Category Archives: Homemade/Handmade

crafts, recipes, projects, savings

Avocado Cucumber Spinach Smoothness

This smoothie was meant to be mine. Just mine. 

You know, these days I can’t eat in peace because whatever I take there is 3 drooling mouths (No.1, No.2 and the dog) watching me carefully with those begging eyes. 
No.1 is very particular about the color or texture of her food. So if there is something that looks or feels suspicious (like green food) she won’t even try it. 

That’s why this smoothie was meant to be mine. 

I made it… 
… and I barely ate a few spoons before the kids got to it.  

They just devoured it and were asking for more.

So here is the recipe to successfully sneaking some greens into your kids diet. 

avocado-cucumber-greek-yogurt-smoothie-mom-photographer (2 of 1)

1 cup greek yogurt (honey or vanilla flavored)

1 TBSP honey

1 medium soft avocado

1/2 english cucumber 

handful fresh baby spinach

1 tsp. coconut oil

avocado-cucumber-greek-yogurt-smoothie-mom-photographer (1 of 1)

 

Blend and Enjoy!

avocado-cucumber-greek-yogurt-smoothie-mom-photographer (14 of 1)

You might also like this green smoothie I made a long time ago. (click here for the recipe)

ewa samples, avocado-spinach-cucumber smoothie-7

So, Happy Blending my friends! 

Coconut flour Coffee Cake aka I can’t believe I made gluten free cheesecake and I loved it!

So, my last adventure with coconut flour was a disaster. 
I made pancakes and they were actually awful.

So the rest of the flour there was left had been sitting in my kitchen for months now, until last week my husband went to the store and bought 3 dozen eggs. Yes, this is what happens when you send a guy to the store and write “eggs” on the shopping list – you get 3 dozen of them. Too bad it doesn’t work like that when I write “ice cream” or “chocolate”.

Anyway, in order to use up those eggs I remembered about the coconut flour which always requires a lot of eggs.

I found a perfect recipe to try. Gluten free cream cheese coffee cake

I did made a few changes. I didn’t have pecans or maple syrup. And I used greek yogurt in place of the regular one (I think that what they meant in the original recipe). 

I think I found my new favorite cake and I do not feel guilty feeding it to the kids, also. 

gluten-free-coconut-flour-cheesecake-coffee-cake-mom-photographer (6 of 1)

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

  • 4 ounces queso fresco whole milk cheese ( I used it not because I wanted but because I didn’t have enough cream cheese)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature) – 8 oz (or more) if you don’t use queso fresco! 
  • 4 TBSP raw honey (more if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP dutch cocoa 

Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup mix dried cranberries and raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

gluten-free-coconut-flour-cheesecake-coffee-cake-mom-photographer (2 of 1)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease one 8-inch round cake pan.

2. Beat together all ingredients for cream cheese filling. Set aside.

3. Combine the first five ingredients for cake then add the dry ingredients through the salt. Mix well.

4. Pour cake batter into pan and drop cranberries and raisins on top of the batter.

6. Top with cream cheese filling and use a knife or tooth pick to swirl it around.

7. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool before slicing.

gluten-free-coconut-flour-cheesecake-coffee-cake-mom-photographer (3 of 1)

After one bite hubby described it: “well, it tastes different“, and he didn’t eat any more. The thing is that if we all ate by his taste buds we would be eating cheeseburgers, BBQ pulled chicken, chilli and apple pie for 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

That meant that the whole cake is for me and the kids only, and I shouldn’t be so happy about it, as my pants are getting surprisingly smaller on me lately.  

gluten-free-coconut-flour-cheesecake-coffee-cake-mom-photographer (4 of 1)

Have a great weekend my friends.

Photo Art Friday, b-day girl and spiders

First of all…

No.2

is

ONE

YEAR

OLD

mom-photographer-happy-b-day

mom-photographer-b-day-girl

This young lady origins from the grumpy kind (my blood).

Very recently she has learned to climb on mom’s bread machine.

She walks like a pro, but sometimes she still prefers to get on four – mostly when she has to keep up with her Big Sis.

She loves to blink at mom and dad. 

