Tuesday, December 18, 2012

These Days

These Days there is a lot of cooking going on, but I guess when isn't there a lot of cooking going on in this house...right. We have been making curries, cookies, cinnamon buns, pasta, pizza, and so much more. I think I mentioned that I am trying out a new thing where we buy our dry goods only once a month on the 5th, when our local co-op gives an extra 5% off to members. We do still buy eggs, almond milk, and produce on a regular basis. Also looking at my cereal stock, I may have to buy some more cereal...these people eat a lot of cereal, and for next time I will take stock of this and buy even more cereal and also make sure there are enough oats available in case we do run out again. The thing I love about this new way of grocery shopping is that we are forced to be creative and I do think in the long run it does save us money. Anyway, on to the food.

  1. An Omelet with mushrooms, spinach, and feta.
  2. Vegetable Korma.
  3. Cinnamon Buns.
  4. Pasta with a sun dried tomato, portabello, smoked gouda cream sauce.
  5. Chickpea Curry.
  6. Cheese Pizza.
  7. A White pizza topped with leeks, garlic, feta, mozzarella, and smoked gouda.
  8. Pizza and beer...sometimes that is all you need in life.
Just a couple notes...as some of you may have noticed, there is a recipe section on this blog and a shop section on this blog. The shop section is still very much in development, but I thought it was about time I utilized the recipe section, especially since I cook all the time. Later on today I will put two posts in there for the pizza dough recipe I used (it may be the best one we have made so far, a great sturdy, tasty crust) and also for the Chickpea Curry I made. Also if there is ever a recipe I don't post about and you would like it, you are more than welcome to e-mail me at YasminKirkwood@gmail.com or just leave a comment on the blog.

Also I am linking in with Nicole over at Frontier Dreams for "Keep Calm Craft On {Crafting On}" I have been thinking about multiple projects that need to be done and in the stressing out about it all, I decided to take a moment for myself late last night to do a bit of spinning. I am still a very novice spinner, but I do enjoy it quite a bit.
Ok off to do some last minute Christmas shopping and other errands.
Peace, Yasmin

Monday, December 17, 2012


I watch the rain outside. The chickpea curry simmers in the kitchen, while I listen to Radiohead and the Pixies. I think about how incredibly lucky I am to have a wonderful family that loves me. I am reminded of this constantly when my kids tell me they missed me or when my husband hugs and kisses me. I have been reminded of this a bit more this past weekend as some families in a little town in Connecticut come to terms with not being able to spend just one more second with their loved one. Yes, I am truly blessed to have the life that I have. I hope these families can find peace in their hearts over time and know that we grieve with them. Hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight, I know I will be.
Peace, Yasmin

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rhythm of the home

As I listen to the humming of the dehydrator, the whirring of the dishwasher, and the sound of my son playing with his dinosaurs next to me...I feel like I am once again getting back into my rhythm. There is bread rising in the kitchen, garbanzo beans cooling out of the pressure cooker, and laundry in the washing machine. All of these things might seem insignificant to some, but these are things that are home to me. You see, I think I fell out of my rhythm. Part of it had to do with loss of job security and being a full time student, the other part had to do with pure laziness, convenience, and getting sucked into Tv and computer land. Oh how easy it is to get sucked in. I started getting back into the rhythm about a week ago when I decided to spend my night time down time listening to music rather than watching the TV. I also think slowing down and taking the time to decorate the Christmas tree with the kids helped...I would much rather sit in my quiet living room next to the pretty tree than sit in front of the TV mindlessly. Getting back into the rhythm feels really really good. There is a lot of cleaning and organizing to be done before I can fully return to me, but it will happen in time. Today I started by organizing my pantry. Gosh it is great seeing what all I have to work with. My local co-op, gives 5% off to members on the 5th of every month, so my plan is to try and do my major grocery shopping once a month. All dry/canned goods only once a month. That means I will not go shopping for those types of things until the 5th of next month. This is a good thing. This will help with our budgeting, using up what we have, and coming up with creative meals. I will still need to shop for produce somewhat regularly, as well as eggs, and almond milk. I am excited about this challenge, even if I didn't realize that we in fact do not have black beans in this house at the moment. Yes, not buying black beans when we are out is considered an epic grocery fail...but I have other beans and they will just have to do. January 5th isn't that far anyway, right. Speaking of Rhythm of the Home, you should go check the Rhythm of the Home online publication right now. There are some tasty chocolate bark recipes in there, just in time for Christmas. Yummm.

