September 29, 2014-Celebrating National Coffee Day with Homemade PSL
Happy National Coffee Day everyone! In the past I have never been a big coffee drinker, but oh how times have changed! Nothing better then on a crisp fall day, a pumpkin spice latte! I’m celebrating this year’s National Coffee Day by sharing with you the best homemade (and copycat Starbucks) pumpkin spice latte!
- Pumpkin Puree
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Brewed Coffee
Step One: Start by mixing ONE cup of sugar and ONE cup of water into a saucepan, you’re basically just making syrup!
Step Two: Bring the sugar water to a low boil and then reduce the heat.
Step Three: Stir in TWO tablespoons of pumpkin puree and TWO teaspoon of pumpkin spices together. Keep the syrup to a simmer and occasionally stir.
Step Four: Bring the saucepan off the heat and let the syrup cool for 15 minutes.
Step Five: Heat up 1/2 cup brewed coffee and 2 cups milk. Add in syrup.
ENJOY, MY FRIENDS!
August 6, 2014- 5 Infused Water Recipes to Keep You Hydrated
NOTE: This post originally ran on May 27th (on the Free People blog, BLDG 25) but we can’t get enough of these amazing infused water recipes for summer, so we’re sharing it !This post comes from Free People Australia contributor, Miann Scanlan. Follow along with her on Instagram @freepeopleaustralia!
While we mosey on into winter down here in Australia, it’s important to remember that while the seasons change, our healthy habits shall remain the same. Well, almost the same. We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, and I could rattle off a number of facts about why it’s vital to keep up our daily water intake. But sometimes the same lessons can get boring, much the same as carrying out those monotonous lessons learnt. Which is why I want to share with you my love for fruit infused water. Not only does pretty fruit floating around in your glass make sipping away all day a feast for the eyes (and belly), but the number of holistic benefits are astounding. Here are a few refreshing recipes that taste great, look great, and make you feel even better. Enjoy!
Blueberry + Pomegranate + Mint (above)
This one is great for those of you just starting out. The water seems to dissipate the bitter undertones of the blueberry and pomegranate leaving you with a lightly sweetened flavoursome drop. Dark berries and pomegranate seeds are rich in antioxidants which help clean free radicals out of your system, while fresh mint stimulates the metabolism to aid in digestion.
Kiwifruit + Coconut Water
I like to think of this combination as the “green juice” of the infused water world. With that deliciously recognizable green flavor, the kiwi fruit has much the same advantages of other greens in that it’s highly alkalizing, meaning it has a rich supply of minerals to replace the excess of acidic foods we eat throughout the day. As for coconut water, it’s extremely hydrating, lightly sweet, and tastes amazing. I like to serve this one with chilled kiwi and ice!
Orange + Grapefruit + Lemon + Cucumber
This combination has got to be my favourite, with the strong dose of citrus being balanced out by the cool tones of the cucumber. The citrus fruits pack a dynamo punch of amazing natural properties, mainly vitamin C, which means an immune system boost perfect for us headed in to winter. The sliced cucumber is not only refreshing, cooling, and delicious, but it can also help reduce bloating caused by high sodium intake. Your glass can be refilled many times throughout the day, even re-using the fruits the next day if you keep them chilled in the fridge over night.
Raspberry + Strawberry
Another combination rich in antioxidants – this one is simple, looks beautiful, tastes amazing, and best of all can be reused! When I’m finished with my infused water for the day I like to strain the berries (including berries from the other recipes here too) and pop them into the freezer to later add to a smoothie – that way you also get the fiber content which is important for digestion.
Blueberry + Lemon + Rosemary
I thought I’d save the best till last with this heavenly combination. I always have rosemary sitting on my windowsill and the scent it gives off when I water it in the morning is intoxicatingly beautiful, so I thought I’d try adding it to my water. Et voila!
January 3, 2014– Cranberry Lemon Scone
Cranberry Lemon Scones
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 8 large scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon raw sugar, for topping
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
2/3 cup fat-free half and half
zest from one lemon
½ cup fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 425°. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, white sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add butter and begin blending with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is fully incorporated. Pour in the half and half until the mixture is just combined, then fold in the cranberries and lemon zest gently. Move the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times. Form the dough into a round, about 1-inch thick, and cut into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon raw sugar, transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops have browned. Cool before serving.
