Monday, December 24, 2012

RAW Christmas!

Our wonderful friends Sara and Derek (who own T.R.E.A.T.  - a professional theater company) brought us this fabulous, delicious RAW Vegan platter of Desserts!  I actually had some of each one right away! It was made by this place:



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Leaves from Lois


My Grandmother Lois was a unusual woman, with so much to say about her, that I cannot possibly fit in this single post. I remember after she passed away,  how when I was asked to choose something that reminded me of her,  I chose some of her old books, (mostly classics by Thoreau and Whitman and the Bronte sisters) that have a uniquely perfect character and artistry to them, not jsut in their stories, but the florentine style paper and colorplate artwork.

In addition I chose this piece of art she had made from leaves she collected on a trip to England and Scotland. It had always fascinated me, and I asked to have it in my home. Her brother was present, and he also loved it, so since he was my elder, of course I agreed that he should have it.  He asked me to write my name, address, and phone on the back so that some day at the end of his life, it could be passed on to me.

A few months ago I got a phone call that he had passed away, and that apparently in his last few days he remembered his promise to me, and asked his relatives to find me and bring the leaf artwork to me. I had been through a divorce, a name change, and several moves, but they tracked me down (thanks to google I think!)  And recently, this beautiful one-of-a-kind memory was hand-delivered to me!

I like watching as my 9-year old son Skylar notices the intricacies of the leaves, then reads the names of the castles where the leaves were found, and then goes to research the castles on the internet (a hobby of his). It brings him one step closer to his great grandmother he has never met. My 12 year old daughter Lily (who met Lois when she was only a year old) is taking after Lois by beginning to read all of her classic books, and my little 3 Sofia and 4 year old Alexis are collecting local leaves with the idea to make their own artwork.
Lois passed away on Thanksgiving Day of 2001 and she is always missed.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Local Art Fridge Liners!

In my small hometown, a lady named Diana makes gorgeous artwork from taking real flowers, pressing them, and photographing them.  She has all kinds of things, including bookmarks, cards, and even placemats. A lot of them incorporate other artistic images, like this one with birds.
I saw this one and had to have it, and I thought it would be beautiful INSIDE the fridge too! I can't wait to get more! Hoping to have them on TheOrganicCompany.com soon!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sweaters for TREES!


We took the little girls (Alexis & Sofia)  to Iowa City today and saw that many of the trees downtown were covered in sweaters! They were hand-knitted and very colorful, the girls thought it was fun to see.   It made me think about all the beautiful organic sweaters we just received from a fair trade knitter Indigenous Designs.  Click the picture to see some!

Click on the picture of the paper below for a link to an article about the project, called "Yarn Bombing"...


Sunday, October 28, 2012

My husband & me in pictures together!


 With four children, a retail store, and a website, we hardly ever end up taking any pictures of us as a couple! This close up of my husband Brian and me was taken at a friend's wedding in Fairfield, IA this month.
Below is a picture of us in our store Natural Selections, (from Winter 2009 when we were living in Rapid City, SD, but visited Fairfield, IA over the holidays.)  I was pregnant with Sofia at that time!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Final Harvest of Organic Rainbow Chard & Kale for Winter!



Killing Frost is TONIGHT!  (Hard to believe when it was literally 82 degrees on Wednesday (and htis is Friday.) Anyway,  I am in the garden today trying to harvest a huge amount of the Organic Rainbow Chard and Organic Kale to save for winter!








I wash it and put it in the VitaPrep with just a bit of water, and then afterwards I pour it into the 1 gallon freezer bags. After freezing, we will be able to break off as much or as little as we want to add to soups, stews, quiches, lasagnas, and my favorite - FRESH Juice for breakfast.



I refer to the juice I make at breakfast time as "Special Juice" because kale-chard-carrot-apple-beet juice is not easy to say and doesn't win the hearts of my 4 children.  My 3 year old daughter Sofia asks for it every morning: "Pesh-ul Juice".









