DIY Day: Coconut Beeswax Balm

Here are 2 amazing recipes for lip balm. I prefer the second one, which is a bit more balm-y. However, the first one is perfect for winter skin, since it delivers amazing moisture. Note: I poured mine into tins, but it is easier to apply if you pour it into an empty lip balm container.

Coconut Beeswax Recipe 1

The ratio of coconut oil to beeswax here is 2:1.

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp beeswax
  • 2-3 drops Vitamin E

Coconut Beeswax Recipe 2

The ratio of coconut oil to beeswax here is 1:1. I changed the measurements so that the total volume would still be 3 tsp.

  • 1.5 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/5 tsp beeswax
  • 2-3 drops Vitamin E

Directions: In a double boiler, melt the coconut oil and beeswax. Stir in the Vitamin E at the end. Pour into empty lip balm containers.

photo 2

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Loaded Potato Nachos

This recipe was published in Self Magazine in their Drop 10 Plan. These potatoes are fantastic. They really fill you up. I over-broiled them, which is why the cheese looks like a brown crust…but they still tasted great.


  • 1 large Russet potato, sliced into half-inch thick slices
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/3 cup canned black beans
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (they suggested cheddar but I don’t like it)
  • 2 tbsp plain 2% fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp sliced scallions


Heat broiler. In a bowl, combine the potato slices, cilantro, olive oil, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Arrange the potato slices in a single layer on a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet, 6 to 8 inches from the broiler.

Broil until golden, about 10 min. Transfer the potatoes to the sheet lined with foil (sprayed with Pam). Pour the black beans on top and top with the cheese. Bake at 350F until the cheese is bubbly (10 min). (This is the part where I messed up. I broiled it for another 10 min! The potatoes were perfect, but the cheese crust wasn’t.)

Serve topped with yogurt, tomatoes, and scallions.

photo 1

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Chicken Noodle Soup, Part 2

Here’s another version of the chicken noodle soup I make.


  • 5 cups Swanson chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chuns
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup egg noodles
  • 1 chicken breast, seasoned with Chipotle powder, cooked on the grill, and shredded
  • Dash of cumin
  • Dash of oregano
  • Dash of smoked paprika
  • Dash of pepper


Heat broth, carrots, celery, and pepper in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the egg noodles and chicken and cook on medium heat about 10 minutes, until the noodles are soft. Add the seasonings.



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Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

After eating Panera’s veggie sandwich, I was inspired to try out a cilantro-jalapeno hummus recipe. I found a great recipe on Hungry Healthy Girl’s website. I picked up some cilantro, chickpeas, and tahini and started processing!


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 jalapenos (I used half), minced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup (I used 1.5 – 2 lemons) lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • I added 1 tbsp olive oil to the recipe to make it smoother


In a food processor, mince the jalapeno and garlic. Add the chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl. This keeps for a week in the refrigerator!



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Homemade Granola Nut Bars

Check out the site’s new look! New year in Ohio, new look. I’ve become interested in making my own nut bars, and after doing a lot of research, I got creative with what I found at my local market and some guidelines. Many websites recommended using brown rice syrup as a sweetener.

According to Leite’s Culinaria website, here is the amount of each ingredient to use:

1.5 cups assorted nuts or seeds

1/3 cup brown rice cereal (puffed rice, millet, etc)

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (mangoes, dates, figs, raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, and berries)

1/3 cup organic light corn syrup or brown rice syrup

1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Here’s what I did:


Nuts/seeds (1.5 cup total)

  • 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 7 tbsp almonds
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed
  • 4 tbsp peanuts
  • 2 tbsp soy nuts

Dried Fruits (.5 cup total)

  • 3 tbsp dried tart cherries
  • 5 tbsp dried crystallized pineapple

And the rest

  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup puffed millet
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt


Preheat the oven to 325F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with Pam. Combine the nuts/seeds, cereal, and fruit in a bowl and add the syrup and salt. Toss until well coated. Press the mixture into the baking pan with the back of a rubber spatula. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes in the pan. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 10 bars.

Calorie count (approximate): 143/bar


These bars keep tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for 3-4 days, in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 1 month. They taste great!


Homemade Nut Bars, Part 2


  • 5 tbsp almonds
  • 3 tbsp soy nuts
  • 4 tbsp peanuts
  • 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup millet
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup minus 1/4 cup (about 2 tbsp) honey
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Mahi Mahi with Buttered Sweet Potatoes

Mahi mahi has a great flavor, and with Private Selection’s seafood rub (found at Kroger), it tastes even better!

Serve with buttery skillet-cooked sweet potatoes.


Season the mahi mahi fillets with salt and pepper. Brush olive oil on top. Sprinkle with the seafood rub. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until fish is opaque.

For the potatoes:

Peel and dice 2-3 sweet potatoes. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat until it is melted. Add the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Cover with a lid and cook on medium-high 10-15 minutes, turning often, until potatoes are soft. Remove the lid during the last 5 minutes of cooking and turn heat up to high to brown the potatoes.

mahi mahi

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Pork with Pineapple Chunks

I love cooking with pineapple. Most recipes call for the canned pineapple rings, but I found this one using pineapple chunks on Taste of Home, which is an unbelievable magazine and website. You can find anything on this website. I also feel this way about Better Homes and Gardens recipes. Well anyway…about pineapple. It goes great with stir-fried vegetables and pork. Don’t forget the cornstarch to thicken the sauce!


  • 1 can pineapple chunks, drained (juice reserved)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice from the can
  • 2-4 large pork chops (about one inch thick)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tbsp + 1/2 cup cold water, divided
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 package frozen stir fry vegetables


Drain the pineapple and reserve 1/4 cup of the juice. Set the juice aside.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp cold water, garlic powder and 1 tbsp reserved pineapple juice. Pour into a large resealable bag and add pork. Turn to coat.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, cayenne pepper, remaining water, cornstarch and reserved pineapple juice until it is smooth. Set this aside.

Now, here is where I deviated from the recipe, which called for stir-frying the pork in canola oil and then adding the vegetables. Instead, I grilled the pork for about 6 minutes on each side. In a skillet, I heated some olive oil, added the frozen vegetables, and cooked them for about 5 minutes.

Once the vegetables are no longer frozen, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil and stir for another 2 minutes. The sauce should be thick by now. Add the pork and pineapple chunks. Cover with the lid and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes until the pork is fully cooked (I added that last part to make sure the pork absorbed the flavors).

Serve with rice or couscous!







Posted in Brown sugar, Cayenne pepper, Cornstarch, Ginger, Pineapple, Pork, Soy Sauce, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment