Fall is my favorite time of year!
Cool crisp nights, warm sunny days colored by the changing of the leaves which are seriously the best reasons you need to visit Colorado during Fall. Yes, you will have the occasional snowstorm that whitens the mountains and the planes but it only sticks to the high mountain peaks in preparation for the Winter season! In addition to the beauty, amazing smells come along with it. Let’s see there are the apples, ginger, pumpkins, ginger, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, ginger (I don’t think I’ve said that one yet) and so much more that warms the inside while you play outside. Oh and then there is ginger! Whew……. I almost forgot that one!
Smells of the Season
What’s your favorite smell of Fall? I have soooooo many it is hard to choose but I will say that as a whole it is everything spicy. Don’t get me wrong I love the smell of the falling leaves (yes they have a smell!) and the rawness of the bountiful harvest that comes from the garden my husband labors in all summer. Harvest around our property consists of pumpkins, walnuts, zucchini, apples, pears, honey and so much more. Don’t forget the spice when it comes to these amazing foods. They are key to what I, and others, claim to be the best smells of the Fall season. I add in plenty of spice when it comes to mixing it up in my kitchen to my soaprie with flavors of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, and clove.
Fall Cooking In My Kitchen
What’s your favorite dish of Fall? Ok, so I don’t think I could actually narrow it down to just one dish so I have linked a couple of my favorite dishes to this part so you can try out one or all! First, let’s go savory with Butternut Squash Soup. Oooooooh yeah, my all-time favorite Fall soup. *slurp* I get hungry just talking about it. It’s rich and creamy and a perfect warm up to that crisp Fall day or on the day snow has been falling, chilling down the these beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Now, how about those sweet and spicy additions to our Fall menu? My husbands’ favorite thing, regardless of the time of year, is Apple Pie. Mine? Soft and delectable Ginger Spice cookies. My boys? Pumpkin Bread. As you can see the debate is a good one in our house when it comes times to make that Fall dessert! We usually end up drawing from a hat the first time around. Next is Rock/Paper/Scissors decides the second (with a vote for Apple Pie always) and the third just has to suck it up until the time comes around once again to bake that next scrumptious, spicy Fall yummy. Even though there is fierce competition for their choice of what to make, there isn’t any complaint when any are made that’s for sure!
CCE Soaprie Spicing It Up
Whaaat?! How about not only eating fabulously spiced things but stepping into that warm shower/bath and enlivening your senses with those amazing spices? That’s what I’m talking about! Woot Woot! Adorn your body with the same great smells and aromas too. Lavish in awesome my handmade soap, lotions, lip balms and bath bombs that arrive every Fall with our Spice Line.
All of you Made In America, apple pie aficionados, our Hot Apple Pie scent line will be your Fall favorite. Tart apples, vanilla, cinnamon with a touch of sugar. It will get your mouth watering in anticipation after washing with this great scent. Want the pie but don’t want the calories?! Think of this as your zero calorie dessert while you bathe away into spicy apple bliss. (Um…..side note…..don’t eat the soap! Even though it smells good enough to eat. HA!)
Hey my Ginger fanatics (yes I classify myself here) I haven’t forgotten you by any measure with our Ginger Spice scent line. It has a load of ginger with a smooth blend of vanilla. Bam! Best smell in all of the world. That’s right y’all this is my scent when it comes to Fall. You can have your apples (pleasing) and your pumpkins (squash is made for soup) but watch out as I spice it up with the sharp, sweet smell of ginger. SPICY!
Last, but by no means least, is Pumpkin Spice. That’s right all you Pumpkin Spice lovers we have you all set. With our very own scent….sweet pumpkin and vanilla combine with cinnamon and nutmeg, you can truly live (and bathe) in the Pumpkin Spice world. You can have your PSL to drink, keep your lips soft and kissable with our Pumpkin Spice Lip Balm, wash the world away with our delicious soap, then keep the scent with you all day with our hand & body lotion. Yep, your addiction is safe (and fed) with us!
Join CCE In The Spiciness of Fall
Because I love Fall and I love spicy scents I have combined the amazing products handmade in my soaprie into some Fall deals that will have you taking the walk with me on having a spicy Fall in your bath and showers. I have made amazing combos that will only emphasize the love of spice and the love of Fall! Each of the scent lines mentioned above come in soap and our hand & body lotion. The Hot Apple Pie and Pumpkin Spice have the added bonus of a matching Lip Balm. Click here to check them out! Just remember that these great spicy scents are a limited edition. Once they are gone they won’t return until next Fall.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read it this blog post! I love to share my passions for cooking, creative things and what is coming out of the CCE Soaprie. You can get to know me better by finding Cimarron Creek Essenitals on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter and don’t forget to sign up below to get each and every blog post.
Til’ Next Time….Happy Fall Y’All,
Valentine’s Days Fun
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Normally we don’t either but I have something fun up my sleeve this year! I decided I am treating my boys Zig & Zag to a day of simple, inexpensive Valentine’s Day fun. First off, we are not a family that buys gifts for every little thing or celebrates every nationally listed holiday, but I thought it would be great fun to do something to celebrate Valentine’s Day showing them they are all special to me.
Rules of The Day
- Wear Red.
- Surprise the family with the fun I have planned.
- Have a great day!
With the intention of following my K.I.S.S. rule (Keep It Simple Silly) my prep always comes with a list of what needs to happen to accomplish the goal. Fun in my book shouldn’t have to involve a huge time consuming list of items that have to be done to pull off a good time. Of course this is 100% dependent upon your personality. Personally I love to plan events to the 9’s but will keep it simple this time! (At least by my book 😉 )In this case my list consists of:
- Have a Valentine for each person for the morning of.
- Check to make sure I have all the ingredients for breakfast.
- Make sugar cookie dough the night before. Here is a great recipe I use that always works out for me plus has a yummy frosting too.
Today is the day! I take and get up a little early today so I can get my loves Valentines place on the table so when they get up and around they find them first thing! I love to watch the excitement in their eyes at something so simple. Next on to breakfast.
Heart Shaped Pancakes are what’s on the menu so let’s get started! Since Valentine’s Day is on a school day this year I picked a simple breakfast that is quick to make and clean up. I also turn on the oven and get the sugar cookie dough out of the fridge so I can get the cookies in the oven and baked before we head out the door for school and work.
Hence I have a go to pancake recipe that is super simple and all the ingredients can be found most likely in your pantry. The image above is stellar and not mine. You can find the photo and Susan’s great recipe pancake recipe at www.simplehealthykitchen.com for an alternative high protein pancake. In this case Susan used a heart shaped egg/pancake rings which you can find them on Amazon if you want perfectly shaped hearts, I free hand mine, either way I know the family will love them!
Here is my pancake recipe:
SIMPLE PANCAKES w/ STRAWBERRIES – yield 8-10 hearts Prep: 5 mins Cook Time: 2-4 mins each
1 1/2 c. Flour
2 t. Baking Powder
3 t. Sugar
1/2 t. Salt
1 1/4 c. Milk
3 T. Melted Butter or Vegetable Oil
1 t. Vanilla or Almond Extract
2 c. Strawberries, sliced.
Place skillet on stove and turn on to medium heat. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, milk and butter/oil. Stir together until there are no lumps remaining in the batter. Pour batter into a container with a spout. It is easier to free hand them this way.
Spray skillet, if needed, with cooking spray. Starting with the outer shape of the heart draw it on the skillet. Fill in the center last. You will use about 1/4c – 1/3 c. of the batter. Cook 1-2 minuets or until the center bubbles and/or the edges become dry. Flip and cook another minute or two until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.
Plate each plate with 1-3 hearts and sprinkle with strawberries! Serve while warm.
