I can’t believe it’s November already and I have decided to sign up for my 1st NaBloPoMo ( National Blog Posting Month ) where you post every day of the month and yes, I may have just lost my mind. Life has been crazy with an unexpected move, total house renovation, soccer, choir and I topped October off with my first case of pneumonia!
Living without a kitchen hasn’t left me inspired to blog much, but since it should be finished this week it seems like a perfect time to commit myself to this blogging challenge.
Can you believe it actually snowed today so I am ready to look forward to T-day and Christmas, after a quick look back at yesterday’s Halloween fun with my girls, that is. Last year I was so busy doing stuff that we didn’t decorate, didn’t carve pumpkins, and barely made it trick-or-treating. They may never let me forget it, but this year I made sure that we carved pumpkins and decorated just a little .
I hope you’ll join me this month for a little inspiration, relaxation and maybe even rejuvenation. Bring it on November 2014!
I love the tastes of fall, especially pumpkin. I definitely lean towards the savory side and this thai pumpkin soup came together in minuets with such a warming texture and taste that I am making it again today.
Since we just moved, AGAIN, I have been remodeling the kitchen in the sadly neglected home we bought. The good news is that it will be finished next week and I can’t wait to show you all the transformation. The biggest problem in the kitchen is the stove, which I use a lot, as it has 2 setting. High and Off. Seriously, you can’t adjust the heat or the flame goes out and you are then leaking gas! It’s not just annoying, it’s dangerous so we ordered a new stove which is on the way from NY right now. Gotta tell you, I am ready for things to be more normal and spend time cooking rather than painting or tiling every day.
Back to the soup and pumpkin, which taste do you prefer, savory or sweet pumpkin?
Ingredients: 4 servings
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion – I used red because that is what I like best
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger- chopped
1 1/2 cups organic pumpkin puree
2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup canned coconut milk- shake well
1-2 teaspoons red curry paste – I keep it mild to serve the kids, but add as much spice as you like!
1 Tablespoon cilantro – plus more for garnish
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In medium saucepan, saute onion in olive oil until soft and translucent. add next 7 ingredients and stir until heated through. using either a Vitamix or stick blender, blend ingredients until smooth. add lemon juice, stir and season with salt and pepper and serve.
Garnish with coconut milk, cilantro, chopped nuts or green onion.
Let’s kick off i Heart Quinoa week with a strawberry, thyme and quinoa smoothie.
I eat tons of veggies, but I am not as good as eating fruit so smoothies are a great and delicious way to get the added nutrition of fruit into your diet. By why add quinoa? Well, it’s affordable, easy to make and store and is chock full of protein, magnesium, vitamin B6 and iron. We will learn more about quinoa this week, but lets start with with this easy yummy smoothie, shall we.
This is not a super sweet smoothie, but very filling and earthy with the quinoa and thyme. Add any liquid sweetener such as maple syrup or agave to taste if you don’t have simple syrup on hand.
Ingredients: 2-1 cup servings
3/4 cup vegan milk ( almond, coconut, soy)
1/4 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 Tablespoons thyme infused simple syrup *optional, recipe below
place all ingredients into blender and blend well for 60-80 seconds. garnish and serve immediately.
Simple syrup is frequently used in mixed drinks and is basically equal parts sugar and water warmed on the stove. To infuse it with thyme, simply add thyme sprigs to the sugar and water mixture after the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme and use the simple syrup in smoothies, tea or cocktails.
Tomorrow, I’ll share one of my favorite quinoa salads with you along with some quinoa cooking tips.
How has summer been treating your skin? If you are dry, flaky and maybe a bit splotchy then this easy diy coconut lemon salt scrub is just what you need. I love to have the time to pamper myself, but in reality it’s quite rare. By having a scrub with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen right now, there are no more excuses. Get to mixing then get your scrub on people!
Another great scrub option is my olive oil sugar scrub, still only 3 yummy ingredients.
1 part ( 1/4 cup) coconut oil
1 part (1/4 cup) Himalayan pink sat
1 teaspoon lemon zest *adjust to your salt/oil ratio
1 teaspoon lemon juice
over very low heat, melt coconut oil and stir in remaining ingredients. allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container.
in the shower, scoop up a small amount of scrub and rub into skin in a circular motion, paying extra attention to knees and elbows. rinse well and follow with your favorite lotion.
Common Sense Notes- avoid eyes and mucous membranes, use of oil will make your shower or bath slippery so be careful.
So what happens when you have gorgeous cherries, vegan chocolate chips and a Cuisinart ice cream maker? You make cherry chocolate chip ice cream of course!
and I want you to make some too, so don’t forget to enter this fun contest below. Not only do I want YOU to win an ice cream maker, I want to give 2 so that you can give one to a friend. Yup, I’m cool like that.
One of the biggest complaints about vegan ice creams is that the texture isn’t what you are used to. If you are used to full fat ice cream, then you are right. Most of the vegan ice cream I make is more like an “ice milk” , much lighter in fat, flavor and has an icier texture. But this ice cream is freaking creamy and full of fat ( well, you asked for it). There is good news though, the fat in coconut is thought to be healthier than other fats and since it’s not from an animal, it’s also cholesterol free.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
2- 13.5 cans full fat organic coconut milk
3/4 cup agave, maple syrup or turbinado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon vodka
1 1/2 cups pitted cherries
2/3 cup vegan chocolate ships
shake cans of coconut milk then pour into medium saucepan. over low heat, add sweetener, salt and whist until dissolved. whisk in corn starch until combined. remove from heat, add vanilla and vodka. allow mixture to cool, occasionally whisking to keep ingredients combined. once cooled, follow ice cream maker instructions byturning machine on then slowly pouring mixture into pre-frozen base. once mixture is mostly frozen, approximately 10-15 minutes, add cherries and chocolate chips through top of machine and mix just until incorporated. transfer mixture to freezer safe container and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
* my cherries were heavy and wanted to sink to the bottom, occasionally stir ice cream mixture together for even distribution while freezing.