Oranges (clementines, tangerines, etc.)
Today I wanted to share an easy and very inexpensive DIY gift you can make for your kids for Christmas! Or use this as an awesome craft to do with your kids this Holiday Season!
I first found this play-dough recipe over at The Modest Mom Blog. She has so many great ideas for DIY crafts! I wanted to ‘spice’ up the play-dough though as presents for our girls this Christmas, so a few tweaks and I ended up with some amazingly fragrant play-dough! It’s great for all the senses. And I made 2 batches so there won’t be any arguing over the sets!! (fingers crossed on that)
Here is what you’ll need.
~Jars – plastic or glass depending on the age of your kiddo’s. I really wanted to use some recycled glass jars I had, but my 2 yr. old still drops a lot of things so we went with plastic ones this year. Here are some I found at Michaels for $6.99 for a 4 pack. With a 40% off coupon they wouldn’t be bad at all!!
~Labels if desired. These FREE printables were also on The Modest Mom’s Blog or get creative and make some of your own!
1 cup of flour
1 cup of water
1/3 cup of salt
2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 Tbsp. canola oil
Food Coloring (I’d love to try this with natural food coloring sometime but I wanted our girls to get to see that so I’ll save that for later!)
1/4-1/2 tsp. of one or more of the following spices, according to how strong you want the fragrance.
orange peel (dehydrated)
1. Put all ingredients in the saucepan. I added my spices and food coloring after I cooked the initial recipe as I wanted different spices/colors for my little jars but if you are making a big batch I would just add the spices and food coloring in at this point too.
2. Heat at a medium low temperature until the play-dough forms a ball. (roughly about 3 min.) Make sure to stir the ENTIRE time. (This isn’t a ‘walk away’ recipe!! :))
3. Put the ball on some wax paper to cool for a bit.
4. When it’s cool enough knead into a ball (if you already have spices and coloring in it) or divide it into smaller portions for your jars. This recipe made 8 little golf ball size portions for me which fit perfectly into my little jars. If you need some ideas to your creative juices flowing here are some scents and color combos that I did this time!
~red – allspice
~yellow – nutmeg
~green – cloves
~brown – cinnamon
~orange – orange peels and ginger
~pink – unscented
~blue – unscented
~purple – unscented
Have fun and get creative with your spices and colors! Pair the playdough with a couple of cute little cookie cutters for an adorable gift set! I’d love to see pictures if you decide to try this spiced playdough recipe! (By the way it’s really fun to let the kids help with this – I was just making this batch for a Christmas surprise so the girls didn’t get to help with this one!)
Looking for any easy/healthy snack the whole family will enjoy? Look no further friends! Check out this amazing applesauce recipe for a yummy treat that even the pickiest eater will enjoy! (this has been adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe which you can find here!)
~6 lbs. of apples (roughly 18 med. to large size apples of any variety)
~1 cup apple juice or apple cider – (most apple cider is gluten free too!)
~lemon juice from one lemon
~1/2 cup brown sugar – you can substitute maple syrup for a gluten-free recipe.
~1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
(optional ingredients: nutmeg, allspice)
Apple peeler/corer (if desired – it really speeds things up!)
Big stock pot
1. Core and chop all apples. We used all Granny Smith’s as that is what we picked at the orchard. I do like the blend of a half and half selection though such as 50% Granny Smith’s – 50% Pink Lady (or other sweet apple).
2. Add all ingredients to stock pot and cook for 25-30 min on medium. Stir often and taste to make sure you like the sweetness.
3. AFTER the apples are soft and COOLED add in 2 batches to a food processor and pulse until the consistency you like! We left ours a bit chunky!
4. Enjoy by itself or on pancakes, fresh bread, ice cream or anything you can think of!! One other nice thing about this recipe is that it freezes very well! (If your family doesn’t eat it all first!) I love that this can be made into an easy gluten free recipe too!
