Tag Archives: recipe

Sunny Saturday Carrot Cake and Latte

I think it’s important to do things that are good for our spirits, even if it’s simply to make ourselves feel good. My beau was away on the weekend and I was at home staying warm and doing homework, so I decided to make myself one of my all time favourite cakes: Carrot cake. It’s sweet smell filled up my apartment and I felt good baking and then indulging. However, I am careful not to over-sweeten my cakes and I use alternative flours a lot of the time so that it’s not as heavy and it stays relatively healthy.

For me, carrot cake should not be refined. I go with the idea that it’s more of a loaf, something I can eat for breakfast and not feel ill.

Here is how I do it:

1 cup almond meal
1 cup self-raising plain flour
1/2 cup quinoa
4 teaspoon mixed spice (I use cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, pepper, vanilla)
1 cup brown sugar (or any unrefined sugar- makes the cake so much richer and gives a taste of caramel)
2 1/2 cups of grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts (half of these to put on the icing)
2/3 cup of either coconut oil or ghee
3 eggs, lightly beaten
150g of natural yoghurt

For the icing:
250 g cream cheese
1 rind of lemon or lime
honey

What next?
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 19cm cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.

Sift flour, almond meal, quinoa and spice into a bowl. Add sugar, carrot, chopped walnuts, coconut oil/ghee, natural yoghurt and eggs. Stir to combine. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean (cover loosely with foil if over-browning). Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing mix the cream cheese, grated rind and honey to taste. Spread over cake. Decorate with walnuts. ENJOY

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake and morning latté

Carrot Cake and morning latté

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

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Snacks for my Loved One.

I often make J muffins that I freeze and he takes one out every morning for his snack. Gosh I spoil him. The last batch I made was banana, blueberry and müesli.

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Tonight we leave for Pondicherry until the 4th of January. Have you seen my pictures of our last trip there?

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French Onion Soup

There is nothing better to warm yourself up in Winter than a bowl of steaming French onion soup.
Onion soups have been popular at least as far back as Roman times. They were, throughout history, seen as food for poor people, as onions were plentiful and easy to grow. The modern version of this soup originates in France in the 18th century, made from beef broth, and caramelized onions. It is often finished by being placed under a grill in a ramekin traditionally with croutons and gruyère melted on top. The crouton on top is reminiscent of ancient soups.

Today, it is still a soup that don’t cost a lot to make but is not at all seen as a soup for the poor (not that we care because it’s delicious! It’s just interesting to see how things change with time).

french onion soup oh la la livia

french onion soup oh la la livia

For two people I used:

8 brown onions
Teaspoon of coconut oil
Herbes de Provence
Bay leaves
6 cloves of garlic
Gruyère

Fry up the onion in the coconut oil until they are soft. Now add them to a saucepan with the coconut oil (this doesn’t flavour the soup at all, it’s just the healthy option, see here for details.) Now add about 5 cups of water and keep adding water when the levels get low. Keep it simmering on low for a couple of hours.

French Onion Soup with croutons by Oh la la Livia

French Onion Soup with croutons by Oh la la Livia

For the croutons, I put them in the oven with cheese on them and placed them on the top of the soup.
Delish! Enjoy and keep warm this Winter

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Cupcake Camp Paris III at Comptoir Général for Make A Wish Foundation

Cupcake Camp III was held last Saturday at the Comptoir Général. All of the Cupcake pros in Paris were there, like SugarDaze and Beauty Cakes and all of the proceeds went to Make a Wish Foundation France. In total we made a little over 5500 euros, which really shows the wonderful participation of everybody and great spirit.

Kristen from The Kale Project made kale cupcakes and you can click here to get the recipe.

The theme was Halloween so many of the cupcakes were oh-so-spooky!

These lovely ones were made by la Dinette de Nelly, a lovely young French woman who I found to be very creative and welcoming.

I made Flourless Chocolate Cake for those of you wanting a little break from the flour after downing a couple of high-carbohydrate cupcakes (hehe!). I used the same recipe as this one, but I didn’t put in the raspberries this time. My amazing sprinkles came from The Sprinkle Box Shop. More details here.

Thanks to Elodie Garbé for her marvelous illustrations, as always. She can draw whatever you want for a very reasonable price.

My J took a while to choose his cupcakes but came back with these three:

It was really a wonderful day and I’d like to thank Bryan and Cat for making it happen! I can’t wait for next year.

In other news, if you want the chance to win some lovely soap, click here. Or else a funky bracelet by OOAKjewelz, click here.

Want to decorate cupcakes? My readers have been offered a 10% discount for the month of November with the code PARIS10 on this website. All you have to do is enter the coupon code at checkout.

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Healthy Chai Tea: One of My Biggest Joys in Life

Chai is a great coffee substitute. From the moment I had my first chai at the young age of around 9, I was smitten.

Unlike coffee, chai has many inherently beneficial properties. The black tea in chai is rich in antioxidants and the spices in chai have been used for thousands of years to promote general health and well-being, as well as to treat various ailments.

According to Ayurvedic (Ancient Indian) philosophy and medicine, these spices are considered to be “sattvic,” or calming, vitalizing and mentally clarifying – The perfect antidote to the stresses of modern life!

Here is why:

Cinnamon is thought to increase circulation and open breathing, increase awareness and vitality, and reduce fatigue. It is also reputed to be an aphrodisiac! (Hubba hubba!)

Cardamom
A popular spice in both the Indian and Chinese preparations, cardamom is said to benefit the lungs, kidneys, and heart. It is also a mood elevator.

Clove
Native to the spice islands of Indonesia, cloves have been used by the Chinese since 300 BC, and came to Europe in the 4th and 5th Centuries AD. Cloves have pain-relieving and antiseptic attributes. Like pepper and ginger, clove is also used to synergistically increase the potency of other herbal blends.

Black Pepper
Widely used to support circulation and metabolism, black pepper can help to alleviate chronic coldness. (We can use more of that here in Paris, in the winter!)

Nutmeg
Nutmeg has been used for centuries to ease sciatica and promote the digestion of heavy foods. It was also used by ancient Arab physicians to treat kidney and lymph problems.

Chinese Star Anise
Traditional Asian herbalists credit star anise with a variety of properties. It’s used frequently as a cough remedy and to freshen the breath.

Ginger
Long valued as a stimulant for the circulatory and the immune systems, ginger has been used to treat such disparate conditions as impotence and motion sickness. I’m mad about ginger. Read my post here.

Fennel
An important medicinal plant in the royal herb gardens of medieval France and Germany, fennel is still widely used to treat both kidney and ocular problems, as well as laryngitis.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You want a chai latté? Please do not, for the love of the human race, go drink them at Starbucks. Not only are they expensive, but the milk is genetically modified, and it isn’t real chai. It’s concentrated sugar with favour added. This is not chai. What you need is a saucepan, good organic fresh milk (unlike what is easily found here in France) and a good chai mix. You boil everything up together in the milk and strain it after a few minutes of simmering.

I will soon post my own chai recipe. I hope you love and it gets you through the winter time. I certainly need it!

I am also going to attempt chai shortbread. Om nom nom.

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1 Year Anniversary of our PACS love in France

One year ago J and I signed a piece of French paper to declare us a couple under French law. We had an afternoon tea and champagne gathering to celebrate. Check out these absolutely gorgeous cakes, what a spread!

When we tie the knot one day it will be even bigger and better. I’m thinking in a garden somewhere in Australia. With lots of flowers. Yes I’m a dreamer.

J sporting his moustache. He is so dapper.

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Oh La La Livia’s Weekend

J’s best friend got hitched on Saturday. It was a lovely day, and everybody had a good dance and laugh. After all that champagne I’m excited to get back into my healthy routine with kale this week and lots of Supergreens.

Winter is nearly here so I am starting to adjust our diet. It’s important to have warming slow-cooked foods that are easy to digest and soups, avoiding too many raw vegetables especially at night time.

I’ve been enjoying lots of salmon and avocado lately. Must be craving my Omega 3′s!

How do you get ready for Winter?

I wish you all a beautiful Monday and a lovely week! xx

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Raw Kale and Beetroot salad with Tahini Dressing

This salad is just divine. So earthy and refreshing. When I finally got my hands on some kale thanks to The Kale Project here in Paris, I went a bit kale nuts. Kristen from The Kale Project and I made this last week for a big vitamin boost.

You’ll need:

  • 1 bunch of curly, green kale
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 large golden beet (or two medium) You could also use regular red beets
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 -2 cm (1 inch) of ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime

Wash and cup up the kale into very small pieces, otherwise it’s a bit too leafy.

Peel the beets and grate them.

Grate the carrots.

Mix everything up.

Blend the salad dressing in a blender and pour it over the salad.

Enjoy it! My J enjoyed it which is really saying something.

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A Macaron Class in Paris For Two ❤

My J treated me to a macaron class last week and boy was it fun! Who ever know just how complicated macaron’s are to make. Well, we didn’t.

We learnt a lot and just look at that concentration on J’s face.

In other news, look at this interview with me on The Kale Project.

J and I booked tickets for Istanbul for a 3-day getaway in November. I cannot explain my excitement in words. (I can in cartwheels)

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Very Green Kale Smoothie

Why is kale so good for you?

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K.  It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K .Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw. (I like it raw and cooked)

Because of it’s very high chlorophyl levels, it balances your PH levels and counteracts the effects of acidic foods like red meat, pasta, cheese, cream and processed foods. This is very important for overall health and long-term well-being.

This kale smoothie is so delicious and is a real kick start to my day.

Cut up the kale, add as much as you like, I generally cut up around 4 big leaves.

One ripe banana.

A teaspoon of matcha.

A teaspoon of supergreens (this can be spirulina, or any super greens mix you use)

Half a cup of frozen raspberries

A cup of freshly brewed green tea, cooled, or at room temperature

Honey to taste

Half a cup of organic natural yoghurt

Mix and voilà!

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