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Recipe: Brussel Sprouts Two Ways

I can’t wait to plant the garden. For the last few years we have grown brussel sprouts. We usually plant about 3 of them. Not that we get a lot of meals out of those plants. They never get as big as the ones you buy in the store, but they surely taste so much better. The disappointment was huge when we discovered last year that some type of aphid attacked our crop at the end of the growing season and we couldn’t eat them. I hope we can avoid this type of disaster this year.

They are such an interesting plant to watch growing. Our kids – like most kids – didn’t care much for brussel sprouts. Only when we started growing them in our garden did they learn to appreciate them. One year my son got so intrigued by the harvesting process. It was the first time that he actually said at dinner time that they were quite tasty.

I recall that I never liked eating brussel sprouts as a child either. My mother used to cook them in a white sauce. First she would boil the “little cabbages” in water until tender. Then she’d make a rue with butter and flour. She used a few cups of the water the the cabbages had boiled in to make the sauce. Add a touch of salt, pepper, and a some freshly grated nutmeg. Finish it off with a few drops of lemon juice.  Done. Now this is the version that was served to me as a child. I did not appreciate it until I moved away from home. Now I make it for my kids and they like it a lot.

But recently I stumbled upon a healthier version. It’s so simple it blows your mind.

All you have to do is put the cleaned brussel sprouts in a bowl and sprinkle some salt and freshly grated pepper on top. Drizzle some olive oil over it and shake them around in the bowl. Then dump the bowl out on a cookie sheet. Bake your brussel sprouts in preheated oven at 4oo degrees for about 30-40 minutes. You must shake the cookie sheet every 7-9 minutes so the sprouts get browned evenly.

Oh my gosh. They taste so good! While cooking them I picked the lose leaves off the cookie sheet and snacked on them. Sort of like a cabbage chip. Unfortunately the kids prefer my mother’s German version in the white sauce….
Ulla Seckler is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.

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Recipes: Coconut Porridge

Recently my family has started doing a bit of a dietary cleanse.  We took, amongst other things, milk, fruit, and sugar out of our diet which left us with a bit of a breakfast quandary.  How can we make porridge without fruit?  Once our taste buds adjusted to the lack of sugar we fell in love with this simple protein enhanced porridge.

We generally allow ½ a cup of dry porridge oats per person giving our toddler a bit less, and us a tad more so adjust this recipe as needed.

This recipe is for 4 people

2 cups of porridge oats

2 cups of water

2 cups of soy milk

¼ cup of desiccated coconut (sugar free)

1/8 cup creamed coconut grated

Seeds (optional)

Rice milk for topping (optional)


Mix all ingredients into a saucepan and cook on medium low for 15 minutes or until the porridge is the consistency you enjoy.  The creamed coconut will have melted into the porridge and the wonderful smell should fill your kitchen. Along with the dessicated coconut, using soy milk instead of water gives the porridge a wonderful creamy flavor.  Once served in a bowl, add seeds and rice milk. We use hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and golden linseed. It is so good and actually does keep me going until lunch!


Written by Rachel from Oast.  A Waldorf doll maker from Canada living in the rolling hills of the English countryside with her daughter, her gestating son and her awesome husband. She also writes at her blog here.

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Delicious Fish Tacos

Do you miss those days when your kids where little and ate ANYTHING you put on their plates? Well, I do. I am not quite certain what happened. I distinctly remember that my children were really adventurous as toddlers and loved trying new foods. There was not a food they totally rejected or refused to eat.

Sadly this has changed as we moved into the preteen and teen years. My son has decided that mortal enemy number one is fish. But as we all know: fish is healthy and doctors recommend we eat it twice a week because of the Omega-3s. Luckily I found one recipe that even the fish-hater in our household loves to eat: Fish Tacos. As an added benefit they are very easy to make and cleaning up your kitchen won’t take long either.


1 pound of white fish (Tilapia or Catfish)

4 teaspoons  olive or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

half a head of red cabbage, very thinly sliced, stem removed

juice of a lime

4 ounces of feta cheese sliced or crumbled

1 jalapeno sliced thinly

1- 2 Avocados

fresh cilantro

pepper and salt to taste

12-16 corn tortillas

How to make it:

1. Slice the fish into bite sized pieces and marinate with 2 teaspoons of oil, cumin, and coriander, sprinkling of salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. Whisk the lime juice with the rest of the oil and some salt and pepper. Add the shredded cabbage and toss like a salad.

3. Put all the other toppings (feta, cilantro, jalapeno, avocado) into little bowls and arrange on the table – in the center where everybody can reach them.

