Tuesday, March 3, 2015

QUICK & EASY MACROBIOTIC BREAKFAST

  On busy mornings I don´t want to put any more time into making breakfast than is necessary. This meal follows the macrobiotic food recommendations, therefore being super healthy, but takes hardly any time to fix.

Big rice cakes topped with miso, cucumbers, nori sprinkle, and yeast flakes (my personal favorite, which tastes like cheese and contains lots of B vitamins) accompanied by 2 cups of bancha tea with soymilk.
  That´s a lot to eat but contains little calories. I can´t seem to cut down portion sizes, I rather cut down on calorie density. =)

Monday, March 2, 2015

DIY NATURAL HOME CLEANSING SPRAY

  In the past I´ve tried several green/ecological store-bought brands of various cleansing potions for the home. I hate so say it, but none of them came to stay. They just aren´t as efficient as the toxic regular commercial brands.

  But now I tried something even more environmental-friendly: a diy cleansing spray for bathrooms made of all natural and common ingredients!

All it takes is white vinegar, water and essential oil.
I used it on the bathroom sink...
...the shower...

...and even on the toilet bowl, and it cleaned all of them with no trouble. This spray is merely for more frequent maintaining, rather than heavy scrubbing, but every step counts in making our homes less toxic!
  The recipe (for one spray bottle, about 2 cups):

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
10-15 drops of essential tea tree oil (or any oil you like the scent of)

+ Put all in a spray bottle, shake, and spray! Let sit for a couple of minutes and brush with your usual tool, then rinse. Voilá!

  The vinegar does not smell that bad at all, essential oil does a great job!


Sunday, March 1, 2015

GLUTEN-FREE FLATBREAD

  This is my absolute favorite baking recipe! I use it for everything, from pizza crust to cinnamon rolls, just varying ingredients accordingly.
  This time I made a gluten-free carrot bread for my son. Many eat gluten-free "for fun" nowadays,  but my son is lethally allergic to gliadin, a protein in wheat, rye and barley. So we´re talking about life-saving food here.

My ten-year-old son still doesn´t like his veggies, so I "hid" a pound of carrots in the breads. When grated finely, they seem to disappear, only improving moisture and adding a bit of sweetness.

I used millet, buckwheat, brown rice and corn flour to make the bread. I always buy whole groats and grind them in my own stone mill right before baking  minimize oxidation and maximize nutritional value.
   The recipe (makes 4 flatbreads):

1 3/4 cups (4 dl) gluten-free flour (no thickeners like psyllium included)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. carrots, grated finely (or any other veggie/combo and as much as you dare...)
about 1 cup (2,5 dl) water

+ Combine and mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ones and mix. Stir in the veggies. Add water until you reach an easily spreadable  dough. Make four flat breads on a baking sheet layered oven tray, and bake at 440 F (225 C) for about 15-20 min.
  Best eaten straight away, but thanks to the carrots, preserves well and moist for a few days wrapped in the parchment paper in the fridge.

  These breads make an awesome takeaway food to work or trips, as they are a whole balanced meal, especially if you add cooked beans or lentils in the dough. A nice lunch with a cup of tea!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

RENOVATING SUMMER CABIN

  This winter has been a warm one. In our corner of the world that means that temperature has hovered only at around freezing, not below like it usually does. Therefore we´ve only been able to go to our summer home twice this year, hiking on ice.

  We have a major project at hand there, we´re about to renovate and remodel the whole cabin inside and out. It was built in the sixties, and nothing done to it since (except changed curtains =).
  So the two times we´ve been able to spend a weekend there with my husband this winter, we´ve done our best to get things started.

This has been a rare treat during the past months, a sunny day.

We have no running water there, so we need to saw a hole in the ice to get water to sauna and wash up. Drinking water we bring in canisters of course. Talk about getting close to nature!
The project. This phase is always the worst, when you´ve torn out the old and not yet put anything new back in.  It does need to get worse before it can get any better.

We´re turning the old kitchen into a bedroom. In the floor there was a small hatch leading to a cool concrete-covered hole in the ground, which used to serve as a "refrigerator" before electricity was brought to this small island.
The door will be removed and sealed, and the double-windows taken out completely. This time it was time to add insulation to the floor and cover it with another layer of plywood. Hopefully we´ll find use to the old door. It´s always valuable to preserve something from the old.

Accurate account on measures on the wall...
Luckily "these tools were made for working, and that´s just what they do"!
   We´re hoping to get the living room and bedrooms done by warm summer days, so we can all fit in to enjoy ourselves as a family! Thumbs up!

Monday, February 23, 2015

LEARNING MACROBIOTICS

  Two weeks ago the mail brought me the "Changing Seasons Macrobiotic Cookbook", a book I ordered earlier. I had been waiting for it so much, and now after two weeks, my enthusiasm has even risen, if possible. Why could I not have had this years ago, when I bought my first ever macrobiotic book?! This rocks in it´s simplicity and hands-on take on cooking. No bla-bla-blas, only useful info and practical guidance.

The book.

The student.
The lunch (whole wheat spaghetti with boiled cabbage and toasted sesame seeds, plus a small raw salad with soy sauce).
  Macrobiotics know nothing about decadent, sweet and fatty, desserts. The practice emphasizes whole grains, accompanied by vegetables and fermented condiments like miso and sauerkraut.
  For a dessert-lover like me, who has always had a major sweet tooth, learning to eat the macrobiotic way is a real challenge. But these weeks have been so interesting and experimental, that it has felt like an exciting journey!
  Be it placebo or not, but it feels like my sugar cravings have given in a little. I´m definitely continuing on this path of wonders!
  Today I begun the "spring cooking" section of the book. It is still stiff winter when looking out of the window here, but days have grown so much lighter, that I can´t help feeling spring every day! While it will still be a great number of weeks until I´m able to collect dandelion leaves for boiled salad recipes in the book, I use what ever happens to be available, and as local as possible, at the grocery store.

Monday, February 16, 2015

IMBOLC FASHION: FAERY TUNIC

  Here´s the second outfit for my Nelland Faery collection at Imbolc:

A baby-blue velour tunic. Clean, sleek lines to keep it modern, accessorized with glass bead necklaces.
The tunic is loosely cut, but not a tent. I combined it with black & white small-checkered pants.
Makeup is very natural and youthful. Eyeshadow is light grey, blush warm shimmery pink, and lipgloss glittery clear.
  This tunic is unbelievably comfortable to wear, and the warmth of the fabric enabled the 3/4 sleeves despite of the cold season.

  I feel light and safe wearing the outfit, almost like a real-world faery!  =)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

TRUE LOVE FOR VALENTINE´S DAY

  I´m a do-it-yourself gal. I apply the approach to love also. A true, deep love comes from within, but it has to be kept alive, as life keeps changing.
  I´m no romantic, but I´ve been fortunate to experience a genuine love that conquers all for the past 19 1/2 years. And it´s still growing stronger. How the heck is that possible?! I never dreamed of a husband, kids, or family life, let alone everlasting love.
  As we approach our 20th anniversary, I´ve done some summing up on how to keep love flourishing through thick and thin.

Check it out on my column Nelland Living!
  Love is precious, cherish and pamper it for the sake of yourself! Happy and love-filled Valentine´s Day weekend!