Recipe: Broccoli Cheese Soup with pasta shells

Hosting a small casual party? I seem to be doing that on a weekly basis lately since my new grandson is local one day a week. Sweet baby boy is bait for visits from family & friends, especially during lunch time. I love these visits and the opportunity to spend time with those I love and sometimes, I like to have lunch ready to serve. Most everyone loves broccoli cheese soup as well as mac & cheese, right? How about a combination of the two? This only takes about 30 minutes to prepare. Perfect!

Ingredients I used:

  • 1 box Horizon® Pasta Shells & White Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 lb. bag of organic frozen broccoli (recommended: Earthbound Farms brand)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter (recommended: Horizon® brand)
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup organic all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 cups free range chicken broth
  • 2 cups organic half and half (Horizon® brand recommended)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • shredded (Horizon®) cheddar cheese for topping

For more information, visit Horizon®’s website.

Servings: 4-6

Time: approx. 30 minutes.

Directions:

Saute onion in 1 tablespoon of melted butter in large pot. Add two cups of chicken broth and simmer.

Add 2 cups of chicken broth and half of frozen broccoli to food processor and puree.

Add chicken broth/broccoli to onions/large pot and stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

In bowl, mix cheese packet from Horizon® Pasta Shells & White Cheddar Cheese, 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of melted butter and 2 cups of half and half.

Slowly add the half and half mixture to pot and whisk to mix over medium high heat 2 minutes.

Add Horizon® Pasta Shells & White Cheddar Cheese and remaining broccoli. Add a pinch or two of sea salt. Boil 10-12 minutes or until macaroni is done.

Remove from heat, top with shredded cheddar cheese and serve.

It’s so good! Day 2/leftovers may require the addition of more chicken broth/etc. because those shells soak it all in.

Since we’re considering more organic choices, I was pleased to learn about all of the Horizon® products. Looking for more recipes? Try the MAC-N-ATOR™, an online tool that takes existing ingredients in your kitchen that you enter and creates a recipe including Horizon® Mac & Cheese. Horizon® is an easy solution you can feel good about.

*This conversation is sponsored by Horizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

Enjoy Horizon Mac & Cheese as a versatile meal and keep your family happy.  Try different vegetables in the dish to promote alternative uses of Horizon products or let your imagination take over.

 

Horizon is a pioneer in the organic industry.  Every choice they make is carefully considered with National Organic Program (NOP) guidelines in mind.  Horizon Mac & Cheese is made with these guidelines and the happy family in mind.  For more information, visit Horizon’s website for more information. 

This conversation is sponsored by Horizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

Cinnamon Apple Crisp Recipe and Holiday Baking Essentials Gift Guide

Cinnamon Apple Crisp

cinnamon apple crisp recipe @diyshowoff  

This is so good! I adapted my mom’s homemade apple crisp recipe to include cinnamon bark essential oil. Yum!

Ingredients: 

  • apples (peeled/cored/sliced) – 8 cups 
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • cinnamon 
  • optional: cinnamon bark essential oil
  • sugar – 2 cups (or 1 cup white granulated + 1 cup brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup butter (softened)

Line bottom of 9×13 baking dish with apples. Add salt and 1-2 drops of cinnamon essential oil (optional) to water. Pour over apples. Sprinkle cinnamon on apples. 

Mix sugar, flour and butter (add 1 drop of cinnamon essential oil if desired). Crumble mixture on top of apples. 

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes. 

Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream. Serves 15-20. 

Gifts for the Baker – Inspired by Macy’s cookware buying guide

baking essentials gift guide

  1. 9 Inch Pie Dish
  2. Icing Spatula
  3. Belgian Waffle Maker
  4. Egg Whites Beating Bowl
  5. Le Creuset Batter Bowl
  6. French Rolling Pin
  7. KitchenAid Stand Mixer
  8. Mixing Bowl Set
  9. Pastry Dough Blender
  10. Tart Pan
  11. Dessert Decorator

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Macy’s. The recipe, opinions and text are all mine.

Ideas for Hosting an Essential Oils Holiday Open House

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

I love holiday hosting, entertaining and getting together with friends! As you know, I love essential oils too. 😉 I recently hosted an essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House for my team (along with their guests). We had a great time! Here are a few ideas for hosting: 

Invitation: 

Holiday Open House

As you can see, I charged $20 per person. Most guests supplied their own Young Living essential oils if they had them. I shared my own supply with a few guests not signed up. And one guest who didn’t have her kit yet created the recipes without essential oils (which she added at a later time). While $20 didn’t cover my cost of materials, snacks and prizes, it did help tremendously. My goal wasn’t to make money but to provide a ‘thank you’ and fun interactive learning environment for my team. Create the same on a smaller scale, balance cost with expense. Have a good time! {For out of town guests/those who are unable to attend, email recipes & ideas.}

Food…I added peppermint essential oil to gluten free brownies, cinnamon bark essential oil to pumpkin bread, had lime essential oil on hand with organic/non-gmo chips and salsa and tossed some popcorn with melted coconut oil, sea salt and a few drops of lime essential oil. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Drinks: I supplied a flavored water station with icy cold bottled water, citrus essential oils (tangerine, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and Citrus Fresh) with glass bottles and festive paper straws. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

As well as a hot chocolate bar with organic cocoa mix, peppermint essential oil, marshmallows and candy canes. 

Ideas for Hosting an Essential Oils Holiday Open House @diyishowoff

Door prizes: (Thieves hand sanitizer, essential oil bottle labels, lip balms) were drawn every half hour (winner had to be present for this). Entries included name, email, phone# and check boxes for hosting a class or interested in business building. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Raffles: I sold tickets for raffle prices. This was a huge hit and ticket sales covered the cost. I purchased a few Young Living holiday items in advance and set up a raffle. Winners were drawn at the end of the day. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Diffuse Young Living’s Christmas Spirit essential oil blend. Crank the Christmas music!

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Holiday DIY gift Make & Take: Each guest paid $20 to make 10 gifts. I supplied everything but the essential oils. Most (and most are organic) ingredients and ‘tasting spoons’ (good for mixing, cute tied to a jar) were purchased in bulk from Amazon. Containers (tins, bottles, jars) were purchased from the bridal favor section at Michaels. Trays are from Target. Bowls from the Dollar store. Spray bottles from AbundantHealth4U. Other supplies: measuring spoons, funnels, measuring cups, medicine droppers, paper towels, gift bags for guest to take home their treasures)

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Set up at the dining room table: 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff  

You may need to adjust ingredients to fit your container. Everyone had fun playing “chemist”. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff There was a Decorating Station in the family room. Ribbon, labels, gift tags, washi tape, etc. for making gifts pretty!

It was a fun filled day of hearing testimonials, answering questions, reviewing the Essential Rewards program and business side of things. It was a great time getting to know local team members and getting excited about essential oils. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Happy Holidays, oily friends!

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

I love my essential oils! I love my oily team! Want to join the fun (not to mention the movement for healthier living, natural options and a chemical free home)? Let’s talk! 

Young Living at diyshowoff.com

Check out my essential oils page for more information on how you can get these amazing oils in your hands too along with helpful freebies, a gift from me, and tons of support. 

 

Rustic Glam Woodland Centerpiece and a Mint Mocha Smoothie

My favorite time of the year is summer and I love spending my days outdoors when I don’t have to bundle up, the sun shining warm on my face, taking a few moments from the chaos on the patio swing to close my eyes while I ponder the day’s plans.

My woodland centerpiece is inspired by summer, talking walks in the woods. A good hike, re-connecting. Mood boosting!

Materials: moss runner, large wood slice, fresh flowers, feathers, white candles, twine, wooden spoons and gold spray painted toy animals.

a blend of natural elements with a little glam

Create a woodland themed vignette. Nature inspired. Peaceful and serene.

It’s a sweet centerpiece for the bistro table under our grape arbor gazebo, all set for some quiet time, counting blessings, healthy meditation and brainstorming up my next big DIY project. Remember to take a few quiet minutes for the sake of your health, to breathe, to think (or not think) and to just rest before tackling the rest of the day.

A shaded haven for catching up with my daughter. We sat there the other day, sipping mocha mint smoothies, talking and dreaming big.

Do you take the time to sit and soak up the good things? What inspires you to live a healthier lifestyle?

Mocha Mint Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients for 1 large serving or 2 small:

mocha mint smoothie

Check out the Silk products for yourself on the Silk Facebook page. Cool, refreshing and so good! I hope you get a few happy moments away from summer’s crazy schedule today. xo

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Refreshing Berry Smoothie Recipe

We entertain a lot during the summer and I’m always looking for amazing recipes to serve guests. Last night I taught an Essential Oils 101 class in my home and served up these delicious berry smoothies to my guests. 

Ningxia berry syrup smoothie recipe at diyshowoff.com

I loooove berries so when Young Living recently released Gary’s True Grit Ningxia Berry Syrup (1 liter NingXia berry syrup with lemon and orange essential oils), it was quickly added to my shopping cart. Ingredients include: Organic evaporated cane juice, Water, Berry juice concentrate (Blueberry, Pomegranate, Apricot, Raspberry), Pure vanilla extract, Xanthan gum, Grape pomace extract, Lemon (Citrus Limon) peel oil, Orange (Citrus sinensis) peel extract, Wolfberry Seed oil.

Ningxia Berry Smoothie Recipe

Young Living Ningxia Berry Syrup Smoothie Recipe @diyshowoff  

Add the following to your blender:

  • 2 scoops of frozen vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of Silk almond coconut milk blend
  • handful of frozen berries (I used frozen strawberries, red and black raspberries and blueberries
  • 2 tbs. of Young Living Ningxia Berry Syrup 

Blend on medium until smooth. Pour into glass. Top with a few berries. Serve. SO good! So berry-licious and refreshing on a hot summer day! And when you live within 1 mile of a popular ice-cream franchise like we do, a much healthier option too. 😉 

Young Living Ningxia Berry Syrup Smoothie Recipe @diyshowoff

Serving: 1 

*I filled up my blender to make a serving for 6. I also made them about an hour before the class and froze until ready to serve. 

Looking for more info on Young Living Essential Oils? Visit my natural living page for more details and an awesome special deal!

Check out how you can join me in taking the first steps to creating a healthier lifestyle with Young Living Essential Oils at diyshowoff.com

Enjoy the weekend, friends! Stay cool!