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1  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Hot - But Sweet Chutney Great Christmas canned good on: October 17, 2007 12:01:23 PM
All you old timers out there I am sure are familiar with Chutney. You either love it or you hate it! I personally love it for the holidays and it makes a great colorful gift.
The following recipe was originated from a recipe I had out of "putting it up with Honey" I have had the book for almost 30 years and was one of the first natural foods cook books that I acquired as an adult. I have added and subtracted from the original recipe and here is my version.
Yield: 8-10 1/2 pints
2 - oranges
6 - apples
4 - peaches, mango's or nectarines
2 - lemons
2 - onions
2 - cup honey
2 - cup vinegar
2 - cup water
4 - tablespoons fresh ginger root (or more if you like ginger a lot)
   finely chopped
3-4 small hot chilies such as Serrano's or yellow chilies only use 
                            jalapenos if you like it really hot
1 1/2 - cup raisins
2 - teaspoon peppercorns
2 1/2 - teaspoon allspice whole
2 - teaspoon mustard seed
2 1/2 - teaspoon whole cloves
2 1/2 - teaspoon celery seed

Chop the fruits and onion into small pieces. Combine with the honey,vinegar and water. Tie the spices in a square of cheesecloth. Cook it all for about 20 minutes, then add the raisins and continue to cook until thick. Remove spice bag. Spoon into hot sterilized jars to within 1/4- inch from tops. Complete seals. Process for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Make your own label on the computer or buy some already made tie a ribbon around the jar and it makes a great seasonal gift!

2  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Coconut Flour - Jumping into the unknown on: October 09, 2007 03:56:02 PM
OK I have never cooked with "coconut Flour" and I have just bought my first bag from living tree community foods. 
Here is what I have learned about Coconut flour so far:

Coconut flour is made from the meat of the coconut after most of the oil has been extracted.
Coconut flour is high in dietary fiber and protein and of course is gluten free. It is also organic and not treated with sulfite's.
Because the flour is naturally sweet less sugar is need in your recipes.

So question, does anyone have any advise or tips they can give me about cooking with this awesome stuff. I am very excited about getting started. I pulled a few recipes off the web but I know that there is always a few tips that make working with any cooking product a bigger success come on now hit me back with some good stuff
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Beaded Embroidery Where did they go? on: October 03, 2007 09:03:03 AM
I have embroidered for years and have done bead work for years. I went to a show once and saw some of the most amazing embroidered pictures that were done with seed beads. The vendor had some kits little to huge. I put the idea in the back of my mind and went my way.

Well, now I want to do one and I cannot seem to find any patterns or kits. has anyone seen these? can you tell me the name of a vendor. I really have a craving to do one of these pictures.

If no one knows of a vendor can anyone suggest how to start? I have beaded socks, shirts, dresses and of course leather but I want to do a bonifide hang on the wall picture.
4  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Presentation is Everything on: September 25, 2007 08:42:56 AM
  :DI really do love using all natural handmade or milled soaps. They really are fragrant and make nice gifts. Last year I made a wonderful coconut oil and oat soap that was a big hit!

I also really enjoy glycerin soaps they are gentle on the skin and guys really like them because for some reason they hold scent well and it transfers to the skin giving it a nice clean smell.

Bath oils and bath salts are also easy to make and really are a nice gift to give.

I'd like to share with you how I did my botanical gift presentation last Christmas. You know what they say Presentation is everything and it really made a huge impact on my recipients I got just as much good feed back about my wrappers as I did my handmade products.

First I created in a label program labels that were just about the size of a bar of soap. For lemon grass I used a really delicate picture of lemon grass in bloom and then I used a fancy font to type the name "lemon grass cleansing bar" In very small print I typed the ingredients. I choose a nice picture for each bar and designed each label differently

I then took freezer paper, some I left white and some I put a coating of very thin water color paint to tint the paper.

after it was completely dry I wrapped each bar very carefully in cellophane and then in the freezer paper like a little gift. I attached the label and then took a piece of raffia and tied it tight in a four way. Sometimes I left a fancy knot and other times I made a little bow. Raffia comes in all different colors so it was easy to mix and match the colors on the label and paper.

I had gone to the craft store and bought some little light, see through drawstring bags they were 4 for a dollar. I bought them in all different colors but made sure the colors kind of matched my soap "theme" yellow for lemon grass, purple for lavender, light green for green tea, tan for oat soap etc.

After wrapping each bar I put them individually in the shear drawstring bags.

I also had made some bath oil, bath salts and some small easy pour candles. I put ribbon on the bottles of bath oil (they were small bottles).

