Monday, August 29, 2011

Use Ground Beef Leftovers in My Meat Lover's Pizza Recipe

meat-lover's-pizza.jpeg
This pizza recipe is easy to make and a great way to use your ground beef leftovers.


piece-of-meat-lover's-pizza.jpeg
You will be surprised at how much money that you'll save making your own pizza over buying one.
Food rarely goes to waste in our house unless one of us becomes sick.  Unlike some, we make use of leftovers either reheating the dish for another dinner or reinventing something new with what's on hand such as this terrific homemade pizza topped with the rest of my Texas Hash, which I will share with you in a future post.

Texas Hash is one of the easiest casseroles with ground beef or turkey, rice, lots of onions, tomato soup and some spices that you can make.  However, any ground beef or ground turkey casserole like a chili work just as nicely in this recipe.

You simply follow my simple recipe for homemade pizza dough.  Let your dough grow accordingly.  Grease your pan and shape.  For this particular pizza, you want the crust to be thicker than traditional pizza to hold those leftovers easily.  

Once your dough is ready to bake, it's time to recycle those ground beef leftovers and spread on top, add some pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce if your casserole is not the red sauce variety, some grated Mozzarella cheese (as much or as little as you like) and veggies of your choice.  I love hot peppers in mine.  Bake your pizza at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the bottom is slightly brown.

Trust me, you will feel good about stretching those leftovers, saving money, and making this delicious pizza.  Watch how quickly your family will show up at the table once they know this pizza is now on the menu.



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Grow Your Own Herbs and Make Herbal Tea

Every year I plant a garden, I find the wildlife in my neighborhood get more of my crops than our family.  Fortunately, the deer and ground hogs do not care for herbs for some strange reason.  In fact, I planted more herbs this year than last since I do not have an electric fence or fierce dog that can scare those beasts. 

The herbs that I grew to make my herbal teas are lemon balm and a variety of mints.   I do grow sage, which some use for herbal teas, however, I never tried this in tea, only in cooking.

All you need is to clean your fresh herbs thoroughly first before putting on some water to boil.  Do not add these herbs directly to the pot.  I just pour boiling water over about one heaping teaspoon of the fresh herb.  However, you can use more or less of your herb to suit your taste. 

Let this herb steep for about fifteen minutes in your cup that you cover with a saucer.  This amount of time is ideal for the flavor to properly bloom in your cup.

If you use dried herbs for your tea, then you used only one-fourth of the amount as you want with fresh.  Again, the amount you use will depend on your own tastebuds.

Another method for making tea with your herbs is to pour one pint of boiling water over approximately one ounce of the fresh leaves.  When making a brew this way, I let this mixture seep for about ten minutes.  

Lemon balm is excellent to drink when suffering from colds.  I love growing mints for the different things they can help relieve as well.  Peppermint tea is a wonderful aid for when you feel nauseated or heat exhaustion.  Other varieties are spearmint grow abundantly in my garden and produces a nice flavor tea.

You also use an earthenware teapot.  I usually throw a handful of mint in before adding the boiling water and covering.  Again, let your tea seep for ten but preferably fifteen minutes.  You'll love the beautiful fragrance that is released once this brew seeps. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Save Money on Back-to-School Clothes With a Swapping Party


out-grown-clothes-for-clothing-swap.jpeg
Tag and label your items to swap.



Everything seems to keep getting higher in price with no end in sight.  However, I have a fantastic idea to help stretch your back-to-school clothing budget while you have fun at the same time.  What I'm talking about is organizing a clothing swap party with friends that have children.

We all know how quickly children outgrow clothes.  Often, clothes are hardly worn, which make a friendly get-together to trade outfits a great way to save money.  At the same time, you can catch up with friends over coffee and one of my pie recipes, perhaps, and turn this recycling into a great time. 

The best bet is to invite the friends with children that happen to be around the same age, sex, and body build to assure there is suitable merchandise to trade.   Just remember, the more friends that you invite, the better the selection will be available.  You can even include books or toys as part of the exchange.

Mornings probably are the ideal time to schedule your swap party or evenings.  I prefer mornings because you can finish before dinner needs to be made and the entire family reports home.

Think of this, even if you get one or two beautiful items that fit your child and are wearable, you will come out ahead.  Your only other option is to donate those outgrown clothes.  Though I applaud you, many of us are forced in this tight economy to stretch every dollar as far as possible, making this suggestion worth consideration. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

You'll Love My Easy Coconut Cream Pie Recipe!

easy-coconut-cream-pie.jpeg
My coconut cream pie is sensational and easy to make, the perfect combination!


If you want an easy recipe for a fabulous creamy coconut pie from scratch that will get compliments, then you need to make this.  You can make this recipe ahead of time and keep your kitchen clean.  This is one of the reasons I love to whip one of these pies up on Friday to serve over the weekend because it frees up your day, but it doesn't seem like it.  The family or your company will think you spent hours working rolling that crust and cooking the pudding like filling just for them when you serve this beautiful homemade pie.

As always, I encourage you to make my oil pie crust.  Honestly, dear readers, your crust will be tender and flaky with this foolproof recipe once you put your trust in me.  Be warned though the oil crust dough is unlike typical pie crust recipes that require a knack to produce while being greasier to the touch, which is normal.    Follow my simple cheap recipe and you will ditch those expensive frozen, pre-made crusts, or mixes and turn out an exceptional pie crust every time!

