Pomegranate and Honey Mulled Wine Recipe

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‘Tis the season!  I have so many goodies in stock for you this festive month!  Yay! From a handmade Holiday gift guide to recipes, I’ve got you all covered so this season will go a little smoother than you think, with no stress involved and a lot of fun! And because the holidays are nothing without food and drinks, let’s start this blog series wiiiiiiith… Drums rolling…  the booze!
You might be hosting a party this year or just preparing your holiday meal and want to pair it with good cocktails, I am sure. For the next two weeks, I will be posting a little more than usual, making sure you willet some good, easy, DIY recipes for this season.    I am happy to share my favorite (and unique) cocktail recipes (cold and hot!) that you will keep sipping all winter long because they are so delicious!  Be prepared to surprise guests and family with more elaborate (and easy I promise) Holiday cocktail recipes that will bring a touch of originality to your party.  They are all tested and approved by yours truly (I know, that was a tough blog post to work on…) and can all be prepared in their virgin forms so people who don’t drink alcohol (including kiddos) can enjoy them as well.  Oh and they can also all be savored in one evening: cold ones as cocktails before the meal and hot ones as digestives after the meal, sitting by the fire for example…  Your choice!  Falalalala!
Let’s start with the first one of this series: The Pomegranate and Honey Mulled Wine Recipe!
Very easy and simple recipe for a variation of the traditional mulled wine, using an in-season surprising ingredient: the pomegranate.  This warm beverage includes pomegranate juice as well as honey.  A beverage of choice that will please the crowds when it is chilly outside!
Ingredients:
1 bottle of red wine (not expensive and mild).  My personal choice is a red Zinfandel
2 cups of pomegranate juice
4 tablespoon of honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of cloves
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and warm up on the stove at low heat.  Don’t boil! That’s it! Now go enjoy by the fireplace and let me know what you think in the comments…
Cheers!

Makeup Remover DIY (Because You Deserve to Know What You Put on Your Face)

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I wanted to share this makeup remover DIY with you for quite a while but I kept forgetting to post it. I ran out of it last night so I needed to make another (small) batch today and it reminded me to finally write this post on how to make it. It is extremely easy to make and the ingredients are, of course, natural, and in my case, organic.
There are many reasons why I ended up making my own makeup remover instead of buying it, and these reasons might (hopefully) make you decide to do the same:

When we make our own beauty products, we help the environment by using and throwing away less packaging. We also (usually) buy organic and local ingredients, and in bulk, which ultimately helps boost the local economy and reduce carbon footprint.

We know exactly what we put on our skin and/or on our eyes and we don’t need a Ph.D. in chemistry to understand what the ingredients are. Did you know that on average a woman puts 500 chemical products on her body daily?… 😱 (Source: Canadian Health Food Association). Hmm… should we do the math and find out how much women actually put on themselves over a lifetime? 🤔 Maybe another time huh? In the meantime, mixing simple, organic ingredients and making our products ourselves without the yucky stuff we can’t even pronounce, sounds much better…

We save money! The cost might be a little high at the beginning because we buy in bulk, but in the end, spending less than $5.00 per 100 ml (3.5 oz) sounds like a good plan, especially for all-natural and organic products!

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So here is the recipe for my very own makeup remover:

• Jojoba oil (1 part)
• Vitamin E oil (3 drops)
• Witch hazel hydrolat (1/2 part)
• Rose water (1 part)

💡 Tips: I use an eye dropper to place the ingredients in a 1 oz (30 ml) glass bottle.

Mix well and store for up to 2 weeks.


Easiest and Most Delicious French Baguette Ever

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I am not kidding here…  This is the most surprisingly easy recipe for French baguette that I have ever tried in my entire life! Now you might say that “easy” doesn’t mean “good” or “authentic” at all, but…  it has been tested by the French Connection (including myself as well as the fam) here in San Diego and it was unanimously approved! Now the beauty of this super simple recipe is that there is no kneading or poolish involved! You can basically get the dough ready in the evening (in about 10 minutes), let it rise overnight and cook your bread in the morning for a delicious and typical French breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of unbleached bread flour (375 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of salt (8 grams)
  • 3 tsp of bread machine rapid rise yeast (12 grams)
  • 1.2 cups of lukewarm water (300 ml)

How to:

In a mixing bowl, mix the yeast with a little bit of the lukewarm water to dilute it and then add the rest of the water

Add the flour and the salt and mix roughly with a wooden spoon (yep you read that right)

Cover the bowl with a cotton fabric towel and leave for about 1 hour and 1/2 until the dough has doubled in volume

Preheat the oven to 465°F (240°C) and fill the drip pan with water (the moisture released will help the crust be more crunchy during the baking process)

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured baking sheet or stone (you can line it with parchment paper), or directly into  The dough will be very sticky but it is totally ok and normal.  Stretch it in one long baguette, or you can separate in two or more pieces to make more baguettes (smaller ones though). Don’t work the dough too much so it doesn’t go down.

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Make beveled cuts on top of each baguette with scissors or a blade (2 or 3 cuts per baguette loaf)

Place the baguettes in the oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes (each oven is different so cooking time may vary)

Take the baguettes out of the oven and let cool on a rack and wait about 30 minutes before cutting.

