Coconut Oil, My New Love



I have been using coconut oil in cooking now for awhile.  A couple years ago I changed how and what kinds of oil I use in the kitchen, I switched from using vegetable oils (except olive oil) to using traditional oils and fats, mostly butter, olive oil and coconut oil in all my cooking and baking.  Coconut oil makes baked goods absolutely delicious!  About that same time I started using extra virgin coconut oil for my face as a moisturizer, I have really loved the results, the acne that I have struggled with for most of my twenties and early thirties is gone. YAY!  In the last month I have branched out even further in using my beloved coconut oil.

1.Oil pulling


Oil pulling is a fascinating method for cleaning teeth and mouth.  The method is simple, place a couple teaspoons of either virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil in your mouth and swish for up to 10 minuets, then spit and rinse.  It sounds really weird.  The biggest benefit I have seen is the loosening of plaque and tarter from my teeth.  I have always had a hard time keeping tarter off the back of my front teeth (sorry if this grosses anyone out) , but after I pull coconut oil, it comes right off with a regular brushing.  My older girls pull oil too, they have problems with brown spots on their teeth that they can’t brush off, after pulling, the brown spots go away.  For a more detailed article, including all the benefits of oil pulling go HERE.

Homemade tooth paste is something I have been wanting to try for a while, so the other day when we ran out of regular toothpaste I finally made some of my own.  Toothpaste is very simple, there are only two main ingredients: virgin coconut oil and baking soda, I also add some peppermint oil and some recipes call for a little stevia powder for sweetness.  It took some time for the kids to get use to the taste and feel of the new toothpaste, it doesn’t bubble, there aren’t any chemicals to make suds, that is a little strange and first, and since I didn’t add stevia, it isn’t sweet, however they got use to it and it is no big deal.  I have been loving it, after I brush my teeth feel like I have been to the dentist for a cleaning, my teeth and smooth and super clean.  I plan on posting a tutorial soon.

So there you go, Coconut oil is my new love!





In the last few years I think the pineapple has become my most favorite fruit
(so much for sustainable and local, I know…)
A couple weeks ago I went to a women’s meeting for my church and they used pineapples as a theme, and lucky me got to take one home!!!
It has been sitting on my counter top slowly ripening (I like mine very ripe and sweet) and it is now looking like it wants to be cut up and eaten…mmmm!
I am thinking another batch of Pineapple Vinegar is in order as well.
What is your favorite fruit?


Every year I plant big sunflowers all over my yard.  I love to find little places to tuck them in, and when August comes I have bright yellow sunflowers all everywhere.  Some sunflowers are decorative, meaning the seeds are too small to harvest, the wild sunflowers that grow around here are like that.  I also plant big sunflowers that have nice heads that produce seeds that are big enough to harvest and eat.
I have never actually harvested the seeds for us people type to eat, I give them to the animals.  The chicken love to peck the seeds out of the head, and then I don’t have to try to do it myself.  When the flower heads get big and bend over, and the backs start to turn yellow it is time to cut  and dry.  Once they are dry I will throw heads into the coop for the chickens.



I have to leave a few heads for my little birdies.  This year I grew sunflowers along the grape trellises and the birds have found that the posts make perfect little perches for picking at the sunflower seeds.

I get to watch these sweet little birds from my kitchen window, as they peck away at my sunflowers.  I have plenty of flowers in other places that I will harvest, I think these will stay right were they are for the little birdies.

Seasonal Food

In this day and age where you can get asparagus from South American in December, and Winter Squash in July are there some foods that are still “seasonal”? Technically, there really isn’t, we can pretty much get any food year around, however are there certain foods that mean a certain season to you?

This question was posed by a facebook friend a few weeks ago and it got me thinking a little. I would like to eat more seasonally and locally. Food retains its nutritional value when it is only transported a few dozen miles as opposed to several thousand. Especially as we (my family) become more and more dependent on the food we produce ourselves, I see us becoming seasonal eaters, like our grandparents were.

I decided to make of list of the foods I think of when I think of a particular seasons. I would love to know your list of foods too!


Salad greens, especially Spinach




 Potato Salad
(specifically my Mom’s recipe)
Fresh veggies from the garden
Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
(4th of July anyone!)



Winter Squash
 Tomato soup

(any canned tomatoes, for this is the season I bottle up gazillions of them!)


Hearty soups and stews

Hot Breads

Roasted root veggies

What are your seasonal favorites?