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Monday, May 11, 2015

Organic Oven Baked Cottage Fries To Live For

We love potatoes at our house, but I don't eat those highly salted, greasy, and less nutritious processed (peeled) ones that are the customary kind sold in supermarkets. Learn my secret recipe that keeps it simple, economical, healthful, and delicious. It's a home rendition of an old time favorite that's easy to prepare and will bring raves when it's served. 

I shop organic, because it's important to me that our food comes from a source that hasn't been genetically modified. I know organic food has higher nutrient value and tastes better too. A local health food store and farmers’ market are two of the best places to buy organic potatoes.

The organic label means produce like tomatoes, grapes, potatoes, and kale hasn't been chemically sprayed, irradiated, or injected with additives. I make the conscious choice to eat organic foods, because they are in the original state Mother Nature intended. Each time I shop or grow organic I save a small spot of the planet by not polluting the ground, water, air, or my body. 

I suggest you serve your cottage fries as a snack, a mouthwatering replacement for store bought potato chips. Commercially manufactured chips can be expensive and loaded with oil and/or contain preservatives and additives. 

Here are photos of the main ingredients

Organic Russet Potatoes, Knife, and Scrub Brush

Organic Rosemary (bottom left), organic thyme (top left), organic oregano(right)

Organic Garlic
Organic Olive Oil


8 Organic Russet Potatoes 
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary (hold stalk in hand, and snip leaves into little pieces, making them about 1/4 inch long) 
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme (slide or run fingers along stem to remove leaves and chop leaves into fine pieces)
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano (run fingers along stem to remove leaves and chop them into fine pieces)
3 cloves fresh organic garlic minced
3 Tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste 

How to Make Oven Baked Cottage Fries:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven is heating, wash and scrub 8 medium russet potatoes. Do not peel potatoes as the skin is high in fiber. Baked potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, vegetable based protein, and important nutrients like Vitamin C and antioxidants. See more at Washington State Potato Commission. Slice, chunk, or cube potatoes into a size and shape you like best. Place in a large bowl filled with cold water, until ready to put in the oven. This prevents potatoes from turning gray (from oxidation).

2. Mix the herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small mixing bowl or cup. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, use dried ones. Dried herbs are more potent than fresh ones, so use half strength. If you don't have these herbs on hand, substitute basil, parsley, or tarragon. Each one tastes great on potatoes. Try combos of any or all of them instead. 

3. Coat the bottom of a flat baking sheet with 1 Tablespoon of organic olive oil. I dip a corner of a paper towel into the oil and use it to spread the oil out evenly.

4. Drain off potato water, coat potatoes with herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss. Then pour potatoes onto baking sheet, so they are spread out in one layer.

5. Drizzle the rest of the oil on the potatoes and bake for 10 min. Stir to loosen any potatoes that have stuck to the pan and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until you can easily pierce potatoes with a fork, and outside is golden brown. Cooking times vary depending on how thick the pieces of potatoes are, your oven calibration, and what the total weight of potatoes actually is. 

Cottage fries look appetizing on a platter or alongside a hummus sandwich or veggie burger. Serve with a green tossed salad to create a plant-based meal everyone will love. A portion is approximately one potato for each person. I always make much more than I need, because I like to freeze individual portions to use later on.

Please let me know if you're going to try your hand at making this dish or if you like this recipe. At my house, it's a fantastic accompaniment for dishes like scrambled tofu, lentil and veggie loaf, or pinto beans with broccoli. 

Send comments to and if you can, talk up this blog on any social media outlets you use. Here's a link for Pinterest and one for Facebook.

While you're at it, follow this link to my Website. Learn how my woman's interactive journal,
Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self Discovery, Balance, and Bliss can help you use color, journal writing, affirmations, and reflection to improve self-care practices and increase your sense of well-being.

The quote for today is:

"What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow."A. A. Milne


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This post is featured at the Link Up Party #45. See the other great posts there as well.Food and Fun at the Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up #45

Saturday, April 18, 2015

How Will You Celebrate Earth Day 2015?

Earth Day 2015

Here are my ideas for honoring our glorious planet on April 22, 2015 and all year long.

Enjoy Nature and Plant a Tree

Walk More, Drive less, and Carpool or Take Public Transportation

Respect All Living Creatures and Eat Plant-Based Foods

Recycle, Reuse, Conserve

Live in Harmony With Our Environment by Buying Organic

Divest from Fossil Fuels/Invest in Environmentally Friendly Concerns

Support Solar, Wind, and Thermal Energy Sources and Use Energy Efficient Appliances

Before you go, please let me know how you honor Our Extraordinary Planet and what measures you are taking to conserve, re-use, and recycle natural resources. If you prefer, please share earth day memories with us.