The hardest part to making this filling is remembering to take your eggs out of the refrigerator to leave at room temperature first before attempting to separate them.  Never try to crack a cold egg straight out of the refrigerator if you're planning on making meringue.  You'll end up with yolk in the whites, which will cause it to not beat properly to a fluffy meringue.

Assemble all your ingredients while waiting for the eggs to warm slightly and save more time as those eggs get ready.   With everything in place, you'll breeze through the rest from making the meringue to cooking that pudding like filling!

Coconut Cream Pie!

3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
2-1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cup of sugar
2-1/2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of Coconut Cream Concentrate
1 baked 9-inch pie shell

Take out your eggs first and let sit at room temperature to warm before attempting to separate the yolks from the whites.  Separate the whites into a separate mixing bowl. 

Drop your yolks into your pot with your 2 cups of milk, sugar, coconut cream concentrate, and salt and warm first before mixing your cornstarch into the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, stirring and then adding to the pot.  Cook this until thickened.  Add vanilla last once it is off the heat.

Pour into your baked shell and pile on the meringue.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes until delicately browned.

My Meringue

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of sugar

Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff.  Gradually add the sugar and beat it in using about a tablespoon at a time.  Caution is the rule here. (If you add the sugar all at once, then you will destroy your meringue.) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Elizabeth Grant's Heavenly Eau De Parfum Review and Giveaway!--Ends September 13, 2011

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**



Elizabeth Grant's Heavenly Eau De Parfum.jpeg
Elizabeth Grant's Heavenly Eau De Parfum
Explore your sensual side with this sultry, but refined woodsy-floral from Elizabeth Grant that I was sent for this review and giveaway.  Heavenly Eau De Parfum was originally launched for the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival and definitely will help you make an elegant impression and feel just as striking as a film star once you walk into a room wearing this rich glamorous fragrance fit for a night on the town. 

Starting with top notes of greenery and mint, the scent envelopes you with fruity lusciousness from peach and nectarine accented with ultra feminine rose, jasmine, and violet for romance. 

After a while, Heavenly warms against your skin like a lingering caress with musk and amber, deepening the mystery of this haunting and seductive perfume that is just as classy as it is sexy.

Feel yourself get carried away with Heavenly as the fragrance whisks you off to an exotic French locale as it develops and mingles with your own body's chemistry.  This perfume will make you think of a warm summer night on the French Riviera with palm trees swaying gently from a soft ocean breeze as you spray some on before you prepare to make your grand entrance.

Elizabeth Grant's Heavenly Eau De Parfum is as memorable as if it came down from above to grace you with a scent so ethereal it had to be named Heavenly.  I honestly love the feeling you get when wearing this perfume.  Trust me, I believe once you wear this one too that you also will understand the allure of this unbelievable perfume.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  No money was exchanged.  All I received was a free product so that I may express an opinion.*

Thanks to Elizabeth Grant International, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the United States or Canada wins a 30-ml bottle of their own Heavenly Eau De Parfum Spray!


Both Are Mandatory To Enter:

1. You must follow me on Google Friends Connect before any of your entries will count.  If you already follow, then tell me the name you follow me by with your email in a comment.

2. Go to Elizabeth Grant's website and tell me which product you would love to try also or something you learned from the site in another comment.


Extra Entries:

Add @Nuts4Stuff to Your Twitter and tell me so in your comment with your Twitter id--1 extra entry

Tweet #Win #HeavenlyPerfume #Giveaway @EGSkincare via @Nuts4Stuff http://tiny.cc/i36bm (can be done daily)--1 extra entry per day in another comment

Like Elizabeth Grant on Facebook--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Follow Elizabeth Grant on Twitter--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Subscribe to the Nuts 4 Stuff blog by email--1 extra entry (must confirm)

Subscribe to Nuts 4 Stuff in a reader--1 extra entry (Orange button in my sidebar)

List this giveaway on any giveaway site just leave a link to this post wherever you share it--2 extra entries (leave 2 separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Blog about this giveaway and and comment with a link to the post--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Grab my Nuts 4 Stuff button and paste it in your sidebar--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where you left it in each comment)

Add Nuts 4 Stuff to your blogroll  (using my URL) with a link back to me (comment where you left it for 1 more extra entry)

Leave a separate comment for each entry.  Be sure you include your email address inside your comment so I can contact you if you win.   This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States and Canada.  Do follow the rules because I check entries.   Be alert that if you attempt to enter using multiple identities will be grounds for disqualification. 

This giveaway ends September 13, 2011 at 12 PM Eastern Standard Time. The winner will need to respond to my email with name and shipping address within 48-hours or another winner will be picked.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

EatSmart Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale Review and Giveaway!--Ends September 7, 2011

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**



EatSmart Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale.jpeg
EatSmart Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale 
I never gave any thought for needing a luggage scale, that is, until all the exorbitant fees recently that the airlines suddenly thrust upon unsuspecting travelers.  However, I think it is a wise idea to have a portable scale these days to save yourself needless overspending like the Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale from EatSmart Products that I was sent for this review and giveaway.   

Since 2005, EatSmart Products have been manufacturing, designing and distributing innovative houseware products in North America.  The company mainly focused on affordable   bathroom and kitchen scales until expanding their line with this Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale.

