Saturday, April 27, 2019

That Bagel Recipe, Morality, and Accreditation

Having been accused by some people of being immoral and unethical, I feel the need to defend myself.

As the author of a few published cookbooks who had recipes stolen and put in other published cookbooks without the slightest accreditation myself, I know just how awful that is. When I've created original content, figuring out some awesome things by myself and had my content literally copied word for word onto another blog with zero accreditation, I contacted the author of that blog, as did a bunch of readers of this blog, and that author then edited her post to include a link to my post with its original content, and it's actually been such a great source of traffic for my blog. So what originally left me quite annoyed at my content literally being stolen actually turned out for the good.

Why am I writing this?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Homemade Paleo Bagels Recipe -- Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan Option

I haven't had a good bagel in far too long. Ever since going gluten free, it's been hard to get bagels, and when I do, they tend to be the texture of regular bread, just shaped like a bagel. I saw this recipe for gluten free bagels from Kosher Everyday when it was going around my Facebook feed, and it looked awesome, especially since it is grain free and paleo friendly, and suitable for the holiday of Passover. Most paleo recipes using almond flour also use eggs, which make them not suitable for me, but this recipe that I saw only used eggs for an egg wash, which I knew would be optional, so I decided to tweak this recipe.

While the recipe calls for tapioca starch, I didn't have any on hand, but had a lot of potato starch, so attempted to see if it would work. I'll admit, I was scared, because one of the steps involved boiling it in water, and I was sure it would fall apart, since it had no binder... But it worked! 

In place of the egg wash, I decided to use almond milk brushed on, but next time I think I'll leave them off.

The bagels are delicious, everyone in my family loved them!

Can I say they have the exact same texture as regular bagels? Definitely not. But they were definitely better than the previous gluten free bagels I've eaten, and I'd highly recommend them. And they made a delicious cream cheese sandwich.

While the version I made wasn't 100% vegan, you can easily make this vegan by using maple syrup, jaggery syrup, or date syrup instead of the honey.

Other than tree nuts, this recipe is free of the top 8 allergens, so its pretty allergy friendly too.

Homemade Paleo Bagels Recipe -- Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan Option

How To Secure A Pay Rise

Sometimes if you need to be bringing in more money, you don't need to find a new job or work more hours. Sometimes all that is necessary is to get your salary increased via a pay raise. Here's a post from a reader with suggestions as to how to do that.

Getting a pay rise can be one of those things that seems impossible. First of all, you don’t want to ask your boss for one, as you don’t want to seem like you’re being ill-mannered and pushing for too much. Secondly, if you’ve been working for the same amount of money for all of this time, then why ask now for a little bit more? However, when the cost of those essential items goes up, and your salary stays the same, you can feel like you’re being pulled further into financial disarray each month. Here’s how you can secure the pay rise that you need.

Image credit

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe -- Gluten Free, Paleo and Allergy Friendly

Lately, I really am loving easy recipes that end up with a complete dinner in one, and shepherd's pie is one of my favorites. Yes, some shepherd's pie recipes are complex and complicated with many different ingredients and steps, but I find my version to be quite easy, and it ends up delicious, and my entire family loves it. It ends up quite a lot on my dinner table, and in fact, I am making this again tonight.

If you want to keep this recipe even easier, you can use instant mashed potatoes for the top. Since I pressure cook my potatoes and keep them unpeeled I don't find that part hard, but feel free to use this shortcut if you want, just add the flavorings mentioned.

I like to stretch my ground beef with grated zucchini; I find it not only makes it cheaper, but also makes the meat more moist. Sometimes I added canned or frozen peas and carrots to my zucchini stretched meat, but not always (and depends on how picky my kids are being, because some don't want the peas); feel free to add that to yours to keep down the cost further, as long as you aren't trying to make this recipe paleo. Oh, and did I mention that this is allergy friendly, free of the top 8 allergens?

You can keep this even cheaper by making this with ground chicken or ground turkey instead of the beef, but I feel it generally needs more flavor if you do it that way, so don't skip the next step.

Lastly, I generally keep mine simple in terms of flavorings, but if you want to, feel free to add some ketchup or barbecue sauce to the meat mixture layer.

Oh, and by the way, if anyone wants to comment on my usage of a disposable pan, you're invited to either keep your mouth shut or to come over and wash my dishes.

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe -- Gluten Free, Paleo and Allergy Friendly

The Career Paths That Will Never Be Unneeded

I often think about what types of careers my children will get into one day. If you're trying to increase your income, you might think to retrain in another career. But how do you make sure that what you're learning isn't going to go obsolete? Here's a post from a reader about suggestions for careers that are likely to stick around, at least for quite a while.

