Peas, pasta and bacon

Oh it actually doesn’t have to taste good. Just looking at the colors is enough. This pasta is oh so simple but actually I loved it. The idea of making a pesto like mixture from peas and all sorts of fresh herbs is great and it brought the basic pasta to another level with the interesting vibrant color it turn it into as well as the little extra texture it brought to it.

Pea pesto pasta and bacon

 

If you aren’t a fan of peas don’t worry. The crispy bacon and parmesan slices on top does help to make this pasta scrumptious.

RECIPE

400g pasta
170 g bacon

Pea pesto

200 g frozen peas
1-2 dl of fresh basil
1/2 dl grated parmesan
1 table spoon oil
2 table spoon lemon juice
1/2 tea spoon salt
black pepper
1 garlic clove
1/2 dl water where the pasta was cooked

Citrus oil

1/2 dl oil
2 table spoon lemon juice
1 lemon’s zest as slices
1/2 tea spoon sugar
pinch of salt

In addition
Slices of parmesan

  1. Puree the thawed peas, basil leaves, parmesan grate, oil, lemon juice and seasonings. Add the garlic clove. If the puree is too thick you can use the pasta water to dilute it. Remember to keep tasting all the time.
  2. Bake the bacon strips crispy under low heat.
  3. Cook the pasta.At the same time mix the citrus oil ingredients together.
  4. After the pasta has been cooked and drained add the citrus oil to it. Add the pea pesto and the bacon strips. Then add the parmesan slices.

That’s it. enjoy! Have a great weekend everyone. We’re off to the cabin to enjoy the spring!

– Alina

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A few necklaces

 

The past weeks have been quite busy with all little things and I have a feeling that it will only get busier. I’ve been doing all sorts of things but getting to the computer has been a job. I did though get a few long necklaces done.

This first necklace is created using dark blue faceted rondelle agate stones. I had such a hard time photographing the stones . The color of the stones is so eye catching but unfortunately in the end I was not able to photograph it for you.

NecklaceNecklaceNecklace

 

The second necklace is also agate. but the colors are this time different. This necklace surely reminds me of spring and summer.

NecklaceNecklaceNecklace

The last necklace is made of quite a few stones. I love the large stone which is a faceted goldstone. I also used some orange and white jade, carnelian and jasper.

NecklaceNecklaceI hope to write soon and not let all this busy life get to me.

– Alina

 

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Tutorial: Key chain

My key chain broke so I decided to make a new one. It was so fun to make so I must share it with everyone. I created the key chain using old wooden beads that I have a ton lying around.

This is what you are going to need. A cardboard box, string, wooden beads, paints and a paint brush.
Key chain

So you must be wondering what the cardboard box is used for. It is actually for painting the beads. This way you can string the beads and paint them without having to touch them with your fingers at all. Underneath you can see what I did. The length of the strings has to be so long that you can tie it around the box easily.

Key chain

To keep the strings in place I made little cuts to the edge of the box and put the strings to run through them. This way the strings to not move at any point.

Key chain

After painting the beads I left them to dry.

Key chain

After the beads have dried you can take the beads off the stings.

Key chain

Now you can gather your materials for the key chain. I did a very simple piece since this was something my girls could take part in. Well actually we also painted the beads together so that is a very possible craft thing to do with your kids.

For the key chain you’ll need some string (I used 1.5 mm white cotton cord), beads, charms and a lobster swivel clasps.

key chain

Cut approx. 25 cm piece of the cord and string the clasp and the charm.

Key chain

Make a loop after the clasp and the charm. I needed to make two loops on top of each other since the holes in the beads are large. So take that into account when doing this.

Key chain

String the beads.

Key chain

Tie a knot at the end of the beads. Remember to take into account again the size of the beads’ holes. I had to tie two knots.

Key chain

Cut off the excess string. I left a little tail in the end but that is up to you.

Key chain

That’s it. You are done. Oh so easy and fun. Key chainHope your Easter holiday was fun. Ours was at least full of chocolate eggs, bunnies and feathers.

– Alina

 

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Excuse me, but I have green lentils in my soup.

I like to use lentils but I’ve noticed that it needs some practice. They aren’t hard to use at all but remembering to use them is the key. The remembering part is only to do with the fact that it hasn’t been a everyday ingredient in our kitchen before.

green lentil soup

The Green Lentil Soup

A smart cook will soak the lentils over night in cold water. Put them into the fridge. This way the soup will be quick to make the next day.

For 4-5 people
200 g green lentils
1 large onion
1-2 table spoons oil
2-3 tea spoons paprika seasoning
1 liter water + 1-2 stock cubes
2-3 potatoes
1 can (400g) whole tomatoes
approx. 1/2 tea spoons salt
1 bay leaf
1-2 garlic cloves
1-2 table spoons honey
1-2 tea spoons lemon juice
chopped parsley

1. Soak the lentils over night or at least 3-4 hours.
2. Sweat the onions in oil in a big pan. Be careful not to burn them, the onions need to be only soft.
3. season with paprika seasoning.
4. Pour the water and the juice from the tomatoes into the pan. Not yet the tomatoes. add the lentils, seasonings and stock cubes. Do not add the salt yet.
5. Cut the peeled potatoes into cubes.
6. Cook the mixture for 30 minutes and then add the salt.
7. Add the roughly chopped up tomatoes and season the soup with salt, honey and lemon juice. Add some crushed garlic.
8. Keep tasting and seasoning until you are happy. Add the chopped up parsley on top before you serve.
green lentil soup

This soup went down also well with the kids even after they heard what the soup was made of. My eldest especially liked the lentils so don’t be afraid moms to try it out even though your kids might first say yuk!

green lentil soupNext time I’ll hopefully have some spring things coming up since Easter is also here. (Even though it started snowing today here.)

