About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

My Favourite Things

My Favourite Things

This post was originally meant to go live almost two months ago. 

It’s been a long while since I was able to spend much time in front of my laptop and add my noise to the blogosphere. I’ve missed you all, and sharing my favourite things.

I’ve been in a season on intentional and unintentional breaks. Life is full of the unexpected, isn’t it?

Those of you that follow me on Facebook or Instagram (I’m loving it over there!) may know that my brother is seriously ill. He was diagnosed with an inoperable brain-stem tumor in the fall. We have been on a wild journey ever since.

There have been multiple ICU stays, nights of sleeping in the same clothes, and lots of take-out, and meals brought to us by many friends. There have been countless prayers, tears, and amazing people.

In April, early on the morning of the 30th, we almost lost him. Respiratory failure has to be one of the scariest things to watch. Yet God is gracious and isn’t done with my brother yet. The paramedics got there just in time and after almost three weeks in the ICU, my brother came home again.

Sadly on the 29th of May (the day post was written) once again he went into respiratory failure and was rushed to the ER in the nick of time. After almost six weeks in the ICU, he was transferred to a facility for patients on ventilators. At this time we don’t see any hope of him returning home.

Things still look bleak yet God is still faithful. 

We have been so amazingly blessed by ICU staff that have become like family, friends showering us with meals, prayers, gas cards, and countless prayers.

Amazingly in the midst of our chaos our Heavenly Papa has given me a greater peace and joy than I have known since I returned from Mexico. Transitioning from the mission field to life in the States is not easy. Someday I may be able to share more about that. (Update, God continues to give me that peace and daily little things in life bring an unshakable joy.)

Other exciting things like my little sister getting married (I was the photographer), my dear childhood best friend giving birth to a precious girl on my birthday, my sister’s wedding reception, family visiting, and a trip to Mexico have filled the last few months as well.

Wedding MFT

This is a long way of saying life happens. Life is full of the unexpected. My plan is to be on here more in the coming months but we shall see. When I started this post back in May I didn’t expect things to take the turn that they did.

Until then curl up with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy some things I have been savoring the past few weeks and just waiting to share with you!

Favourite Reads

5 Old-Fashioned Habits that are Due for a Comeback @ Richly Rooted

How to Decide Whether to Keep or Declutter Something @ Early Bird

Capsule Wardrobe: What it is, why you’ll love you’ll love it, and how to get one @ Red and Honey

Favourite Eats and Recipes

Nick’s Taco Blog

If You Aren’t Already, Start Saving Your Bacon Grease @ The Nourishing Gourmet

How to Make Thai Curries @ Rachel Cooks Thai

Favourite Books

Sweet on You by Chautona Havig

Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider

 

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Thai Chicken Fried Rice- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Savory grains of rice are mixed with fresh summer vegetables, tender chicken, and spicy basil.

Thai chicken fried rice is the perfect dish to enjoy anytime, especially in the summer when gardens are bursting with zucchini, bell peppers, string beans, and basil, all of which make up this dish.

I am a huge rice fan. Part of that comes from living in Mexico for ten years where I ate it almost every day. The other part is simply because rice is pretty tasty. It helps that rice is an excellent way to stretch pricier items like meat. Even now that I have been State-side for over two years I crave rice if I go more than a few days without eating it.

Rice is the humble staple of many cultures. Whether it is Arabic rice, Chinese egg fried riceJamaican rice and peas, or a savory miso rice congee, rice is an integral part of life. It is the substance that keeps many people going.

Unless it is necessary for me to go grain-free I don’t see my kitchen ever going without rice.

Thai is one of my weakness when it comes to picking a restaurant to eat at. If I could, I would eat it out at least once a week but that is not exactly budget friendly.

Thankfully over time I have started to learn how to recreate some of my favorite dishes, like yellow curry or Kimi’s simple Thai broth. It was only a matter of time that I finally broke down to create a Thai chicken fried rice that satisfied my cravings.

This Thai chicken fried rice is a combination of three of my favorite restaurants in various parts of California.

Join me at The Nourishing Gourmet for this recipe and a few tips! 

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Thai Chicken Fried Rice-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

 

Do you find it hard to get nourishing real meals on the table? Let Tradishen help take the guess work out of menu planning for you! Find recipes like this one and more at Tradishen.

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Fresh Pesto Pasta Salad

Fresh Pesto Pasta Salad NS

Pasta covered with fresh pesto, and mixed with summer veggies make this dish a must have at your next BBQ this summer.

Until a couple years ago, I was not a pasta salad fan. I stayed as far from it as I could. Gloppy mayo and bottled dressings never enticed me to try more than a bite.

