Christmas menu: Banh Pate So \\\ Menu de Noël: Banh Pate So

(Version française plus bas!)

When I was a kid, my mom used to make Banh Pate So, the Vietnamese puff pastries, in huge batches. The smell of warm butter dough would fill our apartment, and I just couldn’t wait for them to be cooked. This Christmas, I really wanted to recreate my mom’s recipe, changing it to be vegan. I have been on the hunt for vegan pastry dough for a while, and I didn’t want to buy some with palm oil. Well, a stroke of luck made me find some made with canola oil: not great, but still.

pate-so

The result is warm, flaky, savory little bundles of deliciousness. I made them in advance for Christmas Eve as they can easily be warmed up in the oven to be enjoyed whenever. They are a bit long to make, but so worth it.

pate-so4

Here is what you need for 20 Pate So:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 button mushrooms
  • 6 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup of pumpkin purée
  • 1,5 cup walnuts
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 900 g pastry dough

Here is what you do:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the onion. Cook until slightly translucent.
  2. Add the carrots and stir until they start to get tender.
  3. Add the mushrooms and turn up the heat to help the mushrooms lose their water. Once most of their water is gone, turn down the heat and add the celery, the pumpkin purée and the walnuts. Stir everything and let cook until the carrots are tender, but not mushy.
  4. Mix in the tahini, almond milk and thyme leaves. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste. Turn off the heat and let cool.
  5. Roll the pastry dough until it is about 5mm thick. Using a glass, cut out circles of about 8 cm in diameter. Make sure you have an even number of circles. If you don’t want to have circles, you can also cut your dough in squares or any other shape you like!
  6. Place about 1 tbs of stuffing on half of your circles. Cover them with the remaining circles and use a fork to close everything up. Lightly brush the top pastry with a bit of oil or water mixed with maple syrup to get a nice golden color.
  7. Place your pastries on a lined cookie sheet and bake them at 350F (180C) for 45 minutes or until they are nice and golden. Enjoy!

pate-so5

These really turned out perfect! I had a lot of fun making them, and they are delicious! I can’t wait to serve these on Christmas Eve! They are tender and flaky, and the stuffing is savoury and hearty. Give them a try!


Lorsque j’étais petite, ma mère préparait des dizaines et des dizaines de Banh Pate So, des délicieux beignets de pâte feuilletée vietnamiens. L’odeur réconfortante de la pâte feuilletée envahissait notre appartement, et j’attendais avec impatience qu’ils sortent du four pour les dévorer. Ce Noël, j’ai eu envie de recréer cette recette, tout en l’adaptant à ma sauce végane. Cela fait quelque temps que j’ai ce projet en tête, et j’étais donc à l’affût d’une pâte feuilletée végane et sans huile de palme. Coup de chance: j’en ai trouvée une faite seulement avec de l’huile de canola! C’est toujours mieux que de l’huile de palme!

pate-so3

Le résultat? De délicieux beignets chaud et savoureux. Je les ai même préparés à l’avance pour n’avoir qu’à les réchauffer pour notre Réveillon. Parfait! Ils sont un peu long à préparer, mais ça vaut vraiment la peine!

Pour une vingtaine de Pate So, vous aurez besoin de:

  • 1 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
  • 1 oignon, finement haché
  • 10 champignons de Paris, coupé en tranches fines
  • 6 tiges de céleri, hachées
  • 4 carottes, hachées
  • 1 tasse de purée de citrouille
  • 1,5 tasse de noix de Grenoble
  • 2 c. à soupe de tahini
  • ¼ tasse de lait d’amandes
  • 1 c. à soupe de feuilles de thym frais
  • Sel et poivre au goût
  • 900 g de pâte feuilletée

Voici ce qu’il faut faire :

  1. Sur feu moyen, chauffer l’huile et y ajouter l’oignon. Laisser cuire jusqu’à ce que l’oignon commence à être translucide.
  2. Ajouter les carottes et mélanger jusqu’à ce qu’elles commencent à être tendres.
  3. Ajouter les champignons et monter le feu à feu vif pour qu’ils perdent leur eau. Continuer à bien mélanger. Une fois l’eau évaporée, réduire le feu et ajouter le céleri, la purée de citrouille, et les noix. Mélanger le tout et laisser cuire doucement jusqu’à ce que les carottes soient tendres, sans être molles.
  4. Incorporer le tahini, le lait d’amandes et le thym. Goûter et ajouter du sel et du poivre à votre goût. Étendre le feu et laisser refroidir.
  5. Rouler votre pâte feuilletée sur une surface enfarinée jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit d’environs 5mm d’épaisseur. Utiliser un verre pour découper des cercles d’environs 8 cm de diamètre. Assurez-vous d’avoir un nombre pair de cercles. Si vous le préférez, vous pouvez également simplement couper la pâte en carrés, ou en tout autre forme que vous désirez.
  6. Placez environs une cuillère à table de farce dans le milieu de la moitié de vos cercles de pâte. Recouvrez-les ensuite des cercles de pâte restant pour former des petits pâtés. Faites le tour de chaque bord avec une fourchette pour bien sceller le tout. Badigeonner d’un peu d’huile ou d’eau mélangée à du sirop d’érable pour obtenir une belle couleur dorée.
  7. Enfourner dans un four préchauffé à 350F (180C) pour 45 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que vos pâtés soient bien dorés! Savourez!

pate-so2

Je dois dire, qu’ils sont sortis du four vraiment parfaits : croustillant et savoureux! Je me suis bien amusée à les préparer et j’ai vraiment hâte de les servir pour notre Réveillon de Noël. J’espèere que vous les essayerez!

