Thursday, July 31, 2014

Clean Hair, Naturally

I've kept a pretty low-profile on this for a while, but I've been experimenting greatly with hair care. I use lots of natural products, and while I used a more natural shampoo, I really wanted to go completely natural. People haven't had shampoo forever, and their hair didn't always look like a grease ball, so there has to be a way, right?

An older picture of me (with Bobble!) to show my hair when it was cleaned using commercial shampoo

This started back in March. March 19th to be exact. Well, I guess technically it was March 20th, as the 19th of March was the last time I put purchased shampoo in my hair.

Since I'm currently out of work, I figured this is a great time to try this. Not only do I not have to worry about how to style my hair when I hit that peak of greasiness as your hair transitions, but nobody can complain that I don't "look professional" when it happens. In the off chance that I got scheduled for a job interview, I would simply wash my hair and start over (unless it looked okay by that point).

They say your hair goes through a transitional phase where your oils are trying to balance. Modern shampoos strip the oils out of your hair so your hair makes more. The more you wash the more your hair is making oil. When you start to back off with the shampoo (be it a "no 'poo" method or simply washing less often) your hair is still making all that oil. You're going to need a transitional period. I thought that would be around the 4 week mark, as that's what I've read.

For the record, I went from using a more natural (purchased) shampoo to only using hot water. I read that some people have luck with just hot water. I made sure to massage my scalp well while running the hot water, cleaning my hair as best I could. I tried doing this daily. I tried doing this every other day. Every few days. Once a week.

I'm going to skip ahead for you: It didn't work for me. It didn't matter how I did it, just hot water was not working. I have thick hair, and it's just past my shoulders. I also have very hard water. During week 5 (of just hot water), I washed my hair at my in-law's. They have average (if not soft) water there. My hair was much nicer and I even went with it down and without a bandana that day. That's when I realized using absolutely NOTHING in my hair just wasn't going to work. I need to do something different.

Below are some pictures of 10 weeks in. My hair was always thick and full. While these pictures aren't the greatest (yay, camera phone!) you can see my hair looks flatter (thanks to the oil) and almost like it's thin. That's just not right. 

I had heard conflicting things from (local) mothers saying that they heard using apple cider vinegar is bad, using baking soda might be bad, that using bronner's soap might be bad.... the list goes on. I decided that I was going to read up on stuff before I put anything in my hair. I'm glad I did.

Did you know that Baking Soda damages your hair? Your hair is happy and healthy at a natural pH of about 4.5.... and it takes 20 CUPS of water to make 1 TABLESPOON of baking soda a pH of 9. NINE! That's still double what your hair wants! I was very thankful for the post I stumbled upon over at The Hippy Homemaker's blog. It is well written and goes into the science about natural hair care.

Thanks to her hair care series, I was able to stop scouring the entire internet (as she links to other places that are helpful) and just read her natural hair care series. Finally, at week 16, I added something different to my hair. Yes, I went sixteen weeks without shampoo or conditioner in my hair. Nobody can say I didn't give that a fighting chance! At week 16, I made a honey shampoo that I read about in the second installment of the natural hair care series.

Up to that point, my hair had been consistently greasy. Namely the top back part of my scalp (where you'd put a high pony tail). I would try to wear it down and let it breathe, per se, but I always ended up putting a bandana on before heading out in public.

14 weeks, no shampoo + bandana
I was really surprised at how different my hair felt after the honey wash that I did. I did not use ACV, just the honey wash. After the wash it was not completely oil free, but I didn't expect it to be. After all, it had been 16 weeks. That's a long time. I knew I couldn't rush into this and go crazy, washing my hair 2x a day or something, so I figured I'd do the honey wash again in a few days.

The next time I washed my hair I made up twice the amount (my hair really could use it!), and, to ensure that I didn't dump it on my head and miss a bunch of spots, I actually leaned forward and dipped my hair into the cup that had the wash. I then did my best to slowly pour the mixture where it was the oiliest (back of head), as you really need to worry about the roots when you wash, not the rest of your hair. This helped significantly. I then did a quick ACV rinse and let it be.

