Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

My Favorite Summer Drinks

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Now that my absolute favorite season has officially arrived I am all excited about making my favorite summer drinks throughout this festive time.

Nothing beats homemade lemonade and thick fruit smoothies. These drinks are so refreshing during summer’s hot days and nights. I like to make the drinks myself because I know exactly what is in them. My  recipes are simple. When I make lemonade all of my ingredients are measured. With the fruit smoothie, I wing it until I like the taste. Check out what I do below.

Homemade Lemonade:



  • 1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups cold water (to dilute)


1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

2 While the sugar is dissolving, extract the juice from 6 medium size lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 4 cups of cold water (filtered or bottled), more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate until cold. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it. Serve cold.

Thick Fruit Smoothies:



  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries (or any kind of frozen fruit)
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • maple syrup


1 Cut the peel of off the frozen banana. Chop the banana in chunks.

2 Chop the frozen fruit once or twice so it will blend easier.

3 Place all of the fruit in a blender.

4 Pour in the rice milk and orange juice. Mix until the blender is able to move the frozen fruit freely. You may have to add more milk and juice. If so, eye ball it.

5 Add desired amount of maple syrup and continue to mix. Don’t mix the ingredients too much or your smoothie will be watery. Once everything is blended nicely your done. Enjoy!


Wash Day!

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

I was really amused when I saw this photo, so much so, I had to post it. Look at the broccoli, jelly, I think that’s apple sauce and ketchup, Pam and Ranch dressing. They just put all kinds of food elements together and took a picture.

So funny!

Happy wash day. It’s Sunday!


Homemade Vegan Biscuits

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Once I taught myself how to cook experimenting with various herbs, spices, vegetables, legumes and whole grains became a creative challenge I really enjoyed. I am a creative person therefore cooking is similar to creating. Sometimes my creations turn out perfect and sometimes they don’t.

One of my favorite dishes to make is homemade vegan biscuits. I have tried a variety of ingredients to make the perfect biscuit and after many failed attempts I finally got it right. This recipe is quick and easy! Too quick and easy! I often wonder why it took me so long to discover it. Check it out below.



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking power
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons of soy butter
  • 1 cup of nut or rice milk



  • I pre-heat my oven to 425 degrees
  • Then all of the dry ingredients are sifted into a bowl.
  • Using a fork, I blend the soy butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture breaks down into fine particles.
  • The nut or rice milk is added and everything is stirred until the particles cling together.
  • The dough is turned out onto a floured cutting board and kneaded for 1 minute or until the dough is smooth. More flour can be added if the dough is sticky but I like for it to be sticky because the biscuits come out fluffier.
  • With a rolling pin, the dough is rolled out to about ½ inch thickness.
  • A simple drinking glass is used to cut the dough into rounds.
  • All rounds are placed on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • The biscuits are baked for 11 minutes, and then
  • Served HOT!


Powerhouse Herbs: Four Backyard Plants Protect Against Disease

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Mother Nature’s most potent healing herbs are already on most spice racks or growing nearby, often right outside the door.

Herbs, respected for their healing properties for millennia, have been widely used by traditional healers with great success. Now clinical science supports their medicinal qualities.

Pharmaceutical companies routinely extract active ingredients from herbs for common medications, including the potent pain reliever codeine, derived from Papaver somniferum; the head-clearing antihistamines ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, from Ephedra sinica; and taxol, the chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat several types of cancer, including breast cancer, from Taxus brevifolia. These are among the findings according to Leslie Taylor, a naturopath and herbalist headquartered in Milam County, Texas, and author of The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs.

Even among an abundance of healing herbs, some stand out as nature’s “superherbs” that provide an array of medical properties, according to Rosemary Gladstar, of Barre, Vermont, the renowned author of Herbal Remedies for Vibrant Health and related works. Two of these, she notes, are widely considered nuisance weeds.

Plantain (Plantago major): Commonly used externally for poultices, open wounds, blood poisoning and bee stings, it also helps relieve a wider variety of skin irritations. According to a Plaintainstudy published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, this common “weed” fortifies the liver and reduces inflammation, which may reduce the risk for many kinds of chronic diseases. At least one study, published in the journal Planta Medica, suggests that plantain can enhance the immune system to help fight cancer and infectious diseases. “Plantain is considered a survival herb because of its high nutritional value,” advises Gladstar, who founded the California School of Herbal Studies, in Sonoma County, in 1978. A new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry confirms it’s an excellent source of alpha-tocopherol, a natural form of vitamin E and beta carotene that can be used in salads for those that don’t mind its bitter taste.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Like plantain, dandelion is one of the most powerful medicinal herbs on the planet. “Dandelion is revered wherever you travel, except in the United States, where it is considered noxious,” observes Gladstar. Americans should reconsider their obsession with eradication. Dandelion root is an effective treatment against several types ofDandelion cancer, including often-fatal pancreatic and colorectal cancers and melanoma, even those that have proven resistant to chemotherapy and other conventional treatments, according to several studies from the University of Windsor, in England. Traditionally part of a detoxification diet, it’s also used to treat digestive ailments, reduce swelling and inflammation and stop internal and external bleeding.


Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Turmeric gives curry powder its vibrant yellow color. “Curcumin, turmeric’s most important active ingredient, is a wealth of health, backed by substantial scientific evidence that upholds its benefits,” says Jan McBarron, a medical and naturopathic doctor in TurmericColumbus, Georgia, author of Curcumin: The 21st Century Cure and co-host of “The Duke and the Doctor” radio show. Several human and animal studies have shown that curcumin can be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, both in prevention and to slow or even stop its progress. One Australian study showed that curcumin helps rid the body of heavy metals that may be an underlying cause of the memory-robbing disease. Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that curcumin helped dissolve the plaques and tangles of brain material characteristic to Alzheimer’s. Curcumin is also known to be effective in lessening depression and preventing heart disease, some types of cancer and diabetes, says McBarron.


Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Primarily used for its considerable anti-inflammatory properties, ginger makes a delicious and healing tea and an enticing spice in a variety of dishes. This herbalGinger powerhouse has at least 477 active ingredients, according to Beyond Aspirin, by Thomas M. Newmark and Paul Schulick. Considerable research confirms ginger’s effectiveness against a variety of digestive problems, including nausea from both morning sickness and chemotherapy. Research from Florida’s University of Miami also confirms its usefulness in reducing knee pain. “Ginger is a good-tasting herb to treat any type of bacterial, fungal of viral infection,” says Linda Mix, a retired registered nurse in Rogersville, Tennesse, and author of Herbs for Life! The health benefits of these four vital herbs are easily accessed by growing them in a home garden or pot or via extracted supplements.

About the Author:

Kathleen Barnes is a natural health advocate, author and publisher. Her most recent title is 10 Best Ways to Manage Stress. Learn more at

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Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Monday, November 25th, 2013

I always knew one could make homemade pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin but I never tried to do it until now. I figured, since I bought a pumpkin for fall decoration, this would be a good time to crack it open and really get my money’s worth.

This recipe is very simple. The hardest task is cutting the pumpkin. Check out what I did below.


After  de-seeding the medium sized fruit this is what I had to work with.


I took the time to pull the seeds off of the pumpkin gup and cleaned them thoroughly using a range of hot to warm water.


The seeds were boiled in salt water for 10 minutes.


Place the seeds on a kitchen towel and lightly pat dry.


Put the seeds on a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil of your choice and salt to taste. I used 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt and that was too much for me. Ultimately I wiped some of the sea salt off. But if you like salt use as much as you want.

Incorporate the oil and seeds. Bake at 325 degrees in a preheated oven for 10 minutes.


And that’s it! They turned out to be very tasty!


16 Tips To Achieve Beautiful Healthy Hair – Naturally!

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Do you want fabulous tresses without applying a whole bunch of harsh chemicals to your hair? I think it’s safe to say that we all do. I saw the list below and thought it was interesting so I decided to share it. Some of the information is well known and some of it is not as popular. But none the less they are all great homemade recipes and worth repeating. Check it out!


Egg treatment

Use the entire egg to condition your hair. If you have dry or brittle hair, use egg whites to moisturize your hair. Use ½ cup of any egg mixture (egg white, entire egg) and apply to clean, damp hair and rinse with cool water.

Avoid hot water

Skip hot water showers, because hot water will make your hair dry and brittle as it strips protective oils from your hair – says Dr. Suttar. Thus, prefer a temperature which is just a bit warmer than your body temperature.

Bottle gourd treatment

Extract some bottle gourd juice and apply it into your hair. Keep this solution for half an hour and wash it off thoroughly.

For that shiny soft hair

Prepare a mixture of 1 cup of your daily conditioner and 2-3 tablespoons of honey. Apply this mixture evenly on your wet hair. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash it off thoroughly. This mixture will close down your hair’s cuticle and give your hair that amazing shine.

For bouncy hair

Apply a one to one mixture of warm water and apple cider vinegar to your hair. Rinse it thoroughly after 5 minutes to get rid of the apple cider smell.

Don’t wash your hair frequently

Wash your hair every 5-7 days, for proper regulation of natural hair oils. Washing your hair less often will also help regain your hair’s natural body and luster.

Make your conditioner

For a protein packed conditioner, mix eggs and yogurt and rub it into your scalp. Leave on for a few minutes (only) then wash it off completely.

For strong hair

Use almond oil to treat dry and damaged hair. It is a very simple procedure, pour some almond oil in a bowl and heat it for 40 seconds. Then evenly distribute on your hair. Leave it for 30 minutes and then rinse normally with shampoo and conditioner using cold water.

Say bye-bye to dull hair with lemon juice

After the final rinse, apply 1 tsbp lemon juice to your hair. Simply towel dry your hair and style as normal to get rid of dry hair.

Use protection before you jump into the pool

Pools can do great damage to your hair as it contains harsh chemicals – says Dr Suttar. He says; prevent your hair from the pool damage by simply applying a little conditioner to your hair before you swim. This will protect your hair before it comes in contact with the pool water.

Treat sun damaged hair

Make a mixture of ½ cup honey, 1-2 tbsp olive oil and 1-2 tbsp of egg yolk. Apply this mixture on your hair and then rinse with warm water. This treatment will help to replenish keratin protein bonds – says Dr. Suttar.

Moisturize your hair

Pour a little beer in your wet hair. Distribute evenly and massage your scalp with your fingers for 20 minutes. Then rinse it thoroughly to get rid of the beer smell. Do this procedure once a week for salon smooth hair. Dr. Suttar says- it is recommended that people with sinus and cold should avoid using this treatment.

Trim your hair regularly

Trim your hair at least every six weeks to eliminate dry, split ends.

Do not brush wet hair

Wet hair is three times weaker and thus more likely to break – says Dr. Suttar. He recommends, towel dry your hair first and then gently detangle your hair using a wide tooth comb.

Let your hair air-dry

Allow your hair to dry by itself instead of using a blow-dryer or hot rollers. Using this artificial mode of drying technique will make your hair more brittle and dry. If you have no time to let your hair air dry, then use blow-dryer sparingly and make sure you use a warm setting instead of a hot setting.

Good diet

Drink lots of water and eat a healthy diet of raw fruits and vegetables. The most effective home treatment for hair care is a healthy diet. You are what you eat, and what you put into your body will be reflected on the outside.

Time To Make The Vegan Donuts!

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I had a serious craving to make my own vegan donuts. I got The Hubs on board to help and we had fun experimenting with various batches of donut mix until we found the one that worked for us.

This treat is easy to put together and healthier than most donuts because I didn’t fry them in a bunch of grease. I baked them in the oven instead.

Results? Perfect! Taste? To die for! Check out what I did.

Makes 12 donuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly grease two donut pans. I purchased my donuts pans at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $9.99 each (original price). I had a coupon so I saved $4 bucks total.


Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 2/3 cups organic all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons organic freshly ground nutmeg (it doesn’t have to be freshly ground)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic soy, almond or rice milk
  • ¼ cup organic sunflower oil
  • ¼ cup organic white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk nondairy milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together quickly until just combined or you can use a mixer set at speed one. Do not over mix.

Using a pastry bag or plastic Ziploc bag with the tip cut, pipe batter into the prepared donut pans and bake for 10 to 13 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let sit 5 minutes before unmolding.

Chocolate Glaze:

  • ¼ cup organic semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon organic soy, almond, or rice milk
  • ½ cup organic powdered sugar

In a double boiler melt the chocolate chips and nondairy milk together. Whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before glazing so that the glaze thickens and any powdered sugar clumps dissolve.

To assemble donuts: Dip each donut into the glaze, covering the top. Twist the donut as you remove it from the glaze to give it a nice finish and prevent dripping. Immediately sprinkle the topping onto the glaze and let set.


Infused Hair Oil Made With Dry and Fresh Herbs

Monday, August 19th, 2013

I am now wearing box braids because I needed to do something with my curls that would maintain moisture, protect it from everyday styling, and help it grow. Since I moved to the southwest my hair hasn’t been right and serious changes had to be made.

So to stop the breakage, brittleness, and to promote growth, braids were installed.

The thing is I have synthetic extensions that drink about a gallon of moisture a day. To deal with that and the itches I bought a few bottles of hair oil. The problem with that was I went through a bottle a week and the price to purchase new product started to add up. Sooo to save a little money I decided to make my own infused hair oil using dry and fresh herbs that relieve dryness and increase growth.

This is what I did.


From my garden I grabbed bunches of fresh rosemary, lavender (leaves and seeds), basil and parsley.


In my pantry I already had horsetail and chamomile.

Herbs I used to aid dry hair:

  • Chamomile
  • Horsetail
  • Lavender
  • Parsley Leaf

Herbs I used to aid hair loss:

  • Basil
  • Rosemary

There was absolutely no measuring when I made this concoction. I just grabbed a bunch here, and a bunch there, and put it all together.

It is very important to keep all herbs dry. By doing this you will avoid mold development while the herbs and oil are brewing.


After placing all of the herbs in a glass mason jar I added vitamin E oil and olive oil.






I mixed the oils and herbs with a wooden spoon.


3 drops of Thyme essential oil was added to promote hair growth.


3 drops of Ylang Ylang was added to relief dryness. Ylang Ylang can also be used for hair loss.


After all ingredients were added I placed the glass mason jar in my pantry for three weeks.


After brewing for three weeks the herbs smelled rich and wonderfully fresh – if that makes sense. While the mixture brewed I shook the bottle often to make sure everything continued to incorporate properly.


To start to strain the herbs from the oil I placed cheese cloth over a non-metal bowl.


Then I just poured the herbal mix onto the cheese cloth.


Everything strained nicely.


The oil I will use immediately and everyday is in the plastic bottle. That will last about five to seven days. The rest of the oil fit nicely in a quart size glass mason jar. The infused herb mixture can last a year but I am sure I will use it all way before then.