Thursday, 1 December 2016

Gluten free cookies

So Miss Independent is becoming mighty helpful in the kitchen.  She wanted to help deseed a pomagrenate so she suggested checking out a Youtube video and following the instructions.  Wow, what a great idea.  I love cooking demonastrations; a girl after my own heart.  Watch and learn!

Using a bowl full of water she pulled apart the whole fruit with her hands eventually leaving all the seeds at the bottom and the white stuff rose to the top.  She was pretty proud of herself.
Now on to the most delicious Gluten free cookie I've made or eaten!  My friend sent me this recipe and basically gave the instruction to substitute the pastry flour for GF flour.  Specifically Presidents Choice brand in a box.  I can attest to the fact that not all Gluten Free fours are equal; definitely NOT!  I omitted the walnuts; since the person I was making them for has a nuts allergy but everything else was true to the recipe (besides the butter flavouring; who knows what that is?! I used butter).

The PC Gluten Free flour comes in a box with 2 bags inside.  Each bag is exactly 2 &1/2 cups.  A good thing to know since measuring this flour can become a little messy.  Its very light!
New Hershey's 70% chocolate chunks are awesome.
I used a small scoop to make these very uniform.
I took these cookies out of the oven at this stage and left them on the stove top to "set".

Within 5 minutes they had finished cooking.

Here's the kids excitedly eating their soup and GF cornbread so they can partake in a warm cookie fresh from the oven.  Incentives are a moms best friend!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Pioneer Women's Torilla Soup: Review

I have to say I am such a fan of Ree Drummand; the Pioneer women.  She's also known as Cowgirl in our house.  Aubrey loves to watch "Cowgirl" on Saturday mornings.  No cartoons for our little gal.  Aubrey and I were watching her a few weeks back and this recipe for crockpot tortilla soup was on.  Like so unbelievably easy.  I took the idea with me to my sister-in-laws house and I assisted her as she put this recipe together; no cooking required.  Not even that much chopping.

She does a great how to link below:

  • 3 whole Chicken Breasts
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Chopped
  • 1 whole Seeded Yellow Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Or Diced Tomatoes, With Juice
  • 1 can Green chiles (not spicy)
  • 3 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (more If You Like The Soup More Liquidy)
  • 4 ounces, weight Tomato Paste
  • 1 whole Chipotle Pepper In Adobo (I omitted this)
  • 1 can Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 Lime, Juiced (I did this at the end)

  • You basically lay the chicken breasts on the bottom of the crockpot and sprinkle the seasoning on top.  Then add in everything else.  My sister in law omitted the peppers and instead added celery and frozen corn to bulk up her version. 
    After 6-8 hours you shred the chicken with two forks and add in the squeeze of lime. 
    After getting home to my own house and not having any of this amazing smelling tortilla soup I whipped of my own in a flash.   I've actually whipped this up twice since then!  I added frozen corn to mine. 

    Always fun to share yummy tasting soups; so I canned it while the soup was still hot so the jars would seal.  This allows the jars to be kept in the fridge for weeks.

    Jeff and I loved serving up a bowl of this with fresh cilantro, fresh lime and blue corn tortilla chips.  He added a dollop of Greek yogurt to his and I added some crumbled goat cheese to mine.  Yum!

    It definitely ate like a meal!

    Can anyone guess which princess Aubrey is pretending to be?  I thought she did such a creative job with this homemade costume. 
    Hint; the blanket is to be hair and that's a frying pan she is holding!

    Sunday, 30 October 2016

    Trick and a treat; Chocolate Acorns Pinterest Review

    Aubrey and Liam were invited to  Spooktacular Halloween Party yesterday.  My kids LOVE to party; 5PM couldn't come fast enough! Honestly I am not a big Halloween person but my friend Shelley knows how to throw a kids party; we were honoured to be included.  I let the kids pick their own "homemade" costumes.  Liam wanted to be Bob the builder and Aubrey wanted to be her Doctor.  Not a "Doctor"; she literally wanted to be Dr. Bergman. She picked out her outfit and I did her hair and the resemblance was uncanny!

    We wanted to take something to the party but I'm definitely not a "spooky" person.  So I took to pinterest to see what "fallish" recipe I could find.  I found this recipe for  Chocolate Acorns.  A trick and a treat!
    Video showing how to make the cutest ideas for edible Thanksgiving decorations. Chocolate kiss acorns, candy melt/Nutter Butter turkey pops, sugar cookie pumpkin pie, teepee cupcakes, and sugar cone cornucopias. Am definitely doing these acorns. The video shows a slightly different version than the photo.:
     Very simple;
    Hersey's Kisses
    Miniature cookies (I used chocolate chip ones that were nut free)
    melting chocolate
    chocolate chips

     First we just had to unwrap everything organize the different items.

     I melted semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave; 30 seconds at a time and it took a little over a minute.

    Even Auntie Janny got in on the action! 

