Dandelion Greens Pesto

Pesto is very simple and there is no need to measure. Pesto can be made so many ways, pretty much any nuts or seeds will work. I buy organic pine nuts from Costco and I leave them in my freezer, up to 6 months. I use half basil leaves and I grow my own. For the other half, I use any greens I have in the fridge, such as spinach or kale. This time I used something out of my front yard. Why not? Dandelions are usually easy to find except this year. On the weekend I found lots at camp. The babier the better! The baby leaves are less bitter and spring is the perfect time for harvest. I kept mine in a plastic container, or wrap the leaves in paper towel and refrigerate.

 perfect
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Dandelion Pesto
Handful of Pine nuts or Hemp seeds
3 Handfuls of Fresh Basil
3 Dandelion, Kale, Spinach or any leafy green
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 small Lemon juiced
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, optional
Nutritional yeast, optional for dairy free
 Blend all ingredients together. Refrigerate for a week or freeze up to 3 months.
Pesto goes great with:
cauliflower
eggs
spaghetti squash
potatoes
chicken
pasta
pizza

Just want to clear any confusion. Handful of pine nuts is 1/2 cup and 3 handfuls of basil and greens is 1 cup. Enjoy! My kids don’t love pesto but they eat it. I love it so I’m happy! Have fun foraging!

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Cool Chocolate Chip cookies

These are my family’s healthy chocolate chip cookies. You can make them in a pan and call it a blondie or make cookies. Chickpeas are high in starch so I don’t eat a lot of them but they are healthy too. Chickpeas have a shell on them that are hard to digest so I always take 10 minutes to take them off, that is totally your choice. These cool chocolate chip cookies will satisfy your sweet Cravings.

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1 can chickpeas
1/2 cup peanut, almond or sunflower seedbutter
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt, depending on the salt in the nut butter or chickpeas
1/2 cup chocolate chips
In a food processor or blender process chickpeas until it clumps up or is in small pieces. Add nut butter, honey and sugar; blend until smooth, scrape down sides of blender. Add milk and vanilla blend until smooth . Add coconut flour and baking powder and blend until creamy. Put in the fridge for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 375.

Grease a 9X11 pan or a square 8X8 inch pan for the blondie. The blondies take 22-28 minutes to cook.

If you are making cookies, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place dough 1 inch apart and add a few chocolate chips to the top. Cook for 12-15 minutes.

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Enjoy! Peace and Love to all!

Family Time Fajitas

Delight your friends and family with these mouth watering fajitas. The fajitas sauce has amazing flavor that goes into the cashew cream, the vegetables and the chicken. I use a jalapeños in the sauce and the kids never complain because it’s not that spicy but if you want spicy then use 2 jalapenos. I had some pinto beans in the cupboard so I made refried beans. That post will come later. I like that this is a way to please meat eaters, vegetarian and vegans. Everybody’s happy! Prepare sauce and slice vegetables the night before for a quick awesome meal.
Serves 4-5
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Fajitas Sauce
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, diced small
1 or 2 limes squeezed (about 3 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp of grapeseed oil or other oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
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Cashew cream
1/2 cup cashews raw (soaked for two hours or more)
2-3 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp fajita sauce, above recipe
(I haven’t tried replacing the cashew cream with sour cream or greek yogurt but I’m sure it work with the fajitas sauce)

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Filling
3 Peppers, sliced
2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 Onion, sliced

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Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts, sliced
2 Tbsp fajitas sauce
Tortillas
Avocado sliced, optional
Shredded cheese, I used cheddar
Refried beans, optional
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Soak the cashews in water for a least 2 hours; cashews can also soak overnight. Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
Marinade the chicken with 2 Tbsp of sauce and set aside.
With my magic bullet I blend the soaked cashews with water and sauce. Add more water, lime juice, salt or sauce to the cashew cream to get the consistency and flavor. The consistency should be like sour cream.
Fry sliced vegetables using the rest of the sauce in a fry pan.
In a separate pan, fry the marinated chicken.
Warm tortillas. Fill each one with ingredients, top with cheese, and fold tortilla. Serve hot.
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Have a Happy and Healthy weekend!

