Category Archives: Homemade

Big Loop blanket by Loopy Mango

100% merino wool from upstate New York, this big loop blanket is absolutely gorgeous.

The skiens are large; you can hold them in two hands, and each one is handspun & hand dyed.


I needed this big blanket at one of the yarn stores here in Calgary, Stash Lounge. The class cost of $250 and came with the skien of yarn, which cost $245 CAN. Our instructor, Chantal, was amazing.

I chose the color heather grey. I won’t be making another for myself because I realized only after I made it I”m allergic to wool! With direct contact my skin gets really itchy!

In class we got to learn about the wool and how to take care of the blanket, and got started. It took about 5 hours to make and today I’m giving it to my mum for mother’s day!

xxS

 

Making dryer balls

I heard so many good things about dryer balls. The first time I heard about them was on a blog. I thought dryer balls would be perfect for me because I wanted to get away from using Bounce sheets.

I read about the benefits of using a wool felted dryer ball in your wash instead of a chemical fabric softener: left irritants for your skin, dries your clothes faster so no waste of energy, remove static cling and makes your clothes softer.

So to make dryer balls, first I learned how to roll wool into a ball from watching YouTube. 

Then I bought the 100% wool. It has to be 100%.

I put small folded old socks in the middle of the ball to make the balls bigger. 


Then I got some old pantyhose so the balls would stay round as they felted in the first three washes. 


So now I am happy to say I won’t be buying Bounce sheets anymore but will be using wool dryer balls! 

Have you heard of dryer balls? If you have any questions leave them in the comment section!

xxSerena 

The first hat I knitted

I made a hat! I made a hat using circular needles, my first time! My first project using circular needles was easier than I thought. 

To prepare I watched a bunch of YouTube videos a few times. I was excited to start and I knitted the hat in an afternoon.


Excuse the lighting, it was an extremely sunny spring day.

Despite the sun, however, it was chilly outside and my newly acquired allergies were in full bloom.


My only mistake was I meant to make it bigger for someone else’s head. But it turned out too small. So instead it was a hat for me.


xxSerena

My new hobby is knitting! 

I have been a knitter since March 14, 2017!

I started by learning how to knit with two pens by my work neighbor and coworker and dear friend Kathie:


She taught me the knit stitch, which is the basic stitch in knitting. It was not easy for me to learn this! I did still stumble quite a bit. 

But she gave me homework. So I practiced and practiced after I finally got it with just some cheap medium sized yarn and medium sized needles from Walmart:


And I taught myself how to find off, or cast off, make a slipknot, purl, and then began learning how to correct my mistakes.


And this was the beginning of my knitting adventure!

Stay tuned for more posts! 

xxSerena

Zucchini lasagna 

Today I found a bag of small beautiful zucchini for one dollar. Don’t ask me how it was done, this was a blessing and I don’t want to jinx it.

I had some staples cheese, tomato sauce, onion, spices and some turkey sausage so I thought… Zucchini lasagna. No pasta just thinly sliced zucchini as noodles. I put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 350° and it was so good. If you want to keep it vegetarian leave out the turkey and add mushrooms, peppers or corn.

Ingredients:

3 to 4 zucchinis, cut the tips off, slice longitudinally
Half a jar tomato sauce.
Three turkey sausages, casings removed.
One onion, diced
Spices: turmeric, Greek seasoning, garlic aoli granules, pinch hot chili flakes, S&P

Directions:

  1. Clean zucchini, cut off ends and slice longitudinally
  2. Diced onion and cook with turkey sausage under medium heat with turmeric, salt, Greek spices for ten minutes. Add tomato sauce & simmer.
  3. Coat bottom of the glass dish with tomato sauce or half a teaspoon olive oil. Lay slices of zucchini, layer the tomatoes sausage onion mixture, cheese and then another layer of zucchini the opposite way from before. Keep stacking and layering. Topped with tomato sauce and cheese on top.

Zucchini lasagna!!! It was so delicious 🤗👌🏼❤️‼️😁

xxSerena

Turkey muffins

With less than 8% fat, about 22g of protein in a serving of 100g, for my macros, turkey muffins were a perfect lunch idea.

When I made them yesterday I can’t begin to tell you how amazing the aroma was steaming out of the oven. I ate this over spinach and with roasted sweet potato.

Ingredients:

500g (1 package) extra lean ground turkey
1 red bell pepper chopped into tiny squares
1/2 red onion also chopped into tiny squares
1 egg
2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce for chicken
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Maille Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° before preparation
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  3. Drop turkey mixture into silicone molds
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven off and let muffins set for an additional 20 minutes in warm oven.
  5. Serve with steamed vegetables, spinach, sweet potato or rice.


