DIY lip scrub, inspired by nature. Also by brownies.

 

Have you ever walked into a store like Sephora or Lush and found yourself intrigued by an organic lip scrub? like say, Fresh sugar lip scrub for example, only to become significantly less intrigued once you look at the price? (22$?, I can buy groceries with that money! and tacos!). Here’s my solution, make your own! It won’t look exactly professional but it will do the trick. Best of all, homemade lip scrubs are entirely customizable. This is my favorite, it tastes and smells divine and is completely edible. No weird preservatives here! (looking at you Sephora…)

For about 1/4 cup’s worth (Put into either one container or several little ones, this could make a great gift!) all you need is:

2 tbsp, heaping, brown sugar

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp coffee grounds

Mix it all together and use away! see? easy!

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French tomato & Zucchini tart

(original recipe from David Lebovitz)

This recipe is dear to my heart as it celebrates simple French cuisine in all its glory. Simple and fresh ingredients that are delicious on their own but incredible when combined. Best of all, it isn’t even hard to make! Afraid of homemade pastry? Don’t be, just take a deep breath, think like a French woman and try it out. You’ll thank me later.

Tart dough for  1 9” tart:

1 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
125 g unsalted butter, chilled & cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
4 tbsp ice water
(Optional) 1 tbsp chia seeds, ground, for added fibre&omega3’s-Take out your mixer, drop in the flour, seeds, salt and butter. While mixing on slow, add the egg and water, just until the mixture comes together.

  1. Flour your countertop, take the dough out of the mixer and start kneading into a ball.
  2. Flatten the dough using a rolling pin until about 10 inches wide ( a little bigger than your 9 inch tart pan )
  3. Gently lift and place dough into pan, pressing down with your fingertips until dough is firmly in place.
  4. Take your rolling pin and trim the excess dough off the tart by pressing down on the top of the pan. Use fingers to adjust the sides.
  5. Prick dough with a fork so it doesn’t puff up in the oven.

Filling:

3 tbsp mustard, grainy or Dijon
2 large tomatoes, slices thinly
1 large zucchini, sliced thinly or mandolined
250 grams goat cheese, cut into slices
Salt, pepper and herbs to finish
2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 218°
  2. Spread mustard evenly over tart
  3. Place tomato and zucchini slices evenly over mustard, overlapping them. Top the vegetables with thick rounds of goat cheese
  4. Drizzle with honey and top with your favorite chopped herbs
  5.  Bake for 30 mins until goat cheese is browned and tart dough is crisp.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and cool slightly before cutting.

Easy Gnocchi

This is the easy version of my great aunt’s (and grandmother’s) gnocchi. Although the original uses old mashed potatoes, subbing those for potato flakes is just so much quicker and easier. Traditional dalmatian gnocchi in half the time! In Dalmacija they serve gnocchi with ragu or any kind of meat stew, here I served it with a chicken paprikash my mother made, making it a collaborative effort. The gnocchi however, in my humble opinion, are the star of the show.

Ingredients:

2 cups potato flakes + 1 cup water, to make some very dry mashed potatoes,( which mimics mashed potato leftovers)

1 cup flour, all-purpose

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp honey

1/3 cup semolina

How to:

  1. Mix the flour and the potato mixture in a large bowl and make a well. Break the egg into the well, add the olive oil, salt and honey and begin to incorporate the whole thing together. Your hands will get sticky, but that’s the fun of the process.
  2. Work the dough until you have a coherant mass that stays together and that has picked up all the flour.
  3. Divide and Shape the dough into 3 snakes, then cut into about 30 gnocchi.
  4. Roll the pieces in the semolina and then use your hands to shape the pieces into little balls, pressing down to incorporate the semolina and create the traditional gnocchi shape.
  5.  Roll them again in the semolina to cover completely.
  6.  Keep in a dry area or in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. When ready, simply cook the gnocchi in boiling water until they float to the surface and serve with your favorite sauce.

Tahini & Walnut Cookies

 

These cookies are inspired by my recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey, where I basically lived on tahini pastries, including these cookies which are perfectly crumbly, salty, sweet and addictive.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup white-whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup honey

1 tbsp cinnamon + 1 tbsp sugar to finish

How to:

  1. Mix the last four ingredients as well as the walnuts in a large bowl,  then sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, stirring the mixture as you sift. At this point, the dough should be rather dry and a little crumbly.
  2. Cover and chill the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Dump out the dough onto a floured surface and start rolling little balls, making about 20.
  4. Put them onto an oiled sheet or parchment paper and press down lightly to flatten.
  5. Set your oven to 178C and bake for about 13 minutes.
  6. Dust with cinnamon sugar mixture and cool completely before removing from pan.

Fig & Prosciutto Sandwich

There are so many fruits in season right now but figs should be given special attention as fresh figs only stick around for a couple of weeks while other fruits can be eaten autumn-long. At their ripest, they are perfect for simple desserts – just bake them in the oven with honey and cinnamon and serve with Greek yogurt, throw them into a fruit salad or make a simple tart. However, as a lover of anything sweet&salty, I prefer to eat them in salads and sandwiches with cured meat, salty cheese and bitter greens. Trust me, the combination of flavors is perfection!

 

what you’ll need:

2 slices of bread, toasted

3 fresh figs, sliced thinly

A handful of fresh arugula

4 slices of prosciutto

Fresh spreadable goat cheese, about 3 tbsp

dressing:

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp honey

1/2 tbsp mustard

How to:

  1. Put your bread in a toaster or on the grill
  2. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl
  3. Add arugula and mix well
  4. Once the bread pops out, put the salad mixture on one side and spread the goat cheese on the other. Place your fig slices on top of the lettuce followed by the prosciutto
  5. Cover with the slice with goat cheese on it and slice the sandwich into two