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Carolyn's Christmas fruit loaf recipe

Carolyn's Christmas fruit loaf recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Loaf cake
  • Fruit loaf

This moist, easy-to-make fruit loaf is a lovely food gift for neighbours or friends at Christmas time.

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 10

  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 80g quick cooking oats
  • 115g butter, melted
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 475ml apple sauce
  • 60g chopped walnuts
  • 80g raisins

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:55min ›Extra time:5min resting › Ready in:1hr20min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease a loaf tin.
  2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves together in a large bowl. Stir in the oats. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs until well blended. Mix in the apple sauce, walnuts and raisins. Stir in the flour mixture just until moistened. Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a skewer inserted in middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Take care not to over-bake. Cool 5 minutes in tin before turning out on a rack to cool completely.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(17)

Reviews in English (13)

by Jillian

Wonderful bread that's bursting with a delicious combination of fruits and nuts! I cut back on the applesauce a bit and added some fresh chopped apples. I also a struesel topping before popping it into the oven. I baked this in a 9x5 baking dish and it was done in about an hour. It smelled divine and tasted fabulous!-11 Nov 2011

by Sarah Jo

I made muffins out of this recipe. I ground my oats down in my mini food processor for a finer texture. We don't care for walnuts so I used chopped pecans in it's place. I also soaked my raisins in unsweetened, hot chai for 20 minutes before adding them to the muffin batter. (I assumed that black raisins were regular raisins, mine were just organic) SUPER moist, awesome texture and really flavorful. I got 12 largish muffins out of one recipe--350* for 20 minutes and they were perfect. I think these would be good with chopped apples thrown in and maybe a half teaspoon of nutmeg, too. I'll make this again.-18 Nov 2011

by Jean Davidson LaCroix

Delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect. Be sure your loaf pan is big enough as this makes a BIG loaf! Very moist; perfect with a little cream cheese on top. Will make again for sure.-10 Nov 2007


Carolyn's Ice Box Fruitcake recipes

1 PREHEAT oven to 280?F. Grease and flour the back of two jelly roll pans or metal utility . ( more )

Combined crushed wafers, coconut, chopped cherries, pecans and pineapple andplace in large b. ( more )

This is my family's favorite fruitcake. Even people who don't care for fruitcake seem to lik. ( more )

Combined graham cracker crumbs, coconut, cherries, pecans and pineapple in large bowl. Mix w. ( more )

If you ever need a quick and easy dessert this is the one for you! ( more )

Mix all ingredients together (reserve some Cool Whip for garnish) and pour into pie shell. R. ( more )

My family and friends love this. try it. ( more )

1. Combine Carnation Condense milk and nestle cream in a bowl.Set aside. 2. Arrange . ( more )

Inventi's version of incredibly easy Vietnamese Coffee. SOOOO RICHHHHHH. SO GOOD. ( more )

In a large coffee mug, add two tablespoons sweetened condensed milk and 4 to 5 squirts of Un. ( more )


CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

My husband Monte asked me if I would post his no-knead bread recipe in CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS so he could share it with others, especially those requesting it who participate in the Upper Room Devotional online chat.

  • I started making bread when my son Nolan shared what he made. He told me that making bread was easy, and that I should consider baking my own. That was more than two years ago. Now, about once a week, I make bread—usually the flat loaf on a cookie sheet. Monte

After years of being the cook, I relish eating the hot homemade bread, fresh from the oven, that I didn’t have to bake. Or anything I don’t have to make. I’m certain many of the women in our country would agree with me, even though there are many others who love to create in the kitchen. Me, I’d rather create on my keyboard.

Monte also bakes pies, his specialty being pumpkin pie made from scratch, eg. a pumpkin from a garden, not pumpkin from a can. You might enjoy reading A Martha and Mary Situation , which includes a rhubarb pie recipe.

As for our son, we encouraged him to cook and sew so he wouldn’t have to marry just to have these tasks done for him. He does the cooking in his family, making bread regularly.

As for our daughter, she learned how to pound a nail and other building tasks, for the same reason. I wanted them to be free to marry for love, not for someone to take care of them.

NO-KNEAD HOMEMADE BREAD

1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt (use iodized salt to prevent iodine deprivation)

Put the flour and salt in a 2 ½ quart bowl

Make an indentation in the mixture

Pour the water (slightly warm) into the indentation

Add the yeast to the water, letting it dissolve from the surface

Mix all the ingredients together, with a fork, until all the flour is moist

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plate until the dough rises and fills the bowl (I place the bowl in a slightly warmed oven, heated to no more than 100 0 , then shut off). The dough takes 5-7 hours to rise.

Once raised, mix the dough with your hand and proceed to directions to make bread loaf or English muffins.

TO MAKE A LOAF OF BREAD

Mold the dough into a loaf shape

Let rise in a bread pan, greased and dusted with cornmeal, for 2 hours

Decide whether to bake the loaf in a bread pan or on a pizza stone.

TO BAKE LOAF IN A BREAD PAN

Preheat the oven to 425 0 F.

Place bread pan on the oven’s middle rack

For a softer crust place a bowl with about ¼ to ½ cup hot water in the oven

Bake about 35 min (until golden brown)

TO BAKE LOAF ON A PIZZA STONE

Heat the oven, containing a pizza stone on the middle rack, to 495 0

When bread has risen, dust the pizza stone with cornmeal

Reduce the oven temperature to 425 0

Place the loaf on the pizza stone

If you want a softer crust place a pan with ¼- ½ hot water in the oven

Bake for about 35 minutes, until top is golden brown

TO MAKE ENGLISH MUFFINS

Place on slightly greased cookie sheet that is sprinkled with cornmeal

Flatten the dough until it fills the pan evenly, OR flatten the dough to about ½ inch and cut into 4 inch circles to place on cookie sheet

Sprinkle some corn meal over the dough (I also sprinkle oatmeal—full-cook or instant—and flax seed [remember to crush the flax seed])

Let the dough raise two hours

Place the cookie sheet into an oven preheated to 425 0 , then lowered to 400 0

Bake 22-23 minutes. The crust should become brown.

The completed bread will be 1-1 ½ inches high

If not cut into circles, cut the bread into squares, slit the squares in half, and toast.

Brew a cup of tea, fresh coffee, or hot chocolate and enjoy the fruit (or should I say bread) of your labor… while the winter storms blow around you, creating picturesque views.

I’ve attempted to get Monte to experiment by putting spices in the bread dough—parsley, garlic, etc., but it hasn’t worked. If you want to try it add about a teaspoon of the spice to the flour mix. Be brave. Experiment.


Candied Fruit Bread

This is a great bread for tea at Christmas time when you don’t like to make fruitcake. It is an old recipe that belonged to my mother, and really good.

Original recipe makes 1 – 8 x 3 inch loaf

Ingredients

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup chopped candied citron
1/4 cup currants
2 tablespoons chopped candied cherries
2 tablespoons chopped candied lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup milk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Grease an 8 x 5 inch loaf tin thoroughly. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs well. Add milk and melted butter or shortening, and mix well.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, prepared fruits and nuts, and mix well. Add egg mixture to fruit and nut mixture, stirring just enough to blend. Turn batter into greased loaf tin. Let stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Place pan in center of oven on middle rack. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. Turn out on wire rack, and allow to cool for several hours before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 482 kcal
Carbohydrates: 80.1 g
Cholesterol: 89 mg
Fat: 15 g
Fiber: 3.2 g
Protein: 9.8 g
Sodium: 638 mg


September 14, 2014

Love-Apples, Tomato Blight & a Maine Ketchup Recipe

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

TOMATO BLIGHT

& A MAINE KETCHUP RECIPE

In most parts of New England, tomatoes were called “love-apples” and were shunned as being poisonous.

Not so in my early 21 st century world. Red tomatoes are popular items in Atlanta, Georgia’s farm market. They can be seen in home gardens and farm market booths throughout the New England coast, in Ohio, in New York, and all around our Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

Many of my Southwestern Pennsylvania home gardeners were horrified when, in late July 2009, a late-blight began destroying their tomato plants in Westmoreland County. Brown lesions, caused by a fungus-like pathogen, were appearing on their tomato plants. This late blight can devastate tomato and potato plants. It can rot fruit and kill tomato plants within two weeks.

Farmers and commercial growers who depend on selling tomatoes, a high-value crop, are struggling to fight this blight, which has also been spotted in potato crops.

The blight has spread to home gardens in Westmoreland, Indiana and Washington counties, but so far it hasn’t been reported in Allegheny or Fayette counties.*

My garden tomato plants began contracting blight in 2009, and did so every year for several years. I stopped planting them. This year is not a loss, since everything I planted fed the deer, because we weren’t home enough to stop this.

However, Maine’s seafaring families didn’t shun love-apples… Sea captains brought tomato seeds from Spain and Cuba, and their wives planted them, and the good cooks in the families experimented with variants of the ubiquitous and somewhat characterless tomato sauce of Spain and Cuba. The ketchups they evolved, in spite of the aversion to tomatoes throughout early America, were considered indispensable with hash, fish cakes, and baked beans in Maine, even in the days of love-apples.

  • Ketchup is an important adjunct to many Maine dishes, particularly in families whose manner of cooking comes down to them from seafaring ancestors. So far as I know, a sweetened ketchup in those families is regarded as an offense against God, and man, against nature and good taste. This antagonism to sweetened ketchup is traceable to the days when dozens of Maine sea captains from every Maine town were constantly sailing to Cuba and the West Indies for cargoes of molasses and rum, and to Spain for salt. Captain Marryat, in Frank Mildmay, describes a shore excursion of ship’s officers in 1807, and complains of the lavish use of tomato sauce on all Spanish dishes. The same thing is true in Spain today, as well as in Italy, where it is customary to serve a bowl of hot tomato sauce with macaroni spaghetti, fettuccini, ravioli, and many other dishes, so that the diner may lubricate his viands to suit himself. Under no circumstances is this tomato sauce sweetened. It is made by adding hot water to a paste obtained by boiling down tomato juice to a concentrate. —The Kenneth Roberts Reader, Introduction by Ben Ames Williams, 1945

…I begged the recipe from my grandmother when I went away from home and since that day I have made many and many a batch of her ketchup with excellent results. The recipe has never been published, and I put it down here for the benefit of those who aren’t satisfied with the commercial makeshifts


The perfect way to end a meal &ndash a delicious dessert! But desserts come in many different forms, and there&rsquos a broad range here to try. You&rsquoll find easy treats, healthier dishes, traditional desserts and everything in between.

Sometimes you just need a snack. It might be sweet, it might be savory, but it&rsquos usually just what you need to get you through to the next meal. Often it works as a small meal in itself. These snack recipes will give you inspiration for whatever you are looking for.


Carolyn's Christmas fruit loaf recipe - Recipes

I don't know if I'm a really GOOD cook, but I do have a reputation for having an adventurous palate and a desire to serve up things at gatherings that are - well, let's just say I usually don't have to worry about anyone else bringing the same thing. I grow a lot of my own herbs, which encourages me to find interesting ways to use them in cooking. I do get asked for recipes sometimes, so I'll share some of my favorites here.

I frequently make an appetizer recipe that I got from the Dierbergs Everybody Cooks magazine. The recipe uses canned crescent roll dough, pesto, and minced roasted red bell peppers. It is quick to make, easy to serve and eat at a party, and always gets gobbled up. You know a recipe is really good if I make it more than one time, because normally I have no interest in making the same thing more than once, it takes the fun out of it if I know ahead of time exactly how it will turn out! I decided to try a version with something other than pesto, since I didn't have any and didn't feel like going to the store, and it turned out great with frozen spinach. By the way, the Everybody Cooks magazine has fantastic recipes! They seem to always turn out delicious.

1 10 oz package frozen spinach
2 cans crescent roll dough
Butter flavored cooking spray
1/2 TBSP basil
1/2 TBSP caraway seeds
1/4 TBSP salt
1 TBSP olive oil

Thaw and drain spinach, squeezing out the liquid as much as you can. Place spinach in a small mixing bowl, and mix with the basil, caraway seeds, olive oil, and salt.

Using one-half of the contents of a can of crescent roll dough at a time, place the dough on a work surface and press the perforated edges that normally divide the dough together. Sprinkle 1/4 of the spinach mixture on top, then roll the dough up into a spiral tube.

Spray a cookie sheet with butter-flavored spray. Slice the spinach/dough roll, and put the slices on their side on the sheet. Make another roll with the second dough half, and fill the rest of the cookie sheet with slices. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, and remove from oven when the dough is light golden on top and medium golden brown on the bottom.

3/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 pkg fat-free cream cheese
1/2 can green olives, chopped - the olives I used were from a health food store, and were not as salty as I'm accustomed to. If your olives have the usual amount of salt in them, you might want to try making this with one half the amount of olives to start, then taste it to see if you risk making it too salty by adding more olives.
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp dried onion
1 tsp garlic powder
Black pepper to taste

Tomato and basil tortillas
8 oz package of whipped cream cheese
Thinly sliced lunch meat ham
Fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 TBSP chopped fresh chives
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dill

I made this as a spread for a chicken sandwich, then tried it as a veggie dip. Both ways were delicious!

Mayonnaise
Plain Yogurt
One packet True Lemon crystallized lemon substitute
Dried Lemon Basil leaves
Dried Lemon Balm leaves
Ground Annatto for color (optional)

1 lb firm tofu
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin seed
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 cup celery, minced
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup scallions, minced
3 TBSP honey

Place tofu in a colander to drain. Let sit for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix tofu, mustard, and spices with a wooden spoon until tofu is uniformly crumbled and spices are well blended. Stir in vegetables and 2 TBSP honey. Add more honey if needed to make a smooth mixture.

