Category Archives: Frugal Food

Potato Mushroom PepperJack Quesadilla

These yummy sandwiches were delicious!

3 Ingredients stuffed inside a toasted tortilla.  How simple and easy is that?This is a great sandwich to let your kids make in the kitchen.

We sauted sliced mushrooms in olive oil until done.  Then removed them from the heat and added a little more olive oil and diced potatoes. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid and cook them until soft.  Then combine mushrooms and potatoes together.  Place a slice of pepper-jack cheese on a tortilla and add the potato mushroom filling.  Toast on each side.  Served with a side of Jalapeno Kettle chips or tortilla chips and salsa and this sandwich is a win win!  Even my teen boys enjoyed it and asked for seconds.

Optional: The only thing I might add next time to my sandwich is a slice of avocado and some spinach leaves or  I would like to have a slice of fresh from the garden tomato would be a great flavor combo with the cheese.

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Powdered Produce Has Made A Difference

Have you ever heard of powdered produce?

real love is real food

Powdered produce is basically fruits, berries, ancient grains, and veggies that have been juiced and dried and ground to a powder. Powdered produce has made a difference in my life.  Since we started adding them into our diet, our immune system has gotten stronger and I have saved money.

water content of food

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water and they spoil quickly after harvest.  Many are as much as 85% to 95% water.   Water activates enzymes that help digest the fruits and veggies and also cause the food to spoil quickly soon after harvest.  If you remove the water, you preserve the nutrients and deactivate the enzymes.  The enzymes are reactivated again once the dried produce is re-hydrated.   It is a lot cheaper to buy produce that has been dried vs fresh, because once the water is removed, it takes up very little space, and has a long shelf life maintaining all its phyto-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

powdered produce

Having the raw nutrient dense produce in powdered form makes it easy to add them to your regular diet and boost your needed fruits and veggies that we all try so hard to get in every day. I am saving money because I don’t have to throw anything away,  it doesn’t spoil.


With the addition of powdered produce to our diet, I can add a lot of additional fruits and veggies for pennies a day.  For example, by taking two berry + two veggie + two fruit capsules, I am eating the equivalent of over 30+ plants.   If I bought all those foods fresh at the store, it might cost me over $100 for the week to buy them fresh, and I might have some that spoils.

whats in JP capsules

By adding all these amazing healthy powdered foods to my diet, I can save a huge amount of money over buying all of them fresh.  For example if I just want fruits and veggies powders it will cost me about $10 a week, or I can also add in the berry powders too for another $6 a week. That is over 30 fruits, veggies, and berries a day for about $2.30 a day or about $16 a week.   That is a huge savings!   I buy only the fresh fruits and veggies we need now in season, and then add in these wonderful powders and I am money ahead.


This is all natural food.  Each plant’s produce is fresh picked at the peak of ripeness.  Here are some videos to tell you more about the farms that grow these amazing foods and how this process is done.

It is harvested from organic and all natural farms, then right after harvest is juiced and dried at a low temperature to preserve all the nutrients and packaged for convenience.


Powdered produce has made a difference in my life!  My family and I have been using the powdered produce from Juice Plus+ for a whole year now.

kids love it

The convenience and savings of eating this way is amazing.  It is really easy to take the capsules or the chewables, and some days I substitute an entire meal with the powdered shake mix for smoothies too.

Sunrise Shake

The complete food shake mix is so easy to use.  I make all kinds of delicious shakes and smoothies for my family.  It is made with pure whole foods without any preservatives, fillers, or artificial ingredients.   It comes in two flavors: French Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate.


I always feel like I am eating a delicious desert like a DQ blizzard or a Wendy’s frosty when I eat them because they taste like ice cream.  But with the Complete shake powder, I am avoiding all of the artificial ingredients those restaurants put into their products.   And it is so easy to make. Just use 1 scoop (or a 1/2 scoop if you want less) of powder to one cup of any liquid of your choice and blend.  It comes out creamy and smooth.


You can get fancy if you wish and add in more fruits and veggies or ice cubes or even coffee and top with whip cream for all kinds of tasty treats for about $1.85 per serving.  That is a complete meal with all the macro nutrients and micro nutrients of 20+ plant foods that feed your body for less than a cup of coffee.  You just can’t buy good food at these kinds of prices anywhere and you will be able to do it yourself and it will taste better and nourish your body at the same time.


The biggest change we have seen in our life so far, in addition to savings in our food budget, is our health and wellness budget.  We have been healthy for an entire year, without even 1 day of sickness since we started.  No sickness for 8 people living together in our home.  That is amazing!   This produce is boosting our immune system.

