Tag Archives: Homemade

Be Good To The Senior In You ❤️

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

Ingredients
1 cup of 100% Wheat Bran
1 1/2 cup of 1% buttermilk
1/3 cup sunflower or safflower oil
1 large egg
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of AP Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (more or less) raisins

Directions:  Preheat over to 375 (convection bake). Line muffin tin with muffin paper or silicone inserts. My preference is non-bleached muffin paper that is biodegradable. Top that Starbucks & Tim Hortons!!

Bowl #1
Wheat bran and buttermilk. Mix and let it stand for 5-10 mins.

Bowl #2
Oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix with a blender on medium until creamy and smooth.

Mix bowl #2 into bowl #1. Make sure they are incorporated into each other fully.

Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into mixture and mix with spatula until smooth and mixed well.  Stir in raisins.

Scoop into prepared muffin pan. Fill to the top of the liner. Not halfway. All the way to the top (see picture).

image

Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Easy right?v
Use the ‘spring back’ test to check for readiness.  Remove promptly from pan and place on cooling rack.

Enjoy warm and cooled.

image

 

Homemade Organic Mint Green Tea Lemonade

Well, it’s been a while since I have posted. I’m so busy it’s really hard to find the spare time.  I have plenty blogs started with good intentions but time really isn’t on my side to get them finished and posted.

As I write this In my screened in room, I can hear the chickens clucking with pleasure as they nibble on their watermelon and the ducklings are splashing like teenagers in the kiddie pool.  The ducklings aren’t even 3 weeks old yet and they’ve been free ranging for a few days already.  You can’t keep them in the pen and feel good about it that’s for sure!! They find mud puddles, get filthy and hit the pool and swim and play.  I’m not sure you can ever have too many ducklings.  Anyways, on to my post topic.  The teas of summer…

I love fresh brewed iced teas. Passion and green teas chilled are my favourite. To makes our own really is a money saver and definitely a healthier option than most premade versions you’ll buy in the stores.  Often one of the first ingredients is fructose glucose.  By making your own, you can control the sugar, no fructose glucose, no colours, no *natural flavours added, and you can tweak it for your personal preference.

Summer is a great time to take advantage of the herbs in your garden and your infuser. If you don’t have an infuser I’m sure floating the ingredients will result in the same great taste. Infusers are great for keeping the solids out of your drink once you pour into a chilled ice filled glass, although some people don’t mind the chunks.  I don’t like mint. Typically. I love it in this tea though.

Recipe:

3 jars approx 1L each (mine are 946 ml. Glass jars. Close enough eh?!)
3 tea bags of organic green tea
1/2 cup of raw organic cane sugar
1 organic lemon cut into cubes (see pictures)
Mint leaves cut up (it’s a personal

imagePut water on to boil in kettle. Split the 1/2 cup of cane sugar between all 3 jugs.
When water has boiled, add to top of each jug. Once filled, add tea bags and set aside to brew.

image

Cut up lemon and mint.

image  image

Put lemon and mint into infuser.

image

Let the tea brew and cool for approx. an hour. After an hour it will still be warm, likely, which is how I prefer it. When the warm tea is added to the jug with the infuser I find the flavours are steeped more into the tea for a more robust taste.

Chill and enjoy.

image

*natural flavours added to foods, are really just a synthetic group of ingredients added to the food to enhance flavours.  The FDA has allowed these synthetics (chemicals) to be grouped under this one bullshit manipulative title … Really, true natural flavours aren’t an ingredient list.  That’s all I’m saying before I head off on a rant!

Lemon Blueberry Cranberry Muffins, Oh My!!

These muffins are a huge hit at home and everywhere I have taken them.  It’s a recipe I created from scratch and have critiqued over time.  I have a friend who just bought and moved into his new house and I’ll be visiting soon with these beauties as a house warming gift. Nothing like edible gifts!!

Some of the measurements like milk are easily added to, to make the muffin batter the right texture.  I usually just pour and mix and call it done when it looks right.  Today I measured (sort of) while I was making them so I could share this recipe.

As always, my recipes call for butter.  Don’t talk to me if you use margarine in my recipes and it tastes like shit.

Ingredients
3/4 cup of melted salted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of milk (I use skim)
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 cup of cane sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt

Rind of 2 lemons
Large fresh organic blueberries dusted with flour
Organic Cranberries

I didn’t give a quantity of cranberries or blueberries as I find it is usually a personal preference.  I used about 3/4 cup of large blueberries and a little bit less of cranberries.  Einstein doesn’t like it to be a berry explosion, he likes it all in moderation.