The results were great! I had really soft, shiny hair again... and I didn't use a bandana to hide my hair only to keep it out of my face while I cooked. Oh, and that one time I had to run out the door without having time to brush my hair. That doesn't count, though. Right? I don't mind having my hair unbrushed, but it looks a mess if I haven't brushed it. See? And yes, that is how I have to type sometimes. Squiggle needs her mama's milk, especially when not feeling well!

17 weeks, after 2 separate honey washes (but not the same day this picture was taken), with unbrushed hair
So now we are at 19 weeks. My hair feels like what it used to feel like. It's soft. It's smooth. It's even shiny again. My natural waves are there again (as opposed to the straightness I had when I was using only hot water), and I don't hide under a bandana.

I am going to look into more natural hair options. I might even try the natural hair colour that I read about. I'm usually don't dye my hair, but I'm so curious about this I might just have to try it. Of course, I'll write about how it goes if/when I do.

Disclaimer: Thoughts Of Fluff was not reimbursed in any way for this post. All opinions are my own and may be different from those of your own.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Little Man Giveaway!

Little Man Giveaway

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These wonderful companies have allowed us to give away an amazing gift set! One lucky mom will win these great Little Man Summer Essentials for their little guy!

Prize Gift Set - Retail Value $260

BreathableBaby buried treasure sheet, mesh blanket & toy elephant - $45.99
pediped pair of boys shoes - $35
Alex Toys Busy Fire Truck - $43.95
Pacific Baby bottle set - $50
Baby Bundle 3 item gift set - $30
Yummi Pouch Spunky snack bags & mustache dishwasher safe stickers - $15.99
oogaa silicone divided plate & silicone tugboat spoon - $16.99
Buttons Diapers diaper cover, 2 daytime inserts & 1 nighttime doubler - $24.50
Little Man Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff is not responsible for shipment of prizes. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dilled Potato Salad (Original Recipe)

I'm a big fan of potato salad, and a big fan of dill. Our local grocery store has a yummy dilled potato salad, but I looked at the ingredients one day and haven't purchased it since. There is no way a simple potato salad should have a million and one ingredients. Okay, not a million and one, but you get the point.

I decided to make own, and we like it more than the store version. I'm sure it's healthier for you, too. I did not make my own mayo or my own mustard, but I did use the olive oil mayo (It seemed like the most decent one for you, despite the fact we all know mayo isn't exactly that healthy), and I used a delicious little mustard that, to be honest, I wish was much cheaper so I could use it on anything and everything I use mustard on. Seriously, it's delicious!

Dilled Potato Salad

  • 2# New Potatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill (roughly 1/4c)
  • 1/2c diced onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2c. (approx.. 2 ribs) celery
  • 1 1/4c. Mayo
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 lemon (juice of)
  • 1T. Dijon mustard

  1. Wash potatoes and place in pot of water. Make sure potatoes are fully covered. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes slide off a fork (roughly half an hour).
  2. Once cooked, drain potatoes and return to their (warm) pan. Let them cool in the pan. 
  3.  Thinly slice zucchini and then quarter. Set aside in a large bowl. Add in onion.
  4. Cut celery length wise, then in very thin pieces and add to bowl. 
  5.  Peel and dice eggs. Add to bowl along with dill, lemon juice, mustard, and mayo. Stir well.
  6.  Slice potatoes to desired size (I quartered and then thinly sliced). Add to bowl and mix well.
  7.  Serve chilled. 

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. This is an original recipe, and all opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Apple Crepes

This morning was another breakfast made out of the Russian, German & Polish food & cooking cookbook. Yes, that is my favourite cookbook. I actually tweaked the recipe for the filling, so it's not exactly out of the book. I guess it's based on the recipe in the book.

This recipe was out of the "Central European" section (thus the French influence). It was really easy to make, though time consuming to do all at once. Next time I'll have the filling made the night before and then just warm it before filling the crepes. It wasn't exactly easy to wash, slice, and cook the apples while trying to entertain a 1yo and 3yo! It said to peel the apples, but I just didn't have time for that.

I either mastered the technique for making crepes, or this recipe for the crepe batter is far superior to the other one I tried. Honestly, I think I've just mastered the technique. I remember the Polish Crepes tasting pretty darn tasty.

Anywho, slicing and cooking the apples aside, it was a very easy recipe that everyone loved. You could easily have baked the apples and used that as a filling instead, if desired.

The most important thing I learned from this recipe was how to keep the cooked crepes warm while I make the rest. GENIUS idea! You place a small pan of simmering water on a burner near by and the plate atop that simmering pot. As you remove the crepes, place them on the plate and cover with aluminum foil. This will be so handy for so many other things that I want to keep warm so I can serve everyone at the same time! Scrambled eggs, hash browns, burrito shells so they can be rolled at the same time.... the list goes on

I didn't dust the crepes with anything, nor did I serve with lemon wedges. They were great as-is! (Yes, even with the skins on.)

Apple Crepes

  • 1c flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4c milk
  • 1/2c water
  • 2T butter, melted
  • Sunflower Oil (for frying)
  • Cinnamon sugar or confectioners' sugar and lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

For the Filling:
  • 4T butter
  • 2# apples (Cored, peeled, and sliced)
  • 1/4c sugar
  • 1t cinnamon

1) Melt the 2T of butter in a pan for the filling. When the foam subsides, add half of the apple slices and sprinkle on half of the cinnamon & sugar mixture. *I was using a 10" skillet for this. If you have a much larger skillet, you could do all the apples, butter, and cinnamon/sugar mixture at once*

2) When apples are soft and golden brown, set aside in a bowl and cook other half of apples like above, then set aside.

3) Sift the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, making a well in the center to add the eggs. Pour beaten eggs into the well and slowly mix in the flour.

4) Combine milk and water in a cup and slowly add to the flour/egg mixture in the mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Stir in the melted butter.

5) Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a frying pan. Pour in approximately 2T of batter, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly.

6) Cook the crepe until the underside is golden brown, then flip. Slide crepe onto a warm plate, cover with aluminum foil, and set the plate on a pan of simmering water to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter mixture until gone.

7) Divide the apple filling among the crepes and roll them up. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or a dusting of confectioner's sugar, if desired. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze on top.

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chocolate Avocado Cake (w/coconut creme frosting [original recipe])

I decided to do a trial run cake for Squiggle's party last month. Honestly, that was only an excuse to make and eat some cake now. I wanted some. I've had my eye on a chocolate-avocado cake for a while, and I am a curious sort of person. I am all about some fresh avocado on a taco, burger, etc... but it's not really something I pair with a dessert in my mind. Of course, after learning you really could mix it with chocolate and not taste avocado, I was sold. I reeeeeeally wanted to try out the cake, now! It's a vegan cake recipe, so I was even more intrigued.

While I won't be using this for the birthday party, I will totally be making this cake again. I really liked it! It is not a fluffy, light cake (what do you expect? NO EGGS!), but rather a yummy, heavier cake. It was dense, but not ridiculously so. All in all, if you're one of those people that doesn't mind a cake not super fluffy, you should really try it out! Easy to make, and very good!

I didn't use the recipe for the frosting, as my last avocado that was very ripe was actually bad when I cut it open. Bugger. I opened a less-ripe one and it was not ripe enough, so I just made it into pudding for the kids since Bobble has been begging for more of it since I made it a week or two ago. (That's a good sign, right?) Instead, for frosting, I busted out a can of Trader Joe's coconut cream, grabbed some powdered sugar and cocoa baking powder, and whipped with the whisk attachment. It really just fluffed up like whipped cream, and that won't work for what I wanted, so I grabbed a thing of cream cheese (greek yogurt cream cheese, actually) and threw that in, too. It got thicker, but not like you would expect for frosting. I frosted the cake anyway, threw it in the fridge, and knew it would be good for morning once the frosting chilled a bit. It was.

