Mar 31, 2014

DIY Diaper Cream


Find it On Pinterest

My toddler has suffered off and on for over a year with a recurrent yeast infection diaper rash. These rashes are pesky and just won't go away. We've tried everything from oatmeal baths to baking soda baths, prescription creams, special order creams, diet changes, you name it! I decided to look into the organic/homemade route and I went to none other than... Pinterest! 

So, as mentioned - I ran across this recipe on Pinterest and thought I would give it a try because it looked legit and I have heard nothing but good things about all of these ingredients (coconut oil, essential oils and beeswax). 

Truth be told here , I have never been what some may refer to as a "granola" type. I have always been far from it, but my interest has started to peek over the past year into the whole organic, natural way of life. I want to try to go chemical free and natural when I can (I think we can all agree that there are too many chemicals in all of our products today)... so this recipe is my guinea pig here. 

I have never used essential oils (I have recently been introduced to doTERRA oils, which are supposedly the best therapeutic grade essential oils that you can get. You have to order doTERRA from a direct dealer - FYI: not available in stores) 

UPDATE: Believe it or not - this cream CLEARED up my daughter's yeast infection diaper rash in about 2 days and has kept it away. Whenever it started to come back, I would apply some of this and the rash would be gone! I was shocked. I even told my pediatrician about it and she asked for the recipe to pass along to other patients. 

Ingredients: 

1 Cup Pure, Unrefined, Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
1/2 oz Beeswax
10 drops of Lavendar Essential Oil
10 drops of Melaleuca (or Tea Tree) Essential Oil
1 Clean Glass Canister or Mason Jar to put the Diaper Cream in

Directions (ramblings): 

If you've never used Coconut Oil before (get the kind you cook with, not the fractionated oil) - the consistency is like that of butter or shortening. Oh and BONUS: You can get a HUGE can of this at Costco for the same price as a little one at a heatlh food store (Suburban Epicurean saving you money! $$$) 

You will scoop out 1 cup and place in a boiling pot of water that has a glass bowl in it (this serves as a double boiler). Once the water is boiling, place on medium/low heat. 

Next place your beeswax in. The beeswax takes a significant amount of time to melt - this melting process took about 20 minutes. Stir off and on the entire time. 

Sidenote: I bought my beeswax at a local Natural Mercantile store. I recommend looking for beeswax at your local health food store or a local farmers market. 

See how the beeswax looks like chunks of butter?



Once this mixture is completely melted, remove from heat and place the glass bowl (use your oven mits!) on a trivet on the counter and let it cool until almost hardened (this took about another 20 minutes). 

While the mixture is slightly soft and still warm, you will want to mix in your essential oils before it hardens. I used a rubber spatula to mix. 

Once mixed well, transfer immediately into your storage container and there you have it. (Again, I used a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and put the cream into the container).


This also serves as a wonderful hand lotion or even lip balm! 

I realize that the above pic looks a little like mashed potatoes, but trust me, its a cream. I used it on my hands and my hands are now very silky and smooth! The cream will "harden up" in the container, so anytime I wanted to apply to my little one's bottom, I just pointed my hair dryer at the cream for a few seconds on hot and it made the cream soft enough to apply as a balm.


** CLEAN UP TIP - I will be completely honest - this is VERY MESSY if you don't clean it up right away. I suggest using a paper towel to wipe out the bowl and use a rubber spatula (as mentioned above) to mix the mixture. 


