Playing with food (in a good way)

Since I’m on this attempt to cut-back on sugar in our house, I find myself having an excess sitting around. Of course, this gives me reasons to find lots of reasons to find other, fun things to do with sugar. One can only imagine! 

I have already made a full-switch to all-natural, non-toxic cleaners in my house (mostly white vinegar)–which works great! I use a mix of vinegar and water, then add some peppermint oil for odor-control. Anyhow, so I did some research on some fun ways to use sugar, and I found one I love: a homemade body scrub, compliments of TipNut.com. Of course, I was immediately drawn to the site by its name–but, it is a rocking site!

I mixed about 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup hazelnut oil (uh, no particular reason, other than that’s what is on the verge of going rancid in my house)–though, I will do olive oil next time, as I know it has good skin-karma. I added a few drops of peppermint oil, and voila! I had an awesome body scrub. Ironically, I had just been to Aveda recently to have a pedicure (a nice little gift to myself), where they had used some [very-expensive] all-natural sugar scrub–a $38.00 jar. This homemade scrub—identical (well, at least in what it accomplishes).

So, for a cheapie way to enjoy a home spa (well, at least a bodyscrub), find some extra fixin’s in your house! 

Other ways to play with your food:

TipNut : Strawberry Leaf Infusion Facial
TipNut: 11 Easy Food Facials

Enjoy! Sharing Optional.™

Sugar…Splenda…Stevia

Wow, do all sweeteners begin with an “s?” With my desire to cutback on sugar-intake in the house, I’ve been curious about other sweeteners available. If I could find a way to keep baking (I think I would die without it—from anxiety, that is!)

Sugar, of course, is all natural–therefore, in my book, the best!

Splenda seems to have good qualities, as the body doesn’t recognize it as a sugar, so it is not processed as such. The downfall, of course, is that it is chemically-altered, which means I have an overwhelming desire to run away from it!

Stevia…this is intriguing to me, as it is derived from an herb plant from South America, therefore all natural. It’s an extremely sweet herb leaf, allowing you to use very minimal amounts to sweeten anything. It has zero calories, nor does your body recognize it as a sugar, so there are not effects from a “sugar-high.”

So, this is where I’m at…trying to decide how to curb the sugar intake in our house, but stick to something all-natural. Of course, I’m typing this as I’m pulling out some Snickerdoodles from the oven. It’s research–I promise! ;) I made this batch with real sugar, and now I plan to make comparable batches with stevia and splenda, to see how the family rates it. Stay tuned!

TWD : Whole-Wheat Strawberry Galette

I was terribly excited when this recipe was announced—nice and easy, just what I needed! I adore tarts (since I don’t have to deal with perfectly round crusts, like those of pies) and strawberries are just what the doctor ordered. Well, Dr. KitchenNut, that is—I simply adore strawberries. I decided to make a wheat crust, to offer a nutty opposition to the sweet berries. Making the crust was super easy! Because it was whole-wheat, I allowed for a 12-hour rest, to allow the bran to rest and soften. I somewhat successfully wrestled the crust into my mini tart pan, but that’s where the easiness ended. I thought I could take a small rest while the crust was on it’s last leg…umm, bad idea. It went from lovely golden brown to a lovely light, uh, black? Not really, but it smells awful. Had the crust not taken 12 hours, I would have whipped up another…in the meantime, here are some photos for to get your laughter going early in the day:

Baked From Scratch