Cell Phone Pouch

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In the winter I have lots of big pockets to put my phone but with summer I have one layer with small pockets. So many times my phone falls out of my pocket and falls hard on the ground. Luckily I have a Blackberry that can handle the abuse. I thought to myself I have to solve this problem. So say goodbye to losing your keys, phone, money and other stuff.

This pouch is very handy; you can clip to your pants so its like having a pocket that fits an oversized cell phone, a pack of gum, lip gloss, and money. Clip your keys on to the carabiners (hiking clips) so if you’re like me you won’t lose your stuff out of your pockets anymore. I started taking quilting classes when I was pregnant for my son over 11 years ago. It got me out of the house and gave me something to keep me busy. I loved it! I haven’t done much sewing in the past couple years except this awesome pouch and hemming curtains. I have lots of ideas, fabric and tools so I hope to find time because it feels great to make your own bags, pillows, presents for others or whatever you want.

It takes only two hours to make this pouch and in the long run that’s less time looking for your lost items.

Material list

Standard sewing stuff

9″ square of fabric, new fabric or feel free to cut up some old clothes
9″ square piece of quilt batting
9″ square of cotton for the inside fabric

1″  2 1/2” rectangle of the outer fabric

Two carabiner clips
Favorite colour thread
8″ zipper
Long piece of fabric for the strap. I used 38” long and 2 1/2” wide
A few safety pins

My favorite is jean fabric for the outside because it blends well with most of my clothes.

The size depends on the size of zipper you have. Go one inch bigger than the zipper. I learned that the hard way.
Measure and cut 9″ squares, outside, inside fabric and batting.

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Secure all layers together with safety pins and trim edges if necessary.
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Stitch edges using a zig zag or overcast stitch.
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Pin fabric and zipper with right sides together. If you have an owner’s manual for your sewing machine, it’s nice to look to see which foot to use. Sew close to the zipper then zig zag rough edges.
Trace a logo of any image; I use my dove logo that my best friend, Debra-Lyn Ireland, animalartist.ca helped me design. Pin under the zippered edge. Sew on top of the tracing paper and then peel off the paper. If you have an embroidered patch that would be nice too.

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After one side of the zipper is sewn and the logo is done, fold right sides together and align other side of the zipper with the edge of the fabric. Sew close to the zipper, then zig zag rough edges.
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Ok, hand sewing time. Hand sew the zippered edge to the inside fabric. Sewing the zipper edge to the inside fabric keeps the inside of the pouch neat.
Strap: You can skip this step if you have an old belt, guitar strap or an adjustable strap possibly from an old backpack or something. Customizing your own makes it original.
Cut 2 1/2″ long enough piece to wrap around your waist plus extra to use for your belt and carabiner clip loops. Mine was 38″ long. Safety pin a shoe lace or something similar to one end, tuck in and fold right sides together. Sew edge using a 1/4 inch seam, leaving an inch at each side. Pull the cord and wiggle the the fabric to go over the safety pin. You can iron press the strap flat or finger press which is my favorite method. Sew straight down each side of the pressed strap. At each end of the strap fold over an 1 1/2″ and fold the end in 1/2″ to sew on top. Sew back and forth many times to make it very secure.
Loops to attach carabiners:
Cut two 1″ X 2 1/2″ pieces of the outside fabric and finger press the edges inward and fold in half and press again. Move the needle on the sewing machine all the way to one side so that your fabric meets the drop feed teeth and sew once or twice.
Carefully place carabiner loops in position on sides near the top. Sew both side edges of your pouch and you are done.
Feel free to customize this pouch to your liking. Also you can cheat by adding loops to an already made pouch such as a pencil case or make-up bag. I would have liked to take more pictures of my pouch in use but I’m still wearing my parka. I found it difficult to take picture of my phone with the pouch because my phone is my camera.
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 The red pouch was my prototype which suits my needs so there wasn’t much to change. The blue pouch is for my best friend Lindsay, I started it in July and thought I would give it for her birthday in September but that pasted so I thought for Christmas but that pasted so now she gets it for being my best friend.
I am very thankful to have a few close friends who will always be their for me.
I feel so LUCKY!

