So…. what do you put this Grey Poupon?

 Well, yum!!  Remember the commercials?  Ok, if you are in an age bracket that rhymes with schmifty or above….(not necessarily my age…ahem…)…then you remember the two limousine’s pulling up next to each other and asking for some Grey Poupon….but of course! If you are not schmifty or above, then nevermind.

Hey, some fan-freaking-tastic recipes can be made with this magical mustard!

Herb Roasted Potatoes (via)

  • 1/3 cup Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 6 medium red skin potatoes (about 2 pounds), cut into chunks

directions

Mix all ingredients except potatoes in small bowl. Place potatoes in lightly greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan or on shallow baking sheet; toss with mustard mixture. Bake at 425° for 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally.

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Delish Mustard Dressing

2 Tablespoons stone ground Dijon Mustard

2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar

Mix all ingredients in small mason jar.  Shake like your life depends on it.  Pour over your favorite salad.

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 Chicken Dijon (via)

2 Tbsp.  GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp.  water
1/2 tsp.  garlic powder
1/4 tsp.  Italian seasoning
4 small  boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
HEAT oven to 375°F.  Mix mustard, water and seasonings.PLACE chicken in shallow pan; brush with mustard mixture.BAKE 20 min. or until chicken is done

if you missed beauty school, here’s a make-up session…

Don’t you just love beauty secrets?  I can’t hear you, but I’m just sure you nodded.

Let’s just get right to them.  Some may be new and some you may already know….but please, ladies….SHARE these with a friend or enemy.  It’s time to brighten up this planet and I’m ready to do it, one girl at a time…..

Let’s start in the kitchen: (don’t forget to test these concoctions on the inside of your arm or better yet, on a friend first,  to test for a reaction)

  • AVOCADOS…mash a ripe avocado and gently dab on undereye puffiness and dark circles.  Place a cold damp washcloth over eyes for about 15 minutes.  Rinse off.  You are moisturizing and de-puffing at the same time.
  • CHERRIES…mix a couple of tablespoons of cherry juice with one tablespoon of sea salt.  Massage over dame skin and then rinse.  This is your glowing treatment!
  • EGGS… add an egg to your shampoo to produce volume and add shine! (no, don’t add to the bottle…place in your hand)
  • MILK…add dry milk powder to water to make a paste.  Massage gently onto face and then rinse.  This will make the skin silky smooth, as the milk’s lactic acid takes away dirt and debris.
  • YOGURT…mix one teaspoon of yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon of dry oatmeal.  Massage into lips, rinse and then apply a little olive oil.

NEED A SKIN SOFTENER?  Brew about 10 ginseng tea bags in a large teapot.  Pour into bath.  Ginseng helps soften, tone and refine skin.

GOT A TUBE OF BROKEN LIPSTICK?  Heat it with a hair dryer, then reattach the broken piece and place it overnight in the refrigerator.

NEED A BELT?  No problemo, just use a scarf in contrasting or matching colors.

WRONG COLOR LIPSTICK?  Just mix your own colors by dipping a lip brush into your lipstick tubes.  Mix the colors on wax paper until you get the color you want.

WANT A GREAT FACIAL CLEANSER?  Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste.  Smooth over damp skin and rinse with warm water.

GOT REDNESS?  Milk and yogurt applied to the skin will help to reduce the redness.

Some of the cheapest cures and treatments can be the quickest and most effective!  Remember to exercise (without makeup, please!) Get at least eight hours of beauty sleep, so your skin can repair itself and drink plenty of water.  It’s also a good idea to place a humidifier in your bedroom to keep your skin hydrated while you sleep.  And finally, when it comes to grocery shopping, read your labels!!!  Shop the perimeter of the store (where the fresh food hangs out) and smile, smile, SMILE!!

the healing power of Turmeric…

Turmeric?  I haven’t felt the need to rush to the grocery store for my turmeric, have you?  Well, we might reconsider…

Turmeric, which is also called the “poor man’s saffron,” is considered one of the most powerful and natural anti-inflammatories identified today!  It has been used as a remedy for joint problems, digestive problems, menstrual irregularities and liver complaints, just to name a few!

