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May 2012

April 2012

What Is Real Food?

Apple slad

What is real food? It seems like such a simple answer. I know I thought I was eating real food. And in a lot of ways we were but when I really stopped and pondered this question I realized I was not sure. What got me asking this question in the first place was when I heard about a certain blueberries and pomegranate cereal? 100% nutrition, its packaging extolled. Well it turns out this cereal had no blueberries or pomegranates in it. I mean NONE, not a drop. What is does have is propylene glycol which is antifreeze. I will say it again antifreeze. I will also say it is a food grade antifreeze but that does not make me feel any better. I am a smart girl and I figured this cereal had very little blueberries and pomegranates but I did not realize it had none. I did not realize that the manufacturer had taken chemicals and artificial components and claimed it as fruit. I mean talk about lying. I guess you can totally lie (as opposed to fudging things) on food packaging and it is not illegal. I must sound so naive to you but I did not comprehend how far things have come. I hit my braking point, my wake up call, I cannot not trust anything I read now!

   This has lead me on a search. One I probably will always be on. I have learned that there are all kinds of toxic things in our food like TBHQ (aka Butane), wood pulp, catoreum (trust me you do not want to know what this is), Phosphoric Acid (the military uses it to clean the rust off battleships) and so much more. This is beyond scary to me. Between the genetically altered foods, chemicals pretending they are food and the lies we are told in packaging, it forces me to cut back to simple, real food.  I have two daughters and I want them to understand this. To understand they cannot trust what they read. That they need to learn what is in their food and what names additives and chemicals go by. Did you know there are over 50 different names for MSG and they change frequently? We have been watching movies like King Corn to understand how our food has changed and moved away for being real. I remember my MIL holding up a raw chicken, extolling the fact that it had such large breasts. In her mind it was because it was a happy, healthy chicken. The horrifying reality of that cheap chicken with enormous breast was the opposite of what she was thinking. So I am educating myself, so I can educate my daughters. I found out from a friend there is a kids version of The Omnivores Dilemma, I highly recommend it. I am collecting recipes using real foods and getting my girls involved in cooking them. Mostly we are looking at everything we eat with new eyes, reading all labels, questioning everything.

    As I asked at the begining of this post, what is real food? Here are some words of wisdom from Michael Pollan's book Food Rules, an eaters manual .

Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food

Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry

Avoid food products ingredient that a third grader could not pronounce

Avoid food products that make health claims (that is an interesting one, think about it?)

Avoid food with words "lite" "low fat" or "nonfat"

Eat food that will eventually rot

If it came from a plant eat it, if it was made in a plant, don't

When you eat real food, you don't need rules!!


Speaking of real food the image above is a wonderful julienne of apple, parsnip, celeriac salad

Six Year Bloggiversary Giveaway

The girls 3

    Well it is my 6th year bloggiversary! Look at my girls. This photo is from my third post. I wrote about how to make make nests from twigs and moss. Boy, have we come a long ways from 6 years ago. It amazes me all the changes and opportunities that have happened. Blogging is so different now and I hope my voice is still relevant. I have the same passion now as I did 6 years ago to help others (and myself) make the most of what we are gifted with and to find joys in the small things in life.

    I wish I could have each and everyone of you over for tea to thank you for your friendship and support. As a thank you, I am having a give-away of either a copy of Wren Bay or my baking book. If you already have them, maybe it would make a lovely gift. So one week from now, May 1, I will pick a winner of either Wren Bay or my baking book. Thank you again for your support and love, which makes my world go around xox     Give-away is closed!


Double Pepper Italian Jar Salad

Dobpepper 2

This weeks mason jar salad is a version of an Italian chopped salad. Of course you could use a zillion different things like olives, tomatoes, artichokes, etc. but this is what sounded good to me. I really love the roasted pepper vinaigrette. A tip I learned from my mother, who make the best salads in the world, make sure you use a good amount of salt in your vinaigrette. It balances the acid!! Remember this salad will keep in your fridge a good four days. Ready to go, when you need it!!

Double Pepper Italian Mason Jar Salad

Roasted red pepper vinaigrette *

broccoli slaw, a note we have discovered over time that the slaw is best as a base veggie. It last the longest.

romain lettuce, cut into pieces

sliced mushrooms

sliced fresh bell pepper

salami, small cubed

Parmesan cheese

fresh Italian parsley, chopped


Layer the salad starting with vinaigrette and ending with parsley. Give a good shake to distribute the dressing.


*Roasted red pepper vinaigrette

1 large piece of roasted pepper, chopped into small pieces

1/2 cup olive oil

juice of half a small lemon

a small garlic, finely minced

salt and pepper

Whisk all together, taste and adjust to your palette.

Sweet 16

16chloe 12

    I want to wish Chloe a sweet 16 Happy Birthday! Chloe you bring such joy and light to our family. Your generous heart, your excitement of life around you and your gentle spirit blesses everyone who comes across your path. Your father and I are very proud of the young woman you have become and know there is a wonderful purpose to your life xox