2 cups flour
2 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
6 TBSP butter, softened
1/2 cup (3 oz) chopped green olives
3 eggs

1 package (8 ounces) whipped cream cheese
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) chopped green olives
1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
2 TBSP assorted fresh minced herbs (1 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 cup sour milk*

1 pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp onion flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
dash of black pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
5 TBSP lemon juice
4 TBSP Tahini
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
2 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped

14 oz Hautly Pimento Spread
3 oz crab meat (if canned, be sure to drain well.
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 TBSP ground coriander
1 TBSP Old Bay seasoning
Tabasco to taste

1 15 1/2 oz can white beans
2 cloves garlic (or if you really love garlic like I do use 3 cloves)
1 TBSP olive oil
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 of an english cucumber
2 avocados
2 tomatillos
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp Mexican seasoning (I used my own blend which includes lemon and lime flavored salt, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and epazote)
1 tsp Fruit Fresh

1 lb small sweet peppers (I used red and green bell peppers and Anaheim peppers)
Non-stick cooking spray
1 TBSP olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 bunch radishes, for serving

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet with the cooking spray. Slice and seed peppers and place in a bowl. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper then place on cookie sheet. Roast until peppers are tender, about 18 minutes. While peppers are roasting, slice radishes set aside for serving. In a food processor, puree the beans and garlic until smooth. When peppers are done, add them in with vinegar and blend until combined. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve with radishes.

2 1/2 cups masa corn flour
Zest of two limes
1 TBSP flaxseed meal
1 TBSP chia seeds
1 TBSP wheat germ
1 tsp dried cilantro leaf
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 cups vegetable broth
cooking spray
Mexican seasoning (I used my own blend)

8 oz trimmed pork loin
1/2 onion
1 bell pepper
1 tomato
4 green olives
2 TBSP dried cilantro
1 garlic clove
1 tsp ground cumin
2 TBSP bread crumbs
36 wonton wrappers (you might want to keep extra wonton wrappers on hand, my batch filled more than 36)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
cooking spray

Cut pork loin into 1/2" cubes. Chop onion, bell pepper, tomato and olives. Put in large saucepan over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until pork is no longer pink. Put garlic clove through garlic press and mix in. Add cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to food processor and grind. Add breadcrumbs and blend well. Put in refrigerator until cool - this will give the juices a chance to be absorbed by the bread crumbs.

2 cups shredded zucchini
2 eggs
1/2 onion
1/2 cup Kraft Shredded Fat Free Cheddar
1/2 cup Progresso Italian Style bread crumbs
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 eggplant
1/2 cucumber
1 TBSP olive oil
2 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place whole eggplant on a baking sheet and pierce it in several places with a fork. Roast for one hour, turning once. Let cool.

2 parts whole coriander
2 parts anise seed
1 part whole cardamom (just the black part)
1 part whole cloves
1 part whole peppercorns

3/4 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup fat free yogurt
1 scoop vanilla flavored whey protein powder (I use Trader Joe's brand)

Put ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 scoop vanilla flavored whey protein powder (I use Trader Joe's brand)

1 cup crushed ice
1/4 cup fresh chocolate mint leaves (if you don't have chocolate mint, peppermint or spearmint will do)
3 packets Stevia
1/2 cup reduced fat soy milk
2 tsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)

2 cups chopped honeydew melon
1 cup chopped cucumber
12 fresh mint leaves
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 packet stevia
1/2 cup crushed ice

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen grated carrot
1 cup Silk Light Soy Milk Original
Trader Darwin's Soy Protein Powder - Vanilla

I more or less used the recipe from the Penzys Spices catalog, with the addition of two extra ingredients.

1/2 pound shrimp
1 small bag salad greens mix
Amounts that you like of the following veggies: tomato, onion, bell pepper (yellow for color contrast is good), and cucumber
Feta cheese
1 cup plain yogurt
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP honey
Greek Seasoning

Cook and peel shrimp. To make the dressing, mix 1 TBSP Greek Seasoning with water, let stand a minute, then add yogurt, balsamic vinegar, and honey.

Put the salad greens in a large bowl, then cut up the tomato, onion, bell pepper, and cucumber, and toss all together.

1 can of sliced beets
1 small bag baby arugula greens
1 large Belgian endive
Feta cheese
Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

1/4 can of frozen orange juice, thawed
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP crushed dried Lemon Basil
3 cloves garlic mashed through garlic press
1 tsp poppy seeds
Pinch of Salt

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl, pour over salad.

A long time ago I was on a hike at Saguaro National Monument in Arizona and I observed an iguana eating prickly pear fruits. The big lizard looked funny with its face all purple from juice. I always meant to try eating the fruit myself but never did exept in cactus candy that I bought, until recently when I saw some prickly pear fruits for sale at Sappington Farmer's Market on old Route 66 in South St. Louis County. There is a radio show I like called Food Talk with the Kelly Twins on 550 KTRS, and during one of their shows they advised buying something you've never cooked with before each time you go shopping, and make something with it. That's a good way to learn to cook, they said. It's probably something I would do anyway since I like to try new things all the time, but it's good advice for everybody. Here is one of my prickly pear fruit experiments. Unusual, but plate-lickin' good!

2 prickly pear fruits
favorite salad oil (olive, grapeseed, etc.)
white balsamic vinegar
fresh cilantro leaves
fresh or dried lemon balm leaves
fresh or dried lemon basil leaves
lemon juice
lime juice
pepper
salt

Rinse prickly pear fruits and peel off skin. Chop into chunks and press through fine-holed strainer over a bowl to catch juice. You will not be able to remove all the juice at once since the pulp is very mucilaginous, but press out as much as you can.

You will end up with a couple of small handfuls of seeds and pulp. Put seeds and pulp into a small mixing bowl and pour enough salad oil over it to cover. With an electric beater, beat the mixture thouroughly. The idea is to separate as much pulp and juice from the seeds as you can while leaving the seeds intact (who knows I might plant some!). Press this mixture through the strainer into the bowl already containing juice.

There will still be some pulp clinging to the seeds. Return pulp and seeds to mixing bowl, cover with white balsamic vinegar, and beat again. Press mixture through strainer again into the bowl already containing juice and pulp/oil mixture.

1 pkg firm tofu
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup Kim Chi
3 cups fresh spinach
2 TBSP fresh chopped chives
2 TBSP sesame oil
2 TBSP tamari sauce
2 TBSP sesame seeds

1 cup quinoa
1 vegetable boullion cube
2 large cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 TBSP white wine vinegar
2 TBSP recaito
1 TBSP dried lime balm leaves

Cook quinoa according to directions, adding the vegetable boullion cube along with the water. While it's cooking, chop the cucumbers into roughly 1" square pieces.

1 10 oz package shredded carrot
1/3 cup cranberries
2 heaping TBSP low fat plain yogurt
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried lime balm leaves, crumbled
1 tsp dried lemon basil leaves, crumbled
1/2 tsp dried peppermint leaves, crumbled
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

4 Roma tomatoes
3 tomatillos
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP dried parsley flakes
1 tsp dried lime balm flakes
salt to taste

2 chicken breasts
pinch of salt
1/2 cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1/2 of a ripe papaya
1/2 of a sweet white onion
4 TBSP fresh cilantro
2 limes
2 TBSP fresh ginger
3/4 cup pine nuts
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP honey
1 tsp chili paste with garlic
1 bag of spinach leaves

Cook chicken breasts by placing in a cooking pot, covering with water, adding a pinch of salt, bringing to a boil and then simmering for 15 minutes. This is my favorite method for cooking chicken because it's easy and it yields broth I can save for making soup or cooked grains (couscous, quinoa, barley, rice, etc.) later. To make more interesting chicken and broth, you can also add parsley, pepper, bay leaves, and favorite spices that won't clash too much with whatever you might make later. If you grow herbs as I do, this is a good opportunity to use dried herb stems that are difficult to find a use for. You might throw in odds and ends of veggies as you're chopping them too, to add flavor and nutrients to the broth. When the chicken is done cooking, remove from the water and place on a plate and stick in the freezer to cool off. Strain out broth and reserve for later use.

Next, chop the cucumber, bell pepper, papaya, onion, and cilantro and place in a large bowl. Grate the zest from two limes and add to the bowl. Cut the limes in half and juice them, and add juice and pulp to bowl. Grate the ginger and add. Add pine nuts, soy sauce, honey, and chili paste.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 handful dried sage leaves, crumbled
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sweet marjoram
1 clove crushed garlic
2 hard boiled egg yolks

Salad Ingredients:
3 beets
1 tsp olive oil
1 small bag fresh baby spinach leaves
2 TBSP fresh mint
1 TBSP fresh lemon balm leaves
2 oz Trader Joe's Fat Free Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/4 cup walnut halves
1 tsp black pepper
Dressing Ingredients:
2 TBSP scallions
2 1/2 TBSP Trader Joe's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
6 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 tsp SweetLeaf Stevia Extract Powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard

Peel and trim beets. Cut into 1 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch pieces. Place beets into empty salad bowl and toss with olive oil. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place beets on it. Roast in 450 degrees F oven until tender and lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes.

While beets are roasting, toast the walnut halves, let cool, and chop. Add to salad bowl with spinach, mint, lemon balm, feta cheese, and black pepper.

Make the dressing by chopping the scallions and adding to a blender along with the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, stevia, salt, and dry mustard. Blend until smooth.

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
10 oz cooked shrimp
1 1/2 cup plum tomatoes
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 medium avocado
Fruit Fresh

1 pink grapefruit
1 navel orange
1 Granny Smith apple
4 cups mixed baby salad greens
1 bunch cress
1/2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP lime juice
1/2 tsp brown mustard

1 bag fresh spinach
1 medium fennel bulb
2 Granny Smith apples
1 small red onion
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp fruit fresh

1/2 of the fruit of a mango
2 TBSP lime juice
2 TBSP rice vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp Gulden's Brown Mustard
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp table salt

3/4 cup Trader Joe's No Fat Greek Style Plain Yogurt
2 TBSP brown mustard
10 oz shredded green cabbage
1 small red onion, chopped
5 oz shredded carrot
1 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 packet stevia
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dried lime or lemon balm
6 TBSP sunflower seed kernels

1/4 cup Trader Joe's No Fat Greek Style Plain Yogurt
1/4 tsp powdered cayenne pepper
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp chopped fresh mint
Wasabi arugula
1/2 cucumber

20 oz frozen Brussels sprouts
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP Mediterranean seasoning (I made my own blend from salt, fennel, sage, rosemary, basil, oregano, marjoram, white pepper, lemon basil, garlic powder, paprika and powdered lemon peel)
3 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
4 cups favorite salad greens
6 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup frozen salad sized shrimp
3 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup uncooked celery
1/2 cup canned water chestnuts
1/4 cup green olives
1 uncooked bell pepper
1/4 cup uncooked onion
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 TBSP Kraft Miracle Whip Fat Free Dressing
2 cups mixed greens
2 large tomatoes

1 cup split peas
Homemade veggie broth
1 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup red bell pepper
1 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 scallions
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 TBSP brown mustard
4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

On the night before, place split peas in water and let sit in refrigerator overnight. Make vegetable broth.

The next day, drain split peas and put them in a cooking pot and cover with 2" of broth above peas. Bring to a boil cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain well and cool (you can retain any drained off broth to cook couscous).

Bring 14 oz of broth to boil in a medium saucepan and gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and chill.

1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
8 cups baby spinach
1 can sardines, packed in water
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 TBSP chives

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 cup fresh herbs from the garden (such as lemon balm, rosemary, basil, sage, chives, thyme, lovage, fennel, oregano, etc.)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup fresh radishes
1 fennel bulb
1/2 cup celery
3 Kalamata olives
5 TBSP lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

3 cups shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 TBSP brown mustard
1 packet stevia
1/2 tsp salt
4 TBSP unsalted sunflower seeds

2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP brown mustard
2 TBSP capers
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried tarragon
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 cans sardines packed in water
salad greens

My Mom gave me a package of Tofu Mate Texas Taco Seasoning Mix that she had laying around thinking that I could think of something good to make with it. Well she was right, it turned out so good I have to share it.

1 package firm tofu
1 package Tofu Mate Texas Taco Seasoning Mix
Olive Oil
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1 garlic clove
1 package frozen Tex-Mex style vegetables - I used a mix which has onions, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, black beans, and corn. Other frozen vegetable mixes that have similar ingredients would be fine, make sure it includes black beans and corn.
1 anaheim chili pepper, seeded and chopped
whole wheat tortillas warmed by your favorite warming method
Shredded lettuce - I used Romaine
Shredded cheese - I used sharp cheddar

Let the tofu chunks drain in a colander while you chop and prepare the other ingredients. Heat some olive oil in a wok or big saucepan. Crumble the tofu into the oil and saute for a couple of minutes. Add in the chopped onions and and put the garlic clove through a garlic press and add it also. When the mix is cooked enough so that the onions are tender, add the Tofu Mate seasoning according to the directions on the package. Mix until the color is even then remove the mixture from the pan and put it in a serving dish with a lid so it stays warm.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped andouille sausage
3 cloves garlic, mashed through garlic press
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of salt
olive oil

Mix all ingredients except olive oil together in a large bowl. Place a piece of plastic food wrap on the bottom surface of a tortilla press. Place a small handful of meat mixture on top of that, another piece of food wrap over that, then press all to make a thin patty. When you start to see it squish out a bit, rotate and press a little more to make the patty even in thickness. Fry the patties with olive oil until cooked through and browned on each side. Serve on your favorite bread or bun with tomato, lettuce, and your favorite condiments.

