12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Food
Who can resist a yummy bread with a bit of sweetness? I sure can’t! The banana and pumpkin together is just an amazing flavor with the added spices and of course the chocolate chips just make eating this bread anytime of the day a pick- me- upper! It’s not just an ordinary banana bread or pumpkin bread. The spices especially the ginger gives this bread a pop you will love! To add to your taste buds make yourself a cup of the Creamy Pumpkin tea just setting your day up to be full of spice and everything nice. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Ingredients: 3 cups flour 2 tsp baking soda ½ tsp baking powder (or use ¼ tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp of cream of tarter) 1 tsp salt 2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp clove 3/4 tsp ginger 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 2/3 cup olive oil 3 eggs 1 can pumpkin, canned (I used almost all of the can except 1/4 cup to use in another recipe) 2 ripe bananas 1 cup chocolate chips 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans Directions: In mixer bowl, cream sugars, oil, eggs, bananas, and pumpkin until nice and smooth. Add one cup at a time of the flour mixing in your baking soda, powder, salt, and spices. Mix well. Fold in your chocolate chips and nuts. In 2 PREPARED glass loaf pans, divide your batter between prepared pans. Bake about 45-55 minutes. I had to put a foil over the top after 45 minutes so it wouldn’t get too brown. I love my ALEXA to help me with the time. She is one big helper in the kitchen. When done, allow to cool for 5 minutes before placing on cooling rack. Yeah right…I dug right in and ate 3 slices….tooo yummy to wait!!! Serve on a sweet plate if your entertaining. Just makes it look awesome! Banana Pumpkin Bread Hope you enjoy it too! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Food

If you have a hard time trying to think of meals for your family, well I am right in your pasture with ya!
Beef Stroganoff has been around for many years and my mom used it as a stapler all the time.  Hence, I did the same as my family was growing up. It is so fast and simple and everyone loved it. 

Over time I made some changes. 

This recipe is one I have added to over and over making my own tastes and herbs we love around the ranch. Of course using the herbs we grew over the summer make it fresh and special.

One note to make… in other recipes they use canned mushroom soup. We really try and stay away from canned items and instead make homemade thickeners. As well as the beef stock, I make my own by adding a gravy thickener.  

The first time I made this I accidently used stew meat. DON’T do that! The meat takes 3-4 hours to get tender. Unless you put this mixture into a crockpot and cook for that time frame it will be delicious. Especially for you busy moms that would be an awesome way to make this recipe.

 

Comfort food this meal is for sure! I hope you find it as delightful as my man does! Keep it fresh!
Enjoy!


Ingredients:

1 lb Sirloin steak cut into cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp olive oil

½ large onion finely diced

1 cup chopped mushrooms

2 carrots finely diced

½ cup brandy

2 cups beef stock

2 tbsp arrowroot powder

½ cup sour cream

2 tsp of Dijon mustard

Cooked egg noodles for serving or you can mash up potatoes to serve over too…both are out of this world

Parsley flakes to sprinkle on top

Beef Stroganoff Ranch Favorite

Directions:

Pour 1 tbsp of your olive oil into skillet. Add Salt and pepper to your cubed steak and add half your batch to the skillet. Fry up until done about 2 minutes.  Set aside and continue with other half. Put cooked meat into a bowl and set aside. Add your other 1 tbsp olive oil and cook mushrooms, carrots until golden brown. Turn off heat and add brandy and beef stock. Stir getting the bottom scraping as you stir. Turn on heat to medium high. Cook until liquid is about a third about 3-4 minutes.  In a small bowl making a roué take ¼ cup of the juice stock from your skillet and put into bowl. Add arrowroot powder and stirring quickly making the roué and pour into your skillet. The mixture should thicken after 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat. Add your sour cream and Dijon stir again. Add your meat and stir until everything is nice and hot.  Pour over your cooked noodles or mashed potatoes and serve with parsley.

Beef Stroganoff Ranch Favorite
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Food, Healthy Eating, Treats
Pumpkin Pie wasn’t always my favorite thing growing up. I had to grow into this flavor as well as texture before I could enjoy a good pumpkin pie. With this honey and homemade even pie I think the fussiest one at your holiday table will enjoy this dessert. If they don’t, well…you get to eat it all!

Ingredients:

2 Cups of organic pumpkin puree
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 sea salt
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (here is my homemade one)
3/4 cup of heavy cream (half and half will be fine too)
2 eggs lightly beaten
1  unbaked pie crust

Dan is amazing at making crusts! He uses Crisco which I hate, but it works and the Betty Crocker recipe. Of course his magic touch makes for perfect crust every time!

Honey Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Mix first 5 ingredients together
3. Mix in cream
4. Gently beat in eggs
5.Carefully pour into your pie shell
6. Cover edges with a pie shield or use foil bake for 20 minutes. Remove shell and cook an additional 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and no jiggling. 

Honey Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Enjoy every bite and add a bit of whipping cream and sprinkle fresh nutmeg on top. 

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Healthy Eating
Who doesn’t like cranberries this time of year? I am SO cranberry crazy right now…mostly because I love the taste and color, but also they are REALLY good for you!

Below is a wonderful simple homemade cranberry sauce (NOT the canned jelly kind I assure you) that you can make ahead of time. I love that idea! Keep refrigerated until your ready to serve. 

 


Ingredients:

3/4 cup of Orange Juice
1/2-3/4 cup of honey…it looses sweetness in the refrigerator so I go to the higher amount
12 oz of whole cranberries
Orange zest I used a whole orange

Directions:

Simmer orange juice, honey and zest bringing to a boil for 5 minutes. Stir in cranberries continuing to cook for 15 minutes. They will burst and the mixture will get thick. Spoon into your serving dish and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. I do this the night before. Add some orange zest on top before you bring to your holiday table. Presentation will be delightful!