Monday, October 1, 2012

Organic Latex SALE during ARTWALK!

I am SO excited to offer our 100% Certified Organic Latex at the BEST prices in the USA!

Come in and try laying on the two beds we have in the store and you will feel how fantastically comfortable they are. Our Certified Organic Latex is made from tree sap and is not full of chemicals the way regular mattresses are.

I am happy to announce that during First Friday's ARTWALK we can offer an additional 10% OFF of any Organic Latex we have IN STOCK! 
(Plus since it is in stock, you save the cost of shipping!)

Because our Organic Latex is rolled up, you can put it in your car and take it home with you! Keep in mind the stock changes every day!
(Artwalk is October 5th.  Store hours for Artwalk are 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM. )

 As always, you will have a 2 week money-back guarantee! We know you will love Certified Organic Latex!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Alexis & Sofia promoting our NEW GLASS WATER BOTTLES!




My 4 year old Alexis cannot resist being on video, so I said she could talk about our new glass water bottles that we are selling in our store, Natural Selections, so this is what happened today.... a couple the outtakes.... and of course her 3 year old sister Sofia doesn't want to be left behind...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

RAW BROWNIES WE LOVE!

This has become an absolute STAPLE in our house. The kids love them! Rich and decadent, yet healthy and raw!  And actually they only take 10 minutes to make! (But you will want to leave them in the fridge for a couple of hours to get firm, as they slice better!)  I have made this for friends and parties and people always ask for seconds to take home with them! Special thanks to my dear friend Sara Bliss for finding this recipe and showing it to me! It is SUPER important to SOAK the dates that are going to be used in the "Icing". (And don't think of making this without the icing... as it is HALF the dessert, and the most amazing part!)



http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-brownie-recipe



Raw brownie recipe

1 cup pecans (you can use walnuts in a pinch, but pecans are much better!)
1 cup dates
5 tablespoons raw cacao (cocoa) powder
4 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

1. Place pecans alone in your food processor and process until the pecans become small and crumbly.
2. Add dates to the raw brownie recipe and process again until the mixture sticks together and the dates are well processed.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to this raw brownie recipe and process again until the mixture turns a lovely dark chocolatey brown. Stop processing before it gets too buttery. (There should still be air between the small bits so that you will be able to press them down into your brownie pan.)
4. Dump the mixture into a brownie dish or small cake pan and press down firmly using your clean hands.
5. Refrigerate this raw brownie recipe for a couple of hours. You do not have to refrigerate it, but it is much easier to slice when chilled. By the way, this is actually a raw brownie recipe that keeps its shape! So it can be good for serving to non-raw fooders because the presentation of this raw brownie recipe is good when chilled.
6. Store this raw brownie recipe in the refrigerator if it lasts that long!

AND TO MAKE THIS COMPLETE - MAKE THIS RAW ICING AND SPREAD ON TOP!

http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-chocolate-icing/

Raw chocolate icing

1 cup dates
1/4 cup raw cacao (cocoa) powder
1/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil (also known as coconut butter)
3/4 cup water (or a tiny bit more if needed - try to keep at 3/4 cup or so though)

Directions

1. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. If possible, let them sit in there for a few minutes to soften the dates a little bit.
2. Blend all ingredients in your high-speed blender. The ingredients can be a little finicky to blend, so start at a slow speed and increase speed slowly.
3. Keep blending for a very long time to get a velvety consistency. This is one of those recipes that really makes use of the power of a high-speed blender. If you feel that the blades are just spinning but aren't actually moving all of the icing around, turn the blender off and make an air pocket down the side of the blender with a spatula to expose the blades. Remove the spatula, replace the lid, and start blending slowly again.
4. You'll know it's ready if there are no bits of dates and all you can taste is velvety chocolate goodness.
5. This raw chocolate icing is ready to use as soon as you pour it out of the blender.
It's a great raw vegan icing for cakes, brownies and the like! Iced cakes or brownies should be kept in the refrigerator.

