Welcome Friends!!!

I am a scientist at heart, and my kitchen often looks like a laboratory with all kinds of jars and containers fermenting and brewing on the counters. I love to share my recipes, my herbal remedies and health tips, and I really LOVE to save money! We have a large extended family....two sons, their wives, eleven grandkids (and often a friend or two), my sister, Lanny's brother, and my parents that come over every Tuesday night for dinner...kind of a family reunion, only weekly instead of yearly! That adds up to from 17 to 22 or more people here every week. So I have to cook big, and cook economically!

So here we go! For all my friends and family that have been encouraging me to put all my recipes and ideas in one place like this....if you don't see what you are looking for, and cannot find it by using the "Topics" or the search field below right, just let me know and I will be sure to post it as soon as I can.

Be sure to check out our African Mission Adventure - we traveled to Malawi in August 2014 and you will find photo's and stories about our trip! LanDebLewAfrica.blogspot.com!!!

Lanny and I also have started devotional blogspots that you might enjoy:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Water Kefir (We call it Sparkley!)

We've been drinking water kefir for many years. It's yummy (we no longer drink soda's of any kind), but better than that, it's GOOD FOR YOU! 

Water kefir grains are a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast held in a polymer created by the bacteria. Water kefir grains feed off sugar to produce lactic acid, acetic acid, various other acids, and carbon dioxide.

By culturing sugar water using the water kefir grains, you are creating a lacto-fermented drink. Lacto-fermentation is the process where lactobacilli (lactic acid producing bacteria) convert sugars or starches into lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. Used in traditional cultures to preserve foods, lacto-fermentation creates a food teeming with probiotics, good yeasts, and increased nutrient values. The synthesis of lactic acid and other acids often increases vitamin values, including vitamin C and various B vitamins.

Kefir provides dozens of beneficial bacteria and yeast strains that can benefit your body. Your body is inhabited by billions and trillions of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms. By taking in beneficial bacteria and yeasts, you increase the population of good bacteria in your system; beneficial bacteria in your gut make up a large part of your immune system and help you defend against harmful organisms, bad bacteria and viruses.

To start with you will need water kefir crystals. You can order crystals online. Here are a few sources - but you can shop around by searching for organic water kefir grains or tabicos.

Key Sands Organic Kefir Grains
Peasant Girl Kefir Grains

You must never use chlorinated tap water as it will kill your crystals. Well water, filtered water or bottled spring water is fine. You may use regular white sugar, organic sugar, sucanat or rapadura. I usually use white sugar, but occasionally use raw organic sugar just to perk up the crystals. I make a very simple kefir that has been very consistent for many years, but you can find a gazillion recipes and instructions online if you get an urge to experiment.

Your grains will arrive with instructions. Be sure to follow them to get your grains jumpstarted.

To make 1 quart of water kefir, add to a quart sized glass jar:

  • 4 to 5 tbsp sugar (white, sucanat, rapadura or even maple syrup - but do not use honey)
  • 1 tbsp water kefir grains
  • about 1 quart filtered or spring water, leaving an inch of space at the top
  • organic raisins (10-15 raisins)
  • a small slice of peeled ginger root (or 1/4 -1/2 tsp powdered ginger root)
  • a small slice of organic lemon - optional (or peel and use only the flesh)

As your grains multiply you will probably want to make larger batches.

To make 1 gallon of water kefir, add to a gallon sized glass jar:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 to 4 tbsp water kefir grains
  • about 1 gallon filtered or spring water leaving 1 inch space at the top
  • organic raisins (10-15 raisins)
  • a small slice of peeled ginger root (or 1/4 -1/2 tsp powdered ginger root)
  • a small slice of organic lemon - optional (or peel and use only the flesh)

Stir the sugar and water until dissolved, add your grains, raisins, ginger and lemon. You can add a pinch of baking soda and sea salt every week or so just to give your grains a boost. They should start multiplying after a few batches, so you will need to give some away, eat them, add them to smoothies or your compost pile.

Put on the lid but don't make it too tight. The kefir will build up natural carbonation as it ferments. Taste it after 12 hours. If it's still real sweet let it ferment another 12 hours. I let mine ferment for 36 hours. At that point you need to strain the fermented kefir into another container. Use a plastic strainer to strain the grains. Metal can harm them. You can refrigerate the kefir at this point if you want to, but I do a double ferment so I can flavor it and increase the probiotic activity. I remove the raisins and lemon slice but keep the slice of ginger. It can be reused for another batch or two.

