Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Simple Cooking in a Bamboo Steamer

I love cooking in my bamboo steamer.  One of the coolest things about this steamer is that you can use it on almost any type of stove- a portable gas stove, an electric stove, an open pit, etc.  As long as you have a well- fitted pot on which to perch it, you're good to go.

Start by finding a wok or pot in which your steamer  fits well.  It should lay perfectly on top of the rim of the wok.  Fill the wok to appximately 2/3  with water.  Make sure that when the water boils, it doesn't touch your food in the lower steamer.

 Place the first level of the steamer on the wok.

Add a steamer cloth (or  lettuce leaves) to keep the food from sticking to the steamer.

Add your heavier foods (those that take longer to cook).  I put my sweet potatoes in the lowest rack and the broccoli above 

Cover the food and bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat for a steady low boil and watch your water to make sure that you don't burn your steamer.  If you hear sizzling, you need to add more water if the food requires additional cook time.

 The broccoli was ready first so, I carefully removed the top rack and replaced the lid over the sweet potatoes.

 A nice wooden plate over the broccoli, keeps it warm until the sweet potatoes are ready.
 The aroma from the sweet potatoes reveal that they're almost ready.

Test with a fork.  Yep, they're ready.
 Unfortunately, the brown rice isn't ready- forgot to hit the steamer button.  Oh well, I probably didn't need the extra carbs anyway.  So, we'll have to settle for this simple meal- Broccoli, sweet potato and stewed chicken breast.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Homemade Body Powder

This is a simple and easy to make body powder that does and excellent job of absorbing excess moisture and neutralizing odors (especially sneaker odor).
Supplies & Ingredients:  1/2 cup Corn Starch, 1/2 cup Arrowroot Powder, 1 tsp Baking Soda, 3-4 drops of Essential Oils,  1 Powder container with mesh screen, 1 powder puff, a glass or ceramic container for mixing, spoon and/or wooden stick.

 Mix the dry ingredients.  

Add your essential oils and stir.

Spoon the mixture into your container.

Add the screen, puff and lid.

 You can change the quantities of the ingredients based on how much of the product you choose to make.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Homemade Herbal Products and Herbal Smokeless Cigarettes

I made  these quick and easy body oils by combing essential oils, a carrier oil and (in one mixture) hot sesame. 

 Mix the carrier oil ( I used cold-pressed sesame oil) with a few drops of your selected essential oils and pour the mixture into a clean, sterile glass or ceramic container.  These are small quantities so I used clear glass but for larger quantities, I use amber or cobalt blue glass containers because the oils stay fresher in these containers as they block out extra light.
 This oil is for muscle aches.  It's a combination of peppermint and lavender essential oils with a few drops of hot sesame.
 Mix and match to create a favorite fragrance of your own for a simple body or massage oil or concentrate on the healing benefits of specific oils to develop healing oils for whatever ails you.
 I Also found these interesting smokeless herbal cigarettes at the local pharmacy.  I purchased two flavors, peppermint (for colds and flu) and a combination labeled, "relaxation". 

I've only tried the peppermint as curious friends, snapped up the others before I had a chance to try them.  They are pretty potent.  The peppermint was actually quite effective in opening my stuffy nose and soothing  my sore throat.  The cigarette lasts a long time if you replace the caps on both ends in between uses. 

 I found that once the  oils are depleted from the cigarettes, they can be refreshed by adding a few drops of essential oil to the filter.