Benefits of Juice Plus

Also my husband used to get a gout flare up every few months before adding this to our diet. We are so grateful that he has not had even one episode of gout (a form of arthritis) in a whole year.  Without a doubt it has reduced the inflammation in his body that was causing it, and he has been pain free.

kids eat free

Also Kids can be enrolled in the Children’s Health Study and get chewables or capsules for free when their parent or grandparent places an order.


The study sends out a quick survey once every four months with a few questions to inquire what improvements you have seen from using the products.

After many years of learning about nutrition, and previously owning a healthy foods store too, I wish I had known then what I know now about this wonderful product.  You can’t get it in local stores.  It is only sold person to person and online.  That way the costs are kept as low as possible.   I believe in it so much that I opened my own business to sell it so all of my friends and family can have access to these wonderful food products.  It is a not a vitamin or supplement.  This is simple pure food.

This is real whole food and has a food label, because it is FOOD!  

Juice Plus is concentrated pure food nutrition from the purest fruits, vegetables, berries and ancient grains grown on family farms.  It is gmo free, and gluten free too.

real medicine

There are a lot of great doctors who are getting behind these true food products because they know their patients are getting healthier and recovering faster and seeing lasting changes and improved bio markers and labs.  If you want to get your doctor to join you on this journey, a great way is to have your blood drawn and then four or five months later after using these great foods daily, have your blood drawn again.  Most doctors see huge improvements in their patient’s lab work.   Here are some videos where doctors share what they have seen using Juice Plus powdered produce in their medical practice and at home.

Powdered produce is a great cost saving way to add more nutrition with real whole foods into your family’s diet and save money at the grocery store and the doctor’s office too.  The powdered produce comes in capsules, chewables (free for kids),  shake & smoothie powders, and food bars.

Juice Plus Products

Real and delicious wholefood food grown on family farms.   Juiced, powdered, and packaged by Juice Plus+

I offer these food products in my online store to share it with friends and family and anyone who would like to add this to their daily routine to improve their health with powdered produce. I am glad to host healthy living workshops and talk one on one to share more information with you about using these wonderful foods too.  Let me know if you would like more information.

Be blessed!



Disclaimer:  I am not a medical doctor and I do not give medical advice. I am sharing about my experience using this whole food product and how it has impacted me and my family.  Please consult your medical practitioner before making changes in your lifestyle to create a plan that is right for your particular situation.  

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Garden Study Update for May

The garden is doing very well during this month of May.  The weather has been beautiful here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

HSV Garden Challenge

We are participating in a Garden Challenge at the Homeschool Village.  The first month over 130 families joined in, and last month 100 families joined in.  Be sure to stop over and read their wonderful stories and gain more insight into gardening with your family.

We are also doing our own Garden Unit Study to go along with the Garden Challenge.  Our unit study learning will continue until the final harvest and the garden dies out later in the fall.

This month the children and I have continued to monitor the growth and health of the plants. The children remain motivated, and also continue to take responsibility in watering the plants each week.

We have had lots of sunshine and mid 80’s weather for most of the month, with a few scattered showers and two or three major storms.   The children enjoyed sitting on the porch and watching the storms as they came through.  A few of the storms produced tornadic weather, and a few miles from the house after this picture was taken, a tornado was spotted.

The ground is fairly dry over all, so the garden has needed water about once or twice a week.   Though there were days the younger children gave several of the plants water every day.

My daughter loves to give the plants a drink with a water bottle.  You can read more about how she enjoys watering the plants HERE.

We had a major storm about two weeks ago, that produced severe winds, heavy rain, and hail.

We had marble to a little under golf ball size hail, and I was really concerned about the damage it would do to the garden, as well as the house and vehicles.

I was hit on the arm, and the foot, by these flying torpedoes of ice when taking a picture.  It was very painful.

But just a few days after the hail storm, we reaped our first harvest from our garden beds.

We have harvested strawberries, spinach, green onions, leaf lettuce, and several herbs from the garden so far.

I have also seen some green cherry tomatoes on one of the plants too.  So far, none of the other vegetable plants have bloomed yet.

Here is a lovely plate of spinach, lettuce, strawberries, parsley, oregano, and the next photo is green onions from our garden.   I am putting all these ingredients and more together to make a special lunch today.

Read HERE to see what an awesome nutrient dense lunch these wonderful ingredients made.

We have continued to learn from our Garden Adventure Science Kit.  This kit is well worth the investment for your garden study. 

It comes with 16 experiments, a teachers guide, and student workbook, and all the equipment you need to do the experiments.  It also has additional suggestions for further study.

We have also continued to learn with our Garden Printables.    You can read about our Garden Unit Study components including the printables we are using HERE.

