Friday, September 14, 2012

Curried Lentil Salad

I really like Curried Chicken Salad, and this recipe is a spin on that using lentils.  It's still hearty and filling, but a nice option for a "Meatless Monday".

-2 cups lentils, cooked and cooled (just cook according to package, usually boil for about 20 mins)
-1 medium apple, finely diced
-1/2 onion, finely diced
-2 bunches grapes (green, red, or purple), halved
-big handful of craisins
-mayonaise, and/or plain yogurt, about 3/4 cups, or just enough to evenly coat
-curry powder (just add to taste, I like it strong so I usually add a bunch)

Other add-in ideas:
-chopped walnuts
-you could even add chicken along with the lentils
-raisins in place of, or in addition to, craisins

Directions: Just combine all the ingredients, and allow to chill for just a bit so flavors settle/mix.  You can serve on top of greens as a salad, sandwiched in bread, or in a tortilla.  Last night we did ours in a wheat tortilla with greens, served with some potato chips :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fruited Spinach Salad

Tyson's company is doing another "bake-off", but this time it's more of a "cook-off" I guess because it's a side-dish contest.  Since I tied for First in the dessert competition, I have some high expectations placed on me!  The main dish is burgers, so I wanted to do something light and summery, and plus, Tyson requested this salad!  He asked what it's called, and I said, I guess "Fruited Spinach Salad".  The salad kind of adapts to the season, so since berries are still in season, I used a lot of that this time, but just use whatever you like and that is available.  Here's the details:

Ingredients:-bag of baby spinach, micro-greens, and/or arugala (I usually do a blend of spinach and arugala)
-mixed seasonal fruit: this time I did raspberries, thinly sliced strawberries, and thinly sliced nectarines....I just add enough so there's a good balance between green and the fruits (in the Fall, using apples and/or pears is good)
-two handfuls of dried cranberries (dried cherries or apricots are excellent, too)
-handful of sunflower seeds
-2 avocados, diced
-I cup crumbled Feta

Other options: add diced walnuts or almonds, add diced chicken, a little onion, any other fruits you think would be good

-equal parts balsamic, olive oil, and honey---I place the ingredients in a jar, nuke for about 10 secs., and then put lid on jar and shake.

Rinse and prep your fruits and greens.  Then place in a large bowl.  Add the dried fruit and seeds, and lightly toss the mixture.  Sprinkle the avocado and feta on top.  Prep dressing and drizzle on top.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yummy Way to Start the Day, pt. 2

There's only a few things I like to eat in the morning (the rest of the day is no problem!), so when I find something I like, it's a staple.  One of my favorite breakfasts, especially in summer, is fresh fruit drizzled with nut butter.  It sounds a little strange, but once you try it, you'll be hooked!

To make:
Just place in a bowl bite size bits of your favorite fruits.  I usually prefer a combination of banana and berries.  Grapes are good, too.  I don't know if citrus fruits would be the best, but anything you have is good...peaches, apples, whatever. 

Then you just scoop a little nut butter and drizzle on sometimes the nut butter is clumpy, so you just have to kinda stir to get it softer.  Any nut butter works.  My favorite is Hazelnut Butter, but I've only found this in Oregon and Germany, so here in AZ, I stick with Almond Butter or Peanut Butter.
***For extra energy I sometimes add some ground flax meal on top.

This is a yummy, nutritious meal, and soon to be a favorite!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

BBQ Tofu Sandwich

Tyson and I started eating less meat about a year ago, as we simply can't afford to buy organic meat all the time.  Plus I read "Fast Food Nation" and some other books I shouldn't have...

So to supplement, I started venturing into the world of tofu.  The taste is not bad, as it really just takes on the flavor of whatever you're cooking with, however the texture takes some getting used to.  Tofu Stirfry is a great way to start intoducing it, but I could only handle so much stir-fry!

So here's a recipe I kind of created:

1 pkg. extra firm tofu, water drained, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 c. BBQ sauce of your choice
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 sweet potato, sliced into 1/4 inch slices and roasted (takes about 20 mins at 375)
1 avocado, sliced
cheese of your choice, sliced
****All the toppings are just my suggestions, but you can vary/omit whatever

equal parts mustard and mayo and a tablespoon of poppyseeds


Cover slices in BBQ sauce and let rest for about 15 minutes.

Heat a non-stick pan with a little oil, and place tofu slices on at medium heat.  Cook each side about 5 minutes.

