Category Archives: recipe

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 1/3 cup flour

1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almond milk

2 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

almond slices, optional topping

Instruction

Preheat oven to 350

Cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, then the almond extract and lemon zest. Mix well.

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the almond milk until combined. Fold in poppy seeds.

Pour equally into 6 jumbo muffins if you are using a pan for large sized muffins lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 -35 minutes. I absolutely think these are better as a larger muffin.

For regular cupcake sized muffins use cupcake liners and fill 2/3rds full (12 muffins) and bake 15-18 minutes.

Vanilla Coconut Cream Cake

This is one of my favorite cake recipes.

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup dairy-free butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cup sugar

5 eggs, separated and at room temperature

1 teaspoon coconut extract(optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1 cup coconut cream

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 can of dairy-free premade vanilla frosting ( I do, I hate making frosting!)

Instruction

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Empty contents of can of coconut cream into a bowl, microwave for 20 seconds, mix until combined and smooth. Measure your 1 cup of coconut cream once fully mixed.

Technique: Creaming the butter properly is important in the overall consistency of the batter.

In a bowl, cream together the coconut oil, butter and sugar using a standard mixer on low until it is white and fluffy. Incorporate one egg at a time followed by the coconut and vanilla extracts, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix for another 30 seconds.

While mixing begin adding the coconut milk and flour in quarters, mixing well with each addition.

Detatch and clean the whisk attachments for the egg whites.

In another bowl add the cream of tartar to the egg whites. Beat on medium for 6-7 minutes to form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter in thirds.

pour into a 9x13in pan and smooth evenly with a spatula. I added some food dye in a mantra swirl design.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer in the center area of the cake comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Coconut Rice

I really liked how the flavor of the bell pepper comes through in the rice. I like to use canned coconut cream instead of canned coconut milk.

Marinade

2 large chicken breasts, butterflied or split into four pieces if they are thick

1 teaspoon cooking oil, of your choice

1 teaspoon honey

1 clove garlic

1 pinch lemon zest or dried lemon peel

3 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

3 teaspoons jerk seasoning

Rice

1 bell pepper, diced

1 cup white rice

1 can coconut milk or coconut cream, microwaved for 20 seconds and stirred until smooth

1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen

Directions

(This is a one pan meal, you will need a lidded skillet large enough to contain the entire recipe. )

Marinade:

Place all of the marinade ingredients into a gallon ziplock bag or sealable tupperware bowl. Add the chicken and marinate in the fridge for several hours.

Add the marinated chicken to a skillet, preheated to med-high heat and braise both sides of the chicken. and set aside. Reduce the heat and add the remaining marinade, the bell pepper and shallot. Stir until the onion is slightly translucent and all of the liquid is just evaporated.

Add the coconut cream and bring to a boil, stir in the rice and the pineapple chunks. Manouver the chicken back down into the pan with the rice surrounding it.

Cover the pan and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is done and the chicken is cooked through. Careful, if you have the heat on anything above the lowest setting to maintain your simmering you may burn the rice.

Daffodil Cake

It’s one of the first cakes I ever made and you can find many versions of it. Some of them require 12 egg whites which leaves you with 6 left over egg whites. Unless I am planning on making pasta noodles I generally go with this version of the recipe that leaves no leftover egg yolk. In the past I have also made this cake with lemon zest in the white but I decided to do a single flavor this time. Any citrus of your choice and even pineapple versions of this recipe are out there. Orange is my favorite and originally I planned to add lemon zest to the white cake. In the end I decided to do just the orange and left the white cake vanilla flavored.

Ingredients

White cake:

6 large egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon zest(optional)

Yellow Cake:

6 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/2 cup cake flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon orange zest

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup water or orange juice

1 pinch orange zest

Instruction

White Cake

Place egg whites in a large bowl, let them come to room temperature ~30 minutes.

Add tartar and vanilla and beat on medium until foamy before gradually adding 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time until soft peaks form.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Fold into egg white gently and set aside.

