HomeBrewing Cordials and Sodas

Lately, I have been researching herbal sodas, cordials and ciders. I have been experimenting with fresh fruits to make fruit syrup with tea infusions and making them carbonated with my ginger bug, or my newly acquired distillers yeast.

Here is a link to my ginger bug post;


I have been doing so much research that I thought it was worth sharing my research in a well organized blog, so here goes. I have so much information that I hope that I can organize it.

To see the definition of different herbal preparations, like teas, tinctures, elixers, and tonics; see the following links.



My initial experience with herbs for the last couple years, I have delved into decoctions and teas, so trying to go for a herbal soda did not seem that hard to try. I recently bought a good supply of herbs to get this project and my supplies started.

I bought some root herbs for my experiments like Dandelion Root, Burdock Root.

My husband bought me some stainless steel pots; a set of a 6,12,14,16 quarts so I can make any size infusion that I need. I am excited because I am starting to collect reusable bottles for saving soda in the fridge as well.

I am now working on making home brews of cordials and decoctions with carbonation somehow.

Here are some pictures of my experiments lately.

Strawberry Ginger Soda
Strawberry Ginger Soda
Strawberry Cordial and Elderberry cough syrup
Strawberry Cordial and Elderberry cough syrup
Blackberry Cider
Blackberry Cider
blackberry yeast foam on blackberry cider
blackberry yeast foam on blackberry cider

I have found some amazing research ie recipes on some old herbal decoctions and infusions.














Homemade soda





Root beer links




Herbal brews links







Specialty teas


Elixers and honeys








Introduction to my Herbal Education

My personal experience with herbs is exactly that, personal. I hesitate to share my experience with what I have learned and tried because everybody’s experience could be different than mine. I have a very high tolerance for some herbs, like say; a cup of chamomile tea for me, doesn’t do much in way of calming me down, but adding more ingredients to it seems to do the trick. Although for some chamomile tea could be all they could need to have a better nights sleep.

So in no way in any form am I a certified doctor or herbalist yet,nor am I in any way qualified to diagnose or prescribe anything; I have just some experience with some herbs and so much experience that I need to write it all down in a organized fashion to remember it all.

That saying some herbs in my opinion are mild and some are extreme. I have used them for different things for myself for many years and am now confident in herbs enough to have my family be healed by them as well. I have only a limited handful of experience with herbs and am no way educated in the wide realm of them all and all their many uses.

I have studied western herbal medicine for only about 5 years along with being a mother and a wife and trying to be healthy in both. I have realized that food is powerful medicine and herbs are powerful medicine as well. I have shifted my families eating practices for the last 5 ½ years in the more organic and fresh direction and at the same time come to realize that everything we do and put into our bodies affects it.

That being said in the same amount of time that I have shifted our eating I have tried to make my family healthy by giving them food and herbs that would make us healthier people. I actually have been working with fresh herbs from the farmers market like burdock root, nettles, lemon balm and sorrel since 2012. I am glad to say that I am returning to trying to always have herbal remedies on hand and in a more involved way now that I am becoming more educated in herbs.

I have been making tea brew since then as well. I have started a goal of making a great sleepytime brew for myself since 2012 and have been adding ingredients to it ever since. I have chronic insomnia and only recently have asked big pharma doctors with help with it. I have been combating my insomnia with herbs for about 6 years, and glad to say that I now always have the best and strongest herbal medicine on hand to combat it.

Ever since I had my son 6 years ago, I have been working on more transdermal medicine aka salves, learning about how to heal his toddler excema naturally was my goal and we combated it with homemade salve from flowers and leaves that we grew ourselves. Ever since I have been making my own herbal salves and they all have different uses.

I have posted previous blogs on how to  make herbal salves here.




I also have chronic back pain, inflammation, and nerve problems so I have been using herbs to combat those problems as well.

Most recently I have enrolled in an online herbal remedies course from my online wellness idol, @wellnessmama and I am very happy to have more recipes for my home apothocary coming from her as well. I like adding my favorite herbs to her recipes and reading about how other home herbalist make things as well.

Here is a picture of the Herbal books I have studied over the last 6-8 years, I have absorbed so much information that it is really hard to catalog everything I have learned into only 1-2 blogs, I am sure I will have to write several blogs to share all the things I have learned about certain remedies and solutions to things, but to start I will start a list here of the herbs I have alot-little experience with and the ones I am learning about now.


In the last couple weeks I have also been trying to combat my husbands chronic asthma and my sons chronic constipation, so I have little experience those herbs but I am learning more each day.

