Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All natural... and it doesn't hurt. :)

Robin’s Almond Oatmeal Honey Facial Scrub

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup almonds

½ cup honey

Put oatmeal and almonds in the blender and combine. “Make it as fine as you think you want, because you want it dense enough to scrub,” Robin says.

Add the honey to the oatmeal almond mixture. Apply to the face and wash off.

If you choose to make larger batches, you can keep the extra in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

“One thing I love about this is you can do it every day, because it’s all natural, won’t harm your skin and really exfoliates well,” Robin says.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Breaksnack? Snunch?

Snack? Light dinner? Lunch? Breakfast? This is gonna be a winner in our house for sure. Maybe after a busy day out and about we could come home and make these together and snuggle in with a movie... Works for me. :)

Apple Bagel Sandwiches with Pumpkin Cream Cheese

8 servings Grill: 5 minutes
Prep: 30 minutes
Chill: 2 hours


* 1/4 cup apple jelly
* 2 teaspoons snipped fresh chives
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 2 small red and/or green apples
* 4 bagels or English muffins, split
* Pumpkin Cream Cheese (recipe follows)
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted


1. For glaze: In a small saucepan, combine apple jelly, chives, lemon juice, pumpkin pie spice and cayenne pepper. Heat and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat; set aside to cool slightly.

2. For apples: Core apples and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rings. Toss apple slices with glaze. Set aside.

3. For a charcoal grill: Grill apple slices on the lightly greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 5 to 6 minutes or until tender, turning once. (For gas grill: Preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place apple slices on lightly greased grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

4. Place bagels, cut side down, next to apple slices the last 2 minutes of grilling or until toasted.

5. To serve, spread desired amount of the Pumpkin Cream Cheese on the toasted sides of each bagel. Sprinkle with pecans or walnuts and top with the apple slices. Makes 8 servings.

To tote: Before leaving home, place apples and glaze in a storage container with tight-fitting lid. Or, place apple slices with glaze on the unheated rack of a broiler pan and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly browned and just tender. Apple slices can then be wrapped in foil to tote. Bagel halves can be toasted in a toaster or by placing cut side up on the rack of a broiler pan and broiling 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place bagel halves in a covered storage container to tote.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese: In a medium bowl, beat one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup canned pumpkin; 2 tablespoons sugar; and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon with an electric mixer until smooth. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Makes about 1 1/2 cups spread.

Simple Summer Pizza

Fresh Veggie Pizza

one 12-inch pizza, 6 servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Stand: 10 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes


* 1 pound frozen whole wheat or white bread dough, thawed
* 2 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, sliced
* 1 medium red, green or yellow sweet pepper, chopped
* 1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
* 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
* 2 green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
* 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
* 1 8oz can pizza sauce -- we chose to use a can of Italian Seasoned diced tomatoes. Doing this we also eliminated the sliced plum tomatoes in the toppings.
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted green and/or black olives
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella, provolone or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. For dough: Place thawed bread dough on lightly floured surface and let rest 10 minutes. Roll into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, building up edges slightly. (Be careful not to stretch too far; however if a hole appears, you can pinch it back together with your fingers.) Transfer pizza circle to a greased baking sheet. Here would be a good place to lightly brush the dough w olive oil, garlic and oregano for that hidden flavor boost. Using the tines of a fork, prick dough over entire surface. Bake about 8 minutes or until set but not browned.

2. Meanwhile, for veggies in a large skillet, cook and stir zucchini or squash and sweet pepper in hot oil for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add mushrooms and onions. Cook and stir 2 minutes more or until just tender. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes.

3. Spread pizza sauce/tomatoes on hot crust to within 1 inch of edge. Using a slotted spoon, spoon zucchini mixture over sauce. Top with olives. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake about 15 minutes more or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Makes one 12-inch pizza, 6 servings.

Raspberry Cream Tart

Raspberry Cream Tart

Cool: 30 minutes
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 35 minutes

1 16.5oz. roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough, pressed 1/2" thick
2 3-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups fresh red raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries
2 tsp. granulated sugar
Powdered sugar
Fresh red raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries (optional)

1. Press cookie dough slices into bottom and fluted sides of a greased 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Do not prick. (Or, press onto bottom of greased 12-inch pizza pan.) Bake in a 350 degrees F oven 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup sugar, egg, lemon peel, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until combined. Pour cheese mixture over warm crust and spread evenly.

3. Place the 2 cups raspberries in a single layer on top of cheese mixture. Sprinkle raspberries with 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes more or until or until cheese mixture is set. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

4. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish with additional fresh berries, if you like. Makes 8 servings.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm gonna have to work my way up to this one...