Directions
Prepare baking pan with muffin liners and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 (convect bake). Dust blueberries with flour and set aside. Cut cranberries in half and set aside. Grate off lemon rind from both lemons and set aside.

In medium bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a big bowl add eggs, milk, vanilla and sugar. Mix on medium for about 2 minutes. (I use a stand mixer, but hand held will be fine as well). Add melted butter slowly while mixer is continuing to mix. Put 1/2 cup of flour mixture at a time into your egg mixture, ensuring it is fully incorporated before adding the next 1/2 cup. When all the flour mixture is added, continue on medium speed mixing for one more minute.

Add in rind of the lemons and mix for another minute.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and drop in blueberries (minus left over flour) and cranberries and still just until incorporated. Careful to not over do it, or the berries could break and smear, however it’s not the end of the world if they do.

Scoop into lined muffin tray and place in oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes and remove from oven when done. Each oven is different so keep a watchful eye on them. See bakers tip for best results.

Bakers Tip: don’t cook muffins all the way until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Once muffins or any bread based baking (exemption: true bread) is removed from the oven it will continue to cook, especially when left in the pan. It’s easy to over cook muffins making them dry and crumbly when waiting until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Instead when a little bit of muffin batt er is sticky on your toothpick, remove from oven and leave in pan for 10 minutes. I use muffin liners so the muffins don’t stick to the pan. If you don’t use muffin liners they will still continue to cook once out of the pan while cooling.

This batter is versitile and always willing to please. You can mix it up, by adding lemon rinds and fresh raspberries, orange rind with cranberry, or simply just add berries without a fruit rind.  Chunked apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, I try it a lot in this batter and it hasn’t failed me yet.  We are a nut free, peanut free home but I’m sure this recipe could definitely tolerate some nuts as well.

The lemon rind makes these muffins a step above the rest and when you bite into a blueberries or cranberry it’s just a little bit of simple heaven. Enjoy!

Natural Tooth Cleaner

Yup, that’s right, my teeth cleaner has been hippie-fied. I have been onto chemicals in our oral hygiene products for some time and have always wanted to make changes; Not to mention the torture of animals to test all those chemicals. Over the last few years I’ve made some big changes, although I can’t tell you I ‘feel’ a difference with my toxic load internally, but for me, just knowing I am less toxic makes me feel less controlled by the possibility of cancer and other diseases. I really do wish I had done most of these changes decades ago, but as Shrek always says to donkey, better late than never Donkey!!

Toothpaste is absolute toxic shit. It’s so loaded with toxic ingredients it’s alarming to me and very hard for me to respect dentists that promote such toxic crap!! The foamy action is a big chemical bubble bath happening in your mouth, but we, the consumers, have been conditioned, like with shampoos foaming  bubbles, that the more a product foams/bubbles the cleaner we are. WRONG!!

Let’s have a look at SOME of the ingredients listed in commercial brand toothpastes.

Triclosan is often in your toothpaste, which helps kill plaque-forming microbes. Triclosan is a bio-persistent chemical which turns up in fish, breast milk and wastewater.
Sodium Saccharine is around 300 times sweeter than sugar and is a known carcinogen. Yet this beauty is in our toothpaste. It’s added, along with a variety of other flavourings in order to mask the unpleasant taste of some of the other ingredients such as the detergents and phosphates.
Sodium Laureth Sulphate (aka Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate, or SLS) which is used to create foam. It’s a major ingredient in soaps, shampoos and toothpaste and does play some role in cleaning your teeth. But it isn’t essential and in some studies it has been shown that it can make human tissue (skin, scalp, mouth surfaces) more easily penetrated by other chemicals.
Polyethylenes such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) and other polymers are also found in many toothpastes. They are used to bind and stabilize. Health concerns include cancer, allergies/immunotoxicity and organ system toxicity.

Then we have the controversial fluoride ingredient. We avoid fluoride, even opt out of the treatment at the dentist. There’s enough in your drinking water that the last thing you need is more bio-accumulating in your tissues. Most people have their own opinion on fluoride, so I’ll leave it at that.

There are the ‘all natural’ toothpastes which are most definitely a better option than the big brands like Colgate and Crest but even those often have some form of a sugar supplement such as xylitol, which baffles me. Brush your teeth but here have some sugar to make it taste better? Suck it up and for 2 minutes with each brush.  Do you need to be pampered and have the best tasting product out there? Just get the job done and get on with your day! Natural toothpastes are typically overly expensive just because they put ‘natural’ in their name, save some bucks and make your own natural toothpaste.

