Monday, April 28, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

52 Week Photo Project: Week 17

No camera still so no week 17 for me.  Hoping the light my camera brings me comes back soon.

"Light is the most efficient force in the universe. And it's your very core. Your true nature is luminous. Through the chaos, through the darkness, the broken heartedness, we will always circle back to light."

- Danielle LaPorte

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Red Robin's Black Beans Recipe

When I got out of surgery, of course, I was hungry. Michael had been joking around with me about him going to get a burger and I was of course dreaming of them before the end of the day. A couple days after surgery, Michael stopped to get Red Robin as take out. We invited Wendy come over so she went to order and pick it up with him. She opted to get Black Beans instead of fries with her burger. I had a taste and OH MY...they were so very good. I instantly thought I need to replicate these. So here is my version of Red Robin's Black Beans. I served with Chicken Fajitas, but look forward to serving them with other Mexican dishes.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers with liquid
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
a dash ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans - rinsed
Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook about 2 minutes; then stir in garlic, and cook until onion is soft and translucent.  Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high for 1 hour or low for 2 to 3. Serve with sour cream.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dreamy Idealist

I took a Personality are the results...
Dreamy Idealists are very cautious and therefore often appear shy and reserved to others. They share their rich emotional life and their passionate convictions with very few people. But one would be very much mistaken to judge them to be cool and reserved. They have a pronounced inner system of values and clear, honourable principles for which they are willing to sacrifice a great deal.

Joan of Arc or Sir Galahad would have been good examples of this personality type. Dreamy Idealists are always at great pains to improve the world. They can be very considerate towards others and do a lot to support them and stand up for them. They are interested in their fellow beings, attentive and generous towards them. Once their enthusiasm for an issue or person is aroused, they can become tireless fighters.

For Dreamy Idealists, practical things are not really so important. They only busy themselves with mundane everyday demands when absolutely necessary. They tend to live according to the motto “the genius controls the chaos” - which is normally the case so that they often have a very successful academic career. They are less interested in details; they prefer to look at something as a whole. This means that they still have a good overview even when things start to become hectic. However, as a result, it can occasionally happen that Dreamy Idealists overlook something important. As they are very peace-loving, they tend not to openly show their dissatisfaction or annoyance but to bottle it up. Assertiveness is not one of their strong points; they hate conflicts and competition. Dreamy Idealists prefer to motivate others with their amicable and enthusiastic nature. Whoever has them as superior will never have to complain about not being given enough praise.

Much of it sounds like me.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

52 Week Photo Project: Week 16

The blood red moon taken with my iPhone 4s. Taken the 15th of April.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

No More Camera

My camera has went out on my phone.  It is like a part of me is gone too. I guess I didn't realize how often I use my phone camera every single day. When I said that to Michael and my friend Wendy - they both looked at me like "you are kidding."  I went back to look I said on average 10 photos a day on a normal day. If we are traveling, doing anything special like going to First Friday's then I will take 100 to 300 photos a day.  Right now I am not sure the options for getting it fixed/replaced. So it might be a while before I get a working phone camera again. I told Michael I already know what my Project Life will look like. Black cards and on the middle of the page NO CAMERA with a frowny face and a tear. Because I really am sad to be without my camera.  It is like my art now...I can't not do it. I need to express myself through photos. So crossing my fingers we will figure out the options for it soon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Review: Gift It From Scratch

Gift It From ScratchGift It From Scratch by Kathie Lapcevic

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book by Kathie Lapcevic is just lovely. I enjoyed the recipes, along with the the suggestion on how to gift each of them. I love to bake and cook so gifting from the kitchen is a very personal gift that contains a lot of love and heart. It is something I do often and I always am looking for new recipes and ways to gift homemade food from my kitchen - so this book was perfect for me.

The recipes are not ones I have seen in other food gift cookbooks. I was pleased to see that Ms. Lapcevic uses whole natural ingredients. You won't see processed foods in these recipes. Many recipes could easily be converted to vegan. I noticed also that many of the ingredients I have right in my kitchen as normal pantry supplies. I always am pleased when I can find everything right at home. Makes it easy to gift on short notice when I can bake or cook something as a present. 

She also suggest looking for containers at second hand stores. I have almost eliminated all plastic storage container in my home and the thought of having to give someone a gift in one really doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy about adding more plastic to our environment. So recycling/repurosing containers from second hand stores is a delightful idea when trying to be green. It also makes it easier because you aren't using one of your own containers and crossing your fingers you will get it back.

I made the Turkey Pot Pie recipe and both my love and myself made happy food noises with each bite. We were talking about arm wrestling for the last pieces the next day for lunch. It was that good. I have to say I had never made pot pie as it just sounded like a scary recipe to me. I cook. I cook fairly well. Pot pie sounded hard to me so I never attempted it - but I am so glad I tried Ms. Lapcevic's recipe. I now know I will be looking out for pie plates at thrift stores this summer as it is going to make the perfect gift for friends at Christmas time.

I like how the chapters are divided in the book and the tips at the beginning of the book. It is easy to follow, the recipes are straight forward, and the gifting ideas are charming.  Over all this book is just lovely and I recommend it for anyone new to gifting from the kitchen as well as those of us who have been for a while.

Recipe for Turkey Pot Pie going to be posted to my blog tomorrow.

View all my reviews

Friday, April 11, 2014

Coffee Kind of Day

Some days just call for a Starbucks coffee. Today was one of those days.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I woke up to my favorite flowers. I am a lucky woman!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Feelings are Real

Michael, my love, told me this last night when I was having a bit of a meltdown. I am ready to be healed. Photo from Buddha Groove on Facebook.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Sunday, April 06, 2014

52 Week Photo Project: Week 14

Taken just a week after surgery and I am outside taking selfies. :)

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Project Life

I have started doing Project Life.  I have only done January, but am looking forward to doing each month.

Thursday, April 03, 2014


This recipe makes about 48 potstickers. I make them for parties or I  freeze them in smaller meal size batches. Very rarely I will split the recipe in half. I have included freezing instructions on the bottom of this recipe.

1 lb ground pork (also good with ground chicken)
6  water chestnuts, diced
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger (ground ginger does work in it's place)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce (plus some for dunking)
2 packages of wonton wrappers
2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

In a medium to large bowl, mix  the ground pork, water chestnuts, green onions, ginger, garlic and soy sauce.

Take one wrapper at a time and spoon a rounded teaspoon of filling in the center. Keep the rest of the wonton wrappers covered with a damp towel.

Wet the four edges of the wrapper with dampened fingers. Fold wrapper in half over filling to form a triangle, making sure the ends meet and filling is centered; press edges down firmly to seal.

Spray a platter or plate with cooking spray, place sealed potstickers, cover with a damp towel to keep moist. Fill plate and place in the refrigerator to keep cool while you continue to fill wrappers. Repeat filling each wrapper until all the filling is gone.

Heat 1/2 cup water to in a 12-inch nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add about 9 to12 potstickers to the pan, cover and steam until translucent and just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes or until most of the water is evaporated. Don't pack them too close or they stick together. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high in skillet. Cook until lightly browned - turning once, about 1 minute per side. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and wontons. Serve with soy sauce.

FREEZER Instructions:
Prepare the potstickers up to the cooking stage.

Take a baking sheet and line it parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Place the potstickers on the baking sheet so that they are not overlapping or touching. Place in the freezer.

After the potstickers are frozen, place them in a freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

When ready to use, cook the potstickers as usual, without thawing. The cooking time will be a bit longer than usual.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Breathe It All In

Photo by me and quote added by me.