Monthly Archives: December 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!!!!!

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In only few hours (I’m in Quebec) it will be January 1st 2013… so..

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

I’m wishing you all an amazing New Year filled with pure joy, happiness, smiles, happy moments, dreams…

On this new year our resolution may be to face our challenges with courage and confidence, to spread love and affection, to live for the future and not for the past, to try to be happier than ever, to be thankful for everything we have in life, to stay positive..

A new year is a new beginning.

Just Believe. BELIEVE that the world can be wonderful, that life can be long and filled with happiness, believe in yourselves.

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Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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What a year 2013 will be for my family… our big girl Dalie will turn 2 in February, we will welcome our 2nd child in April, it will be our 2nd wedding anniversary in August.. and this year will be the hardest for my mom who’s fighting her 3rd cancer, cerebellum cancer (brain). This year will decide what will happen with her. I believe in the power of the Universe, of Nature, they will take care of her, I’ll never stop believing she can fight, and she will never stop fighting either!

I’m only wishing for one thing this year, not success, money.. I already have everything I need and want, a wonderful and loving husband, kids, happiness.. I only want my mom back.

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To end this on a happy note, I hope you’re all having a lot of fun! Don’t drink too much (Don’t be stressed for me, I never drink!) and don’t forget to be smiling.. life is beautiful!

I’ll be seeing you all in 2013!!

Lots of Love xx

Homemade Laundry Soap (Borax-Free)

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I finally decided to make my own laundry detergent after weeks of thinking and searching for the best recipes, reading about borax, keeping old soap containers (Thanks mom for you help!)…

I choose to make the borax-free version because I was not very pleased to read everything people were saying about this white powder.. I used baking soda instead.. after all borax and baking soda both are known for being a fabric brightener and deodorizer.. so I used the non-toxic option. It was a hard choice since half the population is against and the other half are borax lovers.. but after reading that they were using it to kill bugs.. that it can cause cancer (Oh gosh no.. I don’t want that at all!!! The last 3 years I’m watching my mom suffer from 3 different cancers..), that it can be harmful for unborn babies (and I’m 24 weeks pregnant and mom of a almost 2 years old toddler girl).. anyway I’ve read very great reviews about laundry detergent without borax. I always wanted to make my own laundry detergent not only because it’s super cheap but because it’s Eco-friendly too, safe and chemical-free for my family too. another thing.. it’s safe for cloth diapers and that was important for me since I only use cloth diapers for my girl and will do the same for the baby due in April.

If only you knew what is really in the commercial version you are buying.. and how much water they put in..

I will not annoy you with all my calculations, but here’s the important ..

To make this huge batch of soap (10 bottles) it cost me 3.60$. Usually I was buying a green brand that cost 4$ (I buy it when it’s in sale, haha) for a 1.50L (32 loads) bottle. To have the same amount of soap that I made today it would have cost me around 40$  at the store.. so I saved 36.40$! what a bargain! And the great part in my story is that I was already using a totally not expensive brand.. if you are using a famous top brand like Tide you will save even more money!!! With my normal soap it was costing me 0.13$ per load… I’m already hearing you saying: Heh 0.13$ it’s a real joke.. I know but with homemade a load cost… are you ready??… around 0.015$ !!!!!! Because for 3.60$ (10 containers) I have about over 250 loads. it’s super awesome! ( One load is 1/3 cup of soap).

Also, I bought from an Eco-friendly brand (Eco-Pioneer, I bought them on well.ca )for my soap flakes, baking soda and washing soda. I searched for all the kind available in Quebec (Canada) and they were the best! You can read on their product description that :

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 -Eco-Pioneer washing products are 100% pure and non-hazardous to the environment.

Eco-Pioneer products are designed to be simple, effective and environmentally sustainable. Besides being all natural and readily biodegradable, their washing powders leave a small ecological footprint. They are sourced from local suppliers and are minimally packaged in 100% recycled paper fibre boxes and printed with non-toxic, vegetable inks.-

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That was important for me and was the reason I choose this brand over all the other one available on the market.