I have stored everything in our garden unit (except the garden and the live plants growing in the window sill) in this big tote.  It makes it easy to put the garden unit away at the end of the day.

The children have caught and observed various garden insects this month, such as worms, lady bugs, roly poly, ants, slugs, centipedes, caterpillars, spiders, and from a distance-bees.  We haven’t seen any butterflies yet, but that will come soon.  We plan to do a butterfly unit study yet this summer too.  We got some wonderful free butterfly resources a few weeks ago.  I will write about it soon.

The kids have also enjoyed watching a window sill garden grow.

We purchased these little greenhouse seed starter kits for $1 at the local Dollar store.  We added our own potting soil and the seeds that came with the kits.

I also recycled some disposable bakery trays with lids from the grocery store.  These make wonderful greenhouses to start your seeds in.  We added some potting soil and romaine lettuce seeds to the recycled tray.

This picture was taken two weeks ago and the plants were doing well.  They had grown so big we had to remove the roof of the green houses to let them have more space.

I will plan to write more in the days and weeks to come about each individual activity we did, in case you would like to follow along or repeat the Garden Unit Study with your own kids.

A garden is a fun adventure at any age!

How is your garden growing?  Leave us a comment, thanks!!!


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Science Sunday
No Time For Flash Cards
ABC and 123
The Garden Challenge




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Have you heard of kefir?

If you like yogurt, you are going to love kefir! 

The product resembles a runny yogurt, but is made with a completely different culture.

It tastes similar to a slightly carbonated yogurt. 

You can buy kefir pre-made in stores, or you can make it yourself.  In stores you will find plain, and many wonderful flavors like raspberry, peach, vanilla, straberry, etc.  Prices usually range from $4 to $6 a quart.

Several brands are easy to locate in stores and taste wonderful:


My favorite brand is the Helios.  It just tastes great, and I love to drink it straight from the bottle as soon as I pick up some from the store.  If you are out grocery shopping, and get really hungry and thirsty, this is a perfect snack.  So much better for you than a soda pop.  Refreshing and rejuvinating! 

I used to sell this product in my healthy foods store Weiser Farms Natural Country Store.  I stocked four flavors on our shelves, vanilla, plain, raspberry, and strawberry.  I couldn’t hardly keep it in stock.   So many of our customers knew it was a nourishing nutrient dense food.  Many of our customers were dealing with severe health issues, and they used this product in daily smoothies to help them recover and get their health back on track.

Nourishing Kefir Smoothie

1 cup kefir plain or flavored  (good source of vitamin D, and various probiotics that aid in digestion and help the body to make vitamins such as vitamin B in the digestive tract)
1 cup coconut milk ( in the can, great for lauric acid and many other nutrients)
1 banana  (good source of potasium and other nutrients)
1 cup frozen blueberries or berry blend. (source of antioxidents, immune boosting nutrients and vitamins such as C and betta carrotene precurser to vitamin A)
1 tablespoon whey powder from grass fed cows or goats (this contains complete amino acids for building up the body’s tissues)
1 tablespoon flax oil (good source of omega oils)
1 tablespoon expeller pressed wheat germ oil (good source of natural vitamin E)

Blend until smooth.  Drink up!

Some folks also included raw egg yolks from free range chickens.  Also could include a pealed apple to increase sweetness if needed, or use a natural sweetener such as sucanat, evaporated cane juice, maple syrup, or stevia.  We prefer to use the apple.

Kefir is so delicious and nutritious.

Nutritional Information About Kefir

This is a quote from Dr. Mercola’s website on kefir nutrition:

“The exceptional nutritional content of Kefir offers a wealth of healthy benefits to people in every type of condition. More than just beneficial bacteria, Kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help your body with its natural healing powers and maintenance functions.

The complete proteins in Kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body.

Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in Kefir, is well-known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because it also offers loads of calcium and magnesium — both of which are critical for a healthy nervous system — Kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.

Rich in vitamin B12, B1, and vitamin K, Kefir is an excellent source of biotin, a B vitamin which aids the body’s absorption of other B vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The many advantages of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the normal function of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping promote healthy looking skin, boosting energy and promoting longevity. Kefir’s ample supply of phosphorus — the second most abundant mineral in our bodies — helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.”

Kefir Culture

You can make Kefir at home for pennies yourself.  Just aquire milk and kefir culture.  Very simple!

You can buy the culture in active live cluster form, or active dehydrated live powdered form. 

The active live culture ‘grains” will give you the ability to “re-make the product” everyday from re-using the strained culture “grains” or clusters. 

