How to Make Citrus Peel Potpourri

potpourri

Need an easy and sweet little gift for friends? Want to add some deliciously spicy scents to your environment, closets or dresser drawers? Why not make potpourri? It’s easy, comforting and smells wonderful! This year at our Holiday party I made a big bowl of potpourri in one of Mistereducated’s handmade, sparkly bowls. It was a combination of citrus peels from the fruit salad we made, dried orchids from the flowers he raises, roses from bouquets he’s given me, spices, herbs we grew and tended together, etc. It was filled with lots of love and the spirit of our happy home. I placed the bowl in the center of the table and on the edge I placed silky white sachets filled with the potpourri for guests to take upon leaving.

1. Peel orange, lemon or grapefruit trying to keep large pieces of peel.
2. Cut into peel-shaped slivers or your own shapes with sharp scissors.
3. Lay out on a tray with no peels touching each other and let dry for a few days.
4. When dry, add peels into glass jar with cloves, cinnamon sticks cut into smaller sections, nutmeg, small pinecones and dried flowers such as pink rose petals.
5. Add 3 drops cinnamon essencial oil and 3 drops orange essential oil.
6. Lid and shake jar. Keep closed for several months making sure to shake or stir each month.
7. Voila! Open and place potpourri around house in bowls, baskets or in sachets.

Citrus Stovetop Potpourri

1. Grab a pot.
2. Add fresh orange peels from 2 oranges (no need to dry).
3. Add spices of your choice: cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.
4. Put enough water to soak and submerge ingredients.
5. Simmer on stove over low heat to achieve scents, turn stove off when done.
6. Can last a few days if you want to re-simmer tomorrow.

slice

Want to use SLICES of oranges to make potpourri?

1. Slice the orange into thin, even slices.
2. To dry in your oven, set the temperature to 100 degrees F and put in oven for approximately 4 hours. The dried slices should be brittle when removed.
* Make sure to rotate and shift the drying trays every half hour and turn the food occasionally to ensure even drying.

All About Tea and Tea Time Talk

There’s nothing that fills my beating heart with as much happiness as a steamy cup of hot tea and the soft pages of a new book. Lucky for me, tea comes in a multitude of flavors, styles and pretty little boxes, all the more reason to spend hours admiring my options in the tea aisle of my local grocery.

Now, I’ve tried a variety of teas in my day, from strawberry iced goodness to chocolate-lovers delight. All have proven to be extraordinary! So, you can imagine my delight when I discovered the positive, health benefits associated with sipping the delicious beverage! And, imagine my double delight as I discovered that each kind of tea has its own benefits to boast! Let me share:

tea time talk

Rooibos (or Red Bush) Tea

This red tea comes from Africa and can do a body good. It is a pure tea, meaning there are no additives, and it helps slow the aging process. This non-caffeinated tea is great to drink before bedtime because it helps with insomnia, headaches, nausea and heartburn!

Herbal Tea

One of the best things about herbal tea is that you can drink it before bedtime (or if you just want to refrain from caffeine in general).

One of the most popular herbal tea’s is world-approved Chamomile. There’s a reason your mother served you chamomile before you laid your sleepy head to rest. One of its most obvious effects is that it is a muscle relaxant! It also helps with skin issues (from rashes to burns to irritation to acne) and fights off all kinds of unwanted illnesses and diseases. Not to mention it smells heavenly…

Anyway, some other great herbal tea’s include: Ginseng (Chinese, cures just about everything just as its name implies: “all heal.”), Ginger (helps with motion sickness/nausea/indigestion), Peppermint (muscle relaxer, stomach cramps, freshens breath), Cinnamon (lowers cholesterol/blood sugar),

Black Tea

I enjoy a Black tea to help wake me up in the morning. I appreciate how stable my body is throughout the day after a hot cup, as opposed to the high and low I get with coffee. Black tea is especially great for cardiovascular issues and is rich in antioxidants and cancer-fighting agents. According to TeaBenefits.com, “Recent studies in leading medical journals declare black tea a potential heart tonic, cancer blocker, fat buster, immune stimulant, arthritis soother, virus fighter and cholesterol detoxifier.”

Some great Black tea’s to try include: Darjeeling and Nilgiri (both from India), Yunnan (Chinese) and Keemun (also from China).

Green Tea

Green tea is famous for its beneficial effects, so it should come as no surprise when I tell you it’s probably the healthiest kind of tea for you! In fact, it’s commonly believed that by drinking more green tea you can increase your longevity and lead a happier life. So what, exactly, are the great benefits? Let me get you started.

Green tea is linked with weight loss, reduces the risk of all types of cancers and lowers cholesterol levels. In addition, it prevents/helps rheumatoid arthritis, infections and inhibits blood clots! All because of a very powerful antioxidant called EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) that stops cancer cells from growing (by killing them), all the while nurturing healthy body tissues. Sweet!

TIP #1: Let your tea bag, or tea strainer for loose tea, steep for at least 3-6 minutes in order to get the most out of it (taste wise and health wise).

TIP #2: Add a slice of lemon to your tea and be amazed as your headache eases (or even melts away completely).