First Harvest

First Harvest

Here is a picture of my first real harvest.  I was so freaking excited!!  It isn’t much but now that the weather is warming up, it will just be a matter of time before I am swimming in veggies. I got 6 peas, 3 cherry tomatoes, 4 radishes and two handfuls of Kale. Do you have a garden growing?  What have you harvested so far?

I know that I haven’t posted a bunch but it is because my business has been super busy the last month.  Good for me, right?  I have been compliling pictures and topics and recipes and hilarity though so as soon as my baby starts sleeping more than 2 hours without me, I will be on it!


Sparkling Stainless

My husband is so awesome.  For our second Christmas together he bought me a beautiful set of stainless steel cookware because he knew how much I loved to cook and how fancy I would feel with such a set.  Unfortunately, our apartment had an electric stove (grrrrr) and it was difficult to control the heat levels thus making my cookware get stuff stuck to it… and stuck to it… and stuck to it.

No matter what I tried, I could not clean them and slowly but surely, I stopped using them.  Even when we bought out first home, I didn’t use them as much because you know what they say “Beautiful cookware makes beautiful food”.  Ok… I just made that up, but whatever.  I didn’t want to look at them.

Once I started my Crunchy journey, I learned really quickly that my easy to clean non-stick cookware was not without it’s dangers.

For some reading you can check out these:


Eat Be Live

The price I was paying for convenience was an increased risk of cancer and toxic chemicals being emitted into the food I was feeding my family.  BUT… my pans were so UGLY!!!!  So I set out to get them clean somehow.

I tried a lot of stuff, including nasty chemicals (ummmm… why was I trying to get rid of chemicals in my cookware by using chemicals to clean it?  Not sure) but they did not work.  I was sad and angry.  Then my awesome husband sent me to the store to get him some stuff to clean our outdoor grill.  I perused the cleaning aisle and found some things that I thought would be great.  I brought them home and he went to work.  Our grill came out so beautifully, I decided to try the combo out on my stainless cookware.  It couldn’t make it any worse, right?

Here is what I used:

Bar Keepers

So unassuming… Could it really work?  OH YES IT DOES!!!

This is my proof that these two things plus 3-5 minutes of elbo grease did THIS

Stainless Collage

I am still amazed just looking at it.

Now Bar Keepers Friend is acutally a cleaner made from one organic compound: Oxalic Acid.  Now, I know that reducing chemicals is a worthy goal, but this compound is actually found in spinach and other dark leafy greens so on the scale of danger, I would rather use this than bleach.

So now I can use my stainless cookware with abandon knowing that I can get them spotless again in no time.  I am tempted to run to my local thrift store right this minute and see what pans some poor person gave away being unaware of this miracle claning combo.  Try it and let me know how it works for you!

Garlic Sriracha Meatloaf

Garlic Sriracha Meatloaf

Poor meatloaf. Somewhere along the line meatloaf got a really bad wrap. When I started getting away from processed foods, I was slightly sad to see the loss of one of my frozen lunch favorites… Meatloaf. You know what I am talking about. The mystery “meat” patty with the fake grill marks. Oh yeah baby. That is some serious class. Learning to make it myself has provided me the opportunity to try new things and I happen to think that my meatloaf is divine and can even be classy if you know how to dress it up. Like with a monocle or something… I love monocles.


1.25 lb pkg. Ground Turkey

3 slices of bread

1 egg

1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 Tbsp. Salt (or to taste)

1/2 Tbsp. Pepper (ot to taste)

1 Tbsp. Sriracha

1/2 C. Milk

Garlic Sriracha Glaze

1 cup ketchup (bonus points if it is homemade!)

2 garlic cloves minced fine

Sriracha to taste (we are not super big on spicy so I do about 1/2 tbsp.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except slices of bread. To add bread, dice into 1/2 inch squares or be like me and just pull it into peices by hand. Take off any jewelry and mix until just combined and let rest for 5 minutes. After resting, put the meat onto a tin foil lined baking sheet (trust me on the tin foil for easy clean up purposes). Mold the loaf. For quick cooking and easy portioning I mold mine into a rectangle shape about 12 inches by 4 inches. Put on a thin layer of Garlic Sriracha Glaze and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Take the meatloaf out and top with the remaining glaze and put back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before devouring. We have ours with creamy mashed potatoes and baby broccoli… I’m hungry again!

Try this out with your family and let me know what you think of this recipe or the changes you make to it. Recipes are just a guideline anyway!

Better than Bisquick

I love pancakes. When I was pregnant with my second I had an obsession with them for a time. Gotta love pregnancy cravings! I have always used Bisquick for pancakes. I am not sure why… Maybe because it had “quick” right in the title and when I had a pancake craving I had to have them immediately. I was happy in my Bisquick bubble and thought that the pancakes made from such a batter were pretty wonderful. In light of this, imagine my horror when they were among the list of “trusted” American brands containing all of those super tasty and wonderful toxins, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms from the beloved Monsanto company.