Baked Eggs and Bacon

Perfect for brunch! I love this recipe because it is a great way to have vegetables for breakfast because of the bacon and the cheese it makes all vegetables taste really good. My kids never complain about it. It’s how I got them to like asparagus. I’ve made this with what ever vegetables I have in the fridge my favourites are asparagus, peppers, zucchini, broccoli (specially the stem), onion, celery. The main idea is using up the bacon grease. Don’t forget to add some grease to your dogs food. I like to split a pack of bacon in 3 or 4 portions and freeze it so you can make this recipe a few times with one package.
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Baked Eggs and Bacon
1/3 package of bacon
9 eggs (more or less depending on how many people)
Water, milk or cream
Asparagus, bottoms cut in half inch pieces
Coloured Pepper, cut into pieces
Celery, diced
Green onions, diced
Fresh basil, optional
Salt and pepper
Cheese, shredded
Herbs or spices of your choice, optional
Preheat oven to 400
Place bacon in a casserole dish and bake until the fat cooks out about 12 minutes turning over half way through. Prepare eggs in a large measuring cup or bowl and whisk. Add a little water or milk and fresh basil if using, salt and pepper. Take out the bacon and cut up into pieces, leave the fat. Swirl the fat around in the dish. Add celery, peppers and bottoms of asparagus. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle on the green onions, then the tops of the asparagus and the bacon pieces. Turn oven down to 380. Bake for 15 minutes and take out and add cheese. Bake for 10-15 more minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy.
Sorry to the vegans but the kids love it.
Have a nice long weekend! Enjoy the special moments!
My next post is a sewing pattern.

Healthier Icing

It’s no joke It’s possible to make Icing healthier. Sure it’s not something you should eat every day but you should definitely indulge sometimes. Adding ground pecans to the icing gives it a caramel feeling and also adding coconut gives lots of flavor and lowers the sugar. Go ahead and flavor it anyway you want, even try dates. My family loves it on my Vanilla maple cake.Vanilla Maple Cake for any occasion
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Regular version:
Equal amount of

Coconut oil

Butter

Maple syrup

Icing sugar or ground coconut sugar
Stir ingredients, mix in
Coconut milk, a little at a time.
Then add,
3 drops of stevia
1 tsp vanilla for flavoring.
Blend all the ingredients while adding the coconut milk a little at a time. After add the stevia and vanilla. Add more sugar if desired.
Pecans Icing: As a topping maple pecans Maple seeds and nuts
Grind either raw or roasted pecans with maple syrup in a blender. Add to the icing mix
Coconut Icing:
Adding ground coconut to the mix

Coming up with a name for this icing wasn’t easy. Maybe I should have went with Judd’s idea and called it Frosty Frosting. Anyway I hope you enjoy and have a great March break. Fun is what you make of it!

Vanilla Maple Cake for any occasion

Vanilla Maple Cake is perfect for any occasion. I prefer to make my own cake so I can reduce the sugar and I know that it is made with quality ingredients. I make a healthier Icing to top it off,Healthier Icing then add maple pecans. My recipe Maple seeds and nuts. For a great Easter cake top with peeps or easter eggs. This cake is so moist and delicious and awesome to share with others. I hope you try it!

Vanilla Maple Cake for any occasion
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour Almond meal flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour or substitute tapioca flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 eggs or flax eggs (2 Tbsp of ground flax seeds and 6 Tbsp of water and let sit for 5 minutes)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
4 drops stevia
2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 grapeseed oil
1 cup coconut milk
Preheat oven to 360.
In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients and make a well.
Add liquids and mix until combined.
Grease pan with coconut oil or coconut oil spray.
Bake cupcakes or cake for 22-25 minutes.
Makes 12 cupcakes, double the recipe to feed a crowd because everyone will want one to go.

