Welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I'm glad you stopped by and hope you enjoy the five years of recipes and ramblings collected here.

The inspiration for this site was my son. To learn about our journey to restore his intestinal and neurological health read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Take a peek at my cookbook.  

 

 

 


 

  

 

Sunday
Sep232012

My Cleaning Friend, My Bon Ami

For decades I used good old Comet to scrub the tub, kitchen sink, and other surfaces with stuck on crud. Then a couple years back, in my attempt to go "greener," I started using Bon Ami Powder Cleanser.

I will never go back.

You see ...

Bon Ami was a green company long before "green" became a product category. They didn’t start out striving to be green. They just started out with simple ingredients and simple processes to make products that work without dangerous chemicals, and that are biodegradable, nontoxic and hypoallergenic.

Take my favorite, Bon Ami Powder Cleanser for example. It's made of five simple ingredients.

  • Alkyl polyglucoside (glucose and fatty alcohols inherent in the natural oils of corn and coconut)
  • Feldspar
  • Limestone (calcium carbonate)
  • Soda Ash (sodium carbonate)
  • Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)

The result is a natural, effective cleaner.

How I Use Bon Ami Powder Cleanser

In our home, there are two cleaning applications where the Bon Ami Powder Cleanser really shines—in removing scorch marks from cookware (stainless and enamel-coated) and dissolving soap scum.

Cleaning Cookware

Bon Ami products will not scratch enamel-coated cookware like Le Creuset. Thanks goodness! Since I use Bon Ami on mine all the time. Bon Ami is great at removing cooked-on—even burnt-on—food from enamel cookware. But do note that over time and with lots of use, the enamel itself will start to deepen in color. The pros call it "curing," and are rather proud of it. It isn't really possible to take the enamel back to new. But that curing does not hurt future meals in any way. To remove heavy-duty messes from cookware I make a paste of water and the powder cleanser and apply a coating over the cooked-on food or scorch mark. After letting is sit for 30 minutes, I use a little elbow grease and a sponge and voila, sparkling clean!

Cleaning the Bath and Shower

Moving on to the bath and shower, I can't begin to tell you how impressed I am with how sparkling this cleanser leaves my acrylic tub and walls. I give the entire surface a quick spray down with water and then apply a thin coat of the powder cleanser with my hand. I let it sit for 15-20 minutes then wipe down—using a little elbow grease as needed. You will feel the grime release. Please note that when it it comes to shower and bath surfaces it's always best to test a small, inconspicuous place.

Use with Care on Glass

You may know the famous tagline the Bon Ami chick chirps, but not many know why she says “Hasn’t scratched, yet!” Well, just as Bon Ami won't scratch surfaces, a brand new baby chick doesn't yet scratch at the earth for the first few days of its life. Hence, Bon Ami’s promise to be tough on messes, but gentle as a baby chick.

Bon Ami has traditionally been the go-to product for cleaning glass and mirrors. And it's still safe for glass if you are absolutely certain that what you are cleaning is only glass. That's because the feldspar in Bon Ami is a softer material than the silica traditionally used to make glass.

That said, these days not all glass is only glass. Safety glass, UV coatings, tinted windows, non-shattering windshields, and other window materials are all coated with various kinds of plastic. These coatings make life safer, but they need non-abrasive cleaners. 

Lexie's Kitchen Readers Love it Too!

Now let's hear from some rockin' Lexie's Kitchen readers on how they use Bon Ami Powder Cleanser!

"I have used this product for many years and started using it to polish my stainless steel fridge, dishwasher, and wall oven. In addition, I used it to totally clean my outdoor grill. Everything always looks so beautiful, clean, and polished when I am finished using this product."

"I use it almost everywhere and my favorite natural food store now carries Bon Ami in liquid form for cleaning and washing dishes. Yeah!"

"I've been using it for oh, 30 years now because it doesn't have weird chemicals and chlorine in it. I use it everywhere in the house to scrub, including in the bathroom along with vinegar and tea tree oil."

"I love Bon Ami! I use it on my white ceramic sink. It gets out all the scuffs and stains...making it look like new. It's cheap, I can get it at Target, and it works great!"

"I use it for my sink, but just the other day I used it on the outside of my stainless steel Kitchen Aid bowl to get the hard water off!"

"Toilets, ceramic sinks, tubs, shower, glass shower door, stainless steel, and grout! Just a few places really!"

Tuesday
Sep182012

Southern Corn and Green Beans Recipe

I cherish the stories my grandparents share of the days of their childhood in North Carolina. And I especially love those revolving around food.

Recently I asked my Tutu if there was a story behind her Southern Corn and Green Beans.

"Of course," she chuckled. "I remember mother had stepped out of the kitchen and father came in to steal a peek at what was simmering on the stove. When he saw that it was corn and beans he exclaimed 'this woman just don't know how to cook beans!' and marched across the kitchen, cut a couple of slices off a hunk of back fat, and returned to throw them in the pot."

This is my Tutu's adaptation of that Corn and Green Bean recipe. She takes after her mother in that she leaves out the back fat. :) Either way, I love this dish!