Herbs for Insomnia:

Chamomile (mild)

Passion Flower (mild)

Skullcap (strong)

Valerian (extreme)

Kava kava (extreme)

Lemon balm (mild)

Herbs for Inflammation

Turmeric (mild-strong depending on dose)

White Willow Bark (mild-strong depending on dose)

Bosweilla (strong)

cayanne pepper (strong depending on dose)

Arnica (mild to strong depending on dose)

Calendula (mild)

Herbs for Nerve pain

Kava Kava (extreme)

Skullcap (mild)

Herbs for Lung help

Lobelia (strong)

Mullien (strong)

Elcampane (mild)

Herbs for constipation

Slippery Elm (mild)

Marshmallow Root(mild to strong)

Psyllium Husk( strong)

Here are my other blogs on herbs that I have written so far.





I have only begun to be working with the lung and the tummy herbs, although my experience dealing with my pain and sleep issues I have been working on for a while. I will work on maybe sharing my favorite combination of sleepytime herbs in tea form as soon as possible, either in sharing the recipe or selling bags of combination teas myself.

I am now making progress in making Aqua Medica aka medicine water, aka stronger tea infusions for both my family and I for our ailments. I will continue to try and document what works and what doesn’t. I have come to find that small doses of Lobelia for my husbands asthma has begun to help him more then his prescription abuteral inhaler.


I am still working on making some constipation infusions for the family as well. This is only the start to a healthy herbal assisted life.

Weekend Coffee Share #3 “Chicken, Cabbage n Carrots”

These last few days have been a complete test of my kitchen creativity, I have had to be utterly creative with whatever I could find in the house.
The last few days I had a small supply of chicken fillets from Schwans and then some cabbage and carrots from the food bank.

I astounded my husband when for 4 different meals straight, I presented all of them in different ways.

I guess I can make a Coffee Share about how I got creative in the kitchen again, this one even amazed me anyways.

For the first night I made baked chicken, with Cole slaw and carrots on the side in a hash. I have never made cole slaw before and I had to look up the recipe and it turned out great. I wish I had some pictures of it.

Then the second night I made Chicken Tacos with whatever spices I could find in the house and they turned out really good. For the second night I made a steamed combination of cabbage and carrots and seasoned it with lemon and put it under the chicken in the tacos. I surprised my husband when it tasted just like the Cole slaw from the day before, but it was a completely different way of presenting the carrots and cabbage.

Here are a picture of the chicken tacos.

chicken tacos with slaw
chicken tacos with slaw

Then the next day I miraculously realized that I had too many dried cherries and almonds and decided to make a chicken salad with the carrots, cabbage, chicken, and those. It turned out really good.

chicken salad
chicken salad

Then the same day I made chicken tacos but with a twist and put the tortillas and seasoned chicken under the broiler for a minute for a tostada effect.

Tonight, I found an abandoned package of ground chicken in the freezer…the last of our meat until I get money or food stamps. Both coming soon. And I am making a Chicken White Bean chili, I just browned the chicken with a whole hell of a lot of chili seasonings and I will update later on how it turned out.

Weekend Coffee Share Part 2 “A Foodie Afternoon”

For this weeks coffee share, I have been thinking on a idea for a subject all afternoon as I cooked Brunch, then as a bullet it hit, me, I would just tell you about our epic Sunday Brunch and the musical Motivation that played during it.

So I have a Pandora Account; its the most extensive collection of awesome radio stations that I do not have to pay for, I love it. Lately I have been switching back and forth from a few great hit stations such as Duke Ellington Radio (I blame American Hustle for that), Billy Holiday Radio (remember in the Clueless Movie ‘Oh I love him’…lol) and from a crazy memory of my grandpa, Judy Garland Radio, (which honestly is the one that always surprises my husband when its on…heehee). I cannot help it, these oldie stations keep my anxiety down, especially when I am cooking. My son and I love dancing to Bo Diddley Radio and now I introduced him to some 50’s rock and roll and he loves it. So this afternoon has been a mix of a medley of all those oldies.

Sometimes I go back to my older stations like Rob Zombie and Black Sabbath and such stations, but usually only in the mornings when I am trying to stay motivated to not crawl back into bed and not cook. Today the boys suffered about a half hour of such metal music before the classic hits…its a musical house, with a very open mind.

I love baking to Duke Ellington and cooking to the Ella Fitzgerald Songs and such, its such a nice way to spend a beautifully overcast day here in the Bragg.

