Prosciutto Cotto and Lentils

Prosciutto Cotto and LentilsLentils have 18 grams of protein per serving, making them the third highest level of protein than any other plant food. Garbanzo beans and wheat berries both have 12 grams of protein per serving.

types of lentilsOut of all the varieties that are grown for consumption, the French Green Lentils are considered the most flavorful, having a delicate peppery taste.

They originated in Puy, France, though today they are also grown in Canada (highest production) Italy and the United States.

The French variety lentil hold their shape well while only taking about 30 to 40 minutes to cook.

On New Year’s Eve in Italy people eat “lenticchie stufate” or in a soup. Why? This is an old symbol of good luck in the Italian tradition, because of their round shape, which resembles coins. They say the more you eat, the more wealth that comes to you.

Our featured recipe contains French Green Lentils, and here is what you well need to prepare your own Prosciutto Cotto and Lentils.

diced vegetables for Prosciutto Cotto and Lentils

Real Whole Food Nutrition

2 medium stalks celery, diced

2 medium yellow carrots, diced

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 small red onion chopped

1/2 cup tomato paste

4 1/2 cups broth, your choice beef – chicken – vegetable

3/4 pound prosciutto cotto – about 2 slices 1/2 inch cut, cut into 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch squares

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons avocado oil

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil and minced garlic – sauté until fragrant.

adding vegetables to garlicNext add prepared onion – carrots and sweet potato and mix together.

adding lentils and tomato paste Next add rinsed lentils and mix in. Then add tomato paste and stir being sure ever lentil is coated.

adding brothAdd broth, place lid on pot and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are cooked.

After 30 minutes there will be only about 1 cup or so of broth – drain and set aside – leave lentil mixture in soup pot.

warming avocado oil and pork fatIn a warm pan with avocado oil add some prosciutto fat with prepare prosciutto cotto and sauté in oil until meat is warmed.

We used refined high heat (to 550 degrees) avocado oil, which has no flavor, therefore not contaminating or changing the smoked flavor of the prosciutto cotto.

Remove meat and mix with lentil mixture.

Prosciutto Cotto and Lentils - close upSpoon Prosciutto Cotto and Lentils to a platter and serve.

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National Pie Day

collage of fruit pies - National Pie DayNational Pie Day is celebrated yearly on January 23, and has been sponsored since 1986 by the American Pie Council. National Pie Day was launched in the ’70s by a man who loved pie so much he wanted to celebrate, and he chose January 23 because that was his birthday the American Pie Council declares.

According to The Dallas Morning News, pie has been around since the ancient EgyptiansThe Romans published the first pie recipe — a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie. Early pies were made with meat, and during the 1500’s, fruit pies were invented.

The American Pie Council is an organization committed to preserving America’s pie heritage and promoting America’s love affair with pies.

What’s more American than apple pie? How about…

Even though apple pie is an all American dessert, it was actually brought to the eastern shore’s of what is now the United States, by the Dutch.

Here’s our offering for National Pie Day, what’s yours?

Cottage Cheese Apple Pie Cottage Cheese Apple Pie

1 egg

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp. flour

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup cottage cheese, small curd

1 cup sugar

3 apples, peeled and cored, thinly sliced

1 pie crust – store bought or your favorite recipe

Heat oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl add cottage cheese, egg, cream, flour, and sugar. Mix until combined. Line the pie crust with mixture.

Layer the apple slices around the outer edge of the pie. Then layer apples circling the center of the pie.

Before baking pie, it is optional to sprinkle some nutmeg or cinnamon on top. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Do not under bake.

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National Granola Bar Day

Granola Bars with oats and nuts on the tableThe United States is a country that is obsessed with food. Now that can be a good thing or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Today is another day of observing a food item. Yes today is – National Granola Bar Day.

A granola bar includes whole grains, like oats, and quinoa and barley are also used. There are also dried fruits and nuts. To sweeten the bar either honey, molasses, agave nectar or sugar syrup is used. There are a variety of combinations that can add flavor and nutrition.

Making granola bars is a simple task. You mix the ingredients which are then pressed into a baking pan, and later cut into bars.

Granola bars are a go to food, because of seen as a energy bar. The are conveniently carried on hiking trips or biking trails. The bars can be high, but despite that, they are a healthy alternative to a candy bar. Eating a granola bar as a snack is okay, as long as you are active so as to burn the calories.

Outside of the United States granola bars are known by several names, including flapjack, meusli bars and cereal bars.

