Blogging since 2009, I'm a 1950s housewife to the bone and I love to share what I've learned with others. I'm a lifelong foodie, raised with Sunday dinners at my grandmother's and daily scratch cooking in my childhood kitchen. I'm a nerdy homeschooling mama of 3, and a wife of 17 years.

I drink tea when I knit and coffee when I do everything else.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day!
Day 1 - Skirt Steak w/ Chimichurri
Day 2 - Top Sirloin w/ Homemade Rub
Day 3 -
Rib Eye w/ Herbed Butter
Day 4 - Rosemary Chicken
Day 5 - Top Sirloin Gyros
Day 6 - Kansas City Style Pork Chops
Day 7 - Steak and Mushroom Kebabs
Day 8 - Dad's Hamurgers, 2.0
Day 9 - Top Sirloin w/ Mushrooms
Day 10 - Kid's Lunch
Day 11 - Chicken Souvlaki
Day 12 - S'mores Cones
Day 13 - Short Ribs

Kitchen & Sewing Skills!
Intro - Syllabus
Lesson 1 - Running & Whipstitch
Lesson 2 - Cookies

‘Cream Cheese’ Filled Strawberries


Generally, a bowl of strawberries doesn’t need any dressing up around here. All of the kids will devour a bowl without any sugar on them, without them being dipped in chocolate (though that never hurts, especially if it’s dark chocolate). Sometimes, though, I feel like a little something and these little somethings are just the thing. No dairy, just a little hit of sugar and a tofu punch at the same time! Totally impossible to eat just one.

Let’s get educational, shall we? What’s so great about strawberries and tofu anyway? Weeeell, since you asked…

What’s so great about strawberries?
-1 cup of strawberries has 141% of your vitamin C for the day and 28% of your manganese (not to mention the fiber, folate, iodine, potassium, magnesium, vitamin k and omega 3 fats)
-cardiovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular diseases
-improved blood sugar regulation, with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes
-prevention of certain cancer types including breast, cervical, colon, and esophageal cancer
-amazing combination of phytonutrients–including anthocyanins, ellagitannins, flavonols, terpenoids, and phenolic acids

What about tofu?
-4 oz tofu has 43.7% of your daily tryptophan (an essential amino acid which is the key ingredient in serotonin, which promotes feelings of calmness and relaxation), 39.6% of your calcium, 34.5% of your manganese and 33.7% of your iron (plus protein, omega-3 fats, selenium, copper, phosphorus and magnesium)
-the iron in tofu is important because it’s used as part of hemoglobin,which is responsible for transporting and releasing oxygen throughout the body
-…and hemoglobin synthesis also relies on copper, which is also in abundance in tofu
-soy protein can help to lower total cholesterol levels by as much as 30%, lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by as much as 35-40%
-soy protein may reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease
-lower triglyceride levels, reduce the tendency of platelets to form blood clots, and possibly even raise levels of HDL (good cholesterol)
-helpful in alleviating the symptoms associated with menopause

4 ounces non dairy cream cheese, like Tofutti
1/2 cup extra firm silken tofu
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice

Just chop the tops off the strawberries and hollow them out. Pulse together all the ingredients and pipe the filling into the strawberries however you want. Pastry bag, zippy bag, spoon…whatever.
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Peas & Thank You’s ‘Cheesecake’ Dip


Vegans, or I guess I specifically mean vegan cookbook writers (or vegan recipe thinker uppers in general) are pretty magical. How can a diet that is free of cheese hand you cheesecake, or even ‘cheesecake’? Even low fat cheesecake that’s made from actual cream cheese tastes like crap most of the time, so how does cheesecake that’s extremely low in fat that’s not even made from actual cream cheese taste so amazing?! I’m not really looking for an answer, because Mama Pea has this dip on deck, so it’s all good in the hood. Or wherever, you know.


What I love about this dip is it works just as well as a base for an oatmeal parfait concoction – which we have used the second half for every time I’ve made it so far. Wee One #3 basically eats it like pudding, not so patiently dealing with the bits of oatmeal and flax and berries in her way. It’s a rough life, right?

Again, no recipe for you, just buy the book, it’s totally worth it I swear.

Peas & Thank You's Cheesecake Dip

Peas & Thank You's Cheesecake Dip
Peas & Thank You's Cheesecake Dip
First, put a buncha stuff in your food processor! Then dip berries in it!
Peas & Thank You's Cheesecake Dip
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Raw Brownie Bites


These brownies are raw, vegan and pretty good for you! Since they’re packed with nuts (heh) they’re about 170 calories each, not including whatever fruit you top them with (though at their size, it’s not like you can top it with much). More importantly though, are these notable vitamin counts (these percentages are for each brownie bite); 19% vitamin B6, 21% vitamin E, 99% copper, 39% magnesium, 77% manganese, 29% phosphorus, 21% zinc and decent levels of calcium, iron, niacin, pant acid, potassium, riboflavin, and thiamin.