She wears sunglasses like a real star. 

baby-in-sunglases-mom-photographer

And not like her sister, she eats almost anything

mom-photographer-baby-eating-dirty-face

She makes a great bunny

mom-photographer-bunny-ears-kid-costume

and she loves to be her Big Sister’s partner-in-crime – or it’s the other way around… (probably).

mom-photographer-kids-in-the-kitchen

This week’s theme for Photo Art Friday is “shadows and/or light”. I’ve missed last few weeks :(
I dug out this picture from my archives:

morning-dew-mom-photographer-1

and this one is from few days ago:

crochet-shawl-mom-photographer

I finally finished my shawl, something I wanted to make for a long, long time, but always thought it is too complicated to make. 

And I must share with you those few shots of baby spiders we saw the last weekend. What an awfully great experience ;) 

Crochet Granny Squares Kid’s Poncho and Hat

This project had its beginning because of a few left-over granny squares. When I saw them I immediately thought about making granny squares hat for my daughter; I came across one somewhere on Pinterest and it stuck in my head since.

So, as soon as I dug out those left-over squares from a box with unfinished crochet project I knew what I’m going to do.

mom-photographer-granny-sguare-hat

 

mom-photograher-granny-squares-hat

Then out of nowhere I came up with the idea of making her a matching poncho. The work was terribly slow and frustrating because I had made the poncho way too big for her and had to unravel part of it at some point. That had made to put this project aside for a week or so.

 

btw,

we do have a matching blanket as well. I made the blanket when I was pregnant with her. It has served her pretty well.

 

HIT THE “PUBLISH” BUTTON by an accident… 

Will add the pattern soon!!! (although, you can make it with any granny squares)

 

FYFButton

Photo Art Friday: Self-portrait

Well, I feel a little bit challenged. This week’s theme for Photo Art Friday is: “self-portrait”
I bet, many of you expect of me something great here, but I have been feeling a little (or a lot) under the weather lately, and all my plans for some real self-portraits photo session that I had in mind went to hell… 

self-portrait (1 of 6)-Edit

Today I’ve decided to get a little creative with those few shots I managed to take this week and this is what I ended up with:

self-portrait (4 of 6)-Edit-2

In addition I took a few self-portraits for my giveaway that is going on my facebook page, and this is one of them:

lens bug (11 of 14)

oh… and how could I not share the latest news with you.
No. 2 is walking:

Hope everything is going well in your corner! 

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 47th)

The very great news is that this week I lost my laptop, all together with all the self-portraits I had, and many more pictures. All my textures from Kim Klassen, Bonnie, and from different websites. Many great crochet patterns that I had saved as PDF’s…

Everything thanks to No.1 – it appeared my computer did not like milk. Who would have thought that? huh?

I lost my cute “momphotographer” watermark. I created it with a font I had found on Internet and now I don’t remember the name of the font so I don’t know where to look for it. Actually, I don’t even feel like doing so.

I had to download new photo editing software and  here is the good news. I was able to get new Lightroom and I AM LOVING IT!!! Before I was working on Lr 2 and I thought I have no need to try the new version. Gosh… I couldn’t be more wrong… What a difference!!!

 365/323

While having my morning coffee I was enjoying No.2.

No. 1 and her dad were still asleep.

365/324

Got myself a new chocolate. Dark chocolate with quinoa. Sooo good!

I am not in my forties but already have developed a specific taste buds for cheese and chocolate ;)

365/325

So, the story behind this picture is that my Little One is the “glued to her mom” kind of baby. Wherever I go there the sound of four-leg follower, most of the time there is a crying sound as well.

365/326

There is no reason to use a plate sometimes… Don’t you think?

365/327

Yeah… glued… again…

…and holding on in case if mom moves or walks away in which case she’ll go with her…

365/328

It rains… finally. Not that I am happy because of that, but so far we had such a gorgeous weather it was weird… Now is normal; cold and wet.

365/ 329

All chocolate gone: not good!

I hope you guys having a good week and wishing you a wonderful weekend.

