The Many Beauty Care Uses of Baking Soda

February 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Family Health

hair washing setup

hair washing setup (Photo credit: henna lion)

The Many Beauty Care Uses of Baking Soda

Baking Soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, has an amazing array of uses for natural beauty care. It is inexpensive and can be purchased just about anywhere. So it’s worthwhile to know some of its applications beyond helping to make delicious chocolate chip cookies!

(Click here to buy Gluten Free Baking Soda From IHerb.com and get $10 off your first order)

Shampoo

Did you know that baking soda and water alone make an excellent shampoo? It helps remove build-up caused by hard water or styling products. Mix about 1 teaspoon of baking soda to one cup of warm water. Add a drop of essential oil (click here for essential oils) if you like. Pour over your head, work with your fingertips, and then rinse well. There is no need for conditioner; the baking soda mixes with your hair oil to make a gentle, conditioning soap.

You can also add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per tablespoon of your regular shampoo.

If you don’t have time to wash, just sprinkle dry baking soda onto your hair and brush it through. Or, put it on your comb or brush and work it through your hair, taking care to get it down to your scalp. It actually mixes with your hair oil to form a cleanser, which gives the impression that it is “absorbing” the oil.

Exfoliant

You don’t need expensive exfoliants to give your skin a healthy glow. If you have thick, dry skin on your heels, knees, or elbows, mix baking soda with water in a 3-to-1 ratio to make a thick paste. Rub this paste into the dry skin areas after your bath (when the skin is softened). After rubbing it in thoroughly, rinse well and apply a moisturizing lotion. Baking soda helps slough off calluses and tough, dry skin.

Face Wash

Mix about a teaspoon of baking soda per one cup of warm water to make a facial wash. Swirl it around or shake it well; baking soda tends to sink to the bottom of such mixtures quickly. You might want to put the solution into a bowl and scoop it up with your hands. Gently rub it into your skin and rinse.

Tooth Powder

Nowadays, toothpastes boast the presence of baking soda because it is so well-known as a good tooth polish. Why not skip the commercial toothpaste and go right for the good stuff? Here are some suggestions for home-made tooth powder or paste using baking soda.

1. To a tablespoon of baking soda, add one drop each of neem oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. Mix with water to make a paste-like consistency and use for several brushings (using a dime-sized portion each time).

2. Just mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of peppermint oil, stir or shake well to combine, and use as a tooth powder. To do this, pour about a teaspoon of the powder into your palm and dip your toothbrush into it. You can also use plain baking soda as a tooth powder.

3. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with 1/4 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and 1 drop of peppermint oil to make a thin paste.

4.  Purchase baking soda tooth products and powders when you click here.

Bath

Baking soda can do wonders for the skin. Pour half a cup into your bath water to soften dry skin and soothe rashes and skin irritations, including sunburn.

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How to Roast and Use Pumpkins!

October 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Recipes

Taken for Halloween during a carving

Image via Wikipedia

by Tawra Kellam
www.LivingOnADime.com

Peter Piper Picked a Profoundly Plump Pumpkin — Now what does he do with it?

How to Roast a Pumpkin

You can only do this with a freshly carved pumpkin! Do not use on a pumpkin that has been carved and sitting out for several days.

To bake a fresh 6 to 7 pound pumpkin, halve the pumpkin crosswise and scoop out the seeds and strings. Place halves, hollow side down, in a large baking pan covered with aluminum foil and add a little water. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until fork-tender. Remove. When cool, scrape pulp from shells and puree, a little at time, in food processor or blender. Mix with a little salt.

To freeze pumpkin puree. Put 1-2 cups in freezer bags along with spices and use in pies.

To use pumpkin puree for recipes: Line a strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth or a flour sack dish towel and let the pumpkin sit to drain out the extra moisture BEFORE cooking with it. Pumpkin is very moist, so in order for your recipe to come out correctly, you MUST strain it.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Boil seeds in water for 5 minutes. Drain well. Sprinkle with salt or seasoned salt. Place a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 250 degrees. Stir after 30 minutes. Bake 1/2-1 hour more or until crunchy.

*Squash seeds may also be used.

Pumpkin Smoothies

1/2 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup milk or vanilla yogurt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. brown sugar
4 ice cubes
whipped cream (optional)
sprinkles (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into 2-3 glasses. Serve with a small amount of whipped cream on top. You may also add orange sprinkles if you like. Serves 2-3.

