My Haven

In the mist of all the turmoil and anger in our country, I have decided to take a breather and nurture the things that mean the most to me. I need to make sure that regardless of what may happen in the world, that my daughter and our home continues to be my priority. This can some times be difficult when you are as outspoken as I am, but seeing how sharp and aware of the world as my daughter is, I want to make sure that she knows, that her may concern is to be a KID.

I need her to know that her home stands unshaken. That though the world may change, our home remains strong, loving, and hopeful. As she’s off spending time with her father, I thought of ways of welcoming her home when she returns. What can I do to promote this sense of home? What can I do to bring a sense of security and comfort?

Nothing’s brings me comfort like cooking, baking and sewing. So today in light of my mood, you’ll get a twofer. Today I will bake one of Mayah’s favorite breads, a Lemon Blueberry bread with a lemon glaze, and since she loved the last set of pajamas I made her, I think I will go ahead and make her another set, that I am sure she will be over the moon for.

On to the baking…..

I found this Blueberry Lemon Bread recipe, during one of my searches for the ultimate Banana Bread recipe, and happened to land on Live Well Bake Often, a blog loaded with amazing recipes. This recipe is sooo delicious, I mean it guys…delicious. I am always left wanting more. The flavors of tart lemon and blueberries baked into a delectable warm loaf of bread, drizzled with a sugary lemon glaze, makes for a sweet.. sweet afternoon.

lemon-blueberry-bread-with-lemon-glaze-by-live-well-bake-often

Lemon Blueberry bread with a Lemon Glaze by Live Well Bake Often

Want to try out this gem? Check out the ingredients and instructions below!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup. oil (coconut, vegetable, or canola)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Lemon Glaze
  • ¾ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon of the flour and set aside (this helps to prevent the blueberries from sinking).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, vanilla, eggs, sugar, greek yogurt, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, just until smooth. Do not overmix or your bread will come out tough.
  6. Lightly fold the blueberries into the batter.
  7. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. The bread will be finished when a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.*
  8. Once bread is finished, remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the loaf pan. Remove from loaf pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Once bread has cooled, whisk together the confectioners sugar and lemon juice. Start with one tablespoon of lemon juice and whisk well. If your mixture is too thick, slowly add up to one more tablespoon of lemon juice. You want the glaze to be thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough to set up on the bread.
  10. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze on top of the bread. The glaze should harden up a little more after about 15-20 minutes.

So while all this deliciousness bakes, what should I do for the next hour? Well, what else but to sew, and if you prep and cut in advance these pajamas should take about that long to complete.

Now, isn’t this fabric adorable?

image-1

I found it in one of the few remaining fabric shops in Boston, Sewfisticated. It’s a great shop, offering a good variety of home décor and fashion fabrics. While on one of my fabric hauls, Mayah fell in love with this print as soon as she saw it. I can’t wait to sew this up and have Mayah put them on. She will be strutting around the house, showing off her newest pj’s. Quick side note – a few days ago out of the blue, Mayah tells me that if I keep sewing “sooo good”, I will be able to have a fashion show and open a store..lol. I love having my own little cheer leader. She’s good for my soul.

What are the things you do that bring you comfort or take you to your happy place?

Interested in seeing  how I made this bread?  Want to see tutorial on Mayah’s pajamas?

Comment below.

Red Heels and Lipstick, like many, is joining millions of video bloggers on YouTube. What are things you would want to see? Any diy’s you have been interested in, but have been too afraid to try on your own? Comment below, perhaps yours will be the first video tutorial we do!

RH&L

Fall in New England

Fall is upon us and being a true New Englander, I must say that I love stepping outside to crisp cool air. The signs of fall, bring back memories of being tucked in under comforters, of time spent with friends and family and feeling loved. Nothing, makes me think of fall more then a deliciously prepared soup. A thick hearty soup has a way of warming me up on a chilly fall day and bringing me comfort.

Here is a recipe that’s sure to become a staple in your home.

sancocho2

This soup, is a traditional Caribbean soup and though it may be called by a different name, in different islands, in Dominican Republic, where I am from, it is called Sancocho. Sancocho’s can be made with different choices of meet or with beans. The one we will make today is one made with chicken and root vegetables such as yucca and potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

sancocho

How to Prepare

Peel, wash and cut all vegetables into medium sized pieces

In a pot add enough water and place all vegetables and all seasoning. Do not add the meat.

Now we boil the vegetables and seasonings. Wash and season the chicken,  then put it to cook in a pan and reserve it for later.

