2016

I will not start this post saying what my objectives for 2016 are, as I don’t really believe that setting new objectives is mandatory in January. After so many December days spent with family, January already sounds like a less happy month. That’s why I like to start this month with gratitude. 2015 was a beautiful year even if we had some family/health related ‘problems’. During last year I learned something I didn’t know that could bring so much peace and calm into my life: ‘il dolce farniente’. I learned to enjoy taking time drinking my chocolate milk and just doing nothing without being stressed that my laundry has to be made or that the kitchen needs to be cleaned. I learned that those things can wait and my coffee moment gets priority. For this I am grateful.
Cambrian Blue Clay Soap

Russian Cambrian Blue Clay Soap.

Australian Red Clay
Australian Clay Soap.

Dark Chocolate Soap
Dark Chocolate Soap.

Orange juice Soap
Orange juice Soap.

Dark Chocolate Soap
Dark Chocolate Soap.

What are the things you are grateful for 2015?

Raw Chocolate Mousse Tart

IMG_3836kopie

If I have to pick only one cake for a special occasion it has to be ‘chocolatemousse. In this Christmas period, when we get together with our families and share the most beautiful moments, a dessert like this is perfect to end a dinner: chocolatey, sweet but not too much, melting in the mouth allthough it is dairy-, gluten- and sugarfree. I made this cake when my cousins family came to us and it turned out to be the most popular dessert, even more than other traditional cakes. This will be also on our table on New Year’s Eve ;).

Serving: 10-12 persons
Base:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dried plums
2 TbSp carob/cocoa powder
a little bit of water, if needed

Cream:
6 TbSp chia seeds
1/2 cup water
170 gr cocoa mass, melted
2 TbSp lucuma powder
2 TbSp carob powder
1 tSp vanilla powder
2 TbSt Tahini
10 dates
2 cups almond milk

To make the base:
Process the walnuts and the plums in a mixer until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom of a mold lined with parchment paper, and set aside in the fridge.

To make the cream:
Mix the chia seeds and the water. Will thicken in about 10 min. Using a high blender, mix all the ingredients + the chia seeds until you get a smooth cream. Pour it over the base and decorate. Let the tart in the fridge to set for some hours or overnight.

Raw Chocolate Mousse Tart

With this cake I want to thank every one who stopped by at my blog during this year! May 2016 year be a better one, full of love and gratitude!

‘Chisinaul de seara’ Cake

When you miss your home country, homemade food can bring it closer!

There is no moldovan who hasn’t heard of this delicious chocolate bar: Chisinau de seara! The mix of plums and chocolate is such a perfect combination that you wouldn’t be able to stop eating these chocolates. Every time my mother sends me a parcel, she puts some of these chocolates… My desire for this chocolate inspired me to make this cake during nostalgic periods like Christmas….e. A sugar-free cake would be more welcome than the traditional chocolates, don’t you think?

Chisinau de seara cakeBase:
1,5 cup walnuts(preferably dehidrated)
1 cup dried plums
2 TbSp cacao powder
3-4 TbSp honey/water depinding on how dry and how sweet your plums are

Cream:
4-5 avocado’s
1/3 cup honey(or more, depending on how sweet you want it to be)
1 cup plums
4 TbSp cacao powder
1 TbSp vanilla powder

To make the base:
Process the walnuts and the plums in a mixer until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom of a mold lined with parchment paper, and set aside in the fridge.

To make the cream:
Start by processing the plums in a mixer/blender until slightly chopped (or using a knife, cut the plums in small pieces). Mix the rest of the ingredients, and add at the plums at the end. Combne well the ingredients. Pour the cream over the crust, smoothing out. Place it in the frigo to let it stiff. Decorate!

Merry Christmas!

