Scalloped Corn

I wanted to share with you a special holiday tradition for my family. Scalloped Corn! This delicious corn casserole is a big hit and is big enough to feed a large crowd.

My family has this recipe on all the major holidays and even for occasional family dinner. I actually don’t remember a holiday when we didn’t have this recipe and growing up I remember my mom making this dish and how wonderful the house smelled. Now, since my mom is in charge of preparing the majority of the meal I have taken over making the scalloped corn. This dish is a little complicated and has several steps but in the end it is totally worth the time. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 can of creamed corn
  • Dried minced onion to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup cracker crumbs (Ritz or similar cracker) – Crush 2 rolls of Ritz, reserve the 2/3 for the crust and put the rest in the corn.
  • 2 tablespoon butter melted (for crust)
Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter with minced onion in 2 quart saucepan
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Stir in flour, salt, paprika, and mustard
  5. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is bubbly
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Gradually stir in milk
  8. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly
  9. Boil and stir for 1 minute
  10. Stir in corn, eggs, and extra cracker crumbs
  11. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole
  12. Mix cracker crumbs (2/3 cup) and 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle over corn.
  13. Bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted into center comes out clean

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

We use hand soap all day long (well….hopefully you do).  After doing some research on the ingredients in hand soap I wanted to find an alternative to the store bought soaps. I wanted to find something that was gentle on my skin, cost effective, contained a surfactant (this is important to wash away the germs), and smelled great. You can use any essential oils that you would like in this recipe so you can make it smell any way you want. I also like that you can make holiday scented soaps. I can wait to try peppermint essential oil on this recipe.

So, here is what I came up with: 

Ingredients:
  • Foaming Hand Dispenser
  • 4 tablespoons unscented castile soap
  • 10 ounces of water
  • 1 tablespoon Vitamin E oil
  • 20 – 30 drops of essential oil or blend  (I prefer Germ Fighter from Plant Therapy)
Why these Ingredients:
  • Castile Soap, specifically Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. I use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap in my hand soap, body wash and face wash (more recipes to come later).
  • Vitamin E Oil to this soap as it can help with dry cracked skin and cuticles.
  • Germ Fighter Synergy from Plant Therapy can support a healthy immune system. Germ Fighter contains:
    • Lemon Essential Oil
    • Clove Bud Essential Oil
    • Eucalyptus Globules Essential Oil
    • Cinnamon Cassia Essential Oil
    • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • One thing to note is the that Germ Fighter blend is not considered Kid-Safe so if you have little ones in your home you may want to try Plant Therapy’s Germ Destroyer. This blend contains Spruce Hemlock, Marjoram, Lavender, Rosalina, and Lemon.
Directions:
  1. Add the castile soap to the foaming dispenser
  2. Next, add the Vitamin E Oil
  3. Then, add the essential oils
  4. Finally, add the water
  5. Screw on the top
  6. Gently shake the mixture to distribute the oils
  7. Be sure to gently shake the mixture every day or so to keep the mixture evenly distributed.

Product Suggestions:

 

DIY Beard Oil

It’s that time of year when men are growing out their beards to keep their faces warm while hunting and for the long winter months ahead. I know there are a ton of beard oils on the market right now but I wanted to make something myself with the essential oils and carrier oils that I have in stock. Beards can be poking and itchy so I wanted to create something that would help during the growing process. I personally love a nice smooth and full beard so I wanted something that helps to keep my husbands beard nice and soft and also smells wonderful. I also didn’t want something that smelled too strong so I think the combination i came up with is nice mix. The first time my husband used it I didn’t even notice it when he left for work, so the smell isn’t overwhelming.  

Beard Oil Ingredients:
  • 2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 3 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil (I prefer Frankincense Carteri)
  • 2 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
  • 3 drops of Orange Essential Oil
  • Sweet Almond Carrier Oil ( or any other carrier oil of your choice)
  • 2 ounce dropper bottle
Why These Oils?
  • Lavender – This oil is known for being relaxing and promotes healthy hair growth
  • Frankincense Carteri – This oil helps to provide moisture and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Cedarwood – This oil is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Orange – This oil is known for its uplifting and calming scent
Beard Oil Instructions:
  • Mix the Lavender, Frankincense, Cedarwood & Orange Oil in the dropper bottle.
  • Fill up the rest of the bottle with your carrier oil.
  • Use 2 to 3 drops each day after showering for a smoother beard.

Thanksgiving & Gratitude

Since Thanksgiving is write around the corner I wanted to start thinking about gratitude and what I am thankful for.

What does Gratitude mean?

According to www.dictionary.com  gratitude means the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.  Another website describes gratitude as an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has done. So gratitude is another word for being thankful.

How can you practice gratitude?

I found this awesome quote online:  “Count your rainbows not your thunderstorms” ~ Alyssa Knight. This is such a good reminder to focus and be grateful for the good things in your life and move through the bad things.

Gratitude can help you see a sticky situation in a completely different light and may even make it more difficult to complain. Gratitude takes practice, so this month I will be taking steps to work on showing gratitude and I hope you will too. I found a lot of different lists online of ways to work on being more grateful, so I put together my own gratefulness challenge. For the month of November  I will be working through  the ideas below.

  • Keeping a gratitude journal and showing gratefulness through action.  This could be daily or weekly.
  • Trying to see the day-to-day from a point of gratitude. 
    • Most people tend to let negative thoughts enter their mind before positive thoughts. This month I want to work on keeping all of the beautiful things in my life at the fore front of my mind. Taking the time to appreciate the things around you, even something a simple as the color of the leaves on the trees can help to keep those positive thoughts in the forefront of your mind.
  • Taking control of negative thoughts about someone or something and switching it to a positive thought about that person or object.
    • When something or someone is irritating and frustrating I know we all start grumbling and complaining. When you feel your self start to think negatively about that person or object work hard on finding something positive about that person or object.
  • Give at least one compliment a day, this doesn’t necessary mean you have to give a compliment to a person but sharing your appreciation of something.
    • Give a compliment to your spouse, your children, your boss etc. Take notice when someone does something extra and make sure they know that you appreciate them and notice them going above and beyond.
  • If you find yourself in a negative situation ask yourself: What can you learn from this and what will I be grateful for in the future.
    • We can all learn from each and every negative situation. Take the time if you are in a bad situation to figure out what you can learn and what you are grateful for.
  • Try not to complain, criticize, or gossip for a week. If you slip up, just keep going. Hopefully we will notice how much energy gets spent on negative thoughts.
    • Know I know this one might be a bit difficult for you and I think it will be difficult for me. Ask the people who are around you to help you stay accountable. If they hear you complain, criticize or gossip ask them to call you out.
  • When talking on the phone, sound genuinely happy to hear from people.
    • By answering the phone genuinely happy you may help make the day of the person on the other end. Give it a whirl and see how you can positively impact the lives of those around you.

I feel like this challenge will really help me to work on my gratitude and showing my gratitude to others. I will try to post some follow-up posts on my Instagram page. Leave me a comment below if you are joining in.

 

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