Monday, February 28, 2011

Azure Standard February Order

Azure Standard now delivers to our area!  This all-natural foods buying coop offers affordable prices on organic and natural goods.  Living in the country, our choices for natural food and grocery items are very limited or very expensive.  Having Azure deliver directly to our town is truely a blessing.  I am not paid or told to write a review for Azure Standard, I just love them and soon you'll quickly understand why.

To have these grocery choices I would need to drive 40 minutes north and go store to store for the best prices, go to Whole Foods or shop the Farmer's Market's.  While I will continue to shop the seasonal Farmer's Markets, I won't have to drive so far, take so much time, or spend so much for organic and natural items.  In our town we have only two grocery stores, and one of them is Walmart.

My order total was $437.90 and below are photos of what I selected.  Almost everything is organic, natural, or no spray/pesticide free.  It's easy to order as you can shop online, by phone, by fax, or by mail.  I loved that I could avoid dragging my kids to a grocery store, had the time to thoroughly research each product before I selected it, and add items all month to my cart online as I ran out.

Produce - organic yellow onions, organic russet potatoes, 10lbs of oranges no spray ($6.25), organic celery ($1.90/ea), 6-3lb bags of organic in-season apples ($1.90/ea).
Frozen ~ turkey bacon, brocolli, peas, grape juice, 12-1lbs. ground turkey ($52.75), 3 butter brittle ice cream.

Dry Goods ~ 10lbs. spelt flour ($15.40), 5lbs coconut sugar ($24.95), 5lbs. oats ($4.50), coconut oil (click here for a great article on Simple Organic on The Wonders of Coconut Oil), olive oil, root beer, sprouted burger buns, peanut butter, 4 bottles dijon mustard, ground mustard, 3 boxes cereal, 2 packages cereal, 4 boxes crackers, maple syrup, horseradish, 1 can olives, 3 cans diced tomatoes, 1 package Stevita sweetener packets, dog food.

Dairy ~ extra sharp cheddar cheese, 2 packages cream cheese, whipped butter, heavy cream, half & half, swiss cheese, feta cheese, 2 tubs sour cream, yogurt.

General Merchandise ~ 2 bottles coconut shampoo, 2 bottles coconut conditioner, Dr. Bronner's magic hair cream, lotion with SPF 18, Dr. Bronner's castile soap.

Want to find out if Azure Standard delivers to your area?  Simply contact them by phone 541-467-2230 or email  There's no cost to join, and you don't have to order every month or buy in bulk. 

Last month I drove 30 minutes to our closest drop point to pick-up our order and asked the driver if he'd consider delivering to our area.  He had his wife contact me to work out the details, he located a good spot to drop the orders to our town, and now they deliver here!

Happily submitted to ~
Gratituesday over at Heavenly Homemakers.
Works for Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Pistachio-Crusted Pork Chops

Look what my sweetie got for a special Valentine's meal.  He loves breaded pork chops and pistachios, so this was a sure way to warm his heart.  These pork chops are seared on the stove top then transferred to a cookie sheet to complete so the breading stays on.  I served this with a side of Tomatoe Basil Soup (made using canned tomatoes as they're not in season), and Baked Potatoes.

from Rachael Ray

1/2 cup shelled pistachios (this takes time so I'd do it the day before)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I put half filled with wheat germ)
Four 1-inch-thick pork chops
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400°. Using a food processor, finely grind the nuts, garlic, lemon peel and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a shallow bowl; whisk in the breadcrumbs.

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Dip each chop into the egg, then coat with the nut mixture; transfer to a baking sheet.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chops and cook until golden, about 2 minutes on each side; return to the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 140°, about 20 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Mouthwatering Mondays over at A Southern Fairy Tale


by Christopher Crowfield
Ticknor and Felds, 1865

"'The lady who does her own work'"

America is the only country where such a title is possible, — the only country where there is a class of women who may be described as ladies who do their own work. By a lady we mean a woman of education, cultivation, and refinement, of liberal tastes and ideas, who, without any very material additions or changes, would be recognized as a lady in any circle of the Old World or the New.

What I have said is, that the existence of such a class is a fact peculiar to American society, a clear, plain result of the new principles involved in the doctrine of universal equality.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How to Make Cheese

I think I'm ready to make cheese now. This guy is hilarious! Who knew it was so simple to make?


I just ordered these gorgeous prints from Nova Scotia artist, Shelagh Duffet (aka "Alice in Paris")
I can't wait to hang them in my kitchen!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Indian Hand Pies with Lamb

We've drastically cut back on the red meat that we consume, so I've decided to start experimenting with ground lamb.  I wasn't sure what the kids would think of lamb, so I first tried it in these hand pies.  Everyone loved them!  They were so easy to make and I made enough to freeze some for later.  I served these with mashed sweet potatoes and we dipped these in a homemade chutney that my friend gave me (wow! was that ever good!).

