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How to Cook with Cast Iron {Giveaway}

How to Cook with Cast Iron {Giveaway}
Some of the items in this post were provided to me by Mighty Nest.

In my younger cooking days, I was scared to death of cast iron. It reminded me of Laura Ingalls and cooking over an open fire on the wagon train. My mom never used cast iron, she used her stainless skillet mostly. So, I didn’t have any experience with it. And things we don’t have experience with can make us nervous, kinda like ice skating, walking over hot coals, or getting a tattoo.

I bought my first iron skillet to make cornbread. And the heavens opened up and sang the hallelujah chorus. I’m not lying when I say I think my eyes rolled back in my head with that first bite. Victory!!!!

Cast iron has been around a long time…which should let you know that it’s pretty stinkin’ reliable and long lasting. Except when applying that logic, we can get in trouble. Aluminum anyone? Saccharin? Please pass the MSG. Ahem.

But anyways, I’m not going to tell you what types of pans are best and safest to cook with. Because as sure as one person says “This is GREAT!” Another person will tell you that it “causes your toe nails to fall out, hair to turn gray, and  buttitis.” I feel like cast iron is pretty safe. Unless you drop it on your foot. Then it can be pretty unhealthy. *SMC is not held responsible for any broken feet due to dropping of iron skillets.* (more…)



4 Products I’ll Never Buy Again (and what I’m using instead) plus a 2-ingredient Stain Remover That Really Works!

4 Products I’ll Never Buy Again (and what I’m using instead) plus a 2-ingredient Stain Remover That Really Works!

Guest post by Julie Chittock of Domestic Contessa

In my kitchen, I have always enjoyed making as much as possible from scratch using real food ingredients. This includes everything from hummus and salad dressing to coffee creamer and granola bars.

But it wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I realized that I should do the same thing in other areas of my home. My closets and cabinets were chock-full of all sorts of dish soaps and detergents, toilet bowl cleaners, shower cleaners, kitchen cleaners, window cleaners, laundry detergent, fabric softener, hand soaps, creams and lotions, facial cleansers, body washes, shampoos, conditioners – I could go on and on and on…. I was amazed to learn that so many of those expensive and unnecessary products could be replaced with mostly basic ingredients that I already had in my pantry!

So with no further ado, here are 4 products that I will never buy again (and what I’m using instead). I’m also including a super quick and effective 2-ingredient recipe for a laundry stain remover that really works!  (more…)



Millionaires Read Books. Do You? Reading Challenge

Millionaires Read Books. Do You? Reading Challenge

I’m always intrigued by the statics about millionaires. I won’t lie – I think it will be great to be a millionaire one day. That’s what we’re saving toward. That’s why we live debt free – to have plenty of money to give away.

So, if there is some way that you want to be or a trait that you’d like to have, how should you go about getting that? Well, you look at others who have it of course! You won’t learn how to save money by asking someone up to their eyeballs in debt. You won’t learn how to run a marathon by asking a couch potato. You won’t learn how to swim by asking a rock.

When we want to learn how to live debt free and gain wealth, where do we look? To the traits of the wealthy. Now, that list doesn’t mean that everyone who does that will be millionaires – it simply means it’s a good way to get there! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…until it becomes stalking. But nevermind that.  (more…)



DIY Soothing Balm

DIY Soothing Balm

Post by Contributing Author, Lexie McNeil from Lexie Naturals

Around our house, we have come to love making our own skincare products.  There are many benefits to making things at home, and it’s a lot of fun too!  We are always looking for new things to make instead of buy, and this soothing balm is a favorite.

About a year ago, we started making this soothing balm with items I already had in the kitchen.  We use this balm on minor cuts and scrapes, bruises, burns, and bug bites.  I sometimes mix other essential oils into it for muscle pain.  My kids call it “that medicine you make”, and they are always asking that I put it on something!  With summer just around the corner, we’ll be using this balm more and more. (more…)



Before YOU Jump on the Essential Oils Bandwagon…{free online course}

Before YOU Jump on the Essential Oils Bandwagon…{free online course}

Essential oils are the hot thing right now. I’ve been using them for years – and I will probably still be using them when they’re not “cool” anymore. :-) I’ve been VERY hesitant to discuss anything oil related and I usually only answer questions related to oils via private message or emails.

Why is that? Because any time I try to mention them publicly, someone bites my head off. They eat me for dinner. They chew me up and spit me out and then put a couple drops of oil on me to purify me. ;-) Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I think it’s mainly because I am not brand loyal – I have chosen to remain neutral in a land of PICK A SIDE! PICK A SIDE!

But, today I want to come out of my oily closet and talk about them a little bit: tell you what I use and why and also about a FREE online summit about oils that’s coming up in May. I said FREE! :-)  (more…)