Lemon Lavender Sugar Scrub

Lemon Lavender Sugar Scrub

Since last Friday, I’ve been testing a new line of protein powders from Sunwarrior and it’s really been a great experience to concentrate so diligently on everything that I put in my mouth each day.  I guess it’s put me into a self-centered spot and today I’m sharing another find for taking good care of yourself.  My detailed record of the meal replacement adventures will come next week but for now….some simple skin care to  make up at home for pennies.                

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Win $100 In International Shipping Across the Globe – plus Roasted Chestnut Orange Maple Butter

Win $100 In International Shipping Across the Globe – plus Roasted Chestnut Orange Maple Butter

So why is a food blog offering a package shipping giveaway?  Here’s why –  All my readers can receive 74% cheaper than standard DHL shipping when using TransWorthy’s shipping! You don’t have to wait in line at the post office.  This time of year that’s well worth its weight in gold! You just scheduled your pick up from home or office and your package is picked up right at your door…awesome! Who is TransWorthy? TransWorthy is a worldwide shipping advisor that receives DHL discounted pricing which they then pass on to you. We’re talking 74% of savings on your shipping costs! TransWorthy’s system offers the following benefits: Ability to track your shipment on the DHL website Convenient payment on their site No waiting in lines (such a drag around the Holidays in particular!) One of my readers will win $100 in shipping credits from TransWorthy.   Yes, this is an odd mix for me but the thoughts of being able to award some lucky winner with a big help for the holidays was too much to pass by.  The credit never expires and does not need to be used in one shipment.  Just use it up as needed for shipping gifts…

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Fifteen Minute Cranberry Christmas Jam

Fifteen Minute Cranberry Christmas Jam

  Who says the Holiday meal has to be an unhealthy splurge that packs on the pounds?   Scientific studies have shown that consumption of cranberries have potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. Fresh cranberries can be stored inside the refrigerator for several days. Sort out any discolored, soft, shriveled or sticky fruits before storing. They have a very short shelf life if kept at room temperature. Cranberries are also good source of many vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, ß-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and folate and minerals like potassium, and manganese. What a wonderful gift a jar of this deliciously healthy jam would make, eh? ♥

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Strawberry Candied Tomato Chia Jam

Strawberry Candied Tomato Chia Jam

For those of you who’ve had the opportunity to enjoy a big, fresh Strawberry Pecan Salad drenched in Raspberry or Strawberry Vinaigrette…this jam is for you.  Don’t wince.  Don’t turn away and close the page quite yet.  You’ll be making this jam for your own kitchen as soon as possible…I hope for your sake.      I myself just love a good contrast of flavors in my foods.  And this jam has something for everyone.  Sweet and smooth, when served warm on top of, well most baked goods that I can think of, it will compliment and wow you. The softest of background flavors from a dash of Balsamic Vinegar pumps up the acid in the Cherry Tomatoes…just in case the bite was swallowed up by your fresh, plump Strawberries.  If you’d like, you could even through in a pinch of Cayenne.  I wouldn’t mind at all but I thought I would present at least one recipe this year without ‘spicy’ in the recipe list.  But it would go well if I do say so softly here.   Tomatoes in jam? Yes. Doesn’t it taste like sweet Spaghetti sauce? No.   Sweet Cherry Tomatoes blend with the sugar and Strawberries…

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A Cruelty Free Holiday – Vegan Holiday Basics

A Cruelty Free Holiday – Vegan Holiday Basics

 What would the holiday season be like without our favorite family traditional foods?  That’s what it’s really all about isn’t it?  Finding time with our loved ones to talk and enjoy the foods we grew up loving and savoring for the fall?  My Mom has the most beautiful set of China that only sees the light of day on 2 days each year.  Thanksgiving and Christmas need to have a special menu for those times together.  Special for all.  These basic dishes I’ve put together have all the flavors of fall without the cruelty and expense of slaughter.  Baked, buttery potatoes.  Creamy Slaw salads.  Flakey crusts dripping with piping hot berries in syrup.  Why bring animals into that mix when the food is so fine without them?    Take a look:   Sliced Red and Sweet Potatoes with a touch of Sweet Peppers.   Adapted from a family tradition from both my husband and mine’s youth, it bakes up in minutes, has endless variations for veggies and will last the week while you rest your feet and enjoy your guests.  Christmas Rice – Wild Rice with Spinach and Pomegranates    Brussels Sprouts with Radicchio in a Brown Mustard Orange Glaze  …

