Friday, February 27, 2015


Although lemongrass is a relatively new spice in Europe and North America, the increase in popularity in Thai and Indonesian cooking means it’s now available in most green markets and supermarkets. Asian foodstores will carry both fresh and dry lemongrass; sometimes under the Indonesian name ‘sereh’. Its rich lemon flavor and fragrance make it a tangy addition to many foods.

how to choose:
Much of lemongrass’s flavor is concentrated in its lower, cane-like stalks, which is why most markets sell them already trimmed of their leafy tops, leaving just a few short, spiky blades still attached. Look for firm, pale-green stalks with fat, bulbous bottoms and reasonably fresh-looking tops (they may be a little dry but shouldn’t be desiccated or yellowed).

how to prep:
There are two main ways to cook with lemongrass, and each determines how you handle it.

To infuse teas, broths, soups, and braising liquids, trim off the spiky tops and the bases, crush the stalks with the side of a knife to release their aromatic oils, and then cut them into 1- or 2-inch pieces. Remove the pieces before eating (they tend to be woody) or eat around them.

To use lemongrass in marinades, stir-fries, salads, spice rubs, and curry pastes, trim the top and base of the stalks; you want to use only the bottom 4 inches or so. Then peel off any dry or tough outer layers before finely chopping or mincing.

Lemongrass holds up to long cooking and gains intensity the longer it’s cooked. If you’d like a strong lemongrass flavor, add minced lemongrass at the start of cooking, browning it along with the other aromatics.

For a lighter, fresher lemongrass flavor, add it near the end of cooking.

how to store:
To store, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for two to three weeks, or freeze for up to six months.

culinary note:
The tender stalks of lemongrass can be chopped fine, and the leaves, once peeled, can be used in the same way as scallions to flavor casseroles, curries, and soups.

The base of the leaves is used in a curry-like powder that is commonly used in southeast Asian cooking, especially with fish, chicken, and pork.

Lemongrass combines particularly well with chilies, garlic, and shallots.

medicinal note:
Lemongrass can be taken as a digestive aid, and to relieve feverish complaints.

Monday, February 23, 2015

New No Ordinary Chick Store Online

All you No Ordinary Chick friends out there come and check out our new online store, 
for aromatherapy synergy blends, herb rubs, and more... 

You can find us at

#aromatherapy #herbs #naturalfoods

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Something Natural for your Special Valentine?

Have a Special Valentine who likes Natural Products?
Try a No Ordinary Chick Essential Oil Synergy Eau de Parfum Mist or Oil for
Men & Women. Designed to delight your senses and provide safe daily use with
no synthetics; their fragrances have a floral character and sensual aura,
and leave you feeling beautiful.
Our store is coming soon and you can find us at

#aromatherapy #essentialoil #noordinarychick

Monday, February 9, 2015

Know Your Sugars

A Brief History of Sugar 

500 years ago, sugar was a rare spice or medicine, imported to Europe from India. Then it became an expensive commodity primarily produced in overseas tropical colonies. Later it grew into a less-costly commodity produced and traded among countries, and finally became a cheap everyday commodity, produced from both sugarcane and sugar beets. By about 1970, approximately 9% of all available food calories in the world were in the form of sucrose. No other food in world history has had a comparable performance.

Sugars are one of the most misunderstood parts of our daily food supply. They are a common food ingredient and are found in many forms. Since sugars are carbohydrates, they contribute calories to the body - an important energy source.

There are no nutritional differences among sugars. The body uses all types of sugars in the same way. During digestion, sugars are broken down, they enter into the bloodstream and travel to the cells where they provide energy and help form proteins. As carbohydrates, sugars are preferred as a fuel during high-intensity activities.

Fructose (Fruit Sugar)
Highly soluble. It is much sweeter than cane sugar and is found in honey, ripe fruits, and some vegetables.

Glucose (Dextrose, Grape Sugar, or Corn Sugar)
Somewhat less sweet than cane sugar and is soluble in hot or cold water. It is found in sweet fruits such as grapes, berries, and oranges and in some vegetables such as sweet corn and carrots. It is prepared commercially as corn syrup.

