Tag Archives: Recipes

Our Favorite Canned Salsa with a few dinner recipes

Tomatoes went on sale this week for .48/lb.  I couldn’t pass it up and bought a 25 lb. box.  I also bought way too many jalapeños, onions and cilantro.  And was excited to get home and start canning our family’s favorite salsa.

Yummy Salsa

Yummy Salsa

Luckily I have two wonderful kids still living at home, though they will be leaving far too soon for my taste.  They were delighted to help me get started.  We got the water boiling, the tomatoes scored and the sink filled with ice water.  Blanching (follow the first technique on this link, it’s the best, trust me!) tomatoes is the easiest way to release the skin and peel tomatoes.

Look how nicely the dicer made the jalapeños look!

Look how nicely the dicer made the jalapeños look!

While they peeled tomatoes I began dicing onions, cilantro and jalapeños.  Fortunately I didn’t really have to dice them all.  I pulled out my handy dandy food dicer and diced away. Of course, I wore gloves while working with the jalapeños.  The kids finished and it was time to dice the tomatoes.

Unfortunately the dicer didn’t work on the tomatoes without the skin on so, it was all by hand. Since I knew that I would be cooking my salsa I didn’t worry about dicing them so small.

Nicely diced tomatoes

Nicely diced tomatoes

When we started this process, I thought I might go buy another box.  Dicing tomatoes was the longest part of this whole recipe.  I didn’t go get any more tomatoes.

Lots of Cilantro

Lots of Cilantro

I mixed all the ingredients together in a big pot and started cooking the salsa.  I heated up my water bath and sterilized my jars and lids.  Using a canning funnel begin filling jars.  Using a wooden spoon remove air bubbles from salsa by gently pushing the spoon handle down in the salsa.  Wipe the rims and place on lids and rings.  When the water bath is boiling, submerge the jars and process.  Check times for higher elevations.  The best part of living in south Texas is we are pretty much at sea level and processing time is greatly reduced from our home in the mountains of Idaho.

Don’t be afraid of canning salsa.  It really is a very simple process.  Water bathing is simple.  You will be so thankful for good salsa in your cupboard.  Not to mention, the pride you will feel at having done this yourself.  You also know what you are eating.  Good clean salsa with no surprise ingredients.  What’s better than having food in your cupboard that was made with love.

There are so many things you can do with salsa.  Tacos, chips and salsa, Guacamole.  I must admit, guacamole is one of my favorite things to do with salsa.  Get a couple of ripe avocados, peel and dice into a bowl.  Pour salsa in with avocado and begin to mix and smash the avocado.

Cooking the salsa

Cooking the salsa

Add the juice of one lime and salt.  Don’t forget to leave one pit in to keep it from turning brown.  Seriously!  This is the BOMB of guacamole.  Taco casserole. Chicken Tacos ~ Chicken in the crockpot with 1 c. salsa, a can of Dr. Pepper and 1 c. of brown sugar.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours and shred.  So delicious in a tortilla.  Or make chicken Fajita Quesadillas.  Rub fajita seasoning on your chicken and brown quickly in a pan.  Take out and set aside.  Cook strips of red and orange peppers and onions in hot pan.  Add back the chicken and cook through.  Put a dollop of butter in a skillet, add your tortilla, top with a bit of cheese, fajita chicken and veggies and top with cheese again.  I like cheese on the top and bottom, not because I like chee se a lot, I don’t, but because it holds the tortillas together. Think of it like glue.  Flip over when brown and brown the other side.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and salsa. You can’t go wrong with a cupboard full of salsa.

Delicious Salsa Ready for the Cupboard

Delicious Salsa Ready for the Cupboard

The best part is that I spent $21 on the ingredients and got 28 jars or four batches in the water bath for a grand total of .75 a pint. You can’t beat that!!!

