Tag Archives: DIY

  1. How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    Looking fresh faced and glowy in the dead of summer is challenging. With the heat comes the drab makeup and the blah, dehydrated skin. In the sweltering dead of summer heat, nothing feels quite like a refreshing face mist. Spritzing your face with a homemade infused face mist is cooling and refreshing on a hot day, post workout or as a pick-me-up for that mid-afternoon drop off.

    Face mists make your skin less dull and more dewy, providing additional benefits from the botanicals you select for infusing. Traditionally with facial mists that are hydrosol distillations that include the essence of botanicals and endure an involved distillation process. While some store-bought versions use this method, many can also contain synthetic fragrances, alcohol, or other ingredients that can cause dryness and irritation.

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  2. 15 Homemade Holiday Gifts

    15 Homemade Holiday Gifts

    15 Homemade Holiday Gifts

    With the holiday closing in on us, I am sure many of you are doing the last minute gift scramble so prevalent in these final days before Christmas. Rather than throwing money at the wall and going with whatever it sticks to, instead of just grabbing another gift card from the big box stores, why not get creative and craft up some beautiful, thoughtful homemade gifts this year?

    Drop the cottonball snowmen, leave the popsicle sticks in the popsicles and leave the salt dough for the kids. Finally put away, I repeat, put away the glitter. Spread the holiday cheer with some of my favorite sweet (but sometimes savory) and simple handmade holiday gifts.

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  3. Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix in a Jar {Gluten-free, Paleo + Vegan}

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix {Paleo + Vegan}

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix {Paleo + Vegan}

    With the holiday just a week away, I am sure, if you are like me, you still have a handful of last minute gifts to take care of. I always promise myself I won’t leave anything until till the last minute, and yet here I am, one week out with a few final gifts left to get. Thankfully, I have always loved the idea of handmade gifts, the personal touch and the thoughtfulness and these gifts can be made right up until the last moments before the actual holiday. Enter my Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix in a Jar!! Because cookies are always a great idea, especially when someone else does half the work for you. If you get lucky, whoever you gift this mix to, they’ll have you over for dessert, when they bake them.

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  4. How-to Make Chia Seed Pudding

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Chia Seed Pudding

    I have been a long time fan of chia seed pudding and it’s become a simple dish that I recommend often as an egg-free, dairy-free snack, breakfast or dessert option to my nutritional clients, especially those I recommend blood sugar control diets or sugar detoxes to. Without sweetener (or sweetened very lightly) chia pudding can be a great, nutrient-dense alternative to the more standard grain and carb-forward breakfasts. It’s loaded with omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber, protein, and various micronutrients and chia seeds are also high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

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  5. How-To Preserve and Freeze Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Preserve and Freeze Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

    How-to Preserve and Freeze Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

    Living in California, worrying about not having access to the fresh local herbs in the winter, isn’t exactly an issue, but I do remember what it was like living in New York. The minute the first frost hits in the early fall, there is a scramble to save plants and there is a huge sense of loss when you can no longer just walk into the yard and snip off your favorite fresh herbs. If you are lucky smart enough to have your fresh herbs in pots, you can just bring those in, otherwise you can kiss them goodbye until the start of the next season.

    This simple method for preserving fresh herbs is a really great way to keep the fresh flavors of your summer garden or the local farmers market – all through the fall and winter. When thawed or just heated right up from frozen, these frozen cubes work great in stews, sautés, soups, roasts and more. Besides being super helpful and functional, this project is super fun and very simple – it would be a really great and educational project to do with kids.
    Regardless of how cold it gets where you live, this is such a great, money-saving way to make the most of your herbs. For me, I love this method of preserving because oftentimes I will buy a large amount of fresh herbs for a recipe that I am testing, however if there are any leftover, they tend to go bad or get sad and wilted before I can get to them again.

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  6. How-to Make Homemade Barbecue Sauce

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Homemade Barbecue Sauce

    Yesterday’s summer solstice marked the official start of summer, which means we also kicked off the season of grilling and barbecue. A good traditional barbecue sauce is key to a season of delicious backyard feasts. However, if you are like me, when you turn over most jars and bottles from the store, to investigate the ingredients, you are sorely disappointed. Most contain loads of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, various preservatives, thickeners, artificial flavors, colors and who know’s what else. Let’s be honest, they are also not all that good. We can do better!