The quote for today follows:

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."

-- John Muir

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This post is the Green Feature at Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #63

Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #63

Sunday, March 29, 2015

15 One-Minute Health Boosters

15 One-Minute Health Boosters

Do you want to improve your health, but lack ideas and motivation? Perhaps you feel sluggish and want to restore your enthusiasm for daily living. Try out these 1 minute health boosters and see how little time and effort it takes to nurture your mind, body, and spirit.

1.Drink a tall one, an 8 oz. glass of water several times during the day. This will keep you hydrated, helps digestion, and makes skin dewy fresh.

2.Eat a half cup of beans, an excellent source of protein and fiber, to help you rev up energy, maintain regularity, without fat.

3.Splash your face with cool water to revive yourself, instead of drinking a cup of coffee and jarring your nerves.

4.Plan daily goals for exercise. It takes less than a minute to reserve time for this self-care practice on your calendar. Exercise pays off by reducing stress, helps keep you fit, and elevates mood.

5.Take a deep breath. Deep breathing eliminates anxiety and sends nourishing oxygen to all parts of your body.

6.Snack on a serving of fresh sweet peas for a change of pace treat. This healthy veggie has more vitamin C than 2 large apples and more protein than a whole egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter.

7.Take a 20-20-20 break. Every 20 minutes disengage from your computer screen by standing up and looking at what’s going on 20 feet away from you. Do this for at least 20 seconds. This saves eyesight and prevents eye and body strain.

8.Use eye drops to refresh your eyes at least two or three times a day.

9.Say “no” when you need to. Bowing out of tasks you really don't want or need to do enables you to prioritize your time, energy, and resources. It allows you to focus on meeting your own needs more effectively. In the long run, setting boundaries avoids building up resentments and stress.

10.Set water to hot (above 140 degrees F) when washing sheets, pillow cases, and towels to kill dust mites. Hot water washes can remove pet dander and pollen residue and makes laundry fresh smelling as well as clean.

11.Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen which is non-nano (SPF 30 or above) to face and body every day to reduce chances of getting skin cancer and sun damage. Wear UV protected sunglasses to cut down on exposure to radiation and protect sensitive skin around your eyes.

12.Shed shoes at your front door. Discover how easy it is to keep carpets cleaner and cut down on the amount of environmental pollutants you track into your home.

13.Hug a bud to get those good feelings flowing. Kiss your significant other, and compliment your kids to spread the love and nurture each other. Laugh often. It reduces stress and prevents "dis-ease."

14.Stretch by reaching for the sky, bending over to reach for your toes. Stand tall and roll your shoulders. Stretching relieves sore muscles, reduces tension, and relaxes shoulders, neck, and body.

15.Create a mental gratitude list. Give thanks for your blessings and see how fast it improves your mood and sense of well-being.

Wishing you good luck as you follow through on these one-minute health boosters. They have worked really well for me, and can work for you too. Begin today to increase your health quotient by adopting these 15 wellness techniques gradually. Please let me know which ones are in your daily routine already. Are there any you're reluctant to try? Let me know about those too. When you follow this blog, you'll be updated when a new post appears. Thanks for your interest. I so appreciate you!

Before you move on, please check out this link to my website. Find out how activities in my woman's interactive journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self Discovery, Balance, and Bliss can enliven your spirit and improve your sense of well-being.

The quote for today follows:

"Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account."


This post has been shared at

 Natural Family Friday 3/27/15

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Aerobic Exercise and Optimum Health

photo from

I came across a study that shows a direct correlation between aerobic exercise and brain cell health and even regeneration. You can find a link below to see the abstract.

I'm grateful that this report gives me new impetus to amp up my exercise routine and get outdoors more often for aerobics. I love to work out in a natural setting. I'm able to connect more directly to a power greater than myself, when I'm in nature. I'm not a person who likes to go to a gym for treadmill walking. My preference is to commune with mountains, flora and fauna, streams, a river, or sea. I love to hike and walk. 

What's your take on the study and what motivational techniques work for you to keep you active and vitally alive? 

Which kind or kinds of aerobic exercise work for you? Swimming, biking, hiking, dancing, walking, running or something else? Remember... anything that makes you happy as well as revs up your engine, will improve blood flow to the brain and is good for your spirit. Let me know which aerobic exercise you like and why.

My quote for the day is:

"Another good reducing exercise consists in placing both hands against the table edge and pushing back. " Robert Quillen-American Journalist

I welcome feedback at: 

If you can, talk up this blog on any social media outlets you use. Here's one for Pinterest Nancy Andres on Pinterest  and one for Facebook Nancy Andres on Facebook

While you're at it, follow this link to my website and find out how my woman's interactive journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self Discovery, Balance, and Bliss can help you use color, journal writing, affirmations, and reflection to improve self-care practices and increase your sense of well-being.