 

 

Our family’s favorite salsa
4 cups tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 peppers (Anaheim, Jalapeño, and Habaneros are all great for salsa)
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt, to taste
2 Tbsp. vinegar (or lemon juice)
fresh cilantro, chopped to taste
Mix all ingredients and adjust amounts to taste. More salt is usually
required but start with the 2 tsp. listed. Increase the number of peppers or
heat of peppers as desired. I prefer to chop peppers in the food processor.
For Freezing: Freeze salsa in 1 quart freezer bags. Be sure to thaw salsa
bags in a bowl so that if any holes exist, the juice doesn’t end up on the
counter. Once thawed, salsa is best if it is run through a blender or food
processor before serving. Blending simply combines the ingredient liquids
better than stirring.

Gluten Free Pancakes and Waffles Mix

As long as I have known my husband he has had a delicate stomach.  He informed me when we married that he was lactose intolerant.  And yet it was odd that at times he could eat and drink dairy with no problem and other times it wreaked havoc on his tummy and intestines.  There seemed to be no rhyme or reason. As a physician he was self diagnosed and later added IBS to the diagnosis.

The dairy thing wasn’t much of a problem because I grew up drinking powdered milk or water    . . . I prefer water.  With seven in our family we only ever used about a gallon of milk a week since it was only used for cereal, baking or cooking.  Once we got a goat to milk.  I loved the milk, my husband’s tummy did great with it . . . our kids wouldn’t touch it.

Years later I purchased an audio book about eating gluten and how bad it is for our bodies.  As I listened to it I thought, “This sounds just like my husband!”  I told him about it and he agreed.  Since it was written by a medical doctor my husband understood all the science behind it . . . it lost me on those parts, but I just took the author’s word that he knew what he was talking about.  At the time we lived out of the U.S. and my husband traveled a lot so in the summers the kids and I packed up and made our way back to our cabin in the mountains of Idaho where our kids would work and earn their spending money for the year.  During that time my husband cut out all wheat and gluten from his diet.  Now, I don’t think he read labels.  More accurately I should say, he cut out all visible wheat from his diet.  After all, he doesn’t have celiac’s disease nor is he allergic to wheat.  But, that summer his tummy had no problems.  It wasn’t upset and there were no surprises.

It was only when the kids and I returned and he started eating gluten again because of my cooking (I had finally perfected my roll making abilities) did his tummy start to rumble again.  I was the one that had introduced him to the book, but I didn’t want to hear it helped, I didn’t want to change how I cooked.

He never complained.  I felt a little guilty and changed my cooking habits.  We cut out all visible wheat from our diet.  Hubby had eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a side of cheddar cheese and a dill pickle our 20+ years of marriage.  He’s a creature of habit and now his habits were changing.

I really hadn’t heard about the whole “cut gluten from your diet” craze until we moved back to the States.  We didn’t cut it out to lose weight.  We cut it out because our systems seemed to be happier.  All four boys inherited Dad’s tummy and suddenly, the ones still living at home, had better tummy constitutions.  Everyone seemed happy.

No more homemade eclairs.  No more homemade rolls.  No more homemade pizza.  No more Mac and Cheese.  No more pizza orders on a busy or lazy day. Our diet changed.  I refused to get on this gluten free bandwagon.  I found it comical that companies would sell licorice as “Gluten Free” and charge more.  Hello!  Of course it is gluten free!

I never bought gluten free flour.  Nor did I succumb to the myriads of products labeled “Gluten Free.”  An independent thinker I decided to make my own gluten free plan.

I began making my own granola and instead of wheat germ I found oat bran I added in its place. We cut out our favorite pancakes and waffles from our Saturday morning routine. Instead of flour tortillas I used corn tortillas.  No more spaghetti . . . and I had just canned cases of our favorite spaghetti sauce.  No pasta salads.  Through all of this we have learned to eat differently and like different foods.Best Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix ~ Essential Anew

The one thing I missed the very most was waffles.  Then one day I wondered why I had never thought of grinding up my oatmeal into flour and making waffles.  I found an amazing recipe one Saturday morning, made a few changes of my own and we have never gone without since.

