Red, White and Blue Firecracker Popsicles

firecracker-popsicles-1-550

Recipe Adapted from Every Day Food

INGREDIENTS:

For the Red Layer:
2 cups halved, hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons lime juice

For the White Layer:
¾ cup full-fat plain yogurt
4½ tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice

For the Blue Layer:
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons lime juice

DIRECTIONS:

1. Make the Red Layer: In a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar and lime juice. Puree, scraping down sides as needed. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids. Fill the ice-pop molds 1/3 of the way (you may have some strawberry puree leftover). Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

2. Make the White Layer: Whisk together the yogurt, cream, sugar and lime juice in a small bowl. Remove the molds from the freezer and top with the yogurt mixture, filling each another 1/3 of the way. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

3. Make the Blue Layer: In a clean blender, puree the blueberries, sugar and lime juice. Puree, scraping down sides as needed. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids. Remove molds from freezer; insert popsicle sticks through the white layer. Top with the blueberry puree (again, you may have some leftover puree), leaving ¼-inch of free space at the top of the molds. Freeze until solid, 3 hours or more (or up to 1 week). Just before serving, briefly run molds under hot water to release the pops.

Pink Snowball Cake

sprinkle bakes snowball cake

Pink Snowball Cake
serves 8-10

Cake:
6 tbsp. cocoa
6 tbsp hot water
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (12 tbsp)
1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 2 quart heat-proof bowl (stainless or pyrex) with shortening and lightly flour. Set aside.
Whisk together cocoa and hot water.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour mixture into a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer until mixture has cooled enough to add the eggs without scrambling them.

Add eggs, vanilla, and then cocoa mixture.  Beat until well combined.  Reduce mixer speed and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream.

Pour into greased bowl and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.  Let cool slightly. Run a knife around the edge of the cake, then turn out onto a cake stand or serving tray lined with wax paper strips. Let cool completely.  Cut the dome of the cake off about 1/3 of the way down from the top.  With your fingers, press to make an indentation in the middle of the base of the cake.  This will make room for the marshmallow filling without wasting any cake.

Filling/Frosting

1 lb unsalted butter, softened
1 16 oz. jar marshmallow cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 generous cup sweetened flaked coconut
Americolor pink soft gel food color

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until fluffy.  Add marshmallow cream and beat again, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed.  When thoroughly combined, remove 1 cup of the white mixture and place in the center of the cut cake.  Place the top of the cake over the marshmallow center and line up the edges as best as possible.

Add the 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar to the remaining frosting.  Mix well. Use a small dab of pink food coloring to tint the frosting pastel pink.  Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl so no white streaks remain.  Frost cake with an offset spatula.

In a medium bowl, tint coconut with a drop of pink gel food coloring.  Mix well – you can use a fork but I found my fingers did a much better job.  Coat frosted cake with pink coconut.  Remove wax paper strips from underneath the cake and tidy up the serving plate edges if coconut remnants are present.

  • You must use a 2 quart (8 cup) bowl for this recipe.  The batter is approx. 4 cups and needs plenty of room to rise while baking.
  • Wire-pick butterflies can be found in the floral department at most craft stores.

Honey and cinnamon weight loss recipe

honey

 

  • A simple recipe claimed to help you lose weight.
  • Many of you may not think of eating honey for weight loss, but honey is a useful food to help you lose weight. Since it is a simple sugar, NOT a refined and processed sugar, it contains vitamins, minerals, nutrients and is good for you.
  • Honey helps boost and speed up the metabolism which helps the body burn fat.
  • Honey has a healthier glycemic index (GI) than sugar, therefore it doesn’t cause a sugar rush, but it is gradually and progressively absorbed into our body.
  • Cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar levels and increases the metabolism of glucose. Since high blood sugar levels can lead to increased storage of fat, cinnamon helps prevent this.  Cinnamon improves insulin function. Thus, you lose weight.
  • The cinnamon and local honey clean parasites, fungus and bacteria in the digestive tract. The honey will also help stabilize blood sugar levels, which result in less food cravings. You will also have a feeling of fullness and satiety.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of organic local honey
  • 1 tsp of organic cinnamon
  • To make it simple: One part cinnamon and two parts honey is what is required for this recipe.

Instructions:

  • Put the cinnamon in a  bowl
  • Boil 1 cup of water
  • Pour the hot water over the cinnamon
  • Steep for 15 minutes
  • Add honey to the cooled liquid
  • Always add honey to the cooled liquid – hot liquid will destroy the enzymes in the raw honey.
  • Note: Drink twice a day: 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/2 cup before going to bed. Take on an empty stomach.
  • You may experience more energy
  • As always consult your health practitioner before starting a new diet.

