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Friday, July 4, 2014

Monthly Link Love: June 2014 Edition

Monthly Link Love: June 2014 Edition

For my American readers, I hope you're enjoying the holiday! 

If you find some quiet time in between barbecues, watermelon slices, cold beverages, bottle rockets, and sparklers, check out the links below for a hodgepodge of mouthwatering recipes and interesting articles + a recap of what you might have missed here on The Rising Spoon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How to Make a Homemade Salve for Bug Bite Relief (That Really Works!)

How to Make a Homemade Salve for Bug Bite Relief | therisingspoon.com

Having grown up in Kansas, I'm no stranger to bug bites. I grew up in the countryside and played outdoors frequently, so was constantly plagued by chiggers, mosquitoes and ticks. My family used to joke that I attracted bugs (and bites), because I tasted so sweet to them. 

Sometimes I would spray myself from head to toe with commercial buy spray, but it only helped a little. 

Most of the time I'd just suffer the bites, or in the case of chiggers, try to stifle the itch by covering the bite with clear nail polish. This actually worked, but was probably not great for my body!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Round-Up: 20+ Simple Recipes Using Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes

Summer Round-Up: 20+ Simple Recipes Using Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes

If there's one summer vegetable I think you should be gorging on right this second, it's heirloom tomatoes. And if possible, hoarding them like crazy. 

You see, heirloom tomatoes are one of those rare veggies (I know, I know, they're actually fruits--whatever) that are NOT available year-round everywhere. In today's 24/7 world of international shipping, that's uncommon.

And they're nothing like the blemish-free, standard red tomatoes you see in the supermarket all year. Those tomatoes are lackluster and flavorless. They're hybridized to look perfect and ship well across long distances.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What You Should Ask Before Using Essential Oils & Why I Now Use Young Living Oils Instead of Buying Retail

What You Should Ask Before Using Essential Oils | therisingspoon.com

When I first started using essential oils for my DIY projects it was primarily for scent purposes and I figured all essential oils were pretty much the same. 

I'd grab a bottle from my local health food store for $5-8 and didn't give it a second thought. I mean, it said "100% pure essential oil" on the front label so it had to be legit, right? 

Nope. Turns out that what's required on the label all comes down to regulation and like the popular phrase "all natural" in the food industry, "pure" doesn't mean much. 

The label can say "100% pure essential oil" and still be diluted with synthetic ingredients. You know, things that aren't good for your skin, but help keep costs down for companies.

Friday, June 13, 2014

How to Make Lip Balm

How to Make Lip Balm | therisingspoon.com

I made homemade lip balm for the first time last week. 

I'm kind of a big deal

Seriously, though...I felt a bursting sense of accomplishment after filling my last lip balm tube. To hold something as simple as lip balm, a thing I'd had on my person nearly every day for the last 20 years, and know that I had crafted it myself...well, that felt amazing. (All you seasoned DIY-ers can go ahead an laugh at me!)

The ability to make your own beauty essentials, even if you're reliant on sourcing the ingredients, is a powerful form of self sufficiency. And the best part is you control exactly what goes into your products, and thus your body. 

If you're the type of person who is working toward consuming more unprocessed foods and natural products, making homemade beauty products is a no-brainer. And it's nowhere as intimidating as it seems.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

How to Make Blueberry Vodka at Home in As Little As Two Weeks

How to Make Blueberry Vodka at Home in As Little As Two Weeks | therisingspoon.com

It's the start of berry season here in Texas, and one of my favorites is blueberries. I love them in my yogurt, oatmeal, jam, pies--you name it. 

Unfortunately, many of the berry farms in a 2 hour radius from me suffered a late spring freeze and little rainfall. I was jazzed to visit a pick-your-own farm and fill a gallon sized bucket for about $1.25 a pound. No such luck. 

Two of the blueberry farms I had my eye on (one in Rockwall, TX and another near Sadler, TX) are closed. There's one blackberry farm 45 minutes away that has a small crop, so I may venture north this month for an early morning trip.

Infused Cocktails For Hot Summer Nights

Of course the weather issues won't halt my blueberry obsession. As I'm accustomed in both Kansas and Texas, when the temps are soaring past 100 degrees and the humidity drenches me in less than five minutes, I look forward to shady evenings, lightning bugs, and a cool beverage (or five).

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Monthly Link Love: May 2014 Edition

Monthly Link Love: May 2014 Edition | therisingspoon.com

Is it just me or does time pass more quickly in the warmer months? Maybe it's the fact that I went out of town several times, but May just flew by

I have a feeling that June and especially July (I'm traveling overseas for the first time!) will be no different. 

Better stop and smell the roses, foodies! And eat all the yummy fruits, veggies and herbs while they're in season. Your local farmers market is probably open by now, right? Better go visit it soon and stock up!

In the meantime, here are some reads I found last month + a recap of what you might have missed here, on The Rising Spoon.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Tangy Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Tangy Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing (vegan, paleo) | therisingspoon.com

If you're a regular reader then you probably know I'm not the biggest fan of mayo. 

It has its place, in small amounts, but there are certain recipes where it's a primary ingredient, thus harder to avoid. Like spinach dip, potato salad, and creamy coleslaw, for example. 

Thankfully, it's easy to swap out mayo for a mustard or vinegar based dressing instead. Or, in the case of my spinach and artichoke dip, which uses all sour cream.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy creamy slaw and deviled egg potato salad with mustard AND mayo. 

But, more often that not (especially in the case of slaw), they're overdressed. Soggy. Swimming in dressing. I don't know about you, but I like my slaw crunchy! The texture is important. As is what goes into the recipe.