When the weather turns cooler…. aka, -75° 😂 I find myself reaching for those “heartier” foods, like squashes, and cinnamon, and such.
OK, truth is, I see Butternut squash in the produce section and my thought pattern goes, “yummy yum yum! Butternut squash soup! Oh! Baked with carrots and sweet potatoes ooooh lala! Let’s buy 3! Definitely making the baked squash, send the boy back a few I isles for maple syrup, he won’t mind, he loves his mommy 😎, I have cinnamon at home, the squash soup is totally happening, and the 3rd squash is just in case I think of another recipe for Butternut squash!! Yay! ” and this is how I wind up with 3 kinds of squash in my fridge. 😂 We live in the south, it’s not like we need heartier or spicier food to help keep us warm…. we just make a switch from hot dogs and corn on the cob to baked squash and chili. It’s how things are done. 😂😎
If you haven’t tried Butternut squash, you should. It’s similar to sweet potatoes in taste but not mushy like sweet potatoes and darling, if you haven’t tried it as a soup, oh my! You definitely should! It’s delicious! I reach for cinnamon all year round. It’s warm and delicious and has a way of just calming my soul. 😄 I also love the fact that Young Living gives me an authentic cinnamon in a ready to use form! Did you know that most of the cinnamon on the market is actually not even cinnamon😠 it’s actually a cheaper, easier to source, knock off that smells and tastes similar but has 0 of the actual good for you properties of cinnamon. Seriously, I was absolutely horrified when I was enlightened by this information, ridiculous!
I used to find Butternut squash intimidating. I grew up eating it as cut in half, baked in the skin with butter and cinnamon…. bless my heart, boy was I deprived. 😁 whew!
It’s hard to slice into… right? Let’s be honest, if you are a grownup , you NEED a good set of knives. Need. It’s necessary. If you don’t have a proper knife, stop right here and call your friend who sell pampered chef, or go out and get you a set of sharp, proper knives. You are welcome, I can wait. 😘
The joy of squash, is that, while it has a flavor unique to its type, it also takes one the flavors it is combined with. You can take it sweet, salty, spicy, creamy and mild or savory. The choice for flavor is yours. This recipe uses only the Butternut squash, however, I like to add in 2 handfuls of baby carrots and 4 small sweet potatoes, the texture change and slight taste difference is quite enjoyable, but you absolutely do not need to add these. 😁
1 medium Butternut squash
3 drops of cinnamon
1/8 cup butter
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup brown sugar (optional but it does add richness)
**note… if you add the 4 small sweet potatoes, you will need a bit more butter and maple syrup. If you add the carrots as well, you will want to use 1 extra drop of cinnamon, 1/4 cup each of maple syrup, brown sugar and Butter.
DIRECTIONS: preheat oven to 375°
1. You need to peel your squash. You can peel then slice, or slice then peel, peeling is a bit tricky till you get the hang of it, and slicing is super hard if your knife is dull, but easy with a sharp one. 😉 I peel the straight parts first, the slice in half and thenot half and half again, and the peel the thinner slices of the curvy part. Like so.
If you are adding sweet potatoes, peel and chop them into chunks. Carrots you only need to wash and pat dry.
2. Place your veggies into your baking dish, I love my pampered chef stoneware for recipes like this, it helps the food bake up nicely without getting all watery-juicy and gross.
3. Mix the Cinnamon with the maple syrup, stirring to combine.
4. Slice your butter and distribute evenly over the top of your veggies in the baking dish, sprinkle the brown sugar all over, and then drizzle on the Mapple syrup and cinnamon mixture all over as well. (I add a little sprinkle of ground cinnamon for aesthetics sake 😚 )
5. Pop your dish of yum into your oven and bake for 30-45 (ovens vary so check doneness with a fork)
This recipe consists of 6 very basic ingredients. All of these are forever in my pantry as add in ingredients for so many different recipes.
