The Doctor is IN....Bronner that is.

It has been awhile since I shared about what is in our home...

It always amazes me how we are so careless with what we put on our skin. I know I never thought of skin as an organ that is drinking everything that gets placed on it, and assimilating it into our bodies/blood etc. Now that I am older, and like to think wiser, I am shocked, appalled and in general disbelief when I walk down the self care isles of the stores.

My general opinion on the matter, if you can't or won't drink it, than you shouldn't be using it on your skin! I know that sounds intense, but it is true!

Soaps are a tough one. Finding one that lathers, doesn't dry your skin out, and doesn't have toxic chemicals, plus is affordable can be tough.

I can say we have had an obsession with Dr. Bronners Castile Soaps for quite some time. N, J and I all use them for soap, facewash, and shampoo. They some in so many different essential oil
blends that the variety is almost endless.

So, for a facial pack or for the morning when you just can't seem to get your eyes to open, or you have sinus congestion. Place a squirt of the peppermint or eucalyptus soap in a sink of hot water. Soak a wash cloth and place it on your face. Inhale the oils...and wait for the amazing tingle. I am officially obsessed with this! I joke with J that this is my morning therapy after a rough night of little sleep!

For shampoo : Mix the rose and citrus oils together in a separate bottle. The rose will help build volume and the citrus helps remove excess oils and dirt. The peppermint is a nice clarifier ever once in a while....but will leave your hair straw-like if used on a regular basis.

For bodywash: I like the citrus, or rose. J likes the Eucalyptus or peppermint. I find the "spicy" oils can be a bit much on the sensitive areas of the body, but hey, give it a whirl...

You can also use it as a mouthwash. I don't particularly care for the after taste, but to each his own I suppose.

I have also used it as a dish soap with great success!

Needless to say, a bottle of Dr. Bronners goes a long way in your home! The bottle is a bit scary, they definitely are working from an interesting belief system, but the soap is great! They even have a Non essential oil soap...

Coconutty Fish Soup...Mmm Mmm Good

After making your lovely fish stock it is time to bring the house down with some amazingly awesome soup! I don't know about you all, but we are obsessed with coconut milk. It is within the last year or so that it has become a staple in our household, and now I am thinking how did I ever live without this amazingly rich, creamy, and Delicious goodness! I know I sound a little obsessive, but it is true, I love my coconut, and N and J are also completely enthused about it.

It I am ever in doubt over weather they will like a recipe, I add coconut milk to it, and it is a hit. I don't think either of them have ever rejected it's goodness!

Okay, okay, I'm moving onto the recipe...:)

With summer veggies in swing here, we found ourselves with some super fresh spinach to use! yum.

Coconut fish soup:

1 1/2 quarts fish stock
1-2 cans of coconut milk, depending on the thickness and flavor desired
1 tsp dried ginger
Bunch spinach washed
4 carrots (shredded or chopped. I prefer shredded, J likes them chopped)
2 Daikon Radishes shredded (you can omit these, they really don't add that much flavor, just nutrients)
1 onion diced or shredded
2 celery stalks finely chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
10 basil leaves (added at the end or garnished)
small bunch cilantro (added at the end or garnished)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

This is a pretty self explanatory recipe. Add all the veggies with coconut oil for sauteing to the pot and saute until just soft. Add the stock and coconut milk. Simmer for 10 minutes to give the flavors time to meld. Add the basil and cilantro at the very end, or place it in the serving bowls at the bottom and pour soup over top. (always add fresh herbs at the end of cooking and dried herbs at the beginning)

J, N, and I all loved this soup. It reminded us of a soup we used to get out at a local Asian restaurant. J added cayenne pepper to his, b/c he loves to "feel the burn." N and I enjoyed it with salt and pepper. We all had pecan bread with it! Yummy!

Of course you could add cooked brown rice to this recipe. N just can't eat that! Mix it up, it is soup after all, how wrong could you go?

Sorry about the fish photo, I need to get better at taking photos of our food! :)

Enjoy and please let me know what you think! Have any great fish soup recipes yourself?

Here Fishy Fishy.....stock!

We have been intending for awhile to use the fish heads/parts etc that we had collected from the Nice Wegman's Fish Man. Nothing like paying a dollar a pound for excellent wild caught low mercury halibut...

Fish is one of those food items that we would all love to eat more regularly, but the cost is just a problem for our tight budget. Especially when you consider the 2.30/lb we pay for free range organic chickens and the 3.40/lb we pay for our grass fed beef with a
ll the bones! I love to try to get fish and all of it's goodness into our life, but I have found I need to be creative. (yes, it does help that my husband works for Wegmans, and we know when they have extra "parts" laying around for real cheap)

What comes home from the grocery store takes all that is in me not to hurl, (I'm still working on that) but the end product is quite delicious, nutritious, and typically gets us 3 meals!

How do we feed our whole family fish for 3 nights for just 3-4 dollars? Go to the fish man and ask him for all the filleted parts, the stuff they usually just chuck, and ask to have it/ or pay for it. Yes, you will get heads, tails, and various other things, but when made into stock, it will taste just like fish...I promise! Plus there are always "flakes" of meat left after you make the stock to thicken up your soups a bit.

Fish stock:
3 or 4 fish carcasses (non oily fish are best like, sole, turbot, rockfish, or snapper.)
1-2 onions
1-2 garlic bulbs or 5 garlic scapes or both if you like garlic:)
2 carrots chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4-5 quarts water

The following add after the boil and skim:
6-7 basil leaves
dash of oregano
2-4 Tbsp cilantro

I added all the top ingredients and brought the water to a boil, and than skimmed it. I covered the pot and let it simmer for about 4-24 hours. When it is done, remove the carcasses and all the added veggies and herbs. If there is excess meat I save this for soup that day! Be sure to remove the excess fat that congeals on the top for long term freezer storage.

Place in the freezer in 2-4 cups storage pouches for later use.

What do you use fish stock for? Delicious soup!

Please check out the Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday for more frugal recipes/tips, and tricks in your kitchen.

picture taken from Battle Creek Watershed Conservatory.