Lavender Chamomile Pillow Mist

I didn't think I was a pillow mist person but then I made this stuff and it pretty much follows me around the house. I definitely don't need it - I typically fall asleep around 10pm without fail because I'm old/boring and prefer to get up very early - but I like it. It smells good and is super calming. It's also non toxic, safe, natural and homemade. 

This pillow mist smells great. It's super calming thanks to chamomile and lavender. You can also use this as a face mist, which is what I've been doing. Throughout the evening, I'll give myself a little mist just because of the lovely scent. Ah, aromatherapy. So great. 

Super Calming Mist

2 oz witch hazel

1 chamomile tea bag

about 20 drops lavender essential oil

Add tea bag to witch hazel and let steep at room temperature of 24 hours. It should be very fragrant at this point. Discard teabag. Add lavender oil. Feel free to add more drops as needed - you want a nice balance of both chamomile and lavender. Pour into a mini spray bottle and spritz away. 

Coconut Coffee Sugar Body Scrub

Need a quickie handmade gift?  I bet you have everything in your panty to make this one.  It's an all natural DIY gift and it smells like a little cup of latte heaven.  It improves anyone's shower or bath time.  Who doesn't want to scrub up with a caffeine filled, moisturizing, something all winter long?

Makes about 1 cup.

Coconut Coffee Sugar Scrub

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup raw cane sugar (turbinado)

2 tablespoons coffee grounds

Warm coconut oil to its liquid state.  Stir in vanilla.  Stir in sugar and coffee.  Transfer to clean, lidded container.  (I prefer plastic for anything near the bath because I'm clumsy but it's up to you.)  

 

Vegetarian Split Pea

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I know, I know, I know.  I just made a split pea soup about a month ago.  That one wasn't vegetarian.  Although I'm not a vegetarian, I eat like one most of the week.  

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, peeled, diced

2 cups dried green peas (or yellow) 

8 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika  

2 potatoes, peeled, chopped

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar  

s + p

In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil.  Sauté onion, garlic, celery and carrot 5 minutes.  Add dried peas and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  

Add stock, majoram, thyme, cumin and paprika.  Boil, reduce heat, simmer 30 minutes.  Add potatoes, simmer 30 to 45 minutes more, mostly covered.  When it's done, the peas will be very tender and with a good stirring will fall apart. 

Add cider vinegar.  Season with s + p.  

 

 

Cam's Berry Granola

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I've been bugging Cameron to make his granola or at least write down the recipe for awhile now and I'm so pleased he did.  Cam makes great granola.  I find home made granola to be better than any store bought and I like knowing exactly how much sugar and oil are going in and in what form.  

This recipe makes a ton of granola.  About 10 cups which didn't sound like much but is much more than we can eat.  Luckily, this stuff freezes really well.  

Cameron's Berry Granola 

1/4 cup flax seeds

6 cups (18 oz) old fashioned oats

2 cups (8 oz) raw, blanched slivered almonds

1 cup (5 oz) raw, hulled pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup pistachios, unsalted, roasted

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup agave

1 cup dried cherries

1 cup dried cranberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep 2 half pans with parchment paper.  

Grind flax seeds in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder.  Combine ground flax seeds with oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, salt, oil and agave.   Toss until evenly coated.  Spread over each baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes, stir granola and check for any burnt bits.  Return to oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until deep golden brown.   Toss with cherries and cranberries.  

Tropical Granola Bars

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So good they're dangerous.  It's all I've been eating the past couple days.  Great for a pre workout snack.   

Use old fashioned oats, not instant or quick cooking.  The coconut flakes and dried fruit used are unsweetened and found in the bulk foods area of whole foods.  

Makes 24 bars.

Tropical Granola Bars 

2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup whole raw almonds

1/2 cup whole raw cashews

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

 1/2 cup dried pineapple rings, chopped

1/2 cup dried mango, chopped

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons flax seeds

2 tablespoons cocoa nibs

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees and roast oats, almonds and cashews for 10 minutes. Cool slightly and transfer to large bowl.  Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.   

Toss pineapple, mango, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and cocoa nibs with oat and nut mix.   

In a small pot, boil coconut oil, honey, brown sugar and salt for 1 minute.  Combine with granola mix and press into a 13" x 9" pan lined with oiled parchment paper.  

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.   Let cool completely in pan.  Cut into 24 bars and store between sheets of parchment paper in an air tight container.   

Cold Killer Juice

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I know a lot of smart people and one of those people used to make this juice when they were begining to feel under the weather.  It may seem like too much work for one (really good) cup of juice, especially if you're fatigued from sickness or hungover, and it is.  So hopefully you have a juicer.  (I don't but squeezing orange quarters in my citrus press worked well.) 

Makes 1 serving. 

The Cold Killer

1 inch of ginger, peeled and sliced

about 3 oranges (I used 2 small Navels and 1 large Cara Cara) 

as many pinches of cayenne pepper as you can  

Muddle ginger slices in the bottom of a drinking glass.  Squeeze juice out of oranges and into glass, over the muddled ginger.  You'll want about one cup of juice.  Stir, stir, stir.  Strain ginger and add pinches of cayenne pepper to taste.  (I maybe did about 1/4 teaspoon. nice and spicy.)   Stir and drink up.

 

Candied Meyer Lemon Peels

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The Meyer Lemons have been hanging around whole foods and The Brooklyn Kitchen for weeks and I decided it was a good day to make candied lemon peels.  Save the fruit flesh for other uses.

Substitute any citrus peel.  

Makes about 1 cup. 

Meyer Lemon Peel: Candied

3 Meyer Lemons

2 cups sugar, plus extra for coating 

2 cups water, plus more for pre boiling

Wash and dry the lemons.  Cut off tops and bottoms of lemon and cut in half lengthise.  Remove peel from flesh.  There will be a considerable amount of white pith attached to this peel.  Carefully scrape all of this white pith out with a spoon.  Cut pith free peels into strips.  Boil peels in an inch or two of water in a small pot for 15 minutes.  Drain peels, rinse and set aside.   

In the same pot, stir sugar and 2 cups water to dissolve and bring to a boil,  Add lemon peels and simmer about 40 minutes or until translucent.  

Remove peel from liquid and roll in sugar to coat.  (Or leave sugar less and/or coat with dark chocolate)  Set on rack on a baking sheet to dry.  Dry over night or until no longer sticky.   

Healthy Cookies

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I don't really know what to call these but they are cookie-like and healthy.  Well, the healthy part it up to you, depending on what you mix in.  This is the base.  I added dark chocolate chips to one batch and then to another coconut shavings and smashed pecans.  

Healthy Cookies

1 banana, mashed

1/2 cup quick oats

1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (or almond butter)

Add in's of your choice:  Dried cranberries, dried tropical fruits, raisins, chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, cinnamon, spices... 

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mash banana.  Mix in oats, nut butter and anything else you've decided to throw in.  Form dough into small circles and flatten.  Arrange on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or lightly greased parchment paper.  (Cookies don't expand or flatten during baking so keep that in mind when shaping and spacing.)  Bake 15 minutes.  Remove and cool.