Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Eucalyptus Oil

Do you have kids coughing?  So much gunk is going around right now.  It makes me sick (no pun intended) to think about all the germs coming home from the schools.  Ick.

I found a link on Pinterst (have I mentioned lately that I love Pinterest) that is about using the essential oil Eucalyptus on your kids' feet at night so they're not coughing all night long.  I love learning new ways to use my oils!  I learned just in the nick of time.  My youngest got over the flu like symptoms and now has a bit of a cough and sniffly nose.  Because we use essential oils, his flu never got bad and his cough hasn't turned nasty.

On a side note, we use Immune Strength by RockyMountainOils.com to fight off any bugs that try to get us.  It doesn't mean we don't get it, but it sure helps us not get the bug as bad.  If you catch it on day 1, you can kick a virus right out the door.  Seriously!  When one of us complains of a sore throat or coughs, I immediately put some Immune Strength on their feet.  One of my kids particularly dislikes the scents from the oils.  When I make him use the oils, I allow him to then put on his socks and shoes so that it does not irritate his nose.  If one of us actually comes down sick, I use the Immune Strength on that person twice a day, then once a day on the rest of us so we don't catch it.  Here's the good news.  RockyMountainOils.com is going to have a Black Friday sale and Immune Strength will be on sale!!!  As well as several other great oils.  You seriously won't want to miss it.  I stock up on this stuff because it works!

Okay, back to Eucalyptus.  What this lady's blog did not talk about is the fact that there are three different types of Eucalyptus oils.  And they each do something different.  So...I want to tell you about all three of them.  I will quote from the RockyMountainOils website.  I feel that their website is very informative!

Eucalyptus Citriodora

This eucalyptus is a powerful antiseptic. Powerful antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, expectorant, insect repellant, purifying. 

Eucalyptus Globulus

Beneficial for burns, blisters, cuts, insect bites, repellant, and as an immune system stimulant.

Eucalyptus Radiata

Beneficial for sinus problems, coughs, sore throat and mouth infections. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral.

Amazing?  YES!  So.  If you want to treat a sore throat and cough, buy the Eucalyptus Radiata.  If you or the kids tend to get lung problems, laryngitis, or bronchitis easily, add the Eucalyptus Citriodora to it.  Yup, use them both.  If you want the benefit of the immune boost offered by Eucalyptus Globulus, add it in as well.  I have bought little bottles with roller tops for easy application.  It would be beneficial to mix your Eucalyptus oils into one little bottle.  In fact, I think I'll do that for us!  I need to add one the Citriodora to my oil collection, then I'll have all three.  In the meantime, I'm just using Eucalyptus Radiata and it has helped my 8 year old not cough so much at night.  I forgot to put it on him last night so I put it on him this morning before school.

On an adult, you can apply this oil "neat" which means undiluted.  You only need two drops per foot at most.  Pure oils are very powerful and can send the body into shock if you use too much at once; however, they can be reapplied several times throughout the day if necessary.  For a child, use a carrier oil and dilute the oil about fifty percent.  I have Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) and I put about 3-4 drops of that in my hand, then 2-3 drops of the oil with it.  Then I rub it onto my child's feet.  The nice thing about this is I benefit from it too, as the oils soak into my hands as well.  That is, until I switch to a roller bottle.  Recognize my little kids are big.  My youngest is about 85 lbs.  So if your little kids are little, you might only use two drops total with the FCO.

I also buy oils from MountainRoseHerbs.com.  Their prices are sometimes cheaper than RMO so I always do comparison pricing.  MRH does not offer oil blends, so I always get those from RMO.  But MRH offers tons of other stuff besides oils, which I believe is why their oil prices are slightly lower.  Information wise, I love RMO for the ease of using their website and amount of information on each oil.

If you have any questions about oils, please feel free to ask!  I'm not certified, but I have learned a TON about essential oils this year and feel strongly that as a culture we can use doctors and pharmacies less and use natural healing more.

The BEST Apple Crisp Ever!

For those of you that don't know, I am a major Pinterest fan.  The coolest part is actually trying new things that other people have posted on their blogs as being good.  I have to admit, a few have been epic failures, but not this recipe!  I love apple crisp.  I also have a box of apples in the kitchen that are on the brink of going bad, so I needed to find something to do with them besides eat them one at a time.  I guess I should have stored them in the cool garage.

Yesterday I took a meal to a friend and she gave me the greatest compliment.  She fell down her front stairs night before last and ended up in the ER to make sure nothing was broken.  After offering to bring her dinner she said to her daughter, "I want to tell Christy not to, but she's the best cook I know, so I'd love to eat her food!"  Wow!  That's a huge compliment.  Sadly, I cook a few things really good and everything else is just average.  Anyway, I did take her a tray of this Apple Crisp for dessert as well as some vanilla bean ice cream to go with it!

Apple Crisp

5 lbs. apples (about 10)
grated zest of 1 orange
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 lb. cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9x13 (deep) baking dish or 2 8x8 pans.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges.  A peeler, corer, slicer tool makes this part faster!  Combine apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices and mix thoroughly.  Pour into pan of choice.

To make the topping, combine all topping ingredients and mix with an electric mixer on low until it's crumbly and butter is the size of peas.  Scatter evenly over the apples.

Place apple crisp on a sheet pan and bake for one hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce (opt.)  SERVES 10.

This recipe is so huge!  I highly recommend using two deep dish 8x8 bakers and splitting the recipe.  It will work great as a freezer meal dessert, so cook half for tonight and stick the other half in the freezer for an other day!

I'm thinking I might add a regular crust underneath and use this recipe as my dutch apple pie with carmel sauce for Thanksgiving dinner.  YUM!  The added citrus in this recipe really gives it the zing that I love.

This recipe was taken from Barefoot Contessa Parties!  blog.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Taco Soup

Hello my favorite people who actually read my blog!  YOU ROCK!  Tonight I had trouble finding my recipe for our family favorite taco soup.  I actually had to look it up online to remember the last ingredient.  And of course I always alter the recipe just a touch!  I'm a rebel like that.

This is a recipe I got from a dear friend a couple years ago and now we eat it all the time.  I cook it and freeze it for freezer meals, but if I put leftovers in the fridge, they don't stay there long.  I especially love this recipe because it's a great food storage recipe.  Except for the meat, everything comes out of a can or could be made from scratch (dry beans).  The meat could come from a can as well, or it would be fine meatless.

Here's the recipe:

Taco Soup

2 lbs. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped

Brown beef and onion in pan and drain grease.

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can kidney beans

Drain the beans.  In another pot, add some water and boil the beans for maybe five minutes.  This helps boil the farts out!  This step can be skipped, but still drain the beans.

In a big pot or crockpot, dump ground beef, all the beans, and then add:

1 can corn
1 can refried beans (opt. but thickens stew!)
2 cans diced green chilies
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch dressing
1 packet zesty italian dressing
1 tsp. fresh pressed garlic
2 cans water (probably 3-4 cups)

On the stove, let it simmer for about an hour.  In the crockpot cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Serve with Mexican cheese.  We like to eat it with corn chips.  Other options might be over rice or noodles to help it stretch more or make a leftovers meal a little different.