TKT: “Pasta” Carbonara (note: contains NO pasta!)

TKT:  “Pasta” Carbonara (note: contains NO pasta!)

Happy Test Kitchen Tuesday all!  Here in Boise, Idaho, the thermostat has dipped into single digits and we are dealing with an inversion – dun, dun, dun.  For those of you lucky enough to have never experienced an inversion, basically we don’t see the sun for days, or even weeks at a time.  BUT, if you drive up and out of the valley, you will be bathed in the beautiful sunshine and a temperature increase in the double digits!

So, on these dreary, cold, bleak inversion days, I just want to put on warm clothes and curl up with a giant bowl of pasta.  Although tempting, I know that scenario doesn’t bode well for swim suit season, not to mention my health in general.  Never fear though, spaghetti squash is an amazing alternative to pasta and no guilt trip required!

We decided to do a really easy recipe with the squash – Pasta Carbonara.

Start with a medium sized squash, cut it half, and roast it at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.SPAG SQUASH 1

The trick to this recipe is to mix the hot “pasta” with the sauce to cook the eggs and make it creamy.  So, while the squash is cooking, mix together eggs and parmesan cheese in a large bowl, setting aside.

We wanted to add another level of texture and flavor and while a traditional recipe calls for bacon (or some sort of pork product), we decided to use maitake mushrooms.  We simply chopped them up and sauteed in avocado oil until crispy.

SPAG SQUASH 2

Once the squash is done, you just need to shred it with a fork to produce strands resembling spaghetti and add that to the egg mixture.  Top with the crispy maitake mushrooms, add a little more parmesan and enjoy!  SPAG SQUASH 3

Ingredients:

1 medium spaghetti squash

avocado oil

salt & pepper, to taste

2 large eggs

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 lb maitake mushrooms, chopped

Directions:

Cut squash in half lengthwise, drizzle with oil, salt & pepper, and roast face down on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.

While squash is cooking, mix eggs, parmesan and salt & pepper in large bowl.  Set aside.

In skillet over medium heat, cook maitakes in avocado oil until crisp, about 10 minutes.

Once squash is done, using a fork, scrape out the flesh into spaghetti-like strands (be careful!!  The squash is wicked hot!) and add to the bowl with the eggs.  Mix thoroughly until eggs are cooked through.  Add maitakes and enjoy!!

Cheers!

Thanksgiving Shopping Guide!

Thanksgiving Shopping Guide!

We hear a lot that eating healthy and organic is too expensive for many people.  Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner and arguably one of the most important meals of the year, we thought we would do a little experiment to really see the cost of a healthy, organic Thanksgiving dinner. We did the menu and shopping list for 4 people and looked for organic products.  **Please see notes at the bottom for details on each store and our experience with prices and selection!

So, we came up with a menu, made a shopping list, and headed out the door to visit Fred Meyer, Albertsons, WinCo and Whole Foods.

THANKSGIVING MENU

There are so many great turkey recipes out there so we don’t want to steer you in any direction.  We just want you to start with the best product available so the finished turkey will be AMAZING!!!

We love just roasting the sweet potatoes, mashing them with some grass fed butter, organic chicken broth, salt & pepper!

Click here for the stuffing recipe (note:  we omitted the bell peppers and substituted golden berries for the cranberries and added parsley)

Click here for a great cranberry recipe (we also added fresh grated ginger to this)!

For the green beans, we just tossed in avocado oil, salt & pepper, roasted in the oven and added some orange zest.

When making the gravy, use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch to make a slurry.

SHOPPING COLLAGE

Shopping List:

10 lb turkey

2 lbs sweet potatoes

1/2 lb sausage (or ground pork)

1 onion

2 celery stalks

1/2 lb mushrooms

1 granny smith apple

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup golden berries

1 bunch parsley

2 32 oz containers chicken broth (for the turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes and stuffing)

fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, & thyme – “poultry mix”)

3 eggs

1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries

1 orange

4 TBS honey

fresh ginger

1 lb fresh green beans

Full Disclosure: For this menu, we made the assumption that most of you have basic pantry items….. AND that you have been slowly but surely swapping out some of the items for healthier alternatives (coconut oil, avocado oil, grass fed butter, arrowroot powder, coconut flour, etc. ) Right???

 

The Results (drumroll please!):

Out of all 4 stores, not one store had all organic ingredients on the day that we shopped.  In place of organic, we tried to find the most sustainable / natural products.  And no one at the time had organic turkeys yet (we have recevied some updated info since and will factor that into our costs below).  None of the stores carried organic golden berries, but the only store we found the berries in was Whole Foods (although they are more expensive, we chose them due to the lower sugar content than dried cranberries) We included the price of dried apricots for Albertsons, WinCo and Fred Meyer.

