Tag Archives: fast and easy

DIY Deodorants and Magnesium Oil

Basic Formula for DIY Deodorants with and Without Baking Soda

I am time challenged person who seeks to live a balanced and sane life. My passion for fast and easy all natural healthy kosher cooking also includes a passion for DIY fast, easy and all natural beauty and cleaning products too. When I go on my periodic all-natural kicks, I am only willing to use DIY beauty products if they are easy, economical and effective.

In addition to my facial scrub and hair conditioner, I also make DIY deodorant.

Super-Fast and Easy DIY Deodorant

This is the recipe that I posted earlier. I call it my “In A Pinch Solution.”

Ingredients

1 part baking soda

1 part starch: corn, potato, tapioca, etc.

Instructions 

Blend together and store in glass jar. Apply with makeup brush or sponge while still slightly damp from bathing.

img_4841

Make using equal parts of both.


 

Carol’s Basic DIY Deodorant Powder

When I first began using DIY deodorant, I used just plain baking soda. Unfortunately, I found it very abrasive for my skin. Over the years, I have developed this recipe which is practical, easy and works! Afterall, if it is not practical, then I can’t sweat it, if you will pardon the pun.

Ingredients 

1/2 cup baking soda

1/2 cup starch

1 or 2 tablespoons clay powder

1-3 teaspoons activated charcoal

Optional: coconut oil to right consistency (about ½ cup)

Optional: 5-10 drops of essential oil of your choice, i.e., tea tree, peppermint, lavender, sandalwood

Instructions 

Blend together and store in glass jar. Apply with makeup brush or sponge while still slightly damp from bathing.

If you prefer to apply as a cream or a stick, slowly mix coconut oil into the powder until desired consistency. Personally, I find the powder faster and lower maintenance.  However, lots of people find a cream easier to apply. So, try it both ways and decide for yourself!


I have been using this for over a year and I can honestly say that it works!

My husband jokes — “if all else fails, you can eat it too!”

After I made my regular deodorant, one of my daughter’s therapists, Lynette, told me that she always wanted to use DIY deodorant, but, she is allergic to baking soda.


I figured that she could not be the only person who reacts to baking soda, so I went on line to try and find a DIY deodorant without baking soda that meets my criteria of easy, effective and economical. I am happy to say that I have created my first batch, and it really works too!

The downside is that it is slightly less effective than the one with baking soda. I found that it only works for 12 hours. After that, I found that I needed to reapply either the powder or the spray.

These deodorants are not antiperspirants. So, you will still sweat, but, you will not smell offensive. Sweating, however, it a good thing. It helps to release toxins and is necessary for proper temperature regulation.

Carol’s First Attempt at DIY Deodorant Powder without Baking Soda

Ingredients

1/2 cup starch

1/2 cup clay powder (you can use only 1 or 2 tablespoons clay powder, if you want)

1- 2 teaspoons finely ground natural salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)

2 -3 teaspoons finely ground Epsom salt or Magnesium oil (more on this later)

Optional: 1-3 teaspoons activated charcoal

Optional: 5-10 drops of essential oil of your choice, i.e., tea tree, peppermint, lavender, sandalwood, etc. The list is up to your creativity and personal preferences.

Instructions:

Blend together and store in glass jar. Apply with makeup brush or sponge while still slightly damp from bathing.


Carol’s First Attempt at DIY Deodorant Spray without Baking Soda

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Epsom salt or Magnesium oil (more on this later)

1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tablespoons Witch Hazel

2 tablespoons Vodka/alcohol spirits up to 120 proof (the higher the alcohol content, the stronger it works: 70-90 low; 90-120 medium; 120+ strong)

1/8 teaspoon (a “pinch”) natural salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)

Optional: 5-10 drops of essential oil of your choice, i.e., tea tree, peppermint, lavender, sandalwood, etc. The list is up to your creativity and personal preferences.

Instructions:

Mix together the ingredients and store in glass jar or spray bottle. Shake before using and apply using your fingers (assuming they are clean and you are not sharing the jar with anyone) or spray under arms while still slightly damp from bathing.

For some reason, I found it better to first apply the spray, and then apply the powder too. Then, in the morning, I would just apply the powder.

I am not including a picture, since it is a clear liquid.

Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome. I am going to share it with Lynette now too.

DIY Magnesium Oil


In the process of learning about no-baking soda deodorants, I learned about magnesium oil and its many health benefits. There is a ton of information available on line, so I am not going to repeat myself here.

I thought, however, that it might be helpful to include various infographics that I found on line to explain the benefits of the various ingredients. At the end of this post, I am also including various sites which include information about magnesium, and other sites to explore DIY beauty products.

