Yogurt-based smoothies

Bananas are the only type of fruit/veg that I dislike and avoid as much as possible. I try to eat them every year or so, but every time I do not like the smell and the taste. I once tried drinking a smoothie when we were out for lunch, but found out it had banana in it, so after one sip I traded it for J’s soda.

After that one experience I never gave smoothies much though, assuming they would always have banana in them. But last summer I started making melon-yogurt smoothies, the way J’s mom used to make them when he was a kid. Recently we had some frozen redcurrants that I wanted to use in a smoothie and I googled for recipes. I found a standard recipe for yogurt-based smoothies here (for non-Dutch people: use 250 grams of fruit and 250 ml yogurt, or 125 ml yogurt and 125 ml milk). Since the redcurrants are quite sour, I added some honey to sweeten.

So I want to pass on the message: you can make nice smoothies without bananas!

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Home Decor

HomeDecorWe do not have a lot of decoration stuff around the house. I like relatively empty and clean surfaces with a few nice items in neutral colors here and there. I have some bowls and stuff to put in bowls, such as pot-pourri, bits of wood, stones, sea shells etc. Every few months I do a reshuffle, buy some new candles and everything seems fresh again.

My favorite of this reshuffle is this jar that used to hold store-bought creme brulee. With some sand, a nice stone and two sea shells it reminds me of the beach and summer holidays.
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Tidy a Shelf

I do most of my housework on the weekends. If I can stay on top of the regular chores, such as laundry, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms etc, I am usually pretty content. Sometimes I have time to do something ‘extra’, something that is not part of my regular routine and whenever I do that, it gives immense satisfaction.

Last week I had time (and energy) to take on part of a cupboard that was messy and I was no longer sure what exactly was in there. So I took time to tidy these shelves. Although these shelves are usually out of sight, the mess was still bothering me. Knowing that I only have stuff in there that I like/use makes me happy.

P1010685I want to step out of my regular cleaning routine and take on these small but satisfying tasks more often.

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Tortilla Soup

I am trying out different tortilla soup recipes, in search of the one that does not require a lot of time to make and tastes wonderful to us. I have never been to Mexico and I have never tasted the “real thing”. I am not looking for something that tastes authentic, but something that we like.

This time I tried this recipe. I made some small modifications, mostly due to the fact that here in the Netherlands what you can buy in the supermarket is different from the US. I really liked the bell peppers in the soup. I added some corn because I did not have any beans.

P1010702_croppedThe major modification was to toast the tortilla strips in the oven, I used wholegrain tortillas because that is what I had on hand. Just put them on a baking sheet, sprinkle some olive oil on top, add some salt and pepper and mix a bit with your hands. I baked mine for about 12 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

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Bumblebee love

For some reason our garden has lots of bumblebees, but very little ‘ordinary’ bees. I could watch the bumblebees in our garden for hours as they make their way from one flower to the next. I love how they use their snout as a vacuum cleaner to gather their food.

I recently stumbled upon this review of a book about bees. I was intrigued, so I ordered it and I hope I will find out how I can lure even more bees into our garden.

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A simple gift

I always feel really awful when someone I love a lot has a birthday and I can’t think of a good gift. Thankfully this does not happen all the time, but last week I was in that situation again when thinking of a gift for my dad.

In the end I came up with the idea of homemade cereal in a nice glass jar. I don’t like the sweetness of granola, so I always eat muesli for breakfast and I know my dad does too. Lately I have been mixing my own muesli instead of buying a pre-packaged version. I use the ‘basismuesli’ from here and add sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sultanas, nuts and crushed flaxseed.

I bought a nice glass jar, washed it and put in my home-mixed muesli. I did not mix the ingredients, because I liked the layered look. I also added a lot of good wishes. I hope he will think of me every time he has this muesli for breakfast πŸ˜‰

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A Finished Granny Blanket

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I worked on this blanket a lot over the past few weeks. I decided to finish it and move on.
I joined the granny squares using this tutorial. It gave a very neat finish to the seamed edges.

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After joining the squares I was worried that the edges would be too tight. I decided to block the blanket, to see what it would do. While wet, some a lot of the greenish color ran, so the cream edges of the granny squares are now a light minty green.

Nevertheless I decided to embrace the mint green borders and call it a day. The blanket grew quite a bit during blocking, it will be nice as a lap blanket, and besides, I wanted to move on, ok? So I looked for a nice crochet edging, found a couple of great looking ones (here, here and here), and in the end decided to go for this one.

P1010647Quite simple, but a good finish to the blanket, it was very quick and then I just had to weave in the ends and guess what? I was done, ready to move on to the next project.
I am still not very fond of the color combinations I chose, but it is a nice blanket with a nice drape to it and I am sure I will use it to keep my legs warm.

Done, ready to move on to the next project. Did I mention I was looking forward to moving on?

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