Recipe – How to Make Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

The universe has spoken. Today I shall make cheese.

Tomato Confit Sauce

This looks amazing. I think I’ll be doing it with our tomatoes when they are ripe.

AZ Caretaker

Did  you say you made tomato confit sauce?  Yes.

What is that?  Well, confit is a generic term for a various kinds of food that had been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation.

How did you make it?  Glad you asked.  First, go out to your garden and pick some basil and rosemary.  Wash it and cut it up to use later.

Basil and rosemary ready to use. Basil and rosemary ready to use.

Next you drizzle some olive oil in your baking dish and sprinkle about a fourth of tablespoon of each herb on the bottom of the pan.

A piece of art. A piece of art.

Then you wash and cut the tomatoes.

Cutting tomatoes in half Cutting tomatoes

Once the tomatoes are finished place them in the backing pan.

The start of putting tomatoes in the backing pan. The start of putting tomatoes in the baking pan.

The job is finished. The job is finished.

Then spread rosemary on top of the tomatoes.

Adding rosemary to the top. Adding rosemary to the top.

Next add some basil.

Adding basil to the mix. Adding basil to…

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Probiotic Lemonade and Limeade

There’s a lot of talk about probiotics recently. I blame it on Jamie Lee Curtis. Activia

Yes, this is a big part or probiotics but let’s give you some more information

Functions of Probiotics

“The weight of all of the bacteria within our intestines is more than three pounds, totaling more than 100 trillion bacteria, which belong to more than 500 different species that reside in every healthy bowel. The majority of these are not the type of bacteria that make us ill; rather, most are helpful and keep harmful pathogens at bay. They aid digestion, immune function and nutrient absorption. They are responsible for synthesizing nutrients in the intestinal tract such as folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12. If these beneficial bacteria become depleted due to poor diet, disease, stress, or the over-use of medications such as antibiotics, health problems can result. Under healthy conditions, the good bacteria will thrive.” –

This sounds much better than just making you poop, but thanks for getting it out there Jamie.

Now one of the best ways to get more probiotics naturally is to  lacto ferment. I have a favorite whey to do this (ha ha see what I did there?) After making yogurt I usually end up with about a half-gallon of whey to every gallon of milk.  I was amazed when I first started and tried to look up different things to do because it seems like such a waste to dump it.  What i found was that whey is also rich in Vitamin B12, Calcium, Potassium and Riboflavin.  ( )
I figured out a slew of things to use it for. We’ll get into them all but lets concentrate on the lemonade recipe for now.


1 cup sweet (yogurt)  whey

1 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup of sweetener (maple syrup, raw sugar, honey)

5 cups fresh water

Mix all ingredients in a container and cap, I originally suggested a loose cover but it won’t get fizzy this way. I use a tight cap but find that a release of gas once a day maximum keeps anything from popping off due to pressure.  Leave on a counter out of direct sunlight and it’ll start to get fizzy. After 3 days serve over ice and pop the rest in the fridge. It’ll last a long time because it’s preserved by all the lactobacillus.

Fresh lemon juice, we made a few batches of lemonadeBottled and ready to go

Now there are a few variations I like to add

Probo Mojito

Replace lemon 1 cup of lime juice 

Handful of mint leaves crushed into the raw sugar 

Strawberry Lemonade 

Replace sugar with a cup of strawberry compote.

Raspberry Lime 

Replace lemon with 1 cup of lime 

Replace sweetener with raspberry compote

Healing Properties of Strawberry Leaf

Interesting article

Of the Harvest

Healing Properties of Strawberry Leaf

Strawberry Leaf

Strawberry leaf has a mild, fruity flavor and is one of the highest sources of naturally occurring Vitamin C available. As with raspberry leaf it makes a very pleasant spring tonic and is especially beneficial to pregnant and nursing mothers and to young children. It is very soothing to the stomach.

Harvest young leaves in good condition, throughout the spring and summer, but particularly during blossoming for the finest flavor. Again, use either fresh or completely dried leaves, as strawberry leaf suffers from the same toxic change as raspberry leaf during the drying process.

Its safety as a tea is not in question when the leaf is entirely dry or fresh, but not between the two. To make the infusion/tea pour boiling water over 1 tsp.  of crushed strawberry leaf, steep for 5-10 minutes, and then strain. For diarrhea, drink several cups per day. (1…

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Yogurt, go make it it’s easy and saves $$

We had a cooking day yesterday. I used a whole bag of bread flour in one sitting, but I also was able to get some yogurt and mayo made in between.

