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Pure Happiness is…

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Hello and Happy Monday everyone!!

This week, I’m reflecting on a wonderful weekend and a few happy events in our life right now… this is my happiness list for this week…

Pure Happiness is…

- happy play dates

- art class sessions

- crafting, crafting and more crafting (mostly lalaloopsy stuff but lately we’re into foxes and woodsy things)

- home baked heart shaped cookies… the first of the Valentine’s Day season…(these cute ones were made by my sister and dropped off in a box by our front door when we weren’t home) the sweetest little thing to come home to.

- we’re into tortilla things of all kinds. a little veggie burger, various veggies etc. never disappoint

- plus seeing my belly growing is a really sweet sight which I can’t avoid… ;)

- Ms. G. was in a play which was really fun to watch (photo of her under a tree) we enrolled her in some drama classes and she’s been a great trooper getting into her characters so well ;) here she appeared as Dwarf #1 ;)

- our weekend was spent over some wine (drunk by the mr., not meee) and some homemade peanut butter cups – my latest recipe which will show up on the blog soon (of course, they needed to be ‘taste tested’ 3 times and I just kept making more and more… because there was never enough to keep for my recipe photo shoot ;)

- my husband loves a good game of chess and getting the little is always a great challenge for him ;)

- watching those two playing is a lovely sight and sound…. they have a blast and I can hear giggles across the house….

- on sunday, we went to my nephew’s b-day party – a really fun day for the kiddo – but can I just release some of my frustration…. if you ever find yourself committed to a diet change and think people will understand – they won’t. 5 years later and I’m pregnant and my sister just didn’t think that I would want to eat at a party too…. so it’s been a very emotional day (I haven’t had those for a while) I think the pregnancy hormones influenced my little breakdown of sadness. I eventually went nuts and bananas! (which means I reached for a banana and Brazil nuts I brought with me) sure they saved the day but I really didn’t think I would need them! oh well…. just always be prepared. Sorry for venting but it’s one of those things that gets stirred up once in a while. Food is emotional and it’s nice to be included – it’s especially nice when your own sister understands. But clearly she doesn’t… next time I just have to prep myself for the emotional challenge too ;)

- we came back home for the Superbowl and the night went by amazingly! A great game! And although I’m hardly a football fan it was nice to see everyone have a good time… for that moment captured, you have to visit my Instagram here ;)

Do share, what’s making you happy today?

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Pure Passion : Rose Petal Dark Chocolate Bar

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Today, there is even more love in the air… things are really heating up for Valentine’s Day around here… what can I say… it’s all about LOVE!

And what better way to say I Love You than with chocolate – a homemade luxurious chocolate at that.

This is the most beautiful homemade aphrodisiac chocolate bar that’s topped with natural rose petals! Perfect for your Valentine!

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Chocolate is my biggest pleasure…. so naturally, it’s pure joy for me to reinvent The Chocolate Bar! The ultimate lover’s delight, move over diamonds! This is SO much better!!

Some pleasures are not only exciting – but they get heightened when you eat better quality food (with no processed ingredients, preservatives, artificial flavours or colours and especially added sugar). And that’s why this is Pure Passion – this isn’t just chocolate…. it’s a beautiful and luxurious masterpiece. A very indulging, sexy, seductive, romantic chocolate masterpiece…. one that begs to be shared and enjoyed with pure pleasure!

This is the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert (or something special for any other occasion). When you make this beautiful Rose Petal Dark Chocolate Bar… you have to share it with the love of your life! (or a close friend) – someone who appreciates the good things in life. Like a beautiful sinfully luxurious handmade chocolate… all made with Love.

