Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (w/ Chocolate Mint and Chocolate Orange options)

Basic Chocolate Buttercream
1 cup softened grass-fed butter
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla

Mint Chocolate Variation:
add 1 tsp. mint extract

Orange Chocolate Variation:
add 1 tsp. orange extract

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things M Says (Part 41)

M, after talking incessantly to Super Mario World: "Hey Mom, is there a guy that pops out right here that goes 'zoop! zoop! zoop! zoop! ahh! and then throws fireballs?" 

Um, nope. Pretty sure I would have noticed that.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

My Planned Parenthood Carnival: My Story

(The carnival hub is here.  And there are lots of other posts on Shakesville here.  You can also look for the #MyPP hashtag on Twitter.)

I have actually never been to Planned Parenthood.  I live a life of white, middle-class privilege where my parents always covered my insurance.  And when I went to college, got married, and had children, I always had insurance.  I'm very lucky to have had that coverage.  For so many other women, Planned Parenthood is there for them for patient care.

My experiences with Planned Parenthood are more second-hand than anything else.  I had a roommate in college who used Planned Parenthood because she didn't have any insurance as a poor, newly-married student.  She had her first child under the watchful and affordable care of the Utah Valley Planned Parenthood.  I'm glad that she had that security.

A more recent second-hand experience involves my work with Phoenix Youth at Risk.  A youth in one of our programs came to me when she had just lost her virginity.  Her partner, a so-called best friend, snuck his condom off right before they started having intercourse.  He thought it was funny.  He thought maybe she wanted to have a baby.  She was 14.  I made sure that I wouldn't be breaking any rules by taking her to our local Planned Parenthood.  I found out that I was allowed to take her there, but I couldn't go inside with her.  I told her that I would take her.  She never did take me up on the offer, especially after she found out she wasn't pregnant.  But I'm glad that I have PP to lean on if another youth ever comes to me for help.

In short, I believe in Planned Parenthood.  They fill a vital, non-judgmental role in our communities all around the U.S.  I hope the voice of the people in every state holds Planned Parenthood up at this time of need.  If you can spare any donation money right now, please give what you can to Planned Parenthood.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Bone Broth Challenge (not so hard when you're on GAPS)

CHEESESLAVE is doing a Bone Broth Challenge for the month of July.  Since I am about halfway through my third month on GAPS, I decided to join in and raise awareness on bone broth and all it's benefits.

First things first, how do you make bone broth?  Well, I use the Broth is Beautiful recipe here.  You will find recipes for basic chicken, beef, and fish stock there.  Or I make my delicious basic Homemade Chicken Soup, without dumplings for now while I complete GAPS.

Lately I have been just throwing bones, water, carrots, celery, and a little apple cider vinegar into my slow cooker for one hour at room temperature (the vinegar draws the minerals out of the bones).  Then I move the slow cooker outside on a chair and cook it on high overnight.  That's the easiest way to make stock I have found.

I have had some truly amazing healing take place for me as I have drunk three cups of broth every day for the last 3.5 months.  You don't need to commit to GAPS or cups of stock every day to feel better though.  If you do the Bone Broth Challenge, you are only committing to one cup every day.  See how you feel after this month.

Benefits of bone broths include:

  1. Healing your gut lining: stock is alkalizing, which balances and soothes leaky gut syndrome (which most of us have from growing up eating the Standard American Diet (SAD)).
  2. Collagen: this can help reverse wrinkles and cellulite.  For me this is a possible added bonus while I do GAPS!
  3. Calcium and other minerals: this can revitalize your teeth and bones, hair and fingernails.  I have even heard some people swear they have remineralized teeth that have been hit by decay.