Thursday, May 26, 2016

Frozen Fresh Strawberry Syrup with dried up Brown Sugar and freshground Cinnamon

Frozen fresh? What is that? My Dad went to North Carolina this past fall and harvested a bunch of fresh strawberries.  He brought me about 6 gallons of them.  I washed them off and let them dry. After they were dry I placed them, in a single layer, in a freezer safe container and directly into the freezer.  So, Fresh Frozen. Dad's idea and it worked beautifully.  Stored in that way, they could be used, at will, throughout the winter.  I still have some left and noticed that they were "growing" ice, which means they are going to be ruined and frost bitten.  What in the world was I going to do with them?
My son asked for waffles for breakfast.  We have gluten free, multi-grain Pumpkin spice waffles, which actually taste like gingerbread.  How to incorporate those strawberries?  Strawberry syrup.  
I have been purchasing organic Ceylon cinnamon sticks so I can grind my own cinnamon.  I have read articles that claim some cinnamon is cut with bark.  Cinnamon is bark, but I don't want another kind of bark in my cinnamon.  I prefer pure cinnamon.  How can I assure this?  Grind it myself.  I put several sticks in my coffee mill and poof, freshly ground cinnamon that I know is 100% and nothing extra added.  
Where does the dried up brown sugar come into play?  I keep my Organic brown sugar in a ceramic container, with a terra cotta bear to keep it moist.  However, not all of the brown sugar fits.  Some of it has to stay in the original container, where it dries up into a big ole' lump.  I know if you add sugar to strawberries, the strawberries released their juice so it becomes a delicious syrupy treat.  It's so good, just strawberries and sugar.  Not so much frozen strawberries and sugar, fresh strawberries.  
I capped the strawberries,  dumped the dried up brown sugar over them, and sprinkled some cinnamon on them too.  Let me tell you, it only took a few minutes to have a fresh strawberry syrup with delicious strawberries to go with it!

Skillet for cooking
Frozen Strawberries
Organic Ceylon Cinnamon sticks
Organic Brown Sugar (dried up, fresh, whichever doesn't matter)

1-2 cups frozen strawberries, cap them and place into the skillet
Sprinkle the ground cinnamon over the strawberries
Put brown sugar on top

Turn skillet on low
The heat will start to un-thaw the frozen strawberries and a syrup will start to form, 
Gently stir the berries to incorporate the brown sugar and cinnamon
No need to wait too long, the syrup will form pretty quickly 

Ladel the strawberries over the waffles, scoop out some syrup and you have your own, freshly prepared Strawberry syrup.   

My son gobbled all, but 4, of the strawberries (I saved some for myself) and his entire waffle.  Which he rarely does.  Healthy goodness I could feel good about.  Like most Moms, I beat myself up over every little thing I think I'm doing wrong.  Today it was, that I didn't think I was feeding him enough healthy things to help him grown and develop properly.  This was a good start to a great day!  

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The best Chocolate Chip Cookies made with Lentils

Ok.  Yes I said it! Lentils!  Yes, these cookies are made with Lentils. I was watching the Cooking Channel, years ago, and saw a woman making these cookies.  They looked so good.  I didn't get around to trying them until this year.  A friend of mine is opening her new Pastry shop, called Luv Berry, and she asked if I could help her find a chocolate chip cookie recipe that doesn't use white flour or white sugar.  I immediately searched for this recipe.
I modified, as I always do. Since I have a trace wheat allergy, just to whole wheat, I used regular organic flour. I joke, sort of, that I can eat white bread because it use to be wheat, but has been processed so much that it doesn't affect my allergies.  I also left out several ingredients because I don't like nuts or seeds in my cookies.  
Here is my version of the recipe from Bal Arneson via the Cooking Channel website, a link to Bal's original recipe can be found at the bottom of the recipe.
Quick note:  Let the Lentil's cool before adding the butter, I didn't and all the butter melted and I had butter and lentil soup.  I ended up having to add more flour.  It was a near disaster. 

Healthy Chocolate Chip Lentil Cookies (modified version)

1 Cup dry Lentils
2 Sticks unsalted butter
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Egg
1 Cup Organic Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup regular dried Oats
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Sweetened dried Cranberries 

Cook Lentils in boiling water for 35 minutes.  Strain and smash with a fork.  LET COOL.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or grease cookie sheet)

In a bowl, cream together the cooled lentils, butter, and brown sugar 

Add the egg and blend well

Add the baking soda, flour and vanilla extract and blend

Stir in the chocolate chips, raisins and cranberries

Drop the cookies and flatten on the cookie sheet, by the spoonful

Bake for 13 to 18 minutes 

Remove from oven and place on a baking rack to cool 

Now, try to stop yourself from eating them all.  I dare you!  

