Cinnamon Popcorn

Do you use your essential oils in cooking? 

Not all brands are appropriate for that, but I love how I can use certified pure oils as a healthy alternative to synthetic food flavorings and extracts. Many of the oils add an extra level of sweetness without adding sugar. The amount used varies by taste. For really potent oils like oregano, basil, and black pepper, a tooth pick dipped in the oil and swirled into the pot is sufficient. For other recipes, I have found that 2-3 drops replace 1 tsp of extract. But play around with it drop by drop. Ready for a sweet and salty treat without adding any actual sweetener to the pot? Then you gotta try this popcorn flavored with all my favorite oils. Butter, coconut oil and amazing healthy cinnamon...which tastes like a nice hot tamale, minus the HFCS and steroid filled gelatin! It takes no special equipment, but can easily be made in a popcorn popper too. 

2 T coconut oil (divided)
1/3 cup organic popping corn
2 T butter
3-4 drops cinnamon essential oil
Sea Salt to taste.

1.  Heat 1 T coconut oil in a large pot with tight fitting lid.
2.  Add the popcorn
Once it starts popping, lightly shake the pot back and forth on the burner. Once the popping slows, take it off the heat. Remove the lid immediately. Melt the butter, mix with the coconut oil and drop in the oils. Pour over the hot popcorn, sprinkle with salt, replace the lid and shake until it is evenly distributed.

If using an air popper, mix the coconut oil with the butter and cinnamon oil and pour over the popped corn. For other treats made with essential oils, check out these recipes:

Orange Creamsicles



Flourless Orange Chocolate Cake

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal

Key Lime Pie

Avocado Pesto

Go ahead and give them a try. If you need to purchase these wonderfully versatile oils, you can do that here.

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Grain Free Spaghetti

Have you seen one of these before?
Can you guess what it is used for?
Clue number one: It is recommended for use in the kitchen, but it is so easy, you can use it anyplace.
Clue number two: it is really sharp inside, so fingers should be cautious.
Clue number three: it is not a pencil sharpener, but you would never know that by looking at the end result.
Clue number four, it helps to make a really fun dinner.
Clue number five...oh to heck with the clues...

 It is the most exciting thing since the Chia Pet..I think. I can take zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes or even a nice sized log if I wanted (oh, so that is where whole wheat pasta comes from :) and make it into spaghetti! Cool, yes?

I do not have anything against regular spaghetti. But I am always looking for a way to add more veggies to my diet in a way that doesn't make me want to amputate my tongue. Which would happen by the way if you were to put your tongue inside the Veggeti, so don't, kay?

Making "pasta" is so fast. Scrub you squash, then insert into the wide funnel and twist the vegetable. The long strings come out. Make as much as you want. It takes at least a whole medium squash to make a meal. Then steam it in some water for 2-3 minutes. Top with your favorite sauce or sprinkle with parmesean.

This is my favorite recipe:
1 yellow and 1 green zucchini
1 T butter
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce (there is a new jar sauce at Walmart that is 100% organic and $1.88 a jar!)

Make your Veggeti magic, and lightly steam the squash, drain. Then add the butter and garlic to a fry pan and toss in the cooked "noodles." Fry it up until there is garlic goodness on every strand. Then eat. I prefer this to spaghetti squash. As in, I will probably never buy spaghetti squash again because it kinda makes me gag. Serve this up with a salad and you have a full plate of veggies that vegetarians go nuts over and us carbivores omnivores eat because we know we should.

Have you tried veggeti? If not you can get it here (affiliate link).

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Introducing Blendfresh!

I have a new love at my house. Blendfresh is raw, clean, Non-GMO, and full of flavor and nutrition! Buying organic can get very costly. I don't have a problem with that as much as I do with my forgetting it on the counter or back of the fridge. Remember that organic spinach I got for $6.95 at whole foods? Oh yea, it is a stinking sticky black goo...Our chickens eat well! I know I am not the only one in the world who buys fruit and vegetables because I know they are good for me, but when it comes time to prepare them...well, I will reach for, um, anything else! Blendfresh has solved the problem solved here folks! I can not wait to share all the recipes I come up with hiding raw, dehydrated diverse fruits and veggies inside. My whole body is waiting with anticipation for the added nutrition. Launched on July 12 and ready to ship is a brand new product, backed by Blendtec, the most awesome blender ever. Time to whip up a smoothie!