Apparently, it is very difficult to get enough magnesium intracellularly through food, as the soil today is more depleted than in the past. And, one of the best ways to obtain magnesium is through the skin, or transdermally.

DIY Magnesium Oil

1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 cup magnesium chloride flakes

Basically, the ratio is 1:1 water to magnesium chloride flakes

Instructions:

Bring the water to a boil in a non-aluminum saucepan. Turn off the heat and stir in the magnesium flakes until dissolved. When cool, pour into a spray bottle or glass jar. No refrigeration is necessary.


Spray directly on the skin, and rotate the site to different parts of your body and rub lightly until it is absorbed.  Use anywhere from 10-30 sprays per day.

Results so far:

I wanted to share with everyone that using magnesium oil daily has so far changed our lives.

For over a year, Yaffa has unfortunately had a chronic staph and strep infection on her skin. She completed several rounds of antibiotics. Despite also washing her with betadine solution, nothing seemed to be helping.

 

So, I started to give her Epsom salt or magnesium chloride baths, and spraying magnesium oil on the lesion twice a day. It was miraculous! Her infection is finally better and starting to resolve!

Since Raizel became sick, she has been complaining of chronic fatigue.  We have gone to so many doctors and had so many blood tests. Nothing seemed to explain her symptoms. So, I started spraying magnesium oil on her twice a day too and another miracle occurred! Her fatigue is lifting, and every day she feels better and better. Raizel even notices how much better she feels. It has been quite dramatic.

Finally, I have developed psoriasis, probably due to all my stress. Despite all my efforts, nothing seemed to really help. I too have started using the magnesium oil twice a day, and no more itching! I am so happy!

So, I highly recommend using magnesium oil, assuming you are otherwise healthy. Any questions or concerns, please consult your health care provider.

References:

https://wellnessmama.com/3610/low-magnesium/

https://wellnessmama.com/22357/spray-deodorant-recipe/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/magnesium

http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/magnesium

These are 2 of my all-time favorite sites to explore DIY everything:

https://raising6kids.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/natural-diy-deodorant-ideas/

https://www.diynatural.com/natural-homemade-deodorant/

 

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Simple and Good Braised Chicken

Simple and Good Braised Chicken

This is such a simple chicken recipe, that it risked being called “Chicken With No Name.” It is endlessly adaptable, depending on available ingredients, personal preferences, time and circumstances. I have made it several times over the past few weeks, and it is always a hit.

Ingredients:

1 chicken cut in parts, skinned

Optional: leave skin on and sear the chicken pieces until browned for added flavor

2 -3 carrots, sliced

2 onions, sliced

2 celery stalks with leaves, cut in 1″ pieces

Optional: 1-2 parsnips, or other vegetables. Don’t add too many vegetables, or else the chicken will be overwhelmed. The more simple, the better the outcome.

Salt, to taste. Add the salt sparingly after it is cooked. Kosher chicken tends to be salty, and too much salt ruins the flavor.

1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Optional: paprika adds a nice flavor and color

2 bay leaves (I love bay leaves, so I like to add more)

1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed, near the end

1/2 cup water Optional: use chicken broth, or wine

Optional: 1 can crushed tomatoes or tomato paste for a thicker broth

Optional: 3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters

Optional: Thicken broth with 1-2 tablespoons of flour or starch. I usually dissolve the starch in a small amount of broth, and then add it to the dish and simmer until thickened.

Optional: If you REALLY want to be fancy, brown the starch or flour in fat, and then gradually add the liquid and stir or whisk until desired thickness. This takes a bit of time and skill, so I don’t recommend it if you are time challenged. It is something I do only for special occasions and for the right audience. My family does not like thicken sauce, and I find that it makes the leftovers “gloppy.”

Instructions 

Place carrots, onions, and celery in the bottom of the pot. If you have the time, you could saute the vegetables until browned, however, I did not. Add the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with pepper, garlic powder, and if using, paprika or other desired spices. Then add the liquid, and, the (optional) tomato puree or paste.

I place the chicken on top of the vegetables so that the stock almost steams or roasts the chicken.

The secret is to cook the chicken with only a minimal amount of liquid or stock. And, only add a minimal amount of salt after it is cooked. Too much salt, or liquid, and the taste is altered. I also only add crushed fresh garlic at the end. In general, less is more with this chicken recipe. The beauty is in its simplicity.

Stove top: bring to boil and let simmer until done. Add crushed garlic, salt and adjust seasonings to taste.

Crockpot. Cook on low until done. Add crushed garlic, salt and adjust seasonings to taste.

