Lazy Day Staycation

I am off this week hanging out with my girls.

Today we went to the park and then decided to hang out in the back yard drinking lemonade with lots of ice, iced and for Raizel, a lemon-strawberry smoothie.

Ingredients 

Lemonade 

Ice

Strawberry ice

Lemon ice

Fresh strawberries 

Instructions 

Put in container, using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.

Here is the picture:

  

Raizel says, “it’s yummy and strawberrilicious!”

Yaffa says, “it’s yummy.” She, however, was happy with lemon ice and iced lemonade.

These are the last days of summer.🌞

Eggplant Middle Eastern Style

This is a new experiment. I am trying to expand my repertoire with eggplant and different spices.

Ingredients 

1 roasted eggplant, cubed

1 onion, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes

Optional: 8 oz mushrooms

1 teaspoon cumin, coriander, salt, pepper

Instructions 

I spray oiled the pressure cooker and added all the ingredients. I cooked it for 2 minutes to pressure.

This is the final product, without the mushrooms:

It came out great!

Of course, fresh cilantro or parsley would enhance it even more. But, it is good just the way it is.

Here it what I made this morning with mushrooms:

  

 Fast, easy and all natural. Perfect for the time challenged!

Enjoy!

DIY Oatmeal Bath

This post is connected to food but not cooking.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Raizel has been complaining lately about mosquito bites. It seems as though they find her very tasty. Poor thing, she is itchy all over, and scratching all the time.

When they were babies, we used to buy oatmeal bath packets. They are not that easy to find and quite expensive considering the ingredients. Plus, we have to get everything fragrance-free, due to allergies. It is not always easy to find things without fragrance.

So, today after a frustrating trip to the local pharmacy, I decided to make something up at home.

Ingredients

Oatmeal

Baking soda

Oil, optional

Instructions 

I took some oatmeal, the regular rolled oats that we eat for breakfast, and put it in the food processor. I processed it until it became a fine powder. Here is the picture:


When it was done, I think it came out to about 2 1/2 cups.

I read somewhere that the way to tell if it is ground fine enough is to drop some into water to see if it desolves.

I think that ideally it is good to mix the ground oatmeal with an equal amount of baking soda. I think that  1 cup is all you need per bath. I only had 12 oz available, so that is what I used.

I mixed the oatmeal and baking soda together.

Here is the oatmeal and baking soda mixed together:


Now, if extra moisturizing is needed, I thought I would add oil directly into the tub. I was always told that almond oil is best but I think any natural oil, including olive oil is good.

For a nice smell, lavender oil is my favorite. I am not sure if Raizel is going to go for it.

According to aromatherapy, that is supposed to promote calmness and tranquility. We can never have too much of that!

So, now we have all natural, homemade oatmeal bath treatment. I am going to give some to Raizel and see if it helps.

Hope springs eternal.

Slightly Off Topic: All Natural Healthy Home Made Cat Food

There are some people who say, there are 2 kinds of people. Cat people and dog people. I am a cat person. When I met my husband, I had 2 cats. My husband is not a cat person, but ironically, he likes people who like cats.  All his close friends and his wife are cat lovers!

Unfortunately, my husband is very allergic to cats.  So, I am unable to have a cat or any pet with hair or fur. Some people might say that I traded up when I got married. I gave away my cats but gained a husband. I am not above reminding him however, of the supreme sacrifice that I made.

I also made home made, all natural kosher cat food for my cats. Their fur was gorgeous and they were much healthier. One of my cats had an intestinal problem, which I treated by feeding her the homemade cat food with extra bran.

I guess having cats was preparation for what was in store for me with my children.  When Yaffa was on a feeding tube, I did the same thing for her that I did for them. Who says that God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

The recipe I used came from a book called “The Natural Cat” by Anitra Frazier.

If you are a cat owner, I highly recommend her book.

Anitra Frazier’s Home Made Cat Food  (according to my memory)

3 parts raw meat or poultry

1 part cooked grain

1 part raw vegetables.

1 – 2 teaspoons of her Vita-Mineral Mix, the recipe is below.

Anitra Frazier’s Vita-Mineral Mix

1 1/2 cups yeast powder (any food yeast; brewer’s, torula, or nutritional)

1/4 cup kelp powder or 1/4 cup mixed trace mineral powder

1 cup lecithin granules

2 cups wheat bran

2 cups bone meal, calcium lactate, or calcium gluconate

Mix together and store in a covered container. Be sure to refrigerate (everything but the lecithin and minerals perishes at room temperature). Add 1 teaspoon of Vita-Mineral Mix to each cat’s meal (2 teaspoons per cat per day).

