Souped up Vegetable Stock

veg stock-final

I’ve been busy simmer and slurping over here, trying to devise a real recipe rather than a loose method for you stock beginners out there.

We are still in the thick of winter here-  woolly socks, soups and snuggly blankets are still very real.

February was a fickle month for me, while it comes with a bracing new beginnings, it is soon followed with an inescapable lull. I’ve mentioned “hurry up and wait” before on the blog, and there is no better example than the winter months. For what seems like ages, we prep, cook, dance, give gifts, laugh and run around from gathering to get-together. Now that we have proof of surviving winter’s deepest darkness, our body are hollering for a break.

This weekend take a day to yourself and throw this on the stove. It’s the stock that will save you in what may the longest days of winter of all.

Best Basic Vegetable Stock 

3-4 kale stalks, stripped of their leaves

2 small onions, and extra onion skins

4-5 cloves of garlic, skin on

1 large carrot, cut into three pieces

half of a red pepper

2 stalks of celery, leaves included

1 tsp of sea salt

½ tsp of whole black peppercorns

3 springs of fresh oregano

2 stalk of fresh rosemary

1 small stalk of crushed lemongrass

Combine all ingredients in a deep stock pot, add in 8 cups of filtered water.

Bring to a boil on medium heat, turn to lowest setting and let simmer for 3-4 hours. Run through sieve and package into glass mason jars. Use within 3-4 days for best flavour. Alternatively, you can let the stock cool and freeze it for a maximum of 4 months.

The easiest way to put veggie stock together is to save your scraps throughout the week, I keep mine in a produce bag or a freezer bag depending on how flexible my stock cooking schedule is for the week.

Enjoy!

Holiday Hustle: DIY Greeting Cards

tree-star card

signature holiday card this season

Nothing quite says thinking of you around the holidays more than a handmade card filled with your own signature sentimental wit. My holiday budget is quite small this year so I needed a thrifty & crafty way to spread my holiday cheer to friends and family. Enter, DIY Holiday Greeting Cards!

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Holla for Channa Aloo Masala

chana

This morning we had our first sighting of snowflakes here in the big smoke. I greeted the day with a squeal and a little dance but I know that many of my neighbours had one extra reason to stay bundled away in their cozy homes this morning. Working off a full belly of spicy Trinidadian style food and some Calypso music I was well on my way to stifling a bad case of wanderlust.

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The Importance of Risotto and Rest

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Returning to dedicated movement has it ups and downs, but most definitely it has brought into focus the importance of taking the time to slow down. As with most things in life it is easier said than done.

For me this week has been about reconciling excuses with self-care.  I for one am frequently haunted by my obligations to people, activities, jobs – the usual suspects. But, what trumps it all is my obligation to myself to be busy.  As much as I love peace and quiet, I often sneak in a solitary activity in to soothe my restless nerves during my down time.

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DIY Fail-safe Chicken Stock

This week I have been trying to strike a balance between cardio, strength training and relaxation. For me getting to work on turning goals into reality is very much a ‘hurry up and wait’ scenario. Accordingly, my month of movement is also very much about rest and relaxation. Bringing in mindfulness and meditation as much as I can into my yoga sessions, means leaving with a light heart and a smile on my face. Honestly, my busy mind does get in the way with each practice. This doesn’t mean I have skipped and sang my way to each class, taking on something new is at roller-coaster love and hate relationship. But, mindfulness, movement and meditation, are all practices, there is no place for perfection. Cooking a stock, much like yoga is a process to be practiced with patience.

stockpot

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Pumpkin Lovin’

I promised you something tasty to eat the other day, but instead one of my favourite felines got very sick and had to be rushed off to the animal hospital. Luckily, he is now slowly on the mend and I had the chance to take note of what I have managed to eat and sip on lately.

Pick a pumpkin,  breakfast is up – come get it!

Pumpkin Breakfast Pudding

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Cozy Chai for Blustery Days

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Halloween last night didn’t seem to have its usual vigour. We were treated to a bit of a trick, with strong winds and rain from the early evening continuing on through to the early morning. I didn’t see as many little ghosts and ghouls running around causing mayhem as I remembered it as a child. I’ve often wondered if the celebration is changing? In my day we packed on the snowsuits and went for hours.

Next year I am going to make a bigger effort to indulge my inner-child and go big on sewing together a costume to partake in the fun.

Eager to join in on the festive celebrations,  Julia and I got crafty with our pumpkins and some dull knives, threw on Beetlejuice and let off some steam with a round of Cards Against Humanity.

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On the trek home, I was overcome with a craving. This lousy weather had me wanting something hot, sweet and spicy. I love winter, but the dampness of late fall always has me slinking into hot showers and rain boots.

Chai is a great way to warm up and better yet – soothe digestion. With the exception of my Chai Apple Butter, I have yet to make my own chai spice mix at home. And so – DIY Cozy Chai Concentrate was born.

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