Posts in Resources
Three ways to use up old, dry or stale bread.
Sidewalk citizen bakery bread calgary

One of my all time favorite treats is good sourdough bread. Maybe it feels comforting to me because of the time I spent in San Francisco (which is the capital of sourdough.. at least to me) or maybe it’s because I have an easier time digesting sourdough than any other bread. Whatever the cause, ask anyone who knows me closely and they will tell you without a doubt that I am more of a savory kind of gal, no so much into sweets.. very much into sourdough bread.

So, when I made my very first order with The Organic Box, I went looking for sourdough. Sidebar: Grab your 20$ discount code in the footer of this post. I got myself a loaf of Red Fife Sourdough from Sidewalk Citizen Bakery. They day I received the box, it was the item I was looking the most forward to. It smelled like heaven.

Now, you and I both know that fresh bread doesn’t last forever, and for some reason, I only got through about half of the loaf before it started to get a little too dry, so I have some tips for you on how to use up that dry bread. Whatever you do, don’t throw it away!

 

I don’t care how hard that bread gets, if there is no mold on it, it’s perfectly fine to eat!

 

In case you're not sure of exactly what you can do with old, dry bread, I've put together three ways to use up that bread.

easy french toast with old sourdough bread
simple french toast with old sourdough bread

Early on, make french toast

It’s a classic way to use up bread that is beginning to go stale. Just slice it thick and dunk each side of the slices in a mixture of raw, beaten egg & almond milk. To flavor the mix, add maple syrup, vanilla & cinnamon.

Then, in a hot pan, cook with a little butter or coconut oil until each side is nice and golden. Serve up with your favorite jams, molasses, nut butter or more maple syrup.

Not fully dry, have it in broth

That same day, I cut a nice thick slice of the old sourdough bread and had it with a steaming mug of chicken stock. Now, this could be veggie stock, beef stock or your favorite soup. The idea here is that when you dunk it in the hot liquid the bread soaks up all the goodness and becomes soft again.

Word to the wise, don’t just pop the bread right up in there unless you’re okay with the super soggy texture that ensues. Just dunk and eat!

simple croutons and arugula salad
simple sourdough croutons

Fully dry, hello croutons

Even after those two meals, there was about two large slices left. So I cut it into large cubes and lay them on a cookie sheet. I waited about 24 hours (you can wait as long as you need for your croutons to be completely dry). Once they are completely dry you can put them away in a mason jar with a cupcake liner + a ring for the lid. Or you can do like I do and make a big ol' salad with lots of croutons.


 

This post is brought to you by The Organic Box, here in edmonton. 

I buy from them because I believe in what they do, and like me, they believe in minimizing waste. In the spirit of full disclosure, if you use the discount code, I will also get a little something in return. No, it won't make your bill more expensive. Yes, we will share in our kitchen goodness together.

Use THE code OrganicBunch20 you will get 20$ off your first order.

 
Can YOUR bar of soap do this?
 

Today, I want to talk to you about something that's dear to my heart. Slowing down enough to enjoy one-extra-minute in the shower. I know it sounds like a silly thing. Inconsequential really, but for me, it makes the difference between an okay day and a wonderful one.

I stand by my comments in my last post about my bathing ritual, about how showering is akin to tying your shoes. No fluff. No extra love. Because it is, in fact, a 7 minute affair. However, there is one minute in there dedicated to showing myself a little extra love despite it all. A pause, where I let myself be completely taken over by the hot water & the smell and feel of my favorite soap bar. 

To be quite frank, I only started doing this since I discovered Lark Bath & Beauty. 

What's so special about them you ask? Well, many things. But the main thing is their soap makes me feel beautiful. Not the kind of beautiful slick magazine ads make us believe we should be, but truly beautiful. On the inside. It makes me feel like I can conquer the world.

You see, when I pick up the bar off the shower caddy, there's a little voice in the back of my mind that tells me it's good soap, made from stuff I can pronounce, and they make a difference as a company. 

 
 

They started their company (then named The Hope Soap Project) to help girls that had been rescued from human trafficking, then they realized that their name was hindering their company because people saw them as a non-profit instead of a Social Enterprise. So they rebranded as the slick & beautiful Lark. Same soap. Same heart warming cause. Just more approachable & modern. 

