Saturday, August 11, 2012

Garden Tomato Salsa

This is a very simple salsa that is spicy and full of flavor, especially if you can get your tomatoes from the backyard. 


1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
3-4 jalapeños
5 large tomatoes
1/2 - 1 cup cilantro (or a handful)
juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon salt
1 tsp pepper


Chop onion, garlic, tomato into chunks. Remove stems from jalapeños, de-seed and chop up. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until combined and a little chunky (salsa will be fairly smooth).

Serving sugestions:

Scoop it up with tortilla chips, top of tacos, tostadas, burgers or anything else you want to add a little kick to. I love mixing this salsa in with eggs and serving with warm corn tortillas.

This makes a full blender of salsa. Freeze half of it for later or serve it at a party!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Mousse Parfait

This delicious dessert will fool just about anyone.  It is Vegan, Gluten Free and healthy all while being chocolate?  The secret ingredient for the creamy texture?  Avocado.  Ssssshhh, don't tell.


2 large ripe avocados
1/2 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw agave or brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 dates. pitted and chopped
2 Tbl unsweetened shedded coconut
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh fruit (raspberries or strawberries are best)


1. In a food processor or coffee grinder* combine flaxseeds, walnuts, dates, coconut, cinnamon, and salt.  Pulse until the texture is to your liking.  You can store up to a week in a sealed container.  If you have extra is would be great in yogurt or ice cream.
2. Puree avocado,  agave or syrup, and vanilla in a food processor or blender* until smooth.  Refrigerate until chilled.  It will keep for up to 3 days in a tightly sealed container.
3. Using a wine glass, martini glass or a small ice cream dish layer the mousse and the dry topping until the glass is full.  Add your fruit on top.

*Serves 4
*A food processor works best, but a blender will do. 
*I have also used a Zyliss chopper and it worked fine
*Vegan and Gluten Free

Chocolate Marshmallow Treats

I love this super easy but impressive dessert and
it won't take you more than 20 minutes!


Bag of large marshmallows
Bag of chocolate chips (I prefer dark chocolate)
Topping of your choice (ideas include Heath toffee bits, pretzels, almonds or peanuts) the options are endless

 Chop your desired toppings and set aside.  Pour desired amount of chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl.*   Heat according to package directions but usually 30 second intervals and stir until smooth.  Dip marshmallow into chocolate about half way and then place on your serving dish or into roomy storage container.  Before the chocolate starts to harden sprinkle on a small amount of your chosen topping.  Refrigerate until chocolate is matte and firm (usually about 20 minutes). 

*You can make this dessert any size based on the occassion
* Make sure with the quantity of chips and your bowl selection you can dip the marshmellow in about a 1/2 inch.
*Have your serving dish or roomy container ready before you start so the chocolate can solidify without being disturbed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cucumber Feta Salad

I was starting to out together a salad with dinner last night and realized the lettuce had gone bad.  I had a cucumber and some grape tomatoes so I put this together and it tasted great!  Make this in any size you need.  For a side for 2 we used a 1/2 of a cucumber 1/3 of a package of grape tomatoes.


Cucumber, sliced
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, halved
Feta Crumbles
Balsamic Vinegar
White Vinegar
Powdered Garlic
Sea Salt


  • Combine equal parts cucumbers and tomatoes onto a plate or in a shallow bowl
  • Drizzle evenly with white vinegar to your liking
  • Drizzle evenly with balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle garlic powder  and sea salt over top
  • Add feta crumbles
  •                                                                                                                                                  Notes

Serve immediately or within 1 day of preparation. 
Great for lunch or as a side for dinner.
Easy to make for various serving sizes

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shell Necklaces

These pieces of shells I have had for a couple of years and have been dying to make necklaces out of them.  They are smooth like sea glass but with the beautiful texture and pattern of shells.  I will be making a bunch soon and will post a link for them on Etsy.

If you want to make your own:

You will need:
Sheet Metal
Metal Cutting Tool
Sand Paper
Cut your desired shape and size of metal.  If you want you can add textures into your metal at this point.
Squeeze a very small amount of glue onto the metal and slide carefully over shell.  Hold tight for 60 seconds.
Once the glue dries (may take several minutes depending on your glue choice) you can sand different designs in the metal.
Add chain and you have a necklace!

Home Made Ginger Ale

I sent these home made ginger ale kits as Mother's Day presents this year, but it would be fun to do for yourself too!