Next fav…yep not nutritious at all! BUT REALLY YUMMY! Famous marshmallow cranberry salad! Cranberry Crazy #2…

Cranberry Crazy
Ingredients:
3 cups frozen organic cranberries thawed and chopped (organic makes me feel better we have local farmers too which makes it awesome)
1  1/2 cup pineapple frozen or fresh
1 drop Organic Orange essential oil (adds amazing taste)
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 apple chopped
1 lemon squeezed 
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups of heavy whipping cream ( I like as fresh as possible so I stay away from cool whip)
1/4 cup of walnuts or pecans, chopped
lemon zest

Directions:
In large bowl mix first 4 ingredients. Add your lemon juice. Add sugar, salt. Give a good stir and cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, whip up your cream and fold into your mixture. Add nuts and stir. Top with zest before serving. 

Lastly is a sweet beverage which is healthy and festive! I love my orange flavors with cranberries and I add it into my recipes when I can. 
Cranberry Crazy #3

Cranberry Crazy

I love using martini glasses even though we don’t use them for that purpose. It is fun drinking from the glass so making this recipe is simple but is individually made.

Using a shaker full of ice add:
1/4 cup of Elderberry syrup
1/2 cup Cranberry juice 
1 drop of orange essential oil
Fill remaining space with Ginger Ale
Shake well and pour into your favorite glass. 
(you can sugar the rim of the glass with cranberry sugar by taking a bit of the cranberry juice to 1/4 cup of sugar, mix and place on a plate. Dip your favorite glass into a water than into the plate of sugar)

Well there you have it! Your festive cranberry crazy day has a head start. 

Enjoy making the most of your Thanksgiving by remembering all you are thankful for and raising your glasses in praise for the ONE who gave HIS all!

God bless you and may this season bring you peace and love in Jesus Christ!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee







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Healthy Eating, Ranch Life
YES…it’s true! Tons of folks are now on the elderberry bandwagon and to get your elderberries will be more of a challenge. The elderberry shortage is happening so start ordering TODAY! Starwest still has some but not many if you click here. (affiliate link) Also if they are out of order you can have them email you when they come in. 


Many recipes are on the internet for the famous elderberry syrup, which also makes for the elderberry craze! Truly I love this stuff! It really works! What a great gift to give a loved one!


Just 1/4 cup alone or in my tea a couple of times a day I can fight off a cold or flu bug. It is awesome on ice cream and pancakes too. I also put it in my Kombucha for an added boost in the morning. 

Kick Out Soda
Here is my recipe along with other ideas to use your elderberries. 

Don’t delay…order today! And make up a big batch of the syrup so you have it on hand!

Are you looking for a way to use essential oils more often instead of the “go to” drugs? Along with herbs, essential oils can help your body fight off infections and get your body back to wellness.
Here is a link of a series of videos to help in your health and wellness with essential oils. I love Dr. Z. He is very open as well as helpful! 

Love deeper, talk sweeter and make your own elderberry syrup today!
Lee
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Health, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life
UTI’s…I know, I know, such a private thing to talk about…but hey…if you get one..RATS it is painful and inconvenient most of the time! I hate getting UTI’s and it has been a LONG time since I had one. 
Oh Boy UTI
WHY?

Why does it come on? Well the answer can be as good as any guess. I personally take the Plexus probiotic and that alone has helped many issues. I also drink Kombucha every day which has also been a BIG change for helping stay healthy. 

What I believe happened this round for me was a lack of water intake. We have had many hot and humid days and if I don’t drink enough water, bacteria can creep into the system. Also just good habits I  wasn’t good about. I have below a great website which give more info on the why’s.
Lavender Lemondade

WHAT CAN I DO BEFORE CALLING THE DOCTOR

Whatever the issue of WHY you got it, now it’s time to try and get rid of it without antibiotics. Let me warn you 2 things. ONE…it isn’t a quick fix like the icky antibiotics. In fact, mine took almost 2 full weeks before it was clear. I felt results within 3 days but it took that long to totally feel better.  Going the natural way takes time and takes doing the teas and oils many times throughout your day. For many folks, they really can’t deal with that. But for ones who choose to heal their body naturally, will pay off in the years to come. Check this link to see facts from Dr. Axe.

Remember, antibiotics take over 3 years to get out of your body. In turn, will slow down your immune system to heal or battle other things that come up in your life. NO thanks!

Two.. is this disclaimer:
Oh boy UTI

Now are you ready to try some things? I love this site for explanation of herbs used.

First onsite of pain:
1. Drink at least 3 full glasses of water. Pee as often as you can. Even if it hurts. Don’t hold it… really important.
2. Put a teaspoon of baking soda in one of the glasses of water and drink it within 5 minutes. It doesn’t taste great but do it… this helps stop or ease the pain while peeing.
3. Get some non sweetened Cranberry juice and drink throughout the day.
4. Be drinking fresh water all day as much as you can and more!
5. Take the supplement D-Mannose. Take as directed. I use the one with cranberry. 