In the second container you now have the strained first ferment kefir water. To this I add several slices of ginger root (we like the ginger taste and it is also very healthy). Our favorite flavor is an organic berry mix of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I use about 1 cup for the gallon jar. I also do a ginger and grapefruit mix but it isn't as sweet. One quarter to one half peeled grapefruit for a gallon jar. This ferment can be as little as 12 hours, but I do another 36. That way I have two jars always sitting on my counter and get a gallon of finished water kefir every day and a half.

The jar on the left is the first ferment - sugar water, grains, raisins, small slice of ginger and slice of organic lemon. Jar on the right is the second ferment - strained kefir water, several slices of ginger root and about a cup of organic mixed berries. Each ferment goes for 36 hours. Then the second ferment goes into the fridge, first goes to second, etc., etc. for eternity :-) These are gallon jars but I only fill about 2/3 full - it just makes it easier for me to lift and pour.

Below you can see the kefir grains "dancing". These are quart jars with first ferment of sugar water, grains and raisins, and then the second ferment is grapefruit and ginger. You can omit the ginger and lemon in the first ferment if you choose to. You just need to experiment until you find the taste you like!

As your first ferment warms and becomes active the grains will rise and fall, and if your lid is a little snug you might even hear them whistling as the natural carbonation is released. Our dog thought it was someone calling him the first time he heard it. Remember, these are living organisms. 
Keep them happy!!

Keep everything clean, but don't use the dishwasher or soaps. You can use your hands and wash the inside of the jars and rinse with lots of hot water.

Here are some links to websites with lots of kefir information. It may sound a little intimidating, but honestly, it's easy! You just need to put a sticky note on your lids so you know when you started the batches, and if you cannot be home to complete the ferment you can store the grains in sugar water in the refrigerator for weeks or even months if you change the water regularly. Your ferments can be as short as 12 hours but will be very sweet and contain less probiotics. Still better than soft drinks tho, so it's just up to you.

Here are a few links with some basic information, and you are welcome to email me any time with questions.

Wellness Mama

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Granny's Sweet Pickles

My Mom gave me a hand written recipe from my Granny for her yummy sweet pickle sticks. The recipe follows:

"Use fresh, firm medium cucumbers. Wash and cut into sticks. Pour boiling water over them and let stand overnight. Next morning, pack solidly into clean jars.

Make a solution of:
3 3/4 cups white vinegar
3 cups sugar
3 Tbs salt
4 1/2 tsp celery seed
4 1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp mustard seed

Boil solution for 5 minutes and pour boiling hot over the cucumbers in jars. Put on lid and ring and screw band tight. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

Solution fills 6 pint jars.

If sweeter pickle is desired, add up to double the amount of sugar."

We all liked the pickles as written - sweet enough. And, I also used the same brine for some yellow squash, onions and bell peppers that I grabbed out of the garden at the same time I picked the cucumbers. They turned out great as well!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Ways to Use Coffee Filters

These ideas come from DIY Home World at http://www.diyhomeworld.com/

Put a filter on the bottom of your flower pot containers, over the drainage holes. This keeps the soil from leaving the container while still allowing water to run through it.

Soak filters in brewed tea or even just plain water and chill. Fold them and use as cold compress for puffy eyes.

Accordion fold a few coffee filters, cut into strips, and use as shipping material for fragile items. The unbleached kind make for fun shredding material for hamsters.

A coffee filter is perfect for spreading oil or butter on a cooking pan since a coffee filter’s fibers won’t break off in your oils like a napkin’s would.

Shield stacked china from scratches and nicks by layering a filter between each delicate piece.

Use a coffee filter to prevent splatter when heating something in the microwave, simply place over the top of your food and carry on like normal.

Poke a hole in a filter and insert the stick of your popsicle. You now have a DIY popsicle drip collector!

Put the end of an ice cream cone in the center of a filter and wrap the filter around it for a drip-free ice cream cone wrapper.

Use a coffee filter as a makeshift rag. Unlike paper towels, coffee filters are lint free and take up very little space.

Put under bacon, fries, fried chicken etc. to soak up excess grease.

Use to line bamboo steamers.

