Monday, 30 January 2012

Creamy Butternut Squash Stew

Yesterday was the first day of the Toronto Gift Show. It was great to see my booth neighbours again and it was a good day. By the time I got home, however, I was spent. I was so happy that I'd made a delicious butternut squash and tofu stew beforehand. It is from the Vegetarian Times website, was the easiest thing to throw together and like most stews, seemed to get better the next days as the flavours melded. Pulsing the corn in the food processor made a creamy, vegan base. The whole thing was mellow an sweet and soothing. A perfect cozy meal to come home to after a long day of water and Luna bars. I'm going to eat it again tonight.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

National Chocolate Cake Day

Yesterday was National Chocolate Cake Day and I missed it! How could I have missed such an important event? Why wasn't I informed? Maybe it is only in the States because I would think if this was a worldwide event (and it should be), there would have been parades and celebrations galore. I can't think of a better holiday for the depths of winter. I am ashamed of myself for having missed such a special day and plan to make amends by eating chocolate cake today instead. I may be a day late but I will do my best to atone for my tardiness.
(Kitty image found here.)

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Anthroplogie Torture

It has been too cold to wear any cute dresses lately. I am piling on as many layers as I can and topping it off with my puffy coat. I am convinced that people are mistaking me for Barney. For me, practicality wins over cute fashion in the winter. So why, oh why did Anthropolgie have to send me an email featuring their latest dreamy dress? It is a sweet sundress covered in bicycles, a dream come true frock if ever there was one. Why must they torture me this way?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Food Art

I was flipping through Oprah's latest issue when I came across a piece about Judith G. Klausner and her Oreo cameos. This takes the art of food preparation to a whole new level. The artistry and patience! The willpower! How can she be near all those Oreo cookies and not lick out the middle before she creates her art? I checked out her website and discovered that she does embroidered toast as well.

Part of her artist statement reads:

My latest series (now in progress) uses Victorian handicraft processes to transform modern packaged foods, exploring how the intertwined histories of gender and craft have shaped one another and our everyday lives. I hope to change the way people see the small and often disregarded ephemera of life, and question what defines these things as ephemeral at all. What becomes mythologized, and what is discarded as mundane? Can the same set of skills that were once obligatory and unremarkable become valued craft simply based on a shift in cultural perspective?

In exploring these questions, my work brings to light the beauty (and sometimes humor) in subjects and materials often dismissed or taken for granted.

I am in awe (and kind of craving a cookie).

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Cat Make-up

I am already fearful that I am a crazy cat lady. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of my friends and family are fearful of the same thing. I already have a cat plate that I love. My friend recently talked me out of buying a cat pillow that was extremely snuggly. Now I have come across a make-up collection inspired by cats. Is it terribly wrong and crazy or is it the cutest, most brilliant thing ever? Can anyone truly resist lipstick with a cat face on it? Why would anyone want to? I am very tempted.

Maybe I could make cat shaped cookies, lay them out on my cat plate and then give myself a make-over with some lovely cat make up? Meow!

Vintage Style Fridges

Forget those sleek stainless steel fridges! Look at these pastel pretties! I saw them here and instantly started craving a confection coloured kitchen. They are so much more fun and cheery, don't you think?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Happy National Popcorn Day

Who knew, right? I think there is a day for everything now. I for one am happy to celebrate the golden kernel. I am a big fan. My Golden Globes popcorn was delicious, I gobbled up my creations in no time but knowing that today is a day celebrating popcorn I have no choice but to make some more. Perhaps today it will be peanut butter popcorn (put peanut butter on anything and I am going to like it) or classic caramel corn.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Foods to Beat Blue Monday

Today is Blue Monday, deemed the most depressing day of the year. It is calculated by considering factors including weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, and the need to take action combined with low motivational levels. It's a lot to deal with and I can imagine that many people are starting to feel the darkness of winter creeping in.

With that in mind I searched for the top foods to fight depression. The main warriors are items containing the omega vitamins like salmon and walnuts, brown rice, brewers yeast, whole grains like quinoa and greens which contain lots of vitamin B and cabbage.

To help us all in the battle against Blue Monday, here are a few recipes featuring depression fighting foods:

Butter-Beer Bread using brewer's yeast.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Kale fried rice combines two depression fighters in one dish! I have made this a few times and it is delicious. I have even eaten it for breakfast more than once.

Little Quinoa Patties

This warm quinoa salad is topped with walnuts - another double duty recipe.

Vegetarian stuffed cabbage
which also features Swiss chard ( more greens, yay!)

More greens and walnuts in this arugula salad with candied walnuts

Time to eat your way to happiness!

And if all else fails, here is a recipe for a Boston Cream pie vodka martini. Whatever works...

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Golden Globes Popcorn

I am a sucker for all the awards shows. I love seeing the gowns and the fawning that goes on and how self congratulatory everyone is. I am in for the long haul, starting with the red carpet show until the bitter end. I am sure that Michelle Williams will be a vision as always.

Knowing that I have a long night of television viewing ahead of me, I decided that I needed to prepare with snacks. Popcorn is the obvious choice. I am a kettle corn fan, but I decided to expand my kernel horizons and search for other tasty recipes. I went with spicy maple cashew popcorn, because you can't go wrong with sweet and spicy all in one handful. Considering it was going to be a long night, I also made honey spice popcorn, with orange zest and almonds. Heavenly.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Popovers With Braised Leeks

I'm not exactly sure of what a Yorkshire pudding is. All I know is that it seems to be something that British people eat on Sundays with roast beef. It doesn't look like a pudding but I've always been intrigued. They look like they would be the perfect nibble on a January day when you want something to stick to your ribs. I saw a recipe for popovers with braised leeks and knew this was going to be my vegetarian answer to a Sunday Yorkshire pudding dinner. They were delightful! I love how they puffed up like little doughy mounds. They were smothered with sweet and savoury leeks and veggie bacon and made me feel like I was having a fancy Sunday dinner, no roast beef required.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Cranberry Orange Loaf

I know Christmas is over and it is now all about New Years Resolutions, eating salads, going to the gym and being virtuous, but I had to bake anyway. I had some left over fresh cranberries in the fridge and I saw this loaf recipe and it just sounded so tasty that I couldn't resist. It has the perfect blend of orange, nuts and tart cranberries and it smelled like a little loaf of heaven when it was baking. It is absolutely perfect. I'm not kidding. I seriously think I have found the perfect loaf. I am definitely making this my go to recipe next Christmas. I will be eating this with my tea in the afternoon (and morning and evening).