GRAPEFRUIT TEQUILA COCKTAIL WITH MINT || EASY COCKTAIL RECIPE || BY NICOLE LEE


Hi Friends,

Can you believe we are almost to the 4th of July? It’s one of our favorite holidays, usually we spend the day in the pool or by the beach, have lots of yummy food, drinks and of course enjoy fireworks! What are your plans friends?

For drinks we usually have some fancy lemonade for the kids and “skinny” cocktails for adults. I’ve come up with this Blanco Tequila recipe that you can easily add to, or swap out things like the Cointreau and it still tastes great! Enjoy...


skinny grapefruit margaritas recipe

RECIPE: GRAPEFRUIT BLANCO “SKINNY” MARGARITAS | MAKES 1-2 Servings

INGREDIENTS: 2 oz High quality blanco tequila.
(I love @casamigos #NOTSPONSORED JUST A FAV)
3 -oz fresh squeezed GRAPEFRUIT juice,
ROCKS ICE ( as many fit in your shaker) or LOTS OF CUBED
Fresh mint leaves
Cocktail Shaker
2 oz San Palegrino
1/2 oz Cointreau liqueur

NOTE: Because of the vanilla notes in this tequila, it’s smooth and unlike other tequila's there isn’t that tequila STING in this drink.

DIRECTIONS: In your shaker place MINT, then MUDDLE the mint with tamper, add your ROCKS ICE, tequila, grapefruit juice, + cointreau. Place lid on. SHAKE FOR 1-2 min until it’s soooooooooo cold!!. Poor into GLASS over rocks ice and enjoy!!


easy tequila cocktail recipe

fourth of July diy cocktails

SAY HELLO! Fill out the form below, we'd love to hear from you!

-Nicole


Name *
Name

BAKED SUMMER SALMON RECIPE || WITH BLOOD ORANGE, FENNEL AND GARLIC BULBS


BAKED SALMON RECIPE 2small.jpg

Spring and Summer are my favorite times to eat fish. But I really could eat seafood everyday all year round. Lately, I've been into fresh, easy and fast. This wild alaskan salmon dish checks all the boxes and it’s so easy you can cook it with your eyes closed. Well maybe you might want them open? Either way let’s get cooking!


easy baked fish recipe

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients: **

4-6 WILD ALASKAN SALMON Fillets (please no farmed fish)
1 bulb of fresh fennel
2 blood oranges
2 full garlic bulbs
Pink Salt + Fresh Ground Pepper
MCT OIL

COOKING TOOLS: oven, Non-toxic metal sheet pan, paper towels and prep plate, chef knife and cutting board.

Directions:

1.PREHEAT the Oven to 325 degrees.
2.Grab your prep plate, take 2 sheets of paper towels and place on the plate. Gently, clean your salmon fillets, pat dry and place on top of the paper towels.
3.While they hang out slice your blood oranges, and cut the end of your bulb of fennel off. Set Aside. (TIP:The bulb can be cut up and eaten or saved for later.) Once dried place your salmon fillets on top of the sheet pan, drizzle with MCT OIL. Sprinkle Pink salt + Fresh ground pepper on top. Place one slice of Blood orange on each fillet. Then gently pick apart the fennel and place on top of the orange. Take the remainder of the Fennel and place next to the Salmon. Last, take your bulb of garlic and place on the pan. (You can break it apart a little too. )

4.Bake for 15-20 min. It's done when SALMONS flakes to touch of fork in the thickest part of the fillet.

TIPS: If you can’t afford wild alaskan salmon, you can replace it with mahi mahi, wild cod or anything for that matter. To Serve the salmon with a summer salad, white rice, or even boiled potatoes topped with butter. Our favorite way to have it is paired with seaweed and white rice! Enjoy!

-Cheers Nicole x


BAKED SALMON RECIPE 1 small.jpg

Name *
Name


VANILLA DAIRY FREE ICE CREAM RECIPE || TOPPED WITH FIGS AND RAW HONEY || NICOLE LEE FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER


VANILLA FIG ICE CREAM small 2.jpg


Confession,I have a deep love affair with making Ice Cream. Anybody with me?? There is something romantic in the cooking process, therapeutic even. Melting the sugar and vanilla into the coconut milk, watching it do a beautiful dance together, going from two forms into one. When I’m cooking I find myself grounded, in the most natural way. This thing takes over, becoming present in the moment, I’d like to call it Being.

There are times I’d find myself rushing the cooking process. Whatever dish I’d be attempting to cook, didn’t turn out good at ALL. The flavors were off, something was BURNED! What I noticed is BEING is the KEY to becoming a great COOK. If you’re busy doing other things, or your mind is wrapped in endless thoughts during the cooking process, Or you RUSH through it. You bet it will translate into the food. You can taste your anger, and wandering mind, and definitely the burn toast.  I started noticing there was more to cooking than only doing the motions, you have to FEEL it.

Think of cooking like an intimate dance, or making love. Take it slow, feel each ingredient, smell it, and move with the process, MOVE WITH THE FOOD. Turn off all distractions. Focus on cooking ONE thing and nothing else.You don’t want to rush the process, EMBRACE it. Embrace the mess ups to, because we don’t always get it right the first time. When that comes up brush it off, and KEEP GOING.  

Let’s go make some creamy Vanilla Ice cream!

-Nicole xox


DAIRY FREE ICE CREAM RECIPE, Topped with honey and fresh figs.

INGREDIENTS:**

4 cans full Fat organic coconut milk
2 whole pasture eggs PLUS **5 egg yolks **
4 tablespoons MCT Oil 1/2 cup raw sugar or SWERVE ( alternative sugar)
1-tablespoon vanilla paste or Vanilla extract works great
1-2 whole Vanilla Beans

TOOLS: 1 pot (dutch oven), whisk and an ice cream maker)

NOTE: PREP your cans of coconut in the refrigerator upside down overnight! Before you make the next day!