In pressure cooker: 7 minutes to pressure and then use the quick release method by running cold water over the lid when done. Add crushed garlic, salt and adjust seasonings to taste.

This week, I made it in the crockpot overnight. I adjusted the seasonings when I got up this morning before going to work. I forgot to take a picture of it in the crockpot. So, I only have pictures when I made it on the stove top.

Here are the pictures:

Layered in the pot before cooking. I see I added parsnips too.


The first time around, my husband ate straight from the pot!


Another live action shot of Jay eating from the pot.


Everyone was soooooo happy! Raizel said, “I am obsessed with this chicken. It is scary good!”  My husband said, “This chicken is killer!” It is one of the few times that there were actually no leftovers.

It is fast, easy, all natural and simple — cooking for the time challenged at its best.

Enjoy!

Challah Kugel

Challah Kugel 


ואל תאמר לכשאפנה אשנה, שמא לא תפנה

It is written in Perkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers): Do not say, “When I have leisure time, I will study,” for you may never have leisure. (2:4)

According to the commentaries, this means that “one must consciously set aside time for study and spiritual growth.”

Now, I would not like to imply that blogging is on the same spiritual level as learning Torah.

But, with respect to blogging, I have extrapolated the above quote to mean: If I wait for things to calm down to blog, I will never blog.

As I shared in May, I am a big believer in the importance of rigorous self-care. As the primary caregiver for my family, I find blogging to be a fun and wonderfully creative outlet. Since blogging helps me cope, it’s time to post!

Challah kugel is a great way to use up leftover challah. Kugel in general is one of Yaffa’s favorite dishes, and this kugel in particular is especially yummy.

Challah Kugel

Ingredients:

16 oz challah

1 ½ cups water

1 ½  cups milk (I used rice milk)

Optional: use apple or orange juice for either or all of the liquid instead

4 eggs

1/2 – 1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons oil

Optional: ½ to 1 cup raisins, crushed pineapple or sliced apples

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375* F.

Crumble or break up challah into small pieces into bowl. Combine water (or juice) and milk and pour over challah. Mix until challah is soft, but not too mushy. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into pan and bake for approximately 1 hour or until done.

The texture is particularly creamy when it is baked in a deeper pan containing about 1 inch of water.

When I do not used a hot water bath, I bake it in a 350* F oven instead. It depends on how time challenged I am at that moment.

Variations: This recipe is really my basic formula for any sweet kugel. During Passover, I used crushed matzah instead of bread. To make it gluten free, I use rice, and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

All the ingredients mixed in the pot.

 

In the pan, ready to bake.

Final outcome.

 

I consider this to be one of my signature kugel recipes. It is always a hit!

Enjoy!

 

Cumin Beets

Cumin Beets

As I have shared in the past, I consider myself to be a pressure cooker and crockpot Queen, in addition to the Arch Duchess of the rice cooker. 

To save time, I am always looking for ways to make fast and easy recipes. 

I was very excited to make this new way to cook beets. It can easily be made in a crockpot, stove top, or in a pressure cooker.

Ingredients

Beets, sliced

1 onions, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 can (14 oz.) chopped tomatoes, juice included

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Optional: fresh chopped herbs such as cilantro or parsley 

Instructions:

Wash and scrub beets. Slice with a food processor. If desired, beets can be peeled or left whole. A longer cooking time will be needed for whole beets.

Saute onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Add beets, water and canned tomatoes.

In pressure cooker: bring to pressure for 2 minutes and release the pressure. Simmer if needed until done.

In crock pot: place in crockpot and cook on low until done. If a longer cooking time is needed, then leave beets whole, so that they can cook all day.

Stove pot: bring to a boil and let simmer until done.

Adjust seasoning as needed once fully cooked. 

Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley add a special gourmet touch.

 I made this just before Shabbat, so unfortunately I have only one picture.

Freshly made, and without any adornment.

 

This is a fast and easy and super tasty way to cook beets. Everyone loved them, even my husband who is not a fan of cumin.

Enjoy!

 

Shabbat In 2 Hours: Mashed Potatoes

Shabbat In 2 Hours: Mashed Potatoes

This is almost one of my non-recipe recipes.

My family loves mashed potatoes. However, mashed potatoes are something that need to be made fresh and served immediately. As I am time challenged, I find it difficult to make anything that requires precise timing. Up until now, I rarely made them.

This past week, I was so excited to have discovered cooking the potatoes in the crock pot. The potatoes cooked while I was at work. Then, when I came home, I mashed them just before Shabbat. In very little time, we had wonderful, fresh mashed potatoes.

I know that this seems like such a little thing. But, it was very exciting for everyone. Sometimes, it is the little things in life that count.

little_things

Ingredients

potatoes, whole and unpeeled

water to cover

salt, pepper to taste

olive oil, to taste

Optional: butter or margarine

Optional:sauteed onions

Optional: fresh crushed garlic

Optional: spices as desired

Optional: paprika, for added color

Instructions

Place whole potatoes in crock pot, and add water to cover. Since I made this early in the morning, I added more water than necessary, to avoid overcooking. However, overcooking is not a high risk proposition. Since they are going to be mashed, overcooking will not harm the final outcome.

When I got home, the potatoes were cooked, and not even over cooked!  I peeled them, and mashed them, adding the cooking water to desired consistency. As I mashed them, I added the salt, pepper and olive oil.

Placed whole in the crock pot, cover with water.

I peeled them after they were cooked.

Mashed and ready to serve!

The variations of mashed potatoes are endless. So far, I have not been too adventurous.

My plan was to leave some of the potatoes whole for a potato salad for lunch on Shabbat day. However, that turned out to be unnecessary.  Everyone in the family devoured the mashed potatoes! I actually ran out.  A definite hit!

Now, everyone is looking forward to having them for Shabbat dinner again.  I am so happy that it will be possible to make this dish more often.

Enjoy!

 

In A Hurry Nut Drop Cookies

This is another recipe from my mother. While we were visiting, my mother had one of her various meetings. This recipe was her contribution.

My mother said that this is her go-to cookie recipe when she is short on time and wants to serve something simple and yet spectacular.

These cookies have an added panache, as you can adapt the flavor with different spices. And, they are also kosher for Passover!

 

Ingredients

1 lbs nuts or seeds. My mother said that “peanuts are the best, but any combination will work.”

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

Optional: coriander and cardamom

Instructions

Beat egg with sugar and spices. Add nuts. Shape into cookies, drop on parchment line pan.

Bake in 325*F oven until set.

Optional, sprinkle with icing sugar when done, but my mother thinks they are sweet enough.

To give as a gift, place gently into a glass mason jar. Cover and decorate with a nice ribbon or bow.

Mixed and ready to drop.

Mixed and ready to drop.

Drop with a spoon onto parchment paper.

 

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

In a jar to give as a gift.


Fast, easy, sophisticated and yum!

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Muffins

Cinnamon Muffins

For some reason, Raizel has been obsessed with cinnamon. My niece, “Yo-Yo” (this is short for Yocheved) gave me a great recipe for Cinnamon Pull Apart Buns when we went to visit my sister 2 weeks ago for Chanukah.

I have to share how much my niece, Yo-Yo is growing up to be a delightful young woman. Similar to my sister, Raizel, Yo-Yo has developed a passion for baking. The 2 of us enjoyed reading and discussing various cookbooks and recipes. She is truly my sister’s daughter.

However, since I am time challenged, I decided to experiment with this faster Cinnamon Muffin recipe instead. Hopefully, it will satisfy Raizel’s craving for cinnamon. If not, stay tuned for Yo-Yo’s Cinnamon Pull Apart Buns.

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used spelt)

1 cup sugar (I used slightly less)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Alternative: use water, coconut or nut milk instead. I used rice milk

½ cup oil

2 eggs

Instructions:

By hand: combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix the eggs, oil and liquid in a bowl. Making a well in the center, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, and oil in food process for 1 minute. Slowly add liquid until well blended. Add flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

Pour batter into a greased, sprayed or parchment lined cupcake tin.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cinnamon Glaze

For fun, I thought I would experiment with making a glaze similar to the one used for the doughnuts, and with cinnamon added as well.

Ingredients

Equal amounts of water and sugar, i.e. 1/4 water and 1/4 cup sugar.

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

To make the glaze, place equal amounts of sugar and water and the cinnamon into a small pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook the sugar, cinnamon and water over high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.

For a thicker glaze, continue to cook the glaze and stir occasionally until it reduces to a thicker consistency, or add more sugar.

When the muffins are done, dip them into the simmering glaze and then place on a serve plate.

Here are the pictures:

Fresh out of the oven!

 

Cinnamon Glaze

Cinnamon Glaze

Glazed and ready to eat.

The girls are back at school today, so, it is too soon to tell how much they like them.

However, I love the smell of cinnamon. To me, it is the scent of Ha-Olam Ha-bah (The world to come or heaven).

Postscript: Raizel came home from school today and said, “These are awesome! Wow.” She then spontaneously said, “They still don’t compare to Cinnamon Buns. Can we make them on Sunday?”

I had to laugh when she said that. So much for fast and easy delicious muffins. It looks like we will be exploring Yo-Yo’s Cinnamon Buns recipe next.

Enjoy!