(All Frazier recipes taken from her book The New Natural Cat)

I would buy the ingredients and puree them up in my food processor and then freeze them in snack size Ziploc bags. Then, as needed I would defrost them and give them to my cats.

My butcher used to laugh at me and say, “Your cats eat better than you do!”

I am a big believer in homemade cat food.  I even convinced my mother do make homemade food for her dog. Her dog lived for 16 years and outlived her entire litter!

I am posting this because at work this week, one of my coworkers was describing what she does to take care of her dog.  It is amazing what we can do for our pets.

I also believe that animals can be very therapeutic.  They are less emotionally complex than people and there is nothing more soothing than stoking an animal’s fur.

This is a picture of my favorite neighborhood cat, who is very special.  My husband and I joke that she is a cat with the soul of a lion.  She is a tremendous mouser and a great hunter, in addition to being extremely sweet and friendly.

To view Anitra Frazier’s book and website, here are the links. I met her years ago and she is a very dedicated cat aficionado!

http://www.thenaturalcat.net/

http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Natural-Anitra-Frazier/dp/0525249214

Breakfast On The Go– Dairy Free Smoothie 

Sometimes I need something quick and easy for breakfast. This is my version of a dairy free, egg free morning smoothie. It can easily be adapted to accommodate various taste preferences.

Ingredients 

Bananas 

Oatmeal 

Nut butters (I usually use almond butter, but peanut butter works too)

Water

Cinnamon 

Instructions 

I place everything in a container and using an immersion blender, purĂ©e until smooth. Et voila– breakfast on the go.

Here are the pictures:

   
 
Raizel likes it with strawberries and orange juice. Rice milk is also good.

Yaffa is a creature of habit. For breakfast she eats: a banana, or apple sauce, and she has learned how to eat cereal like Kix.  She prefers to eat oatmeal or cooked grains with rice milk. 

We have come a long way!

BBQ Chicken 

Last week was the first time this summer that we had BBQ. My husband is a true carnivore and he loves eating meat. BBQ is one of my husband’s passions. For him , it is artistry.

Now, my husband can only eat meat once a week and he must have 1 vegan or plant based meal a day. 

Most of the recipes posted on the blog are my efforts to create healthy vegan meals for him. 

So, last week he surprised me. 

Grilled Chicken Cutlets 

Ingredients 

Chicken cutlets 

1/3 cup oil and red wine vinegar 

1 tablespoon chicken spice

Instructions 

I put the cutlets in a bag and with a mallet, I pounded them thinner. I find they cook more evenly this way. Then I put in the oil and vinegar and spices and let them marinate while the coals heated up.

BBQ Tips

For my husband, BBQ is a culinary ritual. He likes to use charcoal and not gas to get a smoky flavor.

During a vacation in the Laurentians, we bought this great tool called “A tower of fire.”

We can use it to start the coals without kerosene, which is MUCH healthier.

Here are pictures:

   
 
This is a great tool. You put the coals inside and newspaper or kindling underneath, light the kindling which in turn heat the coals. Then once they are white hot, you put them in the BBQ.

After experimenting with many different kinds of grills, my husband feels that simple ones are best. 

Here is the BBQ grill, with the hot coals:

  

Here is the final product: grilled chicken cutlets:

   
 
   
 They came out great. 

Enjoy!

Take-Out Chinese Food — Eating With Chopsticks 

Yesterday I came home from work exhausted! The last thing I wanted to do was get dinner on the table. So, I suggested to my husband that we get take-out Chinese food. 

I love eating with chopsticks and a friend recently gave me some as a gift. 

 My passion for eating with chopsticks is not shared by others in my family. However, yesterday, Raizel was able to successfully eat with chopsticks  for the first time. She was very proud of herself. 

Raizel asked me to take a picture of her using chopsticks and to post it on the blog. I thought it was cute that she wanted to share her accomplishment.

  

I guess this blog has become a type of bonding experience for us.

 For those of you who may not be familiar with how to eat with chopsticks, I thought I would post how to use them:

  

Sometimes it is nice to have a break. Enjoy!

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I am still learning the social rules and niceties for blogging. So, when Nell from “I need a feed!” nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award, I felt awed.

When I started posting my recipes, I never thought that it would lead to having so much fun and connecting to such a friendly and diverse group of wonderful people. It is even all the more startling, as this blog has only been really active since May. Nell, thank you for your vote of confidence and support.

I am not quite sure what is involved, and there seem to be a variety of rules.

However, this is what I think are the rules:

  1. Thank and link the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Put the award logo on your blog.
  3. Answer the questions the nominator has provided
  4. Nominate at least 3 other bloggers
  5. Create 5 questions for your nominees and notify them of their nomination.

So, thank you again Nell for nominating my blog!

