Autumn Mac & Cheese

I love squash. 4 year old doesn’t. 4 year old LOVES store bought mac & cheese. I do not… ick. Compromise! We both enjoy this fall harvest staple, and it’s a great quick & dirty go-to for busy weeknights.


2 c pasta of choice

1/4 buttercup squash, peeled, seeded & cubed

1 c. chicken or vegetable broth

1 c. shredded sharp cheese

1 tsp. dijon mustard

1/4 c. milk or substitute of choice

sea salt



Boil your pasta, drain & set aside. Throw squash in another pot with your broth and steam until tender. Blend or mash the squash until smooth, stirring in cheese, milk, dijon and a dash of sea salt. Toss in pasta. Easy peasy.

Disclaimer: I’ve made this many times without ever actually measuring. If your sauce is too thin, you may want to add some more cooked squash. If too thick, add more broth or milk. Add cheese, mustard and salt to taste. So simple, you really can’t go wrong!

This would be yummy with rice or quinoa too. Greens on the side. Yum.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Sweet Potato Pie

Eat your pie kids! The last time I made this the whole thing disappeared in one evening. Perfect.

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Sweet Potato Pie

  • 1 lg sweet potato
  • 1 lg carrot
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. milk/almond milk
  • 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey*
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • dash sea salt

1. Peel and chop sweet potato & carrot, toss into a pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom and steam about 10 min or until soft.

2. Mash the veggies and stir in all ingredients (I like to use my immersion hand blender – super tool! – but can just whisk until combined).

*add honey just to your taste – you may prefer to use less since the vegetables are sweet and pie spices add to the dessert flavour.

3. Grease a pie dish with butter or coconut oil & pour mixture in.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 min or until firm on top and golden brown around the edges (glass dishes are nice because you can peek at the bottom to make sure you’re not burning).

5. Mange!

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Zucchini Carrot Apple muffins

We’re sitting around enjoying these Zucchini Carrot Apple muffins for breakfast on this drizzly grey morning, so I thought I’d share the recipe. I find it tedious scrolling through a whole long blog post when all you’re really interested in is the food part, so here you go: delicious healthy-ish muffins that are keeping my two kids quiet and content enough for me to post.




  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • about 1/4 c. honey or sweetener of your choice (use more if you like a sweeter treat)
  • 2 cup flour (I used spelt, could use whatever you prefer or have on hand)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup applesauce (or shredded apples – I didn’t have any)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini, apple, carrot, honey, eggs, and oil.
  2. In another bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Dump contents in with wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Don’t overstir!
  3. (**Secret step** pour half the batter back into your other bowl and add chocolate chips for the big kids. Must take all measures to be discreet — it is imperative the 16 month old not know there is an alternate chocolate version.)
  4. Fill your muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are firm when you tap the tops.

Eat em up with nice yellow butter for breakfast.

Bon appetit!


A nightcap for little sickos

I’ve experimented quite a bit over the past year with some of the different fermented drinks you can make at home — namely milk kefir, water kefir and kombucha. My feeling is that they all have their time and place, and water kefir and kombucha are both great to have on hand in the summertime for a sweet, fizzy drink, as a nice treat. I do find the sugar content to be quite a lot though, and have been hibernating the cultures for both of those until the warmer months. There is also debate as to whether kombucha is safe for breastfeeding mothers, and although I don’t tend to worry too much about that sort of thing, I’m just not really feeling it right now. I actually believe I’ve reached a state of “fermentation fatigue”, which I predict will become a nation-wide affliction in 2015. This year, I’m planning to stick with the basics: sourdough, sauerkraut and milk kefir.

I’ve probably had the grains in a bottle of sour milk in the back of my fridge for at least six months, but now that Ocean is one (big girl!!) and eager to taste and try whatever she can get her hands on, I’ve been putting milk kefir back into steady production. It really is like magic; so good, so satisfying and so easy. I use whatever I have on hand for milk, be it from cow, goat or nut (although I mostly use real milk to keep my grains plump and healthy). I would opt for raw milk in a cool heartbeat if I had a nearby source, but for now, I seem to rotate among all of the convenient options: organic whole homogenized, organic whole un-homogenized, goat’s milk, conventional cow’s milk. Whatever. I actually see this as a way of infusing a bit of love into the denatured store bought milk that is otherwise nutritionally questionable to say the least, or really very bad for you if I’m being honest. Yeah, I still buy it. Kid likes his glass of milk at night, what are you gonna do.

Jackson had a bit of a cold recently, and while I don’t love giving dairy during a cold (as it can create inflammation and mucous in the body), he wanted a glass of milk to drink with his bedtime stories. I decided I’d feel better about giving him a nice, warm, probiotic sleepy time treat, and he sipped it with so much pleasure that I wanted to share. Milk kefir is just the greatest stuff, so good on its own, so good in smoothies, and so good as a nighttime sweet treat for little sickos. It’s also said to colonize the gut with healthy bacteria in a more long-term sense than yogurt, the effects of which are supposedly very temporary. I’m not going to try to position myself as one of those health bloggers who pretends to know everything about everything, because frankly they irk me (bless them and their recipes). For the record, I’m not trying to position myself as a health blogger at all… or even a blogger really. I don’t actually know what I’m doing here and I’m not sure why you’re still reading this. In anyhow! Google will turn up tons of interesting facts about all this stuff, that may or may not back up anything I have said. 🙂

Ok here we go. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine:

  • 1 cup of milk kefir
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

Stir your magic sleepytime potion until the honey is mixed in and it is just warm enough for tender young lips to touch. You don’t want to overheat it, as this would damage the good stuff in the kefir and honey. Definitely double this recipe as you will want to cheers your love and sip away together over bedtime stories.


I know you can buy kefir at the store, but this stuff is expensive and not nearly as potent as what you can easily and cheaply make on your own kitchen counter. To make your own milk kefir, all you need are: kefir grains (not real grains, btw, but a bacterial live culture that looks like tiny gummy cauliflowers), milk, a jar, a breathable cloth, an elastic band, a non-metal strainer.

Once you’ve got your hands on all those things it’s as easy as this:

  • put your milk kefir grains in a glass jar (about 1 quart size)
  • fill the jar with milk, leaving an inch or 2 of space
  • cover with cloth and elastic band
  • leave on counter for approx. 24hrs
  • strain out the grains, bottle and refrigerate the kefir, and start again (If you want to take a break, simply cover the grains with milk and store in a jar in the fridge. The cold will slow down the fermentation process and they will stay happy for a couple of weeks or so)


Et voila! There’s a learning curve, but don’t sweat it. You really, honestly, can’t go wrong. If it’s iffy, put it in a smoothie. If it’s rank, give it to your dog. If it’s a little bit creamy and just the right tangy-ness, yum! You did it! Drink it straight or stir in some maple syrup for an alternative (or companion) to your morning coffee. Cultures for Health provides awesome how-to videos on their website that will walk you through these steps in about 3 min.

Hope you try it! Feel free to hit me up with any questions about making milk kefir, or suggestions on how to combat fermentation fatigue!!!