While the family eats I roll out and bake the cookies. I try and make as many different cookie shapes as possible. This way I know they will be nice and cool for decorating later today! I am a huge Wilton fan so I have a great assortment of cookie cutters I have acquired over the years.
Next, I tell the kids to get dressed in red for today and everyone gets ready for the day!
Once home I frost the cookies and get them set out before anyone else arrives home for the day. I love to make them all different but we all know that takes a huge amount of time. So I do a design for each type and realize I was a little over zealous when cutting out so many shapes. I ends up where I take the time to make four special cookies and then just basic ice the rest.
For a special presentation I put each one on a little paper doily that I have written their names on. In they walk and hugs and kisses all around.
Hope you have a great day too with doing something simple, inexpensive and fun with your family this year!
Til’ Next Time,
Bloody Mary Cocktail Recipe
As promised in celebration of the Annual National Bloody Mary Day we decided we needed to share our recipe for all to enjoy so here you are!
1 Gallon Pitcher
1/2 Gallon Tomato Juice
2 Limes, juiced
1 Lime, Sliced
1-3 Tablespoons Horseradish (Add to taste)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon Celery Salt
1 Tablespoon Salt
1/2- 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1/2 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 – 2 Teaspoons Crushed Garlic
1-2 Teaspoons of your Favorite Hot Sauce ( Add to taste, I personally like Chlula)
Vodka of choice
Additional Items Needed:
Garnish of choice
Margarita Salt (optional)
Glasses (Not plastic cups if you want to do a salt rim)
Fully load your drink or keep it simple either way it is a refreshing addition to brunch, afternoon or evening cocktails. I have had all of these items garnish my Bloody Mary at some point and found them all to be a nice addition. Choose from Celery Sticks, Cocktail Shrimp, Bacon, Large Stuffed Green Olives, Cocktail Onions, Lemon Slices, Lime Slices, Pepperoncini Peppers, Pickled Asparagus, Hamburger Sliders, Salt Rim or a Spiced Salt Rim Mix (recipe to follow). Depending upon who is making it it might even be your meal!
If you are throwing a party make up a Bloody Mary Bar for all of your guests where they can pick and choose what goes in their party refreshment. Here is a great blog post on how to do your own Bloody Mary Bar so check it out then call up your friends to try it out!
- Mix all of the ingredients together EXCEPT the Vodka and chill at least 1-2 hours so all of deliciousness can combine.
- While you wait prep your salt for the rim of your glasses. I find a small flat plate and pour approximately 1/2 c. of Salt or Spiced Salt on to the plate. Yep it’s that simple.
- For a Salted Rim you will take a piece of lime and rub it around the rim on the outside and slightly inside to moisten with juice.
- Take the glass and dip is straight down into the salt.
- Add ice to the top of the glass.
- Add 1-2 shots of Vodka (per taste)
- Fill remaining with Bloody Mary Mix
And there you have it! There are hundreds, if not, thousands of recipes for this famous cocktail so we hope you like ours.
Skunked! “~~Oh man you stink~~”
So how many times do you smell a hint of skunk odor and your first thought is….”Where’s the dog?!” Well that is how it is in my family. LOL! Actually it isn’t funny because whoa man it is horrible to “de-skunk” the dog! It is totally #1 on my list of Top Worst Chores To Do. But I get the task at least once a year. This year I get to do the task right off the bat. You’d think my beautiful, tough, German Shepard would have learned by now, after all he is 5. I guess not!
Cute little things aren’t they?
