Crockpot french dip sandwiches

This is the perfect food, all year round.  Healthy, delicious and most of all easy.  Your crockpot does all the work for you. Great for weeknights or in the camper or after the ball game.  Leftovers can be turned into soup easily with some fresh garden vegetables, barley, potatoes, noodles or anything else that strikes your fancy.

 French Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lb oven roast
  • 3 cans beef broth
  • 3 pkgs Onion Soup Mix (or the equivalent of homemade mix, recipe below)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely minced
  • white Italian sub rolls
  • provolone cheese slices (optional)

Instructions:

Put oven roast in crock pot. Add dry ingredients, vegetables and broth.  Cook on low 7-8 hours.   Shred roast with a fork, and return shredded beef to crock pot for a few more minutes.  Slice open bread (toast if desired), and place a good amount of beef on one side, top beef with onions strained from au jus and cheese slices if desired.  Broil open sandwich in oven for a few minutes, until the cheese gets melted and bubbly.   Remove from oven, and serve with a ladle of au-jus left in crock pot.

Homemade Onion Soup Mix

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup dried, minced onion
  • 3 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder (make your own by whizzing up dried onion flakes in the food processor or coffee grinder)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt (you want celery salt that is mostly salt with just a bit of celery seed- not pure celery seed ground up, or your soup mix will be bitter and not have enough saltiness to it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon  sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix it all up. Shake it very well, because the heavy spices will settle to the bottom.   That’s it!

4 tablespoons of this onion soup mix equals 1 packet of onion soup mix.

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Natural Flea & Tick Repellent

Ticks on a finger

The great outdoors are great all year round! Time for camping, hiking and getting outside to play. Don’t let those pesky annoying ticks stop you and don’t let the fur babies bring them indoors.  Here’s how with a simple homemade solution!

Repellent for your pets:

For pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent).

To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil, any of which will repel ticks and fleas while also creating a nicely scented repellent. Spray onto the pet’s dry coat, staying away from sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. When outdoors for an extended period, spray this solution on two to three times per day.

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For you and your family:

In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. To make a scented solution so you do not smell like bitter vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Eucalyptus oil is a calm, soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong crisp scent that also repel ticks.

After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to keep ticks at bay, and examine your skin and hair when back inside to make sure no ticks are on the body.

ONLY NATURAL PET STORE LLC

Fabulous Frybread

Frybread, Bannock, Naan, Puri, Langos or Sopapillas – no matter what you call it, you’ll always call it delicious!

 

A quick and easy frybread that can be modified with herbs and/or spices to compliment any meal and can be used for your favorite pizza toppings, sandwiches, and tacos as well.  The only limit is your imagination!

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

Ingredients:

  • 4 unbleached all-purpose organic flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water (~110 degrees F)
  • Coconut oil or lard for deep frying, can brush with ghee or olive oil to pan fry

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir in 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water. Knead until soft but not sticky. Shape dough into balls about 3 inches in diameter. Flatten into patties 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Deep fry one at a time in 1 inch of hot coconut oil or lard, or brush with ghee or olive oil and fry in a non-stick or cast iron skilled, turning to brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

 

EatingWell

Apple Cider Vinegar – A Natural Winner

apple-cider-vinegar-uses

Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits:

(or ACV for short….)

  1. Stomach ache – sip on 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water. Due to its antibiotic properties it will help kill bad bacteria in your tummy. It may even contain pectin, which will soothe intestinal spasms.
  2. Prevents Indigestion – Add 1 teaspoon of honey + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to warm water and drink 30 minutes before you eat.
  3. Soothes Sore throat – Mix 1/4 Warm water with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar every hour.
  4. Add Shine to hair – It will also clean it and remove build up from hair products and pollution. Fill a cup with 1 cup ACV and 2 cups water. Pour the solution through your hair after shampooing (2-3 times a week)!
  5. Help regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol when you drink it regularly.
  6. Use as a facial toner – Mix 1 part ACV with 2 parts water in a water bottle or jug with lid. Shake it up before you use it and pour some on a cotton swab (use after washing your face) and wipe on skin.
  7. Weight Loss – Drinking ACV every day (sipping a drink all day) has been said to speed up metabolism and help you lose weight. Nutritionists also believe that combining Vitamin B6 and Lecithin with Apple Cider Vinegar is what helps.
  8. Helps Body Odor – It helps adjust the skin’s pH level which helps to eliminate odor-causing bacteria. Take a cotton ball filled with ACV and wipe it directly on the part where you can body odor.
  9. Foot Odor – Add 2/3 cup of ACV to a pan with warm water and soak your feet in it for 20 minutes.
  10. Bad Breath – Add 1/2 tablespoon ACV into 1 cup of water and gargle every other day.
  11. Diabetes – helps to control high blood sugar levels.
  12. Cellulite – Mix 3 parts apple cider vinegar with 1 part Vitamin E oil and massage the into the skin two times a day.
  13. Yeast Infections –
    • Add 1 ½ cups apple cider into a bathtub filled with lukewarm water and then soak in it for about 20 minutes. This is done once a day for 3 days.
    • After 3 days of soaking, make a mixture consisting of 1 ½ cups of water and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This time use as a vaginal douche two times a day for 5 days.
    • After a few days of douching, start to drink a glass of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar once a day. This can help prevent the occurrence of yeast infections.
  14. Diarrhea – The pectin in ACV coats the inflamed colon lining. Add 2 tablespoons of ACV vinegar to some water in a large glass – can be taken 3 times a day when you have symptoms.
  15. Acne: Apple cider kills bacteria, helps balance skin pH, and absorbs excessive oil from our skin. Use 1 part vinegar with 3-4 parts water. Apply to the skin using cotton swab and leave for ten minutes then rinse. Use 2 times every day.
  16. Age spots: Blend and drain an onion in a bowl, and mix with an equal amount of ACV. Apply with a cotton swab dipped in the mixture over the spots.
  17. Cleaning House – Mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water and you can use it to clean microwaves, bathroom tiles, kitchen surfaces, windows, glasses and mirrors. The mixture also works as a disinfectant.
  18. Beat the Exhaustion from Working out – When you exercise, lactic acid can build up in the body, causing fatigue. Since ACV has amino acids, it can help reverse this. It also contains potassium and enzymes that can help relieve feeling tired. Try drinking some mixed with water after a workout.
  19. High cholesterol  – A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol
  20. Hiccups – when you have a spurt of those annoying hiccups, drink some ACV with water.
  21. Stuffy Nose – Sip some ACV and water. This helps sinus drainage.
  • Rich in enzymes & potassium
  • Naturally support a healthy immune system
  • Helps control weight
  • Promotes digestion & pH Balance
  • Helps soothe dry throats
  • Helps remove body sludge toxins
  • Helps maintain healthy skin
  • Helps promote youthful, healthy bodies
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Relieves muscle pain from exercise