1 10-inch, whole grain flour tortilla
3 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
1 TBSP olive oil
1 medium vidalia onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-sized zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
5 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP dried parsley flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Place the tortilla in the center of an ungreased 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook spinach in the microwave just long enough to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and or wok. Add onion and garlic and and sauté over medium heat for three minutes. Add the zucchini and bell pepper and continue to stir until the mixture becomes tender and the onions start to turn golden, about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk well. Add the Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the spinach and vegetable mixture and mix again. Pour filling into the center of the pie pan, trying to keep the filling from seeping underneath the tortilla.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until center of pie is firm and lightly golden. Remove and allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Olive oil
Small potatoes, chopped in half
Fennel stems, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch lengths
4 tilapia fillets
Cocktail tomatoes
Butternut squash, chopped into approx. 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 of a white onion, chopped
1 lemon
1 tsp dried dill
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss potatoes and fennel pieces in olive oil and put into the dish, cover dish with foil, and cook for 20 minutes. Leave oven on, and remove baking dish.

Move potatoes and fennel to the sides of the dish, and lay the fish fillets in the middle. Toss the remaining vegetables and parsley in a bowl with olive oil, and add to dish on either side of fish. Squeeze the lemon juice onto the fish, sprinkle dill onto the fish, and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over all. Recover dish with foil, return to oven, and bake for another 25 minutes.

1 large jar spaghetti sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sweet basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves fresh garlic)
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 onion, chopped
1 large or 2 small cans tomatoes (with juice) chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water

You can add browned hamburger, chopped green peppers or chopped zucchini to the sauce.

2 cups pasta
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
15 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 cup tomato sauce
salt and black pepper
chopped parsley, to garnish

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan and saute the onion, garlic and celery until softened, not browned. Stir in the chickpeas and tomato sauce, the cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

3 TBSP Butter or margarine, melted
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 15 oz cans ranch style beans
1 4 oz can green chilies, chopped
2 tsp flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 12 6 inch corn tortillas

1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
4 Roma tomatoes, cut in small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp dried basil
2 TBSP olive oil
4 individual-size Italian bread shells
Salt and pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 package firm tofu
2 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin seed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper
1/4 of a white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 medium red bell pepper
Disposable plastic gloves

4 slices Food for Life Organic Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium Sprouted Grain Bread
1 cup Trader Joe's Fat Free Pizza Sauce
4 oz Trader Joe's Light Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 can artichoke hearts, without oil
1 tsp dried basil
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP fresh chives
1 TBSP fresh basil
1 TBSP dried dill
3 red bell peppers
1 skinless salmon fillet
1/2 cucumber
1 scallion
1 lemon
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup Stonyfield Farm Fat Free Plain Yogurt
pinch of salt

Cut bell peppers into strips and arrange on the bottom of a glass baking dish. Place fish on top. In a bowl, mix oil, chives, basil, and half the dill. Spread on top of fish. Slice scallion and lemon and place on top of fish. Slice cucumber and arrange on top, and pour chicken broth into dish. Bake covered at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

1 lb frozen cut green beans
1 package Azumaya Firm Tofu
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP dried red chili flakes
1 med onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 package Heartland Whole Wheat Spaghetti

1 lb Salmon fillets
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried lemon basil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 cucumber
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
4 Arnold Sandwich Thins

Place the salmon fillets in a glass baking dish. In a small bowl, add lemon juice, the garlic cloves run through a garlic press, the olive oil, lemon basil, 1 tsp of the salt, the pepper, and the parsley. Mix well and pour over fish fillets. Put foil over baking dish and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, turning periodically. After you're done marinating, put dish in oven and bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes.

To make the dipping sauce, put yogurt, cumin, sour cream, mint leaves and 1 tsp of the salt into a blender and blend well. Chill until ready to serve sandwich. Cut cucumber into thin slices and bell pepper into strips.

2 cups uncooked Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Penne Rigate
2 pinches salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 bunch of kale
1 cup homemade vegetable broth
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup Kraft shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions, adding a pinch of salt to the water. While pasta is cooking, wash and chop the kale into bite-sized pieces and dry in a salad spinner (the crinkly leaves hold a lot of water).

Put a large soup pot onto medium heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil and swirl to coat pot. Add turkey sausage and cook, breaking up as you go, until browned. Add the broth, another pinch of salt, pepper, and the kale, and put a lid on the pot and let it steam. Every five minutes or so, check and stir the kale and other ingredients until the kale is limp and tender, replacing the lid in between.

To serve, mix in the cooked and drained pasta and sprinkle cheese on top.

2 lbs ground turkey meat
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions
4 medium poblano chilies
4 small jalapeno chilies
2 cups chopped tomatillos
5 cloves garlic
32 oz canned Great Northern beans
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp white pepper
2 cups fresh cilantro
3 cups Stonyfield plain yogurt

1 Boca All American Flame Grilled Meatless Burger
1 Arnold Select Multigrain Sandwich Thin
1 TBSP Great Value Pizza Sauce
1/4 cup Kraft Fat-Free Mozzarella
1/2 tsp dried basil

1 lb dried pinto beans
20 oz Honeysuckle White turkey sausage
7 cups broth
6 carrots
6 celery stalks
1 tsp ground thyme
2 cloves garlic
2 canned ancho chilies

1 tsp olive oil
3 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 medium carrots
3 garlic cloves
1 can Reese Artichoke Hearts
1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup broth
5 cups cooked Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Penne Rigate
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley

Put chicken breasts in a cooking pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. While chicken is cooking, grate carrot and chop onion. Put chicken on a towel to drain, and reserve liquid for making broth later, or cook the penne in the liquid.

8 oz ground lamb meat
1 small onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 TBSP dried parsley
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 pieces Light Italian Herb Flatout Flatbread
1/2 cup Treasure Cave Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
2 TBSP pine nuts

1 lb cooked shrimp
1/2 lb uncooked scallops
2 TBSP lime juice
1/2 tsp table salt
1 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 3/4 cups canned diced tomatoes
2/3 cup chopped green olives
2 TBSP drained pickled jalapenos, chopped

8 oz whole-wheat pasta - I used penne, other shapes might work well also
1/2 cup cooked onions
1 TBSP olive oil
21 fl oz Amy's Soups Organic Cream of Mushroom, 2 cans
4 oz canned pimientos
2 TBSP drained pickled jalapeno slices
3 chicken breasts
1 cup Kraft fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
1 green bell pepper
4 sprays cooking spray
Salt
Pepper

1 TBSP olive oil
1 lb uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp fajita seasoning (I made my own blend from lemon and lime flavored salt, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and epazote)
1 onion
1 bell pepper
1/3 cup Smucker's Preserves sugar free apricot preserves
6 medium whole wheat tortillas
2 TBSP chopped cilantro
Fresh spinach

1 cup fresh mushrooms
1 small onion
1 package (5 sausages) Trader Joe's Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage
1 can kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
1 cup Dei Fratelli Fire Roasted Vegetable sauce
1 cup Kraft Fat Free Shredded Cheddar

1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 lb uncooked lean ground beef
1 package (12 oz) Smart Ground Original Veggie Protein Crumbles
2/3 cup GG Scandanavian Fiber Sprinkles
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup tomato sauce
1/2 bell pepper
1 small onion
1 TBSP Liquid Smoke flavoring

1 whole-grain Arnold Sandwich Roll
2 TBSP part-skim ricotta cheese
3 slices tomato
3 slices peach
2 slices red onion
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Himalayan pink salt

1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 TBSP olive oil
2 medium sized fresh tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup meatless soy crumbles
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup tomato juice
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups broccoli (this is a good opportunity to use the stems!)
3 eggs
2 cups Trader Joe's Quattro Formaggio (or other Italian-style shredded cheese)
2 cups Progresso Bread Crumbs Italian Style
4 medium garlic cloves (reduce amount of garlic if you don't like garlic a lot)
1 1/2 TBSP GG Scandinavian Fiber Sprinkles
1 TBSP Flaxseed meal 1 TBSP wheat germ
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 can chili beans
1 1/3 cup chopped cooked chicken
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 TBSP pickled jalapeno peppers
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 TBSP dried epazote
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp ground dried ancho pepper
1/2 tsp ground annato
1/2 tsp salt

4 large potatoes
4 cups sliced cabbage
1 onion
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
12 oz cooked lean ham
1 cup Stoneyfield plain yogurt

1/2 head green cabbage
1/2 head red cabbage
8 large potatoes
3 large carrots
1 onion
10 garlic cloves
1 Ekrich 4 Pepper Smoked Sausage
1 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

6 servings buckwheat soba noodles
1 lb cooked trimmed pork loin
3 garlic cloves
1 TBSP grated ginger root
2 cups shredded carrot
1 onion
1 cup fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup sake
1 TBSP grapeseed oil
1 packet Stevia sweetener
sushi ginger
nori

1 1/4 cups plain fat free yogurt
15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups reduced fat parmesan cheese
1/2 cup broth
1 lb fresh mushrooms
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
16 oz fresh spinach
1 bell pepper
12 lasagna noodles

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl stir together yogurt, ricotta, 1/2 cup parmesan and broth.

Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. In a large skillet, saute mushrooms in olive oil until tender. Chop spinach and bell pepper and add to large bowl. Add mushrooms, salt, pepper and 2 cups of yogurt mixture and mix well.

Arrange 4 lasagna sheets in bottom of baking pan. Spread half of mushroom mixture on top, sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese and drizzle 1/2 cup yogurt mixture on top. Repeat this layer one more time, ending with lasagna sheets. Spread remaining yogurt mixture evenly over sheets.

5 cups broth
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken breast meat
2/3 cup Trader Joe's seafood blend
3 oz andouille sausage, chopped
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 chopped bell pepper
1 chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper
salt to taste

1/2 cup vinegar
2 TBSP agave nectar
4 garlic cloves
8 portobello mushroom caps
1 onion
3 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
8 cups kale

1 cup kim chee
8 oz (1 can) water chestnuts
1 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp vinegar
12 oz broccoli slaw
4 Tilapia fillets
2 TBSP olive oil
Grilling seasoning blend
4 flour tortillas

8 oz ground turkey breast
8 oz pork sausage
2 cups broccoli
1/2 chopped onion
4 garlic gloves
2 servings Progresso Italian Style bread crumbs
1 egg
6 TBSP GG Scandinavian Fiber Sprinkles

Yukon Gold potatoes
Greek Seasoning
Olive oil

2 bulbs fennel, trimmed
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 cups orange juice
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine

Cut each fennel bulb into four slices. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter and oil until sizzling. Lay fennel slices in skillet cook, turning once, until browned, about five minutes per side.

Pour orange juice over fennel season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until fennel is tender, about 15 minutes. Add wine, and continue cooking until fennel is very tender and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

2 eggplants
Olive oil cooking spray
Salt
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 TBSP red chili paste with garlic
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP dried lime balm leaves, crumbled
1 TBSP fish sauce

Slice each eggplant lengthwise into 4-6 long pieces. Spray a glass cooking dish with olive oil cooking spray, and lay in the eggplant pieces. Sprinkle with a little salt. Cover dish with foil, and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees, until the eggplant is tender and a little browned around the edges.

While the eggplant is cooking, make the peanut sauce by combining the coconut milk, chili paste, peanut butter, brown sugar, lime juice, lime balm, fish sauce, and 1/2 tsp salt. Heat on the stovetop at a low setting, stirring until it's hot and well blended.

6 carrots
2 bunches Fennel
2 yellow Turnips
2 yellow Onions
2 yellow Squash
2 Portobello Mushroom caps
4 garlic cloves
5 TBSP Grapeseed Oil or Olive Oil
2 TBSP Greek Seasoning
Cooking spray

Spray a large glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cut the carrots and turnips into 1 - 2 inch pieces and put into baking dish. Trim the stems from the fennel bulbs and cut the bulbs into 1 - 2 inch pieces also and add to dish. Reserve the feathery fennel tops. Cover dish with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Chop the squash and onion into similarly sized pieces. Mash the garlic cloves into a bowl with a garlic press and add the oil and Greek Seasoning. Stir well.

After the first batch of vegetables have cooked for 20 minutes, remove baking dish from oven and add the squash and onions. Pour oil mixture over all and stir to coat all the vegetables with oil. Return dish to the oven for another 15 minutes.

3 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 TBSP butter or margarine
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese

2 10 oz pkgs frozen sliced carrots
1/4 cup strained lemon juice
4 TBSP butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1/8 tsp dried marjoram

cooking spray
4 medium carrots
2 medium fennel bulbs
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp minced naval orange zest*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Thinly slice the carrots and fennel, go ahead and include the fennel stems, they're edible and filling. Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Roast, stirring once or twice, until vegetables start to turn lightly golden, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with zest.

Cooking Spray
2 squash - I used one butternut and one delicata
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup frozen cilantro

4 small cucumbers
1 TBSP olive oil
garlic clove
2 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce
3 tsp sesame oil
3 tsp sesame seeds

Cooking spray
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 TBSP lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 TBSP garlic chili paste
1 lb potatoes

1 spaghetti squash
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
2 bell peppers
14 1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes with garlic and onions
1 tsp Mediterranean Seasoning or Italian seasoning
4 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese

2 sheets dried Kombu seaweed
Broth
Olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 package fresh shitake mushrooms
1 package fresh baby bella mushrooms
A couple of handfuls snow pea pods
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Sesame seeds
Pickled red ginger

A couple of hours before you want to eat, break kombu sheets into approx. 4 inch pieces and place in small saucepan. Cover with broth - I used homemade vegetable and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Place in refrigerator and let seaweed soak in liquid until you're ready to prepare the rest of the ingredients.