Cut up a stack of filters, place them in a small tin and you’ve got a set of face blotters perfect for your purse and last-minute shine control.

Make skirts for Barbies.

Good-quality coffee filters are made from 100 percent virgin paper, so you can use them to clean your glasses without leaving lint.

You can also use them safely to clean computer monitors, television screens, and windows. They clean without leaving residue.

Line the bottom of cookie tins.

Strain bacon drippings by pouring them through a coffee filter into a ceramic bowl or mug. The brown bits, grains, etc will stay in the filter. Also works well for recycling frying oil.

This is one of my favorites! Dampen a coffee filter with some white vinegar and a few drops of my favorite essential oil (I like to use Lavender). Your clothes will come out smelling fresh and the coffee filter reduces static.

Kids food holders for Tacos, Hot Dogs, Pita Sandwiches, etc.

A disposable “snack bowl” for popcorn, chips, etc.

Make homemade tea bags by filling coffee filters with a selection of loose tea leaves and dried fruit peels. Tie together with string and use just like normal tea bags.

Wrap jumbo dill pickles in coffee filters to prevent dripping when eating.

Use as a sandwich wrap (inside the baggy or plastic container) so your sandwich doesn’t get soggy in your lunchbox.

If you use cloth diapers you can line your diaper with a couple of these and toss the solids rather than not having anywhere to rinse them.

Changing diapers was bad enough, but toilet training kids on a potty is equally messy. Line the potty with a coffee filter so you can just lift out the number two and deposit in the toilet.

A coffee filter can hold small parts when working on vehicles, cleaning guns, or most any other project!

Put flavorings (bay leaves, woody herb stems, etc.) in a coffee filter, tie with string, and stick in soup while cooking for quick and easy removal later.

Coffee filters are fantastic for polishing leather shoes. Simply apply a dab of your favorite shoe polish and use the filter as an applicator.

You can also use a coffee filter to help ward off unwanted odors from your shoe by applying a little bit of baking soda and wrapping it up in the filter to create a little sachet, simply insert into your shoes after a long day and wake up to them smelling fresh and odor free.

A coffee filter will work well to desilk an ear of corn. Dampen a filter and wipe it in one stroke from the top to the bottom of the shucked ear of corn.

Use as a mini cutting board for chopping (not slicing) one tomato, onion, etc.

After you are done washing your cast-iron cookware, place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pan and it will absorb moisture and prevent rust.

Put a couple of coffee filters in your pocket when you are working outdoors or going on a hike. They work great to wipe sweat, dirt and oils off your face.

Use filters to bake jumbo muffins or mini cakes in the oven. Fill the filter 1/3 full with batter and place in a shallow circular pan to bake.

Wrap cut celery stalks in a coffee filter before putting them in a plastic bag to store in the refrigerator. 
The coffee filter will help absorb any moisture, and keeps the celery crisp longer.

Kids Place Setting…turn plain coffee filters into adorable painted place settings at your next get together.

If you have a small cut or even a razor nick, grab a piece off of a coffee filter and put it on with pressure to stop the bleeding. Your coffee filter will work similar to a styptic pencil but without the stinging.

DIY Action Figure Parachute

Place a few tablespoons of baking powder in a filter and twist the top together with a rubber band. 

Place in shoes, gym bag, closet, refrigerator, or anywhere else that may have developed some less-than-pleasant odors.

To sprout seeds, dampen a coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag.

Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

Use to hold your turtles while cleaning the tank!

Keep in your car glove box for window cleaning, to use as napkins and for quick cleanups.

Since you have a package in the glove box anyway…..the next time you need to check the oil level in the car, use a filter to wipe the dipstick.

Use as a portable doggy food bowl.

Use coffee filters in the bottom of the kitchen compost pot. It keeps messiness from sticking to the bottom of the pot, and goes right into the compost pile outside along with the pot of compost when emptied.

Can’t find corn husks? Use coffee filters as a replacement in Mexican tamales. Add filling and steam as usual.

If you have to strain your urine to capture a kidney stone so you can take it to your doctor for analysis, you can strain it through a white coffee filter. It is easy to see the sediment against the white background.

Make hats for dolls

Line a colander or strainer with a coffee filter, place the strainer in a bowl, fill with regular yogurt, and let sit in the fridge overnight. Fresh Greek yogurt for breakfast!

Use a coffee filter to spot clean your clothing. Use white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and the spot will be greatly reduced if not disappear completely.