DIRECTIONS:

1.SEE ABOVE NOTE

2.Slice your vanilla beans in half, and with your knife blade scrape out the paste, put in small dish. Set aside. Next, open the cans of coconut milk and separate the fat and liquid. (You can save the liquid for another project, such as coconut water.) Put your pot on the stovetop and set on low heat. Add in the coconut milk, sugar, vanilla paste and beans to the pot. Whisk together until you see chunks of coconut dissolve. Cool liquid to room temperature, and set aside.

TIP: It’s key you keep your liquid warm and DO NOT boil. ( If it boils, take off heat and pop in the freezer for 20 min)

3.In another bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and yolks until light and fluffy. Add into the coconut mixture. Gently whisk again. Then place the bowl in the freezer for about an hour.

4.Once the mixture is cooled put it into the ice cream maker and follow your machines directions. About mid way through of churning add in your chocolate chips, or fresh chopped chocolate pieces berries or whatever you desire. If you keep this vanilla, serve with figs, and raw honey on top. Store in ice cream containers, or a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. The ice cream should make about 2 quarts.


Name *
Name

MESSY BEAUTIFUL || FINDING THE BEAUTY IN LIFE || GUACAMOLE RECIPE || NICOLE LEE



The last few months have been rocky, up down, and all the IN-BETWEEN. Personal bumps, health bumps, career bumps. I found myself wondering where do I want to take this little blog, my career, what do I really want to be spending my time creating? ULTIMATELY, asking myself what do YOU really want?

I came to the “aha” moment that I was Struggling with perfectionism in my life, and in my business. Actually made it easier to mood forward. I know I have talked about this before, about how FACING your ANXIETY, FEAR or thing you are trying to PUSH DOWN will ACTUALLY give you the Answers, and ultimately calm it down. PERFECTIONISM will drive YOU MAD. IT makes you freeze, fear takes over and you serve no one, not even yourself when you are in that place.  

Somewhere inside I got the courage to ask the universe for some answers. Show me something, anything!!! (Universe, show me some FUCKING SIGNS.) The answer that came SMACKING me in the face was DO MORE of WHAT you are ALREADY doing. STOP caring about it being PERFECT; just EMBRACE the MESSY BEAUTIFUL IN-BETWEEN. Now, this didn’t happen immediately, but within a few weeks more doors kept opening. The beautiful part is it was already THERE. My gut was nudging me in a direction, and I had to JUMP IN and Not LOOK BACK.

For the first time I feel aligned with myself, and what I am putting out there into the world. More of the MESSY BEAUTIFUL; life, food, recipes, love and finding the silver lining, while sharing it with you. Being honest, no bullshit approach. My hope is that I inspire you to do the same. To BE YOU, to eat good food, to find the MESSY BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS and EMBRACE them, LAUGH when you FUCK UP, and keep moving forward. Will you JOIN ME?

NOW, let us go make some guacamole and if you’re real smart you’ll make some Margaritas to go with.

Cheers,

Nicole



Guacamole recipe:

Makes enough for 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS: 4 avocados 1 clove garlic 2 bunches of cilantro 1 jalapeno 3-4 limes MCT OIL SPICES: Paprika Oregano Salt Pepper

TOOLS: Large bowl or large mortar and pestle Small bowl Chef’s Knife Spoon Fork Lime juicer Cutting board

DIRECTIONS:

STEP 1: prep all the ingredients. Starting with the cilantro, pull the leaves off the bunch and gently chop it. You’ll want to do one whole bunch. This should come out to about ½ cup to 1 cup. Put in a small bowl Set aside. TIP: place a damp paper towel over the fresh chopped cilantro. Roughly chop your clove of garlic. Set aside. Half and de-seed the jalapeno. You choose how spicy you’d like it to be by the amount of seeds you’ll be adding. I like it spicy so I’ll add about 1 half of the jalapeno, de seed the other but keep the pepper and chop it all up to add to the guacamole.

STEP 2: With your chef knife half your avocados and de-pit them, scoop them out with a spoon and place in the large bowl or mortar and pestle.

STEP 3: Add in all the cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic to the bowl of avocados. Then add; 1 spoon of paprika, 1 tsp. of oregano, 1 tablespoon of MCT oil, salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze 1 whole lime over the bowl. (Don’t mix yet)

STEP 4: Squeeze one lime over the avocado mix. Now start to mix with fork, or your mortar and pestle. Either works. Gently do this until you’ve got the avocados crushed, and it’s all mixed together. Next,TASTE! If it’s too fatty add one more half of lime, if its bland add salt. This is where you get to make the MAGIC.

STEP 5: ENJOY. Serve with chips, crackers, margaritas. You name it.


GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE || FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE 1small.jpg

Who doesn’t love CHOCOLATE? I’ve got the perfect cookie for you, with a low glycemic index you won’t feel a crash. And still get to ENJOY your CHOCOLATE! Recipe below!

Tell me what YOU THINK, Or tag me in your BAKING ADVENTURES!

CHEERS + LOVE,

Nicole



GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, or mix of avocado + Olive oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup swerve alternate sugar
  • 2 pasture eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups @bobsredmill GF all purpose baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 bag 85 % chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS: In large bowl pour all liquid ingredients, mix. Then add one egg at time. Mix again, Set aside.

In a separate bowl measure out dry ingredients, then add to wet ingredients. Add in chocolate chips. Mix together, if dough seems wet, add 1 tablespoon of flour mix and repeat.

Store in fridge for 1 hour to up to 24 hours. Then Bake. At 350 degrees for 15 min, let cool and enjoy!


CHOCOALTE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE 5small.jpg

GF CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE 6small.jpg

GF CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE 4small.jpg



SAY HELLO! (fill out form below!)


