Sunday, 29 October 2017

Xmas Spice Soap - 2017

Xmas Spice Soap is now available! A blend of Pine Needle essential oil and Cinnamon Leaf essential oil combined with scent holding ingredients ground clove, ground pine & ground cinnamon! This is a beautiful homemade gift for the holidays! 


Also now selling Homemade Soap Dishes! It's important with handmade soap to have enough airflow between uses and these pine wooden dishes double coated with mineral oil do just that!


Also available any soap and dish gift wrapped! Just mention it in the notes!


Shipping 

Shipping in the US is standard for 1-2 bars of soap. If you are buying more than 2 items PLEASE MESSAGE ME before you check out as I can get you a much better rate on shipping.

If you live in Australia and want to purchase at local rates you have the option to buy before November 2nd PLEASE MESSAGE ME and I will send you a private sale as I will be in Australia during November!

Get your 5 star rated soap while it lasts!




Saturday, 28 October 2017

Vegan Products - October 2017

A few newly found vegan products, tried and tested just for you...you're welcome!

Miyoko's Creamery Fresh Vegan Mozz, this was pretty good but honestly for me maybe not worth the price tag. I think you're looking at $8-$12 for block. It did have the taste of mozzarella which is great but the texture was very flakey/gritty so not at all like mozzarella. It melted ok though as you can see in my lasagne picture. Tried it with Insalata Caprese Crackers too.




These Simple Mills Garlic & Herb crackers I got from a discount store here in Jacksonville called Solomon's Ventures. They were ok but had a strong bready taste and were a bit dry I like to taste what's on the cracker - not the cracker itself sometimes.


I got these Go Raw dried salads from Solomon's Venture's also, they were interesting that's for sure LOL. Not bad just didn't have anything special about them, basically like kale chips.


I really did not like these Brad's Crunch Kale Chips and full disclosure they came from a discount store and even if they weren't expired may have been there because they were not stored optimally. Never the less I didn't like the taste of whatever the flavor was suppose to be.


I really love Australian brand Freedom Foods. I think always vegan (of the products I've seen) and always a list of allergens (or lack there of). These are very crumbly but I love to keep them in my bag for when I need a snack. My 20 month old loves them too! Got these at Solomon's Ventures.


These Enjoy Life Seed and Fruit mix were a big hit with the kids I think mainly to do with the fact that they have vegan chocolate chips in them so making what could be boring for them seem exciting.



Bombay Bitchin' Sauce I had never heard of but got it discounted so I thought Id try it - OMG SO GOOD!!!! I loved whatever this dip was supposed to be lol


Enjoy Life again - these Soft Baked Ginger Spice Cookies definitely a hit with the whole family. They are soft and I prefer my gingersnaps hard so I can dip in my tea without having to do diving for them later but really no complaints about this product ;)


Found this Botticelli Bolognese Sauce I think at Publix on sale so I thought I'd try it. LOVED IT! Whole family loved it and the best part?? It has the vegan ground beef already added into the sauce! Will definitely be buying this product again - especially if its on sale ;)


This is a fantastic product if you're in Jacksonville. Gnarbucha organic vegan kombucha is divine!! It's a family owned small business with a lot of experience. I loved the Mango one! They sell out of their store or at the Jarboe Park markets every Saturday 2-5pm. If you bring back the bottle for a refill it's much cheaper - win win!


Got a free sample of these Beech-Nut Fruit & Veggie Melties at the baby gym we go to. They were pretty good actually! The taste like freeze dried fruit but melt faster in your mouth and are all the same dollop size.


Simply Nature Green Pea Crisps from Aldi (yes finally made it to check out their stuff). These were very tasty - will be buying these again!


Got this Little Salad Bar Roasted Red Pepper Hummus from Aldi also. Love their hummus and half the price of regular stores!


