Spa Treatments You Can Do at Home

Don’t have any plans for Valentine’s Day yet, well here is another great way to not spend alot of money and still have a relaxing day. http://www.pennyhoarder.com has an inexpensive ways to create your own spa day at home:

  1. Everything you’ve heard about coconut oil is true. Skip the expensive body lotion and the deep conditioner and use this low-cost alternative instead.

Cost: An entire jar of coconut oil costs about $6 and will last for months.

  1. Apply an avocado or egg mask to your hair at the beginning of your spa routine, then wrap your head in a warm towel. Let it work its magic for at least 20 minutes while you give yourself a lip scrub.

Cost: One egg will set you back 10 cents, and an avocado is between $1 and $1.50.

  1. Korean sheet masks, cotton-based sheets that address various skin care issues, make your skin look amazing, but they can be awfully pricy. I picked up a handful at my local dollar store for a buck each and discovered they work just as well as the expensive brands. If you buy in bulk, you can save even more pennies.

Cost: Sheet masks can be found online or in dollar stores for as little as $1.

  1. Speaking of masks, if you use Lush cosmetics or know someone who does, hang onto those little black pots and bottles the products come in. You’ll score a free face mask when you turn in five clean empties. That’s a savings of at least $11.95!

Cost: The cost of the five products (To be fair, Lush products can be pretty pricy — but they smell so gooood.)

  1. Clear up blemishes and reduce fine lines with a container of plain, generic-brand yogurt! Whether you use it alone or jazz it up with extras like a dash of honey or oatmeal, your pores will thank you.

Cost: A small container of plain yogurt can cost anywhere from 60 cents to $1.

  1. After rinsing off the mask, I like to give myself a five-minute face massage. It’s surprisingly relaxing.

Cost: Totally free!

  1. If you’ve got a few dollars a month to spare, sign up for a Sephora Play! subscription. You’ll get a box delivered right to your door filled with deluxe product samples and a bonus fragrance.

Cost: $10 per month

  1. This homemade eucalyptus sugar scrub is both energizing and effective. You can make a batch to slough off dry, dead skin, leaving behind a tingly clean that smells luxurious.

Cost: Less than $1 worth of sugar, coconut oil and salt, plus around $13 for eucalyptus essential oil.

  1. For a change of pace, I like to mix things up and exfoliate my skin with this three-ingredient coffee body scrub that you can make with the (free!) used coffee grounds left over from your morning brew. It reportedly also reduces the appearance of cellulite. (Don’t tell me if that’s just an old wives’ tale — I don’t want to know.)

Cost: Free, if you’re a coffee drinker.

  1. Sometimes my skin just isn’t up for a harsh scrub down. That’s when I whip together this gentle scrub that rinses off easily with warm water. (I’ve tried it without wheat germ, and it still works great.)

Cost: About $10 for the oat bran, $7 for the essential oil and $6 for the almond oil – and you can use all of these for other purposes too.

  1. If you plan to shave during your spa time, try dry brushing first to prevent ingrown hairs and razor-burn bumps.

Cost: A good dry brush costs around $7.50

  1. If I’m going to sport beautiful nails, the rest of my hand better keep up appearances, too. This lemon-sugar hand scrub is so easy to make and smells amazing. After you rinse it off, slather on some hand lotion and take a minute to admire your, er, handiwork.

Cost: A lemon costs about 50 cents, and you probably already have sugar and oil in your pantry.

  1. Do you know why every spa scene in a movie or on TV depicts someone with cucumber slices on their eyes? Because they work! You can use the leftovers for cucumber-infused water to really amp up that luxe “I’m in a spa” feeling.

Cost: About $1 for a cucumber.

  1. Treat your feet to a nice soak with whatever gentle bath wash you have on hand. Follow it up with a homemade foot scrub. Simply stir one part coconut oil into two parts sugar and scent with a few drops of essential oil. A dash of lemon juice adds extra oomph. To kick (ha!) things up a notch, slather on some lotion and cover your tootsies with thick socks while the moisturizer works its magic.

Cost: Peppermint essential oil costs about $9, or you can just use the eucalyptus oil you bought earlier. The rest of the ingredients are likely in your pantry.

