It’s Sharing Time!

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On Brian’s agenda for the three day weekend was to paint the garage.  Personally, I have a lot of things on my “to do” list before the color of the garage, but I knew it would look better when it was done.  I told Brian that I wasn’t spending three days painting because I enjoyed it, but because I was being a supportive wife (sometimes he needs a reminder).  “Just like a good bra.” he said.  Gotta love a husband that compares you to an undergarment.  Anyway, despite three days of painting, we managed to have some fun too.  I went to a really awesome craft fair on Sunday called, Patchwork”

Check out these Etsy sellers, some of my favorites from Patchwork:

mandalanda.etsy.com Purses, wallets and more made from vintage books and their pages

bysimple.etsy.com Cute baby gifts

KaitEmerson.com Fun clothing for kids

childreninspiredesign.com  Really cute artwork/posters in a variety of languages (check out their site, they have a drawing going on currently)

But I should also tell you about some other people who make handmade stuff…

First up, my dear friend, Juanita.  She is from South Africa and studied interior design.  She has started a clothing company called Swan and Hen designs.  (Super cute name too, because it is the first parts of her maiden name and her married name).  Check out swanandhen.com for darling baby clothes, cute aprons, and fun accessories too.  She is so talented and can custom make something for you too!

My cousin, Jordan, makes these cutest hair clips and sells them for a very reasonable price.  They look adorable on headbands on babies, but she sports them all the time too and they are so cute!  She has made them for sports teams, and in school colors, all kinds!  Check out the different designs on facebook at Flowers for All.  Just send her a note and tell her what you are interested in.  Her prices are around $5, what a steal!

My mom is kind of like Martha Stewart.  In a lot of ways she is different, for one, she never spent time behind bars as far as I know, but it seems like she is good at all the things Martha is good at, cooking, sewing, crafts, and gardening.  One thing she isn’t good at is the computer.  So you won’t find an online shop of her stuff, or a page on facebook of her creations, but she makes nursing covers, like the “Hooter Hider” for $20 with a matching burp cloth and a pocket in the corner of the cover to keep the cloth in.  If you are in the market for the perfect baby shower gift, this is it, really!  I used mine all the time.  You can contact her at: darice316@yahoo.com

On a completely different note, Brian and I saw the movie, Forks over Knives.  It is a documentary that talks about how much of the food that we eat is actually making us sick, overweight, lethargic, etc.  At one point a doctor says something along the lines of “eating a plant-based diet might seem extreme, but thousands of Americans will go under the knife for heart disease, and many other preventable reasons, and I think that is extreme.”  And so that is where the title comes from, choosing to address the problem instead of just the symptoms.  I realized that the American diet adds vegetables like they are an afterthought.  It is a side dish to the main meal.  And so, I have three new recipes that I have recently made that turned out really good.

Garbanzo Bean Salad (from Epicurious.com)

  • 2 15 1/2-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup toasted shelled pumpkin seeds

Toss all ingredients except pumpkin seeds in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Veggie Burgers with Bulgur and Beans (Turned out so good!  Also, I froze half before cooking them and made 2 meals.  From Epicurious.com)

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for brushing
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro sprigs
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 slices multi-grain bread,toasted

Cook half of onion with 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add bulgur and water and cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in beans and soy sauce.  Pulse bulgur mixture, walnuts, garlic, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, a rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and remaining onion in a food processor until finely chopped.

Form rounded 1/2 cups of mixture into 4 (31/2-inch-diameter) patties. Chill at least 10 minutes.  While patties chill, stir together mayonnaise, zest, and juice.

Brush patties all over with oil.  Oil grill sheet, then grill burgers on grill sheet, covered only if using a gas grill, carefully turning once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes total.

Serve burgers open-faced on toast with lime mayonnaise.

*I used black beans because that is what I had, also, I just used a frying pan to cook them)

Cucumber Peanut Salad (Super easy, and perfect for summer.  From 101cookbooks.com)

3 medium cucumbers, partially peeled
1-2 green serrano chiles, stemmed and minced
1/2 cup / 2.5 ounces / 70 g peanuts, toasted
1/3 cup / 1.5 ounces / 45 g dried large-flake coconut, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon natural cane sugar
1 tablespoon, ghee, clarified butter, or sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
a handful cilantro, chopped

Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and chop into pieces roughly the size of pencil erasers. Just before you’re ready to serve, transfer to a mixing bowl and toss gently with chiles, peanuts, coconut, lemon juice, and sugar.

Over medium heat melt the ghee in a small skillet. When hot stir in the mustard seeds. They are going to sputter and spit a bit, and when this starts to happen, add the cumin for 15-30 seconds, just long enough to toast the spices. Cover with a lid if needed. Remove from heat, stir in the salt, and immediately stir this into the salad. Turn out onto a patter topped with the cilantro.

This isn’t what I intended to write about exactly, which makes my comment about a good bra seem all the more random, but there you have it!  I guess I just wanted to share some things with you: food and crafty finds!  Two of my favorite things!  Let me know if you try one of my recipes out and like it.  Also, let me know if you make any changes that turned out really well.

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