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Make-at-Home Vanilla Extract

I love giving people Christmas gifts that come from the heart and are homemade. But if you’re like me, your mile-long to-do list probably has convinced you that you don’t have enough time left to make anything. That’s why I’m sharing this recipe with you for homemade vanilla extract.  It’s too simple, and the results are impressive.

 

When you read how straightforward this is, you’re going to wish you had known about it years ago. Goodness!  I've spent a lot of unnecessary money on the store-bought version before I learned about this.

 

I recently made almost twenty bottles of the stuff to give as gifts in less time than it would take to drive to the grocery store and buy vanilla extract.

 

Here’s my simple recipe:

 

I started with a bulk bag of approximately 40 vanilla beans. For fun, you can experiment with different varieties like Tahitian and Madagascar. I bought mine on line, but most gourmet grocery stores or health food stores carry them. Cut each bean in half and slit lengthwise.

 

For each 4-oz. bottle I made, I added four of these vanilla pieces, then filled the bottle to the top with vodka. You can also use rum or brandy.

 

That’s it! Shake the bottles gently every week, and they will be ready to use in about 6-8 weeks.

 

To be honest, I splurge when it comes to my vanilla extract, and I buy Courvoisier brandy. This French brandy is a decadent treat, but I've also had decent results with plain-old 180-proof vodka.

 

As the volume goes down, I add more alcohol, and I’m often able to eke out another rendering.

 

Here are my sources of vanilla beans that are usually less costly than buying from the local grocery store:

1)       Bulkfoods.com

2)       Penzey’s

 

As a bonus, I recently found a free download of beautiful labels that you can print out and affix to your vanilla extract bottles to make them an even lovelier gift. Check it out here.

 

Wishing you and your family the happiest and healthiest of Christmas and Hanukkah holidays!

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Looking for a great last-minute gift?  We sell homeopathy kits to fit all budgets.  Contact us to find out more.


Nsalata di Aranciu (Orange Salad)

 

It’s hard to believe that this simple Italian salad has such a unique flavor from common ingredients. You have to taste it to believe it!

I grew up eating this with crusty, homemade Italian bread still piping hot from the oven. My mother served it around Christmas and into January.

Ingredients

3 oranges

Sprigs of fresh mint leaves (but dried will do)

A good drizzle of cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of Celtic salt

Freshly ground pepper (a must, as it makes the whole dish sing)

 

So easy…….

  • Peel the oranges, cut into bite sized pieces and smash down so they extrude their juice. (When the olive oil is mixed with the orange juice, it makes the salad’s distinctive flavor.)
  • Cut mint into ribbons and intersperse on top of the oranges
  • Drizzle olive oil over the mixture, add salt and  pepper to taste and mix well
  • Serve in a festive dish

 

Mangia!

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My health philosophy combine sound nutrition, like this delicious salad, with the curative power of homeopathy.  To schedule a free 15-minute conversation with me, contact our office.

 

 

 


Christmas Wishes from Homeopathy Works

Have a blessed and happy Holiday!

And remember, a magical Christmas is meant for each and  every one us.

Love, Joette


The Only Eggnog Recipe You’ll Ever Need. Period.

Leave those tacky cartons at the grocery store. Wait ‘till you taste this rich and nutrient dense version of eggnog! This drink will offset any other holiday beverages, which by the way, are not as health supporting.

What you and your family deserve this Christmas is rich, thick eggnog that’s loaded with live enzymes, nutrient dense vitamins and of course, deliciously good cheer.

The quality of the ingredients add a superb benefit, but are not necessary.  Go with the highest quality you can find such as raw, organic milk and cream and free range egg yolks. If the eggs are not free-range, try to have at least organic.  Eggs eaten raw should not be conventionally produced.

Here’s what you’ll need:

12 free range eggs

6 cups raw milk

2 cups heavy, raw cream

1/2 cup raw honey (my 1st choice, because of the accompanying raw enzymes, but maple syrup will do, too.)

1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg, plus more for dusting

 

Here’s what you do:

Submerge the eggs (still in the shell) in a large bowl of very hot water plus a few drops of dish soap. As the water cools; wash and rinse, then wipe the eggs dry.

Separate the egg yolks and place them in a mixer together with the honey and beat for 10 minutes. Refrigerate the egg whites (you’ll need them later). Allow the egg yolk mixture to cool in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

30 minutes before you plan to serve, mix the milk into the chilled yolk mixture. If you plan to add brandy, this is the time to stir it in. Along with this, add in 1 -1/2 tsp nutmeg.

On high-speed, in a separate bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.

In yet another bowl, beat the egg whites until you have stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture, then fold the cream into the egg mixture.

Ladle into frosted glasses and sprinkle with the remainder of nutmeg.   Serves 8 cups.

Oh, yum.


Ho-Ho-Ho! Munch. Munch.

Wouldn’t you love to give a great gift this Christmas? I have three suggestions this year. They’re homemade and delicious, but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you’ll be slaving over a hot stove!