Second Step:
Make up a jar of tea blend, label it, and make yourself a pot of tea. Drink throughout the day. Hot or cold.
Recipe for blend: Ingredients found by clicking Starwest Botanicals (affiliate link)
 1/2 cup Uva Ursi (making a tincture with this herb would be better in your tea as the taste is not great)
1/2 cup Dandelion Leaf (great for UTI’s)
 1/4 cup Golden Seal
 1/2 cup Marshmallow Root
 1/8 cup Corn silk (yep the stuff you usually throw away…dry and save in mason jar…great herb)
 1/8 cup Cinnamon Chips
6 cloves
Mix and blend well in a glass bowl and put into a mason jar labeled. Make 1-2 tsp per cup. 
UTI
I also drank at least 8 oz of Kombucha. This is one drink if you don’t know much about…this book is awesome! (affiliate link) Really helps keep your immune system boosted and when your fighting something like UTI your body will appreciate it! Trust me! Again…this book will answer so many questions and help you make awesome Kombucha. Cheap too!
UTI Kombucha
Last step:
Take a detox bath. Everyday if you can! UTI’s can be so uncomfortable and taking a detox bath with these ingredients will not only help you relax, but help heal the bacteria. 
Fill tub with hot water as  hot as you can stand and add:
*Dead Sea salt 1 cup
*Tea tree Essential oil 3-6 drops
*Frankincense essential oil 2-4 drops
* Camomile Essential oil 2-3 drops or real flowers to float 
*Rosemary herbs to float in bath (great aroma)
*apple cider vinegar with the mother at least 1 cup
Swirl around and soak for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy and relax!UTI

After the bath I put Frankincense with Calendula oil all over my tummy and lower back. AHHHH! 

Again if you don’t have improved results within 2-3 days, go see your doctor. UTI’s are not fun. But really try not to take an antibiotic. UTI’s are common so don’t worry.

On with life now…slowly back to normal until the next aliment happens!
Live naturally your body will thank you!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life
Do you suffer from anxiety? Or even just get anxious when something important is coming up on your calendar? I have bouts of this…nothing serious but when I need a dose of calming, I will take a soak in a lavender bath with chamomile tea or if it’s during the day I will make a tall pitcher lavender lemonade. 

This is just downright refreshing and incredibly delightful! Plus…it helps you calm right down.

Lavender Lemonade
Try a batch and see if it works for you. If it does, make sure to comment below. I love hearing how the recipes work in the lives of the readers.


Ingredients:

1 cup of raw honey
5 cups of pure water
1/4 cup dried culinary lavender
6  organic lemons, squeezed
Lavender sprigs for garnish
Elderberry syrup for color

Directions:

1. Pour half of the water in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
2.  Add honey and dried lavender and let steep for 20 minutes.
3.  Strain mixture and pour into a large container.
4.  Add the lemon juice and remaining water and stir. Add a little Elderberry syrup to make it purple plus add a powerful immune boost!
 5. Refrigerate 

Lavender Lemondade
For an anxiety soak bath: (highlights are affiliate links which help our ministry)

 Mix 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil  into your bath of hot water. Add your sea salt  (affiliate link) and swirl into your bath. Add apple cider vinegar (affiliate link) for a detox bath. 
UTI
For during the day:
Diffuse 10-12 drops of Lavender essential oil into the air during your work day for a natural stress reliever.

Lavender is my go to essential oil for insect bites and burns as well.



Enjoy every sip, soak, and aroma with this wonderful herb!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

I use to love drinking pop or soda and some may call it, but haven’t had a soda for over 8 years. Why? Well, because I heard and read how awful it was, how much sugar was in them, and simply how they made me feel. So, I kicked out all the soda in our home and kicked in some goodness!
Kick out soda
Almost 3 years ago I started taking the Plexus pink drink which really if you have a fedish for soda this is a great start as it literally helps you not crave the bad stuff. It also is a beginning of cleaning out your gut along with the probiotic or Vitalbiome. Great products and very trustworthy! 

Along with the supplements, I added Kombucha to my daily menu. I love this stuff and with the recipes below if you use the Kombucha (especially using a Jasmine Tea) instead of the club soda or sparking water, you get the extra boost your body needs! Simply wonderful is all I can say! PLUS, you feel better and are getting the good bacteria in your body to help you build a strong immune system. Read this article for more info on probiotics and foods to add in your daily diet by Dr. Axe.

Ok…so here ya go…some ideas on fruit and herbs to boost your bodies immune system and provide a wonderful refreshing beverage. These are awesome to serve at your social gatherings as well! 
Have fun and experiment yourself…
Try a few and let me know what you think!


 Gorgeous Grapefruit Soda (serves 6)Kick out soda

5 cups of sparkling soda

3 cups of grapefruit juice

1 lemon squeezed

Serve in a glass picture with a circle lemon wedge and lots of ice!

 Sparkling Strawberry Lime Soda serves 6

1/12 cup two quartered fresh strawberries

1 cup fresh lime juice, about 10kick out soda

1/3 cup fresh basil

5 cups cold sparkling water

½ cup sugar (add more if you like sweeter)
(I also added a sprig of mint as I have a TON of it growing around the ranch!)

Directions:

Blend strawberries, lime juice and basil in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour the strawberry, basil and lime mixture into a large pitcher. Add sugar and stir. When ready to serve, carefully add the sparkling water to your serving pitcher. Check flavor and make adjustments. For fun, keep some of the strawberry tops, cut up limes, mint, basil, and make ice cubes to add a wonderful look to your pitcher!

Kick out soda kick in goodness

White Peach and Lavender Soda (serves 4-6)

1 cup water 

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ tablespoon fresh lavender flowers 1 tablespoon if dried

1 pound of very ripe peaches

1  lemon, juiced

Brewed Jasmine Tea Kombucha

(Omit the lavender if you don’t like the taste. It can be strong for some folks)

Directions:

Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan.  Remove from heat and add the sugar and flowers. Stir to dissove sugar let stand for 20 minutes to infuse the sugar water with flowers. Wash and roughy chop the peaches. No need to peel. Strain the flowers and pour the infused sugar water over the fruit. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes

Work in batches, puree the peaches with the sugar water in a blender. Strain the pulp into a bowl squeezing as much out as possible. You should end up with about 1 -2 cups of juice. 

You can keep this syrup but refrigerate.

