Yummy Mummy Recipe: Slow Cooker Veggie Chilli & Cornbread

This recipe involves 2 things I love: slow cookers and veggies! My sister in law gave me this recipe and I’m so grateful for it now that Summer is fading away. Because it’s good for our bodies & wallets, we try to eat vegetarian 2- 3 nights a week. Since I used to be vegetarian I find this quite easy to incorporate into our meal planning, and Will likes the variety in meals. However, I have to make sure the vegetarian meals have enough substance to them so that you’re not left feeling hungry in 20 minutes. Chilli is great because the beans pack a hearty punch; toss in the carbs from the corn bread and your appetite shouldn’t be disappointed.

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Slow Cooker Veggie Chilli

2 medium onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 stocks celery, chopped
6 roma tomatoes, chopped
2* 15 oz kidney beans, drained & rinsed (and/ or black beans)
(you could also add a can of baked beans if you like)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
8 oz frozen corn
1 tsp salt
3 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth

Saute onion & garlic in oil until onion is cooked/ soft.
Prep veggies and add to slow cooker.
Add all other ingredients & mix well.

Cook on low for 6- 8 hours or on high for 3- 4 hours. Mix occasionally.
(I had to help break the tomato paste down because it’s so thick).

Bread Maker Cornbread (2 lb loaf) from Bread Machine Diva
My bread maker instructs to pour in liquids first; follow the instructions for your specific bread maker.

1 cup cornmeal
1 – 1/4 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs – lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or oil
I used the cake/ sweet setting & selected the light crust option

DIY Coffee Table Project

As I mentioned last week, I have been working on refinishing a vintage coffee table that I found at the Burnaby Restore. While we’d all love to purchase an antique small oak table for our living room, my budget doesn’t quite get that high. It’s been an enjoyable project and I’m glad to be getting back into the swing of all things creative & DIY.
When I found the table I knew from it’s lines that it would be a beautiful shabby chic/ distressed piece. I also knew that I wanted to keep it simple & classic by using a cream finish with dark accents. While scoping out Pinterest (where else?!?!) I discovered all of the applications for chalk paint and decided this would be a perfect opportunity to try the stuff out.

I originally planned to make my own- Restore had discount plaster of Paris & the other supplies and materials that I would need- but decided to save that experiment for another day after talking to some of the staff and hearing their suggestions. One of the ladies showed me a beautiful buffet & hutch that she had refinished using The FAT Paint Company‘s chalk style paint and wax and highly recommended I check them out.
 My goodies from FAT Paint!
Located at 623 Front Street in New Westminster, the store is tucked in to the city’s Antique Alley. Owned & operated by a brother & sister team- Brad & Victoria- they have been in business for almost a year and seem to have found a nice little niche in the market. Both Brad & Victoria are very friendly and helpful, and you can tell that they are enthusiastic about what they are doing. 
We had plenty of questions for them when we arrived and both were happy to show us around and help us out, despite being busy filling large retail orders. One of my concerns about refinishing furniture  is the chemicals often needed- paint stripper, paint thinner, the paint itself, varnish, etc- since I would have to stop and start my work to tend to lil missy. However the products TFPC sell are without most of the toxic & stinky ingredients that you’ll find in other products commonly used for this kind of project.
So, after bombarding Brad & Victoria with our slew of questions we made our selection (which was very hard to do, since they have so many beautiful colours to choose from!). We ended up with a quart of Warm White, a sample size each of Caribbean Blue, and Buttercup, and 2 50g jars of wax- one natural and one dark/ antique. With some final advice & encouragement we were on our way.
Once home, I had to unload all the goodies and prep the table. First, I gave the lil beauty a clean with TSP and warm water to remove any dust and residue from the surface. Once dry, I put on the first coat. What struck me about the paint was how thick it was and how little I needed to get good coverage. There was also barely any odour (another bonus). I brushed the paint on and then used a roller to smooth over the finish.
1st coat
After 24 hours I did the second coat. This time I skipped using the roller since I didn’t want the table to be ‘too precious’ (to quote Victoria). 
2nd coat
When the second coat was dry it was time to distress the lil beauty. Using a fine grit sand paper I went over the entire piece lightly and then gave special attention to the areas I wanted to distress. After wiping off the dust I gave the table a coat of natural wax. I used a brush to apply the wax and an old cotton t shirt to rub and buff it (sounds a lil dirty!) ;). Once I was happy with the first coat of wax I let it dry and then applied the dark/ antique wax to age & distress the areas I wanted.
Finally, I did a second coat of natural wax to help give a soft gloss to the finished piece. One final wipe down and voila! This lil beauty is ready to show off!

