Category Archives: Products we use

Delicious gluten free Basil, Spinach, and Feta scone/muffin concoction

image

These Gluten Free Basil, Spinach, and Feta scone/muffin thingys taste amazing!!! I’ll share this epic experience with you so you can make your own delectable delights!

First tip– Try to use some expired ingredients for the yeast (about one heaped tsp, maybe? The number by the tsp amount had rubbed off!) and 2 2/3 cups of gluten free bread mix (expiry date had rubbed off as well, so not sure how old it needs to be to get my epic results. πŸ˜‰ )

wpid-20150212_112849.jpg
I can’t even read the best before on this one, so if you want my results, go for about ten years old. πŸ˜‰ hehe

 

Best before 11/11/14 (so only a few months off..  )
Best before 11/11/14 (so only a few months off.. )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second tip– Use a few non-expired items, but definitely don’t measure! I used about five fresh spinach leaves from the garden (maybe about a cup and a half chopped up if measured), about 1/5th of the feta cheese block (cut up), and a sprinkling of dried basil (likely around a tablespoon’s worth).

We LOVE spinach, so having it in the garden is a MUST!
We LOVE spinach, so having it in the garden is a MUST!
Mmmm.. time to plant more basil! Dried is good, too!
Mmmm.. time to plant more basil! Dried is good, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third tip– set in warm place to rise for an hour…and when it doesn’t rise, don’t be sad- just pop it into muffin trays (fill them 3/4 full) and turn the oven onto whatever you usually use- umm… I think I did it around 200C (?) and walk away and forget about them. (WHOOPS!) This recipe had more than 12 muffin’s worth, so I just spread some out on a flat tray and it made amazing flat bread that was eaten too quickly for photos!

Fourth tip– find yourself doing something else in the kitchen a little while later and hear the fan running in the oven. Start frantically whispering “oh no! Oh no!!!” because you have absolutely NO idea how long you left them and grab the oven mitts as you throw the oven open, only to discover the most perfectly browned scone/muffin concoction you have ever made. Go figure!

Fifth tip– eat while warm. ALL OF THEM. You know you want to. Just do it. πŸ˜‰ Save the next lot. hehe. We ate about half of them and I did freeze some for kindy lunches, but still- even then, pleeeease eat them warmed up to get the optimal yumminess!

 

In case you missed all that- here’s the condensed version:

1 2/3 c lukewarm water with 1 heaped teaspoon of active yeast- set aside for twenty five minutes.

Add 2 2/3 cups of bread mix into mixer and then add what should be frothy yeast mixture to it. (to be fair, my yeast is expired, so it wasn’t very frothy, lol)

Before mixing, add random amounts of feta cheese, basil, and spinach and then mix all together for about five minutes, then scrape the pan and make sure everything mixed well.

Now, cover and set in warm place for an hour to rise (or not rise in my case…again, likely due to the expired yeast.)

Now pour into muffin trays and the left over onto a flat tray on baking paper and stick in the oven at 200C (ish) until they look like mine. (sorry, I have no clue how long I forgot left them in there!)

Now take them out, eat, and enjoy! Mmmmm… and adding a bit of butter or coconut oil just makes them even more delicious!

Oh yeah, and be sure to wash the dishes straight away once you are done, as I did. πŸ˜‰ I’m totally showing off since you know I’m bad about doing dishes!! (see my post “The Great Dish Dilemma” here! haha!)

wpid-20150212_113035.jpg

I would love to read about some of your favourite recipes! (especially GF ones!) Please leave your links in the comments so I can find them and use them! Thanks!

 

From the fingers on the hands that accidentally made amazing things today…

Lydia

 

These are a few of my favourite things…

Anyone who knows me knows that I get excited about, well, pretty much everything. I LOVE great customer service and great products, so when I findΒ  them, so I do tend to rave a bit! Here are a few of the things I raved about this week…

This awesome BLOG that is super inspiring and written by a super cool mum. I’m not terribly crafty, so I need inspiration like this to get motivated! Her blog is http://happymumhappychild.co.nz/ and on facebook she is at https://www.facebook.com/happymumhappychild?pnref=lhc

cropped-wordpress-header

This awesome SOAP that is all natural and super duper lovely on the skin! I picked it up from a local mum who has been selling it for years now and it’s a new fave in this house! Hubby really likes his man-musk one, and I love my pink grapefruit one, so it’s a big WIN. Oh, and she’s very affordable too, especially considering the ingredients are actually GOOD for your skin! Check her out at her facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/vintage.violet.naturals

10922623_1553006374937841_3735560161554321400_n

We are big fans of natural immunity and home remedies in this household, so our main go-to is Nutribiotics Sodium Ascorbate from iHerb. It’s the most easily absorbed form of vitamin C, and we take it at the first sign of illness. It’s a natural pain reliever and anti-histamine. You can imagine that you don’t need many things in the medicine cabinet when you have this! iHerb has a ton of great stuff at cheap prices, and if you want a discount on your first order, you can use the code LBW350 and get $5-$10 off.
NutriBiotic, Sodium Ascorbate, Crystalline Powder, 16 oz (454 g) - iHerb.com 2015-01-25 08-35-21

I’m pretty much always excited about the great products that are available through my website, one of which is the face wash. I never imagined that I would ever RAVE about a face wash, but yeah- it’s awesome. It’s available here http://www.bestmascaraever.co.nz or comment below if you’re in NZ and want to save on shipping. πŸ™‚

1526833_735003496569412_1712880471737842511_n

I’m sure I’ll have more things to rave about soon…life is too short to ignore the little things. πŸ˜‰

From an excited mama,

Lydia

10425150_10152922923775917_3804846779758352658_n

The Great Dish Dilemma

THIS.

image

This is the great dish dilemma.Β 

image

They just keep appearing!Β  Whyyyyy?!