This post appears at The Natural Family Friday Weekly Link Up 2 27 2015

This post appears at Tuesdays with a Twist #100 is LIVE!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Divest from Fossil Fuels/Reinvest in Eco-Friendly Investments

Divest from Fossil Fuels and Invest in Companies That are Kind to Our Planet and People

It makes good environmental, moral, and ethical sense to divest fossil fuel investments and reinvest in renewable energy and eco-friendly companies. It's easy to notice that global warming, climate change, and its effect on human life are closely connected, when you think of Hurricane Sandy and the devastation it caused along the east coast of the United States. You probably also recall that thousands died or were injured in the Philippines during Typhoon Haiyan, and have read many Haitians are still homeless and living in tents, in the aftermath of damage caused by hurricane flooding there.

The Weather Channel’s Position Statement on global warming states, “The climate of the earth is indeed warming, with an increase of approximately 1 to 1 1/2 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century, more than half of that occurring since the 1970's. Impacts can already be seen, especially in the Arctic, with melting glaciers, thawing permafrost, and rapid retreat and thinning of sea ice, all of which are affecting human populations as well as animals and vegetation. There and elsewhere, rising sea level is increasing coastal vulnerability. There is evidence in recent years of a direct linkage between the larger-scale warming and shorter-term phenomena such as heat waves and precipitation extremes. The jury is out on exactly what effects global warming is having or will have upon tropical cyclones or tornadoes.” For more see: The Weather Channel Position Statement

Let’s look at global warming from another angle, information from a National Geographic Report about the causes of greenhouse gas.

1.“One of the first things scientists learned is that there are several greenhouse gases responsible for warming, and humans emit them in a variety of ways. Most come from the combustion of fossil fuels in cars, factories, and electricity production. The gas responsible for the most warming is carbon dioxide, also called CO2. Other contributors include methane released from landfills and agriculture (especially from the digestive systems of grazing animals), nitrous oxide from fertilizers, gases used for refrigeration and industrial processes, and the loss of forests that would otherwise store CO2. Different greenhouse gases have different heat-trapping abilities. Some of them can trap more heat than CO2. A molecule of methane produces more than 20 times the warming of a molecule of CO2. Nitrous oxide is 300 times more powerful than CO2. Other gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons (which have been banned in much of the world because they also degrade the ozone layer), have heat-trapping potential thousands of times greater than CO2.” However, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is so great that this is the element that makes weather more extreme. Read the full National Geographic Report here: National Geographic Report

2. Since the main source of fuel used in the U.S. today is derived from fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal, it follows that a reduction in fossil fuel use will result in less carbon dioxide polluting our atmosphere.

Now, here are ways you can be part of the solution.

There’s a special event that’s taking place Feb 13-14, 2015 and you’re invited. Join with people from spots all over the world who are fed up with escalating fossil fuel production and pollution from CO2 Emissions and don’t want to take it anymore!

Take part in Fossil Fuel Divestment Day. Make a tangible economic statement in a world-wide effort to stop global warming by divesting from those investments in your pension plan, IRA’s, or brokerage accounts that are made up of fossil fuel companies. Then, reinvest your money in sustainable companies that don’t pollute or leave giant carbon footprints.

Here's Help for Sustainable Investment Choices.

* See US SIF – The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, a US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in sustainable, responsible, and impact investment

* Pray with others and rally to divest/reinvest. Group efforts create positive energy to support this cause. Gather together and feel a sense of community and sharing. Carry signs and banners, and get publicity by contacting the media. Show your community, politicians, big business, policy makers, and the public that you want fossil fuel to be replaced with solar, wind, and other sustainable energy sources. The organizers of this movement have set the goal to eventually make fossil fuels part of our past history.

Go a step further and work to pass laws prohibiting fracking, stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, and vote in favor of legislation that limits the amount of fossil reserves companies can store. The smoke and discharge from fossil fuel factories destroy fragile ecosystems, can possibly create dangerous, explosive situations, is bad for your health, and spoils natural resources. Big oil, gas, and coal do not need to stockpile resources, because those on hand already surpass realistic future energy needs. According to OXFAM, “If the world is to avoid exceeding dangerous global warming of 2°C, up to 80 percent of known fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground.” See OXFAM

* Be vocal and communicate with friends, neighbors, and civic groups about global divestment/sustainable investments to keep the ball rolling. Efforts by various individuals, religious groups, environmental organizations, college students, pension plans, cities, counties, and countries are part of the Divestment Movement. It is only the beginning. Consider holding a Divest/Invest Party, rally, workshop, meeting and the like. For hints about how to do that, look at Divest/Invest Party

* Be smart and be kind. Reduce your own carbon footprint by walking more and driving less, using public transportation or car-pooling, and reducing your reliance on fossil fuels by installing a sustainable source of energy to heat and cool your home, help those less fortunate to become self-sustaining, and conserve, recycle, and reuse products so new ones won't have to be made by fossil-fueled factories.