Name *
Name

"POP UP" WORKSHOP with WEST ELM PHX || FOOD + LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


Hello Friends, 

Come hang next week! Details below,

-Cheers, xx Nicole

PS FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW IF YOU'D LIKE TO ATTEND! 


We’ll bring the drinks! 

Come join us for an evening of messy fun. We've partnered with West Elm PHX  to host a “POP UP” Workshop. We'll be preparing a simple dish, style food scenes, photograph and edit beautiful shots with our IPHONES. 


 March 8th, 2018
  4pm-6:30pm

         West Elm PHOENIX        
Cost: $25

We'll be learning;
IPHONE Photography   
                               Styling Tips + Tricks
                                
                                                                                                                                                                                            
 BONUSES;
PDF Guide of recipes, IPHONE photography + editing,
Styling + Prop TIPS! 
Swag bag + Potted Succulent   
                                    
Bubbly drinks + food to nibble on during the event!                                                               

Number of spaces are limited so Grab your seat! 


GUACAMOLE 2small*.jpg


Name *
Name

EASY DIY VALENTINES BOX | RECIPE || PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE ||


Hello friends,

Homework is torture, yes. Why they do it, and why we want them to stop is for another post. Embracing it is half the battle. (having a good attitude yourself doesn’t hurt either). Doing homework with your kids can be fun. Let it be fun. When we got this weeks drill it included making valentines boxes for valentines day. Which means we have two choices, one: bitch and moan or two: EMBRACE IT. We looked at it as an opportunity to hang with the kids and get some extra art in. We blasted some music, stuffed our faces with guacamole, made the Valentines Boxes and had a HELL of a TIME!

Cheers

-Nicole



EASY DIY VALENTINES BOX

EASY DIY VALENTINES BOXES:

SUPPLIES:

OLD SHOE BOXES
MOD PODGE MATT FINISH
PAINT BRUSH
COLORFUL TISSUE PAPER
GLITTER
PAINTS
PENS
TAPE

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO CONSIDER, FOR HAVING A GOOD TIME:

YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC KIDS (OR NO KIDS)
YOUR FAVORITE SNACKS, HIGHLY RECCOMMENTED : POPCORN + QUACAMOLE

DIRECTIONS:

TAKE ONE PIECE OF YOUR COLORFUL TISSUE PAPER FACE THAT DOWN ON THE TABLE ( THE COLOR SIDE DOWN) PLACE YOUR BOX IN THE MIDDLE.WITH YOUR PAINT BRUSH, DIP IT INTO THE MOD PODGE SPREAD AN EVEN COAT OVER YOUR CARDBOARD BOX BOTTOM, PLACE THAT ONTO THE TISSUE PAPER, (SEE UBOVE FOR EXAMPLE IN PHOTO) THEN GIVE THE BOTTOM A GOOD PAT WITH YOUR HAND TO SMOOTH THE BUMBS OUT. THEN DO THE SAME TO ALL THE SIDES. IT DOESNT HAVE TO BE PERFECT JUST GET THEM TO STICK, AND THEN ONCE THATS DONE, PUT ANOTHER COAT OF MOD PODGE OVER THE WHOLE BOX AND GET IT NICE AND COATED! IF YOU LIKE SPARKELS ADD THE GLITTER! LET DRY FOR 1 HOUR - TWO HOURS. YOU CAN MAKE YOUR SLIT FOR THE LETTERS ONCE DRY.

NOTE: THIS IS SOMETHING THE KIDS CAN DO, SO GET A BOX FOR YOURSELF AND SHOW THEM HOW ITS DONE, OR DO IT AT THE SAME TIME AND GUIDE THEM, ONCE THEY HAVE THE HANG OF IT THEY CAN EASILY TO IT THEMSELFS. THE KEY HERE IS NOT PERFECTION, ITS FUN! LET THEM GET INTO IT.

ONCE DRY YOU CAN FILL IT WITH YOUR VALENTINES CARDS!


EASY DIY VALENTINE BOX 10.jpg

EASY DIY VALENTINES BOX

EASY DIY VALENTINES BOX 12.jpg

EASY DIY VALENTINES BOXES

EASY DIY VALENTINES BOX


EASY DIY VALENTINES BOX

EASY DIY VALENTINES BOX

EASY DIY VALENTINE BOX

WHERE TO PURCHASE SUPPLIES:

TARGET

IKEA

SNACKS : TRADER JOES

WHOLE FOODS


FEAR, IT'S A FUNNY THING || PERSONAL GROWTH STORIES || FACING ANXIETY|| PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE

“As you come to recognize the power of consciousness, that what is behind your eyes, so to speak, holds more power than what appears in front of them, your inner and outer perceptions change.” – Gary Zukav

This past year has had its fair share of ups and downs and in between, my health took to an all time low, and for some reason I decided to start caring what other people thought. I became frozen. Frozen in what to say, how to be myself, what to articulate, and WHAT am I bringing to my business? You get the idea. Obsessing about where the line is on sharing was the main focus. To share or not sharing on social media? Sharing too much of your personal life, may leave you feeling vulnerable and exposed. Or not sharing enough may lead to feeling like a phony only sharing the “highlight reel”. I found myself looking at what all these “influencers” were/ are doing and thinking well f*** I am never going to “catch up”. Do I even have anything to offer? Am I good enough? Do people care anyway?

 Processed with VSCO with j1 preset

Not great self talk eh? I had it all wrong.

When I came to the realization that I cared WAY too much and put so much energy into caring what other people thought, I felt mentally exhausted and anxious. I turned to my therapist for help, I told her what was going on, expressing I felt I may have some unresolved social anxiety that I need to face. It comes up at social events, and if I’m really being honest, I feel that way most times before posting on social media channels.