Yellow Cake

Beat egg yolks and orange juice until thick and lemon colored. In a seaparate bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Gradually beat into egg mixture. Beat in vanilla and orange zest.

Alternately spoon yellow and white batter into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes.

Immediately invert pan and remove cake. Let cool completely then apply a basic orange zest glaze.

Glaze

Add all glaze ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Brush or drizzle glaze over cake.

Masala Chai

A lot of people are unaware the word chai literally means ‘tea’ so ordering a ‘chai tea’ is essentially ordering a ‘tea, tea’ but what you get is ‘spiced’ tea or ‘masala’ chai.

Generally in the winter I switch from drinking coffee to drinking spiced tea. I have a really hard time finding a place that serves a good chai. I really enjoy Bangalore Rose Chai from Enjoyingtea.com but alas I ran out. I also enjoy a good sweet coconut ginger tea with vanilla and coconut milk. Instead of reordering I got the chance to ask the magical question…

Can I make my own?

The answer is yes.

What is in chai? Some, but not all of these things:

Core ingredients:

  • water
  • milk (I find milk alternatives blend better with the flavors)
  • sugar or maple syrup
  • black tea
  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • black pepper
  • cardamom
  • ginger

Additional ingredients I found and tried

  • nutmeg
  • mint
  • lemongrass
  • fennel
  • star anise
  • vanilla
  • rose petals
  • corriander

Recipe? Well now. That’s a bit harder, your nose and taste buds will tell you.

There are so many ways to make spiced chai, because people all have different tastes so dont be afraid to experiment and write your own recipe.

It doesn’t matter if you have the whole or powdered version of the spice or some of both, that is completely ok. Using the internet to look up dozens of Masala Chai recipes let’s call the following ingredients the core of the recipe, nearly every recipe I looked at had these ingredients, the quantities and extra additional ingredients surrounding them can change drastically from recipe to recipe… but we have to start somewhere? right?

Actually that lead me somewhere interesting but I wasn’t the right place, not all chai is the same… I went back to square one and looked at the ingredients list of the chai I drink the most and make up amounts of those ingredients, and then tried mixing them around until I was happy with the result.

Instruction:

Using your smallest sauce pan start with about 2.5 – 3 cups of water brought to a simmer and three tablespoons of loose leaf black tea. or a few tea bags. If like me your smallest sauce pan is being used then you may do this via the microwave in a pinch.

My base chai recipe:

2.5 cups water

3/4 cup Almond milk

1.5 Tablespoons black tea (Behora Assam)

1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon

10 black pepper corns

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

2 thin slices ginger

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon corriander

3-4 tablespoons sugar, white granulated

Ok, you could totally stop there if you feel lost but for the adventurous spice users. I find smelling the steam and then smelling the individual spices helps me decide what to add. Once you decide then add in small amounts and taste your way to the correct amount but make sure to write it down.

Let the spices and the tea simmer for about 5 minutes add 1 or even 2 cups of milk, sugar/maple syrup/ vanilla once removed from the heat. steep for a few brief minutes.

Pour though a strainer (or maybe a coffee filter for powdered recipes) to separate the tea and spices.

Good luck in finding the perfect spiced tea!

Curry!!!

I made up a batch of Curry Powder the other day.

  • 2 tablespoons ground corriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Then from that I made Coconut Curry Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon avocado or other cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • lemon zest from one small lemon
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • fresh chopped basil or 6 frozen basil cubes

Add oil to pan, saute red pepper flakes and garlic until fragrant. about 20-30 seconds. Add curry powder and stir and cook for a minute or so. Add two tablespoons of coconut milk to a teaspoon of corn starch and mix well and set aside. Add the rest of the coconut milk to the pan along with the lemon zest, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a simmer and let cook for several minutes. Not all coconut milk is the same and a good coconut milk will turn into a nice thick sauce while some remain more liquid, they both taste the same in the end. Remove from heat and add basil, I used some frozen basil cubes for mine.