Tried this Equal Exchange Chocolate 55% cacao Almond because I used to love the small 55% cacao bites which I can never find anymore! I liked it a lot - had that smooth creamy texture I liked but tasted a little more dark chocolatey than the bites.


Bought a Kat Von D vegan Ink Liner in Nerdrum. I also was sent a free Studded Kiss lipstick in Lolita. I even got free shipping! The quality of the products is undeniable. The eyeliner glided on and had a very thin firm line to make it very easy to be precise. It lasted a long time too, I think it's a waterproof one. The lipstick was matte but very moisturising and smelled wonderful. I don't think I've ever had a lipstick smell so good. The only complaint I have is that the color of the eyeliner wasn't what I thought it would be, the picture was fairly accurate but the color box it showed was a different shade of blue, it looks a lot darker on the picture than in real life. you can see on it was a very electric blue. I was looking for a darker blue but not navy.




I mentioned Blue Moose of Boulder hummus in my previous Vegan Products post but I found a couple more, Green Chili and Chipotle. The Green Chile was nice but a little spicy for me and the Chipotle was so spicy I couldn't eat it.


Found this Go Raw Orange Raw Chocolate at the discount store also. SO GOOD! I missed that Jaffa (orange chocolate) favour that doesn't seem to be popular in the USA (Think Jaffas in Australia and Terry's Chocolate range in the UK). I really enjoyed this and wished I had bought more, nice and creamy for a raw chocolate!


There's no secret I LOVE L'Occitane products. And most of them are vegan! The only animal products they use are beeswax and honey so those are always carefully listed in the ingredients.
This Shower Oil is amazeballs!!!! I especially am in love with the Almond one because it smells so divine but if you care more about Shea than almond sent this this new Shea range is great.
L'Occitane's shower oil is so amazing because it foams up like shower gel but leaves you skin feeling soft and supple but not oily. It really is magical!


Brew Dr Kombucha from Oregon is pretty tasty but I think the Superberry was my favorite followed by Clear Mind (which tasted a bit like ginger beer). I didn't like the Citrus Hops flavor so much.



I bought these Namaste vegan cup noodles from the discount store so full disclosure it may have just been because they were store poorly (I bought them the same month as their expiry) but they were horrible. So much so I couldn't even eat them - even the kids wouldn't eat them. The flavor packet was hard and thick so maybe moisture had gotten in if it's normally supposed to be powdered? That I couldn't say but they tasted rancid, I was so excited about them too. :(



I got this Charleston Favorites Peach Slow Burn Hot Sauce from Food for the Southern Soul at the discount store (also available at Publix). It was pretty good although I didn't taste a ton of peach. The sugar is definitely vegan, I checked with the manufacturer. Was lovely in my Buffalo Tofu Bites.


I got these Earth Grown Veggie Burgers from Aldi and they were really good! Full of vegetable chunks, my toddler loved them!



Sunday, 15 October 2017

Corn Fritters

Great for toddlers! Although my toddler mainly picked out the corn to eat at first by the end of the meal he was eating the whole thing. The rest of the family liked too! Original recipe from My Whole Food Life.


Corn Fritters

Ingredients

2 cups organic corn kernels
1 Tbls nutritional yeast
1/2 cup organic cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour (or GF)
1 cup water
1/4 cup chives/green onions chopped finely
1 large garlic clove minced
2-3 Tbls oil
salt and pepper to taste


Method

Preheat oven to 425F.
Throw all the ingredients in a bowl , and mix by hand until the batter comes together.
Lightly oil a large saucepan on low - medium heat.
Using a 1/4 cup scoop out a few Tbls worth of mixture into the pan and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side.
Repeat these steps until all the patties are seared.
Lay the patties on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, stopping in the middle to flip them over. Enjoy!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Chickpea Balls

Original recipe from One Handed Cooks.


