Monthly Archives: October 2012

Spinach and Feta Egg Puffins

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So I’ve seen similar things on Pinterest lately.  You throw meat (normally bacon) into a muffin pan, fill it with eggs and cheese and such, and you have a tasty breakfast muffin-type thing.  It looked interesting, but I wanted to put my own spin on it, of course.  Love bacon, but it’s not always necessary for a tasty breakfast, and it doesn’t exactly fall into my “all natural, no crap” diet.  And I’ve been obsessed with my newfound love of spinach and feta lately.

I had a hard time figuring out what to call them.  “Muffin” screams carbs to me.  “Protein cake” doesn’t work because it’s not a cake.  “Protein muffin” is a maybe, but it’s boring, and still not carby.  But “puffin”.  The protein muffin “puffin” works for me.  Almost went as far as to call it an “egg puffin”… then “egg mcpuffin” came to mind, but I hate McDonalds and want nothing to do with it whatsoever.  😉

So there you have it, folks.  The Spinach and Feta Egg Puffin.  It’s pretty simple:

 

Next, bake those suckers at 350º for 15-20 minutes.  20 gives you a hard-boiled egg consistency.  15 gives you runny yolks.

And look what happens!  Oh glory!

 

 

As you can see, I cooked mine for 20 minutes because I’m paranoid about getting runny whites, but next time I’ll put my paranoia aside and only cook these for 15 minutes.  Either way though, they taste amazing!  They puff up some as they bake (thus “puffins” was even more appropriate) and the flavors somehow all meld together.  Something this good shouldn’t take just 5 minutes prep time, but guess what!  It does!

If you try my puffins, let me know what other ingredients you try with them!

Today’s Menu: Red Pepper Hummus with Bell Peppers

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I’ve been looking into the health benefits of what I’m eating while I eat it lately.  I’ve been astounded at what I’ve learned!  I’ll share in a minute what I’ve learned about hummus (chickpeas, really).  First I have to share how great this hummus tastes!  I found it at Aldi last week.  It’s their Grandessa brand Red Pepper Hummus.  This will find its way into my shopping cart every time I’m there from now on!

Now for the wonders of the chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, in hummus:

  1. full of protein
  2. high fiber content helps lower cholesterol and prevent colon problems including colon cancer
  3. studies show that people that regularly eat chickpeas feel more satisfied and eat less
  4. help control blood sugar and insulin secretion
  5. contain antioxidants including concentrated amounts of phytonutrients
  6. full of manganese

(much information found from whfoods.org)

I’ll get into health benefits of bell peppers next time 🙂

Fleas Away, the Natural Way

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I have to share with you all about an incident we had with the popular Advantix II flea treatment for dogs.  We have 3 wonderful dogs and we certainly don’t want one of our critters bringing in fleas to infest one another and our house!  Though I hated using chemicals to treat them monthly, I decided it was ok since it was only monthly and it kept fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and such away.  So I dutifully all 3 of them as any good rescue mom would do.

Every time I treated them, they would start scratching for a few days afterward – I always assumed it was just a few fleas that had jumped on near the end of the month when the Advantix was starting to wear off.  We also had a problem with the dogs trying to lick it off one another, so for the first couple of hours, we had to keep an eye on them.  These things concerned me some, but I didn’t think too much about it.  After all, I was preventing nasty fleas, so some discomfort was ok.  …Until Enzo had a spot that he couldn’t stop licking and trying to scratch, even after a few days.  Upon closer examination, the poor guy had raw red skin in the middle of his back.  Then it he lost his hair in the silver dollar sized patch on his back.  The Advantix had given him a chemical burn that was eating through his skin.

The poor guy was miserable and we could tell he was in pain.  We washed it thoroughly with warm water and treated it with neosporin and tried to keep it bandaged around his waist.  The other dogs could smell his wound too, and tried to clean it for him since he couldn’t reach it, so keeping it bandaged was tough.  We eventually had to put a doggie tshirt on him to cover the bandage and that worked much better.  He did heal up after about a week and a half, leaving a large scab.  It’s been a few months, and while he’s all healed and his hair has grown back, it came back in a darker color.

I felt horrible.  It was my fault for ignoring the signs that it irritated their skin.  Now I knew for sure it wasn’t fleas bothering them at all – it was the chemicals.  I knew I couldn’t do this to my dogs again.  I had to find a better way.  So after much research, we came across Only Natural Pet’s Herbal Defense Oil Blend and decided it was definitely worth a try.

As it turns out, it’s amazing!  The smell is very citrus/citronella, but I’m ok with that.  I simply add several drops to my palm, spread it over my fingers, then rub the dogs all over with it.  Repeat a few times to ensure the whole dog gets a good covering of it, but a little does go a long way.  And instead of applying toxic chemicals that sink into their pores to kill bugs on contact, this just hangs out on their topcoat and encourages pests to keep away with it’s fruity smell.  And they get a nice rubdown when I apply it, instead of me not wanting to touch them for days after applying chemicals.  Oh… and IT WORKS!!!

During the height of flea season, I had to apply twice a week, just to be sure, but even then, this is SO much cheaper than the chemicals that work – Frontline, Advantix, Advantage… you get the idea.  And the smell, if you don’t care for citronella, dies down after the first day to where I didn’t even notice it again until time to reapply.  I was skeptical at first, but so desperate it was worth a shot, and I’m so glad I ran across Natural Defense.  I ordered 4 bottles to save on shipping, and I’m so glad I did.  Now there’s no more itching scratching in my house, and my sweet puppies aren’t absorbing toxic chemicals into their skin once a month.  If you’re looking for a natural flea remedy, I strongly recommend Natural Defense.  And I encourage you to want to look for a natural remedy if don’t currently.  Safer for you, safer for your pets, safer for the environment.  (Oh, and it comes in glass bottles, instead of plastic packaged in cardboard.)

Cupcake’s Chunky Turkey Chili

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So I’ve made a drastic change in my diet lately.  I’m no longer eating processed foods.  Only real, natural food for Trevaesa from now on.  This means I’ve been cooking more lately, of course.  And I recently created a masterpiece, even if I do say so myself.  😉

I’ve never made chili… didn’t have the slightest clue even how to make chili… but I just started adding things to my crock pot to see what happened, tasting as I went.  Fortunately, I thought to write it all down so I could reproduce it later if it was any good.  Turns out, it was!  What is scary though is to look at the large quantity of spices I used to get the amazing flavor as compared to the small packet of chili seasoning you can buy at the grocery.  Gives you a pretty good idea of how fake everything in that little packet is (let’s not forget the silica!), for something so small to contain as much flavor as my pile of spices.

Now for the recipe!

Belligerent Cupcake’s  Homemade Turkey Chili
 
1-1.5 lb Ground Turkey, browned and seasoned to taste with salt, red pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and cumin
56 oz Crushed Tomatoes
15.5 oz Kidney Beans, drained
30 oz Black Beans, drained
3 T Chili Powder
1 t Paprika
2 t Onion Powder
2 t Cumin
1 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
2 t Minced Garlic
4 t Coarse Sea Salt
2 t Black Pepper
2 t Raw Sugar
1 t Liquid Smoke, Hickory
 

Mix all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for about 4 hours (you want to see a slow simmer).  This makes great leftovers for the week and it’s one of those things that only gets better with time.  I like to grate a bit of fresh cheddar or colby jack on top when I serve it.

Happy Chiliing!