4 TBSP light butter, melted
1 cup liquid fat-free egg substitute
1 cup fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
1 loaf (16 oz.) day old bread (16 slices) cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup minced scallions or onions
1/2 cup minced celery
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 16 muffin cups with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine butter, egg substitute, and broth. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Set aside 15 min.

2 TBSP margarine or butter
1 cup long grain rice
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 cup diced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 green onions, thin sliced, including green tops
Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/4 cups orzo
10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 tsp crushed dried red pepper
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

1 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion, minced
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups coarsley chopped spinach leaves, packed
1/2 tsp salt

4 acorn squash
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 package (8 oz) Jennie-O turkey sausage
3 chayote squash
1/2 white onion
1 sprig fresh sage
3 turns ground peppercorns
1 TBSP parsley
4 garlic cloves
1 cup Trader Joe's Light Mozzarella Cheese
1/3 cup walnut meats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut acorn squashes in half and scoop out seeds. Spray a large glass baking dish with cooking spray and place squash halves face down and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

While acorn squash is baking, in a large soup pot heat 1 tsp olive oil and brown turkey sausage on medium low heat. Chop chayote squashes into 1/2 inch pieces (it is not necessary to remove the skin) and onion and add to pot after turkey sausage is brown. Snip in the sprig of fresh sage, grind in the peppercorns, add parsely, and put the garlic cloves through a garlic press and add to pot. Cook all together for about five minutes.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup onions
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 can artichoke hearts
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup fresh parsley
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
5 tsp dried lemon peel

1 acorn squash
2 cloves garlic
2 large vegetable bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Slice squash in half, scoop out seeds, and put halves into glass baking dish cut side down. Add about 1/2 inch of water and bake covered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove squash from oven and let it cool. When it's cooled enough to handle, scrape pulp from one of the halves out of the skin and put pulp into a blender. Shake the blender jar slightly to level the pieces. If there is any water left in the baking pan, add that in. Add just enough additional water to blender jar to barely cover the squash pieces. Crumble one bouillon cube and one chopped up garlic clove into the blender jar. Puree the mixture until smooth, and pour into soup pot. Repeat with the other half of the squash and the other bouillon cube and garlic clove.

1 bunch kale
1 cajun style andouille sausage link
1 can Great Northern Beans
5 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
pepper

Remove sausage from casing, and discard casing. Heat soup pot and swirl some olive oil in the bottom. Crumble sausage and add to soup pot, and cook while stirring until browned. Turn off heat. Cover a large plate with paper towels, and turn soup pot over onto plate to drain off excess oil.

Do you ever make something with fresh broccoli florets and you're not sure what to do with the leftover stems? I made some into a soup which turned out MORE than just pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Brocoli stem pieces cut into 1/2" chunks
Olive Oil
4 cups chicken stock
1 cube Knorr Extra Large Ham Flavor Bouillon
1 cup Trader Joes Basmati Rice Medley
1 TBSP chopped frozen Oregano leaves

Heat some olive oil in a cooking pot big enough for soup. Saute the broccoli pieces until they are just starting to get a little browned. Add the chicken stock and ham bouillon cube and bring to a boil. Add the rice medley and oregano, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
olive oil
1/2 cup chopped ham
1 cup dried lentils
4 cups water
1 vegetable boullion cube
2 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh dandelion greens
2 cups fresh spinach
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a little olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot, and saute the onions for about two minutes. Add the ham, and continute to saute until the onions are clear and tender. Add the water, the boullion cube, and the pulp of two garlic cloves put through a garlic press. Bring contents to a boil, and add in the lentils. Simmer covered on low heat for 15 minutes.

1 large onion, diced
1 TBSP margarine
2 TBSP flour
21 oz chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) Pumpkin
Salt
4 oz condensed evaporated skim milk

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/2 onion, diced
1 TBSP Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread Margerine
2 TBSP whole wheat flour
1 tsp curry powder
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) Pumpkin
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp pepper

4 strips Morningstar Farms Veggie Frozen Breakfast Strips
1 medium onion
1 leek
2 medium carrots
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
58 oz broth
1 1/4 cups Great Value Green Split Peas
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried rosemary

1 envelope Kikkoman Tofu Miso Soup
1 cup broth
1/2 cup dried arame
1 carrot

8 oz Honeysuckle White Breakfast Sausage
1 large leek, chopped, white and light green parts only
3 garlic cloves
4 cups broth
3/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into bit-size chunks
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups fresh spinach

Vegetable and herb scraps
3 red bell peppers
1 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion
2 ribs of celery
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 head cauliflower
1 large potato
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

To make vegetable broth, put vegetable and herb scraps in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer while you get other ingredients ready.

Seed bell peppers and cut into strips. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place pepper strips on it. Roast in oven at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until peppers are tender and browned on one side.

Chop onion, celery, cauliflower and potato. In another large pot, heat olive oil then add onions and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes. When broth is done, strain it out and add 3 1/2 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Add cauliflower and potato and return to a boil. Add paprika. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Add sour cream to measuring cup and add water until you have 1 cup of sour cream/water mixture. Stir and add to soup.

3 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
1 small onion (unpeeled and quartered)
1/3 cup almonds
dried chipotle chili
1 oz 60-70% dark chocolate bar
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp table salt
2 tsp olive oil
14 1/2 oz canned fire-roasted tomatoes

Several hours before preparation, hydrate dried chipotle chili by soaking in water (you may want to reserve water for broth when you're done with it). You can substitue canned chipotle chili if you like then you don't have to soak it.

Heat a large deep skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook five to six minutes or until garlic cloves and onion quarters are charred on all sides, turning periodically with tongs. Remove and let cool. Toast almonds. When cool enough to handle, grind in nut grinder.

1 butternut squash
3 garlic cloves
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp black pepper
2/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/3 cup broth

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Seed and chop up squash. Place in a large baking dish with garlic, olive oil, salt, sage and pepper. Stir until well blended and back for about 40 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring halfway through.

5/8 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 T. lavender flowers
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Stir in beaten egg and vanilla. Mix in lavender flowers and flour. Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden.

This recipe is from the Webster Groves Herb Society cookbook. I altered it slightly.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1 1/2 tsp. crushed dried tarragon
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in egg. Stir in sesame seeds, pecans, and tarragon. Sift dry ingredients together and add to mixture. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonful on greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Plain old instant chocolate pudding mix is pretty tasty, but if you're in the mood for something a little extra intense and satisfying for your dessert, try this.

1 box sugar free instant chocolate pudding mix
Milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp stevia powder (the white kind used as a sugar substitute)
1 tsp unsweetened baking cocoa powder

Prepare the instant pudding according to the directions on the package. Add cinnamon, stevia, and cocoa powder, mix thoroughly, pour into serving dishes and chill. Great after a spicy Mexican meal!

  1. Cream shortening and sugars well.
  2. Add lemon and lime juice. Beat in egg.
  3. Gradually blend in baking soda, salt, turmeric, lemon balm, lime balm, and flour.
  4. Drop heaping teaspoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 TBSP Milk
1 1/3 cup Hodgson Mill Insta-Bake Baking Mix
1 cup quick cooking Oats
2/3 cup dried Cranberries
2/3 cup chopped Pecans

4 oranges
1 beaten egg
2 TBSP canola or vegetable oil
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup white and 1 cup wheat)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash the oranges, grate the zest from them, and put zest in a small bowl. Squeeze juice from oranges. Measure 3/4 cup of the juice and pour into a mixing bowl. Reserve the remaining juice.

To the 3/4 cup of orange juice, add half of the orange zest, egg, and cooking oil. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add orange juice mixture and stir until moistened. Fold in cranberries and pecans.

Pour batter into lightly greased mini loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool bread in pans about 10 minutes, remove and let cool thoroughly, then glaze.

2 pomegranates
1 package Baker's semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
1/4 cup fresh chocolate mint, chopped (substitute other types of mint if you don't have chocolate mint)

1 8oz package Baker's Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate Squares
1 14 oz can Great Value Fat-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp coarse kosher salt

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap, leaving 2-inch overhang. Smooth out any wrinkles.

The original recipe called for pomegranate syrup in place of the pureed raspberries, I was out of pomegranate syrup so I used a substitute. If you use pomegranate syrup, try adding less at first because pomegranate syrup is very tart - taste and see if a smaller amount will do before you add more.

1 TBSP dried culinary lavender buds
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup Horizon Organic Low Fat Sour Cream
1/4 cup honey (if you have lavender honey use that)
6 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks Smart Balance 50/50
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz (1/2 package) 365 White Chocolate Chunks
1/4 cup Oregon Fruit Products canned Red Raspberries in Heavy Syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and four mini loaf pans.

Place the lavender in a spice grinder with 2 TBSP of the white sugar. Pulse until the lavender is finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the remaining sugar.

Sift the flour and baking soda together three times.

In a small bowl, mix the sour cream and honey.

Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a large bowl and the yolks in a cup. Add 1/4 tsp of the salt to the whites and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

In another large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat with the mixer until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat in the yolks one at a time.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, alternately beat in the flour and sour cream in three additions each. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into the prepared pans (fill about 3/4 full of batter).

Put pans in the oven, and start checking for doneness at around 30 minutes. When the edges are golden brown and a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean, they're done.

2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
8 TBSP butter
2 tsp dried lemon basil leaves
Non-stick cooking spray
4 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 lemons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. To make crust, mix together flour and brown sugar in a medium to large bowl. Crumble lemon basil with fingers and add. Melt butter and gradually add to flour mixture, mixing well with fork as you go. Spray 13 x 9 x 2 in baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and press in crust mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.

Cooking spray
5 large peaches
4 TBSP brown sugar
6 TBSP whole wheat flour
1 TBSP chia seeds
1 TBSP wheat germ
1 TBSP ground flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 TBSP salt
4 TBSP butter
2 eggs
1 TBSP lime juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

16 oz fat-free cottage cheese
16 oz low-fat cream cheese
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
4 servings liquid egg substitute (equivalent to 4 eggs)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp dried ground lemon peel (if you have fresh lemon or lime zest, use that)
1 TSSP vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
10 oz guava paste

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8" springform pan with nonstick spray. Wrap a piece of foil around the bottom and sides of the pan. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.

1/2 tsp baking soda
8 oz persimmons
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 TBSP butter
2 cups fat free skim milk
1 oz unsweetened apple sauce

15 oz canned pumpkin (1 can)
4 eggs
6 teaspoons EnerG Egg Replacer (mixed with water according to directions)
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 TBSP molasses
4 tsp agave nectar
2 packets Stevia powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 packet stevia powder
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

4 Eggs
2 TBSP Chopped Fresh Chives
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1 TBSP Thai Fish Sauce
1 TBSP Milk

1 cup pure pumpkin
1 egg
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons flaxseed meal
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground Morning Rampage spice mix (see recipe above)
1 teaspoon baking soda

5 slightly past ripe bananas
3 cups all-purpose baking mix - use low fat or whole wheat for extra healthfulness
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 Omega 3 egg
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose baking mix
1 cup blueberries
1 egg
8 oz light ricotta cheese
1 heaping TBSP brown sugar
1 heaping TBSP flaxseed meal
1 heaping TBSP wheat germ
1 1/4 cup milk

1 package Trader Joe's Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
Butter or margarine
12-16 eggs (2 eggs per burrito)
Black pepper
Whole grain tortillas

1/4 pound plain nonfat yogurt
3/4 cup unpacked brown sugar
2 eggs
1 TBSP culinary lavender buds
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnut halves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP flaxseed meal
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 bananas
1 1/4 cup blueberries

1 1/2 cups Hodgson Mill Insta-Bake Whole Wheat Variety Baking Mix with Buttermilk
3/4 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 orange
1 TBSP flaxseed meal
1 tsp dried lemon basil, crumbled

1 12oz can Old Orchard Cherry Apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup barley
1/3 cup wheat berries
1/3 cup oat groats
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp salt
14 pieces dried apricot halves

1 spray olive oil cooking spray
2 cups Mr. Dell's frozen hash brown potatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper
8 oz. Honeysuckle White Ground Lean Turkey Sausage (if you didn't buy it frozen, you might freeze it to make it easier to slice)
1 cup fat-free skim milk
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup Kraft fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a medium baking dish with cooking spray. Slice bell pepper into thin strips. Place potatoes then vegetables in the baking dish. Slice sausage and distribute on top. Sprinkle cheese over top. In a small bowl, beat together milk, eggs, salt and pepper, then pour over all. Bake until cheese is browned, about 45 minutes. Cut into six pieces then serve.

1 egg
1 whole wheat english muffin
1 slice Sargento Low-Fat Pepper Jack Cheese

1 cup Hodgson Mill Multi-Purpose Baking Mix
1 cup Stonyfield plain yogurt
1 cup shredded carrot
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tsp Sugar in the Raw
1 tsp vanilla extract

3 sprays cooking spray
5 large very ripe bananas
5 tsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 egg
1/4 fat-free skim milk
1 TBSP wheat germ
1 TBSP flaxseed meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a large loaf pan with cooking spray.

