Hydroponic Garden

Most of you probably don’t know, but Bob bought me a gorgeous bird for my birthday. Since my Prissy died about 6 years ago, I’ve been birdless. I am posting a few pictures of Kiwi (Green Cheeked Conure) because I want to show you what my son Cory gave me! He has been using Aerogardens for years and just loves them. I will now have fresh herbs right next to the stove. And since birds need their herbs and fresh greens this is doubly valuable to me. Love you, Cory! (Note: Kiwi looks a little ratty right now because she is just beginning her first molt. She is 6 months old).

Aerogarden 12-2-17

Kiwi, 6 months


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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017





     Unexpected guests?  Game day?  Anytime snack?  This is it!  15 minutes and it’s ready to eat.  Customize it by changing out the beans if you want, although we love black beans. 


2 large chicken breasts, cubed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or your choice of beans)

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies and lime

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

½ tsp coriander

Salt and pepper

TOPPINGS: Shredded Lettuce, Onions, Black Olives, Grated cheese, Jalapenos, Diced Tomatoes, Cooked Crumbled Bacon

PREPARATION:  Dice or cube chicken into bite sized pieces.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil in bottom of large saucepan.  Cook chicken over medium heat, sprinkling seasonings as it’s cooking.  Add beans and tomatoes, heating through.  Serve.  How easy was that?

Serve with your choice of chips, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.


Please remember to Like our Posts and Follow Chew Wanna Eat? for more great recipes, home hacks, gardening, and health information!    You won’t be sorry. 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017




Sprinkled over yogurt?  Yum!

     You all know that I love granola.  I eat it every day on my yogurt.  Sometimes I just grab a handful and stuff it into my mouth cause it’s so good.  I always, always load it up with cinnamon, but I wanted to try something different.  Tropical fruit!  Lately I’ve been eating a lot of dates, banana chips, and dried pineapple.  Why not combine it in my granola!  Yes!  Just like my other granola recipe, this one is chock full of delicious and healthy ingredients.  Eat it by the handful, sprinkle on cooked oatmeal, cream of wheat, fresh fruit, yogurt, etc. 

     Keep a container in your desk for a quick snack at work!  Take it on hikes or camping.  Stick some in your car and you can sell it during traffic jams.  (J/K, but people would pay!)  Anytime you have a snack attack, this granola is perfect.  Having a party?  Set some out in small bowls.  I guarantee people will love it!  Just wait until you smell it baking.  It’s heavenly.



¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup Coconut Oil

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup honey

¾ tsp raspberry extract

¾ tsp orange extract

¾ tsp almond extract cups quick oats

1 cup nuts, chopped or halved (see suggestions below)

¼ cup ground flax seed

¼ Wheat germ

1 cup Shredded coconut

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup Coconut Oil

½ cup brown sugar

Your choice of Nuts:  Cashews, Macadamia nuts, Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans

YOUR CHOICE OF ADDITIONS AFTER BAKING:  Dried cranberries, Dried blueberries, Dates, Dried Apricots, Candied Ginger, Tropical Trail Mix, Sunflower seeds, Dehydrated pineapple, Dried Strawberries, Kiwi, etc.


    Preheat oven to 275°F

In microwavable bowl, blend together olive oil, brown sugar, oil, honey, coconut oil, and extracts.  Heat 30-40 seconds and stir to combine.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, almonds, flax seed, wheat germ, and coconut.

Pour melted olive oil/brown sugar mixture over oatmeal mixture and stir well.  Spread on large ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Stir, return to oven for another 15 minutes.

Cool, and then add your dried fruit.  (The fruit does not need to be baked).  Place in an airtight container.  May be frozen.

Makes a great gift in a pretty jar!

NOTE:  Granola is one of those perfect things to customize.  Change out the nuts, add additional dried fruit, switch out your extracts.  Since I was making a Tropical flavor, I wanted orange and almond.  I snuck the raspberry in just cause.  Have fun with it.

You can use long cooking oats, just process them quickly in your food processor so they’ll cook in the short amount of cooking time this granola takes to complete.


Please remember to Like our Posts and Follow Chew Wanna Eat? for more great recipes, home hacks, gardening, and health information!    You won’t be sorry.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017








If you’re getting spring fever and can’t wait to get out in your garden, maybe it isn’t too early!  Here are 7 veggies that can handle the cold.





are you buying these? You can’t get much more toxic than TBHQ. This synthetic preservative is created from butane (a very toxic gas) and has been linked to vision disturbances, liver enlargement, childhood behavioral problems, and stomach cancer in animal studies. New research coming out of Michigan State University links it to the rise in food allergies, which has prompted more research. Although the FDA allows this in America, this additive is banned for use in food in other countries including Japan, and is on the Center For Science in The Public Interest’s list as one of the worst additives to be avoided in our food. Please share!





The Potential TBHQ Dangers

TBHQ Dangers

If you’re in the habit of reading food labels, you’ll often come across ingredients you can’t pronounce. Tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, might be one of them.

TBHQ is an additive to preserve processed foods. It acts as an antioxidant, but unlike the healthy antioxidants you find in fruits and vegetables, this antioxidant has a controversial reputation.

What Is TBHQ?

TBHQ, like many food additives, is used to extend shelf life and prevent rancidity. It’s a light-colored crystalline product with a slight odor. Because it’s an antioxidant, TBHQ protects foods with iron from discoloration, which food manufacturers find beneficial.

It’s often used with other additives like propyl gallate, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). BHA and TBHQ are usually discussed together, as the chemicals are closely related: TBHQ forms when the body metabolizes BHA.

Where Is It Found?

TBHQ is used in fats, including vegetable oils and animal fats. Many — if not most — processed foods contain some fats, so it’s found in a wide range of products. For example, snack crackers, noodles, and fast and frozen foods. It’s allowed to be used in the highest concentrations in frozen fish products.

But food isn’t the only place you’ll find TBHQ. It’s also included in paints, varnishes, and skin care products.

FDA Limits

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines which food additives are safe for U.S. consumers. the FDA puts a limit on how much of that ingredient can be used:

  • when there’s evidence that large quantities of an ingredient may be harmful
  • if there is a lack of safety evidence overall

TBHQ can’t account for more than 0.02 percent of the oils in a food because the FDA doesn’t have evidence that greater amounts are safe. While that doesn’t mean more than 0.02 percent is dangerous, it does indicate that higher safety levels have not been determined.

The Possible Dangers

So, what are the potential dangers of this common food additive? Research has linked TBHQ and BHA to numerous possible health problems.

According to the Centers for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a well-designed government study found that this additive increased the incidence of tumors in rats. And according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), cases of vision disturbances have been reported when humans consume TBHQ. They also cite studies that have found TBHQ to cause liver enlargement, neurotoxic effects, convulsions, and paralysis in laboratory animals.

Some believe BHA and TBHQ also affect human behavior. It’s this belief that has landed the ingredients on the black list of the Feingold diet, a dietary approach to managing attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Advocates of this diet say that those who struggle with their behavior should avoid TBHQ.

How Much Do I Get from My Food?

As noted above, the FDA considers TBHQ to be safe, particularly in low amounts. However, some research indicates that Americans are getting more than they should.

An evaluation by the World Health Organization found that the “average” intake of TBHQ in the United States. to be around 0.62 mg/kg of body weight. That’s about 90 percent of the acceptable daily intake. Consumption of TBHQ was at 1.2 mg/kg of body weight in those who eat high fat diets. That’s a whopping 180 percent of the acceptable daily intake.

Avoiding TBHQ

Whether you manage the diet of a child with ADHD or are just concerned about eating a preservative tied to possible health risks, getting into the habit of reading labels can help you avoid TBHQ and related preservatives.

Watch for labels that list:

  • tert-butylhydroquinone
  • tertiary butylhydroquinone
  • TBHQ
  • butylated hydroxyanisol

TBHQ, like many questionable food preservatives, is found in processed foods meant to withstand a long shelf life. Avoiding these packaged foods and opting for fresh ingredients is a surefire way to limit it in your diet.



She’s about to vacuum seal this plastic bag in the simplest way imaginable. This easy trick creates a super tight, air-free environment inside of the bag so that food can easily be frozen without any of those pesky air bubbles!




Self-professed ‘recipe developer’ has success at fair

  • By Eric Hrin ehrin@thecourierexpress.com

DuBOIS – Around 25 years ago, Gail Westover of DuBois started making her own recipes.

“I couldn’t follow anybody’s recipes and began changing everything,” she recalled. “I started customizing because it was too difficult for me to follow anyone else’s ingredients and preparation.”

Westover said the first recipe she made on her own was probably scrambled eggs.

“I don’t even make scrambled eggs like everybody else,” she commented.

Today, the self-described “recipe developer” is still creating her own recipes from scratch.

“I’ve been doing it for years,” she said.

She even has trouble following her own recipes, noting that she regularly adjusts them.

“They get changed a lot, too,” she said.

She lists all her own recipes in a blog called “Chew Wanna Eat?” which she said is found on Facebook, Word Press and Pinterest. Her recipes can also be found on allrecipies.com.

“I have quite a few local followers,” she commented. She noted that she even has some international ones.

This summer, she decided to try her luck at the fair.

“As an avid recipe developer and blogger, I decided to enter some baked goods along with some floral entries in the Jefferson County Fair,” she said. “It was my first time doing this. I walked away with first place in the cornbread category, first place in the rye bread category, and second place in the chocolate layer cake category. My cactus garden took first place, and an African violet took second place.”

She also won second place in the orange cinnamon rolls category. They were all her own recipes.

“I was thrilled, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was,” she said. “It ensures me others were very happy with my creation.”

Westover said all the recipes are in her blog, with photos.

Her latest recipe is brownie bark, which she recently posted to her blog.

She described it as a very thin brownie that’s crispy.

“It looks like someone took a rolling pin and flattened it out,” she said.

This recipe took her three tries, until she was happy with it.

Westover said it came out the first time a little thick.

The third time was the charm.

“I figured the problem was I had to take the baking powder completely out,” she said.

Westover, meanwhile, is trying to pass on the practice of baking from scratch, as well as bread baking, to her grandchildren. She stresses to her grandchildren the importance of baking from scratch and avoiding processed, prepared foods.

“It’s so much healthier and it tastes better,” she said.

Westover said bread baking is becoming a lost art.





Me: “Liam?  Do you want a tomato in your pasta salad?”

Liam: “What day is this?”

Me:  “It’s Monday.

Liam:  “No, I don’t like tomatoes if it’s Monday.”




Many herbs have potent disinfectant properties.

Basil, parsley, bay, cardamom, clove, coriander, eucalyptus, ginger, hyssop, lavender, lemongrass, oregano, peppermint, rose geranium, rosemary, sage, spearmint, and thyme are all herbs that clean. All contain a multitude of plant chemicals that possess antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral properties.

Take a handful of parsley, throw it in some boiling water for a couple of minutes, let it steep for about 30 minutes, add a generous squeeze of lemon, strain, pour in a spray bottle, and clean.






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