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.
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
Blend and Enjoy!
You might also like this green smoothie I made a long time ago. (click here for the recipe)
My New Year Resolution was to bake a cheesecake this year.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cheesecakes. I really do… but I have never baked one on my own. The thing is that I really like to bake or cook from scratch and to make a cheesecake from scratch means to make graham crackers or whatever crackers from scratch as well. And I feel I am to lazy for that. In addition I do not have the right baking dish… and there is always something I find in order to not to make it… .
I made a cheesecakes bars this year but I feel like that doesn’t count. They were delicious, though :)
So, every time when we go grocery shopping I buy a cream cheese. Every single week I tell myself that I AM GOING TO make a cheesecake this week.
Every single week I end up making a smoothie with it instead.
The first time I made it I wasn’t sure about the texture and the taste but after a few changes I really like it. It’s not the healthiest smoothie ever but once for a while it’s good to spoil ones self.
6 big (or 12 small) cubes frozen milk,*
6 small cubes frozen vanilla yogurt,
1/3 cup strawberry yogurt,
1 cup strawberries, frozen
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup flax seeds,
2 Tbsp honey,
* this smoothies is thick. It has a consistency of very soft ice cream. If you want it to be less thick you cansubstitute the frozen milk with not frozen.
Put all the ingredients in blender. Blend until really smooth. The longer it blends the more of the cream cheese texture disappears.
In our house there is never lack of oranges, lemons and grapefruits. Not only that I like to eat them (yes, I like to eat lemons!) but I really enjoy the smell of citrus peels. So many times I’ve left cut peels on the kitchen counter just to let that beautiful scent to spread all around the kitchen. It works like air freshener. I know that many people make their own essential oils using citrus peels. I’ve never tired it but I’m planning to after I run out of my recent supplies.
I do use my citrus peels in cooking and baking. Yesterday I made raspberry sandwich cookies with lemon and orange zest.
My husband wasn’t a big fan of the raspberry jam inside so I left a few plain cookies just for him. He tried one with marshmallow topping but at the end he wanted to eat them just plain. (Recipe on the end of this post)
Speaking about baking. This is my new scar which is aching sooo bad… .
Despite my terrible cold (or whatever virus I’ve have for the last week or more) I managed today to make a new supplies of a cut and preserved in sugar grapefruit zest. I learned it from my mom who always would make it before the Christmas holiday season as she always used a lot of orange zest in her Christmas baking. I like it so much that I always keep a jar of ready to use zest in my fridge, no matter what season of the year it is. She would always use only orange zest, but I’ve learned that grapefruit and lemon is great for use as well.
So after I ate my grapefruit for breakfast the funny part started:
Making it you need to remember to wash the skin really good. The best way is to sprinkle baking soda over the fruit and scrub it. Then you need to get rid of the white part of the peel as much as you can because it’s very bitter. Than, you need to cut your peels with a sharp knife in a tiny pieces.
Transfer it to a small glass jar, sprinkle it with a teaspoon (or two) of white sugar. Shake it well, cover and store in the fridge for months. If you have new peel you can just add it to the old one as a new layer. Every time you put some new peels you need to remember to add a teaspoon of sugar and shake it.
It’s ready to use anytime you need it: for cakes, cookies, salads, or to flavor meat (yep, it’s really good with meat, just don’t overuse it).
You can not only use it for cooking and baking but in body scrubs as well. Today I made a new batch and it smells sooo heavenly.
This is my recipe:
1/2 cup while sugar,
1/2 cup packed brown sugar,
fresh squeezed juice from half lemon,
fresh squeezed juice from two parts of grapefruit,
1 tablespoon olive oil,
1 tablespoon preserved in sugar orange zest,
10 drops (each) essential oils grapefruit and orange sweet.
If the mixture is too wet just keep adding the sugar.
In the meantime my daughter was doing her stuff which normaly means sneaking behing my back and doing what she shouldn’t be doing:
Do you see that guilty look on her face… She knows she can’t take things off of the caunter but she always does it anyway. I bet you noticed those WAY TOO BIG socks. Yes, those are mine but she loves to wear them as well as many of my clothes.
