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+.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Loaded baked potato soup, creamy goodness top with bacon and green onions.

Any time I have this soup I’m brought back to memories of my family eating at Tony Roma’s. It was THE place we went for my little sis’s birthday and whenever my grandpa came to visit. It was not an ocation to eat light. We loaded up on things like ribs, chicken strips, fries, onion loaf, and of course baked potato soup.

The onion loaf and soup were what made the night. I’m still tinkering with a real food version of their onion loaf, it’s not ready yet. Instead I delved into searching the web for every knock off of baked potato soup known to man. I was flabbergasted on how many recipes called for instant potatoes and cups of heavy cream. I love cream but I can only have so much at once and instant potatoes, well I won’t even go there.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup 2

I found some good ones along the way and finally combined them with some ideas I already had running through my head. While this might not be 100% the same as the family favourite we had at Tony Roma’s it is still very good. It’s been almost 10 years since I had a bowl on my last trip there, where the waiters handed my 20-year-old self a kid’s menu, nothing like boosting your self-confidence…

What I love about this soup is that it shows that you can create nourishing real food dishes that don’t sacrifice a bit of flavor. When you start with homemade broth, satueed onions, and bacon it’s hard to go wrong.

Just looking at the photos makes me want to whipped up another batch. It is rich and filling without being too rich. It’s the perfect soup for a chilly night on these first few nights of spring or any time if you are a soupaholic like me.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (Needs Everything)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 large russet potatoes, baked, peel and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup white cheddar cheese (optional)
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ large yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 4 green onions, chopped (optional)
  • 1½ tsp unrefined salt
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Flip once. Remove and set aside for later.
  2. Add the onion to the pot, sprinkle with salt. Stir occasionally until almost translucent.
  3. Add the arrowroot powder and mix with the onions. Add ½ a cup of broth, stir until the arrowroot is completely dissolved.
  4. Add ½ the potatoes to the pot. Gently pour in the remaining broth.
  5. Sprinkle in the salt, basil, and thyme.
  6. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.
  7. Add the remaining potatoes and milk Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the soup is hot.
  8. Serve and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions.

Have you ever eaten at Tony Romas? What is/was your favourite dish there?

Fresh Lemon Whipped Cream

Fresh Lemon Whipped Cream- www.NourishingSimplicity.org

There is something about lemons that make me smile. They are bright, cheery, and hold a promise of something tasty. I even had my room painted to match the tea cup in the picture above when I was in high school.

I have a slight obsession with lemons. When I lived in Mexico I had a seemingly endless supply of them since there were trees on our property. I created all sorts of treats;   lemon curd,  soothing lemon chamomile popsicles, lemon scones, strawberry lemonade,lemon bars, honey-sweetened lemonade, well, you get the picture. Many of those recipes ended up my cookbook Steeped, others made their way to the blog.

Once I moved back to the States lemons didn’t show up as much at my house. I forgot how expensive they can be in the store! Except for a few here or there that I would buy when visiting family I haven’t really bought any in about 10 years. Thankfully I have  an awesome friend that had more lemons than she needed so I had a supply that just recently ran out.

Fresh Lemon Whipped Cream - www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Lemons on the counter again inspired me to start drinking my morning vanilla lemon “tea”. It also left a few to make a tasty treat like this fresh lemon whipped cream. I’m not going to lie and tell you that I didn’t eat a few spoonfuls of it as soon as I whipped it up. I’m sure it would be amazing on lemon scones, or better yet with lemon scones and lemon curd. I didn’t have quite enough lemons left to make all three so I stuck with the whipped cream.

That’s another obsession I have, whipped cream. Have you noticed that this is my fourth post about whipped cream? Check out the recipe index to visit my other friends. Believe me there are still more to come this spring.

Back to this tasty lemon whipped cream. It is very easy to make, yet seems so fun and a bit fancy when you serve to your guest with fresh fruit or other dessert of your choice. I prefer to use raw cream but I can’t get my hands on any now so I settle for pasteurized cream from Trader Joe’s.

However you make it I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! Now off to the kitchen with a spoon I go…

Fresh Lemon Whipped Cream
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 4 TBS powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Pour in the cream. Whipped on high for about 5 minutes or until slightly stiff peaks begin to form. (if you go to far you will make sweet butter.)

Do you like to make (eat) whipped cream? What is your favourite flavor?

That Time I Talked About Menstrual Cups SckoonCup Review

That Time I Talked About Menstrual Cups SckoonCup Review- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

 “This post was created as part of the SckoonCup Review Campaign in which I am a financially compensated blogger. The opinions are my own and based on my own experience.”

Note: For male readers (those few that I know are out there), this post is not for you. So if you don’t care to read about “Aunt Flow” and things like that now might be the time to click away. I’m not offended, honestly. Come back later for a nice recipe or other natural living tip in a couple of days.

If you have been around Nourishing Simplicity a while you will know that I embrace all things “crunchy”. I’m that gal that ditched regular TP and actually talks about it. I also love all things cloth including cloth menstrual pads so this next item I’m going to talk about really shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. What might that be? The menstrual cup.

My first cup actually came into my life before I embraced all things cloth. I was definitely a closet cup user for a while. Periods aren’t always an easy thing to talk about but once you talk about cloth pads online and interview other bloggers about it, it’s kind of fair game as a friend told me.

Last fall SckoonCup  (ad) asked me to review on of their menstrual cups. I was all on board since my other cup was four years old and not looking so nice. Let me just say I LOVE the color selection! My previous cup was clear and after years of use it was a bit stained. SkcoonCup offers 6 colors to pick from! The bright colors are fun but best of all they don’t stain as easily!

SckoonCup

My lovely blue cup and cute bag to store it in!

 

SkcoonCups come in two sizes Size 1 and Size 2.

Here are some basic rules when it comes to SckoonCup menstrual cup sizing. (From the site.)

Most people who order SckoonCup menstrual cup size 1 will fit some to most of these guidelines:

  • Have not had a vaginal birth
  • Usually under 30ish (if not had vaginal birth)
  • First time users
  • Young people and teenagers who have not had a vaginal birth
  • People who are virgins
  • People who are fit, do yoga, Pilates, and may have strong pelvic muscles
  • If you have bladder sensitivities and need a smaller cup
  • Fits people who have both a “lower” or “high” cervix location
  • Have a medium/heavy to light flow
  • Are worried because you have a “hanging” cervix

SckoonCup size 1 is 1.6 inches in diameter, 1.6 inches in cup length, and the stem is 1.2 inches for a total length of 2.8 inches. SckoonCup size 1 can hold 23ml of fluid.

Most people who order SckoonCup menstrual cup size 2 will fit some or most of these guidelines:

  • Had a vaginal birth
  • Over 30ish (even if you have not had a vaginal birth)
  • Plus sized individuals may benefit from a size 2
  • People who have a very heavy flow may like the size 2
  • People who need a larger cup but not a “longer” cup because of a lower sitting cervix

SckoonCup size 2 is 1.8 inches in diameter, 2.0 inches in cup length, and the stem is 0.8 inches for a total length of 2.8 inches. SckoonCup size 2 can hold 30ml of fluid.

By using SckoonCup you can often collect double to quadruple as much fluid than you can when using a tampon!

These cups are made of medical-grade silicon and are free of synthetic fibers, bleach and dioxin, which makes SckoonCup a healthier and safer alternative to tampons. The reusable menstrual cup can be worn up to 12 hours, even on heavy days. They’re environmentally friendly products made in the USA.

Reasons to Use a Menstrual Cup- www.NourishingSimplicity.org

1. No toxic chemicals

Ever thought about what tampons and pads are made of? Toxic chemicals don’t belong in your near your body. Regardless of what people may say I do not consider disposable pads and tampons to be safe. This list gives you a brief overview of toxic chemicals in products you may buy and the potential health effects.

2. No surprises or stains

There are few things worse than waking up to blood soaked sheets or two having an embarrassing red stain show up while you are out. What woman hasn’t been there? SckoonCups hold 23-30mL of fluid depending on the size you chose. That is more than most tampons can hold. If you have a heavy period or are going to be out for a long time you might want to consider using a cloth pad the first couple days.

If you are worried about being “caught” by surprise you can insert your menstrual cup a day or two before your cycle is supposed to start. (Remember to take it out and rinse it at least once a day.)

Bonus Tip: If you do leak, hydrogen peroxide is GREAT at getting blood stains out. 

3. Easy to use

The SkcoonCup is so easy to use. You insert and can go about your day without needed to empty is for up to 12 hours! You dump, rinse (if you are home), insert and keep on going with your day. It can take a cycle or two to get the knack for using it but once you do I think you are going to love it!

4. Better for the environment

More than 20 million disposable feminine products are thrown away or flushed each year. Most of which end up in land fills or incinerated. Though a large portion are flushed and pass through the sewage plants and into the oceans. Silicone may not be the most amazing thing for the environment but you get many years of use out of your cup before needing a new one. That is a LOT less waste than buying new products every month.

5. Saves you money

SckoonCups may cost a bit when you first buy one but after buying a year or less’ supply of tampons you’ll have your money back. You can continue you use your cup for a few more years. I had my previous cup for four years, I would have used it for another year or two if I hadn’t received my new pretty blue one.

6. On the go

Headed out for the day or going on a trip? I remember the days when I had to fill my purse or suitcase with disposable pads and tampons. With the SkcoonCup you might want to pack a few pads for a long trip but besides that you are good to go! No more taking up extra space.

7. Activity Safe

Looking forward to a day at the beach or a hike? Your SkcoonCup allows you the freedom to continue on with life like normal.

If menstrual cups aren’t your thing Sckoon also sells cloth pads that look like a great product!

How about you? Do you have a menstural cup? Would you give one a try?

 “This post was created as part of the SckoonCup Review Campaign in which I am a financially compensated blogger. The opinions are my own and based on my own experience.”

 

 

Soaked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-www.nourishingsimplicity.org
(This post was originaly posted on January 19th, 2011) 

My all time favorite cookies are oatmeal chocolate chip. Growing up it was the only kind that my mom would make. There are few deserts that can compare. I’m a simple gal I guess.

Back in the day when I first created this recipe I had never yet to attempt sprouting grains to grind into flour. It all seemed a bit to overwhelming. Soaking* the flour and oats seemed the easiest thing to do. It only problem was cookie recipes don’t call for liquid.

*If you are new to soaking grains and why I find it an essential most days in my kitchen read here.

That was when the idea for these soaked oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bar was born. I know others either can’t afford to buy sprouted wheat flour or don’t have the time to make their own. Cookie bars are fugal, easy on time and give you that cookie flavor you are craving. If you want a cookie that using sprouted flour and looks like the cookies you know and love be sure to check out my this recipe.

These cookies been a favourite in my house for almost five years. My girls when I lived in Mexico would gobble them down, I had to be sure to hide them if I wanted a couple as a late night snack with a cup of hot cocoa! Now my parents and Bible Study friends love them as well!

Soaked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups of flour (I like to use a combination of, hard white wheat, red winter wheat and kamut)
  • 2½ cups Water + 3 TBS acid medium (apple cider vinegar, whey, kombucha or lemon juice)
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup sucanat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
Instructions
  1. In a glass bowl mix together the oats, flour, water and acid medium. Cover and let soak for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. After your grains have been soaked add in the remaining ingredients. Mix together until completely mixed together.
  3. Pour into an 8 by 12 glass baking pan.
  4. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve hot or at room temperature.

This post is part of Tuesday Twister and Real Food Cookie Exchange

Quick and Easy Egg Fried Rice

Quick and Easy Egg Fried Rice- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Simple egg fried rice, what is not to love? It is the perfect main dish on a night when you are short on time or an easy side to almost any Asian meal.

Picture cute little white and red boxes brimming full of steaming goodness. Who doesn’t have found memories of Chinese take-out? It is hard to resist boxes full of fried rice, mu shu chicken, broccoli with chicken and spring rolls.

Confession #1: I LOVE rice (if you didn’t already guess by the numerous rice recipes)

Confession #2: Despite my nourishing real food ways I have a fondness for American Chinese take-out to this day moment.

Unfortunately highly processed oils and MSG keep me from indulging too often. So the solution as a food writer and recipe developer is obviously to create my own. It’s easier said than done. You can have all the ingredients yet if you can’t get the sauce and seasoning right then it’s a lost cause. That is why there are still very few Asianish (like my new word?) recipes on this blog. I wait until they meet the standard I am looking for, then I share them with you. That also means you don’t have to see the scary chow-mein and fried rice dishes I created when I was 12.

Often people get over whelmed when they think of cooking a Chinese meal, which is sad since many are not. This quick and easy egg fried rice anything but daunting.  It’s been a staple of mine for a few years now. I’m sure it will become one of your’s as well!

Bonus: It is just as good as my favourite egg fried rice from “The Red Door Place” in town and way better for you!

 

Quick and Easy Egg Fried Rice
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cup cold white or brown rice
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 green onions (whites included), roughly chopped
  • 4 TBS coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp real salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet heat the coconut oil on medium heat.
  2. Add the cold rice and quickly stir until all the rice is covered in oil.
  3. Once the rice is warm push it to the sides and pour in the eggs. Add the crushed garlic. Stir continuously until the eggs are scrambled. If nessesary use the spoon to break the eggs into smaller pieces.
  4. Add the chopped green onion.
  5. Turn off the heat.
  6. Sprinkle the salt over the pan and drizzle the seasme oil.
  7. Stir the ingredients together until combined.