10 Easy Ways to Spa-ify Your Surroundings

While planning your day of indulgence, don’t forget to design your own relaxation grotto. Give your bathroom a deep clean and then:

  1. Splurge on a soft, thick towel.
  2. Pick up some pretty containers from the dollar store to hold all the scrubs and potions you make.
  3. Scour thrift shops for a fluffy bathrobe to wear while relaxing.
  4. Get some inexpensive candles to create ambience during bath time — or make your own.
  5. Set a plant or vase of flowers in the bathroom, because greenery makes everything better.
  6. Cover your bathroom window with frosted contact paper to diffuse bright sunlight that might harsh your mellow.
  7. Put a few sprigs of eucalyptus on the corner of the bathtub to create a clean, refreshing scent when you run the hot water.
  8. Buy a bathtub overflow drain cover so you can fill the tub extra deep and soak all the way up to your chin.
  9. Queue up this chill Spotify playlist.
  10. Use the cucumber you bought for your eyes to make some cucumber-infused water to sip as you spa.

Valentine’s Day Desserts

Need some more ideas for valentine’s desserts for your loved one try some of these from Martha http://www.marthastewart.com:

Chocolate-Pistachio Tartufo

Ingredients

1/2 cup chocolate ice cream
1/2 cup pistachio ice cream
2 maraschino cherries
5 chocolate wafer cookies, finely pulsed in a food processor
2 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
2 ounces semisweet chocolate (61 percent cacao), chopped

Directions

  1. Line a small domed glass bowl (ours was 4 1/2-inch-diameter with a 1 1/3-cup capacity) with plastic wrap, leaving a 4-inch overhang on all sides. Pack 1 ice cream flavor into each side of bowl. Make an indentation in each flavor; place a cherry in each and cover with ice cream. Wrap in plastic and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
  2. In a bowl, mix together cookie crumbs and 1 teaspoon oil. Fold back plastic and press crumb mixture onto ice cream; smooth with an offset spatula. Rewrap and freeze at least 15 minutes.
  3. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil.
  4. Fold back plastic from ice cream. Invert bowl onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet. With a hot cloth, wipe outside of bowl to loosen. Lift bowl and completely remove plastic. Pour chocolate over top, starting in center and working outward, in one stream.
  5. Freeze tartufo on rack to harden, at least 5 minutes. Serve, or wrap loosely in plastic and keep frozen up to a week. To serve, transfer to a plate with a thin metal spatula (if it sticks, dip spatula in hot water and wipe dry).

Chocolate-Caramel Truffles

Ingredients

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (a scant 2/3 cup)
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
White, pink, and red sprinkles, for rolling

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring condensed milk, butter, and cream to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until butter melts. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens slightly and turns pale golden, 4 to 6 minutes (do not let it get too dark, or mixture will separate). Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and vanilla, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth and combined. Transfer to a pie dish or a wide, shallow bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
  2. Scoop 1 tablespoon of chocolate mixture into your palm and roll into a ball. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; repeat with remaining mixture. Place sprinkles in bowls (one for each color). Roll truffles in sprinkles until thoroughly coated. Place in paper mini baking cups and serve, or store in refrigerator, covered, up to 1 month.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Snowballs

Ingredients

12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave, 2 minutes. Stir until smooth, then stir in condensed milk, vanilla, nuts, and salt. Let cool.
  2. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Place coconut on a plate; roll balls in coconut to coat.
  3. Chill until set, about 30 minutes or up to 5 days.

Biscotti Bites

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups fine cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons finely grated grapefruit zest (from 2 small grapefruits)

11 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 

Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Then beat in coconut, grapefruit zest, and 5 ounces chocolate until evenly distributed.
  3. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough, spaced 1 inch apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets set on wire racks.
  5. Melt remaining chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Dip bottoms of cooled cookies in melted chocolate, scrape off excess against rim of bowl, and set on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. The dipped cookies can be stored in a single layer in a cool place for up to a week.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients

8 ounces dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao), chopped
1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling
Assorted toppings: cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts), and toasted unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate with oil and the water. Stir in vanilla and sea salt. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish, and refrigerate until mixture is set but still pliable, about 2 hours.
  2. With a 1-inch ice-cream scoop, make 28 balls, transferring each one to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Coat hands in cocoa, and roll balls to make smooth. Refrigerate on sheet 10 minutes. (Truffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before coating.) To serve, roll in cocoa or pat with nuts or coconut.