One day when I was looking through For the Family’s recipes I found my friend Tiffany’s (AKA Don’t Waste the Crumbs) delightful garlic butter pasta salad. Just the title grabbed my attention, what is not to love? Garlic, butter, and pasta are always a win in my book.

Guess what? I realized that I was putting pasta salad in a box and treating it with an aversion that it didn’t deserve. Will I be lining up at the next pot-luck to eat a “traditional” pasta salad? No, I still won’t but it opened my eyes to the tasty options that were possible.

Fast forward to last month. My little sister’s wedding reception had just ended. We all piled in our cars to have an “after party” at my parent’s house because that is the only sane thing to do right? My uncle, got the grill going and my cousin Stacy (check out her TravelTote) made two AMAZING salads.

One of the aforementioned salads was a pesto pasta salad. It.was.so.good! I knew that I had to recreate it. My version ended up being different than her’s since I left out the mozzarella and pine nuts because well pine nuts aren’t budget food and I’m not a cheese fan.

This version suits my fancy quite well, it is full of summer vegetables, garlic, basil, good fat, and salt. What’s not to love?

Random fact, did you know that in Baja California, tamales are served with pasta salad? 🙂

Fresh Pasta Pesto Salad

8oz corkscrew pasta
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup basil, cut*
1/2 cup fresh pesto
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook pasta until done. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is boiling, cut the tomatoes, pepper, onion, and basil*.

*Roll a few basil leaves up together like a cigar. Thinly slice and proceed with the remaining leaves.

Mix the salt and red pepper flakes into the pesto. Coat the pasta with the pesto mixture.

Toss the pesto pasta with the chopped vegetables and basil.

Chill until you are ready to serve.

Pesto Pasta Salad
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 8oz corkscrew pasta
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ large red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup basil, cut*
  • ½ cup fresh pesto
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta until done. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, cut the tomatoes, pepper, onion, and basil*.
  3. *Roll a few basil leaves up together like a cigar. Thinly slice and proceed with the remaining leaves.
  4. Mix the salt and red pepper flakes into the pesto. Coat the pasta with the pesto mixture.
  5. Toss the pesto pasta with the chopped vegetables and basil.
  6. Chill until you are ready to serve.

 

Herbal Bath Soak for Cramps

Herbal Bath Soak for Cramps

You bend over writhing in pain. It’s that time of month again, one that women all over the world have been familiar with since they were teens or younger.

There is hardly a woman or girl out there that does not experience cramps when she is on her period. Do you pop a pill, wither up in bed, or grin and bare it for the day?

In the days leading up to my period and while I am on my period I try to up my magnesium intake because it has been shown to ease menstrual cramps.

Like most women, I normally can’t take the day off when “Aunt Flow” shows up. Instead, I treat myself to a few extra kindnesses as the days approach and during those first two or three especially hard days.

Herbal Bath Soak 2

One kindness that I allow myself is a bath. (Thank the Lord for a house with a bathtub again!!!) Not just any bath mind you but an herbal bath soak for cramps to relax the cramps and soothe my body.

A warm bath alone will help ease menstrual cramps but when Epsom salts which are full of magnesium are added to a bath along with soothing herbs and essential oils that are known for their helpful properties, the benefits are tenfold!

Baths, while relaxing tend to make me over heated so I like to drink a slightly warm cup of my Women’s Tea Blend (full of magnesium) or a glass of Pineapple-Carrot-Tumeric Spritzer.

Herbal Bath Soak for Cramps

1/2 to 2 cups Epsom salt
1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
1/4 cup dried chamomile flowers
1/4 cup dried rose petals
4 drops clary sage essential oil (optional)
Muslin bag or cheesecloth

Add all the dried herbs to a cheesecloth or muslin bag. Add four drops on clary sage essential oil, if choosing to use. Tie shut and add to a tube of warm water.

Add the Epsom salts to the bath, using a smaller amount if it is your first time using them. Swirl them around until dissolved.

Sink down into the tube and relax for 15 to 30 minutes.

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino

This drink is sure to hit the spot on a hot day. It is creamy, slightly sweet, and bursting with vanilla.

Few things are better than drinking a cold icy drink out of a mason jar with a fun straw in the summer. This vanilla bean creme fauxccino is definitely at the top of my list right now. Hot days make me want to wander into a coffee chain and order a nice big blended iced drink. Honest moment here, I may have in the past couple months given in and ordered a few with less syrup and dairy-free milk.

As you know, I am a big fan of fauxccinos for many reasons- they are delicious, so much better for you, less expensive, and easy to whip up! You can have your own ready in less time than it takes to drive to the coffee shop!

This specific fauxccino is coffee free, it’s a milk based drink instead. For the recipe head over to The Nourishing Gourmet where I shared this Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino

Vanilla Bean Fauxccino