4. Put a little bit of vegetable oil in a sauteing pan and cook the fish in it. I like to have a bit of a golden crust on mine and cook it through. Takes about 5-7 minutes depending on the size of your pieces of fish.

5. Warm the tortillas and bring them and the fish to table.

Now everybody can assemble their favorite combination of ingredients. My kids really love to pile feta cheese and cabbage on.  Where did that fish go? Oh, I can hardly taste it but it’s somewhere in there. I love fish tacos. Even our fish-hater will consume 5 or 6 of these tacos without complaint…

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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Delicious Spinach-Lamb-Curry

Our family likes to sit down on a weekend and discuss what we are going to cook during the week. This way each family member can have a say in it. We can also figure out what nights will be tough because the children have an activity (dance class or sports practice).  Once we figured out what dishes we  will cook we usually go shopping together.  Some people have accused us of being boring and a tad too organized. But it sure makes life so much easier and takes a lot of  stress out of cooking when you know what’s for dinner. It also prevents our family from spending money on unhealthy fast food or splurging on a restaurant visit that we can’t afford.

My husband and I both enjoy cooking. We alternate the chore and often cook together. As the kids are getting older we try to include them as much as we can. I think it’s important that children learn how to cook and don’t just sit by the sidelines waiting for dinner to be served. After all cooking is fun and a life skill they will need once they move away from home.

This weekend we cooked this delicious curry-lamb dish together as a family. We love this dish yet we had not made this meal for a very long time. If you want to know why you can read on my blog…


2 pounds of lamb shoulder (organic if you can afford it)

4 Tablespoons oil

1 Tablespoon Curry

2 Tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken broth

125 ml cream

500 g fresh leaves of spinach

1 large oinion diced

pepper and salt to taste

lemon juice to taste


How to make it:

1. Remove all the large fatty parts and silver skin of the meat. Cut meat into bite sized pieces. Heat the oil and brown the meat on all sides. Be patient when doing this. It’s key to making this dish a success! Since I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to cooking meat I prefer to leave this job to the man.

2. Dust the meat with curry powder and flour. Add the chicken broth and cream. Let the meat simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Wash the spinach and take out all the bruised leaves and tough stems. My daughter likes to do this job. Rip or chop the leaves (if they are very large) into smaller pieces. Meanwhile I will chop the onions and our son likes to get the freshly squeezed lemon juice ready. Saute the diced onions in oil and add spinach to the pot. Wilt the spinach together with the onions. This takes about 10 minutes or so. You can do it while the meat is simmering.

4. Add the spinach with the onions to the meat. Add lemon juice, pepper, and salt to taste.

We like to serve this meal over rice. You can also eat it as a stew in a bowl with some bread on the side.

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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Kale Crisps


this very long summer … with all the rain and intervening sunshine… has grown a lush garden…



and the abundance of hearty growing kale is turned into a healthy snack …

the leaves are torn into manageable mouth-sized pieces while the thick stalks can be saved for another meal. Wash and dry the kale and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil . Sprinkle with sea salt  and toss until evenly dressed .

Place on an baking sheet.  Bake In a  preheated oven of 200 F for 30 to 40 minutes and gently turn leaves over if needed once  …


They are ready to eat ….I lost track of time (now was I busy in the workshop?) … so the batch above were crisp, crisp kale, but definitely tasty….. well so that is all.hope you enjoy making and eating them  ….let me know!

reprinted from original post by prettydreamer  from “whither will i wander”


prettdreamer Hello, I am Pamela (aka Prettydreamer).   I am mama to a lovely prettydreamer  of my own.  I am still in love toys,  storybooks and fairy tales of all kind.  In love with trees, rocks, maps and unknown places. And love stumbling upon ideas turned upside-down, folk hands  and honest traditions that run deep. and all the other friendly playful things that function or are simply made to bring joy ….

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Kirsch-Streuselkuchen – German Cherry-Crumbcake

Here is a secret: My husband is a 3-time Weld County Pie Champion blue ribbon winner. I am not! I don’t do pies. It’s not a German thing. In fact, when we first started dating, we always argued about the usage of the word cake and pie. I’d call his pie a cake, and he ‘d be very offended. “It’s not a cake! This is a P-I-E! A cake is something different,” he woud yell in frustration. Yet the ladies at the fair would ask every year upon turning in the pie: Did he really make that pie?” They could not believe that a guy could make better pies than the old blue haired ladies…

Well I am not a champion pie maker. And I have never won any of the baked goods competitions at the Weld County Fair. It’s just too intimidating with a husband like mine…But here is a really great recipe for an amazing German style cake!

