Category: recipes

Coffee & coconut anti-cellulite scrub

Coffee and coconut anti-cellulite DIYDid you know coffee is a natural anti-cellulite treatment? Nope, me either. A horrifying event led me to this awesome discovery. I was in the dressing room at Lululemon trying on leggings. There’s not a lot of room in there however, quite a lot of mirrors and lights. To glow on the exact chunky, bumpy, extra bits that you’re trying to hide in said leggings. The whole experience was second only to the agony of swim suit shopping…which is coming.

I did a little googling and learned that coffee grounds can be used to make cellulite busting products and can be paired with moisturizers for double duty bath products. Coffee, bath…I love it when a couple of my favourite things unite. I whipped up this 2 ingredient scrub to feel like I was taking control.

  • 1/4 cup coffee grounds (recycled from my French press or your coffee maker)
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled

Coffee and coconut anti-cellulite DIYRemove as much water as you can from the coffee grounds by straining them. Place them in the bottom of a clean jar. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave at  30 second intervals, let it cool a little then pour on the grounds and stir. Continue to stir every so often until the coffee is evenly distributed and the oil firms up. You can speed this process up by putting it in the freezer for a few minutes. Put a lid on it. You may notice I switched jars partway through. The first one had too many crevices and coffee grounds were getting stuck there. So, learn from my mistake and use a jar with straight sides!

To use, rub on wet skin while in the shower, particularly dry spots and *ahem* trouble areas. Be gentle and use a circular motion, then rinse. Also rinse your tub after use! The coconut oil can leave a little bit of slipperiness and there will be some stray coffee grounds, not the big mess I had thought there might be though.
Coffee and coconut anti-cellulite DIYCoffee and coconut anti-cellulite DIYNow for a quick rundown of the benefits:
Coffee: contains antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory. It acts as an exfoliator here and smooths away dry skin cells to reveal softer skin. Its caffeine draws excess moisture from skin making it feel firmer and smoother.
Coconut oil: naturally moisturizers, fights acne, won’t clog pores and contains vitamins and minerals.

As an aside, if you find leggings that fit and tuck in your over-40 imperfections, they may very well be worth the sticker price. And you can totally justify the splurge with all the money you’re saving on DIY cosmetics!

One pot pasta – quick & dirty dinner

one pot pastaIt’s been awhile since I’ve tried a new recipe and I admit cooking hasn’t been a top priority lately. So, when I came across Martha Stewart’s One Pan Pasta it seemed like a good fit. New recipe, little effort. Win, win. I made a few changes just to use what I had on hand rather than buying special ingredients. I’m not sure why I think I can get away with this since my expertise is in the craft room, not the kitchen. Luckily, it worked out fine. Here’s my take on the one-pot dish.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz linguine (about 1/2 of a 900 gram package here in Canada)
  • 1 jar or can of prepared pasta sauce, I used Ragu
  • 1 small sweet onion, cut
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or cut into thin slices
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water, or chicken broth)
  • parmesan cheese, optional for topping

one pot pastaPlace all ingredients except the parmesan cheese in a large stock pot. Stir, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes stirring every few minutes. Pasta will be soft and most of the liquid will be cooked away when ready. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with parmesan. Makes 4-6 servings.
one pot pastaHere it is piping hot and ready to serve.  I was skeptical about the cook-it-all-together method but am pleasantly surprised. It’s super tasty and I love how it’s hot all the way through and holds the heat. One of my pet peeves is how pasta tends to cool down so quickly.
one pot pastaIs this the best pasta I’ve tried? Not by a long shot. Will I make it again? Absolutely. For a quick, weeknight, meal-on-the-table-in-minutes you can’t beat it. Next time I’ll try spaghetti noodles and add mushrooms to the sauce. I’ll also mix all the ingredients together in the pot before adding the dry pasta to it. The photo with everything piled in the pot is really just for dramatic effect – it’s not that practical and led to a very dirty pot. Thankfully that was the only clean-up though! Gotta like a one-pot plan that works out. Will you try it?

 

Baked Brie with crescent dough

baked brie in crescent doughIf you need a quick appetizer that’s a total crowd-pleaser, you’ve found it. I realize I’m not the first one at this rodeo, but I finally tried baking Brie wrapped in crescent dough and had to share the details. So warm, gooey good…and pretty darn easy!
baked brie in crescent doughYou need:

  • a round of Brie cheese
  • one can of Pilsbury crescent dough
  • cranberry sauce

baked brie with crescent dough

Roll the crescent dough onto a baking sheet or pie plate without separating the triangle sections. You’ll use half the can, or one square for a small Brie, the whole can for a large Brie. Lay your Brie in the centre of the dough. Cover the top of the Brie with cranberry sauce. I used about 1/3 cup on the small cheese. Fold up the corners of the dough and join them to meet at the centre of the Brie, covering it and the cranberries. Pinch dough together to seal. Bake at 375 F degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with crackers, apples or grapes.

baked briebaked brie in crescent doughThis instantly became a comfort food for me – the mellow warmth of the cheese with a little tanginess from the cranberries plus the richness of the crescent dough – all good! Dig in with your crackers and savour this season of indulgence. I know I am!