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Spiced Carrot Cookies

Spiced Carrot Cookies

I’ve been juice, juice juicing this month.  What do you get when you juice?  Pulp!  And more pulp. I can’t handle buying beautiful, organic fruits and veggies and throwing away any little part of them.  So saving my pulp has produced a lovely little Spiced Carrot Cookie.   They’re Vegan, Gluten-free, with Refined Sugar Free options. Read on!  Read on!  Carrots and Orange is a nice, simple combination for juicing.  Mildly sweet.  Very healthy.  Relatively inexpensive.  Very quick! Just 3 or 4 carrots is plenty for a large juice glass.  And an Orange or two will round out the flavors.  The carrots will yield a cup or more of pulp for your cookies.  I don’t have a ‘juicer’ so I just blend the chopped carrots in a high speed blender and then strain the juice out through a fine mesh strainer.  Try to leave your pulp for an hour or so to remove as much liquid as possible.  I put my stainer over a deep bowl.  I squeeze a lot of the juices out with the back of a large spoon and then leave the bowl in the fridge so the pulp can drip through the strainer for a while without wasting…

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Wild Raspberry Jam

Wild Raspberry Jam

This post is featured in the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck week 4 Last weekend, we went up to Gettysburg Pennsylvania for the day.  Thank goodness we happened to be in the town Arts Building because one of their volunteers just happened to have picked 4 quarts of wild raspberries that morning from a field near their farm.  Totally organic, naturally growing gorgeous raspberries!  When I saw her coming in the doorway with them all, she was looking for a place to set them out to sell.  I immediately asked how much?  $1.50 per Pint.  I said, “Excuse Me?”  I knew very well that any major grocery store right now was selling 1/2 pints of non-organic raspberries for twice that price. “I’ll take 2!” I told her and grabbed my husband, who loves raspberries almost as much as I, and got a $5 bill.  I told her to keep the change and walked away grinning from ear to ear to show him my fabulous find!   At the end of the event, the woman hadn’t sold the other Pints and asked me if we’d take them for free?  UH, Duh ?  So we came home with a boat load of the most…

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Vegan Blueberry ‘Pit’ Pie – gluten-free

Vegan Blueberry ‘Pit’ Pie – gluten-free

     Some days I get lucky and mix together just the right amount of this and add just the right pinch of that I it all works.  Last month, late one night actually, the recipe gods blessed me with just such an event in creating this ‘Pit’ pie.  The pit was created in a need to top the pie with a luscious blueberry jam I made up.  Not knowing how this whole mixture was going to cook up, I used a rather small 8″ foil pie pan for the bottom and when it baked, the whole baby was filled to the top and then some, yikes!   I had nothing else to do but start spooning out a section of the center of the baked pie so I could add my topping on.  The topping was the whole reason I wanted the pie to begin with.  Fresh, plump blueberries, just waiting to be sugared up into a smooth, gooey spread.  I actually could have just eaten the jam by itself but that would have been unfair to my rather plain and needy baked pie.  And it really would have looked a little suspicious standing in the kitchen on a Saturday…

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Sweet & Spicy Whole Grain Brown Mustard Sauce

Sweet & Spicy Whole Grain Brown Mustard Sauce

The first time I made my own homemade batch of spicy mustard I was kinda amazed; first I was amazed at how easy it was, secondly, I fell in love with the bold taste of the brown mustard seeds.  I’ve always been much more of a mustard girl than ketchup, whatever the dish.  When I found out that I could mix up a specialized blend of my own mustard for just pennies I was more than thrilled.  I’ve used the base for this dip over the past 2 years to make dressings, sauces, vinaigrettes.  If you don’t have an Asian grocery where you live where you can purchase inexpensive mustard seeds you can purchase brown mustard seeds on-line.  I’m sure the recipe would work fine with yellow mustard seeds as well, just wont be as strong.   ♥

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Onion Oat Loaf with Red Pepper Olive Oil