Her response “ she once felt the same way (minus the social media part) and someone informed her that getting caught up in what others think is self absorbed. “SHUT UP!” I thought. The last thing I want is to feed narcissism and be self-absorbed! I gave myself a good hard look into the mirror and said can we move on? Is putting energy into what other people think really worth your time? Is it honestly helping you move forward in life? HELL NO.

Moving forward was simple to do. Truth, it's going to come up again, when it does we have a choice. Fear goes away when you go look at it. The fear gets bigger when you push it aside. It was facing the fear that got me to the other side.

Looking back I can laugh at myself. I wasted so much time on things that only held me back from my own truth. Lesson learned. In fact most people may not have this as an issue. Maybe their fears lie somewhere else, starting that project, launching that business, getting out of the chair to have a good time, trying something new outside of your comfort zone. Whatever it is for you, once you become aware, awake, conscious you have a choice. Using the new tool to look at your fears, face them, figure out what’s up, or run and hide from them, push them down, or drop out. The only one in the way of you is yourself. So the choice is yours.

Cheers, X Nicole


HELPFUL LINKS + TIPS :

JUDGMENT DETOX

 SUPER SOUL SUNDAY, OPRAH

You cannot become compassionate with yourself without becoming compassionate with others, or with others, your world becomes compassionate. You draw to yourself other souls of like frequency, and with them you create, through your intentions and your actions and your interactions, a compassionate world.  –Gary Zukav


QUICK EASY HOLIDAY PARTY SNACKS || GLUTEN FREE + VEGAN RECIPES || FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


CHEX MUDDY BUDDIE RECIPE

Hello Friends, 

We are in the home stretch of the holiday Season. I don’t know about you folks, but it seems this year has been extra busy. Between all the kids Parties, Family parties, and Christmas, and upcoming New Year's, I may take the rest of January to hibernate. Anyone with me?

Before we decide on that, I’ve got the easiest recipe for you to make. These “muddy buddies” and I go way back. When I started making these I couldn’t even boil and egg, or so much as make a batch of cookies without burning the entire batch. What I'm saying is anyone can make them! This recipe is for the “ultimate home cook” or the people who may not have a clue what they are doing in the kitchen. Recipe is below, Happy Cooking!

-Nicole



GLUTEN FREE + VEGAN CHEX MUDDY BUDDIES RECIPE:

What you will need : 1 family size box Rice Chex Cereal

1 bag of 85% organic dark chocolate chips

¼ cup MCT OIL

1 teaspoon Organic Vanilla extract

½ cup Organic Peanut Butter ( or if allergic omit entirely, add ¼ cup more MCT oil, or ALTERNATIVE NUT BUTTER)

½ cups of Swerve Confectioners Sugar

1 cup Organic Powdered Sugar

1 LARGE saucepan (large enough to mix in 10 cups Chex Cereal)

2 large ziploc gallon bags Or 2 Large Paper grocery bags (for mixing and shaking)

TIP: IF you are looking for the low glycemic version, swap out ALL POWDERED sugar for SWERVE CONFECTIONERS Sugar, it’s one to one ratio. I like to do about half and half.

Directions:

Measure out 10 cups of the rice Chex cereal set aside. In your bag place half of the powdered sugar set aside. Measure out your nut butter, oil, and vanilla. Set aside.

Heat your dutch oven to medium low, pour in your MCT OIL, NUT BUTTER, vanilla and chocolate chips stir with wooden spoon or spatula until all the chips melt, do not stop stirring, it can burn quick. Once Melted TAKE OFF HEAT! Still at the stove pour in your cereal to the melted chocolate , mix until all are coated with chocolate mixture. Then add the mix to your bag filled with the powdered sugar, once in add some more powdered sugar on top of mix, seal and shake shake shake until all coated. If the mixture seems wet, add in 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar, shake again and repeat until it's coated with the powdered sugar. Since we are using all real ingredients, the color may come dark instead of all white, don’t be alarmed. When finished shaking, transfer to parchment or wax paper to cool. Then enjoy!


MUDDY BUDDIES 3small*.jpg

THIS RECIPE WAS ADAPTED FROM CHEX MUDDY BUDDIES

EASY LEFT OVER CHICKEN SOUP RECIPE || FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


CHICKEN SOUP


Hello Friends,

Sometimes the best recipes stem from only what is stocked in the fridge at the moment. You know, when it gets bare and you can’t bring yourself to do another weekly shop. As my kids are growing it seems I am constantly running out of food! So we barely have leftovers, but I do have staple ingredients lying around. Garlic, ginger root, onions, carrots, celery, fresh herbs, always cilantro and basil. In the pantry, canned beans, tomatoes, chicken bone broth and veggie broth stock the shelves. That way when I am in a pinch, I can easily throw something in a pot and walk away, while I  to tend to the chaos of after school activities. Inspired by the classic the many leftovers in the fridge after hosting our first “classic” thanksgiving meal a beautiful hearty soup was born.


Leftover Chicken Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cooked Cornish Hens (or 1 fully roasted chicken)

2 sweet onions

4 celery stalks

2 carrots (I used my roasted carrots from the night before!)

2 cloves garlic

Fresh Ginger (about half the size of your pinky finger)

2 - 16 oz chicken bone broth (free range organic is my preference, I like Pacific Brand or you can make your own stock) White wine (you actually like to drink, I love Sauvignon blanc)

2 cans of cannellini beans (eden brand is great, they pressure cook and Soak them, so they are great on your digestive system)

2 -3 cups of fully cooked mixed potatoes, Japanese sweet, white, red… you get it! (roasted from night before, or boiled then add them to the pot, don’t add raw potatoes to your soup, it will soak up all your broth)

Herbs:

1 bay leaf

fennel leaves

fresh oregano, thyme leaves, sage, rosemary

Salt

Fresh ground pepper

Other things you may need:

Olive Oil, or avocado oil for frying your veg

1 large stock pot, with wide bottom (Dutch oven work great too)

1 wooden spoon

Chef’s knife

Cutting board

Directions:

First chop all your onions, carrots, celery, place in one bowl set aside. Take two garlic cloves with the peel on, place one on your board and with your knife smash down, take off the peel and set aside the garlic. Repeat.