There are quite a few careers in the world that have stood the test of time. Automobile engineering, marketing, and computer science to name a few. These industries have changed a lot but the need for professionals in this environment is stronger than ever. Parents have to encourage their children to do something they like. Preferably your kids will find something they can really pour their passion into and become successful. However the challenge is first to show them what kind of options there are out there. It's important to not be pushy and try to force them into a direction that you would like them to follow. So as you do explain the landscape of the professional world, show them what kinds of opportunities lie out there that they could do for many decades to come. Some career paths will never be unneeded by any company in any industry, so learning about them and how they have and will evolve will help you to answer some of your children’s questions.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

My Amazing Free Haul from the Clothes and Houseware Share

Children grow so fast! It seems like just yesterday that I came home with so many new clothes for my kids, and yet, my kids keep growing out of them and telling me "Mommy, I need new clothes". Do that times four and you have quite a pricey proposition.
For that reason, I'm so glad that I know about a "clothes and houseware share" in the nearby city that lets you get whatever you need, absolutely for free, as long as they have it available.

Its like a second hand clothing store, only you don't pay a cent for anything. People bring whatever they want to get rid of, whether they're decluttering, outgrow clothes, or bought something they no longer want, and other people can take them home. The other difference between that and a second hand store is that, as this is all run on a volunteer basis, things aren't always "neatly on racks" or very well organized. I mean they attempt to organize it as well as they can, but they keep getting more and more donations, so there are often bags and bags to look through and sort instead of shelves to browse.
But it makes the experience more fun that way.
And it makes you feel like you won the lottery when you find something wonderful.

While I've known about this clothes and houseware share for a while, and even am in the neighborhood once or twice a week, I'm always in a rush when I'm there, so I haven't been able to take the time to go look for things, but today I was finally able to.

And though I'd originally planned on spending an hour or so there, I ended up spending quite a few hours...

And came home with quite a haul!
My kids and I are all really excited about what I got there. So many things! 

The woman in charge, when I asked her what she thought about statements I've gotten about being a "taker" when I bring home so many free things, she said that its quite ridiculous. If people don't take things, then they get overrun with clothes and other items, and it makes it unpleasant for everyone. The biggest help, she says, is to come and take things. Because then when other people offload their donations, there's room for them.

And when you're searching through the bags for things, you can also sort them out, making the place more pleasant for future visitors.

Here's what I brought home.

Here Is Why Modern Dermatologists Recommend Using Only Organic Beauty Products

I used to think that, in terms of health, it only mattered what you put into your mouth, but not what you put on your skin. Then I learned that your skin, as one of the biggest organs in your body, absorbs what you put onto it, and you need to be careful there. Here's some tips from a reader about how to choose healthy skin care products.

As a person who is very cautious about skin, it came to me as a shock when I learned the top beauty brands I trusted and regularly used were hiding away the true picture of what their products are made off.

It was only recently I discovered that nearly all beauty products in my drawer had harmful chemicals and additives added to enhance the product. It caught my attention when I was reading an article about parabens on the internet, a very common chemical used in beauty products of today. The thing that concerned me was that parabens are associated with cancer and the skin that gets exposed to this chemical has more chances of incurring cancer.

I knew I had to make an immediate change. I went to my dermatologist and she confirmed that typical beauty and skincare products indeed carried chemicals that cause hazardous health problems. She said the only way to keep myself safe from these chemicals is to go organic, and ever since that day, I have only bought organic beauty products.

Here are some reasons why modern dermatologists recommend using only organic beauty products.

Friday, April 12, 2019

My Recent Frugal and Extremely Frugal Accomplishments

Hi there everyone! I am so excited to share this post with you, about some frugal and extremely frugal things I did lately! I used to do this on a regular basis, and then my life got super busy and it felt like I didn't even have time to breathe, let alone do anything particularly frugal... But fortunately I've managed to breathe a little again, and because of that, I've managed to do these things and I'm glad to be able to share them with you, and hopefully inspire you to do some frugal things too.

Where An Acupuncture Career Can Lead You

Frugal living is great and all, but sometimes you need to increase your income so you have more leeway in the budget, instead of just lowering your expenses again and again. To raise your income, some people decide to learn a trade, and studying acupuncture is one of them. Here's an infographic from a reader that shows you possible career options that open up to you if you study acupuncture.

Interested in studying acupuncture but unsure of where it can lead you?

After enrolling in a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture) with Endeavour: Natural College of Health, you will learn the necessary skills needed in the treatment of conditions such as neck and back pain, migraines, insomnia, anxiety and depression.

While you will possess the knowledge and expertise passed down from traditional Chinese medical practitioners, will you be able to forge a career as an acupuncturist?

Four popular paths for acupuncturists are outlined in the infographic below:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Our Fun and Frugal Family Trip Today

Pic heavy post ahead!