Ok, so why does any of this matter? Without getting into the other vitamins and minerals I mentioned, these brownies can be considered health food for the manganese and copper alone!

Manganese is one of those trace minerals found in all life forms, in humans it’s found mostly in our bones, kidneys, liver and pancreas. So what does it even do? It’s defo another of the random minerals that most of us don’t know much about, but when I started reading about it I was pretty impressed. It plays a role in bone formation, thyroid function, formation of connective tissues, sex hormone function, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, immune function and in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Um, manganese had me at sex hormone function and carb metabolism! Eat it up!

I knew that copper was a big part of energy production and I knew that it’s important for nerve health, but I didn’t know until I wrote this that just like manganese it helps connective tissues, and that it helps your body use iron! Above all that, it’s essential for your skin and bones and your blood vessels and joints.

B6 has a rep for being the maker of antibodies, leveler of nerve function and blood sugar, and of course, our hemoglobin champ. Vitamin E, of course, is an antioxidant. Magnesium’s jobs are a little lesser known, essentially it’s responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, and the production of protien (among other things). Phosphorus, as you probably already know, is mainly used by your body for your bones and teeth. And zinc helps your immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Ewww. Let’s all bulk up on zinc.

The recipe and actual step by step are so simple it’s hardly a recipe at all, but that’s partly what makes them so great. If you have everything on hand, you can be eating these in under 15 minutes.

Raw Brownie Bites

Raw Brownie Bites – via Dr. Axe

2 cups walnuts, chopped
2 1/2 cups Medjool dates, chopped
1 cup raw cocoa (or carob)
1 cup chopped almonds
1/4 tsp sea salt

Raw Brownie Bites
Raw Brownie Bites
First, chop the dates and walnuts! Mmmmm.
Raw Brownie Bites
Raw Brownie Bites
Then process them together. You can even use your Magic Bullet or small blender if you don’t have a food processor, just be careful to add the dates one at a time so you don’t gum it up! Then add the cocoa or carob and sea salt. Now just press it into a mini cupcake tray! By the time you wash and cut your fruit, the little cakes will be ready to pop out and eat!
Raw Brownie Bites
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Raw Vegan Cinnamon Donut Holes


Another vegan win! Sweet enough to quiet the sweet tooth, not so sweet that it’s overwhelming (and it wont make you crave sweets for days after like other indulgences). They are very good.

I made these for my Dad when he came up for a visit to the woods and not only did he say he loved them (Dads just do that to make us feel good, yes?), I totally caught him eating them in the wee hours of the night! <3

They come together pretty quickly and as all my favorite vegan recipes they make my food processor feel reeeeeeeally useful. The original recipe calls for raw oat groats flour which requires you to soak oat groats overnight, drain and rinse the next day, sprout if you wish, dehydrate and process in a high speed blender to a fine powder oooor you can use grind up raw oats in your food processor until they’re powdery. So far, every time I come across raw oat groats in a recipe I just use raw oats, but next time it comes up, I’m totally going to try the actual oat groats.

As far as I have read, a lot of the health benefits of raw oat groats are the same as regular oats, since you know, they’re practically the same thing. I said practically, so there is a difference. An oat groat is the whole unbroken grain of the oat without the hull. Since it’s raw and still in one piece, you can sprout it! Rolled oats have been rolled flat and dried. Most of the time rolled oats are steamed to do this, and so they’re not raw but some health food stores have actual raw rolled oats. With that distinction in mind, both kinds of oats are an amazing source of fiber (including soluble fiber – a great help in regulating blood glucose levels). They also have a serious punch of B vitamins, potassium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium. Phew. I just read today that regularly drinking raw oat milk ‘can reduce bowel fungus and promote the growth of healthy intestinal fauna.’ OMG ewww. Does that mean that most of us have bowel fungus?! Ugh, sometimes a little knowledge is a painful thing. You know I’m going to try to make raw oat milk now.

Anyhoo, so what do all these vitamins do for us anyway? Well, together they support the rate of metabolism, maintain healthy skin, hair and muscle tone, enhance immune and nervous system function, promote cell growth and division, and reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. They can help against stroke, blood pressure problems, anxiety and stress, muscular strength, metabolism, heart and kidney disorders and the nervous system! Not to mention boosting your energy levels, improving your body’s immunity, and helping you sleep.