Place your stock pot on the stove, turn on the stove to medium-high heat add in your Avocado oil, when its good and hot add in your onion carrots and celery mixture to the stock pot. Then add in salt and pepper to taste, (small amounts at a time here if you aren’t experienced). Add in your whole garlic. Then Add in ½ cup of wine while the pot is good and hot, then bring the stove down to medium heat. Cook until the onions are clear, then add in both smashed garlic cloves. While that is making magic, roughly chop your herbs and add those to the pot. If things are good and cooked, turn the heat to low.

TIP: Be sure to stir your saute every few min so it will not burn, I like to feel things out when cooking, smell also helps so be sure to use your senses as a guide in the process!

Pull apart the chicken meat and bones, add them to the pot, and set aside the carcass for other use or discard altogether.

Open your cannellini beans, thoroughly rinse and drain beans and put them in the pot. Add in the fully cooked potatoes from last night's roast, ( or pre boiled potatoes). Cut about 1 inch long of fresh ginger root, toss this into the pot whole. Add in your Bay leaf as well.

Give everything a good stir, turn your heat up to high, now it’s time to to add in the bone broth to the stock pot. Let it boil for 5 min on high, when you see it bubbling, give it a good stir and bring your heat down to low and let simmer for min of 45 min - 12 hours depending on when you will be eating. The longer it sits the more time the flavors have to melt into each other. After the 45 min on low heat, you can taste if it needs more herbs, salt or pepper.

Serve with crusty bread and salad to make a glorious dinner!

Cheers

-Nicole

VEGAN BULLETPROOF COFFEE || RECIPE | FOOD+ LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


Hey friends,

My apologies on my abandonment towards you folks ( and my blog). I’ve been really focusing on getting my house back in order and doing lots and lots of projects over the weekends instead of recipe testing…(But that is changing soon).

Did I mention I’ve been drinking lots and lots of coffee to keep me going? A few years ago I discovered bulletproof coffee. I friend had shown it to me, but I am allergic to dairy… so I had to modify. I discovered if you put the same amount of MCT oil in, and use a dairy free nut milk it will get frothy just as if you use grass-fed butter. I also noticed no two dairy free milks are created equal. I am pretty picky when it comes down to the brands I use. Anyone agree??


 Vegan Bullet Proof Coffee Recipe

Vegan Bullet Proof Coffee Recipe



Vegan Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

* Ingredients:

  • 8oz fresh coffee
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons MCT Oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegan nut milk ( almond, coconut are awesome!)
  • 1 oz 85-90% dark chocolate
  • 1 -2 tsp MACA powder
  • Cinnamon for top
  • Blender Notes: if you this is your first time with bulletproof coffee start with 1 tablespoon of MCT and work up to 2 tablespoons . Also High quality coffee beans, ground + brewed in french press or pour over method ( this will get it tasting top notch)

Directions: Brew coffee to directions. I prefer french press method. In your blender place all the ingredients. Measure out 8 oz of fresh hot coffee, blend on high for 30 seconds until frothy. Top with cinnamon And enjoy!!!

Some of my favorite brands:


CHEERS, 

-Nicole 

ASHER'S PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWHICH || RECIPE || GLUTEN + DAIRY FREE || PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



Hello Friends, 

It’s good to remember you don’t need fancy food, or expensive kitchen tools to execute a good meal. A Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich will do  just fine indeed. We all have busy lives. What I love most about sandwiches, they are quick, easy, and i’d say nutritious. The thing is, it’s not just about the meal at the dinner table, but the memories we make around the table. Or it’s not about the “perfect” presentation, but letting the kids get in there and make something too, and heck it can be messy. Who cares?

Onward, go make a sandwich and hug someone close to you!

PB + JELLY SANWICH RECIPE :

INGREDIENTS:

  • Loaf of bread

  • Your favorite jam / honey or fruit spread

  • Peanut butter (or other nut butter )

  • A knife 

  •  

  • DIRECTIONS:   Grab 2 pieces of bread. With your knife place an even layer jam on one half of bread. On the other spread an even coating of peanut butter. Then place one slice on top of the other. Bam you are finished. If you are daring make it open faced. To do that spread an even layer of nut butter on bread, then jam on top!


peanut butter toast recipe

peanut butter jelly sandwich recipe

PEANUT BUTTER JELLY SANDWICH 

BY : SHEL SILVERSTEIN 

I’ll sing you a story of a silly young king
Who played with the world at the end of a string,
But he only loved one single thing --
And that was just a peanut-butter sandwich.

His scepter and his royal gowns,
His regal throne and golden crowns
Were brown and sticky from the mounds
And drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich.

His subjects all were silly fools
For he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut-butter sandwich.

He would not eat his sovereign steak,
He scorned his soup and kingly cake,
And told his courtly cook to bake
An extra-sticky peanut-butter sandwich.

And then one day he took a bite
And started chewing with delight,
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut-butter sandwich.

His brother pulled, his sister pried,
The wizard pushed, his mother cried,
“My boy’s committed suicide
From eating his last peanut-butter sandwich!”

The dentist came, and the royal doc.
The royal plumber banged and knocked,
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked.
Oh darn that sticky peanut-butter sandwich!

The carpenter, he tried with pliers,
The telephone man tried with wires,
The firemen, they tried with fire,
But couldn’t melt that peanut-butter sandwich.

With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil,
With steam and lubricating oil --
For twenty years of tears and toil --
They fought that awful peanut-butter sandwich.