What You Need:

1/4 cup honey
1 cup carbonated water
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root
(can replace with 1/2 tsp powdered ginger root)
1/4 tsp cinnamon bark
1 tsp peppermint leaf
1/4 tsp anise seed
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp lemon peel
3 cups boiling water
1 Tea bag

 Mix the herbs.  Put in a tea bag (if you have trouble getting it all in the bag use a funnel). Pour hot water over and steep for several minutes.  Remove tea bag and stir in honey. Cool in refrigetator.  Just before serving add Carbonated water.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stuffed Yellow Bell Pepper

Stuffed Yellow Bell Pepper

4 yellow bell peppers
2 cup cooked white rice
2 cups cooked pinto beans
2 cup mango salsa
1 cup shredded chihuahua cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
 Cook white rice and pinto beans separately (see directions below).

Parboil pepper - fill a sauce pan 3/4 full with water and bring to a rapid boil. Cut the top of the pepper of and remove seeds and ribs (should come of easily if still attached to the top). Boil peppers for about 5 min. Remove the peppers, drain and sprinkle salt on the inside. 

Combine rice, beans, salsa and cheese. Fill peppers with stuffing and top with a layer of cheese. Bake for 25-30 min until heated through and cheese is melty and golden.

Using canned beans and a jar of salsa makes this recipe super quick and easy!
Prepare without cheese and this becomes a delish vegan meal!
Substitute brown rice for white and this becomes and even healthier dish!

For rice:
Combine 1 cup dried long grain white rice with two cups water, 1 tbs margarine and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes. Do not lift the lid. Let sit until other ingredients are ready.

For pinto beans:
 If using canned whole pinto beans, heat on medium until warmed. If using dried beans, wash beans and either let soak overnight, add 1 tbs salt and cook for 1 hour OR cook for 3 hours, refilling the water ever hour/ when it gets low. At the start of the last hour, add 1 tbs salt. Beans should be cooked down until a thick chili like consistency. 

For mango salsa:
 Combine 1 mango (cubed), 4 tomatoes (chopped), 1 jalapeño pepper (diced), 1/4 cup red onion (chopped), 1 clove garlic (minced or pressed), salt and pepper to taste. Chop coarsely in food processor or chop up and mix well by hand.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pumpkin Custard

Super easy dessert or even breakfast!


1 can coconut milk (not lite)
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (or canned pumpkin)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 real maple syrup
1 tbsp arrowroot
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt


1 - 9x13 cake pan
6 lightly oiled ramekins
*pictured above and below are 1 cup Pyrex storage containers so you have lids at the end too!
Small bowl
1 large mixing bowl
2 cup Pyrex measuring cup

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat eggs in a small bowl
3. Whisk together all liquid ingredients in large mixing bowl: coconut milk, pumpkin,eggs,vanilla and maple syrup
4. In Pyrex measuring cup mix all dry ingredients: Salt, ginger, nutmeg,cinnamon, and arrowroot and whisk into pumpkin mixture.
5. Divide batter evenly into 6 ramekins using the Pyrex measuring cup for easy pouring.

6. Add warm water to the cake pan until it reaches about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
7. Bake for 50 minutes or until the top of the custard is browned and firm.  
8. Cool the dishes on a wire rack.
9.  You can serve warm or refridgerate until ready to serve!


*Do not over cook!  The top will become leathery.
*Great straight from the fridge for breakfast or dessert for lunch as well!
* Rewritten from Living Without Magazine

Vegetarian, Gluten- Free, Milk free

Butter Bean Salad

One of my go-tos for any cook out or pot luck and also great for lunches.  Super Easy and with 2 of my favorite ingredients!  Tomatoes and Basil.


2 Cans Butter Beans
1 Lemon, sqeezed
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
4-6 Juicy Tomatoes
 1/2 -3/4 Cup Basil Leaves, chopped
Olive Oil


1 - 2QT microwave safe dish
1 small cup or bowl

1. Drain butter beans and pour into a microwave safe dish, drizzle with olive oil and microwave for 2 minutes.
2. Chop tomatoes, basil and mince garlic.
3. Sprinkle salt  to your liking onto beans.
4. Squeeze lemon into a small cup or spice dish Then pour over beans
5. Add the remaining ingredients (tomato, basil and garlic) and toss.
6. Serve immediately or to intensify the flavors, refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Squeeze lemon in a seperate dish to catch seeds


Vegan, Gluten Free

Great to eat leftover for lunches!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vegetable Curry

2 servings of Quinoa (or favorite grain)
1 small onion, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small sweet potatoe, cubed
1 large carrot,chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 small red pepper
1/2 small zucchini, chopped
1 14 oz can chickpeas(garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 tsp tumeric
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
Prepare all vegetables, mix all of your spices (and salt) into a small dish and set aside, rinse and drain chickpeas.
1. In a medium pot, cook the quinoa,rice, or other grain accordingly.
2. While that is cooking, in a large rimmed skillet or large sauce pan(at least 3 QT) saute the onions on medium heat, in olive oil until translucent.
3. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, and garlic and saute for 2 minutes; stir occationally to avoid sticking.
4. Add the stock, red peppers, zucchini, chikpeas, dish of spices, stir well. Reduce heat, cover with lid.
5. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Check sweet potatoes for the best gauge.
6. Stir in the raisins and spinach, remove from heat and cover, and let sit for 5 minutes, until spinach is wilted down.
Makes 4 servings or about 6-8 side servings.
Great with tofu, though not necessary. I cook the tofu with garlic, olive oil and a little curry powder seperately.
I don't advise adding the tofu into the vegetable curry pan because the tofu will absorb all of the liquid and your dish will be lacking flavor.
Great with tofu
Rewritten from La Dolce Vegan! By Sarah Kramer

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Steaming Day!

