“An Apple a Day in a Whole New Way” – Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding

Last year was we had a beautiful summer but as much as I love the summer I hate the way cooking heats up the whole house, so I set out to find and/or create simple easy healthy no cook recipes for the summer months. Simple? Easy? Healthy? No Cook? And Tasty? Yup, I won’t settle for anything less on my blog. If it’s not tasty why bother making it. I’ve read so many recipes on chia pudding and how good it is for you but most were with nut milk. I didn’t have any of the ingredients around except the chia seeds. That said, I did notice the 5:1 ratio of liquid to seeds. So I thought, since I’ve got some left over apple juice I’d give that a try. It turned out delicious and it was so simple. If you can stir you can make it and a half cup makes a “stick with you” breakfast cup. It’s a great make ahead dish to grab when you’re in a hurry, just put it in little ½ cup jelly jars, cover and store in the fridge.

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding


1 ¼ cups apple Juice (I make my own and preserve it in mason jars)

¼ organic chia seeds

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon

½ cup of applesauce or chopped apples or walnuts (optional) whatever you like

Whipped heavy cream sweetened with maple syrup (optional) (Omit for vegan)

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients


Put the apple juice, chia seeds, maple syrup and cinnamon into a medium bowl and stir until there are no clumps. Cover and put in fridge overnight. Stir in optional fruit and/or nuts. Serve with maple whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Makes about 4 – ½ cup servings.

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”




Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

I usually do my lacto fermented veggies using whey off my kefir or plain yogurt but while I was stumbling around the world wide web I found this website called “The Crunchy Moose” that had a recipe for fermenting using Milk Kefir Grains, I saw a recipe for fermented garlic and thought what a brilliant idea, adding the health benefits of beneficial bacteria to a super food. WIN WIN…This is the website link to that recipe. http://thecrunchymoose.com/ferment-garlic-using-kefir-grains/. THANK YOU “The Crunchy Moose”


Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic


Enough peeled garlic cloves to nearly fill a pint jar

non-chlorinated water

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon Milk Kefir Grains (rinsed)




Add the salt, milk kefir grains a some of the water to the jar and mix with a non-metal spoon. Add the peeled garlic cloves and top with water until 1 ½ inches above garlic. Weight garlic cloves down to keep submerged below brine. I use a plastic cottage cheese lid cut in a circle to the circumference of the inside of the jar. Put on a loose fitting non-metal lid (gas will form so it needs to escape). I prefer to retrofit plastic mason jar lids with holes and rubber grommets so that I can use a fermentation air-lock. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight until it reached the desired fermentation. Put in the refrigerator to stall the fermentation process when it is as fermented as you desire.  This is my first batch and I will be trying to reuse my grains in another batch of garlic. I never really have a shortage of grains as they multiply in my milk kefir pretty quickly. I’ll post the results in updates to this blog post.

Grains Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”



Quick and Easy Homemade Tomato Soup

Quick and Easy Homemade Tomato Soup
Quick and Easy Homemade Tomato Soup



1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup organic chicken stock

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sugar

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 teaspoon organic onion powder

1/4 teaspoon organic garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon organic black pepper


Put all ingredient is medium sauce pan. Simmer stirring frequently until blended. I use an immersion blender at this point just for a smoother texture soup.

Serve and garnish with chives or parsley sprigs or cilantro or whatever you choose.

Serves 4.

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”







1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (I make my own)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground flax seed meal

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups (grated sharp cheddar cheese)

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup ice cold water (add a couple of tablespoons at a time. You may not use all the water)


Put the flour, salt, and flax into the bowl and mix until the ingredients are well combined.

Add the cold butter cubes into the bowl and cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or fork until about the size of peas.

Mix in the grated cheese and mustard and cider vinegar. Mix in 3/4 cup ice-cold water a few tablespoons at a time and stop adding water when dough ball forms.

Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight is best.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to warm enough to roll out but not as warm as room temperature.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Grab 1 ball of dough and put the other 3 back in the refrigerator.

Roll out 1 of the pieces of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 1/16 inch thick (the thinner the better I think).

Using a pizza wheel cutter cut out little cracker squares about 1 ½ inches square and put them on the prepared baking sheet.

GF Cheesy Snack Crackers
GF Cheesey Snack Crackers

Bake the crackers for 12 minutes, rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees in the oven. Bake until the crackers are firm to the touch and golden brown, another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven temp and the thickness and size of your crackers.

