Friday, January 31, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.
Joining in with Jodi's 52 project over on

There were quite a few Reed images to choose from- below are some silly outtakes:)

There were so many awesome images this week: here are just a few I really liked:
amazing light, father and son, can never have enough pink, eyes !!!!!! -

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vegan Moroccan Tagine

We are big fans of dishes that are naturally vegan or can be made vegan by simply omitting an ingredient (we get too much soy as it is). Tagine is certainly a great example of that. In the winter months it seems like majority of our meals come in the form of a stew or a soup (I think that is the case for many vegans), so varying what we have becomes incredibly important. For me, the easiest way to do that is to make sure we "travel" the world with our dinners. Tagine not only ticks that box, but it is also super kid friendly- chick peas and butternut squash are favorites at least in our house, and raisins certainly help as well.

2 tbs olive oil
1 whole onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon basil or thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
pinch of saffron (optional)
2 vegan bouillon cubes
3 cups of water
2 large carrots
2 cans of chickpeas
1 butternut squash
1/4 c raisins
1 can worth of diced tomatoes (or better yet homemade pasta sauce as long as it doesn't have too much sugar added)
2 tbs lemon juice
a few fresh mint leaves

Few notes: I always wait for the onions to get translucent before adding garlic and spices. I also like to make sure to let spices roast a bit before adding the bouillon cubes and water (you might want to add more or less water depending on the cooking time and desired consistency- soupy or stewy). I usually add raisins only 10 minutes before the end of cooking time (this is a large amount and we usually have left overs for lunch the next day- if you intend to make a batch this big with the same intention you might want to only add raisins to 1/2 of the stew toward the end of cooking otherwise they'll bloat up too much overnight). Regarding tomatoes- there any numerous diced tomatoes out there that are packaged in jars, and given that the acidity in the tomatoes leaches out much of the bad stuff from the lining of the can (or so they tell us) getting jars might be a safer option (and usually yummier:). Finally, lemon is a must- it ups the acidity of the dish and given all the sweet stuff in there (raisins, butternut squash, etc.) its necessary. Keep in mind that depending on the type of bouillon cubes you use you might need to add a healthy amount of salt to this baby. Finally, this is commonly served with couscous but we almost always have this with rice rather than couscous since our little ones are rice fiends (added bonus- that way you can serve it to your gluten sensitive friends).

Monday, January 27, 2014

Flatbread/Quick Tortes De Aceite

These just might be the most spectacular thing I had made in awhile. What really makes them rock is that they are also one of the easiest things in the world to make and are incredibly versatile. In one batch I made a classical flatbread with some rosemary, anise and coarse salt, and a cheating version of tortes de aceite with anise and brown sugar. Shockingly enough my favorite one was probably the one I made by mistake (I grabbed caraway instead of rosemary) with himalayan pink salt and caraway seeds.
We had these with our teas for our afternoon tea on a blustering, cold, and yet sunny afternoon, and while the plan was to save one of the savory ones for dinner that plan never came to fruition:) The recipe I used is an old favorite from smitten kitchen for crisp flatbread with just a few changes.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tbs brown sugar (I think sugar helps in savory or sweet incarnations of this recipe, but definitely crucial for the fake tortes de aceite)
1/2 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
1/3 c olive oil (definitely not something you want to mess with- olive oil is what I think makes this whole thing rock)
1/2 c water

I split this into three cookie sheet sized flatbreads. Some similar recipes including the smittenkitchen one call for brushing the flatbread with olive oil right before baking- I find that that makes the flatbreads way too heavy. On the other hand, if you do not brush them with oil you might want to press the goodies on top into the dough a bit or else they'll just slide off once cooked.
Preheat oven to 450 and bake for 8 minutes on a pre-heated baking sheet (it helps to make the flatbread on the parchment paper so you can easily transfer them).