For the original recipe go to:

Introducing Essentially Purely™ and a recipe for making your own PureVanilla Extract.

Thank you to all of my friends for the outpouring of support for my new venture!  I started my new company, Essentially Purely™, with the intention of sharing the products God has blessed me to be able to create.  They really work, they are fantastic and I am so fortunate to have so many wonderful friends, and family who are Customers, and to have added Customers who feel like friends.

I've been making making my own deodorant for years.  I started my search for a natural deodorant about 16 years ago, after my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The lump was caught in the very early stages and thanks be to God, she is 100% ok. After the surgery and the treatments, she was told not to use commercial deodorants.  She was advised to find a natural deodorant that didn't contain aluminum or other harsh chemicals.  That really triggered a "WHY?" Response in me.  I have always been that person who needs to know why?  When I found out how some of the chemicals in our deodorants can negatively affect our health, I was appalled.  That is probably the root of why I have been so persistent in my search for natural/organic things for my family and myself.  How can the FDA approve such things to be used, when they know what kinds of awful side effects they can cause.  Serious problems, such as cancer!!!!  It's not ok.  A couple of examples:

Aluminum Chlorhydrate is found in most antiperspirants, it is used to close the pores.  Doctors have found links to that and Alzheimer's disease as well as breast cancer and other illnesses.  (Check out article:

Triclosan is an endocrin blocker, it's found in deodorants, toothpaste, anti-bacterial soaps, soaps, shampoos, it's bad but it's FDA approved for you to rub on your body, and use in your mouth.  Here is an excerpt from a great artical on the dangers of the ingredients in commercial deodorants. 


Triclosan is an artificial antimicrobial chemical used to kill bacteria on the skin and other surfaces. Triclosan is a skin irritant and may cause contact dermatitis. Recent studies suggest this chemical may disrupt thyroid function and other critical hormone systems. The American Medical Association recommends that triclosan and other “antibacterial” products not be used in the home, as they may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics that can allow resistant strains to flourish." (
I could go on and on and on! Please take time to take ownership of your health and look up what the chemicals in the products, you use everyday, are capable of doing to your body.  With that said, make sure when you find something natural/organic that you do your research on that.  Everything that claims to be natural, may be labeled natural because the FDA says it was, at one point, from nature.  For example, Artificial Vanilla Flavoring.  How can that be labeled natural and have the word artificial in it?  Here's an excerpt of an artical from Dr. Mercola (
"Anal secretions from beavers, which beavers use to mark their territory, smell, ironically, like vanilla. These secretions, called castoreum, may be used as vanilla flavoring in baked goods, pudding, chewing gum and more.1
Here's the rub … you certainly won't see 'beaver anal secretions' on your food labels, and you probably won't see 'castoreum' either. All that has to be listed is vanilla natural flavor, because, after all, beaver anal secretions are natural.
It's clearly absurd that food manufacturers can describe secretions from beaver anal glands as natural vanilla flavor. This isn't a huge health issue, especially because beavers are not a bred animal, and the total consumption of castoreum is thought to be around just 250 pounds a year.2
(Refer to the article link above to see the references used)

So, this is an example of how deceptive the FDA approved ingredients can be.  I don't think they use  Beavers Anal secretions that much anymore, since I'm sure they have found a slew of chemicals to mimic the taste.  My question to YOU (yes you),  why not make your own?  I can tell you how.  And you can use it over, over and over again.  
Pure Vanilla Extract:
2-3 Vanilla Beans (you can order them organic, or not, on the web)
A clean, empty glass bottle with a lid
a small bottle of vodka, rum, or any liquor that doesn't have a strong taste.
Slice the beans on a cutting board and drop into the bottle
Pour in the vodka/rum/ To cover the beans. 
Seal tightly
Place in a cool dark place for about 6 months
After each use, refill and shake.  Store in dark, cool place, like your cabinets. 
Bam.  Pure Vanilla extract.  
Don't worry about the liquor, it gets burned off when you cook or bake with it. Doesn't add a liquor flavor if you chose one that doesn't really have a strong flavor. 
As you can see there are many reasons we should know and understand exactly what is in our beauty products, as well as, our food.  I do a lot of research to find out what organic and truly natural products, can benefit us and be used in my deodorants and body care products.  I try each of them on myself and then I have friends, who try to them as well.  I hope you all enjoy my products as much as we do.  I will be using this blog for both "Hey Paw™" recipes and for "Essentially Purely™" blog posts.  
Thanks ever so much for your support.  Please visit and give us a try. I'm sure you will be so happy you will keep coming back again and again!
Remember! Take ownership of your health!