Art and New Discoveries

As our class will be going on a field trip to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens next month our Atelierista (Art Specialist) bought in some cacti for the kids to practice their observational drawing. They used Indian ink and pastel, to apply the ink the kids used a variety of brushes, plastic forks and skewers.

A Problem of the Month in maths was this worksheet looking at the patterns in bowling pins and using repeating patterns to work out how many pins were set up. It is interesting how the kids approached this with their super cute drawings, most of them getting messier and messier at each line of the x pattern. More math resources for the classroom for working in small groups and coming together as a math congress to discuss their findings in the end.

After assembly this week the whole school all sang a song to the birds – yes this is the whole school including the teachers and the specialists. It was a cute little song I am sure the birds really enjoyed! We all danced in a circle around the labyrinth near the upper playground, it is such a wonderful place to work!

My discoveries this week were overnight oats and how good they are as a study snack! All I did was get this recipe from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon, I store it in the fridge adding fresh fruit and coconut to the bowl for the healthiest snack ever.

Apple Pie Overnight Oats
(this is my slacker version adapted from the cookbook)

1 cup oats
1.5 cups cashew milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to taste
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Small pinch of fine sea salt
1 Fuji apple unpeeled – chopped up finely
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Ground Allspice
Ground Ginger

I just used a large mason jar put all the ingredients in there gave it a shake and left it for the morning and the next day and the day after, it keeps a few days in the fridge and is a great snack anytime!

The avocado with Siracha is sitting atop a super easy recipe for baked zucchini patties from the Vitamix cookbook I found at the library.

I love the library and one of the books I found there this week was this amazing Lebanese cookbook, and it made me so hungry just looking through it. If only I could get decent Lebanese food here like I do back home in Melbourne!! The good thing about working full-time is discovering shortcuts to eating well and the best place to find good recipes is at the local library, go Mountain View Public Library you are my best friend 😀

 

Makers Gonna Make

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Last week I was in a flurry of making for a show with the Mountain View Parents Association on Saturday. It is a new energy of folks so it should be fun and the bonus is that it is at the community centre. I have made a lot of pouches for your glasses plus little coin or credit card purses that fit neatly into your pocket or evening bag. As I was chatting with my son I found this great little tool box he made with the scouts and I bought it off him for my table display. I had some gold spray paint and here it is living a new life holding my handmade goods.

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Some information on the holiday show here that I will be doing this weekend – if you are coming mention this post and get 20% off your total order. Shop local this holiday and support local makers – all good for everyone!

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As I was a bit of a busy bee this week with the sewing and then teaching at the end of the week and then I had to cook as a long lost friend was coming over for dinner – the week was over. Then came the weekend and now I am focussing on my studies!

The pic above is an amazing Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad I made on Thursday.

Ingredients

Green Tea Soba Noodles

Zucchini

Carrot

Watermelon Radish / Radish

Red Cabbage

Chickpeas

Coconut oil

For the chickpeas

Miso

Olive oil

Warm Water

For finishing

Sesame Oil

Method

  1. Cook your green tea soba noodles in boiling water following the packet instructions – I buy a brand from Australia.
  2.  Cut up all your veggies – I like mine raw – add them to a big bowl. Reserving the watermelon radish for finishing the dish
  3. Have your chick peas cooked and ready (use canned chickpeas, otherwise soak them overnight and cook them in a pressure cooker) and in a bowl mix the miso, olive oil and warm water slowly to create a sauce consistency. Add to the chickpeas and coat them in the sauce.
  4. In an iron skillet add some coconut oil and cook the miso coated chickpeas.
  5. Keeping an eye on the roll them around on the skillet until they look cooked – careful they do not burn!
  6. Take the chickpeas off the heat while you are draining the noodles with cold water. Add the drained noodles to the big bowl of vegetables and mix together.
  7. Pour a dressing amount of sesame oil over the veggies and coat them until they are shiny.
  8. Top with the chickpeas and watermelon radish and enjoy!

Such a super easy recipe and great for a weeknight – the prep is what takes the longest. Of course you can sub whatever vegetables you have on hand for any season – all it takes is some imagination!

And to finish my post this week with some inspiration I heard on the radio this morning from a favourite place of mine in the world – Hobart, Tasmania. This little boy is sewing teddy bears for charity and he taught himself to sew, I was so happy to hear this story it gives me hope for all those little fingers I teach sewing that it will not be a lost art after all!

 

A piece a Week – Getting back into the swing of things via Micro Greens!

This week after a week away in Hawaii it was tough going getting back into the swing of things. So much to catch up on and time for creativity was limited to the kitchen. I have found a love of salads and all things micro green coming into spring. So the inspiration from Hawaii was high and reflected in the dinners this week.