You can use soap bars instead of soap flakes, but the difference was so ridiculous (only pennies) between already grated and in a bar.. so I took the flakes. At the beginning it cost me like 30$ for the 3 ingredients, but I have enough to make 10-15 times this recipe.. Oh before I forgot, my version is unscented because I don’t like perfume, but I’ve read you can add few drops of essential oils in your recipe… but I’ll never make this version) Feel free to do what you want!

So.. when are you making the switch? 😉

You need :

(This recipe makes 10 containers of 1.50L)

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* 1 cup natural soap flakes (or grated soap)

* 4 cups water

* 1 cup washing soda

* 1 cup baking soda

* 2.5 gallons hot water (9 L)

* Huge bucket or large pot (I used my canning pot)

* Empty (and washed) old laundry detergent containers (I used 10 x 1.50L containers)

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Directions

* In a pot over medium heat, melt the soap flakes in 4 cups water.

 * Remove from heat. Add the baking soda and washing soda. Combine well.

* In the pot, add 2,5 gallons of warm/hot water (9L). Stir until everything is blend.

* Cover and set aside for at least 6 hours. (I left my pot in my laundry room where the temperature is cooler)

* After the few hours wait, the mixture is supposed to look like almost a kind of gel.. in fact it looks like opaque jello. With a long spoon break the gel and mix until the texture is a little bit more liquid. (It will still be kind of jelly).

* Fill to 1/3 all the containers with soap mixture. The remaining 2/3 is for cold tap water.

* Close the lid and shake well. The job is done, now you can store them (I put all the containers in the basement) and use them when you need them. It will last for a while, haha!

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For a normal washing machine (top load), regular load add 1/3 cup of homemade laundry detergent.

Before using it, don’t forget to shake the bottle!

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Vegan Blueberry & Banana Pancakes

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My daughter Dalie is a big pancakes and waffles fan… I always have some homemade in the freezer for the morning where I’m in a hurry or tired. It’s easy, you just out them in the toaster and few seconds later they are ready to eat. Heh it’s like the one you can buy at the local store but way better! I’m always trying to cook her different kinds so she will never get bored!

Servings

12 medium pancakes

Ingredients

* 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

* 2 ripe bananas, mashed

* 2 cups unsweetened organic soy milk

* 1/4 cup oats

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* 2 teaspoons flax seeds, grounded

* 2/3 cup blueberries, chopped

bleuets ripebananas

Directions

* In a bowl combine  flour, baking powder, cinnamon, flax and oats.

* Add the soy milk, vanilla and bananas. Mix until smooth. Add the chopped blueberries to the pancake mixture. Mix.

* Heat a skillet over medium heat. Pour the mixture with a ladle. Cook on one side until it became to make some bubbles. Cook on the other side.

* Remove from heat and serve (with pure maple syrup, fresh fruits…)

Nanaimo Bars

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Nanaimo bars are one of my mom’s favorite desserts. I wanted to see her smile since she’s really sick with her 3rd cancer.. brain cancer and it might be her last holidays (I really hope it is not!!DAMN YOU LIFE!) I made a batch for Christmas night to make her happy.. it worked she even brought back some with her before leaving… hehe!

It was funny because when my mom-in-law (she’s almost 70 and she is amazing!) arrived to my house, she saw them and was like… *OH!!! It’s the dessert I was making when your husband was a little boy! No one does this anymore!! Wow!* And you know.. she’s not wrong.. I don’t know a lot of young (heh I’ll turn 26 in May..I’m still young) people who cooks these days.. it’s incredible how in Quebec everyone buy already made products and food.. none of my friends knows how to make a bread, and it’s so simple (I’m talking without the bread maker! haha!) People found weird the fact that I made ALL the baby food for my big girl (I’ll do the same for the baby  in April), that I don’t buy already made, that I know canning techniques.. I’m happy because I’ll never stop to cook almost everything we eat in our house, I want all my kids to be able to do the same with their families when they will be older. One day they will thank me!

