Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cooking for a Crowd: A Whole Lot of Food for a Whole Lot of People

We had a superbowl party this year. I'm not into all this sports stuff like my husband is but I enjoy the planning and cooking and showing off part. I would be a poor blogger if I wasn't a bit of a show off. So here is our awesome feast complete with recipes in case you wan to make your own. Everything pictured is vegan except the hot dogs, it was my husbands party and he wanted a meat thing. Everything was also nut free



The Main Attraction: The Chili

I don't know where I got this recipe from as I have had it a very long time. It's evolved a bit from the original so I am going to post it here. This is a big recipe, it fed 15 people and there were left overs so be warned.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large can of tomato juice
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 vegetable bullion cube
  • 3 diced potatoes 
  • 1 chopped onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 pepper chopped
  • 2-4 tbsp of chili powder (start with 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
What To Do: 
  1. Put everything in a really big pot. Start with 2 tbps of chili powder, you can add more later if it is not spicy enough. Make sure the bullion cube dissolves, it is sometimes easier to add this after the whole mix is boiling. Bring to boil on high heat then simmer until everything is cooked. This can take an hour or two. The lentils should be tender and the onions translucent. Add more chili powder at the end if necessary. 
  2. You can make this the day before and let the flavors mingle in the fridge overnight. Then you simply warm it up the next day and it is extra good. 
  3. Serve with bread or nachos or both. 


Spiced Toasted Pita Chips

Pictured to the left of the chili.These are from the Oh She Glows Cookbook on page 91. I could not find the recipe on her website but I did find it here. I multiplied the recipe by 3 to make enough pita chips for the party. I modified the recipe slightly. I mixed the spices with the oil, brushed the mix on to the top and bottom of each pita then stacked them up and cut the whole lot into wedges. That is a lot easier than brushing each piece individually.

Serve with Salsa, Guacamole and Pico de Gallo

Easy Guacamole

What You Need:

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 lime or 2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
What To Do:
  1. Remove the avocado flesh from the skin and pit. Place it in a bowl. 
  2. Squeeze juice from a lime into the bowl catching the seeds or just add 2 tbsp of lime juice. Mash avocado and lime juice together with a potato masher. 
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste, Mix in cilantro. 

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo is amazing. It is pictured above between the guac and the pita chips. It is best to make it the night before to let the flavours mingle over night. Leaving the onion in the acidic lime juice will dull it's sharpness.

What You Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 a sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, diced really small. If you don't like it hot, remove the seeds. 
  • 4 tbsp lime juice (or 2 limes worth of juice)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
What To Do: 
  1. Mix everything in a bowl or container. Leave in the fridge covered overnight. Serve cold the next day. 

The Cakes

I have been using this cake recipe forever. It is fantastic, economical and can be found here. A friend of mine figured out that the recipe is one used during the depression when eggs and dairy were hard to come by. The recipe makes only one layer so I double it up to make two. I bought the icing from the grocery store because there was too much to do to make it from scratch.

To make a football shaped cake, you just have to cut a sliver out of the middle and push the two sides together. I iced the sliver to make a second cake.




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Marvelously Comforting and Creamy Mushroom Soup

This is a great soup for the winter and it has been extra wintery this week with the ice storm and then the snow this week. Both husband and child approved. I don't think it is filling enough to count as an entire meal on it's own but pairs well with a fresh bred or grainy toast. Makes a little more than 2 servings.


What You Need:

  • a pack of cremini mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 a sweet onion, minced or chopped all small like
  • 1 vegetable bullion cube with no monosodium glutamate, check the ingredients :) 
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 2 cups of soy milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 tbsp of cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp of water


    What To Do:
    1. Add olive oil, mushrooms and onion to a regular sized pot on medium heat. Fry while stirring until the mushrooms look cooked and the onion translucent, taking care not to burn the onion.
    2. Add bay leaf and thyme. Add bullion cube, and squish it up with the back of the spoon to help it dissolve when the water is added. Add the flour and stir the whole thing well. 
    3. Add soy milk and water, bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. If the soup thickens to your liking, you are done. If not, mix the cornstarch with the water then add to the soup while stirring to thicken it up. Enjoy your awesome soup :)

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017

    Easy Vegan Fried Rice with Hoisin Smothered Soy Balls

    I needed something easy and healthy that would fill our tummies. This one is a bit soy heavy, there are soy nuggets and tofu involved, but why not load up on protein once in a while. There are lots of veggies to balance it out. My husband really liked the hoisin smothered soy nuggets. It's a great recipe to use up left over rice which we always seem to have kicking around. Soy chunks are cheap and full of protein so I have been looking for a chance to experiment with them. I am averse to dishes so I just used the one wok but you can fry the rice and the soy chunks in separate pans if  you like.