Making kefir from the dry powdered method, you will need to buy a packet of powedered culture each time you want to make it.  It has most but not all the benefits of using the live grains or clusters.  But is still a very nutritious drink, and even easier to make.

Here is a picture of live kefir “grains” in the bottom of a mason jar.

Kefir grains will culture fresh milk or pasturized milk.

I prefer to use Fresh Grade A Raw Milk when making kefir.  It has more available nutrients to feed the culture and to feed me.   I buy my raw milk from a local farmer in South Carolina.  You can read more about it here.

Kefir is so easy to make.  Much easier than making yogurt in my opinion, as there is no heating involved.  It incubates on its own at room temperature right on the kitchen counter.

How To Make Kefir

Here is the method I use to make kefir, using the live “grains” or clusters:

Into a clean bowl, strain the kefir.  This lets you gently seperate the finished kefir liquid from the culture “grains”.

Into another clean bowl, rinse the kefir “grains” or clusters with a cup or so of fresh grade A raw milk.  I like to rinse them two or three times, very gently so as not to break the clusters.

Using a plastic or wooden spoon, scoop the grains out of the strainer and place them into a clean quart size jar.

Add Fresh Grade A Raw Milk.  I fill my jar 3/4 full.  How much milk you use depends on how many grains you have in your jar.  I use about two tablespoons of grains.

Cover jar with a coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.

Leave the jar on the counter at room temperature for 12 to 48 hours.  Most people leave it for about 24 hours.  But it is fun to experiement, and I like the less tart kefir (12-24 hours) for drinking, and the more tart (24-48 hours) kefir for baking and making deserts.     I have also noticed that my “grains” grow larger and double in quantity faster, if I give them a little longer incubation times.  This works wonderfully if you plan to give away your extra “grains” to friends and family.

Repeat this process every 12 hours to 48 hours, and refridgerate any unused kefir product, until ready to use.  It keeps a very long time in the refridgerator.  I have been in situations where I made a huge surplus and put up several jars in refridgerator,  and it has kept perfectly over six months or more.

I have also put my cultures to sleep in the refridgerator, such as when I have gone on vacation, or been pregnant and had no desire for anything for a while.  Put the cultures in a fresh jar of raw milk in the refridgerator and they will slowly go to sleep.  When you are ready to wake them up, set the jar back out on the counter for 12 to 24 hours.  Then repeat the steps to make kefir.  They will wake back up and go back to work.

How To Use Kefir

Drink IT!!!

Drink it straight of flavor it with sweetner and fruit juice.

Kefir is great in smoothies too.  By adding fruit, it tames the tartness and even children beg for more.

You can strain the kefir in a cheese cloth or cheese strainer for several hours and make kefir cheese, similar to cream cheese or yogurt cheese.  It is a soft spreadable cheese.

I love making kefir frosting for cinamon rolls and kefir glaze for bunt cakes.  Just add powdered sugar to the kefir until you have a nice glaze for icing your rolls.  You can flavor it with vanilla extract, almond extract, or a teaspoon of orange juice too, to vary the flavor for different uses. 

When adding kefir to your bread, muffin, cake, and pancake recipes, you get a much fluffier product.  It causes the yeast in the bread recipe to be extra active too.  So be prepared for a high rise!

Kefir give chocolate products a wonderful flavor.

Use kefir in place of any recipe that calls for buttermilk, milk, yogurt, etc.  Use kefir cheese in any recipe that calls for cream cheese, and some that call for sour cream.  It is great for replacing sour cream in making savory dips too. 

Want to learn more?

I first learned about Kefir over 10 years ago from an Amish friend.  We lived in Indiana and I met an Amish woman very different from most in their community.  She made all sorts of fermented drinks and she loaned me her cookbook called Nourishing Traditions through the Weston Price Foundation.  She also gave me several magazines also written by the Weston Price Foundation.   Reading this material changed my life for the better, and I know it will change yours for the better too.  This is a true treasure chest full of real people, real food, and real truth about health and nutrition. 

Articles and more on the Weston A Price Foundation website.

Books that had a huge impact on my understanding of health and nutrition are:
Restoring Your Gut by Jordan Rubin MD
What The Bible Says About Healthy Living by Rex Russel MD
Know Your Fats by Dr. Mary Enig
Eat Fat Loose Fat by Dr. Mary Enig
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Where To Buy

Where to buy healthy books and kefir “grains” or live culture clusters?

Where to buy kefir culture powder?

Body Ecology

Dr. Mercola

Where to buy whey powder from grass fed animals for making smoothies?

Dr. Mercola  whey from grass fed cows

Garden Of Life  whey from pastured goats

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Pepperoni Pizza With Kids In The Kitchen

Whats Cooking This Week With Kids In The Kitchen?

