Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spice it up

Fresh chili ristras
If you've ever shared a meal with me, you probably know that I love spicy food. Hot sauce is definitely my condiment of choice... I'd even go so far to say that I'm a bit of a hot sauce connoisseur. Lucky for me, last fall I happened upon a sweet deal at a farmer's market: a 3lb bag of assorted hot peppers for $2.99. I got two bags. I strung some up with embroidery floss to let them dry into chili ristras. Now that they're dry, I throw one or two into pasta sauce or soups to add a little heat.

I decided to take some of the rest of the hot peppers and experiment with making my own hot sauce. I took 1 pound of hot peppers (mostly a mix of jalapeno and serrano), sliced the tips off but kept the seeds and core for more spice. I put them in the blender and added 1.5 cups of white vinegar, 2 cloves of garlic, and a teaspoon of salt. Then I blended it all together and poured the mix into a 1L mason jar:

Friday, April 29, 2011

Upcycled Yoga Mat Bag

I've been neglecting my sewing machine lately, so this morning I got my foot on the pedal and made this yoga mat bag. The material is some vintage fabric I've been holding onto, and it worked perfectly for this project. It's really pretty and very strong; I reinforced all the seams to make sure it won't come apart.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Love

"I believe in God, only I spell it N-A-T-U-R-E" - Frank Lloyd Wright

Happy Earth Day everyone! I hope you are all finding some way to celebrate... hug a tree, play in the sand, eat something delicious and real... or just feel grateful for being a teensy tiny part of a big beautiful world. I've been thinking a lot today of how fortunate I've been to have seen firsthand so many amazing places around the world. I've also been thinking of how important it is for each of us to value our planet not just on Earth day, but every day. Humanity is blessed not only to have evolved alongside millions of incredible creatures, but to have developed the intelligence to allow us to decide whether to treat our collective home with honour, gratitude, and respect, or try to dominate, control, and exploit nature and our fellow beings. Let's make every day Earth Day, okay? 

In reverence to the sights I've seen and places I've been - I hope they thrive long after I'm gone. 

Big Black... in the flesh!

About a month ago I wrote a post to answer queries as to why my blog is named "Muddy Spoon". As I explained, it all has to do with a big black Balinese pig I knew and loved while we were living in a little village in Bali last year. Sadly, I failed to ever photograph my friend, who we named Big Black, despite daily visits to feed him fruit and scratch his big wiry head. As luck would have it, a couple good friends of mine decided to go on holiday to Bali, and upon hearing the Muddy Spoon tale they promised to track down Big Black for me. We drew them a map on a napkin, showing them exactly where on the volcanic island the pig was, and, true to their word, they found him yesterday and sent me some great photos!

Without any further ado, meet Big Black, my swine friend:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easy raw ice cream

This is my latest discovery - raw, vegan ice cream that takes about a minute to make and tastes incredible! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Quinoa for breakfast, beans for dessert

After making some awesome beany chocolate chip cookies earlier in the week, I was up for more bean-dessert combos. Luckily the Happy Herbivore had another chocolatey, beany treat for me to try. I revamped the recipe ended up with these tasty black bean fudge brownies. They're really dense and creamy, and somehow don't taste like beans at all... just chocolate and bananas. Give 'em a go yourself:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beans, beans, the magical... cookie ingredient?

I'm just gonna come right out and say it... there are beans in these cookies. Yes, beans. That's why they are power cookies. Not only are they delicious, they are packed with protein, sugar-free, organic, and vegan. A cookie that is good for my body and tastebuds plus the environment and animals? How have I not made these sooner?! I reworked a recipe from the Happy Herbivore website that I found courtesy of the lovely Jessica. When Will saw me making them and asked about the ingredients, all he said was "uh-oh" and even I was a bit skeptical, but they're awesome. Try them out and see for yourself:

Homemade veggie burgers

We just scarfed down these burgers for lunch, and holy cow, they are really good. We had them with organic spinach salad topped with tahini-miso dressing (recipe below), homegrown alfalfa sprouts, and sliced organic tomatoes. Naturally, the burgers were as homemade as it gets. I made the buns this morning with my homemade bread, topped them with freshly made hummus and the pickles I made and canned in the fall. I made the patties too, of course, out of organic navy beans I cooked in the slow cooker overnight. I adapted the recipe from one on Healthy Happy Life. Here's my version:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fresh Yogi Deodorant

 I've realized over the past few months that telling people you make your own deodorant is a pretty great conversation starter... although this might be a reflection on the people I find myself conversing with, I'm not sure... Either way, lots of people have been interested in it, so voila - I present Fresh Yogi Deodorant. It works on people who don't do yoga, too. It's made of 100% natural ingredients with a moisturizing coconut oil base. This is the best deodorant I have ever used. I regularly chase a sweaty vinyasa power yoga class with an even sweatier dance-party Kundalini yoga class, and at the end of it all, I somehow still don't smell. Will uses it too, and loves it. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Slow cooker revival

Kidney beans cooking

I'm not really sure how mainstream slow cookers are these days, but I'm going to humbly suggest that if you don't have one at your disposal, you head over to Craigslist and find a cheap secondhand one. Why would you want a slow cooker? Well, simply put, they are an easy way to make very delicious food. If you work all day, you can throw ingredients into the slow cooker before you leave and come home to a hearty meal and a house that smells nice. Sure beats nuking a frozen dinner, yes? You can even prep the evening before, chopping up veggies or whatnot so they're ready to go in the morning.

Lotus flower cards

Lotus flowers are one of my favourite symbols. They represent beauty, wealth, eternal youth and good fortune. The lotus is a symbol of purity and enlightenment. Samadhi, or the highest state of consciousness, is said to reside in the thousand-petaled lotus chakra at the crown of the head. 

I carved this stamp this week and just finished making these cards. They are, of course, available here in my Etsy shop.

Also, I was very excited to see that the lovely Sophie wrote this great article about me and my creations over at the Vancouver Yoga Review! I am honoured and touched!