Good to Self, Good to Earth

trying on more healthy ways of being, day by day


Leave a comment

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals in 7 Key Areas of Life

 

Check out my Youtube Video for a basic run-down!

This is just a basic introduction to a really effective way of structuring and working towards goals in various areas of life.

What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

Well, first of all, a non-SMART goal is really just a dream.  And dreams are important!  But the best way to make your dream come true is by turning it into a series of SMART goals.

For Example: If your dream is, “I want to lose weight.”  Here’s how you would turn that into a SMART goal.

S.pecific Add a number or other clearly defined outcome to your goal.
M.easurableKeep track of your achievement over time.
A.ction OrientedFind a way to be actively working towards your goal.
R.ealisticDon’t set yourself up to fail, make it believable and achievable.
T.ime OrientedUse time frames to create accountability and structure.

Dream:  “I want to lose weight”

SMART Goal: “I will go to the gym at least twice a week for 6 weeks OR until I lose 15 lbs.”

Make sense?  Can you see how that goal fits all 5 criteria for being S.M.A.R.T.?

 

Seven Key Areas of Life: The Seven F’s

1. FITNESS
Your physical health, how you take care of your body.
Exercise, diet, grooming, managing medical issues, etc.

For Example:

  • Dream: “I want to eat more fruit.”
    SMART goal: “I will eat at least 3 servings of fruit per week.”

2. FAMILY
How you relate to and care for your family members.

For Example:

  • Dream: “I want to spend more time with my son.”
    SMART goal: “I will spend at least 1 hour of one-on-one time with my son every week.”

3. FIELD
Your job or occupation, whatever it is that you get out of bed to do in the morning.
(study, go to work, take care of kids, manage chores, etc.)

For Example:

  • Dream: “I want to get a good job.”
    SMART Goal: “I will apply for at least 1 job every week.”

4. FAITH
Whatever you are passionate about, this does not necessarily have to be about religion or spirituality.

For Example:

  • Dream: “I want to become more involved in my community.”
    SMART Goal: “I will volunteer 2 hours of my time in some way at least once every month.”

5. FINANCES
Budgeting, Spending, Income, Savings, Donations, etc.

For Example:

  • Dream: “I want to save more money.”
    SMART Goal: “I will set aside at least 10% of my paycheck each week.”

6. FRIENDS
Maintaining or improving relationships with friends.

For Example:

  • Dream:  “I want to make new friends.”
    SMART Goal: “I will introduce myself to someone new at least once a month.”

7. FUN
Whatever makes you happy, find a way to do more of it.

For Example:

  • Dream: “I want to be more creative.”
    SMART Goal: “I will devote at least 1 hour each week to a creative project.”

 

Your best bet is to place something like 3 goals under each of these key life areas and then look over the whole list and choose 7 to start working on right away.  These could be the 7 most important goals for you or maybe some of them are just the most time sensitive.  Start working on those 7 right away and as you complete them you can just keep adding to your current list.

Try to make short to-do lists every day for 3-7 things you will do that help you in some way to move towards goals.  So a to-do list might look like this:

Today I’m working on Friends, Faith, Fitness and Fun.
I will:

  • Have lunch with my buddy, Robert.
  • Go online to research volunteer opportunities in my area.
  • Walk my dog for at least 20 minutes after work.
  • Buy a sketch book and spend 15 minutes doodling after dinner.

I really like to include things that I already know I’m going to do (like walking my dog) because it still fits into those bigger goals AND it gives me that sensation of accomplishing a task and getting credit for doing something productive.

I hope this helps!  Please let me know if you have questions!

 

PS – BIG shout-out to the guys at OOLA because this was largely borrowed from their webinar.


Leave a comment

What is Included in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit?

So you’re interested in essential oils…

Please feel free to check out my YouTube Video:

Why I Recommend Getting Started with Young Living Essential Oils

What a great way to start to your oil journey, Young living is the WORLD LEADER in Essential Oils!
Gary Young the founder, is the father of distilling oils and he has made a great company to be a part of.

psk                                                                                                                                                   

THE KIT you want is called the The Premium Starter Kit and it includes all 11 oils discussed below, a diffuser, 2-2oz packs of Ningxia Red, and a few other goodies!

