Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tea Time Tuesday: Lemon Loaf Cake

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a sweet bread and a tea loaf?  I have.  But then I wonder about all kinds of things that most people could give a darn about.  I'm weird like that. Deal.

A tea bread by Oxford Dictionary is. "A type of cake, baked in the shape of a loaf, containing dried fruit that has been soaked in tea before baking. ... 'Another bread, bara brith, is at least as good as any other fruit loaf or tea bread.  

Then I looked up sweet bread and it was nowhere near what I thought the definition of sweet bread was.  According to Wikipedia it is, "Sweetbread is a culinary name for the thymus or the pancreas, especially of calf and lamb, and, less commonly, of beef and pork."  What???? Seriously.

Then what the heck is a cake type loaf called?  Cake? Yes, loaf cake, now don't I feel foolish.  So if you are anything like me in my naivete, then dont write a post about tea bread and what not.  Its a loaf cake, fool!  Its just that simple.

Anyway, this lovely loaf is awesome with a cup of tea.  Head on over to my friend, Sandy's blog, Quilting For The Rest Of Us and see what she has in store for you for tea.
Lemon Loaf Cake

Makes 1 large loaf and one small loaf

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oil
3 eggs
3 cups zucchini
1 teaspoon oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Stir together all the dry ingredients except for the sugar. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, then oil, lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Pour the wet into the dry and beat just until combined.  Stir in the grated zucchini.  Pour into greased loaf pans and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Charcoal and Tea Tree Soap with Tamanu Oil


Doesn't that bubble look like a beetle with enormous eyeballs?
I have made soap once, so, I was afraid to make this soap, Activated Charcoal Soap, especially after seeing all the comments about some fails underneath the post on Soap Queens Blog.  You can access that post here.

I bought some activated charcoal a year or so ago.  I have a lot of it.  We have used it a few times for tummy aches and let me tell you, it works like a charm.  It's bizarre though to eat something black, takes some getting used to.  I just mix a teaspoon or two with a little bit of applesauce.


I changed it up just a wee bit and added some peppermint oil.  It smells so good!  I am pretty excited about the outcome, isn't it a beautiful soap?

Charcoal and Tea Tree Soap with Tamanu Oil
This is the recipe I used, please see Soap Queens recipe here.

1.8 oz. Castor Oil (5%)
9 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
14.4 oz. Olive Oil (40%)
9 oz. Palm Oil (25%)
1.8 oz. Tamanu Oil (5%)
5.1 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
10.1 oz. Distilled Water (15% water discount) 
1.7 oz. Tea Tree Essential Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil combination
2 tablespoons activated charcoal

Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool. 

Melt the castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil and tamanu oil (remember to fully melt the entire container of palm oil before portioning out). When the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130 degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until thin trace. 

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of activated charcoal to the soap mixture distributing in a fine all over layer on top to reduce clumps. Without turning it on use your stick blender to stir the charcoal into the soap batter. Slowly pulse the stick blender to incorporate the charcoal. 

Add the tea tree essential oil to the soap, and use the stick blender to blend and stir the essential oil until completely mixed in. 

Continue to stick blend for just a few seconds, to make sure the ingredients are completely combined. When the soap is a medium trace and is still pourable, pour the batter into your soap mold. Tap the mold on the counter to even the soap and get rid of bubbles. 

Spray the top of the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash. Place on a heating pad set to medium heat, and insulate the soap for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heating pad, and leave the soap insulated for 24 hours. 

Allow the soap to stay in the mold for at least 3-4 days. Because this soap has plenty of soft oils, it may need up to a week in the mold. Don't rush it! When the soap is firm enough, unmold and allow them to cure for 4-6 weeks. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

My husband and I have switched over to a plant based, vegan diet mainly for health benefits.  If you read my blog, you know we are meat eaters.  My husband being a major meat eater.  But we have always had meatless meals before they started gaining in popularity.  This has helped us a lot.  We were already enjoying great bean burgers.  And please, please, please, if you have never had homemade, it is a completely different experience.  Don't judge all bean burgers like you judge the one in the box from the store.

Since the day after Mothers Day (Mothers Day was the day I made this cake) we have been 95% vegan).  We have not eaten any meat but there may have been some parmegan on our spaghetti a few times.  We have lots of it to use up. If a recipe calls for an egg, I use an egg but we no longer have eggs for breakfast.  Our egg consumption has about 15 every week to less than one.  I am not going to ever be 100% probably, but mostly, yes.

I started a new blog, check it out.  It is called VEEG. My daughter named it.  It's all about my husband and I stepping into a vegan, plant based life.

What will happen to Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness.  Well, I probably will post here when I make things for my kids or for pot lucks, things that will not be appropriate for Veeg.  So Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness will go on, albeit, with fewer postings.



PUMPKIN BUNDT CAKE
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.  You can find the original here on the net.

2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

*sugar glaze drizzle of confectioners and sugar mixed together about the consistency of a thin pancake batter or heavy cream.

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves; add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin, beating well after each addition. 
Transfer to a greased bundt pan. Bake 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Remove pan and cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 12-16 servings. 

Originally published as Pumpkin Pound Cake in Country Extra November 1999, p49 

Nutritional Facts (Since I reduced the sugar content the carbs and sugar values would be slightly lower)
1 slice: 351 calories, 15g fat (2g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 245mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (32g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Some Simple Summer Salads

Using that delicious dill dressing, you can add it to your potato salad as a mayonnaise alternative.  It makes for a great salad.  I used the dressing I made from the previous post, found here and added onion.