Next up tomorrow in our kitchen tomorrow…….apple pie with Grandma’s pie crust!!! (And hopefully on a post coming up!)
Let us know if you try this recipe out!!
Have a wonderful week friends and don’t forget to enter in our HUGE giveaway that ends tomorrow!! Just click here!
Football season is well under way and so are the traditions at the Spice Grove household! We love our Sunday night ‘pizza picnics,’ which include a blanket on the living room floor while eating pizza and watching the evening game. We also love the yummy treats and smells that fall and football bring to the house! From scenting the house with simmering spices, to favorite recipes made with love, cinnamon is front and center this time of year. One of our favorites is Pumpkin Footballs. (Special thanks to Brenda at STRUCTUREbags for letting us share these with her fans last year!)
I grew up with my Mom making these pumpkin bars frequently because they were gobbled up quickly and are easy and pain-free to make. Since I got married I fashioned them into something we can take to tailgate parties with our friends. Our kiddos love them now too. They love to be in the kitchen helping stir and taste when we make these!
What you’ll need:
2 cookie sheets with lips on them
1 large bowl
Football shapes cookie cutter or knife to cut football shape
Piping bag with tip or small Ziploc bag
1 ½ cups of applesauce (this originally called for 1 ½ cups of canola oil but we’ve made it a bit healthier!)
29 oz. of pumpkin (make sure it’s pureed pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling)
3 cups of flour
1 ½ tsp. of baking soda
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 ½ cups of sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
12 oz. chocolate chips
Mix ingredients together. (I like to mix the wet ingredients first and then add the dry ingredients. But the beauty of this recipe is you don’t have to separate them if you don’t have time. I’ve made them both ways and they turn out great either way.) Pour into two greased cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool and cut into football shapes. Make frosting while cooling.
6 oz. softened cream cheese
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ stick of butter or margarine
2 tbsp. cream or milk
Mix frosting ingredients together. Put in a piping bag with a thin tip. (If you don’t have a piping bag simply use a sandwich size Ziploc bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner of it.) Pipe on laces on your cooled football shapes.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that these freeze really well and taste just as good out of the freezer as the day you make them. Make up a batch and freeze half for later!
I hope you’ll try our Pumpkin Football Recipe and let us know what your ‘fans’ think!
Have a great weekend friends and enjoy the games!! (and GO BRONCOS!!)
Welcome to the new blog series titled ‘Use What You Have!’
I am so excited to share a special collection of all things inspirational for your Heart and Home! This new weekly/bi-weekly series will feature so many wonderful ideas you won’t want to miss a moment! Just some of the ideas I have planned for you are:
~Gorgeous DIY Home Decor Ideas using things you ALREADY have!
~Easy, Healthy Recipes using what is ALREADY in your pantry!
~Inspirational stories and thoughts to uplift your spirit!
~FREE tutorials! (These will make your Holiday parties so special!)
~Festive Holiday ideas and Gift Guides!
~And MORE!!!! (giveaways too!!)
I’m so thankful for all of you and that you took the time to stop by! Do you have a recipe or awesome DIY you’d like to share with us? Just contact us here!! (or leave a comment below)
Have a beautiful day friends!
Blessings to you,
little well known fact about me……I LOVE football! Not just watching it because my Hubby or family like it – but fantasy playing, Sunday afternoon watching, ‘good luck shirt wearing’ LOVE it!! I love the fact that it brings me back to my childhood of rooting for a team with my Dad. I love that it means being a fan until the end – win or lose. I love that it’s a common interest for me and my better half. I love teaching our girls about competition and getting to show them how to win and lose.
Watching the Super Bowl has always been exciting for me (except that I’m sad that the season is about done!) and this year is no exception, especially since my beloved Denver Broncos are playing!! Since I was born in Denver and grew up in Colorado, it’s pretty much a requirement put on your birth certificate that you will be a fan. (I’m kidding about that part!) But I’ve loved watching them through the ‘Orange Crush’ Defense years, the Elway years and now the Manning era. So many memories! Along with those memories are the ones of the fun parties that we’ve had with friends and family over the years. Yummy food, lots of cheering and general fun!
