Yep!

Some days are crazy and I don’t  have time to “fix” a snack, or my homemade snack stash has run out. It is challenging if you have a couple crazy busy days doing errands, appointments and just life in general.  This is when I grab a tin of sardines or mackerel, drain it, and put some mustard on it, sit down for a minute and refuel.  I love the benefits of sardines and mackerel…..Calcium, Omega 3’s, Protein. It is a power snack.  The last few days have been crazy.  My daughter is getting married, and I am wedding planning.  The other day we had dress fittings, piano lessons, pick ups, drop offs.   I had a minute to sit down outside in a comfy chair and eat a can of mackerel, listen to the birds, and look at the sky. It was just right.  I also find that eating a snack like that holds me over just fine until the next meal, and no sugar crashes. So, here’s to sardines!

A Quick Snack - Mackerel with Mustard

A Quick Snack – Mackerel with Mustard

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