August 27, 2013– Tasty Tuesday: Raspberry Salsa
During this instalment of Tasty Tuesdays I would like to share a sweet and spicy salsa recipe. I am sure many of you have tried mango salsa, and this recipe is very similar — it uses fresh raspberries to add sweetness. You can find plenty of ripe, sweet smelling raspberries in your local markets right now. No need to chop them up for this dish — just break them apart with a spoon and add a little agave nectar to highlight their flavor. Serve this salsa as a dip for chips or garnishing your favorite home made tacos!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1c Fresh Raspberries
1c Diced Plum Tomatoes
1/8c Diced Red Onion
1/8c Chopped Cilantro
1 Small Red Hot Pepper
1/2 Lime Juiced
1tbsp Agave Nectar
Salt to Taste
Start by breaking apart your raspberries in a small bowl with the agave nectar until bright red and sweet smelling. Remove the seeds from your hot pepper and discard. Dice the pepper into fine pieces (if your skin is sensitive use gloves or coat the hand touching the pepper with a little olive oil). Toss the pepper with the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Stir in the raspberries along with the lime juice and salt until evenly coated. Enjoy!
Easy peasy! 😉
June 26, 2013– Ombre Cupcakes
How delish do these little cakes look? Perfect for any summer party!
June 24, 2013- Monday Munchies: Your Guide to Gluten Free and What It Is!
Lately I’ve been wondering what this gluten free craze is everyone keeps talking about. Is it really the answer to all our unhealthy eating habits, is it necessary, and wont it taste funny!? I found this guide online and it was definitely helpful to me so if you’re a curious George like I am, take a read!
This list is meant to act as a guide to some of the many amazing and nutritious, naturally gluten-free flours and starches that exist. This isn’t necessarily a complete list as there are so many of them always popping up on the market.
It is best to remember that baking gluten-free almost always requires a mix of flours and starches, as opposed to just one. That is probably one of the biggest mistakes people make when they try baking gluten-free for the first time. A recipe calls for 1 cup gluten-free flour and they grab 1 cup of whatever flour they have or can find easily, for example just rice flour or just soy flour. The results are usually disastrous and many people are left defeated. There are plenty of great all-purpose gluten-free flour blends on the market that you may like just fine and if you are new to gluten-free baking, this is probably the perfect place to start. But, once you have experimented a bit and get a little more comfortable, I highly recommend trying out making your own gluten-free flour blends. As you get to experimenting with recipes and baking you will be able to make your own combinations of flours and starches outside of this ratio, but this is a really great place to start.
I find when you get the proper ratio and combination of flours and starches, there is no real need for xanthan or guar gum, which I prefer to not use if I don’t need to. Many people have issues digesting the gums, and I try to avoid them when I can now that I know they aren’t necessary. I have also learned that some of the best baked goods, especially breads, are made by adding in psyllium husk, ground chia and/or ground flax seeds. These replace some of the binding and elasticity properties of regular gluten flour, to keep it from crumbling, which is the reason many bakers use the gums in gluten-free baking.
NOTE: If you are looking to convert a regular gluten-containing recipe to gluten-free by using your custom made gluten-free all-purpose flour mix in a regular recipe, a good rule of thumb is to sub 140 grams of your gluten-free mix for every 1 cup of regular gluten all-purpose flour.
Amaranth Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Buckwheat Flour, Corn Flour , Millet Flour, Oat Flour (make certain it is certified gluten-free) , Quinoa Flour* , Rice Flour , Sorghum Flour , Sweet Potato Flour , Sweet Brown Rice, Teff Flour , White Rice Flour
*This technically belongs under seeds, but it works really well as a grain flour, in small quantities in AP blends
Arrowroot Flour, Cornstarch, Potato Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour , White Rice Flour
NUTS AND SEEDS
Almond Flour, Chestnut Flour, Coconut Flour*, Hazelnut Flour , Flaxseed Meal , Salba/Chia Seeds, Hemp Flour , Mesquite Flour
*Coconut Flour will suck a lot of the moisture out of most recipes, so use it sparingly or add additional eggs or other liquid to counteract.
BEANS AND LEGUMES
Fava Bean Flour , Garbanzo (chickpea) Bean Flour, Garfava Flour , Kinako (roasted soy bean) Flour, Soy Flour , Pea Flour and Green Pea Flour
You can usually classify nut, seed and bean flours as a whole grain, for ratio sake, even though they are technically not in the grain category. However, they can sometimes react a bit differently depending on the recipe, so it may take some experimenting with those. I should also note that you won’t want to use just a bean flour alone or in large quantities in most recipes, as they tend to have a bit of an aftertaste that could overpower the final dish.
The beauty of this list is that you can select your favorite flours and starches, based on what is available to you and what you prefer, that could be used in a variety of recipes. When making my own whole-grain all-purpose flour for baking, I personally use a ratio of 70% grain flours to 30% starches (based on Shauna Ahern’s recommendation from all of her many years of experimenting and baking). For a regular all-purpose blend, you’ll want 40% whole grain flours to 60% starches. Everyone has different ratios they prefer, but these have both proven to always be effective for me and many other gluten-free bakers. Here is a great example of a whole-grain blend I have made in the past: 200 grams sorghum flour, 200 grams teff flour, 200 grams millet flour, 100 grams buckwheat flour, plus 150 grams each of tapioca and arrowroot starches. This particular mix results in a beautiful brown whole grain blend that I love for pizza crusts and rustic pie crusts. If you are looking for something more traditional and white, use the 40/60 ratio, and for your grains try a blend of sorghum, millet, rice or soy. I usually make my all-purpose flour blends in batches of 1000 grams, since that makes weighing and ratios the easiest.