I didn’t have any lemon zest to photograph today as I do not use it as much as grapefruit and orange but I found a website with22 ways of how to use Lemon. You might want to check it out.
I used it yesterday to make my cookies and last time when I made granola.
Speaking about cookies.
As I promised this is the recipe:
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon zest (grated or made as I make it)
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until light, 2 minutes. Beat in 2/3 cup sugar, zests, then egg and salt. Beat in flour 1 cup at a time. Divide dough in half and form into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic foil (or parchment paper) and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. On a floured surface roll out a disk to 1/4-inch thickness. In my case those disks started to crack and stick to the surface so I used more flour for the surface and I used my palm of my hand to press the dough until it reached the right thickness. Cut out cookies with a 2 1/2 -inch cutter.I used my vitamins bottle cap.Placed cut out cookies 1/2 inch apart on sheets. Gather dough scraps, reroll and cut more cookies. Sprinkle cookies with sugar. Repeat with remaining dough disk.
3. Bake cookies until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies to cool then transfer to racks or on the plate.
4. Spread 1 tsp. jam on bottom of a cookie; sandwich with another. Repeat with remaining cookies.
I think those cookies can be eaten just plain.
So, those are mine ideas how to use citrus zest. I was thinking about using it when making candles but making candles is on my list-to-do. Never made them before but really want to try. Someday… someday :)
Yesterday I talked about my oatmeal homemade body lotion. Today it’s granola. Homemade as well. It’s oatmeal week. I think I need to bake some oatmeal cookies tomorrow :)
Every time I go to the store granola is one of the most expensive cereals in the grocery store. If I look at the organic variety… hm… those are definitely not at my budget range.
If you don’t regularly buy granola, making it from scratch isn’t the cheapest and most efficient thing to do but if you do… well… it is definitely a thing you could safe a few extra bucks on.
I know that this reason is not always the biggest one as many people still can afford buying as much granola as they want.
Making it from scratch gives you the freedom of making it the way you like it with the ingredients you like and I think, that’s a really good reason to start making it at home.
Like orange zest (LIKE ME!) ? Grate some and use it for your granola. Like it very sweet? Add an extra table-spoon of brown sugar or honey.
One of the most important reason for me to make my own granola is the list of ingredients listed on the commercial made boxes. Yes, I am a label reader. That’s why, for example, I have never bought bread crumbs. I simply bake a french bread and after three days I blend it, put it in a glass jar and store in the fridge. Works perfect!
There is plenty of homemade granola recipes to try on Internet.
When I made it for the first time I used article from USA Weekend. It gave me the basic information about making it at home.
For the granola I made yesterday I didn’t have to buy anything. I had every single ingredient at the house already. We always have raisins and some mix trail for snacking. Brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, oats and fruits are “must have” in this household. The peanuts I used were from my mix trail. I simply sorted out the nuts from the rest of the mix trail.
2.5 cups old-fashioned oats
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup peanuts mixed with some almonds (crushed)
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. water
fresh squeezed juice from half of lemon
2 tsp. grated lemon and orange zest
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup of raisins
Prepare the orange and lemon zest. Crush peanuts.
In small pot over low heat mix the coconut oil, honey, water, lemon juice, zests.
Mix the oats with brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour the wet mixture over it and mix it all really well.
Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet. I line my with aluminum foil and spray it with baking spray.
Bake it in 275 F for 30 minutes ( 40 minutes if you want it more crunchy). 10 or 15 minutes before it’s done add raisins. Put it back to the oven.
Enjoy your tea while your granola is cooling down after done baking.
Store it in an airtight container.
