Sunday, December 30, 2012

DIY oven glass cleaner

I was browsing Pinstagram and came across a tips and tricks pin for cleaning the glass on the oven door.  It seemed easy enough (make a paste with baking soda and water or vinegar, put on glass, wait then wipe/scrub off).

Here's what I'm dealing with:

This is the inside of our oven door. Yes, that large part that takes up most of the door is the glass. Unfair and overwhelming, but I tried the tip with the promise of a clean oven door in half an hour.

I used about 1/4 cup of baking soda and mixed it with some water to create a paste (more like a frosting). I waited, then wiped it off, but it wasn't as easy as promised, so I had to do some scrubbing, and then Big Spazz had to do some scrubbing with new paste as well as help from our ceramic stove top cleaner.

It's not a miracle, and it wasn't as easy as the post said, but the top two photos are the door AFTER from the inside and the outside. Plus, if you do not want to use any harsh chemicals, and you're not afraid of a little elbow grease, this is a natural and safe alternative to very harsh oven chemicals that put poisons into your lungs, and into your house.

The top photo is reflecting the cabinets above the stove and the bottom photo shows our pizza oven inside of the oven as well as Big Spazz's thermometer. I can also see the my legs and the red iPad cover in the reflection.

Try it as a first option. Your lungs will thank you.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Recycled Tabletop Tree

I despise crafts, although I appreciate the creativity and "poet's eye" of crafters. Imagine my yearly stress when we get the boy scout Christmas party invitation and there is always a craft project assignment. I think the reason God gave us three boys was to spare me from the horror of braiding hair, nail polish and craft projects.

It was supposed to be an "easy task." Create a recycled tabletop Christmas tree. Oh, and you get creativity points with a prize for the winner. Now I am competitive enough for my whole family, but when it comes to this, let's agree to not worry about winning. Let's just get 'er done with a minimum amount of yelling.

I went to the Etsy site for some inspiration and found tis beaut.
It's an "up cycled" felt tree using used wool sweaters that were bought from thrift stores and cut into squares and topped with a shiny green ball.

We live in Hawaii, so wool? But we did have construction paper that was starting to brown on the edges,  barbecue sticks and extra gauze from the time one of the boys had their wisdom teeth extracted. Perfect! No green ball? Oh well, we have a dried craisin.

Here is our kapakahi (crooked), recycled paper and never used gauze tree with dried craisin topper. It may not be pretty, but we got 'er done.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

KCC Tuesday Night Farmerʻs Market

Kapiolani Community College and the Hawaii Farm Bureau hold a fabulous farmer's market on the campus grounds on Saturday morning. The problem, however, is that there are bus loads of tourists that are dropped off to buy the hibachi Kona oysters and the fried green tomatoes. Locals that are trying to pick up their CSA boxes or just get fresh fruits, veggies and flowers need to deal with parking and major crowds.

As a result of community input, they are now trying a three-month experiment, starting last night, to offer the farmer's market on both Saturday morning and Tuesday night from 4-7 pm. It's smaller in scale, but I was able to pick up baby kale and choi sum from Ho Farms, and pick up dinner from Chef Hardy of Michel's.

Chef Hardy makes a yummy mushroom pouch and skewers a crusty piece of ciabatta bread to soak up the juices. The mushroom pouch consists of Hamakua mushrooms, onions, carrots, spinach and garlic baked in a parchment paper pouch. It's so good, I even eat the cloves of garlic that are soft and melty.

The other perk, is that the crowds are mostly local and much smaller, which means that we could go around and taste samples from different vendors.

I was able to try Moloka'i honey from John and Linda Dalire's All Hawaiian Honey. The kiawe honey was thick and grainy with an almost dijon mustard consistency. It was nice, not too sweet. I also learned from Linda that the lighter honeys, like the lehua honey are sweeter while the darker honey like the eucalyptus honey is less sweet.

I also tried the fried mocha from Taste Wave. It's a puree of sweet potato and edamame made into a pan mocha concoction, then dipped in batter and deep fried. She then sprinkles furikake as a final touch. I have a quarter of a piece and it's great hot with a little bit of saltiness and great gooey texture mixed with the crunch of the batter. 

Cold Fryye makes handmade ice cream, so I tried a sample spoon of their green wave ice cream made with sea asparagus. I like sea asparagus with natural sea salt flavor (like limu) plus the crunch like watercress. The ice cream is a pale green, not quite as deep as the green tea ice cream color, but when I tried it it was a little too salty for my taste and it was missing the depth factor that I look for in ice cream so I didn't splurge on that. 

