Tag Archives: quick

Date Nut Granola Bars & Crumble (Raw/Grain Free)

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Everytime I make a batch of granola I feel at home.

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

There’s something about the homemade version you can’t find in a package.

Love? Maybe.

Soul? Maybe.

Blood, sweat and tears? Hopefully not.

Whatever it is, it’s just so darn good.

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

This particular batch of granola isn’t my normal approach, either. No, this one’s a bit different. Sticky. Soft and crumbly. Sweetened only with dates. Oh, it’s raw and grain free, too.

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Normally, I make a crunchy, dry roasted granola with chopped nuts, whole seeds, oats and honey (like this one and this one). Closer to the standard granola we’re all used to.

Obviously, there are pros and cons to each. The dry roasted version will store at room temperature in an airtight container for quite some time, while this one’s best stored in the fridge or freezer. The crunchy version is, well, crunchy, and this one’s got more of a crumbly, soft texture.  The roasted version also requires some baking and stirring time, while this version only needs to rest in the fridge or freezer for a little bit to set.

Now I know I said this recipe makes bars and a crumble type version of granola, but I must warn you, the bars are best stored in the freezer and eaten promptly after you take them out of the freezer. That’s because as they warm, they’ll crumble pretty easily. That being said, these might not be your best bet as a granola bar on the go, but you could most definitely crumble it up into a to-go container and pack a spoon.

It really doesn’t matter how you eat it, it’s delicious, so just eat it however you want to. Deal?

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

DATE NUT GRANOLA BARS & CRUMBLE

Ingredients
3 cups nuts (I used 1 cup each of pecans, almonds, walnuts)
1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup pitted medjool dates
1 1/2 cups seeds (I used 1/2 cup each sesame, ground flax, chia) 

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preparation

Pulse nuts and coconut in a food processor (fits nicely in my 11-cup food processor) just until mixed a bit, then add the dates and let it run until the mixture is crumbly and just starts to come together, about 30 seconds. Next, add the seeds and vanilla extract, and pulse until combined, about 15-30 seconds.

If you want the whole batch more of a crumble, you’re pretty much done at this point. Simply transfer into an airtight container and store in the fridge. For bars, firmly press into a lined baking sheet or dish and freeze until ready to serve. Serve the bars promptly after taking them out of the freezer.

I’d love to know what you think! Leave a comment below letting me you how you like to eat granola.

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

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Clothespin Crafts

Clothespins.  They’re practical and cute, and have taken the crafting world by storm.  There are so many ways to use them and dress ’em up. Here are some of my favs from the web:

paper bunting with clothespins_oh craftsPaper Bunting with Clothespins via Oh Crafts

clothespin banner _ pure joy eventsClothespin Banner via Pure Joy Events

diy-clothespin-planter_shelternessClothespin Planter via Shelterness

stamped clothespins_ellenenohStamped Clothespins via Ellemenoh

clothespin frame _ morning creativityClothespin Frame via Morning Creativity

WHAT YOU THINK MATTERS: What other clothespin craft ideas do you love?

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Filed under Crafting, March National Craft Month

Homemade Gift Guide: Body Care

Wow, can you believe it’s almost Christmas again already? I’m feeling a little behind in the gift department this year, mostly for my lack of planning ahead. Serious shocker for a seasoned planner! But never fear my friends, I’m getting it together finally, making lists and crossing off to-dos.

One of my must do favorites every year is homemade gifts and this year I happen to be keen on body care. Today I’m sharing two simple, inexpensive, and quick recipes: sea salt body scrub and salt bath soak.

ORANGE BASIL SEA SALT BODY SCRUB

Orange Basil Body Scrub | Tiffany Lane

Orange Basil Body Scrub | Tiffany Lane

Orange Basil Body Scrub | Tiffany Lane

Ingredients
2 cups sea salt
1 cup oil (sweet almond oil* or olive)
2-4 tablespoons orange essential oil

2-4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

The basic ratio is 2 parts salt to 1 part oil, plus essential oils of your choosing for scent. For this recipe, I used orange essential oil and chopped, fresh basil. As always, feel free to adjust ratios to your tastes. You could always use basil essential oil instead of fresh basil. I happened to have fresh basil on hand and I also think it looks pretty.

Salt is a natural preservative so no need to worry about the oils or basil going rancid.  I know some of you may be into substituting recipes for what you have on hand, I am a huge advocate for that.  But in this case, please do not use sugar in place of the salt or you may need to refrigerate it (because of the fresh basil) which just isn’t very convenient for something you’re going to use in the bathroom.