The night we had the potato salad, I also made some roasted asparagus and tossed it with mini tomatoes, some balsamic, garlic powder, S&P and oil.   It was heavenly! A simple summer salad idea for yah.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Dill Mustard Sauce


Last summer, at Ikea, I picked up a bottle of their delicious mustard dill sauce!  Insert a choir of angels here and the heavens opening with light and joy.  Love this stuff, its a Swedish sauce called,  Hovmästarsås, it is incredible.  I was hooked but with Ikea two hours away and in another country, yes, that's the closest one to me, I had to find another alternative.  Behold, the amazing internet.  After looking at a few recipes, and they are really simple, I came up with my own interpretation.  I have a bit more dill than most recipes.  But I really like the dill. AMAZING stuff. Picture it if you will in a potato salad. I am picturing it and I will be making it tonight!

Dill Mustard Sauce

1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Grainy Mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 generous tablespoons honey
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped finely

Whisk together the Dijon, oil, vinegar and honey.  Drizzle in oil, whisking constantly.  It will emulsify easily because of the honey.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

STRAWBERRY SALAD DRESSING



So many changes here at Lori's.  As you can tell I have been off my 'game', unable to keep up with the demands of this blog as I learn to balance, children, career, home, marriage, friends... Yeah! I am struggling.  As I know many of you are with the same issues.  I know I am not alone in this boat.  Or maybe it is a ship, as the people on board are vast in numbers.  Mostly women.  Not that there are not men who "do it all".  If my husband was reading this, he'd say, what?  Of course I do a lot.  And he does, but ladies, you know, it ain't the same.  We pick up the slack on things like the kids doctors visits to whose cleaning up the dog mess.  Seriously! I don't want to get into the whole gender thing cause this is not what this post is about.

What's it about?  My absence and the changes and hopefully somewhere in this verbiage, what can be done about 'balance'.  I hate to sound all depressing here but balance is an enigma. When you really look at it, it flies in the face of reality.  Before you can ever reach balance, you have to strip away things from your life to simplify.  You can keep 100 balls flying in the air.  Maybe you can manage 5.  Maybe it's 3.  Be fair to yourself.  Don't be hard on yourself.  You can not create balance and 'om' with so much to do.  Sometimes in life, you will need to run from fire to fire.  Managing the flames so they don't scorch anyone.  Goodness.

Be kind to yourself.  There is so much on your plate these days.  We have so many conveniences and opportunities but the list of choices is giant.  Your time needs to be put on a budget.  Let me speak in first person here.  Let's do the calculations here. There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week. That's 168 hours.  Less sleeping time, and I like to get 8 if I can (and really we all should strive for nearly that). That's 56 hours.

168 hours
- 58 sleep time
110
- 35 work hours for me
75
-5 for commute
70
-16+ household chores, cooking, cleaning, gardening, etc. (also very conservative)
54
-3  errands, grocery shopping, banking, oil changes (this is definitely a conservative figure.)
51
-4  personal grooming, showers, blow drying hair, make up, etc
47
-3  exercise (yes, I know, this should be mroe, but right now I am nursing a sore knee)
44
That's a little over 6 hours a day. Most of that time chiming in on the weekend.  Thinking of no other obligations, like children and parents, this is how many hours are left to do whatever.  To balance your hobbies, spending time with the people you love, reading a bool, taking a class, whatever.  It goes real fast so you have to spend it wisely.

Okay so I didn't tackle what to do about balance.  Except maybe have an appreciation for all I do and give myself a break.  I want to keep Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness going.  I am going to do my best.

Here is a way to spend less than five minutes to make yourself a seriously wholesome and tasty salad dressing that will be sure to please you while you are eating your next salad.

STRAWBERRY SALAD DRESSING
It s a decent thickness but if you want to set it up a little add a teaspoon of chia seeds.

¼ cup olive oil
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
5 good size strawberries, stems removed
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon salt

In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until emulsified.  I didn't even drizzle in oil, didn't need to.  Put it in my Magic Bullet and boom! Done! And it stayed emulsified.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

SKILLET PEAS and POTATOES



This is a quick meal.  Super quick. Not much chopping involved either. It is meatless, in fact, it is Vegan.  But, more importantly, it is delicious.  How can you go wrong with potatoes?  Certainly if you don't care for coconut and you consume milk, you can replace with milk, just be careful about the burn factor.

This recipe is complete with substitutions.

Disclaimer:  The photo above was taken a little but before it was finished.  Once it was finished, it was like a mob scene.  No chance for photo ops.  Shhh.  I did get to steal some away for my lunch the next day before anyone else even had a taste.

SKILLET PEAS and POTATOES

1 pound small potatoes
1 cup peas
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 can or 1 cup of coconut milk
2 teaspoons Garam Masala*

In a large skillet pan or Dutch oven place your small potatoes or chopped potatoes, add about an inch of water and some salt.  Cover and cook until potatoes get fork tender.  If there is a little water in the pan let it cook out by taking off the lid, if there is still quite a bit, drain and return the potatoes to the pan.  Add in chopped onion and vegetable oil along with the garam masala.  Let the onions cook a little.  Add chopped tomato, peas and a half of a can of coconut milk. Make sure you scrape the bottom to incorporate those brown tasty bits.

*If you are not a fan of Indian food you can replace the spice with one of those spike mixes such as Montreal Steak seasoning or Rosemary garlic.