homemade

Pizza Nights are the Best Nights

A few years ago my husband got a pizza oven and ever since then we have been hooked on homemade pizza. Before Evelyn was born, we would have pizza night once a month with some friends, it was that intense. Now that Henry is older he loves to make his own pizza and add an array of toppings. Although we’ve had to refrain from letting him use candy, most of his creations are really yummy. I love seeing how he lays out the ingredients on the dough like a work of art. He’s really into putting things in rows so usually only half of his pizza has cheese on it 🙂

We’ve found that the best mozzarella is made by Stella® Cheese. Our favorite pizza to make at home consists of prosciutto, basil and fresh mozzarella. It’s so simple to make and always a crowd pleaser. Stella® cheeses are flavorful and combine old world craftsmanship with rich dairy heritage, dating back to 1923. From shredded to crumbled and sharp to sweet, the wide range of Stella® cheese products will infuse your meals with a hint of romantic flavor. Pizza nights are a great way to bring family and friends together for a laid back evening. They’re also a great way for young children to experiment with cooking and explore their independence. Henry loves to cook and is so happy when he helps daddy in the kitchen making pizzas. 

Stella® Cheese is all about togetherness and great food. Click here to receive your $1 off Stella Fresh Mozzarella coupon (through August 20) and be sure to follow Stella Cheese along on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram for some amazing recipe ideas! Do you have a favorite summer staple that your family loves? Please share in the comments below! 

Many thanks to Stella® cheeses for sponsoring today’s story and encouraging me to try their Fresh Mozzarella! 

Valentine’s Day Sugar Scrub

Today I’m sharing a super easy and quick Valentine’s Day sugar scrub. These are great for teacher favors, grandparents and in my case, mommy friends. I love the invigorating smell of the peppermint essential oil which is perfect to give you a jump start while taking your morning shower (even if you only get 5 minutes before the baby starts crying). I cannot wait to try this when the kids go down for nap today!

 

Ingredients: 
1 cup Organic Cane Sugar
1/2 cup Organic Coconut Oil
2-3 Tablespoons Almond Oil
1 Tablespoon or 3 Capsules Vitamin E Oil

 

Combine all dry ingredients in medium size mixing bowl and stir together with a whisk. Add in all oils and stir until wet and dry are evenly combined. Add in 1-2 drops of the pink food coloring and fold together with spatula. Once food coloring is all mixed in, disperse evenly into small mason jars. I ended up needing a bit more cane sugar which I added at the end after I decided my scrub wasn’t coarse enough. Each batch filled 5, 4 ounce mason jars, but you could make larger servings if only making a few. In my case I needed to make 20 so I just repeated the recipe four times. There you have it! So simple and it only took me 30 minutes from start to finish. I was able to make it while the kids were eating breakfast and watching Mickey Mouse Club House (thank you, Disney!) If you’re interested in learning more about essentials oils, please email me at chanel@gmail.com!

 

Homemade Body Butter

I saw this how to make your own body butter post a few months back and I have been dying to try it. The more research I do on drug store beauty products and all the bad chemicals used to make them, the more I want to use natural and safe ingredients on me and my family. Not sure what some of the bad chemicals are? See them here and here. I was pretty devastated when I found out my face cleanser, Cetaphil, was horrible for your skin. I am currently in the market for a more natural face wash and will do a review once I find something I like. Anyway, back to the body butter! 
Body Butter Recipe 
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups whipped butter (I put mine in a 16 ounce mason jar and still had some left over)
1 cup organic raw shea butter (purchased from Amazon here)
1/2 cup coconut oil (purchased from Amazon here)
1/2 cup almond oil (purchased from Amazon here)

1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler. I do not own a double boiler so I used my kitchen aid mixing bowl and set it over a pan of water (see photo). Be sure not to let the bowl touch the water. The key is you want to melt the ingredients without burning them. The mixing bowl got very hot so use an oven mitt or towel when removing. I let the water come to a boil and kept it boiling until the shea butter was melted and stirred occassionaly. Remove from heat and let cool at room temp for 30 minutes . 
2. Stir in almond oil and essential oils of your choosing. I used peppermint oil (purchased from Amazon here) and loved the way it smells. 
3. Place bowl with oil mixture in freezer for 30 minutes. (This is a crucial step, be patient!)
4. Wait until oils start to partially solidify then whip until a butter-like consistency is achieved. I whipped the butter twice. The first time was still hardened at the bottom and around the edges. I scrapped the sides and stirred together with a rubber spatula then whipped again on the highest setting. 
5. Use a rubber spatula to scoop into a clean glass jar with lid. 
**A few tips: The butter melts as you rub it in. A lot goes a long way. I would not recommend lathering up with this before putting on nice clothes and walking out the door. It takes 30 + minutes to absorb into your skin. Throw on some lounge pants and an old t shirt because if not, whatever you sit on will get oil on it (like my bedsheets. Great). **

Sweet Potato Sunday!

Before Henry was born I knew I wanted to make his food and I wanted him to eat all organic and homemade (I even make the rice and oatmeal). He first started having solids at 4 1/2 months and we’ve been lucky in that he hasn’t been allergic to anything. I look forward to our grocery trips to Whole Foods and Fresh Market to get new goodies. Lately I have been trying more finger foods (chicken, scrambled eggs, and shredded cheese). This weekend I decided to make some baked sweet potato fries. I ended up cutting them into chunks which are perfect for his little fingers. Some of my slices were a little thin which resulted in getting slightly burnt (but the dogs sure enjoyed them!) Next time I will try longer slices so they’re more like a french fry. Hopefully everyone had a great weekend! 

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