Best Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix ~ Essential AnewLast week I needed to grind more oats, I usually try to keep ground oats on hand.  Then I had to mix it all together from scratch.  It always seemed like such an ordeal to make those waffles. So, I did what came naturally, I made it easier.

I pulled out my Vitamix and began grinding batch after batch of oatmeal . . . 14 cups to be exact.  (FYI ~ I did discover that grinding in smaller batches made a finer flour.) Then I pulled out my trusty recipe that calls for 2 cups of flour and seven times it.  I mixed it all together really good and put into a big plastic container.  Now I just get up and add my wet ingredients to  2 cups of my mix and VOILA! waffles are ready.

Once when the kids and I went back to Idaho for the summer I used a Krusteaz pancake mix and all of us hated it.  It literally felt like we were eating glue.  None of us could eat it.  We have found we much prefer the texture of the oatmeal flour which isn’t quite as heavy as whole wheat, but seems to have more substance than white flour.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Best Gluten Free Pancakes and Waffles Mix
1/2 tsp. baking sodaBest Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix ~ Essential Anew
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. sugar (though I usually double that)
2 c. ground oatmeal flour
4 Tbs. melted butter
2 c. buttermilk or yogurt
2 eggs

Combine dry ingredients together. Melt butter. Separate egg, putting the whites into the buttermilk, mix well, and the yolk into the butter, mix well. The buttermilk acts as an emulsifier and allows the butter to easily mix with the buttermilk, which you want to do at this point. Mix the buttermilk mixture and butter mixture together well. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix well. The batter may be a little watery, let it sit a minute or two and it will firm up. We like our waffles lighter, so I leave the batter thinner. If you like heavier waffles or pancakes, let the batter get firmer or add a bit more oatmeal flour, not much since it will thicken up. Cook as you prefer as pancakes or waffles. ENJOY!

I am all about keeping it easy.  I do not keep buttermilk on hand.  I have a no. 10 can of dry buttermilk that I use each week.  If you want to use regular milk, by all means, do it.  I think I did one week because I forgot to use buttermilk.  Regular milk does not emulsify the milk and butter together, but who cares?  Do what is easiest for you!  These are your pancakes and waffles.  You will be eating them.  Do what you want!  Once I had an abundance of whey, so I used that instead of buttermilk.   The waffles tasted GREAT!!!

 

Ready for Summer Fun

The groundhog has predicted six more weeks of winter … but, in other parts of the country he said summer is on it’s way.  Either way, summer is coming, though we have a cold front coming to south Texas this week which will drop our temperatures down into the mid-60s.  Sorry New York.

We’ve had our windows and back doors opened the last few weeks and the mosquitos are starting to come to life.  There is nothing more irritating than finally getting out in the sunshine and being attacked by gnats and mosquitos or brushing through shrubs, brush and trees that can sting and prick.

Mosquito or other insect bites ~ if they don’t require much attention just dab a little Lavender or Tea Tree EO for relief.  Both Chamomile and Lavender EOs reduce swelling, itching and inflammation, and together with tinctures of Echinacea and Plantain often you can avert an allergic response. (If an allergic reaction does happen, take 1/2 t. Echinacea Tincture internally).

Following are blends to be made ahead of time and stored in glass blue bottles for use when needed.

Ready for Summer Fun with Essential Oils ~ Essential Anew

Outdoor Owie Cure
3 drops each:
Lavender
Tea Tree
Chamomile
Helichrysum
1 oz. calendula infused oil
Mix together, store in a blue glass bottle and shake before using.
This remedy is excellent for skin irritations, bites, stings, burns, inflammation, bruises or scrapes.

Many people will use clay for bee stings and insect bites, but adding essential oils and tinctures to clay will keep the poultice reconstituted, preserved and ready for use.  As the clay dries it pulls toxins from stings and bites to the skin’s surface and keeps them from spreading.  It will also pull out puss or splinters.

Summertime Clay PoulticeGet read for Summer with Essential Oils ~ Essential Anew
12 drops Lavender EO
1 tablespoon bentonite clay
1 teaspoon each:
Echinacea Root Tincture
Chamomile Flowers Tincture
Plantain Leaves Tincture
Put clay in storage container. Add the tinctures slowly, stirring as the clay absorbs them. Add lavender oil, stirring to distribute it evenly. Store poultice in a container with a tight lid to slow dehydration; it will last at least several months.  If the mixture dries out, add distilled water to reconstitute it.

Many people don’t care for the smell of Citronella EO, a traditional repellant, but this formula smells great.

Keep the Bugs Away SprayReady for Summer Fun with Essential Oils ~ Essential Anew
5 drops Eucalyptus EO
2 drops Orange EO
4 drops Lavender EO
2 drops Lemon EO
8 drops Cedarwood EO
1 drop Peppermint EO
1 drop Clove EO
1 drop Cinnamon EO
2 ounces Carrier Oil
Mix together, store in a glass blue bottle.  Apply liberally. Keep out of eyes.

The Wonderful Benefits of Cabbage

I love cabbage.  I love its sweet and crunchy qualities.  I love it cooked in a little oil with smashed garlic.  I love it fresh.  I love to eat the core because it is the sweetest part of this delightful vegetable.  I didn’t know that until our exchange student from Taiwan taught me that.  We usually threw the core away … it’s the best part.

The Wonderful Benefits of Cabbage

Cabbage has been in cultivation for more than 4,000 years.  There are many vegetables belonging to the cabbage family:  Kale, Kohlrabi, Cauliflower, Broccoli and Brussels sprouts.  Who knew?

There’s red, white and green cabbage; cabbage that is smooth or crinkled; round, flattened, oblong, or conical.  The most preferred is the conical or Wakefield cabbage.  There is round or Savoy, flat headed or Dutch, celery or Chinese cabbage.  What wonderful choices this wonderful family has given us.

Cabbage contains sulfur, the secret weapon on our intestinal tract filling us with gas and bloating.  To fight back cook over low heat in a stainless steel pan and help avoid the gaseous effects.  Containing a great deal of roughage some people may find that cannot eat it raw.

Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, chlorine, iodine, phosphorus sodium and sulfur.  It is a fair source of vitamin A and G and a good source of vitamin B1.  It is alkaline and high in roughage and is very low in calories.

Chinese Cabbage

Chinese Cabbage

Cabbage is excellent to juice and is a good alternative when you cannot take citrus.  Drink with celery or tomatoes.

Excellent in combatting constipation.  Sauerkraut juice mixed with a little lemon juice may be helpful with diabetes.  Raw sauerkraut juice stimulates the body, general, a wonderful laxative and is very high in lactic acid and vitamin C.

Chinese cabbage has a very high sodium content, but it’s lower in sulfur and so, is a good choice to the gas causing cousin, white and red cabbage.

Here’s an easy quick recipe full of crunchy vegetables. Healthy, nutritious, full of fiber.  Enjoy!

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

1/4 to 1/3 head of green cabbage
2 stalks broccoli, chopped
5 green onions, sliced thinly
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1 package Chinese Ramen noodles (dry)

Shred cabbage finely. Add broccoli, onions and celery. Crumble dry ramen noodles and stir. Toss with dressing just before serving.

Beautiful Broccoli

Beautiful Broccoli

Dressing:
1/4 t. pepper
3/4 t. salt, sea salt is best
1/3 c. olive oil
1 T. sesame oil
1 t. sesame seeds
2 T. water
3 T. rice vinegar
Mix well and toss with salad.

Ward Off Winter Blues Bath Mixes

This winter has seemed to be unusually cold … even here in south Texas.  Now, I am not complaining because after living in a part of the world where it was perpetual summer with nearly 100% humidity and temperatures in the 90’s all year long, I’ve decided that I am not a purely summertime girl and I’ve been enjoying the change of temperature.  I just don’t like being cold for too long.