    What You Need:

    • About 1 cup of Dried Defatted Soy Chunks, soaked for 15 minutes and squeezed out. 
    • 5 sliced mushrooms, cremini was used here
    • 1 sliced zucchini
    • 1 cup of snap peas, tips and strings removed
    • 1/2 a package (about 200 grams) firm tofu, mashed with a potato masher
    • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
    • 2 tbsp tamari or real soy sauce (MSG free)
    • 1-2 tbsp hoisin sauce
    • cooking oil as needed
    What To Do: 
    1. Add some oil to the wok and set it on medium heat. Fry the soy chunks until golden then transfer to a bowl and set aside. 
    2. Add a bit more oil to the wok then add the peas, mushroom, tofu and zucchini. Fry on medium to high heat until the tofu begins to dry out and the veggies cook a bit. Then add the rice and soy sauce and continue to cook until the vegetables are cooked to your liking and everything is well mixed together. Transfer fried rice to plates. 
    3. Add soy chunks back to frying pan to warm up, add hoisin sauce to taste and stir well. Serve on the side of the rice and enjoy.  


    Sunday, January 15, 2017

    Berry Banana-Nut Bowl of Science

    I got a rather expensive salad at a restaurant. The description was amazing but it turned out to be mostly leaves and I was starving so I throw together dessert when I got home. This turned out to be really good and also really healthy. It's mostly fruit and fruit is great. Lots of vitamins and antioxidants in them. Chocolate and coconut whipped cream are good for my happiness so that's always helpful. This turned out pretty decadent and it was the result of just adding everything I could think of that I had on hand.

    All that is in it is...
    1. Frozen Berries- microwaved for a minute


    2. Sliced Banana


     3. Chocolate Shavings


     4. Sliced Almonds


     5. Coconut Whipped Cream, More Chocolate Shavings, Strawberry


     I got chocolate shavings everywhere but it was worth it.


    Monday, January 9, 2017

    Cremini Mushroom Caps Stuffed with Garlic Cilantro Pesto.

    This recipe packs a flavor punch. It's pretty easy to put together and since my son loves mushrooms he actually eats this too.




    What you need:
    2/3 cup hulled sunflower seeds
    3 cloves of garlic
    1/3 cup cilantro leaves washed, stems removed
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
    1 tomato, roughly chopped
    1 large container of Cremini mushrooms

    What to do:
    1. Turn on oven to 450 degrees. Place the sunflower seed in a food processor and run until the seeds become a powdery meal.
    2. Add garlic cloves and run food processor until the garlic is combined and the mix looks like a more course meal.
    3. Turn off machine, add cilantro, lemon juice, soy sauce and tomato. Process until the ingredients are well mixed.
    4. Wash mushrooms and remove the stems. Fill each mushroom with the pesto and place in an oven safe baking dish. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes watching closely for the last 5 minutes. I sample one of the larger mushrooms to make sure that the pesto is fully cooked (my son gets upset if the garlic is too spicy).
    5. That's it. Enjoy. If there is left over pesto, you can use it in wraps or sandwiches.







    Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    Creamy Butternut Squash Curried Soup

    The Dilemma: We received a big, beautiful butternut squash in the organics vegetable box we ordered this week. My husband does not like squash but we have one so it must be eaten as organic food is pricey.

    The Solution: Blend it and add it to a spicy soup. My husband had seconds and my son ate it all so it must have been good.



