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halloween 

Hi all! Just wanted to share a couple things with you from Halloween yesterday. I love Halloween, and was very excited to spend one back in Canada!

My sister-in-law and I decided to do some pumpkin carving together, so I went to their house to spend some time carving with these little monkeys!

I’m pretty proud of my pumpkins this year – my best yet, I think. I wanted to do something a little different to the ordinary pumpkin faces, so after a few google searches, here’s what I came up with: 

FUN!!

We decided to carry the Halloween theme on to the food – my SIL’s idea. We made these cute stuffed peppers, decorated like jack-o-lanterns. Very fun! And tasty too! I’d love to see some of your Halloween fun, too – please share!

-Jamie

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black bean soup

I hate soup. Really. My mom will would probably tell you that’s true.

I know you’re probably thinking ‘who could hate soup?’

I just don’t really see the point.

Okay, if I’m being really truthful, I love chicken noodle soup. But mostly just the chicken and noodles – leave the broth. And a love an amazing minestrone soup, with all the fantastic fresh vegetables – just leave the broth. And french onion soup is great, with the crispy cheesy bread on top – please leave the broth.

Theme developing? When I eat, I like food that has substance to it – something I can chew!

BUT… I love this Black Bean Soup! And it’s easy-peasy!! Here’s my take on a recipe for black bean soup:

Ingredients (serves 4 or so):DSC_5332.NEF

  • Bacon – 2-3 strips
  • Onions – 1 medium
  • Garlic – 1-2 cloves
  • 2 tins black beans in water
    (rinse if they’re in salt water, otherwise tip them in, water and all)
  • Chicken stock cube
    (I use low-sodium)
  • Cumin –  1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground Coriander – 1 teaspoon
  • Lime juice to serve
  • Feta & croutons OR sour cream and cilantro/coriander to serve

How to create the yumminess:

1. Chop the bacon, onion, and garlic, and toss into a pan. Cook covered until soft.
2. Add the stock cube and beans. If you have drained the beans, add water to just cover. Add cumin and ground coriander. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Blitz the soup until smooth – I just used my hand blender in the pot.
4. Simmer until reduced to desired thickness – mine only took 5 minutes or so.

To serve, drizzle with a bit of lime juice and top with extras. Traditionally, this would be topped with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped coriander/cilantro, but I prefer a bit of crumbled feta and, if you like, a few of your favourite croutons.

Keep any leftovers refrigerated – makes great lunches! Enjoy!

DSC_5404.NEF

-Jamie

 

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back to work & blueberry muffins

I fully intended to blog lots at the holidays. FAIL!  But regardless, it was nice to have a holiday. I did manage to do a bunch of crafting and creating, which is, I suppose, more important than writing about it. AND, it gives me lots to write about in the next few weeks, when I try to get my head around working (more than) full-time and maintaining the blog. Blogging is something that I’m feeling passionate about keeping going, so hopefully I’ll manage to find the time to create, and then to write about it.

One of my goals for 2015 (not a resolution, a goal) is to be healthier in life. I don’t mean that I want to be more active and to eat healthier (although those are def. part of it too). I want to enjoy life more this year; life was good this year, but some parts of it were hard. Mostly working too much, and getting myself tired and frustrated because of work. Don’t get me wrong – I love my job. I can’t imagine doing anything else, most of the time, but more time for me and for family is definitely necessary. That’s where the blogging and crafting come into play.

Random – that was a tangent that I totally wasn’t planning on. Anyway, I go back to work tomorrow. No kiddies, just a training day.

And just before the break, year 5 were doing some baking and had buttermilk left over. They were planning on getting rid of it, I believe, but I said I was happy to take it. LOVE buttermilk!

I didn’t get around to making much out of it, so today I fashioned some of it into tasty and delicious blueberry muffins. Tomorrow, I’m going to take them into school to share. I love baking, but don’t make more food around the house! Nice to share!

I used my own take on the recipe, and they turned out great. I’ll post it sometime soon, if anyone is interested.

DSC_5378.NEF

Was very excited to use my brand-new 3 tier cooling rack. (sad, I know!) It’s great for my little kitchen.

DSC_5380.NEFDon’t forget, tomorrow is week one of the 52 week photo challenge, and the topic is ‘new’. Cameras at the ready!

-Jamie