Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas (a diversion from hair)

The presents don't really matter.
The rush can be too much sometimes.
The dollar comes and goes.
There's so much vanity in the world, in my life... I'm guilty, Father.

I want nothing more right now than to be in your presence.  I'm so thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain that we might be redeemed, sanctified, set free and delivered.  I love Your presence!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Marinated-Goat Cheese from "A Soft Place to Land"

Mmm... fooooood!

I have at least two events to which I could take this dish in the coming weeks.  And I had no idea that goat cheese had less fat and calories -- and is easier to digest -- than cow's milk cheese.  Go figure!

Check out the recipe by clicking the link to this blog, A Soft Place to Land.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Cherry Lola Re-Do

I'm a huge fan of simple recipes, so when I first heard about Cherry Lola on NaturallyCurly's 4a message board (which BTW is a great board particularly for new naturals), I knew I had to give it a shot.  I guess I would call the "Cherry Lola Treatment" a conditioner.  She has a great breakdown on her site of the properties of amino acids which is worth a look.  After seeing her results -- and acknowledging that her texture is different from mine -- I just wanted to see what it would do to my hair.

I tried this back in Winter/Spring '09 after I chopped off my locs to go free-form.  I took pics but lost them (pooh!). I think my hair was about 7-8 inches stretched at the time.  The treatment softened my hair AND loosened my curls temporarily.  Please note -- my goal is not to change my hair texture.  I'm quite fond of it as is.  But, I do have some issues with frizz and like to experiment with how to lessen it a bit.

Anyway, fast-forwarding to today, I cut my hair to TWA in August 09 and kept it short for several months.    Now, in Dec '10, it's around 6-7 inches long.  

My Issues:  winter dryness, frizziness

2 parts Organic Yogurt
1/2 part baking soda
1/2 part amino acids

I bought a

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Cookie Time!

Is there ever a time in life when cookies are inappropriate?  No, of course not!

Eons ago when I was a kid, my younger brother and sister and I would make Nestle's Toll House Cookies together around Christmas time.  We were a creative little threesome, so we would always make a "story" out of the process. I don't remember it *precisely* but I think the dry ingredients formed the mountains, the vanilla was lava, the egg was sunshine, chips were chocolate rain -- you get the picture. This was after Atari but before Playstation -- we had fun with simple stuff. The best part was getting those cookies hot out of the oven -- crispy on the outside, soft inside -- and dunking them in ice-cold milk. Mmmmm... makes you wanna throw rocks at pretty boys, as Dad likes to say.

So, you could safely say cookie-making, especially in December, is simply in my veins. Now, chocolate chip will always be fine and dandy, but lately I've been all about carob, what I consider to be cocoa's nutty-sweet ancient cousin. Mom used to give it to us sometimes as kids. I recently started eating it again during a fast earlier this year, and I just can't get enough. I toss carob chips into my homemade pancakes and I drink carob hot with almond milk as a sub for coffee or tea. In the words of My Big Man, "It's D.E. Licious."

Read up on carob's origins and uses (it may have been what John the Baptist ate in the wilderness) or get straight to the sweet stuff with my favorite carob chip cookie recipe, courtesy of the Chatfield's brand of carob chips. Enjoy!

Shones' Fave Carob Chip Cookie Recipe

2 cups flour
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 ¾ sticks soft butter
1 cup date sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup carob chips (I like grain- or naturally sweetened carob chips)

Heat oven to 375-degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Mix butter, sugar/s, milk, vanilla extract, and egg in a separate larger bowl. Gradually add flour mix to the wet mix, stirring well. Add carob chips.
Bake 9-11 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. ENJOY!!

· I use organic whole wheat flour in place of regular flour.
· Sometimes I substitute 2 cups of self-rising flour for the first three ingredients.
· For a different texture, I add whole flaxseeds or finely ground nuts (e.g. walnuts, pecans) to the mix at the end.
· I strongly prefer using date sugar (ground up dates!) over brown sugar.
· I often replace the brown sugar with maple syrup, molasses, honey, or agave nectar (or some odd blend of these). I tried a half-cup of brown sugar + 1 cup unsweetened applesauce today and reduced the milk by a third to make up for the additional liquid. It made for more cake-like, fluffy cookie.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winterizing my Hair

Eureka! I have finally realized the importance of writing down the basics of what I'm doing to my hair so I can know what's working and what's not. I'm hoping this will help me perfect my regimen.

* 35 is too chilly for wash-n-gos, so I've gone from twice a week to every other. I use Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap (Target), Dr. Wood's Shea Vision liquid soap (EarthFare), Giovanni Direct Tea Tree Shampoo, or plain old Ivory bar soap. With the liquid soaps (Bronners, Woods) a little goes a long way.

* I co-wash weekly using whatever happens to be on hand. Lately, it's Herbal Essences Totally Twisted or Modern Organic Products (MOP) Mixed Greens. MOP isn't as rich as I would like for the winter. I might have to re-visit AOHR.

* To catch the drips I use a micro-fiber turby-towel thing I found at TJMaxx. I don't know how much it cost, but I know it was cheap because... well, because I'm cheap. This cuts drying time in half.

* After getting dressed, I remove the turby, add a moisturizer, such as KBB Hair Milk. Then I seal with (in order of preference) grape seed oil, olive oil, or cold-pressed castor oil. Basically, I use a quarter size amount and gently rub it onto my damp hair from root to end. In terms of achieving and keeping my hair moisturized, I've achieved FANTASTIC results since I started sealing a few months ago. I can't believe I didn't start doing that sooner... like 3 years ago when I first went free-form.

Oh, dear Grape Seed Oil, where have you been all my life?

* After sealing I typically stretch it in some way, because it's easier to do this when it's all damp than when it's dry. I either two-strand twist or band it with satin-covered scrunchies.