Here’s a sample of those who have already committed to the goal of Divest/Invest:

1. Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls the destruction of the earth's environment the Human Rights Challenge of our Time. See a video about his view at Desmond Tutu Video

2. Ten U.S. Cities Divest from Fossil Fuel Investments. They are Seattle, WA, Madison, WI; Bayfield WI; Ithaca, NY; Boulder, CO; Rochester, MN; Eugene, OR; Richmond, CA; Berkeley, CA; and San Francisco, CA

3. Norwegian Sovereign Wealth (oil) Fund has divested from a total of 22 companies on February 6, 2015 as the result of pressure from Norway’s parliament, who stated those companies are a high risk to climate. Global Divestment Day on the 13 and 14 of February comes at the perfect time to increase the pressure on institutions such as the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth fund to commit to full divest from fossil fuels. See in-depth article @

4. The Church of Sweden has announced complete divestment from fossil fuels by ridding itself of its remaining holdings in gas companies. Its assets of $691,292,490 are now completely fossil-free. More @

5. Several member churches of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Churches of Christ have divested, as well as the Minnesota United Church of Christ. See more at United Churches of Christ

6. The counties of San Francisco, CA and Dane County, WI have divested.

7. A growing number of Universities and Colleges have divested in fossil fuels after student activists demonstrated or led campaigns at Hampshire College, MA, Naropa University, CO, Prescott College, AZ, San Francisco State University Foundation, CA, Sterling College, KS, and Unity College ME. For the latest on this see Universities and College Pledge to Divest

8. The World Council of Churches (WCC), consisting of over 300 churches and representing half a billion Christians worldwide, has decided to pull its investments out of fossil fuels. See more at: WCC

9. The Entire Unitarian Church Voted to Divest from Fossil Fuels.

10. Newark Episcopal Church 2015 Convention Resolution to Divest from Fossil Fuel and Invest in Sustainable Energy concludes they will divest. “It is immoral to profit from an industry whose core business creates climate change and whose financial and political influence has prevented climate change legislation.” See more at 

11. Karen H., who is a member of an Episcopalian Congregation in Arizona, says “My spirit is calling me to speak out about this moral issue. People are suffering as a result of climate change, like those who are homeless as a result of the typhoon in the Philippines. How can I speak to peoples’ hearts so they will make the connection between their investments in fossil fuels and the consequences of their actions on families today and for generations to come?”

I believe the time is ripe for us to align our values with our investments. Economic decisions and choices can serve us financially as well as serve a greater good. Sustainable energy is a growing industry, one where advances in technology have made renewable sources of energy more affordable, more readily available, and an earth-friendly way to contribute to the greening of our planet.

Are you willing to contact your Senators, Congress people, and the U.S. President to ask for a moratorium on increased fossil fuel development? My view is that further development is unacceptable and unconscionable. Are you in favor of state and national bills and laws that support sustainable, renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and thermal power in public buildings, offices, and the like? Will you raise you voice in support and invest in those companies that don’t contribute to climate change? Will you join with others around the world to divest fossil fuel holdings and invest in sustainable energy instead? As a human being and world citizen, listen to your conscience and make the right choice for you.

This post has been shared at Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural “Party” Blog Hop #53

This post has been shared at Natural Family Friday 2 13 2015

Before you go, take a moment to comment. Will you join this cause? What greener choices are you making in your life? Please share about that. If you have questions about this topic, please let me know. Speak with your financial planner and educate yourself before you make any investment.
If you feel I’ve provided useful information, please share a link to this blog and credit with my name, Nancy Andres. Here’s my Pinterest Page and Facebook Page.

I offer this blog to you to encourage you to look at both your values and your thought process. Remember you have options about investments and other lifestyle actions. Please consider eco-friendly alternatives. Help take this step and contribute to a world wide effort to save our precious planet.

Valentine's Day will be here before you know it. Why not order a copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, and Bliss? It makes a great gift idea for a loved one or yourself, because this journal is colorful, unique, and its activities help women feel more joy in daily living. Wishing everyone a marvelous Valentine's Day. Love from me to you!

Quotation for today: "Be loving to yourself. Your happiness depends on it." Nancy Andres

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Thanks for Visiting

Hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog and will return again. Wishing you a day that's brimming with good health and peace. Warm regards, Nan