April 14, 2013– Perfect Picnic Sweetie Pies
Aren’t these just darling!?
I’ve noticed lately that Mason jars are everywhere! They have so many uses! Many people today use them as drinking glasses (super trendy), household trinket organizers, and I’m sure you could fill in the blank with many more uses! They were made for canning so they are able to withstand a great amount of heat. These jars can also be used to bake individual treats like mini pies! My favourite pies are strawberry rhubarb, so lucy for me rhubarb is just coming into season! For this recipe, it’s recommend using a quality store-bought piecrust. It is usually more malleable and perfect for making mini lattice pie tops.
Mason Jar Strawberry Rhubarb Pies
2 cups quartered strawberries
2 cups chopped rhubarb
2/3 cup natural cane sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
1 heaping tbsp corn starch
Wide mouth half-pint mason jars
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse your mason jars in hot water and set aside. In a large bowl toss the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest, and corn starch until everything is evenly coated. Spoon the mixture into the mason jars. The jars should be heaping with strawberries and rhubarb. Roll out your piecrust and slice into ¼ inch strips that are about 6 inches long. Weave the strips together and carefully lay on top of your filled jars. Gather the dough around the lip of the jar and clean the edge by dragging a knife around the outside. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until piecrust is golden brown. When finished baking set aside to cool and pack them up for your next picnic. Enjoy!
Found the recipe for these yummy little things here: Perfect Picnic Recipes: Mason Jar Pie | Free People Blog http://blog.freepeople.com/2013/04/perfect-picnic-recipes-mason-jar-pie/#ixzz2QUA9p9ty
January 31, 2013- Superbowl Bites: Smoked Salmon Dip
Seeing as it’s Superbowl this Sunday I thought it would be a great idea to share some delish ‘Superbowl Bites,’ perfect for sharing! A good smoked salmon dip is alway a great addition to any party, so watch the video and learn how to make a killer dip for all those football fans in your life! Keep watching the playlist for other awesome appie ideas too! (Caprese Bites, Guacamole, Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Dip, oh my!) Make these delicious concoctions and you’ll be the favourite at the party don’t you worry!
December 11, 2012– Tasty Tuesday: Moxies White Chocolate Brownie
This is my ultimate favourite dessert! I can usually polish off one on my own, no sharing here 🙂 But I have a present for you all…drumroll…..here’s the recipe for you to make it at home!!!
Serves: 9 (holy smokes…guess I will be sharing..)
- 8 ounces chopped white chocolate
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×9″ pan.
- Melt white chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler, or in microwave on med power. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy.
- Gradually add the sugar and vanilla, mixing constantly.
- Drizzle in the melted white chocolate mixture.
- Combine the flour and salt and fold into the white chocolate mixture.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over-bake.
- Serve heated. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some real whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
PS who wants to go to the gym?!
November 27, 2012– Cake Batter Fudge
Either you’re gonna love me….or hate me for sharing this recipe! But since Christmas is almost here I figured we all deserve to cheat a little on our diets! Ok here we go!
What you’ll need:
- yellow cake mix
- confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup yellow cake mix + 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in microwave safe bowl
- Mix ‘em together
- Add 1/2 stick (1/4 cup butter) and 1/4 cup milk. Don’t mix.
- Place in microwave for 2 minutes
- Take it out and stir immediately
- Mix in sprinkles and pour into a greased pan or a plastic container
- Refrigerate for 1 hour, then cut into squares
* Makes one 6 x 6” container, or double for an 8 x 8” pan.
** Notes: If the batter comes out too runny, stir in about 1 tsp or sugar or cake mix at a time until stiff. If too thick to stir in all components, slowly add 1/2 tsp of milk at a time, but batter should be thick!
***Oh, and did I mention that you could do this WITHOUT DAIRY? This time use margarine and soy milk. Halve the soy milk (1/4 cup margarine, 1/8 cup soy milk)
November 17, 2012- Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips
Definately a recipe I’ll be trying really really soon!
for the fruit salsa:
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
8 oz raspberries
1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp fruit preserves, any flavor (I used strawberry; would only use 2 tbsp next time)
for the cinnamon chips:
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar, and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.
2. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar, cut into wedges, and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Spray again with cooking spray (not necessary if using melted butter).
3. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. This salsa can also be served with cinnamon graham crackers or cinnamon pita chips. Best when made and eaten the same day otherwise the fruit gives off so too much juice and it gets runny.