Warm Gatherings with Etsy

Thursday, November 17, 2016

It's this time of year I really start to think about having everyone together in the house for some good old fashion fun and food over the holidays. I love having friends and family over and the idea of having the fire going while it's snowing outside makes me feel all warm inside. When you're looking for items to go along with this warm and cozy feeling, Etsy is the place to go. I tend to shift towards the warm grey and cream tones; beautiful pottery or twinkly metallics. Anything to help keep that feeling alive. Here are my top pics for warm gatherings on Etsy.

Herb-Roasted Cremini Mushroom Tostadas + Hemp and Greens Power Pesto

Friday, November 04, 2016

Our cooking assignments for The Academy of Culinary Nutrition focus on developing our own recipes now which I find a lot of fun, but also frightening. I don't like wasting food so I'm afraid of doing something that tastes awful only to throw it out! Putting that aside, I find it really fun to think about what tastes go well together and then develop something that resembles dinner.

I served this dish to my kids without the mushrooms (how can they not like mushrooms!) and they loved it. I developed this recipe for someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis for my assignment, so it's super nourishing for your joints, tasty, gluten-free and dairy-free.

Herb-Roasted Cremini Mushroom Tostadas + Hemp and Greens Power Pesto
Makes 7 tostadas*


1 package of cremini mushrooms (227 g)
1 tbsp of dried thyme
2 tbsp of fresh parsley
1 tsp of dried rosemary
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
4 tbsp olive oil

Adapted from Spiced Chickpea Pancakes, by Lindsey S. Love

1.5 cups of almond milk or dairy-free milk of choice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup of chickpea flour
1/2 cup of brown rice flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tbsp of olive oil, plus more for the pan
2 organic eggs

1 cup of Hemp and Greens Power Pesto (recipe below)
Cashew cheese for drizzling. Optional (recipe below)

Make the pesto and cheese, if using, ahead of time so you can focus on the main dish.

Prepare the mushrooms
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Wipe away debris from mushrooms and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together oil, herbs, salt and pepper and add in mushrooms. Stir making sure all the mushrooms are coated in the oil/herb mixture.
4. Place the mushrooms evenly on the baking sheet. 
5. Bake for 20 minutes.

Tostadas (Makes 7 Medium-sized tostadas)
While the mushrooms are roasting, make the tostadas

1. In a small bowl, mix milk and apple cider vinegar together and let sit until it bubbles a bit (5 minutes).
2. In large bowl, mix together flours, salt and pepper.
3. When it’s ready, add the milk mixture to the flour. Add the olive oil and eggs. WhisK together until everything is incorporated and no lumps remain.
4. Heat a skillet to medium and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
5. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, pour batter into the skillet, trying to keep it in a nice circle and cook until small bubbles form in the batter. Flip and cook the other side. Keep warm. Repeat until you have used all of the batter.
6. When the mushrooms are done, slice and set aside.
7. Spread a heaping tablespoon of pesto on a tostada and top with 5 or 6 sliced mushrooms.
8. Drizzle cashew cheese on top and enjoy!

*This recipe makes 7 tostadas, but you will have some mushrooms and cashew cheese leftover (great toppings for eggs the next morning!)
**All of the elements to this meal can be made ahead of time then put together the day you need them. Everything will stay in the fridge for two days.

Additional recipes:

Cashew Cheese
Makes about 1 cup

1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight in water
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1.5 tsp salt
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup water +2 tbsp

1. Process all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor, scraping down the sides as needed. Blend until smooth.

Hemp and Greens Power Pesto
Adapted from Protein-Packed Hemp Seed Pesto, by Oh My Veggies

Makes just under 1 cup
1 large clove of garlic or 2 small
2 large cups of greens (I used a baby kale, chard and spinach mix, but just kale will work fine), washed

1/4 cup of vegan parmesan
3 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tsp salt
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs lemon juice

1. Put garlic in the food processor and chop until small, then add all of the other ingredients and process until smooth.