Fruit Pizza with Nutella and Strawberry Hearts

We are only two days away from Valentine’s Day so all the sweet treats you can think of now is the time to plan your menu. Found this recipe on http://www.livinglocurto.com it’s perfect for my boys they love pizza, nutella, and strawberries!!! Super easy and they will go crazy. And if you prefer something more adult looking a fresh fruit heart from http://www.fivehearthome.com:

Ingredients

1 can refrigerated pizza dough or homemade pizza dough
1 tablespoon butter melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup strawberries
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roll the pizza dough out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Turn the baking sheet horizontally.
  3. With a sharp knife, gently draw a heart shape in the middle of the dough. Don’t cut all the way through the dough, this is just to make a visible mark.
  4. Cut an inch outside of the line you drew with the knife. This area will be the dough crust. Remove the access dough to save for later.
  5. Shape the pizza to be a heart. Use the extra dough for added areas of crust where you need it.
  6. Bake the pizza dough for 8 minutes.
  7. While the pizza dough is cooking, cut 6-8 fresh strawberries in half and shape like hearts.
  8. After the dough has baked for 8 minutes, remove from the oven.
  9. In a small bowl, melt butter and add sugar to the butter. Stir well until the sugar dissolves. Brush the butter mixture all over the pizza dough.
  10. Place the dough back into the oven to bake for another 3-5 minutes until the pizza is golden brown and baking through.
  11. After removing from the oven, let your heart shaped pizza cool cool.
  12. Sprinkle the edge of the heart with powdered sugar then move your heart pizza to a serving board.
  13. Spread a generous amount of Nutella over the dough then place your heart shaped strawberries on top.
  14. Place the smaller pizza hearts around the large fruit pizza for an adorable Valentine’s Day treat!
  15. Slice when ready to serve.

And if you want to get more creative here is another idea a full fruit pizza!

INGREDIENTS

1 (16.5-ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Strawberries, raspberries, and cherries, washed & dried
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon water
Optional garnishes: melted chocolate drizzle & mint leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the log of cookie dough into 1/3-inch thick slices. Arrange them into a heart and press the slices together with your fingers, sculpting the edges of the overall crust for your desired shape. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. While the cookie dough crust is chilling, adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the crust for 10 to 14 minutes, or until done in the center and just starting to turn golden around the edges. Remove from the oven, set the pan on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the cream cheese and butter. Mix in the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
  4. Evenly spread the cream cheese frosting on the cooled crust. Arrange the fruit on top of the frosting.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the preserves and water until smooth. If chunky, strain through a fine mesh sieve. Brush the mixture over the fruit; cover and refrigerate the fruit pizza until serving.

8 Free Sleep Apps to Get You Through Those Restless Nights

While free sleep apps won’t solve your big-picture problems, they could help you fall asleep faster, so you can tackle life’s stressors feeling refreshed. Here are the best ones we’ve found 8 Free Sleep Apps for a Blissful Night’s Rest (thepennyhoarder.com)

  1. White Noise
    White noise free sleep apps are must-haves for travel, when you need a consistent noise to block out the sounds of other hotel guests, city noises, etc. The ‘lite’ version does the trick with free sleep sounds and nature sounds. For $4.99, you get 50 sounds plus the ability to create your own track that includes binaural beats, aka different frequencies that cue your brain to relax.

Find White Noise in the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon.

  1. Relax and Sleep Well Hypnosis
    Hypnosis usually costs several hundred dollars, but you’ll pay $0 for this hypnotherapy sleep app with four recordings of meditation and hypnosis. Additional hypnosis tracks are available as app purchases for $2.99 apiece. This one made Healthline’s 2019 list of the best sleep apps, so if you’re skeptical of hypnosis, their stamp of approval may persuade you to download hypnotherapy sleep apps.

