Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Purifying Tonic

This tonic helps clean the scalp.


1/3 cup castor oil
1/3 cup bay rum
1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil
10 drops vanilla essential oil


Mix all ingredients together.

To use: Apply to roots of the hair and rinse with warm water.

Making Non-Toxic Toothpaste

I have been wanting to make some more natural toothpaste, but all of the recipes I had seen online called for glycerin or other ingredients that I didn't have on hand. When I came across Julie's post about making toothpaste, I was excited!

Here is how I made my homemade toothpaste:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons baking soda
1/2 small packet of stevia powder
20-25 drops of peppermint oil*

1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, using a fork.

*Add about half of the amount of peppermint oil to start, and test the toothpaste to see how much you want/like. I used NOW brand peppermint oil, and ended up stopping at 25 drops which is still not as strong as I am used to, though it does taste nice and minty! Julie noted in her instructions that using part spearmint oil will make the toothpaste not as "hot" as using all peppermint oil.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Superbowl #2

Boneless Buffalo Wings


oil for deep frying
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 egg
1 cup milk
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon butter


  1. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Combine flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg and milk in a small bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, and then roll in the flour blend. Repeat so that each piece of chicken is double coated. Refrigerate breaded chicken for 20 minutes.
  3. Fry chicken in the hot oil, in batches. Cook until the exterior is nicely browned, and the juices run clear, 5 to 6 minutes a batch.
  4. Combine hot sauce and butter in a small bowl. Microwave sauce on High until melted, 20 to 30 seconds. Pour sauce over the cooked chicken; mix to coat.               

Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon bacon bits
12 ounces jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 quarts oil for frying


  1. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.
  2. Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.
  3. Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F ( 180 degrees C). Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel.               

Brown Sugar Smokies

1 pound bacon
1 (16 ounce) package little smokie sausages
1 cup brown sugar, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cut bacon into thirds and wrap each strip around a little sausage. Place the wrapped sausages on wooden skewers, several to a skewer. Arrange the skewers on a baking sheet and sprinkle them liberally with brown sugar.
  3. Bake until bacon is crisp and the brown sugar melted.               

Over The Top Nachos

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (14.5 ounce) package tortilla chips
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, sliced


  1. In a large frying pan, brown ground beef with onion, salt and pepper over medium heat. Break the meat into very small pieces while it is cooking. After the meat is thoroughly cooked, drain off the grease.
  2. Arrange chips on a microwavable platter. Spread beans over the chips. Layer with 1/2 of the cheese, the ground beef mixture, and remaining cheese. Arrange jalapeno peppers on top.
  3. Microwave on medium-high until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

Superbowl #1

Healthy, Hot and Garlicky Wings

2 pounds chicken wings (approximately 15 wings)
3 heads garlic
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
10 to 15 drops Tabasco
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Disjoint the chicken wings, discarding the tips. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel.

Separate the garlic cloves and peel. Place the garlic, 1 cup of the oil, and Tabasco in a blender or food processor and puree. Pour the puree into a shallow bowl.

Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, and pepper in a large plastic bag. Dip the wings, one at a time, in the garlic puree, then shake or roll in the bread crumb mixture, coating thoroughly. Coat 2 shallow nonstick baking pans with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange the wings in a single layer in the pans. Avoid having the wings touch each other. Drizzle with the remaining garlic puree and sprinkle with the leftover bread crumb mixture. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until browned, then place under the broiler for a few minutes until crisp.

Individual Party Quiches

Pastry for 2-crust pie
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese

Scallops, shrimp, carrots, leeks, and/or mushrooms, cooked and sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare pastry dough, roll out into 1 large rectangle, and cut to fit greased individual tartlet molds or small muffin tins, approximately 2 inches across. Line each mold with pastry and set on a baking sheet. Beat together eggs, sour cream, and milk; add salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon mixture into molds, filling each one 3/4 full. Add 1 slice of seafood or vegetable to each mold, as desired. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over each and bake for 30 minutes. Cool slightly and serve. (These can be baked ahead, cooled, and refrigerated; to reheat, bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.)

Party Shrimp Recipe

1 pound shrimp, medium size, in shell
1 12-ounce can beer
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 bayleaf
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped onion

Put all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat immediately. Simmer 3 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Cool the shrimp in the liquid, then shell and devein. Chill and serve with Cocktail Sauce.

