Monthly Archives: July 2014

Homemade Mint Foot Scrub

hmfsI have a lot of mint that has been shared with some garden critters. I really just let it grow. No fertilizer. No pesticide. No attention what so ever. So my garden friends get to share in my bounty. I’m not comfortable using the gnawed leaves for food or drink, but I’m fine with using them cosmetically.

I love sea salt scrubs but they can be very pricey. This homemade foot scrub is very affordable and works pretty well, too.

Homemade Mint Foot Scrub
1 handful of sea salt
2 tbsp of olive oil
Chopped mint leaves

1. Mush everything with a mortar and pestle. I got mine a couple years ago for about $10 as an Asian market. We use it very often.
2. If your scrub is too loose, add more salt and mix a little more.
3. Scrub your feet. Refrigerate any unused portion.

Do I need to tell you to be careful using this in the shower? I guess I should. Your feet will be very slippery after you apply this. I recommend sitting on the edge of the tub to apply this. Or in the tub. If you’re going to use it in the shower, please be careful. You don’t want to fall on your keister after you make your feet so smooth! You want to be able to walk around in lovely, open toe shoes and show them off!


Cold Cucumber Mint Soup

ccmsWe were gifted some very large cucumbers from the garden of the family of one of my son’s music students. YAY!!! I love free food! I love healthy food! I really, really love free, healthy food!

I don’t have a great yard for a garden. Our best southern exposure is our patio. We have grown tomatoes and herbs in containers on the patio but we never got around to planting anything this year. I do have a garden full of mint in the front of my house that grows like weeds. There is a tremendous amount of it. It seemed fitting that I should combine these two home-grown ingredients into some delicious summer soup.

Cold Cucumber Mint Soup
2 large cucumbers, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 cup fat free yogurt
1 cup chopped green cabbage
1/3 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Put all the ingredients in a blender.
2. Blend on lowest speed possible until smooth.
3. Serve chilled with mint leaf garnish.

I would not recommend using a high speed for blending this. It will get very foamy, and if you’re planning on serving it right away, it won’t be very appetizing with a layer of foam on top of your soup. That only works for lattes and cappuccinos, as far as I know.

I’m looking forward to having this soup for lunch this week. It’s nice and smooth so it’s desk friendly. I’m also looking forward to finding some other ways to use my one and only crop. Check back for some recipes with more fresh mint.


Everything is Awesome Brownies

eabWe are often late getting our kids to see movies. And when I say late, I mean, if they get to see a movie in the theatre within two weeks of release, it’s huge. This means that we just saw The Lego Movie on DVD last week. If it makes you feel any better for my kids, we kept the movie an extra day and then punished ourselves for being bad parents by not returning it to Red Box for one day after that.

You’ve seen the movie. (If not, seriously? and this is a spoiler alert.) The whole thing is basically about a dad who GLUES all his lego sets together and his kid isn’t allowed to touch them. The kid ends up making some pretty cool stuff himself, much to the amazement of his dad who ends up feeling like a heel for not letting his kid play with his stuff.

Well, it’s not just dads who do dumb things with their stuff. We moms can be a little uptight about our kitchens and baking and cooking everything JUST SO. So today, I let my Faithful Assistant make some brownies the way he wanted. We are calling them…

Everything is Awesome Brownies
1 box brownie mix prepared according to the directions
add-ins as directed by your Faithful Assistants – I think mine used about a cup each of white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Mix your brownie mix.
2. Add in all the stuff.
3. Bake according to the directions on the box until a knife inserted in the middle comes our clean.
4. Clean up the mess.

I was in another room when the brownies were determined to be cool enough to eat. When I returned to the kitchen, I found that my Faithful Assistant had decided it would be easier to cut a chunk from the middle. Everything is AWESOME! Remember? That’s the idea. Let it go, too! We didn’t bake for anyone else, so does it really matter if you start to eat from the middle of the brownie pan? I don’t think it does!

When he saw me writing this post, he said, “Mom. They’re from a mix. They’re not that special.” I assured him they were special. They were his brownies his way. They are awesome.


Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

scsI haven’t posted a new smoothie recipe for a while! We’ve had a busy few weeks in our house and I haven’t had a lot of time in the morning, even to make a smoothie. But they’re so good and this one is especially tasty!

It’s not unusual for me to have a smoothie for dinner on a very hot summer day. The heat is supposed to increase again this weekend. I just may have to stock up on strawberries!

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie
1/2 cup lowfat yogurt
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 tbsp of cream cheese
dash of vanilla
1/4 cup water or milk

1. Place ingredients in blender in the order listed.
2. Blend, slowly increasing the speed to high until smoothie is desired consistency.
3. Share!

If you really want to make this even more like Strawberry Cheesecake, toss in a couple tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs at the very end and stir them in.

If you’re looking for some more smoothie recipes, I have a lot to choose from in my¬†Smoothies¬†category. You can access at the top of the page by clicking on the “Recipe Categories” link. And the Recipe Categories are all listed down on the right too! Click around and see what else you like!


Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

hcsdI have been wanting to make salad dressing for a few weeks. I have been waffling between Caesar and Ranch and today I finally settled on Caesar.

I am not a huge salad fan so I really don’t know why I felt the need to make dressing for one. Sometimes it’s best not to try to understand these things and just go with them.

As I’m sure you’ve read here, I am very fortunate to have a nice, high speed blender so I didn’t have to worry about whisking endlessly. I let my blender do all the work.

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
2 egg yolks
1 clove of garlic, or more if you’d like garlic Caesar
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup grated parmesan
2-4 anchovy filets

1. Put the ingredients in your blender and slowly increase speed.
2. Blend on high for 20 seconds.
3. Refrigerate until cool.
4. Serve on your favorite mix of greens.

As I was prepping to make my dressing, the Teenager was returning from giving a new student a cello lesson. And what did he have in his arms? TWO HUGE CUCUMBERS! Yay! So happy! I will put some in my most Americanized Caesar Salad which will be served alongside some French Bread Pizza. I’m looking forward to this very simple summer dinner.

If you don’t love anchovies, you can leave them out. I happen to really like them in my Caesar Salad dressing. In fact, I put them on top of my salad!