I have loved goat cheese for many years. It’s a magical mash up of sweet, twangy, creamy and crumbly, and it deserves to be a staple in every kitchen. Goat cheese is also highly versatile, it goes from plain to savory to sweet and doesn’t miss a beat. 😘 It’s also friendly on the budget. 👐 Goat cheese is different from dairy cheeses, obviously, cuz it’s from goats.. duh. 😅 I will say this, it’s a bit of an acquired taste, I slather and crumble the stuff on basically everything, from eggs to salads to sandwiches and crackers… and, evidently peppers. I can’t say that my sweet hubby has such a love for it, but he DID give these the two thumbs up. 😙
Pesto is amazing, if you don’t have some, getchusome! It’s fabulous added to mayo and smeared onto toasted homemade bread for a mile high sandwich, or added into some pasta for a punch of extra flavor.
Another favorite is these delightful little peppers! Aldi introduced them, and I took the bate, and haven’t looked back, we go through a bag pretty much weekly. Our littlest is 3 and becoming quite the avid eater, she will often grab a few of these and munch away, while declaring them “mmm mmm!! Ssoooo delicious!!” They really are! Crispy, sweet and perfect “snack size”. I roasted them with potatoes one night for dinner and they were scrumptious. The idea of using these gems and my new bottle of Oregano Essential Oil, was a no brainer. I was practically chomping at the bit to get this assembled and tasted! We enjoyed them as a light lunch after a late breakfast, they would also be perfect paired up with an old favorite like meatloaf or as an appetizer or even a side to a salad. You can bet yer salty grits that these amazing delights are gonna be fixed regularly. 😎
I also love that this recipe contains absolutely no salt, making this a perfect dish for anyone who is avoiding salt but still looking for amazing flavor!
You REALLY NEED the Oregano Essential Oil. Unlike fresh leaves, it doesn’t wilt quickly and lose its flavor in your fridge, waiting to be eaten, and dried Oregano just doesn’t even come close to coming close to being sort of maybe similar in taste, nope. 😶 This little bottle of Oregano holds its amazing aroma and flavor and delivers with every single opening.
Spoon and fork
2 TBSP Pesto
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
4 Oz Goat cheese
1/2 bag of Mini Peppers
4 drops Oregano Essential Oil
*preheat oven to 350°
1. Begin by washing your peppers, let them drain or pat them dry. Slice each pepper in half and do away with the stem stub and seeds inside. Lay each half, cut side up, on your baking sheet. Like so. ( I love these baking sheets, they are old and ugly and bake everything perfectly. I have never had great luck with these new fangled non stick pans, I am an old fashioned gal I guess. I scored these at a yard sale for 2$ a few years ago!)
2. Place all of the other ingredients into your mixing bowl and stir to combine. You can leave the cheese a bit more clumpy if you prefer, but I wanted a very smooth, creamy consistency, so I mixed it all a bit extra. 😙
3. Using your spoon and fork, fill each pepper half, just to full, don’t overfill them or you will wind up with a mess on your hands once it all bakes up. Help is always appreciated when things could go straight to messville. 😅
4. Place your baking sheet on the top rack in your preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Now set your oven to “broil” and “hi” and turn on the oven light. Watch through the window, and let the filling come to just a bubble, then quickly remove them. It’s easy to overcook peppers and cheese, especially on broil setting.
It’s that easy!
I did not grease the pan, that oil that you see is from the olive oil that seeped out at the peppers cooked.
I feel like this is more of a PSA than a recipe, but, I also feel like people simply don’t realize the wondrful, beautiful, magical potential that can be enjoyed when it comes to essential oils. We all know to use a carrier oil when using essential oils, however, most people sadly do not realize that MANY things can be a carrier for essential oil use!