Tall and Skinny Shimmy Soap Technique

Tall and Skinny Shimmy SoapAfter a busy week spent with the grandmother, yesterday, finally, I had this beautiful idea of trying this month technique. I usually do several tries, and I am very engaged but yesterday evening , after making my 1st batch of soap, I just couldn’t do any more. The news that broke through was terrible. Terrible was also my feeling .. There are no words which could describe the sadness the world knew these days…

Tall and Skinny Shimmy SoapBack to this challenge.. I am not good at making soap when I don’t feel well so I really can’t wait to find some other time to try this interesting technique again for better results. For this time, I had in my mind the Xmas pallete so the natural colourants would be: activated chatcoal, Australian red clay, spirulina powder.

Tall and Skinny Shimmy Soap

Thank you Amy and Tatiana for your time teaching us a technique I wasn’t familiar with and which I certainly will try again!

Alternative Liquid Soaps

It’s been a long time since I last made a challenge soap but when I saw that Amy is organizing a challenge concerning natural colorants, I immediately thought that this would be interesting to participate.
The theme was something I love: alternative liquids. So bye-bye water and think of something different to make your soap. I have, during my soap adventures, already tried liquids in soap like: carrot juice , celery juice, pumpkin juice, teas , vegan milks , elderberry juice , kvass , bors and kombucha (fermented beverages). The more challenging was when I made soap out of red cabbage juice , but my favourite ingredients remain the fermented beverages. The soaps is so silky and gets an extra lather, that will make you want to continue using it.
I made several tests using vegetables juices. These are the healthiest thing one can eat, every one knows it, don’t you?
Sweet potatoes soap
The sweet potatoes aren’t only very delicious and so versatile, but also very healthy containing iron, vitamin D, magnesium and such a great form of beta-carotene, known as a powerful antioxidant (source here ).
The sweet potatoes juice made an interesting yellow colored soap.

Paprika juice soap
Want to get more antioxidants? Then you need to eat paprika. So well known for a glowing skin due to its high level in betacaroten, paprika also have anti-inflammatory properties. Due to their content in capsaicin, they are known to lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. Lots of reason to eat them and, why not, to use them in soap too (source here ).

Paprika juice soap
Red paprika gave a surprising reddish color which I really like. I wasn’t expecting this juice to give such a lovely color (having in my mind the beetroot juice for instance, which becomes green).
The insertions are from an old indigo soap.

Potatoes juice soap
I then had the idea of making a soap in the shape of potatoes and also made with potatoes juice in place of water. Potatoes juice is known to be a very good remedy for gastric problems and stomac ulcers. As one of the most alkaline foods, this juice helps to detox your body, bringing lots of benefits due to their rich mineral, potassium and organic salt content. Source to read more here )
Strange color and especially strange flavour (when mixing the juice with lye), so I needed to add some essential oil to this soap. The soap came out interesting as you can see.

Zucchini juice soap
Because I had home too many zucchini, I decided quickly to give it a try in soap. Zucchini are high in water content which makes them an excellent snack for those like me who don’t want to put kilo’s on. Loaded with vit. C along with reasonable quantities of potassium, vit. A as well as foliate (source here), zucchini are also known as a versatile vegetable which can be used even in desserts to replace the butter. Cool, isn’t it?
I was surprised how ‘white’ this soap was. For the green part I used moringa powder.

Book soap
I don’t know how I came up with the idea of making a book soap, but it’s been a while I wanted to give it a try. Maybe because my daughters are very involved in this activity and they come everytime with a new idea for a soap. Anyway, even before starting to make it, I knew this soap would be for my elder sister who is always busy studying …for her master, for her school courses etc (she is a history teacher). Funny was that when I told her that I made a soap in her honour, she immediately asked me’ is this a book soap?” .

Love the page details

Love the page details

This soap contains for 50% light beer and for 50% kombucha instead of water. We all know about how healthy this fermented tea is, but what about beer? Maybe not really healthy, but sometimes good for the moral. Or should I maybe ask my husband ? :). To be honest, I also like to drink it, especially during the holiday. Not only is the beer a stress reducer, but it’s also high in silicon and contains anti-microbial properties. Beer is full of vitamin from the yeast. Unfiltered beer is especially high in B3(cell repair) and B9( acid folic). The source here.
The brown part was colored with walnut shell powder and a little bit of Australian red clay.

