Salad Dressing 101

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via Earthbound Farms

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Natural Solutions to Fever & Ear Infections

It has been 9+ years since my eldest’s prefered mode of transportation was my hip. I haven’t dealt with the thought of an ear infection since… Well, I don’t remember when. It was, however, long before I was aware of the importance of debate on natural vs man made medicine. So when my daughter started to fuss early this week I prayed it was the new teeth she had peaking through her gums. If not… I was armed with a brand new arsenal of ways to naturally kick some germ butt.

A Few Things I’ve Learned Along The Way:

  • First, let me just say… apple cider vinegar. I remember, as a child,  my mother laying ACV soaked rags over my chest in lieu of a on-coming cold. At the time I thought it was gross. Just another form of torture inflicted upon me to keep everyone far away from me and my cooties. Turns out my mom knew what she was doing. ACV is a great detoxifier, it alkalizes your body and reduces inflammation. As I mentioned, you can soak a rag in ACV and lay it either on the head or over the chest. Some remedies even recommend wrapping the feet as to draw the fever out. An ACV bath, which is what I gave Bailey this time, is also an alternative. 1 cup of ACV in a warm bath is the typical suggestion.
  • DO NOT PUT YOUR CHILD IN A COLD BATH. Though this seems like a logical method to lower their temperature, it is far too aggressive to be beneficial. You do want to lower your child’s temperature, you do not want to lower it so quickly that it may be harmful. You can send them into shock or induce a febrile seizure like I spoke of earlier. Warm baths are always best.
  • Garlic. Garlic. Garlic. This super food has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times, throughout many cultures. Garlic is readily available and an extremely inexpensive way to treat your child’s cold, fever or congestion. There are a few ways different applications when trying to use garlic in place of over the counter medicine. You can make garlic paste [blend fresh garlic cloves with a bit of olive or coconut oil] and apply it to the bottom of your child’s feet in efforts to get rid of fever. Either wrap the foot loosely in gauze or just put socks over the applied feet. You can also put fresh garlic cloves in a small container of olive oil and use it as drops for an ear infection. I was told by a family friend that they have put the garlic clove directly in the ear (not inside, on the surface) of their children, same as you would put a cotton ball into the ear.
  • To cool your child down during a fever it is best do so from the inside out. You can do this with an assortment of cold treats or drinks. There is a great recipe for herbal smoothie freezer pops at www.mommypotamus.com

Reality: kids get sick. Messy and not the least bit conscious of the germs that are ever-present in their lives. This is the way it should be. Kids should be kids. We as parents just have to be prepared for when the germs attack. Antibiotics shouldn’t always be our first line of defense. Sometimes all it takes is a little of what you already have in your kitchen. So keep calm and keep it natural.

 

Below is the link to an awesome article on reasons to treat your children’s ear infections naturally. Did you know dropping breast milk in the ear can help cure ear infections?!

Ear Infections

Babes and Beignets

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Beignets, how do I love thee.

Remember how I mentioned I will post mostly healthy, occasionally sinful recipes for you all? Well this is one of those sinful recipes. Like, sugar covered crispy fried pastry sinful. Proceed at your own diet risk…

Beignets are a well known staple of Creole cuisine, brought to Louisiana by way of French colonists in the 1800’s. Growing up in the south with a mother from New Orleans, these tasty treats are a dessert I have loved since a tender age. They have the same affect as a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day. They just take you there.

Fairly easy to make, just a bit time consuming. Things like folding, rolling and letting the dough rise do not allow for a rush job on this recipe. Be prepared to wait. Let your kids or significant other help. Baking with someone you love helps to ease the process. And its just fun! My son helped me roll the dough and loved it. He got to show me how strong he was AND stick his fingers in an enormous mushy ball of dough.

I thought this version, by way of http://www.halfbakedharvest.com, was easy to follow and is actually a beignet tiramisu with chocolate ganache recipe. Yes, you read correctly, tiramisu and ganache… I mean we’re already going there. Why not? I only used the beignet recipe this time, everything turned out very well. I’m definetly adding the ganache next go round. The beignets were perfectly sweet and soft on the inside.

My tips: Keep an eye on how quick they cook. Be prepared to flip the beignets often. Don’t cut the pieces too big or they will have a hard time cooking through. Bon appetit!

One Man’s Trash…

This chandelier has been sitting around so long, I don’t even remember where it came from. It even ended up on the curb, then picked up by someone thinking it was trash & somehow made it back to me. In other words, this chandelier and I are meant to be. Only after my daughter’s birth did I know exactly what I wanted to do with it. Because what 6 month old doesn’t want a chandelier in their room? Right? As you can see it wasn’t in too good of shape. The previous owner had keys hanging from the bottom, loose wires coming from spaces that once held light bulbs and the typical rust of an old metal work. To get this beauty back in tip top, first I cut the wires and keys from each necessary outlet. I also reshaped some of the leaves by hand, due to neglect, many of them had been twisted and turned. Easy peasy. Then there was the rust…

I’ve read more than once that you can remove rust from metal with Coca-Cola. I’m a nerd at heart, so I love to see if weird solutions like this actually work. I thought the worst that could happen is I make a sticky mess and possibly waste $2. No biggie. Let’s do this! I doused the whole chandelier in soda and waited at least 30 minutes. From what I read the acid in the Coke is suppose to eat away at the rust, no sanding necessary. This was not the case for me. Though the rust had obviously been irritated, it wasn’t gone. I used a little metal scrub brush (like one you would use to clean a grill) to disturb and strip the rest of the surface. After a little sanding it looked good to go for paint. I did not prime it at all. Mostly because I liked the original yellow color and I figured if some started to poke through the new Tiffany blue paint, it might give it a nice antique affect. I used almost the whole can of spray paint, three different coats, waiting 20 minutes in between coats (the brand of spray paint I used suggested only 10 minutes between coats). The paint job turned out well and I am in love with the results!

My son even got something out of the whole experience… I let him drink the left over soda! Everyone wins!