    After these were assembled we put them in the fridge to firm up.

     After they had set we put them in a few glass jars.
     It was really fun to take a jar of "acorns" we picked to the party.  That's as "tricky" as I get!  I can't eat them but I was told they were really good.  I did notice one of the jars had quite a few less acorns in it this morning!
    The kids are taking a jar to school and daycare to share as well.   
    Bedtime snack; fresh raspberries....I had to remind the kids to chew and breathe.  They inhaled them! Good night!

    Tuesday, 25 October 2016


    What is Kombucha?
    1. a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria.
      "bottled kombucha is available in many natural food stores"

    What is a Scoby?
    "Scoby" is actually an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. And that's exactly what it is! A scoby is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha — think of the scoby as the coral reef of the bacteria and yeast world.
    Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar (from various sources including cane sugar, fruit or honey) that’s used as a functional food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic), which are tied with the following effects:
    • Improved Digestion
    • Weight Loss
    • Increased Energy
    • Cleansing and Detoxification
    • Immune Support
    • Reduced Joint Pain
    • Cancer Prevention

    I was having serious stomach issues and my good friend actually told me about Dr. Axe and the healing foods plan.  It has been over a month since I have made the change in my diet and I can say it is for sure working.  She aslo gave me a scoby and gave me a step by step guide to make my own Kombucha at home and boy am I hooked!  The kids even love it and love creating new flavours of "Boocha", as Liam calls it.  The whole family is enjoying its "good side" affects!
    How To:
    Remove Scoby from fridge 24 hours before making Kombucha

    You will need large glass jar

    Wooden spoon

    Organic tea

    White sugar


    In large glass jar, Steep 8 organic tea bags (I used green tea) with 1 cup of sugar and 13 cups of boiling  water

    Steep until room temperature

    Remove tea bags with wooden spoon
    Add scoby and reserved liquid to the glass jar

     Cover with clean tea towel and elastic bands (so nothing can get in but the scoby can still breathe)

    Keep in a dark warm place (I leave on my counter and let the tea towel  hang over to cover the whole jar) The warmer your environment the quicker  the Scoby  gobbles up the sugar!

    They say 4-20 days for the first fermentation , 7 days has been the magic number for my house and then I taste it to see if I like the taste. (No metal utensils!)

    At this point I Remove the Scoby, and reserve 1 cup of liquid and put that in a sealed glass jar and keep in the fridge until next batch.

    (fresh ginger and lemon)

    At this point I add my flavouring to the remaining kombucha, seal tightly and let it carbonate on the counter until it is the desired flavor and fizziness I like.

    (Lemon and fresh raspberries)

    I leave this for another 3-20 days.  Sometimes I remove the flavouring (ginger sometimes get  bitter) and reseal for more carbonation and let it sit out until I like.

    When I’m ready to bottle it I strain the liquid and funnel  it into my glass bottles (from ikea, they seal awesome, only $3 a bottle!)

    Then you can refrigerate and serve at this point. You will notice the longer it sits the less sweet it gets.

    I’ve used:
    lemon & fresh ginger
    Fresh raspberries & lemon
    Mint and grapefruit
    Ginger, lime & mint
    So many awesome combinations!   

    Wednesday, 19 October 2016

    Pumpkin power bites and soup of the week

    So I woke up with Pumpkin puree on the brain.  I can't really have something sitting in my fridge without a plan for it.  So the extra pumpkin for the pancakes we made on Saturday, I found this recipe from Pinterest.

    I simply mixed all the ingredients as directed and then felt it needed a bit more bulk.

    After all was said and done; I used 1/2 cup of homemade almond butter as the nut butter, 1/2 cup of chopped 90% dark chocolate as the chips, 1/4  cup of chopped almonds as the nuts,  and to the recipe I added 1/2 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut to bulk up the recipe.  I rolled these and put them in the fridge, after one bite I decided the texture was too soft and so I put them in the freezer.  Boy, was I right I will be keeping these in my freezer. I've already gone into the container 4 times since lunch; they are perfect with a cup of herbal chocolate chai tea.

    Now for the soup of the week!  I decided to make a farmers sausage, spinach and chick pea soup.  My soups pretty much start the same way every time.  Onion and  celery sauteed with grapeseed oil and salt and pepper.
    I decided to add diced carrot to this recipe, so my sous-chef helped me peel carrots from my friends garden. 

    Then to the pot I added chopped farmer's sausage.
    I added in a brick of thawed diced spinach leaves and stirred that all up. (This is a great time saver and money saver!)
    Lastly I added in 2 litres of homemade chicken stock, a packet of onion soup mix, 2 cans of rinsed chickpeas and 8 cups of water.
    I let this simmer for an hour or so and then served it up to my biggest critics.
    They absolutely loved it.  I put the soup in jars while it was hot so they would seal.  I got 8 1-litre jars of soup and that was after we ate our fill!
    Now for another pumpkin ball!