All you need to do is to clip the buckle of this ultra-sleek scale to the handle of your suitcase or carry-on.  This device will reinforce the handles it's attached to with the SmartGrip handle design before beeping once lifted to display an accurate reading of the weight.  Once measured, you simply turn off the ON/OFF button and within 20 seconds the scale resets for next time.

The EatSmart Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale can be set to measure in pounds or kilograms.  The maximum weight it can read is 110 pounds or 50 kilograms.  It comes with a lithium battery and has a graduation of .1 oz. or .1 gram.  

I honestly think this scale is a necessity to take with you traveling.  Save yourself money and frustration before boarding and check this product.  Buy this scale in August and 100% of the proceeds from the Amazon Associates link go to the Children's Health Fund.  Each month thereafter, the company will choose a different foundation to donate a portion of their profits to.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  No money was exchanged.  All I received was a free product to facilitate this review.*

Thanks to EatSmart Products, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the United States win the Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale of their own (a $49.95 value)!


Both Are Mandatory to Enter:

1. You must follow me on Google Friends Connect before any of your entries will count.  If you already follow, then tell me the name you follow me by in a comment along with your email!

2.  Go to EatSmart Products and tell me a product you also would love to try or something you learned about the company in a comment


Extra Entries:

Add @Nuts4Stuff to Your Twitter and tell me so in your comment with your Twitter id--1 extra entry

Tweet #Win Portable Digital Luggage Scale #Giveaway @EatSmartScales via @Nuts4Stuff http://tiny.cc/i36bm (can be done daily)--1 extra entry per day in another comment

Add @EatSmartScales to Your Twitter--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Like EatSmart Products on Facebook--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Write on EatSmart Products Facebook Wall and tell them how many times you paid a luggage fee or where you plan to travel next--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Sign up for EatSmart's Monthly Newsletter--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Subscribe to the Nuts 4 Stuff blog by email--1 extra entry (must confirm)

Subscribe to Nuts 4 Stuff in a reader--1 extra entry (Orange button in my sidebar)

List this giveaway on any giveaway site just leave a link to this post wherever you share it--2 extra entries (leave two separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Blog about this giveaway and comment with a link to the post--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Grab my Nuts 4 Stuff button and paste it in your sidebar--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where you left it in each comment)

Add Nuts 4 Stuff to your blogroll  (using my URL) with a link back to me (comment where you left it for 1 more extra entry)

Leave a separate comment for each entry.  Be sure you include your email address inside your comment so I can contact you if you win.  This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.  Do follow the rules because I check entries.   Be alert that if you attempt to enter using multiple identities will be grounds for disqualification. 

This giveaway ends September 7, 2011 at 12 PM Eastern Standard Time. The winner will need to respond to my email with name and shipping address within 48-hours or another winner will be picked.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Want a Natural Homemade Remedy for Dandruff?

Thyme has always been known as adding flavor to your food.  However, this herb also has mild antiseptic properties you may or may not be aware of.  What I'm sharing with you is a very old French herbal recipe for getting rid of that dandruff with a pleasant spa-like scent that you can make at home in this Thyme Dandruff Hair Rinse.


You take four heaping tablespoons of thyme (about one-half cup of fresh if you have it) and two cups of water and put them in a pot to boil.  Strain and cool.  After you shampoo your hair and rinse, you pour one cup of the thyme liquid into your hair and massage the solution into your scalp.  Do not rinse until your next shampoo.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Try This Tip for Better Results When Using Hair Styling Products!

For years, I have faithfully applied my styling products according to the back label on the product.  Sometimes, my hair turned out fabulous while other times it bumped up with curls in the wrong place and made you want to scream.  However, I recently discovered a fantastic little secret that made by hair products perform better than ever before--even the ones that were just "so-so" and still sitting on my vanity.

Here's what I now do and really think you should try this.  Instead of applying that hair gel or mousse to the root, you should add your product further down (about two inches).  After it is placed, then take your comb and work that gel or mousse through that still damp hair to the ends so it does not settle in one place.  By moving the product lower, your hair will not spring up in the wrong spot. 

I have tested this new technique on quite a few products, even the ones I haven't had the heart to pitch.  Guess what?  Avoiding putting the product on the root and down further along the hair makes a tremendous difference in product usability and gorgeous results. 

Honestly, you should experiment with this tip and see if it makes a difference in giving you better hair days too! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Spoil Yourself With My Homemade Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie!

 piece of my My Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie.jpeg
How about a piece of my Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie?

The weekend is nearly here and calls for some decadent dessert to celebrate all the days in between of healthier eating habits.   Today, I made the most delicious Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie from scratch that is simple and the perfect marriage of flavors with scrumptious peanut goodness  and dark velvety chocolate custard topped with a fluffy meringue cloud.

Most cream-pies do not get topped with meringue.  However, I am not like most other people.  All my cream pies get meringue piled high on each because that extra tasty fluff compliments the pie so much more, but also because I'm thrifty and use everything I have without waste!  

Of course, I could save the egg whites for an omelet, bread, pasta dough or even an angel food cake.  But for that few extra seconds it takes to whip up meringue, you will take that typical creamy pie into a dessert sensation.  On the other hand, if you have other intentions for those egg whites do use them as you see fit since this pie is also very yummy plain as well.