For more info on Monsanto and how they are trying to kill you read HERE

I thought to myself, “I need to make my own pancakes”. So I googled and googled and tried a few recipes that I didn’t like and then I played around with the ingredients and HOLY MOLY… I had been missing out all this time. Nevermind the cancer causing ingredients in Bisquick! The batter makes dry, tasteless pancakes that do not hold up well to storage if you like to make extra and freeze for later quick breakfast mornings.


This recipe has been our go to Sunday morning treat for the past 3 weeks and I don’t see that tradition stopping any time soon. These pancakes are moist, fluffy and totally filling. Try them out and tell me what you think!


Crunchy Curious Cinnamon Pancakes

2 cups flour (use your favorite white or wheat)

1 tablespoon white sugar (or sucanat)

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 eggs beaten

2 cup milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (melted coconut oil works well but make sure to add it last and stir well)


In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in milk, vanilla extract, egg and oil. Mix until smooth. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/3 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot. Makes approx. 10 pancakes.

pancakes 1

My Garden


It has been raining for the past few days here and my garden has been loving it!! My basil and tomatoes have probably grown a full 2 inches since the storms started coming through and some of the tomato plants are even flowering! I have been waiting so long to have a garden and now that I have one, I am a little scared. What if I kill everything? What if everything grows and I don’t know what to do with all of it?! I am always apprehensive about new things and have a tendency to put off trying something new because I am afraid of failing. I don’t know why I do it, but I just do.


My kale is coming along so nicely. I can’t wait to make kale chips with it! My toddler actually loves those. At least he did last time I made them which was more than a week ago so there is a strong possibility that he will want nothing to do with them next time. Such is the way of toddlers.


My Mom made me these adorable garden signs for Mother’s Day. She painted them all and put them together. She even hand painted the words! She is pretty crafty. I have them all over my garden and I just love them. They make the whole thing look finished. Well… as finished as it can until the harvesting.

These are the plants that I have growing:





Sugar Snap Peas

Green Pole Beans


Swiss Chard



Grape Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Green, Yellow and Red Peppers


















Any gardening tips you want to share?  What are you growing?

Utah Blogger Meetup


Today I had an appointment with a group of bloggers for 2pm.  It was raining all morning and I knew that I was going to have to park far away from the meet up location so I wasn’t looking forward to walking in the rain with a baby on my back to get there.  I got in the car anyway though because I was interested in seeing what other bloggers do and there were going to be good people and goody bags.  As I was driving down to Historic 25th Street in Ogden, the clouds parted and the sun poured its warming rays over the Downtown area.  I was thanking God that he decided to change the weather for me.  I just love unexpected rays of sunshine and that is exactly what I got.  Another little ray of sunshine came in the form of Mikaela over at Mama Mouse Says and Indie Ogden.  She is the kind of unassuming person whose kindness and wicked sense of humor sneaks up on you in the best possible way.  Mikaela set up this meeting of the bloggers and did a ton of work making it wonderful and it really was.

We met up at the amazing Grounds For Coffee and I had an Iced Chai Tea that was delightful.  The baker there made these amazing donuts that were so delicious I am ashamed to say how many I had… so I won’t. 🙂  My favorite was the Andes Chocolate Mint donut.  Dangerous!!  We sat around and chatted a bit and perused our gift bags full of goodies.  In addition to blogger business cards and Indie Ogden swag there were some samples from Green the World and Beehive Cheese that I adored!  It was so neat to see so many people in one place that are passionate about sharing things with others through blogging.  It seemed as though there were so many different people there, from different backgrounds and in different stages of their lives but all with something in common.  Kinda cool.  I felt as I usually do in groups, painfully awkward and held back, but I tried not to let that hinder my experience.  I think I was able to use my baby as an ice breaker for the whole event.  “Wow that wrap is neat!  How do you get him back there?”.  Works every time.

For the last half of the event we did a walking tour of Historic 25th Street and all of its nooks and crannys.  While we sometimes strayed from the group, busy admiring trinkets and things we couldn’t afford, we were able to see some of the real gems of Downtown.  Here are a few of the stores we went to:

Crowley Gallery– The basement is totally haunted.  The paintings are gorgeous though and kept me from feeling creeped out.

Sweet Pop’n Cafe- This adorable Popcorn cafe gave us some samples in our goodie bags.

Olive & Dhalia- I have had a soft spot in my heart for this store since the first time I went in more than 5 years ago.  It is a wonderland really.  Every wall is covered floor to ceiling with art, florals and garden accents.  The best part is the secret garden in the back.  So beautiful and unexpected.