You can make it with sour cherries or any other kind of tart fruit ( apples, red currents, any berries really, or apricots)

Ingredients for the batter:

1 stick unsalted butter
3 eggs
125 grams sugar
vanilla (powder or liquid version)
200 grams flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt

for the topping
1.5 cups sour pitted cherries

for the crumbs:
a little over half a stick of unsalted butter
75 grams sugar
150 grams flour

1.cream the butter with sugar, add the three eggs incorporating one egg at a time mixing it for about a minute, add vanilla flavoring 

2. mix flour, baking powder, and salt together.
3. add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients one tablespoon at a time.
4. butter a sprinform
5. spread the batter in the springform evenly
6. put the cherries or other fruit on top and spread it evenly

Cake before I put it in the oven

 Make crumbs:

1.cut the cold butter into a small bowl
2.add the flour and sugar to it
3.gently work the flour and sugar with your fingers into the butter
Remember: you are not trying to make dough here! Just a lumpy mixture to spread over your cake!

Bake for about one hour at 375 Fahrenheit in preheated oven. Check with a toothpick for doneness…

Last piece…the cake disappeared before I could take a picture of the whole thing…=)

This cake is really a piece of cake to make! I have been doing it since I was a young child in Germany! So don’t be afraid to try it and let me know how your’s turned out.

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Pumpkin Spice Bread—Heck, Veggie Spice Bread!

We are primal in our house, meaning that we don’t eat grains of any kind, and we try to keep our foods as whole as possible. It’s hard for the kids though who tend to be snackers and grazers, and with a busy family schedule we need some “to go” foods.

This recipe is one that I make all the time. It’s easy, quick and I can use pumpkin, sweet potato or zucchini, what ever I have on hand.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp pumpkin spice blend or spice

6 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven 350. Combine dry ingredients and mix. In bigger bowl combine wet ingredients and blend well. Mix all together. Grease pan with coconut oil, and bake 25-30 min, or until done.

Hope you enjoy making this easy recipe with your kids!
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Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

This lovely recipe was brought to us by Stephanie of Elemental Handcrafts.

Stephanie writes:

These little sweeties were created as an alternative to the traditional candy found at an Easter egg hunt we were attending. With a child who has food allergies, I’m always searching for, finding and changing recipes so they will suit our needs. These were quite the decadent dessert and took no time to make.


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 5-6 T dark cocoa powder (Hershey’s makes one)
  • dash sea salt
  • 3-4 T agave nectar or other liquid sweetener (to taste)
  • almond butter or other nut or seed butter

Melt 1/4 cup coconut oil in a pan for a moment or two to liquefy. Remove from heat. Whisk in half of your cocoa, a dash of salt and a couple tablespoons of agave or other sweetener, until you are happy with the taste. Mixture should be syrupy. Spoon about a teaspoon of the mixture into mini baking cups and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once set, remove from freezer and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon almond butter into each cup.

Make the coconut oil mixture again with the remaining ingredients and spoon over the top of the almond butter to fill the cup almost to the top. Refrigerate until set and serve.

Heaven in a mini cupcake paper!

Please, don’t forget to visit Stephanie’s lovely Etsystore!

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Wild Greens Leaf Patties: A Recipe from Israel

Today I bring to you this a lovely recipe from Israel. It was sent to me by NaturalKids Team member Dria Peterson. I hope you are as excited as I was when I looked at this neat recipe for the first time. Just looking at the photos makes me want to visit the beautiful country where Dria resides…


Green Leaf Patties (by Dria Peterson)

Have you ever thought to give the weeds around you a second look? Fact is that many of the plants that are considered a nuisance are actually edible.

Think about it – instead of paying good money for organic greens, or laboring hard to grow them in your garden, you can just go outside and pick healthy iron rich greens for free! Now isn’t that a great gift from nature!!

Around where I live (in the hills of Galilee in Israel) spring is out in all its luscious leaves. In many an Olive grove you can see women bent over foraging and collecting wild green leaves to make cooked salads, stuffed pastries and other yummy food. Traditionally, these were special dishes available for only a short time a year, before summer sets in and dries everything up. Nowadays many people pick extra greens and freeze them for year round use.

The recipe I bring you here is traditionally made with the green leaves of a plant called Hubeza (Latin: Malva) which is a type of Mallow. In spring time my daughters love to go out and collect Hubeza leaves and help me make this seasonal delicacy.

But don’t worry; these patties can be made with any kind of greens, wild gathered greens or cultivated greens such as Spinch, Chards, Etc. You can use one type of greens or mix a few kinds together

Of course, I don’t know which wild plants are edible where you live. Around my house I can find wild Spinach, Stinging Nettles, wild lettuce, wild garlic, wild mustard, and types of alfalfa, Wild Chicory, Thistles, Dandelions and many more plants. I am familiar with the poisonous plants around where I live and know which ones to avoid (They are not many, by the way). If you are unsure, you can always take a small bite and see how the plant feels in your mouth. If it stings your tongue or the back of your throat don’t eat it (this test is not a good way to determine if mushrooms are edible or not!).

I took a look in some of my books to see what edible plants you might look for in North America and UK: Chickweed, Cleavers, Clovers, Dandelion, Dock, Goosefoot (Lambs quarters) and Nettles.

There are many books about “Edible Wild Plants” out there, if you wish to study the subject thoroughly before popping anything into your mouth.

After this long introduction, here is the recipe:


• A huge bag of leaves. It’s kind of difficult to give an amount. I would say that you will need leaves that consume a space of at least 6 liters or one and a half gallons. This amount will produce enough patties for a family of five. Remember that after steaming, the leaves shrink down to a fifth of the volume they were when fresh.

• 3-4 eggs

• 1-2 cups of bread crumbs – I use whole wheat herb bread from my mother’s bakery. I simply chop it up in the food processor till I have crumbs.

• 1/2 teaspoon of black or white pepper

• 1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin (optional).


Wash the leaves.

Decide which greens you want to steam. Leaves that are thick and coarse are better steamed first to get them a little softer. You can mix steamed and raw greens, too.

Place the greens to be steamed in a large pan with 2 cups of water. Cover the lid and cook for 10 minutes.

In the meanwhile, chop the bread in the food processor.

When the leaves have wilted and softened, pour them into a colander, and strain. Squash them with a wooden spoon to get most of the water out.

Pour the lump of cooked greens onto a cutting board, and chop coarsely 6-7 times.

If you are using raw greens, chop them to bite size pieces.

Put the chopped leaves with the bread crumbs, eggs, pepper and cumin in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

Warm 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. (You can use a different kind of oil if you prefer). The flame needn’t be too high, not to burn the oil. Form palm sized patties with your hands and place in the skillet.

Note: if you do not want to fry, you can bake the patties in the oven – make the patties and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Brush with oil. Bake for about 20 minutes in medium heat and flip over for another 5 minutes.

In this photo you can see a mixture of cooked and raw greens. Patties that are made only of cooked greens will look a little different.

Fry the patties a few minutes, and flip over when the patty is getting golden brown.

Serve with a few drops of lemon on each patty. Bon appetite!

I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit to Dria’s kitchen and country as much as I did! Please, visit her beautiful Etsyshop here. I am sure you’ll find her store just a lovely as her cooking.

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Delicious Upcycled Cake Recipe: Rotweinkuchen

I am sorry but this recipe is not chock-full of natural or healthy ingredients. In fact, everything in it is probably quite bad for you. Isn’t that the problem with a lot of good food to begin with? But life is tough at times and we must indulge ourselves once in a while…=)

Are you a fan of dark chocolate? Love the taste of red wine? I love both, but have found that, as I am getting older, I am prone to bad headaches caused by red wine. The only way I can consume it these days is in cooked or baked fashion. Luckily, I have a recipe combining these two wonderful flavors into one amazing dessert.

When asked what birthday cake to make for friends or a family member, they will always shout: Rotweinkuchen (translation: Red Wine Cake)!

This recipe was given to me by a friend in college many years ago. So, thank you, Nanette! I will always fondly remember those afternoons hanging out together in your Berlin kitchen and baking this delicious cakes.


250 g butter
250 g sugar
4 eggs
1 packet Vanilla sugar, or if you can’t find it in grocery store some vanilla flavoring
250 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking cocoa
125 g dark chocolate chips chopped into smaller pieces
1 scant cup of red wine

(Here is a conversion calculator for baking, should you need it.)


1. Cut up butter in small pieces and cream it together with the sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

2. Using a hand mixer, incorporate the eggs one egg at a time, blending for about a minute per egg.

3. Mix together the remaining dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon.

4. Incorporate dry ingredients into the egg butter mix adding a little at a time.

5. Add chopped chocolate chips.

6. Mix in the cup of red wine.

Bake in well-greased Bundt pan or loaf pan in preheated oven at 375 Fahrenheit or 180. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

No reason to polish off the rest of the red wine after a dinner party! Tell your guests you are up-cycling it and for them to come back the next day for cake! =)

Happy Baking!