Are you eating enough iron? Have a vitamin C source with an iron source (think smoothie with frozen blueberries, kale (iron and calcium), banana (masks the kale), orange juice for C); vitamin C increases the absorption of the iron.

Scroll down this page to see iron sources:

I get the concept, but kale and blueberries? Like... together? Couldn't I just have one or the other and take a pill for the other one? That would work too, right?


Lunch - Southwest Style

This is my kind of recipe... cheap, easy, and delicious. Enjoy!

Southwest Falafel

1 15oz can pinto beans- drained,rinsed (any bean, canned or 1.5 cups home cooked)
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1/4 cup finely crushed tortilla chips -- we're gonna use Doritos :)
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

Spread – mash an avocado with salsa and fat free yogurt (Greek-style is best)
1/4 cup mashed peeled avocado
2 tablespoons finely chopped plum tomato
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (6 inch) pita's, each cut in half crosswise

To prepare patties, place pinto beans in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add cheese and next 5 ingredients (through egg white) stir until well combined. Form into 4 (1/2 inch thick) oval patties.

Heat oil in a lg nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook 3 min on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.

To prepare spread, while patties cook, combine avocado, tomato, red onion, sour cream, lime juice, and salt. Place one patty in each pita half. Spread about 2 tablespoons of spread over patty in each pita half.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Better than take-out...

Herb Butter-and-Goat Cheese Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes


* Salt and pepper
* 1 pound linguine pasta
* 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
* 6 tablespoons butter
* 2 shallots, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup chicken broth
* 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
* 2 cups chopped multicolored heirloom tomatoes


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it,
add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain,
reserving a ladleful of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a serving bowl,
add the crumbled goat cheese. In a medium saucepan,
melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots
and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the
white wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
Add the parsley, dill, tarragon and thyme. Stir in the reserved
pasta cooking water.

Add the pasta to the goat cheese. Pour the herb sauce
on top, season with pepper and toss for 1 minute. Add
the tomatoes and toss gently for another minute; season
with salt and pepper.

Here's your go-to for the day

Found this over at the fat free vegan.... universal filling for lasagnas and bakes of all kinds. Two versions here, one tofu based and the other bean based. Both vegan, both yummy!

Creamy Bean Filling

1 15-ounce can great northern beans
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 cup spinach, firmly packed

Prepare the filling by placing all ingredients into a food processor and processing until smooth.

Tofu filling

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 lb tofu (firm, reduced-fat recommended--not silken!)
1 tsp. salt (optional)
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (adds a cheesy taste)
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. rosemary, crushed
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place the tofu and thawed spinach in the food processor and process briefly. Add the remaining filling ingredients to the processor and blend until smooth.

Italian Vegetable Bake

This is delicious out of the crock pot. Top with red pepper flakes for kick. Enjoy :)

Italian Vegetable Bake

1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, sliced
1/2 lb. fresh okra, cut into 1/2" pieces or 3/4 cup (1/2 10 oz. pkg) frozen okra
3/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
3 medium (7" long) zucchini, cut into 1" cubes
1 medium eggplant, pared and cut into 1" cubes
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1. Drain and coarsely chop tomatoes. Save liquid.
2. Mix together tomatoes and reserved liquid, onion, green beans, okra, green pepper, lemon juice, and herbs.
3. Cover and bake at 325ยบ F for 15 minutes.
4. Mix in zucchini and eggplant and continue baking, covered, 60-70 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally.
5. Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese just before serving.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Healthy cookies

One zillion kudos and credits to 101Cookbooks. Don't you just love her stuff??

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm - so it isn't solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 - 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.

In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect - just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.

Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

$13,000 for cookies?? SOLD.

What an amazing legacy...


• 1 pkg. lemon cake mix
• 2 c. (small carton) frozen whipped topping
• 1 egg or 2 egg whites
• Lemon juice

1. Mix all of the ingredients together.
2. Form the dough into balls and roll in powdered sugar.
3. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Be careful not to overbake.

You can refrigerate the dough to make it easier to form into balls and roll in powdered sugar. Word is that this easy recipe works with any flavor cake mix. What if we tried a chocolate base and mint extract?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Banana Lime Smoothies

Key Lime-Banana Smoothie


* 1 container (6 ounces) 99% fat-free Key lime pie yogurt (2/3 cup)
* 1 ripe banana, sliced
* 1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk
* 1 tablespoon lime juice
* 1/4 teaspoon dry lemon/lime flavored soft drink mix (0.13oz pkg)
* 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt


1. In blender, place all ingredients except frozen yogurt.
Cover and blend on high speed until smooth.
2. Add frozen yogurt. Cover and blend until smooth.
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