the best potato salad recipe…EVER!

now that bear is back to eating eggs, i can make my favourite potato salad recipe again. potato salad is one of those foods that i connect with summer BBQ’s and eating outside. my recipe has pickles and red onions in it for some extra flavour, which everyone LOVES!

 

potato salad

 

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium red potatoes

4 hard boiled eggs

1/2 red onion

lotsa fresh dill (i used about 1/2 of a bunch)

4 pickles

1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise

salt

fresh ground pepper

 

DSC_0675b

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. cut potatoes into 2cm squared pieces and steam. once tender to a fork poke put into a bowl to cool. finely chop onion, pickles and dill.

2. cut hard boiled eggs into quarters, not too small as they fall apart easily when mixing the ingredients all together.

3. once the potatoes have thoroughly cooled add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

DSC_0670b

 

this potato salad was a hit at a BBQ we went to at a friends house.

the perfect side to hot dogs!

xo, mama lola

make your own backyard teepee!

 

We have been spending an enormous amount of time outside. The weather is warm and inviting, so we’ve tried to take advantage of the summer weather! With all this time we’re spending in the garden, one of my friends suggested we look at lawncare.net to see if they could help us keep our garden looking lovely. Summertime often means time in the garden, so it is important that the garden is maintained for the kids to go out and play safely. We’ll be spending even more time out there now, especially with our latest build. I’ve wanted to build a teepee for the kids in the backyard for a while, but just never got around to it, but when a friend of mine made one for her boys, I was inspired!

DIY teepee, backyard teepee,

DSC_0669b

I found an old white sheet in the basement, which I decided would be perfect if painted. then, I dug around for fabric paint, which I couldn’t find so I made do with tempera paint. The paint bottle said it would stain if not treated, so I hoped it would work! although, I don’t really care what happens to the teepee fabric. If after a big rainstorm the paint bleeds, I’m ok with that.

garden teepee, painting fabric

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Depending on the size of the teepee you want you will need 3-6 sticks for the frame. We just used branches we found in our backyard. we pushed the branches into the ground a little bit for extra support. We used nylon rope to tie the branches at the top.

2. choose a fabric that will be big enough to nicely wrap around the frame/ branches. Make sure you leave an opening! start stapling the fabric to one of the branches at the doorway and work your way around. I had to fold extra fabric tucking it under and stapling it well. I wasn’t too concerned about the precision of the stapling, because I knew it didn’t matter with the integrity of the teepee.

3. enjoy!

garden teepee for kids, make your own teepee

Our teepee provides great shade. I chose it’s location in our yard carefully, angling the doorway away from the table area and patio, tucking it away in a more quiet area. I’m hoping the teepee will be a part of games of the imagination, but also a place to tuck away with a book on a hot day, a place lie back and listen to the birds chirping away, and just a place to be.

DIY garden teepee,

The kids love it.

I love it!

It has worked out so well!

xo, mama lola

sweet potato & carrot soup.

i made this soup the other day for my kids and they LOVED it. bear is happy to take warm soup in his thermos for his school lunch.

sweet potato and carrot soup 4

INGREDIENTS:

4 sweet potatoes

4 medium/ large carrots

3 garlic cloves

2 bouillon cubes

8 cups water

2 tblsp olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

fresh ground pepper

green onions

blue cheese

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. peel sweet potatoes, carrots and onion and chop into chunks. peel and dice garlic.

2. add olive oil to soup pot and heat gently at a medium to low heat. add onions, stirring to ensure they do not burn. once they are lightly browned add garlic, sweet potato and carrot. keep stirring to make sure nothing burns.

3. add water, spices and broth cubes. let the veggies gently boil until they are nice and soft. remove your pot from heat and use your handheld immersion blender to blend all of the ingredients. once it is at a consistency of your liking, serve and ENJOY! i sprinkled some blue cheese and chopped green onions on top for some extra yumminess!

 

sweet potato and carrot soup 1

sweet potato and carrot soup 2

let me know how the recipe works out for you!

xo, mama lola

pita pizza’s for dinner!

pita pizza's, homemade pizza, mini pizza

this is such an easy dinner for when everyone is tired from the day. it’s also one where if the kids want to help they can get busy!

we love to make pita pizza’s. using pita bread instead of store bought pizza dough is healthier, as they have less preservatives and weird ingredients. for our family i typically use 4-5 pita’s depending on if we’re having anything else with dinner, like a salad.

 

INGREDIENTS:

pita bread

pasta sauce

fresh basil

1 can chick peas

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

broccoli

1/2 zucchini

handful fresh spinach

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1 cup cheddar cheese

 

OTHER POSSIBLE INGREDIENTS:

feta cheese, canned tuna, anchovies, meats, avocado… really you can get as creative as you like! haha!

pita pizza. mini pizza, kid friendly meals

mini pizza, vegetarian dinner, pota pizza

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. preheat over to 350F. cut and chop all of your chosen veggies. grate cheese. open cans.

