Feb 23, 2014

Room Reveal Preview

A sneak peak at the design of an upcoming room reveal! 

Stay tuned!

Metal enamel plate from Louche Milieu

Feb 18, 2014

The Distracted Chef - Chocolate Fudge

Welcome to the first instalment of what I hope will be regular posts of my adventures with gluten-dairy-sugar free cooking.  I'm a decent cook, but rarely consistent.  And many of my recipes fail.  Miserably. But the ones that do work out, are worthy of posting here.  

I've been reticent to post recipes as I'm not terribly skilled at food photography (there's always some random dirty cooking implement in the picture) and I have no idea how to post printable recipes.  So you're just going to have to deal with the graphic presentation of an 8 year old until someone feels sorry for me and tells me about some great app that does it all for you (wink wink). 

Last year when I became severely allergic almost all foods, we had to make a drastic shift in the way we ate (note 'we' - poor family).   We now eat about an 80% whole food diet, save for the occasional McDonalds fries ( I KNOW - they're the worst! - but they're so yummy). I make homemade peanut butter, hummus, granola, almond milk and am experimenting with crackers (code for not one successful recipe). Our groceries consist now of mostly organic fruits and veggies, gluten-free flours, strangely concocted sugar substitutes (lacuna, yacon syrup), unpasteurized local honey, fermented things, locally sourced grass fed meat and eggs and whoa, hey, no money left in our bank. ha ha. 

I also take courses whenever I can. I had the opportunity of attending a GF-DF-SF chocolate course last week (yum!). The 2 hour session was lead by talented local chef and holistic nutritionist, Amber Romaniuk, who recently published a cook book called Amber Approved.  Besides the recipes being gluten, dairy, and sugar free, all the ingredients are available locally in various natural food stores in Calgary (Community Natural Foods, Market 17, The Light Cellar and Blush Lane). I've made a few recipes so far and even my youngest approves (she loathes anything healthy - oh the irony - I will expand in this in a future post - she kills me).

Today's post is on the Chocolate Fudge that Amber made in the course.  Apparently it only takes her about 10 minutes to prepare and cook the fudge.  It took me an hour.  And I stained one of my favourite shirts, burned my tongue, and got a piece of coconut stuck in my eye.  

Chocolate Fudge - from Amber Approved


1 cup coconut butter (I made my own - 3 cups of organic unsweetened shredded coconut - in the Vitamix for about one minute until it turns shiny and liquid - WARNING - don't look inside the Vitamix to see if it is blending properly) 
1 cup coconut oil (Costco has the cheapest organic coconut oil in the city) 
4 tbsp raw cacao powder (high in magnesium, increases brain power, libido, and increases alkalinity in body - Light Cellar has a good selection)
1/3 cup of raw organic unpasteurized honey (antibacterial properties - I prefer honeys from the Peace River area in northern Alberta)
1 tbsp organic vanilla extract (Superstore has an inexpensive brand - Simply Organic)
2 tbsp lacuma powder (sugar substitute - caramelly - good for fudges and ice creams)
1 tbsp Maca (sugar substitute - good for levelling out progesterone and supporting adrenals) 

Add ins
Chopped Hazelnuts 
Cayenne - for my spicy readers
Dried Fruit 
shredded coconut

1. Line a 9x9" baking dish with parchment paper (do this before you start cooking - not during) 
2. Add coconut oil and butter to a medium size pan on medium to low heat until melted 
3. Add honey, vanilla, maca, lacuna powder, and cacao powder and whisk until smooth
4. Once mixed in, do not leave mixture on stove while you line baking dish then get distracted by incoming FaceTime call. Otherwise the mixture will burn and you will need to start again.  If so, repeat steps 1-3.
5. Pour over parchment paper in baking dish and freeze for 1-2 hours 
6. Pull off parchment paper and cut into desired serving sizes

Makes about 12-16 medium pieces of fudge. 

Making coconut butter

There were a number of varieties of cacao to choose from at the Light Cellar.  I chose this one because it was cheap.  

Always good to keep in stock in case the neighbour needs to borrow some. ha ha. 

Lacuma Matata.  Couldn't resist. 

Total blogger recipe fail.  Digging in before I take the requisite 'after' shot. I think the girls got into it in the freezer before it was done too. Apologies to the food stylists out there. 



Feb 12, 2014

Reason # 2062 Not to Paint Your Wood Paneling

Source: Casa.com.br