Lemon-Dill Beef Soup (SCD, AIP)

This is a tasty twist on SCD legal beef soup. I was afraid lemon with beef might be strange but it’s really delicious, especially with the dill.

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Lemon-Dill Beef Soup

1 pound ground beef

1/2 onion, diced

1 1/2 diced carrots

1 c. diced celery

5 cups beef broth, preferably homemade

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup fresh dill, minced


  1. Cook ground beef in saucepan over medium heat until browned and crumbly.
  2. Add onion, carrots, and celery and salute until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add broth to the cooked meat and veg mixture. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until carrots are soft.
  4. Add lemon juice and dill. Simmer 5 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Ramona Cardigan

Pattern: Ramona Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith

Yarn: Ístex Létt-Lopi


I knit the ramona cardigan last year during Tolt Icelandic Wool Month. It was my second time working with lopi after finishing the Nordic Wind Shawl. I had avoided working with it in previous projects because I thought it was too scratchy and I was afraid I wouldn’t wear the finished garment very often. But after seeing how much the yarn softened after blocking and wearing a few times, I changed my mind. Lopi is a hard-wearing yarn that offers plenty of warmth. I was knitting the sweater specifically to take camping and wear during chilly nights outside so lopi seemed like the perfect choice. I chose the pattern because I loved the basic design and wanted to knit a raglan sweater.


This has fast become my most worn and loved sweater. It’s easily four sizes too big (thanks to gauge issues & weight loss) but I don’t care. It has come with me on every camping, hiking, and sledding trip this last year. The pattern was a very easy and enjoyable knit!

A Knitter’s Path

I love hearing about how other knitters learned how to knit.  There are many different paths that have led us to a love of making fabric with string and wooden sticks and they all fascinate me.  As for myself, I learned to knit from my mother-in-law when I was in my early twenties.  While poking around on Etsy, I saw this very silly headband with pigtails for a cat to wear on halloween (or on a fun Friday night I suppose). I had to have it!  The idea of answering the door to hand out candy with my very large, orange cat wearing pigtails sent me into fits of laughter. The only problem…..there was definitely not enough time to receive it before halloween. My mother-in-law looked over at my computer screen and said “I can make that!” It was a stretchy garter stitch band with velcro under the chin and yellow yarn pigtails with little bows. Within a day, it was off her needles and halloween was a hilarious success that year.  Within a few weeks I was knitting on my own and so began my knitting journey.


From top to bottom: Sunlight shawl for Sad People, Tulpen cardigan, Margaret Dashwood Shawl, Textured Shawl Recipe, Kelpie shawl, Barn sweater

Fast forward a few years.  My husband and I adopted our son and brought him home at the age of 3 years old. It was a hard and beautiful time with love and loss and learning tangled up together in each moment. I remember one day, we had been home as a family for all of 10 days. I hadn’t been knitting regularly for 6 months or so but suddenly felt the need to create something. I started a new shawl that evening.  I look back on that project as the one that really ignited my love for the craft and beautifully made yarn.  I soaked up the process of memorizing the pattern, feeling the yarn in my hands, and watching the stitches blossom into a finished piece. My life at that time was chaotic, loud, and exhausting. Knitting recharged me and offered predictability, which I desperately needed.  And it continues to do the same on my current path towards healing my body. It allows me to refocus on something exciting, challenges me and gives a sense of accomplishment.  It also provides a great distraction on those days when I’m feeling discouraged.  It’s certainly a craft that offers many benefits. If you have been thinking of knitting, I encourage you to give it a go.  And if you are a knitter, how did you start your knitting journey?

Asian Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup (AIP, SCD)

In order to keep my inflammation at bay and soothe my digestive system, I’ve been trying to eat more soup. The only problem with this is I only have about 2 or 3 soups in my regular rotation that I’ve been making over and over……and over.  Needless to say, I’m terribly bored of them.  So to shake things up in my kitchen, I grabbed a copy of “The Best Soups in the World” by Clifford A. Wright.  This book is chock-full of amazing soups!  Many I’ve never heard of and am itching to try.  This recipe was inspired by a soup in this book called Cambodian Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup.  I’ve made some changes to make it AIP and/or SCD friendly. This soup is light yet filling. It’s become my new favorite way to enjoy cabbage rolls!