When I approached them to talk about their business on here, I immediately felt good vibes & as I discovered more and more about the people behind the business, I fell more and more in love with what they had to offer.

 
lark bath and beauty
 

Meet Nikki & Courtney, a couple on a mission.

When I asked them what the hardest thing was about being a couple in business, they told me that communication was the hardest. Are they in couple mode or business mode? How long should they work? Thankfully, though, Nikki keeps their marriage as a top priority and that allows them to find balance.

Seeing their dedication to their work but also to each other really inspires me because I know that eventually, I too will be working alongside my spouse. Through them, though, I realize that there is a way to make it all work. It may not be perfect, but it's possible. 

Hard lessons & hunkering down.

We chatted about what the hard bits were. He said self-discipline, to keep pushing forward even though you really can't see the mountaintop or even know if it's there. She said sacrifice. In the early stages, the sacrifice feels so much bigger than the reward. Which is true for so many small businesses out there.

They realized, through their side by side work, that they had complimentary strengths and make a great team. "When we're hustling it's like this well-oiled machine. She's front-of-house (interacting with customers). I'm back-of-house (running the actual business). She's detail oriented, I'm a visionary."

What does the future of lark hold?

They are planning on becoming a full bath and beauty line that will radically change women's perspectives of beauty/themselves, ultimately leading them to freedom. To get there, and also how they got this far... they stay focused, are patient, keep their eyes on their own path and don't worry about how others are doing.

 
 

The bit that resonates with me the deepest...

...is that they believe, as I do, that if you stay grateful and appreciate small victories, great things will happen. So spend that extra minute in your shower, with a great bar of soap. Celebrate what feeling truly beautiful means to you & then get out there and show the world your best self.

You got this love, you so got this.

 

 

MORE FROM LARK BATH & BEAUTY

You can find more natural goodness on their
Website | Instagram | Facebook.

Chef Inspiration: Magnus Nilsson & Nordic Cooking
 

I try to stay away from cookbooks and food blogs for the most part because I am utterly petrified by the thought of becoming a watered down version of someone else.

Not that this ever could truly happen, being the silly unicorn that I am, but never the less I try to stay away a much as possible. That is, until today.

I was at the bookstore with Thomas and I was eagerly browsing the shelves in multiple sections when a HUGE book caught my eye. It was there, at eye level, peeking out at me and calling me to it. I should have pushed on by and ignored it, it was in the cookbook aisle after all, but I just couldn't help myself.

So I reluctantly picked it up off the shelf and let the weight of its 800+ pages settle gently into the palms of my hands.

The volume was impressive but minimalistic all at once and upon reading the name of the author I instantly knew I had to take it home with me.

Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken

Magnus Nilsson, a chef which I greatly admire for his resourcefulness and adamant desire to elevate the produce local to him, had crossed my path before through a wonderful documentary on Netflix. I fell in love with his ideals & values almost immediately and vowed to one day reserve a seat at his restaurant, no matter the distance I had to travel to get to its remote location.

Now, I have a little bit of him in my kitchen & he brings with him hundreds of years of food culture. I've had so many "ah-ha" moments since I began reading that I wouldn't know where to begin explaining it to you. Needless to say, I am devouring and savoring his book all at once.

I feel like a greedy child in a candy store. I want to keep turning the pages and take it all in but I also want to pause and put it all into action.


What are your favorite cookbooks or sources of inspiration?

Leave me a message below to let me know! 


Faviken Magnus Nilsson The Nording Cookbook

 

MORE about magnus nilsson & faviken

You can find more Nordic goodness on the
Website | Instagram | Magnus' Instragram.

 
My bathing ritual: slow living at it's best.

Bathing, for me, has always been a luxurious experience. It serves a purpose completely separate from that of a shower.

Showering to me is a convenient way to get clean without having to waste too much water or soap. It's quick. It's an in-and-out operation akin to tying your shoes. No fluff. No extra love. Just plain convenience.

Bathing, on the other hand, is a ritual that feeds my inner goddess. It's a way for me to disconnect from social media, daily tasks and just give myself a little me time. It's one of the ways I show myself a little extra love and I always come out feeling rejuvenated.

I've long used the excuse of magnesium deficiency to warrant the extra soak time each week, but now, I no longer need any excuses. I just freakin' love 'em!