Chickpea Balls

Ingredients

1/2 small brown onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 - 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained (I used fresh, around 1.5 cups)
1 Tbls vegan mayonnaise
2 Tbls quick GF oats
1 Tbls wholemeal plain flour (brown rice works to)
3 Tbls freshly squeezed orange juice
3 Tbls flat leaf parsley


Method

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Combine the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, zucchini and mushrooms in a food processor.
Process until finely chopped but not pureed.
Heat the oil over medium in a small frypan and sauté the processed vegetable mix for
around 5 minutes (stir occasionally and be careful not to burn).
Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, mayo, oats, flour and orange juice in the processor.
Process until the chickpeas are in small pieces (but not completely smooth). Add the parsley.
Combine the chickpea and vegetable mix, form small balls (around a tablespoon size or smaller).
Place on the baking tray and bake for around 30 - 40 minutes or until the balls are golden brown.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Basil Zucchini Mini Muffins

Original recipe from One Handed Cooks.



Basil Zucchini Mini Muffins

Ingredients

2 flax eggs**
1 cup non dairy milk
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups plain flour (1 cup brown rice, 1 cup sweet white rice, 1/2 coconut)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
3 small zucchini, grated
2 tbsp basil, finely shredded
1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese grated, plus extra for grating on top (I used nutritional yeast)


Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius and grease or line a 12 cup muffin tray. -
Combine the eggs, milk, and olive oil in a medium bowl. -
In a separate large bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Make a well in the centre and add the egg mixture. Stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix. -
Add the zucchini, basil and parmesan cheese and stir to combine. -
Fill the muffin cases approximately 3/4 full, top with extra Parmesan cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

**Flax Seed Egg = 1 egg
1 Tbls ground flax seed
2 1/2 Tbls water
Mix and let sit for a few minutes

Vegetable Rice Cakes

Original recipe from One Handed Cooks, changed for vegan/GF.


Vegetable Rice Cakes

Ingredients

1 cup cooked brown rice
1/3 cup GF breadcrumbs**
1/2 cup vegan grated cheese
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/3 cup corn kernels
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 carrot, grated
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
2 flax eggs*
2 tbs olive oil
1.5 cups GF breadcrumbs (for dredging)


Method

Steam or boil sweet potato, peas and corn until soft.
Use a fork to mash the sweet potato. Set aside.
In a small fry pan heat 1 tsp olive oil.
Add onion and carrot, lightly fry until soft. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, bread crumbs, flax egg, cheese. Add all vegetables and stir until well combined.
Take large tablespoons full of mixture and mold into small patties. Dip each patty to coat in breadcrumbs. Continue with remaining mixture.
Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium.
Lightly fry the patties for a few minutes on each side. Remove and drain on a paper towel.

* Flax egg = 1 Tbls Flax meal + 2.5 Tbls water, mixed and let sit for a minute.

** I keep all my GF bread end crusts and any broken pieces and process them into breadcrumbs and keep in the freezer.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Bulk Baby Oatmeal

This is a simple oatmeal I prepare for my baby every morning. He's been eating it since he was around 1 year old. I keep a selection of chopped steamed fruits and vegetables in the freezer so I can just add them in before microwaving. Apple was the go to fruit until he started getting a bit constipated and so we switched to pear which has worked great. Now I keep steamed chopped pears and add an extra item such as apple, strawberry, peach, beets or butternut squash. I chop and steam them and then put them in ice cube trays to freeze, around 2 Tbls per serving. I use one cube of pear and one of another item in the oats so essentially around 1/4 cup of chopped steamed fruit/veg, which you could use fresh also. I make a batch of the dry ingredients (oats and cinnamon) and keep them in an air tight container.