    Making your own sauce is incredible simple, you don’t need any special ingredients and with this simple tutorial and formula, I also give you the options to customize your sauce and make it just how you like it.

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  7. How-to Make Ghee at Home

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Ghee at Home

    Ghee is a kitchen staple around here. For the longest time I was buying it, and I still do in a pinch, but as I discovered the cost efficiency and simplicity of making it at home, I have made this part of my DIY repertoire.

    For those unfamiliar, ghee is a clarified butter, of sorts, that has been cooked down for some time, removing any moisture, milk solids and impurities. What remains is a pure and delicious butter oil, that has turned a beautiful golden color, it’s taste and flavor are slightly sweet and nutty. Ghee brings an aroma, taste and flavor a lot like butter, but even better. The difference between clarified butter and ghee is ghee’s lengthier cooking process, to remove all the moisture and the milk solids are browned in the fat and then strained out, bringing the slightly nutty taste. Ghee has a longer shelf life, due to all the moisture being removed.

    Ghee is a wonderful option for those who are lactose or casein intolerant and want to enjoy the taste of butter. Ghee is also clearly a much better option than those scary hydrogenated oil-filled margarines and other highly processed vegan spreads. It does not burn, unless heated excessively, so it’s a wonderful option for stir fries, sautéing, frying, roasting, sauces, ettc. It’s also delicious as a spread, on toast, pancakes, scones, over rice and more.  It can also be used on the body, as an oil for massage, as a base for healing herbal treatments, for burns, skin rashes, etc.

    How-to Make Ghee at Home

    In India, ghee is a sacred and celebrated symbol of nourishment and healing, especially in daily rituals. It is also used in every day cooking. Ayurvedic physicians celebrate this liquid gold as being important to health and well-being, balance and vitality. If you don’t wish to make your own, ghee is usually found in the ethnic section of any big grocery store, in most Indian/South Asian stores or online.

    Always make ghee with high-quality grass-fed organic butter. Cheap butter contains a lot of water and chemicals and it tends to burn faster. Due to the reduction and straining process, always start with 25% more butter than the amount of clarified butter desired. 1 pound of butter = approximately 1 1/2 cups ghee.

    How-to Make Ghee at Home

    The Benefits of Choosing Ghee:

    Rich Butter Taste without the Lactose or Casein. Made from butter ghee has the buttery flavor, but the milk solids have been removed, so if you are lactose or casein free, enjoy without issue.

    Ghee has a high smoke point. 485ºF. You can cook and fry with ghee and it will not burn nor will it break down into free radicals, like so many other cooking oils can.

    Ghee doesn’t spoil easily. Without the presence of milk fat and water, this makes ghee shelf stable. If you desire, it can be stored at room temperature rather then refrigeration. Ghee will last a couple months in an air-tight container at room temperature. If you aren’t sure if any moisture or milk solids remain, you can certainly play it safe and store in the fridge, to maximize it’s shelf life. That’s generally what I do.

    Ghee is rich in fat soluable vitamins A D and E. If you have gluten sensitivity, leaky gut, IBS, Crohn’s or certain pancreatic disorders, you may have a problem absorbing vitamin A. By using ghee for cooking, and as a replacement for butter, you can increase your intake. Vitamin D can be made in the body, after exposure to sunlight, but obviously in the colder winter months is can be challenging for us to make enough. Ghee benefits the body by improving moisture and contains vitamin E, which is an antioxidant whose role is to repair damaged skin, balance hormones, improve vision and help to balance cholesterol. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed with fat and stored in the gastrointestinal tract — and they are essential to maintaining a healthy metabolism and various biochemical functions in the body. (1)

    Ghee is also rich is K2 and Conjugated Linoleum Acid.  Studies show K2 is better for building bones than calcium and proper levels of K2 can help fight tooth decay, bone loss and aid in the fight against the calcification of arteries. CJA is antioxidant with anti-viral properties, when sourced from grass-fed cows. Studies indicate that it may help to reduce tumors, lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and actually lower body fat.(2)

    Like coconut oil, ghee is rich is medium chain fatty acids, which are quickly absorbed directly to the liver and used as energy. This quick burn can actually lead to weight loss.

