Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bulk Spices

I went to the store today in need of some dill weed for a soup I am making for dinner. I usually prefer fresh dill, but right now in our area there is really no place to get it. Plus, I like growing it in our garden and picking it fresh to use, but that's only during the summer. But anyhow, back to buying it at the store. In the past, I have paid anywhere from $3.oo to $6.00 for a bottle of dill. I was pleasantly surprised to find organic bulk spices at the store, at a hugely reduced price when compared to buying pre-packaged spices. Plus the organic factor is a bonus! I bought a baggie of dill (about as much as comes in a bottle when I buy it that way) for $1.00.

Don't let the price tags on the spices scare you. The price tag on the dill said it was $19.99 a pound. Yeah, that sounds scary! However, the amount of dill I purchased weighed around 1/2 an ounce, so it turned out that I got a nice amount of dill for a small price. Many of the spices are sold by the pound, but they weigh so little that it really doesn't cost that much to get an adequate amount of the spice. So, the benefits for me to buy the spices in bulk are that they cost less that way, they are organic, and I can buy in any amount that I want to. Yay!

P.S. The picture came from www.naturallifemagazine.com/9604/herbs.htm

Friday, March 26, 2010

Natural Astringent Recipe

I have been on the lookout for a more natural alternative to store bought facial astringents. This is quite simple and easy to make, and so far I like it. It consists of two ingredients, witch hazel and tea tree oil. For acne prone skin, tea tree oil is supposed to reduce inflammation and redness. Just buy a bottle of witch hazel from the store, add around 25 drops of tea tree oil. Shake bottle before each use. A bottle of witch hazel around here goes for a dollar or two, and if you buy a bottle of tea tree oil, it really lasts for a long time because a little bit goes a long way.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Guaca-Taco Cheeseball Recipe

We had a small family gathering today, and since we are trying to eat healthier, I have been making fruit and veggie trays every now and then. What goes well with fruit and veggie trays? Cheeseballs!!! I have been trying my hand at making cheesballs upon occasion, and today's cheeseball experiment turned out quite well. I always like to try to come up with new ideas and creations based on the things I already have on hand at home. I decided to name this creation "Guaca-Taco Cheesball", and it was a hit!

Guaca-Taco Cheeseball

1 - avocado
1 - 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp taco seasoning
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or put through garlic press
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup chopped peanuts, or nuts of choice

De-shell and remove pit from the avocado. Mash avocado with a fork, then add the cream cheese and continue mashing together until well blended with a somewhat smooth texture. Add the taco seasoning, garlic, and lime juice. Mix well. Take a piece of plastic wrap and place mixture in the middle of the sheet. Fold up the plastic wrap around the mixture while shaping into a ball. Refrigerate overnight, or place in freezer for 1 to 2 hours. After chilling the cheeseball, unwrap and roll in chopped nuts until well coated. Serve with vegetables or crackers.