Natural Health

Read more here

HP.com

Chemical-Free Furniture Makeover

It’s frugal!  It’s easy! It’s non-toxic!

Breathe new life into the pieces you’ve got, or pick up something that looks rather “lived in” for a bargain at a yard sale.

When I was a kid, my mother got a huge beautiful desk that was beat to death.  So many coats of varnish, the only thing scarier was the amount of toxins and fumes used to strip that down and refinish it. (Hey, it was the 70’s… what didn’t have chemicals, right?)   After that I decided that I would never go through that.  When I found this my wheels started turning.  Boy to I have my project picked out now and you will too!

Table Makover 1

Use a mixture of: 

1 part oil (vegetable, olive, grapeseed, etc.)

1 part vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar)

 

Mix together, dip a cloth in it and wipe.  That’s it!

So simple and safe, you can even have the kids help and not worry!

 

Table Makeover      Table Makeover 3

 Turn this….                   …. and this, 

Table Makeover 6        Table Makeover 5

Into this!

Be sure to check out my Frugal Refinishing project too!

Wood                                         Mother Earth News

Love Your Garden Veggie Casserole

A great summer dish that only takes minutes to assemble; then can be made the day before and refrigerated.  Perfect for a weeknight supper paired with something from the crock pot or the grill to make dinner a breeze!

Burpee Gardening

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 or 2 zucchini, sliced*
  • 1 or 2 yellow summer squash, sliced*
  • 1 large baking potato, sliced **
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato
  • 1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh minced thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried or 1-1/2 tsp fresh minced rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried or 1-1/2 tsp fresh minced basil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan, Asiago or Romano cheese (amount varied by taste preference, omit for Paleo)
 
* When picking out your zucchini and squash, try to find “wide” ones.  Remember that you’re going to be slicing and stacking this with the other vegetables so you want to try to have them as evenly sized as possible.  If necessary, use the wider parts for this dish, and slice and freeze the narrower parts to have on hand for other dishes or your homemade marinara sauce.
** For Paleo, substitute sweet potato.  To prep, either slice thinner than other vegetables to accommodate different cooking temp, or microwave for 2 minutes to par cook before slicing.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

 
______________________________________________________

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

STEP 2: Thinly slice the rest of the vegetables. Slice them to the same thickness, for presentation and even cooking.  I prefer to use a mandolin for this, but you can use a food processor or simply slice by hand as well.

STEP 3: On a cutting board or clean counter space, layout the slices of potato, then top with onion, zucchini, squash and tomato.
STEP 4: Spray the inside of an 8″×8″ square baking dish, 9″ round baking dish or two loaf pans with olive oil. I prefer to use an oil sprayer rather than non-stick spray.  No hidden chemicals, or propellant and no cans to throw away.  You can also put some oil on a paper towel and wipe out the pan with it (save it start the grill or add to the compost pile).
STEP 5:  Place the thinly sliced vegetable “stacks” in the baking dish vertically. Crumble the minced garlic over the stacks and drizzle lightly (or spray) with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and basil.
VeggieCasserolePrep
STEP 6: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, be very careful with the steam, top with cheese and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
VeggieCasserole-serve
 
STEP 7: Serve to your very impressed family and friends, then sit and enjoy your restaurant quality meal with one dish clean up!  🙂


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Is your cold medicine damaging your health?

coldflu2
 
by Dr. Ben Kim – Drbenkim.com

The next time you experience a cold or the flu, remember this: rather than take conventional drugs to suppress uncomfortable symptoms, it’s better for your health to allow the cold or flu to run its course while you get plenty of physical and emotional rest.