Cocktail Sauce

1/2 cup chili sauce
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
dash Tabasco sauce

Mix together and chill before serving.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup cornflake crumbs
1/3 cup dried parsley
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons minced onion
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
1 can (16 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine the beef with the cornflake crumbs, parsley, eggs, soy sauce, ketchup, and onion and mix well. Using two spoons or wet hands, form the meat mixture into balls between the size of Ping-Pong balls and golf balls.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the shortening in a large skillet. Fry the meatballs until they are golden brown. You will have to fry them in several batches. As the meatballs brown, transfer them to a shallow baking pan.
When the meatballs are browned, make the sauce. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the meatballs. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes and serve hot.

Salsa Salad

8 ears fresh corn, husked and cleaned
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper

In a large saucepan, boil the corn for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine the oil; vinegar; lemon juice; parsley; sugar; salt, if desired; basil; and cayenne pepper. Cut the cooled corn off the cob. Add the corn, tomatoes, onion, and green and red peppers to the oil mixture. Mix well. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

French Toast

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c. milk
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. margarine
  • 2 pieces of bread
  • medium-size bowl
  • mixing spoon
  • frying pan
  • stove (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
  • spatula
  • serving plate
  • measuring cups and spoons
  1. Crack the egg into a medium-size bowl and beat well. Then mix in the milk and vanilla extract.
  2. Put the margarine in a frying pan. Heat the pan on the stovetop on medium heat. It's hot enough when the margarine starts to bubble.
  3. Dunk each piece of bread in the egg mixture. Make sure the bread is totally covered.
  4. Cook the bread in the frying pan on low heat until the underside is light brown (about 5 minutes).
  5. Use a spatula to flip the bread over, and cook again for another 5 minutes.
  6. Use the spatula to transfer the French toast to a plate.

Fruit Kabobs

  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 c. red seedless grapes
  • 1/3 c. green seedless grapes
  • 2/3 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt
  • ¼ c. dried coconut, shredded
  • knife (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
  • 2 wooden skewer sticks
  • large plate
  1. Prepare the fruit by washing the grapes, washing the apples and cutting them into small squares, peeling the bananas and cutting them into chunks, and cutting the pineapple into chunks, if it's fresh. Put the fruit onto a large plate.
  2. Spread coconut onto another large plate.
  3. Slide pieces of fruit onto the skewer and design your own kabob by putting as much or as little of whatever fruit you want! Do this until the stick is almost covered from end to end.
  4. Hold your kabob at the ends and roll it in the yogurt, so the fruit gets covered. Then roll it in the coconut.
  5. Repeat these steps with another skewer.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lliver Treats

1 lb. beef liver
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
12 - 14 cloves garlic
2 eggs

Puree liver and garlic in food processor. Add eggs, whole wheat flour and cornmeal. Grease cookie sheet and pour mixture onto cookie sheet. Bake in 350 oven for 20 minutes, flipping over halfway through baking. Cut into desired sized squares.

I usually place 1/2 of this recipe in a tupperware and keep in the fridge. The other half I freeze.......these freeze well.

Milk Bone Dog Bicuits

3/4 cup hot water
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour

Variation: increase margarine to 1/2 cup and add 2 teaspoons sugar
In large bowl pour hot water over the margarine. Stir in powdered milk, salt, and egg. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for a few minutes to form stiff dough. Pat or roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into bone shapes. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool. They will dry out quite hard. Makes about 1 1/4 pounds of biscuits. Costs around 30 cents per pound.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Making Homemade Deodorant

This homemade recipe, however, is truly completely natural and harmless. And cheap. Maybe not cheaper than a deodorant crystal (since those last years and years!), but still cheap. :)

Ingredients for homemade deodorant:

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrow root powder OR corn starch
~5 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions for making homemade deodorant:

1. Combine baking soda and arrow root powder in a bowl and mix with a fork.

2. Start with about 4 tablespoons/one-fourth cup of coconut oil and add the coconut oil to the baking soda mixture, working into a paste.

The deodorant will have somewhat of a play-dough consistency, and will be softer or harder depending on its temperature. You can put the deodorant into a small container with a lid, or into an empty stick deodorant dispenser if you have one. My deodorant hardened somewhat after I put it into a container.

Cooling Summer Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt baths are the best. They make your skin soft as silk, and have an amazing array of health benefits. My favorite perks from soaking in Epsom salt include detoxification, stress reduction, and muscle pain relief–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Seriously, if there ever was truly a miracle cure, I do believe Epsom salt might be involved.

So I like Epsom salt baths and since I’ve been taking them regularly I feel great. But do I like taking a bath in 95F degree weather? Eh. So I’ve concocted a cooling Epsom salt bath that is the perfect antidote to a steamy, stressy summer day. It’s a bath that incorporates cucumber, fresh mint, and a hint of floral essential oil. Mmmmm.

Cucumbers are a great treat for the skin. They have the same pH as the skin so they help restore the protective acid mantle–they also possess hydrating, nourishing and astringent properties.

I like to throw in a handful of fresh peppermint because it’s growing like bonkers in the garden and I know it’s cooling. What I didn’t know was that, according to University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint has has a soothing and cooling effect on skin irritations caused by hives, poison ivy, or poison oak; it reduces headache symptoms; and it can be used in the treatment of depression. (So if you’re hot, itchy, depressed and have a headache …)

For some extra summery flower flavor, try a few drops of ylang ylang pure essential oil in the mix.
Here’s the how-to:

To a tub of tepid water add 2 cups Epsom salt, stir in 1 sliced cucumber, a handful of torn peppermint leaves, and 3 drops ylang ylang pure essential oil. Step in, relax, and await small miracles.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Southern Cooked Baked Ham

1 12-14 pound fully cooked, bone-in ham
Whole cloves
16 ounces light brown sugar
3 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 8 oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained
12 ounces ginger ale
1 20 oz. can pineapple rings

Heat oven to 325. Stud ham with cloves. Place ham in baking pan, cover with foil and bake appropriate length of time until 1 hour is remaining. Place brown sugar and mustard in medium bowl, and stir to combine. Gradually add ginger ale to mixture until a pourable consistency is achieved; you may not need the whole can.

Remove ham from oven and remove foil. Pour brown sugar mixture over ham and, using a pastry brush, coat the sides. Cover the ham with foil, return to oven and continue baking for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes. Remove foil for last 20 minutes.

Remove ham from oven. Arrange pineapple rings and cherries in decorative pattern on ham, securing with toothpicks. Use pastry brush to bast the fruit. Bake ham until fruit is heated through, 7-10 minutes. Yield: 12 servings

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tuna Casserole

  • 1 (12 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix noodles, onion, 1 cup cheese, peas, tuna, soup and mushrooms. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and top with potato chip crumbs and remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is bubbly.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Whole Wheat Wraps for Kids Kitchen

What you need:
  • 4 whole-wheat wraps (8 inches)
  • 2 cups store-bought rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup of your favorite fat-free/low-fat dressing (about 1 tablespoon per wrap)
Equipment and supplies:
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Measuring cups
What to do:
  1. Place wraps side by side on a flat surface. Divide chicken into four portions (about ½ cup each). Place a portion of chicken on each wrap.
  2. Top each wrap with carrots, avocado, and spinach. (Have an adult help with the chopping.)
  3. Drizzle dressing evenly over each wrap.
  4. Roll each wrap up tightly and cut on the diagonal.
  5. Serve immediately or wrap tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate for lunch the next day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Munchy Crunchy Meat Treats

1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. honey
1/2 cup water
5 tsp. chicken or beef broth
1 jar baby food meat (any flavor)

Combine all ingredients well. Form into a ball. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Cut out desired shapes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool. The treats should be hard and crunchy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cooling Summer Mint Bath Formula

Mint is cooling, refreshing, and astringent to the skin. It is also very cleansing, and great for a putting in a bath on a hot, muggy summer day.

The mint family includes peppermint, spearmint, and lemon balm, and all but spearmint contains menthol. The oils of the mint family are antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic.

This bath is inspired by a hot, humid day in upstate New York, and indeed, the bath was the perfect anecdote to feeling hot and sweaty:

Fill a bath with cool water. Add 4-6 drops essential oil of peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, or mint. Alternatively, make 4 cups of very strong mint tea, cool, and add to the bath. Enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Diabetic All American Fried Chicken

16 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts , butterflied and lightly pounded (4-4 oz. pieces)
1/2 cup chopped pecans , divided, 1/4 cup finely ground and 1/4 cup coarsely ground
1eggs , beaten
4egg whites , beaten
2 pinch black pepper , freshly ground, to taste
2 pinch salt , to taste (optional)
2 tbsp safflower oil (oil for frying)
1 Season the chicken with salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper. Combine the eggs and egg whites in a bowl.
2 Dip the chicken into the finely chopped nuts and coat.
3 Next, dip the chicken into the beaten egg mixture, and then into the coarsely ground nuts, coating evenly.
4 Fry the chicken on medium heat until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side.
5 When removing the chicken, handle with care, and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
6 Season with salt (optional) and pepper to taste, and serve.
Additional Information
Filberts or blanched almonds can be substituted for the pecans.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Creamy Squash Casserole

1 1/2 lbs. yellow crookneck squash, trimmed and sliced
1reg. can of cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz. cont. sour cream
1 4 oz. jar chopped pimientos
1 8 1/2 oz. can water chestnuts, thinly sliced
2 med. onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 c. butter
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 - 8 oz. pkg. herb stuffing mix

Cook squash in salted water for about 15 min. Drain well. Sauté onions in butter with garlic. When golden, pour mixture into large bowl. Add squash, soup, sour cream, pimientos, water chestnuts and carrots. Add the stuffing and mix well. Pour into a well greased 2-quart casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30 min. Serve 8

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sweet Potato Crunch

6 sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/3 c. well packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 t. Cinnamon-Cider Syrup
handful of small marshmallows

Crunch Topping: 1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tblsp. cinnamon

Boil potatoes til tender. Take skin off when cooled and able to handle. Put in a large bowl and whip them til fluffy adding all other ingredients. Pour into a buttered casserole and top with the crunch topping.Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle on marshmallows around the edges and bake additional 5 minutes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Orange Chicken


2 pounds boneless chicken pieces, skinned
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
white pepper
oil (for frying)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 dash crushed hot red chilies
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon rice wine
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sesame oil

  ***Orange Chicken Sauce***
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon water
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons white vinegar


Cut chicken pieces into 2-inch squares and place in large bowl. Stir in egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well. Stir cornstarch and flour together. Add chicken pieces, stirring to coat.

Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees F.

Add chicken pieces, small batch at time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden and crisp. (Do not overcook or chicken will be tough.) Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Clean wok and heat 15 seconds over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Add and stir-fry crushed chilies and green onions. Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds. Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed. Stir water into remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Add to chicken and heat until sauce is thickened. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and sesame oil. Serve at once.

You may want to add grated zest of 1 orange to the sauce for flavor.

Pork Potstickers

  • Dumpling Dough*
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Filling:
  • 8 ounces celery cabbage (Napa cabbage)
  • 3 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, with tops
  • 1 TB white wine
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Dash white pepper
  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • Other:
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cut the cabbage across into thin strips. Mix with 2 teaspoons salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the excess moisture.

In a large bowl, mix the celery cabbage, pork, green onions, wine, cornstarch, the remaining 1 teaaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and the white pepper.

*In a bowl, mix the flour and 1 cup boiling water until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly flour surface about 5 minutes, or until smooth.

Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a roll 12 inches long and cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices.

Roll 1 slice of dough into a 3-inch circle and place 1 tablespoon pork mixture in the center of the circle. Lift up the edges of the circle and pinch 5 pleats up to create a pouch to encase the mixture. Pinch the top together. Repeat with the remaining slices of dough and filling.

Heat a wok or nonstick skillet until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, tilting the wok to coat the sides. If using a nonstick skillet, add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil. Place 12 dumplings in a single layer in the wok and fry 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.

Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook 6 to 7 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

To make a dipping sauce, in a small bowl, mix the soy sauce with 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Serve with the dumplings.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Lip Balm

Chocolate Lip Balm

Ah, what could be better than slathering chocolate on your lips? Not much, and I bet if we dug around in the Environmental Working Group’s, Skin Deep website and checked out what’s in lipstick (lead, yikes!), we’d skip the lipstick and make our own.

Why chocolate lip balm? Chocolate contains flavonoids. These act as antioxidants (like in dark vegetables). Antioxidants protect the body from aging. Anything that curbs aging and tastes good gets my vote.

Holiday Chocolate Lip Balm

What you need:
1 teaspoon beeswax
2 teaspoons pure Fair Trade organic cocoa butter
3 teaspoons organic coconut or olive oil
5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
recycled containers

What to do:
Slowly melt ingredients in a double boiler or in 30-second spurts in microwave. Cool slightly and fill recycled containers. You may need to adjust the ratio of ingredients to suit your liking.

Grilled Veggie Pita

What you need:

  • ½ cup low-fat cream cheese or any other low-fat spreadable cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 3-4 cups leftover grilled veggies (we like carrots, eggplant, and zucchini)
  • 4 whole-wheat pitas
Equipment and supplies
  • Food processor
  • Butter knife (for spreading)
What to do:
  1. With an adult's help, place cream cheese and herbs into a food processor.
  2. Pulse until herbs are evenly distributed throughout cheese.
  3. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of herbed cream cheese onto the inside of each pita.
  4. Stuff each pita evenly with grilled veggies.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


1/2 cup amaranth -- *see Note
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken -- or turkey
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2 whole egg
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup carrot -- finely chopped
1/4 cup spinach -- finely chopped
1/4 cup zucchini -- finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil

Add amaranth and chicken broth to sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl add meat, cottage cheese, veggies, and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add wheat germ, cooled amaranth and olive oil mix well.

Add mixture to loaf pan, bake at 350 for 1 hour or until done.

Note: Amaranth can be found in a health food store, if not use barley. Barley will need 4 cups of broth and 50 minutes to cook.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cooling Mint Body Spray Formula

The next time we find ourselves in a sweltering heatwave give this a try.  Figuring we could all use a little cooling relief now and then, I came up with this easy all-natural formula with a fresh, invigorating fragrance and a nice cooling effect.

It turns out that making your own body spray is really easy! Mint is a traditional cooler, and lemon adds some uplifting zing. You can keep it in the fridge for an extra blast of minty refreshment. It makes a great gift, too. Here’s the easy formula:


1 cup vodka
Peel from 1 organic lemon
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, shredded

1. Place all ingredients in a lidded jar and shake well. Allow to macerate for at least 3 days, shaking daily, then strain out solids and discard.

2. Place cologne in a spray bottle and use whenever you need a refreshing spritz.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Make Citrum Mint Toner

A splash of this easy-to-make formula will perk up a tired or oily complexion and bring some sparkle to your skin. It uses ingredients that are both refreshing and abundant at this time of year; together they make this toner smell mouth-wateringly delicious.

Your skin will thank you for this enlivening toning formula.


1 cup water
1/4 cup lemon peel, finely grated
1/4 cup grapefruit peel, finely grated
1 cup fresh mint leaves

1. Bring water to a rapid boil and add other ingredients. Boil 1 to 2 minutes, until peels are soft and slightly translucent.
2. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then strain and discard solids.
3. Store formula in the refrigerator and use a splash whenever needed to perk up your skin.
Mixture keeps for 2 to 3 weeks.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Debz Chicken Pie


Refrigerated pie crust
2 1/2 pounds cooked and deboned chicken
3 cups chicken broth
1 stick margarine
1 1/2 cups milk
5 teaspoons cornstarch


Cook and debone chicken saving the broth it was cooked in.  Add 3 cups of the broth to a pot.  Add margarine and milk.  Bring to a boil.  Dissolve cornstarch in a little water and add to broth.  Stir constantly until the broth makes a gravy.

Add deboned chicked to a 9x13 inch pan.  Pour gravy over chicken.  Open crust and make a few slits for steam to escape.  Place on top of chicken and gravy mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F until brown on top.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pita Dippers

What you need:
  • 4 whole-wheat pitas
  • 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen spinach
  • ¼ of cucumber, sliced
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Equipment needed:
  • Food processor or blender
  • Knife
  • Baking sheet
What to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Have an adult help you with this step: Place yogurt, spinach, cucumber, salt, and pepper into food processor or blender. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Place dip into a bowl and refrigerate until chips are done.
  4. Cut pitas into 8 wedges.
  5. Arrange pita wedges on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with garlic powder.
  7. Bake for 5 minutes or until light golden brown and crispy.
  8. Use the pita wedges to scoop up the yogurt dip!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breakfast Bars for doggies

12 c. oatmeal
4 c. whole wheat flour
8 eggs
3/4 c. oil
2/3 c. honey
1/2 c. molasses
2 c. milk
1 large can solid pack pumpkin (optional)
3 to 4 mashed bananas (optional)

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2 cookie sheets

Dump everything into a VERY large bowl. Mix this whole mess together (I use my hands, AFTER I take my rings off, another story), pat onto greased cookie sheets & bake at 325 for 1 hour. After 1 hour turn oven off, crack oven door & allow cookies to cool in oven. Break into whatever size you want (mine like LARGE).

These freeze really well. My guys love these, they sit in front of the oven waiting.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Harvest Skin Toner Mayan Secret

 Here is a wonderful fruit-and-vegetable-based formula for a skin toner, one that was decoded from an old Mayan text of beauty formulas by a Mexican archaeologist. The nourishing and skin softening ingredients in this toner are beyond compare. A good time to make this toner is when the harvest is bountiful. If you don’t own a juicer, borrow one and make large batches, freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, and pop out a cube as needed. Cucumber juice could be made in a blender. You can also make just a week’s worth of this toner at a time.

Zazil Toner

1/4 cup cucumber juice (the same pH as the skin)
1/8 cup carrot juice (rich in vitamin A)
1/2 cup spearmint infusion (considered one of the best cosmetic herbs)
1/4 cup chamomile infusion (avoid if you are sensitive to ragweed)
1/2 cup lemon juice (an alpha hydroxy acid)

Make the cucumber juice and carrot juice. Make strong spearmint and chamomile teas, and let cool. Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar and shake to blend. If you freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, just pop out a cube and rub it over your face, then put the cube in the refrigerator and use the toner over the next few days.
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