My two favorites though were The Queen Bee and Endless Indulgence

The Queen Bee was a funky little store connected to The Great Harvest Bread Co. This fact made it almost impossible to look around without thinking, “Bread, bread, freshly baked bread” in some kind of a frantic chant, but I held it together.  I did just have __ donuts, after all.  This store had tons of things to look at and many that I found surprising.  A DVD of An Affair to remember caught my eye first and then a newer copy of Crime and Punishment.  They had books, bracelets, honeys and amazing chocolates!!  As good as they looked, I didn’t have any of those either.  Everyone should check this place out and get a sample of the delicious honeys near the register.

Endless Indulgence was awesome!  The door is apparently a time machine and you get transported back to the 40’s and 50’s.  There are gorgeous dresses much girlier than I ever thought that I would like.  Retro swimwear and lingerie, hats for Cool Kats and even a real straight razor Barber in the back; is there any more amazing place on 25th street?  Its debatable.  When I used to be addicted to swing dancing when I was about 19-21 I would criss-cross Southern California hitting every popular swing hotspot, rolling my hair and wearing my vintage attire.  I got lessons from some of the most amazing dancers and loved every minute of it.  This store brought me back to those days in a big way and I was in awe.  Who knew that era would still be popular now that I am an old hag?  Not me I say, but I am glad that it is because its awesome 🙂


I had a really great time at this meetup and it was fun to see Ogden in a new light.  I look forward to reading more from the other ladies that were there.  If you want to check out some of their blogs you can see a list of bloggers and amazing sponsors and read the Indie Ogden article about this meet up here at Indie Ogden Blogger Meetup

Nancy’s yogurt challenge #2

I was asked to take part in a yogurt challenge!! Go see what I made over at my friend Mama Mouse’s blog and while you are there, check out her plethora of delectable recipes!!

Mama Mouse Says

Welcome to part 2 of the Nancy’s yogurt challenge! Today we have my friend and fellow blogger Jillian  of  ‘The quest of Crunchy Curious‘ and Pretty paisley designs. Read more about the challenge and check out part 1 HERE
BeFunky_yogurt challenge (1).jpg

When I was asked to be part of this challenge I jumped at the chance!!  My blog is all about learning to live more naturally and sometimes I get a little freaked out by all the stuff I learn, but yogurt?  I can handle yogurt!  Luckily Nancy’s Yogurt was incredibly tasty and way more natural than the other stuff I have bought with fervor thinking it was super healthy for me (cough-yoplait-cough).  So I let my mind run for a bit and I got to thinking.  What weighed heavily on my mind was the weather.

Here in Utah the weather is so strange sometimes.  You can have…

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Apple Cider Vinegar Shots

I remember shot glasses…

When I turned 21 (and I must admit a little before) I would be lying if I said I hadn’t learned how to throw back a shot.  Never did I think that a few years later I would be throwing back a whole different kind of shot to keep myself healthy instead of making me a weirdo.

There is a lot of info on the web about the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV for future reference)  and you can read about some of that at these sites:

Bragg’s Site

Mind, Body, Green

Alt Medicine

The benefits I am most interested in seeing are improvement in energy, strengthening of my immune system and increasing metabolism wouldn’t hurt either.  I will be keeping track of any improvements that I see as well as any negatives I experience.

When I started looking into this, I quickly found out that not all ACV’s are created equal!  If you are going to be adding ACV to your diet expecting to have any health benefit at all, you need to get Certified Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar that is unfiltered, unheated, unpasteurized and contains the amazing Mother of Vinegar.  What the heck is Mother of Vinegar? (Consequently, when I was reading about ACV and the “Mother” I kept singing the Danzig song of the same name over and over… I am weird… find the video here).  Mother of vinegar is the living enzymes and bacteria that make ACV so beneficial for the body, you can actually see it settle to the bottom of the container and it makes the vinegar cloudy.  Pasteurized vinegar has none of the Mother and therefore none of the health benefits.  But bacteria is bad, right?  Well as we will learn together, NO… There are many bacteria that are not only good for us, but absolutely necessary to our bodies.

When I asked the group of wise ladies that I am privileged to be a part of, they directed me to Bragg ACV as the best to buy, so I did.  Their website is very informative and you can check it out at  I went down to my local health store and got myself a bottle.  I put it in my spice cupboard when I got home and periodically stared at it for a few days as I opened and closed the cupboard to get other things.  What was it going to taste like?  What if I can taste the “Mother”?  Will it be absolutely disgusting?  Lots of thoughts like that.

One morning, about a week later, I decided that I had waited long enough… I took the bottle out of the cupboard and poured my self a shot.

ACV shot

After talking to my boys in their respective high chair and booster seat while I made breakfast and tried to delay as much as I possibly could for fear of the taste of Mother of Vinegar, they both looked at me and called me a sissy and told me to get on with it (ok that didn’t actually happen), so I did.