I am going back to my crochet creations. Have made two hats this week and now I am stuck on matching cocoons… something is not right and I can’t figure out what… ugh…

Photo Art FridayIn The PictureFourteen Forty-button

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 41st)

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I try to publish one or two posts in between each Friday, so there aren’t only self-portraits here.

Not everything always work out the way we want it… huh?

This week just flew by. I wasn’t very busy, though.

Or… maybe I was…

Having two kids is already a piece of work, so saying I wasn’t busy would be actually a lie. Two days without the husband. Sewing, crocheting, cleaning.

Yes, you read it right: I finally made my first sewing creation: skirt for No.1

Just look for me in the next Project Runway ;)

Oh… and I had a WONDERFUL photo shoot on Saturday. It was truly amazing.

365/281

On Friday, quick shot of my favorite belt (Yes, my belt, not my butt). I bought it about 10 years ago. It’s been with me through bad and good.

365/282

On Saturday I was the photographer

and she was the model:

and I snapped a few pictures of this guy:

Back in days he was my ESL teacher.

Today, a dear friend.

365/283

The next day there was a pain. A horrible pain.

365/284

My Little Darlin always gets in a picture. No matter if I want it or not.

Me envisioning something is a one thing, but making it happen… oh dear, that’s a different story.

365/285

On Tuesday husband was gone for almost all day, but before he left I’d made him banana pancakes for breakfast.

and later I’d tried to fix a small problem in something I’ve made for No.2:

Those leg warmers were a little too big on the top part and I had to do something to make them fit better.

Can’t really say I fixed it!

Did I mention that No. 1 always gets a way to be in a picture ;)
Did I mention that No. 1 always finds a way to get in the picture ;)

At least it all had inspired me to take some pictures of our cranky-not sleeping-but definitely yawning a lot No.2

365/286

With the husband gone for the day and my headache back, there was no way I could survive that day without any pills.

365/287

Ok,

I know those two picture are a little of a stretch.

Here, there is almost nothing of me… that tiny piece of my foot…

and here, there is not very visible reflection in our dog’s eye.

Photo Art Friday

But you know what, I took much better shots of our daughter having fun and that’s what matters the most. Those simple moments of happiness… all because there was a wind blowing in her face and leaves dancing around her.

I think we all could learn a lot from our kids. Mostly how to enjoy our life.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends. Get out there and feel the wind!

P.S

I’m sorry I didn’t have the chance to answer to all your comments from last week. I’ve been more into the real life than the Internet one this past week. It felt really good, actually. Maybe I should do it more often ;)

Coconut Oil Giveaway (+amazing recipes how to use it)

Today I’ve got something special for all my readers and guests.

I’ve got something what I truly love myself.

COCONUT OIL!!!

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.

Let me explain to you why I love it so much and share with you a few of my favorite recipes with coconut oil in them.

It’s been 2 years since I bought my last body lotion or facial cleanser.

A year from my last purchase of deodorant or shampoo.

For a few months now I’ve used home-made body wash as well.

Body scrub, Eye cream, face cream, diaper rash cream, all home-made.

For a long time I had made body lotions based on olive oil or almond/hazelnut oil, where the emulsifier was an emulsifying wax. At some point I have decided to try to make something that do not require any artificial ingredients.

Then I found out about coconut oil and about how wonderful it is for our bodies.

I’ve made a coconut oil-cocoa butter deodorant and I was hooked. This deodorant is the best one I have ever had in my life. (download the recipe in pdf from here).

After that I made a coconut oil eye cream which has become a face cream and a diaper rash, since then (pdf file with the recipe here).

Later I discovered something called whipped coconut oil and have decided to experiment with it. I was able to make whipped coconut oil-cocoa butter body butter and I loved it (download the recipe in pdf here)

Just for this post I have made something special:

Ingredients:

2/3 cup coconut oil,

1/2 cup fresh brewed strong coffee, cold *

4 capsules vitamin E

* coffee can be substitute by GREEN TEA. In this case this cream is great to use as a baby body lotion.

Directions:

So, I am going to tell you from my experience how it works for me EVERY SINGLE TIME I make it.

The coconut oil HAS to be in its hard state. Preferable if you put it in the fridge for 10 minutes before starting to work with it.

