Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Chanukah! Healthy Treats

Happy Chanukah Friends!

This year, I have created some fun and easy recipes to help kids and adults celebrate the festival of lights. Of course, the traditional latkes and sufganiot are delicious, but this year, let's make our menus a bit more exciting!

I am doing a very special hands-on kids cooking class at a Chanukah party this year and am excited to be making some new things. Check out the recipes below.
I am making:
- Grilled Homemade Nutella and Banana Dreidel Sandwiches
- Mini Star of David Fruit Skewers with Vanilla Cashew Cream

Grilled Homemade Nutella and Banana Dreidel Sandwiches
I adapted this delicious recipe from the blog:
Homemade Nutella
  • 1 3/4 cups whole hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 - 4 pinches of  sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower or safflower oil of choice
  • 5 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  1. Set the oven to 400F.
  2. Place hazelnuts on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Shake the pan after about 4 minutes or so, to rotate them. Once roasted, remove the pan from the oven. Let the hazelnuts cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Place the hazelnuts inside a kitchen towel, making a pouch, and then rub the hazelnuts inside the towel to take off the skins.
  4. Place the nuts into a food processor or high-speed blender. Add the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Blend slowly, starting on a low setting then moving higher.
  5. Add cocoa powder and salt. Blend again for a few minutes.
  6. Add the almond milk slowly, staring with 1/3 cup. Blend. Add more if you desire.
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 4 pieces of whole wheat bread
  • 2 Tbsps sunflower oil
  • 3 inch dreidel cookie cutter
  1. Cut dreidel shapes out of the bread. If you are careful, you can probably get 2 dreidels per piece of bread.
  2. Spread each dreidel bread with Nutella.
  3. Place banana slices on top of Nutella on one piece of dreidel bread. Then top with other piece of dreidel bread with the Nutella side down - on top of the bananas.
  4. Heat sunflower oil is a skillet on medium heat and place dreidel sandwiches into the pan. lightly press sandwiches down and flip once they are golden brown and a bit crispy - just like a grilled cheese sandwich. Serve hot.


Mini Star of David Fruit Skewers with Vanilla Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream
  • 1 cup raw cashews, rinsed and then soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Discard soaking water from cashews and place cashews in a high speed blender or food processor. Add enough water to almost cover the cashews. Blend until creamy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until full incorporated and creamy. Spoon into a serving bowl.

Fruit Skewers
  • fresh fruit (such as apples, pears, grapes, berries)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 6 inch wooden skewers
  • mini Star of David cookie cutter
  1. Wash and cut fruit into bite sized pieces and use mini Star of David cookie cutter to cut shapes into apples and pears. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon onto apples and pears so it does not brown.
  2. Skewer fruit onto wooden skewers and place onto a serving platter. Serve with cashew cream.
Here are a couple of other great ideas to make this Chanukah delicious! I hope you enjoy!!!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Homemade Facial Oil for All Skin Types

I am newly excited about making my own all-natural body care products. Some of the benefits of making my own products are that they are simple and easy to make, I select the ingredients that I know are good for my well-being, and they are much less expensive than natural products in the store or mail order products. Also, they last so much longer!

In the past, I have tested many facial moisturizers. After trying products for years, I finally found a great company that sources all organic ingredients, makes their products in small batches and is excellent quality. I would spend about $40 for a 2 ounce bottle of moisturizer, plus pay for shipping. I would usually go through about 2 bottles per year. That ends up costing about $90 for facial moisturizer for the year. Last year, I made my own facial oil for about $14. The oil I made was so potent, it literally lasted me an entire year! Here is the one I made last year:

Now that I have run out of oil, I decided to try a new recipe. I just ordered some new, very potent therapeutic grade essential oils that I want to test out and I want to use effective ingredients, but don't want to spend a lot of money.

Here is information on the ingredients I decided to use this time:

Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Affordable
  • Non-greasy
  • Anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to soothe minor skin conditions
  • High in Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), which enables your skin to maintain its moisture balance. Also helps tone and firm up your skin
  • Vitamin A and Vitamin E, which slow down the signs of ageing
  • Light, gentle, mild and non-irritating, it can also be used for children and babies
  • Great for all skin types, especially prematurely aged, sensitive, inflamed or dry skin
  • Shelf life of about 1 year, and 2 years if it is refrigerated

Rosehip Seed Oil
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids which can correct dark spots and hydrate dry, itchy skin, while reducing scars and fine lines
  • Vitamin C and lycopene, which works to repair the skin's surface, restoring elasticity and protecting against sun and pollution stressors that can lead to wrinkles
  • Promotes wound healing by stimulating tissue regeneration