  • WINCO – Winco did not have organic sausage, golden berries, organic cranberries or organic green beans.   The final total for the meal was $54.27
  • FRED MEYER – Fred Meyer didn’t carry organic cranberries or golden berries.  The total for the meal was $58.64
  • ALBERTSONS – We didn’t find organic parsley, golden berries or organic cranberries.  The turkey at Albertsons was not organic, but it was a free range bird.  The final total for the meal was $58.74
  • WHOLE FOODS – On the day we shopped, there were no organic oranges or organic green beens at Whole Foods.  The final price for the meal was $66.21

So, all in all, the cost of an organic, healthy, delicious Thanksgiving dinner won’t break the bank.  Even if you only swap out a few items, some is better than none and we applaud you!!!!!

Wishing all of you a Thanksgiving filled with great food, great family, great friends and great memories!  Cheers!!!

Test Kitchen Tuesday – Lip Balm??!!

Test Kitchen Tuesday – Lip Balm??!!

Yes, you read that right!  We decided to take on lip balm for Test Kitchen Tuesday.  Don’t forget that anything you buy with a label, had to be “made” – why not take on some non-food items for TKT?

Our lip balm only has 3 ingredients – Organic coconut oil, beeswax and lavender essential oil:

LIP BALM 2

We used lavender, but you can use any essential oil – we think orange or grapefruit would be fantastic!  Or vanilla is another classic scent to try…

The process to make these is pretty simple – just melt the oil and beeswax, remove from heat, add the essential oil and put into tins or lip balm tubes!  We tried both – the tubes were a little messier and the labels wouldn’t stick, but not a bad result for a first try!

LIP BALM 3

LIP BALM 4The lip balm itself turned out perfect, and at 1/10 the cost of the store bought stuff!!  I don’t think  I’ll be buying lip balm anytime soon – AND what a great Christmas stocking stuffer idea!!

LIP BALM

Lip Balm Recipe:

5 TBS of organic coconut oil

3 TBS of natural beeswax

12 drops (more or less based on your preference) of essential oil

-Melt coconut oil and beeswax over medium low heat.  Remove from heat and add essential oils.  Pour into tin containers or lip balm tubes and let cool.  (We were able to fill 9 1/2 ounce tins and 1 tube) Apply as often as needed!

Cheers!

Dawn & Sarah

Microwaves: Good, Bad & Ugly

Microwaves:  Good, Bad & Ugly

So, I have to admit the “good” part of having a microwave is the convenience it provides.  But, at what cost?  There is much debate on the possible health hazards of using a microwave oven.  A quick internet search offers articles that range from there is no health hazard at all (“as long as you don’t stand too close to the microwave” – wait…, what?) to studies that show that microwaving food not only zaps all of the nutrients but can also genetically modify the food!  Um, genetically modifying food – well, that takes care of the bad and the ugly.

No matter where you fall on the microwave debate, I think there is no question the packaging and / or plastic containers being used to nuke the food are bad news.  There is a possibility that food can become contaminated by the chemicals used to manufacture plastics.

Here are a few interesting articles we found.  Take a look and make up your own mind!  Knowledge is power!!

Global Research Article

Mercola article

Global Healing article

Cheers!

Dawn and Sarah

Yellow Pine Harmonica Fest – a great success!!!!

Yellow Pine Harmonica Fest – a great success!!!!

WOW!  What a great weekend in Yellow Pine! We only have a few pictures as we were so busy talking to people about The Kif Brown Foundation, serving some refreshing beverages, and listening to some amazing music all in one of the most beautiful settings in the world! But here is a link to the Festival’s Facebook page with lots of pictures to show you what you missed!  Fear not though, we are already planning next years booth!!!  Thanks to all of those that donated to our cause and for all of the help to make this weekend a success!

Cheers!

Dawn and Sarah

YP BOOTH 1YP BOOTH 4 YP BOOTH 2 YP BOOTH 5YP BOOTH 6YP CARD 16

Harmonica Festival Time!!!

Harmonica Festival Time!!!

We are so excited to announce that KBF will have a booth at the 2015 Yellow Pine Harmonica Festival!! July 31-Aug 2 We’ll be selling KBF stickers and cozies, YP mugs (with or without beer!), KBF organic mosquito spray and much more! We’ll also have a wonderful selection of premium beers for those of you who are old enough. We’ll have some great information and tips to take home with you…Stop by and say hello!  Bring the kids and sign them up for the Kids Club! Hope to see you all there!!

Kif’s Cancer Fighting Kids Club Meeting!

Kif’s Cancer Fighting Kids Club Meeting!