Thoughts Of Fluff's (Vegan) Coconut Creme Frosting:
  • 1 can Coconut Cream
  • 3 T. Powdered sugar (add more until you reach your desired sweetness)
  • 2 T. Cocoa Baking Powder (can also add more to taste)
  • * 1 pkg. Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese - OPTIONAL ... obviously the recipe won't be vegan anymore if you add cream cheese
  1. Blend all together with a whisk attachment until fluffy. 
  2. Chill before using to allow to thicken or frost cake and chill cake to allow frosting to thicken.

I had some for breakfast (cake, not just frosting) and it was soooo yummy! Bobble wanted more, too. Hubby didn't know why it was so dense, and was afraid to comment on it at first. He said it reminded him of pound cake... that it was good, but he just didn't realize it would be dense. I explained there is just avocado and no egg, and he was surprised. It really was impossible to taste! He also didn't believe me when I said the cake was vegan. He had, however, suggested a different recipe for the party, and I agree, as most people expect a fluffy cake.

Don't be fooled... although it's a denser cake, it's still moist. :) I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and I also only had 2/3 a cup of caster sugar (super fine sugar). I ended up measuring out regular sugar and using the handblender on it for a bit to make it a bit smaller.

I poured my batter into two round cake tins. One had a bit more batter than the other, so I figured one would be done quicker. I was right, but so glad I opted to check my cakes early. I set the timer for 40 minutes, as that was the minimum bake time listed (and you're all probably aware by now my oven likes to be super crazy), and the first cake was done after TWENTY MINUTES. The second cake was done after 30 minutes. Not sure if it's my oven, or what.

And for the record: my husband had gotten this cake out of the fridge 3 times the next morning.... before 11am.

 Recipe converted by Thoughts Of Fluff

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Avocado Chocolate Icing
Cake recipe from Joy the Baker
Avocado Chocolate Icing adapted from Paleo Spirit


For the Cake:
  • 3 cups plain flour 
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 cup well mashed avocado 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups caster sugar

For the Icing:
  • 1 very ripe avocado 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 3/4 cups icing sugar

Instructions For the Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two 20cm round cake tins with baking paper. (I used two 8" round cake pans).
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the oil, mashed avocado, water, vinegar and vanilla extract, followed by the caster sugar.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients together, whisking until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tins.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cake rack to cool completely.
For the Icing:
  • Place the avocado flesh, cocoa powder and icing sugar in a food processor and whizz to combine. Add a tablespoon of water if necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency. Spread the icing over the top and sides of the cold cakes in a swirly fashion.
Makes 2 x 8" cakes.

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. The coconut creme frosting is a Thoughts of Fluff original recipe, the latter recipe was converted to U.S. measurements and to Fahrenheit by Thoughts Of Fluff. Post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tarragon-Cream Chicken and Polenta PotPies

I was looking up recipes a while back and found Tarragon-Cream Chicken and Polenta Potpies on the Rachel Ray site. It sounded great, looked great, so why not?. For starters, I'd like to say that everything about this recipe is a bit.... "off". It's in the "30 minute meals"... it took me 2 hours. It has a point where it says the chicken will fully cook in about 4 minutes. That took 15. It claims this will fit in 4 (oven-usable) soup bowls (....I'm thinkin' ramekins here)... it completely filled my 9x13 casserole dish.

Add in that the recipe is actually fairly confusing for a "4-step" recipe. I re-read things numerous times just to find myself guessing at what I was doing. I'm not a newbie to cooking... I've cooked for 25 years, followed recipes for 21 years. This, in my mind, means I should probably be able to do a 4-step recipe with ease.

The recipe didn't turn out properly and was too soupy. Also, my husband was over-zealous in his attempt to "help" me and he made our polenta for me. It was supposed to be quick-cook polenta, but I didn't see any. That aside, "quick cook" anything usually has stuff in it I don't want my family consuming. I figured I'd just cook the polenta most of the way (can you even make it 'al dente'?) and then add when called for to finish cooking.

Well, it was supposed to cook within the cream/broth mixture.... but hubby cooked it in water. We ended up with a very soupy dish, but the polenta part, while it wasn't browned like it called for, was fine (ironically).

I also about died when I grabbed gruyere in the grocery store and saw that a tiny bit was $12. I grabbed swiss instead, and added 1 1/2c.

I still call dinner a win, as nearly everyone liked the taste. (I say nearly everyone because I discovered that I don't care for Tarragon... but everything else about it was great.) I just think the entire recipe should be re-written, and I will do that since there was a request for it by hubby.

There was enough of that dish to feed our family for 3 days. Not bad! No, I haven't re-written the recipe yet... but hubby and I both had the same idea to alter the leftovers, so we did that tonight. Hubby flipped the leftovers into a smaller dish, and we took a tube of (Trader Joe's) Crescent rolls and laid them across the top (well, it used to be the bottom) of the casserole, and baked until done (so it was reheated and ready to eat!). Tasty.
Tarragon-Cream Chicken and Polenta Potpies
Makes: 4 servings Prep: 5 mins

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery with leafy greens, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves chopped and stems discarded
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1) In a deep skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peas and chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes; set aside.

2) Preheat the broiler. In a small, heavy saucepan, bring 1 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup cream to a boil. Add the polenta and cook, whisking, for 3 minutes. Lower the heat, stir in the gruyere until melted and set aside.

3) Push the chicken and vegetables off to the side of the skillet. Over medium heat, add the butter to melt, then stir in the flour; cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2 cups chicken broth and 1/2 cup cream, stir in the chicken and vegetables and bring to a simmer. Stir in the tarragon and mustard; season with salt and pepper.

4) Place four ovenproof soup bowls on a baking sheet and pour in the chicken mixture. Scoop some polenta on top to cover completely. Broil until the tops are browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

Re-written, slightly altered recipe by Thoughts Of Fluff
Tarragon-Cream Chicken and Polenta Potpies
Makes: 4 servings Prep: 5 mins


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery with leafy greens, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves chopped and stems discarded
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

 1) In a deep skillet heat the oil. Season carrots, onion, and celery with salt and pepper and add to heated oil. Cook 8-10 minutes or until softened. Add peas and chicken, cooking until chicken is cooked through (10-15 minutes).

2) Preheat the broiler. In a small, heavy saucepan, bring 1c. chicken broth and 1/2c. cream to a boil. Add the polenta and cook whisking for 3 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Set aside.

3) Push chicken and veggies to one side of the skillet and turn burner to medium. In the open area, add butter. Once melted, stir in the flour, cooking for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the remaining chicken broth and 1/2c. cream. Stir in the chicken and veggie mixture until fully incorporated. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the tarragon and mustard; season with salt and pepper.

4) In ovenproof soup bowls (or an ovenproof casserole dish), pour in chicken mixture. (If using soup bowls place on a baking sheet to prevent spillage). Scoop polenta on top of mixture until completely covered. Broil until the tops are browned (about 2-3 minutes).

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Polish Crepes

This breakfast is brought to you by a cookbook I've been giving a lot of love lately, the Russian, German & Polish Food & Cookingcookbook.

I was very hesitant to make this as the main ingredient in the filling is something I've never liked: ricotta cheese. However, I thought I should give it a try. It looked delicious in the pictures, and who knows? Maybe, as a sweeter item, ricotta might not be so bad?

For the record, I always disliked that weird, chalky taste/texture of ricotta. Always.

My crepes were in between pancakes and crepes in terms of thickness, but that's because I've never made EITHER before (yes, you read that right... never have I made a pancake or a crepe before trying this recipe). The last few I made were perfectly thin, but most of them were a bit thicker. Still, it worked well.

