Category Archives: Recipes

Great recipes we’ve tried and loved.

Recipe for Thieves Oil

Ok, so granted this is not a TYPICAL post for this site, but I wanted to get my recipe for Thieves’ Oil online in case anyone needed it. I suppose though that staying healthy can be quite a savings strategy. It sells for about 60.00/ounce, but it’s fairly affordable to make.

This oil is used to ward off sickness – grave robbers used it during ancient and old times to enter tombs without being effective. It gained fame when it was discovered thieves were using it during the times of the Black Death to steal from the stricken’s homes and graves, and they were not getting the plague.

I like to use it during cold and flu season when I go out shopping. Does it work? I haven’t got the flu in years, but I can’t say why, only that I believe it works for me. It traditionally is put on the soles of the feet and the nape of the neck. (Some people’s will find it irritating to the skin, even in carrier oil, so test a tad of it first!) The vapors are said to help kill viruses and be antibacterial. One university studied it, and they said it was the thymols and phenols in it. It does have a lot of them, considering what I know about the individual ingredients.

Now magickally, if you are into that, all the plants have associations with purification, exorcism, protection, and healing.

Recipe for Thieves Oil

Thieves oil is an oil used to ward off sickness and plague.

The ingredients are pretty much virucidal and antiseptic.

Here’s how you make it:
Use olive oil or a carrier oil (I use macadamia nut oil myself, as I have a good cheap source for it…almond, jojoba, but any carrier oil should do.)

Equal parts of lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, and rosemary essential oils.

There’s a second recipe for it:
Clove Bud Oil 200 drops, Lemon Oil 175 drops, Cinnamon
Oil 100 drops, Eucalyptus Oil 75 drops, Rosemary 50 drops.

This last one smells STRONGLY of cloves. I use the first second recipe but prefer to up my eucalyptus as I prefer the smell, because I KNOW it has been used to fend off viruses before by itself, by putting some on bandanas that you breathe though, like masks.

You can buy lemon eucalyptus already mixed, as it is a commonly used combo formula, and that cuts down on the cost of making it.

Wonderful Chicken Salad Recipe

This is a great chicken salad recipe that I made up the other night. The apple and the almonds make it really special. It is a bit like the recipe that Arby’s uses, but it is still more basic than ‘fancy’, which is what I was hoping for. It pleased my picky family too. I was a bit afraid that my husband would ‘trip’ over the apple in it, but after a couple of bites he declared it ‘surprisingly good’ and said the recipe is a keeper.

It’s very easy to make, and quite inexpensive. I’d made a chicken stew the other night, and saved the 2 boiled chicken breasts for this recipe. The 2 breasts were just enough, so I am declaring this a great leftover chicken recipe.

We are black pepper freaks so in the picture you see ours topped with a lot of extra black pepper. That’s really typical around here. 🙂


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
1/2 cup crushed roasted almonds
1 med-large golden delicious apple, peeled and cut into small squares
pinch salt


Mix together apple with lemon juice. Add other ingredients and mix well.

Serve on bread for sandwiches or as a crustini, or on fresh greens.

Free Southern Living Cookbook w/$15 Purchase

I love the Internet for recipes – I DO! But, also, I just really like a good cookbook in hardcopy.

I just love cookbooks. I like to read them, get ideas from them, and will usually find a few recipes worth trying. If I find one really good ‘keeper’ recipe in a cookbook that the whole family enjoys, I am overjoyed. Unfortunately, good cookbooks can be expensive.

That’s why I was tickled about this form: Free Southern Living Cookbook.

Southern Living is one of my favorite recipe sources. They’ve always been my favorite cookbooks, as my family often likes the recipes that I try from them. I also like Taste of Home, the Top Secret Recipe series, Midwest Living, and Coastal Living magazines and cookbooks.

When I look online for recipes, I like Taste of Home, and Food Network. Also, often when I have an idea or a name, I check youtube to see if there’s a cook demonstrating the recipe. It’s really great for foreign cuisine and techniques that are unfamiliar.

I did find a few coupons to go with the rebate form. One is for Cracker Creations – $1.00 off
Click Here. I’ve never tried these, have any of you?

And Seattle’s Best Coupons: $1.50 off Seattle’s Best 4 pack.

My strategy is to use the $5.00 gift card that I won today and stock up on Hellman’s Mayo, since it’s a brand we are loyal to and it’s been on rollback at Walmart this week. Depending on the expiration date, I might fill in my order with one of the other items I have coupons on.

Can you use coupons and file rebates? Sure, I do it all the time. If you can’t, it will say so somewhere on the form or coupons, but usually I have a few more items on my receipt and just submit a longer receipt and I’ve not had any problems.

Learn to Make Your Own Pizza and Save a TON

There was a time when both my husband and I worked full-time. My son went to regular school. Because of our work schedule, our son would have to stay in the school’s aftercare program, which was a very nice program overall. However, it meant we would not get home until 6PM or a bit thereafter 4 days a week.