 

 

DIY Gift #4: Lip Balms and Salves \\\ Cadeau-Maison #4: Baumes à lèvres et Onguents

(Version française plus bas!)

I love lip balms! I have a different on in all my coats and bags and a few are lounging on my desk and nightstand. I recently discovered salves, and I’m afraid they are on the same road as my lip balms: they will soon take over my living space!

A few years ago, I tried making my own lip balms, but they turned out to be horrible: granular and super hard, I threw them out eventually because they were just not usable. The idea of making my own was still in the back of my head, and so I was super excited to attend a balm and salve workshop recently. And guess what? I can now make my very own balms AND salves, and they are perfect!

balms-salves

So, in the spirit of Christmas, I set out to make many little pots of moisturizing goodness that will help my family and friends go through winter. These are very easy to make and super quick too, so these make great last minute gifts.

Recipe #1: Lavender Salve: For the cook or craft person in your life.

salve-balm4

This salve is very moisturizing and helps with burns or minor cuts as lavender helps regenerate the skin and makes the healing process go a little bit faster. It’s also great for bug bites and general skin irritations.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 tsp candelilla wax (I used this wax because it is a plant-based alternative to beeswax)
  • 1/4 cup oil (you can use any oil of your choice, as long as it is liquid at room temperature. I like to use olive or avocado oils because they are very moisturizing.)
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil

Recipe #2: Mint Lip Balm: For everyone in your life

balm-salve3

I love this lip balm because it is refreshing and so moisturizing. It is not overly oily and leaves the lips soft and shiny.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 tsp candelilla wax
  • 1.5 tbs shea butter
  • 1.5 tbs oil (again use a high quality oil you like. I really like avocado oil for lip balms because it is rich and quickly absorbed by the skin)
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil

Recipe #3: Lemon body balm: For the itching person in your life

balm-salve2

Because the cold makes my entire body itch, I made this salve that makes me smells delicious! I like to use it in the morning because lemon is energizing and wakes me up. This body balm is also great for really dry spots like elbows and heels.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 tsp candelilla wax
  • 1.5 tbs cacao butter
  • 1.5 tbs shea butter
  • 4-6 tbs oil (I used olive oil. The more oil you’ll use, the softer your balm it will be.)
  • 10 drops of lemon essential oil

Here is what you do for all three recipes:

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the wax and butters on low heat.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the oil. The wax will solidify again. Place on low heat and stir until everything is melted again.
  3. In a clean container, add the essential oil and pour the oil mixture on top. Quickly close your container and let sit in the fridge to set. That’s it!

As you can see, it is fairly simple to prepare really moisturizing balms and salves in your kitchen. Little troubleshooting tip: if your final product is too hard, you can always melt it again with some extra oil. If your final product is too soft, melt it again with some extra wax. I really love these three recipes, and they are quickly becoming favourites in my house. They keep for a long time, and you’ll know they are not good to use anymore because they will smell funky. Trust me, you will know. Let me know if you have your own recipes for balms and salves!

balm-salve5


J’adore les baumes à lèvres. Une de mes choses préférées de l’hiver, c’est de sortir mon manteau et de redécouvrir le baume que j’y ai laissé l’hiver précédent. J’en ai qui traine un peu partout dans mes manteaux et dans mes sacs, et également sur mon bureau et ma table de nuit. J’ai également découverts les onguents il n’y a pas très longtemps, et ils sont en voie d’envahir mon espace aussi rapidement que les baumes à lèvres!

balms-salves

Il y a quelques années, j’ai essayé de faire mes propres baumes à lèvres à la maison, mais ils se sont avérés être inutilisables: durs et granuleux, ils ont finalement atterris dans la poubelle à ma plus grande déception. J’avais cependant gardé cette idée en tête et j’étais donc super excitée de participer à un atelier de fabrication de baumes à lèvres et d’onguents il y a quelques semaines. Et bien, je peux maintenant me faire mes propres baumes et c’est vraiment très chouette!

Donc, pour Noël, j’ai également préparé des petits pots d’hydratation pour mes proches. J’espère que cela les aidera à passer au travers de l’hiver. En tout cas, ça fait de cadeaux sympas de dernière minute.

Recette #1: Onguent à la lavande: pour les chefs cuisiniers et artisans de votre vie.

salve-balm4

Cet onguent est vraiment très hydratant, mais surtout cicatrisant grâce à la lavande. J’aime l’utiliser en cas de brûlure ou de petites coupures car cela aide la peau à se régénérer. Il est également très efficace pour les piqûres d’insectes.

Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin:

  • 1 c. à café de cire de candelilla (j’utilise cette cire car c’est une très bonne alternative végane à la cire d’abeille)
  • 1/4 tasse d’huile (vous pouvez utiliser l’huile de votre choix, du moment qu’elle soit liquide à température ambiante pour avoir un baume d’une bonne consistance. J’utilise généralement de l’huile d’olive ou d’avocat car elles sont vraiment très hydratantes)
  • 10 gouttes d’huile essentielle de lavande

Recette #2: Baume à lèvres à la menthe poivrée: Pour tout le monde sur votre liste

balm-salve3

J’adore ce baume à lèvres car il est rafraichissant et tellement hydratant! Il n’est pas trop gras et laisse les lèvres douces et légèrement brillantes.

Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin:

  • 1 c. à café de cire de candelilla
  • 1.5 c. à soupe de beurre de karité
  • 1.5 c. à soupe d’huile (encore une fois, utilisez une huile de bonne qualité que vous appréciez. J’aime utiliser de l’huile d’avocat pour les baumes à lèvres car elle est très hydratante et rapidement absorbée par la peau.)
  • 10 gouttes d’huile essentielle de menthe poivrée

Recette #3: Baume pour le corps au citron: Pour la personne qui à la peau sèche

balm-salve2

Parce que le froid rend la totalité de ma peau sèche, je me suis fabriqué se baume qui sent incroyablement bon et qui est également vraiment très hydratant. Je l’aime vraiment beaucoup car il rend ma peau confortable tout en étant rapidement absorbé. Ce baume est également très efficace pour les parties les plus sèches comme les coudes et les talons.

Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin :

  • 1 c. à thé de cire de candelilla
  • 1.5 c. à soupe de beurre de cacao
  • 1.5 c. à soupe de beurre de karité
  • 4-6 c. à soupe d’huile (j’ai utilisé de l’huile d’olive. Plus vous ajouterez d’huile, plus votre baume sera mou)
  • 10 gouttes d’huile essentielle de citron

Voici ce qu’il faut faire pour les 3 recettes:

  1. Dans une petite casserole, faites fondre la cire et les beurres sur feu très doux.
  2. Retirez du feu et ajoutez l’huile. La cire se solidifiera. Remettre sur feu très doux et mélanger doucement jusqu’à ce que tout soit de nouveau liquide.
  3. Dans un contenant bien propre, ajoutez l’huile essentielle. Versez le mélange de cire dans le contenant et le refermer rapidement. Laissez refroidir au frigo pour 20 minutes ou sur votre comptoir jusqu’à ce que tout soit bien pris. Et c’est tout!

Comme vous pouvez le constater, il est vraiment simple de se préparer des baumes et des onguents à la maison. Quelques petits trucs: si votre produit final est trop dur, refaire fondre le tout et ajouter de l’huile. Si c’est trop mou, refaire fondre et ajouter un peu de cire! J’aime vraiment ces trois recettes et elles sont rapidement devenues des indispensables chez nous. Elles se conservent assez longtemps, mais vous saurez qu’il est temps d’en repréparer lorsque les baumes sentent bizarres. C’est difficile de se tromper. Dites-moi si vous les essayez ou si vous avez vos propres recettes préférées!

 

 

Christmas menu: Curried Cauliflower Soup \\\ Menu de Noël: Soupe au chou-fleur et au curry

(Version française plus bas) 

I love curry! So, of course, when it came to deciding on my Christmas menu, I wanted to include some of its spicy deliciousness. I also wanted this soup to be simple and quick to prepare, and ideally to be something I could prepare well ahead. Well, this is it. It is thick, spicy, comforting and the perfect start to my Christmas dinner.

curry-cauliflower-soup

Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 butternut squash, diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cauliflower head, chopped
  • 1 broccoli head, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can of mixed beans (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbs garam massala powder
  • 1 tbs turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to your taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and cover them with water.
  2. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and let simmer until the squash is tender.
  3. Using your wand mixer, mix everything up until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

That’s it! It is so simple and quick to prepare. I actually already prepared a batch of this ahead, so that I don’t have to worry about it uring the Christmas week-end. The soup is spicy and warming, without being too hot. The cauliflower makes it very thick and creamy, without any cream or fat. Great! Let me know if you try it out!


J’adore le curry! Il était donc évident que cette épice ferait une apparition pour notre repas de Noël. En entrée, j’avais envie d’une soupe réconfortante et réchauffante, mais qui soit simple à préparer et préférablement préparable à l’avance. Bien, mission accomplie! Cette soupe est crémeuse, sans huile et vraiment délicieuse!

curry-cauliflower-soup2

Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin: 

  • 1/2 courge butternut, coupée en dés (environs 3 tasses)
  • 1 chou-fleur, coupés en dés
  • 1 brocoli, coupés en dés
  • 1 oignon, coupé finement
  • 1 conserve de légumineuses mélangées (environs 2 tasses)
  • 1/2 tasse de graines de chanvre
  • 2 c. à soupe de poudre de garam massala
  • 1 c. à soupe de poudre de curcuma
  • 1 c. à thé de graines de cumin ou de poudre de cumin
  • 1/2 c. à thé de flocons de piment
  • sel et poivre au goût

Voici ce qu’il faut faire:

  1. Placez tous les ingrédients dans une grande casserole et le recouvrir d’eau.
  2. Portez à ébullition à feu vif. Réduire à feu moyen et laisser mijoter jusqu’à ce que la courge soit bien tendre.
  3. Utilisez votre mélangeur à immersion et pulvériser le tout jusqu’à ce que la soupe soit lisse et crémeuse. Savourez!