Southern Corn and Green Beans

Ingredients:

2 ears fresh-picked CORN, husked
1/2 pound fresh GREEN BEANS, trimmed
1 cup CHICKEN BROTH, divided
1-2 tablespoons BUTTER SUBSTITUTE (I use Earth Balance Soy-Free), optional
2 teaspoon ARROWROOT STARCH or corn starch
SALT and PEPPER to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice corn off cobs (see top below).
  2. Cut beans French-style by slicing thinly on the diagonal (here is a video to show you how) or by using this gadget or this gadget.
  3. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup water and arrowroot starch. Set aside.
  4. Add green beans to pot along with remaining 3/4 cup chicken broth. Cover and simmer until tender-crisp.
  5. Add corn kernels and simmer another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Stir in butter substitute and arrowroot slurry. Return to simmer and cook another minut.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

Notes:

  1. I make big batches of Corn and Green Beans and freeze in zip top bags for a quick weeknight side dish. Just need to reheat and done.
  2. Slicing corn off the cob is a breeze when you use a tube pan (like a bundt or angel food). Just prop the ear of corn in the tube and slice your way around. All the kernels neatly collect in the bottom of the pan.
Friday
Sep142012

Giveaway: Nourishing Meals Cookbook

***This Giveaway is Now Closed***

Congratulations to Julia M and Kelly A. You are the winners. You have been contacted. Enjoy your new book! xoLexie

If you missed the review I shared of Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre's new cookbook and guide Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family, be sure to check it out here.

This book is one of the best healthy gluten-free cookbooks I have seen in a long time.  Some of the cookbooks publishers send me to review are keepers—some not. This one definitely is a keeper. In fact, if you wanted my copy you'd have to wrestle me to the ground and tear it out of my hands (I am that way with my favorite cookbooks). So, to keep things civil, I am happy to say that I am giving away TWO *signed* copies of the book, courtesy of the authors.

***This giveaway is now closed***

Enter to Win the New Nourishing Meals Cookbook

Today through September 18, 2012 (4:00 MST) enter to win a copy of Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family. To do so:

1. Leave a comment at the end of this post.

2. For an additional chance to win, share this post with your friends on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook or other social media and leave an additional comment saying you did so. Help spread the word about this great new cookbook!

 

Wednesday
Sep122012

New Cookbook! Nourishing Meals

Grind your own buckwheat (so easy) and bake up a batch of these Buckwheat Cinnamon Rolls. A recipe from the new cookbook Nourishing Meals.

The long-anticipated cookbook and guide Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family has released! The super duo Alissa Segerston and husband Tom Malterre, MS, CN have teamed up again and produced a masterpiece. Seriously, a masterpiece!

I am in complete awe of this book. Tom and Ali have poured their knowledge of whole foods and talent for recipe development into a 538-page cookbook that delivers a range of recipes and flavors, and provides answers to some of our greatest diet-related questions.

Why eat whole foods?

What is a leaky gut?

What are the best foods and meals to prepare to combat specific nutritional deficiencies?

Why the recent rise in food allergies and sensitivities?

How can you best nourish your child?

I have learned so much!

Then there are the recipes—lots of them—and all made with nourishing, whole food ingredients.

This afternoon I baked a batch of Buckwheat Cinnamon Rolls (pictured above, from page 140), and though my finished product wasn't as pretty as Ali's they tasted mighty good. Tender, wholesome, with a great crumb. I also made the sweet potato Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting (page 474) Ali suggested to top it with. Yep, another winner. Because orange sweet potatoes were what I had on hand, my rolls and frosting came out, shall we say, a festive Fall orange. But we didn't care, in fact the kids just each gobbled down two for an after school snack, and I'm not divulging how many I had. I think we'll have them for dinner too!

Next up:

Low Fructose Green Smoothie

Baking Powder Biscuits

Moroccan Lentil and Cabbage Soup

Kohlrabi Apple Slaw

Slow Cooked Mexican Beef Roast

Oven Roasted Pizza Sauce

Buckwheat Chia Tortillas

This book is a must-have for anyone following a gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free diet. Eggs are used (mostly in the breakfast section), however there are plenty of recipes (including pancakes) that are egg-free. Ingredients commonly used are the likes of chia seed, flax seed, buckwheat groats, rice flour, almond flour, psyllium husk, teff (and other ancient grains), and coconut oil. Sweeteners commonly used are applesauce, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.

I just can't put into words the magnificence of this book. All I can say is that I've had it for a little over a week and it's already showing signs of wear! It will be a keeper for years to come. A definite BUY!. You can pick up a copy here.

Sunday
Sep092012

Angry Birds Cake & Cupcake Toppers

Maybe you've been in these shoes of mine.

Our 4-year old has been asking me in his sweetest, most optimistic little voice ...

... every single day for the past eight weeks ...

"Today my BIRFday????"

"No, but pretty soon!" I've replied ...

...every single day for the past eight weeks!

And each time, without fail, 1) out comes his lower lip and 2) in his best whiney/demanding voice...

"my birfday TO-DAY!"

Well, I COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I just couldn't take it.

So you know what!?

He got it.

Today he got his "birfday." We celebrated it 19 days early.

And IT'S OVER AND DONE WITH, and mom couldn't be happier.

When it comes to birthdays, my kids pick out the theme months in advance. Our little man's choice for his 5th birthday was Angry Birds. No problem! With fondant, you can create anything.

A big thank you goes out to my sister-in-law for helping me pull off a last-minute party and for making these Angry Bird cupcake toppers.

I've shared in past posts how I use fondant and food coloring for creating toppers for cakes and cupcakes. It's a fun, easy, and flexible medium to work with—we just don't eat the stuff (the combination of the corn syrup and sugar in the fondant and the artificial colors in the dyes spell one big fat tummy ache). The kids know it's "just for decoration."

Well, we had a great little party and our guy was absolutely thrilled with his cupcakes. We thought they were pretty stinkin' cute, too! So had to share them with you.