Tag Archives: easy

{DIY bath soak – with himalayan pink salt!}

4 Dec

i love a good soak in the tub!

… it’s so relaxing and comforting. i especially love to enjoy a hot bath when i have sore muscles or if i want to fight off icky feelings possibly related to a cold or germs, or LIFE, etc. i make time to enjoy a hot bath at least once a week, but i prefer to do it twice a week. it’s a crucial part of my self-care routine, and one i look forward to enjoying as frequently as possible.

i’ve been making my own bath soak for a while now. i choose to use himalayan pink salt because it is extremely mineral-rich. sometimes i add in epsom salts or magnesium salts for additional benefits.

soaking for about 20 minutes in a rich salt bath has many rewards. of course, it’s very relaxing but it’s also detoxifying and soothing to both the nerves and the skin.

i like to play around with different ingredient mixtures depending on the season or how i am feeling. sometimes i will make an oatmeal bath for extra moisturizing.

it’s very simple and easy to make your own bath soak, and you can get creative with the ingredients. there are a lot of different recipes out there, but this is my favourite go-to that i’ve been making for quite some time now.

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  • 2 cups himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 8-10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2-3 drops vetiver essential oil

optional ingredients :

  • ginger powder (for detoxification)
  • dried lavender (for relaxation)
  • dried flowers
  • dried sage

Continue reading

{homemade gummy bears}

9 Oct

i have been making my own homemade gummy bears for a while now, and i have been meaning to write a post about it…

i have always loved fruit snacks, gummy bears, et al. however, the ingredient list always detoured me – even the natural ones are full of mostly sugar.

so, i did some research and realized that i could be making my own gummy fruit snacks! and not only that, but i could make them GOOD for me!

my curiosity was piqued when i started looking for a clean source of gelatin to help with collagen production and joint support.

…which i don’t have pictured here because i typically transfer everything i buy into a glass jar… {no shame in my game}…

anyway, i wanted to incorporate gelatin into my diet and that’s when i got super stoked about the idea of making my own gummies! so i found these silicon molds on amazon {along with the gelatin} and looked up a few recipes to get me started.

as usual, i like to keep things as simple as possible. some recipes call for honey or a sweetener, but i like to avoid added sugar where i can {so i can guiltlessly enjoy a candy bar from time-to-time}.

so – here is my very simple {2-ingredient!} homemade gummy fruit snack recipe – which yields about 200 gummies and the ratio can be adjusted accordingly :

  • 1 cup fruit juice {i usually opt for concord grape}
  • 3 tablespoons gelatin powder

you could add in some honey or agave for sweetness, but i find the concord grape juice to be sweet enough on its own.

sometimes i’ll add in some elderberry syrup for additional health benefits during the cold-season months. Continue reading

{meatless monday : whole grain couscous with fresno and mini bell peppers}

8 Feb

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i haven’t written a meatless monday recipe in a while. i came up with this one by accident.

i love love LOVE fresno peppers. they are so full of flavour and yet mild enough in heat to not overpower most dishes. i also love couscous; it’s simple and easy to make and reheats well, so i will often batch-cook it.

i shared this dish some with a friend this weekend over brunch and she commented on how much she liked it, so i thought i would share the recipe. as i said, i sort of came up with this on accident… but i’m glad i did, as i’ll be sure to make it again in the future!

simple ingredients :

  • 1 cup couscous, 1 cup water
  • 3 fresno peppers, chopped
  • 5-6 mini bell peppers, chopped
  • olive oil
  • S&P

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this is a very easy recipe to make. simply saute peppers in olive oil until tender then pour in water. bring to a boil and add in couscous. remove from heat, cover and let sit for at least 5 minutes. fluff couscous with a fork and sprinkle in salt and pepper.

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i also added in some cumin because i’ve been experimenting with spices… and i really liked it in this dish!

{what goes great with oktoberfest beer?? — homemade sauerkraut!!}

23 Oct

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ownin’ my german roots! 😉

i love love looooove making my own food. i especially love making things that are expensive to buy, but cheap to make. case and point : sauerkraut.

sauerkraut is one of my favourite things ever. it’s so good for you, and it’s been around for centuries… it’s one of those ancestral foods like homemade bone broth that has proven to be a staple for health in many ancient cultures for ages.

sauerkraut is FULL of healthy probiotics, which are essential for maintaining a healthy gut.

and it’s so super easy to make.

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start by chopping up your cabbage, as thin as you want/can get it… i find it helps to quarter the cabbage first, then cut into strips. you want about 1.5 pounds per 1 tablespoon of salt. once that is complete, add it to a large bowl and begin “squishing” the cabbage and salt together using your hands.

