Life, laziness & the flu. Seperately they are hard enough to deal with. The combination – deadly. As in no-posts-for-over-a-month deadly. But let’s put that behind us and start fresh – say with some home made cashew milk and super simple smoothie?
As a hard core carnivore I always feel a little awkward trespassing on vegan territory. But you know what – screw that! Who says I can’t enjoy a juicy, rare steak and still love cashew milk? Plus home made cashew milk is a million times better than regular milk and whips up in less than a minute.
The first thing to do is soak your raw cashews for at least a couple hours – I usually like to leave mine overnight. Soaking the nuts helps with digestion and makes the cashew milk uber creamy. All that’s left to do is drain, rinse, add water & blend – seriously it’s that easy. You don’t even have to strain it! The standard ratio for nuts:water is 1:4, but you can make it thicker by reducing the water.
You can either drink the cashew milk straight up or whizz it together with a few simple ingredients to make an effortless smoothie. I tend to favour frozen blueberries, but pretty much any fresh or frozen fruit would taste amazing.
home made cashew milk & blueberry smoothie
- ingredients –
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp maple syrup (or any other sweetener you prefer)
- directions -
- soak the cashews in water overnight. drain & rinse. add to blender along with water and blend until smooth.
- add blueberries, banana & maple syrup and continue blending. add water if needed. makes 2 servings
I’ve got bad news – we’ve all been duped. All my life I thought ricotta was fancy and expensive. That all changed last week when my boyfriend/chef showed me just how ridiculously easy (& cheap) it is to make fresh ricotta.
Fresh ricotta isn’t even in the same category as that stuff they sell in the grocery store. Smooth and creamy, it works with both savory & sweet recipes. From this batch of ricotta I made roasted eggplant, tomato & ricotta tarts but they vanished within hours.
My favourite way to eat ricotta is drizzled with some local honey. Luckily for us on Vancouver Island Babe’s Honey is back! After closing their doors due to legal issues, Babe’s was bought by former employees and reopened last March – and I couldn’t be happier. Aside from the range of honeys they produce they also sell soaps, lip balm & vinegars (I’m looking forward to trying their honey-balsamic soon).
Once you have fresh ricotta in your fridge you’ll be amazed at how much you can do with it. From gnocchi to cheesecakes, it’ versatility means it won’t last long. This recipe makes about 2-3 cups and will last about 4-5 days.
fresh ricotta recipe
- ingredients -
2L whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp white wine vinegar (can use any vinegar or lemon juice)
- directions -
- pour milk, cream & salt in large sauce pan & stir occasionally over medium heat to prevent burning. heat slowly until it just starts boiling – the milk with be frothy so gently push bubbles aside to check if boiling.
- once it starts boiling, immediately remove from heat and add the vinegar pouring evenly over milk. gently stir once or twice to mix in the vinegar and then leave it to let the curds develop. let stand for 5 minutes.
- line a strainer with cheese cloth or a coffee filter. carefully pour the mixture into the strainer and let it drain for about 15 minutes.
- transfer to a container and let cool. once at room temperature store covered in fridge.
I have the very bad habit of forgetting to eat breakfast. I’m not sure why – I love breakfast. But lately I’ll skip right from coffee to work and the next thing I know it’s 4pm. Awful, right? But that all changes when there’s fresh orange & blueberry scones around.
I’ve never actually made scones before and I’ll tell you why – my boyfriend/chef makes life-changing scones. The worst part? He doesn’t even use a special recipe he just knows what to do. Regardless I figured I’d just go for it and I’m glad I did. Although they weren’t as good as my chef’s scones they were still the perfect start to the day (especially when I smothered them with lemon curd – recipe coming soon).
The important part to remember when making scones is to make sure the butter is cold. The easiest way is to freeze the butter and grate it into the flour – but I doubt you’ll ever find a chef who does that. Instead, just keep the butter in the fridge until you’re ready to use it and avoid touching it at all costs.
orange & blueberry scones recipe:
- ingredients –
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp orange zest
1 cup cold unsalted butter
1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sour cream
- directions -
- preheat oven to 400 degrees
- mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt & orange zest.
- take butter out of the fridge and cut it into small cubes. add the butter cubes to flour mixture using a pastry cutter (or 2 knives) to cut the butter into the flour. mix until the butter lumps are the size of peas.
- in a separate bowl mix together the sour cream & egg.
- add the sour cream/egg mixture & the blueberries to the flour/butter mixture and stir until it starts to come together
- transfer to a floured surface and pat into a circle about the size of a plate. sprinkle with some sugar and cut into 8 wedges. arrange the wedges on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper bake about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- optional – orange glaze – mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1/4 tsp orange zest & 2 tbsp fresh orange juice. drizzle over cooling scones.