While tofu is cooking, put some sauce on the buns, and then layer the toppings.  Once tofu is done, add that to your topping-full buns, and then eat!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Oil Experiment

As I was searching for all my green-clean recipes, I kept coming across the "Oil Cleansing Method".  I was kinda curious about this, as it seems counterintuitive.  But after seeing how well the olive oil furniture polish works at not only shining but cleaning furniture, I thought there may be something to this.  You can do searches for more info, but basically the idea is that the oil dissolves the dirt and excess oil on your skin, thus cleansing you, while not stripping and drying out your skin.

Here's what you do:

Combine olive oil with castor oil in a 1:4 ratio (1 part olive, 4 parts castor).  Pour a dime-sized amount on your palm, and massage onto your face for about 10 seconds.  Then take a warm, damp cloth and massage the oil off.  You will feel a little "oily" but it's only because you're not stripping your skin like a normal cleanser would

You can stop your process here, but I also use witch-hazel as a toner, and then apply a moisturizer (I use Cetaphil cream).

Tyson and I have been using this Oil Face Wash for about two months now, and I'll be honest, we were both skeptical of it.  BUT, it works really well.  My skin doesn't feel dried out, and it does a great job of removing dirt and even make-up.

Best of all, the oils are completely organic and natural so they are better for you and the environment.  Also, a little goes a long way, so it's very cost-effective.  The bottle of Castor oil I purchased was about $9, and we are probably 1/4 into it after 2-plus months.  (and I usually have a Costco size olive oil, so just used a little of that, probably $1 worth)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Healthy-ish Oatmeal Cran-Apple Cookies

This is a recipe I've somewhat modified that I got from a Women's Health issue back in college.  It's always a hit wherever I take it.

-1/4 c. applesauce
-1/4 c. coconut oil (could also use canola/veg)
-1 c. brown sugar
-1 egg (can even just use the white)
-1/4 c. almond milk (or regular or coconut or soy)
-2 tsp. vanilla
-3 c. old-fashioned oats
-1 c. whole wheat flour
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 t. nutmeg
-1/4 t. baking soda
-1 c. dried cranberries
-1 medium size apple, skin removed and diced


Oven to 350. 

Combine applesauce, oil and sugar.  Add egg, milk, vanilla.  Stir in oats, flour, spices, and soda.  Then add cranberries and apple.

Drop onto non-stick pan, and bake about 12-15 minutes.

Optional icing to drizzle on top:
Soften 3 tablespoons cream cheese.  Add 1 cup powdered sugar and about 2 tsp. milk.  Blend.  Add more milk if it's too thick, more sugar if it's too runny.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Raspberry Cream Cheese French Toast

-half a loaf of French bread, cut/torn into cubes (mine were about 1")
-2 cups frozen raspberries
-4 T. cream cheese
-4 eggs
-3egg whites
-1/2 c. milk
-1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350; grease 8" square pan.  Place bread chunks in bottom of pan, and sprinkle the berries over.  Put little dollops of the cream cheese throughout.  Beat the eggs, whites, milk, and vanilla.  Then pour over the bread and berries to coat well.  Bake for about 20-25 mins.

****You can also make this the night before and just kinda stir everything around in the morning as the egss mixture will settle at the bottom.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Birthday Carrot Cake

I'm not ashamed to admit, I made myself a cake for my birthday.  Some might question why I didn't let my husband make it, but if you've heard of the "Tortuna" then you'd know why....

I found a recipe for Carrot Cake (my fave) on Food Network's site, under Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa).

I did not healthify anything--it was my birthday after all!--- although I did use coconut oil in place of vegetable oil.  The only other change I made was I added a layer of apricot jam in the middle (carrot cake is so much better with this little surprise!). 

No, that is not my chubby little hand

Mads is starting off early: going straight for frosting, just like momma!

Monday, June 4, 2012


For those of you who know me, you know I like oatmeal a lot.  For those of you who know me really well, you'll know I eat my oatmeal items cold----I can't stand hot oatmeal, don't ask why!  I try to eat it more mornings than not, so I try to mix up the flavors.  Here's some that I make; I simply stir in the ingredients into plain, cooked, old-fashioned oats. I also usually add a spoonful of ground flaxseed with all the varieties.  ( I always make mine the night before and refrigerate for the next morning so it's cold.) 

Apple Cinnamon:Stir in unsweetened applesauce and a dash of cinnamon.  Sometimes I add diced apple too.