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this is another reason i love making sauerkraut – you get to play with your food! 😉 Continue reading

{homemade nutrient-dense beef bone broth}

7 Dec

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it seems like bone broth is all the rage these days. everyone is talking about it, bloggers are writing about it, and i see articles in random magazines about it, too. i also find it funny that food has like, fads. i mean – i figure diets have fads because that is essentially what “dieting” is… but it just tickles me when i notice certain “food trends”… you know what i mean?! nevertheless, i’d be lying if i didn’t say i recently jumped on the bandwagon regarding bone broth. 😛

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WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH BONE BROTH, ANYWAY?!

– bone broth is ancestral food – our grandma’s grandmas probably made it all the time!

bone broth contains many nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus.

– bone broth is also high in beauty-supporting collagen and amino acids.

bone broth is comforting, and great for those days we feel “under the weather.”

bone broth supports a healthy gut and intestinal-lining.

– bone broth contains joint-supporting gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

bone broth is very cost-effective and you can control the ingredients when you make it yourself!

———

anyway, my cute little store sells beef bones with the marrow included, which is what you want for making broth.  i’ve read several articles and books about the benefits of ancient cooking and bone broth is something that always seems to be at the top of the list for overall health-boosting properties. i usually opt for a veggie broth when i am stocking the pantry.  however, i couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make something new from scratch.  i just love to create things. plus, understanding the health benefits of bone broth make it extra appealing to me.

after perusing several recipes and suggestions, i did what audrey typically does and i created my own version of bone broth.  this entire batch {which made about a gallon} cost me around $4.00. try comparing that to the stocks or broths you find in the store… it simply doesn’t.  nor does the nutritional value.

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ingredient guidelines for bone broth :

– 2 lbs grass-fed beef bones

– 2 large carrots, chopped

– 2 celery stalks, chopped

– 1 yellow onion, chopped 

– 3 cloves garlic, chopped

– 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 or 4 sprigs fresh parsley {optional}

– 1 bay leaf {optional}

Continue reading

{pickled gherkins}

30 Oct

when i say, “gherkins” – what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

for me, it’s the movie dirty dancing.  weird, right?!  there’s the scene where neil is asking baby if she is hungry, and he’s looking in the fridge… “leftover cabbage roll, fruit salad…?  sweet gherkins?!”  😛

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anyway… i don’t really like sweet pickles. but i do love dill pickles. and when i found these *adorable* baby gherkins, i literally squealed in excitement! apparently, they are also known as “cucamelons.” {teehehee}

they are slightly sour, and very juicy!  which, i admit, was a little surprising.  i also read that they are very easy to grow… which makes me totally want to try to include some in the garden next year!

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they look like little watermelons!!  eep!  so cute. Continue reading

{homemade sauerkraut}

13 Oct

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i’ve been wanting to try to make my own sauerkraut for a while now… as i’ve mentioned in the past, i’ll get on these kicks where i’m all like, “i can make that!” and i think that i can make TIME multiply and have more of it so i can actually MAKE all the stuff i say i can make… silly me.

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anyway, luckily this whole sauerkraut making process is super easy and not nearly as time consuming as one may think.  well, the actual “making” of it takes a little while, but preparing it does not.  it’s quite fun, too. you get your hands involved and you get to “play” with your food, which i always enjoy. 😉  plus, it’s oktoberfest!! and i’m part german, so it’s high time i learn how to make this amazing stuff so every october i can eat it. just kidding, that’s not my only motive.  sauerkraut is one of the oldest fermented foods out there.  and it’s one of those things that is actually pretty inexpensive to make on your own, but for whatever reason, can be kind of expensive to buy. this small batch didn’t cost me much. i had the salt at home, and this head of organic cabbage was $2. it’s loaded with probiotics and because it’s cabbage, it naturally contains a prebiotic as well. it’s just really awesome stuff. we should all eat more sauerkraut… in my humble opinion.

i digress.

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as i said, the process is very simple.  and so are the ingredients :

– one medium head of cabbage {organic, if possible}

– 1 1/2 tbsp salt {i chose himalayan pink salt}

– large glass container or fermenting crock {as clean as you can get it}

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begin by quartering cabbage and then chopping into “ribbons.”  add salt and begin to work in the salt using your hands.  this is the fun part.  you can literally {with clean hands, of course} squish and squeeze the cabbage all around. this will eventually cause the cabbage to wilt from working the salt in.

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it’s quite amazing how it works, and it’s just oh-so-fun. Continue reading

{fried green tomatoes}

1 Oct

happy october!  are you loving the fall colours where you live?! this is my favourite time of year – i just love autumn!  it’s also when i was born, so i feel most alive during this season.  i’ve also been feeling very lethargic and sleepy… but i suppose that just comes with the change in season and light.  i kind of wish i could just hibernate all winter… snuggle with callee more and eat tons of comfort food.

i’ve been wanting to make fried green tomatoes for a while now… what, being born in the south and all, it only seemed fitting.  i can’t believe i had never tried to make them before!  have you?!  when i spotted these perfect tomatoes, i was inspired and excited. so – i practiced the KISS method :

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oh.so.simple.

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and beautiful.

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AND delicious!!!!

i fried my green tomatoes in real sweet cream butter after slicing them about 1/3 inch thick, then dipping them in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs with a little S&P.  i finished the ‘maters off with a topping of freshly-grated parmigiano reggiano. super simple, super easy, and super yummy!

{mini caprese stacks}

10 Sep

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finger food is my favourite!  i believe in touching and playing with your food!!  😉

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and i’m kind of obsessed with tomatoes… i eat them with almost every meal, it seems. i love the colourful variety of them.  little, big, funky shaped, speckled… deep colours, bright colours…

i especially love to make little snacks with tomatoes – any way i can.

and so, i present to you… the most adorable mini-caprese stacks ever.  at least by my standards.

😉 Continue reading

{“i can make that!” – coconut flax granola}

17 Jul

i get on these kicks where i think i have all the free time in the world to constantly be making my own food… particularly, easy snacks.  i’m such a label-reader, that i’ll look at the ingredients and be like, “i can make that!” 😛

this time, it was granola.

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i had a gigantic container of organic rolled oats sitting around, waiting to be turned into breakfast vitamix cookies, but i kept forgetting to buy jelly!  so as i was grocery shopping the other day, it came to me.  “dude, audrey – you should totally make your own granola!” what inspired this was my other new favourite obsession right now – yoghurt.  i know it’s nothing new to a lot of you, but i never much cared for yoghurt and suddenly – just like sauerkraut, and eggs – i can’t seem to get enough yoghurt. so – i was completely stoked when i saw my favourite brand, noosa had introduced a coconut flavour!!! holy smokes dude.  AHH–MAZING! and i love noosa because they use milk from pasture-based cows.  LOVE THAT!

anyway, to bring it all full circle, i was like, “self, you should just buy some coconut flakes {super cheap} and use some pantry items to create your own granola to compliment this amazing yoghurt discovery!” {sometimes i do talk to myself like that} and so i did it – i bought some organic coconut flakes for about $2.00 and had the rest of the ingredients at home.  as per usual, i didn’t exactly measure – so i don’t have an actual recipe for you, but if i can wing it, you can wing it! 😉

ORGANIC HOMEMADE COCONUT FLAX GRANOLA :

– rolled oats

– maple syrup

– vanilla extract

– coconut oil

– flax seeds 

– coconut flakes Continue reading

{“progressive one-pot” make-ahead meals : buffalo sausage w/ zucchini, red peppers, and sauerkraut}

22 Jun

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this meal was a total inspiration from a co-worker who i spotted eating this on his lunch break at least twice last week. so – i totally begged him to give me the recipe.  i added my own variations, of course… and you can make as much or as little as you want, but the base is simple :

– sausage of choice {i picked buffalo andouille from the buffalo guys – they have great ethics!}

– zucchini {cut into 1-2 inch strips}

– red peppers {also cut into 1-2 inch strips}

– sauerkraut {i chose bubbies brand}

and, i chose to add in a handful of shredded carrots because i had them around… and about a cup of kelp noodles, which i’ve written about here.

sausageonepot-2 Continue reading

{toasted bread cheese!}

9 Jun

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i know what you must be thinking – “BREAD CHEESE?! that sounds… bizarre?! intriguing?! delicious?!”

…all of the above?!

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it’s one of my favourite treats. it is rather expensive and therefore i do not buy it often. however, i had been craving it and so i nabbed an eight dollar chunk from my local market.

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i had this ridiculous butter just waiting to be used. i normally serve bread cheese with maple syrup and i swear it tastes like french toast!  i’m telling you – this stuff is insanely delicious!! Continue reading

{sunday brunch for judi – and a very happy mothers day to EVERY WOMAN out there!}

11 May

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i miss my mama.  today and all week. i’ve missed her since april 14th of the year 1993.  this time of year is hard for me – i won’t sugar coat that. sometimes randomly, i’ll think of something that reminds me of her and it will be hard. it never gets easier. however, i find comfort when i spot a penny on the ground, or when i catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and do a “double take” because i look so much like her… and i find great comfort in knowing that i am now living in her favourite part of the world.  she was absolutely in love with these rocky mountains – and it’s an honor to live here… for her and for me.