Then all his royal subjects came.
They hooked his jaws with grapplin’ chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against that stubborn peanut-butter sandwich.

Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their ploughs and pots and toys
And pulled until kerack! Oh, joy --
They broke right through that peanut-butter sandwich.

A puff of dust, a screech, a squeak --
The king’s jaw opened with a creak.
And then in voice so faint and weak --
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, “How about a peanut-butter sandwich?”




lifestyle portrait

    CHRISTMAS BRUNCH IN JULY || BRUNCH TIPS || FOOD+LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



    Hello Friends,

    Can you believe it’s Wednesday already? In my last post I spoke about how we get to move back into our home this Friday. It’s been a wild journey with the storms of the house. Officially we have been out two months, and two-ish weeks. That would make us staying at 4 different airbnb. The last place we stayed at felt like we were living in a Wes Anderson Movie. Deserted hotel, we were the only ones on the grounds at times. Anyway, we are getting really excited to finally be moving back in. The status of the house, we have walls, and currently are doing some extra remodeling ourselves. Painting, bathrooms the kids rooms and a few odds and ends. The goal is to make it feel like home again. But after all that has happened it’s time to put on some fresh coats of paint and make new memories.

    Best way to do that, make a big meal gather around the table and have some laughs. Our go to favorite meal  brunch. Sunday mornings, bacon, eggs, maybe some double chocolate muffins. Or just whatever we may have in the fridge at the moment works too. Here is how we usually brunch on Christmas morning…. 

    “Team Lee” Brunch (Christmas Morning Style) : 

    Put everything in the middle of the table and enjoy!

    Cheers Friends,

    Nicole



    Sunday brunch tips


    SAY HELLO! :

    Name *
    Name


    FOLLOW ALONG ON INSTAGRAM :

    GRAIN FREE "BEAUTY WAFFLE" RECIPE || FOOD+LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE || GLUTEN FREE RECIPE


    gluten free waffle recipe

    Hi friends,  

    How we doing out there? It’s been pretty go! go! go! this summer. We are so close to moving back into our home. Officially we move back in this Friday July 14th. We are feeling slightly bittersweet about it all. The “storms” have calmed down, and the “series of unfortunate events” have been put to rest. Mold gone, plumbing fixed throughout the house, tree that was causing leaky roof, gone ( my apologies mother nature) roof fixed…let me think.. Walls fixed.. Now the house is safe. Amen. Ha. Ryan and I have been cleaning like mad, painting, so the house will be move in ready. There are a few odds + ends I’ll still be sharing on Insta stories ( so stay tuned!) Nothing but clear skies ahead for us with our home. Excited to get back into the kitchen ( well my own kitchen and test some new recipes!)

    To celebrate our move in, I've been cooking up some waffles. I have been recipe testing like mad these past few weeks with this grain free chocolate beauty waffle concoction. It sure has been giving me a run for my money! “Beauty waffle”? These waffles are filled with all sorts of good stuff, we’ve got, raw cocoa(rich in magnesium), dark chocolate, xylitol sweetener ( no sugar spike + crash), egg yolks (amazing for skin!), Maca ( libido boosting), and flaxseed meal (aids digestion). All mixed together you have heaven, oh and don’t forget the whipped topping! If you are into things tasting good, and knowing the ingredients going into the food you make are full of added bonus give these waffles a try.

    -Happy cooking!

    Nicole 


    waffle ingredients

    gf chocolate waffle recipe

    Recipe :
    Grain Free Chocolate Chip beauty waffles

    Ingredients:

    Wet ingredients:
    3 pasture raised egg yolks plus+ 1 full egg
    2 tablespoons filtered water as needed or almond milk
    1 tspn vanilla extract or unsweetened vanilla powder

    Dry Ingredients:
    ½ cup cassava flour
    ¼ cup unbleached almond meal
    1 tablespoon High quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 tablespoon MCT oil ( I love bulletproof brand)
    1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
    ½ tspn baking soda
    1 tspn baking powder (aluminum free)
    1 tablespoon organic raw cocoa (if desired)
    2 tablespoons organic ground flaxseed meal ( trader joe’s brand is awesome)
    1 tablespoon raw Maca powder ( moon juice brand is my favorite)
    1 bag of stevia sweetened chocolate chips or 1 dark chocolate bar (roughly chopped)
    1 tablespoon of swerve ( sugar alternative)
    1 tablespoon of xylitol

    Tools needed: large mixing bowl, measuring cups, wooden spoon, small or large waffle iron, plate or cooling rack.

    Directions:
    TIP: It’s always helpful to measure your ingredients ahead ( I don’t always do this, but it helps to at least have them all out)

    In a small bowl Separate the egg yolks from eggs. Add in the one whole egg. Set aside. Grab your large mixing bowl and add in all the wet ingredients. Lightly whisk the mixture for about 30 seconds. Add in your dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips), starting with the sugars, then add in all the rest doesn’t matter the order. Mix it all up with your wooden spoon. If it looks dry, add in 1 tspn at a time of almond milk ( or water). Add in your chips. ( to your desire, I like a lot!)
    Plug in your waffle iron, use the directions on your machine( believe me they are all different)
    Start making waffles! Poor a bit of waffle mix into the maker, when the little light goes off you know they are done, but sometimes they may need an extra min. This is where your own judgment comes in. You can also poke them in the middle, and if they bounce back they are done. Note: you can make a few “tester” one and set a timer. This is always helpful.
    Place on plate or cooling rack with a piece of paper towel or parchment paper over the top to keep warm.
    Chop fresh berries for topping
    Enjoy! Add your favorite whipped cream, maple syrup, or nut butter with bacon.

    “Whipped topping”:
    (Makes 11 oz )

    Ingredients :
    3 pasture raised egg yolks
    2 cans full fat organic coconut cream (refrigerated overnight)
    2 tablespoons xylitol
    1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract or unsweetened vanilla powder
    1 organic whole vanilla bean
    1 -tablespoons of moon juice loose probiotics ( another form of loose probiotics should work)
    Vitamix high powered blender

    Directions:
    1.Place the blender top in the freezer for about 15-20 min. Or until cold enough there is a layer of fog around the blender top.
    2.In a bowl open and separate coconut milk fat from the water. (This should be natural as you have put it in the refrigerator). Disregard the water and use for another project!
    3. Slice open your vanilla bean, in half with a sharp knife, scrape out the beans and place with your coconut fat.
    4. When your blender top is good and cold, take all the ingredients and place in the blender. On the cold setting blend your heart out ( about 15-35 seconds). Check the consistency and if it’s thick ( not too thick) transfer to airtight container and back in the fridge while you make your waffles. (You can also use this cream to have for a late night treat with berries or other goodies. )




    Gluten free chocolate waffle recipe

    grain free waffle recipe

    SAY HELLO! 

    Name *
    Name



    LETTING GO PART 3 || HEALING YOUR BODY || GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE || FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


    green smoothie recipe

    Healing your gut || 

    Hi Friends, 

    These last few years I’ve been on this rollercoaster journey to heal my body from its “autoimmune attacking nonsense”. No longer will I use the terms, “My body is attaching itself”, as this just gives it too much power. Instead I’ve chosen to change my language to “Your body has the power to heal itself”. Honestly, it wasn’t until these last few months that I actually believed it, in my heart, mind, and soul. It also wasn’t until I adopted that mantra I started to see real results, now I’m in the process of fine-tuning my health for good.

    Currently I’m reading “ The plant paradox by Dr. Stephan Gundry. In this book he talks about how the good foods aren’t really good” and the real medicine to heal autoimmune disorders (and desires) some forms of cancer, dementia, are through a different approach. Its not just about throwing pills at your system, but going to the root, healing your gut! Your gut has the power. He also educates you about lectin's and how they affect your body, and if you choose to eat them, how to prepare them differently to easily digest. It’s pretty mind blowing! (Well at least a Nerd like me thinks so).

    When it comes to the diet part of the book now it’s a pretty “extreme” regimen. For myself I was at the point where I was doing most of it. For others if you are on more of a traditional diet, but looking for answers on how to improve your health, it’s really worth it to give it a shot. I cut my inflammation in half the first 3 days I started. As of 3 weeks now I have been NAISD and Allergy medicine free. (I was on Allegra D and taking over the counter pain meds for my extreme periods). And if you know me, I wasn’t really functioning without them either. Instead I switched to supplements like turmeric + stinging nettle for allergies and inflammation. Which aren’t putting holes in my gut like those NAISDS. Did you know that just taking one just one over the counter pain pill is like swallowing a grenade, and then it explodes and puts tiny holes in the walls and lining of your stomach! Crazy, so instead of fixing your pain you are actually making it worse.  (Same goes for antibiotics, that’s a blog post for another day)

    For the first time I feel like its working. It hasn’t been easy, but I have this strength inside that tells me to keep going, it’s all worth it. See, the best part is you just are you. Do what you have to do to be the best version of yourself. For me right now, it’s trying new weird, Zen things to get my body + mind to connect to each other to feel good. That might be different for you. It’s about works for your body, and you are the only one steering that ship. With brainpower + food who knew that combination could actually work? (AND IT DOES)! I’m excited about the new gumption I have been feeling, and I hope you find yours too.

    Thanks for listening. Below is a recipe for Green Smoothie from “The Plant Paradox”, by Dr. Steven Gundry, MD.

    Cheers!   - Nicole


    Green Smoothie recipe | Cleansing | detox

    GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE:

    1 cup chopped romaine lettuce

    ½ cup baby spinach

    1 mint spring – with stem

    ½ avocado

    4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon

    3-6 drops stevia extract

    ¼ cup ice cubes

    1 cup filtered or tap water

    TIP: add spoonful of moonjuice probiotics for extra kick, or vital reds to the smoothie.

    Directions:

    Place all of the ingredients into a high powered blender( if you have a Vitamix thumbs up, a magic bullet should work too). Blend on high until smooth and fluffy. If its thick add 1 tablespoon of water blend and repeat until thinner.

    You can store for up to 3 days in the fridge.


    Green Smoothie Recipe

    CAROL+NEIL || INTIMATE SEDONA ELOPEMENT || PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE ||



    Hello Friends,

    Sometimes we tend to get lost in all the details of wedding planning, in the pressures to please everyone else. Wedding planning, whether you elope or go the traditional route is stressful. I remember planning my own wedding way back when (10 years ago to be exact), and having everyone around us having opinions about EVERYTHING. People seem to chime in whether you ask them to or not.  The thing is with Carol + Neil, they were smart enough to take note and say, lets tell our story, the way we want for US. And that’s exactly what they did. Best part, the elopement was a big secret, and they were going to send out an announcement after their honeymoon to let everyone know “we’ve eloped”. GENIUS. I admire them. They have gumption!

    Here is Carol + Neil’s Sedona Elopement Story.  

    Cheers,

    -Nicole


    CAROL + NEIL|| ELOPEMENT || SEDONA, MAY 25 2017.



    LETTING GO || PART 2 || FACING YOUR FEARS|| PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



    “Letting go”, it sounds easy right? I cling tightly to shields, put on armor; masks even, to protect myself, fearful to let too many people get close. Why would I do that? Well, it’s too scary to let people in.

