Today marks a very special day, a day of freedom to do nothing; no assignments to write, no tests to study for, not even work to anxiously wait for in the evening. I can lounge in my sweat pants all day on the couch if I wanted to, which I’m going to try, but I’m not one to relax very well, so we will see how long that lasts. Let’s take bets – two hours? Five hours?
I silently saluted to all my classmates who are kilometers away, we all celebrated hard this week, but we worked even harder to get where we are today. Dealt with insane timelines – let’s write a case study in two weeks while writing and preparing speeches for another class. We crammed intense knowledge into our heads in a short amount of time, like a university level anatomy and physiology course in two months. Scapula anyone? We even dealt with crazy politics like not allowing one of our friends to celebrate with us. There were tears of frustration and love and I wouldn’t have asked for a better group of classmates to walk this journey with me. Best of luck in your endeavors wherever in the world that may be. I salute you with a glass of booze in one hand and a cheesy delicious pizza in the other.
I celebrated last Friday with this drink, combining two of my favourite summer drinks – the mojito and a Pimm’s cup. A mojito is light, crisp and refreshing yet the spiced nuances of the Pimm’s brings an earthy almost sangria quality to this drink. If you’ve never had Pimm’s before and just have rum in the cupboard use it, but I highly recommend going out and trying to find this British liquor to try. Just try not to get cat hair in your drink …
Blackberry Mojito Pimm's
Author: Heather Mulholland
Recipe type: Drink
Try this earthy spiced twist to a classic summer drink.
8 fresh blackberries
4 sprigs of mint
juice of one lime
2 oz Pimm's
In two glasses separate the blackberries and mull them with a muller or the end of a wooden spoon. If you like more seeds and whole chunks don't press too hard. Add the mint leaves and lime juice, mull some more.
Add the Pimm's and stir.
Add whatever amount of ice cubes you desire (I used two per glass) and top with club soda. Stir and serve.
Disclaimer – This post is part of A. Vogel’s herbamare campaign; we were given three samples to try. All opinions are my own.
A.Vogel has asked Canadian food bloggers on “How do we Herbamare?” this month and I leapt at the chance to join in. Last summer during the sprouting challenge I was given a little sample of their original flavour and it has been a constant companion in my lunch bag; making everyone at school a wee bit jealous.
To be perfectly honest I don’t really add salt to a lot of things, I try to keep my sodium intake low, but I do I use it on my hard boiled eggs adding just a little something something. Herbamare uses ingredients like organic sea salt and herbs like leek, cress, lovage, garlic, and kelp. I highly recommend making the switch to sea salt; it’s a natural occurring substance that hasn’t been chemically bleached so it still contains minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Hard boiled eggs are delicious, but seriously peeling them is a complete pain; a chore that almost makes me throw up my hands and stomp off in frustration. Standing there in the kitchen, tiny pieces of shell coming off at a time, ripping parts of the egg with it, taking forever just to peel one egg, and when you finally get a whole hunk of shell off at once you feel like doing a happy dance and a victory lap. Been there done that, until a classmate of mine showed me a trick that would change my life forever – use a spoon to peel the egg! No more picking at tiny bits at a time, no more wasting an egg, this takes a few moments and voila nice clean egg to eat.
Peeling an Egg with a Spoon
I’m not going to talk about how to cook the perfect hard-boiled egg. There are so many posts about that and we all have our own way of doing so. I myself bring my eggs to a boil, then turn off the burner and let them sit, covered, for ten minutes.
1) Press on a hard/corner surface and crack the shell a little bit.
2) Peel part of the shell; make sure to get under the membrane.
3) Using a spoon, insert under the shell and membrane.
4) Slowly twist and lift up while moving around the egg.
5) Lift the shells off in chunks and voila!
Something as delicious as this flavoured sea salt shouldn’t be hidden away in some pasta sauce or crackers (which I fully intend to do with their zesty flavour, stay tuned!), but showcased and what better to do that with a nice creamy hard-boiled egg? A. Vogel is giving everyone a chance to win a cooking kit by showcasing your own Herbamare food photos.
What is your favourite way to season a hard-boiled egg?
7 months and 4 days since I last posted on Tea with Me, when I dropped from the blogosphere and went MIA into the vortex that is commuting, going to school, studying and paper writing. It’s been awhile since I started my path into becoming a holistic nutritionist, full of ups and downs, personal and school related. That dreaded “S” word .. no no the other bad word .. stress, it took over for a lot of those months, being a complete creative drain on the mind. Soon I will be done from books, from papers, from hopefully commuting 3.5 hours a day to school. (Yes I’m sure you’re shaking your head at me right now hearing that number and no I don’t know how I’ve done it without going completely crazy. Well crazier.) The end is on the horizon and lately I’ve been trying to get my head away from school and back into the world of food blogging and networking with lovely people on social media. It’s a little refreshing actually.
Over the past few months I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with this CNP designation, where did I want to go. It’s been an intense reflecting period. I went into this program wanting to focus on allergies and autoimmune diseases possibly moving to the UK and having my own practice in London. Yet lately I’ve been second guessing that dream; wanting to focus on improving Tea with Me, growing and expanding it to share my knowledge with everyone. Also possibly creating a few products, who knows? I feel like the universe is telling me something, since within three weeks I’ve been asked to work on several projects and several reviews. It’s a nice feeling when you’ve finally made up your mind after being scattered for months and things start to fall into place.
As much as I’ve been away from my camera (7 months yikes!) and blogging, I truly miss it. So bear with me my good internet friends while I adjust from writing papers and cramming knowledge into my head and switching into my creative spirit. It’s harder than it looks. I was thinking about waiting till everything was back to normal, yet I wouldn’t be able to even define what is normal in my life right now. I wanted things to look perfect, be perfect before posting, but really the beauty in things is the imperfection and right now that’s all I have. So instead I have some delicious no-grain chocolate granola for you to try.
Also to note – with WordPress updating and been gone so long, I’ve noticed a few issues with the blog. I’m going to try and revamp and change a few things with TWM. For example, an actual recipe section that works, a basic recipe section for simple paleo foods, and tweaking the content to match a slight shift in direction to fit a more knowledgeable me. If there’s anything you would like see improved, let me know!
Remember those cocoa pebble chocolatey cereal as a kid? To be honest I don’t know why when I eat this spiced chocolate granola I flash back to a childhood memory I don’t remember having because seriously I think the most sugary treat we had in the house was mini wheats. Want a snack? Have a sweet tooth? Grab a bowl of mini wheats and you’re good to go. I think we may have dabbled in a couple of boxes of captain crunch, frosted flakes once in a while, but cocoa puffs? Nah. I’ve found over the past few months my taste buds have been really changing. I’ve cut down on a lot of added sugar in my diet to the point where I have half a banana/green apple in my morning smoothie and that’s it. So a heads up, for the people who have a major sweet tooth this granola may be a bit to bitter for you, so feel free to bump up the maple syrup.
If you’re like me and are a fan of the bitterness of dark chocolate and the slight hint of a kick in the back of your mouth with spices, you’ll like this granola. You’ll like this a lot, to the point of addiction. Four bowls of it with vanilla almond milk may have gone missing the first day I made this, just saying … or try it in a bowl full of strawberry yoghurt for a strawberry chocolate crunch.
Spiced Dark Chocolate No-Grain Granola
Author: Heather Mulholland
½ cup buckwheat groats
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup almonds, chopped
¼ chia seeds
5 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp maple syrup
½ cup cocoa powder
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a mixing bowl, stir all the dry ingredients together, set aside.
Over medium heat in a small sauce pan, melt the coconut oil. Stir in the maple syrup, cocoa powder and spices till mixed thoroughly. Pour into dry ingredients and mix till combined.
Pour granola mixture on to a baking sheet and press flat with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Take out and toss, put back into the oven till toasted, about 5 minutes.
Bring it out and leave till cool. Eat with almond milk or as a snack.
I wish I could say autumn came to Vancouver slowly, where the days slowly cooled down, the leaves turned red, and soon in the mornings breath could be seen in puffs. In reality though, fall let herself be known in a huge cascade of rain and has been here ever since. Our skies are grey and I wake up huddled warm and toasty under my quilts trying to get the courage to get up and face the cold morning air. Despite it all, I’m glad for the rain and for the season of soups. This year my favourite is a sweet but mellow one full of leeks and sweet potatoes.
Soups for me are always changing, one time they may have a can of coconut milk added for creaminess, the next some sautéed chorizo bites may be added on top. That’s the beauty of soup you don’t really need a recipe (hopefully) to make something delicious. School has been intense and time consuming. Which in a way I knew it would be with all the commuting, but I seem to have no time for making complex things, making this soup perfect. I make up a large batch and keep some stocked in the freezer for raining days that I’m late coming home.
What is your favourite soup this season?
Leek and Sweet Potato Soup
Author: Heather Mulholland
Recipe type: Soup
A new fall favourite full of mild but sweet flavour, perfect for rainy days!
2 medium onions
2 leeks, only the white and light green part, cleaned and sliced
3-4 cups sweet potato, diced (about one large)
3 to 4 cups of stock
½ tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp cumin
(optional) coconut milk
Prep your ingredients while a nice soup/stock pot is warming up at medium heat. Add a bit of coconut oil and let it melt before adding your onions, let them sweat until translucent. Add your leeks and diced sweet potatoes, toss around and then add your stock.
If you like your soup thick only use enough stock to cover about an inch of the leek/potatoes. More stock and use of coconut milk (at the end) will make the soup thinner.
Cook for roughly 20 minutes or until a knife can slide through a potato chunk easily. Using an emulsion blender, blend your soup until smooth. Add your cumin and pepper to your tastes. Add coconut milk if desired and serve.