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if my sweet mother judi were alive today – i would make her this simple and amazing brunch… which i’ve been eating every day for like a month now. i buy the ingredients from a local store here in town and it’s all organic, fresh, and farm-grown – you know, like how REAL FOOD SHOULD BE!!!! 😀

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sunday brunch for judi : 

– farm fresh organic eggs

– asparagus

– cippolini onions

– garlic

– bacon cubes

– colourful cherry tomatoes

– herbed goat cheese

– fresh fingerling potatoes

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this dish is perfect for one – what with my cute little ramekins and all… but i do have a second one, and would love NOTHING MORE today than to be cooking for my mama and using the other one.

i lined the bottom of my ramekin with avocado slices, to start… Continue reading

{thirsty thursday : “plumango” vitamix smoothie}

10 Apr

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“plumango” vitamix smoothie :

– 1 fresh plum

– 1/4 cup dried mango

– 1/4 organic banana

– 1/4 cup frozen cherries

– 1/4 cup fresh spinach

– 1 teaspoon flax seeds

– 1 cup almond milk

 

{meatless mondays : my first millet experience}

7 Apr

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i’ve been wanting to try to play with millet for a while now.  i have had a package of it on the shelves for a good bit now and i thought it was high time to give it a whirl.

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i like to store things in glass jars… packaging just annoys me! 😛

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millet is a tiny grain that reminds me of something from my youth… when cooked, it is almost like a pilaf. i read online that it also can turn into more of a mashed-potato like consistency, if cooked the right way. Continue reading

{classics : grilled ham and cheese}

15 Mar

did ya’ll sleep in today?!  i sure wanted to… daylight savings always jolts my system.  takes me a week or so to get used to it – but goodness, do i love having that light in the evenings!!! i just look forward to the mornings catching up, ya feel me?!

i’m going to start my seeds for my garden this weekend and of course, i’ll be documenting the whole thing. i bought tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, chives, and leeks for now.  i have attempted to grow from seed before, but to no avail.  i learned my lesson with my lovely tomato plant last year and i just don’t think some kinds of lettuces grow well here.  SO – we are going to try again 😀

my awesome landlord has all the fixins’ to get my garden going and plenty of outdoor space in which to plant it all… one of the things i’ve wanted so desperately over the last couple of years was to have a garden. i’m so glad i can finally try!

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i do love me some good ol’ romaine lettuce from time to time – the crunch is so good.  not much nutrition going on, but i do find myself craving the fiber and just wanting something to put dressing on, mostly.

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it’s a comfort food kind of day.  grilled ham and cheese on 7-grain toast with roasted red pepper and tomato soup…

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it’s a childhood classic… grown-up style.

{organic beef and potato lettuce wraps w/ caramelized shallots and fresh sugar snaps}

5 Mar

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this is one colourful dish! and fun to eat, too!

simple ingredients : 

– 1 pound organic grass-fed beef {i choose 85%}

– 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes {any potato will do, i just had leftovers}

– 1 medium shallot

– handful sugar snap peas, shelled

artisan lettuce wraps

– organic shredded cheese of choice {i went with cheddar}

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lettucewrapogbeef-6lettucewrapogbeef-4 Continue reading

{meatless monday – “the av-egg-ado”}

3 Mar

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i saw this somewhere on the web recently and i’ve been so eager to try it. i mean – isn’t is so apropo for food & foto? simple, easy, delicious, and healthy!

two ingredients: {3 if you decide to sprinkle cheese on top…}

– 1 ripe avocado

– 1 medium egg Continue reading

{thirsty thursday – the commuter javapress}

9 Jan

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how cool is this on-the-go french press coffee maker/holder that my neighbour got me for christmas?!  it was a total surprise, i can’t believe she bought me something, let alone something THIS COOL!

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and so practical, too! Continue reading

{meatless mondays – vitamix breakfast cookies : a new holiday tradition}

23 Dec

this is my third year making my vegan thumbprint cookies {AKA “vitamix breakfast cookies”} to give as gifts or to share at work… or eat all by yourself 😉

so, here’s the original recipe in case you missed it…

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these are always always always a hit.  i’m not much of a baker, but when i find something that is easy to make and that people like, i try to perfect it and make it my own.  i have yet to quite create the perfect consistency for these {i’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to anything i make or do}, but i do think i found the right name for them.  the ingredients are so simple and healthy that you could literally eat them for breakfast – and not feel at all guilty about it!! they are also great for holiday parties or after school snacks. a good source of dietary fiber and protein as well as healthy fats.

yields about 3 dozen cookies, depending on size variation.

as always, i’m a huge proponent for using as many organic products as possible when i cook or eat…

– 1 cup almonds or pecans or a mix of both

– 1 cup rolled oats {gluten-free works, too!}

– 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

– 1/2 cup maple syrup

– 1/2 cup canola or safflower oil {which i haven’t yet tried}

– 1/4 teaspoon salt {i believe this constitutes as a “pinch”}

– your favourite jam or conserve {i have wanted to try a savory jam like jalapeno berry or something}

begin by preheating your oven to about 400 degrees. Continue reading

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