Conventional medicine and the pharmaceutical industry would have you believe that there is no “cure” for the common cold, that you should protect yourself against the flu with a vaccine that is laden with toxic chemicals, and that during the midst of a cold or flu, it is favorable to ease your discomfort with a variety of medications that can suppress your symptoms.

Unfortunately, all three of these positions indicate a lack of understanding of what colds and flus really are, and what they do for your body.

Colds and flus are caused by viruses. So to understand what colds and flus do at a cellular level, you have to understand what viruses do at a cellular level.

Do you remember learning about cellular division in grade seven science class? Each of your cells are called parent cells, and through processes of genetic duplication (mitosis) and cellular division (cytokinesis), each of your parent cells divides into two daughter cells. Each daughter cell is then considered a parent cell that will divide into two more daughter cells, and so on.

Viruses are different from your cells in that they cannot duplicate themselves through mitosis and cytokinesis. Viruses are nothing but microscopic particles of genetic material, each coated by a thin layer of protein.

Due to their design, viruses are not able to reproduce on their own. The only way that viruses can flourish in your body is by using the machinery and metabolism of your cells to produce multiple copies of themselves.

Once a virus has gained access into one of your cells, depending on the type of virus involved, one of two things can happen:

1. The virus uses your cell’s resources to replicate itself many times over and then breaks open (lyses) the cell so that the newly replicated viruses can leave in search of new cells to infect. Lysis effectively kills your cell.

2. The virus incorporates itself into the DNA of your cell, which allows the virus to be passed on to each daughter cell that stems from this cell. Later on, the virus in each daughter cell can begin replicating itself as described above. Once multiple copies of the virus have been produced, the cell is lysed.

Both possibilities lead to the same result: eventually, the infected cell can die due to lysis.

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Here is the key to understanding why colds and flus, when allowed to run their course while you rest, can be good for you:

– By and large, the viruses that cause the common cold and the flu infect mainly your weakest cells; cells that are already burdened with excessive waste products and toxins are most likely to allow viruses to infect them. These are cells that you want to get rid of anyway, to be replaced by new, healthy cells.

So in the big scheme of things, a cold or flu is a natural event that can allow your body to purge itself of old and damaged cells that, in the absence of viral infection, would normally take much longer to identify, destroy, and eliminate.

Have you ever been amazed by how much “stuff” you could blow out of your nose while you had a cold or the flu? Embedded within all of that mucous are countless dead cells that your body is saying good bye to, largely due to the lytic effect of viruses.

So you see, there never needs to be a cure for the common cold, since the common cold is nature’s way of keeping you healthy over the long term. And so long as you get plenty of rest and strive to stay hydrated and properly nourished during a cold or flu, there is no need to get vaccinated or to take medications that suppress congested sinuses, a fever, or coughing. All of these uncomfortable symptoms are actually ways in which your body works to eliminate waste products and/or help your body get through a cold or flu. It’s fine to use over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen if your discomfort becomes intolerable or if such meds can help you get a good night’s rest. But it’s best to avoid medications that aim to suppress helpful processes such as fever, coughing, and a runny nose.

It’s important to note that just because colds and flus can be helpful to your body doesn’t mean that you need to experience them to be at your best. If you take good care of your health and immune system by getting plenty of rest and consistently making health-promoting dietary and lifestyle choices, your cells may stay strong enough to avoid getting infected by viruses that come knocking on their membranes. In this scenario, you won’t have enough weak and extraneous cells to require a cold or the flu to work its way through your body to identify and lyse them.

Curious about how to differentiate the common cold and the flu?

– A cold usually comes on gradually — over the course of a day or two. Generally, it leaves you feeling tired, sneezing, coughing and plagued by a running nose. You often don’t have a fever, but when you do, it’s only slightly higher than normal. Colds usually last three to four days, but can hang around for 10 days to two weeks.

– Flu, on the other hand, comes on suddenly and hits hard. You will feel weak and tired and you could run a fever as high as 40 C. Your muscles and joints will probably ache, you will feel chilled and could have a severe headache and sore throat. Getting off the couch or out of bed will be a chore. The fever may last three to five days, but you could feel weak and tired for two to three weeks.

One final note on this topic: because the common cold and the flu are both caused by viruses, antibiotics are not necessary. People who take antibiotics while suffering with a cold or flu often feel slightly better because antibiotics have a mild anti-inflammatory effect. But this benefit is far outweighed by the negative impact that antibiotics have on friendly bacteria that live throughout your digestive tract. In this light, if you really need help with pain management during a cold or flu, it is usually better to take a small dose of acetaminophen than it is to take antibiotics.

Natural Health

Natural Health magazine is for people interested in alternative health, natural living, the mind-body-spirit connection and self-care. Topics include vitamins, fitness, herbs, foods that heal, home remedies, new products, recipes and prevention.  Purchase here and save up to 90% off the cover price.

My virtual gallery, combined with personal ramblings & opinions, ideas, food and DIY

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