Vegan Parmesan
Makes about 1.5 cups

1 cup of cashews
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1 tsp of salt

1. Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until fine. Store in an air tight mason jar in the fridge.

The Awakened Leaf

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I like the idea of wearing little things the kids would like but also that would match my style. I found these sweet little fox earrings on etsy from The Awakened Leaf and wear them every other day. They're comfortable and cute to look at. I like when people are staring at my ears and realize they're foxes!

I decided to get a couple other pairs and opted for some elephants (my grandmother loved elephants!) and some simple hexagon studs.

I also love these mountains! Perfect if you're a mountain lover.

Check out more creations from The Awakened Leaf here.

Date balls with coconut + walnuts

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I've been bringing the kids an after-school snack since Leo began JK to help take a load off their hanger. You know it happens. My kids are exhausted and if you add hunger to that, watch out. I'm lucky to make it home. Most days I bring a smoothy, but Mila really isn't into smoothies so I change it up now and again. Last week I brought these date balls and they were a hit. Here's the rundown:

Date balls with coconut + walnuts
2 cups of organic medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons of camino cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 handful of walnuts (or nut or seed of choice)
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of shredded coconut

How to make them:
1. Put all of the ingredients except the shredded coconut into a food processor and process until everything is incorporated.
2. Put the shredded coconut into a bowl and put aside.
2. Take about a tablespoon of 'dough' at a time and roll into balls.
3. Roll each ball in the shredded coconut.
4. Enjoy!

What I've been cooking up

Thursday, October 13, 2016

This blog has certainly taken many turns over the several years it's been around! It started off as a sewing blog and has quickly morphed into a cooking blog. I'm sure it will change again.

I thought I'd share some photos of what I've been cooking up over the past several weeks as part of my school work with the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. It's so tough when you get to eat your school work, right?

Knife Skills Salad - I had to practice cutting veggies!

I made my first whole BBQ sauce. So yummy.

Who knew curry powder was so easy to make?

Delicious veggie rice wraps with almond dipping sauce. My favourite so far.

Look at that colour!

Sunflower Power Spread. Yum!

Super delicious date balls - get the recipe on my IG account here: @lealoulemonade

I've been making loads more but forgot to take photos! It's been a busy course but so great to learn about all the foods that can keep us healthy. More to come!

On a mission to make real food cool

Friday, September 23, 2016

The other day I made potato leek soup and after a bit of coercing (it was green) the kids lapped it up. I asked them if they wanted it for lunch the next day and they both said yes.

Fast forward to the next morning to when I mentioned the soup that I was going to put in their lunch they both instantly said no and when I asked why, they said they didn't want their friends to comment on how it looks.


So It's already starting. Did I mention my kids are 5.5 and 4? Are kids seriously making comments already about other kids lunches?

I told them then and there that I make food different and yes it's going to look different sometimes. It's going to be green. It's going to be hearty. There will be no goldfish crackers in their lunch unless I make them. Yeah, I'm that mom.

And guess what? I vow not to back down. I am not going to change what I feed my kids because other kids at school don't like how it looks or smells.

So right now I'm making this my mission: I want to make real food cool. If I have to make it look cute so be it.

Real food is cool people. Let's join together in this uphill battle. We'll get there.

This fall I've joined the Academy of Culinary Nutrition where I'll be learning the ins and outs of how to cook and eat for health. You can follow my culinary adventures here and on Instagram (@lealoulemonade).

Cheers. Here's to health.

Designer feature: GANTlights

Sunday, July 31, 2016

1 || Triangulated Hanging Lamp
2 || Cubic Hanging Lamp
3 || Triangulated Hanging Lamp - dark gray concrete
4 || Concrete Wall Lamp

"I have continuously handcrafted luminaries which playfully mix experimental forms and materials such as concrete and gold, resulting in a stunning aesthetic contrast." --Stefan Gant, GANTlights.

Born in Bavaria, Stefan Gant created GANTlights in 2012 after completing his Masters in Architecture in Munich after which he completed his Masters in Architecture in Berlin. Gant combines raw concrete with hits of metallics to create elegant lights for the home or studio.

I was immediately drawn to these pieces for their simplicity and beauty. I'm always amazed how designers can create gorgeous works of art with simple media like concrete.

Find GANTlights on Etsy here or visit the website here for more information. You can also follow GANTlights on Instagram for gorgeous photos!

Want to get to know my style better? Just ask Etsy. Or the Internet...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I know I write about Etsy a lot... well when I'm on here. But they've truly got me every time I go to the site. There's a section called Our picks for you that I love. It's like a bunch of little surprise gifts that are waiting just for me! How do they know me so well? And then I remember that the Internet has a weird and creepy algorithm following my every move.

Whatever, I'll take it!

Ok so here is what was waiting for me in my Our Picks for You list today so you can get to know me a bit better like the Internet does...

1 | Geometric Serving Dishes | Convivial Production
4 | Cup Set | Yield Design Co.
5 | Shopper YUNA | eleven elephant
6 | Summer Berry Bowl | Urban Cartel
7 | Swiss Cross Pouch | Zana Products

Fun outdoor pillows

Friday, April 29, 2016

It's that time again... the time to be thinking of the outdoors. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm going to finally make a cushion for the couch on my porch and began my search for pillows to go with it. I found some pretty ones on Etsy of course. Outdoor fabric has come a long way and now you can find all sorts of fabric designs for outdoor cushions and pillows. Oh now what to choose? Secretly my favourite are the Tropical outdoor pillows from Anita's Casa.  I love that pink cording! I'm eyeing the Tonga Weave in Grass or the Eaton, Deep Charcoal from Tonic Living for the main cushion. I'll have to see what works.

1 || Navy and Turquoise Outdoor Pillow from Cathy's Custom Pillows
2 || Gray Outdoor Pillow from Cathy's Custom Pillows
3 || Evil Eye Outdoor Cushion from GorgeousGD
4 || Blue Outdoor Pillow from The Pillow Toss
5 || Orange Lumbar Pillow Cover by Anita's Casa
6 || Tropical Outdoor Pillow from Anita's Casa
7 || Banana Leaf Pillow from Tonic Living

Spring according to my iphone

Monday, April 25, 2016

The weather here in Toronto is giving us a bit of a run for our money. It's warm. It's cold. It's warm. It's cold. But alas, I guess that's what spring is supposed to be like. I got a new computer last week which means more blogging for me! I've missed it... and haven't missed it at the same time so we'll see how this goes!

I'm trying to keep the kids outside more often than not so they can get the much-needed fresh air they need after the winter. We've checked out Corktown Common--a must-visit if you're in the that area of the city. I couldn't get the kids off the giant slide!

I bought new running shoes for the 10k I'm running in June and have started a bit of training for that. I'm using Mark's Garmin watch to track my running and decided to wear it to school drop off the kids the other day and found out that we walk almost exactly 1 kilometre every day to school which  means that I'm walking 4 kilometres everyday back and forth. I was so happy to discover this! What a nice way to get some extra exercise into the daily routine without even realizing it.

We've been keeping up with the meal planning and one day the kids got all my cookbooks off the shelves to check out all the yummy things they could help to cook. We also decided to plant some veggies from seed this year and after two days we already saw something sprouting up... is that even possible??

I cleaned up the porch a couple weeks ago and I'm very excited to get moving on finally making a new cushion for our porch couch. I'm going to get some fun fabric from Tonic Living and make it myself. I've made cushions before, but never with piping so I'm determined to do it this year. I love sitting in that little nook with my book during the summer.

We also celebrated Mark's 40th birthday at Cellar Door--a local restaurant that we love. Finally Mark rode in the Paris to Ancaster race this past weekend and finished an hour sooner than he thought he would. I'm so proud of him and I'm in constant awe of his energy. We need to figure out how the can pass that on to me!

So that's a bit of our spring so far. I'm looking forward to the warmer months that's for sure.

ps: Yes Mila wants a dog after walking our neighbour's dog Oscar home from the park!
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground