Homemade Thieves Cough Drops…good idea or not?

To DIY or not to DIY: that is the question we each need to make when reading some of the do-it-yourself items. There are just some things that I would rather buy than make.

With the cooler weather coming, so comes the inevitable colds and other sicknesses. With that in mind I decided that this year I would try making some homemade remedies in preparation for the cold season. One of the items on my list was cough drops. So I set out to try to replicate those ever-famous Thieves Cough Drops made by Young Living.

Homemade Thieves Cough Drops

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
  • 10 drops Thieves essential oil
  • 5 drops Lemon essential oil
  • Powdered Sugar

Add coconut oil to pan.

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Add honey.

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Bring honey and coconut oil to 300° using a candy thermometer. It will take about 20 minutes on medium heat.

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Stir frequently and turn burner to low to prevent it from boiling over. 

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Turn off heat and allow contents to cool.

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Once it starts thickening, you can add your essential oils.

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You can add more or less, to taste.

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All is well up until this next part. Since I do not own any silicone mold ice cube trays, I found someone online saying they used a powdered sugar method for making cough drops. So I tried it out. All you have to do is put some powdered sugar on a cookie sheet, make a little divot for the liquid to go into, and you’re good to go. Well, as simple as that sounds, it did not work out that simply for me.  If this person really does this, I am not sure what their trick is, but they really should share it.

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Here is what happened to me…

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Not the round shape I wanted, but I can roll with it…

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Umm yeah, that is not going to work…the mix is harding too fast.

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Being the flexible person that I am…I moved on to plan B: roll them by hand.

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This worked fine; just took more time then I had planned for.

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In the end it was fine. I got the cough droops I set out for. Just not the way I planned it and way more time than I wanted to spend on it. Over an hour…

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They tasted great and for a few days were good. I did notice they were sticking together a little, but the powdered sugar was touted as being able to keep them from sticking together. Trusting that this was the truth, I left them in the kitchen cupboard. Next time I checked, this is what I found…

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Yep, it was a hard blob. Gerrr. At this point I would like to say I am planning to just buy this item unless I personally see someone make their own successfully.

Being the frugal person that I am, I could not throw out this flop. Now I just heat it up with my mug warmer before I use it. The sad part is I did not what to heat it up after the essential oils were added.

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This post just goes to show you that not everything I try works out perfectly. 🙂

Dutch Babies/Puffy Pancakes (Grain Free)

One of my favorite breakfast foods is what I like to call “Puffy Pancakes.” They are light, fluffy, and oh so good! When I started to go more gluten- and grain-free I had to give them up. Fortunately for me my sister-in-law came up with a way to make them grain-free! Thank you Angie!

 Dutch Babies/Puffy Pancakes (Grain Free)

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Ingredients

Servings: 8
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 8 Eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/3 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Melt butter in 9×13 pan in oven for a few minutes.
  3. Blend Eggs 15 seconds on high.
  4. Add everything else & blend 30 seconds.
  5. Pour over melted butter.
  6. Bake at 425° 20-24 minutes.

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Enjoy!

Fun with Sunflowers

This fall my sister-in-law grew some sunflowers. Her family had fun making sunflower seeds with some of the dried sunflower heads. Growing up, my dad did this a few times so I thought I would give it a try. My sister-in-law gave me a sunflower head along with some instrctions to try it out.

Salted Sunflower Seeds

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Here is what you will need:

  • A dried sunflower head
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Container to store the seeds

Rub the seeds off of the sunflower. I ended up with about 4 1/2 cups of seeds. Put them in enough water to cover the seeds, and add 1/4 cup of sea salt. I like a light salt taste. If you like, you could add 1/2 cup of sea salt. Stir it around and let it sit for about 24 hours.

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After about 24 hours passes, drain water from the seeds.

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Pour wet seeds on cookie sheet. Heat oven to 350°.

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Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.

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Let cool and enjoy!