As always, I only make my oil pie crust.  Honestly, if you are afraid to make pie dough because of past failures, then you need to try this easy recipe that I guarantee this will come out like you're a champion baker.  This recipe is the only pie crust dough that you never need to worry about handling too much that will result in a tough crust like a typical shortening version, which can be tricky.  Once you do try this crust, you will fall in love with  how simple and flaky the crust will be while discovering you can turn this dough into a potpie crust, quiche crust, or this dessert crust.

My Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie

3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
2-1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cup of sugar
2-1/2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1 baked 9-inch pie shell

Take out your eggs first and let sit at room temperature to warm before attempting to separate the yolks from the whites.  Separate the whites into a separate mixing bowl.  Drop your yolks into your pot with your 2 cups of milk, sugar, cocoa, peanut butter and salt and warm first before mixing your cornstarch into the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, stirring and then adding to the pot.  Cook this until thickened.  Add vanilla last once it is off the heat.


Pour into your baked shell and pile on the meringue. 


My Meringue
whole Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie.jpeg
This is how my Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie looks uncut.

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of sugar

Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff.  Gradually add the sugar and beat it in using about a tablespoon at a time.  Caution is the rule here. (If you add the sugar all at once, then you will destroy your meringue.)  Pile the stiffly beaten meringue into your filled baked shell and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until delicately browned.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reebok RealFlex Running Shoes Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**


Reebok RealFlex Running Shoes.jpeg
Reebok RealFlex Running Shoes 


One of my favorite pastimes is running.  Nothing seems to energize me more than a brisk jaunt at least twice a week to help revitalize your body and spirit besides controlling weight.  I was fortune to be able to review a pair of Reebok's RealFlex Running Shoes that I would like to tell you my experience with.

I chose the #J84869 RealFlex Run for Women in Black and found this shoe was an exact fit when it arrived.  The uppers are a suede-like material with a white stiff rubber-like, but still flexible sole.  These shoes were lightweight and extremely comfortable, almost feeling like a slipper, which would be perfect for anyone on their feet all day besides using them for running.

However, I couldn't wait to test them out on a run.  Therefore, the next day when the weather permitted, I took them for a spin and felt exhilarated by the nice support this lightweight shoe provided on both concrete and the track.  This shoe was great for providing a cozy feel while working to a runner's advantage due to the less cumbersome weight of some typical running shoes.

Another wonderful thing about this particular Reebok RealFlex shoe is they were quite attractive as well.  Whether you plan a long shopping day at the mall, a nice comfy pair to wear to your classes or for running, I honestly think your feet would be happy in a pair without any worry of blisters or corns.   Do check the Reebok website for yourself if you're looking for function and comfort.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  No money was exchanged.  All I received was a free product to facilitate this review.*

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are You Curious About the Best Cancer-Fighting Foods and Spices?

The best contenders to help keep you protected from cancer are berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, cilantro, citrus fruits, flaxseed, garlic, ginger, onions, parsley, parsnips, peppers, tomatoes, turmeric,  and whole grains.

We all know that eating too much red meat can increase your risk factor for colon cancer.  However, you can help reduce that possibly by blending lean ground meat with vegetables when making hamburger patties for instance.   For every one cup of ground beef add one cup of finely chopped onion, garlic, and mushrooms lightly browned in olive oil can help make that hamburger a healthier one.

Another interesting thing that one study found was that eating a variety of vegetables, especially dark leafy or brightly colored ones, in one meal allows their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to work in unison for the most beneficial cancer-fighting effects. 

Salmon and Tilapia are excellent choices when it comes to fish being top sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help strengthen immunity against cancer cells.

Garlic is not only a natural antibiotic, but also contains a compound called allium that may slow cancer cell growth as well.   Learning to cook with garlic and onions in your recipes will provide wonderful flavor, but added protection, which is a double bonus.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Newman's Own Organics NEW Oatmeal Chocolate Chip & Ginger Snap Cookies Review and Giveaway!--Ends September 1, 2011

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**


Newman's Own Organics Oatmeal Chocolate Chip & Ginger Snap Cookies.jpeg
Newman's Own Organics NEW Oatmeal Chocolate Chip & Ginger Snap Cookies


In March of this year, I first worked with Newman's Own Organics on a review and giveaway of a huge assortment of their delicious organic products.  Since that time, the company that originally started as a division of Newman's in 1993 until 2001 when it became a separate entity, developed two new fabulous cookies that I want to tell you about. 

I was sent their Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Ginger Snap cookies for this review and giveaway.  Both are made with organic flour, organic sugar, and healthier ingredients than typical packaged cookies.  These are crisper cookies and the perfect size to grab when you are in the mood for a sweet.  Forget about denying yourself because eating five of either variety only amounts between 130 and 140 calories for a small cookie feast!

I enjoyed both new cookies and you would too if you sampled them yourself.  Feel satisfied in your tummy and in your soul as well because through the sales of its products, Newman's Own Organics generates money for the Newman's Own Foundation for a wide variety of charitable organizations such as Hole in the Wall Camps.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  No money was exchanged.  All I received were free products to facilitate this review.*


Thanks to Newman's Own Organics, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the United States wins both bags:  the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Ginger Snap Cookies!


Both Are Mandatory to Enter:

1. You must follow me on Google Friends Connect before any of your entries will count.  If you already follow, then tell me the name you follow me by in a comment along with your email!

2.  Go to Newman's Own Organics and tell me a product you also would love to try or something you learned about the company in a comment

Extra Entries:

Add @Nuts4Stuff to Your Twitter and tell me so in your comment with your Twitter id--1 extra entry

Tweet #Win #Newman'sOwnOrganics Cookies #Giveaway @Nuts4Stuff http://tiny.cc/i36bm --1 extra entry per day in another comment

 Like Newman's Own Organics on Facebook--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Subscribe to the Nuts 4 Stuff blog by email--1 extra entry (must confirm)

Subscribe to Nuts 4 Stuff in a reader--1 extra entry (Orange button in my sidebar)

List this giveaway on any giveaway site just leave a link to this post wherever you share it--2 extra entries (leave two separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Blog about this giveaway and comment with a link to the post--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Grab my Nuts 4 Stuff button and paste it in your sidebar--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where you left it in each comment)

Add Nuts 4 Stuff to your blogroll  (using my URL) with a link back to me (comment where you left it for 1 more extra entry)

Leave a separate comment for each entry.  Be sure you include your email address inside your comment so I can contact you if you win.  This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.  Do follow the rules because I check entries.   Be alert that if you attempt to enter using multiple identities will be grounds for disqualification. 

This giveaway ends September 1, 2011 at 12 PM Eastern Standard Time. The winner will need to respond to my email with name and shipping address within 48-hours or another winner will be picked.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Run Out of Gentle Detergent for Your Delicate Washables?

For those times when you just forgot to restock that special care detergent for your delicate garments, you don't have to worry.  I found a cheap substitute that also works.

Shampoo will solve that problem and clean those items in a pinch.   Just add a small dollop to some cold water and rub the piece gently.  Rinse the item thoroughly and lay flat to dry. 


Friday, August 12, 2011

Recipe: Try Nuts Style Rice Pilaf for a Quick One Pot Lunch or Tasty Side Dish


plate of Nuts-Style-rice-pilaf.jpeg
My rice dish is healthy, easy and delicious!


When you're in a rush and want something easy to prepare for lunch instead of a sandwich or, perhaps, a  side dish, then I have the answer for you with this recipe.  What's fantastic about this is how economical it is besides being a delicious hot simple dish.

This rice pilaf is versatile and works with practically any vegetables you may want to add.  This is especially helpful when you have your garden crops coming in such as what to do with your zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, etc. 

Fresh herbs are excellent in here as well.  I like to dry mine and then process them in the food processor to get a spice blend or a single herb powder to provide exquisite flavor.  Again, you can switch out spices or peppers to suit your own taste.  I, however, love hot Hungarian wax or Jalapeno peppers to give it that nice nip, but that is my personal preference. 

The Virgin Palm Oil is a reddish oil that brings a delicious change to this pilaf as well as tinting the rice a deep yellow.

You can use chicken or beef stock or just use plain water.  All options work in my recipe from throwing in some left over chopped chicken or beef or even adding some cooked lentils. The addition of legumes turns this rice dish into a complete protein and a great vegetarian meal. 

Giving this recipe a try is worth it if you want a delightful change.  Trust me, and you will like it!  

Nuts Style Rice Pilaf

1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 hot Hungarian wax pepper (or any pepper), chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
1/4 cup of Tropical Traditions Virgin Palm Oil
1-1/2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of sage powder or leaves
2 cups of uncooked rice
1/2 cup of macaroni or noodles
4 cups of water or stock

Brown your chopped onion, pepper, celery in the oil.  Add the uncooked rice, elbow macaroni or noodles of your choice and cook about a minute first before adding the four cups of water or stock.  Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover, cooking for twenty minutes until the rice is done.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ways to Encourage Your Children to Cook!

Helping your children take an interest in cooking and baking is a good thing.  Not only will they learn an important lifelong lesson of being self-reliant when it comes to meal preparation, but you can help teach them some other valuable lessons as well.

Cooking and baking require measuring.  Sometimes, you need to adjust recipes and work with fractions, which is a great way to sharpen their mathematic skills.

Learning to cook and bake can build confidence when your child masters, perhaps, a favorite recipe.  Praise that acquired new skill and watch that child exceeding beyond your expectations as he or she wants to make something more complicated or learn more.  You might even have a budding chef in your midst. 

Do not criticize only suggest when a mistake is made, otherwise, you will discourage them from wanting to continue.  Everyone makes mistakes so just be patient with the extra dishes, tasting spoons, or the coating of flour now on your floor or any accidental spills!  This is a valuable lesson for you in gaining patience just as much as it is for your child.

Teaching your child to cook and bake can be a fun activity for both mother and child, especially if you start out making the child's favorite recipe together, side by side as a team.  Read the recipe together and walk your child through each step of the process.  Don't assume that just because you understand how to read a recipe that a non-cook does.  Ask your child if he or she understands and has any questions about the instructions.

For example, your child may ask how long does it take to cook potatoes before you can mash them.  You may reply twenty minutes is about right.  However, you may fail to provide that little detail about stabbing them first to test if they are soft enough because it comes naturally to you. Trust me, but mashing semi-cooked potatoes is like serving up a plate of glue that even dogs will refuse to eat.  I know because I forgot this little detail once.

Another important lesson is helping them appreciate the loving efforts that go into cooking and baking for your family.  A person only understands another person's situation is if they personally experience it.   Cooking and baking will develop their compassion and understanding for you and later a spouse.

