Artificial Sweeteners Could Contribute to Diabetes

Artificial sweeteners *possibly* inked to obesity as well as diabetes. It may be because they alter the balance of the flora in your gut, thus changing the way your body processes sugars.

Please note the qualifiers, but I think the possible correlation between altering the natural make-up of your gut and seemingly unrelated illnesses is fascinating.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Biscuit Mix and Last Minute Guests

Do what you are doing.

This is last minute frugal staple for feeding unexpected company, so if you don’t mind the gluten and wheat keep this biscuit mix on hand:

(If you add powdered milk to the mix, then you only need to use water for the liquid in the recipes.)
10 cups all purpose flour (you can use whole wheat. I like to store it in the freezer in that case)
1/3 cup aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons salt
2 cups coconut oil, lard, or other shortening that does not require refrigeration unless you’re going to keep it frozen. Then you can use butter.
Makes 12.5 cups of mix I usually make four batches of this.

You mix the dry ingredients, then cut in the shortening. I do four separate batches so that I do not have to cute in 8 cups of shortening into 40 cups of flour!

I also tend to make it in my food processor bowl with the S blades and let it do the cutting in for me. Then I put it all together in one giant bowl or bucket with a lid.

What do you do with the mix?

For plain biscuits: Place 2 cups Homemade Biscuit Mix in a bowl; make a well in center. Add 1/2 cup milk. Stir with fork just till dough follows fork around bowl. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 10 to 12 strokes. Roll or pat to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut dough with floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Bake on baking sheet in 450 degree oven 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 10.

For fancier biscuits:

  • Add some grated cheese- about 1/2 a cup to each batch. These add a touch of elegance without taking much extra time.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of basil and parmesan cheese to each batch for some tasty herb biscuits, good with italian meals. For even richer, more ‘company’ style biscuits, use sour cream or yogurt instead of milk when you mix up a batch. Spread the cut biscuits with melted butter and top with parmesan. These are so tasty!
  • Roll the biscuit dough into small balls and deep fry them for doughnut holes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar.cheesy garlic biscuits made using a recipe in Jonni McCoy’s Miserly Meals:
    2 cups biscuit mix
    2/3 cup water or milk
    1/2 cup grated cheese (I once made the mix and then discovered I only had presliced swiss cheese for sandwiches, so I cut that in strips using my indispensable kitchen shears- a must have tool for all of us who find it hurts our hands to cut things using a knife)
    2 Tablespoons melted butter
    1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (or more)Combine, roll, slice into biscuits and place on baking sheet and bake at 450 for 10 minutes.For added elegance, set each biscuit on an onion slice. Mmmmm.

Shortcakes: Add a wee bit more flour and sugar to a batch, roll out a ball of dough to the size a dessert plate or saucer, lay on a greased cookie sheet and bake in hot oven [400-450 F.] 20 minutes; separate the cakes without cutting, as cutting makes them heavy. These are good with cream and fruit, and if fruit is not in season use canned peaches, frozen berries, or canned pie filling and some whipped cream.
Use biscuit dough as the topping for this maindish savory vegetable pie:
2 1/4 tablespoons fat (coconut oil, olive oil, bacon grease, whatever you have on hand)
1 1/2 cups onion — thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups celery — thinly sliced
2 pints cooked vegetables
1/2 cup flour
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
dash pepper
1/4 cup melted fat
1 1/4 quarts milk or liquid from cooked vegetables
2 1/4 teaspoons vinegar
2 1/4 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
6 whole eggs, hard-boiled — sliced
batch biscuit dough
Melt 2 1/4 tablespoons fat in skillet. Add raw veggies (celery, onions) and cook for 10 minutes, or until glistening. Add cooked veggies.
Stir until well combined and heated through. Set aside.
Melt 1/4 cup fat in large saucepan. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Add to melted fat in saucepan and blend. Add liquid gradually and cook gently until thickened, stirring constantly. Return cooked vegetables to sauce, add vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Turn half of mixture into shallow baking dish ( either a 9X13 or use several pie pans if necessary). Cover with a layer of thinly sliced hardboiled eggs (if you do not have egg, use some other protein source. Lima beans;
cooked beef; a bit of cheese; white beans…) Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top
with remaining vegetable mixture.
Mix up a batch of biscuit dough- add some seasonings to it, garlic, chives, sage, basil-. Drop biscuits onto mixture. Bake in hot oven 25 minutes or until biscuits are done.


Muffins: Combine 3 cups Homemade Biscuit Mix and 3 tablespoons sugar. Mix 1 beaten egg and 1 cup milk and a teaspoon of vanilla; add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir till moistened. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or till golden. Makes 12 muffins.  Add blueberries or other fruit as desired, or add cinnamon and nutmeg.  You can also put a dollop of sweetened pumpkin on top of each muffin, sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and alspice

Pancakes: Place 2 cups Homemade Biscuit Mix in a bowl. Add 2 beaten eggs and 1 cup milk all at once to biscuit mix, stirring till blended but still slightly lumpy. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot, lightly greased griddle. Cook till golden brown, turning to cook other side. Makes 10.

Coffee Cake:

preheat oven to 375
Beat together in a bowl:
1/3 cup milk
1 egg

1/4 cup sugar
2 1/3 cups biscuit mix

Stir until well mixed. pour into greased 8 inch baking pah.

Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons margarine, 1/2 t. cinnamon, and an optional 1/4 cups nuts- sprinkle over the top,
Bake 25 minutes

(add raisins or chopped fruit to mix if desired)


Variation: Appley Dappley Coffeecake

I hope these recipes are useful to you! What quick and frugal things do you like to ship together when company comes?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Indian Keema

Just finished Day 10 of the Whole30, and I am still sticking to it, um, with the exception of stevia in my coffee twice, and my coconut almond wraps that aren’t a pancake so there.

The newest grandbaby was born last weekend, Papa Shasta had to go to work on Monday.  So Mama Equuschick and her four little chickletts have been coming over here during the day so she doesn’t have to do too much on her own at home.

I needed to make dinner quickly one night because I got distracted. A quick rummage through the freezer and I found four cups of cooked hamburger meat. A quick fossicking around the internet, and I found this spiced keema at nomnompaleo. I used it as the base and did this for a whole30 compliant meal:

samosa I didn’t really measure most of it, because I don’t do that much, but roughly, I put these things in a hot pan in this order:

ghee, about a soup-spoon full  (or butter, or coconut oil)
1 1/2 diced onions

Stir the onions until transluscent

Celery, four stalks, diced: add to skillet, cook until color is bright.
minced garlic from the fridge (I buy it in jars because I can’t keep enough cloves on hand)
minced ginger, same as above. Probably about two more spoonfuls
Stir in cooked ground beef (four cups)
1 Tablespoon turmeric (I like turmeric
salt until it looks right
1 cup of coconut milk
2 Tablespoons garam masala (you can make your own)samosa single serving 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (my garam masala is not as potent as it could be, so it neede

d the books)

Cook and stir until heated through. Remove from heat Add:
Juice from one lemon

Tear up some cilantro leaves and stir in and reserve some to sprinkle on top. You really cannot have too much cilantro, in my opinion. 


We had leftovers.  The Equuschick and I had them reheated with some additional coconut milk.

Then I did this:
lunch, samosa leftovers

I steamed some potatoes, diced them, sprinkled them with garam masala, then spooned the rest of the keema over the top of the potatoes.

Since I had made a mason jar of this paleo, grain and dairy free pancake batter the day before, I made two thin pancakes, spreading them out thin with the back of a spoon.

I have a lot of frozen berries in the freezer, so I put some around some plain, whole milk organic yogurt (Nancy’s) into which I had stirred some real maple syrup (not Whole30, but he’s not doing Whole30).   the salad is just a simple thing, baby kale and spinach leaves, freshly grown in my kitchen alfalfa sprouts.  Sometimes I add a small container of dressing, but he doesn’t mind salad without dressing and I can’t always find the small containers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I love this recipe

almond coconut pancakes I made the batter for these pancakes (which I have shared several other times) last night. I just put the ingredients in a mason jar that fits my blender blades and cap and blent away. Then I let the batter sit in the fridge overnight, added a couple tablespoons of coconut milk and blent it again and made myself two lovely, wheat-free, dairy-free pancakes- er, coconut wraps.

My totally paleo and unsweetened pancakes:

I just put these ingredients in a blender or food processor:

8 eggs
3 T. oil (I have used sunflower oil, coconut oil, and ghee and liked each one)
1/2 generous cup each:

  • almond or coconut milk
  • almonds (optional, believe it or not- they are here for the extra protein and nutrition health, but the pancakes work without them)
  • Coconut

1/2 t. salt

1-3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup OPTIONAL , OR 2 tablespoons of dates to sweeten, also optional.

1 teaspoon of aluminum free baking powder

Let sit a minute or two to thicken. or leave in your fridge overnight. then spread gently in pan and cook like pancakes, or spread the batter very thin for wraps for sandwiches.

My son doesn’t like these: ‘they taste weird.’
The Dread Pirate Grasshopper tells me he could eat my pancakes every day for the rest of his life. For my grandchildren, I make them silver-dollar sized and serve them with butter and jam. I like just butter.

This morning I left out the sweetener, then used the back of a spoon to spread the batter out very, very thin and used the pancakes as wraps- I had a sausage, spinach, and tomato breakfast sandwich with home-made mayonnaise.

They are a little bit dry, so they tend to crack with actual wrapping. Either add a bit of extra water to the batter and reduce the coconut, or don’t ‘wrap it’.  Just cut one in half and use it as a sandwich holder.


Again, because this is a ‘pancake,’ it is totally not whole30 approved, even though each ingredient is (provided you leave out the sweetener or only sweeten with dates).

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Sunrise half past six Sunrise basketball hoop


Pictures taken with my cellphone camera out my back door after I shoved Ronan the Cowardly Irish Wolfhound out in spite of  his fear of the light fog so he could do his business.

At least his fear made him finish his round in about 10 seconds.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hindrances to Frugality, # Eight

I’ve been talking about hindrances to frugalities, and we’re up to number 8, which is one of the hardest things to surmount, because there is only so much about it that is in your hands at all.

planning ahead prudent person8. Emergencies- here is where some planning can help, but there’s a reason why a crisis is called a crisis. I don’t know that anybody can ever plan their way out of all possibly emergencies, and we definitely should not go around beating ourselves (or anybody else) up for not being frugal during an emergency.

I am no stranger to emergencies as we all know- I just now tried to count the ambulance rides I’ve taken with a child in urgent need of immediate trauma care, at risk of life or limb.  I got to three and my brain actually threw up a wall and said, “STOP IT.”  So I am.  Because that wasn’t even halfway.

So I know- Not only do crises toss a firecracker in the midst of your careful financial planning and good habits, they cloud your judgment and often weaken your stamina. It is what it is. Do what you can under the circumstances and move forward. Self-recrimination has EXTREMELY limited value here.  Yes, yes, maybe you can tell yourself six months later that you shouldn’t have bought X, you should have done Y and saved money, especially with all the other increased costs associated with that emergency.  But that’s what you think now.  Whatever more expensive decision you made might have been the best one you could make and maintain whatever level of mental health you had in the midst of the crisis.   And if it wasn’t, oh, well.

Sometimes, something will come along that is so serious it just wipes all your frugal progress out from under your feet, and you might feel like, “Why’d I bother?”  That’s hard, and I have no easy answers.  Perhaps it would have been even worse if you had never bothered.  Perhaps you’ll get through it the better for having ‘bothered’ than you would if you’d never tried to be frugal.  Perhaps you were a good example to somebody else.  Perhaps none of these things and there is nothing to do but read and reread the book of Job.=/

There are a few things you can do in advance that might help alleviate some of the financial stress of some emergency situations, but you can also do all of these things better than everybody else and still be completely wiped out by the unexpected or a crisis so large that nobody could plan adequately for it and it renders every single attempt you’ve made to prepare for emergencies completely, utterly, void (see: Japan).


But there are many smaller crises that can be averted or at least ameliorated by the following:

Keep your pantry well stocked with staples, and keep at least a few meals in the freezer.
Have a strong support system- family, friends, neighbors, your church family.
Build up your emergency fund
Develop good habits, including the habit of prayer and trusting God.
Put together the appropriate disaster preparedness items and kit for your area.
Set up a food storage system
Learn some basic skills, first aid, camping and backpacking lore, food preservation, treating illnesses with herbal remedies or items in your kitchen, cooking from scratch, recognizing safe edible plants- brain storming here- what would you suggest?  What training have you found helpful in crisis?
Do what you can to stay in good health- eat well, exercise, stay in shape (I am really in a do as I say, not as I do mode with this one)

Do what you can for yourself and others, but accept that ultimately, none of us are in control.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WWI War Propaganda Ad

vintage wwI ad havoline oil

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hindrances to Frugality: Laziness or Sloth

sloth of disobedience7. Laziness- sometimes we buy the store bought bread because we are too busy to make our own, or because making bread just doesn’t fit with our family’s priorities or time.

Sometimes, it’s because I just don’t ‘feel’ like baking bread.
Too lazy to price shop.
Too lazy to bake from scratch.
Too lazy to plan ahead
Too lazy take care of something now before it becomes an emergency later (a stitch in time…)

Sometimes I don’t get to my laundry in a timely fashion because I have kids in the hospital, we’ve had loads of company, my back has been spasming, the washing machine is broken.

Sometimes it’s because I just don’t ‘feel’ like putting down whatever fun, more interesting thing I am doing (watching paint dry) and getting the clothes the 120 steps from my bathroom to my laundry room.

Sometimes we don’t do these things for excellent reasons. But sometimes, it’s just laziness. I don’t feel like…. I don’t wanta ….

The sloth of disobedience causes a multitude of sins (and other problems).

If let fly unchecked, a certain ‘spontanaity is likely to become a distinctly Harold Skimpole like, improvident quality.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


life is just so daily

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Core Curriculum Arguments, Like A Procustean Bed

Here we see a basic problem for Core supporters: they want the public to believe either that the Core is rich and rigorous, or that it is empty and just a floor, depending, is seems, on whom they are trying to convince to support it. So in one breath they’ll talk about the obvious need for core content, and in the next they’ll protest if anyone says the standards have, well, core content. This may be because there actually is no unanimous agreement on what students should read.

More here.

I see this a lot- arguments for Core are procrustean- cut to fit whatever it is the author wants to say.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment