March 11th Meeting

For our first March meeting, Rachel Eldeen, our Hospitality Coordinator, gave her life story when her son and daughter were born and the struggles she went through, later to discover it was Postpartum depression.  Her experience with this has proven to be a challenge that she has been able to overcome with treatment and God’s love and grace.

If you struggle or think you are struggling with this debilitating mental illness, please speak to someone or come talk to Rachel, she is a great source of encouragement and information.

On a MUCH lighter note….

Since spring has unofficially arrived, it is time to clean and organize our homes…at least we know we probably should, but then there’s children involved…but nonetheless, we still have to clean our homes at some point!

Getting our kids involved in cleaning the home is not only helpful to us moms, but it is an important step in teaching our children to be independent and responsible.  Not only are they becoming more responsible with good habits for life, but they won’t be shocked later in life when they move out and a kitchen fairy doesn’t magically clean the kitchen or the bathroom fairy doesn’t clean the toilet for them. You can download and print an age appropriate chore chart HERE.

That being said, many cleaners that are sold in the grocery store are not safe cleaners for our children to be using. In order to avoid a call to Poison Control, we made an all purpose cleaner using Castile Soap, Cleaning Soda, Water and Essential Oils.  Essential oils have an amazing potency that cleans and disinfects safely. For more information on the cleaning power of essential oils you can read about that HERE. Purity of oil does effect the effectiveness of your cleaner, the best are ones that are rated Certified Pure Therapuetic Grade to Food Grade. At minimum you need to make sure you purchase a food grade oil otherwise the oils can be toxic.

You can find many cleaning recipes online that incorporate all natural ingredients.  A simple Google search will pull up a myriad of results.  Below is the recipe for the All-Purpose Cleaner that we made in our meeting. This has been a great cleaner in our house, with good results.

all-purpose cleaner pic

Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 8 oz. Spray Bottle (glass bottles preferred due to oils being able to leach chemicals from the plastic.)
  • 1 Tbsp. Cleaning Soda
  • 2 Tbsp. Castile Soap
  • 5-10 drops Essential Oil (ex: Lemon, Lavender, Orange)
  • 1 Cup warm water (distilled, purified water preferred)

Method

In spray bottle, add all ingredients before adding water, close lid, shake until ingredients are mixed.  Be sure to label your bottle and enjoy your little ones getting involved in cleaning around the house!

 

 

 

Cuban-Style Pork and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew

This is an easy family recipe that is very tasty way to eat sweet potatoes. If your children are afraid of the orange color of the sweet potatoes, use white sweet potatoes instead.

Submitted by: Marie Perry

Ingredients

1 pound uncooked sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound uncooked lean only pork loin cut into 1-inch pieces

14.5 ounce canned diced tomatoes  with green chilies

1 clove medium garlic clove, minced

2 medium uncooked scallions, chopped

1/2 tsp table salt

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp cilantro fresh, chopped

Directions

Place potatoes, pork, tomatoes, garlic, orange juice, scallions, salt, cumin and pepper in a 4- to 5-quart clow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 7 hours.

Stir in lime juice and cilantro; cover slow cooker and cook for 5 minutes more. Yields about 1.5 cups per serving (including some cooking liquid).

Note: I cooked 4 hrs on low and was very tender.

Plan to Eat

Southwest Chicken

This recipe is a quick and easy meal to prepare for your family and can be transformed into many different presentations. Whether you choose to eat this as lettuce wraps, wrapped in a tortilla, on a bed of rice, on a baked potato, or like a chicken chili, you and your family will love it.

Ingredients:

1 TBSP Oil (Olive/ Coconut/vegetable)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

10 oz diced tomotoes and chilis (canned, fresh or jar of salsa)

2 Cups or 15 oz black beans (canned or dried and reconstitued/cooked)

1 Cups or 8.75 oz whole kernal corn (frozen, fresh or canned)

1 pinch ground cumin

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Brown chicken breasts on both sides. Add tomatoes with green chile peppers, beans and corn. Reduce heat and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Add a dash of cumin and serve.

**If making this as a wrap in a tortilla or lettuce leaf or as a chili, you can dice the chicken before or after cooking, you can even shred the chicken to best fit your final plan for the recipe. Garnish with sour cream, guacamole and cheese.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com