From what I have heard, most people have a chore that they dislike and put lowest on the priority list. Dishes is mine.

I have good phases where the dishes are done promptly– for a day or two, phases when they get done fairly regularly– when hubby takes on the dishwasher role, and normal– when they get done because we have run out of either bench space or clean dishes.

Honestly, though, I don’t hate doing dishes! I actually enjoy the hour in which I get to do them in peace when Hubby watches the boys and I prop my tablet on the windowsill and watch a Hallmark movie on youtube. This happens because hubby just wants them done, and so do I!! It’s not a conspiracy!

And you know how there is always that one dish that proves more challenging than the rest- the one you soak three times? This is mine…

image

The porridge bowl. I love porridge but hate the bowl cleaning. But hey, to get more porridge, I have to clean the bowl, and so the great dish dilemma continues.

But hey! Before you’re totally grossed out, my house can be pretty much spotless in less than half an hour on pretty much any given day if I hear that someone is coming over! I’m a pretty tidy person generally. This is just my weak spot domestically. Well, this and my whole “lightning storage”, but that’s another post entirely!

What is your thing? What chore do you prefer to avoid or delay?Β  Please tell me I am not alone in this?! I’m sorry if this makes clean freaks freak. πŸ˜‰Β  Feel free to swing by and remedy the problem!

The true confessions of a real-life mama,

Lydia

Be real! You have to have a weak spot somewhere!
Be real! You have to have a weak spot somewhere!

On Using Soap Nuts

“What on earth are soap nuts?!” you ask.

I wondered as well after I won some at a cloth nappy gathering I attended during Cloth Nappy Week .

soap-nuts
This is what they look like.
IMG_5017
They are super versatile!

So, my first try at using them was that day,Β  I think (endless cloth nappy and child laundry!) I didn’t have a great experience with them, though, and my clothes stunk. :/ Not ideal! I stopped using them and there they sat.

As I was nearing the end of my cloth nappy detergent, I started researching how I could avoid the smell and I came across a couple helpful blogs (here and here) and comments that made me keen to try it as a liquid rather than the soap nuts straight in the bag in the washing machine.

So, one day while mom was visiting, I got out the saucepan, popped 6 shells into the cotton bag, tied it shut,Β  added 4 cups of water, and turned the element on and started the process!

I then let it get to boil, mashed the bag a little to release more suds, and then turned it down to simmer for thirty sixty minutes. Then I prodded it a few more times, and it then sat in the pan for a couple hours overnight before I poured it into a plastic container.

I was also out of shampoo by this point, so I HAD to make it. I have been trying to replace things with stuff I already have around the house. See my Baking Soda and Coconut toothpaste post coming soon.

Here’s how it’s been going…

As a shampoo-

I’ve only used it twice so far, so the jury is still out on it. I did learn the first time that I needed less than I used, but it’s hard to gauge as it’s not sudsy like “normal” shampoo. I poured a little into my hands, put it onto my head, massaged it through my hair (kinda guessing because you can’t really feel it!) and did a little in my hands and added that to the ends of my hair. Then I stuck my head under the water and massaged it all in a heap more, trying to make sure that it spread out evenly.

My hair definitely felt different (probably because it’s not full of chemicals!), but afterwards seemed super heavy and greasy, but felt clean and soft within an hour of drying it. I tried it again this morning and used half as much or less and it still came out appearing greasy, but now (14hrs later) actually looks even better than it did when I got out and dried it. Weird. I’ll have to do an update after using it a bit longer!

IMG_5019

As laundry detergent-

I love it as a liquid- especially once I learned that it helps to add it to warm water first and then pour it in. Absolutely no smell problems now, and they definitely seem cleaner than ever. You use only a tablespoon or two of the liquid, so it’s super duper economical! See here for a price comparison.

IMG_0116As a dish soap-

I didn’t intend to try it out like this, but after I made the liquid, I had the bag sitting by the sink and it was turning a bit brown from the wet soap nuts, so I went to rinse it out and got heaps of suds! So, I set it aside again and with the next lot of dishes, I just squeezed the bag a few times and had my dish soap! AWESOME! Dishes came out as clean as usual and I am quite keen to carry on doing that.

IMG_5012 IMG_5011

So as you can see, it’s a very versatile product and I’m excited to see how we go over the coming months! I’ll be sure to update this or link back to it as my uses continue to vary and I see the longer term results- pros and cons.

Please do share your experiences and tips on how they’ve worked for you!

**Update April 2015- So I didn’t end up using it as a shampoo for long. I am sure it was cleaning well enough, but I wasn’t quite there in my crunchy journey to give up my sudsy, luxurious feeling shampoo. I still used it as a laundry soap until just the other day, but only because I was trying something new with the cloth nappies. The soap nuts weren’t the problem- I think it is more of my routine that is the problem. πŸ˜‰ (laziness!)

I would still highly recommend using them for laundry and dish soap!**

IMG_5014
They are all these good things…natural, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, biodegradable- but my favourite part is the “up to 90 loads thing!”
IMG_5015
Obviously, since I won these, it’s the only brand I’ve tried, but I am happy with them!