carrot, apple & cranberry salad.

i usually do my groceries on a tuesday morning with lion as my co-captain. that means, on monday i often end up scrounging ingredients for dinner. this past monday was no exception. then i found some yummy, seasonally perfect ingredients for a quick and yummy salad!


2-3 carrots 
1-2 apples
1 small bunch of parsley
1 handful of dried cranberries
1 small handful of sunflower seeds

1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sugar*

1. shred peeled carrots and apples (i left the peel on) into a bowl. choose how many to shred depending on how big the goods are and how many mouths you’re feeding.
2. finely chop parsley.
3. add in rest of ingredients and mix in.
4. make dressing and once all ingredients and mixed well, add to salad. ensure you mix the salad well and let it sit so that the dressing gets absorbed. i let it sit for about an hour.

*if the taste is too tart for your liking, add more sugar and/or a little water.

this was the perfect salad to serve with my mashed potatoes and baked salmon. yum! my kids gobbled it right up, especially lion who still refuses to properly chew foods like raw carrots!

we are definitely having a better today than yesterday!

xo, mama lola

butternut squash & ricotta pizza pie!

dear hubby has taken on the sunday dinner responsibility around here. since buying a bread maker from a friend a few months ago, he has started making his pizza dough in the maker. it’s easy for him, as long as he just has to plan it ahead of time.

this past weekend, dear hubby made a pizza that was one of the best he has ever made; a butternut squash and ricotta cheese delish pizza pie! i found the recipe on pinterest, but THIS is the site it’s originally from. the directions are so nicely and clearly spelt out there, tha i am not going to re-write them here. 
so, go check it out!

this time of year squash is bountiful, fresh and local for us, so we’ll be eating various foods made with it. in fact tonight for dinner for the kids, squash soup. dear hubby and i will skip the soup and go on a long over due date night!

happy friday everyone!

xo, mama lola

healthy quinoa patties for dinner!

i have been looking on pinterest for more interesting lunch ideas for bear. he loves wraps and sandwiches just fine, but they look pretty plain and no amount of avocado will jazz things up enough!

while pinning, i stumbled upon this recipe for quinoa patties from an aussie food blog, cook republic. yum! we have quinoa in the pantry and the kids love it, so i made them, just like that. i had to customize the recipe, removing the eggs and using ground flax seeds instead. i also added and removed ingredients according to our likes and supplies on hand.
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
egg replacer : 2 table spoons of ground flax seed mixed with 6 table spoons of water to make paste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 handful of fresh spinach, chopped
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mild paprika
sprinkling of sea salt & ground black pepper
olive oil to pan fry
mix all ingredients in a bowl. heat olive oil in pan. take a spoonful of the quinoa mix and mould the patty in your palm. i found that if i made them slightly thicker initially, they flattened out better. i made my patties about 2cm’s high with a 5cm diameter. the patties are very fragile and can easily crumble, but if you fry them on a low heat and remain patient you can get good shapes.
i used red quinoa, the patties are not burnt.
quinoa patties, healthy dinner, vegetarian
quinoa recipe, patties, healthy dinner
we enjoyed our quinoa patties with a bowl of potato and leek soup, and a green salad. i made a quick sour cream dressing (sour cream, white vinegar, sea salt, sugar, fresh dill)l to dress up the patties, instead of having ketchup as suggested by cook republic.
next up, home made crescent rolls. i like the idea of the small snack, but hate to think of all the additives and chemicals used in the ready-made stuff in tube. and, if i make lots i can freeze ’em! and they can be jazzed up with various fruits and seeds, oh my!
what kinds of things do you make your kids for lunch? i’m looking forwardto the day i can send bear with a thermos of warm food in it.
xo, mama lola

camping. camping. camping.

we went on an overnight mini camping extravaganza vacation with friends this past weekend. it was one night of laughs, booze, camp food and lotsa fun!

because our area of canada is experiencing an unusually dry and hot summer, there was a fire ban at the grounds. there have been lots of forest fires, so i completely understand the ban, but i will admit i was slightly saddened. what’s camping without a fire?
It’s ultimately my own fault as I should of done more research into the camp ground. Lesson learnt. In future, I’ll definitely be reading up on how to find the perfect campground for your RV. No longer am I taking our RV and just randomly choosing a camp site in the hope it has everything we need.

we had meal planned our dinner to be cooked with the fire, but luckily a couple of weeks before we decided to purchase a stove top. After reading lots of camping products reviews, we have spent quite a bit of money upgrading our camping gear! So… we did it all stove top instead and it all worked out fine. our to be fire roasted potatoes, became stove top taters instead and were yummy as heck! We recently bought a new RV Battery which meant we could cook all this wonderful food. It saved the day!

[ new potatoes, garlic cloves cut in half, generous chunks of butter, cut yellow onion and a generous sprinkle of sea salt. i had wrapped them all in lots of foil as we had hoped to cook them in the fire. this is how we do taters at the cottage on the BBQ! ]

there were six kids and six adults so it all balanced out. the kids played in the woods where we set up dear hubby’s beloved brazillian hammock and as dusk settled in the kids explored everything with their flashlights. it was so funny and cute and hilarious to listen to their excitement. the little ones had a harder time getting to sleep. dear hubby walked around the campground with lion on his back, which worked out well. however, we got off to sleep absolutely fine in our RV as we have comfy beds and even an amazing skylight to which we can see all the stars glistening from. last year when we went camping our skylight was damaged a little from being so old, but luckily we had a dome skylight replacement to fix it on the spot so we didn’t have to panic about not having a view of the stars!

once the kids were finally asleep the real party started, and the booze came out in generous pours and were slurped in generous gulps. it was a perfect summer night for sitting around our pretend fire, where the chatter and drinks flowed and then as the night progressed the laughs became slightly louder and longer.
good times.

morning dawn brought with it a few rain drops that luckily didn’t amount to anything. it brought with it super hungry kids who had to have some fast granola and fruit to rid them of the morning grumps! just look the differences in the two pics of the kids… before granola and then after!

and then after some team work we all ate fantastic breakfast burrito’s and sipped on the best coffee ever! food tastes to great at camping, even if it car camping!
so yummy!

lots of summer love to our friends. we had a blast and can’t wait for next summer’s camping trip!
today is monday and incredibly hot. tomorrow they are predicting +36c, which midas well be the boiling point. we will hunker down inside with craft projects and friends and ice cream!

what’s the weather like where you are?

xo, mama lola

moose for dinner!

we had some super silly pasta for dinner, thanks to IKEA. they were moose shaped! the kids loved it and bear said “i love to eat moose”, which we found especially funny as we’re vegetarian! 

i’m really enjoying my cast iron pan again and since our naturopath told us bear was iron deficient i’ve been using that beast a lot. especially when i’m cooking things like tomatoes, as they (along with other acidic foods) absorb the iron from the pan, which is healthy and good, not just for bear, but all of us! 

for the sauce i used:
1 can canned whole tomatoes, which i cut into smaller pieces.
1/2 can chick peas
1/2 zucchini
1/2 orange bell pepper
2 tblsp sour cream
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion
dried oregano
fresh basil leaves
olive oil
i sauteed everything starting with the onions. once everything was in and smelling wonderful, i decided i wanted to thicken the sauce, so i threw in a dollop of sour cream. just what it needed!

we also had some yummy spur of the moment salad. i have been craving cucumber dill salad, but we didn’t have any dill, so i got a little creative with what i could find. 

i chopped up some cukes and cherry tomatoes, stirred in thick sour cream, white vinegar, sea salt and some of our home grown parsley. it quenched my craving and the kids loved it too! 


xo, mama lola

pinaattiletut/ spinach crepes.

*pinaattiletut or spinach crepes finnish style*
this is where i get my recipe for pinaattiletut. the finns (like most of the world) use the metric system for measuring ingredients and luckily for me i have my mummo’s old measuring cup to help. i did all the conversions and translated the instructions! and, no worries if you don’t have the proper pan, just use any pan you usually would for crepes.

2 cups milk
1 cup flour 
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
just under an ounce of oil or butter
sprinkle of black pepper
1 cup frozen spinch ( i use fresh spinach and eyeball it)

cooking instructions:
1. mix together milk, flour, eggs, salt, sugar and pepper.
2. then add oil and thawed spinach and once mixed let dough stand for a little while.
3. use butter to fry the crepes.
4. suggested serving with lingonberry jam and/ or cottage cheese.

xo, mama lola
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