ALSO it includes a 1-year membership as a whole sale member (=lots of discounts)…Best part about young living, no monthly fee, no monthly purchasing requirement, you don’t have to sell/share, NO COMMITMENTS!

This collection of oils is called the Everyday Oil Collection because you can find a reason to use each of these oils every single day.  These oils are the easiest to incorporate into your lifestyle, hence, why many people choose to start their oil journey with this incredible kit! Not to mention, it’s a great deal at almost 50% off the retail value of the included products. Now onto the wonderful oils!

lemon

L E M O N

I love Lemon because of how diverse it is! It’s a good oil to add to your glass of water for flavoring and is a great immune booster as it contains limonene. I also love to use it to clean because it’s an amazing degreaser. I was able to get red nail polish out of a wool rug by just using a few drops of lemon and blotting it out. I love how diverse these oils are! Lemon cleans drinking water and aids in concentration! I also soak my strawberries in lemon oil water because it deep cleans the gunk out of them! SO FRESH! If you have mucus, it helps thin it out when you’re sick!! Lifesaver!!

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-44-24

L A V E N D E R

This oil is most commonly known for it’s relaxing properties. However, it’s important to remember that each person’s DNA is different, and therefore, responds differently to the oils. Lavender is my go to oil for bug bites and for burns because it’s so soothing. I also like to put a few drops in my bath at night with epsom salt to help me unwind. Lavender is considered the swiss army knife of all oils because it has so many uses! Knowledge is power so research what Lavender can do for you! Anxiety anyone?!!

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-44-32

F R A N K I N C E N S E

This oil is high in sesquiterpenes, meaning it delivers oxygen to the cells and erases/deprograms maladaptive information in cells. How incredible! I use this oil mixed with a carrier oil on my face because it’s great for skin and I love the way it smells.  It’s also great for boosting your immune system!

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-44-42

C O P A I B A

An interesting fact about this oil is that it is an enhancer, meaning that it enhances the properties of other oils! You can layer it on top of other oils or add it to a capsule to increase the benefits of the other oils while experiencing the great qualities of Copaiba itself. I add this oil to a spoonful of honey when I have a sore throat and it really helps to soothe it.

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-44-50

T H I E V E S Blend

This oil is a crazy immune booster! I love to diffuse this when someone around the house is sick in order to clean the air while boosting our immune systems. Thieves is also incredibly numbing as is contains clove oil, so it’s great to apply topically to a sore throat or dilute and use on a teething babies gums. Young Living makes an entire product line just from this oil! From toothpaste, cleaning products, fruit soak, to laundry detergent!

STORY OF THIEVES ::During the Bubonic Plague, four thieves went from house to house to rob those who had succumbed to the illness. After the thieves were captured and tried for their acts of robbery, a judge offered leniency if they would share how they were able to be around those afflicted long and often enough to rob them but not be affected by the illness. They shared their recipe of a combination of herbs and spices, and the king posted it throughout the land.

It’s interesting to note here that, during this time of the plague striking Europe, physicians were seen wearing long black robes, wide brimmed hats, and masks that appeared to have a beak. The reason for doing this is that the masks were said to have contained a combination of herbs, spices, and essential oils that the physicians would breathe in order to keep themselves safe from those afflicted with the illness. Their long black robes were also said to be doused in a similar fragrant concoction and current research continues to build upon this theory.

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-45-00

PANAWAY Blend

Panaway smells like a mix between Bengay and root beer.  This one is great for soothing your muscles and joints after a workout.  For enhanced effect, layer Peppermint on top of Panaway with a hot compress!  It’s amazing!

I had my knee pop out of socket because I’m a dancing fool! This oil was a lifesaver in healing my knee when everything else covered up my pain like a bandaid.

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-45-07

P U R I F I C A T I O N Blend

This is my go-to for neutralizing odors. When I put it in my diffuser it makes everything smell fresh and clean. I also like to hang a diffuser necklace from my rear view mirror and add a drop of purification.

Tip: It also contains Tea Tree which repel lice! Also my go to for bug bites and bug spray compared to OFF.

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-45-15

R.C. Blend

It is incredible for supporting your respiratory system.   I used to use Vick’s vapor rub for chest coughs but I read the ingredients and backed off completely. Now, I use R.C. topically on my chest or in the diffuser to break up mucus.  I also love to add it to a washcloth and place the washcloth under a hot shower head to make a steam room at home!

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-45-21

D I G I Z E  Blend

When you have an upset stomach, you should be asking for Digize! 1 drop in the belly button makes you feel better in minutes. If I know I’ll be eating a lot of dairy or sugar I like to take some Digize in a capsule to support my digestive system.

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-45-32

S T R E S S  A W A Y Blend

This is my Monday oil for sure! The name speaks for itself as I love to use this in high pressure moments in my social working life!  When I know I have a busy day I like to apply a drop to my wrists and behind my ears. The smell is so soothing and makes me feel happy. I also put it on my diffuser bracelet and my kid clients love to smell it because it soothes them as well!

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-45-41

PEPPERMINT

Peppermint oil has a fresh, energizing aroma that is perfect to inhale before a workout, before taking a test, or on road trips – any time a boost to your performance is desired. Inhale peppermint oil before a meal and you may find you feel like eating less!

Apply a couple of drops of peppermint oil on your shoulders or feet and follow with cool, wet washcloth to help yourself stay cool on a hot summer day. Apply a drop or two of peppermint oil diluted in V6 oil on muscles after exertion. Massage a drop or two of peppermint oil on the temples, forehead, and back of neck to soothe everyday tensions and discomforts.

Add a drop of Peppermint Vitality oil to water to support healthy digestion. Add a drop of peppermint oil to Young Living’s chocolate Pure Protein Complete shake to make a “chocolate thin mint” shake! You can also take a few drops internally in homemade capsules to help optimize digestive health.

Go online to Google or Pubmed and type in “peppermint oil” to learn more about what science has revealed about this powerful plant!

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-45-50

N I N G X I A   R E D

In your starter kit, are 2-2oz packs of Ningxia Red!  I take 1 oz. of this drink every morning to support my immune system and overall health.  Ningxia red taste so good especially with a drop of citrus fresh oil in it! Taste like candy! Made from the Wolfberry from Ningxia, China! The people in Ningxia live over 100 years old without canes, glasses, or health problems! Gary Young wanted the secret, they told him its in the berries so he made this delicious drink!!

S O   M U C H   M O R E   T H A N   O I L S !  

Young Living is about a lifestyle of health, so feel free to check out all of their products ranging from oil-infused cleaners to skin-care to supplements!  We truly have it all!

My two personal must-haves other than the oils are Young Living’s probiotic, Life5 and Ningxia Red! I take both daily! (if you haven’t done your research on a probiotic, you should, everything in your body is linked to your gut health!)

Essential Rewards is totally your choice and you do not have to commit at all if you want to be a young living member! If you find yourself loving the products and are ordering every month, sign up, so you can receive the benefits and the points towards free products!!

screenshot_2016-12-28-18-46-02

Once you sign up you will be added to 3 groups, oilsistas and the oilybatch and my personal team “The Oil Changers” on Facebook so you can continue your education about youngliving, oils, and how to transform your health! Get started today!!

Email: goodcommon@gmail.com so you can transform your health!!! YAY!

Or visit my other Blog posts to get more info on:

Why I Am In Love with Young Living

How to Get YOUR Premium Starter Kit

If you instagram follow @duoils @oilsistas @oilybatch

Many People are so quick to turn to modern day medicines but turn their noses up at essential oils. Modern medicine these days are man made and added with synthetics and chemicals that are supposed to help the symptoms that we are dealing with, Young Living Essential oils are completely nature made (from plants) and have no chemicals, synthetics, or additives and your immune system can never build up a tolerance to them since they are nature made, mother nature doesn’t have two rainstorms exactly alike, or wind or seasons. It is constantly changing making the plants slightly different every single time. They are truly amazing and your health is in your hands!!


2 Comments

Instructions for Getting Started with Young Living

Go to:
www.youngliving.com

Click on “Become a Member” in the top right corner.

  • It will automatically select Wholesale Member (this is what you want).
    This is just like Sams or Costco EXCEPT NO FEES.
    As a wholesale member you get 24% off of everything you purchase. NO yearly fee, NO monthly purchase requirements! If you signed up as only a retail customer you would have to pay the 24% markup…

Select your Country and Language

Who introduced you to Young Living?

  • Select “I was referred by someone and I have their information”
  • Sponsor ID and Enroller ID should be filled with 10831456.
  • Hit Continue.

Choose Your Premium Starter Kit

  • For the most economic option I recommend the dewdrop diffuser, however, if you buy one of the upgraded diffusers during enrollment this will save you a lot of money rather than signing up and deciding later to buy an upgraded diffuser at wholesale pricing.
  • Step 2 is the Essential Rewards program OPTIONAL kits.
    • I usually recommend skipping this option as your starter kit will come with enough great oils to keep you satisfied for a while! You can sign up for Essential Rewards later for free after purchasing your premium starter kit.
    • ER is a program where you earn points for free oils from your purchases- however, to remain enrolled in ER you have to make at least 1 purchase at 50PV (personal volume, usually 1PV per dollar) per month. If you are not an ER member there is no monthly purchase requirement. You must only make 1 purchase of 50PV per year to keep a membership active and to keep your 24% discount. I will provide more info on ER program in a later post but please contact me with any questions. — go to next step if not interested in ER kit
    • Hit next at bottom of screen, a popup will appear asking if you’re sure you don’t want to enroll in autoship program- click on CONTINUE ENROLLMENT.
  • Or add additional products, you can search cedarwood for example and click add then continue…

Fill Out Membership Information

  • Fill out membership information and create a sign-in which you’ll need to save. You’ll log in with this info any time you want to order more oils or check an order.
  • Under Commission Processing Information click Individual and enter your SSN. Some people don’t like giving this info out, but just in case you decide to share or sell the products later, this will only be used to send you tax documents. You NEVER are required to sell as a member.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions and hit continue for shipping and payment information. Finalize these details, review your order (and add products if you would like so as not to pay for any extra shipping) and Confirm!

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW PREMIUM STARTER KIT AND MEMBERSHIP!

  • You’ll now receive wholesale pricing on all orders and you can use your own login to order!
  • I am always there for any questions, comments, or concerns! Don’t hesitate to contact me for anything and/or pass my info along to your friends and family!
    • Caroline Dewey #10831456
    • goodcommon@gmail.com

 

Also! When you sign up you get added to a private Oil Sistas group on Facebook which has grown to over 11,000 people. Its a great place to learn, ask questions and share testimonies and is pretty much a constant forum of conversation about oils! You can turn the notifications off if you want**remember** it gets to be a lot because there is 11,000 of us!

If you have any other questions please let me know! I would love to be your oil mentor!! I love to teach people about these amazing oils!!


1 Comment

Young Living Oils: Essentially in Love

young-livign
Even though I’ve been using essential oils for a while, I’ve always had this lurking suspicion that a lot of these companies may not be selling quite as “pure” of a product as they claim. Same goes for a lot of “all-natural” cleaning and skin care products. Even the term “organic” is often thrown around where it shouldn’t be sometimes…
The good news is that I’ve finally done the research and am proud to announce that I am really happy with what I found! I am so excited to be getting started on my journey with Young Living because they have 20 years of incredible service, an awesome mission, and an amazing line of products.
Here’s some basic info for all you newbies!

1. What’s in it for a Wholesale Member?

  • 24% off regular retail prices on oils, cleaning products, skin care, supplements, etc.
  • NO monthly or annual fee!
  • NO purchasing requirement – back out any time with no fuss, simply stop buying stuff!

    new-psk

2. Why go for the Premium Starter Kit?
  • Approximately 50% off retail price for:
    • Dewdrop Diffuser
    • 11 different Every Day Oils & Blends
      • Frankincense
      • Stress Away Blend
      • Lemon Vitality
      • Thieves Vitality Blend
      • Panaway Blend
      • Lavender
      • Copaiba Vitality
      • Peppermint Vitality
      • Purification Blend
      • R.C. Blend
      • Digize Vitality Blend
    • Two 2-oz packages of the delicious Ningxia Red supplement/energy drink
    • Tools & samples for sharing oils
    • And a few other goodies!
    • Total = $160 (plus taxes and shipping) – This is a great investment in your health and wellness that is bound to be worth it.
  • These 11 oils & blends are called Everyday Oils for a good reason. They are so versatile and so accessible — within my first FOUR days of receiving my kit I had already cracked open every single one of them.  Some of them I diffused, some I added to my water, some I applied to my skin, and some I used to make a cleaning spray for my house!
  • What if you really don’t want to spend that much right now? Or what if you really just want a specific item?
    • You can buy items separately at retail prices but you won’t get the 24% wholesale discount.  Of course, if you get the kit now, you will probably be glad that you did and then you can focus on your favorites in the future and still get the discount.
    • There are other kits to choose from (the cheapest is $45) but honestly, the premium kits are the absolute best value for your money.  Each of those 5ml bottles has 100 drops in it, so if you used just four drops per day of any of those oilsthis one kit could last you for almost a year! (11 bottles x 100 drops each / 4 drops per day = 275 days)
      • To be fair, its probably not going to last you that long, because you’ll probably be so excited and find so many uses for them all and will be sharing them too.  But the principle of the matter is that this $160 worth of oil goes a very long way!
    • If you REALLY don’t want to get the premium starter kit because you want just one thing and don’t want to pay retail prices, contact me and we will see what we can do.
3. Sharing vs. Selling
I do not sell Young Living products !
All I do is share the information so that you can save 24% with the wholesale discount and buy whatever you want directly from the people who make these amazing products.  And of course, once you fall in love with them you are free to share them also!
You DO NOT have to sell OR share if you don’t want to! 
When you sign up to buy as a wholesale member you are automatically listed as a distributor so that just in case you decide to tell someone else about the products, you don’t have to scramble to figure out how to get them signed up, it’s all taken care of.

However if for any reason you REALLY don’t want to be involved in sharing as a distributor you can always just give people my contact info and/or my ID number: 10831456.

4. What is the Essential Rewards Program?

  • This is a really great program that helps you to get even more discounts and freebies through a monthly autoship program.  If you start to use the products regularly, like most of us do, this will definitely be worth your while.  But I suggest starting of with the Premium Starter Kit and then you can always join Essential Rewards for free at any time.  –More on this in a separate blog post soon!

Screenshot_2016-12-28-18-46-02.png

HELPFUL LINKS:

Step-by-Step Instructions for Getting Started with Young Living

Young Living Website

Seed to Seal Promise

My ID Number: 10831456
(You can input this number when it asks for your Enroller and Sponsor information)


Leave a comment

Crock-Pot, Where Have You Been Hiding?

crock-pot

I just discovered my new favorite thing, the crock-pot.  Everyone has always said that it is amazing but I just never really got into it because the one recipe that I did try had asked me to saute some things in a pan before putting them in the pot.  This was a DELICIOUS recipe, mind you, but I resented the fact that I had to dirty a pan anyway when the crock-pot was supposed to save me time and energy.

Well, I finally got up some nerve to “just throw a bunch of stuff in there” like people kept saying and my results were fantastic.  Now I’m looking for other people’s ideas of what to toss in there!  I work non-traditional hours providing in-home counseling services and so I sometimes don’t get home until 8:00 PM; which means, I rarely have the time or energy to cook at night.

