The Crazy Craze That Is Kombucha

11/10/14

image via here and here

correctly pronounced KOM-BOO-CHA, this fizzy tea has been around for centuries, originating in Asia. widely know in ancient times for it's healing properties, it's an old remedy that is making it's way into modern living as the hot new craze with shops like Pekoe Kombucha Bar  or the Alchemy Pickle Company (who also sells some other amazing fermented goodies) popping up. kombucha can be found in many health food stores now (like Whole Foods) and in a variety of flavours! my favourite currently is from Alchemy Pickle Company called the Green Tea Grape! revered for the fermentation process which activates the healthy bacteria called "SCOBY", this tea packs one heck of a healthy probiotic punch that really does wonders for your body. because sometimes our lifestyle and food choices aren't perfect, many of us don't have enough healthy bacteria in our guts, so the addition of a probiotic through a yogurt or something like Kombucha, takes us one step closer to getting our bodies back on the healthy track. in saying this, i should mentioned that if you know you have a weakened immune system, are pregnant/breastfeeding, or have an illness, you should check with your doctor or naturopath before drinking any kombucha, to be safe.

there are a ton of reasons why kombucha is good for you, but here are a few highlights: 
  • the bacteria/probiotics help strengthen your immune system 
  • aids in healthy digestive function
  • loaded with good vitamins and enzymes
  • overall energy booster
  • helps to detox the body and
  • it also is suppose to help relive PMS (i can't wait to see if it does!).
so, when i do drink this and how much? for me, my morning routine consists of getting up, having a glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice to help balance the Ph level in my body, followed by a 4 ounce glass of Kombucha before i hit the gym. this makes me feel like i've set-up my body for success for the entire day! 

Kale Pesto Margarita Pizza

11/6/14

both beautiful images via here

homemade pizza fridays have become somewhat of a tradition in my house. we look forward to it all week and often pair our tradition with a nice glass of vino! i personally really love pizza, and doing this has allowed us to play around with different combinations of seasonal toppings. here is one of our favourites that we can't get enough of right now. as you know, we participate in a CSA farm box, so once a week on Friday's we get tasty local produce delivered to our doorstep (nothing is better than groceries appearing for you!). This time of year we are seeing a lot of kale, so one of our favourite friday pizza's to make is our Kale Pesto Margarita!

The Dough:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour (or 2 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 package of yeast 
combine your yeast and water in a small bowl and allow the yeast to activate and bubble for about 10 mins. while that is activating mix all your dry ingredients together in a big bowl. when the yeast is ready pour it into your dry mixture. now mix everything together with your hands and then roll it out onto a floured countertop. knead the dough until it comes out smooth and with a good elastic feel. when it's ready, place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel until it has doubled (about an hour). punch it down and let it rest for about 10 more minutes before it's ready to be rolled out and toppings applied. 

The Pesto Sauce Base:

  • 2 cups freshly washed and de-stemed kale
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 glugs of extra virgin olive oil

if you have a food chopper or food processor this is the perfect time to bust that out. pesto is really the easiest thing to make, just throw in all your ingredients and blend, baby, blend. if you feel it is a little too thick you can add a little extra olive oil. if you find you don't use all the pesto for the pizza, you can keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks in an air tight container. 

Toppings:

  • sliced tomatoes
  • thinly sliced mozzarella
  • fresh basil

preheat your oven to 400 degrees. roll out your dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, or pizza stone (which i very highly recommend for a nice evenly cooked crust).  now cover your rolled out dough with a nice amount of pesto sauce base. next add your toppings, in this case tomato and mozzarella. Helpful Hint - I don't bake the basil on the pizza otherwise, i find it looses it's great fresh flavour and beautiful texture. bake your ready to go pizza for about 10-15 mins until the crust is nicely browned. take it out, drizzle with fresh olive oil – you can even add a little balsamic glaze – and top with some fresh basil leaves.

enjoy! xoxo.


Happy Halloween

10/31/14

*boo*
happy halloween!!


Halloween by Laura on Grooveshark

stumped for last minute halloween costume ideas? read this!

The Teal Pumpkin Project

10/29/14



ok, this is something that i recently just heard about, so you'll have to forgive me if you already have. it's the Teal Pumpkin Project, an initiative to support those tricker treaters who may have food allergies or food related sensitivities. it's very easy each year to get wrapped up in all the excitement around planning costumes and the idea of free candy, but i personally never stopped to think before about how this festive night affects those 

with food concerns. 


the idea with this project is that you place a teal painted pumpkin on your door step to let trick or treaters and parents know that this house is an allergy friendly house handing out non-food goodies. i mean seriously, how great is that! it can be anything like crayons, or stickers, or bubbles, etc. why not help make it easier for all kids, especially those with food issues, have a safe and happy halloween!

for more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project visit
 http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project

Kitchen Basics Series - What Does That Mean?

10/24/14



illustration via here.

sometimes we can get tripped up or intimidated to try new recipes by all the lingo we see before us. here are some common terms to familiarize yourself with to help make any recipe you come across that much easier to understand.
chopped vs. diced vs. minced
  • chopped: cutting your vegetables into large pieces. typically you will see this for larger vegetables  like squash or potatoes.
  • diced: similar to chopping, dicing means cutting into smaller sized pieces. You likely will see this term used with ingredients like onions or celery.
  • minced: this means cutting the item into the smallest pieces you can. in the case of garlic, a garlic press minces perfectly.

blanching: cooking a vegetable very slightly and then immediately stopping the cooking process by rinsing under cold water. blanching is great if you are planning a big dinner party and you want to precook a vegetable dish to get a jump on your preparation. you can then quickly finish cooking just before serving to ensure the dish is nice and warm.

bouquet garni: this is a tied bunch of fresh herbs that is added to stews, or pots of simmering food for a little while and then taken out before serving.

dash: who has ever really measured a dash? well it turns out someone has and it is equivalent to about 1/16th of a teaspoon. this is a very small amount that is a little more than a pinch.

dust: this term appears often in baking recipes and it refers to lightly spreading a small about of a spice or sugar over the baked dish. most often this is part of a finishing step before serving.

julienne: this means to cut your vegetable or item into very thin slices, kinda like a very skinny french fry.

puree: to mash up or mix together your food until it's completely smooth, ideally in a food processor is easiest.

thin: if you see this term is means adding more liquid to thin out what you are cooking.

sauté: cooking your food in a frying pan with a little oil.

steep: you might often see this term if you are making a tea, or a simple syrup. it means to soak something (like tea leaves) in a liquid almost until boiling for a set amount of time until the flavours come out.

zest: pulling off small sections of the skin of a citrus fruit, in many cases a lemon, lime or orange. This is most often done with a fine grater called a zester so the pieces remain small.


Mullein & Sparrow

10/21/14

Images via, here, here & here

as you know I love beauty products, specially anything natural and easy on the environment. recently I came across this beautiful brand of all natural products called Mullein & Sparrow. founder and designer, Anit was a creative mind working in the business of fashion, when she decided to make the switch into beauty products after learing about plant based healing rememdies during her travels. this shop believes that the best rememdies come from nature, and I strongly agree. this beautiful apothecary line, makes everything in small batches as needed, so slight differences can appear from order to order, but it confirms the freshness and authenticity. they I don't know what I love more, these luxurious products or the vintage style containers they are housed in. everything about this is old world and old beauty for the modern buyer.
these products have not only prettied up my face, but also my bath counter.

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