Everyone loved them, though.... except only Squiggle enjoyed the filling. Hubby ate it but wasn't overly fond. Bobble insisted I scrape his out and I thinned my filling out but still ate it. We omitted lemon for garnishing, but I served it with lemonade. Totally the same thing, right? It did go well, however. I'd definitely make the crepes again, though I might not use this filling. If you like ricotta however, I'd definitely recommend trying it!

Polish Crepes
Makes 6

- 1c all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- pinch of grated nutmeg, plus extra for dusting
- 1 egg, separated
- scant 1c milk
- 2T sunflower oil
- 2T butter
- lemon slices, to garnish

For the filling:
- 1c ricotta cheese
- 1T sugar
- 1t vanilla extract
- scant 1/2c golden raisins

1) Sift flour, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yolk and half of the milk. Beat until smooth, then gradually beat in the remaining milk.
2) Whisk the egg white in a bowl until stiff, and fold into the batter.
3) Heat 1t sunflower oil and a little butter in a 7" frying pan. Pour in enough of the batter to cover the bottom.
4) Cook for 2 min. on each side.
5) Repeat until batter is used adding more oil and butter as needed. Stack crepes and keep warm.
6) Mix ricotta, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl and beat together. Mix in the raisins. Divide amongst crepes, fold the crepes, and dust with grated nutmeg. Garnish with lemon slices.

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes & Ham (Original Recipe)

Last night I ventured out of my comfort zone. I never liked ham, and about eight years ago I cut any form of pork out of my diet. I was happy that way. Didn't miss the flavour, didn't miss the smell, didn't miss any of it. Then I got pregnant with Squiggle, and suddenly needed to have bacon. It wasn't a desire for a small piece here or there, it was a massive craving. I would eat 1/2 a package to a whole package at a time. I'm not joking.

Enter this recipe: Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes & Ham. I bought a little bit of ham from the local co-op. I was thrilled that I actually knew the farm it came from, and loved the fact it had no nitrates or sugar added.

We used the thin slice setting on our Mandoline Slicer , and sliced the potatoes. I placed those in a bowl with a damp paper towel over the top of them to help keep them from browning while I diced the onions, made the roux, and sliced up the ham. I buttered the inside of the glass dish I was using and set it aside.

After the roux was made, I grabbed a handful of potatoes and covered the bottom of the dish. Put sauce on and spread it out. Potatoes. Sauce. Etc. Probably in three layers. After the last bit of sauce on top, I sprinkled the remaining cheese, covered, and baked.

Ready to cover and go in the oven!

The bulk of the time goes to shredding the potatoes. Once it's in the oven, you're good to go!

If you plan on making stock, don't forget to set aside the onion and potato peels. The scraps of ham can be set aside, too, if you want to make a ham stock. I set these aside, put in a freezer bag (labeled), and threw them in the freezer to add to as I get more.


EVERYONE loved the dish. I made some green beans to accompany it. Not only did everyone devour it, but husband didn't say it was really good, he said, "This is delicious!". Yay!


 The leftovers picture is so you can get an idea of how it was layered (since you can see inside nicely), and also how much fed a family of 4 (2 of which being young children). Hubby and I both had seconds.

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham (Cheesy)
·         6 red potatoes, thinly sliced
·         1 small onion, chopped
·         1 clove garlic, minced
·         1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
·         2 cups cubed/chopped/shredded fully cooked ham
·         1 pint heavy cream
·         4 T. butter
·         1/4c. Flour
·         1/4t. freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
  3. Sautee onion and garlic w/1T. butter until soft.
  4. Add rest of butter (3 divided in tablespoons) and melt, then add in flour to make roux.
  5. Add in heavy cream, continuously stirring to prevent cream from burning. Once thickened (about 2-3 minutes) reduce heat to low.
  6. Add 1c. cheese, stirring until cheese is fully melted/incorporated.
  7. Turn off burner and stir in ham and black pepper.
  8. Add about 1/3 of the potatoes to the greased baking dish. Cover with sauce. Repeat 2x.
  9. Sprinkle remaining 1/2c. cheese over the top of the potatoes and cover with aluminum foil.
  10. Bake for 1 hour, then remove aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

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