Pack a shoebox

One of our favorite holiday date nights in November is picking out items to fill our “shoeboxes” for Operation Christmas Child, which is a project of Samaritan’s Purse International Relief. This is a great organization that not only provides children practical and fun gifts for Christmas, but also shares the love of Jesus–the true reason for our celebrating Christmas–with each gift sent. I have attached the link on how to pack a shoebox below.

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/pack-a-shoe-box/

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Happy packing!

Winter Gardening

Here is my attempt at winter gardening in MN. It seems when I look for winter gardening in MN, I hit a dead end unless it is a heated greenhouse that is not in my budget. Places with outdoor winter gardens like NJ don’t quite have the same winter as MN. So we will see if this works or not.  I found the instructions for this on this web page: http://www.gardendesign.com/seed-sowing-snow?pnid=122085#gallery-content. Winter Gardening You will need:

  • Plastic containers
  • Drill for making holes
  • Permanent marker
  • Seeds
  • Dirt
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape

First, clean out your containers, Drill holes in the bottom and lower sides of the container, cut open containers on three sides–just enough to plant seeds, but don’t cut the whole top off. Add dirt.

Add seeds

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Label planting date and seed type.

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Tape sides to secure lid.

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Place in an area that will get good sun.

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Our first snow!

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Excited to see what spring brings with this experiment. I will update in the spring.

Update

So far, nothing to report on the Winter Garden. MN has had a pretty dry, warm spring. I have been waiting on posting anything until I saw something grow. I am not watering as I want to see if anything will happen when we get more rain. So far—just dirt. I know the seeds are good as I planted them in the garden last year and they produced. Could just be the lack of rain this spring, or it could be too cold in MN to plant in the fall and let them sit all winter. It might be better to set them out in March. I will let you know if anything comes up.

Cold Frame Gardening

I like gardening. Being that I live in MN, the gardening season is very short. I am not a fan of starting plants inside as I don’t have the space for all the plants. I have been hearing a lot about cold frame gardening and winter gardening. I thought I would try my had at both this year and see if in the cold tundra of MN I could actually get something to grow outside. The idea (as I understand it) is to get plants for an early spring harvest. I will up date this in the spring and let you know how it works out.

Here is the frame my awesome husband made for me using some scrap wood and old windows we replaced.

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Plant your seeds before the first frost.

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Be sure to mark your rows. I used some small craft sticks I had on hand from another project. Also one of my free seeds came with a popsicle still marker.

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Root vegetables work best for a cold frame garden, from what I hear. These are the ones I planted in my cold frame garden. I just used some cheap seeds I had on hand. If it works well I will use my good non-GMO heirloom seeds next time.

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First big snow fall. Can’t wait to see what spring brings!

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Is it spring yet? 🙂

Update

MN has had a pretty dry, warm spring. I have been waiting on posting anything until I saw more growth. I was not watering these, but as we got into the high 70s, I started to water and open the box. I did see some spinach come up, but nothing else yet. I will let you know if anything else comes up.

Apple Bake Pancakes

One of the simple joys for me as a homemaker is working in the kitchen baking and cooking. I enjoy finding those favorite recipes for my family. And when I can, I like to  find ways to make them healthier while also saving on time. One of those time-consuming recipes was an apple pancake that took way too much time at the oven for me. So instead of throwing out a good recipe because of the unrealistic time commitment, the apple bake pancakes came to save the day.

Apple Bake Pancakes

You will need:

  • 1 lb. Apples pealed, sliced and cored (frozen or fresh) about 7-8 medium-sized apples
  • 6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 6 Eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk (coconut or other milk you would like)
  • 2 teaspoons Honey
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Here is what you do:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Add pealed and cored apples to 9×13 cake pan.

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Add coconut oil to pan and put in warming oven for 5-10 minutes (to melt oil).

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In a separate bowl add Eggs,

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Milk,

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Honey,

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Cinnamon,

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and Salt.

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Mix ingredients.

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Add coconut flour.

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Stir.

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Once batter is well-mixed, add to top of apples in cake pan.

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Spread evenly over apples.

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Bake for 30-45 minutes.

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Serve with syrup or fruit on top.

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Enjoy!