(If you haven't heard of Epson salts, here's a little more information on why you should probably add it to tour weekly self-care regimen)

I've transformed my simple salt soak into a spa-worthy treatment with the help of a new friend, Julie (more on this below). 

So these days, I load up the bath with magnesium salt, dried herbs, a little fragrant oil & I enjoy a well deserved Mel-soup.

Not just any old products will do however when I'm adding ingredients to my bath. This isn't me trying to sound particularly snobbish, I promise. Your skin is your biggest organ mama! It absorbs a little of everything it comes into contact with. So with this in mind, always try to find the best possible ingredients to add to your soak, the same way you would for your food. Makes sense? Let's carry on.

LITTLE TIP: If it comes from a plant, use it. If it's made in a plant, don't.

true formulation the nomadic wife
true formulation exfoliating salt the nomadic wife

Recently, my bath soak snobbery wishes have come true. I discovered, through Julie's help, a darling company called True Formulation. They make small batch, preservative free, fresh to order, goddess worthy bath goodies.

As I write these lines, I'm freshly out of a dry herb & oil, bliss-inducing soak. I'm particularly keen on everything lavender, so I'm using this oil and this salt. I add the oil to the bath (along with a cup of magnesium salt + half a sachet of herbs) and use the salt on a bath glove.

I find little circles work best to remove excess dry skin. Trust me on this one mama, this Canadian gal know's dry skin.

Roses smell divine, but lavender is incredibly powerful for me. It helps me unwind and forget all the drama in the world. Plus, who doesn't want to walk out of her bath smelling positively regal? 

 

Want a spa worthy bathing experience too?

Every woman should have them! Here's how:

 

Make sure your water isn't too hot! 

Add magnesium to your bath, about 1 C should do.

Consider adding herbs (a good handful) or herbal oils (1 or 2 T should do the trick). 

Some of my favorites: lavender relaxes, citrus adds zing, calendula reduces itchy inflamed skin.

Soak for at least 20 minutes to allow yourself to relax into it. It will also allow the oils & salts to work their magic.

Add a little music or enjoy the quiet.

Make sure you grab a glass of water to keep from getting dehydrated & a good read to keep you company.

Finish your bath by rinsing under cool water to close your pores & reinvigorate yourself.

Using your favorite soap, wash off the excess bath oil (or leave it on as moisturizer, depending on what you used). 

Shimmy off to celebrate slowing down. <3


Now through the end of February, enter "THENOMADICWIFE" at checkout for free shipping & 10% off all True Formulation orders! 


DSC_3275.jpg

 

MORE FROM TRUE FORMULATION

You can find more natural goodness on their
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Pasta the Italian Way - The guide to pasta & sauce combinations.

A few months ago I was sitting in a lovely little Edmonton Cafe with Nicoletta & Loreto (the quintessentially Italian couple behind Sugar Loves Spices) and I asked a seemingly simple question that got a passionate conversation started.

"How do you know which pasta goes with which sauce?!"

I knew for a fact that I had been butchering the sacred rules of conduct in regards to sauce-pasta matches, but it wasn't out of a sly plan to remodel Italian traditions. I just didn't know any better.

So they agreed to share their knowledge on the matter with me (and with you) in this wonderful post. Now, I know this is a boat load of information, but unless you have an Italian nonna or some really good Italian friends who you can call in your next moment of "which pasta goes with this sauce" stupor, I suggest you bookmark this page for safe keeping and so you can refer back to it with ease.

Farfalle

Farfalle

Without further ado, Nicoletta of Sugar Loves Spices

Pasta is so popular around the world, making it among the most loved comfort food, from children to adults and even nonni (grandparents). For Italians it is a staple, almost a ritual, with strict regional rules and boundaries.

So, I have a question for all of you pasta lovers out there: do you want to learn how to make pasta the “Italian Way” and become a true Italian Pasta connoisseur?

Well I am going to share my “knowledge”, not based on scientific evidence, but simply passed down to me from my mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and the experiences, and memories I have had in my life in Italy.

Italians can get passionate when asked to explain why pasta should be cooked and eaten a certain way, why matching the pasta shape to the right sauce is of the utmost importance, why shape and size do matter. and that each shape and each size have a specific purpose. 

However, it's not that the different kind of pasta were designed for the sauces. It's just that certain pairings worked better, people liked them and with generations they became embedded in the nation. Centuries of cooking have taught people what goes better with what. Which ingredients bind with a particular type of pasta and exhault its taste. 

