Friday, March 30, 2012

Tuna, Olive and Gruyère Melt

My wonderful husband bought me a block of lovely Gruyère cheese the other day and every day I try to find some way of incorporating it into at least one meal. The flavour is just to die for, so smooth and nutty..,

Once, I almost visited the town of Gruyère, Switzerland, which this cheese is named after, but it didn't quite work out... (Geneva is so close!) I think my Swiss friends would have liked to educate me on cheese-ology because I come from the continent which unfortunately thinks swiss cheese is both Swiss and cheese.

Hello side-note.

So, in my pursuit of daily Gruyère eating, here is what I had for lunch yesterday. First it was going to be just cheese on a bagel, then I thought I'd make a tuna melt, and the olives were just pure inspiration. I love savoury things and these flavours just melded so well together. My husband almost threw up when I showed him. He HATES both tuna and olives. I guess two wrongs don't make a right :)

You can use swiss or emmental cheese if you can't get your hands on some gruyère. Just don't tell any Swiss people about the swiss cheese. They may have you arrested for crimes against cheese.

Tuna, Olive and Gruyère Melt

Whole wheat bagel, halved
1/2 can tuna
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Large green olives, sliced
Gruyère cheese, sliced

Mash up the tuna in a bowl, add a dollop of mayonnaise, squeeze of lemon juice and dash of salt and pepper - all to taste. Pat onto the bagel halves, layer on the olive slices and top with gruyère. Pop in the oven until the cheese is melted. Bon appétit!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Homemade wipes

Don't eat these. I just thought I'd put that out there. This may not be an edible recipe but it is a recipe nonetheless, with teaspoons and whisks and everything! For all of you who don't have babes in diapers, these make great all-purpose wipes for hands and faces of any age.

A good friend of mine made these and used them with each of her four kids. When I first saw them I was years away from having my own baby's bum to wipe, but I said to myself, "I am totally going to make my own wipes!" I like knowing what goes into my baby's products, and with these you don't have to buy and throw out countless plastic containers.
These wipes are sturdy and hold up well when cleaning poopy messes. You have to use Bounty paper towels, just because they are the strongest. Use either the whole pieces of the ones that are perforated in half - the wipe itself will be half of whatever size sheet you choose. Another note is that my friend made them with baby oil, but I found that the scent was just too strong for me. I've substituted mineral oil and a few drops of essential oil. I use lavender but I would encourage experimenting - I'm sure scents like mint or lemon would be great too.
Here is the recipe they used, with a couple tweaks.

Homemade Wipes

1 well-cleaned Kraft peanut butter jar (must be those big ones, 1 kg I think)
1 roll of Bounty paper towel
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp baby shampoo/wash
1 scant tbsp mineral oil or baby oil
2-3 drops of essential oil

Note: Use whatever products you are comfortable
with. All-natural products are clearly best, but use what you've got.

First cut your roll of paper towel in half using a large, sharp knife. Don't use a serrated one, it chews up the edges too much (I know this from experience...). Then wiggle or twist or rip out the cardboard roll in the middle. Shove the roll into the peanut butter jar as best you can.

Now measure out the water, baby shampoo and oil into a bowl or measuring cup, and if you are using essential oil, carefully measure in a couple drops. Don't do what I did and dump a teaspoon's worth all at once - way too strong!

Pour the mixture evenly over the paper towel, screw on the lid and wait a couple hours for it to soak through.

Use on your baby's sweet soft little bottom!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


What do you think of when you hear the word sprout? I feel like sprouts are probably misunderstood to be hippy foodie food for hippies and foodies. Not so, my friends! Sprouts are an amazingly easy way to grow nutritious, fresh food all year round. I promise, I am not trying to sell you something, just poke you into explore the scary new world of sprouts. They are easy to make - just soak, rinse, wait, rinse some more... Eat them by themselves, on a sandwich, in a salad, or tossed in a stir-fry. Sprouts will rock your world. If you let them.

My brother (who is also into sprouts) gave me a great gift for Christmas - a jar with a mesh lid, and two little baggies, one with alfalfa seeds, one with radish seeds. For sprouting!
In the past I have used a sieve and a clean cloth to hold my seeds while they sprout - it makes for easy rinsing and keeps them humid. But, hands down, the jar is easiest to work with.

How to make your own sprouts

Large Mason jars
Wire mesh fit into the top (cut up a sieve or flat splash guard)
Sieve with a clean cloth inside

Seeds or beans for sprouting
My favourites:
- alfalfa
- radish
- lentils
- chickpeas
- mung beans
(See here for a great guide on how to and what to sprout)


Soak your seeds or beans overnight in water.

Drain and set aside - preferably in a dark place. Seeds grow in soil, right?

You want the sprouts to stay humid and at a constant room temperature - not too cold or too hot. If you are sprouting in the sieve, make sure the cloth is folded over the sprouts to keep them humid.
Rinse twice daily, morning and evening. About 2-3 days later, when there is some significant sprouting action going on, place them on a windowsill where they can get some light and soak up some chlorophyll. Once they are long/green/bushy enough for you, place them in the fridge and consume within the week.

If you notice any mold or stinkiness (which can happen with lack of drainage, air circulation or dirty equipment) DO NOT eat them.

Enjoy any way you like!

I love sprouts in salads, sandwiches, wraps... even in stir-fries, just toss them in at the end of cooking. Here is a delicious chicken/greens/sprouts wrap I made for lunch the other day.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Green Thai Curry

I love anything with coconut milk. That silky smooth sweet flavour is so delicious, especially when paired with spicy curry. I love cremini mushrooms in a stir-fry; they are baby portobellos and have such a nice meaty flavour to them. Other great stir-fry veggies are zucchini, peppers, broccoli, celery, carrots, snow peas, whatever floats your stir-fry boat! This curry stir-fry is so simple to make and goes with any combination of your favourite vegetables and chicken or shrimp. Although apparently my little baby's tummy did not agree... she spent most of the next day feeling the gassy effects of the spicy-ness, poor girl.

So, unless you are a nursing mother, you should make this for supper today!

Green Thai Curry

2 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 peppers, red and green
6-7 mushrooms
+ any other veggies you want to add
2 chicken breasts, cubed (or 15-20 shrimps)
1 tbsp Green curry paste
3 shakes Fish sauce
1/2 can coconut milk

No, I did not intend for this blog to be a Thai Kitchen advertisement... use whatever you can find!

Fry onions in the oil until soft, then add the garlic. Add chicken, and when just cooked add veggies in order of how long they take to cook. (carrots and celery first, then peppers followed by zucchini, ending with mushrooms) If you are using shrimp add them at the end with the mushrooms. Then stir in the curry paste, fish sauce and coconut milk. Heat together for 5 minutes to blend the flavours, then serve over rice, quinoa or noodles if you prefer. I used brown rice mixed with wild rice.
Voilà! So simple and delicious. Oh and healthy. Unless you think coconut milk is fattening.
Who cares, it's stir-fry!