Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tasty Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew

Tasty Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew

350 grams beef cubes
1 divided large carrot
1 small diced onion
400 grams potatoes, cut into large cubes
1 divided celery stalk
200 grams fresh peas
400 grams peeled canned tomatoes
1 tbs plain flour
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

*Put the beef cubes in a large resealable bag, add the flour and season with salt and pepper.
*Seal the bag and toss well to evenly coat the meat.
*In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
*Add the carrot, celery, onion and saute until the onion is golden for about 5 minutes.
*Take the vegetables to the slow cooker.
*Return the pot to medium-high heat, add the remaining olive oil and the *Add the beef cubes.
*Cook stirring until the beef has browned.
*In the meantime, crush the canned tomatoes with a fork or pulse in a food processor until smooth.
*After that transfer the browned meat to the slow cooker, add the potatoes, peas, tomato sauce, rosemary, bay leaves and salt.
*Stir, cover and cook on low heat for about 8 hours.
*Discard the bay leaves and rosemary.
*Serve it warm with some bread.
*Enjoy your meal.

Recipe source: Scrumptious Recipes

8 tips for feeling more awake in the morning (without caffeine)

8 tips for feeling more awake in the morning (without caffeine)
[I took the time to type this out for those of you who can't read the image.]

1. Stimulate your brain. Play sudoku, crossword or write in your journal.

2. Drink freshly squeezed fruit juice. [Not in a carton, real fruit cut up before juicing.] Live enzymes = more energy!

3. Give yourself a dry skin brush before you hop in the shower. Use a long-handle natural bristle brush to brush yourself head to toe, increases circulation and skin glow.

4. Take a cold shower. [Or make the last few minutes cold.] You will feel alert and your skin will feel great!

5. Expose yourself to direct sunlight. [Alerts your body's internal clock to wake up.]

6. Tidy up your space... just five minutes of de-cluttering will refresh your mind & make you feel accomplished.

7. Do ten jumping jacks. [A little physical activity can really help.]

8. Fake it til you make it. How about acting like you're super awake? Straighten your posture, laugh a lot, walk briskly. Keep it up and your body won't know the difference.

**The best way to feel awake is to get a good night's sleep. Don't skip your zzzz's!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

8 Bedtime Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain

8 Bedtime Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain

I know a lot of people I meet have back pain. And most find it hard to do certain stretches or exercises, so I thought I would share this one. You can do these in your bed. I really hope they help.

Vegetable Spring Rolls


-1¾oz dried rice vermicelli
-2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
-1 small cucumber, cut into matchsticks
-2 red peppers, cut into matchsticks
-3 spring onions, thinly sliced
-12 circular rice-paper discs.....
-Handful fresh mint leaves
-Handful fresh coriander leaves

1.Place the noodles in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 5-7 mins, or until the noodles are soft, then drain well.
2.Combine the carrots, cucumber, red peppers and spring onions. Stir through the drained noodles. Prepare a bowl of hot water. Dip a rice-paper disc into the hot water for about 10 secs, or until soft.
3.Lay it on a tea towel and place some of the noodle mixture onto the center, topped with a few mint and coriander leaves. Fold in two sides of the disc, and then roll up to make a 'cylinder'......
4.Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Make the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients and whisking until the sugar has dissolved!!!....

Soak the rice-paper discs just long enough to make them pliable. if they're limp and sticky, you've soaked them for too long!!!..... I just place them in a dinner plate of warm-tap water....then out onto a clean dish towel to drain momentarily!....

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Did you know this?

Did you know this?

Water straight from the tap becomes cloudy when frozen. To make ice cubes crystal clear, allow a kettle of boiled water to cool slightly and use this to fill your ice cube trays.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Some uses and benefits of Cinnamon

Some uses and benefits of Cinnamon

1) Seedlings. The term dampening off covers a range of diseases and that attack a seed/seedling either before or after germination and cause the seedling to die. They can be caused by several different fungus and soil conditions. A few years back I read that if you dust the soil with cinnamon it will prevent dampening off. I've been doing it since with great results! (this also get's rid of those little gnats that somehow appear around seedling trays)

2) Wild mushrooms. Nothing worse then having to waste a beautiful day pulling mushrooms from the mulch in my flower beds. Mushrooms are fungus though, and by dusting cinnamon all over the mulch it helps to control mushroom growth.

3) Rooting hormone. Much cheaper then the chemical stuff they sell in the big box store and just as effective! Just apply cinnamon powder to the stem when you plant the cutting.

4) Ant deterrent. Ants do not like cinnamon! Sprinkle it in your greenhouse or around your garden beds. It will not kill the ants, but they will stay away from it. Sprinkle it by your doors if ants are coming into your house. They really hate to cross a line of cinnamon!

5) Plant wounds. Overzealous pruning or a slip of the weed whacker and you'll have a plant with a wound that needs fixed up. Simply dust cinnamon on the wound to encourage healing and prevent fungal infection at the same time.

6) House plants. Cinnamon get's rid of molds and mildew in house plants too. Simply sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on the soil. It will also get rid of gnats if you happen to have them buzzing around your house plants. These are the same gnats seedlings get, the cinnamon destroys the fungus they feed on and they will die.