The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has also been shown to help prevent multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, skin disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome and many digestive disorders.  Did you know that in the laboratory, curcumin inhibits growth in many cancers, such as, colon, prostate, lung, liver, stomach, breast, ovarian, brain and leukemia! It has  also been know to move harmful and aging toxins out of the body.  What an amazing spice!!

To be assimilated by the body, turmeric must be mixed with black pepper.  Ideally, it must be dissolved in oil (olive, canola or linseed oil, preferably) and mixed with the black pepper.  You can purchase curry mixes, however the turmeric is only 20% of the total, so take the time to mix your own.

How to Use:

Mix 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and a generous pinch of black pepper.  Add to vegetables, soups and salad dressings. Try on deviled eggs for breakfast!  (You may also add a few drops of agave syrup to remove any bitter taste)

Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction.  Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.

some buzz worthy recipes with honey…

Step off, sugar!!  Honey is the new sweet thing on the block!

Honey can be used instead of sugar or sweetner to sweeten any drink or baked good.  Bear in mind that the type of honey you use will add it’s own subtle flavor.  Think dark honey instead of white sugar, just like choosing dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.  Besides, the darker the honey, the more antioxidants and the stronger the flavor which is the bees knees, for sure.

Remember these tips  before going all crazy in the kitchen:

  • Substitute honey for up to half the sugar
  • Reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used
  • Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over-browning
  • One 12 oz jar of honey equals a standard 8 ounce measuring cup

Here are a couple of drinks and smoothies that will keep you buzzing all morning!

Honey Strawberry Smoothie (4 servings)

1 pint Vanilla frozen yogurt

2 cups strawberries

8 oz skim milk

2 Tblsp honey

Combine all ingredients in blender.  Add more honey to taste.

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Banana Smoothie (4 servings)

1 pint skim milk

2 ripe bananas

2 small containers plain yogurt

2 Tblsp honey

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

Ice

Blend all of ingredients except ice.  Taste for adjustments and add ice cubes one at a time until smooth and desired thickness.

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Mexican Coffee (makes 4 cups)

4 cups hot espresso style coffee

7 oz milk

4 oz honey

2 Tblsp cocoa powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Whipped cream and chocolate shavings (optional)

Combine the cocoa powder and cinnamon with a little milk and honey to form a paste.  Add the coffee and milk, stir to combine.  Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Yummy dressings and marinades

Mint and honey dressing

3 Tblsp olive oil

4 Tblsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tblsp honey

1 Tblsp chopped, fresh mint

Place all ingredients in a pint sized mason jar, or other jar with screw-top lid.  Shake together until blended.  Great with a watercress or arugula salad.

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Sweet and sour salad dressing

2 oz. honey

2 1/2 Tblsp rice wine vinegar

8 Tblsp olive oil

1 Tblsp minced onion

1/4 tsp garlic salt

Salt and Pepper

In blender, combine all ingredients except olive oil.  Blend until smooth.  Pour in the olive oil in a slow, stead stream and mix until smooth.

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Orange Honey Marinade 

6 Tblsp honey

6 Tblsp soy sauce

10 oz orange juice

3 Tblsp water

5 oz dry white wine

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp allspice

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp tabasco sauce (optional)

Combine all ingredients and let stand for about 20 minutes for flavors to develop.  Use as a fabulous marinade for pork or chicken!

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Honey-Caramelized figs with yogurt (via)

1 Tblsp honey, plus more for drizzling

8 oz fresh figs, halved

2 cups plain low fat Greek yogurt

pinch ground cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Heat honey in medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook figs, cut sides down until caramelized, about 5 minutes.  Serve over yogurt with cinnamon and pistachios.  Drizzle fo shizzle, more honey.