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes

Raw Vegan Cinnamon Donut Holes – via Mama in the Kitchen
*The original recipe made the donut holes and then rolled them in a mixture of cinnamon and dried whole cane sugar, I added the cinnamon and cane sugar right to the donut holes themselves.

1/2 cup raw coconut flour (just grind raw dried shredded coconut in your food processor)
1 cup raw oat groats flour (or like I did, use 1 cup of ground up raw oats)
1 cup raw sprouted soft wheat flour (I didn’t sprout mine)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
5 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons dried whole cane sugar

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes
Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes
So first mix together the coconut flour, oats and soft wheat flour. Then add the salt, vanilla, coconut oil and honey.
Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes
Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes
Once that’s all combined, add the cinnamon and cane sugar.
Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes
Now you shape them into donut holes however you can! You could scoop them out with a spoon and roll them or you could use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller or whatever you have on hand. Whatever shape you make them, they’re delicious and actually good for you!
Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes
Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes
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Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake


Yes, yes. I know. Another raw vegan recipe. Yes people, it is another raw vegan recipe and it is amazing! Getting into raw vegan cooking doesn’t mean I’m only going to ever eat raw or even that I’m only ever going to eat vegan, but I’m looking at it the same way a lot of people look at quitting smoking. Every cigarette a person doesn’t smoke is better for them, right? So I really think that every vegan or raw vegan meal I eat is better for me. Plus with raw vegan desserts like this, it’s pretty hard to go wrong!

This was yet another vegan treat that was happily devoured by a room of non vegans.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake

Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake via Mama in the Kitchen
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup raw cocoa or carob powder
1 1/2 cups dates, pitted
2 cups soaked oat groats (or oatmeal grinded into oat flour)
6 tablespoons raw local honey

Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake
Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake
First, process your sea salt, raw cocoa or carob and dates. It’s sticky! Then add in the honey!
Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake
Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake
After that was mixed as well as I could get it, I mixed in the oat flour (or soaked oat groats). Now grease whatever tins or pans you’re using with coconut oil and press the batter into them. They don’t take very long to set, then you just pop them out and add whatever vegan frosting you like! I used the Deceptively Delicious chocolate pudding recipe I first tried last year. To make it vegan, I used non-dairy margarine instead of Becel.
Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake
This recipe is pretty dense, I could only eat one layer of this little cake at a time!
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Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie


Today, I’m linking up with Organizing Junkie and Life as a Lofthouse for Menu Monday and with KD Buggie Boutique, Mom Blog Monday and Tough Cookie Mommy for Mingle Monday.

One of the best intros to a vegan diet, or even just helping people to be less put off by vegan food in general, is with vegan desserts. Strawberries are always amazing, whether you think bacon is a good idea or not. Amirite?!

I made this for dessert one day and my husband wasn’t really interested in it. He’s a trooper though so he tried and it he was sold! He ate one individual pie and asked for a second one. Then he insisted Wee One #1 try one, and as reluctant as he he, he tried it too and also loved it! Hooray for strawberries!!

As with the grapefruit pancakes post, I’ll go on a little about why this recipe is a healthy choice.

In order of appearance, let’s start with coconut oil! Coconut oil is a saturated fat, and we all know that saturated fats are bad for us, so what’s up? MSN Health does a decent job of covering both sides of the debate, while The Huffington Post explains that not all saturated fats are equal and Care 2 Make a Difference lists six healthy uses. The truth is that the jury’s out on this one. That may not have been helpful, except to confuse you further. Sorry (and welcome to the club).

Honey is a an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal substance. Um, so I take that to mean we should all be rolling in it?! There are also studies that claim honey can promote better blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity! Plus as many of us with hippie parents know, it works pretty well as a natural cough suppressant! Though that last point is moot with honey as an ingredient. Moving on!

Almonds are one of those foods we’ve been reading about as a ‘superfood’ for so long we’ve accepted it but what’s so super about almonds? They’re high in mono-unsaturated fat and that has been linked to lowering LDL cholesterol and a reduction in the risk of heart disease. The heart disease reducing ability comes from the vitamin E in almonds and of course almonds are also a great source of magnesium (amazing for your veins and arteries) and potassium (important for nerve transmission and contraction of all muscles including your heart).

Orange juice, yes, is full of vitamin C. The phytonutrients in oranges are helpful in lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol!

Cashews, another seriously healthy nut, have the same mono-unsaturated fat that lowers cholesterol and heart disease risks as almonds have. They are also linked to a reduction in coronary heart disease and of course, the elimination of those little bastards we call free radicals.

