Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beet Cake

beet cake from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

A beautiful little video that is as pretty as it is informative. I'll have to try this.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to pack for a Trip

There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination only to realize you don’t have the right clothes, or worse still, your clothes don’t go well together. You basically want to create a small yet versatile capsule wardrobe that will fit in your carry on.

Step 1: You want to know what type of clothes you'll need. so check the weather and the cultural expectations! You need more clothes for travel to colder destinations. Add jackets, tights, hats and boots as required. Its also useful to do a Google search and check whether your destination will be a place you can wear skimpier outfits or somewhere you should be covered up. There’s nothing worse than arriving somewhere and feeling like the unfortunate centre of attention. And its always a good idea to pack a light jacket for hyper air-conditioning on airplanes.

Step 2: Basics!! I always bring a pair of dark wash jeans (you can wear them to a casual dinner) a black or white t-shirt and a neutral cardigan. I'll also bring a comfortable black skirt as well as a versatile little black dress. Bring something comfortable to wear at night during hotel stays.

Step 3: Pick a Palette: No need to be in black and white the entire time - pick a color from your wardrobe and add pieces that compliment it. It will make your basics go far and add a splash of color to make you feel more put together. This includes a brightly colored scarf - shoes or accessories.

Step 4: Speaking of shoes: Rationalize them! Shoes are the most bulky part of your luggage and if you can restrict the number of shoes you take with you, life will be much easier. But you don’t want to feel like you lack shoes either – I usually take one pair of classic black patent heels (maybe a second pair if I am going somewhere dressy like New York or Paris), some pair of boots, a pair of comfortable shoes like sneakers or ballet flats sandals. 

Step 5: Accessorize: I usually take a few nice statement pieces of jewelry which I can throw on in the evening to feel a little bit more dressed up, such as a pair of tassel earrings or a gold coin necklace.  I also almost always take a bag with a long shoulder strap so it can be worn cross body, so I can relax when wandering around busy train stations and streets.

Extra Tips - Do a layout – when packing make sure to lay everything out on your bed so that you can visualize the outfits and how they will go together. 

Cosmetics and Beauty –  Go Sample size - I have a smaller cosmetic bag that contains smaller samples of makeup for vacation. I pack this in a clear sandwich bag for easy access to all of my items as well as a friendly airplane security bag.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Recently I had the most wonderful hearty, warm you from the inside out minestrone soup from the soup factory near boston. I went home and immediately took a spin at it. I love the large amount of protein, texture of the beans and the hint of spice I added for a little "pizzaz" This soup can be created vegetarian by swapping my chicken stock for vegetable. I truly believe this is a soup to use your imagination with, and its a great fridge produce emptier if you have a few veggies on their last leg. 

2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 large spanish onion, peeled and diced
2 ribs of celery, sliced
1 sweet potato sliced or cubed 
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
12 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 pound of fresh green beans (ends removed)
4 zucchini, diced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 can of garbanzo beans
1 can of black beans
1 cup of spinach
2 tablespoons of old bay seasoning
2 tablespoons of spicy paprika
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano
2 cups of uncooked shell pasta
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for 10 minutes. Add the stock, seasoning, paprika, and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 12 minutes. Add the green beans, zucchini, and sweet potato. Simmer for an additional 7 minutes. Add the Garbanzo and Black beans, then add the spinach stir to wilt. Add in cooked pasta and enjoy!

Makes 14-16 servings
WW Points 4 Per serving.