I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed these muffins! Finally, delicious turkey that was moist, flavorful  and a great lean protein that goes with other healthy options.

I will definitely be making these many more times again this year! How do you cook with ground turkey or chicken?

xxserena

Vegan meat and potato dinner

I made seitan from scratch the other day. I had watched the documentary called “Cowspiracy” and thought it was so motivating! 

So here’s my recipe for chunky potatoes with meat n onions; vegan style! 

Boil diced potatoes and add spinach: 


I wanted Asian flavours so I added Braggs amino acids (soya sauce), rice vinegar, sweet chili sauce and a splash of apple cider vinegar.


I cooked that together covered for about 10 minutes under low heat.


Then I fried my seitan, diced, with diced onions and some all of oil and water. 

The “meat” has a spicy flavor, good meaty consistency and goes well with the potatoes and onions and spinach.

It might not look like much but I’m proud of myself for making it and truly enjoying it! 


I made my meat from scratch! 

Have you ever tried seitan? Do you think you would like it? 

xxSerena 

What I learned from the documentary “Cowspiracy” 

I did not know that animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse emissions damage than all of transportation pollution. 

I didn’t know that livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

I had no idea that methane is 25 to 100 times more destructive than carbon dioxide on a 20 year timeframe. I also didn’t know methane has a global warming potential 86 times that of carbon dioxide!

I had no idea that cows produce 150,000,000,000 (billion) gallons of methane every single day!

Fracking uses up 70-140 billion gallon of water annually. But I had no idea that animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34 to 76,000,000,000,000 (trillion) gallons annually!?!

Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the entire United States of America.

Californians use 1500 gallons of water per person per day. Close to half of that is associated with meat and dairy products. Not showers! Not watering your lawn or brushing your teeth! Eating meat and meat byproducts like milk, eggs and cheese. 

Sigh. 

Why isn’t this on the news?!?? 

Oprah try talking about it on her show. She got sued and had to take the Oprah Winfrey show to Texas for months. Remember that?

This is crazy but 2500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. 1 pound! 

Livestock covers 45% of the earths total land. Cows! Cows cover 45% of the earths total land. 

Livestock operations on land… On earth… Have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded dead zones around the world in our oceans.

Did you know that a farm with 2500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people?

Sigh. 

Seriously. I had no idea the beef, dairy, eggs and cheese industries were doing this much harm. 

Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of green, 30 ft.² forest, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent and one animals life.

The leading cause of rain forest distraction is lifestock and feed crops.

That’s why being vegan is important! I thought vegans they were just a bunch of artsy hippie kooks who wanted to be different and took animal love to an extreme. Could I have been wrong? Could they have been two steps ahead… 10 steps ahead of us all along?

xxSerena 

How to make seitan and what is it? 

Seitan is a popular meat substitute that you can make easily in your own kitchen. Why would you want to? Because eating meat is taxing on the environment. 

It’s popular with vegans, delicious, and super high in protein. Basically seitan is vital wheat gluten. So it’s all gluten! And what is gluten? It’s flour with all the starch removed. Gluten free flour? It’s flour with only starch and all the protein removed.

It is very low in fat, about 1.9 g per 100 g serving. It is very high in protein, about 75 g out of 100 g serving.

So it has the same make up as a lean protein except meat protein has L lysine and seitan does not. So it’s not considered a complete protein. But no worries. You can get L lysine from a number of different sources, including plant-based sources. Mung bean sprouts and most fruits and vegetables have lots.

How do you make seitan? 

Ingredients: 

1 cup vital gluten flour

1 cup vegetable broth 

2 tablespoons Herbs and spices 

Directions: 

  1. Mix flour with broth. Add herbs. Knead for two minutes. Dough should be puffy and stringy.
  2. Pull apart into three equal sized pieces and flatten out into round patties.
  3. Bring to boil in vegetable broth and herbs. Turn heat down to lowest setting. Cover. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Freeze unused cooled portions in broth for up to six months.
  5. Fry seitan in some oil with onions and use in a recipe as you would meat.

See the next blog on how to eat in a recipe! 

xxSerena 

Asian-style marinated chicken with Chinese rice 

My third chicken marinade is Asian style! This marinade has Sirracha (hot), soya sauce (salt), a dash of fish sauce (ferment), rice wine vinegar (sour), sesame oil (flavour) and sweet chili sauce (sweet)!


Does chicken with rice, which I made using Asian spices.


I diced the chicken and pan fried it until fully cooked in some olive oil.



Was totally delicious! 

xxSerena