If you want more info about the products I used and/ or about FAT Paint, check them out here
The FAT Paint Company currently offers the following sizes:
FAT PAINT
Quart $36
Pint $22
4 oz Sample $11
FAT WAX
50g Natural $12
50g Dark/ Antique $12
200g Natural $28
If you are interested in the table, leave a comment or send me an email: kpetrunia@hotmail.com. I’d love to hear what you think! I can’t wait for the next project! Stay tuned!

DIY: Coffee Table Project Preview

This past week or so I’d been on a mission to find my next furniture project. As this was going to be my first attempt since having Ari, I had a few criteria: It had to be a simple piece, such as a table or small cabinet; it couldn’t be too big; and it had to be something that didn’t require too much prep work. All of this since I knew my time would be more broken up taking care of the little one.
I’d been looking for the right piece, and being pickier than usual. I checked out my local haunts with no success, so when my parents and I got to check out Habitat for Humanity’s Restore stores (sorry, I know that sounds funny), I was looking forward to scoping out new territory.
We checked out of their  Burnaby & Vancouver locations. What makes these stores unique is their concept: they carry new & used building materials & home decor that has been donated with the proceeds going to build homes for those in need. It’s a treasure hunt with a conscience!
The stores had everything from cabinets to light fixtures to paint to power tools, and oh so much more. And the inventory is constantly changing. The prices are fair and they will negotiate if you make a reasonable offer. The staff were also very friendly, helpful, and willing to answer any questions we had.
I had success at the Burnaby location, and came across this lil beauty:
It was perfect, and I knew as soon as I saw it what I wanted to do with it. 
So after loading up my purchase, we headed to The FAT Paint Company in New West to stock up on chalk paint & wax. It’s currently a work in progress, but as you can see, the table has already undergone a partial transformation. I’m hoping to have this makeover finished this week, so I’ll upload photos & go through the process in a later post. In the mean time, if you’re feeling creative, check out The FAT Paint Company- Brad & Victoria (the brother- sister team who founded this gem of a company) are very knowledgeable & helpful. I’d recommend this little shop to anybody looking to try some DIY. 
When I upload the finished project I’ll go into more detail about the process. But for now you can see how well the chalk paint has worked out…
1st coat

2nd coat

FInished project to follow!!!

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Greek Night!

Image Source: http://waktattoos.com/id7001/theproverbialgreek-com-236-thickbox-greek-key-armband-tattoo-800×600-pixel.html
Opa!!!! This past Sunday we hosted dinner for some of the fam. As I’m sure anyone who’s ever cooked for anyone else knows, we all like different things. And to be fair, I do like my guests to like what they’re served- and as a bonus, I try to offer something on the healthy side (even though this Sunday had lots of carbs!). Since we’re moving into Fall, I figured I’d break out the slow cooker and test out a menu I could serve when the cooler weather arrives. So with all of this in mind, I decided on Greek food! (Cue the drooling Homer Simpson face!)
I wanted to make dishes that I was familiar with, since I’m comfortable with the ingredients and had a good idea of what was involved. I definitely was grateful to have the chicken on auto pilot all day, so I could prep the appies & sides (plus, I didn’t want the house to look like a laundry bomb had gone off ). 😉

I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and then it was off to the races!