Pumpkin Crunch

1 package yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) solid packed pumpkin
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup nuts
1 cup butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Then sprinkle with nuts. Drizzle with butter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, served chilled. Serve with whipped topping.

Homemade Pumpkin Muffins

1 cake mix (any flavor works, but chocolate is our hands down favorite!) 1 can pumpkin or 2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin

Beat together with electric mixer until smooth (It will be really thick). Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips and stir. Line muffin tins with paper muffin cups and spray with non-stick spray. Use an ice cream scoop to put batter into muffin cups (I can get 24 muffins from one box of mix). Bake at 350 degrees for around 20 minutes. Cool and frost if desired. My family likes them just as they are when they are hot from the oven.

Spice cake mix is great – add white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips.

I have made pumpkin muffins with white cake mix and yellow cake mix too. They have around 120 calories apiece with the mini chocolate chips and are virtually fat free. If you are on weight watchers, they only count as 1 point.

This is a fabulous way to sneak some vitamin A rich veggies in on the kids. Just don’t let them see you put the pumpkin into the muffins and they will never know it is there. These are more moist than very expensive name brand double chocolate chip muffins.

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Combine ingredients. Stir just until moistened; batter may be lumpy. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Brush lightly with vegetable oil. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook until bubbles begin to burst. Turn and continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with Pumpkin Maple Sauce and nuts.

Pumpkin Maple Sauce

1 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cups pumpkin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice Mix together until well blended.

Visit www.LivingOnADime.com for more easy recipes!

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit www.LivingOnADime.com , sign up for our free Living On A Dime Newsletter and learn to save more!

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Delicious Homemade Recipes For Using Apples!

September 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Recipes

bounty

Image by rocketlass via Flickr

by Jill Cooper
www.LivingOnADime.com

I’ve always dreamed of having an apple tree in my backyard. You know the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for?” Now that I actually have my own apple tree, I stand in my yard watching the apples piling up around me thinking, “Oh no — What do I do with this mess now?”

If I could make gasoline out of apples, I could retire, but since that is not an option and my frugal mind will not allow me to waste one apple, I have had to come up with some yummier “apple disposal” methods.

If you find that you have a few dozen more apples than you know what to do with, or if you just can’t resist the great sales that stores have on apples this time of year, these recipes from Dining On A Dime will help settle your frugal dilemma.

Apple Tips:

When you have a partially eaten apple, save the good part and chop it into pieces. Place in a microwave safe dish. Blend together 1 tsp. each brown sugar, flour, oatmeal and margarine and a dash of cinnamon. Top the apple with the topping and microwave until tender.
Core and slice apples very thin. Dehydrate and use in granolas, eat alone or soften in warm water to use in recipes.
Slice apples and use in pancakes or waffles.
Freeze extra apples for later. Peel, slice and core them and then store in 2 cup portions in freezer bags.
Use soft apples in cooking.
Cut apples into small pieces and add to salads with a fruit based dressing.

Homemade Apple Butter

9 to 10 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. salt

Place everything into a crockpot. Stir, cover and cook on high 1 hour. Cook on low for 9-11 hours or until thick and dark brown. Stir occasionally. Uncover and cook on low 1 hour longer. Stir with whisk until smooth. Refrigerate or Freeze. Makes 2 pints.

Apple Pie Filling

9 cups baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
5 cups water
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Toss apples with lemon juice and set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples and return to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender (6-10 minutes). Cool for 30 minutes. Then ladle into freezer containers or bake immediately. Makes two 9-inch pies.

Fried Apples

4 large apples, cored and sliced
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Cut apples into 1/4 inch slices. Heat butter in a large skillet. Put the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the skillet and cover. Over medium-low heat, cook apple slices 7-10 minutes or until they begin to soften and the syrup thickens. Serve coated with excess syrup on top. Serves 4.

Baked Apples

apples, cored
raisins (optional)
1 tsp. margarine
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 Tbsp. honey or brown sugar
(These ingredient amounts are per apple.)

For each person, use 1 apple. Fill the center of the apple with all the ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees until tender or put in a Dutch oven on top of stove and simmer on very low until tender.