    For some odd 25 years I’ve been doing this, granted I’m only 29. I’ve lived a lot of lives, and seen a lot of things. This past weekend I had a session with my therapists and they said this, you have the survival gene, most people wouldn’t have survived what you went through as a child and young adult. The tools you used, the methods you fought with, worked and got you here. But now its time to choose to put the armor down, and stop taking everyone one out. The battle is over. Take a step back and look around where you are, you aren’t there anymore in the chaos, you are here present day in 2017. So I let that sink right in. Deep. That’s it? That’s how you let go? I think it is.                                                                                                                                                      

    Over the past few weeks I’d been asking myself, how do I let go? I want to so desperately to really do it. Let go, be my best self, always. I mean that is what I am striving for. I was having a hard time connecting my brain to the actions. I was doing the actions, but my brain couldn’t make sense of it all. See, I want to have the weight lifted off my shoulders, and breathe easy. I want to stop waiting for the floor to sink out from under me. Hearing my therapist say what they did in the session, I had a light bulb moment. It’s this time where I aloud myself permission to finally surrender the flag, and start living life. In that moment, right there.

    Now what? Is it as easy as saying yes I get it and erasing everything that happened in the 25 years of my life? Maybe…. See, once you know the core of your crap, where it came from, what it is, what tools you use (good or bad). You can finally start saying (to yourself) stop it. I don’t need to use that tool, it isn’t necessary, and I’m safe. What I’m talking about is, those moments where you find yourself in an anxiety-ridden tizzy, instead of running in circles around it, you face it, check it out, and you explore it. When you face it, you will know what to do with it. Sounds “kooky”, but it works.

    The way I look at it is this, I have two choices, I can use the armor to fend off the Calvary, take the sward and finish them all off. – Or I can retrain myself, learn new tools, stop, and be the person who I already know how to be, kind, loving, caring. Option one works, but will be the harder road. With option two, although it seems scary as hell to put down the armor, it feels freeing to let the walls down and walk a new unknown path.

    Thanks for listening friends, below are some IPHONE Self Portraits I took, and editing on my phone using the vscocam app. 

    Cheers,  - Nicole 




    GLUTEN FREE STRAWBERRY TOAST RECIPE || EASY FOOD | FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



    Hello Friends,

    This quick recipe for gluten free strawberry toast is all about getting in some nutrients while also making sure your meal is tasty. No one likes cardboard. Lately, I’m into easy food, yet I don’t want to just grab those fries each time. Food can be fuss free, taste good, and make you feel great. Give it a go; this toast will change your life.

    Cheers and happy cooking

    Nicole x





    GF + DF STRAWBERRY TOAST RECIPE || NICOLE LEE

    Ingredients:

    -1 loaf of gluten free bread

    -Raw honey (2 – tablespoons)

    -Nut Butter (mixed, almond, peanut)

    -Chia Seeds

    -Fresh Strawberries (1-2 pints)

    -Toaster

    Directions:  Clean and roughly chop your strawberries, removing the stems. Set aside. Toast your bread to your hearts desire. Spread with a decent layer of nut butter, and honey. Place the strawberries on top. Finish with a sprinkle of chia seeds. Repeat for as many pieces of toast you’d like to make. Enjoy!



    LEARNING TO LET GO || PERSONAL | ANXIETY | FACING FEARS, PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE




    Hello Friends, 

    Its been awhile. 

    Over the past few months I hit a low. My Anxiety hit an all time high. I justified my anxiety because of the unpredictable events, house having mold, (or falling apart as Ryan would say) having to be flexible about the whole thing, being defeated by my children’s school, and the social behaviors they were dealing with, (Actually, still are dealing with) and then Work…

    How did I juggle it? I dropped all the balls. There was no certainty in my little world, everything was swirling around me and I stood and watched while all the clouds came rolling in. I didn’t know which way was out, which way let the floods came in, or even how to be safe. Or keep everyone else safe.


    0348 BW FLORALS 4.jpg


    So I froze. And then froze some more. Instead of coming up with sensible solutions, I internalized everything, and outwardly put on a persona that was FINE by society standards. My goal was just to get through the day to day. To practice being easy going about the whole thing until I really believed it. But there were a few times I was like, when is the next crap thing going to happen? 

     When the clouds finally subsided, I thought I got this. I have been dealing with anxiety since age 6 and honestly I’ve been through much harder crap. Certainty is what I really longed for. In an uncertain situation I made matters worse, then I remembered my therapists saying, you will never have certainty. The world can’t give you that. REALLY?? At first I thought NO. HELL NO. My heart said, there has to be another way. The only way to get certainty is to make your own. Why not channel my inner survival mode instincts? Use them for good, not to fuel my anxiety. Maybe this is the best idea I’ve had in a long time…. Its time to get back on the horse stop looking left or right and plow straight ahead. 

    Letting go “game plan”. The plan includes the things I am in control of; ME+ MY actions…

    1.  Let go. - Life is unpredictable. Letting go isn’t easy, but when you do it feels so freeing.

    2.  Truly be easy going. (No matter what) - As “cheesy” as it sounds, it’s an opportunity to learn when unexpected life events happen. Showing your kids you can stay calm when shit hits the fan is a true gift. Best part, they become easy going people too.                                                        

    3.  Health (mental and physical) - Talking to therapist is always a good idea.  Exercising has done wonders for my mental health, subsides anxiety, and makes you feel SEXY!                                

    4. Parenting - Committing to teaching my children to socially interact, defeat bullies, to make the world a better place, and WIN AT LIFE.                                                                                          

    5. Home- Being Patient. Doing what we can in our time with our house AND BEING OKAY WITH THAT.                                                                                                                                          

    6. Anxiety - FACE IT. DON’T RUN FROM IT. GET BACK ON THE HORSE. AND STAY ON, EVEN WHEN YOU HIT THE BUMPS.  ( AND, Damn those hurt!)

    Thanks for listening folks; I’m excited to be back in the swing of things. And for this new uncertain chapter called LIFE. Leave a comment below, would love to hear from you!! 

    Cheers,

    Nicole