Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Curried Lentil Soup with Quinoa

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This past week we've been cooking with curry. Which although tastes amazing, makes everything smell like it. EVERYTHING. I got a whiff of my hair when I was at the library after dinner and it smelled so strongly of curry. And as soon as you walk into our apartment building it's all you smell. Yup, we're those people. But it's totally worth it because curry is so so tasty. This soup is really filling and not to mention extremely healthy (and vegan!).

Curried Lentil Soup with Quinoa adapted from here


Ingredients



  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)

  • 1/2 cup carrot (chopped)

  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)

  • 1 tablespoon garlic (chopped)

  • 1 tablespoon ginger (chopped)

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala + 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 cup mixed lentils

  • 5 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon sriracha

  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)

  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked)

  • salt & pepper

  • cilantro (chopped)

  •  Greek style yogurt


Make It



  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and saute until fragrant, about a minute.

  3. Add the lentils, stock, chickpeas, tomatoes and hot sauce.

  4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20-30 minutes.

  5. Add the quinoa and warm them up.

  6. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a garnish of cilantro and a dollop of Greek style yogurt.


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This tastes even better the next day, enjoy!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

(fancy) Baked Sweet Potato

Here's something I made tonight using the remnants of the groceries from the week. I gotta say, this is pretty impressive for me; my fall back is usually "breakfast for dinner" when I have no groceries left. So this baby is pretty epic! It looks a bit odd, but it definitely tastes awesome, trust me.

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(fancy) Baked Sweet Potato



  • sweet potato

  • 1 large yellow onion sliced

  • butter and/or olive oil

  • handful of pine nuts, toasted

  • plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)

  • salt & pepper


Make It



  1. Bake your potato in a 400 degree oven until it is soft all the way through when pierced with a knife (mine took about 40 minutes)

  2. While your potato is baking, heat up a frying pan on medium low heat. Add about 1 tbsp of olive oil and a little scoop of butter, then add it your sliced onions. Slowly saute them until they're caramelized.

  3. Slice your potato in half and top with onions, greek yogurt/sour cream, pine nuts, and salt & pepper. (I added half an avocado as a side)


sweetpotato2 sweetpotato

Enjoy!

A Children's Book Guide to Travel

Oh my gosh, I just came across the most amazing (to me anyway) infographic:



Amazing right? I definitely want to go see Allerton and Alnwick Castle, The Lake District and Ashdown Forest. I still can't believe I'm going to London and France in just over 2 weeks!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

DIY Easy Art

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010This is a super super easy art project. Perfect for a weekend afternoon, or an after dinner project.

Materials

  • canvas

  • painters tape

  • paint (duh)


I'm sure this is pretty obvious, but I just took the painters tape and taped strips on the canvas at random points. Then I filled in the areas with paint, waited for it to dry, then peeled off the painters tape. So easy! And the colours? I used this blanket as my colour inspiration. 

Neat huh? You should try it out!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

My First Craft Show!

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Today my mum and I did our very first craft show! It was a blast! We decided to get a table together so we had a combo of homemade pottery stuff (that my mum makes in her home studio) and my Bake Sale treats. Dave came too and he chatted up all the old birds and made them laugh, what a guy! We didn't know what to really expect but we were both pleasantly surprised by how much we sold, especially in the last half hour.

I was shocked at the amount of independent sales consultants there were like Arbonne, Scentsy, Party Lite etc at a craft & gift show. I think there were maybe 5 tables that were selling handmade things, which is crazy right?! It really made me want to host my own authentic homemade craft sale (my mum and I are seriously thinking about doing this on her front lawn in the summer).

All in all though, it was a great day. I felt so inspired talking with some of the other (handmade) vendors, getting ideas about what shows are good, groups like Stitch & Kitsch, stuff like that. It was heaven! Here are some of the photos from today, have a look!

053034b 037 040 041 043 044 046 049 051P.S at the end of the day I had my eye on this amazing up-cycled tie necklace the girl across from me was selling so I traded a tray of my baked goods for it. Score!

 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

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The other night Dave was out of town for a concert so that meant it was just me for dinner. When he's not home for dinner I either love to eat dessert for dinner (with, like a bite of a vegetable so I don't feel too guilty) or I bust out the foods he doesn't like, and last night that meant BEETS.

Oh man I looooove beets! I feel like Bubba does with shrimp only about beets. I could eat them steamed, pickled, sauteed, baked, fried, you name it. But Dave, he seems to think they taste "like dirt". It's really his only negative trait so I can't complain too much.

I just ate this for dinner but this would be just as good as a side or for lunch too.

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad



  • 3 large carrots (cut into thinish chunks)

  • 3 parsnips (cut into thinish chunks)

  • 4-5 small beets (scrubbed and peeled and quartered

  • arugula

  • feta or goat cheese


Salad Dressing



  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • small pinch of salt, sugar, and pepper

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp minced shallot or onion


Make It


1) Preheat your oven to 400. Line a baking tray with tinfoil. Toss your root veggies with olive oil, scatter them on the tray and salt and pepper them. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until soft and caramelized (I like mine a tad bit burnt, they get really sweet that way). Let them cool for about 15 minutes.

2) Fill your bowl up with arugula and toss your veggies on top. Crumble some cheese on top (as much as you want really). Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over top.

Done!

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P.S I got a new camera! As in a real camera. As in a Canon Rebel t3i! Wohoo!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The AB Shop

Shop1Have you noticed? I opened an Etsy store! This is something I've been wanting to do for a while, hoping to clear out the many crafts and projects I work on, but can't really keep around in my tiny apartment.

SHOPI try to keep the prices pretty low, mostly to just cover the cost of materials and shipping (with just a little extra for new materials ;) ). As of now, I have a few sets of coasters I made and some earrings, but I'm currently working on some refashioned shirts, tote bags, and little zipper pouches. I just added this baby the other day:

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Stay tuned for new items! I'll be adding more as I make them :)

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Fancy Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms

IMG_1806Oh man, these are so amazing. And terribly easy to make. It's like all of your favourite appetizers rolled into one that you eat for dinner. It probably took 30 minutes TOPS to make and they look sooooo fancy no? We just ate 1 and a half each for dinner, but you could make these as a side if you wanted.

Fancy Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms adapted from here


Makes 4 mushrooms

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon) 

  • 4- portabello mushrooms, stemmed, gills removed 

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed

  • 9-10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

  • jar of marinated artichokes, drained, rinsed and chopped

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (we didn't have panko so we used regular breadcrumbs)

  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Make It


Preheat oven to 450 F.

Stir 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and about two-thirds of the minced garlic together in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush the garlic oil on the inside of the mushrooms then season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushrooms, bottoms-up, to a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 10 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, stir the cream cheese, mayo and 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme together in a medium bowl until well incorporated. Add the spinach and artichokes, stirring to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper. To make the topping, combine the remaining garlic, remaining tablespoon of oil, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, panko and cheese in a medium bowl.

Fill the mushrooms with the spinach-artichoke mixture then top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the filling is hot, and the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp.

IMG_1809Enjoy!

(p.s did I mention that these are SUPER easy to make?!)

 

 
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