Nell has a beautiful blog full of delicious gluten free and dairy free recipes. She has a true passion for what she creates.

Please visit Nell’s blog and see for yourself at https://ineedafeed.wordpress.com/

Deliciouslynell has continued the tradition set by the person who nominated her, Mutsumi of Sakura Junction and asked me these questions:

  1. What do you do to keep fit?

Physical fitness: At the moment, my only exercise is jumping to conclusions pushing my luck, and carrying too much weight on my shoulders.

Physical exercise is a challenge for me, and I am time challenged as well. So, I do stretches before I meditate and occasionally do an easy exercise DVD. Fortunately, my job is not sedentary and I also carry my daughter Yaffa up and down the stairs. What can I say? Cute gets you far.

Mental fitness: I meditate for a minimum of 15 minutes a day and I have a daily writing exercise on for looking for the good and focusing on gratitude and appreciation.

Spiritually: I pray.

  1. Which do you prefer living by the sea or in a mountain?

I prefer the mountains. As a family, we go hiking in the Laurentian and White Mountains during the summer.

  1. What is your guilty pleasure?

I love to do nothing, sit on my porch swing and watch the world go by.

  1. If you can be a character in a film which character/film you want to be?

The movies I watch tend to be Disney related, with my daughters. So, I guess I would be a Disney princess! I am grateful to have met my Prince Charming.

  1. What is the craziest thing you have ever done in your life?

My life tends to be crazy all the time. I work in mental health, so “normal” is a relative term. I would say going to acupuncture school was the craziest thing I ever did. I made the decision and within a week, moved, got a job and a place to live and voila, I became an acupuncturist!

And now for the nominees….

Lynz Real Cooking Lynn’s recipes are wonderful and I love her stories about her life.  Please visit her blog at: http://lynzrealcooking.com/

Osyth at Half Baked In Paradise I love her lyrical writing and cross cultural perspective. https://osyth.wordpress.com/

Serenaglow: Serena talks about many of my favorite subjects on healthy living and lifestyle.

https://serenaglow.wordpress.com/about/

Itsgoodtobecrazysometimes This blog is not my standard food and healthy living blog. However, I feel that the writer is talking about a very important subject, living with mental illness, and I appreciate and admire her bravery.

https://itsgoodtobecrazysometimes.wordpress.com/

Lauren at My non-toxic life. Again, Lauren writes on all of my favorite topics with a passion and enthusiasm for a healthyliving style 

https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/about/

Ros at Cooking up the pantry is another great site. She has great recipes that are varied and healthy!

https://cookingupthepantry.wordpress.com/about/

Now in terms of those questions…I can’t help it, I am in mental health. So, for my nominees I am going to ask:

  1. What makes you smile?
  2. If you could have dinner with anyone, past present or future — who would it be and why?
  3. If you joined the circus, what act would you most want to perform?
  4. What is your favorite quote or motto?
  5. What activities make you lose track of time?

Moroccan Chickpeas On The Fly

Today, we needed something for dinner and, no time to cook.

So, this morning I literally threw this together.

Ingredients 

1 lbs. dried chickpeas 

1 can diced tomatoes 

1 onion 

Fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic crushed 

1 tablespoon cumin, paprika and salt

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, turmeric,

1/8 crushed red pepper flakes, allspice 

Instructions 

I didn’t have time to chop the onion, so I put it in whole. I took a microplane grater for the ginger. I couldn’t find the  dried ginger so it was easier to grate the fresh. I also didn’t presoak the beans.

Here is the picture from this morning, without the onion, since originally I was going to get my husband to put it in.

   
Here is the micro grater that I used:

  
 Good tools are very important!

Now, when I came home, I adjusted the seasoning by adding more cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric and hot red pepper flakes. 

This can also be made in the pressure cooker, 40 minutes to pressure.

It came out great!

  

Enjoy!

Black Bean Tacos On The Fly

  
This morning I had my crack of dawn marathon Shabbat cooking session.

Every week I consider it a miracle that my Shabbat food preparation gets done. It can only be that I am receiving Divine assistance. Sometimes I don’t even realize it and someone else points it out to me!

So, this week my husband wanted tacos as our cholent.

I am time challenged, so this is what I did:

Ingredients 

2 cups black beans 

1 tablespoon salt, cumin, paprika, oregano and garlic powder 

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder 

1 teaspoon pepper 

Water to cover

Instructions 

Place in crockpot and cook on low. 

When I get home today I will adjust the seasonings and add fresh garlic and possibly tomato paste.

This could also be made in a pressure cooker.

So, another culinary adventure!

No picture yet, because no time.⌛️

Postscript:

I came home from work and I added 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, some paprika, garlic salt, fresh garlic and coriander.

It came out great!

Here is the picture: