Wednesday, October 12, 2011


A cousin told me the other night that his mom suffers with psoriasis. He said that he wanted to find the purest of herbs and make a herbal remedy using cannabis. I agreed with him knowing that there are at least 400 different medicinal properties in cannabis besides the well known THC. However my interest lies in the medicinal properties of cannabis. And with that I was on another quest to be of assistance. Immediately my research led me to believe I was on to something good. However, I wanted to make it better by using an herbal extract that would be somewhat volatile (hot). In searching menthols, I found exactly what I needed, and by accident at that. But because of my previous knowledge, I knew I hit it right on the nose. Folks let me introduce to you...


No i'm not talking about the famous group, although I saw them play several years ago in Santa Monica, Ca. and it was exciting. I am talking about the red hot chili peppers found in your local markets. It is also know as CAYENNE RED PEPPER, CAPSICUM, and CAPSAICIN. Capsaicin, is already in many over the counter medications, all over the world. They use it in teething formulas, such as orajel, and orajel extra strenth for adults. It is also in many arthritic pain relieving rubs. How could I forget such a wonderful herb? Forty years ago I put this herb on top on my herbal medication list and had included it in my article on Kitchen Medicine. Well after this week, I have it again in my Kitchen Medicine. Works great for extracts, ointments, capsules, tinctures and cooking.

I remember a book I had, it was my herbal bible written by Jethro Kloss, a very famous herbalist back in 1939. My big first impression of Cayenne Pepper is when is was used to stop the bleeding of a person who was shot by a shotgun. Amazing huh, well it gets better. I read once that taken as a cup of hot tea will stoop a heart attack. It is a natural blood purifier, as well as a natural stimulant. It is great for the heart, including high blood pressure. There are so many herbal remedies that I can only begin to tell you. Here is a list of a few...
  • rheumatism
  • psoriasis
  • arthritis
  • ulcers
  • stimulant
  • blood coagulator (will stop bleeding on cuts, ulcers, etc.)
  • pleurisy
  • kidneys, spleen and pancreas
  • lockjaw
  • yellow fever
  • coughs
  • congestion
  • sprains
The list goes on but your turn to do your homework. Google it! Investigate it! I'm just bringing it to your attention. There are so many herbal remedies that I can only begin to tell you. Besides being great for psoriasis, which is exactly what I needed to help my cousin with his mother. I plan on making an organic cannabutter including RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. Again, I am using Ghee (clarified butter) as a base because it is best for medication absorbtion. I will keep you updated. Any questions?

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Well here is my new product out today, I'ts called Mary Helen's "Hot Lips" lip plumper.  It's just another invention created here in "Mary Helen's Test Kitchen".  It's ready to go just no labels yet.  Logo is still in the design stage.  And this container will do for now.  Hey I'm not Este' Lauder.  Any suggestions?  My cousin Charline mentioned a charicature pinup girl with HOT LIPS.  Now thats a great idea!  Thanks Charline!:)  What do you think?  Well anyway my offer still stands.  I will be giving out free samples to the first 20 followers on this site.  A great way to keep in touch too.  Click on follow and get ready to receive your free sample today.  I know you will be back for more. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Easy Texturized Vegetable Protein aka TVP

 I have been using TVP for over 40 years now. I started using it then because I wanted to get fit. So I went on a lacto ovo vegetarian diet. Did I ever get fit, never had a headache, was a runner, swimmer.  Loved to dance.  Weighing in at 100 lbs. Wow, it all slipped away when I married a well to do business man. He introduced me into oriental gourmet, and meats with their tantalizing sauces and flavors.  Unfortunately our marriage disolved within months, but not my eating habits.  I continued on this path of destruction, slowly killing myself cooking meats, junk foods, etc.  It just got harder to get back to a healthier eating (healtheir eating = healthier lifestyle)habit. I've been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc... bla bla bla!
 But here I am, doing it again,40 years later.  Only this time it's ALL HOME MADE!  I have total control of what goes in my body.  Today I choose GOOD EATING. Already I feeling better and its been only 2 months.Thank Heavenly Father!  No more depression, fatigue, aches and pains residing.  And no more tremors.  Yay!  Thank you Dr. Adam Mamelak, at Cedars Sinai Medical Center!  Not a dull moment in my life.

Ahem, getting back to TVP I started using it  because it was a healthier alternative to meat. Personally of all the other faux meats, this one is the best. It absorbs the flavors very well.  And it really doesn't have that odd taste of TVP.  Sometimes I do 1/2 meat and 1/2 TVP.  My "eaters" never knew the difference. LOL

I accidently discovered 15 years ago, that if I put the tofu in the freezer to freeze, the texture came out spongy. At first I thought ugh, what am I going to do with this. It no longer was the tofu I put in texture wise so I dried it and Voila!! Looks, and cooks just like TVP. I gotta admit the taste is better than store bought TVP. They claim it has no taste but I can taste it. Not my HOME MADE TVP! Here it is folks...
  • wash and freeze tofu
  • defrost and squeeze whey out (reserve whey)
  • crumble and cook like ground meat
  • or oven dry on low and store. Talk about storing, this is a great emergency food, to keep around.
Today the going rate of TVP averages $4.00 lb. You can make your own, paying only the price of your tofu. What? Maybe $1.19. Big $avings here folks. It all adds up.

  FYI, it would be cheaper to make your own tofu out of fresh soybean, but that's another story, and not today:)

All About Textured Vegetable Protein - TVP®

FYI, All About Textured Vegetable Protein - TVP®

Easy Yogurt Making


  • Bring one quart minus 1/2 cup milk to an ALMOST BOILING POINT. Cool to just warm.
  • Add 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • Stir, cover and rest:))
  • Let sit in warm place for 8 to 14 hours. (time varies, the longer you let it sit, it the more tart it becomes. for desserts about 8 to ten hours. Longer for sour cream effect.

  • For Yoplait texture add 1 tsp dissolved gelatin (optional)
Enjoy making ur own yogurt and $ave $
Check out how much you will save??? and these are small 5-6 oz too. Compare that to making it yourself costing only $0.81 per quart if you buy the gallon of milk at $3.25. Now you feel me? Good Ps. I was buying 2-3 quarts a week. Not anymore:))


Easy Yogurt Cheese

So very easy folks.  Yogurt cheese is very very versatile and can be used for desserts like cheesecake and ice creams. It is great for baking, salad dressings, and dips.  It is so healthy, and did I say cheap if it is home made?  Yes, very cheap

  • put yogurt in cheesecloth or bag and hang over bowl to catch whey, in fridge.  

  • Enjoy being creative and don't forget to...

Veggie-Cous Cous Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

This quick and easy dish looks like it took hours to prepare and cook. Not really.

  • preheat oven 350
  • add 2 parts boiling water to 1 part cous cous, cover for 5 min.
  • chop veggies, and tofu
  • stir fry 3 min
  • add cous cous, then cheese (cheese holds it together, besides adding more calcium and protein) 
  • stuff mushrooms,
  • bake for 12 minutes
  • serves 2
  • Cost $1.50 for both (picked up these portabella's at the .99 cent store)
  • prep to table time 15 min or less
  • enjoy and don't forget...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Easy Chicken-Pepperoni Parmesan

Wow this one is a winner.:)  Flatten out  pieces of boneless chicken, today 6,  layer with sauce.  Add veggies, layer with sauce.  Add pepperoni, layer with sauce. Add parmesan, and mozzerella.
Bake at 375 for 8 min.  Total cost no more than $150.  Come and get ur protein folks:)

prep time 5 min. ( as long as ur organized)

Easy Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette with Almonds

Easy Berry Preserves

 Cranberry-Rasberry-Strawberry Preserves

Yogurt, mixed berries cheesecake

Just added 16 oz plain yogurt, sweeten to taste swirled in berry jelly. Poured in Graham cracker crust. Baked at 350 for 15 min

This is what I used:). It's all up to you and ur taste. You can add more or less sugar or sweetener. Personally I mix both together. The lemon juice again add as desired about 1 to 2 tbsp

For the sauce I first rehydrated the cranberries in hot sweetened water. I then added 1 container freshly frozen raspberries. Cooked that down till thickened

Voila! Mixed Berry Cheesecake
Cost $3.00
Prep time. Cheesecake 5 min
Mixed berry sauce 20 min
2lbs 1.5 oz
Serves 8/10
Tastes just like cheesecake. Now who said no dessert till all ur food is done. Not I:)). It's all good

Monday, October 3, 2011

Got Milk?? Non Dairy Milks

There are so many non dairy milks that can be made quite easily such as  almond, rice, and soy milk.  These milks are easily digested, and are loaded with PROTEIN, CALCIUM, OMEGA'S, VITAMINS, MINERALS, AMINO ACIDS and FIBER.  Not to mention the healthy oils, your body craves.  Perfect way to give your brain, fuel, and building blocks for your body, cells, etc. Not to mention Healthy Oils, to cleanse, heal and strengthen your inners as well as your outers. These nutrients satisfy your body in feeling full, somewhat satiated.  Good stuff folks.  And it can stay on the shelf until you make the milk. Never be without milk again.  Great on cereals too.  I will say this... "if you have never had HOME MADE MILKS before, well u just don't know what you are missing.  Kind of like home grown veggies vs mass produced veggies.   BIG BIG BIG difference in taste, as opposed to cartons stacked on a shelf for how long??  Talk about cartons stacked on the shelves...get a look at their prices.  Your choice, make it yourself for pennies a day or pay the man:)
Got Milk???

Raw Almond Milk

Fresh almond milk strained with the pulp on the right.
I like a variety of non dairy milks and fresh almond milk is one of them.  It is rich in calcium, potassium and has protein's building blocks, amino acids. The oils in almonds is also very healing to our bodies inside as well as the outside.  It makes a great alternative to dairy milk.  Besides, it tastes good. 

My almonds soaking
for 8 hours.
Making it at home is so easy and so much more affordable that the one that is in a carton at your local market.   It can run up to $2.99 a quart  where homemade can cost about .50 cents a quart.  Quite a difference in savings.  Not only that, you know how fresh it is and the knowledge that there are no additives, unless you put them there.

Almond puree. 

It only takes a small amount of raw almonds to make a  glass of milk.  Here is a quick recipe that is so easy to make. Here is how I do it...

  • Raw almonds 1/2 cup
  • Water 1 quart plus 1 cup for soaking
Here I am straining the
almond pulp in the nylon
 coffee filter.
Note if you like it sweet you can add sweetener and or vanilla to suit your taste. My son loves slightly sweetened almond milk.


  • Soak the almonds in one cup water for 6-8 hours.  
  • Drain and blend with 1 cup of water on high speed, adding the rest of the quart of water slowly.  
  • This almond milk was made in the Vita-Mix
    and has the pulp in it. You can see the
    brownish color.
  • Separate the pulp from the milk by straining this through a cheesecloth. I used a nylon coffee filter in a strainer. See how easy it is? 
I like to make oatmeal cookies using the almond pulp and some of the milk. Remember, the pulp has the fiber, and still has a lot of nutrition, and remember my motto...Waste not, want not.  Anyway, store the milk in the refrigerator and enjoy within a few days.

By the way, it's not only great alone, it's also great in smoothies as well as cereals. Let me say, almond rice pudding is wonderfully delicious. How about homemade sweet almond bread?  Yum.  I've also made almond kifer milk which is also another way to boost the nutrition.  Hmm... So what is your favorite way to use almond milk, or the pulp?

Many  blessings,
Mary Helen