Family Fun Magazine, Feb 2011

1 pound lean ground lamb
1/3 cup chicken broth (homemade is best, I used about 1 cup of broth)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium russet potato, diced into ¼-inch cubes
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 egg beaten and seasoned with 3/4 tablespoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 (9-inch) refrigerated pie shells or 2 pounds pizza dough (I used bread machine pizza dough, you'll need double the recipe to have enough for these hand pies)
Egg wash (an egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)
In a large, nonstick skillet over high heat, sauté the lamb until it's no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Pour away the rendered fat, then add the broth, all the spices, and the onion, herbs, ginger, garlic, and potato. Simmer until the potato is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peas. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and let it cool for 20 minutes. Stir in the seasoned egg until evenly blended.

Heat the oven to 375°. Cut the pie or pizza dough into twelve 6-inch rounds. Divide the filling evenly among the dough portions (about 1/3 cup per pie), making a mound in the center of each round. Brush the edges with the egg wash, then fold each pie in half and crimp its edges.

Place the pies on a greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining egg wash and make a 1/2-inch-long slit in the top of each one. Bake the pies until they're golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with your favorite mint or fruit chutney.

Tips: To save your pies for another meal, freeze them unbaked on a cookie sheet, then bag them up. Bake them as instructed in step 3, adding 10 extra minutes.

Printable Recipe

These are game pieces from a Lottino game I purchased at a thrift shop for 50 cents. 
I love the colours!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Braised Pork and Apple Stew

This tastey stew is perfect for a snowy day, and comes together very quickly.  I loved the added flavouring of the mustard.  The apples didn't stay firm, but I think it's because I didn't use Gala apples as called for in the recipe.

from Woman's Day Magazine, Feb 2008

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb), cut into 1 1/2-in. chunks
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth (homemade is best)
2 Gala apples, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
8 very small red potatoes, halved
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 Tbsp honey-Dijon mustard

Heat oil in 5- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. While oil heats, sprinkle pork with salt and pepper and coat with flour. Cook pork 4 minutes until browned, turning once; remove to a plate.

Add broth, apples, potatoes, carrots and thyme to pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir in pork and mustard. Cover and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, or until pork is just cooked through.

Printable Recipe

Happily shared on Family Friendly Fridays over at Mommy Cooks! (go have a look at the yummy caramel apple cake she made today.. mmmm)


from "The Book of Knowledge, The Children's Encyclopedia"
1954, The Grolier Society, Inc.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

From Scratch: Seafood Cocktail Sauce

All right everyone. I thought it timely to post this recipe now. You've decided to host the Super Bowl party and attempt to make everything from scratch. You've planned it all and made most of it ahead of time.. then someone shows up with a shrimp tray and no seafood sauce. Oh no! What's seafood sauce made of anyway?

Don't worry, I have the recipe right here and it tastes a-m-a-z-i-n-g!


3/4 cup Chili sauce
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Horseradish
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp grated Onion
dash of bottled Pepper Sauce (we use Kikoman Hot Sauce)

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Add salt to taste. Chill. Makes 1 1/4 cup sauce.

Yup, that's it.  Now go enjoy the game!

Printable Recipe


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mad Hungry: Sour Cream Waffles

This is my year for discovering waffles.  Our waffle maker was a gift for my husband as I was convinced I simply could not make them.  One look at a recipe and I'd automatically think I couldn't do it.. why does batter need to rest anyway?  It seemed too complicated.. until I tried it.  Boy, was I wrong.

Waffles are so easy!  I'm exploring lots of recipes and this is one I really like to make.  You'll get about 5 waffles from the batter.  I place them in a slightly warmed oven as I make them, then call everyone to the table to enjoy.  This keeps them crisp and warm. 

These are great for making ahead as they freeze so well.  I simply make a batch, cool them on a rack, then place them in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer.  I reheat these in the toaster which makes them crisp again.

Now about the wonderful cookbook I got the recipe from, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys.  I've been enjoying Lucinda's show, by the same name, and couldn't wait to get the book.  It's full of gorgeous photos and simple recipes. 

These waffles are delicious with a dominant egg flavour as there are 5 eggs in the batter.  The taste reminds me of french toast and thy're not too sweet.

Watch Lucinda make these waffles here on her show.  Below is the recipe and I've linked the products which I order from Azure Standard.

from Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys

5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar (I use Stevia in the Raw)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
vegetable oil or extra melted butter, for the waffle iron
1 cup berries, fresh or frozen and heated before serving

Beat the eggs and sugar together for 5 to 8 minutes. When the beater is lifted, it should trail a ribbon of batter.

Whisk together the flour, salt, and spice. With a spoon, alternately fold into the batter half of the flour mixture. the sour cream, and finally the remaining flour mixture. Lightly stir in the melted butter. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.

Heat a nonstick or well-seasoned waffle iron to medium high. Brush lightly with oil or melted butter. Pour in 1 1/4 cups batter and cook until golden, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side for a stovetop waffle iron. An electric waffle iron will beep when ready. Serve with fresh berries or berry sauce on top.

Read more at Sour Cream Waffles - Martha Stewart Recipes

Happily submitted to Good (& Cheap) Eats link-up for What's On Your Plate?


from Best in Children's Books
1961 Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
"The True Book of Health"
by Olive V. Haynes, R.N.
illustrated by Harvey Weiss
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