Saturday, May 12, 2018

Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee

Finally! After a long, dreary winter, spring has arrived! My favorite part about the spring is gathering up the fresh greens and flowers that are packed full of vitamins and minerals and are super tasty. This year I have dried my dandelion leaves, flowers and made the roots into a wonderful roasted "coffee".

The "coffee" is a not actually coffee but makes a wonderful substitute. It has a nice flavor - a somewhat coffee, caramel and chocolate flavor combination. It's hard to describe, but with a little bit of cream and a touch of honey - it's pretty much heaven! The spring crop of roots are much more mild than the fall crop. The fall is more robust and bitter and packed with more vitamins and minerals because the roots are storing all the nutrition required to make a strong plant in the spring. Fall is the best time to harvest for drying roots for their medicinal value and for the most robust coffee, but I love the spring harvest as well! 

I dig up my dandelions whole and try to get as much as the root as possible. They are long and do easily break off. I found it best to try to run a long screwdriver or a dandelion removing down next to the root as closely as possible and break the ground around it by wiggling it back and forth. If difficult to remove, I will do this around the plant. A shovel works, too, but it leaves a lot more mess to deal with and depending where you harvest your plants, you may not want to leave holes behind.

After digging the dandelions, I pre-rinse with a hose to get rid of as much dirt as possible. Then I put the whole plant in a 5 gallon bucket and rinse, drain, rinse, drain, rinse, drain.... until the water looks quite clean. Next, I cut off the top part of the plant and put in two separate piles.

I then put the roots in a bowl and soak for a little bit. Then I rinse a few more times and try to swish off as much of the remaining dirt as possible.

I then use a scrub brush to take off the remaining dirt. I like putting a small cutting board in the bottom of the sink to have something to scrub on. If the roots have a lot of off-shoots, I'll break them apart to get in between them.

Then I put them in my food processor and chop until the pieces resemble brown rice.

Next I pour them on a cookie sheet and put them in a 225 degree oven and let them dry. This can take about an hour. 

I then check to see how they are drying by stirring every 10 to 20 minutes or so. Drying times will depend on the day, your oven, how large the pieces are, etc.

After the pieces are dry, I increase the oven temperature to 325 and continue to bake. Now the roasting process has started. I kept a close eye on it and mixed every 10 minutes. I love this part because when the root is almost ready to remove from the oven, it has the most amazing aroma of baking a chocolate cake or brownies! 

Some people will remove the root as soon as they see small wisps of smoke coming from the root. I put mine back in a bit longer. I like a darker roast. I find it to have a bit more of a robust flavor. 

After removing from the oven, I let it cool and then put it in a jar. The contents in the jar are much more true in color to the actual end product. 

To use:

Put water in a pan and bring to a boil. Add the dandelion root, stir well and boil for 1 minute. Make sure it doesn't boil over because it will produce foam on top. You will need 1 tsp. of Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee per 8 oz of water (adjust to taste). Serve with a little cream and honey if desired.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a qualified/licensed instructor or certified to teach wildcrafting, using herbs or explaining how to identify any plant I use or speak of in these posts. This is only describing what I did and how I use the item described in MY home with MY family. I am not to be held responsible for any misinformation or any mishaps if anyone decides to try this at home. If you decide to try this method - it is at your own risk. Please research and study any plants, methods and side effects of the plant describe in this post.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

More Than I Could Ever Hope For

GOD has a way of putting surprises in our lives that we would never expect. As I continued to read the Bible and pray, my eyes were opened and I softened and began to really HEAR what He was telling me. I guess he must have decided I was receptive to His plan because He started implementing it well before I could see it happening.

Every once in a while, I would run into my ex-husband. We were always civil and decent to each other. If he found out I needed something like the car fixed or tech advice, he'd always offer to help. I always declined. He's my ex, so why would I have him continue to help me?! But one day, he made a point of driving to where I worked, just to check my car because of some odd tire wear. I couldn't believe he'd go out of his way just for that and for me, so I bought him dinner as a thank you.

As time went on, we would go out for dinner every once in a while, but in late fall, we started actually spending more time together, going to the movies, dinner and talking. Then we did day trips and all the while I was still reading the Bible and praying. I discovered in many places in Paul's books and especially 1Cor 7:10-11 that even though we are divorced, in the eyes of God, we are basically still married and should reconcile or never marry another. My ex came across the same thing.

