8.22.2014

Bodacious Blueberry Muffins #Glutenfree #Vegan

I really hadn't planned on posting 2 recipes back to back, but after devouring my latest muffin creation I couldn't resist sharing it with you! Plus, it's prime blueberry season and I've got 8L of those bodacious berries to use up!



Gluten Free & Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix (I used a fab mix from Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery)
2 cups Coconut Flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce ( I used my own homemade one from the freezer)
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
4 chia eggs (you could use flax or real eggs as well)
4 cups Sunflower Milk (or substitute your favourite nut or dairy milk)
2 heaped cups of blueberries

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin tins.  This recipe makes 24 muffins and can easily be halved for a smaller batch, but why would you want to?!  In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix together all your wet ingredients.  Add your wet stuff to your dry stuff and mix well.  Then fold in your blueberries. Fill each of your muffin cups with this yummy batter and bake for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are just golden.  Cool in the muffin tins and then enjoy!


These muffins are moist, nutritious and super delish! Depending on what flours and milks you use they are perfect for kids lunches too! (nut free)

These bodacious muffins also freeze well....if they last that long!


8.21.2014

Zoodles with Fresh Smokey Sausage Tomato Sauce

Looking for a quick an healthy family friendly dinner recipe? Well, I've got just the thing....

Zoodles with Fresh Smokey Sausage Tomato Sauce!

I whipped up this simple yet delicious meal in just minutes last night.  Besides tasting amazing, the kids loved it and it totally satisfied my pasta craving without any grains.  So give it a try and let me know what you think!

Zoodles with Fresh Smokey Sausage Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

2 medium - large Zucchinis
8-10 Roma Tomatoes
4-6 Green Onions
1 Celery stalk
Handful of fresh herbs - chopped (I used Basil, Thyme, Oregano & Parsley)
2 Cooked Smoked Sausages - chopped ( this is optional as this dish would be great with or without meat)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Powder

Instructions:

In order to make the zucchini pasta you will need a Spiralizer.  I got a fabulous one from Costco.ca from Paderno for about $40.  Or you could borrow one from a friend too!  Using the blade with the smallest holes, spiralize those zukes until you've got a big bowl of zoodles and set them aside.

Dice your tomatoes, celery, herbs  and onions and toss in a pan with a good glug of olive oil and add  garlic, salt & pepper to taste.  Cook your veggies over medium heat until the tomatoes get good and saucy and your onions and celery are softened.  Turn off your sauce and set aside for a couple minutes.


In a separate pan, add all those awesome zoodles with a couple good glugs of olive oil and some more garlic, salt & pepper to taste.  Cook the zoodles on medium heat, stirring frequently, until they start to wilt and get the consistency of noodles.


Put your sauce back on and add your cooked sausage if you are using it and reheat the sauce until your meat is warmed up.

And that's it! Use tongs to serve up your zoodles and top with a spoonful of your fresh tomato sauce! This meal served 2 adults and 2 kids without any left overs.  Mainly because everyone loved it!  But you could easily double the recipe for larger meals.

Have you tried zoodles yet?  What did you think?

8.20.2014

Olde Drive Blueberry Farm: If You Can't Grow It, Then Pick It!

After returning home from a few glorious days of camping we ended up with a lovely sunny afternoon with nothing to do. Well, aside from cleaning out all our camping gear, laundry and all that fun stuff.

What better way to spend a Tuesday afternoon with the family then to go Blueberry picking.  We're lucky enough to have a handful of Blueberry farms within a few minutes of our house.  After a quick Internet search I settled on Olde Drive Blueberry Farm . Yes, there are some bigger & closer farms, but what sealed the deal was they're NO SPRAY... and they also have some of the best prices per pound of purple goodness!

We grabbed our sun hats and headed down the road.   When we pulled into the farm it was a small unassuming house with a little table set up in the garage.  This is where we were outfitted with buckets, straps and directions to the blueberry patch.

We drove past Buffalo, chickens, lilies and some lovely fields before coming up on the patch.  Now since it was getting close to the end of the season, you had to hunt a little harder for those berries, but there were still tons to be picked!

The girls LOVED picking their own berries.  Stella thought it was pretty amazing and loved trying to find the perfect berry - not too under ripe or too over ripe.   And now she wants to plant some bushes in our yard next year. Even Alice got into the groove and it only took her about 45 minutes before she realized she could eat the berries right off the bush!

There is something so enjoyable and fulfilling about picking your own food.  It was a fantastic way to teach the girls about how things grow and all the various animals and bugs that love blueberries.  It was also just a fabulous way to spend the afternoon with the family. We happily enjoyed a little healthy blueberry picking competition!

After about an hour or so we ended up with about 8L of fresh, natural blueberries from the  Olde Drive Blueberry Farm. Stella has decided that she is going to make apple sauce with her berries! (yup, apple sauce!) And for me, I think some gluten-free muffins and homemade fruit roll-ups are in order!

8.15.2014

Are You a Forever Friend?

I'd like to think that we all have them...that person who has been a friend longer than we can remember.  I have a couple of these forever friends and I'm so thankful they have been in my life for so long. And in honour of my dearest girlfriend's visit this weekend I decided to put together my list of how to tell if you are forever friends!

Are You a Forever Friend?
  1. A forever friend by definition should have been in your life for forever, or at least more than 1/2 of it. You should have known them longer than not knowing them.
  2. There's no need to call a forever friend everyday, but of course you can. You can spend all the time in the world with them or see them a couple times a year and pick up like it was yesterday.
  3. You break up and get back together.  Most long term relationships go through a hiccup or two, period where you just don't seem to get each other. But like any good relationships, sometimes a break and and a little effort are all you need to see that you should be together.
  4. Thou shalt support each other in everything, no matter what.
  5. Thou shalt be completely honest, no matter what.
  6. And thou shalt be there for comfort and support, no matter what. (including any backlash from #4 & #5)
  7. Forever friends do not compete with each other. But they will stand together and put up a united front against anyone who challenges them.
  8. You have shared a bed, a couch, a tent, a hotel or piece of floor and will likely do it again.
  9. You have inside jokes that have spanned the ages and you still make each other laugh and snort.
  10. Lastly, forever friends truly love & cherish each other and will always be there to hold back your hair!


8.14.2014

Easy Stamped Initial Painting #DIY

What to do with the kids on a rainy summer day?  In our house, craft time tends to keep them happy for quite a while.  So last week we whipped up these super cute Kid's Initial Paintings with nothing but a couple potatoes, some Deco Art paints and a bit of tape and paper. So save this post for a rainy day as it may come in handy and help you keep your sanity!

Easy Stamped Initial Painting

What You'll Need:

Paints (Deco Art Chalky Paints were the only thing I had handy!)
Thick Paper ( I used card stock) or a small canvas
Potatoes
Painters Tape

What to Do:

The first step is to tape out your initials  I used some painters tape and made the girls first initial on the paper.


 Next, it's time to make the potato stamps.  My idea was to have the kids use the stamps to make some funky patterns on the paper.  I simply cut out triangles from a couple old potatoes.


 And finally, it's time to paint.  Depending on the age of your kids, make sure to have a good sized workspace that's protected with some newspaper or a drop cloth.


Once the kids have stamped/painted their pieces, set them aside and let them dry a bit.  I waited until they were almost dry and then carefully peeled off the tape.


And voila! A super cute initial that your kids will love!  Stella thought it was pretty amazing! Alice who's almost 2 mostly enjoyed getting messy and eating her potato! Not so much stamping, more like mashing and rubbing;  but it doesn't matter.  They had a blast and we spent a good portion of the rainy morning creating masterpieces!

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