Stir in chopped, dried apricots, a little coconut (sweetened or unsweetened), and a spoonful of almond or peanut butter.

Berry Nutty:
Stir in a handful of berries and a spoonful of almond or peanut butter. 

Banana Nut:
Stir in mashed banana and chopped walnuts.

Peanut Butter Banana:
Stir in mashed banana and peanut butter.  Can even add coconut.

Pumpkin Pie:
Stir in pureed pumpkin, cinnamon, and a little honey.  I usually add a splash of cream/milk (or even whip cream if it's the holidays).  Good with chopped walnuts, too.

My Favorite:
Stir in dried cranberries, scoop of peanut butter, and a handful of coconut.

Stir in diced apricots and a spoonful of Nutella.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

I heard of this on some running website, and to be honest, I was a little skeptical (I don't really like my desserts being messed with!).  But after trying recipes that incorporate garbanzo beans and noting how moist and dense the beans make the recipe, I figured I'd give it a try.  Here's what you do:

One can black beans (I used "no salt added" can)
One package of your fave brownie mix (I used Girhadelli's Dark Chocolate brownies)

Put the can's entire contents (liquid and all) into a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Then stir this in with the brownie mix until well combined.

Follow the brownie box's baking directions (and if you're like me, slightly undercook so they're gooey).

Let cool, and then enjoy a healthier alternative.  You can tell that it's slightly different, but I think they're pretty good!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kid's Placemat

An easy do-it-yourself project: an educational placemat.  The idea came to me because I wanted more ways to expose Madeline to the alphabet and numbers.  So I went to the Dollar Tree and picked up construction paper, stickers, cut-out prints, and the key item: contact paper (which by the way is a pain to work with!).

I made a two-sided mat: alphabet on one side and numbers on the other.  The other great thing is you can use dry-erase markers on it, so if you want to just use to practice writing numbers it works for that, too.  The really great thing is this is super cheap, and it will be a great, rainy-day project for Mads when she gets older and can create her own. 
Note the perfect Spalding print

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Had seen on Pinterest a monogram made of corks and thought it was cool.  And my brother in law hooked me up with a huge bag of corks.  So voila!

I made a cardboard cut-out of "G" for Glock, and then used a crap-ton of hot glue.  Then to fill in little nooks I used some mossy stuff.  First attempt was okay.  My glue gun was not on its best behavior so I think next time it'll turn out a little better.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Granola Bars

My friend Chelsea gave me a great granola bar recipe.  It was already healthy, but I healthified it even more. 

Here's my version
1/4 c. applesauce
1/3 c. agave syrup
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/ c. brown sugar
3 1/2 c. oats
1/3 c. cranberries
handful of coconut flakes

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes....longer you bake the crunchier the bar.  I like mine chewy, so I usually bake for 15.

Here's the original recipe which is super good too:

Granola bars:
1 egg
1/3 c. agave syrup
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 tbsp. oil (I've used applesauce in place of oil sometimes too)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 1/2 c. oats
1/3 c. choc chips

Same baking time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Apricot-Coconut Bites

Inspired by a recipe on the afore-mentioned site "Chocolate Covered Katie", I created these yummy, gluten-free and vegan (for those who are on restricted diets) treats.

-2/3 cups dried apricots
-3 T. almonds (or really any nut; I used a combo of cashews and almond)
-1 tsp. coconut oil, optional
-coconut flakes, optional

Blend everything in food processor to combine.  You want it to be a consistency that you can shape into balls, so if not sticky enough add more dried fruit.  Roll into bite size balls, and then roll in the coconut if you like.  And then eat!

The recipe I was adapting from uses dates, not apricots.  That was good, but a little too sweet for me.  Apricots are a little less sweet.  I think you could really use any dried fruit, or even a combo.  And same with nuts.  I think these would be good with a combination of any nuts....maybe even salted to give a sweet-salty kick.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bath Salts and Body Scrub

With a birthday coming up (I won't name who in case she's reading this!) and Mother's Day, I decided to craft a couple items. 

The first was Bath Salts.  Super Simple.  Got it from Martha, who is usually over the top, so was excited when this was a very easy "recipe":

Homemade Bath Salts

In a large bowl, mix to combine: 6 parts coarse sea salt; 3 parts epsom salts, to soothe tired muscles and reduce inflammation; and 1 part baking soda, to soften waters and alleviate skin irritation. Add a few drops of essential oils (I used peppermint and rosemary).

