Saturday, July 31, 2010

J.R. Watkins August Monthly Specials

Here is a link to J.R. Watkins August Monthly Specials. Shopping is quick & easy on my website. Place your order and it will be shipped directly to your house. Quick & easy!

-August’s featured product....Black Pepper

Pepper was once more valuable than gold; such was its importance to the world. It is used in virtually every cuisine on the planet, and is the only spice worthy of its own shaker along with salt at the table--don't fill yours with anything but the best. At Watkins, we buy top-quality Malabar and Lampong peppercorns, then granulate them through our exclusive process, which preserves their high essential oil content.

Available in 2, 6 and 12 ounce tins.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chai tea


Homemade chai tea is easy to make and tastes fabulous. It can be drank hot or cold and made with dairy, soy or almond milk.

Ingredients:

1 cinnamon stick
6 whole green cardamon pods
6 whole cloves
1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
4 whole black peppercorns
3 cups water
1 tablespoon loose black tea (unflavored)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 cup low-fat milk (dairy, soy or almond)

Directions:

Place cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, ginger, peppercorns and water into a small pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to let steep for 10 minutes.

Return pot to the heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea, cover and set aside to let steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain through a fine mes sieve, discarding solids and then return liquid to the pot. Stir in sugar, milk and heat over low heat for 1 minute. Pour into cups and serve.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wisconsin Pottery

I'd like to share one of my favorite places to shop. I started collecting pottery a few years ago and I'm lucky enough to have a great store 2 blocks from my home. Wisconsin Pottery is run by Joel Huntley and he specializes in redware pottery. Joel is inspired by 17th, 18th and 19th century folk pottery that was produced in America and Europe. All of his redware is hand-formed and decorated by Joel in his studio in Columbus Wisconsin.








Thursday, July 22, 2010

Homemade Hair Products


By making your own hair care products you can cut down your chemical exposure and save money. I use clear Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera gel as styling gel. It works great!

Styling Gel

Ingredients:

water
plain gelatin (like Knox)

Directions:

Heat 2 1/2 cups of water. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gelatin into the water and stir. Allow the gel to cool and it may be used when it reaches room temperature. Store it in the fridge until you need to use it. The gel can be warmed up before use. Keeps 1 week in the fridge.

Hairspray

Ingredients:

sugar
purified water
vodka (preservative)
essential oil (optional for smell)

Directions:

Dissolve the sugar in hot water, stirring thoroughly to dissolve. Remove from heat and add vodka. Cool and then add your choice of essential oil.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Homemade Parrot Fruit Popsicles


Treat your feathered friend to a yummy popsicle during on a hot July afternoon.

Birdie Popsicles

Ingredients:

Your birds favorite organic fresh fruit
Nuts (optional)

Directions:

Slice up the fruit and puree in the blender until smooth. Add the nuts and pour into ice cube trays. Freeze until solid and then can be store in a freezer container or plastic bag. Some birds prefer these to be slightly thawed to the consistency of lemon ice and some enjoy them frozen.

Non-Toxic Carpet Cleaning

You don’t have to buy harsh chemicals at the store to clean your carpet. Always test these on a small inconspicuous area of your carpet before using on larger more noticeable areas.

Carpet Cleaner

Ingredients:

White Vinegar
Baking Soda
Water

Directions:

Mix the baking soda & white vinegar to form a paste. Use an old toothbrush to work the paste into a stain on carpet. Allow the paste to dry then vacuum the remaining baking soda and the stain should be gone. Some stains will need to be treated more then once.

Solution for Steam Cleaners

Ingredients:

White Vinegar
Warm Water

Directions:

Fill the steam cleaner with equal parts warm water and white vinegar and then clean your carpet according to the instruction manual.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homemade Frozen Fruit Bars


Great way to use up leftover fruit salad and you’ll also save money by not buying pre-made frozen fruit bars. If you use organic fruit you can cut down your families pesticide consumption too.

Frozen Fruit Bars

2 cups fruit (pineapple, strawberries, oranges, watermelon etc)
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 tsp. lemon juice

Puree the fruit in a blender and add a teaspoon or two of water if needed. Add lemon juice, sugar and blend. Pour into bar molds or small paper cups and insert sticks. Freeze bars until they are solid.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Homemade Doggy Birthday Cake

Fun birthday cake you can make for your best friend.

Doggy Birthday Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups water
2 ripe bananas
1/8 tsp vanilla
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup carob chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8-inch round cake pan. In a mixing bowl combine water, bananas, vanilla, egg and honey followed by whole wheat flour and baking powder. Mix well. Pour mixture into the greased cake pan and sprinkle carob chips on top. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Carob Frosting

Ingredients:

12 ounces softened nonfat cream cheese
3 tsp. carob powder
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine ingredients and blend thoroughly. Spread on cooled cake.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Homemade Earth-friendly Car Cleaning Recipes

Washing your vehicle with eco-friendly products will help prevent pollutants from entering local waterways.

What you’ll need:

-2 large plastic buckets
-2-3 cellulose sponges and several microfiber towels
-pure castile soap
-spray bottle containing 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar
-newspapers
-old hair brush or scrub brush
-spray bottle containing mixture of 1 tsp. jojoba oil & 1/4 cup white vinegar (interior polish)
-all purpose car wax (if needed)
-washing soda & salt
-hand-held vacuum or Shop-Vac

Clean the outside

Wash your vehicle on days when it is cooler or in the shade so it doesn’t dry quickly leaving spots. Rinse the car to remove debris and dirt. You don’t want to scrub your car with dirt on it because it will scratch the paint.

Prepare 2 buckets:
1-hot soapy water using a couple squirts of pure castile soap + sponge/microfiber towel
2-clean rinse water + sponge/microfiber towel

Wash and rinse the vehicle in small sections and change the water out as needed. Dry quickly with a soft clean rag. Apply wax if needed.

Cleaning the interior:
-Vacuum out the inside using your hand-held vacuum or Shop-Vac. To remove odors place an open box of baking soda under the seats when you are done vacuuming.

-To remove tough spots on mats, remove them from the vehicle, lay them on the sidewalk or driveway and saturate with a mixture of 1 cup washing soda, water and salt to form a paste. Scrub the mats with plenty of water, old hair brush or scrub brush. Rinse clean and let them completely dry before returning to vehicle.

-Use a 50/50 mixture of water & vinegar to clean plastic, wood, chrome, vinyl and leather interior. Spray onto a microfiber cloth and wipe gently in a circular motion. Avoid waxed surfaces because the vinegar will begin to strip any wax previously applied....use hot water instead to clean.

-Shake well the bottle containing the mixture of vinegar & jojoba oil. Spray on a microfiber towel and gently apply in long strokes which will help condition the vinyl, leather and wood interior. Buff to a shine with a clean rag. Test on inconspicuous spot first.

Cleaning headlights, windows, mirrors and wheels:

-Prepare a 50/50 solution of washing soda and salt using enough water so it has the consistency of frosting. Rub on rims and tires and let sit for 10 minutes. Then scrubbing and rinse off. This helps to remove rust and grease. Use a separate towel or sponge for this job because you don’t want the grime on painted surfaces.

-50/50 water & vinegar solution will make chrome shine. Vinegar can tarnish some aluminum alloy so avoid using if you are unsure.

-Windows and mirrors should be cleaned last with a spray bottle containing full strength white vinegar and newspaper. Spray can be let to sit on spots where there is dirt or greasy fingerprints.

-Fill windshield washer fluid reservoir tank with a 50/50 mixture of water & vinegar this will clean the windshield and prevent frost.