Guest Post: Sugar Scrub

(Hey everyone, I’ve asked a sweet friend of mine to write a post about a soothing gift just in time for the holidays. Who could use some pampering right about now? I know I could! Truly, this is perfect for any time of the year. Birthdays, baby showers, gifts for bridesmaids…you get the idea. I didn’t realize just how affordable sugar scrub is to make until I read through her post. So, without further ado, here’s Ginger!)

Sugar Scrub by Ginger

A few weeks ago, I was trying to figure out something to make for a large group of people. I didn’t want to cook something because we are all trying to be on some diet and not wanting to gain some pounds even though food is incredibly unavoidable at the holidays! Haha

Well, I searched online for easy things to make for a decent price and I came across sugar scrub. I instantly said to myself that this is it! Something that every girl will love and it won’t add to the waist line. 🙂
I modified the recipe a bit because it called for a 1/4 cup of almond oil. I figured that almond oil may be a bit expensive, so I decided to use baby oil instead. Who doesn’t love baby oil!
I haven’t really looked for purple food coloring, but I came across the cake frosting coloring. Be careful with this stuff, it is a bit thick and a little goes a long way!

You can add flare with a little wooden spoon and attach it to the jar if you are giving this as a gift. I found a pack of 24 little wooden spoons in the cake decorating aisle at Walmart for $2.47, along with the cake frosting color.
All in all, I made nearly 5 jars of this with a bag of sugar, one bottle of baby oil (but I had to use a small bit from another bottle), and with the cost of the jars it all came out to be less than $5 a person! You can’t beat that for a gift.
What you’ll need:
2 cups of sugar
3/4 to a cup of lavender baby oil
3-5 drops of lavender essential oil
Purple food coloring (the more drops, the darker it gets)
Glass jar that can be closed tight
Directions:
Add all ingredients in a bowl and stir!
How simple is that?! 🙂
(Thank you so much Ginger for sharing this incredible idea! This definitely gets the NOK Blog’s seal of approval! Cannot wait to try it and I hope you all will too. This recipe can easily be customized to your scent and color preference. Have a blessed weekend, a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year!)
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Low Carb Sheet Pan Quesadilla

Don’t think I’ll make quesadillas the same way ever again.

One of the easiest ways to make a quesadilla for the entire family. True, you can’t customize the filling this way, but my crew can be easy to please at times. Any filling you can think of will work with this recipe. I chose sausage, peppers, and onions.

No other seasonings needed, spicy sausage can be used as well. Chicken, beef, turkey, steak, shrimp, turkey pastrami and pepperoni…whatever your preference. Prep everything accordingly, for me the sausage was cooked through in about five minutes.

The following step was super easy. Lined a sheet pan with either non-stick foil or parchment paper. The size of your tortillas will determine how many you’ll have to use. Our low carb tortillas are 8 inches(🤷🏻‍♀️), so I wound up using ten for the bottom and sides. You’ll want to make sure to allow about half the tortillas to hang over the side. To make sure that the bottom edges would fuse together, I added a light layer of shredded cheese and topped it off with the cooked sausage mixture.

We’re a cheesy bunch 😉 I had some leftover sliced provolone that I added, plus the rest of the shredded cheese. Ohhhh yeah!!!

The next part might seem a tad tricky, but trust me it wasn’t as difficult as it may seem.

~The folding of the edges over the top~ 😱

For me, I had to use an additional 6 tortillas over the top before I could flap the edges over shut. See below…

See? All right, so it’s not “pretty”, but let me tell you this meal was spot on! To help hold the shape as it bakes, place another sheet pan on top. This joker crisped up perfectly!

You’ll Need:

16 low carb Mission Tortillas

1 pound mild sausage(or any meat you prefer)

1 large onion, chopped

1 each green and red bell pepper, chopped

2 c shredded cheese

6 slices provolone cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425*F. Line pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Drape eight of the tortillas halfway over the pan’s edge and place two down the center. Sprinkle with a light layer of shredded cheese. Set aside.

Cook sausage with peppers and onions; add on top of the shredded cheese layer. Place six more on top and fold the edges up and over. Place another sheet pan on top and bake for 20 minutes. Remove top sheet pan and bake for another 5 minutes till browned. Let cool and cut into 10-20 servings.

Per 1/10th serving the net carbs, minus nacho cheese sauce, comes out to 9.6g. Granted that may seem like a lot, works out for me since this was the only thing I’ve eaten today. As for the nacho cheese sauce, this is entirely optional. I used the recipe from Officially Gluten Free. Easy and tasty, I added 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp paprika, and 1/4 tsp granulated garlic for that “nacho” flavor.