Strawberries are the star of this show, both in taste, presentation and health benefits. Not only are they amazing for all the reasons we already know they are amazing, like their off the charts antioxidant scores, their combination of phytonutrients, cardiovascular support, prevention of cardiovascular diseases, improved regulation of blood sugar, decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and prevention of of certain types of cancers (like breast, cervical, colon and esophagel) – they are a very good source of fiber (duh) and iodine (really?!) which can help protect us from radiation exposure of iodine-131.

So eat up!!

We are moving long distance in just a couple of weeks. I don’t want to jinx it so I’m not going to talk about it until we are on our way, but it means we are eating from our pantry, and while well stocked, it’s going to be funny next week trying to use up what we have!

This week’s menu (March 12 – 18)
I mentioned last week, I make two separate dinners most nights because I’ve made some dietary changes and I’m not pushing it on my family. They tend to join in with a healthy May-style breakfast and lunch and I make their faves for dinner.

Monday – Slow Cooked Chicken with Rice for the fam, Sweet and Sour Tofu and Rice for me

Tuesday – Visiting my folks! So I’m not cooking!! But I’m bringing this Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie for dessert!

Wednesday – Beef Stew for the fam, Falafels and Beans for me

Thursday – Chicken Legs and Rice for the fam, Vegan Quesadilla for me

Friday – Chicken Ceasers for the fam, ‘Creamy’ Tomato Soup for me

Saturday – Chili for the fam, Tofu Nuggets and Salad for me

Sunday – Chicken Alfredo for the fam, Chick Pea Salad and Flatbread for me

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie via Mama in the Kitchen
Cookie Crust
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 tablesppoon raw local honey
1 cup raw almonds, ground into a powder
Orange Cream
2tablespoons raw local honey
1 organic orange, juiced, (about 1/3 cup)
1 cup raw organic cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
1 pint organic strawberries

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie

Blend all of the crust ingredients together in your food processor until it’s mushy. Grease whatever molds you’re using with coconut oil and then press the crust into the molds. Put these in the freezer for a while. You can leave them in for as little as it takes you to prep the rest of the recipe and hope for the best or do this part earlier in the day and make the rest later. I did mine all at once.

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie

Drain all the water from your soaking cashews and pulse them till you have cashew butter!

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie

Mix your cashew butter with the orange juice and the honey till it’s smooth.
Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie
Wash and chop your strawberries.

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie

Now the magic. Assembly time! Pop out the frozen crusts and layer them crust, strawberries, orange cream, strawberries.
Raw Vegan Strawberry Pie
Honestly so good and refreshing!

Vegan Coconut Brownie Balls


Over the last year or so I have discovered that I absolutely love dates. Maybe three years ago my dear friend Gill brought over a snack of dates stuffed with almonds and I was all ‘um, oooookay, whatever Gill’. Not only was chocolate not involved at all but this was nature stuffed with nature. It reeked of health, and at the time that soooo wasn’t my bag. Now though, I am all over that shit. Loving dates or at least liking the general taste and texture of dates is a serious plus when experimenting with vegan desserts, especially raw vegan desserts. My favorite kind of raw vegan desserts (and man there are a lot of them) are the kind that are sweetened mostly with dates and made by smashing all the ingredients together in the food processor. They’re always so so dense and gaaaah, just so good.

These little treats are so extremely dense you can’t just throw everything in the food processor and make balls from the batter. Hehe. It’ll seize up the food processor! This recipe originally has the mixture in a brownie pan and then sliced into squares. I scooped them into balls instead!

They’re so good. They’re sweet without being obnoxious and chocolaty with out having any chocolate in them at all! They curb the sweey snacky cravings with a single dose! True story! Believe it or not, they’re very similar to Eat More chocolate bars.

vegan coconut brownie balls

These treats are from Kat Eats Real Food, via a guest post by Angela from Oh She Glows.

1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup carob powder
2/3 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup raw almonds
3 Tbsp Agave Nectar

vegan coconut brownie balls
vegan coconut brownie balls
Since it all had to be done separately, first I chopped the dates, then the almonds and walnuts.
vegan coconut brownie balls
vegan coconut brownie balls
In a small bowl I mixed the coconut, carob powder and agave nectar.
vegan coconut brownie balls
vegan coconut brownie balls
Theeeen, I added the dates and the nuts and mashed it all together with a spoon.
vegan coconut brownie balls
vegan coconut brownie balls
Then instead of putting this mixture into a brownie pan, I rolled them into balls. They’re about 120 calories each which isn’t bad, especially considering how dense they are.
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