All of the lovely little critters are coming out of hibernation here in the Rockies and are definitely cranky! Skunks are super cute as animals go, and the baby ones (shown below) make you want to just cuddle them up…… and then you get the whiff of the not so fabulous odor that comes off of them. Then it is a contest on how fast you can get them down wind of your nose. Always ensuring your are at a safe distance from their spraying radius…….BTW it is up to 4-7m (13-23 ft) in a favorable wind-although they are usually only accurate for up to about 2m (6.5ft). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk . Also as a side note that if your animal did get sprayed in the face it can cause temporary blindness, so just to be on the safe side get them to the vet ASAP to have them checked out! Thank you Dr. Nicki ( p.s. love her as our family vet)
Photo credit: http://anastasias-corner.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html
Tomato juice is for drinking
So back to the task on hand…..let’s get the major stink off of the dog! Using tomato juice is not the way to going about this. Keep your tomato juice for a nice cocktail, soup base or simply a great addition to your breakfast as a healthy choice for to start your day. It is an old wives tale that tomato juice will cut the spray or secretion of the skunk. Here is a link to the scientific breakdown of skunk spray by William F. Wood, Department of Chemistry,Humboldt State University. Yes I am that big of a nerd that I read the whole article. Who knew that only “two of the thiols are responsible for the strongly repellent odor of the secretion, (E )-2-butene-1-thiol and 3-methyl-1-butanethiol.” I just added that to the “fun and quirky facts to blurt out in conversation for no apparent reason” file in my brain. Tomato juice will only add the odoriferous smell of tomato to the skunk smell permeating your clothing, hair and nostrils for said task at hand.
What needs to happen is to cut through the secreted oil that has attached itself to the hair cuticle and top layer of skin. This is especially true if you have a short haired animal. Here is a great, all natural, recipe that gets the job done usually in the first go round. I would not recommend doing this job in your home bathtub……but each to their own right?!
D.I.Y Skunk Odor Remover
To make the solution you will generally find that these ingredients are usually found in your home already so it is something you could whip up in a snap! Plus, they are very inexpensive so why pay big bucks for something you can make for pennies on the dollar? The recipe is very basic. All you need is baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and liquid soap. You can use white or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have enough hydrogen peroxide in your house but choose one or the other. DO NOT MIX THEM. Yep that’s it! You can add essential oils if you want to make them smell better when you are done but that is entirely up to you.
You will want to have your dog already tied to the area you are going to wash them BEFORE you mix this together. The object is to use the solution while the baking soda is reacting to the addition of the hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. If it goes “flat” is looses the power to get it gone the first time. I don’t ever use gloves to do this job because I don’t have acrylic nails, do not have sensitive skin and am fine with the knowledge that I can wash a second time with the solution should I feel it might have transferred to me in the process. But that is me not you and so…….. I would highly recommend that YOU wear gloves and eye protection (I just wear my sunglasses since I am doing it outside) just in case you should get splashed in the face!
Skunk Odor Remover Recipe
1/4 c Baking Soda
4 c Hydrogen Peroxide (3% found at any local drug store or pharmacy)
1 tsp Liquid Soap (unscented if you want to use essential oils)
3-4 Drops Lemon or Orange Essential Oil (optional)
Gallon Jug rinsed out
Towel – This is for me not for him so I have a barricade for when he shakes off!
- In a large bowl mix the baking soda, liquid soap and essential oils together just to combine. Seriously clumpy is ok.
- Add the hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. You will want to stir this mixture by hand with a spoon. Yes this is a bit redundant if you have common sense but funny story……”Why make extra things to wash when I can just add it all together in the jug.” Then the cap got put on and shaken…..KA-BOOOOOM the jug cap blew off and it was a geyser. Great science experiment with the right safety equipment. 😉 And last Do not try to heat this mixture on the stove or in the microwave. You will have a serious mess on your hands and the animal will survive a small amount of cold solution.
- Pour into the gallon jug for better control when applying to the dog.
- Apply to the animal and using your fingers massage all areas of the fur and skin. Avoid around the eyes, remember this has soap in it plus you have created an active solution, you wouldn’t pour it in yours so just avoid them all together to be safe.
- Rinse. Warm or cold water is doesn’t make a difference as to the removal of the odor.
- Repeat if necessary.
There you have it!