Find Relax and Sleep Well Hypnosis in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

  1. Headspace
    Headspace’s guided meditation app is the perfect way to wind down for bed: Andy’s soothing British accent will lull you into a state of total relaxation where it seems like nothing could ever go wrong. While it’s $60 a year, Headspace often makes the best sleep apps lists. Students can pay $9.99 for annual access, and Netflix subscribers can watch the Headspace series for no extra cost. Each episode focuses on one style of meditation, so by the time you finish the season you’ll have a whole arsenal of relaxation techniques to try before bed.

Sign up for a free trial of Headspace or watch on Netflix.

  1. Deep Sleep With AJ
    Deep Sleep With AJ is a cheaper alternative to Headspace, with a one-time cost of $2.99 and similarly dreamy Scottish accent. Developed by a mindfulness expert and therapist, the sleep app includes mindfulness and inspirational talks, bedtime relaxation techniques to help you wake up feeling refreshed, meditations for anxiety and panic attacks and more. You can cue up meditations to repeat a set number of times, so it ideally plays through until you’ve caught those Zs.

Find Deep Sleep With AJ on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

  1. Relax Melodies
    Combining relaxing sounds, free sleep stories and guided meditation for sleep, lucid dreaming, or relief from medical conditions like tinnitus (ringing in the ears that often gets worse before bed), free sleep app Relax Melodies has thousands of fans. It comes with 52 sounds including white noise, nature sounds, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response, or that warm tingle associated with sounds like whispers) and binaural beats. Premium sounds are available as app purchases for $4.99.

Find Relax Melodies on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

  1. Nothing Much Happens
    Think of free podcast Nothing Much Happens as adult sleep stories designed to help you relax into a peaceful slumber. As the title suggests, the stories are fairly low-stakes. Podcast host Kathryn is a meditation and yoga teacher, so think of this as an extended savasana where it’s actually awesome if you end up snoring after five minutes.

Find Nothing Much Happens on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

  1. Endel
    Perfect for the multitasker, Endel offers “personalized soundscapes” for relaxation, better sleep and better focus. The app pulls data from your environment (like weather, location or time of day), then moderates sounds to match your mood: focus music for daytime work and chill sounds to help you sleep. The app comes with a 7-day free trial, after which point you’ll need to buy a subscription ($5.99 per month or $49.99 per year, at present) or use the free, browser-based version.

Find Endel in the Apple App Store, Google Play, or on Twitch.

  1. Rise: Sleep & Energy Tracker
    For those wanting a scientific approach to a good night’s sleep, the Rise sleep tracker app is worth checking out. It’s free to download with membership upgrades as app purchases beginning at $6.99 per month. Unlike sleep-tracking apps which just gauge your sleep cycle, Rise looks at “sleep debt”– aka how much sleep you should get but don’t. The sleep app works backward from your sleep debt numbers, drawing from sleep data and health information to help you improve sleep quality and quantity. Rise fans include pro sports teams and Fortune 500 leaders who find the price worth it to sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed.

Find Rise in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Most people experience sleep problems for a range of underlying causes, thus it can be helpful to have multiple free sleep apps on your phone. Armed with nature sounds, bedtime stories, guided meditation, science-backed sleep habits and hypnosis for life’s most pressing worries, you can stop counting sheep and cue up what’s mostly likely to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Pancakes Anyone

My kids love pancakes it’s the best breakfast ever but when I try to add anything they won’t touch them! Well now I make kid pancakes and grown up pancakes and everyone is happy. Found these new recipes and they are amazing for your next pancake breakfast:

Honey-Lemon Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Ingredients

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 16 ounce carton cottage cheese

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

Butter, maple syrup, and/or berries

Directions

  1. In a large bowl stir to combine eggs, cottage cheese, honey, butter, vanilla, and zest. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir just until moistened. (Batter should be slightly lumpy).
  2. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium about 2 minutes; flip when top is bubbly and edges are slightly dry. Cook an additional 2 minutes or until both sides are brown. Keep warm in a 200°F oven while cooking remaining pancakes. Serve warm with butter, maple syrup and/or berries.