I eat my granola only with plain yogurt. It’s so tasty you actually won’t need any additional flavors. I love the fresh taste of orange and lemon zest in it. Thanks to those two ingredients it smells amazing, too. Definitely one of the best granola I’ve ever made :)
Polish apple pie is a little different from the American. When I asked my husband if he wants apple pie, I had a Polish version in mind. He was very surprised that we have apple pie in Poland. Also, he though that Polish is the same as American… you know… “as American as Apple Pie”… he thought that apple pie is from America so Polish must look and taste the same. Oh… those Americans… they all think that almost everything was invented in US, or if it wasn’t it was improved by Americans… I’m just kidding, not. ;)
So… For the first time I made him an apple pie, the Polish style, and I ended up eating it myself.
From that day I’d been looking for a pie that we both would like. I’ve tried a few different recipes. Sometimes he liked it, and I didn’t, sometimes I liked it but he didn’t.
And finally one day! I did it! I found a pie that we both really liked! I can’t say it’s the American version, but it’s deliciously awesome and the best part of it is the crunchy toping.
I changed the original recipe a little, and today I call it THE PERFECT APPLE PIE.
Since then, every time I make it my husband says: “this pie is better than the last one.”
The first step is to make the topping:
1/2 cup sugar (white, brown, or turbinado)
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
Cut butter into flour and sugar for topping. Knead it untill smooth. Make a ball from the dough and put it into to the freezer.
Next step is to make the crust:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup UNSALTED butter
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. water
Cut butter into dry ingredients. Add water gradually until just moistened. Roll and place into a 9-inch pastry dish. I use my hands to do that. It’s quick and very easy.
I place the ball of dough in the middle of the dish and then just press it down and spread all over the dish until the bottom and the edges are covered.
1/2 cup sugar
5 whatever apples you like/have, or enough to fill crust (I like the granny apples the best).
Normally I do not mix any fruits with apples but for the last few times I mixed in some cherries and that pie was really DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!
In a measuring cup mix sugar, cinnamon, corn starch.
Fill the pie with half of the cut into small pieces fruits, pour half of the sugar-cinnamon-corn starch mixture over the fruits. Add the remaining fruits and the rest of the sugar-cinnamon-corn starch mix. IT IS OK TO NOT TO USE ALL THAT DRY INGREDIENTS MIXTURE if you don’t want that pie to be very sweet. For example for this pie I used only 1/3 cup. I knew that the cherries will give it extra sweet kick…!
So, it looks like that:
and just like that bake it at 450°F for 15 minutes. Take it out. Wait for the oven to cool down – about 10 minutes. Preheat it again. This time to 350°F. In the meantime take the topping dough from the freezer and grate it over the fruits.
Bake at 350°F degrees for an additional 45 minutes, or until the pie filling is bubbly, and the topping is light golden brown.
I need to add that this pie is crazy easy and fast to make. The topping is so crunchy and not too sweet as well as the filling.
Last year our garden was a catastrophe, and our first avocado tree died suddenly. I mean it wasn’t that sudden. I remember I dropped the pot and I had to replant the avocado. Since that day the tree wasn’t doing well and, it died at the end.
This year my avocado looks AWESOME!!! I planted two of them. Avocado trees to have fruits need to be plant in two. Our neighbour tree is 5 years old and he has never have a fruit. He’s got a single tree.
We’ve got a tiny tomatoes :) Yeay. This plant is a year old, and it survived the winter. We didn’t replanted it or anything. It’d spent all winter outside and it looks like we’re going to have a few tomatoes this year. My husband got totally new plant, and he’s practising with it a bucket gardening :) AND he is making his own soil. What means we recycle our food waste, and sometimes I get “yelled” at because he notices that I didn’t throw away something that should have gone to the recycle bin. At the end he digs it out from the trash can, and we move on :) It’s really funny!!!
We’ve got those worms for about 2 years and I didn’t see a cup of good for use soil, but he is a stuborn creature, and he loves his worms. So… let it be :)
My yellow zucchini is not doing so well, and I think it’s gonna die. I know, I know, I’m not the most optimistic person on the world… but I killed almost all my herbs so far. Only basil is left, still alive, and we both mint a few days ago. Will see how that will work. I didn’t kill them intentionally, I just don’t know what went wrong with them. Will try next year.
