Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Giving the Sweet Potato it's Due

We harvested out sweet potatoes over a month ago, laying them out on my workbench to “cure” and then storing them in our “root cellar”. There are a LOT of sweet potatoes in there. Maybe more than enough.

I made sweet potato fries (my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes), roasted sweet potatoes, and sweet potato chips, but there are generally a limited number of customers in my family when it comes to sweet potatoes. Most everybody will eat the fries, but after that the audience drops substantially to about two. This is a sadness because I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes. In fact, I’m a superfan of this superfood. But I know someone who is more like a KING of sweet potatoes than a mere fan, like me. So, dear readers, let me introduce you to Mr. Jack.

Jack is a retired professor of Towson State University and runs the pool where my children have grown up. He not only makes careful use of the TIME OUT chair and teaches killer water aerobics, he also created and hosts the Pennsylvania Sweet Potato Festival (with the help of his amazing wife Bev). Jack knows more about sweet potatoes than anyone in my world, so rather than write a sub-par post on the beauty of the sweet potato (which I’ve done before), I interviewed Jack!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Why Food isn't Food Anymore.....

Here's a helpful infographic that underscores plenty of my previous posts. (And yes, I'm cheating a little this week but the book is sooooo close to ready!) Food Fillers
Source: Healthcare-Management-Degree.net

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Create a Professional Kitchen (even if you're an amateur)

Once upon a time, I organized our kitchen. I threw out things we never used and sorted the useful items into the prime drawers. I gathered all the spices, donated the duplicates, and lined up the jars with the labels facing outwards. I matched up all the plastic containers and tossed anything without a matching lid. I cleared the counters of erroneous items that had come to reside there by default. I even took down every piece of children’s art on the fridge. The entire kitchen looked ready for show. Because it was. The house was for sale. Why is it we never really clean out clutter or make our spaces truly tidy until we’re either expecting the Queen or putting the house up for sale? Don’t we deserve to live in such pristine places, too?

This week the topic for my evening class was “Clearing Clutter and Cleaning” and in honor of that I began emptying drawers and scouring my kitchen for wasted stuff and wasted space. This is not a job done in one morning. This is a job that takes determination, a large trash can, and several extra boxes for donations and indecision. Let me share my 10-step Kitchen plan with you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All Things Halloween

So.... I'm feeling guilty about a second week with no post! I have a really great excuse....I'm editing my book, Live Intentionally, based on this blog and my workshops. Fingers crossed and butt in chair, it'll be available by Thanksgiving.

If you want to know when it's available and how YOU can get your own copy, subscribe to my e-mail list through my website  CaraWrites.com.

In the meantime, here are a few posts-gone-by that'll get your through this Halloween week.

Want to know how to cook a pumpkin or need a recipe for spicy pumpkin seeds?? Click here.

Wondering if pumpkin is a super food? You betcha, click here.


Stressing out over Halloween costumes and candy? Been there, click here.


Does Halloween start the sugar overload that goes on through Christmas right on up to Valentine's day? Need some inspiration to kick the sugar habit? Click here.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's Time to Plant the Garlic....

It’s Garlic time!! I know last year when I blogged about garlic you said – “Next year, I’m planting garlic!” (Maybe you didn’t say it out loud, but I’m sure your subconscious was screaming it!) 

So, this is the year to do it. Yes, I know garlic is pretty cheap at the grocery store, but….have you ever tasted fresh garlic? If you’re buying it at the store than the answer to that question is NO! If you’re a garlic lover, I promise that once you taste the difference you’ll be planting it by the gardenful.

But this year, if you’ve never grown garlic before, you can start small. Just buy one extra head of garlic. (This will produce 4-20 garlic plants depending on the size of the bulb.) You can either buy it at the store (yawn) or you can buy heirloom garlic from some of the companies that sell it like Landreth Seeds. If you’re a local-yokel, don’t miss Landreth’s Heirloom bulb sale THIS SATURDAY in New Freedom at their old location. They’ll have gorgeous rare heirloom bulbs and dozens of varieties of heirloom garlic!

Garlic is a bulb, so it’s as simple to grow as a tulip. You could even grow it in your flower beds. Those of you who live in neighborhoods with rules about gardens, can plant garlic and pretend it’s a daffodil that never bloomed! Here’s how easy it is to grow garlic.

Now, when ordering your garlic you’ll need to choose between –

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Does Fluoride do More Harm Than Good?


I don’t want to alarm you, but – FLOURIDE IS NOT NECESSARILY A GOOD THING! Okay, for years I’ve kind of dismissed the crazy-hippie people who harp about the dangers of fluoride. Every now and again I’d catch a whiff of legitimacy to their arguments and I’d buy a tube or two of non-fluoridated toothpaste. But the kids grumbled about the taste of the natural toothpastes and after weighing the brushing-with-fluoride vs not-brushing-at-all dilemma, I’d throw a tube of Colgate in my cart.

When our doctor discovered we were on well-water, he immediately said we should fill a fluoride prescription for the kids. I filled the prescription, but the following week we visited the dentist. When I asked him if the kids should be on fluoride pills since we had well water, he rattled on about how there might be fluoride naturally occurring in our well water and the supplements weren’t critical. He didn’t say there was any danger in taking them, but he did say, “They probably don’t need to take them every day.” For the past ten years, he has been noncommittal, neither telling us to take them nor warning us against them. In fact, he never brings up fluoride pills unless I do. I think MDs have a phobia of contradicting each other. I never did give the kids those fluoride pills (and none of them have a cavity yet, (KNOCK ON WOOD).

But today I read a study from Harvard (HARVARD!) that says that yes, indeedy, fluoride has been identified as one of the neurotoxins that are causing the rise in autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other cognitive disorders. Neurotoxins are chemicals that are dangerous to the developing brain. The Harvard study named twelve culprits. A few of the chemicals on the list seemed vaguely familiar, but FLOURIDE I know. If you want to read the summary in the Lancet, here it is.