  1. Organized pantry (yes I can see what food I have)!
  2. Dehydrating tomatoes.
  3. Caramelizing onions.
  4. Lentil soup.
  5. Chunky applesauce (so useful for vegan baking and as a snack for my son)
  6. Immaculate Baking Co. Crescent rolls ( they are ah-mazing).
  7. Idaho and Sweet Potatoes mixed with caramelized onions and topped with feta.
  8. Chunky applesauce in jars, yay.
Yes I do believe I am getting back into my rhythm. One more week of school in this semester and then I can truly start breathing.
Cheers to finding the rhythm again. Peace, Yasmin

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Yesterday was December 1st and so we decided to start this joyous month off right with some holiday decorating. It was a lovely night of decorating with the family and the kids were just so happy to put the tree up. This is a magical time of the year for them and I always enjoy seeing this time of year through their fresh young eyes. For instance there is a big all in one destination center near our house; with a movie theater, bookstore, ymca, stores, restaurants, etc. We go to this place often, as this is where I work at one of the restaurants and this is the place we go to the movies. Anyway, there is a big Christmas tree with a throne underneath it (for Santa presumably). We went to the movies tonight and as we drove past the tree, my son states, "Oh he isn't here tonight". I love that he believes in Santa and wants to see him so very much. I have a feeling my daughter doesn't quite believe anymore, but she still goes along with it for his sake...and I love her for that as well. The reason why I am not quite so sure she believes in him is because last year when we went to see Santa, she didn't really care to see him to tell him what she wanted for Christmas...this has to do with outside influence through school I am sure. I am going to try to keep this time of year magical for as long as possible until my kids tell me no. Until then...

My kids decorating the tree. Rian in his Thor Halloween costume of course. The tree all done up. The homemade bird ornament I got through an ornament gift exchange in our tree. The floating Santa head that somewhat creeps out my hubby.

The kids personalized Christmas stocking from their late grandmother. That is a younger picture of her next to a card that she sent us last Christmas. She was a lovely woman and is greatly missed by all. A Santa figure and their Eric Carle advent calendar.
Rian wearing a Santa hat and his Thor costume. Ashleigh and Molly completely tuckered out after all of the decorating.
Happy merry making,

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Giving Thanks

I figured since it is December 1st, I should do a post about our Thanksgiving day and food. Tomorrow I will post about decorating for Christmas, which is what we actually did today.

On Thanksgiving my day started with a mimosa ofcourse! I got Korbel Rose Sparkling Wine...I actually visited that winery when I was in California a couple of years ago. It was an awesome winery and a yummy mimosa, served in a Steelers cup...because there has to be football on Thanksgiving and that was about all the football that we enjoyed on that day.  Scrambled Eggs, Vegan Sausage, Toast, and cinnamon buns. Yumm.