Using KitchenAid whip the coconut oil like you would beat egg whites, until stiff peaks form. It might take time and you might have to put the bowl with the oil to the fridge for a few minutes once or twice.

When the oil is whipped and have a silky gloss, add 1/2 cup cold coffee. At this point you will have to cover the mixer with a towel if you don’t want to get yourself and everything around splashed. 

Turn on the mixer on high-speed and whip for another 3 to 5  minutes stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl a few times. For sometime it will look like the coffee is separated from the oil and it doesn’t want to combine well.

Just keep mixing and it will all come together as a wonderful mocha coffee scented cream.
When the cream is almost ready, with a sharp knife, poke a hole in vitamin E capsules and squeeze the content into the cream. Mix the mixture for a few more seconds.

Done!

With a clean spoon transfer it to a clean glass jar. Preferably if the jar and the spoon were sterilized (5 minutes in a boiling water will do).

Store the jar in the fridge. The cream will get hard like butter.

For all my home-made cosmetics I use plastic spoons to scoop it out whenever I use it.

I reuse those spoons (washing them in a dish washer).

For easy use take the jar to the bathroom every time you go to take shower or a bath. While in the bathroom it will soften and get easier to scoop out. I NEVER PUT MY BARE FINGERS INSIDE THE JAR. That way I limit the amount of bacteria that can get inside the lotion/cream and cause it to go bad quickly. As you need to realize those lotions do not have any artificial preserves!

This butter melts almost immediately on skin. It applies easily and absorbs wonderfully.

It smells like heaven, too!!!

Using COCONUT OIL in homemade cosmetics is not the only way I use it. 

Here are a few of my my favorite ways to use it in foods:

- in pasta salad instead of dressing. It gives it an amazing and light coconuty flavor.

- drizzled over a mango-avocado salsa!!!gosh! it is DELICIOUS!

- 1 tsp to my morning cup of coffee – check my previous post with the link-up. Gabby@veggie nook shared her recipe for it!!! it is awesome!!!

- or to my apple cider vinegar detox drink

There is many more uses for coconut oil but I’ll stop here as I have to get to the point of this post. Thanks to Tropical Traditions

I am giving away, here on my blog:

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.

1 quart of Gold Label
Virgin Coconut Oil!

How to participate in this giveaway:

- You MUST subscribe to Tropical Tradition’s email sales newsletter here

- Follow TT on Twitter @troptraditions and @ttspecialdeals

- Follow TT on Pinterest

- Add TT to your Google+ circles

- Like TT’s page on Facebook

- Like Mom Photographer on Facebook

- Follow @MomPhotographer on Twitter

- Twitt about this giveaway

- Post a link to this giveaway on your Facebook page

- For each thing listed above leave a separate comment under this postTHE WINNER WILL BE PICKED FROM THOSE WHO LEAVE COMMENTS, so THE MORE COMMENTS YOU LEAVE THE BIGGER IS YOUR CHANCE TO WIN

Want to know Tropical Traditions better? Here are some information about them:

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want Tropical Traditions to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Feel free to check out this video about “How to use coconut oil“:

or click on to read about Frequently asked questions about COCONUT OIL

THE WINNER WILL BE CONTACTED within 48 HOURS after the giveaway ends.

PLEASE COMMENT WITH A VALID PROFILE (wordpress, blogger, facebook or twitter) or EMAIL ADDRESS so I can contact you after the giveaway is over.

This giveaway is open to to U.S. & Canada citizens. 

Note for Canadian bloggers: Tropical Traditions is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge for your sample or your readers’ prize.

I wish you all GOOD LUCK!!!

Disclaimer:

Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

 

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

All coconut oil related LINK-UP and a coconut oil – coffee face scrub recipe

This is a special post for all of you who love coconut oil and all the things you can make with it.

On Monday I’ll have something special here on my blog; I am hosting a GIVEAWAY. Thanks to Tropical Traditions there will be a big jar of coconut oil to win.

That blog post will have a few extra recipes for homemade body care products, as well. They are all made with coconut oil. I can’t say which one is my favorite one. I love them all. Each for something different and all of them for the coconut oil and its wonderful properties.

