Dec 17, 2014

Orange-Cranberry Pecan Pie Recipe

 I finally baked a pie with the pecans I bought back in October at Valley Pecans in Chillicothe, TX. Yep I bought a small bag of pecan for $14.99...shelled ones at that. I also bought a nut cracker and cracked pecans for three nights straight. Though I probably won't be doing that again (too much work and expensive), I sure enjoyed baking this orange-cranberry pecan pie. I do hope it taste as good as it looks. It's for our family Christmas dinner this weekend, so I couldn't slice and taste it!! I'll have to get back to you on how it tasted and if everyone liked it!! Stay-tuned on that.

Orange-Cranberry Pecan Pie
Recipe derived from the National Honey Board, I added "Orange" to the title as I felt it was needed. I also used Wild Orange Essential Oil from doTerra instead of orange extract.

You'll need:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (I used organic frozen)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • 2 TBLS cornstarch
  • 2 TBLS cold water
  • 2 drops doTerra Wild Orange Essential Oil OR 1/2 TSP orange extract
  • 1 - 9-inch baked pie shell (I used an unbaked pie shell)
For Topping:
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 TBLS butter
  • 1-3/4 cups pecan halves (mine were halved and in pieces!)
Easy Directions:

1. In medium saucepan, combine cranberries, orange juice and honey. Cook uncovered over low heat for 15 mins for fresh cranberries or 20 mins for frozen. Let cool.

2. Puree cranberry mixture in blender; return to saucepan.

3. Combine cornstarch and water. Stir into cranberry mix.
4. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened - about 5-7 mins. Stir constantly.

5. Remove from heat and add Wild Orange oil or orange extract.

6. Let cool, then pour into pie shell.

7. While pie filling is cooling make Topping: In med. saucepan, combine 1/2 cup honey and butter; cook and stir 2 mins or until mixture is smooth.
8. Stir in pecans until well coated.

9. Spoon topping evenly over cranberry mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until top is bubbly. 

Happy Holidays from our house to yours!!

3 Easy DIY Holiday Bath Gifts Using Epsom Salt

Do you love giving homemade gifts to special friends, family, co-workers & teachers? I sure do, especially to the ones that have loved on and inspired my child this year...his TEACHERS! Here are 3 easy DIY holiday bath gifts using Epsom Salt. A few have other salts, but don't worry, they can all be made with Epsom salt that you can find at any store. Also, you can always improvise and use materials you already have on had to decorate them.

3 Soothing Bath Salts - Layered
  1. Bottom Layer -  6 oz. (3/4 cup) Natural Epsom Salt
  2. Middle Layer - 4 oz. (1/2 cup) Himalayan Pink Salt (can be purchased in bulk online at Salt Works)
  3. Top Layer - 4 oz. (1/2 cup) + 2 TBLS Dead Sea Salt Coarse Grain (can be purchased in bulk online at Salt Works) 
You'll need a 16 oz. glass jar with close-tight lid. To dress it up, use a festive ribbon to tie around jar and find a cute gift tag to use. You can either stamp a message or write it out. Also, don't forget to label your jar with contents.  

To Use: Mix thoroughly and pour 1/4-1/2 cup into warm bath.

Holiday Peppermint Spa Bath
  1. Fill up a jar with Epsom Salt
  2. Add 5-8 drops Peppermint Essential Oils (found at any health food store)
To Decorate you'll need ribbon, more ribbon, something cute to go around the jar - I used a large wired ribbon, and a Christmas gift tag. Remember, use what you already have in your craft pile!

To Use: Pour at least 1/4-1/2 cup into warm bath.

Wintergreen Bath Salt Trio

  1. 3 Recycled Jars
  2. Epsom Salt - 1-14 cups each jar
  3. 8-10 drops Wintergreen Essential Oil or Peppermint for each jar
Drop oil into salt and mix thoroughly, then fill jars.

To Decorate you'll need decorative cardstock, stickers, ribbon & jute - or anything pretty you have on hand.

To Use:
Pour 1/4 - 1/2 cup into a warm bath and enjoy.

**These are recycled Almond Butter jars I bought at Central Market. I took off the label and the sticky stuff would not come off, but I used it to my benefit to adhere the decorative paper. Worked out perfect!!!

Wordless Wednesday: Brody's Best 5 Years + His 4 Giving Ways this Holiday

Extra...couldn't resist this one!


Dec 15, 2014

Our Family's Salvation Army Red Kettle Reason - What's Yours? #RedKettleReason #sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Influence Central for The Salvation Army. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

What goes through your mind when you see that red kettle and that person standing next to it ringing the bell? For breaks my heart to think there's people in the world that has nothing. No matter how hard they try, just living day to day doesn't come easy for. I especially feel for the children who may be going hungry right now. I am a supporter and am sharing our family's Salvation Army Red Kettle Reason. What's yours?

Did you know that the Salvation Army has been helping people in the USA for 130 years? Last year, the Army served nearly 30 million Americans in need. That's almost one person, every second, every day. AND...just this year, they launched, which is an interactive website that asks Americans to share their reasons for giving and using the hashtag #RedKettleReason. What a wonderful idea!

In 2013, through giving people like us, in the United States alone: 
  • The Salvation Army served 58 million meals to the needy.
  • Over 203,000 underprivileged children attended day care and summer camps.
  • The Army provided nearly 10 million nights of shelter.
  • 324,000 People received help during times of disaster.
  • More than 4 million families and children were served during the holidays.
  • and the list goes on.
Sharing Our Red Kettle Reason!

Here's a few tips of my own, and one that I was excited to do just last week. I found a dime on the ground and immediately thought to ask Brody to drop it in the kettle as we walked by. He loved the idea! I've also vowed to let Brody drop money in the red kettle EVERY TIME we walk by one. A dollar here and a dollar there will matter and will make a difference...and more so, will help my son learn better about giving to others.

This is my 3rd or 4th post to write about "giving back", which seems to be on the public's mind more so this year than I've seen in the past. There's a message to all of us here that giving to others is a need in the USA alone and that with our help, we can help change a life. What's your Red Kettle Reason? I'd love to read it in a comment below!

Here's Brody and I giving new bears to the Justin Police Station in Justin, TX. I was so hoping that the police officer would tell me that they don't need them....but she knew exactly what they were for, and immediately said she needed them. For the ones that don't know - sometimes police have to pick up children from their homes on a moments notice and the children can't take anything with them. These bears are pure comfort to them when such tragedy happens. This picture was taken just this morning. I'm glad I finally decided to put these bears to good use.

To learn more about The Salvation Army, please visit their social media pages.

Everyone is talking about it! #RedKettleReason

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