Friday, October 31, 2014

Crock-Pot and Sous-Vide... does it work?

This weekend ends the submissions for the CrockStars Competition. All Contestants had to create a 2 minute video of their favorite culinary creation with a crockpot. I had the amazing oppertunity to enter and guess what I cooked? Gourmet "Sous-Vide" Hamburgers. Ever since I heard of the French cooking method of "Sous-Vide," I was fascinated with it. It simply means cooking food "under-vacuum." So, cooking foods in a air-tight bag submerged in hot water.

2 min-video on Gourmet Sous-Vide Hamburgers here! 

I have experimented a lot with this cooking technique and even though there is a lot of fancy equipment that chefs use to perfect their results with Sous-Vide, I wanted to simplify it for the home chefs out there. When I saw the CrockStars competition, I knew this could be my chance to show people how easy and how delicious cooking sous-vide can really be!

So, what are you waiting for? Try out Sous-Vide to see how good it is. Here is a SUPER quick recipe you can make TODAY with ingredients that you already have!  

2 min-video on Gourmet Sous-Vide Hamburgers here! 

I need your votes! ...Everyday November 1st - 9th click the "VOTE" button on my video so that I will have a chance to make it to the Crock-Stars finals. Don't forget to share the video with your friends so they can place their votes and experience the ease of sous-vide cooking for themselves!! Thank you for helping me get to the finals in this competition! 

2 min-video on Gourmet Sous-Vide Hamburgers here! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Can YOU Compose Your Own Symphony of Ingredients? Here's how...

Lately, I have literally been in the kitchen all the time, and surprisingly I have enjoyed every minute of it. Why? Because I get to experiment in many different ways. I feel like a mad scientist at times trying to get things to work together that have never even mixed before.

If you are creative, passionate or just tired of eating the same thing... you just might want to think about creating your own recipes!

Playing around with food you certainly come up with some amazing and some interesting combinations that you will never forget!

Creating recipes takes a lot of planning, behind the scenes prep and many hours of hard work. But believe me... it is totally worth it! I tell the story of my biggest kitchen disaster in my cookbook "Cook Your Way to Health." A lesson learned, and not forgotten. However, out of that unforgettable disaster came my now most popular recipe for black bean brownies.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” 
― Thomas A. Edison

 You have to somehow get all the details of a organized kitchen to come together in a beautiful stunning meal.

Many of you already are designing your own recipes on a daily basis without you realizing it! A pinch of this, a dash of that... and the dish you were creating just turned into something completely different. All you have to do is plan ahead a bit more and write it down, because people are going to want to replicate your dishes if they are well planned and thought out!

So, how do you compose your own recipe? Strive to find aspects of food that harmonize well together. Contrasting flavors, textures and colors are three big things you want to start off with.
Chile Chocolate Smoothie

Think about some of the classic music symphonies. Using unique instrumentation in a variety of ways letting the soaring melodies take you to amazing places with just a simple variation of the theme. It is the same with cooking. Let your ingredients do the work for you and just add in the things that are going to pull all the main components together in a symphony that will tickle your taste buds.

Starting off with a blank sheet of paper and a bunch of empty measuring cups can be a daunting task but don't try to do too much. Simplicity is key.

First think, what do you want the main flavor of the dish to be? For an easy start, think of a few things you have on hand. I have a lot of broccoli right now. Broccoli? Ok. How can you twist broccoli up a bit? Let's use a more non-traditional part of the broccoli. The Stem. What other ingredients can we add in? Not too much... we want to stay SIMPLE right?! Butter, minced garlic and black pepper. The butter will let it cook nicely in a sauté pan, and the garlic and pepper will add in some extra uniqueness. The end product ended up very tender, flavorful and defiantly something I hadn't tried before.

To hear more about my cooking thrills... and spills, check out my cookbook here.

What are you creating? Let us know! Share a picture on Hannah's Food Journey's Facebook Page

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day On the Job - Becoming a Personal Chef

Whew! What a busy... fun... filled day.

After a full day I can relax and know that everyone around me has great food to eat.

Hannah's Food Journey has taken yet another turn. What has happened most recently? I am starting to cook as a personal chef. I am really enjoying it because I get to cook more and I get to try out more ideas and recipes!

This morning I went to the store to get the needed groceries, then back to the kitchen to cook Squash Casseroles, Chocolate Chip Muffins and Hummus.

 This afternoon, I had a great trip with my dad to go shopping at a local used bookstore for cookbooks! I lost track of time as I buried my nose in countless cookbooks getting many ideas. To finish the day I headed home to fix dinner and get stuff ready for tomorrow morning's first food delivery!

Aside from the actual cooking part of it, I am really getting to know the people. Everyone sits down to three meals everyday. Anything I can do to make mealtime a more exciting experience for the diner is thrilling to me.

Tomorrow is another busy day. I will be making many menus, plans and lists for the upcoming weeks. As I add more people to my lists I stop and wonder... how did I get this privilege?