Yummy Mummy Greek Night Menu: (Serves 8- 10)

Quinoa Greek Salad
Pita Chips & Tzatziki (also served with main course)
Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Chicken with Greek Style Rice & Potatoes

Quinoa Greek Salad

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 avocado
1/2 cucumber
1/2 red onion
1 large tomato, or a handful of cherry tomatoes
1 small can of sliced olives (optional)
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:
Cook quinoa; Bring 2 cups water & quinoa to a boil. Stir, cover &reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes (or until soft & water is absorbed).
When cooked, remove from heat & set aside to cool.
Dice all veggies & feta into large chunks- approx 1/4″ – 1/2″ pieces.
In a container with a lid, mix the olive oil & vinegars; shake well.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended.
Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

Pita Chips & Tzatziki

2 large pitas
8 oz Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber
2- 3 cloves garlic (based on prefernce- I say the stinkier your breath, the yummier the dip!)
1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh if you have it)
1 tbsp fresh dill or 1 1/2 tsp dried dill

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350; bake pitas for approx. 10 minutes, or until crunchy.
When cooled, break into pieces similar in size to tortilla chips.
Finely dice cucumber.
Crush garlic.
Combine all ingredients & stir well.
Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Chicken

10 chicken breasts or thighs (or both)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
6 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup water
chicken or veggie bullion cube (or 1 cup stock)
6 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
Mix all of the seasonings, etc in slow cooker until well blended.
Add chicken- mix well, so that all pieces have been coated.
Cook on low for 6- 8 hours or high for 4.

Greek Style Rice

3- 4 tbsp butter
1 small white onion, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 cups rice (uncooked)
3 1/2 cups water with 2 bullion cubes (or 3 1/2 cups chicken broth)
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
2 tsp ground pepper

Directions:
In a large skillet/ frying pan melt butter; saute garlic & onion for approx. 3 minutes.
(or until onion is soft)
Add everything else & stir well.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat & simmer covered for 20 minutes.
Give a final stir- ready to serve!

Greek Style Potatoes

4 large potatoes, peeled & sliced (approx. 6 slices lengthwise per potato)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup water with veggie or chicken bullion cube (or 1 1/2 cups chicken broth)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
In large baking pan (9″* 3″ at least) mix everything together (except potatoes).
When everything mixed well, toss in potatoes; make sure they are well coated.
Cover pan with foil.
Bake for 1 1/2- 2 hours, turning once or twice.
Poke with a fork to check if cooked.

Serve & enjoy!!!

Phew! I hope you get a chance to try some or all of this yummy goodness!

Amazing Mom Feature: Monica Romey, Realtor

I am so excited for the inaugural Amazing Mom Feature! As I have said before, I love hearing how Moms find a way to balance work & family, since so many have to go back to work. I want to encourage and support as many of these amazing ladies as I can, since we all know how much work it is!

Image Source: http://monicaromey.com/biography.html 
My first Amazing Mom is Monica Romey, a real estate agent in the Fraser Valley/Vancouver area. Fully licensed since 2007, she entered the industry in 2000 working part time as her father’s office assistant. During that time she dappled in other areas including positions in restaurants & spas, until realizing these were not the roles for her. As someone who enjoys freedom & flexibility in her work, Monica realized that being her own boss would be ideal, especially since it would give her the ability to set her own goals and “think outside of the box”. She has had sales anywhere from $30,000 to several million.

In terms of challenges, she states those common with entrepreneurs: the continual effort to evolve and grow her business; and pushing herself beyond her comfort zone to try new things. However, when you meet Monica, you see how comfortable she is with the constantly changing dynamic of her job, and she puts her clients at ease with this calming presence. 

In addition, what makes Monica so good at what she does is not only the advice & guidance that she provides  through the process of buying or selling real estate (including all of the negotiating & paperwork), she genuinely enjoys working with clients & making a positive difference in their lives. She appreciates that she is involved in such a major life event, and finds that the greatest reward is when clients recommend her to their family & friends.

When asked what advice she would offer, Monica has some classic encouragement: do something you love and surround yourself with successful people who will encourage and support you in achieving your goals.

To contact Monica, you can reach her at 604 783 7653; via email: monica@monicaromey.com, or visit her website: monicaromey.com.  

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