Servings

20 medium squares

Ingredients

* 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips

* 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon melted butter

* 1 large egg

* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* 2 cups graham crumbs

* 1 cup shredded coconut

* 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

* 2 tablespoons custard powder

* 3 tablespoons unsweetened organic soy milk

* 2 cups icing sugar

(to make the mint version… add green food coloring and 1/2 teaspoon pure spearmint extract to the custard mixture)

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choco

coconut walnuts

Directions

* Preheat oven 350′F

* In a bowl melt 1/3 cup of chocolate chips with 1/2 cup of melted butter. Mix well. Add vanilla, the egg, graham crumbs, coconut and chopped walnuts. Mix.

* Press firmly onto bottom of a 9-inch pan. (I used a silicone square mold, it’s easier to remove once finished)

* Cook in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool down.

* In a new bowl, whisk the custard powder with the soy milk. Add 1/4 cup of melted butter. Mix. Add the icing sugar gradually while continuing to whisk. If you want the mint version, now you can add green food coloring (optional) and 1/2 teaspoon of pure spearmint extract.

* Spread over the *cookie* base. Refrigerate for about ten minutes.

* Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon butter. Mix. Spread over the custard mixture. Refrigerate few hours before cutting.

* Cut into squares and… EAT!

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Fruit Cake Style Bread

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The other day at my mom-in-law’s house she made us a fruit cake bread…it was so good that I decided to do one too but with some differences… she used raisins, I used dates, I decorate the bread, she used walnuts, I used almonds, she used milk, I used soy milk.. anyway both breads are awesome! I made it for Christmas since I know my mom is a fruit cake lover! (In fact me too… I could eat fruit cake all day long, hahaha!)

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!! I’m wishing you all the best for the New Year to come!!

Servings

1 loaf (10-12 slices)

Ingredients

* 2 cups flour

* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

* 1 large egg

* 1/2 cup molasses

* 1/3 cup sugar

* 1/4 cup melted vegetable shortening

* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

* Zest of one lemon

* 1/3 cup dates, chopped

* 1/2 cup sliced almonds

* 1/2 cup mixed candied fruit

* 1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk (I used organic)

* 1/3 cup pure orange juice

* Nuts, candied fruits for decoration (optional)

candiedfruits molasses

almonds

Directions

* Preheat oven 350′F

* In a bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

* Add the egg, molasses, sugar, melted shortening, lemon juice and zest, candied fruits and nuts. Mix.

* Add soy milk and orange juice. Mix well.

* Decorate with nuts and candied fruits (only if you want to!)

* Pour into a silicone loaf pan (my choice) or a traditional mold greased and decorate  (optional).

* Bake for 55-60 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean, the bread is ready.

(Once the bread was cool enough, I melted some apricot jam and pour it all over the bread. It takes it solid form again and give the bread a shinny coating)

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Cherry Waffles

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-VEGAN-

My big girl Dalie is a huge waffle fan, so I make few and freeze them (In a freezer container with wax paper between each waffle) and it’s super easy just to put them in the toaster, breakfast is ready in seconds! But heh we eat them too, haha!

Since I’m pregnant I try to eat as healthy as possible (even if I was always eating super healthy) but I try even harder, that means… NO to skipping meals.. so even if when I’m pregnant I have a super tiny appetite, I try my best 🙂 (haha in 22 weeks I only gained like 2 pounds, last pregnancy I gained over 60 pounds all in the belly in 39 weeks, and I wasn’t eating chips all day long, haha! I feel way better this time!!)

Servings

8 medium size waffles

Ingredients

* 1 cup whole wheat flour

* 1 tablespoon baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 cup old fashion oats

* 1/3 cup unsweetened apple puree

* 1 1/2 cups unsweetened organic soy milk (you can use any other non-dairy too!)

* 1 tablespoon molasses

* 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

* 1 1/2 tablespoons ground flax seed

* 1 cup halved cherries, chopped

cherries flax

Directions

* Heat your waffle maker.

* In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, flax seeds and oats. Add the apple puree, soy milk, maple and molasses. Mix until everything is combined. Add the chopped cherries, Mix. Let the mixture rest for 5- 10 minutes (it will thicken a bit)

* Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons (for a medium size waffle maker) onto center of each waffles maker plates. Close the lid and let them cook. They should be cooked in about 5 minutes but depending on the personal taste of everyone or the waffle maker it could take less or more time…

* Remove from the waffle maker and serve (you can add some toppings, fruits, syrup..)