Today around noon, I decided to pillage my fridge and freezer and then “throw a bunch of stuff” in the crock-pot as a test run.

Here is what I added to my small crock (in this order):

3 large carrots (chopped)
1 small head broccoli (cut into medium-sized florets)
1/2 cup bell peppers (diced, frozen)
1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen)
1 small onion (diced)
1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (partially thawed*, dredged in seasoned flour mixture**)
5 cups vegetable broth (Better than Bouillon + warm water)***

*Note #1:  I read somewhere online that using frozen food in the crock -pot could be a bad idea because it could increase risk of bacteria growing and making you sick.  So far I’m feeling just fine after eating this meal but I will do my best to heed this warning in the future.  Better safe than sorry!

**Note #2: My “seasoned flour mixture” was basically just a plate of flour plus a bunch of garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika, and black pepper all mixed together.

***Note #3: This measurement of 5 cups is not what I would necessarily recommend you stick to because it all depends on the size of your crock-pot and how much stuff you’ve got in it.  I read that you should aim to fill the pot only 1/2 – 2/3 of the way full of food and that you should just barely cover the meat/veggies with liquid.

I cooked all of this stuff on Low for about 7 hours and then removed the chicken (which was by now fully cooked) and tore it into chunks before returning it to the pot and leaving it all on Low for another hour or so.

This turned out to be a delicious chicken stew and I made some egg noodles to go with it.  YUM!

Now I’m looking for more simple ideas of what to throw in there and would love to hear from anyone who has favorite ways of using their crock-pot because I fully intend to start using it a lot more often from now on.


Leave a comment

Green Lotus Lasagna

SAM_0787

Another delicious variation of my Veggie Mix-Up Lasagna is here!

Ingredients:
Non-Negotiables

(unless you want to get really crazy..)
Olive Oil
1 package lasagna noodles (I use no-boil but I’ve heard it doesn’t matter)
42 oz (2 standard jars) Tomato Sauce – Any “flavor” you like
1 egg
16 oz Ricotta Cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
10 oz fresh Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (1 cup of shredded stuff from a bag is OK if you can’t find it fresh)

Vegetables
1/3 head of Broccoli, cut into florets*
1/3 Eggplant, peeled and diced small*
3 Carrots, diced small*
4 small or 3 medium Zucchinis, cut into long thin slices – about 1/3 inch thick
5 oz Corn – frozen, canned (and drained), or fresh (and cooked)
10 oz Spinach, chopped – frozen or fresh (and cooked)

*Since you’re going to be roasting the Broccoli, Eggplant and Carrots, I recommend tripling the amounts for each and then you’ll have some delicious roasted veggies for another meal.  You can even do this part a day or so beforehand to make less work for you on Lasagna Day.
>>If you want to skip the roasting altogether:
 Double the corn, lose the eggplant, and use 1.5 cups frozen chopped broccoli and frozen diced carrots and continue with the recipe. You may want to add some herbs to these for a little flavor boost and you may also want to thaw these and squeeze some moisture out.  (I haven’t tried this with only frozen veggies yet but the concern is that too much water can make your lasagna a bit runny.)

 

Instructions:
Prepare the Layers
1. If you’re using frozen spinach, set it out to thaw
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (TAKE NOTE: you’ll change the temp to 375 after roasting the eggplant, carrots, and broccoli)
3. Put a large stockpot of salted water on high to boil for the Zucchini. (If it gets ready before you do, you can just turn it off for a bit and it will heat up again much more quickly when you need it to.)

4. Wash, peel, and dice the eggplant. Toss with a bit of salt and put in a  bowl with a few layers of paper towel to draw out some extra moisture.
5. Wash and cut up the carrots (diced) and broccoli (small florets)
6. Toss each of the vegetables with some herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, or whatever) and about 1 or 2 tsp olive oil and place into three small baking dishes (broccoli will do well on a baking sheet too).
7. Cook all 3 vegetables for ten minute increments (I stagger them to make things run more smoothly). Stir each after their first 10 minutes and, unless they are already well-done, cook 10 minutes more. I cooked all three of mine for 20 minutes but I like mine to maintain a little texture.  If you want everything to be really soft and mushy once they’ve gone through the oven inside the lasagna, try cooking the broccoli and carrots for 30 mins.

