Wednesday, November 25, 2015

CLEANING YOUR OVEN - The easiest way EVER!

CLEANING YOUR OVEN - The easiest way EVER!

Begin by preheating the oven to 150 degrees (or your lowest setting available). While the oven is heating, put on a pot of water to boil. Once the oven has reached 150, turn it off and pour 1 cup of ammonia into a heat safe bowl or baking dish and place it on the top rack of the oven. Place the pot of boiling water on the bottom rack, close the oven do...or, and leave them both in the oven overnight.

The next morning, open the oven and remove both the bowl of ammonia and the pot of water, keep the ammonia – you’ll use it later. Remove the racks and leave the oven door open to air out for 15 minutes. Add 1-2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid to the ammonia, along with 4 cups of warm water, and using a heavy-duty nylon scrubbing pad dipped in the ammonia mixture, begin to wipe away the softened grease and grime along the sides and bottom of the oven.

It should be a fairly easy job at this point. Wear some kitchen gloves, since ammonia can be caustic to skin. Rinse/wipe clean with a damp cloth.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Yummy Gluten Free Snack

Tomato mozzarella snack is my summer favorite. Sweet ripe tomatoes with pillowy soft mozzarella, asparagus and fresh basil. Yum!

This may look like a sandwich at first glance, but it's healthier because there's no bread. Most bread, even whole-grain wheat bread, is little more than filler, having even been found by studies to make people fat!


45 hothouse (beefsteak) tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 logs of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Generous bunch of fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Balsamic vinegar

Just stack tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, asparagus. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salad, followed by a drizzle of balsamic reduction.Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

Submitted by: Laura Cook
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
(recipe makes a 9x13 pan)
recipe by Carole Jones of My Kitchen Escapades
2 cups quick cooking oats (or pulse whole oats in a food processor a bit)
1 C rice crispy cereal...
1/4 C shredded coconut
1/4 C butter
1/4 C honey
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix -In variations listed below

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, cereal and coconut. Set a small saucepan over medium high heat and melt the butter. Add the honey, brown sugar and salt. Stir together then leave it alone as it comes to a boil. Once the boil has reached all the way around the edges of the pan, begin timing. Allow this mixture to boil for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. During this time, you may need to turn the heat down a bit so it doesn't overflow, but be sure it keeps boiling.

2. Pour the mixture over the oats, using a rubber spatula to get all the sugar mixture out of the pan. Mix the ingredients together until the oats are completely coated. Add in your desired mix-in then press very firmly into a lightly greased 9x13" pan. If you like your bars thicker, you can use a smaller pan. If you do not press firmly enough, the bars will fall apart when you eat them. Place them in the fridge for 20 minutes then cut to size.

Chocolate Chip
Add 1/2 C of mini chocolate chips to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it cool just a bit or you will end up with melted chips. Sprinkle on a few extra chips over the top after they are pressed into the pan.

White Chocolate Cranberry
Add 1/3 C of white chocolate chips and 1/3 C of Craisins to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it to cool just a bit first or you will end up with melted chips.

Candy Bar
Add 1/3 C of Heath bar pieces, 1/3 C of mini M&M's and 1/3 C of chopped pretzels to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.

Peanut Butter
Add 2 Tb of peanut butter to the finished sugar mixture before pouring it over the oats. Once mixed with the oats, add 1/2 C peanut butter chips before pressing into the pan.

Raisin Nut
Add 1/3 C of chopped raisins and 1/3 C of chopped pecans to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Why You Should Hang Eucalyptus In Your Shower

Did you know?

It is common in Italy to find fresh sprigs of Eucalyptus casually tied on to shower heads. When you take a hot bath or shower, the steam will release the eucalyptus oils. Eucalyptus is a natural decongestant, taking a shower with one can help to clear up sinuses and loosen cough. Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree that’s widely used for its medicinal properties.

Eucalyptus is a powerhouse plant for relieving symptoms of respiratory issues. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help open up the airways in your nose and throat. And you can easily harness the anti-inflammatory powers of fresh eucalyptus simply by taking a shower.

Bringing a few branches of fresh eucalyptus into a steamy shower will activate and release the beneficial oils in the leaves. Your inflamed airways and congestion will be no match for the powerful combination of eucalyptus and steam.

Setting up your aromatic shower is incredibly easy. First, you’ll need few eucalyptus branches, use a length of string or baker’s twine to tie them together securely. Then, use another length of twine to tie the end of your bundle of eucalyptus to your shower head, as close to the wall as you can get it. (You want the eucalyptus to hang down along your shower wall, behind the stream of water and not in front of it.

Benefits of eucalyptus oil are well-known and wide ranging, and its properties include anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial, stimulating, and other medicinal qualities. Eucalyptus essential oil is colorless and has a distinctive taste and odor.

In addition to being used for its aroma, eucalyptus oil also has flavoring, pharmaceutical, and antiseptic uses. Eucalyptus oil may also have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties - people use eucalyptus oil to help treat a wide range of medical conditions.

Eucalyptus oil was used in traditional Aboriginal medicines for treating fungal infections and skin wounds. Eucalyptus tea was also administered to reduce fevers.

Eucalyptus is used for a range of medical conditions in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. Eucalyptus oil was used in most hospitals in England to clean urinary catheters. It is also an effective insect repellent.

Other benefits of eucalyptus:
  • Arthritis - potentially due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • A blocked nose.
  • Wounds and burns.
  • Ulcers.
  • Cold sores - perhaps due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Bladder diseases.
  • Diabetes - eucalyptus might help lower blood sugar.
  • Fever.
How to use eucalyptus:

Eucalyptus leaves can be found online and used in a variety of ways, including:

Tea. Use tea bags made from ground eucalyptus leaves.

Aromatherapy. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a diffuser or steam bowl.

Whole leaves. Hang the leaves in your shower or add them to your bath for a relaxing spa-like experience.

Bug repellent. Purchase or make a bug repellent with lemon eucalyptus essential oil.

Topical. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, and apply it to your chest to ease congestion.