Healthy Blueberry Muffins

I am really trying to change my eating habits and start eating more nutritious meals. I don’t generally eat a lot of calories but my nutrient intake definitely ain’t good.
So I am making an effort to cook and prep food for quick, easy AND healthy meals.
This is a recipe I’ve made many times over the years I’ve tweaked it some over time such as using different flours, different additives (berries, nuts, banana) and such.
I ran this recipe through a calorie counter and I believe it’s a good healthy snack if you don’t eat multiple muffins 😉
If you add a banana to it you get more rise I find. So feel free to modify. This batch didn’t have a banana in it.

 

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Healthy Blueberry Muffins                               Serves 12 regular muffins

  • 2 cups flour (I used 1/3 oat bran and regular white flour,  usually I use whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup raw cane brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup 0% m.f Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Almond milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (fractioned coconut or vegetable oil works just as well)
  • Dash of salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup blueberries (I used fresh you can use frozen as well)

1. Combined flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix. In a seperate bowl mix together wet ingredients (egg, milk, yogurt, vanilla extract, oil and sugar)
2. Gently mix the wet with the dry till combined and then fold in the blueberries.
3. Bake at 425F for ~5 minutes and reduce to 370F for the last 15 minutes or so. Check if done with a toothpick. Some ovens may vary so check your muffins accordingly.

 

Cool Cucumber Lime Soap

So I had my first soap “fail”. Fail in the sense that it traced SO fast I panicked and didn’t do anything with it. Mind you this is only my third batch of cold process soap ever. So it may not be pretty but it looks useable to me, and smells amazing. I’m not gonna go into detail on how I made my soap because there are a lot of way cooler soapers resources out there on the web such as Soaping101 and Soap Queen to name a few.

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You can see there are little “holes” had trouble getting them out as it was too thick to work with.

Firstly I run my recipe through SoapCalc, and I knew I wanted to experiment with beeswax my third time round and I am not sure if it is largely the fault of the beeswax or my fragrance oil or just me, but this soap traced real quick (I think my proportion of beeswax was too high) and I couldn’t really pour it. So next time I will reduce my proportion of beeswax. Heres the recipe anyway..

Sara xo 🙂


Cool Cucumber Lime Soap                                               2lb wood loaf mold

  • 6 oz Coconut oil
  • 8 oz Olive Oil
  • 5 oz Beef Tallow
  • 2 oz Ricebran Oil
  • 1 oz Beeswax
  • 1 1/4 tsp Matcha Powder
  • 1 tsp Blue Lagoon mica
  • Cool Cucumber fragrance
  • Lime Fragrance
  • Lye (use soap calc for amount)
  • Distilled Water (use soap calc for amount)
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This is what it looked liked when run through Soap Calc

Follow directions for cold process soap making and remember to add lye to the water not the other way around! The picture below shows that I added Matcha to the water that I mixed my lye in and used some of the water to mix my mica.

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Little rough around the edges but I can’t wait to try them out. The darker colour is the mica.

 

Whole Wheat Bread

I LOVE LOVE LOVE bread. Though I’m generally good and don’t over eat it as my stomach can’t handle too much. I wouldn’t say I have gluten allergies just excessive inhalation of bread does me no good.

So the first bread I ever made was this potato dinner roll recipe I got from Gather for Bread. I tell you its the best ever! So good that I made it THREE times within 2 weeks! Well I’m no bread maker so I decided I’d modify this recipe and make a loaf.

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Whole Wheat Bread                                                                                                           1 Loaf

  • 3-3 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat 2 1/2 cups bread flour)
  • 2 1/4 tsp fast rising yeast
  • 1 Egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup warm milk (~110F)
  • 1/4 cup soft unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

 

  1. Add half the flours along with the yeast and mix. Add milk, sugar, salt and butter and mix on low until well combined.
  2. Add in the rest of the flour it by bit and egg and knead about 7 minutes (more if you are kneading by hand). The dough should be smooth and elastic, add more flour if it is still too sticky Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased owl and cover and let rise ~ 1 hour.

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3. Press down the dough gently and let rest on the counter for about 15 minutes or so. Shape the dough and place in greased loaf pan.image4. Let rest again till the dough is an inch over the pan. Mine took about 25 minutes.image5. At this time preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the loaf for about 30-40 minutes. You may have to cover it with foil half way through if it is browning on the top too  much. Bread is done when its hollow at the bottom (tap). Cool on wire rack before serving.

Daily Skin Serum (Moisturizer)

I’d say it has been approximately 8 months since I’ve stopped using commercial moisturizers and replaced it with a homemade facial serum. I love it and will never go back to spending bucket loads of money on skin/face products. (I also make my own soaps, more to come later)

I’m lucky enough to have normal skin with the occasional hormonal breakouts. I do get a bit dry during the winter months or a slightly oily t-zone during hot days, but on the whole pretty normal. This serum I’ve come to like has been basically trials of different oil and essential oil combinations. (I do switch up my oils on occasion)

I usually use what I have on hand though my base oils generally stay the same. I use a 2 oz dark glass bottle with a dropper cap. My serum recipe is as follows (I do eyeball the amount generally)


Normal/Dry Skin Serum                                                            (1-2 drops per use)

