morning lemon – easy peasy green tea lemonade

Another successful copycat beverage – green tea lemonade. The natural foods store around the corner from me is having an awesome sale on Santa Cruz lemonade (regular and raspberry which is highly addictive) $1.99 a bottle – you should check your local natural store!

I brewed up green tea (I like Yogi brand) – 2 tea bags in approx 2 cups just-before-boiling water – and put into an empty lemonade bottle, which filled it up about halfway. I topped it up with lemonade, gave it a good shake and popped it in the fridge. A bit later over ice it was perfect.

almo(st) mochaccino

It was big news when Starbucks opened in my neighborhood, which is made up of mostly small independent shops and cafes. Of course it had to open near the end of my pregnancy, when I was desperately craving chocolatey/milky things daily. My husband and I got a bit too used to the 2 minute walk around the corner and also chose to ignore the significant amount of money flying out of our wallets. Well, now that baby is out, we have cut back significantly. A big reason for me besides spending too much is that too much dairy consumption by me noticeably affects my boy – in a spit up way! Not that it is causing him discomfort, but I was getting a bit sick of changing my/his clothes a couple of times a day.

Taking all this into account, I decided I still needed a daily treat (trust me, when you are taking care of a newborn, you need this) but I didn’t want to spend lots of money, and I didn’t want to have dairy or soymilk. So, I decided to invest in a thermo-cup and create my own version of a mochaccino – 1/2 instant coffee, 1/2 chocolate almond milk. Of course it doesn’t taste like a Starbucks mocha, but more money in the bank and less laundry makes it worth it. Besides, I love almond milk, and it does taste pretty dang good.

If you don’t like to have too much dairy and you have never tried almond milk, I highly recommend it. It has a nice consistency – thinner than soy milk but not as thin as rice milk, and it tastes great (not too almondy like you would think). I use the original unsweetened on cereal, have used the vanilla for baking (makes cupcakes extra moist!) and the chocolate is good straight up in a glass.

Stay tuned for another faux Starbucks drink attempt soon – green tea lemonade!

morning lemon – a soothing natural cold remedy

honeylemondrink.jpgWhen I was young and had a cold, my Mom would fix me a simple drink of lemon, honey and hot water. Like always, Moms know best – why reach for something like NeoCitran which contains some nasty non-medicinal ingredients (here’s a little sample: D&C yellow No. 10, FD&C yellow No. 6, flavours) when all you may need is a vitamin C blast from the lemon, and some antibacterial goodness and energy from the honey to get you feeling better. Plus, it’s really the warm steamy liquid itself that goes a long way in soothing your body and soul.

What could be easier:
– slice up some lemon, squeeze and throw slices into cup
– add a generous squeeze of honey
– add just before boiled water and stir
– enjoy!

bake up a little comfort

cookiecomfort.jpgBrrr… I definitely felt winter in the air this morning. This weekend, why not bake up a batch of comfort food (you don’ t have to eat it all yourself – people love to get homebaked gifts!) The other day I finally got around to trying a recipe from the foodtv.ca monthly cooking club, mainly because October’s recipe was something that I just could not resist – chocolate chip cookies. It is Anna Olson’s recipe, and I have to say, it is outstanding. Anna adds cornstarch to the recipe to make them chewy, but since I am sensitive to corn, I used arrowroot instead, and they turned out perfectly. I also used half whole wheat pastry flour, and dark chocolate chips. Other than that, I did follow the recipe, but next time will cut down the sugar, and try replacing some of the fat with applesauce (this first batch was to welcome my husband home from an overseas trip, and I wanted to treat him to the full effect of the fat and sugar this time). I bet this recipe would also work well with other flours (spelt, rice, amaranth).

If you like to try new recipes, you should check out the cooking club. There are savory and sweet recipes, and it’s fun to see how everyone else’s attempts turn out. Also, there is always the chance you may win a cookbook – that’s definitely motivation enough for me!