Friday, February 27, 2009

Cold Days Call for Desperate Measures.

I've been hoping the weather would get warmer and spring would surprise us, but the -39 C with wind chills has been keeping me inside, looking for ways to stay warm.

One way to keep winter at bay is with a nice home-made soup. This one is such a winner. It warms from the inside out, it's very budget friendly, and it is delicious! It's from a magazine...I'm not sure which. The page just says "fit to eat". Is it Martha Stewart? I can't remember, but it is a keeper.
If you haven't yet tried lentils you should give this a go. Everyone in my family liked it, including the supremely picky 13 year old. It's spicy and thick and delicious. Be generous with the ginger. It gives it that touch of the extraordinary!

Spiced Red Lentil Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Medium onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 diced plum tomatoes (or my substitute-1/2 cup salsa)
2 cups red lentils (I'm sure any lentil would work: we don't care what colour you are: we love you)
4 cups stock; chicken or vegetable
4 cups water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon, or to taste, red pepper flakes or fresh ground pepper (I use X-tra spicy Mrs Dash)
Plain yogurt (optional)

In large pot, heat oil on medium high heat. Add first 6 ingredients and cook till onions are soft and golden, stirring often and scrapping browned bits, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes (If using salse, just add and stir well.)
Stir remaining ingredients into pan, raise heat to medium high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally untill lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Let stand about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings.
Using an immersion (or regular) blender, process soup till thick and as smooth as you like. I happen to like a little texture, but I do like it thick and "creamy".

Makes six servings. You can top with 1 tablespoon plain yogurt if you like. I didn't find it needed anything. I have served it with caramelized onions, and that was a delicious addition!

Enjoy! The only thing wrong with this recipe is that it only makes 6 servings!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I picked up a new Somerset publication on Thursday night after seeing a movie with the Mr. I didn't know the level of inspiration I would aspire too after flipping through it. It's so wonderful I actually had butterflies in my tummy thinking of all the possibilities! Apronology could become my new favorite topic of study!

I immediately decided to repurpose a few items in my stash. One was a shirt dress in linen with a blue flower pattern, one was a blue linen shirt, and one was a denim jacket with a gorgeous, wide, blue lace trim around the hem. I loved them all individually but never wore them, and together...serendipity! I worked on it from midnight to 2:30 am, thanks to the diet Coke I ingested at the movie. (Why don't they have a sugar-free, non-caffeinated beverage?? Hello!)

I am so very happy with the way the apron turned out. It has two large pockets on the front with another blue pocket that I removed intact from the blue shirt, on top of that. I trimmed the hem with lace and added some to the blue pocket as well.

This is just prep for the Mother-Of-All-Aprons Swap that I will be creating for come Mother's Day. I won't know what kind of apron will be appropriate till I find out my swap partner. (If you like swaps, love aprons, are Canadian, and want to play, contact Dawn at Art of Humungous Proportions.)

Whew! This is the first time I've blogged in what seems like months! I've been busy with many good things, which must use more of the left side of my brain. Blogging seems to use more of the right I guess...I've been involved in some great discussions and classes and reading that have been stretching me in other directions. This creative side is still here, waiting to take over again, but for now I'm studying, searching and questioning. It's a good thing, because I have two boys who are coming up to serious study time and they are enjoying keeping me on my toes! Homeschooling like we do, following our passions and not a curriculum, is rewarding and has it's own rhythms, and I plan on dancing to that beat as long as it takes.
So if I seem to have fallen off the face of the earth, don't worry. I'm still making my rounds in blog-land and filling up my creative tank by reading and enjoying all your beautiful posts!

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