2. evenly spread canned or jarred pasta sauce on to each pita. combine veggies, chick peas and beans according to your family’s tastes. sprinkle cheese as desired.

3. bake in the oven until cheese has melted.

4. cut, serve, and ENJOY!!!

 

veggie pizza, pita pizza, chick peas

super easy, right? you can have kids even decorate their own pita with whatever they like  and then everyone has their own!

xo, mama lola

DIY birthday applique shirt!

 

my bear turned 6 in february, so i made him this fun applique shirt.

i bought a plain t-shirt for $5, found some fabric i thought he would like and then the night before his birthdy quickly sewed up the shirt.

applique shirt, sewing, birthday

MATERIALS:

plain t-shirt

fun fabric for your number

hem fuser

thread

scissors

iron

sewing machine ( I bought one of the best sewing machine for beginners and it’s super easy to use!)
 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. iron the t-shirt and the fabric you will be working with. it is easier to work with flat fabric, plus your finished product will look that much better! leave your iron on, as you will need it later in the third step.

 

2. draw the number on your fun fabric lightly with a pencil, then cut it out. pin it on to your shirt.

 

DSC_0878b

 

3. make sure your iron is still hot. before using the hem fuser, read the insructions on the package. cut the hem fuser into strips and carefully place them around the edge of your number. because, a 6 has so many curves i had to cut lots of small pieces to get around around the bends.  i did leave some spaces between the strips to allow for flexibility.

 

DSC_0880b DSC_0881b

4. once the number is fused to the t-shirt, with your sewing machine sew around the edges of the number. i sewed around three ties. it doesn’t mater what stitch you use. i didn’t care about sewing it perfectly, opting more for a rougher look, which i think is perfect for this 6 year old’s bug applique birthday shirt!

 

and, he LOVED it! bear has received lots of compliments on this personalized shirt!

birthday, applique shirt, sewing, gift

 

happy sewing!

xo, mama lola

blueberry oatmeal muffin donuts!

 

 

um, YUM!

these delightful rings of goodness are the perfect after school snack.

a friend shared this muffin recipe with me, which she got from the food network.uk and, as usual i made the recipe my own with a few changes!

 

blueberry donuts, donuts, healthy treats

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tblsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup frozen blueberries

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. preheat oven to 400F. grease your donut pans. i just use butter.

 

2. mix oats and milk in a medium-sized bowl.  in a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, making a well in the center. stir in the liquid ingredients and the oatmeal mixture until just combined. be careful not to over mix!

 

3. fill donut molds to the top, and bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown. do not over bake!

 

4. let cool and enjoy!

 

blueberry donuts, donuts, healthy snacks

blueberry donuts, healthy snacks, donuts

the donut pans by wilson’s are so awesome and make simple muffins into something extra fun! i bought ours from the bulk barn at $9.99 each!

my kids LOVED these donut muffins!

xo, mama lola

teriyaki salmon dinner.

i made this teriyaki salmon for my family, in the hopes the delicious teriyaki sauce would encourage my bear to eat his fish. he loves salmon, but only when it’s raw, which is a great thing, but i think it’s necessary to help round out those taste buds.

 

salmon teriyaki 2

 

INGREDIENTS:

salmon fillets (1 per person)

teriyaki sauce (i used kikkoman less sodium marinade and teriyaki sauce)

2-3 chopped green onions

1/2 red onion finely chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped dill

 

SIDES:

basmati rice

a big handful of green beans

2-4 carrots

1/2 cauliflower head

 

DSC_0574b

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. place salmon fillets into a re-sealable plastic food bag and pour about 1/2 to 3/4 of the bottles teriyaki sauce into the bag. make sure each of the salmon fillets is covered with the sauce. place in fridge for about an hour. turn the salmon fillets in the bag to ensure an even marinade and leave for another 30 minutes to an hour. (you could marinade them for less time, it just means the yummy flavours from the sauce don’t have as much time to absorb into the salmon.)

 

2. preheat over to 400F. place salmon fillets in oven proof dish, coat with rest of teriyak sauce from bag. then, sprinkle cut red onion on top and bake for approximately 20 minutes. (baking times vary depending on the size of the salmon fillets and ovens) remove from oven when the salmon is flaky and no longer a bright pink inside.

 

3. cut cauliflower and carrots onto desired sizes and steam for about 20-25 minutes, then add green beans. steam for another 5 minutes or so, until green beans are a bright green in colour.

 

4. cook rice according to instructions on package.

 

5. serve cooked salmon on a bed of rice, sprinkle with green onion and dill, and add steamed vegetables on the side.

