Real Food Kitchen Tour: CHEESESLAVE

by Ann Marie Michaels on November 8, 2011

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A warm welcome Project365(3) Day 10

Welcome to another edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour. This week we’re featuring my new kitchen here in Las Vegas.

What’s a Real Foodie?

A “real foodie” is someone who cooks “traditional” food. We cook stuff from scratch using real ingredients, like raw milk, grass-fed beef, eggs from chickens that run around outdoors, whole grains, sourdough and yogurt starters, mineral-rich sea salt, and natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup.

We don’t use modern foods that are either fake, super-refined, or denatured. This includes modern vegetable oils like Crisco and margarine, soy milk, meat from factory farms, pasteurized milk from cows eating corn and soybeans, refined white flour, factory-made sweeteners like HFCS or even refined white sugar, or commercial yeast.

We believe in eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that come from nature. So we shop at farmer’s markets or buy direct from the farmer, or we grow food in our own backyards.

This Week’s Real Food Kitchen Tour: CHEESESLAVE

Kate, 4 years old, eating dinner: grass-fed brisket and mashed potatoes with gravy and roasted Brussels sprouts

This week I’m featuring my own kitchen. We just moved to Las Vegas three weeks ago. This is just temporary. We’re renting a condo here while we look for a home.

I wanted to show you how we are living temporarily. It was interesting the things I could not live without, like my copy of Nourishing Traditions and my 5-gallon bucket of coconut oil.

Blog Author: Ann Marie Michaels
How Long Blogging: I’ve been blogging on CHEESESLAVE for 4 years, although I’ve been blogging for 6 years. I also have a social media blog — Social Media Strategy Blog — but ever since we started making plans to move, I haven’t had time to update it. I’ll get back to it in the new year. I also run the Real Food Media blog network.
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
House or Apartment: Condo on the 4th floor
Size of Kitchen: About 10 x 10 (just a guess)
Things You Love About Your Kitchen: I love the open layout. I also love the high ceilings, the two huge pantries and the laundry room which is adjacent.
Things You Would Change: I’d rip out the microwave and put in a Blue Star range, oven and hood. My friend Janis got a Blue Star and it is awesome! I’d also get a better fridge and dishwasher (I want Fisher Paykel). This is just a rental, though, so I’ll wait until we get our house to upgrade appliances.
Favorite Tools & Gadgets: Cast iron pans, Wolfgang Puck stainless steel saucepans, Le Creuset Dutch ovens, Excalibur dehydator, Hamilton Beach crockpots (I have 3), wooden spoons, mason jars, Pyrex glass measuring cups, and my Escali digital scale. Oh, and let’s not forget my Canon Rebel SLR camera — I’m always taking pictures!
Biggest Challenges Cooking Real Food: There is nowhere to put a chest freezer in this condo and I can’t live with the limited space in this tiny freezer. I’m going to buy a smaller chest freezer and put it where the mini fridge is so I can buy at least a quarter side of grass-fed beef.
Current Family Favorite Meal: Mariscada, a Portuguese shellfish stew made with chicken or fish stock, pureed tomato, and scallops, shrimp, mussels, clams, crab, and lobster. My daughter doesn’t like other kinds of seafood but she will happily eat shellfish. Our family loves this so much, I’m now making it once a week. I’ll post the recipe on the blog soon.
Favorite Cookbooks: Two of my favorites are Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell and Mary Enig, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 by Julia Child. There are many more — too many to list here.

Here are some photos of my kitchen:

The view from the front hallway

My Excalibur dehydrator with a big bowl of homemade chai tea steeping on top

Celtic sea salt, grass-fed butter, and freshly ground black pepper

These things liver permanently next to the stove, along with some leftover bacon grease and some coconut oil/ghee blend from Green Pasture Products (not pictured).

Kate at the table

You can see that the dining room, which is right next to the kitchen, leads right to the living room area. I love the tall ceilings and big windows — there’s lots of sunlight.

View from the dining room table

Inside the fridge

Top shelf from left to right: Raw milk from Organic Pastures in California, soaked granola, herbal iced tea, Dr. Ayala’s Herbal Water, Zukay’s carrot kvass, Strauss full-fat yogurt, maple syrup, a sippy cup of raw milk for Kate, a mug of leftover mariscada (shellfish stew), Virgil’s stevia root beer, coconut water, pineapple, Strauss cream.

