Monday, October 7, 2013

Luscious Lemon Bars

Luscious Lemon Bars </b> 2 c. flour 1 tsp baking powder ½ c. sugar Dash of salt 1 c. butter ½ of water ¼ tsp salt ½ of lemon juice 4 eggs\ 6 Tbs flour 3 drops lemon ess. oil 1 ½ c. sugar Lemon zest (optional) Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until the dough reaches a fine crumb consistency. Press the dough into the bottom of a 9"x13" pan. Bake for 20 minutes till golden. While crust is baking, beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. In a separate dish, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to eggs, and stir until smooth. Gradually stir in lemon juice, water, and lemon oil. Pour mixture over baked crust, and return to the oven. Bake 30 minutes or until set. Allow to cool completely, and sift powdered sugar over the top. Garnish with zest if desired. *Substitute orange oil and orange juice to make orange bars

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Benefits of Lavendar

Lavender and Honey Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart


2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
1 cup (240ml) milk
Zest from 1 fresh Lemon
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
1/3 cup (110g) honey
5 egg yolks
Pinch of kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: Violet Gel Paste Food Coloring or combination of Blue and Red Food Color drops


In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, lemon zest, lavender flowers and honey. Heat to a bare simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and cover. Set aside for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the yolks, then pour everything back into the saucepan.
Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom as you stir. While the custard heats, stir in the salt and vanilla extract. If adding coloring, stir in a few drops at a time to reach your desired color (color will lighten approximately in half when churning).
Gently cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon, about 4 minutes.
Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Place the container in an ice bath and stir the custard occasionally until it is cool, about 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Churn custard in a frozen KitchenAid® Ice Cream Maker Attachment for Stand Mixers according to manufacturer directions. While churning the ice cream, place the container in which you will store the ice cream in the freezer to chill.
After the ice cream has reached its desired consistency, place in the chilled storage container. Store the ice cream in the freezer until ready to serve.
Lavender Honey Ice Cream Recipe

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is fantastic for stress relief and anxiety, particularly when inhaled or massaged into skin. It can also soothe skin irritations, bug bites, minor burns and minor allergic reactions on the skin. I love lavender so much that I also use a drop or two to scent my homemade all-purpose cleaner because it makes my house smell so nice.
  • Kids’ sleepy spray: Ever since my boys were babies, I’ve been using lavender in their rooms to help them sleep. As infants, I’d put a washcloth with a couple of drops of lavender oil on a table next to the crib so the scent would waft around the room. Now that they’re bigger, I use a linen spray with half a cup of water, a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of lavender oil, then I spritz their pillows and sheets lightly while they get ready for bed. They love the way it smells, and it seems to help them calm down enough to sleep. I noticed with the doTERRA oil, I only needed a couple of drops in my spray, as opposed to the half dozen drops I normally put in of another brand.
  • Bug bite soother: My oldest son is a bug magnet ― he gets little bug bites all the time, no matter what manner of bug repellent we put on him. For some particularly itchy mosquito bites he had, I rubbed a single drop of lavender oil over them. He said the itches went away, and he did stop scratching, which helped the swelling go down. Win!
  • Burn salve: I burned my hand making dinner one night, so I tried a mixture of about half a teaspoon of coconut oil mixed with 2 drops lavender, and I applied it to the burn. While the salve was soothing, it didn’t seem to help much more than running the burn under cold water. Lavender oil in coconut oil would make a great, relaxing massage oil though.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Benefits of cucumbers

It is one of the oldest cultivated crops and believed to be originating in the northern plains of Indian subcontinent. The plant is a creeper (vine) like other members of Cucurbita family, for example, gourds, squashes, melons, zucchini, etc.
Botanically; it belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family; and is known scientifically as Cucumis sativus.

Cucumber is easy to grow. Varieties, varying in size, shape, and color, are cultivated all around the world. In general, the fruit features dark-green skin, crispy moisture rich flesh, and small edible seeds concentrated at its core.
As in other squash members, cucumbers too are best-harvested young, tender and just short of reaching maturity, at the stage when they taste sweet, have crunchy texture, and unique flavor. If left uninterrupted, the fruit continues to grow in size, its skin becomes tougher and turns yellow, and seeds become hard and inedible. Fresh cucumbers are available throughout the season and can be eaten raw as is or in vegetable salads or juicing.