I’m also a bath every night kind of girl, rain or shine, hot or cold.  I love taking a good bath. Bath time is when Michael Bublé pays me a visit, via my iPad, and we sing duets together every night.  What could be better?

Wintertime Bath Oil Mixes

Perhaps a bath that softens and nourishes dry, damaged or stressed skin.  That is why I am going to share with you this hint today. Add some essential oils to your bath.  The warm bath water helps the oil absorb into the skin and is excellent for moisturizing in the drying winter season.

Always add oils to the bath with a carrier oil; they offer emolliency and nourishment for your skin.  Adding essential oil to the carrier oil promotes subtle energetic effects.

To ward off wintertime blues, colds and chills try this mix.

Warm Me Up Bath Mix

The blessings of Lavender

The blessings of Lavender

3 drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 drops Clove Bud Essential Oil
1 drop Cedarwood Essential Oil

Mix with 1-2 oz. Carrier Oil such as sweet almond, hazelnut, jojoba, or grape seed

Shake well. Blend in your bath water prior to getting in.

 

You may also like to try this one

Pick Me Up and Warm Me Up Bath Mix

Wintertime Bath Oil Mix

3 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
1 drop Wintergreen Essential Oil

Mix with 1-2 oz. Carrier Oil such as sweet almond, hazelnut, jojoba, or grape seed

Shake well. Blend in your bath water prior to getting in.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

I’ve been so excited to write this post on how to make your own Apple Cider Vinegar.  It is so very easy!  I made some last year when I was making apple sauce.  I hated throwing away all those cores and skins full of juice and smelling so yummy.  I just knew there was something else I could do with it.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

And there was!  I put the cores and skins of about 6-8 apples in my quart canning jar.  I think this time I was a little skimpy, don’t be so skimpy, you will get a stronger vinegar.

 Measure how many cups of water you put into the jar because that will determine how much sugar you add.  For each cup of water add 1 Tablespoon of sugar.  Cover with a paper towel (to keep the bugs out) and screw the ring on tight.  Part way through this project I realized I had coffee filters.  I think those would work better.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Be careful not to fill the water too high.  You do not want it touching the paper towel at all.  The first time I made this I did have this happen and when I got in the cupboard it was all wet.  I discovered that the paper towel was wicking water out of the jar.

Put the jar in a dark cupboard to sit undisturbed for two weeks.  The warmer it is the better because it will take less time.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

After two weeks take the jar out of the cupboard and strain the apples out, save the liquid, of course.  You will notice bubbles and fermentation taking place. I had a great picture of that and accidentally deleted it.  🙁  Put the liquid back into the jar.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Cover again and put back in the cupboard to sit undisturbed for at least two more weeks.  We’ve been a little cool in south Texas and I just can’t bring myself to turn on the heater, so it has taken a little longer to turn to a nice vinegar.  Last year we were in Arizona and it turned quickly.

You may notice some sediment on the bottom of the jar, that is normal, don’t worry.  Smell it, see if it smells more like wine or vinegar.  You can also taste it to see if it has a good strong vinegar taste.  If it hasn’t turned, put it back and let it work its own magic.  It can take up to six weeks depending on the temperature in your home and cupboard.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Strain any sediment through cheesecloth and transfer it to a bottle to store it in.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Look at that nice brown color!

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

All stored and ready to go!  So delicious!

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Try it yourself and see how easy it is!  Share your success!

Everything That’s Good Granola

It’s cloudy, rainy and cold down here in south Texas.  We haven’t turned our heater on yet and I don’t want to.  So, when we wake up and it is 66* in the house it means it’s a baking day. When all the yummy baking is complete the oven stays open just to warm the house up a little bit more.

Almost out of granola, it was a homemade granola day.  First things first and we made a trip to Sprouts to pick up all the yummy ingredients.  I love the bulk food section, I can get whatever I want and as much or as little as I want.  Looking at all the wonderful items I get new ideas of what to put in my granola.  I’ve thought of putting in Banana Chips, but as much as I like bananas I feel like they are the highway robbers of the flavors … a little goes a long way because they tend to take over masking all other flavors.  One day I may try it.  Today I found hazelnuts (my favorite of all nuts, I just love the warm flavor, I’ll eat hazelnut anything), macadamia nuts, cashews, chia, sunflower seeds, pepitas, coconut and oat bran.

A word about Oat Bran.  We’ve found that the tummies in our family are much happier without gluten.  We are not died in the wool gluten free fanatics.  I don’t check labels. We’ve only cut out all visible gluten.  Thus I substitute the Oat Bran for the Wheat Bran.

That is the beauty of this recipe you can make it however you want put in your favorite foods and leave out the ones you don’t like.

This is the recipe I use … kind of.  I follow the recipe for the liquid part that is cooked on the stove nearly.  Today I didn’t have any molasses so I put honey in its place.  I just realized I forgot to add the brown sugar.  Oh, well!  It’s a forgiving recipe.  I also didn’t read the recipe well and thought I knew that I would need 1 1/2 cups of honey and only after it was added did I realize my mistake.  I don’t measure the vanilla, I dump it in.

I’ve noticed that there seems to be extra liquid so I’ve started adding 12 cups of oatmeal, 2 extra cups.  While the dry ingredients call for 8 cups of “yummies” added to the oatmeal, I never measure and probably add more like 11 or 12 cups of yummies.  Like I said it is a forgiving recipe and very adaptable.

I usually add slivered almonds and pecans with cashews.  Today I found the hazelnuts and macadamia nuts so I swapped them out, but all of those would be good together.  After baking, when the granola is nice and warm I add a handful of Craisins.  Don’t bake the granola with the Craisins, they don’t do well baking, but are great warmed up with the granola.

So … here’s what I did today.

Everything that's Good Granola

Get a big bowl and I mean BIG!!!  I put in 12 cups (I used rounded cups and am not even close to precise) then I put in the Oat Bran.  Mix this up otherwise when you put the liquid in it will clump up.

Everything that's Good GranolaI like my nuts bite sized so I pulled out my mortar and pestle.  I’ve used the rolling pin and baggies, but I always end up with holes or the zip blows out.  It was the first time I tried this and it worked well.

Everything that's Good GranolaI Love Hazelnuts or Filberts, but only put a few in at a time to break them in half, too many and you miss smashing some of those beauties up.

Everything that's Good GranolaLast were the Macadamia Nuts.  They were a little pricey, but every once in a while it is a special treat in my granola.

Everything that's Good GranolaI also found Pepitas, Pumpkin Seeds, at the store so I put a bunch of those in, too.  As well as the sunflower seeds.

Everything that's Good GranolaI don’t know if it is because it’s cold, that wouldn’t make sense, or what, but when I cook my liquid it gets a little foamy and floaty looking like this.  It didn’t always look like this, but it tastes just the same.  Don’t boil it.  I did that once and discovered that’s how the granola gets crispy. We like it soft and chewy.

Everything that's Good GranolaAll mixed up.  Look how delicious that all looks!

Everything that's Good GranolaI poured the liquid in and got started mixing.

Everything that's Good GranolaAll mixed up and yummy!  I started to put it on the pan and realized that I forgot the coconut.  I NEVER leave out the delicious coconut.  I love the ribbon coconut, but it isn’t easily found down here.

Everything that's Good GranolaI make lots of granola and only have two cookie sheets, so I have to bake 1/4 of the granola on each sheet, bake it and then reuse the pans and bake the other 1/2 on the two pans again.  My house is getting warmer now.  🙂

Everything that's Good GranolaI finally got a double oven.  I guess it’s time to invest in two more cookie sheets so I can bake it all at once instead of in shifts.  Doesn’t that look delicious?

Everything that's Good GranolaStraight out of the oven, just a little crispy and the house is smelling delicious!  Time to add the Craisins and mix it up.  Let it all sit together until it cools.Everything that's Good GranolaJust to make it easier to put in my container I move it to another bowl.  Once all the granola is baked, cooled and put in the bowl then I put it in the container I store it in.

Everything that's Good GranolaMy friend gave me this great container.  It is one of those great big containers that Protein Powder comes in.  I like to make enough granola to fill this thing up to the top so it lasts a while and I don’t have to make it again for a while.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like making it, I have plenty of other things to do without having to make granola every few weeks. Since it’s so delicious, because you tailored this recipe to include your favorite ingredients, it won’t last long if you don’t make a HUGE batch.

Everything that's Good Granola

Yay!  It makes my heart happy to see a full container sitting back in the pantry where it belongs.

Everything That’s Good Granola

10 cups oats
1 cup wheat germ
½ lb coconut
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
3 cups pecans, almonds etc

Combine all below items and heat until sugar is dissolved but do not boil
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups oil
½ cup honey
½ cup molasses

Pour over dry ingredients.  Mix and stir until coated.  Spread on 5-13X9 pans.  Bake 350 for 20-30 minutes.   Store in airtight container for up to 6 months. 

I know it says it lasts for 6 months, but if your family is anything like my family … two months tops!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Homemade Rocky Mountain Fudge

This post has nothing to do with essential oils.  In fact this is not even a remotely healthy post.

Easy Homemade Rocky Mountain Fudge

Today I am sharing a recipe for easy Rocky Mountain Fudge we got from a friend who shared the fudge with us last Christmas.

Microwave together
1 bag butterscotch chips
1 bag chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
1 c. peanut butter

Be careful to not over cook it. Heat for a minute and then stir. Heat again and stir, until the chips are melted.

Add 1 c. peanuts and a bag of mini-marshmallows and stir together.

Pour into a 9X13 pan and let cool. If you need to put it in the fridge to set up. We live in a warmer climate so it wouldn’t set until we cooled it down a little in the fridge. Cut and enjoy!

Easy Homemade Rocky Mountain Fudge

How to Breathe Easy with a Cold

Cold season will soon be upon us, if you haven’t suffered already more than likely you or someone close to you will.

It’s not often that I am sick enough to stay in bed, more often I get a slight cold that is more irritating than anything.  When I am congested and can’t breathe, I have found the best thing to open me up in my chest, sinuses and nose is a Breathe Easy treatment.

How to Breathe Easy with a Cold

There are several ways to use this wonderful oil with bergamot, tea tree and lemon pure and genuine essential oils.  Mixed with a carrier oil you can massage Breathe Easy on your chest and under your nose.  A few drops of Breathe Easy can be added to your bathtub for a nice soak.  You can also diffuse Breathe Easy throughout your house during the day and in your bedroom at night.  (You can purchase diffusers here.)   My favorite way to use Breathe Easy is in  a pot of boiling water.  Boil a pot of water, add a drop or two of Breathe Easy, put a towel over your head and your head over the pot of water for a nice steam bath.  You will feel the oil fumes go down deep into your lungs and clear it all out.  It can be strong, so you only want to put two maybe three drops of oil in your pot of water.

How to Breathe Easy with a ColdWhile I love the Essential Oil, there is another great option so you don’t have to mix the oil with a carrier oil.  Breathe Easy Concentrate is a lotion base with the perfect amount of Breathe Easy with pure and genuine essential oils added to it.  No mixing or guessing, just rub it on.

Another remedy that is good to use with Breathe Easy  is a Hot Toddy, at least that’s what my mother-in-law called it.  My husband teases me because of the alcohol in it (we don’t drink). I remind him that it has less alcohol than in his preferred Ny-Quil.  Because it works so well, I don’t have to drink it as often.

Hot Toddy    

2 c.water
2 long cinnamon sticks
5 or 6 cloves
2 T. whiskey
2 T. honey
2. t. lemon juice

Put water, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a pot and heat to a slow boil. Boil gently for 2 min. Turn heat off and add whiskey, honey and lemon juice. Let steep for 20 min. Take out cloves and cinnamon stick. Drink one cup at a time.