One treat that has been on the list of my ‘must-haves’ for any football party are my Pumpkin Football’s. Delicious football shaped treats of pumpkin and chocolate they are always gobbled up by hungry Dads, Moms and little ones!
These easy to make treats make up fast and are gone just as quickly! I recently had the privilege to share them with Brenda over at STRUCTUREbags where you can find the recipe for these delicious game time desserts. (or a quick breakfast because, let’s be honest, they have pumpkin in them so they’re healthy, right!?!) Head over and find the complete recipe here, along with more about these fantastic little desserts!
Let me know if you try this recipe. It’s a fun one to make with your little ones too! For those of you who watch the game, have a wonderful and safe time! (For those who don’t enjoy football as much – just enjoy the fact that the season is almost over! hee-hee)
As you all know, being eco-friendly and using natural spices is a huge cornerstone of Spice Grove Designs. This year I decided I’d like to make that more of a goal for our family too. This means I’ll be trying out making everything from laundry to dish soap. Then I thought I’d do some looking around for all natural shampoos and conditioners since I can’t even pronounce most of the ingredients in my store bought ones. I was sure that with all the focus on ‘natural’ and ‘green’ living that I was sure to find someone who made a more healthy product. (My other concern was how much this would all cost!)
WOW!! Was I surprised at what I found!! A HUGE thanks goes out to my good friend Ann Belonger from Ann’s Herbals for being our expert! I invited her by today to show us an amazingly simple routine that will be good for your hair and your wallet!!
Come on and join the ‘Natural Shampoo’ Experiment
Ann, thanks for stopping by! I have a few questions about natural shampoos and conditioners and switching over to a more natural routine.
1. Is there a natural shampoo that is also eco-friendly that you would recommend?
I am not a big fan of even so called “natural liquid shampoos,” they still may contain preservatives to combat bacteria. They may also contain water. Watch your labels. Anyone with skin sensitivities could have skin reactions to these preservatives. Also any time you introduce water into a product, you are faced with bacteria. You then need a chemical to keep the bacteria out. Here is another thing about water in a product, I don’t like having to pay for any product that the main ingredient is water. Why would I? It’s not economical to pay for a product that is mainly water.
With that being said I like to use a shampoo bar, actually I use my bar soap. It’s not specific to “hair” but I use it as a body and hair soap and I’ll tell you why. It contains no water, no chemicals or chemical preservatives. I use rosemary oleoresin in my soaps to keep the oils from going rancid. There is no water so no worry about bacteria in the soap and it has the most nourishing organic oils. Now you can buy soap bars specifically called shampoo bars that’s up to you. I just find it more economical to use a regular handmade soap with rich moisturizing oils. I think I got off on a rant here back to the question. Using a shampoo bar soap is the most economical and eco friendly shampoo you can get. You have no plastic bottle to recycle and handmade soap is a “greener ” product because it is biodegradable. Chemical soaps basically are “detergents” and are not biodegradable. Did you know the same petrochemicals in commercial soaps/shampoos is used to wash your car at the car wash and to degrease your car engine. Amazing!
2. How about a recommendation for natural conditioners?
I am a big fan of apple cider vinegar (yay) as a conditioner. You want a conditioner to make your hair soft, smooth, shiny and manageable, that’s what a vinegar rinse will do . It also helps an itchy scalp, opens up pores and lets your hair breathe. I should mention to take care applying the rinse, it can really sting if you get it in your eyes. If that happens just rinse your eyes really well with your shower water.