Voilà! C’est si simple à préparer et vraiment délicieux! Cette soupe est bien réchauffante, sans être trop piquante. Le chou-fleur rend cette soupe vraiment très crémeuse et épaisse, sans avoir à rajouter de matière grasse, ce qui n’est pas mal pendant la période des fêtes. Bon appétit!

Christmas 2016- Surviving the Holidays! \\\ Survivre aux fêtes!

(Version française plus bas!)

With less then a week to Christmas, it’s easy to get high anxiety and to feel overwhelmed between gifts, cards, food and planning. All this extra work is also happening at the wrong time: I’m usually super tired from the cold setting in and a general lack of sleep. So, this year, I really thought about how I would deal with the holidays without using the last bits of energy I have. I also realized that being a ball of stress was probably not fun for the people surrounding me. Here are some questions that helped me destress and prioritize for a stress-free holiday season.

surviving-the-holidays

  1. What are my priorities? This is probably the most important question to ask yourself: what is it that you want out of this holiday season? Personally, I want to feel refreshed, energized and happy. I want to spend as much time as possible with my family, in my pj’s, reading, watching movies and having a good time. I want to see friends, but also to reconnect with myself a little bit and to take care of myself. Do I need to spend a gazillion hours in front of the stove for that? No. That’s settled then! I really feel like sitting down and writing down some priorities helped me get rid of unattainable standards that got into my mind at some point. There’s nothing wrong with a little downsizing!
  2. How much time do I have? Christmas this year is on a Sunday, which means that most of us will be working until Friday and start celebrating on Saturday. That doesn’t leave a lot of extra days to do last minute shopping or cooking. It’s important to recognize that and to realistically count how many hours will be available and to work with that number.
  3. How much money do I have? Gifts really are the perfect thing to make you feel cheap and poor (always a great combo!). This year, I set myself a very clear gift money budget and really stuck to it. I also wanted to make Christmas more personal by making most of my gifts myself (see DIY gifts), which meant that I didn’t have to spend as much money to have really cute and fun gifts. Having a clear limit really helped reduce my anxiety levels because I tend to let myself go overboard when it comes to Christmas gifts, which usually means that I start the year completely broke and stressed out. Not good!
  4. What can I prepare ahead? Finally, once everything is planned and clear in your head, try to give yourself a break by making things ahead. For example, I’ll be serving some curried cauliflower soup . Well, it’s already made and sitting in my freezer, ready to be warmed up on Christmas day. That’s one thing I will not need to worry about. I also grated a lot of carrots and beets for a colourful salad, and made some sauerkraut as a side dish. During this week, I’ll also be making some bean dips, salad dressings and cut out the veggies ahead. That way, it will be a simple matter of roasting and assembling. Stress? What stress?
  5. What can my guests bring? I really think that assuming everything is the worst idea one can have for Christmas. Don’t be shy and ask your friends and familly to bring some things to0. It’s the season for sharing, isn’t it?

I really hope these few tips will help make your holiday season less stressful and more enjoyable. Do you have any other tips?


Je suis tellement excitée que Noël soit dans moins d’une semaine! Ça pourrait également être stressant: les cadeaux, les cartes, la nourriture, l’organisation… il y a de quoi paniquer! Surtout que les fêtes de fin d’année arrivent alors que je suis fatiguée par l’hiver qui commence et beaucoup de travail. Cette année, j’ai vraiment fait un effort pour ne pas utiliser mes dernières pépites d’énergie en vue de passer des fêtes heureuses et reposantes. Il n’est également pas très agréable d’infliger la version stressée de moi-même à ma famille et à mes proches. Voici quelques questions qui m’ont aidées à rendre cette saison des fêtes la moins stressante possible.

survivre-aux-fetes

  1. Quelles sont mes priorités? Cette question est sans doute la plus importante de toutes: qu’est-ce que j’attend de cette saison des fêtes? Personnellement, j’ai envie d’être énergisée, reposée et détendue à la fin des vacances. J’ai également très hâte de passer du temps avec ma famille, en pyjamas, à lire et à regarder des films. J’ai envie de voir quelques amis, mais aussi de me reconnecter et de prendre soins de moi. Est-il donc nécéssaire que je passe milles heures devant mon four? Non. Voilà une chose de réglée! Je pense vraiment que de prioriser ses objectifs est primordial pour éviter de se mettre des standards incroyablement élevés en tête. Après tout, c’est aussi le temps de se gâter un peu!
  2. Combien de temps m’est disponible? Comme Noël tombe un dimanche cette année, ça veut dire que la plupart des gens vont travailler jusqu’à vendredi et commencer à célébrer samedi. Cela ne donne vraiment pas beaucoup de temps pour faire le magasinage de dernière minute et la bouffe. Il est donc important de compter le nombre d’heures qui pourra réalistiquement être allouées à la préparation de Noël et de s’y tenir.
  3. Combien d’argent m’est disponible? Les cadeaux de Noël, c’est parfait pour se sentir pauvre et radin. Cette année, pour éviter de me sentir mal, je me suis fixée un budget de Noël, et je m’y suis tenue. De plus, j’ai eu envie de rendre mes cadeaux plus personels en en fabriquant une bonne partie. Avoir un budget clair m’a vraiment aidée à faire mes choix et à reduire mon niveau de stress en m’empêchant d’exagérer et de commencer l’année complètement fauchée.
  4. Qu’est-ce que je peux préparer à l’avance? Cette année, j’essaye de me laisser une chance de profiter de la journée du 24 en préparant autant de choses que possible à l’avance. Par exemple, j’ai déjà préparé mon entrée: une soupe au curry et au chou-fleur. Elle est déjà au congélateur, prête à être rechauffée et savourée! Une chose en moins sur ma liste. J’ai également préparé des carottes et des betteraves pour faire une jolies salade colorée, et j’ai mis de la choucroutte à fermenter pour un petit à côté. Cette semaine, je vais également préparer des tartinades de légumineuses, mes saucess à salades et découper les légumes pour que le 24 ne soit plus qu’une question d’assemblage et d’enfournage. Parfait!
  5. Qu’est-ce que mes invités peuvent apporter? Si vous recevez des gens pour les fêtes, il est probablement déraisonnable de tout assumer. N’hésitez pas à faire participer vos amis et votre famille! Après tout, c’est la saison du partage, non?