In my country, today was a national holiday, which meant that everyone was off of school and I was off of work. To make it even better, the government decided that inter city public transportation would all be free. Originally I planned on just taking it easy, maybe doing a bit of housework today, but in the end, decided to take the kids on a trip to a beautiful desert oasis a few hour drive from where we live. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Post Divorce Therapy For The Sake Of The Kids

When people hear about couples' counseling, they usually think about couples that are trying to make their relationship work but are struggling, and that the goal of such counseling is to save the marriage or relationship and that if one decides to get divorced it is a failure. In recent posts I already knocked that notion, that divorcing isn't a failure and counseling doesn't fail if divorce is what ended up happening.

But what most people don't consider is that even once you decide to get divorced, joint therapy is still often a good idea.
If you are childless, or at least don't share a child with the spouse you're divorcing, you can often say goodbye and never see each other again. But if there are children in the picture, even once you divorce, you'll still likely be in each other's lives for a very long time.
For this reason, divorce counseling and post divorce counseling is something that is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason.

What exactly is divorce counseling, and how does it work?

How to Live Frugally with a Chronic Illness

Being ill can get expensive, and when your illness is a chronic one, this is an expense that won't ever go away. I have some dear friends with chronic illnesses, and therefore I really appreciate these tips sent from a reader as to how to live frugally with a chronic illness.

As if both your physical and emotional stress wasn’t enough, when you go through life with a chronic illness, you also have to deal with added financial strain. Chronic conditions, whether they’re caused by a mental health issue, cardiovascular condition, or physical or intellectual disability, are expensive. You have to worry about doctor’s appointments, medical devices, treatments, and medications. Your ability to earn money to support yourself (and your family) may also be compromised.

Fortunately, there are ways to live frugally with a chronic illness. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Imitation BBQ Pulled Pork From Banana Peels Recipe -- Gluten Free Vegan and Frugal Meat Substitute

You ever hear about something on the internet and it sounds so incredibly wacky and bizarre that you just have to try it to see if it works? Sometimes it comes out amazingly well (like cauliflower alfredo sauce) and sometimes it comes out so incredibly vile (like those cauliflower lemon bars, don't even ask).
A few weeks ago in a vegan eating Facebook group, I saw someone post about imitation pulled pork made from banana peels. Now I was intrigued, as it wasn't the first time I have heard of using banana peels in cooking; I even have a banana peel chutney recipe here on this blog. I didn't attempt to make it right away as I hadn't purchased bananas in a while, and when I do the bananas tend to be overripe which leaves the skin too sweet, but when I finally did buy bananas and they ended up being too green for me, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to test out this recipe.

So first of all, why eat banana peels? Well, according to this and many other places, they are a good source of nutrients and have other medicinal benefits. They've actually been used traditionally in recipes across the globe, mainly in Asia and South America. Secondly, it reduces waste and saves money.
But a bigger reason? Why not?

And lastly? Because people who don't eat meat are often looking for non meat substitutes, so why not diversify and find more options for that, especially one that is gluten free, legume free, and allergy friendly?

Friday, April 5, 2019

Sweet and Sticky Honey Garlic Chicken Wings Recipe -- Gluten Free and Easy, Paleo Option

I have been making sticky honey garlic chicken wings for years already, but I never actually followed a recipe and just winged it every time. It has to be up there among my favorite ways to eat chicken wings, if not my absolute favorite. After yet again deciding to make it and people asking me how I did it, I decided to finally write down my recipe.
It's pretty flexible, you can use whatever sweeteners you have available. This time I used a mix of honey and white sugar because that's what I had in the house (I only had half a cup) but you can use all honey, half honey half coconut sugar, half jaggery syrup half white sugar, all brown sugar, all coconut sugar, etc. Basically, don't use all white sugar, because you want something that gives it a richer flavor, whether a brown sugar/sweetener or honey, but you can cut those down with white sugar to keep it cheaper.

This recipe makes a lot of wings, enough for my family for two meals, or to feed a nice sized crowd; feel free to split this in half to serve a smaller crowd.

I love how frugal this recipe is; even using honey, the costs are still pretty low because wings are just about the cheapest meat out there, but if you use sweeteners like jaggery syrup its even cheaper.

Sweet and Sticky Honey Garlic Chicken Wings Recipe -- Gluten Free and Easy, Paleo Option

Thursday, April 4, 2019

I'm still here

Sorry I haven't posted so much recently. I'm still here. I'm just... having a bit of a hard time lately, and its hard to find time to focus to write. So much going on in my life making me stressed out, making me not have the energy to do beyond the bare minimum right now.

I'll be back.
Hopefully soon.
Please be patient with me.