Use a facial steam to clear your complexion, mosturize and renew your skin.

Basic Herbal Facial Steam Recipe:
1 quart water
1 large handful of herbs (chosen to suit your skin's needs)
5 drops of essential oils (chosen for your skin's needs) (optional)
Bring water to a boil in a 2 quart sauce pan, remove from heat and throw in your herbs and cover for 5-10 minutes. Remove lid, add your essential oils and hover over the pot with a towel draped over your head to keep the steam from escaping. Steam your face for 10 minutes.
How to chose the herbs right for you:
Most skin types can combine Lavendar, Rose and Chamomile for cleansing properties, rejuvenation, reduce puffiness or irritations and calming
Normal skin:
Calendula, Rose petals and Lavender
Essential oils (pick 1 or 2):Lavendar,Rose or Geranium
Dry skin:
*Dry skin can be sensitive so let the steam cool a little before starting and only steam face for 5 mins.
Red clover flowers, Rose petals, Elder flowers and St John's Wort or Comfrey Leaves
Essential Oils(pick 1 or 2): Cypress,Patchouli,Rosemary, Ylang-ylang or Sandalwood
Oily skin:
Yarrow or Witch hazel with Lavender and Rose
Essential Oils(pick 1 or 2):Normalizing: Basil, Eucalyptus,Rosmary or Ylang-ylang
To slow down oil production: Sage or Lemongrass
Good all around: Geranium or rose
Combination skin:
Calendula, lavender and rose
Essential oils: Geranium or lavender
Mature skin:
Marshmallow or Comfrey, and Gotu Kola
Essential Oils(pick 1 or 2): Anti-aging: Lavender, Geranium or Rose
Rejuvenate: Jasmine, Frankincense or myrrh
Dryness: Rose hip seed oil
Red clover flowers or licorice root and strawberry leaves
Essential Oils(Pick 1 or 2): Antiseptic: Spike lavender,Eucalyptus or Sage
If you have dryness alone with acne: Rosemary or Tea Tree
Healing: Lavender,Geranium or Rosemary
Lavender may help slow wrinkles
*you can find dried herbs at any natural foods store however specialty herbal stores may have more variety. In the Denver Area to of my go-to spots are Vitamin Cottage and Artemisia and Rue
*Keep in mind that your skin type and needs may change throughout the year
*Your skin should feel refreshed and moisterized afterward. If it feels tight or irritated the heat may be too intense or herb choses may irritate your skin. If you wish to try again let the water cool a little first or try a shorter duration.
* Once a week is appropriate for almost all skin types you can alter the frequency based on your needs anywhere from once every couple of weeks to twice a week.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I discovered this recipe this fall and it's become one of my favorites!
3-3.5 lbs butternut squash, halved
1 Tbsp ginger root, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes
1/4 c chopped cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 1/2 c coconut milk
1 1/2 c vegetable broth
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more for a little heat)
salt and pepper to taste
Kitchen tools:
Blender or food processor
6 qt pot
9x13 baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet
1. Preheat the oven to 400
2. Cut Butternut squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out seeds.* Place in 9X13 baking dish, with the rind side up and roast for about 1 hour. Test the squash to see if it is tender enough to be scooped out, then let cool for a few minutes.
3.While squash is roasting, Prepare all of your ingredients
4. While the squash is cooling, heat the oil in pot over medium-low heat. Add curry,ginger, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until fragrant or about 3 minutes. Add garlic and simmer for another 2 mins or until garlic begins to color. Remove from pan and set aside in a dish so it doesn't over cook and lose flavor.
5. Scoop flesh from squash and scoop half into the blender along with half of the sauted spices and half of the broth. Puree until smooth then pour into your pot. Repeat with the remaining squash, broth and spices.
6. Add coconut milk, squeeze in lime juice, and add salt and pepper, stir and heat being careful not to let it boil.
7. Once heated through stir in cilantro and serve. You can add some cilantro full cilantro leaves on top for garnish.
Weigh the squash! If it is too big you will dull the flavor of the soup.
If you have trouble cutting through the squash try microwaving the squash whole for 2 mins or so to soften it.
Don't overheat your spices as they will lose flavor.
*Tip below