Friday, October 24, 2014

Homemade Face Paint

Store bought face paint have a list of ingredients that I can't even pronounce.  Here's a recipe for face paint that you can feel good about putting on your child's face....and they are all ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!



  • 1 tsp flour
  • 5 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp shortening
  • food coloring
Mix all together to form a paste.  Apply with a small paint brush.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Cream LIquor

This is like a Fall edition of our homemade Bailey's (need I say more)?  So good in coffee, drizzled over ice cream, on the rocks....I can go on and on.  Gotta try this one! 



  • 1 cup of milk or cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer (store bought or this homemade version)
  • 1 2/3 cups spiced rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Mix all together and store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Will last as long as the freshness date on your milk/cream :)  


Friday, October 03, 2014

Seasoning a Cast Iron Pan

I love a cast iron pan. It's something that is not only great to cook with but will last a lifetime and hold lots of memories (at least for me). You do, however, want to be sure you care for these pans properly as they are very different then the non stick pans so many of us use.

You will need:

Lard, vegetable oil or shortening
Paper towels
Tin foil

Before you start be sure your skillet is clean and dry.  If needed, use a mild dish soap and gentle scraper to clean the pan.  Be sure it is dry before you proceed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With paper towel, apply the lard, vegetable oil or shortening all round the inside and outside of the pan.

Place skillet upside down on the ovens center rack being sure to place foil under the rack to catch the drips. Bake for 1 hour and allow to completely cool before removing from the oven.  That's it!

To clean your skillet, put under hot water while the pan is still hot (the water will sizzle so be careful).  Swirl the water around the pan and use a stiff nylon brush or spatula to scrape off any residual food.  NEVER USE SOAP!  Use this technique to re season anytime your pan starts to loose its luster.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Twice Baked Stuffed Butternut Squash with Sausage

This makes a delicious low carb Fall dish that is so simple to put together.  Use turkey sausage if you want to reduce the fat and calories.

You'll Need
  • 1 medium size butternut squash
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut butternut squash length wise and remove seeds.  Place onto baking dish cut side up and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 40 minutes or until flesh is fork tender.  
  2. Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a skillet.  Add in mushrooms, onions and garlic and saute until tender.  
  3. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool until it can be handled.  Gently remove flesh from the squash leaving about 1/4 inch around the skin of the squash.  Roughly chop up the squash and gently mix in with the sausage mixture.  Add in Parmesan cheese and begin stuffing the squash.  Mound the filling in the squash shells (you may have some mixture left over, would make a good stuffed mushroom filling)!  Place back into oven and bake about 15 minutes or until cheese melts.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Homemade Pie Crust with Bacon Fat

I save my leftover bacon grease in a mason jar and store it in the fridge.  I mostly use it to grease a skillet when making french toast or eggs.  I decided to try adding a bit to my pie dough in place of shortening and it came out delicious and perfectly flaky!  

Makes a double crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tbl sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbl solid bacon fat
  • 12 tbl butter, cut into cubes
  •  5 - 6 tbl ice water
Place the flour in a food processor or large bowl and mix in the sugar and salt.  Add in the butter and bacon fat and pulse food processor or use a pastry cutter until dough resembles course sand.  Slowly add in water 1 tablespoon at a time and work dough until it comes together (may still be slightly crumbly).  Divide dough evenly into 2 pieces and form into a ball.  Wrap with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes or until ready to use. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pumpkin Sugar Toast

This recipe is so simple that it really should even be called a recipe!  Sprinkle this delicious sugar on toast, muffins, apples and seasonal breads.  You could even mix it into cream cheese for pumpkin sugar cream cheese!

You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Mix well so the pumpkin pie spice is completely mixed into the sugar.  Sprinkle onto buttered toast or whatever you desire!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting

These are so good they don't really need an introduction...


You'll Need:

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 15 oz. can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cream cheese frosting (beat 1 pkg softened cream cheese, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 stick butter- room temp, 1 cup confectioner's sugar)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine oil, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix just until completely blended.
  4. Place rounded tablespoons on a cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart.
  5. Bake at 375° for about 10 minutes until beginning to brown slightly.
  6. Transfer cookies to a rack and allow them to cool completely.
  7. Cover flat side of one cookie with frosting and top with another cookie.
Happy almost fall!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Simple Grilled Parmesean Zucchini

Zucchini is abundant in my garden right now.  Here's an easy recipe to enjoy fresh Summer zucchini.  Serve as a side dish or even an appetizer!

You'll Need:
  • 1 medium to large zucchini
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (depending on how big your zucchini is)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Slice zucchini in 1/4 inch discs and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place onto preheated grill, oil side down.  Drizzle other side with oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on that side as well.  Grill for about 2 minutes until grill marks have formed, flip.  Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese over each zucchini and allow to melt.  Remove from grill and serve.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fish Taco Salad Bowls

These fish "tacos" are light and delicious without added carbs from the tortillas.  Coconut gives the fish extra sweetness and makes for a tropical flavor!  Add any toppings you like to the salad to create your own taco bowl!  I topped mine with a roasted tomatillo salsa...I didn't even need added dressing :)

 For the fish:
  • 1 lb firm white fish (I used cod)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs with 2 tbl water, beaten
Salad toppings:
  • black beans and corn
  • tomatoes
  • jalepenos
  • shredded mexican cheese
  • salsa
  • limes
  • sour cream
  1. In a shallow dish mix all ingredients for the fish (besides the fish and olive oil) until combined.  Place the flour and eggs in 2 separate shallow dishes.  
  2. Cut the fish into about 2 inch chunks and coat them in flour, then egg and finally the panko mixture.  Set aside on a plate.  
  3. In a large skillet heat a thin layer of olive oil in a pan on med - high heat.  This isn't a deep fry so all you'll need is a layer deep enough to just cover the base of the pan.  Place the fish into the pan and begin to fry.  After 1 side of the fish has gotten golden brown (about 3 minutes) flip over and fry the other side for about another 3 minutes.  If you have a very thick piece of fish turn down the heat and allow to cook about another 2 minutes or until fish is flaky.  Remove fish and place on a paper towel lined plate.
Arrange your salad:
Place any type of salad greens onto a plate and top with your favorite taco toppings.  Use a salsa and lime juice in place of dressing and top with your crispy fish!


Sunday, August 03, 2014

Natural Mosquito Repellent

Gone are the days of using pure deet to ward off bugs.  The toxicity of deet has been shown to be toxic to the central nervous system and is toxic to brain cells.  Here is a natural way to ward off bugs that you can feel good about spraying on your kids.

(photo source)
You'll Need

  • Mixture of essential oils (use just 1 or a combination of your favorites): cedar wood, catnip, tea tree, geranium, citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, eucalyptus, mint
  • Witch Hazel
  • Distilled water
  • 8 oz spray bottle
Fill spray bottle half way with distilled water.  Fill remainder with witch hazel then add in your essential oils.  Add a total of 30 - 50 drops to achieve desired scent.  Spray as needed.