Just because the post with the giveaway can not have any links to an external websites (except Tropical Tradition) I am writing this post to give you all a chance to share with me and others YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE WITH COCONUT OIL in them.

As for myself I am going to share very simple recipe for every day face scrub. As some of you might know already, I do not use any commercial face cleansers, or body lotions, or shampoos, or deodorants.I went through a period in which I had tried the oil cleansing method. You can read about it here.

I ended up with a very dry skin, actually. YES! You read it right. Washing my face with a mixture of olive oil and hazelnut oil had made my face look like I had a facial dandruff.

After trying a few different mixes I have finally settled for coffee grounds-honey-coconut oil facial scrub.

I made it fresh every other day or every two to three days. It depends on the amount of the coffee grounds I use each time.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. fresh coffee grounds (from my morning coffee)

1 Tbsp. organic honey

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients.

Each morning apply about 1 tsp. of the mixture on your face and rub it very gently with circular motion.

You can leave it on for a few minutes before washing off.

Note:

My face is and always has been an oily kind. For this kind of skin it is OK to use scrub every day, while for sensitive skin using scrub every day is not a good idea.

This scrub works great on the entire body. For this purpose you may want to add cinnamon and orange or lemon juice. I use it all the time and after each use my skin is so soft and moisturized that I do not feel the need for use of any lotion.

this is a picture from 2010, so you can see for how long I’ve been using this scrub. Before I’ve  discovered the coconut oil, I had been using olive oil and although it was a good body scrub it was not as fantastic as it is with the coconut oil in it.

Please link-up as many recipes as you wish but, please, keep it in mind that all of them should have coconut oil as one of the ingredient!!!

P.S 

For some reason my link-up tool has stopped working, so if you want to participate just post your recipe as a comment!
Thank you for participating!!!
The Stuff of SuccessSumo's Sweet Stuff

Marbled Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake (slow cooker recipe)

About 6 months ago my husband got me a slow cooker. This is a new thing to me. For a while it was just sitting on our counter as I had no idea what to do with it. I know that there is many recipes out there for slow cooker but whenever I check them with my husband he does not approve it or says: “YEAH, we could try it” what essentially means: “It doesn’t sound like something I’m gonna really like, but if you insist lets make it”. It is not what I am looking for.

With two small children and a puppy, after a day of cooking, the last thing I want to hear from my husband is his lack of approval of the food that’s on the table.

Lately, I cook ONLY dishes I have asked my husband about and got his 100% approval, or when I know that if he won’t eat it I WILL FOR SURE.

It was a little  bit different in this case. He had read the recipe and said his verse: “YEAH, we could try it”, but I knew that no matter what I WANT TO TRY THIS CAKE. I knew that if he doesn’t like it I probably will.

I wasn’t wrong. He ate one piece and said: “Hm… it is different”. After a few days he asked for a piece of this cake but it was too late. I ate it all with a small help from my daughter.

It is not a brownie, that’s for sure. It is more like a lava cake.

Cream cheese swirl:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate (semi-sweet or milk chocolate chocolate chips are fine, too)

For the chocolate cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:
In a bowl, beat cream cheese, egg, 1/4 cup sugar and salt together until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, salt,  1 cup sugar and cocoa powder. Beat in water, oil, vinegar and vanilla until just blended.

For easy removal, line slow cooker with aluminum foil and pour chocolate mixture into foil liner. Place tablespoonfuls of cream cheese mixture on the chocolate mixture and with a knife, gently swirl mixtures together to create a marbled design.

Set cooker on high heat and cook for about 2.5 hours.

————-

To prevent the water from the lid of slow cooker to drip onto the cake, before you cover  it with a lid put a towel over the slow cooker and than put the lid on top of the towel.

Print the recipe:

This cake came out very moist.

It has the right balance between sweetness and bitterness. I loved it.

Will be making it again.

Live and Love...Out LoudBetter in Bulkand  then, she {snapped}Adorned From Aboveparenting BY dummiesMiz Helen’s Country CottageWhat's cooking, love?