How to Breathe Easy with a ColdWhile this is by far a favorite remedy a few years ago, when I was waking up especially bad dried congestion in my lungs I decided to add a secret weapon … cayenne.  To each cup of drink I would add just a pinch of cayenne pepper (if you get too much the drink is VERY spicy).  This would break up whatever congestion there was before bed. Cayenne has now become a regular in my Hot Toddy.


 

How to Care and Use Your Essential Oils

Because of the nature of this topic can be quite lengthy, this discussion will be divided into  several posts.

Essential Oils are delicate and need to be cared for.  Always store them in a cool, dark environment with the bottle caps tightly secured.

How to Care and Use Your Essential Oils

General Cautions

  • Always properly dilute essential oils before use on the skin or in the bath.
  • Always keep essential oils away from the eyes.

If you are pregnant consult a qualified health practitioner before using any essential oil preparation.

  • Do not take essential oils internally except upon the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.
  • Except when otherwise stated, recipes are intended for adults or children over 16 years of age.  Consult a qualified practitioner to adjust percentage ratios and applications suitable for younger children, infants or pets.

Possible Adverse Reactions to Essential Oils

It is possible to have an adverse reaction to an essential oil just as it is to any other natural substance.  Reactions, however, are rare and it is worth noting that people allergic to numerous commercial fragrances and skin and body care products generally have no such difficulties with pure, genuine essential oils.

Toxicity:  Usually by ingestion and dependent on dosage.  (The internal use of essential oils is not recommended without the guidance or supervision of a qualified health professional.”

Sensitization:  Allergic reactions from internal or external use.

Irritation:  The least harmful response to essential oils usually resulting from topical application.

Essential Oils for Inhalation

Place 2 to 5 drops of pure EO on a clean tissue, then inhale.  Another quick method is rubbing a few drops of EO in the palms of your hands to inhale.

Energizing:  Rosemary, Basil, Eucalyptus, Pine, Lemon, Fir, Peppermint, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Spearmint

Calming/Sedative:  Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot, Neroli, or Petitgrain, Rose, Clary Sage, Marjoram

Soothing:  Lavender, Rose, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Angelica, Neroli or Petitgrain, Mandarine, Lime, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense

Essential Oils for Quick Cool Therapy

To quickly revive the senses and increase mental acuity, put a few drops of essential oils on an icy cold damp cloth, apply over the wrap around the hands, back of neck, or feet.  Try this with 2 drops Rosemary, 1 drop Basil and 3 drops Eucalyptus.

How to Care and Use Your Essential Oils

Essential Oils for Baths

Gain relief from tension, muscle aches, sluggish circulation, and general fatigue by simply adding essential oils to a bath.  Mix 5 to 10 drops of EO with 1 teaspoon carrier such as natural bath gel, natural shampoo, or vegetable oil. Add to your fully drawn bath and gently stir bath water just before you enter. Relax in tub for 20 minutes, then afterward rest for another 30 minutes.

Calming, soothing bath:  Lavender, Rosewood, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Jasmine, Geranium, Neroli or Petitgrain, Frankincense, Patchouli, Mandarin, Spikenard, Tangerine, Angelica, Sandalwood

Energizing, toning bath:  Spruce, Rosemary, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Pine, Fir, Basil, Lime

Winter, detox bath:  Rosemary, Ginger, Black Pepper, Eucalyptus, Pine, Fir, Spruce, Myrtle, Lavender, Juniper, Cypress, Cardamom, Teat Tree, Laurus Nobilis, Ravensara

Summer, cooling bath:  Lavender, Geranium, Rose, Juniper, Spearmint, Palmarosa, Lime

Note:  Never use undiluted essential oils in the bath.  Use caution with “hot” and citrus oils as they may irritate those with sensitive skin when added to the bath.

Note:  The statements made in this informational guide have not been evaluated by the FDA.  The products listed are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease, and should not be used as a substitute for medical care. Individuals using essential oils should be educated about their use, properties, safety precautions, and dosage or be under the care of a qualified health professional.