Hopefully more people come out. Follow Hawaii Farm Bureau on Twitter!/hnlfarmers to get updates. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Wai Lana Yogi Bars

I'm not going raw, but in the dorm, raw is much easier.
Who needs ice cream after a long study session when a banana slathered in almond butter is just as yummy.

I also found these Wai Lana bars at the local Down to Earth store. They're on sale right now for $1 a piece ($5 for 5). They're raw fruits and nuts, no sugar added. They're basically less dense versions of the Kenergy bars and Liana Bars.

Each package contains two of these pieces above and so far they've been really yummy as a late afternoon pick me up. I tried the apricot and the nana banana. I thought I would dislike the nana banana flavor because I don't like dried bananas, but I'm wrong, they're good.

My one gripe? The packaging with the lady in the lei polo and the big fruits and nuts with little flowers on it is so touristy that I've passed them by before. What's even more disappointing is that it's not even a Hawaii product. It's manufactured in California.

Once you open it, it's basically a date bar with nuts and fruit, so don't mind the cheesy packaging.

Other flavors are:
Apricot Cashew
Autumn Apple
Cherry Pomegranate
Cranberry Almond
Strawberry Shake
Sunflower Coconut and
Tropical Macadamia

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dorm life (at my age)

I moved islands for the summer, so I'm in a women's dorm for 5 weeks in order to take classes at the university, which means community kitchen and figuring out how to feed myself without going out every meal or reverting to the easier junk food.

I packed three things in my suitcase as must haves: an oatmeal pot, my Vitamix and a covered glass bowl that can go in the  microwave and double as a salad bowl. I also brought one plate and one bowl to eat with. Funny that I brought a wooden spoon and spatula, but no eating utensils. SMART!
The dorm provides us with a refrigerator and the freezer is downstairs in the community kitchen. I share a bathroom with five other people, but since it's summer, the dorm is not as full. If I stand in one place to take pictures, here's the  door and the closet with two dressers and a hanging rod.

Next to the door is the refrigerator and two book shelves

then  the bed and desk. All utilities plus wi-fi is included, so it's a good deal for a major city and it's a block away from our classroom.

I don't know what dorm life was like as an undergraduate, but since this is a graduate women's dorm, it's pretty quiet. I don't even hear music, so I try not to run my Vitamix is the morning. Green smoothies are great for a large lunch - green smoothie (kale, banana, a date or two, frozen blueberries, rice milk) + a side salad.

When it's hot and muggy, nothing is better than fruit and greens in a cup. Enjoy the summer!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Everything's Better with "Cheesy" Sauce

I was starving for dinner, probably because I spent all day doing school work, but I tried to be good and realistically, I don't have much in the kitchen anyway. I dry fried one Dr. Praeger veggie burger, steamed some frozen carrots and peas, and I already had some leftover roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes.
I know. . .BORING. Boring always calls for gravy, so whipped up some Happy Herbivore  cheese sauce.
The ingredients are totally from the pantry except the soy milk. Heat it up until it thickens, then goop it over everything.

The bad part is the recipe makes too much which means that Rico and I ate a few scoops of cheesy sauce straight out of the pan. (Not with the same spoon and no double dipping). Yum.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Back on The Path

I had a nice conversation one morning with another Eat to Live friend who inspired me to keep moving forward on the path not because it's easy, but because we need each other to keep moving forward. Then another friend offered to share her VitaMix while we're at a workshop next week so we can have green smoothies and not have to be slave to the hotel's breakfast buffet.

I love the fact that we are not alone. It's inspiring. I take life in small steps, which means a consistent breakfast of oatmeal with dates, frozen banana, at least one other fruit, Coach's oats and a small dollop of almond butter or flax seed. 8 minutes isn't much in the morning and it keeps me from feeling like I can eat a cake at 10 am.

Back on the path baby!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: Allergy-Friendly Food for Families

Author: editors of Kiwi Magazine
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 10, 2012)
Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:  from Amazon

Allergy-Friendly Food for Families is the most trustworthy, comprehensive, practical, and kid-friendly collection of recipes that exists for the important and growing audience of allergy-aware families. Unlike other allergy cookbooks, this book covers not one or two allergens, but the five most common allergens in kids: wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy. Each of the 120 recipes is free of at least three of these allergens; most are free of all five.

My thoughts: 

Until I started looking around for recipes to make for our Dr. Fuhrman 6-week challenge, I didn't know that there were so many bloggers that were creating gluten-free recipes. 

This book not only offers gluten-free recipes, but also dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free and soy-free recipes that look appealing for picky eaters (not just picky kid eaters). 