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

This weighed heavily on our hearts and one day, it came out - both of us were contemplating the same thing. After many long discussions we decided we should reconcile. We will be getting remarried on our anniversary date!

Since this has been decided, I cannot tell you the peace we've both felt. Unfortunately, others around us are not so thrilled and have tried discouraging us. My closest friend, who is a Christian, believes that we are doing the right thing. She said she sees how we are together and how miserable we have been apart. She believes we needed the time apart to grow and see what is was most important - God. When God was lost in my life and I started listening to the ways of the world, I lost sight of things. How true this is! I needed the total breakdown and heartache to find what was most important.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Life Is Full Of Lessons

Life is full of lessons - some extremely difficult, some easy and some that take you totally by surprise. My last few years have been full of lesson - mostly difficult and some made me wonder if I was going to survive: However, I made it through, with the help the help of the Lord.

As you know, I was divorced 2 years ago, went to Australia to heal and came back to begin my life over. I found a part time job, an apartment and then life became more interesting as I looked for more work. I was carrying 3 part time jobs at one point last year and then found a full time job. Not the dream job I've always wanted it, but a good paying full time job in food services that has good benefits. Life seemed to be finally looking up. Then came the surprise.

Spiritually and emotionally, I was a mess. I tried hiding from God. My life was in shambles, I had broken my vow to be together with my husband forever, and I was really seeing myself as I truly was and not liking it one bit. So, like the child who took a cookie from the cookie jar when told not to, I hid from my Father. I didn't read my Bible, didn't pray, and stayed as far away as I could from Him. But it appeared He wasn't going to allow that at all. People would come to me and ask if I had a Church that I attended. I would say no and then be invited to attend theirs. I had one woman give me a book called "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young and she kept telling me things about forgiveness and stated she knew I was haunted by what happened. I attended church a few times when I wasn't working and I began reading the Bible.

The healing that I needed finally came, but only after learning to forgive myself and learning to accept and like myself for who I am. With that came a change in me. I became a calmer, more peaceful and more loving and accepting person. I didn't notice it at first, but as I look back, I can really notice a difference. God has been very good to me. I now have everything need and more than I could ever hope for!

Male sure to come back tomorrow to find out what surprise blessing God granted me!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye 2017

It has been almost 2 years since my divorce was final. It's been a time of sadness, depression, forgiveness, growth and healing. I have been away for a long time learning about myself and learning to both forgive myself and even have learned to like who I am now.

I did not set any goals for the year. I just decided I would challenge myself to be the best I could be with what I had to work with. I went from middle aged housewife to being employed by an amazing university with great benefits and an amazing group of people to work with. The road was not easy. I had 3 part time jobs for awhile and then was blessed with a loving friend who talked me into applying at the university. It is difficult to get in. Some have applied for years. I put in 46 applications in over a 4 month period, had 11 interviews and was hired part time. The day before I started my part time job, I was called for another interview for full time. I went for the interview and started full time only 3 weeks after starting my part time at the university! That doesn't happen! Everyone I talked to says they've worked part time for at least a year. I was so very lucky!!!

Australia was lovely and someday I want to go back and see more of it. I really had considered staying there, but needed to be in a relationship to be able to work there. Not my thing at that time at all! I came home and went to work looking for jobs. I was turned down so many times because I was out of work for 26 years to raise a family. That was really hard. I finally found work as an Event Specialist then as a merchandiser, a produce associate and then a part time cashier at the college. I was putting a good 60 hours a week in and not bringing a lot home, but I was managing.

I found an apartment very close to work, so it made life a bit easier. I bought a car and was making it on my income, but with 3 part time jobs, I had no health insurance. Nothing major happened, thank heavens, but I did have to take a trip into the emergency room for a bloody nose. I had 14 nose bleeds in 24 hours and ended up having to go to the emergency room because the doctor said he couldn't do it in his office. All it took was what looked like a lit incense stick shoved up my nose, and I was fixed. That little procedure produced an $1800 bill. Amazing!

Over the past 2 years I have grown up. I've learned many lessons about life. I've learned to conquer my fears of flying, being alone, getting lost, traveling to strange places, heights, and failure. Those things really limited me and what I did. But more than anything, I stopped hiding from God. I felt like I failed when the divorce was final, and I tried my best at ignoring anything about God. I stopped praying, reading the Bible, would avoid any conversations about Him, etc. I felt like I failed because I ended up breaking my vows by signing the divorce papers. That, too, has been conquered.