Here’s our rendition of a all organic, gluten free, paleo approved Granola Bar, and the following is what you will need.

mixed oats, nuts, seeds, raisins, honey and coconut oil, black background, selective focus

2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1cup wheat germ

1cup flax seed, slightly ground

14  cup sunflower seeds, optional to use sesame seeds, or pumpkin seeds

1 cup almonds, sliced, these nuts can also be used cashews, walnuts, peanuts, macadamias or pecans

1cup dry shredded coconut

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1cup honey, optional to use raw honey

4 tablespoons butter

1cup brown sugar

1 cup dried fruit, including cranberries, golden raisins, pineapple, apricots, cherries, papaya, and prunes (optional to use fresh fruit)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, sesame seeds and almonds.

NOTE: If you chose to mix in another nut with the almonds, divide the nuts up into 1/2 cup servings, such as 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 1/2 cup of the nut of your choice.

Spread mixture out evenly over the baking sheet and toast for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Stir mixture once or twice, to evenly toast the grains.

NOTE: We slightly ground our flax seeds, as whole flax seeds can not be digested whole, therefore not receiving the benefits of the seed.

In a large bowl combine salt, coconut, cinnamon and dried fruits, and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the vanilla, honey, butter and brown sugar. Stir continuously, bring mixture to a soft boil.

NOTE: You can use raw honey because of it dense nutritional content, but after baking the bars much of the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes will be destroyed from the high heat, therefore processed organic honey would be okay to use.

When oat mixture is done toasting, transfer to the same bowl with coconut mixture and stir to evenly combine, then add the honey mixture and stir to incorporate.

Line a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with waxed paper. Spread the mixture, using the back of a wooden spoon, pressing the mixture out over the waxed  paper evenly to create a smooth, even surface.

Place another piece of waxed paper over the top, pressing down to evenly compact the mixture.

NOTE: Compacting is important so the bars won’t fall apart when cut. You can place a smaller pan within the 9 X 13 inch baking pan to press the mixture out evenly. You can also use a large drinking glass, by rolling it over the wax paper.

Homemade Granola Bars on the tea cup backgroundCool, than refrigerate about 2 hours. Doing so ensures a clean cut. After cutting the baked granola into bars, wrap them in waxed paper and store in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.Ty can even be store in the freezer for up to between 6 to 8 months.

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Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup

Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo

When the suns behind the winter clouds and not able to warm your skin, the next best thing is Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup.

The cannellini beans or white beans are also known as white Italian kidney beans. The skin of the white kidney beans are much thinner and more delicate than their red cousins. White beans also have a smooth, but slightly nutty tasting interior.

Concerned about your daily fiber in take? A half cup serving of cooked cannellini beans are a excellent source of dietary fiber, providing you with 7 grams of your 30 grams of fiber needed daily for good health.

Here is what you will need for this simple and nutritious Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup.

Our ingredients are all organic grown and harvested and pasture fed meat.

red kale2 tablespoons avocado oil

12 ounces pork chorizo sausage, 1-inch slices

1 medium red onion, diced

3 gloves garlic, minced

1 medium purple carrot, diced

1 rib celery, diced

4 cups chicken stock

2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt optional

4 cups red kale, stemmed and leaves torn

spooning from the sauce pot - Red Kale Cannellini Beans and ChorizoOver medium heat, add oil to a large sauce pot. Once heated add meat and brown. Next add onions, and garlic. Stir until garlic and onion is just browned about 1 minute.

Next add diced carrots and celery, and stir until you see the vegetables brighten in color, about 2 minutes. Next add chicken broth, beans and salt.

a large sauce pot of Red Kale Cannellini Beans and ChorizoBring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, and add kale, then stir in. Place lid on pot, and on simmer let soup cook another 5 minutes.

Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo - close upTo thicken the soup a little, as we did not use potatoes (their starch content will thicken soups), you can add some arrowroot starch. In a small glass add 1 tablespoon of starch and stir in a teaspoon of fresh water, and add when soup is boiling. When soup has thickened some, lower heat to a simmer. Add kale and stir in, then place lid on soup pot and let cook another 5 minutes.

Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo

According to Mangia Bene Pasta, the Cannellini beans are difficult to harvest when ripe and therefore are harvested in the fall when the pod is completely dry.  As a result, the beans are rarely eaten fresh.

In some parts of Italy, the beans are a popular accompaniment to tuna and pasta dishes containing poultry. In the United States, vegetarians often utilize the hearty beans as a fish or chicken substitute, due to its protein source (WiseGeek).

