Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nourishing Healthy Halloween Traditions

"What do you do with all that candy that comes into your home?"

This is a question that I was recently asked and here is the solution that we have found works best for our family.

Trick-or-Treating is a tradition that is loved by children everywhere! What could be better than dressing up as your favorite super hero, cartoon character, or princess and having your neighbors give you candy?

We have chosen not to deprive our children of this night of over indulgence but to give them some restrictions. These restrictions come with a reward and they don't feel restricted. Let me explain:

After our trek around the neighborhood we sit down at the kitchen table and dump out the loot. At this point I set a timer for 20 minutes. Our children have 20 minutes to eat as much of the candy as possible. (Much of this time is used to sort and make decissions about what they want to eat). When the timer rings everyone stops eating and all the candy is placed in the center of the table. Our children then go to bed knowing that the GREAT PUMPKIN, you know the illusive character that Charlie Brown hopes to meet on Halloween night, will come and collect the candy and leave something in its place. This special gift from the GREAT PUMPKIN is for everyone to share, something you can do together as a family, because the candy was collected into one giant pile.

These are things that the GREAT PUMPKIN has left at our house before:

A giant pack of playdough
A new DVD
A set of Legos
Some new books
A board game

The "GREAT PUMPKIN" sorts through the candy saving some of the best peices for future rewards, and then throws the rest in the garbage. Some of you might be thinking that that would be such a waste, and that my neighbors spent good money on that candy. As I throw the candy away I say thanks to my neighbors for helping my children have a fun Halloween night, and that's the end!

The candy that I save goes into a box that I use as rewards for completing special assignments, accomplishing a goal, or for a picnic treat.

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Recipe: Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

One of my family's favorite recipes in SCRATCH is Tostados (pg. 179) They are so yummy. We usually serve this meal to invited guests. It always pleases any crowd! My husband teaches a two day workshop titled: The 7 Pillars of Wellness, one of those pillars is Nutrition. During the workshop I prepare and serve lunch to the participants. Tostados is always one of the meals because people just love the flavors. Recently at one of these workshops a participant enjoyed the meal so much he bought a copy of SCRATCH just because the recipe for Tostados was in it!

I created this recipe for Tomatillo Ranch to serve with Tostados. ENJOY!

Tomatillo Ranch

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

Sometimes when preparing a dish with an Asian flare the recipe calls for sauces that you can find at the grocery store prepared and bottled for your convenience. I have found that most of these prepared sauces are loaded with unwanted chemicals, sugars and preservatives.

I have already adapted several recipes for sauces and seasonings that you can find in that section of SCRATCH. Recently I was making my recipe for Thai Curry Chicken (pg. 178), that calls for Sweet Chili Sauce. What is Sweet Chili Sauce? It's one of those prepared and bottled for your convenience items that you can find in the Asian section of the grocery store. I used to buy the prepared sauce. Not any more! I have research the ingredients and created a recipe for Sweet Chili Sauce from SCRATCH. Download this recipe and add it to your "Seasonings, Sauces, and Salsa" section in your cookbook.

Sweet Chili Sauce