Sunday, April 27, 2014

Vegetarian / Vegan Chili Easy Peasy

Sunday morning, end of April and it is cold, grey and altogether uninviting outside. Perfect day to make some bright fragrant colourful chili. No real recipe, I just use what I have on hand. I use shortcuts with the beans, cans are fine. I drain and rinse them first. So here we go.... First chop two large onions and saute them in a heavy pot.( I dry saute them with no oil, when they start to stick I add a tiny splash of water or veggie broth). Add 3 cloves of minced garlic or more....

The story behind the two spoons is this... the small one is a regular sized spoon, the large one was from the set of The Shipping News, a movie with Kevin Spacey that was shot here. A friend of mine was the food stylist and gave it to me after the shoot. It was super sized and I just keep it for fun in my spoon jar on the kitchen counter...
Next add the chopped veggies you've assembled beforehand. I've got zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, peppers, celery, canned corn kernels drained and rinsed, bit of broccoli and some tomatoes.
 Dump them into the pot and stir for a bit.
 Add the spice. I used 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 Tbsp cumin, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp of oregano and 1 tsp basil. I like my chili really seasoned. Use what you like and adjust for your own taste.
 Throw in the beans. I used red kidney and a can of mixed beans.
Next up add  a 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes and I had a smaller one of seasoned tomatoes so I added that too, as well as 2 cups of veggie broth. Preferably you add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste but I didn't have any. I like it just as well either way. Stir it all together. Cover and simmer away for about an hour or so. Stir occasionally.
Eh voila! I've topped it here with shredded spinach. You can eat it over rice or mashed potatoes and top with chopped avocado and shredded cheese or sour cream or whatever floats your boat. Easy peasy and very good:) Enjoy!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast!

This is a new painting and is available...send me a message if interested 30 x40"

Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert, wrote the book “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.” I love these sorts of  info tidbits and  started reading to see if I do any of them and then what I should be doing that I am not:) She interviewed a lot of successful people and found a few rituals that were repeated with great frequency. Here are some of them and how I compare:)

1.Get up early. Really 5 or 6 or even 4:30. You use that time for yourself. 
CHECK: I get up early most days..around 6

2. Exercise. Do it so it gets done, the later you leave it the more likely other things will get in the way. CHECK: I am a morning exerciser for sure, as often as my will power allows. Not always before breakfast but right after if it is going to happen

3.Work on a top priority biz project. Still hours of the morning often are the perfect time to focus on an important work project without being interrupted. Spending time on it at the beginning of the day ensures that it gets your attention before others (kids, employees, bosses) use it all up. NOT: I am always working on things in my head but never really get up to do anything specific

4. Work on a passion project. This is the novel that you've always wanted to write, etc. the thing that is outside your usual to do lists. Doing a little bit every day rather than in intense bursts makes it more likely it will be completed. NOT:  All my projects are passion projects hah, I have a lot of ideas. I am scattered and this might be a way to get one done to completions.

5 .Network over coffee. Early meetings are great ways to start the day. Meet over breakfast instead of lunch. Good way to squeeze in some connecting time:) CHECK: I do this sometimes, should do it more often. Perhaps make it into a once a month or every two week thing.

6. Meditate. 20-minutes. Sit quietly and breathe and repeat a mantra or whatever practice suits you. The busier you are the more important it is you carve out time to do this. Helps you focus, lowers blood pressure, fills your brain with "feel good" chemicals, and is a mini vacation from the world. NOT: I DO plan on incorporating this...the more I read about it, the more important and powerful I realize it is. 

7.Plan and Strategize while fresh. Sit and go over what you want to accomplish in the day while your brain is rested and sharp. Make a plan. Chances are you will get things done. CHECK: I do go over my day and plan out what I am going to do. It works most times. I tend to over estimate what I can accomplish.

8.Check email. Get it done before the day starts. Sort out what has to be answered and attended to or discarded CHECK: I do my email, get any orders that have come in,update Facebook, answer queries, all first thing in the morning and then periodically throughout the day but the bulk is done early.

9. Read the news. Start the day knowing what's happening in the world. NOT: I do it sporadically. I should get an app for my phone so I can quickly scan it before the day gets going.

Well...I'm not doing to badly but there are things I could improve on. Here is another article that says we should do the OPPOSITE of some of these things haha. Go figure.... I guess it really boils down to what works for you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cure for Anything

I love this quote....... so simple yet powerful......

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mother's Day Special:)

!!! Mother's Day Special !!!
ACT NOW because it takes about a week for mailing:)
I will personalize each print you buy for your mom "to Margie" etc or whatever you want and add a couple of my postcards for her:) Just let me know in the "notes to seller" at checkout. I can also SEND IT to her if you give me the address in "notes to seller" Below is the link to my shop:)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Such a crazy vintage illustration! Haha. Happy Easter:)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Basic Massaged Kale Salad

Kale beautiful kale! I pop mine into a jar of water and keep it on the counter where it stays fresh and gorgeous until I need it. It does go yellow a bit faster but it doesn't go limp. We don't like limp ha ha.
I've been making massaged kale salads recently. Yep, massaged:) Raw kale is hard to eat but massaging with dressing makes it supple and wilted and delicious. So for the salad, first wash and dry your hands, then wash and dry the kale, strip leaves from the hard stem and then chop into bite sized shreds or pieces.
Here is the fun part and the most crucial. Put the kale in a bowl, pour in your dressing (not too much) and start massaging away! Sort of  like scrunching and kneading someone's shoulders for about 5 minutes until it is soft, wilted and glossy. It will decrease in volume. You can also massage it just with lemon juice and salt and then once wilted add oil to taste for a really simple version.
Add whatever extras you would like, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, grated carrot, fennel, bell peppers, snow peas, avocado,diced red onion, etc. You get the picture. Taste and add a bit more dressing if you like. Voila! Done!
The dressing I use is fat free. 1,2,3 Dressing. 1 part maple syrup, 2 parts Dijon mustard and 3 parts balsamic vinegar. ( I add garlic too) You can use ANY dressing you want. Enjoy!