The grilled shrimp is from the Zippy Kale Pesto I found on taste.com.au – I used a rice noodle instead of pasta noodles and added radish, micro greens and lemon zest, yummo!

Grilled Shrimp on Kale Pesto noodles with micro greens and radish

The kitties missed us so much when we were gone that they lay with us when we were relaxing on the couch in the evenings. We missed them too ^..^

Kitties

 I started a crochet hat for my friend many times and finally worked out how to do it after many attempts and tutorials online. The eureka moment was when I found out how to actually work the stitch of the front and back loop. And then I could get on with it – I am still working it as there is other work to be completed for the Arts Focus Sewing session this week at school!

A hat for my friend

 Finally we enjoyed some incredible lentil tacos for dinner towards the end of the week with this incredible recipe. I accidentally added coconut oil to the lentils as they were cooking and that made such a tasty addition to the lentils and shitake mushrooms.The miso herb sauce I used kale instead of herbs and on top the salad of radish, carrots and microgreens. Oh so fresh.

Maybe it is the yoga classes I am checking out at the moment too! I went to my neighbors class in Palo Alto which was wonderful as my friend is a super amazing yoga teacher and I really felt it in my shoulders and body the next day. Later in the week I went to another local yoga studio downtown and enjoyed a hot yoga class – I did not realize how much I would enjoy it, now I am going back for more! I was enjoying the beach yoga in Hawaii and now it has had an effect on my exercise routine!

Lentil tacos with micro greens and salad

52 week project – Sri Lankan Cookbook – Kiribath and Seitan Curry

This week was a fairly easy recipe though a rough week in trying to get the recipe posted. It has just been constant chaos though now I am finally finding time to sit and write this. I must say the Kiribath is something  I remember from when I was little for all the festive events. We had it for breakfast sprinkled with sugar – what a treat for a kid first thing in the morning! Other times we had it with a coconut sambal and meat curry which is the inspiration for this meal. This is a vegetarian version which is just as good as the secret was to roast your own curry powder – it really makes a difference in flavour. 
For the meat curry I found a wonderful recipe on taste.com.au and I roasted spices and ground them in the coffee grinder – whoever has the next cup of coffee will be enjoying a very aromatic cuppa! 
The seeds all dry roasting in a pan
Ground roasted curry powder in the coffee grinder 

Kiribath is milk rice and and literally in Sinhalese it means a milk bath. The rice is cooked in a coconut milk and then put in the fridge to set and then serve – that is how I have always had it anyway.

Kiribath and Seitan curry (yes seitan is a popular meat alternative in this household)

Following are the recipes for the Kiribath and the Seitan curry – do note this is a super easy and quick to prepare meal.

Kiribath

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water

1 can coconut milk

salt to taste

1. Cook rice in rice cooker and when ready transfer to a saucepan and cover in coconut milk.

2. Add salt to taste and cook on low until the rice has absorbed all the coconut milk.

3. Transfer to a plate to cool and then place in fridge when the rice is at room temperature (do not put it in the fridge while warm).

4. Serve the rice cut into diamond shapes with a favourite curry or coconut sambal.

Seitan curry 

1 packet of seitan strips
Flour
Paprika
Olive oil

1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 cardamom pods, cracked
teaspoon black mustard seeds
5 fresh curry leaves
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 small to large tin diced tomatoes (ideally fresh if they are in season)
1/2 to 1 cup water

Ceylon curry powder

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 cinnamon quill crumbled
1. Prepare seitan for the curry by dredging it in the flour and paprika and sautéing it in olive oil. Then keep aside for later. 
2. Make the curry powder by roasting the spice ingredients on medium heat and when cool transfer to a coffee grinder. 
3. Pulse onion, ginger, garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. 
4. Heat ghee in a skilled add onion mixture and cook over medium heat until golden. Add curry powder, turmeric, cardamom pods, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Cook stirring for 3 minutes then stir in vinegar. 
5. Add tomatoes and 1/2 cup water initially and add the prepared seitan and cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
6. Serve with the kiribath or any rice or noodle side dish with a salad. 
We have avocados and carrots in season at the moment so that is why they are there 🙂 Oh and feel free to add chillies to the onion, ginger and garlic. I omitted the chillies as I didn’t have any on hand and the kids would say it to too spicy and not even try it. They loved the rice and gave thumbs up for the curry so it was a winner. 
The plan is to grow some chillies over the summer and it is time for Project Garden next week when my son is on his 1 long vacay from school. His is on his way to earning yet another Pokemon book once he helps me with this project!