Tag Archives: Recipe

DIY Flea Collar

AAAAaaaargh!  We’ve got fleas!  We have never had a flea problem until we moved to Texas.  We have always treated our pets once a month, but here in Texas, it didn’t help at all.  Last year we hired an exterminator to come and spray the house and yard.  We welcomed winter and the end of any flea threat.

Oscar and Charlie Sunning Themselves

Oscar and Charlie Sunning Themselves

Here we are in mid-March and we have already discovered fleas on our dogs.  They were immediately taken to the bathroom for a flea bath and spray.  Why is this happening?  The exterminator just came and sprayed.

We adopted our little Charlie that was found at the stables where our daughter rides.  He’s the cutest chocolate and cream chihuahua.  He was so infested with fleas that when we first picked him up we took him straight to get a flea dip.  We spent the next 30 minutes coming fleas out of him.  How can such a little dog have so many fleas?  I think he had his weight in fleas on him. Charlie hasn’t come without any issues.  We have often wondered what challenges and abuse he suffered in the few months of life he had lived before making his way into our hearts and homes.

Charlie on the day we got him ~ Halloween Day 2014

Charlie on the day we got him ~ Halloween Day 2014

He never knew where his next meal was coming from.  This was evident when at Christmas he found a clear plastic thumbtack and quickly picked it up and ran to chew it.  For Valentines my sweet husband sent me a dozen red roses.  As I pulled the roses out to put in a vase a few crumbles of green floral foam fell on the kitchen floor, he quickly ate it up!  Poor guy!  We feed him twice a day, but he still looks for food.  We have eight oak trees and two ash trees that seem to always be dropping acorns and nuts.  Charlie is constantly working to open and eat them.

He is terrified of men.  Each time he sees a man or hears one walking he begins to growl and bark.  He does not like Dad kissing Mom or our daughter. Tonight he was sleeping under my comforter on my bed when a tapestry my husband had hung fell off the wall.  The pole hit the ground loud and hard.  It scared me.  It terrified him.  Charlie came out of the covers, looked over and saw the pole partially standing on end, jumped off the bed so hard and fast he skidded into our rocker.  He hit with such force and speed that he slid across the room into the door and ran out the hallway.  I finally have him calmed down and sitting on my chest, but he is on constant alert and keeps looking over to where the pole was.  We removed the pole from the room and shut the door to the pole’s new home.

Charlie has brought such joy into our home.  He makes us laugh so hard.  He loves us.  He entertains us.  I didn’t want another dog, but Charlie has wormed his way into my heart and I am in love.

But, back to the fleas.  This year I am going to try this DIY Flea Collar recipe.

DIY Flea Collar with Essential OilsDIY Flea Collar ~ Essential Anew
½ tsp. rubbing alcohol
1 drop Cedarwood EO
1 drop Lavender EO
1 drop Citronella EO
1 drop Thyme EO
4 garlic capsules
1 soft pet collar

Break garlic capsules open and add the contents to the mixing bowl. Blend your ingredients together and pour it over the collar until fully absorbed. Let dry before putting around your pet’s neck. It should be effective for one month.

Fleas, just like mosquitoes, do not like the taste of garlic. I am going to start squeezing a little garlic oil on the dog’s food each day to keep those pesky fleas away. I’ve got some of that pre-chopped garlic in my fridge, it is preserved in oil, I will try using that oil on their food.

Let me know what you do to keep fleas off of your pets.  Have you tried a DIY Flea Collar?




Keep the Cooties Away Insect Repellant

February, the longest month of the year, or so it seems, has just passed us by and before we know it spring will be here.  We’ll be out in our yards and gardens … and so will all the bugs. Use this super easy bug repellant to protect yourself naturally.

Keep the Cooties Away Insect Repellant ~ Essential Anew5 drops eucalyptus
2 drops orange
4 drops lavender
2 drops lemon
8 drops cedarwood
1 drop peppermint
1 drop clove
1 drop cinnamon
2 ounces carrier oil such as jojoba, grape seed, or sweet almond oil

Mix it all together and store in a cobalt blue bottle.  Apply liberally keeping out of eyes.

Keep the Cooties Away Insect Repellant ~ Essential Anew

How to Dehydrate Potatoes

Recently I went into our local grocery store and found  a HUGE sale on potatoes.  This made me excited for a couple of reasons.  First, the longest we have lived in one place is Idaho … we still go back each summer.  Second, potatoes are so expensive in south Texas compared to Idaho and it frustrates me.  Third, I have a dehydrator.