Separate tortillas for freezing.

To prevent holes in your clothes when wearing a pin, try putting a piece of coffee filter inside your clothing as a “stabilizer”. It makes the cloth sturdier and the pin is less likely to snag.

Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliquéing soft fabrics.

Add some fragrant flowers to the middle of a coffee filter and tie with a pretty ribbon to make a DIY sachet to scent your delicates.

Make a flavor packet to add to your sun tea. Take a filter and center the contents in the middle. Gather the edges, twist and tie with string. Drop into your jar along with tea bags and let it brew as usual

Get spills out of carpets, before they stain. While the spill is still wet, cover it with a coffee filter. They will wick up the spill.

For perfectly heated tortillas, spritz a coffee filter with water and lay a tortilla on top of it. Spritz a second coffee filter and put it on top. Heat the stack in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, and your tortilla will be warm and still pliable. You can use the same ones over and over.

Filter wine when you break the cork

Wrap Christmas ornaments for storage

Coffee filters make great blotting paper for pressed flowers. Simply place the flower between two filters and put them inside of a phone book or any other object with weight.

Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

Diffuse the flash on a camera.

Great in the tool room when separating nails and screws then use in to bottom of containers to remove moisture and prevent rust.

Use as a “pre-filter” for your water purification system to help extend the life of you water filter.

Put a filter in the bottom of a metal fruit bowl to prevent brown spots on your fruits or vegetables.

Use to dry wine glasses and prevent water marks.

Just to name a few……………………… :-)

Keep in mind that for some of these uses, the filter can be re-used again and again! Coffee filters are more durable than most people think and (as I hope I’ve demonstrated today) can be used in a mind-boggling number of ways!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

45 Uses For Lemons from RealFarmacy.com

Most people are familiar with the traditional uses for lemons to soothe sore throats and add some citrus flavor to our foods. However the diversity of applications for lemons far exceeds general knowledge and once you read the following list, you’ll likely want to stock at least a few lemons in your kitchen 24-7.

1. Freshen the Fridge
Remove refrigerator odors with ease. Dab lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours. Make sure to toss out any malodorous items that might be causing the bad smell.

2. High Blood Pressure
Lemon contains potassium which controls high blood pressure and reduces the effect of nausea and dizziness.

3. Prevent Cauliflower From Turning Brown
Cauliflower tend to turn brown with even the slightest cooking. You can make sure the white vegetables stay white by squeezing a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice on them before heating.

4. Mental Health
Lemon water can also prep up your mood and relieve you from depression and stress. Long distance walkers and world travelers as well as explorers look upon the lemon as a Godsend. When fatigue begins, a lemon is sucked through a hole in the top. Quick acting medicine it is, giving almost unbelievable refreshments.

5. Refresh Cutting Boards
No wonder your kitchen cutting board smells! After all, you use it to chop onions, crush garlic, and prepare fish. To get rid of the smell and help sanitize the cutting board, rub it all over with the cut side of half a lemon or wash it in undiluted juice straight from the bottle.

6. Respiratory Problems
Lemon water can reduce phlegm; and can also help you breathe properly and aids a person suffering with asthma.

7. Treating Arthritis and Rheumatism
Lemon is a diuretic – assists in the production of urine which helps you to reduce inflammation by flushing out toxins and bacteria while also giving you relief from arthritis and rheumatism.

8. Prevents Kidney Stones
Regular consumption of the refreshing drink — or even lemon juice mixed with water — may increase the production of urinary citrate, a chemical in the urine that prevents the formation of crystals that may build up into kidney stones. 

9. Keep Insects Out of the Kitchen
You don’t need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. The ants will get the message that they aren’t welcome. Lemons are also effective against roaches and fleas: Simply mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it; then watch the fleas and roaches flee. They hate the smell.

10. Anti-Aging
Lemon water reduces the production of free radicals which are responsible for aging skin and skin damage. Lemon water is calorie free and an antioxidant.

11. Fruit and Vegetable Wash
You never know what kind of pesticides or dirt may be lurking on the skin of your favorite fruits and vegetables. Slice your lemon and squeeze out one tablespoon of lemon juice into your spray bottle. The lemon juice is a natural disinfectant and will leave your fruits and vegetables smelling nice too.

12. Treat Infections
Lemon water can fight throat infections thanks to its antibacterial property. If salt water does not work for you, try lime and water for gargling.

13. Deodorize Your Garbage
If your garbage is beginning to smell yucky, here’s an easy way to deodorize it: Save leftover lemon and orange peels and toss them at the base under the bag. To keep it smelling fresh, repeat once every couple of weeks.

14. Keep Guacamole Green
You’ve been making guacamole all day long for the big party, and you don’t want it to turn brown on top before the guests arrive. The solution: Sprinkle a liberal amount of fresh lemon juice over it and it will stay fresh and green. The flavor of the lemon juice is a natural complement to the avocados in the guacamole. Make the fruit salad hours in advance too. Just squeeze some lemon juice onto the apple slices, and they’ll stay snowy white.

15. Purges The Blood
We consume a lot of junk food or food with a lot of preservatives and artificial flavours. This builds up a lot of toxins in the blood and body but daily consumption of lemon water helps to purify the blood.

16. Make Soggy Lettuce Crisp
Don’t toss that soggy lettuce into the garbage. With the help of a little lemon juice you can toss it in a salad instead. Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Then put the soggy lettuce in it and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make sure to dry the leaves completely before putting them into salads or sandwiches.

17. Oral Health
Lemon juice also stops bleeding gums and reduces toothaches

18. Lighten Age Spots
Why buy expensive creams when you’ve got lemon juice? To lighten liver spots or freckles, try applying lemon juice directly to the area. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse your skin clean. It’s a safe and effective skin-lightening agent.

19. Create Blonde Highlights
For salon-worthy highlights, add 1/4 cup lemon juice to 3/4 cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Then, sit in the sun until your hair dries. To maximize the effect, repeat once daily for up to a week.

20. Make a Room Scent/Humidifier
Freshen and moisturize the air in your home on dry winter days. Make your own room scent that also doubles as a humidifier. If you have a wood-burning stove, place an enameled cast-iron pot or bowl on top, fill with water, and add lemon (and/or orange) peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and apple skins. No wood-burning stove? Use your stovetop instead and just simmer the water periodically.

21. Clean and Whiten Nails
Pamper your hands without a manicurist. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes. After pushing back the cuticles, rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail.

22. Cleanse Your Face
Zap zits naturally by dabbing lemon juice on blackheads to draw them out during the day. You can also wash your face with lemon juice for a natural cleanse and exfoliation. Your skin should improve after several days of treatment. Lemon water is also a cooling agent, best way to beat the heat.

23. Freshen Your Breath
Make an impromptu mouthwash by rinsing with lemon juice straight from the bottle. Swallow for longer-lasting fresh breath. The citric acid in the juice alters the pH level in your mouth, killing bacteria that causes bad breath. Rinse after a few minutes because long-term exposure to the acid in lemons can harm tooth enamel.

24. Treat Flaky Dandruff
If itchy, scaly dandruff has you scratching your head, relief may be no farther away than your refrigerator. Just massage two tablespoons lemon juice into your scalp and rinse with water. Then stir one teaspoon lemon juice into one cup water and rinse your hair with it. Repeat daily until your dandruff disappears.

25. Get Rid of Tough Stains on Marble
You probably think of marble as stone, but it is really petrified calcium (also known as old seashells). That explains why it is so porous and easily stained and damaged. Those stains can be hard to remove. If washing won’t remove a stubborn stain, try this: Cut a lemon in half, dip the exposed flesh into some table salt, and rub it vigorously on the stain. But do this only as a last resort; acid can damage marble. Rinse well. 

26. Remove Berry Stains
It sure was fun to pick your own berries, but now your fingers are stained with berry juice that won’t come off no matter how much you scrub with soap and water. Try washing your hands with undiluted lemon juice, then wait a few minutes and wash with warm, soapy water. Repeat until your hands are stain-free.

27. Soften Dry, Scaly Elbows
Itchy elbows are bad enough, but they look terrible too. For better looking (and feeling) elbows, mix baking soda and lemon juice to make an abrasive paste, then rub it into your elbows for a soothing, smoothing, and exfoliating treatment. Rinse your extremities in a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water, then massage with olive oil and dab dry with a soft cloth.

28. Headaches
Lemon juice with a few teaspoons of hot tea added is the treatment of a sophisticated New York bartender, for those who suffer with hangover headaches–and from headaches due to many other causes. He converts his customers to this regime, and weans them away from drug remedies completely.

29. Chills and Fevers
Chills and fevers may be due to a variety of causes; never the less the lemon is always a helpful remedy. Spanish physicians regard it as an infallible friend.

30. Diptheria
Skip the vaccine for this disease. Lemon Juice Treatment still proves as one of the most powerful antiseptics and the strong digestive qualities of the fruit are admired around the world. With the juice every hour or two, and at the same time, 1/2 to 1 tsp. should be swallowed. This cuts loose the false membrane in the throat and permits it to come out.

31. Vaginal Hygiene
Diluted lemon juice makes a safe and sane method of vaginal hygiene. Though it is a powerful antiseptic it is nevertheless free from irritating drugs in douches and suppositories.

32. Forget The Moth Balls
A charming French custom to keep closets free from moths is to take ripe lemons and stick them with cloves all over the skin. The heavily studded lemons slowly dry with their cloves, leaving a marvelous odor throughout the closets and rooms.

33. Stomach Health
Digestive problems are the most common ailments but warm water and lime juice is the solution to most digestive problems. Lemon juice helps to purify the blood, reduces your chances of indigestion, constipation, eliminates toxins from the body, adds digestion and reduces phlegm.

34. Disinfect Cuts and Scrapes
Stop bleeding and disinfect minor cuts and scraps by pouring a few drops of lemon juice directly on the cut. You can also apply the juice with a cotton ball and hold firmly in place for one minute.

35. Soothe Poison Ivy Rash
You won’t need an ocean of calamine lotion the next time poison ivy comes a-creeping. Just apply lemon juice directly to the affected area to soothe itching and alleviate the rash.

36. Remove Warts
You’ve tried countless remedies to banish warts and nothing seems to work. Next time, apply a dab of lemon juice directly to the wart using a cotton swab. Repeat for several days until the acids in the lemon juice dissolve the wart completely.

37. Bleach Delicate Fabrics
Avoid additional bleach stains by swapping ordinary household chlorine bleach with lemon juice, which is milder but no less effective. Soak your delicates in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for at least half an hour before washing.

38. Clean Tarnished Brass and Polish Chrome
Say good-bye to tarnish on brass, copper, or stainless steel. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt (or substitute baking soda or cream of tartar for the salt) and coat the affected area. Let it stay on for 5 minutes. Then wash in warm water, rinse, and polish dry. Use the same mixture to clean metal kitchen sinks too. Apply the paste, scrub gently, and rinse. Get rid of mineral deposits and polish chrome faucets and other tarnished chrome. Simply rub lemon rind over the chrome and watch it shine! Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.

39. Replace Your Dry Cleaner
Ditch the expensive dry-cleaning bills (and harsh chemicals) with this homegrown trick. Simply scrub the stained area on shirts and blouses with equal parts lemon juice and water. Your “pits” will be good as new, and smell nice too.

40. Boost Laundry Detergent
For more powerful cleaning action, pour 1 cup lemon juice into the washer during the wash cycle. The natural bleaching action of the juice will zap stains and remove rust and mineral discolorations from cotton T-shirts and briefs and will leave your clothes smelling fresh. Your clothes will turn out brighter and also come out smelling lemon-fresh.

41. Rid Clothes of Mildew
Have you ever unpacked clothes you stored all winter and discovered some are stained with mildew? To get rid of it, make a paste of lemon juice and salt and rub it on the affected area, then dry the clothes in sunlight. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

42. Eliminate Fireplace Odor
There’s nothing cozier on a cold winter night than a warm fire burning in the fireplace — unless the fire happens to smell horrible. Next time you have a fire that sends a stench into the room, try throwing a few lemon peels into the flames. Or simply burn some lemon peels along with your firewood as a preventive measure.

43. Neutralize Cat-Box Odor
You don’t have to use an aerosol spray to neutralize foul-smelling cat-box odors or freshen the air in your bathroom. Just cut a couple of lemons in half. Then place them, cut side up, in a dish in the room, and the air will soon smell lemon-fresh.

44. Deodorize a Humidifier
When your humidifier starts to smell funky, deodorize it with ease: Just pour 3 or 4 teaspoons lemon juice into the water. It will not only remove the off odor but will replace it with a lemon-fresh fragrance. Repeat every couple of weeks to keep the odor from returning.

45. Reduce Asthma Symptoms
In addition to a general detoxifying diet, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice before each meal, and before retiring can reduce asthma symptoms.

* If you do consume lemon peel, stick to organic lemons to reduce your pesticide exposure.

Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Store Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

This information came from a great site called Organic Authority!
Know Which Fruits and Veggies Produce Gas
Fruits and veggies naturally emit an odorless, harmless, and tasteless gas called ethylene, and some produce it in greater quantities than others. When ethylene-producing foods are stored next to ethylene-sensitive foods, the gas will speed up the ripening process of the other produce. This is great if you need to ripen a piece of produce, for example, pair an apple with an unripe avocado. However, if you don't want to speed up the ripening (or decay) process, store or keep the following fruits and veggies separate.
Produce That Creates Ethylene Gas: Apples, apricots, avocados, ripening bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, citrus fruit (not grapefruit), figs, grapes, green onions, honeydew, ripe kiwi fruit, mangoes, melons, mushrooms, nectarines, papayas, passion fruit, peaches, pears, peppers, pineapple, plums, prunes, tomatoes and watermelon.
Produce That Is Damaged by Ethylene Gas: Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrotscauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kale, kiwi fruit, leafy greens, lettuce, parsley, peas, peppers, potatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, squash,sweet potatoes, watercress and yams.
Take the Time to Plan Your Meals
  • Plan your meals for the week before you go shopping and create a shopping list
  • Only buy what's on your shopping list
  • Eat and or cook the produce with the shortest shelf life first
  • If you still can't manage to eat all of your fruits and veggies, throw them in yourcompost pile (along with your food prep scraps)
Follow These Food Storage Guidelines
ProduceStorageLife Expectancy
refrigerator (loose, not in bag)
up to 1 month
Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches, Plums
counter until ripe, then refrigerate in a bag
2-4 days
Artichokesrefrigerator, in a bag1-2 weeks
Asparagusrefrigerator, trim stems, upright in a jar of water3-4 days
counter, store uneaten portion with the pit intact in a bag in the fridge
3-4 days
2 days
Berries & Cherries
covered in the fridge. Don’t wash until you use them (too much moisture in the package speeds spoilage).
1-2 days
Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower
refrigerator, bag in the crisper
4-7 days
refrigerator, take tops off
2 weeks
refrigerator, wrapped in aluminum foil
1-2 weeks
room temperature of 60-70 degrees
1-2 weeks
refrigerator, bag in the crisper
4-5 days
cool, dry, dark place (counter, cupboard, basket)
3-4 days
unpeeled - cool, dry, dark place;
peeled - sealed container in refrigerator or freezer
unpeeled - several months;
peeled - several weeks in refrigerator, months in freezer
Gingerstore in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, then freeze remainder
if refrigerated - 2-3 weeks; if frozen - 2 months
Grapesrefrigerator, in a bag1 week
Green Beans & Peas
refrigerator, in bag or container
3-5 days
Greens (lettuce,kalespinach, cabbage)
refrigerator, bag in the crisper
1-2 weeks
Herbs (fresh)
refrigerator, trim stems, upright in a jar of water
1 week
counter until ripe, then refrigerate in a bag
3-4 days
Mangoes, Melons
counter until ripe, then refrigerate in a bag
4 - 7 days
cool, dry dark place (counter, cupboard, basket) in a bag
2-3 days
cool, dry dark place (counter, cupboard, basket)
2 months
counter until ripe, then refrigerate in a bag
3-4 days
refrigerator, bag in the crisper
4-5 days
cool, dry dark place (counter, cupboard, basket)
1-2 weeks
Root vegetables (radishesbeets,turnips)
refrigerator, leave greens on
1-2 weeks
cool, dry dark place (counter, cupboard, basket)
4-5 days
counter, uncovered; refrigerate if very ripe
2-3 days

Super Easy Spaghetti/Pasta Sauces

This is a quick and easy version that tastes great and takes less time. Especially if you have already made your spaghetti sauce dry mix and have it on hand.

One giant can crushed tomatoes
One giant can tomato sauce
3 lbs. ground beef, browned
One onion, diced
2 diced bell peppers
Diced garlic to taste

Season with Spaghetti Sauce Mix or with your own blend of Italian spices. An Italian Spice blend as well as the Spaghetti Sauce Mix can be found in the Blends/Mixes Section.