    Ghee and butter are rich in butyric acid, a short chain fatty acid great for protection against fungal infections and aids in colon health. It’s been shown to support healthy insulin levels, is an anti-inflammatory, and may be helpful for individuals suffering from IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. (3)

    Ghee Reduces Inflammation. Ghee’s levels of butyrate play a role in reducing inflammation in the digestive tract and throughout the body. In Ayurvedic practice, ghee benefits the body by creating a more alkaline system that overall reduces inflammation by reducing the leukotriene secretion and reducing prostaglandin in the body(4)

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  8. 10 Homemade Holiday Gifts

    10 Homemade

    10 Homemade Holiday Gifts

    With the holiday closing in on us, I am sure many of you are doing the last minute gift scramble so prevalent in these final days before Christmas. Rather than throwing money at the wall and going with whatever it sticks to, instead of just grabbing another gift card from the big box stores, why not get creative and craft up some beautiful, thoughtful homemade gifts this year?

    Drop the cottonball snowmen, leave the popsicle sticks in the popsicles and leave the salt dough for the kids. Finally put away, I repeat, put away the glitter. Spread the holiday cheer with some of my favorite sweet (but sometimes savory) and simple handmade holiday gifts.

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  9. How-to Make Essential Oil Holiday Room Sprays

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Essential Oil Holiday Room Sprays

    The various aromas of the holidays and the feelings they evoke are certainly synonymous with this time of year. The rustic evergreen of a fresh cut christmas tree; spicy, warming cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; bright, citrusy orange or the fresh, minty smell of candy canes – these can all bring the good feelings of seasonal cheer, the reminder or family and love and the promise of a season full of joy and happy memories.

    As someone very triggered and often driven by scent, I am also someone who is very sensitive to scent. I always have been. Would that make me scentsitive? heh. I find the fake, synthetic aromas to cut through the air, not in a good way, and often times they provide an instant headache. They linger and simply mask any existing odors, they can overpower a room and even more alarming, they are often loaded with so many chemicals. The more I clean up my life and the more I cut out, the more I am aware of and sensitive to where all nasty stuff is hiding. That connection of your brain to your body and that innate knowing of what to avoid, certainly becomes more heightened. The more connected and in-tune I become the more I seek for natural, clean alternatives.

    How-to Make Essential Oil Holiday Room Sprays

    These holiday inspired all-natural scents will not only provide a welcoming and cozy, seasonal setting perfect for holiday gatherings, but you’ll also be reaping the many therapeutic benefits of the essential oils, too. Purifying the air, warming your soul and uplifting your spirit, these room sprays are inexpensive to make, you can customize your scents and your blends to make your own personalized aroma and of course, they make an amazing gift.

    This formula and the various blends fill a 4oz bottle, but feel free to double or triple your recipe. As always, I provide you with printable labels to customize your gifts. I left the area where the oils are listed, blank, so you can make your own custom blends.

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  10. How-to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

    With the holidays upon us, it’s time once again that I share with you some of my favorite, simple homemade holiday gifts. This wintertime staple is a quintessential way to deal with the frosty cold weather. This homemade version is made with only a few, all-natural ingredients and the bonus to making it yourself, besides the obvious, is the free reign to add whatever you’d like to it. If you like less sweet, opt for unsweetened chocolate, looking for a little more sweetness try bitter or semisweet chocolate instead. You can add cinnamon or cayenne or any other flavors you’d like (see the bottom of the post for flavor variations). Today I am sharing my recipe for a basic hot cocoa mix with a few suggestions at the end for extra add-ins, as well as a free printable label for you to print out, customize and add to your gift.

    How-to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

    There’s nothing like giving the gift of tasty treats, made with love this time of year, but especially cozy, heart-warming decadence like this homemade Hot Cocoa Mix. Rich and luxurious without being excessively sweet. Download the included printable, customizable label, throw in some mini marshmallows, this is a great recipe if you want to make your own. Package it all up in a cute jar, include a tablespoon tied with a little ribbon or string and voila, the perfect holiday gift.

    How-to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

    How-to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

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  11. Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather

    Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather

    As summer winds down, I am clinging to every last bit of the season that I can. I refuse to acknowledge it’s almost over. Keeping with the theme of healthy summer road trip snacks this Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather is the perfect way to take the sweet tastes of summer with you, wherever you go.