Middle shelf from left to right: Leftover beans and rice, homemade red wine vinegar with the mother, a bowl of beef tallow, some storebought yogurt (I can’t make everything from scratch these days — too busy and I don’t have all my stuff!)

Bottom shelf from left to right: Carrots, watermelon, tomato sauce, free-range eggs (don’t have a source yet for pastured eggs).

Since we quit drinking, my husband has become totally addicted to kombucha. He drinks 4-5 bottles a day. I can’t keep up with him when I try to make it myself so I buy these at the health food store.

Top shelf from left to right: Kefir grains, homemade red sauerkraut, orange marmalade, blackberry jam sweetened with honey.

Bottom shelf from left to right: Organic ketchup, my mom’s prize-winning tomato relish, more homemade sauerkraut.

How I keep broth in the fridge

Since I’ve been reading about all the benefits of bone broth (helps prevent/reverse cellulite and wrinkles) and since Seth is on the GAPS Diet, I like to always have broth in the fridge. I used to store it in the freezer but I don’t have the room anymore.

Now I just reduce it until it is very concentrated (this started out as like 6 or 8 cups) and I add some gelatin so it’s just like jello. This way it keeps a lot longer in the fridge. Then I can just take a little bit out and put it in a saucepan while I’m making dinner. I just reduce it a little more and I have instant gravy!

In the freezer

The freezer is PACKED. I desperately need a small chest freezer! You can see bison heart, raw milk, bison kidney, pastured pork breakfast sausage, sprouted spelt flour, sprouted oats, homemade chocolate ice cream made with sour cream and honey, and sprouted brown rice.

In the pantry

Unsoaked nuts and seeds are on the left; soaked are on the right.

Kate in the pantry

Some things I use every day

I use the peppermint oil when I’m mopping the floor. Kate says, “It smells like candy canes!” (I have a Norwex microfiber mop; you only need water to clean — I love it!)

I also take my fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend every day (taking about 2 TBS per day) and use the spray-on magnesium oil.

My beloved Norwex mop

I actually love mopping the floor now!

Spring water

We don’t have a water filter like we do in our house in LA. For now, I’m just buying these at the health food store. I add Concentrace minerals. I did get chlorine filters installed in both showers. In Vegas, it’s very dry and I can’t stand any chlorine on my skin — it’s so drying! (Sadly, our condo pool uses chlorine. When we buy a house, I’ll be doing a saltwater pool.)

The bottles are sitting on a small fridge. This was left here by the landlord. I am going to put it a closet and put a small chest freezer there instead.

Our stash of Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil gummy fish

They don’t make these anymore unfortunately. This is the only kind of cod liver oil Kate will take. I was giving her 2 per day but just had her vitamin D tested and she came out low — 30. So now I’m giving her 5 a day, plus I rub 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon cod liver oil/butter oil blend on her bottom. We’ll test her again in 6 months.

I can

I always buy the 5-gallon bucket of expeller-pressed coconut oil from Wilderness Family Naturals and I buy my olive oil from Chaffin Family Orchards. When we moved to Vegas, my husband said, “Do we really need to bring that giant bucket of coconut oil?” I said, “You are kidding, right?”

I always have canned fish in the cupboard. My husband eats a lot of it and I eat it occasionally. I got the cod liver in Europe. Haven’t tried it yet but I’ve been told it tastes just like tunafish.

Supplement junkie!

Multivitamin, mineral multi, 5-HTP (although I usually take Tryptophan — this and melatonin are the only amino acids I’m still taking), ionic magnesium, and an herbal adrenal supplement. There’s a lot more not pictured.

Kate on the cooler

I brought 2 of these coolers with us from California. I fill them up with raw milk and other stuff that’s hard to find here whenever we go back to LA, although I’ve recently found a local source for raw milk. I use the cooler to bring groceries up from the garage — easier than lugging up bags.

Whole Mackerel in Papaya Sauce

I got this at the Filipino market right by our house. A fast and easy dinner and it was delicious! You eat the bones and heads and all (I did not eat the tails). Kate wouldn’t eat it but Seth and I both loved it. I’ll be back for more.

Kate eating an empanada

I don’t normally let her eat store-bought empanadas, or even store-bought yogurt for that matter. But I’m not making my own yogurt right now as I’ve got too much going on. The empanada came from the local Filipino market and it was a special treat.

Nourishing Traditions

The only cookbook I brought with me to Vegas! Not that I don’t love the others, but they are all packed away in storage. This is the one I am constantly referring to and simply cannot live without.

Check Out the Previous Real Food Kitchen Tour Posts

Real Food Kitchen Tour: CHEESESLAVE
Real Food Kitchen Tour: GAPS Diet Kitchen
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Holistic Mom
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Radically Natural Living
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Amanda Brown
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Pamela Montazeri
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Cracking an Egg with One Hand
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Yolks, Kefir & Gristle
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Okparaeke Family
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Holistic Kid
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Artistta
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Nourished & Nurtured
Real Food Kitchen Tour: May All Seasons Be Sweet to Thee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Horting Family
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Hybrid Rasta Mama
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Granola Mom 4 God
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Devotee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Forager
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Leftover Queen
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Health Home & Happiness

Let Us Tour Your Kitchen

Are you a real foodie? Do you have a kitchen that you’d like to see featured on CHEESESLAVE?

Please email me at annmarie AT realfoodmedia dot com. Either send me a link to a Flickr set or email me your photos (minimum of 5, but more is better). Note: Please send me LARGE photos. Minimum 610 width. If they’re too small, I can’t use them.

Oh, and please send the answers to the above questions (at the very top of this post).

As much as I’d love to include all the photos I receive, I can’t guarantee that I will use your photos in the series. I’m looking for creative, good quality photos.

Some ideas for photos:

  • Show us what’s in your fridge or what’s fermenting on your counter
  • Take some snaps of some of your favorite kitchen gadgets, or show us how you organize your spices
  • Got backyard chickens? Send some pics!
  • How about a lovely herb garden?
  • Kids or pets are always cute!
  • Try to include at least one photo of yourself, ideally in your kitchen

And no, you don’t have to have a blog to be included in the tour.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany Nash November 8, 2011 at 1:29 PM

I would love to know how you make your orange marmalade. What do you sweeten it with? We buy an all-fruit marmalade now, but I’d love to make my own.


cheeseslave November 8, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Oh, I did not make that. I bought it from a lady at the farmer’s market.


Bethany Nash November 9, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Darn! :)


Alison November 8, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Yay northstar bison! LOVE their products and my homestate of WI…..their braunschweiger is addicting, you should try it if you haven’t


Bethany Nash November 8, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Oh, wow! I didn’t notice the bison label… we’re from WI, too, and I know Mary Graese personally. So cool. :)


Bethany November 8, 2011 at 2:07 PM

it was cool to see your place ! That is a serious kombucha habit lol…. I am just getting my second 2.5 gallon brew going so theoretically we’ll have enough for 16oz for each my husband and I and 8oz for my kids each day, that is if my husband and I don’t drink it first lol.
Thanks for sharing AM :-)


Kristi November 8, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us! I now know that I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. LOL I use several of the same brands from supplements to yogurt. I’ve made yogurt several times but my son wouldn’t touch it. So I get the plain cream top from Brown Cow and we add in our own fruit and sweetener.

I’ve made fermented ketchup but none of my family liked it. Can I just add whey into the organic store stuff and ferment it to make it better?

Thanks again! Good luck house hunting!


cheeseslave November 8, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Yes, you can just add whey. I haven’t done that (didn’t remember) but I should!


anna November 8, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Just out of curiosity what didn’t your son like about the homemade yogurt?


Kristi November 8, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I’m not really sure. The first time I strained it for whey and it came out really thick. The second time, it was runny. But I’m wondering if I made it then put it into the Brown Cow tub, if he’d eat it. ;) That’s what I’m gonna try next.


anna November 8, 2011 at 5:36 PM

In my last batch I added gelatin to the milk while heating it. The yogurt came out really nice, just like the store bought ones (but without all the crap). Might wanna try that along with putting it in the Brown Cow tub =)


leigh anne November 12, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Great Idea adding gelatin when warming the milk! How much do you add? I will have to try that. I usually make 1/2 gallon batches


anna November 8, 2011 at 2:31 PM

My husband and I could drink 4-5 GT Kombuchas each a day if we could afford it haha. We’re absolutely addicted. It really helps with sugar cravings and is so helpful when you are doing gaps and is just sooo delicious. Our 3 year old loves it too! The cheapest regular price I’ve found it at is $2.99/bottle…once it was on sale for $1.99 and I bought as many as I could. I really have to start brewing my own at some point….


deb November 8, 2011 at 3:50 PM

I love it, lots of the same stuff here! Kate is getting so big and is super adorable ;-) see you Friday!
deb xo


Erica November 8, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Beautiful Kitchen and daughter, Ann Marie! :) Love you guys so much!


