{the wonders of} Coconut Oil

$5.99 Trader Joes
100% Organic Coconut Oil

When I opened the jar (size of a mason jar) after bringing the product home from the store, it was solid to the touch, but could easily be scooped out with your finger, or a spoon. Once it made contact with skin – it instantly melted and turned into regular oil- odd, but cool. It is probably because it is summer and my house is fairly hot all day, but it has now settled and sort of looks like that weird peanut butter where you have to stir it to get the oil and the “butter” to combine. I may transfer mine to the fridge for the summer.

This stuff is awesome. My face was super dry after spending the weekend in the sun so- yup- I put some on my face. Don’t judge me – Miranda Kerr swears by this stuff and it is her main face moisturizer. Honestly- this stuff is great and 100% natural. Completely worth the 6 bucks, considering regular generic lotion is that much, and it contains a whole lot of who-knows-what.

I used the trusty Google to find out how other people use this product – there are a million uses, from cooking oil –to appetite suppressant.

Here are some of the most useful:

–          Use to shrink pores
–          Use to shine and repair hair
–          Use as lip balm – store in a smaller container and it is easily tote-able
–          Use in place of shortening when making biscuits, cookies, etc…
–          Mix with cinnamon and oatmeal for a face scrub
–          Use as plant leaf shine – do people actually spend time “shining” their plants leaves?
–          Use as cuticle oil
–          Energy Booster
–          Condition wooden cutting boards
–          Make “Magic Shell” Ice Cream Topping – what?!
–          Use in place of shaving cream
–          Makeup remover – tried this, it works well.
–          Mix with backing soda to create “Goo-Gone”
–          Moisturize leather boots, belts and more
–          Use on cracked heels
–          Soothe minor burns

Try it! Worth it.

Photos courtesy of The Kitchn.


Moroccan Couscous – so hot right now.

Delicious, nutritious, fun to say, fun to eat. Need I say more?

I found this ridiculously tasty recipe in the book Barefoot in Paris from the Barefoot Contessa.

It makes about 6 servings, so I love to make a big batch of it and keep it in the fridge for the week. Perfect to take along to work for lunch or as a ready-made (and impressive) side dish for dinner.

You will need: Measuring spoons, a knife and cutting board, a big bowl, a saucepan, a baking sheet, an oven and plastic-wrap.

2 C diced butternut squash
2 chopped yellow onions
4 diced carrots
2 diced zucchini
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 C chicken stock (I use Trader Joes low-sodium Vegetable stock)
2 Tbsp butter (EarthBalance is another option)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 1/2 C couscous
2 scallions (green onions), white and green parts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Toss squash, onions, carrots, and zucchini with olive oil, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper.  Place all onto a baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until all veggies are tender.

In a small saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil and turn off the heat.  Add the butter, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, the cumin and saffron.  Steep for at least 15 minutes.

Bring the chicken stock mixture to a boil.  Place the (dry) couscous and roasted veggies in a large bowl and pour the hot chicken stock over them.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temp for 15 min.

The couscous will cook in the broth so leave it alone – sort of like bread dough rising: you doubt it will really work, but then it does, just perfectly.

Add the scallions (they really add some bite!), then toss the couscous and veggies with a fork.  Serve warm or at room temp.


Nothing is better than Ice Cream Drumsticks in the summer. Except maybe Ice Cream Sandwiches. I guess, ok – maybe it is just a souped up ice cream cone – but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. I love the idea of making things you can only buy at the store – at home.

The whole process can be found at Instructables. Most important step? Be sure to wrap the wax paper at least 2″ above the top of the cone, and obviously add more chocolate than needed.

Next projects – homemade Oreos and Poptarts.

Thanks CandC!