Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Awesome Etsy Find - Purpose Design.

Now that Christmas is over, I can safely post this without fear that I will be showing the gifts I was giving this year. I began most of my holiday shopping in mid November and scoured Etsy in hopes of  finding the most personalized gifts for the people in my life. I came across the shop, Purpose Design, during the search for a gift for my boss. Keyword search: gift for baker. The shop owner, Julie, uses all natural ingredients for her spice sets and salt kits which she blends herself.  I wanted to order everything as I browsed the different items in her shop. I decided on the Artisanal Baking and Dessert Salt Kit for my boss. It consists of six different salt blends with flavors such as Espresso Sea Salt, Orange Ginger, and Vanilla Cardamon. For my brother who loves cooking Thai food, I found a Thai spice set. It's hard to come by certain Thai spices in the area we live so this was perfect for him. I couldn't resist getting something for myself so I purchased the Organic DIY Chai tea kit.  I've already enjoyed a pot and it was lovely.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Saffron Simple Syrup and a Saffron & Bitters Cocktail

For Christmas last year, my dad sent me a bottle of Averna. I'm not a huge drinker so it sat on the shelf next to the other bottles in my brother's bar area. What was our Mom's hutch is now his liquor cabinet. For my birthday the following month, Dad sent me multiple bottles of truffle oil, which have been put to use many times, and a tin of saffron which had been left untouched until now. I would see the cute little tin from Spain every time I opened the cupboard and it would remind me that I needed to do something with it soon. So I finally did. I wasn't quite sure what I would be using it for but a simple syrup sounded like a good idea. A healthier version of a simple syrup that is. And I finally got a way to use the Averna.

Saffron Simple Syrup


1 cup water
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
4 generous pinches of saffron

To Make:

In a saucepan add the water and coconut sugar. Turn heat to medium-high. 
Gently stir till the coconut sugar has dissolved.
Add ginger, cinnamon sticks, and saffron and stir again to combine.
Once it reaches a boil, let it cook for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
Strain simple syrup into a glass jar and store in fridge until ready for use.

Saffron & Bitters Cocktail

In a glass with ice add:

1oz Averna
2 tablespoon saffron simple syrup
& top with tonic water.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Food For Your Skin - Sugar Scrub

It's just as important to use clean natural ingredients on your skin as it is to eat a clean healthy diet. The skin is our largest organ so it makes sense to take good care of it. Many commercial brands use harsh chemicals and fragrances in their skin care products which can not only be harmful for your skin but if you are sensitive enough, they will cause a rash. This happens to me often. :(

Today I'll be sharing a recipe for a sugar scrub that can be used on your face and body. It's made from natural ingredients that your skin will love. Sugar scrubs are great for all skin types. Yes, including you, sensitive skin. The grapeseed oil used in this recipe is light so it leaves your skin smooth but not overly greasy. This stuff is great to use prior to shaving. The oils give your skin extra moisture and it helps prevent itchy legs which can happen after shaving.

Sugar Scrub

4 cups cane sugar
16oz bag of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
1 cup melted coconut butter
2 cups grapeseed oil
1/4 cup honey

The choices are unlimited for adding scent to your scrub. There are a variety of essential oils and you can blend them to your preference. Below are the ones I chose but feel free to be creative and choose what you like.

30 drops sweet orange essential oil
30 drops bergamot essential oil
2 teaspoons honeysuckle perfume oil (Sunshine Spa brand)

 To make:
In a large bowl add the brown sugar, cane sugar and vanilla if you decide to do so. Gently mix to combine. You may need to use your hands to break up any clumps from the brown sugar.
In a medium bowl add your honey, grapeseed oil,  melted coconut butter and scent of choice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well to combine. Use a spoon to scoop scrub into jars. 
I was able to fill 10 wide mouth 8oz mason jars. Create your own gift tags and give these out for presents this Christmas. These also make a great hostess gift.