When the vegetables are tender, remove the squash started to puree it and then add it back to the pot. When this process is finished, add the stewed chicken with all its juices. Cover the pot and let cook for an additional 15 minutes more.

After the fifteen minutes have passed, it is up to you to decide whether to remove or leave the onions and peppers.  I have been known to leave them in, but my preference is to remove them. Visually it makes the dish look better.

Now it’s time for the TASTING. Here you will check if it needs salt, or needs more flavoring. This can be fixed by adding more Salt and a Chicken Bouillon. Flavoring can also be fixed by adding more herbs such as long coriander, oregano or thyme.

This soup is meant to be of a thick consistency. A happy medium between a traditional chicken soup and a stew. Once it has achieved this consistency, it is ready to eat!

Sancocho’s are traditionally eaten with a side dish of white rice and a slice of avocado. I normally like eating it with rice and a lime wedge, to squeeze into the soup right before eating, and for those who tend to love soup a slight bit spicier, a dash of hot sauce seems to do it for me.

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe as much as I do, and that with time this too becomes a staple in your home.

From my home to yours, enjoy!

RH&L

Dating…I do, but I don’t

Dating had always been a fun experience for me. The whole ritual of getting dress, dinner meals, pretty flowers and the opportunity to sit down with a guy just for the sole purpose of getting to know each other, was exciting to me. But today, after years of focusing on my daughter and her needs, I find dating to be quite intimidating and to be frank, quite tiresome. Though in my mind, I believe that it would be EXCITING to dress up and spend an evening with a nice guy, I then start thinking of what this all really entails.

For one, I have to actually find something to wear. Let me repeat, I have to actually find something to wrap around this body mine. Something that will make me feel pumped for the date and invincible, because at 33 and after one child, my energies are quite depleted. I find that though I want to head out there into the dating world, and I want it to be as fun as it once was, I am not interested in all the little things that really get in the way of my purpose for dating; to find the right person and get married.

At this point in my life, I don’t want to hide the things that are not so pretty, I don’t want to pull out the spanx or pick at my food and take dainty bites. I don’t want to talk about the weather and I certaintly don’t care discuss the statuses on any sports team. I want to have an honest conversation about life, politics and religion. I need “him” to know that I enjoy food (and at times break out a little tune of happiness), that I am curvy for a reason. I want to discuss his standing on faith and his relationship with God. I want to find out if he has a career or a job, and I need him to understand that I have an opinion on just about everything. Most of all I need “him” to know that I have a daughter and she..is.. my WORLD.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t want the pleasantries that come with dating, but I mean –  can we be real and honest?

Anyone out there feel the same? Anyone with experiences to share?

RH&L

 

 

 

 

Running…I Call Thee Nemesis

 

So here’s the skinny, I just had a birthday and though I am happy and blessed to have  another year, I am feeling disappointed with my health all around. I know that something needs to change, and I want to start thirty-three with good healthy habits. I have already started eating better, and being a weekday vegan (we’ll touch base on another post) has made drastic improvements in my health and how I feel. But, I know that I need to include more physical activity in my life and my goal this year is to conquer running outside. Well.. conquer running.

Okay, the news of the hour (not  much news to those who know me), I HATE running. I hate all of it! I hate the sweating profusely and the being out of breath. I hate, and I can vouch for all plus size girls out there, knowing that as I am attempting to run, my body is moving in all sorts of directions. That alone is reason enough to break out in sweat. BUT, I have decided, for the sake of my health, to ignore all these reasons (some might call excuses..but whatever!) to run. My first step towards this goal is to learn how to run.

captureThere is this cool app called C25K and its meant to get you from being a “couch potato” to running a 5k. This is all supposed to happen within six weeks. I have heard great things about it and so I am hopeful and excited to begin. I’ll keep you posted on my progress, wish me luck!!

Click on the image to check put the app.

 

Anyone else building a better “YOU”? Any tips? Please share.

Lili and Maddie..

So here it is, our first foray into the world of blogging. What can we say..well, we actually have lots to say and this seems like the best method to get our thoughts on everyday life out to all of you. We are daughters, sisters, mothers, wife and me, the single mom, with tons experiences, craftiness and tips on life that we hope can be of value to mothers and all women from all walks of life.

Here we will capture small bits and pieces of our daily life, be it diy’s, craft projects, fashion and beauty, lifestyle topics, recipes and ways to just simplify life (who doesn’t want a simple life?!). If anything we hope this can become, the place you go to for that fifteen minute work break, the first place you check for that easy crock pot recipe, your favorite blog to check into before bed, because you simply need a laugh, at the end of a hectic day.

This has been a year in the making and we hope you make it, your home away from home.

RH&L