Peanutty Pancakes with Honey Butter

Ingredients

1 cup packaged pancake mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
⅓ cup peanut butter
1 5 ounce can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
¼ cup water
¼ cup margarine or butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together pancake mix and sugar. In another bowl beat egg with a whisk or fork; beat in peanut butter. Stir in milk and water. Add egg mixture to pancake mix all at once. Stir just until combined but still slightly lumpy.
  2. For standard-size pancakes, pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. (Use 1 to 2 tablespoons for smaller pancakes.) Cook over medium heat until pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and slightly dry edges.
  3. For waffles, pour 1 to 1-1/4 cups of batter onto grids of a preheated, lightly greased waffle baker. Close lid quickly; do not open during baking. Bake according to the manufacturer’s directions. When waffle is done, use a fork to lift it off grid. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. Meanwhile, for honey butter, stir together margarine or butter and honey. If desired, heat until margarine is melted. Spoon or drizzle over waffles or pancakes. Makes 8 (3-inch) pancakes or 3 (8-inch) waffles (4 to 6 servings).

Blueberry-Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients

½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup milk
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
4 egg whites

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl beat together ricotta cheese, egg yolks, and sugar until well combined. Add to flour mixture; stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Fold in blueberries.
  2. In a small mixing bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold the beaten egg whites into batter, leaving a few puffs of egg white. Do not overbeat.
  3. Heat a lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until a few drops of water dance across the surface. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Spread batter into a circle about 4 inches in diameter.
  4. Cook over medium heat until pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook the second sides when pancake surfaces are bubbly and edges are slightly dry (about 1 to 2 minutes per side). Serve immediately or keep warm in a loosely covered ovenproof dish in a 300 degree F oven. If desired, serve with Blueberry Syrup. Makes 16 pancakes.

Blueberry Syrup

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan combine blueberries, maple syrup, and juice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until blueberries become soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Use a potato masher to thoroughly mash blueberries. Set a fine-mesh sieve or a strainer lined with 100-percent cotton cheesecloth over a medium bowl. Pour blueberry pulp through sieve. Discard solids. Pour syrup into an airtight storage container. Serve warm. Cover and refrigerate the remaining syrup for up to 1 week.

Pumpkin-Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients

½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons finely shredded orange peel, divided
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 medium orange
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon snipped fresh mint
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. In a second bowl, use a fork to combine the egg whites, milk, pumpkin puree, ricotta, brown sugar, olive oil, 1 teaspoon orange peel, vanilla and cider vinegar until creamy. Add pumpkin mixture to reserved flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile peel and section orange over a small bowl. Squeeze any remaining juice from the membranes over the segments (about 2 tablespoons). Stir in honey, mint and remaining ½ teaspoon of orange peel. Set aside.
  3. Spray a griddle or heavy skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Using the back of a spoon, spread batter into 3 to 4-inch pancakes. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown. Turn over when surfaces are bubbly and edges are slightly dry. To serve, top with orange mixture.

Peanut Butter Treats

So now that the holidays are over we need to start eating more healthy, does that mean stop making chocolate treats? Maybe just blend it out with peanut butter so it’s a bit more healthy! Check out the following recipes Martha put together for us and making your own peanut butter will make them even more special:

Peanut Butter Truffles

Ganache Ingredient

  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (we like 61 percent cacao)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

  1. Coarsely chop chocolate, breaking it up.
  2. Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don’t stir — doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).
  3. Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate.
  4. Chocolate will often settle on the bottom or sides of the bowl. Scrape the dish with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of it.
  5. To make a whipped filling or frosting: Let ganache cool to room temperature, stirring often, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat it with a mixer on medium-high speed until paler and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. (This will yield about 2 cups.) 

Truffle Ingredient

  • Ganache
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • Unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Directions

  1. Immediately after making the ganache, add it little by little to peanut butter, whisking constantly, until smooth. Refrigerate in a 5-by-8 1/2-inch glass loaf pan, covered, until firm, 4 hours to overnight.
  2. Scoop with a 1 1/4-inch ice cream scoop, and roll into smooth balls with your palms. (If mixture softens, refrigerate until firm.) Roll each in cocoa, tapping gently to remove excess. Refrigerate in mini baking cups for 30 minutes (or up to 4 days).