    Ingredients:
    1/2 a butternut squash (about 2 cups blended)
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
    1 stalk of celery, chopped (I used two home grown celery stalks because they are smaller)
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 can coconut milk
    2 cups water
    small handful of sunflower seed
    1/4 cup quinoa
    2 tsp red curry paste
    pinch of black pepper
    salt to taste
    1 green onion chopped
    1 tomato chopped

    What to do:
    1. Cut the butternut squash into large pieces, (removing the seeds and goop) arrange on a large plate and microwave on high until cooked. This took my microwave about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and blend the squash with a bit of water until smooth.
    2. In a large pot on medium heat, add olive oil, pepper and celery and cook for 2 minutes.
    3. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
    4. Add squash, coconut milk, water, ground ginger, turmeric, sun flower seeds, quinoa. Bring to boil at higher heat then bring to low heat and simmer until the quinoa is cooked (no longer has white center).
    5. This is where I remove my son's portion as he does not like spice.
    6. Mix in 2 tsp red curry paste, salt and black pepper to taste. Top with fresh tomato and green onions.

    Makes about 3 servings. 

    Monday, September 12, 2016

    Sinfully Simple Vegan Chocolate Pudding

    Every once in a while I need to eat some awesome dessert. This recipe is incredibly easy and does not need a lot of ingredients. As a basic recipe, you can customize it a lot. Cocoa is good for you and the soy milk has protein and B12 if justification is needed. Needless to say, my son likes this recipe a lot.


    What you need:

    • 3 tbsp cornstarch
    • 3 tbsp cocoa
    • 3 tbsp of sugar
    • 2 cups of soymilk
    • Optional: Coconut whipped, chocolate shavings, mini Oreos
    What to do:

    Mix first three ingredients together in a pot. Add about a half a cup of the soymilk and mix well, Add the rest of the milk stirring well to combine. Heat on 4 (medium-low) continuing to mix with a whisk until the pudding thickens. Pour into bowls and put them in the fridge to cool for about an hour. Once cool, top with the chipped cream, chocolate shavings and Oreos.

    Makes 3-4 servings.  

    Sunday, September 11, 2016

    Quinoa and Lentil Vegetable Chowder

    It was early in the week and we had not had time to do a proper grocery. Fortunately there are vegetables in the house (there almost always is) and a few growing outside. We always have garlic and vegetable bouillon cubes and that is all you need for a soup base. Here is what we created from what we could find. Not the prettiest dish but it tasted good and was filling.



    Ingredients:
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • vegetable bullion cube
    • celery, 4 stalks if home grown, 1-2 stalks if from the store (we also chopped up the leaves and added them. 
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 1 cup of cauliflower,separated into florets
    • 1 cup of red lentils (other lentils work fine but take more time to cook)
    • 1/4 cup quinoa
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tsp salt
    What to do:
    1. Add the 4 cloves of garlic to a large sauce pan with the olive oil. Saute on medium until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to brown slightly. Don't let the garlic brown too much or it will taste burnt. 
    2. Once the garlic is cooked, add about 1/2 a cup of water to stop the garlic from frying further. Stir in the bullion cube so that there are no large clumps. Add about 5 cups of waer and set to high heat. 
    3. Add the rest of the ingredients and boil until the vegetables, lentils and quinoa are cooked. Remove bay leaf and enjoy :)

    Thursday, September 1, 2016

    Stu (the Impalers) Magnificent BBQ Tofu Kabobs

    I post a lot of recipes in this blog which would lead one to believe that I do all the cooking in the house. Fortunately for my sanity, this is not the case. My husband has his own set of recipes and makes dinner rather regularly. This is one of his concoctions and it is quite good. 


    Ingredients:
    • half a sweet onion, chopped into large pieces
    • cherry tomatoes
    • pepper, chopped in large pieces
    • zucchini, cut into 1 cm thick slices
    • a package of firm tofu, cut into cubes about a square inch
    • BBQ sauce
    • lemon pepper seasoning
    • bamboo skewers
    What to do
    1. Soak 6-8 skewers in water while you are chopping up the veggies and tofu. 
    2. Put zucchini in a bowel and sprinkle on some lemon pepper seasoning. Mix until evenly dispersed.
    3. Impale the veggies with the skewers by piercing them with the sharpened end. Split up the veggies more or less evenly among each skewer. You can choose to arrange the veggies in a pattern or not, what ever works for you. 
    4. Using a kitchen brush, spread the BBQ sauce over all the veggies and tofu except for the zucchini. 
    5. Use an aerosol oil to coat a clean grill of the BBQ. Turn the BBQ on to low-medium heat. Place skewers on the grill after it has heated up a few minutes. Flip the skewers every 3-5 minutes until cooked to your liking.  Use BBQ tongs for the flipping. Add more BBQ sauce to exposed side periodically. 
    6. Eat!



    Tuesday, August 30, 2016

    Completely Unauthentic But Pretty Good Tasting Dahl

    This recipe has evolved over time from something completely different. It was originally a butter-less, chicken-less, butter chicken recipe but soy chicken is crazy expensive and lentils are just amazing. They are packed full of fiber, protein and iron and my son will actually eat them so they are perfect.


    Ingredients:
    1 cup green lentils
    1/2 a large sweet onion (or a whole small one), chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 green pepper, chopped
    1 can of tomato soup
    3/4 cup soymilk
    2 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp ground cumin
    2 tsp garam masala
    1 tsp ground ginger
    olive oil
    paprika
    small handful of cherry tomatoes quartered

    What to do:
    1. Cook lentils according to package directions.
    2. In a frying pan or wok over medium heat, fry onion for about a minute then add garlic and fry both for another minute. Add green pepper and fry until onions turn translucent.
    3. Stir in the can of tomato soup, then stir in the soy milk.
    4. Add all the spices and mix well. Strain the lentils once they are cooked and mix those in too.
    5. Top with tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with naan or rice.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    Pizza Quesadillas

    We did not start off intending to make quesadillas again so soon. The plan for tonight was pizza. We had dough left over from another meal that we intended to use but when I went to roll it out is smelled like booze. I guess we let the yeast act on it a little too long. On to plan B.

    There were wraps so opted for pizza a slightly different way. I was not confident the wrap would provide enough support for the toppings as a single layer and quesadillas are faster to cook so that became the new plan. It worked well, my 4 year old liked them though we used a different vegetarian luncheon "meat" due to his hatred for anything spicy.



    Ingredients:

    • 3-4 wraps
    • pepper chopped
    • tomato copped
    • pizza sauce
    • Daiya cheese
    • Yves vegetarian pepperoni
    What to do:
    1. Lay out the wraps. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over half of each one. 
    2. Add a layer of daiya over the pizza sauce followed by the pepperoni, pepper, tomato and more daiya. 
    3. Fold the clear half of the wrap over. Fry without oil on a clean frying pan on medium heat until the cheese melts and that side browns. Flip and fry the other side. Chop in half and enjoy. 




    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    Quick Quesadillas

    We had to eat, we had soccer coming up fast, we couldn't waste anytime so we throw together some quesadillas. I was introduced to quesadillas in undergrad. They are customizable so I could order the ingredients I wanted, watch them make it, and be certain there was nothing lurking within that I was allergic to. This was an amazing discovery for me because posting ingredients to prepared cafeteria food was not common back then and I would frequently have allergic reactions to foods that seemed allergen free.

    We left university a long time ago now but have continued making quesadillas at home. This is a simple base recipe that can be added too. You could consider adding chopped snap peas, sweet onions, banana peppers, tomatoes, etc. The highly processed bologna could be replaced with seasoned tofu, beans or quinoa.





    Ingredients for 1 quesadilla:

    • 1 wrap
    • daiya cheddar or mozzarella shreds
    • 2-3 slices of Yves bologna
    • 1/2 a pepper chopped
    • salsa for dipping
    What to do:
    1. Lay wrap flat on a plate and sprinkle daiya over one side.
    2. Lay the bologna over the cheese. 
    3. Add pepper and any other toppings you like them top this layer with more daiya cheese. 
    4. Fold the wrap in half over the toppings. 
    5. Bring a clean, dry frying pan to low-medium heat. Add the quesadilla, cooking until the side browns slightly and cheese on that side melts then flip to cook the other side. 
    6. Transfer to plate, cut in half and serve with salsa for dipping. 


    Monday, August 15, 2016

    Easy But Crazy Healthy Vegetable Quinoa Soup

    If you have tomatoes, an onion, some sun dried tomatoes and other vegetables (almost any others really), you can make soup! Here is one such soup.


