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.

7 Essential Oils for Sleep

Sleepy time! Do you love it as much as I do? I know I don’t want to be operating power tools with a foggy head from lack of sleep.  Not to mention, my family isn’t the most pleasant to be around when functioning on little sleep (me either for that matter). Know what I mean?

In our home: Someone has a bit of trouble falling asleep and when he does sleep, he sometimes snores. No sleep apnea. No medical conditions. Just out like a light when he finally gets there and sometimes, quite the disturbance. Me? I have a bit of trouble with turning my brain off at night so I read until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Then I sleep peacefully unless there’s a disturbance from the other side of the bed. 

Young Living sleepy time essential oils @diyshowoff #1836762

Here are the Young Living essential oils that have helped our family get a peaceful night’s rest:

  • Cedarwood – Cedarwood has a warm, balsamic, woody aroma. It is relaxing and soothing when used for massage, and has long been used as a beneficial ingredient in cosmetic preparations for oily skin. He says it doesn’t make him feel drowsy instantly but it does promote a restful night of sleep. He does not like the smell (I don’t mind it) but the odor doesn’t stay around long and it’s a small price to pay for a restful snooze. He simply rubs a drop onto the bottom of each foot.
  • Valerian – He adds a drop to a glass of milk. He does make a face and says it’s like a shot of what whiskey + milk would taste like but it makes him drowsy within a few minutes. It promotes a peaceful night’s sleep. He’s also added a drop to each foot but prefers the “shot” orally. This one smells stinky to me but again, not really a big deal. Valerian root has been used for thousands of years for its calming, grounding, and emotionally balancing influences. During the last three decades, it has been clinically investigated for its relaxing properties. Before we were introduced to Young Living essential oils, my husband occasionally took this in pill form as needed. 
  • Valor – Valor is an empowering combination of therapeutic-grade essential oils that works with both the physical and spiritual aspects of the body to increase feelings of strength, courage, and self-esteem in the face of adversity. Renowned for its strengthening qualities, Valor enhances an individual’s internal resources. It has also been found to help energy alignment in the body.
  • RutaVaLa – RutaVaLa promotes relaxation of the body and mind. It helps ease tension and relieve stress. The blend helps overcome negative feelings while encouraging a positive attitude and comfort. A blend of rue, valerian and lavender. Apply RutaVaLa essential oil blend on the back of neck, base of spine, the feet, or just under the nose before bed to overcome negative feelings and lull the mind into a sense of comfort.
  • Lavender – I add a few drops to distilled water with a pinch of epsom salts to a spray bottle and spritz our pillows and sheets every evening. Lavender has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing. Because it is the most versatile of all essential oils, no home should be without it. Lavender is an adaptogen, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. It is a great aid for relaxing and winding down before bedtime, yet has balancing properties that can also boost stamina and energy. 
  • Peace & Calming – Peace & Calming is a gentle, fragrant blend. When diffused, it helps calm tensions and uplift the spirit, promoting relaxation and a deep sense of peace. When massaged on the bottoms of the feet, it can be a wonderful prelude to a peaceful night’s rest. Peace & Calming may be especially calming and comforting to young children after an overactive and stressful day. This one is my mom’s favorite and she claims a little goes a long way. A lovely oil to diffuse at bed time. Calms everyone…including the dog. 
  • Tranquil Roll On – When I have had a stressful day and can’t even concentrate on my book at bedtime, I apply this to my wrists, temples and a swipe under my nose for promoting relaxation. Tranquil Roll-On is a blend of lavender, cedarwood and roman chamomile essential oils formulated to calm and relax the body and mind. Using the roll-on application, Tranquil provides convenient and portable relaxation. 

No groggy feeling the next day. No side effects. 

7 sleepy time essential oils @diyshowoff Young Living #1836762

*Note: We do not use all of the above mentioned oils every night, all together at one time. He chooses either Valerian, Cedarwood or soon, RutaVaLa…whichever we happen to have on hand. He alternates between them, one a night. I use the lavender recipe to spritz the sheets and pillows every night or when I remember to. I crack open the Tranquil if he’s exhausted after a long day at work and apply Valor before (if I remember). We diffuse Peace & Calming while we’re unwinding in the evenings. I grab the Tranquil Roll On (or Stress Away) if I have a lot on my mind. 

If having occasional trouble getting your thoughts to stop when your head hits the pillow and desperate to try something all natural… I recommend giving these Young Living essential oils a try. I’ve had several family members share amazing results. I hope they’ll help you too!

Want to know more and the information on how you can get your own?Go here

Young Living at diyshowoff.com

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! 

Homemade Lemonade with Essential Oil

refreshing lemonade using Young Living lemon essential oil at diyshowoff.com

There are several essential oil lemonade recipes but after some trial and error, this one is my favorite. I made it for a recent Young Living Essential Oils class and since a few have asked for it, here it is!

Young Living Essential Oils at diyshowoff.com

{blueberry lemon muffins with lemon cream cheese frosting recipe}

And the entire thing disappeared! Refreshing, fresh squeezed without the fake mix taste. Color is darker due to the blue agave.

Young Living essential oil lemonade recipe at diyshowoff.com

Young Living Lemon Essential Oil Lemonade Recipe

  • 1 gal. of filtered water
  • juice of two organic lemons
  • juice of one organic lime
  • about 15 oz. of organic blue agave (test as you go to adjust the sweetness to your liking)
  • 10-12 drops of Young Living lemon essential oil
  • lemon and lime slices for garnish

Serve in glass with ice. Rather than add ice directly to the lemonade which waters it down, I serve ice in a separate container.

DIY beverage container vinyl label at diyshowoff.com  

{lemonade vinyl decal tutorial}

Optional: I also served it up with lime garnish for glasses (rub lime around glass rim and dip in colored sugar). Offer a small bit of blueberry juice or raspberry liquor for guests to create their own summer cooler.

What the heck is lemon essential oil? Just one of the amazing oils from Young Living essential oils! I am bursting with excitement over how these are changing our life…all it takes is trying one of the oils, seeing amazing results and you’ll be hooked. Get more info, get the link to get started HERE

young living essential oils @diyshowoff