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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tea At The Empress

I recently went to Victoria, BC on a girls trip.  
 My cousin Hollie and aunt Carin took me to the Empress Hotel for high tea.  Boy was it amazing!  What a once in a lifetime experience.
 They first serve you tea 
and strawberries and cream.
Then the tray of goodies!  Check out this tray.  Cucumber sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, scones with cream and preserves.  The top of the tray was my favorite!  The pastries and chocolate. 
Our server had a beautiful English accent and had been working at the Empress for years.
After sitting down for tea, I felt so relaxed and refreshed.
If you ever go to Victoria, B.C. (which you should), go visit the Empress Hotel. 
    
 Check out my next blog post to see how to create a fun tea party for an eight year-old.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Weekend Of MaryJane's ChillOvers and Benches

It was a fun weekend cooking up MaryJane's ChillOvers
 and crafting a beautiful bench.  

I recently purchased MaryJane Butters ChillOver powder since she makes it look so good in her books.  Her ChillOver Powder is like gelatin, but is cruelty free and made with a variety of sea vegetables.  Thank goodness for her persistence in perfecting the ChillOver powder because it makes amazing desserts!  
 This is my ChillOver tea party.  I set it up in my Longaberger sewing basket. :)  It's made with ChillOver powder and Izze Sparkling juice.  The carbination stays in the ChillOver tickling your tongue when you put it in your mouth.  It's amazing!  It set up in tea cups.  Makes for a perfect "Chilled" tea party on a hot day.  It was a huge hit!  
 
If you want to purchase some of her ChillOver Powder for yourself, click here
This is another ChillOver chocolate dessert I made this weekend.  My family said they want me to make it for every birthday and family party. 
 I think they liked it ;) 
My beautiful, sweet mom is in the pink.

I also made an adorable bench during the weekend with the help of my dad and his shop.
(This is a photo of the worlds best dad and cutest nephew)
   The instructions are in "MaryJane's ideabook, cookbook, lifebook" on page 365.  It made me feel very accomplished after making it, and only took a couple of hours.  
I could read MaryJane's books everyday and not get sick of them.  They make me feel at home.
She grew up in Utah, the state were I live, and she grew up on a farm.  
I am a farm girl at heart and dream of living on an organic farm with a big tractor.   
Someday...... 
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cast Iron Mini Rhubarb Crisp (gluten free, vegan)

This is a delicious recipe for mini rhubarb crisp cooked in a cast iron muffin pan.  It's also vegan, gluten free and picked from my grandma's garden with lots of love.
My grandma is almost 80 and keeps this garden up on her own.  The love of her life started this garden about five years ago.  They were thinking about getting married, but he died in a car accident before that could happen.  She now keeps it up for him and calls it "Michael's Garden."   I think he still helps her from up above.  Her veggies are out of this world!
   
This is what the rhubarb plant looks like.
 Plucking rhubarb:
I think rhubarb is beautiful!
Can't wait to take it home and put it in my dessert!
Rhubarb filling:
 Clean and trim off the greens.
 Cut into half inch slices.  Add one tablespoon lemon juice and 1/4 cup organic cane sugar.
Topping:
 1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup vegan butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oat flour
2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
pinch of salt
cinnamon to sprinkle on top
Add the mashed banana, butter and brown sugar in a small bowl.  Use a pastry cutter or fork to blend.   Stir in the flour.   Mix in the oats until the batter is clumped together.  Add the oats slowly.  You may need less or more than 2 cups. 
Grease the bottom of cast iron muffin pan.  Add the rhubarb.
 
Sprinkle on the topping.
Place in an oven heated to 350F for about 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on top.  
Let this cool for a couple minutes.  
Serve and enjoy! 
 It has the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.  A delicious dessert for anytime of the year.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cheap, Easy Black Bean & Corn Salsa

I'm having a work party tomorrow for Cinco de Mayo and signed up to bring salsa.  I wanted to make something easy and cheap, so I chose this black bean & corn salsa.  Here's the recipe just in case you want to make it too. 
You will need:
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drain and rinsed
1/4 green pepper, chopped
4 green onions, chopped 
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Cholula hot sauce
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Drain the corn and black bean cans and rinse thoroughly.  Add to your salsa bowl.
 Remove the stems from the cilantro and chop. 
Chop the bell pepper and green onions.
Put all your veggies in the salsa bowl.  
Add the olive oil, Cholula hot sauce, lemon juice, and salt.
Mix everything together with a spoon or spatula.   It's best to let the salsa sit for an hour or two in the fridge.  This allows the flavors to marinate.
Dip some chips and enjoy the best batch of salsa you've ever made.  :)
Can't wait for my co-workers to try this salsa!  

Check out my other Mexican food recipes:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Easy Chilled Carrot Soup (Vegan)

It is getting warm outside and when its warm outside, I want something chilled and homey inside.  This is a very simple carrot chilled soup that is perfect for those warm days.

You will need:
20-25 small/medium carrots
1 sweet onion
6 cups water
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
Parsley for garnish

Clean and cut the carrots
Chop the onion
Add 6 cups water, carrots, and sweet onion to a large pot.
Cover and bring to a boil.  
Turn the stove to medium/high heat for about 15 minutes, or until the carrots and onions are tender.

Take the carrots and onions off the stove.  Stir in one tablespoon Earth Balance.
Allow the soup to cool down before you blend.
 Blend until smooth.
Store in an air tight glass container and place in the fridge.
When the soup is chilled and your ready to eat, garnish with parsley and enjoy.
I just had a bowl before writing this post.  I could eat the whole container in one sitting.  SO delicious!