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homemade grainy mustard

easy to make grainy mustardThere’s an immense satisfaction when something homemade turns out well and puts a smile on your face.  It gives that boost in confidence and lets you know you can tackle the next project on a high note.  We love grainy mustard almost as much as we do Dijon.  In the past 20 years, I have made a conscience effort to read food labels, understand what’s inside, and make an informed decision as a result.  So when I got it into my head to make my own mustard, I was surprised to see additives such as fruit pectin, citric acid, tartaric acid in Dijon mustard and lactic acid and flavour (no mention of what the flavour is) in grainy mustard.  Oops!  Did I forget to read the labels on these mustards?  Or did I think the additive list wasn’t too long?  It’s not as if we consume mustard on a daily basis.  Moral of the story; read the blinkin’ label! Continue Reading →

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marbled eggs – just in time for Easter

marbled eggs made with beet juiceLooking for a fun way to serve hard boiled eggs?  Start with the eggshell.  Years ago when the kids were younger, I would make colored eggs for them as part of the Easter egg hunt.  I would also make marbled deviled eggs to serve to the adults.  Marbled eggs are a cinch to make and you most probably have the ingredients on hand.  I prefer to naturally dye the eggs especially since the eggs will be eaten.  Continue Reading →

what to do with leftover sour cream

sour cream dressing recipeWhen a recipe calls for a small amount of sour cream I feel my shoulders slump.  For me the thought of having to buy a container of sour cream for 2 tablespoons or even a cup seems like a such a waste; there’s always some leftover.  I could substitute it for yogurt but I would be in the same dilemma.  And then it occurred to me.  Why not make a dressing or dip?  It would also make good use of the coriander (cilantro)  I had in the fridge.  Continue Reading →

almond and sunflower seed butter

nut butter - easy to makebut·ter (noun) – a solid yellow substance made by churning cream and used as a spread or in cooking; a food made from cooked fruit or roasted nuts that have been ground up. 

We’re all familiar with butter made with cream but over the last few years there’s a burgeoning market using nuts and seeds.  While peanut butter is popular (I lived on peanut butter and jam sandwiches growing up), making your own nut and seed butter is a healthier alternative.  What’s most appealing for me is the limited amount of work required unlike the time I made my own almond milk.  Almond and sunflower seed butter is delicious and slightly sweet tasting.  Mr. S tried it and enjoyed it when spread on a celery stick.  That’s saying something given his dislike for peanut butter and celery.  Allergic to nuts?  Try using seeds such and sunflower or pumpkin.  Continue Reading →

maple glazed nuts – an edible gift

maple glazed nutsAnother edible gift from yours truly! Maple glazed nuts are super easy to make and a delectable hostess gift.  They’re perfect for casual entertaining or tossed in a salad.  Homemade edible gifts are always well received especially for those who are hard to buy for (i.e. teachers, employers).  Continue Reading →

DIY ferrero rocher

diy ferrero rocherI’ve mentioned it before.  I don’t really have a sweet tooth but if there’s one chocolate that halts me in my footsteps, it’s ferrero rocher.  While I am not a fan of milk chocolate the combination of hazelnuts wrapped in what reminds me of nutella (yum) along with a crisp wafer…I’m salivating just thinking about it!  Making your own chocolates is a labor of love and I was curious to see if I could replicate my own ferrero rocher.  I went sleuthing for a DIY version on the internet.  Turns out there are quite of few. Continue Reading →

hot cocoa mix – a cinch to make!

hot cocoa mixAh, the annual holiday gift giving is upon us.  Our brains go into overdrive thinking of things to buy and our bank accounts take a beating.  I sometimes think we’re much too over-the-top with our purchases; the needs vs. wants dilemma.  In the past few years I’ve adopted gift giving from the heart which means homemade.  For the kid in us, making your own cocoa mix is not only a cinch to prepare, you also get the added benefit of knowing what’s inside.  This hot chocolate recipe is so good you’ll wonder why you hadn’t made it before. Continue Reading →

homemade apple chips

apple chipsApples are in abundance this time of the year.  I love autumn for all the delicious fruit and vegetables that leave the farmers’ fields and are readily available in food shops and markets.  One fruit I eagerly await their arrival is the humble apple.  It’s hard to imagine there are over 7,000 varieties! With so much choice, however, I am a creature of habit and really only use about 6 or so different types of apples.  Continue Reading →

Naturally Dyed Eggs – an Easter Treat!

naturally dyed eggsIf you were to tell me a rabbit could lay eggs, I would seriously have to check your pupils.  German folklore suggests a story about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden.  It was pre-Christian Germany where people worshiped gods and goddesses.  Ēostre, the goddess of spring and fertility, chose the rabbit as her symbol.  The Springtime meant new life and rebirth and eggs were a symbol of fertility.  Continue Reading →

Make Your Own Spice Rub

all-purpose spice rubChefs and home cooks from the southern part of the United States take pride in their spice rubs.   Some are passed on from one generation to the next so it comes as no surprise these secrets are heavily guarded.  To be honest I have never used a spice rub.  It was while watching shows about food trucks and popular southern smoke pits that peaked my interest.  Those that highlighted smoked pork or beef and cooked to perfection had my mouth watering.  Continue Reading →