This entire recipe is an absolute keeper! A huge hit with me and the boys, the cheese sauce was on point too! Imagine making a massive pizza quesadilla with a low carb homemade marinara sauce! ☺️

Need I say more? Nah, the pictures speak for themselves, with endless possibilities! Philly Cheese Steak, chicken or steak fajita, tex-mex, spicy shrimp, cheesy ground turkey, pizza, sloppy joes, vegetarian…

Happy Eating!!

The Fourth Meal Trend Is Back!

Who remembers when Taco Bell came out with fourth meal? It was back in 2007 and for those late night munchies they were hoping you’d show up to get some gut busting snackage in before calling it a night. I don’t recall it going over very well, or lasting very long. 🤷🏻‍♀️

One of the 2018 food trends is the fourth meal. So what is it? Naturally, we already have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The way I understand it, the fourth meal is after dinner but before breakfast. According to certain cultures dinner is already considered the fourth meal. So long as you include tea, biscuits, and jam as the third meal after lunch. (See below)

I have no personal qualms with this notion, if that’s how you roll more power to you. After living in Brazil for a year and half I got used to eating dinner later in the evening as it was cooler and more comfortable to do so. Some nights we weren’t eating till 8pm sometimes as late as 9-10pm. But now, I struggle getting a second and sometimes a third meal in. As for my caloric intake, getting what MyFitnessPal deems what I ought to be getting is an absolute joke! Most days I can barely break 1200. How on earth am I suppose to fit in a fourth meal? 🤨🤔

I recall back in late 2003, I was roughly 5-6 months pregnant with G, both my OB/GYN and Nutritionist told me that I needed to start eating 5-6 small meals a day. I earnestly tried, I did EXACTLY what they said but I started to feel sick to my stomach. It was basically too much food, mixed the constant clock watching, writing it all down, monitoring what I was eating and when…I started to hate food. So, I went back to my three lower carb meals a day, fitting in one to two complex carbs a day with my meals, making sure to measure out the servings, and IF I felt like having a snack then I made sure it was something healthy. I was maintaining the 35 pounds I had gained during my pregnancy, didn’t have a single issue with bloat, Gestational Diabetes, and more or less felt normal. My blood pressure was near textbook which apparently is unheard of for someone of my size. 😒 In the end, I proved for myself, that 5-6 smaller meals wasn’t for me.

Perhaps the fourth meal is designed for the night owls/hawks. With insomnia on the rise it’s plausible, I guess. Would this also include 3rd shift workers? Or other people who work the graveyard shift? I can’t help but wonder though…

…who would have the room for it? With the shoddy metabolism I was blessed with I know I personally don’t. 🤢

Which begs the question, do you see the fourth meal taking off again?

Granted I don’t think it’s about being glutenous, rather it’s along the same lines as having 5-6 smaller healthier meals a day.

Do you think this trend will stick around a second time? If it does, then I think it will only benefit those who are up late at night and people with faster metabolisms. I could be wrong and often am.

Please feel free to comment below! Let me know what you think, who do you think might benefit from it, and what are some healthier fourth meal options?

Happy Eating(fourth meal included)!!! 😉

July 1st: Happiness Is…

Hey everyone!

This month I want to get your input about what makes YOU happy! It’s easy, send me an email with what happiness is to you! 

For instance:

Happiness is…


…snuggling with my boy while watching a movie he has picked out. It’s not often that we get to do this anymore now that he is officially a teenager, so when he makes a suggestion you betcha I make a big deal about it(in a cool way of course). I grab some yummy snacks for us, a cozy blanket, and enjoy the time we have together. It brings back memories of when he was a little guy and would curl up on my lap to watch his favorite shows. Oh how I miss those days and cherish the ones like in the picture. ❤️

-Amanda Gayle(Alabama, USA)

Simple! Now, of course you can write as little or as much as I did. The point is, with all the ugly and bad things going on in this world it would do us some good to see some happy things for a change. Send me an email at nightowlkitchen@yahoo.com with the following: 

*Please include your name, State/Provence and country. 

*Include the heading: “Happiness Is…” in your email, along with a short blurb about why it makes you happy.

*You may include one photo. 

*Any recipes need to include a link back to the original site, if possible(unless the recipe has been passed down through your family, which is adored here at Night Owl Kitchen!) Kids are welcomed to get in on this, I know several like to get in the kitchen these days, don’t be shy. Share with us your favorite summer treats! 

*You can share anything that has inspired you: a quote, a song, a book, a movie…keeping it family friendly of course! 😉

Each week I will choose a selection to share. Let’s spread some happiness this month! 

Have a blessed 4th of July weekend!!!

Long Abscence From Blogging…

Hello to all my readers(to those who still follow)! I’m not quite sure where to begin, guess I’ll be honest and tell you all that the desire to write hasn’t been there. Since my last post back in April(I think), the year has been busy for the most part, sad, and depressing. I’ve put off sharing anything on here mostly because I don’t want to be a blogger who airs it all on the web, but neither did I ever imagine I’d become a blogger who would disappear for months on end without a word to my faithful readers. For that, I do apologize. 