The dried beans double in size when soaked, so a few beans go a long way in a dish.  Cannellini beans are available in supermarkets in both dried and canned form. If cannellini beans are unavailable, great northern beans or navy beans can be used, though they are a much smaller bean.

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National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

Bicarbonate of Soda with a wooden spoon In the Food section of the New York Times, they printed an article in May of 2007 entitled, “Having a Snack? Make It a Holiday,” and in that article they wrote that December 31st is, “National Bicarbonate of Soda Day” (The New York Times).

That same article stated that the United States has over 175 days related to awareness of food and drink. According to The Wall Street Journal, none of the food days in the United States are federal holidays.

Since today has been dedicated to baking soda, another name for bicarbonate of soda, let’s examine the many uses for the fine white powder.

Baking soda used to keep fridge order freeThe Many Uses Of Bicarbonate of Soda

We all know the principle use for bicarbonate of soda, that is using for baking. Another is placing a 8 to 16 ounce box of it in the refrigerator to absorb odors, and is replace about every three months (be sure to discard in your garden or compost bind, and do not use for baking).

Like myself, many individuals will use baking soda in the laundry. We use an all natural laundry cleaner, or as it is said a “Green Product” along with the soda.

using baking soda in the wash

Image Credit: Butter Bin

About 1/2 cap full of liquid laundry detergent with 2 cap fulls of baking soda.

By using bicarbonate of soda as a detergent booster, you will use less detergent, and baking soda helps get your colored cloths brighter, and the whites even whiter.

sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and a toothbrushBefore tooth pasta was invented, bicarbonate of soda was the go to for cleaning a person’s teeth, and many still prefer using it today for such purposes.

Do you have a clogged sink? Either in the kitchen or bathroom? Pour 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar. Cover the drain tightly until bubbling stops and flush with hot water.

You could eliminate odors in your dishwasher by running a cycle without any dishes once a week with bicarbonate of soda in the soap dispenser and vinegar in the rinse-aid compartment, and shake a handful in the bottom of the dishwasher between loads, as it will reduce odors and act as an additional cleanser for the next wash.

Lemon slices with baking soda will get the stains out from the bottom of your coffee pot. When I worked as a waiter in Chula Vista, California, while living in Rosarito, Mexico – we would would put some ice in the bottom of the coffee pots with a few slices of lemon and 1/8 cup of baking soda. We hardly ever had to scrub the inside bottoms of the pots.

Sodium bicarbonate can also be sprinkled on carpets, and left left to sit for about 10 or 15 minutes, then vacuum as usual to help eliminate odors in the carpet, keeping the rooms order free. This can also work on your pets bedding and even the upholstery of your car. Soda Blasting 

Sodium bicarbonate can even be used to get greasy equipment cleaned like new (video demonstrates use).

If you live in an area were it snows, you can also use baking soda for deicing your walk ways. Just open a box, and sprinkle it over the snow or ice, and within about 5 minutes, your walk way is safer to walk on. 

Baking soda also helps for cleaning brass door knobs, window handles and ornaments. We even mixed vinegar with baking soda to remove hard water stains from the car wind shield, and windows on the home.

Common Toxic Chemicals

      Baking Soda Is Naturally Chemical Free

It may seem like a lot of baking soda to use, and it can be.

But consider, when buying baking soda in the bulk section of your store, it will only coast you around 25 to 35 cents a pound, and if you use about, say 3 or 4 pounds a week, that would cost you around $5.00 a month, compared to all the other products on the market that cost you even more.

Baking soda is an all natural and earth friendly cleaning agent.

The most popular brand that sells baking soda is “Arm and Hammer” and the name describes how powerful a household cleaner bicarbonate of soda can be, and no added non earth friendly chemicals.

There are many more uses for bicarbonate of soda around the home. How do you use it other than in baking? Tell us by leaving a comment below, we would all be glad to know.

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Garlic Thyme Chicken Thighs

Garlic Thyme Chicken ThighsGarlic has been used for many purposes other than food, throughout history.

  1. Homer mentions garlic in his famous Odyssey, saying that the deity Hermes, gave garlic to Odysseus as a protection against the goddess Circe‘s evil sorcery in which she turned men to swine.
  2. fresh grlic clovesDuring the Roman Empire garlic was a symbol of the common people, since no noble would debase himself by smelling of garlic.
  3.  Unfaithful Egyptian husbands relied on garlic’s unique “scented” properties, as they would chew a clove or two on their way home from visiting their mistresses, ensuring that a jealous wife would be unable to detect any stranger’s perfume.
  4. At the peak of  Egypt’s power over 4,00 years ago, garlic was given to the laborers and slaves who were building the great pyramids in order to increase their stamina and strength.
  5. Modern day Germany and Czechoslovakia both have an old Proverb that says, “A bite from a watch dog is much more cutting and painful if the dog has eaten garlic at the New year,” and another says, “Garlic is as good as ten mothers.”
  6. Garlic has been used to ward off vampire’s, so the legend goes, and during the medieval era when children went to play or work in the fields, cloves of garlic hung around their necks to protect them from the evil spells of the local witch.
  7. French priests of the Middle Ages used garlic to protect themselves against bubonic plague.
  8. During World War I, European soldiers prevented infection by putting garlic directly on their wounds.

After 6000 years of folklore, garlic has now come to be valued not only as a food source, but seen for it’s therapeutic benefits.

Such as an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry states saying that garlic taken in conjunction with whole grains appears to increase the body’s absorption of iron and zinc.

Over the centuries of human history, garlic has remained synonymous with eternal youth, health, vigor and vitality.

Our featured recipe has fresh garlic cloves, 20 to be exact. Here is what you will need to prepare – Garlic Thyme Chicken Thighs.

cast iron cooking with avocado oil

2 tablespoons avocado oil 

4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on

Himalayan salt

Black pepper

20 cloves garlic, separated and peeled, about two full heads

2 tablespoons gluten free multi-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

10 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, leaves removed and stems discarded

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Over medium high heat, in a cast iron skillet, heat the avocado oil .

chicken thighs seasoned with salt and pepperSeason the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper.

chicken thighs skin side down in a cast iron skillet

Cook the chicken thighs skin side down on medium-high heat until well browned, for about 5 minutes, then flip the chicken thighs skin side up and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic to the same skillet, and cook, occasionally turning, until garlic starts to brown, 3 or 4 minutes.

partially cooked chicken thighs and gralic cloves in a cast iron skilletReturn the chicken to the cast iron skillet, cover with a lid (if the skillet has one) or aluminum foil, and place in oven for 15 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the oven and put it on a stove top. Have caution though removing the cast iron skillet, as the pan will be very hot.

cream sauce with thyme for Garlic Thyme Chicken ThighsRemove the chicken thighs, garlic, and all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan.

Over medium heat, whisk in the 2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour with the oil in the pan.

Next, gradually whisk in the chicken broth and fresh thyme leaves for 1 or 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Remove the pan from the heat, and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Garlic Thyme Chicken ThighsAdd the roasted garlic and chicken thighs back to the pan. Serve with your favorite side dish, a salad, and enjoy.

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South Of The Border Chicken Tortilla Soup

South of The Boarder Chicken Tortilla SoupTortillas are used faithfully in Mexican cuisine as bread is used in the United States. There are corn tortillas and flour tortillas, which are mostly consumed in Northern Mexico.

Tortillas are a main food staple eaten daily in all Mexican households. Just as you would walk to the corner store for Tortilleriaa gallon of milk, so do Mexicans walk to the corner and buy tortillas from the “Tortilleria” were machines spit out dozens of corn tortillas hourly. I personally know this, as I lived in Mexico for 5 years, and bought one dozen tortillas about every two days.

Tortillas are also used to make a Mexican inspired South Of The Border Chicken Tortilla Soup, which by the way is our featured recipe.

Here is what you will need.

6 tablespoons avocado oil, divided

6 corn tortillas, cut into 1×1-inch strips

1 small white onion, dice

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups of non-gmo natural chicken broth

1 cup water

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen non-gmo sweet corn kernels, thawed

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt (optional)

Diced avocado, and fresh chopped cilantro, for optional garnish

frying tortilla stripsPlace a large ceramic coated frying over medium heat. Next add 3 tablespoons of avocado oil. Once the oil has warmed add the corn tortilla strips and fry until they are crisp.

fried tortilla stripsRemove from heat and using a slotted spoon, remove strips from oil and place onto a plate and set aside.

A ladle of South of The Boarder Chicken Tortilla SoupNext 3 tablespoons of avocado oil to a 4 quart soup pot. When oil is heated, add the diced onions, minced garlic, diced bell peppers, and saute until fragrant. Next pour in the chicken broth, water, cumin, and chili powder. Stir to mix all ingredients. Next add the black beans, sweet corn, and shredded chicken.