Take your children grocery shopping with you.  Show them the fresh fruit and vegetables and give them lessons in proper selection.  Help them learn to read the ingredients on the back of jars and boxes of what is healthy and what is not is.  This serves as a wonderful introduction into nutrition and healthy eating. 

Finally, you can help them understand cost and comparison, which is another vital lesson to be had when you compare one product at the grocery store over another.  This is the perfect way to teach children the value of a dollar.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With My Coconut Scones!

Today, I made something fantastic.  Dear readers, if only we didn't live so far apart, I would invite all of you over to enjoy them with me because I know once you had tasted them you would also love them just as much.  

I had some Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate and decided to play with one of my scone recipes.  The result was a tasty masterpiece bursting with coconut flavor and more like a cookie than a small sweet bread only minus all the extra sugar and grease.

Unlike their Virgin Coconut Oil, the Coconut Cream Concentrate is a food and not an oil.  However, I substituted this in my recipe for the margarine requirement and only used two tablespoons of the margarine in my recipe.  I was delighted when I took these out of my oven and then more so when I tasted one!

Do remember when using a margarine in your baking to check  whether it is a spread or margarine.  Spreads never work because of their high water content.  Only a margarine will turn out for baking.

Earlier, I shared another delicious scone recipe and another version with oatmeal.  Honestly, if you are hungry for something good but are trying to watch your calories, then scones are ideal.  All three of these recipes are fantastic and great for keeping you satisfied as far as goodies are concerned!



My Coconut Scones


1/3 cup of Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate
2 tablespoons of margarine (not spread)
2-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 -1/4 cup of raisins
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
6 tablespoons of milk
1 and 3/4 cup of sifted flour


Work your margarine, coconut cream concentrate, baking powder, salt, sugar, and flour like you do for a pie, rubbing together to combine into small balls.  Stir in your beaten egg, milk, and finally raisins.  Try not to handle the dough too long.  Pat or roll out on floured surface and cut into small squares and triangles.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until done.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ouidad Tress Effects Styling Gel Review and Giveaway!--Ends August 30, 2011

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**



Ouidad Tress Effects Styling Gel.jpeg
Ouidad Tress Effects Styling Gel


If you have some natural curl or wave in your hair and are struggling to find great hair solutions geared for you, then Ouidad has some specially formulated products to help you make the best of what you have for keeping your hair beautiful and manageable.  For this review, I was provided with their Tress Effects Styling Gel, which was perfect for someone like myself with waves and loose curls.

I  sectioned my hair first before applying the Tress Effects to my slightly damp hair using the directions on the bottle.  I dumped a small amount into the palm of my hand.  Then I worked my gel-coated hand in my hair through my layers, a section at a time, going from the scalp down.  I twisted and crunched, holding the curl in place, before I moved onto another section.  I did this method until I finished my entire head.  I only wanted some hold to keep my long bangs back to the side so I skipped twisting there, which worked fine as well.

This product worked nicely on my head without undue stickiness.   This gel has special proteins, vitamin B5, botanicals, and collagen for manageability and to help lift those curls and prevent frizz.    It really did seem to plump up my curls and kept them looking pretty a lot longer than I expected.  I do think anyone with some waves definitely would like to try this gel out!


Thanks to Ouidad, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the United States wins a full size 8.5 oz. Tress Effects Styling Gel ($15 value)!


Both Are Mandatory to Enter:

1. You must follow me on Google Friends Connect before any of your entries will count.  If you already follow, then tell me the name you follow me by  with your email in a comment!

2. "Like" Ouidad on Facebook--1 extra entry to leave in a comment


Extra Entries:

Add @Nuts4Stuff to Your Twitter and tell me so in your comment with your Twitter id--1 extra entry

Tweet #Win #TressEffectsStylingGel #Giveaway @Ouidad via @Nuts4Stuff http://tiny.cc/i36bm (can be done daily)--1 extra entry per day in another comment

Follow Ouidad on Twitter--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Subscribe to the Nuts 4 Stuff blog by email--1 extra entry (must confirm)

Subscribe to Nuts 4 Stuff in a reader--1 extra entry (Orange button in my sidebar)

List this giveaway on any giveaway site just leave a link to this post wherever you share it--3 extra entries (leave 3 separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Blog about this giveaway and comment with a link to the post--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Grab my Nuts 4 Stuff button and paste it in your sidebar--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where you left it in each comment)

Add Nuts 4 Stuff to your blogroll  (using my URL) with a link back to me (comment where you left it for 1 more extra entry)

Leave a separate comment for each entry.  Be sure you include your email address inside your comment so I can contact you if you win.   This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.  Do follow the rules because I check entries.   Be alert that if you attempt to enter using multiple identities will be grounds for disqualification. 

This giveaway ends August 30, 2011 at 12 PM Eastern Standard Time. The winner will need to respond to my email with name and shipping address within 48-hours or another winner will be picked.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

California Olive Ranch Select Extra Virgin Olive Oils Review & My Recipes + GIVEAWAY!--Ends August 29, 2011

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**


California Olive Ranch Select Extra Virgin Olive Oils.jpeg
California Olive Ranch Select Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Did you know that by substituting olive oil for butter even if you're overweight, can help lessen your chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions associated with flab around the middle?  Then you can imagine how delighted I was for the opportunity to work with award winning California Olive Ranch and their Select Extra Virgin Olive Oils for this review and giveaway!

