Thursday, April 12, 2012

Raw Sugar Scrub

Are you looking for an easy and frugal Mother's Day present or teacher gift for the end of school? This simple sugar scrub is just the thing. I generally make it just for me as I like to pamper myself with skin treatments but stick a bow & little wooden spoon on it and it would make a great gift.

Raw Sugar Scrub
1 cup raw sugar
1 oz light oil*
1/2 t. vitamin E oil
up to 6 drops essential oil**
12 oz clean jar with a tight fitting lid***

Pour the sugar into a bowl and mix in about an ounce of light oil (or more for dry skin), vitamin E oil (a preservative) and a few drops of essential oil. I added 3 drops lavender and 1 drop peppermint essential oils as that is recommended in The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for general headaches. I don't have headaches a lot but thought those scents would be soothing to my brain while the sugar scrubs & moisturizes my skin.

Scoop up a small handful while in the bath or shower and massage all over your body to exfoliate and moisturize. You may need to stir the scrub between uses.

*light oils include: almond oil, avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil
** ideas for essential oils: lavender is soothing, lemon and orange are invigorating, ylang-ylang is romantic, peppermint is energizing & good for headaches
***I wash out and save jars of my favorite salsa for projects such as these.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Natural Hair Lightener

The older I get the less blond I am. My hair has always been blond, from the white blond of my childhood to the the honey blond of adulthood. Now that my thirties are upon me my blondness is darker than I'd like yet I still don't want to do anything unnatural to my hair.

One of my favorite books on making your own beauty treatments is Natural Beauty from the Garden by Janice Cox. She recommends chamomile, lemon juice and vodka as natural hair lighteners; honey works too.

Here's what I put together:

Natural Highlight Spray
1 cup strongly brewed chamomile tea
1 T lemon juice

Mix together and pour into a small spray bottle.  I didn't have any vodka on hand as I used all of mine making vanilla extract but you can also add 1 T of vodka to this mix.

Spray or comb through damp hair every morning before heading outside and gradually the sun's rays will naturally lighten your hair over time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekly Menu 4/9- 4/15

Super Apple Crisp
My middle son is still on a liquid diet but I decided I'm going to cook regular meals for the rest of us. I'm striving to get back on track wtih healthy eating after my overindulgence of Easter treats.  This week I'm going to lay off the candy and sweets and try some recipes from Nourishing Traditions

Monday: Roast Chicken, carrots, potatoes
Tuesday: Baked Tilapia, rice, steamed broccoli
Wednesday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Thursday: Pasta with homemade marinara sauce
Friday: Tacos
Saturday lunch: Ribs and salad
Saturday dinner: Pizza
Sunday: Ravoili

Snacks: Honey Walnut Granola, Super Apple Crisp

What's on your menu plan this week?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Super Apple Crisp

I love to bake desserts, mostly because I love to eat desserts. In autumn I go to the orchard with my family and pick lots of apples with dreams of all the delicious things I'll make with them. Apple crisp is at the top of the list!

It's not autumn but I still want apple crisp. I found bruised apples on clearance and used some to make apple sauce for my boy with the broken jaw. I still had so many apples left and desire for that streusel topping started calling to me. 

This recipe has plenty of butter & sugar to make it wonderful and a few healthy things to help me justify eating so much.

Apple Crisp
adapted from Taste of Home June/July 1999 and Joy the Baker Cookbook

8-10 tart medium apples, peeled & sliced
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (white sugar is ok too)
3 t. cinnamon

Streusel Topping
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 T. flaxmeal
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. all spice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a large 9x13 baking dish with butter. Slice up your apples quickly in a food processor or by hand and place in the pan. Mix in the sugar and cinnamon with the apples until evenly coated. Set the apples aside and mix the topping in a large bowl.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, oats, wheat germ, flaxmeal, cinnamon & all spice. Work the softened butter into the dry ingredients by hand until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Remove one cup and mix it into the apples with your hands or a spoon to incorporate.

Spoon the rest of the topping over the apples and spread evenly. Bake 55 to 60 minutes until the topping is toasted and the apples are bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before you start eating. Scoop into bowls and top with vanilla ice cream.


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