One Tablespoon of raw veggie powder is equal to 1/2 cup serving of 12 fruits and veggies. Ones I would never think to purchase, and least of all know how to use, I consume on a regular basis. This has been a huge money saver for me. There are so many best things about this fruit and veggie powder but the big sale for me...there are no added ingredients. No -oxides or "natural flavor" or color or anything! What you see on the bottle is what is in the bottle!

All blends are:

Clean: 100% natural, unprocessed, GMO, and pesticide free (Overall organic product certification is being pursued.)
Rich: 100% nutrient-dense whole foods
Raw: Prepared at low temperatures to keep active nutrients alive
Diverse: Nutrients from multiple sources from every color group
Centsible: Substantial savings in every bottle

Can't wait to share more with you about this awesome product! For more information, please visit my website.

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Make a Portable Cleaning Tote

I am the least qualified person on the planet to write on organization. Seriously! But I am the person that I know most in need of it.  This is almost a foreign language to me. It is so important to get it right however, because let's face it, you can not be self sufficient if you lack organization. DIY becomes highly overwhelming if you can't make habits that fit into your day. But a wise woman recently told me, once you can make time work for you, the rest is cake.

So, baby step number one. (I think I saw this idea on Flylady.net.) Get all your cleaners in one place.

Oh wait....I actually have to back up one baby step here. My baby step number one was realize that you can't do it all and hire some help. Only I can be my kids mom. Only I can write my blog. Only I can nurture my business relationships, but someone....anyone....but me can come help clean my house. So, I asked a sweet young lady to come for 4 hours a week this summer and help. Oh my, what a relief. Problem is, every time she gets here, I run around the house looking for the cleaning supplies I want her to use. I have certain ways I like things done...aka, no chemicals, but my "cleaners" have a myriad of uses, so they could be anyplace. Time to stop all that time wasting nonsense and have everything I need in one place. Brilliant? I think so! Also, it makes it easy for the kids to do their daily chores.

So, here are the things we need to clean bathroom, kitchen and living room. (Disclaimer, I use essential oils and Norwex products as part of my cleaning. They work for me. They are by no means required for a chemical free home. But if you are looking for something great, these totally rock!)

So, here are my must haves for my cleaning tote:
(Some affiliate links included)

1. Hired help...admit it, it feels good. (You can pay someone or trade a service for it)
2. Vinegar...just for cleaning
3. Baking Soda...just for cleaning
4. Shower cleaner (I use Norwex Descaler....awesome!)
5. Essential oils that are just for cleaning...I use lemon, protective blend, and melaleuca
6. Liquid Castile Soap... One bottle just for the cleaning bag.
7. Scotch Bright pad
8. A scouring cleaner: you can make one or use Norwex cleaning paste (love that stuff!)
9. Counter cleaner
10. Cleaning cloths (I like Norwex travel Enviro Cloths) One for toilets and one for everything else.
11. Glass Cleaner...again easy to make, but I prefer just plain water and the Norwex Window cloth.
12. A micro fiber cloth or dusting instrument of your choosing.
13. Oil polish for wood. So easy to make. Spray down wood doors and cabinets lightly and wipe with microfiber.
13. A handy dandy tote for holding them all together so you don't have to waste precious time hunting.

How do I use them? Many of these ideas have links to original post. Feel free to click away and browse these natural cleaning solutions.

Use the baking soda, vinegar and melaleuca on the toilet bowl like so... (Click here for a chemical free toilet)
Spray the outside of the toilet with the vinegar and wipe down with cloth.
Use the descaler or scouring cleanser and scotch bright pad to clean tub and shower
Use the scouring cleanser or Norwex Cleaning Paste for sinks
Use your glass cleaner or water and window cloth for mirrors and faucets.
Sweep and mop (not included in the tote, but wouldn't that be awesome)
Refill hand soap dispensers with castile soap and protective blend.
Wood polish on cabinets

Clean the stove top with lemon oil and baking soda.
Wipe down counters, tables and chairs with cleaner
Shine the appliances with Polishing cloth or glass cleaner
Use the scouring paste on your sink
Dust the cupboards and apply wood polish...occasionally
Sweep and Mop floors. I really love the Norwex mop... only requires water, which is an awesome solvent and generally non-toxic.