Tofu Stir Fry

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Like every Friday, it’s vegan night in our house! Even if I would eat like that every day of the week, I’m married to the biggest carnivorous I know.. he needs a LOT of proteins each day, haha.  So I was able to deal at least one day a week! Hehe! ( I love him the way he is, he’s perfect! and even if he is not the biggest fan of vegan and vege food.. he’s always trying everything I’m making and… always loving everything!! Yeah!)

It’s funny because our daughter Dalie is more like me, she have weird tastes, she’s an art and nature love and she’s such a tofu fan since she’s a little baby and now she’s almost 2 years old. She never drinks milk, she hates it, just like me, so she’s drinking Soy and almond milk. She’s awesome, I love her so much. Hope the baby who’s coming in less than 19 weeks will be just like her… a food lover!

My super meat eating husband surprised me one time with an handmade tofu press he made just for me (yeah he’s super handy..he is a industrial mechanic) No need to press the tofu under a can anymore, this is fantastic! (Like I always says homemade is always fun!). Removing the excess liquid in the tofu is optional. I love to do it because that way the marinade takes all the place, the tofu is having a better taste after.

Tofu is an awesome food, even if a lot of people I know are looking at tofu like if it was an alien… It is low in calories compared to meat. Half a cup (4oz) of firm tofu contains about 10g of protein!! An egg contains about 6 g and for the same amount, beef contains about 25g of protein. Ok it’s less, I know, but heh it comes from a plant! Give tofu a chance! (You hear that mom! haha!)

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(Dalie)

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(Dalie and Daddy)

Servings

4-6 servings

Ingredients

* 1 tablespoons peanut oil

* 2 medium onions, sliced

* 3 cloves of garlic, minced

*  2 bell peppers sliced (I used one green and one orange)

* 1 block extra firm tofu

* 1 pound bean sprouts

* 1 cup frozen small green peas

* Soy sauce, Teriyaki sauce and black bean & garlic sauce, all to taste

* 2 cups uncooked Indian aged basmati rice

tofu bean sprouts

peas rice

Directions

* Press your tofu with a tofu press or wrapped in a towel under something waterproof and heavy to remove the excess of liquid. (I used my awesome homemade tofu press (Thanks honey!))

* Marinate your tofu in a plastic bag or container for few hours. (It was from breakfast to dinner here!) I marinated the tofu in a mixture made of teriyaki, soy and black bean & garlic sauce. I sliced the  block in two.. but you can also slice or chop it.. it’s like you want.

* Once the tofu is ready, you can start dinner.

* Start cooking your rice. (I always use my good pal, the rice cooker, with it the rice is ALWAYS perfect!)

* In a wok, heat peanut oil. Cook onions and garlic 2-3 minutes. Add bell peppers, tofu and sauces (I took the same I used to marinate the tofu). Cook until the veggies are tenders. Stir in beans sprouts and peas. Cook few minutes until they are tender too (not very long!).

* Serve over rice and Enjoy!

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How to freeze an avocado

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You are all starting to know me a little more. All those who know me well know that I HATE waste, especially wasting food. Why throw something when it’s still perfect to use for something else. There is so many people starving on this planet, throwing food makes me mad.

I had a VERY ripe avocado in my fridge, it was way to mushy to use as slices, so I decided to freeze it for a future use. Sometimes people thinks that the avocado will become super brown in the freezer, but not with some lemon juice in it. I used to make avocado puree for my daughter Dalie when she was a baby (it was one of her favorite) and it was always bright green! Lemon juice is magic, hehe.

You need..

* 1 very ripe avocado

* 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

avocado

Steps

* Cut and peel the avocado.

* Place the avocado and the lemon juice in a food processor and puree.

* You can store the puree in a plastic blag, a plastic container.. it’s like you want. Write the date on it and store in the freezer. (It’s good for about 4-5 months).

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