So, I bought two bags, remembering the last time I stocked up I procrastinated and almost lost all the potatoes before we used them.  Now, after this VERY simple process I wish I had purchased a few more bags.How to Dehydrate Potatoes ~ Essential Anew

I dehydrated apples last week, so my dehydrator was still out (there had been a sale on Gala apples .88/lb.!) and thus it was a great time to process my potatoes.  I pulled out this amazing gadget I purchased last year at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I am sure there are other places to find it, but there are so many wonderful opportunities to use it and make chopping so much easier.

It has several different size blades, but I’ve always used this smaller size.  Pay special attention when cleaning … those blades are VERY sharp, more than one family member and now a family friend can attest to the effectiveness of those blades.

I peeled my potatoes, rinsed them and then sliced them to the thickness I wanted, about as thick as one of those squares, so when they go through they will be … well, square.

How to Dehydrate Potatoes ~ Essential AnewBe sure to put a big pot of water on to boil.  When you get plenty of potatoes chopped put them in a big bowl and rinse in cold water, drain.  Once the water is boiling put your potatoes in for 3 min. to blanch.  This is to get extra starch out.  If you skip this simple process you will end up with brown and black potatoes when dehydrated.  Not too appetizing.  See all that murky, whitish water in the potatoes?  That is what you want to see … all that starch coming out.  See how wonderfully chopped those potatoes are?  Thanks to my dicer. I am in love with it and use it for onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots (be sure to slice these thinly since they are so firm, I broke my first dicer on a carrot), anything I want chopped.  It’s the BOMB!

How to Dehydrate Potatoes ~ Essential AnewWhen you drain those potatoes fresh out of the boiled water you want to rinse them in cold water to halt the cooking process, you don’t want mushy potatoes. Be sure your potatoes are drained well and place them on dehydrator racks.  When your dehydrator is filled turn it on and forget it.  The setting for fruits and vegetables i s 135*.  I am sure you could do this in your oven, too.  I once did herbs in the oven.  I put the herbs on a cookie sheet, closed the oven and turned on the light.  I was surprised how hot the oven got just from the light.

If I were dehydrating in the oven, I would turn the oven to the lowest setting and once achieved, turn off the heat and turn on the light.  I wouldn’t open the oven to check the process since so much heat is lost opening the door.  The light is on, just look through the window.

My potatoes took just over 12 hours.  I checked them when I got up in the morning and was surprised they were all dried.

They looked Amazing!  I had filled up the trays pretty full.  The potatoes were touching, but I didn’t put them on top of each other, I wanted them to dry more evenly.  Look how much they shrunk!  These had been touching.How to Dehydrate Potatoes ~ Essential Anew  My 10 lbs. of potatoes used 9 trays to dry.

I poured each tray into a big plastic bowl to make it easier to put in bottles to store.

Look at how much those 10 lbs. had shrunk to.  I was actually surprised and amazed to see the end amount.  Realizing how simple this process was is when I was bummed I hadn’t bought more potatoes.

We now live in a very humid climate and humidity is the enemy of dehydrated food.  It is very important to keep the food dry or it will start rehydrating and spoiling.

How to Dehydrate Potatoes ~ Essential AnewThat is when I bring out my canning jars and my vacuum sealer.  That bowl of potatoes fit into two quart jars!  And that is with some head space allowed.  If you are not familiar with a vacuum sealer you can easily find them online or at Sam’s, Costco, Walmart, Bed, Bath and Beyond, they are everywhere.  What is not everywhere is the canning jar attachment. Be sure your vacuum sealer has an attachment port and you can easily purchase a tube and canning jar attachments. These attachments fit over the lid and jar (be sure you have one for the wide mouth and one for the narrow mouth) and when the machine is turned on all of the air is sucked out of the jar and the lid is left sealed.  The great thing is the lids can be reused, unlike when you process food in water.  However, this process cannot be used for foods that are processed in water.  Only use this for dry foods.  I love my vacuum sealer for storing food.  I used to throw out my canning jar boxes, but now I store my filled jars in them and they are easy to stack and get to.How to Dehydrate Potatoes ~ Essential Anew

My jars are filled and ready to seal in this picture.  I was so proud of my potatoes.  They looked so beautiful and white, no spots. Now, when I want potatoes in soup I can toss a handful in.  I make a yummy shepherd’s pie, not a traditional shepherd’s pie, but a meat, carrot, potato, and onion pie baked in a pie shell. My family likes to eat it with ketchup. Now, my potatoes are ready to rehydrate and put in.  Maybe I will dehydrate carrots next.  I will also rehydrate these potatoes and cook them in some butter and serve as a side dish.

Of course, I had to try a few.  They were crunchy and dry.  But, I the first thing I noticed was the dehydrated potato flavor we are used to from commercially dehydrated potatoes was not there.  I know what is in my potatoes … NOTHING.  There are no additives, no mystery ingredients, no preservatives, just potatoes minus the water.

Now, to find the next sale on potatoes.

Make the Pain Go Away Headache Blend

Make the Pain Go Away Headache Blend


Make the Pain Go Away Headache Blend

1 Tbs. Jojoba Oil
1 Tbs. Grapeseed Oil
1 Tbs. Sweet Almond Oil
16 drops Lavender EO
8 drops Peppermint EO
6 drops Marjoram EO

Mix oils together in a small dark amber or blue bottle, shake well to blend.  Let stand four days to synergize.  Massage 1-2 drops into the base of the neck and at the temples, take care not to get blend in your eyes.  you can also add 1-2 tsp. into warm bath water, agitate oil in water and soak.


Wintertime Apple Oats

It’s begun to cool down here in south Texas … at least it’s cool compared to the year round heat and humidity of Panama, where we lived the past four years.  After living in Idaho for six years we are enjoying a cool down and not a freeze.

Part of what we are enjoying about the cool down is the food!  Instead of just looking like a soup day it FEELS like soup days.  But, for breakfast we are eating Wintertime Apple Oats.

Wintertime Apple Oats

Just before Thanksgiving we were able to get Honeycrisp apples at a VERY good price, so I stocked up and dehydrated a few snacks.  The secret to keeping the apples white and not turning brown is to soak them in any lemon lime soda (Sprite, 7-Up, Sierra Mist, any kind).  Look how pretty those dried apples look … and they are delicious, too!

While putting away my apple goodies I thought about making a few into cubes for cereal.  And, so I did.  I carefully vacuum sealed my apples in a canning jar to keep the humidity from rehydrating them long before I use them.

While shopping at our local Sam’s Club I found our favorite Steel Cut Oats.  When I got them home I discovered they were a little different than the ones we are used to though they are both the same brand.  The new purchase is Quick Cook Oats.  I found that the ratio of water to oats is a little different.

Excited to have our beloved steel cut oats again I anxiously pulled them out to cook.  We prefer our oats cooked in milk, it is our one splurge in milk.  We never drink it and only cook with it.  But, cooking oats in milk everyday uses a LOT of milk, so a while back I began cooking my oats with 1/2 water and 1/2 milk and got the same creamy results.  That first cool morning with my oats in hand I cooked them the same way and added my prized apple chunks.  But, the next morning I had a stroke of genius … why use milk when I could use Apple Juice!

Wintertime Apple Oats

I cooked my oats in all apple juice.  My husband even commented on how good they were … and he didn’t even know my secret weapon.  The next morning I had the same thought, “That’s a lot of apple juice to use everyday.”  The next day I reluctantly added water, but the results were just as good.

I would set out some brown sugar and cinnamon for each to add to his own bowl. And in this process of learning I decided to add the cinnamon and brown sugar to the pot.

And the finished product was DELISH!!!  Just look at all those yummy apples!

Wintertime Apple Oats

So, here’s the recipe … more or less …

Wintertime Apple Oats

Bring 2 cups water (I replace 1 cup of water with apple juice) and 1/4 tsp. salt to a boil (this is where I add the apples, about 1/3 cup, about 1/4 c. brown sugar and about 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon … who measures when you can just dump it in?).  Add 1 cup Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on how thick and chewy you like your cereal.  Stir occasionally.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for two minutes.  The recipe says it serves 4, but in our house it is more like 2 1/2 servings.

If you are using regular steel cut oats the ratio changes to 1 cup oats to 3 cups water for three servings.

Add a bit of milk and enjoy!

Wintertime Apple Oats

Dr. B’s Superfood Smoothie

Today I want to introduce you to Dr. B.  She is a wonderful doctor working with Time Laboratories and  the Family Practice Residency Program at ISU in Pocatello, Idaho doing integrative medicine. Here I share her Superfood Smoothie and what she says about it:

Dr. B's Superfood Smoothie

Since I am one of those people who doesn’t get hungry until about 10:30 AM, I make this smoothie every morning and take it to work with me in a one liter container.  I drink some of it whenever I start feeling hungry and it tends to get me through lunch time.  Every time I’ve read about the amazing healthful properties of a particular food I’ve added it to the smoothie mix, and this is what I’ve finally settled on. Start by making a big tub of the Super Powder mix and keep this mix in the refrigerator.  If you have leftover ingredients, you should also keep them refrigerated since most of the ingredients are prone to oxidation at room temperature.  If you want a smoother powder (if you don’t like picking seeds out of your teeth) you can put the powder in a blender or coffee grinder until smooth.  It takes roughly equal parts of the following:

Hemp protein powder (buy online or at health food stores), Chlorella, Spirulina, or Phytogreen® (available at Essential Anew), Wheat Germ, Flax Seeds, and Chia Seeds.