Voilà! J’espère que ces quelques questions vous aideront à passer de belles fêtes avec le moins de stress possible. Et vous, quels sont vos trucs?

 

DIY Gift #3 Bath Bombs! \\\ Cadeau-Maison #3: Bombe pour le bain!

 

(Version française plus bas!)

To continue with the wellness gifts, I made some bath bombs for my family! My boyfriend really loves Lush bath bombs, and so I thought I would try and make him some. Well, they were fairly easy to make and a lot cheaper than buying them! I have to admit, I got tired of using the bomb molds I got for this, and so I just filled up little jars with the powder. I think this will make a fun addition to our bathroom. I’m calling these “effervescent bath salts”. Very fancy, I know!

bath-bomb4

Again, I used some essential oils to perfume these. I stuck with my favourites, which I also used for the bath salts I made. Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and lemon are great in baths. Of course, you can personalise the bath bombs by using essential oils that you like.

bath-bomb3

To colour them, I used some food coloring because it was really cheap, and I have to say it worked really well! Of course, this is completely optional, but I thought they made everything look a little bit more fun and festive. Plus, it doesn’t stain bathtubs, so that’s a plus. Alright, let’s start!

bath-bomb2

Here is what you need for one big bath bomb:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup epsom salt
  • 3 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbs water
  • 10-20 drops of essential oils
  • 4- 6 drops of food coloring

To prepare: gloves

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients with a whisk.
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
  3. Start whisking the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet ingredients while you continue to whisk. Make sure not to add too much at once to avoid activating the citric acid. The final mix should be wet enough for it to stick together when you grab some in your hand.
  4. If you are using molds, press some of the mix in tightly and let it sit for 20 minutes before unmolding. If you are going for the easier option, just put about 1/2 cup of the mix in a jar. You could use a bigger jar and layer different colors too!

That’s it! Super simple and fairly quick to make, I really love how effervescent these are! They also smell incredibly good! Because there is some oil in them, they are also very hydrating. It also means that you might have to rinse out your tub after having a bath with these.

bath-bomb5

If you are wondering where to buy the supplies to make these, I found mine at Coop Coco in Montreal, but you can easily find them online.

Let me know if you try them out!


Pour continuer avec les cadeaux faits maison et de bien-être, quoi de mieux que des bombes pour le bain! Mon copain adore les bombes pour le bain de Lush, alors je me suis dit qu’il serait amusant d’essayer de lui en faire. Elles étaient vraiment simples et rapides à préparer, mais surtout, beaucoup moins chères que celles de Lush! Bon, je dois admettre que je me suis rapidement fatiguée d’utiliser les moules ronds. J’ai donc commencé à mettre le mélange dans des pots pour faire des sels de bain effervescents. Ça sonne bien, non?

bath-bomb4

Encore une fois, j’ai utilisé des huiles essentielles pour parfumer ces petits trésors. J’ai utilisé mes préférées: lavande, eucalyptus, menthe poivrée et citron! J’avais également utilisé ces huiles essentielles pour les sels pour le bain. Bien sûr, vous pouvez utiliser vos odeurs préférées!

bath-bomb3

Pour les rendre plus festives et amusantes, j’ai utilisé des colorants alimentaires pour les colorer. C’était une alternative facile et peu dispendieuse. En plus, ça ne tache pas les baignoires! C’est bien sûr complètement optionel. Bon, on commence!

bath-bomb2

Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin pour faire une grosse boule pour le bain:

  • 1/2 tasse de bicarbonate de soude
  • 1/4 tasse d’acide citrique
  • 1/4 tasse de fécule de maïs
  • 1/4 tasse de sels d’epsom
  • 3 c. à thé d’huile de coco, liquide
  • 1 c. à table d’eau
  • 10-20 gouttes d’huile essentielle
  • 4- 6 gouttes de colorant alimentaire

Pour préparer: des gants!

Voici ce qu’il faut faire:

  1. Dans un grand bol, mélanger tout les ingrédients secs à l’aide d’un fouet à main.
  2. Dans un plus petit bol, mélanger les ingrédients liquides.
  3. Commencer à mélanger les ingrédients secs avec le fouet et ajouter les ingrédients liquides petit à petit tout en continuant de mélanger le tout. Allez-y lentement pour éviter de trop activer l’acide citrique. Le mélange final devrait se tenir lorsque vous le pressez.
  4. Si vous utilisez des moules, pressez le mélange dans le moule et laissez reposer 20 minutes avant de démouler. Si vous préférez une option plus simple, mettre environs 1/2 tasse du mélange dans des petits pots. Il serait également très joli d’étager differentes couleurs dans une belle bouteille.