I make my own teeth-cleaner for just over a year now. I like to use a similar name to the commercial industry but not the exact same like toothpaste becaue I’m looking to desperate myself from the consumerism and with that goes the terminology as well.  Much like my natural hair cleaner.  I don’t like to say it’s a shampoo.  I use my tooth cleaner in my mouth the same as a commercial brand, I brush my tongue and cheeks and teeth with it.  I also haven’t used mouth wash since I started using this and I don’t have dry mouth anymore. I suffered from dry mouth for a while and I can tell you plaque is real happy in a dry mouth and it’s hard sometmes to not sound like an intoxicated person when your lips stick to your dry teeth when you talk lol!! So…how and what do I do instead?

Here it is..
Baking soda
Water and/or Apple Cider Vinegar
Tea tree oil
Peppermint or Spearmint Essential Oils

Once a week I have just started brushing with organic Coconut Oil. It has antiseptic properties and helps to rebuild enamel strength. It’s disgusting so I’m not sure how long it will be continued.  I’ll report back in a few months.

That’s it, that’s all. Let’s discuss my ingredients.

Baking soda – is alkaline and considered a safe ingredient for brushing teeth. Although some warm that prolonged use of baking soda can break down tooth enamel and make teeth sensitive, I would recommend not to brush as hard as with commercial products.

Water – Water is water.

Organic unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar – is good but I don’t use all the time. It’s very acidic and I could see a problem with enamel after prolonged use. It is amazing at removing stains from tea or coffee and has many health benefits. One week a month I use a formulation with Apple Cider Vinegar. Organic and unpasteurized is best as apples are on the dirty dozen list for their toxic load.

Tea Tree Oil – This essential oil is invaluable to me. It’s germ buster, it helps to heal cold sores and kills the germs that cause bad breath. It is a super efficient antiseptic that kills bacteria fast. This is especially important for gum disease sufferers since we know that it’s caused by plaque, which is a bacteria. What’s most important, though, is that tea tree oil kills bacteria even more effectively in living tissue than in the test tube, which is unlike most other synthetic antiseptics out there. (You’re alive. The tissue in your mouth is alive. So why not use a treatment that works most effectively on living tissue?)

Peppermint/Spearmint Oil – are both antiseptic oils which help to treat pain. They are great in a mouthwash or toothpaste, which is why they are such prevalent flavors in oral hygiene products. Peppermint and spearmint oils are also very effective in combating bad breath.

This version of a ‘natural toothpaste’ I am really comfortable calling natural. You can control how much oils you want to put in, treat/prevent your oral health with your own personal preference and keep your wallet closed. It’s sooooo cheap in comparison to any product on the market. I store it in a class container – small glass Tupperware type- and don’t laugh, I use an espresso spoon to scoop it onto my toothbrush. I’m not one for double dipping.

How does it hold up you wonder. I hate the dentist. HATE HATE HATE. I take extraordinary care of my teeth so I have zero reasons to go to the dentist. Every so often I suck it up and sit in those stupid chairs because I drag Flyp in for his teeth cleaning, or I need a root canal. Gawd I hate the dentist. It’s uncomfortably close to anyone, never mind some masked man who isn’t someone I’d even want to talk to on the street. It’s just a really awkward, intimate closeness, uncomfortable, pushing my boundaries relationship we need to have with any dentist. One I will do anything to avoid!!

Three years ago I had to listen to my dentist give me a good review but still complain about build up in a few spots, even though it had been about 10 years since I had been to the dentist.  With the minimal work he needed to do, gushing blood free I’d like to mention, I told him to suck it up and hurry up.

Earlier this week I sat in the chair again, only way to get Flyp to go. ‘Fair is Fair Mom’. It has been 3 years since I walked the hall of doom and sat in that creepy Star Trek chair for a cleaning. The descend into the vulnerable position is the shortest creepiest trip I’ve even taken in my life. Mr. Dentist took out his inspector gadget tools and had a look around and touched a few teeth, of course with the dental hygienist armed with her vacuum ready to attack as both of them hovered over me!! (I wish I could find a car vacuum with that power, I’d have the cleanest car ever) Mr. Dentist asked if I wanted a fluoride treatment or a polish and I just looked uncomfortably close into his eyes with a look of really? We want to have this conversation AGAIN?He clicked the button on the chair and proceeded to sit the chair back up. Is that the slowest ride back to freedom or what? I’m up and out of that creepy chair with my bib removed before its half way back to its sitting position.

As I walked back down the hall to my freedom I hear from behind me ‘job well done’.
I responded with a cocky ‘I know’ because I’m good that way!

While the receptionist was doing up our financial burden she asked me how I got such amazing review after not being in there for 3 years. First, I don’t think it should be an issue if you take proper care of your mouth, but I also understand as we age we make less saliva and more plaque/tarter takes place. I also now believe that is in part because of the chemicals we use in our mouths decades upon decades. I explained my madness to her and she asked me to email her my secret. Ha!!

Summary: There was nothing for the dentist to do. Not a scrape, not a single pick, nothing. He charged me $15 to sit in his chair. Jerk.
I challenged him and said ‘next time there is nothing to do, I charge you $15’.
‘Deal’ he said as he disappeared down the hall for his next victim.

To make – just add ingredients, mix and you can make it thicker, less thick, whatever you want. I make It more on the runny side as I prefer less abrasion but still want the job to get done.  There really isn’t any one way to make it. It’s a personal preference on thickness and flavour. Sometimes I add ground organic cinnamon but very little as it can easy burn your mouth, like cinnamon gum. Ewww gum! Cinnamon has its benefits but tastes so nasty with tea tree oil and I personally always make tea tree oil part of my tooth cleaner. Orange/citrus essential oils have a tendency to dye … I personally avoid.

Spinach & Broccoli Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing

This salad is Flyp, the teenagers, worst nightmare come true but I love it. It gives a satisfying crunch, with a bit of tang from the dressing, it’s different than a typical salad and it’s full of flavour. Tonight it will compliment my baked chicken wings beautifully.

Ingredients For Salad
2 1/2 cups of broccoli florets cut very small. Rinsed.
2 cups of of baby spinach. Rinsed.
1 red pepper diced
3 tbsp of diced sweet onion, or purple onion. Adjust onion quantity to own liking
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds

Toss all ingredients from above into a big bowl and set aside. Make the dressing below.

Honey Dijon Dressing
1/3 cup of honey (I use local unpasteurized honey)
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
4 tbsp Organic unpasteurized Apple Cider a Vinegar (more or less depending on preferred tang/taste)
3/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cracked pepper to taste

Place all ingredients (except Olive Oil) in bowl in order listed. Whisk until well mixed. Add EV Olive Oil and whisk until creamy texture is achieved.

Pour 1/2 of the dressing over salad and mix evenly. Add more dressing according to preference. Sprinkle salad with some more sunflower seeds and refrigerate until ready to eat. Refrigerate left over dressing.

I like dried cranberries and raisins in this as well. Einstein doesn’t, so I leave out for him but I often add to mine. I’m sure slivered almonds would taste great too but we are a peanut and nut free home.

I hope you give it a try and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Dammit Bacon!!

Bacon, o bacon, why do you taste sooo good!

Sometimes you just jump off the band wagon willingly and have something that you normally wouldn’t because it’s that good, you also know, it’s not good, which is why its that good, if you Know what I mean. Although this one was pre-meditated by adding smoked cheddar cheese to my grocery cart earlier this week, sometimes it’s a spur of the moment fling with a particular food ingredient, like pickles.  Long story.

Today I have a crazy day ahead of me. So much to get accomplished that I am typing like I have bionic fingers. Faster than fast! To be able to focus on something other than what’s to eat in that fridge of mine, I needed something that would fill me and satisfy that extra hunger or cravings that comes along with PMS syndrome. It’s a syndrome, back off!

I demolished the grilled cheese. But not just any grilled cheese. A grilled cheese with smoked cheddar cheese and loads of maple bacon. Do you have any idea how yummy that is?!!!

Yup, I’m ready to take in the day! Cheers!

Crocheted Dish Cloth

Often simple things in life please me, especially when I discover something new I love!

A ba-zillion years ago when I quit smoking, I took up crocheting to help keep my hands busy and I’ve loved the craft ever since. I’m not super fancy, know a few stitches and manage with that to date.  I didn’t crochet for about 10 years…just stopped as life was chaotic.

I recently started crocheting again, part of my personal goal to implement small things back into my life that I enjoy. I easily get lost doing things for the family and I feel like every day I drown in my paperwork. So to tolerate all this and remain balanced, I need to give back to myself to avoid any casualties.

Anyways. I have recently crocheted and gifted a items and have quite a few parts of varying rolls left over. I toyed around with them, crocheted a few hearts, tried a flower but it pissed me off, etc., just wasting the yarn basically. But then a memory came to me about crocheted dish cloths as a child.

I crocheted a dish cloth the other night while watching Dexter. I am one big smarty pants!! I used acrylic yarn (yes not overly environmentally friendly) but
it gives the dishes a good scrub. Tea stains from my mugs are gone, the same stains the dishwasher can’t get out. It holds water and suds well, rinsing amazing, dries easily and holds up after a lot of washing machine use.

Some people use a cotton based yarn, and I will likely give that a try next time and pick up some when I’m at the store again, but for now I’m super pleased with my crocheted dish cloths.

Great gift idea as well. Tie them up in a bow, set of 3. Fantastic!

Popeyes Twisted Spinach Salad

Popeye was definitely onto something when he liked spinach so much.  Thankfully we don’t have to eat it out of a can (gross)!

This salad holds its own all day, every day.  It’s a meal, or its a side dish.  It’s absolutely delicious is what I know for sure.

Check it out!!

Ingredients

3 cups of cleaned organic baby spinach

3 hard boiled organic eggs

Paper thin purple onion slivers – to your liking.  Onions are always a preference thing for me when it comes to recipes.

Real Bacon Bits (left over bacon from breakfast – takes discipline but you can do it)

Place spinach in a flat-ish bowl.  Cut up eggs and sprinkle on top of spinach.  Sprinkle with bacon bits.  Crack some fresh pepper over the top.

Are you looking to a tasty dressing to compliment this? Here you go..

Honey Dijon Dressing

1/3 cup of honey (I use local unpasteurized honey)

1/4 cup of Dijon mustard

1/3 Organic Unpasturized Apple Cider

1tbsp of Non-GMO reduced sodium soy sauce

1/3 – 1/2 cup cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (depends how much you’d like to yield)

A few cracks of fresh pepper

Place all ingredients (except Olive Oil) in bowl in order listed. Whisk until well mixed.  Add EV Olive Oil and whisk until creamy texture is achieved.

Drizzle over dressing when ready to eat.  Refrigerate left over dressing.

**Start with adding only 1/2 of the apple cider vinegar and taste.  Add more to your liking.  Some people don’t like the strong vinegar taste, others don’t mind.**

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a great moist loaf and its full of flavour. If you prefer more spice in your loafs you can add more or less to suit your taste.  If you’re a Nutter, I would imagine walnuts would taste pretty darn tootin good in this recipe, however we are a peanut nut free home.  Raisins it is!

As with all my recipes, butter.  Margarine is oil based (and absolute garbage) and not recommended by me for anything other than lubing your car door joints.

CARROT-ZUCCHINI BREAD WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 cup butter milk (or cream)
2 large organic eggs
1/2 cup organic sunflower oil
1/8 cup honey or agave
1 tsp. organic vanilla
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup shredded organic carrot
1 cup shredded organic zucchini
3/4 cup organic raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8×4″ loaf pans. In medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. In large bowl, beat eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla, mixing well; then add brown sugar and mix well. Gradually add flour mixture into the egg mixture while beating on low, then add buttermilk, beat on low untill it is all mixed well. Stir carrot, zucchini, and raisins into the batter; mix until well combined. Pour batter into the greased loaf pans. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Let cool in pans about 5-7 minutes before removing; then completely cool the loaves before adding the frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. half & half (or any milk)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In medium bowl, beat softened butter and cream cheese with mixer until light and fluffy (well as fluffy and cream cheese and butter can be) add powdered sugar and beat well. Add in the half & half and vanilla, and beat all ingredients. Spread frosting liberally over the top of the carrot-zucchini bread. Keep refrigerated.

Parmesan Crusted Potato Wedge

Nothing quite like a baked potato wedge to compliment your meal.  Add some herbs, garlic and parmesan cheese and you can’t go wrong.

In our home these make it to the breakfast table with Sunday morning breakfast or dinner table.

Recipe

4 large organic potatoes
Cleaned and cut into wedges

Toss in enough olive oil to coat all potato wedges
2 garlic cloves grated over hand grater into wedge mixture
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or more if you like)
Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper to taste.

Throw in rest of ingredients into potato amd olive oil mixture and stir well. Ensure potato wedges are well covered with all ingredients and place on baking sheet (I line with parchment paper) and cook @ 400 convection bake for 30-40 minutes or until soft all the way through with fork.

Enjoy with your favourite dip. I like on their own 🙂 I’m a simple gal.