Have you caught snippets about or been to a restaurant and enjoyed ” herebed ” or “flavored” or “infused” butter? OK. It’s SOUNDS fancy schmancy and super duper complicated, but, my dear, it’s so totally NOT either one of those things. It can be fancy, I mean, your family and guests will totally think you are the queen of the kitchen and a few people may begin to pay you for a small log of that “amaaaazing butter” or a few spoonfuls of that “heavenly honey” and that’s just peachy. Cuz we both know you da bomb dot com and people need to realize that that kitchen gets hot and it’s not just because you are in it. 😜
Without further adieu!!
Various appropriate sized bowls
Metal or wooden spoons
Jars to store your goodies in
Parchment or plastic wrap if you wish to make butter logs
Sugar, use any kind you prefer
Natural, edible oil of any kind
Optional: dried or herbs that compliment the essential oils you use
SUGAR, SALT AND ANYTHING ELSE DRY: Rule of thumb, you will want to use 1/2 cup dry product to 1 drop of essential oil. Keep in mind that Peppermint and such will have a much stronger flavor than Lemon and Lavender. You may wish to use 2-3 drops of the milder essential oils.
You will simply place your dry product into a bowl and drop in your essential oil. Work quickly and stir and mash it around until it is well distributed. Pour this into a glass jar and place the lid on immediately. It is now ready to be sprinkled wherever you fancy. I highly recommend sprinkling some peppermint sugar into a cup of homemade hot cocoa. If you went salty… Black Pepper essential oil infused sea salt sprinkled onto your morning grits is sure to make you feel like you kinda maybe can own this day like a boss…. or crawl back into bed and leave it all to fate. 😂 no judgement.
HONEY, BUTTER AND ALL OTHER NATURAL, EDIBLE OILS: The same ratio applies to this and the same advice applies as well. Your product needs to be room temperature, work in a warmer rather than cooler kitchen for the best distribution. If you chose to add ( by no means MUST you) various herbs and spices, do this only AFTER you incorporate your essential oils.
For the butter, you may want to keep it simple and just stop it in a cute jar, you can use a cookie scooper thingies to place a dollop on top a perfectly grilled steak, or slice of steaming, fresh bread, or every single bite that enters your mouth from henceforth … please don’t judge. 😎 However if your in laws are coming and you are breaking out grandma’s China and the cloth napkins and hiding your “collection” of wine, you just might want to think fancier.
Mix your butter up to perfection. It should be soft and very workable. Place your butter into your fridge for 10 minutes, you are going to need your butter to be semi soft yet hold a former well. If 10 minutes isn’t enough, add an extra minute and check on it each minute until it’s perfect. You will lay a piece of plastic wrap or parchment the paper onto your counter. Spoon the semi soft butter into a “log”. It doesn’t need to be perfect at this point. You will now use the plastic or parchment as an aide to roll your butter like a jelly roll being finished into a nice, round, oblong log. When you have reached the perfect size and roundness, you will play this into your fridge and chill for 24 hours. You can also use an old butter dish lid as a form, or even something else that gives you the shape you desire a log is measly a suggestion and one of the easiest applications for a first try, you do what works for you. 😚 Serve in slices with meats, veggies, breads and starches. Oven roasted potatoes, peppers and carrots, topped with herbed butter is an amazing side that is easy, delicious and filling.
Liquid oils and honey, simply need a good stir and then to be stored in glass and allowed to infuse for about 48 hours. You can absolutely add any dried herbs but I don’t recommend using fresh ones. Basil essential oil and sun-dried tomato infused olive oil on a fresh slice of Italian bread is sure to make your tummy happy. Black pepper essential oil infused olive oil drizzled over crumbled feta and sautéed green beans will add a spin to a simple dish that will leave your taste buds craving some beans! Lavender essential oil infused honey, drizzled over a lemon poppy seed scone will brighten even the most dreary morning, and with winter on its way, local, raw honey should be a staple in your cabinet! A dollop of Thieves essential oil infused honey in your morning coffee or afternoon tea, is a delicious treat!
So, that’s it! It’s that easy! With the holidays and all of that cooking and baking and hosting and eating, you just might find this PSA handy to have in your toolbelt.😘
The jury is out on which spelling to use, the first time I actually saw the name in print, it was spelled Tabouli, however you spell it, it tastes scrumptious!
I consider myself a fairly adventurous eater. I draw the line at snails and puffer fish, but I am totally game for some alligator tail and dandelion salad. 😊
We first discovered this delicious little gem at a darling little store in Florida. The owner is one of those people who makes you feel right at home, as he breaks off chunks of this dream worthy, heart bread and dips these huge chunks into various dips in clear plastic bins behind the counter. You can walk in hangry and walk out stuffed, just on the samples! My hubby always buys too much, but I fully support him and may perhaps encourage such behavior. 😜 There is Tabouli, and this creamy feta dip that is heavenly, I have dreams about the dolmas, and the sundried tomato soft cheese dip is enough to make my eyes drift closed in delight. Barrels of figs, olives, various grains and such line the flour and the enda of a few isles. A wall is covered in small barrels tipped on their sides and each barrell has a different flavored coffee. The isles are narrow and always cramped feeling, but I always linger and read labels and admire the packaging. I enjoy stores where all of my senses are tended to. 😂
The first time I tried Tabouli, I nearly turned the sample down. Parsley… And tomatoes… Meh, it was pretty, but did I want to chomp around on a bunch of parsley? No, not really. Then I tasted and my taste buds were transported to a wonderful land, one from which they never wanted to return from. Alas, we live many many miles from “our store” and my belly needs Tabouli from time to time, so, here is as close to that as I can manage.
1/2 cup measuring cup
3 cup glass bowl
Salad or serving bowl
1 bunch of parsley
3 Roma tomatoes
1/2 a bunch of green onions
1/2 cup fine Bulgur
1/2 cup boiling water
3 drops Lemon Vitality Essential Oil
Salt to taste if desired
1.Place your Bulgur in your glass bowl. Pour your boiling water over the bulgur, stir well and set aside.
2. Dice your tomatoes, parsely, green & onions finely.
3. Place all of the ingredients above into your serving bowl, and stir gently to combine.
4. Cut your lemon in half and place your drops of lemon essential oil onto one half, then squeeze the juice from both halves into your salad. Toss to coat.
5. Sprinkle in a bit of salt if desired.
You can serve this with olive oil for each person to add to their portion or drizzle a bit into your salad and stir to distribute. Or dont use olive oil at all, totally your call. I enjoy it on mine, it makes it a bit smoother tasting.
This is one of those dishes that I find myself eating straight from the bowl. Its so light and flavorful, but totally guilt free.
I love fresh, simple and flavorful foods! This recipe delivers all of these requirements! I don’t personally, enjoy canned green beans, even though I grew up on enough home canned beans to choke an elephant. 😂 Once I tried my hand at fresh, pan seared, there was no going back. Um… Those were at a chinese buffet pf all places. 😜 I also have a penchant for adding cheese to things. My hubby teases me ” everything is betta with feta!” And its true! Cheese cam absolutely finish off almost any dish. If your tummy suffers when eating cheese, just omit it. Seriously, I totally understand add some garlic or bacon crumbles instead. 😉
I love that this dish is so simple and fast and easy yet so delicious and filling and pretty. 😘
I also enjoy the zing of black pepper but I am not a fan of the crunch and grit that using a nice amount leaves behind. I also dont enjoy a black chunk of pepper stuck between 2 front teeth when I smile lovingly a my hubby over dinner. I’m sorry but that kills the mood instantly. 😁
1 lb. Of fresh green beans
3 tbs room temperature butter or ghee
1/4 – 1/2 cup crumbled feta
1-2 drops Vitality Black Pepper
1.Rinse your beans and end them.
2. Mix your black pepper essential oil into your softened butter. Place the mixture into your pan. Melt your butter in your pan over medium high heat.
3. Toss your beans into the hot, melted butter.
4. Toss frequently and cook for about 10 minutes. When you see them turn bright green and begin to appear a tad limp, they are done.
5. Turn off your heat and give them a toss. Dump in the feta and let it sit while you plate up the other food. Give it all one last toss before dishing into plates.
How simple is that!?
Taco Tuesday is basically like, basic breathing. Families everywhere are looking forward to Tuesday BECAUSE of Tacos. 😝
Growing up, Tacos entered my life somewhere in my teens. That traditional yellow box and crunchy shells were quite the big deal when Mom decided to add this meal to her menu. They were simple, yet delicious, with diced tomatoes, diced onions, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, black olives, sour cream, ground beef and those crunchy shells. Truth be told, I am a simple girl with picky tastes. I can cook something once for kicks, a second time to master it and by try #3, my taste buds are all laid out in the sun, giving me the stink eye, having begged relentlessly for CHANGE!! (They have issues, we are working on it.) ((They love variety, don’t judge)) 😜
I think the first time I broke out tacos on my little family, was back in 2009-ish. They were a hit and have remained a menu staple since. Granted, they change from one time to the next, but they are always devoured with relish (not pickle relish, that would be gross 😝).
We are doing a lowish carb menu for a few weeks, because it’s fun to change things up from time to time and step outside the norm. Right?! Right. One huge reason I enjoy tacos, is that you can create them however your tastebuds or dietary needs require, and you are still going to have a very happy tummy. Not to mention, you can feed a flock o younguns, no matter the ages, with tacos – with minimal ingredients and minimal funding. Tacos AND tummy are wallet friendly!
This ingredient list is merely a guide to jumpstart your imagination. Shell them, wrap them, bowl them, minus what you don’t like and add in what you do, the sky is the limit and there is literally no wrong way. Unless you DON’T make them, and that’s just so many shades of wrong and you are inviting people to retaliate…. If the family rises up against you, you are on your own, sista, full bellies make happy people and happy people require tacos. 😉
This recipe feeds 5 of us with a bit leftover for at least 2 people to eat for lunch the next day… Or 1 very starving preteen who swears he hasn’t been properly full since he was in the womb. 😝
Bowls and spoons
Knife and cuttingboard
1 large or 2 small chicken Breast, or 1 lb ground turkey, or ground chicken or ground beef or roast beef. Or no meat if you so choose.
2 cups cooked black beans or refried beans or 1 cup of each
2 oz shredded cheese
1 avocado mashed
1 cup cooked rice or quinoa or omit entirely
1 small onion diced
3 Roma Tomatoes diced
1/2 a bunch of cinaltro chopped
1/2 to 3/4 of a head of lettuce shredded
3 tbsp sour cream per person you are
2 jalapenos finely chopped
2 tbsp per person mexican melt cheese
Taco seasoning (packet or make your own)
Salt to taste
Juice of one lemon
Lemon vitality essential oil
Lime vitality essential oil
If you cook everything from scratch, and shred and chop like a ninja, do so, if you are a pre chopped, bags and pouches kind of chef, then do that. I do everything from scratch because a. It’s cheaper, b. There is something about slicing and dicing that brings me pleasure, 😂 and c. I have a mind numbing fear of a finger being in a random can or a mouse head…. Because, well, the internet. 😱
- Add them lemon essential oil to anything diced.
- Add the lime essential oil to the sour cream
- Add the lemon JUICE to the tomatoes.
- (I dice and mash my avacodo and add salt, half the lemon juice, and lime essential oil)
- (I dice the tomatoes, onion and chop the cilantro, mix together, add the other half of the lemon, a dash of salt and a drop of lemon essential oil)
- Now you just simply layer the ingredients into bowls. I start with rice, then meat, then beans, a layer of guacamole, then lettuce, and finish off with the pico di gao (🍅 onion and cilantro mixture), cheese, sour cream. A drizzle of that melty cheese and jalapeno as an accent.
- You can serve this in shells, with chips, in a wrap or a bowl with a fork. Its up to you.