Archives for posts with tag: vanilla


Fleurbain Truffles

3/4 c old fashioned oats (pulverized in a food processor)

3/4 c macadamia and cashew nut-butter (or a nut-butter of your choice)

1/4 c cocoa

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp amaretto

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c chopped dried cherries

1/4 mini chocolate chips

Mix together and form into truffles.  Store in the fridge.


Damiana Joy+Love Liqueur

I brought this to a winter party a few years ago.  People found this drink both intriguing and fun.  Damiana is quite aromatic due to volatile oils.  The flavour of damiana can be subdued or enhanced with other foods associated with joy and warmth; cardamom, almond, vanilla, cherry, cinnamon and chocolate.  In terms of medicinal properties, one of my favourite summaries is from Rosemary Gladstar.  In her Family Herbal she states, “…it is completely restorative; it restores exhausted nerves, exhausted dreams and exhausted spirit.”  Though there is a folk history of use as an aphrodisiac, herbalists generally qualify this herb as a mild anti-depressant, particularly useful in what David Winston calls a stagnant depression.  The volatile oils act as carminatives that aid in digestion.

1/2 c damiana tincture

1/2 c amaretto

1/4 c chocolate sauce (I made my own from unsweetened chocolate, water, maple syrup, sugar and vanilla)

rosewater and vanilla to taste

Pour together and store in the fridge.  Could it be any easier?  Enjoy a small shot when desired.



These photos were taken during the LAB Series which runs on Thursdays between 3-6pm. Next week, February 21st, Tammy Schmidt will continue in a similar vein demonstrating herbs used to lighten our spirits in the dark of winter.  We hope you are able to join us!

Fleurbain is at 460 St Catherine West, Unit 917, Montreal.


I don’t need no ice cream maker! I don’t need no dairy!

Chocolate Ice Cream

2 cups organic coconut milk

1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

1-3 tablespoons sugar (I use very little, not even a tablespoon)

200 grams dark fair trade chocolate, snapped into pieces (I used Cémoi dessert chocolate)

2 eggs, whisked

1 tablespoon of excellent homemade vanilla

1.  Pour the coconut milk, almond milk and sugar into a sauce pan and slowly bring to a boil.  Stir as it comes to the boiling point.

2.  Take the saucepan off the heat, add the chocolate and whisk until smooth.

3.  Add the whisked eggs and vanilla to the pan and continue to whisk until smooth.

4.  Return to medium low heat, stir gently and allow the custard to thicken until it will coat the back of a spoon.  What does this mean?  Well, at one point it will thicken so much that you notice a difference in how much can coat the back of a spoon.  Depending upon how hot your element is, this should take 10 – 15 minutes.  It is important to make sure that the custard does NOT to come to a boil otherwise you will have something the texture of porridge instead of a nice smooth custard.

5.  Pour into jars with straight sides, leaving room for expansion as it freezes.  Place into the freezer with the lids off.  Allow to freeze, then put the lids on.

6.  Like any good old fashioned ice cream, allow to sit on the counter for 10 minutes before enjoying with seasonally delicious fresh fruit.  Or enjoy this beside a fruity sorbet.

this is chocolate pudding made with coconut milk. like magic, after an hour in the freezer, it will become ice cream!

* if you use more chocolate, like up to 300 grams, the ice cream is very thick and there are no ice crystals to it.  If you use less chocolate, like 100 grams, and therefore have less fat in the mix, the ice cream has a much more icy crystal texture.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

It is 29°C, there is a strong wind and all the plants in the garden are suddenly crying.  You could say that we have some heat.  The transition from blah rain to all of this warmth is a little exhausting. I am now inspired to experiment with coconut milk and frozen fruit.

Want something sweet and refreshing on a hot day?  Try this!

instant ice cream

600 g of mixed frozen fruit (I used a 670g mixture of mango and raspberry today.)

1/2 can of organic coconut milk

1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)

a couple good glugs of vanilla

1.  So easy!  Put everything in a food processor and blend until very smooth.

2. Put into neat little individual containers.  I was able to make seven 125ml containers.  Chose containers that will be easy to navigate with a spoon.  Allow to sit for a few minutes at room temperature if you are going to enjoy this straight from the freezer.

ready to go!

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

A month ago, I was putting the following ingredients together for a fruit sauce.  While making it, I was reminded of ice cream.  It looked delicious and cold. I gave it a taste, and it was amazing!  So I decided that I was indeed making ice cream.  This combination is sweet, but not too sinful.  For the final touch, I added the magic ingredient: homemade vanilla bean extract.  The silky vanilla really comes through!

This is awesome!

Vanilla fruits, dried

vanilla extract is the secret ingredient!


600g bag frozen fruit, I used mixed berries

1/4 to 1/2 cup icing sugar

1/2 cup cream

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Using a food processor, blitz the frozen fruit until it is a fine paste.  Add icing sugar, cream and vanilla.  Continue processing the ingredients until they resemble ice-cream.  Put into containers of your choosing and freeze.  Use within a few days.

*You could easily use a different sweetener, like maple syrup or agave syrup.  Coconut milk might be a nice substitute for the cream.  Experiment and let me know how it turns out for you!

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

“Ooof! There is no time left, yet I still need a meaningful gift!”

No problem.  All you need is a couple jars, 2 or 3 commonly found ingredients and 5 minutes.

Ready, set, go!

Caffeinated Sugar Scrub

Caffeine is a very popular ingredient in cosmetics at the moment. Amongst it’s many attributes, it is said to increase circulation and thereby decrease the occurrence of cellulite.   Sugar is a popular exfoliant.  Oil helps to nourish the skin.  Put the three together, add some scented ingredients, if you wish, and you have a great scrub for arms and legs.

Ingredients:  1/4 cup fresh fair-trade organic coffee grounds, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup oil (sunflower, grapeseed and olive oil are a few ideas)  And what can be used to compliment this rather robust scrub?  I think 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp dried ginger goes well with the coffee and sugar.

Salt, Bay Leaf and Pink Pepper

All you need is rock sea salt, bay leaf and pink peppercorns. This can be used to season vegetables and meats such as fish and chicken.

Lavender Bath Salts

Ingredients: equal parts epsom salts and baking soda, *organic lavender essential oil.

Use 20 – 30 drops of organic lavender essential oil per cup of the epsom salts and baking soda mix.  Typically people recommend adding a 1/2 cup to the bath.

* Yes, organic lavender oil.  Lavender essential oils are some of the most adulterated essential oils on the market.  You want great quality, especially if you expect a therapeutic effect.

vanilla and spices to be covered with sugar

Vanilla and Spice Sugar

Ingredients: vanilla bean, sugar, optional spice including cinnamon stick and cardamom pods

For those who put sugar in their coffee, a special gift could be a little jar of sugar with a whole vanilla bean in it.  You could also add a cinnamon stick, some cardamom pods or whatever spice you wish.  This vanilla and spice sugar can be used for coffee, tea and even in baking.  Be sure to let the recipient of this gift know that they can refill the jar with sugar many times and the vanilla will continue to imbue the sugar with a vanilla essence.

You are not going to believe this… Compost!

Last week I received an exciting gift from my friends, Julie and Mer.  It was a box of vermicompost.  My friends compost fruit and vegetable scraps by feeding these scraps to a worm farm in their basement.  Julie and Mer found that they were rich in compost this year, so they packaged it up and gave it away.  Don’t worry, they did not send over the whole worm farm, just the compost.  I love this gift because I have a couple houseplants and it feels good to feed these little plants some “local” homegrown vermicompost from friends.

Happy Holidays from Tammy Schmidt in Montreal.

winter balm

I just made this!  It is a gift for some friends and myself. This winter balm is great for hands and feet, elbows and knees; it is good for anything that needs a little more care and attention in the winter.

How might you make this lovely winter balm?

Using a kitchen scale, measure the following ORGANIC ingredients in a clean saucepan:

15 g beeswax

30 g shea butter

30 g sweet almond oil

30 g calendula infused sunflower oil

30 g rosehip oil

Using a low heat, heat the oils and wax until these are homogenous, that is, all mixed together as one oil.

Then take the saucepan off the heat and add:

15 drops lavender oil

10 drops rose oil

5 drops vanilla absolute

Pour into clean glass containers.

Where can you pick up these ingredients?   Try a well-stocked health food store such as the one that just opened up on Notre Dame called Marché Bleuet.

I picked up the containers at Les Conserves du Fermier .

Labels… it’s a work in progress!

Perhaps you do not have a scale?  Remember that one tablespoon is about 15 g.  It does not have to be exactly as the above recipe to be amazing.  Great ingredients make it great.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

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