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 any time 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 tartar) 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 mixture 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 cooling for 5 minutes before placing on cooling rack. Yeah right…I dug right in and ate 3 slices….too yummy to wait!!! Serve on a sweet plate if you’re entertaining. Just makes it look awesome! Banana Pumpkin Bread Hope you enjoy it too! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life
Making your own tea and blending herbs can be confusing as well as intimidating. Personally, it took me a few months to feel confident but over time…it all really doesn’t matter -just so it tastes good to you. Yep, that’s right…just don’t worry about it! Tea blending is all in what you love, taste, and feel. That’s it! DIY tea Blending Begin by having some kind of journal so you can write down the tea blends you tried.  You can make a note or use faces…I love using those emoji faces! Kinds of Teas, Herbs, Spices, and Essential Oils (just a few of the most popular and flavorful) Base Tea: Black, White, Roboos,  Green,  Oolong, Fruit,  Macha Add a dash: Ginger, Orange Peel,  Lemon Peel,  Mints, Cinnamon, Clove, Cayenne Pepper Aroma delight: One drop of essential oil like orange, peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, lemon Flower Herbs: Elder Flower, Hibiscus, Rose Petal, Rose Hips, Lavender Medicinal Herbs: (Top herbs to have on hand especially cold and flu season)  Ginger, Elderberry, garlic, Marshmallow, Elder Flower, Echinacea,  Goldenseal, Yarrow, Dandelion leaf or Root DIY Tea Blending Here are a few tips that I hope you will find helpful in your journey of tea blending. Once you find the group of herbs you like, make a label naming your new tea and put the ingredients of herbs on the label. Naming the most used herb first. Tip 1: Fighting an illness:Taste-of-Herbs-Flavor-Wheel-Packet
  1. Look at the link above even print it out to help you.
  2. Find how your feeling or what you’re trying to fight.
  3. Pick 3 herbs based on the chart. Blend only a cup of the herbs. Use 1 tsp for the herb that is needed to be the strongest. The other 2 use 1/2 tsp, and if one is a mint use only a sprinkle.
Once you have a blend you like, make up a bigger mason jar of the blend, adding your ingredients and name it, like cold/flu, cough, tummy, headache… Tip 2. Base tea leaves: Using one of these is making a caffeinated tea. Yet, it may be a wonderful blend to play with. When you go to order the tea leaves, Starwest is wonderful at giving you the info behind each one as well as the flavor.  A tip in itself! Especially with these based teas. Once you have had a cup of the base tea add an herb you like- for example green tea with rose petals, rose hips, ginger, and orange. Again only make a small batch, giving you one to three cups so if you don’t like it you won’t waste your herbs. (If I make a cup I that is too pungent I will put it in my dinner some how…like when I am simmering meat I add the tea to water…I feel better when I don’t waste!) Tip 3.
  1. Blend 2 herbs. Pick a flower or medicinal herb. Pick one dash and an aroma delight.
  2. Only make one cup of tea using a 2 tsp of your choice herb and ½ tsp of your dash, brew and you’re ready to drink your cup add your drop of essential oil.
If you like this blend, write it down in your tea blend booklet. DIY Blending Tea Tip 4: (click on the Starwest link to get the herbs and spices you need even tea bags) Top herbs to have on hand all the time would be ones I love yes but also to help fight an oncoming cold or flu.
  1. Elderberry both berry and the flower (I make a syrup to keep in the fridge all year round!)
  2. Golden Seal, Yarrow, and Echinacea, (not the best tasting but sure powerful in helping aid in fevers, coughs, and upper respiratory)
  3. Ginger and orange peel, and rose hips (gotta have flavor…these are not only medicinal but packed with flavor)
  4. The above spices can be substituted for essential oils only one drop per cup. peppermint, ginger, clove bud, lemon, or orange
Lastly, when brewing your tea make sure to brew for at least 10-15 minutes. I know it may seem like a long wait, but it is important to let the herb steam through. Also, cover your mixed herb while it is brewing. Most tea strainers (Starwest has a wonderful one) do not have a cover so I use a lid of a mason jar. Enjoy blending and experimenting with your teas and spices. The joy of blending is feeling free enough to stretch your imagination and enjoy the smell and taste of your OWN blend. If you want to give your new tea as a gift…I love putting them in a mason jar and I made cute quilted bag but you can gift wrap yours with a tea strainer attached. Another opportunity to be creative! DIY Tea BlendingDIY Tea Blending Happy blending, Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Crafts, Living Naturally, Paper/Cards, Sewing
Making herbal tea is a daily thing for our family. We enjoy making herb teas using my love of blending many different herbs. But the best part is making it all special especially when I give it as a gift. One thing I love to do is make individual tea bags full of my special blends, but it is hard to find a tea bag that will work so I decided to create my own. I decided to use coffee filters or Bulk Herb Store has some too. Sewing makes it fun as you can add a colored thread to make it match a gift or a theme. Thinking about all this Viking stuff around here, purple thread tea bags would be fun! Stamping is another added love so getting out stamps to go with the persons’ personality or if it’s a special occasion like a birthday.  I, of course, used our touch of simple ranch life which became my platform to make the tea bags. I hope you will find it just as fun and your special touches will be a delight for the receiver. Let me know what you think by making a comment below. I enjoy seeing the ideas as well as ways to improve my own ideas. SO…here ya go! Now for the fun part! Stamping time! Grab some fun background paper and favorite stamps, stamp and cut out. The final step, tape to your dangling string. Done! I am sure it looks adorable. You can go into Amazon and search favorite stamps if you are not into western. Here are some I did. Think how wonderful it would be to get a get well card with a fun box full of tea bags with herbs that will help whatever their illness. Very special and a homemade touch! OH, I love it…enjoy making some and giving them as gifts! Again, let me know by making a comment. God’s blessings, Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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