Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies

2 Comments

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! 

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Whether you have a honey to celebrate with or not, you need these cookies in your life.

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I consider them one of those special “once a year” treats. 

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Of course, they go well with anything. What cookie doesn’t? After any meal, with a cup of tea or coffee, or as your afternoon treat.

You’re worth it! 

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And as always with my recipes, they are not complicated to make. I like simple, delicious, beautiful food. It should taste as wonderful as it looks and be satisfying all around. 

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You won’t be disappointed. 

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Happy Valentine’s Day! xo

Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies

*Dough will need to be chilled before baking

2/3 Cup Dairy Free Butter ( I use soy free Earth Balance)

2/3 cup Vegetable Shortening ( I use Spectrum)

4 cups of Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten Free Flour plus more for rolling (In your local gluten free isle or online. I cannot rave enough about this flour!)

2 Eggs

1 1/2 Cups of Sugar (White or Coconut…coconut will make your cookies brown)

2 Tbsps. of Almond Milk (Could also use rice, coconut, or hemp.)

2 tsp. of Double Acting Baking Powder

1 1/2 tsp. of Xanthan Gum

2 tsp. of Pure Vanilla

1/2 tsp. of Sea Salt

Raspberry Jelly

Powdered Sugar Frosting (Powdered sugar, dairy free butter, pure almond extract, and a tiny bit of water or milk)

Beat butter and shortening in mixer until light and fluffy. Add about half the flour, the eggs, sugar, milk, baking powder, xanthan gum, vanilla, and salt. Beat until thoroughly combined and beat in remaining flour. Divide dough in half and place on plastic wrap. Press into discs, cover completely, and chill for at least 2 hours. This dough will last in the fridge for several days and I also like to wrap it well and freeze it to have on hand. It will last for months in the freezer. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

After the dough has chilled remove one disc out of the fridge at a time. Flour your surface and roll out. Cut into shapes of your liking and place them on parchment covered baking sheets. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the edges are just slightly beginning to turn golden. 

Cool completely. Add about 1 teaspoon of jelly to each cookie and top with another cookie. Drizzle with powdered sugar frosting. 

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Cherry Chocolate Crisps

5 Comments

2017-01-27-15-03-03-1

Cherry Chocolate Crisps

*Makes about 26

10 oz Bag of Enjoy Life Miniature Chocolate Chips (dairy free)

3/4 Cup of Tart Dried Cherries

1 Cup of Gluten Free Rice Chex Cereal

Mini Candy Cups

Melt the chocolate and stir in the dried cherries. Fold in the cereal and drop by teaspoon into miniature paper cups.  Allow to set. Store at room temperature. 

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Mini Peanut Butter Cups

1 Comment

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I don’t know where 2016 went but here we are almost into February of a new year. Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it!

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I am used to making my own treats because of food allergies and I prefer home made. I like that I know exactly what’s in the food I eat and the food I give as gifts.

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There are so many different types of candy that you can make easily and with minimal ingredients.

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Homemade candies also make really sweet and thoughtful gifts.

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These peanut butter cups only take a few minutes (not counting the chilling time for layers) and would be a great project for kids too.

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You can do any nut butter you like, add mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts…the options are all up to you.

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I’ll post another simple candy recipe tomorrow.

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Peanut Butter Cups

*Makes 34

1 1/4 Cups of Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter (no stir)

1/3 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

4 Bars (3oz each) Organic 70% Dark Chocolate

34 Mini Candy Cups

In a double boiler or a pan with a bowl over the top (which is how I do it), melt the chocolate. In a small bowl combine the peanut butter and sugar and soften in the microwave for 20 seconds (you can also do it in a pan if you don’t use a microwave).

Spread out the candy cups on a cookie tray, this will make it easy to move them to the fridge or outside to chill between layers.

Drop a small amount of chocolate in the bottom of each cup and chill until set. Then drop a dollop of the peanut butter mixture into each cup. Tap the tray lightly on the counter until the peanut butter levels out (doesn’t have to be perfect). Chill for 20 minutes. Drop a small amount of chocolate on top of each cup and swirl to cover the top. Chill until set and store in fridge in an airtight container.

Epsom Bath Treats ~ 3 Ways

4 Comments

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Here’s another extremely simple way to treat yourself or others. Epsom salts with your favorite essential oils. Put them in cute jars or bags, make some tags and tie them with ribbon.

I have always loved taking baths. Hot water has some kind of soul quenching relaxing benefits for me that I can’t quite explain. Give me a good book and a bathtub every night and I’m happy. In fact, after making 4 types of cookies doughs and a big batch of pie dough last night, I crawled into an epsom bath with a book at midnight! It just washes all the stress away.

I didn’t really embrace additions to my tub water until I started dealing with chronic illness. I found that epsom baths were a big help with pain and sleeplessness. Later, when I tested positive for Lyme and started doing research, I realized the true benefits and why it’s so helpful for me.

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Epsom salt relaxes the nervous system, can cure skin problems, soothes joint pain, eases muscle strain, heals cuts, treats colds and congestion, and draws toxins from the body. Plus, it just feels really good to soak in a nice tub and relax. That alone is good for the soul.

I think this would be a great kid project too because it involves measuring, counting drops, and doesn’t involve a hot stove. I would highly recommend gloves for the little ones though because essential oils are very, very potent. If your children make these for gifts, I think a recipe card cut out from your child’s hand print would be a special and cute touch. Someday I’ll have grandchildren and we’ll do all kinds of fantastic projects together!

For now, it’s just me and the pups. They can’t make bath products but they are definitely always eager to “help” me in the kitchen and to cuddle when I take a break.

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Sore Muscle Soak

2 Cups of Epsom Salt

1/2 Cup of Baking Soda

1 Tablespoon of Sea Salt

10 Drops of Eucalyptus Globulous

10 Drops of Peppermint

5 Drops of Stress Away

1-2 drops of Natural Green Food Coloring

Measure the epsom salts, baking soda, and sea salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the essential oils  and whisk until fully incorporated. Pour 1 Cup into a hot bath and soak for 40 minutes. Rinse when finished. 

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Peaceful & Happy ~ 2 Ways

2 Cups of Epsom Salt

1/2 Cup of Baking Soda

1 Tablespoon of Sea Salt

Recipe #1 :

10 Drops of Lavender

15 Drops of Joy

Recipe #2

10 Drops of Lavender

10 Drops of Ylang Ylang

5 Drops of Stress Away

Measure the epsom salts, baking soda, and sea salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the essential oils  and whisk until fully incorporated. Pour 1 Cup into a hot bath and soak for 40 minutes. Rinse when finished. 

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Cold & Flu Soak

3 Cups of Epsom Salts

1/2 Cup of Baking Soda

1 Tablespoon of Sea Salt

8 Drops of Thyme

20 Drops of Lemon

15 Drops of Eucalyptus Globulous

This recipe has an additional cup of epsom salts because of the strength of the thyme essential oil. Measure the epsom salts, baking soda, and sea salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the essential oils  and whisk until fully incorporated. Pour 1 Cup into a hot bath and soak for 40 minutes. Rinse when finished. 

Barkin’ Dogs Foot Rub

2 Comments

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A couple posts ago I talked about having some issues with the paint on one of my projects. I’m not sure why they didn’t cooperate, but if you’re going to spray paint your lids, I would suggest spraying them with a primer first.

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Our temperatures dropped dramatically so I couldn’t repaint the two lids with issues. Instead, I covered them with fabric and ribbon. I preferred the  painted sleek look but because I was pressured for time, I had to go with the fabric for a last minute gift.

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Of course the recipient didn’t know the difference so it was no big deal. You can see the fabric covered jars in the photo below.

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If you’d like more home made body product ideas and recipes, I’ve created a category for Homemade Body Products on the right hand side of my main blog page. There you’ll find all kinds of fun things to make for you and your family or gifts for friends.

Barkin’ Dogs Foot Rub

*This recipe filled four 8 oz jars

1 Cup of Cocoa Butter

 Cup of Coconut Oil

1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

15 Drops of Lavender

1 Drops of Frankincense

10 Drops of Eucalyptus Globulous

8 Drops of Peppermint

In a medium saucepan melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil on medium low. Pour into a bowl and place somewhere cool until it is almost completely solidified. This will take a couple of hours. Don’t let it solidify too much though so keep checking!

Scrape the oils into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whip until smooth. Add the olive oil and whip until fully incorporated. Add the essential oil drops and whip until light and fluffy. 

Spoon into decorated jars. 

Linen Spray ~ Two Ways

2 Comments

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Looks like my luck is turning around. Remember when I said I had lost the ingredients list for one of my Christmas projects and I couldn’t remember what I had used?

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Well, as I was going through photos, I noticed that the ingredients list was in one of them! Ha. I love it when things like that happen.

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These linen sprays aren’t just for spraying bedding. You can use them as room spray, car spray, whatever you like.

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They are safe and healthy and both smell fabulous. If you have a few essential oils on hand, they are also incredibly easy to make and the options are endless.

Fresh

30 Drops of Eucalyptus Globulous

30 Drops of Lemon

25 Drops of Lavender

30 Drops of Melaleuca Alternifolia

30 Drops of Peppermint

8 oz of Witch Hazel (Local Drug Store)

8 oz of Filtered Water (or Distilled Water)

1 16 oz Glass Spray Bottle (Amazon)

Fill spray bottle with the witch hazel and water. Add essential oils. Shake well before each use.

Rest

20 Drops of Peppermint

15 Drops of Frankincense

15 Drops of Lemon

15 Drops of Lavender

8 oz of Witch Hazel (Local Drug Store)

8 oz of Filtered Water (or Distilled Water)

1 16 oz Glass Spray Bottle (Amazon)

Fill spray bottle with the witch hazel and water. Add essential oils. Shake well before each use.

Nourish & Calm Body Butter

3 Comments

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You may not realize it, but making many of your own body products is really, really, simple.

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Our skin is our largest organ and it’s important to really know what it is absorbing day in and day out. Many of the ingredients in store purchased body products are hormone disruptors and are extremely toxic. If you’re like the average person, years and years of using  products like that build up in your system and begin to cause issues with sensitivity, hormone imbalance, and allergies.

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The only way I’ve figured out how to control that since my skin leans more on the dry side and I cannot stand having dry skin, is to make my own body lotions and creams.

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I can make it with minimal ingredients that are easy to find, wonderful smelling, healthy…and it’s a lot of fun!

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Nourish & Calm Body Butter

*This recipe makes about 8 cups and will fill four 16 oz mason jars.

2 Cups of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil (Costco)

2 Cups of Organic Shea Butter (Amazon)

1 Cup of Organic Cocoa Butter (Amazon)

2 Tablespoons of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Trader Joe’s)

30 Drops of Ylang Ylang

6 Drops of Lavender

6 Drops of Frankincense

6 Drops of Stress Away

10 Drops of Joy

In a medium saucepan melt the coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter on medium low. Pour into a bowl and place somewhere cool until it is almost completely solidified. This will take a couple of hours. Don’t let it solidify too much though so keep checking!

Scrape the oils into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whip until smooth. Add the olive oil one Tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Add the essential oil drops and whip until light and fluffy. 

Spoon into decorated jars.