Below is a picture of another version of a RAW BROWNIE  I made, with a layer of Cashew Whipped "Cream" in between! Divine! I will include this recipe in another post!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Alexis the Signmaker!


I found my 4 year old daughter Alexis painting a copy of the sign that hangs on the door of our retail store, Natural Selections! 

My sister Ananda painted the original sign about 17 years ago! It is two sided and has a beautiful nighttime scene on the other side with the word CLOSED.

I am so lucky to have so many artists in my family! I used this picture in an ad to announce that our store has new expanded hours!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sandwiches!

 Rustic Italian Grilled Veggie Sandwich on Olive Bread

Summer time is the time for sandwiches! My children and I have fun trying different kinds almost every day, because it is the single easiest food for hot days and little hands who want to "help". They like picking the colors and textures for their toppings.

 This Rustic looking sandwich with grilled peppers is one of my husband Brian's favorites! We like to deliver his sandwiches to him at work by bike! (The benefit of living so close to work!) Eventually if the peppers in our garden will ever grow, we can make this a local sandwich, as the bread is from a close-by bakery!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July!

 American Flag Cheesecake

My kids had fun putting all the berries on! (And eating it, of course!)  So, making all of the fun treats for 4th of July are inspiring me to do another juice fast! It starts tomorrow! Look for updates and pictures! In the meantime, Happy 4th!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day (all 4 of my babies on their first day of life!)

Since it is Mother's Day, I wanted to put up a memory of all my 4 babies!

Baby # 1
Lilliana Tiger was born in the water at home in Fairfield, IA, after midnight on Thursday, May 18, 2000. She was 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 22 inches long.
Lily was a determined baby, and so aware!


Baby #2
Skylar Anthony was born just barely out of the water at home in Fairfield, IA, just before noon or "just in time for lunch" (as I like to say) on Saturday, March 29, 2003. He was 10 lbs.
Skylar was very settled and he actually gained a pound a week and so by the time he was just 6 weeks old he was wearing the clothes of a one-year old!

Baby # 3
Alexis Arianna Ceylon was born in the water at home in Fairfield, IA, at 7:00 AM exactly on Monday, April 8, 2008. She was 9 lbs, 9 oz. and 23 inches long.
Alexis was a very happy, quiet baby!



Baby # 4
Sofia Sienna Lanai was born in the water at home in Rapid City, SD, at 9:24 AM on Monday, July 31, 2009. She was 8 lbs, 12 oz. and 21.5 inches long.
Sofia melted into our large family perfectly!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chocolate Covered Marzipan! (Homemade!)

Tonight I made homemade Marzipan covered with Semisweet Chocolate!


All I did was put raw almonds in my Vitaprep (Vitamix) and blended until powdery.  Then I added some granulated sugar and powdered sugar,  and tiny a bit of almond extract and water to taste and proper consistency.  I melted some semisweet chocolate chips and rolled the chilled marzipan balls in it. Flash it in the freezer for a few minutes and it's done!

(When you don't blanch the almonds, this is what it looks like!  But blanching the almonds first will give you the traditional white colored marzipan.)

I can't wait to experiment with this more! I remember making this years ago, but now I have so many fun ideas to try with it- like adding natural colors, or shaping it into leaves or other little designs for topping cakes!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Organic Towels for Your Green Kitchen!

Organic Cotton Kitchen Towels!

Greening your kitchen?  Select a set of kitchen towels made from organic cotton.  Organic cotton is cotton grown without chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. Why use anything else?

Our 100% Organic Cotton kitchen towels come in the natural color, and are made exclusively for The Organic Company.  A classic herringbone design is absorbent, texturally rich, and works with any kitchen style!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lincoln Logs!