We’d all be tired, and Sage would still have a ton of homework to do. Often, we’d just order pizza out or put frozen pizzas in the oven – everyone in this house adores pizza. We were spending over 100.00 a month on pizza between the take out, carry out, and lunches out!

When I quit work to homeschool Sage several years back, we no longer had the money for such things, and I really wanted to learn to cook. I always focused on trying to learn to cook the foods that we liked to eat out the most. I figured, if they could cook it, I could learn how TOO.

I tried the Boboli pizza crusts, the pizza crusts that came in packs, or boxes, that you mixed with water. It still wasn’t the same. Now I think they produce these things to try to convince people that making pizza dough is somehow hard. It’s not. It just takes practice.

I got my big break in learning to make good pizza from a simple YouTube video that comes from a website that I think is one of the best out there for everyday people who want to learn to cook: Pizza Therapy is a website devoted to all things pizza. I’m sad to say that I cannot recommend any pizza cookbook, because though I’ve had several pass this way, I’ve not liked a single one as much as this website, or learned as much from it.

First, I’m going to show you the video that gave me my start making good, homemade pizza, and then, I’ll share with you the tips and supplies that I’ve found invaluable.

Here’s a link to that recipe

These days, I let my KitchenAid mixer do all the kneading, but it was great to know how to do it by hand back when the storms took the power lines down. Yes, pizza is one thing you can make and cook ON A GRILL!! In fact, it’s good that way! You just need a good pizza stone to cook it on, but, IMO, you need one for the oven too.

This is the pizza stone that I use:

Now, when they first get there, they need to be seasoned. A good pizza stone that’s seasoned right will look dark and be naturally waterproof and nonstick. I didn’t realize this when I started, so I’d just oil my pizza stone with a bit of olive oil and then use it, and over time it became seasoned. If I had it to do over, I’d oil it often and leave it in my oven all the time to speed up the process. Pizza stones also make incredible biscuits, cookies, and all sorts of bread. They are not just for pizza. In fact, I’d say cookies are about as perfect on my pizza stone as they could get.

To care for your stone, don’t wash it in soap. Just rinse it off and scrape it with a knife if needed and clean it with plain water. In this way, it is a lot like the care of cast iron.

The other thing I really love when making pizza is my pizza peel. This is the one I use:

It hangs on the side of my cabinets on a little nail, out-of-the-way but handy. There are less expensive kinds to buy, but I am very glad now that I got a good solid wood one. Once I pulled mine out and set it on a very hot stove without realizing it. If it had been bamboo, the thing would have probably started to smolder. As it was, my mistake only caused a bit of char that was easily sanded off.

Why a pizza peel? Well, one of the secrets to making great pizza is using a very, very hot oven or grill, and the lowest rack possible. I preheat my oven to 500 degrees before the pizza ever goes in. You want the heat source as close to the BOTTOM of the pizza as you can get it. A pizza peel will let you take a hot pizza out of the oven easily with comfort and safety, and you can then cut the pizza and serve it all on the peel.

Pizza peels are also very handy when you make your own bread, for transferring dough and finished bread in and out of a hot oven. I use a bit of parchment paper to let my dough rise on the peel, then transfer paper, bread and all to the oven to cook.

Other than that, I can tell you that I buy our flour in 25 pound bags, and I keep it in the original double paper bag, and then I zip that up in one of those clear plastic bags that comforters come in.

I also buy yeast in bulk. I prefer Red Star, which also happens to be one of the most affordable:

When I started making pizza, I focused on the dough, and I think that is a good tactic for any beginner. I used jarred sauce at first, but sauce is easy too once you learn some tricks. That’s a whole other post, which I promise, I’ll get to eventually. The pre-made pizza sauce in a jar is just as affordable as making it from scratch usually. We’ve tried several, but I’ve found little difference in taste between the various brands and store brands.

If you want to try it from scratch though, here’s a basic sauce: Basic Pizza Sauce

If you have questions, please comment below! I’ll do my best to answer them.

SOS (A recipe for former soldiers)

SOS aka Shit on A Shingle – As we knew it in the US ARMY and US NAVY
(I’m not being intentionally crude, or gross. That’s what it is openly called in the mess hall.)

Chip and I both grew to love this crazy dish in our military days. They served it most days of the week, and it was always a popular choice. A few years back, we started trying to find THE authentic recipe. We tried several recipes out there for this. It is also called beef in gravy or chipped beef in gravy, but the military used ground beef when we had it. This is the recipe that is SOS, as we both remember it.

It’s a nostalgic recipe, and it’s fairly inexpensive. It also is very good made with ground deer venison instead of ground beef. Since deer is much more lean, I adjust the recipe to use a pound instead of a pound and a half.

1.5lb extra lean hamburger or ground chuck
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat, add butter and stir. Add onions and cook until they are translucent. Add flour, then stir and cook two to three minutes. Add garlic, soy sauce and Worcestershire Sauce. Mix thoroughly. Add milk and stir till it thickens. Serve on a couple of shingles (toast).