Summer Favorite: Summer Minestrone Soup!

vege

I have to admit, I love soups. Okay, let me rephrase that, I love soups that celebrate their season.  Like our family favorite Summer Minestrone. It’s a great soup to celebrate the bounty of your garden or that of your local farmers market. It’s simple to make and is delicious. It’s one you can share with a vegan friend or one that enjoys clean eating.

So for this recipe you will need;

1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, 2 medium onions, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 yellow squash, 1 zucchini, 7 carrots, 1-2 ears of corn, 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes or 12 fresh roma tomatoes, 1 can of red kidney beans or 1 1/2 cups of cooked red kidney beans (if from dried beans), Italian parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

This quantity should serve a family of five. Feel free to double it or add more of your favorite vegetables. The wonderful thing with homemade soups, is that you can never go wrong. The simmering will take care of all the yummy flavors.

So keeping in mind the size of shucked corn. I rough dice all my ingredients slightly larger than the fresh corn. That way everything cooks evenly.

_DSC0911Onions sure have a way of adding wonderful flavor.

So first I dice my onions and carrots. I melt my butter in my dutch oven and add my onions. I sprinkle some salt and pepper on them. Once they start to get translucent I add the carrots and sprinkle a little more salt and pepper.

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Then I put the carrots and onions aside in a bowl. Next I saute the yellow squash and zucchini. I sprinkle some salt and pepper on them too. As you can see I like to flavor my food as I go. This is also the place I add my minced garlic. I love how the summer squash takes in the yummy garlic flavor.

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Next I toss in my tomatoes (fresh or canned)! Add a little more salt and pepper, YUM!

Once the tomatoes begin to lose their shape, I toss back in the carrots and onions and add the kidney beans,  the shucked corn, and  I add about 3 to 4 cups of water. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes. This will depend on how small your vegetables were cut and how long you sauted each step.

Once the soup is almost done I add the chopped Italian parsley. You may or may not need to salt and pepper your soup. At this point I don’t usually have to.

Now you are ready to serve!

summer minestrone

Serve with bread and butter if that’s your fancy. It’s ours.

I hope you try and enjoy my soup!

Rosalia

Homemade Bug Spray Recipe!

Bug spray

I quick little share for all my friends out there! Here’s a recipe to another summer favorite recipe. It’s super easy to make and smells really nice, not like the store bought variety. This one item we take on all our camping trips.

NONTOXIC INSECT REPELLENT SPRAY

4 oz spray bottle
1/4 Tsp sea or Kosher salt
4 oz distilled water
7 drops Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil
7 drops Young Living Purification Essential Oil
1 drop Young Living Lemongrass Essential Oil (this one is optional)

Pour salt in the bottom of spray bottle.  Add oils. Pour in distilled water to fill up bottle halfway.  Swirl ingredients around in bottle.  Add more of the distilled water to fill up the bottle.

Then your done!

It’s ready to use for camping trips or whatever other outdoor activity you enjoy!

Rosalia

Going Back to a More Natural Life

Keeping it short today, we are off in San Diego for the week and I am using my handsome hubbies laptop. There are no bells and whistles on this baby but I will see what I can do, all my pictures are on my home computer. So I will have a ton of catch up when I get back. As some of you know I believe in clean living. Although, it is harder to accomplish that today.  With all the convenient choices we see in stores today. I have decided returned to my passion of making homemade laundry soap, lotions and lip balms, etc. So today, I want to share my recipe for Sunscreen Bars; SUNSCREEN LOTION BARS 1/2 cup shea butter 5 TBSP beeswax 1/2 cup coconut oil 2 TBSP zinc oxide 1/2 Tsp vitamin E oil 3/4 Tsp Lavender essential oil (citrus oils increase photo-sensitivity so do not use those I used Lavender)

Combine the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil in a glass bowl placed over a pot of simmering water or use a double boiler. Or you can melt it in the microwave at reduced power.  If on the stove, heat on low until the ingredients are melted and fully incorporated.  Remove from heat and stir in the zinc oxide, vitamin E oil and the essential oil.  Pour into silicone molds and place in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes.  Pop out and store in tins or an airtight container.  Store at room temperature. Notes: These will melt a bit in the hot sun but this is normal.  I plan to cut off a small piece to take with me to the pool or the beach and carry it in an airtight container.  Once back indoors it will solidify again. You can always put it in the refrigerator before you leave to help keep it cool longer before your outing. To apply, simply rub all over your body while holding in your hand.  The texture is firm but emollient and it will feel like a lotion, not soap.  You can rub it in further with your hands.

This is what they look like when they are done! That is if you use a apple mold!
 Please reapply every couple of hours for maximum coverage. Apply more often if playing in water.
I hope you enjoy my recipe!
     Rosalia

Organic Living – Homemade Face Cream

As I continue my quest for homemade skincare and products in my home. I have discovered that a lot of the essential oils on the market are not pure and have been altered. Lot of them have fillers or synthetic chemicals that make them not as effective or even harmful. For this reason, I have done some research, I don’t want my efforts of going organic to be futile. So, I ended up with Young Living oils. These oils are organic and are quality, Therapeutic grade, pure essential oils. They even have a Seed to Seal  quality commitment you can read about here.

Now that you know why I have chosen Young Living, I will continue with my basic homemade skin cream recipe. I am still using coconut oil for my face but, I have now added 10 drops of Young Living Lavender Essential Oil and 10 drops of Young Living Thieves Essential Oil to 3/4 cup of coconut oil. Mix ingredients and apply to clean face.

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The Lavender Oil works as an antiseptic, anti-fungal, and combats excess sebum on skin. it also promotes tissue regeneration and speeds wound healing. Plus, it just smell delicious.

Thieves is a oil blend of Cloves, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata and Rosemary. making it the most amazing blend of antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-infectious essential oils.

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By using this blend my skin has felt clean and refreshed and smells so good. The best part is, I have noticed a great difference on my skin. Mostly on my chin. I am one of those woman who get the hormonal chin breakouts. Since using my homemade cream I have noticed very few pimples and they fade within a day. The other huge difference is the little spots of discoloration from past pimples are fading away too.

I am very pleased with my new skin care. I can’t wait to share more of my discoveries with you on my little journey to a more organic life.

Rosalia

Saying Goodbye to Store Bought Skin Care

Okay, here I am continuing on my quest of removing chemicals and unknown products from my home. I know some items in my life will be more difficult to get rid of than others. But, here goes!

Now, this one should be pretty easy – foundation. I never really cared much for the way foundation feels on my face anyway. And I felt I was lying to the world- “Yes, I have nice skin! see?” -when in fact I am covering it up.

So, we all know great skin starts at the foundation; your skin care. If you are putting garbage on your face your skin will end up looking like garbage. So back to square one. I am a simple woman. I like relishing in the romantic deliciousness of natural flavors and simple ingredients. I like things uncomplicated. So my skin care is the same. I am new to this journey so here is where I am so far. I will continue to read and research and share what I learn with you. That is what this journey is all about.

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     Now, to begin, I have two first loves in my super basic skin care; coconut oil and Bragg’s Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Now that I have had 3 children and am in my mid-thirties, my skin is different. I was getting hideous chin outbreaks that were all hormone based and I couldn’t seem to get rid of them. With just these two products I have seen a huge improvement, and so has my hubby.

All I am doing is washing my face with coconut oil. (which also makes a GREAT eye make-up remover!) As you can imagine, I threw away all my eye make-up remover, I didn’t need it any more. I dry my face, then put some Bragg’s Raw Organic Apple Cider vinegar on it with a cotton ball (shake the bottle because all the good stuff settles on the bottom) and rub it all around my face completely avoiding my eye area. After about 3 minutes rinse your face with warm water to help close pores. Now, I must admit I am naughty, I should not be using it straight from the bottle. I should be using equal part water and Apple Cider Vinegar. You can make your own toner in a bottle and even increase the amount of Apple Cider Vinegar as your skin gets used to the acidity of it. Please don’t be crazy like me!!!

This works like a toner or an astringent; it will make your face burn or hurt especially if you have pimples. But it should be a good hurt and will fade. It will cleanses your face and remove impurities while unblocking pores and allowing them to breath again.  Plus, it will balance your PH levels, keeping your face from getting too oily or dry. Yes, your face will smell, but it will fade and you will fine. It is worth the smell.

But I will say, you need to make sure you are using Bragg’s Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar since it is a natural vinegar made by fermenting pressed apple juice until all the natural sugars are turned into vinegar. This is what you want. Also, before you put Apple Cider Vinegar all over your face, you should do a little test area under your chin and make sure you have no sensitivity to the product. You don’t want to walk around with an inflamed face! And please make sure you do this at night; Apple Cider Vinegar can increase sensitivity to UV rays.

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I only use Young Living oils in all my recipes.

After I have washed and toned my face with the ACV, I moisturize my face with coconut oil and use a couple of drops of Young Living Melaleuca alternifolia. You can use jojoba oil too, which is a great moisturizer or Sunflower oil if you have sun damaged skin. I will be talking more about these, and I will include me recipes using these oils when I share my other homemade recipes for skin, body care and foot care. Yes, even homemade toothpaste and deodorant.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me,

Rosalia

3-Ingredient Granola Bars

Playing in the cocina with my son today. He will be helping me make a 3-ingredient granola bar.  Simple delicious and healthy.

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Here is my handsome boy.

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Here are the ingredients:

1 cup organic pitted prunes

1 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts

1/4 cup organic creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon of water

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Mix all ingredients into your Cusinart.

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Looks good already!

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Almost ready!!! Once your ingredients look like this you are ready to pull out some wax paper and carefully pour out your mixture into it and shape into a rectangle. Should be just under 1/2 thick.

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Then you get your bench knife or a chef knife and cut into 8 even bars.

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I love letting my kids use the bench knife because it doesn’t have a sharp edge.

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Excellent job Bubbie!!!

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Then I wrap them in wax paper and I put them in snack size ziplock bags (yes, I will buy little storage containers) and store in the refrigerator. Now they are all ready to go when we are!

Thank You www.100daysofrealfood.com

Rosalia

 

Chocolate Oatmeal Coconut No-Bake Balls

Today, I am sharing my first no-bake recipe. Yes, as I mentioned before I will not be buying granola bars or energy bars any more. I am working on staying away from prepackaged foods. But not just that, I am working on educating my young children about food. So, I started reading food labels and asking them if they understand what the ingredients are in packaged foods. For most packaged foods the answer is – “No”.

My job as mom is to teach them that it is import to be able to identify what goes into the foods they eat. So, we started with making our Chocolate Oatmeal Coconut No-Bake Balls. They were able to easily identify all the ingredients that make this delicious treat! But beware, it may be hard to stop eating them!

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So here’s the ingredient list:

1 cup coconut

1 cup oatmeal

1/3 cup raw honey

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1 pinch Kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

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Looks good already!

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Yum!

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Love local raw honey.

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Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon.

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Your ingredients should look like this once mixed. Then you start rolling them into balls.

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In case you were wondering, this is Cupcake, she is my 8 year old helper. She loves to help me in the kitchen. Like most kids, and this makes the perfect opportunity to show them how to use whole ingredients to make delicious snacks.

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She did a fabulous job!

If she can do it so can you, easy peasy.