Now add your syrup to a glass of your Jasmine Kombucha or sparking water. Serve with lemon wedge.

 

Orange and Mint Spritzer

1 cup of fresh orange juice

1/3 cup of sugar

½ cup of fresh chopped mint

Directions: Bring above ingredients in a sauce pan to boil. Remove from heat and cool, strain, and place in mason jar. Top with minieral water or club soda and serve with a fresh full mint leaf and orange wedge.

 

Pomegranate Spritzer

1 cup of fresh pomegranate juice, 2-3 pomegranates

juice from 1 lime or lemon

1/3 cup sugar

fresh ginger

lime or lemon wedge

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a sucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer on low for 5-8 minutes. Smash the ginger roots to side of sauce pan to allow more flavor. Take off heat and cool and strain the liquid into a small mason jar and top with sparkling water or club soda. Serve with fresh lime or lemon wedge.


Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

½ cup water

½ cup of organic sugar

6 oz fresh or frozen raspberries

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon jice about 7-8

3 ½ cups of cold sparkling water or club soda

Directins: Making the syrup, place in saucepan, add water and sugar. Heat and stir until a boil. Once sugar completely dissolves, remove from heat and cool.

Add raspberries into a blender and puree. Place into a strainer and push through with wooden spoon. In your serving pitcher, add the raspberry puree and lemon juice. Pour your syrup on top and just before serving add your sparkling soda and give a good stir.
You can keep the syrup refridgetaed for up to 2 weeks.

 

Mint Mojo with Celery

2 tbsp. organic sugar

leaves from mint, about 6 sprigs plus more for garnish

¼ cup lemon juice, (from 2 lemons)

1 lb of celery food processed well

2-3 cups of sparkling water or club soda

Directions:

Muddle your sugar, mint and lemon juice. Chop your celery and place in food processor with a bit of your muddle juice to keep from browning, or oxidizing. In a glass bowl, strain celery through a sieve pushing down with a wooden spoon. Pour into a pitcher adding your muddled mixture and sparkling water. Stir well before serving topping with a mint leaf.


Blood Orange Fizzkick ot soda

2 tbsp honey

3 tbsl water

4 sprigs of rosemary, divided

3 large blood oranges (about a 1 cup)

sparkling water or club soda

Directions:

Heat honey and water and rosemary over low heat until fully blended about a minute. Let cool and take out rosemary

Juice your oranges into a pitcher add your honey mixture and sparkling water. Serve with sprig of rosemary.

Sweet Cherry Fizz

½ cup water

½ cup organic sugar

6 oz fresh cherries, pitted and sliced in half

1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice or lime

Sparkling water or club soda

Directions:

In a saucepan mix your first 2 ingredents and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. Blend your cherries into a puree. Strain and push with wooden spoon into your pitcher. Add lemon juice, syrup mixture and sparkling water to fill pitcher. Stir


 How to Make Your Own Kombucha (if you want an awesome book that has so many recipes as well as a TON of info on and about Kombucha click here)


If you have a favorite tea use that, but I love the Jasmine tea. SOOO wonderful! You can purchase the already to go tea bags or the pearls. I have used both. Using the pearls you will need to get the organic tea bags to put them in. I LOVE these bags for gift giving and to put my soap nuts for laundry. 

Fill a large dutch oven with water about 8 cups.

You will need:
5 tea bags (white tea or your favorite like Jasmine)
1 cup of organic sugar
1 cup of starter (tea from another batch)
1 scoby (from another batch or get starter from your local natural food store)

For a how to I would suggest going to this link to watch her. She also has starters and other goodies.
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Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally
Oh my! Who doesn’t love the wonderful smell of lilacs? For anyone who has them in their yard, I envy you. We have to go searching for ours and when I find them, I harvest a TON! Making delightful drinks like lemonade, tea, and sparkling waters is just a few that I love to serve.

First you will need to gather your lovely lilacs. Harvesting is delightful all in itself as the smell will overcome your home! By gently pulling the flower head off the little stem only leaving you the flower, place into a strainer and rinse well in fresh clean water. Once this part is done, you can make your syrup which is your base.


Lovely Lilac Syrup:

1 cup of water
1 cup sugar
1 cup of lilacs
Some fresh or frozen blueberries. 5-8 will make a light color, more will make a deeper color.

Boil your sugar and water. Once boiled, bring to a simmer and add your lilacs and blueberries. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Take your liquid and pour into a strainer over a steel bowl. Squish your blueberries into the lilacs getting as much of the flower and blueberries as you can. Let cool and place your syrup in a mason jar and in the refrigerator. This liquid will thicken as it cools. Awesome for your pancakes in the morning!
Lovely Lilac Drinks
Lovely Lilac Lemonade:

In a gallon mason jar
2 Fresh Lemons, juiced
4 cups of water
1/2 cup lilac syrup (taste and see if you want to add more)
Stir and add ice. We add a lemon rind for looks too if you like.

Lemon Ginger Lilac Tea:
If you want to make it a cold tea, let steep and cool than add your ice.

1/2 tsp  Organic Lemon Peel 
1/2 tsp  Organic Ginger root
2-4 tbsp Lilac syrup
2 cups of boiling water

Using your tea strainer, place your lemon peel and ginger root into your strainer. Steep in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Add your syrup while it is steeping. 
As an ice tea let cool and add your ice. YUMMMY!

For a nice fresh water drink add lilacs to a jug of water and let sit in the sun for about an hour.
Add some ice…and WOW…so refreshing!

Lovely Lilac Spritzer:

Lovely Lilac DrinksAdd 2-3 tbsp syrup to full glass of club soda or sparking water. Add
ice and some lovely lilac flowers for another refreshing summertime drink!

I hope you enjoy all summer can bring while you sip some wonderful lovely lilac beverages!