Peanut Butter Buckeyes

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Kosher salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

  1. Sift sugar into a large bowl; set aside. Combine butter, cream, peanut butter, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until butter and peanut butter are just melted. Pour over sugar in bowl and whisk until smooth. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and smooth surface. Place parchment or plastic wrap directly on surface of mixture and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  2. Roll scant tablespoons of peanut-butter mixture into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth; remove from heat. Working with 1 ball at a time, insert a toothpick into the center of the ball and dip into the chocolate 3/4 of the way up the ball, letting excess chocolate drip off. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Gently press holes left by the toothpick to smooth. Buckeyes can be made 1 week ahead and stored in a single layer, covered, in refrigerator.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk, divided
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
Coarse salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (2 cups)

Directions

  1. Brush a 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter, and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides. Brush parchment with butter.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup condensed milk, 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring, until melted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in peanut butter and 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Press peanut butter mixture into the bottom of prepared baking dish, smoothing top with an offset spatula.
  3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring, until melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 3/4 cup condensed milk and a pinch of salt, until melted and combined. Mix in remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Spread chocolate mixture over peanut butter layer, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Remove fudge from pan using parchment to lift, and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off parchment. Using a warm knife, cut crosswise into eight 1-inch-wide strips; cut each strip into 8 pieces.

Peanut-Butter Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients


Cookies
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Filling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Cookies: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/2 stick butter. Add oats and cook, stirring, until toasted, 5 to 10 minutes. Spread mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; let cool completely.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat remaining 1 stick butter with granulated and brown sugars on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter; beat until well combined.
  3. Gradually add oat mixture and flour mixture; beat on low speed until combined. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment 1/4 inch thick. Slide dough with parchment onto baking sheet and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove top layer of parchment; cut out cookies using a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 1 inch apart; sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets.
  5. Filling: In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients on medium speed until smooth. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip
  6. Pipe filling in a spiral motion on bottom sides of half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies to form sandwiches. (Filled cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Chocolate Praline Pie

It’s a nice cold day so let’s make something to warm us up! And who doesn’t warm up with pie even if it’s serve chilled. New Orleans School of Cooking is awesome they have great zoom classes and if you follow them they post great recipes too. This recipe is for everyone in the house pralines, chocolate, and pie thanks again www.neworleansschoolofcooking.com for the recipe and the how to video:

Ingredients
For praline caramel:

6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup chopped New Orleans School of CookingTM Pralines
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon New Orleans School of CookingTM Real Vanilla Bean Blend
For chocolate ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon New Orleans School of CookingTM Real Vanilla Bean Blend
To assemble:
1 (9-inch) pie shell, or premade pie crust
Extra chopped pralines for garnish
Whipped cream to serve
Method

For praline caramel:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake pie shell for 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
    Remove and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan bring sugar, cane syrup and water to a boil. Let boil without stirring.
    Use pastry brush dipped in water to wipe down sides of saucepan occasionally, until
    mixture turns light amber in color. Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream. If caramel
    has lumps, return to heat briefly and continue whisking until smooth. Stir in butter, salt and
    vanilla. Pour caramel into tart shell and sprinkle over chopped pralines. Transfer to
    refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.

For chocolate ganache and assembly:

  1. Bring heavy cream to simmer in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add chocolate chips
    and stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
  2. Pour chocolate mixture over caramel praline layer and place in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  3. Garnish with extra chopped pralines and serve with freshly whipped cream.

Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Wow another warm day so how could I resist having a refreshing shrimp and avocado salad for lunch. This is easily going to become a go to on my menu for pool time this summer with some side guacamole and chips yummy! Maybe a margarita or two also, thanks again http://www.cleanfoodcrush.com for the great recipe:

Ingredients

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsps olive or avocado oil, divided (I use avocado oil for cooking and olive oil as the drizzle/dressing)
1-2 fresh garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 large avocados, diced
8 oz. mixed cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 green chili, seeded & sliced
a good handful of fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 large fresh lemon, both juice and zest of
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper



Directions

  1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add shrimp, and minced garlic, then cook for 3-4 minutes, or just until shrimp turns pink and is no longer translucent.
  3. Season shrimp with sea salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl add cooked shrimp, chopped tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced chili, and chopped cilantro leaves.
  5. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil and squeeze in your fresh lemon juice, add zest, then very gently toss to combine everything together.

Grilled Corn Salad with Tomato and Avocado

Weather has been pretty warm for January this past week so had a nice time with the grill today and this was the perfect salad to go on the menu! There is always grilled corn so since we usually have plenty leftover we said why not, check out this recipe from http://www.foodiecrush.com:

Ingredients

4 ears sweet corn
1 garlic clove pressed or minced
1 jalapeño seeds and ribs removed, then minced
Kosher salt
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ripe avocados halved, pitted, peeled and diced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
6 scallions thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  2. Put the corn, still in its husks, on the grill, cover, and cook for 20 minutes rotating the corn cobs every 5 minutes or so.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix to combine the garlic, jalapeño, and a large pinch of kosher salt.
  4. Add the lime zest, lime juice, and olive oil and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the avocado, tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro and toss gently to combine.
  6. Remove the corn from the grill. When cool enough to handle, peel back the silk, and slice the kernels off the cobs directly into the bowl with a knife.
  7. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.


These 12 Free TV Apps Let You Watch Your Favorite Shows — Without the Bill

Try these free TV apps out and see which works best for you thanks http://www.pennyhoarder.com:

1. Crackle

One of the go-to names not just in free streaming but in streaming video in general is Crackle. The cost-free service has a variety of content, ranging from classic TV shows like “Bewitched” and “Barney Miller,” as well as the newer “Snatch” series. It also has hundreds of films from major studios.

For a free streaming service, Crackle’s library is truly impressive. Crackle even has a handful of original series to its name. Best of all, Crackle works on nearly all mobile devices, streaming boxes and smart TVs.

2. Tubi TV

A division of FOX Entertainment, Tubi TV has deals with major studios like Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Lionsgate. It also features lots of foreign and independent productions.

Tubi TV’s library is updated regularly, and the service claims to add new content every week. The Tubi TV app works on more than 25 devices, including Android and iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, Samsung Smart TVs and Amazon Fire TV.

The library is solid and has started offering popular Fox TV series like “The Masked Singer” and “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back.”

Since the service is ad-supported, you can expect to watch a couple minutes of ads every 10 minutes or so. The experience is pretty similar to watching normal television.

3. Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers TV channels of linear content much like a cable package

There are dozens of classic TV, movie and sports channels — and even some highly curated streams of niche content.

If you’re looking for breaking news, you can choose from an assortment of major network news channels that are live streaming.

The kids (or kids at heart) can check out Nickelodeon classics like “The Fairly Odd Parents” and “Dora the Explorer.”PRO TIP

Got a library card? You have access to even more entertainment options (besides the obvious, books). Check out these library apps for free access to movies, TV shows and more.

Or if you just want to veg out, switch over to their Binge menu for a seemingly endless stream of TV series, like “The Hills” and “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

Pluto TV boasts a large list of supported devices including iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TVand Chromecast devices and Android TV.

Like Tubi TV, Pluto TV has advertisements similar to the ad load of normal TV.

4. NewsON

Streaming video isn’t always just about entertainment. The NewsON app provides hundreds of local and national news streams.

Both live TV and on-demand news broadcasts can be streamed from over 275 local news affiliates in 160 markets. The broadcasts are available for up to 48 hours after they air, so even if you don’t catch the news as it happens, you can catch up later.

Users can then select which news segments they want to watch from categories like sports, weather or entertainment. NewsON is compatible with iOS and Android phones and tablets, as well as Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

5. Funny Or Die

The go-to streaming app for comedy programming is Funny or Die. Founded in 2007 by contemporary comedy giants Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, it has since grown to be a full-blown production house featuring original content from big names in show business.PRO TIP

In 2018, the Funny Or Die began publishing on Vox Media’s Chorus and now uses the YouTube Player.