Onion Oat Loaf with Red Pepper Olive Oil

This past weekend, we were out shopping and stopped in to check out an Olive Oil and Vinegar infusing specialty store.  It was beyond expensive and I didn’t think of purchasing anything they had (except for a cute little olive plate for $8 I couldn’t resist) but I did get my mind racing on making my own versions of some oils and vinegars.  Most of them need to rest for weeks to reach their peak flavors.  I’ll save those details for a future posting but I couldn’t resist trying out an old favorite, oil and red pepper flakes, with a new bread recipe today.   In a former life, I was on the road for work nearly 10 days every month and I’ll never forget one stressful Italian dinner with my bosses.  We had been sitting in meetings all day and then finally, after 8pm,  got around to getting out to eat something.  The restaurant was packed.  We were all tired and the wait staff couldn’t have been less attentive.  But our long stressed evening did have one high point, for me at least.  One of the managers with us was obviously a native New Yorker familiar with Italian traditions.…

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Rosemary Grape Jam

Rosemary Grape Jam

1 year ago – Jalapeño Salt   I’ve made a many, many fruit jams over the years.  This one is a little bit special. It is the first ‘grape’ jam I’ve ever made.  Cooked up out of an abundance of fresh grapes we got last week and a few hours of boredom last weekend.  This jam is just delicious.  It has a fancy background taste with the rosemary but is simply perfect with your basic PB & J. Fresh grapes, a little sugar and water.  Simmer for 30 minutes and drop in a few sprigs of rosemary. It took just 30 minutes on the stove top and another 30 to cool off.  Thinned down with a little maple syrup, it would be a wonderful warm syrup for pancakes or waffles.  The grape skins keep it on the thick side so it works well warmed or chilled. The touch of rosemary gives this jam the slightest accent of herbs.   If you don’t say what’s in it, your guests will most likely not be able to know why the grapes seem a little more adult than a jar of Welch’s Print Rosemary Concord Grape Jam Author: Angela @ Canned-Time.com Recipe type: Condiment Prep time: …

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Homemade Natural Face Bronzer

One year ago: Homegrown Green Onions   Last year I glanced at a Facebook update that suggested making a face powder from cinnamon and cocoa.  I gave it a try and it is ….well, not life changing, but money saving and simple.  In just a few minutes, with a couple items from your kitchen, you can mix up a perfect color for your face with no animal testing, no yucky additives, no fancy expensive containers.  Its great ♥ Get yourself a clean container for storing your personalized bronzer mix.  I use a deep glass jar that seals tight for travel and allows me to shake off the extra powder inside the jar to minimize the mess.  Then start experimenting with your skin.  A little cinnamon, a little cocoa powder.  You can also add in some talc if you’d like but I’ve never bothered.  Test a spot or two on the top of your hand and add a little more cocoa for more tan, more cinnamon for a sun kissed look. When I get the color combination best for my face, I pour the spicy mix into my jar with a funnel.  Seal it up and your done! Be sure to…

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Homegrown Fresh Mint Tea

Homegrown Fresh Mint Tea

 If you’ve ever tried growing your own mint in the yard or in a pot…you know for sure that it likes to spread, and spread.  This innocent little fresh herb can double and triple in size over just a few weeks without much care.  I started this plant in May.  I put it in a pot so that I could keep it under toe with some restraint.  I didn’t want to end up with a Mint Lawn! I’ve cut it back probably 5 or 6 times since then and it’s still growing strong in my office window.  It enjoys the morning sun from dawn until about 11am and after that the room is cozy warm.  Mint heaven.    If you’re at all stingy  frugal like me, you can’t bear to take the time to make something and then just throw it out when it’s too much to use up.  So I made up my mind I would find ways to use up my mint.   I do love Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream 🙂  But my husband doesn’t and even so, a whole gallon will only use up a small bunch of Mint. I needed something that would last through…

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Crystallized Ginger Candy & Ginger Pear Tea

Crystallized Ginger Candy & Ginger Pear Tea

  A funny thing happened to me when I ventured into making my own homemade crystallized ginger candy this week. I discovered Ginger Pear Tea ♥   This candy is simple to make.  Just slice up some fresh ginger into thin strips, boil it for 30 minutes, add sugar, dehydrate, eat!  A wonderful thing happens  when you pour off the liquid you’ve been softening up the ginger in.  It makes a fantastic tea.  I had yet another overly ripened pear again so I added some juice from the pear  in with the ginger water.  Add a little stevia and BOOM! A spicy rich tea that is even good for you.  Between the candy and the tea I am loving my ginger this week!  I purchased a small 4 oz. jar of crystallized ginger last month from Pensey’s and nibbled away at a little each day.  At $4 I felt the need to conserve my cravings no matter how deliciously healthy the bits were.  But now its all mine at only pennies per cup.  Its ginger all around and as much as I’d like.  I love the spicy sweet and the chewy texture of the candy.  The tea gives it’s own…