Peel bananas and cut into chunks. Place in large mixing bowl and crush with potato masher. Add melted butter, agave nectar, egg, skim milk, wheat germ, and flaxseed meal. Beat all together until blended.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 TBSP wheat germ
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup skim milk
3/4 cup banana puree
1 egg
1 tsp carmel flavoring
Non-stick cooking spray
2 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 tsp Fruit Fresh
2 5.3 oz containers Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, Vanilla

cooking spray
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp wheat germ
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp flaxseed meal
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (4 oz) unsweetened applesauce
1 TBSP molasses

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 servings EnerG egg replacer

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 packet stevia
1/2 tsp salt
2 pears
4 TBSP sliced almonds

I was looking through the Penzys Spices catalog and I saw some recipes I wanted to make that used their Greek Seasoning. I didn't happen to have any, but I figured I had enough ingredients to make my own, so I used items from my cupboard to make a similar blend.

Eight packets True Lemon crystallized lemon substitute
2 TBSP Lemon Basil
2 TBSP Oregano
2 TBSP Sweet Marjoram
2 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Ground Pepper
1 TBSP Salt

After making the salad dressing above and noticing the mucilaginous nature of the prickly pear fruit and the way my hands felt nice and smooth after making it, I wondered if the discarded pulp and skin could be used in making shower gel. I have ingredients for making it on hand since I like to make a lot of my own bath products. It was my assumption that the vinegar and oil that was likely to be clinging to the discarded pulp/seed mixture would do no harm and might help, since those are often used in home skin-care preparations anyway. I looked up uses for prickly pear on the internet and found that it has some qualities in common with Aloe vera. Why not try it then?

    First I put the seed/pulp remnants and skin that I had earlier removed from the fruits into a pot and poured enough water over it to cover. I brought it to a boil, then turned off the heat.

Next when I thought it had cooled enough to pour into a plastic container without melting the container, I poured the liquid through a strainer into an empty OxyClean bucket, which has become my favorite liquid soap mixing container. It's just the right size and shape. This time I really did discard the seeds and what little pulp was left! I then added 1 tsp of thickener and mixed it in with a stick blender. Then I let the mixture cool to room temperature.

I knew I'd need a preservative since I was using fresh fruit, so I added Germaben II. To (hopefully) help retain the pretty pink color, I added some Fruit Fresh powder. I keep lots of Aloe Vera plants growing around the house, so I pulled off three leaves, rinsed them off, then chopped them up and added them to the mix. I shredded them with the stick blender, then strained the mixture again to remove the Aloe pieces, pressing hard to get all the juice out.

Since I was going through all this trouble, I went all out and added Humectant, Goats Milk Powder, and the contents of three vitamin E capsules.

To mask the vinegar smell, I added some of my favorite essential oils: Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Tea Tree and Lemon. Then to help it all mix together, some Polysorbate 20.

1 TBSP culinary lavender buds
1 cup granulated sugar

In a spice grinder, pulse the lavender with 1 tablespoon of the sugar until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining sugar. Transfer to a jar, cover tightly, and let stand for at least three days before using.

Dried Sage, stems and leaves
White Balsamic Vinegar
Juniper Berries

Decaffeinated green tea
1 cup organic dry cat or dog food - first ingredient should be chicken and should have 25-33% protein and 9-12% fat
1/2 cup poultry mash - for laying adult chickens, not the medicated mash for chicks
2 scoops Hagen Prime bird vitamins - use the little scoop that comes with it to measure
1 600mg calcium tablet - plain calcium with no added vitamin D

Brew some decaffeinated green tea and let it cool. In a bowl add the dry cat or dog food, the poultry mash and the Prime bird vitamins. In a mortar and pestle, grind up a calcium tablet to powder and add to the bowl. Mix the dry ingredients, then add 14 TBSP of green tea and mix again. Let sit for awhile then break up the larger pieces with a fork. Attila likes the consistency of his food to be just slightly damp and clumping. Your starling may prefer it to be wetter or drier. Divide the food into a series of small freezer-safe containers (empty mealworm containers are good) and keep one container at a time in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer until needed.

Instead of buying broth to use in recipes, you can make vegetable broth to keep on hand in the freezer. Whenever you chop vegetables or herbs, save the parts you would usually throw away - end pieces, tough parts, stems, skins, etc. Keep them in a gallon size zip-loc bag in the freezer. Whenever the bag gets full, empty the contents into a large soup pot, boil with water for half and hour or so, then strain out the vegetable parts and discard. If you keep this mixture in a freezer and microwave safe container, you can thaw (or just partially thaw depending on how much you need) some whenever you need it in a recipe. It's best to stay away from vegetables or herbs with really strong flavors such as cilantro, peppermint or anything that might clash with other flavors. I've used parts from basil, bell pepper, kale, broccoli, onions, garlic, cucumber, zucchini, beets, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, celery and many others with very good results. It's a good way to add extra flavor and vitamins to your recipes for no cost and with no fat.

4 TBSP coriander seeds
1 TBSP cumin seeds
1 TBSP fenugreek seeds
1 TBSP peppercorns
4 cardomom pods
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp crushed bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp dry ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp saffron

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I took a lot more photos of foods we ate and the scenery if you like looking at holiday photos you can find them at Lord Howe Island Holiday November 2010


Carolyn's Christmas fruit loaf recipe - Recipes

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The purpose of this web site is to help you make useful products at home that contain fragrance oils, essential oils or aromatic herbs. When I was a child I remember collecting wild violet petals and putting them in water in an empty vitamin bottle in an attempt to make violet perfume. I got discouraged when the concoction quickly turned brown and icky. Now that I'm an adult and have access to more knowledge and proper materials, I can still recapture that sense of fun and experimentation and often make things that are a pleasure to use.

Why Make Things That Are Readily Available for Purchase in Stores?

You can buy the kind of products I'm going to discuss on this web site, for example soap, bath salts, carpet freshener and countertop cleaner, so why make your own?

  • Saving trips to the store
  • Reducing the environmental impact associated with store-bought products of packaging, transport, and chemicals
  • Making cleaning products that are safe to use around my pet bird
  • In some cases, saving money
  • Products can be made to my specifications and preferences
  • Products are often superior in quality to store-bought versions
  • Knowledge of what is in products and what the purpose is helps me make better choices as a consumer when I do want something store-bought
  • Satisfying outlet for creative urges
  • Making unique gifts

Melt and Pour Soapmaking

I got my start in the extremely fun and addictive hobby of melt and pour soapmaking several years ago when I bought a melt and pour soap making kit for my Mom for Christmas. She asked me if I would make the soap in the kit for her. Well, she liked the results and I liked the process AND the results, and I've kept making melt and pour soap ever since. Some of you out there might enjoy some of my recipes if you are interested in trying this fun hobby yourself.

The basic process of melt and pour soapmaking is very simple. You purchase a pre-made melt and pour soap base from a craft supplier, melt it, add soap colorants and fragrances and other additives as you like and pour the liquid into molds. As soon as it's cool and solidified, you pop it out of the mold and it's ready to use. There are many ways to elaborate on this basic procedure.

The knowledge of melt and pour soapmaking and related crafts that I do have comes from the instructions that came with the various products I've used, a couple of books, (scroll to the bottom of this page to see a link to one of them), and various web sites and e-groups. Personal experimentation and trial and error has taught me a few things as well.

If you have never crafted with melt and pour soap before, please read the following information for a good overview of the process:

    - Life of the Party brand's instructions - very easy and simple. - Addresses issues you are almost certain to encounter. - Along with the instructions that came with the first kit I bought, this guide is what got me started.

Helpful Hint #1 - I print out any good instructions or recipes that I find online and keep them in a binder. I print on one side so I can take notes as I work on the blank side. I would never remember what I did with each batch otherwise, especially because I almost never leave a recipe alone or make the exact same thing twice, I love to modify the recipes and experiment. Any booklets or product packaging that contains good how-to information I add to the binder as well.

Like most hobbies, you can go out of control with buying supplies if you're not careful. For beginners, I recommend getting a kit. It will most likely contain at least one mold, soap base, fragrance, and colorant. By using the kit, you can learn the process by following the instructions that come with the kit and familiarize yourself with what the ingredients look like and what they do. Also you can see if you enjoy it or not. Then if this is something you want to do more of, you can add on to the original kit based on what you're interested in making.

Besides the basic kit, it is helpful to have:

  • Glass measuring cups, including at least one 2-cup size
  • Large thin knife with non-serrated blade
  • Eyedroppers
  • Cutting board
  • Spoons
  • Plastic shoebox sized storage boxes
  • Plastic wrap
  • Spray Bottles
  • Paper Towels
  • Cleaned plastic food containers of assorted shapes and sizes
  • Strainer
  • Melon baller or curl-cutting tool of choice
  • Serrated cutter - mine came from Soap Wizards. They don't seem to have it any more on their web site. A friend of mine told me when she saw it that you can get similar ones from culinary tool suppliers.
  • Soap cutting mitre box
  • Metal cookie cutters, canape or pastry cutters
  • Additional soap molds
  • Dust Mask (for handling mineral powders, clays and any other particles it's best not to breathe)

NOTE: BEFORE MAKING ANY OF THE RECIPES PLEASE READ THE SAFETY INFORMATION INCLUDED IN THE SECTION.

*EO - essential oil
*FO - fragrance oil

Spiced Coffee Soap Bar
This soap bar is colored entirely by real coffee beans and the fragrance comes from the beans, vanilla powder and also from soap fragrances. If you enjoy the smell of coffee and spices you should like this one! The goat's milk powder will soften your skin too.

To make it first grind up coffee beans. I used decaffeinated beans because that is what I had on hand, but you can use beans with caffeine if it agrees with you. Melt some clear soap base and stir in the ground beans. Let cool.

Grind some more beans and stir into some melted opaque soap base. This will become the "cream" swirls in your coffee.

Remelt the opaque soap base which should now be a light tan color and strain out the coffee grounds. Pour about 2/3 of the tan soap into a separate container and add vanilla powder. Strain into another container if necessary to get out the lumps. Let harden.

Take the remaining 1/3 of tan soap and melt in about an equal quantity of white soap to make a lighter cream color. Add goat's milk powder and Allspice fragrance. If necessary strain into another container to remove lumps and let harden.

Get out your favorite loaf mold or molds (I used empty plastic cheese containers for mine) and oil if necessary. Fill cavity with curls cut from the tan colored soap and the cream colored soap. I used a melon baller to cut the curls in my example.

Melt down the clear soap you added coffee grounds to earlier - it should now be a dark brown color. Strain out the grounds and add Coffee Bean soap fragrance. Pour over soap curls until mold is full.

Let soap harden fully, unmold, cut apart and enjoy!


Invigorating Soap Bar
I chose the ingredients in this bar to use some of my peppermint harvest and being aware that cold and flu season is upon us I added some essential oils from a cold and flu blend I mixed up for my own use last year.

Will this soap bar help prevent colds and flu? Many culinary herbs and spices are antibacterial, so maybe. Some people have used anise, peppermint, cypress and patchouli to treat colds so this bar might help you feel a little better if you have a cold. Camphor is an ingredient in Vicks VapoRub 15 , which in childhood my Mom used to rub on me whenever I had chest congestion. Some of the ingredients are also in my energy and sore muscle blends, so it might be especially good to use in the morning before or after a workout. I'm not qualified to know anything for sure other than this combination of ingredients smells good in a slightly medicinal way and feels invigorating!

To make it first chop up a bunch of dried peppermint herb (I used stems after I had stripped off the leaves for tea) and put the pieces in a large microwave-safe measuring cup. Melt clear melt and pour soap base in the cup and pour the mixture into a clean plastic container and let it harden.

While you're waiting for that to harden, melt some opaque white melt and pour soap base and add a little green coloring to make a mint green color. Add essential oils in amounts recommended by the manufacturer and let harden. Cut the mint green soap with a melon-baller or other curl cutter of choice and put curls into a soap loaf mold.

Cut up the hardened soap/peppermint mixture and re-melt it. Strain out peppermint pieces and pour over soap curls. You will see that the peppermint herb has turned the clear base a pleasant green color. Let harden and cut into slices. Enjoy!


Scrap Soap Bar #1
I've noticed that sometimes when doing ceramics that scrap glazes can be some of the best. I've made some great polymer clay beads with scrap canes and paper projects from scrap paper. I had some leftovers from my last several batches of soap so decided to make a scrap soap bar to see how it turned out. I'm really pleased with the results - the colors are nice together and I find the resulting fragrance blend much to my liking - warm and fresh, natural rather than "perfumy", not too strong. It's hard to say what it smells like but I would say orange and musk notes dominate.

Due to natural plant derived oil content, do not use before sun exposure, if pregnant or if you have epilepsy. Do not use on babies.

    Santa Fe Ranch II Soap Bar
    A good unisex or masculine color and fragrance combo.

Ingredients: Melt and pour soap base, contents of Vitamin E capsule (dl-Alpha Tocepheryl Acetate, Gelatin (Non-Bovine) Glycerin, Polysorbate 80, Water), Yucca, Sandalwood and Sage Powders, Pine Forest, Leather and Sandalwood fragrance oils, Fir Needle and Gurjum Balsam essential oils, Polysorbate 20, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Annatto, soap colorant, coconut cooking oil, 70% isopropyl alcohol.

    Melt some opaque white soap base and add colorants to make a medium warm brown color. I used brown soap colorant and ground Annatto spice. Annatto imparts a natural speckled look along with the yellow color. If you don't want speckles, you can use another type of yellow colorant.

Ingredients: Opaque white melt and pour soap base, contents of Vitamin E capsules (dl-Alpha Tocepheryl Acetate, Gelatin (Non-Bovine) Glycerin, Polysorbate 80, Water), soap colorant, Secret Garden soap fragrance, Sweetgrass fragrance, Palmarosa Essential Oil, Fuller's Earth, oatmeal, coconut cooking spray oil, 70% isopropyl alcohol.

