Make Your Own "Easy" Hard Cider!

Recently we went to our local orchard, which had just opened for the season.  They still had some of their organic, freshly pressed full juice apple cider in frozen jugs! We bought some, so we decided to experiment with making some "EASY" hard cider.  It turned out GREAT!  Here's how we made Hard Cider!

Hot Process SOAP RECIPE That You CAN'T Live Without! Spearmint-Frankincense-Eucalytus Nettle Green Soap

One of my friends asked me to make some of my Spearmint-Eucalyptus soap for her, so I thought I'd share my recipe with you!  I use the hot process method of soap making most of the time because the soap can be ready to go right away, even though you're using sodium hydroxide (lye), which ALL true soap must be made with.  She wanted the soap quickly, so here it is, along with my recipe for you to try out!  

How to Make Fermented Cranberries!

Have you ever cleaned out your freezer and found things in there that you should really just use already?  I found a bag of frozen fresh cranberries hiding out in my freezer, and I decided I'd just go ahead and ferment them!  The reason I decided to ferment my old cranberries is because 1) it's not Thanksgiving or Fall, and I just didn't feel like a cranberry sauce deal; and 2) I just wanted to see how it would go! Plus, fermented foods are GREAT for your gut!  So here's how I fermented my cranberries and also how I used these fermented beauties.  

"Natural" Sunscreen? A Product Review and an Easy DIY Recipe to Make Your Own

I was recently approached by one of the co-founders of Block Island Organics to take a look at their sunscreen, as it contains natural and organic ingredients. Since I live in the desert Southwest where the sun is KILLER, sunscreen is a very important item to use! Now, I'll be honest---I am NOT a fan of any kind of commercial skincare product in general, and that's because most of them contain chemicals that are damaging to a great variety of your body parts, including your brain, endocrine system, and liver, plus many are carcinogenic.  I actually make my own sunscreen (recipe below).  However, since many people just aren't into the DIY thing like I am, I was pretty excited to take a look at this organic and "natural" sunscreen!

How to Ferment Lemons---Plus Variations!

I have become addicted to fermenting foods--ALL the foods! So when I was gifted with about a million lemons about a month ago, I had to find some great ways to use them!  Of course, I turned to fermentation, which is a way to preserve your food so it lasts longer while (magic of all magics)---supplies probiotic goodness to your body!  I'm a fan of fermentation because you have two great things going on at the same time: preservation AND raw health benefits and probiotics in your food to serve your body. Here's how to ferment lemons!

Chamomile Ale (Beer) Recipe---Create Your Own Herbal Home Brew!

Ales (beer) have been around for literally thousands of years, and most of these ancient recipes called for using herbs.  In this manner, they became "healing" in nature.  Since they are also a fermented drink, they are good for you in terms of gut health too.  My Chamomile Ale was inspired by a recipe from the book by Harold Buhner's book, Sacred Herbal Healing Beers.  This recipe is several hundred years old and involves using Chamomile.  Chamomile is a relaxant, is great for helping with anxiety and soothing nerves.  It also helps solve sleep issues and is calming in the evening.  It's a delicious little herb, too, with a honey-like sweetness.  Here's how to make Chamomile Ale!

Chamomile-Infused Hot Process Soap---Soothing on the Skin!

I love making my own soap! Besides the well-known fact that commercially made "soaps" are filled with toxins that may contribute to cancers, estrogen/other hormone issues, and skin sensitivities, I just love the creativity of making my own SAFE soaps just the way I want!  When you make your own soap, you get to decide which herbs, essential oils, clays, and exfoliants to use (or not).  You get to decide the "mood" of your soap. You get to decide on the color, scent, and how you want it to feel on your body---and all in safe, natural ways. Find out how to infuse skin soothing Chamomile into your handmade soap!

Survival Food to Forage: Lambsquarters

What IS that plant???  All last summer, I had this plant I thought was probably just a "weed" growing crazily in my yard! I was ready to rip them all out, but I decided to wait.  Happily, I discovered that although considered a "weed," Lambsquarters is actually an edible plant that is more nutritious than spinach! Here is how to identify Lambsquarters and how to use it too! 

How to Amend the MOST HORRIBLE Soil in the World!

Life in the Mojave Desert is a challenge in just about all ways.  There's little water available, barely any rainfall, and it's an extreme, savage environment whether you are down on the valley floor or up higher, like we are.  Really, people are just not meant to be here.  I've heard more than one person describe the lower desert area around Las Vegas as "the moon" due to its rocky, dry, and gray appearance.  It's a place you grow to appreciate, and it's beautiful in its own harsh way, but anything that survives here naturally is a special life form, that's for sure! When we moved into our home in the mountains, we experienced the worst soil I've ever seen!  I figure if I can grow things here, I can grow things ANY where!  :-)  Here's what we did to amend this hard, rocky soil:

KILLER TOXINS Lurking in Your Soap---Why I Make Our Own Soap

Did you know....That most so-called "soaps" in stores are not REAL soap?  So... What ARE these "soaps" sold in the stores? Well, they are basically concoctions of dangerous chemicals, as cheaply made as possible for the greatest profit possible.  But these commercially made cleansing bars you’ll find in the stores contain dangerous toxic chemicals, and most of the time any glycerin is stripped out and used for other things.

Bringing Home Ducklings and Adding Them to Your Flock!

About a month or so ago, my husband and I were at our local feed store to pick up a few things and hopefully purchase a few more chicks to add to our layers this year.  Sadly, they were out of chicks that day---EXCEPT for these four sweet little yellow ducklings peeping away!  Oh. My. GOSH!  I fell in love! So we ended up bringing all four of them home.  Yep!  All four! Now, I didn't know a lot about ducklings, and I'm going to share with you the things I wish I had known!  Their addition to our little homestead has been successful so far, but things might have been a little easier if we had been aware of a few things!

How to Infuse Honey with Lemon---and Why It's Great for You!

You've probably heard how good it is for your body and health to drink a cup of water with honey and lemon every day?  Well, after being given bags of beautiful fresh lemons, I thought I'd go ahead and make some lemon infused honey!  Not only is this honey absolutely delicious, you can use it for so much!  It's great for soothing sore throats and coughs, you can sweeten your herbal tea with it, use it on toast or as a topping....or just take a spoonful because it's just SO good!  And of course, you can use it in your lemon-honey water! :-)  Here's how to infuse your honey with delicious, great for you lemons!

How to Make Delicious Lemon Curd

I was gifted recently with LOTS of lemons!  The real ones, by the way---not the metaphorical lemons, thank goodness!  Bags of them!  Fresh, beautiful, sweet-smelling lemons! When I received all these lemons, I immediately began thinking about what to do with them! I have always wanted to try making lemon curd, and I found one of my mom's old recipes.  I adapted it quite a bit because I didn't have all the right ingredients (like caster sugar?).  The ingredients I used are those that most everyone has on hand, and it turned out SO delicious anyway!  Here is how I made lemon curd---which is kind of like a buttery lemon pudding!