Certain pairings are so well known, they are so familiar, that nobody would do anything else. Like, for example, these popular Italian pasta dishes: Bucatini all'Amatriciana, Linguine al pesto, Spaghetti alle Vongole (with clams), Penne all'Arrabbiata, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe.

 

SPAGHETTI WITH WHITE CLAM SAUCE

 

CARBONARA, A CLASSIC ROMAN PASTA

When you match the pasta shape to the right pasta sauce, the dish actually works better, looks better, and definitely tastes better.  

Let's start with the different types of pasta. 

The main difference is between dried pasta and fresh pasta. 

Among the dried pasta, another difference is according to length: pasta lunga (long pasta) and pasta corta (short pasta). Both pasta lunga and corta have an additional difference: liscia (smooth) and rigata (ridged, or furrowed). Not to mention all the pastine (tiny pasta) used in soups or minestrone recipes.

Among the fresh pasta there is the stuffed pasta.

Think about that, it seems like there are more than 300 different types of pasta. And as it always happens with Italian food, it is also a Regional thing: where they originated matters, and influences which recipes are best for each shape.

For Rich, robust, sauces

Rich, robust, sauces, work better with some tubular pasta like rigatoni, maccheroni (tortiglioni) where the chunks of meat (ragù) or vegetables (vegetable ragù), are captured in the hollow of the pasta. But they're also good with thicker, flat, long pasta, like tagliatelle, fettuccine and pappardelle, more able to capture the chunky sauce.

 

RIGATONI FUNGHI E PISELLI

TAGLIATELLE WITH RICOTTA AND ROASTED TOMATOES

 

Delicate, lighter sauces

Delicate, lighter sauces, with panna (cream) or oil-based, work better with skinny shapes like tagliolini, spaghetti, linguine. Or with pasta corta like farfalle and fusilli, where the sauce can be absorbed in the curves and crevices. The thinner the pasta, the creamier or oilier the sauce, because it is able to coat the whole strand. Creamy or cheesy sauces, can't go well with a wide, flat pasta, like tagliatelle, for example, because the flat sides would stick together like two pages with glue.

 

FARFALLE WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND ROASTED RED PEPPER CREAM SAUCE

FARRO FUSILLI WITH BROCCOLI 

 

Hearty vegetable sauces or baked cheese dishes

Hearty vegetable sauces or baked cheese dishes go particularly well with penne, rigatoni and maccheroni. In the case of vegetable sauces, the pieces are captured in the hollow of the pasta, making it a true enjoyable experience. 

As for the fresh, stuffed pasta 

As for the fresh, stuffed pasta, like ravioli, agnolotti, the “rule” is that they shouldn't be cooked in elaborated sauces. You'd want to enjoy the filling and not cover its taste. A simple tomato sauce, or a butter sauce will do. 

A quick note on tortellini:

They belong to the fresh stuffed pasta category, but traditionally and typically they are only served in broth. Like capelli d'angelo (Angel Hair pasta), only meant to be in broth.

When you talk about matching the sauce to the right shape of pasta, you cannot not mention the role of Parmigiano (or Grana). Not all pasta dishes require a sprinkle of our beloved cheese. It may be because it is not traditional, but also because the flavor combination is considered unpleasant, that is the case of fish sauces, or hot sauces like Penne all'Arrabbiata.

Since it's all about cooking, serving and eating pasta “the Italian Way”,
there are few tips that I think may help:

 

Buy good quality dried pasta, the best pasta brands are a little more expensive but it's worth the cost. If you look at their texture, it is rougher and coarser, best to “capture” any sauce. Plus they hold the “al dente” cooking time better.

Always salt the water in the pot where you're going to cook the pasta, or the pasta won't taste the way it is supposed to taste, even with the sauce.

Do not add oil to the water in the pot. The sauce won't be absorbed by oil-slicked pasta. Use a big enough pot and enough water, stir the pasta after adding and the pasta won't stick. 

Never cut the pasta (spaghetti, for example). There is a reason why their shape is like that. One being the ability to twirl them with a fork.

Follow the manufacturer's suggested cooking time. Pasta needs to stay “al dente”. We always take the pasta out of the water a couple minutes earlier than the suggested time, because we finish it in the pan with sauce. This allows the sauce to coat the pasta perfectly. If you're going to bake your pasta, take it out of the water at half the cooking time. Pasta will continue cooking in the oven and won't be overcooked.  