    This fruit leather recipe calls for strawberries but you can use this as a guide to create fruit leather with whatever fruit you have an abundance of. Peaches, apricots, apples and so on. You can even create a blend of your favorite fruits.

    Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather

    Fruit leather gets a wrap for being a kids-only snack, but I can tell you, adults truly love the stuff, too. This could partially be the fact that it will instantly transport you to being a kid. It’s also great for travel and being on-the-go, just roll it up with a little parchment paper and pack it into your bag and you are ready to go. Sweet, summer berry goodness, wherever you are. Try out different berries or other seasonal fruit for additional variations. For a smoother leather, you can strain the seeds or any pulp before dehydrating, if you’d like. You can cook the fruit first if you’d like to intensify the flavor a bit.

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  12. How-to Make Homemade Energy Bars

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty YummiesHow-to Make Homemade Energy Bars

    I’m leaving town tomorrow. No, not for good, just for a few days. I am hitting the road to head up to Lake Tahoe for the Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley. With an 8+ hour drive ahead of me, I have to plan ahead with snacks and food for both the drive and when I get there. It’s super important for me to know that I have what I need to be nourished and energized, especially when I am away from home and my routines, but also with how active I will be over the 4 days of the festival. Lots of yoga, hiking, maybe some stand-up paddle boarding and definitely some dancing!

    How-to Make Homemade Energy Bars

    One of my favorite things to make are homemade energy bars. They are so simple to make, a great way to energize with healthy fats, proteins and fiber and they are always soo yummy! I have gone from baking my own with oats and nuts, to keeping it super simple with these no-bake, grain-free, date-sweetened bars, reminiscent of the LÄRABAR®.

    The great thing about making these yourself is not only having full control of the quality of the ingredients, but also having fun with various flavor combos. You can get creative with by pairing your favorite flavors or you can simply go nuts with whatever you happen to have on hand in the pantry, that you need to use up. The latter tends to be the case for me.

    Coconut Mango Lime Energy Bars

    For the sake of this tutorial I whipped up two of my favorite flavor combos: Coconut Mango Lime and Berry Cobbler. The Coconut Mango Lime Energy Bars on top of being grain-free and vegan they are also totally nut and seed-free, so they are perfect for those with allergies or intolerances or even someone following the autoimmune protocol. The Berry Cobbler bars, I made bite-sized and those do contain nuts.

    Coconut Mango Lime Energy Bars

    All you have to do is follow my simple base recipe and then you can get creative from there. Trust me when I tell you, these are really hard to screw up. Once you’ve made your base mixture and get creative with your flavors, you can decide if you want to opt for full-sized bars, smaller bites or little balls. If you really wanna get crazy, dip them in some melted chocolate.

    How-to Make Homemade Energy Bars

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  13. How-to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty YummiesHow-to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves

    This might seem like a beast of a tutorial, but if you grew up Greek, as I did, you will know just how exciting this is the first time you make them yourself. For the past few years, every trip my parents have taken out here to California to visit us, we have planned a day and made a huge Greek feast. Each time we have made the time to use the beautiful grape leaves growing in my yard that are always perfectly in season and we spend the afternoon making homemade dolmades AKA dolmas AKA stuffed grape leaves. These are just like my Yia Yia and my dad’s Yia Yia, had made when we were growing up.

    How-to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves

    The beautiful thing about this stuffed grape leaves tutorial/recipe is how versatile it is. I have made these both vegan and with meat and most recently I have even experimented with cauliflower rice for a grain-free version. I have also made them both with jarred grape leaves and the fresh grape leaves growing in my yard.

    How-to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves

    How-to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves

    My dad has stories of his YiaYia (my great grandmother) driving along very specific country roads that she knew had grape vines, all the kids in the car would be instructed to get out and pick the freshest leaves, they would then take them home and she would tie them up to dry out in the attic, so she’d always have them on hand for homemade dolmades.

    Thankfully, I have several grape vines growing behind my house, so I don’t have to stalk any local vineyards. In the late spring and early summer as they are just starting to sprout new leaves, I can head behind the house pick the prettiest and most perfect ones, just for making dolmades. If you don’t have access to grapevines, simply buy jarred grape leaves, a little less work but still so delicious.

    This tutorial shares options for the filling to be made with or without meat, with rice or with cauliflower rice. Throughout the instructions you will see notes that pertain to the various options. Be sure to read carefully.