**** So grateful for the author of this diaper cream recipe as she is helping me and my little one. We are very happy to test out this PINTEREST project. This WONDERFUL PINSPIRATION comes from: All Things Mama



Mar 30, 2014

Weight Watchers Angel Food Pineapple Cake




Find it on Pinterest


Cooks Note: Even though it is hailing and windy and pretty cold outside, I know the sun is coming, eventually, so if I want to get my cropped pants and t-shirts on I need to get serious about eating better. So what do I make? DESSERT of course! But really, this one has 2 ingredients, it is WW friendly and my kids will eat it too. Let me tell you, this does not taste low fat at all. It is the perfect amount of sweet and fruity and I can eat it after a meal without having the "I need to unbutton my pants" feeling. Give it a try as you try to "lighten up" for Spring. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

1 Box Angel Food cake mix
1 Large can crushed pineapple with juice


Directions:

In a large bowl mix cake mix and can of pineapple (juice too) until it is mixed well (will be frothy)
Pour into greased bundt pan or 10x13 baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 min. Bring to room temp and serve. 





This Pinspiration comes from Just a Pinch Recipes



Mar 28, 2014

Baked Oatmeal Casserole

Find it on Pinterest


Cooks Note: I saw this one on Facebook and it looked delicious and sweet. I had all the ingredients so I threw it together and it was a hit. It gives you the fruit and oatmeal (good) and the chocolate (just enough bad). Try this simple and delicious casserole for your family, and there will be leftovers too! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional)
1 cup raspberries (any berries will work)
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups of milk
1 large egg
3 T butter-melted
1 T vanilla extract
1 ripe banana peeled (1/2 inch slices)


Directions: 

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, spray a 10 1/2 by 7 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and place dish on a cookie sheet
2. In a large mixing bowl mix together, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and 1/2 the walnuts if you are using them, 1/2 the raspberries and 1/2 the chocolate
3. In another large bowl mix together milk, egg, butter and vanilla
4. Add the oat mixture to the prepared baking dish
5. Arrange the remaining raspberries and chocolate on top
6. Add the banana slices to the top and then pour the milk mixture over everything
7.Gently shake the dish so the milk mixture goes throughout the oats and bake 35-40 min or until golden brown and the milk mixture has set. For an extra tasty top, sprinkle 1T or so of brown sugar over the top before serving. Serve warm.

This Pinspiration comes from Urban Nester



Mar 25, 2014

Easy Cheesy Bacon Biscuits

Find it on Pinterest


Cooks Note: I know, I know, you are thinking, these have to be labor intensive, because not only do they sound incredible, but they look like they were served in a restaurant! I am not one to toot my own horn, but I have introduced this recipe to at least 5 people, who have made them for their families and they are now part of their recipe collection. I did not change anything and these came out perfectly! I served these for dinner with scrambled eggs and fruit, but they perfect for breakfast and brunch as well. Let us know how you like them. Enjoy!

Going into the oven:


Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Roll refrigerated biscuit dough, 8 count
6 Thin slices Mozzarella cheese, 1/4 inch thick
1 Cup cooked and crumbled bacon
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and brush 9 inch cast iron skillet with melted butter
Unroll biscuits from can and arrange on the bottom of the skillet
Top with mozzarella cheese, bacon crumbles, then cheddar
Bake 15-20 min until cheese is melted and biscuits are cooked through. Serve warm

The Finished Product:



This Pinspiration comes from Picky Palate



Mar 9, 2014

Elmo Cupcakes


Find it On Pinterest

Cook's Note: I saw a picture of these adorable cupcakes on Pinterest and decided I could definitely make them. My daughter wanted Elmo cupcakes for her birthday and so these were born! I had to figure out how to do this myself based on the picture that I saw, so I thought I'd spell out the directions here for all of you Mamas out there!
This is super easy - anyone can make these cupcakes, even beginners!

What You Will Need: 

1 Box of your favorite cake mix
Red Icing
Large Marshmallows
Oreo Cookies (cut in half)
Miniature Orange Slices or Orange Jelly Beans

Directions: 

Make cupcakes according to cake mix directions.

To decorate: 
Pipe red icing onto cupcakes. 
Cut marshmallows in half to use as eyeballs. 
Cut Oreos in half to use as mouth. 
I used oreo crumbs as the black parts of the eye. 
Use Miniature Orange Slices or Orange Jelly Beans as the nose. 

This "Pinspiration" comes from Pinterest photos! 


Sun Dried Tomato Cheese Tortellini


Find it on Pinterest

Cook's Note: I have made this dish two times now and both times were for my husband's birthday. He requests it every year. I really should make it more often because it is completely and totally delicious and I must say ... RESTAURANT quality. You will never make a more scrumptious dish, believe you, me! Just make it and you will see what I mean. I suggest serving this with a nice salad, good bread and a wonderful glass of your favorite red wine! 

What You Will Need: 

1 package cheese-filled tortellini
1 small jar sun dried tomatoes (drained & chopped)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
3 -5 slices of turkey bacon (crumbled up)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (the good kind!) 

Directions: 

Cook tortellini according to the package directions; set aside.

While the tortellini is cooking, chop the fresh sage and garlic to prepare for recipe. 


In a large pan, heat oil and butter. Next, saute garlic 2 minutes.



Add fresh sage and simmer for another minute or until slightly bubbly.
In a cup stir together half and half, broth, and cornstarch; pour into skillet.
Add Parmesan cheese
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.


Stir in the tortellini; cook 2 minutes to heat.
** A little trick I learned from PINTEREST (where else?) place a wooden spoon across a pot of boiling water and it will keep it from boiling over! 



Drain tortellini and put back into pot, mix sauce in and stir thoroughly. 

Place a serving on a plate then sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with crumbles of bacon &  fresh sage (if desired).



This "Pinspiration" comes from Nonna Pia's Balsamic Reductions





Mar 6, 2014

Swiss Chicken



Find it on Pinterest


Cooks Note: I have no idea where this recipe came from. My Mom has been making it for as long as I can remember. It is quite possibly the easiest recipe you will ever make, and one of the tastiest. I mean, it is, make it for company good, no joke. Give it a try and Enjoy!


Ingredients:

4 Defrosted Chicken breasts
Non-stick cooking spray
2 Cans (14.5 oz) Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup of milk
4 Slices Swiss Cheese
1 Box StoveTop stuffing (I like the chicken or turkey flavor, but any flavor would work)
3 T butter, melted


Directions:

Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non stick spray 
Place 4 chicken breasts side by side in baking dish
Mix 2 cans of soup with milk until blended
Sprinkle each chicken breast with garlic powder 
Place one slice of Swiss on each chicken breast
Pour soup mixture over chicken to cover
Sprinkle the whole box of StoveTop over soup
Drizzle melted butter on StoveTop
Place in a 375 degree oven 30-45 min or until bubbly and chicken cooked through

This Pinspiration comes from My Mom


Mar 5, 2014

Mrs.Potter's Chicken


Find it on Pinterest


Cooks Note: This is an old recipe from the Ladies Home Journal. I love Ritz crackers and so do the kids, so I figured I couldn't go wrong here. This is simple as a main dish, but would also be excellent in a sandwich. I made a few adjustments, which I noted below, and I think next time I will add some cheddar to the top toward the end of the baking process to give it that extra ZIP, but it was good on its' own. I ended up needing two baking sheets because my chicken breasts were big, but no big deal. Try it out, Mrs. Potter will be so happy you did. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 Chicken Breasts, cut in half and pounded to 1/4 inch thick
2 T Unsalted Butter, melted (NOTE: I ended up needing 4 T)
1 1/2 Cup Ritz Crackers, crushed
3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (NOTE: I used 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
NOTE: I added a pinch of Salt for taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Spray Baking sheet(s) with non stick spray
3. Crush Ritz crackers in a zip lock bag
4. Add cheese and pepper to crackers and mix together, set aside
5. Pound chicken breast halves between two sheets of plastic wrap, until 1/4 inch thick
6. Melt butter in a separate bowl
7. Dredge each breast in butter, then in cracker mix until coated, patting crumbs onto chicken, then place on baking sheet
8. Once dredging is complete, sprinkle chicken with crumbs remaining in bowl
9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through

This Pinspiration comes from The Ladies Home Journal