Lactose (Milk Sugar)
Produced by mammals and is the only carbohydrate of animal origin of significance in the diet. It is about one sixth as sweet as sucrose and dissolves poorly in cold water. The concentration of lactose in milk varies from 2 to 8 per cent, depending upon the species of animal.

Maltose (Malt Sugar) 
Does not occur to any appreciable extent in foods. Maltose is produced in the malting and fermentation of grains and is present in beer and malted breakfast cereals; it is also used as a source of carbohydrates for some infant formulas.

The table sugar with which we are familiar and is found in cane or beet sugar, brown sugar, molasses, and maple sugar. Many fruits and some vegetables contain small amounts of sucrose.
#naturalfoods #healthy eating

Monday, February 2, 2015

Natural Cleaning Tips

Recently a friend asked me for some natural cleaning tips; so I put together this starter list to share with all of you. Enjoy trying some of these and any other ideas and recipes are welcome.

Baseboards, countertops, and walls: Dissolve 1⁄2 cup borax in 1 gallon hot water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spritz generously, wipe down with a damp cloth, and let air-dry.

Cut down on water spots in the dishwasher: add 1 tablespoon in the detergent cup.

Pots and pans: Rub borax into cookware with a damp sponge and rinse well.

Trash can odor: Add small amount to bottom of trash cans to keep them smelling fresh

Castile Soap
Floors: You can mop almost any type of floor with a solution of 1⁄4 cup liquid Castile soap and 2 gallons warm water. If the floors are greasy, add 1⁄4 cup distilled white vinegar to the bucket.

Leather upholstery: Add 2 drops liquid Castile soap to 1 quart warm water. Apply to the leather with a barely moist sponge.

Marble countertops: Stir 1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap into 1 quart warm water. Dampen a cloth with the solution and wipe surface. Rinse, and then dry with a clean cloth.

Stovetop and vent hood: Add a few squirts of liquid Castile soap to 2 cups hot water. Apply to the stovetop, the burners, and the vent hood to cut through accumulated grease.

Essential Oils
Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a cotton ball and place it in closets and drawers to scent linens and repel moths and insects.

Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on a wet cloth or dryer sheet to deodorize and freshen your laundry.

Use 1–2 drops of lemon essential oil to remove gum, oil, grease spots, glue or adhesive, and crayon from most surfaces.

Add 10–15 drops of lemon essential oil to a gallon of carpet cleaning solution to help pull out stains, brighten carpet and rugs, and leave a fresh smell in the room.

Place a few drops of your favorite citrus essential oil on a cotton ball and put in the refrigerator to help eliminate odors.

Add a few drops to your favorite homemade spray cleaners and spritz the mixture on areas that need particular antibacterial attention, like bathrooms and kitchens. As an added bonus, peppermint also acts as a natural pest deterrent.

Tea Tree
Works especially well to get rid of mildew and mold around the house, simply mix two teaspoons tea tree oil with two cups water in a spray bottle. Then, spritz the mixture on moldy or mildewy areas, like showers. Don't rinse off the mixture. Let it work away at those yucky substances. You can also use this spray anywhere that has a musty smell.

Dishes: To increase the grease-cutting power of your dishwashing detergent, add a teaspoon of lemon juice.

Faucets: Combat lime scale by rubbing lemon juice onto the taps and letting it sit overnight. Wipe with a damp cloth.

Hands: When you touch raw fish, the smell can linger on your fingers. Rub your hands with lemon juice, which will neutralize the odor.

Laundry: To brighten whites, add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the rinse cycle for a normal-size load.

Freshen baby clothes:

The addition of 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to each load of baby clothes during the rinse cycle will naturally break down uric acid and soapy residue leaving the clothes soft and fresh.

Refrigerator: Definitely skip the toxic chemicals where you store your food. Instead, wipe up spills with a 50-50 vinegar-water mix.

Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards: 
Wipe with full strength white distilled vinegar.

Streakless windows: 
Window cleaning with vinegar will make your windows gleam and will not leave the usual film or streaks on the glass. Mix equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.
#greencleaning #healthyliving