God bless!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Healthy Eating
Some days you just need a little pick me up. A little smile. Something to give you a boost!

The winter has indeed been VERY long. It is April 16 here in Minnesota and we just got another 6 inches of snow on top of 10″ last week.

I’ve had it! So I decided to make up some smiles of goodness.

These little treats are fast and easy to make plus they are made with wonderful ingredients that won’t leave you feeling guilty.

Silicone molds  come in a pack of fun shapes will bring on even more smiles plus they’re inexpensive!

Adding the smile treat to the tops of desserts, ice cream, or a little touch of delight to a tea dish for sure will add that smile!

I know the snow will melt…ONE DAY…but until then…onto making some goodies!
Chocolate smile

Ingredients:

1 cup Coconut oil
1/2 cup of Organic Honey
1/4 cup Organic Cocoa Powder

Directions:
1. Place oil and honey in a sauce pan on simmer.
2. Add cacao stirring constantly.  
3. Add your favorite essential oil 1-2 drops. I like orange or lavender. I split the mixture so I had 2 favors.
4. Pour into molds and freeze for 45 minutes.

Chocolate smiles
Pictures edited with Pic Monkey. Great program, easy to use!

Chocolate Smile

These little treats are fun to make for any occasion. I put mine in a mason jar and keep in the refrigerator and pull them out whenever I need a pick me up or to share with guests. 

We will be having 20 guests coming to the ranch for a visit in the snowy conditions tomorrow so these treats will be fun to share. Hopefully they will put a smile on their faces! I am making hot cocoa too. I can’t believe it…APRIL and I feel like it’s December. Oh well…

Enjoy and have a happy smiley day!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

I found a new delightful tea! Blackberry leaf which is a close relative to the Rasperry leaf another favorite of mine.

Blackberry leaves are high in vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A,C, E, K and B 1,2,3 and 6, also calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc. It may help relieve diarrhea, inflammation and so many other properties. Recently I had a tummy issue and drinking this throughout the day helped the bubbles in my stomache and other issues if you know what I mean. Some tea and essential oils aided in a good night sleep and woke up new again! 

NOW I have some sad news. Bulk Herb Store who we love to share with you is going out of business. So as you read these new recipes, go visit and help this Christian family move into another chapter of their life.
We love Bulk Herb Store and hope you find some wonderful teas and herbs to make up your own.


Each recipe below makes 1/2 pint cute little mason jar!

Blackberry Tea Recipes

For cold and flu

2 tbsp. blackberry leaves

2 tbsp. elder flowers

2 tbsp. ounce linden flowers

1 tbsp. peppermint leaves ( I like Spearmint too)

Prepare hot water and pour over tea blend steep for 10 minutes serve with honey or favorite sweetener.

 

This tea helps combat intestinal gas and mild diarrhea. This tea warms tummy and soothes intestinal inflammation.

Upset Tummy (all herbs I found on Bulk Herb just click link on the sidebar to log in)

2 tbsp. Blackberry leaves

2 tbsp. Raspberry leaves

2 tbsp. Chamomile flowers

1 tbsp.  Spearmint leaves or peppermint

Tea for Rheumatism

2.5 tbsp. Blackberry leaves

2 tbsp. White willow bark

1 cup Nettles leaves

2 tbsp. Horsetail leaves

Drink 2 cups a day for 1-2 weeks. Reduce your intake as symptoms decrease.

 

Use for sore Throat Pain

For an oncoming of Strep, you can oil pull with coconut oil and Immunity Blend essential oil first thing in the morning. Follow up with gargling with salt water. Do at least 2 times a day.

Make up a cup of blackberry tea at first sign of sore throat. Let it cool a bit and gargle with it. Drink 2-3 cups of tea daily and gargle as often as you can.

This herb is a bit sweet so it is lovely on food!

Sprinkle the herb on your salads, put into cakes, or sweet rolls or breads. Wonderful!

I hope you find this tea a wonderful spring thirst quencher!

God bless and HAPPY SPRING!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee


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Food, Ranch Life

Do you love homemade bread? Would you like a pretty easy way to make the most amazing bread using your Dutch oven? I am telling you…it is easy and it is absolutely wonderful!

YES there is kneading involved 

Ok, I get it! Making homemade bread involves a little work, but it is SO satisfying! If you have a kitchen aid than you will only have to knead by hand once…no big deal!

Tried and True

Both my hubby and I have tried this recipe three times now and what we put below is the best route. Cutting the top before you bake it was our first disagreement, but decided it really gives the bread a nice look, plus it does help the bread not to flatten. 


Ingredients:

3-4 cups of flour (check directions)

1 tsp active dry yeast

1 ½ cups warm water

1 tsp salt

sea salt

Olive Oil spray and more for brushing top

 

Instructions:

First make sure you read this through. It is important to take each step so you know what to look for if your not familiar with making bread. . My hubby is so good at this so I learned from him.

Combine the 1 cup of flour, water, yeast and salt in the bowl of the stand up mixer with your dough hook attached. Mix at medium speed. Add one cup at a time. Stopping at 3-3 ½ cups. This is important! Depending on where you are and the temp in your home, dough can get funny. You want the dough to feel elastic like and be pulling all the dough from the bowl as the hook mixes. It should take 5-10 minutes. Only add more flour if that isn’t happening. I also had to use a spatula to scrap sides to get it going. Once it is elastic like by stretching a piece of it, your ready for the next step.

Next leave dough in bowl and cover with towel for 2-4 hours until double in size and does not spring back when you push your finger in it. These little tips my hubby gave me so use them…they work!

Turn dough onto a work surface with a tiny bit of flour and knead to release and redistribute the yeast. This should be 5-8 minutes. Shape it roughly into a ball, cover it with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Shaper the dough into a tight ball-the tighter the better-by rolling it on the works surface between your palms.