South of The Boarder Chicken Tortilla SoupBring the soup to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Ladle soup into soup bowls and garnish with the tortilla strips, diced avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro.

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Golden Beets Fennel and Green Apple Slaw

Golden Beets Fennel and Green Apple Slaw

screen shotWe have a screen shot of a web search about beets. Notice the color of the beets? They are pictures of red beets only.  But beets come in other colors, like purple, orange-yellow (golden beets), yellow, and white varities.

The website The World’s Healthiest Foods state that about 15% of all U.S. adults experience beeturia or a reddening of the urine after eating beets.

They note that this reddening of the urine is not considered harmful, but may be a possible indicator of the need for a visit to the doctor, as this reddening of the urine can be an indicator of iron deficiency, iron excess, or specific problems with iron metabolism (WHFoods).

photo of different types of beets sold at the Whole Foods Market

Different Colors Of Beets At The Whole Foods Market

As we noted at the on start of the article there are different varieties of beets, that range in different colors. Each beet variety with its color provides different benefits from other bets of a different color.

Beets contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to that of dark chocolate.

Golden beets are a good source of potassium and calcium. They also contain vitamin-C which helps prevent fatty build-up and cirrhosis of the liver, among other things.

The crimson-red color of the red beet is due to betalain pigments, such as betanin and betacyanin. Yellow beets are rich in ß-xanthin pigment.

The Chiogga beet (as seen in the photo here to the left – bottom left side) or candy cane variety has alternative red and white concentric whorls on the inside of the beet.

Now for our featured recipe, using golden beets, and here is what you will need.

citrus vinaigrette for Golden Beets Fennel and Green Apple SlawGolden Beets Fennel and Green Apple Slaw

Dressing

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon raw honey
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper corns

Mix all ingredients above in a small mason jar, cover with lid and shake until combined, set aside.

Salad

1 medium golden beet, shredded

1/2 fennel bulb, chopped

1 medium granny smith apple, skin on, shredded (after shredding – squeeze juice from apple shreds)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

shredded golden beet, fennel, and green appleIn a medium mixing bowl add dressing. Next add prepared vegetables and cilantro. Mix until well coated. Spoon sald into a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro (optional).

Bowl of Golden Beets Fennel and Green Apple SlawPlate and serve by itself, or with your favorite meat dish.

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Natural Cleaners For Healthy Household Cleaning

Natural Cleaners For Healthy Household CleaningPlant based products not only help keep us healthy, but they also can do the same for our environment. Using essential oils and other plant based products to clean your home, not only makes it healthier, but can keep you healthy as well.

Using oils derived from plants and flowers, mixed with some other food products we use weekly if not daily in our cooking and baking, like lemons, salt, vinegar, and baking soda only makes since.

Most modern day cleaners that are purchased might help clean the home, but they do have toxic chemicals as well. Chemicals we breath in, and absorb into the skin. These toxic chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can effected our health in a negative way.

Common Toxic ChemicalsIn the USA, the “Toxic Substances Reform Act” (TSCA) was passed into law in 1976 to limit the use of toxic chemicals.

When passed into law, TSCA approved more than 60,000 chemicals that existed prior to 1976, and only 200 of the original 60,000 chemicals have been tested for safety, with only 5 of them being restricted for any use (Safe Chemicals – Healthy Families).

But to date (2015) there are still over 80,000 chemicals in use, with some of them in household cleaners.

The most common is triclosan, which has been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan have shown to disrupt thyroid function. Treatment of waste water does not remove all of the chemical, and therefore ends up lakes, rivers and water sources. Triclosan is also very toxic to aquatic life (EWG’s Guide to Triclosan).

Natural Household Cleaner Recipes

It doesn’t make any since to bring toxic household cleaners into your home, when there are natural cleaners available.

Using vinegar, lemons, baking soda, salt with added essential oils, will get your home just as clean as any toxic chemical, but without the unhealthy side effects.

Be sure to purchase therapeutic grade and organic essential oils. Be sure the Latin name is included on the bottle.

wood floorCleaning Wood Floors

1/2 cup white vinagar

3 drops orange oil

3 drops lemon oil

3 drops grapefruit oil

2 drops tea tree oil

1 quart of water

Add all of the above to a hand sprayer and apply to the wooden floor and mop.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner 

bath room4 ounces of water

1/4 distilled white vinegar

3 drops lemon oil

1 drop clove oil

5 drops tea tree oil

Mix all of the above in a spray bottle, and spray on ares of the kitchen or bathroom that have mold or mildew. Let sit 20 minutes before rinsing away.

spray bottles General Purpose Cleaner

1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup vinegar

3 drops tea tree oil

2 drops eucalyptus oil

1 drop thyme oil

5 drops orange oil

5 drops lemon oil

Mix all of the above in a small spray bottle.

carpetCarpet Cleaner

8 ounces of baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

Mix in a small jar. Cover with lid. When needed, shake out onto carpet, let set about 5 minutes, and vacuum up. This solution can also be used in home carpet cleaning machines.

washing dishesDish Washing Soap

1/2 cup castile oil

1/2 cup vinegar

1 quart of water

6 drops lemon oil

2 drops geranium oil

3 drops tea tree oil

Mix all of the above in a container and use when ready to wash the dishes.

Article Inspiration By: Herbal Remedies Magazine (2016)

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National Pumpkin Pie Day

National Pumpkin Pie DayPumpkin pie has been enjoyed in the North American as far back as 1621. As there were no ovens at the time, pumpkin pie then, had no crust. According to historians the first settlers to the New England (USA) area made pumpkin pie by filling a hollowed out pumpkin shell with milk, honey and spices, and then baking it in hot ashes.

By the early 18th century pumpkin pie had earned a place at the dinner table, as Thanksgiving became an important New England regional holiday.

Today the pie is baked with a crust and is a traditional sweet dessert, and is enjoyed more than not during the fall and early winter, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States and Canada.

Pumpkin Pie Basics

Baking a pumpkin pie before 1929 required a person to roast and strain the meat of the gourde or squash. Things changed though in 1929 as Libby’s meat-canning company of Chicago introduced canned pumpkin that replaced the need for roasting and straining one’s own squash.

The pie can be described as a pumpkin-based custard, baked in a single pie shell, and almost never has a top crust, like an apple pie does. A traditional pumpkin pie today is generally flavored with spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Some bakers may go a step further and add cardamom and vanilla.

It is thought that the earliest recipes for pumpkin pie may have come from France. In Francois Pierre La Varenne‘s cookbook of 1653, “The French Cook” his recipe, “Tourte of Pompion” is written, “Boil it with good milk, pass it through a straining pan very thick, and mix it with sugar, butter, a little salt and if you will, a few stamped almonds, letting all be very thin. Put it in your sheet of paste, and bake it. After it is baked, sprinkle it with sugar and serve.”

Enjoying Pumpkin For Dessert

There are many ways to enjoy pumpkin. Since 1929 it was made a lot easier to enjoy it any time of the year. Here are a few recipes that consist of a pumpkin basis.

Double Layer No Bake Pumpkin PieDouble Layer No Bake Pumpkin Pie

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon half & half
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 cups of whipped heavy cream, or cool whip
1 – 9 inch prepared graham cracker crust (store bought or prepare a homemade crust)
1 cup cold half & half
2 – 3.5 ounce packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 – 15 ounce can solid pack pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, whisk together cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of half and half, and sugar until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream, and it is best to avoid over mixing. Spread mixture into the bottom of a prepared graham cracker crust.

Refrigerate while preparing the next layer:

In a large bowl whisk pudding mix and 1 cup of half and half until thickened, fold in pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Gently spread over cream cheese layer. Place in refrigerate for up to 4 hours, or until set.

If you wish, drizzle lightly with caramel sauce and add a dollop of fresh whipped cream, and toffee bits before serving.

Then there is…

Pumpkin-Pie ParfaitsPumpkin-Pie Parfaits

Recipe Courtesy of Pint Sized Treasures

 

For the pumpkin layer:

4 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cookie layer:

4 honey graham cracker sheets

4 Tbsp butter, melted

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp brown sugar

Homemade Whipped Cream

2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In large mixing bowl, place all pumpkin layer ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy, approximately four minutes. Place in freezer for a quick chill while you prepare your other ingredients.

Stir all cookie layer ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, mix whipping cream on medium high until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat an additional minute.

Layer parfait glasses very gently following this pattern: cookie mixture, whipped cream, pumpkin layer, whipped cream, pumpkin layer and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle remaining cookie layer on top. Repeat for each parfait.

Gluten Free Pumpkin CheesecakeYou can also enjoy Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake or Layered Pumpkin and Cranberry Parfaits, and Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping.

Today, October 12th is National Pumpkin Pie Day, enjoy a slice or two, or any dessert with pumpkin in it. We plan to enjoy a Spiced Pumpkin Latte.

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