I made really easy cloth bags out of quilt squares and glue for the bath salts and I tied the top with a material ribbon. You can also put the salts in a small jar wide mouth jar that has cork put some beads on a piece of jewelry wire and insert into the cork.

For the oil and salts I made small tags out of card paper and printed what it was on them and how to use. I   punched holes in the handmade tags and attached with curly ribbon.

The candles like I said were easy pour and I wrapped them in nice tissue paper with curly ribbon and added a dollar violative candle holder that can be acquired at any craft store or department store.

I then went to the dollar store and thrift store and found a bunch of little baskets. I filled them with long shredded paper and then put in the botanicals, candle and candle holder.

 I attached a nice ribbon to the basket and wa-la! it makes a really nice gift and everyone loved them
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Pulling my hair out over Potted Tomatos on: September 25, 2007 08:06:50 AM
Every year we grow a garden but this year we were really busy so we planted the more self sufficient  plants in the garden and planted the more needy plants like our tomato's in pots on our patio where they were more assessable. We had never grown Tomato's on the porch but what could be the big deal right? WRONG.....

We planted the tomato's in early spring in new soil and new pots. They grew up, got flowers, the flowers dropped no tomato's. They flowered again I got one small tomato..... Then summer set in and I did move them to a more shady part of the porch as I live in Phoenix Arizona.

Usually we get tomato's all summer even though the leaves may brown on the ends. but no luck with the potted ones.

We basically went all summer long with no home grown tomato's ugh! the first time in years!

Now that it is cooling down my plants have really taken off but again the flowers have come and gone and I have three small tomato's and the rest of the flowers just fell off.

I have jalapenos and herbs growing right next to them and they are all doing good.

Any suggestions on why my potted tomato venture went to pot?
6  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Kick-Butt Veggie soup! on: September 24, 2007 09:20:53 AM
This is my veggie soup recipe. If you do not want to make your own base (broth) use some type of non-preservative vegetable stock or some people prefer beef broth either works.

If you are not making your own broth skip the first part of the recipe and go to the "add herbs" part. You also can skip the simmering for 4-5 hours and go straight to adding the veggies you want to eat in your soup.

take a large kettle 2-3 gallon size fill 1/2 way with water.
Cut and place in pot
1 whole celery bunch
2 whole onions
1- large green pepper
1-large red or yellow pepper
1 beet
4-6 large carrots
1-2 large turnips
3 leeks
2  large garlic bulbs (the whole thing!) pealed and diced or pressed
1 bunch Kale or spinich

If you like strong broth use a lot if not use about a hand full of each except oregano.
keep in mind oregano can over power so use only 1/2 as much oregano as you do basil
salt to taste (sea salt)
more garlic granules if you like or onion powder
fennel (not a lot)
bay leaf (use 6-7 leaves at least)

Simmer all the vegetables and spices for a very long time 4-5 hours.
If you start to run out of water add enough to make a gallon or 1 1/2 gallons.

once all the vegetables are all cooked down there should basically be nothing left of them, strain whatever is left out with a strainer conserving as much broth as possible.
After you have strained taste and see if you want it stronger (spice wise if so add to taste

You should have a gallon or more of broth
Add To It
2 cup celery
1-2 cups chopped onion (if you like a lot of onion in your soup add or you can subtract)
2 large carrots chopped
1 cup peas
1 cup corn
1-2 crowns broccoli
1 very small or 1/2 large cauliflower
1 yellow squash 
1 zucchini 
1 small turnip

Make sure you have added enough veggies to make the soup very chunky.

The sky is the limit here add any other veggies, mushrooms etc that you may like. cut all veggies into bit size chunks. You can also add potato's or sweet potatos but we prefer it without the starch.

Try not to over cook the veggies you want them a little crunchy start adding the hardest first and then end with the squash and broccoli.

After the soup is all done add a little Tabasco/hot  sauce to give it a like tang

Eat with some yummy homemade bread or crackers. Waterchest nuts can be used also sometime we use wonton chips for a change.

This soup will give you a huge boost of energy when you eat it. It takes a while to make from scratch but you won't be disappointed. Also it freezes well!

If you have sick family members give them this soup! add a touch more hot sauce it will help clear their heads.

The good thing about a recipe is there is always some room for improvement got any suggestions to make my veggie soup recipe better PLEASE respond I take and will try all suggestions

7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Tourmaline Oh baby give me some watermelon on: September 21, 2007 02:00:04 PM

I have had quit a few people ask me lately about tourmaline so I thought I would give you all some information about it. If your a jewelry artist and you are going to use tourmaline. Try and use the highest gemstone quality that you can.