I received all three of their Select Extra Virgin Olive Oils to experiment with and share my findings with you:  Artois Ranch (Mild and Buttery), Oroville Ranch (Bold and Peppery), and Oroville Ranch (Medium and Fruity).

The bottles themselves were just the right size of 500 ml for storage in small kitchens or without worry of being a giant size to go rancid.  The spout itself was ideal being made that it was spill-proof so that not one precious drop ever gets wasted, which any consumer would appreciate.

These oils were superb for unique flavor characteristic of that region and added something special to each of my recipes that I made.  However, such rich flavors to compliment those recipes are not surprising considering this company won 38 awards in seven years with 15 gold medals.

The first recipe I made called Spicy Squash Pasta is a no fuss summer dinner that is quick, healthy, and so delicious with California Olive Ranch Select (Mild and Buttery), especially served with my homemade pasta recipe.  If you do not care for a spicy, hot flavor, then rest assured you can alter this recipe with bell peppers.

The second dish I want to share with you is an old recipe that my great-grandmother used to make with sauerkraut, noodles, and cottage cheese.  However, I substituted elbow macaroni and caraway seeds, which add an interesting flavor reminiscent of rye bread to compliment the other ingredients in this easy recipe I call Bubba's Special Cheese and Noodles.  Again, if you hate sauerkraut, this dish also tastes wonderful plain.

To make a meal complete, I love fresh salad with homemade dressing as I shared with you in an earlier post.  Let me tell you that adding the California Olive Ranch Select Medium and Fruity to My Favorite French Dressing intensified the natural flavors of the greens and spices beautifully.  

This product was also excellent to use on my Low-Cal Oven French Fries.  My oven fries are perfect for satisfying that craving for French Fries with only three tablespoons of California Olive Ranch Select Mild and Buttery.  These fries are the only ones I eat without guilt!

My Spicy Squash Pasta

1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup California Olive Ranch Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil Medium and Fruity
2 Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers, cleaned and chopped
1 and 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled, cleaned, and chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon of sugar
3/4 teaspoon of salt

Microwave your peeled, chopped butternut squash on high for a few minutes until done (time depends on your oven) to speed the cooking process along.  Next brown your chopped onion in the olive oil along with the chopped peppers, cooked squash, sugar, and salt.  This vegetable sauce is good to coat one pound of pasta or my pasta recipe using three of flour.


a plate of my Spicy Squash Pasta.jpeg
My Spicy Squash Pasta


Bubba's Special Cheese and Noodles

1 can of sauerkraut (15-16 oz. size)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
1/4 cup California Olive Ranch Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil Bold and Peppery
1 cup of chopped onion
16 oz. of creamed cottage cheese
1 teaspoon of Caraway seeds
one pound of elbow macaroni
3/4 teaspoon of salt

Drain your sauerkraut and rinse before boiling first.  Cook and then drain your sauerkraut before adding to chopped onion in the olive oil until done.   Add the Caraway seed, sugar, and salt and mix together before adding your one pound of cooked elbow macaroni add one pound of creamy cottage cheese last to serve.

Bubba's Special Cheese and Noodles.jpeg
Bubba's Special Cheese and Noodles

My Favorite French Dressing

1 cup California Olive Ranch Select Medium and Fruity Olive Oil
3/4 cup white vinegar 
1/4 cup of Tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of dry mustard
1 teaspoon of grated onion
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup of catsup or tomato soup
1 teaspoon of finely chopped pimiento
1 teaspoon minced chives
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Mix everything together except the vinegars and oil.  Pour the vinegars on the olive oil slowly and then stir everything together and pour into a closed bottle container.  Refrigerate for several hours to let the flavors mingle before using.  This makes one pint.

Low-Cal Oven French Fries

4-6 medium potatoes
3 tablespoons of California Olive Ranch Select Mild and Buttery Olive Oil
salt

Peel your potatoes, cut both ends, and then cut in strips like French Fries.  Get a 3-quart mixing bowl and add those sliced potatoes and coat with the olive oil.  Spread those coated potatoes on a cookie sheet , sprinkle with some salt, and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes turning during the first 15 minutes.  These will get golden-brown and are a great substitute for French Fries.

Low-Cal Oven French Fries.jpeg
Low-Cal Oven French Fries

Seriously, I've tried a lot of different olive oils.  Most I haven't noticed that much of a difference that is until I discovered California Olive Ranch Select Extra Virgin Olive Oils, which really add a special something to whatever you make.  You can find store locations or buy online. Now the company is offering a special 10% discount online when you enter the word BLOGFRIENDS as your coupon code.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  No money was exchanged.  All I received were free products to facilitate this review.*

Thanks to California Olive Ranch, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the United States wins their choice of one Select Extra Virgin Olive Oils:  Artois Ranch (Mild and Buttery), Oroville Ranch (Bold and Peppery), and Oroville Ranch (Medium and Fruity)!


Both Are Mandatory to Enter:

1. You must follow me on Google Friends Connect before any of your entries will count.  If you already follow, then tell me the name you follow me by in a comment along with your email!

