March 25, 2013

painting in progress

I started a new painting!  I thought it would be kinda nice to chronicle its progress.

Here are my first two pics:



Can you guess what it is yet?

I'll post again after this weekend once I've worked on it more.

xo

March 19, 2013

zucchini frittata


It snowed today.  It was so pretty.  From where I sit at my desk, it looked like I was inside a snow globe.

But it's almost spring, so I'm turning my attention to spring vegetables like...  zucchini!  We made this frittata last weekend because we had a ton of zucchini on hand.  The recipe is super simple and it's packed with flavour.




Here's the recipe!

Zucchini Frittata
adapted from Meat Free Mondays Cookbook

Ingredients:
7 small zucchinis, scrubbed, thinly sliced
1tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic glove
6 large eggs
2 tbsp grated parmesan
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 tsp butter

Directions:

Cook the zucchini in the oil on medium-high, in batches, until golden on both sides.  Set aside.  In the same pan, fry the garlic, 1 min.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the cheese, salt and pepper.  In the same pan, melt the butter, then add the zucchini in layers, then pour the egg mixture on top.  Cook over low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the egg starts to set.  Transfer to the oven, and broil for about 5 minutes until the egg is golden on top.

Remove from the oven, and cut into slices.  Enjoy!


March 17, 2013

celery root soup for the soul


I've been feeling a little under the weather these last few days, so I made some soup so I could get well. I love celery root soup.  It sort of tastes like celery, but more subtle or something.  I used my immersion blender (one of my favourite kitchen tools ever!) to puree the celery root, and the result is a smooth and rich soup.  I'm feeling better already! ;)


Here's the recipe!

Celery Root Soup
adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • Coarse Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken or vegetable stock
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:
  1. In a medium stockpot, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onion and season with salt. Cook on low heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sautee for 1 minute. Add celery root and sautee for 2 minutes, then add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover, and cook until celery root is tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. While still hot, puree soup (I like to use my immersion blender) until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
    Enjoy!

March 13, 2013

super fast guac


You can make this guacamole faster than you can imagine.  I love recipes that are super fast and that you don't need to fuss with.  I didn't even give exact measurements in the recipe because it'll be great no matter what.  You can improvise too, and add other stuff you might have on hand like tomatoes or jalapenos.


Here's the recipe!

Super Fast Guac

Ingredients
3-4 avocados, peeled, cored and then mashed with a fork
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
2 cloves for garlic, smashed and chopped
dash of salt
dash of lemon or lime juice

Directions
Mix it all together in a bowl, with a fork.  Dip into your guac with a crunchy tortilla chip.  Enjoy!
(See, super fast.)


March 09, 2013

perfect with a glass of milk


Craving chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing, but want it to be a little more guilt-free?  These cupcakes are super tasty, yet they're packed with fibre and protein because they're made with black beans.   Plus they're gluten-free and paleo!  I used this recipe for a cake a while back, and it turns out they work just as well as cupcakes.


making the cupcakes... this is what the beans look like once they're combined with eggs and sugar in the food processor


Pair them with the best chocolate icing ever, and you're golden.

Sprinkles are optional but will cause smiles.



Here's the recipe!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 16 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed) (540ml/19 fl oz)
5 large eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp cocoa  powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place 16 baking cups into 2 muffin trays.   Spray each cup with Pam or cooking spray to prevent the cake from sticking.
Place the beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt into blender or food processor. Process or blend on high until beans are completely liquified.

In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder.
In a larger bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add the remaining two eggs, beating well after each one. Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix. Finally, stir in cocoa powder mixture and water  and beat the batter for one minute until smooth. Spoon into muffin pan, filling each cup almost to the top.
Bake for 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Cupcakes are done when the top is rounded and firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Icing:

2 cups icing sugar
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
milk, as required

Place butter and dry ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and beat to combine.  Add vanilla, then add a dash of milk and beat again. Continue until you achieve a soft spreadable icing.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled down, spread them with the icing.  To add sprinkles, pour about 1 tbsp of sprinkles onto a small plate, then dunk each cupcake into the sprinkles icing-side down.

Enjoy!



March 02, 2013

winter vegetable barley soup



I love winter and I love tucking into a delicious hearty soup in the wintertime.  Here's a one such recipe that will make you smile with every spoonful.  I learned it from my mom (love you Mom!).  You can add different vegetables to it like potato, leek, and zucchini just to name a few.  So experiment with whatever you've got!

Here's the recipe!

Vegetable Barley Soup

Ingredients:
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, finely chopped (I use the food processor for fast action)
6 celery stalks, finely chopped (I use the food processor for fast action)

1/4 cup barley, washed (if you can, soak them for about an hour, and they'll cook faster in the soup).
1 box of vegetable broth, less salt variety if possible
lemon juice, salt & pepper, to taste
chili pepper flakes (optional, I like heat)

Directions:
Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large pot on medium heat.  Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium low.  Cook for about 10 minutes until the onions have cooked down and slightly golden.  Add carrots and celery, and cook them for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Add broth and barley, turn up heat.  Once the soup is brought to a boil, turn down heat to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes until the barley is completely cooked (you've have to do a tooth test to be sure).  Add lemon juice, salt & pepper to your liking.

Serve immediately.  You can also keep it refrigerated in an air tight container for about 2 days - it's also great as a leftover.

Enjoy!