Never rinse drained pasta under running water. This will remove the starchy coating and prevent the sauce to adhere to the pasta. The only excepion is for lasagna noodles, they must be shocked in iced water to prevent overcooking (but after they're laid on a towel to dry).


Pasta is served in shallow plates, (not soup bowls), and it is a course by itself (primo piatto, first course). It is never accompanied by a side dish (salad) or protein of any sort. Being the first course, it is preceded only by the antipasto (appetizer) and followed by everything else, but nothing with it. 


In the end it is all about good food and wanting to deliver the best experience to the people you love and share the table with. Is there room for creativity? Absolutely! Nonetheless, we have a passion and pride for our roots and traditions and would hate to see those disappear.

Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.
— James Baldwin

Nicoletta (one half of) SugarLovesSpices 


 

MORE FROM Nicoletta & loreto

You can find more heart warming Italian goodness on their Website | Instagram | Facebook.

10 Simple Tips To Make Your Winter Green Smoothies Warming
 

I'm incredibly grateful for the circle of women I am surrounded with. They are incredibly insightful and filled with beautiful knowledge. Amy is no exception. 

Late last year she did a heart centered smoothie challenge and it blew my heart wide open. She really meets you where you are, in your reality, and you can feel her love shine through every word she sends. It's not about the smoothies really, it's about accepting yourself, where you are, in your moment and making a small shift towards self-love. Glorious.

She agreed to let me share some of her tips on making your smoothies more warming during the chilly winter months. I don't know about you, and where you live, but golly is it ever cold up here in the winter. So this mama will take all the warming she can get!

 
warming winter smoothies
 

Enter Amy.

10 warming tips for green smoothies

Here are just a few twists I take to help support my chi flowing warm and free:
 

  1. I don’t drink my smoothie first thing. I start with room temp or warm water with two drops of lemon or ginger essential oil to wake and hydrate the body. Then hot coffee or tea. OK, it’s pretty much always coffee. Then gentle movement and my shower. NOW I drink my smoothie. And it’s rarely an icy one.
     
  2. Add warming herbs and spices! ½ to 1tsp of cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, black pepper, turmeric, vanilla, cardamom, clove, matcha powder, cacao (raw pressed cocoa beans, not cocoa), basil, allspice…
     
  3. Add warming essential oils for up to 3,000 times the beneficial boost of the powdered spice. For warming smoothies, I add 2-3 drops of ginger, cinnamon, basil, lemon, orange. And rosemary, oregano, and thyme for savory smoothies or interesting mixes.
     
  4. Let the blade run longer while making the smoothie to literally heat your smoothie. This works best with room temp ingredients and a high-speed blender like my Vitamix.
     
  5. Add hot ingredients. Warm a sweet potato stovetop (or if you use a microwave) before adding the the Sweet Potato Pie smoothie. Like pie right out of the oven in your glass! Even easier, warm your mylk first.
     
  6. Add foods that are thought to be energetically warming, even when unheated. Root vegetables (raw or cooked), citrus peel, kale, black strap molasses (hello calcium!), winter squash, apple, dates, hemp seed, pea protein, pear...what foods feel “warming” to you?
     
  7. Defrost frozen ingredients overnight. Dark cherries are a powerful food. Frozen cherries are- freezing! Use a room temp banana and save the ones in the freezer for the afternoon or a backup plan.
     
  8. Use all room temp ingredients, except greens from the fridge. Want a creamy mylk base? Instead of cold mylk, use room temp water and add cashews, almonds, flax, or hemp seed to make an instant mylk!
     
  9. Make your smoothie first thing, then let it warm on the counter while you shower and get ready for your day.
     
  10. If the more ice the better works for you- keep doing it! If you are forcing down the smoothie and it’s throwing off your groove in other ways, let’s warm it up!  

 
What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear! Keep getting those greens in, whatever that looks like for you.

Love and healing high fives,
Amy

 

 
whole life with amy

More from Amy

You can find more heart centered tips from Amy on her Website | Instagram | Facebook or if you want join the next challenge you can sign up here

 
The Nomadic Wife Canadian-ish Gift Guide

Holy holidays! I can't believe it's close enough now that it can be counted in days. It seems insane to me to think that tomorrow morning we will be embarking on a journey to go see our relatives across the country to celebrate yet another revolution around the sun.