    Ingredients:

    • 3 pieces of sun dried tomato . 
    • 2 large tomatoes- cut into large peices
    • 1/2 a sweet onion- cut into large peices
    • 1/2 cup quinoa
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
    • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
    • 1/2 cup of savoy cabbage, chopped
    • 1 leaf of purple kale, chopped 
    • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
    • 1 tsp dried basil
    • 2 cups of water

    What to do:

    1. Put the sun dried tomatoes in a high speed blender with a bit of water and blend for about a minute. Leave them to soak for 5-10 minutes to soften the tomatoes then blend again until there are no large pieces. 
    2. Add the fresh tomatoes and onion to the blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a large pot. 
    3. Bring the tomato mixture to a boil on medium high then lower to medium. The soup base should turn from pink to red. 
    4. Add the rest of the ingredients, boil until the vegetables are cooked. Add more water if needed to maintain a desirable soupiness. 

    Sunday, August 14, 2016

    Bite into Bitters: Simple Dandelion Salad

    I love dandelion greens but this has not always been the case. They are bitter, there is no way around that. We are not use to eating bitters anymore because the taste has been more or less breed out of the other vegetables we eat over a long long time. It's too bad because they are good for the digestive system. The first time I bought them I boiled them and was not able to eat them at all. This was 11 years ago and now I buy them when ever they look healthy in the grocery store. I had to learn to love bitters slowly. I was motivated after learning about how amazing bitters are for your health from an expert in herbal medicine.  I started consuming moderately bitter greens like escarole. I would eat it until I stopped noticing the bitter tastes as much and started to notice the sweet notes then I'd move on to another more bitter green after a few weeks.

    The dandelion greens looked good today so I nabbed some for a simple, antioxidant rich salad. To my surprise my husband requested some and actually ate the whole bowl full. He did not claim it was enjoyable.


    Ingredients:

    • dandelion greens, washed well and chopped 
    • 1 tbsp of hemp hearts
    • 1-2 tbsp of slivered almonds
    • small handful of raw cashews
    • favorite dressing. Lemon with olive oil and herbs works well with the bitters. 
    Directions:
    • Mix everything together. 
    • Consume  :)
    This is easy enough that I am going to try to bring it as a lunch everyday for work to replace the nothing I currently eat for lunch. I buy these instead of wild sourcing because I live in the city and I am concerned with chemicals but if you had a good source you could collect your own :)

    Sunday, July 17, 2016

    Simple Salad with Maple Balsamic Tofu

    I don't eat a lot of salad. It was the first thing I got sick of when I went vegan, but I have been craving salads more often lately so I am bringing them back into the rotation. There is nothing too fancy about this particular salad, just veggies, seeds and a dressing I put together last week with ingredients we had on hand. Thus the accompanying tofu had to be a little special. I didn't include the dressing recipe here because I didn't measure anything exactly and it was a week ago so my memory is foggy. I will have a future post on how to throw together salad dressings.







    Ingredients:

    Salad 
    -lettuce
    -tomato
    -pepper
    -celery
    -cucumber
    -sunflower and hemp seeds

    Maple Balsamic Tofu
    -1 tbsp olive oil
    -420 g (one package) firm tofu cut into 6 slices
    -2 tbsp maple syrup
    -1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    -salt and pepper
    -salad dressing of choice (Greek works well)

    Directions:
    1. Chop salad veggies and combine in a bowl. Quantity is not important with salad veggies, chop as much as you like. Sprinkle sunflower and hemp seeds over top and set aside.
    2. Add olive oil to a pan and heat on medium. Before the pan gets too hot, arrange the tofu slices on the pan so there is no space between then (pictured above).
    3, When the oil starts to bubble pour the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar over the tofu. Keep a lid to the pan handy during the pour in case there is splatter when the syrup and vinegar mix with the hot oil.
    4. Cover the pan and left the tofu cook until the bottom begins to brown. Then flip to brown the other side. The maple syrup should caramelize a little. When both sides have browned a bit, add salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Add salad and tofu to a plate. Add favorite dressing to the salad and enjoy.