I would love to hear your stories and your success with this solution of removing the odor. I have been using it for years as I have owned a dog for almost all of my life. Happy De-Skunking your fur baby. 🙂
Til’ next time,
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Apple Pie From The Heart
Created By: Zig Reule, January 2, 2016
My husband and I have had the pleasure of being able to spend the last two weeks home with our boys Zig and Zag over their Winter Break from school and let me tell you it has been an adventure! We have watched it snow, played in the snow and then decided why not cook in the snow too?! Hence my son Zig’s creation of “Apple Pie From The Heart”.
We have been playing around with the new Traeger grill/smoker/wood oven we got for Christmas and oh my I never knew it would be soooooo easy to get Mr. Muscles to cook for me. Not just the meat portion but full meals and let me tell you I am gladly handing over my apron strings to this man! Let me start by saying….YUMMMM! Today was one of those days and Zig decided he wanted to add his own culinary skills to the dinner by creating his version of dessert. It was so unbelievably good I decided to share it will all of you!
Here it is all finished….but let’s get to the part of how to make it!! (Skip to the recipe)
Zig spent about 45 minutes researching the various types of apple desserts out there on the internet before concluding he can make his own. So we loaded up in our little silver rocket and off we went to the store with list in hand.
Shopping List: Apples, Cinnamon, Dark Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Salt, Ginger, Allspice, Clove, Butter, Croissants, Aluminum Pan, Caramels, and 1/2 & 1/2 or Whole Milk.
After beating off the crowds at the market for the few items we did not have on hand we came home to the fabulous smell of the pork shoulder roast Mr. Muscles is cooking outside. Mmm….mmm….. makes my mouth water just thinking of it….. It came to mind that since the Traeger uses wood pellets to cook with we might want to check out what he is using. Just by luck Maple was in there and I got excited about the sweet smoky flavor that it would add to this dessert. Off to the kitchen we go!
Being a Mom that thinks every opportunity is a learning one I had Zig get a note pad and start recording all of the steps and measurements for everything so if we needed to adjust anything we would know where we started. He wasn’t super happy about this but oh well…..Mom can be sooooo harsh….gosh….
Zig started by washing the apples and letting them air dry on a towel while he prepared the filling.
Combine all of the filling ingredients in to a standard bowl and mix until all ingredients are evenly dispersed throughout the mixture.
Open the croissants and press two of the triangles together on the long angle forming a rectangle. Be sure to pinch the seam together well so it forms a solid piece and all of the deliciousness stays put!
Slice the apples in half and core. (Ok so this is where I took over for this small part.)
Divide the filling into four equal parts and pack it on to each apple. It will pack well as the butter will help to keep it together.
Now you will place one apple half on each of the croissant rectangles you made earlier. Starting on the short side start to gently pull the croissant up and around all sides of the apple creating an apple “package”. you will have excess of the dough that you will pinch together and then create the heart shape at the top of each apple half. Then place in an aluminum pan (I changed it to a square 8×8 pan as an after thought before cooking so that they didn’t cook together.)
Now off to bake these creations in a Maple wood fired oven. We baked them at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. It was 2 degrees, yes seriously it was 2 degrees, outside when we put them on the fire so the temperature of the oven dropped to about 332 degrees when we pulled them out so I would error on setting the time for less and having to add some at the end.
As you can see we had one leak…..but oh well! Let these rest and cool while you make the caramel drizzle or simply let cool for about 10 minutes be for serving. Trust me these are rocket hot little apple pockets and save your taste buds so you can actually taste this amazing desert.
To make the Caramel Drizzle you will unwrap the 10 caramel pieces and place in a small sauce pan with the 1/4 c. of Half & Half/Whole Milk. You will heat this over a medium heat stirring constantly…..yes constantly…..as not to burn it.
Once the caramels melt take a spoon or spatula and drizzle the desired amount over the top of each apple.
Here is the finished result with a peek at the inside! Yes they are luscious and very rich and not intended to be eaten by those who are counting calories…. BUT…. ,shut the front door, they are delicious! I’ve included the nutrition facts just in case.
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‘Til next time,