Curried Fried Potato Salad = comfort food

  • 2 tablespoons Avocado oil or other high heat oil
  • 1 large russet potato, diced into small bite sized cubes
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup cashews, toasted
  • 1/2 cup coconut curry sauce, heated

Heat oil in pan, add potato and onion and cook until crispy and browned, about 10 minutes.

One the side toast the cashews in a pan and set aside (Essentially you are making breakfast potatoes.) Once cooked remove from pan to a bowl, add the toasted cashews on top and pour 1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut curry over the top depending on serving size.


Then the next day I also made Curried Chicken Rice from the same batch of coconut curry

  • 1 cup of dry rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cashews, toasted
  • 1 left over chicken breast, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup coconut curry
  • 1 avocado, diced

Make the rice. While it is cooking chop the chicken breast, toast the cashews in a dry pan, prepare the peas depending on if they are canned or frozen. When the rice is done cooking, mix the rice, cashews, chicken and fully combine, then fold in the peas(gently if they are soft). Mix in diced avocado directly to the serving bowl just before being served.

Oat Bran Muffins

I don’t have time for breakfast in the morning so I started making these the night before, oatmeal in muffin form is a perfect heart healthy on the go breakfast.

Oat bran is usually sold with specialty flours or with the hot cereals in stores, I had to look twice to find it.

This is a well established recipe, I found it from AllRecipes to 10 other web sites and even on the package the oat bran were all the same recipe so I went with it.

I make half the recipe so that I have six standard size muffins, this last two days in my household so nothing is wasted and nothing goes bad. You can double the recipe for 12 muffins.

I like to change it up, I leave the lumps in the brown sugar so it gets gooey sugar pockets, I add different dried fruit and I add different flavors of yogurt. In the pictures I used  cinnamon, dried blueberries and Peach Almond milk yogurt which added peach chunks to my muffins. I like to use dried fruit if it’s available, You get all the flavor but not a soggy pocket in the muffin from water content evaporation. So check out the dried fruit section, I like to go to the bulk bins in the market instead of prepackaged for this. Add apple sauce, add chocolate chips, coconut flakes, add banana or maple syrup, add everything all at once! I like it because of the versatility.

Here is the base recipe before being dressed up, add things like cinnamon or cocoa powder in at 1 teaspoon. And add the fruit berries and nuts as thick or thin as suits your taste.

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup oat bran

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup yogurt

Instruction:

In a bowl mix oat bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and any dry additives of your choice.  Stir and then add Egg, oil, and yogurt. Mix until combined and add any remaining additives. Scoop evenly between 6 baking cup liners and let stand for 10 minutes before placing into the oven.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

 

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Blueberry Peach

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Apple Cinnamon

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Cranberry Dark Chocolate

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Cardamom spice with chocolate chips and pecans

 

Shea & Apricot Lotion Recipe

If you are not using a stick blender I recommend getting one of the cheap ones, but if you are hand mixing make sure you mix it for several minutes, rest, mix, rest, mix some more. I have had a few hand mixed lotions fail to fully emulsify because I thought I had mixed it enough.

heat phase

22.68 g emulsifying wax

8.5 g stearic acid

15 g shea butter

5.66 g coconut oil

10 g Apricot kernel oil

8.5 g rice bran oil

cool down/emulsification phase

8.5  honeyquat

333 g distilled water (hot)

100 g isopropyl myristate

apricot fragrance

1% Optiphen

 

Teakwood & Cardamom Hot Process Soap

 

 

I added the cocoa butter at the end as the superfat. I added the cocoa powder at the same time. I like the geologic look I can get from hot process soap and mica lines.

Ingredients

550 g lard

275 g coconut oil

110 g castor oil

110 g sunflower oil

55 g cocoa butter

330 g distilled water

156 g sodium hydroxide

colorant: 100% cocoa powder, gold mica

fragrance used: Teakwood & Cardamom from Nature’s Garden

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