8. Wash and slice the zucchini into long thin slices, about 1/3 inch thick.
9. Add the zucchini strips to the boiling stockpot and once the water returns to a full boil, cook and stir frequently for 3 or 4 minutes.  The zucchini should be more bendy now and more yellow than white on the insides, nearing translucence in the centers.  Carefully remove the strips from the water and lay out on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

10. Once it is cool enough to handle, chop the broccoli so that the largest pieces are about the same size as the carrot/eggplant bits.

11. Mix 1 cup carrots, 1 cup broccoli, and 1 cup eggplant together in a small bowl.

12. Once the spinach is thawed, give it a really good squeeze to drain out as much of the water as you can. You can also smush it against the side of a colander.
13. In a medium bowl, beat the egg slightly and then stir in the ricotta cheese.  Then add in half of the Parmesan cheese, drained spinach, corn, and some salt and pepper. (I threw in some red pepper flakes here too.)

If you build it, they will come
13. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
14. In the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan, spread 1 cup of your tomato sauce.
15. Cover the sauce with a layer of noodles and spread 1/3 of your ricotta mixture onto the tops of the noodles. Spread 1/3 of your zucchini strips out next and fill in the gaps with 1/3 of your vegetables mixture.
16. Repeat this 2 more times: layering 1 cup sauce, noodles, 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1/3 zucchini, and 1/3 veggies.
17. Add a final layer of noodles and cover them well with all of the remaining tomato sauce and finally, your mozzarella cheese.

18. Cover with parchment paper and then aluminum foil and bake covered for 30 minutes.
19. Remove from oven and uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 of your Parmesan cheese and return it to the oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes more.
20. Remove from oven, lay the parchment/foil over the top and let stand for 15 minutes before digging in. (Sorry!)

Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions!

SAM_0788

 


Leave a comment

New Life, New Garden

I was so inspired by the Three Sisters Garden that I learned about while I was visiting the Chickasaw Nation Cultural Center that I decided to incorporate it into my vegetable garden this spring.

First we had to clear out a bunch of grass, clean up a lot of overgrown shrubs in front of the house, bring in a whole bunch of dirt, and build some mounds for planting.
Here’s the “before and after” of that:

 

For the Three Sisters Garden, the object is to grow corn, beans, and squash.  They grow well together, feed each other, and protect one another. I decided to mix it up a bit and choose a few varieties within each of these categories.

Field corn / Dent corn (which is better for corn meal) and pole beans are both recommended for the three sisters garden so that the bean vines can attach to the strong stalks of these corn varieties.  I chose Green Oaxaca Dent Corn and and Pencil Cob Dent corn along with Wando green peas and Kentucky Wonder green beans for 2/3 of my three sisters area. Since I wanted to grow some sweet corn as well, I chose Bantam corn and half-runner Pinto beans. Half-runners are a mixture between a pole-bean and a bush-bean so I’m hoping that they will do alright since they won’t need as much support from the sweet corn.  I will also add stakes as supports for these sweet corn stalks and their beans, just to be safe.

As for the squash, its recommended to use varieties that will grow on a creeping vine (better protection for the other plants) so I am using butternut squash, cantaloupe, acorn squash, cucumber, and spaghetti squash.

So far I’ve only planted the corn and will add the beans and squash in the next few weeks.

In the same front area, I was able to add a few more mounds and rows for a little patch of other vegetables as well.
First, I transplanted some carrot, beet, and swiss chard seedlings which I’m also growing in half-barrels in the back garden.

Then I sowed the following from seed as well:
Zucchini
Yellow Squash
Kale
Lima Beans
Marigolds
Luffa Sponge

Should be having some sprouts real soon!