Oreo Cheesecake

Oreo-Cookie-and-Cream-No-Bake-Cheesecake-Bakers-Royale11

Recipe Adapted from – Jamie Baker

INGREDIENTS:

For the Crust

24 Oreo cookies (regular variety)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake Filling

340 Gms cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
15 Triple Double Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (you can you regular as well)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F;. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing it to hang over two sides of the pan to create “handles”.

2. Prepare the Crust: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 24 Oreos until they are turned into fine crumbs. Drizzle the melted butter over top and continue to pulse until the butter is evenly distributed and all of the crumbs are moist. Add the cookies crumbs into the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer (I usually use the bottom of a measuring cup for this process). Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes (leave the oven on).

3. While the crust is baking, prepare the cheesecake filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated.

4. Slowly add the eggs, beating well after each addition, and mix until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sour cream and vanilla, beating until fully incorporated.

5. Gently fold in the chopped Triple Double Oreos. Pour the batter over the prepared crust, smoothing it into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly, about 40 to 50 minutes.

6. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or up to 24 hours) before serving.

7. To serve, lift the cheesecake out of the pan using the foil handles. Slice into bars and serve.

50 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

 

coconutoil

Scientific research on coconut oil has revealed health benefits that affect your entire body, inside and out. You’ve heard good things about it and now you have a tub of it sitting in your pantry. So how do you use coconut oil?

Here are some of the numerous ways coconut oil is used.

This post lists 50 different ways to use coconut oil

Cooking and Eating
1) Cooking at High Heat – Some oils are unsafe to cook with at high temperatures, coconut oil is a great alternative.
2) On Toast Instead of Butter – Simply use coconut oil instead of butter on your toast.
3) Eat it by the Spoonful – Coconut oil is that delicious and healthful. Enjoy one spoonful each morning.
4) Smoothies – Add one tablespoon of coconut oil into your favorite smoothie recipe and increase your energy with the oil’s MCTs.
5) Fry Eggs – Lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with coconut oil to create a non-stick surface and delicious eggs.
6) Popping Popcorn – A sweet twist on a classic snack! To make stovetop popcorn, you need a heavy-bottomed pan. First, add the coconut oil and popcorn to the pot. Coat the area of the pot with the oil, and use just enough popcorn to make a single layer over the bottom of the pot. Give the pot a little shake to make sure all of the kernels are coated with oil. Next, place the pot over medium heat. Put the lid on the pot, leaving it slightly open so that steam can escape. It should take about five minutes for the popcorn to pop completely.
7) Popcorn Topping – Instead of butter, melt a little coconut oil and pour it over your popped popcorn. Then sprinkle lightly with Himalayan crystal salt.
8) Oven Baked Sweet Potato Chips – Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice sweet potatoes to about 1/8” thick.  Place slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with coconut oil. Bake for about 15 minutes or until chips are lightly brown.  Add salt to taste, and serve with salsa or dip. (Or just eat them plain – either way they’re delicious!)
9) Replace Vegetable Oil for Baking – Next time you make your favorite brownie recipe, replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil. Your friends will be begging you for the recipe.
10) Pan Frying – Next time you fry up a batch of sweet potato fries or a piece of chicken, use coconut oil.
11) Grilled Cheese with Coconut Oil – No need for butter the next time you are making a grilled cheese sandwich.
12) Coconut Oil Coffee – Adding a spoonful to your coffee is a delicious way to start your day with a huge energy boost!
13) Homemade Granola – Check out this delicious recipe for coconut granola.
14) A Spoonful in Tea – Allow some coconut oil to melt and mildly flavor your next cup of tea.
15) Salad Dressings – Used for Dressing Salads.

Skin Care
16) Cheekbone Highlighter – Apply a small amount on cheekbones over makeup.
17) Shaving Lotion – Close shave and a moisturizer at the same time.
18) Facial Scrub – Combine coconut oil with Himalayan crystal salt and apply to face each night. Washing it off is optional.
19) Body Scrub – Combine coconut oil and sugar.
20) Makeup Remover – Healthier, stronger and longer eye lashes are just a bonus!
21) Homemade Deodorant – You only need a few ingredients in addition to coconut oil to make this simple deodorant recipe.
22) Homemade Lip Balm or Lip Gloss – Apply directly or create a flavored version with this simple lip balm recipe.
23) Diaper Rash Cream – Apply regularly to the baby’s bottom to improve skin health.
24) Lubricant –
25) Stretch Mark Preventer During Pregnancy – This safe, healthy oil can be applied multiple times each day to help moisturize your stretching skin.
26) Nipple Cream During Breastfeeding – Coconut oil is a popular choice for nursing mothers because it is a natural safe product.
27) Massage Oil – Coconut oil is the perfect choice for a massage oil. Not too greasy and with a relaxing scent.
28) Body Moisturizer – Apply directly after showering.
29) Fade Age Spots – Rub on hands or other areas daily.
30) Sunburn Care – A great moisturizer to use after you’ve gotten a bit too much sun.
31) Facial Moisturizer – After you wash your face, massage a light layer on your skin.
32) Mix in Bath Water – Melt about 1/4 cup in the microwave and add it to your bath water and soak.
33) Tanning Oil – Put in a spray bottle and bring to beach. Spray on to keep skin moisturized.
34) Dry Feet Treatment – Mix with salt to form a foot scrub.
35) Elbow Rub – Helps manage the dry skin on your elbows.