Voilà! C’est vraiment simple et facile, et j’adore à quel point elles sont effervescentes! Et elles sentent vraiment super bon! Parce qu’elles contiennent de l’huile, elles sont également très hydratantes. Il sera également important de rincer votre baignoire après les avoir utilisées.

bath-bomb5

Si vous vous demandez où acheter les ingrédients pour ces bombes pour le bain, je me les suis procurées à Coop Coco à Montréal, mais il est également facile de les commander en ligne.

Dites-moi si vous en faites!

Christmas Gift Guide 2016!

Christmas is coming! After such a grueling month of November, I am overly excited for Christmas. I’m really looking forward to doing nothing over the holidays. Yeah, that’s right, just lounging in my pj’s with my family and my cat. Glorious days are coming!

holidaysarecoming

Christmas is a great opportunity to give people you love things that they need or enjoy. So, I thought I would give you some recommendations. These gifts are made by passionate people and in ethical ways. I’m also including ideas for your minimalist friends because that’s pretty cool too. My advice when Christmas shopping: don’t go overboard. Keep things simple. I will also be posting a handmade Christmas gift guide pretty soon, so stay posted for that!

Books

You can’t go wrong by giving a good book for Christmas. After all, there is nothing better than staying in bed with some good reading. Here is my selection of great books to give this year!

  1. The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: I love her recipes! Every single one that I tried (and that’s a lot) turned out delicious and crowd pleasers. They are often very simple to prepare, yet extremely satisfying and amazing. I have to say this book is very exciting: beautiful pictures, fun recipes and more down-to-earth advice from the vegan queen Isa Chandra Moskowitz. If you have a cook in the family, this is the book to gift them.
  2. Deliciously Ella Every Day, by Ella Woodward: This is a staple in my kitchen. I love Ella’s plant-based (she uses honey, which I replace by maple syrup) and gluten-free recipes because they are made with whole foods that are easily found. Her recipes are very simple to prepare but always look incredibly sophisticated. I’m really excited to see her next book, Deliciously Ella with Friends, but as it is only coming out in 2017, this one is a great one to cook from as we are waiting.
  3. Wanderlust, by Jeff Krasno: For all yoga or wellness lovers on your list, this book is filled with exercises, mindfulness tips, yoga sequences and very interesting articles written by a variety of passionate individuals. It’s perfect if you are just getting into yoga or want to take your life in a different direction because it offers advice and guidance to find your true self. Sounds like an ambitious project, right? Well, this book is also greatly put together and features wonderful inspiring quotes and photograph. For that reason alone, it makes me feel happy everytime I look at time.
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the illustrated edition, by J.K. Rowling: For all the Potterheads out there, this is a must! The beloved story is beautifully illustrated by Jim Kay and is just so wonderful to read. This would also make a great gift for parents of story-telling-aged children. But really, I bought one for myself and love to look at it. They have released the second book, The Chamber of Secrets, this year and the others are coming. You could make this a gift for the years to come!

Art and clothing

Art and clothing, or art for clothing!

  1. Vegan weaving by FarFromtheSeaQc: This Montreal-based visual artist is exploring textures and colours in her very original and fun woven wall hangings. These beautiful and unique pieces are also vegan! They would make a great addition to any decor.
  2. LiveNLetLive T-Shirts: Based in Laval, Quebec, this team makes wonderfully cute t-shirts with the powerful “Live and let live” quote. I bought one last year and love it! I received so many compliments when wearing it. The images are printed on soft coton shirts that are easily washed and so comfortable to wear. Great piece to give to your vegan activist friend!
  3. T-shirt, hoodies or accessories by Anabel Roy: Another Montreal-based artist! Anabel makes wonderfully witty and funny pieces from her drawings. I bought one of her sweaters last year (can you guess which one?), and I love it. It’s my go-to piece for when I’m feeling cold or in need for comfortable and easy to wear clothes. The quality is also very high, but really, will you look at these designs?

For your minimalist friend

Minimalism and Christmas might seem like an oxymoron. However, there are plenty of things you can gift your minimalist (or any, really) friend.

  1. Food: Think fancy chocolates, or a basket of their favorite nuts and spreads. Extra points if you can make it zero waste! If they are into healthy foods, you can also buy them items they go through a lot like a rich raw cacao powder or an extra-virgin coconut oil. They will love these as they won’t be cluttering their homes, and they’ll think of you every time they eat!
  2. Gift cards: Get to know what items they do still consume and get them gift cards to relevant stores. For example, if your friend is an artist and goes through a lot of paper or pens, give them a gift card to an art supply store.
  3. Events: Instead of gifting them something, why not pamper them to the luxury of an afternoon in your company? I have to say, I have a soft spot for this kind of gift because it means that I’ll get to spend time with someone I like doing something fun! Why not channel your inner Dowager Countess of Grantham and try out the afternoon tea at The Parloir? Their vegan option is apparently divine!

For your pampering-obsessed friend

  1. Soins Materia: I raved about these products a few posts ago, and I’m still completely obsessed with them. Very luxurious and incredibly rich, these products are made locally and are completely vegan! Cheers to that!
  2. Outer Happiness: These products are so much fun and completely vegan! I raved about them too, but since then, new amazing products have been created! The bath salts are incredible!
  3. Northern Delights herbal teas: Because there really isn’t anything better than lounging in a hot bath with a good book and a cup of herbal tea. Especially when the tea is made locally and fairly by Inuit communities. These are incredibly delicious and come in beautiful wooden boxes that are perfect for gifting.
  4. Oneka products: If your friend is a shower-lover, why not try out Oneka products? Again these are locally made and completely vegan. They are also made by the cutest couple in a beautiful village. Make a day out of it! I really love their shampoos, but they have just came up with new soap bars, so that’s something new to try out!

I hope this list gives you some gift ideas. If you are looking for greeting cards, I’ll be selling some at the Concordia Greenhouse this Wednesday, but also on Etsy starting next week.

cards

Fun holiday times! Remember that time and attention are the greatest gifts there are and don’t go overboard!

 

 

 

Christmas series: Chocolate cake!

Tonight, I am finally, officially on Christmas break! Hooray! What better way to start the break than to share my newest chocolate cake recipe! Yay!

IMG_0584

This cake is quite dense, which makes it perfect for a layered cake. For this, I used cranberry sauce and coconut frosting: perfect match!

IMG_0597

Here is what you need:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 cups rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cups or 250 g of hazelnuts
  • coconut oil for greasing the mold

Here is what you need to do:

  1. In your food processor, grind the hazelnuts until you have a fine powder. If you want hazelnut chunks in your cake, you can put some aside and add them in the food processor when you already have a nice powder. Pulse for a few seconds.
  2. In your blender or food processor, mix the bananas, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and milk. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, pour your chocolaty mix, the flour and hazelnuts. With a wooden spoon, mix until all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Grease your cake mold, pour your cake mix in and put in your preheated oven at 350F. Let cook for 30 minutes or until a dry toothpick comes out clean and dry.
  5. Let the cake cool before you put the cream on. You can also cut your cake in two to make a layer cake.

IMG_0601

This cake is very chocolaty and has a very nice texture because of the hazelnuts.

IMG_0589

The cranberry sauce really balances out the sweetness, and the coconut cream adds a little bit of freshness to the ensemble.

IMG_0600

Please try it out and let me know what you think!

IMG_0598

 

Christmas series: Cranberry Sauce!

This is my first time making cranberry sauce, and I seriously don’t know why: it’s so easy and tasty!

IMG_0581

Here is what you need:

  • 200g cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 clementine
  • water

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Pulse the peeled clementine in your blender.
  2. Add water to the blended clementine so that you have 1/2 cup of liquid.
  3. In a sauce pan, put the clementine juice, the sugar and cranberries.
  4. Bring to a boil while stirring.
  5. Bring down the heat, and cover. Let sit for a few minutes until all the cranberries have popped (and enjoy the sound of it!).

If you do not have a clementine on hand, you can also substitute it and the water with orange juice.

IMG_0579

Once chilled, this cranberry sauce is a lot like jam. It is perfect with desserts or grilled vegetables. Very versatile indeed! And look at that color!

IMG_0578

Keep on the look out for what I’ll do with it! 🙂

IMG_0577

Christmas Series: Hot Pot Dinner!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you! I had a lot of fun planning, cooking and eating it!

IMG_0559

As I was looking for a fun recipe for a Christmas dinner party, I wanted to stay away from fake turkeys, or any traditional food. I wanted something refreshing, original and shareable. When I imagined it, I wanted people to have to talk to each other, have fun and share something good. To me, this is what Christmas is about.

IMG_0528.JPG

While browsing my cookbooks, I stumbled upon Isa’s mushroom hot pot. This was it! I really wanted to modify this recipe to make it more like a Chinese fondue where people cook their own food in a rich broth.

IMG_0533.JPG

So I grabbed my boyfriend and we went on a mission to the Asian supermarket. I really wanted to find fun vegetables, mushrooms and fragrant herbs to make this hot pot exceptional, while still paying a reasonable price for everything. I really suggest investing your local Asian store as they often have a great selection of vegetables, mushrooms and herbs for a fraction of the price you’d pay in a regular supermarket.

IMG_0539.JPG

Needless to say, we were not disappointed. This is so exciting! It was a lot of fun to try out, and everyone around the table was full and happy.

IMG_0544.JPG

Here is what you need (for 4-5 people):

For the broth:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cubes of vegetable broth
  • 8 cups of boiling water
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root
  • 3 whole star anise pods
  • 1.5 cinnamon stick
  • 5 lemon leaves
  • 3 tbs tamari sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 can (8.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 4 fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms (if you use dried, soak them overnight)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro with the stalks (around 1 cup)

For the vegetables (These are the ones I used, but feel free to change them to what you have, like and find.)

  • 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 8 king oyster mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of enoki mushrooms
  • 1 bunch shimeji mushrooms
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 small broccoli head
  • 1 small chinese or zucchini squash
  • bamboo shoots (I bought a small head in an air sealed pack, but canned would work too)
  • 1 can of slices water chestnuts
  • 1 can of baby corn
  • 10 mini bok choys
  • 1 bunch of chinese broccoli or mixed greens
  • kelp noodles
  • fake meat of your choice (we used textured vegetable protein,or TVP)
  • fried tofu (you can buy this ready-made in Asian supermarkets)
  • lime slices (to serve)

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large pot, place the oil, chopped onion, chopped garlic cloves and minced ginger root. Cook on medium heat until fragrant. Add the salt and saute until the onions are translucent.
  2. While the onions are cooking, dissolve the vegetable broth cubes in 2 cups of boiling water and add the corn starch. Mix until completely dissolved.
  3. Slice the 4 shiitake mushrooms thinly (including the feet) and add them to the onions. Also slice up the red bell pepper (1/2) and add it to the pot. Continue to stir until the red bell pepper is softened.
  4. Take your vegetable broth and add it to the onion mix. Stir a little.
  5. To your broth, add the cinnamon stick, star anise pods, and lemon leaves. Stir until fragrant and add the rest of the water (6 cups).
  6. As the broth is cooking, start cutting your vegetables and display them on a plate. If you feel like you have too much of something, add it to the broth. This will give more flavour to your broth and will also make ‘fishing’ possible during the meal. I ended up adding about 1/3 of the vegetables to the broth while it was cooking. I find that the assortment of mushrooms really create a rich flavour. If you are using TVP, it would be a good idea to soak it in water now, just remember to squeeze the extra water out before serving. You can also drain and rince the kelp noodles.
  7. Taste the broth and add the soy sauce and pepper accordingly.
  8. Let the broth simmer.
  9. Once you are done cutting all your vegetables and are ready to serve, add the coconut milk and cilantro, and bring back to a simmer.
  10. Take your lemongrass stalk, and cut a few centimeters off both extremities. Then, cut the stalk in 3 or 4 parts. With a pestle or heavy cup, crush the lemongrass and add it to the broth. Adding it at the end really helps keep the flavour as it is quite volatile.

IMG_0549.JPG

To serve, make sure every one has a skewer stick or a little metal basket. Each person will pick and choose whatever they want cooked, put it in their basket and cook it in the broth. If you want, you can add lime juice to your own bowl, but I find that unnecessary. Still, it’s nice to have that option. We used a portable cook top to keep the broth simmering throughout dinner.

IMG_0555.JPG

The broth was thick, savoury and full of wonderful flavours. It was very filling even if we just ate it as is without rice or noodles. The kelp noodles have a very crunchy texture which is interesting, but you don’t need to plan a full portion per person. They are just a nice add-on I find.

The TVP really is great in this recipe as it takes on all the broth flavours and really gives the chewy texture of meat.

IMG_0557.JPG

It was a lot of fun to eat this with my family this week-end. I had a great time preparing the vegetables with my mom, and the men enjoyed the richness of the broth… which was consumed entirely!

This is truly a must try, so let me know how it turns out!

Christmas series: Appetizer kale chips

Another appetizer recipe!

IMG_0494

These are very easy to make, tasty and ready to be customized. If your guests are a little bit reluctant to try these kale chips as an appetizer, why not guide them into discovery by using them as garnish? (It’s less work for you too!)

This is a very simple, mild, yet rich seasoning for our lovely kale. Once done, they have a lovely crunch, and a seaweed reminiscent taste. In fact, I would use those in a miso soup instead on the nori sheet anytime.

IMG_0498

If you are planning on using them as chips, use about a bunch (7 to 9 stalks) of kale per person. Kale shrinks a lot when it is dehydrated so keep this in mind when cutting it into bite size pieces.

IMG_0495

Here is what you need per person:

  • a bunch of kale, washed and dried (the less water on the leaves, the less time it will take to make)
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of pumpkin seed oil
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste ( I used Herbamare salt)
  • spices to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. With clean fingers, separate the kale leaves from the stems and cut each leave into bite size portions. I usually make 2 pieces out of each side of the leave, so around 4 or 5 chips per stalk. This might seem big, but they will shrink a lot. Discard the stems (you can keep them for your smoothies or veggie stock!).
  2. Place all your leaves into a big salad bowl and pour on the oils and seasonings.
  3. Massage gently until the leaves are tender and well coated with the seasonings.
  4. Place the leaves on a lined cookie sheet or on your dehydrator tray being careful that they don’t touch each other.
  5. Place in your oven set on the lowest temperature, or in your dehydrator at 52C or 125F.
  6. The chips are ready when crispy. In my dehydrator this takes about 2 hours. If you are using your oven, I would suggest checking the chips every 15 minutes until they are done. You can also leave the oven door slightly open to help air circulation.

As you can see, there is nothing complicated in making kale chips, so please don’t buy a 6$ bag of them when they could cost you a fraction of this!

IMG_0497

The thing I love most about these is that you can keep the recipe simple like this one, or make it fancy and exotic by adding different spices or herbs: mix in coriander leaves and lime juice for a refreshing flavour, curry powder and sriracha for a little kick or avocado dressing for a creamier feel. The possibilities are endless!

IMG_0493

And if you are looking for a dehydrator, I bought an Excalibur a few years ago, and it’s perfect! If you are in Canada, you can check out Upaya Naturals: that’s where I got mine, and the shipping was super quick. Let me know if you try these out and what flavours you have captured!

Save