Spray or coat the bottom and sides of a large Dutch oven or cast iron pot at least 5 ½ quarts or larger with spray olive oil.

 

Put dough in middle of sprayed pot and place lid on. Allow the dough to rise again, 30- 60 minutes. Here in MN in winter it was rising for 4 hours, just so you know each dough will do different things in different places.

 

Preheat oven 450 degrees F

 

Rub 1 tbsp of olive oil or more if you like gently over the surface dough. Score the bread with a sharp knife making an X this allows the dough to expand freely.
Sprinkle the dough with salt. Place in Dutch oven, cover and place in your oven.

 

After 30 minutes remove the lid, reduce the oven temp to 375 and continue baking until the bread is nicely browned and cooked through. It should have an internal temp of 200 degrees or so when done.

 

Allow the bread to rest on rack for at least 30 minutes so the interior finishes cooking.

DON”T leave it in the Dutch oven to cool. It will still be cooking!

Enjoy with LOTS of butter! YUM!!!!

It might seem like a weird shape…but it is wonderful! Taste is what it’s all about right?

God bless you
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Food
Oh how I love lemon and the color yellow! Because I need some spring boosting this recipe just gets me in a happy place! Recently I have been learning a ton about turmeric and ginger and how it can benefit our overall health. So WHAM…I decided to add these great ingredients to this recipe.

You will LOVE the combination of flavors in every bite. While the lemon dances in your mouth, you will enjoy the healthiness of the turmeric and of course the ginger just gives the right touch!

Using Essential Oils in Cooking

The best part…I used Lemon essential oils to give it the kick it needs! In addition, it’s all good for you!
It has to be somewhere because the sugar is pretty hefty! But, you will enjoy it.

Tea Ties it all together

After you make this, try my Lemon Drop tea recipe below and have tea time with a warm slice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ Cups of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cornstarch
  • 2 Teaspoons of Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup of Salted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 2 Cups of  Organic Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract or** Balsam of Peru essential oil
  • 5 Eggs
  • ½ Cup of Sour Cream
  • ½ Cup of Lemon Juice or 2 drop of Organic Lemon Essential Oil
  • 1 tsp Ground Organic Ginger

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Thoroughly grease a Bundt pan with shortening. Flour the pan, tapping out the excess. If there are any bare spots, grease and flour them.

 

Whisk flour, cornstarch, turmeric, baking powder, ginger, and salt together. Set aside.

 

Cream butter with sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream.

 


In three additions, mix in flour on low speed, adding lemon oil drops or lemon juice. Begin and end with the flour. Mix until combined. 

Pour into prepared pan and bake 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

Set on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place wire rack over exposed part of cake and flip cake over. Let rest for a minute, letting gravity do its work. Lift pan off cake. Let cool completely.

Make your Glaze:

1 cup of Powdered Sugar
1 tbsp of Coconut Milk
1 tbsp of Melted Butter
1 drop of Organic Lemon Essential Oil

Mix well and pour over warm cake.




Lemon Drop Tea:
(affiliate links From Bulk Herb Store help our ranch ministry…thank you!)

1 Cup of Lemon Peel
1 Cup Orange Peel
1/2 Cup Lemongrass
1/2 Cup Rose Hibs
1/4 Cup Ginger Root
Mix well in a glass bowl and pour into a mason jar to store.

TIME TO BREW?
Use 1-2 tbsp of your blend into a steel strainer, pour boiling water over herbs and steep for 10-15 minutes. We add some honey and sometimes the Elderberry syrup for sweetness.

** Interesting Fact from RMO

Oils In The News

You may have recently noticed the reformulation of some of our blends that contain the essential oil Vanilla. Madagascar is the main supplier of Vanilla at this time and upwards of 30% of the crops were damaged after a cyclone hit the area. This has created a global shortage. Vanilla is also a labor-intensive crop to work with and it can take upwards of 5 years for the vanilla beans to be ready. In an effort to keep providing blends in a time when it may not be possible to obtain Vanilla, we have switched to Balsam of Peru. Not only did Balsam of Peru’s sweet aroma substitute nicely for Vanilla, but we all discovered that we enjoyed the newly formulated blends even better.

Enjoy your tea time with this wonderful taste filling cake!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Food, Grillin' One

Ok I know homemade hamburger buns…EASY? No way! Well, your wrong. This recipe is wonderful and it truly is easy peasy. Trust me!

By the way, it won’t take long to prepare and while your doing other things the rise is simple. 

Tips for making homemade bread:

The biggest tip my hubby the bread maker tells me…
1) Watch that the milk is not too hot or too cold  for anything mixed with a yeast or you will spoil the yeast
2) While you knead the dough, make sure you time it and pull the bread to see the elasticity. I should of taken a picture of this for you but was so into it I forgot.

Anyway, I think you will be proud of yourself for making these and with the big game coming up it will be a special treat! You can make them smaller for sliders. Great for bigger crowds too!

Here ya go!

Ingredients:

1 cup warm almond milk (100 degrees F)

1 tbsp active dry yeast

¼ cup organic sugar

2 tbsp melted butter

1 egg  (room temp)

1 tsp fine sea salt

3-3 1/2 cup all purpose flour

For top of buns:

1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water (wash on top of bread dough to give it a shiny look)

Sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Combine milk and yeast in small bowl. Make sure milk is not more than 100 degrees. Stir well. Pour into larger bowl.
  2. Mix in sugar, butter and egg, then add the salt and flour.
  3. Pull dough onto slightly floured counter and knead for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and have elasticity.
  4. Set aside in a warm place and cover with a towel for an hour or doubled in size.
  5. Punch down dough and divide into 8 equal balls onto a pan that you have greased and dusted with corn meal.
  6. Flatten into 3” circles. I used the lid of a mason jar to make my circles. 
  7. Let rise for 30 minutes than beat your egg and water and brush on each bun top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Place in 375 degree oven and bake for 14-16 minutes or until nice golden brown.