    Stuffed grape leaves make a great meze (mezethes or mezze) an appetizer or a small dish to share, meant to be served with wine or ouzo. Imagine a plate of these with some homemade hummus, feta cheese and olives, a big bowl of avgolemeno soup, falafel, a big ‘ol Greek salad, the list could go on and on. Whatever you serve these with and however you serve these, hot, warm or cool, you will love them, especially if you make and share them with people you love. This I can very much attest to.

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  14. How-to Make Plantain Tortillas

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Plantain Tortillas

    Whether you to avoid consuming corn and grains because have an allergy/intolerance or maybe you just prefer to limit how often you eat them, either way we all know this makes eating Mexican food a challenge. I am next to certain this life isn’t worth living without tacos – I’m just sayin’. OK that may be a bit dramatic, but I for one don’t actually love the idea of never having a taco again, just because I want to make healthier choices.

    With Cinco de Mayo and several trips to Mexico falling within a one-month period, tacos have definitely been on my mind and in my dreams! I decided rather than cry while everyone around me was indulging in all the tacos, I used this as inspiration to come up with an alternative.

    Plantain tortillas are certainly not something I invented, I have seen plenty of adaptations, some call for eggs, some use the plantains uncooked. I have played around with many variations, but these seem to be what works best for me (lightly adapted from this recipe). The key is green plantains. The greens ones are starchy and less sweet than the yellow. For my money, these produce the most authentic tortillas. I also recommend cooking them first, it softens them and when you add some water the mixture feels just the way traditional masa feels when making homemade tortillas.

    There are a few steps here, but they are well worth it, you’ll think so too, especially as you are enjoying epic tacos. Plus you can make the tortillas ahead of time, store in the fridge and cook up anytime within 3 days, or so.

    I find adding the fresh lime zest to really tone down any sweetness and bring out the traditional tortilla vibes. I have also been known to add a pinch or two of chile powder or garlic powder, for extra flavor.

    Let’s get to it…

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  15. How-to Make Vegetable Stock

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Vegetable Stock

    This week’s Tutorial Tuesday post is a simple one, it’s hard to even call it a recipe. It requires very little work and it’s really hard to mess it up. You can make easily create your own signature vegetable stock with whatever your favorite ingredients are.

    How-to Make Vegetable Stock

    I find most store bought vegetable stocks to be lacking. They always taste flat and they all have this strange aftertaste, to me. I have never found one that I love. Most leave me wanting for more. I started making my own homemade vegetable stock a long time ago and it’s one of the easiest things you can make yourself at home. You can control the ingredients, the level of salt, the spices and it’s also a great way to use of vegetable scraps.

    How-to Make Vegetable Stock

    In the event you didn’t know, (I didn’t learn this until quite recently) there is a difference between a stock and a broth and that difference is usually just salt. Broth has salt added, stock does not. See, you learn something new every day. Actually, I think it is more than just the salt that makes them different,  I believe that it’s seasoning in general, spices, salt, wine, etc. Essentially you are looking for a stock to be somewhat neutral in flavor, almost to where when you taste it, it’s missing a little something. Instead it’s about letting the dish the stock ultimately goes into dictate the spices and the levels of salt. Either way, I prefer to make a vegetable stock over a broth, so I can control the saltiness with each recipe I use it in. I do, however, still add simple, yet somewhat neutral spices, that will work with virtually any recipe my stock would go into.

    How-to Make Vegetable Stock

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  16. Chocolate Covered Stuffed Dates

    Chocolate Covered Stuffed Dates // @tastyyummies // www.tasty-yummies.com

    You didn’t actually think I would let Valentine’s Day come and go without some sort of sweet, did you?

    In the world of candies and sweets, baked goods and other treats, in my opinion, these Chocolate Covered Stuffed Dates for sure fall somewhere in the world of a “healthy sweet”. Sure, sugar is sugar, but if the options include these naturally sweetened treats, than I am all in, especially considering I have been avoiding all traditional sugary sweets the last handful of weeks.

    Chocolate Covered Stuffed Dates // @tastyyummies // www.tasty-yummies.com

    Stuffed dates have always been one of my favorite ways to indulge in something sweet, without the guilt. Generally I opt for coconut butter, coconut oil or almond butter, but I also love a little crunch, too. The best part about this recipe, is that it’s more of a guide and you can easily make these tasty dates however you would like. Stuff them with whatever you fancy, top them with whatever makes you most happy, but however you make them, I suggest you enjoy them with some warm Valentine’s Day love in your heart and share them with those around you, whom you adore the most!

