Simple Kitchen Tips

Simple Recipe: Zesty, No Salt Taco Seasoning

We LOVE tacos at our house, and this recipe is so easy, you’ll never want to buy those prepackaged versions (full of salt and additives) again!

SSD Taco SeasoningZesty No Salt Taco Seasoning 

(Adapted from Rachel Ray recipe)

  • 1 Part Chili Powder
  • 1 Part Ground Cumin
  • 1 Part Garlic Powder
  • 1 Part Onion Powder
  • 1/3 Part Tumeric
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Part Crushed Red Pepper (I used ground red pepper)

Combine all the parts into a good container with a secure, air-tight lid and shake until combined. Enjoy! Feel free to play with the amounts – maybe you like more red pepper, or you want more cumin!

Consider using fresh spices in this mixture for a more potent flavor. One of my favorites is to order through The St. Augustine Spice and Tea Exchange. You can check out their website and wonderful spices by clicking here. (Though nothing beats going into one of their stores and just inhaling the aroma!)

Thank you to WTLV-TV’s First Coast Living for inviting me on to talk tacos and taco seasoning!


Simple Tip: Baking Soda – The Unsung Hero!

Baking soda – that little orange box that sits in your pantry – is more than just part of a baking recipe.  It is a great cleaner and freshener!  And don’t forget, baking soda is an inexpensive product to use. Try out some of these simple ways to freshen up your home:

Baking Soda-The Unsung Hero!
Baking Soda-The Unsung Hero!

Freshen Fridge and Freezer

We all know you can stick a box of baking soda to get rid of smells in your fridge and freezer.  You just pop open the top of the box and place it in the back of your fridge, replacing it every 30 days.  Did you know Arm & Hammer makes a specially designed, non-spill box? It only costs $.10 more than the regular box ($.95 versus $.85 a box).  Bonus Tip: When you replace that box after 30 days, pour the used box down your kitchen sink disposal and let sit for 20 minutes to freshen it up!

Freshen Your Towels – Get The Stink out!

You can add a cup of baking soda to every load of wash to freshen the smell of your laundry.  Have really tough odors, like towels that smell like mildew? Simple Solutions Diva has a tried-and-true way to remove that stink — Click Here!

Freshen Your Carpets & Couches

For Carpets – Sprinkle baking soda on carpets ½ hour before vacuuming. The baking soda absorbs the smells.

For Couches And Other Fabric-Covered Furniture –  Make your own fabric spray! Use a spray bottle filled with 1 T. Baking Soda, Warm Water, 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake well until baking soda is dissolved. Lightly spray your couch and let dry. It will smell a little like the essential oil, and the stinky smell will be neutralized.

Clean Coffee And Tea Stains

Have a favorite coffee/tea cup or pot that is stained? Just mix up a ¼ cup baking soda in 1 QT warm water and soak the cup or pot.  You can also make a paste with baking soda and water and lightly scrub.

De-Stink Those Dental Appliances

Grossed out by your night guard or child’s smelly retainer? Mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with one cup of water and soak those dental appliances to remove food particles and smell. You can also dip your wet toothbrush into baking soda and scrub the appliance and let it sit for a few hours.


Thank you to WTLV-TV’s First Coast Living for inviting me on to share these ideas! Here is the video from First Coast Living:

Simple Ideas, Gadgets and Applications For Healthy Eating

We are almost two weeks into 2014 and many of us have made healthy eating one of our New Year’s resolutions. Simple Solutions Diva shares a few simple ideas, gadgets and applications designed to help you move towards healthy eating. Many thanks to WTLV-TV’s First Coast Living for the opportunity to share these tips on air!

Simple Ideas:

Flavored Water – Water is great for flushing out your system, hydrating your skin, and making you feel full. Add natural flavors to it and you are more likely to drink it! So try this recipe from Pinterest for making your own flavored water:


  •  96 fl. oz. of Water (I used filtered water from my fridge)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • One bunch of fresh mint, rinsed and rough chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 4 24 oz water bottles (optional)


If you are using the 4  water bottles, divide all ingredients between the bottles. Or place all ingredients (except the bottles) in a large beverage container. Place in fridge and drink frequently.

Simple Gadgets:

These are my favorite simple gadgets that make healthy foods like apples and salad easy and accessible!

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 8.26.10 AM
Pampered Chef ‘s Apple Wedger


Apple Wedger – I use the Pampered Chef Stainless Steel Apple Wedger to slice and core apples in one move. You can find other brands of apple wedgers (also known as apple corers) online and in stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond.



Zyliss Lettuce Knife
Zyliss Lettuce Knife

Lettuce Knife– When you cut/chop lettuce with a steel knife, the steel reacts with the lettuce, causing browning of the lettuce.   By using a plastic lettuce knife to cut lettuce, the lettuce doesn’t brown up!  I use the Zyliss Lettuce Knife
to make my own, preservative-free bagged salad. Check out my video on how to make your own bagged salad and cut out the preservatives!


Simple Applications:

Using technology to help you eat healthy is easy with some of these simple applications: – Download this app to your cell phone to scan barcodes of your favorite foods in the grocery store. It gives foods a grade and tells you why the food got that grade.  I love the idea of using this with your children to help you make healthier choices at the store.  Thanks to young Maddie and her mom for taking the time to show me how to use this at the grocery store a few weeks ago!  Cost:  The basic app is free, with plenty of upgrade options if you want the “extras”. – This website and app is highly recommended by nutrition experts as an easy way to track your food and exercise and help you set realistic goals.  I have been using it for a week and so far find it very easy and manageable.  Cost: The app is free!– A great way to plan healthy meals!  You pick the type of dinner meal plan you want  to follow, like healthy meals, low calorie, low carb;  choose if you are cooking for a family or for smaller group;  select recipes from the suggested list for the meal plan; print out a shopping list for those meals. Easy peasy! It also suggests recipes that coordinate with sales going on in the grocery stores! Cost: Annual subscription costs $58.00 (under $5 per month).

Additional Websites Recommended From Friends:


Nike Training Club – Over 100 full body workout videos inspired by top Nike athletes and designed by NTC Master Trainers. My friend uses this on her cell phone while she is working out at the gym – the videos inspire her and help her make sure she is doing the exercise correctly.  Cost: Free

Lose It! – If weight loss is your goal, this was highly recommended as an easy, manageable app to track food, exercise and more.  Cost: Basic is free, with premium upgrades.

Many thanks to all my friends, as well as the wonderful, fellow contributors of, who helped me with these recommendations! 

Catch Simple Solutions Diva On TV Every Friday In January

Join Laura Morey, your Simple Solutions Diva, every Friday in January on First Coast Living, WTLV-TV/Ch. 12 at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.!

Tune in to see the following topics:

Friday, January 10:  Simple Ideas, Gadgets and Applications For Healthy Eating

Friday, January 17:   Simple Cleaning Ideas For The Home

Friday, January 24:   Simple Ways To Bring The Garden Indoors

Friday, January 31:   Simple Super Bowl Party Ideas

You can check this site every Friday at Noon to get all the details of each segment!
The Simple Solutions Diva herself, Laura Morey!

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