It has been a long journey, but a necessary one. I have come out a better person. One with much more patience, understanding, forgiveness and love for those around me. I have been blessed with many friends and acquaintances and have a job where I get treated with respect.  Life can really change in just 2 years. I am truly blessed!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Book Review: Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New

Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New: *Healing the Broken Places *Resolving Unmet Expectations *Moving Your Relationship Forward
Author: Cindy Beall
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
ISBN: 9780736967112
Genre: Christian Non-fiction

Description (from NetGalley):
What's better than new?--God's best!

You've made a commitment to see your marriage healed, so now what? Whether you're recovering from an affair or years of coasting, Cindy Beall shares from her redeemed marriage journey to help you

heal deeply by restoring faith in a future

build wisely from the foundation up

live fully by interacting as a renewed couple

invest generously in your marriage and in other people

Insightful questions, biblical teachings to counter lies, and stories of rebuilt marriages lead you to God's healing and the hope of helping others from the place you once had deep pain.

My Thoughts:

Cindy Beall wrote this book with both honesty and experience and shared a story of pain and her journey to healing their marriage. Her story is raw and can be found more in detail in her first book "Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration".

"Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New" concentrates on how to fix your marriage and make it better than the first time around. She gives Bible references, life experience and questions/answers in workbook style so that you can work on your own marriage to improve it and heal it. Cindy's style is engaging and makes things attainable instead of feeling impossible like some other books I've read in the past.

If you want to fix a marriage that is having issues, give this book a try. I won't say it's going to be an easy fix or even successful, because you BOTH need to WANT to fix the problems in the marriage. This is something that both need to work on to attain success. There are no quick fixes, you'll experience lots of pain, but if you want your marriage to work, it will be worth it in the end. The best part about this book is that she has lived it and applied it, so it's not a book penned by someone who has theories. This one has worked, so with hard work and desire by both partners, you may see some amazing results!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Family Recipe Friday -

Kapusta means cabbage in Polish. This dish was made many times by my grandmother. Sometimes she used just cabbage and other times she'd combine cabbage and sauerkraut together and add pork for New Year's Day and would serve with mashed potatoes and kielbasa.

Just seeing this recipe for Kapusta brings back many memories of my grandmother standing in the kitchen cooking, the warmth of the atmosphere and the mouthwatering smells. Walking into her kitchen on a cold winter's day was like walking into heaven. She would always be in there making something and I remember not only the warmth of the kitchen, but her smile, hugs and kisses and then her demanding that we sit down and eat.


1 medium head cabbage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound bacon
1/4 cup flour
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon Cumin powder

Cut cabbage in fat shreds. Cook in a small amount of water to which you have added the bayleaf, onion, garlic, salt and Cumin.

Cut bacon into small pieces and fry. Add flout and stir constantly until it is a rich brown. Add to cooked cabbage and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.

Put into a buttered casserole and bake in a 300 degree F oven for 20 minutes.

Buttered crumbs may be sprinkled on top before baking.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Exchange Rate and Trip

Blue Mountains - Three Sisters

I'm beside myself with trying to decide if I should now be going to Australia. The exchange rate isn't looking as nice as it did when all things were set into motion. Unfortunately, because of the amount of time that the divorce settlement took, I lost my roommate. As of yet, I still don't have the settlement money in my account, so I still cannot apply for a Visa until I have proof that I have enough money to go out and stay. Who knows, with the way things are going, I might not be accepted because the amount of money I have isn't enough. This stacked up on top of being alone out there, makes me really antsy, to say the least. 

I do have all the paperwork finished and ready to send to the bank in Sydney. Now, I just have to find out if I can go and if I really want to face a huge city alone. Growing up in rural America and never really being in a big city for more than a couple of days puts me at a disadvantage. Or should I say it makes me a bit terrified. I will admit, I've not done much alone all the time I was married, so this is a huge step for me. Maybe I'm just getting cold feet because I'm facing the unknown alone.

My other option is to stay here in the States and look for a good place to go. I do have 2 options. One would be to go out to the West Coast and be near my daughter or the East Coast to be near my son. Both said they wouldn't mind sharing an apartment with me and it would help them, but I'm not sure if it really would be or if they are just saying that to help Mom out.

So here I sit, pretty much indecisive on what I should do. I need to make a decision soon as my time is running out. I hate this paralyzed feeling and how much I'm flopping back and forth. Hopefully I'll grow up soon and make a decision. Right now there's a whole world of options and I can't figure out which one is best!  


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