Apple Snack

2 qts. apples, peeled, cored and halved

Coarsely grate apples. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 225 degrees until dry. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Apple Crisp

6 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon and/or nutmeg
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange apples in a well-greased baking dish. Blend all remaining ingredients except water. Spread evenly over top of apples. Pour water over the topping. Bake 45 minutes until apples are tender and top is crisp. Serves 6.

Peach Crisp

Use peaches in place of apples.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit www.LivingOnADime.com, sign up for our free Living On A Dime Newsletter and learn to save more!

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Homemade Pie Baking Tips

November 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Recipes

appeltaart
Image by Ilja via Flickr

Homemade Pie Baking Tips
by Jill Cooper
LivingOnADime.com

If you love baking pies from scratch and have the time to do so, then go for it, but don’t feel guilty if you can’t. There are many ways to get that homemade taste without as much work. For example, say your family loves pumpkin pie but every year you notice that they only eat the filling and leave most of the crust. Then, this year, don’t put your pumpkin pie filling in a crust. Just pour it into a well greased baking dish or pan to bake. This will save you time and calories.

If your family loves apple pie but you don’t have time for a crust then make an apple crisp instead.

For homemade cinnamon rolls: Use frozen dough — most people can’t tell the difference. I’ve told this story before but it is a perfect example of what I mean. My grandmother-in-law made the best “homemade” noodles that everyone fought over and raved about at every family get-together. No one made noodles like grandma’s. One day I decided to ask grandma what her secret was and she took me to her freezer and laughingly, pulled out a bag of frozen egg noodles. Everyone assumed that she had made them from scratch.

Make your life easy and take shortcuts when you can. It is much less expensive to use convenience foods sometimes than to go out to eat.

Here are some more pie tips for you bakers and non bakers:

For something different, try serving your apple pie with butter pecan ice cream instead of the usual vanilla and/or top it with a little caramel ice cream topping.

Replace 1/4 of the white sugar in your apple pie recipe with brown sugar and/or replace your regular spices with pumpkin pie spice *(below).

You can give canned apple pie filling more of a homemade flavor by adding apple pie or pumpkin pie spice* to it.

Lime juice works much better than lemon juice to prevent fruits like apples from turning brown.

When making fruit pies, microwave the filling for 5-7 minutes before pouring it into the crust. This prevents the crust from becoming overly brown before the filling is completely cooked. In the case of an apple pie, you won’t have to worry about partially cooked apples.

When making pumpkin pie: Before you pour in the filling, bake the crust for 2-3 minutes just until it starts puffing a little on the bottom. Watch it carefully because it only takes a minute and you don’t want to totally cook it. This really helps prevent those sometimes very soggy pie crusts.

If you like cheese with your apple pie, mix 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese into your pie crust and then layer the apple filling with another cup of grated cheese.

If your pies are too runny, add 1 Tbsp. of tapioca to your filling.

When making pecan pie, melt the butter in a saucepan until it turns golden brown. Watch it so it doesn’t burn. This adds the most wonderful caramel like flavor to your pie.

When making a graham cracker crust, add a little cinnamon to the mix.

The Best Pie Crust

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups shortening, cold
1 egg, cold
1 Tbsp. vinegar, cold
5 Tbsp. cold water
sugar

Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives. Add egg, vinegar and 3 tablespoons water. Mix lightly. If dough is too dry, add more water. Mix with hands. Don’t overmix. Mix just until the dough sticks together. Divide into thirds. Roll out to make 3 pie crusts. When using the crust for the top of the pie sprinkle sugar on top. Crust can be frozen in balls and then defrosted and rolled out when ready to use. Makes 3 crusts.

Graham Cracker Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 stick margarine, melted

Mix all ingredients together and press into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool and fill with favorite pudding filling. Makes 1 crust.

Pecan Pie

1 stick butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
1 1/4 cups pecans, chopped
1 (8-9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Brown butter in a pan until golden brown. Do not burn. Cool. Add other ingredients in order given in a separate bowl. Mix well. Blend in cooled butter well. Pour into pie crust. Bake 10 minutes at 425° and then 40 minutes at 325°. Makes one pie.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves

Mix ingredients well. Makes 1 teaspoon. Use in any recipe calling for pumpkin pie spice.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt, by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit LivingOnADime.com

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Thanksgiving recipies all in one spot!

