Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Healthy Comfort Foods

Last week I went  a little crazy with the baking, so today I just wanted to eat something healthy and light, but satisfying.  I don't usually look up recipes. I just open my refrigerator and see what I have on hand and go from there.

I really felt like soup today and with those carrots and cauliflower starring me in the face, I thought I'd make one that combined both ingredients.

I added some celery, veggie broth, olive oil, onions, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and ginger to add some flavouring.  It turned out to be quite tasty!!! I've already had 2 bowls!

I didn't stop there! I also wanted something sweet to finish off my lunch. I cut up some papaya, some mango, then added some blueberries, some dehydrated coconut flakes and lime juice and VOILA! 
Fruit salad perfection!!! I just love all the colours in this salad. It's bursting with healthy energy!!
Now that should make up for all those cookies I ate last week!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Beach Bonfire and Smores

In all the years I've lived in Costa Rica, I've never had the opportunity to experience a beach bonfire.
This past weekend, my guests and I decided to make one for my friend's birthday.  Her daughter helped me out by going to collect some wood for the fire earlier that day. We waited till sundown and then headed out to the beach.
It wasn't  a large fire, but it was really lovely. The full moon was out casting a light onto the sandy beach. We  could see the waves nearby as we sat around toasting our marshmallows over the flames. 
My friend's daughter introduced me to the "smore". I've never had ever.  Very simple, yet VERY tasty! A cracker sandwich with some chocolate and a toasty melty marshmallow inside!!!!
It was soooooo good  that I ate two of them.  I know, it's not the healthiest thing to eat, but to try once in my lifetime was well worth it. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I'm having some friends come over later to enjoy a bit of beach time, so I decided to make them a surprise and bake up a storm.

I don't usually bake, since most desserts I make tend to be healthy raw desserts, but hey! It's the holidays. We all deserve some yummy baked goods once in a while.

First I made these macaroons. They are sooooo delicious. I followed Martha Stewart's Almond-coconut Macaroon recipe. I've used this recipe before and it has always been a real hit.

The second thing I baked today was this banana- blueberry walnut loaf. I've never tried this recipe before, but it sounded good. I added some walnuts for crunch!

Lastly, I made some lime cookies. Not only are they cute, they taste really good and will go perfectly with my afternoon coffee.

And here is my view while I'm baking...... Not too bad!!!!

Poodle Love Sunset

Ok I know this photo is quite funny. That's why I'm posting it. Sometimes I think I love my poodle too much!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

And the waves keep on giving!

Ah! Today was a really good day for surfing!  The weather has been so nice lately and we received a very good swell this past week. I have gone out surfing everyday, taking photos of the other surfers and also charging at  the waves myself. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

If Santa brings me waves, I'll be a happy camper!

Ever since I moved to Costa Rica years ago, I have found that celebrating Christmas is just not the same as it was back home.  Maybe it's the lack of snow, or family and friends, the smell of pine trees..... I don't know... but it just never felt like Christmas to me here. I usually spend the holidays surfing as much as I can, watching the wicked sunsets, and taking it easy. That's exactly what happened today. I even got a nap in!  I can't say that I miss the old Christmas so much. Especially when I'm sitting on my board out in the water and thinking of my family back in Canada freezing their butts off!!!  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Surf Sunday

Had a good surf session today.  It's starting to get busy at the beach. With Xmas 2 days away, people are starting to go on vacation, and my quiet beach break turns into a bit of a zoo.   Luckily I didn't have to fight anyone for waves today.  Finally!! I have  good shot of me on a decent sized wave~!

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Blackwork Embroidery

I started doing blackwork embroidery a few months ago. I love how delicate blackwork embroidery appears, and the various patterns one can create.   My first attempt is this sampler, shown below.  It is composed of various squares with different motifs and coloured threads.  It has taken me forever to get to this point. Now I'm just trying to figure out what to embroider in the center of the piece. 

Another project I started was this  Elizabethan border. I found this pattern here. The front of my work looks alright, but I still haven't perfected that Holbein stitch.  I'm not sure what I will use this for yet, but it makes for good practice!

The world didn't end today, so I went surfing!

The world did not end today. That's good since I really wanted to go surf!  Not such good waves this morning, but it's always good to get in the water. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

embroidered dog collar

Here's an embroidered collar I fashioned for my sweet poodle.  It took me a full 2 days to make this, but my poodle's worth it.  I used a medium even weave fabric and some DC floss and beads. The stiffness of the fabric is great for this type of garment. It gives the collar a nice cupped shape and sits perfectly around my poodle's neck.  I'll try to get a good pic of him wearing it.

Crocheted Peter Pan Collars

Here are some of my first crochet projects I did about 2 weeks ago.   Both collars are were made up as I went along. These collars are very cute, especially with a high neck shirt. I still have to add buttons to the second one. These are pretty easy to make. Once you get the general idea of a basic pattern, you can let your imagination grow with each row you create.

Want to make your own? Watch this simple tutorial on how to make a crochet Peter Pan collar.

I've also added some links to sites that offer free crocheted collar patterns.

I've also added some links to sites that offer free crocheted collar patterns.

My crocheted shawl

I've had a lot of time to kill lately, so I decided to teach myself to crochet.   I knit, and I'm ok at it,  but crochet always seemed foreign to me. I admit, part of why I never bothered to learn was because I was too lazy to read the tutorials on how to do the stitches and then practice them. I was also very turned off by the ridiculous projects "for beginners" that I found online. Crochet dish cloth? No thanks. Same goes for those toilet paper doll covers. I mean, if this is what crochet had to offer, did I really want to bother?
Turns out yes, I did. But only because I came across some lacy patterns for shawls and stoles and some cute tops. While crochet can be cheesy, the projects I chose are anything but!

So after a few peter pan collars, and a crocheted necklace, I decided to make my own pattern (kind of free-stylin' it) for a large shawl. I wanted it to look like a large wingspan. It turned out just the way I wanted it to.   It's very lacy but light and perfect for evening walks with my dog.