Book Soap
I was also willing to make soap using purple carrots juice, but I had to run to pick up the girls from school so I believe this will be for another challenge ;).

Thank you for reading.

September Soaps

September has always been one of the busiest months of the year. Especially now that we have two schoolchildren at home, no toddlers any longer… . Discovering that your child wants to follow a new extraschool activity, thinking twice before deciding to let them participate or not, trying to get it organized,…all these things makes this period more messy than we wanted. …Last year we could arrange everything during the weekend, but this year wasn’t possible any longer. So even on Wednesdays we are busy being taxi driver!
I don’t really like it when my kids are too busy, as I find it important to see them at home too …even if this means sometimes they get a bit bored. On the other hand I didn’t have the chance myself of following music, arts, or other activities, and in a way I regret it. With some luck and organization, we got almost everything arranged.
In the meantime, I discover new hobbies and attractions and before it gets too late, I want to try them all. Making soaps has become such a lovely part of my weekly activities that I don’t consider it a hobby anymore. Of course I like it and the moments when we cut the soaps are always special…

It’s been a while I posted some soaps here so I here are some of the lately made soaps:

Jasmin Marriage Flavor Soap made of kombucha .

Kombucha Jasmin Soap

Kombucha Jasmin Soap                       

Australian Red Clay

Australian Red Clay Soap

I wanted this soaps to be just a little bit red, but sometimes accidents happen when making soap ;)

Walnut shell powder soap made out of walnut milk in place of water.

Walnut Shell Soap
What are you (new) hobbies? is there something you want to learn and you find it difficult to start learning it?

Julie Natuurlijk book review

Julie natuurlijk book
I will try to come back and post something about our holidays, but for now this post is about a book I have been waiting for so long: ‘Julie natuurlijk’ ! I received it on the 1st of September. I couldn’t have started this month better! This book is so classy and delicate that I can recommend it to all of you !

Julie naatuurlijk book
I got to know Julie via her blog (check it out here ). We exchanged several mails, in which I got to know Julie a little bit better. I discovered a lovely person interested in healthy food, who studied in California at the Living Light Culinary Institute (together with her boyfriend) where she became a raw chef. As written in the book, Julie got in touch with raw food because of some health problems. In Belgium, Julie organizes raw food workshops, she opened a pure-food pop-up restaurant, and she also owns an online shop where you can order raw delicacies – Allgood. She makes beautiful cheesecake/cakes so if you heard about raw food but never dared to prepare something, it’s an occasion to find out how delicious these are! Julie is such an ispiration, she knows her stuff inside-out and everything she does is with such integrity and full of meaning.

Julie natuurlijk book
The book is simply awesome! With 60 recipes, Julie introduces you to a world free of sugar, gluten and dairy. Simple recipes and colourful dishes will make you discover how nutritious and good for you this food can be. The recipes are clearly explained and easy to follow, enriched with some tips. Forget those classical books full of too much explanation where you can’t follow the instructions. Here the design is fabulous and catches the reader’s eye from the cover until the end of the book. And ..the photograps are amazing. You simply will want to make these recipes as they are so beautifully photographed!
If you are interested in vegan food or if you simply want to have in your kitchen library a fascinating collection of recipes and a book you will want to rely on again and again, this is for you!

Cucumber-ananas gazpacho

I couldn’t easily decide about which recipe to post on my blog, as they all look so nice. I was very impressed by the spaghetti and lentils&nuts balls; the cheesecake sounds good too; The energyshake with cacao was what the girls wanted me to make first and it was so tasty! But the ananas-cucumber gazpacho was something I have never tried before. We were so thrilled about this recipe: the mix between cucumbers, basilium ananas makes such a perfect match!

So go to the shop, buy an pineapple and some cucumbers and make this beautiful recipe!

Cucumber-ananas gazpacho
Ingredients for 4 persons:
3cups cucumber
3 cups pineapple
1tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp (green) onion
1tsp ginger
1/2tsp salt
2 handful fresh basilicum
1/2 avocado
1tbsp pistachio nuts

Mix everything except the pistachio nuts in a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Decorate the soups with pistachio nuts: summer in your plate!