2. You must "Like" California Olive Ranch on Facebook and tell me in a comment.

Extra Entries:

Add @Nuts4Stuff to Your Twitter and tell me so in your comment with your Twitter id--1 extra entry

Tweet #Win #SelectExtraVirginOliveOil #Giveaway  @ CA_VOO via @Nuts4Stuff http://tiny.cc/i36bm (can be done daily)--1 extra entry per day in another comment

Follow California Olive Ranch on Twitter--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Subscribe to California Olive Ranch's newsletter--1 extra entry to leave in a comment

Subscribe to the Nuts 4 Stuff blog by email--1 extra entry (must confirm)

Subscribe to Nuts 4 Stuff in a reader--1 extra entry (Orange button in my sidebar)

List this giveaway on any giveaway site just leave a link to this post wherever you share it--2 extra entries (leave two separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Blog about this giveaway and comment with a link to the post--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where in each comment)

Grab my Nuts 4 Stuff button and paste it in your sidebar--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where you left it in each comment)

Add Nuts 4 Stuff to your blogroll  (using my URL) with a link back to me (comment where you left it for 1 more extra entry)

Leave a separate comment for each entry.  Be sure you include your email address inside your comment so I can contact you if you win.  This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.  Do follow the rules because I check entries.   Be alert that if you attempt to enter using multiple identities will be grounds for disqualification. 

This giveaway ends August 29, 2011 at 12 PM Eastern Standard Time. The winner will need to respond to my email with name and shipping address within 48-hours or another winner will be picked.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Protect Your Legs to Keep Them Beautiful!

Spider veins or varicose veins often can be prevented.  Your best chance to avoid them is if you remember to take these simple precautions.

Don't just sit for too long in one place.  Get up often and walk or stand to increase your blood circulation.

Also, you should try to skip baths or showers that are overly hot or steamy.  Bathing with water that is exceptionally hot can lead to vein and leg swelling. 

Do your legs another big favor during your leisure time.  Be sure to elevate your legs on a footstool or pillow when watching television, reading, etc.

Equally important, is how you sit.  Don't keep your legs crossed for long stretches of time because it can restrict blood flow.

Another thing to be aware of is concerning how tight you like to wear your clothes.  Avoid too restricting type outfits around the waist, groin and legs unless you want to risk causing a problem.

Those supportive pantyhose are wonderful.  They can provide your legs with an energizing feel as well as in keeping a slight vein problem appear less visible.  Wearing them can help someone with visible veins already from having a problem get worse. 

Hopefully, these suggestions will help you keep your legs healthy and as beautiful as possible!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Good News for Coffee Lovers When It Comes to Your Health!

My grandmother used to live with us when I was young.  She constantly used to scold my mother for drinking too much coffee threatening it would kill her liver.  My mother's typical reply was that she only had a cup at a time with a straight face.  

Her response always frustrated my grandmother.  She would shake her head, frown, and then point to my mother's cup saying, "That is not a cup."  She would point to her small cup.  "This is a cup." 

My mother would shrug.  "So my cup happens to be a little bigger, " she would answer back. 

Grandma would roll her eyes and then eventually try to hide my mother's soup bowl-sized mug before the next meal.  This became a ritual when I was growing up because my grandmother was convinced coffee would damage livers!

I do not know if too much coffee or caffeine will damage livers.  In fact, one day we hear coffee and caffeine are bad for you.   Other times, we hear that drinking coffee and tea with caffeine is good for us.  I just know that I love my coffee and would have a hard time giving it up.  Although, I have been cutting back and drinking more water with meals instead.

According to a new study, however, women should continue to enjoy our coffee with at least three or four cups because it may help prevent  endometrial cancer.   Those women that did drink more than four cups of coffee cut their chances of developing endometrial cancer in half. 

This study also found if you had only two to three cups of coffee a day, you still reduced your chance of having a stroke by 19%.

Another thing these researchers found was that drinking two to three cups of coffee before exercising helped relieve muscle pain that followed their workout.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do You Need to Conquer a Frizzy Hair Problem?


frizz-prone-beauty's-hair.jpeg
These helpful frizz conquering tricks are especially important to the beauty of curls.


Hair can become untamable and frizz because the cuticles do not lie flat due to heredity or damage from chemical processing and the sun.  However, there are a few helpful tricks that you can try to avoid constantly battling a frizzy hair problem. 

Your Shampooing and Conditioning Techniques Matter


The most important thing is to watch the way you shampoo your hair.   Instead of briskly scrubbing, you need to be gentle with your hands and apply the shampoo (a smoothing shampoo is best) more to your scalp, slowly massaging the scalp to blend it in.   Once the shampoo is worked in thoroughly, you should try using a wide-toothed comb to distribute the shampoo over your hair before rinsing out.

Regarding conditioning, there is a special procedure you should follow as well.  If you happen to have thick, coarse hair, apply the conditioner in just the same fashion as you did for massaging the shampoo into the scalp, followed by combing through with the wide-toothed comb before rinsing.

Working With Your Hair Texture Also Plays a Role in Conquering Frizz


On the other hand, if you have fine hair, then you need to apply the conditioner only to the ends of your hair, not your entire head.  You can use the wide-toothed comb and this will gently get the conditioner through the rest of your hair before rinsing out.

A Frizz-Fighting Serum Provides Additional Defense From Frizz


A good idea is to add a frizz-fighting serum as a part of your routine before drying either by blow-dryer or naturally.  A pea-size amount is all you need.  Serums are great for anyone with thick, coarse hair while the cream versions are best for those with fine hair.