    Coat Celtic soap mold with cooking spray for mold release. Wipe off excess oil with a paper towel.

    Animalistic II
    A good unisex or masculine color and fragrance combo.

Ingredients: Melt and pour soap base, contents of Vitamin E capsules (dl-Alpha Tocepheryl Acetate, Gelatin (Non-Bovine) Glycerin, Polysorbate 80, Water), Sandalwood Powder, Patchouli FO, Patchouli EO, Sandalwood FO, Gurjum Balsam EO, soap colorant, Annatto, 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle, coconut cooking spray oil.

    Spray Petroglyph Animals soap mold with cooking spray and wipe away excess with a paper towel.

    Golden Sunshine Soap Bar
    Warm, rich fragrance with a hint of orange. Ironically, do not use before sun exposure because the orange essential oil it contains (like all citrus oils) can cause photosensitivity.

Ingredients: Clear melt and pour soap base, opaque white and off-white melt and pour soap base, dried calendula petals, dried chamomille flowers, contents Vitamin E capsules (dl-Alpha Tocepheryl Acetate, Gelatin (Non-Bovine) Glycerin, Polysorbate 80, Water), Annatto, Evening Primrose Oil, Amber fragrance oil, Orange essential oil, Coconut cooking spray oil, 70% isopropyl alcohol

    Melt a 1-cup glass measuring cup full of white melt and pour soap base, and add a small handful each of dried calendula petals and dried chamomille flowers. Let cool.

    Flower Garden Soap Bar
    Welcome spring with floral scents in a swirled bar with embedded soap curls!

Ingredients: Clear melt and pour soap base, opaque white melt and pour soap base, soap colorants, contents of four Vitamin E capsules, Gardenia soap fragrance oil, Hyacinth soap fragrance oil, Secret Garden soap fragrance oil, cooking spray for mold release, 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.

    Melt some clear melt and pour soap and add orange colorant and Hyacinth soap fragrance in amount recommended by the manufacturer. Pour into a clean plastic container and let harden.

    Garden Sunshine Soap Bar
    Very floral fragrance blend infused with real dried flowers for skin benefits.

Ingredients: Contents of Vitamin E capsules (dl-Alpha Tocepheryl Acetate, Gelatin (Non-Bovine) Glycerin, Polysorbate 80, Water), melt and pour soap base, soap colorant, Secret Garden soap fragrance, Hyacinth Soap Fragrance, dried calendula petals, dried chamomille flowers, ground Annatto, 70% isopropyl alcohol.

    Melt some clear melt and pour soap and add orange colorant and Hyacinth soap fragrance in amount recommended by the manufacturer. Pour into a clean plastic container and let harden.

    Christmas Tree Soap Bar
    When I was young, my Mom made candy in this Christmas tree mold. This soap bar demonstrates how you can use candy molds to make inserts for clear melt and pour soap.

Ingredients: Clear melt and pour soap base, opaque white melt and pour soap base, Goat's Milk Powder, Jack Frost soap fragrance oil, Fir Needle essential oil, Sandalwood soap fragrance oil, Gurjum Basalm essential oil, cooking spray for mold release, 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.

    Melt some opaque soap base and add green coloring. A common problem with inserts for clear soaps is that dye type soap colorants can leach into the clear over time. To avoid this, use pigment-type colorants for inserts.

    Animalistic
    This project used the Petroglyph Animals mold by Milky Way molds and makes 8 bars.

Ingredients: Allspice FO, Patchouli FO, Spiced Bay FO, Woodsmoke FO, Hazelnut FO, Vetivert EO, Cypress EO, Clary Sage EO, Cedar EO, opaque white melt and pour soap base, ground nutmeg, soap colorants, cooking spray.

    Lightly spray the soap mold with cooking spray and wipe with paper towel to remove the excess.

    Dog Soap Bar
    Flea-repelling soap with a cute dog bone suspended in clear soap base. Safe for human use too as an antibacterial and insect-repelling soap bar. NOT FOR USE ON CATS.

Ingredients: Clear melt and pour soap base, opaque white and off-white melt and pour soap base, Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint essential oil, cooking spray for mold release, 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.

    Line a glass baking dish with aluminum foil. Fill to a depth of about 1" with small pieces of white and off-white opaque soap base.

    Bayberry and Vanilla Soap Bar
    A simple technique that does not take away from the detailed mold, with a scent that is particularly nice at Christmas time.

Ingredients: Clear melt and pour soap base, opaque white melt and pour soap base, bayberry fragrance, vanilla fragrance, soap colorants, cooking spray for mold release.

    Choose a fairly detailed soap mold and lightly spray with cooking spray. I used a geometric candy mold for this example. Wipe away the excess oil with a paper towel.

    Antibacterial Soap Bar
    I have a lot of hobbies that require washing my hands frequently - for example aquarium keeping, gardening, and taking care of my pet bird Atilla. I wanted some soap that is antibacterial, slightly abrasive for deep cleaning, and also kind to my skin. This batch of soap succeeded admirably for it's intended purpose, except for the swirl effect I was trying to add. I'm not even going to describe how I tried to do the swirl because it obviously didn't work, but the results have a rugged look that I find pleasing.

Ingredients: Clear melt and pour soap base, opaque melt and pour soap base, green coloring, dried eucalyptus leaves, Polysorbate 20, Goat Milk Powder, Stearic Acid, Eucalyptus essential oil, Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil.

    To make the green batch, put a small handful of eucalyptus leaves into a spice grinder and grind into a powder.

    Embedded Confetti Flowers Soap Bar
    Here is a slightly different take on making inserts for clear melt and pour soap. If you've been making soap for awhile, particularly if you mix up batches of colors for loaf soap inserts, you probably have odds and ends of colors left over. I'll explain how to use them to make interesting inserts for clear soap bars.

Ingredients: Clear melt and pour soap base, opaque melt and pour soap base, leftover chunks of colored soap from previous projects, Lavender Fragrance Oil, Vanilla Lavender Fragrance Oil, cooking spray for mold release, 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle or Bubble Buster.

    Line a glass baking dish with aluminum foil. Fill to a depth of about 1" with pieces of colored soap, both clear and opaque, left over from previous soap projects. If you don't have leftover pieces available, you can mix up three or more batches of color, let harden, then cut them up and put them in the baking dish.

    Wood and Spice Fragrance Pastilles and Car Air Freshener Trees
    I was first introduced to salt dough in preschool, where we made ornaments for Christmas. It became a favorite craft material of mine throughout childhood. In recent years, I've experimented with using salt dough for making fragrant ornaments and pastilles to add to potpourri mixes. In my opinion this is my most successful batch so far.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 tsp alum
  • 1/4 cup wallpaper paste
  • 1/4 cup Sage leaves
  • 1 TBSP ground Nutmeg
  • 1 TBSP ground Sage
  • 1 TBSP Orris Root Powder
  • 1 TBSP ground Cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP Cedarwood essential oil
  • 1 TBSP Northwoods fragrance oil
  • 1/4 tsp brown oxide powdered soap colorant

    Crumble the dried Sage leaves into a glass microwave-safe measuring cup. Add 1 cup of water, and heat in the microwave for approximately three minutes.

    Basil and Citrus Potpourri

Ingredients: Dried leaves of Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Lime Balm, Korean Hyssop, Red Rubin Basil and Sweet Basil, Rosemary Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Basil Essential Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil, Juicy Lime Fragrance Oil, Orange Essential Oil (Citrus aurantium), lemon peel, lime peel, orange peel and Wood and Spice Fragrance Pastilles.

    Grow or otherwise obtain two handfuls of each of the following dried leaves: Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Lime Balm, Korean Hyssop, Red Rubin Basil and Sweet Basil. The herbs I used for this particular batch were home-grown. Put the leaves into a large container that has a tight-fitting lid.

    On The Santa Fe Trail Soap Bar
    An exfoliating bar with a fragrance that will take your imagination on a trail ride on the High Plains!

Ingredients: Natural White MP Soap Base, cooking spray for mold release (soybean oil, soy lecithin, water, propellant), Polysorbate 20, Leather fragrance oil, cosmetic grade colorants, home grown yucca root, home grown sage (salvia officinalis), Fruit Fresh (Dextrose, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Citric Acid, Silicon Dioxide), 70% isopropyl alcohol and Bubble Buster.

    Spray the insides of the cavities of a Horse soap mold with cooking spray. Wipe out the excess cooking spray with a paper towel. Balance the horse mold on the bottoms of four identical upturned shot glasses (or any four small objects with flat bottoms of identical height) to keep the mold as stable and level as possible. It will make the pouring a lot easier.

A fresh green color and fragrance will cheer you as you wash if you can't wait for spring to get here!

Tools and supplies:
Glass measuring cups
Plastic food storage containers, including one wide flat one
Strainer
Clean empty plastic tubes from powdered drink mix packaging
Scissors that can cut plastic
Rubber bands
Plastic wrap
Aluminum foil
Cutting board
Knife
Paper Towels
Tray with raised edge
Melon baller or curl-cutting tool of choice
Serrated soap cutter
Soap cutting mitre box

    Wash and chop up a handful of fresh celery parts. Melt 1/4 package of opaque melt and pour soap base with the celery parts in a glass measuring cup. I used Life of the Party Avocado Cucumber Soap Base. Cover the measuring cup with foil or plastic wrap, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Ingredients: Baking soda, Epsom salt, Dead Sea salt, Amber FO, Rose FO, essential oils of Orange, Cedarwood, Bergamot, Patchouli, Basil, Palmarosa, Rosemary, Lemongrass and Lavender, yellow and peach liquid soap coloring.

Ingredients: Orange EO, Cedarwood EO, Bergamot EO, Patchouli EO, Basil EO, Palmarosa EO, Rosemary EO, Lemongrass EO, Lavender EO, baking soda, coarse sea salt, Dead Sea salt.

  • 2/3 cup epsom salt
  • 2/3 cup sea salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 20 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 10 drops seafoam green liquid soap colorant

I like to make these to tie onto my gift packages. It makes the gift look more festive plus the recipient can later hang it in a closet or some other place where they would want a nice scent.

Canola Harvest cooking spray used for mold release. 70% rubbing alchohol used for soap layer adhesion and bubble reduction.

  1. Mix three color batches of approx. 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup each. Start with white opaque melt and pour soap base and add colorants of your choice. For this project I used yellow-green (which looks all yellow in the finished bar), peach, and magenta. Pour each color into a separate container and let harden. You can use soap molds for this, or in order to save wear and tear on your soap molds, use clean plasic food containers.
  2. Get your loaf soap mold and spray the inside lightly with cooking spray. Wipe off the excess with a clean paper towel. For this project I used the loaf mold made by Life of the Party.
  3. Place the mold on some kind of support that will keep it from rolling or moving while the soap is hardening. Sets of cups of matching height work well, an old ice tray is also handy for this.
  4. When your colors are hardened through, cut them into chunks. Try to vary the size and shape as you cut.
  5. Fill the loaf mold with chunks, distributing the colors as much as you can. Fill the mold all the way to the top. It's okay if pieces project higher than the top of the mold - you can trim those pieces off later if you want. At about 1/3 full, spritz the chunks with alchohol or Bubble Buster. Repeat at 2/3, and again when full.
  6. Melt enough clear melt and pour base to fill a 2-cup measuring cup. Add some opalescent soap glitter, and one drop of red or magenta liquid soap color. I used about 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp Polysorbate 20 to theoretically help keep the soap glitter suspended. It's usually used for helping things like fragrance and water mix together, but on a whim I added some to see if it would help suspend the glitter since I read that it helps to disperse things. I'm no chemist as you can tell! I'd have to do another similar batch without it to see if it actually did anything. Stir slowly to avoid adding excess air bubbles.

    Refer to the manufacturers instructions for guidance on amounts.
    2 Parts bayberry FO
    1 Part pearberry FO
    1 Part strawberry FO
    1 Part vanilla FO

Ingredients: Commercial crafting soap base (Life of the Party Moisturizing Clear Glycerin Soap and Avocado Cucumber opaque soap base, Soapcrafters Opaque Glycerin, and Crafters Choice Natural White Melt and Pour Soap Base), Life of the Party "Spa" fragrance (I don't know what they really call it but it came with the Spa Indulgence embossed soap bar kit), Life of the Party Spruce fragrance, cosmetic grade colorants.

Canola Harvest cooking spray used for mold release. 70% rubbing alchohol sprayed on for soap layer adhesion and bubble reduction.

  1. Mix up and harden up two or three batches of colors to use for inserts. For the soap pictured I made a batch of opaque pale blue, a batch of clear darker blue with dark blue coloring and blue irridescent powdered color, and a third batch made of leftovers from the first two mixed together and fortified with more blue coloring.
  2. Choose a large container to use as a mold. A plastic storage box or a loaf mold would be a good choice. Spray the inside of the container lightly with cooking spray, and wipe off the excess with a paper towel.
  3. After the color chunks are hard, cut curls from them. The size and shape of the curls will depend on the size of the soap chunks and tool you use for the cutting. For the soap you see in the picture, I used the large end of a melon baller to cut out the curls.
  4. Place the curls in the mold, mixing up the colors as well as you can. Spray from time to time with a rubbing alcohol spritz or Bubble Buster.
  5. Fill a 2-Cup glass measuring cup with melted white opaque melt and pour soap base. Add a bit of white pearlized powder colorant. Add the fragrance:

    Refer to the manufacturers instructions for guidance on amounts.
    1 part Spruce fragrance
    1 part "Spa" fragrance

Ingredients: Commercial crafting melt and pour soap base, food grade vanilla extract, soap fragrance (My notes on this one are more vague than I'd like but it's probably Woodsmoke, Sweetgrass, and Desert Sage), cosmetic grade colorants.

Bath Fizzies are like big Alka Seltzer tabs for your bath.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of Baking Soda
1/2 cup of Citric Acid
Witch Hazel in a fine mist sprayer
Fragrance or essential oils of your choice
Powdered or liquid colorants of your choice
Cooking spray for mold release

First, put baking soda and citric acid in a large bowl. If you're using powdered colorant, add it and mix dry ingredients well. If you are using liquid colorant, add it, mix and break up any lumps that form. Add whatever fragrance or essential oils you want, using your nose as guide to how much to add, mix, and break up any lumps that form. Repeat until there are no more lumps.

    And by mixing leftovers from Honey and Oatmeal and Coffee together, I ended up with Coffee Dessert!

Ingredients: Commercial crafting soap base (the clear portion is Crafter's Choice Extra Clear), fragrance (Masculine Musk, Green Tea (Soap Crafters), Leather, Juicy Lime, Coconut, and Amber), cosmetic grade colorants.

Canola Harvest cooking spray used for mold release. 70% rubbing alchohol sprayed on for soap layer adhesion and bubble reduction.

  1. Mix up a small batch of opaque lime green soap and add some complementary pearlized powders. Pour the mixture into the cavities of a citrus slices mold. The flexible mold I used was sold as an ice cube tray, and although I'm not sure if they are exactly the same, I've seen similar molds on a soap supply web site.
  2. Get a multi cavity bar soap mold and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Wipe off the excess with a clean paper towel. I used a mold of two circles and two ovals made by Life of the Party.
  3. Place the mold on some kind of support that will keep it from rolling or moving while the soap is hardening. Sets of cups of matching height work well.
  4. Pop the lime slices out of the flexible mold and place the pieces near the soap bar mold. Timing is important in the next step, and having your materials near will help. Get your bottle of rubbing alcohol or Bubble Buster ready as well.
  5. Melt some clear soap base and add fragrance: I used 1 part Amber, 1 part Juicy Lime, and one part Coconut. (I used some leftovers from another batch in this project, and the colored portions already contain some Juicy Lime, Leather, Green Tea, and Masculine Musk fragrance.)
  6. When the soap starts to form a skin on top, remove the skin then fill one of the bar cavities 1/3 full of the clear mixture. Spray with alcohol or Bubble Buster to break any bubbles that might be on the surface. Add some lime pieces - two of mine fit in the round cavity, three fit in the oval cavity. Repeat for each cavity.
  7. Let the soap sit until the clear is just barley hard. Then spritz with the alchohol or Bubble Buster, then add another layer of clear to just cover the lime slices. In my mold, this filled the round cavities completely, but there was still some room for another layer in the oval cavities.
  8. To add another layer and finish up the bars, let the soap sit again until the second clear layer is barely hard. Spritz with the alcohol or Bubble Buster, and add a layer of a contrasting color or clear. I used a pearly white.
  9. Let the mold sit undisturbed until the soap is hard. To be safe wait until the soap has cooled off completely and then wait some more. It will be worth the wait!
  10. Pop the bars out of the mold and enjoy!

Ingredients: Commercial crafting melt and pour soap base, cosmetic grade colorants, soap fragrance (Leather, Masculine Musk, Juicy Lime, Green Tea (Soap Crafters), Sandalwood, Frankincense, Myrhh).

Canola Harvest cooking spray used for mold release. 70% rubbing alchohol sprayed on for soap layer adhesion and bubble reduction.

This batch was made mostly from leftovers that already had some fragrance in it. I added some extra Frankincense and Sandalwood during Step 3. All of the color mixes I used in this soap were opaque.

  1. Mix up a batch of light brown soap, about the color of hot chocolate. Pour into a container and let it harden.
  2. Cut curls from the light brown with a melon baller or your curl-cutting tool of choice. Fill a suitable container or loaf mold with the curls, spraying periodically with rubbing alcohol or Bubble Buster. I used a large yogurt container for this project.
  3. Mix one batch of pearly white soap and one batch of pearly green soap in separate glass measuring cups. You'll be pouring these two colors simultaneously, so try to melt them at the same time and get them to the same state of liquidity at the same time. It doesn't have to be exact, just close. Add fragrance now.
  4. Let the two melted batches start to form a skin on top.
  5. Remove the skin, then pour both batches at the same time, one on each side of the mold. Don't move the cups much while you pour if you want a two-tone effect like my sample.
  6. Gently tap the sides to dislodge any bubbles and allow them to float to the top. Use the alcohol or Bubble Buster to break bubbles on the surface.
  7. Let the mold sit undisturbed until the soap is hard. Such a large chunk of soap might take several hours to harden completely. To be safe wait until it has cooled off completely and then wait some more. It will be worth the wait!
  8. Pop the loaf out of the mold, slice, and enjoy!

Ingredients: mandarin orange peel, home grown peppermint leaves, home grown lemon basil leaves, Orange Spice Fragrance Oil, scented salt dough strips (flour, salt, cornmeal, cosmetic grade powdered coloring, Lemongrass essential oil, Peppermint essential oil).

Here are the steps to make it:

  1. Wash and peel a bunch of mandarin oranges. Cut the peels into strips, and let them dry on a cookie sheet until they are crisp. Eat the oranges (yum!).
  2. Put the peels into a large container such as a cooking pot or big salad bowl. Add a few drops of Orange Spice fragrance oil. Stir it up and let it sit for a few days with a cover on it. Stir it every once in a while.
  3. Add a handful or two of dried whole Peppermint leaves and dried whole Lemon Basil leaves. I grew these, but you can probably buy them from an herb supplier. These are really easy to grow yourself if you want to. I can say from experience that in the St. Louis area climate you will soon have mass quantities of them with no effort at all!
  4. Mix up a batch of salt dough, and if you care about making it look pretty add some yellow coloring. Add a few drops of Peppermint and Lemongrass essential oils.
  5. Roll out the dough into a sheet, cut it into strips, and let the strips dry. Add them to your mix when done.
  6. Put the Potpourri into the bags or containers of your choice. For this batch I used drawstring muslin bags which I first dyed with tea, then rubber stamped with fabric ink.

*NOTE: The supplier from where I ordered the flowers says on their web site that it can be used for herbal tea, but after I ordered it I found out that was not the case, it's of a grade for external use only. So I will be using it in bath teas, potpourri, and things like that.

    Laundry Soap
    Save up small soap bar scraps and motel soaps and make laundry soap out of them!

Ingredients:
Bar soap scraps
Water
Borax
Optional: Fragrance oils or essential oils

    Carpet Freshener
    The Borax in this recipe is not strictly necessary, but it is said to dry up flea eggs so it might be useful to add it.

Ingredients:
2 heaping tsp Borax
8 heaping tsp Baking Soda
20 drops fragrance or essential oils of your choice

*Ingredients: Calendula flowers, Chamomile flowers, Rose Hips, Red Clover, Eucalyptus leaves.

*NOTE: The supplier from where I ordered the flowers and herbs says on their web site that it can be used for herbal tea, but after I ordered it I found out that was not the case, it's of a grade for external use only. So I will be using it in bath teas, potpourri, and things like that. All of the ingredients I used are from Wholesale Supplies Plus.

    Lotion for Acne-Prone Skin
    This mixture alone did not cure my acne (after years of trying different things something I have to take internally did the job), but it seems to help skin to heal quickly.

Ingredients:
Witch Hazel
Dried Chamomille flowers
Dried Rose Hips
Dried Calendula flowers
Dried Lavender flowers
Dried Eucalyptus leaves

Instructions: Put dried herbs into a large glass jar and pour Witch Hazel over all. Shake well, put on lid and store in refrigerator. You can start using it right away, but the longer it steeps the stronger it will get. When you're ready to use some, strain a portion into a small glass jar and apply to skin with cotton pad.

Ingredients:
Make a selection of one or more from this list of dried herbs: Bay, Calendula, Chamomille, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Wintergreen, Yarrow, Yucca root.
Fuller's Earth Clay
Moroccan Rhassoul Clay
Aloe juice
Witch Hazel water

Ingredients:
1 oz vodka
1 oz water
2 ml fragrance oil or essential oils of your choice

Instructions: Pour ingredients in a glass jar and shake well. You can store the mixture in the glass jar until ready to use. Pour into a container with a spray cap to dispense.

Ingredients:
1 part Orris Root Powder
3 parts Arrowroot Starch or Corn Starch
Fragrance or essential oils

Instructions:
Mix ingredients well in a bowl and add fragrance or essential oils a few drops at a time until the fragrance smells right. Break up any lumps with a fork. Store in a dry place.

Variation: Some people add powdered dried herbs to their dusting powder. I tried that with Calendula petals and found the mixture to be a bit gritty for my taste, but try it if you're interested and see if it works for you.

    Herbal Liquid Soap
    I grow herbs and when I dry them and harvest the leaves for use in cooking and crafts, I have a lot of stems left over. They are too tough to use in food and not attractive enough to use in potpourri, but are deliciously fragrant so I try to find a use for them before they go on the compost pile. For this recipe, I boiled the stems of lemon basil and peppermint to make a tea, then used the resulting liquid to make liquid soap from concentrate. You know a batch is successful when you keep opening the bottle to smell it and you keep feeling your skin because it's so soft - this is one of those batches!

Ingredients:
Herb stems
Essential oils and fragrance oils of your choice
Polysorbate 20 (optional)
Germaben II (optional)
Humectant (optional)
Aloe juice or powder (optional)
Goats milk powder (optional)
Liquid soap concentrate
Container with pump top

Instructions:
Put herb stems into a large cooking pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let liquid cool. Get a container that is large enough to mix liquid with a stick blender and fill it about half full of the liquid, after straining out the herbs. If you want to use Polysorbate 20, Germaben II or other preservative, Humectant, Aloe or Goats Milk powder, add those now in amounts recommended by the manufacturer. Add your chosen essential oils or fragrance oils and mix well with the stick blender. I used a blend of Black Pepper EO, Fresh Grass FO, Lemon EO and Basil EO for mine - it smelled heavenly with the herbal fragrances already in the liquid. If you want to use the soap for a special purpose such as skin care or killing germs, select the appropriate essential oils to add to your mix.

Start adding the liquid soap concentrate bit by bit, blending as you go, until the thickness is right for dispensing from a pump-top container. The liquid will look opaque until the bubbles settle out, then it will clear up to a beautiful tea color. Pour into a clear container to dispense.

  • Make bath tea
  • Break up and put in a cloth bag to scent your drawers, closets, or laundry when it's tumbling in the dryer
  • Soak in vinegar to make flavored vinegar
  • Grind up in a spice grinder and mix with dough for fragrance pastilles
  • Add to the fire while grilling food
  • Put in a Potpourri crock pot to scent the house

    Deodorant
    This recipe is originally from the blog Frugally Sustainable, altered slightly.

Ingredients:
1 TBSP Cocoa Butter
1 TBSP Coconut Oil
1 TBSP Shea Butter
1 TBSP Beeswax
2 1/2 TBSP Arrowroot Powder
1 TBSP Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Vitamin E Oil
5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
5 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
5 drops Sage Essential Oil
5 drops Anti-Bacterial essential oil blend (see the end of section 5 for a blend suggestion)
Deodorant Tubes

Instructions:
Set up a double boiler by placing a glass measuring cup in a pan of water. Place on medium heat. Melt Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Beeswax. When completely melted, remove from heat and stir in Arrowroot Powder, Baking Soda, Vitamin E Oil and essential oils. Pour into deoderant tubes and let harden.

    Sunscreen
    This recipe is originally from the blog Frugally Sustainable, altered. It makes a solid product than can be dispensed from a deodorant tube. I don't make any guarantees about what the actual SPF factor of this blend is. Please read the original recipe and the comments first then use your own judgement and use with caution. I can say that I tried it on my arms in late April and was outside in full sun for five hours from Noon to 5 pm. I only applied it once and had no pinkness on my arms at the end of the day. I can't guarantee you'll get the same results (I'm dark-haired and while my skin is pale in the winter, I tan well after turning pink first if I get too much sun) but I was very pleased and will continue to use it on myself. The Black Cumin Seed Oil was included because it seems very nutritious for the skin, but I don't believe it has any sunblocking properties, so feel free to substitute another oil if you don't have any or increase the amount of Wheat Germ Oil. Due to the Beeswax content if you have acne-prone skin I would not recommend using this formula on your face since it's likely to block your pores. I chose the essential oils Lavender and Peppermint for this recipe because they may have some sunblocking properties and also are insect-repelling. If you decide to use other essential oils, be sure not to use any that are phototoxic such as the citrus oils.

Instructions:
Set up a double boiler by placing a glass measuring cup in a pan of water. Place on medium heat. Melt Raspberry Seed Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter. Wear a dust mask for the next step when handling powdered oxides. When completely melted, remove from heat and stir in Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, and essential oils. Pour into deodorant tubes and let harden.

    Insect Repelling Incense Sticks
    My brother likes to grill so I made him some incense sticks to keep bugs away while he's enjoying time in the backyard. They turned out to smell so good that I've been burning a few in my studio just to enjoy the fragrance while I work - I felt more relaxed and creative for some reason! (My studio is not near my pet birds' cage - don't burn incense or candles near birds!)

