Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Allergies, Sinus Problems, & Ear Infections, Oh My!

I'm deviating from my normal recipe posts as a public service announcement... Of sorts. 

Since moving to Georgia, I have had THE WORST problems with allergies. For whatever reason, medicines, either OTC or prescribed, have been no help. In a bout of frustration, I decided to switch to natural remedies. I have no clue why it took me so long to do so, but I am glad I did. 

To combat allergies, I incorporated raw, organic, local honey into my diet. There are many ways this can be done, but my favorite (other than right out of the jar) is to add a tablespoon of honey into my green tea every morning OR even better... I made a post a while ago about skinny water. I love that stuff. Love it to the point of can't live without it. Most people make their skinny water (spa water, detox water, etc.) with just water, lemons, cucumbers, mint and/or ginger, but I put 8oz (one bag brewed) of green tea in mine for the flavor and antioxidants. So of course I get the idea to brew my green tea with a tablespoon of local honey and add that to my skinny water. It tastes so good!! But that's not it.... I also brew green tea with a tablespoon of local honey, a teaspoon of organic cinnamon, and add it to the skinny water using apples instead of cucumbers and lemon. Oh my goodness, let that stuff sit for a day and it's like drinking your desert with amazing health benefits. 

The local honey really helped with the frequency and severity of my allergy issues, but I still have sinus flare ups. A friend of mine, who advocates natural remedies, gave me a product called Sinucheck. Oh wow. It changed my world. I can tell you that it will leave a slight eucalyptus taste in your mouth, but it isn't overpowering or unpleasant (to me anyway), and the results are incredible. Seriously, when nothing worked for me and I had sinus pain, sore throat, headache, loss of voice, drippy nose, cough... A plethora of irritating symptoms... Sinucheck came to the rescue. I will be forever grateful to my friend that recommended this product, and I sing its praises all the time. 

For a while, I had my allergies completely under control, then my husband and I traveled out of state on vacation. I made the mistake of not keeping up with my honey intake, and when we got back home, my allergies hit full force. I had a horrible ear infection in BOTH ears, and I was absolutely positively miserable. My personal Facebook friends can attest to this as I did nothing but complain for a solid month. At least. 

Why that long? Well... 1. I'm stubborn and think if I'm sick it should just go away out of shear force of will. I even believe that it will magically work that way. Every. Time. 2. Once I finally admit I'm sick beyond repair, I still do not like doctor visits. I'm not sure why... I just don't. 3. I can't really handle antibiotics because of my varying degree of allergic reactions to them. Plus... Antibiotics have an extensive list of side effects that are less than appealing and even harmful (like killing the good flora in your intestines). 

I did some research and tried a number of things... To include putting apple cider vinegar in my ear twice a day. Nothing seemed to do the trick, so I did even more research and found Wally's Ear Oil. After so many days of terrible ear pain, nausea and feeling beyond miserable, this was my last shot before giving in and going to the doctor. Amazingly enough, Wally's ear oil fixed my ears in 4 days. Had I known about this product sooner, I wouldn't have had to spend a month in ear pain annoying others with my complaining. Now I'm going to make sure I always have it available. 

I've also started taking "Hear All" to try to prevent any future problems and because... Well, I couldn't hear very well to begin with (a past of working on jets and genetics, I guess) and I don't need any other damage done to my ears. Supposedly Hear All will help with that. I guess only time will tell. 

Anyhoodle, I'm obviously not a doctor, so I can't say that these products are good for everyone, and I recommend doing your own research; however, they are natural and worked wonders for me. Hopefully they're able to help you if you have some of the same problems with allergies/sinuses/ear infections that I do! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ranch Pork Roast

The classic pot roast is one of the easiest & most delicious meals to make in a crock pot. There are many recipes out there; heck, I know I have several, but when I think of the classic comfort food, this is one of the recipes I turn to.

Now... I know there's a stigma attached to the cream of whatever soup... and I get that, I do. So consider this your warning: there is cream of whatever in this recipe. If you can look over that, I promise you're in for a super easy, mouthwatering meal.


1 Boston butt pork roast, bone in or out. The poundage is strictly left to preference, but I like to make sure to get one without a lot of fat. I also prefer bone-in.

1 pkg. Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch dressing dry mix
1 regular can (10 3/4oz) cream of mushroom soup
12oz beef broth
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, whole
6-8 red potatoes, halved


Place pork roast in crock pot and arrange all of your potatoes, onions, & garlic around it. Pour ranch powder over roast/potatoes. In a small bowl, mix soup and beef broth, pour over roast/potatoes. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Easy-peasy. Best made when you are out of the house for a bit as the delicious smell will have you salivating! Serve with your favorite veggie side-dish & some bread for sopping up that gravy!  

Texas Trash Dip

It has been ages since I have posted anything, but goodness gracious, it's like I just never have the time anymore... or maybe I just don't make the time. I need to change that! My husband kindly reminded me this weekend part of the reason for starting this blog in the first place: I don't remember my own recipes. This happens all the time; usually it will come to me, but when he was trying to describe something I cooked over a year ago, I just stared at him blankly. I guess when you throw stuff together on a whim, as I am oft to do, then don't  write it down... it goes into the recesses of the mind that harbor cobwebs and all sorts of other useless bits of info.

Anyhoo... I'm a Texas girl, born and raised, and though I don't long to return to my home state, I do miss the food. I've seen Texas Trash floating around Pinterest, and for such a simple creation, there are so many variations. I had no idea! I remember my mom making this dip for big football parties... back when the Cowboys were America's team and won Super Bowls.

Well, I may not be a Cowboys fan (Go Patriots!), but I am definitely a fan of football & football parties. It's that season again, and I couldn't be any more thrilled! So, in the spirit of football season and my husband's fantasy league draft, I made Texas trash. Since the entire contents of the dish were devoured, I'd say it was a hit.


1lb ground beef
2 16oz cans refried beans
8oz sour cream
8oz cream cheese
3 cups shredded cheese **I use pizza blend and sharp cheddar, but it's called Texas "trash" for a reason... use what you like. Colby jack, taco blend, mild cheddar, sharp cheddar.... whatever floats your boat!**
1 small can ( 7 3/4 oz) of El Pato tomato sauce **some people use Rotel. I don't like the texture of Rotel in the bean dip, so I find that the spicy tomato sauce usually found in the Hispanic food isle of the grocery store makes this dip SO much better than having chunks of tomato mess up the creaminess of the dip.**
1 package taco seasoning 
Sliced jalapenos and black olives to taste


Preheat oven to 350. Brown ground beef in skillet until cooked through, drain. In a large microwaveable bowl, combine cream cheese and beans... no need to mix just yet. Microwave for 1 minute; this will soften cream cheese and beans so that they are easy to mix. Stir until there are no lumps of cream cheese. Add in ground beef, sour cream, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce. Mix thoroughly. Pour out mixture into a 9x13" baking dish. Top with cheese and sliced jalapenos and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted. This is best served warm with tortilla chips and an ice cold beer on the side :). Enjoy!