Roasted vegetables for breakfast lunch or dinner

Oven roasted potatoes was the second dish I learned how to cook. My dad taught me and if he can make this anyone can. I like to roast many vegetables and it’s the same process. It’s a delicious way to experiment with your favorite vegetables and spices. Roasted vegetables and potatoes sides while with every meal. Why not start your busy weekend morning with a great nourishing breakfast to give your day a boost.
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If you are going for hash browns then use regular potatoes eg: white or Yukon gold potatoes
My favourite vegetables to roast are:
Potatoes
Onions
Peppers
Cauliflower
Zucchini
Carrots
Asparagus
Squash
1 or 2 Tbsp of grapeseed oil or oil of your choice
Spices option 1:
Chili powder
Paprika
Garlic powder
Salt
Spices option 2:
Cumin
Coriander
Turmeric
Salt
Option 3:
Balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 420
In a bowl combine oil and spices. Cut vegetables to bit size and mix with oil and spices till evenly coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the vegetables evenly.
Potatoes take about 20-30 minutes and most other vegetables take about 15- 20 minutes
My dad always used seasoning salt, simple and delicious.
Thanks Dad for this life lesson.

Canadian Maple Blueberry Sauce

This recipe is truly Canadian, Blueberries and Maple syrup. This sauce tastes just like blueberry pie filling and is   really healthy. Use this sauce on plain cheesecake, pancakes or whatever strikes your fancy.

I am a true Canadian and I love winter. Snow makes me feel like nine years old again. I love snowboarding, cross-country skiing, sliding, skating, building snowmen, building snow forts and shoveling. I can’t forget to mention how truly beautiful snow is.

I always have frozen blueberries in my freezer, I used to pick enough to last me the winter but now I buy them.

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Frozen blueberries ( wild Canadian)
Maple syrup
Arrowroot flour (or substitute cornstarch or tapioca starch)
Water
Optional: lemon juice, lemon zest, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg
In a pot, lightly coat berries with maple syrup and bring to a light boil. Add lemon and spices, if using. In a small bowl mix egual amounts of water and arrowroot flour. Add a little at a time to the sauce and stir. The sauce should thicken.
Serve hot.

Luscious Cheesecake Bars

This is a very versatile recipe. It’s one that you can follow your Cravings for sure. I make two different desserts with this recipe using two 8×8 but feel free to make just one using a 9×12 pan instead. Strawberry cheesecake is a perfect Valentine dessert and with a little coconut whip cream, fresh strawberrys and mini chocolate chips it will please all. Canadian maple blueberry sauce is amazing with the plain cheesecake too! I will post that recipe and coconut whip cream separately.
Crust:
4 cups Corn flakes (graham crackers or another cookie or cereal)
1/3 cup Butter melted
1/3 cup Coconut oil melted
2 Tbsp Maple syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
Chocolate crust: 2 big chunks of any leftover chocolate or baking chocolate to the double boiler. Or substitute with chocolate powder.
Plain Filling:

220g bag raw cashews (soaked overnight)

2 Tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener to taste
1 lemon squeezed
1/4 coconut oil melted
1 can coconut milk (leave out some of the water, if you can)
4 drops of stevia (I like vanilla stevia)
1 tsp vanilla
Variations of filling, for half of filling
1 cup of strawberries (I used frozen)
1/2 cup Peanut butter
Prepare 2 8×8 pans with parchment paper. Process 3 cups of the corn flakes in a food processor. Melt butter in a double boiler; once melted add maple syrup and vanilla. Pour 3/4 of the butter mixture into the food processor with the corn flakes and process until it comes together.
Press more than half the crust into the prepared pan. Melt chocolate in the remaining butter. Process remaining corn flakes, add the melted chocolate, process till it comes together and press into prepared pan.
Filling
Soak cashews overnight. In a blender, blend the cashews until thick . Add lemon, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup,vanilla and stevia, blend until creamy. Pour a little more than half of the filling on top of the plain crust. If you decide to make a second flavor add your choice eg: 1 cup of frozen strawberry’s. Bang down the pan to release some of the air. Place in the freezer for 1 hour. Cut into squares and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Before serving take it out of the freezer early to soften.
Serve as is or top with coconut whip cream, Canadian maple blueberry sauce, chocolate or what ever your craving.
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