The smell of watermelon smells summer

One of my fav refreshing summer fruits is watermelon.  Cold, sweet and filling.  Great for bbq’s and get togethers with family and friends.

I like to turn almost everything into art and i’ve discovered some great looking and tasting watermelon presentations that will wow your guests.

Watermelon Cake – the healthy kind!

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Limeade

Watermelon Punch in a DIY Watermelon Bowl

 

Source: http://www.marthastewart.com/356772/watermelon-recipes/@center/276964/60-days-summer#/852294

Spinach and Tandoori Chicken Pizza

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel you’ve tasted everything and nothing you think of is making your taste buds tantalize?  Well, I was having a few of those days.  I just couldn’t think of anything different to make for dinner until I entered the grocery store and stood staring at piles of green spinach. Fireworks starting exploding in my head as to what i can do with them and at the same time feeling guilty about trying to get more greens on the dinner table. I couldn’t think of a thing to make with spinach and didn’t know what I would make with them so inevitably I grabbed 2 bunches.

So I came up with pizza. Yes pizza and since we have 2 young boys, take out pizza usually means a cheese pizza with nothing other than cheese on top so specialty pizza’s are out of the question for us.  But my boys love spinach and so does Popeye the Sailor Man…..I salute Popeye for my boys love for this wonderfully healthy vegetable.

This is with all the toppings except for the shredded mozzarella cheese      

Pizza with the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients:

1 fresh spinach bunch

10-15 cherry tomatoes (or as many as desired)

1 lb chicken breast

pizza sauce (or if you have neglected pasta sauce in the fridge)

mozzarella cheese

salt and pepper for sprinkling

oil

chicken marinate:

1 ground tomato

1 tblsp tandoori masala

1/4 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp garlic

STEPS:

You may either buy ready made pizza dough at your local grocery store or make it yourself with some simple ingredients such as self rising yeast, salt, oil, warm water and all-purpose flour  but you’ll have to wait a few hours for the dough to rise (google pizza dough recipe).

Clean and cube the chicken breast then marinate it with the above ingredients and set aside for at least one hour.

Clean and drain spinach and cut into medium size pieces and then cook in a pan for about 5-10 minutes or until most of the water is evaporated from the spinach (don’t over cook the spinach to the point where it has wilted).  Then add 1 tbsp of oil, some salt and pepper to taste and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from hot stove.

Meanwhile, roll out the dough onto a pizza pan and then spread some pizza sauce on top. Next, add halved cherry tomatoes and the cooked spinach.

How to cook the chicken:

Place 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and then add your marinated chicken and cook on medium for about 10-15 minutes or until chicken is done.  If the chicken still isn’t done and its starting to stick to the pan then add a little more oil to allow the chicken to cook.  Once the chicken is done, add it to the pizza.

Once all toppings are on the pizza, sprinkle it with some salt and pepper (and crushed red chilli flakes for a kick) and lastly add mozzarella cheese.

I like to drizzle the top with some olive oil as well.

Bake at 350F for roughly 30 minutes.  One way to check if the pizza is ready is by lifting the pizza with a  flat spatula to see if it’s brownish in colour.

Voila!  Spinach and Tandoori Chicken Pizza.  Eat your hearts content.

Manuka Honey

Ever heard of Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a mono floral honey (mono floral is a type of honey which has a distinctive flavour or other attribute due to the fact that it is predominantly from the nectar of one plant species.) produced by the manuka tree located  in New Zealand and Australia.    Typically, manuka honey is dark in colour and has a strong flavour.

  How is Manuka Honey good for you?

Manuka Honey has become known as the ‘healing honey’ and its therapeutic qualities have now become well documented.

In particular, active manuka honey provides you with powerful, natural, antibiotic and antiseptic properties. It can be used both internally, for example it is good for digestive problems and peptic and stomach ulcers, or externally, such as on cuts / wounds, skin infections and leg ulcers. It can even be obtained in a sterilised form in a tube for external use.

What gives Active Manuka Honey its special antibacterial and antiseptic properties?

All honey contains a level of hydrogen peroxide. However,the level can vary widely between different honeys.

Active manuka honey contains an additional antibacterial property, refered to as the ‘unique manuka factor (UMF), which can only be found in honey sourced from the Leptospermum plants. To determine if this additional factor is present, and to what extent, the manuka honey undergoes a test for its level of antibacterial activity. If the antibacterial activity is found to be sufficiently high, then it is given a UMF label and a number (eg 10+, 20+) that indicates the strength of antibacterial activity in the honey.

What conditions can Active Manuka Honey help you with?

