Easy homemade coconut milk yogurt

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Since I quit eating dairy, I discovered two things about non-dairy yogurt. 1) The options at the store are not good. As in, not tasty and full of all kinds of additives. 2) It’s super easy to make your own tasty yogurt from just two ingredients. A can of coconut milk, 5-6 potent probiotic capsules, and a little time is all it takes to make homemade yogurt.

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20+ thoughtful gift ideas

Can you believe we’re under the two-week mark? I put together some of my favorite gift ideas and made them customizable, so you can choose your own gifting adventure. 20131211-231804.jpg

Who doesn’t love jam? Especially really good jam. Package up a couple of the following for a sweet gift:

  • Vintage jam spoons from your local antique/vintage shop, etsy or ebay
  • A jam cookbook, if they cook (or would like to)
  • Homemade jam, if you cook
  • Great jam jars, perhaps with a recipe tucked inside
  • Artisan jam from the store or farmer’s market, like Ayers Creek here in Oregon (so good!)
  • Fresh-baked bread or scones

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For those who like to entertain, mix and match items to spice up their next soirée:

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For new homeowners, choose a selection of heirloom-worthy ornaments like these from Schoolhouse Electric to help start their collection.

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For those who appreciate creature comforts, help them get cozy with one or more of the following:

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Jewelry is always a great option. Pair a stylish jewelry box with something sparkly. Or if you’re feeling unsure, tuck in a gift card for a local boutique or etsy. (Necklace, earrings and ring shown above.)

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Know someone who’s serious about teatime? Any combination of the following would be perfect:

Happy shopping!

Thyme-scented tomato orange soup

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Elephants Delicatessen in Portland makes a terrific tomato orange soup. It’s creamy and comforting with some brightness and zing from the hit of orange. Perfect on a winter day.

Unfortunately for me, it has quite a bit of dairy in the form of butter and cream, so I’ve had to skip it. The good news… I found that Elephants published their recipe in the local paper, and not only is it quick and easy to make, it was a cinch to adapt it to make it dairy free.

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Béa’s story and pumpkin cranberry flax no-bake dog treats

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Meet Béa, she’s our 5-year-old rescued pound puppy that we adopted not quite a year ago.  She came from a really awful place before she was taken to the Humane Society by the police. When we brought her home from the shelter two days after Valentine’s Day, she was still nearly 10 lbs underweight with injuries that hadn’t been healing.

Over the last 10 months, Bea’s life has changed dramatically and so has her personality. She was sweet and smart from day one, but she was also anxious and uncertain, with not many manners.

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