Living room:
Use water and polishing cloth on windows
Dust surfaces and apply wood polish as needed.

Toss the soiled cloths in the laundry and once clean, return them to the bag. Now, help with laundry folding....is there an oil for that? Dang, first thing I have found that oils don't make it easier. Oh yea, I have 5 kids for that! Wahoo, let's get folding.

Do you have a portable cleaning kit? Has it simplified cleaning time?

Interested in learning more about Norwex?

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Goat's Milk Ice Cream

You can't have the 4th of July without ice cream. I think it is unpatriotic and grounds for impeachment if you are in a position that can be impeached.  We like making our own with ingredients we can pronounce and preferably come from our own farm. I tried out goat's milk ice cream for the first time! The results were delicious! And all of July has become ice cream month for us.

Here are recipes for the three classics of ice cream!

First, make a custard:
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups goat milk
1 T Vanilla

Whisk all together (except vanilla) and then stir over medium heat until it thickens a bit. Stir in the vanilla and let sit until cool. (The vanilla custard is not super thick.)

Once the custard is cool, Add 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and make according to manufacturer's instructions.


Make the vanilla custard and once it is cool, put in a blender and add 6 oz frozen organic strawberries. Give it all a whirl, then add to the ice cream maker with 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream.
Process according to the ice cream maker's directions.

Creamy Chocolate Chunk

Chocolate custard:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cups cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups goat milk

Additional Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 Cup Chocolate Chunks (optional)

Whisk all the ingredients together and heat over medium until consistency is of a thick custard. Allow to cool completely, then add to ice cream maker with 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and follow manufacturer's instruction. Add chocolate chunks in the last 5-10 minutes. The consistency is that of soft serve. Store leftovers in freezer and to use, allow to thaw on the counter for 5-10 minutes before scooping.

Are you a classic flavors lover or do you prefer something more exotic?

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DIY Lemon Wood Polish

Ah dusting! The very last chore on my list. I have never relished it. In fact, I wish some little blue birds would fly through the window and in pairs, each hold a corner of a dusting rag in their tiny beak and dust my ceiling fans so they no longer look like this:

But when I open my windows, all that comes flitting in are hoards and hoard of houseflies and all they do is leave their swatted bodies all over my window sills, so I just need some lemon to calm down. There is just something happens when you add the scent of lemon to any cleaning routine. It just makes you whistle while you work. But lemon oils like pledge are filled with chemicals that make my respiratory system less than happy. Not so when I use my two ingredient lemon wood cleaner. It banishes dust, nourishes your wood, and promotes a healthy cleaning environment. Plus, it is so easy!

1 spray bottle
8 oz oil. I prefer almond oil. It is great on wood.
10 drops  lemon essential oil.

Put the oils in a spray bottle and tilt gently to mix. I prefer doing it in a sprayer as I think it goes further and is easier for my kids to use.

That is it! Try it and tell me how you like it. You may find that you whistle as you dust and attract small critters that join in your happy little working song.

For information on how to get the best lemon oil on the market, email me here. 

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Lettuce Taco Boats

I was in Orem, Utah last month at the greatest store called Real Food Market. I visit there every time I go to Utah. My sister and I stopped in for lunch as we knew we could trust what is served there to be great and nutritious. We both ordered dragon boats and there was an explosion of flavor in those things. The idea stuck with me and I came home and created a delight for my own dinner.

Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps

1 grilled chicken breast
1 t sesame oil
1 cup sliced multi colored peppers
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup diced nappa cabbage
1 T soy sauce
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Large Roman Leaves

Heat oil in a fry pan. Saute the vegetables until they reach your desired tenderness. Add the seasoning, then the pumpkin seeds and the chicken. Divide equally between three large Romain Lettuce Leaves.

This is a refreshing summer time treat filled with garden delights. I hope you will all try it out and tell me what you think. If you like, please do me the favor of sharing this post with others!

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