The Aftermath of Entertaining

Happy Monday! I’ve got some good material in the works for this week, so stay tuned! 
In the meantime, thought I’d give you something to laugh about. You know what it’s like to have company. We hosted Sunday dinner last night for the Hubby’s family, and this is what my kitchen looked like afterwards!

Haha! I had to wake up this morning to finish the cleanup 😉
We had Greek for dinner: slow cooker chicken with rice, potatoes, pita chips, & tzatziki!!!
I’ll try and get the recipes up later this week.
Talk soon!
ox KP

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Carrot Soup

I sometimes wonder if I was a bunny in a previous life, since I love me my veggies! I’m hoping my kids will like fruits & veggies as much as I do (if not, poor lil buggers won’t have a choice anyways!) 😉
This recipe was partially inspired by a delicious soup my sister in law made last week; I plan on trying it later, and will post it when I do! In the meantime, I had all these lovely veggies from my father in law’s garden to use, and thought a carrot soup was in order. I should mention that even though I’m calling this a carrot soup, it really is a well- rounded veggie soup; it’s got carrots, potatoes, & cabbage. I used this recipe as a guide, then modified it to suit what I had. Check out my version below 🙂

Image Source:
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/creamy-carrot-soup-recipe-ghk0410

Yummy Mummy Carrot Soup:
Serves 6- 8
Prep Time: 10 min     Cook Time: 20 min

10 carrots scrubbed and/ or peeled (I can’t tell you what this is in lbs, sorry!)
1 large potato/ 3 -4 small/ medium potatoes, cubed (approx. 1/2″- 1″ cubes)
1/4 head of large green cabbage, sliced (or 1/2 head of a regular size cabbage)
1/4 cup cilantro
2 shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic (or to taste)
1 vegetable bullion cube
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil
4 cups water

Directions:

Wash and prepare veggies. Heat oil in pot. Add garlic & shallots.
Toss in carrots, potato, cabbage, cilantro, & shallots. Pour in roughly 1 cup of water to help cook the veggies & add bullion cube.
When bullion cube has dissolved, add remaining 3 cups of water; give a good stir & bring to a boil.
Reduce heat & simmer covered for approx. 15- 20 minutes, or until carrots are soft.
Scoop soup into blender in batches- be careful if it’s still really hot!- and puree.
Add a generous scoop of sour cream & garnish with cilantro if you like.
Can be served hot or cold.

Enjoy! 😉

Box Garden Bounty

Earlier this Summer we decided to try our hand at growing some of our own produce. Since we only moved in earlier this year, we wanted to find a temporary option (we plan to build a permanent box garden next year) and not too labour intensive. Our goal was to grow food organically, without the use of any pesticides or funky chemicals- au natural! This was a trial to break in our green thumbs, so I jumped on trusty old Pinterest and found this idea:
Image Source:
http://boyslife.org/hobbies-projects/funstuff/7222/plant-a-compact-vegetable-garden/
It uses a concept known as square foot gardening, which is pretty self explanatory. You simply divide your planting space into square foot sections and place your plants based on growth specs (ie highest in centre or at back, depending on box garden location); some items may require 2 or more sections based on growing needs, just plan accordingly. My Uncle had told me about square foot gardening about a year ago and has had a lot of success with it- according to him, you can reap a larger crop with this method than with the traditional style of planting in rows.
We were lucky that my father in law had the materials already, so we only had to pay for the soil & seeds. Ours ended up being 4’* 5′, and we skipped building the vertical frame, opting to use poles where needed. We picked veggies based on what we liked and what would grow in the weather we have, since we didn’t want to cover it or give it any special treatment; low maintenance was the goal! 🙂 We bought organic seeds, which did cost a little more, but overall didn’t make this project much more expensive.
What we planted:
peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, green peppers, jalapenos, beets, carrots, & onion (we also transplanted a basil plant a weeks after the initial seeding with success). 
We planted the peas, beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes along the back since they would need room to grow up and out, and the rest of the veggies along the front. (We didn’t use perfect square foot areas because we wanted to try a variety of things to see how they’d do- trial & error). Since we planted late in the season, we knew we’d have varying success. Everything did well except for the green peppers and jalapenos- those definitely need the protection & humidity of being covered. We also discovered the beans we bought were not the traditional climbers, but bush beans (lol oops!), but they grew well despite this mistake. The only additional materials we needed were poles & netting for the peas and beans (before we realized our mistake) 😉 and a cage for the tomatoes. 
In terms of maintenance, we watered it almost every day and pulled any little weeds that were trying to make themselves at home. We did find that something was snacking on the zucchini and peas in the beginning, but decided to leave them alone after we put some little traps out (I don’t like doing that, but it was that or lose our veggies! Luckily we never found anything in the traps).
What’s great about mini box gardens is you don’t need a lot of room for one. If you live in a townhouse or condo with very little outdoor space, you can tuck a little one of these along the border or on your deck. As long as it gets some sun, you should be able to grow a few items. If you’re really limited for space, a herb garden would be a great itty- bitty alternative. 
We’re starting to get some yummy goodies for all our hard work 🙂 Now that we’re heading into the Fall, we’re picking veggies almost everyday, and you definitely can’t beat home grown!
The box garden at the end of August…
… and some of the yummy goodies!