These are easy, but beware.

You’ll want to make a couple extra batches for yourself.

  • Chutney…Kick it up a notch when you add a little spark to an otherwise docile fruit preserve. Fruit chutneys look beautiful and taste festive, too.  Use apples, and try seasoning with cumin or coriander.

Or how about oranges with chili peppers? There are countless variations. Pour your finished product into clean, glass canning jars and for a personalized touch, make your own labels. Here’s a basic recipe for Cherry Chutney from Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions:

4 cups ripe cherries, pitted and quartered

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

½ teaspoon whole cloves

Grated rind and juice of 1 orange

1/8 cup Sucanat

¼ cup whey

2 teaspoons sea salt

½ cup filtered water

Mix cherries with spices and orange rind, place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down lightly. Mix remaining ingredients and pour into jar, adding more water if necessary to cover the cherries. The top of the chutney should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 2 days before transferring to refrigerator. This should be eaten within 2 months.

  • Vanilla extract…This universal favorite makes a great, long lasting gift. And, to top that, it’s easy to do. Check out my recipe here! Every time your loved ones add a teaspoon into their latest batch of cookies, they’ll think of you.
  • Slow Roasted Holiday Nuts…Choose your favorite nut or a selection of only raw nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, etc.) and soak them overnight and for up to 24 hours. Drain and spread the nuts on cookie sheets and sprinkle with Celtic sea salt. You can season them with a variety of herbs or spices, such as cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder, nutmeg, cloves, etc. Slow roast them in an oven preheated to 150° F, for 6-8 hours or until crispy. Place in little paper bags and tie with colorful ribbons.

Enjoy!


Thanksgiving Must-Have Remedies

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go! And to your sister’s and brother’s and maybe another’s and stuffing and eggnog and pies, oh my…before you know it, the holiday becomes a time of over eating and over drinking.  So what can we do to prepare?  Keep these must-have remedies on hand and be prepared for unending feasting.

The best way to use these homeopathic remedies is to take one dose every 3-4 hours over the period of 1-2 days.  When improved, stop.

1)    When over eating has caused nausea that you wish would just produce vomiting to get it over with, then your remedy is Nux vomica 30.

2)    Nux vomica is also a capitol choice for the proverbial hangover.  It will end nausea and vomiting in relatively short order.

3)    When relentless vomiting is the main symptom, try Ipecac 30.

4)    When there is simple indigestion and over acidity, then Nat phos 6x can be taken every hour. Use in place of antacids.

5)    For true food poisoning such that causes chills, stomach pains and anxiety then Arsenicum album 30 should be taken. This is best saved for when your turkey is tainted.

6)    And one more tip for good measure! For indigestion, add a splash of vinegar to a glass of water and drink. It will bring soothing relief.

Try these tried and true homeopathic remedies this year and you might just find it easier to enjoy yourself – Happy Thanksgiving!


In Praise of Pilgrims

I recently came across an article that described what the original Thanksgiving dinner would have been like. It seemed to look down its long aquiline nose at the simpler fare of 1621, as if our modern smorgasbord actually could boast a superior culinary position. Today, typical meals include lavish, sweet pies made with vegetable oils as folks smear margarines across their white, yeasty, refined rolls. The vaccinated, domesticated, farm raised turkeys sit satiated with nutritionally vacant stuffing…often from a box.

Let me take you back to the feast that started it all. I’m grateful that we can imitate that 17th century wisdom and enjoy humble, pilgrim foods, even now, centuries later.

 The Pilgrim’s spread would have included organic venison, wild turkey, goose and duck. They had dibs on local seafood and cod, bass, lobster and clams could have been served, too.

Their thanksgiving feast wasn’t infused with white sugars or corn syrup  so don’t expect to see bowls filled  with cranberry jelly in the shape of the can or bright yellow, sweet corn. Instead, they munched on toothsome flint corn, which the Indians toasted.  

Instead of rolls and breads made with from bleached and processed flours, expect to see hearty cornbread and sourdough bread.

 Smart moms make these breads to this very day!

Pilgrims hadn’t yet filled their gardens with potatoes, so instead they stewed and boiled their pumpkin with cinnamon, ginger, butter and vinegar. Wholesome vegetables like radishes, carrots, beans, lettuces, parsnips and leaks would have been on their menu, too.

Likely, their seasonal and regional fruits, such as grapes and plums would have made a satisfying tart, seasoned with rosemary and cinnamon.

Yes, their foods were simple.  Their foods were safe. They were not finessed and fussed, but they were wholesome, local, organic and smart. Animal fats and proteins were plentiful, tart flavors were added to the bland and their wheat was fermented.

Time may have provided us with convenient kitchen aids like the oven and Cuisinart, but good, nutrient dense, whole foods are not a fad.

 Thank God.

 May you and your family enjoy a happy and wholesome Thanksgiving.

Love,

 


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