February 28, 2014

80 Uses for Coconut Oil

Personal Hygiene/Body
1. Moisturizer – simply scoop some out of the jar and apply all over your body, including neck and face.
2. Eye cream – apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags, and wrinkles. Use on the lids in the evening.
3. Pre-shave – coconut oil will prep skin for the pending damage caused by shaving.
4. Aftershave – coconut oil will help heal your skin after shaving without clogging pores.
5. Deodorant – coconut oil alone can be used as a deodorant, but even more effective in combination with cornstarch/arrowroot powder and baking soda!
6. Hair Conditioner/Deep Treatment – use as a leave in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest! For a deeper treatment, rub in a tablespoon of coconut oil onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap on to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight.
7. Hair Gel/De-frizzer – rub a little between your palms and either scrunch into hair (for curly hair) or finger comb in through from scalp to ends (for wavy/straight hair).
8. Toothpaste – there are numerous recipes out there but I just mix coconut oil and baking soda and dab a little of the mix on my toothbrush.
9. Make up remover – use a cotton swab and a dab of coconut oil and you would be amazed at how well it works!
10. Chapstick – just rub a little into lips and it not only acts as a softening agent but it also has an SPF of about 4 so you get a little protection!
11. Massage Oil – pretty simple; grab some and rub!
12. Lubricant – it is an all natural, perfectly safe personal lubricant. Not compatible with latex!
13. Sunscreen – see my post on natural sunscreen for more detailed information.
14. Stretch Mark Cream – coconut oil is great at nourishing damaged skin. It may not be the magic stretch mark cure but it will help.
15. Nipple Cream – works great to nourish cracked, sore, or dry nipples. Apply to a cotton ball and leave on your nipples between feedings.
16. Diaper salve – very comforting on a rashy bum with no harsh chemicals. Also safe for cloth diapers.
17. Cradle cap – having issues with dry skin on your baby’s scalp? Coconut oil will not only nourish your baby’s skin, it also helps eliminate cradle cap. Just rub a teaspoon onto scalp daily.
18. Body scrub – mix coconut oil and sugar together and rub all over! Rinse off and your skin will be super soft! You can add in essential oils if you would like a specific smell.
19. Healing – when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues. Plus, it smells a heck-of-a-lot better than anything from the pharmacy.
20. Bug Bites – when applied directly to a bug bite, coconut oil can stop the itching and burning sensation as well as hasten the healing process.
21. Skin problems – coconut oil relieves skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
22. Swimmers Ear – mix garlic oil and coconut oil and put a few drops in affected ear for about 10 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day and it usually works within one or two days.

General Health and Wellness23. Stress Relief – relieve mental fatigue by applying coconut oil to the head in a circular, massaging motion. The natural aroma of coconuts is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level.
24. Digestion – the saturated fats in coconut oil have anti-bacterial properties that help control, parasites, and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around.
25. Fitness – coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat, while increasing muscle.
26. Nose bleeds – coconut oil can prevent nose bleeding that is caused by sensitivity to weather such as extreme hotness and extreme coldness. This condition happens when the nasal passages become dry because of cold or dry air resulting to burns and cracks in the mucus membranes so bleeding happens. To prevent this just put coconut oil in you nostrils. Coat your finger with coconut oil and then lie down and coat your finger inside your nose. Doing this will strengthen and protect the capillaries in the nasal passages. A Vitamin C supplement will also help prevent nose bleeding.
27. For breastfeeding moms, consuming 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil daily will enrich your milk supply.
28. Helps with weight loss & controlling cravings.
29. Helps keep blood sugar levels stable and/or helps with cravings in those with diabetes.
Health Problems (that coconut oil is known for aiding, relieving, or even curing when taken internally)
30. Eczema – in addition to taking it internally, many have success applying it externally, some don’t
31. Skin problems
32. Toenail fungus
33. Hot flashes
34. Bleeding hemorrhoids (can also be applied externally twice a day)
35. HIV
36. Head lice
37. Improvements in menstruation regarding pain/cramps and heavy blood flow
38. Migraines (with regular use)
39. Mononucleosis
40. Parasites
41. Thrush
42. Relieve gallbladder pain
43. Has helped some people improve symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland, results have shown subsequent thyroid blood tests becoming normal
44. Energy boost
45. Flaky, dry skin
46. May relieve acid reflux and indigestion when taken with each meal
47. Adrenal fatigue
48. Alzheimers
49. H. pylori
50. Candida albicans
51. Asthma, even in children
52. Autism
53. Cholesterol – improves HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) to HDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) ratio in people with high cholesterol
54. Chronic fatigue
55. Circulation/feeling cold all the time
56. Stronger immune system
57. Mental Clarity
58. Depression
59. Helps with inflammation in Crohns

Health Problems 
(that coconut oil is known for aiding, relieving, or even curing when applied topically)60. Athletes foot
61. Back pain/sore muscles
62. Canker sores
63. Acne
64. Cellulite
65. Herpes (applied topically and taken internally)
66. Genital warts (through topical application over 6 weeks, and coconut oil enemas twice a day depending on the location of the warts)
67. Circumcision healing – although I am personally against circumcision, I have read that coconut oil is a really great healer for this.

68. Use 1 cup to 1 cup ratio when replacing other oils/butter in recipes with coconut oil.
69. Replacement for butter/lard/Crisco/PAM in it’s solid form – greasing pans, pie crusts, etc.
70. Replacement for various oils in liquid form – baking, cooking, sautéing, etc.
71. Nutritional supplement – melt and add to smoothies.

Other Uses
72. Insect repellent – mix coconut oil with peppermint oil extract and rub it all over exposed skin. Keeps insects off better than anything with Deet! Tons safer too.
73. Great for dogs and cats for general wellness. Just add a teaspoon to their water bowl daily.
74. Goo Gone – just mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda into a paste. Apply to the “sticky” area and let it set for a minute. Then scrub off with an old toothbrush or the scrubby side of a sponge.
75. Chewing Gum in Hair Remover – just rub some coconut oil over the stuck chewing gum, leave in for about 30 minutes, then roll the gum between your fingertip. Voila! It’s out!
76. Polish Furniture – coconut oil with a little bit of lemon juice to polish wood furniture. However, I recommend you test it first on a very small, unobtrusive part of your furniture to make sure it works the way you’d like.
77. Polishing Bronze – all you have to do is rub a little oil into a cotton towel and then wipe down the statue. It cleans and helps deepen the color of your bronze.
78. Seasoning animal hide drums
79. Seasoning cookware
80. Moisturizing and cleaning leather products


Donair (Gyro) Salad

Craving a Donair (or some know it as a Gyro), but trying to cut out carbs.. or gluten?

Here's how you can have it without the worry.  Make it a salad!!


Salad fixings {Use whatever you like -- here's what I used}
-Romaine lettuce
-Sweet red pepper
-Red onion
-Cheddar cheese
-Black olives
Donair (Gyro) meat
Tzatziki sauce

Make the salad, cook the meat and pour on the sauce. Tastes the same.. just leaving out the pita!


How to unclog a drain Naturally

You don’t need call a plumber right away, just use what you have in your house, hopefully you have it on hand, if not it is worth the trip to the store because it costs very little money! 

First remove any standing water. Pour about a 1/2 box of baking soda in the drain. Then pour in about a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The mixture should sit in the drain for about to 20 minutes. After 20 minutes pour about 4 quarts of very hot or boiling water down the drain. This should unstop the drain. If not, plunge a few times (yes a toilet plunger really works). If it doesn’t work the first time try it the second time. It Run the disposal and water as well, it should be working. Rinse with cool water. Please don’t do this in a toilet, it's for sinks drains only.


Apple Cinnamon Water

Source: Dr. Oz
1 apple, sliced (organic is preferred)
1 cinnamon stick
5 – 7 slices of fresh ginger root, optional

Fill a 2 quart pitcher with filtered water
Add 1 apple sliced
Add 1 cinnamon stick
Add fresh ginger, optional
Allow to “steep” overnight and drink.
Refill 3-4 times with fresh water before you replace the ingredients

*Some have put outside like ice tea to release flavors.
* I drink about 1 jug a day, for 3 days...


Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

-1 cup panko breadcrumbs
-4 teaspoons vegetable oil
-2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (if the chicken breast you are using are smaller, you can use 3-4)
-3 ounces cream cheese, softened
-3 Tablespoons diced jalapenos
-1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 cup milk or buttermilk

In a small pan, heat oil and add panko to the pan. Stir breadcrumbs over the heat until they are toasted. Watch this and continue stirring as these will toast quickly! After they are toasted, place in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. Spray the wire rack with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, shredded cheddar, garlic powder, and jalapenos. Pour milk into separate bowl.

Place chicken breast under a sheet of plastic wrap. Pound chicken breast using a meat mallet (or a can of vegetables) until it is about 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick.

Place half of the cream cheese mixture on the flattened chicken. Fold the chicken so that the mixture is contained inside of the chicken breast. Secure with toothpicks.

Dip the stuffed chicken in the milk and then dredge through the toasted panko. Place on the wire rack and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Cook until the chicken has been cooked through. The chicken breasts that I used were quite large, so they took a bit longer than 30 minutes.


Rainbow Salad

1 (3 ounce) package black cherry flavored Jell-O® mix
1 (3 ounce) package cherry flavored Jell-O®
1 (3 ounce) package lime flavored Jell-O® mix
1 (3 ounce) package lemon flavored Jell-O®
1 (3 ounce) package orange flavored Jell-O® mix
1 (3 ounce) package orange-pineapple flavored Jell-O®
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored Jell-O®
9 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

In separate bowls mix the black cherry, lime, orange and strawberry flavored gelatins with 1-1/2 cups boiling water and let each cool to room temperature.
In separate bowls, prepare the cherry, lemon and orange-pineapple flavored gelatins with 1 cup boiling water and add 1/2 cup evaporated milk when each cools to room temperature.
Add the room temperature black cherry flavored gelatin to a 13x9 inch pan and refrigerate until chilled. Follow with a layer of the cherry flavor, lime flavor, lemon flavor, orange flavor, orange-pineapple flavor and strawberry flavor, allowing each layer to cool before adding the next.


Bacon Pancakes

A new way to do Bacon & Pancakes

Just brown or crisp up - not fully cook - your bacon.
Pour strips of batter in medium hot pan or griddle,
then center bacon piece on top and pour enough batter over to cover but not submerge or drown.
Once bottom side done, flips over to cook opposite side.


Crockpot Lasagna

1.5 lbs hamburger
2 jars/cans pasta sauce (approx 600mls each)
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 box of lasagna noodles
3 cups cottage cheese
2 eggs - lightly whisked
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 - 3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp italian spice

Scramble fry hamburger until cooked. Remove any remaining grease. Stir in pasta sauce and diced tomatoes with the juice. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and italian spice. Stir well then remove from heat.
In a separate bowl combine cottage cheese, eggs, and parmesan cheese.
Spread a cup or so of meat sauce on the bottom of your crock pot, top with noodles broken into pieces to fit. Layer the remaining ingredients in the following order on top of the noodles in the bottom of your crock pot;
-cottage cheese mixture
-mozzarella cheese
-meat sauce
-broken lasagna noodles
-repeat - ensuring the last layer is meat sauce
Place lid on your crock pot and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender.
Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces.


February 27, 2014

How to Clean Your Car Headlights

1. The first step is to apply some toothpaste on a dry cloth.
2. Once the toothpaste is on the cloth, begin to rub the headlight cover with it until the grime comes off. 
3. Keep rubbing the toothpaste in circular motions until the grime breaks down all the way. 
After that proceed to rinse with water and wipe down with a wet cloth.


February 26, 2014

Carrot Cookies

2 cups diced pared carrots (I put in food processor and grate them)
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt

Cook carrots in small amount of boiling salted water till tender. Drain and mash. (Should measure about 1 cup.) Cool. Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; beat till fluffy. Stir in carrot. Stir together dry ingredients. Blend into creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 375º oven about 12 minutes. Remove to wire racks for cooling. I place wax paper under racks to catch frosting dripings.

Frost with:
1½ cups sifted powdered sugar
2 TBS pineapple jam (optional)
1 TBS softened butter
¼ tsp vanilla
Add 1 to 2 tsp milk to make of spreading consistency.
Mix together and spread on cooled cookies.
Makes about 5 dozen small cookies.
[I double this recipe as we really like them and they don't last long.]


No Crust Pizza Bake

You will Need:
1 lb lean ground beef
2 cups shredded Italian Style Cheese (divided)
1/2 Cup low sugar pizza sauce...like the Ragu one Or Spaghetti Sauce
1 1/2 cup of diced Canadian Bacon
1 cup of lowfat pepperoni
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers.
You can really add or take away anything you like as a topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook your ground beef, drain
Put your meat and 1 cup of your shredded cheese in a bowl and mix well
Spread the mixture on a pan or pizza stone
Top with Pizza sauce , then with add all your toppings and the rest of the cheese.
Bake for 25 min. or until cheese is melted

Marshmallow Whip Cheesecake HEAVEN!!

Graham Cracker Crust:
•40 squares of graham crackers (crushed)
•1/2 cup sugar
•1/2 cup butter or margarine (melted)

1.Mix above ingredients. Press into top and sides of 9 x 13' greased pan. Reserve 1/2 cup for top.

•10 1/2 oz. large marshmallows (40 marshmallows)
•3/4 cup milk
•2 - 8-oz. packages of cream cheese
•12-oz. Container of fat-free Cool Whip

1.Melt marshmallows and milk over low heat. Beat cream cheese; add marshmallow mixture. Cool. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread into crust and sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crust. Refrigerate until set.


Crockpot Taco Dip

You will Need :

1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup of frozen corn
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of salsa
1/2 cup of mild taco sauce
1 (4oz) can of mild green chilies
1 (4oz) can of black olives (drained)
1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese blend
Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream if desired

Cook meat in a pan, drain...put in crockpot...add the corn, onion, salsa, taco sauce and olives.
Cover and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours...Just before serving stir in the cheese.
Can top with Sour Cream if desired and serve with Tortilla Chips
Enjoy ~




1 Tube Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (with included icing)
Cooking Spray


• Open container of cinnamon rolls and separate rolls. Set glaze aside.
• Heat waffle maker to medium. Spray both plates of the iron with cooking spray. Place one cinnamon roll in the center and close the lid. Cook 3 minutes until both sides are golden brown and roll is baked through.
• Remove roll with a spatula; transfer to a plate to cool. Repeat with remaining rolls.
• Transfer glaze to a microwave-safe bowl; heat 10 seconds until smooth. Drizzle over warm rolls.
• If you want you can cook 4 at a time but they look cute as single mini cinnamon roll waffles.


February 25, 2014

Storing celery.

If you wrap your celery in tin foil before placing it in the fridge it will last for weeks, and it will still be fresh and crisp when you pull it out! This also works for stored broccoli for 7 weeks wrapped in tin foil, and heads of lettuce for at least 6 weeks!


Cucumber Avocado Salad

3 washed tomatoes, quartered then halved
2 ripened avocados, peeled and chopped
1 large cucumber, sliced in half length-wise, then chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
fresh ground black pepper to taste
optional: juice of 1 lemon
Serves 4.


Place chopped tomatoes, avocados, cucumber in a salad bowl.
Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, then lightly mix with tongs.
Add fresh ground black pepper on top, and serve. Let me know if you are going to try it! It's super easy, and OH SO HEALTHY! 


Grilled Green Beans.

The marinade can be used on broccoli and asparagus too!
8 oz green beans
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt (optional)
pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

1. Mix all ingredients except the Parmesan cheese in a large ziplock bag. Let flavors marinate for 10 minutes or so.
2. Put on a grill over medium heat, turning frequently until crisp tender. About 10 minutes. (Use one of those special grill skillets or a cast iron skillet if you are worried about losing beans through the cracks.)
3. Remove beans from heat, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Easy!

Philly Cheese steak Stuffed Peppers

1 lb Thinly Sliced Sirloin Steak (or you can use deli roast beef)
8 Slices Provolone Cheese
4 Large Green Bell Peppers
1 Medium Sweet Onion
1 pound White Mushrooms
3 Tbs. Butter
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper – to taste

Slice a thin piece off each pepper lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds.
Slice onions and mushrooms. Saute over medium heat with butter, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. Saute until onions and mushroom are nice and caramelized. About 25-30 minutes. Salt and pepper the steak and saute in a little olive oil until just not pink. About 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400*
Add steak to the onion/mushroom mixture and stir to combine.
Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.
Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are overflowing.
Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Crust ingredients:
4 cups Cauliflower (steams till soft and cool)
3 Egg whites (can use whole egg)
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese
4 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Fennel
2 teaspoon Oregano
2 teaspoon Parsley

Mix and blend well in a food processor (or by hand but well blended to look like mashed potatoes). Pour onto a greased pizza stone (any pan). Bake at 400° till golden brown.

Remove from the oven and apply a thin layer of pizza sauce (spaghetti sauce).
Any topping you would like. If using vegetable, cut them up to your desired thickness and sauté or microwave them till tender crisp. Then layer them on top of the sauce, and add mozzarella. Bake again till chees is melted.

Crust will be soft not firm like flour dough would be. Taste like regular pizza dough.

Baked Cheesy Tomatoes

What you need:

4 tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 oz reduced fat provolone cheese, shredded or Mozzarella
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

How you make it:
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet.
Top with Parmesan, provolone, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
Bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.


DIY: Paper Bag Flooring

Want a unique look but want to stay on a budget? You can complete a whole bedroom flooring for under $80!

Things you need:
* Brown Craft Paper (Lowes or Home Depot)
* Gallon of Elmer's Glue
* Small Bucket or Bowl
* Roller tray
* Polyurethane for floors (Water-proof)
* 2, 4 inch Paintbrush (also will need a broom handle )
* Water

* First be sure your floor is prepared for the application of new flooring

* Tear up Craft Paper in different sizes ( don't make them too small or this will be cause for a lot of work on your part *
- Crinkle the paper up and then open them up, this will give the texture look to your floor
- You can start laying out a section to work on, be sure you have enough edge pieces for the floor. (You can always cut the straight edge if you don't)

* Pour water and glue into the bowl, you will want to do a mixture of 50/50 and stir.

* Grab your paint brush and go ahead and paint the bottom of your piece and glue it to the floor, then you will want to paint the top of the paper with the same mixture ( Pressing down a little hard will help the paper stay in place)
- Repeat this process until the floor is finished.

You will want to make sure your floor has enough drying time ( We waited over night for the next step)

* Once floor is dried you will need to attach a paint brush onto a broom handle.

* Pour some Polyurethane into the roller tray and paint the finished floor with a light coat. Be sure to wait until the coat has dried before re-applying, you will need to apply the Polyurethane at least 5 times (Some recommend doing it at least 12 times )

* Let it dry completely before returning any furniture back into the space*

** Finished!! A nice looking floor on a budget **


Magic Cake Mix Cookies

1 Box cake mix (any flavor -- I used chocolate fudge)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Mix all ingredients. Roll into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. (I used a cookie scoop) Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes (depends on your oven). ALL DONE!

makes approximately 20 cookies



Spice up your 8 glasses per day of water with a slice or two of cucumber. It's wonderfully refreshing, but there are amazing benefits to cucumber as well. Cucumbers are cooler than you think ...

1. Fat busting: Do you ever wonder why women put cucumbers on their eyes to relieve puffiness? The photochemical in cucumbers makes the collagen in your skin tighten, thus the lack of puffiness. Did you know that you can rub a cucumber on a problematic spot of cellulite anywhere on your body to lessen the visibility of it? Did you also know that it has the same effect on wrinkles? Wow, it makes purchasing those fifty dollar creams seem a little silly, doesn’t it? You can also rub a little bit under your kiddo’s eyes after a long bout of crying to avoid that puffy ‘I cried for an hour straight’ look.

2. Defogger: Do you get annoyed when you get out of the shower and you have to fight the fog on the mirror? Who has time for that when the kids will be awake at any moment? Try rubbing a slice of cucumber on the mirror before you hop in and not only will you get a fog-free mirror, but you’ll have a nice smell that will boost your mood.

3. Headaches: If you suffer from headaches from chasing your babies all day (or pets or your husband), or had a little too much wine with dinner and want to avoid a hangover, eat half of a cucumber before bed. Cucumbers are high in B vitamins, sugar, and electrolytes, and they replenish the nutrients missing in your body to help you avoid a hang over or to beat that headache that’s been threatening to take over.

4. WD-40 replacement: Did you know you can get rid of a squeak by rubbing a cucumber on the hinge? Wow, now you don’t have to tear your garage apart looking for that little can with the red straw, and the baby won’t wake up when you slowly open the nursery door to check on him.

5. Crayon on the walls: Take an unpeeled cucumber and rub the crayon off of the walls in the event that your kiddo left you some art. You can also use this technique to erase a pen mistake.

6. Halitosis killer: Take a slice of cucumber and put it on the roof of your mouth. Hold it there with your tongue for 30 seconds. The photochemical that you love for cellulite and puff reduction will also kill the bacteria that is causing your bad breath.

7. Tarnish remover: If you’re finding tarnish on your stainless steel kitchen faucets and appliances? Rub it off with a cucumber slice. Not only will it remove years of tarnish, it will leave it streak free and your hands will thank you, and your kids won’t be put at risk from a dangerous chemical.

8. Energy booster: If you’re feeling tired in the afternoon, don’t give Starbucks your five bucks. Instead, grab a cucumber. There are just enough carbohydrates and B vitamins to give you a longer-lasting and healthier boost of energy than soda, coffee, or those health hazard energy drinks.

9. Munchy madness: Did you know that European trappers ate cucumbers for energy and to keep from starving to death? If those big burly manly men can eat a cucumber to keep from starving, you can eat one as a healthy choice when the munchies hit. Slice some up and take them in a small plastic container to the movies if your theater doesn’t offer healthy alternatives to munching on butter soaked popcorn.

10. Frugal facial: Slice up a cucumber and boil it in a pot of water. The chemicals inside of the cucumber will mix with the steam. Remove the pot from heat and lean over it, letting the steam hit you. Your skin will be more radiant and healthy, and you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

11. Shoe polish: Cut a slice off of your cucumber and rub it on your shoe. It will not only shine it up, but it will repel water.

12. Pest control: Put three or four slices of cucumber in a small pie tin and place them in your garden. The chemicals in the cucumber have a reaction that pests hate. You won’t smell it, but it will drive them from your garden all year long. Replace them periodically.

13. Sunburn: Sometimes sun block doesn’t always protect your little ones from sunburn. If you have burnt little kiddos you don’t have any aloe, rub some cucumber on them. Many doctors even use cucumber to treat patients with irritated skin and sunburns.

14. Blood pressure: Cucumber has been long used to treat high blood pressure. If you have it, add cucumbers to your daily diet. There is also ongoing research into the use of cucumbers for lowering cholesterol.

15. Constipation remedy: The seeds of a cucumber are a diuretic. If you’re constipated, try eating a cucumber. If you suffer from chronic constipation, add cucumber to your daily diet


Peach Cobbler Smoothie

Photo by Lorinda Fleming
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups frozen bananas
1 1/2 cups frozen peaches
2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
(I didn't have any pumpkin spice. So I added 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 1/4 tsp. allspice.)

Blend all the ingredients together on high in a heavy duty drink blender.

Servings: 4 - 8 oz
Calories: 256.1
Total Fat: 2.9 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 2.5 mg
Sodium: 66.3 mg
Potassium: 466.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 50.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.5 g
Sugars: 22.8 g
Protein: 9.6 g


Kids Chore Baskets

A great help for parents that give household chores to their kids! 

-Purchase a few plastic baskets at dollar stores.
-Print out a step by step instruction card for what you want cleaned in each room, labeling the top of the card with the name of the room you want cleaned.
-Fill them with the contents needed to clean each room, and attach the direction card for that room onto the basket. Depending on your cleaning needs, and the products you use, you decide what products to put in the baskets, depending on the room that will be cleaned. 

When chore time comes, let them choose their basket, and you're all set!


Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Photo by Lorinda Fleming

1/2 c. butter, room temp
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
2/3 c. baking cocoa

Preheat oven to 350°. Put light coating of cooking spray on a baking sheet.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking cocoa, and cream of tarter in a bowl.
In large bowl, beat butter, shortening, and both sugars together until they become light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Blend to combine well.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and blend until combined well. If using an electric mixer, be sure to start very slowly to avoid spraying dry ingredients all over the place.
With clean hands, take the dough and place onto a lightly dusted board. I like to use a small amount of cocoa with flour mixed well to dust. Then the outside of the dough doesn't become so white from the flour. Using both hands, roll dough into a log the size of cookies you desire to make.
Place your roll of cookie dough in waxed paper and refrigerate 1 hour or until nice and cold. If you prefer to use a cookie cutter, you need not roll and refrigerate.
If using cookie cutter, roll dough out & cut and bake. If using rolled and refrigerated dough, simply cut into desired thickness and place on baking sheet to bake.
Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly on pan before removing to cooling rack.


Pecan Twirls with Sticky Toffee/Pecan Topping

Photo by Kimberly S
1 1lb loaf of Ready Dough found in the freezer section.
1 stick butter 1/2 of the stick melted (do NOT use margarine)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 small package of pecan pieces or about a 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup brown sugar
 3-4 tbsp Honey
9" round cake pan

After your dough has thawed, knead it on a floured surface into a round ball, store it in a greased bowl until it comes to room temperature.
Using your rolling pin, roll out the dough on floured surface until it reaches 1/4" in thickness creating a rectangle. Brush it liberally with the half of stick of melted butter (use all of it) Sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar over the surface, then sprinkle cinnamon, then drizzle honey over the surface. Last, sprinkle chopped pecans. Starting at the longest side, roll the dough into a log, sealing the edges. Cut into 2" pieces wish sharp knife. Using your butter brush, coat the inside of your cake pan with any leftover butter and arrange the slices of dough in a circle. Bake 20 min @ 375 or until rolls are done. It will rise quite a bit, and may bubble over so use foil under your pan. While they bake, add your remaining 1/2 stick of butter to a small sauce pot, melt slowly med low heat and add 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of honey, stir frequently until brown sugar is bubbling and caramelized be very careful not to burn your butter! Add pecan pieces. When your rolls are done, pour this mixture over the top and bake for another 5 minutes or until pecans are toasted.


Hawaiian Sweet Rolls / Cinnamon Rolls

Photo by Brenda C.

2 packets active dry yeast
1/2 c warm water
3 eggs
1 ¼ c pineapple juice
1/4 c water
3/4 c white sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c butter, melted
6.5 c all-purpose flour

1. In small bowl dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, beat the yeast mixture, eggs, pineapple juice, 1/2 cup water, sugar ginger, vanilla, and melted butter. Gradually stir in flour until a stiff batter is formed. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1.5 hour.
3. Punch down the dough. Turn onto a well floured surface. Pinch off enough dough to form a ball about the size of a large golf ball and place in your cast iron skillet or baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.Cover and let rise again till doubled about 50 minutes.
4. Bake in preheated 350* oven for 20- 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven brush with melted butter
*** I didn't have pineapple juice, but did have some crushed pineapple in a can, so I just put a cup of pineapple in the blender and pureed it until it was frothy***

Cinnamon Rolls

1/2 c butter (softened)
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 Tbl cinnamon{ mixed with white sugar}
1 tsp nutmeg
** nuts and raisins optional**

After the 1st rising, I rolled half the dough out into a rectangular shape on a floured board.Put a layer of softened butter on the dough. Spread brown sugar evenly over it.
Next add cinnamon and white sugar over the brown sugar.
Sprinkle the Nutmeg over the cinnamon sugar layer.
Add chopped nuts and raisins if you like.

Starting at the long end of rectangle, start rolling dough until you get to the other side. Pinch seems together with your fingers.
Cut 2-3 inch thick slices and follow above baking instructions.


Funfetti Dip

By Melissa R
2 Cups Low Fat Plain Yogurt
1 Cup Lite Cool Whip
1 Box Funfetti Cake Mix
Animal Crackers

Mix the yogurt, cool whip, and cake mix together in a bowl. Once done serve with low fat animal crackers and enjoy! This is a fairly healthy treat too! You can add extra sprinkles if you like (I did just as a topper on photo)

Nutritional info: ¼ C. = Calories 105
Note: This makes a big bowl of it so it can be cut in half for a smaller amount.


Chocolate covered banana-marshmallow stacks

Photo by LeeAnn K.
2 bananas, sliced
Marshmallows, sliced (into about thirds)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Approx. 2 tbsp coconut oil to thin the mixture (this may not be necessary depending on your chocolate)

Stack up your slices of banana and marshmallow, each treat is stacked banana-marshmallow-banana.
In a microwave safe bowl, microwave your chocolate chips for 60 seconds then stir around. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until all chocolate is melted. If chocolate is too thick, thin it out with the coconut oil.
Using a skewer, coat your stacks with chocolate, and then place onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.
Place treats in the freezer until the chocolate has hardened, or leave them there for frozen banana treats!


Banana Split Dessert

Photo by LeeAnn K.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/4 Cups Sugar Divided
1/3 Cup Butter, Melted
2 pkgs. (8 oz.cream cheese, room temperature
1 Can (20 oz.) crushed Pineapple, drained
1 cup strawberries, sliced thin 
4 ripe bananas
2 cups cold Milk
1 Large box Vanilla Pudding
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chopped peanuts or nuts of you choice

In a medium sized bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Set aside.
Beat together remaining sugar and cream cheese until well mixed. Carefully spread over cookie crust. Top with pineapple. Slice bananas and layer over pineapple. Add sliced strawberries over bananas.
In another bowl mix together cold milk and vanilla pudding and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Remove 1 cup of whipped cream and mix into pudding. Layer pudding over bananas. Spread remaining whipped cream over pudding and sprinkle with nuts. Chill for 5 hours before serving. Don't forget the cherry! Enjoy~~


February 24, 2014

Jello Pretzel Pie

2 cups pretzels, crushed
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 Tbsp white sugar
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
8 Cool Whip
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 whipping cream
2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry Jell-O gelatin dessert
1 (16 ounce) sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Crust: Combine the first 4 ingredients. Press into 9" x 13" baking dish and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Cream together cream cheese, vanilla, cream and 1 cup sugar.
Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over cooled pretzel crust.

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.
Stir in strawberries, Chill until partially set (about 1 hour) and spread over cream cheese layer.

Chill until set , about 2 hours, and serve.


Jello cookies

3/4 c butter
1/2 c sugar
3 oz (85 g) pack of any flavor jello
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt.

Cream butter, sugar, jello and eggs.
Mix in rest of ingredients well, roll into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.
Flatten with fork. Bake for 6-8 min at 350


DIY sugar sprinkles

Take sugar, add food coloring, spread evenly on parchment paper on baking sheet, bake in oven at 350 for about 30 seconds, long enough to see it start getting shiny, you don't want to melt the sugar. Take it out and let it cool. Ten when it's cool it easily breaks back into its regular sugar form. Then it's ready to use!  Store in glass baby food jars.


February 23, 2014

Pizza Grilled Cheese

4 sliced bread
4 mozzarella, sliced
pepperoni (cut in half or mini)
Italian seasoning or basil
Parmesan cheese (opt)
pizza sauce (for dipping)

Cooking Directions:
*Warm a medium/large skillet over medium heat. Butter each piece of bread on one side. When skillet is hot place a piece of bread butter side down on the skillet then add one slice of cheese and small shake of Italian seasoning or basil (add a small shake of Parmesan cheese here too if desired). Top with a desired amount of pepperonis (I used about 8 -10 whole regular pepperonis per sandwich) If any other toppings are desired, add now. Add another slice of mozzarella and top with slice bread butter side up.
Repeat with second sandwich. When bottom slice is golden brown then flip over carefully. Once both sides are brown remove from pan cut and serve with pizza sauce if desired.


February 22, 2014

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

12-Ice Cream Sandwiches
Whipped type of Frosting or Cool-Whip
Any Flavor Ice Cream Syrup and Sprinkles

1- Choose your cake plate. Place 4 ice cream sandwiches for the base and layer the rest evenly on top. Don’t worry if it looks slightly lopsided just give it a gentle press and the frosting will balance it out.
2- Frost as you would any cake and return to freezer for 15 minutes.
3- Decorate and drizzle your choice of topping syrup and sprinkles. Then return to freezer.
4- Freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Serves: 8

February 21, 2014

35 (plus) Natural Fruit Water Recipes

Water is the healthiest beverage possible, and if you’re vowing to drink more of it, you may need to switch it up once in awhile so you don’t get bored. Bonus, by adding healthy fruits and herbs, you’re getting the benefits of those vitamin packed goodies, too.
Some herbs will release more flavor when crushed, though this isn’t necessary. Some days I’ll throw strawberry slices and mint into my water bottle and do nothing special. Other days I’ll crush the mint, squeeze the citrus, etc. It’s up to your personal preference.

My personal favorite combination is: Lemon + Fresh Mint

Here are some other variations:

Be creative an explore, but most important, get that water in you!!


Cheeseburger Stuffed Mushrooms

8 Medium Portobella or Gourmet Stuffing Mushrooms
1/2 Lean ground beef ( turkey can be used)
1/2 ripened Avocado
1 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp pepper
8 small slices of cheese ( I used American)
2 small tomatoes sliced
8 Basil leaves

Clean out mushroom from stems and gills and wash and dry
Pre heat oven to 350 °
In a medium bowl mash avocado with beef,Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan Cheese , salt and pepper and a dash or two of Cayenne Pepper
Mix well together.
Stuff each mushroom with mixture.
Bake for 15 minutes ..remove from oven add cheese.
Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes..
When done add Basil leaf to each and a sliced tomato!


Brownie Refrigerator Cake

1 box brownie mix
1 extra large egg
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 (8 oz.) containers whipped topping
1 (3 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding
1 (3 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
1 Hershey candy bar or chocolate syrup
9" x 13" pan


Mix brownie mixes according to directions. Add egg. Bake in brownie pan. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 container whipped topping. Put this mix on top of the cooled brownies. Blend puddings and milk together and put on top of the cream cheese mixture. Top with another layer of whipped topping. Put chocolate shavings or chocolate syrup on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Vegan Chocolate Mouse

1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 raw agave nectar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Puree until smooth.

Serve chilled

*Gluten free too!



1 pound spicy Italian sausage
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
7 cups water
3 chicken flavored bouillon cubes
2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper, to taste

In a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces as you fry it; drain, set aside.
In the same dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat, brown bacon; remove and set aside. Leave two tablespoons of rendered bacon fat in the skillet.
Saute the potatoes, onion, and garlic in the rendered bacon fat over medium or low-medium heat. Saute until the onion begins to be translucent and the potatoes have are still a little firm, but are beginning to soften.
Add the sausage, bacon, 7 cups water, and 3 chicken bouillon cubes to the pot. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.


Heavenly Angel Food Cake

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites (12)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt


Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 375ºF.
2. Mix powdered sugar and flour; set aside. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Beat in granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, on high speed, adding vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last addition of sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy meringue forms. Do not under beat.
3. Sprinkle sugar-flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over meringue, folding in just until sugar-flour mixture disappears. Push batter into un-greased angel food cake pan (tube pan), 10x4 inches. Cut gently through batter with metal spatula.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof funnel or bottle. Let hang about 2 hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen side of cake with knife or long, metal spatula; remove from pan.
Nutrition Information
Serving Size: 1 Serving Calories 130 ( Calories from Fat 0), Total Fat 0 g (Saturated Fat 0 g, ), Cholesterol 0 mg Sodium 60 mg Total Carbohydrate 31 g (Dietary Fiber 0 g ), Protein 2 g ; % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 4%; Exchanges:1 Starch; 1 Fruit; *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


3 Ingredient Easy-Peasy Banana Pancakes- Gluten FREE!

You will need:
1 medium ripe banana
2 eggs
2 Tbsp Almond Flour/ Meal (which is ground almonds, you can even make your own!)

How to:
1. Mash banana in a bowl (use fork or potato masher), ensure leaving some "chunks" of banana, helps make a fluffier pancake!
2. Crack eggs in another bowl & beat
3. Combine eggs with mashed banana.
4. Add 2 Tbsp of Almond Flour
5. Mix with spoon or fork to combine all 3 ingredients
6. Lightly grease your cooking pan with Coconut Oil (or butter)
7. Pre-heat pan to a medium-low setting (at approx. the "5")
8. Spoon onto heated pan 1-2 Tbsp of pancake batter. Let cook approx. 2 minutes before flipping. Let cook for approx. 1 more minute. The smaller the pancakes, the easier they are to "flip over".
9. Serve immediately, while hot! Enjoy!

* "Optional Topping" Suggestions:
Butter or Coconut Oil
Maple Syrup
Yogurt (your choice of flavor!)
Berries or other fruits
Powdered Sugar
Low Sugar Jam or Marmalade
Peanut Butter
"Warmed up" Nutella

Recipe can easily be doubled if cooking for a larger group! Pre-heat oven to a low heat setting (200F). Place them on a pan, once cooked, so they stay warm in the oven until ready to serve!

Feel free to get creative with the recipe by adding blueberries, spices, vanilla, etc...to your liking in the batter before cooking! : )

Makes approx. 4-6 "small size" pancakes

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Bacon Wrapped Barbecue Shrimp

(Photo by Lorinda Fleming)

Items needed:
30 large raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Minced garlic (to your liking)
15 slices bacon
BBQ sauce, for marinating
30 toothpicks

Mix garlic and bbq sauce together and marinate over night or at least 2 hrs.
Preheat oven 450°.
Cut bacon slices in half.
Wrap each shrimp with 1/2 slice of bacon. Using a toothpick, secure the bacon to the shrimp.
Place a cooling rack in baking pan. This is to help keep your shrimp from drowning in the bacon fat.
Place shrimp onto rack. Cook for about 20-25 minutes. Keeping an eye after 20 minutes so you don't burn the shrimp.

NOTE: I did some without toothpicks to see if it would hold and they did. Just turn the end of the bacon downward on the rack and it will stay tucked nicely.


Heavy Duty Floor Cleaner Recipe

Leaves floor spotless.

1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
1/4 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda)
2 gallons HOT tap water.

Place all the ingredients into a bucket and mix well until sudsy.
Mop the area with the solution. Rinse twice!!
Not recommended for waxed floors--it may make the wax gunky.


February 20, 2014

Elvis's Frozen Pudding Pops

2 cups cold milk
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant banana pudding mix
1 1/2 teaspoons warm peanut butter

Pour the cold milk into a large bowl; whisk the pudding mix into the cold milk until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Allow to rest until nearly set, 4 to 5 minutes.
Mash the peanut butter into the pudding; stir to distribute the peanut butter evenly throughout the mixture. Spoon the mixture into popsicle molds, tapping the mold on a hard surface to allow any air bubbles to escape. Store in freezer until completely frozen solid, 5 hours to overnight. Running warm water over the outside of the mold will make it easier to remove the pops.


Slim Down Drink Recipe

1 cup grapefruit or orange juice
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey...

Stir really well!

Drink before each meal.