In good holiday cheer, I thought that this year I could share with you some of my most favorite finds. In no particular order, though some of the people who will be receiving these gifts can probably figure out which one is theirs. Meh. So be it. Long gone are the days where surprises make up most of the fun in gift unwrapping, well.. at least for us.

I believe in a slightly more utilitarian, local when possible, approach to gift giving. I really don't see the use of giving something to someone if I'm not sure it'll be used & loved. That's just me. To each her own.

Without further ado, here's the roundup of my favorites this season. My list of gifts that keep on giving.

string for pearls teether necklace and a bundle of bows teether bangle

Not only is Missy (of String For Pearls) just about the sweetest gal this side of the Pacific Ocean, but she also makes these darling, functional, beautiful teething necklaces. Even the most stylish of the women I know wouldn't scrunch their nose at wearing one of these, which is a godsend because this one is going to one very stylish woman indeed.

They are made of food grade silicon & hardwood beads. Perfect gift for a new mama (or yourself) because they are that pretty!

The other teether in the first photo is handmade by Ashley from A Bundle Of Bows. It's also wood & silicon. We got it because not all parents are mamas! haha. So we're hoping to make one happy papa with this one!

Up next are Lark Bath & Beauty bars. These bars are GLORIOUS. I've got this one in the shower as we speak & it's divine! Honestly, I may just keep all of these for myself! Haha. They are the perfect stocking stuffer or a gift for a mindful mama who doesn't like commercial soaps. I get it. I totally get it.

Nikki & Courtney (who head this company) are some really cool people to boot! Plus, they're on a mission to bring strong and powerful back to beauty, which just makes my heart sing. 

Up next, harem pants by Zoe Anna of From Harper. They are ULTRA soft and have a TON of diaper room. Perfect for a growing babe. Last I spoke to Zoe Anna, she was in full production mode for Christmas orders, so if you want to get in on the good stuff, order now!

Not sure if you're sensing a theme here yet but we have a few babies in the family this year! Haha. 

Up next, some of my favorite fix-all & feel-good products. (left to right)

Left photo

Tom's products are some of my favorite store bought bathroom goodies. They don't have any of the nasty stuff in them and work perfectly well. They're a touch more expensive than "regular" crap laden pharmacy stuff, but man are they ever worth the extra buck.

It may sound silly to put toothpaste in a stocking, but everyone's gotta brush. Just sayin'.

Up next, Butter Up from Shenaye over at Selah, Be. which has new packaging now but still holds all the same goodness. It's my go to skin fix. It's all moisture and glory in a little pot. Seriously. winters here in Canada are SUPER dry, so take it from a girl who knows dry, this stuff is good!

right photo

That little glass vial holds a mix of essential oils called "white flower". I first started using it when I was in my teens, doing lots of walking, sports & carrying heavy books. It's good for everything from muscle pain to sniffles. I tell everyone I can about it and Tom uses it religiously for aches & pains. It's a tiny bottle that packs a lot of punch & makes a great gift for a fit friend or an aging parent. (You can find it at most health / supplements stores and in most china towns)

Up next Burt Bees chapsticks. Seriously, as far as a quick stocking stuffer for a fashionable friend, this one is at the top of my list. It's simple, comes in a bunch of smells and goes on perfectly. Chapped lips, be gone!

Then there's deodorant (or anything else) from The Honest Company, which is Jessica Alba's way of saying F* you to commercial products full of junk & I'm right there with her. I love their mission & I've tried quite a few products from their line. I haven't ever used one and though "meh", it's always been heart eyes all the way.

Next, shea butter from Now Foods. I used to use this all the time before I discovered Selah, Be. Now, I'll admit I use it a little less but it's a great gift for someone who doesn't like smells. You can't go wrong with plain shea butter & it mixes into a million diy beauty products. So, here's to the DIY'ers on your list. You can also check out their oils line, they've got some good ones.

Up next, we've got shampoo bars from Amy of Plantiful. Shampoo bars are a new concept for me, but they're the perfect gift for the wandering souls in our family. They're small ( aka travel well ) and smell DIVINE. I should have probably gotten one for myself too haha!

On the right, is a darling little pillow I picked up at the Butterdome Craft Fair. I think it's a lovely way to remind the ones we love that we love them! Plus it's made in Canada, so what's not to love?!

Looking for a gift for a foodie friend (or yourself?) well, I figured I'd throw this in for good measure. The Feast of Winter cookbook is on pre-order right now & will be available on Dec 21st, just in time for Christmas. It celebrates easy recipes for the mindful mamas who don't have loads of time but still want to nourish their bodies.

Time to thrive mama! Pre-order your copy here.

Last, but most definitely not the least are these locally printed cards from Plumbheavy. I scored them a while ago when I was shopping for some plants at Laurel's On Whyte. They're printed on thick cardstock which is the perfect way to tie in all the goodness you're giving.

Hope you enjoyed the guide & it inspired you to give more local, loving, useful gifts!
 
With love & cheer, I'll see you in the new year! <3

Kitchen Basics: Perfect White Rice Every Time
 

Perfect rice can be the difference between a soggy mess of a meal or a perfectly delightful bowl. So when it comes to kitchen basics, this is an important one. 

Too much water and you get mush, too little and you get something too crunchy. Rice should be light, fluffy and you should be able to tell the grains apart. No one likes mush! Seriously.

I like mine plain, but some people like to add butter at the end. It adds a nice glisten to the rice and keeps it from congealing as one big mass as it cools. I'm down with the idea as long as your adding just a little bit in there and it doesn't take away from the fluff to become a greasy mess. 

Here are a few recipes that go well with fluffy rice:

 
 

INGREDIENTS

makes 2 portions

1 C rice
1 1/2 C water
Pinch of sea salt

Directions

15 mins cook

Grab a medium pot (or if you're like me, the rice cooker).

Measure out one cup of rice. Place rice in your cooking pot, making sure it’s large enough as your rice will double in volume as it cooks. 

Rinse your rice 2 or 3 times, until the water runs clear. Once that’s done add 1.5 C of water & a pinch of salt. Stir once.

Bring to a boil uncovered. Once boiling, reduce to lowest heat. Cover & let it cook slowly for about 10 minutes (or all the water has evaporated).

 

PRO TIP:

I usually just set a timer for 10 minutes once I turn down the heat. This way I can move on to other things while the rice cooks. Once everything is cooked. Turn off the heat, fluff rice to let the steam escape, let it cool down a touch a serve.

Kitchen Basics: Perfectly Roasted Brussels Sprouts (& other veg)
Kitchen Basics, how to roast vegetables perfectly every time. thenomadicwife.com
 

I did a poll recently on The Nomadic Wife Nation (my free exclusive facebook group) and found that many of you want to get better acquainted with your kitchens and build a solid foundation of cooking skills. So consider today lesson one of many, in the arts of basic cooking.

I want to point out that BASIC isn't a synonym for BORING, TASTELESS or even DRAB. It' a synonym for I'm-keeping-my-sanity-today & boom-that-was-easy! 

Roasted vegetables make a great side to just about any dish. They are also a great base for bowls like the Roasted Broccoli Bowl or Roasted Fennel & Carrot Salad.

 
 

Here's what you need to roast Brussels sprouts (or carrots, potatoes, beets, cabbage slices for that matter).

  1. Baking sheet
  2. Parchment paper - optional but it makes clean up a breeze
  3. Knife

Once you have your stuff on the counter and your veggies out, you're ready to get rolling. So let's hit it shall we?

 

 

wheat free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, vegan


Ingredients

makes 2 portions

2 C Brussel Sprouts cut in three
Salt & pepper

Optional

Oregano
Cayenne
 

Directions

10 mins prep + 20 mins bake

Preheat your oven to 400

Slice your veggies down to bite size pieces. I like to cut Brussels in three slices or halves depending on how big they are.

Place parchment paper on your baking sheet & lay out your vegetables in one layer.

Sprinkle with spices if you're using them or simple salt & pepper, then place your trays in the oven for 20 minutes. 

 
 

Pro tip:

When you're roasting potatoes or carrots, you may need to flip your veggies at the half way mark and add 5 minutes more to your baking time, everything else stays the same. Easy peasy.

Important: If you're not using parchment paper, give your veggies a quick toss in a bowl with some olive oil to keep them from sticking to the baking sheets. Cleaning up stuck veggies really defeats the purpose of how easy this is!

 

Want more simple recipes? Grab the fall meal plans!