Immediately afterward I kind of understood why Renee Zellweger has that look on her face all the time…

renee z sour lemon

Maybe she is a closet Crunchy and always has the after taste of Vinegar Mother in her mouth.

It was pretty tangy.

I wanted to do the shot of vinegar straight so that anything I mixed it in after that would be an improvement and it was.  I now put ACV in two of my bottles full of water a day with a small amount of honey.  It actually tastes pretty good to me and its nice to drink more water and have it taste like something tangy and sweet that isn’t a powdered mix of chemicals and turns pink.

I have been doing this for 2 weeks now and so far I have experienced the following benefits:

Energy Increase – I really could tell a difference the first day.  I was outside with the kids more and overall felt more energetic than I usually do.  It surprised me to feel effects that quickly and noticeably.

Metabolism-  I don’t know if this can be attributed to the fact that I am just drinking more fluids in general but I have noticed slight weight loss.  Very slight so don’t think that this is some wonder weight loss potion.

Gut Health-

Now here is where it gets serious.  I told my hubby that I didn’t want to write about this part because, well, it’s about flatulence.  You know, that thing that we all do, but blame on someone else?  Yeah…  So… in the interest of keeping this blog “real” and telling you the good, the bad and the smelly, here goes nothing.

I have been known to be pretty gassy… nearly all the time.  According to some medical standards, excessive flatulence starts around 20 “episodes” a day.  On a particularly fun day, I can double that easily.  So, anything that changes anything about my ability to produce world-record breaking wind (see what I did there?) has my attention.  ACV really helped!  Even my husband noticed! LOL  It of course didn’t get rid of it all together, but it did decrease it A LOT and frankly, it didn’t smell.  I mean it!  Now I could riddle you with jokes about how my $*%# no longer stinks but that is just juvenile.  So, ACV in small amounts daily really made a noticeable difference in my gut health, in the end.  Ah, I couldn’t help that one!

All things considered, I would say that it does have considerable health benefits and that it is a great, affordable alternative to many crazy things that people will take to show a little bit of improvement in these particular areas of health.  So try it!!  Get your Mother of ACV on and report back to tell me your experiences.  You can even tell me about your farts… no one is reading this anyway, right? 😉


My Kombucha Scoby


This is my kombucha scoby. My friend Claire gave her to me (read her awesome blog at and it is my job to keep her safe and growing. I have named her Helen. I don’t really know why, I just thought she looked like a Helen. If you are named Helen, I am sorry if that offends you.

When I showed Helen to my husband, his expression was priceless. It went a little like this:

Me- “honey, look!!”
Husband- “what is that?”
Me- “it’s my scoby.”
Husband- “what is a scoby?”
Me- “it’s good bacteria that I am going to let ferment in tea and drink to make my gut healthier”
Husband- “wait… So you are going to put that in some tea, let it grow more bacteria and then drink it?”
Me- “yep”
Husband- “voluntarily?”
Me- “yep”
Husband- “you are crazy…”
Me- “I know, huh?”
Then we laughed.

Honestly, Helen freaks me out a lot and I am totally scared to drink this in a week but, in the name of crunchy curiosity, I am going to do it bravely.

I wanted to introduce her to you so you can see how she starts out. Today I put her in her decaf pomegranate green tea bath and she will stay undisturbed for a week. If all goes well, I will have a great post about that then. If it goes badly, I will post about that too.

Say “Bye Helen!”

Bye Helen.

Best Banana Muffins


Learning how to make things myself instead of out of a box or baked in a store has been a challenge.  Sometimes it just seems easier to go the store bought route, but is it really worth it?  Learning about how much ridiculous crap is in packaged foods has really changed the way I look at the time it takes to make things myself.

One thing that I love is fresh baked banana bread.  Is there anything more delicious?  Warm and comforting with a bit of butter on top… I just made myself hungry.  When I started trying to make my food from scratch this was one thing that I made and was so pleased with.  I used a recipe from an old cook book that I had that I no longer have apparently but it doesn’t matter because I changed it up to suit my tastes anyway.  I like making this in muffin cups for portion control and handy toddler eating, but it can be baked in a loaf pan as well.



2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 to 1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/2 cups mashed bananas (preferrably overripe)



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 12 cup muffin pan with baking liners or lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • In a bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Stir eggs and mashed bananas into butter and sugar mixture until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into cups or loaf pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes for cups or 60 to 65 minutes for the loaf pan, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.  I find it hard to wait that long…

These are so moist because of the amount of bananas and I don’t feel bad using a small amount of sugar instead of a sugar substitute but, feel free to play around with your own and make them to your liking.  Recipes are really just an outline anyway.

Enjoy and tell me how yours turned out or how you changed them!