Remove from oven and let the crackers cool.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Store in an air tight container. I don’t know how long they will keep as they disappear within a couple of days!!!

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”





Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)

Harvest season is almost a magical for me. I love to watch as my pantry shelves slowly fill with jars of all shapes and sizes and colors. It makes me feel “warm and cozy” inside. It’s kind of therapeutic. I have to admit that once all my “staple” canning and freezing gets done I like to make my “special” pickles and relishes. On the menu this harvest season is Giardiniera, a wonderful savory mixed veggie relish. This year I had a nice crop of Greek oregano that I dried so I will be using that even though Giardiniera is traditionally Italian.

Note: I found that pressure canning will cause the veggies to lose their crispness. Now I hot pack this and store in the fridge once cooled. If you make a half batch it stores well in the fridge in a covered container and tastes great even raw. Experiment! Send me your feedback I’d love to hear from you!


Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)


Mix First Ingredients in Large Bowl


2 organic large green bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic large red bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

1 organic large yellow bell pepper (seeded and diced small)

2 organic jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic stalks of celery (diced small)

1 organic large carrot (diced small)

1 organic medium yellow onion (diced small)

2 cups small organic cauliflower florets

1/2 cup sea salt

Enough Non-chlorinated water to submerge veggies


Submerge veggies below salt water, cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Drain water.


Mix in Remaining Ingredients


1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper flakes

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 – 6 oz jar green salad olives with pimentos

1 cup distilled vinegar

1/2 cup expeller pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup organic grapeseed oil



Mix well, cover and let marinate for a few hours. Transfer to large pan and bring all ingredients to a boil. Pack into hot 8 oz jars and wipe rims well. Seal jars with hot lids. (I cheat and use my dishwasher sanitize cycle to get my jars, rings and lids hot.) Store in fridge once cooled. Makes 9 cups.


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”






Gluten free Buckwheat Pancakes
Gluten free Buckwheat Pancakes

These can also be made vegan with a couple of substitutions.




1/2 cup organic buckwheat flour

1/4 cup organic oat flour

1/4 cup organic tapioca flour

2 tablespoons organic cornstarch or arrowroot

1 tablespoon organic ground golden flax seed meal

1 tablespoon baking powder (Aluminum free)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon organic cinnamon



1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir (or nondairy milk if you are a Vegan)

1/4 cup non-chlorinated water

1 organic egg (or equivalent egg substitute if you are a Vegan)

2 tablespoons organic pure maple syrup or agave nectar

2 tablespoons grape seed oil or whatever oil you prefer.

1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract


In a large mixing bowl, sift together all dry ingredients including baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Let the batter rest while you preheat (medium heat) a griddle or skillet. When the griddle is hot, spray it with cooking spray or brush it with oil. Stir batter between cooking pancakes. Pour the batter by 1/3 cupful’s onto hot griddle/skillet. The pancake will start to form little bubbles as it cooks, but won’t rise as much as conventional pancakes. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip over and cook the other side for 2 – 3 minutes more. Brush more oil onto the griddle/skillet between cooking pancakes or they will stick to the pan.


Makes about 10 pancakes.


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”





Nanna’s Italian Salad Dressing Mix

Well, I really need to buy a better camera (someday). My apologies for not offering any pictures with this blog post but I think we all know what Italian Salad Dressing looks like. In a previous blog post titled Magnificent Gluten Free Spaghetti Dinner – Magnifica Cena Spaghetti Senza Glutine I promised to post my homemade recipe for My Italian Salad Dressing Mix. We all know that an Italian dinner is never complete without garlic bread and a tasty salad. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!


Nanna’s Italian Salad Dressing Mix

I use organic ingredients as I grow and dehydrate most of them myself, however if being organic is not of high importance to you regular off the shelf ingredients will do..  Keep this dry mix in an air tight container. Use to make Italian salad dressing as needed.



Dry Mix


2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons oregano

2 tablespoons dried red bell pepper flakes (ground fine)

1 tablespoon dried Italian flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon Stevia or sugar

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried sweet basil

1/4 dried thyme

1/4 celery salt


Italian Salad Dressing

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons Nanna’s Italian Salad Dressing Mix


Combine Italian Salad Dressing ingredients in a pint jar with a lid or a salad dressing cruet and shake vigorously. Store in the fridge. Shake well before using!!!


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”