Homemade vanilla extract is the easiest thing you will ever make…in your life….period! Keep reading to see how simple it is and so much cheaper than store-bought! Read the rest of this entry
WOW….are these cookies good! Almond flour is something I have wanted to figure out to use in my recipes and I am glad I did in these cookies. Almond flour has a sort of buttery taste and is great in pancakes and cookie recipes. What these cookies lack in looks, they make up for in taste! Read the rest of this entry
Who among us has not opened the pantry only to find we do not have a necessary spice that we KNEW we had? Here is a list of emergency substitutions that can hopefully help you avoid that dreaded trip to the grocery store! Read the rest of this entry
What would you say to a homemade bread recipe that is ready to pop in the oven in 5 minutes? Actually, it takes longer to pre-heat the oven than it does to get the batter ready! Read the rest of this entry
If you have not yet tried coconut oil you really should. This oil can be used in anything from cooking to beautification….very versatile! There are not many things that you can rub into your hair and also eat. Think about it. Anyway the oil in a jar is hardened, much harder than shortening. The cool thing is when you put it in your hands it begins to melt!
What kind should you get?
From my research on the internet unrefined coconut oil is best Unrefined coconut oil is often referred to as “virgin” or “pure” coconut oil. It is coconut oil extracted from fresh coconut meat rather than dried.
Chemical solvents are often added to refined coconut oil and it often contains trans-fats (bad fat). Unrefined coconut oil retains the distinct flavor and odor of coconut. There are complaints when used for frying that food retains the coconut taste but I have not personally experienced it.
Here are several ways to use coconut oil:
- Replace shortening or butter for cooking. Coconut oil has a high heat point and is great for pan-frying and stir-fry.
- Can be used for dry skin (test a small area first)
- As a makeup remover
- Rub between your hands and apply to tame frizzy hair
- Replaces vegetable oils in recipes
- As a natural deodorizer (yes, under your arm-pits…try that out before you go anywhere!)
- Add to smoothies
Here is a photo showing how hot the oil gets but it does not turn black like vegetable oil:
There are many more claims about coconut oil, from being an anti-depressant to curing Alzheimer’s. All I know is, I like the way it works in recipes and there seem to be some health benefits from eating it. Ellie, the dachshund, goes crazy when I get the jar out of the cabinet so I put about 1/2 teaspoon in her dry dog food and she laps it up! Good for people, good for wiener dogs! Can’t beat that!
If you love to bake and have not tried Artisan non-stick baking mats, you are missing out. You can use these mats in place of parchment paper or cooking sprays and there is almost no clean-up when you are finished. To clean, you rinse off in the sink with a little soap and hot water and air dry. The Amazon website says you can wash them in the top rack of the dishwasher but I have never done that mainly, because it is so easy to clean them in the sink.
The baking mats can be used in the freezer as well as the oven up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit. They also conduct heat well.
When I roll out biscuits I use a mat to keep my counter-top clean. You can use them for making candy or anything that makes a mess you are trying to contain.
Food odors do not penetrate the mat so you can cook a variety of foods on them without worry of smelling the last thing you cooked on them.
Have you tried any of the silicone baking products? What is your favorite?
Do you ever crave something sweet? Here is a healthy recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies that have no added sugar! Read the rest of this entry