Even though I had a busy day, it was a great day as a personal chef!

Need some extra nutritious meals? Email for details.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hannah's Food Journey Featured On...!

I'm excited to announce that Hannah's Food Journey was featured on Avelist. Check it out here: is a great place to check out lists of different things you need organized. Not to long ago, our guest blogger Wilhemina Ryan posted this post:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Smoothie Contest - July 26th

Hannah's Food Journey and the Balance for Busy Moms Tribe is hosting a great smoothie contest so get in the kitchen and get ready for this awesome challenge.

Start by creating your summer smoothie masterpieces! They will be judged on creativity, uniqueness and presentation.

Look at the entry requirements below for YOUR chance to win a gluten-free cooking class from the Balance for Busy Moms Tribe. The class is by our guest judge, Tracey Camier.

For ideas watch my favorite smoothies in the Summer Smoothie Guide Video.

Meet our guest judge: 

Tracey Camier has over 20 years of cooking experience along with a background in healthcare and social work. A degree in psychology and is completing a
certification in Nutrition and health coaching this year. She has a passion for
sharing and coaching others. Her healthy cooking strategies and
encouraging others is her strength.

How to enter:

1. SHARE this contest (  with your friends on Facebook so they can join in on all the great recipes as well!
2. SUBMIT your original recipe on the “Summer Smoothie Contest” Facebook page ( with at least 2 pictures and a description of the process in making the smoothie. Make sure to include the texture, taste and other interesting facts about your unique creation!
3. SATURDAY, July 26th is the final day, so make sure to get you submissions in before 11:59pm!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Smoothies Guide

Yesterday I made a bunch of different smoothies. I branched out with many new flavors and wow! ... I found some unique combinations. 

Pictured above is a "hot" chocolate smoothie with chile powder in it. It has a little kick to the cold chocolate banana mixture. Chocolate lovers beware! 

Another star smoothie that my sister and I thought up was a Savory Strawberry Smoothie with Olive oil. It was VERY good and filling!

Check out my latest video for pictures and recipes of each smoothie. Try them out today, you will be glad you did :)

Summer Smoothie recipes:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fire Roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe

Tonight I am making Homemade Roasted Tomatillo Salsa for dinner.  This bowl is going away to quickly. Everyone is eating it!! Super yummy and easy. 

6 tomatillos

1 jalepeno

1 red bell pepper

1 shallot

Salt to taste

Fire roast all ingredients on hot grill until skin is blistered. Remove from grill and let cool. Take the skins off and remove seeds and blend in blender. Add salt to taste. 

Enjoy hot or cold with tortilla chips!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Guest Post - Crystal Dodson! Loving Life Without Gluten

Loving Life Without Gluten

    Back in October 2009 I realized something was very wrong with my oldest son who was two at the time.  He had begun developing as a typical child does, then around 16 months I noticed that he was changing.  He would no longer look us in the eye.  His smile was gone.  He began to have constant temper tantrums. He was upset more often than he was happy.  I just had a new baby and my first son didn't want to have anything to do with his new brother.  He didn't have any language to tell us if he wanted or needed something.  It seemed like my son was slipping away. He was in his own little world, content to engage in repetitive stacking of blocks instead of connecting with us in a meaningful way.  I began to suspect that my child might have Autism.  The word scared me.  I didn't want to talk about it or even think about it. 

    Around the same time my good friend Rachel suggested that I look into a gluten-free casein-free diet for my son.  She said she heard it was making a big difference for a lot of children who were dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  I was offended that she would bring this up.  I was doing the best I could to feed my children the healthiest possible way I knew.  I didn't give them junk food.  They never ate fast food.  How dare she suggest that I wasn't doing enough! Something changed in my heart as I realized she was just trying to help. 

     I began to research the diet and discovered that parent surveys done by The Autism Research Institute list the gluten-free casein-free diet as one of the most successful interventions for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders.  According to one theory most, if not all, children with Autism have a damaged intestinal lining or “leaky gut”.  Because digestion is compromised, the child's body is not able to properly digest the gluten and casein proteins.  These incomplete proteins, or peptides, travel through the “leaky gut” into the blood stream where they cross the blood brain barrier and bind to opiate receptors in the brain. The peptides then alter the person's behavior, perceptions, and responses to his environment. It all seemed very overwhelming.  I didn't even understand what gluten was.  How was I supposed to take it out of his diet? I decided to start with removing casein because I knew what that was.

    I remember the first night I gave my son a little almond milk instead of regular cows milk before bed.  He didn't drink it.  I felt like I was depriving him.  I started questioning my decision already.  The next night we tried the almond milk again, and once again he didn't drink it.  We sauntered off to bed, but this time when I leaned in to kiss him goodnight he didn't turn away! This was the first time that he let me kiss him square on the mouth! I remember cheering, clapping, and celebrating with tears flowing down my cheeks.  I must have kissed him 50 times in a row.  This is what it felt like to have a child respond to a mother's love.  It was absolutely incredible! I decided right then and there that I would commit to doing whatever it takes to help my son.  I felt empowered.  There was something I could do to help him! I didn't care that the pediatrician thought diets didn't work. When my son was officially diagnosed with Autism in November of 2009, I realized that I was already proving the pediatrician wrong. My son was fully capable of loving me.  We just had to figure out how to help his little body heal so he would be able to express that love more easily.

    I started researching gluten and slowly trying to replace our old food with gluten free alternatives. Many times I bought things thinking they were gluten-free only to find a hidden source of gluten.  I decided to give myself some grace.  I might not have him transitioned to a gluten-free diet overnight, but I was doing the best I could to head that direction. 

     My son had a lot of texture sensitivities.  I remember putting a spoonful of food up to his mouth and he would start dry heaving before it even touched his tongue.  There were lots of days that he hardly ate anything.  I stayed the course.  Through trial and error we made it work.  I made muffins with shredded carrots and zucchini. I blended vegetables into smoothies.  I could get him to drink almost anything.  I started juicing and he would drink his fresh green juice so quickly.   As his body healed he became tolerant of more foods.  This was a very slow process.  Many nights dinnertime felt like world war III. 

    About a year ago I found an amazing product called Juice Plus. It is a whole food nutritional supplement that has been incredible for us. A friend of mine told me about it and it made sense to me because it was such an easy way to make sure my boys were getting nutrients from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables every single day.  Since we started taking Juice Plus my kids want to eat more fruits and vegetables.  Their little bodies like what they are getting and are craving more!
We have been on an all-organic gluten-free, casein-free diet for five years now.  My son is now seven and has made incredible progress.  He talks in complete sentences.  His eyes are sparkling.  He loves hugs and kisses.  He plays with his little brother.  He is brilliant.  He reads at a fourth grade level and is fascinated with solving word problems.  He loves life.  I am so blessed to be his mommy. What a little miracle he is! We still have a ways to go on his journey to recovery, but I do believe he WILL recover.  With God all things are possible!

    If for any reason you are considering going gluten-free I would encourage you to try it.  Start by figuring out what foods have gluten in them and replace those with gluten-free alternatives.  Search the Internet for gluten-free recipes.  Buy ingredients one at a time to make foods that are exciting to you.  Get in the kitchen and experiment! Remember, just because something doesn't turn out perfectly the first time doesn't mean it is not worth trying again.  Your attitude is incredibly important here.  Focus on what you CAN eat.  Be thankful that you choose to take a step to increase your health and happiness.  Take it one step at a time. Surround yourself with support. Give yourself grace.  Stick with it and I bet you will agree that it was worth it!

About Crystal Dodson
Board Certified Holistic Health Coach 
Don’t let the kindness in her voice fool you, Crystal is the inspirational powerhouse momma of two young boys, one on his way to recovery from autism.  When she is not loving her boys to pieces, she is using her nutritional education and first hand autism experience to support private clients and workshop participants.  Crystal loves to listen deeply to you and combine your needs with her vast experience.  Together you'll create a powerful plan for your success that is both simple and profoundly effective.  Get to know more about Crystal at:  
 Learn more about Juice Plus at

Monday, June 30, 2014

The big day IS HERE!!!!

Launch day is HERE!! I have been at my local chiropractor doing a black bean brownie tasting event for the cookbook launch. It has been so fun connecting with busy moms who are finding near recipes to try out.

You can now buy "Cook Your Way to Health" here

The first 50 sales get a free class on the just email your amazon receipt conformation to

The big day IS HERE!!!!

Launch day is HERE!! I have been at my local chiropractor doing a black bean brownie tasting event for the cookbook launch. It has been so fun connecting with busy moms who are finding near recipes to try out.

You can now buy "Cook Your Way to Health" here

The first 50 sales get a free class on the just email your amazon receipt conformation to

Friday, June 27, 2014

July 4th is almost here!!

July 4th 2013
Hey Moms!

It’s Friday and the weekend is already upon us. What are you doing to get ready for July 4th? My family always likes to grill. Oh, you know . . . the typical hamburgers and hot dogs. But what
about doing something different? Of course you could still grill out, but throw something different on the grill! Like black bean burgers, or healthy French fries made of sweet potatoes? One of my favorite grill out drinks is Tea Soda. First, make a very concentrated version some of your favorite herbal tea and pour it over chilled carbonated water! Don’t forget to add frozen peach for ice.
 I am all about traditional, but with a twist. Twist things up and give your family healthful foods that are fun and exciting.  Do not forget to add in the strawberry sorbet for dessert. Watch my video on how to make it here: It just takes a second to whip up, and it is SO refreshing. 

Enjoy feeding your family and they will feed you with love and awesomeness! If you want more recipes, try out the FREE for 30 days to get my monthly eCookBook with more great nutritious ideas for you and your amazing family!

Have an awesome happy weekend,