Roasted Tomato Tortilla Soup |

Written by Katie from Nourishing Simplicity

As I stand at the table separating a stack of warm corn tortillas fresh from the market I feel a bit like a Mexican Mama despite my Midwest/European roots. My girls’ laughter floats through the open window as they run around on a lazy Sunday afternoon. As I cut the tortillas into thin strips, Lesly rushes into the tiny kitchen/living room and asks, “¿Estas haciendo chilaquiles? ¡Me encanta chilaquiles!”  I tell her no, that I am making tortilla soup with tortilla chips.

Since I moved to Mexico almost 10 years ago I have been enchanted by tortilla soup. I’ve had a few versions in the States but they never left me going back for more. That all changed one fall day when I was 19. I was sitting on a little patio at a small outdoor restaurant with a few friends. One of them told me that I had to try the tortilla soup, hesitantly I agreed. I was immediately won over from the first bite.

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Green Your Life |

When I first stepped into the world of real food, I was shocked. Learning about chemicals, preservatives, hormones, gmo’s and all that growing and raising our food in an industrial matter entails was quite overwhelming.

I knew right away, I wanted to make changes in the foods that my family ate for the benefit of my children and theirs to come. In the process, my eyes were also opened to the damaging effects this type of industrialized farming has on our environment. From air, and water pollution to eroding soil and the killing of its organisms, microbes, and bacteria.

As much as I wished that all I had to worry about were the things my family was consuming, in the process of turning to a real food lifestyle, I learned that what we put on our body and the chemicals that we use around us can be just as damaging and cause just as much pollution to the environment around us.

Today there are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market that have never been properly studied to see if they’re toxic to our health.

Trust me, when I started to learn about all of this, I wanted to give up! It can be so overwhelming that one can begin to feel hopeless.

However, just like it’s important to transition to real food in baby steps for your mere sanity, the same can be said for transitioning to a greener lifestyle. In baby steps. I’m STILL taking one small step at a time in this area.

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Winter Canning 101: How To Make Jelly With Fruit Juice and Weck Jars |

This post is sponsored by Mighty Nest: An online store that provides you the ability to research, get advice and buy natural, organic and non-toxic products all in one place… plus they donate 15% of your order to your local school!

It happens every year around this time – my family starts to run out of our favorite berry jam’s that we preserved in the spring and summer of the previous year. I can usually tell we’ve run out of my boys’ favorite jam when they come upstairs dragging their feet after I’ve sent them to fetch a new jar from our pantry in the basement. They usually have a sad face about them as they slowly hand me a jar of peach or apple (It’s their least favorite).

For this reason alone, a large strawberry patch is making it into my gardening plans this year. You can never have enough strawberry jam; however, grape jelly is a close second!

Winter Canning 101: How To Make Jelly With Fruit Juice and Weck Jars |

Even though you can’t do a lot of jamming in the winter time, it doesn’t mean you can’t jelly it up!

That’s right… jam or preserves is made by using crushed fruit. So it ends up being filled with the fruit pulp. Jelly on the other hand is made with fruit juice. So it ends up being clear and gelatinous. Jelly, in my opinion is a great option for winter canning (well, besides marmalade and citrus curds but I’ll save that for a later post) since you can readily buy great organic fruit juices free of sugar at your local organic markets.

My boys’ favorite juice to make into jelly is an organic concord grape juice from TJ’s. Since I use Pamona’s Universal Pectin in all of my jam and jelly making, canning in the wintertime, couldn’t be easier.

But it can get better!

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If God is Real... Then What? |

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

2013 is a blur. It sped by with tremendous speed – in rain and sun, it was difficult and awesome, to say the least. I gave you bits of information here and there and as I’ve shared before, I couldn’t have possibly endured this season of trials without the comfort of Jesus. I sought.. I begged for God to show me that he’s real and living today and I shared here how he revealed himself to me.

I believe in the deepest of my hearts that God is real, that Jesus came to die so that one day we could live with him for eternity. He gave us a hope in a life after this one, that as we all know, is but a vapor…

To me, the things in this life that consume our day to day are really unimportant. What I do, the earthly achievements, and success will not make it to heaven… so instead, I’ve promised my God that what I do here with my time and energy will honor him and bring him glory.

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The Tangled Web of Bread |

I know I’ve been a little bit quite here on the blog lately. I’ve been working away behind the scenes sharing in depth emails for the 25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food. To be honest, I am tired. It’s been a lot of work on my end, but the blessing of seeing so many people enthusiastically learning such important information about our food system, and then, implementing small changes to nourish their families has quite literally brought tears to my eyes. God is good!

Just so you know, you can subscribe to the 25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food at any time and you’ll start receiving the emails from day one. Its been going amazingly well and it’s been neat to see our facebook group grow by leaps and bounds!

We’re now over 1,000 people!

What I love about this group is that everyone there is so encouraging and willing to help one another on our journey’s. It’s been fantastic to be a part of! Feel free to join us by clicking here.

So, as part of this journey I’ve been sharing many topics about the basics of real food. Yesterday, I wrote an email called, The Tangled Web of Bread. I’ve shared briefly about my own thoughts and uses of bread throughout the years; however, I’ve never dedicated a post to it. It’s such a hard topic to write about because there are so many different thoughts, philosophy, and really personal convictions when it comes to bread.

I finally got all of my own thoughts about the subject down and I feel that I’m finally at a settled place with it so I’ve decided to share it here with all of you. Now please remember that this is my own understanding and research about the subject. I’d love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to comment and let me know what you think in the comments.

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It’s Simple Lives Thursday!

My favorite day of the week where you share your tips and recipes for living a simple life. Whichever blog that you choose to link up your post, it will show up on all 4 sites! As a reminder, this blog hop is a way to share with many people your posts on what you are doing to live a simple life. Whether that’s gardening, raising urban chickens, homeschooling, sewing, making your own deodorant, or cleaning supplies… we want to know about it! If you’re into homeopathy, ways to save $ by conserving energy or other ways to live frugally… we want to know about it! If you bike, cook real food, homestead or farm… we want to know about it!

Your Hosts

  1. Millie from Real Food for Less Money
  2. Diana from My Humble Kitchen

Please read and follow the Simple Lives Thursday bloghop rules

1. If linking real, traditional and simple recipes, please make sure all ingredients used are whole. Such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, meats, even sugar. In order to keep the integrity of “nourishing” food, we will delete any recipes that utilize processed, boxed foods. We are definitely not going to be ingredient policeman, however, please note that this is a hop hosted by advocates of the real, local and sustainable food movements.

2. Please link your posts back to one of the hosting blogs. This is a common blog hop courtesy. This link helps build the Simple Lives Thursday community by sending your readers to all of the other participants posts. We all end up sharing and learning from each other.

3. No giveaway away or otherwise primarily advertising oriented posts. Keep your topics to fit our simple living theme of “consume less, produce more.” We will delete posts that don’t fit.

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