PEPPERMINT SALT BATH SOAK

Peppermint Bath Soak | Tiffany Lane

Peppermint Bath Soak | Tiffany Lane

Peppermint Bath Soak | Tiffany Lane

Ingredients
2 cups salt

2-4 tablespoons peppermint essential oil

This is probably one of the easiest homemade gifts I’ve ever made.  Two ingredients and stir or shake to coat. It doesn’t get much better than that. I used both rock salts and fine salt for a lovely combination, then added in a bit of peppermint oil until fragrant. Endless possibilities for scents, use whatever you have on hand.

Need some more homemade gift ideas?

Candles are another great homemade gift that would go along nicely with these.  I can see myself now soaking in my salt bath, hands and face scrubbed smooth, and a refreshing candle glowing away. Check out my recent post for the full candle making DIY.

And don’t forget about the lip balm to round it out. This one is definitely on my gift list. As a matter of fact, I already ordered my containers and labels, just waiting for them to arrive so I can begin the preparations!

If you’re looking for a bigger ticket item, most women love massages and they make great gifts.  Go for a gift card to a local spa and add on a homemade body care gift or two for a cute package.

READER FEEDBACK: What are your favorite homemade gifts to give and receive?

P.S. This post can be found at Holistic Home Link Party!

*Tiffany Lane Handmade is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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Filed under Gift Giving, Holiday Crafts

Recipe: Roasted Eggplant with Pesto, Parsley and Lemon

Roasted Eggplant with Pesto, Parsley and Lemon | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Roasted Eggplant with Pesto, Parsley and Lemon | Tiffany Lane HandmadeWhen the hubs is out I tend to make yummy veggie dishes for dinner. Since he’s a carnivore and all, he wouldn’t appreciate this as much as I do. But don’t get me wrong, anyone who likes eggplant will love this!

One of my favorite things about this recipe is the fact that I threw it together with my on-their-last-leg eggplants, homemade pesto from the weekend and leftover parsley from the pesto. Those tend to be my favorites.  The ones just thrown together out of necessity rather than the long thought out/thoroughly planned dinners. Something about the spontaneous creativity makes them taste better.

The other thing I LOVE about it?  It’s so quick and easy!  Just a few ingredients and a few minutes for cooking.

While I ate mine warm, hot off the stove, I would venture to guess this would be just as delicious cooled. I’m thinking on a hot summer afternoon served with lemon/cucumber water and watermelon/basil skewers.  Yum!

If you’ll notice, I don’t have much for measurements (besides for the pesto recipe that follows) because there really are no measurements.  It’s all to taste, so just go for it.

ROASTED EGGPLANT WITH PESTO, PARSLEY AND LEMON

Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients
eggplant
olive oil
salt/pepper
parsley almond pesto (recipe below or use any other type)
fresh parsley, chopped

lemon juice

Parsley Almond Pesto Ingredients (adapted from Gourmette NYC)
1 cup almonds
4 clove garlic
6 cups parsley
1 1/4 cups olive oil
1 medium lemon, zested and juiced

salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

Slice your eggplant into rounds then roast or grill to desired done-ness.  I like mine al dente, if you will.  Barely cooked through in the center, soft with crunchy edges on the top and bottom from roasting.

Top with pesto, parsley and fresh lemon juice.

Parsley Almond Pesto Preparation

In a food processor, pulse the almonds, garlic and parsley until chopped.  With the machine running, slowly add in olive oil in a steady stream until incorporated and to desired consistency. Then add lemon juice and zest, followed by salt and pepper to taste.

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Recipe: My Favorite Smoothies

I absolutely love smoothies and the weather is definitely warm enough here in SoCal for plenty of them.  They’re my go to snack after a good workout; great for breakfast and dessert too.  Here are a few of my favorite variations.  The beauty of smoothies is that they can easily be altered depending on what you’ve got on hand, plus they make for great freezer pops too!

A note about my smoothies.  I like to keep all the nutrients I can, so I always leave skins on apples, etc.  I do remove peels from bananas and citrus, but whenever I use citrus, I grate and add the zest to the smoothie too.  When using oranges and other citrus, I use it whole, not just the juice, for all the fiber.  I also use all organic ingredients (in all my recipes) whenever possible and as far as the dairy and dairy alternatives go, I use whole products (no low fat or fat free in our house).

BANANA BERRY SMOOTHIE

Ingredients
1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen – if frozen, add more milk)
1 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup yogurt (greek or standard)
1/4 cup milk (of your choice)
 
Note: you could use all yogurt or all milk depending on your desired thickness.
 

BANANA DATE SMOOTHIE

Ingredients
2 ripe bananas (fresh or frozen – if frozen, add more milk)
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup milk (of your choice)
 
Note: this one would be yummy with a little cinnamon and/or nutmeg too.

APPLE (OR PEAR) FIZZ SMOOTHIE

Ingredients
2 cups apple slices, frozen (pear would work great)
1 cup apple juice (or other mild juice – pear would work great)

ORANGE CREAM SMOOTHIE

Ingredients
1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen – if frozen, add more milk)
1 orange, zested then peel removed
1/4 cup milk (of your choice)
1 tsp vanilla extract

BERRY YOGURT SMOOTHIE (pictured)

Ingredients
2 cups berries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup greek yogurt
3/4 cup soy milk
3 tbsp honey or agave syrup (more or less to taste, tart berries need a little more)
 

FRUIT ONLY (DAIRY FREE) SMOOTHIE

Ingredients
1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen – if frozen, add juice)
1 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
1 orange, zested then peel removed
1 apple or pear
 
GREEN SMOOTHIE (IMMUNE BOOSTER)
 
Ingredients
1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen – if frozen, add juice)
1 apple or pear
1-2 cups raw spinach and/or kale (to taste)
1/2 medium lemon, zested then peel removed
1 tbsp ginger (freshly grated or ground)
1 tbsp honey
 
 
For Freezer Pops:
Blend all ingredients and pour into freezer molds or ice cube trays (with toothpicks).  Freeze for 2-3 hours or overnight.  If you use some other container besides popsicle molds, like ice cube trays, freeze for 1 hour until they just begin to set, then insert toothpicks or popsicle sticks and return to freezer for the remaining 1-2 hours.

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DIY: Rubber Stamps

This is a project I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while now.  Why it took me so long to actually do it, who knows.  Especially because this project is so simple and inexpensive!

Active Time: 15-30 minutes

What You’ll Need:

DIY rubber stamps 1 - tiffany lane

What To Do:

Draw or stencil your design onto the eraser.  As you can see in the photo below, I erased my drawings a few times!  I definitely should have used a stencil.

DIY rubber stamps 2 - tiffany lane

Now it’s time to cut out the negative space of the eraser.  I like to trace my design first, then cut away the rest.  When making your first cut, try to use a straight edge of your drawing (if you have one) and cut down about half way into the eraser.  Carefully carve out the rest, being sure to cut away from your body and fingers so you don’t stab yourself like I did. Guess I still haven’t learned my lesson from all those times I thought I could defy the inevitable, decided to cut towards myself and of course stabbed or sliced my hands and fingers.  Some things never change.

DIY rubber stamps 3 - tiffany lane

Once you’ve carved out your design, clean up any strays (I had lots!) and you’re ready to stamp.

DIY rubber stamps 4 - tiffany lane

DIY rubber stamps 5 - tiffany lane

DIY rubber stamps 6 - tiffany lane

Maybe next time I’ll make a chevron stamp!  What are you going to make?

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Recipe: Brown Rice, Black Bean & Veggie Salad + Quick Tip

I love rice and beans, then to jazz that up with some fresh, raw veggies makes it a meal!

I had an event to work for my farm job over the weekend and wanted something fresh, filling and healthy to bring with me for my lunch one day and dinner another.  I also didn’t have much time to prep such a thing, but found quick cooking rice in the pantry along with a variety of fresh veggies in the fridge.  Here’s my quick tip: since I don’t care much for chopping tons of veggies, an idea dawned on me: use the grater! I’ve used the grater before for carrots when making carrot cake and such, but never for bell peppers and onions.  It worked wonders and I was done prepping in a flash.

Brown Rice, Black Bean and Veggie Salad

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked brown rice (quick cooking or other)
2 cans black beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 red bell pepper
2 small carrots
1/4 small red onion
1/2 avocado (or a whole one if you like a lot)
7-8 cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro to taste (optional, not pictured)
 
Preparation
Prepare your rice according to package instructions.  Meanwhile, drain your black beans and corn (I drained them together, and saved the mixed “broth” to freeze for making soups later).  Grate the carrots, bell pepper and onion.  When you grate the bell pepper, the skin might flake off, which is fine, I just tossed the skin.  Dice your tomatoes.  Toss the veggies together in a large bowl.  Now score the avocado half cross wise in two directions to make lots of small pieces, then use a spoon to scoop it from the skin into the bowl.  If you’re using cilantro, chop then add to mixture.

Once your rice is done, allow to cool for a few minutes so it’s not scolding hot.  Then add into the bowl and mix everything together, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy warm or cold.

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