 

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PURE PASSION 
Rose Petal Dark Chocolate Bar

(a handmade luxurious dairy-free/ vegan and gluten/wheat free chocolate bar)

Ingredients :

1 cup squares or 200 grams of dark 72% chocolate
1/4 cup dairy-free creamer
1 teaspoon raw maca powder* (this is an aphrodisiac)
1/4 cup coconut butter or oil
roughly 1/2 cup rose tea petals ** 

* maca is an natural superfood that also has aphrodisiac properties! (omit if serving this chocolate recipe to kids or pregnant women)
** the rose petals I use are designed for tea brewing and can easily be found in Asian stores. A large bag costs about $5 and I hardly used any from it. A little goes a long way. They also make a nice tea and I’ve been experimenting in making other recipes with rose petals – stay tuned for those ;)

You will need : double boiler or a small pot with bowl for melting chocolate, steamer, a rectangular dish or pan for your form, parchment paper.

Directions :

Line a pan or any rectangular dish (does not have to be oven proof) with parchment paper and set aside.

First, set the double boiler or pot with water and a bowl, stacked over medium low heat, and prepare to melt some chocolate. Add all the chocolate pieces along with the creamer and coconut oil all together while ingredients are still room temperature, then turn on the heat to allow to melt. Mix gently with a whisk to incorporate all the ingredients well. Once the consistency is smooth and glossy, turn off the heat. Add in the raw maca powder and stir in to mix in well. 

Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the pan and smooth top. Tap the pan on a tabletop to press down and allow the chocolate to get into all the air pockets. Set aside.

On a steamer, place a handful of dried roses and cover to allow to steam. This will help the petals separate better from the buds. (this is an optional step, but it helps to keep the petals intact for a nicer touch. Otherwise they may break and crumble more easily as you try to remove them from the green buds.) Remove the petals and separate the greed buds away and discard. 

Take the pan with the still melted chocolate and sprinkle the rose petals right on top. With a knife or spoon, dab some of the petals right into the chocolate to let the sink into the chocolate layer. Take some additional rose petals and sprinkle them on top of this chocolate bar. Place in the refrigerator to set for about 1 hour. Or the freezer for an even quicker set time, about 15 minutes.

Once set, pull the parchment paper to remove the chocolate bar. Place on a flat surface and slice into smaller pieces. I liked making long triangles out of mine, but you can cut squares, rectangles or even leave as one whole piece which you can break into pieces once ready to enjoy.

 

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Don’t forget to package your beautiful handmade Rose Petal Chocolate Bar in a gift box and wrap simply with a red ribbon on baker’s twine for a casual look. I’ve cut a little heart out of some corrugated cardboard and glued that to the front. Pure and simple…. a perfect gift made with Love.

 

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Pure Ella 

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Pure Potluck Party – Let food be Love

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Hello friends! TGIF!!

Welcome to another Party!!! This is a Love-ly one… because we’re getting close to Valentine’s Day and our honey(s) needs to eat! (and hello, so do we, right?)

I love make something fun for V-Day for both my loves (actually 3!) So I like a little something special that says Romance for the mr. and I Woove You for the little kiddo… and for the wee one that likes to kick mama all the time – a little something I like that’s healthy and yummy! ;)

So, let’s have fun and Let Food Be Love!!! Welcome to….

Valentine’s Day Recipes : Pure Potluck Party

Just a reminder we’re focusing on plant-based, egg-free, dairy-free and meat-free recipes as well as gluten or wheat free dishes. Some exceptions apply such as using honey or ancient grains that have gluten like spelt and kamut which are very healthy. Recipes should be all natural, with no refined sugar and with no processed ingredients, no preservatives or artificial colours of flavours and organic as much as possible.

Also, I don’t think recipes ever get dated, so please feel free to dust off some old goodies from the archives and share them again ;)

Linking up? Thank you! By doing so, you allow Pure Ella permission to share your recipe and photo on other social media such as Pinterest. Please be sure to add a link to your post that you shared this recipe here on the Pure Ella’s Pure Potluck Party. Thank you! 

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Pure Ella 

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No-Bake Dark Chocolate Mousse Tarts : gluten free, grain free and vegan

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All you need is Love and some chocolate!!!

Love is in the air today as I share with you one of my best dessert recipes made especially with Love and some damn good ingredients!

Are you excited about Valentine’s Day yet? I know it’s a Holiday that has it’s pros and cons – but why even waste time assessing the meaning behind it when you can just have an excuse to eat some amazing dessert!!

I’ll be honest, I’m a very down-to-earth girl and my darling husband even before he was my husband was forced to return some jewellery because I felt it was too expensive! After all I thought if we’re planning our life together, and would share our bank account one day why drain the poor guy… (back when we were in our early 20′s a few hundred bucks was huge!) I knew there was more to love even back then… and that was to create special moments with a few good ingredients… passionate kisses, sweet love notes, a little cuddling and of course some good chocolate and champagne!

These ingredients haven’t changed much… still love the kisses, the love notes (ok. now they’re texts! lol), and the cuddling… except the quality of chocolate has improved and I won’t be drinking this year – but man I still miss champagne ;)

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These No-Bake Dark Chocolate Mousse Tarts are quite possibly the most amazing dessert I’ve ever eaten in my life! ;)

The richness, the luxurious filling, the slight crunch in the tart shells – Pure Decadence! And topped with fresh raspberries and mint leaves – heaven on earth!!

What’s even more amazing is that these tarts are completely guilt-free! The ingredients are so great they’re actually good-for-you! Can you imagine that?

You no longer need to sneak a box of chocolates and hide in the closet to eat them up! This is your magic ticket to freely enjoy something delicious and decadent on this special day (or any day!) Because you don’t need to deprive yourself of yummy things in life… you just need to find the good ;) – and this is good! (trust me!)

No-bake Dark Chocolate Mousse Tarts

Valentine’s Day dessert recipe!

(guilt-free, gluten-free, grain-free, vegan dessert)

Base Ingredients :

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup macadamia nuts + extra for topping
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup coconut flakes 
+ 2 tablespoons warm water, if needed
+ coconut oil for greasing

Filling Ingredients :

1 1/2 cup silken tofu (I used organic sprouted silken tofu)
3/4 cup dark 72% good quality chocolate squares (about 200g)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
pinch of fine sea salt or himalayan pink salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic agave nectar or raw honey (if not vegan)
optional : going all out for a romantic night? add a tablespoon of an amaretto liqueur or rum to spice up the recipe even more ;)

You will also need : tart shells, about 4″D with removable bases are best, food processor, double boiler or a bowl with small pot to melt some chocolate.

Directions :

For the base : Soak the nuts for about 2-4 hours or longer even overnight in the refrigerator. Once they are soaked, rinse and drain them thoroughly. Place in a food processor and grind them up on high to a meal texture. Add the dates and the coconut flakes and continue processing until a paste forms. Turn off the food processor and check with your fingers if the mixture sticks when you press it between your fingers. If it falls apart, add one tablespoon of warm water at a time and continue checking for the right ‘slightly sticky’ texture. 

Grease the tart shells with some coconut oil. How many you make depends on the size of your tart shells. The ones I used are 4″D and the recipe would have made 6 of them. Fill the tart shells with the base mixture being sure to press the bottom evenly and bringing up the mixture up to the sides. Set aside.

For the filling : Start by setting up a double boiler or a dish over a small pot with water to melt the chocolate. (be sure the dish does not touch the water in the pot). Add the chocolate pieces and coconut oil  and slowly allow to melt, stirring gently to incorporate the ingredients well. Once all melted, turn the heat off and keep in the bowl to stay warm and soft.

Simply rinse and wipe the food processor from the base mixture and set it in place for the filling ingredients. Place the silken tofu, vanilla extract and agave or honey and pinch of salt into the food processor and mix on medium to blend together well. You may need to turn off the processor and scrape down the sides to make sure everything gets incorporated. Now you’re going to incorporate the melted chocolate. This has to be done very slowly as you never want to mix cold and hot ingredients too quick – the temperatures need to be blended in slowly. So, scoop a tablespoon of the melted chocolate into the mixer, close and blend on low, turn off and scoop in another tablespoon…. continue adding in the chocolate one tablespoon at a time until all in incorporated. Towards the end, be sure to scrape the sides down to get all the goodies combined.

Scoop the filling into the tart shells and distribute evenly over the tops.
Place in the freezer to set for about 2 hours. You’ll still need to remove them from the tart shells. This is easiest done when they are still cold. If you’re using tart shells with removable bottoms, then they’ll just pop right out. If not, good luck! ;)
What has worked in the past is actually using a hair blow dryer and just heating the bottom of the still frozen tart, just enough to melt the underneath oil so they slide out. A little toothpick action on the sides also helps to remove them. Which is why tart shells with removable bases are so so much better! ;)

Once the tarts are removed from the shells, move them to the refrigerator about 1 hour before serving. If storing for longer be sure to keep them in an air-tight container so the tops don’t dry out.

Serve topped with crushed macadamia nuts and a bowl of fresh raspberries with some mint leaves… and of course Champagne! ;)

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Now you have the complete recipe for Love… it should always come with a good quality chocolate dessert! Ideally one that’s made with love and some amazing guilt-free ingredients!! 

I hope you will have a great Valentine’s Day! Remember, you don’t need to hide in the closet to indulge in a great dessert anymore ;) xoxo

Ella

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Monday Motivation : Show people your dream!

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Hello my friends! Happy Monday!!

We’re moving quickly towards the last few days of January…. and so… how did the New Year stroll in for you?

Have you made any improvements in your life? Have you stuck to your resolutions?

I personally don’t make resolutions, but I always look at each week ahead and plan out the things I want to accomplish.

I have short and long term goals which I hope to achieve each week. They are small things. I do baby steps.

And there’s a lot that’s not crossed off the list – that’s because I’m a big dreamer!!
I know I’m not the only one… (thanks John Lennon for that one!)

10 years ago when I just graduated from college, I had a clear dream of what I wanted to do.
I wanted to have my own graphic design company. 
And I clearly had *the balls* to do it back them. I lasted a total of 4 months in a large company and then called it quits because I had a DREAM for something better!

So what did I do? I did my thing, clients came, I got busy…. got the fiancé (husband now) to even quit his job and join me in opening up a studio!!! ;)
We got married… we travelled…. we worked hard but still had a blast! Two years after our wedding, we started a family…. and life at that moment was perfect!

I was living my dream! I crossed my t’s and dotted my i’s!! Everything I have created up to that time was with passion and commitment to my career and life.

What then….? Well, some of you know what happened after the ‘happily forever after’ It was not at all Happy!

I got sick when my daughter was 4 months old and the 5 years after that were a blur of dealing with depression, a rough disease, and many challenges that went on that roller coaster ride. Problems came from left and right beyond my health, to my struggling with motherhood when I barely could function on my own, struggling with our business, and even struggling financially and in our marriage… yeah… they don’t show that part in fairytales, do they? ;)

I can now look back and see that these were lessons I had to live through to see just how strong I was. 

So what now? What happened to my dream career and my dream life? 

Well, I’ll tell you that I no longer wish to continue living that same dream.
Am I worried about change? Am I worried about starting over?

Yes, sometimes. Just a little these thoughts of worry do come through my mind… but I have learned to brush them off and stand up stronger.

I had no idea where life would take me in these 5 years, but now I can breathe in deep and smile while I realize that my life took me to this very exact place I was meant to be.

In my old dream, I was hungry for a career without putting thought into the deep meaning of what I was doing. My job was very creative and fun but not meaningful in what matters in the world at all.
Because, hey, is life really about cheap products made in China that people really need more of? No. (at least to me right now it’s not!) Yet, I felt responsible almost to make these products look good for my clients to sell more.

But that is not what I feel matters in the world… and I’m happy to close that chapter of my life and move on towards something different and better.

Because I now have a NEW DREAM…. 

But I will not tell you about it…. I will show you that dream soon!

Ella

 Do share : what dream will you show to the world?

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