Soup Sunday: Black Bean Soup & Hummus


Mmmmm, I have to say that of all the soups, this one is my favourite. It is so tasty, warming, and filling- and full of one of my favourite and least glamorous foods- beans. I just love beans, the taste and the texture, and they are the main ingredient in this wonderful soup.

Black Bean Soup

1 lb of stewing beef (cut small) or alternatively I used leftover roast beef cut into pieces
1 medium onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 can of tomato paste
1 heaped tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp chili powder

3 or 4 cans of black beans with liquid (depending on the size of your pot or crowd)
1 cup of chicken stock

In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. If you are using raw beef, add the beef, browning it on all sides then add the onions to fry until transparent. If you are using leftover roast beef you can add both at the same time. Once the onions are transparent, add the tomato paste and spices and stir all together with the meat, heating it all and making sure it is all incorporated.


Then add the beans- the whole can, liquids and all- and the chicken stock. Trust me, although you may have never used an undrained can of beans in your life- this is really really good.


Then you just let it cook for a while on the stove and mix all the flavours together- I would say about 20 minutes is fine if you used leftover beef, and 30-45 minutes if you used raw beef to give it time to tenderize!

mmmm so hearty and delicious!

And I served this, most untraditionally, with tortillas and hummus, which is still delicious.

If you would like to know how I make Hummus

1 can of chick peas (drained)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
juice of one lemon (approx. 1/3 of a cup)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oriental sesame oil

Blend all together in a food processor- or if you have a super snazzy blender like I do *brushes off shoulders and displays my christmas present of two years ago*

Then you can mix it all on super high power!

mmmm so much delicious!

Alternatively you can fry yourself up a simple cheese quesadilla- and that goes perfectly as well!

Hope you all are having wonderfully delicious Sundays! – So close to Christmas- I will do more Christmas posts this week- I have decorations- a crochet project & more coming soon!

xo erin

Soup Sunday: Wonton Soup


Hi All, this Soup Sunday I have a bit of a different soup, something that I had never made before but I really enjoyed!- Wonton Soup

Now I would say that this soup is more of an appetizer soup, as there aren’t very many veggies involved, and fairly small servings of meat, but if you wanted to add some more vegetables to the broth (bok choy? maybe) and a few more wontons per serving than you could make a pretty decent meal out of it!

Wonton Soup

6 cups of chicken broth (I used turkey broth made from boiling the bones of a roast turkey I made the day before)
4 chopped green onions
1/2 a chili pepper, sliced thinly

1/2 pkg of wonton wrappers
1/2 lb of ground pork
1 tsp oriental sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp ground ginger

Heat the broth in a pot and add the onions and the chili, allowing it to heat up and incorporate the flavours and spice.

Combine the ground pork with the sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger until it is thoroughly mixed. Then make them into your wontons!


To make the wontons:


First wet your wonton wrapper I did this on a plate with water- refilling from a little bowl:

Then you add your meat about 1 tsp (very small amount) don’t overstuff!!:
Then you fold it over on the diagonal and seal the edges by rubbing them down:

Then once the edges are sealed I like to fold them over so they are like little packages:

Keep going until you have a heap of them- although don’t actually pile them all together like I did because they will all stick together!
Then drop them in a pot of boiling water- when they float they are done and you can take them out!
 (as you can see there is a quiche in the background because someone didn’t think that this soup would be enough for their dinner!)
I like to stir them just a little so that they don’t stick to the bottom, but they only take a couple of minutes!

Then you can add them to your soup. I like to portion off the wontons into bowl and then ladle the broth over top.

So tasty!
mmmmmmmmm…
I hope everyone had a wonderfully delicious Sunday like I did! – and I will be back soon with more Christmas posts!
Happy Sunday everyone!
xo erin

Felt Ornaments


This weekend I got into the Christmas spirit!- and I started off with some felt ornaments- aren’t homemade decorations just the best!

I love making these, sitting watching a favourite movie and doing all the little stitches- placing the beads and laying it all out! 
You can get so creative with them too- it is such an easy fabric to work with because it lays flat and doesn’t slide, and there are so many different stitches that you can do. This snow man has lovely little french knot eyes and smile and has a blanket stitch around the edge!
This one might be my fav – with the gold studs and the pink tassel! Festive with flare! – I feel a little nerdy being so into these embroidery stitches, but they do really look nice, and it is so cool how many different stitches you can do so easily! Crafty enthusiasm!! 
These would also be a great gift idea if you personalized them with the name of the person you were gifting them to! just saying…. 
I always like to put the year on the back too- just so I can remember when I made it! I hope this is getting everyone in the Christmas spirit! I know that it got me in the Christmas spirit, and now I’m off to plan more gift ideas, do some decorating and possibly pop a batch of gingerbread into the oven! 
There will definitely be more Christmas themed posts coming soon! 
Happy Holidays- and I hope that everyone is doing their favourite Christmasy things right now! 🙂
xo erin

Not so Soup and not so Sunday: Lasagna on Monday


Only my third Sunday into Soup Sunday and I have already failed. No soup and dunkable companion this week, this week is Lasagna Monday (notice my post title rhymes- I’m just that cool). 