Hair Care
36) Leave-in Overnight Conditioner – Looking for a deep conditioning hair treatment? Rub a small amount of oil into hair (mostly at ends), comb through and put hair in a loose bun before bed, and wash out in the morning.
37) Hair Flyaway Tamer – Use very sparingly on ends or areas with flyaways.
38) Defrizzer of Split Ends – Just put a tiny amount on your hands and run them through the frizzy areas.
39) Static Reducer – Rub your hands together with a little bit of coconut oil on them and run them through your static-y hair.

Other Healthy Uses for Coconut Oil
40) Homemade Toothpaste – Combine equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. Sweeten with stevia and flavor with your favorite essential oil.
41) Aromatherapy – Whether you like coconut or not, the soothing aroma of coconut oil is pleasing to us all and can help us wind down after a long, stressful day. Read The Beginner’s Guide to Aromatherapy.
42) Wound Care – Although you may not be ready to give up your Neosporin, coconut oil can even be used as a topical protector for wounds, shielding them with a thin chemical layer from outside contaminants. You can apply a small amount of coconut oil to small scrapes and cuts.
43) Metabolism Booster – 2 tablespoons per day are proven to rev up your metabolism.
44) Thyroid Supporter – Regular coconut oil consumption has been shown to support healthy thyroid function.
45) Energizer – 1 teaspoon can give you a burst of energy instead of turning towards a caffeinated energy drink.
46) Oil Pulling – Swish coconut oil around in your mouth for 10 minutes before brushing.

Using Coconut Oil Around The House
47) Season a Cast Iron Pan –  season a cast iron pan with coconut oil.
48) Use it as a lubricant on small motors/electronics

Coconut Oil for Animals
49) Feed it to your Dog or Cat -Applying Oil Will make Makes coats become sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
50) Put It On Your Cat’s Paw – Put half a teaspoon on your kitty’s paw to keep a shiny coat and cut down on hairballs.

Apple Harvest Salsa

salsa
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 4 medium tart apples
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers (depending on hotness)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 TB. vegetable oil
  • 1-2 TB. apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
Instructions
  1. Chop apples and squeeze limes over them so they don’t brown.
  2. Dice all other vegetables and mix together in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. You can cover and chill before serving.

How to Manage Your Stress Levels

stress

To deal with stress you first have to identify what is the cause of stress, whether it is a colleague at work or some bills that have not been paid. Once you figure out where the stress is coming from it becomes easier to deal with the issue.

  • Be physically active, it will help control stress and will boost your heart health as well.
  • Join a yoga class, the deep breathing work out will work wonders and help to you to stay calm.
  • Do not let stress at work follow you at home.
  • Do not hold grudges and dwell on things that have little or no meaning.
  • When you’re stressed you tend to eat more so relax and try getting your stress under control
  • Do not forget to laugh, it lightens up the mood and will definitely help in bringing down your stress levels.
  • If you feel overwhelmed by some activities, learn to say no! You may be taking on more responsibilities than you can handle at the time. Dealing with too many things at one time can definitely take a toll on your health and stress levels.
  • Try to be calmer while dealing with everyday tensions and stressful situations.
  • Ask for help if you need it, do not try to handle things that are out of your reach.
  • Be emotionally stronger; do not let small things affect you more than they should.
  • Accept that you cannot change everything and things cannot always go your way, so when there is a brick in the road, move past it without dwelling on the losses and what went wrong.
  • Try not to leave work or tasks pending, it will only lead to last minute stress, and who is to say, maybe when it comes to that last minute some emergency may come up and you may not be able to complete all that pending work
  • Take time out of your busy schedule to spend time with your family and friends, it will make a huge difference and help you to stay happier in the long run.
  • Control your anger; there are hundreds of reasons to be angry everyday, but getting angry has a direct effect on your blood pressure it is best that you keep it under control. The next time somebody tries to overtake you while driving, control yourself and do not take your anger out on him.
  • Problems, mistakes and miscommunication keeps happening, as a result of which things can go wrong, whether at the workplace or with your spouse, it is better to forgive and forget as opposed to harbour all that pent up anger.
  • Spend quality time with your spouses, children and parents. Your bond with your family will grow stronger and you can lean on them in times of stress. It always helps to be a part of a community that you can rely or lean on.
  • Do not skip meals or over eat when under pressure, it will only make matters worse causing you to fall ill or gain weight.
  • Take a break from daily pressure, take a weekend vacation; the travel will help you get your mind off work and help you relax a little bit.