You can get different products that are aimed at either internal or external uses. If you have an external condition such as a cut or wound, or a burn, then you should choose a sterilised active manuka honey.
Some of the conditions it can assist you with are:

    • Digestive problems
    • Skin Acne                                                                                                   
    • Skin infections, eczema
    • Ulcers in the stomach area
    • Cuts and wound treatment
    • Substitute for sugar
Treating Acne with Manuka Honey
Manuka Honey is excellent for the treatment of acne because acne is caused by bacteria that clog the pores and Manuka Honey contains very powerful antibacterial properties.

Research has shown that Manuka honey has the ability to draw moisture out of the acne-causing bacterial cells, making it impossible for them to survive. It rids impurities from the skin, along with unclogging pores and clearing breakouts. Manuka honey acne treatment functions by penetrating deep in the blocked follicle, killing the bacteria, and unblocking the follicle to release the infection. As the follicle is cleared and sterile, the acne heals rapidly while reducing, and sometimes preventing the formation of scars.Many acne products contain certain ingredients that can dry the skin and cause other negative side effects. Manuka honey has been found to cause none and is very moisturizing. The hydrating quality of Manuka honey helps to decrease the irritation caused by acne and other skin problems. It’s anti-inflammatory properties also help to reduce redness, pain and swelling. By applying Manuka honey to affected areas, blemishes and acne scars will disappear, restoring your skin to its original form.

Using Manuka honey for pimples, blemishes and acne scars is a gentle way of ridding dryness and cleansing your skin.

Tips on how to choose Quality Active Manuka Honey

Proper UMF Active Manuka Honey complies with all 5 of the following criteria for Genuine UMF Manuka Honey as recommended by the Active Manuka Honey Association.

1. It has the name UMF clearly stated on the front label.
2. It is packed into jars and labelled in New Zealand.
3. It is from a New Zealand company licensed to use the name UMF.
4. It has the UMF licensee’s name on the front label.
5. It has a rating of UMF10 or more.

Manuka Honey Face Mask Recipes

For Firming the Face

Ingredients:

    • Manuka Honey (1 tablespoon)
    • Egg White (1 egg)
    • Glycerin (1 teaspoon)
    • Flour (¼ cup)

Directions: Mix the honey, glycerin and egg white to make a solution. Then add flour and mix well, creating a paste. Apply evenly to the face and neck. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.

As a Facial

Ingredients:

    • Manuka Honey (1 cup)
    • Oatmeal (Uncooked, 1 cup)
    • Olive Oil (¼ teaspoon)
    • Avocado (½ cup)

Directions: Mix the honey, olive oil, oatmeal and avocado in a bowl. Apply to evenly the face and neck. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.

As a Moisturizing Pack

Ingredients:

    • Manuka Honey (2 tablespoons)
    • Whole Milk (2 teaspoons)

Directions: Mix the honey and milk into a smooth consistency. Apply evenly to the face and neck. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and rinse off with cold water.

For Fighting Acne

Ingredients:

    • Manuka Honey (2-3 tablespoons)
    • Cinnamon Powder (3-4 tablespoons)

Directions: Mix the honey and cinnamon powder into a smooth consistency. Apply directly on affected areas or the entire face before sleeping. Leave on for the entire night and wash it with warm water the morning after.

As a Nourishing Mask

Ingredients:

    • Manuka Honey (1 tablespoon)
    • Aloe Vera Juice (1 tablespoon)
    • Kelp Powder (1 tablespoon)

Directions: Mix the honey, aloe and kelp powder to the desired consistency. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes before use. Apply a thick layer onto the face and neck. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. Wait for 30 minutes then rinse off with cold water. Make sure that you do not use soap to wash your face.

It is important to use raw, unprocessed Manuka Honey as ordinary honey is heated and pasteurized during the packing process. This destroys the enzymes and natural healing properties that are present in honey. Additionally, Manuka Honey contains far more healing properties than any other type of honey. It is recommended that you use Manuka Honey with a UMF rating between 10 and 16. Less than 10 is not potent enough and more than 16 is too potent.

Article courtesy of

http://www.manuka-hon

Popsicles and Lollipops

Some really cool popsicle recipes for the summer….indulge

 Berry Yougurt Popsicles

 

                      recipe by skinny taste.com

Watermelon Mint Popsicles

Recipe by Eating Out Loud.com

Honey Yogurt Berry Pops

Recipe by Joylicious.com

 Mango Lassi Pops

Recipe by Desserts for Breakfast.com

Sunshine Pops

Recipe by Marthstewart.com

Raspberry and White Cherry Yogurt Pops

Recipe by versesfrommykitchen.com