Sunday, 29 May 2011

Love Local Show - Saturday June 4th

I am gearing up for the Love Local show at the revamped Evergreen Brick Works on Saturday June 4th. It sounds like it'll be a great time with all kinds of groovy artisans nestled in a little urban oasis. I plan to get there early so that I can load up on yummy snacks from the farmer's market. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Bright Soup for a Grey Day

It is raining again. These grey days are relentless and I am noticing that I am feeling sluggish rather than skipping merrily along as I usually do in springtime. I am hoping that the sun will arrive soon, but in the meantime, I decided I would make some bright yellow pea soup. The recipe is from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen and it is divine. It tastes exotic and rich and entirely soothing all at once. It's almost like sunshine in a bowl. It is one of my favourite winter soups, but I think it will be just as fitting on a rainy spring day.

It calls for spinach thrown in at the end, but I am wary after a bad experience when I added spinach to a bean soup and the whole thing was really weird and slimy.

Yellow Pea and Coconut Milk Soup:

Soak 2 cups yellow split peas for at least an hour, then bring them to a boil in a pot with 8 cups of water, a couple of bay leaves, 3 cloves (I didn't have whole cloves so I just added a little powdered clove) and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Simmer and let the peas cook partially covered.

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan and add 1 finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup minced cilantro stems. Cook for around 10 minutes, then add 1 1/2 tsp tumeric, 1 tsp cardomon (if you have it, I didn't), 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add 1/2 cup of water from the simmering peas and cook until the water is gone.

Add the onion mixture to the peas and continue to cook for about one hour until everything is nice and soft.

Remove the bay leaves and puree, then stir in a can of coconut milk and the juice of a lime.

This is where I end it, but she also suggests adding cooked rice to each bowl, along with the dreaded cooked spinach ( Danger! Potential slime alert!) and then topped with yogurt spiced with a bit of tumeric, paprika, cumin and pepper.

It may seem as though it's time intensive, but it actually isn't that fussy and is well worth it.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Recovering From The Distillery Show

Phew! I have finally recovered from the Distillery Show this past weekend. I was pooped!

It was wonderful to meet some of the other vendors, drink too much Balzacs coffee, nosh on wheat berry and wild rice salad from Cafe Uno, and chat with people who stopped by to check out our aprons. It was gorgeous on Saturday, so much so that I didn't dress warmly enough on Sunday and had to resort to running on the spot and wearing our oven mitts to stay warm. The May 2-4 weekend weather is always bizarrre.

Despite the wonky weather it was still fun. I was lucky to have my girlfriends hang out with me in my booth and keep me company. All in all it wasn't a bad way to spend a long weekend.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Distillery Show - May 21, 22 & 23

I am experiencing some mad preparation for the Artisans at the Distillery Show this weekend. I had to exercise supreme self control when a temptress girlfriend tried to lure me away from my work by telling me about a sale at Anthropologie. It took all of my willpower to stay away but I am swamped and will have to wait until after the weekend to reward myself with an Anthropologie treat.

In the meantime, I prep. It will be the first time for Domistyle at The Distillery. I always feel like I am tucked away in another time and place when I am at the Distillery District with its brick streets, winding alleys and old buildings. I love the atmosphere, the galleries and the shops. I will be right outside of Balzac's which has the best coffee around. I never considered myself a coffee snob and wouldn't have thought that I could taste a huge difference, but their coffee is smooooth. I will also be filling up at Soma, heavenly purveyor of divine chocolate treats. I may not sleep for days, will be doing laps around my booth from caffeine and cocoa overload, but it will be well worth it. I'm looking forward to talking with the other artisans and meeting apron fans!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Keds Saddle Shoes

Could there be a more adorable sneaker for spring? I don't think so. I am having major shoe lust this season. I am loving the wedges, chunky clogs and nude high heels that promise to give me gams that go on forever but every now and then a girl just needs a cute and comfy pair of sneakers to run around in. These sweet kicks fit the bill.

Must. Have. Immediately.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Hot Docs Rocked

Sigh. The Hot Docs documentary film festival is over for another year. I always come out of it challenged, exhilarated and exhausted. I am now gearing up for some heated debate over beer and french fries next week when I'm getting together with friends to discuss the films. One of my favourites was The Interrupters, about former gang members trying to stop violence in Chicago. I loved the characters for their courage and heart. I came out of it inspired and awestruck.

Peacekeeping Lasagna

I had a bit of a dilemma this week. I was having a few people over for dinner but it was a mix of hard-core meat lovers and vegetarians. I wanted to make something satisfying for both. I knew that the carnivores would revolt at the sight of tofu but I wasn't going to roast meat and traumatize my veggie friends. Vegetable lasagna was the perfect answer. It is filling and satisfying for meat lovers, and vegetarians will not feel ostracized (thank goodness they aren't lactose intolerant!) I found a great recipe from Canadian Living that was remarkably unfussy and quick. It was extra easy because I used oven-ready lasagna noodles. I added pesto to the sauce along with a splash of red wine (one for me and one for the sauce) to take it up an extra notch.

I served it with crusty rolls and a crisp salad, along with lots of red wine and everyone was happy and united. I love it when things are easy!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Here's to all the moms, today and every day! Time to celebrate loving with a big open unconditional heart. Whether you are mom to your kids, your pets, your plants or your friends, this is a shout out to all the ladies in the house! You're all yummy mummies, and I hope that we all remember to honour our moms today.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Mother's Day Prepping

Things are swinging into full gear with Mother's Day right around the corner. I have been filling lots of orders for Yummy Mummy aprons. I am happy to know that people are remembering their mamas!

I think I have my Mother's Day plans in order. I will bring my mom a new apron (she is number one Yummy Mummy of course) and some flowers. I found these delicious looking lemon ricotta pancakes on the food network and decided they would be a delightful Mother's Day breakfast treat. I will pair them with fresh berries, a fruit salad, tea, and plenty of hugs.

I saw these lovely free printable PDFs on Oh Happy Day which will elevate any Mother's Day breakfast. They are so cute and an adorable way to personalize a sweet Mother's Day meal.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Hot Docs Popcorn

Hot Docs is here! I have already seen a couple of documentaries and have a few more lined up. I am gearing up to be intrigued, provoked, and stuffed with popcorn. As soon as I enter a movie theatre and smell that popcorn smell I start salivating. It is completely Pavlovian.

With ten days of movies, however, I may need an alternative to plain old buttered popcorn. I made myself kettle corn (my favourite) and some chili lime popcorn to smuggle into the shows for variety. Yum!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Sunday Procrastination Loaf

I have a giant to-do list that I wanted to barrel through today. I feel like I have a million things to do but when I woke up this morning my giant cup of coffee just wasn't kick-starting my mojo.

I have a big pile of oranges and decided I should use them before they shrivel up and die on me. Dealing with them became priority number one. I found a recipe for orange loaf here, and started squeezing.

Perhaps a citrus-y sugar rush will get me in gear to tackle the day. If not, I will have the perfect loaf for loafing around.