Anyways this isn’t all about the music, although I could not cook without it; I certainly pay the internet bill thinking that honestly its like paying for the music all day  and I am fine with that, I need music to stay sane. So yes, it was a musical morning, but I also made a few awesome brunch things that I must share. And I fully blame cable aka the food network for inspiring me to make french toast. I made some french toast this morning, the chef in the show I watched on t.v. added some oil to her french toast mix to thin it out, so it wasn’t so eggy. And by golly it really worked. I also used some leftover flat meringue mix for the french toast batter, and that helped the batter as well. I used about 1/3 cup milk, 3 eggs, 2-3 egg whites with sugar and a dash of oil and blended with my new handheld whisker. It blended so well, that I ended up making 2 batches of french toast; one for the boys and I to eat now and a second batch of a whole loaf of sourdough local bread to freeze.

Here is the picture of the batch we are freezing for later. They are from a local sourdough loaf of bread from the fort bragg bakery that I got from the food bank, although I had to cut it, it turned out great.


I also made a batch of Beignets; on request from my hubby, who loves them. I had to reduce the recipe as I only had 1 1/2 cups of pancake mix for a usual recipe that calls for 3 cups. So here’s the reduced Beignet recipe 1 1/2 cups pancake mix and 1/2 cup of water. It will come off the bowl easy then roll it out and cut.

Here are the glam shots of that.

20160424_133004 20160424_133007 20160424_133041 20160424_133250

So although most of the time I think I do not have much to be writing about, I always realize that my life is paradise and I live in heaven and everything I cook and do is worth sharing because it make me and my family happy, and maybe some of my recipes could make your family happy too .


If we were having coffee… Wk 1

Sitting down this Sunday afternoon, thinking about the weekend writing challenge. Also just realized that national poetry writing month aka NaPoWriMo, started this month. So I am eager to start some poetry for that as well. I am thinking the best way to approach this weekend coffee challenge is to be completely authentic and write a post as if I were writing a letter to my best friend (if I had one) or my mom, saying things that are a part of my life this week, in the form of a pen pal-ish letter. So here goes.

Dear Readers:

If we were having coffee today together, I would tell you all the things that I have been dealing with this week, I’ve had a crazy week, realizing some things and coming to some personal conclusions.

One being my happiness is only determined by myself, and no one is responsible for my happiness but myself; realizing the things that make me happy are truly simple, more simple then I would have ever thought.

Like honestly it just takes a few things to make me content in my home. I have begun to realize that all it takes is a clean kitchen to make me wanna create cooking creations, my favorite music playing to keep me motivated and the boys occupied with their own activities makes me inspired to be independent and do things for myself.

I guess I would have never realized how simple it is to be happy unless I stopped trying to be. Once attaining happiness isn’t in my forefront of thought, I have found it. It’s as simple as having all the ingredients to bake bread. It’s all in front of me, aka the tools for happiness, I just have to sit back and let them work.

Just like Yeast just needs the right temperature of water to work, I just need the right amount of things to stay happy. I have realized now that it’s not much work at all, and honestly I have no time to be depressed.

If I can stay motivated to stay busy and get things done, I really am too tired to take the time to over think and be depressed. I have begun to realize I have no reason to be depressed, and that most of the time that it sneaks up on me, are times that I leave my brain to be idle and think of things that aren’t true.

If you didn’t see the subtle connections to how I feel, I am going to bake some bread today. Sundays are for baking and I keep myself busy and happy by making good food. The only thing that sucks about my planned baking adventure is I have to clean the oven.

I have never cleaned an oven before, this cleaning adventure will probably test all my patience and push some depressive buttons, but I will try to prevail. Last week I attempted caramel without measuring and ended up with a bubbling overflowing caramel apple pie that seriously overflowed so much caramel unto the oven that it created a small fire, yea, that was fun, Not!

Opening the oven to let the smoke out, I realized the fire was happening on the bottom of the oven, and I truly panicked, but my husband chimed in and said to throw some flour on the flames to make them stop, so panic driven, I threw handfuls of flour on it and it stopped. I closed the oven door and tried to forget the disaster, but now that the baking bug has bit me again, I must clean it.

That is just a small preview of what I have been through this week, not including the school stress, and medication stress I have been going through; but since this is our first coffee talk I’ll spare you all that drama and stick with this ‘happiness’ bit.

So to get the conversation going,…what makes you happy? and how did you find out?

*later 6pm edit* holy wow, I recently updated to windows 10 and my husband just declared to try my new keyboard now that we updated my computer… it wasn’t working before, so I tried it and IT WORKS!! I finally have a keyboard again..yay!!! and yes my bread did turn out great. here’s some pictures…

my bread before cutting it...
my bread before cutting it…
first cuts of bread
first cuts of bread
slices with homemade whipped cream
slices with homemade whipped cream