Lavender Essential Oil
  • Anti-inflammatory and stimulating for the circulatory system
  • Anti-fungal and antiseptic. Reduces scarring and speeds healing
  • Beneficial for treating acne, inhibits bacteria that causes the initial infection
  • Calming and stress relieving properties
Frankincense Essential Oil
  • Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
  • Astringent quality that reduces the appearance of wrinkles
  • Helps scars and after marks of boils, acne and pox on the skin fade at a much faster rate.
  • Helps eliminate sun spots and generally tones and tightens skin
  • Induces a feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction and spirituality. It lowers anxiety, anger and stress.
Here is a recipe for an all natural facial oil I just made for myself. The essential oils I am using are very potent, so I am not using a lot.

You need:
  • 2 ounce Dark glass bottle with a pump or a dropper
  • 1 3/4 ounce Apricot kernel oil
  • 1/4 ounce Rosehip seed oil
  • 4 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops Frankincense essential oil

  1. Pour the apricot kernel oil into a clean dark glass bottle about 3/4 of the way full.
  2. Pour the rosehip seed oil into the bottle, until almost full.
  3. Add the lavender and frankincense oil.
  4. Close the bottle and shake. Enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Homemade All Natural Deodorant...That Really Works!


Hi Friends,

Life can get busy for many people, and as you can see from my last blog post - which was exactly a year ago, my life is no exception.

As I left off from my last post in 2013, I am once again, getting into essential oils and how seriously powerful they can be in assisting with natural health and well being.

After doing some research, I have decided to start experimenting with creating my own all natural homemade deodorant. This summer I spent 4 months abroad and I ran out of my own natural herbal deodorant. I tried buying something new from the local health food store, and it turned out that it made my tiny bit of body odor even worse!

Now that I am back in America and am making plans to again, be out of the country, I don't want to be dependent on bringing enough deodorant with me. It's time to be simple and make my own. I realized in doing this, that the skin under my arms is very sensitive. Lymph nodes, which are part of the lymphatic system, are located in your armpits. They are part of your immune system and help your body fight off infections and disease. For me, it makes sense to only put pure, all natural deodorant in such a sensitive place, especially when what you put on your skin gets absorbed into the bloodstream.

Through experimenting, I found out that making my own deodorant is really easy!

Right now I am using a mix of organic coconut oil with geranium essential oil mixed in. I use a tiny bit under each arm and I smell like fresh geraniums all day.

I made the following recipe from and it also smells great, but my shea butter and coconut oil separated, so I might have to mix it while it cools. But otherwise, it also works well for me.

One of the recipes I made is from this blog here:

Here is another very simple recipe for homemade deodorant, with great photos and a very simple but beautiful way to store natural homemade cosmetics.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Homemade Facial Moisturizer for Oily Skin

I have this awesome book called The Aromatherapy Companion, which is all about the medicinal uses for using essential oils. This book has lots of information about using essential oils safely and effectively and gives many great recipes for natural skin and body care.

I found a really easy and effective recipe for facial moisturizer for oily skin. I only like to use all natural skin care products and usually have to special order my skincare online. With the cost of the actual product and shipping, the price can really add up! So I decided to try making my own and see how I like it.

After using it for a few days, I notice that my skin is soft, smooth and supple. I like it even better than my expensive moisturizer that I special order!! I am loving how I am saving money and doing something good for my body. Here is the really easy recipe.

Facial Moisturizer for Oily Skin

  • 10 drops niaouli essential oil
  • 5 drops cypress essential oil
  • 30 ml (1 ounce) hazelnut oil
Combine all ingredients in a small dark glass bottle; shake to mix. To use: After cleansing and toning, place a few drops in the palms of your hands and massage or press lightly over your entire face.

I literally only need 2 drops of this oil and use it on my face and neck.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thanksgivukkah 2013!

As you've all heard, Thanksgiving coincides with the first day of Hanukkah this year. Very exciting news for the Jews who celebrate both!

Check out my Pinterest board for some great ideas for menu planning, recipes, festive decor and more.
Thanksgivukkah 2013 Ideas

We are going all out this year at our Thanksgivukkah. Check out our final menu.

Soupe au Pistou
Free Range Turkey
Pan Fried Flounder with Homemade Tartar Sauce
Herbed Stuffing
Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash
Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy
Mini Potato Latkes with Cranberry Apple Sauce
Whipped Yams
Green Bean Casserole
Garlic Collard Greens
Green Salad
Cranberry Pear Sauce

Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream
Sweet Potato Pie
Chocolate Molasses Spice Cookies
Homemade Sparkling Apple Cider