What I really liked were the colored tabs on the sides of the recipes that identified what type of "___-free" recipe it is. I also really liked the articles on cooking with kids. The editors offer tips and suggestions to help kids do things like juice and zest a lime or how to bake a sweet potato.

The large sections of the book consist of: breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snack and party dishes. The best part is that there are mini tables of contents after each section header. 

The four rating just comes from the fact that although the book is sectioned off by "meals," some of the recipes, like the Mighty Marinara Sauce, are not meals by themselves. Either attach the recipe within another recipe, or put it near a recipe that will naturally need the sauce.

What I'm trying: 
Individual egg-free fritttatas made in muffin cups (p. 13), and 
Almost-raw Chocolate Cashew Fudge (p. 136) 

Important Info about Cancer

I got this emailed to me from my Aunty Amy in Oklahoma. She does a lot of research on natural ways to fight cancer because it's personal for her. We lost her daughter Kaliko before she turned 30 from cancer, and then a few years later, my Aunty was diagnosed with breast cancer and she's been ever more adamant to find ways to beat cancer.

Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer
cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have
multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients
that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after
treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the
cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a
person's lifetime.

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer
cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and
forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has
nutritional deficiencies
. These could be due to genetic,
but also to environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing
 to eat more adequately and healthy, 4-5 times/day

and by including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing
cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells
in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc., and can
cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars
and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8.. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often
reduce tumor size.
However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from
chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either
compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb
to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to
mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy.
Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer
cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.


a. Sugar substitutes like 
NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc. are made
with Aspartame and it is harmful
. A better natural substitute
would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small
Table salthas a chemical added to make it white in
color Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the
gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus.. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. 
A meat-based
 is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little other meat,
like chicken. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole
grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into
an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked
food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live
enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to
cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance
growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building
healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most
vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw
vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at
temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C)..

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high
Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer
fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or
filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap
water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of
digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the
intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By
refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes
to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the
body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system
(IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals,
EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy
cancer cells.. Other supplements like vitamin E are known
to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's
normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or
unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.

A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior
be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put
the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to
have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated
environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to
get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

No plastic containers in micro

No water bottles in freezer

No plastic wrap in microwave.. 

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital , was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers.. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc.., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweet Potato Poke

We are off our 6-week challenge and although I don't miss meat, I do seem to want starch, so thanks to our school librarian, this sweet potato poke hits the spot.

Poke is traditionally made with sliced fish, but the modern poke continues to evolve so this poke uses sweet potato as the fish substitute. The other ingredients are by preference.

I used diced Maui onion, ogo (seaweed), cucumber and inamona (roasted kukui nuts)

For the sauce, roast sesame seeds in a dry pan
The sauce: chili sesame
1/2 cup shoyu
1 T sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp chili pepper water
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp inamona

(all of this is to taste, but the ratio is about right - make more if you have more stuff, less if not)
chili pepper water 
chili sesame sauce

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ken-ergy Bars

Day 5 of blogging.  I was going to do a Sunday shopper yesterday, but we were in Kona all day and didn't shop, so I ended up doing a book review on my other site, so skipped Sunday on this site, but still blogging.

Inspired by the Lianabars from So Duck Soup, Big Spazz made his own "Ken-ergy" bars just in time for an 8 mile hike for Boy Scouts.

Big Spazz likes everything big, so this one is chock full of stuffs.

4 cups pitted dates - put into the food processor until it forms a ball.
1 cup peanuts, unsalted
1 cup mac nuts, unsalted
Put it through the food processor separately until the above consistency
The other goodies: (all estimates)
2 T natural peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup chocolate minis
2 T coconut flakes

Divide the date ball, add half the other goodies and whir together until it reaches a consistency of wet sand.

Do the same with the next half of ingredients.

Put saran wrap on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the wet sand in the pan, cover with saran and push down until it compacts. Put in the refrigerator to harden it a little, then cut into bars and pack for the hike.

They don't look sexy, but they are really good and will give you lots of energy to do the long hikes. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chana Masala Attempt #2

This recipe uses the homemade garbanzos I made earlier in the week.

1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 cups homemade garbanzo beans (or 2 cans, strained)
1 large onion, diced
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes, strained
2 tsp garam masala
1 cup water
salt to taste
Cilantro to taste
juice from 1/2 a lemon

I have these very lovely cumin seeds that I bought by mistake when I should have bought ground cumin, so the thing about the cumin seeds is to let it crackle and open first to release the herb flavor.  It should be done with oil, but a hot pan and a little bit of water or spray oil. Heat the pan, put the seeds in and let it crackle.

