of the brand spanking new issue of Etzcetera Magazine?
this issue is jam-packed with gorgeousness upon gorgeousness....and i'm incredibly honored to be a part of it! (actually "incredibly honored" is an understatement...when Kim e-mailed me asking if I'd be interested I completely freaked out!) so yes, you'll even see little ol' me in this amazing magazine...
i know i cannot wait to try my hand at Kim's sweet little felt tree and i'm dying to make the "shabby stocking", such a gorgeous project by the fabulous mardi winen...and a million other things...this magazine is chock full of inspiring ideas & how-to's...definitely just the creative spark i needed!!!
be sure to get your copy here!!!
it was one of those things that just came out of left field...
over a foot of snow...on October 29th.
Now, yes, we do live in a part of the country very familiar with big snow storms...we've been through many a nor'easter...
but over a foot of snow 2 days before Halloween???!!! This was a huge surprise for us.
and when the snow began falling it was magical...so beautiful. we watched the snowflakes fall, and it was gorgeous to see the white stark against all the trees still decked out in their Autumn splendor. First snows always have that extra special quality...that little bit of magic...
The kids grabbed their boots & head out into this magic, out of place, winter wonderland. They built a snowman, caught snowflakes on their tongues, they threw snowballs. I brewed coffee, made chili in the crockpot, turned on some Adele...it was a welcome, relaxing, fun, albeit surprising, snow day...
And then the power went out. Fun time over...no more magic...whining ensued...
Luckily, we have great friends who have generators so we weathered the storm sharing appetizers and a nice glass of red while the kids ran around like crazy and we are lucky to have other clever friends who hooked up our very own generator so we were showered & had clean dishes & were able watch DVDs and have a nice warm house...what a blessing!!!
And now we begin November...a month to reflect on what we are thankful for...our blessings...and it couldn't have come at a better time...
And I am so thankful for family and friends and warmth and electricity and running water...
And even magical first snows that come way too early and cause havoc...
I've always been curious about curry. They are so exotic & colorful. And despite knowing curry is an Indian culinary staple, I for some reason always associate a curry with being fabulous and British. I think it's because years ago when I read "Bridget Jones Diary" she talked about getting "take away curry". I think I have some secret desire to be fabulously British...
Anyway....so when this crockpot veggie curry recipe turned up, I was really looking forward to giving it a try. The crockpot bit sealed the deal, I love those "pop everything in the crockpot & let it go" meals.
It turned out pretty well. I definitely took a lot of the advice left by the numerous reviewers & added more spice than called for in the recipe. I didn't have a serrano chile so I used a jalapeno, used 2 cans of chickpeas...both adjustments worked great. I also swapped out the baking potatoes & green beans for sweet potato, red sweet peppers & zucchini since that is what I had on hand. The red peppers & sweet potato were definitely a score, their sweetness and color added so much to the final dish (they also pumped up the nutritional value a bit :). I will definitely be keeping this recipe in the short file, love it's versitlity that enables you to use what is super gorgeous at the farmer's market that week AND the crockpot bit. So definitely a keeper :)
I'm looking forward to the leftovers :)
What new cuisines or recipes have you tried lately?
I took my photo right before I placed the lid on the crockpot. Veggie heaven!!!
i was searching for images this morning & came upon this layout i did last year for the pencil lines book and it brought back a lot of fond creating memories.
i remember when i finished it i was so proud of it and had really enjoyed the whole creative process. it was created solely from the bits & bobs that laid out on my desk. it was a kind of a self-imposed "use it or loose it" challenge and it was so fun pulling it all together. i always tend to save everything (like that teeny strip of blue & white striped fabric) from projects...it's a sickness really.
& now that i think of it, i've imposed that sort of "make something out of what is laying out on the desk" challenge quite a few times and really loved the results. these other projects come to mind...
& there are a bunch more now that i come to think of it. seems i create best when there are few options or the necessity to clean. :)
it's been quite a while since i've had that creative rush...especially with scrapbooking. i do have a messy fabric bin to contend with...
hmmm...maybe the creative bug will strike?
I love this time of year and today we had one of those absolutely gorgeous, sunny, big blue sky days. I stopped by my local farm this afternoon & spied these gorgeous peppers and immediately put a box in my bag.
Now to figure out what to do with them....
I'll have to have a look around pinterest. I may even just keep it simple & saute them with olive oil & some fresh herbs. Maybe add in some goat cheese. Mmmmmmm...I'm getting hungry already! Do you have any suggestions? I'd love to hear them!
above illustration by shirley ng-benetiz found on we love to illustrate
if you haven't visited the we love to illustrate blog yet...oooh today is your lucky day! It is a wonderful site featuring a group of amazing women who illustrate for the children's market and each month each artist contributes an illustration based on a chosen theme. & lucky for us, this month is not only Halloween, but cupcake toppers!!!
gah! they are all sooooooo super cute!!! I think the colorful bunch shown above, illustrated by shirley ng-benetiz would look so great atop the marshmallow icing of these s'mores cupcakes. my kids will flip.out!!
it's been crazytown around here since....well, since forever, i guess. and the one thing that seems to derail even my most accomplished list-ticking-off day is dinner. i do not know why it completely surprises me every single solitary day...but it does. you can set your clock to it, really. because at about 4:46pm every day one of my kids (or mike) looks at me & asks "what's for dinner?" & i'm all "uh...wha? yikes! it's dinnertime AGAIN!??!!!!"
so i really depend on recipes that i can make ahead of time & pop in the fridge for when that inevitable "what's for dinner?" question comes.
and this stuffed peppers recipe is one that i've depended on for quite some time. it is super easy & quick to make, needs only 1 pot (no sink full of dirty dishes) and is sooooooo good.
definitely one to keep in the rotation. especially when those gorgeous, huge red peppers are bountiful at the farm market. like i mentioned earlier, I like to make this dish earlier in the day (through step 3), cover it & pop it in the fridge so it is good to go when 5pm rolls around. My photos were taken at nice & calm prep time, just before i poppped 'em in the fridge. the house was quiet & i felt all june cleaver-ish having dinner all set to go. so yeah the peppers don't have that final touch of delish melted cheese, but trust me....they.are.so.good!!
the basic recipe is from my trusty ol' better homes & gardens cookbook but i change it up a little bit adding in some more tomatoes & fresh spinach to pump up the veggie content and i add lots more cheese. also i do not pre-cook my peppers because i like them to maintain a bit of crunch. To round out the meal, serve with some garlic bread. yum!!
so here ya go! hope you & your family enjoy!!
2 large gorgeous red peppers
3/4 pound ground beef, turkey, chicken or sausage
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup long grain rice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspooon Italian seasoning
2 big handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (Muenster, cheddar, Monteray Jack)
1. Halve peppers, removing stem ends, seeds & membranes. Rinse & put in baking dish.
2. In a large skillet cook meat & onion till meat is brown & onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in undrained tomatoes, water, uncooked rice, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, 1/4 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer covered for 15-18 minutes or till rice is tender. Stir in 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese & chopped spinach.
3. Fill peppers with meat mixture.
4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until heated through (if you've made your dish earlier in the day & had them in the fridge, up the baking time to about 20-25 minutes to make sure they are heated through). Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese & pop back in oven until cheese is melted. Serve & enjoy!