I used old spice jars since I wanted a nice size for a gift.  I then added a cute label and some ribbon.  I even glued on a button for extra fun :)

Next I made Brown Sugar Body Scrub.  Again, very simple, and it makes your skin feel nice.  Just use once a week or so as an exfoliator.  Can even use on face.  And you can even eat it :)

Brown Sugar Body Scrub
Mix together one part brown sugar and one part white sugar.  Add a drop of vanilla.  Add enough oil (I used mix of canola and olive, but can use whatever) to lubricate....You want to add just enough for it to come together as you stir.  (over time the oil will separate, but just stir it back together)

I used an old jelly jar, again applied a cute sticker, clued on a little fabric on top, and tied ribbon around.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fig and Goat Cheese Panini

I saw a recipe for camelized onion, fig and goat cheese sandwiches, which sounded so good.  So I put my easier spin on it.

Ingredients (serves two):
-1 small onion
-4 slices bread
-2 Tbsp. fig jam (really any fruit spread would probably work)
-handful of mixed greens
-2 Tbsp. goat cheese

Step one: Slice onions and put into saute pan with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Saute until they carmelize.

Step two: While onions are carmelizing, spread goat cheese onto two of the bread slices.  On the other two slices, spread the fig jam.  Top fig spread with a little of the greens. 

Step three: Place carmelized onions on side with cheese.  Put two halves together, to form two sandwiches.  Place in Panini press for about 5 minutes.  And Enjoy.

***if you don't have panini press, you could just toast bread ahead of time, or you can place in oven for a few minutes to get cheese melty.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Eggs for Dinner

I found a great deal on organic eggs the other day, so I stocked up.  Since it's been so hot, I haven't wanted to bake.  Eggs for dinner it was.

Here's what I did.

Step one: Saute any veggies you have on hand.  I did mushrooms, green pepper, onion, and greens from the garden (yes my turnips and beets keep going crazy with greens!).  I added a little garlic, lemon pepper, and italian seasoning for flavor.  Spread this mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  Preheat oven to 350.

Step two: Beat eggs.  I did 6 whole eggs and 4 whites.  I added a splash of milk, too.  To make it kinda quiche-like I added about 1/2 cup of cottage cheese (but not necessary). 

Step three: Pour eggs over veggies, and bake for about 35-45 minutes.

***Could definitely add cheese if you want.
***Could also just do this stove-top style.  Just pour eggs into your saute pan with veggies and scramble.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Madeline's Party

It's taken me awhile to post about some of the "creations" I made for Madeline's 2nd Birthday: Peter Rabbit Garden Party. 

I looked all over the web for cute Peter Rabbit invitations.  All I could find were either just generic invites or customized ones that would have been $100 (sorry Madeline for being cheap).  So I used VistaPrint to create my own, borrowing from ideas I saw.

Sorry, not techie enough to figure out how to rotate this!

I was attempting to make tissue-paper "fairy balls", but mine didn't look right, so they became tissue paper flowers:

For fun eatery, I had found on a Family Fun webiste how to make "carrots" that are actually green eating utensils-plastic fork, spoon, knife- wrapped inside an orange napkin.  You then tie a little green pipe-cleaner for effect:

 Party Favors:
 I found mini, clay flower pots at Dollar Tree.  Since it was close to Easter, I placed seeds in a plastic egg, used a popsicle stick as a plant marker, and then topped off the girls' pots with a felt flower clip.  I also wrote the kids' names on the pots using awesome 90's puff paint.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Must Try

So this post is not really about my "creations", but rather to tell you to try someone else's.  I've been telling everyone I see about the wonderful treats I've been making using the recipes on this blog: Chocolate Covered Katie

Oh my goodness, I've only made a couple of her recipes, but they have both been so good.  Her recipes taste like they would be fattening, but they're not.  They're actually very healthy.  My favorite is "Cinnamone Roll Pie".  It's like a coffee cake, but you use beans rather than flour.  It's soooo good (the recipe sounds weird, but trust me when I say you won't be disappointed.)  I even left off the icing, just to reduce the amount of sugar, and it was still heavenly.  Here's the link to the recipe:

So if you are looking for healthy snacks/treats, try her blog out.  I'm a fan!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lavender-Rosemary Lemonade

My mother-in-law is a great cook, and she makes the BEST lemon drops, as they are infused with rosemary.  This cocktail inspired my afternoon refreshment (don't worry, I wasn't drinking on the job).  I made a (alcohol-free) Lavender-Rosemary Lemonade, as I just planted said herbs yesterday and was blessed with lemons from a friend's tree. 

Step one: Put 2 or 3 sprigs of rosemary and/or lavender in a sauce pan, along with two cups of water and about half cup sugar (I used a combination of agave surup and raw sugar).  Simmer for awhile...I think I left it on the stove for about 1 hour.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Step two:  Juice about 4 or 5 lemons.  And combine this with your infused water (take the sprigs out at this point, too). 

Step three:  Add some ice and enjoy.  If you need it sweeter, add sugar.  If it's too strong, add a little water.  If you want a "fun drink", I'd suggest adding Vodka :)  or Gin :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I LOVE popcorn.  And it's great that I do, as air-popped popcorn is a yummy, preservative-free snack (or dinner when Tyson's gone).  Madeline is following the generational trend--Grandma, mom, daughter--and loves it, too.  Tonight, since Tyson was gone, Madeline and I had a little popcorn feast.  We started out with a savory popcorn and ended on a newly-created sweet note.  It was delicious, and we ate carrots to make it a more "balanced" meal.

First Course: Olive Oil and Salted Popcorn
I used my air-popper and popped a big bowl's worth.  While it was popping, I heated about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  I drizzled this over the popcorn, then sprinkled some sea salt on top, and stirred it around.  Delicious.

Second Course: Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn
Then I was craving a little sweet something and thought cinnamon and sugar would be yummy on popcorn---it was!  Again, I used my air-popper and popped more kernels (I actually used the leftover kernels from the first batch, so as not to be wasteful).  While it was popping I mixed a little raw sugar with cinnamon and melted about 1 tablespoon butter.  I drizzled the butter, sprinkled the sugar and cinnamon, and stirred.  This was SO good.  I don't know why I've never tried this before!  It was reminiscent of kettle corn and so easy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homemade Deoderant

At first I thought this might make me a little too "hippie", using homemade deoderant, but manufactured ones are full of chemicals which cause yellow pit stains.  And since I live in AZ, I sweat a lot; needless to say, I want to avoid the pit stains, plus just the chemicals in general.

Here's the ingredients:

2-3 Tbsp Coconut Oil (I found this on Amazon; I'm sure Whole Foods and TJ's has it, too)
1/8 Cup Baking Soda
1/8 Cup Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch
***I doubled the recipe since I didn't have a 1/8 measuring cup!

Natures Way Coconut Oil-extra Virgin
Coconut Oil I ordered on Amazon.  $9.  Will go a long way.

Warm the coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or just until it liquifies.  Then mix the soda and the cornstarch together and slowly add the coconut oil until it forms a thick paste. 

So I did this, and after it formed the paste it kinda solidified.  But then once you touch it, it softens up, and you can spread it on.  So I kinda spread it like lotion.  I'm sure you could make this in a push-up form and use it more like normal deoderant.  I've been storing mine in just a glass, jam jar. 

Now, you could add any essential oil drops to make it smell the way you want.  I happen to like the coconutty's not strong....but I really don't like scented deoderant in the first place. 

I've been "testing" this deoderant for about 2 weeks, and I think it works great---the same, if not better, than store bought.  It's not super hot yet, so time may tell, but I think I will be sticking with this.  Not only is it better for myself and the environment, but it's also cheaper. Win. Win. Win.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Thanksgiving" in March

Turnip Greens
Tukey Burgers

In cleaning out my pantry, I found a can of cranberry sauce leftover from Thanksgiving.  I thought I should probably use that, and then I remembered a "creation" I had made a while ago and hadn't re-created.  It's a cream cheese filled turkey burger topped with cranberry sauce.   I served this with roasted, diced sweet potatoes and garlic sauteed turnip greens (as my garden is over-flowing with them).  It was like Thanksgiving all over again----but much simpler!

Turkey Burger Recipe:
1 lb. ground turkey
pinch of sage
pinch of salt and pepper
1 clove garlic
1/4 c. finely diced onion

4 T. cream cheese
cranberry sauce (canned, homemade, whatever you like)

Combine everything, minus the cream cheese and cranberry sauce.  Shape into four patties.  When you're forming the patties, leave a little "pocket", and put about one tablespoon of cream cheese in each patty.  Cover the pocket with the meat, so it's enclosed (if a little seeps out it's ok).  Cook the burgers on the grill or stove top griddle.....Mine took probably 8 mins. each side on a medium heat.  I then topped each burger with some cranberry sauce....I did no bun, but you could definitely serve this on a bun, and it'd be delicious!
***To make this even simpler, you could simply put the cream cheese on top of the burger right before it's done cooking, rather than creating the pocket.

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Way to Start the Day

So for the past couple months Tyson, Mads, and I have been snacking on what I call "Energy Balls" (Tyson, the pre-teen apparently, laughs at the name every time).  I will post the recipe in a bit because they are so good.  I had an idea where I could turn it into breakfast.  Here's what I did:

1.  Prep plain oatmeal (instant, microwave, stovetop, whatever), as much as you want.
2.  Add a dollop of peanut butter.
3.  Add a little coconut.
4.  Add some cranberries.
5.  Drizzle with agave syrup or honey.

This is really yummy. And healthy.  And energizing.  I will be eating this on my running days!

Green Clean "Recipes"

All-Purpose Cleaner:
Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water.  Store in spray bottle.

Glass Cleaner:
1 c. rubbing alcohol
1 c. water
1 T. vinegar
Store in spray bottle

Carpet Freshener:
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to baking soda.  Sprinkle on carpets, and let rest for a couple minutes.  Then vacuum.

Dishwasher Detergent:
1 c. baking soda
1 c. Borax
Store in sealed container.  Use a couple tablespoons, and use vinegar as "jet dry" to help prevent residue.

Dish Soap:
2 cups of Castile soap
1 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar
1/2 cup of warm water
Pour all ingredients into a cleaned out old dish soap bottle and shake until well combined. Give it another good shake before each use. The lemon juice or vinegar helps cut through the grease on your dishes.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Citrus Fruit Dip

For the ladies coming over tonight I'm hosting with Fiesta-inspired snacks, including guacamole, mango salsa, layered bean dip, and coronas :)  I wanted a sweet treat, and I love making a "Margarita" Fruit dip.  The Easy (for non-phx people, that's my fave store Fresh and Easy) doesn't sell limeade, so that was out.  But I "created" a new dip.  Here's the recipe:

-8 oz. cream cheese softened (or I used neufchatel this time)
-a tub of cool whip, thawed (would work with homemade whip cream, too)
-2 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed

Combine all the ingredients, and then top with a little orange zest if you have it on hand.  To make the original "Margarita" Dip, it's the exact same except you subsitute limeade concentrate for the OJ concentrate. 

Tonight I'm serving the dip with some lemon pound cake, grapes, and honey-wheat pretzels (I personally like the sweet and salty combo).  In the past I've done strawberries, bananas, and mango.  Just use what you have on hand or is in season.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Yogurt Drops

Saw this on Pinterest (where else!) and decided to give it a try yesterday.  You know those popular "yogurt drops" you find in the store; well half of them are filled with crap and the other half, which are actually good, are kinda spendy.  But, you can easily make your own.  Buy some yogurt (whatever brand you like to feed your self or child) and spoon some into a ziploc baggie.  Cut off the tip of the baggie so you can "squeeze" out the yogurt.  I lined a pan with parchment paper, and then squeezed out little drops.  I probably did about 30 with half a cup of yogurt.  Stick it in the freezer for 1 hour, and voila, homemade yogurt drops.  They're really good cold because they taste like frozen yogurt.  I'm storing mine in the freezer as Madeline liked them that way, too.  Seriously, this took all of 5 minutes to do, minus the freezing time.  Try it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Furniture Polish

On Friday I'm hosting an "event" in which I'm going to show some friends how to make their own cleaning products.  I planned the event about a month ago, and in the meantime, I've been "testing" the products.  All of them work great, although I do plan to tweak the liquid dish soap recipe a little.  One product I hadn't tried yet, but just tried yesterday, was home-made furniture polish.  You just need three things: a spray bottle, some olive oil, and some lemon juice.  Since we live in AZ, lemons are all over the place right now, and Tyson brought some home from work.  So I just squeezed one medium size lemon to get 1/4 cup, and then I added 1/2 cup olive oil.  Ta-da.  I was so impressed with the shine factor.  This is my favorite "cleaner" I've made so far.  You can make as little or as much as you want.  I started with a little just to see how it works.  As long as you keep the proper ratio-1 part lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil- it'll be perfect.