Bulk Baby Oatmeal

Ingredients

2 cups Oats
1 tsp Cinnamon


Method

Grind the oats in a food processor or coffee grinder until reduced o a fine grain.
Add in cinnamon (or any other spice) and mix well - how much you add is up to you but rule of thumb for me is around 1 teaspoon cinnamon to 2 cups ground oatmeal.
If you want to add something different everyday then just skip mixing it in with the oats.
The scoop I use is an old coffee scoop for it holds around 1 Tbls. The serving suggestion below is what my baby eats now at 18 months. At 12 months I gave him half as much because the larger amount he would never finish but now he eats it all, and a banana too :)


To Serve

Take two scoops of oatmeal mix (around 2 Tbls), around 1/4 cup non-dairy milk and 1/4 cup of fruit/vegetable of choice and microwave for around a minute (we have a 1700W microwave and I find 70 seconds is perfect).
Mix oatmeal and fruits well, I use a fork to mash everything together.
Wait till cools to an eatable temperature.
Sometimes I sprinkle with hemp seed hearts, ground flax or chia seeds.


GF Vegan Tim Tams

If you don't know what a Tim Tam is then you're obviously not Australian or don't know many ;)
Tim Tams are a chocolate coated chocolate cookie with a layer of chocolate cream in the center. Sounds pretty good? You have no idea, I've hooked more Americans on these things that I care to say but the non-vegan Arnott's variety is available at World Market. When you've successfully done a Tim Tam Slam* you can call yourself an Aussie ;)
Veganized from the recipe on Gluten Free Table. I think next time I would use a harder cookie base (I like to dunk in my tea), these were a bit soft, definitely needed to be kept in the fridge or freezer...but who doesn't love a cold Tim Tam! These didn't exactly taste like Tim Tams but they were sugary goodness which is really all you're after!


GF Vegan Tim Tams

Ingredients for cookie
115 g vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup (115 grams) vegan fine grain sugar
1 egg replacer
1/4 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (150 grams) gluten free all purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Ingredients for Filling
115 g vegan butter, softened
1 cup (125 grams) vegan powdered/icing sugar
1 Tbls cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

Ingredients for Coating 
100 grams milk chocolate
100 grams 70% dark chocolate
1 Tbls coconut oil


Method
First make the cookie.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Add egg replacer and beat until combined (mixture may curdle).
Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt over butter mixture and beat until combined.
If the dough is too soft, add 1/4 cup additional flour and beat to combine.
Repeat this process until the dough comes together and can be handled.


Place the dough onto a piece of non-stick baking paper on a work surface, top with another piece of baking paper, and roll out into a large rectangle about 0.5cm thick.


Put the dough on a tray and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350F. and line two baking sheets with non-stick paper.
Take the dough from the freezer and using a small sharp knife, cut into 3cm x 5cm (1.5x2") rectangles.


Re-roll scraps and repeat to make 28 rectangles.
Separate the rectangles and spread them out on the lined baking trays.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Stand on trays for 10 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Next make the filling.
Use an electric mixer to beat icing sugar, cocoa, vanilla paste and butter until light and fluffy. Sandwich biscuits together using 1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.


Lastly make the coating.
Place milk chocolate and dark chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof, microwave safe bowl or a double broiler. Microwave on medium for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth.
Place a sandwiched biscuit on a wire rack set over a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Dip the sides of each biscuit in chocolate mixture and place on rack.
Pour 1 tablespoon melted chocolate over each biscuit to cover.
Set aside for 1 hour or until set (see note).


*The Tim Tam Slam
This is what Australian call a Tim Tam move where you bite both ends off the cookie and then suck your tea (coffee) through the cookie like a straw. The cookie will become gooey and the chocolate will melt slightly. It's sheer heaven but don't suck too long or your Tim Tam will fall into the depths of your tea ;)

Monday, 18 September 2017

Vegan Products - September 2017

 Some vegan products I've used recently...

Maple Holistics sent me some of their lovely Argan Oil and Lavender Bubble Bath! All of their products are vegan except the organic honey.

I loved the argan oil! I'm an avid user of argan oil for my hair especially and sometimes on my face at night. Ever since I went shampoo free three years ago I only use a shampoo bar and argan oil. The argan oil really makes my hair feel soft and takes care of frizz. My hair has never looked or felt better and so much less maintenance!! Click here for free samples!



