Thai Red Curry

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I think one of the best purchases I made while living in Thailand was the Thai cookbook I bought at AsiaBooks in Bangkok.  The recipes are all translated into English, and call for ingredients than are readily available in North America.  I guess it’s an Americanized version of Thai cooking, yet the recipes all taste very authentic.

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Tonight I decided to make a version of the Thai Red Curry recipe found in this book.  I adapted the recipe a bit, adding some different veggies.  I used pre-cooked frozen shrimp, which meant that not only is this dish super delicious, it is also ridiculously easy to make.  I suggest serving it on top of a heaping bowl of rice.

 

Thai Red Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (fresh)
  • 1 can pineapple chunks (juice drained and discarded)
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ lb large shrimp (cooked, peeled, and deveined)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tbsp sugar

Method:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add curry paste and sauté until you can smell the aroma of the curry (a couple of minutes).
  3. Spoon the thick and creamy top layer of coconut milk into the saucepan. Increase the heat to medium high. Stir together the curry paste and coconut milk until well combined.
  4. Add the lime leaves, pineapple, bamboo shoots, bell pepper, and the rest of the coconut milk.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil for 2 minutes
  6. Add the shrimp, fish sauce, and sugar. Boil for 1 more minute. If using uncooked shrimp then boil until shrimp turn pink.
  7. Serve over steamed rice.

Enjoy!

-Kristen

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Lemony Lentil Soup

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Kurt and I are still oven-less, which means I’m still having to be creative when it comes to cooking our meals.  Today I was craving lentil soup, but couldn’t find a vegetarian friendly recipe that I wanted to make.  I searched my cookbooks, pinterest, and found nothing.  I ended up partially following a recipe for non-vegetarian lentil soup from the back of a package of lentils, making it vegetarian friendly, and partially just winging it.  The result was delicious and Kurt approved (I always know a recipe is a keeper when Kurt goes back for seconds).

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This soup was easy to make, and smelled so amazing.  The addition of lemon and parsley makes this soup much more fresh and summery, rather than a hearty winter soup.  It was perfect for a sunny day!

 

Lemony Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ cup green lentils, cleaned and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp lemon rind, grated
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

 Method

  1. in a large saucepan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat
  2. add garlic and sauté for approximately 5 minutes
  3. add onion, celery, and carrots and sauté for another few minutes, until vegetables begin to soften
  4. add lentils, broth, water, lemon rind, salt, pepper, cumin, and bay leaf
  5. bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 1 hour, or until lentils are tender
  6. once lentils are tender, add lemon juice and continue to simmer for 30 minutes more
  7. remove bay leaf and serve
  8. garnish with parsley, and white vinegar to taste

Enjoy!

-Kristen

Life Updates + Moscow Mule Recipe

Hey everyone, sorry I’ve been a little MIA lately.  Lots of exciting things happening in my life that seem to have distracted me from blogging.  As some of you may know, I am an aspiring veterinarian.  This last fall, I sent in my application for veterinary school at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.  The process of accepting applicants is quite drawn out, and I was starting to wonder if I would ever hear from them about an interview offer.  I finally got an email from the college on May 15th, and they wanted to interview me on the 25th!  I basically had to put my life on hold so that I could fly to Saskatoon for the interview on such short notice.  Although I was incredibly nervous, I felt like my interview went really well, and it was a very positive experience.  However, all applicants are ranked on their grades, and then given an interview score, these two scores are combined and only the top 20 applicants are accepted.  They only interview 40 people so the fact that I even got the chance to interview is fantastic.  I’m still waiting to hear back from the college about their final decision, which could take up to a couple of weeks.

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University Bridge over the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon

I also received some excellent news on Monday the 25th.  I entered a short story I had written into a creative writing contest recently.  My piece was chosen as the winner!  My prize is that I get to attend the “Write on the Beach” workshop hosted by the Federation of BC Writers in June, and at the workshop I get to read my piece.  I am so incredibly excited for this opportunity.  Writing has always been a passion of mine, and it feels great to be recognized for my writing.

So, I flew to Saskatoon on the 24th, had my interview on the 25th, got the good news about the writing contest while still in Saskatoon, flew back home the evening of the 25th, and was up bright and early in the morning on the 26th to ride the Heart and Stroke Foundation Big Bike!  It’s been a crazy few days, to say the least.  My team and I successfully raised $1220 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  I surpassed my goal of raising $100 myself, and ended up raising over $500!

riding the big bike

riding the big bike

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team banana republic

And to round out this blog post (because it doesn’t already contain enough amazingness), I thought I’d include a yummy drink recipe.  Moscow mule mugs seem to be quite popular lately. Every time I walk into HomeSense, Winners, or Pier 1, I see them. They’re great for cold beverages on a hot day because they actually keep your drink nice and cool.  And of course, what better drink to have out of a Moscow mule mug than a Moscow mule itself. Here’s how I make mine:

ingredients to make a delicious moscow mule

ingredients to make a delicious moscow mule

yumm

yumm

 

Moscow Mule

Ingredients:

  • Ice
  • Lime wedge
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • ½ cup ginger beer (Old Jamaica Ginger Beer works best in my experience)

Method:

  • Squeeze lime wedge into mug
  • Fill the mug with ice
  • Add ginger beer and vodka
  • Mix with a stir stick and serve

Enjoy!

-Kristen

Liebster Award

I’ve just been nominated for a Liebster Award by All-Round Better Me.  This is exciting for me since it’s my first time being nominated!  In case you’re wondering what a Liebster Award is (taken from All-Round Better Me):

  • The Liebster Award is an online trophy given from one new blogger to another in which we have to complete tasks listed in the award rules.  Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:
  • – Each nominee must have under 200 followers
    – You must thank and link to the nominated blog
    – You must answer the 10 questions asked of you and propose 10 new ones for your nominees
    – You must nominate 10 blogs and tell them that they have been nominated
    – You must write a post containing the questions
    – You must include these rules in the post

I’ve been following All-Round Better Me and her blog for a while, I really love how goal-oriented she is and how honest she is when it comes to achieving those goals. Thank you again for the nomination!

Here are the questions she asked me, and my responses to them:

Who do you write for?  I’ve been told that when writing, it is best to just write for one person, and forget what all the other people think.  As long as that one person likes it, you’ve succeeded.  I try to keep that in mind while writing.  For example, when I wrote my Thailand Travel Series, I wrote it specifically for a friend who was planning a trip to Thailand.

If you had a super power, what would it be?  Being able to fly.  I used to have a lot of dreams about flying when I was younger, and something about those dreams always stuck with me.

Where are you going on your next travel adventure?

everywhere

Seriously though, this is pretty much my travel philosophy.  I don’t think I would ever turn down a trip because it was somewhere I wasn’t interested in going.  However, my younger sister is going abroad to study at the University of Aberdeen in the fall, and I would LOVE to visit her and do a whole Scotland/Ireland trip, so that will probably be my next adventure.

Do you like where you live currently?  This is kind of a loaded question for me, considering there was an attempted break in at our house today (but that is a long story for another time).  My boyfriend and I currently live in an older house that is owned by his parents.  They are planning to tear down this house to build their dream house in the very near future.  I’ve found that living in a house that you know is going to be torn down is kind of difficult.  There’s this weird mind-set I find myself in, where, for example, if I spill a drink on the floor I think, “doesn’t matter if it stains, carpets just getting torn out soon anyways.”  It’s definitely a difficult mindset to get out of.  I definitely like the neighbourhood we’re in, however.

What is your favourite season of the year?  Spring!  I’m an April baby, so that’s probably why.

If you were given $1 million dollars, no strings attached, what would you do with it?  Travel the world.  Quit my day job and write for a living.

What is your favorite post that you’ve written?  How do I pick just one??  I think my post on How to Travel in Iceland on a Budget is one that I’m most proud of.  It was one of the first posts I ever wrote, and I think I was able to provide a lot of good information (in other words, it wasn’t just a “fluff” post).

Here are some questions for my nominees:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What is your favourite flower?
  4. If you could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  5. What is your morning routine?
  6. What is your favourite item in your wardrobe right now?
  7. What is your hidden talent that not many people know about?
  8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  9. Who inspires you?
  10. What is your favourite dog breed and why?

I would like to nominate:

  1. Classic Shanelle
  2. La Vie en Rose
  3. Zara the Vizsla
  4. Whiskey Girl
  5. I Love Denham
  6. Nicole Young
  7. Emily Hart
  8. ANDIVANCE

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a blog has under 200 followers or not.  I just chose blogs that I’ve been reading a lot lately, and would love for them to answer these questions.

Cheers for now!