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Australia Day and Vegan Anzac Biscuits

Its been over a year now that we have left Sydney and we certainly miss it quite a bit. So last night as we played Waltzing Matilda, I figured some Anzac cookies are in order. Yet vegan Anzac cookies, while easy to make are rather difficult to find online (or at least the recipe is). These turned out lovely, soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside, definitely good enough to transport us back to our Australian adventure. Best part: everybody helped!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut
1 cup vegan brown sugar (ideally raw)
3/4 cup vegan butter, melted 
2 tbs flax-egg (flax meal with water)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tea of baking soda
optional: 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (my favorite brand by far is Enjoy Life)

Makes 10 large cookies. Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes (if you end up with more smaller cookies, adjust the baking time). If you use sweetened coconut or white sugar adjust the sugar levels accordingly. Oil can be substituted for vegan butter, but the butter gives it more of a cookie consistency and oil makes them more crumbly. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.
Joining in with Jodi's 52 project over at
Reed and Siena- the constant low temperatures (negative 30s) have made it a challenge these last two weeks to do what he had promised ourselves we would- go out no matter what the temps. Right as it was starting to get cold, somewhere in November I read this article that mentioned that in the Scandinavian countries kids spend so much more time outside in colder temperatures and they do just fine. A Swedish proverb stuck with me that said "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes," so we made it our mission to be outside as much as possible this winter. But with the arctic air blasting and bringing temperatures to negative 20s and 30s it seems impossible to spend any meaningful amount of time outside. Siena luckily gets a healthy amount of exploring no matter what the weather when she goes on her taprooting adventures, as we call them. Otherwise this last week was mostly hiding indoors and getting back into the swing of things with the first week back at work and first week back at homeschooling.

There was so many lovely images from last week. I was particularly moved by this mirror image, this little redhead- how cute!, and this little one- love the little "baby muscles"

Saturday, January 18, 2014


A picture of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.
Joining in with Jodi and her 52 project over at
Reed- his love of trains and all things that move is contagious. He just recently scored a train set, and while he loves it, he loves the inserts with pictures of trains possibly even more. So our days have been spent looking at BRIO train brochures:)
Siena-her VERY FIRST sleepover that she is hosting. I actually thought it was her very first sleepover, period, until she reminded me that she had two sleepovers during the two nights that I was giving birth to Reed. She did really well.

My favorites from last week. So many amazing images…some adorable favorite places…I mean who can resist a bag:), birthdays…I always find them so emotional, kids and grandma made blankets is always a winning combo.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Winter Nature Table

We put up our winter nature table with the first big snow early in December. While we like collecting little things for our nature table, we also like keeping it simple, especially in the winter. Nature in winter doesn't strike me as a terribly busy place.

Monday, January 13, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.
Reed- daddy's very first pair of reading glasses (we sure are getting old) was a favorite toy this week. that probably explains why they only lasted a week
Siena- still not too big to be carried to bed...

As always joining in with Jodi over at

My favorite's from last week: this brings back soooo many memories (and some trauma:), kids consumed (never gets old), does it?, and this adorable image (sort of the opposite of siena's image for this week)

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I have really enjoyed the 52 project last year and even though there was more than a few weeks in the middle of the year that I had skipped for various reasons, I am committed to doing every single week this year. I am excited about the memories that this will keep, about improving my photography skills (just got my first prime lens) and keeping up with the ridiculously talented community that has developed around this project. But really this project and keeping up with it is a part of a larger plan for this year, a plan to focus on things that matter, focus on my little ones while they are still little. They have grown way too fast and way too much. These days I can tell that each day might be my last day breastfeeding and that, together with the beginning of a new year, is making me think hard about how I spend the time I have with the kids. The goal is simply to be more present. So with that…a new 52 project begins. And right away I couldn't choose…

Reed and Siena doing what they love best.
Reed - pulling every single book of the shelves for no reason at all
Siena - singing yet another Edward Sharpe song

A portrait of children, once a week, every week in 2014. 

These I loved for the clarity and the eyes…oh, their eyes…early morning walk before the -40s arrive 

As always joining in with Jodi over at, the old che and fidel (will miss that name- invoked all sorts of revolutionary imagery:)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Winter Wonderings

We promised ourselves this year to get out more in the winter no matter the cold. So we've been trying to do exactly that.