I loved the bubble bath, you could really smell the lavender but what I liked best was how concentrated it was. You really only need a teaspoon amount for an entire bath, so it lasts a long time!


Tried this new vegan GF Amy's Paella Bowl recently and it was pretty good actually. I really like Amy's frozen meals for situations where I'm not able to cook (in this instance it was staying with family escaping Hurricane Irma).



So I got these Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Rotini for $1 at a discount store (Solomon's Ventures for those in Jax, FL) and they didn't expire till next year so I thought I'd try them. LOVED THEM! They held together really well unlike a lot of rice and corn based GF pastas. I love that they include lentils so I feel good about my toddler eating them. Plus I saw them in Winn Dixie the other day for $6. Needless to say I raced back to the discount store to pick up a few more packets!


Picked these up at the same discount store...Gorilly Goods snack packs, each box was about $6 (around $30 normally). I really loved the Trail Mix! It had cocoa nibs which made it taste chocolately. I didn't love the Baja mix, I was hoping for some spices but it was a bit bland. Full disclosure, the ones I bought were expired so the fresher article might taste different.


Got this Once Again Organic Almond Butter at the same discount store and it was just expired so I only use it for myself. Was impressed with how smooth it spread, a lot of almond butters can congeal and harden.


Got this Maya Kaimal Green Garbanzo Dip at the discount store about to expire. SO AMAZING!!! I think I ate the whole thing in one day, the cilantro really made this dip!


Found these Blue Moose of Boulder Hummus at the discount store as well.
I really liked them both but I think the Roasted Red Pepper was the winner! My toddler liked it too!


These snacks I bought from the discount store but Freedom Foods is actually an Australian made brand so whenever it contains sugar you know it's vegan...yay! The kids loved both the Tropico's (pretty much like Fruit Loops) and the Chewy Apricot Granola Bar and so did I LOL


Was given these Little Duck Tiny Fruit mixes at mother/baby meet up and they are really good!! All 100% organic fruit...and that's all! My toddler loved them but I had to stop myself from eating them all! 


I was very excited to find Layer Cake Sauvignon Blanc at Kroger in Georgia (apparently Total Wine has it but I can never find it).  It was pleasant, a crisp fruity wine. This brand is pretty much always vegan :)


I think I got these Snack Factory Veggie Sticks at Kroger in Georgia. They were so good! Like cheesy puffs but veggies! My toddler loved them too!


I also tried this Kroger brand Exotic Vegetable Chips which were pretty good! 


Kroger in Georgia had these Foodies Vegan Fritattas on sale. I tried all the flavors (Tomato Basil, Potato Parsley & Corn Chipotle). I liked them all but didn't think any of them had a particularly strong flavor over the others, they were all tasted about the same. They were a bit dry and needed a little salt but other than that easy vegan breakfast!


Found a couple of flavors of Treeline Cheese at Kroger, Georgia. I tried the Scallion and Herb Garlic. They were both nice flavors but I find Treeline cheese all a bit tangy, like they've added lemon juice or something and I don't like that part of it.


Bought these Kroger brand freeze dried fruit. I like hat they came as larger pieces so easier for my toddler to hold. Delicious too, just wish they were organic!


I think I got these Eat Smart Veggie Crisps at Kroger in Georgia. I wasn't that impressed to be honest. They were quite bland but ok for using with dip.


I'm sure I've mentioned these Primal Strips vegan jerky before but they have them at Whole Foods so I thought I'd mention them again. And also because they are so good!!!! The Texas BBQ is GF and is a sweet BBQ flavor and the Hickory Smoke does contain some soy sauce and has a sweet peppery flavor.


I got this Mineral Fusion Gel Top Coat from Earth Fare and I LOVE IT! It really kept my nail polish on for a lot longer, about 3 weeks without chips which is pretty decent!