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FYI…there are about 3,000 types of honey around the globe.  So if you are dirt poor and can’t make that trip to some village on the other side of the world, how about just trying a honey from that region?  See?  I just saved you money and the hassle of an international airport.

Another piece of information regarding honey…..get this……If honey is stored in sealed containers it can remain stable for decades….even centuries!!!  But for all practical purposes, a shelf life of two years is often stated on the container.

Has your honey crystallized in the jar?  No problemo…just place the jar (minus lid) in a saucepan with warm water over low heat and stir until the crystals dissolve.

You can find more cool info HERE and HERE!!

using ‘green’ bug repellents on the fly….er, mosquito..

When your backyard is 3 million acres of a Natural Forest, you need a little something with ‘ooompf’ to keep the pesky insects at bay.  However, we’re not about to let some pesky flying bugs ruin an entire summer of backyard barbecues, hikes in the woods or just a walk around the property to keep us indoors!

I grew up in Texas where mosquitoes ruled.  We were the kids that would play in the cul-de-sac during the late evenings when the mosquito truck would pull through the neighborhood, spewing a nasty chemical (DDT) into the air.  We were the kids that chased….yes!  chased the truck, playing hide and go seek and riding our bikes in the toxic fog!  We were practically bathing in it!!  (insert twitch and asthmatic cough here)

Thankfully, times have changed!   There are some natural, ‘green’ solutions to be rid of those blood suckers: (via)

  • Blend of essential oils:
    1. Mix the following essential oils in a 4 oz. container: 20 drops Eucalyptus oil, 20 drops Cedarwood oil, 10 drops Tea Tree oil, and 10 drops Geranium oil.
    2. Add 2 oz. of a carrier oil (such as Jojoba). Mix well.
  • Mint-based bug spray:
    1. Place 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of either catnip, spearmint, or pennyroyal (all in the mint family) in a spray bottle.
    2. Add 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol and 1 cup of water.
    3. Shake well.
  • Herbal insect repellent safe for use on the face:
    1. Blend 4 drops each of sandalwood, cajeput, and lavender essential oils with 2 teaspoons of carrier oil (such as extra virgin olive oil).
    2. Mix well and apply as needed.
  • Vodka Mist Insect Repellent:
    1. Mix the following in a spray bottle: 50 drops Jojoba, 50 drops Lavender, 25 drops Eucalyptus lemon, 25 drops Lemongrass, 25 drops Patchouli, and 25 drops Cajeput.
    2. Add 1 fluid ounce of vodka (to the spray bottle..not your mouth, people!)
    3. Mix well.
    4. Apply jojoba oil before spraying the repellent on the skin.
  • Natural insect repellent lotion:
    1. Place 2 ounces distilled water in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Slowly drizzle in 2 ounces of olive oil while beating quickly with a wire whisk.
    3. After the oil is mixed into the distilled water, stir in 120 drops of citronella essential oil.

Making homemade bug spray helps you go green because…

  • You do not need to purchase chemical bug sprays. Using products containing the insect repellent DEET may be harmful to fish and other aquatic wildlife, as well as human health.

One of the most widely used ingredients in store-bought conventional bug sprays for personal use is N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, as it’s commonly known. DEET, which is designed to repel, rather than kill, insects. DEET is used by an estimated one-third of the US population each year. Although DEET is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is a known eye irritant and can cause rashes, soreness, or blistering when applied to the skin. Additionally, DEET has been linked to neurological problems; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse nuerological effects, as well as the deaths of two adults, have been associated with DEET. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats.[1]

DEET has been shown to have a negative impact on wildlife and water sources in production and during use. DEET is toxic to birds and aquatic life. DEET has been found in approximately 75 percent of U.S. water sources, including the Mississippi River.[2]

SO STAY INFORMED NOT INDOORS…

(1) Cornell – DEET Mosquito Repellent: New pharmacology study of impacts

(2) About.com – The Downside of DEET Insect Repellents: Health and Environmental Risks Associated with the Use of DEET