Cheesy Broccoli Soup with a Surprise Ingredient

Cheesy Broccoli Soup with a Surprise Ingredient - This gluten free soup is loaded with veggies and bacon and one ingredient you may not expect.

I regularly whip together some version of homemade cream of vegetable soup, but when I put together this creamy, cheesy broccoli soup with a hint of bacon, my husband and the boys said it was one of the best I’ve ever made. Since I’m skipping gluten at the moment, I decided to raid the pantry for some dehydrated summer squash to use as an extra thickening agent. Eureka moment! It’s a great use for an abundant veggie, and adds a little more vegetable punch to the recipe, which is never a bad thing. [Read more…]

Super Easy Hard Lotion Bar Recipe

Dry skin?  Try these super easy hard lotion bars made with just 3 ingredients.

These have been wonderful for my winter dry skin.  I used to coat my hands at night with petroleum jelly, because it was the only thing that helped with the dryness.  Normal lotion didn’t help much at all, plus I don’t like the fragrance of most lotions, and many have questionable ingredients.  Since I do a lot of dishes and wash my hands frequently, these bars have been a godsend.  No more dry skin for me!  My only regret is that I didn’t try them sooner, since they are so easy to make.  The smell is light and pleasant, and they absorb fairly quickly.

Most homemade lotion recipes involve quite a few ingredients, blenders and more mess than I’d prefer to clean up.  In contrast, all you need for these these bars is three ingredients, one pot, and molds – that’s it!

I used a recipe from Jo’s Health Corner, a site that I highly recommend.  Jo has tons of neat ideas for natural health products.

Hard Lotion Bar Recipe [Read more…]

Classic Deviled Eggs and Guacamole Devils

Classic Deviled Eggs and Guacamole Devils - Deviled Eggs made with avocado. Turn your hard boiled eggs into satisfying snack food with a healthy twist.

Classic deviled eggs are a favorite fun finger food when we have company over, but in recent years I’ve added a fun twist in the form of guacamole devils – deviled eggs made with avocado.  Given that we live in Green Bay Packer country and the Packers are headed to the playoffs again this season, I thought it would be fun to share these easy to make snacks that also happen to sport the team colors. [Read more…]

Onion Pudding

Onion Pudding - an old-fashioned savory side dish that complements any meal.  Need to use up lots of onions?  Try this dish!

2014 blessed us with an onion harvest like I have never seen before. Red, yellow and white onions were hauled out of the garden by the bucketful to fill the shelves of the root cellar. The white onions, a Vidalia type, were so sweet that when my sister visited at Thanksgiving, she said they were the first garden onion she’d consider eating like an apple.  While nearly every savory dish we enjoy includes onions in one form or another, I wanted to add some new onion focused recipes to the menu. I started digging through my favorite veggie focused cookbooks, and came across a recipe for onion pudding in “Too Many Tomatoes, Squash, Beans, and Other Good Things: A Cookbook for When Your Garden Explodes“.

What’s onion pudding?  Think rich and creamy onions with a hint of cheesy goodness.  The high oven temp gives a bit of a crispy edge while leaving a smooth center.  It’s a wonderful side dish with any meat, and a great complement to a salad or other fresh veggie dish.  To make the most of this dish, I highly recommend taking the time to grate your Parmesan cheese fresh.  The flavor and texture is so much better than the green can product with wood pulp added to prevent caking.  And since Parmesan is a hard cheese, it lasts a really long time in the fridge, especially if you vacuum seal any leftover chunks.  I usually bake mine in a nine inch glass pie plate, which makes 8 slices. [Read more…]

Spiced Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe – Secret Spices Make the Mix!

Homemade spiced hot cocoa mix recipe with a surprise ingredient. Make some up for a quick hot chocolate fix or to share as a special yet inexpensive gift.

This is a guest post by Cameron Smith of Eat Real, Stay Sane.

Growing up in warm southern California, we didn’t have to put up with nasty weather very often. It rarely rained, and we celebrated Christmas by visiting parks or riding bikes outside.  Occasionally, the weather would take a turn for the worse. My Minnesota-native 4th grade  teacher called it “picnic weather,” but we treated 55-degree rainy days like it was Buffalo in the dead of winter.  We came home from school and didn’t even consider going outside. We’d quickly change our wet clothes and beg Mom to make us hot chocolate. She used a standard store-bought hot cocoa mix, but as kids, we didn’t argue with warm and chocolatey on days like those.  Even now, cold days stir a Pavlov’s-dog-type reaction in me. The second I get home, I want hot chocolate.  Living in snowy Utah, that’s like every day for me between October and April.  :-) [Read more…]