Saturday, June 29, 2013

DIY lemon coconut sea salt scrub.

It's been about two weeks since my last post, and much has changed since then! We are in our new house!!!! Hardwood floors, new appliances, gas stove, huge backyard (I'm talking big people, like 1/3 acre!), lots of space, which is probably my favorite thing. Being in a house is so different from an apartment (different, but soooooo much better) and I am so in love with it. We have been here a grand total of 3 days, and I just told Tucker today that I never want to move! So thankful.

me in our "office". :)

Currently, I am blogging from our "office" which is really just the front bedroom, with a desk, a big red loveseat chair and a large mirror sitting on the floor. I've been in here a good part of the day, catching up on my blog reading, Youtube video watching, etc. While on Youtube, I visited Essie Button's channel (if you don't know who Essie is, please go here. You will forever be changed.) and I came upon a video of a DIY foot scrub that she made with sea salt. It's summer right now, and my feet are pretty rough thanks to being in tennis shoes alot of the time, being on my feet more than usual in the past few weeks, and just from overall not putting the time into caring for them. Even though I deviated a bit from the way that Estee made her scrub, I think my version works just as well. All the ingredients are natural and work really well for dry skin. I love my scrub and since I have made it, have used it both on my feet and hands. It is wonderful and easy to make and cheaper to make then most scrubs in stores. I'll try to guesstimate the measurements of my recipe, but really, I just kept adding until I felt like the consistency was what I needed. 

DIY Lemon Coconut Sea Salt Scrub

**I used this on my feet and hands, although I'm sure you could use it all over your body. I would be careful to use it on your face because the sea salt can make this scrub pretty abrasive. So, if I were to use it on my face, I would probably use granulated sugar instead of salt.**

Combine about 1/3 to 2/3 cup sea salt, 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 good squeeze honey, and juice of 1/2 a lemon in a bowl, or mason jar. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Should feel like a scrub, so not too oily, but not just salt grains. Scrub on feet or hands, rinse, and make everyone in your house feel your smooth skin! 

Let me know if you try out this recipe! I am thinking of trying out coffee scrub next so if I do, I will be sure to post about it. 

Happy Scrubbing!  xo

Monday, June 10, 2013

my most favorite chicken recipe. ever.

My family and I went to dinner this past weekend. We went to an amazing Ethiopian food restaurant in the city and while there talked about food. Of course. My sister and I, being twins, always like to compare ourselves to each other. Everyone else does too, coincidentally. We don't just wear our hair curly. One of us normally wears it curly, and one of us normally wears it straight. One of us really likes caffeine, the other doesn't drink caffeine so much. One of us loves to read literature and murder mystery, while the other loves Redeeming Love. We are very similar, but also tremendously different. When it comes to cooking, we both love it (similarity) but Tiffanie loves to cook.  I prefer baking. My finesse, if you will, is with baking. Which doesn't always make sense to me because baking is a typically precise, routinized practice. 

My husband  loves to say that I "never measure anything", which in some sense, is totally true. 1 tbsp vanilla equals a good sized splash into the bowl. 2 cups of chocolate chips equals the whole bag. Recipe calls for 2 medium bananas, ahhh... two large ones won't hurt. I do not, however, guesstimate on baking soda, flour, sugar, or baking soda. Those things, typically, make or break your recipe, and they are measured out for a reason. Hear me peeps, DO NOT GUESSTIMATE these. It will not end well. 

All that said, when it comes to cooking, I tend to stick to the simple side, to be safe. A good roast vegetable, a yummy salad or soup, and a good cooked protein. I love my crockpot for cooking meat, and the hubs is teaching me how to grill, but still I prefer the sugar, spice & everything's nice. But, there is one chicken recipe that makes my little heart happy. Because it's basically like baking. Flour, egg, bread crumbs, minimum 10 minutes to make. Super easy, yummy, and reliable. Just the way I like my recipes. 

Breaded Chicken Cutlets
from Dinner A Love Story, Jenny Rosenstrach, 2012. 

For chicken: Pound four boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Set up your dredging stations: a rimmed plate with two lightly beaten eggs, a plate with a mound of  flour (salted, peppered, and dry mustard-ed if you have it), a plate with a huge mound of bread crumbs (or Kellogg’s corn flake crumbs, or panko). Dredge your chicken pieces first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the crumbs. Sauté each breast in olive oil over medium-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes a side. Serve with asparagus sauce and regular ketchup if you must.

This recipe is delicious and perfect for kiddos who want chicken nuggets, and you want to give them something "healthier" than a happy meal from McDonald's. And if you don't already know about Jenny's cookbook, plllllleasse do yourself a favor and buy it. It will make you want to cook, go to the farmer's market and make chicken cutlets. 

Dinner A Love Story book trailer. :)

Enjoy! xo

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

all about chia.

My husband and I are in the process of moving to/buying a new house, which has been, in the best sense, stressful. Lots of phone calls, runs to the bank, emails, etc. We are staying with my parents for a little while, and due to all the moving, running around, studying for my class, completing clinical prerequisites, my eating habits have been, not good. Terrible. Slightly horrifying. Chips, brownie sundaes, and bologna sandwiches have made a few dozen appearances. This morning I woke up craving two things: a good book and real food. I browsed Instagram and came across a picture of a chia seed pudding mixed with fruit compote. So I decided to make it today. I grabbed my bag of chia seeds, some almond milk, and some strawberries and went to work.

All I can say is OH MY LANDS, is this stuff good. The chia pudding takes a good 6 hours to form into it's delightful self, so I didn't actually get to try my concoction until about 3:45 today. But it was definitely worth the agonizing wait ( I am being a bit dramatic today--but I am not exaggerating how good this is.) Chia seeds are an amazing superfood that nature has provided us with, and normally I use them in smoothies, salads, and in breakfast cookies. It's a gelatinous seed, which acts like a "binder" and binds up all the stuff that gets left behind in our intestines. It pulls it all together and we pass it, so it cleans you out pretty well (but tastes way better than Metamucil or seaweed ;)

Make this for a yummy, slightly sweet breakfast with an egg or fresh fruit or pancakes. Or for a light snack, or for a sweet tooth midnight craving. No matter when you eat it, it is sure to satisfy. :)

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding with Almond Milk

Combine 2 cups Almond Milk (or coconut or regular organic milk), 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup plus 1 handful of chia seeds in a bowl. Mix well, and refrigerate for at least 5 hours to overnight, stirring every other hour.

Strawberry Compote

Combine 1 pint strawberries (or any berries, fresh or frozen), 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla over medium high heat. Let simmer until strawberries become soft, easily mash-able (word?) and the juice from the strawberries begins to thicken (15-20 min). Store in fridge until ready to serve over pudding.

Let me know how it goes!

Steffanie xo