Store in a cotton fabric bag or a towel (no plastic please!).  It will keep for about 2 days but I guarantee you that it will be gone way before that! You can also freeze them but do it the day you baked them and once they are cooled.

Bon appétit! 🇫🇷

 

 

 


French Alpine Hot Cocoa Recipe

 

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This one drink brings me back to the place where I grew up, in the French Alps.  It is a delicious warm drink (for both vegans and non-vegans) that combines an old traditional European hot chocolate recipe and a delicious and surprising ingredient.  The beverage is enhanced with Chartreuse liqueur, which is produced by French monks from a 400-year-old recipe. Both Green Chartreuse and Yellow Chartreuse (we will use the green one in this recipe) use a secret blend of 130 herbs and plants and the entire operation is still overseen by just two monks (and manufactured near my hometown in the Alps).  The liqueur has a unique taste that you probably haven’t had before, but it is worth a try as it is considered one of the best liqueurs in the world.  Check with your local liquor store to see if they sell Chartreuse.  If not, I have linked an online shop below that sells it. Be ready for a cup of hot cocoa with a very pleasant twist!

For one cup:

Ingredients

8 oz of plant milk or regular milk for non-vegans
2 tsp of hot cocoa powder (I get mine from Trader Joe’s and it is inspired by a traditional European recipe).

1/2 or 1 tbsp of green Chartreuse (Shop here)
1 tsp of brown sugar

In a cooking pot, combine the Chartreuse, the hot cocoa powder, the sugar and the plant milk.  Warm up at low heat and remove right before boiling (do not boil really, I am serious here!)

Remove from heat and serve in a mug.  Sit back, relax and enjoy…

Non-alcoholic and kids friendly version: Don’t add the Chartreuse and add a cinnamon stick during the warm-up process!  Delicious!

 


Beeswax Reusable Food Wrap DIY

Processed with VSCO with a9 presetOne of the first changes our family made when we started our journey to reduce our use of plastic, was to eliminate plastic food wrap.

We used to cover most food leftovers or simply wrap anything that would go in the fridge with the stretchy film.  We would buy them by the roll, and we even had one that was 3000 ft long once because a friend of ours bought it for us thinking that was the size we wanted… it took us four years to finish it… not our proudest moment looking back, and thinking where this plastic is standing right now and how long it will be there for… Eeeek!

Fortunately, reality and awareness of the plastic problem that we, humans, have created, sunk in and our family decided to make some major changes to get rid of the plastic film use completely.

Going back to basics by storing food in glass containers was the first option we chose.  Additionally and after doing a little research we found out about beeswax reusable food wrap, which is totally amazing and sustainable, as well as safe, and can be used exactly like plastic food wrap, but without the yucky plastic. The only downside to this amazing product: the price tag…

Now the DIYer in me could not resist the temptation of making her own beeswax wrap, soooo… I tried, and I can say I succeeded! The process was easy as can be, and the wrap worked like a charm!  Now, just so you know, if I can do it, so can you! The good news is that you only need two items to make a large quantity of beeswax reusable food wrap: cute fabric (cotton or hemp) and beeswax (we have our own beehive so beeswax is easily available to us, but you can also purchase in craft stores or online). And that’s it!  For a fraction of the price of the store-bought ones, you can get your own, personalized, homemade, reusable beeswax food wrap!

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So if you are willing to make this change (I really hope you do… ) and if you are a little crafty (just a little…), check out the tutorial below.

Now if you prefer buying the wraps already made, I highly recommend the ones I first bought, but I have to warn you that the price is a little high… The brand is Etee and our family purchased a pack of 3 wraps two months ago ($18) and we are extremely satisfied with the products!  Also, I went to Trader Joe’s this morning and was super (and pleasantly) surprised to see that they started selling some beeswax food wraps at a very cheap price ($8.99 for a set of three). I bought 2 sets but since I have not tried them yet, I can not say if I recommend them or not…

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Beeswax Food Wrap DIY

What you need:

  • Cotton or hemp fabric of your choice
  • Beeswax in granules (You can buy it at your preferred craft store or here)
  • A paint brush
  • Pinking shears to cut the fabric and prevent fraying

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How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 185°F (85°C)
  2. Cut your fabric in pieces of different sizes (make sure to cut some that will cover your biggest bowl)
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place a piece of pre-cut fabric on it
  4. Sprinkle the beeswax evenly on the fabric (very little is actually needed)
  5. Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven and watch the beeswax melt (it only takes a few minutes…)
  6. Once the beeswax is completely melted, use the paintbrush to cover the beeswax evenly on the fabric, making sure the entire piece is coated
  7. Let it cool down

Your new beeswax food wrap is ready to use!

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Cutting the fabric with pinking shears will prevent fraying

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Make sure the beeswax pellets are evenly spread out on the fabric

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Once the beeswax has melted, spread it evenly with the help of the paintbrush, to make sure the entire piece of fabric is coated

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How to care for your beeswax food wrap:

Wash with mild soap and cold water (do NOT use hot water as it will melt the beeswax coating)

Do not wrap any raw meat or fish in your beeswax food wrap (since you can’t wash it with hot water, it is probably safer not to use it for this purpose…)

Air dry

Depending on how often you use it, it will usually last a long time

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