Monday, March 30, 2020


With Gov. Herbert's new "stay at home" mandate, many are quarantining indoors. This social distancing and quarantine is crucial in slowing the spread of Covid-19, however outdoor exposure is becoming increasingly important. 

Being outdoors has many benefits, particular benefits to aid in current situations. Benefits such as:

  2. Boost your energy
  3. Enhance creativity
  4. Mitigate pain
  5. Vitamin D intake 
  6. Strengthen bones (vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium)
  7. Restores focus

Taking your social distancing to the outdoors can help improve your health and wellbeing. Living in Kane county, we have many outdoor opportunities. Consider some of these simple, effective outdoor ideas:

Go on a hike: Create your own trail or hike a trail nearby. If you notice other hikers congregating near the trail head, consider keeping your distance or choose another path.
Go for a walk: Walk around your neighborhood or track, fresh air will improve your mental, physical and creative state.
Exercise outdoors: Studies show exercise outdoors improves mood and exercise duration.
Play a favorite sport: While social distancing you may have to be creative here, 1 on 1 games, shoot hoops or play catch with a friend or family member.
Scavenger hunt with your family: Explore the outdoors with your family. Make it fun or competitive! (CLICK HERE for free scavenger hunt)

With all the uncertainty in the world, take time to enjoy the outdoors to reap the benefits that follow!

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Been shopping lately? Bare shelves aren't a settling sight! Don't panic if you can't find bread. I've got a winning recipe for you! It is not time demanding or difficult, in fact it's done in a crockpot. Low maintenance, cheap and delicious! 


1/2 c warm water
2 c warm milk
2 TBL melted unsalted butter
1-3 TBL sugar (add more if you like sweeter bread)
3 TBL active dry yeast
6 c whole wheat flour (OR 3 c white+3 c wheat for a softer less dense bread)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Grab a big bowl, stir the water, sugar and yeast together. Allow the mixture to proof, or begin growth (rest for 5 min). It should be frothy on the top. While your waiting warm the milk and butter in the microwave.

Next, add the milk/butter mixture to the yeast concoction. Using a stand mixer, slowly add the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix and knead the dough for 5-7 min or until all flour is incorporated.

Line your slow cooker with baking paper and place your round ball of dough in the center. It will raise in the slow cooker as it heats through. Cook on high power for 2-2.5 hours. Start checking every 10 min (after the 2 hour mark) don't rush (mine took 2.5 hours). Cook until the top is sponge-y but springs back and has no moisture on the top. The bottom and sides should be a nice brown color. 

***TIP: to get a crusty bread top, put in the oven on broil/grill for 5 min (after cooking).

Slice and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Life as we know it, has changed. Social distancing, homeschooling and quarantine have become our new normal. While we make the best of our circumstances, let us make the best of our shelf stable food options. A great nutritious, shel-stable food option is rice. There are numerous uses rice can become the star of your family meals. Being inexpensive and versatile rice is a staple for your home pantry in this season of life.

Brown rice has some big advantages over white rice. Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning all parts of the grain are whole and intact, which provides increased nutrients. It is a bit higher in caloric count, but those calories are attributed to increased fiber, protein, vitamins/minerals AND antioxidants. Eating brown rice can lower your cholesterol, and decrease blood sugar levels. SO many benefits, and so worth the switch!

Brown rice can easily be substituted for white rice in any recipe. The only difference in cooking, is the water to rice ratio. Because brown rice has the outer bran intact (whole grain), it takes longer for the water to penetrate the grain, slightly increasing the water measurement and cooking time ratio. 

  • A basic WHITE rice to water ratio is 1-2-3        
    • (1 c. rice + 2 c. water = 3 cups rice) 
  • BROWN RICE on the other hand, increases slightly...                                                                
    • (1 c. rice + 2 1/2 c. water = 3 1/2 cups rice)

Notice, brown rice produces more rice per dry cup serving! (1 c. dry BROWN rice = 3 1/2 cups verses white rice which produces only 3 cups.)
Another bonus, brown rice has more flavor than white rice, allowing for decreased salt, butter and flavoring need when cooking. Cutting empty calories without sacrificing flavor.

Here are some simple stir-ins to make your rice unique and tasty for your next meals to come!
  • Butter and parmesan cheese
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Peas
  • Creamy gravy
  • Cinnamon and brown sugar (for breakfast)
  • Sautéed garlic, mushrooms, peppers, onions
  • Broccoli flowerets and cheese
  • Toasted peanuts or cashews
  • Black beans
  • Cilantro
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Tomato chunks
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soy sauce
  • Pesto sauce
  • Fresh spinach

Taking the add-ins one step further, create a recipe from a few add-ins. For each recipe, combine ingredients listed (remember to increase liquid for brown rice, see package above) bring to a boil, then add a cup of whatever raw rice you’d like to use. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes for white and 40 for brown):
Image result for coconut rice
  • Coconut Rice: 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 2 tbs chopped and shredded coconut, 2 tsp honey, 1/2 tsp salt and a pinch of allspice.

    Image result for ginger soy flavored brown rice
  • Curried Rice: 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 tsp curry powder, and 3 tbsp of dried currants.

  • Ginger-Soy Rice: 2 cups of water, 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp grated fresh ginger and 2 whole cloves.

  • Lemon Rice: 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 strips lemon zest and a pinch of nutmeg.

Check back weekly! I will be posting weekly recipes to help you make the best of your food storage ingredients!

Email me with discussion topics or recipe requests at