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30 Minute Peach & Yellow Plum Jam

30 Minute Peach & Yellow Plum Jam

This is the simplest jam I’ve ever made.  Probably the most tasty too! It cooked up in 30 minutes on the stove top and thickened perfectly…without any pectin to boot.  Love saving money any where I can.  Plus it’s just fruit and a pinch of cinnamon and a  pinch of Agar flakes.  Works great. First thing to make sure of when you’re cooking up jams or preserves is that the fruit is organic and ripe.  I mean really ripe. The flavor comes from the sugars in the fruit and if it aint ripe it aint sweet.  Keep your fruit out of the fridge and in a warm place for a few days prior to cooking up your jam if possible.  I leave mine in my car window inside a paper bag for a day and that usually helps. If your fruit is ripe enough, you really shouldn’t need to add additional sugar to the batch.  Keep it simple. The Agar flakes will thicken the juices just enough to make any liquids left after reducing gel up.  30 minutes and your done! If you haven’t made jams before, this is a perfect recipe to begin with so you can get some…

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Vegan Slow Cooker Onion Focaccia Bread with Peach & Plum Jam

 Everything in one bite. Some wives dream of great adventure when their husbands are away for the weekend and they’ve nothing but time on their hands.  Me?  I just want time in the kitchen to cook up some fresh fruits and veggies…..yea, I’m that kind of agoraphobic domestic  now days.  Only glitch was that it’s been horrifically hot here for over a week and after working outside all week, even I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen. So I didn’t. Enter Slow Cooker Onion Focaccia Bread with Fresh Peach & Plum Jam for my solo dinner….   Summer produce is so delicious eaten fresh and ripe. But sometimes you just have to help Mother Nature along a bit and kick things up a notch. When I saw these fresh fruits and veggies at an Orchard nearby yesterday….I could have bought twice as much and twice the varieties.  They really had some beautiful stuff.  You got to love the grocery store for giving us stuff year round….but there really is a huge difference buying locally grown produce that you trust and know has been picked just that day.  In fact, while I was at the Orchard, the workers were bringing in…

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Homemade Brown Sugar – 2 ingredients – 5 minutes

Homemade Brown Sugar – 2 ingredients – 5 minutes

I don’t use a lot of Brown Sugar and I’ve always had trouble keeping it from getting rock hard. So this homemade version will really work out nicely for me. I can make it up fresh for a recipe even! Ready for the big recipe?  It’s a tough one…….. 1 cup of Sugar mixed with 1 Tbs. of Molasses. Once you’ve poured in your Molasses just stir the sugar with a fork (or your hands to speed things up) until the molasses has blended into the sugar and the texture begins to resemble the brown sugar you’ve always used.  With one big exception:  this sugar will be light and fluffy and moist – not a big hard block that is hard to measure and even more difficult to eat!   If you’d like an even stronger taste, darker brown sugar, add in a little more molasses.  If you’re not used to making brown sugar at home I would suggest you wait until you’ve made the first batch before adding in more molasses though so you don’t make it up too strong and then ruin your batch. The brown sugar will store just like store bought in a tight container.  I…

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Homemade Fried Tofu, Fresh Veggies & Trader Joe’s Fried Rice

Homemade Fried Tofu, Fresh Veggies & Trader Joe’s Fried Rice

Last spring, I fell in love with Trader Joe’s Japanese Style Frozen Fried Rice.  Convenient, inexpensive & full of healthy ingredients. I also love how the Trader Joe’s website allows you to search for product by category.   No Gluten Vegan Vegetarian Fat Free Quick Meal Kosher Sodium Just click on the category that you’re looking for and you’ll see all their products listed by subcategory:   Cakes, drinks, Grains, Cooking Supplies, Etc.                                                                4 Full pages of  “Vegan” products!    🙂  We like that !!! For quick and easy ‘Vegan’ fried Tofu: 1 Package of Super Firm Tofu, drained and pressed ( I used paper towels to soak up more liquid) Oil for frying 2 Cups of Panko style Bread Crumbs 3 Tbs. of Ground Flax Seed mixed with 9 Tbs. of Water Garlic Powder, Sea Salt & Crushed Red Pepper Remove as much liquid from the tofu as possible and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Mix 1 tsp. each Garlic Powder, Sea Salt & Red Pepper into the…

