Lifemadehappy Efficieny Tip- Flavoured oil

The next time you need to saute something, make some flavoured oil as well.

You can flavour the oil with things that you like. One of my favourites is a garlic, lemongrass oil.

In a pan, I saute up some crushed garlic and lemongrass with a tablespoon of oil on medium heat until golden brown. Then I add about ½ cup of oil to the pan for about 5 minutes.  You should be able to smell the aroma of the garlic and lemongrass.  When it is cool, transfer to a jar and refrigerate.  Leave a bit on the pan and go ahead with sautéing your dish.

You then have some delicious subtly flavoured oil to easily use the next few times.


Lifemadehappy efficiency tips- Shutter/ Aperture How To

p docI always have trouble remembering how the aperture and shutter speed works when taking pictures with my manual camera. By having this info graphic close by, it serves as a quick refresher when I pull out my camera and makes everything really clear at a glance.

I found this info graphic at –

Diagram: New Mobile Life


KitKat chocolate croissants

I had a croissant themed Valentine’s dinner this past week with cheese croissant hotdogs with a variety of toppings. However, I think the star of the evening was the KitKat chocolate croissants.

I used pretzel croissants, but any type of croissants will do. We cut the croissant across in half horizontally, but not all the way and filled it with chocolate chips. Use as much or as little as you like.

Then we toasted the croissants until the chocolate melted. After removing the croissants from the toaster over, we put a piece of KitKat in each croissant.

The nice crunch with the melted chocolate made this dessert different. We added some strawberries as well to make it more decadent.



Recycled Christmas art

Christmas is truly my favourite time of the year. The lights, Christmas trees, decorating the house, time spent with family, eating, school concerts, more eating and all the magical events that go together with the season makes this truly the most wonderful time of the year for me.

With decorating, comes an opportunity to make some Christmas crafts. This year, I needed to add some decorations to the mantle in my family room and I was waiting for inspiration to hit. It came when I was at my local craft store- I could paint some festive quotes. My next question was what would my canvas be? I do love to make my craft out of recycled materials and I was running down a list of things that I had at home, when I realized that I had some boxes to get rid of. I cut up the box to make my canvas. In fact, I feel that painting on the boxes gave this artwork a more rustic feel.

I used the last of some ribbon that I bought over 10 years ago to finish off the project. I certainly feel merry and bright when I look at my new artwork. It brings me comfort and joy!



Roobois Chai Tea

I do like to start my weekend morning with a cup of Chai. I find it hearty and nourishing, and at the same time very relaxing to sip on my cup of tea.

I have been experimenting with different variations of spices and like this version the best. I use Roobois tea and almond milk, but this can be substituted with black tea and regular milk. I grind up a batch using my mortar and pestle and then steep up my tea when I am ready for a cup.

Chai mix

1 tbsp ground ginger

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp cloves

1 tbsp cardamom pods

1 tsp all spice


  1. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind all the spices.
  2. Store in a container. This should make about 3- 4 cups of chai


Chai tea

1 tbsp chai mix

1 tbsp roobois tea


  1. Add 1 cup of milk to a pot. Simmer on medium low heat. Add 1 tbsp of chai mix and 1 tbsp of roboois tea. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Use a tea strainer, to strain the milk into a cup.

I usually add another cup of milk to the roboois chai mix. I find the second cup to be as delicious as the first. Play around with the amount of chai mix. If you like it less strong, then add less chai mix to the milk.


DIY Luggage tags

We are redoing our laundry room and part of the process has been to figure out what counter-tops, cabinets etc to purchase. Thankfully all the decisions have been made and now we need to install all our purchases.

We had some leftover counter-tops samples and I figured that they could be recycled into luggage tags. Using some hot glue, I stuck two pieces together, covered the sides with tape and stuck on some fabric decorations that I had.


Gluten free Quinoa Cake

Quinoa cake? When I first saw this recipe posted by Joy McCarthy -, I was a little skeptical.  But I thought I should give it a try because wouldn’t it be wonderful to find a healthy and delicious recipe.

I have to say that I absolutely love this cake. I really enjoyed the slight bite the quinoa gives it. My only change was just to use the maple syrup and not the additional sugar. I found it sweet enough. I also used really rich cocoa powder to give it a really nice richness.

I have been having this cake as my treat every day. Simply delicious. Thanks Joy for sharing.

Kale and Chickpea soup

My husband does not like chickpeas or kale, but he really enjoyed this soup. I used yams instead of potato for an added sweetness. I also used no sodium chicken and beef broth, for an extra hearty flavour.


1 onion, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 celery stalks, sliced

4 carrots, sliced

500 ml chicken broth

500 ml beef broth

2 yams, diced

5 slices prosciutto

1 bunch of kale, cut  up

2 can chickpeas

1/2 cup barley

1 tbsp olive oil


1. Pan fry the onions until golden brown. Add garlic, celery and carrots. Pan fry for a couple of minutes.

2.  Pour broth into a pot. Add onions, garlic, celery.

3. Add barley and yams. When the yams are almost cooked, add in kale, prosciutto and chickpeas.

4. Simmer for a few minutes and then enjoy!


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Hot Chocolate microwave cake

We bought a big container of hot chocolate mix for my daughter’s birthday party and now have tons lots over, so I started experimenting with hot chocolate mix recipe cakes that can be made in the microwave. This recipe is really easy. I got my kids to make it by themselves as a special and they loved it. You could use a mug, but we used bowls. Depending if you like it a little molten, you can cook it a little less, but it should be done in about 3 minutes. My daughter wanted hers to be a little under cooked (see picture below). She plans to make this when her friend comes over for a playdate on Saturday. This mix would also work really well as a present.

6 tbsp hot chocolate mix
4 tbsp whole wheat flour (sure why don’t we make this as healthy as we can)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp water

1/2 tsp vanilla
A handful of chocolate chips
3-4 small marshmallows (optional)
Strawberries (optional)

1/2 tbsp peanut butter (optional)


1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl well with a fork.
2. Microwave for about 2-3 minutes until set.

Zucchini pasta with an Asian twist


This Zucchini pasta makes a very healthy but delicious meal. I was actually not looking forward to having a lunch with so much vegetable, but the Asian seasoning gave this meal a very delicious and flavourful twist. You can probably add in any vegetables that you like. The zucchini and carrots stay crunchy and make a good base for this meal. If you prefer, you could add salmon or tuna to the pasta salad instead of crab.

1 zucchini, grated into long strips (remove most of the skin)
2 carrots, grated into long strips
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can crab meat
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tbsp lime juice

1. Mix crab meat and vegetables together.
2. Mix the sesame oil, lime and soy sauce together. Toss into salad.
3. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the pasta salad.

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