As part of our Letter Of The Week “P” 
                                                                        the kids made Pepperoni Pizza for Sunday lunch.


Cost Of Ingredients

I did not have time to make a homemade crust, so the next best thing is a pre-made store bought crust.
These come in packs of two for $4.    I purchased a large 2 lb package of cheese $8, a package of pepperoni $4, two packages of pizza crusts $8, and used leftover spaghetti sauce.  This was enough ingredients for 4 pepperoni pizzas. 

Each pepperoni pizza cost approximately $5 to make and this would be cheaper with homemade crust rather than store bought.  It would have cost $4 a pizza to leave out the pepperoni and make them with just cheese, or if we had summer garden produce to add on for free.  We made two pizzas today and saved the rest of the purchased ingredients to make two more pizzas for another day.

Make You Pizza

Place your crust on a pizza pan, or cookie sheet.  (Note to self: Someday, I would like to replace my pizza stone that broke, or at least have some nice pizza pans.  For now, cookie sheets will have to do).

For each pizza, use 3 to 6 tablespoons of spaghetti or pizza sauce according to your taste. 

Have the children count the number of spoons of sauce they use, and then spread the sauce evenly across the crust.

Sprinkle approximately 1/4 pound of shredded mozzarella cheese around on each pizza.

Add your pepperoni slices.

It is great when older and younger kids can work together.

Here, brother (age 6) is working on one pizza, while older brother (age 8) is helping younger sister (age 3) with another pizza, by checking to see that all the crust is covered.

These guys are very pleased and confident their pizzas will turn out great!

Bake Your Pizza

Bake your pizza in a preheated oven.  If using a store bought thin crust, bake pizzas for 10 minutes at 415 degrees.  Always use caution around a stove and have an adult help with putting items in or out of the oven.

While the pizza is baking, have the children help set the table.  When the pizza is done, remove from oven and prepare for cutting and serving.   Be sure it is not too hot when serving it to the kids.

Eat Your Pizza

Don’t they look hungry?

To make it extra yummy, sit on Daddy’s lap while eating.


How do your kids like their pizza?

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Join our Kids Making Pizza Link Up and share in the pizza making fun!

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Hot Chocolate With Kids In The Kitchen

With all the snow at our house, and soooo many outdoor adventures in the snow, we need warm mugs of chocolaty goodness to keep us energized, and re-warm our cold bodies. 

My kindergartner and second grader are becoming expert

They know each step by heart.

This is a fun, and frugal, yummy treat! 

It is a simple recipe to do with kids in the kitchen.  Kids can plan, prep, sort, measure, clean-up, and double or divide the recipe in half.  Depending on their readiness they can help at the stove too.  Please remember to always provide supervision when working with children near a stove.  This is a good exercise for teaching about safety and equipping your kids with life skills too. 

The kids love to eat what they helped make in the kitchen.

Here is our recipe.  We serve it in coffee mugs.  This recipe makes 8 servings. 

2 quarts milk=$2    Raw milk preferably.  We get ours from a dairy in South Carolina for $4 a gallon.  You can read about it here .

1/2 cup cocoa powder = $ .40

1 cup sucanat sugar $ .70 

We buy our sucanat (sugar cane natural) in bulk through Weiser Natural Foods.  You can read how we buy and store bulk sucanat here .

Sucanat is natural sugar with all the nutrients (vitamins and minerals) still intact.   It is a whole food with a wide spectrum of nutrients.  It has a cocoa brown color and really enhances the flavor, nutrition, and color of hot chocolate.  It is actually sweeter in taste than refined sugar and you don’t have to use as much.  It is available at local health food stores, though you save a huge amount when you buy it in bulk.

Whisk all of the ingredients in a pan over medium heat till warm.  Remove pan from the heat and don’t overheat.  The benefits of live enzymes and probiotics when using raw milk will be lost if you overheat it.  Plus no one, especially kids, can not drink it if it is too hot.  So don’t overheat it.

Total cost per serving = $3.10 divided by 8 = $.39 each


p.s.  Marshmallows or whip cream are optional !!!

p.s.s.  I usually take any leftovers and add dad’s leftover coffee for a delicious chocolate coffee for mom.  A Mocha Latte for $.39 made with coffee that was leftover and doomed to be thrown out, priceless joy for mom! Starbucks can’t beat that.


Warning though, usually there are no leftovers, and I have to make a second batch, so mom can get her chocolate fix too.

What’s your favorite hot chocolate recipe?

This post will be linked up with

No Time For Flash Cards

Raising Homemakers

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