  • 1/3 Rosehip oil
  • 1/3 Calendula oil
  • 1/3 Jojoba/ Sweet Almond/ Ricebran oil
  • 10-15 drops Essential oil  of choice (I use Tea tree, Lavender, Carrot seed/ Tea tree, Rose geranium, Frankincense)
  • Vitamin E (1 capsule)

Rosehip oil: full of vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, known to  hydrate dry itchy skin and helps with dark sots and scarring

Calendula oil: great for dry skin, protects from blemishes, heals cuts, antibacterial properties

Jojoba oil:closely resembles human sebum therefore great moisture retainer, helps reduce oiliness, antibacterial aids with acne, relieves itching and dryness for psoriasis and eczema

Rice bran oil:rich in vitamins, antioxidants, rich in fatty acids and vitamin E, improves elasticity, hydrating, improves skin surface, anti inflammatory

Sweet Almond oil: reduces dark circles, relieve eczema/ psoriasis, reduces signs of aging, clean out pores, high in fatty acids

This is just a general idea of what works for me, do your research on what oils suit your skin type and sensitivities as certain oils react differently for each individual. Jenni Raincloud has a great resource of skin care recipes as does the world wide web. Happy hunting

Sara xo 🙂

Karipap (Curry Puff)

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Par cooked to be frozen and cooked fully later

There are many variations of this pastry, different cultures make some variation of this curry puff. Some call it pasties, some call it empañada and so on. They have some similarities of course but I grew up  eating karipap.

Well this is my first time making them from scratch because I had a major craving for my Malaysian delight. I must say it turned out not bad for a neophyte.

I used a recipe taken from Nasi Lemak Lover and modified it somewhat  for my ineptness. I am quite bad at rolling out dough so the original recipe didn’t allow me to make the so called 30 pieces the recipe stated. I was also out of rice flour. Anyways here goes my modified version.

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Deep fry is the best way. Though baking works just as well

Karipap (Curry Puff)                   30 Pieces

  • 200 g All-purpose flour
  • 100g Tapioca flour
  • 50g Salted butter (from fridge)
  • 110g Ice cold water
  • 450g potato, peeled and diced (2 medium potatoes)
  • 1/2 Large onion, diced
  • 200g chicken breast (cut into tiny pieces and marinated with curry powder ~1/2tbsp)
  • 1/2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chicken curry powder (Available at Asian markets)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves (its okay to omit if you can’t find these)
  • 1 cup water (+/-)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Salt to taste ~1-1 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
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Deep fried goodness

Directions

  1. Saute the onion and curry leaves in hot oil till it becomes translucent and add in the potato
  2. Cook the potato till the colour has changed slightly then add in the chicken. Stir fry it for a couple minutes then add in the curry powder, chili powder. Add in water and bring it to a boil. (alternatively you can par boil your potatoes and add less water)
  3. Add salt, sugar, chicken stock powder and fish sauce to taste. Turn the heat down and cook till potatoes are done and you have a paste like consistency. Let cool to room temperature before using.
  4. In a large bowl add your flours together and mix them well. Add butter and rub in till crumble like texture (like pie dough) then add oil and keep mixing till well mixed.
  5. Pour ice cold water it by bit and mix with a wooden spoon (or hand). Then lightly knead till you get a soft dough (do not over work). Cover and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  6. To assemble shape dough in small balls ~13-15g and roll out small circles to 3.5-4 inch widths, spoon filling in wrap and pinch the edges and then deep fry them in oil ( the best) or bake them at 350F for about 25 minutes.

 

 

 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (The CCC)

After a long day on my feet, SP urged me to make some fresh batch of cookies and I was really hesitant initially because for one I just got back from work and it was 11pm and secondly I had to work in the morning. Well I caved and made a batch, though I only actually baked one tray worth because this recipe  is way better after the dough is chilled. This recipe was quick and easy I got it done in half an hour and I had a batch of cookie dough ready to go.

So…my favourite cookie of all time is the chocolate chip. I’ve scoured the web (aka Pinterest) and tried a number of variations of this cookie recipe and by far this is the favourite. Also this is SP’s preferred recipe. They are soft, chewy, moist and choc a block full of chocolate chips. If you prefer soft chewy cookies this is it.

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I cannot claim to be the inventor of this recipe, I originally found it at Averie Cooks and she has got some great recipes on her blog. I was out of chocolate chunks and low on chips so I just made do with what I had and added some left over butterscotch chips. Trust me if you think that looks chunky imagine WAY more chunks.

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The recipe yields ~ 28 medium-small cookies though I like my cookies bite size so it would be a bit more than that amount. The yield all depends on your choice of size.


Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese (use regular not light or fat free)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks

Directions:

  1. Combine butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg and vanilla with a paddle attachment till light and fluffy on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.
  3. Add chocolate chips/chunks and fold in by hand until incorporated.
  4. Chill the dough for 2-3 hours either in the form of your cookies (scoop into a ball and flatten with palm slightly) or if you are lazy like me in the mixing bowl covered with saran wrap.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line your baking sheet with parchment paper place your cookies on the sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for about 8 minutes.

You can store these cookies baked for a week or 3 months if you freeze them. But lets be honest in my household they are gone in a flash. Enjoy!

Sara xo