Due to the fact these are homemade, you need to put them an airtight container and eat within 3 days. Or freeze. 

 


I tell ya…best buns ever and guess what….YOU MADE  THEM HOMEMADE nothing better!!!!

Let me know what you think if you tried it! Love to hear how yours turned out.
God’s blessings,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats
We are rockin’  around with excitement here at the Minnesota homestead! Our Vikings have made the playoffs and the game day festivities begin! YEP, I got into the kitchen and made these fun cookie shots especially for our special celebration for our boys in purple and gold! 

These cookie shots can be made with any favorite cookie dough recipe and filled with chocolate malts, to smoothies. We filled ours with ice cream as they were a perfect evening game treat.


I think you will find these pretty easy. I love how you can melt almond bark or candy chocolates and dip them into different colors to get a fun colorful effect on the outside as well as on the inside to hold any liquid. Since I filled mine with ice cream, there was no need to use the chocolate. (did I say that out loud)

You will need to purchase one of cookie shot pans 

For the Cookie:

Ingredients:

1 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla

1 drop Organic lemon essential oil

2 tbsp cocunut milk

3 cups flour

1 ½ tsp of baking powder

½ tsp salt

Blend your first six ingredients. Then slowly add your flour one cup at a time along with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and put in refrigerator while you prepare your shot pan. If you want different colors of dough, you can separate them at this time too. 



I use Turmeric for yellows, Beet Root Powder or juice for pinks and reds. Purples I had to break down and use the color here

To decorate your rim:

Frosting or melted chocolate, and dipped into colored sugar or sprinkles of your choice






Chocolate should be almond bark or candy chocolate



The frosting mixture I used:
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of coconut milk
1 drop   Citrus Passion
Mix and add the color you want. If too runny, add a little more powdered sugar until you get the thickness you want.


So raise your little cute cookie shots filled with ice cream, smoothies, or whipping cream, even milk and SKOL to the Vikings!

God bless you and enjoy the winter months with fun recipes for you and your family!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

Our favorite homemade ranch style pancakes with a touch of lemon flavor is just enough to start your day with a boost!

One thing, if you use the lemon essential oil which I HIGHLY recommend, use only 1-2 drops. You can also add some real lemon zest too, but this is a wonderful way to add essential oils to your culinary cooking! Also, make sure you PUT THE ESSENTIAL OIL WITH YOUR MELTED BUTTER. This allows the oil to mix well as oil with oil gives the best over all flavor and won’t ruin the good properties of the  essential oil.


2 whole lemons or 2 drops of Lemon Essential oils

2 1/4 cup of Almond milk

1 cup of Almond milk creamer

2 tbsp Vanilla

3 cups flour

¼ cup sugar

2 tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

2 whole eggs, beaten

¼ cup butter, melted

 

Directions:

Zest both lemons. Set aside. If your using the essential oil, mix your 2 drops with the melted butter. Measure the milk and add the juice of one lemon or your essential oil and butter. Stir and let sit for 5 or so minutes and then stir in the vanilla.

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. . Pour in the lemons mixture, stirring gently. When its half mixed, stir in the eggs.  If your batter is too think add a little more milk.

Heat your iron skillet over medium heat. Next add butter to grease your skillet, drop in ¼ cup of batter and pour onto skillet. Cook first side until you see bubbles and flip and cook until golden brown.


Lastly is the Elderberry syrup which I have here on my blog.  Pour over your pancakes and enjoy goodness.

Now let me know what you think! I want to hear especially if this is your first time using essential oils in your culinary cooking! So proud of you!

Enjoy!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

0

Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

Well, yep around here folks are getting excited not only because of the Vikings doing so well, but the super bowl is right here in our home state of Minnesota! So game day appetizers for the big gatherings will be on the fans mind. These no guilt Tater Tots are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Dan and I don’t watch football much just because we enjoy being outside on Sunday afternoons working around the ranch or going for a trail ride. But when the big game comes, we usually will gather some friends and settle in to watch the game. Since it’s here in Minnesota it should also bring some excitement as well.  

These cute little delights will make you feel good when serving them not only because they are delightful in taste, but that they are chuck full of good for you ingredients. I think you will love them too! 

Enjoy and Happy Game Day!



Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

2 clove of garlic, minced

1 drop sage essential oil

¼ tsp ground smoked paprika

¼ of Himalayan salt

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoon of water

2 tbsp of coconut flour

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and place your diced sweet potatoes in boiling water. Cook until a folk can piece through but not squishy.
  3. Place the cooked sweet potato’s and rest of ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.
  4. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and form your tator tot. and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes both sides making sure they are crispy. Love them up with a sauce! (Below)

 

Dan’s kickin’ Sriracha Dip:

¼ cup of sour cream

¼ cup of light mayo

1-2 tsp of Sriracha sauce

Mix….YUMMMY!

 

Sweet Tooth Dip (Lee’s idea)

 

¼ cup of sour cream

¼ cup of mayo

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

1 tsp paprika

Mix and become delighted!

 

Honey Mustard

2 tbsp of Dijon mustard

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp melted coconut oil

1 tsp coconut milk

1 tsp coconut flour

Dash of sea salt to taste

Mix


Comment below if you tried these and how your loved ones liked them!

God’s blessings, enjoy the game!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Food, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Treats
OOO La La! I love Elderberry and it is SOOOO awesome for you! Elderberry is our GO TO herb when we are coming down with something and especially if we already are in need of a boost. You can easily make this up and keep in your refrigerator for up to 3 months. We take 2 Tbsp of it a day when a bug is going around. Sniffles, sneezes, coughs, you name it, we start taking our Elderberry Syrup. (recipe below) Once you have the base you can make up some fun drinks with it. Of course we put a tablespoon in our tea especially our Christmas blend, but I also have some other favorites below. I think you will find them enjoyable for the whole family! We call them MOCKTAILS because we don’t put any liquor in our drinks. You can, but that is the reason for the name…MOCK…pretend cocktail. My dad use to call them fox tails, along with the Shirley Temple…ahhhh fun memories. Anyway, here ya go…hope you like it. If you have a favorite way to use elderberries, post it! I love getting as much use out of this wonderful herb! I like using some fun glasses when I serve these up. It just makes it look pretty and fun! Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Elderberry syrup base (recipe below) Fill remaining glass with Blood Orange Sparkling Juice Top with an orange slice if you like This next one is fun! I made up some of our favorite tea during the day, Christmas Tea Blend…which has Hibiscus and Raspberry herbs in it. Plus a whole lot of fun spices like clove, and cinnamon. So what a perfect drink. In a  mason jar glass: put 1/2 cup of your tea cooled 3 Tbsp of Elderberry syrup Fill glass with crushed ice Put a lid on your jar and shake. Take the flat part of the lid and pour into your fun glass about 1/2 full. Fill glass with Club soda to give it the fizz. I added frozen raspberries on the top and serve. Last one is just adding cream to your Mocktail! Use any recipe and just add a little heavy cream on the top. So pretty and fun for all ages and GOOD FOR YOU! For the most part!*Elderberry Syrup 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried Elderberries 3 cups water 1 cup raw honey 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, and tablespoon of ginger root (If the Bulk Herb is out of product, try Starwest.  They offer free shipping) Place berries, spices, and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour mixture into strainer over an easy pour bowl. Smash berries to release remaining juice and get all that goodness into your bowl. Allow to cool and add your honey. Stir. Pour into a mason jar or pretty bottle that seals well. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months. *When you purchase items with the highlighted links or by clicking banners, all proceeds go to our ministry helping kids who are in need of healing and hope. Thank you! Enjoy these wonderful drinks and celebrate with goodness and wellness! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
0

Food, Ranch Life, Treats

We do love root beer around here! Especially with a little ice cream and the homemade touch. We also love to have it on our pizza nights! It all just is down home goodness! 

 

I have always been fascinated with the ol’ time flavor and the name sarsaparilla. There really is a difference in taste! It is stronger and really more delightful with the tastes of herbs like real vanilla and licorice root. Just amazing flavors pop out! I think you will like this!

This recipe makes a quart of syrup that you can use to make your root beer and as syrup over your favorite ice cream too.

 

For any occasion you will impress your family and friends with this special drink!

 

So here ya go:

 

4 cups of water

¼ sassafras bark

2 tbsp organic anise seed

2 organic vanilla beans or 4 tbsp of pure vanilla extract

½ tsp organic licorice root

10 organic juniper berries

3 large organic hops flowers (optional but love the flavor)

 

 

How to Make:

 

Place 4 cups of water in pot and bring to boil. Add sassafras bark and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain the herbs using a large mesh strainer. Measure the resulting liquid and add ½ part of honey. To 1 part liquid. So if you have 2 cups of liquid add 1 cup of honey.

 

To make into a soda:

 

You can add your homemade root beer syrup to a sparkling soda machine or add Club soda to your syrup. Depending on taste you add however much syrup to your soda mixture.

Of course, serve in a mason jar to get that ol’ fashioned look! These are nice too for your everyday tea blend making or recipes. 

ENJOY it we sure did!!!

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Food, Jarrin
I enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa and recently I came upon some fun recipes. Six that I use all the time, plus I can package up and easily give as gifts. It is aways nice to give a gift of variety. Just makes it kinda special. Each one of these you can add more or less of any ingredient depending on your taste buds. Adding a bit of the herb on top of your whipping cream gives your mug a touch of love! I hope you find them fun to make! SOOO yummy! If Bulk Herb is out of the product…Starwest is amazing and offers FREE shipping. Just click the company on the blog. Every time you order from this blog link you are helping our ministry. Thank you! The Base: 3…2…1 3 Cups confection sugar (powdered…I have to say that because I get these mixed up sometimes…HA!) 2 Cups Powdered Milk 1 Cup Cacao Powder Organic Sift sugar and cacao powder than add powdered milk Place in sealed mason jar and Label Now that you have the base you can play with these fun recipes! Mexican Hot Chocolate This has been a popular one. You can get the KICK without the cayenne, but cayenne is good for you so why not! 1 cup of base hot cocoa 1 tsp of fresh cinnamon powder 1/2 grated Organic Nutmeg pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) 1/8 tsp sea salt Lovely Lavender 1 cup of base 2 Tablespoons Lavender flowers Crushed in Mortar Pestle 1/8 tsp sea salt Red Rose 1 Cup of base 2 tbsp Rose Pedals, crushed with your Mortar Pestle 1/8 tsp salt (optional) Pumpkin Spice (of Course) 1 cup of base 1 tsp Organic cinnamon powder ½ tsp Organic clove Powder Grated nutmeg…1 tsp Mix Sweet and Salty 1 cup base ½ cup crushed pretzels Mix With each of these I placed in a small jar and topped with some of the spice. Just for fun! Each cup of hot chocolate I put 2 heaping teaspoons into my mug. You can surely add more of anything to your liking! The best part is to add whipping cream really a MUST!!!! Enjoy! Let me know what you think or what variety you came up with! Love to hear what you created! God’s blessings and keeping cozy warm, Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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