Make sure there are no cracks in the stones as Tourmaline is very fragile at the areas where color change occurs. Below is some basic facts about tourmaline in reference to the different types.

Tourmaline is a very unique mineral that has more varied colors than any other gemstone available. The mineral elbaite is a member of the tourmaline group and is responsible for almost all the gem quality varieties.

There are three other members to this group Dravite,Schorl, and Liddicoatite. These varieties are seldom used as gems for making jewelry. Dravite is brown and seldom clear, Schorl is dark gray or black and has no gem value. Liddicoatite is to rare to be use extensively at this time.

One of my favorite gemstone quality tourmalines is the tri-color variety known as watermelon. Watermelon Tourmaline has green and red hues that are separated by white. It literally looks like a piece of watermelon. It is very beautiful and really distinct pieces are valuable.

I also enjoy the Paraiba variety also known as Neon Tourmaline. this is the only variety that has the mineral copper in it and the stone colors are vibrant blues and greens.

Other forms of  gemstone quality tourmaline are Elbaite (green tourmaline), Indicolite (blue), Paraiba (neon-or blues and greens mixed), Pink, Watermelon and even the beautiful Rubellite variety which is a ruby red color.

Watermelon Tourmaline: Tourmaline derives its name from the Sinhalese word tura mali (stone of mixed colors). The early Egyptians used to call it the rainbow stone. 

8  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Spicy Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry on: September 13, 2007 11:03:03 AM
I am not a total vegetarian but we eat all organic and some dishes I have created are "vegetarian" here is one of my favorite
1 small yellow squash
1 small zucchini
1 small onion (your favorite kind)
1 carrot
1 red pepper (yellow/orange and or green can also be used)
4-5 mushrooms
1/2 head of small green cabbage (use less if cabbage is large)
1/2 head purple cabbage
1 package of Tofu
olive oil
5-6 garlic cloves
slivered almonds or waterchestnuts or both
spices to taste
spicy peanut sauce

Slice all the veggies extremely thin and steam for only 5 minutes, this should leave them crunchy.

Cut up tofu into small bite size chunks

in a large fry pan or stir fry pan add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and heat

add garlic

add tofu and brown until nicely crunchy on the outside

add veggies and one jar of any brand spicy peanut sauce it is also might be called skancy Sauce. mix well

Add slivered almonds or chestnuts or both

add any additional spices that you like

Stir well and serve will feed 4 or five people.

If you don't like it spicy use a sweeter sauce or the sauce of your choice.

is really good if you serve with tortilla's
9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Make it a Veggie please! on: September 12, 2007 02:28:04 PM
Saw this forum topic and wanted to share my signature veggie sandwich recipe!
To make one sandwich
2 slices whole grain or oat bran bread
(use bread with no preservatives it stays nice and firm!)

two teaspoons cream cheese
1/4 - 1/2 avocado
1 round thinly sliced onion
4 rounds thinly sliced cucumber
2-3 slices green pepper sliced thin (slice from the top like a tomato)
1-2 thin slices of tomato
alfalfa sprouts

smash the avocado and mix with the cream cheese, spread evenly on one slice of the bread
pile the veggies on in layers
top with sprouts
spread a  thin layer of mayo on the second slice of bread and then add a thin layer of stone ground mustard.
add this to your sandwich and ENJOY

Optional: horseradish or other types of mustard can be used or deleted as can different veggies such as red/yellow or orange peppers, bean sprouts or any of your favorites

this sandwich is very good for anyone on a diet that targets food groups. It gives you a large variety and the whole sandwich if using the proper bread is under 350 calories.

As you know most whole grain breads that are made with no preservatives  are a good source of grains The portions smaller and more digestable. Bread without junk in it should have the following ingredient: flour, water, salt, yeast, additional grains or bran if it is a multi-grain bread possibly honey or raw sugar.

if you are on a 1600-2000 calorie diet this provides the following
2 servings of grains (your allotment for the day)
1 serving category two vegetables
1 serving category one vegetables (this is an all you can eat category)
1 serving protein
1 serving oil 
Now a question for you all what would the alfalfa sprouts be categorized as?
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Hand Beaded Chokers (with seed beads) on: August 09, 2007 09:40:56 AM
I love making chokers for my best friend who has had throat surgery. This is one of the latest chokers that I made for her. Its done with the peyote stitch. The design just came as I beaded its very simple.

I would love to hear your comments or suggestions. Also anyone having any patterns to share please send them to me.

bead on!
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