Banana Colada Smoothies

Coconut yogurt has been a favourite of mine lately. When pineapples were on sale this week, I knew I had a match made in smoothie heaven.

20130927-192701.jpg

This smoothie is easy, but oh so yummy! I put in a banana, pineapple (about an 1/8th of the pineapple), 1/2 cup of coconut milk, and 1/2 cup of coconut yogurt. I didn’t add ice or coconut rum, but it would be delicious with it!

Detox Bath

We’re not all feeling 100% around here this week.  The fall cold season is upon us, and my allergies have been bothering me for some time.  Because I’m nursing, I can’t take a whole lot.  However, I did come across the directions for a detox bath on Pinterest last winter, and I thought that I’d try it.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay in as long as I wanted, because my baby is sick, too, and woke up and started fussing not long after I got in.

Fill up the bath with the hottest water you can stand.  If it is too hot, add a little cold water, but it has to be hot.  Add epsom salts (at least a cup), baking soda, and ginger.  The ginger will make you sweat!  Staying in for 20 minutes will help the toxins get out of your system, and if you can stay in for a second 20 minutes, your body can absorb some of the minerals in the water.  If you’re feeling like you’ve got a cold coming on, wrap yourself up in a blanket and keep warm following your bath will help with the detoxifying process.

Baked Tacos

My little guy made salsa at playgroup yesterday, and that had me hankering for some Mexican food.  There was a recipe floating around on facebook for baked tacos that had me drooling, and I knew it was meant to be.  I changed it a little from the original, but it was still very tasty.  AND the two-year-old who has been very defiant and not wanting to eat anything at supper time at half of a taco.  SUCCESS!

Anyway, here’s what you do:

Brown the meat.  I used lean ground beef.  The package I had was just shy of a pound, about 400g.  While I was browning it, I seasoned it with my own personal concoction, but feel free to use a package of taco seasoning if you wish.  I used chili powder, onion powder, dehydrated onions, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh oregano.  You’ll want to taste to make sure you’ve got the flavours right.  I put in a lot of chili and cumin because I’m slightly congested, and I wanted something spicy.

Next, I preheated the oven to 375.  I lined up 8 whole grain tortillas in a pan, and filled them with the meat.  I then added some refried beans (I used about half a can), spooned some salsa over top and then finished them off with a sprinkle of cheese.  I popped them in the over for about 10 minutes, and then we ate them with plain yogurt (we had the Balkan style) and some lettuce.

Delicious!

Beef Stew

When fall arrives, there’s nothing like a hearty stew to keep you toasty on the inside. This recipe is very versatile, but yummy!

Beef Stew
In my slow cooker I put in a package of stewing beef. It was approximately 1lb of meat. I added 1/2 cup of red wine, 2 cups of water, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 package of onion soup mix and black pepper. Next, add vegetables. I put in carrots and potatoes. When it is almost done, put 1/2 cup of flour in a mug and mix with warm water. Add to your soup. If it isn’t thick enough, you can add more flour. Mixing it with water first keeps the clumping down. Finally, add some herbs for flavour. I added rosemary, thyme, and sage. Serve with warm rolls, and you’ll have a great fall meal!

20130924-093537.jpg

Cake Pop Stand

When I was first making cake pops, I think I was sticking them into styrofoam that came in packaging. It worked ok, but wasn’t the best.

My crafty husband made me a holder for the pops, and it works great! I don’t use it for display, just for the decorating process.

20130921-115720.jpg

He took an old piece of shelving, and drilled 1/8″ holes in them, spaced about 2 inches apart. It’s a little beat up now, but it’s definitely done its job. When I’m done with it, it slides in behind my desk for storage.

Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup

My husband and I were talking about cauliflower the other day (I promise you, not all of our conversations are that dull!) and we decided that cauliflower is the pasta equivalent in the vegetable world. Meaning, it’s kind of boring on it’s own, but add cheese or butter and it’s great. That’s kind of what this soup is.

First, I chopped up a head of cauliflower , then I roasted it in the oven for about 25 minutes at 425 with some olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning. We had some leftover vegetables from the night before, carrots, broccoli, and potatoes, and I added those to the pan at this point, because they were already cooked. It probably amounted to almost 2 cups of potatoes, and another cup of the mixed vegetables.

Once the vegetables were cooked all the way through, I put them in a pot with a carton of soup stock, and then puréed them. I added 2 cups of old cheddar cheese, ground black pepper, and chives, and heated until warm.

It was definitely tasty! And made at least 6 servings.

20130921-115412.jpg

We did leave the skins on the potatoes. They added a great flavour.

Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

This soup recipe came in my mailbox the other day, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make it. However, things never quite work out exactly as planned, so I had to change it. Mostly because I started it at around 4, not realizing that it was a slow cooker recipe. Anyway, here’s what I did:

First, I took 3 sweet potatoes and pierced them with a fork. I put them in the oven to bake for about 45 minutes at 450. I did them this way because I really, really dislike chopping and peeling them. Then I cut them in half, and scooped the potato out with a spoon into a pot. I added approximately 1 cup of soup stock and 1 cup of apple cider, and put it on to simmer to finish cooking the potatoes.

While the potatoes were simmering, I chopped up 2 apples (I used gala, they were on sale last week). I put them in a frying pan with 1 tbsp of margarine. I added 1 tbsp of ginger, 2 tsp of curry, and 2 tsp of onion powder. I cooked the apples for about 5 minutes on a medium heat, then I added them to the pot. The mixture simmered for about another hour, and then I mixed it all together with my immersible blender. At this point, I added a little more cider, just because I like it creamy.

I also toasted some bread to go along with the soup. I sliced a ciabatta loaf in half, and added someolive oil and parsley, and then cooked it under the broiler in the oven until it toasted.

20130911-204445.jpg

This one got the seal of the approval from my two year old, as well. He especially liked to dip the bread into the soup.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin With Blueberry Sauce

I picked up a pork tenderloin this week when they were on sale. It’s one of our favourites. I thought tat I’d share my recipe for a stuffed tenderloin.

20130906-203623.jpg
All the herbs I used were fresh, out of our garden, but dried will work as well.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Slice the meat lengthwise, 3/4 of the way through. Fill with goat cheese. (My husband thought that I should have mixed it with spinach, but that’s up to you.)
Crush fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme in your hands, and then add to 2tbsp of olive oil. Add some black pepper. Rub the oil mixture onto the tenderloin. Place the meat in a roasting pan, making sure there is some oil underneath to prevent sticking. You can add more oil, if you wish.
Cook for 45 minutes at 350. Serve with blueberry sauce.

Blueberry Sauce
Bring the following to a boil:
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
2T sugar
1/4t nutmeg
1/4t ginger

Let simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together 1/4c corn starch and 1/4c sugar. Add to the liquid and boil again until it becomes thick. Remove from heat, add 1T lemon juice, 2T margarine, and at least 1c of blueberries (We like a lot of berries. Feel free to add more.) mash the berries to release the juices. Serve warm over the pork.

20130906-204749.jpg

We had some green beans from our garden (blanched, and then a bit of sea salt added) and garlic mashed potatoes. We whip them with the skins on with garlic, parsley, margarine, and milk. A pretty tasty supper, and our two year old loved the pork and sauce.

Clay Handles

I discovered Shay’s Clays last week, and she had a project about putting clay on everything that wasn’t bolted down. Ok, maybe not quite that… But she had made herself a handle for her blade, and I wanted to do the same thing, because what I currently had wasn’t cutting it.

20130905-151820.jpg
Well, maybe it was. My fingers. I used the leftover cane that I had from making beads for my son, and I pressed it down on the dull edge. I used a block of clay to hold it in place.

20130905-151928.jpg
I also made sure that the clay covered the hole I. The blade, just to help secure it. And here’s the finished product!

20130905-152018.jpg

So I wondered what else I could cover with clay… I ended up doing a crochet hook handle, because I’m making some slippers for a friend, and my hand cramped up the other night while I was working with the hook.

20130905-152132.jpg
I was trying to do a Skinner Blend with blue, orange, and white, and it didn’t work out for me. I think my problem was that I was using too little clay. So I just kind of swirled it together, and came up with what you see.

It was a little too much fun using that pasta machine, so I think that another Skinner Blend may be in my future this week…

Winnie the Pooh Set

I apologize for not getting this up sooner.  Even though I’m on maternity leave, I taught First Aid three days last week (certifying almost 40 teachers, as well as refreshing another handful!), and then we had our first family vacation as a family of four.  Whew.  I’m tired.

Anyway, when I published the pattern for my Pooh Hat, I told you that I’d give you the links for the other pieces.  Here’s where you can find a free pattern for both the booties and the diaper cover.  Just change up the colours to get them to match your project!

My little guy was six week old when I took these pictures, and the diaper cover is just a little too small (he’s also in size 1 diapers).  It would definitely fit a baby under three weeks and preferably still in nb size.  It would also be pretty easy to make the cover a little bigger, and just add a few more stitches to both the band and to the cover itself.  My favourite thing about the project is the buttons that I found to put on the booties.  However, since I have broken out my polymer clay again, it would be a snap to make some of my own.  Perhaps some ‘Hunny’ Pots?

Winnie the Pooh SetWinnie the Pooh SetWinnie the Pooh Set

Jack wanted to let you all know that he does not enjoy Mommy’s fashion decisions.

Crochet Winnie the Pooh Hat

Happy crafting!