Content on the app must be streamed and cannot be downloaded.

6. PBS Kids

Kids need free streaming content, too. PBS has a PBS Kids Video app that provides hundreds of hours of educational and enriching content for the youngest members of the family. The app has a colorful, child-friendly interface, which makes it easy for kids to take control themselves.

You can even tap the “Live TV” button to watch what’s currently airing on your local PBS station.PRO TIP

Almost all of the networks and cable TV channels have their own free apps for you to download — although many charge you to actually watch current content.

Videos from many of PBS’s most popular series are available for streaming including “Curious George,” “Wild Kratts” and “Sesame Street.” The PBS Kids app is supported for Android, Windows and iOS phones and tablets.

7. Xumo

Whether you want it now or later, Xumo offers live TV and on-demand options.

Like Pluto, you can choose from an assortment of major network news channels that are live streaming.

But it also includes more than 160 free channels, including themed ones in case you’re in the mood for action movies or comedies — you can watch the Funny Or Die channel here, too.

Xumo is available on most smart TVs and Roku and for download on iOS and Android devices.PRO TIP

Many of the free TV apps offer “premium” channels — if you see that word, expect to pay for those services.

8. Crunchyroll

Anime and manga fans are likely already familiar with Crunchyroll. It specializes in mostly Japanese content, but it also features films and series from all over the world. Crunchyroll boasts a library of thousands of anime films and series, many of which are hard to find on other streaming services.

There is a paid premium feature, but the free Crunchyroll service has thousands of hours of popular series like the “Dragon Ball” franchise, “Attack on Titan,” “Naruto” and “One Piece.”

The Crunchyroll app is supported by Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices, as well as by gaming consoles, Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku.

Crunchyroll is a great app for anyone with an interest in anime. Of course, when it comes to anime content, you have to be watchful with your younger children, as a lot of it is geared toward teens (and sometimes even adults).

9. Twitch

For anyone with even a passing interest in gaming and esports, Twitch is the go-to free streaming service.

Twitch hosts user-created channels and streams focused on video games and other esports. It features a built-in chat feature, so users can chat with other streamers in real time.PRO TIP

You’re there anyway — why not get paid to play video games? Here are four simple ways to start earning real cash for virtual play.

While there are thousands of free streams, Twitch also features premium features for a monthly subscription. Twitch apps are compatible with PCs, iOS and Android devices, game consoles, Chromecast and Fire TV.

While Twitch is popular with children, parents should beware: Twitch streams are somewhat unregulated and can sometimes contain adult language or content.

10. IMDb TV

Owned by Amazon, IMDb TV (formerly Freedive) features a host of full episodes of your favorite current and classic TV shows as well as an array of movies.

The catalogue includes some binge-worthy sci-fi hits like “Lost” and “Fringe.”

The free version of IMDbTV is ad-supported, so you’ll have to sit through a few commercial breaks.

It is available in the United States on the IMDb app, the IMDb website, the Amazon Prime Video app and Amazon Fire TV devices.

11. YouTube

Yes, YouTube. YouTube apps are compatible with just about every device that has a screen, and the service features videos to choose from on nearly any topic imaginable.

Most of those videos are not exactly premium content, but there are still plenty of full-length films, documentary series and curated channels that provide cost-free entertainment for the whole family.

While there are ways to download YouTube content for offline viewing, proceed with caution: Many of these sites and apps are full of malware.

12. Peacock

NBCUniversal launched this streaming service, which includes over 7,500 hours of free content, in July 2020.

Although Peacock offers paid premium options, the free version includes current and classic TV shows, movies, news, sports, kids’ shows, Spanish-language programs and even select episodes of Peacock originals.

If you’re a fan of shows like “The Office,” “Law and Order: SVU,” or “Saturday Night Live,” you can watch them on this streaming service.

Customers can stream Peacock on a variety of platforms, including LG Smart TVs, Vizio SmartCast TVs, Roku, Google and Apple devices and Playstation and Xbox consoles.