Instructions: I took out a shot glass and added one eyedropper each of all the ingredients except the DPG and Lime Citronella fragrance. I filled the rest of the shotglass to the top with the fragrance. I emptied the shotglass contents into a glass measuring cup then added three more shotglasses full of DPG and mixed well. I placed the incense sticks in a glass baking dish and poured the mixture over the sticks then covered with foil and let soak for 24 hours. To dry I poked the sticks into a chunk of scrap styrafoam and let sit out. They burned ok the next day but I wasn't sure they were totally dry so I let them dry a few more days.

The sticks make a good room air freshener until burned so I'm going to store mine upright in a vase. I had some fragrance mixture left over so I stored and labeled that for future use. I'm so pleased with this first attempt at incense making that I'm going to order some natural ingredients for making incense cones from scratch and phase out the synthetic ingredients once they are used up. The smoke smell mixed with the fragrances is so much better than the fragrances by themselves!

    4. Favorite Fragrance Blends
    Blends such as these can be used to scent personal fragrance products, bath salts, pastilles or sachets, candles, room spray, linen spray, carpet freshener, bath fizzes, soap, shampoo, lotion, and more. Try some of these or make up your own blends.

1 part Clary Sage EO*
1 part Ylang Ylang EO
1 part Bergamot EO
1 part Sandalwood FO*

2 parts Patchouli EO
1 part Vanilla Lavender FO
1 part Sandalwood FO

2 parts Spiced Bay FO
2 parts Patchouli EO
1 part Sandalwood FO

1 part Baby Powder FO
1 part Pine Forest FO

1 part Allspice FO
1 part Patchouli FO
1 part Spiced Bay FO
8 parts Woodsmoke FO
16 parts Hazelnut FO

2 parts Patchouli FO
2 parts Cedar FO
1 part Sweetgrass FO
1 part Desert Sage FO

2 parts Black Pepper EO
1 part Fresh Grass FO
1 part Basil EO
1 part Lemon EO

4 parts Green Tea FO
3 parts Masculine Musk FO
3 parts Leather FO
1 part Lime FO

5 parts Woodsmoke FO
3 parts Hazelnut FO
2 parts Fresh Grass FO
1 part Oakmoss FO
1 part Mandarin Dreams FO

7 parts Coconut FO
4 parts Lime FO
1 part Cucumber Melon FO
1 part Sandalwood FO
1 part Lemongrass EO

1 part Vanilla FO
1 part Lavender FO
1 part Sandalwood FO
1 part Orange FO

1 part Pine Forest FO
1 part Cedar Chest FO
1 part Lavender FO

2 parts Cedarwood EO
1 part Lavender EO
1 part Patchouli EO

2 parts Cedarwood EO
2 parts Sandalwood FO
1 part Palmarosa EO

4 parts Cedarwood EO
2 parts Rosemary EO
1 part Vetivert EO

8 parts Cedarwood EO
4 parts Sandalwood FO
2 parts Vanilla FO
1 part Masculine Musk FO
1 part Patchouli FO

1 part Cedarwood EO
1 part Northwoods FO

1 part Lemongrass FO
1 part Green Tea FO

8 parts Sweetgrass FO
1 part Woodsmoke FO
1 part Fresh Grass FO
1 part Sandalwood FO

2 parts Lilac FO
1 part Sandalwood FO

1 part Vetivert EO
1 part Cypress EO
2 parts Clary Sage EO
2 parts Cedarwood EO

1 part Hyacinth FO
1 part Fresh Grass FO

1 part Pine Forest FO
2 parts Cedarwood EO
4 parts Cypress EO
4 parts Northwoods FO
20 parts Fir Needle EO

1 part Sandalwood FO
1 part Ocean FO

1 part Spruce FO
1 part Northwooods FO

3 parts Magnolia FO
1 part Woodsmoke FO
1 part Frankincense FO
1 part Mandarin Dreams FO

*EO - essential oil
*FO - fragrance oil

How to Create Your Own Fragrance Blends

I've found that creating a fragrance blend is in some ways similar to creating a piece of visual artwork. First I familiarize myself with the materials, then I build up a collection of "tools" that I like (in this case Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils are the tools), then I play with the materials and wait for inspiration to strike - after inspiration hits, then I get a little more organized with my activity.

When it's time for a new blend, first I get out my bottles and start sniffing. Certain ones will inspire me more on certain days - just like you're in the mood for certain colors or flavors on different days or different times of the year, you'll be in the mood for different fragrances at different times. I pick one that will be the focus and then pick out two to five others that I think will complement it.

Now it's time to start thinking about what proportions to use of each fragrance. If I want one to dominate, I'll use more of that one. If some smell very dominant coming out of the bottle and I don't want it to overwhelm the others, I'll use less of it. If it smells weak coming out of the bottle, I'll use more of it. At this point I jot down what I think the proportions will be - 2 parts this, 5 parts that, etc.

Now it's time to test this mix to see how it performs. You can mix a small batch and put it in a glass bottle with some carrier oil or vodka, and test it out. Another way to test is to dispense a small amount of your blend from an eyedropper onto a coffee filter, then put the filter in a glass jar let sit for awhile, then sniff. If you like it, mix a bigger batch. If you think it needs work, make adjustments and test again until you are satisfied. Always make sure not to put fragrance or essential oils on your skin without diluting them first.

If you have any leftovers from your test batches, save them. Try blending some of these test batches together later - you might discover a great new combination!

Professional perfumers think in terms of Base Notes, Middle Notes and Top Notes. You can make a chart of what fragrances you have available and what category they fit into and try to make sure to include some of each in your blend. Sometimes I do that, at other times I just let my nose be the guide.

I am not a doctor, herbalist, scientist, botanist, chemist or anything like that. My university degree is in Fine Art. I think if you have a medical condition you should see a doctor. That said, I do like to experiment with essential oils and herbs to make life more pleasant and make me feel better when I have a cosmetic issue or want to accomplish some specific aim around the house such as repelling insects or making the closets smell good. Some "official" medications, cleaning and cosmetic products are based on plant products, so their use as home remedies is not an unreasonable or unproductive pursuit - it can be fascinating and very educational to study the useful properties of plants. Reading about folk remedies of the past is also very interesting from a historical standpoint. Some folk remedies I wouldn't think of trying, they seem more destructive than helpful, while others seem to be quite good. It's very romantic and interesting to try to do things "the old way" but I think it's also important to keep in mind that sometimes the old way was the only way so they did the best they could with what they had and we might have something better now. Since useful plants and human beings have a long history together, the names of the plants, whether common or scientific contain a lot of interesting lore in themselves.

I initially acquired fragrance oils and essential oils and dried herbs for the purpose of making soap, and figured once I have them in stock why not see to what other uses they can be put? Some household cleaning products and many cosmetic products that I used to buy I have replaced with my own concoctions. I have listed uses gleaned from many different sources to which herbs and essential oils have traditionally been put in case you are interested in doing your own experimenting.

If you make products to sell, please make yourself familiar with labeling laws so that you don't get in trouble or harm people. Some essential oils and herbs can be dangerous, and some that are safe if used correctly can be dangerous in excessive amounts or to people who have allergies or certain medical conditions. You must take extra care to avoid accidental poisonings if there are pets or children in the house. They are more sensitive than adult humans, and even a small quantity of some essential oils or herbs can be fatal to a pet or a child (and sometimes adults too). You should also be wary if you are pregnant or lactating.

Some preparations can get contaminated with mold or bacteria and become a safety hazard that way, so please do research to make yourself aware of what products need a preservative and what kinds of preservatives are safe and in what amounts. You will find a lot of varying opinions on that and it's an issue you probably will have to do some reading on and make your own informed decision.

Essential oils can be very potent and should not be used directly on the skin unless mixed with something as a carrier, such as soap or lotion or oil, and they are not for internal use. Plants that are safe to use as food can be deadly in essential oil form. Too give you an idea of the potency, undiluted essential oils and fragrance oils can eat plastic (not to mention kill people in some cases), so store your oils and blends in glass containers and label them carefully to avoid mixups. They can also be flammable (that goes for fragrance oils too). The manufacturer should provide you with information about what the flash point is. If you don't have an allergy to an essential oil initially, it is possible to develop one as a result of overexposure.

I have not included any herbs or essential oils on this list that I know to be dangerous if used in a responsible way and I have used them all myself in various ways with no apparent ill effects, but I would recommend that you do your own research before attempting to use them, especially if you're allergy-prone. I have no allergies that I know of so I'm not a good test subject for allergens. You might be much more sensitive to the following plant products than I am. Do not rely on the information in my list alone, I have made an effort to make it accurate but it may not be complete and the information is only as good as my sources. You will notice that many of the herbs on this list are culinary. Do not assume that just because an herb is consumable that it is 100% safe in all uses and forms - Peppermint essential oil can burn if used in excess, too much Sage can cause liver damage and too much Nutmeg can cause hallucinations, to cite a few examples. When you read different sources on herbs, you will find varying opinions on safety and efficacy. To be safe, I recommend following the most conservative opinion. Unfortunately asking a doctor for advice may not help - my doctor is a traditional Western medicine kind of doctor and he's aware of what herbal products I use, but he's not able to guide me much because he mainly knows about "traditional" drugs. I'm not down on Western medicine at all - my interest in herbs is not based on mistrust of the medical profession or commercial drugs and preparations, though of course they are not infallible either. I've found that in some cases, I can make something at home for cosmetic use or cleaning that works just as well and either smells better, works better, or is in some way superior to the commercial product. And at other times the commercial product IS better and necessary.

You must be careful about your sources of herbs and essential oils. I am not knowlegeable enough to feel comfortable with wild harvesting herbs for my own use and I don't want to deplete populations of wild plants, so I grow a lot of my own. Picking the wrong plant has proved fatal for some people. If I grew it, I know exactly what it is and under what conditions it was grown and harvested. I know it's free of pesticides and not mixed with anything else. You also want to avoid using plants from along the roadside margins 1 . For essential oils and herbs you can't grow yourself, try to get them from a reputable supplier. That is very subjective and difficult to quantify. I consider it a good sign if the supplier has been in business awhile and has a good reputation, tells you the scientific name and country of origin of each product, provides safety information about the products they sell, and when providing guidance on safety or efficacy, is on the conservative side.

Another thing to keep in mind about herbs is that the amount of active ingredient in the plant can vary depending on where it was grown, how it was grown, when it was harvested, what part of the plant you use and possibly other factors that I'm not aware of. There is a good reason to try to synthesize drugs in a lab - it's not necessarily just an excuse for pharmaceutical companies to make money off of us. An incorrect dose can fail to help or kill outright. Some people believe that nature, God, or whatever you want to call it created plants for our use and there are other constituents in the plant besides the active ingredient that drug companies isolate or synthesize that we need for healing. I don't know if that's true or not, but we are often told that vitamins we get from food are more easily used by the body than vitamins we get from a pill, so it doesn't sound crazy to think that a whole plant might have benefits. After all we know some herbs do contain vitamins and minerals. My advice is not to self-diagnose, not to attempt to treat yourself with herbs for medical conditions, and be conservative, be fully informed, and leave plenty of room for error if you do want to experiment with cosmetics and fragance-oriented crafts.

I've had hours and hours of fun and learned a great deal from growing my own herbs, reading about them and using them and essential oils in different ways. I enjoy learning about the use of plants throughout human history and feeling a connection with our ancestors by learning about ancient knowledge collected over time. I certainly don't know enough to be an expert - just a hobbyist. I must stress again that if you're not careful, plants and plant products can also be injurious or deadly if you mess with the wrong ones or use too much! I'll list my sources for information at the end of this list, I urge you to do additional reading of sources you trust if the useful properties of plants are of interest to you.

I've included information about how some of these plants perform in my garden. I live in a humid continental type climate and the zone is listed as 5 or 6 depending on the source. More information about some plants I grow in my garden is here, and photos of my garden are here.

Aloe - Aloe spp.
I don't know exactly what species of Aloe I have around the house, but the gel from the leaves is wonderful for burns. I also use it as part of the liquid when I do a face mask treatment. Scientific tests show that is has anesthetic, antibacterial, and tissue restorative properties 10 . All Aloe plants have more or less the same properties. The gel promotes the removal of dead skin and the stimulates the growth of living cells 12 . Fresh gel is best but if you don't have the plant on hand you can purchase it in powdered and liquid form. For external use only. It's easy to grow as a house plant. More information on Aloe from Drug Digest.

Amyris - Amyris balsamifera

Anise - Pimpinella Anisum
This plant is in the same family as Queen Anne's Lace, parsely, carrots, lovage and fennel. It's a well-known culinary herb and the crushed seeds are nice in tea as well. It's been traditionally used as a remedy for digestive issues 10 . Anise is also used for it's fragrance. Fishermen like the oil as a fish attractant. This plant is likely to attract Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars to your garden. Essential oil cautions: Avoid when pregnant, not for children, possible skin irritant, sensitizing 4 .


AllRecipes HomeMade

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"A fruit-laden and barely tart loaf. Excellent with tea or espresso."

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • half cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • half of teaspoon baking soda
  • half teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped

Instructions :

  • Preheat oven to 350 levels F (a hundred seventy five degrees C). Grease one 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
  • Pour boiling water over apricot portions in a small bowl. Cool.
  • In every other bowl, integrate flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and dates.
  • In a massive bowl, cream butter or margarine, cream cheese, and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Stir in cooled apricots and water. Pour in flour mixture, and stir till moistened. Turn batter into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 levels C) for 1 hour, or till it checks completed. Let stand 10 mins. Remove from pan to rack. Cool.

Notes :

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