DIY: Bench Makeover!

I thought I’d toss in a little project post before the weekend starts. This Saturday & Sunday I’m off to try and find some other goodies to breath new life into. This was one of my first projects and am pretty pleased with the results. I picked up this lil cutey at a garage sale and as soon as I saw it, I knew what I wanted to do with it. I had seen some black and white stripe fabric furniture on Pinterest, and loved the statement that such a simple pattern can make.

Before…
After!

To transform this retro beauty, I first took it apart and washed the individual pieces. Partly because I’m kind of a germophobe and partly to help the paint adhere better.
I then sprayed all the pieces with 2 coats of matte black. This took a little bit of effort given all of the manoeuvring to properly cover all of the angles, but I think I did a pretty good job. 😉
To recover the seat, I removed the old fabric and had the hubby help me to align and staple the new. Given the stripes, it was important the pattern didn’t get warped or distorted, so we worked from opposite sides and kept the fabric very taught while stapling.
Then it was a simple matter of reassembling everything in it’s refreshed state.
I can’t wait to find my next project! Hope this inspires you to see the potential in outdated vintage 😉 furniture!

Dimensions: 36.5″ Wide* 18.25″ Deep* 34″ High

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Beet Salad

This is one of those salads you have a lot of liberty with. It’s versatile and packs a nutritional punch. When I was a kid I hated, HATED red beets. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat them. About a year ago I decided what the heck, I’ll give them a try. Since then I’ve been trying to incorporate them into more of my cooking (and maybe baking soon!).

This salad is good with a vinaigrette or honey mustard dressing- but you can use just about any variety you like 🙂

Yummy Mummy Beet Salad:
Serves 4 -6 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
Salad:
3 medium beets, diced into approx. 1/2″ pieces (I boiled mine with the skin on)
1 head leaf lettuce
1 red delicious apple
1/2 head green cabbage
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup walnuts and/ or pecans
Other yummy options:
strawberries, sunflower and/ or pumpkin seeds, spinach
Honey Dijon Dressing:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil (optional, if you like a more diluted dressing)
Start by washing & prepping the beets. Bring a pot of water to a boil & add beets. Cook until soft, approx. 15- 20 minutes
While beets are cooking, wash lettuce, cabbage, & apple. Cut into your preferred serving style (ie apple slices, or diced pieces). Slice cabbage into thin strips- as if you were using it for coleslaw.
Layer lettuce at bottom & sprinkle cabbage, apples, nuts and feta on top. When beets are cooked, drain and rinse under cold water. Sprinkle on top. 
For the dressing, mix all ingredients in a bowl & mix well.