a green smoothie I can’t believe my kids like as much as they do

I didn’t plan on sharing this smoothie with you all.  Mostly because as it was loading into the Vita-Mix I was pretty unconvinced that the kiddos would be clamoring for it.

But I’d like to say this about the concoction … it’s a nutritious and highly digestible protein-packed power-house.


They seriously were nearly fighting over my cup.




I think this Victory Smile just says it all …

So … here you go (this makes 2 servings … that we had to share with four):


  • 1 cup kombucha
  • 1 cup kefir
  • 1/2 cup whey (a wonderfully useful by-product of making yogurt at home)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups of raw spinach
  • 1 raspberry flavored Emergen-C


Put everything in the Vita-Mix and blend on high until it’s well-blended and a frothy delicious green juice.

Good luck keeping the kids away from it!

Happy Saturday.

from glamour-to-this

We don’t have a photo-ready kitchen.

Not since our adventures in nourishing food and gardening began.

There are “science experiments” all over the place.

And I’m kind of proud of it.

We developed this very fancy sign because we’ve lost our yogurt on more than one occasion to the oven being turned on while the milk was souring … oops. Oh … and there are beans soaking in that stainless steel saucepan.

Milk “yogurting” (I know it’s not a word) in the oven.


There is quinoa soaking near the Vita-Mix (for a soup I’m making tomorrow).

sourdough start

Two kinds of sourdough start “souring” on the cutting board (one is whole wheat bread flour, the other whole wheat plus all-purpose unbleached unrefined).


There’s bread dough rising on the counter.

Compost ready to be taken outside … but it’s 14 degrees outside and I’m reluctant to walk 50 feet through the snow from the backdoor to the bin.
And vegetables fermenting on top of the refrigerator.

Oh … and don’t forget the kombucha … on its second fermentation on the washing machine (which is not technically in the kitchen, but the laundry room is just next door).

And then, of course, there’s kefir in the fridge.  And more yogurt.  And more fermented veggies.  And bone broth.  And farm-fresh eggs.  And home-made jams and jellies (which we get from a local food swap as we don’t have any fruit trees to speak of).

And a maple coconut milk ice cream that I made to help celebrate Abby’s birthday tonight firming up in the freezer.  (Going to share that recipe tomorrow … it’s a favorite here in the Cottage!)

Aren’t we fancy?

Yeah … I thought so 🙂

– Jeanne

Playing catch up

Abby here… real quick… don’t forget to sign up here for this weeks $40 Gap gift card give away!

Last week I took an intentional break from the norm and spent very little time in the kitchen.  Generally, I spend a ton of time in there so the 7 days off were pretty refreshing.

But it is amazing how much one week off will throw your whole system out of whack.  We are out of bone broth, the boys need cookies and I have 3 gallons of kombucha just staring me in the face.

I have been playing catch up all since Monday, and today I had to deal with all the kombucha.  Honestly.. I love the stuff.  My kids and I drink it everyday, so in order to never run out I rotate through 3 gallons.


Here’s a little tid-bit about me.  I am not a pack-rat.  Other than photos, there aren’t many things I’m attached to.  I feel no attachment to yearbooks or things in that nature, but there’s one thing lately I can’t let go.  You see, almost everytime you make a batch of kombucha, your “mother” scoby produces a “baby” scoby.  Which means that I have, well, a ton of scobys.

And I have a hard time letting them go.

So until I can figure out a way to give all these away or just let go, I’ve got quite a collection.


But back to today’s task… bottling my kombucha.  If you aren’t already making your own, check out Jeanne’s post on how to get started.  If you have any questions about the process, feel free to leave a comment and we will get right back to ya!

I’ll pick up where she left off.  A second fermentation is not necessary, but is worth the trouble.  Here’s what do to do:

Once your kombucha is done brewing, remove your scoby and use a filter to pour kombucha into smaller jars.  Before I began making my own, I had bought way to many bottles at the store so I have a ton of perfect glass jars this!


Fill the bottles about 80% leaving room up top for your flavorings.  I love adding organic grape or apple juice, but fresh or frozen fruit works as well.  I had no juice on hand today, so I just used frozen berries.  Once your jars are full, put lid on tightly and keep in a warm spot for another 3 days.