*A note to SCD’ers: Cabbage is only to be eaten once symptoms have subsided.  This cabbage is very well cooked and very soft but please be cautious! This recipe is not recommended if you have not already had success reintroducing cabbage*


Asian Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup


1 green cabbage

2 scallions, finely chopped

1 pound ground chicken or pork

1/2 cup packed grated zucchini

1 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce (or other sugar free fish sauce)

1 teaspoon honey

3/4 teaspoon salt


4 cups homemade chicken bone broth (if you use store-bought broth, be sure to check the label for illegal ingredients)

For garnish & additional seasoning:

1 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 scallion, finely chopped



  1. Place the cabbage in a large stockpot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, covered.  Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 15 minutes.  Drain in a colandar, saving 2 cups of the cooking water.  When the cabbage is cool enough to handle, peel off the leaves.  I find cutting each leaf at the bottom of the rib, then loosening from the cut rib to remove the leaf prevents ripping (as oppposed to starting at the more fragile top of the leaf where it’s more likely to rip).
  2. To make the filling: In a bowl, combine the scallions, ground chicken or pork, grated zucchini, fish sauce, honey and salt.  Mix well and set aside.
  3. Take the cabbage leaves and cut out the white central rib of each leaf.  Very large leaves can be cut in half once the rib is removed.  Take a piece of cabbage, lay it flat and scoop about 2 tablespoons of filling on top.  Then roll the cabbage leaf like you would an egg roll or burrito so the sides are tucked in and the filling is covered on all sides.  Secure each roll with a toothpick.  I got about 15 rolls but it will depend on the size of your cabbage.
  4. Place the cabbage rolls in a large pot with the bone broth and reserved cabbage water.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the rolls are cooked through, about 30-40 minutes.  Season with the fish sauce, honey, salt, and scallions.  Enjoy!



Sautéed Cinnamon Apples (SCD, AIP)

A few weeks ago I was experiencing some major intestinal inflammation.  A virus had made the rounds in our house and I was left feeling achy, shaky, and tired.  I made an appointment with my doctor via Skype (thank you technology for allowing me to stay in my pjs) to see if there was anything I could do from home to help my gut calm down.  She made several suggestions but the one I found most surprising was using cinnamon. Cinnamon? Really? She went on to explain that the sticky quality that occurs when cinnamon is mixed with something liquid is very soothing to the gut and will help reduce inflammation.  Within 20 minutes I’d whipped up some apples with cinnamon and my body was on the road to healing again.


This recipe tastes quite decadent for how simple it is to make. I don’t include sweetener because the apples are sweet enough for me. But if you prefer an extra bit of sweet, add a 1/2 teaspoon of honey at the end of cooking and adjust to taste.

Sautéed Cinnamon Apples


1 fuji or honeycrisp crisp apple – peeled, cored, and diced

2 teaspoons coconut oil

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Optional: coconut cream for garnish



  1. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat
  2. Add coconut oil and allow to melt.  Add diced apples and cover. Cook covered apples until they are soft and starting to brown, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add cinnamon and stir to coat the apples. Return cover and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, garnish with coconut cream.  Enjoy!




A New Day

Life is often not what we expect.   There are dreams and hopes and plans made. Then bills and heartache and sickness creep in and have the ability to take over all that we longed for. This is where I find myself today. After several years of chronic stress, I find myself on a path to healing my body and my mind while appreciating the beautiful parts of life. Slowing down and taking note of all the good things.  This blog is a way of inspiring myself and, hopefully, others.



To progress toward recovery, to improve, to grow back together


To enjoy life’s pleasures and nourish the body


To create, to occupy the mind & hands, slowing down