Lately I have been bartering my yogurt for awesomeness like baby clothes and toys fresh eggs and have been very thankful, but more often people just want the recipe. Out of everyone I told I think my sister in law is the only who wrote it down.  as promised I have it written here for everyone who didn’t have a pen!


1 gallon Milk (whole milk will make a thicker yogurt but you can use any kind)

1/2 cup of yogurt with a live culture (I started with Fage then just keep a bit every batch)


Lets get started!

In a large stainless steel pot heat milk to 180/185 degrees

Remove from heat cool until 120 degrees

Stir in live yogurt

(at this point I add a little probiotic powder it’s unnecessary I find it makes it thicker and we like our yogurt super thick)

At this point I transfer  the milk into a covered crock pot (do not turn it on! it’ll cook the milk) and secure the lid with rubber bands so it’s nice and tight. we want to maintain a warm temperature around 100 degrees in the winter I wrap the crock pot in a comforter and store in a low cabinet that won’t be disturbed. This summer I have just put it in the cabinet under the stove top since it’s been so warm.

Now just wait. All the lactobacillus from the yogurt will feed grow and multiply. After about 8-12 hours (the longer the more tart) take the yogurt out and strain. Since we like the yogurt so thick I strain for a while using my favorite cheese cloth alternative, unused Gerber cloth diapers.( )

You should be left with a good amount of yogurt and a great amount of whey, which I have many many many uses for coming up.

Avocado Chicken Salad


Its been my goal since being pregnant with the twins to introduce more avocado into my diet. Being a New Englander I didn’t know they even existed until I found them on a super foods list some where. It’s taken some getting used to but I find my favorite way to eat them is all mashed up and creamy like a mayo or a butter. This made using it in chicken salad an obvious choice.

Avocado chicken salad

2 Large avocados
1 tbs Avocado oil or olive oil (optional)
2 Bakes shredded chicken breast
1 Small red onion
1 Medium cucumber
2 tbs Fresh chopped sage
1tbs Fresh dill (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Scoop and mash avocado I like to add the touch of oil so that its nice and creamy. Chop red onion. Slice cucumber stem to tip and scoop out seeds then chop. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and voilà.
When storing anything that has avocado you’ve got to be aware of it oxidizing and turning brown. Its gross. No one wants to eat that. So I put it in a jar push it down in an attempt to push the air out and then coat the top with coconut oil. The first time I melted a little, put it on the top and swirled it around coating it. Now I got a spray coconut oil and that looks better. When ready to eat you can mix it right in.

Cheffin’ It Up

I usually do meal prep and make a set of meals for my mother for the week. It’s been a new commitment, and I haven’t exactly found how not to go overboard. Now with this blog I would love to share the recipes but it proves difficult because most of it comes on the fly. Here’s a quick attempt.



Stir-fry Stuffed Pork

This was a lot of fun and smelled amazing it’s gluten free/ paleo friendly because  I used liquid aminos, (which I just found out are delish)



1/2 Sesame oil

1/4 Liquid Aminos

2 inches of fresh ginger

5 cloves crushed garlic 

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice


Stir Fry

6 Small heirloom carrots (or a few big carrots)

Handful of beet greens

1 Medium red onion

Handful of Kale

1/2 Small head of cabbage (purple would be pretty but I used green)

1 Red bell pepper

1 Roasted beet

1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms

3 boneless center cut pork chops (you could use chicken instead)

Salt and pepper to taste.

Pound pork nice and flat. Mix oil and aminos in a bowl. Crush garlic and grate ginger into the bowl stir in spice until mixed. It’s going to keep separating but don’t worry it all comes together in the end.  Slice all veggies into think strips.

Yay your prep is done!

Since I don’t have a wok I use a cast iron skillet, toss in the carrots, onions, pepper, kale and roated beet in with the sauce and saute them up! Once every thing looks a bit translucent add the remaining veggie cook about 2 more minutes and remove from heat. 

Roll a scoop (between a 1/4 to 1/2 cup) into each flattened chop pin closed with a tooth pick.

Once they ate all filled turn the heat back on under your pan and sear all sides of the pork. 

This is where I remove and freeze for dinner later. Though you could put in a oven dish and cook for another 20 minutes or until the pork is no longer pink.