Miso Soup – After a summer of gluttonous fun it’s time to get back to healthier living. I often think that when the school year starts it’s almost like New Year’s, when people make resolutions to get fit and healthier… well, that’s the way it always seems to work for me anyway. So, back to it!
One way I force myself to eat better is by packing my lunch everyday for work. I know many people go out for lunch but if you can pack your own lunch, you’re more able to control the food you consume. I have a variety of foods that I take for lunch but one of my favourites is soup, especially chicken noodle (I have the best recipe which I’ll share in an upcoming post). Recently I tried a new soup that I think is great and my husband loves. It’s a very light and healthy Miso soup and takes about 20 minutes to make. You may have to shop around to find a few of the ingredients but its worth it. I found all of my ingredients in a local Japanese specialty store but I know there are local grocery stores that carry these ingredients too.
The original recipe is here but I modified it based on all the reviews I read for the recipe.
5 cups water
2 tsp dashi granules (3 tsp if you like a saltier, stronger fish flavour)
3 tbsp miso paste
1 package of medium firm tofu, diced
4 green onions sliced into pieces
2 tsp wakame seaweed (feel free to omit if you’re not into seaweed – you’ll notice there isn’t any in my photo – my husband loves it but me, not so much)
In a large saucepan heat water and dashi granules on high until it comes to a boil, then turn down to medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Put the miso paste into a cup or small mixing bowl and add a few spoon fulls of the hot broth from the saucepan and mix in with the miso paste until it becomes almost liquid in nature. Add this mixture to the saucepan and whisk in.
Add the diced tofu, green onions, and wakame seaweed. Simmer for about 5 more minutes.
Pickle Jar Remix – DIY Frosted Glass Vase – Pretty much every time I throw at jar into the recycling bin I feel a little bit guilty because I keep thinking I should do something with that jar. I wish I could say I’m uber excited to save the environment or something altruistic like that but it’s a little more simplistic than that… I just like to create things. A couple of weeks ago I found some frosted glass paint. I didn’t have anything in mind when I picked it up but thought it may come in handy some day. Well, that someday was yesterday when I went to toss a pickle jar into the recycling bin. I was holding the jar in my hand thinking about what a beautiful size and shape it was when I realized it would make a sweet little vase if done up nicely. So I tracked down some white paint, the frosted glass paint, some thin tape (washi tape in this instance) and a smallish pouncer. This was a really quick project about 20 minutes all in, not including the drying time.
One last thing before I get to this DIY tutorial. I LOVE PEONIES! We used to have huge bushes of them where I grew up in Ontario and I loved picking them for my mom when I was a little girl. I had grown a bunch at our old house that we moved from last year. Just this Spring I planted a number of peony tubers but then about a month or so after I planted them, my husband had a guy come over to weed all our gardens and didn’t tell me. The guy he hired “weeded” all of my peonies. What kind of gardener doesn’t know the weeds from the plants… deep breath.
Anyway, after that incident I’ve been in peony withdrawal so I went back to our old house and with the tenants permission (friends of ours actually) I picked a few peonies for the lovely bouquet in this photo… ah, all better now. Look at how gorgeous those flowers are!
Glass paint – Americana Frosted Gloss Enamels – Frosted glass paint in white (from Michaels)
Craft paint – Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in Wedding Cake (from Michaels)
Small to medium size pouncer
Tape (I used thin washi tape)
Soak jar in warm water to get the label off the jar and then wash it to make sure there is no paper or sticker residue left on the glass. Dry glass thoroughly.
Place your tape into the position being careful to make straight, consistently spaced lines.
Using your pouncer, gently sponge on your solid colour paint (white in my case) in between the tape. Carefully go around the outside until all the space is filled in. Allow to dry for an hour or two, then remove the tape.
Now, using your frosted glass paint, dab on using your pouncer starting at the bottom and move to the top until the entire jar is covered. I found that if I went over it again (about 5 minutes later) with a sparse second coat it had a better “frosted” appearance. Allow to dry completely.
5 Minute Mediterranean Hummus – Growing up in rural Ontario, my opportunities to sample a variety of culinary options were incredibly limited – I was a meat and potatoes country girl all the way. The first time I tried hummus was when I went away to University. I think I almost died and went to heaven at my first experience with hummus – so rich, creamy and flavourful. I’m pretty sure that’s all I ate for that entire summer. Then I went to Greece about 10 years ago and had the fortune to sample the real authentic stuff. Oh how I love Mediterranean food!
Tonight I was thinking about my love for hummus when it occurred to me… why not add some of my other favourite flavours to make the ultimate tasty dish. I ran to my kitchen and whipped out whatever ingredients I could find in the fridge and got to work. When I was done and had my first taste, I knew this recipe was a keeper.