But really- what’s a girl to do when she is craving some cheezy delicious saucy pasta goodness- well make lasagna of course.

I promise the soup will come back next week- but for this week- onto lasagna!

Lasagna

1 lb italian spice sausage meat (out of casings) – alternatively you can use ground beef
1 medium onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/2 of a bell pepper
2 cans of tomato sauce (I use Hunt’s Thick&Rich)
Fresh Basil – just to be fancy

1 very large portabello mushroom -or 2 smaller ones-  thinly sliced

1 pkg of lasagna noodles

4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 container of 2% cottage cheese (500g)
1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

To make the sauce fry the sausage in the bottom of a pot, breaking it up into small pieces.

When the sausage starts to brown, add the onion, garlic and peppers, fry with the sausage until the onions are translucent and the sausage is cooked.

Add the cans of sauce and simmer together for 10 minutes. Then throw on some of your fancy fresh basil.






Meanwhile, boil some water in a large pot and cook the lasagna noodles until just before al dente- still slightly firm.


Now on to the layers- first in the bottom of a casserole dish (I used a 9X13) put down about 3/4 cup of sauce






then a layer of noodles, then a layer of cheese (that I will guestimate at 1 cup of cheese and 1/4 of your container of cottage cheese)






then a layer of noodles, then a layer of sauce topped with a thin layer of the sliced mushrooms





Then you continue on in this ‘noodles-cheese-noodles-sauce&mushrooms’ pattern until your dish is about to overflow- ending your layers with noodles topped with a small amount of sauce and a lot of cheese along with the feta cheese just to give a little something extra. 

I have estimated this out to have 3 cheese layers in the lasagna and then the rest of the cheese on top plus the feta, but if you like more layers you can add more cheese or sauce. I can honestly say that I don’t measure anything for this recipe and these are my best educated guesses and it never turns out exactly the same every time, but it is always delicious.

This is also the time that it is completely appropriate to break out the wine- if you haven’t already.


Then into the oven at 375 for 45 minutes 


obligatory shot of my mom’s fancy new oven (since I was fortunate enough to make this when I went home for the weekend) ohhh ahhh



And yet again more wine- the most essential part of cooking-

Then serve this up with a side salad – just to add the green to your plate – and voila! 





Some seriously delicious dinner right there!

I hope you all have an equally delicious Monday!

xo erin

Silk Top


I must apologize, I have been very late with this post, and I finished this project a little while ago. In fact you have already seen two sneak peaks of this project in my past posts!

(from my sewing room tour) 
(from my Boretski Gallery post)

So I am finally making a post about it! My new silk top! – This top is another Burda World of Fashion (BWOF) project. I went with a slightly more recent edition than my previous BWOF project Bringing Back 2004, opting for the August 2009 issue.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this Parisian inspired section of the magazine and I have already made this beautiful dress a couple years ago with great results!

I wanted to make a top because I feel that tops are a little more wearable than dresses for day to day and I would get more use out of it- so I picked this top- I was a little dubious about the ruffle front, as I am not much of a ruffle person, but I figured I would give it a shot.

I opted for this silk -nice and drapey but also completely opaque with a little body to it. After cutting the pattern out and pinning the pieces on Stella (my dressform) I realized that the ruffles were NOT doing it for me.

After gagging a couple of times at this ruffle I got to some brainstorming- because the top too basic without the ruffle it needed something else-  While searching pinterest for trendy, chic, loose-fitting, silky tops (woah there adjectives!), I decided that a band of colour on the bottom and a front pocket would do the trick! So I pulled out some of my other nice silky fabrics to pick a complimentary one-

I wanted a bright pop of colour so I opted for the top left- which is actually almost a violet in real life.  It was a pretty simple adjustment from the original design- just ditch the ruffle, sew a band to the bottom of shirt pieces, and make a little pocket for the front. 
 The Front
 The Back
I decided to sew the front pocket on by hand, just to be fancy and make sure that it stayed flat because silky fabrics can be tricky. I also liked the effect of having no stitching line with a really clean edge.
I really like how it turned out, it has a nice drape and I think that the pop of colour suits it well!
And (this is for you mom!) I serged ALL the inside seams, oooh la la, look at those beautifully finished inside seams! 

I’ve been getting quite a bit of wear out of this top- I have already worn it out twice since I made it, which is saying a lot because I rarely leave the cocoon that is my apartment, especially since it has been so cold lately.

This is another shot of me at Boretski when I was wearing the top- holding up a necklace I debated buying, while realizing that I am already drowning in so much of my own jewelry – so much swag, I just can’t resist!
Anyways -hope everyone’s sewing projects are going well. I  know that I have a huge line-up for Christmas right now, seeing as I never really think to do any projects before the Christmas rush- I really have to be in the Christmas spirit anyways! 
Back to the sewing cave! 
xo erin

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