The year started off well enough, so what have I been up to?  By the end of March I was asked to teach a 3&4 yr old VBS class at my church and from then on until June I was busy prepping and making decorations for my classroom and no joke that took A LOT out of me. Once VBS started we were swamped every day with fun activities, energetic kids, and I would come home to crash. It was a fun theme though, under the sea, so cute! Below are few pictures of the room my helpers and I decorated(mind you we kept it simple so as not to give little hands too much to mess with).

My son, G, decided to come hang out in my room one morning before VBS started. He played with the play-doh and made a gruesome zombie head. What can I say, that’s G for ya! 😉

This was a fun labor of love project that unfortunately I didn’t get to use. I made a puppet stage out of carboars, expanding spray foam, pain, and hot glue. The sea urchins were my favorite and one of the first things I made. A half ball of styrofoam, qtips, craft glue, and paint. BOOM, sea urchin! Thankfully another church who was using a similar under the sea theme cam in on the last day and took all the decorations to use during their VBS week. Hopefully the puppet stage was put to good use! 

As for the wall decorations, all credit must be given to Party Cheap dot com. They made it possible for me decorate the walls to look we were under the sea. My helpers did an amazing job putting everything up and yes it wasn’t all perfect but the children loved it and that’s what mattered the most! 

The second thing I loved the most was the beach sign! Foam poster board, paint, and hot glue made that possible. And I’m not even an artist, never claimed to be either, but the rustic skills I do have worked well for that old weathered look! On the first day of VBS I had G help me get some sea kelp up that went behind that sign on the lower wall. Wish I had snapped a picture of it, was really cute and helped finish off the wall. 

The third decoration I LOVED making were the jellyfish! Crazy easy! Paper bowls, paint, tissue paper, and googly eyes is all it took. A person with long arms was kind enough to lend his height when it came time to hanging those precious jellyfish up. All the ideas were found through Pinterest and made possible through friends who donated items to me. It was fun but very tiring, not for the faint of heart. It’s the VBS I remember from the 90’s, that’s for sure! 

After VBS was said and done, I went back to sort of helping a friend with her summer class. Fine tuning her weekly lessons, and making sure everything was ready. I admit my mental capability was tapped out for a bit, felt like a vegetable most days. Thankfully I was able to get her summer class announcement finished in time so it could be advertised. She had a Lego theme and all her lessons were centered around Building Godly Character.

 I had saved up 13 boxes(mostly amazon shipping boxes) and wrapped them in tissue paper to make them look like Lego building blocks. Each week she could add the next block to the the previous one and use it as a visual aid for her class. The kids loved it! Of course I don’t know too many kids who DON’T love Legos! And what’s in store for next year?! An Indian Jones theme!!! Queue the theme song…😜

After the summer class ended I had the utmost pleasure in helping my sister from another mister plan for her first overseas mission trip. Spent one weekend helping her organize and price things for her yardsale, which turned out to be amazing! Being able to help her with that was a huge blessing to me, I was able to witness God work lots of miracles! I never tout that I have a lot of faith, I struggle just like everyone else and yet I was constantly being reminded of “faith as small as a mustard seed.” Truly, every single prayer was answered, lots of tears were shed as we both witnessed God working in our lives and seeing people coming together to make this trip possible for her and the group she was going with! Below is a picture of the sign I made for her after we learned someone had annonymously purchased her plane ticket.

I wish I could say the summer ended on high fun note, but sadly it didn’t. The last few months since August 17th have been the pits. I’m not even sure I can share this without crying, so for now I think I’ll stop here and hope this little update finds you all in joyous spirit! Christmas is around the corner and the new year is upon us, 😱☺️<—I am shocked and excited! 

Will write more later, may the rest of your week be blessed! Amanda Gayle❤️🎄❤️

Friday Favorite!

I haven’t done one these in quite a while, and today’s favorite(yes, only one) is a site that I signed up on just this morning! I am no way being paid to write about the following, just a teensy bit excited about today’s favorite! Hope you enjoy!!

House-Party-Logo

The site is called House Party, and the way it works is simple: you sign up(it’s free,btw!), apply to “parties” you would like to be chosen for, answer a simple questionnaire and agreeing to their terms of service. Once you’ve done that you can then share everything on your favorite social media sites and complete some easy activities to better your chances of being chosen to host! AND PRESTO!

I guess I’m the addicting type, I have already signed up for 5 parties.

  • Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell House Party
  • Women’s Rogaine House Party(need all the help I can possibly get!)
  • HelloFresh House Party
  • Lumination Glow Stick Markers House Party (thinking the kiddos from my Wednesday night church class are going to REALLY love these!)
  • Team Roomba for iRobot Roomba 980 House Party

Which may not look like a lot, after all I will probably not be chosen for any of them. Perchance I am picked to host one of those parties, I am going to have so much fun sharing my findings with everyone here on my blog! Pictures, testimonies, and possibly some videos(yikes,  lol)! I’ve always wanted to do product testing and hopefully NOW I’ll get the opportunity 🙂

 Go check it out, sign up, and apply for some fabulous parties! If you are chosen please ping back to this post so I can see your review, photos, testimonies and ooo and awe over your party!! 🙂 

Have a blessed day!!

If Minecraft were made of cheese…

It would look something like this…

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Cubed cheese is apparently fun to play with 😉 Who knew you could build a little house and pathway?! G–Man was having some issues with the walls not sticking and standing up, so Mom–Mom to the rescue!!

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There’s even a little version of Steve!

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A cute little walkway and an inside view of Steve’s pad.

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But when Steve’s away, the Creepers come out to “play”. Goodbye little cheese house.

And something noteworthy:

G–Man, who is not a cheese fan and has refused all attempts to try cheese by itself, finally ate these cheddar cheese cubes last Friday. He tried a little piece and suddenly he was in love! My picky eater is finally growing up!! I’m even more proud of him when on Saturday he went with my Dad to a Men’s prayer breakfast and actually ate, for the first time, an egg casserole. I had a hard time picking my jaw up off the floor when he told me this.
It doesn’t stop there…on Sunday, he over to a friend’s house after church, I told him to eat whatever is offered to him that he was not allowed to be picky. He did me proud 🙂 He ate a cheesy quiche and fish, saying both were delicious!!! There is hope yet for this child, hehe!

All I can say, is if you have a picky eater in your family please do not give up on them. Keep offering them new things to try, continue to expose them to new foods and eventually they will come around. Hope you all have a blessed Monday!!

Boldly Going…

Today I launched my new Jamberry blog (Jonesin’ For Wraps). Basically I wanted to separate my work fun from my food fun 🙂 I already have a brand new post up, if you get a chance I hope you check it out!

To visit—>Jonesin’ For Wraps

Hope you all are having a blessed Thursday!!

Winter Apocalypse Breakfast

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It was a frigid morning, not a foot print to be seen. People held up in their homes, chimneys billowing smoke reminding everyone it was a blistering cold day. One woman who braved this wintery apocalypse set out on a journey to make her family a simple breakfast with eggs, bread, and milk. Unlike others before her, this woman was a visionary, she would transform those ingredients into a delicious meal with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon! Here, her tale begins…

Just a bit overly dramatic, but I caved today. That’s right, for the first time in about five years I made French toast. Since my Dad is home today with workplaces shut down due to this weather, he put in a request for breakfast and I had to indulged him!  I love French toast, it’s one of those things I give into maybe once a year. Though it has been several years since I’ve made it here at home! I think the last time I made it G–Man was about four or five years old. Yeah, it’s been a while. There are oodles of recipes out there for the perfect French toast…you can bake it, fry it, make it into a casserole, slow cook it in your crock pot(for real), and the possibilities are endless!
There’s quite a controversy about the type of bread to use, and hardcore French toast fans will hold the fort on day old, stale bread. Nothing wrong with that, but in a pinch before the wintery apocalypse hits most folks are going to grab loaves of sliced sandwich bread. Which is what I used today! I don’t have a special recipe for French toast, Alton Brown has a delicious recipe you can check out here. But to keep is simple here’s what I did…

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Winter Apocalypse Breakfast (aka French Toast)

14 slices of loaf bread

4 eggs, whisked

1 cup milk

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4–1/2 tsp cinnamon

Maple Syrup

Over a medium high heat, heat up your griddle.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, add in the milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
Once griddle is hot dip one slice of bread into the egg mixture and place it on the hot griddle. If it cooks up too quickly, reduce the temp to medium or low. You want golden brown results, not blackened. Serve with your favorite syrup, fruit or a light dusting of powdered sugar. 

These were simple, tasty and not overly heavy with cinnamon or vanilla. It wasn’t soggy either, it was cooked all the way through and nicely crisp on the outside. I didn’t use any butter on the griddle which I think helped. But you can use butter if you must.
G–Man could have easily eaten all of them but thankfully he didn’t and Dad enjoyed his with fried eggs. However you choose to eat these you are sure to enjoy the simple pleasure of this wintery storm delicacy! Any leftovers can be frozen for another quick breakfast. Just place a couple of slices in the toaster long enough to thaw and slightly crisp up and enjoyed with a drizzle of syrup or turn it into a French toast breakfast sandwich with a slice of ham and a cooked egg with cheese! 

Stay warm and have a blessed Thursday!!