Mashed potatoes, a vegan field roast en croute, garlicky sauteed green beans, and some vegan gravy...all enjoyed by a very excited little boy.
...and just because it is actually December 1st, here is our first Christmas card of the season. I don't think I need to actually mention that this was a card sent to us by a computer repair shop that Jason had gotten repairs from before. The card is pretty though, right. Hope you all are having a joyous holiday season.
Peace, Yasmin

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just me and my boy

My daughter was invited to a birthday party of one of her best friends today. So right after the kids got off the school bus I drove her over to their house. This left me and Rian to a couple of hours, just the two of us. This is extremely rare, because usually my mom or hubby are home...but today my mom went to the gym and my hubby was at school, so we had about 4 hours together. We first went to the grocery store to get that errand out of the way. As I am driving in the parking lot, my son goes, "Mommy you are polite because you stop to let the old people walk past." Hello? When did my little boy start using such grown up sentences? This little guys amazes me on a regular basis with the things he says. He is quite hilarious at times. I also noticed in the store when I put him in the seating part of the shopping cart that he can reach the bottom rung of the cart with his foot! He is now most definitely too big to sit in the cart. I am not ready for this little guy to grow up so fast, boo. After the grocery store we enjoyed a little bit of TV time just the two of us. He leaned against me on the bed and asked me to put my arms around him...oh how I wish these precious moments could last forever. Then I put a pizza in the oven, our first store bought frozen pizza in years. My thinking was nice and easy, but I realized after tasting it that we are truly not missing anything by not eating them. Homemade pizza with homemade sauce is so so so much better. We enjoyed our quiet dinner at the dining room table with lemon infused water. It was a lovely evening for just the two of us and I hope for more opportunities like these.

My lovely son enjoying his pizza and a picture of the store bought pizza...not too bad looking. My son tells me he loves me everyday and sometimes more than once a day. I hope he doesn't lose this sweetness when he is being a stud with his gorgeous blue eyes. For now I will take in every sweet moment with my little man.
Peace, Yasmin

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November already

Can you believe it is already November and actually we are almost halfway through. What a whirlwind of a year it has been so far. Life has been quite busy with school, work, and house duties during any free time...hence the lack of blogging, sorry friends.  During this short hiatus, it has snowed very lightly and nothing stuck of course...I can not wait for the first real snow, you know those big flakes that you can catch with your tongue and it most definitely sticks to the ground and the trees. I love that kind of snow. We tried to have a fire in our fireplace for the first time and found that even though it was completely open, the house still smoked up quite a bit. I will talk to the landlord, but it looks like we may unfortunately not be able to indulge in the warmth of the fireplace in this house. We have enjoyed hot chocolate and hot tea.  Oh and this was all before the end of October, so during this short hiatus we also enjoyed Halloween. I have been dreaming up gift plans for the holidays, but in reality have just been too tired to start any of those plans. We also enjoyed an Appalachian Night at my children's school and I received some ornaments from my ornament exchange partner. The ornament exchange is something I signed up for through another blog and let me just say that I am totally impressed that my partner has finished and sent me the ornaments already. This may be just the inspiration I needed to get my butt moving on all of those holiday plans and the ornaments. Life has been busy, but good. I am hoping that I can work less in the future and concentrate more on family and school. Hopefully I can make that happen next year. Anyway, here is Batman and a masked lady.

No matter what I told my son, he put his head back for the pictures. I think he was having a hard time seeing through the mask. They enjoyed trick or treating and showing off their costumes.

These picture are from the school's Appalachian night. The first two are of my daughter and other fourth graders singing some old timey songs. The people dancing are from a local clogging school and they were actually quite good and entertaining. There was a ceramics display, a basketry table (the school's art teacher made that beautiful basket), a homemade dulcimer, and leaf plates that the fourth graders made. I love the history and old timey ways of Appalachia and feel blessed everyday to be able to live in these beautiful mountains.
Here are the beautiful ornaments that I was gifted. A homemade ceramic bird and a mitten with the words "believe". She also sent me a smaller bird with a magnet on the back and a little handwritten note in an envelope with her initial on the outside. I thought the whole package was very thoughtful and if you are reading this, Thanks Nan! I am looking forward to hanging those ornaments on our tree this year.
I also found a new favorite snack...Dark chocolate and sea salt on popcorn, yes please. Hopefully we will be enjoying a lot of this during the holidays. Is everyone else as ready for the holidays to be here as I am? I love this time of year.
Ta ta for now,