3. If I’m switching to a natural (chemical free) shampoo, will there be an adjustment period?
There will definitely be an adjustment period of about two weeks. If you have been using a commercial shampoo there will be a lot of chemical build up on your hair. Many commercial shampoos contain petrochemicals. These are the chemicals that make your shampoo foamy and preserve it. Sulfates, parabens and phthalates are all either derived from petrochemicals or contaminated with them. Scary right? This is why there will be an adjustment period to get your hair healthly and to let it breathe again as chemical based shampoos tend to suffocate your hair. When you start using an all natural shampoo you will notice your hair will have a waxy feel to it, this is your new all natural shampoo breaking down all the build up, opening up the pores and nourishing your hair and scalp.
4. Is there anything you’d recommend to get through this period?
The most easy and economical way to deal with this transition period, to me, is to use a apple cider vinegar rinse. Apple cider vinegar is very good at cleaning out the gunk and restoring your hair to a health state. It makes your hair soft, smooth and gives it a great shine. To make an apple cider vinegar rinse you will need a quart jar and a jug of apple cider vinegar. You can purchase a store brand for about $4 a gallon. Add 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar to your quart jar and fill the rest of the jar with water and wallah! there is your new inexpensive hair rinse and conditioner.
I recommend the first time you use your new all natural shampoo and vinegar rinse to run one rinse through your hair prior to shampooing. Wet your hair again and then shampoo. After shampooing run a vinegar rinse through your hair again, working it through your hair and then rinse with plan water. The vinegar smell will go away once your hair is dry. It’s that simple! I keep a gallon jug in my bathroom cabinet and fill my jar prior to showering, once in the shower I add the water.
Oh by the way you can use white vinegar too I just prefer apple cider vinegar. An important thing to note is frequency of shampooing, one really does not need to shampoo every day. I think the shampoo companies drilled that into our heads quite well. After using a natural shampoo your hair will have a different feel to it, not that squeaky clean feel, which actually is the feel and sound of your hair being completely stripped of any nourishment, but a soft and smooth feel to it. It’s an adjustment remember?
5. Any idea’s for people with dry hair?
I don’t have dry hair but many people have asked me about it. Again apple cider vinegar is your go to conditioner for dry hair. Isn’t it just the most amazing thing? Big fan! If your hair is very dry you could go one step further and make a vinegar herbal rinse, using some well known herbs that help with dryness. These include sage, dandelion leaves, comfrey, marshmallow, elderberries, burdock root, just to name a few. Here is how you make a herbal vinegar rinse. Fill your jar (a quart canning jar works well) with your selected herb, fill it to the top. Then add your apple cider vinegar filling it up to 1/2 inch from the top and using a knife to work your herb down and release any air bubbles. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the jar opening and screw on your lid. Next you’ll want to label your jar and date it. Place this jar in a cool dark place (I put mine in my kitchen cabinet my house is always cold!) You can place it anywhere that’s cool and dark but also some place you won’t forget about it. For the 1st week, (your infusion will steep for 4 to 6 weeks) shake your jar once a day just to make sure all your herb is being saturated with vinegar. After the 4 or 6 weeks you will strain your vinegar infusion through cheese cloth or a strainer, I use panty hose, you can buy like 12 pair for five bucks and they work great. Strain your vinegar infusion into another container preferable glass and it’s ready to use. Again label your new jar with name and date. Condition your hair once or twice a week with your herbal vinegar, the same way you would with the apple cider vinegar rinse. If you have extremely dry hair you can wet your hair with the herbal vinegar from your jar or use a spray bottle, wrap you hair up in a towel for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse it out. You may need to do the rinse more often or less often depending on your dryness. You know your hair best so you be the judge.
I have to say I’ve been a HUGE fan of Ann’s handmade, natural soap for a while. (We use it as well as using it on our kids too!) BUT when she mentioned the apple cider vinegar I was more than skeptical! While I was using vinegar to clean our bathrooms and kitchen I wondered, could this stuff really be that amazing?? (It seems to have a wonderful natural use for any aspect of life!) So I started my experiment and was astonished!!!
My hair is very long and thick so I thought I’d really put all of this to the test go an extra 2 days before trying it. I didn’t even brush it before showering which normally is a huge mistake. It can usually take me about 15 minutes just to untangle and comb through my hair after a regular wash and condition.
I was amazed at how clean my hair felt after using just Ann’s bar soap but still unsure of the vinegar treatment. Holding my breath I poured it on just as she recommended and waited about 5 minutes for it to soak in. Stunned, my hair felt smooth and soft as if I’d just used a regular conditioner BUT without the waxy feel! I was so excited but I still had to do the untangling mess to make sure.
5 minutes later I was tangle free and my hair felt lighter and softer than it had in YEARS!!!! I’m on day three since trying this and my hair and scalp aren’t oily or dry just soft and lightweight! Unbelieveable!! I’m so thankful to Ann for sharing this with us. I’ll do an update after the 2 week adjustment period and let you all know how it feels but I’m pretty excited about it!! (My hubby was amazed that the vinegar smell was gone after it was dry!!) Just think, we can do something healthy for ourselves while helping the environment! A real WIN-WIN!
Are you up for trying something new and more healthy this year? Let me know if you try out this formula! I’d love to hear your results!!
**The vinegar can bleed out the color if you have dyed hair as well as affect permed hair so I’m not sure I would recommend the vinegar rinse for that situation.****I was not paid for this post, I was just trying something new and more healthy!! All opinions contained are my own.***
I tried the ‘Natural Shampoo’ and vinegar rinse for the 2nd time today and was just as impressed as the first time! I was left with amazingly soft, manageable and tangle-free hair!! Have you tried it yet?
Make sure and come by next week for some handmade Valentine gifts! You won’t want to miss it!
What does it mean to you?
In my heart it always will mean Grandma and her rolls. Handmade from scratch. Poking the rising dough and trying not to get caught. Licking the cinnamon and sugar off my fingers and trying to steal raisins when she wasn’t looking! She always patiently let us help even when we just made a mess!
I wanted to share this recipe with you to remind you to be thankful of the simple times with your loved ones – the everyday, messy, beautiful moments that are packed into each day!! Enjoy friends!
Grandma’s Potato Rolls
Mix together in a large bowl:
2 Packages Dry Yeast
6 cups warm water
1 cup instant potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs well beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 cup powdered dry milk
1 cup cooking oil (I used canola)
Mix enough flour to make stiff. (Roughly equal to the amount of water used, but I generally use more.) Let rise once and punch down. Make into desired rolls (dinner, clover leaf, cinnamon, etc.) (This recipe is already doubled and usually will yield about 4 doz. rolls. If you forget this (like I did) you will end up with 12 PANS of rolls and use over 10 lbs. of flour!! Eeek! Just a warning!)
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until brown. I then brush the tops of the rolls with butter.
To make cinnamon rolls I use the same recipe but just finish it off differently!
You will need:
After dough has risen roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. I then either spread butter on the dough or if I’m feeling lazy spread chopped up bits of butter on the surface. (Either way works fine!) Then I sprinkle my cinnamon and sugar mixture on followed by raisins. (I LOVE nuts in here too, but our kiddo’s aren’t quite so keen on them!)
Next roll up your dough so you end up with one long ‘log’ shape. Now for my secret weapon to cut perfect roll shapes without ending up with flat and squished shapes! Head to your sewing box. (WHAT??? – I know it sounds crazy, but trust me!) Cut off a piece of thread about 10″-12″. Put thread under where you’d like to cut and pull both ends of the thread toward each other cutting the dough cleanly and easily!
Put rolls in oven at 375 degrees for 20 min. Top with butter just like you did the regular rolls. You can add a simple frosting if you’d like, but we always enjoy them just like this!
I hope you have enjoyed this recipe! Let me know if you try it! And from the Spice Grove Designs Home to your Home………we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!!