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  17. How-to Make Harissa Paste

     

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty YummiesHow-to Make Harissa Paste // @tastyyummies // www.tasty-yummies.com

    I am so excited to share this simple tutorial showing you How-to Make Harissa Paste, because I fully believe everyone should have a jar of this stuff in their fridge at all times. This spicy red pepper paste is so incredibly delicious and so versatile. Think of it as a more refined sriracha. This aromatic and spicy, Tunisian hot chile sauce can be used to liven up dishes as you would any other hot sauce, it can also be used as a dip or a marinade. It brings a great depth of flavor to fish, meat, roasted vegetables, egg dishes, soups, stews, potatoes or rice. Add it to sandwiches, pizza, condiments like hummus or a homemade mayo. The list goes on and on and on some more. OK I’ve got one more, spread some of that harissa paste on some toast, add a lil avocado, maybe a fried egg. You are welcome.

    Harissa is made by blending chiles into a thick paste with aromatic spices, a good quality olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and from there, the optional add-ins are endless. You can add roasted red pepper, roasted carrots or sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs and so on.

    Tunisia is the biggest exporter of pre-made harissa. In fact, harissa is often referred to as the National Condiment of Tunisia, so it’s perfect to go with my Terra Delyssa Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. But, no need to fly halfway around the world, for either one, harissa is quite simple to make this at home and customize it to your liking. You can easily adjust the level of heat by increasing or reducing the number of chiles or choosing chiles base on their spice. But do remember, harissa is meant to be hot!

    How-to Make Harissa Paste // @tastyyummies // www.tasty-yummies.com

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  18. How-to Make Homemade Mayonnaise

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Homemade Mayonnaise from @tastyyummies

    Homemade mayonnaise might be one of my favorite, simple DIY foods. The very first time you make it, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t done it before. Once you see how simple it is to make and how incredibly delicious it is, you’ll be hooked, too. As usual, beyond the taste, what I really love is how I have control over all of the ingredients and I know the quality of the eggs and oil used and I know that there are no additional preservatives or stabilizers being added.

    We get farm fresh pastured-raised eggs delivered to our home weekly, the farmer himself, drops them by. Before you even taste Tony’s eggs, you will notice a significant difference in the color of the yolks, compared to regular store-bought eggs (even the fancy organic, “free range” ones). The color is so vibrant, more of a golden orange color, much like the sun, rather than a pale, pastel yellow, like most eggs. There is truly nothing like farm fresh eggs, everything you make with them is tastier than you can ever imagine.

    How-to Make Homemade Mayonnaise from @tastyyummies

    Most store bought mayonnaises rely on canola oil and other less ideal vegetable oils. What I love about making my own mayo at home is that I can use the highest quality eggs and oils. I generally prefer to use a mix of organic extra virgin olive oil (Terra Delyssa, of course) and either coconut oil or MCT oil. Avocado oil and macadamia nut oil are also both really great options.

    For the purpose  and ease of step-by-step photos and for dramatics (and a good arm workout), I made this batch by hand, just a bowl and a whisk. That’s all you need. But generally I make it in my blender or food processor, which is much easier. An immersion blender would really do the trick. (and it will be done probably in less than 1 minute)

    How-to Make Homemade Mayonnaise from @tastyyummies

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  19. How-to Make a Mulled Wine Kit

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty YummiesHow-to Make a Mulled Wine Kit

    How-to Make a Mulled Wine Kit

    For all of you last minute Christmas elves, this simple-but-sweet tutorial on How-to Make a Mulled Wine Kit is great for the wine lover on your list and it also makes a wonderful, thoughtful gift for any hostesses/hosts of holiday parties and other celebrations this season.

    You can easily grab what you need from your pantry and the local grocer and pull this together in minutes. You can even skip the wine and the alcohol all together and send this along with a quart of local apple cider for a mulled cider option.

    How-to Make a Mulled Wine Kit

    Mulled wine is such a comforting and festive drink this time of year or really anytime from the fall through the winter. It’s easy to make and this kit makes it even easier. Besides the simple recipe for the mulling spices and the instructions on the different ways you can package your gift, I even created printable tags and instructions for the gift recipient, for you to include in your kit. So, literally all you have to do is pull your ingredients together, hit “print”, fill your name in and your gift is done! Simple as that. Grab a cute box or wooden crate, or a beautiful gift bag, some cute ribbon or twine and voila, a thoughtful, handmade edible gift!

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  20. How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

    With a season usually focused around cookies, cocktails and other various indulgences, my heart just hasn’t been in it this year. I haven’t been much in the mood for sweets, I guess I can have my personal trainer to thank for that! So, I’ve instead been spending time coming up with fun, handmade gifts for the food-lovers in all of our lives!

    There are lots of great options for simple homemade gifts here on TY: Homemade Chocolate Bark, DIY homemade Vanilla Extract, Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter, Coconut Butter, Nut Butters, Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Mix, Chai Concentrate, just to name a few of my favorites.

    A handmade gift, made with love, packaged up sweetly with beautiful custom labels and a thoughtful note, to me, is what the season is all about. Sharing something you created with your own two hands, especially for the recipient.

    Infused Olive Oils make really great and beautiful gifts for the food lover in your life! The flavor possibilities are endless and it is truly a fun and unique present.

    There are so many various ways you can infuse olive oil and there are just as many posts floating around the web telling us about them. Some heat the oil, while others just throw it all together in the bottle and call it a day, some leave in the ingredients in, others strain them out before bottling. I have done a lot of reading and no matter what method you choose, there are a few concerns we have to take into account when making infused olive oils.

    When using fresh ingredients that haven’t been dried, there is always a concern of Botulism, but most especially with garlic-infused olive oil. Clostridium Botulinum is a bacterium found in most soil and since garlic, being a root vegetable, is ripped from the ground, traces of this deadly bacteria are still left clinging to it. Since Botulism is an anaerobic bacteria (meaning that it thrives in an environment lacking oxygen), it dies in the presence of oxygen. Olive oil essentially seals out oxygen and when you mix food in with the oil, you have an ideal breeding ground for these potentially deadly bacteria.

    Commercial grade garlic infused olive oils are (usually) prepared with an acid or preservative of some kind to preserve the garlic and protect if from growing harmful bacteria. At home, we could add some type of acid to the garlic oil mixture if we figure out the pH levels and all that, or to just be extra safe, we can simply strain out the garlic from the oil and store the infused oil in the refrigerator, consuming it in less than 1 month’s time. When leaving the garlic in the oil, the main concern is that toxin production has been known to occur even when a small number of C. botulinum spores were present in the garlic. When the spore-containing garlic is bottled and covered with oil, an oxygen-free environment is created that promotes the germination of spores and the growth of microorganisms at temperatures as low as 50 F. Scary stuff. So strain that garlic out, kids or if you are leaving it in, eat your garlic oil within a day or two!

    Besides the garlic, I tend to prefer to use dried herbs and spices for my infusions. Dried herbs in oil are less of a safety concern because of their low water activity which makes conditions less favorable to growth of C. botulinum. When using fresh, whole herbs, since they look so beautiful in the bottles, I simply dehydrate them myself, so they can stay whole but it is safe to bottle with the oil.

    So now that I have effectively scared educated you, let’s move on to this how-to!

    How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

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  21. How-to Make Chocolate Bark

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty YummiesHo-to Make Chocolate Bark

    Homemade holiday gifts are one of my very favorite things. I love thoughtful, personalized gifts that are truly made with love! Homemade chocolate bark is probably one of my most favorite edible homemade gifts to make. Whether it’s a gift for a hostess of a holiday party or your dish to share, homemade chocolate bark is super simple to make and you can customize it to no end.

    Ho-to Make Chocolate Bark

    The possibilities for flavors and toppings is endless and you can really create something super special for whoever will receive it. It is super easy to make your chocolate bark allergen friendly, too. Easy to make gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, soy-free and so on. You can add dried fruit, nuts, seeds, your favorite cookies or candy, dried botanicals, spices or herbs. Some of my personal favorite flavor combos include sea salt or smoked sea salt. I also love a sprinkle of cinnamon, chili powder or cayenne to bring a little heat. Gluten-free pretzels or mini peanut butter cups are both amazing and fun toppings. The list could go on and on.

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