Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Coconut Quinoa

So it's that time of year when anything pumpkin sounds really tasty.
I mean, I love a pumpkin muffin or scone. I really like pumpkin risotto and Fettucine ai Zucca et Zenzero (Pasta with Pumpkin and Ginger - I'll post this recipe soon because it is unimaginably yummy). All those things however are super rich in carbs and in calories. This quinoa recipe is, on the other hand, rich in flavor but also rich in protein and taste without all the guilt. Plus, it's super easy to prepare and it can be served warm or cold. So if you like winter squash and you like coconut, then you'll love this hearty side dish. I'm dedicating this vegan recipe to Thug Kitchen!


Pumpkin Coconut Quinoa

Ingredients:
1 small, chopped, cooked sugar pumpkin
1 Cup Quinoa (rinse it first)
1 medium beet root
1/2 cup Edemame - shelled
1 Tbs. coconut oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 bunch chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut the little pumpkin in half, clean out the seeds (reserve them) and bake the snot out of the pumpkin until it's tender - about 1 hour at 400 degrees. Let it cool and chop it into bite sized pieces.
  2. Rinse the Quinoa and cook in 2 cups water or vegetable broth for about 20 minutes.
  3. Boil the beet root for about 45 minutes until tender, peel it and chop it into cubes.
  4. When the Quinoa is done cooking (it should have absorbed all or most of the liquid) take off the heat and transfer into a large bowl. 
  5. Add coconut oil and stir well.
  6. Add all the remaining ingredients and season well.
  7. It is great served with a pork roast or all by itself for lunch.





Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Bone Season

I'm and avid reader and always have been.
My friends and family are the same. In fact, some of my closest friends are my book club ladies. Some of the best books I have read (*future post about my faves) are because of these spectacular women. And my sister has often clued me in on the best novels (I never would've have read the Potter series if it wasn't for her).
But every once in a while I choose a book for myself that is "knock your socks off" magnificent.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is one such book. In fact, it is actually a series of books and the second one, The Mime Order, will debut on January 27th 2015 here in the States. (Sqeee)!
It has been compared to the Potter Series though this is not Young Adult. It has also been compared to The Hunger Games series. But it is neither; The Bone Season has it's own special darkness and it's own satisfying hope that the other two series simply do not possess. Read it. You won't be sorry.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cozy Autumn Cocktails

Cardamom Hot Toddy
The smell of fallen leaves, a fire in the hearth, the scents of apples and pie crust, a slow cooked roast...These are the things that let us know that Autumn is edging ever closer to Winter. During these darkening months, comfort often comes in ways that are different than the ways we achieve comfort in, say, Spring or Summer.

One of the ways I feel soothed in the Autumn is by the occasional after work cocktail. My favorite drinks to get while I'm out at this time of year are The Whiskey Fig at the Pour House and The Drunken Butterfly at the Shady Lady Saloon. But in an effort to save money it's always fun and frugal to create our own adult beverages at home.

These are some goodies I have found!

The Jonathan Chapman Cocktail: I call it Spiked Cider. I really like Food Republic.
Nutella Melt with Frangelico from "Winter Cocktails": More a dessert than a beverage.
Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate
Pomegranate Vanilla Sangria
Pear and Ginger Sage Sipper

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Best of Mood Boards and Collage

Loretta at Creatively Driven: My inspiration for this post.
Regina says I should know some HTML (#17) to have a successful blog and be a serious blogger. I tend to agree with her; she is an uber expert. I think that because I have a lifestyle blog. In addition to knowing just a tiny bit of code, it would behoove me to also know Photoshop in order to create mood boards like the ones here. As in poetry, a mood board (or color board as some would call them) captures feelings, textures, ambiance and indeed feelings that cannot be expressed by words alone. Don't get me wrong; you know I fancy myself a poet and I love the written word, but I love a picture too; it is said, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Now if only I could muster the time and commitment to take a Photoshop class.

Here is a collection of some pretty boards I've recently found while scouring around this playground.

Brianna Rose: Her style is impeccable.


Colleen at Inspired to Share: Her spirit is captivating as you can see in her imagery here.


All of these items are sold on Etsy. This warm board was curated by Sofia Budman.. She is someone I follow on Pinterest and she hails from Tel Aviv, Isreal.


Sara at Salted Ink is amazing. Her style is fresh; her branding sensational.


This was arranged by Kayla Kits at HGTV's Blog: the concept of bubbles is refreshing. I love her addition of the illustrated Kitty.


And finally...
Something Calm at Swooned for the last selection. It was created by Lauren Kathryn. I like the diamond elements.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fall: It's Decorative Gourd Season

By the way, it really is Decorative Gourd Season and we love McSweeney's!

On that note, ever made Roasted Pumpkin Seeds?

While it's not Halloween anymore, we are in the throws of the Autumn Season. That means pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie. I still love to clean out the inerts of a pumpkin - not just for the puree that is needed for all the pumpkin goodies but for the roasted seeds especially.

The following recipe is very easy but you must keep an eye on these guys or they'll burn to crisp.


Ingredients:

The seeds of one large pumpkin (put under the faucet in a strainer to remove all the pumpkin pulp)
2 Tbs Butter, melted
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste (I like to use Trader Joe's Flower Pepper for these).

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Pat dry the seeds between two clean dish cloths or paper towels.
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.
Stir well to coat all seeds with the seasonings and oils. (Fat is used in cooking because it carries flavor)!
Place the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Put in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Check the seeds about 5 minutes in and shake the pan around.
Lower the temperature of the oven to 300 and roast for another 15 minutes. You may hear some popping. When you do, go and shake the pan...
When the seeds are the color of brown you like, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
Transfer to a pretty bowl and serve.








Friday, October 31, 2014

The Human Marvels

Every year the husband and I throw a big Halloween Event. This year, in an effort to move away from my usual vampire theme, I decided to do "Freak Show" as a nod to Geek Love, A book I read this year and absolutely loved. You saw the invitations. In doing research for this party I became fascinated with the side show and with the glossary attached. The advent and history of the physically unusual accepting money for people to gawk upon their malformations has become somewhat of a little past time for me and a great addition to my abundant admiration of the macabre.

Happy Halloween! 
Enjoy "The Human Marvels" and this outstanding website called Montrous.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ghoulish, Dreadful, Macabre and Gruesome


It seems we try so hard to come off with really creepy, intense Halloween costumes and while sometimes we, as modern folk,s pull out all the stops and succeed, it turns out nothing is scarier than the Halloween costumes from early in the last century. This imagery is from all around the web and was compiled last year by Faux Magazine.