Lee November 8, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Your daughter is absolutely beautiful!
Thanks for sharing your own kitchen. Tell me more about appliances – we are at the beginnings of a kitchen remodel and I am having trouble finding out about dishwashers, refrigerators and range hoods. I’m going to take down the microwave from over the range top and replace it with a real hood. The microwave is only used sporadically and it will go on shelves in the garage.


cheeseslave December 16, 2011 at 4:47 PM

I’ll have to do a post on this when I’m closer to it


Heather November 8, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your place!! I feel like a “real food” failure sometimes, and seeing what you are doing helps me see that I AM doing some things right! :) You just made my day – and I love your place!


Gabi November 8, 2011 at 4:17 PM

LOL… “Do we really need to bring that giant bucket of coconut oil?” I said, “You are kidding, right?” Love it! Sounds familiar…but hubby is now a big believer in the 5 gallon buckets of the staples we buy: raw honey, ACV and coconut oil. Buying in bulk rules!

Your seafood stew sounds fabulous! Food from the ocean is our favorite, too. My hubby is chomping at the bit to get back into the kombucha routine…doing GAPS put us off kombucha for some months, but we’re going to be brewing again soon. Do you have a particular chai recipe you are brewing?

Great job with turning your rental into an operating real food oasis! :)


Linda November 8, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Loved getting to see your kitchen, even if it is temporary. I see you buy a lot of things in bulk. I wish I could do that. What is your source for nuts? I only buy a few bags when I can get to a Trader Joe’s. I know they are not really raw, but I don’t think I can afford to order nuts online.


Bebe November 10, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Check out Amazon. You’ll be amazed at what’s available and the prices too. If you are careful to buy it directly from Amazon rather than other sellers you can get it shipped free as well.


Jodi November 8, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Thanks for sharing! How fun to see your new kitchen. We are taking all the same supplements! I wish I could just hope over and give you some cheap kombucha . . .but you will have a great stash of bottles for water kefir soda and kombucha when you have a bit more time to brew. (at least we use those bottles for our carbonation process) Anyway, thanks for opening your home! Still loving this series! Can I send you some Young Living Peppermint Oil or Thieves . . . those are yum to clean with! Have a great night!

Reply November 8, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Hi Ann Marie,
Great new kitchen! How exciting!


Alison November 8, 2011 at 6:52 PM

How do you take the ionic magnesium? I’m taking mag citrate in pill form. The ionic tasted nasty to me…..


cheeseslave December 16, 2011 at 4:48 PM

It is nasty — I take it anway


Dr Ayala November 9, 2011 at 5:56 AM

Enjoyed visiting your nourishing kitchen. Honored to be represented in your fridge!


cheeseslave December 16, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Hi, Dr. Ayala!

Thank you so much for the water you sent. I LOVE the new sparking water! It’s delicious!


Homebirth Mama November 9, 2011 at 7:29 AM

Thanks for keepin’ it real Ann Marie!

We just closed on a house last week and we are traveling a lot to get the new house ready to live in. I don’t have time to do all the scratch cooking I normally do, so right now there are a lot of (WAPF-friendly) packaged foods in our kitchen right now.

I was kicking myself for not being able to do it all, but, hey, I am only human, and there are only so many hours in a day.

I am stoked for you that you have so much natural light!


Meagan November 9, 2011 at 9:04 AM

This was so cool! I loved seeing your kitchen. Kate, as I’ve said before ;), is ADORABLE – she totally hams it up in the pictures!! I can’t wait to see you both again at WAPF tomorrow. Safe travels!


shannon November 9, 2011 at 10:08 AM

You mentioned you add gelatin to your stock. Is that boxed gelatin? I ask because we’ve begun SCD and she recommends making jello with juice. I’ve made unpausterized apple cider jello and all of us enjoyed it. I would prefer that we had more stock but we already get quite a bit of stock. So are there health benefits to boxed gelatin? Thanks!


Molly November 9, 2011 at 12:55 PM

If you can find the pasture raised gelatin powder that Ann Marie has discussed many times in her blogs and whose name escapes me right now. Don’t use grocery store boxed gelatin. That is not what they are implying. Just an FYI. I bought some powdered gelatin from NOW (I think I got in on Amazon, not sure). I’m trying to make my own gelatin using all natural ingrediets such as fruit juice with a bit of sugar free Ginger Ale for pizazz. But I am new too and still learning! Good luck.


shannon November 10, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Great! Thanks!