Greetings from the Kids Club!!!!  We held our first meeting this weekend with a great turnout!  We had 12 kids from Idaho and Washington.  We were so fortunate to have Dr. Deb Roman as a guest speaker.  She is a local osteopathic doctor and talked to the kids about being mindful, and working on taking deep, full breaths and how important that is to your health, both physical and mental.  You can learn more about Dr. Roman and what she does by clicking here.  If you are interested in learning more about the importance of being mindful, check out this interesting article!

KIDS CLUB MEETING 4Dr. Deb really set the bar high for guest speakers at future kids club meetings!  If you are interested in being a part our next meeting, please email us at info@thekifbrownfoundation.com.  KIDS CLUB MEETING 5 KIDS CLUB MEETING 7 KIDS CLUB MEETING 9We finished with Dr. Deb by doing a little back yard yoga!  Even some of the parents joined in!KIDS CLUB MEETING 10Thanks so much to everyone for coming out for the first meeting – we hope to have many more and would love to hear from you about suggestions for future meetings!

Cheers!!!

Dawn and Sarah

Grow Your Own Organics!!!

Grow Your Own Organics!!!

Summer is almost officially here and there is nothing better than reaping the rewards of your own organic garden!  Fun and rewarding for kids and grownups alike, and everyone can do it!  If you’re limited on space, plant a container garden, or even a windowsill garden is great for herbs!  Either way, we hope you enjoy some “home grown” organics this summer!

Celebrating All Things Kif!!!

Celebrating All Things Kif!!!

Wow!!!   What an amazing tribute to Kif!!!  It was incredible to see friends and family come from far and near (prize for coming the farthest goes to Anne, from Reston Virginia!) to celebrate Kif!  About 125 people enjoyed good food, good company, good stories and good music (Thanks so much to Stellar Tide for making the trek to YP)!  Whether it was through flying, boating, skiing, childhood friends, neighbors, used cooking oil (you know who you are!) Kif had an impact on so many lives.  It was wonderful to see all these different groups get to know each other and tell stories and share memories.  Check out our Facebook page here to see more photos!

We also had the opportunity to officially introduce The Kif Brown Foundation and share a little about our mission.

MEMORIAL COLLAGE 2

One of our charter members of Kif’s Cancer Fighting Kid’s Club started off the festivities with an amazing rendition of The National Anthem!

MEMORIAL COLLAGE 5

The day would not have been complete though, without blowing something up so…… Kif’s son, Liam, put on a stunning firework display at the end of the day!

Now it’s time to get back to work and, like Kif, leave our mark on the cancer fighting world!!!!!

MEMORIAL COLLAGE

 

Kif’s Memorial Day Celebration!

Kif’s Memorial Day Celebration!

 

To everyone making the trip to Yellow Pine to celebrate all things Kif – we are so excited to see you!  You all know how Kif loved a good adventure, and for those of you who haven’t experienced Yellow Pine, Kif is sending you off on a new adventure.

The most important piece of information for Yellow Pine newcomers, DO NOT use your GPS to find YP!!!  You will get lost and eaten by wolves, and no one wants that!!

Here is a map to YP, not to scale, but it gives you the visual!

Map to YP

From Boise:  Travel north on Hwy 55 towards Cascade.  Just on the other side of town, you will cross a bridge and take the next right towards Warm Lake (Side note:  cell services runs out once you turn off of Hwy 55).  Continue for about 20 miles and take a left onto the South Fork Road (if you pass the Warm Lake Lodge, you have gone too far!)  The South Fork Road is a one lane paved road with 2 way traffic.  You will stay on that road for about 32 miles.  The road ends at the East Fork Road.  Turn right onto the East Fork Road and continue for about 17 miles (dirt road).  You will turn left into town… For those staying at Alpine Village, stop at the tavern and they will give you directions.

Once you arrive, we wanted to give you some ideas for things to do and see while you’re here!   There is a golf course, but please don’t bring your own clubs…. if in your mind, you envision a round of YP golf like this –YP GOLF COLLAGE 2You won’t find it in Yellow Pine!  BUT, you will find this –

YP GOLF COLLAGEThe 18 hole Yellow Pine Golf Course is an adventure by itself!  Grab a 9 iron, putter and a few golf balls from the YP General Store and play a round!

There are a few hot springs around the area worth exploring.  Click here for more information!

For you wanderers, here is a glimpse of things you might see – pack a picnic and start wandering!

YP COLLAGE

Also, don’t forget to stop by the Pioneer Cemetery to visit Kif!  The cemetery is located about 1/2 mile from town at the end of the Yellow Pine campground. (P.S. make sure to see the entire headstone to appreciate the “Kif-ness” of it!)

HEADSTONE

Please contact Dawn if you have any questions about directions!  You can reach her at 208-850-7811 until May 19th.  After that, she will be available in Yellow Pine at 208-633-9878.

Safe travels and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks!!

Cheers!