-Kristen

April Wardrobe Challenge Wrap-Up

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shoes – shoe company ; pants – banana republic ; black tank – gap ; chambray shirt – gap

I can’t believe how fast April went by!  Seriously.  And how do I feel now that April is over and I can once again wear any clothes that my heart desires?  Let’s put it this way, when I got dressed for work this morning, I chose only clothes that had been included in my challenge.  Does this mean I am going to continue on dressing with a minimal wardrobe?  Absolutely!

To be quite honest, I really didn’t struggle with this challenge.  Maybe it’s because I once lived out of a suitcase for a year and am no stranger to having very limited options when it comes to clothes.  This challenge was perhaps easier than the other times in my life that I’ve had to live with a minimal wardrobe (aka when I’m traveling) because I didn’t include lounge wear, workout clothes, etc. in my challenge.  When I’ve gone traveling, I’ve had to include ALL of these things.  I’ve even been faced with the challenge of living out of a backpack for a month when I also had to pack a tent, sleeping back, mattress, hiking boots, and other camping gear.  Everything had to fit into one backpack and I had to make sure it was all light enough that I could carry it.  Needless to say I ended up packing very few clothes and doing a lot of laundry.  Compared to that experience, my April Wardrobe Challenge was a breeze.

What did I learn from this challenge? And what are the benefits of doing a challenge like this?

1.  April in the lower mainland is definitely not as warm as April in the Okanagan and therefore I shouldn’t have bothered including shorts and my romper in this challenge.  These were the only 2 items that I never once wore.

2.  I now have a specific list of items that I need (well, not “need” in the sense like I need oxygen or food or water) for my wardrobe.  For example, I realized during this challenge that I don’t have any dark wash jeans that fit me.  I’m not saying I’m going to go out and specifically look for a pair of dark wash jeans, but from now on I will consider a good fitting pair of dark wash jeans to be an acceptable purchase if I find some I love.

3.  I don’t like boyfriend jeans.  I really like them on other people, I really do.  But they’re just not for me.  I included my pair in my April challenge as a way to force myself to wear them, but I ended up just avoiding wearing them.  They will definitely be joining my pile of “to donate” clothes.

4.  I never once found myself reaching for my boxed up clothing, with the exception of my going-out outfit on my birthday.

5.  I really like stripes, apparently.

In summary, my April Challenge was a success and I would highly encourage anyone who is even remotely considering a capsule wardrobe to do a challenge like this.  What do you think? Would you be up to the challenge?  Leave me a comment below!

-Kristen

Heart and Stroke Foundation Big Bike

Tomorrow is my 25th birthday!  I’m not quite sure how I feel about turning 25 yet.  This last year has been somewhat of a difficult one for me, with moving to a new city, the struggles of finding a job, and the waiting game of applying for vet school for the second time.  I’m hoping that this next year brings me more success in terms of my career and figuring out what I want to do with this life of mine.

One thing that I have to look forward to next month is taking part in the Heart and Stroke Foundation Big Bike event!  I think we all know someone who has suffered from cardiovascular disease, whether it be a relative, a friend, or even a co-worker.  One of my co-workers, who is only in his early 30s, recently suffered a heart attack.  I remember learning in second year developmental biology (don’t ask me for a reference for this one please, it was so long ago haha) that the lower your birth weight, the more likely you are to suffer from heart disease later in life.  Since I was only 4lbs when I was born, my chances of developing heart disease are much higher than most people I know.

I am currently in the fundraising stages of my campaign, and I would really appreciate any donations you can make towards this great cause.  Please visit this link to make a donation to me and my team.  I have already reached my initial fundraising goal of $100, but I know that with your help I can raise so much more.

And because no blog post is complete without a picture, here is a cute one of me with a little muley fawn taken last summer:

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April Update and New Outfits

Hey everyone, I thought I’d write a quick post to update you on my April Wardrobe Challenge.  So far all is going great.  I’m really loving how easy it is to get dressed in the morning, mainly because I don’t have a lot of clothes to choose from.  Also, now that I’ve figured out a few different outfits that look great, I’ve started falling back onto those outfits and wearing them over again.  That’s why I haven’t uploaded many new outfit posts lately, because a lot of the outfits I’ve been wearing have been repeats.  Here are just a few new outfits I’ve put together and worn over the last week:

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boots – call it spring ; skirt and sweater – banana republic

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shoes – converse ; pants and tee – banana republic ; jean jacket – american eagle

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ankle boots – toms ; dress – nordstrom rack ; jean jacket – american eagle

-Kristen