    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    When Life Gets You Down and You Just Need A Drink To Match the Mood

    I have neglected to post in the last few days. My parents were visiting on the weekend then one of my cats became very sick. We have been back and forth between home and the vets since Sunday. The prognosis unfortunately keeps changing which has certainly taken its toll but now the outlook is bad for my poor little kitty. He is on a pile of drugs now in the hopes that one will work by some miracle but at this point it is getting unlikely. To add insult to injury at the worst possible time, the government has decided I don't qualify for a tax benefit that they thought I did and would like me to pay them back $200 "immediately". It's funny how they take forever to pay us out any money but they want theirs "immediately".

    So vodka is the current solution (which is a pun). Since stress causes my body to be ridicules I was blessed with a UTI out of nowhere. 100% cranberry juice fixes these up in no time but is not particularly enjoyable. Hides the taste of vodka like a champ though. So here is my easy cocktail for when one is stressed out to the point of minor immune failure.

    F**K Everything I Need a Drink Vodka Cranberry

    1. Fill half the glass with 100% cranberry juice
    2. Add vodka, don't measure, just pour. Add about 1-3 ounces.
    3. Top with some water to take down the tartness of the cranberry juice a bit.
    4. Drink and forget your troubles just for a little while. It is not a sweet drink, but sweet drinks don't fit with sour situations.
    It's really not much to look at. Not sure why I even took a picture.


    Friday, August 21, 2015

    Easy Vegan Pasta Salad

    This is an easy, weeknight meal. I also served corn on the cob that night because corn was on sale so we had this a more of a side dish I suppose. I also had it for lunch the next 2 days. If made 4-5 servings as a side dish, probably 2-3 servings as a dinner.


    What You Need:

    • 2 cups of dried pasta. Most shapes will work for this, I use noodles made of durum semolina because they are vegan and cheep. 
    • 1/4- 1/2 cup of vegan mayonnaise. I would recommend Earth Indian (green lid) or homemade mayo because they are good and most vegan mayonnaise is gross. Very gross. 
    • 1 small carrot, chopped
    • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Thursday, August 20, 2015

    Decorate With Your Stuff: A Few Easy Ways To Make Your Closet More Interesting While Spending Nothing

    This decorating project started as a storage problem. I have a small jewelry box and not all of my stuff fits in there so I can't find anything and rarely wear any of it. So first, out came the bracelets. I put some nails in the wall and hung them up. (Note: Maybe don't display expensive jewelry this way as you may get robbed)


    I also hung up some hats along the ceiling because I want the shelf space for other things. Scarfs are hung below on command hooks. I need a few more hooks to make it look a bit more symmetrical.


    I really like dangly earrings. I could not wear them for a while out of fear of having them ripped out of my ears by my son but he is old enough now to know better (I hope). I wanted to hang them up so I could see them all. This was my solution:


    This was a very fast project.
    1. Staple some colourful paper to a canvas.
    2. Staple a string on the back to hang it up.
    3. Nail some nails around the edge of the canvas, more or less evenly.
    4. Weave embroidery thread haphazardly around the whole get up and tie it.
    5. Add earrings.




    Wednesday, August 19, 2015

    Motivated Morning Chocolate Protein Mocha Shake

    For mornings when you need some protein and a kick of caffeine. Also good for warm, humid days when the idea of drinking a hot coffee is off putting. Makes about 2.5 cups.


    What you need:

    • 1 1/2 cups Soy Milk
    • 1 scoop of Plant-based Protein Powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp Cocoa Powder
    • 1 1/2 tbsp Vanilla Jello Pudding Mix Powder (this is the secret ingredient, there is no gelatin in the powder)
    • 2 tsp Instant Coffee
    • 2 tsp Sugar
    • 6-10 Ice Cubes

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015

    A Place to Grow Vegetables All Winter Long

    This project took my husband and I most of the day yesterday but it was fun to put together. We basically made a 3x3x3 foot cube cage to keep the cats away from our plants. The front panel is on hinges and opens so we can easily access the plants. There is an eye and hook latch to keep it closed. The lid is not attached. It lifts off easily in case we want to work in there for a while. We covered the whole thing with chicken wire, the door and the lid separately so they can be removed. My husband bought the grow light online, it makes the whole room pink. Now I just have to fill it with plants. I'm not sure which ones work best in these conditions. There will probably have to be some experimentation. I think leafy greens like kale and spinach will do well. The pictures are not great due to the lighting but you get the idea.