– Alina

 

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Cotton and leather weaved again

I’ve been looking into different weaving a braiding methods and I found this technique a few weeks back. It is easy to make but actually quite slow. The speed depends a lot on what material you are using and the thickness of the cords.

leather and cotton cord braclelets leather and cotton cord braclelets leather cord Cotton cord Cotton cord Cotton cord leather and cotton cord braclelets leather and cotton cord braclelets Cotton cord

Lovely I think. I’ll have try and slip in some metal beads as well next time.

– Alina

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Empty your freezers

Even though it does not yet feel like it summer is here soon and that means that soon our apple trees will be full of apples. A few weeks ago when the first rays of light  started peeping through the clouds i took a look inside our freezer.

Like very year I was faced with large amounts of mushrooms, fruits and berries that we had frozen from last summer and autumn. So this start of the spring will be dedicated to eating all those away so we can once again fill our freezer full of goodies.

So I started with apples…

Apple treat

 

This little easy and quick treat is oh so good. All you need is some apples (frozen or not), butter, butter sugar, whipped cream, cinnamon, white bread.

First some butter into the pan and let it melt. Throw in the copped apples and sugar. Let the apples soften up but not too much.

Divide the apples into serving portions and put the into the fridge to cool.

Crumble the white bread and put them into a hot dry pan. Add sugar and cinnamon. Keep stirring all the time. Once the ingredients have mixed well and it has gotten some color, let the bread crumble cool down. Now whip the cream

take the apples from the fridge and add whipped cream on the apples and then the bread crumble.

That’s it!

Apple treatThe crumble actually was the best part of this treat and if you have some leftovers then use it on some ice cream.

– Alina

 

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This necklace needs only these beads

 

These beads have been with me since 2010. My mother brought them from her last trip to Thailand and since then I have not known what to do with them. That actually does not bother me since I know that I do not use every new bead instantly. It needs some time and some inspiration.

Long necklace

Even though the necklace is simple, I love hoe the colors from the beads pop against the silver and how the chain seems so frail compared to the  large massive beads.

Long necklace2015-01-04-107.54.17Long necklaceLong necklace

The beads themselves are so in harmony that I felt that the necklace was perfect without anything else. The peacefulness that the plain chain brings to these colorful pops of color makes the necklace work.

Long necklace

Hope you weeks bee good.

– Alina

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Brownie cake for the birthday boy

Who doesn’t like brownies? I love brownies and of course the best buddies of this scrumptious treat is vanilla ice cream. So my husband had his birthday a few weeks back and what a great excuse for me to make a cake from ice cream and brownies.

Brownie cake

So the cake turned out fun. I made 20 cm large brownie cakes and in between the cakes I put vanilla ice cream. I also did some brittle using almonds. If you haven’t made brittle yet I really hope you try it out. It is addictive. I then used some chocolate sauce on top.

The brittle is easy to make. This how I made it:

50 g butter
3/4 dl sugar
100g almond chips
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 tablespoons cream

1. Preheat the oven to 200 celsius.
2. Melt the butter in a pot.
3. Once the butter has melted add all the rest of the ingredients.
4. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet.
5. Bake the mixture in the oven for 10 mintues. Keep an eye on the brittle so it will not burn.
6. Once ready take out of the oven and let it cool.

Brownie cake

So the cake was ready but I was missing the candles. No worries. I actually used sparklers!

Brownie cake Brownie cakeThey did create a magical moment and the kids especially loved it. In the end we were left with extremely full tummies and beautiful (and interesting) tulips that reminded us that spring really is just around the corner.

tulips

– Alina

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It definitely required some bling

I had bought a sweatshirt which had these cute little diamond attached to it. So the day came when I had to wash it and after the washing machine was done all the diamonds had fallen off. I was actually quite annoyed but luckly I found a way to upgrade the shirt rather then just complain. This is what I was left with before updating: A glue drop flower.

IMG_0751

Just add bling (and doesn’t every 5 year old girl love a little bling). So I had some cord and sew-on diamonds lying around.

upgrade you sweatshirt

Bling sweatshirt

Bling sweatshirtBling sweatshirtMy girl did love it and I was not surprised. I did go over board a bit but actually I think that in this instance it works. the flashy pink with these diamonds is every little girls dream.

Have a great weekend everyone.

– Alina

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Learning shapes

A nice way to add a bit of secret learning to a fun craft session with the kids is this:

Learning shapes

I gave my daughters some scissors and colorful papers where I had drawn different shapes and let them cut them out.

Learning shapes I then gave them a picture I had drawn and told them to build this house using the shapes they had cut out and a glue stick.

Learning shapes

They managed well. The chimney caused a bit of confusion but no worries. During this cutting and gluing I kept talking about the shapes and sizes. Since my girls do not speak fluent English they were actually quite eager to learn these shapes in English as well. So in the end we used both languages.

When they had finished their houses I gave them some free play time with the left over papers and glue. I’m sure this was the part they enjoyed the most. Let their inner artist out.

Inner artist at play

 

This little craft session is easy to set up and quick to do. Everyone with kids usually has a glue stick, pen, scissors, plain white paper and colored paper at home, so there are no excuses to why we could not do this. So get up and go do some crafts with your kids. They will surely enjoy the moment.

– Alina

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