Add the onions and saute until it's translucent.

Add the tomatoes, cook for about 4-5 minutes, add the garam masala and cook for another two minutes.

Add garbanzos and a cup of water. Cover and simmer for about 7 minutes. I let it go a little longer because of my homemade garbanzos.  Turn the heat off, stir in the lemon and serve with cilantro on the side.


Also good, but Chana #1 and Chana #2 need to be merged. Add garlic with the crackling cumin seeds, curry, coriander and spinach. Also, always use the homemade garbanzos which are much better tasting than the canned.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chana Masala attempt #1

I did say that I would blog every day in March and yet I missed on the 2nd day, but I did not anticipate a car crash that knocked out our electricity last night, so here's yesterday's blog.

Chana Masala with spinach

Spinach is not normally in chana masala, but I had some baby spinach, so why not?

2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with water OR 1 1/2 cups precooked + 1/2 cup water
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
juice of one lemon
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 large bunch of spinach, rinsed

Water saute onions and garlic until soft

Add garbanzos and water. Add spices and lemon juice, cover, and simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water, if needed, until garbanzos are cooked and soft.

Reduce heat, add spinach and cover. Allow spinach to wilt for 2-4 minutes. Serve with naan heated in the oven or on a grill.

Verdict - yummy. The issue - it's a little wet. Maybe it would taste better with homemade garbanzos.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Garbanzo Love

This is the year of monthly challenges - none of which I've really accomplished, but this is a new month, so perhaps third time's the charm.

January challenge - follow the clutter calendar for one month = FAIL
February challenge - walk at least 2 miles per day = FAIL but getting closer
March challenge - blog everyday on this or my book blog = we'll see...

I've been on a non-spicy Indian food kick recently, mostly because we found the most decadent, not good for us naan bread at Costco (1/2 a piece is 210 calories - gah! That's why it's SOOOOOO delicious)

Don't buy this - it's sour! (That way when we go, it will still be there)

My favorite thing to eat with naan is chana masala because the chana has just enough liquid so that I can sop it up with ripped pieces of naan. Yummy! I have two recipes I've tried so far and I want to combine the best of both, but today is about garbanzo love.

Garbanzo beans in the can are good, but if you have a little time, the natural foods stores have dried garbanzo beans that are even better, bigger, and more meaty.

Don't mind the weird frames and colors on my pics. I'm enjoying the photo site until April when they will change to google. For now, all their premium items are free so I love playing with the effects.

Dried garbanzos, or chickpeas, will just look like dried mini brains.

Soak them in water for a day or at least overnight, then boil it for about 20 minutes. There will be foam so just skim and keep boiling to soften the bean.

The beans just expand like crazy which makes it a cheap, green and healthy alternative to buying sodium laden, mushy, canned garbanzos.

Besides chana, we're going to try and roast these garbanzos, perhaps with my favorite garam masala spice. More on the chana tomorrow.

Note: because the beans are not salted when the canned beans are, you'll need to add some salt to your cooking, but the key here is that YOU will be in control of your salt intake.

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day Red, White and Blue Smoothies

No green smoothies this morning. We're on vacation, but the blueberries and strawberries have been flooding the market and we had some soy yogurt for making our whole wheat naan bread.

blueberries, strawberries, one orange, a couple of frozen bananas, about 3 dates

three dollops of soy yogurt, soy milk

Happy Birthday, Mr. President :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Simple Green Smoothies

I think I have so many breakfast posts because breakfast is fail proof. We do the whole oatmeal one day and smoothie another day routine - every week day, for weeks on end, amen.

Does it matter what goes into the smoothie? Nope. Foolproof formula - 2-3 large handfuls of greens (whatever you have - kale, spinach, mixed greens, cucumber. . .); one frozen banana chopped, a couple of dates, other fruits, about 1 1/2 cups of non dairy milk, about 5 ice cubes if my fruits are not frozen. Grind then slurp. 

I used leftover fruit salad so it had papaya, strawberries, grapes, tangerine juice, fresh coconut, melons. I added a tsp of flax seed for omega 3.

Sometimes the smoothies come out more brownish than green - it depends what you put in it, but it still tastes good. The dates tend to make it darker. There's enough for two servings in large travel mugs.

Some people freeze extras, but I make only enough to drink that day because I don't like when it starts separating or foaming on the top if it sits too long. Have an apple or celery or carrot sticks on the side because it's good to chew something when you're "eating." I forget why, but I read that somewhere.