After the 3 days put your kombucha in the refrigerator and enjoy! Remember, this is a carbonated beverage so no heavy shaking and be cautious when opening.


another yogurt-ish smoothie … with yogurt

Hi all.


Jeanne here.

I want you all to know that Abby’s not the only one to concoct smoothies for the littles!

We pretty much find some time during each day to enjoy a version of this one.  (Today it was breakfast.  Yesterday, it was around 4 pm because we knew we were going to a friends’ house for dinner and were forewarned that dinner, although tasty, was going to be less than nutritious.)

Makes 4 servings


  • ½ cup whole milk yogurt (sometimes it’s plain.  Sometimes it’s maple.  Every once in a while, it’s vanilla)
  • 1 banana
  • ½ to ¾ cup berries (or melon or pineapple – and they can fresh or frozen, but always organic)
  • 2 cups greens (spinach or kale … it’s kale in the summer because it’s a garden staple)
  • 1 cup Kombucha
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 packets of Emergen-C (any flavor.  I like tangerine.  The Cowboy goes for super orange)
  • 4 Tbls ground flax seed or chia seeds (optional)

Everything gets put into the Vita-Mix and blended until smooth.

It’s packed with protein and good fats, anti-oxidents, vitamins and minerals and omega-3 fatty acids (when we add the flax or chia).

And everyone in the house gets a glass …

… some glasses are just a little bigger than others. 🙂

And now I have to go make a pie … and some non-GMO corn pudding.  What’s on YOUR docket today?

PS – Don’t forget to sign up for our WHOLE FOODS MARKET GIFT CARD GIVE-AWAY … registration closes at 10 pm PST.  Good Luck!

We’re linked up on This Chick Cooks!

kombucha … another miracle tonic to consider

by Jeanne

Kombucha …

For more than 2,000 years, people have been drinking this fizzy fermented tea to detox, prevent cancer, promote a healthy liver, combat arthritis, improve digestion, heal fibromyalgia, alleviate depression and anxiety and boost the immune system.  It’s antioxidant rich, helps balance energy levels, and has been known through the ages as an elixir to the gods … a super tonic …

It’s relatively new on the scene here in America … and there aren’t too many scientific studies in the US that prove its goodness.  But its benefits are supported by 2,000 years of tradition, and by more anecdotes than I could ever recount here.  Check out this LINK for more information on the history and benefits.

It’s only been available commercially in the States since the 1990s.

And we love it.

A little bit tangy (some might call it “vinegary”).

A little bit fizzy (if it’s been on the shelf long enough, be careful opening because it will “explode”).

And a lot delicious.

Just ask our 3 year-old.

And our 1 year-old.

And the Cowboy.

And me, too!

Every one in our house drinks it like it’s going out of style.

Which can get sort of pricey since individual servings sell for anywhere from $2.50-4.50 per bottle at your local health food store.  That adds up when there are four people drinking it.  I think we were spending close to $50 or more per month on store-bought kombucha.

And then the Cowboy figured out how to make it at home.

He found this LINK, grew a SCOBY from a store-bought bottle (not Scooby … Scoby … which is basically a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that looks alarmingly gross and mushroomy).


And now that we have a Scoby, we have a constant supply on hand.

ImageAnd we’re saving about $600 a year.

Once you have your Scoby … YOU can make your own Kombucha too!

Here’s one of our favorite recipes:


  • Filtered water (1 gallon)
  • 4 blueberry herbal tea bags
  • 6 green tea bags
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 1 cup organic unrefined sugar
  • 1 cup Kombucha (from you last batch … or from a store-bought bottle)



Bring water to boil.

Turn off the heat.

Add the sugar (dissolve).

Add tea bags.

Let steep for 30-45 minutes.

Remove tea bags and let mixture cool to room temperature. (If you add it to the Scoby hot, the heat will kill the Scoby.)

Pour the tea into a GLASS gallon container, along with one cup of Kombucha from your previous batch

With CLEAN HANDS, gently place the Scoby on top of the tea mixture.  Cover with cheese cloth and put aside in a cool dark corner for 7-10 days.

YUM!  I feel better already.