My parents used to make these for me and my sister when we were little. Today I made them for the kids and it was so fun!  Toast (in this case, Cinnamon Raisin) with vegan butter, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Sliced into sticks and stacked like a Lincoln Log cabin! All 4 children (ages 11, 8, 3 and 2) loved them! It did make me realize that we have not played with the traditional Lincoln Log toys in forever! We need to put away the computers and play old school games!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maple Nutmeg Iced Latte (Vegan)


My husband Brian brought home this AMAZING homemade maple syrup that he bought from a guy who taps the trees himself. It is a beautiful color and SO delicious!  He likes to eat a spoonful of it! But then he suggested that we make an iced coffee drink with it, so here it is!  I used organic espresso as and almond milk.  I had to add freshly ground nutmeg, which is my most favorite spice!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Our Breakfast Every Morning!

After I posted the Valentines Juice showing the gorgeous juice we make every morning for our breakfast, I realized I should show what actually goes INTO it.
So here it is!



Carrots, Beets, Kale, Apples, Oranges, Ginger, Lemon, Chia Seeds and Hemp Hearts (which have more protein than beef, by the way!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sundae Pie for Sunday!

Sundae Pie ~ A simple dessert that everyone loves!
I waned to come up with something quick and fun, so I started with a 
homemade pie crust, then added spirals of organic chocolate syrup, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries and sweetened whipped cream!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Kids!


Happy Valentines to my family and friends and most of all my wonderful husband Brian!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Healthy Valentine's Day!

I am a chocoholic, and I will be giving and eating chocolate and other treats today! But Valentines Day, like every day, it is time to start off the day off healthy, because you want to FEEL great! This is the juice I make every morning only today I called it Valentine's Juice!


Valentine's Juice in front of the gorgeous roses my husband Brian gave me!


Carrot, Apple, Kale, Beet, Orange, Ginger - you can do the proportions however you like, depending on what you have on hand. I usually put Pomegranate too but I was out of that today. Then if I have an extra minute, I pour it into the Vitamix and blend it with some Ice, Chia Seeds and Hemp Hearts (this gives it more of a smoothie texture, and lots of protein and omega. The "Recipe" is below.

My husband and I love having this juice every morning - it makes you feel fantastic! Even our 2 year old Sofia enjoys it!

Two year old Sofia enjoying her Valentine's Juice!


Valentine's Juice RECIPE
put the following into your juicer:
4-8 Carrots
3-5 Apples
4 leaves Kale
1 Orange
1 large Beet
2 inches of Ginger Root

Then if you like, pour your juice into your blender and add the following:

2 spoonfuls (or so) of Chia Seeds
2 spoonfuls (or so) Hemp Hearts

Note: This makes a LARGE amount, because my husband and I each drink a HUGE glass of it! The small glass pictured above is about how much our 11 year old daughter or our 2 year old daughter will each drink.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies


This is our family's FAVORITE Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe - for the last 12 years!
We have used it so much that I have it memorized. I love playing around with each ingredient, adding or subtracting things.

Mix "wet" and "dry" separately, then combine afterwards.

Wet:
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil (I use less, or make part of it either applesauce or vegan yogurt)
Egg replacer for 2 eggs (Ener-G brand works, or you can also use vegan yogurt)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Dry:
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal (that has been pulverized in the blender)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
(Optional: Add ANY spices you like! We like cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg)

Combine wet and dry ingredients and then mix in as many chocolate chips and nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc) as you like. Generally about 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (can be semi-sweet chocolate or milk chocolate).

Make small golf ball sized balls on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375* F for 8-10 min
Cookies should be golden around the edges, but appear very soft, as they will harden after cooling. Cool on sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or other cool surface.

This recipe makes a lot! (Plan to share, or better yet, roll some dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze. Simply removed from the freezer when you want cookies again and slice - you don't even have to thaw!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What kind of kids do I have?

I have the kind of kids who (apparently) will leave their ice cream cone on my desk until it gets smooshed and dehydrated...


but, they will also "sneak" a bag of organic baby carrots to eat while hiding under the dining table...


I am hoping the overall nutritional value will equal out somehow.