Bebe November 10, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Great Lakes is the brand name and here is a link to the beef gelatin on Amazon:
It is also available in porcine form.


shannon November 10, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Thanks so much. Checking it out now.


Melody November 9, 2011 at 10:34 AM

How exciting! I will be sending you photos of our new kitchen shortly, just have to get everything settled in. I haven’t done too much real food fermenting since we are having our ducts cleaned today (they currently spew out stuff whenever the furnace turns on) and I wasn’t interested in even the chance of bacteria damaging any of my cultures…so alas, they stay in the fridge until then. So happy for you guys! I just got my first gallon container of coconut oil and tossed all my old oils before we moved, and I’m just saying – I see the value of getting a 5 gallon bucket now!! Love the chai on the excalibur :)


Molly November 9, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Kate is very cute. Thank you for sharing. Lately work has been so demanding that my time for making everything from scratch has suffered but I get motivated again by looking at these wonderful kitchens. Thank you.


Amy G. November 9, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Hi Ann Marie –

I enjoy your blog and get lots of ideas from it, but how about using a new picture of yourself?
Just an idea!
Amy G.


cheeseslave December 16, 2011 at 4:50 PM

You mean on my user icon?

The cobbler’s children have no shoes.

In other words, I’m busier than a one-legged man in an a** kicking contest. Ain’t got time to get around to it.


cat @ November 9, 2011 at 5:05 PM

You can freeze raw milk? I did not know that! I thought it degraded the enzymes and nutrients (like pasteurizing backwards?) My local raw milk people only deliver once every two weeks and there’s limited fridge space. Its become precious real estate.


cheeseslave December 16, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Yes you can! It does not hurt the enzymes, probiotics or other nutrients


Soli @ I Believe In Butter November 9, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Got a few questions/comments to go with this:

1. Where did you get the magnesium supplement? I could use one.
2. Adrenal supplements are wonderful. I took standard process drenamin and dessicated spleen for two months to help recover from my massive fatigue and it did the trick! Not even taking them now and I am still feeling an improvement.
3. Got any suggestions for how to prep the cod livers? I bought a can last year but have yet to try them.


cheeseslave December 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM


Sorry I did not see your questions sooner. Did you get them answered?


Soli @ I Believe In Butter December 16, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Well you did help with the magnesium. ;) I’m still hoping to find suggestions for the cod livers.


cheeseslave December 16, 2011 at 5:38 PM

From what I understand they taste a lot like tunafish. I’m going to try adding mayo and relish and eating them on a sandwich.


Rebecca November 9, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Thanks so much for all you do. Your blog has been very encouraging. I just got a Norwex mop and just love it. How do you use the peppermint oil with it? It would be great to have “candy cane” floors.


summerharms November 10, 2011 at 10:31 AM

this was awesome, ann marie. kate is a cutie!
could you post your chai recipe?


cheeseslave December 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM
Bebe November 10, 2011 at 2:27 PM

I am curious about the FCLO/butter oil… how do you get it down? I have tried that particular one (chocolate gel) and I, well lets just say I had some difficulty in swallowing. I’ve also tried other flavors of just FCLO and I think I’d have an easier time of eating raw cod livers!


Amanda November 10, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Could you say more about the value of rubbing the FLCO/BO on Kate’s bottom? Is that a good way to absorb the vitamins? I haven’t heard of that before.


cheeseslave December 16, 2011 at 4:32 PM

You absorb the FCLO/BO directly via the skin.


Jenn@ Leftover Queen November 11, 2011 at 11:43 AM

So nice to finally see YOUR kitchen, even if it is temporary! :) You have A LOT packed away in the condo!


Denise December 6, 2011 at 5:39 PM

I cannot tell you how happy I am to know of you and to be aware of all of this great info you provide. Thank you for all you do! Blessings.


Sally December 16, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Ann Marie, your website is terrific, I forward it to family and friends often. I did want to suggest Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions. I’ll let their website and short video explain their process—far different from other brands: and they often have free shipping so that’s when I buy the 5 gallon bucket (it ships from Nevada).

Also, we have an insatiable appetite for kombucha, too, so my husband drinks the Synergy and I drink Vermont made Aqua Vitea on tap at the Co-op in seasonal flavors; perhaps you have something similar, the price is less.


kaitlyn October 13, 2012 at 8:45 PM

For how long will raw milk stay good in the freezer?


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