Next go get yourself the following;

Coconut milk (I use the lite stuff because it pours from the can more easily), Organic Kefir (plain or flavored, Kefir is a fermented dairy product full of probiotics)

Now, every morning, get out your blender and put in 2-3 different fruits, fresh or frozen (I usually use a banana for thickness, berries, and whatever’s in season), Add about 1/4 cup of the Super Powder mix, Add about 1/2 cup of Kefir, and 1/3 cup of coconut milk, Add water or organic fruit juice to thin a little, if needed, and to make about one liter (one quart) smoothie.

Put it into your stainless steel beverage container and hit the road (or stay home!).  Drink a few swigs when you feel hunger setting in.

Granite Countertop Cleaner

I love my granite countertops, but I am always frustrated with how to clean them and keep them sparkling. Usually I just wipe them down with a wet wash cloth, but then they are dull. So, I ventured into making my own granite counter cleaner and was it a SUCCESS!!!

Granite Countertop recipe with three great oils

Granite Countertop recipe with three great oils


24 oz. spray bottle
3 oz. rubbing alcohol
1 drop blue Dawn dish soap
5 drops Peppermint EO
10 drops Lemongrass EO
10 drops Orange EO

After putting all the ingredients in the spray bottle I topped it off with water (about 21 oz.), mixed it up and began cleaning. I loved the scent. I wanted something fresh but not overpowering and super lemony. This was the perfect combination of EOs. Of course, you can always use the ones you want.

Peppermint EO is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Lemongrass EO has strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities. Orange EO is anti-bacterial and anti-septic. These three oils add good cleaning qualities as well as a refreshing scent that is uplifting.



DIY Foaming Hand Wash

DIY Foaming Hand Wash

This Christmas we bought a lot of foaming hand soap on sale at a very popular shop that sells soaps and lotions.  Instead of throwing away the empty bottles I’ve been keeping them and filling them with my own soap. Here’s a recipe for you to make your own moisturizing sweet smelling foaming hand soap.

DIY Foaming Hand Wash

  • 2 T. Unscented Castile Soap
  • 2 1/2 t. Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • 15-20 drops of Essential Oils of your choice

Pour ingredients in repurposed bottle and fill remainder of bottle with water.  Be sure to leave enough room to tighten the pump on.  And Voila! You’ve got your own sweet smelling foaming soap.  It’s that easy! Ideas for EOs to use:

  • Tea Tree and Orange, use at least twice as much Orange than Tea Tree
  • Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, use less Peppermint as it tends to be overpowering, maybe 5 drops and then 10 drops each of Lavender and Lemon
  • Geranium and Lavender
  • Serenity EO Blend (Lavender, Tangerine, Marjoram)
  • Sunrise EO Blend (Lemon, Rosemary, Lavender)
  • Or try any of our other EO Blends

Make yours today and see how easy it is!

DIY Laundry Soap

DIY Laundry Soap

Because you asked …  Recently I had someone ask me about homemade laundry soap, she specifically wanted to know about using EOs in the soap.  I would imagine you that you could put some in, but I also think that the scent wouldn’t last too long.  Coming up I will post about fabric softener, which you can add EOs to.  So, stay tuned!

DIY Laundry Soap

This picture is my laundry soap that I made seven months ago.  There are four of us living in our house and I keep supplying our college son from this supply.  At this rate it will last us more than a year, which makes me super happy.  This should cost you less than $30 to make, not bad for a year’s worth of detergent.

FYI – I do add two big bottles of Purex fabric softener beads.  I call this portion control with my kiddos.  Also, with an HE washer, put the soap right in the washer.

Try out this detergent and let me know what you think.

Luscious Lemon Bars


Did you know? There are some essential oils you can cook with, lemon being one of them. Try this delicious recipe and see how good lemon can be.

Luscious Lemon Bars
2 c flour                1 tsp baking powder
½ c sugar              Dash of salt
1 c butter             ½ c water
¼ tsp salt             ½ c lemon juice
4 eggs                  3 drops lemon essential oil
6 TBS flour           1 TBS powdered sugar
1 ½ c sugar Lemon zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until dough reaches a fine crumb consistency. Press dough into the bottom of 9×13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes till golden. While crust is baking, beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. In a separate dish, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to eggs, and stir till smooth. Gradually stir in lemon juice, water, and lemon oil. Pour mixture over baked crust, and return to oven. Bake 30 minutes or until set. Allow to cool completely, and sift powdered sugar over the top. Garnish with zest if desired.

*** Be sure to only use therapeutic grade oil, which is also food grade, or a food grade oil, which is not therapeutic.

*Try substituting orange oil and orange juice to make orange bars.
*This recipe was found in the fourth edition of the book ‘Modern Essentials’.