November 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Recipes

A small plate with a serving of mashed potatoes.
Image via Wikipedia

Basic Thanksgiving Recipes
by Jill Cooper
LivingOnADime.com

For those of you just need just the basic side dishes and desserts for your Thanksgiving dinner, here they all are in one spot:

Mashed Potatoes

5 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk

In a large saucepan, place potatoes and enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 10-15 minutes depending on your altitude). Drain. Transfer potatoes to a mixing bowl and mash. I use a hand mixer for this but you can use a potato masher. Add butter, milk, sugar and salt. Beat until smooth. Serves 5-6.

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Topping
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup butter, melted

Mix all the ingredients and put in a buttered 9×9 casserole dish. Sprinkle on topping. Bake uncovered at 350° for 20 minutes. This is a great dish for holiday dinners and potlucks because it can be made the day before and then baked the next day. Serves 8-9.

Grandma Tatum’s Stuffing

I have hesitated about including our stuffing recipe because it is one of those recipes where it is hard to give exact measurements. This year, I have finally decided to try. You can adjust any of these ingredients to suit your taste and if you want, you can add different things to the dish. For example, you can replace some of the bread with cornbread or you can add mushrooms, celery, apples, or giblets and many other things according to your own taste. This is one of those recipes that looks complicated but is really easy once you make it.

Here is the basic recipe:

8-10 cups dried bread, cubed or torn (You can use anything including hot dog buns, dinner rolls or French bread.)
1/2-1 lb. pork sausage
1/2-1 onion (or onion powder to taste)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups broth*
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4-1/2 cup margarine
3 heaping tsp. ground sage
1 small bag or box of seasoned croutons
Salt and pepper

Cube and tear bread in a very large mixing bowl and let set out overnight if not dry enough. Fry sausage and onion. I don’t like celery in my dressing but if you do you can add it at this time. Drain and add to the bowl of bread. Pour broth into a large measuring cup. Add margarine and bouillon cube and heat in the microwave to melt margarine and bouillon cubes. Pour this mixture and eggs over bread. Add sage, salt, pepper and onion powder if not using onions and croutons. Using your hands, mush it all together until well mixed. Place in a well greased casserole dish or pan. Cover. Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes.

If you like your stuffing soft on the inside with a crispy crust, just remove the cover for the last 15 minutes. If your dressing seems too dry, add a little milk for more moisture.

*For broth, I simmer the neck and giblets in a pan of water for an hour or two as soon as I take them out of the turkey. Then I use this water and some broth from my turkey, which has been cooking, to make my 1 1/2 cups.

Turkey Gravy

3-4 cups turkey juices/drippings
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Pour turkey juices/drippings into a sauce pan. Whisk in flour. Add salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring once in a while until it is the right consistency.

If the gravy is too strong or you need to stretch it just a little, you can add a small amount of water.

Another way I used to make the gravy (either way works) is to dissolve the flour into a half cup of cold water and then whisk it into the turkey juices.

Pie Crust

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups shortening, cold
1 egg, cold
1 Tbsp. vinegar, cold
5 Tbsp. water, cold
sugar

Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives (I use my fingers). Add egg, vinegar and 3 tablespoons water. Mix lightly. If dough is too dry, add more water. Mix with hands. Don’t over mix. Mix just until the dough sticks together.

Divide into thirds. Roll out to make 3 pies crusts. When using the crust for the top of the pie, sprinkle sugar on top and poke with a few steam holes. Crust can be frozen in balls and then defrosted and rolled out when ready to use. Makes 3 crusts.

Pumpkin Pie

1 pie crust
2 eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

Bake pie crust at 350° for 1-2 minutes until crust starts to puff with small bubbles. Watch carefully. Then remove from oven. Blend all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into pie crust and bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350° for 45 minutes. When a knife is inserted into the center of the pie and comes out clean, it is done. Makes one pie.

Pecan Pie

1 stick butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
1 1/4 cups pecans, chopped
1 (8-9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Brown butter in a pan until golden brown. Do not burn. Cool. Add other ingredients in order given in a separate bowl. Mix well. Blend in cooled butter well. Pour into pie crust. Bake 10 minutes at 425° and then 40 minutes at 325°. Makes one pie.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt, by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit http://www.LivingOnADime.com

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