My dream is to start window farming. I tried once, but I couldn’t make holes in the bottom of the plastic bottles and I gave up… !!! Grrr…
Our collection of succulents is growing :) Yeah! Someday we are going to have a huge succulent garden. My husband says that I gave him the passion for growing and collecting succulents. Awesome :)
This is just a small part of what we have.We’ve got more at the house, and a few more on the patio!
And Finally something home-made, not home-grown :)
Coffee body lotion. Home made. For the full recipe go here. This time I added 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed aloe vera juice.
I LOVE IT!!!
and at the end…
how I recycle metal cans :) I do not know how to decoupage, but I know how to glue stuff ;)
So, I’ll start with the broken reflected self-portrait.
And that’s exacty how I feel for the last few days. My head is killing me. I feel like I’m made from glass, broken and there is only a cardboard on the back of it keeping it all stick together. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting paralyzed by those headaches… From the top of my head to the tips of my fingers… It’s an aweful feeling!
… but despite my headache I’m really happy to see a photo challenge calling for “reflections” :-) LOVE LOVE LOVE pictures of reflections!
… and finally I’ve started to use more options while editing pictures. Before I’d had my routine: changing brightness, contrast, color balance, adding some softglow, sharpens, working on layers from now and then…
A few weeks ago I’ve dicovered the world of textures… Two days ago… I started to use the “CURVES” option more often :-) Actually it’s pretty cool and very helpful if you want to make LOMO or VINTAGE-like pictures… I downloaded an action (in GIMP it’s called a script) that can do it with one click… but while using the “curves” option I feel like I have more control, and I see the progress of this effect step by step.
For a Macro Friday I took some yummy pictures of our strawberry/ies.
One is ready to be picked (the strawberry, not the picture :-P), but we don’t know who should do it… I say, it’s my husband’s plant so he should do it. He says that I should do it… Today I know why he wants me to do it instead of him. He doesn’t know HOW TO PICK A STRAWBERRY. ROFL
Could you imagine! That’s so funny! That’s why he doesn’t want to do that! I mean not because it’s funny but because he doesn’t know how! ;-)
So here it is! So called California’s Giant Strawberry! Does it look like a GIANT strawberry !?! I bet it taste like GIANT strawberry would taste… ;-)
I’m afraid to taste it because the hit from it might be GIGANTIC… Too powerful for a little woman like me!
We’ve got two more… still green… but looking very promising… not gigantic though :-P
I remember when I was a kid I used to eat those green strawberries. Not quite riped but not totally green and hard… Those are the best! Sooo tasty!!! I’m weird… I know!
I know I was complaining about not being able to drink hot teas or coffees lately.
I figured it out why…
Yestarday after our Little Turtle went to bed for her nap I ran to the kitchen to make myself a cup of green tea. Happy I’ll be able to drink it HOT, finally! I hate cold tea. Especialy I hate cold coffee. I’m not talking about ice coffee, but simply cold coffee that was supposed to be drank a half hour ago, but… and there is a long list of what had to be done before I got to that cup standing abandoned on the table or wherever I left it…
… and I made it. BIG cup! I know it says soup… I forgot to say that I like my tea BIG, too! (and my coffee). I couldn’t find cup big enough for my taste and when I finally found it they were a soup bowls. I bought two… :-)
When the tea was done I started taking pictures of it. I peeked outside and I saw our grapefruit tree with the one and the only one grapefruit on it ;-)
When I was outside taking pictures of the fruit I saw that we’ve got some little tomatoes growing in here… How could I not have taken some photos of this phenomena. It’s January and we’ve got tomatoes ;-) I love living in California.
I went inside and started uploading pictures to my computer, and then I saw my tea – luke warm. Yuck!!!
I just can’t do one thing at a time. I always have to run around the house like in some kind of big mission. Like everything has to be done right now, and not a minute later. Like my life depends on it. Like I can’t put my ass on the sofa for just 10 minutes and RELAX and ENJOY myself when I can.
And those goddamned pictures ;-)
At the end… I just love it!
But I would’ve loved it even more if I could drink my tea hot.