 

DSC_0580b

 

do you think your family would enjoy this meal?

i will definitely be making this again especially since it’s fast, easy, healthy and delicious!

xo, mama lola

butternut squash beet and quinoa: a warm salad!

we had some good friends over for dinner and i felt like making something super yummy for dinner. i wanted to make a meal that was colourful and light, so i made this wonderful butternut squash, beet and quinoa served as a warm salad.

it was amazing!

quinoa, vegetarian, beets, squash, dinner

(serves 4-6)

INGREDIENTS:

1 butternut squash

7 whole beets

2 cups quinoa

1/2 red onion

1 cup chopped kale

1 can of chick peas

2 garlic finely chopped cloves

4-6 fresh green onions

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 package of medium firm tofu (rooster brand)

1 cup feta cheese

olive oil

coarse sea salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. pre-heat your oven to 400F. peel and cut butternut squash and beets into bite sized cubes.  place them separately onto either a cookie sheet or an oven safe dish, drizzle with olive oil and place in the hot over. let bake for 30-40 minutes, until tender. remember, baking times vary ovens.

2. cook quinoa according to directions on the box. for this recipe i used red quinoa, but any quinoa is fine.

3. in a skillet heat oil, sautee red onion until slightly browned, add finely chopped garlic and kale. sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt. add chick peas, tofu, curry powder and oregano. continue stirring gently, ensuring the flavours are mixing nicely and the tofu has broken down into small pieces.

4. once butternut squash and beets have baked thoroughly and are nice n’ tender, add them to your skillet. mix gently.

5. to serve place a bed of quinoa on a plate, add butternut squash, beets, sprinkle with fresh green onions and feta cheese. serve with a big fresh salad!

 

DSC_0434b DSC_0446b DSC_0453b oven roasted beets, healthy dinner, vegetarian

mmm… everyone loved this meal, including the kids! it is packed with delicious proteins, iron and all sorts of other healthy components.

it easy enough to make it vegan, by removing the feta cheese!

quinoa dinner, vegetarian dinner, healthy meal,

do you think your family would enjoy this?

let me know if you try it!

 

xo, mama lola

naturally decorated easter eggs

easter eggs, naturally decorated easter eggs

easter feels like it’s late this year, but with this epic winter i think it’s kinda fitting.

although, i do love all of the pastels associated with easter, i wanted to collect a few crafts that were more natural. i just love all of the crafts below. they are all simple in colour, concept and look, which i think will make a bigger impression in the end. i am keen to get my kids to help with these project and once the snow melts we can go pick some lovely leaves and flowers of our own.

easter eggs, eggs decorated with seeds, easter

how to decorate easter eggs with seeds via diy enthusiasts

easter eggs, growing easter grass in eggs,

holiday wheatgrass eggs via momtastic life

easter eggs, decorating eggs, flowers

decorated eggs via a daily something

easter eggs, decoupage flowers,

decorate eggs with pressed flowers via the magic onions

which one of these projects will you make?

thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

xo, mama lola

vegetable bok choy soup!

i started a neighbourhood soup exchange with some friends back in the fall. it started because i find wednesday’s to be the hardest day of the week, and then to plan a dinner just makes it that much more torturous! so, every wednesday at after-school pick-up, there we are, the soup club mama’s with our large mason jars exchanging yummy soups. we’re the only vegetarian family and we rotate who exchanges with who, and it all works out so well! this veggie bok choy recipe has become a fave!

bok choy soup, vegetarian soup, soup recipe

this is a soup that has received lots of compliments and recipe requests:

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 large onion

2 medium carrots

4-5  parsnips

4-6 heads of baby bok choy

1-2 cups green lentils

1/2 package of rooster brand longkou vermicelli noodles

8 cups water

3 tbls safflower oil

2-3 cloves garlic

2 tsp fresh ginger

1 tsp tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

2 vegetable bouillon cubes

fresh parsley

sea salt to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. heat oil in your soup pot. add onions, sautee until lightly browned, then add carrots, parsnips, finely chopped garlic and finely chopped ginger. sprinkle lightly with sea salt. stir regularly to avoid burning. once the carrots and parsnips are bright in colour add the water.

2. add lentils, bouillon cubes, cinnamon, cumin and let the soup simmer at a low heat.

3. add noodles and bok choy once carrots and parsnips are soft. once they are cooked, which only takes a few minutes, add fresh parsley and serve.

* i find many soup recipes allow for some flexibility in the recipe, depending on what ingredients you have in your fridge or what your family’s tastes are. this particular recipe can easily be customized and changed to fit your personal tastes.

 

bok choy soup, recipe, vegetarian soup, healthy dinner

my kids love this soup, although the bok choy can be tricky for them to navigate. i love the cinnamon in it, especially in the winter, as it adds a warmth to the flavour which is lovely.

let me know what you think!

xo, mama lola
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