Thursday, December 23, 2010

Herb Wreath

This is an herb wreath. I did not make this herb wreath, but you can go to this website and purchase it, However, they are currently sold out of this particular wreath. So I'm going to tell you how to make one of your own.

Why an herb wreath, you ask? Why not?!?!? I reply back at ya! They smell terrific too, by the way!

I did not make one this year because I've been entirely too busy creating an empire. :)
In fact, its December 23 and I JUST decorated the Christmas tree last night. I usually have this done by at least the first weekend in December! But, when an empire needs building, you gotta build. So, I decorated the tree in about 20 minutes.

I used candy!! This is brilliant and you should try this one year. The real beauty part is that when its time to take down all the decorations, there is no need to bring out your boxes and wrap ornaments to be put away. That can take hours or in some of the homes I've been in, days or even weeks!!! All I gotta do is turn my family loose and Ka-BAM!!!!! tree done!!!! :)

Back to the wreath though. All you need is a grapevine wreath, some 24 gauge wire, wire cutters, some pretty ribbon for hanging, and some herbs.

I have to warn you though that the herbs are not cheap. So I made a small wreath to hang in my kitchen. But, I will tell you that I think you could do this year round and the smell is sooooo wonderful. If you have a garden and access to fresh herbs (or tons of money, time, and patience!) you could make a bigger one.

The pictures I've seen of herb wreaths keep each herb together. I do like the one in the picture at the top of this post especially with the peppers in between. But, when I made mine, I used a variety together, like a floral arrangement with only greenery. I used lots of sage and rosemary and added in others like oregano or whatever looks pretty. Cilantro and parsley won't hold up well for very long, though fyi.

Take bundles of herbs and tuck them in to the spaces in the grapevine. Use the wire to attach the herbs to the grapevine, trying to keep the wire hidden and the layer more bundles of herbs all around the wreath. You'll want to layer the leafy parts of the herbs over the stemmy, wired parts of the herbs. Keep moving around the wreath in this fashion until the entire wreath is covered. Then loop the ribbon through the back of the grapevine and tie into a bow on top. And voila!!!! herb wreath complete!

This will continue to smell good for weeks. It will start to wilt though. Once the herbs no longer look good, you can just remove them from the wreath and do it again!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Some Really Good Pork!!!

We just recently bought some meat from a man selling it off the street!!

Well, kinda but not really. I usually buy grass fed, free range, antibiotic, hormone, and nitrate (ite) free meats. But, I had decided to get some of the guys on my list (who frankly could care less about healthy eating!!!) some steaks for Christmas. Well, then all of a sudden a guy comes in selling such meats for less than I had planned to spend. Yeee-haw!!!! So he threw in a case of pork for free. Well, okay. I'll give some of it a try. Because not only do I like to eat healthy but frugally when I can.

So, I found a recipe from and found pernil pork loin. Its a Puerto Rican Pork Loin. And oh my!!! Was it ever delicious!!!!! So, since its your lucky day, I'm going to tell you how I made it and what I served it with. Then I'll tell you how much my husband gushed over it and promised me all sorts of diamonds and furs and trips and....... Oh, well, okay he didn't really promise me all that but he did really love it. :)

Puerto Rican Pork Loin:

In a food processor add:

4 cloves garlic

1 large onion, quartered

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon white wine

Chop and blend until its all paste-y. Spread it over:
1 (3 pound) boneless pork loin roast

Cook on low about 5 - 6 hours and then squeeze the juice of

1 lime

all over the top. :)
I served this with a Caesar salad (because we love them) and some rice. I cooked rice the regular old way, following the directions on the package but I added baby spinach and pine nuts sauteed in butter. mmmmmmm....butter......
I love butter.
So the rice is mildly bland while the meat is pretty tangy. Its a perfect complement. My husband not only loved it he had it for lunch 2 days in a row until it was all gone. I was going to use the leftover meat for sandwiches and tacos or something.
Home Run in the Pearson kitchen!!!!! Now it can be in yours too! :)
This post is part of Food Renegades Fight Back Friday. You should go over there and check it out! Here is the link

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Skin and Lips

I've been super busy lately!!!! This is the first time in my adult life that I've actually had enough money in the bank at Christmas time that I wasn't worried about paying bills and what cheap things to get people for Christmas! (sigh)

Ahhhhhhhh.........feels good...... :)

I'll tell you what doesn't feel good though is dry, chapped winter hands! Of which, mine are.

You know we own a pool service business. Add to the cold water, chlorine and muriatic acid and you get fingers that are dying from a thousand little cuts. (Try adding lime or salt to a lovingly prepared dish with those hands!! Give it a try.....I dare you!) Ouch! Ouch! Double Ouch!!!

But, since I'm busy (I have more pools to clean today) and its Thursday is Herbs Day I'm sending you a link to a recipe for lip balm. I want to try some of this recipe for my hands soon. Maybe next week I'll post on the lotion bars my friend Melanie makes. I'll be making some of that too! It's absolutely wonderful!

Here's the link

Stay hydrated, my friends! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why A Lowfat Diet Isn't Good For You!

Did you know that a low fat diet isn't good for you? Of course you didn't and I know why you didn't too! Its because you've walked into a gym or picked up a fitness magazine, or been in a doctor's office. All those things conspire against you to make you fat and unhealthy!

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!!!!! I know!!!

Okay....They don't do it on PURPOSE, but they do it anyway. Because they too have been brainwashed by junk science to make us all believe that low fat foods will make us thin and healthy. But, let me just tell you that there are a few of us "believers" still around that know the truth. That sounds funny doesn't it? Like one of those people that believe in space ships and zombies!! Ha Ha!! That's funny!!! Hey! Don't judge! As my friend Dave likes to say "Its better to be prepared than caught off-guard by a zombie attack!"

But, still yet again, I digress! sigh......

So, lets get back to the fat.

At the turn of the century, heart disease was very rare. I don't know if you are aware of this but people back then ate real, whole foods. There was no McDonalds. By the 1960s, heart disease was our number one killer. Hmmmmmm....Hello, Mr McDonald! How are you?? - "Rich!! Thanks for asking!" ( I'm putting quotation marks in because I like them. Really I'm just paraphrasing what Mr McDonald probably would have said. :)

Right around the same time people were consuming less butter. Then, some brainiac scientist said "Wait a minute! Butter causes heart disease!!!" ( Again with the paraphrasing)
So... a bunch of other scientists said "By Gosh! I think you're right! People eat too much fat! Fat makes people fat and unhealthy! Lets tell them to stop! In fact, lets create a new Food Guide Pyramid telling people to eat lots of bread!"

And there goes our diet. Right there. I just in a paraphrase explained to you our obesity problem.

Our bodies aren't equipped to eat protein without the fat. Not only that, too little fat in your diet causes all sorts of problems that are usually associated with old age....eeeewwwwwwwww!

Honestly, I'd rather eat the fat than be old!

About 15 years ago, I was teaching 15 aerobics classes per week, personal training clients, and lifting weights. I ate a very low fat diet. I had no energy and I had about 5 pounds I needed to lose and with all that working out I was still "soft". So, I saw a molecular biologist who was also a nutritionist. He told me I needed more fat, protein, and calories. I kid you not, when I tell you that the heavens broke, angels sang, and the world just appeared.....I don't know.....rosier.

So, I upped all those things and actually scheduled in snacks. He also told me I needed more fruits and veggies in my diet to prevent cancer. I immediately dropped that 5 pounds. Since then, I've researched diet and nutrition extensively. (I still do, by the way! You can never learn too much.) Among others, I read Suzanne Sommers books. She advocates eating all the protein and fat you want as long as you don't eat starchy foods with it. It really works and when I eat this way, I feel fantastic. Do you know that I put real cream and coconut oil in my herbal coffee every morning? I will go home this evening and have a bowl of rasberries and heavy cream. I put real butter and cream in my oatmeal. My family eats full fat yogurt, raw cheese, and milk. (milk is a whole other story!!! I'll post on that later. Don't drink skim milk! For the love of God, stay away from skim milk!!!)

By reading this, you might think, Geesh! that girl probably weighs 300#!! Nope. I sure don't. I look great and I probably haven't looked this good in 20 years!! You know why? Its because I don't eat sugar with all that cream. Its the sugar that kills you. Its highly inflammatory and causes weight gain and even worse, disease. In all that low fat food, they load it up with sugar. Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Its because it tastes bad! Fat causes your body to feel satisfied and doesn't need to eat much. Remove the fat, remove the taste. Make it taste better by loading it up with sugar!!!! Well, that and  a whole bunch of chemicals that are made to taste like food.

So, in addition to our bodies not being able to process lean protein sources very well, Food companies are taking advantage of the fact that we are quickly becoming an obese nation. We are all looking for ways to lose weight. But, trust me. If you want to lose weight, eat whole, real foods including fat and stay away from low fat and fat free fare. Well, except for fruits and veggies. You also need lots of those!!!