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Spiced Wild Orange Sugar Body Scrub

Spiced Wild Orange Sugar Body Scrub

I recently purchased some yummy ‘wild orange’ essential oils and thought it would make a great scent for some homemade sugar scrub Sugar body scrubs are inexpensive when you make them yourself and do wonders for exfoliating dry winter skin. They mix up in minutes.  And make a great gift as well. The wild orange essential oil I used was perfectly sweet and really lingers after using the scrub, YUM! Spiced Wild Orange Sugar Body Scrub Combine equal parts Sugar (Brown or Raw) and Olive Oil, Grapeseed or Almond Oil.  I made up 2 cups worth for this batch. Add in about a tsp. of Cinnamon for spice. Add in 20 drops of Orange Oil for each 2 cups of scrub, more for stronger scent. Stir together ingredients and store in a sealed container, preferably glass. Stir as needed.  Apply a small amount to skin with wet hands and scrub gently to remove dead skin. Rinse and pat dry.  May be used 2 – 3 times per week safely. Don’t have any brown sugar? Here’s a wonderful way to make some homemade Brown Sugar and always have fresh on hand at home: If you’d like to try out the ‘wild…

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Mom’s Stove Top Sliced Potatoes with Onion

Mom’s Stove Top Sliced Potatoes with Onion

When our Thanksgiving this year did not include my Mom’s traditional dinner……….., the one I’ve eaten annually for 4 decades,  I started having cravings for traditional dishes that always reduce stress, are always inexpensive, and relatively easy to fix. My Mom’s sliced potatoes with onion recipe fit the bill for our weekend at home. The weather is turning colder and it’s time to enjoy some home cooked meals. Mom’s Sliced Potatoes with Onion:                                         1.   Slice 8 – 10 White Potatoes into 1/4  inch slices.   2.  Store sliced potatoes in an ice water bath for 1 hour (to reduce browning and starch)  3.  Slice 2 medium onions into slices or dice.   4.  In a large fry pan, arrange alternating layers of drained, dried potato slices and onions.  5.  Season each layer with salt and pepper.  6.  Place about 4 Tbs. of vegetable spread or Olive Oil onto the top layer.               7.  Cover pan allowing a vent for steam to release and cook potatoes on medium- low heat for approximately 30 minutes…

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Penna Gourmet Olive Home Processing Review

Penna Gourmet Olive Home Processing Review

I was asked by Penna Gourmet Olives to review the home curing process for fresh olives and see how I liked the ease and flavor of home cured olives. So far, the process could not have been easier…..well, except for buying them in the can which Penna can also handle for you if you’d like:    Partida Style: http://greatolives.com/2011/08/29/mediterranean-partida-style-recipe-for-curing-2-5-lbs-of-green-fresh-olives/ I received this box containing 2.5 lbs. of fresh olives packed for me by Penna Gourmet Olives. Penna Gourmet Foods is a grower, packer and processor of gourmet olives Penna Gourmet Foods olive processing incorporates old processes improved upon and made safe by modern microbiology Penna Gourmet Foods  has been in business since 1979 Penna Gourmet Foods Fresh Olives are available starting around the middle of September (weather permitting) They provided me with step by step instructions for processing fresh olives to remove the bitterness and then offered a variety of flavoring options as well. The first step was to thoroughly wash the olives.  I rinsed them well in a colander and then placed them in 2 (1) Gallon size glass jars that I had for ‘sprouting’ seeds and beans. These jars work well for soaking but any glass or plastic will do.  Each olive…

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Homemade Linen Spray

      Scented Linen freshening sprays became popular in the late 1990’s and have always been fairly expensive and limited in their fragrance options. The one’s I’ve seen range anywhere from $8 – $35. (More than I’m willing to spend on some scented water in a fancy bottle) Now you can make up your own linen / air freshener for less than $5. I made two bottles of this spray up a few weeks ago and really have loved the soft scent it gives to the blankets before I crawl in bed.  I’ve used it to freshen the clothes in my closet and in my car as well. Some how when something is so inexpensive, it’s much more fun to use. I taped some gift wrap on the one bottle.  You can fancy up the container and make it into a great housewarming gift or just a friendly “thank you” gift. The fragrances are up to you this way.  They can be made from natural products like fruit or flowers.  But there are inexpensive scented oils available in so many stores I chose to get one already made up and see how I like it first. Here’s all you’ll need to make…

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